April 6

Birthdays: Graeme Base (1958), Charles Jackson (1903), Leonora Carrington (1917), Nicholas Chamfort (1741), Darrel Bristow-Bovey (1971)

Tip: Agents and editors do not like “wimpy housewives” or “Mary Jane” (also called Mary Sue) -a character who is too perfect with no flaws. Unrealistic characters—stereotypes with no thoughts other than what the main character in the story puts into their heads and no backbone until the last chapter. Make sure yours aren’t like this. Give them flaws and a backbone (when needed).

Thought for the day: “[The writer] must essentially draw from life as he sees it, lives it, overhears it or steals it, and the truer the writer, perhaps the bigger the blackguard. He lives by biting the hand that feeds him.” – Charles Jackson

Jumpstart: You’ve been given a key that opens one of three chests. Inside one chest is a million dollars, tax free. A second one holds a powerful poison that will kill you instantly. The third is empty. How do you choose which one to open? What happens?

Note: This is National Library Day. Here are some quotes about libraries:

“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero

“Who doesn’t love a library? It is a place you can go in any town and discover the world.” – Pat MacEnulty

“The three most important documents a free society gives are a birth certificate, a passport and a library card.” – E.L. Doctorow

“The only thing you absolutely have to know is the location of the library.” – Albert Einstein

“A library outranks any other one thing a community can do to benefit its people. It is a never failing spring in the desert.” – Andrew Carnegie

“I always knew from that moment, from the time I found myself at home in that little segregated library in the South, all the way up until I walked up the steps of the New York City library, I always felt, in any town, if I can get to a library, I’ll be OK. It really helped me as a child and that never left me.” – Maya Angelou

“A library is a place that is a repository of information and gives every citizen equal access to it. That includes health information. And mental health information. It’s a community space. It’s a place of safety, a haven from the world.” – Neil Gaiman

“Libraries will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no libraries.” – Anne Herbert

“Ordinary people have big TVs. Extraordinary people have big libraries.” – Robin Sharma

“The richest person in the world – in fact all the riches in the world – couldn’t provide you with anything like the endless, incredible loot available at your local library.” – Malcolm Forbes“

I love the Web, but the basis of my work is going through the physical books. When you go to the library, you see other books around on the shelves that you never knew existed. You can flip through a book and see the whole outlines of it.” – Camille Paglia

“I must say I find television very educational. The minute somebody turns it on, I go to the library and read a good book.” – Groucho Marx

“In my world there would be as many public libraries as there are Starbucks.” – Henry Rollins

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