REBLOGGED: Marketing

For anyone who’s interested…..

MARKETING – LET ME COUNT THE WAYS. GREAT LINKS TO HELP YOU MARKET YOUR BOOKS

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Did I just hear a mass wince? Yup, I’m sure I did, or maybe it was just me. Writing a novel is nothing compared to having to then market it. From the ‘deer in the headlights syndrome’ of just not having a clue – to the ‘it just makes me feel so icky to self promote’ whiners, none of us seem to like marketing very much. But if you’re in it for the long haul and have any hope of making it as an author, marketing is something in which you must become proficient.
Following are links to some kick-ass articles about book marketing. If you have a book you need to market, you need to read these posts.

Can You Promote a Book without Making Yourself Miserable? Jane Friedman gives us some decidedly authentic and down to earth advice about book marketing that may surprise you.

Standing Out on the Crowded Shelf—How to Help Your Fiction Find an Audience
Sage advice on what you can do to find your audience and get your books into the readers who want them.

Marketing Your Book on Social Media? How to Avoid Scams
Anne R. Allen warns about the the pitfalls of those feeding off authors with marketing scams.

A 12-Month Strategic Plan for Marketing Your Book before Release
CS Lakin writes a great nuts and bolts post about marketing your book, 12 months before release.

The 6 Most Common Marketing Mistakes Made by Authors
Another great post from Writer Unboxed about common marketing mistakes made by authors. No more excuses after you’ve read this.

In the meantime, I’ve managed to slog through week 2 of NaNo, clocking in a total of 34,993 words so far. I’m pretty sure I’ll meet the NaNo target of 50K – but that won’t produce a finished first draft. So, I’ll persist and hope I reach my target of 75K. The good news is that I have now developed some awesome callouses on my fingertips which makes the typing go a little faster.

Have a great week.

Annie

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REBLOGGED: The Village Needs to Keep the Peace

Agreed. Hearts wide open…..
Also look at this: http://winstonclose.me/2015/11/25/a-love-letter-from-new-york-randa-abdel-fattah-writes-home-written-by-randa-abdel-fattah/

The Village Needs to Keep the Peace

I feel ridiculous even suggesting it, but we, The Village, really need to keep the peace right now, because the fighting has already begun.

But let me be specific. I’m not for one second suggesting that we don’t stand up against injustice, unfairness, prejudice, bullying or actions intended to harm others, but let’s acknowledge a few things first.

We’re scared. We’re ALL scared. For very good reason. And scared people are known for acting from that place of fear and anxiety, because that’s what our systems are designed to do – they’re designed to make snap decisions, when we’re frightened, which will aim to promote our own health and wellbeing, and hopefully to remove us from the scary situation.

Unfortunately, at the moment, the whole world is scary, and there is nowhere to run. There are so many conflicting accounts of what’s going on, and who’s to blame, and who should or should not be taken into consideration, that we’re all running in circles wondering what the hell to do. THANK GOODNESS I’m not in government because I’d probably end up hiding under a table, begging for everyone to mail each other some glitter and to please calm down and stop asking for people to be blown up.

The cynic in me wants to say that nothing can beat or change the levels of hatred the world is seeing, other than killing it with fire, and perhaps that really is something we need to acknowledge. The logical part of me suggests that people with complete confidence in their convictions are unlikely to have their opinions swayed, so there’s that. And the part of me which has complete confidence in the knowledge that Love Wins, wants to suggest that there’s still LOTS that we can do to keep the peace in the face of what seems like war.

The Village Needs to Keep the Peace #1000Speak

Other things to acknowledge include that the world is a huge mess, and there’s probably not any one simple solution; that there is a HUGE crisis with refugees needing shelter and support; there are a huge number of people EVERYWHERE who need help and support; and that there are a huge number of people who are really struggling to come to grips with all of these things (in addition to the challenges and battles of their own daily lives).

Also worth acknowledging is that only WE know our own hearts, and what is within them to compel us to action.

If there is fear or anger or prejudice in our hearts, then our actions will be skewed by those.

If there is love and compassion and empathy, then our actions will be skewed by those.

If there is a mixture of all of the above, then our actions may grind to a halt until we’ve figured out our slant.

Rather than knee-jerk into something, take time to discern your own heart on the matter. Take time to research and ask questions and develop a robust point of view. Decide where your heart lies, and how your actions will align with your innermost self. And keep peace whilst you’re still figuring it out, lest you propagate something you later regret.

Scared, angry, prejudiced people are unlikely to be able to listen to viewpoints which oppose theirs. In a way I want to suggest that there’s no point in going head-to-head with people who are calling for radical, deadly actions, and who are writing off huge swathes of society as collateral damage or worse, potential threats. I feel as though their anger, fear and commitment to the sense of their own rightness are probably uncombattable.

I sincerely hope that no-one reading this is of the opinion that they would like ANY innocent lives to be lost. If you are, then I am unlikely to have the intelligence or tenacity to dissuade you – I don’t think I would make headway, and all the while I slam my head against the brick wall of prejudice, I am losing out on opportunities to keep the peace and propagate love.

Perhaps I am naive in thinking that love can make such a difference, but I won’t be dissuaded. Perhaps I’m living with my head in the clouds. There’s definitely an element of me just NOT understanding it all, and so trying to encourage people to engage positively with one another because I don’t even close to know how to tackle the bigger issues. I don’t even know enough to really have a proper opinion about it, which might be a dereliction of some kind of human duty, but I DO know that when people are hurting and hatred seems rife, a counter-strike of LOVE needs to be made, and apathy and inaction are NOT options.

Each time we are polite in the face of rudeness, generous in the case of meanness, peace-keeping in the face of anger, truthful in the face of lies, and caring in the face of harmful behaviour, then Love Wins.

Each time we set an example which demonstrates respect and concern for people rather than engaging with sweeping overgeneralisations or behaviour which seeks to dehumanise individuals and cast them as villains, then Love Wins.

Each time we choose to involve ourselves in things which promote care for people, or support those in real need, or which seek to encourage active compassion and engagement in helping fellow humans in impossibly challenging situations, then Love Wins.

Each time Love Wins even a tiny bit of ground, we contribute to tipping the balance away from hatred and anger and harm.

Actions get lost whilst people are busy shouting and defending their viewpoints. Let’s commit to making less noise and more difference, because as long as people are at each other’s throats, nobody has each other’s backs, and we’re ALL vulnerable that way.

In the face of discussion about political and national borders being closed, we The Village need to OPEN the borders of our minds and hearts, to keep the peace, and act with love, in ANY AND ALL CAPACITIES, because whenever we do small acts of kindness, in love, then we add to the collective good, and just imagine, if we all joined in, what a DIFFERENCE we could make. So let’s try to disengage from the fights, and just quietly be forces for kindness, goodness, gentleness, compassion, empathy and love, within our own spheres.

As ever, we’re stronger TOGETHER, so don’t let’s be divided. Keep on building The Village, one peaceful, loving act at a time.

Have you got any ideas for how to keep the peace? What did you do when you were last faced with prejudice? Do you think trying to tip the balance with love is a waste of time? Tell me…

This month, 1000 Voices Speak for Compassion continues to work toward a better world with a particular focus on GRATITUDE, as well as the broader topic of compassion.

Write a post relevant to this month’s focus – GRATITUDE – and add it to the link-up right here by clicking the blue button below.

Here’s how to get involved:

Join 1000 Voices Speak for Compassion on Facebook

Visit the 1000Speak blog

Follow @1000Speak on Twitter

Use the #1000Speak hashtag across social media.

1000Speak

People’s Climate March

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(Credit: creative commons, Josiah Werning)

Starting today, over the weekend, across different timezones – we march.

We march for Climate Action and for a better future. We want constructive commitments from governments. It is our future that’s at stake – we have no Planet B! Climate change doesn’t discriminate across political lines.

This is important. This year has been forecast to be the “hottest on record” – a trend that’s been consistent over the past few years. The benchmarks keep getting raised. We need action now.

The actual planned march in Paris, where the Climate Talks are taking place, is under a cloud due to the state of emergency current there. Therefore, we have to try and make the other marches bigger and get our voices heard.

Check out peoplesclimate.org.au if you’re in Australia – here’s the link to the Facebook group too. Have a look and you might be surprised…there’s probably a march closer than you think (including in my hometown!).
Here’s the link to find the closest march to you in Australia. Otherwise, google “people’s climate march 2015”.

November 27-29th, across many timezones and in many cities.

I hope you’ll join us.

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(Credit: creative commons, Luke Sweet)

REBLOGGED: On Companions

If you haven’t seen the Doctor Who episode “Face the Raven”, be warned: Spoilers, sweetie.

Originally, I was just planning on mourning and anxiously dissecting certain things in peace. I’d intended to ignore the haters – or at least scowl at them only privately. Then the piece below landed in my inbox.

Below is a reblog of a plea by ‘the oncoming spork’, another blogger and Whovian.  Listen to what spork has to say, please. Then remember it…and shut up if necessary. A character’s death is not the time to be a hater, but a time for respect and remembrance. Surely we can discuss things as sensible people, can’t we? …. oh yes, that’s right: fandom often has a problem with ‘sensible’ when it comes to character love/hate (& -shipping, but that’s a whole ‘nother thing). Can we, for once, just stop with that sort of thing and appreciate differences instead of hating them?

For those of you who say, “It’s just a character”, I refer you to my other fandom posts, especially the last Doctor Who-themed one. It’s not ‘real’, but it does talk about real things. The characters are actual people & aliens, with emotions and things. So don’t tell us that “it’s not real” – to us, for those reasons, it in a sense is.

The rest of my thoughts are underneath spork’s, due to the spoilery nature of things.

 

On Companions

Warning: This post contains MASSIVE SPOILERS.

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It was the hashtag #ClaraDeathParty that set me off.

And later, the taunting of a fan who was in mourning, with comments like “She’s a fictional character, get over it.”

I think to myself, not for the first time, goddamn Whooligans.

The term “Whooligan” (as opposed to “Whovian”) came about with the 2005 revival (I refuse to say “reboot,” it’s not a reboot if you just pick up where you left off) of Doctor Who.

Whooligans are fans whose fandom begins and ends with Their Doctor, as long as that Doctor is Nine or later. They refuse to watch the older episodes for various reasons, usually boiling down to a lack of trouser-tingles for the actors who portrayed the Doctor back then.

Anywho. The reason I bring this whole Whovian-vs-Whooligan split up is because of what I’ve seen since the  episode “Face the Raven” aired.

In “Face the Raven,” an innocent man is condemned to die by the mayor of a refugee village, and Clara decides to take his place. She’s operating under the belief that whatever condemned him in the first place can be resolved in time. She’s been assured she is under the mayor’s protection, and beyond that, she is under the Doctor’s protection.

But this is a situation where even the Doctor cannot save her. And he does try. He threatens to bring the entire world crashing down around the mayor’s ears if she doesn’t lift the sentence.

Clara tells the Doctor that “your reign of terror will end the first time you hear a baby crying,” and then they say their farewells, and it’s heartbreaking.

And Clara Oswald – Clara Prime, in fact – dies.

This is where the nasty little trolls crawl out from under their rock to celebrate. They celebrate Clara’s death, they say “maybe now the show can be good again.”

I don’t personally like having factions in my fandom. It makes for tension and fandom is my escape from tension.

But when I see shit like “Thank goodness Clara’s dead, I hated her anyway,” it’s often usually followed by “I can’t wait for Moffat to go” or “I hate Capaldi” or “Bring back Tennant” type statements.

And that’s when I want to bring out my 5-pound Peter Haining Doctor Who compendiums and clobber some Whooligans over the head.

Look. I get you don’t like everything you see. Them’s the breaks, especially when you’re getting into a show that’s been around in one form or another for 52 years.

I get that you might even loathe a character at times. I’m no great fan of Rose Tyler, for example, and I’m glad she’s gone, because she would have ended up just like Clara if she’d stayed. Think about it. She’s reckless, she’s convinced she’s indestructible, and where Clara thought she was being just like the Doctor, Rose thought the Doctor was just like her. They’re both blind to the very real dangers their travels put them in, and I absolutely believe that were it not for Pete Tyler’s blind leap of faith, Rose Tyler would have been dead. And the Doctor tried to prevent that. He sent her away from the battle and she came back (against his wishes) and nearly paid with her life. He told Clara he was worried about her recklessness, and she kept blowing him off until she got herself into something she couldn’t blow off.

The Doctor: This is my fault.
Clara: This is my choice.
The Doctor: I let you get reckless.
Clara: Why? Why shouldn’t I be so reckless? You’re reckless. All the bloody time. Why can’t I be like you?
The Doctor: Clara, there’s nothing special about me. I am nothing, but I am less breakable than you. I should’ve taken care of you.
Clara: I never asked you to.
The DoctorYou shouldn’t have to ask.

Back to the Whooligan debate.

We have lost Companions before. Rory and Amy were lost to the Weeping Angels, but they got to live out their full lives, just in a different time period, their family fractured. (Remember that River Song is their daughter, and the Doctor their son-in-law. Wibbly-wobbly.)

Rose, of course, lost to the alternate Earth with copies of her original family.

The Brigadier, from old age. (He counts, damnit. Three/Brig was a bromance for the ages.)

Jamie and Zoe, their memories wiped, returned to their own times.

“But Sporky,” I hear you saying, “Those people didn’t die before our very eyes! We didn’t get to SEE! It doesn’t count!”

Ah-ha, but there’s one more.

Adric.

And here’s where the fandom sorts itself into two neat piles, because there’s nary a Whooligan who will recognise that name.

Back in the day, when the Doctor was portrayed by Tom Baker, aka “the one with the Scarf,” there was a young man named Adric, and he lived on a planet called Alzarius over in E-Space.

Well one day Adric stowed away in the TARDIS and thus our fourth Doctor found himself with three companions, as he’d also collected the wayward air hostess Tegan and the orphaned Trakenite Nyssa previously. Things were ok. They more or less got along. But then Adric invited himself on board, and things got tense. The newcomer was a bit of a brat. Part of that was likely because he’d never met anyone outside his own little village before, but part of it was because he was a genius and he knew it. He was a math genius, and he was so excited to have other geniuses to bounce off of that he ended up annoying the living daylights out of the Doctor and Nyssa. Nyssa just withdrew, Tegan shouted back, the Doctor was probably swearing in Gallifreyan under his breath and hoping the TARDIS didn’t translate any of it. It was not a happy time.

During the story “Earthshock,” Adric finds himself on a ship that is doomed to crash into the Earth. Everyone else has evacuated, including the Doctor and the other companions.
The controls are locked, but Adric is convinced he can break the lock in time by reprogramming it. However, a Cyberman shoots at him and destroys the keyboard so he can’t finish his calculations.

The Doctor, Nyssa and Tegan can only watch helplessly as the ship crashes, and Adric dies.

Even though Adric was not a beloved character, they still ran the closing credits in silence, with only a shot of his broken badge,  in tribute.

There may have been Adric death parties. I don’t know. We didn’t have the internet back then. What we did have was a sense that what we’d just seen happen was Not Okay.

The Doctor has always been a magnet for random people, and whether they get along or not, he still feels responsible for them. “I have a duty of care,” he tells Clara, more than once.

So when a Companion dies, it’s because something went massively, horribly wrong. Something so awful that not even the Doctor could fix it – and this is the guy who rebooted the universe, after all.

Even annoying old Adric was granted a modicum of respect, a moment of silence, by Whovians, because in our bones we know that Companions are not supposed to go out like that. Not ever.

Shame on you Whooligans celebrating Clara’s death. And if there are any Whovians joining the Clara Death Party, double shame on you, because you really ought to know better.

____________________________________________________

Myzania speaking again!

I like(d) Clara. I liked Rose too. It’s only now, reading commentary like the above, that I realise how similar they are. Hmmm. I wonder if it says something about me, that I like both of them so much? Do I see a bit of myself in them? Maybe. 😉

From the moment Clara got the tattoo I had a feeling this was it, knowing she was supposed to be leaving at some point… The suspense came from whether or not things would work out. They didn’t – but my goodness what an exit!!! Her final speech – glorious and so sad… 😥

I hope things are expanded upon in the final episodes. The point sporky makes above, about things being Not Okay when a character dies: that’s happening now in the fandom, for those of us who don’t hate her. Some grumble about “the writing” or how “pointless” the death is. Then we dissect and analyse and moan “whyyyyy”. We’ll be okay eventually. Just let us ramble about things for a bit. (That includes here 😛 )

This is what I think about the episode and the death:

It’s ‘pointlessly brilliant’, because I don’t blame the writers; after the initial “what – what – what?” and a bit of nosing around and thinking, I understand perhaps what they’re doing. Basically, character arcs FTW. The thing I liked about how “pointless” it was (which is debateable – saved Rigsy, continued character arc from Danny’s sacrifice, etc.), was that it’s rather Ashildr/Me’s fault…. Well, Clara made the choice, but Ashildr/Me set it up – without thinking it seemed to me of the consequences. (Seriously, she’d ‘read about’ Clara yet didn’t realise that Clara would take that reckless/selfless risk after telling her & the Doctor she was under her protection?)  …that’s Clara. I love(d) her. It comes full circle.

If she does come back in some way (I’ve seen a couple of interesting theories…) they’d have to pull it off really well for me to like it. The one thing I’m a bit sick of in this series of DW is how many “they’re dead!”…”no, wait, part 2 explains how they’re not!” moments there seem to be. Just urgh. Though, if later the Doctor briefly met a different version of Clara or something (remember the fractures!), that might provide some closure or something I suppose.

The previews of next week’s ep have me waiting with rattled nerves.

For a review of Face the Raven, look here:  http://nerdist.com/doctor-who-review-face-the-raven/ – it’s a very good summation of things. The same person from Nerdist does it every week. 

Goodbye, Impossible Girl.

 

REBLOGGED: Laud the Non-Violent Quiet Heroes in Our Society

Reblogged from Noely at “yathink.com.au”. The article she references – linked within her piece – is a great read also.
Thank you to those men who show that it’s not dominance that matters but strength of character to be a good person.

#WhiteRibbonDay: Let’s wake up to ourselves & laud the non-violent “quiet heroes” in society

Tags : White Ribbon Day Malcolm Turnbull Violence Against Women Domestic Violence Men Heroes

Social Media:
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Thankfully my young adult daughter will hopefully never fall prey to a violent man due to the influence of her non-violent father.

To be frank, I personally normally stay off the likes of Twitter on White Ribbon day. The perfectly groomed faces of affluent white politicians pontificating about “real men” and “society’s problem” with  the intense ‘we care’ facial expressions make my teeth grate. The various news organisations then ‘lauding’ these men for their speeches just intensifies my dislike. I sit here seething at the television waiting for them to tell me what they are going to actually ‘do’ about it.

Though even as we saw when PM Turnbull held his presser this morning, it did not take long for the Journo’s to move on to the shiny world problem of Turkey shooting down a Russian Jet. One day of the year FFS! could you all just focus on Domestic Violence? The #TerrorFret will still be there tomorrow, as it was last week and will be again next week SIGH! Could you not do a bit of homework on the current state of DV services nationwide? Ask hard hitting questions about lack of Shelter funding, lack of resourcing for Police to combat, lack of will to enforce law in relation to DV? Hell, as media, vow to end the pathetic “Oh was ‘just’ a domestic…” attitude in reporting DV? At the very least could have hit up the PM to use his power & influence to increase front-line services, as last time I looked, violent partners killed more people in this nation than bloody ISIS?

But alas, I just wait another year for another round of sweet words with sweet eff all done about the issue of Domestic Violence.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure many of these men do care. Quite frankly, obviously not enough care enough, if they did, it would not have become the crisis it has become. I also think the White Ribbon initiative is a good one as it brings men into the conversation as it should be.

Thankfully my morning of self-gratifying “look at me, I decry Violence Against Women…” style celebrity tweets and breakfast TV pieces  was saved by this wonderful piece of writing by Michael Salter, “White Ribbon Day – Stopping Domestic Violence Means Rethinking Masculinity”. If you have not read it, please do. This was really thought-provoking for me and turned the “real men don’t hit women” theme on its head.

Mr Salter asks:
What does it mean to be a non-violent boy or man in Australia?

Sadly, he is correct to point out that a non-violent male is normally considered “…a ‘wimp’ – or worse, a ‘poofter’.” Why is this so? (don’t even get me started on how offensive on so many levels the use of the word poofter and in this context is)

Why is the front row forward body slamming another front row forward used as the hero shot for sport? How is one big bloke, slamming another big bloke masculine? Why is this ‘type’ of male lauded over the quiet calm intelligent man?

Why is a child at school who walks away from a bully told to ‘stand up for himself’ or made to feel a coward for ‘running away & making himself a target’? Why isn’t that child lauded for being a ‘strong’ young man? How about schools including an award for young men (and girls) who have displayed strength of integrity?

I could go on questioning many social norms in regard to this hero worship of violence, particularly in relation to men. I was someone, who, when young and dumb fell thoughtlessly into a relationship with the a-typical First XV bloke, which went to shit of course when he no longer considered himself a “real bloke” and the challenges of “real life” meant his aggression could no longer be channelled onto a Rugby field. Like many others of my kind, it also took me decades to face reality and get over the undeserved shame I felt.

Though having been in that situation, I probably more than many others can say, I honestly love and respect my NON-VIOLENT, calm, softly spoken husband who’s weapon of choice is humour when the shit hits the fan.

My grandfather was similar. Never raised his voice to any of us, always had a smile, was a thoughtful, intelligent man who I adored. He was not a wimp. He fought in World War II FFS! Looking back now, his strength was that he didn’t buy into the post war hero bullshit. He never wanted to discuss war, he went to war to stop the need for future generations to be confronted with it. Now that is a strong man. That is someone who should be lauded as a hero.

I don’t know about you, but thanks to Mr Salter, I will not be grating my teeth today. I will be thinking of all the men in my life, past and present who are ‘real men’. The strong NON-VIOLENT types who hopefully subtly encourage young boys in their social sphere to grow up to be men who will be respected in society for ‘who’ they are and their inner strength to confront adversity and challenges in life without the need to inflict physical or emotional control over others.

It may not solve the issues we face now with Domestic Violence, a lot more needs to be done there, though we ourselves can start changing attitudes in our own backyard. We can start demanding more diversity from media in regard to who they hold up as ‘male role models’. Most importantly we can flick that old fashioned “it is private and none of my business” when we see or hear instances of abuse.

An easy thing we can do today on White Ribbon day is to consider:

  • Who are the non-violent men in your life?
  • Who are the celebrity non-violent men you admire?
  • Who are the non-violent sportmen?
  • the list could go on, teachers, people in your community, your boss even?

Let’s laud the non-violent men who show strength of character, loudly & proudly.

Personally I feel my husband with his manner of speech and demeanour volunteering as a mentor at Coder Dojo on a Saturday morning at the local library is a much better – though more subtle – influence on the young boys who attend than the sports person hailed as a hero in the media?

I might be naive, though you never know, one day in the future we might see a Scientist, Artist, Author etc.  regularly splashed all over the front pages of our newspapers instead of an AFL player? It could happen? 😉

Cheers,
Noely
PS Hopefully some of those Scientists, Artists or Authors I would like to see on the front pages of those newspapers will not necessarily be White or Male 😉

REBLOGGED: Writing a Scene

I need to have a look at this…..

Writing Tip Tuesday #28: Jordan Rosenfeld & Martha Alderson

by Evolet

writing_tips

In all my pantsing-ness, I could care less about structure, plot points, pinch points, the midpoint and what makes up a scene.

I just want to see where the writing takes me and while I’m doing that, I’m praying to the Writing Goddesses that I don’t hit a wall. But really, it’s nice to know where one should stand when it comes to writing scenes and [tag]Jordan Rosenfeld [/tag]and [tag]Martha Alderson[/tag] provide a break down on the Fundamentals of Writing a Scene.

What comprises a scene?

If you’ve never thought much about the shape of a scene, consider it a self-contained mini-story with a rising energy that builds to an epiphany, a discovery, an admission, an understanding, or an experience. The reader should feel as though every scene has purpose, deepens character, drives the story forward, and ends in such a way that he just has to know what happens next.

What’s the best way to start and end a scene?

You need not start scenes with an explanation or exposition but simply with an entrance into the action. Then, by following a character’s goals and desires, you walk your reader through a setting—preferably in a way that shows the protagonist interacting with it, not just observing it—employing the character’s sensory perceptions, introducing his conflict and relationship with inner and outer antagonists and allies, and building the character to a high or low point. Never leave the reader too satisfied at the end of a scene; she must want to keep reading to find out what happens next.

What should a scene accomplish?

Each scene creates consequences that must be dealt with or built upon in the next scene.

A scene is defined by the presence of more real-time momentum than interior monologue (contemplation) or expository explanation.

Real-time momentum is a combination of action, dialogue, and character interaction with his surroundings and other characters. Your scenes can end on a high note (a small victory for your character) or a low note (a moment of cliff-hanging suspense or uncertainty). It doesn’t matter which way it goes so long as each scene concludes by setting up future conflicts for the character(s) and creating in readers a yearning to know what happens next.

What qualifies as a scene?

If you’re wondering whether a passage or section you’ve written qualifies as a scene, consider what scenes are not.

  • Scenes are not an opportunity to take your character on a long, leisurely detour into situations with characters that have nothing to do with the protagonist’s dramatic action goals (that’s a character profile or vignette).
  • Scenes are not a place to explain something or to lecture to your reader (that’s a pace killer).
  • Scenes are not long histories of people and places (that’s dull backstory).

Muggle Butterbeer Order

Just for the heck of it!

YUM. I don’t think it has to be a Starbucks, either… I’ll have to try this sometime.

Butterbeer!

by authormeganemorales

So I’ve been to the few closest Starbucks in my city once I heard that they were going to start making Butterbeers (a Harry Potter nerds wet dream) and I was disappointed to find that they had no idea what I was talking about!

I then looked up on Google on why this was, and apparently you have to custom order it and tell them all of the stuff that goes into it! Yay! I did exactly that, and my mom and I headed off to find that special treat!

I told them what was in it, and lo’ and behold, I received a muggle version of a cold Butterbeer Frappuccino! Here’s the recipe if you ever want to try it!

  • A Creme Frappuccino base. (Don’t skimp on the fat by asking for skim or 2% milk as whole milk is required for the right consistency.)
  • Add 3 pumps of caramel syrup.
  • Add 3 pumps of toffee nut syrup.
  • Top with caramel drizzle

I do have a warning for you guys though! You need to build up a tolerance for very sweet things/ have one in the first place, or else you won’t be able to fully enjoy it or finish it!

Keep Up the Pressure: Kids Out!

An addendum to my last post. I’ve received this email (below). It’s a small step and there are still questions. For instance, this doesn’t address the kids on Nauru. Or adult asylum seekers. So we need to – we must – keep up the pressure…

But wouldn’t it be good if we could look back on today as something of a turning point???

Sarah Hanson-Young via server8839.e-activist.com 

16:48 (3 hours ago)

to me

Having trouble reading this email? Try the online version here.

Dear Clare,

The Senate just passed Greens amendments that say no child will be locked up in detention centres on Australian soil.

This is a massive step forward — but we must make sure PM Turnbull doesn’t reverse it.

As well as the new law to remove children from detention (with their parents), the Senate legislated to have the centres opened up to media scrutiny, to enforce the mandatory reporting of abuse and to reverse the punitive Border Force whistle-blower crackdown which covered doctors and nurses in detention.

Now, the legislation will return to the House of Representatives and it will be up to Malcolm Turnbull whether he reverses the will of the Senate and the people so that he can keep children locked up in detention.

Will you add your voice, and tell PM Turnbull that no child here in Australia, or locked up offshore, belongs in detention?

Today the Senate took a historic step forward.

Please spread the word and make sure the Prime Minister doesn’t drag us backwards.

Thank you,

Sarah Hanson-Young

What the Hell are we DOING? (A reblog and further links)

I’ve said this many, many times. But the government don’t speak for me on the issue of asylum seekers.
Unfortunately, they’re still the government with an entitlement infallibility complex, so we have to bring them to account in other ways. The UN aren’t happy…newsflash, Australian government: neither are many of the people!

There have been some heartbreaking cartoons released from Manus recently, also.
Here are a couple. The rest can be found here.
Further links at the bottom.

Manus Island cartoon, Eaten Fish 12120109_494419564052941_1649739444067949968_o

IMG_4582

Baby in Detention

UN submissions slam Australia’s asylum-seekers program: extracts from reports – WRITTEN BY UNDERCOVER1

by winstonclose

Posted on 10 November, 2015by

unUN Human Rights Council session (Geneva)

On Tuesday Australians woke up to discover that their country had been damned in a report published only hours before at a special meeting of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva and attended by representatives from around the world. The reports included page after page of abuses. An unprecedented 110 countries lined up to give their views on Australia’s human rights record. Below, we reproduce screenshots of those sections of the main compilation document that examines Australia’s asylum-seeker program and operations, as well as provide links to submission documents.

Note: To see a recording of the entire UNHRC session regarding Australia’s record of human rights and violations, click here.

Over 100 countries commented and made 300 recommendations on Australia’s human rights record at the UNHRC session. Just under half of the submissions were on Australia’s policies regarding asylum-seekers and refugees. Thesesubmissions included demands that Australia cease its boat turnbacks policy, that mandatory detention should end or be used only when strictly necessary. There was also concern about Australia’s breach of the principle of non-refoulement. Note that Australia is the only country in the world to use offshore processing and mandatory detention.

The review also included indigenous rights, disability rights, women’s rights, children’s rights, racism and Islamophobia as well as marriage equality.

A report on which recommendations have been formally adopted will be issued this coming Thursday. Australia, especially if it still wishes to take a seat at the UNHRC from 2018, is expected to accept and act upon the recommendations.

To see details of the Australian NGO Coalition recommendations, click here. To see the Joint Australian NGO submission to the UNHRC, click here. To see Australia’s NGO Coalition Fact Sheet on Refugees and Asylum Seeker, click here.

Extracts from the Report of the Human Rights Council Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review, Twenty-third session, 2-13 November 2015. Summary prepared by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in accordance with paragraph 15 (c) of the annex to Human Rights Council resolution 5/1 and paragraph 5 of the annex to Council resolution 16/21. Australia…

Migrants, refugees and asylum seekers section (extract):

Screenshot from 2015-11-10 20:57:40

Screenshot from 2015-11-10 22:17:07

Screenshot from 2015-11-10 22:42:11

Screenshot from 2015-11-10 20:56:05

Screenshot from 2015-11-10 20:54:47

The document (protected pdf) as a whole can be seen by clicking here then click on the ‘E’ next to “Compilation of UN information”.

TO READ  more articles from UNDERCOVER INFO Click on =  https://undercoverinfo.wordpress.com/

http://winstonclose.me/2015/11/12/top-5-signs-your-countrys-refugee-policy-is-a-disaster-written-by-kate-m-progressive-conversation/
http://winstonclose.me/2015/11/13/duttons-renditions-written-by-bob-ellis/
http://winstonclose.me/2015/11/13/simply-the-worst-written-by-bob-ellis/
http://winstonclose.me/2015/11/13/press-gallery-reform-written-by-politically-homeless/
http://winstonclose.me/2015/11/14/genocide-ravages-the-tamils-as-the-world-turns-a-blind-eye-written-by-trevor-grant/
http://winstonclose.me/2015/11/21/those-in-peril-on-the-sea-written-by-bob-ellis/

REBLOGGED: You Are Who You Say You Are

Anyone else have that line from that song running through their heads now? You know the one, “You are who you say you are/ A su-per-star wo-oh oh oh…” or something like that anyway.

So, who am I, as my blogger-birthday approaches (it’s Wednesday)? On my About page, I have a list of things. They sum up rather well who I am I think.

Young, white, progressive Catholic, feminist, woman. Extrovert and a chatterbox, even over Facebook chat (isn’t that right, Morwen?). People-person, family and friend lover. On the path to being an author. Nature lover and agitator to stop climate change – our Earth has so many wonders that we can’t afford to lose. Animal lover too – especially dogs and horses. Lover of real food, including sustainably-farmed meat.
Optimistic realist, leaning heavily towards ‘optimist’.
A firm believer in fandom and fiction having the power to make us see beyond the now to a better world, or call into focus issues from the real world, through their in-world stories and parallels, settings, characters and solutions. A passionate believer in the power and goodness of social justice, public health, well-funded and valued education; and in our common humanity which binds us all together. Refugees and asylum seekers: you are welcome here and I’ll keep agitating for real change to prove that.

Yeah. That’s me.

Also, reminders, after the unpleasantness of the past couple of weeks, worldwide:
http://espirational.com/2015/11/17/be-a-light-in-a-dark-world/
http://theaimn.com/i-choose-to-love/

Good news, you are who you say you are.

by Melissa {Suger}

Ladies and very few gents, do I have good news for you! You are who you say you are. And who you say you aren’t. You are those things and no one can take that away from you. The other side of that coin is that you decided them, so love it or loathe it, it’s all on you. Now isn’t that interesting.

you are who you say you are - sq1

I work a lot with businesses on their branding. Not the design side of things but the actual nutting it out and talking to people through that branding on social media. These conversations always start with knowing what people say about the brand.

Branding folks seem to say the same thing, your brand is what others say about you. It’s nice to have some input, but in the end it’s not up to you. Then we work from there and develop a strategy to change or maintain that perception depending on how aligned it is.

So maybe that’s the case with yourself too?

Nope. As far as personal branding (not the business kind, the being who YOU are variety) it’s different. Yes, people are still going to comment, weigh in and give their two cents. They will have an opinion of who and what they think you are. Let them, your personal self isn’t dependent on them.

When it comes to being yourself they don’t have the final say. Really, they don’t have any say if you don’t want them too. You are the head of the super powerful, well-dressed, crime family that is yourself and no one in their right mind would consider bumping you off.

Do you know what is so powerful about being the one who says who you are? It means that if you said who you are you can un-say it. You can change your mind anytime you like and say something else. And given enough time and repetition, that is exactly who you will become. The ball is in your court. All the balls are actually in your court. Every. Single. One.

So take a look at who you say you are. Think about it now. Who are you?

Most of us come up with a list of items we do such as our job description or relationship status. Look deeper team, who are you? Start to look at the traits that make up your personality. Happy, joyful, short-tempered, smart, loving, loyal… Then you get a little closer. Start to listen as well to who you are saying you aren’t. When I said smart, what did you think? Yes or no? What about loyal?

You decide who and what you are. Self is pretty much a declaration with a bit of action behind it. So think about it and choose. You want to be easy-going and loyal this week, excellent. Next week you want to add ambitious to that mix? Even better. That’s the beauty of being your own boss when it comes to saying who you are. You decide.

And you know what that means right? You are responsible for the conversation around you being a loser, not something, not enough. You are in the ongoing source of those conversations. For most of us, we didn’t start them, but we sure as heck picked them up and ran with them. It’s time now to stop doing that. You could be standing in your own way when it comes to something that means a lot to you!

So start listening. Get clear on who you are or would like to be. Start declaring who you are. Then get out there and live it. You’re the boss. Take those reins and lead the way. You will never, ever be sorry that you did. I promise you that.

you are who you say you are - suger coat it

So tell me, who are YOU?