Perry to Present at 2019 CNU Writer’s Conference
Perry Presents at CNU Writer’s Conference
David Perry will present morning and afternoon breakout sessions entitled Writing Strong Three Dimensional Characters on Saturday, May 4th at the 38th Annual CNU Writer’s Conference.
Draw Your Readers In!
Well-developed characters anchor entertaining and engaging plots and storylines. Because you want to draw your readers into your story and keep them engaged, you want to write exciting, flawed characters. Therefore, this workshop features strategies authors can use to flesh out complex protagonists, empathetic antagonists and interesting minor players. Subsequently, we will help authors address how to do this and more:
What traits make a character unique?
How do you avoid creating a caricature?
How do you make your antagonist more human?
What comes first; plot or character?
So, attend this workshop to learn more about great character development.
Proper Scene Formatting
Additionally, we will also provide suggestions for formatting your scenes and chapters to keep the reader turning pages. Where do In start my scenes? And, how do you end a scene or chapter so your reader wants more? Finally,
David Perry is the bestselling author of three novels. Currently at work on the third and fourth books in his Cyclops series, this will be David’s second time presenting at the CNU Writer’s Conference. His novel, The Cyclops Conspiracy, was nominated for the 2012 Library of Virginia Literary Award. He lives in Carrollton with his wife.
So, join David and many other writers and writing enthusiasts at the CNU Writer’s Conference May 3-4th on the CNU campus.
Finally, check out David’s website: www.davidperrybooks.com
How Pharmacy Helped Create an Acting Legend
John Wayne was, and still is, one of the most iconic actors in history. He was born Marion Robert Morrison on May 25, 1907. According to his website, he appeared in 175 films over his fifty year career and was the lead in 140 of these.
It also states, “President Jimmy Carter awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1980, America’s highest civilian honor. Wayne is among only a handful of individuals who have received both the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal.
To this day, Wayne appears in the Harris Poll’s annual listings of America’s favorite movie stars, ranking third in the most recent Poll. He has never been out of the top ten since the Poll’s inception.”
In 1964, Wayne was diagnosed with lung cancer. Surgery saved his life by removing a lung and several ribs. He was able to continue his acting, directing and producing career for another decade and a half. He attributed this cancer to smoking six packs of cigarettes a day.
In 1979, he was diagnosed with stomach cancer. It has been theorized that this was the result of his exposure to nuclear radiation while making the film 1956 film The Conquerors. Ninety-one others associated with the film including Susan Haywood and Agnes Moorehead later developed varying forms of cancer. Filming occurred in Utah downwind from nuclear weapons tests during that time. Wayne, his fellow actors and movie workers were exposed. He died on June 11, 1979 at the age of seventy-two after a bout with stomach cancer.
The Duke’s Connection to Pharmacy…
I write about The Duke for two reasons. His family held a strong connection to pharmacy. And it was pharmacy that led The Duke down the path that eventually led him to become the actor he was.
I also had the privilege of being part of his medical team as he fought stomach cancer before he died. But, we’ll save that for another day.
In 1903, Clyde Leonard Morrison (Wayne’s father) left Simpson College and entered the pharmacy program at Highland Park College of Pharmacy (later to become part of Drake University) in Des Moines, Iowa. At that time, pharmacy was beginning the transformation from the practice of charlatans peddling cures from covered wagons to that of a science, a profession and a respected discipline. Clyde graduated, passed his licensing exam and became a registered pharmacist in 1905.
Clyde worked initially at M.E. Smith Drugstore in Winterset, Iowa. He recognized early on that the real money was in owning the business and not just earning a salary. Clyde’s first son, Marion (John Wayne) was born during his stint at M.E. Smith’s in 1907.
How It All Started…
He opened a Rexall Drug Store in Earlham, Iowa in 1910. But the business did not thrive. When Rexall went under, Clyde worked briefly for another owner but that, too, soon ended.
Clyde had developed heart trouble with a cough and shortness of breath, probably the result of a three pack-a-day smoking habit (Chesterfields). A physician recommended Clyde find a drier climate.
Clyde’s father (also named Marion) had taken up residence in California. Combined with Clyde’s poor health and even poorer finances, Clyde was swayed by his father and made the move to the left coast in 1914. Clyde ended up in Glendale in 1916, working at the Glendale Pharmacy on West Broadway. Morrison, the son, (John Wayne) worked at a variety of odd jobs including helping his father in the pharmacy.
Eventually, the man who would become John Wayne attended Glendale High School, became a football star and earned a football scholarship to the University of Southern California. When an accident ended his athletic career and scholarship and without funds, he left college.
While at USC, Wayne worked as a prop boy and extra. There he met director John Ford who took an interest in him. With Ford’s help, Wayne’s first break came in 1929. He was cast in a Fox production of The Big Trail.
The rest, as they say, is history!
If Wayne’s father had achieved success as a pharmacist in Iowa, he might have decided to stay in the Midwest. And we might have been robbed of one history’s greatest acting talents.
In a future post, I’ll tell you about my brush with fame…and John Wayne.
If you have interesting stories about pharmacy and the famous, I’d love to here from you: e-mail me.
Isle of Wight Author Releases Third Thriller: Daily Press; Sunday, March 10, 2018
David Perry Appears on iCreate Daily Podcast; Monday, February 12, 2018
Click the link to view David’s Interview with LeAura and Devani Alderson of iCreate Daily…
Author Publishes Third Book: Suffolk News Herald; Wednesday, January 31, 2018
An Addictive Cure for All that Ails Us…
An Addictive Cure for All that Ails Us…
A cure for the stresses and pressures that attack us daily recently revealed itself to me. As a pharmacist, cures and remedies always catch my attention. This cure is simple, natural and totally rewarding. This cure possesses no unpleasant side effects. A WARNING: IT IS IMMEDIATELY ADDICTIVE! As a result, one dose will instantly leave you craving another…then another.
Indulge me as I explain. I live a wonderful existence with my wife, Anne. Three wonderful young people enrich in our lives. Well, they are young to us, ranging in age from 21 to 29 years.
Their adventures in life have just begun. One married this year, the second will be getting married next year. The third is in his junior year in college. Excitement abounds in the Perry household about what the future holds for them and for us…as grandparents. That day cannot come soon enough.
My wife nor I do not pressure any of our kids for grandchildren. But we can’t wait. Since Anne has been planning weddings for the last eighteen months (and will continue to plan until next May), the last weeks and months have been spent discussing what our grandparents names will be. This topic garners heated debate. I’m partial to Opa (German for grandfather). It’s what we call my father. Though we are not German. It comes from the time my sister and her professional hockey player husband spent time in Landsberg and Fussen and where my niece was born.
Anne has not yet decided what she wants to be called. I prefer MeMaw (Anne hates this!). I think she is leaning towards Lolly with me being referred to as Pop. So together we’d be referred to as LollyPop. Not sure I want to be the tail end of a confection. The debate still rages!
We hope fatherhood is a few years away for Alex as he is still in college. Katlyn (recently married) lives in South Carolina. When the day her first child arrives, I know that I will see a lot less of Anne as she will be shuttling back and forth to the Palmetto state frequently. Recently, Sarah (the engaged) invited one of her future bridesmaids, Becca, to our house for dinner. Her husband serves in the Coast Guard and is currently aboard a cutter in the Gulf of Mexico after the devastating storms that ravaged Texas and Florida. He is away for a few months while his wife, a nurse, lovingly begins the process of raising their daughter Ellie, a beautiful, wide-eyed bundle of life and love.
My wife, Anne, had helped out with Ellie and we have had the pleasure of Becca’s and Ellie’s company on several occasions. Anne’s eyes exude a deep inner beauty not normally seen on most days when she holds little Ellie. I, too, held her as the girls explored our neighborhood. Ellie cooed and struggled against the inevitable, post-feeding nap. After rocking and whispering to her for several minutes, finally, she fell fast asleep.
Job and Life Pressures…
As a pharmacist, I am often assaulted by the pressures of my job…cranky patients, an overload of prescriptions which can never be completed fast enough, employees who sometimes think their job is a God-given right rather than a privilege. Consequently, I bring these pressures home and unload on them Anne. As a writer, deadline, writer’s block or the occasional bad review sometimes haunt me.
We all read and hear about the madness in the world, the deep divides in our society, both political and cultural. The news is rife with storms, riots, protests, terrorist attacks, lone gunman, wacky politics in Washington and North Korean missile tests. Man, we need a cure.
Sometimes life overwhelms. As a result, it is easy to lose sight of what is really important.
The cure for all that ails us…
As that beautiful baby girl slept cradled in the crook of my arm, I was revisited by a different kind of peace and serenity I had not felt in a long time. It had been more than twenty years since my future college graduate was less than a year old. Time rolled back for me. Holding that little bundle of potential, then and now, reminded me of the beauty and All issues and concerns melted away, replaced by an inner nirvana more potent and addictive than any narcotic.
I watched her tiny lips move gently as her sleeping eyes rippled beneath perfect lids. The fingers of her hand wrapped around my forefinger with the gentleness of a butterfly’s wings. Her breathy, contented sighs against my chest reminded me of the precious nature of our existence and that with each generation we have a renewed hope for the future. Ellie is the new generation. She embodies all the potential goodness of the human race. Furthermore, all children represent a Second Chance.
There is no better way to find peace than to hold a baby. Thank you, Ellie.
Maybe I’ll send Katlyn and Sarah a quick text…Opa and Lolly aren’t getting any younger…
The Cyclops Revenge Slated For Release
The Cyclops Revenge to be released Thursday February 1st, 2018…
The Cyclops Revenge, the second installment in David’s Cyclops series will be available to the public beginning February 1, 2018.
David is planning a post-launch public book signing. If you live in the 757 area code of Virginia, send him an email through the website and we’ll make sure you receive an invite to this exclusive, one-time event…
We can’t wait to see you…David Perry
Adverbs Can Kill Your Writing… Literally
In addition to my own writing, I have had the privilege and pleasure of editing several works in the past few years. Editing provides me the opportunity to educate new writers who aspire to publish quality work. It also allows me to stay sharp in my own writing. Many of my clients have excellent stories. They lack, however, the proper techniques to make their words, plots and ideas leap of the page. I see many areas where improvement is possible. In past blog posts, we have discussed dialogue, plotting and telegraphing versus foreshadowing to enhance your plots. Today, I write about one more discipline.
One flaw I see in many new writers’ work is the overuse of the adverb.
Do not misunderstand. Adverbs have their place. They must be used judiciously, especially when writing fiction. I have used two in the last sentence, back-to-back.
All authors must practice their craft, just as a major league hitter must practice hitting and fielding. We must write every day. If you can’t write every day, write as often as you can. Practice your word choice. Practice picking the perfect word rather than adding on an adverb to a lackluster verb or adjective.
In fiction, a plethora of adverbs kills your writing. It is the sign of an amateur. However, it is an easy fix with the use of a good thesaurus. I use the Oxford American Writer’s Thesaurus. It is a thick, complete, dog-eared reference when I need to locate the right word.
Adverbs make for wordiness. Often, when you have used an adverb or two to describe what a character is doing, you can substitute a more concise verb or descriptor. The English language is chockful of words designed to describe an action or a thought.
Here are several examples I have seen in my editing experience.
The spy walked quickly to the door. Instead try: Walter, the spook, marched to the exit.
“You are making me not want to do that,” Katie said sullenly. Instead try: “You are making me not want to do that,” Katie brooded.
The sun descended slowly toward the tree line. Darkness gradually over took the day. Instead, you might try:
The golden ball in the sky hung like a dying ornament, inching toward the treetops as if being let out on an invisible string. Dusk had entrenched itself on the day, a harbinger of the gloom about to curtain the city.
If you need assistance with your writing, please contact me through this website…seriously. ©David Perry 2016
Sneak a Peek: The Cyclops Revenge (Chapter 1)
Friday, April 10th
Two and a half years later
Jason Rodgers was about to implement the plan to finally bury his ghosts. The carefully laid plans had been in place for weeks. Tonight marked their new beginning. The first step to making his life whole again. In the days to follow, he would put his past behind him and keep it there. He leaned back, satisfied, pleased with himself. Everything was going perfectly. Almost perfectly, anyway. The meal had been fantastic, the service exemplary. Everything had gone off without a hitch. Except, that is, for Chrissie’s demeanor.
“Are you okay?” he asked Christine Pettigrew. “You seem tired.” Chrissie sat across from him on the balcony level of the restaurant, looking uninspired and melancholy for most of the evening. Jason had noticed a change in her in the last few weeks. She had been working very hard lately. But tonight, she seemed particularly bothered. She has no idea, he thought, sipping his coffee. She will be pleased and surprised. That will change her mood! It will change everything.
They had just completed an exquisite dinner. Jason had had a thick, moist steak with a baked potato and asparagus while Chrissie had barely touched her shrimp scampi. Jason had insisted that they cap it all off by with mountainous dessert of chocolate cake dripping in thick fudge. The Freemason Abbey in downtown Norfolk, Virginia had been one of the premier dining establishments for decades. Nearly a century and half old, it, as the name suggested, began as church, changed hands numerous times throughout history, and had finally been converted into a beacon of fine dining, sating the appetites of Hampton Roads residents ever since. Jason had chosen it because they had never eaten there together.
This was a special occasion. It was going to be a night neither one of them would ever forget. It demanded the perfect ambiance of the old cathedral. Chrissie looked over the half-eaten dessert they had shared, pressing her lips into a thin line. Jason had scarfed down most of it. Chrissie had only tried a small forkful, maybe two. “Yeah, I am,” she replied in a lifeless tone. “Chrissie, something’s been bothering you all night. I can tell. You should be excited. You finally got the partnership you been shooting for. The firm is exploding with business. The Colonial ownership has transferred back to you. That process is finally over with. And we are filling more prescriptions than we did last year. This year is going to be a very lucrative one. And I’m talking about in more than just dollars.”
“What is that supposed to mean?” Jason turned to look for their waitress. She was standing of to the side, waiting for his signal. He made eye contact with her and winked so Chrissie couldn’t see it. “I said,” Chrissie asked again, “what’s that supposed to mean?” “You’ll see.” The waitress appeared pushing a narrow cart on which sat a large bottle of champagne and two flutes. She showed the bottle to Jason and began uncorking it. “Jason, I’ve already had three glasses of wine. I don’t need any more.” “Just a small taste,” he replied. “Just take a sip.” The waitress poured a small sample into Jason’s glass. He placed his nose over the glass and inhaled, pretending he knew something about champagne. He sipped it and nodded his approval. Then the server poured two glasses and placed before both of them.
“A toast,” Jason said, lifting his glass. “I love you, Chrissie. To you and me, we are a great team.” The waitress had her back to them. Just as Jason finished making his toast, she turned around to face them. She placed a round, white bread plate on the table between them. On it rested a small velvet box.
“You’ve been acting like an ass all day, Michael?” Jenny asked her son. “Do you want to talk about it?” She was sitting on the edge of Michael’s bed. Michael was lying on his back staring at the ceiling. His face was a palate of frustration and worry. “My life sucks,” he hissed. “I know it seems that way,” Jenny counseled. “But your father getting remarried isn’t the end of the world.” Michael rolled on his side and propped himself on an elbow. “You knew and you didn’t tell me?” “I’m your mother, Michael. Your father told me what he was going to tell you yesterday. It was the proper thing to do.”
“Why didn’t you tell me?” “Because it wasn’t my place.” “I don’t like her.” “Chrissie? I’ve met her several times. She seems like a nice person. Why do you say you don’t like her?” “Because she’s making him move. When they get married they’re going they’re going to live at her house.” “I know your father. She’s not making him do anything. If he’s moving, it’s because he thinks that’s what’s best for them.” “I didn’t like it when you moved us out here to the Salt Ponds. What was wrong with the house in York County?” “There was nothing wrong with it.” “Then why did we move?” “It was just time,” Jenny replied, looking away. “Bullshit!” “Watch your mouth!” Jenny slapped his leg as he lay there. “I don’t want to hear language like that again.”
“You put the house up for sale a week after whatever happened to dad. What happened that night?” Jenny sighed. “I know it was something bad. And don’t tell me it was a car accident. Because I know you’re lying.” Jenny looked out the window into the darkness shrouding their oceanfront home. “Aren’t you going to tell me?” “I’m not having this conversation now,” Jenny declared. “Your father loves you very much. You’re still going to see him, Michael. He has a right to live his life. These are the types of issues we all deal with as adults.” Michael got up from the bed and walked to the window. It looked out on the waves of the Chesapeake Bay crashing in the dim wash of light. He studied the line of rotting pilings disappearing into the water.
“I still don’t like it!” “Your father’s told me that you really haven’t given Christine a chance. You’ve been distant since the first day you’ve met her. Has she treated you badly?” Michael stared into the darkness as his mind wafted back to the night. He’d heard her voice before he’d ever met her. And the words he’d heard spoken that night between his father and that woman had stung him to his core.
Writers Pay Themselves First
Time is the rarest of commodities for all of us, writers or insurance agents or jewelers or stay-at-home moms. Each day has exactly the same amount of time whether it’s measured in 24 hours or 1,440 minutes or 86,400 seconds. There is no rewind button on the remote that will take us back in time. You can’t grow or manufacture more of it. Once it’s gone, it’s gone.
As children, time was abundant and filled with carefree frolicking. The older we get the more we realize how valuable time is. Our lives become filled with deadlines and responsibilities that eat away at our reservoir of it.
The world and everything in it has the potential to become a distraction. They lurk around every corner, in every pile of dirty laundry, unpaid bills and trips to the grocery store. Anything that sits undone or unresolved or weighs on your mind can turn itself into the gremlin that grows into an unwieldy time-consuming monster.
No matter what your passion or project, it is easy to become sidetracked by the daily, obligatory detritus of life.
I have taken a lesson from the world of financial planners and the man who trained me in how to handle money, my father. They have always said, “Pay yourself first!” In the parlance of money that means salting away cash into your savings or retirement accounts for the day when you might need it. Today, it is quite easy to have your employer make contributions on your behalf before you receive your paycheck making that adage easy to fulfill. With time, it’s not as easy.
I use this same philosophy in my writing. I pay myself first in the form of time dedicated to my craft; and the satisfaction of knowing I scrabbled out two or four or 20 pages. No matter what is hanging over my head; that pile of laundry, the uncut grass, the overdue oil change or the bills that need paying, I always make sure I write for the allotted number of hours or pages each day. I’m not suggesting that you leave your bills unpaid or let your lawn grow to forest-like heights. Just make sure your writing takes priority. Set a daily deadline and work towards it each day before you let life’s gremlins take hold.
On the few occasions when I failed to follow my own advice, I am always filled with a great sense of dissatisfaction. It’s like the grime you feel when you run your tongue over your teeth on the rare occasion when you were too hurried or harried to brush them. It doesn’t feel good and you know you did not do something you should have, something that is good for you. I view my writing in the same way. If I do not write, I am bothered by my failure to work it in to my day. These lapses happen rarely now.
Make your writing a habit; a necessity. And it will become a part of you. That’s what it means to be a writer.
©Copyright David Perry 2015