That First Sentence: It Matters!

Some thoughts for NaWrNoMo friends…and others!

Writing your first novel-Things you should know

imagesYou want to write a novel, and you have a great idea, but you’re not sure how to start. Everybody knows that first line, that first sentence, is extremely important. It has to be right.

If you’re stuck because of the pressure of crafting the perfect opening line, you’re not alone. And neither is your angst misplaced.

I was reading the blog of one of my favorite authors, Jerry Jenkins, this morning when I ran across this post. I have read it before, but sometimes I think we all just need a refresher. If you’re like me, you have so much information being thrown at you, you can’t possibly retain it all.

Most great opening lines fall into one of four categories.

  • Surprising

Fiction: “It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.”-                George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-four

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History and Highlights from the Military Writer’s Conference 2017

Jeanette Vaughan is a multi-award winning member of the Military Writers Society of America – congratulations to her on her latest win!

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Recently, the Military Writer’s Society had their annual Book Conference and Awards Banquet in San Antonio, Texas. What is it about a conference that brings you back motivated, energized and ready to write?  Networking!IMG_2475

The MWSA is chocker-block full of fantastic talent.  A group made up of active and retired military, military buffs, historians, writers, poets, and educators. The group spans several generations.  The youngest author?  A lovely, young, military dependent all of age 12, Grace Remey! There were representatives from World War I, World War II, Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq.  Navy, Army, and Air Force.  What a collection of talent in one room.

The program’s theme was World War I this time, but there were presentations not only relating to history, but panel discussions and “how-to”s.  I was lucky enough to serve on a panel discussing Social Media and its impact on book marketing and networking.  Members included…

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Library Events

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The Calvert Library in Prince Frederick, Maryland is one active library! Saturday, October 29, 2016, the library is hosting its annual Local Authors Festival from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. with more than 30 authors in attendance. I’m lucky enough to be one of them. I’ll be there with my books, “Believing In Horses,” and “Believing In Horses, Too.” And I look forward to meeting local readers and authors.

I hold a special place in my heart for this library, as this was the first library to carry my first book, “Believing In Horses.”

For a full schedule, the author lineup, and additional details, please click here: http://calvert.lib.md.us/author.html. And please stop by and say hi if you make it!

And check out the other many special events this library offers, including discussions, learning opportunities, and writing workshops.

 

The Man – or Woman – in the Arena

Motivational speaker and business leader Mary Kelly asked, “What is the best coaching advice you remember? In sports, business, life?”

I answered, “My Navy dad used to remind me of ‘The Man in the Arena’ quote. In other words, it’s easy for others to criticize when they are not in the thick of it. It has always stuck with me.”

Earlier in the week, I had also referred to this same quote by former U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt in response to a different question.

Then last night, looking through some old memorabilia, I came across a piece of paper my father sent me when I was stationed in Korea in the late 1980’s.

The Man in the Arena

The writing below the quote says, “This is a quote from Teddy Roosevelt. Fawn Hall told Congress they should read it.”

I figured there had to be a reason this quote appeared three times in one week. Was I needing a reminder? Was it a post-Father’s Day thought? Something else?

My cousin told me family research revealed our great-grandfather was one of Teddy Roosevelt’s Sergeant Majors with the Rough Riders. Maybe that explains it.

Whatever the reason, I felt compelled to share the sentiment of “The Man in the Arena” with others. If you have something to add to the conversation, please do!

(Reblogged from Believing In Horses.com/blog)