WARNING: Writers Eyes Only Should View These Links

If you notice the links below you will find information on Facebook ads, critique groups, stressed out writers, how to sell books, how not to sell books, 25 great writing tips, and blogging tips. This and much more you can find on Anne R. Allen’s blog with Ruth Harris. Having subscribed for years I can attest to the useful information I have gotten, some of which goes against common perceptions, but common perceptions are often wrong, which is another reason to follow their blog. It does not always agree with beliefs, too often regurgitated without anyone saying, “Hold on here. Does this really make sense?”

Facebook Ads that work

Disappearing Amazon reviews

Beware Groupthink-About choosing a critique group

Important for depressed, stressed and anxious writers

Speed Kills or Does it

How Do I Sell My Book

How Not To Sell Books

25 Must Read Tips

6 Tips for getting More Traffic to Your Blog

Blogging Authors, Ignore the Rules

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Who Was Dr. John Yeoman And What He Did For Writers ?

I subscribed to Dr. John Yeoman’s blog on writing for years. He died last month and I felt it time to share not only who he was, but some of his helpful blogs and his e-novels. Not only was John’s blogs helpful, written very conversational, but often with humor, and certainly intelligence.

First who he was can be found here 

Now a dozen of my favorite Dr. Yeoman blogs:

How To Shape Great Stories With Word Games

How to Plot A Story (Even If Plotting Scares You Silly)

7 Great Ways To Close A Story (and How Famous Authors Did It)

Do You Make These Six Big Mistakes With Your Writing Blog

How To Cope With Bad Feedback On Your Work

Nine Big Lies That Agents Tell You

Could This ‘Magic’ Trick Rescue Your Story

How To Sell 100,000 novels Without (Really) Trying

Three Ways (Not) To Kill Your Story In Its Cradle

Top Ten Tips For Promoting Your Book-From A Dog

How To Write A Kindle Best Seller

Five Top Tips For Being a Happy Writer

And he practiced what he preached and taught. Here is his Amazon Page. I have read “The Cunning Man” and “The Hog Lane Murders” and they are great for new writers for you can read the e-novel like you read any book, but is also has footnote markers. When you click a footnote number he shows the why and how he wrote that scene and you can learn from seeing what he is doing. Great writing tool.

Thanks John!

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Why you must have a to do list

There is always tomorrow.  I don’t have time today (I do, I just don’t want to be bothered with this, not right now. I have more fun things to do).

 I am guilty of procrastination, of doing what I want today, not what I have to do. And I am guessing many of you are as well. It is so easy to put it off until tomorrow.

The problem of course is that there is always a tomorrow and putting off small things (what you think are small) pile up. And the pile is not the problem. That’s right, that now towering pile of things you meant to get to, but saved for tomorrow, is not the problem.

The problem is the unforeseen; a major event that suddenly strikes like lightning, but unlike lightning is not momentary, but stays, consuming your time.  Maybe a loved one’s illness, maybe urgent needs from your child, and now you find yourself being more of a care giver. Or maybe it is something that happens to you and your health.

It does not have to be health related. Maybe you got fired, maybe you have to move. Perhaps a divorce. There are a myriad of unseen catastrophic events that can and will find you at some time in your life. Then you are buried under an avalanche of those ‘small things’ and it is hard to catch up.

If you have a pile of tomorrows, then get it done now. Clear your chore list while you have the time because tomorrow you may not have that time. Also you will feel better for accomplishing things, even if they were not so important.

Find the ones easiest to do or won’t take much time. Make a To Do List and work through it checking off each item on the list when it is finished.

This is especially true for writers as finding time for writing is precious time and with a completed list, or a downsized list, you find more time for writing. And if you are a writer, write first, small things later, but later today.

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Yearly Writing Goal 1,200,000 words!! Who can do this?

There is no way I could write 1,200,000 words a year, but according to Wikipedia, the author of the best selling Perry Mason mystery novels, Erle Stanley Gardner, 1889-1970, in his early days writing for pulp magazines had a goal of just that, 1,200,000 words a year.


Lets do some math. Feel free to double check as math is not my strong suit. Let us start with 360 writing days, taking off for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Mother’s Day, and two flex days. Dividing words by days I get 3,333 words per day. Assuming a 10-hour day that is 333 words per hour. I wonder if he kept a running total at his desk. Did he fall behind and do an extra few hours each day to catch up. There is no way he could do that today with Social Media and the Internet to distract him. Oh what a cut cat video!

Okay I can see 333 words an hour, but doing so ten hours a day, 360 days a year is obsessive compulsive; in other words, just plain nuts.

On the other hand, when Gardner started writing pulp fiction stories he would get three cents a word. If he wrote 1,200,000 words that comes out $36,000 a year which in those days was big money.

Now keep in mind Gardner wrote 82 Perry Mason novels as well as a series about a private detective agency Cool and Lam, another series about District Attorney Doug Selby, and used pseudonyms like AA Fair, Carleton Kendrake, Charles J Kenny, and  Charles M Green. He also wrote at least 205 short stories mostly for pulp fiction magazines, and in his spare time wrote non-fiction travel books.

According to Goodreads Gardner has 344 books listed. Were they counting reissues? I did not count them, and have no plans to do so as that would take up time needed to meet my writing goals; just short of 1,000,000 words. That’s for the next 10 years, fifteen if I take off holidays, Mondays and cat videos. If he did indeed write 344 books as well as short stories then perhaps he did reach his stated goal of 1,200,000.

I had hoped that reading about Gardner’s words goal I would get inspired to write more, to get me a kick in the pants. But the more I think of those ten hour days, I am already tired. I need a nap.

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This post was posted from a previous incarnation of my writing blog.

Of late, since I seem to have nothing better to do, I became immersed  in the odd relationship between fetch and fetching.

I associate the word ‘fetch’ with dogs. When playing catch with a dog and a stick or ball is thrown the owner yells, “Go fetch!” I have heard this phrase many times, though in truth the dog knows to go fetch; he or she does not have to be told. They love to fetch.

I am also aware that ‘fetch’ can imply what something costs, though this is a somewhat archaic usage. I have not heard, “It fetched a good price” in a long time. So let us stick to ‘fetch’ defined as retrieving, to grab, seize, catch, and so on.

Okay, now we come to the word fetching. It means charming, enchanting, alluring, captivating, and is most used in describing a woman, or at least it once was, as in “She has a fetching appearance.” It was once a way of saying, “Man she’s hot!” And that phrase once meant something else. But anyway, how do we get from a dog fetching to a comely woman? How do we associate a dog with a cute woman? 

I know chauvinistic men would like a woman to fetch them a beer on demand, but that is not me. I can fetch my own thank you.

Was there something sinister behind the similarity of the two words, some wordsmith conspiracy to layer an insult to women, that they were dogs?  I had to uncover the truth.

I went to a well known establishment that provides  haircuts, or styling if you will, to men; the establishment, a national one that has fetching young ladies that cut your hair, a cut that fetch’s a good price mind you. I posed the question to the young woman cutting my hair about fetch and fetching. Leave it to a woman to figure it out.

She cut to the heart of the matter with the quickness of the snip of a scissor. “Fetch means the woman is worth fetching.”

I had to laugh, though I felt like a dog for thinking there was some conspiracy. I must refrain from saying a terrible pun like offering a beautiful diamond ring will fetch the woman.  That would be improper. Because you see, it is the woman tossing the ball or stick and the man, the dog that he is, will fetch it. And that is because the woman is so fetching the man can not resist.

If you would like to fetch on of my e-books, you can grab one here.

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The following is reposted from a previous incarnation of my writing blog “The quill, the e-word, the looniness.”

Thinking is not good for writers. Thinking means analyzing what you are doing, dissecting your sentence, your paragraph, your page. Is everything you want to say there? Is it said the correct way? And are you following all the rules those creative books say you should do? Does doing this numb the mind? If you want to improve your writing, then stop thinking and just write. And here is why.

In his book “Zen in the Art of Writing” Ray Bradbury says,  “. . . the more swiftly you write, the more honest you are. In hesitation is thought. In delay comes the effort for a style; instead of leaping upon truth which is the only style worth deadfalling or tiger-trapping.”

I don’t know what Bradbury means by ‘deadfalling or ‘tiger-trapping’, but I understand what he is talking about.

Style can not be calculated. Style is how you write and that reflects who you are; a writers style comes out of his being. Don’t be who you are not. It is impossible for me to write a tragedy, a serious drama, a heart warming love story, or an inspiring story. The reason is that my sense of humor, good or bad, always finds its way into the story. I can’t help myself. That is why the titles of my first two e-novels begins with the word “‘Loonies.” It is part of my world view that there is something loony about humanity, with how we think, our actions, and so on. Whether we recognize it or not we are kind of funny in a weird way.

So I write without thinking. I write with what is coming out of my head, entering my characters mouths’ giving me the opportunity to blame them for their actions or inactions. Consider these two phrases; “He who hesitates is lost?” and “To thine own self be true?” They apply to writing. Don’t think, just let you mind flow and be who you are. I write what I write in the way I write because that is who I am. It will work for you as well. So go trap a tiger.

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