» Ten Wonderful New Literary Journals

Authors Publish shares some great places to get your work published. Click the link below to find out where and how. ❤ HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

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In my experience, the benefits can be greater than publishing in a well-established journal. When a literary journal is new the editors tend to be a lot more passionate. I have gotten handwritten thank you cards from editors of new publications, something that has never happened when my work was published by a more established journal.

Source: » Ten Wonderful New Literary Journals

Why You Should Be Writing Short Stories – E.M. Welsh

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Do you like to write short stories? Click on the highlighted link below to find out how writing short stories makes you a better writer later on. ❤

 

Source: Why You Should Be Writing Short Stories – E.M. Welsh

A Halloween Encounter

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The yellow smudge of a setting sun slipped behind the trees leaving a warm glow to the field.  Nightbirds scattered, roosting in the trees while insects droned on in a constant monotony. The air felt cooler after the heat of the day. Ground fog swirled around the grasses casting eerie shadows on the ground. The evening gloom was rapidly approaching. I shivered in anticipation.

Not far off in the field, our two neighbor horses steadily crunched grass, their teeth reflecting bone-white in the rays of the setting sun.  It was Halloween night – All Hallows Eve.  Children would soon fill the neighborhood with the sounds of laughter, as they went from house to house showing off their costumes and collecting treats.

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My eyes drifted toward the horse hole which was visible in the fading light.  The horses visited me daily looking for handouts of carrots or even an occasional apple. They hung their necks through the opening, all the while munching, as I rubbed their velvety noses.  They were the best neighbors.

I was ready this time. Last Halloween I ran out of candy early. This year I made sure I had plenty of treats to hand out to the kids. My pumpkins were lit, and the decorations spread around the front porch were inviting – not too scary for the little kids. I made myself comfortable in a chair and sipped a glass of wine, enjoying the descending darkness.

The kids came from every corner of the neighborhood, dressed as fairy princesses with dainty shoes, green colored Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, skeletons, Count Dracula’s, monsters of every variety you could imagine. Babies were dressed up as bugs, teddy bears, and even a vampire baby stopped at my door to receive a treat.

The darkness filled the neighborhood. The street lights were lit, and a warm glow cast long shadows on the road. The children ran ahead of their parents, filled with excitement.  Parents milled about in small groups watching their kids, always near. I smiled at the sounds of laughter which completed the friendly Halloween atmosphere. I couldn’t help but marvel at how cute the kids were, enjoying the banter they exchanged with their friends.

By late evening, most of the children and parents were finished with Trick or Treat and were heading home. A few crying fairies stomped their way behind their parents, mad because the great adventure was over for another year.

I cleaned up the porch and put away the decorations in the storage bin.  It was a lovely Monday night, unusual for this time of year. I refilled my glass and walked out back to the patio which overlooked the field where the neighbor horses grazed.

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The view was amazing. Stars lightly sprinkled the sky spread out like a mantle overhead. The warmth of the day had dissipated, and I could feel the coolness creep in between the folds of my sweater. I sipped my wine and appreciated the spectacular beauty of the night sky.

Suddenly, the most obnoxious odor seemed to waft, thick like a fog, drifting in the air around the horse hole. Far in the distance, I could hear the neighbor horses running as their thundering hooves hit the ground. They ran hard, and their frightened cries filled the field. I was rooted to the spot, unable to move. My heart leaped into my throat, and I couldn’t breathe.

It was then, in the inky blackness of the field that I saw him – the Headless Horseman! His profile glowed in the shimmery darkness of the horse hole! A large orange head burned with an intensity that scared me deep into my bones. I felt the wine glass fall from my hand and shatter on the ground. Shards of glass flew into the air, spraying bits of glass into my hair.

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(Image Credit: Telltale Games)

The horseman’s black steed snorted flashes of lightning through his muzzle, and his blood-red eyes glared at me.  The creature balanced a glowing Jack-o-lantern in his right hand. I could see him clearly, and there was NO head. The apparition was so lifelike that I could make out the buttons on his coat which were visible in the light from the glowing pumpkin.

I swallowed hard and felt my eyes popping out of my head. I stared transfixed at the horse hole for what seemed like hours but was only, in reality, a few seconds. The Headless Horseman whirled about on his black steed and disappeared into the blackness. The fog churned in great billows and drifted about the field in his wake.

Slowly, the smell faded. The fog grew thicker, and moisture dripped from the leaves on the trees. I trembled uncontrollably. All around me, I heard no sounds. My breaths came in great gasps. I whirled around, trying to catch my breath. I stopped to gaze once again at the horse hole. It was dark – just swirling fog and an eerie quiet which lingered, jangling my nerves.

He was gone. I felt my heart pound a quick staccato in my chest. With great effort, I relaxed my tightened muscles and walked toward the horse hole for one last look. My shoes crunched in the ruins of the wine glass beneath my feet. Behind me, inside the house, a light came on in the kitchen which illuminated the patio outside.

“Colleen, it’s getting late. Come inside,” my husband, Ron called out to me.

“On my way.” I surveyed the area one last time. I took my time walking toward the back door. My thoughts milled about in my head. How could I tell him what had just happened without him laughing at me?

Maybe I better keep this encounter to myself, I thought. Too much wine and a tad too much chocolate could be the answer to my vision. I shook my head at the broken wine glass on the patio, realizing that red wine would stain the concrete. The stain had already spread, and a dark patch of discoloration was visible beneath my feet. With a shrug, I turned and walked away.

I traipsed into the house, locked the door, and turned off the light.That was enough Halloween for this year.

 

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you enjoyed my scary encounter from when we lived in Florida! ❤ True story! 😀

happy-halloween

How Literary Devices Can Add Depth to Your Writing – ProWritingAid

Have you ever heard of a red herring? Don’t know what it means? Read by clicking the highlighted link below to find out how to add drama to your writing. ❤

The term “literary device” refers to some common techniques that writers use to add meaning to their writing and get their message across more poignantly. When mastered, literary devices can help your reader interpret your scenes and understand your ideas with greater depth.There are hundreds of literary devices to choose from, but let’s talk about some of the ones that will add layers to your writing.

Source: How Literary Devices Can Add Depth to Your Writing – ProWritingAid

Samhain, Fairies, and Symbolism in Your Writing

With the Samhain (Halloween) celebration just around the corner, I wanted to gaze back into the past to see how this ancient festival evolved and became the holiday we celebrate today. Besides, if you write fairy fantasy, you’ll want to incorporate some of the ancient myths and other such symbolism into your work. It is important to make a connection to our ancient past and long held beliefs. It gives your work a realistic touch.

Samhain (pronounced: “sowin”) is from the Gaelic for “Sam,” which meant “summer,” and “fuin,” which meant “end,” giving us the definition of “summer’s end.”

mysticalmind.com also shares the fact that the Irish separated the year into two halves to represent the seasons. Summer occurred from May 1st – November 1st, while Winter was from November 1st – May 1st. Samhain marked the beginning of Winter. Samhain Eve, (Halloween) became the night to celebrate before the first day of winter began.

So what does Samhain have to do with fairies? Plenty. The Irish believed that during the celebration of Samhain Eve, the portals into the Otherworld swung open allowing the fairies and supernatural beings to roam the earth. Now, it is easy to make the connection as to how our Halloween traditions evolved into what they are today. I came to the conclusion that Halloween was invented by the Irish!

Even more interesting is how the Irish interpreted what the fairies were. There was a belief that the fairies were angels who were not good enough to be saved nor bad enough to be lost. mysticalmind.com also shares: “The ancient Irish Book of Armagh calls them, the gods of the earth.”

Magickalenenchantments.blogspot.com shares:

“Possessing the power to bewitch or bedevil humans with their illusions, known as glamours, fairies gradually found their way into the myth and folklore of many European cultures.”

“Glamours,” used in the sentence above was a new definition for me, and I had to look it up!

Glamour originally was a term applied to a magical-occult spell that was cast on somebody to make them see something the spell-caster wished them to see when in fact it was not what it seemed to be.” Glamour-wikipedia.com

Even more interesting, was the widely held belief that on Samhain night, when the fairies freely roamed the earth, they grabbed unsuspecting humans and placed them under a permanently enchanted status. This bewitching was said to cause people to go mad, or to die from some strange incurable illness. I couldn’t help but think what a great way that was to explain a medical condition that didn’t have a cure.

The legend also specified that every seven years the fairy beings captured babies or small children which they would then sacrifice to their god.

The number seven is significant in early folklore and Christianity. Seven was creatively used in many myths and fairy stories.

The Seed of Life, mysticalnumbers.com

Seven circles intertwine to form the symbol called “The Seed of Life.” The Seed of Life symbolizes the six days of creation. The central circle symbolizes the day of rest.

Seven also represents the seven colors of the rainbow. Isaac Newton classified the seven colors of the rainbow as red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. (ROYGBIV).

My research has played a huge part in the writing of my book, The Heart Stone Chronicles – The Swamp Fairy. I believe that sharing some of the old myths in new ways in our writing gives our story credence, even though it is a fantasy.

The use of symbolism in our writing gives our readers a way to relate to our story by creating a deeper meaning to our words.

WritersHelpingWriters has an excellent article entitled, “Five Important Ways to Use Symbolism in Your Story.” Click the highlighted link to the site above to read the blog post.

So tell me all you fantasy writers out there. How do you incorporate symbolism into your novel writing? Do you look to holiday celebrations for inspiration? Inquiring minds what to know!

 TO SEE YOU ALL. Thanks for stopping by. ❤

Silver’s Weekly #Tanka #Poetry Prompt Challenge #5 SHAPES & HEART

Happy Tuesday everyone! Welcome to the TANKA CAFÉ. Are you ready to get groovy with your poetry? Then, you’re in the right place! Pull up a chair, order some coffee or tea and let’s write some TANKA poetry.

Silver’s having Red Rooibos Tea this week!

Here are some great sites that will help you write your Tanka.

thesaurus.com

For Synonyms and Antonyms. When your word has too many syllables, find one that works.

howmanysyllables.com

Find out how many syllables each word has. I use this site for all of my Haiku and Tanka poems. Click on the “Poetry Workshop” tab to create your Tanka. Here are the rules for the Tanka form: howmanysyllables.com

Poets.org gives the definition and the rules for the writing of a Tanka. Please note the following from the site:

“In many ways, the tanka resembles the sonnet, certainly in terms of treatment of the subject. Like the sonnet, the tanka employs a turn, known as a pivotal image, which marks the transition from the examination of an image to the examination of the personal response. This turn is located within the third line, connecting the kami-no-ku, or upper poem, with the shimo-no-ku, or lower poem.”

Writing a Tanka is like writing a Haiku (5/7/5) and adding two more lines. See how much more of a “visual image” you get in your mind’s eye? You end up with 5/7/5/7/7.

My example:

Did you recognize the pivot in the third line? We start talking about my solitude, and then we switch to talking about the leaves of red and gold. The words are all connected and are talking about my response to autumn. It is important to try to join your feelings into your Tanka.

Visit Jean Emrich at tankaonline.com. She gives excellent instructions on how to join your feelings into this poetry form.

I will publish the Tanka Tuesday prompt at 12: 03 A.M. Mountain Standard Time (Denver
Time). That should give everyone time to see the prompt from around the world.

How Long Do You Have and Your Deadline: You have a week to complete the Challenge with a deadline of Monday at 12:00 P.M. (noon). This will give me a chance to add the links from everyone’s Tanka post from the previous week, on the new prompt I send out on Tuesday. I urge everyone to visit the blogs and comment on everyone’s Tanka poem.

The rules are simple.

I will give you two words that you need to use (in some form) in the writing of your Tanka.

The two words can be used in any way you would like to use them. Words have different definitions, and you can use the definitions you like. Feel free to use synonyms for the words.

To do a Ping Back: Copy the URL (the HTTP:// address of my post) for the current week’s Challenge and paste it into your post. You may also place a copy of your URL of your Tanka Post in the comments of the current week’s Challenge post.

People from the challenge may visit you and comment or “like” your post. I also need at least a Ping Back or a link in the comments section to know you participated and to include you in the Weekly Review section of the new prompt on Tuesday.

BE CREATIVE. Use your photos and create “Visual Tanka’s” if you wish, although it is not necessary. You can use FotoflexerPicmonkey, or Canva.com, or any other program that you want to make your images. Click the links to go to the programs.

I will visit your blog, comment, and TWEET your TANKA.

You may copy the badge I have created to go with the Tanka Tuesday Challenge Post and place it in your post:

HERE’S WHO JOINED US LAST WEEK FOR OUR 4th CHALLENGE USING THE WORDS – PASSION & CHEER:

Passion and Cheer – ladyleemanila

Silver’s Weekly #Tanka #Poetry Prompt Challenge 4 Passion & Cheer | Annette Rochelle Aben

cheerful call brings mate | rivrvlogr

Poet’s Passion and Cheer | Stutter-Stepping Heart

Zou and his family – My words, My life

Passion & Cheer | thoughts and entanglements

Tanka – Watercolour | Mother Willow

Big Indian Cricket Fan – Naa Prapancham,My World…

Weekly #Tanka #Poetry Prompt Challenge #4 Passion & Cheer – Always a Writer


I was astounded by the creativity displayed in last week’s Tanka poems. I think you Tanka poets are getting better and better each week.

Since you did so well last week, are you ready to have another go at it?

Here are our two words for this week’s challenge: SHAPES & HEART (any forms of the words, AND don’t forget that you can use synonyms)

I kept it simple this week and used “forms” for the word shapes, and I kept the word, “heart.” There are many different meanings to these words that you can tap into. Have fun and experiment.

Colleen Chesebro

COME ON! Join in and share your Tanka poem. You even get to “dance” around the words! Enjoy! See you next week. ❤

Creating Believable Characters: 8 Tactics | Now Novel

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What an excellent read on how to create believable characters! Check it out! ❤

Creating believable characters is crucial if you want readers to fall in love with your fictional world and its inhabitants. Read 8 character creation tips.

Source: Creating Believable Characters: 8 Tactics | Now Novel

How to Describe Eyes in a Story – 7 Tips | Now Novel

 

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Learn how to describe eyes in a story and avoid clichéd description. Read tips for using eyes to convey emotion and strong description examples. Click the link below to read how to describe eyes! ❤

Source: How to Describe Eyes in a Story – 7 Tips | Now Novel

The Seasons of a Tree

In Spring –

The Lady wears a crown of yellow blossoms

whose sweet scents tease and tantalize

of warmer days soon to be.

By summer –

Her Majesty dons her finest apparel

with leaves a bright verdant green

shiny with midsummer dreams.

In Autumn –

The Lady shows us her splendor

whose bright orange leaves herald

the darkness of another winter slumber.

In Winter –

Her Majesty lays naked

barren leaves shed like tears

awaiting the hope of a new year.

Thanks for stopping by! ❤

Glamour Magazine’s $5,000 Essay Contest

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This is from an email I subscribe to called Freedom With Writing. Click the highlighted link below to read about the essay contest. ❤

Glamour Magazine is currently hosting an essay contest. The theme: “Every woman has a moment in life that changes everything. What’s that moment for you?”

The prize? $5,000 and publication in Glamour.

The deadline is approaching very soon, so be sure to get started right away if you’re interested in joining in. November 1st is the last day to submit.

Essays should be no more than 3,500 words.

There is no submission fee.

Learn more here.

 

Source: Glamour Magazine’s $5,000 Essay Contest