Readfulthings Writing Execise: Random Letter Fun

Ionia over at Readfulthings has put up an interesting writing exercise.  It’s quick and fun.  Here are the rules:

Write 9 random alphabet letters in your journal or onscreen. Then use those letters, in the random order you wrote them, to build a sentence, the first letter of each word matching the letters you chose.


Peter Did Just Eat Quick Climbing Ivy Last Thanksgiving

(Have fun and forget your pride.)

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The Culinary Experiment: Penne with Homemade Vodka Sauce Pizza

I don’t usually post things about what I’m eating.  So, why am I doing this?  Well, it’s because it’s more of a cooking post.  One of the first dishes I was taught to make by my friend Kevin was Penne with Homemade Vodka Sauce.  It’s my go-to dish when I want to impress even though I never really tried anything unique with it.  Mostly because I couldn’t figure out what to do beyond a lasagna and that already took a long time to cook.  So, what comes about?

Penne with Homemade Vodka Sauce Pizza!

Here’s the pics:

The Sauce!  (Old picture, but same thing)

The Sauce! (Old picture, but same thing)

Mixed with Penne (Old pic again.  Now for the new ones!)

Mixed with Penne (Old pic again. Now for the new ones!)

Everything ready to be combined!

Everything ready to be combined!

Waiting for the Oven to Preheat

Waiting for the Oven to Preheat

Done, Hot, and Ready!

Done, Hot, and Ready!

Messy, but Yummy (One Slice Eaten by Guinea Pig . . . Me.)

Messy, but Yummy (One Slice Eaten by Guinea Pig . . . Me.)

There you have it.  Now back to editing and not thinking about how I still 3/4 of that container of Penne with Vodka Sauce left.  I sense a lot of pasta lunches in my future.

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Silent/Limited Vocabulary Hero

Link from Legend of Zelda

Link from Legend of Zelda

Last week I did some poetry about various hero types that connected to Superman and still had a few more heroes that came to mind.  They didn’t fit into his history, so I’m going to discuss them over the course of this week.  Mostly in list form on how you can use them and what to be cautious of.

Today I’m talking about the silent or limited vocabulary hero.  Any character that doesn’t talk for one reason or another will be a challenge.  How do they communicate, especially in a medium where dialogue is the easiest way to show thoughts?  You can have the reader constantly reading their thoughts, but how does that translate to the other characters?  If the character has limited vocabulary then you have a little more leeway, but there is still a challenge.  This might be why you don’t seem characters like Link and Groot in word-only mediums.

So, what can you do to use this kind of hero?

  1. Body language is an important part of this character.  Facial expressions like scowling, smiling, and frowning can denote emotions.  For limited vocabulary, you can denote a tone of voice.  Physical actions shouldn’t be overlooked, so have characters cross their arms, pace, and do whatever you think a person would do under certain emotional states.  A nervous tic can help here too.
  2. Another character can be their voice like Rocket with Groot in ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’.  The translator can take one of two paths.  The first is to openly translate and repeat with the silent/limited character says.  This can be annoying and repetitive as well as confusing.  A cleaner, but more difficult, method is to have the translator talk to their friend in response to a statement with occasional repetition.  For example, the silent character gives a look and the translator goes ‘I thought you were supposed to check her for weapons!’  The interactions with other characters can be a wealth of connection to the reader.
  3. Sign language can be used if you have a system or know ASL.  Writing is another communication technique, but it can’t be done in an emergency.  You can also get away with simple gestures and hand signals.
  4. DO NOT think that a character that doesn’t talk isn’t listening.  I’ve read a few stories where a mute character is portrayed as never understanding what is going on even though they’re not deaf or blind.
  5. Give a reason for the silence or limited vocabulary of a character.  Oath of silence, magical curse, injury, etc.  Some characters can get away with this in some mediums like Link in Legend of Zelda.  A hero that needs only be a surrogate for the reader/player and be talked to is acceptable to a point.  An example of a reason can be the following: I played a martial artist in a role-playing game who made an oath of silence until he rescued his fiancee.  He had psychic powers, so he would communicate occasionally with telepathy and most times it was with his best friend.  You know, I should think about reviving this guy, but I don’t remember his name.

So, can anyone think of any other tips for a silent or limited vocabulary character?  Any favorites of yours that falls into this category?

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Two Read Tuesday Opportunities for Readers and Authors

Charles Yallowitz:

Attention all readers and writers!

Originally posted on ReadTuesday:


In an effort to promote reading, we will create one post on Tuesdays (not necessarily every Tuesday) from now until the big event on Tuesday, December 9, featuring selected promotions that help to inspire interest in reading.

We will feature:

  • books with special, short-term promotional pricing
  • new releases available for pre-order

Each book featured must:

  • inspire interest in reading
  • be relevant to teens, tweens, or children
  • have content that is parent-approved

(Not what you’re looking for? Scroll down below for the second opportunity, which includes books for adults as well as younger audiences.)

Novels are okay, as long as they are suitable for teens or younger audiences.

This promotion is designed to help parents who are looking for material that may inspire their kids to read.

This promotion is also good for authors who write books that they hope will inspire kids to read.


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Silence: Yeah, That’s Not Going to Happen

I think I’m starting to get into some type of groove here.  Get the son ready for school and then on the bus.  Finish morning email if I haven’t done it already.  Bike, shower, eat breakfast, and then off to writing/editing.  Stop when the son gets home, which leads to homework, prepping lunch for next day, playtime, dinner, shower time, and maybe a little computer work if he wants to watch his movie.  I don’t feel like I have more time than previous systems, but I think I do.  Might be because of the project I’m working on.

This editing is taking FOREVER!  I’m trying to be meticulous, but I’m only doing 20 pages a day.  I think it’s because Prodigy of Rainbow Tower still holds a lot of my experimental writing style remnants.  I’m hoping to finish by Wednesday or maybe earlier, which gives me a day of handling other projects then off to Allure of the Gypsies.  That one shouldn’t be very hard because it was the first to be viewed by an actual editor.  Still, there is something needling me and it might stem from a 3-star review on Beginning of a Hero.

People will say ‘this author needs to edit this book’ when they do a review.  Fair enough and it’s a valid complaint.  Yet, what happens if the author does what the reviewer says and fixes the problems?  That reviewer isn’t going to know unless they read the book again, which is unlikely.  You can’t contact them to let them know because there’s still that strong ‘authors need to be read and not heard’ mentality.  So we do it for the future readers, but you’re still going to have those ‘need editing’ reviews sitting there even after you do the repairs.  Again, this is just a sudden realization I had and I’m still going through with the edits.

To be honest, it’s been a rough review week.  I shouldn’t complain about the 2 or 3 stars, but it does get vexing when you really want to ask the person a question.  This is the situation that drove me nuts in college.  The class would read and review your work while you sat there silently.  If they went in a strange tangent by delving too far into your work then you couldn’t do anything about it.  It’s like you had to pay attention and take notes even though you were internally screaming the explanation to their questions.  I used excerpts of larger works in these things, which just made it extra aggravating.  As you can guess, I hated these exercises because I was more interested in a discussion that didn’t imitate the sibling game of ‘you don’t exist’.

Sounds like I’m irritable . . . I kind of am.  The editing feels like I’m slogging through a swamp in concrete boots.  A few people have thrown the ‘time to get a real job’ line at me this week.  Amazing since I rarely left the house, huh?  There’s also the issue that I have several ideas that I’d love to bounce off people, but nobody has the time.  I’d post them here, but some hold spoilers for a few books.  (Yes, the ending of Legends of Windemere has hit a snag in that the one I had ready for years no longer works.)  Also, I notice that some people think my WIP are ones that will be appearing within the next year or two.  That gets awkward.  Still this leaves me holding the bag with these ideas.

So, what are my goals for the week?

  1. Finish editing Prodigy of Rainbow Tower.
  2. Survive watching the NY Giants second game today.  I might wait for my dad to come home, so we can skip the commercials . . . and the bad stuff.
  3. Do a week or two of October’s posts.  Looking at a week of ‘Son Stories’, one on Monster Sizes and Styles, and one on various parts of a book (Narration, Action, Dialogue, Description, Overuse).  I’ll be doing the Monster Mash game during Halloween week too.  That was a lot of fun and I hope people remember it.
  4. Start editing Allure of the Gypsies.
  5. Continue biking.
  6. Culinary experiment:  Making my homemade Penne with Vodka Sauce tomorrow to let it sit overnight . . . I might eat a little beforehand.  Then Monday I’m going to put some of it on a Borelli’s pizza crust, sprinkling some mozzarella cheese, and try to make a Penne ala Vodka Pizza.  Going to be interesting.
  7. Maybe take a small trip to the mall on my resting day to use the last of the Auntie Anne’s Pretzel coupons.  I would buy ‘Godzilla’ or ‘Winter Soldier’ on DVD, but I’m sure the prices are nuts.  Wow.  I just thought how VHS was never that expensive, which makes me feel ancient.
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Meet Guest Author John W. Howell

Originally posted on Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog..... An Author Promotions Enterprise!:

Tim BurdickFirst of all thank you Chris for allowing me the opportunity to talk about a subject which I have some familiarity, but not full understanding. I am, of course, referring to me. A basic introduction of who John W. Howell really is needs to start in Detroit Michigan. This is where I was born and yes continued to live there until my first job took me to another part of the state. Being as old as I am now has caused the childhood memories to be a bit fuzzy and I guess the first defining moment of my young life came when I was told my father had gone to heaven. I was ten years old and didn’t have a good idea of where heaven was or how I could visit him there. I soon became aware that what the family was trying to say is I would never see…

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Calling ALL Debut Authors

Originally posted on Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog..... An Author Promotions Enterprise!:

October Banner

I remember my first novel. All the excitement of being published, in ebook and paperback too! Then the letdown – no one knew about me, or this awesome fantasy romance novel that I wrote.

As I have learned, eventually, there are numerous opportunities for promotion and exposure for authors online, like this blog (Chris, our dapper StoryReadingApe) does on a daily basis.

But October is an opportunity for those first published books on The Broomstick. Claim your spot (only 8 available) and introduce the world to your first book.

Send an email to (at) gmail (.) com with OCTOBER DEBUT in the subject line and grab this opportunity to introduce yourself and your book to the world.


You can do a background check on me HERE :) and also find me online at:

Blog (Butterfly on a Broomstick)

 – TwitterPinterest

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