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Ramblings of a Lifelong Elvis Fan – Part 51 – My First Elvis Concert – 40 Years Ago

July 8th will mark the 40th anniversary of my first Elvis concert in 1975. There would be two more, one in 1976, one in 1977.  After the March 25, 1977 concert, as we did each year, my sisters and I anxiously awaited the announcement of Elvis’ appearance in our city the following year. We knew his tour would bring him through Oklahoma City, we just didn’t know exactly when, and we had to stay on top of it, because his tickets sold out very quickly.

However, instead of hearing the dates of his 1978 tour, five months later, we received the announcement that he had passed away. We were shocked, devastated, grief-stricken, as was most of the world.

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From the July 8, 1977 Concert in Oklahoma City

I don’t know if I can really describe what it felt like to be at one of his concerts, but I’m going to try…(I had just turned 14 a week before my first Elvis concert, FYI)

In the weeks leading up to the concert, I feel like ‘THE DAY’ will never get here. It’s almost all I can think about. Then, the day comes, and I’m so excited, I feel like I’ll burst with anticipation. 

We arrive at the packed Myriad Convention Center (now the Cox Convention Center) and find our seats. They are far from the stage, but it doesn’t matter. I will actually be in the same room with Elvis…it seems impossible, too good to be true. I admit, I don’t remember anything about the opening act(s). All I recall is wishing they would hurry up and finish, so Elvis would come on stage.

Finally, they do. There is an intermission that seems to last forever. Then…the lights go down. A chorus of frenzied screams rise. I scream right along with them.  This music starts…

I can literally feel it moving through me, vibrating my insides. My body tingles, my heart drops into my stomach. I can barely breathe. I can’t believe that, in moments, I am going to see Elvis… The spotlight shines at the side of the stage, then Elvis appears, strides out onto stage, and the crowd goes insane. I am screaming, crying. Elvis starts singing C.C. Rider (I wish I could remember each song he sang, that I had written them all down, but I didn’t. I wasn’t thinking about it back then, about how I would want to hold onto every minor detail of the memory, I was living in the moment. :)) I am not close enough to see him that well, but I have binoculars, and I can bring him nearer… He’s beautiful. He smiles and smirks and jokes and gives scarves and kisses.

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I am soooo jealous that I am not one of the lucky girls close enough to get either. But his magical voice booms through the auditorium. The crowd screams so loudly, it’s hard to hear some of the songs, but I can’t fault them, because I am screaming as well. I am crying, too. Partly out of happiness, but partly out of an odd sadness, knowing that this is all I can have of him, these few hours of watching him perform, and then, it will be over. I can’t touch him, I can’t meet him, I can’t be a part of his world. I can’t marry him… (Yes, I definitely wanted to marry him. I fantasized about it, as many, many young girls and women did.).

The air sizzles with electricity. There is nothing like the feeling of being at an Elvis concert…knowing that he is THERE, in the room, in the flesh…it’s surreal and amazing. Much too soon, it’s over. He sings “Can’t Help Falling in Love” and kisses more girls, shakes hands, and I know…he’s going to be gone in seconds. Then, he waves, strides off stage, and an intense loss fills me. I’m still happy, because I just saw Elvis live…but I’m also deeply sad. It’s over. And, I know, that nothing else that will happen can compare when I just experienced.

 

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Article about Elvis’ performance on July 8, 1975:  http://www.elvisconcerts.com/newspapers/press351.htm

A few of my favorite snippets from the article:

Elvis shows he’s a showman, manipulating the audience to the point that he can curl his lip and get a reaction.

His show contains no elements of surprise, but it needs no drama, for the audience provides the tension.

Presley has reached the point in his career – maybe the plateau – where he doesn’t ever need to sing another new song.

The fans are there, evidenced by the sellout of 15,000 – plus tickets in a single day for the Myriad concert. He can probably come here anytime he wants to – five days in a row – and fill the place. If nothing else, Elvis Presley is a phenomenon, finding fans from every walk of life and in generation after generation.

AND

Elvis doesn’t need to milk an audience for its applause. All he has to do is show up.

1970-09

I know that I am luckier than many Elvis fans. Some never saw him in concert at all, and I feel truly blessed that I did. Thanks to my parents, who knew how much it meant to me and my sisters. I am still slightly resentful that they did not allow me or my younger sister, Ruth, to go to the first Elvis concert my two older sisters, Sheri and Janis, attended. Granted, it was in 1970, and Ruth and I were ‘almost’ 7 and 9, respectively, but still…I thought we should have been allowed to go. Don’t you?

Did you ever see Elvis live in concert? What is the most memorable concert you’ve ever been to?

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EOLS Charity

Elvis was known for his giving heart and charitable work during his lifetime. Lisa Marie and Elvis Presley Enterprises have continued that tradition with their involvement in various charities. In 1984, The Elvis Charitable Foundation was formed. The EPCF created a scholarship fund for students majoring in the arts. The charity also contributes to one of Elvis’ favorite charities, Goodwill Homes, a Memphis facility that provides counseling and services for abused children and their families. The EPCF also assists numerous other charities, especially focusing on arts, education and children’s programs.

Learn more here, including how to donate:

http://www.graceland.com/epcf/

END OF LONELY STREET – Now Only 99 Cents!

On Elvis’ birthday this year, I released a Vintage Romance short story set in 1957, and of course, my heroine is an Elvis fan. :) As a tribute to Elvis’ generosity, and in order to assist with this worthy cause, 10% of my proceeds for End of Lonely Street will go to the EPCF.

EndofLonelyStreet_w9180_FINAL

All Toby Lawson wants is to go to college to become a teacher and to be free of her alcoholic mother and some painful memories. But when her mother nearly burns the house down, Toby must put her dreams on hold and return home to care for her. The only time she isn’t lonely and miserable is when she’s listening to her heartthrob, Elvis Presley. His music takes her away and helps her escape from everything wrong in her life.

Noah Rivers has always loved Toby, but no matter what he says, she can‘t get past the fact that her drunken mother once kissed him. He soon realizes the true problem lies in Toby’s belief she’s not good enough for him and in her fear she will be just like her mother.

What will it take to prove to her that she deserves to be happy, and that he would give anything to be the man to make her dreams come true?

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Filed under Entertainment, Elvis Presley

Tuesday Two-Minute Writing Tip – A Sample Edit: Showing vs Telling – Hank by Rick Newberry

Got two minutes? Then check out this week’s quick tip:

 

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Disclaimer: All of my tips are suggestions, and are only my opinion. And, for the most part, there are exceptions when going against my advice will make your story read better. Take what works, leave the rest.

 

I offered authors an opportunity to send in a few pages of their work for me to edit for the blog. Rick Newberry, who I met in Vegas at the conference, was kind enough to be my first volunteer. Rick has a collection of short stories that are a little dark, which of course, I love! I enjoyed the story he sent to me, I love his voice, the tone, and the story itself. My main suggestions were to make it a little more ‘showing’ vs ‘telling.’ I am sharing the ‘before and after,’ along with the original story in its entirety at the bottom of the post. (I told Rick that ‘showing’ might not fit the style/tone of the story, but I would still offer my suggestions)

Before: (Here, I’m only sharing the two sections where I made the most edits)

The dream came quickly. It was about a Cuban named Hugo Delgado; a brown skinned man with a short cropped beard, silver rimmed glasses, and a broad smile revealing one gold tooth. His smile vanished as two men, both holding long serrated knives, approached him during dinner. Mr. Delgado went to El Puerco Sucio to eat a slab of ribs, but wound up, later that night, lying on a slab at the Dade County Coroner’s Office.

My eyes popped open, sweat dripping from my forehead. Why had the dream frightened me so much? I didn’t know the man, never even been to Miami. Besides, people get killed all the time, what made this dream, about a man I didn’t even know, so personal?

After:

The dream came quickly. A Cuban named Hugo Delgado; a brown skinned man with a short cropped beard, silver rimmed glasses, and a broad smile revealing one gold tooth sat at a table toward the back of El Puerco Sucio. He smiled at his dinner companion—a sultry dark-haired beauty—between bites of ribs. Two men approached the table. One was tall and bearded, the other medium height, clean shaven, balding. Each held a long serrated knife. Delgado looked up, and the smile in his sauce-dotted face vanished. The rib dropped from his hand. The woman screamed and scrambled away from the table. Lights from the chandelier hanging above the table glinted off the blade of the knives, just before the first one plunged into Delgado’s chest. He grunted and pushed to his feet. Before he could make a sound, the other man’s knife arced and embedded in his neck. Blood gurgled from the wound. The other diners were screaming, jumping up from their tables, fleeing and tripping over one another. A few hours later,  Mr. Delgado was lying on a slab at the Dade County Coroner’s Office.

My eyes popped open, sweat dripping from my forehead. My breath heaved in and out of my chest. I looked around the room, half expecting the knife-wielding assailants to lunge at me from the darkness. Nothing. I was alone in the darkened room. Why had the dream frightened me so much? I didn’t know the man, never even been to Miami. Besides, people get killed all the time, what made this dream, about a man I didn’t even know, so personal?

AND

Before:

“Nobody can see the future,” my boss said, “just not possible.” He was adamant. And, after a few weeks of ordinary, uneventful dreams, I had to agree with him. The dream about Hugo Delgado was a fluke — what they call a one-off.

Then came the second dream.

A small boy in Garland, Texas was pushed into a well by a stranger. His parents were desperate; they were sure he’d been kidnapped. The boy’s name was Jeremy Duncan. I saw the exact location of the well; the tall, tangle-haired stranger sneak up from behind; Jeremy screaming and falling. I experienced it all — in my dream. The same cold sweat, the same feeling of panic I’d had with the Hugo Delgado dream jolted me out of bed.

After

“Nobody can see the future,” my boss said, “just not possible.” He was adamant. And, after a few weeks of ordinary, uneventful dreams, I had to agree with him. The dream about Hugo Delgado was a fluke — what they call a one-off.

Then came the second dream.

A small boy tromped through the woods behind his house in Garland, Texas. He stopped at a well and rested his hands on the edge, bending to peek inside. A tall tangle-haired stranger approached from behind. The boy—Jeremy Duncan, his name came to me as easily as my own–turned, his small face registering confusion, then fear as the man lifted him off his feet. Jeremy screamed, fought against the stranger’s hold. The man tossed him into the well. Another long, hollow scream, then silence.  I even saw his desperate parents. Calling the police. They were sure he’d been kidnapped. The same cold sweat, the same feeling of panic I’d had with the Hugo Delgado dream jolted me out of bed.

Thanks to Rick for sharing his work with us today…please continue reading for the complete story.

Until next time…happy writing!

*** If you would like to send me a few sample pages (around 7500 words or so, even though I will not edit that many on the blog. It just gives me more to choose from) for me to edit and share on an upcoming blog post, please do so in the body of an email to AliciaMDean@aol.com. Please use the subject line: “Blog Submission” This is for published or unpublished authors. In the email, please include whether you would like me to use your name or keep it anonymous, and whether or not you would like me to include any contact info or buy info for your books. Also, you can let me know if you would like for me to run my edits by you before posting on the blog. Please keep in mind, this is for samples to use for blog posts. I will not edit or use samples from all the submissions I receive, but I will use as many as possible. 

 

The short story in its entirety (Part of The Deadly People Series)

Hank

Dreams really do come true…unfortunately.

Let me explain. My name is Henry James. That’s right, one of those two-first-name people. To make things interesting, my family calls me “Henry,” my associates at Greener Grass Real Estate call me “James,” and my friends call me “Hank.” Take your pick, I’ve been known to answer to them all, and have been called worse. Ha.

Two years ago a dream shook me out of bed. Wait. That’s what my creative writing instructor, Mr. Gillig, calls a rough transition, and rough transitions are bad. Well then, my bad; I’m just trying to get this down on paper in a way that won’t make me sound crazy…if that’s possible. Also, this may be my first, and last, short story, so strict adherence to the rules is not top of mind.

Let me start over. A few months back, after one of my “special” dreams, a cold and terrifying thought struck me: if nothing were done to stop this dream from happening, a beautiful girl will die.

No, that’s not right either. The tense is going from past to present. Mr. Gillig will throw a fit. Whoops, “throw a fit” is a cliché — not good, either.

This story is stalling at take-off (Mr. Gillig might like that metaphor). Maybe it’ll make more sense if we start with my very first “special” dream.

I woke up in a flat-out panic. Sure, there was some drinking the night before, but nothing out of the ordinary: some beers, some shots, and more beers. The taxi driver got me home safe and sound. “One more tequila, please,” my last words before passing out just shy of the bedroom.

The dream came quickly. It was about a Cuban named Hugo Delgado; a brown skinned man with a short cropped beard, silver rimmed glasses, and a broad smile revealing one gold tooth. His smile vanished as two men, both holding long serrated knives, approached him during dinner. Mr. Delgado went to El Puerco Sucio to eat a slab of ribs, but wound up, later that night, lying on a slab at the Dade County Coroner’s Office.

My eyes popped open, sweat dripping from my forehead. Why had the dream frightened me so much? I didn’t know the man, never even been to Miami. Besides, people get killed all the time, what made this dream, about a man I didn’t even know, so personal?

I’d just had my first “special” dream, but I didn’t even know it.

After a long shower, I got ready to spend Saturday with a few of my closest friends: my hangover, the remote control, and a lumpy old couch. The a/c was on full blast, doing its best to fend off the 110 degree furnace called Las Vegas.

It wasn’t until later that night, while watching the news, my real panic began. The face of the man in my dream, Hugo Delgado, filled the screen. The news anchor talked about Miami, the murder, and the Dade County Coroner’s Office. Apparently, Mr. Delgado was a very wealthy man, owning several shopping malls, radio stations, and an interest in a sports franchise. This is what made his murder news, but not what made it special to me.

How could I have dreamt about a murder the night before it happened? Maybe the TV news got it wrong. Maybe the murder happened a few days earlier (they’re always getting things screwed up on the news). A quick scan of the internet proved the story was accurate: Mr. Delgado had been murdered, in a restaurant in Miami, on Saturday afternoon.

Holy crap! My dream about a future event was real. It scared the hell out of me, but also made me wonder: am I a clairvoyant? Could my dreams really predict the future? I couldn’t wait to go to sleep and have another dream about events to come.

It doesn’t work that way.

On Monday morning, I decided to tell my co-workers about my dream. It didn’t take a clairvoyant to predict their reaction: skepticism, disbelief, and laughter.

“Nobody can see the future,” my boss said, “just not possible.” He was adamant. And, after a few weeks of ordinary, uneventful dreams, I had to agree with him. The dream about Hugo Delgado was a fluke — what they call a one-off.

Then came the second dream.

A small boy in Garland, Texas was pushed into a well by a stranger. His parents were desperate; they were sure he’d been kidnapped. The boy’s name was Jeremy Duncan. I saw the exact location of the well; the tall, tangle-haired stranger sneak up from behind; Jeremy screaming and falling. I experienced it all — in my dream. The same cold sweat, the same feeling of panic I’d had with the Hugo Delgado dream jolted me out of bed.

This would be the perfect chance for me to change the future; not only for the boy, but for my own vindication; a chance to do something good while also proving the existence of any special powers my dreams might hold.

But who to call? The FBI? The Garland Police? Las Vegas Metro? No. Why involve the authorities when there might be a chance my dream was not entirely accurate? I decided to hedge my bet, call the Duncan’s themselves in Garland, Texas, and tell them exactly where to find their boy.

“Listen, mister, if this is some kinda joke, it ain’t funny.” Mr. Duncan’s voice climbed the decibel scale until he shouted into the phone, “Jeremy’s not missing. I got him right here in my sight. You drunk or something?”

“No, sir. I had a dream about your little boy.”

“I’m calling the police, you pervert.”

I hung up. What happened to my vision? The answer came to me all at once: nothing had happened…yet. In my zeal to do the right thing, I’d called the Duncan’s a few hours before their boy disappeared down the well.

I decided to wait until the story hit the news and try that call again. An unfortunate decision. The story didn’t hit the news services until a day later. Oh, Jeremy Duncan had been found at the bottom of a well all right, but his disappearance wasn’t reported until the next day; one day too late to save his life. Little Jeremy suffered massive injuries in his thirty foot tumble. His life might have been spared if he’d have been rescued right away; if anybody knew exactly where to look. Someone did (me), but that someone never called in time. I felt like shit.

A few days later, the third dream came, teaching me an embarrassing lesson, but one essential to this story.

My boss hired a pretty little intern. Gina Toliver was assigned to shadow me and learn the ropes — the tricks of the trade of the real estate business. Gina lifted my spirits, so much so, I actually found myself whistling one day during an open house — very unprofessional. We made the sale anyway and I asked her out for a drink. She hesitated at first, then agreed.

We had two drinks each and parted as friends. Gina seemed a little stand-off-ish, but I just thought she was shy. Eventually, she became the girl of my dreams — quite literally.

In my dream, we went out for drinks. She flirted with me and I flirted back. One thing led to another which led back to my place. It was a warm and comfortable dream. We made love until I woke up feeling relaxed and content.

When Gina arrived for work the next day I placed my hand on her shoulder, squeezing and rubbing her smooth, familiar skin.

She backed away. “What the hell are you doing?”

Her reaction to my advances made me grin. Of course she was a little shy around me, she had no idea we were destined to become passionate lovers.

That never happened. The more I pursued her, flirted with her, and hinted at the night we spent together in my dream, the more frightened she became. She called in sick the next day. The day after that my boss told me she’d quit. She threatened a sexual harassment suit, but decided against pursuing charges if I were disciplined. My boss gave me two week’s severance and I went straight home feeling betrayed by a dream.

That very night, another “special” dream drifted into my sleep. Lucy Decker was caught cheating on her boyfriend. Their relationship had always been volatile, but that night it jumped to the next level. He beat her so badly she wound up in Boston General. Lucy Decker lingered between life and death for an hour or so, finally succumbing to her injuries. In my dream, I saw it all: the argument, the fight, and her desperate struggle for life. I woke up shaking, the familiar paste of sweat covering my forehead.

That morning, I realized how to differentiate the common, ordinary dreams from the “special” ones. The dream of making love to Gina made me happy, calm, and excited. The dreams about future events which came true left me desperate and anxious. Another shared theme about my “special” dreams: people were being murdered.

A thought ripped through my head. There was nothing I could do about poor Lucy Decker in Boston, Massachusetts — nothing I could do about any of the people in my “special” dreams. For whatever reason, something (or someone) had chosen me as a silent witness to the future; a future that did not want to be changed.

So the days passed…as did the nights; nights filled with a series of common dreams mixed in and around the “special” ones, the kind that kicked me out of bed, making me feel sick and afraid; dreams of things to come about people around the world: an endless parade of men and women I’d never met, each one meeting their demise as I slept.

That brings me to the dream I had a few months ago; the reason for this story.

Beads of hot sweat shoved me out of bed, an extreme response to one of my “special” and terrible dreams. Gina Toliver, the intern I’d once met in a happier dream, was being followed by an unseen assailant. She did her best to escape the attacker, but in the end, she took a wrong turn — a fatal misstep — and ran into the path of a double-decker bus on Las Vegas Boulevard just outside the Desert Shores Hotel and Casino.

Thoughts exploded through my mind: this dream about Gina is going to happen; this dream takes place in Las Vegas; this dream can be stopped.

I raced out of bed and dove into the clothes on the floor from the night before. Coffee didn’t steady my nerves, but it cleared my mind; clarity was all-important.

Google lead me to Gina’s Facebook page which told me where she worked: Red Hat Realty, 8455 Sahara Avenue. It was nine-thirty a.m. Having no idea when Gina’s death would occur, time was not my friend. The sooner I found her, the better.

I broke several traffic laws on the way to Red Hat Realty, but the police must have had more important things to do than stop a green Volvo doing seventy on Sahara. Yellow traffic lights popped up in front of me. I treated them like a video game, swerving past slower vehicles, and racing through intersections to get to my destination. Red Hat Realty was just ahead on the right.

My tires screamed when they tasted the parking lot. I hit the brakes, jumped out of the car, and rushed to the entrance. A neatly printed sign hung on the door:

Thanks for helping us reach our goal!

We’re celebrating today!

Will re-open tomorrow morning!

And I knew just where they would be celebrating: The Desert Shores Hotel and Casino. I re-joined the race for position on Sahara Avenue and headed toward the world famous Las Vegas Strip.

The congestion on Sahara Avenue was nothing compared to The Strip. My watch said noon. There was no telling when Gina would come face to face with the bus. The distinctive platinum colored roof of the Desert Shores lay a quarter-mile ahead. In this gridlock it would take at least forty minutes to get there; precious time she just didn’t have.

I pulled next to the curb and parked under a No Parking sign, time literally ticking away the seconds in my head. A symphony of horns shouted out behind me as I bolted from the car and sprinted to the sidewalk.

Thousands of tourists trudged up and down The Strip. They must have thought I was a madman, tearing along in the unholy heat. Sweat poured down my face. A group of Asian tourists snapped my picture, cheering me on as I darted past.

My mouth was dry and sticky when I arrived at the Desert Shore’s entrance. I sped inside to hotel registration, elbowed my way to the front of the line, and demanded to have Gina Toliver paged.

“They can help you at guest services, sir, over there.”

Another mad dash across the lobby. “Page Gina Toliver. It’s an emergency.”

“Are you a guest at the hotel?”

“No I’m not. Can you just page Gina Tol—”

“I’m sorry, sir, you’ll have to ask security to page her.”

That was it, I banged on the desk and gave the clerk my best Jack Nicholson, “Listen asshole, this is a fucking emergency. Page Gina Toliver now.”

In a calm, cool voice, “Gina Toliver, please report to guest services. Gina Toliver please report to guest services.”

My legs ached as I stumbled to the center of the lobby, hunched over, and tried to catch my breath. Another page echoed over the loud speakers in the same calm, cool voice: “Security, please report to guest services. Security, please report to guest services.”

Gina arrived a few seconds before the two large, dark-suited security officers entered the lobby. A weight lifted off my shoulders. The dream had been changed.

“Gina, it’s me, Hank, over here.”

When she caught my eye, her expression went from happy to horror in one Nano-second. “What are you doing? Stay away from me.”

I took a step toward her and she moved a step back; two steps forward, two steps back. When security shouted at me, she ran. I ran after her. Security ran after me.

She darted outside and screamed something about a, “Crazy stalker!”

I made it to the sidewalk just in time to see her stumble and fall into the path of an oncoming double decker bus. I’ll never forget the awful sound of Gina being squished.

Security grabbed me by both elbows and wrestled me to the ground. A terrible thought suddenly hit me: I was the unseen assailant in my dream. Without me, this dream would never have come true. Another awful thought resurfaced: the future does not want to be changed.

I’m now doing two years in Clark County detention for involuntary manslaughter. During the day, I take classes: pottery, woodworking, and creative writing.

Four nights ago, one of my “special” dreams woke me up; a dream about me. An unknown sociopath ended my life by hanging me in my cell. Tonight, at lights out, my eyes are wide open as they have been the past four nights. I pace my cell and work on this story, doing anything to stay awake. I have to stay awake, because the future does not want to be changed. I must stay awake because, unfortunately…dreams really do come true.

 

 

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 FREE on Kindle Unlimited!!!

 

16

How to write a novel? That is the question. There are probably as many answers to that question as there are people who ask it.

Wanting to write and actually doing it are two very different things. I am well acquainted with the sometimes grueling process of churning out a story. Over the years, I have tried many methods for creating and completing manuscripts, and have tweaked and honed it down to a workable (for me) process.

Using specific examples from one of my own novels, Without Mercy, I share my method in this mini how to book. The first eight steps actually deal with plotting while the last two are designed to help expand your outline into a well-developed draft. There is no one, perfect way to create a story, but there will be a method, or methods that work for you. I’m not sure if this is the one, but it works for me. Only you can decide if it also works for you. Fingers crossed that it does!

*** Warning – Please do not purchase without reading a sample. (This is solid advice for any book, fiction or non. If you are not intrigued in the sample, you will likely not enjoy the book)

Amazon: Click Here

 

 

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Filed under For Writers, Tips from an Editor

Ramblings of a Lifelong Elvis Fan – Part 50 – 50 Things I love About Elvis

In honor of my 50th post (yes, I’ve been posting about Elvis every week for almost a year. And, I still have things to say about him…can you believe it?), anyway, I thought I would see if I could think of 50 things I love about Elvis. In the words of Barney Stinson…Challenge accepted!

first

So…here goes…(This is really long, and I doubt anyone will read it all, but I wrote it anyway :))

    1. His voice: From his early days to the last days of his life, he had a beautiful, powerful voice that you could feel clear through to your soul.
    2. His movies: He made 31 motion pictures, and while not all of them were riveting classics, some were really great movies, and the ones that weren’t all that great were still fun and enjoyable.
    3. He was a man’s man. He loved football, was a black belt in Karate, loved fast cars, wasn’t afraid to fight, whether it was defending himself or coming to the defense of someone else. He also insisted on doing his own stunts in Roustabout, which was pretty cool for a multi-mega-million star like him.
    4. His generosity: Not only did he give to charities and to his friends and family, he gave to complete strangers. In his own words: “Money’s meant to be spread around. The more happiness it helps to create, the more it’s worth. It’s worthless as an old cut-up paper if it just lays in a bank and grows there without ever having been used to help a body”
    5. His delivery: Not only did Elvis have an amazing voice, he delivered a song with so much heart, that he actually made you believe whatever he was singing.
    6. His love for his mother.
    7. His sense of humor.
    8. His service in the army. As everyone knows, he was drafted at the height of the beginning of his career. He was offered an opportunity to get out of it, or to go into special services where he would only have to entertain and be a spokesperson for the military, but he chose to do his tour like any other soldier.  9
    9. He was humble. He was in awe of his good fortune and his fame. He was afraid that one day he would wake up and find it had all been a dream, or that everyone would forget him.
    10. He stayed true to his home town of Memphis, bought a house there and remained in it for the twenty years from the time he purchased it to the time he passed away.
    11. His knack for producing music. The people who worked with him said Elvis was a genius at arranging his music, and he had an uncanny knack for getting everything exactly right in his songs.
    12. His ability to make people happy. I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard fans say that listening to Elvis music or watching his movies helped them during some of the darkest times of their lives. I haven’t really had ‘dark’ times in my life, thank God, but when I’m down, I can listen to him or watch his movies, and I immediately feel better.
    13. The way he connected with and worked the audience. He didn’t just perform, he engaged with the audience, giving scarfs and kisses, joking with them and making them feel a part of something truly special.
    14. His relationship with his father. While he wasn’t as close to him as he was his mother, he loved him and treated him well all his life.
    15. He treated his employees with respect and appreciation.
    16. He was a great friend. If you were allowed in his circle, he treated you like family and he gave the same loyalty he expected to receive. Granted, he fired his friends from time to time when they pissed him off, but most of the time, he rehired them.
    17. He was a badass. In 1956, he got into a fight with two guys at a gas station, one of them was nearly twice his size, and he held his own. And, in June of 1977, he noticed two guys beating up on another guy and he jumped out of his limo and stopped the fight. (I’ve told these stories before, but they are worth repeating)  18
    18. He had a way of making people feel comfortable and important, even though he was a super star. I, of course, did not have the pleasure of experiencing this myself, but I’ve heard several interviews with people who said the same.
    19. His charisma. He had a special presence, a special charisma that you could feel, even in a concert hall with tens of thousands of other people. I can only imagine what it must have been like up close and personal.
    20. He was sexy. The way he moved, his looks, the way he expressed himself, the way he sang, sooo sexy.
    21. His way of speaking. He had an adorable southern accent and a speaking voice that was just as sexy as his singing voice.
    22. He was patriotic. He loved America and was proud of his country.
    23. He shot up televisions. Many people might think this is a negative, but I think it’s funny. And, in the words of JD Sumner, of the stamps quartet, to Elvis, destroying a television would be like us tossing a 98 cent lighter when it stopped working. How many of us would like to pull out a gun and blow a hole in the television when, say, the Kardashians come on?
    24. He gave his all in concerts. He sang, danced, joked with the audience and worked his heart out in his performances.
    25. His spirituality. He loved God and sang the heck out of gospel music.
    26. His eyes. I know this falls under looks, but they were so beautiful, so special, that they deserve a number of their own. Blue, sparkling, and gorgeous.  27
    27. Even though he wasn’t crazy about many of the movies he made, or the songs he sang, he told his guys that, if they were going to perform the songs, no matter how silly they were, they were going to do the best job they could.
    28. He didn’t conform. When he was in school, his dress and hair style was a unique style that made him the butt of ridicule, but he still wore and did what he wanted, no matter what others thought. He did the same when he started his career. He took a lot of criticism, a lot of heat, but he prevailed and started a movement that rocked the world.
    29. His love of fun. He was a kid at heart and loved to have a good time with his buddies. Once he became famous, he couldn’t go to movies or amusement parks like normal people, so he would rent them out in the wee hours and entertain all his friends.
    30. Graceland. His home was his haven, his refuge, and he welcomed his friends and family into it. I love that, even all these years after his death, his home is a place where fans can go to see his things and feel his presence.
    31. He shared the stage with others. I loved in his concerts when he would turn the stage over to one or the other of his background singers, when he would introduce his band, and give everyone on stage special attention. I remember in the Elvis on Tour documentary, when he had the Stamps sing “Sweet, Sweet Spirit” and the audience was cheering, and he gently shushed them so he could listen to the Stamps sing.
    32. The ’68 Special. His first performance after 8 years of making movies and not doing concerts was a ground-breaking, masterpiece of a success.
    33. His smile. Again, part of his looks, but it deserves its own number. He had a beautiful, engaging smile that lit up his entire face.  34
    34. In that vein, his laugh. He had a great sense of humor and loved cutting up with his friends and on stage. People who knew him said he hand an infectious laugh and when you heard it, you couldn’t help but feel happy.
    35. His love of reading and thirst for knowledge. It bothered Elvis that he hadn’t gone to college, so he read everything he could get his hands on and educated himself on as many subjects as he could.
    36. His appreciation of his fans. He was truly grateful for the love and support of his fans. He didn’t take them for granted, he was always aware that we were the ones who put him where he was, and he showed his  appreciation.  shirt
    37. This line in Jailhouse Rock. 
    38. He was polite. He called people sir and ma’am and treated others with respect. 
    39. The way he was on movie sets. The people he worked with said he didn’t act like a superstar, like he was better than they were. He listened to their advice, he was easy to work with, and he made everyone feel comfortable. 
    40. He never forgot his beginnings. He didn’t try to hide who he was or where he came from. He was used to being poor, and he was aware his fortune could be taken away. 
    41. His rehearsals. Thanks to Sirius Elvis Radio, we have the opportunity to listen in on some of his rehearsals. Not only was he funny and loose and engaging, even when he messed up on a song, it was still fantastic. 
    42. If he liked someone and wanted to keep them around, he would just give them a job. He was responsible for tons of people making an excellent living and being able to take care of their families. 
    43. He knew what he wanted, especially when it came to his music, and he did what it took to make each song the best it could be. In 1956, he wanted the Jordanaires to sing back up, but Chet Atkins was the producer, and he refused to allow them to come to the recording session. Elvis never cared for Chet after that. And, not long after, the Jordanaires were part of his band. When he recorded Jerry Reed’s “Guitar Man,” the guitar did not sound like it did on Jerry’s version, and he wanted that sound. So, he brought Jerry Reed himself in to play on the song. 
    44. He loved movies…something he and I have in common. His favorites were Peter Sellers movies. Oddly, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Peter Sellers movie, but I plan to watch one, one of these days. 
    45. He loved football. I think it’s so cool that he loved sports, and football was his favorite. The Cleveland Browns were his favorite team. I have a feeling, had he lived, he would have enjoyed pro basketball, once the Memphis Grizzlies came to be. 
    46. He was a wonderful father. Lisa Marie was only nine years old when he died, but in the short time she had her father, he doted on her. She still holds special memories of him and is proud to be his daughter.  ElvisPresley-LisaMariePresley
    47. His concerts. I had the honor of attending three of Elvis’ concerts, and they were truly magnificent. You could literally feel the electricity in the air when he walked on stage. 
    48. His music: He was one of the most versatile singers in history. He could sing blues, country, rock, soul, pop, gospel, and even opera. He recorded nearly 800 songs, and like his movies, I didn’t love all of them, but most of them were fantastic.
    49. Elvis Christmas. Elvis recorded several awesome Christmas songs. And, it was his favorite time of year. He had Graceland decorated beautifully each Christmas season, and they are still using the same decorations. His favorite thing about the holiday was generously giving to his friends, family, and employees. 
    50. His desire to be a serious actor. While I loved his movies, they weren’t exactly critically acclaimed. And, with the exception of King Creole, Elvis wasn’t very proud of his movies. He studied actors like Marlon Brando and James Dean and had the desire to do the kind of films they did. elvis-quoteDean

There you have it, 50 things. If I put my mind to it, I might be able to come up with a few more. Is there anything I missed that you love about Elvis?

~*~*~*~*~* ~*~*~*~*~* ~*~*~*~*~* ~*~*~*~*~*

EOLS Charity

Elvis was known for his giving heart and charitable work during his lifetime. Lisa Marie and Elvis Presley Enterprises have continued that tradition with their involvement in various charities. In 1984, The Elvis Charitable Foundation was formed. The EPCF created a scholarship fund for students majoring in the arts. The charity also contributes to one of Elvis’ favorite charities, Goodwill Homes, a Memphis facility that provides counseling and services for abused children and their families. The EPCF also assists numerous other charities, especially focusing on arts, education and children’s programs.

Learn more here, including how to donate:

http://www.graceland.com/epcf/

END OF LONELY STREET – Now Only 99 Cents!

On Elvis’ birthday this year, I released a Vintage Romance short story set in 1957, and of course, my heroine is an Elvis fan. :) As a tribute to Elvis’ generosity, and in order to assist with this worthy cause, 10% of my proceeds for End of Lonely Street will go to the EPCF.

EndofLonelyStreet_w9180_FINAL

All Toby Lawson wants is to go to college to become a teacher and to be free of her alcoholic mother and some painful memories. But when her mother nearly burns the house down, Toby must put her dreams on hold and return home to care for her. The only time she isn’t lonely and miserable is when she’s listening to her heartthrob, Elvis Presley. His music takes her away and helps her escape from everything wrong in her life.

Noah Rivers has always loved Toby, but no matter what he says, she can‘t get past the fact that her drunken mother once kissed him. He soon realizes the true problem lies in Toby’s belief she’s not good enough for him and in her fear she will be just like her mother.

What will it take to prove to her that she deserves to be happy, and that he would give anything to be the man to make her dreams come true?

Click Here for Kindle

Click Here for Nook

14 Comments

Filed under Elvis Presley, Entertainment

Tuesday Two-Minute Writing Tip – As and When are Not Your Friends

Got two minutes? Then check out this week’s quick tip:

 

booksh

 

Disclaimer: All of my tips are suggestions, and are only my opinion. And, for the most part, there are exceptions when going against my advice will make your story read better. Take what works, leave the rest.

 

I often see the over usage of ‘as’ and ‘when’ in submissions I receive. Authors use ‘when’ to begin a sentence in an effort to change the structure so that all of their sentences do not begin with ‘he did this’ and ‘she did that’ or do not have the ‘and’ separating two independent clauses structure.  It’s a good idea to vary your sentence structure, but you need to be careful about passive wording when doing so. Also, ‘as’ is a pet word for many, many writers. It’s okay from time to time, but when you overuse it, your writing sounds weak and telling.

Some examples:

When she rounded the corner, a man holding a knife jumped out in front of her.

When lightning flashed in the darkening sky, he turned the boat around.

When the alarm sounded, the occupants fled the building.

Doesn’t this sound more active? 

She rounded the corner, and a man holding a knife jumped out in front of her. (This is a sentence where a writer might also begin with ‘as’ which isn’t necessary and makes it telling)

Lightning flashed in the darkening sky, and he turned the boat around.

The alarm sounded, and the occupants fled the building.

If you do not want to use the ‘and’ sentence structure, you could do this: (Whether or not you will want to will depend on the surrounding sentences and if you have used ‘and’ a few times in the same few paragraphs)

She rounded the corner, heading to the coffee shop. A man holding a knife jumped out in front of her. (This is a sentence where a writer might also begin with ‘as’ which isn’t necessary and makes it telling)

Lightning flashed in the darkening sky. A storm was coming. Sighing in frustration, he turned the boat around.

The shrill alarm sounded. Like a herd of buffalo, the occupants fled the building.

Staring with ‘when’ gives readers a head’s up that something is about to happen, rather than having the character experience that something without warning.  

As for using as…here is a scene from my work in progress, Liberty Unleashed – Isle of Fangs Book 3, where I’ve liberally sprinkled in as’s. Then, a rewrite without the as’s. :)

An evening breeze blew in from the ocean, lifting and then lowering the target that hung between two palm trees as Liberty Van Helsing drew in a deep breath and focused, repeating her new mantra, the fewer vampires you kill, the more humans that die. She had to get better at being a hunter. Lives depended on it.

As she planted her feet in the sand, she gripped the butt of the pistol and narrowed her eyes on the target. She drew in a lungful of ocean air, and—

A hurtling object flashed in her peripheral as something slammed into her shoulder. As she stumbled, the gun went off, but she missed the target completely.

As she lifted her upper body and rested on her elbows, she noticed a Frisbee lying on the beach a few feet away. “Son of a bitch!” She sprang to her feet, brushing sand off her jeans as she whirled on Eli, who leaned nonchalantly against a palm tree. “What the hell?”

He grinned and shrugged. “A little distraction.”

“You threw a Frisbee at me? While I was taking aim?”

“Do you think you’re going to have time to settle into your stance on a hunt?”

As she huffed out a breath, she said, “Maybe not, but you could have given me a head’s up.”

He pushed off the tree and sauntered toward her, stopping a few inches away as his dark blond hair blew in the wind like a tarnished halo.

As he approached, her breathing slowed, as it did every time he was near. She squelched the urge to back away as she forced herself to meet his glittering silver gaze as she lifted her chin.

Without the ‘as’s':

An evening breeze blew in from the ocean, lifting and then lowering the target that hung between two palm trees. Liberty Van Helsing drew in a deep breath and focused, repeating her new mantra, the fewer vampires you kill, the more humans that die. She had to get better at being a hunter. Lives depended on it.

Planting her feet in the sand, she gripped the butt of the pistol and narrowed her eyes on the target. She drew in a lungful of ocean air, and—

A hurtling object flashed in her peripheral just before something slammed into her shoulder. She stumbled, and the gun went off, but she missed the target completely.

She lifted her upper body and rested on her elbows. “Son of a bitch!” A Frisbee lay on the beach a few feet away. She sprang to her feet, brushing sand off her jeans and whirled on Eli, who leaned nonchalantly against a palm tree. “What the hell?”

He grinned and shrugged. “A little distraction.”

“You threw a Frisbee at me? While I was taking aim?”

“Do you think you’re going to have time to settle into your stance on a hunt?”

She huffed out a breath. “Maybe not, but you could have given me a head’s up.”

He pushed off the tree and sauntered toward her, stopping a few inches away, his dark blond hair blowing in the wind like a tarnished halo.

Her breathing slowed, the way it did every time he was near. She had to squelch the urge to back away. Forcing herself to meet his glittering silver gaze, she lifted her chin.

I probably used a few more ‘as’s’ in my example than most authors would, but it is to give you an idea of how you can eliminate the over usage to make your writing more active and less telling.

As always, please do not focus on this during your draft stage. Write quickly, crappily, telling yourself that each time you go through the MS, it will improve. The first draft is the time to let your creativity run wild and get the story down. You can always polish that jewel during the next rounds, right?

Until next time…happy writing!

*** If you would like to send me a few sample pages (around 7500 words or so, even though I will not edit that many on the blog. It just gives me more to choose from) for me to edit and share on an upcoming blog post, please do so in the body of an email to AliciaMDean@aol.com. Please use the subject line: “Blog Submission” This is for published or unpublished authors. In the email, please include whether you would like me to use your name or keep it anonymous, and whether or not you would like me to include any contact info or buy info for your books. Also, you can let me know if you would like for me to run my edits by you before posting on the blog. Please keep in mind, this is for samples to use for blog posts. I will not edit or use samples from all the submissions I receive, but I will use as many as possible. 

 

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 FREE on Kindle Unlimited!!!

 

16

How to write a novel? That is the question. There are probably as many answers to that question as there are people who ask it.

Wanting to write and actually doing it are two very different things. I am well acquainted with the sometimes grueling process of churning out a story. Over the years, I have tried many methods for creating and completing manuscripts, and have tweaked and honed it down to a workable (for me) process.

Using specific examples from one of my own novels, Without Mercy, I share my method in this mini how to book. The first eight steps actually deal with plotting while the last two are designed to help expand your outline into a well-developed draft. There is no one, perfect way to create a story, but there will be a method, or methods that work for you. I’m not sure if this is the one, but it works for me. Only you can decide if it also works for you. Fingers crossed that it does!

*** Warning – Please do not purchase without reading a sample. (This is solid advice for any book, fiction or non. If you are not intrigued in the sample, you will likely not enjoy the book)

Amazon: Click Here

 

 

2 Comments

Filed under For Writers, Tips from an Editor

Ramblings of a Lifelong Elvis Fan – Part 49 – The Movies 14-16 (1964) – Kissin’ Cousins ~ Viva Las Vegas ~ Roustabout

Kissin’ Cousins:

I hate to say it, but not only is this probably my least favorite Elvis movie, I really didn’t like it at all. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed watching it because I had the pleasure of watching and listening to Elvis, but the movie was silly, not just ‘fun’ silly like some of his movies, but really, really silly. And, the romance was a sub par. It seemed like he just decided between the two girls and chose the dark-haired one and suddenly they were a couple. I did love that there were two Elvis’, even though the hick in the blond wig just didn’t quite measure up to the ‘other’ Elvis. Critics have said that this was the beginning of the downhill spiral of low budget, bad Elvis movies, but I loved most of the ones that came after, so I beg to differ.

Kissin-Cousins-elvis-presley-20122624-960-540
About: Elvis plays two roles. One of them was Josh Morgan, an army officer who is sent to the Smoky Mountains to convince a backwoods family to allow the Army to build a missile site on their land. He is chosen because he is from the area. As it turns out, the family is his kinfolk, including a lookalike cousin, Jodie Tatum, played by Elvis in a blond wig. Elvis falls for one of the hill girls and the Army gets their site, but the family also benefits. Happily Ever After, etc.

kc10Kissin-Cousins-elvis-presley-20125188-960-540

Side notes: Elvis hated wearing the strawberry blond wig.

Yvonne Craig, who was his co-star and leading lady, was also in “It Happened at the World’s Fair” although she was not his main love interest. When asked what it was like working with Elvis, she said:

“I did two movies with Elvis – “It Happened at the World’s Fair” and “Kissin’ Cousins” and both times not only was he an absolute joy but the experience itself was wonderful. He was extremely professional – always on time, knew his lines, and was very much a part of the cast, never pulling rank as the “star”. He had a great deal of self-deprecating sense of humor and was very much a “southern gentleman” as far as good manners were concerned. Because he surrounded himself with his friends from Memphis, it was for me like always having about ten playful but protective big brothers on the set.”

Favorite Song: Tender Feeling

Favorite Scene: I suppose it’s the end where Elvis is singing Kissin’ Cousins and looking adorable.

Viva Las Vegas

Elvis-Presley-in-Viva-Las-Vegas-elvis-presley-18699297-1050-592

This was one of the most well-loved Elvis movies, and is one of my favorites. I believe a lot of it had to do with the chemistry between Ann-Margaret and Elvis. It has been rumored, and I believe it to be true, that they were deeply in love in real life. I think she would have been a perfect mate for him. They had a lot in common, and dear Lord, what a gorgeous couple they made.

Elvis-Presleyann-in-Viva-Las-Vegas-elvis-presley-18700709-1050-592Elvis-Presleyann-in-Viva-Las-Vegas-elvis-presley-18699951-1050-592

About: Elvis plays Lucky Jackson, a race car driver trying to earn money to put a new engine in his race car in time for the Grand Prix. He meets and falls for Rusty, played by Ann-Margaret, who fears for his safety and wants him to give up racing for her.

Side Notes:  Viva Las Vegas grossed more than the Beatles movie “Hard Day’s Night” even though they were released in the same year, when Beatle Fever was in full swing.

The tabloids released images of the Elvis and Ann-Margaret wedding scene, claiming that the two had actually gotten married.

This was Elvis’ highest grossing film.

Favorite Song: I had a few favorites in this one, among them: The lady loves me, If You Think I Don’t Need You, and C’mon Everybody.

Favorite Scene: Lots of favorite scenes, but one of my top ones is when Rusty goes on a date with the Count because she’s angry with Lucky. Lucky is their waiter for the evening, and he’s ornery and adorable while serving them.

Roustabout:

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GREAT movie! Lots of fighting and hotness and emotional moments. I love in his movies, when he’s performing and troublemakers come in. Of course, a fight breaks out and Elvis says cute things and punches people. :) Another plus for this movie; Elvis wore a lot of black leather and was a smarta$$, which created some sexy and funny moments.  I wasn’t wild about Joan Freeman, who played his love interest, Cathy. Not sure why, maybe it was the dorky head scarfs. 

scarfth

About: Elvis plays Charlie Rogers, a man with a troubled past who finds trouble wherever he goes. After being fired from a singing gig, he encounters carnival owner, Maggie (played by Barbara Stanwyck). She is with Joe, her friend and co-worker, and Joe’s daughter, Cathy. When Joe runs Elvis off the road because he’s flirting with Cathy, Maggie offers to have his motorcycle fixed and put him up at the carnival until it’s ready. Elvis sings at the carnival and brings in customers, helping them out of their financial bind. But, he and Joe butt heads and Elvis leaves, only to return to claim the girl and save the day. 

Side Notes: Elvis insisted on doing his own stunts.

Raquel Welch played a college student in the opening scene:

roustabout_raquel_welch

Mae West was first offered the role of Maggie, but declined when they refused to rewrite the script to make her one of Elvis’ love interests.

Favorite Song: One Track Heart

Favorite Scenes: Actually, they are favorite lines…

College student to Elvis (Charlie): This is a real crummy joint, I’ve seen more action in a zoo.
Charlie: From which side of the cage, pal?

*************************

After they pull Elvis off of the guy he’s fighting at the carnival:
Cathy: “What are you trying to prove? You know you can beat him.”

Charlie: “He doesn’t know it.”

*************************

Charlie, when Madame Mijanou, played by Sue Ann Langdon, is putting the moves on him: I can only make love outdoors. The first girl I ever tried to make love to was hooked on the outdoors. I had to take the top down before she’d let me kiss her.

Madame Mijanou: Did you ever kiss her?

Charlie: Three hours later.

Madame Mijanou: It took you three hours to take the top down on a convertible?

Charlie: It wasn’t a convertible.

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fort teller 11d7ad1c9cd10a04016d3fe95d4c

Thank you for joining me. Have you seen these movies? What did you think?

 

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EOLS Charity

Elvis was known for his giving heart and charitable work during his lifetime. Lisa Marie and Elvis Presley Enterprises have continued that tradition with their involvement in various charities. In 1984, The Elvis Charitable Foundation was formed. The EPCF created a scholarship fund for students majoring in the arts. The charity also contributes to one of Elvis’ favorite charities, Goodwill Homes, a Memphis facility that provides counseling and services for abused children and their families. The EPCF also assists numerous other charities, especially focusing on arts, education and children’s programs.

Learn more here, including how to donate:

http://www.graceland.com/epcf/

END OF LONELY STREET – Now Only 99 Cents!

On Elvis’ birthday this year, I released a Vintage Romance short story set in 1957, and of course, my heroine is an Elvis fan. :) As a tribute to Elvis’ generosity, and in order to assist with this worthy cause, 10% of my proceeds for End of Lonely Street will go to the EPCF.

EndofLonelyStreet_w9180_FINAL

All Toby Lawson wants is to go to college to become a teacher and to be free of her alcoholic mother and some painful memories. But when her mother nearly burns the house down, Toby must put her dreams on hold and return home to care for her. The only time she isn’t lonely and miserable is when she’s listening to her heartthrob, Elvis Presley. His music takes her away and helps her escape from everything wrong in her life.

Noah Rivers has always loved Toby, but no matter what he says, she can‘t get past the fact that her drunken mother once kissed him. He soon realizes the true problem lies in Toby’s belief she’s not good enough for him and in her fear she will be just like her mother.

What will it take to prove to her that she deserves to be happy, and that he would give anything to be the man to make her dreams come true?

Click Here for Kindle

Click Here for Nook

3 Comments

Filed under Elvis Presley, Entertainment

Tuesday Two-Minute Writing Tip – Making Your Character Stay in Character

Got two minutes? Then check out this week’s quick tip:

 

booksh

Disclaimer: All of my tips are suggestions, and are only my opinion. And, for the most part, there are exceptions when going against my advice will make your story read better. Take what works, leave the rest.

 

We all know about, and I’ve already blogged about, head hopping and POV switches. But, remaining in Point of View actually goes deeper than that. The entirety of your scene should remain in the viewpoint of your POV character, including the narrative, the level of the character’s experience and knowledge, etc.

Some examples:

I see this often when editing, we are in one character’s POV, then we’ll have a paragraph like this:

They sat in silence, each lost in their own thoughts. They thought about all the time they’d wasted hating one another and keeping secrets. Now, they were both ready for honesty, for healing.

How can one POV character speak for the other? How can the POV character know what the other is thinking? Maybe the other is lost in thought because he or she is jonesing for a hot fudge sundae. This is akin to Omniscient POV and is best avoided.

When a POV character is from the streets, yet the narrative makes him sound like a Harvard graduate.

“Ain’t gonna be no more chances, slick. I’d a soon gut ya as look atcha.” Lil’ Pete brandished a knife and pressed it against his victim’s bulging jugular. A wave of pure euphoria rushed through his system. This phenomenon was exhilarating beyond measure. Next, he would commandeer the chap’s vehicle and revel in an evening of unbridled excitement.

I might have slightly exaggerated, but get the picture? :)

Having a character be knowledgeable about something they shouldn’t be knowledgeable about.

Lynette’s body trembled. She’d been raised in a convent and had never even seen a gun. Now, she was staring down the barrel of a SIG Sauer P220 with the Browning linkless cam short recoil action of self-loading with a double-action/single action trigger. A sob tore from her chest. God, please…don’t let me die….

Again, an exaggeration, but this is just a reminder that, when you are in a character’s POV scene, make sure to add legitimacy and realism to the scene by not only speaking like that character, but thinking, feeling and knowing like the character.

As always, please do not focus on this during your draft stage. Write quickly, crappily, telling yourself that each time you go through the MS, it will improve. The first draft is the time to let your creativity run wild and get the story down. You can always polish that jewel during the next rounds, right?

Until next time…happy writing!

*** If you would like to send me a few sample pages (around 7500 words or so, even though I will not edit that many on the blog. It just gives me more to choose from) for me to edit and share on an upcoming blog post, please do so in the body of an email to AliciaMDean@aol.com. This is for published or unpublished authors. In the email, please include whether you would like me to use your name or keep it anonymous, and whether or not you would like me to include any contact info or buy info for your books. Also, you can let me know if you would like for me to run my edits by you before posting on the blog.

 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

 FREE on Kindle Unlimited!!!

 

16

How to write a novel? That is the question. There are probably as many answers to that question as there are people who ask it.

Wanting to write and actually doing it are two very different things. I am well acquainted with the sometimes grueling process of churning out a story. Over the years, I have tried many methods for creating and completing manuscripts, and have tweaked and honed it down to a workable (for me) process.

Using specific examples from one of my own novels, Without Mercy, I share my method in this mini how to book. The first eight steps actually deal with plotting while the last two are designed to help expand your outline into a well-developed draft. There is no one, perfect way to create a story, but there will be a method, or methods that work for you. I’m not sure if this is the one, but it works for me. Only you can decide if it also works for you. Fingers crossed that it does!

*** Warning – Please do not purchase without reading a sample. (This is solid advice for any book, fiction or non. If you are not intrigued in the sample, you will likely not enjoy the book)

Amazon: Click Here

 

 

4 Comments

Filed under For Writers, Tips from an Editor

Ramblings of a Lifelong Elvis Presley Fan – Part 48 – Elvis in June

On today’s post, I thought I would share some important events in Elvis’ life that occurred in the month of June, along with a few interesting tidbits…

June 5, 1956 — Elvis appeared on the Milton Berle Show and sang “Hound Dog.” His performance caused quite a stir, not all of it positive. The “Elvis the Pelvis” nickname came about shortly after this performance.

Here is just one of the many scathing reviews that resulted:

By Ben Gross of the Daily News:

“Popular music has been sinking in this country for some years. Now it has reached its lowest depths in the ‘grunt and groin’ antics of one Elvis Presley. The TV audience had a noxious sampling of it the other evening. Elvis, who rotates his pelvis, was appalling musically … He gave an exhibition that was suggestive and vulgar, tinged with the kind of animalism that should be confined to dives and bordellos.”

Haha, so, in other words, he’s extremely sexy… ;)

June 10, 1958 —  Elvis was on leave from the military and held a recording session in Nashville. He recorded the following songs:

I Need Your Love Tonight

A Big Hunk O’ Love

Ain’t That Loving You Baby

(Now And Then There’s a) Fool Such As I

I Got Stung

This would be his last session until after his discharge from the army in 1960.

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June 26, 1977 — Sadly, Elvis gave the last concert of his life on this date at Market Square Arena in Indianapolis. I’d seen him March 25 of that year in Norman, Oklahoma at the Lloyd Noble Arena, not knowing it would be the last time I would ever have the pleasure of attending an Elvis concert. :(

Elvis Bites Reporter  

Elvis was in Charlotte, North Carolina for a concert in June, 1956. A female reporter walked up to Elvis, who was sitting in a car, to take a picture. Elvis leaned his head out the window and bit her on the hand. Not at all pleased, she called him a “big bruiser” and asked him ‘what’s the big idea.’ He said, “I was only being friendly, like a little puppy dog.” The reporter told him no one had ever bitten her in friendship, and he replied, “Lady, if you want to get ahead, you gotta be different.” The reporter didn’t file a lawsuit, but in this day and age, I would imagine the outcome would have been quite different. :) (It’s unfortunate that he chose to bite one of the very few young women who did NOT like getting bitten by him :))

This is a picture from that same trip to Charlotte (this girl is not the reporter :))

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Elvis dog tags

While Elvis was in the army, tons of merchandise was released to keep him in the forefront of the public’s mind. One of the more unique items was Elvis Dog Tags. They were available in either silver or gold and included Elvis’ Army serial number, his blood type, a picture, and copy of his signature. The tags weren’t made available until July, but the buzz for them began in June. A deejay in Boston had the idea for a gimmick where he offered six tags to the first three girls who came to the station wearing a bathing suit and to the first three boys who arrived with guitars. More than 600 people showed up on the rainy night at the studio. Three police vehicles were dispatched to maintain order. Among the crowd were twenty-two boys with guitars and sixteen girls wearing bathing suits. 

ElvisDogTag

Can you imagine what those would be worth now? I wasn’t born yet, or I definitely would have one.  :)

Thanks for joining me…have a fabulous weekend!

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EOLS Charity

Elvis was known for his giving heart and charitable work during his lifetime. Lisa Marie and Elvis Presley Enterprises have continued that tradition with their involvement in various charities. In 1984, The Elvis Charitable Foundation was formed. The EPCF created a scholarship fund for students majoring in the arts. The charity also contributes to one of Elvis’ favorite charities, Goodwill Homes, a Memphis facility that provides counseling and services for abused children and their families. The EPCF also assists numerous other charities, especially focusing on arts, education and children’s programs.

Learn more here, including how to donate:

http://www.graceland.com/epcf/

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On Elvis’ 80th birthday this year, I released a Vintage Romance short story set in 1957, and of course, my heroine is an Elvis fan. :) As a tribute to Elvis’ generosity, and in order to assist with this worthy cause, 10% of my proceeds for End of Lonely Street will go to the EPCF.

EndofLonelyStreet_w9180_FINAL

All Toby Lawson wants is to go to college to become a teacher and to be free of her alcoholic mother and some painful memories. But when her mother nearly burns the house down, Toby must put her dreams on hold and return home to care for her. The only time she isn’t lonely and miserable is when she’s listening to her heartthrob, Elvis Presley. His music takes her away and helps her escape from everything wrong in her life.

Noah Rivers has always loved Toby, but no matter what he says, she can‘t get past the fact that her drunken mother once kissed him. He soon realizes the true problem lies in Toby’s belief she’s not good enough for him and in her fear she will be just like her mother.

What will it take to prove to her that she deserves to be happy, and that he would give anything to be the man to make her dreams come true?

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