by Lillian Csernica on August 11, 2017
Stories grow out of two questions: What if? and What next?
If you’re like me, your stories tend to start out as a sudden flash of action or dialogue. Maybe you think of a character first, and then the problem. Either way, once you’ve got your basic idea on paper and it’s time to think about story structure, there’s one essential question you must answer:
In Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, Ebenezer Scrooge has to change his ways right now or he won’t live to see another Christmas.
In The Hunger Games, when Katniss’ little sister is chosen to represent their District, Katniss has to take action right now to save her sister’s life. The only acceptable way is to volunteer and take her place.
In Andy Weir’s novel The Martian, astronaut Mark Watney has to come up with some kind of life support system right now. Maybe NASA will mount a successful rescue mission. Maybe Watney’s team will do it. That’s all off in the land of What Then? When you’re stuck on Mars with no hope in sight, right now means right now!
Answering the Why now? question will raise your stakes, heighten your action, and give your readers a story they’ll remember!
Filed under Christmas, classics, creativity, dreams, editing, fairy tales, Family, fantasy, Fiction, frustration, Goals, historical fiction, memoirs, nature, publication, research, science fiction, travel, Writing
by Lillian Csernica on August 1, 2017
AVAILABLE NOW ON SMASHWORDS!
One of the most important elements of a fantasy novel or a game world is the magic system. A logical and consistent magic system will do a lot to help improve the quality of the story… A better magic system means a better story, and a better story means more readers!
PLENTY OF FORMATS TO CHOOSE FROM!
EPUB MOBI PDF IRL PDB TXT HTML
Whether you’re a writer or a gamer, a graphic novelist or an historical reenactor, The Writer’s Spellbook will give you step by step guidance in making the crucial decisions that will bring your fantasy world to life.
Filed under cats, chocolate, classics, creativity, doctors, dogs, dreams, editing, fairy tales, Family, fantasy, Fiction, Food, Goals, historical fiction, Horror, hospital, housework, legend, Lillian Csernica, love, nature, parenting, publication, research, romance, Special needs, steampunk, surgery, sword and sorcery, tall ships, travel, Uncategorized, veterinarian, Writing
by Lillian Csernica on July 3, 2017
Lard Lad Donuts. A cardiologist’s nightmare.
When we’re at an amusement park, Chris and I have to make John eat. He gets so excited he just wants to move on to the next ride or show.
The heat was in the 90s, so I made sure we had water bottles that we refilled frequently. Anywhere we saw a restroom sign, there would be a water fountain close by. This was very helpful knowledge when bottled water was selling for $3.49 each.
I’ve already mentioned the supreme delights of Butterbeer. Available at Honeyduke’s is the magical ice cream that never melts. I’m not sure that we really tested the truth of that “magic.” John ate it rather quickly. Florian Fortescue’s Ice Cream Parlor also offers many chilly treats.
The Giant Donut — This is, if anything, an understatement. We’re talking about something roughly the size of the front wheel on a child’s tricycle. The GD is most commonly available with either bright pink frosting dotted with multi-colored sprinkles, or chocolate frosting and chocolate sprinkles. I’ll give you one guess which one John chose.
Minion Cupcakes — Red velvet cake with a good inch and a half of blue frosting swirled on top. From there you could choose the Twinkie Minion version, or the round, flat, yellow disc decorated with white eyes and black details. I’m not a fan of Twinkies. Neither is John, thank God. By the time he was halfway through his cupcake, his lips had turned cyanotic blue. When he was finished, he stuck his tongue out at me. One of my nicknames for John is “Puppy Boy.” With that blue tongue he could be a Chow!
Here we have the Chicken Thumbs meal available at Cletus’ Chicken Shack. The coleslaw is all right. I like a lot of pepper on mine, but that’s just me. French fries aren’t on my diet, and John had already eaten all of his, so I offered the fries to the four Australian gentlemen sitting nearby nursing their pints. They were happy to accept. Throughout the park the French fries are dusted with a seasoning mixture that will make you even more in need of a cold drink. They are tasty!
The second night we were in the park we had dinner at Luigi’s Pizza. For a cafeteria-style restaurant the food was quite good. Pasta or pizza or even pizza-by-the-slice, plus a small Caesar salad. The desserts were what you’d expect in an Italian restaurant, featuring huge slices of a six layer chocolate cake edged with mini chocolate chips and topped with serious whipped cream. You do get your money’s worth at Universal Studios.
Filed under artists, bad movies, chocolate, classics, creativity, dreams, fairy tales, Family, family tradition, fantasy, Food, history, Humor, Lillian Csernica, memoirs, parenting, perspective, research, travel, Writing
by Lillian Csernica on July 2, 2017
Next up: Shrek 4-D. This adventure was so amazing and funny we saw it both days.
You start out in Lord Farquad’s Dungeon, where the Three Little Pigs and Pinocchio are being held prisoner. The Magic Mirror and the Ghost of Lord Farquad get the story started as a prelude to what happens during the 4D movie in Ogre-Vision!
No spoilers here, but I will say this is more than just a visual experience. Four out of the five senses get some stimulation. One of them hit me right where I live, bringing a whole new dimension to this thrill ride!
Minion Mayhem — Another wild ride! When the Minions all get thrown into prison, Gru starts a recruiting campaign. This is the basis of the ride’s storyline. Gru’s henchman Dr. Nefario has created another evil death ray gizmo that will turns even humans into Minions. (I got to be a purple Minion!) John and I can’t wait to see Despicable Me 3. What we saw during the ride convinced us we had to see the whole movie. John bought a Minion key ring with his name on it. I bought a charm that shows Kevin and Bob back to back, both of them holding serious ray guns! The perfect keepsake to remind me of the time John and I joined the ranks of the Minions!
The Simpsons Experience — Ever wanted to be inside an episode of The Simpsons? This will do it for you. It’s an insane 3D ride through Itchy & Scratchy Land, facing the homicidal robot cats and mice. There’s an ominous undercurrent to the ride’s lead-in, which explodes into some genuine terror (at least for me) when you experience the very realistic sense of being trapped on a shattered roller coaster.
Yes, that’s right. If you weren’t already in enough of a panic, the ride starts going backwards!
Back when I was ten years old, just the prospect of going behind the scenes at a real working movie studio was a huge thrill. In today’s modern digital world, visitors expect a whole lot more given the endless competition for their attention spans. Now the Studio Tour includes a 3D adventure between King Kong and some vicious dinosaurs. The grand finale is the hyper-realistic, HD adventure Fast and Furious: Supercharged.
I confess a certain nostalgia for the Jaws portion of the tour. There I was, sitting in the tour shuttle with John just as my mother had sat with me. John has a pretty good grip on what’s real and what isn’t, but that didn’t stop him from yelping when the shark reared up out of the water. Another fine family tradition, watching the next generation get freaked out by Bruce the animatronic shark.
Filed under artists, autism, bad movies, classics, creativity, dreams, fairy tales, Family, family tradition, fantasy, history, Horror, Humor, legend, Lillian Csernica, memoirs, mother, nature, parenting, perspective, research, science fiction, travel, veterinarian, Writing
by Lillian Csernica on June 24, 2017
Tomorrow John and I will fly down to Los Angeles and spend a few days enjoying the wonders of Universal Studios Hollywood.
John has been talking about seeing Universal Studios ever since he first heard about it many years ago. Chris and I decided that a trip to this previously unexplored land of movie magic makes the perfect graduation gift for our boy.
John and I have studied the map. We’ve discussed what we each want to see the most. Today we’ve been packing our bags. Tomorrow we take our first plane trip together. I’m pretty sure what John is looking forward to the most is The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
Me, I’m looking forward to the air conditioning on the plane, at the hotel, and on many of the rides. I’m not a big fan of heat, preferring autumn and winter to summer. I suppose this is an indicator of my advancing years. Insane roller coasters are great, but they lost their appeal for me after I reached my late twenties.
Even so, I can’t wait to watch the Special Effects Show with John, to get silly in the Despicable Me Minion Mayhem area, and probably scream at least once on the Jurassic Park ride. Best of all, I finally get to drink butter beer and hang out at Ollivander’s where Harry Potter’s wand chose him!
My grandfather worked in the movies. My mother has appeared as an extra in several. I did some writing for the movies, once upon a time. And now my son loves movies just as much as the previous generations in our family have.
Watch for my trip report once we’re home again!
Filed under autism, bad movies, classics, cosplay, creativity, dreams, fairy tales, Family, family tradition, fantasy, Fiction, Food, history, legend, Lillian Csernica, memoirs, mother, neurodiversity, parenting, science fiction, Special needs, steampunk, sword and sorcery, travel, Uncategorized, Writing
by Lillian Csernica on May 13, 2017
Looking for inspiration? Technique? Some solidarity and comfort? Somewhere on this list you’ll find what you need, along with so much more. Enjoy!
Source: 20 Inspiring Pinterest Boards for Writers
Filed under classics, creativity, Depression, dreams, editing, fairy tales, fantasy, Fiction, Goals, historical fiction, Horror, Lillian Csernica, memoirs, research, romance, science fiction, steampunk, sword and sorcery, Writing
by Lillian Csernica on May 8, 2017
Another April has come and gone. I had a blast this year! Plowing through over a thousand items of Art Nouveau jewelry, art, housewares, etc. brought me a great deal of pleasure and lots of new historical information.
Having survived the previous three A to Z Blog Challenges, I came up with a better strategy for participating this year.
I chose a theme that promised plenty of eye candy: Art Nouveau jewelry. That meant more graphics and less text, so the posts would contain the essential information of interest on each item shown.
I made sure I stayed a week ahead on writing the posts. That did wonders for taking the pressure off and helping me really enjoy writing my posts and visiting the blogs of other participants.
Responding to comments and following up on visits make up the core purpose of the Challenge. Some wonderful people turned up to see what I found for each day’s letter. I regret that I did not manage to visit more participants this year. A business trip did kept me on the road for over a week, but I did manage to follow up with my “regulars.”
My favorite blogs include:
This Old Shelter
Favorite post: Psychoanalysis: (1940s Film Noir)
Sharon E. Cathcart
Favorite post: W is for Wooing
Diary of a Dublin Housewife
Favorite post: Oh Brother
The Doglady’s Den
Favorite post: Je Taime…Mon Non Plus
Favorite post: All of them, really. As much as I love movies, I had a good time seeing which one OP chose for each letter.
I do have one request for the A to Z Blog Challenge team:
PLEASE BRING BACK THE LINKY LIST!
The list made it so much easier to see where I’d been and where I wanted to go in terms of visiting my fellow bloggers. The categorization codes were also a big help. When I wanted to try a new flavor, I could spot which blogs were new interests for me. If I wanted to hang out with new writing acquaintances, off I went.
Thank you again to the A to Z organizers. I love the Challenge!
Filed under #atozchallenge, Art Nouveau, artists, Blog challenges, creativity, fairy tales, fantasy, Goals, history, Lillian Csernica, nature, travel, Writing
by Lillian Csernica on April 30, 2017
And so we come to the final letter in the A to Z Challenge. I have chosen Zoo in order to present some of the gorgeous but less commonly seen creatures that have inspired works of Art Nouveau craftsmanship.
Jugendstil Eagle Pendant
Cat Purse Pendant. Silver plique-a-jour enamel. Meyer and Meyle, circa 1900.
A silver, pearl, and plique-à-jour enamel pendant modeled as a duck in flight, by Meyle & Mayer, circa 1900.
Sterling Silver Art Nouveau Frog Brooch.
Art Nouveau Cat Comb
Art Nouveau Horse Pendant. Vintage Brass.
Les Trois Crabes – An important Art Nouveau brooch, by Georges Fouquet. Composed of gold, plique-à-jour enamel, diamonds and pearl. Signed GF twice on brooch frame and pin. French, circa 1900.
Creatures of mythology also figure prominently in art nouveau motifs.
18k Art Nouveau Dragon Pendant.
“Gargoyle” pendant/brooch. Gold, enamel, baroque pearl. Rene Lalique, 1989.
French carved gold and diamond gryphon brooch.
Thank you so much for joining me on this adventure into the world of Art Nouveau. I’m very grateful for your likes, comments, and follows.
Filed under #atozchallenge, Art Nouveau, artists, Blog challenges, cats, creativity, fairy tales, fantasy, history, legend, nature, sword and sorcery
by Lillian Csernica on April 29, 2017
Of all the pieces of art nouveau treasure I have seen in the course of this Challenge, these are the ones that I truly yearn to possess!
Gold, sapphire, and plique-a-jour enamel pendant. Marcus & Co.
Enamel brooch set with diamonds, circa 1905.
Plique-a-jour diamond, gold and platinum pendant.
Jugendstil brooch. Silver, moonstone, and glass. German maker’s mark, probably Pforzheim.
Of celestial design, the half moon-shaped black opal surmounted by a star motif accented with circular-cut diamond suspending an oval black opal surmounted by similarly set stars further suspending three lines of diamonds each terminating in an opal, completed by a trace link chain, brooch detachable, the opals together weighing approximately 14.50 carats, mounted in 15ct gold.
Yes, the jellyfish earrings. How could I possibly pass these up?
Gold, diamonds, sapphires, and pearls.
Filed under #atozchallenge, Art Nouveau, artists, Blog challenges, creativity, fairy tales, fantasy, history, Lillian Csernica, nature, Writing