Never Rarely Means Never

When I had my first computer built (which was the way they sold computers years ago), it had little more than word processing and spreadsheet capabilities. But that was all I needed, because I was determined to use it only for writing and for keeping track of manuscripts and submissions. I would never bother with the internet, because there was nothing on there that I needed. Then publishers started accepting manuscripts online. In fact, some went to online-only submissions, and I knew I’d be left in the dark if I didn’t comply.

Once I got online, I could submit my work and hear back from a publisher within days or weeks rather than weeks or months. Wonderful! But there was no way I would ever have a website. I just didn’t need one. Then along came Snaps, Scraps & Snippets, and the next thing I knew, I had an official author’s website. Still, there was no way I would ever thinking of “blogging.” Yet here I am, sharing my thoughts in a blog, on my official author’s website, online.

I don’t know what’s next, but I do know that it just doesn’t pay to say ‘never’.

Please feel free to leave a comment, ask a question, or tell me about your own ‘nevers’ when it comes to writing.

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For a glimpse into my books, Snaps, Scraps & Snippets of the Past and Present, and Light for the Burning Soul, please visit my website as http://loisjfunk.com. I’d love to hear from you!

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“Show, Don’t Tell” Made Simple

Confused, or not familiar with the “show, don’t tell” concept? Imagine going to an art gallery and looking at two nearly identical paintings hanging side by side. Imagine, too, that both paintings show the same dense forest with a lush foreground and a variety of forest colors. But look again. One painting, beautiful as it is, lies flat on the canvas and has little or nothing to offer you, the viewer, while the other painting has depth created by shadows, and a path that makes you want to step right into that painting and walk right into that forest. Do you see the difference? Do you see and feel the depth in the second painting?

While the artist creates depth by adding shadows, shapes, and varying hues, the writer accomplishes it by showing rather than telling. As a writer, your goal should be to develop word pictures that bring your thoughts up front and up close to the reader, so that he or she can step into and feel and claim your experiences as their own. So don’t tell them that they can step into the forest; show them.

Simple examples of showing versus telling:

Telling:             I thought it was going to rain, so I took my umbrella.
Showing:         I grabbed my umbrella on the way out.

Telling:             The sun was shining.
Showing:         My shadow stayed right with me.

For a closer look at how “show, don’t tell” works, read Snaps, Scraps & Snippets of the Past and Present (How to Retrieve the Lost Pictures of Your Past).

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For a glimpse into my books, Snaps, Scraps & Snippets of the Past and Present, and Light for the Burning Soul, please visit my website as http://loisjfunk.com. I’d love to hear from you!

How Do Snaps, Scraps, and Snippets Add Up to Memoir?

 How do snaps, scraps, and snippets add up to memoir?

How-to, non-fiction for poets, writers, memoirists, genealogists – by Lois J. Funk

 Manito, ILSnaps, Scraps & Snippets of the Past and Present, by Lois J. Funk, is available now, at http://loisjfunk.com and will be available soon through Barnes and Noble, at www.bn.com. Funk introduces a new approach to writing life stories and more. Using a brand new set of writers’ tools, seasoned poets and writers rekindle their inspiration; genealogists see their ancestors in a different light; and memoirists search for, find, and develop memories that have been hidden away in the “dark rooms” of their minds. Beginning poets and writers learn how to show, not tell, their own stories in any genre they wish and, just as crucial, how to sort and save what is important while discarding what is not. From short poems to lengthy memoir, readers and writers alike are encouraged to “sharpen your pick, polish your shovel, and start digging…”

 “Memories are nothing less than bits of gold waiting to be mined

 from the veins of life.”

 Funk is an internationally published children’s author and poet whose work appears in a wide range of publications, including Pieces of Her Mind – Women Find Their Voice in Centuries-Old Forms, a book of Japanese English-Language senryu, tanka, and kyoka written entirely by women.

‘Too often beginning writers are told to “show, not tell.” However, they are not told how to do that. Lois Funk, in Snaps, Scraps, and Snippets uses the example of taking pictures and vignettes from her childhood and trips abroad to do exactly that. Every beginning writer (and some seasoned ones) should read this book. It is charming and endearing and uses the simplest of things — such as a sieve — to show one how to sort through the good and bad of one’s writing. I would definitely recommend this book for my beginning students.’ – Alvin Thomas Ethington, Editor, Pieces of Her Mind; staged playwright, published author, and professional reviewer.

‘In Snaps, Scraps and Snippets, Lois Funk provides writers young and not-so-young with practical tools to help them re-discover lost memories and find fresh inspiration in them. She shows through her own personal experiences how using these tools can make anyone a better writer. After all, any life can be turned into an exciting story if you are a good storyteller.’ – Kevin Kizer, Sr. Writer, The Peorian magazine. 

Visit the author on Facebook, at Writings by Lois J. Funk.

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For a glimpse into my books, Snaps, Scraps & Snippets of the Past and Present, and Light for the Burning Soul, please visit my website as http://loisjfunk.com and feel free to leave a comment.