POST 6: March 24, 2017

Warm-Ups:

This week let’s try some warm-ups.  What’s a warm-up? It’s an idea starter, a mind jogger, something to help you write when your brain power is slowing down or you just can’t get started.  We’ll try two this week and add more in the following weeks.

Character Sketch:  Write a few paragraphs about a character you want to use in a short story or novel. Who is this person?  Describe this person–looks, hobbies, job, likes/dislikes, life’s goals.  What is keeping this person from obtaining those goals/desires?  Keep writing about this person until you feel you have been friends for years.

Dialogue:  Eavesdrop on a conversation at the office, in the grocery store, at the health club or at a social event, and then recreate that conversation as dialogue for your story.  Write it until it reads like people actually talk to each other.

More warm-ups on their way…

POST 5: February 27, 2017

Okay, we are back to writing prompts.  Here are three you may want to try this week.

1.  Choose a poem you like.  Take the last line and use that line as the first line of your own poem.

2.  Begin a story with “There was once a chance I didn’t take…”

3.  ”A funny thing happened on my way to…”

Good luck and maybe some of you would like to share?

 

 

POST 4: February 19, 2017

Soooo Sorry; I didn’t forget about all of you, but… No excuses.  I didn’t get enough entries for my Forever Home, Forever Toby book so I had to can that project for now.  Instead I started cleaning out files, and we all know what that means.  While looking through some of my articles and stories from way back, I decided to compile some of them in a book on its own merit which meant retyping many of the older ones before my computer days.  I can just see some of the young folks eyes rolling. But, yes, some of us lived and wrote before computer days; simply called “typing” double-spaced.

The tentative title for this project is “Here I Am”–still tossing ideas for a subtitle. Any suggestions?

When I originally started this Web page, I posted a weekly writing prompt, hoping that I would get some creative juices flowing and more responses.  That didn’t happened, but I think I may go back to a weekly prompt just to stay more in touch.

So it’s back to the drawing board or writing pad for now–I’ll be back sooner than the last break.  Thanks for your patience.

 

Post 3: April 2, 2016

Time to start Book Project #12–working title “Forever Home, Forever Toby; Twenty-six True Stories About Humankind’s BEST BUDDIES”

Here’s what wellness claims: Pet a puppy or kitten and feel better–fast!  Pets provide so much joy to their owners that they deserve a special place in stories (and so many have).  So let’s have at least one more book about these creatures that brought so much happiness into your life.

Remembering: gold fish, gerbils, white mice, butterflies you caught and then freed, there’s also lightening bugs, lady bugs and other such critters you bottled or shoe-boxed.  How about playful squirrels, mischievous raccoons, red and black ants (Ouch!) and the Easter bunny, along with ducks and geese, turtles and frogs, parakeets and other feathered friends inside or outside your house.  The list goes for miles until it ends or rather starts with the ever-faithful dog and persnickety cat.

Accepting submissions until May 10, 2016; word count around 750; stories can be funny or sad, some significant happening you remember, want to write about and share with other pet lovers about your “best buddy or maybe buddies.”

Please email text only to me at Neeliepubl@aol.com; no pictures at this time.  My editorial staff will review each entry and we will select the tales for the book.  Please email me with any questions you have at any time.  With your help, this will be a fun project to work on and a delightful book to read.  Thank you. -eileenbirin-

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 Amazon.com 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: June 17, 2015

WRITE-ON

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

WRITING TIPS

  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

DO YOUR HOMEWORK

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: March 19, 2015

SUCCESSFUL BOOKS:

  • 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.

PLAN YOUR BUDGET CAREFULLY:

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: February 19, 2015

One More Idea to Consider:

Here’s another important idea you may want to consider as you get started in the writing game.  Check local community colleges for adult continuation or special interest classes in writing.  Some may even offer workshops or seminars on various aspects of writing.  Local libraries are other resources for writing groups, special presentations on writing, or even critique groups.  Signing up for a writing course, taking a workshop or joining a critique group can prove beneficial especially if you are a novice writer and may need the support and incentive from others with similar interests.  A writing course can also provide the structure and basic techniques necessary for good writing.

Along these same lines, if several of your friends or members of a writing class are interested in working together, you might consider forming your own small writing group.  This would allow for immediate feedback and critiquing of your stories, provide opportunities to share similar learning experiences with each other, offer encouragement to get through some of those so called “writer’s block” moments, support each other’s efforts, shed light on new discoveries, and most important, laugh and cry together as you explore the problems of the lonely, yet exhilarating,  life of a writer.  So with pen in hand and love in your heart, be strong–embrace the unforgiving pain and the sublime joy of the writing life.

Writing is therapy for both you and the reader.

 

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