A Great Review is a Great Aphrodisiac

shakespeare-and-company

We all know how readers love certain books and certain authors. As an author, I’m no different, with one exception – I love a good review of my own book when it comes rolling in the gate and stops at my feet. My recent release, A Time for Love in Paris, remains my favorite work so far, among all that I’ve written and published. It is a tale of fantasy, love, passion, art and history all rolled up together, with a backdrop of Paris, a city I constantly daydream of living in.

As much as I love my book, it hasn’t received as many reviews as I’d like. Looking back, the past several weeks have disappeared into a haze of building my new business in the wedding industry, and moving to a new home. There’s been little time left over for continued marketing. My blog is growing weeds and spider webs daily. I feel remiss, guilty and at times overwhelmed by all that needs to be done

So when I received news that A Time for Love in Paris received a 5 star review from InD’tale magazine, I admit, I smiled and felt . . . deeply satisfied and overjoyed. Very much so. Now the essence of writing is flowing once again through my veins as I push aside the mounds of papers upon my desk, and begin to look anew at the sequel which was begun months ago. Reviews, when they’re good, serve as an aphrodisiac to a writer’s soul. My deep-rooted desire of penning  another love story is back on the front burner, and the flame is intense.

I’ve included an excerpt of the review below:

“A Time for Love in Paris” is truly in a league of its own! Sumptuous and unforgettable, readers are provided with the perfect escape into the Paris of 1895.

Full the full review, check out the October issue of InD’tale magazine: http://magazine.indtale.com/magazine/2016/october/.

Posted in A Bit of Catch-Up With Kim, Author, Soul Mate Publishing, Time Travel Romance, Writing | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

The Write Word with Wareeze

Scenes and Sequels

Hello again writers and readers. Thanks for taking time from your busy day to visit the SMP blog. I presume all of you are interested in the recently released books, perhaps discovering a new author, as well as the nuts and bolts of writing. I shall be referencing the nuts and bolts of writing in this blog post.

In past blogs, I discussed setting the scene, character building, writing the story forward along with other points of interest. Today, I’d like to examine scenes and sequels. A scene is action while a sequel is a reaction. Although a scene is action, the entirety of a scene must include reaction as well, not so with a sequel. The sample of a scene depicted below contains both:

Darkness and eerie silence trapped Bethany. She couldn’t breathe. Water surrounded her, over her, under her, everywhere. Forcing her eyes open turned the nightmare into harsh, deadly reality. I’m going to die.

Darkness and eerie silence trapped Bethany. That is action within the scene. She couldn’t breathe. This is reaction within the scene.

The entire passage is the scene filled with action/reaction. We’ll discuss sequel further down the page.

Action: Where am I? Why am I in the water? Reaction: She didn’t know how to escape from the clinging, life threatening blackness. Action: Think. Fighting to remain calm, she twisted around in the water until she spied light from the moon filtering through the shadowy depths of the lake. Bethany kicked toward the surface. Struggling to swim, she raised one arm over the other and kicked with all of her might. She swallowed a mouthful of water when her head broke the surface of the lake.

Quickly searching her surroundings, she shivered in the chilled night breeze.  Reaction: Her drenched hair clung to her neck and goose bumps raced along her skin. Action: She glanced around and could detect the shoreline only four or five feet away. Fighting to keep afloat, she struggled toward the bank as best she could. Reaction: Her pulse pounded, and she couldn’t fully catch her breath. Weak and almost helpless, fear overwhelmed her, but she forced herself onward. Nothing made any sense. The murky smell of mud at the edge of the water drew her towards the embankment.

Action: She sputtered and tried to still her cough. Staggering to the edge of where the deep water gave way to a shallow, sandy bottom, she fought to remain upright. Reaction:  Bethany covered her mouth to quiet the sound of her breathing, to listen, to search for the menacing presence of whatever threatened her. Frozen in terror, with the sensation of evil lurking in the shadows, she shivered.

Action: The pounding of hooves on the turf broke the spell, and she gazed toward the shore. The shape of a huge black horse and rider drew closer, coming to an abrupt halt at the edge of the lake.

“What the devil?” Royce swung down and stalked over to the edge of the water. “Come out of there.” 

Reaction: Exhausted and cold to the bone, she couldn’t move. In spite of her efforts, she couldn’t keep her teeth from chattering or say a word. Her wet garments clung to every curve with chilling tenacity, but she hardly noticed. I’m safe. I’m safe. Royce is here. I’m fine now. Safe.

“Bethany.” Royce said in a startled voice.

 

This is only part of a scene from A Lady’s Vanishing Choices, but this passage contains action/reaction both over and over again. Now, on to the sequel in a story. Here is a sample of a sequel. This happened before the scene above, but it led to the scene. Scene/Sequel, Sequel/Scene. One leads to the other. Most sequels sum up the scene of what went before with reaction. Both samples are from A Lady’s Vanishing Choices released by SMP Dec. 2015.

 

Instead of calling one of the stable hands, Royce saddled his horse and mounted up. His stallion’s thundering hoof beats drummed along the trail in a steady rhythm, soothing his soul. Moonlight bathed the path where it snaked in front of his steed, and regardless of his reckless abandon, he could see to guide his horse.

Royce raced against memories and grief. Perry had been in and out of love so many times, he’d lost count. Some had even cost him a bundle of blunt. So why had he insisted Bethany was the one? Why had Perry been so stubborn and heedless? Royce had examined Perry’s motives back then and come to the conclusion Perry had been merely asserting his manhood, pushing back, only to show Royce he could. Royce never dreamed this would be the outcome of his own interference.

Why had he been heel enough to dump all of his guilt and shame at Bethany’s feet? If only. If only he had it to do over again, would he make a different choice? Choose between his brother and Bethany. That thought burned and roiled his emotions with agony, and he spewed out a savage curse.

A thrashing sound in the lake drew his attention away from his never-ending self-accusations. He reined his mount to a halt. Moonlight silvered a drenched figure of a woman struggling at the edge of the shallow water.

 

I hope I made this discussion interesting and informative. When you buy a book, please consider all that goes into writing and have mercy on the author. We are forever learning and hoping to improve our craft.

To learn more about my writing and works in progress, visit my website: www.wareezewoodson.com

Face Book: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Wareeze-Woodson/523727757689755

With appreciation,

Wareeze Woodson

Posted in Soul Mate Publishing | Leave a comment

Heavenly Flash Fiction

I wrote a little flash fiction for you today. It’s personal, about what I imagine it will be like when I meet my son again. He passed away six months ago at the age of thirteen. Since then, I’ve spent a lot of time imagining that moment when we see each other again. Because, like many, many humans, I use that belief that we will be reunited in some form of afterlife to get me through the grief, the rest of this life that will be spent without him.

Eventually, I came up with the below scenario, and I kept playing it over in my mind. Finally, I decided to write it down, and now I’m sharing it with you. I like reading it; it makes me smile. Hopefully, it will give you a smile, too.

***

“Hi Mom.”

“Brady.” I gasp. “You look so grown up. So handsome.” Exactly as I’d imagined he would have turned out, had he lived.

“And you’re beautiful,” he replies.

I scoff. “I’m an old woman.”

“Not here.” He nods at something behind me.

I glance over my shoulder and catch a glimpse of an attractive twenty-something woman in a mirror. Lifting my gaze, I stare into familiar blue-green eyes, although they are no longer surrounded by wrinkles.

“I remember being twenty-five. It was a good year. The year I met your father.”

“He’s here, too,” Brady says. “He’ll be along shortly. He figured you’d want a few minutes alone with me, since it’s been so long.”

I expect my heart to ache, tears to well in my eyes, to spill onto my cheeks, but it isn’t happening. I don’t feel sad at all. I feel buoyant, happy… peaceful. And thrilled to see my son again. I lost him so very long ago.

“How… how have you been?” I ask. I know what I really want to ask, but I am hesitant.

“Good. It’s nice here. You’ll like it. It’s exactly what you want it to be.”

With my son. And my husband, who preceded me here. I’m sure there are other wants I’ll feel, but for the moment, all I want is the two of them.

“Is that why everything’s white, and there isn’t any scenery or background?” I ask. “Because right now, all I can think about is seeing you and your dad again?”

“I think so. Partially. It takes a bit to acclimate, to realize you’re here and you’re never going back. Once you do, different things will come into focus. I spend a lot of time sitting around the fire with Dad and Grandpa and a few relatives I didn’t meet until I got here. Great-Grandpa J. is pretty cool. He and I play a lot of euchre.”

“I haven’t seen Grandpa J. since I was fifteen. He taught me to play euchre.” Again, I expect sadness over the idea of having lost so many years with him, but all I feel is joy. I think I could get used to this.

A colorful firework explodes over our heads. Brady laughs. “That’s Grandpa Pat, I bet. The first thing he wanted to do when he got here was light off a bunch of fireworks with me.”

I smile. “I bet he did.” Independence Day celebrations hadn’t been the same since Brady died, all those years ago.

I sober, although I still feel no negative emotion, which is kind of nice, actually. The sadness and grief has permeated my life for so many years. “Will you… will you tell me why?”

His smile holds a brief moment of sadness, I think, but maybe I’m imagining it because he looks really happy.

“Does it matter now? We’re together again. And everything we do together, it’ll always be happy and good. There’s no bad karma here or bad emotions or whatever. It’s just peaceful and… good. Positive.”

“Even though you were alone here for all these years?”

“I wasn’t alone. Grandpa and Grandma J. greeted me when I arrived. Then Grandpa Z. and Grandma and Grandpa B. Oh, and Major. That was pretty cool, to see my dog again. He doesn’t have arthritis anymore, and he isn’t senile. He runs around with Kaya all day long now. They’re like best friends, even though they never met in that world. I guess it’s because they were both my dogs.” He shrugs.

“Your sister is going to be so relieved when she gets here.” I miss her, but it isn’t a painful ache, which is strange. I’m comforted by the knowledge that she has her husband and her kids to lean on. And his family. Somehow, I know they’ll sit around the table at the next holiday gathering and crack jokes and share memories of their time with me and my husband, maybe even with Brady, for the brief time he spent in their world.

“Yeah. I’m looking forward to seeing her, although we still have a long while yet. She’s doing well. I like the guy she chose to marry. Her oldest son is a lot like me.”

The closest thing to a negative emotion washes over me. “How much like you? I don’t want her to go through that again. It isn’t fair.”

“She won’t. He’s not that much like me. Just the smart-alec personality and the love of fireworks.”

Relieved, I say, “And his smarts. He’s way too smart for his own good. But using those smarts to try to cure cancer. He’s made a lot of advances, too.”

“I’m proud of my nephew, even if I’ve never met him.”

“I’m proud of you. Always was. I wish I had said it more often when you were alive.”

“You did. A lot. It wasn’t your fault I did what I did.”

The happiness I feel increases a notch. I spent a lot of time in that other world trying to convince myself it wasn’t my fault, out of necessity, in order to go on living, but it still feels good to hear him say it. My son.

“I’m sorry it happened,” he says. “I’m sorry you had to figure out how to keep on living without me. I wouldn’t have done it if I’d realized how it would affect everyone.”

“You don’t feel guilty, do you? I hate the idea of you sitting up here all these years, feeling guilty for changing our lives.”

He shakes his head. “It doesn’t work that way up here. There are no negative emotions. It’s calm and peaceful all the time. It really is a lot like what everyone thinks it is here. I didn’t like watching you all suffer, but at the same time, I knew everything would be okay, and eventually, we would be together again. You don’t feel regret up here.”

“You got to watch us go through life? Will I get to watch Reagan, the grandkids?”

“Yep. After a little while. Once you’re acclimated. Doesn’t look like it’ll take too long for you.”

He again nods at something behind me. When I turn, I see a fire pit surrounded by camp chairs coming into focus. The fire pit is on a beach, and waves from a crystal clear, blue lake gently lap at the sand nearby. Figures materialize, sitting in the chairs, beverages in hand. One chair is empty, with a glass of wine perched on the arm. I laugh at the idea that we will still have our drinks in this place.

I see my in-laws, my mom, dad, stepdad. I wave and my dad smiles and starts to rise from his seat, but then hesitates when the man seated next to him stands. My husband. He looks like he did on our wedding day, although he’s wearing casual clothes instead of a tuxedo. With a wide grin on his face, he starts toward us, arms spread, clearly intent upon embracing us. Both of us.

We’re together again. And we’re at peace.

Posted in Soul Mate Publishing, Tami's Telling You! | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

The Pattern of Success

acorn-1292946_1280Pattern recognition. I heard the term coming from the first pathologist I ever worked for, in a tiny hospital, in a rural town on the west coast of central Florida. And had no clue what he was talking about. I was—and still am—a technician working in scientific research.

“How,” I had asked him, “can you be sure you’ve examined every single cell on the slide and not missed that one that’s abnormal? There are thousands of them!”

Dr. Winter didn’t raise his eyes from the microscope, just continued to scan the slide as he hela-cells-544312_640spoke. “It’s true: you can’t possibly look at every single cell. It’s all about pattern recognition. What you’re looking for is a break in the pattern. Once you’ve memorized what normal cells look like, it’s easy to spot the one that’s different. In time, with training, you will even be able to identify what type of disease causes that new, different pattern.” He pushed back in his chair and studied me. “You would have made an excellent pathologist, you know. Your pattern recognition is superb.”

Fast forward almost forty years, and although I still work in the field of pathology by day, nocturnally, I’m a novelist. I recently sat down with one of two excellent writing craft books by Lisa Cron, and came across that same concept again—pattern recognition. Only this time, the term applied to the art of storytelling.

art-89198_640I confess: I owned and read (before I recently did a major purge) over thirty books on the craft of writing. I’ve studied the process of outlining, storyboarding, and mind mapping. Sticky notes, character interviews, and the classic three-act arc. I’ve blindly sat down and slammed my way through a few novels purely by the seat of my pants. But I have never come across a study of creating a compelling plot quite like this.

The two books I am referring to, Cron’s Wired for Story and Story Genius, utilize an entirely different perspective in developing a plot to keep your reader riveted to the page. Cron turned to the scientific method (which obviously appeals to me, the science geek by day) to dissect the reason why some stories hook readers and drag them through every page, while others fall flat. And guess what? It all comes down to the human brain’s addiction to patterns.

Ms. Cron conducted an admirable amount of research, incorporating scientific journals specializing in psychology. And I must tell you, I think she’s hit a nerve—pun totally intended.

She quotes neuroscientist Antonio Damasio: “The brain is a born cartographer.” In other words, our minds naturally yearn to chart patterns.package-1169762_640

Cron contends that this stems from man’s prehistoric days, when our safe place consisted of a cave with no high-tech security system, no energy-efficient light bulbs to flick on. When night fell, it got dark. If cave-wifey was home alone with the neander-kids waiting for cave-hubby to return from the hunt, it was important she recognize the sound her man-beast made on his way thumping into the cave. To have that pattern of footfalls memorized. Because if what she heard represented a break in that pattern, instead of eating dinner…well, the neander-family might just become the main course.animal-1300138_640So pattern recognition, beginning as a survival mechanism, has become ingrained in the human brain. We can’t help but yearn for it, search for it—and be satisfied when we’ve found that all-important pattern.

In Wired for Story, Cron says, “…as far as the reader is concerned, everything is part of a pattern—and the thrill of reading is recognizing those patterns.” She goes on to explain that this is exactly the reason why we must ensure that each and every crumb we drop along the way in telling our tale is part of a pattern. If it doesn’t fit in, like a puzzle piece somewhere later in the story, the reader will be not only disappointed, but confused, and will lose trust in the author. And a reader who doesn’t trust the author isn’t going to pick up another one of his or her books again.

In this short blog, I can’t even begin to scratch the surface of the illuminating concepts I’ve gleaned from these two books. I’ll admit: since I’m a science geek, I had no problem sticking with the analytical lingo, but that may be difficult for those less inclined. What I can tell you is this—these two books will NOT be purged from my craft book library. I have the feeling I will be returning to them, again and again, as reference manuals. They may well have just become my story-building bibles.

narrative-794978_1280

Let’s hope my original pathology teacher, the late, great, Dr. William Winter, was right—that my pattern recognition is superb. And the talent will enable me to craft stories that lure readers inexorably into my books—leading me to a pattern of success. If you’d like to explore the scientific side of creating a compelling plot, I invite you to check out Lisa Cron’s books here:

story-genius

 

 

wired-for-story

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Author, Books, Creativity, Inspiration, Motivation, Publishing, Readers, Soul Mate Publishing, Writing, Writing career | 1 Comment

BLENDED, NOT STIRRED

***I APOLOGIZE FOR THE  LACK OF PHOTOS. MT PHONE REFUSED  TO COOPERATE.***

Good morning everyone. Up until a few days ago, I wasn’t sure what I was going to blog about today. But I decided to talk about one of the hardest jobs on the planet.

No, I’m not talking about working at a custom juice bar or becoming a master smoothie maker. (I know that’s what you were think I g when you read the title 😄).

I’m talking about something very personal and dear to my heart.

BLENDED FAMILIES

image

First let me say that I absolutely LOVE my family. My three children, (one of which is my step-daughter) and my husband, the greatest man in the world.

Blended families are nothing new. They have been occuring for many, many years and chances are, they will continue to happen for many more.  There are more step parents and step kids than most people realize.

Don’t believe me? Take a look at some of the latest stats:

*120 million adults have taken on one of the toughest jobs in America – creating a stepfamily.

*Forty million children live in a stepfamily.

*Without adequate support, 66 percent of those stepfamilies break up during the child-rearing years.

Pretty high risk right? But why such high numbers?

Here’s one answer:

The typical stepcouple confronts intense emotions, complex dynamics and power imbalances while attempting impossibly to become like an original family.

See the key words? Impossibly and original.

It is impossible to duplicate the original thing. Sometimes it comes close. Sometimes it’s better. Sometimes it’s worse. But it will never be the original. But still we try for that goal. Nothing wrong with wanting a good, happy home life for ourselves as well as our kids.

I mean come on, let’s be honest. No one sets out to have a blended family. Who has ever said, “One day I want to get married, have a couple of kids, get divorced, and get remarried, all while dragging the said kids through the mess?”

The answer: NOBODY!!

When we meet that special someone that we want to spend the rest of our lives with and get married (or not), the last thing on our minds is divorce, broken families, starting over, remarrying, becoming step-parents. Our hearts and brains just don’t work that way. But unfortunately life does.

And for awhile it sucks. Trust me I know. Getting divorced, especially with kids, is no easy matter. In most cases, it’s pure hell. But it does get easier. And then one day, you meet someone new. And as time moves forward, you decide to remarry and start over.

How exciting!

But as step parents, we know that this transition from broken home to blended home is hard for kids.

And it’s hard enough but add in the ex-spouse that not only refuses to make it easier for the kids but intentionally hinders things every step of the way and you’ve for a ticking time bomb on your hands. Both with the  kids and you and with the kids and kids and the step-parent as well.

It could be something as simple as bad mouthing you and the step-parent to the kids to more grievous acts such as harrassment or causing damage to personal property while playing the “I’m all alone. Poor, poor me” card to appeal to the children’s delicate emotions.

Welcome to my world. 🌎

Not enough? Make one of those children a hormonal teenage girl. 

Top that with typical human error, and you have a recipe to disaster.

And when there is that much bad blood and negativity pumping into the heart of your new family, there’s bound to be trouble.

More than that, step-parents have no legal right to discipline the step-children. Even though they are the ones to help raise them. Now I’m not talking about going out and whipping them or beating them silly. But as far as the good ‘ol “your grounded” or “don’t talk to your mother/father/? that way. Go to your room”, I are no problem with that. But a lot of ex-spouses do. The “Nobody is allowed to discipline my child but me” syndrome. Which only causes more anger and frusration in the household.

And of course in every divorced family, there is the “fun” parent and the “mean” parent. Usually the one with the rules is the mean one. 

Hello, nice to meet you. I’m Amy Deason, meanest parent in the world.

There are tons of movies and tv shows out there depicting blended families:

BLENDED

STEPMOM

YOURS, MINE, OURS

And one of the all time most famous blended family shows, THE BRADY BUNCH. 

They are all great to watch, laugh at, and enjoy but the problem is- they are just entertainment. They are not real life.

Now after all of this, you might think I’m anti-blended family. But your wrong. I’m a part of one now. And I truely love them. All of them. There is nowhere I’d rather be. And yes, in hindsight, the divorce was difficult and a total mess. But I am grateful every day for what I’ve got now.

I’m know things get easier as time passes. After all, I’ve seen vast improvements in my own household in the last year and a half. (Thank goodnes…)

There are so many issues involved. Trust, respect, and loyalty just to name a few. But also anger, fear, hurt.

Being a part of a blended family can be one of the most aggravating jobs on the planet. But, given enough time, it can also turn into one of the most rewarding.

So next time you meet someone that’s part of a blended family, take a moment and give them a mental high five. It is a difficult job to take on, raising someone else’s kids. And those that do definitely deserve a little respect.

And who knows? Maybe after all of that trying, after all of that struggle and all out craziness, you might just end up with the picture perfect family you’ve always dreamed of.

Thanks for taking the time to read this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I look forward to reading your comments and opinions. And feel free to include your own personal stories about blended families. After all, we can all use a little help and new insights right?

Posted in Soul Mate Publishing | Leave a comment

Writing From The Heart! by Char Chaffin and Cheryl Yeko

CiCi Cordelia is the pen name for the writing team of BFFs Char Chaffin and Cheryl Yeko. cici-headshot-for-blog

Published authors and Senior Acquiring Editors for Soul Mate Publishing, we share a love for well-written stories infused with our favorite romantic genres: paranormal, suspense, and erotica.

We’ve been friends since 2012, when we started critiquing for each other. We found ourselves swapping ideas and lending support that spilled over into a similarity of writing style and a love of the same genres. In 2014 we thought it might be fun to write a novella together. The result, a western romance titled RODEO KING, cemented not only a firm and lasting friendship but a wonderful partnership as well.

In 2015 we took it a step further when we decided to write paranormal under the pen name CiCi Cordelia.

As editors, we’ve been working on a project for Soul Mate that we brainstormed. We’d like to tell you a little about it.

master-promo-imageThe Soul Mate Tree

An ancient legend spanning eras, continents . . . and worlds.

To some, it’s nothing more than a dream.

To others, a pretty fairytale handed down through the generations.

For those in critical need of their own happy ending, a gift.

With thirteen novellas spanning several popular romance genres and fifteen participating authors, we foresee something for every romance reader.  tsmtauthors

You can learn more about The Soul Mate Tree here:

https://youtu.be/YsXTP-Jx-aU

REALM OF THE DRAGON, by CiCi Cordelia will be released in January, 2017. 

realmofthedragon

Thrust into a realm made of legend, fantasy, and unbridled passion, Lily Kiers faces violent resentment and jealousy from extremely powerful enemies. Amidst fierce creatures whose very existence defy all common sense, Lily pieces together a past she could never have imagined.

Claimed as mate by Kord, Prince of Battle Draconian, their love will not be denied, even as malevolent forces plot to rip them apart.

 

One book a month will be released thereafter, through January, 2018. Each book is a standalone, but the legend of The Soul Mate Tree drives the stories.

REALM OF THE DRAGON Book Trailer can be found here:  

https://youtu.be/YKFSkLDKpP4

CiCi can be found on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HeartfeltRomance

Her most recent release, SWEET EQUATION, is available in the Anthology Collection CHERISHED SECRETS, published through Soul Mate Publishing.

Our editor bios are here: http://www.soulmatepublishing.com/editors/

Individually we can be found here:

Cheryl Yeko:

Website: http://www.cherylyeko.com/ ‘Where Love Always Wins’

Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/qzsks8q

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WhereLoveAlwaysWins/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/cherylyeko

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/cyeko/boards/

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5406425.Cheryl_Yeko

 

Char Chaffin:

Website:  http://char.chaffin.com ‘Falling In Love is Only the Beginning’

Facebook: http://facebook.com/char.chaffin

Amazon:  http://tinyurl.com/pvscu7w

Twitter: http://twitter.com/char_chaffin

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/charchaffin2011/

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5337737.Char_Chaffin

Posted in Char's Thoughts, Cheryl's Corner, CiCi Cordelia, Dragon Shifters, Networking, Paranormal Romance, The Soul Mate Tree Project | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Marisa Makes Memories

book-vs-ebook

Paper or electronic book? What’s your tactile choice?

If you were born before 1980, your memories of reading under the bedcovers with a flashlight were of the paper variety.

The Millennials and Cybirds are wired for digital and many don’t want to read a tome.

Amazon makes it easy for us to go digital, allowing us to download sample pages, and provide instant gratification with “buy now” at the click of a button. And when I do buy digital, I’m reminded why. I don’t have to make eye contact with a snarky clerk who’s snorting over my purchase of “Fifty Shades of Grey.”

Some, no matter what age, waver between the convenience of technology and tradition.

Have you made the switch to digtal? Or do you vacillate between flipping through paper pages and swiping virtual ones? (If you aren’t actually flipping a digital page, can the book legitimately be called a page turner?)

As a writer and admitted book highlighter, I must confess that the technology behind a digital story has many upsides. I can choose different colors for marking text and make notes in the pages that only I can see. When I wonder how many times Diana Gabaldon has used the word “then” in her classic “Outlander,” I can search it. (Yes, I wonder about things like that.) The answer is over 1000 times for those who are counting, but they are spread among 640 pages.

The look-up function is also a real bonus if you use a device with access to Wi-Fi. Okay, I’m a Baby Boomer. We had encyclopedias growing up, not Wikipedia. Plus, you don’t have to take your eyes off your digital reader to find a dictionary to look up the words like pugnacious, querulous and penury if you reading the “The Cuckoo’s Calling” by Robert Galbraith, (Shh! You know a.k.a., J.K. Rowling)

But don’t think print is dead yet. Statics show U.S. publishers took in an estimated $2.8 billion from sales of trade e-books in 2015. Impressive, but down 11% from the prior year, according to an Association of American Publishers annual report released this summer. Overall, e-books dropped to 17% of all book sales from 19% the previous year and 21% when compared with 2013.

readingundercovers-3Some blame technology fatigue, although many people like Kindle’s Paper White, which closely mimics actual paper pages, and Apple iPad’s night mode, which helps combat the insomnia inducing properties of using a lighted screen at night in your dark room. (Mom said the flashlight would do the same thing).

So let’s review …

Pros for paper:stack-of-books.jpg

  • A tangible item for your money.
  • The feeling of accomplishment when see you progress in the number of pages between your bookmark and the end of the book.
  • Having a library of books as a resource.
  • The smell of paper.(Yes, sometimes it can be moldy if you store them in the garage.)
  • Using them as to prop up a weight bench. (Yep, I’ve done this to create an incline.)

Pros for digital:download

  • The book is just a click away.
  • Cost of the book is often cheaper than the real McCoy.
  • Many online retailers to choose from.
  • Can’t beat it for portability and holding tons of books. (Can you say, “More iCloud storage, please.”)
  • No one needs to know whether you’re reading Shakespeare or Sylvia Day.

Paper or electronic? For me, I’ll take both.

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