A beautiful book of poetry that will be published in early December. This poetry book focuses on romance, love, life, loss, and surviving life’s crushing blows. DiVito’s book of Poetry, “Poetic Passion” soon to be on Amazon in December is about about love, life and the stories of humanity.
The Moon at noon?
As a pale reflection,
A mere cartoon?
Does it make you
While stealthily gazing
At the sky?
Why the Moon,
Does seem to follow,
The yellow Sun,
Like a silver shadow?
With a secret smile,
Upon its face,
Does it mean
To take its place?
Could you contend,
With a silver light,
When the dawn breaks,
And could you see,
The stars so bright,
Through a yellow Sun
Alas, whom among us,
Would then wish to croon,
Amis so much confusion,
A tune to the Moon?
So, when you gaze,
Upon the Moon at Noon,
Say a Silent Prayer,
Not to make it soon!
Karen Ann DeMers (c) 1984
A beautifully express poem about the truth and where we, as Americans, stand or fall as we plunge into a hellish place led by the devilish man called Trump – the wanna be dictator of America, no longer the free.
You chase us into the darkness with your hateful touch but we still manage to see the light. You anger us with your harshness we used to run freely as such now we are awake all day and night Infecting our compassionate humanity with your wicked ways leaving separated and socially distanced Yet we forget our prideful vanity seemingly hiding away not forgetting who we are for an instance So many sweet sorrowful deaths now taste of the earth as many mourn hearts dearly broken So many sacred souls holding their breath red crosses since birth for the heroes proper words cannot be spoken. Timothy Michael DiVito c2020
In Annie’s land
The world looks so bright,
cause it glows in a magical light.
As the day dawns
on green velvet lawns,
clouds of pink cotton candy,
billow forth and taste just dandy!
As the Sun in the heavens,
sits on high,
it prances about in a buttercup sky.
While peppermint trees sway in the breeze,
sparkling sugars dance from their leaves.
Cherry bright berries look so merry,
while on marsh-mellow mushrooms,
dancing with fairies.
And caramel ants dance in a trance,
To the bluebell’s jingle do the prance.
In Annie’s land there is nothing to fear,
cause nobody ever sheds a tear.
Where every little creature joins the band,
To sing to Annie, cause she’s so grand.
All the little children love her so much,
Cause she gives to them all her magical touch.
In Annie’s land the world looks so bright,
Cause everybody knows it glows with God’s light.
Karen DeMers © 1983
Beneath a Satin Moon,
In a golden wood,
Beneath a painted sky,
A paper house is standing,
Underneath a satin Moon.
And in the garden growing,
Pastel flowers flourish,
And never lose their bloom.
Summer, Winter, Spring or Fall,
As lovely as they are,
They never see a raindrop fall.
And tiger lilies made of silk,
Slink around a lily pond,
Of which there are, you know,
As gilded Goldfish swim
amidst the frilly lilies,
Blue waters smooth as glass,
Gaze upon the heavens,
As they pass,
Reflecting all they see,
In nature’s perfect harmony.
All this of course,
Is nothing but pure imagery,
But none the less,
It interests me.
For it’s as real,
as real can be,
But then, of course,
Who knows reality?
Karen Ann DeMers © 1996
Cold days are these bringing men to their knees,
a feast for the wolves in the Winter woods.
Pray not to be prey by shattered hearts seized,
bitterness wholeheartedly understood.
Memorable times of loves far away,
wash over me like the high ocean tides.
I gave my heart so freely come what may,
waiting for the sun and moon to collide.
For that which takes my soul to rue despair
the glistening hopes are of good favor.
Yet, I shall breathe again in caution’s care,
for the passion of love, I shall savor.
My heart dawns, it sincerely dawns for thee,
for this fact surely the best is yet to be.
by Timothy Michael DiVito 2020
Most agents will ask you to send them a submission pack containing three items:
- A covering letter (see advice here and sample here)
- A synopsis
- The first three chapters / 10,000 words of your novel
Most agents will look at the covering letter first, then turn to the manuscript. If they like the first three chapters, they’ll be thinking, “This book looks really interesting. I’m definitely tempted . . . but is the author going to hold my interest over the full 300 / 400 pages? Is it worth me making that investment of time to read the whole thing?”
That’s where the synopsis comes in. The synopsis is there to answer the question, “What is the story of this book? Is there a clear story arc and will there be a satisfying ending?”
Obviously the actual experience of reading a synopsis is quite underwhelming. Synopses are boring, technical documents which (we hope) would not be true of your novel. But that doesn’t matter. Agents know synopses are dull, so all your synopsis really has to do is:
- tell the agent in very clear terms what your story is
- make it clear what your hook / premise / elevator pitch is (more info here)
- give some kind of feeling for why the story matters & how the jeopardy increases
- sketch out an ending that feels satisfying
But – and this should be reassuring – agents do know that synopses are hard to write and they care less about the synopsis than any other part of your submission package.That means you probably don’t need to worry excessively about your synopsis – just follow the guidelines below and you’ll do just fine.
How to write a perfect synopsis
A perfect synopsis has the following ingredients:
- Length: 500-800 words
- Main purpose: Summarise your plot
- Secondary purpose: Make it clear what Unique Selling Point your book has
- Language: Be businesslike: clear, to the point, neutral.
- Presentation: Be well-presented: no typos or spelling mistakes. Normal font size, normal margins. Line spacing no narrower than 1.5
- Character names. It helps if you put the names of main characters in bold or CAPS when you first introduce them. That way, if an agent has forgotten who Carlotta is, it’s easy for them to skim back and jog their memory. (Remember that agents are reading a lot of these things, so they have about a million character names in their heads at any one time.)
- Extra points. It’s certainly not essential, but if you have a really compelling way to ‘sell’ your story in 2-3 lines maximum, then you could insert that little snippet up at the top of your synopsis as a way of reminding agents why they’re interested in this MS in the first place. For example, a certain Ms Rowling might have opened her synopsis with, “Harry Potter, an orphan, thinks he is an ordinary boy when an owl brings him a letter inviting him to attend wizard school.” That’s not strictly speaking synopsis material, but it does instantly emphasise the book’s appeal.
- And remember: Tell the story: your job is not to sell the book, write dust jacket blurb, or anything else. Just say what happens in the story. That’s all you need to do.
And luckily there are things you don’t need to do:
- Go into great detail about setting. If you were writing a synopsis for a Jane Austen novel for example, you might simply say “This novel is set in a small village in Regency England.”
- Go into vast detail about character – a few quick strokes are all that you need. For example you might say: “Bridget Jones – a ditzy, mildly boozy twenty-something – …”
- Be scrupulous about plot detail. It’s fine to skip over subplots or ignore some of the finer detail of how X accomplishes Y. The truth is, you won’t have time to include those things in a 700 word summary anyway. Agents know that the synopsis is at best an approximation of the story so you don’t need to have a troubled consicence.
- You also don’t have to give away your very final plot twist – though you should make it clear that there is one. For example, you could write, “When Olivia finally catches up with Jack at the abandoned lighthouse, he tells her the real secret of his disappearance – and their final bloody reckoning ensues.” Mostly though, a synopsis is the ultimate plot spoiler, and your job is just to spill the beans whether you like it or not.
Word Painting – The Fine Art of Writing Descriptively by Rebecca McClanahan (an excerpt from Writer’s Digest, January 2015) Here are four secrets to keep in mind as you breathe life into your characters through description.
- Description that relies solely on physical attributes too often turns into what Janet Burroway calls the “all-points bulletin.”
It reads something like this: “My father is a tall, middle-aged man of average build. He has green eyes and brown hair and usually wears khakis and oxford shirts.”
This description is so mundane, it barely qualifies as an “all-points bulletin.” Can you imagine the police searching for this suspect? No identifying marks, no scars or tattoos, nothing to distinguish him. He appears as a cardboard cutout rather than as a living, breathing character. Yes, the details are accurate, but they don’t call forth vivid images. We can barely make out this character’s form; how can we be expected to remember him?
When we describe a character, factual information alone is not sufficient, no matter how accurate it might be. The details must appeal to our senses. Phrases that merely label (like tall, middle-aged, and average) bring no clear image to our minds. Since most people form their first impression of someone through visual clues, it makes sense to describe our characters using visual images. Green eyes is a beginning, but it doesn’t go far enough. Are they pale green or dark green? Even a simple adjective can strengthen a detail. If the adjective also suggests a metaphor—forest green, pea green, or emerald green—the reader not only begins to make associations (positive or negative) but also visualizes in her mind’s eye the vehicle of the metaphor—forest trees, peas, or glittering gems.
- The problem with intensifying an image only by adjectives is that adjectives encourage cliché.
It’s hard to think of adjective descriptors that haven’t been overused: bulging or ropy muscles, clean-cut good looks, frizzy hair. If you use an adjective to describe a physical attribute, make sure that the phrase is not only accurate and sensory but also fresh. In her short story “Flowering Judas,” Katherine Anne Porter describes Braggioni’s singing voice as a “furry, mournful voice” that takes the high notes “in a prolonged painful squeal.” Often the easiest way to avoid an adjective-based cliché is to free the phrase entirely from its adjective modifier. For example, rather than describing her eyes merely as “hazel,” Emily Dickinson remarked that they were “the color of the sherry the guests leave in the glasses.”
- Strengthen physical descriptions by making details more specific.
In my earlier “all-points bulletin” example, the description of the father’s hair might be improved with a detail such as “a military buzz-cut, prickly to the touch” or “the aging hippie’s last chance—a long ponytail striated with gray.” Either of these descriptions would paint a stronger picture than the bland phrase brown hair. In the same way, his oxford shirt could become “a white oxford button-down that he’d steam-pleated just minutes before” or “the same style of baby blue oxford he’d worn since prep school, rolled carelessly at the elbows.” These descriptions not only bring forth images, they also suggest the background and the personality of the father.
- Select physical details carefully, choosing only those that create the strongest, most revealing impression.
One well-chosen physical trait, item of clothing, or idiosyncratic mannerism can reveal character more effectively than a dozen random images. This applies to characters in nonfiction as well as fiction. When I write about my grandmother, I usually focus on her strong, jutting chin—not only because it was her most dominant feature but also because it suggests her stubbornness and determination. When I write about Uncle Leland, I describe the wandering eye that gave him a perpetually distracted look, as if only his body was present. His spirit, it seemed, had already left on some journey he’d glimpsed peripherally, a place the rest of us were unable to see. As you describe real-life characters, zero in on distinguishing characteristics that reveal personality: gnarled, arthritic hands always busy at some task; a habit of covering her mouth each time a giggle rises up; a lopsided swagger as he makes his way to the horse barn; the scent of coconut suntan oil, cigarettes, and leather each time she sashays past your chair.
Many in the younger generation really need to read this because many have been corrupted by what surrounds them: racism, greed, lust, hate, and no inner core, no belief in goodness, sharing or true love; only anger.
My parents were in the generation that faced the twin horrors of The Great Depression and World War Two. They experienced economic hardships past anything that we are suffering today. They fought a war against two tyrannies in Japan and Germany. They fought in a war, that at the most conservative, estimate killed 56 million people. The Greatest Generation did not worry about being inconvenienced; they did not let fear stop them. They did what they had to do, and they sacrificed in ways that are almost incomprehensible to people today.
I shake my head when I see people protesting the lockdowns that are aimed at saving lives. They speak of inconvenience. Could these people have fought World War Two or lived through the hardships of the Great Depression? I think not. I know people are frustrated, but people gathering in crowds in protests, with no masks, are…
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Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we’re supposed to be and embracing who we are.” – Brené Brown via http://www.powerofpositivity.com
Psychologists correlate the attractiveness of authenticity to three things:
(1) We believe that people who are authentic are more trustworthy; in part because they’re truer to themselves.
(2) Genuine people often possess a sense of individualism and firmness, which we admire.
(3) Remaining true to oneself requires courage, strength and tenacity – all qualities that we find appealing.
With that in mind, here are 10 signs of authentic people:
- They Speak Their Mind
Authentic people are confident about their opinions and perspectives – and share them with confidence. Their thoughts are also well-constructed and, when prompted, are conveyed with both firmness and civility.
- They Realize the lack of importance of Material Things
While authentic people may enjoy certain things, they certain do not base their happiness off of them. Furthermore, they do not judge an individual by what they have and do not have. Authentic people focus on a person’s character, not their bank account.
- They Relish in Experiences
Genuine people realize the impermanence of life and try to live it fully. This means experiencing what people and the world has to offer – and they make every attempt to do so.
- They Set Their Own Expectations
As apparent by now, authentic people are highly individualistic; they do not seek the “approval of others” and never will. Their beliefs, ideals, morals, and value are self-acquired and applied.
- They Are Active Listeners
Genuine people exemplify the “two ears, one mouth” axiom. Active listening is listening without anticipating one’s response. 100 percent of their focus is on the speaker and nothing else. (Was the person you thought of earlier an active listener? Please share!)
- They Acknowledge Their Faults and Mistakes
It takes tremendous fortitude to admit to your failures – and authentic people have plenty in reserve. They know their weaknesses and mistakes; but what really differentiates a genuine person is they take necessary action to correct them.
- They Take Personal Responsibility
This one really doesn’t need to be said, but here it is. Authentic people are hold themselves accountable to what they do and don’t do. They are very responsible for many reasons, including the self-empowerment and pride that comes from being answerable to themselves.
- They Make Their Own Way
Genuine people are not a “sit back and wait” group. They find a way to make things happen, regardless of the sweat, blood and tears required. Further, the path they set for is their own – something that requires grit, determination, and…
- They Aren’t Scared of Failure
How many of us would love to say, “I’m not scared to fail”? (Raises hand and nods head.) Part of being a truly authentic person is acknowledging the possibility of failure, looking it in the face and not blinking. Whew…easier said than done.
- They Aren’t at All Judgmental
Perhaps of all the wonderful traits listed, this last one may be the most admirable. Genuine people can wholeheartedly and honestly accept individuality precisely because they are different. Authentic people are often very smart – and are able to see right through the pointlessness of preconceived expectations and human stereotyping