Time to get your mojo on for Nano and other cool links

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It’s October and that means  you have a few weeks to prepare for National Novel Writing Month. I’m jumping in. I hope some of you are too. If you are, let’s be writing buddies and keep each other motivated.
Ready, Set, NaNoWriMo! – How to Prepare for NaNoWriMo by Gary McLaren. Good nuts and bolts on what you can do to prepare for NaNo.

How CSI Gets it Wrong. Great post by an expert witness in forensic pathology that dispels rampant myths about crime scenes and forensics. Don’t forget to sign up and get the free download of crime writing tips. Excellent!

New Laser Turntable Plays Your Records Without Even Touching Them 

If you’re a big fan of vinyl but worry about damaging your collection, this may be an interesting solution. Kind of cool when tradition and modern tech come together.

JetBlue Book Vending Machines Dispense Free Kids’ Books in D.C. Neighborhood

Wow, if this isn’t a nod to getting kids to read, I don’t know what is. Kudos to Jet Blue for encouraging kids to read.

Person Asks Online For Advice On How To Deal With Grief. This Reply Is Incredible.

Be prepared to tear up on this one. This post I believe went viral a few weeks ago. But there is a good reason that it did. You rarely see such a heartfelt example of empathy and understanding on the Internet.

Have a great weekend everybody.

Annie

Ruth Harris Offers the Best Writer Reference Post Ever and Other Cool Stuff this Holiday Weekend

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Depressed? Anxious? Stressed? A Must-have Guide to Must-lists For Writers
Get Instant Relief Without Dangerous Drugs, Messy Creams Or Exhausting Exercise! By Ruth Harris. I have to say this is the best reference post for writers I’ve seen in a long time – possibly ever. Personally, I copied the whole thing to a Word file and now have it and the links at my fingertips. Thanks Ruth!

Crime and Science Radio Returns With Some Great Shows This Fall. Awesome, online radio show dedicated to crime talk. Great find for mystery and crime writers.

Agatha Christie was actually a poison master. From the Daily Beast. Did you know that Agatha Christie was a poison expert? I didn’t. Fascinating.

Compact Camper Is Perfect For Traveling. Awesome compact camper that will blow your mind. Especially good methinks for holiday weekends such as this.

Just for fun drop by this site and cartoon yourself.For free.

Have a fun and safe holiday weekend everybody.

Annie

Who Won the Hugos, Why it Matters & Other Good Stuff

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Who won science fiction’s Hugo Awards and why it matters. By Amy Wallace. A very long and detailed article about the controversy leading up to the Hugos and the results. For me, it provided some clarity on what all the ‘debating’ has been about over these last several months. Good read, but it’s a long read, so get comfy.

Simple Promo Tip: Nailing Your Email Subject Line by Sharon Bially. Nice, straightforward advice on email marketing for authors.

The Holy Grail for Authors. 5 Reasons to Self Publish by Sheri McInnis. Trad published author is going indie – she tells us why.

Six Magic Phrases You Can Use to Sell More Books by Sandra Beckwith. Yes, yes, and yes.

Best Colors for Book Covers. Is a great little gem that discusses basic design, color choices and images for book covers. Highly recommend. 😀

Meanwhile, I’m on track to make my August 30th deadline. Stay tuned.

Annie

Jane Friedman Gives us the Lowdown on How Your Book Becomes a Movie – and other cool stuff

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How a Book Becomes a Movie by Jane Friedman. Dream of your book someday becoming a movie? Jane gives you the lowdown on how the moon, stars and Hollywood all have to align to make that happen. Excellent read.

The Future Is Freelance by John Bond. Mr. Bond gives us five good and sound reasons why more and more the publishing biz will be and is using freelancers. I say hooray.

Japanese readers spend the most on electronic books from Business Insider. Interesting, the favored book format in Japan is eBooks. Can’t say that doesn’t make me happy.

How Changing Your Reading Habits Can Transform Your Health by Michael Grothaus. “Reading doesn’t just improve your knowledge, it can help fight depression, make you more confident, empathetic, and a better decision maker.” Fascinating and insightful article about some heretofore unknown (at least to me) side benefits of reading.

A few thoughts on new writers and “doing everything right” by Kristen Painter. Sage and straight from the hip advice. Good one.

Just for fun: If you’re stuck trying to come up with a super villain, this villain generator may be just the ticket or a time suck. Up to you.

Meanwhile, I’m working on getting my series release ready to shoot out into the universe. That could be fun. More details later.

Have a great week everybody.

Writer Chick

Gaming Amazon for Kindle Success and Other Captivating Reads…

Confessions from the Underground World of Kindle eBooks, Part 1. An ‘anonymous’ interview with a supposed best-selling Kindle author who has a formula to game the system and make a ton of money. Smacks of cautionary tale to me. Note: There is a part 2 & 3 at the same blog if you are interested in following up on what happened.

Women Crime Writers of the 40s and 50s by Sarah Weinman. Is a fascinating article about women crime writers but not just in the 40s and 50s. Believe it or not we’ve been around almost from the beginning of the genre.

The Power of Fiction – by Jo Eberhardt. Jo discusses whether we as writers have the power to change the world, or at least one person’s world. She makes a compelling case for the yes column.

10 terms coined by Ernest Hemingway by Angela Yung. Just for fun, ten still used phrases that we use thanks to Papa Ernie.

With Lower Prices and 12X More Titles Per Year, Famous Authors Fear Amazon Bestselling authors make roundabout arguments that it’s in readers’ interest for big publishers to collude on high prices. Interesting….

Have a great week everybody.

WC

#Ten Things Not to Say to a Writer Lights up Twitter and other fun stuff

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#Ten Things Not to Say to a Writer. Hilarious.

Another wake-up call from Amazon as they serve author interests better than publishers have. by Mike Shatzkin Discusses what Amazon, yet again, is doing for authors – and it’s a good thing.

A Publishing Contract Should not be Forever. The Author’s Guild suggest a publishing contract with traditional publishers should not be forever. I think he’s got a point.

Living in the White Space by Liz Michalski. Liz suggests there may be more to life than writing, editing and submitting. She may have a point.

Does your site make the grade? Check out this cool free little tool, the website grader.

Meanwhile…I’m working my butt off to have an August release of my mystery series. Wish me luck. 😀

Have a great rest of the week everybody.

WC

Self-e for Indie Authors and Other Discover-abilities this Week

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I’m sensing a theme this week and it all has to do with being discovered, getting discovered, making yourself discover-licious. Anyway…

How to Get Visible in Libraries. By Porter Anderson (guesting on Anne R. Allen’s blog) Explains SELFe. A program that may help indie authors get the attention of librarians and by doing so, conquer at least in part the discoverability factor.

Meeting Readers Where They Are from Writer Unboxed. Another interesting post that discusses the discoverability factor, which is ever present on the minds of indie authors.

DIY Point of Sales Programs for Indie Authors. Want to sell your books directly from your own site? This article from Publisher’s Weekly might set you in the right direction.

If you haven’t read it yet, here’s the link to the first chaper of Harper Lee’s new book Go Set a Watchman.

Top 10 Tomato Solutions. Just for fun. If you’re a gardener like me, this quick little article may help you improve your tomato crop – or at least give you a clue what may be wrong.

Have a great week everybody.

WC

“The great self-publishing purge of 2015” and Other Stuff happening around the neighborhood

Scribd Starts to Banish Indie Authors from its Catalog by Michael Kozlowski. Who knows what this will mean for indie authors – but the ‘great self-publishing purge of 2015’ may be something we talk about for years to come. Or not.

Amazon Review Policy Under Fire: Indie Authors Call For Change In ‘Big Brother’ Policing. Looks like some authors/readers are fighting back and petitioning Amazon to change it’s policy on reviews. I hope they do.

Estate Planning Basics for the Self-Published Writer by Kathryn Goldman
Very straightforward and sound advice on how to handle your intellectual property as part of your estate.

Why Readers, Scientifically, Are the Best People to Fall in Love With by Lauren Martin. When I first saw this title I thought it was probably a silly, funny post but in reading it I actually saw it made some good points. Oddly, as a writer I never put ‘reader’ in the list of attributes I might want in a mate. How different things might have been if I had.

Everything is awful and I’m not okay: Questions to ask before giving up. This was posted by a friend in my Facebook feed. It’s a printable PDF file with a list of questions you might want to ask yourself if you’re feeling blue. Very common sense and it’s worth a look.

Have a great week everybody.

Writer Chick

Indie Authors “Owning It” and Other Groovy Stuff this Week

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Found a few real nuggets this week – read them, bookmark them and refer to them often.

For Indie Writers: You have the control. Own it. By Elizabeth Hunter. Ms. Hunter makes the very good point that indie authors are not just authors but also publishers and instead of complaining we should own it. I’m with her. It’s your party, you decide the menu, the party favors, the guest list and everything else. Own it. Enjoy it. Do it.

I miss the blogosphere by Nathan Bransford. A sweet post that made me long for the good old days of blogging too. Before it was a social media ‘tool’

The complete list of creative distractions and defenses against them by Dan Blank A humorous and accurate list of how we allow ourselves to get distracted from our work.

Indie Authors Should Think Twice About Kickstarter by Michael Kozlowski. A short but profound cautionary tale about Indie’s going the Kickstarter route.

And last but not least, for Raymond Chandler fans –The Long Goodbye audio book at Audible

Have a great week everybody. 😀

WC

Eight things a writer shouldn’t tell their friends or family

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Writers are weird ducks – at least as far as ‘normal’ people are concerned. Our brains are a never-ending source of people, places, ideas, stories, worlds, languages, dialects and facts – many of which don’t actually exist. Except in our heads.

And we love to research. We collect strange, trivial facts like little boys collect bugs – can’t get enough of them. And given that we spend an extraordinary amount of time alone (in our heads) we’re not particularly good at social intercourse. Read – we lack filters.

But we’re creative. And creative is fun. And we want to share the fun. Especially since we spend so much time in our heads in our little rooms making stuff up.

So it might not occur to you that some things you just don’t want to share with your friends or significant others. Like:

1. The fact that you know at least 50 different ways to kill someone. Poisons, weapons, hand to hand combat, choke holds, garrotes, tools of torture, lethal herbs, how to mimic real life heart attacks – you know them all and find them fascinating. Sure, you need to know these things because you write murder mysteries. But do you think that cute guy or gal you just started dating wants to know that you could kill them 50 different ways?
2. That they are an inspiration for a character. Now you may think this will flatter them or make them feel special. However, given human nature, chances are they will search your stories for anything that even remotely sounds like them. Or they’ll criticize you for depicting them as a bitch or a jerk or stupid or somehow incorrect and unflattering. And God help you if you break up – a lawsuit could be in the offing.
3. That ten minutes into the movie you’re watching you know who did it or how the story will end. You’re a writer, you recognize plot points, inciting incidents, red herrings and every other writer device employed to create a story. And you’re okay with that because you enjoy seeing how other writers use those devices to craft a story. Your girlfriend/boyfriend, mom, sister, friend however, is not a writer. They don’t want to know the ending. They want to be surprised. So don’t ruin it for them.
4. That basically you think for a living. Let’s face it, we write and we write a lot but before we write, we think. While we’re writing, we think. We just think all the time – working out plots, character arcs, playing what if… Whatever. And the truth is a lot more thinking hours are logged in than anything else. This will surprise and likely disappoint your non-writer friends. Because they can think and nobody pays them for it. And let’s face it, we already have to deal with people who think that writing is the same as talking and since they can talk, writing really shouldn’t be a job, right? Imagine the response to the thinking angle. Although there’s boundless evidence that many people don’t or can’t think – everyone believes they are thinkers – and brilliant ones at that.
5. That you talk to your characters – regularly. Come on, admit it. We all do it. We all talk to our characters almost as much as we talk to the ‘real’ people in our lives. It’s part of the process. But strictly speaking, talking to imaginary people likely classifies as one type of mental illness or another. And those meds are expensive. And though  you get a lot of alone time in a little room, they usually won’t let you have writing implements.
6. That the character you created that they adore was once a clown with a gambling problem and a criminal record. It doesn’t matter that the character is currently a super hero who uses laughter to do good in the world. If you tell them about previous incarnations it’ll ruin it for them. They’ll never see the character the same way again. Ditto for first drafts.
7. Any idea you have for a book. Sure, there might be a few writer friends or beta readers you can run an idea by. But the average lay person will inevitably turn that conversation into an idea they always had for a book. They will then proceed to tell you all about their idea and offer it to you because they’ll never get around to writing it themselves. And heck fire, they’ll split the profits with you too. In the alternative, it may be such a good idea that your friend blabs it around and next thing you know, somebody else has written the book. Keep ideas to yourself.
8. How many books you sell/money you make. Unless you’re a NYT bestseller (in which case they’ll already assume you are a bagillionaire) keep your sales data and financial gain or loss to yourself. It only opens the door to criticism and suggestions of finding a real job or worse, advice on how you could do better.

If you keep these things to yourself you may pull off living up to the carefully crafted image of the mysterious, interesting writer that you’ve spent years creating. If you don’t ,you’ll just be Arnie’s and Mabel’s kid who lives in their basement and refuses to get a real job.

How about you? Have you told friends or family too much about your writerliness? Were they shocked, disappointed, sad? Did they point their finger at you and laugh? What do you keep to yourself as a writer? Speak your mind in the comments below.

Writer Chick

copyright 2015