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 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 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: 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 Amazon.com for books published by Eileen Birin.

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.

 

Invoking your guardian angel

If you had a guardian angel, what form would your angel take (human or not)?  On what dilemma in your life right now would you most like guidance?

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