Link

“Stop the Press: Half of self published authors earn less than $500.00

It’s an intersting article citing EL James and Amanda Hawking as exceptions to the rule. It also states some of the books published don’t make enough to cover the cost of publishing.

Half the respondents failed to reach $500 in royalties in 2011, and a quarter of the books are unlikely to cover the direct costs of production. “Sobering” news, wrote Cornford and Lewis. “Who’d come back for more?”

I am so glad the cite in this sobering article, it the fact most writers aren’t in it for the money. The hours of knuckle soreness and crossed eyed work is not done for the all mighty dollar. Yes while a check for $10,000 would be nice in an advance, this is not by far the reason I write and not the reason many of my fellow writers create either. If money was the only reason writers create, the artistic method, the muse if you will, would look like a dollar sign and jingle when he walks. I was recently notified my work will appear in an anthology to be named published by a company in the UK.

Neil Gaiman’s 8 Rules of Writing by Maria Popova

From the Brain Pickings Newsletter

Neil Gaiman’s 8 Rules of Writing by Maria Popova

“Perfection is like chasing the horizon. Keep moving.” In the winter of 2010, inspired by Elmore Leonard’s 10 rules of writing published in The New York Times nearly a decade earlier, The Guardian reached out to some of today’s most celebrated authors and asked them to each offer his or her commandments. After Zadie Smith’s 10 rules of writing, here come 8 from the one and only Neil Gaiman:

  1. Write
  2. Put one word after another. Find the right word, put it down.
  3. Finish what you’re writing. Whatever you have to do to finish it, finish it.
  4. Put it aside. Read it pretending you’ve never read it before. Show it to friends whose opinion you respect and who like the kind of thing that this is.
  5. Remember: when people tell you something’s wrong or doesn’t work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what they think is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong.
  6. Fix it. Remember that, sooner or later, before it ever reaches perfection, you will have to let it go and move on and start to write the next thing. Perfection is like chasing the horizon. Keep moving.
  7. Laugh at your own jokes.
  8. The main rule of writing is that if you do it with enough assurance and confidence, you’re allowed to do whatever you like. (That may be a rule for life as well as for writing. But it’s definitely true for writing.) So write your story as it needs to be written. Write it ­honestly, and tell it as best you can. I’m not sure that there are any other rules. Not ones that matter.

For more timeless wisdom on writing, see Kurt Vonnegut’s 8 rules for a great story, David Ogilvy’s 10 no-bullshit tips, Henry Miller’s 11 commandments, Jack Kerouac’s 30 beliefs and techniques, John Steinbeck’s 6 pointers, and Susan Sontag’s synthesized learnings. Image by Kimberly Butler

Article posted on Fountainbluepublishing.com by Melanie Fountain.

Scary Times

While  Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad positions his nation to be a nuclear power, tensions mount and forces in nearby nations position themselves for impending war. Our allies in nearby Isreal are becoming more and more concerned by Iran’s movements toward nuclear power and by America’s action or non action in the Middle East. What will President Obama do if push comes to shove? I know he will do the right thing. God bless our armed forces. God bless those men and women that would defend against a man who would continue to move toward enriched nuclear power and force the hand of the rest of the world against him. What do you think?

So Now What?

Alright, you have some words on paper. You have some semblance of a sample piece of work to submit to an editor or publisher. You are really excited and proud of your work, you submit it and then, nothing. Nothing happens. No letter telling you it sucks, no request for changes and submission. No note telling you to piss off. Nothing! What happens next? Do they want more stuff? Do they not want to hear from you again? What now?  How is this all supposed to work?

Can someone please let me know. This is all new to me and I love to write. However, getting published and getting paid for what I love to do would be a perk!

MJ

By michaelpjordan Posted in writing

Research into What makes your blog Freshly Press-able

While the object of blogging is to share information about yourself, your interests and just about anything that pops into your head, sometimes that very thing doesn’t happen. The question is, “What makes a post Freshly Press-able”, which is a highlight page for folks who blog on World Press.

On September 9th, the Daily Post at Word press.com posted this by Cheri Lucas. I think many of the topics covered are very helpful and poignant to the post.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2012/09/12/what-makes-a-post-freshly-press-able-the-rise-of-ebooks-evil-or-essential/

The posts’ basis is what makes a post attractive enough to make the cut that 19 “Pressers”  make every day. Cheri Lucas goes onto discuss the strength and confidence in  Clare, the writer behind A Little Blog of Books and Other Stuff, does with the recently Freshly Pressed post, “The Rise of eBooks: Evil or Essential?” 

Ms. Lucas continues by siting  attributes like being blunt and being brief. I quote, ” If you’re presenting two sides of a debate, whether it’s a controversial political issue or a lighthearted discussion on chocolate versus vanilla, pique your reader’s interest immediately in the title. Be bold and brief: use this headline to reveal what your discussion will be about.” 

According to Clare, format is as important as content. “A clean, easy-to-follow format is the simplest way to keep a reader happy and engaged with your text until the end. “

Presenting the content information-ally with arguments from both sides with supporting fact and points.

Cheri also liked the way Clare balanced her own personal opinion appearing to be allowing the reader to form their own opinion.  “

“Why did this post generate such a healthy, lively discussion? One, the Clare’s take is opinionated but extremely balanced: she presents both sides—as well as a “neutral point” at the end—allowing readers to come to their own conclusions. Two, she ends the post with questions:”

“What do you think? Are you a total convert to e-readers or do you remain devoted to the humble paperback?”

Freshly Press-able found this attribute to be invaluable and intriguing because this is how Ms. Lucas ends her blog post. Another items you might want to consider is making your blog sociable. Socialize it with social networking sites with their plethora of tools available to get new readers and keep the old ones.

In Mike’s blog post, “The Hook” reeled Freshly Pressed in. He posted about toilet paper. 

“Recently, we promoted The Frailest Thing to Freshly Pressed with the post “Toilet Paper: A History.” On this blog, Mike writes about technology and how it intersects with culture, philosophy, and even religion. In this post, we especially liked how he breathed life into a seemingly mundane topic—toilet paper.” Such an ingenious way to draw the new reader in and reinvigorate interest with your old readers. 

Freshly Pressed goes onto to say:

“One way of improving your own writing is to look at how other blog posts cover topics in which you’re interested. What different devices or distinct perspectives does the author use? If they approach a topic through Door A, try going through Door B. Experiment with an unlikely example. Transform the mundane into something meaningful.”

All readers, bloggers or otherwise read about what they are interested in. If you like sewing, tennis, food, whatever, you are going to find a writer that highlights those topics. 

One little item I have learned is it is a better blog when the writer does not rely on images. While I personally like images in a blog, like the review of http://thefrailestthing.com/2012/07/25/toilet-paper-a-history, The toilet paper is not necessary according to the writer. I have to agree with that point to a degree. The depth of the writing and the point brought should carry their own weight and the presence of photos in a blog while “fun”, historically is not an item that is needed.

While I am a new blogger and writer, this is meant to teach me as well as review some of the finer points to blogging and success. I have quoted some of the content to support some of the points I have made and used these three outstanding writers as examples as to what could and should be done to make your blog more attractive to the average reader. Thanks to Cheri Lucas for her review of this most exciting of topics to make other writers better. I strive to be a better writer daily.

~ Michael Jordan

 

Brutal Honesty

Hello Friends,

I am a middle aged man who many years ago wanted to be a writer, a cop, a nurse, a radiology tech, an entrepreneur, a business man, a teacher, and again a writer. As a young man, I learned the advantages of working hard and enjoying the spoils of his hard work. The only thing lacking was a plan to get more return on investment. While college was something I liked as an intellectual prospect, execution was a little more than a challenge. A wise man once told me, ” College is nothing like high school.” While he was correct in the social aspect, he was dead wrong on a mental capacity personal level. The learning ability still had to be there and “wanting it more” than the other guy is great. But if the other guy is a Yale graduate and a high school valedictorian, ability is slightly skewed.

So fast forward twenty years. Married with children and not knowing what you want to do when you grow up is slightly , no not slightly, a problem. The wife is a successful professional with two careers. My children are growing up and within the next few years, half of them will have left home. Writing is not something I think of as a passion. It’s not something I have tried and failed and gone back to. Writing is a part of this man and has been for years. Writing is a job that while garners no income now, could in the future. Blogging seems to be more of a hobby than a job, but getting followers is harder than one would think. Followers are the key and selling books is the goal. Getting there, the journey, and blogging is one tool in a writer’s adventure.

Brutal honesty. That was the deal. Let people in. This is the only way one can truly get to know the man behind the pen. So drop the public face, go completely naked and write what ever comes to mind. So here it is. What do you think of me so far. To twist the story just a little, Epilepsy is a very real part of my life. Medication taken while in my formidable years has done some damage to memory. This is why school is a near impossibility. See, for those of you in school or that have attended classes in the past, you will remember you have to retail information learned at least until examination day. For me, that was the problem. So school is a waste of time and money.  Image

So writing is the key to more than a job. It is relationship between relaxation and making money. I just have to get this gig off the ground.  Tools are the challenge right now, however. With so many people in the house and someone running a business out of our home, computer time is minimal to sit down and do this requires Miss Entrepreneur to be unconscious. Not a problem. I think I am going to get me a laptop for Christmas. Short term challenges are somethings I can do. While family and friends are more than supportive, questions don’t come except from people I do not know well. People who know me think they know me, but don’t. To know me is to live with me. To those people I say thank you for giving me experience from which to draw inspiration. I bare no ill will or bad feelings. To those who do love me and know me, I say thank you and I love you.

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Faith’s First Day of Pre-K

Faith's First Day of Pre-K

Hello friends,

Today, my little angel stepped into the vast world and began her journey through the muck and mire of the Florida school system. Not really, she just started pre-school. We are so proud of her and all of my kids for the efforts made today. I have two in high school, one in middle school and one in pre-school. Needless to say, I am both excited for her and heart broken at the same time. @smiles.

My Dad

7/10/2012 9:04:09 PM

 

My Dad, he’s humble now

His mind  not as sharp

Some that he was is gone

Like the dust in the wind

 

The love he felt is ever so present

The change in him is himself

The part that make him who he is

The love he feels is still there

 

Gone are the days of changing

That which cannot be changed now

The problems of life are not his

Many are the hours spent in silence

 

The days mesh and run to months

And so do months to years, I fear

He is older now and events are few

But those he attends are dear

 

My legacy is a fate we share, I fear

Days of my future spent in solitude

Thinking away the days of my past

And trying to remember the present

 

His mind is gone but

In his heart I will always reside

For your Dad is your Dad for always

He will always take my side

 

His suffering brings rebirth

An appreciation for my family not

Had before.  To know what I know

I love my Dad and family more so.

Americans Die

 

Americans Die

 

Girls and boys at the movies watching

 

A man takes action toward infamous heights

 

He stalks the kids and moves against them

 

Kids scream and pain and all the time latching

 

 

 

Parents cry, children die

 

And a nation mourns them all

 

Victims rage and feel sorry

 

For an actor that cannot deny

 

 

 

His actions are for fame

 

And nothing would please him more

 

To hear his name on the evening news

 

He doesn’t try to share the blame

 

 

 

A nation recovers and wounds heal

 

We hear of bravery and strength

 

And less of cowardly acts

 

Innocence is the biggest casualty

 

M Ragland

A Temperamental Rain

That she was the one,
he knew because of the way
it was raining–
a temperamental rain
that showed no signs of letting up,
in a day
whose dishwater light
was a wavering ghost
on the varnish of the piano
as water dripping
from the leaf-choked gutters
cast faint, moving shadows
on the walls,
as of minor chords
and measures of wandering notes.

It rained
in convolute,
unresolving passages,
and the girl at the bank
gave him an inadvertent,
interested look,
and at the board meeting
he spoke with a resigned ease
that dissolved
the worry in the room,
for all day it had seemed
as if someone were playing,
with beautiful fingers,
the strange music
morning light had spattered
on the walls.