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Reblog: 11 Practical Ways You Can Be a Hero For An Elder or Caregiver


Thank you, Jen Finelli. I am excited that you invited me to be a guest on your  Becoming Hero blog. In Twitter Jen’s known as Petre3Pan. 

When you care for others, you are a hero to them. I hope these ideas help you. You will love the Super Hero image on Jen’s blog.

11 Practical Ways You Can Be a Hero For An Elder or Caregiver

1. Pray for them. Call caregiver on the phone and ask how you can help Choose one of these needs that you feel comfortable discussing with her: Emotional, Physical, Mental, Spiritual, Financial, Social. Give her the phone number of your local Social Services and also the contact information for the Area Agency on Aging (AAA) in your county to ask about available respite (rest from caring duties), support groups, and other services that might help her and her elder….

To read more, go to  

 http://becominghero.ninja/practical-elder-care/

COMMENT

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Copyright © 2017 Joan Y. Edwards

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Which of These Best-Selling Romance Pitches Is the Best? Why?


Image Copyright © 2013 Joan Y. Edwards

Image Copyright © 2013 Joan Y. Edwards

“Which of These Best-Selling Romance Pitches Is the Best? Why?” by Joan Y. Edwards

Rules for a Romance Novel

  1. The protagonist in a romance novel may be either the hero or the heroine. The writer decides.
  2. Both hero and heroine must be introduced in the first page of the book – no later than the third page.
  3. A romance novel states the problem situation of the protagonist in such a way that readers are  pulled emotionally into the story.
  4. In a romance novel, it must seem like it’s almost impossible for things to work out for these two people.
  5. A romance novel must end happily ever after (HEA). Readers who pick up a romance novel, expect and demand that happy ending.

Components of a Pitch Summary for a Romance Novel

  1. Tells about both the hero and the heroine.
  2. States the problem situation of the protagonist (hero or heroine) in such a way that readers are  pulled emotionally into the story with a universal theme to cheer and root for the protagonist. Tells what the main character wants or needs and why they can’t get it. Hints that character has to change before he can get what he wants.
  3. Makes readers wonder if it’s possible for things to come to a Happily Ever After (HEA) ending for both the hero and the heroine.

I went through the internet searching for the best Romance novels. I chose the pitch summaries for ten of them to study. I highlighted the heroine’s description in red and the hero’s description in blue so you and I could see if the pitch summaries had information about both the protagonist and the matching hero or heroine.

I stated my guess or the protagonist – the hero or the heroine. I also put how many words the pitch summary contained.

When I did a pitch workshop for the Catholic Writers Conference Online in 2012, we discovered it took more words to get the pitch summary for the romance novel than for the regular fiction.  You have to explain enough about both characters to make the pitch summary intriguing and pull people in.

They are having another Catholic Writers Conference Online March 10-21, 2014.
I’ll also be doing a pitch workshop at the Muse Online Writers Conference, October 7-13, 2013.

Both conferences are free.

How to Write a Pitch That Sells Workshop with Joan Y. Edwards

Description of Workshop: Share your present pitch. What is a pitch? How many words should a pitch be? Why does a writer need a pitch for his book? Study pitches of the pros. Write a pitch for a favorite book. There are exercises to get you going. Create an effective pitch for your story that no editor, agent, or reader will be able to turn down.

Which romance pitch summary did the best job of pulling you into the story? Why?

I’ll repeat the question after the last pitch summary.

1. Crazy Little Thing by Tracy Brogan

194 word pitch summary
Female Protagonist

If Sadie Turner is good at anything, it’s putting stuff in order. So when she finds her “perfect” life in disarray, she hopes a summer vacation at her aunt’s lake house will help her piece it back together. She wants to relax, reboot, and heal the wounds left by her cheating ex-husband. And that requires time away from men. All men.

Or so she thinks.

With two slobbering dogs and two cousins living there—one a flamboyant decorator intent on making over Sadie—it’s hard to get a moment’s peace at eccentric Aunt Dody’s house, especially with everyone so determined to set her up with Desmond, the sexy new neighbor.

Desmond is Sadie’s worst nightmare. Tall, tanned, muscular…and to top it off, he’s great with her kids. But he must have a flaw—he’s a man—so Sadie vows to keep her distance.

As summer blazes on, the life Sadie is trying so hard to simplify only becomes more complicated—a new career presents itself, her evil ex haunts her, and Aunt Dody reveals a tragic secret—but maybe a little chaos is just what Sadie needs to get her life back in order.

2. Charade by Nyrae Dawn (Kindle)

Female Protagonist
171 words in the summary pitch

Nineteen-year-old Cheyenne tries to portray the perfect life to mask the memories of her past. Walking in on her boyfriend with another woman her freshman year in college threatens that picture of perfection.

Twenty-one-year-old Colt never wanted college and never expected to amount to anything, but when his mom’s dying wish is for him to get his degree, he has no choice but to pretend it’s what he wants too.

Cheyenne needs a fake boyfriend to get back at her ex and Colt needs cash to take care of his mom, so they strike a deal that helps them both. But what if Cheyenne’s past isn’t what she thought? Soon they’re trading one charade for another—losing themselves in each other to forget about their pain. The more they play their game, the more it becomes the only thing they have that feels real.

Both Cheyenne and Colt know life is never easy, but neither of them expect the tragedy that threatens to end their charade and rip them apart forever.

3. Losing It by Cara Carmack

Female Protagonist
117 words in the summary pitch

Bliss Edwards is about to graduate from college and still has hers. Sick of being the only virgin among her friends, she decides the best way to deal with the problem is to lose it as quickly and simply as possible– a one-night stand. But her plan turns out to be anything but simple when she freaks out and leaves a gorgeous guy alone and naked in her bed with an excuse that no one with half-a-brain would ever believe. And as if if that weren’t embarrassing enough, when she arrives for her first class of her last college semester, she recognizes her new theatre professor. She’d left him naked in her bed about 8 hours earlier.

4. Morning Glory by LaVyrle Spencer

Male Protagonist
146 words in the summary pitch

Tall, dark and handsome Will Parker has served time for the killing of a Texas prostitute, but keeps losing jobs as his reputation becomes known. In the small town of Whitney, Ga., at the beginning of WW II, he answers the advertisement of a pregnant widow and mother of two, the abused and reclusive Eleanor Dinsmore, who is looking for a husband. Soon in love with ostensibly plain, bedraggled Ellie, Parker dotes on her two boys, and works to support the family. Fittingly for this sort of bucolic idyll, Will and Ellie, despite their rudimentary educations, love books and develop a special friendship with wise old Miss Beasley, the local librarian. Alas, brazen and rapacious Lula Peak, the town floozie, sets her sights on Will, waylaying him in the library; meantimes, Lula is blackmailing her lover, the cowardly Harley Overmire, who is no friend of Will.

5. Nobody’s Baby But Mine by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Female Protagonist
119  words in the summary pitch

Physics professor Dr. Jane Darlington spends her 34th birthday in tears. She wants a baby, but not a husband. Where can she find an average or, preferably, stupid man? She decides that Cal Bonner, legendary quarterback for the Chicago Stars is perfect. Jane sets her plan into action and after some trail and error she succeeds. But the results are more than she bargained for when Cal discovers her duplicity. How can a football player with an interfering family and a nerdy professor who has never known family love ever fall in love? With lots of honesty, understanding and a whole lot of humor. Don’t miss this one! It’s filled with engaging characters, laughs galore and a feel-good ending.

6. Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase

Female Protagonist
122 words in the summary pitch

Tough minded Jessica Trent’s sole intention is to free her nitwit brother from the destructive influence of Sebastian Ballister, the notorious Marquess of Diain. She never expects to desire the arrogant, amoral cad. And when his reciprocal passion places them in a scandously compromising, and public position, Jessica is left with no choice but to seek satisfaction… Damn the minx for tempting him, kissing him…and then for forcing him to salvage reputation! Lord Diain can’t wait to put the infuriating bluestocking in her place — and in some amorous position. And if this means marriage, so be it — though Sebastian is less than certain he can continue to remain aloof…and steel his heart to the sensuous, head strong lady’s considerable charms.

7. Flowers from the Storm by Laura Kinsale

Male protagonist
133 words in the summary pitch

Christian Langland, Duke of Jerveaux is the ultimate hero. A brilliant mathematician and a complete rake, Christian is a man of contradictions. When a stroke leaves him permanently unable to speak, his family believes him to be mad and relegates him to a sanitarium. Fortunately, Maddy, a righteous Quaker and do-gooder, recognizes that Christian is not insane–he just can’t talk! Maddy may not be the most likable heroine you’ll encounter, but she has depth and character, and is probably one of the few people you could imagine who would have the patience and understanding to accept and live with Christian’s intense anger and frustration. But she never dreamed her gentle, healing touch would alter his life and her own so completely — and bind them together in need, desire … and love.

8. The Bride by Julie Garwood

Male Protagonist
99 words in the summary pitch
By edict of the king, the mighty Scottish laird Alec Kincaid must take an English bride. His choice was Jamie, youngest daughter of Baron Jamison…a feisty, violet-eyed beauty. Alec ached to touch her, to tame her, to possess her…forever. But Jamie vowed never to surrender to this highland barbarian. He was everything her heart warned against, an arrogant scoundrel whose rough good looks spoke of savage pleasures. And though Kincaid’s scorching kisses fired her blood, she brazenly resisted him...until one rapturous moment quelled their clash of wills, and something far more dangerous than desire threatened to conquer her senses…

9. Mackenzie’s Legacy: Mackenzie’s Mountain\Mackenzie’s Mission by Linda Howard

Female Protagonist
139 words in the summary pitch

A great romance novel about Mary, a schoolteacher who just can’t let Joe quit high school, so she sets off up the mountain that he lives on with his father, Wolf, to see what she can do to get him back in school. What she finds up on that mountain is a passion she’s never imagined existed before with a tall, tough and rugged warrior with a past. Wolf, for his part, has been to jail for a rape he didn’t commit and isn’t willing to ruin Mary’s reputation in their small town, so he refuses to begin a relationship with the sweet lady. Then, a real rapist is on the loose in this quaint, little town and targeting people who are close to Joe and Wolf Mackenzie. And Mary is one of the top targets on his list...

10. It Had To Be You by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Female Protagonist
104 Words in the summary pitch

The Windy City isn’t quite ready for Phoebe Somerville-the outrageous, curvaceous New York knockout who has just inherited the Chicago Stars football team. And Phoebe is definitely not ready for the Stars’ head coach, former grid iron legend Dan Calebow, a sexist jock taskmaster with a one-track mind. Calebow is everything Phoebe abhors. And the sexy new boss is everything Dan despises-a meddling bimbo who doesn’t know a pigskin from a pitcher’s mound. So why is Dan drawn to the shameless sexpot like a heat-seeking missile? And why does the coach’s good ol’ boy charm leave cosmopolitan Phoebe feeling awkward, tongue-tied…and ready to fight?

Which pitch summary did the best job of pulling you into the story? Why?

Please put your opinions in the comment area. I look forward to “hearing” what you think.

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Thank you for being here.

Never Give Up
Joan Y. Edwards

Copyright © 2013 Joan Y. Edwards

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References:

  1. Joan Y. Edwards. “How to Entice an Editor or Agent with a Pitch/Logline:” https://joanyedwards.wordpress.com/2010/07/29/how-to-entice-an-editoragent-with-a-pitch-logline/
  2. Joan Y. Edwards. “How to Write an Effective Selling Pitch:” https://joanyedwards.wordpress.com/2012/11/09/how-to-write-an-effective-selling-pitch-for-a-romance-novel/
  3. Joyce Lamb. USA Today. “What’s Your All-Time Favorite Romance Novel:” http://books.usatoday.com/happyeverafter/post/2011-10-21/whats-your-all-time-favorite-romance-novel/556533/1
  4. Laura Hazard Owen. “Ebook Bestsellers Breakdown: Young Adult Romance Is Big:” http://paidcontent.org/2012/07/13/ebook-bestsellers-breakdown-young-adult-romance-is-big/
  5. Megan Frampton. “What Rules Are in the Romance Covenant?” http://www.heroesandheartbreakers.com/blogs/2012/04/what-is-in-the-romance-covenant
  6. “Top 10 Greatest Romance Novels of All Time:” http://www.squidoo.com/greatest-romance-novels

How to Get the Most from a Writing Conference


“How to Get the Most from a Writing Conference” by Joan Y. Edwards

There might be a conference going on in the next few months. This might help you. This blog has before the conference and during the conference.  There’s a follow-up post: After the Conference: 13 Ways to Optimize Your Learning.

I revamped my earlier blog post about this topic. I divided into before the conference and at the conference.

These are ideas I used to help me get the most out of writing conferences I have attended. I attended the SCBWI-Carolinas Fall Conferences 2004-2010. In April 2010, I went to the Pike’s Peak Writer’s Conference in Colorado Springs, Colorado. In July 2010, I went to the Oregon Coast Children’s Book Writers Workshop. Whether you’re attending a one or two-day conference or one that lasts longer, you can take action to  make sure you get learn as much as possible. I hope that by reading my blog post or attending a conference, you’ll learn a writing skill or technique to inspire you to believe in yourself as a writer and never give up.

Before the Conference

1. What skill do you most want to improve? Make sure you attend that workshop.

2. Visit the webpages of at least three of the presenters that interest you. Check out their books at the library or on www.Amazon.com.

3. If you have specific questions for presenters, write them down and ask them at the conference.

4. Get business cards printed: www.VistaPrint.com, www.Gotprint.com, www.BCEofNC.com

5. Get bookmarks printed: www.VistaPrint.com, www.Gotprint.com, www.BCEofNC.com

6. Buy a new spiral notebook with a bright colorful design or a composition book with a black and white cover. This way all of your notes are in one place. You can put it in front of your computer when you get home and transfer your handwritten notes to your computer. You can add information from handouts by scanning them into your computer, or by typing what you want to remember from the handouts.

7. Buy two pens that write just the way you like a pen to write. Put them in your pocketbook to take with you.

8. Write a pitch for three of your manuscripts. Read my blog: “How to Entice an Editor/Agent with a Pitch (Logline). You can print out your pitches on 3×5 cards, 4×6 inch cards, or plain 8.5 x 11 printing paper. Carry the pitches with you to the conference. Put one copy in a folder. Put another copy in your pocketbook. Practice giving your pitch in front of a mirror. Use eye contact.

Pitch Part 1 (Regular Pitch or Logline 1)
My name is ______________________. (Meeting a real agent or editor can do strange things to your speaking ability.)
My genre for this book is _______________________________. My word count is _______________________________________.
This is a story about________________________________(Hero) who is ___________________________________(Flaw)
Whose goal (Life Changing Event) is ____________________________________________________________
Opposed by ______________________________________________________________________________(Opponent)
and helped by_____________________________________________________________________ (Ally)
in the battle between ______________________________________________________________________________ and __________________________________.

Pitch Part 2 (Log Line 2 – Linda Rohrbough’s invention that she shared at Pike’s Peak Writer’s Convention in 2010)
Linda Rohrbough says to add a second log line to further pull the editor/agents into your book.

Tell the character who changes and how they change (the character arc).

Pitch Part 3

The universal theme answers the question: What did the main character learn from striving for this goal? What did the main character learn from his struggle, his journey to reach this goal? ______________________________________. The Universal theme of this story is ____________________________________.

9. Take comfortable clothing to wear in your favorite colors to keep your spirits high. Take a sweater or blazer, in case the air conditioning makes the conference room too cool for your inner thermostat. If you’re hot, you can take off the blazer. Jeans, a shirt, and a blazer are good work attire for writers. Linda Rohrbough says that you want the editors to think you just left your computer to meet with them.

At the Conference

1. Hand out business cards with your name, address, phone number, email address, website and/or blog. If you don’t have any business cards, type up the information on your computer, print them out, cut them out, and hand them out to as many people as it seems comfortable to you, then add 10 more.

2. Do you feel lonely and out of touch with people? Plan to talk to at least 3 people who sit beside you in a workshop at the conference. Exchange names, email addresses, and business cards with everyone with whom you talk. Here are possible questions to start your conversation:

“What are you writing?”

“Are you in writing group? Is it online or face-to-face?”

“How do you find time to write?”

“Do you write best in the morning or at night?”

3a. If you happen to meet an agent or editor in the elevator or at lunch, remember he/she is human, just like you. Ask one of these questions or one of your own:

“What is your favorite project right now?”

“How do you know when a book is right for you?”

“What’s your advice for writers?”

3b. After you ask your question of an editor or agent, there’s a great possibility that you’ll be asked, “What kind of writing do you do?” This is a perfect lead in for your pitch. Hold your head high, look the editor/agent in the eye, and tell them your pitch like he/she is your best friend.

4. If your laptop has a good battery life, you can take your laptop and take notes on it. Then when you get home, you can edit your notes and add information from your handouts.

5. Take a short walk for exercise in between sessions.

6. Get plenty of sleep.

7. Eat as healthy as possible during the conference, fruits, vegetables, and proteins. This will make you alert and help you focus.

8. Enjoy yourself and learn as much as you can.

9. Write a litany of things for which you are thankful each morning before you begin your day.

10. Thank the presenters and the organizers for what you like about the conference. Make suggestions for change to make it more beneficial to writers.

11. If you find a book that inspires you at the workshop, buy it if the price meets your budget. If not, wait until you get home and order it from the library or check to see if there’s an inexpensive used copy you can buy from Amazon or other source.

Below are articles with other ideas for gleaning the most out of a writing conference:

1. Kristen Lamb, “Getting the Most Out of Writing Conferences:” http://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/2010/04/07/getting-the-most-out-of-writing-conferences/

2. Yvonne Russell, “Getting the Most out of a Writers’ Conference:” http://www.growyourwritingbusiness.com/?p=47

3. Margo L. Dill, “Writers Conferences: Five Reasons Why You Should Go NOW, and How to Get the Most for Your Money:” http://www.wow-womenonwriting.com/13-FE-MargoDill.html

4. Marita Littauer, “Four Keys for Writers Conference Success:” http://www.right-writing.com/conference-keys.html

Thank you for reading my blog. Sign up for an email subscription from the “Sign me up” block from the top of the left hand column. It would be great to hear from you in a comment below.

Never Give Up
Joan Y. Edwards
Author/Illustrator
Flip Flap Floodle on Amazon.com

Copyright 2010 Joan Y. Edwards. All rights reserved.

How to Get the Most Out of Your Next Writing Conference


Since the SCBWI-Carolinas Conference is coming up this weekend, I thought I would share what has helped me get the most out of writing conferences I have attended.  I attended the SCBWI-Carolinas Fall Conferences every year since 2004.  This spring I went to the Pike’s Peak Writer’s Conference in Colorado Springs, Colorado.  This summer I went to the Oregon Coast Children’s Book Writers Workshop. Whether your writing conference is one day, two days, three days, or more you can make plans to get the most out of it. By reading my blog, I hope it will help you get the most out of your next writing conference. Perhaps you will learn a skill or technique that will inspire you believe in yourself as a writer and never give up on your writing.

What skill are you most wanting to improve? Make sure you attend that workshop.

1. Hand out business cards with your name, address, phone number, website and/or blog, and email address.  If you don’t have any business cards, type up the information on your computer, print them out, cut them out, and hand them out to as many people as it seems comfortable to you, then add 10 more.

2. Do you feel lonely and out of touch with people? Plan to talk to at least 3 people who sit beside you in a workshop at the conference.  Exchange names, email addresses, and business cards with everyone with whom you talk. Here are possible questions to start your conversation:

“What are you writing?”

“How do you find time to write?”

“Are you in writing group? Is it online or face-to-face?”

“Do you write best in the morning or at night?”

3a. If you happen to meet an agent or editor in the elevator or at lunch, remember he/she is human, just like you. Ask one of these questions or one of your own:

“What is your favorite project right now?”

“How do you know when a book is right for you?”

“What’s your advice for writers?”

3b. After you ask your question of an editor or agent, there’s a great possibility that you’ll be asked, “What kind of writing do you do?” This is a perfect lead in for your pitch.  Read my blog: “How to Entice an Editor/Agent with a Pitch (Logline). You can print out your pitches on 3×5 cards, 4×6 inch cards, or plain 8.5 x 11 printing paper. Carry them with you. Practice giving your pitch in front of a mirror. Use eye contact.

Pitch Part 1 (Regular Pitch or Logline 1)
My name is ______________________. (Meeting a real agent or editor can do strange things to your speaking ability.)
My genre for this book is _______________________________. My word count is _______________________________________.
This is a story about________________________________(Hero) who is ___________________________________(Flaw)
Whose goal (Life Changing Event) is ____________________________________________________________
Opposed by ______________________________________________________________________________(Opponent)
and helped by __________________________________________________________________________________ (Ally)
in the battle between _____________________________________________________________________________________ and __________________________________.

Pitch Part 2 (Log Line 2 – Linda Rohrbough’s invention that she shared at Pike’s Peak Writer’s Convention in 2010)
Linda Rohrbough says to add a second log line to further pull the editor/agents into your book.

Tell the character who changes and how they change (the character arc).

Pitch Part 3

The universal theme answers the question: What did the main character learn from striving for this goal? What did the main character learn from his struggle, his journey to reach this goal? ______________________________________. The Universal theme of this story is ____________________________________ )

4. Take a spiral notebook with a bright colorful design or a composition book with a black and white cover. This way all of your notes are in one place. You can put it in front of your computer when you get home and transfer your handwritten notes to your computer. You can add information from handouts by scanning them into your computer, or by typing what you want to remember from the handouts.

5. If your laptop has a good battery life, you can take your laptop and take notes on it. Then when you get home, you can edit your notes and add information from your handouts.

6. Wear comfortable clothing. Take a sweater or blazer, in case the air conditioning makes the conference room too cool for your inner thermostat.  Jeans and a shirt and a blazer are good work attire for writers. If you’re hot, you can take off the blazer.

7. Take a short walk for exercise in between sessions.

8. Get plenty of sleep.

9. Eat fruits, vegetables, and lean meats.

10. Enjoy yourself and learn as much as you can.

11. Write a litany of things for which you are thankful each morning before you begin your day.

12. Thank the presenters and the organizers for what you like about the conference. Make suggestions for change to make it more beneficial to writers.

13. Lucky 13. If you find a book that inspires you at the workshop, buy it if the price meets your budget. If not, wait until you get home and order it from the library or check to see if there’s an inexpensive used copy you can buy from Amazon or other source.

Below are articles with other ideas for gleaning the most out of a writing conference:

1. Kristen Lamb, “Getting the Most Out of Writing Conferences:” http://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/2010/04/07/getting-the-most-out-of-writing-conferences/

2. Yvonne Russell, “Getting the Most out of a Writers’ Conference:” http://www.growyourwritingbusiness.com/?p=47

3. Margo L. Dill, “Writers Conferences: Five Reasons Why You Should Go NOW, and How to Get the Most for Your Money:” http://www.wow-womenonwriting.com/13-FE-MargoDill.html

4. Marita Littauer, “Four Keys for Writers Conference Success:” http://www.right-writing.com/conference-keys.html

Please share your comments, questions, and/or resources below. I’d love to hear from you.

Thank you for reading my blog. Please sign up for an email subscription from the “Sign me up” block from the top of the left hand column. The 50th person to subscribe from the left will receive a free paperback copy of Flip Flap Floodle or a 1001 Ways to Market Your Books by John Kremer.

Joan Y. Edwards, Author/Illustrator
http://www.joanyedwards.com/FlipFlapFloodle.htm
Flip Flap Floodle on Amazon.com

Copyright © 2010 Joan Y. Edwards. All rights reserved.

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