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)

My Rock from Bali

Today I feature a guest post from my brother, Eddy Ormond, from his recent trip to Indonesia. Eddy assisted me in writing my two books, and I’ve been encouraging him to write for the past few years. And he’s doing it! I hope you enjoy his story, and his storytelling ability. (Note: I posted this to my http://BelievingInHorses.com/blog, but the Comments feature is broken there, so re-posting here.)

My Rock from Bali

By Edward Ormond

One time I thought I was going to die was when I was bodysurfing in Bali. The water looked calm enough with just a few small breaking waves, so with each wave I tried to ride, I swam out further to find a wave with more power. Soon I was further out than I had planned.

Before starting out, the Balinese man who rented lounge chairs to us crossed his arms and pointed to two red flags in the water indicating I should not swim between them. I understood that. So, I left my non-swimming Chinese friend to lounge beneath the umbrella as I set out to swim near a man who was teaching his daughter how to surf. I figured if I stayed near them, I was safe.

Soon, I began to tire, as the current was really very strong. I dug my toes into the sand as I realized I had drifted dangerously close to the red flag area. I did not know what was in there – coral reefs, rocks or a rip tide, but I was struggling to swim in the opposite direction to get away from it. Soon, the water was above my head and my toes left the ground as I battled to swim against the current and away from the flags. I looked for my surfing buddies, but they were gone. I was alone.

I waved to my friend on the shore. He waved back. I remembered he couldn’t swim, so I waved again just to alarm him of my peril. He nonchalantly waved back again. I panicked. Didn’t he see I needed help? I weakly raised my arm and made a beckoning motion to tell him to come closer. He simply waved back again. NO! “Come closer,” I signaled again. Now I just needed the moral support as I might be going under the third time. He waved again! This time it might be goodbye.

I looked around and saw no lifeguard chairs, no one nearby, nor any sign of rescue. I saw only one choice. I had to risk the dangers that lurk between the red flags and let the current push me into the red zone and hopefully ashore. I relaxed into a dead-man float and indeed, the current brought me to where I could put my feet safely on the sand and tiredly walk ashore.

I dragged myself to the lounge chair and plopped down. “Didn’t you see me drowning out there?” I questioned my Chinese friend.

In a “Confucius say” way he answered calmly, “One should never go swimming alone.” Drat! He was right. I had been so carried away by being on the foreign beach that I neglected some basic safety rules. Not to mention, he could not swim! I tried to release my pent up feelings by silently chanting “xiqi (shee-chee), huqi (who-chee) ” or “inhale, exhale” in Chinese, while concentrating on a man nearby who was sweeping the beach clean of all debris, including shells and pebbles.

Sand was weighing down my shorts so I stopped my meditation, got “back on the horse” and went into the water again to rinse myself. I had wanted to pick up a shell for my friend, Linda, but as I mentioned they swept the beaches there to keep them pristine. Then it happened. A fist-sized rock rolled over my foot with the incoming wave. Tickling my ankle, it tumbled backwards with the undertow – my undertow. I had to have it! I scurried after it and quickly grabbed my prize. Holding it down to my side, I promptly brought my secret prize to the chairs and showed it to my scowling friend who asked, “Why do you do such a thing?”

“This is my rock from Bali!” I cried. “Whenever things get bad, I will look at this rock and remember life could have been worse because I could have drowned here today. And when I worry about things too much, it will remind me to drop the rock, so, like today I will not drown.”

Thank you, Eddy, for sharing your true story, and please keep writing!


The Synopsis and its Friends

This post sponsored by Grammarly. Use Grammarly’s plagiarism checker because you want to write right (Has anyone said that before? – No!)

© Chasbrutlag | Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images

© Chasbrutlag | Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Image

When I am asked what my books are about, I try to respond with one sentence. That answer is not a synopsis, but what I would consider one of the synopsis’ “friends.” Books descriptions serve specific purposes. And just to make it easier, not everyone agrees on the rules. I’ve pulled together some thoughts and resources on what I consider the three most common forms of synopses.

Three Forms of Synopses

The Synopsis

What it is:  Tells the entire story, particularly the conflict

Length:  One-page single spaced or two pages double spaced maximum

Purpose:  To interest an agent or publisher to request manuscript

Tip:  Convey emotion

Example:  Spoiler alert! This synopsis includes the ending of “The Way Way Back.”

The Book Blurb

What it is: The 30-second elevator pitch normally seen in advertisement copy or on a book’s back cover or inside jacket flap

Length:  100 – 200 words

Purpose:  To tell potential readers enough to get them interested or used by sales representatives to pitch titles, post on retailers’ websites, and post in catalogues

Tip:  Make a connection with readers and book buyers

Example: Distributors’ book blurb (advertisement copy) for “Believing In Horses, Too”

The Super Short Synopsis

What it is:  My term for the short answer to describe the book in conversation or to append to a biographical line in a written post

Length:  One sentence

Tip:  Not much written on this one, but it’s the one I use most

Example:  A girl in a military family overcomes fears through her work with therapeutic riding programs (“Believing In Horses, Too”)

Additional Resources

Following are some additional useful resources I’ve found, with a brief description of each.

Back to Basics: Writing a Novel Synopsis (Jane Friedman) – Outstanding advice, and many useful links.

Five Tips on How to Write a Novel Synopsis (Chuck Sambuchino) – This article and links to other articles on the synopsis; the author also provides freelance services for synopsis writing.

Query Shark  –  Blog providing advice on how to write query letters that work – much based on synopses. Writers may submit their queries for critique.

How to Write the Back Blurb for Your Book (Joanna Penn) – Advice on back cover blurbs, and a little more.

Conclusion

Now you try – at the very least, ensure you have a super short synopsis ready to describe your writing, your business, or whatever it is that you do. Feel free to share here!

Greetings!

Hello, everyone.  I started a WordPress.com blog so I can contribute easily to the Women’s Pages blog, as a new member of the Accokeek Women’s Writing Group.

I have a separate blog at http://believinginhorses.com, but you know how blogs don’t always talk to each other?  🙂

Look forward to contributing a tidbit or two.  I came across this post today, and thought some others may find it of interest, on creating contradictions in characters.  I follow Lauren Grimley’s blog and enjoy her sense of humor (and insights).

http://blog.laurengrimley.com/2012/09/12/wise-word-wednesday-quite-the-contradictory-characters.aspx