Want to learn the ropes of the writing/ publishing business? Want to work from home? Then you need this! Top Selling Mystery author Lauren Carr is going to be teaching all this and more in historic Harpers Ferry, outside Washington, D. C., in March 2015.
Here’s an excerpt from her e-mail!
BIG NEWS: I have just scheduled to conduct a SIX HOUR workshop in
March at the church called: AUTHORS IN BATHROBE. I am still working out the details, but this workshop will break book promotion down into an understandable format for writers. Even if your book is not out yet,
then this will include things that you can do now to get the ball
rolling for sales when you book is released.
Focused completely on using the internet to promote your book and your
writing career, the workshop will include no less than an hour on
Twitter and an hour Facebook. (My own sales drop 10-20 percent on days I don’t tweet!) It will discuss the importance of a website and how to set
one up without breaking your budget. What is a blog? What goes into a
blog post. Virtual book tours. It will even cover the basics of an
author bio and what makes a good profile pic.
It will be 9 to 4 on Saturday, March 21. Lunch will be included. Price
is still being determined.
You are the first to hear this, so spread the word.
In this week’s meeting of the Writers of the Desert Rose Cafe, a member told a quick child’s story aloud. Afterwards she discussed the seven story elements for successful story-telling.
Have you been asked to tell a story to a group? Do you think you may receive such an invitation in the future? If so, note the following elements to make your story-telling better:
1. (This one seems obvious) The story must have identifiable characters.
2. The characters show emotions: fear, indecision, love, joy, whatever. (You, the storyteller, use your voice, expression, body language to convey the emotions.)
3. The main character has a problem to solve.
4. An antagonist creates trouble.
5. The characters find a solution to the problem.
6. The main character learns something from the situation.
7. The main character changes and grows.
When you don’t know you can fail, you may be an outrageous success. A dad wanted to create a book for his own son. He wrote the text in 30 minutes. Getting the book illustrated stymied him. He wasn’t an artist. Then he thought, kids aren’t artists either, but they draw all the time. He decided to illustrate the book himself.
First he showed the book to friends, who said it was good. Then he showed it to several children’s literature publishers, who said it wasn’t. So he self-published. He sold his book all over the world. Eventually a big publisher called on him and published his book.
A couple of videos follow that share his story:
Ghost stories have been popular as long as stories have been told. In today’s pop culture, ghost stories sell. Readers of haunted tales are DEVOTED!
Want to try your hand at a spooky mystery?
I’ll give you a hand by providing a list of ghost names–yes, there is a list and it contains male, female and unisex (???) names and meanings.
Borrowed from the blog lasesana.wordpress.com, a clever Spanglish seasonal poem by author unknown:
‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the casa,
Not a creature was stirring – ¡Caramba! ¿Qué pasa?
Los niños were tucked away in their camas,
Some in long underwear, some in pijamas,
While hanging the stockings with mucho cuidado,
In hopes that old Santa would feel obligado,
To bring all children, both buenos and malos,
A nice batch of dulces and other regalos.
Outside in the yard there arose un gran grito,
and I jumped to my feet like a frightened cabrito.
I ran to the window and looked out afuera,
And who in the world do you think that it era?
Saint Nick in a sleigh and a big red sombrero,
Came dashing along like a loco bombero.
And pulling his sleigh instead of venados,
Were eight little burros approaching volando.
I watched as they came and this quaint little hombre,
Was shouting and whistling and calling by nombre:
“Ay Pancho, ay Pepe, ay Cuco, ay Beto,
ay Chato, ay Chopo, Maruco, y Nieto!”
Then standing erect with his hands on his pecho,
He flew to the top of our very own techo,
With his round little belly like a bowl of jalea,
He struggled to squeeze down our old chiminea.
Then huffing and puffing at last in our sala,
With soot smeared all over his red suit de gala,
He filled all the stockings with lively regalos,
None for the ninos that had been very malos.
Then chuckling aloud, seeming very contento,
He turned like a flash and was gone como el viento,
And I heard him exclaim, y ¡esto es verdad!
Merry Christmas to all, ¡y Feliz Navidad!
As I mentioned a couple of days ago, I plan a Kid’s Stuff book sometime in the future. Here’s another project from the book suitable for the school-aged child. It’s a perfect activity for the Christmas break from school. It keeps idle hands busy, AND it teaches children about the winter life of birds.
In winter, natural foodstuffs for birds can be sparse. When the thermometer dips, birds need a source of fat, carbohydrates and protein to provide calories for warmth, flight fuel, and general health. Suet cakes offer a source for all three at one convenient location.
Children benefit from this project by:
- engaging in a useful activity
- learning about other creatures who share space with them on the earth
- helping birds survive in winter
- learning about bird nutrition
- identifying the birds that show up to eat the suet
- Understanding the thermodynamics of changing a solid to liquid (melting suet) and returning the same to a solid (freezing the suet cake)
- following the directions in the recipe
- working cooperatively with you to complete a project
The first item you need is a feeder. The hanging wire cage type of feeder, with an opening door on one side for reloading, is readily available where bird seed is sold. Or you can recycle (another child benefit) an aluminum pie pan to use as a flat surface feeder.
The second item you need is wax paper to wrap the finished product for freezing. You may substitute freezer wrap or other food wrapping material if wax paper is unavailable. Scotch tape is useful for sealing the package ends.
- jar of peanut butter (creamy or chunky)
- 1-2 lbs beef fat (see the butcher at your grocery store). Any bits of beef still attached to the fat offer a source of protein, but you want the fat as clean of large pieces of meat as possible
- 1 C flour (if you have old flour that has gotten buggy, that is perfect for this project)
- 1 C corn meal (ditto on the “buggy” advice above)
- Sunflower seeds or mixed birdseed
- Raisins and/or finely chopped apple or cranberries
Assemble a square cake pan or small rectangular casserole dish, a large mixing bowl, a measuring cup and a large spoon for mixing the dough. Spray or wipe the pan surface lightly with oil to make it easy to remove the finished suet cake.
Melt the beef fat, using a large pan over medium to low heat. You do not want the oil from the fat to sizzle. (Warning: closely supervise your child to prevent the child from getting burned.)
When the beef fat is melted, add the contents of the jar of peanut butter to the fat and stir until mixed well. Turn off the heat under the pan.
In a large bowl, stir together the flour, cornmeal and chopped fruit. Carefully pour the hot, melted fat into the dry mix and stir, adding the seeds to help thicken the dough. You want a finished consistency of thick cookie dough. Set aside and cool until fingers can safely touch the soft dough.
Press the suet cake dough into the cake pan. Let it cool thoroughly. Slice it into rectangular blocks, sized to fit the suet cage feeder. Wrap the block in wax paper, tape it closed, and freeze until you are ready to put a block into the feeder.