Evelyn's Blog for Wed., September 26, 2018 - ONE MORE GREAT OPENER


In my last blog, I referred to some of the greatest opening lines in fiction. But I neglected to add one for a classic non-fiction book. 

Life is a conversation. Interestingly, the most influential person we talk with all day is ourself, and what we tell ourself has a direct bearing on our behavior, our performance, and our influence on others. In fact, a good case can be made that our self-talk creates our reality.
— Marvin Marshall

Yes, my husband wrote this in his first book, a landmark publication used around the world to handle every discipline problem with young people, to promote responsible behavior and to reduce apathy toward learning. It sold more than 60,000 copies over the last twenty years and continues to sell.

The official title is Discipline Without Stress® Punishments or Rewards: How Teachers and Parents Promote Responsibility &  Learning.  He publishes it on his own website under Piper Press.Inc  and on his Amazon site: MarvinMarshall.

ITEM. Since my next work to be published is a novella and selected short stories: 

“The Piano Player”
A Novella
Selected Short Stories

I think you will be interested in my very first experience with short story writing, “Through the Years.” I had entered a novels writing class, and eventually the instructor announced, “The college is having a short story contest for the Drury Award. I think you people should enter.” So I wrote “Through the Years”.  After the instructor read it, he became visibly excited. But the story lost out to a pre-med student who wrote about an autopsy.  Gore wins over everything. Did that pre-med student ever write another thing? Who knows? My story was published in an anthology that has long ago become defunct.  I have since submitted it now and then, along with other submissions, to other anthologies, but to no avail. This game is very very subjective.  The story is exceptionally good.

The reason I am mentioning the incident to you is that I just re-read the story. It is one of the seed pearls for my novel THE PROVIDER.  The short story is about the relationship between Rosa Voronov and Dolly Rooney. Leme say it again: The story is exceptionally good.


The judge for the upcoming contest is Irish and, I am assuming, has an old world sensibility.  So there’s a chance.  The winners will be announced Dec. 15. The contest is not major; the agents who read about the winners are major. This short story needs someone who cares about it. The instructor in that novels writing class had a Portuguese old world sensibility and he cared about it. (This writer’s blogs are written for readers who care.) 

ITEM. A television reporter interviewed Isac Bashevis Singer when Singer received the Nobel Prize for Literature. “Are you excited, Mr. Singer?” Answer: “What I’m excited about is the story I will begin writing tomorrow morning.”

Here’s how an idea for a short story was born in my experience: During the recent Jewish High Holy Days Services, a little man stepped onto the dais and recited and sang quite well. He looked so unlikely to pull it off. I had thought about him every time he appeared. Yesterday when my husband announced, “Today is the last day of summer,” I combined that announcement with the “unlikely” little man for a short story. I’m very excited about this new story that I’m about to begin writing tomorrow morning.


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My Authored Novels on Amazon