Clock Watching for Sweet Deal Sealed

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SEVENTY-TWO HOURS, Amazon said. I decided to watch the clock.

Seventy-two hours and the ebook SWEET DEAL SEALED will be available on Amazon.

My gears are turning. I could work on Spy.  I could clean the bathrooms. I could see if any Forged in Fire reruns are on. I could make random changes to my website. Or I could just watch the clock.

So Many Chuckles in Just a Few Words

You fill in the jokes. I’ll supply the words. Ready? GO!

I will be at the GARS Hamfest in Waldo tomorrow from 8:00 AM – 2:00 PM. I’ll be signing and selling Pink Baby Alligator and talking about Sweet Deals : Sealed and maybe The Girl Who Saw Clouds. #FlatRose will be there too.

And the best joke of all? It’s true – no joke!

Gainesville Amateur Radio Society Hamfest

14370 Kennard St. (First Baptist Church)

Waldo, Florida 32694

If you like electronics, gadgets, and books… might be worth the drive.

If your interest is piqued, then punch in the address and show up! Free parking and $7.00 per person entry fee.

Why Authors Want Amazon Reviews

If a book gets 10 reviews, the author receives a cryptic fragment of a treasure map.

If a book gets 30 reviews, the Bank of England will then accept copies of the book as legal tender.

If a book gets 50 reviews, Amazon sends the author a free unicorn.

Why not help an author you love get a free unicorn by reviewing her book today!

~Andrew Wood @andrewtheauthor on Twitter

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How Writing Is Like Making Jam

When I make jam, I pull out the Ball Blue Book of canning and check the recipe even though I’ve made jam dozens of time over the last several years. I crush the berries, dump in the sugar, turn up the gas, and stir. And stir and stir. I don’t use pectin to thicken the concoction, and I don’t have a jelly thermometer. I stir and after 30 or 45 minutes, it feels done. If I quit too early, I have berry soup. If I stir another two minutes, I have berry concrete. It’s all in the timing, and it all comes together—boom!

So this is my Writing blog, not my Farm blog, right?

I wrote a story on January 6, 2017. The story was 727 words. I added a few more words, and the name of my story became Novel Needs a Name. N3 became The Girl Who Saw Clouds last summer.  I have a total of 106 versions of Clouds. Different people have read different versions over the past year. One faithful reader has seen every single one! We’ll refer to her as Saint Rabbit. Writers have critiqued different sections, and I wrote and revised.

I read Don McNair’s Editor-Proof Your Writing and followed his twenty-one steps. Clouds was ready for a copy editor. Not too soon, not too late. Now I have to leave Clouds alone and let the copy editor do his work; otherwise, I’d have Cloud concrete, right?

Yesterday I read Guido Henkel’s Zen of eBook Formatting and made blackberry jam. Today I designed the book cover.  Only twenty more days before the copy editor’s work is due. Maybe I’ll make some more blackberry jam. Boom.

 

 

Confessions of a Story-Teller

I was born a story-teller. The story words bubbled up inside me and strained to escape. They detoured my brain and flew straight to my mouth or my typing fingers. For years while my words and I struggled to survive in the corporate world, we were feared and labeled frivolous and irrelevant. Wordy, even. My brain suggested I was not a story-teller, and I turned to conforming by slaughtering words. Dark times. I popped the action, sights, sounds, tastes, feels, and detail bubbles. Even when words bolted through the typing exit, very few survived.

My story words and I abandoned the corporate world for the world of fiction. My empowered stories shoot from my typing fingers, leaving room inside for new words to incubate and grow in my brain. First Draft. Second Draft. The only slaughter is Killing the Darlings, but that’s another story.

7 Easy Steps to Becoming a Writer

“Writing is easy. All you have to do is cross out the wrong words.” ~ Mark Twain

1. Sit. Write.

Get what’s in your head onto paper. Transform your thoughts into readable words. Don’t worry about whether the words are the beginning, middle, or end of your story. Your head needs room for the other words you haven’t thought of yet.

2. Embrace Imperfection.

You aren’t perfect. It’s okay. Your writing isn’t perfect. That’s okay, too. Your first draft is your worst. Embrace the suck.

3. Seek Out One or Two Loyal Story Readers.

Loyal story readers are people who love to read stories and love you. You need people who will read your partial story and tell you how wonderful your story is and how awesome you are. Repeatedly. And just as important, tell you where your story gets off track or doesn’t make sense. You don’t need adverb hunters or dialog tag bigots. Yet.

4. Don’t Defend. Fix.

If your loyal story reader says your story doesn’t make sense, don’t explain it to him or her. It’s a gift. To explain would be like unwrapping a present and saying the color is wrong for your skin tone. And the gift was a set of dishes. Say “Thank you.” Re-read your story. Think about how to fix it. And do it. Make I Can Fix It your middle name and your favorite song.

5. Appreciate Writer’s Block.

Writer’s Block is your story’s way of saying you are trying too hard. Back off. Write something else. Write a Short Story. Ask your story readers to read the short story. See #4.

6. Toughen Up, Buttercup.

Suit up with armor. Develop a thick skin. Find a critique group of writers to read and critique your short story. You will learn what you do well. Celebrate! You will also learn how it feels to be Number One of the Dreaded Awful. Awful at dialog? Awful at telling, not showing? Awful at head-hopping? Awful at descriptions? Awful at obscure grammar rules? More gifts!

My favorite critique group is online. www.critiquecircle.com No meetings to attend, and I can critique or be critiqued any time of day (or night) and any day of the week. And there are free, low cost, and show-off memberships.

7. Author-ize Yourself.

Join a writer’s group. Read blogs on writing. Comment on the blogs. Design your own website. Buy a t-shirt, coffee mug, ballcap with a pithy writer saying like “Writer.” Return to #1 and write, write, write.

 “My books are water; those of the great geniuses is wine. Everybody drinks water.” ~ Mark Twain

Quick JAB

I started blogging online about 15 years ago. I started with a now-defunct MySpace competitor.  I soon changed to WordPress. The earliest blog I can find is 2005. Its title is Gotta Run.

People frequently tell me that they have an interesting story to tell, and they plan to write down someday. Maybe something you see here will encourage you – today might be someday!