Hi, sweet people. I owe you an apology. During August, I have been swamped and inattentive to you, to your comments, and more. Sadly, I remain under water with obligations and medical care until sometime in October. I want you to understand why I am behaving badly and not getting back to you when you write. Very soon, I promise to make it up to you and get back on top of things again.
I want to announce that I have started a Facebook page. Oh, heart, don’t fail me now. I swore I would never go on Facebook or any other similar strictly social network. Well, it seems that Facebook has evolved into more and so have I.
Since I am only, I don’t know, a millennium behind everyone else on the planet and haven’t a clue what I am doing, please be patient with me as the Facebook page evolves.
Finally I want to remind everyone who is interested in the FROM WRITERS TO PUBLISHED AUTHORS CONFERENCE on October 5, to get your registration in. The price of $60 for 6 sessions will rise to $75 in September. Why pay a penalty for procrastination? Be proactive and save $$$. Remember, lunch is included in the admission.
Click here to register:
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 304-285-8205 for more information.
You may read about the conference at http://acornbookservices.com/Writer_to_Published_Author.html
or see the brochure about the conference below.
On Being a Flower Garden
by Fay Moore (c) 2013
Sometimes a country
music song says it best—it
takes all kinds of kinds.
(Dedicated to Miranda Lambert)
Fifty-five word short stories, or shorties, are excellent writing exercises to focus one’s thoughts, word choice, imagery and more. Unlike poetry, a 55-worder must have a beginning, middle and end to the story. Like poetry, the impact is precise.
My fifty-five word stories tend toward the serious. I have a friend who has mastered using the 55-worder to zing the reader with the unexpected ending, using either humor or shock. The 55-worder is his domain.
To tip my hat in homage to him and our friendship, I present you with a symbolic fifty-five word story. It’s about a writer with writer’s block stuck in a desert town wondering if she will ever finish her novel.
Morning in a Desert
by Fay Moore (c) 2013
I awaken to drumming outside the window. It must be the madman across the street on his drum set. He’s getting an early start on practicing, I think. I arise and peek through the venetian blinds, wondering, Will it be a good day in this desert town? Yes. In a parched place, it is raining.
Here’s a second copyrighted example on the same theme. I sent an e-mail to my daughter using the following almost verbatim. That was the inspiration for the piece above. It’s funny how inspiration strikes:
It’s raining in the desert. I was awakened this morning to drumming outside my window. I thought it was the madman across the street with his garage drum set. He’s starting early, I thought. I peeked outside. No drummer. It’s raining! How symbolic. Here I am in the midst of dusty barrenness, yet there’s rain.
Ooowwww. I am waxing poetic this morning. You’ll see how in a moment.
First, my daughter sent me a link to StumbleUpon for a page called OneWord. At the press of a button, the reader is shown one word and given seconds to write something. It is an exercise in spontaneity. It demonstrates that you (and me) can create under pressure, on the spot, with little forethought. It suggests a way out of writer’s block.
So, what was the one word I got?
And that word prompted what? This:
To place your heart within my heart with such gentle ways that my heart will never let you go.
Do you want to try it? If yes, here’s the link:
Clicking on the link takes you to the cover and a brief look inside the first few pages of the new Anthology. Coincidentally, my work appears first in the book, so it is my work that is open to be read as part of a free preview. Talk about pressure. If my work doesn’t nab a reader, then the rest of the authors may never get read. My work has to convince the site visitor to buy the book.
We priced the book at an affordable $2.99 because we want many people to take the chance to buy the book, then read it.
Remember, if you purchase a copy of the book and have constructive feedback for any of the authors, please share it here. The book is the first product of our writers group, reflecting our growing as writers. You, as reader, matter to us and we want to hear what you think, good or bad. Just make the critique constructive so an author can improve based on what you say.
Within the week, the Writers of the Desert Rose Cafe Anthology will be in the hands of Acorn Book Services for formatting. Within the month, the e-book will be available for sale on Amazon.com.
The anthology integrates the varied writing interests of the authors into a fast and easy read. There’s something for everyone: young adult to inspirational to fantasy to adult fiction to poetry to ultra-short story (such as 33- or 55-word stories). Whatever your tastes in reading, the anthology offers enough variety to satisfy.
Sound like an advertisement? It is.
Naturally, I hope you will read the anthology and share feedback with me. Your feedback helps the writers of Desert Rose Cafe to improve and grow. Criticism is welcomed when it is meant to help.
The project itself drove several of the authors out of a comfort zone. Writing within a group setting is very different from writing alone. For a couple of the writers, the process of publication is a first experience. Others have years of creative expertise. One of our own developed the book cover with group input. Members assumed varying responsibilities such as editing, content organization, setting timelines and the like. The satisfaction of bringing the projection to completion is almost at hand.
As an aside, one of our authors has Asperger’s Syndrome, a developmental disability that affects one’s ability to socialize and communicate effectively with others. Can you imagine the huge satisfaction that writer is feeling right now?
Now the marketing begins, along with the next learning curve for some of us. When the e-book is available to purchase, I’ll share where to buy it.
As I learn what works and what doesn’t on the marketing side of the venture, I’ll share those lessons, too.
Let me introduce you to Kickstarter, the venture capital site for creative projects. Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. www.kickstarter.com
Kickstarter says it is “a funding platform for creative projects. Everything from films, games, and music to art, design, and technology. Kickstarter is full of ambitious, innovative, and imaginative projects that are brought to life through the direct support of others.
Since our launch on April 28, 2009, over $350 million has been pledged by more than 2.5 million people, funding more than 30,000 creative projects.”
Thousands of creative projects are funding on Kickstarter at any given moment. Each project is independently created and crafted by the person behind it. The filmmakers, musicians, artists, and designers you see on Kickstarter have complete control and responsibility over their projects. They spend weeks building their project pages, shooting their videos, and brainstorming what rewards to offer backers. When they’re ready, creators launch their project and share it with their community.
Every project creator sets their project’s funding goal and deadline. If people like the project, they can pledge money to make it happen. If the project succeeds in reaching its funding goal, all backers’ credit cards are charged when time expires. If the project falls short, no one is charged. Funding on Kickstarter is all-or-nothing.
To date, an incredible 44% of projects have reached their funding goals.
We allow creative projects in the worlds of Art, Comics, Dance, Design, Fashion, Film, Food, Games, Music, Photography, Publishing, Technology, and Theater.
Everything on Kickstarter must be a project. A project has a clear goal, like making an album, a book, or a work of art. A project will eventually be completed, and something will be produced by it.
No. Project creators keep 100% ownership of their work. Kickstarter cannot be used to offer financial returns or equity, or to solicit loans.
Some projects that are funded on Kickstarter may go on to make money, but backers are supporting projects to help them come to life, not financially profit.
If a project is successfully funded, Kickstarter applies a 5% fee to the funds collected.
In the US, pledges will be processed by Amazon Payments, while in the UK, pledges will be processed securely through a third-party payments processor. These payment processing fees work out to roughly 3-5%. View the US and UK fee breakdowns.
We’re 46 people based in a tenement building in New York City’s Lower East Side. We spend our time making the site better, answering questions from backers and creators, and finding great new projects to share with you. Every day is an adventure — we get to experience projects as they happen! Say hello or come work with us!
Stuart Aken has painstakingly collected and stored in .pdf spreadsheet format a list of writing contests. The list tells a bit about the contest, the length of story required, the amount of money paid to the winner, etcetera.
In the past, I have ignored contests because so many seemed to be a ruse used to sell something. However, there are legitimate organizations that pay a handsome sum, such as Glittertrain, that can help a writer launch a career.
So, in that vein, I am providing a link to Aken’s list. Please use common sense and do your research about the organizations. I am not recommending any of them, but offer the opportunity for you to pursue as you see fit.
Today was the day for hubby’s surgery. However, a patient in more dire condition than hubby bumped him from his spot. His doctor courteously asked if hubby minded. He did, but the humanitarian side of him was gracious. How do you say no to a man who faces imminent death? You don’t. You yield with grace. Your own heart still beats.
In another day or two, a spot will open for hubby.
Friends and family have called, e-mailed, or traveled hundreds of miles to be here to offer support. Hubby and I feel loved.
I know when he wheels away into surgery, I will worry and wrestle with a dozen other feelings. Over the press of fear, I am choosing reason–at least in this moment. He has great medical people helping him.
So on the eve of surgery, I write. To keep sane. To focus on something else. To pretend everything is all right. Which it is, or will be.
The missing started
the moment you turned your back.
It felt like forever.