Posts by webmasterDHP

“I just saw my reflection blink.”

Posted by on Sep 13, 2019 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

The author of this sentence has the idea of a short story down to an artform. I’m uncertain of the origin of this six-word short story. However, it packs quite a punch. In six words, the author, which was a winner of one many six-word story contests, gives us an entire story. In six words, the author introduced us to an entire world. We know, from six words, that the protagonist is probably scared out of his or her mind. We can infer that in the world this person lives in, whether it’s our own or another like it, reflections don’t blink. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be worth mentioning. So, what’s my point? My point is that we often use too many words when we can use a few. Notice, I didn’t say writers always use too many words. Some people don’t flesh out their stories, and others don’t add enough description in the same number of words. In either case, being succinct and deliberate in your prose will only make it better. The six-word story isn’t a new concept: Many authors in the past have written a story using as few words as they can. Ernest Hemingway wrote one that stated: “For sale: Baby shoes. Never worn.” Margaret Atwood talked about relationships in hers, and while Dorothy Parker couldn’t be bothered to follow trends, she had a seven-word one-liner: “Men never make passes at women with glasses.” So, why not try it? In the comments below, give me your best six-word...

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Yes, I’m still here.

Posted by on Jun 26, 2019 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

I’ve probably started and stopped more than thirty blogs in the past three years. I’ve tried keeping everything the same and doing what I’ve always done and realized I can’t. Let me start four years ago: four years ago, I had five editors, an admin, a busy publishing schedule, and a full-time job. Then, my world fell apart. My confidant, mentor, biggest encourager, and an absolutely incredible woman, died horribly. It was devastating, a loss I couldn’t imagine and one I wouldn’t wish on anyone. At the time, I didn’t think there was anything I couldn’t handle. I knew what I would do in the event I was too sick to continue, in the event I died, etc. I didn’t know how to handle this. It hurt to breathe. I couldn’t think, couldn’t focus. And we weren’t done. Three weeks later, I was told I have a chronic condition that will not only never go away, but is also exacerbated by stress (yay). And the hits kept on coming. It seemed as soon as I started recovering from one thing, something else would happen. I soon found myself facing another surgery, losing my editors, going through admin after admin, and generally trying to survive. Instead of focusing on my business, I now had so many more pressing needs to focus on and all of my backup plans I had going up in smoke. So, what does this mean for the business? I realized I had to make some significant changes if I wanted to continue. Stopping is not an option, never has been, so I will continue. Luckily, I have incredible support and help from my friends and the people I love. I’m reorganizing, so pardon the dust and look for more in the...

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John Steinbeck

Posted by on Jun 12, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

So I almost misquoted one of my favorite authors in writing this blog post. I know I haven’t written one in a long time, and for that, all I can say is that sometimes life gets in the way. Now, if you haven’t figured out who the author I almost misquoted is by the title, I can’t really help there, but I can say that John Steinbeck is one of my favorite authors for several reasons, and not one of them is because he was required reading in high school. There were other authors I couldn’t stand who were from the same era, and my English teachers (some of them) would be completely shocked if they knew how much I hated reading the works of authors like Hemingway (gasp!). Back to Steinbeck: his fiction was short, his prose simplistic, but his words packed a punch. His descriptions created pictures in the readers’ minds that were both vivid and real. I remember the first story of his that we were required to read, The Pearl. I loved it. The book opens with the main characters getting up to do their typical work on a typical day. From the setting, the actions the characters take, etc., we know all we need to know about them. He sets up foreshadowing in the first chapter as well, then punches us with a parent’s worst fear: their child being deathly ill and not having the resources (money, medicine, etc.) to help. The story takes the reader through a roller coaster of emotion, all the way to the end. Whether he was making a social commentary with his stories, or just writing his stories to entertain, there is always a takeaway. Speaking of takeaways, there was supposed to be a lesson in this story too, but it turns out (as many stories do), to be something completely different than what I originally intended. So, if you want a lesson from this article, there are a few: first, make sure you do your research, even if you believe that you are correct; second, your writing doesn’t have to be long in order to be effective; and third, if you haven’t read anything by Steinbeck, I’d highly recommend reading his works to understand what I’m talking...

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Nuclear Power Plants

Posted by on Oct 28, 2016 in Tales of the Weird | 0 comments

Recently, the thriller, The Defect was published by Deer Hawk, and I now know more than I probably wanted to know about nuclear power plants. Previously, my knowledge of them was that there were some still in existence, and that, while the incidence of issues with a nuclear power plant are very low, they can cause great havoc when something goes wrong (Japan, Three Mile Island, Chernobyl) but in my daily life, I never actually thought about them…until I edited the book. Here are a few things I’ve learned: I learned about the inner workings of a nuclear power plant, and how one is decommissioned. There are 60 nuclear power plants in the U.S. Many are near large cities (for good reason, they need more power than suburban areas). There have been fifty-seven nuclear incidents since Chernobyl and most of them have been in the U.S. Chernobyl was the only nuclear accident in history to cause deaths. People think that with homeland security, a terrorist attack couldn’t happen on U.S. soil, but something happened in 2013 at one of the power plants in Tennessee where two shots were fired and the assailant got away. The area around Chernobyl is still unlivable. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go hide in a corner and rock back and forth. *****Correction: there have been two nuclear accidents that have cost people’s lives. One was in the United States, but the incident didn’t kill anyone with radiation, steam was the killer...

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Oh the Things You Can Learn

Posted by on Apr 15, 2016 in Weirder than Fiction, Writing | 0 comments

I love what I do. I don’t think I’d keep going if I didn’t, no matter how good the pay was. I have gone from working at one job I hated to taking a 2/3 pay cut and working at a job I loved before…actually, I’ve done that on multiple occasions and have never regretted it. However, I love writing, publishing, and editing, no matter how teeth-grindingly frustrating it can be at times, I still love it. One of the reasons I love editing is the fact that I’m constantly learning new things. There are several types of editors in the world: acquisitions editors, proofreaders, line editors, content editors, copy editors, production editors, etc. The list goes on, but I’m not talking about which editor you should choose, there are several blogs about that. Instead, I’m going to talk about bees. Yes, you read that right, and no, I’m not going to talk about how hard bees work, even though reading about them exhausted me because of all they do. Bees are particularly fascinating creatures. I’ve been fascinated with them since I had to do a report on them in third grade, but being a content editor for a book, I learned so much more about them than I previously knew. As a content editor, I have to verify facts, and I’ve learned some awesome things because of it.  I learned that the colors of the Aurora Borealis are dependent on the gases in the atmosphere, and that there are both northern and southern lights. But, back to bees. I thought I knew a lot about bees. After all, I’ve read a lot about them, but when I read the interview that Stephen Doster did in Georgia Witness with Thomas Dennard, I learned just how much I didn’t know about them. I learned that certain flowers only open for one day, and that bees will fly miles to get nectar. I also learned that bees use their bodies to control the temperature of the hives. I was hooked. How brilliant is that? A hive’s average temperature is 94 degrees and in order to keep it at that temperature, bees will fan their wings in the summertime to cool the hive down, and in the colder months, they will band together and vibrate, creating heat and keeping the hive at around 94 degrees even in cold weather. So, why am I talking about something completely off the topic of writing? What’s the take away from this? Read! It doesn’t’ matter whether the book is fiction or nonfiction. It doesn’t matter if you’re reading romance or horror. There’s something to be learned from every book, even if it’s what not to...

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