Conant Gardens Readers











{December 18, 2010}   My New World

 

MY NEW WORLD

Are you CREATING a new world? How good is your imagination? Do you know the area you are CREATING? Sometimes writers CREATE their own worlds. These writers take the time to draw their entire book’s setting on paper. J. K. Rowling created Hogwarts. Where is that? Is it a real place? Of course not, but she CREATED it in her mind, and then placed it on paper. A great imagination is just that, GREAT! How about J.R.R. Tolkien, the writer of the ‘The Lord of the Rings’? He takes us to the Shirer with such description that we are enthralled.

STEP -3-DESCRIBING YOUR SCENCES

In your story, what is the WORLD like? What point of view are you using? In my stories, I use both real and created locations. The American States may be real, but I like creating the cities myself. I usually use cities close to the real ones. By creating new places, I use my mind’s eye more. I want my readers to see new and exciting places. If I use a real place, I better be accurate. Some readers are more knowledgeable about locations than writers may realize. ACCURACY is very important to many readers. There are a lot of readers who deliberately look for inconsistencies in a writer’s work. Are you making your location a REAL place? Then MAP the place as ACCURATELY as you possibly can. If the place is not REAL, then make it convincing. Let your readers see what you the writer sees. I see and focus on my imaginary locations as I am writing about it. I can’t afford to leave out details. They are too important. If you can’t keep the details in your mind straight, then map it on paper.    

The timeline is just as important as location. In the book, ‘Widow of the South’ by Robert Hicks, the writer set us up with its opening pages. The first character you encounter as a reader may not be the main character, but that person should tell us where we are. In this book, right away, I know it is the civil war era, and I am already hooked. I like the civil war novels. The description of the characters within the first two pages helps as well. How are these people dressed? How is their speech pattern; northern or southern, eastern or western, foreign, American or European English? If there are prompts (objects) that are discussed, I hope it is in the right time frame. You don’t want a machine gun in the civil war era unless you are writing like Harry Turtledove’s ‘Guns of the South’, which is an excellent book.

I WILL SAY IT AGAIN, make your world in your book as REAL as you can, and believable. You have to remember your audience as you write. Writing something on purpose, not knowing if your audience could reject it, is not good writing. Your world should not be written in retaliation to what has happen to you in your real world. This will turn your readers away. Why sabotage your writing craft? There are a lot of angry women who were hurt by their companions, husbands, friends, and associates. Why launch your fury at your readers? They weren’t a part of your tragedy.

My books, like others I’ve written are purely from the inner part of me. I want my readers to be a part of my WORLD as I created it. I want them to see what I see. Hear what I hear. Feel what I feel. Taste what I taste and touch objects as I would touch them. Yes put all your senses in your description of your world. MAKE YOUR WORLD REAL!

The CHARACTERS of your created world must be believable as well. The characters must illustrate that they are a member of that created society. Spock is not from planet earth, but he is a part of the Enterprise crew on Star Trek. Sponge Bop lives in the sea and so are most of the other characters. The characters must be on the same line of communication. Bugs Bunny’s world did not have CELL PHONES, but he did MAIL letters.

Your characters must fit the GENRE. I would never put the ‘Widow’, in the book ‘Widow of the South’ in my book ‘The Passing of Mother Mary’. She has no reason for being there. The dialogue used in my book is too modern, and there are accents that will not correlate with the accent of the ‘Widow of the South’. Keep your characters in perspective, so you can keep your readers attention.

DESCRIPTION is the third most important entity of the writer’s craft. All my readers are totally BLIND and DEAF. I have to tell my readers what they are SEEING and HEARING. They have no idea where they are until I describe the surroundings to them. How acute are the reader’s hearing? Well, they are as MUTE as the paper they’re reading. You have to do ‘word’ sign language for them. This means you have to totally describe what the character hears and does. The reader will never guess your intentions. The reader is new to your book therefore; give them a little insight on what is going on. Do you HEAR me?

If the characters in my story SMELL something, what is it? Is a smell sweet, or horrid like a burning tire? When my character touches something; is it smooth and silky, rough and coarse, slick or slimy, hot or cold. What my character FEELS, the senses should be the same for the reader. What is your character eating or drinking? Should the reader know this already? Tell the reader what is for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Any snacks? What kind?

All your descriptions in your writing make the reader feel at ease when reading what you wrote. Description makes your story intensely visible to the reader who is technically blind, muted, and unable to feel or smell what your character feels and smells until you tell them.

REMEMBER: You as the writer above all, became the SENSES that the characters are expressing. The reader is now curious of these senses. Without DESCRIBING your world in DETAIL, you have no book. Your characters only exist in the mind of the reader, whereby these characters should actually be as human as your reader. You as a writer don’t just exist. You are a participant of this life. Shouldn’t your reader be a participant of your character’s environment as well. The bible DESCRIBES how the earth was built in seven days, thus we can do likewise, DESCRIBE what the reader needs to see, hear, feel, touch and taste. As they say in slang idioms, do you SEE and FEEL me?,

The writer is always the first reader. I can’t be a part of the world in my own books, if I didn’t read it thoroughly. I took my time and focused. I mapped certain scenes, locations, people, objects, landscape, . . etc., so you must do the same.

It’s your story. It’s your world, real or imaginative. Give your readers something believable to focus on.  DESCIBE EVERYTHING!

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The Passing of Mother Mary, Christina Reyes.



{September 8, 2010}   Chapter One- My 13 steps

 

I have 13 steps that I usually follow when I write and publish my books. You may follow these simple steps or be inspired to create your own. There is always a procedure, which one should to follow when writing and publishing, just as there is always a sequence of events in most stories. Some writing methods and rules are usually written down somewhere, and yes we are SUPPOSED to follow them. When we drive our cars on the road, we have a RED light. We have to look for obstructions and pedestrians in our way. We cannot override these issues. They do exist. Such is our limitations. We cannot go beyond them, although we really want to.

So what do we do? How do we begin to write? How do we know what to write? Where do we start? Oh, God, Can I do this thing? Can I really write?

We all learn to write. We had to do it in elementary school, and into high school. Some of us wrote for our college classes. But these were REGUIRED. Now days some of us, want to write for our entertainment, our financial advancement, or maybe cause we want to express ourselves in written form. How can we prove that we CAN write, and write well? I like the ‘I CAN’ part. I will continue to literate my readers by saying that I have DYSLEXIA. IF I CAN WRITE, so can you. Nothing is holding most of you from writing, but yourself.

My 13 steps are simple. I have to K.I.S.S my writing skills. Keep It Simple Silly! Why not do that? It works for me. Will it work for you? I have no idea really; you have to determine that part. Why 13? Why not 13? You want more? Why want more? I say again, K.I.S.S your writing, unless you are writing professionally. If that is what you want to do, then this book is probably beneath you. You already grasp some of the concepts necessary for your craft. This book is for those who have a drive or passion within themselves for their ‘Undiscovered Country’ or their PASSION for writing.

So let’s venture into K.I.S.S. It is simple. Writing is not as complex as you think. Then again, how much did you focus in school? Did you read in school? Do you read now? Do you read the local newspapers or magazine articles? Do you read words well? How can you enhance your writing skills without reading is the real question?

STEP 1 -READING

If you don’t read, or you don’t read well, just stop. Here is the reality check of writing. 

YOU HAVE TO READ!

 YOU HAVE TO KNOW HOW TO READ!

 YOU HAVE TO READ WORDS!

YOU HAVE TO READ OVER A MILLION WORDS BEFORE YOU BEGIN TO WRITE!

 YOU HAVE TO READ or learn how to read THE DICTIONARY!

 YOU HAVE TO READ or know how to read THE THESAURAS!

YOU HAVE TO READ MANY BOOKS AND READ OTHER BOOKS AND READ DIFFERENT KIND OF BOOKS, AND THEN, KEEP ON READING!

 Sorry for the reality check, I know it really SUCKS, huh?

Well, this dyslexic writer was told just that! I was told at a early age, that I at first, had to learn how to READ, then just READ the words, then READ many more words, then learn to READ the dictionary, then learn to READ the thesaurus, and then finally just READ. I had the discipline that many don’t. It took time to train my brain how to focus on how words are spelled and what they mean. I had to focus on sentence structure. Did the sentence make sense? How do I get my brain to learn to make sense of these BLASTED words?

This is a lot of work for some. If It is, then writing is not for you. A college professor reads more than I do. A technical writer reads more than I do. A criminal lawyer and mechanical engineer reads more than I do. . . get it? That’s what they do for a living. Writers pace themselves. We write when we feel like it. We write for fun. We write for a livelihood or self-satisfaction. We write out of habit or hobby. We write to tell stories trapped inside of our minds, as if a bird was trapped in a cage. These caged thoughts and ideas want their freedom too. The idea that something inside of us could be bottled up like air in a soda, and if you like carbonated soda, you will burp. That burping is that release, and that release is your writing at its best.

Now back to reading. Yes I read. I love it! I love those wonderful stories that took me away, somewhere other than the steps to my house, my job, my family, my relationships, my children. . . Opps, I don’t have any children, but you know what I’m talking about if you have them.

When I was in school, I read Betsy and Billy by Carolyn Haywood, The Long Black Coat by Jay Bennett, Hey God, it’s me Margret, by Judy Blume, Oliver Twist, by Charles Dickens, Shakespeare tragedies’, plus over 300 books over a span of 35 years. Nevertheless, this is a minute fraction of all the other books I’ve read. Perhaps I am underestimating my library, but I have READ a lot BOOKS, BOOKS, AND MORE BOOKS!  

The saddest part of my life was when my mother threw many of my books away! She was spring-cleaning. I came home from school and cried after hearing how she cleaned out my library in my room. I had to start all over again. Re-collecting the ones I remember losing as well as obtaining new ones.

I read so many words growing up, that you couldn’t determine if I was dyslexic at all. I knew I was. It became a secret for years. My sisters didn’t know. My mother was in denial. My elementary teachers knew and helped me immensely. I had to do the one thing to conquer my disability. I had to read, and study words. I memorized how the words should be spelled and when my brain would joke with me, I stood firm like a mother who catches a child red handed doing something wrong. I reprimanded my brain by telling it to ‘do it right this time’. I was always a little hard on myself, but so are mothers who want their children to do the right thing. I had hard-love for my brain. With patience, I told my brain ‘we will jump over this stumbling block, so don’t quit trying’.

Only you can stroke your ego better than anybody else can. Only you can be determined to change what others say you can’t do. I could READ. I had to. I wanted to write my stories down. I wanted to unleash the thoughts within my mind’s eye. I want to dream on paper. I wanted to read what other authors had to say. And If they could put me on a train leading to a utopia community of words, ideas, thoughts, and imaginative worlds, I wanted a front seat.

The passion for reading is as great as the passion for writing. No difference. If you like to read, then READ. If you want to write, then WRITE. After you have read as much as I have, then you will find the ONE writer to model after. Who are your mentors? What writers took you flying above your house into the next town, the previous era, to the unspeakable world of conflict, the fantastical cloud that only exist in your mind’s eye? What author made you dream of the guy you WISH you were in love with, or could romance your soul.

I like young adult fiction, so that is what I usually focus on. Hey, that’s just me. And you? What stories make you happy to daydream about? What stories made you want to write similar stories? Some people like romance novels. Well so do I, but is that my passion? I can’t write as many self-help situation books as good as some writers. I’m not Joel Osteen. There is only one of him, thank God! He is good at his craft of writing and speaking. But I like to read his books, because they are well written. They are very inspirational too. Hey, if the book is good, why not read it? I’ve read all sorts of books, and love them all. One of my favorite prose and poem books is, ‘A Tear and a Smile, by Khalil Gibran. Yes, a middle-eastern man who writes very well, and is worthy of my reading time.

Of course there are books I really detest. Ok, young people, this is my opinion okay. I can’t venture into your urban fiction. A young kid who’s parents are into drugs, husband beating wife, kids shooting kids, murder and prostitution among the young, child porn, drug infested stories, and so on, these not on my COOL BOOK list. Sorry young folks.

 Okay, no I’m not sorry. I like what I like. Your readers will like what you write, especially if it is good writing. So stick what you like. A writer’s craft, may derive from many different gardens, different avenues, or different climates. Some writer’s crafts are among the jungles of Africa, some are from the streets of London England, some are from sexual atriums of Greece, some are from Planet X or a newly-named fantasy world, some are from the most violent environments, and of course some, like mine, are from simple rose gardens.

Many writers often teach themselves how to write better with each new manuscript. There are some writers, who are always learning and improving their craft. Writers, who have a spiritual insight, try to capture their reader’s soul on paper, just like authors that fantasize about things mystical and imaginative. Well God blesses all the writers, as well as all readers. We are all in a world that stands alone. We do not sing, dance, or act. We read and write, which may seem boring to some, but to us, we are highly entertained just as well.  

So now, do you still want to write? Then do like the little children. SIT UP and take notice of words. STAND UP enough to learn how to READ. WALK OVER to the table or bookshelves that contain books of words. RUN to the couch or chair, even your own bed, and READ. JUMP at the chance to dream from the experiences that someone else has implanted in you through their books. FINALLY, make no make more excuses why you can’t READ or WRITE! You don’t know how to read, then what is stopping you from learning?

If a DYSLEXIC, like me doesn’t make excuses, why would you? Put your mind to it and JUST DO IT! I make no excuses for myself. I found my limitations, and then found a way to beat it. I read books. I trained my brain to read and read well. I wanted to read another point of view of how the world was through someone else’s eyes. I TRIED, AND CRIED, AND TRIED, AND TRIED AGAIN, AND DID IT!

If you are READING this far then let’s go to STEP 2.



{August 19, 2010}   Hello world!

Welcome to Conant Gardens Readers!

Let’s begin Your writing adventure by asking, Why do you want to write?  I know why I like to write. I write because I love it! I write because I have stories to tell. I know you are asking now, how did I begin? I had a gran imagination. Do You? So do you want to learn how to write? Well now is the time to tell you that you probably should  read my book, The Writer’s Craft: My 13 Steps. This will answer most of the questions you will ever ask in regards to writing and publishing what you wrote. 

I like to teach others what I have learned and what I know.  I will give you the first chapter of the book. I hope this helps you get started. It should get your mind twirling in a whirlwind of thoughts. You should be inspired to dream or at least brainstorm about how your first story will be born. Here’s the INTRODUCTION of my writing manual. It helped me a lot.

The writer’s craft: My 13 Steps

INTRODUCTION

Why I write?

          Some people ask me all the time, why I write. Well, I thought about it and thought about it, and all I have to say is, why not write?. All the words in the world will not make my readers fully understand why, I the writer, engages in writing. But I am a writer. As all writers will say, I will say the same, I love what I write. I like telling a good tale. I like entertaining myself with a good story. I like putting myself in an unimaginable world of conflict, turmoil, or even settling in a utopia fantasy.

My talent started at an early age. I was the unusual child in the family. The ‘strange’ one. I do remember being in the basement of my grandmother’s house, talking to myself, not mentally, just creatively. I would tell my dolls and stuff animals my stories. My two sisters were not as interested, nor was my mother, thus a lonely child resorts to creative ways of unleashing their thoughts and ideas. The images in my mind need freedom, like a bird in flight. The wind of ideas must feel itself flowing without apprehension.  

I like words. Some people don’t. They often shy away from a dictionary or thesaurus. I have dyslexia, thus words DO NOT come easily to my mind. They get scrambled sometimes. Yes, it bothers me, but it does not hinder my progress. It does not intimidate me every time I write. I am only human, and while being human, I know my limitations, yet I DO NOT, nor WILL I allow this twitch of the particles in my brain to become an excuse not to WRITE! I am a female soldier who can conquer an obstacle as if commanded by will.

My first book? Betsy and Billy. I fell in love with those two kids. My young mind wanted to possess a good book. Like writers, we sometimes steal ideas, thoughts from others, and the creativity from our own mind is stolen and place on paper. When I entered junior high school (they call it middle school now), I was able to fill my own library, thanks to Scholastic Book Clubs. Yes that did it for me! I was hooked on entering the world of others; the world of authors and their characters. I read, and read, and read more and more books. I couldn’t stop. It was like a crack pipe. I became addicted. I took books everywhere! I had a book at the doctor’s office, my dentist’s appointments, on the family trips to Canada, and to New York. I was addicted to these blasted (lacking a better word) books!

When I entered high school, now I HAD to write. My classes of Language Arts were no joke. We wrote daily. We wrote paragraphs, journals, and yes, creative stories. A simple paragraph was a challenge especially for me. My teacher once asked me to read aloud one of my paragraphs. I hated it. I was a child who was continually trying to overcome stuttering. I was already considered dyslexic. So why make ME read aloud? After several refusals, I confront this teacher with a fever of anger. He of course told me what I did not want to hear.

“You write so well, I just wanted others to hear your words. Don’t let your talents be limited by what you can’t control. God gives us all we need to survive. You can control your dyslexia and stuttering with persistence and determination.”

Yes. I needed inspiration. Everyone does. Some people need that ONE person who tells you to move forward. At home, there was only one inspiration. My grandma Talley read one of my unfinished stories. She found it in a drawer, and asked why I didn’t finish it. It was really out of my genre. It was science fiction. I am NOT a Steven King reader nor can I write similar to him. But she like the story that I had drafted. That moment was important to me. It changed my life. Someone in my household FINALLY took noticed of something I did. And obviously, did well!

Grandma Talley often said, “You are better than you think, baby.” 

After years of writing and never publishing, I just wrote for therapy, and entertainment. Therapy is good. To transpire your life in words, as well as your thoughts is very therapeutic, but it can waste of the talents of a writer if not acknowledged, when you want acknowledgement. If you like to be entertained, first entertain yourself before others. Self-gratification is good. If you cannot please yourself in what you do, how can you expect others to be pleased?

Why I write? Therapy, Entertainment, Talent, or just because it is something to do creatively, whatever my reason is, I know that I do something well. I am not letting another day go, without telling a new tale, without giving the world a part of me. I am the creative being that God has created. He has given me something special. He has seen my potential. You have potential as well, so follow my inspiration, and dream with me, write with me, express your talents with me. If not for the fun of it, just entertain yourself, since you are the most important person you know.

Why I write? Because I can.

Coming soon the first chapter which introduces the FIRST STEP of the Writer’s Craft .



et cetera