Author Archives: solitaireparke

21 – Eye Opening Writing Tips from Well Known Authors

Writing success comes down to hard work, imagination, more hard work, passion – and then more hard work. Even if you are an absolutely fantastic writer who will be remembered for years to come, you will still most likely receive a good amount of criticism, rejection, and possibly ridicule before you get there.  It happens to everyone, no matter whom they are, and should come as no real surprise. These writers, having been through it all, offer us some writing tips without pulling punches.

  • I would advise anyone who aspires to a writing career that before developing his talent he would be wise to develop a thick hide. — Harper Lee
  • A scrupulous writer, in every sentence that he writes, will ask himself at least four questions, thus: What am I trying to say? What words will express it? What image or idiom will make it clearer? Is this image fresh enough to have an effect? And he will probably ask himself two more: Could I put it more shortly? Have I said anything that is avoidably ugly? . George Orwell
  • Find a subject you care about and which you in your heart feel others should care about. It is this genuine caring, and not your games with language, which will be the most compelling and seductive element in your style. ― Kurt Vonnegut
  • In the planning stage of a book, don’t plan the ending. It has to be earned by all that will go before it. — Rose Tremain
  • You don’t start out writing good stuff. You start out writing crap and thinking its good stuff, and then gradually you get better at it. That’s why I say one of the most valuable traits is persistence. — Octavia Butler
  • You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club. ― Jack London
  • Introduce your main characters and themes in the first third of your novel. If you are writing a plot-driven genre novel make sure all your major themes/plot elements are introduced in the first third, which you can call the introduction. Develop your themes and characters in your second third, the development. Resolve your themes, mysteries and so on in the final third, the resolution. — Michael Moorcock
  • Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout with some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one was not driven on by some demon that one can neither resist nor understand. — George Orwell
  • There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are. ― W. Somerset Maugham
  • If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time — or the tools — to write. – Stephen King
  • The nearest I have to a rule is a Post-it on the wall in front of my desk saying ‘Faire et se taire’ (Flaubert), which I translate for myself as ‘Shut up and get on with it.’” — Helen Simpson
  • Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.– Anton Chekhov
  • Remember: when people tell you something’s wrong or doesn’t work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what they think is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong. – Neil Gaiman
  • The main rule of writing is that if you do it with enough assurance and confidence, you’re allowed to do whatever you like. (That may be a rule for life as well as for writing. But it’s definitely true for writing.) So write your story as it needs to be written. Write it honestly, and tell it as best you can. I’m not sure that there are any other rules. Not ones that matter.— Neil Gaiman
  • If writing seems hard, it’s because it is hard. It’s one of the hardest things people do. – William Zinsser
  • Get through a draft as quickly as possible. Hard to know the shape of the thing until you have a draft. Literally, when I wrote the last page of my first draft of Lincoln’s Melancholy I thought, Oh, shit, now I get the shape of this. But I had wasted years, literally years, writing and re-writing the first third to first half. The old writer’s rule applies: Have the courage to write badly. – Joshua Wolf Shenk
  • Substitute ‘damn’ every time you’re inclined to write ‘very;’ your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be. – Mark Twain
  • The first draft of everything is shit. -Ernest Hemingway
  • Start telling the stories that only you can tell, because there’ll always be better writers than you and there’ll always be smarter writers than you. There will always be people who are much better at doing this or doing that — but you are the only you. ― Neil Gaiman
  • You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you. ― Ray Bradbury
  • Don’t take anyone’s writing advice too seriously. – Lev Grossman

Even famous authors on occasion have a tough time, and often go through periods of self-doubt.  So take a lesson from them and never give up.  Don’t put off your writing plans.  There has never been a better time than now to realize your dream of becoming a published author.  Tell your story and let your voice be heard!

Solitaire

www.solitaireparke.com

 

 

 

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One way to Calm the Mind

We all know that life can be a real “challenge” from one day to the next – or more like one minute to the next on occasion.  When we try to fit everything that is important to us, along with the mundane necessities into our daily schedules, it makes for one hectic lifestyle.  It generally leaves our minds frazzled and our bodies in a constant state of stress.  So what do we do to calm down?

Well, in the case of this writer, there are a few things that come to mind.  I am of the creative “ilk”, so I put my thoughts and energies into several things.  The obvious outlet for my creativity is writing.  I am also a musician, (I play guitar – left-handed – check out my website under “About”), and so for many years I wrote songs and played with quite a few bands.  A lot of my songs became poetry, along with many more poems which have been compiled into one of my books called “TAPESTRY.”  Many of my poems have a medieval tone and some are quite classic and epic in nature.

Like novels, poetry can carry you to parts unknown, but may have very different emotional and spiritual effects from person to person.  A poem can allow you to see things from a different perspective, can tell a story, and often has a very tranquil or calming effect.   At the most basic level, poetry is important because it makes us think, it opens us up to wonder and the sometimes astonishing possibilities of language. It is, in its subtle yet powerful way, a discipline for re-engaging with a world we take too much for granted.   So, here are a couple of mine, and if you would like to read more, check out TAPESTRY”.

Tapestry

 

THE TRAVELER

I step upon the path

And strain my eyes to see ahead

I walk to strengthen my resolve

And resolve will make me walk instead

Throughout my life – toward the light

For answers to this strange and tangled thread

I move upon the road

And hasten toward the light I see

I run to manifest my hope

And hope it finds my inner need

Throughout my days – a thousand ways

For answers that are always plaguing me

 

I fly above the highway

And stretch my wings up to the sky

I soar because the dream is real

And real is cause to fantasize

Throughout the years – and all the tears

For answers to this haunting lullaby

 

 EPITAPH

I sit here by the windowsill

And sometimes wonder while I’m still

If life is but a test of will

Or dreamlike with a wisp of smoke

To damn us all, as if it spoke

But now that I have gathered age

I see my life as one more page

Of teaching like a withered sage

To dream upon a younger man

As only one with my age can

And set into this world a passioned rage

For this to go on as before

The young must always yearn for more

Than living stolid, war to war

And hiding from their feelings lost

While living, though their lives are tossed

Onto the sand that marks the ocean’s shore

 

I hope you enjoy – Happy reading,

Solitaire

www.solitaireparke.com

Do you have a favorite poet or poem?

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New Novel on the Horizon

 

It’s about time for another novel, this time Part Two of the Daughter of the Dark Lord Series.  The first book, Daughter of the Dark Lord – Part One – The Burning Sky, has been out for a while now, and is available at a variety of locations – all of which can be reached from my website www.solitaireparke.com.

I am very anxious for you to read the Daughter of the Dark Lord books as they are the prequels to my previously published Dragomeir Series –  a must read for anyone who loves dragons and other wonderful creatures – also available at my website.  I’ve always been intrigued by dragons.  They are magnificent creatures who interact in the most extraordinary ways with their riders and fellow beings, and have characteristics that are remarkably like humans at times.  They’re really quite wonderful, contrary to all the bad press they’ve been given so much of the time.

The second book in the series, Daughter of the Dark Lord – Part Two – The Alberra Project, is almost finished, I am happy to say.  These last few months have been a bit crazy, as life and the consequent stress of other projects seemed to take over from time to time, but I am hard at work on Book Two and it has progressed quite nicely.  So, before long it will move forward into editing mode, there will be a cover reveal, and it should be out before year’s end.
In the meantime, check out my other books at www.solitaireparke.com.

Solitaire

Happy Summer Reading!

 

 

 

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Celebrating the Fourth – Independence Day *************

The Fourth of July—also known as Independence Day or July 4th—has been a federal holiday in the United States since 1941, but the tradition of Independence Day celebrations goes back to the 18th century and the American Revolution. On July 2nd, 1776, the Continental Congress voted in favor of independence, and two days later delegates from the 13 colonies adopted the Declaration of Independence, a historic document drafted by Thomas Jefferson. From 1776 to the present day, July 4th has been celebrated as the birth of American independence, with festivities ranging from fireworks, parades and concerts to more casual family gatherings and barbecues.

In tribute to our country – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6LSarhZpnM

Have a great holiday!

Solitaire

The Dragomeir Series and all other books are now available on ebay!

You can go directly to ebay

or check out my website for all other available locations in various formats.

www.solitaireparke.com

 

 

 

 

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In Honor of Fathers –

Father’s day is just a few days away.  It’s a time of honoring your father and his contributions to your life.  This day is dedicated to all the fathers in the world who have given many sacrifices in bringing up their children and molding them into better people.

Here are some of the famous quotes for special fathers. 

 

  • “A man never stands as tall as when he kneels to help a child.”

 

  • “A father is a fellow who has replaced the currency in his wallet with the snapshots of his kids and family.”

 

  • “It is not flesh and blood, but the heart which makes us fathers and sons.”

 

  • “Father!—to God himself we cannot give a holier name!” – William Wordsworth

 

  • “The imprint of a father remains forever on the life of the child.” – Roy Lessin

 

  • “We never know the love of a parent till we become parents ourselves.” – Henry Ward Beecher

 

  • “My father gave me my dreams. Thanks to him, I could see a future.” – Liza Minnelli

 

  • “The greatest mark of a father is how he treats his children when no one is looking.” – Dan Pearce

 

  • “A father is the one friend upon whom we can always rely. In the hour of need, when all else fails, we remember him upon whose knees we sat when children, and who soothed our sorrows; and even though he may be unable to assist us, his mere presence serves to comfort and strengthen us.” – Émile Gaboriau

 

  • “Good fathers do three things: they provide, they nurture and they guide.” – Roland Warren

 

  • “A good father is one of the most unsung, unpraised, unnoticed and yet one of the most valuable assets in our society.” – Billy Graham

 

  • “Sometimes the poorest man leaves his children the richest inheritance.” – Ruth E. Renkel

 

  •  “One father is more than a hundred schoolmasters.” – George Herbert

 

  • “Real fatherhood means love and commitment and sacrifice and a willingness to share responsibility, and not walking away from one’s children.” – William Bennett

 

  • Fatherhood is a very natural thing; it’s not something that shakes up my life but rather it enriches it.” – Andrea Bocelli

 

To all of you who have been lucky enough to have a wonderful father, or those of you who are working hard at being a great father – HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!!!

 

Solitaire –

www.solitaireparke.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

May We Always Remember . . .

Once again it is Memorial Day, and for many it is a long weekend for camping, parties, lots of sales, and even Memorial Day cruises.  There are many reasons why this day is notable.  But let’s not forget the real reason – the important reason.  It was set aside to remember and honor all those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in the military service of America . . . Those who died fighting to preserve our lives and our freedom.  They won’t be here to celebrate with us because they gave up everything for us.  So amidst our celebrations, let’s pause and take time to remember the thousands of men and women whose lives were cut short so that we could live, and be with those we love to enjoy our freedoms.

God help us to remember the cost of our blessings and to remain worthy of that cost.

 

Solitaire

http://www.solitaireparke.com

The Eternal Amulet of Ele-Amarna

Excerpt from DAUGHTER OF THE DARK LORD – Part One – THE BURNING SKY:

(Cheron – the true specter of death, Ferryman at The River Styx – speaking to Katherine Pendragon, the daughter of the Dark Lord of the Provinces of Hell)

“Your father and his loyal demons cannot cross flowing water, and I speak not of the river of death.  Only through me may you cross the Styx.  These lands are not your prison and there are no conventions which bind your fate, but without an army, your father’s curse will be the end of us all.”

Cheron reached into his robe and pulled out an amulet attached to a golden chain.  Gazing at it for a moment, Cheron’s energy spiked, almost unnoticeably, and then passed.  He handed the piece to Katherine hesitantly, as if he was about to lose something meaningful to him.

“The most precious gift I can give you is this.  The Eternal Amulet of Ele-Amarna.  It will give you control over Bahn Fahr and the Army of the Dead. “

The Amulet of Ele-Amarna was an ancient vial, one and one half inches in length, attached to a solid gold chain, which was eighteen inches in length.  The six gold rings surrounding it, would spin in the manner of a combination lock until they lined up, allowing it to open.  Katherine had no knowledge of what would happen once it opened, but she did know that her energy combined with that of the amulet would call up the Army of the Dead, and their subsequent leader, General Bahn Fahr.  The General resided with his army in the Province of Sheol. This might be the only way to defeat her father.

But the Amulet came with a warning:

“But beware . . . if the Amulet is destroyed once the Army is called, you will unleash dominion over the living by angry legions of those who cannot be stopped or killed.  Be warned, Ariella.  Hold the Amulet and call the Name of Bahn Fahr at the peril of all you hold dear.”

Does Katherine resort to using the Amulet, or does she find another way to to thwart the plans of her malevolent father, the Dark Lord, and his army of demons?  The answers can be found in

DAUGHTER OF THE DARK LORD – Part One – THE BURNING SKY

at my website www.solitaireparke.com, where it can be purchased at numerous locations in a variety of formats.

I look forward to hearing from my readers.  Let me know if you have any questions or comments.

Solitaire

 

DAUGHTER OF THE DARK LORD – Creature Feature – Bubalos

BUBALOS-

An animal that is similar to what we know as a bison or buffalo; they roamed on the Provinces of Hell and were the main food source for dragons, and also on the menu for the citizens.  They were bulky oversized animals, not terribly intelligent and often cranky, but extremely useful.  Large fields were cultivated outside the Palace, and as the bubalos were procured, pens were built for the massive number of creatures.  They migrated twice a year from the more barren lands of the Provinces to the northwestern edge of Hell proper, where they fed on the grasslands produced during that time of year.  The Dark Lord’s daughter, Katherine, even had bubalos brought in to feed the Hell hounds living within the city.  Being such large creatures, they were often bridled and used for transporting supplies from place to place when needed.   The hide from a bubalos could be tanned and used for various articles of clothing or types of baggage.

Read more about life on the Provinces in the following book –

DAUGHTER OF THE DARK LORD – Part One – The Burning Sky

A prequel book to the Dragomeir Series

 Find this book and many more at

www.solitaireparke.com

Solitaire

WHY DO WE LOVE DRAGONS?

Dragons are magical, mythical winged creatures that we find both thrilling and frightening.  Both adults and younger readers seem to find them equally fantastic.   We’d like to believe that they might have once existed, and they are legendary in almost every culture on the planet, so why not?

They have traditionally been viewed as perilous, dangerous creatures with magical qualities that laid waste to the countryside and carried off damsels in distress, thereby having to be sought after and conquered. Some authors have written about them with this view in mind – Tolkien, Ursula K. LeGuin, and J. K. Rowling, to name a few.  The fantasy writer, Anne McCaffrey, explored human kinship with dragons, man and animal befriending one another.  Countless children’s books have now brought these fantastic creatures into the next generation to be both feared and loved.

I have continued with Anne McCaffrey’s affinity of dragon and man in my Dragomeir Series books, and now in the new prequel series, Daughter of the Dark Lord – Part One – The Burning Sky, and the forthcoming Daughter of the Dark Lord – Part Two – The Alberra Project.  (There will definitely be a Part Three!)

Dragons introduce a much needed magic and adrenaline into our lives – the appeal of being unpredictable and potentially dangerous that emulates our challenges, frustrations and achievements in an exhilarating and exceptional way.  Dragons never play by anyone’s rules.

Nowadays, dragons are our constant companions in novels, movies and computer games.  They are the most familiar and respected creatures from fantasy and legend. They can give us an emotional reaction of faithful friendship, as well as the opportunity to fly.  Dragons allow us to feel indestructible and open up our imaginations.  They give us wings.

Solitaire

www.solitaireparke.com

What are your favorite dragons?

6 Ways to Improve Your Writing!

  1.  How often do you use the word “very” in your writing? It is often extremely overused and can make your sentences sound weak.  So check out this site.  It gives you 128 ways to avoid using this word by replacing it with stronger more vibrant ones.

http://writetodone.com/128-words-to-use-instead-of-very/

 

  1. Need some help with your grammar? Take the following quiz and find out how much you know.

http://writetodone.com/grammar-tips-for-writers/

 

  1. Book titles, blog headings, or other articles are sometimes difficult to come by. You might need a little help occasionally.  Here are 7 tools to provide that help.

http://writetodone.com/bestselling-book-titles-2/

  1. Do you love the television show “Game of Thrones” or the books? Here are 5 lessons to be learned from them.

http://www.thecreativepenn.com/2014/04/08/writing-game-of-thrones/

  1. Do you know how to research a novel, and when to stop? This article could be helpful.

http://www.thecreativepenn.com/2017/01/18/research-a-novel/

 

  1. Tips for finding those eye-catching images for your books, articles, or blogs.

http://bookmarketingmaven.typepad.com/book_marketing_maven/2015/02/ultimate-guide-to-finding-images-for-book-promotion.html

Which ones are your favorites?

If these were helpful to you, please pass them on!

Visit me at my website – sp@solitaireparke.com

Solitaire

 

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