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An Unusual Thanksgiving Week

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For many of us, this is a week filled with disappointment because we're not getting together with family for Thanksgiving. It will be a different holiday for many of us. My family's gathering will be very small. Except for the massive quantities of food and the purpose of the day, it won't be much different from our typical meals. Still, we will have each other and a reason besides 2020 to eat too much food.   I hope and pray each of you experience joy and thanks in your heart as you celebrate this holiday. Now on to other news... Wow, oh wow! You can not imagine how crazy this week has been.  We revealed the cover art for the book. Many of you saw it on Facebook. Thanks for all of the wonderful comments. I agree, it is absolutely amazing. The artist, J Caleb Design , really captured the essence of this story.  Also, I'm scheduled to appear along with several wonderful authors on Author Spotlight Day on ConTinual: The Con That Never Ends this coming Saturday, Nov. 28

Worldbuilding for Writers and Readers

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All writers create a world for their stories; we call it worldbuilding. What is Worldbuilding? Worldbuilding refers to how you create the place of your story. You can create a completely different environment and culture like in Game of Thrones , or you can create a story in familiar places, like in Little Fires Everywhere .   In stories with familiar worlds, we read about characters living within an environment we recognize. If it's historical fiction, the author might need to help you understand more about the customs and society of that time, but the rest should feel familiar. These worlds reflect the community, society, culture, etc. of the actual place and time where the characters live. In this case, worldbuilding refers to how the story's characters interact within their circle of people. In contrast, speculative fiction authors create almost all of the aspects of their worlds including cultures, customs, plant life, animals, borders, geography, religion, etc. They stil

Giraffe Defense & Honoring Veterans

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November 11 is Veteran's Day, a day to remember the service and sacrifice of many of our country's men and women who served in the military to protect our rights and freedoms. In honor of this day, I want to discuss a different kind of warrior. The giraffe. Maybe not what you were expecting, but I hope you'll stick with me for a moment. Let's face it, most people see giraffes as docile animals. Although they aren't usually aggressive, they can be effective fighters when necessary. The average giraffe is 15 to 17 feet tall. They are the tallest animal on earth, so many assume they don't have to fight. But they do. A giraffe's hooves may be the difference between survival and death, especially when lions come hunting. Their hooves are huge, as big as dinner plates. And lethal.  Anne Dagg and Bristol Foster, authors of  The Giraffe It's Biology, Behavior, and Ecology (1982 reprint) , share some examples of this behavior in their book: My foot inside an impr

The Emotions Wheel: A Resource for Writers

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 On a day when we know we'll feel the highs and lows of the emotional gamut, I thought it appropriate to share a resource for writers as well as others--the Emotions Wheel. This wheel is a great resource for writers, counselors, teachers, and really anyone. Maybe you're a writer floundering for the right word or trying to find a different word to avoid repetition. Possibly, you're trying to help someone deal with difficult emotions at the time. You could be a counselor, teacher, or customer service representative working with someone who's in need of a bit of empathy. The emotions wheel offers a large spectrum of emotions to work with. There are over 34,000 emotions you can choose from according to Positive Psychology . The wheel doesn't have that many, but there are quite a few. That means the right word is available to use if you can just think of it. Hope this helps on this potentially difficult day. Special thanks to Geoffrey Roberts for permission to use his i