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John’s Believe It Or Not… April 30th

Happy Sunday To You! Did you know…

* 311 Roman Emperor Galerius issues Edict of Toleration, ending the persecution of Christians in the Roman Empire. (The Edict of Toleration by Galerius was issued in 311 in Serdica (today Sofia, Bulgaria) by the Roman emperor Galerius, officially ending the Diocletianic persecution of Christianity. The Edict implicitly granted Christianity the status of “religio licita”, a worship recognized and accepted by the Roman Empire. It was the first edict legalizing Christianity, preceding the Edict of Milan by two years.) Continue reading “John’s Believe It Or Not… April 30th”

John’s Believe It Or Not… April 29th

Happy Saturday! Did you know…

* 1429 Joan of Arc relieves Orleans. (During the Hundred Years’ War, the 17-year-old French peasant Joan of Arc leads a French force in relieving the city of Orleans, besieged by the English since October. At the age of 16, “voices” of Christian saints told Joan to aid Charles, the French dauphin, in gaining the French throne and expelling the English from France. Convinced of the validity of her divine mission, Charles furnished Joan with a small force of troops. She led her troops to Orleans, and on April 29, as a French sortie distracted the English troops on the west side of the city, Joan entered unopposed by its eastern gate. Bringing needed supplies and troops into the besieged city, she also inspired the French to a passionate resistance and through the next week led the charge during a number of skirmishes and battles. On one occasion, she was even hit by an arrow, but after dressing her wounds she returned to the battle. On May 8, the siege of Orleans was broken, and the English retreated.) Continue reading “John’s Believe It Or Not… April 29th”

John’s Believe It Or Not… April 28th

We Made It – It’s Friday! Did you know…

* 1891 – Shipping – RMS Empress of India in Vancouver. (She is the first of the Canadian Pacific Steamships “Empress” liners to arrive at Vancouver Harbour, via the Suez Canal and Hong Kong; carries 486 passengers and a cargo of tea and silk. RMS Empress of Japan will arrive on June 2, followed by RMS Empress of China; Canadian Pacific Steamships had signed a contract for subsidized mail service between Britain and Hong Kong via Canada. Vancouver, BC) Continue reading “John’s Believe It Or Not… April 28th”

How to Correctly Punctuate Dialogue for Novels

Punctuation rules for dialog? Here’s a primer provided by author S. Katherine Anthony that is solid and rife with helpful examples! Please, read on!

Writers After Dark

Writing dialogue is messy. Am I right?

It has so many rules, it makes me wish I’d gone with my original plan in life. I’d intended to become an all-in-one supermodel-psychologist/part-time medical researcher. What? I thought I wanted to save people, discover things, and change the world wearing a tiara and killer heels. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized I just wanted to sit on my couch drinking coffee and writing all day while wearing no pants.

Plus, apparently my status as a supermodel got cut short (no pun intended) by my lack of height. And love of cake. Also, had I continued studying psychology, I’d have been forced to stop listening to the voices in my head . . . and that was SO not cool. The thing was . . . I didn’t know how to properly punctuate any of my internal…

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7 Tips for Writing a Book Blurb

Frustrated writing book blurbs? Join the club! S. Katherine Anthony gifts us with some solid advice and an illustrated example. Please, read on…

Writers After Dark

7-tips-to-write-book-blurbI’m here to help stop the madness. You know the one. The insanity that accompanies the “fun” of writing a book blurb. Attacking is more like it . . . I could stab it upside the head if it had one. But alas. Don’t let my bitterness get to you. In fact, use it to rise above me . . . with my own help, ironically. So let’s just get straight to it:

What on earth is a book blurb and why do you need one?

A book blurb is an important tool in convincing your readers to buy your book. Essentially, it’s a sales pitch. And you want it to be KILLER.

A reader will browse the shelves (or Kindle), and will find themselves intrigued by that amazing book cover of yours. Yay! You caught their attention. But you need more than that. You need to make…

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John’s Believe It Or Not… April 27th

It’s Thursday Already! Did you know…

* 1967 – Prime Minister Lester Pearson officially opens l’Exposition Universelle de Montréal – Expo ’67. (Expo 67, the “Universal and International Exhibition,” was the highlight of Canada’s Centennial celebrations in 1967. Senator Mark Drouin of Québec first developed the idea of a world exhibition in Montréal to serve as a focal point for Canada’s celebrations of its 100th birthday. Senator Drouin and Senator Sarto Fournier, former mayor of Montréal, first presented the idea to the Bureau International des Expositions in Paris, but that body initially decided that the 1967 world exhibition should be held in Moscow. In late 1962, however, the USSR canceled its plans and Montréal’s mayor, Jean Drapeau, made a fresh presentation to the BIE and the exhibition was awarded to Canada. That Expo 67 was sanctioned by the BIE virtually assured participation by a majority of the countries of the world. What is more, the BIE designated it as an exhibition of the “first category,” the first to be held in North America. The most important aspect of this “first category” classification is that the exposition must cover the full range of activities of contemporary man.) Continue reading “John’s Believe It Or Not… April 27th”

John’s Believe It Or Not… April 26th

It’s Hump Day Wednesday! Did you know…

* April 26, 1783 – The first “spring fleet” sails from New York with 7,000 loyalists, men, women, children, and servants. (When the terms of peace became known, tens of thousands of the Loyalists shook the dust of their ungrateful country from their feet, never to return. Of these the more influential part, both during and after the war, sailed for England. The royal officials, the wealthy merchants, landowners, and professional men; the high military officers–these went to England to press their claims for compensation and preferment. The humbler element, for the most part, migrated to the remaining British colonies in North America. About two hundred families went to the West Indies, a few to Newfoundland, many to what were afterward called Upper and Lower Canada, and a vast army to Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island. On April 26, 1783, the first or ‘spring’ fleet set sail. It had on board no less than seven thousand persons, men, women, children, and servants. Half of these went to the mouth of the river St John, and about half to Port Roseway, at the southwest end of the Nova Scotian peninsula. The voyage was fair, and the ships arrived at their destinations without mishap. But at St John at least, the colonists found that almost no preparations had been made to receive them. They were disembarked on a wild and primeval shore, where they had to clear away the brushwood before they could pitch their tents or build their shanties. The prospect must have been disheartening. ‘Nothing but wilderness before our eyes, the women and children did not refrain from tears,’ wrote one of the exiles; and the grandmother of Sir Leonard Tilley used to tell her descendants, ‘I climbed to the top of Chipman’s Hill and watched the sails disappearing in the distance, and such a feeling of loneliness came over me that, although I had not shed a tear through all the war, I sat down on the damp moss with my baby in my lap and cried.’)
Continue reading “John’s Believe It Or Not… April 26th”

John’s Believe It Or Not… April 25th

It’s Tuesday Already! Did you know…

* 1849 – Lord Elgin signs Rebellion Losses Bill; Tory mobs set fire to the Legislature. (Elgin signs the Rebellion Losses Bill, providing payment for people who lost property in the rebellions of 1837-1838, including rebels. Angry Tory mobs are furious the Queen’s representative would sign a bill rewarding treason. They throw garbage and dead rats at members of the Assembly and pelt an official reading the Riot Act with onions. That night, the mobs set fire to the Legislature in the St. Anne’s Market, destroying parliamentary and government records; the official portrait of Queen Victoria is rescued from the flames by a young engineer named Sandford Fleming. Lord Elgin barely escapes. As a result of this lack of public security in Montreal, the government decides to move to Toronto; so begins the period of wandering government, when Kingston and Quebec City will also share the duties of being the capital of the Canadas. The story of the wandering government of the united Canadas [present-day Ontario & Quebec] is a tale for another day. Who says Canadian history is boring?) Continue reading “John’s Believe It Or Not… April 25th”

John’s Believe It Or Not… April 24th

It’s Another Magnificent Monday! (Right!) Did you know…

* 1885 – Gabriel Dumont’s Métis maul Crozier at Battle at Battle of Fish Creek in NW Rebellion. (The Métis chose to face Middleton’s troops at a heavily wooded coulee where the trail crossed Fish Creek, known to the Métis as Tourond’s Crossing. They hid themselves and their horses in the bushes and, when Middleton’s scouts approached, the Métis who were in the coulee opened fire. Rather than pursuing the Métis forces into the coulee, the scouts dismounted and returned fire. When the main body of Middleton’s force arrived, they took up positions on the bluffs on the west side above the coulee and engaged the Métis from distances of 50 to100 yards across the creek. When the militia attacked, they moved forward in the open, at the top of the coulee, where they became easy targets; many of them were killed. The Métis were on the east side of the coulee, using the natural brush cover by the stream and up on the eastern plateau. The west plateau is slightly higher than the east plateau, and Middleton’s gunners had a difficult time depressing their guns low enough so that they could fire into the lower banks of the coulee. The Métis started brush fires in order to create panic and screen their attempts to outflank Middleton. Meanwhile, the part of Middleton’s force which was on the opposite bank of the SOUTH SASKATCHEWAN RIVER crossed the river on a barge. Now Middleton had fresh troops; but seeing that he was taking too many casualties, he did not renew the attack. A drizzle that had begun in the morning had, late in the afternoon, turned to sleet as Middleton’s cold, wet soldiers withdrew from the battle. The Métis and Indians began to slip away from the coulee, returning to their homes to prepare to defend them against the coming assault by Middleton’s forces. Finally, there were only about 47 Métis left in the coulee, facing over 400 militia. After six and a half hours, the battle drew to a close with the withdrawal of all the Métis to BATOCHE. Middleton’s forces had suffered 10 deaths and 40 wounded. The Métis casualties were four dead and one wounded; they also lost over 50 horses.) Continue reading “John’s Believe It Or Not… April 24th”