Tuesday, September 19, 2017

INDIE ROMANCE CONVENTION -- ROMANTIC SUSPENSE PANEL

I'm really excited about this. I'll be speaking in the Romantic Suspense panel with some wonderful authors!! Come and hear us speak about the craft we love on Friday, October 6, from 3:00-4:00 pm.

Here is the link. Registration begins Oct. 1!!!



Monday, September 18, 2017

FOR WRITERS OUT THERE...

I love G. K. Chesterton. I've read many of his works and treatises. I love his wit, his humor, his depth of thinking, the manner in which he can synthesize thought into a powerful message.

I recently came upon his essay on Dickens's Pickwick Papers (another great work) and the second paragraph of his essay is really a brilliant exposé of the creative process. I had to include the first paragraph so that readers can get into the context of the second (there are no shortcuts to understanding context), but Chesterton's words on the subject of creativity in literature is unique and powerful. Enjoy.

From G.K. Chesterton's Pickwick Papers (https://www.chesterton.org/pickwick-papers/).

Pickwick Papers

There are those who deny with enthusiasm the existence of a God and are happy in a hobby which they call the Mistakes of Moses. I have not studied their labours in detail, but it seems that the chief mistake of Moses was that he neglected to write the Pentateuch. The lesser errors, apparently, were not made by Moses, but by another person equally unknown. These controversialists cover the very widest field, and their attacks upon Scripture are varied to the point of wildness. They range from the proposition that the unexpurgated Bible is almost as unfit for an American girls’ school as is an unexpurgated Shakespeare; they descend to the proposition that kissing the Book is almost as hygienically dangerous as kissing the babies of the poor. A superficial critic might well imagine that there was not one single sentence left of the Hebrew or Christian Scriptures which this school had not marked with some ingenious and uneducated comment. But there is one passage at least upon which they have never pounced, at least to my knowledge; and in pointing it out to them I feel that I am, or ought to be, providing material for quite a multitude of Hyde Park orations. I mean that singular arrangement in the mystical account of the Creation by which light is created first and all the luminous bodies afterwards. One could not imagine a process more open to the elephantine logic of the Biblesmasher than this: that the sun should be created after the sunlight. The conception that lies at the back of the phrase is indeed profoundly antagonistic to much of the modern point of view. To many modern people it would sound like saying that foliage existed before the first leaf; it would sound like saying that childhood existed before a baby was born. The idea is, as I have said, alien to most modern thought, and like many other ideas which are alien to most modern thought, it is a very subtle and a very sound idea. Whatever be the meaning of the passage in the actual primeval poem, there is a very real metaphysical meaning in the idea that light existed before the sun and stars. It is not barbaric; it is rather Platonic. The idea existed before any of the machinery which made manifest the idea. Justice existed when there was no need of judges, and mercy existed before any man was oppressed.
However this may be in the matter of religion and philosophy, it can be said with little exaggeration that this truth is the very key of literature. The whole difference between construction and creation is exactly this: that a thing constructed can only be loved after it is constructed; but a thing created is loved before it exists, as the mother can love the unborn child. In creative art the essence of a book exists before the book or before even the details or main features of the book; the author enjoys it and lives in it with a kind of prophetic rapture. He wishes to write a comic story before he has thought of a single comic incident. He desires to write a sad story before he has thought of anything sad. He knows the atmosphere before he knows anything. There is a low priggish maxim sometimes uttered by men so frivolous as to take humour seriously – a maxim that a man should not laugh at his own jokes. But the great artist not only laughs at his own jokes; he laughs at his own jokes before he has made them. In the case of a man really humorous we can see humour in his eye before he has thought of any amusing words at all. So the creative writer laughs at his comedy before he creates it, and he has tears for his tragedy before he knows what it is. When the symbols and the fulfilling facts do come to him, they come generally in a manner very fragmentary and inverted, mostly in irrational glimpses of crisis or consummation. The last page comes before the first; before his romance has begun, he knows that it has ended well. He sees the wedding before the wooing; he sees the death before the duel. But most of all he sees the colour and character of the whole story prior to any possible events in it. This is the real argument for art and style, only that the artists and the stylists have not the sense to use it. In one very real sense style is far more important than either character or narrative. For a man knows what style of book he wants to write when he knows nothing else about it.

Monday, September 11, 2017

IN MEMORIAM

Let us, as a nation and as individuals, never forget what happened this day, and why this was done to us. May all the souls who perished that year and afterward (those who perished afterward while working in the area in the aftermath) rest in peace; and may their families find comfort.



Monday, August 28, 2017

EDITORIAL REVIEW FROM NY LITERARY MAGAZINE ON THE FISH TANK

Words can't describe. Yay!


"The Fish Tank is a gracefully-written, varied collection of entertaining, touching, suspenseful, and thought-provoking short stories.

Maria Elena skillfully paints rich scenes and crafts interesting characters. Her prose is vivid and distinct. 

You will not want to miss this collection!" - NY Literary Magazine


Saturday, August 26, 2017

NEW REVIEWS ON THE COIN AND THE FISH TANK

How lovely. Woke up to this. Makes my day.
The Coin: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Wonderful book of mystery and intrigue
ByLula Wilson on August 25, 2017 Format: Kindle Edition
What an interesting book with a wonderful plot. Anyone who likes a book that you can not simply put down until you find how it ends must read. I must read the next one!

The Fish Tank: 5.0 out of 5 stars

A collection full of heart
Bypearls on August 19, 2017 Format: Kindle Edition
A very quick read that flows deeper into the human condition, exposing the heart of the truth. From motherhood to emigres, Alonso-Sierra is able to succinctly wrap up the human condition in an entertaining collection that will leave you feeling connected to the world around you.



Tuesday, August 22, 2017

TOTAL ECLIPSE - AWESOME!

My husband, my dog, and I went to South Carolina yesterday for the total eclipse. We eclipse- tailgated, had a wonderful picnic, met people from all over the eastern seaboard who came to watch it.
WHAT AN EXPERIENCE!!! My phone camera does not do justice to the beauty and the astonishing event. If you ever find yourself near enough to an eclipse, TAKE THE TIME. It is absolutely incredible.




Saturday, August 19, 2017

AT THE DECATUR BOOK FESTIVAL ON LABOR DAY WEEKEND!!!

Hi, everyone. Been a busy bee lately, so I haven't posted. I promise to post some of my photos from the RWA2017 signing event soon.
Wanted to let you know I'll be part of the Sisters in Crime's Atlanta Chapter's tent at the Decatur Book Festival. Great time to come and join some really great writers and get your novels autographed. I'll be sitting in two panels - one for the short story, the other for romantic suspense with some really good authors. If you are in the Decatur, GA area, come and be part of this wonderful book festival. I have attached the links for the Sisters in Crime's events and my panels.
Great weekend fun.

Sisters in Crime Decatur Book Festival Events