Wow if you work from home, or want to there's a new blog out there you have to check out! A fellow postie of mine, Eve, has a terrific info packed blog on all things home biz called (appropriately) Home Biz Blogger. You can bet I put that blog on my 'speed dial' here. It's a hot link for sure with a great article right now on the top page about the various shopping cart options available and their pro's and con's, and I'm busting a gut over her cartoon on web 2.0. I sure should have checked that out the other day when I asked the question 'what is Web 2.0?' on my other blog.
Articles like '10 hot business ideas for parents,' and 'getting a website for your business' are only a few of the well-thoughtout posts on Home Biz Blogger.
Eve also has a Fun page for a humorous look at home business, and a tips page for great tips, and an advertising page for a quick look into indepth articles on marketing!
This blog is a MUST check for anyone working from home. Oh, and I love the layout too, and the FONTS are great Eve!
Cruising the blogosphere this morning I found out something rather funny. The skin on your elbow is called your 'wenis'. This is just too humourous to pass up as a comment. Apparently this skin is also totally without nerve endings. (Not to be confused with your actual elbow which is just packed with them, as evidenced by the shooting and prolonged pain even a bump can cause.) Think of all the puns you can get away with without being 'dirty'. Wanna touch my wenis? Your wenis is showing. Don't bump your wenis on the doorjam.
I wonder how many towns ended up like this from what seemed to be grand beginnings?
And how many of us have grand dreams only to wake up years later to find that life was just the same-old-same-old? I don't think anyone works, or even plays with the assumption that things will turn out crappy. Sometimes they just do though.
I bet there are loads of little towns that thought they were gonna be the next big thing, but missed by a hair.
Hey, you've seen those places as you drive down the street, the get cash now places. You go in and if you need cash in a hurry you can get an advance against your next paycheck, or insurance settlement check, and things like that. A great service for those caught in a quick bind and needing cash now -- not next Friday, or two weeks from now.
Well, here's a better way. Get cash now ON-LINE. Yeah, no more driving to the cash store. In fact, no more 'hey, I thought it was on this street, where is it'? It's right HERE.
You can even get a loan without a credit check try that at your local bank. Apply now and http://www.nationalpayday.com will take care of everything for you.
This is a hard time of the year to get any writing done. First there was Thanksgiving, now Christmas is looming only a few short days ahead with all of the family things that it entails. Many of us have family coming in. Those writers with little ones at home, while always having to deal with the trials and tribulations of balancing a job-work at home or not-and toddlers now have the festivities of the yule to contend with as well. Those with older children have them hanging around the house all day as vacation time strolls in for its long stay. What's a writer to do to cope?
Remember to give yourself time to be you. It's okay to take a few weeks off during the more hectic times, and enjoy your family and the time together. Lots of writers feel guilty if they take that time away and don't get their 'words in'.
Write in spurts. Instead of burying nose in your computer as writers are prone to do for hours and hours on end, take an hour here and there and get in some precious writing time, or, as you have a special idea, sit down and jot it down before you loose it (because we rarely remember those jems an hour later, am I right?).
Don't forget to pamper yourself a bit. When times get crazy it's even more important to remember to relax. Close the door and take a nice hot bath. Take a nap while the baby is sleeping. Say goodnight to houseguests and take an hour to read a good book before bed. Do the little things that still let you feel human even in the midst of insanity and the days will be over and gone before you know it, leaving only a nice little trail of memories in their wake.
Well no, I wasn't arrested, or needing to appear for any minor infraction. I didn't make the line-up of the top 5 Court TV's Next Crime Writers contest. It kind of sucks. It's not exactly a 'rejection' but it feels painfully close.
I knew my entry probably wasn't dark, and crime embeded enough to actually win... but it would have been nice to make the finals.
This is just fantastic. For once a company that has promised fantastic upgrades really came through with all that they promised -- and in a fairly glitch proof way as well. It works smooth, takes only a short while to transfer over, AND you don't have to hang out on the page as it transfers either. Bless you Blogger--you're terrific.
There's a new kid on the block, and she's a fast growing toddler that's gaining by leaps and bounds. The sub-genre of romantic comedy, or as it is affectionately known by authors, rom-com (a variation on the sit-com situation comedy of television fame).
What are the elements of this exciting new genre? What makes it work, or fail? Unlike its small screen counterpart, rom-com can't rely on sight gags and visual effects to create the humor, instead, like all print media, words are the only tool.
Situations are the key in a romantic comedy. It isn't so much what is said, as how it's said, that makes for the humor. It's not so much the event but how it happens that creates the situation that will make us cry tears of laughter. The typical rom-com follows the old adage of Murphy's Law, if it can happen, it will, at the worst possible time.
The same laws of romance apply that have been used for centuries. Boy meets girl, boy looses girl, boy sleeps with girl and they live happily ever after… after all that's what makes a romance.
So what makes it funny? Just as the above statement was written with tongue firmly planted in cheek, boy meets girl, boy looses girl, boy sleeps with girl and they live happily ever after, romantic comedy relies on small twists of phrases and little sarcastic thoughts, to drive the humor.
A word of caution should be observed. Sarcasm does not always convey well in print. Without the vocal inflection and the facial expression to drive the point of a sarcastic remark, the writer must be sure he conveys the sarcasm well both in the thought process and character development of his subjects.
The real boon to this genre is that people think and react to situations in a very humorous way in general. It's almost a natural in this day and age to have a heroine look at a man she just ran into in the supermarket and consider tossing back the ground round she has in her cart in lieu of the juicy package that just appeared before her.
Any time period is open for humor now that society is more willing to admit that a pure and chaste woman can and does notice prime cut when she sees it.
As with any comedy be it stand-up, television sit-com, or rom-com, timing is everything. Even the gravest of situations can be imbued with humor. Consider M*A*S*H, certainly there is nothing funny about war, yet the creators of that idea saw the humor inside of a terrible situation. There are times however, in a romance where you simply do not want your audience to laugh.
In a popular book/movie, the heroine fakes an orgasm over dessert to show her friend how easy it is for a woman to create the illusion of sexual pleasure for the benefit of her partner. The entire scene was hilarious closing with the remark from another dinner that she'd like what she's having. However, if that humor were injected into the bedroom scene, it would have less impact. Most women do not want to roll off the bed with laughter when her lover is attempting to be amorous. It probably wouldn't go over big with the hero either.
As with all other romance genres the hero and heroine still both need to battle with inner turmoil regarding their fears of love and commitment… after all that is what makes a romance. However, how they battle them and feel about them is what creates the humor.
In a more straight-forward romance the heroine may be afraid of love after having suffered a severe loss of a beloved mate, thereby fearing that loss again. In a rom-com that same heroine may be afraid of love after loosing her beloved mate when he suffered a coronary on their Honeymoon, the first time they had ever consummated their love, thereby making her certain she is the original black widow.
Another comedic trick is to skewer a particular belief system. Assumptions are humorous. A man sees a beautiful woman in stiletto heels and tight micro-mini walk across a room and gets an instant erection only to find her voice like screeching chalk on a blackboard. His body's reaction and thought's are what add humor to the situation.
In the same vein, a big, burly hero who’s deathly afraid of spiders; you get the point. Taking these situations and building on them throughout the book, making them as much a part of the story line as the romance itself. Making them obstacles to overcome as much as the romantic she/he loves me, loves me not, creates the atmosphere of comedy, complete with the closing line that closes the humor as well as the romance.
For instance, in the case of the arachnophobia hero, having him standing at the altar with the woman of his dreams firmly in his arms as he says I do, just as a spider drops down on a strand in between them, and she swipes it away with a smile, and a kiss for her ‘hero’, and they live happily ever after… Such is the way of romance.
I'm in a quandry here. I've been kind of fluffing along with some standby projects--getting my words in so to speak everyday. The problem is I really want to get 'into' something. I am not use to the feeling of floating a long. I typically am so in the project at hand, and just feeling it to the ninth degree. Lately, however, as I think about developing a plot, or a new story, everything seems 'old'.
I came up with a plot... got excited... realized it was basically 'Pretty Woman'.
Another one... too much along the same lines as my first two novels.
Again... been there, done that.
A new idea... sounded too much like "Constantine"... another sounded too much like "Michael".
Okay, okay, there's no such thing as an original idea--not anymore. They've all been done at least in some version, at some point. It seems that way anyway. And yet, there are times when I read someone's new blurb and think DAMN why did't I think of that? That's really cool. It's original.
I've thought that of my own in the past.
Now it seems like there aren't any original ones coming to me. I'm feeling old. LOL I'm hoping it's just a passing phase.
Thank you to everybody that turned out for my wonderful chat at Coffee Time Romance the other day. It was a blast and I really appreciate all of you coming out and supporting me, and being so interested in my new release Big Money.
Okay, all you poets out there in writer-land. I’ve come to tell you that you missed the boat. Yep, that boat, the riches and fame boat.
If you’re like most poets you either: A) Don’t publish or get paid in any way for the beautiful words you write, or B) Settle for anywhere from a few dollars to maybe as high as $50.00 for each poem. (A real windfall) But there’s a market that most poets have overlooked and it’s made up entirely of people just like you, at least on the inside they are.
Rap Music. Yep that’s what I said. What is a ‘Rap Singer?’ but a coffee house poet? Complete with bongo player behind him banging out the beats and occasionally adding a little riff in between stanzas. And face it these people are ‘singers’ in absolutely no sense of the word. They talk the entire song, or scream, or plead, but they do not sing. The songs are what most songs are, poems: either that or they are a string of expletives that would make Andrew Dice Clay blush. Rap music doesn’t not require that it’s ‘singers’ be able to carry a tune, merely that they posses the rhythm that any self-respecting poet possess’, most are probably even tone deaf.
And yet, here they are, coffee house beatniks in ‘gangsta-rap’ clothing, making a killing in an industry flush with money to burn. You don’t even have to have great pronunciation skills to be at the top of the heap in your newly chosen field. My son was blasting one of his favorite songs the other day in his room. This was a song that I’ve heard repeatedly over the last few months, thanks to him, not by any free choice of mine. Every time I heard the song, I could have sworn in the chorus the ‘singer’ shouted PUMPKIN HEAD, PUMPKIN HEAD, I was dutifully informed yesterday by my fifteen-year-old son that the words were ‘up in the head’… (I’m sorry but I will forever believe that artist had just watched the movie Pumpkin Head…)
It isn’t even necessary to have something of social importance to say, although it appears to be helpful to bemoan your plight in the world. That’s what poets do best, isn’t it? You can even throw in the occasional beautiful tree on a ‘B’ side track just to satisfy your own internal desire to believe that the world isn’t really as warped as the ‘A’ side of your single would have everyone believe. Life is good. Just don’t make it too good, because angst sells. There are very few ‘happy’ rappers. See, another common thread between rap artists and poets. It’s a perfect blend.
So I’m here to say: Poets of the writer’s community UNITE! We have a way to make it big in today’s world of the rich and famous. Do you think there’s room for a middle-aged, housewife, mother of two teenagers in the rap market? Fame and fortune here I come.
Some twenty years ago, the Beatles sang out… “You say you want a revolution, well you know, we all want to change the world… You say you want a real solution, well you know, we all love to see the plan.”
In one simple statement, that song sums up the whole idea that drives the POD movement. We want a REVOLUTION! We want a SOLUTION! And we are not willing to sit around on the sidelines and wait for someone else to give it to us.
Just like in the song, however, there are doubters that answer back; we all want to change the world… we all love to see the plan… SHOW ME, what makes YOU different?
That’s the issue that POD authors must face, and the question they must answer. What makes us different from those that have come before, what makes us better than what exists right now, why should anybody that is comfortable in his or her establishment setting take a risk and help us?
Those who spark any interest at all are apt to ask, what exactly are POD authors trying to accomplish? Aren’t they just a bunch of housewives collecting recipes and hacks trying to pawn off their unfit work onto an unsuspecting public, or at the very least, a bunch of hapless relatives?
Many authors using this method of publication try in vain to separate themselves from the old self-publish title, however that is fairly impossible, because that’s exactly what POD is. Just like many before the advent of the wonderful machines that allowed the miracle of Print On Demand publishing, there are both serious writers and housewives who want to publish their recipes and family trees that seek its services.
With that statement many that point and accuse POD authors of being vain, self-serving hacks jump for joy and scream, “see, see, I told you”. But there’s more to see than that simple statement.
POD authors are to the book industry what the Sundance movie community is to movies. They are independent authors. Some are good, some bad, but all striving for a place to say something that can’t, or won’t, be said in the traditional mill of the big money houses and studios.
The establishment says, ‘we protect the reading public from the garbage that is the slush pile”, but in doing so, they’re projecting their own bottom line driven agenda. We all know that what works for one person, doesn’t necessarily work for another. While 99 percent of the public adores Stephen King, there’s that 1 percent that thinks he’s a hack. So what about what that 1 percent might like? In the big house system, there’s no room for what that 1 percent wants, they don’t count, it’s majority rule.
POD seeks to allow the public to make up its own mind as to what is good, and what is not.
But, they say, the poor reader will plunk down his/or her hard earned cash and may get something they don’t like. Oh heaven forbid!
How often has a patron gone to a popular movie and walked out feeling like it let them down? Certainly not every time, but it does happen. Does that mean that person will never go to another movie? Of course not, they will probably be a little gun shy about going to a movie made by that particular producer again, however.
It’s the same with POD. Will a reader occasionally come across a book that is less than wonderful (in THEIR opinion), yes, of course they will. Will it stop the reader from reading? Of course it won’t. However, they may not ever read another book by that particular author again. That’s okay, that’s how a reader learns what he does and doesn’t like.
Big house production doesn’t eradicate those things. I’ve read plenty of books, some I’ve loved, and cheerfully look for that author’s next work. Some I’ve felt less than trilled about, and am unlikely to buy that author’s work again. Some I’ve hated, and would never buy another from that writer. ALL were from traditional houses.
What it boils down to is a matter of taste, and that is something no ‘house’ can truly determine.
POD’s main agenda is to break down the barrier of ‘in the box’ type writing that is perpetuated by the big houses. We will never destroy the system. Just like independent movies, the big movie production companies still exist and thrive, but there is plenty of room for the Indy’s too, and they thrive, and even compete at major events alongside their big brothers. It took them along time to gain recognition, and in the end, it took major name artists on their side (like Robert Redford and his Sundance channel) to break the barriers, perhaps that’s what it will take for POD as well, but it will happen.
Why? Because there is still a level of dissatisfaction with the powers that be in the publishing world, and as long as that exists, there will be independents like myself who will tear at the walls that separate and exclude us. It’s happening even as this article is read… do you hear it… it’s the publishing revolution, and it’s heading your way.
Tami Parrington is a freelance journalist and published author of the contemporary romance, The Road To Paradise. Information about her published works can be found at her website: http://www.geocities.com/tamiparrington
Daria has a secret lover with dark secret of his own that she can never reveal, except to a fanatical few on-line who would love to believe the fun-loving chat room joker was telling the truth.
"Ha ha, very funny. Tell them you'll be back later." He smiled, and pinched through the cotton. He watched as she wiggled, laughing, squirming, trying to ignore the impossible-to ignore fingers that worked their way around her breasts. "Tell them, or I'll have to throw you over the desktop and do you while you type." He pushed her forward until she was on her feet and he threw back her chair, which glided on its casters halfway across the room.
Standing behind her, he caressed her back as she continued to type; now it was a competition to see if it would be possible for her to continue her on-screen conversation while he worked his magic behind her. His hands slid up under her shirt and ran back down her sides, thrusting her jogging pants to the floor in one swift motion. He squeezed her bottom and she moaned, but kept on typing and continuing the conversation as if nothing out of the ordinary was happening. Of course, to be completely correct, this wasn't exactly an unusual situation.
There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end leads to death. -Proverbs 16:25
This statement seems true in everyday life. As we walk along the path we are often confronted with ideas and plans that seem like a ‘good deal’. We examine them and determine if they are beneficial to us and will help us in our circumstances.
We all need money to survive in this world. In god’s world, of course, it would be unnecessary but in man’s world it’s paramount. If we want to have a warm shelter, food to eat, clothes on our backs, not to mention the many accessories that are necessary to successfully navigate the world: cars, transportation fare, etc. Sometimes we confuse the line between want and need.
We are all consumed with the desire for money. So we examine every possibility to gain an extra source of income, many of us try to determine if it’s right to do any particular thing.
Many, however, do not. They go about their lives feeling good about themselves so long as they have all that they desire physically. Of those people, many believe that they are fine so long as their activities do not hurt anyone else, at least on the outside. They fail to take one person into consideration in that equation: themselves.
Life today often seems to be a sell-out. The balance between ‘success’ and ‘failure’ is a fine line, mostly judged by income and status. But the real success is in the happiness inside and the satisfaction of living within god’s plan. Money is a poor substitute. Wouldn’t we all be just that much happier if we slowed down in our race to ‘succeed’ and learned to be happy with what god has chosen to bless us with? Our families, our health, those are the true ‘success’s’.
Instead we, as a whole, live wildly beyond our means. People around that judge it as success not seeing the pain inside associated with piling bills and escalating payments. What we see from the outside is how ‘lucky’ the other person is.
This is a trap that my husband and I often find ourselves in. We have so much to be grateful for, but boy, so-and-so has this, or that. Why can’t we have that? So we strive harder to get more and be ‘as good’, judging good vs. bad by what we have compared to someone else.
Are you and your family leaving beyond the scope of your income? Do you allow your dreams of ‘success’ to guide your motives? Make a list of ‘wants’ and ‘needs’. Are your needs met? Are some of the things on your list ‘wants’ that you often mistake as a need? True fulfillment rests in the happiness of what god has provided for you, not what you can strive for on your own. So take a deep breath and smile for – ‘this is the day that the lord hath made’.
A great many lengthy, and heated, debates arise over this singular issue. What constitutes an Independent Publisher? Much of the debate arises over a simple misconception. The simple definition of what we consider to be the appropriate definition, by use more than actual dictionary reference, of what a publisher is.
There are three camps in the independent world of today’s publishing, and they are often divided on account of these two concepts: publisher, and published.
By literal definition, a publisher is: A person, or corporate entity that accepts material from an author, or many authors, to prepare for publication and distribution to the general public.
But by popular concept, a publisher is also: A person, or corporate entity that edits, provides proper documentation, prepares cover work for, and marketing promotions for such accepted works at their own cost and free of charge to the submitting author in exchange for a percentage of profit from the sales of such work.
So to put the literal definition, and the popular conception together, a publisher is: A person, or corporate entity that accepts material from an author, or authors, to prepare for publication by editing, providing proper documentation, cover art, marketing promotion, and distribution at their own cost and free of charge to the submitting author in exchange of profit from the sales of such work.
By literal definition, to be published is: To put out an edition. Be it newsletter, article, novel, or any written work with, or without, monetary gain.
Here are some of the reasons the above concepts have become so hazy. The world of publishing has expanded beyond the huge corporations that later in the 20th century dominated the landscape of modern publishing. A great many authors have taken it upon themselves to produce their work with great success. Still more enterprising people have taken on the task of producing other’s work without the benefit of corporate strongholds. So we now have the three independent publishing camps that are made up of the actual independent publisher, and the two remaining groups that are actually independently published authors:
1) Independent publishers: A person, or group of people, who accept submission from authors, and make decisions based on quality before selecting appropriate pieces for publication. Who then edit, process, market, and distribute for public consumption at their own cost and free of charge to the submitting author in exchange for a percentage of the profit from the sale of such work without the benefit of corporate, or investor, backing.
2) Independent authors: A person who pays to edit, print, gain cover art, markets and distributes his/or her own work for public consumption.
3) Self-published authors: A person who pays to edit and have their work printed and distributed by a company geared for such purposes so as to make available for public consumption.
There is one final group that is actually a ‘sub’-group to this listing, and that’s the service oriented self-publishing company that the third group, the self-published author uses to service their publishing needs. This group is by far the most dangerous, and difficult to define and regulate. The companies, whether run by individuals, or groups of people, up to actual corporations that do this type of service are not actual publishers in the respect that the definition provides from above because although they do provide the services that the actual publisher provides, they do it for a fee, and do not normally engage in any specific selection, rather they are a service industry akin to that of a normal printer only with distribution and other services provided at cost to the author, and they almost never provide any source of marketing or promotion.
There is nothing inherently wrong with service oriented publishing companies. They do the self-published authors a great service when they perform their duties respectably. The problems arise when they either 1) charge for services they do not perform equal to the performance of a publisher, or 2) try to dupe unsuspecting authors into believing they are an actual publisher… sometimes both. This cloudy area is where most of the trouble lays for authors, and for the ability for authors to gain respect for their self-published works.
Even with the problems that can be associated with these companies, there are respectable ones amongst them, and the number is growing quite rapidly as the ilk is weeded out. The trick is to be able to understand the difference. While this publishing company does the chores of a publisher, it is not the publisher proper, rather in these cases it is the author who is the publisher paying for their work to be created in proper format by a printing and distribution company. The fact that these companies often times call themselves publishers rather than publishing companies, or publishing services compounds this problem. The works they produce are no less viable and honorable than those of the independent author’s self-published books, however, and should not be viewed as such by any member of the community.
In a world where all of the above fight the stigma of going against the mainstream of corporate America, and the old-fashioned term, vanity press, it would behoove all involved to treat each other as equals in the battle. There is strength in numbers. Unfortunately these three ranks are most often bitterly divided. Most of that division is a matter of ego, especially between the later two divisions.
There is truly a small frame of difference between independent authors, and self-published authors, in fact, close to none at all except that the later uses a printing corporation as both a printer and a distributor, where the independent author is usually a self-distributor. Neither of the two divisions encounters any form of selection process before publication; therefore there is no bastion for quality besides that of the authors themselves. The bigger problem arises when the middle group, the independent author demands to be considered an independent publisher. The self-published author rarely is cause for such debate, as they most likely will never consider themselves a publisher.
How the concept of the independent author has developed into such a state is not that hard to disseminate. In fact, it’s steeped in tradition.
At one time in England, and then here in America, when publishing was first conceived it was a cottage industry. So named because the business often took place in the home, or cottage, of the person in charge, even run by a single person, humorously enough, much like the independent publisher of today that now fights the stigma of not being a large corporation. In those times, however, it was not stigmatic, but rather a new and bold endeavor to educate, enlighten, and bring enjoyment to the masses that had previously been unexposed to literature.
However, the problem with the independent author attempting to usurp the title of publisher is today’s currently acceptable definition of a true publisher as noted above, and the fact that there is no true selection process, the author is his/or her own acceptance for publication. The independent authors have their own publishing imprints as well, lending to the confusion in their minds as to the validity of their claim as publisher, and the general publics as well.
If these groups would work together more efficiently there would be a greater tide of acceptance in the public eye than there is even today. The change is occurring however, and independent publishers, and authors of both types are gaining much greater acceptance and accolades as the process improves.
Two brads… three? Isn’t there a better way in this age of modern technology? Another writer was pondering the depths of script binding the other day, puzzled at the industry’s apparent stone-age mentality in regards to the little metal clasps that are the subject of such debate the screenwriting world over.
So what’s the great love for those little pieces of confounded metal with the tabs that poke out, and flip around and just generally cause such debate? Sure it’s possible in this modern time to bind pages in a more secure manner. Spiral binders are cheap, efficient, and most definitely more secure, so why not use that?
Permanence. Spiral binding is a fairly permanent method of binding. Yes, pages can be removed, but with great effort. The people who are reading the scripts are busy, if they like the script they will probably make several copies to pass around inside their company for another ‘opinion’… such is the nature of the game… I love this… do you? Spiral bindings would make this difficult at best.
Ring binders. Why not? Simple, easy to open and close, removing pages would be no problem, right? Right. Also, bulky, heavy, not to mention would boost the writer’s postage costs considerably due to weight. But lets get to the bulky, and heavy… producers, agents, managers, receive hundreds of scripts that they take home to read on the weekends, or at night, if they all came in three-ring binders it would increase the size and weight to a degree that is unbearable.
So, brads. That’s what we have left. The archaic, aggravating, difficult to find in the proper style, piece of metal that makes removing the pages easy, the scripts lightweight, and doesn’t increase their bulk in any way. How many? Most office-style hole punchers come designed to punch three holes in the pages. Yet the industry standard is to only use two brads, one at the top, and one at the bottom of the page-easier-one less brad to remove.
That’s just petty, you may say, that they might discount, or consider the writer a newbie for something as simple as putting three brads in the holes instead of just two. Yeah, maybe, but then consider those hundreds of scripts. That one extra brad means one hundred more brads to remove. It wouldn’t make any difference for one, but for hundreds it means one of the most valuable commodities in the movie industry… time.
So fasten the scripts in a way that is professional and acceptable. Two brads ( brass, not brass plated), one at the top, one at the bottom, and ship that baby off with confidence. You are a pro.
If you post your work on line to these, or any other sites… If you send your work out for review to other people… If you send your work out to studios, prod co’s, publishers, managers, or agents…
Please do yourself the favor of protecting your work! Don’t sit idly by thinking it’s just Joe, he won’t do anything. Well, of course, most likely he won’t, but you have no way of knowing for sure. Studios, prod co’s, managers, agents, and the like, are professional, and unlikely to steal an idea, or the very words you’ve written, they don’t want to take the chance of being sued.
But do you really know? There are many, many more small time producers, ‘studios’, and the rest out there masquerading as ‘the real deal’ who may not think twice about using something they ‘find’, especially if they even think it’s un-protected.
How do you protect a script? It’s so easy now days that it’s shameful not to do it. The WGA makes it a snap. Simple, quick, painless, and nearly free. (Yes, nearly, it does cost 20.00 per script, but that’s hardly highway robbery.) With them, the script is protected for five years, after that you can re-new if you need to. And if there are ANY questions arising over copyright, they will put THEIR legal team to work for you! Can’t beat that!
They have an on-line submission process that makes it fast and easy. You don’t even have to pay postage, and the script is registered RIGHT THEN AND THERE when you click the button.
There are other registries too, and I’m not discounting them, if you choose one of them, that’s great, it’s protected. I tout the WGA because it’s the official screenwriter’s union, and they stand behind their registration legally. However you choose to do it, DO IT, before you put the work on line.
As a novelist and a member of several critique lists I found myself having to come to grips with a word that grates on me. I see it used very often and am asked why I hate this word so. It’s a simple little word that most people don’t think warrants such ire. The word is—seems. What’s wrong with seems? I’m sure you’re squirming in your chair in front of the computer screen and flipping through several manuscript pages in search of one of the most common words in the English language to see if you ’ve offended in any way as you type. Well, nothing exactly. It’s a nice little word. The reason it sets my teeth on edge to see it, especially in the beginning of a novel is simple. If something seems to be a certain way, then it isn’t. You have signaled your reader that you are telling them a story. Okay, I hear you. You are telling them a story, so what’s the problem? The problem is, it’s your job as a writer to do your very best not to let the reader know that. The entire job of a fiction writer is to create something in their novels. That something is the suspension of disbelief. You have to create a world for your reader to slip into. A place to escape. A situation to believe in. Creating that atmosphere is much harder than it sounds. In today’s world anyone over the age of eight is cynical. That’s a pretty sad fact, but even children today know what’s going on and know when the wool is being pulled over their eyes. Not as well as most adults but it’s there. Even as much as ten years ago it was easier. Twenty years ago most writers had it made. The world was a safer, simpler place. Thirty years ago everyone lived in a state of disbelief so the writer could say seems and every body smiled. Today’s reader is sophisticated, at least to the point that it’s a job now to write to make them believe. Words like seems sends a signal, they don’t always even realize it, but they stop believing and the story stops being interesting for them. Soon, if the word pops up enough they end up setting the book down after a chapter and never picking it back up. And if you’ve used it in your opening paragraph, this is a word you use a lot; it’s just that way. So you say, well at least they bought the book, and snicker as you lean back in your chair with your hands across your chest looking like the proudest hen in the henhouse. Yes they did, and if that’s all it takes for you, great. But before you get too comfortable as head hen, remember this… if that reader puts your book down after the first chapter, or anywhere in the middle, and never goes back to it… you’ll certainly never sell another. “Wow!” You say as your chair pops back into the upright position and your palms start to sweat. “The power of one little word is amazing.” It really is as simple as the power of the written word. ‘Mightier than the sword’, it’s been said to be, and it is. It’s the fate of a writer to do battle with these words on a daily basis and realize the power behind them. They’re not always what they seem to be.
The editors of Forbidden Fruit have decided to trial running a small number of discreet book adverts in each issue, starting in September.
The ads will be placed in the sidebar of the fiction index, non-fiction index, gallery index, news, and fun pages and will run for the duration of the issue (4 months) or less if you wish. The cost of each advert will be $20. The magazine now receives some 10,000 hits per issue and the five pages listed above are amongst the most popular. The magazine is also widely read in the gay male community as well as the (mostly female) slash audience, so we feel this represents excellent value and a chance to target a different slice of the market.
Further details are as follows:
1. M/m books *only*, please, for obvious reasons! 2. All adverts will be in the format of a cover art thumbnail, brief blurb and link to *either* the author's website *or* point-of-sale. 3. Advertisers must supply a jpg of the cover art of no more than 140 pixels wide together with relevant, *brief* blurb and link.
If you would like to take advantage of this offer, please contact me on fiona.glass AT blueyonder.co.uk. Thank you - and we look forward to hearing from you soon!
Wow! Talk about long time no see. Okay, even though some of you may be snickering at the thought of my creating yet another blog, when I couldn't even keep up with this one, I have indeed staked out a new territory in blogdom.
I really needed an actual blog that dealt with my writing, and editing work rather than just a comment blog. I will keep this one open, just for those times when I feel I have to rant on something that has no place in my professional life, but would make me explode if I held it in. (It's a wonder I don't post every day.)
I just found out yesterday that my short novella, Computer Games, has been accepted by Chippewa Publishing. I don't have a release date, yet, but I'm assuming it will be later this year, or early the next. At any rate, it feels good after my year and a half break, to finally be getting published once again.
I've heard writers say that taking any kind of 'time away' can lead to a serious break down of contacts, and opportunities. I can definately see what they mean, having come back to an almost complete void of old, broken links, dead email addy's, and drifted away friends. It's kind of amazing really. (Although I don't know what made me think I was the only human being allowed to take a break and leave the writing world behind for any length of time, lol.) Perhaps some of the old friends will return. I hope so. Some are sorely missed.
I was happy to find one of my old acquaintences still around, and we were able to strike back up with correspondence, and messaging. I did, however, feel like a fish out of water in a sea I used to be familiar with when it came to writing links, publishers and their requirements, agents, and the like. It didnt' help much that my old computer had fried away all my old urls. Upon searching, though, it would seem it wouldn't have made too much of a difference either way, as many no longer existed.
I've made new friends, which is a joy. I've found new writing resources... and a few that hadn't vanished in ether. The golden oldies are now, and were then, amongst the strongest of the lot anyway, and it's good to find them still around.
One thing that could not be wiped away, or poofed away in a puff of smoke, was my past experinece. That is where a returning writer has an advantage over someone fresh entering the world of sharks and other predators. Perhaps its why it didn't take nearly as long to get my bearings back, and new contacts made.
Perhaps... although the road is still long, and there's much distance to travel.
Blessings along your journey, wherever your path may lead you.
Hi there, I promised to write more often, and I'm trying.
On top of all the other things that I do, and love, ie: my writing, my shopping (no, not real shopping, ick, yuk, hate it--you know the manuscript kind of shopping around.), the lovely little close-knit crit group that I run, my horses, (getting ready for the next show season with them, and ready for foaling season right here soon), and my occassional, but all-too-rare cup of coffee with a friend to take a break. In addition to the things I don't like doing, ie: my three-day-a-week job (hopefully not much longer, but hey, at least I get quite a bit of writing done there in the down times), and housework (ick, yuk, hate it, but can't avoid it like I can actual real-shopping). On top of all that, I tested for, and was recently offered a position as editor at a really nice, well-respected, VERY busy e-pub.
I accepted that position, and spent the first week doing their training. I was then assigned two authors of my very own. (Sounds like a new pet doesn't it? Kind of is like that, only better, I don't have to feed them. LOL) My list has grown to four now, and maybe another here real soon, so I'm really quite busy.
The point here is, wow, it's one thing to know from experience what it's like working with an editor from a writer's side. To understand how much work they put in to your work. It's REALLY another thing to know just how much there is involved in actually being an editor.
For each book accepted, and contracted, there is a complicated process that needs to be coordinated and kept on track time-wise, from contracting the cover art, and the edits, to getting the final proof and signing off on the galley means keeping several people all with various projects (including the author) all on the same track going the same speed. Multiply that by however many authors the editor is dealing with and it can be an interesting struggle to keep them all from colliding.
Before the contracts though, there is another, very serious, very demanding, and very difficult process. All writer's know about it, dread it, and complain about the various editor's abilty for doing it--yep, reading the slush pile.
There are some that just make your day. They're the easy ones. They come in two varieties. The ones that rock your boat until you capsize, and the ones that don't move the water at all. Very easy 'yes', or 'no'.
Then there is a third variety. The ones that give you a migraine right at the base of your skull. The kind of headache that moves up slowly until it sits directly behind your eyes and threatens to make them explode. The story that should rock your boat. The story you WANT to rock your world... but it only shakes the hull a bit, and the ground beneath your feet doesn't quite quiver. Those are the hardest ones to say no to.
A friend recently asked me how I decide in that case. When I answered her she said she'd heard that many times before in other forums, letters, etc. It's true though. At that point you consider the story, and what you consider its flaws, and how much you really love it vs. how much work it will take to make it a world rocker.
It's also true that it's all a matter of opinion. I swear to you though, I (and I know others too) really do read with an open mind. I know it's been said a million times, but it too is true: It's not personal. I don't even pay attention to the names on top of the submission. It could be J.K. Rowlings I'm turning down for all I know... at least until I get to the Dear Ms. Rowlings, part, then I think I'd take notice. Maybe... just maybe at that time I'd reconsider.
LMAO... then again, probably not.
My best to you all... and remember, it's hard being a writer, it's a tough competitive world out there... but it's tough on the other side of the desk too, and we're really not 'out to get you', and 'we don't hate you', contrary to that, we WANT you to be the best, and your story to be a world rocker... it's what we dream of as we open the pages.
Hi there. I guess I am going to have to make a real concious effort to keep up with my blog here since I've noticed that I've garnered a link. (Thank you very much, Bernita!)
I really do feel guilty most times, but when things get busy, this is the area that it seems, will suffer.
I've been working. I've been writing. I've had two new requests for my manuscripts (two shopping at the moment). I've been reading.
I'm telling you now... Lynn Viehl is a wonderful writer. Her Darkyn series is really getting under my skin. LOL Okay, I am just really hot for Michael in 'If Angels Burn'. If you're looking for a really great read, give her books a try.
Kristin has a really scary, or insightful (depending on how you want to look at it) post on the current fate of chick lit on her blog Pub Rants. I think perhaps the scary part is if you really do finally 'get in' and get a hold on the brass ring, how tenous that ring really is. A single blip in the market can leave you grasping at crumbling rock where you once thought you had a stronghold. Then again, I may be over dramatizing the issue.
All genres have their ups and downs. Their market dips and surges. Chick lit is the baby of the bunch really, so it shouldn't be too far off the mark to think it would suffer growing pains. I don't necessarily write chick lit, although I've dabbled a bit in it. Even if I never dipped my pen in that direction, I'd still not like seeing a genre bite the dust. Or hear of the devastation of its authors. So here's to chick lit, may it forever hold its head up high in the literary marketplace.
I don't read a whole lot. I spend too much time writing my own. But I do try to read one or two books a month. This month I'm playing catch up with a couple of authors that are new to me. One a friend turned me on to: Frank Peretti. I'm in the middle of one of his novels now. I bought the three book series. They're healthy tombs. I'm in the middle of 'This Present Darkness' right now. It's very good.
Another 'new for me' author is Lynn Viehl and her Darken series. I bought two of them to read this month: 'If Angels Burn', and 'Private Demon'. I came across her blog, and over a month or so really got to liking her style, and decided to check out her books on Amazon. Read the first chapter of 'If Angels Burn' on the Amazon site and was really caught. Had to buy that, and take a chance on another.
The glorious Miss Snark had a comment on a website in one of her posts yesterday and it really brought the stark realities of writer's desperation to the forefront of my mind.
There are so many of these types of sites online that I won't even bother to mention which site she mentioned. It's just a clone of a million others. It really doesn't even matter which exact one it is. It's the idea of it, and them, that riles.
It's a sad fact that hopeful writers are a desperate bunch as a group. It's an uncomfortable position to be in. At the mercy of the powers-that-be, and when you're struggling for notice, EVERYONE seems like a member of the 'big boys' club but you.
You just need an in, you think. If you could just get that one person to see your work for what it is, you'd be in gravy. Well, that's true, of course. But that's the trick of the mind that these sites prey on like a hungry group of swarming vultures.
Submit your manuscript for the low, low price of $40.00 (whatever, the price varies) and get reviewed by our large group of writers, or staff, or small group of top lit agents (like they'd be bothered to add to their slush any more than it is if they were really top agents). The gimmick is slightly different for each, yet disgustingly the same. The bottom line is the $40.00. That's all it's about for them. Face it there are millions of hungry writers out there, and if they can hook even 1% of them, they're making out like a bandit.
Regardless of any claims to the contrary, these types of sites (or emails, or letters by snail mail--they are inventive in their marketing approach) are worthless to the writer. The only one that benefits is the receipient of the $40.00.
DON'T DO IT.
Don't fall for it. Stick with the tried and true, and as of this moment ONLY way to really get the recognition you need. Submit to legit agents via their guidelines, or publishing houses via theirs. No ifs, ands, or buts, on this one. Don't be fooled into thinking there's got to be an easier way, there isn't. And remember always the mantra~money flows TO the author.
No, this isn't about MY ego. LOL. Mine is rather large and doesn't require stroking.
It's about a phenomenon I've seen plenty of, but have just had another experience with, and it galls me.
Writers that use imaginary, or at least un-verifiable 'credits' to appear bigger than what they are. Now notice here that I didn't say authors, because by and large many of these writers have never had anything actually published. They just want others to think they have.
I joined a small, cozy group just recently, and realized after awhile what the leader was doing. Not to me--been around that block a time or two on the horse I rode in on... and the horse is tired. Several newer writers however considered this 'big-timer' with great awe, and reverence. Okay, whatever. Maybe they really were as big time as they were saying they were... little red flags of impossible verification were popping up, but oh well, no skin off my nose, I couldn't care less if they did, or didn't do the things they said. Then one day in a live chat they said something that was so blatently obvious (to someone who knows it couldn't/wouldn't/never has happened).
Why do people feel the need to do this? Eventually their big mouth is going to spout off something someone is going to instantly know is wrong, and they will be 'outted'. So why do it?
I just wish these writers would understand it's not necessary to have bukuu credits, and glamorous backgrounds in order to have commrades in this silly game of writing.
Then again, if commrades is not what they want... but devotees, and worshipers... that's a different thing altogether, and they had better go about getting those real credits that can be verified.
What's the beef? I've read some of the lists I'm on lately, and a common thread occurs with many writers: I have hit a wall. I can't find my story. I don't know what's wrong with me.
I think every writer hits one or even sometimes more of these walls during the course of time. Sometimes evenone or more versions of it on everybook (glances from side to side to be sure no one's looking in my direction). In Big Money, I realized actually at about the 3/4 point that my secondary characters were just hanging around whistling... I was totally stumped. It took a sit-down, long indepth converstation with my hubby(God Bless him he's good for something, lol) to clear that roadblock. It just popped up in a conversationand I was off and running with a new and exciting little twist.
That was actually an unusual one for me personally. Middle blues usually come for me in the form of the what if I've taken a path that the readerswill not like. It's the path 'I' see, but maybe they won't like it. In my third novel I killed the main male character -won't call him the 'hero' although in some ways he was, but it wasn't a romance per say, and he wasn't typically heroic - still readers fell in love with him (can't blame them, i sure did too). Most of the responses I got from readers were really up beat and positive, and in general loved the story... one reader- I swear I will remember this forever because it was so cute, funny, and serious at the same time, wrote to me when she got to that part - YOU KILLED HIM! I CAN'TBELIEVE YOU DID THAT! -- I'd never heard from her before, and I never heard from her again. LOL, but I often wonder what she thought of the actually positive ending for the main character, it was a story of growth, and 'coming of age' if you will for the MC, it wasn't 'his' story at all except that he was the impetus for her.
What I learned from that, is that you are absolutely never going to please everyone. Still,in spite of the lesson, it's a nagging worry nevertheless.
For Hell's Bells, in the middle conundrum now, it is not a where the hell is my plot. I know the plot, it's is this the way I should go with it? Did I make the right move? Will this say it best, or should I have done something different? By now, you'd think I'd trust my characters to lead me in the right direction as long as their road is clear (they know what they're supposed to be doing plot wise, which they do --they've all read the outline, good little demons and humans that they are). But no... sometimes characters get a little carried away with themselves, and you have to whip them back into line. *Feeling a little bit of a power trip going on here, and Alexander is looking over my shoulder shaking his head wondering ifhe wasn't better off with Satan after all.*
Sometimes, one of the best remedies for brickwallitisis a good long sit down with the characters themselves. Looking over shoulder and giving Alexander a glance that suggests we need to talk.--His return glance suggests something else, and I'm not sure if he's hungry (in which case, I think I'll hide for awhile), or has other desires, which could be more fun than talking, I'll admit that, but it doesn't do much for helping the brick wall problem. I did realize that one of my 'sagging middle' problems in this book is that I missed the addition of a subplot. I started it by adding a mention of a certain organization in the book, but never gave them anythingto do...bad me. Now if I could just get a few days off work so that I could sit down and really hash out their role in this, I'd be good to go.
What this all comes down to is that EVERY writer gets this. The common problem for newer writers is thinking that they have a 'problem' because it's happening. The problem is something that can be fixed, it's not YOU, it happens to everyone, just roll youreyes, roll up your sleeves, and have sex with,...oops, I mean talk to your characters.
Hi there. Yes, I'm a little late on the wishes for the new year. I've been bad. Perhaps my new year's resolution should have been, 'I will keep up with my blog'. I've been a busy beaver though.
The end of the old year has seen a huge switch. I've taken a headlong dive into a new genre. It was a bit frightening at first, but I'm really enjoying it now. I've submitted two fantasty shorts, and one horror to periodicals, and driven home the better part of 3/4's of my first fantasy novel (borders on religious thriller/horror--yes, there I go again, blurring those danged genre lines.)
I'm still waiting to hear back on several romance submissions to agents, and have had a partial request on the above fantasy novel. (Okay, flog me now, but I know I'll finish it, I've been around this block a time or two. And it will definately be finished before this agent gets back to me, one way or the other.)
Anyway, there are so many great blogs to read out here in cyberspace that when I take a break I spend more of my time reading them, than coming here to say hello.
Sorry about that. Oh, and HELLO.
May you all find the power that speeds your writing during this new year, and may all your responses be 'yes'.
A long time artist and writer, I grew up in suburban Chicagoland, then moved to a rural town in Illinois where I worked, raised a family and bred all types of animals from rabbits and chickens to sheep, goats and horses on a small farm. I have been living with and loving my real-life knight in shining armor of 32 years. Recently relocated back to the suburbs of Chicago, and dreaming of moving to sunny Florida.
Yes, I sometimes add links to Amazon products I love and USE. I only review or add affiliate links to things I actually own and/or have used.