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I have to admit, of all the details in my last novel, the one I got stuck on was whether the names of the races I’d created were proper nouns or not. I have three races, one of which has a strong cultural identity, and I received feedback from several beta readers that they felt the name of the race, let’s call them gigis for now, should be capitalized. And thus, began my search for how to handle this.

From what I’ve seen in books, it depends on the author as to how capitalization is handled. Some don’t capitalize any of the race names no matter what- similar to how we don’t capitalize human, lion or dog.

Others treat every species with a strong cultural identity as a proper noun. I looked through many books, and read lots of sources and discussions online. At the end of the day, this is what I came up with.

I went the Tolkien route (as I think of it).

When talking about the species as a whole, I treated it as a proper noun. So, when my main character speaks of the Gigi as an entire race, it’s capitalized. But when talking about a small group or an individual, the name becomes more like a descriptive word, and is not capitalized.  

Funny how it’s the little things that can cause the biggest delays in editing. But it’s also all those little details we writers fret over that make the story. Keep fretting. 

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Most beautiful angel. (Poem.)

A blessed spirit,full of grace,

Divine,with beautiful traces.

An angelic look,shaped brown

eyes & rosy cheeks.

Gentle smile,soft and passionate.

So flawless and so kind.

The most beautiful soul,the purest heart.

Full of love & happiness.

The most comforting laugh,the sweetest voice.

Who doesn’t believes in angels,never met you.

Who doesn’t believes in angels,never knew

of you.

I long to hold you in my arms. The angels are lucky for having you. Remember always,you are loved,prince! You really are. With love, your Rose.🥀

(As June is gun violence awareness month, i’m dedicating it entirely for him,using poetry, verses & so much love to spread his memory and remember him.) Never forget our divine brown eyed angel. 💭🕊🧡

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I don’t see his face anymore; not really. The features have faded, the sound of his voice has become lost in the sound clips of my life. Even his laugh sounds like nothing in my mind. I had waited for the details to become lost for a long time and yet when all that was once vivid disappeared, it took a piece of eternity to actually notice. You used to be a person I saw everyday…one of the few I saw with brand new eyes; fresh from womb. Now you’re nothing; less than ghostly.

Prompt: Vivid from @el.literature !

Thank you so much for the prompt! I hope you enjoy this piece!

Less Than Ghostly | ReBecca DeFazio morethanaflower

iammorethanaflower
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Maybe he isn’t responding because he really is busy, or maybe he isn’t responding because he just doesn’t like you that much. Maybe he really has been working until 10pm every night and maybe it has just been a really bad week, or maybe he met someone else. Maybe you’re not being annoying, maybe he really doesn’t check his DMs, maybe he didn’t understand that meme, maybe he doesn’t have service, maybe he’s drunk. Or maybe you’re wasting your time. One thing’s for certain- if he leaves you doubting how much you mean to him, you don’t mean enough.

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Writing advice tip


If you’re going to advise against doing something a certain way, (show don’t tell, don’t use adverbs, how not to start your story,) it isn’t enough to just say ‘don’t do it this way.’

Show us what we should do instead. That’s advice.

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Now that I think about it we really had nothing real between us. You were always on cloud nine when you were with me. My mind was broken glass when we met. When we first met, I just wanted to feel a little bit of sanity roaming through my head, and unfortunately, you did bring me that sanity, but it took a few months for me to realize that your words were just stitches that’ll eventually come off and I’ll end up breaking open again.

— Alexa Evangelista, The Book I’ll Never Finish Writing

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A quick reminder to those who interacted with the original prompt post for trial by that the deadline to be included in the masterpost is tomorrow, Sunday the 16/06/2019, at midnight AEST (Less than 27 hours from the posting of this!).

I look forward to seeing what you’ve created for those who intend on participating.

If you haven’t prepared anything yet, don’t be afraid to use it as flash fiction or to write something later down the line for the prompt, and please still share by tagging @alexprompts!

Permanent taglist:

@every-book-has-a-secret @theflavorofmymadness @sarahcamillabarr

Trial by reminder taglist:

@alien-from-pluto-writer @willatree @ddesign8or @kiingocreative @shattered-starrs @cirianne @ofinscriptions @hyba @luisv768 @nightmares-and-fireflies @aslanwrites @inexorableblob @cataclysmic-writer @diaartz @flyingfalconflower12 @phahbiyah

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Hi guys! As some of you know I do a lot of freelance work next to my writing, so recently I’ve decided to start a line of writing themed candles and I opened an etsy shop where you can buy them!

I’ve only just started out, but I have four really cool products ready for sale and here they are:

They’re 8oz jars, so they burn for 50+ hours, and they’re made of 100% natural soy wax and pure essential oils. It’s an amazing gift for yourself or any of your writer friends who love a deep scent. 

🌼 Future Author - sweet nuts, sandalwood, white musk and a hint of lemon

🌼 My Writing Spot - mint chocolates and orange blossom

🌼 A Winter Forest - pines, spruces, and snow-covered earth

🌼 Write All Night - oranges, wild roses and fresh midnight breeze

I’ve put my heart into every candle and I have many more scents planned for the near future, so it would mean the world to me if you could help me spread the word! Here are the links to my store and products:

Etsy 

Instagram

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The small folding stool Alex had brought with her creaked as she shifted. Her sketchpad sat empty in front of her. There was no life on the pages today. For the fifth time in the last hour, she had lost her focus. Instead, she stared at the glass eyes of the tundra wolf she was trying to draw.

How sad, she thought. It was all sad. She disliked being in this lifeless room. It was colorful and filled with different species in their artificial habitats, but all of them were imitations or shadows of what they had once been.

Alex was sitting in the Schad Gallery of Biodiversity in the Royal Ontario Museum. As an art assignment, she was supposed to come to the museum and draw something from each gallery. The assignment gave her freedom to sketch as much as she wanted from each room. Originally, she had thought this would be a great room, but now she sat in doubt. She tilted her head, looking at the empty eyes of the white-gray wolf. How did you die?

Were it not for the glass, she would have stroked its wiry coat and run her fingers through its thick fur. She would have cooed to it and soothed it, but she and the wolf were separated by more than one kind of barrier.

She sighed and stretched and then looked around the room. There were animals behind glass walls all around her. According to the signs, some of them were real, some were fake, and others were a combination of the two but all of them were poor imitations of the living.

Alex stood with her pencil in her mouth and closed her sketchpad. She would have to find something else to capture on paper. She took one last look at the Canis lupus arctos before she grabbed the pencil out of her mouth and shoved it into her messy bun. The arctic wolf was beautiful, but too depressing for her. In truth, Alex didn’t like to think about death.

She knew education was important. If these images and displays weren’t here, if animals weren’t in zoos and education programs, no one would care about them. Still, it never failed to remind her of the fragility of life.

This is too depressing. I need to find something more cheerful.

Alex picked up her stool and cruised the gallery. Feeling conflicted, she pursed her lips together.

She appreciated each and every one of these animals—even the tapeworm in a jar by the bat cave—but she would much rather see them in the wild. She would love to see a black bear on one of her camping trips or see a humpback whale breach off the coasts of British Columbia. One day.

She finally made her way to the only living things in the gallery: the leaf-cutter ants. Grinning, she thought, I bet these little guys can teach me a thing or two about anatomy.

The colony was spread out through numerous chambers along the wall. Each chamber had its own purpose. Some held food, some wastes, and somewhere, tucked safely away, was the queen. On the bottom left was a large display that encased plants for the ants to cut. It was calming to see them busy, making their way down the main tunnel and onto the branches and leaves.

Alex followed a soldier ant as she towered over the workers. She moved up and into one of the small chambers in the wall where they grew gray-honeycombed fungus for food. Her mandibles were massive on her equally massive head. She looked fierce, but to Alex she was a living, intricate design produced by the Goddess herself. Everything about her structure had purpose, and Alex decided she would do her best to capture it. An ant would be her muse today. She planned to sketch a couple of the workers and the fungus as well, but the soldier would be her focus. Ants were undoubtedly an example of nature’s craftsmanship and a fine example of order in a world of chaos.

Alex was setting up her stool when one of the museum security guards stepped over. “Have you been to the new gallery on the third floor yet?”

“Hey, Chris!” Alex mumbled, pencil in mouth.

He was a bit shorter than she was, with naturally tan skin and black curly hair. He smiled warmly and opened his arms for a hug. He was a hugger, like Alex.

“Have you been here long? I didn’t see you come into the gallery.”

“Not long. I tried to sketch something on the other side in the tundra area, but I wasn’t feeling it. I decided to come sketch these little guys instead—wait, I didn’t know this was your gallery.” Alex eyed him suspiciously.

“It’s not. The other guard mentioned you were in the gallery, and I asked to switch with him. I wanted to come over and say hi to my favorite artist.” He winked and nudged her. He was such a flirt and totally not her type, but Alex was still happy to see him.

She sat down on the sturdy canvas of her stool and readied her pencil. Chris was accustomed to her drawing while they talked.

“I don’t know why you’re drawing these boring ants when you could be sketching a unicorn skeleton…”

“What?” Alex blanched.

“That’s right, girl! The new gallery is dedicated to otherkin and fairies. The boys in the back are working on the main attraction as we speak: a dragon egg. Polishin’ it up and fillin’ in the cracks. The skeleton inside was taken out and is being worked on for the New Year.”

“Really?” Alex was excited and appalled at the same time. Her inner activist cried out for the remains of those magickal creatures to be returned to their resting places, but fascination tugged at her. Like most people, she had an impulsive and overwhelming sense of curiosity. Perhaps her uncle would like to see the gallery.

When she thought about it, Alex was really starting to feel silly about the way she’d jammed out of her uncle’s office the other night. He had been more than she could have asked for—kindhearted, endearing. Yet, she had bailed on him.

Her intuition told her he was a good man, like her father, and it had never failed her. Her anxiety all came down to not knowing what to do next. Should they talk about the weather or go see a chick-flick and bawl their eyes out together? How about mini-putt? Coffee?

Alex had a family again. The thought was as precious to her as oxygen. She didn’t want to lose him. Aunt May had been more than kind to her, but she was her mother’s sister through and through. She was opinionated and overprotective, whereas Docherty reminded her so much of her father—a shorter, plumper version to be sure, but she saw her father every time she looked into his eyes. She was nervous about seeing him again, but excited too.

“So, are you interested?” Chris asked. “I could take my fifteen and walk you over there.”

“Um, that’s very nice of you, but no thanks. I need to get some sketches done. Want to tell me about it while I draw? I’d love to come back and see it sometime. Tell me about the highlights,” she said before returning to her sketchpad. She listened while she bit her pencil and waited for another soldier ant to come out and play muse.

“Alright, alright. Well, let’s see here… they brought over some medieval tapestries of course, those famous ones of the unicorn hunt. That’s where the skeleton is. Uh, they also have a nice display for weres—oh! Get this! They actually managed to find a mummy with a wolf’s head, clawed hands and feet, and a tail! I think they put that one in the Anubis section though—yeah, that’s right—and um, there are a couple touch screens where you can watch short videos of naiads in their natural habitat in Greece…”

A large soldier ant finally made an appearance. Chris talked on while the lines began to take form on Alex’s sketchpad. Her drawings were rough but detailed. Many of her teachers pushed her to step outside of the box and try more modern styles, but she would never stop aspiring for realism in her art.

She smiled as she sketched, watching her hardworking ant friends and listening to the enthusiasm in Chris’s voice as it mingled with the sounds of the gallery. It was good to be drawing, but she could not wait to go see her uncle.

Do you have anything you’re looking forward to, my tiny friends? Alex wondered at the ants before she lost herself in her work.

—-

Published by Raven’s Hollow Art and Publishing

©Raven’s Hollow Art and Publishing.

All Rights Reserved.

This book is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. Please do not resell. The scanning, uploading and distribution of this book via the internet or any other means without the permission of the publisher is illegal. Please purchase only authorized editions and do not encourage piracy. Thank you for your support.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

SarahWaterRaven.com

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