Friday, March 30, 2012

Sad Songs Blogfest

My very first blogfest - Sad Songs Blogfest!

Today, list the songs that move your spirit, cut deep into your soul, and threaten to break your heart. Any that inspire you! Up to ten songs and feel free to include links or videos.

I love music for the way it makes me feel. Making this list was harder than I thought. My original list had almost forty songs. I’ve narrowed it down to ten. These aren’t necessarily favorites, just songs that evoke a strong emotion.

10 - Don’t Dream it’s Over - Crowded House YouTube
Too late - it’s over. And it came out at a really low point in my life.

9 - I’ll See You in My Dreams - Giant YouTube
If you really listen to the lyrics, it’s as if he lost her because she died. A key song for a story I wrote years ago.

8 - Thousand Mile Wish - Finger Eleven YouTube
This was the theme song for Book IV’s Mike, especially in the beginning when he was so lonely.

7 - A Warm Place - Nine Inch Nails YouTube
An instrumental that takes me back to when we first moved to NC and I was wondering what on earth I was going to do with my life.

6 - Rendez vous Part I - Jean Michel Jarre YouTube
The first song I ever heard by the new age French composer and one that reminds me of loss. This album also feature’s Ron’s Piece, dedicated to those who lost their lives aboard the Challenger.

5 - Take Me Home - Phil Collins YouTube
At age 19, I moved from Oregon to Arkansas, and this song came out shortly after my arrival. I was SO homesick!

4 - Us and Them - Pink Floyd YouTube - Live Version
It’s almost 40 years old now, but still a powerful and sad song. Like the echoes of a dream to which you’ll never return.

3 - Without You - Nilsson YouTube
It’s meant to be heart-wrenching anyway, but it’s one of the few songs that reminds me of my father. (He died when I was 11.)

2 - Nadia’s Theme - De Vorzon & Botkin YouTube
Despite the triumphs it represents (Romanian gymnast Nadia Com─âneci’s gold medals and perfect tens) this instrumental is one of the saddest you will ever hear.

1 - Empty Rooms - Gary Moore
There are three versions of this song, two studio and one live, and all represent a song steeped in sorrow - sad lyrics, melancholy music, and it came at a point when I felt as empty as the song. All three versions are powerful, but the live one includes an instrumental prologue that is haunting.
Studio Version:

Live Version:

If you would like to join in, sign up below. Thanks to all who posted their sad songs today.

Monday, March 26, 2012


After listening to the accolades of Pinterest, I finally joined.

I’ve been a professional photographer for 22 years now, so the allure of beautiful photos pulled me into the site. (I’m a member of Deviant Art for the same reason, although I don’t get to visit that site as often as in the past.) So far I’ve discovered some amazing images and mostly from a few people here on Blogger.

I’ve also heard it’s an additional way to market one’s books, so I uploaded my book covers, too.

I’m still not sure what I’m doing, but if anyone wants to find me, I am HERE.

Other than that, my posts are all set for the A to Z Challenge. This year was even easier than last year!

This Friday is my first ever blogfest! Thanks to those who’ve signed up. It would’ve been a really sad blogfest without you.

Sad Songs Blogfest

March 30, 2012

List the songs that move your spirit, cut deep into your soul, and threaten to break your heart. Any that inspire you!

Friday, March 23, 2012

And Now For Something Completely Different...

Run away! Run away!

Some publishing industry news...

Many of Canada’s publishers are going under and there’s no sign of that changing anytime soon… CBC Books

Harry Potter eBooks and audio presales delayed… The Christian Science Monitor

Ten predictions for the future of publishing from the Publishing Business Conference and Expo TeleRead

Thanks to all who’ve signed up for my first ever blogfest:

Sad Songs Blogfest

March 30, 2012

List the songs that move your spirit, cut deep into your soul, and threaten to break your heart.

funny pictures of cats with captions

Monday, March 19, 2012

Songs That Inspire Through Sadness Blogfest

With only two weeks until the A to Z Challenge to go, I knew if I was going to do this I had to hustle.

For my first ever blogfest, I thought I’d go simple:

Sad Songs Blogfest

March 30, 2012

List the songs that move your spirit, cut deep into your soul, and threaten to break your heart.

No limit - top ten or less is fine. 
Music is vital to my writing. It moves me and sets the scene. It’s also a great passion in my life. I will fall in love with a song because of the way it makes me feel. And those songs that bring me to a truly emotional place are special.

If you’d like to join me, post the songs that move your heart - those sad songs that inspire you - on March 30.

Friday, March 16, 2012

And Now For Something Completely Different...

"Bring out your dead!"

Some interesting news and articles this week:

After 244 years, the Encyclopedia Britannica will no longer be in print form - The New York Times

PayPal reverses ban on obscene ebooks. The company will focus more on books with obscene images. CNet News

More books written by men are reviewed than books written by women - who is to blame, reviewers or publishers? Huffington Post

Amazon is now the biggest player - but is that good or bad for the publishing industry? Book Business Magazine

Author Roland Yeomans is holding a contest for a stuffed Spock bear. It's so adorable!

And some funny LOL Cats and a Simon's Cat video:

Monday, March 12, 2012

Interactive Content for Websites

For authors and businesses with websites, the key is to get visitors involved. People visit a site for content and information first - to purchase something is fourth. A site must gain the visitor’s trust first. It must demonstrate its knowledge and expertise. And it must get the visitor involved in the site.

Blogs have one major advantage over websites when it comes to getting visitors involved - the comment section. That doesn’t mean there aren’t things to you can add to your website to get visitors involved though.

Some ideas for interactive content:

- quizzes
- a guest book
- RSS Feed
- video
- audio
- contests
- free materials
- referral request
- online chat
- newsletter signup
- request for further information or quote
- comment box
- polls

And of course, many of those things can be added to a blog, too.

Do you have interactive content on your website or blog?

And I have most of posts scheduled for the A to Z Challenge - boo-yah!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

And Now For Something Completely Different...

In the frozen land of Nador they were forced to eat Robin's minstrels. And there was much rejoicing.

Industry news:

Several articles this week about the new IPad and how it will affect the publishing and tablet industries:

New IPad Even Better Playground for Publishers

The New IPad and What it Means for Publishers

The IPad 3 Will Help Apple Grab 70% of the Tablet Market

And of course, there is the flip side for Apple:

The US Threatens to Sue Apple and Publishers/

In other news, digital magazines are taking off:

Cosmopolitan Exceeds 100,000 Paid Digital Subscribers

Now some LOL Cats:

funny pictures-What? You think I want to look at YOUR face on my cup all day?
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

funny pictures-Middle Management Cat   catches you on Facebook!
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

And finally, an inspirational photo: 

Happy weekend!

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

The Insecure Writer's Support Group

It’s time for another edition of The Insecure Writer’s Support Group, hosted by Ninja Captain, Alex J. Cavanaugh.

I decided I’d offer something to writers to help ease their concerns. Most finish a book and wonder ‘What next?’ Well, there are several things you need to do - hire an editor or use an expert critique partner; make a detailed list on your target audience (helps to start this before writing though); and the biggie - decide which publishing path you will take.

Pursue a publisher, an agent, or self publish?

You should research all of your options before making a final decision - and be willing to change your decision if it doesn’t work out as planned.

Here are some website to get you started:

Pursuing a publisher or agent:

1) Research & study publisher/publishing industry
Preditors and Editors - full list of publishers, agents. & editors
SFWA - Writer Beware - guidelines & warnings
Every Writer’s Resource - publisher listing
Publishing Central - listing of publishers
Publishers Global - listing of publishers

2) Understand forms
SWFA - query letter sample
James Russell Publishing - query letter tips
Charlotte Dillon - query letter tips, articles, & books
Fiction Factor - synopsis and outline details

3) Understand contracts
Ivan Hoffman - publishing lawyer – information
Pub Law - publishing law information

If you decide on the self-publishing route:

Para Publishing - self publishing & promoting resource
Book Martket - John Kremer’s site
Ink Tree Marketing - self publishing & book marketing
Aeonix - independent publisher resource
Literary Marketplace - book publishing industry resource
Publishers Global - lists service providers

May those guide you on your publishing path!

Monday, March 05, 2012

Creating Characters and Book Cover Love

A special person I’ve gotten to know over the years through Book ‘Em is Bonnie Watson. She’s the author of the Blue Moon Trilogy (Books 1 and 2 are now available) and she’s an amazing artist. She designed the cover art for her books and also works as a freelance graphics designer. And she’s a musician! You can see her work at her website, WISDOM NOVELS

Bonnie invited me to do a guest post on her blog about the creation of my characters in The Circle of Friends and do I have a favorite? Her blog SCRIBBLES is located HERE

Bonnie’s covers are beautiful. I’ve always preferred rich artwork on fiction books. Before you go visit Bonnie, take a look at these gorgeous covers:

I have the full, framed artwork of this one on my wall - just love this cover.

This is the cover of the book in my boxed set. Such a shame they changed them.

Book for the role playing game Call of Cthulhu.

Yes, I do like my own covers! This one is the most gorgeous...

I loved the covers of Richard Scarry's books when I was little. Simple but detailed and with so much going on.

I love Michael Whelan's covers...

And McCaffrey's books! This one featured a simple but lovely painting.

This one shows a real sense of characters in the little Fuzzies.
If you’d like to know from where my characters originated and meet the talented and bubbly Bonnie, please visit SCRIBBLES

Saturday, March 03, 2012

And Now For Something Completely Different

“It's not pining, it's passed on. This parrot is no more! It has ceased to be. It's expired and gone to meet its maker.This is a late parrot. It's a stiff. Bereft of life, it rests in peace. If you hadn't nailed it to the perch it would be pushing up the daisies. It's rung down the curtain and joined the choir invisible. This is an ex-parrot.”

I’m returning to an older format I used to do several years ago, with news and humor. Hope you enjoy!

Five Publishers to Follow on Pinterest

Are Ebooks Fairly Priced Part 1

PayPal Strong Arms Indie Ebook Publishers Over Erotic Content

Laura Marcella at Wavy Lines posted a list of misused words/grammar mistakes that is the best I’ve ever seen.

I Can Has Cheeseburger changed their site recently. I registered and was still unable to get the html for any of the images! So, these are from much older posts. (Because I still have the html - ha,ha,ha!)

funny pictures of cats with captions

funny pictures of cats with captions

funny pictures of cats with captions

And for a little inspiration...

Thursday, March 01, 2012

My Book Festival Experience

This past weekend was the Book 'Em North Carolina book festival. Packed with over 60 authors, plus panels and discussions all day, it was a major event. There was an author meet-and-greet dinner Friday night and then Saturday was the festival.

For me, the fun is meeting up with author friends! Like authors Judy Walters and Pamela June Kimmell.

I also got to see author Betty Schiefelbein and her husband, along with author Bonnie Watson who is also an amazing artist. (And I’ll be a guest on Bonnie’s blog next week.)

I’d set up my table on Friday, so Saturday morning before the doors opened, I roamed around. I got to meet Susan Whitfield for the first time. We’ve known each other through the Internet for years but we’ve never met - and we only live 30 minutes apart!

I tracked down Valerie Connelly, who owns Nightengale Press. I’d done an interview on her radio show a few years ago and met her when she came to Lumberton for a talk. I just adore Valerie - she is so knowledgeable and fun!

I roamed one more time and when I returned to my table, there was the last author I was seeking - Elizabeth Spann Craig! We know each other online but never met in person, so it was a real treat. I’ve always thought Elizabeth was so organized, professional, and wise. I also thought she was reserved.

That notion went out the window!

Elizabeth is FUN. She is just so bubbly in person. Someone you feel comfortable around immediately. She ended up setting her table up in the same area so we got to chat quite a bit. She also attended my panel discussion on ebooks and then we were on a panel together about book promotions.

As for the great ebook experiment, since I was one of only three authors selling ebooks… I sold half and half. I think next year it will be more ebooks, too.

It was a fun weekend filled with books and friends!

How many of your writing or author friends have you met? And have you been to a book festival or writer’s conference to do it?