Speaking of the Drum Solo

Ann Minnett MWW photo

By Ann Minnett

My own writing has affected the way I read novels. I now notice how other authors craft sentences, use dialogue to move the story along or flaunt literary norms. (No punctuation? No problem!) Admittedly, the sparse prose of Cormac McCarthy or Kent 51-m2i8kiil-_sx322_bo1204203200_Haruf appeals to me. A friend once said, “Each simple sentence in All the Pretty Horses is like a sunset.” I agree.

Don’t give me the seven-minute drum solo when a riff will do.

I just read a new novel by a bestselling author. Her first novel sold a million copies, and critics predict this second book will fare as well. The novel’s story gripped my heart. The complex characters came alive for me on the page. I cared about them and eagerly read through to the end.

I did not read every word.

Within the first few pages I began skipping chunks of backstory, fussy details, and rabbit trail asides. Page-long paragraphs revealed the author’s skill to the point of, dare I say it, showing off. As a reader, I don’t appreciate the author’s shout, “Look at me.”

I read those long paragraphs using a shallow, not too sophisticated strategy:
~ read the first sentence in the paragraph
~ skimmed the middle
~ slowed to catch a thought or the gist at the end of the paragraph

I don’t think I missed much with this approach. If anything, the strategy saved me from frustration and allowed me to finish the book to see what happened.

Can you relate, or do you think I’ve succumbed to the Twitter-ization of literature? When do you notice your attention drifting or bogging down while reading a novel? When do you skip to the next good part? When do you stop reading at all? I’m curious to hear what readers think.

Fifteen Years of Lies FINAL EBOOK COVER Check out my latest novel, Fifteen Years of Lies, guaranteed not to bore you with long, rambling paragraphs.

Happy Holidays, Everyone. And Happy Reading!

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Life Reflections

Even as I navigate the hustle and bustle of the holiday season,  I can’t ignore the niggling prick in the back of my mind that insists on reviewing the memories of things done and left undone this past year. Recollections of new friends found, old friends rediscovered, and loved ones gone, but never forgotten. It is a time for merriment, reflection, and laughter. In that spirit, I want to share a few observations of life that a friend sent me. The author is anonymous. Hope they bring a smile.

1. I live in my own little world, but it’s OK. Everyone knows me here.
2. I don’t do drugs. I find I get the same effect just by standing up really fast.
3. The most precious thing we have is life, yet it has absolutely no trade-in value.
4. If  life deals you lemons, make lemonade. If life deals  tomatoes, make Bloody
Marys.
5. Every day I beat my previous record of consecutive days I’ve stayed alive.
6. Marriage changes passion; suddenly you’re in bed with a relative.
7. I signed up for an exercise class and was told to wear loose fitting clothing. If I HAD any loose fitting clothing, I wouldn’t need the class!
8. Don’t argue with an idiot; people watching may not be able to tell the difference.
9. Brain cells come and brain cells go, but FAT cells live forever.
10. Snowmen fall from Heaven unassembled.
 
Thanks for stopping by and have a blessed holiday season.  ~~ Deborah
Shadows of Home will be FREE on Dec. 22-26, 2017    Breaking TWIG will be $.99    SOH ad teaser banner #1BT Banner Author Shout#1

December Book News

dec holidays

LESLIE BUDEWITZ:  ‘Tis the season for sharing books we love with people we love, right? I’ll be sharing mine at the annual Kalispell Art Walk Holiday Stroll, signing books at Montana Marie, a delightful shop on Main Street carrying work by dozens of local artists. (You may remember it as Think Local.) The Stroll is Friday, December 1, from 5-8 p.m. Come by and try a sip and bite of something delicious, and browse everything from candles to terrariums (terraria?), all locally made. And take home signed copies of my Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and Seattle Spice Shop books, all made for you in a little house in the big woods outside Bigfork!

Happy Holidays!

DEBORAH EPPERSON: The home of a Texas friend flooded during Hurricane Harvey. Debby lost almost everything, including her beloved books. After months of hard work work and many tears, Debby recently was able to move back home. But I think the Montana Women Writers would agree that a home without books is unthinkable. So several MWW authors stepped up and Debby will be getting two boxes of new books for Christmas. Thank you Betty, Marie, and Leslie!

In this time of giving, I am giving away Kindle eBook copies of  Shadows of Home from Dec. 22-26. Also, Breaking TWIG will be on sale for $0.99 Dec. 22-26, 2017.

Wishing you and yours a blessed holiday season.     ~ Deborah

SOH ad teaser banner #1BT Banner Author Shout#1

 

December Book news from Betty Kuffel 

I am excited to report Amazon Scout accepted my medical thriller Deadly Pyre submission to the contest for publication. Their acceptance came in yesterday!

<Approved!

Hello Betty Kuffel,

Your Kindle Scout submission has been approved for launch! Your campaign for Deadly Pyre will launch on December 8, 2017 12:00 AM EST and last for 30 days.

This will be the URL for my Kindle Scout campaign once it launches:
https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/UP3KDBM7PVVU

The Kindle Scout campaign for Deadly Pyre will launch on December 8, 2017 12:00 AM EST and end on January 7, 2018 12:00 AM EST!>

Please click on the link when it goes live, read the excerpt from my book and vote! This is sort of a Dancing with the Stars for authors. Votes for the book count in the final determination of a winner.

If you’re interested in the Scout contest, here’s a link to a blog post written by Debbie Burke, long time member of Authors of the Flathead whose thriller won a Scout publishing contract and is now available on Amazon.  Deb’s website: http://wp.me/p7O7QO-6A

JOIN MONTANA WOMEN WRITERS

& INVITE YOUR FRIENDS

to the

Holiday Tea and Book Sale

Downtown Columbia Falls at Business Locations

Saturday December 9th 1-3 P.M.

Montana Women Writers will be participating in a community event in Columbia Falls on Saturday December 9th. Authors will be at numerous businesses greeting shoppers. They will be selling books and serving tea with cookies.

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STATION 8

Phyllis Quatman

WALLFLOWER

Betty Kuffel and Patti Dean

TEA KETTLE CAFÉ

Nan Garrett

NORTH FORK PIZZA

Dina Woods

COLUMBIA FALLS LIBRARY

Marie Martin and Becky Palmquist

ODD FELLOWS COFFEE SHOP

Ina Albert

VAQUEROS (formerly Los Caporales)

Open- Need another author

BAD ROCK BOOKS

Karen Wills

FOR MORE INFORMATION CALL NAN MCKENZIE 406-892-0055