Monday, September 17, 2012

Genre Favorites Blogfest

Today is Alex J. Cavanaugh's Genre Favorites Blogfest day.  Just list your favorite genre of Movie, Music, Books and add a "guilty pleasure."  That's so easy even I can do it.
Movie: Horror
Music: 80s pop
Books: Horror
Guilty pleasure: Serial killer and
"I Survived" type documentaries
(Yeah, I sound like one fun lovin' gal, don't I?)

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Laura Barnes of Laura B. Writer gives blog critiques from a marketing perspective with the help of two graphic designers.  She has great insight and gives very helpful suggestions about how to make a blog more appealing to readers.  Soon, she'll be critiquing mine! :-)

For info on how to submit your blog for her critique, go here.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Belly Dancers

Belly dancing is gorgeous, exciting and a lot harder than it looks.  The two main styles of belly dance were started in Egypt and Turkey.  Although they may look similar, both the music, rhythms and dance moves are different.  The Egyptians call it raqs sharqi, the Turks named it oriental dansi, while the French call it danse du ventre, which means dance of the stomach.  It's believed that belly dance was originally demonstrated by older women to teach younger ones about sex and to strengthen stomachs and hips for childbirth. Whereas folklore dancers wore tunics or robes with hip-scarves decorated with coins, the more glamourous style of costumes became popular in the 1940s when Egypt was ruled by a King and Western-style films that showed more of women's bodies became popular.

Belly dancers are a traditional entertainment for weddings and engagements, but they've become the most popular in night clubs that cater to foreigners.  Belly dancers work in every major hotel, cruise ship, and many restaurants in Egypt.  The dancers are usually backed by a 6-piece band  composed of a singer, keyboard player, accordion player, and 3 drummers, and it can also include a kaula (flute-like instrument) and an oud (cross between a guitar and a banjo).

Belly dancer performing with her band.
Belly dancers are both loved and reviled.  Egyptians love their own fast-paced music and the fun of a belly dance performance, but the dancers themselves are considered little better than strippers or prostitutes -- creatures no self-respecting man would marry (which isn't really all that different from the West).  It's a shame because it's a very beautiful art form, especially as performed by "Dina," one of the most famous Egyptian dancers in the video below.

I know a lot about belly dancers because I was one.  I danced for years in New York, New Jersey, Alexandria and Cairo.  I loved it!  :-D

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Insecure Writers

Image from
One of the saddest things for a writer to do is to "trunk" a novel.  After slaving over it and loving it to death, sometimes you just have to admit that you did your best and it's time to move on.

So don't think of it as "trunking" the novel.  Nope -- you're only cryogenically freezing it.  It's like a patient that's simply not curable with the technology available today.  But who knows?  In another few years there may be advancements.  You'll be a better writer with more ideas.  You'll have an agent willing to help fix what's wrong.  You'll have a publisher who loves you so much they want to publish anything you've ever written!  Yahoo!  (It could happen, right?)

So when it comes time to put one of your little darlings in a drawer, don't lose hope.  It's just going in suspended animation until the day when it can be resuscitated and saved.

The Insecure Writer's Support Group exists so the community of blogging writers can share and support each other.  I love the encouragement the members give, and I especially enjoy blog-hopping to cheerlead and commiserate.

To find out more, visit: Insecure Writer's Support Group

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