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In reply to an earlier post on May 16, 2012, 2:50:45 PM PDT
Whose fingers will you use?

Posted on May 17, 2012, 3:42:29 PM PDT
Oldog_Oltrix says:
Most weeks the Cafe is going to serve up an AUTHOR'S SPECIAL, on your choice of white, light rye, dark rye, and chewy 10-grain.
The featured flavor this week is **Developing A Brief Hard-Hitting Promo Pitch**. Don't like advice in any flavor? Then walk on by and select something you like.

Will MacMillan Jones is a citizen that every MOA resident ought to know. I believe that "MacMillan" is Celtic or Welsh for "helpful dude". Will runs a MOA thread with a powerful and useful challenge: develop a 30-word Promo Pitch that you can pull out of your hat (or somewhere) when you need to attract the attention of someone in publishing or marketing.

It has been suggested on his thread that you might be able to use the same promo for buyers, or that you might want to develop a family of Promos for YR's, YA,s and adults, for example. I like the fact that Will does not patronize participants with false encouragement. He will come at you with questions or comments that will make you think about how your Promos might be improved.

Here's where to go for this wonderful learning experience:
** Post Your Pitch: The 30 Word Challenge (The Return) **

Posted on May 18, 2012, 5:05:17 AM PDT
Hi all,
I write poetry for both children and adults, but here's a link to my kiddies' book A Mouthful of Chuckles.

Health Warning!
Kids, don't read this with your mouth full... You may choke on a chipolata!

This is a rib-tickling book of rhyming children's poetry with illustrations, to be enjoyed over and over again by school children, teachers, parents and grandparents. And your pets if they're interested!

Her's the beginning of the first poem...

A lucky escape

When Tommy brought his mouse to school he hid it in his bag.
It nibbled through his lunchbox which was something of a snag.

It ate his history homework on the Romans and their ways
And dropped pellets in his trainers (the effect of eating maize).

Tommy checked his bag at break, as soon as he was able.
- Monty'd gone AWOL to see the sights of Miss Tate's table.

Tommy looked round in despair. This would have to stop...
When a splash came from her coffee cup as Monty vanished - PLOP!

Posted on May 23, 2012, 11:01:33 AM PDT
Oldog_Oltrix says:
I migrated this poem of mine over here from the Historical Fiction Cafe.

If you care about the details of historical fiction, this Poe-ish poem is set on the West Coast of Scotland, as the clans wrest their stolen lands from the grasp of royal grants to the aristocracy. Hasta La Vista, Lord Snow.

"Lord Of Snow", structurally patterned on "The Sleeper" by Edgar Allan Poe (1831)

At midnight, in the month of May,
I stand upon the stonework quay.
A heavy mist, foggy, damp,
Masks the sharpness of a streetlamp.
Instead of beacon in the night,
It is a spectre of dim light.
Distant sounds are lost in the mist
So nearby murmurs cannot be missed.
I hear the creaking of a line
On the schooner tied next to mine.
There, the drip of condensing fog,
Water lapping upon a log.
There, a footstep on the quayside,
Someone bringing word from MacBride.
'Tis Derek, where is Corbin? Dead?
Aye, with a bullet through his head,
Lying in a pool of the richest red.

MacBride declares, the Laird shall die
In payment for young Corbin's cry,
This young boy's future fully spent
In the wet smack of a bullet sent
By the great man's frightening corps.
By God, the Laird shall breath no more!
Now wake our bonny schooners'crews,
For now there is no time to lose.
MacBride himself is on his way!
And when he steps upon the quay,
You'll swiftly loose the mooring ropes
And sail to fulfill MacBride's hopes.
Calloo! Belay! Step lively now,
Two ships alive from stern to prow
With proud men in the islands born.
Their own ships were from their grasp torn,
Tonight they'll see their lives reborn!

The great MacBride arrives alone
And he boards my schooner Malone.
I nod, my crew pushes away;
We're soon flying 'cross Oban Bay.
Near MacDougalls to sea we make
With the schooner Muir in our wake.
We strip for battle, gundecks clear,
As a fullsome breeze brings us near
The island north of Galavan,
The strait by the house of the man
Who we hate more than Satan's clan.
In Dunstaffnage's bleak shadow
Stands the house of the Laird of Snow.
He's the enemy of us all,
The reason why we've come to call.
MacLeods are lovingly loading
Cannons with shells soon exploding.

In the dark the bastards can't see
As we drift into place from the sea.
No sails, not a light, do we show
Save the cannon's matches' dim red glow.
At the word, sixteen guns let go
Lethal shells to the House Of Snow.
Ninety seconds, there's sixteen more,
Smartly aimed at the house on shore.
The Laird's house is ruins afire.
We send warriors to vent their ire
On any survivors at all.
They are having a bloody ball.
The bairns of the Laird have survived;
The warriors take them alive.
The new Laird of Snow is a lad
Of barely six years, just a tad.
MacBride says, I want a son bad.

The young Laird had only one plea,
That his three tiny siblings be free.
I know it's my fate; in this place
My future of slavery to face.
Embarrassed by his father's deeds,
Ethan poised to meet MacBride's needs.
Nay, nay, not a slave shall you be,
But a son who's allowed to walk free.
If you're willing to ride at my side
And pledge to become a MacBride.
So Ethan joined the MacBride clan,
And became a proud highland man.

In reply to an earlier post on May 23, 2012, 11:15:54 AM PDT
I like that, Oldog. :)

Posted on May 24, 2012, 5:36:30 AM PDT
[Deleted by the author on May 24, 2012, 6:55:41 PM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on May 24, 2012, 5:04:12 PM PDT
Oldog_Oltrix says:
Hey, B. , good to hear from you. Let me see if I can clarify my comments. Double Standard means that you were expecting me to avoid tossing any barbs, but you felt free to toss barbs at whoever you wished. Single Standard means that you don't ask me to do anything that you are not willing to do yourself. If you don't want to see me be nasty, then you can't be nasty either. That's Single Standard.

I'm not coming back to Cypress Knee or anywhere else on Fiction Forum. But you sure are welcome to hang out here!

If you bookmark Poetry Cafe, you can get here on the expressway without having to pass through the congested neighborhoods of desperate authors.

Posted on May 24, 2012, 7:10:41 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 24, 2012, 7:45:27 PM PDT
Oldog_Oltrix says:
A wonderful thing happened today!
A friend made a long trip all this way
To clear the air of some confusion
And bring confusion to conclusion.
It's hard to beat a visit from a friend
For putting all your ills on the mend,
For making all your blues drift away,
For making today a special day,
Eliminating regrets and sorrow
And looking forward to tomorrow.

But perhaps there was a change of heart.
Perhaps we're still some distance apart.
Are matters not as clear as I thought?
Is understanding still to be wrought?
Or is the opportunity lost,
No friendship possible at a cost
That each of us is willing to pay?
Are we doomed to each go his own way?
I don't know what forces drive my friend
And make him happy at each day's end.
The guy I have to please most of all
Is one in the mirror on the wall.

Posted on May 25, 2012, 7:37:50 AM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Jun 16, 2012, 5:32:58 PM PDT]

Posted on May 25, 2012, 9:41:11 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 25, 2012, 9:41:52 PM PDT
Oldog_Oltrix says:
Well, hey now, it's time to drag out Part Two of the Shoshone Saga "White Bear and Grey Wolf". The first 14 verses were published earlier in the thread. There could be perhaps 140 verses before this is done. It's all Ryhthm poetry, no intentional Rhyme. Longfellow did it and I love it. Will the kid get the girl? Some sagas are tragedies. Bozheena = Buffalo; Bison ... Huu-baga = Arrow

Backlit by the brilliant sunrise,
Spread as far as the eye could see
Stood a great herd of buffalo.
They were still many miles away,
But Gray Wolf's vision led them here.

Scouts were sent and brought back good news.
No calves seen, so every cow
Is a target for the hunters.
Not many bulls are in the way
To the tender meat of the cows.

Gray Wolf receives a hawk feather
In thanks for leading them so near.
Proudly he ties it in his hair,
But now his heart does not expand,
For fear grips every man and boy
As they ride slowly toward the sun.

Never has there been a hunt where
Every hunter stayed alive.
Soon go home riderless horses,
Each brave praying that it's not his
As they near the edge of the herd.

Every boy rides with a brave
Who has taught the ways of the hunt.
All the stories at campfires told,
All the practice on the horses,
Toward this moment have been aimed.

Every hunter lies down low,
Becoming one with his pony.
Horses do not scare buffalo.
Every hunter shines with grease,
Buffalo fat hiding man-scent.

The People's Spirits are with them.
On the near side of the herd is
A group of cows with a lone bull,
An old fellow with his women,
Tomorrow he will walk alone.

The Indian ponies saunter
To the rear of the grazing cows.
The Hunting Chief rises, sitting;
Twenty-seven hunters rise up
And the hunt is now beginning.

Fourteen braves with knives on long poles
Ride hard up the left side, right side;
Fourteen cows are bawling, hamstrung,
Fourteen youths with arrows ready
Ride to kill the cows who can't run.

Gray Wolf's arrow goes to the heart:
His cow is down in a heartbeat;
He is free to hunt another!
The cows are now at full stampede,
Behind the mighty bull ahead.

Gray Wolf rides with the running cows.
The rain-soaked soil is wet and soft
And is sapping his pony's speed.
He makes a bold decision now
And leaps to the back of a cow.

Gray Wolf, one with his buffalo,
One with the group of running cows,
Shoots to his right and to his left.
Slapping his cow to get more speed,
Six more times he shoots his arrows.

Now he holds his final arrow,
Shoves it into bozhe-ena,
Slips it in between her rib bones
Into her waiting pounding heart.
She slows to a walk and drops, dead.

As she rolls upon her right side,
Gray Wolf steps off on her left side,
Now looking back for the first time.
Fatal was each hu-u-baga!
Sixteen cows wait to be dressed out.

In reply to an earlier post on May 26, 2012, 3:22:23 AM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Jun 16, 2012, 5:33:12 PM PDT]

Posted on May 26, 2012, 11:02:37 PM PDT
Oldog_Oltrix says:
I believe that the following is a most fitting tribute for this Memorial Day.
This is the third verse of the poem "Pike's Peak" written by Katharine Lee Bates in 1893.

O beautiful for glory-tale
Of liberating strife,
When once or twice, for man's avail,
Men lavished precious life!
America! America!
God shed His grace on thee
Till selfish gain no longer stain,
The banner of the free!

In 1895 this poem was published under the name "America", which was revised in 1904 and again in 1913. In 1910 the poem was used as lyrics to accompany Samuel A. Ward's music "O Mother Dear, Jerusalem", and the combination was entitled "America The Beautiful".

Please, God, bless the men and women of our armed forces, living and dead.

In reply to an earlier post on May 27, 2012, 4:32:48 AM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Jun 3, 2012, 5:36:07 PM PDT]

Posted on May 31, 2012, 1:54:50 AM PDT
Oldog_Oltrix says:
It's time for the Cafe to offer another Author's Special, advice and information for those of us who find gratification in the art of literary composition; on the house, of course. If you don't care for advice in any flavor, then just walk on by this offer and try one of our other virtual beverages and taste treats.

I believe that every author ought to have a frequently-used copy of The Elements Of Style on their writing desk. This handy and inexpensive book resolves annoying little issues (and big issues) regarding the use of words and punctuation in writing Standard English. From the correct use of the apostrophe to "Words and expressions commonly misused", TEOS helps you keep your writing technically correct, straightforward, and attractive to the professional ear. You can choose from a variety of slightly different versions of the original editions by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White. I just "upgraded" to Strunk's 2012 edition (45 pages) prepared by the author with input from his colleagues at the Cornell University English Department.

FWIW, I do not recommend Kindle editions of reference books. I find it ever so much quicker and easier to find what I'm looking for in a paper version.

Of course, this is not the only reference book a serious writer should have, but it is arguably the most essential.

Now the quiz. Which one of these 3 sentences is technically correct Standard English?
1. "He only found two mistakes."
2. "He found only two mistakes."
3. "Only two mistakes were found."

Posted on May 31, 2012, 9:36:39 AM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on Dec 29, 2014, 4:56:48 PM PST]

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 2, 2012, 9:58:51 PM PDT
Jeffrey says:
Only two mistakes were found, but I am not concerned with that. What concerns me is the picture of the large stain right in the center of the carpet, and why the woman in the picture does not have a drink.

Posted on Jun 3, 2012, 12:31:18 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Jun 16, 2012, 8:12:56 AM PDT]

Posted on Jun 4, 2012, 11:15:53 AM PDT
Jeffrey says:
Ahh... That explains everything.

Thanks B

Posted on Jun 6, 2012, 1:40:13 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Jun 16, 2012, 8:13:11 AM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 9, 2012, 11:21:51 PM PDT
Oldog_Oltrix says:
Oldog had to take a week off from the threads to wrap up publishing his historical fiction saga to Kindle and Nook. I can't play and work at the same time any more

Posted on Jun 10, 2012, 3:35:30 AM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Jun 16, 2012, 8:13:24 AM PDT]

Posted on Jun 11, 2012, 1:32:51 AM PDT
Oldog_Oltrix says:
Cherry Valley Road Ballads by Lawrence Cartwright.

The War Between The States, 1861-65, was notable for the number of boys enlisted in their teen years. This novel follows the life of Jeremiah James from abused child to cold-blooded killer for a unique Pennsylvania volunteer company of the U.S. Army, serving in a select squad of abandoned youths like himself. At the war's end in 1865, he found his way to a remarkable remote and isolated community at the end of rugged Cherry Valley Road.

Jeremiah James delighted in the joys of establishing a family and a successful farm, only to be crushed by disaster. The reader joins the survivors as they struggle from grief to recovery; and becomes part of this family's event-filled new life and experiences in sometimes brutal, sometimes compassionate nineteenth century mid-America.

The novel is in the form of a two volume family memoir, written by family members to be passed down to their children, grandchildren and successive generations.

Most chapters incorporate a nineteenth century ballad, a poetic composition created by family members. The majority of the book is prose narrative delivered by Jeremiah James or one of his immediate family.

One of the focuses of the James family memoir is the treatment and mistreatment of children in the nineteenth century. Jeremiah James's sons introduce him to a succession of abused, abandoned, and challenged youths who are rescued by becoming adopted or fostered by the caring and generous James family.

When you "Click To Look Inside" Cherry Valley Road Ballads , you will be able to read a generous 4+ chapters of the saga, a two-book set complete in this one volume.

Posted on Jun 11, 2012, 5:32:11 AM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Jun 16, 2012, 8:13:35 AM PDT]

Posted on Jun 12, 2012, 2:22:11 PM PDT
Hi I'm Jutter Caine and Christopher Stewart if you saw Pentangle in 1985 you know me, if you saw Def-con 4 I was Kevin King, I used to be an actor my IMDB page is going up shortly under Sir Christopher Stewart, but on to writing, In Horror I'm Jutter Caine, I just published my first collection of short stories Nightmares for 5.99 also availble in print, This is my first short story collection and as such I must tell you that though mostly Horror, it does have extra stories that are fantasy and other things, I'm sure you will not mind. Jack Parkaby and The covered bridge, first appeared in Dark Gothic Resurrected, Sleeping Stones in Twisted Tongues, Platform 239 in Golden Visions, Suffocation in Indigo Rising, and Shimmer in Look What I found Anthology.
What do you fear? What do I fear? Yes. What do you fear? Do you fear that something will happen and cigarettes will be outlawed? Malachi, do you fear death? Jack Parkaby. Do you fear Spiders? Shimmer. Welcome to Nightmares, and please enjoy those things that slither in the dark. "We see each other now as if through a glass darkly but soon we shall see face to face."-Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu "The oldest and greatest fear is fear of the unknown."-H.P. Lovecraft
"It was a cold November day, walking through the park. You know, it's funny, I remember that with crystal clarity. The cold numbing wind that pierced my coat. The sky, overcast, and dark. The clouds billowed as dismal as grey slate. I even remember how loud the park swings creaked. That loud, high pitched keen that sends shivers down your spine. I think it was when I watched the swings move in the breeze of that deserted park, that I first felt, uneasy. It wasn't anything I could explain you understand. Just a feeling. A sense that something, wasn't right."-Shimmer
"A crow sat perched on the power lines, wind sifted through its feathers. All around the sound of the wind caught by leaves. Above the sky darkened, dark clouds churning blood red. Lightning flashed and thunder pealed across the land. The crow's feet moved a little in the flashes. Far below him, the lake lay, a still reflective mirror, showing all, clouds, cable, and crow. At the farthest end fog formed, and rolled over the mirror like a blanket. The crow looked skyward and called to the heavens, as if in answer two bolts of lightning struck the lake. Thunder echoed, and the sky opened up, rain falling in sheets. The crow spread his wings, called once, and flew off into the forest." -The Lake

and for those intrested in jack the ripper I published my professional thesis on him White Chappell A Study In Profile for 2.99 also availble in print I have two books of poetry under Sir Christopher Stewart only the first is availble for kindleA Knight's Grotto 3.99 the second book Rebecca: Rebecca De Mornay is very expensive because it is full color and 8x11 mostly photography and sonnets
thank you for allowing me to talk about my books
Jutter Caine "Sir Christopher Stewart"

Posted on Jun 15, 2012, 9:30:46 PM PDT
Oldog_Oltrix says:
It's time for the Cafe to offer another Author's Special, advice and information for those of us who find gratification in the art of literary composition; on the house, of course. If you don't care for advice in any flavor, then just walk on by this offer and try one of our other virtual beverages and taste treats.

One of my favorite gifts is a copy of _Characters & Viewpoint_ by Orson Scott Card, a scholarly yet very readable 226-page trade paperback. If you're looking for a read that is almost certain to make you a better fiction writer, this is one you should consider seriously.

One of Card's observations caught my eye today, and I felt compelled to pass it along to you: "One of the surest signs of an amateur story is when strange or important events happen around the narrator or point-of-view character, and he doesn't have an attitude toward them." I re-read the quote and analyzed it carefully, and noted the key phrase "STRANGE OR IMPORTANT EVENTS".

For the price of your admission today, you're going to get two pieces of advice. The first, from one of our most prolific and respected authors, you have already received. If something strange or important happens and you don't have your "voice character" respond to it, you are going to look like the most inept kind of literary doofus.

The second piece of advice, from your 69-year-old literary nobody Cafe host, is the flip side of Card's card; if you waste your reader's time having your "voice character" repeatedly reacting to ordinary or trivial events, you run the risk of appearing equally inept and foolish.

Now there is an important difference between these two pieces of advice. Card's observation is one of those "must do" commandments. If something significant to the story line occurs, you really lose credibility if your "voice character" doesn't display a reaction to the event. You also lose a crucial opportunity to manipulate your reader's feeling toward your "voice character" and perhaps other central characters as well as an opportunity to manipulate the direction of the story line.

The second piece of advice, my advice, is not a hard and fast commandment. It is simply a caution that you'd better have a pretty darned good reason for having your "voice character" react to an ordinary or trivial event, and you'd better follow up on it soon.

An example, s'il vous plait: "Mayor Dillingham left the meeting, and through the window I watched him pitch his expended cigar butt into the street. His Honor is a pig, fouling our town's environment wherever he passes by. I cannot abide the man."

It's hard to imagine a reader who isn't left with a "what was that all about?" feeling about this apparent over-reaction to a trivial event. It's hard to imagine a reader who isn't awaiting some clarification in the near future. Having displayed a character's unusual attitude, a competent author is now obligated to explain it further and soon. Why did you create this unusual attitude? Is the narrator a neatness freak? Does the narrator have a grudge against the mayor? Who is unlikable here? The narrator? The mayor? Both?

Having created the incident, you must now make use of it soon or wear the "dunce" hat.
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Initial post:  May 7, 2012
Latest post:  Dec 31, 2016

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