Fall Blues!

Woman sick with fever lying in bed

Hi friends

Sometimes life reminds us to take it slow…

Until the bug playing in my veins decides to leave, I would not be able to get to your posts much. But I will be back very soon. Until then, keep showing up here, it feels wonderful to have such beautiful people around.

Happy days and take care!

500 Lit Magazines Where You Can Submit Your Work

Hola!

Happy Autumn beautiful people! I hope the changing seasons are bringing colour to your life and writing.

The other day, I came across this list of Top 500 Most Influential Lit Magazines by Mumber Mag and I thought I needed to share this with you. I know a lot of writers would love to have their work published in various magazines but often don’t know where to find them.

Mumber Mag is an online literary magazine where you can get paid to write. Check out their Submissions Page for more information.

Here goes… The Top 500 Most Influential Lit Magazines. This list is still being collected, but we already have number 350 to 500. There are rather a lot to sift through but I hope you will find at least one that works for you.

Happy Writing!

500 Lit Magazines Where You Can Submit Your Work

SoSS #13- 21/09/2019

Happy Weekend lovely people!

Appreciation is always such a beautiful thing to get but at times, when it comes in unexpected ways, it is even more delightful. Today I got a mention by JupiterGrant for the SoSS post and that really touched me.
Thank you very much from the bottom of my heart… and I hope you all will enjoy the very beautiful work on this blog.

Happy reading!

Jupiter's Lair

Welcome to the weekend, lovely people. I’ve enjoyed reading some fantastic content this week, as well as having a bit of a Netflix binge (the new series of “American Horror Story”, and “Marianne”. Both very creepy, so I count myself terribly brave for not having resorted to sleeping with the lights on! 😨)

And, speaking of creepy, (nice segueway, huh?) my new ebook “A Horny Halloween: Six Smutty Stories for the Samhain Season” is out on October 1st, and available to preorder now. Six all new sexy horror fiction stories written especially for the spooky season.

Wishing you all a fantastic weekend, whatever you’re up to. And happy reading.

Love, Jupiter x 🌺

Prose

Everything You Can Imagine is Real from submissy. An enchanting tale accompanied by a gorgeous image.

The Soundtrack to First Love from Floss. This is a poignant piece about lost love and how music is inextricably…

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WRITING NUMBERS: Easy Style Guide For Writers

Writing Numbers

Writing of numbers in fiction and prose is rather complex, mainly because opinions vary. Even though it hasn’t really given me any sleepless nights because there is not much call for writing numbers in poetry, it assumes greater importance in the writing of fiction and other forms of prose writing.

Most writers agree that they are free to decide upon their own style but in my research I found some commonly followed standards that I am going to list here for your reference.

The Associated Press Stylebook recommends spelling out the numbers zero through nine and using numerals thereafter—until one million is reached. (e.g. 50 million) However, it is important to note that this style is followed mainly for technical writing.

The Chicago Manual of Style recommends spelling out the numbers zero through one hundred and using figures thereafter—except for whole numbers used in combination with hundredthousandhundred thousandmillionbillion, and beyond. (e.g. fifty million)

However, consistency is the key, whatever style is followed, or even when the rules are flouted.

According to the basic rules followed widely-

  • Spell out numbers from zero through one hundred. She ran twenty miles before her legs gave up.
  • Use numerals for most numbers beyond one hundredThe competition lasted 165 minutes.
  • Spell out all numbers beginning a sentence.
  • Hyphenate all compound numbers from twenty-one through ninety-nine. 
  • Hyphenate all written-out fractions.  (two-thirds of the captured soldiers)
  • With figures of four or more digits, use commas. (1,647,010)
  • For less than a dollar write 75 cents instead of $0.75.
  • Write dates as the 20th of July, 1934 or July 20, 1934
  • Spell out ordinal numbers through one hundred as well. His home is on the Second Avenue of the 134th street.
  • Use words rather than symbols and abbreviations in dialogue and in most forms of narrative. (e.g. degree, per cent)
  • Use numerals when you include a.m. and p.m. Include a space between the numbers and a.m. or p.m (5.25 p.m.)
  • Spell out numbers when you include o’clock. Don’t use o’clock with anything other than the hour.
  • Decades can be written as words or numbers. (the eighties, ’80s or 1980s)
  • Spell out century references. (twentieth century)
  • Spell out numbers in dialogue. (I had twenty-three hundred dollars.)
  • No commas or hyphens between hours and minutes, feet and inches, pounds and ounces, and dollars and cents that are spelt out. (At six feet three inches, he was the tallest of the brothers.)
  • If you’ve got rules that conflict, choose the option that gives clarity to the reader. In fiction, words can almost always be substituted for numerals. And when in doubt, just write it out.

If you have something more to add, do share it and help each other grow. I look forward to your inputs and feedback.

To New Friendships…

A person listening to radio
Of times gone by…

Nostalgia!

I am thinking of old times… missing people, missing moments, and missing old songs. In those days not so long ago, Google Plus was still home for a huge group of us poets and poetry lovers. It would not be wrong to say that I learnt a lot of my craft from those wonderful poets who opened their hearts to me.

Woman's hands searching through vinyl records
Finding something that fits the mood

There was something about that group, an easy camaraderie, a feeling of oneness and a love that was truly cherished. Wednesday was my day to post an oldie and most often my choice was a love song. I remember that my song collection with 3000 odd followers was almost as popular as my poetry collection. However, the songs were a lot more fun, and I can still visualize all those friends who would be posting their own songs, almost in conversation with mine…

It is not the moments or things that are special. They are made special by the people who we share them with.

Today, I am sharing an oldie with you all, as a way of saying “thank you for making a place in your life for me!” I hope that these strains of love will touch your hearts, spark new friendships and birth beautiful moments that will hold a special place in our memories for years to come… and maybe, bring some answering songs to my page as well!

Wishing you a fabulous day full of love and laughter!

Poems Without Words

Hey! It’s a glorious morning, a little bit of sun, a few clouds… and it’s #WorldPhotographyDay!

And why do I love this day? Because I love to take pictures. Yes, that is another one of my favourite things to do. Thank God for the great phone cameras, at least I don’t miss my camera at the sight of every flower, wild mushroom and a dog lolling his tongue! Well, I do miss it, but the intensity is not too bad.

Isn’t it said that pictures are worth a thousand words? I agree.

When I am not writing poetry, I am creating poems without words with my camera.

Rain falling on leaves
Drops Of Heaven

This day finally gave me the push to restart my old photography blog called “Focal Blurs”, now renamed Manic Sylph Photography and once again visit my account at National Geographic. I did like the old name better but I felt that it wasn’t very easy for people to realise what the blog was about from just the name. We win some and lose some, sigh!

I would love to post pictures more often, but time always runs faster than I can. I don’t know how long I will be able to keep to some kind of a posting schedule, but I am tentatively committed to posting when I can. Hopefully! Fingers crossed…

Do have a look, I’m sure you will enjoy a few light moments with me and my camera.

Have a wonderful new week ahead!

How Not To Kill Sentences With Adverbs

Blog Graphic with a woman writing , and Those Deadly Words written on it

How would you like your coffee made…quickly or in a jiffy?

But I’m sure you would like to drink it slowly err… savour every sip to the last!

There you have it- those deadLY words that turn your awesome story into mundane chatter.

Stories struggle, not always because they are not good, but often because they are lost in the transition from imagination to ink. They lose impact because the words that carry them are too many, or the wrong ones, or the right ones placed wrongly.

No one is born perfect. Some of us just decide not to stay that way.

Nothing can make up for continuous improvement in grammar and writing techniques on the part of the writer. Varied and judicious use of different parts of speech can add flair to your creations and every trick and word is there to be used. Adverbs too have a function and reason to exist, and it would be foolish to remove them from your writing altogether. However, too much of a good thing can be, well, just too much.

This is beautifully illustrated by the words of the master-craftsman Stephen King

“I believe the road to hell is paved with adverbs, and I will shout it from the rooftops. To put it another way, they’re like dandelions. If you have one on your lawn, it looks pretty and unique. If you fail to root it out, however, you find five the next day… fifty the day after that… and then, my brothers and sisters, your lawn is totally, completely, and profligately covered with dandelions. By then you see them for the weeds they really are, but by then it’s—GASP!!—too late.”

― Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

So, how to go about removing these offenders from your work?

One way is to make sure that you don’t need to say “he spoke timidly”. The scene should tell the reader that he is timid and his words “the room is too dark!” should tell you that he was scared to go inside. The context here is paramount. You can read more on how to eliminate adverbs here.

Another important tool is to use stronger, more expressive words in place of an adverb. You can always cuddle instead of holding lovingly or grumble rather than talk irritably. This article on ways to reduce adverb abuse has a great list of words that you can use instead of adverbs.

What are your favourite ways to write better? Share your tips and tricks, I would love to hear all about your secret weapons!

Right now, I’m off to try and put this into practice and see if I can take my words a notch or two above the ordinary. Until then, Happy Writing!

 

Image used in the graphic by Karolina Grabowska from Pixabay 

POEMITAS: A book of short poems, a celebration of my journey online

It is five years since I came online!

Five long years… five short years… and it has not been all poetry. A lot has happened since that day when I was going through a lean phase and my daughter told me, “You need to start a blog and touch lives”. That somehow felt like the direction I had been waiting for all my life. And so began my meandering journey…

I had never been on any social media though I knew of them, and I didn’t really know what a blog was. So I began to search Google, learnt about blogs, about social media, and lots of other stuff in between. I was not ready to open up to the world and I decided to adopt a pen name. A long search and introspection later Manic Sylph was born- an oxymoron like me and an expression of what I was without saying who.

Something told me to dream big! I joined all the major social media platforms, though I hardly knew what to do with any of them, and started writing my first blog called A Gypsy At Heart. I soon realised that I needed a social media platform to promote the blog and made Google Plus my home. A bit of poetry began to come up in my writing and with the encouragement of a few poet friends, I eventually gravitated to writing poetry as my preferred form of expression. One by one, I started learning the ropes of the various social platforms and spread my wings, and here I am now, this website here my latest baby.

All this still seems like a dream at times, a beautiful dream that I never want to wake up from. This would never have been possible without the support and love I was given by the online community. I have found hundreds of lovely people here, some have become friends for a lifetime, hopefully. And what better way to thank each beautiful heart and soul than with something that I consider a part of me… my poetry!

Book Cover of ebook POEMITAS by Mona Soorma
POEMITAS: A collection of short poems

As a special gift for my wonderful online family, I have compiled some of my short poems into an eBook called POEMITAS. Well, 130 poems to be exact, some of them have been posted online, some not, but all of them a labour of my love. This book is not for sale anywhere and is meant exclusively as a free gift for you, my readers and friends on my website and other social pages. If my words can find a home in your hearts, it would be a gift that I would cherish.

You can get your copy of POEMITAS here. I hope you will enjoy reading it. Don’t forget to get back to me and tell me all about it! I’m looking forward to hearing from you…

Happy Father’s Day

“I believe that what we become depends on what our fathers teach us at odd moments, when they aren’t trying to teach us. We are formed by little scraps of wisdom.”
― Umberto Eco, Foucault’s Pendulum

Moment by moment, day by day, they are the ones who help us build our lives. They are the heroes every little heart wants to be like when they grow up. Nothing can beat the love of a dad.

Father holding the hand of a child
Happy Father’s Day

In today world with families growing smaller, a dad is the one who holds everything together, who at times becomes a mom too, and a friend, and an older brother when need be… We can never ever repay our parents for all the love and care they give us.

While moms are often applauded for their sacrifices, dads sometimes remain unsung for their quiet support. I can still hear the voice of my dad telling me all about the planets and the stars, they used to be my favourite stories. Now they are just memories, but they are precious ones, and this father’s day, I would like to tell every dad, “You are the stars in the skies of the little hearts who love you so much, and will remain so forever, even when the hearts grow older”.

Happy Father’s Day to every dad on earth and heaven. We love you so much!

 

Photo by Julie Johnson on Unsplash

 

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