Lima, Ohio in the Year 2000

Reblogging this post I found thanks to Rust Belt Girl blog. Michelle’s photos really capture the spirit of a time and place. If you’re into urban photography, especially of architecture, take a look.

Intensity Without Mastery

collage 2

My photo archiving project continues. I decided to make albums of some of the photos on my Facebook page. The images for this blog posts are screen shots of an album that features photos I took in Lima in the year 2000. Back then I used one of the Sony Mavica cameras that recorded images onto floppy discs. I could fit just 10 images per disc, so I had to carry a baggy full of a dozen discs to make it through a photo walk.

Alas, I don’t have the originals files of these photos. All I have now are online copies, and the website where I uploaded them 19 years ago only has 500×375 or smaller versions of the images. I know that some of the photos had an original resolution of 1024×768 (if I felt bold enough to just take five pics per disc!). Lesson learned: back up…

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Book Review: “Closer Than You Think” by Lee Maguire

41053893Dr. Bryce Davidson is a well-respected psychologist who is struggling through a divorce. When a new patient shows up in the hospital he is working at, things take a sinister turn as he begins to receive threatening messages and “gifts” from an unknown stalker.

Closer Than You Think (A Broken Minds Thriller) is the debut novel from author Lee Maguire.

Closer is a tense thriller that weaves an interesting narrative from start to finish. Since it is written in first-person POV, we’re along for the ride with Dr. Davidson as he tries to unravel the mystery of his threatening and enigmatic stalker. He’s a sensitive and likable guy, but not without faults. As tension rises, his paranoia and anxiety begin to take their toll. Even a nightly stroll with Max, his beloved basset hound, becomes an exercise in fear.

Maguire does a great job of keeping the reader guessing. As the story progressed, I was pulled into Dr. Davidson’s thoughts. While he checked potential suspects “off the list”, it became harder and harder to determine what was reality, or some sort of paranoid delusion. The added cast of characters including his co-workers and creepy apartment groundskeeper are well fleshed out, and make for a believable mystery for Bryce to weave his way through.

I also need to comment on the accurate use of psychology and healthcare terms. Maguire’s own experience in the field and research really shined through in the prose.

While Closer Than You Think leads to a satisfying conclusion (no spoilers!) I have to say there were a few parts where the story dragged a bit. I also caught a few more grammar and spelling errors than I would have liked, but nothing so egregious that I was pulled out of the story.

Overall I can recommend Closer Than You Think as a strong debut offering, to anyone who enjoys psychological thrillers or the cat-and-mouse tension of a tale involving stalkers.

What I Liked:

  • Likable and engaging protagonist.
  • Complex, but follow-able, plot
  • Good use of tension, paranoia

What I Didn’t Like:

  • Story dragged a bit in places
  • Book could have used another line-editing pass

 

Note: A review copy of Closer Than You Think was generously provided by TCK Publishing in exchange for an honest review. Check them out on Facebook and Twitter

 

Notes From A Writers Conference

Author K.M. Allan brings back a slew of great advice from a Writer’s Conference. This covers a bunch of topics from querying manuscripts to do’s and don’t of social media. Check this out, especially if you’re submitting or preparing to query a manuscript.

K.M. Allan

As mentioned in last week’s blog (Preparing For A Writers Conference: What To Take), I attended a writers conference for the first time!

The #KidLitVic2019 event covered writing and publishing for middle grade to YA (my genre), the chance to pitch to agents, and to have publishers assess a part of your completed MS.

I attended the general panels, which were full of tips and tricks about why a publisher or agent will say yes, and the publishing industry.

I will post blogs about those specific topics over the next three weeks, but for now, here are the highlights gleaned from insightful talks by Susannah Chambers, Clair Hume, Zoe Walton, Alex Adsett, Jacinta Di Mase, Jane Pearson, Suzanne O’Sullivan, and Miriam Rosenbloom.

KidLitVic2019 Conference. The Panels.

What You Need To Write…

Both the agents and publishers who spoke across the day agreed on the same thing when it…

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Film Photography is for Smart People who Don’t Like to Waste Time and Money — 6×6 Portraits | Kenneth Wajda

We have plenty of photographs. What we really need is a curator! I was talking to my oldest brother, who is in these four pictures below with my Grandpop and Grandmom. He was visiting my Dad’s house and going through some boxes and came upon these photographs that were in an album, and he texted […]

via Film Photography is for Smart People who Don’t Like to Waste Time and Money — 6×6 Portraits | Kenneth Wajda

Write Like Yourself

This post by Jordan Peters over on “The Art of Blogging” has some sound advice. While my style differs a bit from everything he proposes, that’s kind of the whole point! I agree with much of what he says that a bloggers voice should be more informal. I believe in this medium, its part of what creates a strong connection with an audience and fellow bloggers.

The Art of Blogging

Let’s face it: most people can’t write their way out of a paper bag. Further, most bloggers are boring, most journalists are so heavily edited that any personality they’ve added to a story has long since been weaned out by the editorial process.

I want to let you in on a secret, though: it’s not really that people are boring, but that too many have been taught that you shouldn’t write the same way you talk. I blame our educational system, actually, with those 5th grade teachers who drilled us on adverbs, pronouns and the minutia of grammar, coupled with too many boring, tedious academic books that we all suffered through while in college.

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