The Three Rs: Reading, wRiting, and Roaming

January 19, 2021

The beginning of 2021 has been a “hold my beer” moment. We thought 2020 was a challenge. This year apparently has upped the ante. What is a writer to do? How do writers concentrate on plot points and fiction projects when life appears to be stranger than any thriller ever composed?

Methods to Improve Concentration

My writing students often express frustration with their ability to concentrate. It’s a common dilemma, I say. To improve concentration, medical professionals offer advice that includes writing things down. Ironically, however, students frequently blame poor writing skills as hindrance to the very solution that doctors recommend. First, I reassure them that... Continue Reading

January 12, 2021

Welcome to the first installment of the 2021 Author Series. Each month we’ll give a published author the spotlight and benefit from their sage wisdom as they tell us what they wish they had known before they published their first book or what advice they would go back and give their pre-published self.

I know many of you already know Silvia Acevedo! She is a good friend, and I count myself very lucky to be in a critique group with her! For those of you who don’t know Silvia, here’s your official introduction:

Silvia Acevedo is an author and co-leader of two associations for writers and illustrators.

For the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, Silvia brings great kidlit... Continue Reading

January 6, 2021

This is my first blog post of 2021 . . . a year that we are ushering in with much hope, albeit guarded hope, as we are in the early days of the vaccination process that should begin to return our lives to some semblance of normalcy.

In this space, I typically review the previous year’s achievements, milestones, and funny moments. What can I say about 2020?

I don’t know if I’m really ready to write about it—but here goes. It was a bad year, full of anxiety, fear, depression, and loss.

My dad died this year. I miss him. I’ve already had that moment where I wanted to ask him something a hundred times, and then jarringly realize I cannot. (Delwyn L. Biel obituary.)... Continue Reading

December 21, 2020

2021 LITERARY CALENDAR

SHOW ME THE MONEY: ROYALTIES, RIGHTS, AND RICHES FOR INDIE AUTHORS

NATIONAL NOVEL WRITING MONTH – WRAP UP

FEATURED ARTICLES

2021 Literary Calendar

Sandra Beckwith of Build Book Buzz shares this awesome calendar that will help you plan out fun, bookish social media posts throughout 2021. Days like “World Grammar Day,” “Library Shelfie Day,” and “Bad Poetry Day” may make there way into my posts. How about you? https://buildbookbuzz.com/2021-literary-calendar/

Show Me the Money: Royalties, Rights, and Riches for Indie Authors

Okay, before you all start laughing hysterically at the riches part . . . Erika Liodice’s... Continue Reading

December 15, 2020

November was National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), and for the past few months, I’ve offered blog posts about the month-long typing rally that included ideas about plot points; time management; and using markers to move beyond sticky sections. This month, I’ll offer a wrap-up of what I learned and accomplished. First, while I did not achieve the goal of 1,600 words per day, I succeeded in other areas that were surprising to me. Second, I found... Continue Reading

December 1, 2020

Kathy Nieber’s debut picture book celebrates adoption with a lovely story about finding a forever home filled with love. Sweetly written with charming illustrations, the reader follows along as Natalie searches for a forever home for her rapidly-growing Gingko tree. Not just any home will do, Natalie needs to find the perfect place for her beloved Gingko. Nieber’s sense of humor is evident as we learn the reasons some of the places will not work! You’ll enjoy sharing this truly heartwarming tale with all the young readers in your life. 5-Stars!!

 

ABOUT THE BOOK:  Gingko and her human best friend Natalie set off on an adventure to find the Chinese tree a forever earthen home. Along the way,... Continue Reading

November 24, 2020

AUDIBLE RETURNS FIASCO (Solved?)

HOW TO SELL BOOKS IN 2020

WORLD READING HABITS & GLOBAL PUBLISHING

WHAT'S NEW AND NEWISH

FEATURED ARTICLES

Audible Returns Fiasco #Audiblegate

Here’s the latest on the Audible Returns Fiasco . . . if you haven’t read anything about this yet here's what’s happening: Audible has always had an extremely liberal returns policy, but recently they started encouraging their customers to return audiobooks up to a year after purchase—EVEN IF THEY HAD ALREADY LISTENED TO THE STORY! When these returns go through, it isn’t at Audible’s expense. Audible debits the accounts of the authors/narrators who previously counted that book as a ‘sale.’ Plus, this return policy is completely opaque to the authors... Continue Reading

November 17, 2020

Ideas About Writing to Plot Point and Time Management

November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), and for the past months, I’ve offering ideas about it in preparation. You can aread those blog posts here and here. Now that we're a little more than halfway through the month, I’m offering an update. From conversations with other writers, emails, and chatter on social media, it appears to be... Continue Reading

November 8, 2020

My six favorite books from the past two months include a grab-your-tissues middle-grade novel, a heritage-rich young adult novel, a heart-warming, coming-of-age mystery, a sweet romance, and duo of time travel romance novels that take us to the old west (and back again).

THE REMARKABLE JOURNEY OF COYOTE SUNRISE by DAN GEMEINHART

This book cover is adorable and intriguing and it’s what initially drew me to this story. Why in the world is this girl on top of a bus? You’ll love her from the start and eventually you’ll learn the heartbreaking reason why she’s now called Coyote Sunrise and why her dad is called Rodeo and not Dad. The sheer personality of this character is something to gush about—unique, forceful... Continue Reading

October 28, 2020

HOW TO WRITE A GHOST STORY

AMAZON READER REVIEW MYTHS: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

BLACKBIRD WRITERS: FLASH SALE & GIVEAWAY

FEATURED PUBLISHING PRO: DAN BLANK

FEATURED ARTICLES

How to Write a Ghost Story

Perfect timing on this article from Amy Holland at the Good Story Company. Are you in the mood for writing a ghost story? Here are tips to help you build the suspense and draw from what scares you the most.

Amazon Reader Review Myths: What You Need to Know

Many thanks to Sandra Beckwith for penning this excellent article dispelling the myths surrounding Amazon reviews that seem to... Continue Reading

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