Reading, wRiting, and Roaming with Author Valerie Biel

May 9, 2017

My April reads were mainly done on my trip to Spain . . . and mostly during our airplane adventures. (You can read more about that in last week’s post if you missed it.) I can give an enthusiastic thumbs up to three of the four.  So why mention the fourth book at all?

If you’re like me, you buy a lot of books and that can add up. I appreciate very much some of the daily deal type newsletters I subscribe to that give me a list of low priced or free titles each day. My favorites are BookBub, The Fussy Librarian, and... Continue Reading

May 3, 2017

It’s been twelve months since I’ve typed those words and shared an interesting travel experience with you. This little adventure to Spain also fulfills April’s “Never done THIS Before” Challenge. Initially, I expected my new experience to include viewing the Semana Santa (Holy Week) processions and relying on my Spanish to navigate. (I was attempting to use English as little as possible.)  But, boy-oh-boy-oh-boy, we got a little more “experience” than we expected.

Here’s the short story: 

STORMS > DELAYED FLIGHTS > FULL GROUND STOP IN ATLANTA > MISSED FLIGHTS > NICE AIR FRANCE PEOPLE > LOST BAGS > MISSED TRAIN > MEAN TRAIN PEOPLE > NICE HOTEL PEOPLE > CLOTHES SHOPPING > TEARS... Continue Reading

April 25, 2017

In my journey through the steps of independent publishing, refining my writing skills, and most recently completing a successful agent search, I’ve come across some excellent information, tips, tools, and shortcuts that I think would be beneficial to any writer. Once a month, I’ll share the “best of” information and news from the publishing industry as well as feature other authors and writing instructors with tips to share. I am incredibly thankful for the assistance and advice given to me from writing and publishing professionals and am happy pay that forward.

Book News & Events

Indie Bookstore Day is Saturday, April 29! Plan to support your local indie bookstore this... Continue Reading

April 25, 2017

Are you the kind of writer who says, “Yay, editing!” or are you slightly less enthusiastic about the process? I think my main reason for enthusiasm, at least at first, is that I’m celebrating the completion of a rough draft.

I remember finishing the first draft of my first book. I was slightly in shock that I had actually written something that was book length. In fact, it was kind of long . . . at least 25,000 words too long, and I knew it was time for some editing. But I didn’t know where to begin. I knew I need to read through to search for typos and identify the sections that didn’t move my story forward, but I didn’t have a step-by-step approach.

Over the years and through five book-length manuscripts and... Continue Reading

April 18, 2017

 

 

 

 

 

The rainy days of April are here, bringing time and reason to write. Sprinkles outside mean I’m at my keyboard inside. Who doesn’t find satisfaction in writing while listening to rumbles of thunder? Rainy days are great for working on writing problems, and I’ve developed two specific prompts for cloudy afternoons. The first prompt is, An Oldie but a Goodie: Avoiding Clichés. The second is, To Boldly Go: New Verb Frontiers.

An oldie but a goodie: Avoiding clichés

There’s no time like the present to learn to avoid clichés. If you’re an unrepresented writer and querying agents, it’s better to be safe than sorry! Do not send a cliché-filled... Continue Reading

April 3, 2017

Ah, March! I had a lot of book-ish things going on in March that prevented me from reading as much as I would have liked to. I know we can all relate to that. I was happy to attend the Wisconsin Educational Media and Technology Association Conference and the University of Wisconsin Writers’ Institute as well as visit St. Mary's School in Portage, but that means my review list is much smaller for March. 

The stand out read for the month was a middle grade novel I had downloaded quite some time ago. Upside Down in the Middle of Nowhere by Julie T. Lamana follows Armani Curtis who is turning ten the weekend Hurricane Katrina hits New Orleans. All... Continue Reading

March 28, 2017

In my journey through the steps of independent publishing, refining my writing skills, and most recently completing a successful agent search, I’ve come across some excellent information, tips, tools, and shortcuts that I think would be beneficial to any writer. Once a month, I’ll share the “best of” information and news from the publishing industry as well as feature other authors and writing instructors with tips to share. I am incredibly thankful for the assistance and advice given to me from writing and publishing professionals and am happy pay that forward.

Book News

If you are one of the many adults who has never read a book from the young adult or YA genre, you are missing out on some very fine stories. (I’m not just saying... Continue Reading

March 20, 2017

Writing a book can be very intimidating not just for veteran writers but more so for rookie ones. Why? Simply because everyone wants to read a good book. We all like to encounter stories that will make us think about our own lives or to take us to a trip down to memory lane. Today, writing a great book can be done faster than it would normally take to draft your very first sentence.

How? By utilizing the snowflake method! Now, we are sure that not everyone has heard about this method of writing a book so let us give you a brief background. Randy Ingermanson according to http://www.... Continue Reading

March 15, 2017

 

 

 

 

Every writer benefits from writing classes or writing instruction. Even the best writers seek an outside perspective. Almost every professional, whether involved with writing, sports, or business, admits that continued instruction is helpful. 

Have you contemplated taking a class? Perhaps you’re seeking certification or maybe you’re enrolling in school to acquire a writing degree. I returned to school after many years to pursue a master’s degree. It was difficult and exhausting but worth it. Yes, for me, two-and-a-half years of writing classes was a fantastic choice. 

So, perhaps you’ve enrolled in a course. Now what? How... Continue Reading

March 8, 2017

Books – Books – Books! I continue to wish for a real-life working Time Turner (like the one Hermione Granger had in Harry Potter) so I could live each day twice: Once to do all the things I’m supposed to do, and a second perfectly wonderful day just for reading.

February continued my love affair with books featuring futuristic worlds where things are not all that perfect. I originally became interested in the 5th Wave series by Rick Yancey after I saw the movie advertised. (I know this is backwards, but I truly hadn’t heard of it until then.) And I have another confession to make. I watched the movie FIRST! (I know, I know – that is just so WRONG.) The good news is that the movie was... Continue Reading

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