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Music Monday: “Slaughter on 10th Avenue”

I swear, the years I lived in Marin County were some of the best for live music. I could walk down the street and catch amazing acts. One of the greatest opportunities I had was to see the late Mick Ronson (performing with Ian Hunter from Mott the Hoople) in a tiny club. Please enjoy Ronno’s performance of Leonard Bernstein’s “Slaughter on 10th Avenue.” Original link
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Author’s Inspiration: “Sui Generis”

Sui Generis - NEW
Hi, everyone. This is going to be kind of a short post; I’m literally out of my sickbed to write to you all this morning. Sui Generis translates to “one of a kind.” I wanted to create a sampler of essays and short stories to give people a flavor of my writing. So, there’s an urban fantasy, the one and only vampire story I’ve ever written, and a handful of essays. Because I wanted the sampler to be a promotional tool, it’s permafree on Smashwords . So, now you know. I’m heading back to bed. Enjoy your weekend! Original link
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Weekend Reads: “Bella’s Christmas Bake Off”

Bella's Christmas Bake Off
Bella’s Christmas Bake Off by Sue Watson My rating: 5 of 5 stars Bella and Amy were best friends when they were young. Their lives diverged as teens, and Bella eventually became a TV celebrity chef. Amy, on the other hand, became a math teacher. When Amy’s husband leaves her right before Christmas, the only comfort she sees in store is watching Bella create yet another beautiful holiday dinner on television. To her shock and horror, she realizes that the recipes Bella is sharing this year belonged to Amy’s late mother. Determined to find out why Bella thinks she has the right to do such a thing, Amy enters a contest to be on the show … and wins. The angry sparks fly when Bella and Amy reunit...
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My Go-to Writing Books for Historical Fiction by Deborah Swift | A Writer of History

When I’m talking to beginner writers about writing, I’m always amazed at how many think they ‘just have a talent for it’ and do no research into the craft of writing itself. As writers producing books, I’m amazed at how few pick up a book to help them with their craft. I think I’m the opposite, in that I love to read books on writing, and have learned a lot of useful tips from other writers through their books and blogs. I have a large collection of writing books on my shelf, which I also share with the people I teach, but some are better than others for my particular genre, which is historical fiction. So here is a short list for those embarking on writing a historical novel. I plan to get ...
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Happy Thanksgiving, Friends!

Happy Thanksgiving!
I’m off to indulge in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, which is true beginning of the holiday season in our house. Have a safe and happy holiday! Original link
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Music Monday: “Holly Would”

Hi, everyone. Today’s entry in the “bands I’ve seen live” series is Buddy Holly’s original Crickets.  Of course, Buddy Holly passed tragically before I was ever born. However, Jerry Allison, Joe B. Mauldin, and vocalist Gordan Payne put out an album in the late 1980s called “T-Shirt,” which was produce by Sir Paul McCartney. It was during their tour supporting this album that I saw the group perform in a small San Rafael, Calif., nightclub.  Here’s my favorite song from the album, “Holly Would.” Original link
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Small bookstores are booming after nearly being wiped out – CBS News

According to the American Booksellers Association, the number of independent bookstores fell by approximately 40 percent between the mid-90s and 2009. They have recovered some of those closures, and this year, sales are up more than five percent over a year ago. via Small bookstores are booming after nearly being wiped out – CBS News Original link
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Sometimes in Order to Get To, You Have to Go Through | Radleigh Valentine

In the United States, this is the week of Thanksgiving. While the primary theme is gratitude, I think this is also a time for forgiveness. People are often thrust into situations celebrating Thanksgiving where they have to deal with friends or family for which they have a strained relationship. In those situations, there’s a keen awareness of the ways in which the past continues to haunt the present. For many, the opportunity to get together for this holiday is an uplifting experience. However for others, it’s a time of dread. The main focus is “just get through it as fast as possible.” For those people, the prospect of a happy holiday is minimal at best. This is where the forgiveness part c...
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Author’s Inspiration: “Les Pensées Dangereuses”

Les Pensées Dangereuses
Hi, everyone. Today, I’ll share the inspiration behind Les Pensées Dangereuses. At the time I put together this collection of essays, I was still struggling to think of myself as a writer again. I had been through several bouts of depression that were directly related to my Hashimoto’s disease … except I didn’t know that. I was also dealing with PTSD from an abusive work situation, but I didn’t really know that, either. I thought PTSD was something that only happened to service members. Moreover, I was also struggling to make sense of some of the things I saw around me. I was watching a rise of hate and prejudice in the wake of Barack Obama’s election and the passage of Proposition 8 (the an...
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Truth in Historical Story-Telling by Tara Cowan | A Writer of History

I see writers struggling all the time with the choice between sticking with the rules of an era on the one hand and giving their stories a more modern twist on the other. The bold Victorian woman who swears off corsets and goes to college has become so common in literature that the proper, buttoned-up Victorian woman seems to be the anomaly. And those stories can be great– many of them currently fill my shelves! However, I do believe we need to be very careful to frame those stories in an accurate way when we’re pushing the boundaries of history. We need to tell those fabulous stories of women who had amazing scholastic or professional accomplishments because they did exist. We also need to ...
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Weekend Reads: “Emperor Norton’s Ghost”

Emperor Norton's Ghost (Fremont Jones, #4)
Hi, everyone. I don’t know about you, but I always think it’s fun to read books set in places I’ve either lived or visited. I enjoy imagining the characters walking around streets I know. That’s one of the reasons I enjoyed this book so much. Emperor Norton’s Ghost by Dianne Day My rating: 5 of 5 stars I recently found this title in a box of books in our home. While I am pretty sure I read it many, many years ago, I had no recollection of the story … and I enjoyed it immensely! Fremont Jones, and her life/business partner Michael Kosoff, have started a private investigation agency. They don’t have any clients yet, so Fremont has some free time to spend with her new friend, Frances McFadden. ...
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Music Monday: “Just a Little”

Hi, everyone. I’m continuing with my series of bands I’ve seen live. I have the good fortune to live in the San Francisco Bay Area, so perhaps it’s not so surprising that I saw local legends The Beau Brummels in a small Geary Street pub. Enjoy this performance of “Just a Little” from the “Shindig” TV show!   Original link
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I’m a Nerd | Radleigh Valentine

What I just can’t understand is the drive to be unkind over something so harmless as what TV show do you like or what is your favorite classic car. There is never a need to be cruel over something harmless that someone else loves. Never. via I’m a Nerd | Radleigh Valentine Original link
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Living Historical Fiction by Elinor Florence | A Writer of History

Historical fiction doesn’t necessarily mean ancient history. The broadest definition of the genre includes any novel written at least fifty years after the events took place. This is a delightful look at another author’s research process. via Living Historical Fiction by Elinor Florence | A Writer of History Original link
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Author’s Inspiration: “In The Eye of the Beholder”

eye
Hi, everyone. Today I’m going to talk about how I came to write In The Eye of The Beholder, my debut novel. I touched on it briefly in a post last year , but I’ll go into a little bit more of it today. Like many people, I saw the 2004 Phantom of the Opera film. I knew the story from having read the book, and was quite familiar with the music. I wound up seeing the film three times in the theatre. Something happened after the second time that I still can’t quite explain. I was so struck with emotion that I couldn’t have more than a perfunctory conversation about anything for nearly three days. I didn’t speak, but I thought a lot. During that time, the story idea came to me in the form of “Wha...
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Weekend Reads: “City in a Forest”

City in a Forest
City in a Forest by Ginger Pinholster My rating: 4 of 5 stars Arden and Parker were best friends during their Georgia childhood. Arden, a gifted artist and a woman of color, lives in a rather squalid situation in Atlanta. Parker, a white PR executive, lives with her family in a fancy DC suburb. The two wind up reconnecting when business takes Parker to Atlanta and she learns that a long-time family acquaintance is trying to have Arden turned out of her home. That’s the basic plot of City in a Forest. There are more twists and turns than imaginable in the tale, as we see the difficulties in Parker’s marriage and her relationship with her daughter, as well as what Arden experiences due to her ...
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Learning the Con Game: Notes from my first conference invitation – by Phillip T. Stephens… | Chris The Story Reading Ape’s Blog

The self-care panel was probably the most productive panel I attended. A comment by Don Webb salvaged my weekend. Don reminded us that in earlier times people considered storytellers and shamans to be vital to the tribe’s survival. Our clansmen would not have reduced us to mere entertainment—the food scraps of social edification. I relish the shaman metaphor, but prefer a metaphor of cultivation and germination. Yes, there are writers motivated only by sales, but many of us speak to the consciousness of our community. We cling to the faith that our message will find fertile soil, even if the medium lies dormant for now. I glimpsed a vision of our profession, not as an industry marketplace, b...
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In Remembrance: Thank You to All Who Have Served

In Remembrance
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Music Monday: “I Want Candy”

Hello, everyone. Continuing my series of band I’ve seen live, this week we have The Elvis Brothers . I saw them at Starry Night, a now-defunct Portland, Ore., venue, opening for Big Country. This is their performance of the classic Strangeloves hit, “I Want Candy,” which was also covered by Bow Wow Wow . Enjoy! Original link
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How to Find Your Way Back to Writing #WritingCommunity – BlondeWriteMore

But then my writing wheels fell off; the creative tingles disappeared, my characters went quiet, my ideas dried up and fear set in. I had many failed attempts at forcing myself to sit down in a chair to write my seventh draft, it was horrid. Writing felt like an unreachable faraway land. This is kind of where I’ve been, to be honest. I’m going to try some of the advice in this article … and be a little more gentle with myself to boot. via How to Find Your Way Back to Writing #WritingCommunity – BlondeWriteMore Original link
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