Dec 19 2014

Déjà vu Get Your #dejavu2014 Can’t Tell an #AtoZchallenge from a Vision Quest without it

Guy selling programs comic image


Deja vu blogfest image

Regular readers know that I debated between at least seven posts when deciding which of these to go with. Ultimately, I went with this one, from the A to Z challenge 2014, because it was so fun to write. I created an entire story this year, and broke it down into each of the letter days. Naturally, most guests were only able to read one post, as there were over 1000 blogs to visit. Most of my posts were noticed, commented on, and were liked. This one was overlooked. That’s a shame, because this is my second favorite from the series. (My favorite was the next one, W is for Water, where in the main character chats with a lobster. But it makes little sense without reading this one first.)

So, here it is. Reposted for your reading pleasure. I hope you enjoy. Thanks for stopping in!



V is for Vision Quest atozchallenge blog post image

All alone in this sealed off room.


I pound on the door until I can no longer lift my limbs. I search along the cracks for any way to pry it open, but none exists. I search through my backpack for anything of use. The contents hidden within are a small bandage, a blue paperclip, a pen that ran dry, my keys, the plastic baggy that held the torch, an eight-ounce bottle of water, and the crystal pendulum. None of this is of any use to get the door open. Thirsty from my efforts, I drink the water. I want to conserve it, to drink it slow over time, but I end up chugging the whole bottle.


It is believed by my tribe that fasting increases a person’s ability to contact and influence the great spirits. It is by these means, this Vision Quest, that we can meet our Guardian Spirit. As the only source of food around me is in the form of seeds, spices, sugar, and salt, I may as well fast. I very well might die down here. Does that mean that I’ll fail? I was chosen for this. It was supposed to be my destiny or something to come down here today. What does it mean if my true fate is to die?


I probably have three days to live. After that, without water, I will die.


This seems like a good time to break down in tears, but I just can’t. Those tears would be wasted liquid. It isn’t worth it. I sit up straight. My legs turn and tuck, so that my calves and the top of my feet touch the ground, my thighs rotating to the side. I resolve to remain like this.

sitting image


My mind clears. Finding inner silence has never been my strong suit, but this is the perfect opportunity to work on it. I focus on my breathing. I focus on each breath. I fade away.


Time passes. Minutes, hours, days. My stomach tries to interrupt my peaceful calm, but I chose to ignore it. I much prefer meditating in the forest, but this is where I am, so this is where I must be.


It’s time to open your eyes.


There’s a voice inside my mind that isn’t my own.


Yes, there is. Open your eyes.


I look around the room. It is as I remember, though the fire has dwindled considerably.


Come over to the two large jars you did not open.


I cross to the corner of the room, as instructed.


Open the one decorated with images of the ocean.




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Thank you so much for stopping by. I hope we can become regular visitors of each other. If you enjoyed this, consider stopping back to read the rest of the story, or perhaps looking into my recent contest entry which won publication in an anthology:


“I have a list and a map. What could possibly go wrong?”

Short story contest winners, short-listed finalists, judges, invited award winning guests and CWI staff had fun answering that question. They produced 30 very different, thought-provoking plots. Genres include general fiction, humor, fantasy, romance, dystopian, horror and sci-fi.

WRONG!: A themed anthology 2014 includes a short story by @JLenniDorner

Dec 16 2014

Expressing Myself with Gollum from LoTR


Express Yourself Meme November image

Gollum, originally known as Sméagol (or Trahald)
My favorite LoTR character in the movies is Gollum, originally known as Sméagol (or Trahald). He’s interesting, unique, and unmistakable for anyone else. This pop-culture icon is known all over for the simple phrase, “My Precious.” It takes a rare character to be so memorable with only two words. That’s something to strive for in writing!


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Discover this brand new book!

“I have a list and a map. What could possibly go wrong?”

Short story contest winners, short-listed finalists, judges, invited award winning guests and CWI staff had fun answering that question. They produced 30 very different, thought-provoking plots. Genres include general fiction, humor, fantasy, romance, dystopian, horror and sci-fi.

WRONG!: A themed anthology 2014 includes a short story by @JLenniDorner

Dec 14 2014

Sunday Seven Has Second Breakfast for a Hobbit of LoTR

Sunday Seven image

A list of seven of something- brought to you on Sunday. What can you add?


In the books, Hobbits have six meals on a good day. In the Peter Jackson LoTR movies, Pippin separates dinner and supper, creating a seventh meal.

  • 7:00am – Breakfast
  • 9:00am – Second Breakfast
  • 11:00am – Elevenses
  • 1:00pm – Luncheon
  • 4:00pm – Afternoon Tea
  • 6:00pm – Dinner
  • 8:00pm – Supper


There is much debate among medical and nutrition experts as to if people should eat multiple small meals every day, three similarly proportioned ones, or three smaller meals and several snacks. The key is knowing what works for your body, based on your health needs and level of activity. Stay healthy, and always consult a licensed professional when making a major change in diet.


Hobbit Diet image


Are you seeing the Hobbit movie when it comes to theaters this week?

Dec 10 2014

Expressing Coffee Tea Cider and Me

Express Yourself Meme November image

Hot Apple Cider, Focus Blend Coffee, and Yogi Raspberry Ginger tea

Dec 09 2014

Books are as Good as Chicken Soup

I’ve been mostly away from my computer for the last few day. A bit under the weather. But my postal carrier cheered me up today, bringing gifts from that magical place called Amazon.



Dec 07 2014


Sunday Seven image

A list of seven of something- brought to you on Sunday. What can you add?

seven deadly sins blog hop
I was tagged by DL for this hop. A few bloggers I frequent have taken part, so I’ve very excited!


Greed – What is your most inexpensive book?

I have a collection of ebooks that were free or 99 cents. In hardback, I have EONA, which was $1.99 at Ollie’s Bargain Outlet.


Wrath – Who’s the author with whom you have a love/hate relationship? 

Any volunteers to be the Rufus Wilmot Griswold to my Edgar Allan Poe? Hmm… well, I love Veronica Roth and the Divergent series, but I really can’t stand the relationship between Tris and Four sometimes. How can two people not “get” each other so much? I know, Tris is supposed to be that oblivious, but if I was Four, well, it’s a good thing that I’m not him. Ha ha.


Gluttony – What book have you devoured over and over again with no shame? 

Harry Potter. I bought the ebooks to better preserve my precious hardcover first editions. There are other books I’ve reread, but not to the point where I bought another copy just to protect a spine.


Sloth – Which books have you neglected reading due to laziness? 

The War of the Flowers. I wanted it enough that I was unwilling to wait for Amazon’s shipping time. I actually left my house and went to a mall (if you knew me, you’d gasp at that) to buy the only copy for sale in 80 miles of me. Have I read it yet? Umm… Well, that’s on the agenda for this month. Just need to break out the swiffer duster first. (Update– got through the first 37 pages on Dec 4th. Anyone have a heart they can loan me? Because mine ripped out and shattered.)


Pride – What books do you talk about most in order to sound like an intellectual reader? 

I’m supposed to sound like an intellectual reader? So… mocking pretentious book snobs is out. Darn, there goes my favorite hobby. KIDDING! Does anyone think quoting Bill Bryson will sound intellectual? Because A Short History of Nearly Everything was great. All right, how about The Universe in a Nutshell by Steven Hawking? I understood string theory after I read that book. He’s one of the smartest people alive, so reading his book must make me sound like an intellectual reader. Really, what tops that is a friend who read War and Peace in the original Russian. That sounds really intellectual, even though she is from Russia.

Someone toss me a title of a book I should read so I can better answer this question.


Lust – What attributes do you find attractive in a male or female character? 

This is interesting to think about, because I’m rarely attracted to my own characters. (Two just got in my head, whipped off shirts, and are giving me wicked half-smiles that disprove the statement. Wow. Yum. What was I talking about?) Assertive confidence. That’s what attracts me to male or female characters. Oddly, twenty years ago I was attracted to shyness. Traits I’ve always found attractive in characters of either gender are generosity and appreciativeness.


Envy – What book would you like to receive most as a gift? 

I could just post a link to my Amazon wishlist. Beyond that, I’d love a first edition of “The Red Badge of Courage,” “Cry, the Beloved Country,” “Brave New World,” or “Gone with the Wind.”



There’s no number of people to tag. Sort of a whoever-wants-in hop. Therefore, if you’d be interested, tag yourself in my comments and let me know when you post so I can drop by!

Other than that… I’m going to nominate Beth and Joyce. (It’s okay if you don’t play along, but I figured I’d tag you anyway.)

Dec 05 2014

Expressing my love of Bumble and reading books


Express Yourself Meme November image

I do celebrate three holidays in December. I’m not sure that there’s a show or movie related to them that I’m looking forward too. (I mean, yeah, I’ll watch Rudolph the Rednose Reindeer for the 50th time or whatever, but that’s because I love Bumble.) There is a book coming out this month that I read a review on. Caribou’s Gift (Kodiak Point) by Eve Langlais – which sounds like a really funny romance. Funny enough that it made my Amazon wishlist.


@JLenniDorner loves Bumble. He is now on a postage stamp.
What I’m reading:

I just finished two books (Mockingjay in hardcover, and Psi Another Day in Kindle), so I started reading my paperback copy of War of the Flowers (come back on Sunday to learn why this is funny) and The Mysterious Madam Morpho on my Kindle.


So far, the first 37 pages of War of the Flowers have been heart breaking, depressing, and kick-in-the-teeth sorrowful. Your experience may vary.

Dec 03 2014

An @OpAwesome6 Author Bio Mad Libs

mad libs

J Lenni Dorner is a fantasy author who has written about everything from glottis to pliable menus and has won a Oscar for his/her nonfiction book, “The Woodworker’s Guide to Wrapping.” S/He lives in Maine with his/her family and 237 brittle lions. S/He is a psychology graduate of AFX and has enjoyed laughing in Egypt, giving water, and playing tennis with his/her close friend and mentor, JK Rowling. S/He aspires to someday be the first full-time author to surf on the moon.




J Lenni Dorner is a fantasy author who has written about everything from immortality to sociable dragons and has won publication in the Philadelphia Inquirer for an essay about summer. J is happily married and living in Pennsylvania. The author was an English and Communications student at PSU and has enjoyed spelunking in Crystal Cave, drinking Yogi tea, and horseback riding with some Lenni Lenape elders. J aspires to become the first novelist to write a book while living in a submarine under the waters of Lake Erie.

Nov 30 2014

Sunday Seven of Thanksgiving facts and Deja vu

Sunday Seven image

A list of seven of something- brought to you on Sunday. What can you add?


OMG why is there another Thanksgiving post, J? That holiday is over!

Yes, well, forgive me. NaNoWriMo devoured my brain. So here’s seven more bits of trivia about the holiday that’s probably got leftovers in your fridge…


  1. The average long-distance Thanksgiving trip is 214 miles, compared with 275 miles over the Christmas and New Year’s holiday.
  2. Thanksgiving Day is actually the busiest travel day, even more so than the day before Thanksgiving, as most people believe.
  3. President Lincoln declared the last Thursday in November as a national day of thanksgiving, and in 1941 Congress established the fourth Thursday in November as a national holiday.
  4. When President Franklin D. Roosevelt moved Thanksgiving to the next-to-last Thursday in November to prolong the holiday shopping season, many Republicans rebelled. The holiday was temporarily celebrated on different dates: November 30 became the “Republican Thanksgiving” and November 23 was “Franksgiving” or “Democrat Thanksgiving.”
  5. Thanksgiving can occur as early as November 22 and as late as November 28.
  6. Thanksgiving football games began with Yale versus Princeton in 1876.
  7. In 1920, Gimbels department store in Philadelphia held a parade with about 50 people and Santa Claus bringing up the rear. The parade is now known as the 6ABC IKEA Thanksgiving Day Parade and is the nation’s oldest Thanksgiving Day parade.


Deja vu blogfest image

I’m also looking ahead to the Déjà vu Blogfest on Dec 19.

Currently, I have these seven posts (all with two or less comments) in the running. Will I use a writing post or a Native American post? Stay tuned!


  1. Inspirational Writing Motivation Quote on a Coffee Cup
  2. Famous Query Examples
  3. Express Yourself Hop Writing Advice #writetip
  4. Thinking Ahead for my #NaNoWriMo story
  5. #atozchallenge V is for Vision Quest
  6. Sunday Seven of Citizenship to honor Native Americans and Fathers
  7. Sunday Seven Foods from the First Thanksgiving


Did the Thanksgiving facts today give you Déjà vu?

Do you have a favorite among my seven “under-seen” posts?


Nov 28 2014

Maybe Rudolph Will Light the Way to Accomplishing My December 2014 Goals

goals image
Here are my current goals and review of goals from the past:



  • Publish two decent-selling book series
  • Survive at least another 40 years


2014 Goals:

  • Publish something every week on this blog (ie: Sunday Seven)
  • Have 5000 Twitter followers ~ currently at 3,945 — up 111 from last month!
  • Update / redo and
  • Download the update for my blog theme, whatever that might entail
  • Support Diverse Books


Just breathe

Goals for December:


  • Finish up the fantasy writing class
  • Submit the next assignment for the young adult writing class
  • Add another 20,000 words to my NaNoWriMo fantasy novel
  • Keep up with Twitter follows
  • Tweet for #WriterWednesday #WW and  #ReaderthuRsday #RR
  • Finish reading 4 books
  • Have a joyous holiday season
  • Throw a snowball
  • See the next Hobbit movie
  • Take part in DL’s blogfest


Deja vu blogfest image

Review of Goals for November:

  • Take part in NANOWRIMO Nice List because @JLenniDorner accomplished this goal
  • Get five people to weigh in on my planning postNaughty List because @JLenniDorner failed to accomplish this goal
  • Keep working on the fantasy book during Nanowrimo Nice List because @JLenniDorner accomplished this goal
  • Vote Nice List because @JLenniDorner accomplished this goal
  • Enjoy Thanksgiving Nice List because @JLenniDorner accomplished this goal
  • Finish reading 1 bookNice List because @JLenniDorner accomplished this goal
  • See Mockingjay Nice List because @JLenniDorner accomplished this goal


Nice List because @JLenniDorner accomplished this goal Bonus! Did these as well:Nice List because @JLenniDorner accomplished this goal

  • Remember to tweet for #WW #WriterWednesday  and  #ReaderthuRsday #RR
  • Finish reading 4 books!


That Mama is a Grouch by @Sherry Ellis

Little Rose’s Big Lie by Shani Eichler

Save the Cat!: The Last Book on Screenwriting You’ll Ever Need by Blake Snyder

That Baby Woke Me Up, AGAIN  by @Sherry Ellis


Review of Other Previous Goals:

  • To get 300 signers on the guestbook.  ~ currently at 117
  • To get a literary agent.  ~ Still working on it.
  • To finish writing book two of the existence series.   ~On hold.
  • Work on Fraction of Existence rewrite ~ No progress this monthNaughty List because @JLenniDorner failed to accomplish this goal
  • Work on the other fantasy book series ~ PROGRESS!!!Nice List because @JLenniDorner accomplished this goal
  • Work on query letter ~ No progress this monthNaughty List because @JLenniDorner failed to accomplish this goal



Improve procrastination by checking this out

 Do you ever feel that way about goals? I thought the answers to this question on Quora might be of interest.


Looks like I’ll be getting three lumps of coal in my stocking…


Nov 26 2014

Expressing Myself with a Deluxe Grits #recipe

Express Yourself Meme November image

I promise you that this is NOT a cooking blog. There happen to be several foodie posts this month, but no, this is not a cooking blog.


This is a favorite breakfast meal of my lovely assistant and I. (Some of you may recall her from previous posts – O is for Otts and Sunday Seven Special Delivery.) What you may or may not know is that we are family. (I’m a second cousin once removed, or something like that, to her husband.) Thus, I feel I can justify calling this a family favorite.


Step by step instructions- with images!


1- Heat up some spinach. About 1/4 cup.

Target Market Pantry frozen steam in bag spinach taken out of the bag


We like to use this frozen spinach from target.

Two little balls is the perfect amount.

It takes about two minutes in a 1000 watt microwave.


2- Put water in a pot and add a squirt of lemon juice.

lemon juice
Put an 1 1/2 inches of water into a pot. Add a squirt of

lemon juice. We use half a teaspoon in a 1 quart sauce

pot. If you use a bigger pot, you’ll need more water to

get 1 1/2 inches, so you’ll need more lemon.


3- Crack an egg into a little bowl or ramekin.

The fresher the egg is, the better this will turn out.

Also, you want you egg to be cold. As in just out

of the refrigerator.


4- Heat the water to 190F (88C).

hot water
Lacking a cooking thermometer?

Well, it looks like this. Mid-size bubbles in the pot

on the bottom, but no activity on the surface.

Use a slotted spoon to wipe the bubbles.



5- Add the egg to the water.

egg going in the water
A few of those pesky bubbles will have reappeared.

That’s normal. Lower the egg into the water, letting

the water ease it from the ramekin. Don’t just dump

an egg into the water. It’s fragile- like an egg.

You’ll see the whites make a little cloud. (Or a big cloud, depending on how fresh and cold your egg was, and how well you did with bubble removal versus egg insert speed.)

poaching egg


6- Keep it at 190 F for about 4 minutes.

That isn’t as easy as it sounds. If you don’t have a thermometer, just turn it down a little bit after the egg has been in there for 30 seconds. You want the bubbles to look pretty much the same throughout the whole cooking time.


7- Grits and butter.

instant grits add water to grits and butter

In the bowl with the spinach, add 2 packets of instant grits and 1/2 a tablespoon of butter.

(If you do not have instant grits, you will need to make grits. Follow the directions of whatever package you are using.)

Boil 1 cup of water. (Each packet requires 1/2 a cup, so 1/2 + 1/2 = 1 cup.)

Add the water to the grits, butter, and spinach. Give that a good stir.


8- Add meat and cheese.

bacon and feta
We like this bacon and feta cheese.

Feel free to experiment with various

cheeses and meats though. Hey,

Thanksgiving means leftover turkey!

Give that a whirl. Or go meatless, if

that’s how you live. Whatever you like.

Give the mix a little stir.


9- Time to get the egg.

egg out
Hello, Beautiful! Use your

slotted spoon to gently get

the poached egg out. Let

the water drain off.


10- Top it off with the egg.

Ready to serve

Place the egg on top of your

grits mixture. Serve and enjoy.


yummy grits perfect egg


Pinterest image

Find the #recipe on the blog of @JLenniDorner


Nov 24 2014

Miss you Blogfest and Quote tastic hop

Oh how I miss you blog hop

List one to three bloggers you really miss. 

  1. Tina
  2. Letters to my Husband


We’ve all already said good-bye to Tina, but this list seemed to justify her name. The Letters to my Husband blog went private over a year ago. It had really interesting posts that grabbed emotion and yanked it hard.


List one to three bloggers you would really miss if they stopped blogging. 


  1. Stephanie Faris
  2. Alex J. Cavanaugh
  3. Operation Awesome


I also considered adding the A to Z blog, but I have Alex on the list, and he’s part of it, so why be redundant! Alex always has something cool on the blog. Steph is a great blogger and I’m so pleased to have gotten to know her. Operation Awesome has taught me so much, connected me with great resources, and is fun to visit.


So that’s my entry for this hop. Thanks for stopping by!



Quote-tastic hop

Crystal Collier Soulless


Nov 23 2014

Sunday Seven Foods from the First Thanksgiving

Sunday Seven image

A list of seven of something- brought to you on Sunday. What can you add?


The Wampanoag people took pity on the sick, starving pale-faced people that had settled on their land. There had been rumors from distant tribes to the south of pale people who came in oversized canoes and committed monstrous acts. The rumored ones took many people away. These pale-faced people were not (yet) taking people away. They were building funny houses. They brought women and children with them. This was a new tribe of neighbors. Unlike other tribes, these people were unaware of territories. In a strange custom, they simply decided that wherever they landed was theirs; even if they had no idea what to do once they got there. It became obvious one early winter that they would all die if nothing were done.


It seemed right to help them. Being one of the more peaceful tribes, the Wampanoag people respected life. It was decided that kindness would shown to these strangers. The rumors were dismissed. After all, perhaps these people would be reasonable once they were fed. (Spoiler alert– The Wampanoag people were virtually wiped out through slavery and biological warfare. Approximately half the tribe was dead within twenty years of the first Thanksgiving. Nearly all of the other half was dead within the next two hundred years. The last known member to speak their language died over a century ago.)


Please note that this is how the story was told to me by my Lenni-Lenape ancestors. Your history books may vary.


To the Lenni-Lenape, the Turkey is one of our totem animals (along with the wolf and the turtle). It is improbable that my people would have served turkey. But did the Wampanoag people? That’s a good question. I’ve heard people say that they must have, because how else did they get the feathers for the headdresses?




Seriously, it’s 2014. Can we stop pretending that the Sioux were the only tribe on this continent? I’ve seen heated debates over anyone other than Christian Louboutin putting red on the bottom of shoe, but a majority of people still think that every freakin tribe was wearing a feathered headdress. Come on now. The Wampanoag people had beaded headbands. They might have added one or two feathers occasionally for some flair, but it’s nothing like what the Sioux had going on.


Also debated is who decided to throw this little dinner party, which was actually a feast meant to last for several days. I’ve seen history books suggesting that the colonists were the ones doing the inviting. My ancestors passed on a different story. From what they told me, I can give you a list of seven things that would have been eaten at the first Thanksgiving. (Sorry, my ancestors never mentioned eating a turkey.)


  1. Maize (corn – see my foodie post from Nov 2, 2014)
  2. Squash
  3. Beans
  4. Deer (all edible parts, not just the venison meat you might know)
  5. Lobster
  6. Clams
  7. Berries


Note that the first three are what non-nomadic tribes, such as the Wampanoag people and the Lenni-Lenape, commonly called the trinity. When planted together, these three help each other to grow, resulting in a more productive harvest.


Cranberry sauce seems unlikely. They were bitter berries more commonly used for medicine or dye. However, some foods did include their use.


Pumpkin is a kind of squash. It very well might have been served. It is doubtful that it was baked into a pie though.


Thanksgiving clam


Nov 19 2014

Expressing Five Fictional Characters I Want in My Life


Express Yourself Meme November image
Five fictional characters I would want in my life.


This sounded like such an easy topic, until I discussed it with two friends. See, right off the bat, I said “Hermione Granger.” But my friend reminded me that I knew someone who was like her. While that girl and I were casual acquaintances with mutual friends, we were never especially close. I tried to figure out who from the Harry Potter series I would have ended up friends with, if I had gone to Hogwarts. I’ve got it down to Ginny, Luna, or Neville.


Neville, Luna, and Ginny of Harry Potter

Next I thought about The Hunger Games. At first I thought Katniss, but I don’t know if she’d like me. I considered Gale, but mostly because of Liam Hemsworth, and um… not sure my Snookums would enjoy having him in our lives… *wipes drool* “What’s that? Your brother wants us to come over for a pool party? Yeah, I can squeeze that into my schedule…” Then I thought Peeta. He’s a survivor and he can make cake. Yup, we’d get along.


Peeta Cake

Here’s one that is so far out of left field you should probably sit down and swallow your drink before reading… Mary Anne Spier, from the Baby-Sitters Club. What? I know. But I had a crush on her when I was eleven. That realization shocked me, too.


spit from shock
Hey, you were warned.

I’m fairly certain that Violet Baudelaire and I would get along. The way she deals with A Series of Unfortunate Events has always made me smile. We’ve both come to accept that life is not a dream. And we know what it is to have to lead younger ones who have to depend on you.


Violet Baudelaire

Last, I’m selecting Kenny, from South Park. Like myself, not everyone can understand him. Also, it’d be nice to have friend that just keeps coming back to life. Say what you will about South Park, but it is the most diverse cast of characters I have ever encountered in a fictional setting. Are you unsure how to work people of different abilities, gender identities, or ethnic backgrounds into your stories? Go watch a few episodes from every season. They won’t all be politically correct- in fact, some go out of their way to stomp all over that- but there will be a wide range of characters.


South Park is diverse

Nov 17 2014

Quote tastic hop

Quote-tastic hop

Psi Another Day by D.R. Rosensteel


Nov 16 2014

Sunday Seven for @amazonkindle Thoughts and a #NaNoWriMo First Line Hook

Sunday Seven image

A list of seven of something- brought to you on Sunday. What can you add?


Sunday Seven for Kindle Thoughts and a NaNoWriMo First Line Hook


This week I’m bringing you seven ideas I wish the Kindle App had, as well as seven possible opening lines from my current NaNoWriMo fantasy story.


Kindle App Ideas:


  1. Genre sorting – For those of us who own books of more than one type (romance, cookbooks, craft instructions, etc), the ability to search by genre would be nice.
  2. Recommend to friend – Yes, I could contact my friend and retype the title and author… but what if there was just a share icon to click? share icon
  3. Favorite or Follow the Author on Amazon – Get a notice when they have a new book coming out. This is ridiculously beneficial to the writer, reader, and the sales department!
  4. Tweet your favorite line- A feature would let you mark 100 characters as you read along, and at the end allow you to tweet one of those as your favorite part, automatically adding in the book title and an Amazon buy link. 
  5. Back of the book- It’s great that I can see the covers. But I wish I could flip them over, virtually speaking, so I could read the blurb on the back.
  6. Social connect with the writer – Easily click to follow the author on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Goodreads, and whatever other social sites.
  7. Follow the publisher- Much like my ideas from 3 and 6, but with the publisher.



Possible Opening Lines:


  1. I can’t think a less distressing scenario to explain how this gown exists.
  2. Dad dying would secure my path to the happiest future imaginable, assuming that I could survive the mourning, which is unfathomable.
  3. I know that I can’t fake a smile bright enough to match this dress. -or-   My heartbeat races as I realize that I cannot fake a smile bright enough to match this revealing dress.
  4. A dragon’s rumble prompts the kingdom to arise from blissful slumber.
  5. I live on a world illuminated by the light of two nearby stars, yet everywhere I look, I see darkness.
  6. How am I to lead, as a princess or the military’s general, when I fail the most basic requirement of a citizen?
  7. Giving this dress to a dragon, so that it can be horded and appreciated for the multitude of shiny jewels, is the best idea.


Also found in the NaNoWriMo forums
First Line Story Book Hook


Would you use any of those features if they were part of the Kindle App? (If you use the Kindle App, that is- otherwise this is probably pointless and irrelevant to you.)


Which, if any, of my seven opening lines most grabs your attention? Do any of them hook you? Are any of the lines off putting for some reason you can explain?


Nov 14 2014

Expressing the MBTI Side of My ESTP Self

Express Yourself Meme November image


ESTP MBTI School years of @JLenniDorner

See more like this by following my

Pin cup @JLenniDorner
Inside the dusty room of my mind board.

ESTP MBTI score of @JLenniDorner

Nov 12 2014

Random Post for Fantasy Books with Dragons and Swords that Goth Readers May Like and a Hint of Vanilla

The 12 Greatest Fantasy Books Of The Year


^ That’s a fantastic list to check out. ^


Where might my own current NaNoWriMo project land on this?


The Dagger in the Darkrise, by J Lenni Dorner

The Dagger in the Darkrise sample cover by @JLenniDorner



Why it made the list (or might someday) : It starts out with the main character facing a life-altering choice and dealing with feelings of not fitting in. But what’s really about to change is the whole world. The utopia she grew up in is going to fall. She hoped to inherit a sword– no one ever said it would come at such a terrible cost.


Read if you like: dragons, swords, a just-came-of-age female wielding a sword and living among dragons, a dash of a romance pentagon (triangles only have three sides)


Also read if you were or are goth to some degree, because the main character will feel identifiable.


Diverse factor : Many of the characters “match the vanilla plants that grow only in our kingdom. The shades range from mimicking the fruit pods to extract spilled on leaves.”

vanilla fruit pod

Plot Type :

TRANSFORMATION – plot involves the process of change in the Protagonist as they journey through a stage of life that moves them from one significant character state to another.

SACRIFICE – plot involves the Protagonist taking action(s) that is motivated by a higher purpose (concept) such as love, honor, charity or for the sake of humanity.


And now, just for fun, here’s my impression of me trying to sum up my writing for a query letter:

Funny but true Wizard of Oz summary


If you can’t laugh at your self, you’re doomed!


Nov 09 2014

Sunday Seven redirects for spouse support this NaNoWriMo weekend

Sunday Seven image

A list of seven of something- brought to you on Sunday. What can you add?


It’s NaNoWriMo season!

So for this week, I’m going to redirect you to a post with a list of seven ways to be a supportive spouse. Those of you who are taking on the 50,000 word challenge and happen to be married (as I am) can casually slide the link to your Snookums.

Seven ways to support your spouse by Jaimie Ramsey

Nov 05 2014

Character name puns #writetip

Have you ever encountered character names that were so cliché it disturbed you? I don’t mean just obvious ones, like a villain named Mr. Bad, but ones that are puns. Sir Snarls, Featherbeard the Flighty, Tim Burr, or Mort U. Airy for example. It seems rational to believe that the writer was feeling lazy. “Forget about giving details- just use a goofy name and let the audience hang their hat on that!


I offer up another possibility. The writer used a newspaper.


What madness is this? Well, it seems that I’m living in a fairytale, based on my local news.


Pennsylvania Governor Election Results: Tom Wolf Defeats Incumbent Tom Corbett


Scott M. GrimLehigh County coroner since 1997.


Grim at a funeral


I’m not trying to mock these people, or their names.

I’m just stating that if someone wrote a work of fiction where the coroner and funeral director were named Grim, and the governor was named Wolf, it’d either get an eye roll or a People’s Choice Award nomination.


So the writetip is to name carefully. Unless you’re non-fiction, in which case the fairytale puns are eagerly awaiting.


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