Family History

Would you put a real life story from your family into a fiction book?

It could be a recent story, or something that happened quite a while back, the kind of story you dig up doing family history research.

I was thinking of using one, but it is quite scandalous. I find it fascinating, but would other members of my extended family be angry I’d dug up something so shocking, even sordid from their past? I know it’s my background, but would they feel like I’d invaded their past too?

So would you? If you found a really juicy story in your family history, would you use it? Or would you bow to the wishes of your family, and keep it secret?

The ” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>House at Baker Street by Michelle Birkby

The Women Of Baker Street

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More Disappointment with Writers by Christine Duncan

I think there are many of us questioning what we see in the news these days. It is hardly surprising that I would find more reasons to do so. I’m tired of reading between the lines.

Here are some examples Reuter’s story on Friday “Fed’s Mester: Rate hikes are needed since US economy is ‘pretty good'” and then there is this from Mon, June 19th, “Exclusive: Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein on the global economy—‘things are pretty good’” or how about this headline from the Wall Street Journal on June 16th, “Jobless Rate Falls to Record Low in California, Six Other States” We are being told over and over, we’re doing well.

But how about “Credit Card Defaults Hitting 4-Year Highs” That story has been in one financial news source after another since April. That does not reflect an economy that is soaring.

I read a story about income being down here in Colorado in many of our biggest counties, but do you think I could find it to show you here? But I did find this one–not in the Denver Post but in the Durango Herald, “Report shows Colorado’s economic growth is slower than anticipated.” Maybe our economy is not going great guns.

And what about those jobless rates? Do they reflect people like me, who lost a job in the recession and who now only work part time (and thus aren’t on unemployment?) or how about people who have retired because they lost a job and can’t find another?

Yes, that is anecdotal. The thing is, I don’t trust anything out in the media anymore. If it isn’t something I can verify with my own experience and those of the people I know, I question it. And I am questioning those writers who are putting this stuff out there. They know that they are shading the truth, that unemployment figures don’t show long term unemployed. They know that much of what they put out is either an advertisement (10 top new apps for your phone!) or someone’s spin on the news. How do they live with themselves?

In some ways, that makes our profession even worse than politicians, because politicians don’t pretend they are neutral.

Before I Start

Interesting remark I read the other day by someone saying the process of writing a book seems to start with cleaning the whole house, for some reason.

What a relief! I thought I was the only one who did this! Once writing starts, I could not care less about the mess – but before i start, I have to have the house clean or I just can’t settle.

What about you? What do you have to do before you start writing? Or can you settle straight down to it?

The House at Baker Street by Michelle Birkby

The Women Of Baker Street

Sent from my iPad

Happy Father’s Day by Christine Duncan

Happy Father’s Day by Christine Duncan

Write Every Day?

Someone shared an article on Twitter stating that you weren’t a writer unless you wrote everyday.

This article was roundly mocked. Apart from being a terrible definition of a writer, excluding as it does James Joyce, JD Salinger, Harper Lee, it makes no sense.

Do something every day and you end up exhausted and sick of it. And it was a very narrow definition of writing – sitting down and banging out a thousand words.

I also read someone once said ‘Daydreaming is writing’. Writing isn’t just getting the words on the page. It’s daydreaming. It’s jotting down notes. It’s staring out the train window thinking up plots. It’s eavesdropping on conversations in pubs. It’s research. It’s reading for fun and work. It’s editing. It’s interviewing. It’s blogging. At the core is the act of writing it down, yes, but writing is so much more than that. Without those extras, the words in your head become lumpen and dull, unable to soar, unable to express, because you have nothing in your mind but todays word count.

The House at Baker Street by Michelle Birkby

The Women Of Baker Street

Sent from my iPad

Writing Promotion Tips by Christine Duncan

I learn something every time I go to Pinterest. Unfortunately, none of it is usually what I go on there for. I get easily distracted. I always knew I could search by topic on Pinterest. I just never applied it to writing.

The other day, I searched for just that, writing. And what I got were blog type entries, by which I mean short, informative posts. It was fun. Frankly, I have a Pinterest account, but I haven’t used it in forever since as I already said above, I am easily distracted and thus have to limit my distractions and also since I can just google something and it will get me the Pinterest results.

People are actually using this for writing, telling people how to write and promote! Who knew? Well, apparently a lot of people knew because I came up with articles on How to Get Reviews Without Begging 8 tools for Advertising Your Book For Free and a bunch more.

I love getting promo tips. But I still have to figure out how to get on Pinterest and not go off on wild goose chases.