Monday, March 28, 2011

Where I am today...

Today I'm a guest at Liz Arnold's blog talking about The Showboat Affair, due for release April 15.




April will be a busy blogging month for me. Goddess Fish Promotions is doing a virtual blog tour to announce the new release. Check back for information about the release day party! And there's a trailer in the works, too.

Also on April 15, Aly Ottomeier, TWRP editor in the Last Rose of Summer department, will be kicking off my special blog event which will spotlight other LROS authors April 18-22 and April 25-29.

Throughout the month, I'll be guesting at various other blogs. Watch The Word Place or my website for a complete schedule.

If you're on my mailing list, you'll be receiving an announcement of the book's release, as well as coupons for some really special deals! If you're not on the list, shoot me an email at judy@judynickles.com, and you'll be there!



Monday, March 21, 2011

Blog Event: Snow on the Roof and Fire on the Hearth

    Ah, spring! Love is in the air! First date, first kiss, puppy love, the real thing...but wait! Who said love is only for the young?
    Just because there's snow on the roof doesn't mean the fire has gone out on the hearth! Love is lovelier the second time around...Love like this is wasted on the young...When I grow too old to dream...Silver threads among the gold...Oh, it's a long, long time from May to December, but the days grow short, when you reach September.Come on, you've heard the songs! You just didn't believe what they said, right?
    At The Wild Rose Press, love is for everyone (and perhaps, with their vampires,shapeshifters,selkies,etc., for everything)! Their Last Rose of Summer line celebrates older, experienced, more mature lovers--which is exactly what Nick and Jean are in my new novel The Showboat Affair, due for release around April 15.
    To celebrate Release Day, I've created a unique blogging event here at The Word Place. Between April 15 - 29, LROS authors will share their inspiration for writing this particular sub-genre.
    Romeo and Juliet just didn't get it--but people like Jimmy Durante did when he sang Young at Heart. So join the fun--enter a contest or two--and leave a comment on every blog between April 15-29 to be entered in a drawing for the ebook version of The Showboat Affair!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Marketing Fiction by Writing Non-Fiction

One of the suggestions offered in the webinar that Rhonda Penders, editor-in-chief of The Wild Rose Press, set up for her authors a while back was to find ways of getting your fiction book noticed by writing related non-fiction articles. I was surprised at the long lists of subjects I generated from each of my three books! (And let me digress here--don't lose another minute before subscribing--free--to Sandra Beckwith's newsletter, Build Book Buzz!)

Recently, while organizing marketing materials I'd collected, I found a related idea from Dana Lynn Smith at The Savvy Bookmarketer Newsletter.  She suggested searching online for articles with permission to reprint to your own blog, website, or newsletter.

Listed below are five websites where you can not only find articles for reprint but submit your own, too. I know, I know, you hardly have time to write your own books and stories, edit, revise, submit...ad nauseum. However, this is just another way to get your name out there--and slip in a promo for your book at the same time!

A well-researched, welll-written article may take some of your valuable writing time, but one article submitted six places = six opportunities. And, when you need to blog and come up dry, check for a ready-made piece that just might fit the bill!








This link will take you to an additional six websites for submitting/reprinting articles.

In Where Is Papa's Shining Star? the hero, Alan, returns blinded from World War I. He uses a variety of assistive devices, including the Braille writer, to run an international business. My first article will include the history of such assistive devices--and how far technology has come since 1918!
What are you going to write about?



Monday, March 14, 2011

Necessary Business

For the past several weeks, I've been reorganizing my filing system for writing-related materials. So far, I've divided a ton of papers into the following categories:

Publishers (alphabetical within categories)
  • Books
  • Magazines
  • Ezines
  • Anthologies
Writing (subcategories having to do with craft, genre, print copies of contracts, etc.)

Research (all materials collected in the course of writing various pieces, alphabetical)

Marketing (subcategories from Amazon Affiliates to Virtual Marketing, alphabetical)

Short Stories (printed and ready for submission when the right venue presents itself)

I've made a huge investment in time, not to mention file folders in various colors, hanging folders, and printed labels. Also, I recycled many items which were no longer useful and weren't going to be useful in the foreseeable future into the paper I use to print pages for my critique partner to read, slash, make notes on, etc. (I just wish ink cartridges could get such double use!)

It was past time to get organized. Scrabbling through folders, notebooks, and loose papers just wasn't working. I looked at my personal files, neatly labeled and available, and realized that my writing had to be just as important as my personal business. If I don't spend time looking for a copy of a bill and receipt, for example, why should I spend time hunting down that great article on crafting characters?

Usually, when I'm working on a novel, I store all the notes, outlines, and research in three-prong folders labeled with the working title of the book. That continues to be a good system, but when the book is finished, the information worth keeping for future projects needs to be filed appropriately.

I won't say the system is perfect yet, but it's getting there. At least I feel confident that when I need information on antebellum architecture, for example, it will be waiting in the folder labeled RESEARCH - A.
If I want to consider the viability of using Virtual Reading Communities as a marketing tool, I can find it in the folder labeled MARKETING - Virtual Reading Communities. If I'm not sure about 'fair use', I can double-check my facts under WRITING - F.

How do you organize your writing files?





Friday, March 11, 2011

Day Five
Words, like moths, are captured by writers who pin them to the page in various forms. What writer’s work most deftly captivates you? Why?
Edgar Alan Poe and John Grisham run neck-and-neck in the captivation category. Both could/can evoke a mixture of horror, positive and negative emotion, and pathos in their prose. Examples:
"The Tell-Tale Heart" and The Chamber.


Thursday, March 10, 2011

What you say it is, maybe it's not...

Day Four

Words can be mangled, misused, or misunderstood. What is your funniest example of mangling, misuse, or misunderstanding?

As a child, I was fond of using big words--even if I only thought I knew what they meant.  Once I referred to someone as a 'big business raccoon'. My parents screamed with laughter because, of course, I meant a 'big business tycoon'. 


As a teacher, my business was words--and, hopefully, to teach my students to spell them. Once my youngest son happened to glance over my shoulder while I was grading spelling papers. "What's that word?" he asked, pointing. "Gro(w) ups?" I gently informed him that the word, spelled correctly, was 'groups'. He stalked off without replying.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Day Three
What is your favorite quote about words. Why?

It would have to be Is it kind? Is it true? Is it necessary? 

I'm sure there isn't anyone reading this--or anyone in the entire universe--who wishes they'd considered that criteria before speaking/writing certain words--or that someone had considered it before speaking/writing about them!
Why is that my favorite quote about words? Because it's so pertinent to every single life. I just read the comments on a newspaper article which included a picture of the subject (a woman recently arrested). The comments with one exception, were unbelievably cruel. The woman is a human being. She has enough problems without being made sport of in a public forum because of her appearance. What sad, sick people to get their 'jollies' by taunting another human being. I am sorry for the woman--but I am sorrier for her abusers. Another good quote is, "What goes around, comes around." And it does.

Is it kind? Is it true? Is it necessary? Wouldn't it be a better world for us all if the answer to all three questions was a resounding 'Yes!'?


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

NAIWE Day 2: Give me liberty...

Today's Question:
Words can change history. What speech or document do you believe to be most important. Why?

I had to think about this one for a minute, but then then Patrick Henry's immortal words came to mind: Give me liberty, or give me death! or, as my father used to wink and say, Give me liberty, or give me my nickel back! 

I'm not sure I'd qualify this as the most important speech ever given, but it ranks near the top. Without freedom--whether spiritual, political, educational, physical, psychological, or personal--there really is nothing to shout about.
Words can be used to enslave or to set free, and Patrick Henry must have had this in mind when he spoke so passionately as the colonists set out to distance themselves from their British ties. His words and others incited the Revolution that gave birth to the United States of America--'home of the brave, land of the free'. 

Perhaps as we free citizens speak today, we should stop and think about how we are using that liberty, since words can be weapons of good or evil.


Fool for Romance Day at The Word Place

Today I'm participating in Crystal Rain-Love's Fool for Romance Contest. At the end of the day, I'll draw one name from among those who have (1) left a comment here (2) followed my blog (3) friended me on FB and (4) liked my FB Fan Page, Someday Is Here. Just a few clicks will enter you to win a basketload of goodies and even a KINDLE! My contributions to the goody basket are a CD of my books Where Is Papa's Shining Star? and Finding Papa's Shining Star, a bottle of Moonlight Paths body lotion from Bath and Body Works, and a cute pink compact mirror engraved with the information about my upcoming release (April 15) The Showboat Affair written as Gwyneth Greer.

So hand on mouse and start clicking!

Each week at The Word Place, I try to share some information about writing that I've found interesting and/or helpful. I subscribe to four writing magazines--Writer's Digest, The Writer, Writer's Journal, and Poets and Writers. I justify the price of the subscriptions two ways; (1) I don't eat out at fancy restaurants where one meal would equal the cost of at least one magazine and (2) often, when I renew, I am offered a free subscription for a friend, and it's always nice to pass along a goody to a writing friend.

But today I want to mention three magazines which are also good resources for writers. Sometime ago, I had a mail offer of a free year of Better Homes and Gardens, which I jumped on. Whether or not I renew, I have twelve issues chock full of pictures to give me ideas for story settings. The second magazine, Budget Travel, is a definite keeper. I may never travel to all the places profiled in the magazine, but I can dream--and use them as settings. In the back of each issue is a Free Travel Info page with a postage-paid card on which to check off which places you'd be interested in receiving information from. It's like giving myself a free gift every month! And who knows when I'll hit on the perfect setting for my next tale while browsing through these tourist brochures. The third magazine is Reminisce, a reader-written periodical full of wonderful pictures and stories from yesteryear. A picture of four twenties-era children sparked the idea for my 2009 NaNoWriMo novel, Keeping Promises.

What other magazines can you think of that might spark ideas for characters, plot, setting, etc.?



I forgot to mention my own special contest! Go to my website and click on 'Excerpts' to read the first chapter of my upcoming release, The Showboat Affair. Then email me with the answer to this question: Where did Nick and Jean first meet?
One winner will be drawn from all those who respond for a CD of the book plus another surprise goody or two (or three).

TOMORROW: Visit Lynne Roberts to continue toward the prize!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Finding Myself

Words Matter Week 2011 blog challenge questions. The National Association of Independent Writers and Editors 

It's Words Matter Week 2011 at The National Association of Independent Writers and Editors (NAIWE). They're running a blog contest--seven questions to answer in seven days to be in line for a nice prize. So, I thought I'd give it a try. Today the challenge question is: 

      Is there a word that has changed, or could change your life? What is it, and what difference would it make? 
Oddly enough, for me, the word IS 'me'. I'm a senior citizen (we won't talk HOW senior), and for most of the years leading up to this point in my life, I have been an extension of someone else--my parents' daughter, my husband's wife, my children's mother. Now, miraculously, retired with an empty nest, I am me. 

While it has been a struggle to see myself as a independent person who no longer answers to anyone, it is an on-going adventure, too. And once tasted, freedom becomes a necessary offering on the menu of life.