Archive for October, 2016


Have a miserable, frightening day. Hide under the bed in case the boogie man visits you. May spooks haunt you. Oh, yes, and have a fantastic Halloween!


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Editing ideas

Some ways to spice up your writing:

Rhetorical devices

Alliteration – the recurrence of initial consonant sounds – baby buggy bumpers

Allusion – a reference to an event, literary work or person – I can’t do that because I am not Superman.

Amplification – repeats a word or expression for emphasis – Love, real love, takes time.

Analogy – compares two different things that have some similar characteristics – He is flaky as a snowstorm.

Anaphora – repeats a word or phrase in successive phrases (often in three’s) – “If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh?” (Merchant of Venice, Shakespeare)

Antanagoge – places a criticism and compliment together to lessen the impact – The car is not pretty but it runs great.

Antimetabole – repeats words or phrases in reverse order – “ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country.” (J F Kennedy)

Antiphrasis – uses a word with an opposite meaning – The Chihuahua was named Goliath.

Antithesis – makes a connection between two things that are otherwise dissimilar – “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.” (Neil Armstrong)

Appositive – places a noun or phrase next to another noun for descriptive purposes – Mary, queen of the land, hosted the ball.

Assonance – the repetition of vowels to create internal rhymes – “That solitude which suits abstruser musings” (Samuel Taylor Coleridge) in “Frost at Midnight”

Consonance – the repetition of consonants that are close together – animals named Sam are clammy

Enumeratio – makes a point with details – Renovation included a spa, tennis court, pool and lounge.

Epanalepsis – repeats something from the beginning of a sentence at the end – My ears heard what you said but I couldn’t believe my ears.

Epithet – using an adjective or adjective phrase to describe – mesmerizing eyes

Epizeuxis – repeats one word for emphasis (similar to anaphora) – The amusement park was fun, fun, fun.

Hyperbole – an exaggeration – I have done this a thousand times.

Litotes – makes an understatement by denying the opposite of a word that may have been used – The terms of the contract are not disagreeable to me.

Metanoia – corrects or qualifies a statement – You are the most beautiful woman in this town, nay the entire world.

Metaphor – compares two things by stating one is the other (i.e. using one in place of the other) – The eyes are the windows of the soul.

Metonymy – a metaphor where something being compared is referred to by something closely associated with it – The knights are loyal to the crown. (crown is stand in for king)

Onomatopoeia – words that imitate the sound they describe – plunk, whiz, pop

Oxymoron – a two-word paradox – near miss, seriously funny

Parallelism – uses words or phrases with a similar structure – I went to the store, parked the car and bought a pizza.

Rhyme – familiar to everyone but it comes in countless variations

Feminine rhyme – the line ends in an unstressed syllable

Masculine rhyme – the line ends in a stressed syllable

Near rhyme (semi-rhyme) – weak, forced, or imperfect rhymes (bend, ending) (one, thumb)

Slant rhyme (half rhyme) – matching final consonants (bent, ant)

Personification – speaking of inanimate objects as if they are alive- Purple wildflowers demanded space among the rocks.

Sibilance – consonance that uses sibilants (S, Sh, Z) – Zack’s uncertain, sad milkshake

Simile – compares one object to another – He smokes like a chimney.

Understatement – makes an idea less important that it really is – The hurricane disrupted traffic.

Eights Mask2


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Looking for an MG Agent

Hello agents: When Tsatsi and his sister get lost during the 1838 Trail of Tears, he fights Stone Man, a Cherokee monster. My great-great grandfather was a Cherokee whose family escaped and went north during the Trail of Tears. He died long before I was born, but I was privileged to meet his youngest son.

Mini-synopsis: After Twelve-year-old Tsatsi and his sister separate from their family during the Trail of Tears, a giant named Stone Man drags her to his lair. Tsatsi fights him, dodges renegades, and hides from soldiers, so he and his sister can reunite with their family in the Smoky Mountains. At 45,000 words, Stone Man’s Lair is an edited and completed middle-reader historical adventure. The background is authentic, and I have found no children’s books dealing with this aspect of the Trail of Tears.


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5 elements of high concept:

  • Premise (is not the plot) has broad appeal. High concept title is easily understood. Wide range of interest. [Harry Potter etc.]
  • Ooooooh factor. Originality crossed with familiarity. Take something you know and twist it. [J K Rowling did this]
  • Compelling emotional appeal. Driven by emotion. Make the reader care from the first page. [the readers fell in love with Harry]
  • Stand out setting. Spectacular, not expected. [made a magical world seem English yet new]
  • A story that illuminates/gives insight to universal human truth. Or it challenges expectations. [Harry rising above his tormentors]
  • Here is my high concept novel, Eighth Mask: Murder on the Cherokee Reservation. Read it to find out how and why it fits!
  • Eights Mask2

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Agent Hunt

Someone kidnaps Sally, and James must decide whether to rescue her and face his own murderous past or assume she’s a murderer, too. I am looking for an agent:

Sally slips into James’s isolated cabin in the middle of the night, claiming to be fifteen, but he believes she is the twenty-one-year-old who killed a grocery clerk during a robbery. After she learns he is accused of murdering a couple over a lover’s triangle and of World War 2 war crimes, she is afraid he will kill her, but she has no place to go. They plot to attack each other in self-defense. After someone kidnaps Sally, James has to choose whether to rescue her and confront his own past or assume she’s also a murderer. Whistle Pig Down is a completed and edited 80,000-word literary mystery/suspense novel, which takes place in 1955 along the Kentucky-Tennessee border. (Subtitle: Ferry to Hell) My grandmothers’ families come from this part of Appalachia, and it is under-served literary wise.


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Completed and edited, looking for an agent:

17-year-old Sy dreams that he is Osiris, & then he finds Lisa, Isis, but a detective accuses Sy of murder because 3 people die while Sy watches. After Seth & Anubis take Sy’s little sister hostage, can Sy and Lisa rescue her and defeat them? Does Osiris have to die again in the twenty-first century? Osiris Must Die is a YA urban fantasy that takes place in the real world.


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Book signing on October 15, 11 to 4 at Karen’s Book Barn, 127 East Main St. Lagrange, KY 40031. I will be signing all 3 of my books:

Eighth Mask: Murder on the Cherokee Reservation

Experiment 38

Halloween Kentucky Style


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