Archive for November 2022

Open Book Blog Hop – 28th November   Leave a comment

Stevie Turner

Welcome to another blog hop. Today’s topic is:

Do you use real or fictional cities in your writing? How do you incorporate them into the story?

I sometimes use fictional cities in my stories, as due to any possible future litigation it’s easier to malign a place or a building. For example, in ‘Examining Kitchen Cupboards‘ I did not want to name the actual college where I read that exam question, and so I created the town of Daxton. It’s at Daxton College where administrator Jill Hayes finds strange exam questions for 16 -19 year olds which are more suited to children ten years younger. In ‘For the Sake of a Child‘ I created the town of Arlborough and the fictional company ‘PhizzFace‘ rather than use an actual town, as Arlborough is home to the Veck brothers who are serial child molesters. Could you imagine…

View original post 327 more words

Posted November 29, 2022 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

Using The Windy City in my Stories   Leave a comment

https://snapdragon0blog.wordpress.com/2022/11/28/using-real-cities-in-my-stories/

Posted November 29, 2022 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

Mixing The True and False #OpenBook Blog Hop   Leave a comment

Nov 28, 2022 Do you use real or fictional cities in your writing? How do you incorporate them into the story? There is a town called Oak Grove in Indiana, but it’s not my Oak Grove. I’…

Source: Mixing The True and False #OpenBook Blog Hop

Posted November 29, 2022 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

Real Fictional Locations   17 comments

Do you use real or fictional cities in your writing? How do you incorporate them into the story?

Rules:

1. Link your blog to this hop.

2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.

3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants’ blogs.

4. Tweet/or share each person’s blog post. Use #OpenBook when tweeting.

5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.

<!– start InLinkz code –>

<div class=”inlinkz-widget” data-uuid=”2c8e6a088e9848ab8c66d292d88279ab” style=”width:100%;margin:30px 0;background-color:#eceff1;border-radius:7px;text-align:center;font-size:16px;font-family:’Helvetica Neue’,Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif”>

<div style=”padding:8px;”><p style=”margin-bottom:15px;”>You are invited to the <strong>Inlinkz</strong> link party!</p>

<a href=”https://fresh.inlinkz.com/p/2c8e6a088e9848ab8c66d292d88279ab” target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow” style=”padding:5px 20px;background:#209cee;text-decoration:none;color:#efefef;border-radius:4px;”>Click here to enter</a></div></div>

<span style=”display: none;”>http://a%20href=</span>

<!– end InLinkz code –>

WordPress Shortcode

[fresh_inlinkz_code id=”2c8e6a088e9848ab8c66d292d88279ab”]

Unique URLhttps://fresh.inlinkz.com/p/2c8e6a088e9848ab8c66d292d88279ab

A Cautionary Tale

There’s something to be said for skipping some world-building, but authors generally need to be more careful when they use real locations in a work of fiction.

There was a book written in the 1970s about Fairbanks during the TransAlaska Pipeline construction boom. It wasn’t a very good book, but I was forced to read it as an assignment in an Alaska Literature summer course I took for extra credit. I wanted to graduate in four years but the University of Alaska tried to foist a 9th semester on me by saying one of my English credits didn’t qualify because…reasons. So I took a correspondence course because I had a life to get to.

This book, which I don’t remember the name of, supposedly described places in my hometown, and it got a LOT wrong. The writer supposedly lived in Fairbanks during the TAPS, but I’d bet he didn’t spend a lot of time here. So I’ve always been leery of using real locations, other than Fairbanks, Seattle (where I’ve spent a lot of time), or Manchester New Hampshire (where I’ve also spent a fair bit of time) as locations in my books because it’s offputting when authors get stuff wrong about your town. One of my favorite mystery novelists Phyllis A Whitney admitted at the start of a book that she’d moved some locations around in a novel for plot flow and that’s great. I’m sure the people of Charleston SC appreciated her honesty, but what if I get something inadvertently wrong and a reader goes to that location trying to find it.

Nope, I prefer not to do that.

Real as a Foundation for Fiction

But I do use real communities as the settings for my books. I just don’t identify them that way. For example, the town of Emmaus in Transformation Project is based on two real towns. One is my mother’s hometown in North Dakota. Some of the people in the town (renamed) and some of the buildings are borrowed from that location, transported by fictional magic to Kansas, where I use the statistical data of a Kansas town in that general location to tell me what highways run by it, whether they have natural gas or a nuclear plant nearby, and what the weather is like at different times of the year. What flight trajectory would you take if you were taking off from this town? What crops grow well there? I drove through that town 30 years ago. It seemed like a nice place, but I don’t think the residents would appreciate if I took liberties with their town in my fictional book. So it’s called Emmaus, Kansas, which is a very fictional town with some basis in reality.

I did the same thing in What If Wasn’t series. I picked a town where I wanted to situate the story. I’ve been there — once–15 years ago or so. I spent an afternoon. That’s not enough to say I really know the town. I use the town as a template for the fictional town in the novel series, but I feel much freer to take liberties because it’s not really that town. It’s Port Mallory, New York, and it only exists in my books.

Someday, I do plan to finish the story I’ve been noodling with that is set more or less in Fairbanks. But I don’t know for sure that I will identify it as such. Yes, I’m intimately familiar with this town, but the fact is I might need to make adjustments for plot flow and I’d rather not make a muddle of my hometown.

Open Book Blog Hop – 21st November   Leave a comment

Stevie Turner

Welcome to another blog hop. Today’s topic is:

Big Internet fight: Are you team cat or team dog (or something else)?

I wrote a post on 22nd September about this very thing. You can find it here.

So … after reading that post you can tell that I’m in the ‘something else’ bracket. I’m also not a team player either. I’m afraid that now you’ve obviously come to the conclusion that I’m a sad old bag who prefers to be alone without any dog hairs, cat hairs, mud, wet dog smells, cat-clawed furniture or high vets’ bills to mar her existence. Oh dear, you are correct…

I have various allergies, especially to animals. My skin would break out in large weals if a cat scratched it, and the dog hairs/ cat hairs would make me sneeze. There is really no hope for me. Instead I have to sit in…

View original post 368 more words

Posted November 22, 2022 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

Cats or Dogs? #MondayMusings #OpenBookBlogHop #Inspiration   Leave a comment

Posted November 22, 2022 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

Team Dog Or Cat? Which Side Are You On? #Openbook Blog Hop   Leave a comment

Nov 21, 2022 Big internet fight: Are you team cat or team dog? (or something else?) Can I just be the person who referees this one? I refuse to take sides. Over the years, we’ve had dogs, cat…

Source: Team Dog Or Cat? Which Side Are You On? #Openbook Blog Hop

Posted November 22, 2022 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

Open Book Blog Hop – Cats and Dogs   Leave a comment

Posted November 22, 2022 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

Welcome to the Mixed League   14 comments

Big internet fight: Are you team cat or team dog? (or something else?)

Rules:

1. Link your blog to this hop.

2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.

3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants’ blogs.

4. Tweet/or share each person’s blog post. Use #OpenBook when tweeting.

5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.

<!– start InLinkz code –>

<div class=”inlinkz-widget” data-uuid=”be734d926f0a44159b4bce318cdec5bd” style=”width:100%;margin:30px 0;background-color:#eceff1;border-radius:7px;text-align:center;font-size:16px;font-family:’Helvetica Neue’,Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif”>

<div style=”padding:8px;”><p style=”margin-bottom:15px;”>You are invited to the <strong>Inlinkz</strong> link party!</p>

<a href=”https://fresh.inlinkz.com/p/be734d926f0a44159b4bce318cdec5bd” target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow” style=”padding:5px 20px;background:#209cee;text-decoration:none;color:#efefef;border-radius:4px;”>Click here to enter</a></div></div>

<span style=”display: none;”>http://a%20href=</span>

<!– end InLinkz code –>

WordPress shortcode

[fresh_inlinkz_code id=”be734d926f0a44159b4bce318cdec5bd”]

Unique URL

https://fresh.inlinkz.com/p/be734d926f0a44159b4bce318cdec5bd

Mildly Allergic

I am mildly allergic to dogs. They make my eyes itch. If I’m around them for a while, I stop being allergic to that particular dog, but this explains why my first pet as an adult was a cat. His name was Shakespeare and he was a long-haired Siamese who had an incredibly intelligent blue-eyed stare. Siamese are very people-oriented and he knew how to get attention. We’ve had five cats over the years, four males and a female. The males were much more friendly and kind of lazy compared to the female, who loved to go outside and hunt and was always bringing dead things to the deck. When she’d get bored in the winter, she’d hunt the dogs like they were gemsbok and she was a lioness. Fortunately, she didn’t have front claws, so she couldn’t actually kill them. The dogs thought she was playing and she never said a mumbling word.

He Brought Home a Guinea Pig

I came home from work one day and there was a guinea pig sleeping in a box. Only it wasn’t a guinea big. It was a four-week-old Lab-mix puppy my husband got as a tip at a furnace job. She had two stubby little teeth, she couldn’t really walk yet, and her eyes had just opened. Her mother was the product of two pure-bred guard dogs (a German Shepherd and a Doberman) who mated through a fence and her father was the prime breeding male Lab in this area. He broke a chain and climbed a 10-foot fence to get to her. For a mixed breed, she had a great pedigree. The mother had 16 pups on her first heat. The owners loved their dog and could see so many puppies were wearing her down, so they were giving them away in hopes of not having to drown half the litter. Since we lived in a tiny home at the time, Brad picked the smallest puppy. We called my brother, who owned a breeding kennel at the time, and asked him what we should do to keep her alive until she could eat regular food. “You picked the runt. It will be a miracle if she survives, but blended Puppy Chow and baby-food beef should get her through the next few weeks if she doesn’t die of hypothermia first.”

Cana became her name because that was the place of Jesus’ first miracle. She was our first baby. We had to get up in the middle of the night to feed her, change her blanket and rewarm her water bottle. Cana grew up to be a pretty big Labrador who had the longer legs and longer nose of her maternal grandparents. She mostly looked and acted like a Lab. She loved water, liked children, thought cats were awfully grumpy, and was always ready to have fun. She lived to be 14-1/2 years old. She hiked all over with us and wanted to play fetch until your arm fell off. She thought her job was to watch our kids and keep them from doing anything dangerous to themselves. She would try to rescue us when we swam (apparently she didn’t think we could).

Her best friend was Dickens, an old-type Siamese who probably weighed 25 pounds (muscle, not fat) and for some reason decided she wasn’t horrible. They would play together and lay together for hours. He would rub his ears on the inside of her canines because he trusted this dog who was three times his size.

When Dickens died, we got Cana a puppy — a Lab-Husky mix (Huskador) we named Good Friday (because that was the date of her birth). Friday turned out not to be a good dog. She ran away often, didn’t really care for children, stole other dogs; food (and pails of ice cream from neighbor’s porches), and had to be watched in the house or she’d climb on the table and eat whatever was there. We trained her the same way we trained Cana and nothing worked. My brother declared her untrainable. “She’s whip-smart and she will outwait you, so just learn to accommodate her.” Trying to outsmart our dog became a hobby. Our woodshed is impenetrable because it used to be Friday’s kennel and she was an escape artist. This winter as the price of diesel spirals up, we can be assured our wood isn’t at risk because “Good” Friday was a naughty dog.

When Cana died, we got Friday a puppy. Sunrise was an absolutely gorgeous yellow Lab with the sunniest personality possible. She wanted to please…Friday. When she was away from Friday, she was a great dog, but when she was with Friday she would cast us an apologetic look and do what her companion demanded. My husband was pretty sure she was stupid. But when Friday died (at 16), Sunrise took to hanging out with him. When he didn’t warm to her immediately, she stole his shoes — both of them and he found them in perfect condition in her rest area. She was clearly horrified that he was upset over his shoes going missing, but that cemented their bond and they spent a lot of time hiking, fishing, and driving around together. She also hung out with me as my combination footstool-muse when I was writing. And she adored our son. When Angel would try to hunt her in the winter, she’d mistake that as an invitation to play and come away all flustered by a left cross to the nose. Believing that “cats have claws” is a myth, she never really understood why Angel was so grumpy. She just wanted to be friends. She had a big enough heart even to love Friday and Angel.

And while Sunrise loved to chase sticks (or whatever you were willing to throw), she wouldn’t bring them back. This was part of the training she received from Friday, who would not allow her to return a fetch to us. Apparently, that was beneath Friday’s dignity, so Sunrise wasn’t allowed to do it either. She would bring the retrieving dummy back about five feet away, drop it on the ground, shake the water from her fur, and then just look at us like “You’re going to throw it again, aren’t you? Please, please, please.” Friday also taught Sunrise how to enjoy running full speed like a husky does, making her an odd one among Labs. She never lost her sense of humor. We once had her down by the river during spring migration. We heard honking and turned to find Sunrise with a Canadian goose in her mouth, too startled to fight back. Labs have really soft mouths and Sunrise was an excellent swimmer. The gander was alive and appeared merely ruffled when Brad made Sunrise release it. We watched for a while to assure it was uninjured while it told quite the tale to its mate.

Sunrise never got the memo that dogs grow old. Except for some grey in her muzzle, she was spry and bouncy at 14 years old. That summer, we discovered an old burn area on our remote property where hundreds of trees had fallen over in a giant pick-up-stick pile. We were picking our way across stepping from one tree trunk to another when I looked back to see Sunrise following us, jumping from one tree trunk to another and smiling like this was a grand adventure. Not bad for someone who was the equivalent of 100 years old.

She passed on July 4, looking like she’d jumped up from her dog bed to go do something fun and just keeled over. It was a pretty way to go and gave new meaning to Independent Day. I often think she’s probably running full tilt through the neighborhood as she did when Friday would orchestrate an escape.

Team ???

We talk about getting another pet sometimes. We like the independence and easy care of cats, but we also like the fact that dogs can go with us places. Neither of us really wants to clean up after a pet, but we do miss the companionship. We also have different philosophies on training. I want a dog that obeys us and he’s a bit of a pet anarchist. So, I don’t know if we’ll get another one or not. My guess is dogs nudge cats out of the running very slightly because of the indoor litterbox need in the winter, but truthfully, we’re fans of the mixed league. Cats and dogs raised together don’t know anything about hating the other species.

So welcome to the mixed league.

Posted November 21, 2022 by aurorawatcherak in Blog Hop

Tagged with , , ,

On Giving and Receiving Critiques #Monday Musings #OpenBookBlogHop #Inspiration   1 comment

My Corner

Welcome to another edition of Open Book Blog Hop. This week’s question is: “How do you deal with negative feedback? Do you have tips for critiquing other writers’ work?”

I rarely receive such input, but when I do, I take it with a grain of salt, although it’s hard to do. Maybe the person offering the feedback is having a bad day, or maybe he/she doesn’t like that particular genre. For whatever reason the negative comment was given, it doesn’t do any good to let it get to me.

I’ve received many suggestions for improvement of my work with which I don’t agree. It’s important to keep in mind that whatever you’re having critiqued is your baby. There’s no law that says you have to follow every suggestion. So again, I just take such feedback with a grain of salt.

Don’t feel like you have to be familiar with a…

View original post 493 more words

Posted November 14, 2022 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

Valentine But

Books: fiction and poetry

Faith Reason And Grace

Inside Life's Edges

Elliot's Blog

Generally Christian Book Reviews

The Libertarian Ideal

Voice, Exit and Post-Libertarianism

CRAIN'S COMMENTS

Social trends, economics, health and other depressing topics!

My Corner

I write to entertain and inspire.

The Return of the Modern Philosopher

Deep Thoughts from the Shallow End of the Pool

Steven Smith

The website of British steampunk and short story author

thebibliophagist

a voracious reader. | a book blogger.

cupidcupid999

adventure, art, nature, travel, photography, wildlife - animals, and funny stuff

Republic-MainStreet

The Peaceful Revolution Liberate Main Street

%d bloggers like this: