Archive for the ‘You Just Might Learn Something’ Category

Authors Rating Their Own Books Five Stars? How Tacky!
August 27, 2016

I read with great interest what was essentially a note to all authors who self-rate their books five stars.

That’s just so … just so … *tacky*.

Further, star-abuse is hands-down attributable to the fact that we authors as a lot must be inappropriate, ego-puffed cheaters with an aim to game the system.

(As if one review can even make a dent, for argument’s sake?)

Hello, my name is Emily Murdoch and I’m a self-rated five-star giver.
And I’m downright incorrigible.

Because, truth is, if we couldn’t rate our own book five stars, you’d be the ones we’d be cheating.

Chances are, those self-rated five-star books exist due to great and tedious artistic commitment and sacrifice; of time, money, fun, weekends, holidays, time with loved ones, friends and family, for salaries mostly impossible to live on, so most authors have more than one job.

Because writing is a job. We may love it; it may be a blessing and a gift, a way to share ideas to touch or entertain or enlighten or better the world, better ourselves, and for the sheer joy of it, yes.

But it’s work. Much work. Even if it’s work we love.

And so I give my own books five stars in celebration, in excitement to share the words, to help bring light or a lean or some kindness, goodness, compassion and understanding back into this tough world.

That there are readers or reviewers with the sole intent of one-starring self-rated five-star authors due to a personal hypothesis, without facts, is actually sad.

Sad to see the world of writing that way.

I woke up this morning slumped over in the faux-suede recliner with my laptop open on my lap, having fallen asleep over my current manuscript.

The writing time I could take was late night, so I took it.

Just as I will again, tonight.

My name is Emily Murdoch, and I am a self-rated five star author.

May everything you love and create be worthy of your own five stars.

#amwriting #amrevising #sleepingcountswinks #YAsaves

Death Masks & Living With Your Own Mortality
February 17, 2014

Brilliant words written by Katie Locke, for National Eating Disorders Awareness Month, February 2014.

Be a friend. Tell a friend. Get help. Help a friend get help. ❤

I share Katie’s post in memory of two of my own beloved friends, Sarah and Tierney, gone too soon. ❤

Thank you, Katie, for your bravery and honesty in sharing your story. I know it will help so many people!

Take care of yourselves and take care of each other,

Untitled

Katherine Locke

I wish that there was a way for people to experience an eating disorder safely so they understood what it’s like living inside that mind. One of my best friends who goes by SiriCerasi online is blogging about eating disorders here (mega trigger warning) and she’s doing a beautiful eloquent job.

In particular, she said this at the end of a recent blog post:

Each day, I am a survivor. Each day, I don’t let the eating disorder or the depression or the anxiety win, because each day ends with me still alive.

Want to know what it’s like to have an eating disorder?

Every now and then, you google the names of the girls and guys you met online, in livejournal communities, on xanga (I’m dating myself here), on tumblr, on instagram, and on Facebook, to see if they’re still alive.

You. Google. Names. To. Find. Out. If. They’re…

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All Shapes, Sizes And Ages.
October 5, 2010

I was a child writer, once.

At eleven, after saving up money from odd jobs done for neighbors, I paid for and attended a children’s writing workshop. I’d thought it was a workshop for child writers; to my surprise, it was a workshop for writers of children’s literature!

The adult writers thought it was so cute that I was there, but the mistake didn’t faze me — I considered myself a “serious writer”, and I learned so much that day. There were agents in attendance who were extra kind and encouraging, who praised my iniative and advised me to keep writing — that, one day, I’d get there.  

I was there to learn, not to pitch my manuscript, although I had a finished one at that point in time. While it’s different for everyone, I wasn’t close to (emotionally) ready for the harsh realities of Query Road.

Which brings me to my point: lately I’ve noticed, while frequenting writers’ blogs and groups, some extremely young writers pushing for publication, or for publication before *insert very young magic age here*.

While there are some amazing younger writers, statistically there are few writing prodigies for a reason: it often takes emotional seasoning and years of life experience to write a novel that resonates with a broad audience.

Most readers won’t think a book is special because the writer is under eighteen; most of us don’t consider a writer’s age when we read a novel. A book is special when the writing is special, when it touches something inside us or opens our hearts and minds to new worlds, or new ways of thinking and being.

There’s no magic age when it comes to publishing, and no shortcuts; being young doesn’t earn a writer special treatment, nor with a ready manuscript should it bar a young writer from representation. Talent develops at different paces — for example, S.E. Hinton was fifteen when she began writing The Outsiders, and eighteen when the novel was published. Frank McCourt published his debut novel, Angela’s Ashes, at the age of sixty-six.

I happen to believe that’s the best part of being a writer — how, no matter ones age, race, gender, height, weight, appearance, we all have a shot — when the writing is ready — and that’s the trick: that there are no tricks, only solid writing, belief in the dream, and practice, practice, practice.

What Exactly Is A Meme, Anyway?
June 20, 2009

Replication of the flu virus.

Good question.

I did some research and came across a site with a great explanation, and bursting with Memes:

The Daily Meme: What is a Meme? 

Memes are a fun and interesting way to unite with fellow bloggers, besides providing a ready-made post on those days you’re less than motivated or your mind draws a blank. But they’re more than that; like the flu virus image above, they replicate and mutate and take on a life of their own (a.k.a., they’re just too cool).    

According to The Daily Meme: 

A meme is:  

•An idea that, like a gene, can replicate and evolve.

•A unit of cultural information that represents a basic idea that can be transferred from one individual to another, and subjected to mutation, crossover and adaptation.

•A cultural unit (an idea or value or pattern of behavior) that is passed from one generation to another by nongenetic means (as by imitation); “memes are the cultural counterpart of genes”.

The term and concept of meme is from the 1976 book by Richard Dawkins, The Selfish Gene. Though Dawkins defined the meme as “a unit of cultural transmission, or a unit of imitation,” memeticists vary in their definitions of meme. The lack of a consistent, rigorous definition of what precisely a meme is remains one of the principal criticisms leveled at memetics, the study of memes. (from Wikipedia)

Happy Birthday, Anne Frank!
June 11, 2009

“Just imagine how forgetful I’ll be when I’m eighty!”

May 11th, 1944.

June 12th happens to be the eightieth birthday of one of the most well-known diarists in history: Anne Frank.

Have you ever imagined what she might have looked like when she grew up, or what she would have become? Would she have been a writer, as she’d pondered in her diary, if only she could write well enough?

April 5th, 1944

I finally realized that I must do my schoolwork to keep from being ignorant, to get on in life, to become a journalist, because that’s what I want! I know I can write …, but it remains to be seen whether I really have talent …

And if I don’t have the talent to write books or newspaper articles, I can always write for myself. But I want to achieve more than that. I can’t imagine living like Mother, Mrs. van Daan and all the women who go about their work and are then forgotten. I need to have something besides a husband and children to devote myself to! … I want to be useful or bring enjoyment to all people, even those I’ve never met. I want to go on living even after my death! And that’s why I’m so grateful to God for having given me this gift, which I can use to develop myself and to express all that’s inside me! When I write I can shake off all my cares. My sorrow disappears, my spirits are revived! But, and that’s a big question, will I ever be able to write something great, will I ever become a journalist or a writer?

Anne Frank 

Anne’s diary remains one of the most well-read books in the world, second only to the Bible.

And to think a publisher once rejected the diary with these words:

“The girl doesn’t, it seems to me, have a special perception or feeling which would lift that book above the ‘curiosity’ level.”

Click this link to see an age progressed photograph: Anne Frank at 80.

What was Anne’s full name? Annelies Marie Frank, born June 12th, 1929, in Frankfurt, Germany.

 

Anne and her mother.

Anne and Edith Frank.

(Photos courtesy of the Anne Frank House Museum.)

For information on Anne’s birthday celebration events, or to subscribe to the Museum’s newsletter:

Click here: Anne Frank Museum Amsterdam – the official Anne Frank House website
You could also write Anne a note or leave her your own birthday wishes:
  Anne Frank Tree – An Interactive Monument.