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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Writer Wednesday: Someday, Someday, Maybe


On Writer Wednesday, I discuss another author and his or her book. I'm excited about today's pick, Someday, Someday, Maybe by Lauren Graham.
I love Gilmore Girls. It's one of the very few shows that I rewatch episodes of. So, when I found out that Lauren Graham (aka, Lorelai Gilmore) had written a book, I knew I wanted to read it!
Someday, Someday, Maybe takes all the heart, humor and striving toward dreams that is magical in Gilmore Girls and translates it into a sparkling display of a whole new cast of characters.
Franny lives in the '90s in New York City and is struggling to make her way as an actress. Along the way, her dreams at times look very far...
She's also asked to act in ways that she has to seriously consider. Her dream is precious to her, but so too is her dignity. Basically, this is her philosophy...
There's heart....
"Don't forget the goals you had for yourself. It's so easy to give in to a paycheck but if you aren't doing work that feeds you and feeds the audience you're only contributing to the worst in us as a society. We need to see the human condition reflected by artists- that's what this calling is- and don't forget that you have real ability...."

"The only thing you have that isn't in the hands of a dozen other people is your sense of what's right for you. You don't have to do a job that makes you feel bad. This is a business where it's real easy to think you like something you don't really like because you're flattered to be chosen at all."

And there's humor...
"If I come home to you eating a pint of Haagen-Dazs and watching When Harry Met Sally, I'm calling the police." 
"What are they going to do, arrest me for being a cliche?"

"Dry- cleaning is like this secret society you're not allowed into. No matter what, you're at their mercy. You can have a Ph.D. in anything, but you still can't dry clean your own clothes. They'll never tell you how. No one's ever even seen what the machine looks like. Think about it. There's a reason they keep the actual dry-cleaning apparatus hidden behind all those racks of hanging clothes. They don't want you to crack their code. They won't let anybody in. Not anybody. Even rich people. You know any rich people with dry-cleaning machines in their house? Exactly. Even they still have to pick it up and drop it off like everyone else."

And most of all, there's a really engaging story with characters that you're rooting for. Thanks, Lauren for a great book!

My best to you all,

Monday, August 24, 2015

5 Questions to Ask Yourself to Make your Writing Stronger

Five Questions to ask yourself to help make your writing stronger

1) Have I engaged all senses?
Many authors write what can be seen. Have you included taste, touch, sound and smell as well?

2) Are characters speaking in dialogue or monologue?
For realistic conversation, make sure that your characters are speaking to each other, not at each other. Speaking at each other = series of monologues and not conversation.

3) Have my characters changed in some measurable way?
Plot builds character in books. It's important to show how the plot has changed your characters and how they have grown or developed by the end. If your character is static, this is a problem.

4) Is there enough suspense?
Even if you are not writing suspense, thriller or mystery, you don't want the plotting, pacing and outcomes to be obvious. Good writing leads to the reader thinking. Make sure that you offer enough questions, twists and variety to let your readers think.

5) Is this in the best shape possible?
Yes, agents and publishers may change aspects of your story. But, don't wait for others to strengthen your writing. Make it as strong as it can be. If you know that it still needs work, that can hinder you getting the attention you need. Be willing to receive help from others, but get your work in the absolute best shape possible. If you need professional help, contact me at [email protected] or at www.ExtraInkEdits.com. I've helped other authors secure publishing contracts, get agent attention and strengthen their work. I'd be honored to help you with your writing!

My best to you all,

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Exciting Announcement for Keely Keith and her book I helped edit!

I have some exciting news! Bestselling author Keely Keith, of The Uncharted series, has secured a contract with CrossRiver Media to publish her fourth book next year. Why is this so exciting to me? Besides being very happy for Keely, I was honored to offer my editing expertise to her forthcoming publication: Aboard Providence. Here's what Keely had to say about me:
Megan Easley-Walsh has a brilliant grasp of story and I knew I needed her content edit of ABOARD PROVIDENCE. I loved that Megan didn’t try to change my story, but instead she provided insight that helped me shape my story into something more powerful. Thanks in part to her editing, ABOARD PROVIDENCE is under contract for publication! Megan is easy to work with and delivers her edits with gentleness and respect, which makes the editing process so much more enjoyable for sensitive writers like me. I highly recommend Megan’s editing services! 

If you would like help editing your own manuscript or in crafting the perfect query or synopsis, visit me at www.ExtraInkEdits.com or contact me at [email protected] 

Here's the official press release from CrossRiver Media! Be sure to check below for details on entering to win the first three books from Keely in the Uncharted Series!

CrossRiver Media Group announced today the signing of a book deal with Keely Brooke Keith, author of the ground-breaking Uncharted series.
In her highly anticipated fourth book, Aboard Providence, Keith explores the history of her first series Uncharted. It follows the story of the founders as they leave everything they know to form a new colony. After an arduous voyage, Providence runs aground on an uncharted land in the South Atlantic Ocean. While the rest of the settlers celebrate finding the land they wanted, Jonah Ashton leaves the settlement to explore, expecting to find civilization nearby. He discovers a startling truth that will change his plans, but can it change his heart?
“I most enjoyed fleshing out the mystery of how the founders arrived in the Land and what it was like for them,” Keith says. “Not only from the perspective of the characters who wanted that adventure, but also those who didn't.”
“We are excited to have Keely join the CrossRiver family of authors,” says Tamara Clymer, founder and President of CrossRiver Media Group. “She is a talented writer with a history of intriguing and entertaining stories that ignite a woman’s relationship with God.”
Aboard Providence is scheduled for release in 2016.

ABOUT KEELY BROOKE KEITH: Born in St. Joseph, Missouri, Keely Brooke Keith was a tree-climbing, baseball-loving ‘80s kid. She grew up in a family who frequently relocated. By graduation, Keely lived in eight states and attended fourteen schools. Keely is a bass guitarist and plays on worship teams and for Christian artists. When she isn’t writing stories or playing bass, Keely enjoys having coffee with friends, preparing homeschool lessons, and collecting antique textbooks. Keely resides on a hilltop south of Nashville with her husband, Marty, and their daughter. You can visit her online at KeelyBrookeKeith.com, Twitter.com/Keely_Keith, and Facebook.com/keelybrooke.keith.

ABOUT CROSSRIVER MEDIA: CrossRiver Media Group is a Christian publishing company based in western Kansas. Founded in 2010, CrossRiver publishes books and other materials which help Christians in their daily walk with the Lord. It has grown to cover several genres - non-fiction, fiction, children, Bible study and Christian living and includes winners of the CSPA Book of the Year, SELAH Award, and Grace Awards. The company can be found online at www.CrossRiverMedia.com.

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Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Writer Wednesday: Rosetti, Renoir, Painting and Poetry

Today on Writer Wednesday, we're looking at a poem by Christina Rosetti: In an Artist's Studio. I love art- galleries, museums, art history and creating art as well. Painting and writing share a commonality too. It is in dipping our pens into our words that beautiful images emerge. Characters are like portraits and the author breathes life into them just as the painter infuses vitality into the pigment. I'm also reading about Renoir right now, through a very interesting fictional account of the creation of one of his most famous paintings in Luncheon of the Boating Party by Susan Vreeland. The painting below is Young Girl Reading by Renoir. 

In An Artist's Studio by Christina Rosetti

One face looks out from all his canvases,
     One selfsame figure sits or walks or leans:
     We found her hidden just behind those screens,
That mirror gave back all her loveliness.

A queen in opal or in ruby dress,
     A nameless girl in freshest summer-greens,
     A saint, an angel—every canvas means
The same one meaning, neither more nor less.

He feeds upon her face by day and night,
     And she with true kind eyes looks back on him,
Fair as the moon and joyful as the light:
     Not wan with waiting, not with sorrow dim;
Not as she is, but was when hope shone bright;
     Not as she is, but as she fills his dream.

My best to you all,

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Writer Wednesday- July 1914


On Writer Wednesday, I discuss another author and his or her book. Today's pick is July 1914: Countdown to War by Sean McMeekin. 101 years ago, WWI blazed across Europe, igniting the world in conflict of monumental proportions, producing disastrous consequences, and unleashing mechanization and horrors that the world had hitherto unknown.

But before all that, there were choices. Lots of choices. There were heads of states and governments, agreements, cousins with devotion torn between their love of each other and their duty to their countries. While some would argue that August 1914, the bombast of battle, was inevitable after the spark of the assassination of Franz Ferdinand in June, McMeekin illustrates the many avenues and turning points that might have occured instead.

One very interesting turn is that Franz Ferdinand's car literally turned a corner that changed the outcome of that fateful day. Explaining in detail the build-up to the day in June and then following all the way through July into August, with each of the major nations discussed, there's a fascinating story that unfolds. Full of detail, this book unfolds at a gripping pace with a host of colorful characters. I highly recommend this- if you are interested in history and want to learn more about this shaping chapter of our world.

My best to you all,