Post 1: February 1, 2016

For some reason, I entered a health/wellness, brain balancing and successful aging kick since the new year. Here’s what I have been reading–may be of interest to some of you:

Grain Brain, David Perlmutter, M.D.

Live Long, Die Short, Roger Landry, M.D.

Drop Dead Healthy, A.J. Jacobs

The Power of NO, James Altucher and Claudia Azula Altucher

Super Brain, Deepak Chopra, M.D. and Rudolph Tanzi, Ph.D

I rounded out the above with Dick Van Dyke’s Keep Moving since it also dealt with tips and truths about aging.

Each book presented the basic principles of healthy living and aging: diet, exercise, keep active/busy, social human contacts etc. which we have heard for years, but need to be reminded now and then if only to put us back on track.

Over the next few months, I may elaborate on each of the books if you like.  Send suggestions on which ones you would like to hear about.  Also share what you have been reading lately.  These posts may make for better give and take among us.

Check for See With Words; Capturing the Essence of Writing.  I’m still trying to find a local printer so I can have some soft-covered books available through my Web site.  The printer I have used in the past is out of business.   I’ll stay in touch with the first fiction book I’ve read so far this year.



SEE With Words–an eBook

SEE With Words; Capturing the Essence of Writing is now an eBook, available through  The book sells for $3.99 and is only available as an eBook for now.  I am hoping to have a soft cover book available within the next month.


Here’s the blurb:

What makes a writer tick?  SEE With Words captures the forever journey of a number of writers’ unique styles and voices.  From one line quotes to full poems, essays and stories SEE With Words portrays the infinite variety of writings; the expressed spirit and passions of the written word.  Perhaps Lord Byron said it best, “A drop of ink may make a million to think.”

Almost there. See With Words; Capturing the Essence of Writing is my next eBook.  Had some problems with Kindle previewer, but I think they are fixed by now so the book should be ready for Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Smashwords before Thanksgiving.  This was a fun project and I’m glad I worked through it.  For starters, it will only be an eBook, but most people read books on their mobile devices anyhow so it should be okay.  I’m thinking of a soft cover book down the road–maybe in January so I can have some at book signings and book fairs.  More to follow so keep checking this Web site.  Thanks for your patience.

Sorry for not keeping up

I have been so negligent keeping you with this post; and I do apologize.  I am using most of the info entitled SEE with Words and also some entries contributors sent to me.  This will be only an eBook sold through Amazon for probably $1.99.  Right now it is being done digitally–as soon as it is completed, I will inform all you  followers that you could  get a book mailed directly to your eReader.  Once this book is in the marketplace, I will then get back to a weekly wring prompt.  Thanks for your patience.

SEE with WORDS: June 17, 2015


Everybody has a story to tell—your time is NOW. OR IS IT!  Before you roll up your sleeves, sharpen some pencils or turn on the computer, clear those dust bunnies from your brain, hone up your imagination to start on your writing journey, STOP, look in the mirror and be candid with the person staring back at you as you answer question #1: why do you want to write?

Writing is a crowded profession—it attracts more people than any of the other arts, made especially popular today with the advent of digital online publishing.  Most people who “have a story to tell” may skip commercial or traditional publishers, even subsidy or vanity presses, and go straight to online eBooks.  It’s faster, easier, and less expensive, and there’s sometime to be said to “I did it my way!”  Approximately 150,000 books are produced each year, and most of them are published by small and independent publishers.

Now answer question #1 honestly.  If you want to write for fame and fortune, its best you turn around and choose another career.   Pure luck can give some people an edge, and for others talent, friends, relatives in the business, or a famous career in the limelight can help their chances of getting noticed and published.

It’s true you do want a salable book, but marketing and promoting are hard work—sometimes you barely break even.  On the other hand, if you are writing because you really have something to say, have the drive of seeing a project through, believe in the truth of your writing regardless of any financial gain, then the chances of accomplishing your goal are reasonable.

Once you answered you writing intentions then proceed to answering the following questions:

  1. What skills do you have for writing?
  2. Is there an audience for your kind of book?
  3. How good are your marketing and promoting skills?
  4. Do you have the financial means to publish a book?
  5. With 150,000 new books a year, what makes yours unique?

You will find that writing is the easy part—publishing and marketing take determination and persistence.  If you are committed to your final goal, then nobility of purpose will see you through.  Writing is a journey—its own reward.



SEE with WORDS: June 16, 2015


  1. Write from the heart.
  2. Write a great book.
  3. Study book marketing.
  4. Know your audience.
  5. Have a great title.
  6. Set giant goals.
  7. Time your efforts.
  8. Develop a business plan.
  9. Network through clubs/associations.
  10. Commit to marketing.
  11. Use book signings.
  12. Get reviews – be public.
  13. Give some books away.


SEE with WORDS: June 13, 2015


Before choosing a publisher or printer

  • Comparison shop–get quotes
  • Look at other books the publisher or printer has produced
  • Talk to other writers who have used the publisher’s or printer’s services
  • Understand the terms of the contract; make sure there are no hidden costs
  • Verify any promises made
  • Find out if the publisher has arrangements with a wholesaler
  • Establish a good working relationship with your contact person
  • Reread the printer’s proofs carefullly; they are the last chance to catch any mistakes
  • Join an organization that offers networking opportunities
  • Take a workshop or attend writers’ conferences to find out what resources are available


SEE with WORDS: May 10, 2015

Consider Some Pros’ Habits 

It’s a known fact the Ernest Hemingway wrote standing at a lectern.  He frequently wrote in pencil and would usually begin his writing with the ritual of sharpening at least a dozen pencils.  Hemingway would shift from foot to foot, and when the writing really began to flow, only then would he sit at his desk to continue.

And Truman Copote described himself as “a completely horizontal writer” and could not think unless he was lying in bed or stretched out on a couch or in a hammock.

Dame Agatha Christie tells us that she plotted her stories early in the morning while sitting in a bathtub of warm water, eating apples.  John Nichols, who wrote The Milagro Beanfield War, also found soaking in a tub of warm water conducive for getting ideas flowing.  I’m not sure what he munched on at 4:00 a.m.  Others who gained inspiration while soaking in a bathtub were Benjamin Franklin, who actually owned the first bathtub in America; the French playwright Edmond Rostand and Vladimir Nabokov both claimed that soaking in a bathtub was conducive to their creativity. A writer friend told me that she needs a grease pencil in the shower.  Must be something about warm water that generates the flow of ideas!

Kitchen tables were also a favorite for a number of authors.  Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote most of Uncle Tom’s Cabin on one.  She managed to squeeze in writing between cooking, sewing, cleaning, and caring for her seven children.  Charlotte, Emily, and Anne Bronte also used the family’s kitchen table to function as a writing desk.  Jane Austen worked at a small round parlor table with hardly enough room for her notebook.  In fact, she was so shy that at the slightest sound of someone approaching, quickly hid whatever she was writing.

Then there’s William Faulkner who maintained he wrote only when it rained.  One wonders how the course of American literature would have changed if Faulkner set YoknapatawphaCounty in Arizona instead of Mississippi.

Tennessee Williams worked seven days a week.  He did not think writing on Sundays was a violation of the Sabbath although he did make one exception – Easter Sunday.  Issac Asimov also wrote every day from 6 a.m. until 10 p.m. and completed 500 books during his career.  Barbara Cartland, who also produced over 500 novels, was still writing and being published when she was in her late nineties.  And Mark Twain never wrote another word after the death of his beloved wife Livy.



SEE with WORDS: March 19, 2015


  • Identify a topical or regional niche; study the books already available on the same topic.
  • Bring an attractive and competitively priced book to the marketplace.
  • Reach the target audience through effective distribution.
  • Promote, promote, promote.


PRODUCTION: Cover design, interior book design, editing and proofreading

PRINT:  Small or large run, extra covers, dust jackets, galley proof, promotional materials

PUBLICIZE:  Review copies, postage, news releases, interviews, book signing events

PROMOTION:  Advertising media kit, displays, catalogues, postage for target mailings


SEE with Words: March 17, 2015

5 Reasons to Self-Publish:

Commercial publishers don’t have the time or resources to read all of the manuscripts submitted, upwards of 150,000 titles per year.  They are looking for name recognition or authors who come with certain sales potential and definite outlets.

Within recent years, self-publishing has become one of the fastest growing segments of the publishing industry.  Some of the best authors may not initially be published by a major publishing house, but after the book is printed and marketed in published form, and the author establishes a track record in sales, that book may be picked up by a major publishing house for an attractive contract.

Two such success stories are:

Laurie Notaro’s The Idiot Girls’ Action Adventure Club was originally published by iUniverse, then placed twelfth on the New York Times Paperback Best-Seller List which landed her a six-figure, two-book contract with Random House.

Steven Keslowitz’s The Simpsons and Society was first published by Wheatmark before the book was published by Sourcebooks.

So here are the 5 reasons you may want to consider self-publishing:

  1. Keep control of your project;
  2. Control the time frame for writing, editing, and publishing;
  3. Fill a specific niche;
  4. Be the sole owner of the proceeds from the book’s sales;
  5. Get yourself in print.

Check for books published by Eileen Birin.

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