Tag Archives: novels

The 12th and FINAL Blog of Christmas

web pic with christmas tree 2Now for our FINAL post for the 12 Blogs of Christmas from the organizer himself, Martin Crosbie.

In a press release, Amazon called Martin Crosbie one of their success stories of 2012. His self-publishing journey has been chronicled in Publisher’s Weekly, Forbes Online, and Canada’s Globe and Mail newspaper. He’s the author of six books including the Kindle Scout winner “The Dead List – A John Drake Mystery”.

Martin was born in the Highlands of Scotland and currently makes his home just outside Vancouver, on the west coast of Canada.

HERE IS MARTIN’S BLOG POST:

Last year on the night after Christmas, even though it had been an exceptionally busy day, I drove a car-load of family members around the streets of our town. For two and a half hours we drove up and down roads searching out the brightest, most illuminating lights on people’s houses and lawns. My eighty-six year old passenger in the back seat, wrapped in a blanket and clutching a mug of hot chocolate, smiled the whole time and asked me pull over and look at every light on every street. Two days later we took her into hospital and three weeks after that we lost her.

Doreen Clark was diagnosed with cancer when she was thirty years old. It was a form of cancer that took ninety-five percent of its victims. She beat it. In the following fifty-six years she lost a kidney, suffered heart failure, lost the ability to walk without a walker and overcame it all. She beat everything that was thrown at her. Some people are resilient, she was more than that. She was unbreakable…Click here to read more…

To read the 12 Blogs of Christmas from the beginning, CLICK HERE.

My TOP 8 Writing Tips for Newbies

Here’s a quick Top 8 list of things to help you write anything!

  1. Don’t have any distractions (tv, kids etc.) This means turn off your email, close all windows (on your computer, dummy, not the ones in your house, although that might be a good idea too.) It does, after all, get noisy out there sometimes. Come to think of it, that effin bird out there is making an awful racket, and WHAT’S WITH THE LAWNMOWER — it’s October, for crying out loud! Perhaps I will just close my window…

…sorry about that, had to go out and ask my neighbour if he could mow his lawn a little later and we got to talking about composting. Now, back to the list. Hey, what’s that buzzing sound? Oh, it’s my cell phone — I have it on vibrate so as not to get distracted.

2. Have your phone on vibrate…damn! You know, maybe I should answer it…just this once. After all, it must be important or they wouldn’t keep trying to call me back. Or perhaps they think I am a bit slow and it takes me a while to figure out my effin phone is trying to get my attention…oh, screw it, I’d better answer, it’s going off again…

…Well, that was an interesting call about why I need to switch my service provider. I told her when they can figure out how to filter spam phone calls — especially when I am writing a blog post or when I am in desperate need for the bathroom, then they got me for life! When I was in the afore-mentioned bathroom, I noticed my toenails were getting a little long so I got out the trimmers; and of course, then I noticed my legs hadn’t been shaved in a while.

3. Schedule a specific time each day to write. Even if it is late at night, or early in the morning before work, make a plan to write at a scheduled time and DO NOT do any other activities during this time.  I have this friend whose husband used to get up at 6 am to write before work. I wonder how he is doing on his book. You know, I really should check online to see if he is on Amazon yet. I bet his book would be really interesting after all that work he put in…

4. Do NOT get tempted to look anything up on the internet unless it directly relates to what you are writing about. I just spent over $50 and I do not remember exactly what I bought, but it definitely was not my friend’s husband’s book. He wasn’t on Amazon. I should shoot him an email to tell him I checked…Ah, no! Almost fell for that one! Just keep writing, just keep writing…

5. KEEP WRITING! It is best to keep a document on your desktop to add any ideas to throughout the day so you can expand upon them during your scheduled writing time. Just highlight or delete as you use the content. Ooh, just remembered I had a list somewhere about staying on topic and pruning your work for efficacy and clarity. Hmm, it’s here somewhere…

6. Stay organized. Just spent an hour browsing through files and getting lost in the mountain of images, photos and documents that do not seem to follow any sort of chronological order, or aren’t arranged in any way which could conceivably be called ‘organized’. Now I am very despondent. Perhaps a snack to make me feel better.

7. Okay, no snacking until you finish. You should set a goal (say 500 words or an hour of writing if it’s a blog — longer if you are working on a novel), and have a favourite snack or bevvy on hand for when you complete. Oh, just remembered, I ate the last of the Goldfish crackers with my red wine last night — a poor writer’s wine and cheese party. Anyway, I’ll just pop out and get some nibbles. You know, for when I get around to finishing this…

It’s ALIVE! Bwahahahaha!

When creating characters for a novel, a writer has a great responsibility to them; they can be almost as real to a writer as the actual living and breathing human beings in the writer’s life. They ghost through rooms and scenery constructed in the imagination, and demand to be heard at the most inopportune moments. Continue reading It’s ALIVE! Bwahahahaha!

My TOP 8 Writing Tips for Newbies

Here’s a quick Top 8 list of things to help you write anything!


 

  1. Don’t have any distractions (tv, kids etc). This means turn off your email, close all windows (on your computer, dummy, not the ones in your house, although that might be a good idea too.) Okay, scratch the dummy part. You can close all your windows if you want. It does after all get noisy out there sometimes. Come to think of it, that effin bird out there is making an awful racket. Perhaps I will just close mine…sorry about that, had to go out and ask my neighbour to mow his lawn after I’d finished writing this and we got to talking about bedding plants. Now, back to the list. Hey, what’s that buzzing sound? Oh, it’s my cell phone — I have it on vibrate so as not to get distracted.
  2. It is a good idea to have your phone on vibrate…damn! Who is so insistent that they phone right after not getting answered the first time? Do they think I am a bit slow and it takes me a while to figure out my effin phone is trying to get my attention…oh, fuck it, I better answer, it’s going off again… Well, that was an interesting call about why I need to switch my cell service provider. I told her when they can figure out how to schedule the phone calls so they do not occur when I am writing a blog post or when I am in desperate need for the bathroom, they got me for life! When I was in the afore-mentioned bathroom, I noticed my toenails were getting a little long so I got out the trimmers; and of course, then I noticed my legs hadn’t been shaved in a while. Wish I had more time to…
  3. Schedule a specific time each day to write. Even if it is late at night, or early in the morning before work. I have this friend whose husband used to get up at 6 am to write before work. I wonder how he is doing on his book. You know, I really should check online to see if he is on Amazon yet. I bet his book would be really interesting after all that work he put in…
  4. Do NOT get tempted to look anything up on the internet unless it directly relates to what you are writing about. I just spent over $50 and I do not remember exactly what I bought, but it definitely was not my friend’s husband’s book. He wasn’t on Amazon. I should shoot him an email to tell him I checked…Ah, no! Almost fell for that one! Just keep writing, just keep writing…
  5. KEEP WRITING — It is best to keep a document on your desktop to add any ideas to throughout the day so you can expand upon them during your scheduled writing time. Just highlight or delete as you use the content. Ooh, just remembered I had a list somewhere about staying on topic and pruning your work for efficacy and clarity. Hmm, it’s here somewhere…
  6. Stay organized. Just spent an hour browsing through files and getting lost in the mountain of images, photos and documents that do not seem to follow any sort of chronological order, or aren’t arranged in any conceivably organized way. Now I am very despondent. Perhaps a snack to make me feel better.
  7. Okay, no snacking until you finish. You should set a goal (say 500 words or 30 mins or writing if its a blog, or longer if you are working on a novel), and have a favourite snack or bevvy on hand for when you complete. Oh, just remembered, I ate the last of the Goldfish crackers with my red wine last night (thanks, Mandy, for that suggestion — delicious! Just like I had my own wine and cheese party) Anyway, I’ll just pop out and get some nibbles. You know, for when I finish this.

You Know You’re an Author When…

Oh, yeah...this is good. I'm awesome! Gonna make sooo much money!!
Oh, yeah…this is good. I’m awesome! Gonna make sooo much money!!
  1. You check hourly on how your book is doing since launching it a week ago on Amazon.
  2. You swear and throw things when you realize the manuscript file you loaded was the “test” one and not the final proofread copy.
  3. You obsessively scan the “right” book before hitting upload, terrified you may have missed something, or are accidentally uploading your mom’s favourite chocolate chip cookie recipe instead (hey, there’s a good blog post topic…actually, you think you have chocolate chips in the cupboard. You have time to whip up a batch!)
  4. You mix the cookie dough, then realize there are no chocolate chips (you ate them while checking on how your book was doing yesterday.)
  5. You eat the dough raw — because!
  6. You wonder how you ever got a book written in the first place.
  7. You congratulate yourself on actually writing a book, and forgive yourself for the upload error, ‘cos who’s actually gonna buy it and read it anyway?
  8. You spend the rest of the day looking up symptoms of food poisoning from raw cookie batter and promise yourself to fix the upload issue tomorrow.

Before You Publish, Edit That Shit!

Image

Self-publishing is an incredible adventure filled with pitfalls, mountains and shit storms. So, when my first book is eventually published, I will pat myself on the back and thank those who helped, and forgive any errors I may have made. Because, with each book, I will learn from my mistakes and sneak up on that elusive noun called perfection.

Along the way I have found blogs that unraveled the mysteries of the internet, and tweets and posts that supported me through digital trials and tribulations. I am not too techy — but eager to learn — and sometimes I feel like a over-excited puppy tripping over its own feet and rolling in its own pee.

I want to share one website with all you writers out there who need reminding of the simple, but beautiful, art of editing when buried under mounds of programming issues, formatting errors and online horrors. I found heaps of helpful advice from Write Into Print. Click below for a series of tips on self-editing that are a pleasure to read as much as they are a gentle reminder to get your shit together before you ask people to read your book! And, as always, it is a good idea to let someone else edit your creation before launching it into the ether.

Write Into Print —> http://bit.ly/1dtAwQp