"There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate's loot on Treasure Island." - Walt Disney

Monday, November 28, 2022

Gilmore Girls Reading List

Some months ago, my 15-year-old daughter discovered Gilmore Girls. We recently finished watching not only the original seven seasons, but the Year in the Life reunion series as well. While I didn't care for all of them (mainly the seventh season and reunion series) I was glad to see it rekindle my daughters love for (almost) all things literary.

Out of curiosity, we googled to see if anyone had typed up a list of all of the books mentioned in the series. Not only are there dozens of lists, but they also range in numbers from approximately fifty to more than 500 titles.

Some of the smaller lists don't seem to have caught all of the titles. Some of the longer ones mention not only the titles the main character discusses, but also the ones she is seen silently reading, or they can be seen on the shelves in her room(s) throughout the series.

The most comprehensive list we have found so far is this one by Jules Buono. There are 518 titles listed. My daughter was dismayed to find she has only read 18 of the titles so far, and now she is digging through my personal library to see how many more of the titles she can find to consume. I have not yet checked to see how many I have read. A quick perusal showed I may not care to read them all, but I have read quite a few.

Regardless of whether or not either of us ever reads them all, it's great to see her reinspired to pursue a love of reading. It's also been great to have discussions about not only the show, but so many of these books as well.

How about you? Have you ever seen the show? Did you like it? How many of these 518 titles have you read?

Monday, November 14, 2022

Happy Thanksgiving!


 Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good.

                                                          -Psalm 107:1 NIV

We are heading toward the week of Thanksgiving in the United States. I’ll be spending time with family, and hopefully doing very little actual work :-). I also plan to enjoy some of my favorite foods, reading, and writing time! 

I feel so very blessed. Despite the craziness of this year (working full time, attending college full time, and running my kids to all of their activities) I have so much for which to be thankful. Just as many of you probably do, this is the time of year 
I enter a particularly reflective mood. My heart is full of gratitude for so many things: I still have a job I enjoy, a home I love, and a family I adore. 

For some fun reading, here are ten reasons I'm thankful to be a writer.

I'm also extremely thankful for my online family. As a thank-you to my readers and fellow bloggers, I wanted to share a short Thanksgiving romantic fiction piece I wrote a few years ago (it's about 800 words long). I hope you enjoy! http://writinginwonderland.blogspot.com/2017/11/thankful-every-day.html

Want to impress your dinner guests? Try: https://parade.com/1072705/jessicasager/thanksgiving-trivia/

I pray you all enjoy a wonderful week full of what you need. Happy Thanksgiving!

What are you thankful for having in your life?

Monday, November 7, 2022

Veteran Writing: Submissions Open

Happy Veterans Day (Week)!

Thank-you to all veterans and active military. We may not show it enough, but you are so very appreciated!

Ten years ago, my interview of Vietnam War Veteran and author Tim O’Brien appeared in Proud to Be: Writing by American Warriors, Volume 2.  

The publishers have since continued the tradition of supporting our troops. 

This yearly anthology presents essays, fiction, poetry, interviews, and photography by military-service personnel, veterans, and their families. It is an annual series published by Southeast Missouri State University Press in cooperation with the Missouri Humanities Council's Veterans Projects and the Warriors Arts Alliance.

"The stories and poems of service and sacrifice are essential in understanding what has so broadly been termed 'the American experience.' For me, Proud to Be: Writing by American Warriors is required reading and worthy of a thousand tears."     ―St. Leger Monty Joynes, veteran, Vietnam

Books can now be ordered from the Southeast Missouri State University Press and Amazon.

Interested in submitting to Volume 12? They are already accepting submissions which are due by April 21, 2023. Contests and prizes will be awarded in each of the five categories. To learn more, please visit:  http://www.semopress.com/events/proud-to-be-writing-by-american-warriors/

Want to check out more "support America" reads? Chicken Soup for the Soul publishers have several books honoring veterans and their families as well. Try some of their titles such as: Military Families and The Spirit of America.

How about reading more veteran related material? Try Noir and Returning War Vet Sub-Genre, or Being a Veteran.

Have you thanked a Veteran for their service? Have you written with our military in mind? What military reads would you recommend?

Wednesday, November 2, 2022

IWSG: NaNoWriMo

It’s time for another group posting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! founded by Alex J. Cavanaugh. Time to release our fears to the world – or offer encouragement to those who are feeling neurotic. If you’d like to join us, click on the tab above and sign up. We post the first Wednesday of every month. Your words might be the encouragement someone needs. You can also join us on twitter using the hashtag #IWSG, or on the Facebook page.

Now, IWSG hosts have changed up the format in an effort to make it more fun and interactive. Every month, they will announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG Day post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say. 

Don’t forget to visit others that day to see their answers. Want to join, or learn more? Visit our - Sign-up List.


NOVEMBER QUESTION - 
November is National Novel Writing Month. Have you ever participated? If not, why not?

MY ANSWER - I participated a couple of times several years ago. While the process is interesting and I believe it's beneficial to some, the process just never worked out for me. I always seem to have a family emergency in November. Three years in a row an immediate family member ended up in the hospital in November. So, NaNoWriMo fell by the wayside each time. Right now, it's not feasible for me to try again. I'm working full-time and I'm a full-time college student again so I cannot dedicate the time this month.

How about you? Have you ever participated. Are you this year? Why?

Friday, October 28, 2022

The Next Step

It's the last weekend of October and while many of you will be celebrating Halloween or Dia de los Muertos, others are preparing for NaNoWriMo and/or the next step.

No matter where you are in your planning, writing, or publishing journey, I thought you might be in need of some inspiration and advice.

https://nanowrimo.org/

Becoming Your Own Best Critic

Interview With a Gatekeeper: Riverheads Rebecca Saletan

Ask the Editor: An Interview With Sarah Cantin of St. Martins Press

Picturing the Personal Essay

How about you? What is your next step?

Monday, October 17, 2022

Fall Fun, Reads, and Frights

Fall temperatures are finally arriving in our area. Orange decorations, and pumpkin everything, seem to be surrounding us. We usually stay busy all month long with many seasonal activities. For instance, in addition to the many Fall festivals, we just enjoyed a trip to the Texas Renaissance Festival. We also enjoy visiting the local pumpkin patches and Scarecrow Festivals.

If you prefer to stay home cuddled up with a good read instead of heading out to crowds celebrating seasonal festivals, try one of my suggestions from 10 Scary Reads to Terrify Your Inner Child.

I also recommend my short story "Lights Out" which can be found in Road Kill, Texas Horror Volume 4 from Hellbound Books Publishing: here.

If you're looking for something a little lighter, try my romantic Halloween short story (about 800 words): Madame Tooshkas Spell.

Interested in FREE scary books? Try one of these!

Need a few scary good costume ideas? Try one of these 10 Minute Literary Halloween Costumes and dress like your favorite characters.

How are you celebrating this season?

Monday, October 10, 2022

Welcome to #WEPFF - Write...Edit...Publish October Challenge - Deja Vu or Voodoo

Welcome writers! Are you ready for a spooky challenge? For more specifics than I have listed here, or to visit the source: https://writeeditpublishnow.blogspot.com/2018/10/welcome-to-wepff-writeeditpublish.html

OCTOBER is the month for screams and chills, ghosts and ghoulies, mystery and fear, and this month’s prompt is DÉJÀ VU OR VOODOO!.



Most WEP-ers go with horror for October but what if it isn’t your bag? No problem. Just interpret these prompts without a smidgen of anything extra-sensory. Amaze us with a romance or adventure flash without a drop of gore!


Lots of things can happen on Halloween or in October that doesn’t resemble horror…




A nightmare comes to life. A not-so-pleasant experience repeated after years. A vague memory that ends up being something more ominous. A house of horrors revisited with fearsome results. If you don’t scare us, impress us….



The Halloween challenge has proven to be a favorite, so get those stories churning.



If you need some inspiration give these stories a read10 Creepy Stories to Tell After Dark then make up your own “urban legend!



Our August challenge was the first month that we welcomed the writers from the IWSG (Insecure Writers Support Group) and it was impressive. In case you missed the announcement, The WEP team have a GUEST POST on the IWSG website on August 6 that explains everything. Here is the link:



I hope we’ve tweaked your curiosity and ambition. We’d love to read your story so please, Sign up now.

Please remember to add WEP to your post title, so it's easily spotted. 

We like to have all participants on the blogroll, please have a quick scan and tell us if your blog is missing and email Renee if it's not there! yolandarenee@hotmail.com 

 

FLASH FICTION, POETRY, NON-FICTION, ARTWORK, PHOTO ESSAYS

 

  1. 1. SUBMIT your name to the list below NOW
    2. CREATE your entry for the October challenge – Déjà vu or Voodoo. Go 
    HERE for further ideas
    3. EDIT your entry, making sure 'WEP' is in the TITLE
    4. PUBLISH your entry onto your BLOG or FACEBOOK page on the date shown - state feedback preferences
    5. Leave a COMMENT on the WEP website. We add your DirectLink
    6. READ other entries, giving feedback as requested
    SHARE THE CHALLENGE on social media. 

    ALL GENRES WELCOME except erotica - 1,000 words maximum 
    FURTHER ENQUIRIES VISIT www.writeeditpublishnow.blogspot.com and leave a comment or: email: yolandarenee@hotmail.com

1. Denise Covey - DL  13. Orlin - DL  25. J Lenni Dorner - DL  
2. Yolanda Renee - DL  14. Toi Thomas- DL  26. Rebecca M. Douglass - DL  
3. Nilanjana Bose - DL  15. Tanya Miranda - DL  27. Christopher Scott - DL  
4. Olga Godim - DL  16. Dixie Jo Jarchow - DL  28. Adura Ojo - DL  
5. L. G. Keltner - DL  17. Roland Clarke - DL  29. Joey Lynn Resciniti - DL  
6. Desk 49 - DL  18. Hilary - DL  30. Susan Swiderski - DL  
7. Roland Yeomans - DL  19. Operation Awesome - DL  31. dolorah - DL  
8. Sally - DL  20. Michelle Wallace - DL  32. Jemi Fraser - DL  
9. DG Hudson - DL  21. Deborah Drucker - DL  33. Damyanti - DL  
10. Kalpana - DL  22. Jamie Lightcap Dorner - DL  34. Michael Di Gesu - DL  
11. Jemima Pett - DL  23. The Real Cie - DL  35. Robert Jones - DL  
12. Pat Hatt - DL  24. Alex J. Cavanaugh - DL  

Wednesday, October 5, 2022

IWSG: Characteristics of Your Favorite Genre

It’s time for another group posting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! founded by Alex J. Cavanaugh. Time to release our fears to the world – or offer encouragement to those who are feeling neurotic. If you’d like to join us, click on the tab above and sign up. We post the first Wednesday of every month. Your words might be the encouragement someone needs. You can also join us on twitter using the hashtag #IWSG, or on the Facebook page.

Now, IWSG hosts have changed up the format in an effort to make it more fun and interactive. Every month, they will announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG Day post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say. 

Don’t forget to visit others that day to see their answers. Want to join, or learn more? Visit our - Sign-up List.


OCTOBER QUESTION - 
What do you consider the best characteristics of your favorite genre?

MY ANSWER - My favorite genre (at the moment) is YA romance. Romances usually include the full cycle of a romance, beginning with their first meeting (although sometimes characters will already know each other and rather than having an adorable or awkward meeting there will be a trigger event that begins the change in feelings from platonic to romantic). Then, the relationship will be tested or stressed by some series of events. These events can range from simple misunderstandings that are blown out of proportion to serious matters of life and death. Eventually, the conflict is resolved, and the characters are able to fully acknowledge their love, usually resulting in a happily ever after. Some focus on historical scenarios, and others on more contemporary life. They can range from sarcastic, dry-witted, and/or out-right weird, to traditional and sweet. Some even have a heavy dose of trauma or life-threatening situations as part of the plot.

How about you? What are some characteristics of your favorite genre?

Monday, September 26, 2022

Fall Writing

It's finally Fall! Although, you wouldn't know it in southeast Texas with temperatures hitting near 100 degrees as I'm writing this. I'm looking forward to the changing season. I'm also hoping to increase my writing output as I've been too distracted to write as much as I would like lately. I'm working full time, going to school full time, my kids are involved in a lot of extracurriculars which require a lot of travel, and we've had several family and friend losses lately. Don't get me wrong - I'm grateful for everything we have and share. It can all just be overwhelming at times and writing continually takes a backseat when it isn't directly related to a school or work assignment. In that vein, I thought I would share some writing prompts - not all of them are season related, but you can make them such if you wish. I hope they inspire some wickedly wonderful Autumn tales!

1) Write a Fall or Halloween special for your favorite television show.

2) Design your own school of magic: what does it look like? what subjects are taught? Who are the teachers? What are some of the back-to-school traditions?

3) Create a legend about your city.

4) Write an acrostic poem.

5) Write about a Thanksgiving dinner attended by your favorite fictional character.

6) Write a scene from the POV of Alexa or Siri.

7) Create a fake news report.

8) Write a retelling of your favorite Shakespeare play.

9) Write a scene that takes place in your favorite bookstore or coffee shop.

10) Write about a character who has terrible luck.

11) Write a Fall scene without using the word pumpkin.

12) Write about the worst possible break up you could imagine.

13) Make up your own conspiracy theory.

14) Write a story that takes place in a corn maze.

15) Write a ghost story.

16) Take a favorite Christmas song and rewrite the words to be about Halloween, or Thanksgiving.

What are you writing? Are you trying any of these? Any other prompts you want to share?

Sunday, September 18, 2022

Banned Books Week


September 18 is the beginning of "BANNED BOOKS WEEK 2022". Below is a couple of lists of ten of the most frequently challenged books.

A challenge is an attempt to remove or restrict materials, based upon the objections of a person or group. A banning is the removal of those materials from the curriculum or library, thereby restricting the access of others.

The Top Ten Most Frequently Challenged books list is compiled by the Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) and is based on or derived from communities across the United States. According to their data here, the ten most challenged books of 2021 were:

1.  Gender Queer by Maia Kobabe
Reasons: Banned, challenged, and restricted for LGBTQIA+ content, and because it was considered to have sexually explicit images

2. Lawn Boy by Jonathan Evison
Reasons: Banned and challenged for LGBTQIA+ content and because it was considered to be sexually explicit

3. All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson
Reasons: Banned and challenged for LGBTQIA+ content, profanity, and because it was considered to be sexually explicit

4. Out of Darkness by Ashley Hope Perez
Reasons: Banned, challenged, and restricted for depictions of abuse and because it was considered to be sexually explicit

5. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Reasons: Banned and challenged for profanity, violence, and because it was thought to promote an anti-police message and indoctrination of a social agenda

6. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
Reasons: Banned and challenged for profanity, sexual references and use of a derogatory term

7. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews
Reasons: Banned and challenged because it was considered sexually explicit and degrading to women

8. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
Reasons: Banned and challenged because it depicts child sexual abuse and was considered sexually explicit

9. This Book is Gay by Juno Dawson
Reasons: Banned, challenged, relocated, and restricted for providing sexual education and LGBTQIA+ content.

10. Beyond Magenta by Susan Kuklin
Reasons: Banned a
nd challenged for LGBTQIA+ content and because it was considered to be sexually explicit. 

You can also view previous lists as well at OIF. The list of the most banned books for 2022 will be available in April of 2023. However, if you're curious about the most frequently banned books in their records in America:

TEN OF THE MOST FREQUENTLY CHALLENGED BOOKS IN AMERICAN HISTORY:

Some books have been repeatedly banned or challenged throughout history. This is a list of books that appear the most often on THE UNITED STATES banned books lists.
































If you would like more information about banned and challenged books, contact the Office for Intellectual Freedom at (800) 545-2433, ext. 4220, or oif@ala.org. Another god source of information on banned books is the "Libraries and Center for Academic Technology" site by Butler University: https://libguides.butler.edu/c.php?g=34189&p=217684