Must be a happy moment. I’m nearly at 30k views and after nearly two years off due to life. I’m back and building my following, putting out posts which I hope you enjoy, including those I share.
The SCAM Publishers post written by Victoria Strauss from Writers Beware seems to be one of the best I’ve shared in a while. I thank you all for your comments and I’m glad it helps. Victoria’s article is great, as are so many others I find and I also hope you enjoy the ones I write as well.
My favourite this year is the one about Which English you use and who your Readers are, especially for those who want reviews. After all, you don’t want an American Reader to say you have spelling errors through your work when you’ve written in British English…Do you? I know I don’t
At the moment we are also celebrating five years of Awethors and our Awethology which we published in October 2015. About 54 Authors participated with two books of about 600 pages each. A lot of work and joy and the eBooks are still available FREE on Amazon.
Anyway, I’m wondering how to celebrate when I do hit 30k views…It could happen today or tomorrow. What should I do? Ideas are more than welcome in comments.
When I meet foreigners abroad I often get asked about the languages of New Zealand. Aside from the painfully cringeworthy “what language do you speak in New Zealand?” and compliments on how well I speak English (!), people often want to know if the way we talk in New Zealand is very different to other English-speaking countries. And the truth is, it is – kiwi slang is unique.
Today I’m only going to educate you on kiwi slang, as it is obviously what I am most familiar with. Maybe you’re coming to New Zealand for a trip and want to get along with the locals, maybe you’re already here and struggling to understand kiwi speak. Or maybe you are just curious about how we talk in New Zealand, this tiny little corner of the world.
Either way, by the end of this article you can be sure you’ll be up to speed about all the kiwi slang, and you’ll be talking like a New Zealander in no time.
Disclaimer: I don’t claim to know all the slang and make no guarantees that it is used in the same way throughout the whole country. There might be some really obvious ones which I’ve missed because I don’t always know what’s slang and what’s not (I usually figure it out when I’m talking to a native English speaker from another country and get weird looks). The words I’ve included in this article are mostly words I would use, but I’m in no way representative of the whole country.
Recently, my friend Pradita over at The Pradita Chronicles pointed out that I was missing a reblog button on my site. Since I often don’t notice things when I can’t see them, I hadn’t noticed this issue. On a typical WordPress.com site, this isn’t a problem, but I use a self-hosted WordPress.org site. The reblog button is simply not available to me.
As is often the case, when I searched around the net for help on this, I had to search a lot and wade through a lot of useless information. Because of that, I thought I would post something simple about it here. Here’s the WordPress blog about it all… it’s well written, but I still found it all confusing. Sometimes I’m like that.
Simply put, if someone has a WordPress.com site, you can reblog something from their blog on your WordPress site, simply by clicking their reblog button (at the end of their post). If the reblog button is unavailable, it either means they don’t want you to reblog their site or it means they are self-hosted (like I am) and as such do not have this feature available for their site.
The way around this for you (the person trying to reblog a site) is to use a feature called, “Press This.” That’s a creative name! Can you guess what you do with this feature?
Here’s what you do:
1. Go to WordPress.com and log in to your account. 2. Click “My Site” (top left-hand corner of the screen) 3. Scroll down to Settings on the left-hand side and click it 4. In the center of the screen, you’ll have four menu options: General; Writing; Discussion; Traffic. 5. Select the “Writing” menu and scroll down to the bottom of the screen 6. Read the little description about “Press This” and then either drag the “Press This” button up to your favorites bar and drop it there (Chrome or Internet Explorer) or add the button to your favorites (right-click in Internet Explorer)
Now, Pradita found the “Press This” button in Settings-Writing was unresponsive. I think the reason for this is because the internet is often irritating. So, she kept digging and found the solution was to head over to her dashboard and the “Press This” button could be accessed through “Tools.” So if the above steps do not work, check out “Tools” in the Dashboard.
A visit from your muse: the gift you give yourself.
by Ruth Harris
“What The Subconscious is to every other man, in its creative aspect becomes, for writers, The Muse.” ~ Ray Bradbury
What Ray Bradbury called the muse, Stephen King called the “guys in the basement.” Others call it the sixth sense, the Spidey sense, intuition, superpower, or the subconscious. Whatever you call it, your subconscious—the thoughts you don’t know you’re thinking—is what makes the magic happen.
These unknown thoughts occur below the level of our ordinary, everyday awareness. They consist of our memories and experiences—all the interesting, offbeat, repellent, lurid, provocative, seductive, and enlightening content that rushes past in a torrent every day. This rich mixture of the half-forgotten, barely remembered, and even repressed is original and unique to each one of us, as individual as fingerprints.
These unrecognized thoughts announce themselves in different ways and at different times. Sometimes while we’re in the shower, on the highway, in a class, in a dream or fantasy or a nightmare. Often during those drowsy moments when we’re just about to fall asleep or when we first wake up, relaxed, our minds still unguarded.
Sometimes these buried thoughts shout. Sometimes they whisper. They leave clues everywhere, tapping us on the shoulder or bopping us on the nose just to make sure we’re paying attention. They speak in different languages and like Joseph Campbell’s hero, they appear to us disguised by a thousand faces, some foreign, some familiar.
Signs Of The Muse
The story you can’t get out of your mind.
It’s the one that wakes you up at night and intrudes when you really should be paying attention at that meeting or getting that boring report finished.
The chapter you’re bogged down on and hate writing.
Pay attention. Is your subconscious sending up a warning and telling you you’re on the wrong track? Do you need to go back and figure out where you’ve strayed?
The character who says or does something so amazing, awful or awesome that s/he surprises you.
Even though you created him or her, you’re appalled, impressed and/or intimidated.
The dazzling plot twist you never saw coming.
Even though you yourself planted the trail of clues that made it inevitable (and obvious) but only in retrospect. Where did that come from? How or when did you do it? You were the pilot but your muse was the engine.
The “perfect” word pops into your mind from “out of nowhere.”
Or the phrase you didn’t plan gets you past the cliché and you realize that you are beginning to develop a style of your own.
The minor character waiting at the bus stop.
The guy with the green umbrella you stuck in without thinking, but who turns out to be exactly the culprit/lover/villain/hero/heroine you need 150 pages later.
When you throw away the outline.
Because what your characters say or do when you actually start to write about them are a thousand times better and more interesting than you ever imagined.
The dazzling idea that flashes through your mind so fast it almost disappears the moment it becomes conscious.
That’s a whisper. Better write it down! You might think you’ll remember, but you probably won’t.
Like Hansel and Gretel’s breadcrumbs, you mark a trail through the forest.
Not really thinking, you leave them as you write—the red-haired tap dancer who lives upstairs, the elegant, panelled room in an ordinary suburban tract house, the half-heard whisper at intermission in the theater. They’re the unexpected inspirations that can come back later and help create a great story.
The days you are “in the zone.”
When writing feels effortless and the words pour out as fast as you can get them down, you have lowered the gates and allowed your muse to range free.
When your Muse has Gone AWOL
This is when you can’t get out of your own way.
Have you been feeling hurried, harried or harassed? Overwhelmed, out of control and stressed out? Are you stuck? Or blocked? Or just in a rut? Feel frustrated and about to give up?
Don’t. Don’t give up and don’t give in. Shake up your routine.
Synch your work habits with those of your muse.
Your muse will not react well when you are tired, short of sleep or just dragging through the week. Some muses work better in the morning, others perform at their best later in the day or at night. Don’t expect your night owl muse to be perky and creative early in the AM and don’t ask your crack-of-dawn muse to come to your rescue at midnight.
Give your muse a break.
Try a yoga class, take some time out for meditation or a massage, unload the dishwasher, mow the lawn, or simply get up and take a walk. Getting away from what’s bugging you will calm you and let the ideas or words you need bubble to the surface.
Inspire your muse.
Gallery hopping, brushing up your high school Spanish, taking a barre class, enjoying hot dogs and a beer in bleacher seats—each experience offers your muse new and invigorating experience.
A summer vacation at the shore might inspire the next Jaws. With toxic-spewing robots?
A visit to a natural history museum might result in Jurassic Park. With dragons?
An hour or two with the food channel might inspire a new cozy set in a bakery or a political conspiracy among the waiters in a restaurant. Or what about a new horror novel starring a demented, knife-wielding chef, TV cooking-show host or obnoxious restaurant owner?
Even the supermarket can inspire your muse—think of The Stepford Wives. Visit Whole Foods for the organic, more upscale version.
Binge viewingThe Sopranos or House of Cards could lead you to create the next Godfather or All The President’s Men.
The business pages are a source for occupations and careers: your characters have to make a living, don’t they? The tabs are an endless wellspring of sex and scandal and niche magazines or blogs—bass fishing, rock climbing, stamp collecting, arctic biology—will open new dictionaries for the alert writer and his or her muse.
Sports: for success and failure, triumph and tragedy, go to the sports pages. Seriously. Almost every story is basically about how an athlete, talented or otherwise, overcomes—or doesn’t—golden-boy good looks, a reputation for dogging it, a lousy attitude in the clubhouse, jail time, drugs, booze, injury, scandal, depression, poor parenting, mean and/or incompetent coaching. Besides, it’s not just the drama and the schmaltz, it’s also about the language: sports are all about action and sports writers are great with verbs.
Focusing on details can open up the subconscious
Stilettos or clogs? Polos or Tees? Grunge or business casual? Black tie or white shoe? Fashion magazines, style blogs and catalogs are filled with photos and enticing descriptions of clothing. Check them out and your muse will find new ways for you to describe your character’s clothing and wardrobe in ways that brings them alive and makes them real to the reader.
A Regency drawing room or a Victorian parlor? A cave house in Santorini, a terrorists’ cave in Tora Bora, or a man cave in an Atlanta suburb? A Park Avenue penthouse or a shack on the wrong side of the tracks, a snug farm house or a hideaway on a wild coast? Travel, design and architectural blogs offer a variety of settings that will energize your scenes and help bring your characters to life.
Good hair day or bad plastic surgery? Muffin top or too rich and too thin? Beauty and grooming sites are filled with photos and comment, some of it snarky, some of it sincere, about exactly one subject: how people look. With their help, you and your muse can turn your descriptions from insipid to inspired.
Trust your muse.
Even when you don’t know exactly why and even when you think s/he has abandoned you.
Your subconscious a.k.a. your muse knows more than you do. It’s what gives you that eerie, mysterious sense of knowing without knowing.
Steve Jobs called it “more powerful than intellect.”
Isabel Allende counsels:
“Show up, show up, show up, and after a while the muse shows up, too.”
Stephen King in On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft said the same thing in more words:
“Don’t wait for the muse. As I’ve said, he’s a hardheaded guy who’s not susceptible to a lot of creative fluttering. This isn’t the Ouija board or the spirit-world we’re talking about here, but just another job like laying pipe or driving long-haul trucks. Your job is to make sure the muse knows where you’re going to be every day from nine ’til noon. or seven ’til three. If he does know, I assure you that sooner or later he’ll start showing up.”
How many times do we fail in life? How many times do we sulk or cry over it as if we’d spilt the milk on the floor.
I have had plenty of fails. I remember two exams I failed at school/college. One was my error the other belongs to the college – twice, because they handed out the wrong exam paper which none of us were ready for.
I’ve failed in life – to see what people are really like. I still do at times. I’ve failed and got frustrated over learning the business of publishing and the one thing that stays in my head is – Try and Try Again! Actually I have a better one than this which I first saw on a t-shirt in Rotorua, New Zealand when I walked down the high street. I loved it.
F. A. I. L
First Attempt In Learning
There you go. It seems nobody fails at all. We are in fact learning as we grow.
If folks look at my writing from a few years back, though it is still similar, it has also improved a lot. As for my business. My latest learning curves have been with endnotes in ebooks and how to pull together a full colour children’s book. Yes I failed or..learnt as i pushed myself to get things right.
One thing I will say is that I am a perfectionist when it comes to formatting and publishing. I still make mistakes though. We all do.
Go on give it a go and F.A.I.L – First Attempt In Learning
There are some great conferences this month. If your manuscript is complete, you can pitch it to agents in New York, Las Vegas and Minneapolis. There are also retreats and workshops for writers who just need to get away for awhile to get the creative juices flowing.
Attending a conference is one of the best things you can do for your writing career. Conferences offer a unique opportunity to network with other writers, meet agents and pitch your book, and learn how the publishing industry works from editors and professionals.
I strongly urge you to plan ahead if you are thinking of attending a writing conference. Many offer scholarships that can significantly reduce the cost. And all of the intensive writing workshops have application deadlines. For a month-by-month list of conferences throughout the year see: Writing Conferences. (You will also find links to resources that can help you find conferences in your area on that page.) If you miss your ideal conference this year, plan for next year. ______________________
__________________________ Rananim online classes Courses run for eight weeks from April through May. “Participants receive personalized feedback on assignments from their instructor, as well as responses from classmates on discussion board forums. All instructors are university professors and/or working professional writers, who have experience teaching at the Taos Summer Writers’ Conference. Classes are limited to 15 students who will engage in conversation with you and your work. Firm deadlines and feedback help keep you writing and improving your work throughout the class.” International students accepted. Cost: $400 per class.
2017 Writing By Writers Manuscript Boot Camp. April 4 – 9, 2018. Tahoe City, CA. The Writing By Writers Manuscript Boot Camp is for the writer who has a full book-length manuscript (novel, memoir or short story collection) and would like to engage with a small group for a serious and productive response. The long weekend will include an intimate full manuscript workshop, craft talks, readings, an agent panel and individual agent meetings – the perfect pre-publication boot camp for any manuscript. Classes are limited to 5 participants.Tuition includes one three-day workshop, admittance to all craft talks, panels and readings, a one-on-one with an agent, all meals (dinner on Friday; three meals Saturday and Sunday; breakfast, and lunch on Sunday) and lodging in a single room for three nights. Vegetarian meals are available upon request. FULL.
IBPA Publishing University. April 6-7, 2018, Portland, OR. The Independent Book Publishers Association offers 30+ educational sessions including experiential learning labs, insightful keynotes, a gala book award ceremony, networking events, and so more! Cost: $195-$475.
Writing on the Door: Children’s Literature Conference. April 6 – 8, 2018, Fish Creek, Wisconsin. Workshop topics include writing historical fiction for children; writing and illustrating; writing nonfiction, getting published and more. Registration for the conference is $120 before March 16. After March 16, registration is $150.
San Antonio Book Festival. April 7, 2018, San Antonio, TX. The San Antonio Book Festival is a FREE, annual, daylong event that unites readers and writers in a celebration of ideas, books, libraries, and literary culture. Featuring more than 80 nationally and regionally acclaimed authors, the Festival offers programming for all ages.
The Cambridge Writers’ Workshop Spring Writing Retreat. April 13- 16, 2018, New Orleans, LA. The retreat offers multi-genre workshops, as well as craft seminars and time to write. The faculty includes award-winning writers & a top NYC literary agent: Rita Banerjee, Diana Norma Szokolyai, and Natalie Kimber. All genres welcome. Genres include playwriting, nonfiction, fiction, and poetry. The cost of the retreat is $1200, which includes tuition, lodging, and some meals. Register by March 20, 2018.
Michigan Writers Conference, April 14, 2018, Detroit, MI. A full-day “How to Get Published” writing event. Attending Agents: Eric Smith (P.S. Literary), Cyle Young (Hartline Literary), Jennifer Wills (The Seymour Agency), Stephany Evans (Pande Literary), editor Lauren Jablonski (St. Martin’s Press), Jennifer Unter (The Unter Agency), Linda Glaz (Hartline Literary), Vicki Selvaggio (Jennifer De Chiara Literary), Bethany Morehead (Hartline Literary), assistant Lesley Sabga (The Seymour Agency) and many more to come.
Writing in the Pines. April 14, 2018, Stockton University, Galloway, NJ. Choose from workshops in memoir, poetry and revision. Each workshop will meet for 6 hours and will offer craft discussion, writing prompts, writing time, sharing and inspiration.
Rally of Writers Conference. April 14, 2018, Lansing, Michigan. Michigan authors and educators in 15 breakout sessions and workshops on all aspects of writing, including poetry, fiction, nonfiction, screenwriting, the Nuts & Bolts of manuscript submissions, and more.
Writers’ Day. April 15, 2018, East Longmeadow, MA. Workshops and seminars featuring Karol Jackowski, Sophfronia Scott, Lisa Romeo, Suzanne Strempek Shea and Jonathan Green. Spring Big Apple. April 15, 2018, NYC, NY. Offers a session on queries and pitches, a Meet the Agents panel, an opportunity to pitch your project and a writing workshop with poet Lisa Irish.
Las Vegas Writer’s Conference sponsored by the Henderson Writers’ Group, Sam’s Town Hotel and Gambling Hall, Las Vegas, Nevada. April 19 – 21, 2018. Join writing professionals, agents publishers and marketing experts for a weekend of workshops and enlightening discussions about the publishing industry. A chance to pitch your manuscript and ideas to agents. The Loft’s Pitch Conference. April 20 – 21, 2018, Minneapolis MN. The conference will cover two intense days. Friday will feature a kickoff seminar led by award-winning novelist and One Story editor Hannah Tinti, a working lunch to help you prepare for your pitches, a series of pitch and breakout sessions in the afternoon, and an evening event featuring visiting agents and editors responding to anonymous query letters. Registration limited to 162 attendees. Cost: $550.00. Chicago-North RWA’s Spring Fling 2018. April 20 – 21, 2018, Oak Brook, IL. Three day Biennial writer’s conference geared towards both aspiring and established writers of any genre but focused on romantic fiction. Bookseller/Blogger/Librarian event, Masterclass in Craft and Marketing, Closing Gala.
Poetry at Round Top Festival. April 20 – 22, 2018. Round Top, Texas. The program features workshops, readings, lectures, craft talks, and panel discussions. The faculty includes poets Coleman Barks, Carrie Fountain, Kurt Heinzelman, Aimee Nezhukumatathil, Naomi Shihab Nye, Emmy Pérez, Roger Reeves, and Javier Zamora. The cost of the conference is $125 ($60 for students) or $75 for Saturday only. Workshops are an additional $40. Private manuscript consultations are available for an additional $60. Writing By Writers Boulder Generative Workshop. April 20 – April 22, 2018, Boulder, Colorado. Lectures, craft talks, writing exercises and class discussions. Each participant will have the opportunity to work in a small group setting with all three faculty members.
Chanticleer Authors Conference. April 20 – April 22, 2018. Bellingham, Washington. Sessions with a special focus on the business of being a working writer on topics such as marketing, publicity, platform, sales tools & strategies, publishing, production, distribution, organization, storycraft, editing, and more. New York Writers Workshop Fiction Pitch Conference. April 20 – 22, 2018, Ripley-Grier Studios (NY Spaces) 520 Eighth Ave (36th/37th), 16th Fl. Participants polish their pitches with the help of conference leaders who are members of the New York Writers Workshop faculty, then they present them to three different editors from major New York publishing houses. Editors provide feedback and may request proposals and manuscripts after the conference.
North Carolina Writers’ Network Spring Conference. April 21, 2018, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, North Carolina. Features intensive workshops in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, as well as publisher exhibits, on-site “lunch with an author” readings, and an open mic.
The Spring Writers’ Conference. April 21, 2018, Rochester, MI. Lectures, Workshops, and Panel Discussions in fiction, non-fiction, and business concepts of writing. Open to new writers, working journalists, and published authors of all genres. Professional development to move writers to the next level
Travel & Words: Northwest Travel Writers Conference. Apr 22 – 24, 2018, Yakima, WA. Workshops, panels, networking and Writer Matchmaking: Writers attending Travel & Words are looking for story ideas and possibly press trips. These “speed dating” sessions connect destination marketers with freelance writers and bloggers on the “Experienced” track.
Arkansas Literary Festival. Apr 26 – 29, 2018, Little Rock, Arkansas. “Prestigious award-winners, screenwriters, comedians, an expert witness, artists, and a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet are among the diverse roster of presenters who will be providing sessions.” Free.
Malice Domestic. Apr 27 – 29, 2018, Bethesda, MD. Malice Domestic™ is an annual fan convention in the metropolitan DC area that celebrates the traditional mystery, books best typified by the works of Agatha Christie. The genre is loosely identified as mysteries which contain no explicit sex, or excessive gore, or violence.
The Pikes Peak Writers Conference, April 27 – 29, 2018. Colorado Springs, Colorado. “The three-day conference is full of topical, in-depth workshops, dynamic keynote speakers, opportunities for one-on-one time with agents and editors, the chance to read your work aloud for constructive critique, plus time to socialize with fellow writers.
Colrain Classic 2018. April 27-April 30, 2018. The Inn at Manchester, Manchester, Vermont. A select group of poets will bring their completed or in-progress manuscripts to the Inn at Manchester, an elegant, family-run inn dating from the late 1800s spread across two buildings on sprawling grounds: the Main Inn and the Carriage House. Here, in this beautiful setting, poets will work closely with conference founder Joan Houlihan, (Lesley University Low-Residency MFA Program), Ellen Dore Watson (Smith College), Stephen Motika (Nightboat Books), and Martha Rhodes (Four Way Books). All poets with an in-progress or complete book-length or chapbook-length manuscript are welcome to apply.
Northeast Texas Writers Organization. Apr 28, 2018, Mt. Pleasant, TX. One-day bootcamp. Western Reserve Writers’ Conference. Apr 28, 2018, South Euclid, Ohio. This free one-day writing conference takes place at Cuyahoga County Public Library’s William N. Skirball Writers’ Center, located in the South Euclid-Lyndhurst Branch library. It features a choice of breakout sessions, a keynote address, and private sessions with editors. It occurs annually on the 4th Saturday in April.
Write Now! Apr 28, 2018, Raleigh, NC. One day writing conference hosted by Triangle Association of Freelancers.Sessions include screenwriting, financial tips for writers, pillars of freelance success, copyediting, trade pubs, column writing, publishing tips and more. Cost: $69; $59 for students with ID and seniors 65+; $80 at the door.
WRITING – Yep I do this sometimes. Mainly when I am bored to tears or my fingers just take off and flow over the keyboard. Why write? Well there are several reasons. Here are mine:
To teach someone about something they have little knowledge about, if I know more about the subject
To research for information and take notes. Be it for fiction or family history and blogs.
To share an experience in life, work or anything else that comes to mind.
To share a story and engage readers.
To entertain children and adults with something which can take them away from reality for a short while.
Because it is fun and my teachers at High School wouldn’t put me forward for O’level English (yeah it still shows at times.)
I’ve never been one to prove a point when I don’t know the answer, though I do love a good debate and weaving stories through theories is amazing fun. Could it really happen? Well this is what fiction is all about MAKE BELIEVE. It makes you think, dream and perhaps encourages you to try something new or find the answer.
WRITING is also about learning, listening and gaining knowledge. Most of us know about the world today because we read, be it books or online. However, we have to be careful not to get sucked into so much FAKE news which is a constant on many social media accounts today.
SADLY Writing is also exploited, used against us in many ways. We read things into bible passages, taking them out of context. Personally I won’t listen to anyone quoting bible phrases unless they have read the bible from the beginning to the end. I know my grandfather did. He was a Minister. A lovely gentleman, who sadly I didn’t get to meet. Politicans have also used the written word to their advantage, making us angry over things which really have no meaning. Lawyers can complicate the language so we don’t understand and I am sure there are times people have signed away their rights without realising it – until it’s too late. Journalists…News Media, Organisations who tell you something is wrong – many things cross out paths in life and it is up to US to work out what is true and what isn’t.
Are you a Fantasy Author? Do you have a book Unpublished, a one-off or the start to a series. Then this could be what you need.
Below are the details for submissions – it is FREE to enter.
The doors are now open for submissions for our yearly Sponsorship Program. This program is sponsored by Plaisted Publishing House in conjunction with Lynzie Fitzpatrick – Editor, Fantasia Covers & KKAssist – Promotions Manager.
The genre for this year is FANTASY with all sub genres. What you will need:
An Author Bio, Synopsis and First two Chapters of your novel. You will need to submit via the link below.Submissions will close on May 31st 2017.
Your novel is to be no more than 90K words and unpublished. Only book one of a series will be accepted as a submission.