JanetPerezEckles-UseHow do you put into words the devastation that leaves you numb? As writers, we need to possess the ability to express the deepest pain, the biggest joy, and the most complicated emotions.

I tried that. But the effort nearly drained me.

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Maureen pic from booksigningI’m a hang-gliding fashion model who moonlights as a rodeo rookie whose brood of 10 adopted children are perfect angels…

Not!

But in my dreams…

Maureen Pratt, here, with my CAN blog for July. And, in keeping with themes of summer fun and expanding our horizons, I thought I’d pen a few ideas about how to use our alter egos in crafting more active, compelling characters.

We authors hear much about “writing what you know,” and “putting ourselves” into our books, stories, and non-fiction work. There is great truth about doing this – we can strike very real chords of character, place, and time when we incorporate our selves and our contexts in our work.

But if what we write is all about us, well, we’re putting up significant boundaries around what our stories could be capable of. Moreover, we run the risk of writing the same book over and over.

We need not go far afield to find ways to take down the boundaries of “just us” and create different perspectives, characters, and situations to inhabit our books. We have only to go to our “other” selves – our alter egos.

What is it that you do not do, but would love to do if you had the courage/resources/pluck/imagination to do? Who would you like to become?

Have you ever wished you’d been born in a different place or time? Is there a historical event that you wish you had taken part in, witnessed, or even changed?

Perhaps there’s something you’d like to try to do, but are afraid to even begin. There’s conflict for you – and possibilities for character exploration, fun, and perhaps growth.

Reality and ringing true are critical to work that can resonate with our readers. So, too, is an imagination that is not afraid to dare and craft something fresh and full. Explore your alter ego, and see how far you can go when you discover elements of you that can come alive in your next book.

Blessings for the day!

Maureen

www.maureenpratt.com

http://blog.beliefnet.com/gooddaysbaddays/

 

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Sundin #D70 ©2008 Linda Johnson Photography web (2)Greetings from Sarah Sundin in California! Today I have the honor of interviewing Jeanne Gowen Dennis, who has a deep and varied career spanning book and article writing, and web TV hosting.


CAN Jeanne DennisJeanne, how did you get into writing? How many books do you have published? What are a few of your latest titles?

My first Christian writers’ conference led to my first publication. Things just clicked after that conference, because I finally understood the concept of targeting my audience. Then I began having articles, stories, and greeting card verses published. Since then, I have published eleven books and contributed to several others.

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Hi everyone! Pamela S. Meyers here. I’m sure you’ve all had times when the best laid plans…well you know the old cliche. I had one of those days last week, but I learned some critical lessons how to make sure your planned promotional event goes off without a hitch.

I had a scheduled speaking and signing event to promote my book, Love Finds You in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. This was an afternoon I had been looking forward to since it was in a unique setting – A retirement home. Little did I know how much this event would turn out to be a learning experience for me.

I planned to show my Keynote presentation (Apple version of Power Point), read an excerpt from the book and then sign the book for any who
wanted to purchase one.

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During my Reading They Laughed in the Right Places!

Before I left, I remembered a suggestion someone had made to me to save the slideshow on a flash drive, and I decided to copy it to one that used a memory card. I packed the car and took off, allowing myself about fifteen minutes wiggle room, only to be delayed by road construction!

I arrived ten or fifteen minutes past the actual I’m I planned to arrive, feeling very frazzled. Did I mention we were in the middle of a heat wave? Already the ladies were filing into the room, and I began to unpack. That’s when I suddenly wanted to fall through a trapdoor in the floor.

I’d forgotten my computer!

No problem. I had the presentation saved on the memory card and my new projector had a USB slot for a flash drive. No problem, except …the slot was vertical—not horizontal—and the memory card was too wide. The projector’s outer casing blocked it from going all the way into the slot. I was doomed. But. . . the staff person who invited me had a Mac. Whew! Except she didn’t have Keynote installed.

Long story short, the facility’s resident techie saved the day and got the program to open and the rest of the afternoon went without a hitch. . . until I left and went to use my phone. Dead as dead because I forgot to turn off the GPS after I arrived. But that’s another story.

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I Love it When Someone Buys My Book!

Other than entertaining you with the story of my wacky day, and rejoicing with me over God’s provision of workarounds, I hope you picked up on a lesson learned.

Before you go out to any promotional event have a checklist of all the items you need to take. I just made one for myself. You may design yours a bit different, depending on the types of events you do, but if you’d like a PDF of mine, shoot me an email at pam@pamelasmeyers.com and I’ll be happy to send you one.

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Sundin - On Distant Shores

Lt. Georgiana Taylor has everything she could want. A boyfriend back home, a loving family, and a challenging job as a flight nurse. But in July 1943, Georgie’s cozy life gets more complicated when she meets pharmacist Sgt. John Hutchinson. Hutch resents the lack of respect he gets as a noncommissioned serviceman and hates how the war keeps him from his fiancée…

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