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What a Way to Make a Livin'

(This is an essay I wrote for Rachel Holbrook's online literary journal that's dedicated to women's issues. She calls it The Same, tagline: "The more things change, the more they stay the same." It's URL is: https://thesame.blog/submissions)

 

From the mid-1950s through the late 1960s, my mother worked for a Chicago-area publisher as an editor of Young-Adult Christian fiction, and as a managing editor of two trade periodicals.

When I was a young child, she would often read to me from the fiction galleys she brought home to work on. These readings were more instructional than entertaining for me as she’d edit the text as she went along. With her ubiquitous blue pencil in hand, she’d start reading and stop in mid-sentence to make emphatic proofreading marks and scribble notes in the margins. Continuing, she’d come to a passage she’d reread, and then suggest a rewording, asking for my opinion. I’d always agree with her rewrite that sounded better to me. I made more of a contribution to the dialogue of children who were supposed to be not much older than me. Mom would read a few lines of conversation, sigh audibly, put down the manuscript and look over at me. “This doesn’t sound natural,” she’d say. “Is this how your friends would say this?” I’d shake my head no, and translate the meaning into my own childish speech. She’d nod emphatically, scratch out the text, and do a rewrite in the margin she’d encircle with a bubble. Reading on, she’d sometimes point out examples of smooth phrasing and good word choices, and then stop again at a clumsy phrase she’d have to rework. With all the pauses and rewriting, I’m sure I lost track of the story, but I learned a lot about the craft of writing from these sessions.

At one point, the publishing house where my mother worked hired a younger man named John to be my mother’s assistant to help with her heavy workload. Since John didn’t have much experience, Mom had to teach him the job. She didn’t mind as she said he was nice and willing to learn.

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Recent Comments
Cheryl Peyton
J Edgar might have qualified to work at W.H. Miner if his dresses covered his knees. Yeah, he was a fruitcake. I can believe that ... Read More
Tuesday, 15 August 2017 17:56
Wayne Zurl
The number of stories you ladies can tell would far outweigh any J. Edgar could have generated. Unless we talk about female FBI ag... Read More
Tuesday, 15 August 2017 19:21
Susan L Kite
Thankfully, I was in a job that wasn't based on gender, but did work with some teachers who remembered the dress codes of the da... Read More
Tuesday, 15 August 2017 22:01
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4 Comments

WHAT'A IN A NAME ?

 

What’s In a Name?

By Wayne Zurl

 

A simple and common question, but the correct answer can make your story or novel jump from forgettable to memorable.

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Cheryl Peyton
I like your method and have done the same thing for regional names. A naming devise I stole from Charles Dickens -- is making up n... Read More
Monday, 07 August 2017 18:13
Wayne Zurl
You've got it. Perfect.
Monday, 07 August 2017 21:20
Susan L Kite
I love this article, too. Since most of what I write is sci fi now, same rules don'e always apply, but I have listened to my 'beta... Read More
Tuesday, 08 August 2017 08:31
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4 Comments

How Many Books Does the Average Person Read?



Here's an interesting article by Thomas Whittington that I found on the Iris Reading website,  www.irisreading.com/how-many-books-does-the-average-person-read/       Iris Reading is a company that offers speed reading and advanced comprehension & memobry courses.

 

Last year the Pew Research Center released their latest data on American reading habits, and the results show some interesting — and somewhat surprising — trends. Roughly 72 percent of American adults read a book in 2015, continuing a gradual decline over the last 5 years (from 79 percent in 2011). However, these stats include people who reported reading “one book…in part”, so it’s unclear how many made it all the way through.

The average number of books each person read over the course of a year was 12…but that number is inflated by the most avid readers. The most frequently reported number was 4 books per year. Of course, there’s plenty of variation among demographics. Certain groups read more, or less, than the country as a whole. Here’s what the data showed:

Educated, affluent women read the most.

Women tend to read more than men. About 77 percent of American women read a book in 2015, compared with 67 percent of American guys. Also, the average woman read 14 books in a 12-month span, while the average man read only 9. Across both genders, readership also went up with education and income. About 90 percent of college grads read at least one book a year, compared to 34 percent of people who haven’t finished high school. Also, the more money they earned, the likelier they were to be readers. It’s hard to say whether education and income are causes of this trend, since people who go to college probably grow up reading more anyway, and income correlates with education. But the bottom line is that educated, high-earning women sit atop the reading pyramid in America.

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Wayne Zurl
Thank you, Sam. Very interesting.
Sunday, 06 August 2017 13:19
Susan L Kite
That was very interesting. Stats don't surprise me considering the comments I have received when selling my books. Thanks for the... Read More
Sunday, 06 August 2017 19:26
Cheryl Peyton
Some surprises, like India and Thailand having the highest reading rate and the Philippines ranked so high. Russia seemed to be he... Read More
Sunday, 06 August 2017 21:08
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MAC Sports Portable Wagon

Several authors had a wagon similar to this at the Grainger County Tomato Festival to transport their books. It's light-weight, but holds up to 150#, has an adjustable handle and collapses down to 8". I've looked it up on Amazon to purchase one and found that they carry three different styles and prices of MAC sports wagons. The least expensive is priced at $58, comes in 7 colors, and is Prime available for free shipping. The inside dimensions are 32.5" x 17.5" x 10.5". The next one up is $79, comes in black only, and is larger at 37" x  21" x 23". The most expensive one  is $105 and comes in one color. The only feature I could see that is different from the $79 one is a built-in picnic tray. None of them comes with a cover, although an umbrella is available to attach for about $25. Gaile tells me that their wagon came with a cover so it may not be described on the listing. I think you could manage with a plastic sheet and a couple of clips if necessary. 

I've pictured Dave and Gaile's wagon. 

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My interview with WNFZ

IMG_7592

i like to share my interview with WNFZ. Enjoy!

There are 3 parts to the interview, press Play button to start, or Stop. You can go from part 1 to 2 to 3.

David Curran Interview

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New selling event for Tennessee Authors

Rockwood Grand Vista Bay will host a book fair for local authors on November 4, 2017. At present this is a one time event, but may blossom into a regular venue for local writers depending on attendance. Contact AGT member Russ Fine for more details. 

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How to Sell Your Story to Hollywood

I listened to a Webinar last night given by "Story Merchant" Ken Atchity. I've summarized his 8 steps to sell your story to Hollywood:

1. Write a "Log-Line" which is a one or two-sentence pitch to capture the essence of your story. Ex.: "He was left behind. On Mars." for the movie The Martian with Matt Damon. This will be used in advertising to attact an audience.

2. Write up a one-page pitch that includes a description of a strong protagonist and his mission as well as your antagonist. Hollywood likes a story that is American-related, has 3 acts that are clearly defined to form a story arc, and has a strong theme. 

3. Prepare a Treatment which is a short, written pitch that includes an emotional reaction to the story. Think of it as a letter to a friend describing your most exciting adventure -- written in present tense. Write only "obligatory" action, not any side activity.

4. Register your Treatment with Writers Guild of America at www.wgaregistry.org/registration.  (Costs about $35)

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Recent Comments
Kaye George
Good info, Cheryl--thanks!
Friday, 07 July 2017 18:24
Wayne Zurl
Now I've got to wrack (or is it rack? It's too controversial to care) my brain to find the characters to play those recurring role... Read More
Monday, 17 July 2017 15:20
Cheryl Peyton
Well, how about George Clooney (age 56) or Tom Hanks (age 61) as Sam Jenkins? I don't remember the physical description of Bette, ... Read More
Monday, 17 July 2017 17:44
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13 Comments
Featured

AGT in the Smokies

AGT-Summertime-in-the-Smokie_20170624-164559_1

Wonderful picture of our Authors in the recent fair in the Smokies,

Photo taken by Dave Hickman

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Upcoming AGT Events & Opportunities to Showcase your Books

June 2017 a) Summertime in the Smokies, June 9th & 10th (10 am to 6 pm) -11th (10 am to 5 pm)

Sevierville Convention Center

Vendor info call Shannon at 423-650-1388

Authors confirmed: Dave Hickman & Gale Frances

b) Smoky Mountain Tunes & Tales, June 9th - July 29th

Gatlinburg, TN

Contact Gatlinburg Chamber of Commerce: 423-421-3205

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New writer's marketing forum

My friend, author Micheal Maxwell, has started a writer's marketing forum that will discuss ways to obtain more reviews, build a larger fan base and do a better overall job of marketing your books through the Internet. Anyone interested take a look at https://authorreach.mn.co/share/CTr2xtzYqRpF5MIB Membership if free.
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Cheryl Peyton
I joined Micheal's marketing forum at the beginning. I just finished reading an interview Micheal had with a reporter in the UK na... Read More
Friday, 02 June 2017 21:06
Wayne Zurl
Friday, 02 June 2017 22:12
Cheryl Peyton
You're welcome. I corrected pronoun.
Friday, 02 June 2017 22:44
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3 Comments

Recent Comments

Susan L Kite What a Way to Make a Livin'
16 August 2017
Thankfully, I was in a job that wasn't based on gender, but did work with some teachers who remembered the dress codes of the day. And when I started at Niota, I was one of the first female teachers who wore Reeboks. Said I, "I'm the one with the b...
Wayne Zurl What a Way to Make a Livin'
15 August 2017
The number of stories you ladies can tell would far outweigh any J. Edgar could have generated. Unless we talk about female FBI agents.
Cheryl Peyton What a Way to Make a Livin'
15 August 2017
J Edgar might have qualified to work at W.H. Miner if his dresses covered his knees. Yeah, he was a fruitcake. I can believe that story or any other one about him that smacks of insanity. I'm surprised Hoover would use the word, "pinhead," which is o...
Wayne Zurl What a Way to Make a Livin'
15 August 2017
Life is not fair, more so for women than men. But we (Us boys) weren't immune to oddball treatment from the "old guard" management. An FBI agent once told me that during the Hoover years, the director would attend every Quantico academy class graduat...
Wayne Zurl Insights
09 August 2017
Lead by example. And they often do the same thing in reverse.

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