“Artists are people who are not at all interested in the facts—only in the truth. You get the facts from outside. The truth you get from inside.” --Ursula K. LeGuin

Friday, April 18, 2014

Are You Getting Tired of Sentences Sneaking into Your Mailbox?

Writer, come prop your feet up, have a cup of coffee let's kvetch for a while--two seconds, that's all we get--for kvetching—not for talking productive talk.

Are you getting tired of sentences sneaking into your email box, sentences such as “Earn Money With Your Writing?  Craft Books that Sell? How to Build a Platform?”

Yeah, yeah, you say, I want that. The only trouble is you have to sign up for a course, or a book, or a series of CD’s. Maybe it’s a workshop they are promoting, but it’s being held in Southern California and you live in Missouri.

Two seconds are up.

I have attended a number of writer’s workshops, and found them informative. #Chuck Sambuchino, editor of Writer’s Digest, (Las Vegas) was terrific. And dumped information and materials on us in abundance.  #John Kremer, marketing guru, 1001 Ways to Market you Book (Palm Springs), will be there for you.  #Wendy Niad, screenplay manager, (L.A.) came with her daughter, who was perfect, the workshop, however gave little hope of making it in Hollywood. Oh, having an ethnic name will help. #Ray Bradbury, years ago, in San Diego was the best. He sat on the lawn and talked master to student.

Now I’m away from Southern California, but The Willamette Writer’s Conference is right up the road from me in Portland. 
In a previous reincarnation, I attended the Willamette Writer’s Conference a few times and found myself like a kid with candy before me, except that I was outside the locked candy store with my face pressed against the window.
All this said the best advice from a workshop came from an author. "What in the hell are you doing here?” he asked. “Go home and write.”

Okay, here we are in front of our computer writing, but still wanting input on how to make our writing better, and how to sell what we have written.

Content…Yes we want that. And I can’t tell you how to do that, it is your voice that needs to speak. Although I can tell you that the industry isn’t so concerned with content, they want you to prove to them you can sell.

And when it comes to selling, here are a few necessary inclusions an agent or a publisher wants to see:

A Tagline
A tagline is a slogan. It is a memorable phrase that sums up the tone of your product.
"Cigarettes taste good like a cigarette should." Forty years later we still know it was a Winston.

The true story of a real fake, Catch Me If You Can
There are 3.7 trillion fish in the ocean. They are looking for one. 
Finding Nemo

The log line

 The log line is one-sentence summary of your book that states the basic conflict of your story.

While the log line for Jaws is, “Shark terrorizes a New England town, The Log line is:

“A police chief, with a phobia for open water, battles a gigantic shark with an appetite for swimmers and boat captains, in spite of a greedy town council who demands that the beach stay open.”

For Splash: A naive young man battles heartless authorities to protect the life of his girlfriend when it’s revealed that she’s not human— she’s a mermaid.

When writing a log line, ask:

  •        Who is the main character? What does she/he want?
  •         Who is the villain, or what is standing in the way of the main character?
  •         What makes this story unique?

Next time I will address plot and synopsis, right now I need to do editing on my book The Island—I’m beginning to feel it will never end.

Oh, was that kvetching?
Stop- it,


Thursday, April 10, 2014

 Book available on Amazon

Hello Everybody,

Yes, I know this is a writer's blog, and I like to offer tips, or inspiration, or whatever pertains to writing. Well this time I have to show you my book. It's imperative that I do it.  It's essential. It's a hope for the future--that this book can, and will, make a difference.

Just click on the image and it will take you to the Amazon site. There you can read a portion, decide you want it, buy it, and receive copious thanks from me. I'd send flowers if I could.

There are zinnias on the cover, an old fashioned flower to my way of thinking, and they remind me of her.

Over and out until later. Thanks for stopping by,


P.S. The book is being offered for the incredibly low price of only $2.99. A steal.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Uplift, Inspire, Enthrall

I once heard a psychiatrist say that writing is self aggrandizement. With a broad brush he painted people such as Thoreau, Hemingway, Steinbeck, and Shakespeare, as bunch of ego maniacs. Maybe they were, but the world is made better because they had the guts to put their words onto paper.

Actors  uplift. Artists inspire. Musicians enthrall. Birds enchant. And the antics of babes, human or animal, never fail to bring a smile to our lips, and they are not doing it for an audience. They do it because they love doing it.

Because of their expression the world rings, vibrates, dances, shines, and is made glorious.

Okay writers, let’s jump into the fray.

And follow Ray Brabury's advice: If it isn't fun, don't do it. 

And speaking of glorious--spring has come to Oregon.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Something to offend

“Do you know that books smell like nutmeg or some spice from a foreign land? I loved to smell them when I was a boy. Lord, there were a lot of lovely books once, before we let them go.” 
Ray Bradbury

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Hello folks,

I borrowed this from Jeff Goins Blog, 

Jeff Goins via aweber.com 

A couple years ago, when I was still working for a nonprofit organization, I shared on this blog a story about an orphanage in Haiti that had a dire need. Action was required, and people responded.

In fact, so many people raised their voices in a week that the Haitian government had to do something. 10,000 people banned together via social media, with no other tools to work with than their words — and they made a difference.

A virtual mob of people who wouldn’t keep quiet about injustice shut down a corrupt orphanage that was trafficking little children, selling them into slavery. It made national and international news.

And it made me believe in the power of words again.

Friends who worked for aid groups in the developing world all told me the same thing: “This doesn’t happen.” Not in a week. Not even in a month. What made the difference was the fact that so many spoke up, saying this was not okay.

The conclusion we all should make

Words make a difference. Talk isn’t cheap. Your message matters. And something terrible happens when you don’t speak up. That’s what I’m trying to say here.

Many of us have heard this quote by Edmund Burke:

All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.

So if you want evil to continue in the world, if you want to see the status quo spread, shut up. Don’t say a word. And don’t give your writing the significance it deserves.

Continue apologizing for your work and downplaying your gifts, but whatever you do, don’t speak. Because when you do, things change. And who wants, or needs, that?

May you, in spite of your fears and apprehensions, believe that your words do matter. And that someone, somewhere, needs to hear them.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Take Heart

I love you guys.

Here you are reading me, and I thought I was a voice lost in the wilderness. so, to you other writers--gosh I feel I have a  kinship with you--here is something that will warm your cockles. 

Take heart.

From  Ray Bradbury:

"Starting  when I was fifteen I began to send short stories to magazines like Esquire, and they, very promptly, sent them back two days before they got them!

"I have several walls in several rooms of my house covered with the snowstorm of rejections, but they didn’t realize what a strong person I was; I persevered and wrote a thousand more dreadful short stories, which were rejected in turn.

"Then, during the late forties, I actually began to sell short stories and accomplished some sort of deliverance from snowstorms in my fourth decade. But even today, my latest books of short stories contain at least seven stories that were rejected by every magazine in the United States and also in Sweden! So … take heart from this. The blizzard doesn’t last forever; it just seems so