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Showing posts from November, 2020

It's been a baaa-d year

Time to wind down this awful year. Hopefully 2021 will treat us all a little better. Here at The Blood-Red Pencil, we thought we would try and lighten things up a bit for the last month of the year, and showcase the best of our humorous posts. Elspeth's Writing Sheep   Elspeth Futcher kept us all entertained for many years with her wonderful sense of humour. We featured Elspeth's writing sheep and top posts in 2019's December re-run ( see this post for a bind-up of all her writing sheep entries ), so today we're highlighting another of her funnies that didn't make the cut last year. Amazon Dangers   Amazon River image by Jon Rawlinson , via Flickr Amazon-the-mega-bookstore and The Amazon (the river) have more in common than you might think, including the: " Anaconda - the world’s largest and heaviest snake. Can grow as long as 30 feet eating up to 30 pounds of prey a day. On Amazon, the Anaconda would be the newest release by John Grisham or Stephen Ki

Her Father's Daughter by Gene Stratton-Porter : A Book Review

Born August 17, 1863, in Lagro, a small town in north central Indiana, Geneva Grace Stratton was the youngest of twelve children. Although receiving little formal education in her early years, she began attending school regularly after the family moved to Wabash, Indiana, in 1874. She quickly became an avid reader and soon expanded her learning to music and art. In 1884 Charles Porter met her, established a relationship via letters, and they married in August 1886. During their courtship, Geneva called herself Gene, and used that shortened version of her name for the rest of her life. In 1919, she moved to California, where she lived until her untimely death on December 6, 1924, from injuries suffered in an auto accident. Stratton-Porter penned 12 novels, most of which became best sellers in the first part of the twentieth century. She also wrote nonfiction, children's books, poetry, and more during her writing years. In 1921 she published Her Father's Daughter , the subject of

Kindlian For Ebooks

My husband gifted me a Kindle Paperwhite for Christmas a few years ago. He had jumped on the Kindle bandwagon a few years before that. I was still stubbornly clinging to paper over plastic. Then we moved from the Midwest to Florida which involved serious downsizing. So the majority of our massive book collection had to go. Parting was such sweet sorrow. Finite Folio Cover My Kindle sat unused for a while other than to purchase a cover that made it look like a book. I gradually added to my Kindle library. Soon, I had more than one page of options and became frustrated until I learned how to create collections, which you can learn more about here . Still, I was not content. I missed actual bookshelves with books neatly lined up by author and series in order. As my Kindle content grew, I tired of searching through books I had already read. Around this time, on an unrelated note, Apple completely changed its Itunes store to favor streaming. Thank goodness I still had two iPODs and my musi

The Heroine's Journey by Gail Carriger - #GiftsForWriters

  ( Shhh! While your favourite writer is still distracted by NaNoWriMo, now is the ideal time to sneak in and purchase them a gift or two. This one is sure to be a hit if it finds its way under the tree...) The Heroine's Journey by Gail Carriger is a game changer for genre fiction. Using dozens of examples from books and movies, Ms Carriger carefully and convincingly divides these into two distinct story camps based on the character arc of their protagonists: the lone wolf and the team player. Until quite recently, tales headed by a team player (a.k.a., "The Heroine's Journey", which includes male protagonists like Harry Potter) have been roundly ridiculed and dismissed as only suitable for sweet and amusing genres such as romantic-comedy and cosy mysteries. The Hero's Journey (the lone wolf) is the story that is taken more seriously and which attracts big Hollywood budgets.   But - and it's a big 'but' - the type of story you write, or journey you

Pumpkin Pie and Memoirs

November is always a month that stirs a lot of reflection on my part. Thanksgiving is such an important holiday in my family, and always has been since I was a kid when we'd drive from Michigan to West Virginia to celebrate with my father's extended family.  In all those years that my siblings and I rolled down snowy hillsides to become human snow-people, and went inside to vie for one of the drumsticks, I never thought of what my mother was doing that day while she was alone.  My parents divorced when I was five, so she never came on those yearly visits to my father's homeplace. So why am I sharing this here? This year I've been writing a memoir as a follow up to my novel, Evelyn Evolving , which is the story of my mother's life. That book ended when I was about five years old, and readers have asked, "what happened next?" so I thought my story would answer that question. What I didn't realize is how hard it is to write a memoir. There are so many ch

Meet Paige Allen - the new Director of IngramSpark

Paige Allen has been appointed the new Director of IngramSpark, ahead of the planned retirement of Robin Cutler later this month. Watch the video below to get to know the energetic and dynamic Ms Allen a little better. Posted by Elle Carter Neal

Sink or Swim During NaNoWriMo 2020

I’ve been sucked into the NaNoWriMo whirlpool again. My husband says, “Oh, no! That means no big meals and no housecleaning for a whole month.” “Except Thanksgiving,” I respond. I plan way ahead for that meal because it’s my favorite of the whole year. I still make homemade bread stuffing, and I buy half turkey breasts to roast. Often we repeat the whole meal for Christmas, especially if we don't have company coming. And this year, there won’t be any company. But back to the dear man’s comment about big meals and housecleaning. Unless you do a little housecleaning , I think to myself. I don’t say it aloud. After all, he mows the lawn and shovels the snow and several other things it would pain me to do. Literally. I’m grateful. About NaNoWriMo. I’ve jumped in the pool several times over the years, but I think I only made the full 50,000 word total with a real novel one time. I’d have to check, but I might have done 50,000 words of combo short stories and rewriting in another year. B