In remembrance…

About a month ago, I visited the family cemetery mentioned below.  The grass had been cut, but a lot of “settling” caused several headstones to topple over and others to sink in.

I stopped at the area where my mother, grandmother, and uncles are buried.  I reminisced about the time one of my uncles promised to buy me a Wanda Wee-wee doll for Christmas, and the time my grandmother tried beer but added sugar because it tasted “awful” on it’s own.

And then there was Mama.

I thought about how she taught me a lot of life skills at a young age.  They’ve proven quite effective in my decision-making as an adult.  And I remembered the time I begged for a Knit-Wit kit to make quilts and crafts with a rainbow of colors.  When it rained, she’d put on records we’d borrowed from the library while we twisted yarn around the Knit-Wit tools.  At best, I made the pom-pon tassels for the corners of the quilt my mom finished.

I attempted to locate my great-aunt’s plot, but wasn’t able to.  As I walked around, I felt a sadness.  Not just because my loved ones are gone.  Rather, the cemetery was empty.  There were no flowers -no weather-battered artificial bouquets or anything.

It made me think about how we remember our loved ones after they leave this earth.  Should it matter that we leave flowers or are the memories enough?

Melanie V. Logan

Memorial Day is a time to remember the men and women in the armed forces who have served our country and lost their lives defending it. Cemeteries are adorned with flags and flowers to not only celebrate these lives, but also honor them.

But for me, Memorial Day has additional meanings. One, it’s a day my family and friends come together to barbecue and fellowship. Sometimes this is the only quality time we have together. We talk about days of ole and catch up on the latest happenings in each others’ lives. It’s a joyous occasion.

Two, I’m reminded of the diligence of my great-aunt Dollie who made it her mission to

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We’ve Only Just Begun

Redux

Melanie V. Logan

Robyn yawned as she turned the page. The book was interesting, but her eyes and mind were too tired to comprehend. Helping her ailing mother was taking its toll. Books had become her vacation – a mental break from the reality of her world.

The damsel was in distress.  No longer could she care for the manor.  The storm brewing would be its end as well as hers.  Sitting on the disheveled porch, she cried. Then a man stood before her.  It was Tobias.  He cupped her face in his hands, gazing into her eyes before pulling her close to his heart.  He vowed to make everything right.  She looked up at him with hope.  He reassured her by passionately kissing her ruby lips.

Robyn swooned.  Her attention was glued. Adrenaline pumped through her body providing a jolt of energy and excitement she didn’t know she had.  She longed for…

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The Rules of Procrastination — Sophie Speaks Up

Redux

Melanie V. Logan

We’ve all been there. Slacking, putting things off, brain fritz, you name it. Procrastination hits us at one time or another. No matter how many times we “pencil” things on the calendar or set phone reminders, we find something to distract or pull us in the opposite direction.No amount of self pep talks work. We’ll find an excuse. That’s the determination. Too bad that samedetermination can’t drive us toward productive writing.

The excerpt below is a humorous take on procrastination from Sophie Speaks Up. Check out the rest in the link below. I’msure many of you can relate just as I can.

I mean, excuses. 1) Thou shall not call it procrastination. Instead, call it “writer’s block.” You simply ran out of creative juices to continue working on your project. How are you supposed to do anything if you ran out of ideas and don’t feel creative anymore, right? 2)…

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Anne R. Allen’s Blog: 25 Must-Read #Tips on Plotting from Top #Authors and #Editors

I’ve gone through old blog posts and found gems that slipped my mind.  This post from Anne R. Allen is certainly one of them.  Great advice and wonderful insight for every writer to consider.  Enjoy!

Photo: Deposit Photos

Melanie V. Logan

I love Anne R. Allen’s blog.  She provides a wealth of information helpful to writers and bloggers.  If you haven’t checked her out, stop what you’re doing and run right over. 🙂

This week’s tip comes from Anne R. Allen’s Blog: 25 Must-Read Tips on Plotting from Top Authors and Editors. These tips and quotes have been helpful for me while I write my first book.  What may have made sense in my head about moving from one scene to another or situation to another, it may not translate to the reader.

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To #Show Don’t Tell or Not to Show Don’t #Tell, That is the Question

An oldie, but a goody. Which side of the fence are you on?

Melanie V. Logan

In the course of honing my writing skills, I have come across a number of posts and articles on “show don’t tell” like this. Most support the idea, but there are some that don’t. For someone new to writing or trying to improve, this can send a confusing signal – like it did me. But in researching and trying some exercises, I have a better understanding on each and their purpose in a story.

I finally got a chance to dig into my second draft. Going back over a couple of chapters, I could clearly see that I was doing a lot of telling with little showing. What I wrote got

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#MondayMotivation: #Encouragement for Every Dreamer

Sometimes we just need a gentle reminder…

Melanie V. Logan

It starts with a dream.

Add faith,
and it becomes a belief.
Add action,
and it becomes a part of life.
Add perseverance,
and it becomes a goal in sight.
Add patience and time,
and it ends
with a dream come true.

– Doe Zantamata

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#Diversity in #Writing

Diversity in a story makes it more realistic.  If you look at our world, you will see people from all walks of life.  Backgrounds and experiences just as similar and different as the sun is to the moon.

Also, the depth of a character’s makeup can be a learning experience for the reader.  At the very least, a cause to research and evolve so that what is foreign is now familiar.

Photo: Sharon Drummond Before You Even Knew You Wanted Them via photopin (license)


TheBoomCrunch

Diversity of characters, in my opinion, is one of the most important aspects of a story. I don’t just mean making your characters have distinct personalities. I’m talking race, gender, religion, sexuality, and much more.

Regardless of whether or not most stories are about straight white people (they are, at least the ones that get super popular), it is still important to have diversity.

The way I see it, good, well-researched diversity has two effects: it shows those people who identify with the character that they are not alone, and it educates those of us who have not experienced life the way the character and other people like the character have.

Now, there is something to say for not having diverse writing. I’ve seen people complain about how they always imagined their characters one way and then get upset when people suggest they make their stories more diverse. The response…

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