April 27, 2013

Weekend Writing Warriors and Snippet Sunday

           Welcome to Weekend WritingWarriors and Snippet Sunday where writers come together to share snippets (8  sentences) of their current projects.
           This excerpt is from Forty Years in a Day. The scene takes place in Italy, 1906. Angela must tell her husband, Alfredo, that their daughter has left for America.


        She held on to the back of a chair for support and looked down at the table to avert his gaze. Her heart was pounding hard inside her chest, and she took a few deep breaths, trying to calm down. “There’s no easy way to tell you this,” she finally said.

       “What is it, Angelina?” he said, heaving a sigh of slight impatience.

       “I gave Victoria our savings so she could go to America and be with Dominick. She’ll be safe with her brother. He’ll take care of them.” As she spoke she saw her husband’s face twist into a knot of disbelief and rage, and panic descended upon her like darkness on a moonless night. “She was miserable. She was so unhappy…and the children. Believe me, Alfredo, it’s the only way they could get away from him.”

       Slamming his hand to his chest, he demanded, “Where are they?”
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April 19, 2013

Words and Wisdom...Part 2

In response to my previous blog on April 17th - Words and Wisdom - I received quite a few responses via Facebook and wanted to share them.

"You've gotta' dance like there's nobody watching,
Love like you'll never be hurt,
Sing like there's nobody listening,
And live like it's heaven on earth.
(And speak from the heart to be heard.)”
-William W. Purkey - author and college professo

Surround yourself with positive people that do their best. It keeps you on your toes and inspires you to do the same. -Kathy

Don't be lazy or expect anything to be handed to you. Do the work. Often the only way to get things done is to do it yourself. Keep at it - sometimes it takes a while to get where you need to be! All things that you can personally attest to. -KPW

Live, love and laugh ALOT. Life is way too short ,so don't sweat the small stuff and always follow your dream. -Tricia

We have to teach our children that they have the power to become whatever they want in life and that they are worthy if only just because they were born. If every High school had assemblies like the one that I went to there would be a lot less bullying, hatred, crime, etc.... Some children get a lot of positive reinforcment at home but some children do not get any. The answer is simple for me - Be kind to everyone you meet because you never know what their life is like and maybe you can make a difference in their day. Emily

Life is like a tapestry…weave with your thoughts and actions every day! Enjoy every moment! -Maureen

If you believe...you can achieve anything. Always follow your heart and believe in yourself! -Margaret

Follow your heart and always do the right thing. –Theresa

They will ask you "How can I become a famous writer and make a fortune?" I encourage kids to write, write, write-and especially-to "write what they know." I encourage them to start with school papers, zines, anything like that. I tell them to persevere. You could give them an example-like J.K. Rowling...of how hard it was for her to get started. But-I would (and do, always) tell them that just because someone can write a sentence, it doesn't mean "they are a writer." -Cynthia

Carpe diem. Always seize the day. Writers, write. Singers, sing. Try to like what you do, and do what you like. I guess to impart a sense of wanderlust and creativity in your career/life. –Mara

Remember the five simple rules to be happy!

1. Free your heart from hatred – Forgive.
2. Free your mind from worries – Most never happen.
3. Live simple and appreciate what you have.
4. Give more.
5. Expect less from people but more from yourself.  

Thank you friends! I am grateful! -Mona

April 17, 2013

Words and wisdom...

I was asked to speak at a Career Connectons breakfast at a local high school, and I am sitting here wondering what words of wisdom I have to impart. I am asking, okay begging, for comments and ideas on what to say to high school students that could possibly help them in life. Who the heck am I to give advice? Then I thought more about it...and we all something to share…

-A friend just emailed me and said that her mantra is “every day is a gift.” Given the recent Boston tragedy, it is even more appropriate.

Any other thoughts???

April 1, 2013

Clichés and dreams…

          While writing FORTY YEARS IN A DAY, I had a dilemma about using clichés. Writers are taught not to use them at any expense because it makes their writing seem unoriginal, but sometimes I have to struggle to stay away from the cliché. Oh yes, some are ridiculous, like the cliché “everything has its place.” How does anyone agree with it, never mind repeat it. Everything does not have a place. I don’t see a place for war, for poverty, for sickness, for lack of educational opportunity, but they exist. So, yes, some cliché’s are senseless, and yet some are such that they say what you want to say the best and most concise way it can be said.
           After much thought and consideration, I have come to the decision that some clichés definitely have a place, like the cliché “dreams really do come true.” I am not talking about the dreams you have when your eyes are closed and you’re fast asleep. The dreams I am referring to occur when the eyes are wide open and they churn in the mind for years, even decades, and sometimes even lifetimes. The thing is, when a dream comes to fruition, it becomes reality, and it metamorphoses into another dream that could not have been conceived without the culmination of the previous one, and only then do we begin to plan the next journey, relish in the possibilities, and believe in the outcome.