Oh, That’s Subtle: The Little Things Holding Your Novel Back – by Janice Hardy…

This is good advice.

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

On Fiction University:

Subtlety can mean the difference between a novel that works and one that falls flat. 

The smallest change have a big impact on your writing. One word change, one shift in perspective, and everything’s different. Hopefully such changes result in a better story, but when they don’t, spotting what’s wrong can be frustrating.

Maybe you’re struggling with a story right now, or submitting one that’s getting good feedback, but just not quite landing anywhere, or having beta readers tell you it’s good, but not great, and it’s lacking something they can’t put their finger on. You know you can fix it if you could just find it.

Take a closer look and see if there’s a subtle reason that’s holding your novel back.

Continue reading HERE

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About books, movies, cooking, and advice
Decorating, shopping, and finding the best price
Life, love and raising kids
Along with do-hickeys, what-cha-ma-call-its, and thing-a-ma-jigs
We’re just two Texas gals
Straight from the sticks
The only thing we won’t gab about
Is religion and politics!

Since, we, the Gabbin’ gals are writers, we have to mention some of the book/reading related holidays coming up this week. We’ve included links and a little bit of gab for you to check out!

April 21, 2020
National Library Day

April 22, 2020
National Bookmobile Day

Susan shares memories of what the bookmobile meant to her as a child.

I’ll never forget my childhood visits to the bookmobile. Dispatched every other week from the central library in downtown San Antonio, Texas, the unassuming airstream trailer sat at the local shopping center for the day. Inside, books filled floor to ceiling shelves. An attendant sat at a small table on one end, reading, of course.

The place beckoned me with as much excitement and anticipation as a picnic or a day at the pool because it represented adventure, escape, and fantasy.

I journeyed far away from that little trailer sitting in the parking lot under the hot Texas sun. My travels took me far north, sledding down an icy hill, building a snowman, or making snow angels. I sailed to tropical islands, ate pineapple, and slept in a hammock. I rode across the plains in a Conestoga Wagon and hunted buffalo with the Indians. Met King Arthur and Excalibur. But my favorite childhood trips were the ones where I visited magical places that only existed in the author’s dreams.

Those days are long gone, but I’ve never stopped experiencing that rush of excitement I get when I pick up a book and start a new journey.

April 23, 2020
World Book Night

April 25, 2020
Eeyore’s Birthday!

This one we just had to gab about!

Eeyore’s Birthday Party, Austin, Texas. Eeyore turns 57!! It’s a fun-filled day for kids, benefitting non-profits, but what we found interesting was in the FAQ section where one of the inquires was: Can I go Topless?


Well, you may be surprised by the answer:
Yes. Texas is one of 36 states that does not forbid toplessness. Austin also doesn’t disallow it. Many attendees choose to paint their breasts in celebration of Eeyore’s birthday. You might be inspired to the do the same. We offer face painting at the event if you find your painting skills are lacking. We also sell pasties for those of us that are more modest.

Check out last year’s photos here: https://imageevent.com/cbusch/eeyoresbirthday2019

Eeyore is a character in the Winnie-the-Pooh book series, written by A. A. Milne. He is characterized as a pessimistic, gloomy, depressed, old gray donkey who suffers from anhedonia, which is the inability to feel pleasure.

So, Susan, would you go topless at Eeyore’s birthday? Or choose the more modest route of pasties?

Susan: I don’t know about you, but I have to wonder about someone sending a query whether or not they could celebrate Eeyore’s birthday topless. I could just hear Eeyore saying, “Ohhhh-kayyy.” It has to be someone young and/or perky. Or maybe they commented on the wrong thread. It’s not something I’d consider under any circumstances. By the end of April in Texas, I’d get a serious sunburn.

Ann: I wouldn’t worry so much about sunburn. I’d worry that after the body painter finished, I’d have two sad basset hounds draped to my waist!!

READERS, would you consider going topless at Eeyore’s party? Give us your opinions. We’d love to hear them, and one lucky commenter will win two ebooks of your choice—one from Susan, and one from Ann or her alter ego, Emma Ames.

Find out more about Ann Everett/Emma Ames: https://www.anneverett.com

Spring In East Texas

I had a conversation with my granddaughter recently. She’s off at college and has developed an interest in growing things. She was all excited about new leaves on one of her plants. We talked about things blooming in the spring and about how seeing them brings a lift to our spirits. Another one of God’s gifts we get to enjoy. And it doesn’t cost a thing.

The Crabapple tree in my front yard gets prettier every year. I’m thinking it’s over ten years old. My daughter planted it. They are believed to have originated in the mountains of Kazakhstan. Though it’s not clear how they arrived here, at least three crabapple species are native to North America: Malus coronaria, M. fusca, and M. ioensis.

My daughter also planted the Spirea Bush. It is a genus of about 80 to 100 species of shrubs in the family Rosacae.  They are native to the temperate northern hemisphere with the greatest diversity in eastern Asia. I have planted three more around the side and the back of the house. The soil here is perfect for growing things.