Service


Outtakes 365

Service

By Cait Collins

 

Good service matters.  I think we sometimes forget this.  The business type doesn’t matter as much as how a customer is treated when they walk through the door.  I had an unfortunate encounter with a post.  The thing just stepped out in front of me and broke my bumper.

I called my insurance company and they recommended several body shops.  I was thrilled to learn Drury body shop was on their list.  They repaired my car after a young man rear-ended me.  I was treated like royalty.  I called them and made an appointment.  They checked the damage and told me what parts they would order.  They set a date for me to bring the car in.  When I arrived I was treated like royalty.  They called the rent car company to let them know I was ready for them to come get me and then promised updates on the progress of my repair.

I received an update about two hours later letting me know the repair was in progress.  Around 3:30 I received a text telling me my car would be ready for pick at 5 PM.  I couldn’t believe it.  When we set the appointment they told me four days, but it was all done in one day.  And the final total was about half the original estimate.  When I arrived to pick up the car, it looked like new.  On top of the great repair job, they had detailed both the interior and exterior.  That’s service.  I’d recommend this shop to everyone.

I so appreciated the service I received, it made me wonder if I am as thoughtful of my customers.  I’m not just talking about the people who are my work customers.  I am also considering my readers.  Do I always try to see my plots and characters from their viewpoint? Do I use enough description to bring them into the setting?  Are the characters believable?  Have I done my research?  Do I settle for okay when the story could and should be magnificent?

Will the ending satisfy my readers?  Have I provided the royal treatment for the reader? Will they want to buy the next story? If even one of these questions has a negative response, then I have failed the service test.  I think my readers deserve better than mediocre efforts.

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The Writing Life Quotes


The Writing Life Quotes

Natalie Bright

 

“The greatest part of a writer’s time is spent in reading, in order to write; a man will turn over half a library to make one book.”
—Samuel Johnson

Malapropism


Malapropism

by Adam Huddleston

This week’s literary term is: malapropism.  It is defined as the use of an incorrect word (usually for comedic effect) with a similar sound in place of the correct word.  For example, in William Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing”, a character states “Our watch, sir, have indeed comprehended two auspicious persons” (replacing apprehended and suspicious).  This effect is often used by characters who are either uneducated or wish to appear so.  

I hope this helps in your craft.  Happy writing!

Epigraph


Epigraph

by Adam Huddleston

In the past, I would blog concerning different literary devices.  I really enjoyed that and wanted to revisit some of those old techniques.  I’m not sure if I ever mentioned the “epigraph”, so here goes.

An epigraph is a quotation, song, poem, passage, etc. written by another author and inserted into the beginning of a larger section of writing such as a chapter or book.  The epigraph is meant to provide the reader with guidance on the overall theme is of what they are about to read.  Some examples include: 

Did I request thee, Maker, from my clay To mould me Man, did I solicit thee
From darkness to promote me? — Paradise Lost, X, 743-45
(from Frankenstein by Mary Shelley)

If they give you ruled paper, write the other way. — Juan Ramón Jiménez
(from Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury)

Lawyers, I suppose, were children once. — Charles Lamb
(from To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee)

It’s A Book Event


It’s A Book Event

And You’re Invited!

Please help me celebrate the release of our new Anthology

OUR TIME ON ROUTE 66

Join me for a book signing event on historic Route 66

Saturday, December 1. — 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM

Lile Art Gallery

2719 SW 6th Avenue, Amarillo

Lile’s is home of the famous Cadilite jewelry, made from paint chips off the Cadillac ranch.

Scroll down for more about the book.

 

About the Book:

If you’re needing a unique gift or if you’re a fan of Route 66, this new anthology is for you!

OUR TIME ON ROUTE 66 tells of good times and bad, Love and heartache, from the past to beyond tomorrow, and all of them connected by one stop, the Tower Station and U-Drop Inn on Route 66.

It started as a dirt path connecting neighbors, communities, states and a nation. Route 66 was an overland route traveled by pioneers, migrant farmers and anyone going west looking for the American dream. From wagon ruts to an asphalt paved highway, it has connected generations of people.

Five unique short stories and novellas set on historic Route 66 in Texas.

A gripping story of family betrayal, deep despair, and a young girl’s courageous triumph. MAGGIE’S BETRAYAL by Natalie Bright

A young soldier leaves his new bride for war sharing their life through letters in this heartfelt story. WAITING by Rory C. Keel

A down-on-his-luck cowboy sees opportunity in a young widow’s neglected ranch in 1944 Texas. SUDDEN TURNS by Joe Nichols

A Cherokee Chief predicts Mora O’Hara’s future as she travels The Mother Road seeking closure after a career related tragedy. SHOWDOWN AT U-DROP INN by Cait Collins

Raylen Dickey learns the difference between her friends, lovers, and enemies. FEAR OF HEIGHTS by Nandy Ekle

The Writing Life Quotes


The Writing Life Quotes

Natalie Bright

 

“Making people believe the unbelievable is no trick; it’s work. … Belief and reader absorption come in the details: An overturned tricycle in the gutter of an abandoned neighborhood can stand for everything.”
—Stephen King (Writer’s Digest 
an interview with King in our May/June 2009 issue)

It’s A Book Event


It’s A Book Event

And You’re Invited!

Please help me celebrate the release of our new Anthology

OUR TIME ON ROUTE 66

Join me for a book signing event on historic Route 66

Saturday, December 1. — 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM

Lile Art Gallery

2719 SW 6th Avenue, Amarillo

Lile’s is home of the famous Cadilite jewelry, made from paint chips off the Cadillac ranch.

Scroll down for more about the book.

 

About the Book:

If you’re needing a unique gift or if you’re a fan of Route 66, this new anthology is for you!

OUR TIME ON ROUTE 66 tells of good times and bad, Love and heartache, from the past to beyond tomorrow, and all of them connected by one stop, the Tower Station and U-Drop Inn on Route 66.

It started as a dirt path connecting neighbors, communities, states and a nation. Route 66 was an overland route traveled by pioneers, migrant farmers and anyone going west looking for the American dream. From wagon ruts to an asphalt paved highway, it has connected generations of people.

Five unique short stories and novellas set on historic Route 66 in Texas.

A gripping story of family betrayal, deep despair, and a young girl’s courageous triumph. MAGGIE’S BETRAYAL by Natalie Bright

A young soldier leaves his new bride for war sharing their life through letters in this heartfelt story. WAITING by Rory C. Keel

A down-on-his-luck cowboy sees opportunity in a young widow’s neglected ranch in 1944 Texas. SUDDEN TURNS by Joe Nichols

A Cherokee Chief predicts Mora O’Hara’s future as she travels The Mother Road seeking closure after a career related tragedy. SHOWDOWN AT U-DROP INN by Cait Collins

Raylen Dickey learns the difference between her friends, lovers, and enemies. FEAR OF HEIGHTS by Nandy Ekle

Another Story: Step Two


Another Story: Step Two

by Adam Huddleston

Last week, I submitted the tagline for a new story.  This week, I’d like to expand it into a paragraph.  It’s a little clunky, and I know I used the word “mage” much too often, but I wanted to show what the expansion looks like.  

A clandestine mage infiltrates a magical cadre responsible for keeping an extra-dimensional portal closed.  After murdering all but one of the group, the portal opens, releasing several deadly creatures that destroy the village and enter the kingdom.  The surviving mage seeks out and finds the last man with magical powers (the secret mages brother), and he reluctantly agrees to help.  After his magical training, he travels to the portal to close it, but his mentor is killed before reaching their goal.  Digging deep within himself, the new mage defeats the creatures and seals the portal. 

Holiday Thoughts


Outtakes 364

Holiday Thoughts

By Cait Collins

 

Thanksgiving is two days away and Christmas will be here before we are ready. With so much going on I find myself making excuses for not working on my writing projects.  This year I have set a challenge for myself.  I will work on my projects each evening.  Even if it’s only thirty minutes or an hour, it will dedicate time to editing or writing at least a paragraph each day.

Enjoy the holidays, but do not neglect those projects.  It saves backtracking after the festivities have ended.