Frayed Mama

I do not usually do things like this, but I felt compelled to share our families experience, so hopefully no one has to suffer like my son did.
Last Wednesday our family decided to go swimming so I stopped in at my local Dollar Tree to pick up a few toys for the pool. While I was there, I thought I would grab some extra sun screen just in case. We get to the pool and I rub our family down with sunscreen and get to our oldest son, who is 9, and had to get a new bottle out. Lucky for me, I grabbed some at the Dollar Tree, so we used that on him. We were in the sun for about three and a half hours and reapplied his sunscreen once. We head home and this is what our week looked like for our 9 YEAR OLD!!!


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Five Behaviors That Communicate High or Low Status


Previously, I have remarked on an area of interpersonal dynamics called the Status Transaction. This concept comes from one of the fathers of improv theatre. It says that humans, just like other pack animals, communicate in subtle behaviors that convey where they stand with regard to each other.  We establish an unconscious structure of deference and social value in order to keep our relations mostly harmonious. As Johnstone remarks, “In the park we’ll notice the ducks squabbling, but not how carefully they keep their distances when they are not.”

This principal is the key link between acting performance, marketing, and social psychology. It is the subtext of human life. It represents the unvarnished, true meaning of people’s communication. It is, either consciously or unconsciously, a crucial factor in honest and authentic acting portrayals, because it factors into a character’s key attitudes. It also factors into how…

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Pirated Books and Just Say No


I debated posting this. Honestly if you’re the sort who is trying to obtain ebooks (some of which are sometimes as low as $2!) illegally then maybe you deserve what you get… but in the end I decided I’m not that person. I’m the sort of person who will warn you that your illegal activity may have real consequences.

Some of you may have heard I have a book coming out this May (TYR – pre-order it and I’ll love you long time), but for those who haven’t, now you know.

The thing is, NOBODY has a copy of this book. Amazon has an unpublished copy but that’s it. I have a few betas who have copies but I’m 99.9% sure none of them have shared it with anyone.

So here’s the thing. Despite my book being in only the most trusted hands, it has somehow popped up on book…

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What’s Your Character’s Status

I first heard about Status when reading Story Trumps Structure by Steven James. Pretty cool stuff.

World of Writing

Like many bookworms, I’m in the middle of two books at the moment. One Fifth Avenue by Candace Bushnell revolves around an apartment block in modern-day Manhattan. The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory is set in the court of King Henry the Eighth. On the surface, these are two very different books. Yet in both books, the characters are preoccupied with raising their status at all costs.

 A character’s status has a huge impact on how they interact with others and it plays a vital role in shaping a story. Status refers to how confident and powerful a character feels inside themselves. Background, life circumstances and personality influences their status. Their status has nothing to do with their external circumstances. A king may constantly apologise for himself, while a roadsweeper sweeps the streets with his head held high.  

The idea of status was developed by Keith Johnstone in…

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Editors: the good, the bad, and the ugly


Doubtless you’ve seen this bit of news over the past week. When I read it, I was shaking my head — in that knowing way. Because a disproportionate number of fiction editors not only live and work in New York City, they also come out of various university literary programs. And if you know anything about university lit departments, or New York City, you know that these cauldrons of Western Civilization (at its finest!) tend to be ear-marked by, ummm, a certain point of view let’s say. It’s not the point of view commonly held in, oh, Montana, or Texas, or small-town South Dakota. And it’s certainly not wholly homogeneous — for those specific places. No. But there is a predictability to Nick Cole’s adventure with traditional publishing. A predictability that only makes sense if you consider the overarching cultural context of the thing. Who Nick is. Who his editor…

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The Martian, Rejection, and Finding Your Reader

Annie Cardi

Recently I read The Martian. It’s been the big buzz book over the last year or two, with a new movie out. Usually I don’t dive into a lot of the best-seller adult list, but I decided to give it a try after getting recommendations from friends in the sciences who enjoyed it. Psyched by the idea of a sci-fi novel that was heavy on the sci, I requested a copy from the library and (about four months later; thanks, Matt Damon), I read it.

It was fun and exciting. Mark Watney was a clever protagonist with a good sense of humor, and the rest of the astronaut team felt real. The science was well explained to the reader and seemed feasible, like manned missions to Mars could actually happen in my lifetime. The dynamics between NASA and the media and international governments felt genuine. Reading it, I could totally imagine this as a…

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New Kindle books I got today.

I picked up some books on Amazon for $0 today. Here is the list and not doing links as WordPress seems to dislike links.

They are all for the kindle.

Writing : Novel Writing Mastery, Proven And Simple Techniques To Outline-, Structure- And Write A Successful Novel! by S. Evans.

The Art of Writing a Story by Low Kay Hwa.

The Pulitzer Punch: Four Principles to Immediately Enhance Your Writing by John Allan.

Twitter for Writers by Nathan A. Goodman.

The Evil Indie Author: How I made a Trillion Dollars on Kindle, Blah Blah Blah (How To Really Make A Living On Kindle). by Luis Samways.

Zbooks Ebook Cheatsheet and Guide: A Beginner’s Guide to Publishing an Ebook by Eric Z.

What To Do When You Are Rejected? by James Altucher.

Your Voice Matters: How Your Words Can Make a Difference in the World by Ryan Johnston.

How To Build Good Writing Habits by Zak Khan.

The 10 Minute Fiction Template Creator by Mr. X.

Story Crisis, Story Climax 1: How to Use Film Structure to Plan Your Novel by Stephen J. Carter.