Blow Out the Candles and Say Goodbye by Linda Glaz is a fast-paced thriller that kept me turning pages as little girls invited to birthday party sleepovers would disappear. One young woman, Brandy, whose sister was one such girl ten years ago, refused to give up trying to find out what happened to her sister.
Brandy moves to a new location and starts a new job. Then a little girl’s birthday party sleepover sets Brandy’s heart pounding as memories flood her mind. Then Brandy is contacted by a woman who may have information about Brandy’s sister, but Brandy never gets to talk to that woman.
As tension mounts, many characters are introduced at a fairly quick pace making it a bit difficult to keep track of who’s who. However, the main characters are clear and following them to find Brandy’s sister is a must.
Linda Glaz knows how to spin a suspenseful yarn, and she even threw in a very unexpected twist that I never saw coming. I really enjoyed this story and highly recommend it to anyone who likes a good thriller and doesn’t mind losing some sleep to get to the end.
A Writer’s Lament
by Kelly F. Barr
Characters and ideas crowd my mind
In numbers enough to fill many books.
My psyche races, my heart thuds.
But my fingers on the keyboard fall behind.
People in my head won’t leave me alone
Constantly nudging me to peck at the keys.
Their loves, their struggles, their adventures
They want made known.
If only there were enough hours to flesh them out.
My jotted notes on endless scraps of paper
Do nothing to quiet them.
“Write faster,” they shout.
My forehead breaks out in a sweat
Through each day filled with endless tasks
My brain creates scene after scene.
Two years and not a single novel finished yet.
Blood pulses to my brain
Pushing to find the proper words
In sequence without repetition,
While my heart hopes this work is not in vain.
I know this isn’t my normal Friday post. I shall return to my poetry next Friday, but I thought you might like to know a little about my absence. I’m sorry I’ve been absent from this blog for a while, but sometimes life throws things my way that require my time and energy in other places. I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and that your 2018 has begun with joy.
There are several reasons for my recent absence here: 1) my husband and I were working on cleaning out a spare room in our house to make a space for me to go to write without distraction and interruption:
Our house is small and doesn’t have a lot of storage space, hence the freezer and cupboard and a few other items that share my space, but I LOVE the bookshelves filled with books and the open floor space! I’m so happy to have this wonderful place to go and let my imagination run free.
The other reason for my absence was due to the fact that my oldest son had jaw surgery for an overbite just four days before Christmas. The first four days were the worst, but even now he is limited on what he can eat, so I have been taking care of him and making sure he still gets nutritious items.
Now, however, both our older boys will be returning to college and bible school, respectively, in just a few days and it will be just my husband, our youngest son and I in the house. Our youngest and I will return to homeschooling, and I will return to my writing and blogging. I hope you will continue to follow me on this journey.
It’s been a while since I posted anything truly writing related, and I experienced something recently that really got me thinking about the importance of your voice in your writing.
Since each of us is unique, it is important that we use our own unique voice in our writing. That is what will define our writing as our own. Therefore, it is important to develop and use your voice in your writing. It is also important not to let anyone change your voice, not even your editor or publisher.
Yes, an editor and publisher know what works and what doesn’t in stories, and they know what’s selling. They may require edits, revisions and rewrites which will improve your overall story, your characters, or your plot. But be sure you understand what “voice” is, and don’t let them change your “voice”, for that is what makes your story uniquely yours.
Do you have a favorite author? If you were to read something by that author that didn’t identify the author, would you still recognize that it was written by that author? Of course you would. That is the author’s voice. It is everything that makes that author’s work unique to that author in such a way that his/her readers recognize it.
You can find lots of wonderful, helpful information that explains “voice”, both the author’s voice and the character’s voice simply by Googling “Voice in Literature”. I don’t want to get into a lot of the technical aspects of “voice”. That’s not what this post is about.
This post is about encouraging you to find, strengthen, and use your voice in your writing, and to encourage you to stand strong and not let ANYONE change your voice–that part of your writing that makes it uniquely yours.
Here is what I have recently experienced that has taught me the importance of my voice. One of my recent Friday posts of a poem was read by a friend/fellow writer who thought my poem was too “wordy” and wanted it to have more “imagery”.
Now, granted, I know that painting mental pictures with good, brief description is something I need to continue to work on in my writing. However, I do not claim nor aspire to be a poet. My poetry is something I just enjoy dabbling in and sharing here, and if you like it, that’s fine, and if you don’t like it, that’s fine too.
So, anyway, my friend/fellow writer rewrote my poem to take out what this person felt were my un-needed words to make the imagery stronger. Then this person read her rewritten version of my poem to me. It was quite nice, but as I listened I realized that it didn’t sound anything like me, but it did, indeed, sound like this friend/fellow writer.
I understand this friend/fellow writer was simply trying to be helpful, and I am always open to feedback and suggestions on my writing, and I was not offended or angry in any way. As a matter of fact, I often seek this friend’s opinion of my writing out and appreciate this friend’s feedback, and I always consider this friend’s words/suggestions. But as the rewritten version of my poem was read, I just thought “that wasn’t my voice”, so even though the friend said, “It’s still your poem”, it didn’t feel like my poem, and it didn’t sound like my poem because it had lost my “voice”.
That is why I say, always be open and willing to hear advice and gentle criticism of your writing, but be sure your writing NEVER LOSES YOUR VOICE!