A Sort of Funny Story..
Sitting here bored, I thought of the funniest story.
I’ve been wanting to write about it but haven’t had the time.
Those that know me well understand that I was diagnosed with PTSD twenty years ago, and I’ve worked hard to manage it through the years and have been successful.
With PTSD, symptoms can return full force at any time.
A loud noise, someone following too close, even a slow elevator can send me down a dark hole, and it can be difficult to climb out.
Late August driving home from my granddaughter’s softball game on a winding back road two cars were stopped in the middle of the road. In slow motion I saw one driver shoot the other. The injured man ran towards my car and I got out and ran towards him.
Back in October I was driving home from meeting with my writing group. At an intersection close to my house a gun battle broke out and I was caught right in the middle of the firing.
That wasn’t the funny part.
It was the terrified part, but terrified doesn’t even come close.
Understandably I don’t like crowds. I didn’t like crowds before PTSD. You will not find me in the grocery store before a snowstorm, My Christmas shopping is all done online, and you certainly will never see me out on New Year’s Eve.
Feeling emboldened after a couple of months of intense trauma therapy, I decided to go to the grocery store, on New Year’s Eve.
It was early afternoon. The parking lot was full, but I had this, no problem.
Lines to check out were long but they were moving.
Not actually needing anything, I slowly walked up and down each aisle. My cart was filling up with snack type stuff. We’d be staying home so why not?
Walking by the café with no intention of stopping I saw a sign that said two pizzas for $10. The pizzas at this store are large and so good. Why not, I thought. Thinking I’d have to pay a few extra dollars I ordered two with pepperoni and waited. A man with a cart full of lobster tails rolled up next to me. He was waiting for more. For most people this wouldn’t be a problem, but I am deathly allergic to shellfish and it didn’t take long for it to affect me. I backed as far away from him as I could which wasn’t easy because the crowd was growing quickly.
This was also where you paid for alcohol and it was New Year’s Eve.
People started brushing up against me and I told myself two more minutes and I was leaving without the pizzas.
Popping that sounded like gunfire, too close to me rang out and I was being pelted with something that hurt and I was being sprayed with something wet. In my mind it was bullets and blood. People were screaming and running. I couldn’t move.
The reality was an elderly woman was driving one of those handicapped ride-on carts and she crashed into a floor to ceiling display of sparkling juice. She continued plowing through and crushing more and more bottles as she went, the whole time wearing a smile like nothing at all happened.
Everyone was standing around, looking at each other and saying nothing.
A puddle of juice and broken glass surrounded me, I was scared to move.
They called my name, so I gripped my cart and forced my way to the counter, put my pies in the cart and went to the back of the long line to wait to pay. This was the alcohol line after all.
Fifteen minutes later it was my turn. “That will be $23.00” the cashier said. “The pizzas are on sale,” I answered. “But you got pepperoni.” “So; charge me for the pepperoni.” “It doesn’t work that way.” “I WANT A MANAGER!” I demand as I’m witnessing all the available managers staring at the mess on the floor, wondering how to go about cleaning it up.
The head cashier comes over and shakes her head. “It’s only the cheese pies,” She says still shaking her head.
I shook my head in disbelief and walked out leaving my entire cart full of snacks and the pizzas.
You just can’t make this stuff up.
Now available wherever books are sold:
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If you ever said, “I could write a book,” This book is for you! It also makes a great gift for the writer in your life.
Thank you for reading, reviewing and sharing,
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COMING SRING 2020!!
Book #3– Realize Your Writing Dreams- Actionable tips on writing, publishing and marketing
Becoming a published author is no easy task. Overcoming the writing challenges, agent and publisher rejections and marketing failures can be excruciating. It can often seem like an impossible dream, but those dreams can be realized.
Realize Your Writing Dreams will talk you through each step of the writing process. The author explains in simple terms the business of and the ever- changing publishing landscape. She gives the writer a complete description of each publishing route and the pros and cons of each choice.
The reader will receive actionable instructions on all things marketing including public relations, promotion, advertising and how to write a winning book marketing plan.
Becoming a successful author has nothing to do with luck and everything to do perseverance, passion and preparation.
Realize Your Writing Dreams is that book that you will keep and refer to throughout your writing career.
About the Author:
As the President of Intrepid Marketing, Doreen McGettigan consults with and coaches on all things writing, publishing and marketing. She’s an author, speaker, ghostwriter, and an award-winning blogger. She facilitates workshops on writing, blogging, social media, communications, networking, and elevator pitches.
Doreen chaired and facilitated the Press Club professional Development Workshop Series, “How to Get You, Your Business, Book, Product or Non-Profit in the News.” She is a member of the SCORE speaker’s bureau, is an active member of the Press Club (former board member,) and an active member and board member of Fem City Philadelphia (A national networking organization.)
She started her career as a journalist and her writing has recently appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer. Her writing appears often in 1010 Park Place, an online magazine.
Doreen serves as a board member for Family Promise, a National Homelessness Organization.
She lives with her husband John in Delaware County, Pennsylvania (just south of Philadelphia.) They have 5 children (2 more in Heaven) and 13 grandchildren. Their lives are never boring.
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Realize Your Writing Dreams Writers Beach Retreat..
It’s time to Realize Your Writing Dreams
Have you always wanted to write a book but have no idea where to start? Written a book and now have no idea whether traditional, independent or the self-publishing route is best for you? Are you struggling with platform building and/or book marketing? Looking for a creative way to share your story and scale your business? Is it time to finally make your writing dreams come true?
Join us for an intensive; inspiring goal- oriented writers retreat.
Have all your questions answered and leave rested, inspired and with actionable tips on writing; publishing, marketing and the knowledge and confidence to check authoring a book off your to do list.
All genres welcome.
When and where:
Seven nights and six days in a beautiful, comfortable beachfront cottage, located in a small New Jersey beach town.
When: October 17, 2020 -October 24, 2020
Sorry fellas this one is for women only.
Sleeping accommodations/shared bathrooms/choice of workshops/daily one on one coaching sessions/daily beach walks/daily yoga for writers/Saturday- arrival 4:30 pm; early evening welcome party with lite bites and sparkly beverages/Sunday- breakfast; lunch, dinner and snacks; 3 workshops, writing session, group discussion/ Monday- breakfast; lunch, dinner and snacks, 2 workshops, writing session, walk to view and photograph gorgeous sunset/Tuesday-breakfast; lunch, pizza party dinner, 3 workshops, group writing project/Wednesday- breakfast; lunch and snacks, 2 workshops, writing session, critiques, group discussion/ Thursday- breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks; 3 workshops, writing session, query critiques, group discussion/ Friday- breakfast; lunch, farewell party with lots of light bites, 2 workshops, writing session, group goal discussion/Saturday- Continental breakfast; checkout by 10:00 am./All attendees will receive a paperback copy of Realize Your Writing Dreams
Wednesday- Responsible for your own dinner at a local restaurant
Cost varies depending on accommodation choices:
Rooms with a queen bed- Early bird $1500 if reserved before April 30th 2020 (May be shared w/friend request info)
Double room with (2) queen beds- $1200 each Early bird if reserved before March 2020
Single room with a full-size bed- $1400 if reserved before March 2020
Leave a deposit now to avoid price increase by $300 May 1, 2020.
First come! Only 3 Spots left!!
For more information, deposit and payment arrangements or to register email Doreen: firstname.lastname@example.org
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The Characters We Craft…
All About the Characters
Thank you so much for being a reader of my posts, whether you’re here for the first time or you’ve been reading my words for years. This wouldn’t be a blog community without you.
On Wednesdays I like to share what I’ve learned on my writing, publishing and marketing journey. The type of information I wish someone would have shared with me when I started on this crazy, crooked but exciting and rewarding path.
One of my favorite things to do is people watch.
Sitting on a boardwalk bench at the New Jersey Shore is and endless source of character inspiration. I can’t help but smile when I see an elderly couple holding hands.
Watching couples and imagining how ‘they’ ended up with one another, how long they’ve been together and oh so funny are the couples that don’t even like each other anymore, they are so easy to spot.
If it’s too cold for boardwalk sitting the mall is another alternative. Have a notebook with you and jot down whatever you find interesting especially the first thought that comes to mind when you see someone that causes you to look twice.
Learning to create and bring to life to or in the case of nonfiction to believably describe the most memorable characters takes time and practice.
The characters we craft are the life of our stories.
It’s our job to give them a body type, moods, emotions, characteristics, a family, friends, education and a career. We also need to give them a past.
We give them life so they can bear the burden of showing the reader our story.
You don’t want to start a story by using an entire chapter to ‘tell’ your reader everything there is to know about your main characters. You do want to give them enough of a brief description, one that allows them to form a picture of that character in their mind.
As the story moves forward you can reveal more and more of whom exactly your characters are through the actions and reactions of the characters themselves.
Not only do you need to craft who your character is, but you need to craft where they came from as well as where they are going and most importantly who they are going to become while on this journey.
What is their birthday? Are they religious? Did something terrify them as a child and cause them to be a certain way as an adult? Do they have allergies? What is their favorite color? Did they feel abandoned, where they spoiled?
One of the most important things you will give your characters is their name.
Let’s face it when we hear certain names it conjures certain images in our heads. Would Tiffany be the leader of a female motorcycle gang? Personally, I think she could be, and her back story might be fascinating.
When choosing character names, I often use baby name lists from the year my character was born.
I also love using old death records and my favorite go to for choosing names is the Bible.
Creating files on my characters helps me keep them organized.
The file isn’t always complete when I start the story, I’m always adding details. That way I can insure, the character’s consistency, and I have a record if I want to use a character or characters again, maybe in a series.
It sounds cliché but I like to think of my characters as onions.
I peel off a little bit at a time, getting to know them slowly verses dumping them out onto the page and revealing everything at once.
Most of our characters are based on someone we know in real life or someone we’ve gotten to know onscreen, maybe a celebrity. After all we wouldn’t be able to describe them if we didn’t have some sort of a picture formed in our minds.
Sometimes while watching TV or a movie a character will stand out for me. Soap Operas and reality TV are good sources too. With a soap opera actor or actress, you can watch the character for days, learning something new about them every day.
I sometimes go through magazines to look for my characters.
I cut them out and put them on a vision board.
A vision board is simply a cork bulletin board you can use pushpins to hold photos; magazine images of locations, settings or people and any items that might inspire your writing. I keep it close by as I write.
Keeping something on your desk that reminds you of the character or the place you are writing about can be inspiring.
If I’m writing a beach scene it helps to have a few seashells or some sand on my desk. It may seem silly, but it does help the creative process.
Do you have any suggestions for creating memorable characters?
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