Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Dec #WEP #WEPFF ANTiation

WEP Dec 2022


J Lenni Dorner
FCA 755 words

Tagline-- A true face is revealed.

*Names changed to protect the innocent, and seriously guilty. Except for Boogers, 👃🏽 because that's the only name I knew him by and I'm sticking with it. (He was so PROUD of that nickname. Even had most of the teachers calling him that. Wore a hoodie with the name, in gold, and an ⬆ arrow pointing to himself. 🤷🏽‍♂️ ) This is another "fiction" 😉 story.

ANTiation by: J Lenni Dorner #wepff WEP DEC 2022

Mike the Mighty stands over us. "Today's the day you sad sacks have a chance at a new life. Boogers, reveal the challenge."

While Mike's other goons hold us hostage on the sticky bathroom floor, Boogers unzips his backpack. Small glass jars, once containing baby food, are rolled to each of us.

"Thirty-five black ants in each," Mike says. "Whoever eats the most gets to join our ranks. The rest of you will suffer."

Boogers opens a bathroom stall with an out-of-order sign taped to the door. A plastic menorah is affixed to the flush valve. Three of the fake candles show a pretend flame. It's as if we're to consider this a gift. The toilet has overflowed. Paper hangs from the sides. I thought the bathroom was especially rank today, now I know why. 

Kim has left an opening in Mike's gang. I never understood why he was friends with them. My friendship with his sister resulted in getting to know him outside of school. He is smart, funny, and respectful to his family. So smart, in fact, that he moved up a grade at the end of the first semester. I hope he has better friends in high school. 

"Any volunteers to go first?" 

Dennis cries beside me. As usual, he begs to let go and cries while wetting his pants. Liam is new. He stays still and silent, like me. 

"Barfing Barry! Start us off. And anything you don't keep down, please, aim for the broken bowl. It will look great on your head later." 

No sooner does Boogers unscrew the cap than Barry barfs. 

"I told you to aim for the toilet!" Mike kicks Barry several times. 

Liam shoves his way to his feet. "You can't make people eat ants."

Mike rewards this bravery by having Liam dunked in the broken toilet. His light blue shirt is soon caked in brown crap and used bathroom tissue. A bit of corn sticks in the tips of his hair when he is allowed up. He cursed between gasps. 

"I can make anyone do anything. This is my school. I am the king of the students." Mike grabs me by my ponytail. 

The thing is, I had hidden in the woods quite often. Ants were not new to my tastebuds. Normally, I killed them before eating them. They're a little sour, so I usually roast them with pine bark. 

I unscrew the glass jar and eat the ants. Every last one, my eyes locked on Mike's the entire time. 

"Gees. At this point, you only had to eat one to win." He claps me on the shoulder. "You wanna spit them back out? Barf on Barry?"

I shake my head, grab another jar, and unscrew the lid. 

"Whoa, whoa! Put it down. You're in. No need to go overboard." Mike knocks the jar away and helps me to my feet. 

Lifesavers butter rum candy
The bell rings, indicating lunch is over. Mike puts his arm around my shoulder, walking me to class. We have math together this period. He usually sits next to me, erasing his paper, then blowing the eraser dust at me. Not today. Instead, he gives me a buttermint from his pack. 

People smile at me the rest of the day. They've never made eye contact before, especially without sneering. Being friends with Mike means kindness from others? All this just for eating some ants. 

We walk home together. Mike used to walk with Kim. The rest of his crew uses the bus. 

"I can't believe you ate all those ants. Are they crawling around inside you?"

I shrug. 

A car pulls up beside us. 

"What the hell are you doing with that kid? Get home! Your sister needs changing and the trash has to go out. I'm going to buy cigarettes." 

Mike nods. "Yes, Sir."

The man in the car points his lit smoke my way. "I better not catch him on my property. And if I ever see you with him again, I'll break your leg, Hanukkah or not. Am I clear?"

He doesn't wait for an answer. Just flicks the lit butt our way before speeding off. 

I look at Mike. It's the first time I really see his face. Not the king of class, not the mighty leader. Just a scared boy. His life is not much different from mine. I want to wipe his tears and hug him. I want him to know just how much I understand.

His face fades from view when his fist collides with my head. 

Proof of Existence by @JLenniDornerProof of Existence on Goodreads Please consider adding to your TBR.

🎉 I intend to release Proof of Existence on April 4, 2023. 🎆

It picks up where the first book left off. It is still an urban fantasy, though there is a bit more focus on the paranormal romance angle in this one. The main characters pass for the 18–29 age bracket, so it's still New Adult. (Though college is no longer one of Wend's primary concerns. She has something entirely different to learn now.) I hope to get a launch party going. If you are interested in helping out, please fill out this short form:

Wednesday, December 7, 2022

December Holidays #IWSG and a Book Release Announcement with Launch Party Sign-up

Proof of Existence by @JLenniDorner

100x160 Fractions of Existence Proof of Existence by @JLenniDorner

🎉 I intend to release Proof of Existence on April 4, 2023. 🎆

It picks up where the first book left off. It is still an urban fantasy, though there is a bit more focus on the paranormal romance angle in this one. The main characters pass for the 18–29 age bracket, so it's still New Adult. (Though college is no longer one of Wend's primary concerns. She has something entirely different to learn now.) I hope to get a launch party going. If you are interested in helping out, please fill out this short form:


nanowrimo jlennidorner

Mastodon sunny.garden/@JLenniDorner
 I joined Mastodon. It's another social network site. Anyone else? Friends there wanted!

In the News:

"The Senate has passed the Respect For Marriage Act which protects both same sex marriage and interracial marriage."
Nov 29, 2022 USA flag
This is a huge relief.

Shout-out to Alex and the awesome co-hosts for today:

Joylene Nowell Butler, Chemist Ken, Natalie Aguirre, Nancy Gideon, and Cathrina Constantine!

Dec 7 question - It's holiday time! Are the holidays a time to catch up or fall behind on writer goals?

I'm planning for it to be a time to keep pace with my goals, as I've got a book launch planned. Historically though, I do fall behind.

Please also visit: The Insecure Writer's Support Group Book Club on Goodreads.
IWSG Dec books

Operation Awesome Happening at OperationAwesome6.blogspot.com

We're discussing our thoughts, opinions, and experiences on NaNoWriMo this week.
A to Z Challenge Happening at the A to Z Challenge

Zip thru Autumn is wrapping up.
Nov 30- Dec 6 ~ Fortitude, Easy tips
Dec 7- Dec 13~ Dare, Chance
Dec 14- Dec 20 ~ Balance, Achievements in 2022

WEP Dec 2022

Get that flash fiction out there!

Tuesday, November 1, 2022

Doing #NaNoWriMo with #IWSG

Shout-out to Alex and the awesome co-hosts for today: Diedre Knight, Douglas Thomas Greening, Nick Wilford, and Diane Burton!

Nov 2 question - November is National Novel Writing Month. Have you ever participated?

nanowrimo jlennidorner

New buddies welcome.
I'm using this year to finish a project. I've got a giant monster planning to attack me around the middle of the month, so I'm hoping I can keep the focus on writing. 
It is my goal to keep my fingers on the keys.

Please also visit: The Insecure Writer's Support Group Book Club on Goodreads.

Operation Awesome Happening at OperationAwesome6.blogspot.com

We've got NaNoWriMo tips and tricks!

A to Z Challenge Happening at the A to Z Challenge

Nov 2- Nov 7 ~ Never blog this, Motivating
Nov 9- Nov 15 ~ Lesson, Know where I've been
Nov 16- Nov 22 ~ Joy and Job in blogging, Ideas
Nov 23- Nov 29 ~ Happy Habits, Goal of your blog for remaining 2022
Nov 30- Dec 6 ~ Fortitude, Easy tips

Thursday, October 20, 2022

Killer Thriller Review to Live #WEP #WEPFF

I haven't been around as much as usual. Last weekend marked the eighth funeral this year. I don't have enough of myself left to split into smaller pieces. I spent the start of this month shuffling back and forth between hospitals as two people, one a very dear friend ("found family") and one an aunt-in-law, fought for their lives. The aunt is better. My friend is still fighting. There just isn't more of me to give right now. I'm hoping and planning to do NaNoWriMo next month. (https://nanowrimo.org/participants/j-lenni-dorner) There's a project I want to finish before the end of the year. 

https://litreactor.com Nuts and Bolts: “Thought” Verbs
I came across this. And now I wonder how often I've made that error. 
Because absolutely nothing will help motivate me to focus on finishing something like an article that points out a potentially serious flaw in my writing! (Heavy sarcasm.) 

I considered not entering WEP this round. I don't want to share my "sob story" of why I've been neglectful in my blogging and visiting. (I'm running a blogging challenge at A to Z, and I haven't even managed to take part. 🤦🏽‍♂️ The shame!) I really was going to skip this WEPFF, even though I LOVE this prompt. I feel so guilty about not devoting my usual amount of time to visiting other blogs that I've worked my disgrace into the story.

I was watching tv in the hospital room while a nurse tended to my friend. And a line from the show wormed into my mind. It brought up a memory of something I did on Twitter years and years ago, back when I was a noob and didn't know any of the unspoken social graces of social media. I had reached out to ask some people why they didn't follow me back. (Never do this.) A few actually did follow back instead of answering. But more attacked me for being passive-aggressive. (Definition: "indirectly expressing negative feelings instead of openly addressing them.") I didn't know my question was an expression of a negative feeling, or that I had a negative feeling. I thought I was just trying to learn why some people opted not to follow back, especially if they joined a "follow-train." (A thing that Twitter has largely phased out.) The 😡 anger that was spewed back at me by some people caused me to abandon Twitter for a few weeks.

Noun. enbyfriend (plural enbyfriends) (slang, neologism) A non-binary partner in an unmarried romantic relationship.
Vocabulary lesson

The character in this story has a very different response. I hope you enjoy the story that almost didn't exist. 
Dedicated to David, RIP, cowboy, husband, and father taken too soon. 

Tagline: Not reviewing really kills you.

Review to Live

Body disposal is one of life's little annoyances. Decomposing human remains have to be dealt with though. I read that over a hundred billion people have died since the beginning of human life. Yet some detective might focus on just one missing body, blame me entirely, and then I'd need to be disposed of as just another corpse. Ridiculous. 

Thus, I am exceedingly careful with the remains of my lessons. Such a shame that it comes to this. If only people could be better to each other.

For example, I recently sent a message to someone. "Hey, Dave! Just a reminder to leave a review for the thriller That Was It by Jackson Michaël. It's the one about the guy who summons monsters to scare a girl he likes so he can save her from them, but she ends up saving them both, as well as her enbyfriend."

I'm doing a service. Grandmama always said, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." She said it was the most valuable lesson of her faith. That same faith is well-known for killing those who don't follow it. So it stands to reason that, if someone doesn't follow this golden lesson, I have a duty to send their soul for punishment. You see?

Jackson Michaël always leaves reviews. Jackson Michaël follows back all who follow first on social media. Jackson Michaël leaves a like for every like received, and gives a share for every share given. Jackson Michaël does unto others as he would have them do unto him. Me. I am Jackson Michaël. But I am also ReminderBlade77. 

Do you know how Dave replied? 

@ReminderBlade77 That's a #PassiveAggressive way to ask for reviews #AttentionWhore. I'm blocking you and the author.

Not leaving a review is bad enough. Insulting me for a friendly reminder? I was doing unto Dave as I want done unto me! I like getting a reminder if I've forgotten to do something, especially something as important as maintaining good manners. I explained this to Dave as I chopped him up and disposed of his body. See how polite I am? Some killers would leave a body to rot, to be picked at by animals, or to suffer a prolonged death by not properly finishing the job straight away. 

Do you remember getting a copy of the thriller That Was It by Jackson Michaël now? One simple review and we could have avoided all this messiness. Did you enjoy it? How was it interesting as a thriller? Would you recommend it, and to who? What kept you turning the pages? Will you read more of Jackson Michaël's works? Do you usually read thrillers?

If you had just taken the time to answer a few simple questions, to scribble down a few thoughts and feelings, you wouldn't be living in a thriller right now. Or dying in one.

Google proof there is no ReminderBlade77

FCA 480 Words

J Lenni Dorner (he/him 👨🏽 or 🧑🏽 they/them) ~ Reference& Speculative Fiction Author, OperationAwesome6 Debut Author Interviewer, and Co-host of the #AtoZchallenge

Questions toward the end of this flash fiction are borrowed from my reference book:
Writing Book Reviews As An Author: Inspiration To Make It Easier

Thriller Song by Michael Jackson Movie: Michael Jackson's This Is It GOOGLE SEARCH

Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Urban Fantasy Characteristics #IWSG and News

Shout-out to Alex and the awesome co-hosts for today: Tonja Drecker, Victoria Marie Lees, Mary Aalgaard, and Sandra Cox!

DATE question - October 5

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

"Urban fantasy combines selected imaginary/unrealistic elements of plot, character, theme, or setting with a largely-familiar world - combining the familiar and the strange. Such elements may exist secretly in the world or may occur openly." - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urban_fantasy

"Urban fantasy describes a subgenre of fantasy in which the real world collides with the decidedly supernatural or magical world." - https://blog.reedsy.com/urban-fantasy-definition/

"The most necessary element to consider in the plot of an urban fantasy is the unanswered question. It’s usually not enough in an urban fantasy for your protagonist to have a strong driving goal; there should also be a huge, possibly frightening unknown that gradually unfolds throughout the story," - https://www.writersdigest.com/write-better-fiction/5-elements-urban-fantasy-novels-must

"A protagonist with a foot in both worlds: The main character of an urban fantasy is typically savvy to the real-life ways of their urban environment yet can also wield or exploit magical powers." - https://www.masterclass.com/articles/how-to-recognize-urban-fantasy

I felt I should first share the established characteristics before just saying that I love the way urban fantasy blends with real-world settings, making it feel plausible. Urban Fantasy is a subgenre of Speculative Fiction, and it's the one I've opted to pick to answer this question. 

Please also visit: The Insecure Writer's Support Group Book Club on Goodreads.

🎬 Let me tell you about two cool movies I recently enjoyed watching.

Lou on Netflix. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt5315210 Allison Janney as an action-thriller star. She's a fantastic actress, but seeing her like this is mind-blowingly good. If you're in the "why don't we see older women kicking butt in movies" group, here you go!

Three Thousand Years of Longing https://www.imdb.com/title/tt9198364 A content writer is granted three wishes by a Djinn. While she tries to think of a wish, he absorbs knowledge from everything around him, and then tells her stories from his life. An excellent movie for writers. (Content- Rated R for scenes with female concubines lounging around nude.)

WEP Oct 2022 thriller image
Flash fiction contest and community this month.

Operation Awesome Happening at OperationAwesome6.blogspot.com

Pass or Pages! Adult Fantasy query letters entry window is open this week. Five lucky winners will get feedback from agents, and possibly requests for PAGES! Please spread the word.

A to Z Challenge Happening at the A to Z Challenge
Zip Thru Autumn #atozchallenge event
A laid-back blogging event.

Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Worst Genre #IWSG

Shout-out to Alex and the awesome co-hosts for today: Kim Lajevardi, Cathrina Constantine, Natalie Aguirre, Olga Godim, Michelle Wallace, and Louise - Fundy Blue!

Sept 7 question -

What genre would be the worst one for you to tackle and why?

Answer: Historical fiction. I'm too nit-picky. 
So feel free to laugh at the fact that I have a King-Arthur-inspired story on my eventual planned books. 

I fell behind the last two weeks. Horribly fell behind. I've cut myself as thin as I possibly can, the slices are transparent by now. I hope to be back ahead by later today. Or somewhat even.  

Please also visit: The Insecure Writer's Support Group Book Club on Goodreads.

Operation Awesome Happening at OperationAwesome6.blogspot.com
Pass or Pages is coming! Sept 30 is the genre reveal, so please stop by to check it out. I've also interviewed some really great debut authors this month, so please swing by there on Wednesdays. 

Operation Awesome Happening at the A to Z Challenge
Autumn Challenge is coming (and might be up, depending on when you are reading this).

Monday, August 22, 2022

#BoutOfBooks 35 Readathon Wrap Up

Bout of Books

Last Instagram Challenge:

Total number of finished books: 5
Titles of finished books:
Write Better Right Now: The Reluctant Writer’s Guide to Confident Communication and Self-Assured Style by Mary-Kate Mackey
Small! by Hannah Moffatt @MissDePlume
White Lies by Sara de Waard @deWaardSara

Interestingly, a common theme among those books was unjustified self-blame. (Not writing enough, parents divorcing, a death.)

Kristy and the Snobs: A Graphic Novel (The Baby-sitters Club #10) (The Baby-Sitters Club Graphix) by Ann M. Martin
Good-bye Stacey, Good-bye: A Graphic Novel (The Baby-sitters Club #11) by Ann M. Martin

My GOALS during Bout of Books 35:
  1. Finish reading 3 books ✔
  2. Take part in the IG challenges ✔
  3. Write 3 book reviews ✔
  4. Interact with at least 10 of my fellow BoB participants ✔
  5. Take part in at least one Twitter chat ✔

Story Graph @JLenniDorner

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

#WEP #NativeAmerican #ShortStory and #BoutOfBooks Day 3

WEPFF image

Moon Phase on May 15 1994 image

The following is 😉fictionalized.
This is about a teen reuniting with his biological parents, and discovering the challenges of reproducing. (Tag)
Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
If it were real, the reunion would have probably occurred on May 15, 1994.
The Moonlight Sonata is full of ups and downs, as is this piece, which takes place under the moonlight.
999 Words FCA

  • A Dakota fire hole has two holes in the ground connected by a tunnel. 🔥 The fire is in one hole, and smoke filters out the other. This contains the blaze and makes it more difficult to see from a distance.
  • The paperwork person referenced was a social worker.
  • The American Indian Religious Freedom Act was passed in August 1978. The Indian Child Welfare Act was passed in November 1978. Both of those events are after the first pregnancy in the story.

The Reunion

Though he hasn't seen his parents since he was preschool age, over a decade ago, recognition is instantaneous. The three hug and cry from early to late twilight. Father lights the Dakota fire hole. Mother prepares pine tea. He sits on a large, flat stone on the lush forest floor. It feels familiar, as though he had sat on this spot a thousand times before.

"We come this way each year after the flowers start to bloom. Some years, when summer is too disagreeable, we head to the cabin where you were born," Father says as he checks the fire.

The teen boy has millions of questions. How much time will there be to get answers? He looks from the hidden fire to the moonlight. The Waxing Crescent offers some light in the night sky. He scribbles a question in his notebook. 

"Hmm," Father contemplates after reading the question. "We are not concerned with calendars or clocks. Nature cares little for man's time trackers. The moon was brighter than this the night before you were born, though not entirely full. Summer had turned to her hottest days."

"I confess I prayed you would be born to ease my discomfort. Though I also hoped you would wait. An infant that cannot be cooled is difficult to silence."

His mother's remark makes him chuckle, for dysarthria from severely damaged laryngeal muscles has rendered him mute. Hot summer days meant his real birthday probably was in August. The paperwork person might have picked well when she guessed. He writes another question.

Mother tends to the tea brewing on the heated rocks. "Our grandparents were friends. My grandfather brought your father to our family's farm."

"I had traveled with my father's uncle for some time before that. He was the one you encountered last time you searched for us."

The boy smiles. He had been so glad to find an uncle. The elder passed on vast knowledge in the months they spent together. 

"My parents hoped I would marry a different boy. Your father encouraged me to marry another."

"I loved her and wanted the easier life that a pale husband could provide."

Mother reaches for Father's hand and kisses it. "Love is not about an easy life. We wed, and soon I was with child."

Father squeezes her hand. "I was joyful and terrified. There was no guarantee the community would protect our child. I knew there was a better chance they would be safe if I left. While praying on it in the woods, I encountered another from our tribe. He told me the pales were harming our women in childbirth, taking motherhood from them. They take and raise the baby without love or guidance. Born as a villain, raised like a slave, then abandoned to harshness and early graves."

"Terror for our family gripped my soul," Mother says as she pulls a fur around her shoulder. "What were we to do? How could we stay safe?"

"There was time, though not much, before winter set in and her stomach would plump. So I learned all that I could. A midwife gave me lessons, books showed me what to watch for, and her mother imparted wisdom. We carried little with us and moved away from the world." Father opens a pouch filled with dried meat. He passes it around before eating some. 

"Winter was too cruel. And we did not plan early or well enough. It was around this time, when the flowers first bloom, that our child came too soon and without life."

Mother stares at her jerky. The new leaves rustle with the soft breeze. "It took time, but I still wanted a child. We got better at living in the wilderness."

"I negotiated and traded with certain hunters, fishers, and farmers. I helped one build a cabin in exchange for occasional use."

The boy nodded. He remembered the cabin a bit. 

"It was not long after a pumpkin feast that I realized you were inside me." Mother distributes the pine tea. The boy is glad he brought a cup on his journey. "We stayed in the cabin much longer than usual. I was determined that you would live."

"We did all we could to keep you with us. I taught you survival skills from the moment you took your first steps. You learned so fast," Father claps his hands. "You made us proud every day."

Tears roll down the boy's face. He shakes as he writes an apology for wandering off, being taken, and not finding them sooner. His parents embrace him and assure him that the blame is not his. Mother wraps him in her fur as her tears mingle with his.

"We tried to find you. There was very little help," Father stares at the fire.


Sunlight breaks through the lowest branches before the boy asks his biggest question. His parents frown.

"No, son, your mother and I cannot go with you. Our home is here, among the trees. This is the safest place. You are welcome to stay with us. We have helped many in situations such as ours. This is our path in the world."

The boy explains his medical needs and asks how he could survive without modern care. He writes that laws have changed, that it's safe now.

"Nothing we have can do what you ask. How well you would live, I cannot say. Never trust pales to keep their word regarding your safety. They think death is our only use. Pox blankets may change form, but continue to exist."

He pleads for them to come back with him. To not leave him with strangers for years to come. Mother gives him an address and a note. 

"This woman of science lives near the farm our family had. She openly shares knowledge and compassion. The note requests she houses and cares for you. We will return to this spot again. Soon after the flowers bloom each year. Meet us, if you can."

Image of moons of August 1979 image Temperature in the area August 1979

The boy's actual birthday is probably early August. The paperwork person picked August 21 because that was the day she filled out the form and the boy did not give her a different answer.

Feel free to wish the author, me, 🎈 a happy birthday. 🎂 Legally, it's this weekend. 

If you look at my post from Monday, you'll see the book I used to plot this writing offering. I don't normally plot, but this did help me decide how to tell the story.

The Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) helps Native American children stay with their tribe.
The Dad in the story is right. There's a new ""pox blanket"" intent on taking away rights of Native Americans.
The ICWA is in danger of being defeated. Registered US voters can help by signing a petition.
You can also contact your elected officials by other means about the matter.

Today's Instagram Challenge:
Today's prompt is AUTO-BUY AUTHOR. Who's your "auto" author? Whose book do you auto-buy or auto-request from the library?
#boutofbooks #boutofbooks35 #bobigphoto
Victoria Aveyard ~ https://amzn.to/3pswYuZ
#Fantasy #SpeculativeFiction #FutureFantasy
image of Victoria Aveyard books image of Victoria Aveyard books

Day of the challenge: Day 3
What I read today:
Small! by Hannah Moffatt @MissDePlume

Total number of finished books: 1
Titles of finished books:
Write Better Right Now: The Reluctant Writer’s Guide to Confident Communication and Self-Assured Style by Mary-Kate Mackey
storygraph image

My GOALS during Bout of Books 35:
  1. Finish reading 3 books
  2. Take part in the IG challenges
  3. Write 3 book reviews
  4. Interact with at least 10 of my fellow BoB participants
  5. Take part in at least one Twitter chat ✔

Operation Awesome Happening at OperationAwesome6.blogspot.com
Stacy Stokes answers #13Questions in OA's Debut Author Spotlight #giveaway
Teen & Young Adult Magical Realism Thiller
Your chance to win a signed copy. (USA only)

  • Did you enjoy the short story?
    • Did your parents fear you would be kidnapped by the government at birth?
    • If you are a parent, did you fear your baby would be taken away at birth?
    • Were you born a villain? Hated for your bloodline?
  • Did you consider looking at the ICWA petition to protect Native American families?
  • How do you celebrate your birthday, if you acknowledge it?
  • Have you read any of Victoria Aveyard's books?
  • Ever taken part in a read-a-thon?
  • Have you ever heard of storygraph.com
  • Did you check out the signed-book giveaway?

Monday, August 15, 2022

#BoutOfBooks 35 Day 1 - Writing Reference Book

bout of books 35 image
I'm participating in #BoutOfBooks 35 starting August 15. The Bout of Books readathon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly Rubidoux Apple.

Goodreads @JLenniDorner ID 7120981 bookshelf view Bout of Books shelves

How many times have I participated in Bout of Books? 
  1. May 2015
  2. Aug 2015
  3. Jan 2016
  4. May 2016
  5. Aug 2016
  6. Jan 2017
  7. May 2017
  8. Aug 2017
  9. Jan 2018
  10. May 2018
  11. Aug 2018
  12. Jan 2019
  13. May 2019
  14. Aug 2019
  15. May 2020
  16. Aug 2021
  17. Aug 2022 
Please visit me on Goodreads to see what I've read during past BoB readathons!

Write Better Right Now: The Reluctant Writer’s Guide to Confident Communication and Self-Assured Style by Mary-Kate Mackey

I picked this book because I haven't been as focused on my writing goals lately as I'd like to be. In addition to reading and reviewing, this book has activities. So, as personal accountability, here's my "work."

Pg 20: Create an ideal reader. Give them a name and identity. 
clipart rendering of siblings and cat reading and gaming
dcode.fr/anagram-generator Using my top 15 commenters, I created an anagram and antonym name:
and her brother
(and their cat, Lil 🐈 ).

The Blue-Aridity siblings love reading, blogging, attending stand-up comedy nights, and playing games. Antoinette enjoys hiking and swimming. Braxton likes cooking, learning obscure facts, and caring for his sister and cat. Antoinette has dated a few guys, but none she ever considered to be "mister right." Braxton is pansexual and had a serious relationship with a trans person, but they passed away from a rare disorder. Antoinette has worked some office jobs and is currently employed with a landscaping business where she is sometimes in the office but also helps with flower garden design. Braxton works as a dishwasher at a big restaurant while he attends community college to study culinary arts. Lil likes wet food of the fish varieties and refuses to hunt small animals. She's pretty affectionate, for a cat. 

Antoinette reads books to escape to a world of love and adventure. Braxton enjoys some romance in his books, but especially likes when there's humor included, and absolutely loves when a book teaches him an obscure fact or inspires him to cook something. Both siblings like it when the main characters have a pet (one who lives, preferably) in a novel. 

My writing provides entertainment and often contains bits of romance, obscure facts, and humor. Pets do appear in longer stories. I like to slip in the characters' favorite foods to reveal something about them and appeal to the reader's sense of taste. 

Pages 49-51

It's pretty clear that this book is meant for non-fiction. But I've committed to doing the work, so I'll just do my best here.

In my blog post about bout of books, I am saying that I am committed to making this readathon count.

In my book (Writing Book Reviews As An Author: Inspiration To Make It Easier) about writing book reviews, I am saying that there is a checklist to make book reviews quick and easy to write, fun to read, and with minimal risk of hurting an author's feelings.

In my book (Fractions of Existence) about urban fantasy characters who appear human, I am saying that they are trying to save human life on Earth from antagonists who believe Earth is a prison for souls, but the protagonist group has no chance of winning while the group is fractured

Page 69, Scar or Tattoo, is an exercise useful to fiction and nonfiction writers. Pick a mark on your body, list facts about it (how and when, etc), and then create an order for the story. Then try the story in a different order.

Pages 84-85

This part is the Hero's Journey story arc, which is useful in fiction. For this exercise, I'm told to plot a story. As my WEP post is due this week, I'm going to use that. As it requires a drawing, I'll be placing an image here.

As WEP is only 1000 words, I may need to cut the story down to just steps 7, 8, and 9. The rest can maybe be flashbacks.


The part about interviews gave me a few new questions to use for the Operation Awesome Debut Author Spotlight next year. 


Pages 109-110

My WEP as an inverted pyramid, with the information from most important to least.

Parents found a way to keep their baby and protect their family.
It was a time when the law stole babies and sterilized women.
A choice had to be made to risk staying in society or being homeless and off-grid. 
Food and shelter are much more difficult to get when off-grid, especially while evading authorities. 
Pregnancy is scarier and more difficult with no medical care.
Mastering living away from a society that wants you dead makes the idea of returning nearly impossible.

inverted pyramid with words

Page 125 Personal  Essay

(The book discusses sensory details. It leaves out scents or smells, as well as sight or visuals. It does separate touch and feel though. And includes time.)

To include:
A teenager finds his birth parents in the forest under a full moon. 

Sounds: Animals settling in, the wind rustling the new leaves, 
Tastes: Dried meat, pine tea
Touch: Familiar large, flat stones to sit on. 
Scents: Clean air, earth, light smoke, 
Sights: The light from the night sky and the Dakota fire hole
Feelings: Wonderment, gratitude, guilt, worry, love
Time: Night to Morning

Open with Certainty: The teen believes his parents could rejoin society with him. 
Confusion/ Chaos: In telling him about his birth, they reveal why they won't rejoin society. 
Shift: He realizes that, as much as he wants his real family, he must choose between them or the modern medicine and lifestyle.


Page 125 Editing

In my flash "fiction" about this teen and his biological parents, I am saying that it was harder for Native Americans to feel safe reproducing. 
It is being told because enough people don't understand or fully grasp what it means to be so hated by society that even the law once suggested death was the only use for your life. 
“‘The only good Indian is a dead Indian,’ Mr. Scott said.” -- Laura Ingalls Wilder, Little House on the Prairie
It connects the reader to the greater world because most readers probably have never specifically thought about it.
The point is that it's a heartbreaking truth.
In a word, this is about: love. 
The best illustration of that is the parents leaving a more comfortable life, sacrificing basic needs (shelter, stable food sources, a stable water supply, community, etc) to protect their offspring and each other.


Page 152 has a good list of words to search a document for when looking to tighten up verbs to strengthen sentences. 
Page 158 suggests counting the words in each paragraph. Hemingwayapp.com can do that for you for free.
Page 165 Put first and last paragraph sentences down, and see if they communicate well enough. 
Page 194 suggests reading the work from the last sentence to the first. Then read it out loud.
Page 206 requires creating a writing group.

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

#IWSG Original Story - Plus News about #WriteClubDFW and #AtoZChallenge

Shout-out to Alex and the awesome co-hosts for today:

Tara Tyler, Lisa Buie Collard, Loni Townsend, and Lee Lowery!

Aug 3 question -

When you set out to write a story, do you try to be more original or do you try to give readers what they want?

And I have been rejected by dozens of agents because of it. Which is one reason I self-publish.
I've found a few accomplished writers in the speculative fiction world who have read parts or all of certain stories I have (mostly Fractions of Existence), and agreed that it is unique and unlike most other Speculative Fiction or Urban Fantasy novels out there.

Part of why it's killing me that WriteClub2022 was canceled is that I actually entered this year. 

I have a story of Royce, a 21-year-old Incanter who isn't using his magic because it has been predicted he'd destroy millions of lives. Not using magic makes him an outcast. As he's dying, he considers magic, and it not only brings him back to life but sets him on the path of destruction. The real question becomes, in a male-only country that's mostly eradicated diversity, is destruction evil or heroic? 

He learns that his persecuted father worked for the department that handles artificial insemination. There are women in the world, but they're kept in pods in a permanent vegetative state. His father's true crime was waking a woman, learning magic from her, and creating a child without permission. Royce's magic would wake them all, and absolutely destroy the lives of their captors.

Does that sound interesting?
Have you read something similar? 
Is that story something original or something you, as a reader, would want?

#WEP is coming later this month. https://writeeditpublishnow.blogspot.com/2022/08/wep-august-2022-challenge-moonlight.html
But for the Moonlight Sonata prompt, I have something special planned. An origin story of sorts. The inspiration came due to last month's #IWSG posts. I realized that several people wish they could live in a fictional world where I am a villain. That's an ideal world for some people. A world where killing me would be both legal and encouraged. (Obviously, not everyone picked such worlds. Lots of Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings fans out there.) Eh, that's just how it goes. A little story about two parents fleeing from the world to birth a baby safely is coming later this month.

Please also visit: The Insecure Writer's Support Group Book Club on Goodreads.

@JLenniDorner Vocabulary award Woo! Celebrating myself.

Tune in later this year to find out if I'm still legally married.
"Respect for Marriage Act will enshrine and protect marriage equality and make sure legal, same-sex and interracial marriages are recognized."
My spouse isn't a Native American. 
🤔 Err... my person to which I share my life and devote my highest love isn't a Native American.        

https://twitter.com/DL_H/status/1554084086830039040 "Due to a profound lack of interest...there will be no WRiTE CLUB contest this year. #WRiTECLUBDFW" https://www.dlhammons.com/2022/08/write-club-pulling-plug.html
I was really hoping to get in this year. I wanted the raw feedback on my latest project. It's hard to imagine, with the success of so many winners, that not enough people entered this year.

bout of books 35 imageboutofbooks.blogspot.com I'm participating in #BoutOfBooks 35 starting August 15. The Bout of Books readathon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly Rubidoux Apple.

The A to Z team is hoping for feedback about our possible new graphics. Things are happening at http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com, so please take a moment to check out the latest posts.

Check out Operation Awesome on Thursday, please. We have a question for writers! operationawesome6.blogspot.com/