John’s Believe It Or Not… April 29th

Happy Saturday! Did you know…

* 1429 Joan of Arc relieves Orleans. (During the Hundred Years’ War, the 17-year-old French peasant Joan of Arc leads a French force in relieving the city of Orleans, besieged by the English since October. At the age of 16, “voices” of Christian saints told Joan to aid Charles, the French dauphin, in gaining the French throne and expelling the English from France. Convinced of the validity of her divine mission, Charles furnished Joan with a small force of troops. She led her troops to Orleans, and on April 29, as a French sortie distracted the English troops on the west side of the city, Joan entered unopposed by its eastern gate. Bringing needed supplies and troops into the besieged city, she also inspired the French to a passionate resistance and through the next week led the charge during a number of skirmishes and battles. On one occasion, she was even hit by an arrow, but after dressing her wounds she returned to the battle. On May 8, the siege of Orleans was broken, and the English retreated.) Continue reading “John’s Believe It Or Not… April 29th”


John’s Believe It Or Not… April 28th

We Made It – It’s Friday! Did you know…

* 1891 – Shipping – RMS Empress of India in Vancouver. (She is the first of the Canadian Pacific Steamships “Empress” liners to arrive at Vancouver Harbour, via the Suez Canal and Hong Kong; carries 486 passengers and a cargo of tea and silk. RMS Empress of Japan will arrive on June 2, followed by RMS Empress of China; Canadian Pacific Steamships had signed a contract for subsidized mail service between Britain and Hong Kong via Canada. Vancouver, BC) Continue reading “John’s Believe It Or Not… April 28th”

How to Correctly Punctuate Dialogue for Novels

Punctuation rules for dialog? Here’s a primer provided by author S. Katherine Anthony that is solid and rife with helpful examples! Please, read on!

Writers After Dark

Writing dialogue is messy. Am I right?

It has so many rules, it makes me wish I’d gone with my original plan in life. I’d intended to become an all-in-one supermodel-psychologist/part-time medical researcher. What? I thought I wanted to save people, discover things, and change the world wearing a tiara and killer heels. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized I just wanted to sit on my couch drinking coffee and writing all day while wearing no pants.

Plus, apparently my status as a supermodel got cut short (no pun intended) by my lack of height. And love of cake. Also, had I continued studying psychology, I’d have been forced to stop listening to the voices in my head . . . and that was SO not cool. The thing was . . . I didn’t know how to properly punctuate any of my internal…

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7 Tips for Writing a Book Blurb

Frustrated writing book blurbs? Join the club! S. Katherine Anthony gifts us with some solid advice and an illustrated example. Please, read on…

Writers After Dark

7-tips-to-write-book-blurbI’m here to help stop the madness. You know the one. The insanity that accompanies the “fun” of writing a book blurb. Attacking is more like it . . . I could stab it upside the head if it had one. But alas. Don’t let my bitterness get to you. In fact, use it to rise above me . . . with my own help, ironically. So let’s just get straight to it:

What on earth is a book blurb and why do you need one?

A book blurb is an important tool in convincing your readers to buy your book. Essentially, it’s a sales pitch. And you want it to be KILLER.

A reader will browse the shelves (or Kindle), and will find themselves intrigued by that amazing book cover of yours. Yay! You caught their attention. But you need more than that. You need to make…

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Bunbury village is three villages nowhere near where everyone says it is

Ian Hutson takes us for a delightful romp through the English countryside to find not one, not two, but three Bunbury’s! I kid you not! Don’t believe it? Please, read on…

The Diesel-Electric Elephant Company.

…and all three of them are millions of miles away from the Shropshire Union canal.

There’s the posh bit, the bit that looks as though it was the original old settlement and then there’s the useful but not so posh bit full of ticky-tacky boxes dating from the time when humans stopped building homes and instead began to arrange bricks in the most profitable, minimal-footprint efficiency and to Hell with the fluffy details.

To arrive anywhere useful when beginning one’s travels from the canal – such as a shop selling comestibles – one must first run the pedestrian gauntlet of a narrow, rural two-lane motorway. Actually it’s a road, but the past two generations of humans, those who have never walked any greater distance than to the refrigerator, all regard this lane as “de-restricted” and to be tackled with F1 Qualifying fervour. Sadly, all of them have talents more suited…

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John’s Believe It Or Not… April 27th

It’s Thursday Already! Did you know…

* 1967 – Prime Minister Lester Pearson officially opens l’Exposition Universelle de Montréal – Expo ’67. (Expo 67, the “Universal and International Exhibition,” was the highlight of Canada’s Centennial celebrations in 1967. Senator Mark Drouin of Québec first developed the idea of a world exhibition in Montréal to serve as a focal point for Canada’s celebrations of its 100th birthday. Senator Drouin and Senator Sarto Fournier, former mayor of Montréal, first presented the idea to the Bureau International des Expositions in Paris, but that body initially decided that the 1967 world exhibition should be held in Moscow. In late 1962, however, the USSR canceled its plans and Montréal’s mayor, Jean Drapeau, made a fresh presentation to the BIE and the exhibition was awarded to Canada. That Expo 67 was sanctioned by the BIE virtually assured participation by a majority of the countries of the world. What is more, the BIE designated it as an exhibition of the “first category,” the first to be held in North America. The most important aspect of this “first category” classification is that the exposition must cover the full range of activities of contemporary man.) Continue reading “John’s Believe It Or Not… April 27th”