Happy Halloween 2021

Picture courtesy of Google.com

Pumpkins with ghoulish faces and illuminated by candles are a sure sign of the Halloween season. The practice of decorating jack-o’-lanterns originated in Ireland, where large turnips and potatoes served as early canvasses. In fact, the name, jack-o’-lantern, comes from an Irish folktale about a man named Stingy Jack. Irish immigrants brought the tradition to America, home of the pumpkin, and it became an integral part of Halloween festivities.

The Legend of “Stingy Jack”

People have been making jack-o’-lanterns at Halloween for centuries. The practice originated from an Irish myth about a man nicknamed “Stingy Jack.” According to the story, Stingy Jack invited the Devil to have a drink with him. True to his name, Stingy Jack didn’t want to pay for his drink, so he convinced the Devil to turn himself into a coin that Jack could use to buy their drinks. Once the Devil did so, Jack decided to keep the money and put it into his pocket next to a silver cross, which prevented the Devil from changing back into his original form. 

Jack eventually freed the Devil, under the condition that he would not bother Jack for one year and that, should Jack die, he would not claim his soul. The next year, Jack again tricked the Devil into climbing into a tree to pick a piece of fruit. While he was up in the tree, Jack carved a sign of the cross into the tree’s bark so that the Devil could not come down until the Devil promised Jack not to bother him for ten more years.

Soon after, Jack died. As the legend goes, God would not allow such an unsavory figure into heaven. The Devil, upset by the trick Jack had played on him and keeping his word not to claim his soul, would not allow Jack into hell. He sent Jack off into the dark night with only a burning coal to light his way. Jack put the coal into a carved-out turnip and has been roaming the Earth with ever since. The Irish began to refer to this ghostly figure as “Jack of the Lantern,” and then, simply “Jack O’Lantern.”

In Ireland and Scotland, people began to make their own versions of Jack’s lanterns by carving scary faces into turnips or potatoes and placing them into windows or near doors to frighten away Stingy Jack and other wandering evil spirits. In England, large beets are used. Immigrants from these countries brought the jack-o’-lantern tradition with them when they came to the United States. They soon found that pumpkins, a fruit native to America, make perfect jack-o’-lanterns.

(Source: https://www.history.com/news/history-of-the-jack-o-lantern-irish-origins)


Thank you for your support of ‘Writer’s Treasure Chest’ and my writing.

I wish you and your loved ones

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Dear Miss Alexander…

You know, there are days, when I answer questions… there are so many of them, in very different aspects of life. But most of them are about relationships. Of course, I’m not a magazine, or newspaper, nor do I have a public advice column, that’s why these things are kept in the dark.

But there are moments things want to come to the light.. Like in one case…


Dear Miss A. J. Alexander

Lately, I had to read in my wife’s diary that she suspects I secretly read her diary. I consider that an enormous betrayal of confidence, since we swore to always discuss disagreements in the open. How should I react to that now? Is my wife still trustworthy?


Dear Mr. O. from Frankfort, KY

… or may I call you Mort? Apparently, you can read. In some cases, we are supposed to be satisfied with very little…


Some men can often not even imagine women write diaries. Why? Because men don’t write journals and women usually hide theirs at places men cannot even imagine exist, like in the cleaning supply closet.

I know one woman whose husband didn’t merely read her diary. He revised it! He was a teacher. So, at night, she found her entry from the day before, and underneath there was a Micky Mouse sticker and a grade. And on the side, he had added supplementary notes, like ‘factual incorrect, it’s 9 ½ inches’ – or ‘add a more detailed description, what exactly means ‘the hot waiter’? or ‘shrink testicles doesn’t have a capital T.’


Dear Mort

Why don’t you write into your wife’s diary that you wonder what gave her the idea you might read her diary? – And then go and pack your stuff…


Picture courtesy of The New York Times.com

How To Survive Deleting Characters #AmWriting – Written By Lucy Mitchell

COMMENTS 5

#AmWriting

Writing the death of a much-loved character can be demanding and can leave you emotionally wiped out.

Did you know that there is another literary situation which can be just as challenging and one which can cast a nasty gloom over your writing life – deleting a character from your story.

I am not talking about deleting a random minor character; a fictional person who you created one day after too much coffee and inserted into the middle of your novel, just to beef it out (technical literary term) and then deleted them the following day after realising your stupidity. Sigh

No. I am talking about those major changes to a draft which result in you deciding to get rid of a key character.

I guarantee this fictional person will have been with you since the start of your story and someone who you have history with. You and this character will have been through some stuff; your rocky first draft, that dreadful second draft which no one liked, your third draft where you felt all hope was lost and the fourth draft which resulted in you wondering why the hell you had ever taken up writing.

You and this character will have shared story in-jokes. They will have been there for you during the bad times. You know them inside out and they are like a good friend.

The awful thing is that you know a change like this needs to happen.

CONTINUE READING HERE

North American Vikings – Written By Nicholas C. Rossis

I was just writing the other day about the 1339 monk who wrote about the discovery of America. Now, analysis of wood from timber-framed buildings in the L’Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland shows a Norse-built settlement over 1,000 years ago – 471 years before Columbus.

As the Guardian and Science News report, the Icelandic sagas – oral histories written down hundreds of years later – tell of a leader named Leif Erikson. The recent finding corroborates two Icelandic sagas – the Saga of the Greenlanders and the Saga of Erik the Red – that recorded attempts to establish a settlement in Vinland. Also known as Leif the Lucky, he was the son of Erik the Red, who was the founder of the first Norse settlements in Greenland. According to the Saga of the Icelanders, Leif established a Norse settlement at Vinland, which is usually interpreted as being coastal North America, though speculation remains over whether this is actually the L’Anse aux Meadows settlement.

However, while it is known that the Norse landed in Canada, it’s been unclear exactly when they set up camp to become the first Europeans to cross the Atlantic, thus marking the moment when the globe was first known to have been encircled by humans.

Viking landing | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books

CONTINUE READING HERE

7 Point Plan To Help You Sell Your New Book & Positive Writing Is Always Better Than The Negative – Written By Derek Haines…

Today once more I did what I rarely do: I re-blogged two posts in one. Derek Haines provided us with two excellent articles and I couldn’t decide which one to share. Enjoy both of them today.

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on Just Publishing Advice:

After all the time it took you to write it, you now want to sell your new book.

Self-publishing a print book or ebook is easy. All you need to do is upload your book cover and interior text file. Within 24 hours, it’s on sale.

However, many new authors rush into publishing without giving much thought to how they will convince readers to buy the book.

The only way to self-publish a new book and have a reasonable chance of success is to plan well ahead. What you do before you publish is always far more effective than what you do after.

Continue reading HERE

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Positive writing always helps you communicate better with your readers.

All it takes is a few simple grammar or vocabulary changes, and it’s such an easy habit to adopt.

When we speak, we can use negative sentences with facial expressions that indicate a positive tone.

But in writing, you only have your words to convey a positive or negative sentiment.

Continue reading HERE

The Name of this Character is Secret – Written By Deborah Grant-Dudley

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Readers rarely pay much attention to the names of most book characters. Names tend to fall into the category of necessary detail. But authors have to put a lot of work into making sure those details don’t spoil the whole book.

Naming characters can be great fun. There are just a few little things to watch out for…

Characters with similar names

It’s easy to mix up characters with similar names. Having characters named Judy and Julie in the same book is a recipe for confusion.

Abbreviated names

Sometimes shortened names are absolutely fine. But sometimes it isn’t. This one needs thinking through for two reasons.

If the full name and abbreviated name are not similar enough, readers may think they are two separate characters. 

If the abbreviated name is too similar to another character’s name, readers may think two different characters are the same person.

CONTINUE READING HERE

#ThorsDaySmile – #amlaughing – #humor

Check out these signs. I had a great laugh. Thank you for the giggles. Sharing!

The Write Stuff

Every other ThorsDay is #ThorsDaySmile time, so here are a few Signs
of the Times to make you laugh. Hope some of them are new to you!
Enjoy!
😄

And here’s a cat, because, hello?  CAT!

And last, another one of THESE, because … well, no real reason,
except that I’ve loved every caption I’ve seen added to these pics!Now on that note, I am outta here!
Keep smiling, folks!

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4 Agents Seeking Thrillers, Speculative Fiction, Nonfiction, Kidlit, Commercial Fiction, Memoir, and more – Written By Erica Verrillo

on Publishing … and Other Forms of Insanity:

Here are four agents actively seeking writers.

Alex Reubert wants fiction that includes debuts, stories of love, family epics, and coming-of-age, at any age. He loves world literature and wants to see more books published in the U.S. that are not set in the U.S. He is eager to read and represent voices that have been historically de-centered. Thrillers and speculative stories that skew literary are welcome, as is any narrator looking back and trying to make sense of their life.

Tia Ikemoto is looking for middle grade, young adult, adult fiction and select nonfiction that speaks to a wide audience, upmarket & book club fiction, psychological and literary thrillers, women’s fiction, updated rom coms, blockbuster or high concept commercial fiction, and historical fiction that takes us somewhere else or teaches us something new. Nonfiction: Pop culture, narrative nonfiction, journalism, of-the-moment essay collections, and the occasional experience-driven memoir.

Mariah Stovall is actively seeking writers with strong voices and intersectional and interdisciplinary perspectives. She works on adult literary and upmarket fiction, narrative nonfiction, essay collections and memoir. She’s most passionate about music, mental health/illness, Black America, linguistics, histories of objects and ideas, pop science, and deep dives into subcultures and social movements.

Natalie Edwards is seeking commercial, upmarket, and literary titles both contemporary and historical: stories of queerness and diaspora, hidden histories, workplace satires/sendups of #girlbosses, and anything that offers biting social commentary and disrupts conventional wisdom.

Always check the agency website and agent bio before submitting. Agents can switch agencies or close their lists, and submission requirements can change. 

NOTEDon’t submit to two agents at the same agency simultaneously. If one rejects you, you may then submit to another.

Get Full Details HERE

Success Without Self-Promotion – Written By Greer Macallister

on Writer Unboxed:

Self-promotion isn’t the most famous naughty s-word, but it can still feel like a bad word to today’s authors. I hate self-promotion, you might say. I’m so sick of talking about myself on social media.With more and more options to reach readers directly comes an expectation that authors will do more and more to reach those readers themselves, often without publisher assistance.

So! How do you sell books without a single self-promotional tweet, post, or video?

Simple. In most cases, you actually shouldn’t be promoting yourself. If the goal is to sell books — or at least make people you don’t know personally curious enough about your book(s) to take action — you are not the product. “Buy my book!” doesn’t work if the reader doesn’t know you or know anything about the book in question.

Instead of self-promotion, think of the path to getting your book in front of readers on social media as a railroad track, with two parallel rails: be yourself, and take yourself out of the equation.

Continue reading HERE