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Finding that Happy Ending

More and more, as a reader, I find myself searching for something new. This has less to do with branching out into genres I haven’t yet explored and more to do with wanting the old and familiar to suddenly feel fresh and inspired. More zip? More zing? Is that what’s missing for me? I don’t know. What I do know is that my voracious appetite for reading is slowing down. I’m not alone. There are many out there like me,…

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Write A Better Book Through Meditation

“The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts.” ― Marcus Aurelius, Meditations   On my checklist of things to do in this life, meditation had always been in the “no time soon” category. Something about it seemed a bit suspect to me. As evidence, I offer you my original take on how it works: I’m supposed to breathe slowly and focus on the feeling of taking that breath, and then, suddenly, my mind will clear and…

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Storytelling Through Music

Yesterday evening, I attended a concert at Strathmore Hall Arts Center. Intermission was followed by a modern symphony making its world premiere performance for a concert band. As part of his introduction, the evening’s conductor, Lt. Col. Jason Fettig, said that the composer intended the piece to be a journey through the ups and downs of human emotions, and the challenges and joys of our connectedness, person to person. In other words, storytelling. From the moment I learned that the…

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Writing Fiction: Historical vs. Contemporary Romance

Like many writers, I find my creativity fueled by reading the works of other novelists. I read every fiction genre, major or common, except horror (I’m not emotionally equipped for the utter darkness often presented in its pages), and I tend to be the type of consumer who purchases my stack of my weekly reading, one sub-genre at a time. Two weeks ago, for example, my stack was entirely paranormal romance. The week before that, it was Washington, D.C.-based thrillers.…

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TLC, Twitter, and (Very) Smart Marketing

Back in October, on the season premiere night of Long Island Medium, TLC decided to try a new marketing strategy, one involving Twitter.  A few days before the big event, I happened to catch the promos, and they advertised two things: -          a live commentary from Theresa Caputo during the premiere’s commercial breaks (it’s her show) -          a chance to win free readings from Theresa through a live Twitter contest being held during the show’s premiere. Thanks to the magic…

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NaNoWriMo and the Evolution of a Writer

Writing a book as part of the annual NaNoWriMo contest is a bit like dating in college: a day feels like a week, a week feels like a month. And a month, well, that’s practically forever. On November 1st, I started NaNoWriMo filled with excitement and curiosity. How would the book idea I’d been mulling over in my brain take shape on the page? I wondered. Is it really possible to complete a novel in 30 days? To commit to…

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Spanx Me, NaNoWriMo!

Forget “March Madness.” Instead, make it “March Marketing Madness.” As part of all this basketball craziness, I recently filled out my bracket for the family pool. I’m not doing well; I think even my sister-in-law’s grandmother is ahead of me. Still, there is value in participating in creative activities outside of one’s normal comfort zone, and staring at all those match-ups got me thinking about business. In “March Marketing Madness,” the sports teams are replaced by companies. The purpose of…

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The New Romance Aisle: Lover’s Lane at Lowe’s

Who says a trip to the hardware store can’t be romantic? Not me!Not any of my friends, either, as it turns out.Over the summer, couple after couple pointed out to me (in unrelated conversations) that once they had settled down, they spent far more time together going out to hardware stores than going out to restaurants.To a one, my friends joked that “date night” had evolved from stolen kisses and candle-lit dinners into Friday night trips to the hardware store,…

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The Many Faces of a Writer

Last Sunday, I watched the “In Memoriam” segment of the Emmy’s telecast.Sitting quietly, watching as the faces of many actors and actresses whose work I’ve known faded in and out, I wondered how many of the characters they had played on-screen had resembled, in ways big or small, their own personalities? How many times had a story line reflected their real-life choices and experiences?During the montage, the face that stood out to me the most was Larry Hagman, who brilliantly…

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Writing: The Importance of Word Choice in Translation

For those of you who are fans of Star Trek (or, like me, grew up with a brother who loved all things science fiction), have you ever fantasized about having communication tools like the ones Captain Kirk and his crew had?I have, and I find myself doing it all the more lately.Why? Social media.Daily, the Internet provides readers and writers with the opportunity to connect with new people involved in the book world, and to interact with speakers of many…

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