Neil Gaiman First-ever online class Teaches the Art of Storytelling

I am so excited over this new class on, Neil Gaiman Teaches  the Art of Storytelling.

In his first-ever online class

You will get a Class workbook.

A downloadable companion full of supplementary information, creative writing exercises, and printable interactive resources accompanies the class.

Along with nineteen lessons! 

Here is the list of lessons from

Lesson 01: Introduction
Meet your new instructor: Neil Gaiman, one of the most prolific storytellers of our time. In his first lesson, Neil explains why he loves to teach and how he wants to encourage you to tell stories that matter.

Lesson 02: Truth in Fiction
One of the central tools of literature is using the “lie” of a made-up story to tell a human truth. Neil shows you how to make your story’s world—no matter how outlandish—feel real to readers.

Lesson 03: Sources of Inspiration
Neil believes that even old stories can be approached from new angles. Learn how to create your own “compost heap” of inspiration and how to draw from your experiences to make a story uniquely your own.

Lesson 04: Finding Your Voice
Your writer’s voice is what makes it possible for someone to pick up a page of text and recognize that you wrote it. Learn how to develop your voice and how to overcome the fear of making mistakes.

From Amazon

Lesson 05: Developing the Story
Every story has a big idea. Learn how to find a big idea that’s meaningful to you, as well as how to create conflict and compelling stakes for your characters.

Lesson 06: Story Case Study:  The Graveyard Book
Neil uses his young adult fantasy novel,  The Graveyard Book, to illustrate how character motivations serve as the essential building blocks of a compelling plot.

The Graveyard Book

Lesson 07: Short Fiction

The short story is an ideal format for risk-taking. Neil teaches you how to focus your scenes and descriptions for maximum impact.

Lesson 08: Short Fiction Case Study: “March Tale”
Using “March Tale” as an example, Neil shows you how to expand your narrative by creating conflict for your protagonist and how to bring your story to a satisfying climax.

Lesson 09: Dialogue and Character
Neil teaches you how to write realistic dialogue, how to listen to and trust your characters, and techniques to help readers remember your characters.

Lesson 10: Character Case Study: “October Tale”
Neil explains the technique of bringing a character to life by putting them in an unfamiliar situation that creates tension.

Lesson 11: Worldbuilding
Learn Neil’s philosophy of worldbuilding, including how to create compelling and believable settings for your novel, and how to avoid the common pitfalls many inexperienced writers make.

Lesson 12:  Descriptions
Neil shares his techniques to liven up descriptive prose, including cold opens, withholding information, finding emotional weight, and choosing memorable details.

From Amazon

Lesson 13: Humor
Neil shows how he uses humor in his work. He includes a close look at his novel Anansi Boys to illustrate his personal techniques such as “sherbet lemons” and “figgins.”

Lesson 14: Genre
Readers’ expectations are intrinsically tied to genre. Neil explains how an understanding of your story’s genre can help you provide delightful surprises to your audience.

Lesson 15: Comics
Writers don’t need to shy away from comics just because they’re not illustrators. Neil demonstrates his process of plotting and scripting a comic, using an award-winning issue of Sandman as an example.

Lesson 16:  Dealing With Writer’s Block
Every writer faces times when they’re stuck. Neil talks about some of the difficulties of the writing life and gives ideas about how to get through them.

Lesson 17:  Editing
Neil gives advice about the editing process, including why it’s important to take time away from a project and to get feedback from a trusted reader.

Lesson 18:  Rules for Writers
In his rules for writers, Neil talks about striking the right balance between humility and confidence, as well as the need to stay organized and devoted to daily work.

Lesson 19: The Writer’s Responsibilities
Neil concludes with a deeply personal discussion of the responsibilities that people who create art have to their audience and what this means for humans as a whole.


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And there are those times
silence of the universe
floats you into space

Day 30 Is CBD Oil safe and certified non-GMO organic?

Day 30  time to relax with CBDPure hemp oil 

On this last day of November 30, 2018 I will write about CBDPure

Full disclosure I am an affiliate Of CBDPure 

This would make a great gift idea. The gift of relief.

CBDPure is hemp oil made with certified non-GMO organic-standards hemp. Grown in Colorado and is free of contaminants and additives.

Why am I an affiliate for CBDPure Hemp oil?

This is why:

CBDPure is 100% legal and safe to consume. It does not have the psychoactive properties commonly found in recreational hemp – meaning it does not provide a “high” or intoxicated feeling to users. Our CBD oil contains naturally occurring cannabidiol, terpenes and other cannabinoids to promote overall well-being. The cannabinoid content of all CBDPure products complies with the federal law of the United States.” ~CBDPure

CBDPure Oil  worked for me. This product has a 90-day guarantee.

“If you are not experiencing the benefits you want or simply are not happy with your results, just send your order back within 90 days of purchase and we will refund your purchase price.” ~CBDPure

I have tried it. It eased my anxiety. It allowed me to relax, to stop my thoughts from racing. I used it for body aches and pains, and it worked.

Put the dosage under your tongue and hold it there for a minute. For me-  It can take anywhere from five minutes to twenty minutes to be absorbed into my bloodstream.

What it didn’t do was get me high. It is non-psychoactive, 100% non-intoxicating.

***As with anything that you ingest, you need to make sure to consult your doctor r and pharmacist about drug interactions.

Start with a low dosage.

I would recommend that you ‘always’ start with a low dosage, just to see how you react.

There is a large amount of information on CBD oil. Here are a few links.

The US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, Website: ‘Cannabidiol as an emergent therapeutic strategy for lessening the impact of inflammation on oxidative stress’
“This review discusses recent studies suggesting that cannabidiol may have utility in treating a number of human diseases and disorders now known to involve activation of the immune system and associated oxidative stress, as a contributor to their etiology and progression. These include rheumatoid arthritis, types I and II diabetes, atherosclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, hypertension, the metabolic syndrome, ischemia-reperfusion injury, depression, and neuropathic pain.”

 And here…

“Today,( June 25, 2018) the FDA approved a purified form of the drug cannabidiol (CBD). This is one of more than 80 active chemicals in marijuana. The new product was approved to treat seizures associated with two rare, severe forms of epilepsy in patients two years of age and older”

CBDPure has a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee.

The only thing you have to lose is your pain, stress, and racing thoughts.

CBDPure can be given to your pets too. Here is the link  for your pets CBDPure oil 

Day 29 setup scenes on index cards & rewrite, rewrite, rewrite

Day 29: Two more days left of November’s Nanowrimo

You have written at least 50,000 words.By now you are thinking of editing your novel, others are looking into self-publishing. 

I can tell you what I will be doing. I will take all those words, and  list each scene, on its own index card.

1. I will list which characters are in the scene.
2. Timeframe.
3. Place/world
4. What is the crisis of the scene?
5. What is the desire of the scene
6. POV of that scene.
7. I will end up with a pile of sixty index cards.

Once I have all the scenes on their own index cards,  I will do a Happy Dance. Then, I will put them in order and file away scenes that don’t fit in my story, scenes that don’t move the story forward.

Check out: Day 6 Freytag for the letter ‘F’

I will make sure my story moves from the main crisis, towards the resolution of that crisis.

Check out: Day 15 ‘O’ for a kiss outline

Then, I will rewrite each scene….

• I will make sure each scene is full of sensory detail.
• And that  each scene has inner and outer conflict. (each step/scene will make it harder for my POV character)
•  That my scene reflects the passage of time
• That I am staying in the POV of that scene.
• I end with a twist or insight into the POV character.
• That the scene advances the plot.

Check out: Day 17 ‘Q’ Questing Plot asking Quem Quaeritis

When a chapter has been rewritten, I will get rid of overused and redundant words.

Day 28 Amazing gift idea for the writer in your life

Are looking for an amazing gift idea for the writer in your life?   I recommend (Full disclosure.) I am an affiliate for them. Which means I get a few dollars if you buy a class. I bought these online classes. I go back to them over and over.

David Mamet’s MasterClass

David Mamet Structuring the

James Patterson’s MasterClass

First Video of James Patterson’s MasterClass

Once you buy a class on  you can access them forever.  They don’t have a time limit on when or how long you can access them.

Check out these writing and photography classes. They make amazing gifts.

Here are some on my wish list.

Dan Brown Teaches Writing Thrillers


Annie Leibovitz Teaches Photography


Samuel L. Jackson Teaches Acting


MasterClass: Shonda Rhimes Teaches Writing For Television


Great gifts for the writers and photographers in your family.

Day 27 NaNoWriMo Reading Agatha Christies’ Secret Notebook Four and twenty Blackbirds

I am reading; Agatha Christie’s Secret Notebooks’ by John Curran. He deciphered Agatha’s handwriting, laying out the notes that she jotted down throughout 73 notebooks. What piqued my interest was how she got her ideas with the use of nursery rhymes. Such as:

One, Two Buckle My Shoe` November 4, 1940. Five little pigs, January 11, 1943

Four and Twenty Blackbirds, March 1941

  • Hickory Dickory Dock, October 31, 1955
  • ‘How Does Your Garden Grow?‘ August 1935

On page 129: “We are shown how some of the ‘references to nursery rhymes scattered throughout the Notebooks, sometimes the idea went no further than brief jottings and in a number of cased it would seem that the rhyme defeated even Christie’s fertile imagination.”

Agatha Christie’s note: “…..Ding Dong Dell-Pussy’s in the Well-? An old maid murdered”

Agatha Christie was born on September 15, 1890, in Torquay, England and died at   Eighty-five on January 12, 1976 .

According to the Guinness World Records: “Agatha Christie (UK) is the most translated author with 7,236 translations.”

Every author’s muse appears in different ways. Every reader will absorb the information  from this book differently, Agatha Christie’s Secret Notebooks’ by John Curran. What you won’t find is a perfect plot to follow as a template. (That is for you to create.)  You will see her thought process as she created her stories.

What I took away, was how she used nursery rhymes.  And how those nursery rhymes – she worked itself into an idea, a mystery, a murder.  Then she mind-mapped, and brainstormed phrases, scribbled into Notebooks,  then, let them create an image in her mind, from there, those images grew into her stories.

After reading this book, Agatha Christie’s Secret Notebooks’ by John Curran.  I need to pick an Agatha Christie book off my shelf and read it again, this time picking out  the details of how she created it. Check out how she built her characters with description and setting. Check out her sentence structure and her use of dialogue.

Day 26 ‘Z’ for NaNoWriMo Z to the power of eight

Day 26 letter Z’ for  Zinker & Zenzizenzizenzic & ZYZZYVA & Zhou Xuanjing

Last night, I realized that I had surpassed my 50,000 words. {{Happy Dance}}

‘Z ‘ for Zinker

“All creative activity begins with movement.”~Joseph Zinker

‘Z ‘ for Zenzizenzizenzic

Zenzizenzizenzic is the eighth power of a number

Photo by Magda Ehlers from Pexels

“Zenzizenzizenzic is an obsolete form of mathematical notation representing the eighth power of a number (that is, the zenzizenzizenzic of x is x8), dating from a time when powers were written out in words rather than as superscript numbers. This term was suggested by Robert Recorde, a 16th-century Welsh writer of popular mathematics textbooks, in his 1557 work The Whetstone of Witte (although his spelling was zenzizenzizenzike); he wrote that it “doeth represent the square of squares squaredly”.” ~

Let’s say your number is Seven, seven to the power of eight, or 78
It will  look like this:

7x7x7x7x7x7x7x7= 56 x 56 =3136

Or with 28


‘Z ‘ for ZYZZYVA

ZYZZYVA the about section:

“ZYZZYVA’s first issue was published in 1985, under founding editor Howard Junker. In 2011, Laura Cogan became ZYZZYVA’s first new editor in more than 25 years. She and Managing Editor Oscar Villalon make up ZYZZYVA’s editorial team.”~

“We accept submissions only from January 7 through May 31 and September 1 through November 19. Please send previously unpublished fiction, poetry, essays, and artwork to:…. Please note: We do not accept any online submissions.”


‘Z ‘ for Zhou
Poems by Zhou Xuanjing

The secret of the receptive
Must be sought in stillness;
Within stillness there remains
The potential for action.
If you force empty sitting,
Holding dead images in mind,
The tiger runs, the dragon flies-
How can the elixir be given?


Zhou Xuanjing was from the 12th century. she was a Chinese Taoist.
Read about the history of Taoism HERE:

So that is Z to the power of four. 


Day 25 letter ‘y’ for William Butler Yeats Our stitching and unstitching

Day 25 letter ‘Y’ for Yeats, William Butler Yeats.  An Irish poet.

By Alice Boughton – Whyte’s, Public Domain,


‘Y’ for ‘William Butler Yeats’  who was born, June 13,1865 in Sandymount, Republic of Ireland and died in Cannes, France on January 28, 1939.


He was an Irish poet, a dramatist, a prose writer he won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1923. His themes were on unrequited love, dreams, visions, country living, Irish history, Celtic mythology, then onto Modernist poems.

By Vysotsky – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

As you read, William Butler Yeats, keep in mind he wrote about his time, his life. Things and people who impressed or irritated him, places he saw, his thoughts on what was said about him, about mysticism and spiritualism. Mainly, he wrote for himself and a small amount of people.

By Pirie MacDonald – This image is available from the United States Library of Congress’s Prints and Photographs division under the digital ID cph.3b34058.

On page 298, in ‘The Vein of Gold by Julia Cameron author of the Artist Way, Julia takes us into a “psychological space that allows you to entertain alternative belief systems” This chapter is called, “Spiritual Experience”.

From my copy of- Collected Poems of W.B.Yeats
From my copy of, Collected Poems of W.B.Yeats

Julia Cameron uses part of Yeats prose poem from, The Celtic Element in Literature, to get you to play, to dream, to dance. Cameron’s set up three points. Imagining the world lived only by candlelight.  She then tells us to experience an ethnic restaurant and see this as your normal daily life; and the third is to read and think about a specific piece of prose by W.B. Yeats.

Once every people in the world believed that trees were divine and could take human or grotesque shape and dance among the shadows; and that deer and raven and foxes , and wolves sand bears, and clouds and pools, almost all things under the sun and moon, and the sun and moon, were not less divine and changeable…They dreamed of so great a mystery in little things that they believed the waving of a hand, or of sacred bough, enough to trouble far –off hearts, or hood the moon with darkness.”~The Celtic Element in Literature you can read the entire here for Free at

Even more  of W.B. Yeats work HERE

In The Vein of Gold by Julia Cameron,  chapter titled: “Ceilings’ page the margins she quotes the first quatrain of his poem:

A Prayer for Old Age by W.B. Yeats.

GOD guard me from those thoughts men think

In the mind alone;

He that sings a lasting song

Thinks in a marrow-bone;


From all that makes a wise old man

That can be praised of all;

O what am I that I should not seem

For the song’s sake a fool?


I pray — for word is out

And prayer comes round again –

That I may seem, though I die old,

A foolish, passionate man.–A-uHLU

Yeats usage of ‘marrow-bone’ I wondered, did he use it as religious  expression? Or is he seeing it as nourishment for the soul. Or maybe just soup.

Take in account the years that these poems were written, and that  we didn’t know that stem cells were in the marrow- filled with the makings of life.   But, a cook did. 🙂

Yeats used the word  ‘marrow’ in these poems:

“Our stitching and unstitching has been naught.
Better go down upon your marrow-bones “~Adam’s Curse   by William Butler Yeats

“And prayer to shivering prayer, until You have dried the marrow from the bone;”~September 1913

“I THOUGHT of your beauty, and this arrow,
Made out of a wild thought, is in my marrow.”~The Arrow by


Day 24 #NaNoWriMo ‘X’ for Xanthippe choose your character’s name wisely

Day 24 and the letter ‘X’ for Xanthippe

Pick a name for your character that will give them a subtext overflowing with information or use that name as a metaphor; comparing your character with that old name.

A name like Xanthippe or  Xantippe 

The name Xanthippe was used as a suggestive meaning of a cruel, nasty woman. But, to be politically correct, {{SMILE}} you can use the name-Xanthippe or Xantippe to describe a man, or a thing, or an alien from the planet ‘Pickled Beets’ its meaning will still be clear. You are writing about  a  ruthless person.

When picking your character’s names, try and muse over their personalities, then do a search on a baby-naming site. I like to search through census reports such as:


The United Nations Statistics Division

Google  to find  names for your little darlings. 

The name Xanthippe in literature:

“By this Xanthippe” (so was the wife of Socrates called, said Partridge)—“by this Xanthippe, he had two sons, of which I was the younger. He designed to give us both good education; but my elder brother, who, unhappily for him, was the favourite of my mother, utterly neglected his learning; insomuch that, after having been five or six years at school with little or no improvement, my father, being told by his master that it would be to no purpose to keep him longer there, at last, complied with my mother in taking him home from the hands of that tyrant, as she called his master; though indeed he gave the lad much less correction than his idleness deserved, but much more, it seems, than the young gentleman liked, who constantly complained to his mother of his severe treatment, and she as constantly gave him a hearing.” ~Chapter xi. — In which the Man of the Hill begins to relate his history. ‘Tom Jones’

Xanthippe, Xantippe [wife of Socrates. Xanthippe.] A scolding or ill-tempered wife; a shrewish woman: as, “An arrant vixen of a wife scoured his domestic quiet…by the Xanthippe, he has two sons” [Fielding’s “Tom Jones” viii.11)”~ The New Century Dictionary, volume three, 1927.

Using names of characters, fictional and nonfictional, using the meanings of the names in a subtle way to describe a character. Or like Edgar Allan Poe, his poem called “An Acrostic” Acrostic poem is written with the first letter in each line spelling out a word. In Poe’s poem, Elizabeth, is the first word starting the poem, while each line’s first letter spells out ‘Elizabeth’  He changed the first letter, ‘X’ to ‘Z’ and yet, he still gave the reader a picture of the woman’s personality when he wrote:

“Zantippe’s talents had enforced so well” Read the full poem at~

Xanthippos is Masculine from ancient Greek, [from Greek elements (Xanthos) “yellow” and (hippos) “horse. Name of a 5th century BC Athenian general.

Feminine version of Xanthippe: ancient Greek; the name of Socrates wife, who was very argumentative, Ill-tempered woman.

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose / By any other name would smell as sweet.” ~ Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet.

There are plenty of  articles on how a name shapes a person’s image to the world. So think long and hard when you name your children, your novel, your stories. Because, If you want your reader’s to feel the love, then don’t name or refer to your children as Xanthippe.

Day 23 NaNoWRiMO ‘W For Wysiwyg clauses

Day 23 wysiwyg clauses, dependent clauses as nominal

What caught my attention was the odd acronym.


“Usually terse, aphoristic, pointed, occurring singly or in pairs or larger groups, wysiwyg (wiz e wig) clauses can be serious, informational, playful, humorous.”~ Virginia Tufte, Artful Sentences: Syntax as Style. Page 146-147

What? Wysiwyg!

An opening clause serves as subject of the sentence and the second clause as predicate nominative:

What you see is what you get.

Did you get it in turn did you see it?









I wondered where  the acronym  came from. You know the ‘W’  wysiwyg, the subject of todays post.


In the 1970’s it became known as WYSIWYG a computer editor, a program created by Charles Simonyi and Butler Lampson in 1974


“What’s mine is yours, and what is yours is mine.” ~Measure for Measure  by William Shakespeare

Before that is was a newsletter, published by Arlene and Jose Ramos.

I am referring to the wysiwyg that Virginia Tufte spoke of in her book, Artful Sentences: Syntax as Style. Page 146-153.

“Although most of the grammatical terms used in this book are traditional, you will not find wysiwyg in syntactic glossaries. But such clauses have existed for along time, usually under the label “noun clauses” or “nominal clauses,”…”

Let me try to explain this as well as I can.

Every clause has a subject and a verb.

A dependent clause has a subject and a verb, but is not a complete thought and cannot stand alone as a sentence. Dependent clause can take the place of nouns, as subjects, predicate nominatives, or objects.


A nominal clause is also a noun clause.

Predicate nominative or a predicate noun completes a linking verbs-helping verbs: is, an, are, was, were, be, being, and been; sense verbs, look, taste, smell, feel, and sound, other verbs: become, seem, appear, grow, continue, stay and turn.

Here are some great sites to improve your sentences:

My Walking Path