Thursday, July 31, 2008

Don't let August be your slump month

Have you written and submitted your work yet this summer? June and July have blown away, leaving only the dusty days of August. When the sun glares through your windows, and steam rises from your tomato plants, don't glare back in exhaustion. Park yourself in a cool spot and write so darn fast you'll generate a breeze.

In the July/August 2008 issue of Poets & Writers, Joshua Bodwell writes on The Art of Reading Andre Dubus. The essay refers to senior, the father of Andre Dubus III, who is most known for House of Sand and Fog. The son is quoted as having said this about his father's story entitled "Waiting."

The story, "... about the hollow ache experienced by a woman widowed by the Korean war, took fourteen months to write and was more than one hundred pages in early manuscript form. But when the story was published in the Paris Review, it spanned a mere seven pages."

Supports my theory of overwriting: Just keep producing. So go sit in the shade and write til August ends.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Meet Maggie Ball, a friend from down under...

One of my many online friendships is with Magdelena (Maggie) Ball, an energetic writer and host of Compulsive Reader:

I've sent soon-to-be-authors to Maggie's site to study the reviews and learn what makes a book stand out, and what gets mentioned in goods review. Now Maggie Ball has authored her first novel Sleep Before Evening, and has been named as a Finalist in the the Regional Fiction category of the 2008 Next Generation Indie Book Awards.

The Next Generation Indie Book Awards were established to recognize and honor the most exceptional independently published books for the year and is presented by the Independent Book Publishing Professionals Group in cooperation with Marilyn Allen of Allen O'Shea Literary Agency. Additionally, Sleep Before Evening will be listed as a Finalist in the 2008 Next Generation Indie Book Awards catalog, distributed at Book Expo America in Los Angeles.

Talking about her book promotion, Maggie says: "I'm actually based in Australia myself, so all of the in-person promotions I've done have been here in Aus -- that includes the book launch, library talks, giving ancillary talks on subjects the book touches on like addiction, self-actualisation, art and bi-polarity.

"With Angus & Robertson, Australia's biggest independent retailer, I basically visited them in person and made a lot of phone calls -- can't beat that face to face stuff. But I have a pretty big online presence, and tend to work in a worldwide venue, and probably from a network point of view, I have many more colleagues and contacts in the US than in Australia. Also Australia is a much smaller market, and the book is set in the US, while the publisher is in the UK!"

When you think it's difficult to write fiction, try writing a novel based in New York, when you're living in Australia, while running the successful Compulsive Reader site at the same time.

The marvel of this online friendship and my reason for sharing this with you is: In all this time, knowing Maggie online and enjoying her Compulsive Reader site, I never knew she was based in Australia. It shows you both how global the "world-wide" web is, and how you must listen when I urge you to think globally in your own promotions. Living in Chicago doesn't limit your market. Use the web to target readers far and wide, and let me know when YOU are the one to win an international prize.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

"Release Your Writing" is on sale at Amazon Kindle

Gee, maybe Amazon read my recent post about Readius. Nah, that couldn't be. If you do have Kindle, you'll be glad to know Amazon is offering my book, Release Your Writing on sale, for $7.99 to download for your Kindle.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

In 2009, Readius takes on Kindle

How cool is this? A 7/06/08 New York Times article cites the upcoming competitor for Amazon's ebook reader. It's the "size of a standard cellphone. Flip it open, though, and a screen tucked within the housing opens to a 5-inch diagonal display. The screen looks just like a liquid crystal display, but can bend so flexibly that it can wrap around a finger."

For the full story, read the Times article or learn more from the Readius' maker Philips Polymer Vision.
If you haven't purchased a Kindle yet, even at the new lower price of $359, you might want to hold on to your money and see what other bright ideas come along.

Cross-posted on Computer Cclarity's blog too.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Ways to Write, Going Against the Grain

If you read Dan Poynter's newsletter, you already know this. If you don't read his powerful free advice and news, you can subscribe here:

His June newsletter included Five Cool Ideas for Speed Writing by trainer and coach Michael Angelo Caruso, of Edison House.

He offers five tips for writers to work faster without sacrificing quality:

1. Write to micro deadlines.
Try to generate x pages an hour or a chapter a week. Faster isn't always better, but faster is definitely . . . faster.

2. Don't worry about punctuation or spelling.
The idea is to correct the grammar later. Get the pages done, then proofread.

3. Write out of order.
Instead of writing pages in sequence, work on modules in any order. Then piece them together and provide continuity.

4. Write backwards.
It can be easier to begin when you know the end.

5. Work from an outline.
Get the main parts down first. Think of it as creating a skeleton and then "fleshing" out your work.

More 5 Cool Ideas topics at