Pages & Paws

Writing, Reading, and Rural Life With a Border Collie


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GUEST POST: Author Jonathan Durham on Writer’s Block

Hello Friends!

Kimber here. Being my usual charming, magnificent, magnanimous self. While I’m sitting here waiting for She Who Must Be Obeyed (sometimes) to grab my leash so’s we can head out for a walk, I wanted to introduce you to one of our new friends.

His name is Edward Jonathan Durham. Isn’t that fun to say? Edward is the author of Winterset Hollow. It’s one of the most unusual books we’ve read all year. Read our full review here.

We recently reached out to Edward and offered him a guest post. He wrote about how he faces down The Dreaded Writer’s Block. There are some pretty nifty tips and ideas here. So I’d listen up ‘fize you. Take it away, Edward!

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GUEST POST: The Many Reincarnations of Cinderella

By Bruce Calhoun

Perhaps the most famous fairy tale in Western literature, Cinderella has been retold and reimagined in a staggering number of books and movies.   The books and movies fall within two categories:  modern day Cinderella stories featuring an underdog heroine and historical Cinderella stories with a twist – such as telling the story from the point of view of a mouse that gets turned into a horse.

“Cinderella” has also become part of a catchphrase for any sports team that attains great success against all odds or any individual who goes from rags to riches.   I will confine myself to commenting on a few historical Cinderella books, including my own:  Ardennia:  The Unlikely Story of Cinderella’s Prince.

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Are You Writing “On the Way Down”?

“We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down.”

—Kurt Vonnegut

Kimber here. Mom is still trying to figure out where June went. And here we are, halfway through September! You know Mom is always trying to figure something out, right? The weather. Time travel. Splitting the atom. How some people get elected to office… But anyway…

While Mom’s trying to figure that out, can we agree that fall is Seriously Awesome? You know. Like me!

“But fall comes at a price,” says Her Momness: “A sigh and a sense of loss – always flavored with amazement. As in, Where, oh where, did summer go?”

 When You Aren’t Lookin’

Mom says it’s easy to say the same about writing. In fact, if you’re reading this you’re probably a book lover. And most book lovers we know are also writers. You know. Also Seriously Awesome. So this one’s for you.

As in, why do writers so often sigh and say, summer-like, I was going to finish chapter twenty-two today, but…  I haven’t actually finished the proposal… I planned to, but… thought about… talked about… considered… Well, maybe…

Yet the novel, article, story, essay, or outline sit on your desk or in your hard drive unfinished. Poised to creep out the back door when you aren’t lookin’.

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Why Visiting a Library is Like Coming Home

Kimber here. With a question: Where do your best friends live?

The Book Place

Some of our BFFs live at The Book Place. Where they have row after row of books! All lined up on shelves, just waiting to be checked out and read Also…. Oh. Wait. Mom is butting in again. So I’ll let her tell you more and give you some additional background:

Mom: There’s something inspirational about a library.  Being in the massed presence of so many authors is like snuggling under a cozy quilt on a snowy day.  It’s like Christmas, Independence Day and the First Day of Summer all rolled into one.

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Which is Better: Book or Movie?

“Kimber, what do you think is better? Book or movie?”

Depends, says I, Kimber the Magnificent. Usually on whether we’re reading or watching before or after dinner. Lemme backtrack for a min and explain-ish.

Book Memories

Her Momness has been skipping down Memory Lane via books for much of the summer.  She’s re-visited a ton and a half of old favorites. See: The Dog Days and Children’s Classics.

Poppins?

The other day Mom re-read Mary Poppins, by P.L. Travers. Just a few days after watching the Disney movie with Julie Andres and Dick Van Dyke. Having read and watched both versions within a few days of each other, Her Momness was somewhat astonished. At how far apart they are.

Granted, there are things you can and can’t do on the silver screen that you can do in a book. Some book scenes just don’t translate well onto film. But in the case of Mary Poppins The Book vs. Mary Poppins the Movie, the two are almost oceans apart. (We loved Saving Mr. Banks, thank you very much.)

Here are some select examples from Mom:

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GUEST POST: Destiny Falls Author Elizabeth Pantley on ‘A Writer’s Life’

‘Bat dog!’

Isn’t it fun getting to know a new fave? Kinda like getting a nice, thick, juicy New York steak done medium rare? With extra crispy bacon the side!

We recently reached out to one of our new favorites, Elizabeth Pantley, author of the Destiny Falls Mystery and Magic series (links to our reviews of her first three books appear below). We offered her a guest post to give you a chance to get to know her better. So here ya go. Enjoy!

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The Dog Days & Children’s Classics

What?

Hello Friends and Happy August!

If you’ve been following Pages and Paws for any length of time – say, 20 minutes or so – you know that Her Momness sometimes says weird stuff about books. (Don’t tell her I said that, okay?)

Sometimes Mom’ll read a “best-seller” that’s topping the charts and go, “Aaaarg! Barf-o-rama and gag me with Meow Mix! Bleeeech and double bleech!!” And sometimes she’ll read an obscure-ish book by an unknown indie author and chirp, “Why isn’t this magnum opus in every library, on every shelf, and in every bookstore in America and the whole world included?! Cuz it’s Seriously Awesome!”

The Children’s Section

Well. You know Mom. (Insert eye roll here.)

She also thinks some of the best writing and coolest stories around can be found in the Children’s Section of the local library. (Not sure what that says about Mom. Can I get back to you on that?)

Pop Quiz!

Anywho, Mom was lumbering back from The Book Place the other day with her usual truckload of To Be Reads. All from the Children’s Section. I’m not making this up. Then she decides it’s time for a Pop Quiz. Like this:

“Okay, Kimmi. What children’s classic opens with these lines”:

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What’s YOUR Story?

Are you an author with a story to share?  An excerpt from your next great American novel?  Tips for fledgling (or even seasoned) writers?  How do you overcome writer’s block? What have you learned about editors, query letters, traditional vs. alternative publishing venues? How did you land your first book contract, or are you still looking? What titles have you recently read that are shout-out worthy per our Rating System and Submission Guidelines?

We’re currently accepting guest posts on these and other writing-related topics. 

You don’t have to have the publishing “big boys” banging down your door to post at Pages and Paws.  In fact, we’ve been known to pan Pulitzer Prize winner and hear praise on unknown indie authors who’ve earned it.

To be considered for a guest post here, all you really need is something to say that’s well said, a passion for writing and reading, and the desire to learn and share.  If accepted, your post will include a byline and a link to your blog or website as applicable.

That said, here are a few ground rules and guide lines. 

Submission Guidelines:

  1. We prefer content that’s fresh and original.  That is, content that hasn’t been previously published elsewhere.
  2. We don’t do “auto publish.” All guest posts are reviewed prior to publication. Publication is neither promised nor guaranteed. But if your submission is a good fit for us, you’re way ahead of the game.
  3. We’re partial to “short and sweet.”  Submissions should be between 300 – 500 words.  (Tip: humorous and/or true-life “slice of life” vignettes always catch our eye!) A longer post (up to 850 words, max) may be accepted if we really, really like it.
  4. If your post is accompanied by an original photo or two, so much the better!
  5.  This blog is G-rated.  We reserve the right to reject any submission, for any reason, without explanation.  Likewise, posts that include links or references to sites that are not G-rated or include spam and viruses will not be accepted
  6.  There is no compensation for any posts.  As in, zip.  Your “compensation” is boosted traffic and exposure for your work. 
  7. You are encouraged to promote your submission and share links via your own social network.  More exposure for Pages and Paws means more exposure for you.

How To Submit a Guest Post

To submit a guest post, just leave a comment or email us at: kikero@juno.com. Put “My Writing Story!” in the subject line so we don’t miss it.

Ready? Set? Go! 


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Author William Garner: ‘Forget Model Airplanes, Give Me Books’

Ever read a book that’s as bright as morning sunshine? Bubbles with zest and ‘zing’ like a glass of freshly squeezed lemonade, with a touch of Tabasco?

William Garner’s Me, Boo, and the Goob is a book like that. It was one of the most original and entertaining novels we read all year. Here’s our review: How to Snort Sprite Out Your Nose, Southern Style, With ‘Me, Boo, and the Goob.

How does a writer come up with such memorable characters? What experiences helped shape his or her perspective and abilities? How and where does writing inspiration strike?

Author William Garner tells us this and more in this snappy guest post.

So pull up a chair. Put your feet up. Pour yourself a nice cold glass of whatever. Ready? Good! Take it away, Bill:

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How a Real Life Love Story Propelled Christmas Carol Prequel, ‘The Red Button’

Did you know that a recently released prequel to A Christmas Carol is based on a real life love story?

Join us for a fascinating, wide-ranging interview with Keith Eldred as he explains the why, how, and who behind his A Christmas Carol prequel, The Red Button. (For our full review: New Novel Reveals Untold Story Behind Scrooge Romance.) Take it away, Keith!

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Hello, Kristine and Kimber fans! I am grateful to K & K for inviting this guest post and for reviewing The Red Button, my prequel to A Christmas Carol that focuses on the doomed engagement of young Scrooge and his fiancee, Belle.

I appreciate the opportunity to tell why I wrote it. You might be able to guess some of the reasons but probably not all.

First reason: I love A Christmas Carol!

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