Great blogging tip

If you’re interested in finding out how to keep a post permanently on your home page, check out this great post on WordPress Sticky Post from Chris the Story Reading Ape’s blog. It’s super easy, comes with pictures and I found it very helpful. A huge thanks to Chris for that awesome post!

 

Authors Supporting Our Troops 2015 #ASOT2015

What a wonderful initiative!

ARMAND ROSAMILIA

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Hard to believe we are only three months away from the official kickoff to the second year of Authors Supporting Our Troops. I figured now would be a good time to get everyone up to speed and explain the program again so I don’t have to spend so much time this year telling helpful people what we do and do not need to make this another successful year.

First off, we never really stopped collecting author-signed books, we just haven’t posted too much about it once the official end date of May 15th came and went. We collected 2,500 books from authors and publishers in the four months we promoted it. I think that is awesome.

Since then we’ve managed about 75 more books and sent out another shipment overseas to a soldier. the goal for 2015 is to break 3,000 books collected and shipped. We can only do that…

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Reading with Wild Things

Beautiful, moving and so apt for Banned Books Week. Thank you to Part Time Monster for this incredible post!

Designing Blogs

An absolutely awesome post with great information. A big thanks to Winter Bayne for this gem! Check out all those fantastic tips!

A DIFFERENT KIND OF CAT POST!

I have to admit, this cracked me up…

Thank you to The Getting Old Blog for the laughs!

The Getting Old Blog

[Thanks to the e-mail follower who found this piece of Batmania in “The Spectator”  and sent it to me …. ]

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On why I hate all life

Hilarious. I laughed out loud at this one and had to share it. So good. A big thank you to Infinitefreetime for the laugh.

Infinitefreetime.com

We bought our house in February or March of 2011.  I have the exact date somewhere I’m sure but for the purposes of this blog post it doesn’t really matter all that much.  Just be aware that our inspection report from before we moved in specifically states that a roof inspection wasn’t possible because there was a foot of snow and ice on the roof.  It could have been made of pancakes and toaster strudel for all we knew before we moved in.

We were prepared to take that risk, on account of the fact that the interior of the house appeared to have been well taken care of, and there were indications that the original owner of the home was actually the builder, so we figured that the place had been well-maintained.

Note that the home inspector does not inspect your lawn for you, and that if the roof…

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Stop doing list

I really think Dr. Diane MacKinnon is onto something in her post: ‘ Stop doing List’. It’s a post on things she wants to change but, instead of saying ‘I’m going to do this’ she’s mentioning what she’s going to stop doing.

The stop-doing list comes from this post by Danielle LaPorte and the idea that what you stop doing is just as important as what you start doing. That makes sense, you can’t add, until you subtract. I need to make room in my life for chosen behaviours by taking away things that I don’t want to do.

For example, I’d like to stop trying to please others, or watching TV or eating what’s on my plate simply because it’s there or worrying about what might happen…

Doesn’t it sound delicious? A worry-free life, a guilt-free day, more time to write…the possibilities are endless.

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Don’t take your writing too seriously

I may be wrong but I think writers are pretty hard self-critics. I think that’s how we get that dreaded ‘Writer’s Block’. I’m not a psychologist or therapist but I read this great post by BELLA MAHAYA CARTER on ‘Why writing isn’t selfish navel-gazing’ and thought she might be onto something. Maybe we need to stop taking our writing so seriously.

Ms. Carter teaches and her students put down their writing. As she says,

The only thing “off” about my student that night was her judgments of herself, and of her writing. I see this a lot. I’ve threatened to put a jar on the coffee table in my living room into which my students must toss a quarter for every apology, excuse, or self-deprecating remark made prior to reading what they’ve written.”

I read her post (a really good one) and wondered, do I take my writing too seriously? There are times when the fun, the magic of writing is simply gone.

Writers, resist the temptation to judge yourself and your work. Think of your writing as sandbox time. Dig. Play. Get dirty. Make friends. Explore the shapes of things. See what you can build. But don’t take yourself too seriously. The more important your writing feels, the better it serves you to think of it as a game. A diversion. Something you do for yourself first. Enjoy it.”

I think, following her advice, I’ll try to enjoy my writing more. Maybe add a silly curl to my hero’s hair or give the heroine the hiccups…during a kiss. Ha! Something that will lighten my mood and make sure that I remember to have fun with writing.

After all, if I want serious, I’ve got my Day Job.


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(credit: epicfunnystuff.zxq.net)

(credit: epicfunnystuff.zxq.net)

Writing Part-time

I have a DayJob. Which means I write when I can. I squeeze it in when there’s time. I hope that the muse is inspired then, that there are no doggie emergencies or phone calls so I don’t have to run away halfway through.

That’s why I found this post by Ali Luke so helpful. How to make the most out of my writing time. 17 ideas. Awesome.

Number 8 works for me. If I leave home and go to a favourite coffee shop, there are no doggies to walk, no phones, no undone laundry. I can just write and I focus.

Number 15 was another issue. I’ve learned that I need to write first and do the Media/blog thing last. Otherwise, I won’t do write. My blog can be a monster that sucks away my time. I start reading other posts, checking in what others are doing, looking at other blogs and, before I know it, hours have passed and I have to get away from the computer. No writing has happened.

Number 16 is another really good one. I like to edit my work and that scene that’s flat and empty and numbing all at once can bounce around in my head while I do something else. Believe it or not the back of my mind is looking at it while I do something else. If I’m patient, my subconscious will keep looking until it comes up with a great idea for the setting, a comeback, a great way to present a character or a twist that will bring that piece of the book to life.

What about you? Do any of these work for you?

A good villain

I’ve rambled on about flat characters before. Then I discovered this post by Lisa Alber. She writes on how to make a fantastic villain. And you need a good villain, you need a great villain to take your story from good to great.

A great villain is someone that we love to hate. It’s someone we like just a little bit; they are redeemable enough that we want to hear about them yet they’re terrible enough that we hate them anyway. You know they’re good when they keep us turning the pages. More than anything else, we want that evil person to face the music and pay for what they’ve done. They can’t stupid or illogical, they have to be smart, even a little brilliant and nasty to the bone. They can easily carry that story to the end.

But how do you get one? Hm. I’m thinking of my book, Amy’s Courage and the villains in it (yes, more than one). I think I need to revisit them. Because Lisa Alber has some very, very good suggestions on how to make these characters rich and juicy and simply delicious. Characters you love to hate. And the chance to make my book better is too good to pass up.

Want to know more? Here’s the link to her post.

Want to know less? Here’s what I took from it: enrich my villain with layers, personality and background. Give them faults but also give them gifts–after all, they too were someone’s baby once.

A big thank you to Lisa Alber for the awesome post!

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