Monday, February 7, 2011


Happy Monday everyone. I hope you all had a safe and pleasant weekend. I want to thank my wonderful followers who have shown me so much love and support with my Earthly Angels posts.

I am dedicating this Earthly Angels segment to all the mothers.

Several years ago my mom past away on February 6th. She was in my thoughts all day yesterday. She was there for me always, and now her spirit lingers on through me.

I realized a mother's job is beyond important, not only to look after her family, but to nurture and instill values in her children in order for them to grow up to be kind an caring adults.

Now guys don't get up in arms. A dad's influence is equally important. Your silent strength is the support for the moms. Without you, their job would be that much harder. Single moms should be admired most of all.

Reading through the comments over the past few days I've learned so much about all of you. So many of my blogging friends are mothers and several are teachers as well.

How special are you?

Not only do you take care of your own children, but you take care of and teach other people's children. So much devotion, effort, and time. How do you do it?

Take a bow ladies. You are super woman. You should be loved and more importantly appreciated. This is for all of you. You earn your wings everyday..... Thank You,  Earthly Angels!

The next time you feel overwhelmed I hope you remember this post.

I send you all a Michael bear hug.... You can use a hug. Now go hug your children.

I want to hear about your mom. Tell me how awesome she is ....

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Today is also Brenda Drake's first line contest. Post the first line of your novel and enter to win an agent critique. So easy .... so much fun. Here is my entry.

Name: Michael Di Gesu
Title: The Blinded Gardener
Genre: Y/A Contemporary

Meeting Danny changed my life forever. 

New version... represents the tone of the book and makes the character more masculine... I hope.

Meeting Danny altered the only life I knew: a living punching bag.


  1. Hi Michael,

    Thanks for sharing this. I don't know what I'd do without my mother. Or my father. Both are foundations for me.

    Your first line is clean, simple, but expected. There's nothing that sticks out really. If you're looking to change it around, get another tidbit in there about what's different in their meeting. Get some voice in there, possibly. An example:

    "Meeting Danny changed my life forever; I mean you know, not universe changing, but in my own way."

    That little extra does something. Think about it.

    In My Write Mind

  2. I'm sorry yesterday was sad for you.

    I try to be the best mom I can. Too often, I fail. But I hope my kids will remember some of my more shining moments when I'm gone.

    My mother has a lot of problems, so there's not much good I can say. She like that I write, and is very supportive.

  3. My mom's great. I was definitely her favorite.

  4. I'm sorry about your mom. As for your first line, it's effective but not catching. I don't really feel I can offer suggestions without having read the work. I also think if the impact is coming shortly it might not be so bad if the first line isn't catchy.

  5. Sorry about your loss. Mom's are special.
    Yes your line is concise. But I agree, may need just a bit extra.... context... voice

  6. I'm sorry for your Mom. Moms really are special.

    Your first line, while concise, doesn't quite grab. You don't need to give everything away, but a little flavor would help. A lot of YA is about someone coming along and changing the MC's life; give us a taste of what makes this case unique.

  7. I am sorry for your loss. Your mom would be proud that she raised someone so mindful and caring. I'm going to go hug my kids extra this morning, thanks!

    I like your first line, but agree that it needs a little something more. Of course, I have no context to know what the story is about, but maybe something like the first commenter-Justin-suggested. Just give me a little more to nibble on. Are you a girl or a boy? Was the change good or bad? Is this a deep thought kind of change or is this a real actual change? You're my first stop on this blog party, I am glad I found a new blog to follow. I hope you come visit mine... good luck!

  8. I'm so sorry for your loss, Michael. The only thing that will help is time...Sharing your positive feelings about your mom is a great way to honor her and to help yourself heal.

    I love your first line! It got my attention. I'd read on for sure...

  9. I agree with Justin about your first line. Spice it up a bit.

    And, sorry you had a sad day yesterday!

  10. Michael, I'm so sorry about your mum.

    I don't know what I'd do without either of my parents, really. They are just so supportive, nd have always been there for me.

  11. So sorry about your mom. Hugs to you. I really like your first line and it does make me want to read on...wanting to know how it was life changing. A bit more as suggested from others would work too, but I do like it as is. Good luck!

  12. That was a sweet tribute to your mom Michael.

    As for the line; I feel my focus as a reader is on Danny, and not the POV character. I'd like to see more about MC who's head I'll be residing in while reading his story.

    It also makes me think this story is a romance - and from other readings, I know there is a lot more to your character and his story than that.

    Good luck in the contest.


  13. Hi Michael, what a wonderful tribute to moms. I think we all felt that hug! No question your mom would love your first line!

    Firsts are tricky sometimes. I think yours works fine, but needs to be coupled with a second line to add what the others are asking for. Or maybe just add a little intrigue in the line itself by identifying something about Danny: Meeting a no-boundaries kid like Danny changed my life forever, eg.

    I've been struggling with an opening line myself lately. Would love some feedback! Here it is:

    "Three days after we settled in London, a shadow I thought I’d seen moving behind me as I explored the city fleshed itself out in the form of a dark suit that breezed past my left elbow."

  14. Wonderful and moving post about mothers, thank you for sharing such kind thoughts.

    Your first sentence doesn't pop on its own. I suspect there's more in the first pararaph, but as a stand alone, it does lack voice. However, it's also intriguing - I mean, what was life changing?

  15. It's nice that you can think back to the good times with your mom. I live about 3 hours away from mine, but we talk and email a couple times a week.

    And thanks for the shout-out to teacher/moms. We're a tired group of people, but also very happy. :) (and I don't think I would make a very good single mom - God bless those girls)

  16. Hugs to you about your Mom, Michael. How lucky for you that you had such a special relationship with her. No doubt she looks over you still.

  17. Michael~

    First off, love the foirst line for the blogfest! well done. makes me want to read more.

    My mom, well she died 8 years ago in a carwreck from drinking and driving. My mom was everything to me despite her drinking habits. And her most important lesson to give me was her death. I don't drink and drive because of her, and I instill not drinking and driving into my children because of her. She proabably saved my life with hers. Thats the silver lining of it. I respect her, I love her, and her loss was my most traumatic experience. This was a nice post. Thank you for reminding me that people appreciate what mothers do.

  18. Michael, mothers are indeed special in the lives of their children. I am sorry for the pain yesterday brought with some of its memories.

    Your first sentence has it all. It is short, powerful, and entices the curiosity. Great job. Roland

  19. I'm sorry you lost your mother. That loss is never easy.
    How about the even shorter:
    Meeting Danny changed my life.

  20. Hi! I read through some of the comments before making my own, and I have two suggestions. I would either elaborate a little on how Danny changed the MC's life forever. Or, like Elaine AM Smith said, I would shorten it even more to "Meeting Danny changed my life." It just sounds a little punchier. I must admit your first line makes me curious. I want to know who the MC is, who Danny is, and why Danny changed the MC's life.

  21. Hats off to all the mom's who have touched our lives! What a touching tribute Michael, I love it! You're blogfest entry is excellent! It has piqued my curiosity. Best of luck in the contest!

  22. I'm sorry about your mother. I'll pray for you and your loved ones!

    I think I would go for something more elaborate in your first line, or else change it so that it's not a cliche. I like Ashley's and Elaine's ideas of making it shorter, which I think would also work.

    Your update is good, but what's different or unique or unexpected about Danny that would lead me to continue reading line two?

  23. I can feel the closeness you had with your mom. Why can't our moms be around forever? I wish mine could be. My mom is the rock in my family. Who else can I call when I'm mad at my sister, frustrated over my children, get that one recipe again, ask how to make gravy just once more?

    I like the first line. Meeting Danny changed my life forever. Automatically we would read the next line to see if the voice and writing is appealing enough to continue. You've done your job piquing an interest in a reader based on one line. Great job!

  24. Hello fellow Dark and Stormy Night participant! I understand the pain and grief about losing someone- especially someone as special as your mother. I'm sorry you've lost her, but I do feel happiness that you had a chance to have her in your life. As for all the teachers you recognized- bravo! They have the most honorable job there is out there, next to parenthood. They deserve that round of applause!

    Your contest entry;

    The first thing I wonder is why meeting Danny changed your life forever, so I'd definitely keep reading the next sentence to see why and who was speaking. A very simple sentence, but it causes a lot of questions- who is speaking (and a few others)?

    Best of luck with the contest!

  25. I'm sorry yesterday was sad but it is really incredible that you carry her with you always and know she's with you. That's wonderful.
    My mom is the greatest woman I have ever met in my whole life. Strong, giving, kind, tough, funny, and sincere. I can only imagine how hard losing a mother must be. My heart goes out to you!

  26. Second version is better, but is still just a bit of a stereotype.

  27. My mom is awesome.

    I miss her terribly, and she's only been away from home for four hours.

    She's flying to Germany on business.


  28. I'm so sorry to hear about your mom.

    Wonderful tribute!

    I like the second version!

  29. Hey, I like that first line!!! And what a sweet, thoughtful post! I'm sorry you lost your mom, though... (((big bear hug))) back to you! :o) <3

  30. A beautiful and moving tribute to your mom; your words have really touched me.

    Now I'm going to be controversial here, but I liked the first line. Given my overly-long first line that will probaly make you laugh. Anyway, both of them hooked me and I'd love to read more!

  31. My mum is also my best friend. She is awesome in every way.

  32. I like your second take of the first line, but I think it is still a little limp. I don't know if there is a way to give a hint at what aspect of the mc's life he's changing. Is it love? Is it good or bad? Maybe something like Danny changed my life in a way I never would have guessed, or wanted (if it's bad). If it's good maybe something like: I had no idea seeing his face would change my world forever.

    Good luck!!

    I'm sorry about your mom. Your post was very touching and I commend you for putting it up for us to read.

  33. Great post. As for the first line, I definitely like the newer version better. Short and concise, it grabs my attention.

  34. We are all here for you! my dad passed away on Earth Day, so I understand how hard the anniversary of losing a loved one is so painful. You are a writer. Words are wonderful on days like that. Thank you for sharing with us.

    Second first line had a little more pep and also brought some intrigue, but it needs some voice.

  35. It's very painful losing your mum. I've lost both my parents now and it was heart-wrenching, but parents leave a legacy. The best thing is when that legacy is positive, as it obviously is in your case Michael.

    I like the way you share your writing projects. Justin Parents has a point. I like his additions, but i'd use some, not all.

    I posted about your Earthly Angels today, and, ahem, sorry I beat you in the No Fear blogfest. Bit of a surprise!


    Publication Party - new session Wednesday!

  36. I'm so sorry Michael. I lost my own mom 23 years ago and my MIL two years ago. I miss them both terribly. Best thing about my mom: singing our lungs out to fifty's music on the 8-track in her Cordoba (with real Corinthian leather!), with the windows down and the wind whipping around us. My mom could be the silliest woman, and I loved that about her.

    Best thing about my MIL was that she accepted me and loved me, even though I was so different from her. Actually, scratch that. The best thing about her was the amazing son she raised--and who married me.


  37. Great post about your mother. From a mother, I know your mom would be very proud of you, Michael. Love the second version of your first line. Good luck and don't forget to post to my blog in the contest post comments. :D

  38. Wow do I like the second version much better. Adds voice and sets the tone for what's to come.

    Great line!

    Christi Corbett

  39. I really like your second version of the line. And your post about mothers and teachers was so nice. I read it aloud to my roomie.

  40. I like your first line, I want to know how this Danny guy happens :D

    Also, my mother is THE BOMB. She is a legend, and my best friend.

  41. Sorry to hear about your mom. They are so very important part of our lives.

    I like the first line, but I agree it needs a little more.

  42. Meeting Danny altered the only life I knew: a living punching bag.

    You have "life" and then "living" in just a few words, and it makes the opening sound repetitive. I'd rewrite again to convey the same meaning, but with different words.

    I wrote about my own mother on the anniversary of her passing in a piece called Wildcats.

  43. What a lovely post!

    As for your first line: I love the tweaked version. It certainly gives it some punch (like literally, LOL!)!

  44. I love this new version, Michael! What if you changed 'altered' to 'changed'? You've probably gone back and forth but 'changed' hits the beat harder and feels more effective to me. Just a thought.

  45. This is a great post. You sound so spiritual.

  46. Love your Angel. Loved your first line too.

  47. I liked your revised line. Lots of tension. Thanks for dropping by my blog!

  48. Michael, You made me cry. I'm so sorry for the loss of your mother, but a mother's love is never lost. In my novel I touch on this theme. Touch, heck... it's woven throughout. My protagonist lost her mother when she was young. But even beyond the grave she taught her daughter the lessons of life. And as a mother, our kids teach us too. Your Mom is so proud of you, and you thought of her all day because she was with you all day.

    I love your first line! It's short and powerful. Speaks volumes. Sets the tone. The character. And I want to know why. Excellent job.

  49. Thank you! What a wonderful tribute to mothers.

  50. Thank you for your beautiful message of encouragement - and the bear hug!

    I don't have a sure comment about your first line... I prefer the first version because shorter & simpler definitely seems more powerful. And yet it doesn't have as much "voice" as it could... Hmm... I don't know!

  51. This is such a wonderful message, Michael. Thank you. I lost my mom unexpectedly back in 2006 and I've missed her every single day since. She was such a champion of my dream to be a published author - one of my biggest fans! Not to mention, the anchor and the life to our little family. She made everything fun. She was the keeper of our traditions and a wonderful friend. I'm tearing up just typing this... but, I agree. A FABULOUS mom is such an important influence for a child and I can only applaud the women out there that rise to the challenge! :) (btw - your second 1st sentence is much stronger - great job!)

  52. A Michael bear hug- wonderful! *hugs back*

    Thank you for the encouraging words to moms everywhere. Your mom would be proud, I am sure.

    I like your revised line better than the first. How about "human punching bag" instead of "living"?


  53. *hugz* Sorry for your loss!

    Thank you for reminding me of the blogfest! I nearly forgot! I like your simple line. It raises lots of questions and expectations.

  54. Michael - Good luck with your first line. I like it. =D

  55. This is a special way to honor your mom, Michael. Thanks for including moms everywhere. You're a special and thoughtful person.

    I like your first line better because it's simpler. But I like what you're getting at with the second, and I can see why you changed it. Hmmm...A way to combine the simplicity and the specificity. "My life as a living punching bag changed after meeting Danny." "My dad used me as a living punching bag and until I met Danny, I let him." Okay, maybe not. Just wanted to give it a shot! CHRISTY

  56. So sorry to hear about your loss. I'm sure yesterday was really hard. Sending you virtual hugs from the blogosphere. My mother calls incessantly and it generally drives me insane. But after reading your post, I won't mind so much today. I like the revised version of your first line. I'd read on for sure.

  57. Wow, so many wonderful comments! Thanks for sharing about your mother, Michael. Children are what make us moms great though, and you sound like you had a lot to do with your mother's greatness :)