Monday, July 31, 2017

What The Delivery Guys From Macy's Taught Me & Nick's Cover

Last month we splurged and bought a new couch. And since we want to keep Macy's in business, we went to their brick and mortal store to make our purchase and schedule the delivery. You know, old school. No drone drop off. No UPS truck.

When the delivery guys arrived, they were cheerful and courteous and dressed in crisp, clean shirts and pants. They rolled out a red carpet at our front door and put on shoe covers before coming inside. Once they'd brought in the couch and put the room back in order (lamps, tables, rug), they handed me an evaluation form.

"We hope you've found our service excellent," one said. "If you could give us an excellent rating where you think we deserve it, we'd really appreciate it. Those ratings are so important for us. Thank you for your time."

So how does any of this relate to the business of writing? Well, I'll tell you if you haven't already seen where I'm going.




Professionalism  The delivery guys were well-groomed, and they entered my home with care, so that I felt comfortable with them in my private space. I like to approach this business of writing the same way. I want people who visit my blog, my website, my Facebook page. . .all my social media to feel comfortable when they let me into their lives with that click of a mouse. I also want them to enjoy what  I write, so I edit the posts as carefully as possible. After all, I'm a writer, I should write good stuff. :-) Just a small joke!






Flare They made the arrival of my couch an event with that red carpet, I wasn't just getting a piece of of furniture; I was getting THE BEST piece of furniture for my home. That's how I want my readers to feel when I present them with my work. I want them to feel that I'm giving them the BEST I have to offer.

Source
Honest, Straightforward Request They handed me the evaluation and asked for my rating. They did so clearly and with a reason behind their request. Then thanked me in advance. Now that's a concept we writers understand, isn't it?  "I hope you enjoy reading my book. If so, I'd really appreciate it if you would give me a review. Those reviews are so important for writers."


I'm glad I needed that couch. Buying it and having it delivered made this post possible and reminded me to attend to three important things while I'm in the writing business.




A new book's coming September 18. And here's your peek at the cover.




What is the price paid for the creation of a perfect society?

In Whitopolis, a gleamingly white city of the future where illness has been eradicated, shock waves run through the populace when a bedraggled, dirt-stricken boy materialises in the main street. Led by government propaganda, most citizens shun him as a demon, except for Wellesbury Noon – a high school student the same age as the boy.

Upon befriending the boy, Wellesbury feels a connection that he can’t explain – as well as discovering that his new friend comes from a land that is stricken by disease and only has two weeks to live. Why do he and a girl named Ezmerelda Dontible appear to be the only ones who want to help?

As they dig deeper, everything they know is turned on its head – and a race to save one boy becomes a struggle to redeem humanity.





Quote of the Week: "The only thing to do with good advice is to pass it on. It is never of any use to oneself." Oscar Wilde



Monday, July 24, 2017

Hero Lost, Mysteries of Death and Life, Part 4


Last installment of my Featured Follower of the Month 
for 

Hero Lost Mysteries of Death and Life
An Insecure Writer’s Support Group Anthology



Print ISBN 9781939844361 $14.95
eBook ISBN 9781939844378 $4.99

Print:
EBook:

Each author has submitted a favorite inspirational quote.
Thank you, authors!


Yvonne VentrescaThe Art of Remaining Bitter
“All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. . . .You’ve just gotta fight your way through.”—Ira Glass

Renee CheungMemoirs of a Forgotten Knight
“This is The Great Work, and all you have to do is choose it, not look back and never fucking stop until you're in your box, under the dirt and flowers are growing between your teeth.”—Warren Ellis


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Sarah Foster, The Last Dragon
“I am irritated by my own writing. I am like a violinist whose ear is true, but whose fingers refuse to reproduce precisely the sound he hears within.”—Gustave Flaubert
I've finally changed the cover on Sliding on the Edge. For better or worse, here's the new one. I'm keeping it a #freebook to celebrate finally getting this done. 


Scarred. Scared. Alone. 
Can sixteen-year-old Shawna Stone overcome her inner suffering and transcend the past? 
FREE NOW




Only three days left before #IWSGPit. Are you ready?





Don't miss the July 30 deadline for the next IWSG Anthology. 


Quote of the Week: "The art of the creative process is not seeking and finding; it's bumbling." Jonathon Safran Foer, American Novelist

Monday, July 17, 2017

Hero Lost, Mysteries of Death and Life, Part 3


This July I'll be featuring the twelve authors (three each Monday) who contributed stories to the 

Hero Lost Mysteries of Death and Life
An Insecure Writer’s Support Group Anthology



Print ISBN 9781939844361 $14.95
eBook ISBN 9781939844378 $4.99

Print:
EBook:

Each author has submitted their favorite inspirational quote, so this month I won't be adding my usual quote. 
Thank you, authors!




Ellen Jacobson, The Silvering
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” ―Mark Twain


Olga Godim, Captain Bulat
"Fantasy is an exercise bicycle for the mind. It might not take you anywhere, but it tones up the muscles that can." ―Terry Pratchett


Erika Beebe, The Wheat Witch
“You will write if you will write without thinking of the result in terms of a result, but think of the writing in terms of discovery, which is to say that creation must take place between the pen and the paper, not before in a thought or afterwards in a recasting... It will come if it is there and if you will let it come.” ―Gertrude Stein

Clock's ticking! Do you have your #IWSGPit ready?

Don't miss the July 30 deadline for the next IWSG Anthology. 




Quote of the Week: "Destiny is a name often given in retrospect to choices that had dramatic consequences." J.K. Rowling

Monday, July 10, 2017

Hero Lost, Mysteries of Death and Life, Part 2

Hero Lost, Mysteries of Death and Life, Part 2


This July I'll be featuring the twelve authors (three each Monday) who contributed stories to the 

Hero Lost Mysteries of Death and Life
An Insecure Writer’s Support Group Anthology




Print ISBN 9781939844361 $14.95
eBook ISBN 9781939844378 $4.99

Print:
EBook:

Each author has submitted their favorite inspirational quote, so this month I won't be adding my usual quote. 
Thank you, authors!


Tyrean Martinson, Of Words and Swords
 “Fantasy is hardly an escape from reality. It's a way of understanding it.” ―Lloyd Alexander



Elizabeth Seckman, Mind Body Soul
“It’s none of their business that you have to learn to write. Let them think you were born that way.” ―Ernest Hemingway



Sean McLachlan, The Witch Bottle
I can't give the whole quote because it's a poem--"All the Way" by Charles Bukowski. His poem "The Laughing Heart" is a good one too, but the first poem is more directed at writers.
Also, a great spoken word for all creative types can be found here:



Don't miss the July 30 deadline for the next IWSG Anthology. 




Have you read an anthology lately? Will you enter to be included in the next anthology?

And whatever you do, don't miss July 27th #IWSGPit on Twitter. 8am-8pm Over 30 agents are checking the twitter feed. 




Quote of the Week: "Life is like a game of poker: If you don't put anything in the pot, there won't be anything to take out." Moms Mabley

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Let's Talk Insecurity

Thanks Alex
Remember, the question is optional! 

July 5 Question: What is one valuable lesson you've learned since you started writing?

The awesome co-hosts for the July 5 posting of the IWSG will be Tamara Narayan, Pat Hatt, Patricia Lynne, Juneta Key, and Doreen McGettigan!



The I-Word is not too big, only ten letters long. Yet it carries one of the biggest, scariest emotions writers deal with every day. Here are three questions that cause my insecure quotient to rise.

Is this book ready to submit?
The first question is huge. You have only your own intuitions to follow until you offer it up for readers and feedback. And you must do that. Others will see the positives and the negatives. They'll call attention to things you missed while tending to the big picture. They may open up new threads that escaped your notice. And they'll help you answer that first question.

Who should I submit to?
Today the choices are many: sub to an agent, sub to a small press or do it yourself. Each of these choices takes you down a different road, and before you start, you have no idea what that road will be like. It's only after you look back that you either regret or cheer your decision.

How should I submit it?
Time was that you queried, then waited. When the rejection came, you repeated that process. Today there are all kinds of ways to sub your manuscript. And . . .drum roll here. . .the Twitter Pitch Party is one of the most recent successes in the sub process. 




July 27, 2017

8:00 am to 8:00 pm Eastern Time

Are you pitching? Will you take a look and follow the party? It should be wild and a lot of fun.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Hero Lost, Mysteries of Death and Life, Part 1

This July I'll be featuring the twelve authors (three each Monday) who contributed stories to the 

Hero Lost Mysteries of Death and Life

An Insecure Writer’s Support Group Anthology



Print ISBN 9781939844361 $14.95
eBook ISBN 9781939844378 $4.99

Print:
EBook:

Each author has submitted their favorite inspirational quote, so this month I won't be adding my usual quote. 
Thank you, authors!


Jen Chandler, The Mysteries of Death and Life

"Keep working. Follow the shape of your mind's particulars (its rhythms, its oddities) like a bloodhound, and take the 'narrative' as far as you possibly can, so that the words are utterly yours, so that you're writing in that singular way that singular thing NO ONE but you can write. Each time." ―Ari Banias, poet, From an interview in the Jan/Feb 2017 issue of Poets & Writers Magazine


L. Nahay, Breath Between Seconds

"A writer is a world trapped within a person." ―Victor Hugo
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Roland Yeomans, Sometimes They Come Back

"Just because I am on a different path than you does not mean I am lost." ―Samuel McCord

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Don't miss the July 30 deadline for the next IWSG Anthology. 





For all My Email Connect Peeps I'm offering a free mobi or mp3 of a short story from the anthology, Beware the Little White Rabbit. 

Have you read an anthology lately?