Connor Miller, wannabe screenwriter, moves to LA for a make or break year in her efforts to get a script accepted. In ‘This is My Year,’ from director, James Brindle, we follow the adventures and misadventures of Connor and her friends over that fateful year.
This film is hard to categorize for someone of my generation; much like the milennials in the story, it seems to be going way, but ends up going another. That’s not a negative assessment, by the way. I found the film, like the milennials I encounter each summer in my writing workshop, stimulating and interesting. I was particularly impressed with Kanani Rose’s performance as Connor. That mask of apparent wide-eyed innocence that covers a hard mask of cynical realism that knows nothing is permanent and that life is often totally screwed up, was brilliant.
So, while I can’t tell you whether this film was a romantic comedy or a drama, I can tell you that I thoroughly enjoyed it, and strongly encourage you to see it when it’s finally released. I was fortunate enough to get a sneak preview. The film is due for an October 10 release.
Here’s the link to preorder the movie on iTunes: : https://itunes.apple.com/us/movie/this-is-my-year/id1418136923”
March 21, 2018, the second official day of spring, and here’s the view I have from my kitchen and family rooms in North Potomac, must outside Washington, DC. And, while it doesn’t show in the photos, the snow is still falling, and is forecast to continue to fall until late at night, putting most of the area on snow emergency lock-down.
Welcome to 2017 – I would welcome the new year as well, but I’m holding off on that to see how it shapes up. My only New Year’s Resolution is to reduce the queue of books I have to read and review as much as possible, an almost impossible task with new books coming out that look tempting, and new review requests coming in almost every day.
I got a late start on the year, like most people, but for a different reason. I’d promised myself that I would be in bed well before midnight last night, but I got to reading, and before I knew it, it was 15 minutes past midnight. I’d read from 2016 to 2017 without realizing it. Yes, the book, The 30 Management Principles of the U.S. Marines, was that good. I’ll write a review of it eventually, but last night I was reading and taking notes for a book that I’m writing, Ethical Dilemmas and the Practice of Diplomacy, and this book has a few useful nuggets that I wanted to make sure I got down pat before I go back to my own manuscript.
Just a reminder to those who might have requested a review of their book. If I haven’t done it yet, and it’s been less than six months, please be patient; I’ll eventually get to it. The stack of print books I have to read is over 12 inches high, and my Kindle is full to capacity. If it’s been more than six months, I probably won’t review it for the reasons I gave a few weeks back in a blog post. If I don’t review it, please don’t ask me why. As much as I’d like to explain, with everything I have on my schedule for the coming year, I just don’t have the time.
Wishing all of my followers a happy, prosperous, and hopefully successful new year.
article by Annalies Winny via theguardian.com The Cowgirls of Color are frustrated. It’s the final stop of Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo and the only all-female team has had a difficult first rid…
article by Annalies Winny via theguardian.com
The Cowgirls of Color are frustrated. It’s the final stop of Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo and the only all-female team has had a difficult first ride, making their chances at a victory very unlikely. “The whole point was to win, not just to be in [the event] because we’re girls,” says KB, a 39-year-old legal administrator who has been riding with the team for a year and a half.
In a sport dominated by white men, the all-female, all-black team is a rarity. At the Bill Pickett rodeo, the only black rodeo in the country, high-octane events such as bull riding and steer wrestling remain almost exclusively male. But every year brings more female contestants than the last.
Since the team formed two years ago…
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Grace is a lifeguard who has been on Rafe’s radar since she lost a little boy three years ago. What she doesn’t realize is the green haze that comes over her during a rescue is actually a divine presence who’s about to give up his celestial body to become a very real entity in her life.
While Grace is trying to overcome her own demon, Rafe is discovering his own sexuality, but there’s a darker presence making himself known. The Deceiver wants what Rafe is getting, and he’ll do whatever it takes to have her.
Gabriel is God’s Strength, the Messenger, who’s been tasked with delivering the Word for millennia. His most recent assignment will be his last, to fall in love and become human. But he can’t quite figure out what he’s done to displease the Boss. Gabriel’s latest assignment might be the hardest, but this gorgeous rubenesque quirk of a woman definitely has him intrigued.
Michael, the archangel of war, is pissed. Humanity has taken every last vestige of any feelings he might have had and colored them in with cynicism. He’s ready to be done. So when The Boss gives him the deal, he’s eager for his mortality, at any cost, regardless of who he has to ‘fall in love’ with to get it. Blessed death. That’s what he’s looking forward to. When he finds out what Faith does for a living, he’s pissed off all over again.
Faith is a cat burglar, but when she inadvertently makes a deal with Damien, Michael steps in to protect what is rightfully his. She’s not over her own tragic past, and this hulking bundle of hotness can’t change that. But when he insists on protecting her, claiming her, and dominating her, she is powerless to deny her own emotions.
For mature audiences. Contains swear words, sex, elements of BDSM, and possibly heretical viewpoints.
Excerpt from Falling for Faith
“Ballsy… breaking in with a house full of people.” The quiet voice behind her had her heart pounding before he’d even finished speaking. Spinning on her heel, she turned to find an exquisite man lounging on the chair in the middle of the room, watching her with interest, if not amusement. Something else shone in the depths of his eyes, though. Anger?
“It’s actually easier this way,” she whispered. He’d caught her in the act, there was no use denying it. And his relaxed posture, legs casually crossed, leaning back, stroking his chin, told her he wasn’t in a hurry to turn her in. Did he want a cut?
Nope. She wasn’t going to let him screw this up. This was her last job for Shamus, and she’d be damned if she’d let herself get caught now. Security. He had to be on security detail here, and she must have done something to give herself away. He had followed her. She wasn’t sure how, but he had. And now she was busted.
“Who are you?”
He didn’t answer her, which was irritating, but she wasn’t exactly in a position to force the issue. As tall and fit as she was, she could see he was taller and fitter, even from his seated position. She didn’t need a scene here tonight. Maybe a distraction would work.
Licking her lips, Faith eased her hip to the side, revealing a leg. She watched the man’s eyes snap to her shoes then reached behind her head for the clip holding her chignon in place, releasing it. Her hair fell in waves to just below her shoulders, and Faith swung it around, fluffing it with her hands. The man stood.
“What are you doing?” His voice was rough, scraping across her skin to leave delicious abrasions behind. No longer pretending, her breaths came in raspy gasps.
“Subduing the enemy without fighting.” Faith spoke to herself more than the man, but he seemed to hear anyway. She always turned to Sun Tzu when she was in danger. Eli had ingrained it in her. Sun Tzu knew everything.
He moved closer, gliding, with the grace of a predator, and Faith saw she was in some serious trouble.
His sensuous mouth quirked into a smirk. “Let your plans be dark and impenetrable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunderbolt.” Laughter filled his voice, and she saw amusement twinkle in his eyes, crinkling around the edges.
Shit. He knew Sun Tzu too. Undeterred, she continued, using her sexuality as a tool. She pursed her lips and forced a breathy quality to her voice. “To avoid what is strong, strike at what is weak.” His silver eyes penetrated into her, looking deep inside her. She felt naked under his gaze as it traveled across her face. She was so intent on those eyes that she didn’t realize his hands had moved.
A knuckle grazed her cleavage, and she lost her breath. She inhaled deeply, trying to get much needed oxygen into her system, but it only served to raise her breasts higher, into his touch. It burned. The humming in her body was louder than ever as if it was connected to this man’s presence. She could feel it in her bones, her cells.
The man’s perfect face lowered closer to hers until their mouths aligned but didn’t touch. She could feel his warm breath on her lips as they moved. “The expert in the battle moves the enemy and is not moved by him.”
He hadn’t moved to subdue her, but neither had she. Faith was paralyzed by a sudden lust coursing through her veins. With all of her being, she wanted to grab this man and smash her lips into his, feel that little scrub of hair on his chin against hers.
With every ounce of will she had, Faith turned away from him, back towards the safe in the wall. She could only hope to get out of here without police involvement at this point. “The wise warrior avoids the battle.” She heard rustling behind her, and when he spoke next, she realized he’d moved back to the chair.
“I can see it.” He spoke as if to himself, murmuring so quietly she almost didn’t hear. “We’d make a decent match. You’re almost as irreverent as I am. And you know your Tzu.”
Without a word she slipped her hand back under her skirt again and retrieved her multipurpose tool. She’d have to come back, but she wasn’t going to let this asshole get what was hers. Doing her best to replace the faceplate in a hurry, she left the wall safe a ridiculous mess, not having taken anything from it. Super. She could hear him muttering behind her about thieves and Jezebels and tamped down the flash of irritation that flared to life.
“I work alone.”
“For now.” He chuckled as she darted out the door and back downstairs. She didn’t dare glance back.
He’s never been given a choice in this prison of fate, but it’s his turn now.
Hell is about to meet his match. When Damien gets a woman, the only underworld he’s ever known changes. She’s chosen for him, but she’s enough…
Cynthia doesn’t believe in Hell; she believes in kindness and science, and the greater good. She’s perfect, and pure and…
But she’s his.
And he’ll move Heaven and Hell to keep her.
This is Anne Conley’s final installment in the Four Winds series.
“Oh God…” she murmured under her breath.
“Are you alright? Do you need the hospital?” He knew what was happening to her, and it was probably embarrassing to her, but he was turned on beyond belief, and it was something he’d never felt before. Sure, he’d indulged in carnal pleasures with women before, but this was something completely different.
“Yes… No… Oh God…” He steered her out of the restaurant, and as soon as they made it out the door, Cynthia pushed him against a wall. “Stupid tumor…” she moaned as she threaded her fingers around his neck, pulled his head down, and crashed her lips against Damien’s.
The feel of her lips on his took his breath away. The soft heat of her tiny little tongue as it swept inside his mouth with a whimper caused him to lose all semblance of control. He didn’t know what came over him, but he had to have this woman. Now.
His hands immediately grasped her ass and spun her around so she was against the wall. He lifted one of her legs, wrapping it around his hip, and ground his erection into the warmth separated from him by their clothes. He’d never felt anything like this lust before. He needed her with a burning fire that he wasn’t sure one night with this creature could douse.
She responded, pressing against him wantonly. Her fingers tangled in his hair, and the prickly pain made him groan. He pushed the vision, knowing the image of them in her bed—a mass of sweaty tangled limbs—was undoing her, the same way his mental fondling was.
The same way it was undoing him. A torrent of lust wracked his body, and he fairly shook with it. He wanted her. Right here.
Damien so wanted to do some real-life fondling, to sink his fingers inside her wet heat and feel her pulse around him, but some conscious thought told him that wouldn’t do. Not on the first date. He knew enough about good women to know that wouldn’t further his purpose with Cynthia.
She was whimpering into his mouth, and he swallowed the sounds eagerly. He continued his grinding, building her to heights he couldn’t even imagine. His own erection was painful, but he held back doing anything to relieve it, knowing this was for her. He selfishly wanted to show her what they’d be like together.
She flew apart in his arms—on the sidewalk in front of the restaurant—with a muffled cry which he devoured with his kisses. He could kiss her forever, he realized. As she came down from her climax, he slowly lowered her but didn’t stop kissing her, wanting her with every fiber of his being.
When she pushed him away, a sinking feeling flooded him, dousing the fire with disappointment.
“Um… I’m sorry.” She was straightening her hair and smoothing her pants, refusing to look at him.
“Don’t be.” He couldn’t keep his hands to himself, so he cradled her face with his palm, thinking that may be a classy way to reassure her.
“I have to be. That was really embarrassing.” Her eyes darted around to see if anyone had seen them, but he chucked her chin with a finger.
“It was beautiful, Cynthia.” Beautiful wasn’t the word for it. It was magnificent, celestial. She glowed with an inner light that nothing could extinguish, better than any fantasy he could conjure.
You’re penning that mystery novel, and you think you have the perfect scene; a body lies in a pool of blood on the sidewalk, your PI protagonist, a police detective, and the medical examiner stand over it. The following dialogue ensues:
Cop: “What do we have here, doc?”
ME: “A white male in his late thirties with GSW to the chest.”
PI: “When did he die?”
ME: “From lividity and liver temp, I’d place time of death between 2 and 2:30 this morning.”
Okay, let’s stop there. There would be beats, or actions included here, not just lines of dialogue, but that’s not the point I wanted to make. Readers raised on a diet of TV cop shows will probably not see anything wrong with this little scene, but they would be wrong. There are so many things here that are incorrect it’s hard to know where to start. If you’re writing fiction, though, it’s important that you get it right—or as close to right as possible—whether you think your readers know the difference or not. And, be warned, more readers than you might imagine will know the difference, and they will not forgive you for not knowing.
Following are a few things that you shouldn’t do if you want your writing to have that ring of authenticity that allows readers to suspend disbelief and follow along.
- Don’t have characters in a situation that would never occur in real life. In the dialogue example above, the PI is standing over the corpse with the cop and medical examiner. No way! A private investigator, unless he was a suspect and being grilled—and, that would be in a police station, by the way, not out on the street—is a private citizen, and would never been allowed past the crime scene tape. It’s also unlikely that the medical examiner would be at the crime scene. These guys work in the lab.
- Don’t have characters doing or saying things they would never say in real life. The ME (who wouldn’t be there in the first place) also wouldn’t give time or cause of death prior to conducting at least a preliminary autopsy, regardless of how many do it on TV. There are too many factors that must be examined to determine cause or time of death for someone to be able to look at a corpse on the sidewalk and make such definitive statements.
- Don’t have agencies or organizations doing things they don’t do in real life. The ME in real life doesn’t usually go to crime scenes. Again, forget what you see on TV. Another pet peeve of mine is having agencies, especially federal agencies, doing things they would never do in real life. The Patriot Act notwithstanding, federal agencies don’t normally just swoop onto the scene and shove local authorities aside. Unless a case is clearly interstate in nature, or is a case of international terrorism, the FBI has no jurisdiction. Local sheriffs, for instance, have more power than people realize, and can block federal officials in their jurisdictions. My son-in-law is a postal inspector (the investigative arm of the US Postal Service), and he tells me of some western sheriffs who’ve detained postal inspectors for serving federal warrants in their counties without first notifying the sheriff’s office. Now, that’s power. Another pet peeve of mine is the way travel of foreigners is handled, or how the role of diplomats is portrayed—all wrong in most cases. An example I saw recently had cops investigating the murder of a young Brazilian au pair in NYC. In the course of their investigation they learned that the victim had bribed an officer at the Brazilian consulate general to get her brother a permanent visa into the United States. He killed her, and they lured him onto the sidewalk where he was arrested. Forgetting the unlikelihood of NYPD pulling a stunt like this, the fact is, foreigners wanting visas to come to the U.S. don’t go to their consulates, they go to an American consulate or embassy, and if that organization issues them a visa, they then have to apply to an immigration officer at the US airport at which they land for permission to actually legally enter the U.S.
- Leave out the magic technology. Unless you’re doing science fiction or really futuristic stuff, don’t have technology doing things like instant identification of an individual from a partial print, or immediate identification from a small DNA sample. Identification through fingerprints, even with today’s technology, requires comparison of the print against a print on file and agreement of several points of identification. Often, matches are a percentage of comparability rather than a 100% match. DNA testing and analysis takes time; it’s not a push button affair.
- Don’t have your victims flying through the air after being shot. This is one that really gets my goat. It’s a mainstay in a lot of gory movies. The victim gets shot and the force of the bullet slams him into a wall, or through a window or door. Uh-uh; in real life it doesn’t happen. I’ve been in a war zone, and I’ve seen guys hit with M16 slugs and still continue to charge forward. I once stood next to a sergeant who accidentally shot himself in the hand with his .45 caliber pistol. It took a portion of his finger off, but didn’t cause his hand to fly forward. When people get shot, what often happens is they stop, unless they were moving rapidly in one direction, in which case they often continue, and then they fall to the ground.
- Don’t do Bruce Lee kung fu fight scenes. The kung fu movie fight scenes are great choreography, but in real fights—including the martial arts variety—no one dances around like that. If you want to write fight scenes that sound real, spend some time in a gym or dojo and watch real fighters go after each other.
Okay, that’s a nice half dozen tips to get you started. I know most how-to lists are 5, 10, or some multiple of 5, but I like to be different, so deal with it. And, if you’re nice, I might even share some more hard-earned knowledge with you in the future. Got any more ideas on what makes fiction seem unreal? Share them with me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and if I use them in a future article, I’ll give you full credit.
It’s December, 2015, the second of the month, to be exact, and it’s time again for my contribution to Alex Cavanaugh’s Insecure Writer Support Group, a forum of bloggers who share their fears, hopes, dreams, and ideas for the benefit of the writing community. You can see a list of them here, as well as throw your own hat into the ring and share your pearls of wisdom.
This is the last post of the year and, sadly for me, my last contribution to the group. I find that running two blogs, reviewing 3 – 4 books per week, trying to write my own books, and teaching three courses at local colleges—just to list my main activities—takes up more time than I’d anticipated. In addition, I’m not sure I have anything else to share that’s really new.
I thought for my last post in the group, I’d talk about the things I’ve gained from being a part of IWSG for the past many months. That’s right; this has been more of a learning exercise for me—I’ve gained much, much more than I’ve given.
I’ve learned that, while writing is essentially a solitary activity, thanks to social media, blogs, and the Internet, a writer doesn’t have to be totally alone. I’ve gained many friends over the past three years, many of them writers, and I’ve learned something valuable from each of them.
Reading the blogs by other members of the group I’ve improved my own writing. Hints on how to develop characters, or to develop meaningful character names, a great post by Jody Hedlund. There were a lot of inspirational posts, like Rachel Shieffelbein’s advice on not quitting when the going gets hard.
There were more, so many more that there’s not enough space here to mention them all. At this writing there were 255 bloggers participating in the Insecure Writer Support Group monthly posting. That’s a lot of potential sources of advice and inspiration. I know—I’ve been inspired and gotten tons of advice over the months. I’ll keep dropping in from time to time, because I know there’s always something new to learn.
In the meantime, my parting piece of advice to all you writers and wannabe writers out there—stop threatening to write, stop procrastinating. Listen to Rachel Shieffelbein; sit yourself down and put fingers to keyboard and WRITE.
Happy holidays to all my regular readers, and a happy successful year ahead. Keep reading, keep writing.
I don’t normally pay a lot of attention to blog awards–too busy blogging, book reviewing, and writing–but, I have to stop and say thanks to Anatomy of Perceval for One Lovely Blog Award. I’m really not sure what I did to deserve it, but it’s always nice to learn that there are actually people out there who read what I write.
So, having that out of the way, I’ll follow the rules for this award.
7 Interesting Facts About Myself
I’ve been writing since I was about 12 or 13 – got my first short story published in a national magazine back then.
I have a short attention span, and get bored easily, so I write and read in a lot of genres.
My first full-length work of fiction took eight years to write–but, now I finish a book of 60,000 words in about a month.
I was a paratrooper in the army, but I’m afraid of heights. I can’t stand on the edge of a three-story balcony without getting dizzy.
I like animals, but am allergic to cats.
Because of a childhood accident that damaged my eye nerves, I don’t have binocular vision. But, it was undiagnosed until I was nearly 20, so I’d learned to compensate–including playing baseball and shooting expert with a rifle in basic training when I joined the army at 17. Go figure.
I love to travel, but I hate flying.
Blogs I’m nominating
These are bloggers I follow, even though I don’t visit them as often as I probably should. When I do, though, I always find something to make my day. Not everyone has the time to respond to these awards, and I’ll certainly understand if they fall into that category, but I just had to express my appreciation for the great writing they do.
Rules for the Award
In conclusion, to all my blogger nominees, here is the list of rules to participate:
- Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link to her/his blog.
- List 7 interesting facts about yourself.
- Nominate 15 other bloggers and inform them by posting on their site.
- List the rules and display the award.
It was actually quite helpful in focusing my writing.
It’s time for another posting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. This is where you can see posts from a group of writers who share their success, fear, and advice with you on the first Wednesday of each month. This month, I have only a brief message; about a subject I’ve been avoiding, but there has been so much in the media about it the past several months, I’ve decided to be silent no longer.
In American politics, there are a number of topics that arouse intense debate whenever they’re brought up: immigration, gun control, gay marriage, social security, to name a few. In the publishing world, though, among publishers and writers, there seems to be only one subject that does this: Amazon.
The ‘Zon seems to be the third rail of the publishing world—especially when it comes to indie writers and publishers. Everyone has an opinion on it, and all opinions seem to be at one pole or another; Amazon is either a behemoth that is devouring publishing as we know it, or it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread.
Let me give you my view, for what it’s worth. Amazon is big. It’s huge. And, while big is not necessarily better, it’s also not necessarily bad. Sure, Amazon’s a business, and the business of business is to make money. Amazon has become big because it’s been good at doing that. And, it’s made all that money by supplying what customers want. Along with the thousands of other products available for sale on Amazon.com and its other sites around the world, are tons of books in all forms, from hardcover to e-Book (to audiobook), all of them available at the click of a few keys on your computer; available, I might add, often at relatively reasonable prices. Reasonable prices attract more customers, which means more sales, which means more income—or so Amazon’s reasoning seems to be.
Now, one of the arguments against Amazon has been that it is creating a monopoly which will restrict the availability of books, which will hurt authors. Looking at what’s available for sale on Amazon and my own book sales over the past year, I have a hard time believing that argument. Will Amazon help or hurt writers, especially indie writers? I think the answer to that is, it depends. If you have a large backlist and your books are pretty good, I think Amazon’s business model will benefit you. Take my own case, for example. My books are so-so popular (I have a few diehard fans), and I have a backlist of 60+. Amazon’s new model, which pays authors for total pages read, has caused a 25% increase in my monthly revenue. Why? Simple really; the more you have available to be read, the more will be read. For example, if you have four books and readers read 75% of each, you still won’t do as well as I will with 60 and readers only reading 35% of each. Don’t believe me; do the math.
The same can be said of many of Amazon’s other business models, such as KDP Select, where you make a book exclusive to Amazon for a period of time. It’s easier to do that if you have several books, and can chose which ones you want to make exclusive, and which ones you want available on other platforms (and, I’m talking e-Books here, as paperbacks aren’t exclusive).
So, briefly put, Amazon is in the business of making money. If you’re an author, you should be in the business of gaining readers, and you do that by offering a wide audience of readers a wide selection of things to read. Amazon is the platform to do that. Not the only one, by any means, but a good one. So, rather than getting embroiled in the debate, get to writing.
Looking for a good book to read? Looking for a place to showcase your book? Check out Beezeebooks, a site for readers and writers, featuring some of the best fiction and nonfiction by indie authors worldwide.
For an idea of what I’m talking about, check out the entry for my book, Frontier Justice: Bass Reeves, Deputy U.S. Marshal at http://beezeebooks.com/frontier-justice-bass-reeves-deputy-u-s-marshal/western/, and while you’re there, check out some of the titles by other outstanding authors.
It’s that time of the month again—first Wednesday—time for a contribution to Alec Cavanaugh’s Insecure Writers Support Group, a collection of nearly 300 avid bloggers who share ideas, fears—you name it—about writing for fellow writers. If you’d like to become a part of this stellar group, go here and sign up.
This month, I want to address an issue that I know concerns everyone who writes for publication; book promotion, and how to avoid some of the schemes floating around.
Book promotion is like going to the dentist. It’s one of those things that is unpleasant, but necessary for good health, or in the case of a book, getting sales. Social media, as pervasive as it is these days, is a good way to promote your published work, or even create buzz for a work in progress, but the problem is knowing how to use it.
I’ve found Twitter to be a highly effective means to get word out about my books. So, apparently, have thousands—if not millions—of other people. As with any technique that works, it has also spawned a whole new industry of people who offer, for a fee, to help you get your word out to the Twitterverse.
I’m not calling these offers scams, because the majority of them are probably honest offers. But, honest or not, they are unnecessary. Why pay $50 upwards to have tweets posted about your book by someone else, when you could, with a little effort, probably do the same thing yourself? Or, you could find one of the free retweet services, such as CoPromote, to do it. I’ve been using this one for several months now, and during time have reached over 4 million new potential readers, and seen a 25% increase in monthly book sales, both paperback and e-Book. CoPromote is a relatively easy concept. You sign up, link your account to your Twitter, Tumblr, and YouTube accounts. You then pick a Twitter, Tumblr or YouTube post to promote and highlight it (the instructions are easy). After you’ve selected a post to promote, you scroll through posts by other members and select up to ten per day. The posts you select are promoted on your accounts, and other members promote your post. My average number of shares during the two week promotion period has been 150,000 to just over 300,000 new shares. That’s a lot of new readers. When I first signed up, Facebook posts could also be linked, but due to technical problems, this is no longer possible. The web masters at CoPromote say they’re working on the problem, so we’ll just have to wait and see what happens. There is, though, a way around the problem. I have my Facebook and Twitter accounts linked, so that when I tweet, it also does a Facebook post. Helps others more than me, other than the fact that it helps enhance my reputation as someone who promotes others–not a bad thing for a writer.
I use CoPromote primarily to promote published books, but have also used it for other projects, such as my photography. This gives me extended reach to new readers without having to do frequent sales pitches on my own accounts. And, it costs me nothing. Now, you can’t get better advertising than that. I’d be interested in hearing from anyone else who has had experience with CoPromote or any other free book promotion site.
That time of the month again—the time when I make my offering on behalf of Alex Cavanaugh’s Insecure Writer Support Group, a bunch of bloggers bent on being the best at helping fellow writers beam bright in the blogosphere and elsewhere in the writing firmament. If you’re interested in sharing your views, pop on over to IWSG and sign up. Each month, we write about something that interests us, and that we hope will be of interest to others; advice, fears, triumphs, etc.
This month, I’m going to depart from the usual advice to writers, to wit, WRITE, WRITE, WRITE, and tell you that sometimes the best thing you can do for your writing is to STOP!
Given that I’m usually spouting off that the only way to write well is to write often, and my frequent suggestion of having a 1 – 2,000 word per day writing goal, my regular readers are probably scratching their heads in wonder right now. Bear with me, though, and you’ll see the method to my madness.
Everyone has, no doubt, heard or read the old adage, ‘a healthy mind makes a healthy body,’ or something along those lines. The meaning of that is usually, a good mental attitude is important to maintaining physical health. But, scientific studies have shown that the opposite is also true: maintaining good physical health helps to improve brain functioning. Staying physically active, keeping your heart, lungs, and blood vessels healthy helps ensure adequate oxygen gets to all parts of the body, including brain cells. And, while we’re talking about exercise, which is great for maintaining the physical plant—muscles, bones, vital organs—it’s also great for conditioning the brain. That’s right. Science has discovered that the brain has more plasticity than previously thought, and even in adulthood, can be improved through exercises such as puzzles, learning a new language, or learning to play a musical instrument.
Ideas, and the manipulation of language are a writer’s stock and trade, which means that for us as writers, the brain is one of our most important possessions. It stands to reason, then, that we should keep it in top condition. So, to keep that idea engine humming along like a Mercedes Benz S500, step away from the computer for a short period every day. Get out and walk through the park—briskly. Start every other morning with a nice, heart pumping workout, work the daily crossword—with a ballpoint pen.
You don’t have to sacrifice any of your writing goals to do this. Like writing, exercise can be worked into a 24-hour day if you really want to do it. Turn off the TV for thirty minutes. You’ve seen that episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer anyway. Get out and walk around the block
Your writing will be better for it.