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Thursday, April 28, 2016

The Importance of Show Not Tell

As an editor at Extra Ink Edits, I help to improve others' writing. In my capacity as a writing teacher for college students, I also helped the students to strengthen their writing and make it more effective. One of the key ways that writers can write stronger is through showing not telling.

Show Not Tell. Show Not Tell. Show Not Tell.

Writers hear this phrase so much that it flows through the veins of writing blood or the ink of a writing pen. What exactly is show not tell and why is it important?

Simply put, show not tell means that writers should show what is happening rather than simply tell it. This typically applies when emotions are being communicated or details about the settings.
Cartoon Gif for the Importance of Show Not Tell on Blog of Writing Consultant and Editor from Extra Ink Edits offering editing services for writers1) Show not tell is easily understandable in the context of setting-
He was hot. 
The sun beat down upon his back, the sweat soaking through his cotton T-shirt. 

2) In term of emotion, "show not tell" is less often applied to emotion, but is even more important.
He was sad. 
Feelings Gif for the Importance of Show Not Tell on Blog of Writing Consultant and Editor from Extra Ink Edits offering editing services for writersvs.
Tears coursed down his face, stinging his wind-blown skin.

When emotions are stated, they're labels to one specific emotion. When showing is used it opens up the possibilities. Tears can be a symbol of frustration, anger, tiredness, guilt, shame, and a plethora of other emotions. Showing provides the reader with a dictionary, whereas telling gives the reader a single word.

One useful reason for telling instead of showing is when a character has a realization. Realizations are summaries of actions. A character will recount all the various things that have happened to him or her and may sum this up.

Kissing Gif on the Importance of Show Not Tell on Blog of Writing Consultant and Editor from Extra Ink Edits offering editing services for writersIt hit her then. He loves me.

A host of actions could have illustrated this through showing. Instead, the character comes to a summary realization of the actions.

In summary, showing is most often the best choice for a richer writing experience. In some situations.such as realization, telling can work most powerfully.

My best to you all,

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Writer Wednesday: Sonnets in Spring with Shakespeare

On today's Writer Wednesday, I'm combining the celebration of Shakespeare and April as poetry month to bring you Shakespeare's 98th sonnet.

From you have I been absent in the spring,
When proud-pied April dress'd in all his trim
Hath put a spirit of youth in every thing,
That heavy Saturn laugh'd and leap'd with him.
Yet nor the lays of birds nor the sweet smell
Of different flowers in odour and in hue 
Could make me any summer's story tell, 
Or from their proud lap pluck them where they grew;
Nor did I wonder at the lily's white, 
Nor praise the deep vermilion in the rose;
They were but sweet, but figures of delight, 
Drawn after you, you pattern of all those. 
   Yet seem'd it winter still, and, you away,
   As with your shadow I with these did play.

My best to you all,

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Bookworm Delights

Image of Top Ten Tuesday from Blog of Writing Consultant and Editor of Extra Ink Edits providing editing services for writers
Today's Top Ten Tuesday, from The Broke and the Bookish, is top ten bookworm delights! 
Here are mine, in no particular order...
Tea Time Smiling Teacup Gif from Top Ten Tuesday: Bookworm Delights from Blog of Writing Consultant and Editor of Extra Ink Edits providing editing services for writers

1. Reading at the beach

2. Drinking the perfect cup of tea with a book

3. Falling in love with a new book

4. Rereading a book and falling in love all over again

5. Reading in the perfect chair as the rain hits the windows

6. When someone tells you how much they enjoyed the book you recommended

7. Amazing bookmarks

8. The rush of excitement when you figure out what's going to happen

9. The thrill of being shocked by the author when there's a twist

Book Pages Turning Gif from Top Ten Tuesday: Bookworm Delights from Blog of Writing Consultant and Editor of Extra Ink Edits providing editing services for writers10. Beautiful old books and wonderful new books

... and above all, that there are always more books to find and delight in.

What are your bookworm delights?

My best to you all,

Monday, April 25, 2016

Free Marketing Tools for Indie Authors and Authors with Small Presses from an Editor


If you're an indie author or an author placed with a small press (read that as most likely no advance) you may be struggling to figure out how to market your book. If that's you, read on! Here are mostly free (and one low cost) option to help you market more effectively.

My best to you all,

Saturday, April 23, 2016


Today is Shakespeare day! 400 years ago today, Shakespeare departed the stage of earth, "Parting is such sweet sorrow" (Romeo and Juliet Act 2, Scene 2) He was also born around this date, although that exact point in time is less certain.

As a writer and an editor, Shakespeare is inspiring to me. His words flow with beauty and precision. At the same time, his characters continue to thrill and his plots still resonate through time. 400 years ago, the playwright stopped writing, but the work that we have come to love began to be collected in those subsequent years.

Shakespeare has been reinvented, reinterpreted and studied throughout the decades and centuries. His plays were meant for every layer of society in London and they have become accessible and beloved throughout the world, for people from all situations and backgrounds.

With Shakespeare, past really is prologue. ("What's past is prologue"; The Tempest Act 2, Scene 1)
I find this line, for which my blog is named, fitting because I write and study history. The past continues to inform the present. In terms of writing, every writer that has proceeded us becomes a part of the canvas upon which we paint with our own words. 
Richard Peck put it this way,  “We write by the light of every story we have ever read.”

Along the path of literature, Shakespeare's lanterns continue to glow. His plays speak of timeless human experience and the world remains enraptured. 

For more about Shakespeare, visit these previous posts. 

How Well Do you Know Shakespeare? Fun Quiz! 

Shakespeare the blogger?

Shakespeare cartoon 

A few years ago, I completed my goal of reading all of his plays. Which ones are your favorites?

Happy Shakespeare Day!

My best to you all,

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Writer Wednesday: The American West

On Writer Wednesday I discuss another author and his or her book. Today's pick is The American West by Dee Brown.

Like a cowboy riding into the sunset, the American west is full of iconic images that are part legend and part history. In this fascinating book, Brown uncovers the truth behind the decades of the nineteenth century that forged the west.

From the American Civil War to the early 1900s, stories of Native Americans, ranchers and settlers are depicted in this book. Law-men, cattle owners, warriors and peacemakers are some of the colorful figures that populate this story. All areas of life are covered from what houses were made of to what sports were popular.

One interesting point in the book was the origin of the word, "maverick". Maverick was a cattle rancher in Texas who was away from his herd during the Mexican-American War. His herd grew while he was gone and went without branding. Maverick cattle thus wandered the countryside, unbranded, and a new word entered the English language.

The west is a land of dreams and stories, of songs and ambitions. In the story of the west, old ways of life flickered and were tragically swept aside as Native Americans were pushed off their land. In its place, rose a new form of the west, settled into towns and beckoning to the peoples of the world. The west is a land of enchantment, forever being changed. Brown captured the essence of that power and the stories of its people in this book.

My best to you all,

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Humor!

Today's Top Ten Tuesday, from The Broke and the Bookish, is Ten Books to Make you Laugh. I realized when looking at this theme that I don't read humor much. I love to laugh, but my laughter more often comes from what I watch on TV.

So today's list is going to be a mix of books and shows. Here are some things that have made me laugh...

1) A Midsummer Night's Dream by Shakespeare

2) Visions of Sugar Plums and Foul Play by Janet Evanovich - These are the only two that I have read by this author. I found them humorous.

3) Someday, Someday Maybe by Lauren Graham

4) Tartuffe  by Molière

5) The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde

6) Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen- This made me laugh! Jane Austen is mocking a style of literature and it's lovely.

7)Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand

8) The Trumpet of the Swan by E. B. White

9) Gilmore Girls. I <3 GG and and I'm SO looking forward to the revival!

10) I love Lucy and The Lucy Show. Lucille Ball is hilariously brilliant.

11) Chef in your Ear- This is a Canadian food show where clueless chefs are matched with professionals. The professional guides the cook through making a chosen dish through an earpiece. It's so funny.

12) 1960s Batman- Batshields, anyone? How about a Bat Geiger counter? The duo is hilarious.

13) Mr. Ed- He's a talking horse, which is funny enough by itself, and oh those hats and costumes that he wears!

What makes your list? What humor books have I missed that I need to read?

My best to you all,

Monday, April 18, 2016

A Poem for Every Writer


In celebration of April as National Poetry month, I'm sharing another poem that I've written today. This one is about the adventure of writing, when your dreams learn to fly. 

Dreams Learn to Fly
By: Megan Easley-Walsh
May 2015

Wake up the plot
Notice the scene
Here comes the moral
Here comes the theme
Watch the words soar
O'er heights of gold
Amazing adventure
In your story, behold
This is the way
that dreams learn to fly
This is the beauty
when your story arrives

My best to you all,

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Writer Wednesday: Emma


On today's Writer Wednesday, I'm diving into a classic with Jane Austen's Emma.
Emma, well-meaning, young, and humorously wrong. She tries, she fails, she tries again, she fails again, all while being witty and charming and endearing the other characters as well as her readers to her.

Here's one of my favorite passages:
 From Chapter 8 Part 2
"I do not know whether it ought to be so but certainly silly things do cease to be silly if they are done by sensible people in an imprudent way. Wickedness is always wickedness, but folly is not always folly- It depends upon the character of those who handle it."

Although someone else is being spoken of, perhaps, that's what makes Emma so endearing; she's silly at times but also sensible. That makes her all the more loveable.

If you're interested in Jane Austen, you may enjoy this previous post on how Jane Austen's Happily Ever Afters were revolutionary.
I've been working my way through Jane Austen's novels and have one more to read after this. What's your favorite Jane Austen novel?

My best to you all,

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

10 Books Every Lover of History Should Read

Today's Top Ten Tuesday, from The Broke and the Bookish, is ten books for people who X. My X is love history. This is something that I could write about extensively, as I read lots of history! There are several other wonderful books that I could have included on this list, but I've chosen books that explain world settings or that tell little known stories. My theme is thus big pictures and diverse voices. 

1. Title: Paris 1919 and The War that Ended Peace
Author: Margaret MacMillan
Why I've picked them: I'm posting these together since they're both about WWI and by the same author. Paris 1919 predates The War that Ended Peace and explains everything that happened at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919. Its decisions continue to influence our world today. The War That Ended Peace dives into exploring how the world changed in WWI, how alliances emerged and war erupted from peace.

2. Title: The Story of the Jews: Finding the Words
Author: Simon Schama
Why I picked it: This is the story of the Jewish people, from 1000 BCE to 1492 CE. It explores the movements, the kingdom, the words and beliefs. Insightful and interesting, it explored the longevity of the people and the words that unite the faith.

3. Title: Histories of Nations: How their Identities were Forged
Author: Various (Edited by Peter Furtado)
Why I picked it: This book tells the story of many nations. What makes it so wonderful is that each country is written about by someone from it. The stories of the countries are thus told in the words of a representative of that country. Prejudices from one point of view are thus wiped away.

4. Title: The Silk Roads: A New History of the World
Author: Peter Frankopan
Why I picked it: History is often told from a Euro-centric or North-American perspective. This book takes the globe and spins it, focusing instead on the crossroads of Asia and Europe, the meeting of East and West, and uncovers centuries of history from a new perspective.

5. Title: Why the West Rules for Now
Author: Ian Morris
Why I picked it: Like The Silk Roads, this book examines east and west. What is different is that it chronicles this journey of history in parallel stories of development of the east and west. Who is culturally and materially ahead is also shown throughout.

6. Title: July 1914
Author: Sean McMeekin
Why I picked it: Before WWI changed the world, July 1914 existed. In that month, many decisions were made. What's so fascinating, is that the war was not a foregone conclusion, as we may believe now. There were many points when actions could have been different and even when the war perhaps might even have been prevented.

7.  Title: A History of the World in 100 Objects
Author: Neil MacGregor
Why I picked it: History, from ancient prehistory to the modern era, is unveiled through one object at a time. These 100 objects are from the British Museum in London, one of my favorite places. When I visited, I decided that I could camp out there for about a month. This book is a delightful way to spend more time in the museum and in history itself.

8. Title: George Washington's Secret Six: The Spy Ring that Saved the American Revolution
Author: Brian Kilmeade
Why I picked it: Spies + the American Revolution. That's what this book explores. It was a part of American history, specifically American independence, that I was unfamiliar with and found to be very interesting.

9. Title: The Nubian Pharaohs: Black Kings on the Nile
Author: Charles Bonnet
Why I picked it: The Egyptian Pharaohs are famous and fascinating. Less known are the Nubian kings. This book beautifully explores them, with full color photographs of the archaeological sites of these Nubian Pharaohs.

10. Title: How to be a Victorian
Author: Ruth Goodman
Why I picked it: From food to school, medicine to work, this book delves into the specific details of Victorian life. Books like this are great for research when writing stories and very interesting in general. Ruth Goodman has also lived many of these things in re-enactments and so she understands what it is to be Victorian, not only through research, but through using their same methods, eating their same foods and literally walking in their shoes.

Have you read any of these? What history books do you recommend?

My best to you all,

Monday, April 11, 2016

Pardon Us Ms. Writer

April is Poetry Month.
I've always loved writing poetry, as far back as I can remember.

A few years ago, I wrote a book of poetry for family and friends. Its title comes from this poem.

This story really did happen. I was sitting in my college English drama class when the words started spilling out into my notebook. Here, unchanged, is that conversation between me and the words in alternating stanzas...

Pardon Us Ms. Writer

I'm not writing today.
I haven't the time.
Besides, what would I say?
Honestly now
You must listen to me!
Suppress yourselves hurry!
Do it now please.

Hey, wait a minute
We're important too
Ha! That you think
We would listen to you?
You get to live and speak when you will
While we, we must wait
'Till you let your pen spill

All right, All right I know that it's true
But I haven't the time
I have too much to do
I promise you later, later I'll write
Just be patient 'til then
You'll get your plight

Haha! Victory boys, we've done it again!
Jumped into the ink, danced out of the pen
We've tricked her and though it may not be right
We've broken free, we've made her write
Yes, victory boys, we've done it again
Pardon us, Miss Writer
Game over. We win!

Do you enjoy poetry as well? Feel free to leave a poem, one of your own or a favorite, in the comments below. 

My best to you all,

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Writer Wednesday: Jerusalem

On today's Writer Wednesday, I'm discussing Jerusalem: The Biography by Simon Sebag Montefiore.

The very word conjures countless images. It is a place that one need not go to feel a pull to. Indeed, that's been happening for centuries.

But, Jerusalem is real. It's a host of realities. It's an ancient Jewish kingdom. It's a Roman-occupied land. It's a crossroads of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, a beacon for pilgrims and a place of promise and turmoil. There is no simple answer for what Jerusalem is. Not all cities could warrant a book about only them, but Jerusalem certainly can. With its centuries of history- sometimes gritty, always interesting- Jerusalem is the city on the hill that the world continues to look toward.

Montefiroe's story of it is only boosted by his family's own ties to the city. For me, history at its best is a path toward a brighter future. It's a delving into understanding to emerge a more peaceful world. Montefiore states that his own goal in writing this book is to foster greater understanding. His book concludes with a look into present-day Jerusalem, to see what a day in the city is like, where still the bells of the religions ring together and, perhaps, the people might one day be united as well.

My best to you all,

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish People to Follow on Twitter

Today's Top Ten Tuesday from The Broke and the Bookish is top ten bookish people to follow on Twitter. I'm using a mix of people and hashtags. They are in no particular order.

1. Who? Me!
Where? @MEasleyWalsh
Why? Most of my Twitter is devoted to books, either as a reader, a writer or an editor at Extra Ink Edits.

2. Who? Goodreads
Where? @goodreads
Why? Goodreads is an online book community. My favorite part of it is the tracking of what you've read each year.

3. Who? Various Agents
Where? #tenqueries
Why? If you're a querying author, this hashtag is helpful to get insight into why agents choose or reject queries.

4. Who? Various Agents and Editors
Where? #mswl
Why? If you're querying a book, it's important and useful to know what others are looking for. #mswl stands for manuscript wishlist.

5. Who? Christina Yother
Where? @ccyother
Why? Christina is a writing friend, who has three books out, and she makes videos on Youtube about the books she's reading. It's interesting to see what she has to say!

6. Who? Other writers
Where? #amwriting, #amediting, #amquerying, #writers, #writerslife, #writerwednesday
Why? These are all hashtags used by writers for the various parts of the writing process.

7. Who? Brenda Drake
Where? @brendadrake
Why? Brenda is behind great Twitter events for writers, like #pitmad. She's also a writer herself.

8. Who? Pitch Madness
Where? #Pitmad
Why? If you're trying to get noticed by agents or editors, this is a great hashtag that is used in events throughout the year.

9. Who? Claribel Ortega
Where? Claribel_Ortega
Why? Claribel has an interesting perspective in the book industry, as a writer and through her work with the Combined Book Exhibit. Part of her job is attending the various book fairs throughout the world. She's also my friend :)

10. Who?  Necole Ryse, Keely Keith, Connie Keller
Where?  @NecoleRyse, @keely_keith, @CMKellerWrites
Why? These are all writing friends who have books out for purchase. They write about reading and writing. In short, they're very bookish people!

My best to you all,