Other Side of the Pen: August 22nd, 2016

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As a writer, as a freelance editor, as a reviewer… Well, sometimes Mia gets mouthy, and the fourth week of the month is when she’s gonna let you know just what she thinks!

Be Bold

While editing, and even in my own writing, I have seen a trend of “over-qualifying” one’s words. It is often unnecessary and, in fact, makes things needlessly wordy. Unless you’re writing in First Person about a character with that kind of personality, don’t do it. Be brave! Be bold!

Instead of saying: “He looked over at her,” say “He looked at her.”

Instead of saying: “She started to walk,” say “She walked.” (The exception to this is if the walking was interrupted immediately after beginning. If that’s not the case, then just let her do it!)

Instead of saying: “He headed toward the wall,” say “He headed to the wall.” (Unless you really mean he was heading in a vague direction.)

Try to avoid “sort of” or “kind of” in sentences, or at least use sparingly and replace with adverbs (though use those sparingly as well) instead.

Use active verbs instead of modifying words when you can. Instead of “ran quickly,” maybe he sprinted. Instead of “looked fixedly,” she stared.

Don’t “give a smile” just “smile.” So instead of, “He gave her a smile” be “He smiled at her.”

These are not hard and fast rules, but things to keep in mind. If you’re confident and bold in your writing, it was make for much cleaner, smoother, and more engaging reading. Don’t be timid!

Nutmegs & the Charter Oak: August 15th, 2016

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Mia is from CT, and Adelheid is in CT…so, let’s talk about Connecticut!

Notable Nutmuggers

Did you know that Mark Twain moved to Hartford in 1871 and that he wrote many of his most famous works while living in the state? Topically noteworthy being A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court. You can see the website and visit his house now! (As many elementary students on field trips still do!)

From Mia’s Desk: August 8th, 2016

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From Mia’s Desk will post the second week of each month and discuss something of interest to Mia, which she hopes others will find interesting too! It may focus on opinion pieces, literature (historical and current), or even movies–because a good story is a good story.

Good Things in Ten Days!

Check out this teaser from the anthology, which comes out out August 18th–but you don’t have to wait to pre-order it, and have it delivered right to your reader as soon as it’s available!

miadarien_teaser

When the key witness in a high profile trial needs protection, “human taser” Special Agent Serafina Torres is put on protective detail. But when said witness is a vampire and those in the spotlight are anti-preternatural activists, how could it possibly go smoothly?

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The Adelheid Chronicle: August 1st, 2016

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The Adelheid Chronicle will post the first week of the month to discuss interesting facts about the series, the setting, its creation, about current and future releases, teasers, etc.,

A Hint at the Next Book

Any guesses what this might mean for the next Adelheid volume? (Aside from there being seven stories.)

teaser

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Other Side of the Pen: July 25th, 2016

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As a writer, as a freelance editor, as a reviewer… Well, sometimes Mia gets mouthy, and the fourth week of the month is when she’s gonna let you know just what she thinks!

As Opposed to What?

Here is a snark-tastic way to reduce a few excess/redundant words, and make life easier for your editors. Consider a few key phrases and then ask yourself, “As opposed to what?” While there are always exceptions where keeping all the words works better, it’s true in most cases that the excess can be removed.

You might think, “What’s the harm?” But excess words can be unwieldy to a reader and make them less inclined to want to keep reading. Trim the fat so you can really make the meat of your piece shine.

He nodded his head.
As opposed to what? He nodded his foot? “Nodded” implies head and you usually don’t need to tell the reader that.

She shrugged her shoulders.
As opposed to what? People might shrug out of a coat, but usually don’t shrug other body parts.

He pointed his finger.
Unless you specifically say they pointed with something else, people will assume the finger was what had been pointed with.

She dismounted her horse.
If you’ve already explained that your character is riding a horse, they don’t need to hear it again.

He thought to himself.
Unless there is telepathy in your book, you can presume that thoughts were to themselves and not to anyone else.

She peered her head around.
As opposed to what? What else do you usually peer with? Your toes?

He reached out his hand.
This one can be closer to fifty-fifty, but typically, like with pointing, unless you say otherwise, your reader will assume the hand was reached out with.

She blinked her eyes.

I’m not really sure you blink anything else?

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Nutmegs & the Charter Oak: July 18th, 2016

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Mia is from CT, and Adelheid is in CT…so, let’s talk about Connecticut!

Connecticut on the Huffington Post

The Huffington Post did an article about “25 Reasons Why Connecticut is Basically Heaven On Earth.” While I think Heaven on Earth might be a bit of a hyperbole, they make a lot of good reasons about why CT is pretty cool. 🙂 1, 3, 5, 6, 7, 10, 11, and 20 are pretty much my reasons for loving the place.

CT on the Huffington Post

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From Mia’s Desk: July 12th, 2016

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From Mia’s Desk will post the second week of each month and discuss something of interest to Mia, which she hopes others will find interesting too! It may focus on opinion pieces, literature (historical and current), or even movies–because a good story is a good story.

Good Things

I have a new story and a new anthology coming out next month! And here’s the cover! 😀

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000040_00015]

TO BE RELEASED: 18th August 2016

GENRE: Urban Fantasy

Good things come from unexpected places…

Magic and mayhem. Vampires and gods. Cops and werewolves. The binding thread of mysticism in the modern world and acts of kindness, small and large, random and focused. Join these ten authors as we travel through their worlds.

All of the author proceeds from the sales of this anthology will go to the Random Acts Organization, sponsoring kindness throughout the world. This is not official Random Acts merchandise, but is a fundraising project under permission from the charity.

Pre-Order it Now!

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The Adelheid Chronicle: July 4th, 2016

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The Adelheid Chronicle will post the first week of the month to discuss interesting facts about the series, the setting, its creation, about current and future releases, teasers, etc.,

Happy July 4th from Adelheid!

adelheidthing

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Other Side of the Pen: May 30th, 2016

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As a writer, as a freelance editor, as a reviewer… Well, sometimes Mia gets mouthy, and the fourth week of the month is when she’s gonna let you know just what she thinks!

Special Snowflake Syndrome

“A malady affecting a significant portion of the world’s population wherein the afflicted will demand special treatment, conduct themselves with a ludicrous, unfounded sense of entitlement, and generally make the lives of everyone around them that much more miserable.

The danger of this disease is that the sufferers rarely, if ever, know that they have contracted it, and continue about their merry way under the assumption that EVERYONE ELSE is the problem.

This condition, if left untreated, can radically alter the carrier’s demeanor, to include any of the following: a complete devolution to child-like behavior, temper tantrums, and/or fits of narcissistic rage.

When confronted with an individual suspected of harboring Special Snowflake Syndrome, one’s best course of action is to run away. Further attempts at educating the carrier on the reality of their condition (e.g., quoting Tyler Durden: “You are not special. You are not a beautiful or unique snowflake. You’re the same decaying organic matter as everything else.”) will likely prove futile, and potentially hazardous to the informer.”

Source: Urban Dictionary

Dear Writers,

I think you’re wonderful, I really do. I’m one of you, but I also am in professions to help you make your books stronger…but please, please, please stop thinking that you’re sitting on the godsend to literature. Stop thinking you’re the only author out there. Please stop thinking that it’s okay to treat your editor like an idiot and a slave. Please stop thinking that your book is a miracle and couldn’t POSSIBLY need any work.

Because you know what? ALL books need some work. It’s just the nature of things. I’m not saying all authors act like this, but many do. And you can make people like me–editors, formatters, cover artists–not want to do the work anymore. That’s not cool, so please, just treat us with respect, with people who have lives outside of your book.

Please. Don’t be a Special Snowflake.

Sincerely,
Mia

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Nutmegs & the Charter Oak: May 23rd, 2016

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Mia is from CT, and Adelheid is in CT…so, let’s talk about Connecticut!

Notable Nutmegger: Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Here is a famous author from Connecticut!

Although it was not her only work, Gilman is best known for The Yellow Wallpaper. I read this story three times in college, from a sociological perspective, a literary perspective that looked at the meaning of the story, and the technical aspect of the story. In school, I got a lot of this story but it was always fascinating.

She was born in Hartford, CT–the capitol of the state, shared with another notable author, Mark Twain.

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