Thursday, July 31, 2014

Energy Bars

It was just another ordinary school day for 15-year-old Zac Hudson and his friends. Little did he know that this day would mark the beginning of the end for the highly technological society in which he lived, and it would be the start of a struggle for survival. A struggle where he would need all of his strength and resilience just to remain alive, and to retain his humanity. It would be a struggle that not everyone would win.

Survival Energy Bars 

Easy Energy Bar
Ingredients
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. In a large bowl stir all the ingredients together.
  3. Press 1/2- inch thick onto a 9×18-inch cookie sheet.
  4. Bake at 250 for about 15 minutes, until the mixture is bubbly,
  5. Remove from oven and let cool (this is very important, it will become very crumbly if not allowed to cool completely)
  6. Cut into small pieces and enjoy. Wrap in foil, or put into zip-lock bags to keep on hand.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Tyger Cookie Recipe

Set in Los Angeles, teacher Brenda Finnegan and her animal trainer boyfriend Bob Zebrinski witness a kidnapping. Brenda decides she must do what she can to find the people behind the crime and the victim's subsequent murder.

Tyger Tyger Cookie Recipe

Ingredients

Original recipe makes 5 dozen 
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup  sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups crushed sugar-frosted corn flake cereal
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  2. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla; mix until fluffy. Sift together flour, baking soda, and salt; stir into butter mixture. Stir in the crushed cereal.
  3. Drop cookies by heaping teaspoonfuls onto unprepared cookie sheets. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes. After baking remove from cookie sheets to cool on wire racks.
  4. Melt chocolate chips in a bowl over simmering water or in the microwave. With a spoon, drizzle melted chocolate across baked cookies, leaving big stripes of chocolate. Cool well until chocolate solidifies. 


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Great Summer Reading

  If you like Game of Thrones,
you will surely enjoy this summer read.
Finlay was the recognized heir to the throne of 11thcentury Alba when the king began a plot to install his grandson Duncan. Finlay finds his girl is married off to his cousin, his best friend joins the opposing side, and Duncan plans war. Life becomes especially difficult when Thorfinn of Orkney and his sister take hand in the game.


The King's Chicken
a recipe from the 11th Century

1 lb. cooked chicken  cut into 1 inch pieces
7 eggs
1/2 tsp . ground ginger
pinch ground anise
pinch saffron
Salt and pepper to taste
Pie crust to line a small crock, or a pie pan

Mix the eggs and spices until well combined. Place the chicken in the pie crust and pour on the egg mixture. Bake in a 400 degree oven until done.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Catching UP WAS Posted on Friday

Disappeared on Saturday....


Galleys the went out, are still out, or went out again this week:

DEMONCHASER III, by David Berardelli.  
   It's definitely hell in the wrong shoes! Feisty Tiffany LaBoeff is back and ready to solve the world's problems one more time.  
 

REWIND FORWARD: Kathy Sear and Greg Hawkins Series, Vol. 4, by Michael E. Field. 

   Paul Buckler had everything he could want from life: a beautiful wife, wonderful children, and a great home. But all that came crashing down when false allegations were levied against him and he found out that you are really guilty until proven innocent


  TINY TIMELESS TALES: The Writer's Bloc Anthology III

   A Collection of tales by members of the Bloc that includes short stories, poetry, pages from a nonfiction childrens book, and articles about a number of subjects, one including recipes for cooking bugs. 
 

 
Work began or Continued on the following books:

A real adventure begins when Senator Thompson is kidnapped and Brian Travors, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State is suspected of being involved.  Senators Hunt Wagner and Darius Clemens head a committee hearing to get at the truth.  President Robinson suffers a heart attack and Vice-President Barry Newman takes over temporarily.  This book is a real page turner!   


A VANISHING BREED,Volunteer Series, Vol. 2 by Tom Ward 

   The continued adventures of Medic 1260.
 
 
MINISTER'S SHOES, VOL. 2 by Celine Rose Mariotti
 
   Rev. Castle is back in another cozy mystery.

BLEEDING HEARTS: Killian Kendal Mystery Series, Vol. 1

   Winner of the Stonewall Society's 2002 Pride in the Arts Literary Award in the Whodunit Category!


REAP THE WHIRLWIND: Killian Kendall Mystery Series, Vol. 2,  by Josh Aterovis.
   Suicide, or murder? That's the question in the second Killian Kendall mystery. Will Smith suspects murder when an old childhood pal drowns, and asks his friend Killian for help in solving the mystery.


TRUTH OF YESTERDAY,  by Josh Aterovis

ALL LOST THINGS, by Josh Aterovis

CHANGE  OF WORLDS, by Josh Aterovis


CANDLE SONG: A Collection of New Age Poetry by Bobbi Sinha-Morey





 
Jack's News!

  by your bookstore cat,  gossip columnist, and feline friend.
 
 A. G. Case and her writing partner, P. A. Papineau, are already planning personal appearances in September though they don't yet have an advance copy in hand. Some will be on the way very soon, though.


 

Friday, July 25, 2014

Whoops! and Cool Summer Reading

Whoops! Forgot an ingredient in the Crab Cake Recipe
So here it is again, Corrected!


 Cool Summer Reading!

Set against the backdrop of a historic snowstorm, Snow Escape is the story of one woman’s innocent foray into the world of online dating turned deadly.

Allegra Maxwell is a 30-year old, single school teacher looking for love. Having chosen to use the Internet to meet the opposite sex, she encounters an articulate, prospective beau on the night the biggest blizzard in history is blanketing the Big Apple.

WHOOPS!
FORGOT AN INGREDIENT IN THE RECIPE BELOW!

Margaret Adkins's Crab Cakes

Original recipe makes 8 crab cakes
 
If you've been lucky with the crab net and have a bushel of leftover crabs to pick out, you can make up a lot of these, and freeze them on a cookie sheet, then store them in freezer bags and take out just as many as you need to fry per meal .
  • 1/3 cup tablespoons Ritz Cracker Crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon prepared yellow mustard
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise, or to taste
  • 1/3 cup grated red or green peppers from the garden
  • 1/2 sm. onion grated
  • 1 egg, beaten
  •  1 teaspoon parsley flakes
  • 1 tbsp. Old Bay seasoning
    if you live in an area where Old Bay is not available, you can substitute curry powder.
  • 1 pound cooked crabmeat, flaked
  • Lard for for frying *

    *Health conscious folks can fry these in vegetable oil, but this is my mother's recipe and Mama always used Lard and if you try it you will understand why. 

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, stir together the Ritz crumbs, mustard, mayonnaise, egg and parsley until well blended. Fold in the crabmeat. Form into 3 inch patties.
  2. Heat the lard about 1/2 in. deep in a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat. There should be enough to reach half way up the sides of the crab cakes. When the fat is hot, carefully place the patties in the pan. Fry until golden brown on each side, about 8 minutes per side. If patties are browning too fast, reduce the heat. Drain on paper towels, and serve immediately.



Thursday, July 24, 2014

Eastern Shore Crab Cake Fare


The Writers Bloc Anthology II

Eastern Shore Life and Lure is the second anthology from the members of the Writers Bloc, an Eastern Shore Writers Group. Eastern Shore Life and Lure is a panorama of both fact and fiction, much like the Eastern Shore’s past.

Heroes and villains, rich and poor, all have their parts to play in this sampling of tales from the Writers Bloc of the Eastern Shore.

Margaret Adkins's Crab Cakes

Original recipe makes 8 crab cakes Change Servings
 
If you've been lucky with the crab net and have leftover crabs to pick out, you canmake a lot of these, and freeze them on a cookie sheet, then store them in freezer bags and take out just as many as you need to fry per meal .
  • 1/3 cup tablespoons Ritz Cracker Crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon prepared yellow mustard
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise, or to taste
  • 1/3 cup grated red or green peppers from the garden
  • 1/2 sm. onion grated
  • 1 egg, beaten
  •  1 teaspoon parsley flakes
  • 1 pound cooked crabmeat, flaked
  • Lard for for frying *

    *Health conscious folks can fry these in vegetable oil, but Mama always used Lard and if you try it you will understand why. 

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, stir together the Ritz crumbs, mustard, mayonnaise, egg and parsley until well blended. Fold in the crabmeat. Form into 3 inch patties.
  2. Heat the lard about 1/2 in. deep in a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat. There should be enough to reach half way up the sides of the crab cakes. When the fat is hot, carefully place the patties in the pan. Fry until golden brown on each side, about 8 minutes per side. If patties are browning too fast, reduce the heat. Drain on paper towels, and serve immediately.




Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Swanee!


When their plans for their Charleston vacation are sidelined, Bonnie and Sue find that Savannah offers more than meets the eye. When they first arrive at The Magnolias, they plan on a nice quiet stay at a 200-yearold bed and breakfast; not the eighty-year-old murder of Colonel Blanchard, the disembodied voice of the missing Ghislaine, and the mysterious melody that is heard by all of the inn’s guests each midnight. When The Magnolias’ hostess, Miss Harriet Champion, is found murdered in the Confederate Room, is it the ghastly deed of the ghost of Colonel Blanchard…? Or did Miss Champion stumble upon a distant secret of one of the inn’s employees or guests?

Swanee River Chicken


Ingredients:
1-1/2 C. diced cooked chicken breast
1 C. chopped celery
1 C. cooked rice
1 can cream of chicken soup
3/4 C. mayonnaise
2 Tbsp. diced onion
1/2 C. slivered almonds (optional)
1 C. crushed Ritz crackers
1/2 stick of butter

1/4 cup white cooking wine 
Instructions:
Mix all ingredients together except crackers, almonds and butter. Place mixture in large casserole, top with almonds and crackers. Melt butter and drizzle on top. Bake for an hour at 350.




Monday, July 21, 2014

Stockland Fire Department Series, Vol. 2 
By Tonya Ramagos

Jordan Dias is the fire chief’s daughter. He sternly forbade her to follow in his footsteps as he believes women have no business working in a “man’s job.” But Jordan has a dream.... In Book II of the Stockland Fire Department Series, Jordan's in for some fiery excitement. When her father retires, Jordan applies to the new chief, Bryce Tracy, for a job. If he hires her, he is sure to allienate his predecessor, who is still around acting as a volunteer. If he doesn’t, Bryce will break her heart. Or maybe his own....

Bryce's Firehouse Omelet Thing


8 slices dried bread
1 pound grated cheese
8 eggs
3 c milk
3/4 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. dry mustard
dash cayenne pepper (OR Curry Powder if you are feeling adventurous)
1 bunch green onions
1 can sliced mushrooms

 
Butter bread and cut into cubes. Place in a greased 9 X 13 inch pan. Sprinkle with cheese. Top with onions and mushrooms. Beat eggs, spices, and milk and pour over bread and cheese mixture. Refrigerate 6 hours or overnight. Bake @ 350 for one hour covered. Remove cover for last few minutes to brown the top. NOTE: You may add ham. sausage, bacon, green peppers, etc. to the recipe!!!


Friday, July 18, 2014

Catching UP!








BOOKS that went to Press, or back to press, this week:
THE NEW NORMAL, by A.G. Case, Ph.D. and P.A. Papeneau, Ph.D.
   A Novel of Alternate Reality that explores what might have happened if the 9-11 attacks had been fully successful. A thoroughly frightening tale.
THE PROMISE by Karen Rossi

    Katharine Wilder is devastated when her 11-year-old daughter, Maggie, is arrested for shoplifting. Although the girl is only involved by association, Katharine is deeply shaken by the incident and wants to get Maggie involved in wholesome church activities.
 MOONLIT BAY, by Elena Dorothy Bowman
   What is in an abandoned building on an uninhabited Island across Moonlit Bay that has been surreptitiously invaded by armed, unidentified entities who are helmeted, dressed in black survival suits and armed with laser guns? What of the object that seems to cry out in excruciating pain giving off a blinding light when these intruders bombard its shell by laser beams? Why did they pick this peaceful small coastal town of Moonlit Bay for their clandestine operations? Who are these people? Where did they and the object in question come from? And who or what is inside the object that is so important to the invaders? These are questions that Elliot, Ryan, Penny and Stacie are determined to discover if it’s the last thing they do.

I HAVE A FRIEND ON JUPITER, Celine Rose Mariotti
   A story of two young friends who e-mail aliens on Jupiter! When their space ship arrives, so does a lot of adventure. When the space ship leaves-a special bond has been formed.  



Galleys the went out, are still out, or went out again this week:

DEMONCHASER III, by David Berardelli.  
   It's definitely hell in the wrong shoes! Feisty Tiffany LaBoeff is back and ready to solve the world's problems one more time.  

 

REWIND FORWARD: Kathy Sear and Greg Hawkins Series, Vol. 4, by Michael E. Field. 

   Paul Buckler had everything he could want from life: a beautiful wife, wonderful children, and a great home. But all that came crashing down when false allegations were levied against him and he found out that you are really guilty until proven innocent


  TINY TIMELESS TALES: The Writer's Bloc Anthology III

   A Collection of tales by members of the Bloc that includes short stories, poetry, pages from a nonfiction childrens book, and articles about a number of subjects, one including recipes for cooking bugs. 

 
Work began or Continued on the following books:

A real adventure begins when Senator Thompson is kidnapped and Brian Travors, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State is suspected of being involved.  Senators Hunt Wagner and Darius Clemens head a committee hearing to get at the truth.  President Robinson suffers a heart attack and Vice-President Barry Newman takes over temporarily.  This book is a real page turner!   


 
MINISTER'S SHOES, VOL. 2 by Celine Rose Mariotti
 
   Rev. Castle is back in another cozy mystery.

BLEEDING HEARTS: Killian Kendal Mystery Series, Vol. 1

   Winner of the Stonewall Society's 2002 Pride in the Arts Literary Award in the Whodunit Category!


REAP THE WHIRLWIND: Killian Kendall Mystery Series, Vol. 2,  by Josh Aterovis.
   Suicide, or murder? That's the question in the second Killian Kendall mystery. Will Smith suspects murder when an old childhood pal drowns, and asks his friend Killian for help in solving the mystery.


TRUTH OF YESTERDAY,  by Josh Aterovis

ALL LOST THINGS, by Josh Aterovis

CHANGE  OF WORLDS, by Josh Aterovis


CANDLE SONG: A Collection of New Age Poetry by Bobbi Sinha-Morey


Thursday, July 17, 2014

Chapters???






          Misty Cove Chronicles, Vol. 1
              First in a series of three.

                 by Nikki Leigh

 Days before her wedding, in October 1841, Lizbeth climbs to the widows walk atop her home, with her fiancĂ©. They search the dark and stormy horizon for her father's fishing boat and Lizbeth notices the darkened lighthouse on the point. In such a violent storm, her father and the other men from Misty Cove need the lighthouse to guide their boats safely into harbor. In the morning and the lighthouse lamps shine out, but it's too late. Death had come in the stormy night and the community is devastated by loss. Is love enough for Lizbeth to overcome the needless death of her father? Mourning and an investigation into the light's failure delay the wedding. When, at last, Lizbeth and William pledge their love, will they find happiness?

Question from the E-mail:  How do you plan your chapters? Or essentially, how do you know where you want a chapter to end and a new one to begin?

Answer: Jenny, I don't plan anything. Many writers do plan everything before they ever start a story. They know where and when scenes will take place, who will be there, and what folks will tell one another, but not the exact words of the story.

I never divide my book into chapters until it is finished. I just write the story all in one big file. I also never pad the story to make it a certain length and I don’t advise you to do that either.  Just write your story one scene at a time. While I'm writing one scene, I usually know what will happen in the next, but I don't force myself to go any farther than that, as if I do, I will surely lose my thread.

Then go on to the next and the next and so on, always following the action.  Some scenes will be only a few paragraphs. Some will be several pages long. Mine average about five pages. Though they can be less than one and up to nine. If a scene runs more than nine pages, I know I’ve lost track of something.  Once the story is finished, I go back and put chapter headings in at scene breaks at about 10 to 15 page intervals.

If I want a three chapter sample, I can go and do that at the beginning of the book and copy those pages into a separate file called sample, and so on. But I don’t like to break the story up until it is pretty well finished.

The reason is that quite often I find I need to insert scenes in places I had not anticipated. For instance: in Ghost Dancer, I had no plans for the main character's sister, Elaine, to come west. She was only to be mentioned as a reason for Christy’s leaving home.

Then I wrote a scene and Elaine walked in, saying, “I’ve had a perfectly miserable trip!”

I wrote her out, but she kept coming back IN. So THEN I had to go back and do the foreshadowing. I wrote in a scene where Elaine found out a secret and left home, and another scene to show the perfectly horrible trip,  so when she showed up on the train, the reader was ready for her – and not as Mouth-Wide-Open shocked as the other characters and I were to see her there.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

MalasianStirFryChicken

Set in 1964, this is the story of world-famous sleuth Tim Rinnissen’s first introduction to detective work. The crime, five years’ old, is an old-fashioned bludgeoning, with traces of attempted poisoning, corruption of officialdom, and an introduction to investigation sponsored by a couple of nudists, locally famous for their gourmet cooking. Tim’s youth and inexperience lead him into trouble, but the nudes rescue him by solving the crime-- feeding him a Malaysian dinner as they analyze how they did it.

 Malaysian Stir Fry Chicken
Ingredients:
2 tablespoons Sesame oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons Thai roasted chili paste (nam prik phao)
8 oz chicken breast, sliced into thin pieces
1/4 onion, cut into pieces
2 oz green beans, tips removed and cut into 2-inch strips
1/2 small carrot, peeled and sliced
1/4 green bell pepper (capsicum), deseeded and thinly sliced
1/4 red bell pepper or 1 red chili, deseeded and thinly sliced
3 bird’s eyes chilies, lightly pounded, optional
1 1/2 teaspoons sweet soy sauce (kecap manis)
1 1/2 teaspoons fish sauce
Method:
Heat up a wok on high heat and add the oil. Add the garlic into the wok and stir-fry until aromatic, follow by the Thai roasted chili paste or nam prik pao. Add the chicken and quickly stir fry, until the chicken is half cooked. Add the onion, green beans, carrot, green and red bell peppers, bird’s eye chilies and stir to combine well with the chicken. Add the sweet soy sauce and fish sauce, stir to blend well. (If you want your chicken to be a little saucy, you can add two tablespoons of water now.) As soon as the chicken and all ingredients are cooked through, dish out and serve immediately with steamed rice.
Cook’s Notes:
  1. Thai roasted chili paste or nam prik pao is a key ingredient in Thai cooking. You can purchase bottled nam prik pao from Asian supermarkets, Southeast Asian (Thai & Vietnamese) food stores, or online here. To make it from scratch, you can follow SheSimmer’s recipe here.
  2. There are many variations of this recipe…you can use cauliflower or broccoli instead of green beans, you can also add fresh or canned young corns. You can use white wine instead of the water to thin the sauce. The essence of the dish is in the sauce, not the vegetables used.


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Great Summer Reading



After strange feelings surround Josh Sparkins when he hears an old time adage, he figures out he has the ability to stop time. This exciting ability offers Josh opportunities for adventure, fun, and even revenge. However, when he realizes he ages at an accelerated pace when he stops time, he fears he is heading for his final days.

Summer Squash Bread

This recipe works equally well with shredded zucchini

 

Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 16 servings Change Servings
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
  • 2 cups shredded summer squash

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). 
  2. Grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.
  3. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the eggs until fluffy. Beat in the sugar, oil, and vanilla. Gradually mix in the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Fold in the squash. Transfer to the prepared baking dish.
  4. Bake 45 minutes in the preheated oven, until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.


Monday, July 14, 2014

Common Writing Mistakes


A Happy Summer Read

June at Shimmering Lake Golf Club on the shore of Canandaigua Lake and the five-week beer-cart-girl certification program is in full swing. It’s a very popular program and a great way for any college girl to start her summer, but this year it could also turn out to be very dangerous.
Question from the E-mail:  I was interested in your post to Rosie last week. You said you see a lot of ms. with mistakes. What kind of mistakes??

Answer: Nobody's perfect. Worse, even publishers who claim to follow the Chicago Manual of Style, may deviate from what it suggests. For instance when ms. are converted for e-book distribution words with all caps may disappear without a trace. We ask folks to type okay, instead of O.K., even though CMS says O.K. is the correct form. Every publisher will have exceptions to the rules and a reason of their own for the exception.

Below is a list of the more common mistakes we see in submitted manuscripts. In fact, I made a good many of them myself before I looked through the publisher's end of the telescope. For instance I didn't type anything between scenes, just left the white space, unless the blank line came at the bottom of a page. Doing anything two different ways can cause the typesetter, editor, or publisher many problems...

      Tips on How to Avoid Common Writing Problems
            from the Publishers at Ebooksothe.net


1.    Check homonyms and be sure they are used correctly. Problems often happen with words that sound alike, but are spelled differently, because spell check will not pick up on them. Watch out for words like hear and here, then and than, to (toward), too (more or also), and two (the number), there, their, and they’re, compliment and complement, and check them carefully in a Mirriam Webster Dictionary.

2.    Double check your transitions to be sure the reader is oriented. A transition is when you move the reader from one place to another, or one scene to another, or one time to another–usually the opening sentence in a block of copy or scene. A good transition, like the lead in a newspaper or magazine article, should answer the questions, Who? Where? and When? My pet peeve is when there is a scene break followed by a pronoun:
 * * *

   She hurried toward him, eager to tell her news.  


Who is SHE?  Who is HE? Sure, we want to know what the news is, so the hook is good, but not knowing who is going to tell it, or to whom it will be told is just confusing.

3.    Re dialogue and dialogue punctuation: Make sure characters don’t waste time on small talk. Punctuate dialogue correctly. Never let two characters talk in the same paragraph. Commas and other punctuation go inside the quotes. Regardless of what we all learned in English 101, in the days of moveable type, if they were not tucked inside, the punctuation fell out on the floor. And everything a person says at one time (even if they change the subject) goes in the same paragraph.

4.    Indicate the speech tags as part of the whole sentences in dialogue.  When a quote is followed by a “speechtag” as in, ‘David explained.’– the tag is still part of the SAME sentence and so the end of the dialogue speech is connected with a comma (NOT a period), and then a close quote. The comma is there to show that the “said” is part of the same sentence. Dialogue quotes should not end in period when there is a speechtag. Tags like “Responded David”, or “Explained Mary” should never be capitalized as they are not a new sentence. This happens in almost every ms. MOSTLY because none of us are taught how to punctuate dialogue in English 101. There we learn to write exposition, not fiction.

5.    Keep speechtags simple. Use “said” most of the time. Never use animal sounds such as ‘he barked’ unless your character is a dog or a drill sergeant. Here's a neat little technique–if you show a character in action within the same paragraph as the speech, the reader will assume the character who moved was also the one who spoke. This little trick can get rid of a lot of repetitive language (the saids), and it forces you to insert an image. If you want to show another character's reaction to the speech, change paragraphs. Treat the movement as if it were a dialogue reply.

6.     Write in scenes or structured parts and be sure each part makes a point. In fiction, the turning point is the place where something important changes forever. In non-fiction, it’s where you draw a conclusion. In either case, in both scenes or article parts, you should make a point.

     Narrate scenes or parts  with no point. They always tell us in the beginning to write in scenes and  "show don't tell" and narration is "telling." But you can't show everything. So narrate the mundane, or the action in scenes that don’t have a point. Most writing texts don't get into how to do narration – in fact they warn against it. But narration has an important place in any written work.

7.     Be aware of scene structure and hooks.  Every scene has the same structure.  Here it is:

   1. Transition, preferably with hook. (Who? When? Where?)
    2. Rising action and dialogue
    3. Turning point of the scene (the place where something important CHANGES FOREVER)
        (if there's no point, the scene goes, no matter how well written)
     4. End/resolution of the scene, preferably with another hook. Usually when we come to the end of a scene,

    * * *


     we indicate it with the double line break, at least two extra lines of "white space"  and the three stars. Always type in the three stars, a line, or something. Many typesetting programs remove blank lines and if you don't type something between your scenes, your typesetter MAY end up with one long block of copy and no breaks.

8.     Watch capitalization. Proper nouns get capitals, pronouns do not. But that can be confusing sometimes. For instance, Mom or Dad gets a cap when used as a proper noun, but no cap when used as a pronoun. As in, “My mom said Dad was late coming home.” My before mom, makes it a pronoun, but Dad is used as a proper noun. Goes against all those “be consistent” rules we know.

9.     Be especially careful of punctuation, especially with apostrophes and possessives. Apostrophes are used in contractions, that is a shortened version of two words, but never in abbreviations. Can’t instead of can not, it’s for it is (the possessive form of “it” never takes an apostrophe), and didn’t instead of did not. But CDs or the 1970s wouldn’t take an apostrophe.  Apostrophes (usually apostrophe followed by an s) are used, for possessive clauses. Mandy’s house. Tammy’s CDs. Do you see what I mean? Possessive forms of proper names take an apostrophe s even if they already end in s, such as Silas’s car. But plural nouns and pronouns get the apostrophe without the s in the plural form. I visited Mandy’s parents’ house. Plural form of proper names get an “es” rather than a plain s, and no apostrophe. Both the following are correct. “The Williams’ car,” for a plural possessive, and “The Williamses came to dinner,” for a plain old plural. I know, confusing isn’t it?

10.     You should never quote from any copyrighted material directly without permission in writing from the publisher. And most of them will want to be paid. It’s okay to quote from Shakespeare or older editions of the Bible, because that material is in the Public Domain. But if the copyright is still active, as it is on The New Living Bible, or instance, that’s not okay to quote from without permission. It’s okay to paraphrase song lyrics, to quote song titles, or book titles, to mention celebrities by name, but not to copy directly from any work. So you can name your character Sherlock Holmes or Scarlett O’Hara, if you want. Or you can have Kris Kristofferson singing“Bobby McGee,” or singing “about being broke and hitching rides in Baton Rouge.” But you canNOT have Kris sing, “Busted flat in Baton Rouge, headed for the train...”

11.     Be careful of  pronouns. The Grammar rule is "a pronoun always refers to the preceding noun." But the important thing is not to confuse the reader.So if two people are present, a man and a woman and the name Sue is followed by “he” — that’s clear. We all know, despite the country song, a man is unlikely to be named Sue. But if the scene has two women and the “She” after Mary refers to Sue, then the proper name should be used to avoid confusion.

12.     Always vary the language as much as you can. Guard against using the same word or phrase too close together. We all get "stuck" on a phrase from time to time, and this kind of problem crops up for every writer. Keep an eye, too, on how often required repetitive language such as pronouns and "said"s crop up. If you ever work in first person, look out for the "I"s. Try to keep the language as fresh as possible by paring those things down during your "self-editing" process. Just because the first draft is on paper, doesn't mean you are completely finished! We think words should be like soldiers doing drill. Each is necessary, each must march in line, in order for the formation to be complete. None should be out of step, or draw undue attention to itself, lest the formation (and the concentration of the reader) be broken. Try always to find just the right word. Avoid $40 words or thesaurus choices unless you look them up in the dictionary, too, and are certain they apply.