Monday, July 4, 2016

Writing About: 4th of July + Question of the Month


HAPPY 4TH OF JULY!!!


The Fourth of July in the United States is a time for us to celebrate our independence as a nation. There are barbecues, outdoor festivals, and firework shows. Music, beer, hot dogs, and sparklers are staples for this holiday. It’s a good deal of fun in real life and can also be in fiction.

1. Fireworks

The Good: Fireworks are magnificent to look at with their vibrant colors and pretty displays. It’s always nice to go to a firework show, and it can be a nice event for a single mom, her kids, and new boyfriend to attend. On the other hand, it could be a fun, passionate evening for a new couple.

The Bad: Fireworks are nightmares for veterans. If you’re writing a book about a veteran who returns home, show the severity of his/her PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) on July 4th. When fireworks go off, have him/her jump, see flashbacks of war, and even hide in a corner or closet. Pets also hate fireworks. My cats do.

Image from Pixabay

2. BBQ

A BBQ can be great fun on July 4th. Get your characters together. Give them some watermelon, corn on the cob, hot dogs and hamburgers, beer and coke, and let them chill. This would be a good time to bring a moment of peace to a thriller. Or you can escalate the suspense with a foot chase or murder while fireworks are exploding.

3. Family Reunion

Relatives like to come in and have a big party on this day. This would be a good moment to introduce your MC’s parents, siblings, and other important relatives. Maybe if you’re writing a romance, this 4th of July family reunion could be the time for a new boyfriend/girlfriend to meet the family. And, of course, when family gets together there is usually some drama. This could be in the form of arguments…or murder.


QUESTION: What do you like/dislike about 4th of July?


To join this monthly blog hop visit Michael G D'Agostino's blog


QUESTION: What was the first book (or series) you really fell in love with?

So I cheated with this one because I once blogged about it. Sorry, Michael! Underrated Treasures Blogfest

The Young Wizard series by Diane Duane is like a dark, more urban version of Harry Potter. It’s for young/YA readers, but it’s written in such a way that adults can enjoy it. The science in these books, as well as the magic, is so amazing it blows my mind.

I found the first book in the same manner that Nita found her Wizard’s Manual. I was trailing my hand along a library’s bookshelf when I felt a little zap! I looked and saw So You Want to be A Wizard. From then on, I was a fan. And to this day I'm still a fan. I bought the newest book that came out at the beginning of this year and added it to my collection.

Before that my favorite book was Are You My Mother by P.D. Eastman. I didn't have too many books I enjoyed as a kid because I struggled with reading, but I also loved Dr. Seuss, the Little House books, and Goosebumps. :)



NEW IWSG Day Feature!


Every month we'll announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG Day post. 
The first IWSG Day question is for July 6th.

JULY 6TH QUESTION: What's the best thing someone has ever said about your writing?

Add this question and your answer to your July 6th IWSG Day post. And please visit other members to read their answers. If you’re not signed up, please join HERE


56 comments:

  1. Nice to know things related to 4th of July.
    Enjoy!

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  2. Happy Fourth! Yesterday I pretty much binge-watched Sons of Liberty on the History Channel. I've never heard of the Young Wizards series. I'll have to check it out!

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    1. Happy Fourth, Bish! I think you'd enjoy the Young Wizard series. :)

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  3. I'm excited about the new IWSG question feature. Sounds like fun. It's amazing the treasure you can find when you go to the library or book store to browse. I once found a thriller written in second person (not kidding) called This Is The Water by Yannick Murphy. The writing was gorgeous and the story enthralling.

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    1. I love leisurely browsing through a library or book store. As you said, you never know what you can find. I've never read a book written in second person before. Interesting.

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  4. Happy 4th, Chrys!

    I'm ready for IWSG - my post is written, the question answered, and my co-hosting hat is ready to be donned. :)

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    1. Happy Fourth, Madeline!!

      I can't wait to read your answer. :)

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  5. I don't think I've done much of anything for July 4th in a really long time. My family often had a cookout, but that was about it. Any fireworks I've seen have been from the vantage point of my parents' house or the university campus, since it's too much hassle to find a parking spot and then deal with mosquitos, muggy weather, and crowds.

    Since I write historical, many of my characters are able to set off their own fireworks, or play with sprinklers and Roman candles.

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    1. I usually don't do much for 4th of July. When I was a kid, my family did a lot. I miss that.

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  6. My family is so scattered I'll see only the son that lives nearby today. He's cooking out tonight. Fireworks will be tonight. They're pretty but I'm not crazy about them. Plan to eat and watch the ball game. Happy 4th to you.

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    1. I like how fireworks look but I hate the noise they make.

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  7. My all-time favorite childhood book is The Velvet Room! I loved all the Nancy Drew books and developed a keen fondness for ghosts at an early age;-)
    The very best thing about the 4th of July for me is the uninhibited opportunity to celebrate America!
    Happy 4th, Chrys!

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    1. I never actually read any Nancy Drew books. I had thought about it when I was a kid, but I wasn't that great of a reader, so I never did.

      Happy 4th!!!

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  8. Wonderful post about your celebrations, Have a great time Chrys,
    Yvonne.

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  9. I hate the Fourth of July because Penelope and Franklin are too frightened to go out for a wee.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. I always feel so bad for my cats while all the fireworks are going off.

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  10. My first series was the adventures of Sherlock Holmes with THE ADVENTURE OF THE SPECKLED BAND that the whole English class read together. I then went on to read all of the detective's adventures. :-) Happy 4th!

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    1. Awesome. I never read any Sherlock Holmes.

      Happy 4th!!!

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  11. The cats here just look at them and go back to sleep, hardly care about fireworks haha

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  12. Your book selection sounds fascinating. I also found the book that turned my life at the library, but unlike you, I asked the librarian to find it for me.
    Great idea about the IWSG question. I already scheduled the post, so now I have to go back and add the answer to this question.

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    1. I wonder what that book is...

      Great! I hope you enjoy answering the question.

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  13. While I love fireworks, I hate them at the same time. Actually, I hate the careless use of them near our forest. Overall, the holiday is one of my favorites for all the activities you listed today.

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    1. I feel the same way about fireworks...for the nature, animals/pets, and veterans.

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  14. Here in Canada we celebrate Canada Day on July 4th. Which is probably a good thing because we had the entire weekend to rest afterwards. I love Canada Day. We start it off by replacing the old flag with a brand new one. This year it's huge! Happy 4th, Chrys!

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    1. Yes, Canada Day was on the 1st. I hope you had a great one! :)

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  15. Checked out Diane's books and I am intrigued. No 4th of July in Jamaica but fireworks are fun to watch when done properly. Sorry for those who can't find the joy.

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    1. Fireworks can be problems for lost of people such a veterans, and pets don't like them either. I enjoy them but hate how my cats get so scared.

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  16. I am beginning to hate fireworks... Last night, as a volunteer fireman, we were finishing up with one fire and got called to a second one that was caused by fireworks...

    As for a favorite series, probably John Christopher's tripod trilogy, "When the Tripods Came, City of Gold and Lead, and The White Mountains which I read in the 7th or 8th grade.

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    1. Oh dear. People who do them at their own houses are the ones who don't know what they're doing and cause those fires.

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  17. Alright, I forgive you. Lucky it was a good answer.

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  18. Our dog never liked fireworks, we ended up staying home lots of times to help comfort him. We now live in an area where private fireworks are legal, lots of stands out to sell them. I am sure it will be a noisy night. Hope you had a hice 4th!

    Betty

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    1. I stay home to comfort my cats, too.

      Thanks, Betty! I hope you did, too.

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  19. Ah yes, the 4th of July. It happens to fall in with holidays I do not like. My reasons are all spurious, so I won't go into them.

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  20. I hate the small fireworks people light up in the neighbourhood because it freaks out my dog whom, I believe, has PTSD. Funny you mention veterans because my mom always hated the sound...it would make her jump and I never thought of it until you mentioned it here but this is from her war time experiences. Thankfully there was a ban on them here because it has been too dry. I think that's my main beef are the fireworks that people let off all around homes. Actually a young man lost his foot on Canada Day ( I think that day and not today). He accidentally stepped on a firework and it went off taking his foot with him. I read Agatha Christie, Little Outhouse on the Prairie and Alfred Hitchcock presents The gReen Ghost but my favourite book growing up were the Grimm Fairy Tales. I love them and still do. In fact I have one book with notes on the original tales and how they were originally written but then changed. For example Cinderella was originally called Cinderslut. HHahahaaaa

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    1. I agree. I like firework shows, but not so much the ones people do at their houses.

      Gosh, he lost his foot? That is horrible.

      I have the Grimm's Fairy Tales collection, but she's Cinderella in my version. haha

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  21. Our equivalent is Canada Day, and I guess what I hate about it is the pressure to do something amazing. There's a finite amount of things to do in my city for the holiday, and once you've done each of them a few times, you're kind of...done.

    But if you don't plan something for Canada Day, you end up feeling like a big loser. The pressure!

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    1. I don't let the pressure get to me. I didn't do anything yesterday. Nothing. haha

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  22. One thing I hate, living in the city, is every other neighbouur lighting off fireworks which generally explode close to the ground making so much noise every few minutes. Yes, I'm getting old. All I want is some peace and quiet. ;)

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  23. The 4th of July is really pretty, so I love that aspect. I dislike the fact that I feel like American's waist a lot of money by buying things they just blow up. My husband is included in that.

    I never read: The Young Wizard series. I'll have to check it out.

    http://www.anapeladay.com/2016/07/question-of-month.html

    I never read

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    1. I know what you mean about the waste of money thing.

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  24. That's quite an insightful list of The 4th and related story ideas. Thanks for that. I never read The Young Wizards series, but I might check it out. I'm looking forward to the new IWSG feature. I think it will be lots of fun.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Toi! I hope you enjoy IWSG Day tomorrow!

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  25. I see So You Want to be a Wizard came out in 2001, I had never heard of this series before. I swear, no matter how much I read, I am totally in the dark on most subjects. :)

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    1. Not 2001...1983. This is an older series that she's slowly continuing every few years. Amazon is wrong there. ;)

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  26. That's cool you can still enjoy the series.

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    1. It stinks having to wait so long for the next one, but I like that it's still continuing after all this time.

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  27. Great 4th of July ideas, Chrys. I chuckled a little at your suggestion of the family reunion for the 4th and there being drama and maybe even murder. Sign of a true writer!

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    1. My writer’s mind always turns to murder. ;)

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  28. Hi, Chrys,

    Lovely things to do on the fourth.... It's been AGES since a fourth family gathering for me. Sadly, not much family left. But Fireworks are always lovely to see, but it is very hard on the animals. Luckily my neighborhood wasn't too noisy, so the pup was relaxed.

    Great question for the IWSG.... I'll have mine posted tomorrow.

    My first favorite series of books were the Shannara series by Terry Brooks. LOVED them. Now, it the HP series. I will definitely have to check out your favorite. I love anything to do with WIZARDS...

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    1. My neighborhood was very noisy. A house just a few places down had a party and lots of fireworks.

      Awesome!

      I have to check out the Shannara series. :)

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