N’oreaster and all …it’s STILL a good day to be Friday

nor'easterI’m not going to be the grim reaper with news of doom and gloom. I’m just going to say that the northeast, which includes New Jersey, New York, (particularly Long Island) and Connecticut is bracing for a massive blizzard.  And for those who have yet to rebuild their lives after Hurricane Sandy, this is not a good thing. Between the three states, we’re expecting between 6-24 inches of snow, 60 mph winds, blustery conditions where you can’t see in front of you.

Yeah. Welcome to winter.

Although we’re used to it, you do get tired of preparing, and the urge to scream “Enough of this #$@@#!” is high.   (But I have to admit the need for people to run to the grocery store and buy food like we’re on lockdown for the next month is still a mystery to me.)

One good thing about this storm is that it’s happening over the weekend and should end on Saturday. This, at least, gives you a day to dig out. It also gives you a chance to enjoy some of your weekend.  Speaking of digging out, shoveling is my least favorite sport, so I’ve learned over the years to keep a little cash handy for anyone feeling ambitious enough to earn a little money, and help dig this tired soul out of the snow!

Poe and I had plans to attend the 13th Annual Super Pet Expo, and we still may go. I definitely want to check out the latest gifts and gadgets for our animal friends. There’s shopping and shopping and did I say, shopping? Oh, and you can even adopt a pet, which is very cool.

If the power keeps flowing, I’m going to catch up on my writing and reading.  First up is J.K. Rowlings’ grown up book, “The Casual Vacancy.”   I’ve heard mixed reviews and now it’s time to dive in and see for myself. Besides, I’m in the mood for a little dark humor.

Oh, and on Sunday, I might take in The Grammys. It depends. I think out of all the awards show, I’ve outgrown the Grammys the most.  Don’t get me wrong, there are a few performers who I enjoy watching like Alicia Keys and Adele.   But there’s no one who makes me want to sit through the whole thing, at least not on this year’s roster.

I hope the snow melts fast because on February 14, I have a date—with John McClane and his son.  “A Good Day to Die Hard” hits the theater and I’ll be there. It looks action-packed and filled with classic John McClane, and a side of all grown up Junior McClane. Take a peek at the trailer.  That alone gets my heart fluttering. Bruce Willis is still at the top of his game!  Yippee Kai Yay!

Well, I’m off to the store to buy gummy bears and a bottle of wine.  In my humble opinion, THAT’s all you need for a blizzard!

Have a great weekend and wherever you are, be safe.

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Is your writing in need of strength training?

Are your stories packing a punch? Are people clamoring for more? If not, maybe you need to hit the gym—figuratively, that is!

One of my favorite places to work out is at the  “Writer’s Digest” “gym.” I’ve shared this resource a few times because it’s an invaluable source of information. As I mentioned, I keep a notebook filled with articles on the craft of writing.

Oh, and by the way, never let anyone tell you otherwise, writing, and doing it well IS a craft. Humph! I recently heard someone say, “oh anyone can be a writer nowadays. It’s not difficult.” After I offered a few concise words and told them that it takes hard work to be even a GOOD writer, they recanted that silly notion. 🙂

Pardon me, I digress.

One of my favorite Writer’s Digest articles, “Follow These Rules for Stronger Writing,” is a must-read. It offers 13 strength-training rules that will definitely result in the impact you’re looking for which is to hook your reader and keep them reading.

The first rule:

1. NEVER LET THE TRUTH GET IN THE WAY OF YOUR STORY. Creative writing is just that: creative. If the truth prevents you from telling your fictional story effectively, get rid of the facts and invent something that makes the story work.

This is why it’s call fiction! Granted, it has to believable and if your writing is strong enough you can convince your reader of anything. Just ask J.K. Rowling. By the way, I’ve never been into paranormal, but thanks to Christine Feehan’s “Dark” series I’m a big fan. Sexy as all get out vampires, who seduce their woman (and men) into submission? Oh yeah, count me in!

::::fanning:::: Anyone else, warm?

Okay, here’s rule two:

2. NEVER USE TWO WORDS WHEN ONE WILL DO. Less is more. Usually one powerful word will do the same job as two weaker ones.

Instead of:
Andrea stared at the horrible, slithering mass of snakes.
Write:
Andrea stared at the writhing mass of snakes.

I’m a big believer that less is more.  I’m not particulary fond of reading something that goes on and on, when it could have been said in a quick, powerful way.  I wouldn’t want to do that to my readers.

That said, I’m ending my blog with this: please read the rest of the rules. Although you’ve probably seen them before, they’re always a good list to revisit. And remember, no matter where we are in our writing careers, our work can always use a little strength training.