Monthly Archives: December 2012

Merry Christmas

To every writer and aspiring writer

Whatever your age
Whatever your faith
Wherever you are

I wish you the very best in life

In love
In self
In 2013

But most of all, may your tree be jam-packed with books!

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Children of Connecticut (lyrics)

As a parent, I was shocked by the killing spree in Connecticut last week. My first thought was, “Oh my God, whatever would I do if that happened at my kids’ school?”

For Wordy Wednesday, I was moved to write the lyrics below. I had hoped Chantalyne would sing them for you. She said she wanted to, but each time she said so, she set aside the lyrics.

Normally this would be where I would give her a good nudge, to help tip the scales in a pre-teen’s constant struggle between motivation and laziness. But given the delicate subject matter, I decided to abstain this time.

Therefore, I present you the lyrics of Children of Connecticut today without vocal accompaniment.

Need lyrics written?  Click here.

Lyrics to Children of Connecticut

Children of Connecticut
My heart goes out to you
I know that I can never feel
The things you’re going through

The hurt, the pain
The doubt, the fears
The shock, the strain
The eyes filling up with tears…
[pause]

Children of Connecticut
My heart goes out to you
I’m sending you long distance love
It’s all that I can do

Killer in Connecticut
My mind is bent on you
There is no way to understand
What you were going through

You took a gun
Up off the shelf
Shot everyone
And then you shot yourself…
[pause]

Killer in Connecticut
My mind is bent on you
What makes a person lose his head
And do the things you do?

People of the Planet Earth
What are we going to do
Another crazy killer strikes
And leaves us feeling blue

It’s not the first
Won’t be the last
Not quite the worst
Wish this was all long past…
[pause]

People of the Planet Earth
What are we going to do
To save our kids from killing sprees
After all that we’ve been through

Victims of Connecticut
My prayers go out to you
Your lives were cut way too short
There was nothing you could do

You learned, you played
You laughed you cried
You slept, you ate
You lived, and then you died…
[pause]

Victims of Connecticut
My prayers go out to you
May your souls rest in peace
May God’s love be with you

(c) David Leonhardt
All rights reserved.

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Writing assignment – how to describe hair

If you ask the average person how to describe hair, they might mention color and length.

But a writer has to be able to do so much more, because how you describe hair sets the tone for how people see a character.  This applies equally to fiction, biography an any other book (or blog post or article) that involves storytelling.

 

TIP:  Pick up our free cheat sheet to help describe your characters.

 

When you read that a character has long hair, you right away assume that this is a free spirit, perhaps laid back, somebody who is not in authority.  When you hear a man has short hair, you assume that the person is ambitious, someone in authority or a self-disciplined person.

When you read that a lady has long, blonde hair, you assume the lay is fun-loving, probably popular and perhaps not much of a thinker.  “Blondes have more fun” and “dumb blonde jokes” might seem like  outdated stereotypes, but people still make assumptions in line with those old clichés.

Hair is more than color and length

Pop quiz:  What does the hair in this photo tell you about this unfortunate man?

Answer: It tells you that I had spent way too much time ripping apart lathe and plaster walls.  But demolition is fun, so it wasn’t all that bad.

But there is more to hair than color and length.  Consider texture.  Hair could be rough or smooth or shiny.  Or slicked back with gel. It could be frizzy or curly or straight.

What about smell? Yes, smell.  Most often smell is mentioned in steamy romance novels…

He grew dizzy from the soft fragrance of her hair, like lavender carried on a fresh morning breeze,  enveloping his face, stunning his senses…

OK, so now you know why I leave the steamy romance novels to other ghostwriters on our team, but you get the idea. The smell of a person’s hair sets the tone for what the person is like, and even where that person has been.  The arsonist can change his clothes, but isn’t that a slight smell of gasoline I smell in his hair?  Or smoke?

So pay more than passing garage door broken boca raton to a character’s hair when describing the person.  You don’t have to say that Jimmy is an auto mechanic, you just have to say…

Jimmy’s hair was slicked back, just as if he had combed oil into it.  Oil?  No, the smell was not that of oil, but of automotive grease.  There is a difference.  Maybe the scent was coming from his hair.  Or maybe it was coming from his clothes.  Or perhaps it was just a part of him, so basic an element that his very skin smelled of it.

Class assignment:  Jenny is a 35 year old, recently divorced, a nature-lover and a bit of a hermit.  How would you introduce her to your readers, using her hair to do so?  Please feel free to write in the comments below.

 

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This book is full of sh*t

What’s in a title?

In this case…poo!

No, honestly. A poo cookbook. Actually, “Poo” is the nickname of Bangkok chef Saiyuud Diwong, and in Thai, it means “crab”, not “crap”.

“Cooking with Poo” is either pure marketing genius, since the book has been talked about (even becoming a trending topic on Twitter) or a dead flop, because all the marketing in the world won’t get me to buy a cookbook that makes me feel queasy.

So what do you think? Marketing genius? Or gross-out flop?

 

What do you think about “Cooking with Poo”?
Marketing genius
Gross-out flop

Create your own poll

For a different take on the issue, perhaps this might be of interest…

 
…and I rolex hope those are chocolate chips, and not what I think they are.

 

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