Are you a Beta Reader? Want to swap?

Hello fellow, writers, authors, publishers, readers,
I’ll swap with Beta Readers for my MG, historical, paranormal manuscript. 53,000 words. Want an honest critique. I’ll do the same for you.
Theme: loss, feelings of guilt, frustration, anger, love, acceptance, hope and coming of age.
The setting: 1957, New Hampshire, fictional farming town on the Saco River, cradled in the White Mountains.
Tim will be 13 in 4 days. His two friends are 15 and 14. All have experienced the loss of a parent.
tbwavestandbyjo-2017-72dpirHere is the blurb:
Tim refuses to accompany his dad to the woods. His preference: digging for worms. This decision cost him his dad.
One year later, desperate to have things back as they were, Tim convinces his best friend to help him find the key—a bear—that could help bring his dad back. His dad had spoken of the bear. But Tim hadn’t asked enough questions. Where and how can he find this creature? On their quest to the Saco River, searching for the bear, unexpected events unfold.
A girl, and neighbor to Tim, spots the boys’ early morning departure from her kitchen window. Hurt at not being included in what looks like a planned picnic, curiosity takes over. She follows, unwittingly placing herself in danger. Unable to get back home she is lost. A storm is brewing nearby and it’s coming her way.
The boys are trapped in a flooded cave. Their food is limited. How long will it take for the River to recede? How can they find the bear if they are trapped? Tim has to convince his friend to believe in the bear, that it will rescue them like it had rescued his dad years before. But did Tim really believe? His roller-coaster of emotions confuse him. Is he angry at his dad for leaving? He doesn’t think so. But then—
The three find themselves in a world that is like theirs—but not like theirs. They befriend a very old Indian couple. Perhaps the old couple knows where the key to Tim’s desire  can be found.
Please leave a comment, share and like if you truly like.
Helpful critiques are always welcome.
Thanks for reading.

Have I Mentioned My Re-writes Lately?

Sung to the tune of:
Have I Told You Lately That I Love You, by Rod Stewart

Have I Mentioned My Re-writes Lately

guitar by jo

 

 

Have I mentioned my re-writes to you lately?
Have I mentioned my second manuscript too?
They fill my heart with gladness
Take away any sadness
Easily trouble me
That’s what they do
 
Oh the midnight oil’s forever burning
Greets the day with hope
That this will do…this time
 
Re-reads fill my life with laughter
I can write it so much better
Easily trouble me
That’s what they do 

There’s a manuscript that’s divine
It might be yours, it sure ain’t mine 

And at the end of every re-write
I give thanks then I pray
This is the one, yes this is the one!
 
Have I mentioned my re-writes to you lately?
Have I mentioned my second manuscript too?
They fill my heart with gladness
Take away any sadness
Easily trouble me
That’s what they do
 
There’s a manuscript that’s divine
It might be yours, it sure ain’t mine
 
And at the end of every re-write
I give thanks then I pray
This is the one, yes this is the one!
 
Have I mentioned my re-writes to you lately?
Easily trouble me
That’s what they do
 
But I surely won’t give up
No matter all the mark-up
I’ll keep writing, that’s what I’ll do
 
But I surely won’t give up
No matter all the mark-up
I’ll keep writing, that’s what I’ll do
 
They fill my heart with gladness
Take away any sadness
Easily trouble me
That’s what they do
 
Have I mentioned I’m still writing lately?
 
 
________________________
 
copyright: Lyrics by J. M. Orise 02/10/2019
copyright: Art by Jo M. Orise

Share your writing journey. Fill my heart with gladness. 

I bet you can.

 

A House Full of Boxes – Where Is That Key?

The world’s greatest packer here.

All boxes taped solid, each box marked—contents, how to handle and where to deposit.

housefullofboxesbyjo

I like order!

Contemplating the move from New Hampshire back to Maine, advice came in from all quarters:

  • Hire a mover.
  • Get a large box truck.
  • Sell it all.
  • Have an auction.
  • Hire my friend—and his truck—and his friends.
  • Pack books by theme and organize them—like a library.
  • I’ll be there, just call me.
  • Buy moving boxes and white wrapping paper. No newsprint!
  • I got a trailer you can use. It’s an open trailer, pack it all at once and move everything in a day—just be sure it doesn’t rain.
  • Move it all into the garage and move it out later.
  • Rent a storage unit.
  • Leave it all behind.
  • $9-10,000 is a good price for all you got to move. That should be the worse case scenario.

Sheesh!

Hubby and I stopped talking and got busy.

  • What! You’re moving it yourself?
  • Hire someone to pack. You don’t have to do that.
  • You’re too old to do all that work.
  • Hire a mover!

No one asked what we wanted.

Our concern? Others packing would be a disadvantage—our not knowing where things were. That “good price” was too steep. We’d moved before—no one helped unless we begged at the last minute. Those buyer walk-through days had been met each time. We were successful this time too! The house was empty in ten days!

Day two, we packed an open trailer and a relative hauled it leaving it in our new yard. Arriving a few days later with a very heavy load in our box trailer and pickup, Hubby and I unpacked both trailers and truck. The next day, we were off again to NH.

What made it work for us was a special condition agreed to by the buyer—leasing the garage at closing. We moved out of the house ten days, in time for closing. Now we had thirty days to clear out the two-story, four bay garage. We made it in twenty-nine days! We now have thirty days to clear out the sawmill building. At the end of this month, we will be home free! Done! C’est tout finis! Finiti! Terminado! Back to painting and writing!

Okay! Calm down.

Why so long? Hubby and I were the crew. We spent days sorting, packing and going to the recycling center (I call it “the dump”) to dispose of unwanted stuff. We sold a few big items by hauling them to dealers for consignment. Each trip was three hours, sometimes more. Back pain was excruciating. It was difficult and exhausting.

Advice was replaced with “I told you so” comments! A few poked fun at how we just loved to move the hard way. Why not be happy for us? Why not congratulate us for what we accomplished—by ourselves?

We didn’t know how in the world we could carry the heavy furniture into the house and up a flight of stairs. We had struggled to move it to the trailer from the house. While dreading how to move our last heavy piece of furniture to the trailer, our young neighbor volunteered! He was fantastic. Later, he informed us of his bad back gotten while on duty in Afghanistan, but not to worry! He was glad to help. Bless his soul. At the other end, we hired two high school boys who gladly moved furniture upstairs and down with ease! Youth and strength go hand in hand. One hauled lobster traps with his dad, that explained his ability to pick up what we could not. Bless their souls! And very nice too.

My step daughter is very good at cleaning out barns and selling ‘stuff’ of interest to

Pic_0422_680

Time for a break.

collectors. I snapped several photos to help promote the sale of the ‘stuff’ left behind.

One of the items we decided to sell was my old snow blower. They ignition key is packed in one of the boxes labeled KEYS. She needs that within a few days.

“Hmm. Hun, have you seen the box marked Keys?”

Hubby stares at the jungle of boxes.

No response.
________________________________

Share and tell us about your moving experiences.

 

 

I Had To Put It Into Words

What is River Fork?

A coming of age YA story.

Why did I write it?

As a former teacher, I encouraged my high school students to write. One  particular assignment required an autobiography titled: “Fact, Fiction or Fix-it Autobio.”  Over the years my students, because of the title, felt comfortable enough to share stories I would never have been privy to.

tbwavestandbyjo-2017-72dpir

comment to beta read

I empathized at how much some had suffered in their short life. In particular was the loss of a parent, sibling or  a friend.

My mother died in a fire — my sister and I witnessed the event. I was five, my sister was seven. Needless to say, we never forgot. It is indelibly etched in my memory. So much detail for such a young mind.

Being aware of my students’ stories, a story evolved in my head for two years. My brain cranked out scenarios. At first it was a morass of imagery. How would I best present my idea. Picture book? Children’s book? Family story book? I wasn’t a writer. I wrote poetry and still do and tuck it away in a briefcase. But writing a book?

Since I am an artist, I began with cute pictures and stories. Then the story grew. It didn’t need to be cute — loss is not cute. I needed honesty and a theme, a plot, etc… . What did I get myself into?

I had to put it into words. As I began the writing process, I adjusted the length and breadth of the story. Years later, I found time in my retirement to finish the MS.

These last four years were devoted to researching the writing craft, improve my writing skills and understanding the different publishing options. Needless to say, the times have surely changed the publishing process since I first put pen to paper.

The story:

  • Timeline: 1957
  • Theme: the loss of a parent.
  • Setting: fictitious town of River Fork, NH.
  • Characters: Three neighboring teens who live in  a farming community.
  • It is about coming of age, death, forgiveness, hope and faith, budding romance.
    • It contains a bit of paranormal (no magical potions, witches, vampires, violence, etc…)
      tbwavestandbyjo-2017-72dpir
Are you a beta reader?

The MS has been line critiqued and gone through several revisions

Presently, I need a critique from a few beta readers willing to give me an honest review. Comment if interested.

If you wish to work with me in this endeavor, your name will be mentioned in the credits and I will gift you a digital copy of my YA novel once it is published.

 

I’ve since begun a sequel—Roach’s story.

Please like, comment and share this post.
Thanks.

 

I Think I Got It … Kinda.

pic_0422_680

 

Yes, I’m really here… 😉

 

Been writing for a while.

Blogs, that is.

I do have a manuscript for a YA novel that I am interested in publishng as well.

But this is about social media.

I find social media protocols strange. Some give an option, then it really is not what I think it will be.

Two days ago, I clicked on that ‘bell’ located at the top of my WP window. This time it worked! All the other times nothing happened. So I had given up.

Like I said, I clicked it the other day and there  was a list of people following me. My Twitter account had notified me I had these followers, but I couldn’t find them in the Twitter followers listing. Perplexing at the time.

Here they are in my WP account. Beautiful!

I experienced an epiphany. Things started to connect. So that is how it comes together. Now to make it work for me.

I did redirect my website to my WP account. It is http://www.jmorise.com . And, I am the one who solves a lot of issues for my hubby’s computer as well as mine. I taught computer science for 20+ years. Therefore, give me a break before judging me. I retired just as social media was coming of age. I was not interested at the time. I was busy painting and writing my MS and fulfilling a whole lot of obligations. Retirement finds me just as busy as when I was employed.

Does anyone else out there find social media difficult to digest?

I’m not talking about posting a picture and requesting likes. That is what I call a scrap-book or a family album.

Comments from like-minded participants as well as likes are my goal.

As I said, I think I got it… .

Leave a comment, a like and please share.

Thanks.

Summer is O – V – E – R – there. Somewhere.

Pulling out the old linoleum flooring was a chinch. Happy about that.

Pulling out the old linoleum flooring was a chinch. Happy about that.

Didn’t we just notice spring arriving and how hot it got in July. New England got damned hot.

Yeah, I know. I chose to used two different patterns from kitchen to dining. I like it. A dividing point instead of a wall.

Yeah, I know. I chose to used two different patterns from kitchen to dining. I like it. A dividing point instead of a wall.

July-August, I was cutting tiles for our kitchen  floor. Man, it was like standing in a hot oven as I cut tiles outside on a wet-table tile saw. No shade. The sun’s glare on a wet, shiny tile demanded sunglasses. It took several minutes to regain my vision as I stepped back into the house from each cut—many cuts.

August, we installed interior doors solid panel as well as french double-doors. Painting the woodwork and touching up was a joy. Uh huh. Right!

My easel is just beyond that doorway. Waiting.

One french door was too short. Fortunately, I had a remnant from another door, so with a little surgery and sanding and painting, I successfully ‘grew’ the too short door with a transplant.

I’ve seriously pondered such surgery. Three or four inches taller would be just right. I was ‘normal’ height in high school. I prayed I would continue to grow. Years later, I conceded that I was deluding myself.

Sutdio doors. Patient on horses awaiting surgery.

Sutdio doors. Patient on horses awaiting surgery.

Back to my door transplant. Hubby was impressed and promised to help with the installation. Once the paint was dry and the glass surfaces scraped clean, he helped carry the door upstairs. French doors may have less wood, but they are still  heavy. Since Hubby was not home, I installed the door myself. Difficult, but doable. The light shines through the glass door and illuminates a dark hallway at the same time. Just what we need.

September, it was sheet rock and mudding. Then, I noticed the kitchen ceiling—cracking? Grab the step-ladder, tape and tools and keep mudding until it looks smooth. That took a while. And yes, sanding and priming and painting. My neck hurt from hours of looking up.

October, finish work with door molding and thresholds and ahhh—some more damned sanding, painting and touching up.

“But you’re an artist. You must love doing this,” said Hubby.

Yeah! Right.

My finished doors and the patient now standing about 3 inches taller. Waiting to go upstairs.

My finished doors and the patient now standing about 3 inches taller. Waiting to go upstairs.

I don’t mind doing it a little bit. But this has been going on since I was a little kid helping my parents with each house project. Then my first husband proved inept with a hammer—to install little blocks of wood outside the window for drapery rod extensions he sunk the hammer head  deep into a plaster wall. So, I became the architect/carpenter/painter, et al. I’ve constructed additions, designed homes, built homes and two-story, 4-bay garages, an eighteen sided home and now this. It is going to stop.

My manuscript is in my computer just inside my studio, reminding me to finish the editing I promised myself to finish last spring.

Summer is over there. In my kitchen, on the floor, the ceiling, around doors, in doors and thresholds. Oh yeah. Almost forgot. We cut trees and split firewood and I helped Hubby design and build a retaining wall to support the fire-wood in the basement. He feared the stacked wood might fall atop our little VW. I assured him it would not. Hubby worries about stuff like that.

Hope your summer was fulfilling as was mine. 😉

Okay, I’ve Finished the Manuscript

Writing

I’ve written a story. Twelve years in the making.

First it was an idea, then it just grew from a children’s book to “Oh no. Not possible. This is too much information for little kids.” So I decided to keep writing and see what happened.

Twelve years? Well, I was working full time as a teacher, and I also built my own home—with my own hands, sweat and blood. Then I got married, moved out of state, built two more houses and got another job teaching in my new geographic location. But my unfinished story haunted me. So I kept writing whenever I had a chance.

At one point, I got stuck. Or I should say, the children in my story were really stuck and I put them there. How could I get them out without killing the whole story? Writer’s block? Yeah. That was what it was. The symptoms fit.

Then one day, I decided I needed another character just to make it more interesting. Should it be a boy? No. How about a girl? Then I had to give her a name. What name. It was like having a baby all over again—without the labor pains or stretch marks. So I did re-writes to fit her into the story. Much later, the same thing happened. This time I added two more characters and had to fit them in with a re-write.

Eventually I felt the children needed to be older. Teen and pre-teen. I learned that is referred to as “tween genre”. Then the title no longer fit the story. Decisions were always being made and I wonder if I made good decisions for the story.

Photograph shows a young girl dressed in a fur...

Photograph shows a young girl dressed in a fur-trimmed coat and hat, carrying her doll. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Isn't she cute?

An idea came as I ate dinner at a restaurant. A pretty, little girl walked to a table with her mom. She had a cute outfit and a beautiful hat. I had to complement her on her hat as I left. I thought, I’d like to paint her. Then it occurred to me. Here was a young girl wearing something special her mom gave her. It was a perceived sign of love by the little girl. My story’s girl needed something to hang on to until her mother came home. So I chose a necklace for my character. It worked for me and for my ‘girl’.

I retired from teaching earlier than planned. My husband was ill once too often and I worried being away all day. Now that I’m home with my happy husband, I have finished my manuscript and have had it reviewed by a critique group. That represents an added two years of critiquing. It was a great experience. The people in the writer’s group were honest and very helpful. I  learned so much more in the last two years. Now my story is so much better thanks to their help and that of a friend who also read the manuscript and made a couple of suggestions.

Now what do I do? Research. I started it a while ago, but had to put it aside to fulfill my obligation to produce new paintings for upcoming art showings and possible  sales. Go to my website at jomorise.com to see my portfolio.

Meanwhile, another story has been brewing in my head for about two years now and I’ve already started writing that as well.

Wish me luck.

Jo

Smile in your mirror every day.