Happy Birthday, Gail Carson Levine, born 17 September 1947

The Writer’s Oath 

I promise solemnly: 
1. to write as often and as much as I can, 
2. to respect my writing self, and 
3. to nurture the writing of others. 
I accept these responsibilities and shall honour them always.


  1. Establish writing habits, whatever they are, a particular time to write, a number of pages that have to be written, a time goal. If you choose my method, the time goal, write it down as you go. Don’t let it be vague.
  2. Know that you are a writer and your obligation, possibly your calling, is to write. Writing is your fallback position. As much as you can, avoid judging your work. When you find yourself doing it, shift your thoughts elsewhere. 
  3. There’s nothing wrong with reading a book you love over and over. When you do, the words get inside you, become a part of you, in a way that words in a book you’ve read only once can’t.
  4. A library is infinity under a roof.
  5. Why do you keep reading a book? Usually to find out what happens. Why do you give up and stop reading it? There may be lots of reasons. But often the answer is you don’t care what happens. So what makes the difference between caring and not caring? The author’s cruelty. And the reader’s sympathy … it takes a mean author to write a good story.
  6. It is helpful to know the proper way to behave, so one can decide whether or not to be proper.
  7. When you become a teenager, you step onto a bridge. You may already be on it. The opposite shore is adulthood. Childhood lies behind. The bridge is made of wood. As you cross, it burns behind you.
  8. As for my characters, I discover them as I write. When they feel blank I use the character questionnaire you can find in Writing Magic. The one thing I do do is visualize. I need to see my characters moving through a scene, to know where they are and what they’re seeing, hearing, touching, smelling.
  9. When I write, I make discoveries about my feelings.
  10. The reason I work anywhere is because I trained myself to be able to many years ago after reading Becoming A Writer  by Dorothea Brande. I travel a fair amount, and I don’t want my work to grind to a halt whenever I leave home. People who can  write only when the moon is full and the stars are in a certain alignment don’t finish many books. 

Read more on Gail’s Blog

Levine is an American author of young adult books. Her first novel, Ella Enchanted, received a Newbery Honour.

Source for image

by Amanda Patterson for Writers Write

Fanatic ‏@Fanatic04986107 21 Min.

Poster for WOLVES, directed by David Hayter…with Merritt Patterson, Jason Momoa, Lucas Till..http://collider.com/wolves-movie-poster-lucas-till/ … pic.twitter.com/HboVkNlDVK

We’ve got an exclusive new poster from X-Men and Watchmen writer David Hayter’s feature directorial debut, Wolves, to share with our readers today.  Hayter wrote and directed the horror film, which stars Lucas Till (X-Men: First Class) as a young high school student who realizes that he’s slowly changing into a werewolf.  After the brutal murder of his parents, he sets off to uncover the truth of what he is, only to find there are many more like him—including a young woman named Angelina (Merritt Patterson).  The cast also includes Stephen McHattie and Jason Momoa, and this debut poster teases confrontation among the beastly creatures as well as some solid werewolf design.

Hit the jump to take a look at the new Wolves poster.  The film will be released VOD on October 16th and opens in theaters on November 14th.

Here’s the official synopsis for Wolves:

Popular high school student Cayden Richards wakes from a horrific nightmare, only to realize that he’s living it… He is changing into something vicious, unpredictable and wild.  Forced to hit the road after the brutal murder of his parents, Cayden tries to hunt down the truth of what he is.  In the remote, mountain town of Lupine Ridge, he discovers others like him — Including the beautiful Angelina, a young woman caught between two ancient clans of “wolves”.  And when he finally discovers the shocking truth behind his ancestry, Cayden realizes there is only one way to save the woman he loves… A grisly fight to the death, against forces more savage than he could have ever imagined.

Double Down from KFC by Christian M Patterson

The last day of track practice —
a Friday, the day we goofed off

my friends were going to KFC
to get limited time only Double Downs
the sandwiches that used fried chicken
for ‘bread’ with melted cheese and bacon
in the middle

I wanted to go, I really did, but
I planned on asking you to prom
that day, and you were pole vaulting

I waited by the track entrance
for a while before I realized
it was a weird place to wait so I walked
to the pole vault pit -

when you finished, I walked with you
but also kind of behind you
and then I said, ‘hey, can I talk
about something’ - or something
uncomfortable sounding -
while trembling a little bit

you said, ‘yes Christian,’ with a look
like you knew what I wanted to say,
probably because I had asked
how you’d like to be asked to prom
and you said ‘really casually’

and I said ‘will you go to prom
with me?’ and you said
‘yes Christian’

Literary Birthday - 17 September

Happy Birthday, William Carlos Williams, born 17 September 1883, died 4 March 1963

Nine Quotes

  1. My first poem was a bolt from the blue … it broke a spell of disillusion and suicidal despondence. … it filled me with soul satisfying joy.
  2. In description words adhere to certain objects, and have the effect on the sense of oysters, or barnacles.
  3. If they give you lined paper, write the other way.
  4. One thing I am convinced more and more is true and that is this: the only way to be truly happy is to make others happy. When you realize that and take advantage of the fact, everything is made perfect.
  5. The job of the poet is to use language effectively, his own language, the only language which is to him authentic.
  6. I keep writing largely because I get a satisfaction from it which can’t be duplicated elsewhere. It fills the moments which otherwise are either terrifying or depressed. 
  7. I think all writing is a disease. You can’t stop it.
  8. But all art is sensual and poetry particularly so. It is directly, that is, of the senses, and since the senses do not exist without an object for their employment all art is necessarily objective. It doesn’t declaim or explain, it presents.
  9. Poets are damned but they are not blind, they see with the eyes of angels.

Williams was an American poet closely associated with modernism and imagism. He was also a paediatrician. Williams, ‘worked harder at being a writer than he did at being a physician’, but excelled at both.

Source for Image

by Amanda Patterson for Writers Write

“From the beginning of my obsession with drawing, I have been fascinated by transformational qualities of light and distance. Whether I am studying a large body of water shot through with sunlight or rain on a car windshield reflecting the glimmer of adjacent neon signs, I am always looking to catch the mystery of these completely real distortions. This is what interests me when I look at the world. No matter what the subject matter or what the degree of complexity in the composition, I never tire of the challenge of articulating the fluidity I see all around me.”

Elizabeth Patterson

23-year-old fashion student Taj Patterson, a gay black male, was walking home in Ft. Greene, Brooklyn

He was mistaken for a car vandal and beaten senselessly by five hasidic jews who were a part of some neighborhood watch group. He has lost the vision in his right eye.

No one called police.

His alleged attackers Pinchas Braver, 19; Mayer Herskovic, 21; Joseph Fried, 25; Aharon Hollander, 28; and Abraham Winkler, 39 were indicted today on bevy of felony charges including gang assault.

I am hoping this brother gets justice.


Cheat Sheets for Writing Body Language

We are always told to use body language in our writing. Sometimes, it’s easier said than written. I decided to create these cheat sheets to help you show a character’s state of mind. Obviously, a character may exhibit a number of these behaviours. For example, he may be shocked and angry, or shocked and happy. Use these combinations as needed.

by Amanda Patterson

Caught On Video: Police Hit, Tie Down, Then Chop Off Possible Rape Victim’s Hair (VIDEO)

Police caught on camera hitting, tying down a 22 year old black mother before chopping off her…

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If you are writing for fun, and if you don’t want any help, please write any way that works for you. I am not trying to convert you to writing with a plan. It truly does not matter to me how you write. However, if you are struggling to finish a book that makes sense, I would love you to carry on reading.

Why should you do it?

When I used to teach Writers Write regularly, one of the first things I asked students was: How does your story end? I did this for two reasons. Firstly, as much as some people love the idea of working with meandering storylines, it has been my experience that those writers seldom finish writing a coherent book. Secondly, most people who go to workshops or sign up for courses are truly looking for help, and I’ve learned that the best way to succeed in anything in life is to have a plan. Successful people will tell you that you need to know where you’re going before you begin.

Smell the roses

This does not mean that you can’t take time to smell the roses, or explore hidden paths along the way. It simply means that you always have a lifeline and when you get lost, it will be easier for you to find your way back again. Remember that readers like destinations. They love beginnings, middles, and endings. Why do you think fans are terrified that George R.R. Martin will die before he finishes A Song of Fire and Ice? They want to know how the story ends. 

Here are seven reasons why I suggest you write your ending first.

  1. If you know who the characters are at the end of the story, you will know how much you should reveal about them at the beginning. 
  2. You will be forced out of the ‘backstory hell’ that beginner writers inhabit and into the story the reader wants to read.
  3. Hindsight is an amazing thing. We all know how different life seems when we’re looking back. We can often tell where a problem began. We think about the ‘what ifs’ with the gift of hindsight. You can use this to your advantage in fiction writing.
  4. You will have something to work towards. Instead of aimlessly writing and hoping for the muse to show you the way, you will be able to pull the characters’ strings and write the words they need to get them from the beginning through the middle to the end.
  5. Plotting from the ending backwards saves you so much time because you will leave out stuff that isn’t meant to be there. You will not have to muddle through an overwritten first draft.
  6. Writing the end forces most of us out of our comfort zones. We have to confront the reality of what we are doing. It might not be as romantic as flailing around like a helpless maiden, but if you want writing to be your profession, it’s good to make the outcome visible. This is a way to show yourself that you are serious. The end gives you a goal to work towards.
  7. The ending is as important as the beginning. Good beginnings get people to read your first book. Great endings get readers to buy your second book.

There are a handful of famous authors, like Stephen King and George R.R. Martin, who say they don’t plot. I think they just don’t realise they are those rare authors – natural born storytellers, and that plotting is instinctive for them. I have interviewed many successfully published authors and I can reveal that the majority of them do believe in plotting. They outline, in varying degrees, before they begin. And yes, most of them know what their ending will be. Why don’t you try it? What have you got to lose?

I truly hope this helps you write, and finish, your book.

by Amanda Patterson

If you enjoyed this article, you may also enjoy 10 (Amazingly Simple) Tips to Get You Back on The Writing Track and The Author’s Promise- two things every writer should do. You could also read The Top 10 Tips for Plotting and Finishing a Book.

In February, in a New Yorker piece originally titled “Is Amazon bad for books?,” a small press publisher, Melville House co-owner Dennis Johnson, described how Amazon had bullied him into signing up for its paid distribution service despite refusing to relinquish any information to him about his actual on-site sales.

Johnson described how, after his initial refusal to play on their terms, Amazon representatives approached him at Book Expo and advised him to “get with the program.” He also described the way Amazon unsummarily pulled the “Buy” buttons from Melville House titles after he publicly criticized the company.

Proponents of Amazon’s lower pricing strategies argue that Amazon is the underdog in the publishing monopoly, not the other way around. But the fact remains that Amazon is a company that singlehandedly controls 30% of the market share of the entire publishing industry. And unlike its competitors, it has a publishing arm, a distribution arm, and a retail arm. Although the price-fixing that the Big Six and Apple were engaged in was blatantly illegal, the maneuver was a unilateral way of competing as a group against Amazon’s predatory pricing—that is, its ability to leverage its other retail holdings to offer rock-bottom pricing for its books, effectively decimating the landscape of other booksellers.

Increasingly, the rhetoric about Amazon’s bullying tactics is that the company is violating the same antitrust laws that it used to spear Apple and the Big Five on the Department of Justice’s hook. “Monopoly achieved,” Johnson wrote after the verdict.

You can’t pre-order JK Rowling’s newest book from Amazon because Amazon is holding it hostage

"Better for Amazon is rarely better for the publishing industry."