The Right Angle (Blogging U.)

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As writers and bloggers we know how important a “hook” is. 

Our masterpieces can fall into the abyss without the right hook, the focus, to pull the reader in.  All effort and emotion output gone.  A small flaw destroying the beautiful whole.

What changes this? Practice, reading, dedication — to a point. However there are more tools, and the Blogging University offers one this month. A workshop-style course at the writer’s speed for bloggers/writers/anyone, really.

The first post discusses THE ANGLE — the precise way you choose to tell the story. What makes it attractive to readers inundated with a multitude of stories. THE ANGLE, maybe … 

In preparation, I slayed some inner demons — via a fiction piece rooted in a quasi-personal experience, as all tales are — and am offering a short part here. The angle is key, as is reader engagement.

Here it is, a humble offering from yours truly: 

REUNION

 “I watched the mother’s one-arm hug, the quickness of the gesture, and wondered at a love that floods the heart only to drain like water from a tub. How did it feel? Seeing her son after a thirty-year absence.

The airport noise — announcements, hurried steps — nothing fell into any kind of sequence. The sight of Gage laughing nervously as he asked about her luggage, the flight, anything but what mattered unfolded like a fuzzy movie scene. Nothing fit the order, rogue little pieces of the world gone astray. One modicum of certainty in this unreliable life should be a mother’s constant love and presence. Shouldn’t it?

We made our way past a group of Chinese tourists documenting the big arrival to Los Angeles International Airport. I glanced back searching for the mothers. A woman ruffled a teenager’s hair; another pointed to a sign laughing with a young man.  Same as my mother’s laughter when sharing new discoveries. She laughed with all her heart. With her eyes. Her entire being.

The air smelled of stale humanity, odors that broke from the regular smells of the world. We rushed toward the exit, no luggage to be collected, only the bag Gage carried for his new-found mother who led our single file line toward the exit as if all life form depended on abandoning the rendezvous place. Maybe the smell affected her too. The chaos this reunion seemed to create in our delicate souls. Run. Maybe the world will rearrange itself out there.” 

~~~ Thank you for reading. Tell me, if you will, about your writing angle. Or anything you’d like to share.

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Image courtesy: uphillwriting.org

 

Video

Book Trailer — Yakimali’s Gift by Linda Covella

A good movie trailer makes us want to see the movie. The same is true for a good book trailer — somewhat of a new medium for me, but certainly not a new publishing tool.

For that reason, I was excited to see the trailer for Yakimali’s Gift, a YA novel written by my friend Linda Covella.  (In 1775 Mexico, New Spain, Fernanda can’t seem to live up to her mother’s expectations. Half Spanish and half Pima Indian, she feels confined by the limited female roles of her culture…)

I came to know how talented a writer Linda is years ago, when we took a writing workshop together. Here is a quick look at her book through the trailer created by Tanya Watt.

For more, visit lindacovella.com

Optimism

Optimism

I admire those for whom optimism comes naturally. I lean on the optimistic side myself but certainly have my moments of pessimism.

Still, it is optimism that gives me the will to write — among other things — because hope fuels the creative mind with enthusiasm. With energy.

That means creatives must be a bunch of optimists. Which is crazy, considering how self-doubting we are. But … if we didn’t embrace a sense of hope, if we didn’t believe the unimaginable was possible (email from editors, wonderful reviews), we would never put our work out there.

We’d never get out of bed. 

A good friend of mine recently described her life philosophy. She “always stays serene and knows everything will be alright.” She probably didn’t mean it to be a big revelation, but I thought: how great to have such “glass is half full” attitude all the time.

Yet part of me thinks optimism, like anything, is good in moderation. Sometimes, it can work against us, causing problems with its sunny sense of possibility. Hope, as I read somewhere, is not a very good plan. And perhaps too much of it makes a person seem naive, I don’t know.

Set me straight here, please.

I admit to times when the glass didn’t just look half empty, but downright void. Nothing there. Times when I wallowed in my misery and would have loved some company, thank you very much. 

I think my friend has worked hard at acquiring this attitude. I don’t think this is something she was born with (having known her long enough), but something she learned.

Yes, I believe optimism is learned more than genetic. Probably a matter of how we channel our positive energy (how’s that for a buzz term?). Especially when it’s easy to learn that life sucks when filled with pessimism.

What do you think? And how do you keep your optimism high?

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Image credit: aughing-listening-learning.com

A Celebration

gatlinburg

Like Champagne on New Year’s Eve, watching fireworks on the Fourth of July is a tradition that never gets old.

I still remember my very first Fourth of July as an immigrant — the fireworks, the music, the hotdogs, the celebration of all that is American. Twenty years later, with a son born and growing up in this country, a husband who’s never been out of the U.S. until I dragged him, a job and many friends, I feel very much American. Sure, Romanian-American, but very much part of the community and the celebration.

And being part of the community makes a day at the beach even more fun. For the past five years or so, the beach has been our go-to place. We set up our umbrellas, even a little tent, bring our cooler with drinks, beach toys, plenty of sunscreen, even a book for me — oh, how wonderful it would be to find some reading time — and let the fun begin.

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What it looks like on the beach (Redondo Beach) as everyone sets up.

The plan is to spend the day on the sand, take time to stand at the water’s edge, look out into the Pacific Ocean, celebrate the Fourth of July and the dream it commemorates, and get excited in anticipation of the big fireworks show.

What about you?

Have a wonderful Fourth, dear blogging friends, (if you you’re not in the U.S. have a superb weekend, and enjoy the World Cup games — yeah, it’s still on, even if the U.S. team is out :)).

Until next time.                                                                                     Cheers, Silvia. 

 

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Photo courtesy: gatlinburg