February’s Thaw

Soften snow swelters
beneath my snow shoed feet,
as sun glistens then stirs 
each brisk February season.

It’s a time of sharing hearts,
of throwing kisses in the wind,
as length of days chatter
my drowsy woodland awakens.

Icicles drip, drip, drip rhythmic
tapping upon snow, echoes the
woodpecker a symphony of sounds
down lazy land, pastoral paths.

I still my stride in hopes of more
a robin, a bumblebee, a violet;
but only red tailed fox sneaks
across my winter wonderland.

It is said, February thaw melts a
frozen heart which beats for spring;
perhaps, the earth itself groans
then chills for a bit longer

all waiting in “time out” thinking
about its care endowed to each;
hearts blown in by spring breezes
grateful to gather thawed crocus.

Poem inspired by: https://earthweal.com/2021/02/01/seasonal-changes-1-imbolc/

Then God said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years;

Genesis 1:14

Barren Hills

The mood was not tranquil 

as camels journeyed barren

Earth across sands of time.

A low moan, as hooves sank

with each calculated step.

~

Dull was the night’s skyline 

except for the Star afar off

making long shadows stretch

silhouettes from day’s treks,

as royalty ranted atop roof.

~

Another moan… in child birth

tucked away in manage stall,

gave way to joyful moments;

the awaited Babe had come!

Bringing Light to man’s darkness.

~

The Earth even now cries out in

need of hope, as fear clutches

lives of men. Yet that Light

waits for journeyed men whose

shadows still surface in the sand.

“Man is like a breath;

His days are like a passing shadow.”

Psalm 144:4
Almost a first timer at this site. Thanks to kim881 whose post encouraged me. I couldn’t pass up the prompt at https://earthweal.com/2020/12/07/earthweal-weekly-challenge-advent-for-earth/

Indian Summer

Dusk settles as dust across earthen land,

as warmth seeps slowing from woodland

stretched before me like a downed comforter.

Come warmth, come and slip between

leaf’s edges, slide down empty limbs as

luminous sun grins across the autumn sky.

Indian Summer charms man’s inner soul,

tricks the body’s brisk well being;

but the mind knows this is November!

Breathe in the last of lingering warmth;

let it radiate, resonate, regurgitate before

the killing frost returns to blanket the earth.

“Lyric night of the lingering Indian summer, Shadowy fields that are scentless but full of singing. Never a bird, but the passionless chant of insects, Ceaseless, insistent. The grasshopper’s horn, and far off, high in the maples The wheel of a locust slowly grinding the silence, Under a moon waning and worn and broken, Tired with summer.” -Sarah Teasdale

Sara Teasdale (1884-1933) was an American Poet

The perfect weather of Indian summer lengthened and lingered, warm sunny days were followed by brisk nights with Halloween a presentiment in the air.” -Wallace Stegner

Wallace Stegner (1909 –1993) was an American novelist and historian

An Indian summer is a period of unseasonably warm, dry weather that sometimes occurs in autumn in temperate regions of the northern hemisphere September to November.

This year it has come rather late in Wisconsin. Most of the trees have shed their leaves, we have endured freezing temperatures and seen a dusting of snow.

October’s Final Dance

My soul is still

as late October’s

sun glows above

fingered bare branches.

My heart is chilled

as Autumn clings

tightly to daylight.

My mind wanders…

as darken cornfields

twist, trembling their

fibrous dried stalks.

Yet, happiness comes

from chattering oaks

dancing in November.

“Let them praise His name with the dance;

Let them sing praises to Him with the timbrel and harp.”

Psalm 149:3

https://dversepoets.com/

Point-of-View… 1st or 3rd

There has been a tread in the last few decades, yes young writers some of us have been penning words for a very long time, to write a book in first person. Let’s take a look at “why”.

Two older sources below gave some interesting points. Although, as a writer of third person fiction I don’t totally agree. I do however, understand what these sources are attempting to reveal.

The protagonist, the leading character of the book, easily can connect with the reader. Or should I say the reader can connect with the protagonist.

First Person Perks

  • The reader gets inside the characters head
  • The reader becomes the “I” in the story and has an emotional reaction
  • The reader becomes the character’s best friend

All these things are happening because there is no filter, a narrator. The reader attaches with the “I” character and doesn’t need to sit and listen. Or do they?

From 1884-2020 books have been written in first person. One of the oldest being The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

Example:

“He was sunshine most always-I mean he made it seem like good weather.”

Attractions to First Person

  • Emotional reactions
  • Chronological events
  • Shares feelings
  • Comes across as a diary

Who doesn’t want to read a diary? Perhaps, that is the main attraction for writing in first person. It appears the larger audience who are interested in first person books are YA. Maybe in their youth they are struggling to find a future direction. Who knows?

What about third person books? Where do they stand?

From 1884-2020 books have been written in third person. An older example is from Little Women.

Example:
“There are many Beth’s in the world, shy and quiet, sitting in corners till needed, and living for others so cheerfully that no one sees the sacrifices till the little cricket on the hearth stops chirping, and the sweet, sunshiny presence vanishes, leaving silence and shadow behind.”

Third Person Benefits

  • The narrator can float between characters
  • The reader can know the thoughts of multiple characters
  • The reader isn’t limited to one person’s point-of-view

“As the author of a novel, you get to decide who tells your story. Writing in the third-person point of view is like hearing an announcer call a sporting event—a narrator gives a play-by-play of the plot from an outside perspective.”

https://www.masterclass.com/articles/tips-for-writing-in-third-person-point-of-view

So who doesn’t want to be a sports narrator? Perhaps, the reader who wants to peek inside a diary. Both first and third person points-of-view have their place on the book shelf.

Will I change my writing to first person? I think not. I like the challenge of third person. It would drive me nuts to continue writing “I” this, “I” that or wherever“I” may lead. The only time I would consider first person book would be a children’s book.

https://www.fictorians.com/2014/04/03/why-first-person-is-popular-in-ya-a-theory/
https://www.fictorians.com/2014/04/03/why-first-person-is-popular-in-ya-a-theory/?unapproved=80949&moderation-hash=5e518d34e04439493ee68e48a95ffa19#comment-80949

Front or Back: Does it Matter?

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Books, Books, Books…

What’s in a book? Well, there’s a front, middle and back. When self-publishing an authors looks at a book in a whole new way. I came across the term Front Matter while going through KDP’s instructions. I thought, “What’s that?” It’s simple. Today I will explain the biology of a novel.

The Front Matter (first part of the book) can consists of: Title Page, Frontispiece, Accolades, Copyright Page, Dedication Page, Table of Contents, Epigraph, Preface and (or) Foreword. After all of that information an author won’t need to write a thing! Not every book has all the topics above. Some things to consider is what genre are you writing for, how much information do you want to share and what’s your personal choice? After all the book is being self-published, so the author isn’t stuck in a square peg if they happen to be a circle. There is no publisher to answer to or to help if you need questions answered.

  • Title Page, the full title with the author’s name as shown on the cover
  • Frontispiece: a illustration or photo opposite the title page on the left
  • Accolades: basically, quotes from notable people about your book… if you don’t know anyone popular don’t use them
  • Copyright Page: if you don’t have copyright yet, say pending
  • Dedication Page: the name of the person/persons the book is dedicated to and why
  • Table of Contents: chapters in your book and page numbers (it should list Front & Back Matter)
  • Epigraph: A quote regarding the subject matter (poem, song, another book, etc with permission)
  • Preface: the author’s note regarding the book (don’t give anything away!)
  • Forward: written by another person (scholar, friend, family member or someone popular)

The Body (second part of the book) is where the story takes place. But there can be extra things, including Prologue, Introduction, Chapters, Epilogue, Conclusion, and Afterword.

  • Prologue: used for fiction and sets the stage for your story
  • Introduction: used for nonfiction and tells of your subject matter
  • Chapters: hopefully, you have them already written
  • Epilogue: used for fiction and can wrap up the book (best used for series)
  • Conclusion: used for non-fiction and sums up the book’s main ideas
  • Afterword: any final thoughts

The Back Matter (the third and final part) which can contain Acknowledgements, About the Author, Copyright Permissions, Discussion Questions, Appendix, Chronology, Endnotes, Glossary, Index, or Bibliography List).

  • Acknowledgements: more “thank you’s” to those who helped
  • About the Author: a summary of your writing endeavors
  • Copyright Permissions: anything you’ve borrowed from another (song, poetry, artwork, etc)
  • Discussion Questions: academic prompts
  • Appendix: used for nonfiction to give updated information
  • Chronology: used in nonfiction (in other wards, timeline) of the list of events
  • Endnotes: supplementary notes mostly used in nonfiction
  • Glossary: definitions (words, characters or settings)
  • Index: specialty terms in alphabetical order
  • Bibliography: a list of research material used.

Does it seem overwhelming? Yep, but necessary if you decide to self-publish. This article was written by the help of Reedsy. Here is the original information…

Editing: Metamorphosis



A writer’s life is in a type of metamorphosis, as life passes by and years unfold a unique change has occurred in their writing skills. From poetry to prose, academics to artistry, or musing to marketing; all become steps toward transformation.

Writing skills are being edited as time reveals new voices in an author’s abilities. In some societies this is called progression; I’d like to think of it as a type of metamorphosis. Whether one believes in a God who over-sees all or some evaluation of life, there are changes happening daily.

It’s no different for a writer’s life. Maybe they began writing letters to a pen-pal or scribbling notes to a friend. Words grew until their skin became too tight. Then the word critter within had to be fed and fed and fed until it was fully satisfied. Finally, content with itself the writer’s words rests and waits for the next stage. While under its protective covering something special takes place. One day amazing emerges. What takes flight is a book author!

“Symbolism is the practice or art of using an object or a word to represent an abstract idea.”

Your Dictionary

“Symbolism is a literary device that uses symbols, be they words, people, marks, locations, or abstract ideas to represent something beyond the literal meaning.”

Masterclass: Writing 101

Jemi’s Noble Quest

Biblical Fiction Suited for YA and Adult Readers
Coming Soon…

Editing: Can or Can’t

img_6672-1Editing is like cleaning dishes after you’ve made a gourmet meal. Or sewing the holes in your jeans, you know what generation I am from, instead of working on a new dress project. For me editing is the least favorite part of writing, although, marketing may take a close second.

Some of the things writer’s like are: playing with words, developing plots, and expressing their voice on a topic. I was told a long time ago part of writing is “rewrite, rewrite, and rewrite”. Today we’ll talk about what I have learned on the use of contractions.

In 2007, writersdigest.com stated, “As for novels, short stories and other forms of writing where your own style is required, it’s up to you whether you can, cannot or can’t use them.”

In 2015, Reddit said, “There is no rule.”

In 2016, helpingwritersbecomeauthors.com announced, “…almost everyone commonly uses contraction in almost all forms of communication, writers can hardly avoid contractions in dialogue without sacrificing realism.”

In 2020, louiseharnbyproofreader.com declared, “…we want to write natural dialogue – dialogue that flows with the ease of real-life speech – contractions work.”

So what does YourDictionary.com tell us? “When writing dialogue in a novel or play, contractions help reflect how a character actually speaks.” Some weird contractions are: ain’t, ma’am, ’tis, ’twas, y’all. In other words: is not, madam, it is, it was, and you all.

In closing, as I was writing my son handed me a copy of On Writing Well, by William Zinsser, one million copies sold and the 30th anniversary edition. Don’t I feel special. His comment, “Your style will be warmer and truer to your personality if you use contractions like I’ll and won’t and can’t when they fit comfortably into what you’re writing. ” “There’s no rule against such informality – trust your ear and you instincts.”

This ma’am, is gonna use contractions in her dialogue and may’b in other parts of her story. It ain’t a problem unless one over does’t. All kidding aside, the use of a good contraction at the right time is more than acceptable.

Book Journey: by Patrica Wolf

The day has come. I made the decision. My ten year old manuscript is going to finally take wings and launch!

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After a decade, I woke up one morning this past spring and made the decision to self-publish. Maybe it was the warm spring breeze or the fact the nation had been put in “isolation mode”; to motivate my movement forward to publish. Whatever the reason, my adventure has begun. In appetizer portions I will be sharing the process. Also, dropping hints on the book in the weeks to come.