Monday, October 29, 2012
Saturday, October 27, 2012
Lady Serenity chats with author Fabiola Joseph
Authors Showcase 10/29 by Lady Serenity | Blog Talk Radio
Authors Showcase 10/29 by Lady Serenity | Blog Talk Radio
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Tune in and enjoy a Mellow View To All that We Do
Musical Inspirations 12/21 by Lady Serenity | Blog Talk Radio
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Monday, September 10, 2012
Listen to a past broadcast and share the gift of knowledge with my guest and literary powerhouse Ella Curry
Re-broadcast - With Literary Powerhouse Ella Curry 09/10 by Lady Serenity | Blog Talk Radio
Re-broadcast - With Literary Powerhouse Ella Curry 09/10 by Lady Serenity | Blog Talk Radio
Monday, July 2, 2012
Thursday, June 28, 2012
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Monday, June 25, 2012
Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Aspiring & seasoned writers, this series will example ways to bring your characters to life.
Building Colorful Characters — the Literary Bones of a Story, Part 1
Perhaps if humankind weren’t so complex we wouldn’t need the doings—or undoings—of psychologists and psychiatrists, but just as our world continues to evolve, so do the characteristics and personalities of mankind. Therefore, writers have to continuously infuse their characters with the same stains that paint ordinary people in order to create believable fictional characters.
In our continuing pursuit to raise our fiction-folks to the level of realistic beings, we meet the colorful character “ Cal ” on a day that could be today and a place that’s near everyone …
The walk from the elevator to his office had Cal wheezing. The receptionist said, “Good morning, Mr. Ashton.” She didn’t look up from her computer screen. Her voice was colorless. The way she said “Mr. Ashton” always grated on his nerves. No doubt she’d be jumping up with an ingratiating smile for one of the consultants who worked with the company’s clients. The clients dealt only with the personable, attractive consultants and didn’t realize that it was the squints like Cal that actually did the work. But the receptionist knew. She had some nerve snubbing him. He was ten times as smart as she was and made a lot more money.
Cal smoothed his hair from his forehead and moved past the young woman into the narrow corridor that ran to the tech department, a huge room intersected with numerous cubicles creating a maze.
“Hey, Stanley ,” Cal called through an opening he passed. A grunt was his only reply from the darkened room. Stanley was already deep into his codes and programs. He probably wouldn’t emerge for hours.
Some of the other techs greeted Cal , but he gave brusque responses. Cal got impatient talking with any of them. A bunch of brownnoses. None of them had anywhere near his IQ. He and Stanley were the highest-level programmers in the company. Cal sometimes wondered about Stanley ’s IQ but had never asked. Not that it was important.
Cal went into his cubicle, the biggest in the section. Dropping his briefcase on the desk, he eased his bulk into the big armchair behind the desk with a relieved groan. A trickle of sweat trailed down his temple. Yeah, he needed to lose some weight. His doctor nagged him about it all the time. Cal was tired of the man’s obnoxious, condescending manner. He’d lose weight when he was good and ready. It wasn’t like he was committing a crime. He just liked to eat.
Cal cast a furtive look at the opening of his cubicle to make sure no one was nearby. Then he popped the snaps on the briefcase. Inside was a large, foil-wrapped plate. Yeah, breakfast. The scent of his mom’s sausage and potato and egg scramble drifted up to his nostrils with sensual enticement. For the first time since he’d left home this morning, a smile curved Cal ’s lips.
This author has painted a clear, brain-thumping description. Your memory draws you a familiar picture of a male who enters an office environment, the people he interacts with, and the way he probably looks and feels. You taste the atmosphere.
Here’s who and what I see: an overweight, late-30ish white male wearing a white shirt and black tie that’s tucked into a pair of black pants that supports a growing gut. This character trudged into the office with a black briefcase stiffly by his side: the picture of an unhappy, arrogant, childlike, sweaty male who still lives at home with his mother and is still very pampered by her. This character lacks a social life so he throws himself into his work. He wants desperately to be liked, but feels snubbed by those he knows isn’t as smart as he. His hurt feelings are soothed by the props of food that he often indulges in, even against medical advice. For him a day begins, extends, and ends with the comfort of food and work.
How about you, what do you see? Readers, can you hear the character’s body language? Writers, does the character’s actions rhyme with his depicted personality? There is certainly room for conflict as this story builds with the way Cal and his co-workers perceive each other. Do you think Cal is in competition with Stanley , with whom he identifies and against whom he secretly compares his abilities? Also, how colorful would Cal ’s attitude become if his coveted breakfast didn’t agree with his agitated system, or if he receives numerous unwanted interruptions? All these imaginative projections derive from a few clear paragraphs that nudge your curiosity. This only happens when the characters remind us of people we already know or if the writer has shaped our vision to picture and identify with them.
This scenario is the perfect example of a believable character and “Show, Don’t Tell.” We’ve extended our probe into:
Personality/Identity—depicting a character’s traits and psyche
Body types—subtle, physical descriptions
1. Body language
These important elements were demonstrated when:
1. We were shown the character’s personality through learning Cal felt smarter than all his co-workers and shunned at the same time.
2. Picturing Cal “ease his bulk” into the big armchair behind the desk with a relieved groan gave vision to his body type.
3. Cal ’s wheezing—body language—depicted a possible medical problem brought on also perhaps by excess weight, lack of exercise, or respiratory problems.
4. The character’s brusque—or abrupt—responses and feeling that his co-workers were “A bunch of brownnoses” and believing his doctor was obnoxious with a condescending manner because of his medical advice indicated arrogance.
5. We learn Cal knows his eating habits are wrong and feels guilt when the author tells us that he “cast a furtive look at the opening of his cubicle to make sure no one was nearby.”
Like our guest character Cal , don’t we all do things that seem of no significance but actually make us unique and complex? When writers touch a familiar place in us, show us ourselves in others, we continue to turn the pages of the journey we have become engrossed in.
Drop me a line or our guest author and leave your comments and suggestions about what we’ve discussed so far.
Our guest contributor this month is seasoned author Andrea Jackson, also known as “The Paperback Diva.” She is the contributor to two anthologies, a short story writer, and author of three books with Who’s That Lady? being her latest work. Contact Andrea at: http://deck4.com/paperbackdiva/index.html
Wordsmiths, feel free to use Cal in any of your projects; he’s a freelance character, as will be all the characters born here.
I hope now you’re all feeling stamped by a few more traits of a memorable and believable fictional personality.
Pens up! to building colorful characters the write way.
Monday, April 16, 2012
Friday, April 13, 2012
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Monday, April 9, 2012
Monday, April 2, 2012
Friday, March 30, 2012
7 Ways To Get Your Parent Or An Adult To Listen To You
by author Rachel Berry
Parents, guardians and teachers please share this article with a tweem or teen in your life.
In the book A Slip In The Right Direction by author Rachel Berry the main character 14-year-old Clifton Henderson aka Slip uses what he calls Slip-o-logy to get his way. Here’s a little slip-o-logy you can use to make sure you can communicate effectively with an adult or parent:
1. Since workings adults usually tend to be tired after dinner and right before bed, it’s possible that when holding a conversation with them or wanting to be heard about a problem or your day they’re not at their highest capacity for listening. Perhaps it would be best if you’d let them know first that you need to talk to them and ask when would be the best time to have their complete attention. As long as it’s not an emergency, setting a day and time to be heard could work in your favor, as adults like to keep their promises. Keep in mind however, that just like you parents and adults have a lot going on in their life and sometimes good intentions turn into bad timing. Allow for a few changes when needed. This proves you’re growing up and shows the adult or parent that you love you understand that life happens.
If being heard is an immediate situation, for whatever reason, let the adult or parent know that you need them to hear you out now and that if it wasn’t an emergency you’d wait until another time. Respectfully ask to be allowed to finish your thoughts first before they cut in or offer advice. Take a minute to focus on what it is you need and want to say so that you don’t take up any unnecessary time or lose your train-of-thought. Getting right to the point will relieve your stress too and you’ll usually feel better once it’s off your chest.
2. Make sure that when you approach your parent or an adult to talk that you are always respectful, remember your manners. Grown-ups are turned off by an attitude or someone having a smart mouth. If you’re angry about something calm down first as much as possible before you try to speak, this will allow you to express yourself better and give you a better chance at being heard. You are entitled to your feelings and opinions but self-control is a big part of growing up and coming-of-age.
3. Make sure that when you approach your parent or an adult to talk that you do it in a place with no distractions. Always wait until company leaves before approaching your parent or an adult to talk. Even if your best friend is over, it’s best to wait until they leave. Grown-ups like privacy too. A television playing or music on can distract both of you also. Try not to interrupt your parent or the adult if you know their watching their favorite program or listening to their favorite song. Remember being considerate of others is also a big part of growing up.
If you need to speak to them during these times let them know that you have something very important for him or her to hear as soon as the show or song goes off. Most times a parent or adult will be so concerned by what you want they’ll turn of the distraction right away, then, the opportunity to speak your mind is yours. After all, parents and concerned adults really do want to hear you out and know what’s on your mind.
4. When people are in pain, angry, stressed, or depressed they are not at their best and their listening ears are not on. If you encounter this situation when you need to be heard by your parent or an adult, find out first if you can be of any aid in making them feel better. Sometimes grown-ups need attention and some TLC too. A few minutes of your time listening to them could lead to them calming down, you being of help to someone else, and perhaps getting their undivided attention later because of your unselfish consideration. Helping someone else always pays off big time!
5. Besides being heard, nothing else feels better than being able to express exactly what your thoughts are. Write down your thoughts before you approach your parent or the adult you need to talk to. Having a clear idea of what you need and want to say helps you better express yourself and gets your thoughts relayed. Sometimes you’ll even find that just writing your thoughts down and looking them over can either help solve your situation or sometimes help you realize things aren’t as urgent or as bad as they seem. At any rate feel comfortable taking your notes with you when you approach your parent or adult you wish to speak with, this way you don’t forget anything you need to say or say anything you haven’t thought out at first.
Have you ever thought about keeping a journal? It’s a good way to keep track of your thoughts and feelings.
6. When is the last time you told your parent or the special adult in your life how you feel about them? It’s never corny or not cool to tell someone you care about how you feel. In fact, it’s just the opposite. Life isn’t promised to any of us no matter how young or old we are. Make each day the best day in your life and that of someone you love by telling them. Most times parents and adults need and want to hear your feelings about them and it makes them happy when you do. And guess what? When they’re happy they’re more open to hearing you express yourself about things on your mind.
7. Here’s an idea, how about inviting your parent or the adult in your life on a date? Spending time together and doing something you both like and enjoy not only allows you to get to know each better but parents and adults love it when you want to spend time with them. Adults feel neglected too sometimes and often they don’t know how to approach you to tell you so. Never take it for granted that a parent or adult in your life already knows, or should know what’s going on in your thoughts or in your life outside of home for that matter.
In the story A Slip In The Right Direction Slip’s parents knew that the gangs existed in their hometown but they didn’t really know how much he feared being around them and how much he came in contact with them at school and in the streets. Also, once Slip and his dad started to spend more time together, his father learned to listen to him more. This made Slip feel good and he realized that just like him his parents were imperfect too.
Also, it’s a known fact and an unfortunate reality that not all youth have an adult or parent willing to listen to them even when they try the above mentioned tips. If this is your case, don’t be discouraged.
If you take time to think about it perhaps there’s another positive adult such as a relative, neighbor, teacher, pastor, parent of a friend, or family friend that you feel comfortable talking to. Never give up looking for your support system and remember to lend a listening ear to someone younger than you. Little people need love too. I’m always open to hearing from you, so drop me a line at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Remember if you have some ideas that have worked for you it’s slip-tas-tic that you share your thoughts with other Clifton Henderson fans.
So, what other things do you feel you can do to get your parent or an adult to listen to you? What is it that you really need to talk about, and with whom do you need to discuss it with? Use a little slip-o-logy and go for it!
» Meet author Rachel Berry
Rachel Berry is a word-fairy that enjoys the craft of words that create and inspire life and people. As an author & poet Rachel feels blessed to have the creative opportunity of expression. Berry is also a motivational speaker, mentor, community leader, independent book publisher, entrepreneur, columnist for SORMAG, and host of From The Heart & Soul show on Blog Talk Radio.
She currently resides in Virginia with her husband, adult children, grandchildren, and parents. Rachel puts family first and enjoys life in Virginia. When she's not writing, she also enjoys reading, dining out, traveling, and watching movies. She accredits her gain in blessings and achievements to her relationship and guidance from her creator, association with great women, positive family members, loyal friends, the upbringing of an amazing woman-her mother, and the support and love of her husband and children.
Connect with Rachel Berry, CEO Kimathi Enterprises & Publishing Company