Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Tis the Season...

... for sales.

Yes, many of us attend the odd craft fair, book fair, or other 'Christmas' sale at this time of year hoping to cash in on a few extra sales before Christmas comes and people are more conservative with their pocket books.

Here I am at a local event, 'hocking' my books. (The cool fur hoods are my daughter's. She and I shared a table.) Asa member of our local chamber of commerce, the table was free, so it really only cost me my time, plus I made a few sales - always a plus.

Of course, it's still not too late to order on line, folks! Check out the 'Books' tab along the top. There is a drop down with different categories like 'Novels', 'Plays', Non-fiction', and 'Children's books'. My children's book The Sleepytown Express is now in hardcover, too - a great gift for the small ones in your life.

Blessings during the season!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

November 2016 Links

Lessons From the Dust Bowl - my contribution to Inscribe's blog on the them of a writers' 'Winer seasons'.
Beyond Thankfulness - a short take on the season and what it means for us as believers, posted on The Word Guild's blog.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

From the Editor's panel

Some very insightful tidbits and advice were shared at the 'editor's panel' at Inscribe's Fall Conference. On the panel were the following expert editors:

Carol Schaefer, columns' editor for Fellowscript Magazine; Nina Morey, editor in chief of Fellowscript Magazine; Dale Youngman, of Pagemaster Publishing; Susan King, editor of The Upper Room. 

Some key questions:

Why do I need an editor?
-        Carol Schafer used losing her keys as an example. She'd lost her keys and looked EVERYWHERE  for them with no success, until someone else came along and found them - in plain sight. I'm sure we've all had moments like this in our lives. The 'obvious' is not always obvious. Sometimes it takes another set of eyes. We all have blind spots. In the end we want the very best product we can manage and therefore good writers WANT to be edited. It makes them better.

What are some of the different kinds of editing?
-       Structural – This is an overall 'big picture' edit: (Are there holes? Is there flow? Show don’t tell rule etc.)
-       Copy editing – focuses details and rewriting.
-       Proofing – find all typos etc. (Some may call it line editing.)

      More takeaways:

- The best editing is invisible… it brings out the best of the author.
- Send the best copy you can to the editor. (So do some self editing first! Run it by your critique group first. Read it out loud.)
- Don’t trust the tools! Spell and grammar check can make mistakes. Be BETTER than your tools. Get out the grammar books and review! (It’s good medicine!)
- Put your work away for awhile. Come back to it with fresh eyes.
- Boil it down. Eliminate and tighten.
- Editors are looking for excellence, not perfection. (Know when to move on!)
- submit to guidelines and be organized if you are submitting to more than one place.

It’s okay to disagree with your editor, but make sure you are open to suggestions. Listen and learn. Your editor is not your adversary. Expect to be dismayed and challenged, but in the end, be pleased. Editors love TEACHABLE authors.

Suggested resources:
Telling Lies for Fun and Profit
Grammar Girl
Chicago Manual of Style 16th edition
Strunk and White’s Elements of Style

Monetizing Your Creativity (podcast)

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Sage Advice from Linda Hall

I have several wise words from author and speaker Linda Hall, who was keynote at InScribe's fall conference in September of this year.

Linda’s career has been a study in ups and downs. However, she is a champion of staying true to oneself and with that she offered these ‘Sage Bits of Wisdom’:

1.     Read widely and let your kids read widely.
2.     Write where you are grounded. (Her take on ‘write what you know’)
3.     Be the one who writes. (Volunteer for your church, organizations etc. it’s good practice.)
4.     Be respectful. Ex: Paul when he said, “Men of Athens I perceive that in every way you are religious…” he didn’t start arguing right away but was respectful in order to gain their respect in return.
5.     There is no secret formula for success. “There are three rules to writing a novel but no one knows what they are.” Somerset ______
6.     Read stuff that is better than yours.
7.     Life is unpredictable so go with the flow.
8.     Find joy in what you do.
9.     Don’t write cat stories for a dog magazine.
10. Just do it! Don’t be afraid to try it scared.
11. Write the way you talk… write the way your heart talks. Don’t be a fake.

More advice from Linda about Switching Genres.