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Guest Post—Put Some Heart in Your Emotion

Happy NaNoWriMo Everyone!
To celebrate the first day of National Novel Writing Month I'm pleased to host fellow author Dianna Winget (who I just happened to find during the Writers Helping Writers Amazing Race) who will share her insight on injecting emotion into your writing.  Meanwhile, I am welcoming a group of authors from all over the globe to a writing retreat in Phuket. Seriously, they've come from Canada, the US, Dubai, Malaysia and Thailand! Over the next 6 days we'll be writing, critiquing, learning and inspiring each other. I will be joined by author and publisher Jo Parfitt who will conduct workshops on adding SPICE to your writing and Breaking the Block. I'll update you all next week and share our stories. For now, Dianna, take it away! 
Our lives are pretty much ruled by emotions—and that includes all you manly guys out there, even though you refuse to discuss it. Just think how many feelings we experience on any given day. The gamut can run from delight to…

Don’t Miss The Writers Helping Writers AMAZING RACE!

Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi at Writers Helping Writers (formerly The Bookshelf Muse) have added two more books to their Descriptive Thesaurus Collection: The Positive Trait Thesaurus: A Writer's Guide to Character Attributes and The Negative Trait Thesaurus: A Writer's Guide to Character Flaws. To celebrate, they are hosting a race, and not just any old race, either. It's the...


Writing is hard, isn't it? Create the perfect hook. Make your first page compelling. Craft an amazing 25 word pitch. Knock out a query that will blow an agent's mind. On and on it goes. And sometimes, well, you just wish someone would help.

WISH NO MORE!
From October 21st until October 27th, Writers Helping Writers is posting an OPEN CALL for writers. You can fill out a form, requesting help with critiques, book visibility, social media sharing, blog diagnostics, advice and more.

An army of Amazing Racers are standing by (ME INCLUDED!) waiting to help with your submissions. How many…

#NaNoWriMo: Links, Resources, Articles and a Nonfiction Alternative

Re-blogged with permission from , originally posted onher blogOctober 7, 2013If you need a helping hand with getting that novel written, NaNoWriMo is just about to start again with a new look and new energy! From their official web site:“National Novel Writing Month is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to novel writing. Participants begin writing on November 1. The goal is to write a 50,000-word (approximately 175-page) novel by 11:59:59 PM on November 30. Because of the limited writing window, the ONLY thing that matters in NaNoWriMo is output. It’s all about quantity, not quality. This approach forces you to lower your expectations, take risks, and write on the fly. Make no mistake: You will be writing a lot of crap. And that’s a good thing. By forcing yourself to write so intensely, you are giving yourself permission to make mistakes. To forgo the endless tweaking and editing and just create. To build without tearing down.” The Writers and Artists blog has publish…

Writing Retreat in Phuket - Kicks off NaNoWriMo!

Are you working on a novel, desperately trying to 'find' time to write and never quite
getting there? 
As most of you know, november is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) and I've decided to kick it off with a writers retreat. You don't have to be a NaNoWri-mer, only a writer looking for support and inspiration... and a little quiet time to write! Here's the plot... 
Surround yourself with other fiction writers who are equally as determined to get writing! It's the perfect jump start because -  you'll participate in interactive workshops that spark creativitythere will be guaranteed solitary writing time you'll be in tranquil, remote surroundings that will help clear your mindinspiration will abound breaking through even the worst writers block your word count will soar every day If you've never done NaNoWriMo, maybe this can be your first year, but it's not required. All that's required is that you have a work in progress, whether it&#…

Bloggers Who do Book Reviews

A while back, I promised that I would share the list of bloggers who joined in the virtual book tour for my debut novel, Mental Pause, and did either an author interview, book review, a combination review/interview and/or invited me to do a guest blog. If you're planning a blog tour, I encourage you to take a look at the blogs you're planning to pitch, subscribe to them, engage with them and, above all, read their guidelines for submitting queries for book reviews. Each one requires a slightly different process and not all of them will be interested in the genre you write, so don't just blast a list. Put some thought into personalizing each query and you'll have a much better return on time spent.

So here's my list... it keeps growing but this is as it stands now. I hope you enjoy exploring these blogs as much as I have:

Expat Info Desk - Feb. 28th - Author Interview

Adventures in Expatland, Review and Interview - March 8th Linda is a long-time expat who just repatri…

Cover, Cover... Who's got the Cover?

I thought I would do something a little different in today's blog. With the permission of my wonderful designer Graham Booth from Creation Booth, I wanted to share some of the other book cover design options he presented to me through the design phase as we prepared my first novel, Mental Pause, for launch this past March.

I'd love your feedback on whether or not you think I chose the right cover! I'm working on my next novel and choosing a cover is definitely one of the most important things you'll ever do as an indie author.

Even if you're not an author and you're working on content for a communications piece that will require a graphical element, choosing the right visual presentation of your work is just as critical as the written message.

 So... here is the cover I chose:


















 Below are several of the other designs Graham proposed:




You can see I did use the window image from this one but the woman's face just didn't capture how I pictured Abbie.





A…

When Posting on Social Media - Double Check... and then Double Check Again

When I'm working on my social media, and especially with that of clients, I always pause, re-read, and pause again before hitting 'post' or 'share'. Then I double check any shortened links just to make sure (even after testing pre-post) that it goes to the right page.

The importance of that habit hit home HARD yesterday and I'm still thanking the good Lord that I checked a link immediately after tweeting it. You see, I had made a derogatory comment about people who use Hyperbole. It was in reaction to a blog I had just read by Seth Godin. I included a link to a little animated video I created a while back called 'Going Hyperbolic'. Imagine my horror when I tested the link and it went to one of my client's YouTube videos!  Because of the process I always follow when posting, I was able to immediately delete it before any eyes beheld my gaff.

Whew!

I know, I know... we've all got sooo much on our plates that we're often thinking about the ne…

The ABC’s of Re-Purposing Content

As social media practitioners we’re always trying to find sources of great information… breaking news, industry trends, research, expert insight, public opinion… the list goes on. We’re so busy following trends and reading what others are saying that we often forget to dig in our own back yard for the content that’s been written for other purposes.

If you’re working in a large company the communications responsibilities are probably divided between different departments: PR & Marketing, Corporate Communications, Community Relations, Investor Relations or a combination of sorts. Social Media then works in lock step with all of these departments as a possible communications tool to reach specific target audiences.
Freelancers or practitioners in smaller organizations will be juggling it all so it’s even more important to find efficient ways to re-package what’s already been written. The salient information (or key messages) will be the same with some minor adjustments depending on th…

Guest Post from Indie Author Nonnie Jules on 'Getting it Done!'

I'm happy to host a fellow indie author today as part of her blog tour celebrating the launch of her first book! Here's Nonnie Jules' insight into taking the self-publishing road. Take it away Nonnie! _____________________________________
Hello, my name is Nonnie Jules and I am the Author of The Good Mommies' Guide to Raising (Almost) Perfect Daughters,100 Tips On Raising Daughters Everyone Can't Help But Love!Although I was born in TX, my family relocated to Shreveport, LA when I was a toddler, so I am from Shreveport.  I am married with two beautiful "Angel" Daughters (as I like to call them) and we live on a huge tract of land somewhere in the "country".  Now, don't feel sorry for me because I'm not a city-girl.  I love where I am.  It's peaceful and quiet and gives me the solitude I need to think and create wonderful stories in my mind that will hopefully appear in print for your enjoyment. 
Now that I have shared a little of mysel…

Adverbs & Cliches in a Nutshell - Guest Post by Jessica Bell

Too many adverbs and clichés in your writing? I've got just the fix for you.
by Jessica Bell

Writers constantly have rules thrown at them left, right, and center. Show, don’t tell! Stop using so many dialogue tags! More sensory detail! More tension! Speed up the pace! Yada yada yada ... it can become overwhelming, yes? I used to feel overwhelmed by it all too. In fact, I still do sometimes. It’s hard enough to get the words on the page, let alone consider how to put them there.

In Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird, she says that in order not to be overwhelmed, a writer needs to focus on short assignments. She refers to the one-inch picture frame on her desk and how that little picture frame reminds her to focus on bite-sized pieces of the whole story. Basically, if you focus on one small thing at a time, the story will eventually come together to create a whole. I believe the same applies to learning the craft of writing. If writers focus on one aspect of the craft at a time, the process…

The Finer Points of ‘The Blog Tour’

Early last year I wrote a guest post for my publisher of @Home in Dubai, Jo Parfitt, where I outlined the Ten Steps to a Successful Virtual Blog Tour after completing one for that book's launch. Now that I’m in the throes of my third virtual book tour, I’d like to reiterate some of the advice and also share some more tips and tricks. I thought the easiest way might be by way of a few Do’s and Don’ts. So, here goes:
Do's Do identify blogs that actually do book reviews and are read by your specific target audience. The best way to keep track is by starting a simple excel spread sheet so you can take note of any special submission requirements and track your progress.Do subscribe and start reading and actively participating in those blogs before or at least right after sending your pitch.Do send a tailored pitch to each and every blog. I know this sounds time-consuming but at least use the person’s actual name in the salutation. If you do, they’re more likely to keep reading.Do se…