How to Get Your Reader to Pay Attention

This is an interesting tactic, for sure, to grip your reader’s attention. Haha, incense them and then calm them. Nothing more fun than playing with emotions. 🙂

The Art of Blogging

Drama.

Drama jolts a reader into paying attention.

Novels use it. Movies use it. TV uses it.

There’s no reason why your content shouldn’t use it.

And one of the best ways to create drama is to disagree with your headline. (Yes, I said disagree).

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Another Day Another Challenge.

Rewriting to Write

I stared at the blank Word document. The cursor blinked at me, as if waiting for me to type something, anything.

My hand hovered over the keyboard, my fingers itching to grab the mouse and open Internet Explorer. I’d read just one or two short Harry Potter fics for inspiration. Then I’d write something original.

Stop, I thought. It’s a lie. You’ll write another Harry Potter fan fic. You’re obsessed. Just think. J.K. Rowling was your age when she first started writing Harry Potter. You’re not too young to write original stuff.

With a sigh, I refocused my concentration on the screen. The door was closed. My cats couldn’t jump on me. As long as I didn’t start playing the Sims 2, I’d be good. I knew I could waste whole Saturday afternoons playing that game.

“Hannah’s Rainbow,” I typed. I smiled at the words. I had a story to tell, my late grandma’s story about her life and her rainbow.

Twenty-six was more than old enough to write it.

#dearyoungerself #challenge

Excerpt from Murder: It’s All in Your Head (WIP)

“Can I trust you to behave yourself, James?” came the nasally voice of Doctor Winslow.

Jimmy lay on his bed, his arms and legs restrained. He had spent the first fifteen minutes thrashing like a fish on land, but then his energy had dropped. He hated this ancient body–yet another reason to feel he was losing his mind.

Now, he lay on the bed, staring at the dim fluorescent lighting, as he had been doing for the past few hours. The light flickered every few seconds. He wondered why they didn’t replace the bulb. In a way, the pattern was a comfort. It was something to focus on. He also tracked a water mark that had been there since before he arrived nearly two years ago.

He nodded, his eyes on the ceiling. Anything to avoid the doctor.

“Remove the restraints,” the doctor said. He left the room.

Two orderlies released Jimmy from his bed. He sat up and rubbed at his wrists, the marks from the restrains sure to remain for a while. The men walked away when they seemed convinced that Jimmy was going to remain calm.

Jimmy sighed. “What the hell? Why do I even bother?” He ran his hand over his scruffy face and stood.

He ambled down the hall to the common area. The T.V. was on, several patients gathered around it. Some stood, their arms crossed over their chests or talking between themselves. Others sat in various chairs placed randomly around the room. Some of them seemed fine, like they were just regular guys going about their day, but others roamed the room, moaning, screaming, and yelling, gesticulating with their hands and twitching their heads.

He made his way to the couch and sat. The six o’clock news was on. He only half-listened most evenings, not concerning himself with what was happening in a world he had no part in anymore. Then an all-too-familiar man’s face appeared on the screen.

“Hey, turn that up,” Jimmy said to the guy standing closest to the outdated T.V.

The guy shrugged and turned the knob to up the volume.

The newcaster’s voice seemed to come through a tunnel from miles away at Jimmy: “Local millionaire Randall Davis, founder and CEO of Randall P. Davis Innovations, is under arrest for the suspected murder of his wife, Danielle Davis. Danielle Davis’s body was found slaughtered in the bathtub in the Davis’s home here in–”

Jimmy bit down hard on his fingers and screamed. He shot to his feet and charged at the T.V. Several startled patients jumped out of the way.

“Whoa, watch it!”

“What the hell d’you think you’re doin’?”

“Just crazy, old Jimmy at it again!”

Someone laughed. Someone else hooped and hollered in excitement. Jimmy ignored them all and rammed into the T.V., knocking it down.

“You fucking liar!” he screamed at the now broken T.V., the newscaster’s face gone from the screen and a hole left where his head had been.

Before he could do anything else, two orderlies grabbed him around the arms.

“This seems to be becoming a habit for you, Jimmy,” one of them said. “Why don’t you calm down now and come with us the easy way?”

Jimmy fought and flailed, jerking his arms this way and that. He managed to yank one of his arms free and punched the guy who held his other arm. For an old guy, he was agile when he needed to be. The second orderly cried out in pain and grabbed at his bloody nose, while the first one staggered, still reeling from Jimmy’s escape. He made to grab Jimmy again, but Jimmy punched him in the gut. He ran at the door. He had to get out of there. He had to escape, go to Danielle, find out she was okay.

Then someone tackled him. The weight of the guy on his back was enough to tell him it was the fat orderly whose name was David or Doug or something. Jimmy struggled to move, reaching out in front of him along the dirty floor.

“No,” he moaned. “Please…no…”

His uneven nails clutched at a tile that was missing a piece in one corner. He felt the needlestick in his neck. The last thing he saw before he passed out was a black mark from someone’s shoe on the white linoleum.

Like what you’ve read?  Please subscribe to my blog, where I post an excerpt every Saturday.

My novel, Lorna versus Laura, is available for $4.99 here.

My novel, Hannah’s Rainbow: Every Color Beautiful, is available for $5.99 here.

When You Begin Writing After a Long Break

Perseverance is key to keeping at something in the long run. There will be breaks. Life happens. You adapt. You move on. You do whatever it is you love again if you really love it.

A Writer's Path

by Lindsey Richardson

Let’s talk about the 7 month break I took from writing. That’s right… 7 months. It was my longest to date break from writing. And the break happened for several reasons. The kind of reasons where I just didn’t have the proper inspiration or passion to write.

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If you stumble…

Good words to remember. Most things we worry about don’t worth it. Worry about the stuff that matters. The rest, let it go. People like to stress about what they’re eating, what they’re breathing, what others think about them, if they’re active enough, if they’re doing too much, etc. Yet they forget that big killer that stress itself is.

Cristian Mihai

There’s one rule of success in any area of life that I hardly ever talk about: your tolerance to making a fool of yourself.

Yes, you read that right.

Wake up in the morning, stare at yourself in the mirror, and just laugh at how silly you look.

We tend to take things way too seriously. Most of the things that cause us stress now won’t even matter in a few days, let alone a year from now.

I have come to understand that we live passively presuming we’ll live forever. How else would you watch bad TV, talk to people you don’t like, or stay the same up until the moment life demands change.

Why would you do that?

Boredom and routine as your best friends, by the age of 35 you’ll be doing 95% of daily activities subconsciously.

Habits that will be almost impossible to break out of.

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Maintaining Your Personal Identity In Marriage and Motherhood

I love when a woman isn’t afraid to speak up about this topic. I am an advocate for maintaining your identity even though you’re a mom and/or a wife. Who were you before you got married and/or had kids? Too many women get caught up in running errands, cleaning the house, cooking the meals, and taking care of everyone else in the household that they neglect themselves. You shouldn’t do that.

No, seriously. You really shouldn’t forget to take care of yourself!

It’s not selfish. If you are miserable, you make everyone around you miserable, including your family. You are a better mom and wife by taking time for yourself.

Stop the guilt. Stop it. You are worth it!

I have seen too many women lose their identity. Once your kids are grown, then what? You find yourself a shell. You cannot live vicariously through your kids. They will grow up and move out (one day, haha), and you ought to feel proud that they have become productive, hopefully happy members of society.

Find something you do just for you, even if it’s taking a few minutes to meditate or read or take a walk. I work out most mornings. I write. I get a massage once a month.

My husband of 15 years and I still go on a date once a month. We will talk at the end of each day after all the craziness is over and the kids are in bed. I still go out with my friends.

And guess what? I still get the cleaning, cooking, and errands done. I still spend time with my kids. It is totally possible.

Life With LaToya

Hello guys! Welcome back to my blog! Since my last collab with Theresa was such a great success, I teamed up with her again to bring you all another great collab. So just like last time, please make sure to check out her post here

I know that I am not the only woman that is married or have kid(s) and is busy, busy, busy, doing all of the things for everyone and not one thing for ourselves. Let me just say this… I love being a wife and mom and taking care of my family but what I don’t want to do is lose myself in the process. What I mean by this is that I always want to maintain my personal identity aside from being a wife and mom.

It’s so hard to get wrapped up in those roles, that we as women often forget who we are…

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Carpe Diem

How true this is. If there’s something you want to do, make it happen. I wasted years dreaming of being an author, and now I am! When I sat down with the intention of writing for at least 15 minutes per day of original stuff, I made miracles happen, if you will. Now, three years later, I have two published novels, a third later this year, two full first draft manuscripts, working on another, two short stories going out in anthologies later this year (one of which won third place in a contest), have attended a writers group at my library for two years, have made numerous wonderful friends who are writers… The list goes on. Had I now decided to stop waiting, I would be where I am today. I couldn’t have known three years ago where that one decision would take me. So live your life, embrace your dreams, and make those dreams reality!

Cristian Mihai

We spend an awful lot of time passively assuming we’ll live forever. What I mean by that? Well… binge watching TV, or scrolling through various newsfeeds on social media. Staring at pictures from people we don’t know on Instagram. A movie marathon involving a series of movies we don’t even like that much.

We build this intricate web of routines. We do the same things over and over again. We want comfort. We want safety. We want certainty.

But we also crave adventure.

How many things have you already postponed for tomorrow?

How many plans have you exiled to a distant future? When you’ll be ready, when you’ll feel like it, when you’ll have the money, the connections,  the time, the courage?

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