Kelly Notaras

I’ve read Kelly Notaras book “The Book You Were Born to Write: Everything You Need to (Finally) Get Your Wisdom onto the Page and into the World.” As Kelly puts it “there is only one criterion for being a writer: you have to be writing.” Her book is filled with suggestions for writing. Here are just a few tips:

1. Does the idea of writing a book excite you?
2. Make a weekly schedule for writing.
3. Work on your title and your “hook.”
4. Join a writing group or have a writing partner.
5. Work on your platform (email lists/social media presence).
I now use her book as a guide. I think it’s a good book for beginner writers. You can check out www.hayhouse.com to see if the ebook is still on sale for $1.99.

Poem by Wendy Cope

HE TELLS HER

He tells her that the earth is flat —
He knows the facts, and that is that.
In altercations fierce and long
She tries her best to prove him wrong.
But he has learned to argue well.
He calls her arguments unsound
And often asks her not to yell.
She cannot win. He stands his ground.

The planet goes on being round.

Sometime ago I was reading someone’s Instagram post and they had this poem posted by Wendy Cope. I thought in this time of us all being drowned in a pandemic and many of us divided by our political views and fears; this poem fits snuggly into our lives. No matter what happens between us humans the planet goes on being round.

Poet, Wendy Cope

Octavia Butler

Recently I read an article about author Octavia Butler and where she grew up. The digital article was interactive. Unfortunately, I didn’t save the article and cannot give credit to the woman who wrote it. But, I appreciate the writer taking the time to research and compile the article. I now have a renew interest in Octavia Butler’s books.

I was first introduced to Octavia Butler by a co-worker back in the 1990’s. I gobbled up her books and my mind exploded from her rich, vivid and creative sci-fi stories. In the New Year I want to start reading her books, in order, again. I want to re-read her books for entertainment and inspiration.

Moving and Writing

Promotional Photo

On November 20th, 2020 I closed on my new home in Leesburg Florida. The journey was complicated, financially straining, emotionally wired and physically daunting but, here I am! The photo above shows my new back yard. This view alone, drew me to the home. I thought NOW I can sit, write and read. It is now November 29th and I have not sat to read or write in my new back yard. What have I been doing? I have been unpacking boxes, cleaning, learning how to operate the sprinkler system, the washer and dryer and the garage opener. I had no idea that moving from a mobile home in Orlando to a “traditional” home in Leesburg was such a huge undertaking.

Today I decided that’s it! I’m taking a “me day” and I”m sitting down and writing. I promised myself that I would complete my memoir in a year and it’s already November 29th! Did I accomplish my task? Nope! I was on a distracted mission to get the cable boxes hooked up and running.

It’s evening now and the day has slipped pass me but I am still determined to get back to writing. Maybe tomorrow right after I take a nap on the hammock in my back yard.

Choose Your Hook

Barnes and Noble Book Store

Last week’s assignment from Hay House Writer’s Community was to visit a book store and look at books in the genre you’re writing. We were told to look at the book covers and read the hooks and subtitles and find which ones caught our attention.

I took a drive to my neighborhood Barnes and Noble bookstore. The shelves were filled with memoirs. For about an hour I read book covers. I came away having a better understanding that the hook for the book was very important.

The assignment this week is to write three hooks for your book; list five benefits your book will offer a reader and write five ways the book will provide these benefits. I don’t have three hooks for my book yet, but I do have one. To keep me motivated I created a “mock” book cover in Edit ( www.Edit.org.) I’ll put it in a frame and sit it on my desk.

Brooklyn Street Games

I’m in the early stages of writing my memoir and what has come up for me while I was Mind-Mapping was the childhood games I use to play. I was reminiscing of the fun I use to have playing skelzies, stoop-ball, handball and hot peas and butter. These games were active and required a skill. Skelzies was a game that you had to have good knees, a keen eye and a good bottle top filled with wax. It was played on the ground so I often would end up with torn jeans and a dirty blouse. But, I liked the game because you really had to be able to aim your top into one of the 13 boxes or push an opponent out of the box you wanted to occupy. It was best played late in the day, playing in the hot sun on the hot tar was not good.

Stoop ball was another game I enjoyed. I don’t remember how you won this game. I know someone would hit the ball off the stoop and a group of us would try to catch it, but that’s where my memory fades…Handball was a serious game. We played it in Public School 67 school yard. We would get our Spaldine balls from Sarjay’s store on Myrtle Avenue. You really had to have a good ball and Sapldines was the best. If you had a quarter you could get two, one ball would always split in half if you hit it too hard against the concrete wall. I got lots of scraped knees and knuckles playing this game. The fun part was that it was all about team work, you worked with your partner to hit the ball so that the opposing team would miss hitting it. Some handball players were really good. They would be on the court all day and you had to “call it” to play in the next game.

Now, Hot Peas and Butter (come and get your supper!) was not one of my favorite games. I did not like getting hit with the belt. You really had to run fast back to “base” before the person who found the belt beat the crap out of you. I remember one time I just left the game. The girl was vicious with the belt.

If I had an all time favorite pass time as a child and merging young teen it would be riding my scooter. It was a handmade scooter with a wooden milk crate box and metal skates for wheels. I could ride that scooter down “Dead Man’s Hill” in Fort Greene Park all day.

Even though writing my memoir is time consuming and takes commitment the memories is what’s keeping me going. Do you have any childhood games you use to play?