• Linda Ulleseit, author

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Revising a Narrative

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Now that NaNoWriMo is over, a LOT of people are revising the novels they just finished writing. Revising is a difficult skill to teach. I’ve told students that revising is changing the words to make it better. That helps them understand, but it really doesn’t tell them what to do.

I’ve heard of teachers who tell students to write down the first word of every paragraph looking for too many repetitions, or to count the words in each sentence to make sure there are both long and short sentences. Nothing kills a joy of writing faster than these drills.

The reality is that most writers have a hard time looking at their writing objectively. It’s very clear in your head, so why isn’t the reader getting it? Or you write a scene you love that doesn’t further the story. It hurts to cut them out. What all writers need is an honest voice to give them feedback. In the classroom, I use the students’ peers to do this. They read each other’s stories and tell the author what works as well as what doesn’t. They’ve all written their own novels, so they have a good feel for missing description or unclear dialogue. Notes the reader makes on the story are very helpful to the author.

It’s also important for the author to distance themselves from the novel for awhile. Wait until the pressure of finishing and the euphoria of completion have faded. You will be in a much better position to revise. I catch myself wondering why in the world I ever thought that chapter was done!

When you are revising, it’s difficult to tell when you are finished. In reality, you are never finished. It can always be made better. It’s your piece, though, so you have to decide when it’s good enough to turn in. With students, I have to train them to raise their personal expectations a bit higher. Otherwise, they would turn it in with zero revisions!

I tell my students that I spent seven years revising and rewriting my first book. If I ask them to revise a story again, I don’t want to hear any complaining!

Conference Aftermath

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Having just finished a week of conferences with the parents of my 32 sixth graders, I am reflective about my students and their achievements. This is nothing new. After 18 years of teaching, you would think I know it all, but I am constantly learning about people: parents and children especially. It’s a validation of my instructional program when parents tell me how much their child enjoys a subject–usually reading or writng–and a personal validation when they tell me how much their child enjoys me. This is not the most important result of a conference, though. A conference should let the student know that their parent and their teacher are working together to support them. This is why I always ask that the student be present at the conference.

A favorite principal of mine once said, “Parents send you their very best child. They don’t keep the best ones home in the closet.” This is never more evident than at parent conference. Mom or Dad, or both, sit there beaming with pride in whatever their child has accomplished: honor roll, bringing up a grade in a tough subject, getting all ‘outstandings’ for class behavior. In a class of 32 children, it’s a reminder to the teacher not to let any of them slip into a crack. Despite time constraints, each and every one of them deserve my full attention.

For the parents, the sixth grade conference is the seventh one they’ve encountered. Anything the teacher can tell them about behavior or achievement they’ve already heard. Whether your child is a straight A student, has trouble turning work in, chats all day, or never says a word, the parent is aware. They’ve heard suggestions from teachers before and implemented what they can. My focus in this conference is on the student.

This is the first conference my students have attended. They are nervous and curious. I tell them they are as much a part of their educational team as their parent and I am (see my post Parent Conference Tips). For many, it’s the first time they’ve heard a teacher compliment them. (I always find something to compliment them about.) For the past six years, parents have come home from conference and told them, “You’re doing well” or “You need to improve.” Now they hear the actual words from the teacher’s mouth. It’s powerful.

From the parent I learn what strategies have been tried and the level of their frustration or satisfaction. From the students I learn what day-to-day obstacles they face, from who they’re sitting with to confusion over assignment guidelines. Most of them confess, or are outed by their parents, that they are shy about approaching me with questions. One on one for the first time, I can bond with them in a way that encourages them to come forward.

In class after conferences, that bond continues. I get raised eyebrows from a student that clearly say to me, “See? I told you about this guy.” I have more shy ones coming to me with questions. I am able to control behavior with one look that says, “We talked about this.”

Your children may not believe you when you tell them what the teacher said at a conference. When they talk to the teacher directly, they learn I’m approachable and I care. So even though you are hearing the same thing over and over again, please try to include your student in the conference. As I said before, it’s powerful.

 

Blogger Book Fair: Day 5

Welcome to the Blogger Book Fair! For the next five days I will be posting books for you to check out and giveaways for you to enter. Enjoy!

Today I’m featuring author GARRETT ROBINSON

Nightblade

Fantasy | New Adudltbook

Everyone begins their life dreaming of the great person they could become, only to have those hopes battered and broken by the world around them. The world tells them they’re not special. Family convinces them to abandon their goals for the safe route, the sure route.

Loren has been born to cruel parents and raised in an obscure village. She’s long resigned herself to an unremarkable life under the sway of a father who beats her and a mother who sees her only as means to a dowry. Loren’s dreams have almost burnt out—until fate rekindles their spark into a flame that will consume the world.

SOMETIMES ALL WE NEED IS A PUSH.

When Loren meets the fugitive wizard Xain, she dares to hope again. Escaping her village, she finds the nine kingdoms more complicated and dangerous than she could have imagined. But at long last, she’s ready to face the challenge or die in the attempt.

Loren has reclaimed her dreams—this time for good. Armed with only her wit and her courage, she will do anything to become the woman she’s always wanted to be: Nightblade, the most renowned thief in all the land.

Buy Links:

Only $.99!

Amazon | Other Formats

 

Nightblade Special Offer

From November 10th through November 14th, you can pick up Nightblade, the first book of the Nightblade Volumes, for only $0.99 on Kindle! What’s more — if you finish and review Nightblade, I’ll send you a FREE ebook copy of Mystic, the second book in the series! Just fill out the form at http://garrettbrobinson.com/free-mystic.

99 cents and a review — two books. It doesn’t get much better than that.

Interesting Information about Nightblade

The Nightblade Volumes are a WEEKLY serial — I publish a new 10,000 word episode every Friday at 12:00pm PST. Every eight episodes compose one book, which is published as a complete work in ebook and paperback.

Nightblade is the first book in the series. The second book is Mystic. Those who like Nightblade, and want to keep reading, can go review it on Amazon. If they fill out the form at http://garrettbrobinson.com/free-mystic, I’ll send them an ebook copy of Mystic for FREE.

Readers can also subscribe to the series. For ebook enthusiasts, this is THE CHEAPEST way to read! Pay $2.99 a month, and I’ll send you an episode every week — TWO WEEKS before it’s published to Amazon! It’s cheaper than buying the episodes individually, and it’s even cheaper than buying the volumes!

You can check that out at http://garrettbrobinson.com/nb-sub

authorAuthor Bio:

Garrett Robinson was born in Los Angeles, California. Throughout his childhood and into adulthood, he was encouraged to learn by his parents, who not only ensured he had access to thousands of books whenever he wanted, but who traveled with him around the world and helped him do so once he was out in the world on his own. Throughout high school, Garrett excelled in creative writing, churning out millions of words and far surpassing all of his classmates.

After school, Garrett discovered a love of, and has had a budding career in the independent film industry. In today’s digital age, however, he has discoverd that new creative models are necessary to succeed. To that end, he has begun turning all of his film ideas into self-published books, in hopes of drumming up support and readership for the stories he has created.

 

Connect:

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Official BBF Giveaways

$50 Amazon Gift Card
a Rafflecopter giveaway

$30 Amazon Gift Card

a Rafflecopter giveaway

$20 Amazon Gift Card
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

 

Blogger Book Fair: Day 4

Welcome to the Blogger Book Fair! For the next five days I will be posting books for you to check out and giveaways for you to enter. Enjoy!

Today I’m featuring author SAMANTHA LaFANTASIEbook

Made to Forget (Nepherium Novella Series – Part One)

Science Fiction | New Adult

There’s something that lies within my memory. Hidden in the dark. Something that can kill me and those that I love. But I was in an accident, covered in mystery and deception. And my memory…was lost. There are those who want me to remember. I don’t trust them. And those I do trust…are fighting for me to forget.

Elsabetha Ellery wants to get her memory back, even if it kills her.

After waking up in a hospital with no memory, Elsabetha quickly learns those who claim to be her friend are anything but. And those who are her true friends keep themselves unseen.

Stuck with piecing together her broken memories alone, Elsa struggles with having faith in those she trusts and heeding the warnings of the dangers in recovering her memory. Ignoring them, she faces heavy consequences. Ones she doesn’t see until it’s too late, and a life is lost.

Buy Links:

Only $.99!

Amazon | Other Formats

 

samAuthor Bio:

A Kansas native, Samantha LaFantasie spends her free time with her spouse and three kids. Writing has always been a passion of hers, forgoing all other desires to devote to this one obsession, even though she often finds herself arguing with her characters through much of the process. She’s primarily a fantasy writer but often feels pulled to genres such as sci-fi, romance, and others.

Samantha became a bestselling author with the Pandora Boxed Set (which includes Made to Forget: Nepherium Novella series–Part One) on both Amazon and USA Today.

Samantha loves to take time to enjoy other activities such as photography and playing her favorite game of all time, Guild Wars 2.

Connect:

Website | Twitter | Facebook

 

Official BBF Giveaways:

$50 Amazon Gift Card
a Rafflecopter giveaway

$30 Amazon Gift Card

a Rafflecopter giveaway
 

$20 Amazon Gift Card
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blogger Book Fair: Day 3

Induction Day (Book 2 in Butterman Travel series)

Science Fiction | New Adult

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The year 2069 is coming to a close, and eighteen-year-old Bianca Butterman’s time-craft license is finally official. She’s ready for the Induction Day she’s waited for since she was a kid—the one that will secure her name on the Butterman family tree of time travelers. But ever since the media discovered Bianca is pop superstar Tristan Helms’ latest new honey, everything Bianca does or says becomes a target of criticism. Having her professional credibility topping the gossip sites across social media is an open invitation for the government to step in and regulate Bianca’s Induction. Now she will have to ask herself if saving 1500 people from drowning is worth losing everything she’s ever worked for, including the Butterman family biz.

Welcome to Butterman Travel, Incorporated; a full service agency designed to meet all your exclusive time travel needs. We’re a family owned and operated business with one hundred years of experience. A place where you can rest assured, safety and reliability always come first.

Anxious to attend some special event from the past? Or for a glimpse of what the future holds?

You’ve come to the right place. We’re a fully accredited operation, offering an array of services; including, but not limited to: customized travel plans, professionally piloted operations, and personal trip guides. *Terms and conditions do apply

Use our Web conferencing to contact our frontline reservation specialist, Bianca Butterman, who will handle all your inquiries in a professional and efficient manner, offering a tentative itinerary and free fare quote, so you can make the most of your time trip.

We look forward to serving you at Butterman Travel, Inc., where time is always in your hands.

Buy Links:

Amazon | Other Formats

 

 

photoAuthor Bio:

PK Hrezo is a native Floridian who is rarely found without her flip flops on. She shares her home with her firefighter husband, two kids, and big dog named Ripley. When not creating characters and their worlds, PK can be found at her other job of rearranging passenger’s itineraries for a major international airline. The only hobbies she loves more than traveling, are reading, writing, and music, and when the four are combined she exists in total bliss. Join her email list for newest releases and exclusive offers: http://eepurl.com/O0s5b

Connect:

Website | Twitter | Facebook

 

Official BBF Giveaways

 

$50 Amazon Gift Card
a Rafflecopter giveaway

$30 Amazon Gift Card

a Rafflecopter giveaway
 

$20 Amazon Gift Card
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Blogger Book Fair: Day 2

Welcome to the Blogger Book Fair! For the next five days I will be posting books for you to check out and giveaways for you to enter. Enjoy!

MIRIYA

Today I’m featuring author JADE KERRION

Miriya

Science Fiction | New Adult

Destinies collide…

Thirty years into the First Genetic Revolution, society’s tolerance for human derivatives is wearing thin. Clones and in vitros are regarded with suspicion, and mutants with resentment. Yet in spite of the hostile environment, some alpha telepaths—like Miriya Templeton—have thrived.

Her luck is running out.

Destiny has set her life on a collision course with Danyael Sabre, the alpha empath who can kill with a touch. Whether he becomes friend or foe, whether he and she live or die, will depend on the choices she makes. On her de

cisions hang the outcomes of the Second Genetic Revolution. Miriya, however, does not believe in destiny, nor want any part of the revolution. It is up to the enforcer, Jake Hansen, to convince her otherwise, and he is running out of time.

Miriya is a FREE prelude novella to the Double Helix series which has won 8 awards to date. It also includes a link for a FREE download of Perfection Unleashed. You have nothing to lose by checking it out, so I hope you’ll grab your copy today.

Buy Links:

FREE!

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Miriya Excerpt

Thirty years into the First Genetic Revolution, society’s tolerance for human derivatives is wearing thin. Clones and in vitros are regarded with suspicion, and mutants with resentment. Yet in spite of the hostile environment, some alpha telepaths—like Miriya Templeton—have thrived. Her luck is running out.

Destiny has set her life on a collision course with Danyael Sabre, the alpha empath who can kill with a touch. Whether he becomes friend or foe, whether he and she live or die, will depend on the choices she makes. On her decisions hang the outcomes of the Second Genetic Revolution.

Miriya, however, does not believe in destiny, nor want any part of the revolution. It is up to the enforcer, Jake Hansen, to convince her otherwise, and he is running out of time.

 

Author Bio:

JADE KERRION is the author of the Double Helix series, which has won a total of eight science fiction awards, including the Gold Medal in Readers Favorites 2013. Her Guild Wars fan fiction was accused of keeping her readers up at night, distracting them from work, housework, homework, and (far worse), from actually playing Guild Wars. And then she wondered why just screw up the time management skills of gamers? Why not aspire to screw everyone else up too? So here she is, writing science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance novels that aspire to keep you from doing anything else useful with your time.

 

Connect:

Website | Twitter | Facebook

 

Official BBF Giveaways

$50 Amazon Gift Card
a Rafflecopter giveaway

  $30 Amazon Gift Card

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

$20 Amazon Gift CarD
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blogger Book Fair: Day 1

Welcome to the Blogger Book Fair! For the next five days I will be posting books for you to check out and giveaways for you to enter. Enjoy!

Today I’m featuring author J. C. CONWAY

Bingham’s Deep Woods Fairiescover

Fantasy | Middle Grade   Carolyn is on a fairy hunt. She has the book, she has the time, and she knows where to look. But is fairy magic, and its source, something Carolyn is ready to face?

Buy Link:

FREE!

Amazon

 

Silence of the Imbecilessilence-cover

Fantasy | Middle Grade

14-year-old Frankie Turnbull is fascinated with magic wands and he is very good at making them, as the enchanted beings have assured him. But with great power comes terrible consequences, and Frankie must learn to face his. Originally published by Residential Aliens, this story has been described as “very well written, understated and poignant.” While Frankie’s problems seem unusual for a 21st Century small-town kid, there is something universal at the heart of his troubles and his reaction to them.

Buy Links: Only $.99!           Amazon | Smashwords

Author Bio:author

J. C. Conway writes romance, science-fiction, and fantasy stories for adults, young adults and middle-grade readers. He is a long-standing member of Romance Writers of America, Yosemite Romance Writers, the World Science Fiction Society, and Mystery Writers of America. He is also a complex-litigation attorney, a former high-school math and computer science teacher, a family man, and a fan of great fiction that stretches the imagination, probes the depths of the human condition or otherwise illuminates the unknown or the misunderstood. J. C. Conway’s passion for writing began early. He loved grade school assignments that allowed him to write about whatever he wanted, which generally meant at the time, in no particular order, dinosaurs, robots, giant insects, mass destruction, army heroes and alien invaders. Since then he’s added romance, tense personal conflict and emotional dilemmas.

His debut novel, Hearts in Ruin, a contemporary romance about two archaeologists on the verge of a groundbreaking discovery, was released by Liquid Silver Books May 5, 2014. His short stories have appeared in Tales of the Talisman, Mystic Signals, Battlespace (a charitable publication, the proceeds of which go to help wounded veterans through the Warrior Cry Music Project) and many other print an online publications. A full listing of his work is available at his website: http://jcconway.com .

Connect:

Website | Twitter | Facebook

 

Official BBF Giveaways

$50 Amazon Gift Card

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

$30 Amazon Gift Card

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 $20 Amazon Gift Card

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Enjoy the books and good luck on the giveaways!

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