What’s bacon got to do with it, anyway?

I’m still disgruntled at the 1970’s notion that I should “bring home the bacon, fry it up in the pan” and never let “my man” forget he’s a man.
I didn’t remember quite how disgruntled until I read Jennifer Petriglieri’s article “What I Learned About Equal Partnership By Studying Dual-Income Couples” in The Atlantic (October 13, 2019) which stirred up the ole’ memory banks.

Let me start by reflecting on what was missing from that 1970’s advertising jingle and the picture it painted (along with so many other societal messages) for us GenX girls. Missing activities like setting the table, serving the bacon, scrubbing the frying pan, helping the kiddos with homework, making the cupcakes for the school party, getting them to Little League games and music lessons, bathed and to bed on time. All so hubby could have his cuddle with wifey-poo, who — rather than being exhausted by all these activities — was titillated by them and eager to please.

Balance was clearly a foreign concept at the time.
The message was clear. We could have it all as long as we were willing to do it all. This is not just subtext. I well remember a placard hanging on my grandmother’s kitchen wall about the importance of a woman being a servant to family, a saint in the community, and a whore in bed. I paraphrase — but not by much.

My child’s sense of justice was puzzled by the notion that to be good and worthy, a woman must also be bad. In my rebellious late teens and young twenties, I reveled in the supposed freedom of it. When it came time to raise a family, I resented it. At least as much as women before me seemed to resent my pointing out that the boat was somehow missed in creating equal opportunity for both women and men. 
But, it’s good to have a dream, something to fight for, right? What I hope for upcoming generations is that they can find the support and encouragement to really take the bull by the horms and live into the 50/50 marriage described by Ms. Petriglieri.

In her words, such a marriage is about more than splitting the housework equally. It is a “social revolution that starts at home, with both partners making commitments—and a plan—to challenge society’s endless pulls.”

And if that’s not worth fighing for, I don’t know what is . . . 

The Synopsis #amwriting

Connie continues to share pearls of wisdom for aspiring writers. I highly recommend checking out her other posts and articles.

Life in the Realm of Fantasy

If your publishing path is the traditional route, you must attempt to get an agent. It’s a rare thing for an author to get a book published traditionally without an agent. Agents want to sell your book, and they love to read. So you must first sell the book to an agent, and to do that, you must know how to write a synopsis.

The synopsis is not a blurb.

It is a short description of your book, hitting the high points and it does give away the ending.

The synopsis should only be one page long, written in third person, present tense. Many agents say three to five paragraphs will do it. So how do you fit a novel onto one page?

You give the agent the bare bones of the book.

Things they want to see detailed in those paragraphs:

  • Genre
  • Setting
  • Protagonist and major characters
  • What…

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survival surprise

Sometimes, we find unexpected treasures trudging along paths that look barren from a distance. When we take those first steps and keep our eyes open along the way, there’s no telling what surprise will greet us. Such was the case hiking the Rattlesnake Slope Wildlife Area outside of Benton City, WA this weekend. Finding a single balsam root flower along the trail was an unexpected gift and reminder of how life survives even in the harshest of conditions. By next spring, we should see a profusion of these flowers covering the desert floor in new life. This is just one of the reasons I love hiking: it brings back to me the power and truth to be found in the wisdom of our ancestors.

I have funny coworkers . . .

I have a coworker who posts humorous bits on her white board every other 
day or so. She posted this while I was traveling for work, but sent me a pic 
of it, knowing I like to play with haiku. I snorted coffee when I saw it. Hope it
 brings you a few laughs, as well!

Manners and Toxic Professional Relationships #amwriting

Words from  a very wise woman. Applicable to all venues, whether online or F2F.

Life in the Realm of Fantasy

This last week’s #CockyGate furor has stirred a lot of people up and brought down some harsh criticism for the offending author.

Ceri Clark in her blog for Myrddin Publishing summed it up quite well in her article, The #CockyGate Trademark Kerfuffle: “The danger of letting this trademark happen is that authors could trademark other common English words. This could be the or billionaire, or how about star?”

This made me think about manners and the world of the ephemeral. Everything we say and do as public people is open to scrutiny—forever. To that end, I thought it time to reprise a post from 2017 regarding our personal reputations, Manners and Toxic Professional Relationships.

Working authors rely on the world of the internet. We must not only have our own website, but we must also have a Facebook page, a LinkedIn page, a Goodreads page, a Twitter page…

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Subtext #amwriting

In real life, we run into the same problem: people who babble endlessly tend to see glazed eyes and the backside of others. Does art imitate life? Or vice versa? Connie nails today’s lesson — read on!

Life in the Realm of Fantasy

A good story is far more than a recounting of he said, and she said. It’s more than the action and events that form the arc of the story. A good story is all that, but without good subtext, the story never achieves its true potential.

Within our characters, underneath their dialogue, lurks conflict, anger, rivalry, desire, or pride. Joy, pleasure, fear–as the author, we know those emotions are there, but conveying them without beating the reader over the head is where artistry comes into play. The subtext is the hidden story, the hints and allegations; the secret reasoning. It is the content that supports the dialogue and gives private purpose to the personal events.

These are implicit ideas and emotions. These thoughts and feelings may or may not be verbalized, as subtext is most often shown as the unspoken thoughts and motives of characters — what they really…

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Crafting the very short story #amwriting

Best to practice now before Story-A-Day in May arrives. As always, Connie delivers the goods on the writerly craft. A born teacher, that woman!

Life in the Realm of Fantasy

During the month of January I will be exploring the many aspects of the craft of writing short, salable works. I periodically discuss the importance writing to build stock for submissions to magazines, anthologies, or contests. However, many authors have difficulty keeping a story short, and there is an art to it.

Some authors are naturally skilled at this, so if you are one of those lucky people, this may be of no interest to you, but thank you for stopping by!

So, now we get down to business. First up is the short story, works that are 2,000 to around 7,000 words in length.

First, decide what length you want to write to—if you have no specific contest in mind, 2000 to 4000 is a good all purpose length that will fit into most submission guidelines. For those of you who have trouble writing short works for contests and anthologies…

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#amwriting: Drawing on Life Experience

A very wise friend and colleague, Connie always offers her readers a useful and thought-provoking tip, reminder, or reflection on the craft and art of writing. Enjoy! Follow her!

Life in the Realm of Fantasy

Writers, even dedicated, passionate ones, have lives outside the confines of their craft, and while it frequently derails our ability to write, it is also where we find the realism we need to inject into our work. Life must come before writing because writing doesn’t pay the bills unless you are one of the fortunate few.

I have several family members with serious health issues. Sometimes, I must step away from the keyboard and be the wife, niece, mother, or grandmother they need and you know what? My writing is better for it.

I nursed my mother, with whom I had a complicated relationship, through the last year of her life. She had smoked until the age of 42, and was addicted to perfumes and air-fresheners. She was a self-described clothes-horse who loved expensive cologne and used it liberally.

Even after her death, after they had been laundered and dry…

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