Writing Tip: Hook the Reader in the First Line

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You don’t have much time. You need to work fast. Your article or book or whatever it is you are writing to engage a reader/ audience must tease them from the get-go so that they are craving s’more.

I recently spoke to a business group in Newburyport, MA. I spoke about how to get your reader’s attention. I started out my talk with the first line in an article I wrote that was published in Salon.com and reprinted in Working Mother magazine 35th anniversary a few months back. Here is a link. The first line is a hook and bait. Here it is: I didn’t mean to put the tampons in my seven-year-old son’s backpack.

Gotcha.

http://www.workingmother.com/mom-stories/big-switch

Remember, you must come up with something clever, funny, gripping, frightening, shocking, intriguing…. And it must be well-written. Have fun with your ideas.  I come up with my first line or first paragraph (or ledes, in journalism it is called a lede, not a lead) while running or walking the beach. Or driving. Make your words dance.

Snowbirds Flock to New England, Not Florida

TRAVEL FLAVORS

Looking for a thoughtful gift idea or just a great idea for a winter escape? Check out this article I wrote in the Boston Globe

http://www.bostonglobe.com/lifestyle/travel/2014/11/29/snowbird-around-actual-snow/PBXcJuEUHDESIMUHDm8k3I/story.html

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NYC Christmas Windows With Ribbons and Lights and Magical Displays

New York City

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Bundle up, hook arms and admire the City’s festive window displays. New York is absolutely magical during the holidays. The spirit is cheerful, little shops are wrapped in ribbons and lights and the biggest stores are totally decked out for the holidays through New Years. Grab a cup of steamy cocoa and hit the pavement, fa la la la la, la la la la. Here’s a little, self-guided walking tour.

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Begin at the Lord and Taylor windows (38th and 5th Avenue; 212/391- 3344 at Fifth Avenue).

Walk north up Fifth Avenue, past the New York Public Library, to the Saks Fifth Avenue windows at 611 Fifth Avenue (at 49th Street; 212/ 753-4000).

Cross the street to admire the larger-than-life Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center. Continue walking north up Fifth Avenue to Bergdorf Goodman’s windows at 754 Fifth Avenue (at 58th Street).

Walk one block east to Madison Avenue and then…

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Murder, She Wrote. Jessica Fletcher Comes to NYC at Christmastime

Manhattans & Murder (Murder, She Wrote, #2)

New York City dazzles in December with lights, ribbons, carols and jingles. And then there’s this:

Manhattans and Murder is the Murder, She Wrote novel I co-wrote with Donald Bain, my father. I’ve written several with him and this was the second in the series–and now there are 42 novels. And all the novels I wrote with him are still in print and selling strong.

Manhattans and Murder is a great read for those who love a little mystery, a little Jessica and a little NYC at Christmastime.  Jessica comes to Manhattan for a visit and guess what happens? She also visits Sea Cliff, the sweet town on the Long Island Sound where I lived at the time I wrote the scene. It’s about 25 miles from Manhattan.

So, if you feel like a little Christmas, a little mystery and a little New York City, cozy up with this cozy mystery! Oh, and this novel came out awhile ago, but was reissued more recently. How do you like them apples? Also, I have two engagements coming up after the holidays where I’ll be speaking about writing the books, as well as my other writing. I’ll fill you in, so stay tuned.

Thanks, spread the love this holiday. Make it  good day and a better day for someone else. Especially your children and grandchildren 🙂

The Sweet Spot! A Chocolate Suite for Chocolate Lovers!

Got chocolate? So does the Langham Boston. A chocolate buffet and a hotel suite that’s all about the sweet stuff.

http://www.drivethedistrict.com/2014/11/25/chocolate-bar-none/

 

 

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http://www.drivethedistrict.com/2014/11/25/chocolate-bar-none/

Top Ten Spots for Kids in New York City

New York City

Got kids? New York City hearts kids! Here are my picks for the top ten best spots. I wrote this piece for travelmuse several years back but it is evergreen (for the most part.) Note: I would certainly add a couple more spots like the 9/11 museum and High Line (although not for little kids, best for tweens and teens.) http://www.travelmuse.com/articles/new-york/ten-spots-for-kids

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