Wednesday, August 31, 2016

20 Ways to Make Your Character: Feel Loved

I was thinking of different things for writers that might be helpful.  This is the first of a list of ways to make your character... with an emotion or problem then have to solve.

So here goes.  Have their significant other...

  1. take them flowers
  2. give them a hug
  3. kiss them
  4. give them attention
  5. talk to them
  6. compliment them
  7. make them food
  8. chocolate, chocolate, chocolate
  9. spend time with them
  10. sit in front of a warm fireplace and sip hot chocolate with them
  11. take them to a great restaurant
  12. play board games with them
  13. take them on a surprise vacation
  14. go on a hay ride with them
  15. throw them a surprise party
  16. create memories and put it in a scrap book
  17. give them a home
  18. give them an instant family
  19. take them on a surprise vacation
  20. give them your time and show them you care

That's just for starters.  Can you think of any others?

Have a great day!
SweetTale Books

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Research: A Celebrant

When I wrote 'Death's Sidekick,' I learned a bit about the funeral industry.  For those of you in the United States (mostly), the story is about a celebrant.  Many other countries use celebrants more than in the U.S., so many of you may already know what a celebrant does.

A celebrant is a eulogist who celebrates the life of the deceased.  They talk about the person's funniest moments, memories of their life, and even their favorites (like color, food, or anything else).  The eulogy is very uplifting, and at times, hilarious.

My sister is a celebrant, so I've heard tons of stories over the years about how family members deal with death.  Everyone's different, but all of them seem to bond in some way with my sister, the celebrant.

As with any big gathering, there always seems to be an odd or unusual moment.  This also can happen at weddings.

So when I wrote my book, I thought about the most outlandish things my celebrant could encounter and went into detail about how it happened in her life.  It's hilarious, actually, in some ways.

When I die, I want people to laugh.  I want them to remember me as someone with a joke for every situation.

What about you?  Any thoughts?

Have a great day!
SweetTale Books

Monday, August 29, 2016

Meet the Angry Activist

I know someone who's an activist. Depending on how the wind's blowing, she's ready to fight whoever mentions anything against her activist standing.

Here's an example of what I'm talking about.  Let's say that the current activism is against anyone driving a car that guzzles gas.  She's the type who wouldn't get into that car for a trip, and would belittle the owner to tears on purpose.  She'd be mean to people at stores who drove that type of car, and let them know it.

She's also extremely angry.  I can't imagine anyone having that much anger in her soul that she can ever be happy.

Even so, she makes a great antagonist.  Can you imagine living with someone like this?  Speaking of conflict...and it's all unnecessary and self-imposed.  There's no reason for anyone to be that angry or try to control everyone else to believe as her activism of the day.  Why does she behave like this?  Anyone could guess, but I suspect she's bored.  LOL!

Great character, not a fun friend.  Gotta love it!

Have a great day!
SweetTale Books

Friday, August 26, 2016

Writing Acronyms on Twitter

I follow a lot of authors on Twitter.  Sometimes, they put hashtag and a bunch of letters.  I have no idea what they are, so I have to look them up.  Unfortunately, as soon as I do and see those letters again, I forget what they are.

So I'm starting a list of letters I notice.  When I'm done, I'll put it as a page on this blog so anyone can refer back to it.

Here goes:

#WIP:  Work in progress--what they author is working on right now
#IARTG:  Indie Author Retweet Group:  IARTG will retweet it
#IAN1:  Independent Author Network
#RRBC:  Rave Reviews Book Club
#SMM:  social media marketing
#KIDLIT:  Children's literature
#CR4U:  Clean Reads for You
#YA:  Young adult literature
#SNRTG:  social networking retweet group
#ASMSG:  authors' social medial support group
#histfic:  historical fiction
#amwriting:  a chat hashtag where you can join in at any time.  See AmWriting.Org
#amreading: What the tweeter is currently reading
#t4us:  a group of authors/tweeters who commit to retweet each other

Once I get more, I'll add them and put it on a page by itself.  Not easy to do, because they're not defined in any one place, but I have to figure it out.

Have a great day!
SweetTale Books

Reference:  #tagdef

Thursday, August 25, 2016

A Day to Yourself

Last Saturday was cold and rainy.  Couldn't mow and had to even turn off the air conditioning and opt for a jacket.  No kidding.  This is August, but welcome to Green Bay, WI.  Autumn can give us a taste early in these parts.

Since I couldn't do much else on Saturday, I  I pulled out some of my old published works and read them back-to-back.  I was reading the Timeless Tales series, of Christian romances with a hint of fairy tales or nursery rhymes.  I edited as I went and will be fixing up a few things I found--not much, but just a bit.

I have to admit, it was one of the best days ever.  I got to do what I wanted to do and not bow down to anyone's current emotional crises.  Fortunately, my kids didn't bug me, my husband is wrapped up in a computer game (Space Chem from Steam--it's addictive), and even the dogs didn't want my attention.  Fantastic!

I envy the person who can read whenever they want to, and have the day to themselves.  Yes, I love my family, but like in every family, they can suck me into doing things I'd rather not be involved in, like cleaning, emotional crises (that they think are crises), and things like that.

If you ever get the chance, get a book (I have a bunch of them if you're interested), take time for yourself, and read.  Sometimes (and in my case), the characters and story will follow you long after you're done with the book.  Fun stuff!

Have a great day!
SweetTale Books

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

The Tattooed Character

Every once in a while, I write about a character with a tattoo (they're usually a minor character or the antagonist).  I know tattoos are becoming more popular, and some of them are gorgeous works of art.  So I decided to do a bit of research on the tattoo, to find out more before I make one of my protagonists want one.

This is what I found out:

Tattoos have been around since at least 6,000 BC and possibly as far back as 12,000 BC.  Primitive man used the skin for a canvas for art.  It also showed the person's standing in the tribe.  It was believed that a tattoo of an animal would bring protection of an attack from that very same animal.

In both ancient and modern times, tattoos were thought to be a way for spirits to ensure passage into the spirit world.  Some people believe it would ward off evil and ensure positive occupation in the spirit world.

Other groups use tattooing for religious practices, or to connect with a deceased loved one or family member.  They were also used to indicate a person's trade or skill.

Even so, some cultures use it as a brand.  In the first millennium AD, Japan adopted what the Chinese did and branded wrongdoers.  Some cultures even used it to brand their slaves.  Others used it to indicate the criminal's crime, branding it on their foreheads.  Eventually, those tattooed with a mark of guilt or punishment began to be proud of their tattoos.  They're still a mark of honor among criminals today.

In Tahiti, tattoos were given when a person reached adulthood, telling the history of the person's life.  In other cultures, they're used for physical health, good luck, clan indicators, and even love charms. Today, in the United States, they've become more commonplace, to indicate a work of art.

But tattoos were not always accepted or commonplace.  In the early 1900s, the cultural view of tattooing was so poor that tattooing went underground.  Tattooists worked in the sleazier sections of town, or were only known by word of mouth.  People who were tattooed traveled with circuses and freak shows.

In 1961, there was an outbreak of hepatitis and tattooing was pretty much gone.  Tattoo parlors were considered dirty, and were held in disrepute.  Because of health code violations, tattoo shops in NY were shut down.

During WWII, the Nazis tattooed the prisoners at Auschwitz with tattoos, permanent reminders of a horrible experience.  Only those prisoners selected for work were tattooed.  The ones sent immediately to death had no tattoos.

Further atrocities occurred in Nazi concentration camps with tattoos.  Ilse Koch was married to the first commandant of the concentration camp in Buchenwald.  She would choose prisoners with tattoos, so she could make leather lamp shades for her home.  She would stroll through the camp, looking over the prisoners in a provocative way.  It's also believed they also made soap from human fat at that site.

The Bible has

Wow.  I know a bunch of people with tattoos and have told them about what the Nazis did.  But they seem to turn a blind ear and eye to all of it.

So my protagonist finds out about what happened in the concentration camps and immediately wants the tattoo removed, so he/she isn't the first to die.  But the thing never completely goes away, and he/she is reminded daily of what could come if history repeats itself.

Since I also write Christian romances, I decided to consult what the Bible says.  There are direct passages that warn against any type of adornment, all summed up in this article:  What does the Bible say about tattoos / body piercings?

Hmmm...the makings of a plot?  It kind of reminds me of Shakespeare's character MacBeth that wanted to wash away the blood from his hands.  No matter how much he washes, the stain remains, forever a brand for what they've done.  And, if it's a Christian romance, they'll be even more ashamed.  Hunh...gotta love conflict when writing a book!

Have a great day!
SweetTale Books

A Brief History of Tattoos
The Origin of Ink: Tattoos Through Time
History of Tattooing
The History of Tattoos
Buchenwald Concentration Camp Atrocities
What does the Bible say about tattoos / body piercings?
What does the Bible say about tattoos?
Piercings And Tattoos
What does the Bible say about body piercing and tattoos?

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

When your get up and go has gotten up and gone

Ever have a week when you just didn't want to do anything?  That was last week for me.  I just wanted to read.  Since I'm not employed outside the house, there's not a rush to do much of anything.  The only deadlines I have are self-imposed.  You might think that's a great thing, but trust's a hindrance.

So last week...I read.  A lot.  I edited old books and found a few typos. I'm working on republishing them to get rid of typos and things that don't make sense.

I've decided I need more weeks like this, when my get up and go has disappeared.  It makes me reflect on life a bit more, and lets me relax.  I also get more creative when that happens...and I bake more. LOL!

So when your get up and go has gotten up and gone, take heed.  It'll come back but only if you take the time to smell the roses and take a little time for yourself.

Have a great day!
SweetTale Books

Monday, August 22, 2016

Things I Learned from Watching the Olympics

Here are a few things I learned from watching the Olympics.

  • There are jealous people everywhere.
  • Even if you win gold, someone will always try to be better than you.
  • Your fame is fleeting, but family and friends are around forever.
  • In order to win, concentrate on one thing and do it well.
  • Taking a risk is important to being number 1.

And the most important thing I learned:

  • Luck helps, but hard work pays off.

This list can be applied to anything.  For writing, you have to put in tons of hours and learn how to write.  It took me over ten years and I'm still learning.

Have any more to add?

Have a great day!
SweetTale Books

Friday, August 19, 2016

Kinetic typography: What is it?

I've recently learned a bit about kinetic typography.  Kinetic typography is 'moving text.'  Adobe's After Effects is a perfect way to make the text move.

However, I don't have After Effects.  So I used a few free products to do the following video.

Granted, I don't have 'flying text' or anything spinning, but overall, it's a neat way to get a point across, fast, in 20 seconds.

To make that video, I used to make each individual frame.  Then I put it all into Movie Maker, changing the duration for each frame to match the words.  After that was all done, I uploaded it to youtube.

I could've done more animations in Movie Maker, but I wanted to keep it simple.

I hope that helps you if you want to make a quick video to put on Twitter or Youtube.

Have a great day!
SweetTale Books

Thursday, August 18, 2016

What's your writing rut?

When I wrote 'Finding a Heart of Peace,' by Eryn Grace, I had an agent who required me to edit better.  I'm glad she did, actually, but at first, I thought she was crazy.

I asked a friend of mine (Lauran) to edit for me.  She's not a writer (yet) but has aspirations.  As for editing, I consider her to be top-notch.  She knows what works and what agents are looking for, as well as the general public.  She's done a bit of editing for another friend, who has books with various publishers.

Anyway, Lauran looked over my book.  She was worried that I'd be upset with what she had to say, but I told her I needed help.  The agent was demanding it.  I can't thank Lauran enough for what she did for me.  Amazing!

It seems I have a writing 'rut,' like many writers do.  I use 'walked,' for example, WAY too often.  I start sentences with '-ing' words (present participle) that don't make sense.  For example, 'Turning around, she grabbed her purse.'  Does that mean she keeps turning and turning?  It would read better as 'Once she turned around, she grabbed her purse,' for example.  I also used 'she glanced his way.'  I don't know where I picked all of this up, but I'm slowing going back through my old books and fixing those things.  It doesn't change the plot at all, but just tightens the writing a bit.  I'm also trying to change some of the covers, to update them a bit.

So how did she edit my book?  In a simple but useful method.  First, she went through it from page 1 to the end, finding any plot holes and weird things.  Then, she went through the book BACKWARD.  No kidding.  From end to beginning, she looked at the structure of each sentence.   I never thought about it, but it's a great idea.  She also found replacement words for simple word structures as she went.

In the end, the book looked like it should've looked, like a book you'd take off the shelves.  The wording was amazing.  The word 'walked' disappeared in most of the book.  And, those pesky '-ing' words that begin a sentence are gone.  She also made the passive more active by taking out more present participles.  So, for example, she'd make 'We were baking...'  to 'We baked...'  It's more active.

I have to thank Lauran so much.  She opened my eyes to many problems I didn't know I had, and made my books so much better!

Have a great day!
SweetTale Books

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

A Journey in the Woods--Psych Test

When I was a kid, my dad learned about this psychological test about a journey into the woods.  You took the journey with the questioner, and then they would tell you what all the things meant.  I recently found the journey online:  A Walk In The Woods Test – Relational Psychology Test

It's an interesting look at what you value, and how they relate to your personal life. You're asked the following questions:

1. You are walking in the woods. Who are you walking with?2. You are walking in the woods. You see an animal. What kind of animal is it?3. What interaction takes place between you and the animal?4. You walk deeper in the woods. You enter a clearing and before you is your Dream House. Describe its size.5. Is your dream house surrounded by a fence?6. You enter the house. You walk to the dining area and see the dining table. Describe what you see on AND around the table.7. You exit the house through the back door. Lying in the grass is a cup. What material is the cup made of?8. What do you do with the cup?9. You walk to the edge of the property, where you find yourself standing at the edge of a body of water. What type of body of water is is it?10. How will you cross the water?
Each of your answers represent something in your life.  When I took the test, there was also a log you had to step over, to indicate how you dealt with big problems in your life.  I think my brother said it was a stick and he threw it away.  If I remember correctly, I said it was a huge tree trunk and I had problems getting over it.  That's pretty accurate.  Nothing seems to bug my brother, but I, on the other hand, have more of an issue dealing with problems.

Try it and see what you get.  I'd be curious to know how it works out.  I should give this to my characters to see how they'd react, too.  Always inside a book in my head.  LOL!

Have a great day!
SweetTale Books

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Research: Discovering Scotland

I've written two books in my Scottish Football Romance series, enjoying them immensely.  Scotland is a wonderful country, filled with amazing culture and beautiful sites.  It's part of the United Kingdom, or U.K.

In my first book of the series, 'The Lingerie Castle,' the main love interest (Camden Monroe) takes the main character (Alexis Carlson) on a 'romp' around Scotland.  For that part, I did intensive research on the country, to see where they could go.

Here's a map from Google Maps to show where I had my characters go on their journey:

Since it's not a large country, they could see most of it in about a day or so.  They went from Glasgow up to Fort William, closer to the western coast.  That's the home of Ben Nevis, the tallest point in Great Britain.  Here are some pictures of Fort William, on Google:  Fort William pictures.  It's a gorgeous area.  My characters thought so, too.

After that, they had to travel to Loch Ness, home of Nessie, and see Urquhart Castle, which is on the banks of the lake.  After that, they traveled to Inverness and then on to Aberdeen, on the eastern coast.

The pictures I saw while writing this were incredible.  I can't imagine living in such a beautiful country.  The second book, 'Kissin' in a Kilt,' takes place near a town called Airdrie.  Here's a map from Google Maps:

I made up a fictitious area for the love interest (Graham McGregor).  He's also a famous Scottish football player.  They travel around the area to go to a wedding, visit upper end shopping venues, and meet with local people.

What impressed me the most about my research, aside from the gorgeous sites, were the people.  They're genuine, with hearts of gold.  I know that from not only my research, but from family members who have traveled there.  My parents took the QE2 across the Atlantic Ocean to Scotland, to see it firsthand.  This would've been back in the 90s, before my father died.  They told me stories about how the locals believed in fairies and fantasy.  One bus driver didn't want to cross a road because the fairies put rocks in the way every night.  Every day, the rocks would be moved by locals, and every morning, they'd be back again.

My sister also did her PhD dissertation on the culture of Scotland.  She studied kinship behavior, and stayed in Pittenweem, a tiny fishing village near Aberdeen.  This would've been in the late 1970s/early 1980s.  She stayed for at least a month (if I remember correctly) and brought back amazing research along with tapes of children reciting different things they learned.  

From what I learned, the people in Scotland tell it like it is.  For example, while my sister was in Pittenweem, a man walked into the ocean and drowned.  He was drunk.  The locals had no sympathy, because it was his fault for drinking and walking into the water.  If that were the U.S., they'd be a lot more upset.  But the locals across the pond called the guy an idiot.  They were right, too, in my opinion.

Anyway, some day, I'd love to visit Scotland.  The culture, the sites, and yes, even the food, would be an amazing adventure to me.  The people are fantastic, just from what I've studied.  Ah, some day.

Have a great day!
SweetTale Books

Monday, August 15, 2016

Meet the control freak

In the book, 'Touchdowns & Potions,' by Markee Anderson, the main character (Jenna Steele) is a control freak.  Everything has to be done her way, and she dictates how life should be lived for everyone else around her.  She's appalled when others don't 'toe the line' she's created for them.

For example, the love interest (Andy McKnight) is a slob and doesn't wear a watch.  He's the quarterback for a pro football team, so his life is dictated by his work.  Jenna can't believe someone doesn't wear a watch.  She lives life on a schedule, down to the minute.  Time is money and every moment is used to the fullest.

Andy enjoys life.  Jenna's stressed out, because her schedule is never what she wants it to be.  She even gets phone calls from her parents, to ask how to handle their problems, since Jenna controls everyone else.

When writing about the control freak, it's important to throw a wrench into their day, to up the conflict.  Also, others should balk at their controlling nature.  In my book, I even had Andy show Jenna what it was like to be controlled, to show what others have to endure because of Jenna.  Needless to say, she didn't like it one bit.

Control freaks are fun to write about.  They are inherently flawed, which makes it interesting.  Write about one'll enjoy it.

Have a great day!
SweetTale Books

Friday, August 12, 2016

Top 5 Reasons to Write a Book

Here are my top 5 reasons that I think people write books:

5.  To impress family and/or friends
4.  To escape real life.
3.  It's on their bucket list.
2.  To see if they can do it.

And the number one reason, I THINK, of why people write books...drum roll please...

1.  To make the voices in their head keep quiet.


Have a great day!
SweetTale Books

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Kindle Worlds--Montana Sky Series: Congratulations, Nan O'Berry!

My friend, Nan O'Berry, wrote a really cool book for the Montana Skies series in Kindle Worlds.  She has a snippet here:

Romancing the Blog:  Road to Redemption
and here:

Romancing the Blog: Sunday Snippet

If you haven't tried the Kindle Worlds books, I'd suggest it.  Authors write books that are set in the same area as a popular book, with the blessing of the popular book author.  The covers have to meet certain criteria, so it's in the same series as the original book.

Here is the list of current series of books in the Kindle Worlds:  Worlds

Here is the list for the Montana Sky books in Kindle Worlds:  Montana Sky.

Here is the list of original Montana Sky books by Debra Holland:  Montana Sky by Debra Holland

Here is Nan O'Berry's book, Road to Redemption, and the excerpt as shown on Amazon:

Her sales are incredible, too.  Check it out on the book page.  It fluctuates by the day, but she's doing great!!!  What a neat book!
So if you want a great read, check it out!
Have a great day!
SweetTale Books

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Never Give Up

My husband went to see his mother for her 90th birthday.  This woman is amazing.  She rode roller coasters and traveled through her 80s.  She always has another goal to meet, something else to do.

My mother has a friend whose family wanted to celebrate her 92nd birthday.  The woman asked if they could hold off, because she wanted to get her vegetables canned and didn't have time to celebrate yet.

My mom still laughs about that, but she has an idea about all of this.  The more you plan, the more fun you have, and the younger you feel.  The more goals you make, the better.  The more you do, the more you'll be able to do.  My mom is 84 and going strong.  She might have a pace maker, but you'd never know it from all she does.  She never gives up, always moving, talking to others, and enjoying life.

When I was a kid, we'd visit my dad's Aunt Ruth.  She'd have us all sit in a room, where there was no noise but the grandfather clock, ticking away the seconds.  The woman was waiting for death, or so it seemed.  Back then, it seemed like people over 60 were old and decrepit.  They gave up.  But nowadays, it seems as if people in their 80s are still going strong, for the most part.

So the next time you give up, think about this.  When you run out of goals (or stories, in a writer's case), find another goal to strive for.  Always look forward to the next roller coaster, or the next birthday.  It'll keep you young.

It also makes for great characters to write about older people still full of life.

Have a great day!
SweetTale Books

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Meet the Clique Member

Recently, a friend of mine went to get a job.  She had a phone interview at a prestigious business on the West Coast. She was perfect for the job with lots of experience for the position.

When she had the phone interview, she was treated badly because she was older than their normal applicants.  The people laughed at her and she felt like she was the outcast in high school all over again.

The people on other side of the phone are in a clique.  They only hire their friends and it's all for their social standing.  They care about no one else but their clique and themselves.

What if the interviewee were suddenly popular?  Those clique people would be falling all over themselves to be friends with the interviewee.

Consider this...what happens if this clique has to fend for themselves?  What if there were no food and they had to survive on their own wits?  They'd fold and probably end up buttering up some other sucker who has survival skills.

Some day, I'm going to write in some characters who are clique leaders.  They're fun to write about, to make fail, to show their true colors.  Can't wait!

Have a great day!
SweetTale Books

Monday, August 8, 2016

Bringing a bat to a gun fight -- how NOT to fix a faucet

So last week (Wednesday, to be exact), I told my daughter we were going to fix our leaky kitchen faucet.  We watched Youtube videos on how to do it and the guy made it seem SO easy.

We went out and bought the required Delta faucet fix-it kit, some plumber's grease stuff, and were ready to go.  I even knew where to turn off the water.  I did that part--the only part, as it turned out, that I could do well.

She watched the video while I took the thing apart and looked for the springs to replace. springs.  No O-rings.  But I did find out that once you pull the thing apart, it's impossible to put together again.

I decided that my rotten work had to be good enough (even though it wasn't even close to being put back together again) and I should turn the water on to the house.  I went into the basement while our daughter was standing vigil in the kitchen to watch to see if the thing leaked.  I flipped it on and she screamed.  "Turn it off!" she yelled, over and over again.

I turned it off and came back upstairs.  Um...the ceiling was wet, the light ABOVE the sink was soaked, and there was even water UNDER the sink.  My slipshod repair didn't go quite as planned.

We didn't have water.  We didn't have water for the toilets.  We couldn't even wash our hands.  So I called my husband.  He laughed.  "Call the plumber," he said.

Now, you have to understand that I seem to have a knack for messing up anything in the house.  There are raspberry jello stains on the white ceiling to remind me of that fact (and my husband refuses to let me wash them off, as a reminder).  I even backed into the garage door once, and had to call a repairman for that.  The owner drove the whole way from Oshkosh (over an hour away) to see what stupid woman backed into her garage door.  It hadn't gone up the whole way, and I didn't notice.  Oh, and there was the time I poured almost a whole container of old flour down the drain and it turned to glue. I couldn't get it to unclog no matter what I did.  Called the plumber...he turned on the disposal and was done.  Man, was I ever embarrassed!

So I called the plumber last Wed.  He came out with a new faucet and hooked it right up.  WHEW!  Needless to say, I've been banned from all home repair for a while.  And you wonder why my husband won't let me have a chainsaw.  I'll never learn to juggle!

Have a great day!
SweetTale Books

Friday, August 5, 2016

Embedding Amazon's Preview on a Website

My dear sister showed me this neat trick.  It's a great idea to show your readers Amazon's preview of your book.  But how do you do that?

First, here's what it'd look like:

The viewer clicks on preview and can read the sample shown on Amazon.  Cool, huh?

Here's how it works.

1.  Go to the page for your book on Amazon.  Here's a picture of the one for 'You'll Call it Home':

2.  See where the red arrow is in this picture?

That part looks like this, up close:

Click on that word <Embed>.

3.  You'll see a popup windows that looks like this:

From that part, you can either get a link (URL) or Embed on your site (HTML).  I click on the 'Embed on your site' part.

4.  The code comes up inside the little box.  Put that part in the HTML in your website code (or on your blog in blogger by clicking on HTML and putting it in there.

Easy to do!  I love plug-and-play stuff.

Have a great day!
SweetTale Books

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Wish Someone Would Invent This!

My daughter and her boyfriend (he's a keeper!) visited last weekend.  She's working at college on the other side of the state this summer, and he graduated 2 years ago (from the same college) and is living about 1/2 hour from us on this side of the state.

They both talk so fast, I have problems understanding them.  It might be a Wisconsin thing and she's picked it up, or it might be from the boyfriend's family.

Anyway, we went out for a pizza buffet.  They were sitting across from me, and I could hear what they were saying but had no clue what they were trying to say, since they talk so fast.  I told everyone that I need a closed captioning for regular life.  I wanted to see what they saying, and desperately needed the words under their mouths.

Our son said there should be a way to do what I want, with Google glasses and a speech-to-text interpreter.

Here's how it would work.  You wear the glasses and the text appears on the glasses at the bottom as they speak, just like closed captioning on television.

Wow.  I need that!  I'm thinking this would be a great idea for a bunch of things! If I were in a foreign country, it could translate/interpret it for me as I listened.  I wouldn't be able to reply, but at least I'd know if I were being yelled at or taken for a tourist.  For people who are deaf, this would be invaluable.  And for older people who don't talk as fast as people speak, this would be great.

So you people who like to invent things, this is doable.  It just would need to be put together and marketable and I'd buy it, I think...depending on price.

Great ideas come from strange situations sometimes.

Have a great day!
SweetTale Books

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Love Summer!

I needed to share some gorgeous flowers with you, straight from our yard in Wisconsin.  They're my inspiration for creativity sometimes, so I hope it helps you, too!

Have a wonderful day!
SweetTale Books

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Meet the Emotional Roller Coaster

I know someone who's on an emotional roller coaster (I'm going to label that person ERC).  To write about this person would make anyone neurotic.  The other characters have to figuratively walk on eggshells, never knowing if they're going to set the ERC off.

The ERC is very controlling.  If any other character challenges him in any way (and it could be a perceived challenge, and not a true challenge), he gets extremely defensive and starts an argument.

Here's an example of an ERC's discussion.

"So the sky seems blue to me today," an innocent bystander (IB) said.\
"Blue?  Are you saying it's going to rain and I can't go out in the boat?  Are you trying to sabotage my trip?  You really hate me, don't you?"  The ERC crossed his arms, ready for battle.
IB backs off and runs away.

And yes, this is a real person who would do this.  Their goal is to dominate every conversation, to the point that others don't like being around them.  But they make great characters in a book.

Have a wonderful day!
SweetTale Books

Monday, August 1, 2016

Why Do Authors Do This?

Year ago, I read a romance that just bugged me.  The author kept mentioning that the child couldn't swim.  He was in a boating contest, and the child had real danger of falling into the lake.  Did he?  No.  The author missed a huge opportunity to up the conflict for that story.

Why mention the kid can't swim unless you intend to use it later?  Why have a doctor in the story unless someone's injured?  Why have a cop in a story unless they have to hunt down a criminal?

In other words, why bring in anything if it's not essential to the plot?

That's a tough lesson for authors to learn, but essential.  Every word is important, every plot point should propel the story.  If it's not used in the plot, dump the situation.

If you're an author, look for these extras that aren't necessary.  They need to go, because they just confuse the reader.

Have a great day!
SweetTale Books