It’s Time to Do a Facebook Settings Checkup – by Judith Briles…

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

on The Book Designer:

Are you concerned about Facebook posts or requests? Many are. Next year is an election year and you can bet that Facebook will have hiccups.

Plus, we are getting calls and emails from our authors about Facebook and how to reduce unwanted friend requests, revealing too much information and reducing some of the oddball exposure that seems to emulate from Facebook.

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Where to Start

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Forced into a life of domestic servitude, Haiti’s child slaves

Repeating Islands

PD-HAITI-1[Many thanks to Holly Bynoe for bringing this item to our attention.] Photojournalist Paddy Dowling (Independent) travels to Haiti to document its next generation: ‘restaveks’ – children separated from their families, heartbroken and forced into a life of slavery.

Seated in a darkened room at the end of a long corridor, hiding his face, he looks down. When questioned, he simply shrugs his small shoulders. One by one, tears cascade onto the table where he sits. Esperence Richardson, 10, a “restavek”, given up by his biological parents aged eight, surrenders to his emotions. He turns away, finds space and tries to wipe away the suffering with each pass of his shirt sleeve.

A country once enslaved, Haiti revolted in 1791 to free itself from the shackles of its French masters. By 1804, Haitians – led by the heroic military strategist Toussaint L’Ouverture – had achieved the only successful slave revolt in modern history. But today, children…

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A Supermassive Black Hole Destroys A Star


Have you ever wondered what a star looks like as it’s ripped apart by a supermassive black hole? Probably not. But thanks to the diligent eyes at NASA and Ohio State University, you don’t have to wonder, you can see it for yourself.

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An Evening With A.M. Justice

There are so many fabulous science fiction and fantasy authors. And if you are a true fan, there’s always room for more. That said, enjoy reading A.M. Justice’s Woern Saga, which features tantalizing nods to the fairy tale, Rapunzel, a magic system with a scientific basis . . . and oh, I mustn’t forget giant bug battles! Learn more about Justice in this delightful interview led by charming host blogger, Drew.

The Scribblings

Today, I’m joined in the reading room by A.M. Justice, author of A Wizard’s Forge.

Drew: So, first of all, thank you for joining us this evening. So tell us, what are you currently working on?

A.M.: The sequel to A Wizard’s Forge, a book called A Wizard’s Sacrifice. I’d planned/hoped to release it this year, but it’s been a bear and I’m still working on it.

Drew: Are you into the editing stage or still drafting?

A.M.: I’m revising based on beta reads and my editor’s suggestions. Forgive me for getting on my high horse, but I have to say how much I hate using the word “editing” when one means “revising.” A development editor may call his or her work an “edit” but that is providing the author with suggestions for REVISIONS the author must make to make the work better. An author “edits” at…

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The Ghost Rider – Ismail Kadare

#amresearching #amwritingYA #amhavingfun

Solar Bridge

The Ghost Rider - Ismail Kadare - coverThis is the first novel I’ve read by Albanian writer, Ismail Kadare. It was an excellent introduction to the winner of the first Man Booker International prize (2005). Originally published in Albania in 1980, translated into French in 1986, with an English translation following in 1988 – at this time called Doruntine. Canongate’s new edition is an updated translation, which features text which, previously, had been too sensitive to include.

The novel itself, a relatively short one, on one level is an Albanian folk story (The Ballad of Constantine and Doruntine) which has been re-imagined as a medieval police thriller. The story it’s based upon is relatively simple: a dead son, who had promised his mother that he would bring her daughter home to her on her death bed, rises from the grave to fulfil his promise, his obligation to his mother.

Beyond this, however, is a…

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Calling Out Call Out Culture

the orang-utan librarian

thoughts orangutan

What with freedom of speech week coming up, I thought now would be a good time to start pissing people off *ahem* saying all the *controversial things* I’ve ever wanted to say. Starting with the fact that I HATE cancel culture… which I guess means I’m going to cancel myself with this post 😉

Just kidding- I know that the blogosphere is basically the sanest place on the internet and I’m probably just talking to an echo chamber of people who agree with me 😉 But you all know what I mean by cancel culture: those dumpster fires that rage online daily and seem intent on destroying everything in their path.

two minutes of hateAnd people call 1984 too far-fetched 😉

I’m referring to the fact that many ordinary people are walking on eggshells for fear they’re about to receive their FIFTEEN MINUTES OF SHAME! I’m talking about the way people try…

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Writing what you know?

Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

We are always told that we should write what we know. To an extent, that is true, but those who are writing murder mysteries, for example, are hardly likely to start poisoning/bludgeoning/shooting their nearest and dearest in the name of research. As a reader, though, you want to feel as though the writer really understands his subject, with the kind of expertise that seems so natural that it never shows.

Most of us, if we are honest, have experienced, even at the mildest level, the emotions that can, when taken to extreme and pathological levels, lead to such acts. Being human, we have every human emotion in our library of experience, even if some of them are gleaned through immersion in book or film, or experienced through dream. Even if we have to draw upon them and take them far beyond our own experience, we have a starting point in…

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Omniscient POV versus Head-Hopping

I’ve been struggling and juggling which POV to write in for two WIPs. I think I’ve finally decided to use Third Person Multiple for one of them definitely! 🙂

Myths of the Mirror


Today, I’m going a little techie for all the writers out there. This is another one of my “learn by failure” posts.

When we write, we strive for stories that will grip our readers. We want an emotional investment, and the best way to do that is to immerse our readers inside our character’s head, heart, and skin, the deeper the better. The reader sees, hears, smells, and experiences what the character does, up close and personal.

When I started writing, I was a point-of-view “head-hopper.” I wanted to share every character’s thoughts and feelings in every scene. My writer’s group rolled their eyes and eventually critiqued it out of me. I learned the hard way – by rewriting my entire book!

Head-hopping is a common glitch in early writing as authors learn the ropes. It’s often confused with a Third Person Omniscient Point of View. So, what’s the difference?

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Why All Modern Writing Dates Back to Ancient Kemet

Self Love Literature

By Taylre Rene Malloy~Self-Love Literature Contributing Writer

The ancient Egyptians, along with many other early civilizations, knew the healing powers that creative writing generates and attribute all forms of modern written expression as a gift from the ancient Kemetic deity, Tehuti.

The Egyptians, more naturally known as the Kemites of ancient Nubia, classified writing as a sacred act, and thus it became important to document and communicate information about spirituality, government, and society within sacred texts.

As a result, many ancient societies invented written scripts that could be used to record information. The most famous of all ancient Egyptian scripts are hieroglyphics. Through the use of hieroglyphs, scribes were able to preserve the beliefs, history, and ideas of ancient Kemet across the temples, tomb walls, and papyrus scrolls. These papyrus scrolls were used as blueprints during the reconstruction of the dynasties, healing rituals, and mummification.

Also pulling from the knowledge…

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Common Mistakes in Short Story Writing – Guest Post by Jaq D Hawkins…

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

I’ve recently been on the editorial team for a short story anthology, not for the first time, and have been noticing some common mistakes that can trip up an otherwise good story. If you’ve been submitting to anthologies or thinking about doing so, please take note of some of the recurring pitfalls that can cause editors to reject your submission, or if working with a close-knit group, might cause diplomatic nightmares between editors and writers.

First of all, don’t try to shove too much into the beginning paragraphs of a short story. Detailed description of a character, a ‘laundry list’ of exactly what they’re wearing and a headcount of a group of characters to accompany the protagonist on a quest are all ways to lose a reader before the plot begins to unfold.

Keep in mind that you’re not writing a novel. Even in novel writing, shoehorning too much information…

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