I have mentioned Bob White Before, but in light of his new Gabby Girard mystery, I wanted to share this amazing writer with you again. I really look up to Bob White. Not only is he an amazingly talented, natural-born writer, he provides the best, most useful feedback on my work. I hope to one day achieve half the skill that he has.
So if you are into detective mysteries (or even if you’re not), check out To Catch a Monster. You can get a kindle edition for $2.99, or you can order one in print from amazon.com
Also, if you want to be up on the whole series, check out his Tony Petrocelli mysteries on the Bob White Amazon page. Read one and you will be hooked.
As always, Happy writing; and in this case, Happy reading.
I am on a time crunch, so I shall keep this brief.
The bad news: I will not have 150 poems for my book.
The good news: I Will have my book done in December.
I have been inspired to write some short stories alongside my poetry, and I decided to include that in Tilted Tales. There are many many poems that I did write, but will not make it into the book because my dog has laid steamers that made me more proud. That is not to say I can’t improve upon them, I just don’t want to force it if it’s not working. The short stories do work with my theme, and my husband has given his stamp of approval on the mix of styles, so that is what I am going to do. I will be sure to share the link with you when I get the formatting all finished and published.
We all do it. Pick the first word that comes to mind as you are writing. It is usually the simplest word we can thinking that rush to jot down that spectacular idea that got us writing. But now you are on to your second draft, and the overused words have got to go.
As you may remember, I moderate a small writing group on Thursdays. We bring in our writing for review, and we also do writing exercises. There is one in particular I have them do to combat overused words. I though you might benefit from this exercise too, reader.
I begin by giving them a list of three or four words. For example, last week I gave them: hot, cold, scary, and friend. Note that these are simple, overused words that do not make for interesting reading.
Once they have written the words down, they have ten minutes to write as many different words or phrases with the same or similar meaning for each word. You many not use any tools (such as Google or a thesaurus) to help you. All the words must come from your own head.
This is a great way to encourage yourself to think of more interesting ways to phrase things. Before you know it, you will be searching for synonyms to simple words naturally on the first go around.
Here is an example of replacement words for Hot (to give you an idea of what my group came up with):
As I have mentioned before, I have had the pleasure of rubbing elbows with some very talented self-published authors. One such author, and a pal of mine, is J.N. Race, author of The Lost Remnant (find it on amazon.com). I Invited her to write a few guest posts for me. Enjoy her words of wisdom:
I want to start this post by saying thanks to my good buddy, Lady Ashmo for inviting me to do a guest post or two on her blog. What an honor! It’s officially National Novel Writing Month, also affectionately referred to as #NaNoWriMo by several hundreds of thousands of enthusiastic people across the country. What started out as a concept is pretty much now “a thing” in 2014 speak. In their own words:
“National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to creative writing. On November 1, participants begin working towards the goal of writing a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 PM on November 30.
Valuing enthusiasm, determination, and a deadline, NaNoWriMo is for anyone who has ever thought fleetingly about writing a novel.”
In a nutshell, it’s a place where procrastinating pigeons cocoon up until they emerge as published phoenixes. Ok not all of them publish. Many go on to become manuscript-toting ocelots. The point is, however, that it takes guts to write a novel and NaNoWriMo provides that much-needed boost!
I love the smell of writing a novel in the morning…
Having just launched The Lost Remnant in July, I will be taking a different approach to November. Rather than attempt to crank out the second story in the Pieces of Eden series, I have elected to draft out the entire outline for the novel which is a lengthy process in itself. I would hoist up a pic of my chicken scratch notes as evidence, but I’ll just leave it to your imagination instead.
That doesn’t stop me from getting in on all the fun. If you’re a Twitter-bird, then you’ll be in hashtag heaven as the #NanoWriMo’ers dominate the field. It’s a great way to connect with other people in the same boat as you and that makes for a much more fun journey.
What to do when it’s not National November Writing Month…
The main office of NaNoWriMo does more than just occupy space 11 months out of the year. Through its efforts, several in-person meetups and write-ins are held throughout the year. Many of them take place in libraries, coffee shops, and other headquarters of the willing who support the cause. Sign-up is free on the website. So if you’re social and you’re looking for yet another writing group, this could be your next big opportunity for friendship and beta-reading glory.
You can ALWAYS donate year round as NaNoWriMo is officially a 501(c)(3) organization. Yep, that’s right! All you self-pubbers like me who need a little tax break. You can help a good cause and help yourself in the process. In the meantime, it’s still November! You have plenty of time to get going on your masterpiece.
Lately my sparse posts have been wrought with despair and self-doubt over my personal poetry challenge. Today, however, I am feeling pretty good about my progress.
I have been working on the formatting for Tilted Tales, the projected fruits of my poetry challenge. I decided to self-publish via Create Space, the Amazon powered self publishing company. They have some very helpful tools on formatting your book, if you are willing to hunt around a bit on their website. I am entirely new to this process, so I am figuring it out as I go. I have opted to go with the 5×9 book size because (as they so helpfully tell you) this is the most commonly published size, and the most widely distribute-able. I am going with black and white pages, as I have opted not to bother with illustrations. Taking the time to do drawings would delay my collection indefinitely, because frankly I am a slow artist. I want to get this collection done and out there so I can go back to focusing on my novel. Besides, there is no rule that I can’t have an illustrated edition release later.
You can design your own cover art via Create Space, and I have opted to do so with my own original artwork. They offer artist services, but I cannot speak to any of it, since I am not in need of an artist.I played around with a few design ideas, before settling on my now complete cover. I went with a shadowed, simplistic design that hopefully is interesting and conveys the dark and whimsical style I have. The only thing I have left to do is adjust the spine size, based on the final page count.
They offer a Microsoft word template for the inside formatting of your book, and I downloaded that template. Today I completed my title page, my copyright page, my acknowledgements, and my about the author page. Then (giving myself a big pat on the back) I managed to be creative and write several poems. I am not caught up to where I want to be yet, but I am satisfied that I will have a full book ready for my December 12th deadline. I’m exceptionally proud that I have stayed motivated, even when it seemed like I was getting nowhere. I may or may not have the 150 poems I had intended on, but there will be more than enough for my first collection.
As always, I will keep you apprised of my progress. Happy Writing!