“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

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

A Book Before Bed

My daughter reads to her son every night before bed.

He is eleven and likes mythological, fantasy, high action books. My daughter says that sometimes this desire to keep a reader going, to have each chapter end with some disaster, some catastrophe, or some life-altering event gets tiring.

This need / desire to keep the action happening at the end of the chapter leaves no place to wind down, to pause, and to give a reprieve from reading and a desire to return to it the following night.  

So she has developed the habit of stopping in the middle of the chapter.

Now that flies in the face of present-day thinking. Keep ‘em reading. Keep ‘em engaged. Keep 'em turning the page.

Nope. Lead us gently to a fantastic ending.

What say you?

Monday, March 27, 2017

Bear / Bare

#Grammarly, an editing program, saved me.

While I wanted my readers to bear with me, I didn’t want them to bare with me—then we would be standing there naked.

Instead, I wanted them to bear, not bare, not read Winnie the Pooh or see that big furry creature over there smelling the daisy, but to endure, to stick with me.

It was all so frustrating I got bare and stepped into water so hot I could hardly bear it.

Friday, March 17, 2017

"Write a Book You'd Be Embarrassed to Show Your Parents"

Good advice for any writer.

First of all, I have to tell you about a book I pulled from the Library shelf yesterday. I don't know yet if it's a good book, I haven't read it, but the title was so good I had to carry it home. There was a picture on the cover, a fence, and a sign, "Trespassers Will Be Shot."

The title of the book is #"Survivers Will Be Shot Again."

What makes people pick up books? 

A snappy title such as that one, or they know the writer's work.

I've read over 50 #Danielle Steel books, after not being a romance book reader. However, when I saw that she sold over 650 million copies of her novels, I figured I ought to see what she is about. (And she ended a sentence with a preposition, so I guess I can.)

That woman knows how to tell a story, and she believes in happy endings. 

Me too.

That said, I am offering an excerpt from my novel, Song of Africa. 

It took me a day to muster the courage to push the 'Publish," button on that excerpt, and at first, I offered it by invitation only. 

This morning that the little voice that speaks to us in the early morning hours spoke to me:

"Stop being such a smuck. Put the excerpt of your novel, Song of Africa, out there and let the chips fall where they may."

No signing up. No exclusivity. 

and Viola' you're in.

I want this to be as though you are in a bookstore, and you are attracted to a book titled Song of Africa. (By me, Jewell D or Joyce Davis, one of those, I haven't decided who I will be yet.)

You pull Song of Africa from the shelf, and go to the coffee counter, order a good strong brew, fix it to your liking, and sit down and read the first 37 pages. 

Oh, you say, "I forgot to drink my coffee. I was so engrossed in what happened to the two Saras, their lovers, to Patrice, and to that infamous painting,’ The Girl on The Pier,’ that I forgot to drink it.”

 You gulp down the now cold coffee, and go to the checkout, plunk down your credit card, and after purchasing Song of Africa, you tell the clerk:

"Order more of these. This book will sell like hotcakes."

Friday, March 3, 2017

Make a Splash!

Yesterday I attended the National Achievers Congress 2017 in Portland Oregon, with six speakers, all millionaires, with the calling card being Tony Robbins. 

"Find your nitch," the millionaire's told us.

"Rich people believe they can CREATE their lives."

"If you focus on Crap, you will become a crap magnet."

Expand your mind, Robert Herjavec of TV's Shark Tank told us. "You have to believe you can get there." 

You might have noticed that none of the Shark's have fancy degrees, People don't care, said Robert, they only care about what your results. 

"On the days when you see more problems than opportunity. Failure is in your body."

Say instead, "I'm wonderful. My job is to be a source of joy."—Robert H.

Said Gary Vaynerchuk::

  • Figure out what works for you. 
  • Find your voice, 
  • Give value. 

Steven Sitkowski's: "Keys to success:"

  • A burning desire
  • Specialized knowledge
  • Ability to take action

Notice that everybody wants to teach you.  You need to learn how to blog, to write, to learn grammar, have an editor, (Yep, I need one), and someone wants to sell you a Bootcamps on about every imaginable subject.  

Whoops, am I getting cynical? 

We can't blame people for wanting to make a living. I also believe that people, ingenious creatures that we are who have evolved for two million years, ought to be able to figure out some of these things on our own. The model now, I've noticed, is give free information, free books, free videos, free U-tubes—for an email address, then ASK for that person to buy whatever it is they are selling. 

Here I do not intend to teach, but rather to share what I have gathered. It is a buffet table, and you put on your plate only what suits you.

Ignore the sheep eyes—unless, of course, you like sheep eyes.

I love it. 

For you entrepreneurial writers, I have a tidbit for you:

Write a book of 80 to 100 pages and use it as a selling tool. It can be a giveaway for your business, and better than a business card. 

It gives you authority and authenticity.

This is from Gary Robert, publisher of  Black Card Books.    

"Turn your expectations to appreciation and your life will change."—Tony Robbins