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  • Writer's pictureStephanie Cardel

Love and Presidents

The month that honors presidents and LOVE--what a combo! Setting the presidents aside, I thought this would be a good time to post a poem from my manuscript, THIS ISN’T SHAKESPEARE (working title). It’s not really a love poem. It’s more of a lost-in-love poem. You see, my MC is more in love with being in love than with the boy. She wants a happily-ever-after so much that she’s built this guy up in her mind to be something he’s not. But her subconscious is trying to help her see that she needs to follow her dreams—not her boyfriend.

I’ll stay in the shallows.

The sharks here have had their fill

Of me.

The white picket fence

Is in sight,

A comfort, an anchor,

But the waves lift and twirl me

To face the deep.

The sunrise leaves me breathless.

It pulls like a riptide.

The deeper I go

The more I fear

Being lost at sea.


Writing Tip of the Month

Filter words mask your writing voice. What are filter words? Looked/saw, thought, believed, wondered, imagined…

You can add so many “voicey “details and much stronger verbs without them.

For example:

Tom looked out the window and saw a bird’s nest in the hydrangea bush. He believed the little blue eggs were robin’s eggs. He wondered if they would hatch before he had to move out.

Three little blue eggs rested in a bird’s nest outside Tom’s window. In the hydrangea bush, of all places. Robin’s eggs? Yep, the gray momma with her pale, red chest swooped by, then settled protectively on them. He snapped a picture with his phone. New life. That’s what Spring was all about. Would they hatch before he moved out and started his new life?

Don’t you get a much better picture of Tom’s personality from the second one?


“Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.” — Louis L’Amour


Query Tip of the Month

Agents like for you to include “comps” in your query. Comps are books that are comparable to your book. This tells the agent that you are well-read in your genre (which you should be), and it helps him/her get a better picture of what your book is about and to whom it will appeal.

Lots of writers use the phrasing: Fans of COMP1 and COMP2 would also enjoy YOUR TITLE. Or, if your manuscript is similar to a classic novel or popular movie with a twist, you might say, COMP1 (BEAUTY AND THE BEAST) meets COMP2 (BACK TO THE FUTURE) in this YA Sci-Fi Romance.


BOOK REVIEWS (featuring Sci-Fi/Fantasy)

Young Adult-

Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer

Twelve-year-old Artemis is a millionaire, a genius-and above all, a criminal mastermind. But Artemis doesn't know what he's taken on when he kidnaps a fairy, Captain Holly Short of the LEPrecon Unit. These aren't the fairies of the bedtime stories-they're dangerous!

This story is clever and funny and exciting. It's the first in a wonderful series and soon to be a movie which is why I am recommending it here. The book is (almost) always better.

Young Adult

The Forgetting by Sharon Cameron

What isn't written, isn't remembered. Even your crimes. Nadia lives in the city of Canaan, where life is safe and structured, hemmed in by white stone walls and no memory of what came before. But every twelve years the city descends into the bloody chaos of the Forgetting, a day of no remorse, when each person's memories -- of parents, children, love, life, and self -- are lost. Unless they have been written.

In Canaan, your book is your truth and your identity, and Nadia knows exactly who hasn't written the truth. Because Nadia is the only person in Canaan who has never forgotten.

But when Nadia begins to use her memories to solve the mysteries of Canaan, she discovers truths about herself and Gray, the handsome glassblower, that will change her world forever. As the anarchy of the Forgetting approaches, Nadia and Gray must stop an unseen enemy that threatens both their city and their own existence -- before the people can forget the truth. And before Gray can forget her.

Beautifully crafted and totally unputdownable! (The sequel is wonderful too.)


The Green Mile by Stephen King

Welcome to Cold Mountain Penitentiary, home to the Depression-worn men of E Block. Convicted killers all, each awaits his turn to walk the Green Mile, keeping a date with “Old Sparky,” Cold Mountain’s electric chair. Prison guard Paul Edgecombe has seen his share of oddities in his years working the Mile. But he’s never seen anyone like John Coffey, a man with the body of a giant and the mind of a child, condemned for a crime terrifying in its violence and shocking in its depravity. In this place of ultimate retribution, Edgecombe is about to discover the terrible, wondrous truth about Coffey, a truth that will challenge his most cherished beliefs...and yours.

Amazing story by a master storyteller! I couldn’t put it down. The movie is true to the story but it leaves out little details (as always).

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