Something to think about: “When you write a story, you’re telling yourself the story. When you rewrite, your main job is taking out all the things …WRITER’S WORKSHOP I, Week 2, Batting Practice
US Major League Baseball season has been postponed due to the COVID-19, but tomorrow at the godoggocafe.com, we will step up to batting practice with our first drafts in hand. Join me in the Writer’s Workshop for some friendly encouragement, an editorial challenge, and few words from Stephen King. Even if you don’t have a prompt draft, feel free to hop in to the discussion. Participation is welcome at any time.
Stay healthy everyone!
I am going to be hosting a weekly Writer’s Workshop over at the Go Dog Go Café on Saturdays, beginning March 7th. Please join me there for a fun, challenging opportunity to stretch your writing skills in the Café’s warm, friendly environment. I love the group at GDG! I’m thrilled to be joining them, especially in a format that explores the power of language in storytelling.
The Writer’s Workshop will stick with a single prompt response each month, limited to 150-300 words, and involve several editing challenges to the same response designed to sharpen prose. The schedule is as follows:
Week 1: The Fastball
This week, I will introduce some element of good prose and/or share encouraging words from favorite authors. Then, I will pitch the Fastball prompt. Participants can link their responses in the comments section, and I will share them the following week.
Week 2: Batting Practice
This week, I will continue the discussion and share the responses from Week 1’s Fastball.
The challenge to participants this week will be to cut at least 10% of words from their response in week 1, tighten their prose. The 10% cut comes from Stephen King’s On Writing, one of several writing books that you will hear me refer to on occasion. The cut might seem arbitrary, but it forces concision and encourages the use of powerful language.
Week 3: Curveball Challenge
And just when you think you mastered it…
This week, I will throw a curveball, a specific challenge designed to improve prose, some element to be added to the response from the Batting Practice in Week 2. We will use this challenge to explore some of the grammatical tools that can be used to create tension and drama on the sentence level in our writing.
I will also show how I handled the 10% cut from Week 2 (including my word counts) and provide links to the Week 2 responses of participants.
Week 4: Players at the Plate
I will sum up the month’s activities, show how I handled Week 3’s Curveball Challenge, and link to all the other participants’ rewrites. Writing is hard work. You can expect a lot of encouragement and praise from me along the way.
I hope you will pull up a chair in the Go Dog Go Café and join me for the Writer’s Workshop. Visit the Go Dog Go Café to learn more.
The sun travels along the arch of a low horizon—the short path
of a winter day
when cold air aches
pressing into our bones
Later, ice-glazed tree limbs crackle
in the midnight winds
heard outside our shut-tight glass
Snow falls, covering
paths, dead leaves, and seeds
In the frigid morning, the birds seek
a meal to sustain them
They gather on our deck
where the filled feeder hangs like a beacon
juncos, chickadees, nuthatches, titmice
jostle with their larger brethren
the hairy woodpeckers with their zebra-striped backs
and the hungry cardinals,
their flaming feathers, a florescent highlighter against the snow,
marking the places where the seed falls
They write their stories in footprints as we watch them:
the male cardinals wait while their partners eat their fill,
then battle with each other for the choicest remains
Chivalrous? or cavalier?
Crimson heroes to their girls
Red villains to each other
Can a man be both things?
Do the history books tell?
For the cardinals, the chronicle of this winter journey
will melt, the empty seed shells scattered
into fresh earth and green grass
But we will remember both hero and villain,
their footprints transcribed in letters
of our poems and prose
©2020 Tanya Cliff
The Legend of the Lumenstones received perfect ratings across all categories in the Writer’s Digest Self-Published book competition for 2018.
“You’ve created a world and set of characters that ranks up there with the great quest novels like The Lord of the Rings and even Harry Potter. I enjoyed your succinct writing style that brought all this to life without overdoing the descriptions. I felt I was right alongside Mattoby and his motley crew as they go in search of the lumenstones. I loved the adventures they go through. I like how you made your characters believable and not one dimensional. You gave them each distinct personalities that weren’t stereotypical. Your pacing was wonderful – I had to keep turning the pages to find out what happens next. Great fantasy fiction.” – Judge, 25th Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards.
Ratings scaled from 0 to 5, with 5 considered “outstanding”:
Structure, Organization, and Pacing: 5
Spelling, Punctuation, and Grammar: 5
Production Quality and Cover Design: 5
Plot and Story Appeal: 5
Character Appeal and Development: 5
Voice and Writing Style: 5
🎄Looking for a Christmas present for the book lovers on your list?🎄
The Legend of the Lumenstones
now available in one epic volume in eBook and paperback
Words and Photography ©2018 Tanya Cliff ~ to contact me
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The body of the earth does not belong to me; my body belongs to it. The debate about Elizabeth Warren and her “native heritage” is a painful one, and it reminds me that the ethnic composition of a person’s DNA means little. What we do with our lives matters. I am 100% human. So what? If I spend my days lusting in the halls of materialism gone mad, than my “humanity” will amount to little but a drop in the cesspool of avarice that covers this earth I love like a mosquito-infested swamp and my 100% will choke off the fertile ground and pollute the clean waters that nurture all living things.
I thought about having my DNA tested. While I know that a large percentage of my ancestors came from Europe, most of them following the French-Indian fur trade down the Mississippi River from Canada, large gaps and lots of questions remain about my heritage. So what? Finding out that I had a percentage of Native American DNA or that I had an African Great Great Greatsomeone who was brought to this land in chains would not make me a res kid or child raised in the Chicago projects. It would not give me the right to claim a place at a table built on cultural identity and suffering where I have never eaten. I already care about my Native and African brothers and sisters with all 100% of my humanity. I want to see respect and reparation generously given to those on whose land and on whose backs this country has thrived, and I will continue to work toward that. We have a long, long way to go.
I want to see the land respected and repaired. I grew up wandering the woods around my home, a child of the wind who whispered his secrets in my ears, the trees who taught me to tap deeply into the ground and patiently stand tall, and the great rivers who taught me respect and awe. I didn’t grow up with material wealth, but I had the richest of playgrounds and a lavish education. Nature never asked about my DNA. She captured my attention and inspired my imagination without questioning what percentage of me was hers. I am 100% human. The body of the earth was not born of me; I was born of it.
Words and Photography ©2018 Tanya Cliff ~ to contact me
Entry posted in short stories.
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Among the blogs and websites I follow myself, I have a few authors on my weekly reading list. For Katherin E. Garland I wrote my first review on my website in Patty-style as I like to call it, because I am not an official reviewer Last year, I also wrote two reviews for Richard M. Ankers and one for another talented writer Tanya Cliff.
Since then, Tanya has finished the third book of her series and its high time I share with you my thoughts on it. The review regarding the first two parts you can read HERE (click)
I don’t like cliffhangers, therefore, normally, I try to stay away from series. Once hooked on a story however, I am apparently an addictive person and will watch or read everything. Having read parts one and two, I just had to read the next part.
My thoughts on the third book:
The author takes the heroes of the story on an adventurous journey and her writing style will make you laugh, cry, fear together with the characters. I am still debating whether I want to be a Gat or a Lightbearer, I surely hope I will never turn into a werewolf.
A while ago I found a little white round stone and I couldn’t help wondering if it could be a Lumenstone. If that is good or evil, you really have to read the book(s) for yourself
Like I wrote in the previous review: Tanya created wonderful different personalities, living in a world easy to imagine and an intriguing story-line.
And if that isn’t enough, she also created thrilling twists in a vivid way, hence the easiness to lose yourself in this imaginary world.
Dear Tanya, once again, many thanks for your gift: The book itself and your willingness to share your talent with us readers and publish your pieces of art. The signed copy was one of my favorite birthday gifts this year
Visit this talented writer and Beautiful Soul at her website, on which you can find of course all information to order The Legends, but also beautiful other pieces of art as poetry and photographs.
My note: Thank you, Patty! This made my day! You can read the review for Legends here
and check out Patty’s lovely blog here.