Welcome to my Tupperware post!! I wanted to share this week’s sales with you…and offer you a chance to share a memory and win a prize!!
When I was a young child, my mother sold Tupperware. We were raised in a Tupperware household and I have a lot of great memories associated with the product. For example…
There were 5 of us children at home at the time. (We have an order half-brother who didn’t live with us, and we have a baby sister now, who wasn’t born yet during Mom’s Tupperware heyday. :)). Any time we were going on a road trip, even just the 85 mile trip to Pharoah/Weleetka, she would put water and a wash cloth in Tupperware tumblers so she could wash us up during the trip. (Anti-Bacterial Wipes were yet to be invented) I remember Dad calling it, “Canning a wash rag.” 😀
I think I used that story in one of my books…Death Notice.
These were the tumblers Tupperware sold at the time: (Remember them?)
GIVEAWAY!! Share a Tupperware memory in the comments. I’ll draw one name and the winner will receive a $5 Amazon gift card PLUS a piece of Tupperware!
Be sure to check out theses sales…and if you would like to place an order, email me by Thursday evening at 5 p.m – or comment with your order. Here is a link to the complete catalog: https://www.tupperware.com/shop-publications
TO PLACE AN ORDER: Comment or email me with the description, item# (if you have it), quantity, your address, and pay method (PayPal or credit card are the easiest)
This sale is ONLY good this week – Be sure to let me know by Thursday if you’d like to order. What a great deal…all kinds of uses for this item. The seal comes in black or red:
Just in time for all the summer barbecues – these items will make grilling SO much easier… (These sales end June 8)
Got two minutes? Then check out this week’s quick tip ~ Giving your story more impact by giving your characters more dialogue
Hello and welcome…I am a freelance editor and an editor for The Wild Rose Press, as well as an author. I often struggle with my own writing, and I have found that sometimes, a little reminder of ways to improve the process can be helpful, so, I like to share these moments of brilliance with others :). But, in this busy world of ours, who has time for pages and pages of writing tips? That’s why I’ve condensed mine down to quick flashes you can read in (approximately) two minutes. Enjoy…
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.
Everyone knows readers like to read dialogue, so be sure to capitalize on every opportunity to put more words in their mouths. Also, it can often bring a little more impact and depth to a scene. So, why have your characters think something when they can actually say it?
Here are a few examples from some of my stories, the first two being published works where it’s too late, but looking back, my characters should have said it, not thought it…
End of Lonely Street:
As it is:
“I’ll have none of this nonsense at a school function. Rock and roll? Are you out of your mind?”
No rock and roll? No Everly Brothers or Little Richard or Buddy Holly? No….Elvis?
“But, sir. The kids are really looking forward to it. We’ve sold more than three-hundred tickets so far, and we just know we’ll sell more. That’s over three-hundred dollars for Miss Murdock’s expenses—well, once we deduct the operational costs. Many of the kids will want their money back if we don’t have rock and roll music at the dance. Besides, Miss Murdock already gave her approval, before she had to retire.”
Mr. Rivers crossed his hands on the top of his desk. “It doesn’t matter how many tickets you’ve sold. I’m in charge now, and I’m not going to coddle students like Miss Murdock did. I won’t have my kids exposed to that devil music, especially that vulgar, immoral Elvis the Pelvis.”
“Vulgar? Devil music?” Toby clenched her fists. It made her so angry when older people spoke that way about rock and roll, especially about Elvis. He was a nice boy, respectful and polite. Kind to his fans, to his mother. And he was the dreamiest. “Rock and roll is not devil music. It’s just a way for kids to have fun, to have their own—”
As it could have been:
“Vulgar? Devil music?” Toby clenched her fists. It made her so angry when older people spoke that way about rock and roll, especially about Elvis. “He’s a nice boy, respectful and polite. He’s kind to his fans, to his mother.” And he was the dreamiest. “Rock and roll is not devil music. It’s just a way for kids to have fun, to have their own—”
There was really no point in only doing it in narrative. This gives her a little more backbone, I think.
From Death Notice:
As it is:
“I’m sorry,” he said softly.
I nodded. “It wasn’t their fault. Katie’s parents knew my parents were going out. Knew we were spending the night in the back yard. It was a safe neighborhood. They weren’t worried. But after…” I shrugged. “I guess they just needed someone to blame.”
“I’m sure they did,” Lane said, but I was barely aware of him speaking. I was lost in that time. Now that I had started, it all kept pouring out.
“Although Mom and Dad felt guilty, they were defensive when Katie’s parents accused them. It caused a huge rift, and they never spoke again. Funny, but Katie’s parents didn’t hold it against me or Josie. As a matter of fact, I became even closer to them as the years went by. Katie was an only child, and I guess it helped to have me around. My parents didn’t mind. They felt terrible about what happened. Almost guilty about the fact that they had four children left when the Broussards had none. My brothers were devastated. Especially Gabe, since he was left in charge. Coburn, as usual, was a rock, but Mitch and Gabe went to pieces. It had the opposite effect on each of them. Gabe, who’d been wild and out of control, settled down, became quiet. Wound up becoming a priest. Mitch went a little crazy for a few years. Got really heavy into drugs. Josie did, too. Only, Mitch came back.”
“Must have been horrible.”
We started junior high that year. It was miserable. I already had a reputation for being a little morbid since my dad was a mortician. After Katie’s death, rumors circulated about my family being cultists. About how we’d put some kind of curse on her. Some even said we’d sacrificed her in a ritual and eaten her flesh. Josie became a stoner and I became an outcast. My brothers, oddly, went unscathed. They were just too good-looking and had too much personality to let a little thing like ritualistic murder affect their popularity.
As it could have been:
“It was. We started junior high that year. It was miserable. I already had a reputation for being a little morbid since my dad was a mortician. After Katie’s death, rumors circulated about my family being cultists. About how we’d put some kind of curse on her. Some even said we’d sacrificed her in a ritual and eaten her flesh. Josie became a stoner and I became an outcast. My brothers, oddly, went unscathed. They were just too good-looking and had too much personality to let a little thing like ritualistic murder affect their popularity.”
I think this is not only less boring, being in dialogue, but it opens her up a bit to Lane, the guy she’s falling in love with.
Lastly, and very briefly, in my latest WIP, Evil Eye, I am writing a rough draft and I have a scene where my protagonist’s dad has been roughed up by some bad guys to whom he owes money. (He’s an addicted gambler/alcoholic). He wants Scarlet (my protagonist) to ask her estranged, criminal sister for the money. I wrote it like this:
Scarlet twisted a strand of hair and tucked it behind her ear. “I can cash in my retirement, but I’ll only get half of what you need. I’ll take that to them, let them know I’m a cop. Maybe I can convince them to settle for that. At least for now.”
Her dad groaned out a sound that was something between a laugh and a cry. “These people don’t make deals and they aren’t afraid of cops.”
“Do you have a better idea?” Irritation sharpened her voice.
“Yeah, I do. You can ask Ivory. She’d as soon spit on my corpse as to look at me, but she’d do anything to connect with you again.”
Scarlet would rather take a beating from Hector’s goons than speak with her sister, but was she willing to let her dad be killed? She let out a weary sigh. “Fine, I’ll talk to her, on one condition.”
Then I realized that it might play better, have a little more impact and get across to her dad just how reluctant she is, if I turned it into dialogue:
Scarlet snorted. “I’d rather take a beating from Hector’s goons than see Ivory.” But, was she willing to let her dad be killed? She let out a weary sigh. “Fine, I’ll talk to her, on one condition.”
What do you think? Is dialogue often better? We can’t always apply this. After all, we don’t want a story with nothing but dialogue. Plus, our characters often think things that definitely shouldn’t be spoken aloud. But, perhaps keep this in mind as you’re polishing, even if you don’t do so in the first draft. Are there things your characters can think that they’d be better off saying?
Until next time…happy writing!
NEW RELEASE – Available April 15, 2016 – Pre-Order for only 99¢!
(Click on the cover to be taken to the Amazon Buy Page)
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I am releasing an e-book with a collection of Two-Minute Tips I have shared on my blog. Now, you can have them in one convenient place for easy reference. Pre-Order price is 99¢ – Regular price will be $2.99.
*** 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.
*** Find the Magic and the book I use for examples in FTM, Without Mercy, are both on sale for 1.50 each. Click HERE for Find the Magic and HERE for Without Mercy ***
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)
As I’ve stated previously, nearly each of my published work contains a mention of Elvis, even if only briefly. Below are a few samples from a handful of books…
Available now, but will be released on August 14th as part of a boxed set with other Tales of the Scrimshaw Doll Stories by other authors
Thicker Than Water – Tales of the Scrimshaw Doll
Jake fell silent and flipped on the radio. “Suspicious Minds” by Elvis was playing. She glanced at him from the corner of her eye. Did he remember how much she liked Elvis? How he’d teased her unmercifully about it? Nothing showed on his face, but he must remember. Or had he shoved every memory of their time together out of his mind?
Ravyn crossed her arms and leaned back in her chair, purposely keeping her gaze above chest level so she wouldn’t see the way the tool belt slanted across his lean hips. “What do you want to know about me? I make candles and jewelry. I have one sister and a mother. I live alone. No pets. I like long walks in the rain and old music . . . you know, Otis Redding, The Platters, Elvis Presley. Anything else?”
He gave a satisfied smile. “See? Was that so hard? My turn. I work construction, and I have two sisters and two parents. One dog, a golden retriever named Dog. I don’t like long walks anywhere, and I’m not crazy about oldies. Not crazy about Elvis’s music, although the later stuff was pretty good. I like his movies, though.”
Caster’s Unfriendly Ghost (Coming this Fall)
“But one of my foster moms, Della, was different. She was good to me. She loved me. Really loved me. She was an excellent cook, and my favorite thing she made was peach pancakes. We’d sit together in the kitchen in the early morning hours before anyone else was awake, and we’d talk about…everything. She was the first person in my life who made me feel important. Who really seemed to care about me.” She paused. Bittersweet memories assailed her. Della’s comforting hugs. Her special smile. Listening to Elvis Presley music with her and watching her sweet face as she seemed transported to another time. Then, the night her husband came home from the hospital, looking ten years older…
“Suspicious Minds” by Elvis came on the radio and I turned it up, feeling my spirits lift. I had inadvertently become an Elvis fan in college while doing a paper on the impact of celebrities on society. Whether or not one appreciated Elvis’ talent, there was no denying he was a phenomenon, the likes of which had never been seen before and would probably never be seen again. Not only did I find I loved his music, I’d discovered why he had the impact he had. He had this boyish, southern charm, but at the same time, a deeply embedded raw sexuality that was powerful and intoxicating. It was fortunate that he only used that power for entertainment. If he’d been a terrorist or a cult leader, he could have easily taken over the world. I was only six when he died, a few years younger than his daughter. Had I been ten years older, I was certain I’d have been a part of the frenzied, screaming masses, fainting and tossing my panties up on stage.
He hesitated, clearing his throat before speaking. “I’ve observed a lot of people over the centuries.” He stared past her shoulder. “I remember one time you came out here, your Walkman hanging from your ear. You stood right over there. All by yourself. Dancing.”
A heated flush rose to her face. “You saw that?” She laughed to cover her embarrassment. “I was listening to Elvis Presley music. It made me feel better somehow. I guess that makes me a dork.”
He shook his head. “No. Your goofy dance made you a dork.”
“Hey!” she said with mock indignation. Then she shrugged. “It was kind of goofy.”
“Elvis, though. Not a bad choice. He was a talented guy. Nice guy.”
“You knew him?” A horrifying thought struck her. “Did you…”
“No. No, I didn’t take him. I took someone at one of his concerts. Afterward, I was curious. I followed Elvis around for a few days. I was awed by the effect he had on people. They were so drawn to him.”
“I can see why.” She cocked her head. “I bet you’ve met a lot of famous people. I never really thought about that. You can go anywhere, can’t you?”
End of Lonely Street (Coming January 7, 2015)
Mapleton, Tennessee, November, 1957
Toby Lawson closed her eyes and shut out all sounds of the diner, except for Elvis Presley’s voice. He was crooning about how she was the only one for him…no matter where he went or what he did… he’d spend his whole life loving her…
Rough hands landed on her waist and shattered the fantasy. She caught a whiff of hair tonic and too much cologne, and she snapped her eyes open. Wes Markham’s hateful face replaced the image of Elvis’ beautiful, crooked smile and smoldering blue eyes.