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 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 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 18, 2015

RULES:

  • There are no firm or important rules for good writing.
  • However, know them first before you break them.
  • Follow writing guidelines; they free you to do what works best for you.

Rules are structures that set limits; true artists transcend to heights unlimited; great art has no borders.  But here’s the catch: in order to soar, one needs a solid structure as the launching pad.

Remember those language arts teachers who insisted we bring our journals to class everyday.  And then usually before an English composition lesson, we would spend five minutes writing anything that popped into our heads.  Forget spelling, grammar, sentence structure, just write, write, write.  We were encouraged to free write, to brainstorm all those creative ideas that later would become our coveted “A” English composition papers.  No one would ever see these first draft scribblings of ours, but we knew we could never hand-in anything we wrote in our notebooks until we “fixed” it up and made it better for a passing grade.

So too, true artists have learned, practiced and mastered the rules first which then sets them free to soar into their unique creative worlds.  Imagine this: what if your novel, story or poem resembled the free writing of your school day journal.  How distracting would that be to readers?  If the reader doesn’t understand what you’re trying to say, if your lack of writing efficiently interferes with the story line, how long will you hold that reader’s attention?  Know the rules first before you break them.

That said; let’s explore some useful writing guidelines that have proven successful in a writer’s creative journey.

Materials you may need for your journey:

1.  Notebooks:

You’ll need several handy notebooks, whatever fits into your pocket, purse, briefcase, and glove compartment – use whatever works best for you.  Once you start writing your novel, you will be amazed at how many new ideas begin popping into mind any time of the day and night.  You’ll want to jot down that good idea, or clever quip before it is lost once again.  Good places to keep notebooks are:

ü      bedside table

ü      bathroom

ü      kitchen

ü      den or TV room

ü      car

ü      pocket or purse

ü      outside garden or patio

2.  Tape recorder:

Some of you may prefer to use small tape recorders instead of notebooks.  Recorders work best in cars, especially if you’re driving and that tinge of recollection arises, you’ll want to grab that recorder, click the on-button, and talk your heart out.

Recorders also work well on bedside tables.  In no time, you will train yourself to hit the on-button in the dark and talk softly into the recorder without even waking your partner.

3.  Several more important items to have close at hand:

ü      a comprehensive dictionary

ü      an authoritative thesaurus

ü      an English grammar handbook

ü      plenty of pens or well-sharpened pencils

ü      computer or word processor

Where do you go from here?

Writing is a craft. Writers write. Writers write every day; that’s their job.  By cultivating the habit of writing regularly, it will make the process easier and more enjoyable. Study the craft; exercise the craft by doing it everyday.

Check out Amazon.com for: Excuse My Dust, ten quick steps for writing success; and Come Sit a Spell, Recalling and Writing Memoirs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A-HA Moments

A few weeks ago I posted a Call for Submissions – scroll down to read the Call – now I’m adding a few requested details.  These submissions are to be A-Ha moments – a moment of truth, a turning point, breakthrough experiences – these A-Ha moments made an impression on you or expanded self knowledge.  I am looking for essays around 750 words, and the first deadline is Friday, September 6, 2013.  Contact neeliepubl@aol.com for more info.  -thank you-

WordPress SEO