The Page a Day Writers Group

Archive for the ‘writers’ Category

pexels-photo-88703_1Hello everyone! Announcing the launch of my new venture, the Magic Word Editing Co.​ My team of experts and I offer a full range of editorial and e-book design services for fiction and nonfiction authors, science and academic writers, and small businesses.

You can find us on LinkedIn and Facebook, too. There we’ll share news features, services, developments and announcements as the business grows. We’re happy to answer your questions and take suggestions on how best to fulfill your editorial and writing service needs. Projects in progress: a welcome video and a quick quiz to help our clients choose which of our services best meet their needs.

Do take a few moments to check out the site. Remember, we offer reduced-price service packages, and a 10% discount for referral clients. http://www.magicwordeditingco.com

Startup Stock PhotosWorking on a memoir?
Join Kirsten Imani Kasai for a 3-hour workshop on Tuesday June 6 at San Diego Writers Ink and learn how to mine your memories and life experiences to craft the compelling memoir or personal essay that you yearn to write. We’ll explore different techniques for finding the narrative amidst our memories, identifying elements of our story and discuss how to use creative license to handle fuzzy or painful memories. You’ll also discover how to bring real people to life as characters and identify what role you play within the story.

$45 for member/$54 for nonmembers

Register now

My husband just lost his job. The company he worked for sold to a competitor, and unless the vice president of the larger company 20131226_D800_trishwilkinson_family_5526_chuck_trish_8x12gets hit by a bus, there won’t be a position available under the new ownership. One of the former bosses, who shares in the purchase price of a few hundred-million dollars, called to say a check for a couple months’ salary would arrive in the mail. Somehow management viewed this appropriate compensation for my husband’s ten years of service generating millions in assets as well as adding value to the purchase price. Oh. And as of May 1, COBRA will require $1400 in monthly payments to maintain our Kaiser Health coverage for our family of four.

My initial reaction was to panic. I looked up teaching positions in as many school districts as possible within commuting range, because owning a writing/coaching/editing operation doesn’t include healthcare benefits. Though the idea of reentering the classroom excited me, my stomach knotted, and anxiety dreams woke me up all night long. Don’t get me wrong, I can get behind the National Core Curriculum Standards, but I find it almost impossible to write novels and articles while teaching full time. By the end of a day of working with kids, collaborating with other teachers, assessing student work, and on and on and on, my creativity gets used up. There’s no time to coach other writers or edit their work during the school year either.

Then I remembered one of my favorite writing buddies, a fellow Page-a-Day writer and award-winning columnist, Claire Fadden’s sing-song voice in my head. “Obstacle or opportunity,” she likes to say with a shrug as she looks for ways to use life’s little setbacks to propel her toward her goals.

time-managementSo how can our lack of regular income and health benefits transform into a catalyst toward my goal of becoming a traditionally published YA novelist? My husband and I decided that I would hold off jumping back into the classroom. I’ve got one more school year, this small window, to pour on the energy and get my manuscript published. It’s amazing how a narrow timeframe can make the world seem like an entirely different place.

I’ll keep you posted on how this turns out. In the meantime, tell us about your obstacles that have become opportunities. Believe me, a story like that would be really helpful right now.

Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged” may have been the last time agents and book editors were excited about reaction words that don’t characterize and move the plot forward.

Shallow words like smiling, shrugging, grinning, nodding and laughing can make many agents and editors cringe. Sadly, I employ these “empty” words as placeholders in my prose, but they fail to give insight, depth or motivation to my characters.

Rewrite consultant Jean Jenkins advises her clients to give an internal reaction, a thought to interpret the mood of the character for the reader. “Have your characters do active things that show their feelings during a scene,” suggests Jenkins. “Or, couple these words with an action so the scene doesn’t feel choreographed, like a stage direction.”

What empty words are you working to eliminate from your writing? Let me know so I can add them to my list.

Here are some examples of wonderful word pictures from books I’ve recently read:

WORRY –“Mrs. Maguire dropped the silver polish. She fished a handkerchief out of her sleeve. She blew he nose mightily on it and said, “Dear Lord, don’t let a hair of head come to harm.” — Elizabeth George, “In The Presence of the Enemy.”

FEAR– “I crouched and kept my head low. I tried to swallow whatever was rising from my stomach, which tasted like lemonade, something fruity and sour.”– Tim O’Brien, “The Things They Carried”

LOVE –“She smiled at me, that sunrise of a smile that colored her whole face and seemed to enliven her whole body.” Robert B. Parker, “Mortal Stakes”

INSIGHT–”When Roark had gone, Wynand sat behind his desk, smiling. He moved his hand toward one of the plastic buttons–and stopped. He realized that he had to assume a different manner, his usual manner, that he could not speak as he had spoken in the last half-hour. Then he understood what had been strange about the interview: for the first time in his life he had spoken to a man without feeling the reluctance, the sense of pressure, the need of disguise he had always experienced when he spoke to people; there had been no strain and no need of strain; as if he had spoken to himself.” Ayn Rand, “The Fountainhead”

–Claire Yezbak Fadden

Something New (a sweet romance)

Entrepreneur, Simone Edwards, did what any intelligent woman with a ticking biological clock would do: she asked her longtime boyfriend to marry her. Devastated when he turns her down, and fed up with dead-end relationships, Simone swears off men … and takes a vow of celibacy. How hard could it be? She soon learns it’s harder than she thinks when the most irresistible man in the world, Tim Hollister, shows up at her job. She hasn’t seen him in over ten years, and quickly realizes he is a temptation she doesn’t want to resist. But isn’t there some rule about dating your friend? Simone must decide if a romance with Tim is worth risking their friendship, and her reclaimed virginity.

Betrayed by his supermodel ex-girlfriend, who happens to be the mother of his child, Tim Hollister has placed a padlock on his heart. But when Simone, an old high school friend falls back into his life, he soon forgets his promise to stay clear of beautiful women. Simone was always like a sister to him, but he discovers that his feelings for her aren’t very brotherly. He’s captivated by the woman she’s become and wants to take their friendship to the next level – despite her resistance. Tim can’t avoid their new-found passion, and sets out to prove he’s the man for her.

EXCERPT

God! Can this day get any worse?

Simone Edwards hobbled to a wall in Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, dodging swarms of people in the ever-crowded terminal. She didn’t have to look down to know the left heel on her favorite pair of black pumps had broken. It had already been the day from hell. No. Make that the week from hell. So why would the trip home be any different?

She propped herself against the wall, pulled her suitcase close, and took off the shoe she feared was ruined. “Oh, this is just great,” she mumbled at the three-inch heel. Isn’t it enough I have to return home from the Bahamas still single?

Not only had Glen Wallace turned down her marriage proposal, he’d left the island two days early to attend some stupid “emergency meeting at work.” Most men would be flattered their longtime girlfriend asked for their hand in marriage, wouldn’t they? Not him. After spending all their free time together, he suddenly couldn’t get away from her fast enough. And the insensitive jerk left her with the hotel bill! How could I have wasted all those years on him?

Sadness hit her square in the chest. Of all her asinine ideas, proposing to Glen had to be the worst. Tears filled her eyes, and she blinked rapidly to keep them at bay. The last thing she wanted was to have an emotional breakdown in one of the country’s busiest airports. Spotting a bathroom a few feet away, Simone slipped on her shoe and limped toward it.

She passed a custodial worker near the hand dryers, who looked as if she’d rather be someplace else, and found a quiet corner where she could go through her carry-on bag. What I wouldn’t give to be at home in my bed right now. She was at the point of being afraid to do or say anything for fear of something else going wrong.

After finding another pair of shoes, she placed everything back in her suitcase and hurried out of the bathroom. She had barely made it out the door when she ran dead smack into a hard body, lost her balance, and came close to making a total fool of herself. An explosion of pain from the sudden impact shot through her shoulder, but thankfully, a large set of hands grabbed her around the waist before she hit the floor.

“Whoa, are you all right?”

“Oh my God, I am so sorry. I wasn’t paying attent—” she started, but stopped when she looked up and recognized the handsome man holding her. “Tim? Tim Hollister?”

He laughed as recognition showed on his face. “Yeah, it’s me. Simone, girl, I haven’t seen you in years. How are you?”

“Besides clumsy, I’m fine.” She chuckled and rubbed her shoulder. As she adjusted her clothes and righted her suitcase, a sense of calm surrounded her. Tim had always had that effect on her back in high school, before life got complicated.

“Wow, I can’t believe it’s you. It’s been, what, ten years since we’ve seen each other?”

“Yeah, something like that.”

They both noticed they were in the way, and Tim took her by the elbow and maneuvered them out of pedestrian traffic and into a waiting area where there weren’t as many people. Simone took that opportunity to get a better look at him. With the height of a basketball player, the brother was still fine. His smooth toffee skin and intense dark eyes were his best features, but those sensual lips accented by that smile could make a girl forget they were friends.

Something New       

 Available: Now!

It’s been an interesting couple of weeks. A mixture of excitement and anxiousness rolled into one. A few weeks ago I did a couple of blogs, one was entitled: “12 Wishes,” and the other, “Are You Living Your Dreams.” In one of the posts, I stated that I would love to be in an anthology, centered between a couple of my favorite authors – Beverly Jenkins and Brenda Jackson. Though that hasn’t happened…yet, I believe anything is possible!

I also mentioned that I desired to receive a three-book deal. Technically, that hasn’t happened either, but I can hear as clear as day an author friend of mine saying, “Girl, you need to make your own three-book deal!” So, that’s what I’m going to do!

Thanks to some special friends (Chicki Brown, Delaney Diamond, and Alicia McCalla), who have already e-published and have been encouraging me to go that route, I’ve decided to go for it! Though they have been very instrumental in my decision, I can’t forget my wonderful, supportive husband, my amazing critique partners, and one of my dearest sister-friends (all the way in Chicago) for their amazing support! They have read my work and have been waiting a long time for me to quit playing around and get these novels published!

I’m happy to say that I have three romance novels coming out this year! One is a sweet romance, and the other two are romantic suspense. They will first be published as e-books, but will also be available in paperback – a few months after their original release date. I won’t go into great detail about them now, but visit my website for a blurb about each story – www.sharoncooper.net. Also, if you’ve subscribe to this blog, you’ll receive first hand information on some of the steps I’m taking to get published; the highs and lows of the process; and the release dates.

So, stay tuned as I take you on this wonderful journey with me!

Sharon C. Cooper   www.sharoncooper.net

Forget setting New Year’s resolutions; let’s talk about having wishes granted!

This weekend I watched a movie, well part of the movie, where the main character was granted 12 wishes to use any way she pleased. Initially she couldn’t believe it, so her first few wishes included things like: wishing someone would send her flowers, wishing for a new pair of shoes; and I think one of her wishes was that her friend could get her hair done before she ran into her ex-boyfriend (smile). After using up the first few wishes on things of that nature and getting them granted, she then went big and wished to win the lottery. Once she’d used up all 12 wishes, she found out the wishes came at a cost (there was a catch – of course), unfortunately, it was around that time I stopped watching (ha!) so I can’t tell you how it ended. Sorry. 

At any rate, the movie did get me to thinking. I pulled out my journal and jotted down 12 of my wishes. Although some were selfless like: I wished that there were no homeless people and that everyone had a nice place to live; another wish – no hungry children. It makes no since that some of us eat until we have to release the top button on our jeans and have leftovers, while some children barely get a meal a day. Those were a couple of my huge wishes. Then there were those that were a little more selfish: I wish I had a Neatdesk Scanner. I wish I was debt free (of course I was thinking – then I could do more for the homeless and the hungry); but one of my biggest wishes, besides getting a lucrative three book deal/contract with a mainstream publisher, is that I wish Beverly Jenkins and Brenda Jackson would call me up and say that they would like for me to be in a three story anthology with them (contemporary romance or romantic suspense)! One story by each of them and then my story would be between theirs. Ahh, I can see the cover now with all three of our names. Hey, I figure, if you’re going to wish – wish big!

So if you were granted 12 wishes, what would your list look like?

Posted by: Sharon C. Cooper


Who are we?

The Page a Day Writers Group is a diverse collection of wonderful writers based in San Diego, CA. We've been meeting monthly since 2004. Our primary function is in-depth writing critique, marketing and brainstorming, but there's usually some wine, chocolate and ribaldry involved too. We write fantasy, humor, literary fiction, nonfiction, romance, thrillers and YA. Join us on our journeys to publication and the wonderland beyond!

Archives