Monday, September 28, 2015

Critique Groups

Today I'm talking about critique groups. A funny thing happened on the way to the, no, actually it was in an email. ( Apologies to whoever the Greek God was who made that statement.) A friend asked me, "Why are you looking for a critique group? You are published. Four times published. What could a critique group tell you about writing that you don't already know?"

Ahem. Obviously, said friend is not a writer. I do not know everything there is to know about writing. Although...I do know a couple of people who are published and do think they know everything. Their books belie their knowledge.
On the other hand, my manuscripts are far from perfect. No matter how many times I edit and revise, they are far from perfect. If they were perfect, I wouldn't need to have them edited by an editor with my publisher, now would I?

 In 2008, I started a group myself. It was an online group, with seven other women writers who were spread all over the US, and one was in South Africa. We all worked really well together, although over time several dropped out and we replaced them with other writers. Then, last year I was really busy with my own editing, as well as some problems with the publisher I was with at that time, so I withdrew from my own group. It was time, for several reasons.

So now, I'm looking for a new group. So far, I've been invited to two new groups. One was about 5 weeks ago, and was pretty much a disaster. We met at Starbuck's for an hour, which was their habit, and it was fun to get to know a little about these 4 people. Then we went over to the library for the real meeting. Critiques? Well...I suppose you could call them that, with a little bit of imagination. Or maybe a LOT of imagination.

One lady to another lady: "Oh, I just love this story. You have so many wonderful metaphors mixed in it, like this one about the octopus and the congealed dancers. That is just so good!!!"
Say what? 'Octopus and congealed dancers?' Hmm...if you know anything about me, you have a pretty good idea of what I said in response.

Then there was the young girl who used the F-word in every sentence, no matter how benign the rest of the sentence was. When I told her editors probably would not like that at all, since there was no real reason for using that word so much, she politely shook her head, and said, "Well, that's the way this character talks, so it will be fine." Ohhhkay. That was only one of the ways she expressed her displeasure with my critique as we went along. That one pretty much didn't go so well.

Actually, none of them went well. These people did not want to be critiqued on plot, characterization, development of internal/external conflict, ( the lone man asked what I meant by internal conflict), dialogue...well, you get the picture. No one wanted to be told he or she needed work on anything. So, no more of that group.

The next group I was invited to met at one of the ladies' homes. Before I went, I sent them each a long email in which I told them a little about myself, and my writing and publishing history. Then I listed the 10 elements of writing that I critiqued on: plot, characterizations, etc. etc. etc. I wanted them to know ahead of time what I would be looking for, and commenting on. I figured I was giving them enough time to read it, think about their own writing, and then see if they still wanted me to come to the meeting. Apparently, they did, so I went.

Hmm...well, the same young girl with the F-word vocabulary was also there, but she had cleaned up the pages she wanted looked over. There was one youngish man, with kids he had to pick up from school in 2 hours...a single father?...don't know that for sure. The other lady ( yes, with me there are only 4, and that's not a good number for a critique group) had a story of 19 pages so far, and 9 1/2 of those were nothing but narration. No dialogue, no action, no nothing except "telling." When I mentioned that, as tactfully as possible, she told me that she had sent this story in to a contest with 4 agents as the judges, and none of the agents had anything to say about "telling." Obviously, none of the agents was an editor...or maybe not even agents? Anyway, neither this lady nor the gentleman nor the young lady had even the slightest notion what the concept of "show, don't tell" meant.

So now I am faced with a dilemma. I can continue to go back to this group, and spend my 2 1/2 hours with them twice a month trying to TEACH them how to write, and get little or nothing in return, as far as their "critiques" go, or I can once again go on the prowl for a new group.

My problem is: where do I look? I belong to the only writers/authors organization in my entire county...which is very small...and these are two of the groups that are touted on their website. So my choices are very limited.

What do you think at this point in your writing/publishing life about critique groups? Do you think you are beyond them? The major problem I have is that while I believe I can do better with having a group, I can't do better if the people there don't have the same level of expertise I have, or better yet, are above my level.  So far, these groups are far below me, and while that sounds very egotistical, it isn't. People who don't know how to use metaphors, and who don't know what the basic concept of "show don't tell" means, are not going to be of any help to me.
And I don't have the time to babysit them. I don't mean that to be harsh, it's just the way it is. Or as the kids say today...It is what it is.

Well, I'm still looking, and not holding out much hope. Most of the other groups in this organization are held 35 or more miles from me, and that's just too far. Maybe I'll try to form an online group again, but frankly, the idea of a face-to-face, one-on-one group really intrigues me, so I guess I'll just keep looking.

Are you in a critique group? If not, why not?

Think about it.

Until next time,
That's a wrap.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Thoughts on Life

I am sitting on the patio, caught up in  memories, at the moment all bad. It seems like so many things, big and small, have come our way since January 28th, of this year. The day my son died. It was almost like an omen, a bad one in some way. Jeff would have laughed at that, then gotten serious and said something like, "Mom, if I was going to be an omen for you, it sure wouldn't be a bad one." How true.

Still...about six weeks later, we have our last appointment with the orthopedic surgeon who had made such a serious error in judgment with my husband's surgery 2 years ago. He tells us at this appointment in March that, yes, the hip prosthesis has slipped again, his left leg is now 1 and 1/2 inches shorter than his right leg, but there's nothing he can do about it. With that remark, he leaves the room. Period. Doesn't say goodbye, kiss my foot, go know where...nothing. Just leaves. Both our lives have been changed drastically, Richard will be in a walker for the rest of his life, but this man doesn't even say "I'm sorry," he just leaves.

Three weeks later, we have to have our beloved African Grey parrot put to sleep. She had a stroke a year ago, and is now having small seizures. She can no longer talk...she had a fantastic vocabulary, would even answer questions you asked her...but now the time has come to send her over the Rainbow Bridge, where once again she could fly high and be without pain. We had her for over 20 years, from just 4 months old. I still cry when I look at her pictures.

Other little things keep coming up. Not drastic, but not good. I am looking at Jeff's picture and trying to keep the tears away. I keep hearing this little "tweet, tweet, tweet" in my head. I ignore it.

Suddenly this little bird hops on the table. He looks at me, then hops up on my laptop.
"Hey, hold on there. What are you doing on my computer? Get off, now!"

"No, I don't think so. I like it here. What are  all these little squares for that you have your fingers on?"

"Never mind. Get off. Where did you come from, anyway? And why am I talking to you? As to that, why are you talking at all?"

"Well, I kept trying to get your attention with my tweets. You were ignoring me, so I thought I'd better come out and talk to you."
"Look, I don't know who you are or why you are here. I am having a pity party, I am enjoying it, and I want you to go away. I can't have a pity party with something like you around."

"A pity party? My goodness, that's sounds awful. Why are you sad? You may as well answer me, because I'm not going away."

"Because my son died. Because I had to put my parrot to sleep. Because our lives have changed so much. Is that reason enough?"

"Well, yes it is. But why don't you think about the positives instead of the negatives? You know...the four books you have published. The fact that your husband is still on his feet and not in a wheelchair. The fact that he can still walk, now that he has his shoe lift. The fact that some people have asked you to help them edit their writings before they submit to a publisher. The fact that you have a contract for four more books. The fact that you are in relatively good health for such an old lady. The..."

"Just wait one minute, bird! What do you mean, 'such an old lady'? I am not old, I just have lived a long time."

"See? That's what I mean. That's a positive, isn't it? You don't consider yourself old, just that you have lived a long time. A very long time."

"All right, that's enough. Just shut up. I get the message. Now fly away, fly away home...or somewhere. Just quit bothering me. And don't...ugh! Couldn't you have waited to poop until you got to a tree? Now I've got to clean it up. Thanks a lot."

"Ha Ha. At least, I didn't do it on your computer. So long for now. The next time I tweet inside your head, you better listen to me, or I'll come visit again."

The bird is gone. I think  about what he said, and he's right. Time to stop whining, to start thinking about all that is good and right and positive in my life.

I don't think I am alone in this. "This" being getting caught up in the negatives, and not finding, not trying to find, the positives in our lives. Too many times our lives take a downward turn, and it takes a long time to start seeing the upside of what we have left. Maybe all of us need a 'little bird' to come along and give us a poke or two...or poop to clean jar us out of that pity party mood, and get back to life.

The above scenario happened back during the early summer. At the time, Jeff had been gone for only 4 months, Shadow for less than two, and it still seemed overwhelming. But I have learned to grieve in my own way, but still focus on the positives in my life. And there are many. Now the time has come to get busy with that new book...or books. I still can't make up my mind about writing the sequel to The Freedom Thief first, or the second book in the Beneath the Possum Belly trilogy.

About that little bird: I don't know where he came from. Sometimes my Muse runs off at the mouth, and takes different forms. But for whatever reason, he became a beacon that day, and shone a light down a path I had almost forgotten about, so I am grateful to him...or her...or... whatever. I sincerely hope that all of you have just that kind of "little bird" when the going gets tough, and you need to focus on the positive, instead of the negative. No matter how hard that might be.

Think about it.

Until next time,
That's a wrap.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

The Conflict Between Ebooks and Print Books

Most of us have ebook readers, the Amazon kindle, the Barnes and Noble Nook,  an iPad, or whatever. I have a Kindle, and four or five years ago, when my husband gave me my first one, I was excited to be able to have  a cluster of my favorite, unread, books that I could even carry around with me. But over time, my excitement has greatly diminished. For one thing, Amazon keeps changing the Kindle, and mine started dying. No amount of battery charging, pleading or even saying a few unkind words would wake it up. To make a long story shorter, I've had three Kindles, and now never use it. I've always preferred print books, and always will. Maybe carrying around a couple hundred novels in my purse isn't such an important thing, after all.

But what has the ebook industry, which, admittedly, bloomed quickly and increased rapidly, done to children's reading and comprehension? Let's take a look at some of the recent statistics put out by Scholastic, the most important analyst of reading behaviors in children from preschool through high school.

In 2010, 32% of school age boys read for fun an average of 5 to 7 days a week. This was after-school reading, and weekend reading. In 2014, only 24% of school age boys read anything for fun, meaning not required as part of school studies, and seldom read on the weekends. This was reading ebooks and print books.

In 2010, only 24% of teens, boys and girls alike, from 15 to 17,  read for fun/entertainment, regardless of whether it was ebooks or print, and by 2014, that percentage was down to 14%.

It was found that the most powerful predictor of reading behavior was not based on the usage of computers, TV, video games, etc., but was based on: 1) whether they believed it was important to read; 2) whether they enjoyed reading; and 3) whether their parents were readers, and/or encouraged them to read. All three predictors were extremely low.

Another important point in this study was the Common Core Standards, which schools throughout the US are now required the follow. The CCS steers kids in all grades towards  reading NON-FICTION, and emphasizes that reading FICTION for fun is not important.

In 2012, the number of children in grades 5 through 12 preferring ebooks for reading outside of school assignments was 57%, but in 2014, that had dropped to 35 %.

What is driving this decline? Were there more ebooks out in 2010 - 2012, thus it was more of a novelty effect? The Kindle was new, the Nook was even newer. Ebooks are also much cheaper than print books, whether paperback or hard cover. It has always been easier and less expensive for parents to buy 2 or 3 ebooks, for the same price as one paperback. But is money the real issue, or is it something else?

The publishing industry is facing similar questions, as analysts discuss whether the rate of ebooks has already hit its peak, and if it is, will the slowing down of ebook sales force the industry to face some painful decisions.

But there is more to this question than sales, especially when it comes to kids. The comprehension level of children reading ebooks drops considerably when compared to reading print books. They are much more easily distracted, and therefore, understand much less of what they have read. Researchers used eye-tracking software to show that paper books are read slowly and comprehensively line by line, but when kids read ebooks, they are so easily distracted by the outside world, they have to go back and read the same lines or paragraphs over 2 and 3 times to obtain the same comprehension level.

Distraction is a big thing in ebooks, both for kids and for adults. After all, there is the signal for new incoming email, another signal for private messages from friends, still another for status updates, and so on. Even adults scored much lower in reading comprehension when reading an ebook against reading the same book in print.

Another problem was the matter of marking a page to remember something important from that page. With a print book, you grab a highlighter and mark the passage, or a pen to make comments in the margin, or as a last resort, you can ever dog-ear the page. None of those simple and easy methods apply with an ebook. First, you have to find the right tool to either highlight or make a comment, then you have to know, or learn, how to use that tool before you can properly apply it. By then, kids especially have often lost the page, and with no page numbers on an ebook, it takes a while to go back and find what you want to mark. Time has passed, kids and usually adults, too, have lost interest in whatever it was, and the page goes unmarked, and usually, unremembered.

So, what is the answer? If you have one, you'll probably earn millions! It is something for the publishing industry to ponder on, and eventually work out, but for this industry, the conflict remains monetary. For kids in school, it will always be a matter of learning, of concentration, of comprehension...all the most important elements in education. Reading for fun? That's important, too, and still remains an issue for parents and educators alike.

Think about it.

Until next time,
That's a wrap.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Importance of Research

How many times as a writer have you heard the phrase, "write what you know"? One of the main reasons for this line of thinking is that if you are familiar with something to its very core, you'll convey it more smoothly to the reader. Well, that's true, well and good, but what about writing historical stories?

As a writer, you have an implicit contract with your readers. They give you their time, attention, and their money. You promise to give them, in return, entertainment, information, and perhaps even a new idea or two. But as an historical writer, you have an additional promise, and that is to sweep your readers back in time and take them to a world they may not have known even existed.

To do this, you must know the world you are writing about inside and out. Every little detail in your story must be historically correct, and in order to do this, you must RESEARCH. Now, many beginning writers will say, "Well, this is fiction, after all. I don't need to know every little detail. I can make it up as I go along, and no one is going to know." Uh uh. Mark my words, someone is going to know.

No matter how far back in time and history you go, some of your readers are going to be well-versed in it. Galileo didn't carry around a kerosene lantern because kerosene didn't exist then. Benjamin Franklin didn't zip up his breeches because zippers hadn't been invented yet. Little things no one will notice? Wrong! It's the little details like this that will hurt you, turn your readers off, and lead you into the biggest bear trap facing writers of historical fiction--anachronism.

Your research should fall into three categories: historical events, subplots, and lifestyles. What events shaped the years you are interested in? Was it a catastrophic event like the Civil War? Was it the way women were thought of and treated in the 16th and 17th centuries? By all means, use the dramatic events of the era in the story, but don't forget to look for the more obscure events or a new perspective just coming to light in those days. They could add the drama and even mystery to your story that you are looking for.

Now look for the subplots that can add to your plot, or help you develop a major or even a new character. If you do your research properly, and really dig into the history of the era, you can find things like a law against tinkers in Ireland that could provide you with a whole new plot device. Finding an old photograph of a man with a pet bear in a gold camp could suggest a new character to develop, or perhaps give you an idea of a new depth to add to your main character . The point is, the more research you do, the deeper you dive into the morass of history, the more little details you will find that will add to your story, illuminate some aspect of the story, and add historical authenticity to it as well.

The most difficult and time-consuming area of research concerns the lifestyles of the people in the era you are writing about. This is also a most important area. How did people live in those days? How did they dress, men, women, and children? ( Don't forget about the zipper incident ! ) What modes of transportation did they use, what businesses were they in, how did they cook their food? What foods did they eat? Don't forget that refrigeration is a modern invention, and that cook stoves didn't exist the way they do today.

When it comes to this type of research, sit down and write out what your lifestyle is, in terms of eating, cooking, cleaning house, wearing clothes, working, getting from one place to another, and so on. These are the things you need to look for in your research, because they  are the important details of an historical story, so do your research extensively. Don't fall into that bear trap!

One more thing: speech. Dialogue is such an important part of any story, and you need to get the speech patterns of that era correct. Use the expressions people of that era used, but don't overdo it. People aren't going to talk like they do today, but at the same time, you don't want to have your characters speaking in so much regional dialect that readers can barely understand what they are saying. Be correct in the expressions and colloquialisms that people of past eras used, but don't over-burden your characters' dialogue with them.

Remember that every era has attitudes, philosophies, and activities that were specific to that day and time, so look upon your research as something that is necessary but can also be a treasure hunt that will give you color, excitement, and authenticity to your story.

Think about it.

Until next time,
That's a wrap.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

The Positive Side of Rejection

The "positive" side of rejection? Oh, I can hear you now! What is positive about rejection? Well, let me tell you a little story. At dinner one night, one of our companions was talking about her granddaughter, and how fantastic a basketball player she had been in high school. Now that she was in college, her basketball days were behind her. "Oh?" I asked. "She didn't want to be in sports in college?" Hmm, it wasn't that she didn't want to, it was that after winning game after game in high school, she couldn't seem to achieve that same star quality in college, so she considered herself a failure, and she quit. OH. She quit.

As writers. we fail a lot. Think about it. How many times do you think you have gotten that story just right, and you send it to your critique group. And it comes back with all kinds of suggestions: your characters are too one-dimensional; your narration concerning you settings is too long and too boring; you have too much telling and not enough showing. We've failed to produce the well-written manuscript that we thought we had. So, we try again. And again. Until finally, the critique group says YAY, submit that puppy!

So we submit. Again and again. We get enough rejection letters to paper our office. Well, those we actually get, that is. There are always those agents and editors that we wait on for a response of some kind for 8, 9 months, maybe 10, and still hear nothing. We have failed. Again and again and again.

Really? I don't think so. Failures quit. Writers don't. We just start writing, rewriting, editing, revising, again. And again. And again. Therefore, it stands to reason we are not failures. Because. Writers. Don't. Quit.

I've heard it said that the pathway to publication can be compared to today's freeways. What do you find on a busy freeway? Traffic. Road blocks because of traffic. Bumps in the road because of traffic. Signs telling you that this lane is closed, merge left...where all the traffic is to begin with. All of which leads to slowdowns and frustration. A lot of frustration. A lot of frustration is the major road sign leading to publication, because waiting and waiting and waiting some more, only to get a rejection or even, hear nothing, is the most frustrating and disappointing thing a writer can go through.

But we are writers, and we WILL become authors Because in order for us to succeed, we have to fail. It's the nature of the beast, and since we can't kill the beast, we learn to live with him, and learn from him.  We may have to feed him a lot more than we would like, but eventually, he's going to get full. And that's when we get that oh so treasured acceptance!

Writers have that personality trait known as sticttoitiveness...and yes, that's a real word. You can call it perserverance or whatever you want, but the point is, writers keep on writing in the face of failure, because we never call failure defeat. We learn as we go, that you cannot have success without failure, so in order to have one, we must accept the other.

General George Patton once said, "I don't measure a man's success by how high he climbs, but by how high he bounces back when he hits obstacles." As writers, we're always hitting obstacles, but to finally be successful, we have to bounce back. And the higher we can bounce, the better we can write, and the sooner our success will come.

Here are a few success stories...AFTER their failures:

Mark Cuban, billionaire owner of NBA's Dallas Mavericks: his parents wanted him to have a "normal" job, so he tried carpentry, but he hated it; he became a short order cook, but he couldn't cook; he waited tables but couldn't open a bottle of wine without spilling it. He says, "I've learned it doesn't matter how many times you fail. You only have to be right once."
Stephanie Meyer, author of the Twilight series, made into movies: wrote the first Twilight book from a dream, and never intended to publish it until a friend encouraged her. Nine literary agents rejected her, One gave her a chance, and that led to EIGHT publishers fighting for the right to publish the book. Today she is reportedly worth $40 million.
Stephen King: his first book, Carrie, was rejected 30 times, and after the last rejection, he threw the book in the trash. His wife rescued it and insisted he keep on trying. He has sold more than 350 million copies of his books.
Vincent Van Gogh: only sold one painting in his lifetime, yet he painted more than 800. Today his most valued painting is worth $142.7 million.
John Grisham: took 3 years to write his first book, A Time to Kill, and it was rejected 28 times before he got a "yes." Today he has sold close to 300 million of his books.

If you don't try and fail, you aren't going to be able to try and succeed. And that's the "positive" side of rejection.

Think about it.

Until next time,
That's a wrap.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Those Little Reversals in Life

Isn't it remarkable that most of us go through life totally unaware of the reversals that happen to some along life's journey? What reversals, you ask? Well, let's talk about that.

Role reversal is the most important one that can happen to anyone in life. On a very personal note: my son grew up into a handsome man who married a wonderful girl, had an amazing son of his own, and who expected to always take care of them. But life interfered, as it does so often, and one day, his role in the family was reversed. His wife became the caretaker of him, and of the family, until his death in January, 2015. A role reversal of the saddest kind.

One day I was in the library, browsing among the stacks, when I heard a soft voice say,"No, Dad, that word is "running." You know the word 'run,' so just put 'ing' to it."

Another soft voice, much deeper, said, "He wa...was run...running too far..."
"No, Dad, not 'too far', but it is 'too fast.' Come on, let's try it again." The deep voice: "I don't know, honey, I don't think I'll ever learn again." The sentence was spoken in bits and pieces, with pain evident in each word.

I'm not usually a snoop, but that day I just had to be. I had to know what was going on. I stepped quietly around a couple of bookcases, and stopped. In front of me was a round table and four small chairs, those found in the section for young children. On one of the chairs, stooped over and barely sitting on it, was a tall, thin man with his face in his hands. Sitting next to him, but on the table, was a lovely young girl of about fourteen. Dark curly hair clustered on her shoulders, and her dark eyes were filled with tears. She sat with one small hand on the man's shoulder. "Dad, you will learn again. Look how far you've come this year. I won't let you stop learning until you can read all your own books again." He raised his head and smiled at her. His dark eyes mirrored hers, complete with the tears. He wiped his face with a handkerchief, and got up, slowly and painfully. He held his hand out to his daughter, and they carefully picked their way around the other tables to the checkout counter. He held a Beginning Reader's book in his hand.

I checked out behind them, and as I walked out, I saw the father pointing at various trees, cars, and even a rabbit who came scuttling by. He named them all for his daughter, and she was laughing and hugging him around the waist.

I drove off, with tears in my own eyes. Teacher in reverse: daughter teaching father, and in the same loving, patient way the father had once taught the daughter.

How wonderful. How remarkable. A reversal in life that could have been tragic, but instead, courage, patience, and love was all wrapped up in one beautiful, fourteen year old package.

Reversals in life. What remarkable thing have you seen lately?

Think about it.

Until next time,
That's a wrap.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Truth in Imagination

I write for kids, aged 10 to about 16 or 17. Some of my short stories and books are for Middle Grade kids, and some are for teens. I was recently asked if, while I was teaching, I got a lot of ideas for these stories from the kids themselves. Hmm. Well, no, not really. Other than a couple of years working with sexually and physically abused children, I taught at the university level, so my students were juniors, seniors, and grad students. Yeah, there were a lot of stories there, but not exactly the kind you'd want kids in middle school to read about!

I've always wanted to create a world of imagination for kids, but one in which they could find some measure of truth, something that would ring true just for them. I want to write stories that spark the child's imagination, but also those in which the child can find a Truth. A truth about friendships, relationships, family life, the environment, nature, or maybe nothing more than a truth about this specific child and his or her  life.

Let's look at this a different way: when you were reading a story as a kid, and it really interested and excited you, didn't you get lost in that story? Didn't you, even for a short while, imagine yourself as the hero or heroine? Did any of those stories ever make you realize something about real life? If so, isn't that a kind of "truth in imagination?"

Several years ago, I published a short story about a young boy who, after his parents' divorce, had to go live with his father on a horse ranch. The boy hated it. He hated the horses because he was afraid of them. One night during a bad storm, the father had to go into town to get a vet for a newborn foal. He told his son that he was counting on him to get out to the pasture and keep the foal alive until he could get back with the vet. What would the boy do? Would he stay in the house, frightened of both the storm and the mare and her foal, or would he make himself go out to the pasture and take care of the foal? To a young boy reading this story, wouldn't he put himself in the character's place, and wonder what HE would do in the same situation? Would he go outside into the storm and brave an upset mare and her foal? If he did, how would he try to keep the foal alive until Dad got back? And if he simply was too scared to go outside at all, how would he feel about betraying the trust his father had put in him? How would he feel if the foal actually died before the vet could get there? The boy reads on. He finds out what the boy character did, and then he asks himself, "Is this what I would have done?"

The story sparks the imagination. It does more than that. It leaves a measure of truth in the reader's mind for him to figure out for himself. Is that young boy learning something from this story? Is he learning, or at least, thinking about what can happen in real life, and how that might affect him? I never intend to "teach" in the pedantic sense of that word, but I always hope I put a grain of truth into an imaginative story, and that the reader will pick up on it.

Truth in Imagination is just a concept, but in every story I've ever written, and in the three books I've had published, I have always tried to instill that concept and keep it alive and well. What about you? Have you thought about what you write, and how it will affect the child or adult you write for? Even if you have never thought of "truth in imagination" in so many words, don't you put into the imagination that makes up your stories just a little bit of truth somewhere?

Think about it.

Until next time,
That's a wrap.