Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Once upon a time there was a journalist who wanted to write fiction (though some have written fiction and called it journalism). This scribbler of words did succeed in achieving his dream of novel creation. It even gained regional recognition. Yet his popularity faded at his country’s border as he wrote in a language that was unknown to outsiders. Alas, he died before he gained the world fame he wanted. But his book lingered on.
Then a brave knight came to rescue this book from its lesser fame. This barely known crusader bought the rights to this book. Thus the magic began. The title's name, "Men Who Hate Women" was changed and given a more mystical feel like that of another time.
He and his fellow knights of Quercus traveled far and wide letting people know of this book. Their incantations worked like magic even as far as Hollywood where the book was sold. Thus ends the tale so far of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
If you would like to read the complete tale of how this book achieved world-wide acclaim click here.
Sunday, August 22, 2010
One of my favorite books is “A Child’s Garden of Verses” by Robert Louis Stevenson. I actually have two copies of this book. My mother gave one to me when I moved out on my own. This book had a lot of meaning to me as she read it to me many times when I was a child. Then I went on to read it for myself. This was a new copy, as the one she read to me as a child had disappeared.
When my parents unpacked after their next move it somehow showed up again. Now I had in my possession the actual one I read as a child. This was very special as I was not the only child to cherish that book. Another had read it many years before me. This book had an inscription lovingly written by my grandmother who had given it to my mother as one of her first books.
The verses may seem simplistic by today’s standards, but they still are precious to me. Here are a few from one of the poems in the book…
We may see how all things are,
Seas and cities, near and far,
And the flying fairies’ looks,
In the picture storybooks.
If you are unfamiliar with his works, here is a link to learn more about him, his life, and his works.
Saturday, August 21, 2010
This reminds me to do my part, keep at it, and let the results take care of themselves. This ties in nicely to an article I read in Writer’s Digest. Here is a short blurb from it that really caught my attention.
Take yourself seriously – Many beginning writers feel guilty about working so hard at something for which they haven’t been paid a cent. Immediate family members or friends may look on writing as a harmless little hobby, to be encouraged only when it doesn’t interfere with their own lives…You must emphatically demonstrate to yourself and to others that writing is a part of who you are, not just an amusing pastime. The measure of being a writer is not how much money you make, but how important writing is in your life.
This is part of the article entitled, The 10 Commandments of Fiction Writing. If you’d like to learn more, click here.
Friday, August 20, 2010
I’ve had a busy last two weeks. I’ve sent out 2 stories, entered 2 contests and done the first and second draft of a picture book. Now the waiting comes in. I can’t just sit back and wait for something to happen. It’s time for the next follow through. I have to do the research as to which publisher will be the best fit for my picture book. Unlike clothes, one size doesn’t fit all (and those one size clothes really don’t fit everyone). So it’s time to hit the bookstores and libraries to find publishers that fit my style. There are a ton of publishers out there!
However, if my first choice of publishers doesn’t agree with me, I can’t give up. I have to keep trying to find the right fit. Here’s a link to a piece about the importance of keeping your work circulating by Evelyn B. Christensen who is an award winning children’s author.
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Here's a blog from another writer on the lure of writing that I enjoyed reading...
Kathryn Lay writer: Living the Dream: "When I first started my writing career back in 1991, I dreamed of someday being famous. I dreamed of piles of fan mail from kids everywhere ..."
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
I decided to do just that and here are some of the explanations that I discovered from Random House Dictionary and Collins English Dictionary. Like many of our words, this one is from the Latin, litterārius, which translates as"concerning reading and writing." This is an explanation that is simple and to the point.
Other definitions include "pertaining to, or of the nature of books and writings, especially those classed as literature;" or "concerned with, or characteristic of literature or scholarly writing." These definitions sound like the writings of a doctoral dissertation or discussions engaged in by those with a long list of degrees.
Other explanations included, “engaged in or having the profession of literature or writing.” I can easily accept this definition. All writing is a form of literature some stellar, some mediocre, and some just for fun.
There are two other definitions that I believe fit the publication’s style. They are as follows, “characterized by an excessive or affected display of learning; stilted; pedantic” and “preferring books to actual experience; bookish.” Yes, I definitely got the impression from the publication that they did not want to review just anyone’s submissions. You would need the proper credentials and affiliations that would appeal to the elitist crowd.
In this regard, I also ran across another publication whose guidelines stipulated that you had to be an author of great regard to be considered for their e-publication for which they paid $10. I can just see tons of famous writers jumping on that option.
I will continue to write and consider my writing of literary merit. I write to add laughter, smiles and good memories to my readers. I do not write to solve the world’s problems. Besides those with the big brains are not doing too well on solving them either.
Sunday, August 8, 2010
I also did this when I was writing a folktale. I wanted my characters names to describe who they are. So I went online to find a name that meant beautiful. I found several choices but the one I chose was Milana. It's fun to look through the meaning for names and where they originated.
You may not always find a name for the word description you list. I tried to find a name that meant one who is slow and one who is lazy. I guess that's a good thing. Could you imagine how you might feel if you discovered that was the meaning of your birth name? Can you say petition the court for a name change?
Here's a great link if you want to look up names for fun or for writing... http://babynamesworld.parentsconnect.com/
Saturday, August 7, 2010
I read an interesting article by Arielle Ford where she discusses the reasons someone buys a book. As for myself I will buy a book only if I can first actually hold it in my hand. I need to be able to read the synopsis and the info on the author. If I do buy a book online it is only after I have looked at it in hand.
I don’t really care where it is on the best seller list of The New York Times because I am not the “every person” reader. Nor do I base my decisions on someone else’s reviews. I certainly wouldn’t take into account a book store shelf talker as I would wonder if it is being highlighted because they just bought too many books.
I have quirky tastes and tend to stay within certain genres. You will never find me picking up a Harry Potter Book or any of the Twilight series. Though they are widely popular their story lines do not appeal to me. I do tend to be loyal to an author once I find that I like their story format. At times I pass on my favorite authors as the storyline has become too predictable.
When I have to start looking for a new author to read it is like the dating process. I have to first be attracted to the cover. I’ll look it over and compare it to the others on the shelf. Then we will say our first hello as I read the synopsis. The next stop is like going out for coffee as I get a little more background by reading about the author and maybe read the first few pages. If all that goes well we’re ready for the date or the book purchase. The reading is the romance. Unfortunately there is always the tender parting when the story is done. If it is part of a series there is always that chance for a more serious relationship.
If you’d like to read more about what Arielle Ford on “What Motivates the Book Buyer?” you can click here.
Friday, August 6, 2010
I love to read many different books at a time. So I need many bookmarks. My bookmarks are memory keepers. Some of them include actual bookmarks like the one that celebrated my local library’s grand re-opening or the one from the library on a past cruise. I also use ticket stubs from events and postcards from places I’ve visited but never got around to sending out. They do a great job in holding my place in a book but they also bring back great memories. And being a bit of a romantic I even have a pressed rose in a cherished book. That bookmark doesn’t get moved as it is too fragile.
Sometimes I love a book so much that I don’t want to finish it as it will be the end of a relationship. I will have to move on to another book. It is both a sad and a complete feeling when the reading is done.
I don’t have a house full of books as I believe in a catch and release method of ownership. I read a book and pass it on. I also buy extra copies of books that I especially love to pass on to others.
Here are some great quotes about books that I wished I had said…
If there’s a book you really want to read but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it. Toni Morrison
Always read something that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it. P.J. O’Rourke
The best of a book is not the thought which it contains, but the thought which it suggests; just as the charm of music dwells not in the tones but in the echoes of our hearts. Oliver Wendell Holmes
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Just read an interesting piece in Publisher’s Weekly about a writer who took to the streets in a new tack for promoting his new children’s book. He stood for hours in line for the Queen to pass by so he could hand her a copy of the book. He’s got the picture to prove it.
So here is the question of the day… Should he promote this action like those who giveaway their products to celebrities? Such as “It is such a good product it was given in swag bags to celebrities.” An idea for a promotion could be “This book has been given to the Queen. Buy the book and give it to those you would like to treat like royalty.”
If you would like to read the full story click here. You may need to scrool down to the story.
Being a writer I am constantly looking into writer's guidelines of all different sources. Who knows where I might find a niche for my writing. It is also fun to find out new writing sources. Sometimes I can read a story that is not my writing genre but can inspire me to write something that is.
Today I looked into Clarkesworld Magazine for their guidelines just for fun. If you want to learn more about their guidelines or read some sci-fi click here. Though I am a fan of Arthur C. Clarke, Asimov and Heinlein, I can't imagine writing science fiction in that style. Got a kick out of their please don't send ideas...
- stories where the climax is dependent on the spilling of intestines
- (What if those intestines contained the secrets of solving global warming?)
- stories where the Republicans, or Democrats, or Libertarians, or the Spartacist League, etc. take over the world and either save or ruin it
- (We have enough politics on the news or pretend news)
- sexy vampires, wanton werewolves, or lusty pirates
- (Are there others out there also waiting for the end of the vampire and werewolf madness?)
Monday, August 2, 2010
I've often used this idea when I am buying an item from a store and they are out of stock but can have it shipped in from another location. It's wonderful to know that this can be done with libraries as well.