Daily Writing Exercise: June 29th – Three Nouns Exercise #6

Wednesday, June 29, 2016: Three Nouns Exercise #6

Three random nouns are placed in the space below (one abstract, two concrete). Seen together, what do they make you think about? How does your mind connect them?

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Daily Writing Exercise: June 28th – Short Story #7

Tuesday, June 28, 2016: Short Story #7

This is an opportunity for you to consider one-off stories in your works. Use the prompts below to engineer a situation and write about it. You have 90 minutes to complete the first draft.

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Daily Writing Exercise: June 27th – Dialogue Development #6

Monday, June 27, 2016: Dialogue Development #6

Dialogue is an important part of telling a story. While great stories can be told without someone uttering a single word, authors use this device as a means of communicating a thought from character to character.

Today’s freewrite is here to help you develop your dialogue writing skills.

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This Massive Bookstore Chain Will Soon Sell Beer and Wine

(This article originally appeared on Fortune.com)

The company has even hired an executive chef

How about some beer or wine or a nice dinner after browsing Barnes & Noble’s aisles for the latest Stephen King thriller or an adult coloring book?

The bookstore chain said at an investor conference on Thursday that it would open four concept stores in fiscal 2017 that will feature bars offering wine and beer, along with better food, in cafés twice the size of its usual food spots, its latest effort to rejuvenate its business.

The first store will open in Eastchester, N.Y., about 30 miles north of New York City, in October and have amenities like a fire pit and bocce court. The three other stores will be in the Galleria Edina in Edina, Minn.; the Palladio at Broadstone mall in Folsom, Calif.; and One Loudoun, a mixed-use community in Loudoun County, Va.

The strategy comes as the 640-location bookseller looks to revive sales growth. In the fourth quarter of fiscal 2016 ended in April, Barnes & Noble’s comparable-store sales fell 0.8% and the company expects those figures to rise only modestly in the current fiscal year. Barnes & Noble has benefitted from the slowing growth of e-books. Barnes & Noble’s foray into e-books and devices has been a big drain on sales, and last year it spun off its college bookstore business, leaving its core retail business as its last major lever for growth.

Barnes & Noble’s focus on its faltering Nook business in recent years left little time and energy to meaningfully update its stores. Indeed, Barnes & Noble has shrunk its store fleet considerably in recent years. (Last year, it closed eight stores, the lowest number since 2010. For the current year it plans on another eight closings, net of new stores.) But with its business more stable now, the retailer saw an opportunity to try a new format.

“We wanted to create a better bookstore,” Jaime Carey, president of development and the restaurant group, told Fortune at the company’s investor day. “We already have a cafe, so we said let’s have a much better food experience frankly.” He added: “We think they’re going to drive traffic to the store and keeping them in the store longer.”

On top of standard café items, Barnes & Noble’s concept stores will offer a full breakfast, lunch, and dinner menu with waiter service. The company has hired an executive chef.

Carey was guarded about Barnes & Noble’s plans, but said if the four test restaurants do well, the concept could be expanded, or incorporated into existing stores that have space for a larger eating area.

Giving people a reason to come to its bookstores is a matter of life or death for Barnes & Noble. The company holds 100,000 events like book readings across its chain a year. Otherwise, people will simply buy their books on Amazon.com, which has begun to open brick-and-mortar bookstores of its own.

“It’s not something that is going to go online,” says Carey.

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Daily Writing Exercise: June 24th – First Line Friday #5

Friday, June 24, 2016: First Line Friday #5

This freewrite is a First Line Prompt. You will find the first line of your freewrite in the space below. Your job is to spend the next 15 minutes and continue it.

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Daily Writing Exercise: June 23rd – Travel Thursday #5

Thursday, June 23, 2016: Travel Thursday #5

This exercise is to help your character get to know their surroundings better. There’s nothing more fun to read than a well-informed character that knows tiny little secrets about the settings around them.

Here’s what you need to know!

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Zenith by Sasha Alsberg and Lindsay Cummings

(This review is cross-posted and originated from GoodReads.)

When I look for Sci-Fi books, my preference is the “Space Opera” sub-genre. I am drawn to the depth of the space operas because they offer more details. The story is more about the characters: who they are and who they become as the story unfolds. There’s depth…the story itself has character and a life of its own. Zenith by Sasha Alsberg and Lindsay Cummings is the first installment in its series and it has all hallmarks of what could be a comeback in serialized space opera stories!

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Zenith Co-Author Sasha Alsberg
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Zenith Co-Author Lindsay Cummings

Blogger and star of YouTube channel Abookutopia, Sasha Alsberg (left) has teamed up with veteran Author Lindsay Cummings (right) to bring you not only a team-written Sci-Fi space opera, but a serialized one at that! (That means you’re going to have to wait for the whole story to unfold, folks!)

Androma Racella is known far and wide across the Mirabel Galaxy as a powerful mercenary, The Bloody Baroness. Andi (to her friends and crew) is the captain of the starship Maurader. She and her 3 crewmates travel from job to job for their survival.

After a long and exhausting bout with insomnia and night terrors, Andi finds herself in the middle of a skirmish with bounty hunters. She has survived worse attacks than this, but there’s something different…a nagging feeling she can’t shake as she gets deeper into the battle. Rather than the traditional “blow them out of the water” approach, the ship is boarded and a blast from her past blows Andi’s world apart as she soon finds out that the fate of an entire galaxy hangs in the balance of her decisions whether or not to cooperate with her captor’s employer.

Admittedly, I am always skeptical about books or even movies that tout “All-Girl” or “All-Boy” anything because I believe it robs the story of differing perspectives and a depth that is rarely seen in single-gendered stories. This is absolutely not the case in Zenith. Because this is just the first part of a series, we are just getting to know the characters and what makes them tick.

The only disappointment I had, comes from the fact that I am an empathetic and immersive reader. That means that I allow myself to be drawn into the book and experience everything that the characterse experience…almost like I am in the action myself. There was a bit where it felt like there was too much information being dumped on me that broke up the flow of the story, particularly in the area of Andi’s past coming back to get her, which dumped me out of the immersive experience.

4 StarsI believe the story is off to a great start and I can’t wait to read the next installment of Zenith!

You can grab your copy of Zenith wherever ebooks are sold. Please also check out the Authors Lindsay Cummings and Sasha Alsberg from the following links:

Twitter: @AuthorLindsayC & @SashaAlsberg

The Official Androma Saga Website

Zenith on Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Kobo

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Daily Writing Exercise: June 22nd – Three Nouns Exercise #5

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2016: Three Nouns Exercise #5

Three random nouns are placed in the space below (one abstract, two concrete). Seen together, what do they make you think about? How does your mind connect them?

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Daily Writing Exercise: June 21st – Short Story #6

Tuesday, June 21, 2016: Short Story #6

This is an opportunity for you to consider one-off stories in your works. Use the prompts below to engineer a situation and write about it. You have 90 minutes to complete the first draft.

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Daily Writing Exercise: June 20th – Dialogue Development #5

Monday, June 20, 2016: Dialogue Development #5

Dialogue is an important part of telling a story. While great stories can be told without someone uttering a single word, authors use this device as a means of communicating a thought from character to character.

Today’s freewrite is here to help you develop your dialogue writing skills.

Read More...
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