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Carolyn Burns Bass's Blog

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  You’ve probably read a few. They’re common on Amazon and other consumer book review sites. You’ll sometimes read them in respected print publications, too. They pick at elements of plot, character, setting, and pacing with razor-sharp talons. They shred themes and pummel prose. They may even...
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Several years ago I wrote a short story for one of the writing contests run by the online writer's group, Backspace. That story, "Still Life With Lovers," tied for first place along with a story by my friend, author A.S. King. The story has sat on my hard drive for several years now, whispering for...
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Carolyn Burns Bass - Avalon
Welcome to the Twitter Chats Blog Tour, organized by Mariana N. Blaser at mariblaser’s randomities and Anne Tyler Lord at Don’t Fence Me In. Today's theme is Mother's Day. You will be directed to your next stop at the end of this post. Please feel welcome here, and have a happy Mother's Day...
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We had a night of surprises during our BOOKS ARE GREAT GIFTS auction of signed books last Friday. Thanks to our kind-hearted authors who donated books and the enthusiastic bidders who bought them, we raised $1300 in book sales, plus two individuals gave additional donations that brought the...
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A wise possum once said, "We have met the enemy and he is us." (Pogo, by Walt Kelly, 1970) What do doors have to do with enemies? Do they protect? They can be locked, they can be propped open, they can swing back and forth with no recoil. Are they barriers? Often. From what?...
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If you’re on the outside of the door, does that make you an outsider? I’ve learned through the years that most people feel like an outsider at some time in his or her life. It begins early, this feeling of alienation. It’s rare that a person can point to a single incident that closed the door to a...
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Door inside studio
Facebook may be passé in ten years (maybe less), but for now it's a virtual pub for the global village. While contemplating my recent fixation on doors, I posted a question in my Facebook status and received this lively exchange:   Carolyn Burns BassNow that I have a door on my studio, do I...
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I’ve observed a fly trapped inside the open-slat mini-blinds of my window now for hours. It flies up and down, walks across, buzzes crazily, flies forward and smacks into a blind, returns to the window pane. How like us, trapped between two worlds, not perceiving the doors open to us. The world...
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 I just spent two wonderful days at the Betsy Hotel in South Beach. The Betsy sits on Ocean Drive across from Lummus Park in the Art Deco district. Recently renovated from the ground up, the Betsy is a historic property listed in the Florida’s State Registry of Historic Places. The pure white...
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My novel, THE SWORD SWALLOWER'S DAUGHTER, yes, the one I'm still revising, draws much from my childhood. My father really was a sword swallower and my mother was a closet chanteuse who played piano and sang with a voice that rivaled the divas of her day. In fact, when I hear Susan Boyle, I think of...
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Carolyn at nine
I was silenced too long by the sound of my ownheartbeat.Joy in living and grief in the passing of love.I always knew I would write stories,but I dweltin the glow of a thirty-year literary pregnancy.Labor came on without warning.The stories I stored through a thirty year gestationnow speak through...
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WRITE FROM THE HEART by Carolyn Burns Bass
Several years ago I wrote and self-published a guidebook to help ordinary people write their lifestories. I used this guidebook, WRITE FROM THE HEART, in the classes I taught in memoir writing through our city adult education program. For the last month I've used my morning writing time to revise...
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Carolyn Burns Bass, 1967
 It’s Fat Tuesday. A day of worldwide gluttony and pursuit of pleasure before Ash Wednesday and the season of lent. Growing up in a very diverse neighborhood in SoCal, many of my friends at school were of Mexican heritage, which also meant Catholic. They went to catechism. They came to school every...
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Linnea Heinrichs
There is never a good time for disaster. Put a disaster during the holidays and it seems worse for some reason. Maybe I'll rattle on about the philosophical, cultural, or emotional reasons for why disaster during the holidays is so awful, but for now, I just want to share a need with you. One of my...
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Cooking Matilda
For your Thanksgiving enjoyment, I'm posting here a section of my novel THE SWORD SWALLOWER'S DAUGHER that has been cut from the final version. Here you'll meet my 9-year-old protagonist Sheila as she learns how to cook a turkey from her wizened old Grandma. This Grandma is so much like my own, I...
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