Archive for the ‘Fiction’ category

Swabbed and Swiped from Both Ends

August 18, 2016
Swabbed and Swiped

Swabbed and Swiped

This week I discovered I have strep throat. I also went to the gynecologist for my annual exam. So, I’ve been swabbed and swiped from both ends and haven’t liked it very much.

I ate nothing but saltines and soda for four days while my throat burned and I felt like my head was in a vice. That was nothing compared to my visit to the gyno.

She told me I’m peri-menopausal – as if I didn’t already know. “Do you still get a period?” she asked. I felt like a fossil. I told her I feel like I’m losing muscle tone. She laughed and told me that’s a symptom of menopause. The rest of the symptoms weren’t much fun either: hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, memory loss, vaginal dryness, irritability. Yeah, I’ll bet vaginal dryness would make me irritable.

I joked with my sister later that evening, “So, what, I’m just gonna be this dried up, doughy person from now on? I guess the upside is I won’t remember how good I used to look.”

Luckily before I went headlong down the rat hole of despair, I talked to a Canadian friend of mine. “Corinne,” she said, “You teach removing limiting beliefs, this is like anything else, make up your mind to have an easy time of it and you will.”

Duh. Of course. Here’s another example of getting overwhelmed and completely forgetting all the tools in my toolbox.

My friend also recommended Christian Northrup’s “Wisdom of Menopause.” I started reading it and feel much better about things. Dr. Northrup says this is a great time of creativity and fulfillment. A great time to change careers and do what you’re meant to be doing. A time to have the best sex of your life.

I didn’t realize a woman’s entire brain is rewired during this time. It’s more of an event than a mere transition. A life-changing event that sets you up for the second half of life. The best half. Believe the best is yet to be and it will be.

You can bet my attitude has shifted this week. Yup. I am breezing through an easy, symptom-free menopause. I can’t wait to see what miracles my new rewired brain creates in my life. And, oh by the way, I’ve never believed I’d have vaginal dryness.

Corinne and her Canadian friend are co-facilitating “Accessing the Writer Within” in Sedona next year. Of course, it contains a module on removing limiting beliefs! You can check it out here:

http://stellarproductionslive.com/PreRetreatSeminars.html

Corinne L. Casazza was sitting atop a camel next to the Sphinx, when her guide told her after this she’d “Walk Like an Egyptian.” This was a great synchronicity since it’s the name of Corinne’s second novel, written long before she ever went to Egypt.

Corinne is an international best-selling author based in Massachusetts. She’s published three novels, a best-selling book on relationship and dozens of magazine articles. Her marketing copy has helped almost a dozen people become best-selling authors on Amazon, including herself!

Corinne strongly believes that through creativity and humor, we all find our own inner light.

For more information, visit her:

 

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Top Ten Mistakes New Writers Make

November 18, 2014

I’ve worked with a lot of beginning writers and I find we all make the same mistakes. I’ve compiled what I consider to be the top 10 mistakes I’ve made and I’ve witnessed new writers doing. We can all break the rules and we should – once we know what they are. Take a look at my list below. Do you see yourself anywhere?

  1. Not using contractions – Do not, cannot, is not; don’t use these in your writing, especially not in dialogue. You don’t speak this way, so why would you write this way? Contractions make your writing sound stilted. You want your writing to sound as natural as possible.
  2. Beginning a sentence with “And” – And is a “joiner” is connects two things like “high-heeled shoes and short skirts” or “Godzilla and Tokyo.” It doesn’t belong at the start of your sentences.
  3. The compound verb is not your friend – Be careful of long verb phrases and long wordy phrases. Instead of “He was not able to find a way to go” say “He couldn’t go.” In general, less is always more when it comes to words. Find the shortest, most precise way to express what you mean.
  4. Pick a tense any tense – Then stick with it! Be sure if you are writing in the past tense to use that tense for the entire story. You can use present tense to tell a story if that is a conscious choice, and again, be faithful to it; have your characters speak in present tense for the whole telling of the story.
  5. Point of View (POV) – Be clear about it. If you’re in one character’s head, stay there for at least an entire scene. Be careful of head hopping (going from one character’s point of view to another) in the middle of a scene. This can be very confusing for your reader. You can switch from one character to another in different chapters or even in the same chapter if you leave a few lines of space between paragraphs.
  6. Use Short sentences – Whether you are describing the landscape or expressing the thoughts or actions of your characters, stick with short sentences. They’re easier for the reader to grasp. They’re also impactful.
  7. Showing vs. Telling – This is a big issue for most newbie writers. Instead of using an adjective like “afraid” to tell us how your character feels, try using body language: “Carol’s breathing was shallow. Her hands were sweating. She wondered if anyone could see her legs shaking as she stood at the microphone.” Body language is very important because it makes the event more palpable to the reader, they can feel this in their own body and it evokes emotion.
  8. A word about dialogue – OK, actually I have more than a word about dialogue because new writers have difficulty with it. The first thing to know is the ONLY word to use as a dialogue tag is “said.” This is because the reader’s eye glides right over it. You want to use body language to convey the emotion your character is feeling.
  9. Adverbs are strictly forbidden – Again, this relates to dialogue. Never use an adverb in a dialogue attribution i.e. “she said vehemently.” It’s the job of the author to create body language that shows what the character is feeling.
  10. Leaving out emotion – Emotion is the MOST difficult thing to get onto the page. Even humor is easier to capture. When your character is going through angst, your reader needs to feel it too. We can’t get to it if you are unwilling to feel it and get it on the page. Don’t worry if this doesn’t happen in the first draft. You may just get down the nuts and bolts of a scene in the first draft and go back for subsequent revisions to add body language, actions and dialogue that really convey the emotions of your characters and evokes them in your readers. When you get right down to it, this is what writing is all about – making your readers feel.

Try these suggestions and see if your writing feels cleaner and more honest. If you’d like to work with me on getting to the essence of your story, you can contact me at CorinneCasazza@gmail.com

Corinne L. Casazza is an international best-selling author based in Boston, Massachusetts. She’s currently at work on her third novel. Corinne believes that through creativity and humor, we all find our own inner light.

Corinne’s best-selling ebook: “Break These Chains of Love: A New Paradigm for Relationship” is available here: http://ow.ly/Brook

Check out Corinne’s Amazon Author page: www.amazon.com/author/corinnecasazza

Corinne’s Facebook Fan Page includes tips for beginning writers.

For more information about Corinne including classes and speaking events, visit her Web site at CorinneCasazza.com

On Goals and Becoming a best-selling author

August 31, 2014
my new best-selling ebook

My new best-selling ebook!

It is with great joy and humility that I write this line: I became a best-selling author this week. Yes, I am so amazed, excited, elated and grateful. I achieved a goal that has been a dream of mine for almost four decades. Truly, it’s all I’ve ever wanted to be. When I received the news that my latest ebook: “Break These Chains of Love: A New Paradigm for Relationship” hit best-seller status on Amazon, I was overjoyed! I felt like someone should pinch me. I cried tears of joy for about a half hour.

I knew that someday this would happen. I’ve been writing since I was eight years old. It’s only been in the last six years that I began to believe it. I had been in the energy of and interviewed so many best-selling authors during my time in Sedona and I’d also written copy that helped eight other people become best-selling authors on Amazon: this finally made me believe it would one day be my destiny too.

Although this had been a dream of mine almost all my life, I had never written it down! When I teach classes on manifestation, the first thing I tell people is to write down their dreams, what they want to manifest. The act of writing it down brings the wish from the world of spirit and the ethers, into the material world of form.

I always have a list of goals I’m working on and “becoming a best-selling author” was never on it! I finally put it in writing only a few months ago.  Why? I had so much fear around this goal and a huge story to go with it!

I worried that if I were a best-selling author, I’d have to take responsibility for my gifts and actually USE them! Oh no! And people would want to talk to me. They’d want to hear what I had to say. For someone who was painfully shy as a child, this is a huge fear. I had to be willing to be seen and heard: no more hiding. And, there was a whole pile of the unknown – that wonderful mystery we need to step into to create the life of our dreams – that went along with it.

The other thing that happened prior to my hitting best-seller status was a change in my attitude. I moved from selfish to service. Instead of simply wanting people to read my work (selfish), I shifted to feeling and believing that my experience could actually help someone (service). I told myself if I helped just one person with my new book, my job was done.

There were two days this week, the two days that just preceded my best-seller status, where I actually felt deeply what it would feel like to be of service with my writing. This feeling brought me to tears on both of those days.

So, my conclusion here is to advise you to write down your goals. Even the big, scary ones – in fact, especially those. The Universe has a way of bringing up and clearing all your limiting beliefs that get in the way – IF you are paying attention and willing to change.

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Corinne L. Casazza is a best-selling author based in Boston, Massachusetts. She is currently at work on her third novel. Corinne believes that through creativity and humor, we all find our own inner light.

Corinne’s best-selling ebook: “Break These Chains of Love: A New Paradigm for Relationship” is available here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00N1F8TL8

Check out Corinne’s Amazon Author page: www.amazon.com/author/corinnecasazza

Learn more about Corinne’s class on Removing Limiting Beliefs on Sunday, September 21st.

Corinne’s Facebook Fan Page includes tips for beginning writers.

For more information about Corinne including classes and speaking events, visit her Web site at CorinneCasazza.com

 

Message from the Universe # 10075: Iron Man Rules!

July 17, 2014

I love the way the Universe sends messages. Recently I had rewritten a scene in my new book, “The Adventures of Blue Belly and Sugar Shaker,” and referenced Iron Man (the character portrayed by Robert Downey Jr.). I was second-guessing the whole rewrite as I drove to hot yoga. Was the scene right? Was it better than when I started? Should I have left in Iron Man? Was the humor I used appropriate for the scene etc…? I was still thinking about this as I sat in the studio stretching before class. Then, the man in front of me peeled off his t-shirt to reveal a tattoo. I’ll give you one guess what it was. Yup. Iron Man. The super hero took up half the man’s back. What are the odds? Got it, Universe, Iron Man stays in the scene.

Here’s another synchronicity, this one occurred while I was contemplating my main character’s name.  She’s a funny character and I wanted her to have a name to match. I came up with Isabella Calamare. I was wondering if the name really worked and if I should keep it. A few hours later I found some artwork one of my friends made me. It’s an elaborate piece of colored pencil work. As I looked at it, marveling that my friend had taken the time to create it for me, I noticed something I’d never seen before. Down in the left corner of the drawing was a small, green octopus. Yup, a calamare!

After that, I visited my massage therapist. She had a stuffed animal on her counter. Yes, it was an octopus. I thought it was an odd choice for a stuffed toy – I don’t usually consider octopi cuddly. When I commented on it, she told me that in ancient Hawaiian Huna the octopus symbolizes Divine Mother. This, of course, fit perfectly with my character.

These are the signs around me when I’m writing that let me know I’m on the right track. It doesn’t happen just for writing, it happens in every area of life. The Universe is always talking to us, sending messages. The more you notice, the more they happen and you go… Into the mystic. Thank you, Universe!

Corinne L. Casazza is a freelance writer based in Boston, Massachusetts. She is currently at work on her third novel. Corinne believes that through creativity and humor, we all find our own inner light.

Corinne’s novel, Walk Like an Egyptian is available at Amazon.com or from Llumina Press.

Check out Corinne’s Facebook Fan Page for tips for beginning writers.

Visit Corinne’s Web site at CasazzaWriting.com

I’ll Get You My Pretty OR Why Temporary Triumphs and Reversals are Critical to Story

June 27, 2014
Wicked Witch

I’ll Get You My Pretty

I am addicted to USA Network’s drama “Suits.” I’ve been mesmerized by the show and can’t stop watching. Why? Because there’s a constant back and forth of temporary triumphs and reversals. It’s like a ping pong game and I can’t look away. I can’t wait to see what happens next. How will the character get out of this jam? Will they?

A temporary triumph is just that — it looks like a character has won something. For instance, in The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy and company score a temporary triumph when they reach Oz and ring the bell. They’ve finally made it to Oz – they’ve been journeying there for half the movie. Their success is short lived when they’re told to come back tomorrow – there’s the reversal.  Following that is another temporary triumph — they get in. But, then they’re told they need to return with the witches shoes – another reversal.

Most stories have one or two temporary triumphs and reversals, but the most successful have many more. These are very compelling to your reader – they are really pulling for the character, so much so that they can’t stop reading, which is exactly what you want. It also gives you as the author a chance to more deeply reveal the inner workings of the character – how resourceful are they? How honest? How devious?

After Dorothy and friends defeat the witch, marking the climax of the story, they return to the Wizard. He, an old carny man from Kansas, says he’ll take Dorothy home in his balloon – another temporary triumph. Drats, the balloon takes off without her – another reversal. Good witch Glenda shows up and tells Dorothy she had the power to get home all along. And she does. Finally. The turnabouts that happen even after the climax make the story compelling, and a classic.

In “Suits,” the lawyers are always trading insults, skirting the edge of the law, trying to convince a hostile witness to testify on their behalf, all this makes for very interesting storytelling. One minute they have a witness in custody – triumph. The next minute he escapes – reversal. They get the witness back – triumph. He’s shot and killed – reversal. And so on. Not every trial turns out the way we think it might and not all the wins are fulfilling, but this is also true in life.

Temporary triumphs and reversals are the stuff of true life. They give your characters depth and humanity – or not. The reader feels rewarded every time the character triumphs and roots them on whenever a reversal, particularly a stinging one from an arch rival, comes along.  So, pepper your stories with triumphs and reversals and keep your readers hooked!

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Corinne L. Casazza is a freelance writer based in Boston, Massachusetts. She is currently at work on her third novel. Corinne believes that through creativity and humor, we all find our own inner light.

Corinne’s novel, Walk Like an Egyptian is available at Amazon.com or from Llumina Press.

Check out Corinne’s Facebook Fan Page for tips for beginning writers.

Visit Corinne’s Web site at CasazzaWriting.com

 

A Yellow Portulaca OR Follow the Signs

November 21, 2012

You may have heard me say when I don’t know what happens next, I write description. Description should be lyrical and visual. It should not only include what’s palpable to the five senses, but also what feelings it evokes in your main character(s). Used in this way, setting becomes a character itself.

As I thought about this tip, a memory from writing Walk Like an Egyptian came to mind. I was describing my father’s garden at home in Boston where I grew up. I talked about the gray cement fence that was a barrier between our yard and the neighbors behind us. My Dad has a very green thumb and every inch of our yard was planted with vegetables, herbs and flowers. The fence was no exception. It had holes in the top of it. My Dad filled the holes with dirt and planted portulacas there. They sprouted up multi-colored from the top of the wall for all to see. Portulacas are small flowers that come in a rainbow of colors.

After I finished this description, I walked out of my house in Sedona to pick up my mail. I walked past a large cement flower pot that was at the top of my fence. As I walked by, I thought I saw a yellow flower in the pot. I did a double take. I had never planted anything there and had never seen anything grow there.

I looked into the planter again and rubbed my eyes. There, in the middle of this previously empty flower pot, was a single yellow portulaca! I couldn’t believe it. I even went so far as to go back inside and Google the flower to be sure I remembered it correctly.

Yup. There was a yellow portulaca in my flower pot! I took that as a sign that my story was progressing in the right direction. The Universe can give us some pretty unmistakable signs if we are paying attention. So… keep writing and look for those signs around you that tell you you’re on the right track.

Corinne’s novel, Walk Like an Egyptian is available at Amazon.com or from Llumina Press.

Check out Corinne’s Facebook Fan Page for tips for beginning writers.

Follow Corinne on Twitter @CorinneCasazza

Visit Corinne’s Web site: http://www.CasazzaWriting.com

Go Within to Manifest Outwardly

October 31, 2012

Corinne L. Casazza

If you want things to change, go within. There’s a Universal law that states once things change on the inner, they MUST change on the outer. This means when you go into meditation, and make a shift internally, your outer world MUST shift to match.

Here’s my experience of how it works. I fill my sphere (aura, body and the space around it) with all that I want to manifest in my life – particularly those situations or qualities I feel are missing.

Last week I was having difficulty speaking my truth and being my own authority. I hate confrontation – who doesn’t? Still, it’s necessary to stand up for ourselves and speak our truth. I went into meditation and filled my sphere with the qualities I felt surrounding in this situation: being valued, trusted, respected, speaking with authority and owning my truth, with a capital T.

To fill your sphere, all you have to do is relax, quiet your mind, pay attention to your breathing and think of these qualities. Say them silently to yourself. Most importantly, feel what it feels like to be these things. I felt the energy of being loved, valued, trusted and respected. I felt the energy of being an authority. I sat and reveled in that energy. It felt great.

What happened in my outer life? I was speaking to a friend about something he said that I didn’t like or agree with. Another friend overheard and told me, “Wow, Corinne, you said that with authority.” I had to smile. My outer world was reflecting back these inner changes; the qualities that I filled my sphere with were manifesting. As for the friend I spoke my truth to, he was very respectful, loving and even nurturing for the rest of the time we spent together. Gotta love that!

I know this is a small example, but it’s just the most recent one. I began this practice by filling my sphere with gratitude. The first week I did this, three people at work wrote to my Vice President to tell her how great I am to work with and how happy they are that I’m on the team – yup, they expressed gratitude in a big way.

This stuff works! It has to; it’s Universal law! It works for everything: big or small. I invite you to try it for yourself. I use this practice nightly before bed. You can fill your sphere with anything – call forth what you choose to manifest. Sit in it and really feel the energy, then watch your life change! Write to me and tell me what you created.

Corinne’s novel, Walk Like an Egyptian is available at Amazon.com or from Llumina Press.

Check out Corinne’s Facebook Fan Page for tips for beginning writers.

Follow Corinne on Twitter @CorinneCasazza

Visit Corinne’s Web site: http://www.CasazzaWriting.com