Eva’s Byte #195 – The End

“Great is the art of beginning, but greater is the art of ending.” Lazurus Long

Excluding book formatting and cover art, I otherwise operate “solo” when it comes to writing. In that regard, I am my own harshest critic when it comes to executing every aspect of editing to the finish line.

 The End

While I can understand the utter satisfaction of typing this visual marker in concluding the manuscript, I never do.  At this point in time, drafting chapter 21 of my WIP, I’ve miles and months to go before I reach the end of the story despite my steadfast vision.

Respecting the prerogative of other writers who tweak their text and/or design a new book cover at various intervals post-publication, “the end” is the last stop on my train of thought. Although I’m far from perfect, once my novel is published, I’ll stand by its integrity which shall remain intact for all eternity, regardless of any errant typo or faux pas.  There’d better not be!

Point of fact, when my contract with a hybrid publisher expires and I self-publish An Enlightening Quiche (2016)—not one word will be changed, and I’ll retain the cover whose elements I prepared in entirety for the cover artist. After all, every review worth its weight in gold was based on the original version.

From my writing perspective, the art of ending one literary journey paves the way for undertaking the next—without turning back.

 Authors Den: http://www.authorsden.com/evapasco

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1270775.Eva_Pasco

Eva Pasco’s Amazon Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/evapasco

Eva’s Byte #194: Stretch of the Imagination

Surely, a stretch of the imagination—by far, Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind, published on June 30, 1936, when the US was still suffering from the Depression. Nevertheless, this one-hit wonder spanning 1037 pages, penned by an unknown author, and eventually considered one of the Greatest American novels, was raked over the coals in a New York Times review shortly after the book’s publication:

“The historical background is the chief virtue of the book, and it is the story of the times rather than the unconvincing and somewhat absurd plot that gives Miss Mitchell’s work whatever importance may be attached to it.”
https://www.literaryladiesguide.com/book-reviews/original-1936-review-of-gone-with-the-wind-from-the-new-york-times/#EZQiv638E5rJvaKf.99

Margaret Mitchell ended up winning the National Book Award for Most Distinguished Novel of 1936, and the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1937.

So, there! Believe in the merits of your own work, and let no one dissuade you from your literary endeavors.

Which brings me to my own stretch of the imagination:

Working in earnest on my third novel in the genre of Contemporary, I have finished part 1 comprised of 20 chapters (23,420 words) whose plot spans a 24-hr. time period! How’s that for stretching one’s imagination?

Prior to conducting a massive proofreading/editing/tweaking session, there were 16 chapters. However, the dictates of logic mandated I stretch it out to 20. Voila!

It’s a stretch for me to predict when I’ll finish this novel due to my boundless imagination to deliver a story without cutting corners or skimping on substance—no matter how many pages it takes to get the job done.

 Authors Den: http://www.authorsden.com/evapasco

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1270775.Eva_Pasco

Eva Pasco’s Amazon Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/evapasco

 

 

Eva’s Byte #193: Determined!

In retrospective review, I’m proud to share that by the end of 2018:

My Contemporary, An Enlightening Quiche (2016), merited the following awards:

2018 Golden Book Award – 3rd Place Winner

2017 New Apple Annual Book Award: “Official Selection”

2017 SIBA 1st Place – Best Contemporary

2017 ATAI (Authors Talk About It) 5-Star Badge

2016 Readers’ Favorite 5-Star Seal

*1st for Books Set in Rhode Island (Goodreads Listopia)

My Nonfiction Memoir, 100 Wild Mushrooms: Memoirs of the ‘60s (2017), merited the following awards:

2018 New Apple Summer eBookAwards for Excellence in Independent Publishing: Solo Medalist Winner

2018 TopShelf Award Finalist in the Category of Memoirs (Other)

In 2019, I’m determined to further my WIP, resuming from chapter 16. By nature, writing is a slow process for me, often further exacerbated by life’s hairpin turns over which I have no control. Que sera sera!

No one from any walk of life is exempt from strife and setbacks which hinder our goals.

“It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get up.” (Vince Lombardi)

Therein lies my determination to roll with the punches on my terms and timeframe.

Best wishes for a prosperous and productive year ahead!

 Authors Den: http://www.authorsden.com/evapasco

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1270775.Eva_Pasco

Eva Pasco’s Amazon Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/evapasco

 

Eva’s Byte #192: On Thin Ice!

Separate and apart from my life as a writer/published author—most days I’m skating on thin ice. When you’re a caregiver, and I’m not even as hands-on as others who wear the crown, you live by the creed, “When you least expect it…”

Such was the case on Christmas Eve, infiltrating Christmas: pondering whether or not a trip to the ER was called for. The mid-morning stabilization provided a reprieve for two people who avoided languishing in the hospital for hours on end. This unexpected pardon enabled me to embrace a semblance of inner peace and harmony, providing relief from the doldrums.

Each of us has our own reference point to rally from. When you’re skating on thin ice, you truly appreciate a lifeline when you least expect it, and when you need it the most.

As for the fate of my characters who reside in the genre of Contemporary, there are those who succumb, and those who survive the perils of skating on thin ice. Such is life.

Authors Den: http://www.authorsden.com/evapasco

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1270775.Eva_Pasco

Eva Pasco’s Amazon Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/evapasco

 

Eva’s Byte #191: Redefining the Magic of Christmas

As cited in Memoir #68 – The Magic of Christmas (100 WILD Mushrooms: Memoirs of the ‘60s; 2017) For a child growing up during the Sixties, it took over seven million twinkling lights illuminating Edaville Railroad to open my eyes wide and flood my heart with holiday magic.

Despite the passage of time and all the changes it has wrought—some for naught, it’s in my best interest to redefine the magic of Christmas. I achieve this by focusing on the true meaning of the holiday which incorporates themes of healing, harmony, renewal, and good will towards others.

Nowadays, I redefine the magic of Christmas by blending the old with the new:

My heart is illuminated from basking in the warm glow of precious family memories, many of them recaptured in my nonfiction collection. My heart glows from the inner peace attained by living life on my terms.

May each of us redefine the magic of Christmas to accommodate our own set of beliefs and circumstances.

Authors Den: http://www.authorsden.com/evapasco

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1270775.Eva_Pasco

Eva Pasco’s Amazon Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/evapasco

Eva’s Byte #190: A Holly Jolly!

Have a holly, jolly Christmas
And in case you didn’t hear
Oh by golly have a holly jolly Christmas
This year

(Lyrics from “A Holly Jolly Christmas” written by Johnny Marks in 1962)

Is the sugar-spun notion of a “holly jolly” Christmas unrealistic?

Before his redemption, Ebenezer Scrooge thought so: “If I could work my will, every idiot who goes about with ‘Merry Christmas’ on his lips, should be boiled with his own pudding, and buried with a stake of holly through his heart!”

An Indie author who aspires to the assertion, “art imitates life”—I’m inclined to agree.

Although Christmas is an integral part of my Contemporary, An Enlightening Quiche, realism jingles all the way from the perspective of my protagonist, Augusta Bergeron:

A vision of myself as a ghoul from Christmases Yet to Come appeared in the guise of a long-in-the-tooth trollop flicking fried-dyed hair and wearing age-inappropriate, skintight attire tautly stretched over my butt of a joke. A comparable image satirized every night by Cohen at closing time inside the chamber of Chuggers put the fear of God in me.

‘Tis the season to indulge in a reprieve from the doldrums and humdrum. Against my better judgement, I indulge a Hallmark movie from time to time, in willing suspension of disbelief.

Authors Den: http://www.authorsden.com/evapasco

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1270775.Eva_Pasco

Eva Pasco’s Amazon Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/evapasco

 

Eva’s Byte #189: Home Sweet Home

Oh, there’s no place like home for the holidays,
‘Cause no matter how far away you roam,
When you pine for the sunshine of a friendly gaze,
For the holidays, you can’t beat home, sweet home.

*From: “(There’s No Place Like) Home for the Holidays”; published: 1954; best-known recordings by Perry Como

The lyrics may hold true for many of us. For some, heading home for the holidays is stressful. Assuming there’s no place like home, where exactly is “home” for the rest of the year?

If home is where the heart is, I feel at home in my native state of Rhode Island which affords me access to the ocean, my favorite place to be. Throughout my childhood and young adulthood, I felt at home in the town of Lincoln. In that regard, I’m glad I preserved details of the past by writing/publishing my nonfiction memoir collection, 100 Wild Mushrooms: Memoirs of the ‘60s (2017).

I never felt at home in South Kingstown where I resided for 15 years because most of that stretch was spent out of town during my teaching career. These days, while my abode is homey, I can’t say I feel at home in the town of East Providence either, a stranger among many who keep to ourselves in an apartment complex.

I’ve come to believe that “home sweet home” is not tied to any particular place. It’s a headspace where we bask in the sunshine as we define it. Until we’re comfortable in our own headspace, books provide an outlet for us to lose and find ourselves while homeward bound.

 Authors Den: http://www.authorsden.com/evapasco

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1270775.Eva_Pasco

Eva Pasco’s Amazon Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/evapasco

 

 

Eva’s Byte #188 –So, It’s Almost Christmas

And, “literally”—what have I done before this year is over to benefit the surplus population of the Indie community?

In my capacity as a reader, I completed the 2018 Goodreads Reading Challenge: 4 books ahead of schedule, and surpassed my goal to read 25 books:

https://www.goodreads.com/user_challenges/11482188

I’ve reviewed every one of these books, and posted my reviews on Goodreads, Amazon, Authors Den, Google+, Facebook, and BookBub.

In my capacity as an Indie author, I’m participating in two holiday events on social media. In the spirit of the holiday season, I’ve pledged to donate copies of my books:

Indie Advent Calendar Event:

December 23rd – Eva Pasco, featuring An Enlightening Quiche (Contemporary):

*For a chance to win a selection of eBooks every day from December 1st – 25th, you can enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway Contest by answering questions posted on the event page—starting on the 1st, and not before!

https://www.facebook.com/IndieAdventCalendar/

Or: https://www.facebook.com/IndieAdventCalendar/

FYI: Nearly 400 books, and over 35 paperbacks, along with bookmarks, prints, pins, and postcards will be given away. I’ve pledged eBook copies of An Enlightening Quiche.

12 Days of Christmas Book Buying Event (December 13th – 24th):

Readers will buy one Indie book per day for 12 days.

Readers only will post. Authors can list their books in the comments. Each reader will list what type of book(s) they are interested in buying, as well as a preferred price range. One can participate as a reader, author, or both.

https://www.facebook.com/events/278153022841901/

 For prize giveaways, I’ve pledged to donate eBook copies of An Enlightening Quiche and 100 Wild Mushrooms: Memoirs of the ‘60s, along with a print copy of An EQ within the USA.

*Books are ideal holiday gifts for everyone on your shopping list—they’re inexpensive and their stories last a lifetime.

*Books have potential to add light and make the holiday season bright.

 Authors Den: http://www.authorsden.com/evapasco

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1270775.Eva_Pasco

Eva Pasco’s Amazon Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/evapasco

 

Eva’s Byte #187: In Gratitude for “Enough”

One who knows firsthand how life can turn on a dime so things are no longer quite the same, I’ve learned to pivot from the notion “this is as good as it gets”.

A pragmatist, cynic, and skeptic rolled into one, I’m grounded in gratitude for the blessings of having “enough”.

Since money is the great enabler, having enough enables me to take care of the bare necessities: paying bills, putting food on the table, filling up the gas tank and maintaining my vehicle.

Without going off the deep end, having enough allows me to indulge in superfluous, simple pleasures I never take for granted: going to breakfast or lunch; having fresh flowers in a vase on my dining room table at all times;  getting my hair styled at the salon.

An Indie author who dreams of becoming a best-seller, it’s enough for me to sell a book every now and then. I’m filled with pride and gratitude for each merit badge my books have earned for their literary merit.

Retired, I’m grateful for having enough time to ply my creativity to white space for my work in progress to grow in spurts. As for my imagination—I’ve more than enough to further this novel in the genre of Contemporary to the end.

Authors Den: http://www.authorsden.com/evapasco

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1270775.Eva_Pasco

Eva Pasco’s Amazon Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/evapasco

Eva’s Byte #186: A Writer’s Wrinkle Z-app-er!

An Indie author who foregoes the latest “editing” tools, preferring to rely on my own analytic powers, I came across the grandmaster of editing apps the other day.

http://blog.bookbaby.com/2018/07/how-an-editing-app-can-increase-writing-productivity/

“More than just a grammar and punctuation checker, it’s also a writing coach that can point out your weaknesses and help you turn them into strengths”—such as—and, I’m slapping myself silly:

“The editing tool reports on issues that most human editors wouldn’t be able to easily track, such as readability level, inconsistencies, sticky sentences, sentence length, repetition, strong or weak tenses, unique words, transitions, and much more.”

And, the issue of “pronoun overload”. Brought out: 15% of the words in published writing are pronouns, and fewer than 30% of sentences begin with an initial pronoun. Since writing that relies too heavily on pronouns can sound stilted, the editing tool shows if your work has higher percentages than these.

Mind you, I don’t doubt the effectiveness of any “writer’s wrinkle z-app-er”. However, like Botox, heavy reliance can induce “stiffness of sentence” and detract from the writer’s unique voice.

In that regard, I’ll continue to exercise my own critical judgment in assessing the effectiveness of grammar, punctuation, and use of pronouns. Steering clear of artificial intelligence, I’ll persevere by writing and editing without intervention.

 Authors Den: http://www.authorsden.com/evapasco

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1270775.Eva_Pasco

Eva Pasco’s Amazon Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/evapasco