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Ghostwriting about ghosts Tags: paranormal ghostwriting southwest United States

                 

I belong to the Society of Southwestern Authors, Valley of the Sun Chapter.  We meet monthly and today our guest speakers were Dan Baldwin, Rhonda Hull, and Dwight Hull.  They co-authored a book recently released entitled Speaking With the Spirits of the Old Southwest.

Dan is one of our members and a ghostwriter of some renown. He puts out a steady stream of fiction and non-fiction, both as a ghostwriter and as the sole author.

I found out today he is also a dowser.  I only knew this term when used for water witching, a skill my dad was good at, a skill needed for a rancher in the thirsty desert of Arizona.  Apparently it also describes someone who holds a string with a weight at the end, and when the spirits answer “Yes’ or “no”, it circles to the right or to the left.

The Dwights are paranormal researchers and come across as kind and humble.  Low-key and unassuming, they frequently mention that their goal in life is to help both the living and the dead, in whatever way they can. In fact, they do quite a bit of pro bono work, consulting on line and holding classes to help people find their own paranormal talents, to name two.  As for the dead, they pride themselves on helping people too frightened to cross over to wherever they go to do just that.

Rhonda is a “sensitive” whose talents include mediumship and clairvoyance.

 Dwight is an animal communicator.

These three traipsed through the desert and mountains of Arizona to abandoned mining towns and military forts.  There, they invited the spirits to converse with them and share their stories.  Certainly they’ve picked a popular subject.  Dan emailed a proposal to a publisher on a Thursday and got a call on Monday.  They bought the book that week.  Since it’s published the book has done well.  Thanks to a TV feature and a radio interview, it was a top-seller on Amazon.com for three weeks running.

I am familiar with some of the places they’ve gone to, including the famous Bird Cage Theater in Tombstone.  It was fun to read through the book today and visualize their experiences.  But more interesting than that was the simple layout Dan chose.  Each chapter begins with a few pages of the history of the spot or person they encountered, double that number of pages of the conversation’s transcript, a few pictures and a couple paragraphs of summary.

He is a straightforward, concise writer with no pretenses about writing for the upper echelon of readers. I admire that.  His books sell, and he makes a living from writing.

The book is available in soft cover, hard cover, and kindle.

http://website; www.beelieveparanormal.com

 

 

Inside Lingo Tags: writing

                                 

Has this ever happened to you? You’re typing away, describing a scene, and something like this comes out.

“As the lane beside him ended, the car behind him sped up to pass him in the ever-diminishing space beside him.”

Okay, that just toppled the flow of the go.

How about, “If Victoria had not made sure everyone was stopped in the intersection before going through it, everyone in the car would have died.”

Wait, what?  That’s just way too many words.

It probably happens most when your characters are adventuring in an arena you don’t typically write about.  All of a sudden, that inside language every trade, profession, hobby and lifestyle has is knowledge you need RIGHT NOW!

Today I thought I’d blog about words and phrases commonly used in driving.  As a driving instructor, I use them every day.  So might you, as a driver yourself.  But I bet there’s a few you’d not thought of.

So here’s a bit of inside lingo you might use in your stories.

Instead of the first example how about  “As the lane beside him ended, the car behind him sped up to shoot the gap.

And for the second example let’s try “If she’d not secured her intersection before proceeding through, everyone would have died.

Here’s some more:

The poorly distributed load teetered dangerously to one side.

He was boxed in, with no out on either side of him.

He was good at scanning for both actual and potential hazards.

He rolled past the two fighting dogs, cautiously covering his brake and giving them extra room.

She signaled her intention to move over a lane to give him time to follow.

He created space for the merging truck, allowing him to pull in front of him.

She considered the road and traffic conditions before setting out.

“He has excellent hazard awareness, I’d be surprised if it was his fault.”

A good driver is a predictable driver, one who matches the flow of traffic, facilitates merging and lane changing, maintains space cushions and always signals their intentions.

Grimly, she determined the closing rate of the oncoming vehicle would not allow her time to pull back.

It was his superior slow speed maneuvers, reversing, positioning in narrow spots and turning in tight spaces that won him the Waste Remover Award of 2018.

The child stepped into Logan’s path of travel forcing him to make an evasive maneuver onto the gravel shoulder.

Her eye-lead time was severely restricted, leaving her little time to determine her options.

Without space to maneuver she was destined to collide with the object.

It was a matter of managing space and time, and she knew she was up to the task.

As the car spun out of control, Mr. Webb’s words from driving 101 came to her, clear as the rain on her windshield. “When hydroplaning, avoid using the pedals or the steering. Wait for the vehicle to re-establish traction before applying either one.”

The winding roads and hills severely restricted her sightline. The dense shrubbery and trees on either side of the road created continuous blind spots for her. 

For drivers who hyper-focus or have tunnel vision, it is our job to teach them how to expand their scope of awareness.

Understanding sequential priority of focus is essential for new drivers. Without this, they will be looking at the wrong things at the wrong time.

She drove past him in idle speed, insuring he saw her in the 1967 Mustang.

He proceeded through his turn as if that was what he’d intended all along.

She sped through the semi’s no-zones, paranoid he would move over without seeing her.

It helped alleviate her anxiety to repeat, pace the space” over and over when merging onto the freeway. 

And a few straight-up definitions:

Pinch points: Areas where traffic condenses, such as where lanes end, intersections, and on/off ramps.

Point of No Return: The PONR is that point beyond which we can no longer safely stop for the light.

Traction patch – the amount of tire touching the ground, about the length of a hand.

Space cushion: The distance between you and the vehicle in front of you. Also called “following distance.

Spatial reasoning: The ability to judge distances and the amount of space around your vehicle.

Staying staggered: Maintaining an empty space on either side in traffic

 

This Week on Writers Abroad
Category: Site News

This week on WA

After reading the Writing Goals for Jo, Bruce, Nicola, Sue and Vanessa this thought popped into my mind; I walk with giants. I know they are goals, but I also know that many of them will be achieved. As a member of WA, It’s a wonderful opportunity to watch members struggle and then achieve.  There are no magical leaps to success in this business, and seeing the work in progress is a true inspiration

Jo’s Six Word Challenge is attracting participants like a magnet – what a great idea to start the morning journaling each day.  Nothing too overwhelming but enough to open any doors of resistance.  Wonderful work Debbie, Vanessa, Lesley and Jill.

Writing challenges for January are overwhelming! Nowadays it’s about picking and choosing, I can remember years where finding enough competitions to enter was the problem.  Thank you Lesley, Angela, Alyson, Jo and Sue for posting in this forum.

A very tempting Muse Sue has posted for this week.  Several unusual ideas, one I’m tempted to try is to take an old short story and replace every “the” with a different word.  WHAT??? How will that work out? Beautiful photos and a word list that has  a couple I’ll have to look up. 

Bruce posted on Works in Progress the first and second chapters of his book “Medium Rare”.  He’s received several insightful comments from Alyson and Angela already.

If you have any special requests for the spring Planner let Sue know now.  You can do this under Forums>General>The Notice Board.

And that’s about it for the week.  If I’ve left out anything or gotten something wrong please let me know in the comments.  Best of luck to us all for 2018!

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