The Times They Are A Changin’

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Words are powerful.

Bob Dylan, and other folk music prophets wrote/write what the eye of a seeker sees and what a hungry soul feels. Songs, poetry and all great stories are prophetic and deeply moving when they echo the past or are in tune with the times. It just feels like a great day to share Bob Dylan’s words in the midst of these changing times….

The Times They Are A Changing

Song by Bob Dylan & The Band Lyrics (you can read, and then listen below)

Come gather ’round, people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You’ll be drenched to the bone
If your time to you is worth savin’
And you better start swimmin’
Or you’ll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin’

Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won’t come again
And don’t speak too soon
For the wheel’s still in spin
And there’s no tellin’ who
That it’s namin’
For the loser now
Will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin’

Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don’t stand in the doorway
Don’t block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
The battle outside ragin’
Will soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin’

Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the land
And don’t criticize
What you can’t understand
Your sons and your daughters
Are beyond your command
Your old road is rapidly agin’
Please get out of the new one
If you can’t lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin’

The line it is drawn
The curse it is cast
The slow one now
Will later be fast
As the present now
Will later be past
The order is rapidly fadin’
And the first one now
Will later be last
For the times they are a-changin’

Source: LyricFindSongwriters: Bob Dylan

Authors & Social Media – My Number One Tip

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Over the last three weeks I have had numerous conversations about authors and social media. At the University of Washington I had the opportunity to speak to a senior fiction writing class of aspiring writers, and they were surprised when I said to start building their platform NOW, before they are published.

Why? Author platform is what agents and publishers are looking for. As Jane Friedman explains “Author platform is one of the most difficult concepts to explain, partly because everyone defines it a little differently. But by far the easiest explanation is: an ability to sell books because of who you are or who you can reach.”

I like to share simple ways that I’ve learned about how to start building and or enhancing your author platform through Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and more. Anyway, it’s always great (for an instructor) when you see the light bulbs go on in the faces of your audience, as I did at the U of W a couple of weeks ago. Author platform does not have to mean Kardashian like followers, but at least a presence on social media via whatever outlets (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.) you feel comfortable with. And myNUMBER ONE TIP for social media success is; pick the one that you can envision yourself doing, possibly even enjoying, because if you don’t enjoy it you will fail. If you enjoy it you have a much greater chance of social media success.

I also spoke with Edmonds Community College this week about doing a summer workshop on this evergreen yet always changing, topic. I’ll post that date once it is confirmed.

If you’d like to hear a bit about my thoughts on writing and marketing you can listen to this interview I did yesterday with radio talk show hosts, Stone Payton and Lee Kantor on Business Writers Radio. And I must say, after doing several radio talk shows these gentlemen are standout pros – GREAT hosts. I enjoyed chatting with them and hope to again.  

Why We Write the Stories We Write

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It’s commonly accepted that Nazi Germany’s concentration camps were/are the epicenter of human sorrow and suffering as a result of human against human brutality. These places stand as tributes to the human race’s capability when fear leads to either blind faith in religion or government, or when vile rhetoric becomes our prime cheerleader. They are living tombstones honoring, not just the victims, but also the sins of those who shot innocent people with wild glee, locked gas chamber doors against the screams of their victims, or, perhaps more inexcusably, closed their eyes to grievous inhumanity. Or worse yet, today in 2017, those who deny the holocaust ever happened. The politics of today have everything to do with why I’m writing my next novel, Garden of Lies, not that it’s about politics specifically, but because it puts a face on a victim of the last time people endorsed fear and anger as their guide and allowed them to justify releasing the largest gathering of sociopaths ever – in Nazi uniforms – on an entire population.                                       That’s my two-bits, now back to storytelling…
Using imagery in storytelling means constantly looking for images, old photos that will help me make the world I am creating (WWII concentration camps, 1960 Portland Oregon, and 1930’s Egypt) come to life in my head and ultimately in a reader’s mind. I collect images and information for my research and save it on my Pinterest board. For example, this image helps me envision what my main protagonist, Esmée sees in her dreams – memories of Auschwitz – and the ghosts who haunt her. Visit my Pinterest board to see the world I’m creating. Please follow my board if interested.                                                         Though I could not find (via Google image search) the source of this photo, I have linked it to the info I did find. http://www.mindyhalleck.com

If you liked this TWEET it out! Thanks. 

Objects in Story-telling

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This is an image of an Ancient Egyptian Shabti, the sort of idol the main protagonist in my WIP (work in progress) Garden of Lies, collects. Why? These objects connect her to her childhood and more importantly to her parents whom she tragically lost in the Holocaust. The object reminds her of traveling Egypt with her archeologist parents, studying burial rituals and so forth – now she is trapped in a dance of death and mourning.

In her mind these objects keep her connected to her departed. Objects in storytelling can be a vital part of the plot.

Please visit my Pinterest page to see other objects and story-telling images for my next novel. 

Shabti Dolls: The Workforce in the Afterlife

Glossary of Egyptian Artifacts 

A Writer’s Dreams

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tablet-266Today what’s on my mind is achieving dreams, despite all the mud and muck of politics right now. And sometimes to position myself mentally I envision a dream come true from my past, and thankfully for me there are so many. This picture is of me sitting in a cafe in the Piazza di San Giovanni, the plaza located directly in front of the Duomo in Florence Italy, writing. I had dreamed of this place where famous artists and scribes of the ages gathered, walked, philosophized and created, since I was 16 years old. It took a while (I’m a bit past 16), but I got there. It was such a happy day. So while my hubby climbed the gazillion stairs of the Domo I had that independant day of which I dreamed so long ago: I walked into a posh cafe, and with my bumbling attempt at speaking Italian I ordered an espresso and sat outside and was mesmerized by the world. Just being there, finally, was pure magic. I started to write about when I originally had the dream of being their. The piece I wrote that day was a memoir piece and is being saved for when I do finally write that memoir. What memory from your own past inspires you? Sit down and revisit that, then start writing.