Monday, February 13, 2017

Heart of the Matter and Memories

Scene #1: The autopsy report states the victim has multiple stab wounds, and photographs reveal several jagged cuts below the woman's abdomen. The location of the bloodless wounds suggests a crime of passion. A reporter asks, "Why did the killer wait until after the victim died to target certain areas?" to which the coroner replies, "He went for the heart right after he hit the jugular, does that count?"  The reporter shakes his head. "It’s not the same, the heart is symbolic of love."

The heart is also a symbol of Valentine’s Day. While my thoughts immediately go to the heart of the murder, someone who recently endured a medical exam might picture a stethoscope monitoring an anxious heart beat. Newly-weds have vastly different thoughts.

Valentine’s Day hearts conjure up memories of love. One heart with two wedding rings brings a smile to a couple wed on Valentine’s Day. A cross-stitch of red hearts reminds a daughter of a mother’s gift; a royal flush to the Ace of Hearts has a Vegas winner beaming. Others get all fuzzy over a heart-shaped box of chocolates, a grinning cupid, or a pair of cooing love birds. Hearts on Fire can only mean young love, and boys naturally love heart-shaped balloons.

A heart surrounding a globe brings a tear to the eyes of grandparents whose families live far away. The mantle holds a framed purple heart of a loved one lost in battle. Flowers and an arrow-pierced heart represent a lifetime spent with a childhood sweetheart, the memories bittersweet. The Sacred Heart means salvation for many, and bright lockets remind one of a young girl’s special day.

Happy Valentine’s Day, and wishes for a wonderful day: Especially for You and Your Loved Ones!

What special memories do you have of this holiday?

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

MYSTERY AUTHORS TURNING to YA #WriterWednesday

Many writers focus on one particular genre. Mystery writers get to choose from a plethora of subgenres: Cozy Mystery, Police Procedural, Hard-Boiled Detective, Soft-boiled Mystery, and Thriller. To name a few! There are also sub-sub genres where vampires or fairies or science fiction characters meld with cops and robbers. But even with all these choices, mystery writers sometimes decide to branch out into a totally different genre, Young Adult.

Of course, YA and Mystery aren't necessarily exclusive genres, but writing for adults and for young adults can feel like writing for two completely different worlds.

Lately, I've come across several interesting blog posts that deal with writing for the YA genre and am including the links here for those interested in or toying with the idea of writing YA.

Cherie Colyer wrote an article, Writing for a young adults audience, that gets right down to basics of audience, character development, and protagonist backstory.
http://cheriecolyer.blogspot.com/2016/07/writing-for-young-adults-audience.html

This is an interview of author Stacy Juba by author/interviewer Judy Penz Sheluk:
http://www.judypenzsheluk.com/2015/07/24/interview-with-an-author-stacy-juba/
plus: 10 YA Sports Novels for Teens and Tweens:
http://stacyjuba.com/blog/2015/07/20/ya-sports-novels/

Brian Klems welcomed teenaged writer Jamie S. Margolin to his blog site, The Writer's Dig, to discuss What NOT To Do When Writing YA Books:
http://www.writersdigest.com/online-editor/what-not-to-do-when-writing-ya-books-advice-from-a-teen-writer

And this is a post about the " Top 5 Dos of Writing YA Lit" on the WiseInkBlog (actually 4 with a "don't" included):
http://www.wiseinkblog.com/self-publishing-2/the-top-5-dos-of-writing-ya-lit/

Last, but not least, here are some writing tips from editors concerning authenticity, subject matter, and trends when writing YA:
https://blog.reedsy.com/editors-tips-write-young-adult-novel


Now that I have all this information at my fingertips, I may decide to write a young adult mystery of my own. Of course, this will require a whole new mindset and a willingness to take myself back to the days of my youth. Maybe I'll begin by stocking up on chocolate - and reading a good YA novel by a mystery writer to get me in the mood:

THE RAINBOW CONNECTION by Laurie Hanan

Review comments:
The character development is awesome
Wonderfully interwoven twists and turns









Saturday, February 4, 2017

Happy February: Reaching Your Goals and Setting New Challenges

How's that goal-setting working out for you so far? Seems like 2016 barely ended and January hit the ground running. I wasn't in that marathon and didn't hit the ground very hard when it came to blogging. Rather than give up, though, I decided it was time to rev up my motor and get kicking.
 
February is NOT too late to set goals, or to begin working toward the goals you set in December.

FIREWORKS OVER MAGIC ISLAND IN HONOLULU
Celebrating Our Accomplishments of 2016
and looking forward to all that 2017 has to offer!

Two goals on my list for 2016 were to post thoughts about the 70 poems in my book of linked poetry; and to read and review 71 books. As New Years Eve approached, I could breath easier, knowing those two goals were met. That meant less guilt for me when transferring other goals to 2017.
 
You can access my Goodreads Reading Challenge 2016 page here:
https://www.goodreads.com/challenges/show/3890-2016-reading-challenge

My goal for 2017 is to read and review 72 books, in a wider variety of genres than ever before!

Facing Forward
 
There wasn't much time to celebrate reaching the end of the above goals, however. November 1st marked the beginning of NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writers Month. If you haven't participated in this annual ritual yet, check out what all the shouting is about and consider setting it as a goal for November, 2017. Here's the link:

 
Not everyone sets goals at the start of each new year. Some have routines that keep them soaring toward their lifetime goals without hesitation. Others accomplish tasks and projects in routine fashion, gliding over bumps in the road and sidestepping obstacles with ease. My most heartfelt congratulations to you. I really, really need to watch more TED talks!
 
To everyone:
Happy FEBRUARY of this New Year
ALOHA
and
Best of Success in 2017