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.
George Johnson is a member of the Writers of the Desert Rose Café. A year ago, the group published an anthology, available on Amazon.com. In it, there are several stories by George, including an especially funny one about an on-the-loose snake.
Publishing short stories pushed George to take the next step and release his novel Acre. George tells us a bit more about this story in his own words below.
The recently published book ACRE written by George Johnson brings out the purity and wholesomeness one expects when looking for a book to just relax and read for complete enjoyment. The cover catches the eye of the average sports fan; however there is more inside that makes for pleasant sit-down reading.
The life of a teenage boy, intermingled with normal family activities certainly enforces a repeated adage that if you have a goal you can achieve it if you work hard and do not give up.
Losing his sweetheart Sharon and his dear friend Homer tears at the reader’s heart strings making him want to read more. Achieving various awards keeps the flow of excitement going throughout the book as Acre goes from a teenager to a young man.
There are thrills, excitement, sadness, tragedy, love and family devotion that challenge the reader to not set the book aside until complete. ACRE is a perfect book for any home or school library, and very suitable for any age, male or female.
What sets George’s stories apart is the lack of cursing or four-letter words. It’s hard to find a G-rated author, but anything written by George is safe to hand to any child. George is a former school teacher, so he’s sensitive about keeping children protected from the harsher things in life. He figures life will expose kids to that soon enough, so he doesn’t have to. For those who are hunting a clean read, pick up George Johnson’s stories in either Writers of the Desert Rose Café, An Anthology or Acre.
To those of you who have followed this blog for a while, “Thank you.” I can think of moments when several of you, through comments, kept me motivated, tilting at my windmill–finishing my novel. When I doubted myself, you chided me. When I celebrated a breakthrough, you cheered me.
Besides writing my book, I had another goal: I wanted to share what I was learning with others. I wanted another writer to learn from my mistakes or discover a tool to save time. In that vein, I shared my embarrassing moments or time-wasters, so you could learn. Other times, I shared wisdom from experienced authors, so we all benefited.
Yesterday I received a tweet from youth book author Jim Denney that is one of those special remarks. The tweet read:
Thank you, Jim. If you are unfamiliar with Jim Denney, you can learn more about him here:
Jim Denney Author of the Timebenders series for young readers, beginning with Battle Before Time. Author of the ebook Writing in Overdrive: Write Faster, Write Freely, Write Brilliantly. Visit me at my Timebenders blog site: Jim Denney’s Timebenders and at my blog site for writers: Jim Denney’s Unearthly Fiction. On Twitter:
Recently I met an author who shared with me an interesting story about yet another author. There is a lesson in the tale for those of you about to publish.
An author wrote an adult book that started off with two chapters that sounded more like a youth book. You know, the part Amazon.com let’s you read before you buy? A parent reading the preview could wrongfully assume the book was safe to purchase for a child. The cover art also suggested the story would be suitable for the Youth/ Adolescent market.
However, once a reader read past the first two chapters, the book had language and sexual depictions that were not suitable for kids.
The book was purchased by a parent for a child. Once the child read the adult material, and brought it to the parent’s attention, the author received protest on misleading the buying public. Poor reviews on the book followed. True Story.
The trouble could have been avoided if the author had designed a cover that made it plain that adult material was part of the book. The cover art should have looked “adult” versus “youth-oriented.”
Sometimes an author has an image in mind for the cover. The rendering artist, knowing the content of the book, may suggest revisions, but the author (or publisher) is adamant about the original image. The author-selected image may be all wrong for what is inside the book. And the image may, indeed, mislead the reading public.
When your cover artist makes suggestions about changes to your cover art, please listen. You may spare yourself–and your title–criticism.
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.
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.