Tag: success

First Lines and First Impressions

Ah, the opening line of a book or short story. The attention-getter. It’s the line that sets the tone. It can draw you in, or leave you feeling completely uninterested. Every first line I have ever written, have terrified me. Why? Because I know they will either be good, or awful. I mean, who can top It was the best of times, it was the worst of times? Sheesh.

As a writer, you want your first line to have enough impact so your reader will not only be drawn into the story, but have an idea of what kind of story they’re about to get into. But you don’t want to give away too much. It’s like watching a movie you’ve never seen before, and being able to guess what’s going to happen from the very beginning. It’s not easy to do, but sometimes, you get it right. Below are the first lines of some of my books.

 

Was it a dream or was it reality?

Fortune’s Wing begins with a reoccurring dream it’s protagonist Fortune Oyama has been haunted by. He has visions of a ruined world; a world he couldn’t save. The heart of the story concerns the fate of the world: will it be destroyed or will it be saved? Will things carry on the way they always have or will there be dramatic changes? All of these questions can only be answered by the one who possesses The Wings. 

 

It was early; around six in the morning.

Not my strongest line. But the rest of the paragraph makes up for it: Veronica Entienne watches her cousin Val pack a few last minute items into her bag. This much is clear: she’s going somewhere. And that’s the most important factor in Valentine: Va’s road trip to L.A. to save her father.

 

When I was twelve years old, I fell in love with rock n roll. 

There are a few things you can take away from the first line in Our Lady of Righteous Rage. One, this is going to be a story with musical elements. Two, it’s a coming-of-age tale (the narrator makes a statement about something that happened when she was twelve, giving the impression she’s older now). Three, music is very important to this person, especially rock n roll. 

 

“If you take this much, you’ll feel better, but if you take this much, you’ll see God.”

This is the opening line to a book I’m working on, titled Barrin Heights. I’m not one hundred percent sure of where this story is headed, but I can tell you it’s going to be supernatural. 

 

First lines: as writers, we don’t always nail them. But you can’t expect success every time. You can’t learn from success; you can only learn from failure. 

Woolaston Entertainment

Changes to the Monday Blog

I’ve spent the past few days updating my website, coming up with new quirky ways to present content, and simply adding new content. There’s going to be a change to the Monday Blog. Instead of killing myself to post it on woolastonentertainment.com and woolent.wordpress.com, I will only post on the WordPress site. However, thanks to the magic of the RSS Feed, the blog will still be accessible on the Woolaston Entertainment site, as a link. It’s a new short-cut I will need to get used to, but I’m looking forward to having more time to focus on more important things. Happy reading, everyone! 

PS: Thank you to the readers who ordered books through the Online Store on woolastonentertainment.com !!

Monday Blog: December 3, 2018: 24!!!!!

It’s December!! Woolaston Entertainment’s unofficial birthday month! I came up with it in the summer of 1994, but to make things easier, I celebrate it’s birthday on the same day as mine: December 1st. Together, we’re another year older, and a little better.

This is the first blog for the month of December, the final month of 2018. I’m going out with a BANG: the online store is up and running! All of June Parris’s titles are available for sale, and so are most of mine. I will add more over the next week or so, but for now, there are plenty of books for readers to choose from. There are also bundles available for specific series, so you can purchase the entire series and save a few coins. Who doesn’t love saving money? 

So, what took me so long to create an online store? Simple: fear of failure. This is something I’m sure many people can relate to. I finally got over my fear, and took a giant leap forward. Rise or fall, this is something I have put off long enough and it’s time to move forward. 

This month I’m celebrating 24 years of writing, drawing, painting, and creating. I will reflect on all things Woolaston Entertainment, and talk about all of the things I’m planning for 2019 as well.

On a side note: The NY Giants won their game on my birthday weekend, so HOORAY!!!! See you next week. 

To Jump or Not To Jump

I don’t know if any fans of Steve Harvey are reading this, but he wrote a very inspirational book, titled Jump: Take the Leap of Faith to Achieve Your Life of Abundance. This book is meant to encourage people to do the things they have been too afraid to do. To step out on faith, take chances, and hope for the best. I recently jumped: I moved from New York to Virginia, to get a fresh start and gain some new perspective. Now, you’re probably thinking: people do that sort of thing all the time. Let me tell you how I got here.

Thirteen years ago, my mother and I moved from Virginia to Georgia, to be closer to her family. Her brother (my uncle) Donald, convinced us that our lives would be better if all of us (aunts, uncles, cousins, etc) were closer together. The rest of the family had migrated to Georgia from New York and Indiana over the years, and it could be  the first time most of the family would all be living together in one state. So, we moved. I had a cat, which I was forced to give up on the very day we left, because Donald neglected to say, he didn’t want any pets in his house (BTW: we would be staying with him and his girlfriend until we found an apartment). That was one of the hardest things I have ever done, and it still haunts me to this day.

After a few days, it became clear to Mom and I, Donald hadn’t fully discussed his plans with his girlfriend, who flipped out a few times over the fact that we were living in “her” house. Donald ignored the situation, until an argument escalated one night, and he decided to put us out. At midnight one night, Mom and I found ourselves searching for a hotel to stay in, so we basically became homeless. We eventually moved to New York to stay with a great aunt, and after about a year or so, we managed to get an apartment. All of our belongings, however, were in a storage unit in GA, and it took some time (and money) to bring everything to NY. 

Fast forward a few years, to a landlord who never mentioned his house was in foreclosure, and evicted all of his tenants, including us. Another one of my uncles, Arthur, heard about our situation, and offered us a place to stay at his house in GA. He also said he had made an investment in Iraqi dinars that he was about to cash in, and he would share some of the money with us. We moved our belongings into another storage unit in NY, and returned to GA. As it turned out, Arthur hadn’t been paying his mortgage either, and was on the verge of losing his home, because he had spent all of his money on Iraqi dinars and had stopped working. If my mother and I had known any of this prior to moving, we would have stayed in NY. Once Arthur realized we knew things were falling apart for him, he put us out. Once again, we found ourselves homeless. Again, a great aunt took us in, in NY. (BTW: Arthur later lost his house and was forced out by the bank).

Here we are, in 2018. My great aunt passed away, and once again, my mother and I found ourselves having to make some tough decisions. We decided, it was time to JUMP. It was time to make some real changes. Family had put us in this position in the past. My great aunt’s son would eventually sell the house that had been left to him, and we would want us to move. So, what was the next step? Remain in overpriced NY, or live somewhere that was affordable? We were paying $600 a month for a room. We could pay that or slightly more for an entire apartment in VA. So, we jumped, and we moved back to VA, where I had spent my childhood.

Now, I’m not telling you this in order to gain sympathy. I don’t want you to feel sorry for me in any way, because I don’t feel sorry for me. I gave my family a chance (several chances, in fact) to be a part of my life, and they screwed me over every time. But hey: the universe sees all, and payback always comes around. Donald cheated on his girlfriend, put her out of the house, and married the woman he cheated with. Things aren’t going so well between them now. Arthur lied to us and his children about losing the house, and he eventually did lose it, and had to live with other relatives. I don’t think he has accepted the “Iraqi dinar scam” yet, though. So, why am I telling you all of this? 

I want everyone who reads this, to remember something: you can NEVER give up. Life is hard. The people you think should have your back, often don’t. Sometimes, you find yourself in a situation you didn’t ask for. But, it’s moments like that that define us. You learn who you are; how strong you can be. I’ve been homeless more times than I ever expected to be. I’ve had $5 left to my name, and have had to chose between eating, or putting gas in my car in order to get to work to keep my job. I’ve sold the jewelry I inherited from my grandmothers, in order to eat. I’ve lost precious things, and given up a lot of things that matter to me. I’ve even been robbed. But, through it all, I’m still here. 

By moving from NY to VA, I JUMPED. I’m literally staying in a hotel with my mother, until we find an apartment (which will be soon, hopefully). The future is very uncertain, but that isn’t a first for me. I’ve been here before. Sometimes, you have to step out on faith. Sometimes, you just have to believe that things will work themselves out. Sometimes, you just have to JUMP.