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Archive for June, 2013|Monthly archive page

12 Best in class software to write your novel!

In Great Resources, On writing on June 30, 2013 at 4:05 am

tools

12 Best in class software to write your novel!

Is the only writing tool you are familiar with with Microsoft Word?  Is it too clunky for you?  Doesn’t seem like its designed with the novelist in mind?  Well never fear.  In my search to bring you the best resources possible in completing your masterpiece.  I present to you this article in hopes that you will find that writing tool that works for you.

Enjoy

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Sometimes you do not need to know. You just need peace.

In Personal on June 25, 2013 at 2:33 pm

desperate days_t_nt

Several years ago, I lost my younger brother to violence.  It was unexpected as all tragedies typically are.  I was also in the midst of dealing with my own personal demons as well.  My marriage was teetering on the brink of divorce, and in the midst of my own troubles, my family now looked to me to help console them during this troubled time.

My family asked me to do the eulogy, and I officiated the entire funeral and burial service.  As an ordained minister, it was my duty to comfort the bereaved.  The matriarch of our family had asked me to do this, and I was not going to decline.

I was grieving myself.  Hurting…wondering if I could ‘pull it off’ per se. Wishing my brother and I had spent more time together.  Dealing with who this murderer was that took him.  Why it had happened?  Why did God let it happen?  I did not feel ‘qualified’ to speak to anyone really.  Not with all that, I was struggling with.  Why I was being selected during this trying time in my own life to speak to my family?

I searched for answers.

In searching to find understanding the Lord, lead me in his word and specifically to Philippians 4:6, 7.

Php 4:6

Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

Php 4:7

And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

 

In my own search to ascribe meaning to such a horrible event, the knowledge about there being sin in the world, and my understanding of how Satan is a real force left me little comfort during this time.

I found that in spite of my searching nothing this side of Heaven would give me what I needed to come to grips with such a useless and senseless killing.  It was then that I realized, and saw one of the truths of this scripture.

Simply, that there is a peace that passes understanding.

When we are in trying times and when we seek out meaning and ask why me?  The reality is that sometimes there is silence to our inquiries.  Nevertheless, I believe that God is never truly silent, we just cannot often hear over the static of our emotions and own minds.  Yet here in this scripture God gives us an answer.

We need the peace that passes our understanding.

We need this type of peace that can bring silence to our questions and make our heart bear the unbearable again.  In the same way, that lift can supersede the law of gravity likewise the peace of God can supersede our need for understanding and give us consolation during difficult times.  It’s a special peace in that it comes from God.  This peace has two key ingredients in that it accomplishes two things.  Two powerful balms we need desperately when we are hurting and asking why.

This peace, ‘keeps’ our heart and our mind.  Which is a good thing because, when our hearts are hurting and broken, and our minds riddled with doubt, and questions: believe me you need something to help hold it together.  This does the trick.

So when you find yourself asking why, when you are struggling to find meaning where there seemingly is none.

Stop it.

Settle your heart and mind, and tell God the despite failing to understand, that he grant you an anxiety free mind, and bestow on you the peace that only he can give.  A peace that would protect, shield, comfort and stand as a sentinel against any and all things that would bring you into anxiety and distress.  That both your heart and mind during rough times be liberated from the paralyzing hurt that can come from difficulty and pain.

To those that are hurting, and or know those that are.  I pray that the peace of God would rule in your heart, and that you might experience the reality of this promise.

If you have something meaningful to add, please leave me a comment.  I would love to hear from you.

Regards,

D

Createspace’s Expanded Distribution – Yes or No?

In Uncategorized on June 24, 2013 at 6:34 pm

structured_controversy

Can you utilize Amazon’s own publishing arm to sell your books on Barnes and Noble?  Why yes you can!

 at Indies Unlimited explains how!

http://www.indiesunlimited.com/2013/03/05/createspaces-expanded-distribution-yes-or-no/

My first experience fishing: The story of a dad and his sons.

In Personal, Uncategorized on June 20, 2013 at 4:45 pm

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So one day my eldest son(20) asks me, “Dad can we go fishing?”.   I looked at him in shock, as I could not recall him ever asking such a thing in the past.  My experience with fishing was buying them at the local aquarium shop or frying them on the grill.  But my boy wanted to spend some time with his dad fishing.  So dang nabbit.  Fishing we were going to do!

I quickly admitted to him that I knew absolutely nothing about fishing.  Moreover, knowingly entering situations where the blind lead the blind was not exactly my idea of fun.  To give you a perspective on this excursion; one day I had the thought that my sons and I would go out and fly remote controlled airplanes.  None of us knew how to do that either.  To make a long story short that excursion ended up with a 200 dollar airplane smashed into pieces, and us having to use our gym shoes to knock it out of a tree.  It was not pretty, but it was loads of fun.

I imagined my sons and I falling into the water.  Wrapping fishing line around our neck and someone thinking that one of us had garroted the other.  As mentioned earlier I knew this was a venture of the blind leading the blind.

But hey my son wanted to go fishing, so with my youngest also in reluctant agreement I said yes.

Next followed a visit to the local Meijer where fishing rods and reels were purchased along with other assorted equipment and the required fishing license.  Ok so let me get this straight.  I need a license to fish?  This was news to me.  So if I were hungry the fishing police would what …ticket me for fishing?  Wow!  Of course I didn’t argue with the helpful attendant, but paid my fishing fee.  I got the super duper size fishing license for 28 dollars so I could catch the big ones.  Or they could make me look foolish…the jury is still out on that one.  But dang nabbit.  I had my bobbers, my lures, my rod and reel, and after being set back about 50-60 bucks.  I was ready.

Of course then I had to find out where in my area I could actually fish.  Details schmetails.  Thankfully there was a large regional park with lakes and my boys and I gathered up our stuff and set out to catch stuff.  I realized that I had no buckets so this would be a catch and release mission.  I wasn’t skinning nothing baby.  And those fishies were not stinking up my Lincoln oh heck no.

We arrived at the water park, and somehow figured out that the lure does actually does go on the end of the line.  My oldest son figured out that the sinkers wrapped around the fishing line and you squeeze them so they stay tight.  (Show off).

Our reels were ready.  The fish were prey.  I threw my line.  Yet here was where I realized that no one told me that casting your line was a skill.  So after heaving my reel waaay back behind my head and heaving it out to the lake expecting it to go a good 20 feet out, instead it plopped all of three feet in front of me.  Talk about return on investment.  Sheesh.  Well by golly I at least looked good doing it.

My boys cast their lines in and my youngest managed to make the whole thing look pretty effortless.  As his line went out about 15 feet into the water and his bobber floated on the current. (Show off)

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My eldest son also seemed to grasp the nature of casting.  Me…well perhaps this gen X’er had simply played too much Xbox 360 and my wrists were permanently damaged from killing aliens in Halo.  However, I was undaunted, so I tried again.  This time I managed to get the line out about 10 feet.  Snagged something…I was excited…only to pull on my line and realize that I was now bobberless , sinkerless, and lureless.   Pulling back my reel my line got tangled around the rod.

‘And there are people that actually do this regularly?’ I thought.

My sons seemed to grasp the concept of not losing their much needed lures pretty well.  A couple was strolling along the river bank and came toward us and asked me how the fish were biting.  Now you must realize that to me this was a trick question.  But I swallowed my pride and said, I wish I knew as the three of us were novice fishermen, and this was our first time.  The man laughed and wished us a good time.

After about a half hour or so, I had managed to lose all my lures to the deep.  My fishing was officially over. And my youngest son had managed to loose many of his.  With my oldest son being the one still in contention to actually have a reel in the water.  Eventually, I think he took sorrow on the plight of his brother and I as we were now spectators in this father son experiment of fishing.  He let us know we could go as he didn’t want to be the only one fishing. (Good boy!)

We managed to pack up our gear and with determined hearts we would once again take up the rod and reel, and seek out new waters, and again be undaunted in trying this again.  (That’s another blog…stay tuned)

Overall we had fun, and a great memory that my boys and I can share.  I learned that Jesus and the disciples were some bad bruthers, to be able to fish and for Jesus to make them fishers of men.  I have a whole new respect for what he was trying to do.

I’ve picked up a new hobby, something else to enjoy with my kids, and some spiritual insight on lures and bobbers and evangelistic sinkers needed to bring others to Christ.  All in all it was a great day with my sons.

I think we’ll do it again.

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It’s Inspiration Tuesday…but on a Wednesday. :-)

In It's Inspiration Tuesday! on June 12, 2013 at 6:53 pm

 

As I slowly make my way back to posting regularly I want to start by giving a quick thank you to those that follow me.  We are almost at 300 followers!  Wow!  Needless to say there are those out there that enjoy what I post and I hope to create an even larger following that wants to be inspired, entertained, and given helpful resources.  Stay tuned as I’m going to do a blog series on marketing soon, and I hop that will really help out those indie publishers out there.

In the mean time, let me introduce a piece I found today that is simply beautiful and lifts the spirit to fight and keep going.

Fireheart by Soundcritters is just that.  Its a rousing piece that sings to those whom life has attempted to douse.  It calls to the person who is looking for courage to stand and face tough decision, and whose heart might be shackled in the cold grip of despair.  With this piece I call on you to reach deep within yourself and rise from your doldrums.  To not let the fire of your hope go out.  But to embark on your quest even in the face of the unknown and to fight. Battle, to over take, and pursue.

This is epic music as it should be.

Enjoy

 

D

What’s great about blogging? by Sharon D. Fiberesima

In On writing on June 9, 2013 at 12:00 pm

How-To-Blog

Today I want to take the time to itroduce a friend of mine that I had the pleasure of meeting on LinkedIn.  Her name is Sharon D. Fiberesima, and she is an author, ghostwriter and blogger for the site http://www.fictionblueprints.com.  Today she is doing me the honor of guest blogging for me, and its great to have her today.

Take it away Sharon!

As writers, it’s easy to think that blogging should come naturally to us; after all, blogging is writing, right? Surprisingly (or not so surprisingly), most writers have a hard time blogging. It’s not like we don’t know how to write, it’s more than that. There are many things involved when a writer decides to become a blogger. Some issues we face include:

–          What do I write about?

–          Do I blog about my writing or about me?

–          If I blog about me, do I focus on just one thing or blog about everything

–          I really don’t have time to blog, I’d rather be working on my book anyway

And it goes on, really.

Now I want to take a moment here to state that a writer does not need to have a blog. You really can do without one. You can spend your time writing instead and promoting your books. So what is this post about then?

Well, I’d like to share with you my experience with blogging; how it has helped me as a writer and what you can do to make it less painful and more successful, if you choose to go down that road.

How Blogging Has Changed My Life

I began blogging in 2008 (probably before that, really) and I’ve been through several transitions since then. Even though my current blog, Fiction Blueprints is only a year old, I have been through different stages in order to get to where I am now. I don’t have a large readership on my blog, but I have a minimum of 80 readers every day. Just the other day, I had 187 readers, and that’s not my highest.

Since I started blogging, I’ve learned the power of networking. This is very important and it doesn’t matter if you fit the archetypical writer; solo and introspective, you are still going to need a strong and powerful network if you want to be really successful as a writer.

I’m a ghostwriter and I write romantic fiction for people who run small publishing houses. However, last year I decided to try my hands at self-publishing; kindle publishing to be exact and I wrote and published a short novella. A week after it was approved, I signed up for the KDP Select Program and made my book free. Then I went round my network, the bloggers, and the social media connections I’d made mostly through blogging and let them know my book was out.

In two days, I had close to 2,000 downloads. At the end of five days of promotion (broken into two segments), I’d had over 5,000 downloads and over $100 in royalties. Now I know this isn’t very much, but this was less than a month after I’d published the book. I’m not sure it would have done that well if I didn’t already have a network.

By blogging regularly, my writing improved. There is something about writing for an audience, which is different from writing in your journal where your eyes are likely to be the only ones that get to read what you write. Actually, writing for an audience can make you freeze up so that your writing becomes wooden and your voice doesn’t come through, but I’ll address that later.

If you’re serious about overcoming the fear of people reading your stuff (and you’re a writer hey, so you’re probably very serious), then blogging each day will help you flow, which in turn will improve your writing. I found it easier to express my thoughts in a way my readers would understand. I have grown and matured as a writer.

Blogging helped me connect with readers in a way that would have been almost impossible without blogging. I’d been blogging for close to a year before I began to notice any real reader engagement. That didn’t just happen by the way, there were specific things I did to get readers to engage with my blog and I’ll share them later.

Slowly, but surely, people came to my blog, read the posts and commented. Then I noticed they came back and commented and then came back for some more. I was building a community on my blog! I got to know what they wanted to read (they told me); what they thought of my fiction; and how I could really help them. If you really want to get into your readers’ minds, a blog is a good way to do that.

Some issues you might have with blogging

I’ve chatted with lots of writers over time and I found out that the issues most writers have with blogging are recurring ones. Issues like:

–          I don’t have time to blog

–          What do I blog about

–          No one reads my blog anyway

–          How do I get people to comment

You might have other issues with blogging – I’m sure you probably do – so please feel free to leave a comment.

I’ll answer these issues briefly here.

I don’t have time to blog: If you think of blogging as writing long winded 2,000 plus words, then yes, you might not have the time to blog. But that’s not blogging. Well, yes it is, sometimes, but only if you want to blog that way. I have posts on my blog that come close to 2,000 words. But I have others that are just about 300 words. I know a popular blogger who posts inspirational quotes on her blog and that’s it for a blog post.

Blogging is about sharing your love and passion for the subject you’re blogging about, and passion can be conveyed in one sentence.

What do I blog about? It’s easy to want to blog about your life and your books and your writing and anything else that comes to mind. Cool down. While it’s okay to add bits of your life to your blogging, your blog needs to be about something. So if you’re a writer of Christian romance, put posts relating to that. You don’t have to blog about Christian romance all the time, but it should make up the bulk of your posts.

No one reads my blog: well, how many people’s blogs do you read? If you’re not out there reading other people’s stuff, how do you expect them to find you and read yours? Bloggers are avid readers and are always looking for new blogs to read. And when you think of the fact that a lot of readers have their own blogs, you’ll see the need to go out and find them.

How do I get people to comment? There are two things you need to do. First you need to ask for comments. Hmm…it probably didn’t cross your mind did it? It’s quite simple and straightforward (like how I asked you to let me know what your issues were). Just casually ask a question and let your reader answer it in the comments section.

Second, you should comment on other blogs too. You reap what you sow (unless you’re a politician), so you need to make out time to comment on other blogs.

Blogging can be hard work, but it doesn’t need to be tedious. And the benefits are more than the effort you put into it.

If you’re stuck for what to blog about or you want to learn how to put up personal posts without sacrificing your privacy, you need to sign up for the free instant download of 30+ Blog Post Ideas for Authors, brought to you by Sharon D. Fiberesima, author, ghostwriter and blogger. Get the free instant download here. (http://www.fictionblueprints.com/bpiw/)

Again I want to thank Sharon for sharing, and I am encouraging all my followers to give her blog a look see its a great site!

Until Inspiration Tuesday!

D