Writing, Writing, Writing - Debbie Guzzi's Blog

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Deborah Guzzi writes fulltime. When not writing she’s reading. She travels for inspiration. Her new book The Hurricane is available now through Prolific Press. Her poetry appears in: Existere - Journal of Arts and Literature in Canada, Tincture in Australia, Cha: Asian Literary Review, Hong Kong, China, Eunoia in Singapore, Vine Leaves Literary Journal in Greece, and Ribbons: Tanka Society of America’s Journal, Sounding Review, Kyso Flash, The Aurorean, Crack the Spine Literary Magazine, Liquid Imagination, Concis, The Tishman Review, Page & Spine and others in the USA. 

Writing, Writing, Writing

Blog Posted:3/6/2014 2:02:00 PM
Lately, since we were working on the Crown Sonnet and since a friend of mine is working on a short story, she and I have been discussing STYLE. I don't work the way she does. I just sit down and start typing and the quicker I can get 'In character the better'. I work in a kind of trance state. I don't PLAN unless its a form which requires a certain structure BUT I don't/didn't see prose as that? [But to a big extend I was wrong!]
I have been attending local writers groups and during the last one when mentioning this discord, another writer said there are 2 types of writers one is what's called an architect:

The architect is the one who plots things very thoroughly. He knows everything that happens before he begins. Obviously every writer should have an idea of what's going to happen in their story, but the architect has a better grip on the smaller details and subtleties between the characters.

It is beneficial because this style:

1. Knowing what's going to happen to the characters
2. Keeping the plot tight
3. Knowing what's going to happen between the characters

It's a a powerful approach, if you know what's going to happen down to the last detail it prevents you from overwriting the important scenes--rather, the slow parts and the dramatic parts.

And I am a gardener:

The gardener is the one who will allow things to flow in a more spontaneous manner. He knows what's going to happen in the big scenes, but the gardener allows subtleties and relationships to progress as he writes, rather than having them plotted out before hand.

The benefits of this style are:

1. Allowing for spontaneity
2. Perhaps allowing certain characters to grow in ways you didn't expect them
3. Allowing for you to head in a direction you didn't think you would

 I think they also apply to which side of the brain you're dominant in - A gardener
would be more likely to write a CHARACTER DRIVEN PLOT - the character progresses until the story ends. [Right brained ]

An architect would be more likely to write a PLOT DRIVEN story! 

Do you know which one YOU ARE?

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Date: 3/8/2014 8:47:00 AM
well I have to tell you I'm SO confused, the VOICE? [what the heck is that? like whose telling the story?] There's point of view? [how does or does point of view relate to VOICE?] cause if the narrator is NOT a main character and has omnipotent POV? And the main character is NOT telling the story & [LOL I the main character .. my brains frying!] well the main character is in THIRD PERSON - how do all 3 relate and what are all the possible combinations???? I'd really like a list?
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Cyndi MacMillan
Date: 3/8/2014 5:00:00 PM
Oh, WAIT! I've got it. You know tone! The tone of a poem.. is it deep, contemplative, sensual, rough, angry.. think of the words you choose for THAT poem, particular to that poem's tone. You are GENIUS at that. What tone is to poem, voice is to story? Did I help? Make it worse? I am really trying to help...
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Cyndi MacMillan
Date: 3/8/2014 4:56:00 PM
(cont)Their history, losses, loves, education, desires, anguish... all can play a part in their Voice... Interview with a vampire... Louis's voice.. his loss... his pain... his HUMANITY... not Lestat's voice... the story would have been colder? YES? Have a different tone...
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Cyndi MacMillan
Date: 3/8/2014 4:54:00 PM
Point of view is hmmm... like your character is looking through a telescope! What do they see? It is a narrow view. The person you choose for the point of view is the person who will tell your story. That person will have a unique perspective.
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Cyndi MacMillan
Date: 3/8/2014 4:50:00 PM
(cont) (Dee not yelling.. Dee whispering with excitement. This is her passion... this is her heart and breath.. so I tumble over my words, wanting to get it all out... I-am-talking-like-this-causeiamsoexcited.. lol... SHARING WITH MY SIS...remember that feeling as a little girl? wanting to share? dragging someone around? See oh here and here and here...
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Cyndi MacMillan
Date: 3/8/2014 4:47:00 PM
(cont) and YOU my smart Sis (again, yes really) really really do know VOICE, you just don't know you do. Remember when I went to write a word and you said to me, "Caleb would never say use that word. It isn't him." You KNEW his voice. Voice is the way a character THINKS and SPEAKS. It will affect the whole story.
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Cyndi MacMillan
Date: 3/8/2014 4:45:00 PM
Okay, the Point of View is who is telling the story. Remember Wuthering Heights? Many people forget the point of view is that of a housekeeper, Nelly, Yes, really! Not Cathy and Heathcliff (the main characters) THIS IS NOT THE NORM. Usually, the main character (protagonist) is the Point of view (cont)
Date: 3/7/2014 11:52:00 PM
I'm a blend of the two and often I am only one or the other!! good blog.
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Date: 3/7/2014 4:50:00 PM
No matter Dee, just don't yell at me and I am trying. I did get Hell's Kitchen published and that was my first Flash fiction/short story & can't help my prose being poetic, always has been always will be. Rice, Pynchon, & I sent you my musical chairs which I would LIKE to be a short story which isn't I don't think yet, why isn't it? It's still just a scene [yes?] so how do I grow it into a story?
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Cyndi MacMillan
Date: 3/8/2014 7:14:00 AM
Question, hell's kitchen, was that the Gilded Mirror that you published in Muse, Bella-online? I thought that was creative non-fiction?
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Cyndi MacMillan
Date: 3/7/2014 9:04:00 PM
Oh, Dear. The chairs is a retelling of one scene from a book written by someone else, hon. I have no idea how to grow that into a story. There is nothing wrong with poetic prose! I just meant I can't help develop poetic prose. It is or it isn't,you know? It isn't the same as fiction.
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David Williams
Date: 3/7/2014 5:32:00 PM
Debbie nothing is just a 'scene' a scene is an idea, an idea is a paragraph, a paragraph is a chapter, a chapter is a page, a page is a burst of ideas, a burst of ideas are a multitude of scenes, characters, dialogue, situations, narratives, then finally a book....
Date: 3/7/2014 1:37:00 PM
I've been extra busy in RL sorry I haven't gotten back to you. I am a good teacher but a bad student if you haven't noticed LOL - most of the time I MUST teach myself because few get what I don't get or why I don't get it when its so clear to them! My biggest challenge is a sequencing disorder. I never seem to put together the 'whole' in the same way anyone else does, I can do it! I can finish it correctly but I must be left to my own devises, no following directions. Usually I use pictures?
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Cyndi MacMillan
Date: 3/7/2014 1:51:00 PM
What is RL, (I am embarrassed. I should know, right... sorry!)
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Cyndi MacMillan
Date: 3/7/2014 1:51:00 PM
I have a picture I found on line of my Bryn. It spoke to me. I have three lines of a character "sketch" for her. The pictures said it all for me. I need to get it laminated (lol) Lord love a duck if it gets torn, stained.
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Cyndi MacMillan
Date: 3/7/2014 1:48:00 PM
I feel awful because I had that "assumption cap" on that you are speaking of. You wrote to someone, "Dee changed the contest." I was so surprised. Then, I realized I'd ASSUMED too much ... writers know that an outline is totally flexible, is just a tool used, A CRUTCH, in case one stumbles. But it is never ever ever an absolute, at least not to many many writers.
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Cyndi MacMillan
Date: 3/7/2014 1:46:00 PM
If you have any ideas for a short story- fiction I mean, not poetic prose- send me anything, even if ... I want to write about new life, a second chance (theme) and I can help you develop even a slip, a cat's whisker, an IDEA that you want to "grow." An idea, really, is an outline, too.
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Cyndi MacMillan
Date: 3/7/2014 1:44:00 PM
But... if someone is struggling, saying, I want to be able to write short stories, but can't seem to get a handle on them, I keep running into the same walls, I keep being met with rejection... then I want to help them, hon.
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Cyndi MacMillan
Date: 3/7/2014 1:42:00 PM
I WOULD NEVER stop a soul from creating something in their own way.
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Cyndi MacMillan
Date: 3/7/2014 1:42:00 PM
Let's edit what I wrote. There is this guy and he decides to save his son, who is dying of a rare disease, and nothing, no one, will stop him from finding a cure. (Lorenzo's oil)
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Cyndi MacMillan
Date: 3/7/2014 1:41:00 PM
:) Pictures, believe it or not, are a form of outline. Can you imagine anyone starting a story only knowing this... there is this guy, and something happens to him, that's it. LOL. Seinfeld? But... just a line, hon. A solitary idea, can lead to an entire story, easily.
Date: 3/7/2014 6:59:00 AM
Debbie, wrote a dialogue blog. It's up. Let me know if it helps with the beats, okay?
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Date: 3/7/2014 4:33:00 AM
DEBBIE!!! You NEVER cease to amaze me! What an interesting blog!!! I'm a gardener....BTW...I have a novel living inside my head! I started a few chapters when I was about 14...I've posted bits of it here on the soup. THE BROKEN MAN! HEE HEE! ;) As cheesy as they get. Now I know that each type has its own advantages...I relive scenes in my mind because, of course, it will become a movie...with me as the main character! HA HA! I've outgrown that dream. Now...I'm just too much into the immediate gratification poetry brings to get back to that. Maybe when I'm older...Got the last email. Will get to it this weekend. Been busy...no internet at home since yesterday. I'm at the office. Sending hugs!
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Eileen Manassian
Date: 3/7/2014 4:44:00 AM
OH BOY! This blog should have a TRIPPLE HOT icon next to it. I posted before I read everything. I LOVE IT. I love the bantering, the arguing, the...everything, and I'm LEARNING SO MUCH! Thanks, ladies and gentlemen!
Date: 3/7/2014 1:02:00 AM
Many times I am the gardener..Other few times I am the architect...Interesting blog..Charma..
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Date: 3/7/2014 12:43:00 AM
Debbie in poetry you missed the third type, The Undertaker, this writer has the ending before the beginning and then works backwards, I do this quite often and when it comes to novels. short stories/ flash fiction etc. you should just write, write, write and when you think you have finished then edit , edit, edit. the Shaman is the plot....now build the details (story) around it....
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Cyndi MacMillan
Date: 3/7/2014 9:46:00 PM
About action? Agreed. Take Flowers for Algernon. I feel it has lots of action. It is one of the most "suspenseful" books I've ever read, yet the suspense is not the garden variety... it is terrifying all the same. Immeasurably heartbreaking.
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Cyndi MacMillan
Date: 3/7/2014 9:43:00 PM
David, I took a seminar with a mystery writer, just a one day workshop, really. You are describing how mystery novelists write. They, obviously, know who killed who and how it was done... a mystery is solved at the end. I tried to write backwards, so hard! Cool you can do this!
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David Williams
Date: 3/7/2014 5:23:00 PM
Debbie there is lots of 'action' it is how you/ we define action, it does not have to be blood curdling to be action, reliving fear is action, conquering fear is action, excitement is down to the individual, the ceremony created a very good image , suspenseful.....good...
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Debbie Guzzi
Date: 3/7/2014 5:18:00 PM
It is getting better & better but basically there's no action, I guess it's a story of conquering fears and internal growth. I'd say the climax was the ceremony yes? David? It seems to me it is complete now it not very exciting to some people>?
Date: 3/6/2014 8:36:00 PM
I haven't written any prose stories, but many of my poems are story-like. I almost always have a phrase or stanza I want to build up to, so the end is usually defined first. There's not a defined outline, but I write out some ideas in prose and also some word combinations I'd like to use. I also have a pretty good idea of where I want to take the readers mind along the way in order to set the stage for the climax. I guess that makes me kind of an architect, even though I am slightly more right brained. Of course, then I go back and change a lot, so I guess that makes me a fuzzy-headed architect.
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Date: 3/6/2014 7:41:00 PM
Well we are talking about writing how refreshing! I don't want to make an outline! Glad everyones having fun - So - what's a BEAT?
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Cyndi MacMillan
Date: 3/7/2014 7:01:00 AM
LOL... Charlotte, wasn't IT where the clown is really a giant spider? AWK! LOL... I never have gotten his endings, but I LOVE LOVE his characterization.
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Charlotte Jade Puddifoot
Date: 3/7/2014 6:59:00 AM
WHAT?? I can't believe you think stephen king has bad endings!! I LOVE his endings, and I thought 'it' was one of his best - I read and re-read it for what I thought was its sheer beauty (maybe it's because I'm an 'angel of the odd'!) lol :)
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Cyndi MacMillan
Date: 3/6/2014 8:13:00 PM
Now, a tag is a simple, He said. And they are essential to ensure that the who said what is clear to the reader. But a beat... hmmm... I will put up a quickie blog. I'll go work on it now. Just a short piece on beats, okay? xoxox
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Cyndi MacMillan
Date: 3/6/2014 8:09:00 PM
A beat. I love beats. Beats are the pauses inserted into dialogue which not only provide action, but also set a mood, slow down a story to "real time" and provide additional information on a character.
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Cyndi MacMillan
Date: 3/6/2014 8:07:00 PM
Take our gal Rice. She does it both ways. Interview was without an outline. Others she has written with an outline. King says he doesn't use one which explains his HORRIBLE endings (what the ? with It? Ugh) Agatha Christie HAD to use outlines. Too many details. All mystery writers use outlines. They need to leave red herrings.. clues, too... or else it makes no sense.
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Cyndi MacMillan
Date: 3/6/2014 8:05:00 PM
Or, in the case of a short story, maybe only 500 words, two pages? If you are willing to just explore, begin writing and see where it takes you, (you as in all writers) but most likely you will have to take out half your work.. the first pages and, perhaps even, the last.
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Cyndi MacMillan
Date: 3/6/2014 8:02:00 PM
Still, many writers CAN write longer pieces without so much as an idea where they are going and are willing to chop 100 of their first pages to get there. One of the points of an outline is to now where the story REALLY starts. If not, if it first explores, then you just have to be willing to let go.. sometimes of whole chapters.
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Cyndi MacMillan
Date: 3/6/2014 8:00:00 PM
Really, that is the WHOLE story? No, hon, what about the girl, the dead boy who the pharmacist was mourning? Did I outline that? No. How about the brother fighting overseas? No. I barely gave it bones.
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Debbie Guzzi
Date: 3/6/2014 7:59:00 PM
night night kiddle's have fun
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Cyndi MacMillan
Date: 3/6/2014 7:59:00 PM
(cont)If you create this simplest, flimsiest of outlines, just one character, a direction, a purpose to your story, you will be free to let it flow/go wherever you want, and you will get that nod from the editor.
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Debbie Guzzi
Date: 3/6/2014 7:58:00 PM
You see it's all semantics that's not an outline that's the whole story. outline introduction main character, setting conflict, climax, declining action, resolution. blah blah
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Cyndi MacMillan
Date: 3/6/2014 7:57:00 PM
(cont) no mention of his brother, no mention of the accident on the lake that cost him his hearing, no mention of the drugstore, no mention of his dreams of travel, his wife, his children, his home, his work, his uncle, Potter, the teacher, lulu's petals... SEE? A simple outline. A DIRECTION .. that is all.
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Cyndi MacMillan
Date: 3/6/2014 7:54:00 PM
I betcha BET I could change your mind... outline of It's a Wonderful Life: A man who has done good his whole life faces hardship and chooses to commit suicide but he is saved by an angel who lets him see what the world would be like without him it; this changes the man's perspective and he becomes happy with his life. The end. This is an outline.
Date: 3/6/2014 6:40:00 PM
I just reread your blog and I'm bug eyed... because I 'think' you said that you don't see prose (fiction?) as having structure? UH? I'm actually speechless. The crowd applauds. Some say, "Thank God. She's been shut up." LOL.. honestly, my jaw is hanging. Oh, I could write FORTY blogs on the structure of fiction... and still would have more material. Poetry, and I don't mean to be offensive, is LESS structured (even FORMED verse) than fiction. (DEE DUCKS. DUCKS BIG TIME) Apparently, I got my voice back. LOL. I have been taking a vacation writing poetry. Writing a sonnet is like Disneyworld. Writing a short story is like hiking a hill. Writing a novel? Mount Everest.
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Cyndi MacMillan
Date: 3/6/2014 6:47:00 PM
aaaaaah, I see... yes, big extent wrong. Gotcha. WHEW... there is a great deal of ... structure, thought and wrangling in story writing. Oh, I wish I could share everything in ten minutes. Damn, frustrating.
Date: 3/6/2014 6:21:00 PM
I decide on a story with some choice, cool ideas to ad lib off of... then sit down and run with where ever it takes me... Wait a few days... make corrections on grammar and such... then post away!... Actually, I think my style is kinda "crazy story lady"... or "spoof-aholic".
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Date: 3/6/2014 6:09:00 PM
Books that have used outlines... Harry Potter, Catch 22, Tropic of Capricorn, The Bell Jar...authors. like Grisham and Ludlum .... Now, Some great advice.DEBBIE, READ THIS... Converts well for short stories, too. IT WILL HELP http://www.authoralden.com/2012/10/5-myths-about-writing-outlines.html
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Debbie Guzzi
Date: 3/6/2014 7:38:00 PM
yup if you're crazy enough to know you're crazy then you're not crazy, yup, me neither
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Chris D. Aechtner
Date: 3/6/2014 6:37:00 PM
Catch-22, eh? One of my all-time favourite novels.
Date: 3/6/2014 5:59:00 PM
It is possible to architect a garden ... just say'n.
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Date: 3/6/2014 4:55:00 PM
Girls, please, stay in your corners of the ring until your personal trainers have persuaded you that both of you are gardeners and architects, plus wotever else too(I am kidding. You already know). I am a south-paw, so since I lean upon my right brain more, I am a gardener(literally too, I have a green thumb). But I am also an architect, a part-time rascal, once a year minimum, I am an angel to help balance the other side(lol), I am a painter(this includes a finger painter), a carpenter, a bio-chemical engineer, and a few other things too.
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Cyndi MacMillan
Date: 3/6/2014 8:49:00 PM
Aqua Velva.. Icy Blue... chicka chicka wa wa. LOL
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Chris D. Aechtner
Date: 3/6/2014 7:35:00 PM
Well, wot type of cologne was it?
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Chris D. Aechtner
Date: 3/6/2014 6:35:00 PM
And for his nice smile, right?
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Cyndi MacMillan
Date: 3/6/2014 6:28:00 PM
Ruben I picked because he is plucky, cheeky and if I want to whimper, "STOP COACH!" he will say something witty, inspiring and I will find myself rising to my feet, chuckling and saying, "Okay, one more round." LOL...
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Chris D. Aechtner
Date: 3/6/2014 5:30:00 PM
Ruben is looking very handsome in his avatar. Good choice. Such a nice smile. If I didn't know any better, he's wearing a button-up shirt too. I wonder wot type of cologne he was wearing in that shot? Something refined and mature, or maybe with a hint of energy; something more sporty?
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Cyndi MacMillan
Date: 3/6/2014 5:18:00 PM
PS ... do I get to pick my personal trainer? Ha ha! DIBS ON RUBEN!
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Cyndi MacMillan
Date: 3/6/2014 5:14:00 PM
LOL... +/- .... it's like watching Shane and seeing him slump and hearing "He's dead." "No, he's not." "of course he is" ARGH! LOL.. okay, I'll stop. Be mysterious, damn you.
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Cyndi MacMillan
Date: 3/6/2014 5:13:00 PM
I'd say that Chris is Adonis.. ahem.. but er... don't want to get any 'men' hot and bothered with a Greek god reference. Damn. Sometimes I just can't help myself.
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Chris D. Aechtner
Date: 3/6/2014 5:08:00 PM
Debbie, I used to put up bio photos of myself when I had a PM. Don't you remember? Yes, Doobie, I see your point. We can be more of one thing than another. Cyndi, I want there to be some remaining enigma with the +/-, beyond the obvious duality concept. How about +/- is anything that you want it to be?
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Cyndi MacMillan
Date: 3/6/2014 5:02:00 PM
Love means never having to say you're sorry. WA HA HA (a la Ruben) Love means being yourself... I ruffle her feathers, she hits me with a pillow. Hugs to you, Maverick. NoW TELL ME WHAT +/- means ...
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Debbie Guzzi
Date: 3/6/2014 4:57:00 PM
and I bet you're handsome too cause you never let us see a picture! [of course both sides are needed but perhaps each of us is more 1 than the other?]
Date: 3/6/2014 4:53:00 PM
Okay, to clarify, if you don't start off with a slim outline, an idea of where you are going, this is what happens. You get to chapter seven and YOU HAVE TO REWRITE CHAPTERS ONE TO SIX.. because everything, absolutely everything changed. A story should come to a resolution.. what is started, finishes... must go and eat. Back later. LOVE YA
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Cyndi MacMillan
Date: 3/6/2014 5:00:00 PM
Read below.. that could be a short story. A short story is 1000-5000 words. You could do that. I know you could
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Debbie Guzzi
Date: 3/6/2014 4:55:00 PM
don't talk about a novel its too much .. I write [it seems] character driven [not plot driven stories ie they're about me most of the time LOL] baby steps Sis baby steps
Date: 3/6/2014 4:47:00 PM
well believe you me I don't intend to write a novel when I can't distinguish the parts of a story LOL and it feels like you're yelling at me I don't learn well when someone screams at me. I ;) got a metal BLOCK I don't wanta outline NO FUN!!
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Cyndi MacMillan
Date: 3/6/2014 4:49:00 PM
Read below.. see if that makes sense. I WANT TO HELP
Date: 3/6/2014 4:45:00 PM
Thank you for taking my name off of the blog! Whew! I am not that tight-assed hon. Sheesh! I build a character, create a plot and then introduce the two and go with the flow. The most amazing things happen when you get past the 15,000 words! Around the fifth chapter, the character stretches, looks at you and says, "Come on, follow me, love." and all good writers DO.
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Date: 3/6/2014 4:44:00 PM
Sorry it still doesn't make a clear connection in my mind to me the story is what happens, it's like I have a hard time not seeing the end as the climax until someone said to me its the point from which the action winds down. I kind of get that now [kind of]
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Cyndi MacMillan
Date: 3/6/2014 4:51:00 PM
His bomb killed 26 people. Why does she want to save a man who killed 26 people?
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Cyndi MacMillan
Date: 3/6/2014 4:50:00 PM
So... what does she feel?When she meets him? Does she hate him at first? Does she shock herself? He is on death row... maybe you think, I will crush this guy... she surprises you. SHE FIGHTS TO SAVE HIM
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Cyndi MacMillan
Date: 3/6/2014 4:48:00 PM
Hmmm... plot... I will write a blog. For now. A quickie. Jane goes to a restaurant. The place blows up. She lives. = Plot. Jane goes to a restaurant, the place blows up, she lives, but she is filled with fear, becomes a hermit, stops trusting people... then decides to meet the bomber. In jail, face to face=story
Date: 3/6/2014 4:42:00 PM
Apparently, lol, I really got to get that plot blog up. A vignette is a scene, one part of a story. A story provides a chance for your character to be changed in some way... for the better or for the worst. Hmmm... plot. Oh, Shakespeare is both the king of plot and character.. think Romeo and Juliet... Romeo ranting, "I curse you stars!" THAT IS PLOT DRIVEN. Fate working... I am not a big fan of plot driven fiction.
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Date: 3/6/2014 4:33:00 PM
Plot is what happens. Story is HOW what happens changes the character.
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Date: 3/6/2014 4:27:00 PM
An editor wrote back and said we like more plot driven stories, I said Hmmmmm what's that LOL, I thought mine is 'character driven' LOL & it is! But thank the lord at least that IS a type of story! [not a scene/ or a vignette]
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Cyndi MacMillan
Date: 3/6/2014 4:32:00 PM
Nora Roberts writes a 100 page outline. (not crapping you) then she "fills in" the story with dialogue, description, edits it to the teeth. This is not the way I write.
Date: 3/6/2014 4:25:00 PM
heck I wrote this 'story' and I say this loosely because at that point I didn't even realize it wasn't a story it was a scene or a vignette, I wasn't at all aware of the terminology - so I didn't really have in the forfront of my mind the old school [grammar school] thing who what when where why and how? NOPE I didn't even have all those elements so it was a short story! [PS that was my Shaman in training 'story' that was NOW & Months ago it still has very little plot & that's what got me going on this]
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Cyndi MacMillan
Date: 3/6/2014 4:30:00 PM
It is about balance, hon. You are good at balance. You give balance to others. You think ahead, ponder what MAY MAY MAY happen and then listen to your character as he/she grows. As I told you, I once started to write a romance, and he became a bastard and she killed him. Does that sound like I KNEW "exactly" what was going to happen?
Date: 3/6/2014 4:13:00 PM
ROFLMAO! Nope. I am neither. I create an outline, then let my story flow from it. As a character develops, she/he will move away from a plotline. I do not keep the plot tight, but like to have an idea where I MAY head. Of COURSE, I allow for spontaneity!!!! Are you kidding me????? No writer is an either/or. Most are BOTH. Next time you are wondering HOW I write, feel free to ask me. It's like this. Do you say. I'm going into my car and I'm going to start it up. I have no intention of turning left nor right. I'll just sit in my car and see what happens. NO! You think, hmm, I have a plan. I'll go the beach... then, you drive to the beach, but you see an antique shop. You change your mind. Then, you think, hmm, I may get to the beach tomorrow. There is an inn across the street. Maybe, I'll stay the night, there. THIS IS WHAT FICTION WRITERS DO. They have a basic idea of what their plot is, but are open to some meanderings because it is part of the creative process. I am certainly NOT an architect. My characters are fleshy enough to move me. GOTTA FLY>
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MacMillan Avatar
Cyndi MacMillan
Date: 3/6/2014 4:27:00 PM
Novels, because of their length, require a bit of forethought. We're talking 75,000 words. You don't start on a trip to Peru with not even a pair of socks, right? Some planning is necessary. Not a short story. A novel!!!
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Cyndi MacMillan
Date: 3/6/2014 4:24:00 PM
I do not write the way you are saying, it has confused me.. not angry, but damn, yes frustrated. HUH? I don't write that way!
MacMillan Avatar
Cyndi MacMillan
Date: 3/6/2014 4:23:00 PM
An outline can be reworked, forgotten and edited until it is no longer what it was when first penned. This writer friend of yours sounds like the architect. Not me!
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Cyndi MacMillan
Date: 3/6/2014 4:22:00 PM
An outline is a ... hmmm... a slight idea. An outline can be left, tossed, scrunched and burned!
Guzzi Avatar
Debbie Guzzi
Date: 3/6/2014 4:21:00 PM
yike don't get mad at me? I'm not sure why you assume every acts the same? I'm not a big planner. and of course the best writers can do and knowingly do both, I am not the fiction writer you are so these are new concepts to me, maybe they're new concepts to others?
MacMillan Avatar
Cyndi MacMillan
Date: 3/6/2014 4:21:00 PM
Guzzi Avatar
Debbie Guzzi
Date: 3/6/2014 4:18:00 PM
creating the outline is the definition of being an architect, you are the one who has been steering me to make an outline ;) I am going to try a bit more to do this BUT for me that takes ALL the fun out of it, it makes it WORK [certainly it makes it MUCH less pleasurable to me?]
Date: 3/6/2014 3:58:00 PM
I believe myself to be the gardener. I seldom know for sure how a poem is going to end, just the basic idea of it. Joyce
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Date: 3/6/2014 3:37:00 PM
I don't know but I would think I'm probably a gardener too, debbie, because I enjoy character driven novels and films as opposed to plot driven ones, and I don't like too much rigidity when writing...interesting blog :)
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Date: 3/6/2014 2:14:00 PM
I'm a gardener. I seldom have any clear noton of what's going to happen with my characters. I just let things play out. Sometimes I'll begin writing about a character that I think I'm gonna like, but then end up hating his or her guts before the story is over.
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My Past Blog Posts

Fear - Eternal & Everlasting
Date Posted: 9/21/2017 5:03:00 PM
Fear Contest
Date Posted: 8/31/2017 8:05:00 PM
Pretty Please - haibun contest UPDATE
Date Posted: 8/7/2017 7:41:00 PM
Contests UPDATE
Date Posted: 7/26/2017 9:42:00 PM
Date Posted: 4/25/2017 3:57:00 PM
1984 Time Has Come Again
Date Posted: 4/1/2017 5:15:00 PM
You Say You Want a Revolution JUDGED
Date Posted: 1/22/2017 6:27:00 PM
Congratulations on the Angel Contest
Date Posted: 1/6/2017 4:31:00 PM
Angel Contest - Terzanelle
Date Posted: 12/15/2016 4:53:00 PM
Shout out to my Students!
Date Posted: 7/14/2016 5:21:00 PM
Become Part of an Anthology!
Date Posted: 5/9/2016 10:51:00 AM
Robert Lindley - Danetta Barney - Teppo The Sonneteers
Date Posted: 2/23/2016 3:24:00 PM
Beg. of Line Rhyme Sonnet Teppo Gren, Acrostic Sonnet & Sestina Sonnet Barney & Lindley
Date Posted: 2/19/2016 4:21:00 PM
ECHO Sonnet by Robert Lindley and CHAIN sonnet by Danetta Barney
Date Posted: 2/15/2016 3:29:00 PM
6 Days 6 Poets 6 SONNETS - Contest without FEE
Date Posted: 2/5/2016 4:07:00 PM
Biographies and Cover Letters Let's Get to Work
Date Posted: 1/18/2016 4:16:00 PM
THE TENTH POEM & stragelers
Date Posted: 1/6/2016 9:51:00 AM
Santa Around the World
Date Posted: 12/15/2015 8:04:00 PM
Why Not Give Haibun Today a TRY
Date Posted: 11/27/2015 5:08:00 PM
Amazon Contest
Date Posted: 11/25/2015 3:19:00 PM
Wonderful, Wonderful Verses in the Retourne Contest
Date Posted: 11/21/2015 7:33:00 PM
Get By with a Little News from Your Friends
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Free Give Away
Date Posted: 9/30/2015 8:11:00 AM
Hello SOUPers!
Date Posted: 9/24/2015 8:44:00 AM
I Need Advice-Help Me Learn to TWEET
Date Posted: 8/30/2015 4:20:00 PM

My Recent Poems

Date PostedPoemTitleFormCategories
7/30/2017 war and peace Free verseage,betrayal,truth,
7/27/2017 Mein Kampf My Struggle Haibunanxiety,racism,
7/24/2017 Displaced in Kathmandu Haibunanxiety,fear,war,
6/8/2017 haiku 1a Haikulife,
4/24/2017 Swingin on a Star Free verseallusion,art,beauty,
4/9/2017 A Lost Kind Returns Sonnetfreedom,heartbroken,loss,
3/28/2017 Behind the Architects Crystal Lens Verseart,travel,
3/3/2017 Shadow Puppets Sonnethumor,
2/14/2017 Daughter of Oak and Ash Pantoumcaregiving,love,racism,
1/26/2017 The Moons Yellow Eyes Haibunevil,farewell,
1/10/2017 High Noon at Karnak Free versehistory,
9/21/2016 Cairns Edge Lyricage,autumn,ocean,
9/10/2016 Prickly Heat Haibunlost love,
7/19/2016 Repeter Depuis le Debut Free verseart,marriage,
7/19/2016 It Is a Rose Sprung Free verseabuse,meaningful,race,rel
7/8/2016 The Sparrows of Dom St Peter Versechildren,faith,music,
5/13/2016 Golden Disks and Whale Clicks Free verseearth,eulogy,
5/1/2016 Cathedrale St Sauveur Aix en Provence, France Verseart,faith,
4/12/2016 Neap Tide Blank verseage,beauty,love,
4/2/2016 Red Sky over Cairo Free verseanxiety,fear,travel,
3/31/2016 Monet's Garden Villanelleart,travel,vacation,
1/31/2016 A Hail Mary Pass to the Twenty-First Century Free verseanger,angst,bullying,fear
1/31/2016 Breathless Prose Poetryhope,
1/29/2016 The Guardian at the Gate Ekphrasismyth,
1/16/2016 You Gotta Have Heart Ekphrasisart,
1/6/2016 Spectors of Doom Shapeangst,war,
1/5/2016 Blood Masks the Lea Rondeaudeath,war,
1/4/2016 A Swallows Tears Sonnetaddiction,suicide,
12/14/2015 A Blooded, Virgin, Night Free versepain,
12/5/2015 Madelaine's Chalice Versedevotion,love,
11/29/2015 Blessed Be Versenature,
11/29/2015 Ho-Ho-Ho Haibunholiday,
11/17/2015 Golden Disks and Whale Clicks Free versespace,
11/9/2015 Spare Change Coupletseasons,
10/29/2015 Cymbals of Winter Free verseurban,wind,winter,
10/28/2015 fingertips Haikusilence,
10/28/2015 Death Undignified, Fort Laramie 1860 Sestinamemory,
10/27/2015 A Kneaded Life Haibunage,dream,love,
10/23/2015 The Sowing Free verseirony,violence,women,
10/21/2015 When Madness Rides on Moonlight Sestinaanxiety,art,depression,su
10/19/2015 St Brigids Well Sonnetchildren,spiritual,women,
10/13/2015 Lurkers at the Threshold Lovecraft Credited Verseanalogy,universe,
10/12/2015 Gobsmacked Gams Terzanelleallegory,art,childhood,
10/12/2015 To Dumb to Lay Down Free verseallegory,
9/20/2015 verbous and obscure Blitzallusion,
9/11/2015 Put the Past Aside - The Dark Side of the Moon Versedepression,
8/23/2015 The Melting Pot Prosechildhood,
8/8/2015 howl beyond reason Blitzanalogy,crazy,word play,
8/7/2015 under and over Blitzfear,universe,
8/5/2015 Vive la Liberte Free verseviolence,visionary,war,
8/3/2015 Underground Art Montmartre Free verseart,
7/23/2015 Maudlin Mary Ekphrasisallusion,symbolism,woman,
7/20/2015 Fire-Crackers Acrosticdeath,war,
7/20/2015 Mary's Shrift Free versedevotion,discrimination,
7/20/2015 Stoned Free verseanger,
7/20/2015 Top Dressing Free versespring,daffodils,
7/13/2015 Just Desserts and Appetizers Haibunboat,fun,summer,
7/7/2015 Brooding Rooted Free versebeauty,blessing,
6/26/2015 Summer Stews Sijofun,
6/19/2015 False Love Quintain (English)lost love,
6/14/2015 Risen from the Foam Ottava rimaallegory,beauty,love,
6/4/2015 Cling Sijoadventure,
5/14/2015 The Mirage Free versebeauty,family,
4/29/2015 A Day in the Life of a Bag of Potatoes Free versechange,
4/28/2015 Spider Robinson's Plug In Sijoaddiction,
4/27/2015 The Sandy Shoal Free versedeath,
4/26/2015 A Stream of Laughter Free versechildren,nature,
4/25/2015 Boxed In Free verseabsence,beauty,love,
4/21/2015 Pick Your Poison Acrosticabuse,death,
4/20/2015 The Tall Ships Burn Villanelleart,
4/19/2015 I, ICON Acrosticself,
4/17/2015 The Song of Deborah Bioallegory,
4/15/2015 Barred Camp Sonnetfunny,
4/15/2015 Cross Pollination Versefaith,nature,
4/13/2015 The Wayward Child Pantoumfairy,
4/12/2015 Straw Men Free verseallusion,planet,
4/5/2015 Elemental Answers to Being Verselife,
4/3/2015 Mother's Days Acrosticmother,
4/3/2015 A Crown of Thorns Crown of Sonnetsbeauty,betrayal,identity,
4/2/2015 Sun and Life Painting by Frida Kahlo 1947 Free verseart,
3/31/2015 AFI 9th Art Wave Tankaart,
3/31/2015 AFI TAG ART Tankaart,
3/28/2015 Van Gogh sans une Oreille Free verseart,
3/27/2015 School's Out Haibunkiss,snow,
3/21/2015 The Teetotaler Terzanellememory,
3/20/2015 The Sin and God Within Verseallusion,faith,forgivenes
3/20/2015 A Penny for My Thoughts Sonnetcreation,
3/18/2015 What Dreams Are Made Of Versefear,night,
3/15/2015 Steamers Free versesummer,
3/10/2015 A Mother Drawn Free versebeauty,birth,earth,faith,
3/9/2015 The Precipice Free verseart,
3/5/2015 The Score Free verseloneliness,night,
3/3/2015 Moonlight Serenade Haibunsensual,
3/1/2015 Trumpets of the Dawn Sonnetflower,
3/1/2015 Femme Fatales Balladbirth,mythology,woman,
2/28/2015 The Doldrums of March Free verseloneliness,daffodils,
2/26/2015 Death Tolls Free versebeach,beauty,bird,ocean,
2/24/2015 Forgotten Valentine Haibunsad,
2/21/2015 Ice Castings Pantoumbeauty,
2/20/2015 Amusing Free versemuse,

My Photos

Fav Poems

God Free verselife,mystery,
Hard Times Cowboycowboy-western,family,fun
For Things Once Counted Rhymeintrospection,loss,uplift
Petal Verselove,
Defender of the Wastes Free verseart,life,parody,world,
Birth Imagismchildhood,life
this is why i woo words Verseart,inspirational,philoso
Forbear Free versesad,
Belongings Rhymeloss,love,me,mother,
Gold Fever Free versefaithfaith,political,pers
Splattered I do not know?life
Echo Quatrainlost lovewords,love,
Bells (after Poe) Lyricpassion
Respectfully, Emily Dickinson Lyricintrospection
Give the End Back to the Beginning Free versededication,faithme,
The Bruised and Rotting Pear Coupletfaith,hope
fly Free verseanimals
ABC's for a Young Captain ABClife
Not Entirely About Living In New York Free verselifeworld,light,light,
Woodcutter I do not know?warold,old,
Dreams Free versefaith,forgiveness
A Feed of Chips Narrativefunny
Weep O Willows Versedeath
Harlem Blues Free verseblack-african amerchildre
Summers Everlasting Free versenostalgia
EASTER IVY Narrativefriendshipeaster,cousin,
End of days Rhymeinspirational,lifeme,war,
Past-Life Nightmare Narrativemystery,autumn,
I dream of you (to JEW) Free verseimagination,lovenight,swe
jellyfish back strophe Imagismallegory,nature,on writin
Disposable Wisdom Rhymeage,cat,life,wisdom,world
Loneliness Rhymeintrospection,life
Remission (In Memory of William Watt). Elegybrother,death,nostalgiawo
The Day That Died Forever Free verseadventure,angst,art,confu
Heritage Quatrainadventure,cowboy-western,
Summer Matinee Narrativebrother,me,
The Moon and I I do not know?hope,life,love,nature,pea
Seeking, Searching Free verseimaginationlove,universe,
BEFORE SPRING CAME Narrativeadventure,animals,childho
Pledge Sonnetdevotion
Wild Cherries Free versedevotion,nature,nostalgia
Words from the Oracle Layallegory,philosophy
Science Free verse 
Mona Lisa resembles Chokaart
AND WITH MERRIEST SPIRIT Quintain (English)faith,father,holiday,insp
Cotton-Pickin' Paradise Versechildhood,life,nostalgia,
Where The Sycamore Grew Narrativeautumn,family,house,life,
Larks Free versedeath,devotion,imaginatio
Big Bang Limerickfunny,science,
winter (do not forget among the loss of flowers) me Free verse 
Violin Personificationdeath,love,rose,
Let I do not know?loveme,me,
He Was Smoking Hot I do not know?funny
Alabaster Night Free versenature,planet,sea,
Haunted Orb Haikufantasy,nature
This Night Sonnet 
Tombstones & Teacups Rhymeallegory,childhood,death,
Today Not Tomorrow Free versededication,depression,gir
Years Of The Rose Free verselost love,loveday,
The Joy that Sweetly Stays Free verse 
Cinder Girl Rhyme 
Biography (Thesis Statement) Versehistory,life,philosophyli
Figure Fusion Verseart,sports
Dancing Bird - with video link Free verseanimals,introspection,nat
Poem for a sensuous poet Free versefantasy,on writing and wo
The Road Walked Down Through the Years Rhymelife,on writing and words
The Iceman Cometh! Rhymenostalgia
He says/ She says Narrativelife
I've seen so many Sonnetintrospectionnight,night,
Searching for Michelangelo Free verseart,hope,life,people,imag
Indifference Free verse 
realisation of self (War Child) Free verseme,me,
Reporting Live On The Soup (Colorado) Rhymefunnyme,me,
Late at night Lyricimaginationme,fear,me,
Reverencing Nature Balladfaith,naturenature,heart,
Dreams Coupletimagination
Simple Pleasures Rhymehappinesssummer,summer,
I Exist Pantoumintrospectionlife,me,
Madrid: Circa 1974 Blank versenostalgia,travel,
Magnolia Song Free verselove,romance,
yellow bus roars through Haikuallegory,nature,places
Ethel's Remedies Rhymefunny,people
A Dream In The Mist Narrativefantasy,imagination,natur
volga 1 - 3 Prose Poetryfantasy
Mama's Cleaning Quatrainintrospection,life,mother
WAKING HEART'S VEINS Free verseangst,hope,
Revelation Free verseimagination,lifesong,epic
Sports Limerick Limerickfunny
The Snowflake Italian Sonnetromance,
Jack Lyricintrospectionlife,
The Ghost That Travels Far Personificationnature
Kite Flying - Test Free verseallegory,art,imagination,
Dining with Crow Rhymeanimals
Beauty, yes Sijohope,imagination,philosop
Smart and Final Prose Prose Poetrypeoplepeople,red,city,peo
Tiger in the Sea Rispettoadventure,animals,seame,t
A Song of Michael's Rose Narrativeme,
Where my True Love Lives - A Ballade Balladedeath,love,ocean,
Into Morning Free verselife
Play Me A Teardrop Rhymelost loveme,me,

Fav Poets

Carolyn Devonshire United States Flag United States Read
Carrie Richards United States Flag United States Read
Deirdre Omaidin Ireland Flag Ireland Read
Andrew Crisci United States Flag United States Read
Jim Fish United States Flag United States Read
Nigel Fawcett Italy Flag Italy Read
L'nass Shango United States Flag United States Read
Andrea Dietrich United States Flag United States Read
Robert L. Hinshaw United States Flag United States Read
Chris D. Aechtner Canada Flag Canada Read
nette onclaud Philippines Flag Philippines Read
Sidney Beck Russian Federation Flag Russian Federation Read
Sami Al-khalili Canada Flag Canada Read
Charlotte Jade Puddifoot United Kingdom Flag United Kingdom Read
Cyndi MacMillan Canada Flag Canada Read
T Wignesan France Flag France Read
Elaine George Canada Flag Canada Read
sharon Winter United States Flag United States Read
Michael Smith United States Flag United States Read
jack horne United Kingdom Flag United Kingdom Read
Paul Callus Malta Flag Malta Read
Charmaine Chircop Malta Flag Malta Read
James Marshall Goff United States Flag United States Read
Joann Grisetti United States Flag United States Read
Ravindra K Kapoor India Flag India Read
Olive Eloisa Guillermo - Fraser Philippines Flag Philippines Read
kathryn collins United States Flag United States Read
Teppo Gren Finland Flag Finland Read
Michael Jordan United States Flag United States Read