Do Readers Care about Your Rants?

Do Readers Care about Your Rants?

Natalie Bright

I discovered a new author! To be honest it has been several, but I want to blog about one in particular. I found this author through a $1.99 special eBook promotion. There’s a lot to love about those glorious special promotions on Amazon, BookBub, Kobo, FreeBooksy, even GoodReads. There is no greater joy as a reader than to discover an author, that’s new to me, with an entire blacklist. This particular author writes stories rich with historical detail and senses of the time period, and the characters are deeply developed. And even better, this author has written a how-to book on writing. I’m jumping with joy!

Turning to social media as a reader and new fan, I want to learn more about this writer’s inspiration and process. Of course there is a website, blog and even several podcast interviews. Good stuff. And then there is Twitter. This author’s twitter feed is jammed with political rants and reTweets along with vicious opinions. Personal opinions and observations include numerous comments about how ignorant “ALL of the voters” are who voted for the other candidate. Obviously a person passionate about our political situation, but as a new reader do I really care?

Whether I agree or not, I absolutely respect the right to sound off. However as I new fan, I have to take pause and wonder about posting a book review. I can’t decide if I’ll buy another book from this author. As an Indie author and business owner, I must pass on recommending the how-to book on writing. Th is isn’t mildly stating an opinion. The heated and sometimes vulgar opinions by this particular author permeates their platform. I’m very sad.

On the other hand, will this even reflect back on me? Perhaps I’m over-reacting?

On my personal Facebook, as I’ve blogged about before, I get likes and comments from extreme liberals directly followed by comments from extreme conservatives, and everyone in between. I like that. It makes for an interesting mix of people I call friends. I have over 3,500 followers on Twitter. I’m sure they are not all of like mind.

An indie authors, we have opportunities to reach potential readers on a worldwide scale. If you are active on various platforms or maybe you guest blog on someone’s site, most likely you may connect with readers from all cultural backgrounds, political leanings, and spiritual beliefs.

As a business owner and Indie Author, you want to reach and connect with as many readers as possible, so why would you want to offend them before they’ve even given your work a chance?

These are crazy, crazy times.

Do you stop buying books from authors who expresses views differently from yours?


The Saturday Morning Blogger – Burrowing Owl Books on the Square in Canyon

The Saturday Morning Blogger – Burrowing Owl Books on the Square in Canyon

James Barrington

For anyone who has not yet discovered the Burrowing Owl Bookstore on the east side of the square in Canyon, it is a shop worth visiting. Dallas and Todd Bell own the store, but Todd’s duties as a medical doctor ensure than most of the office hours at Burrowing Owl are kept by Dallas – and her mother and daughters.

They have an eclectic variety of new and used books. For the kids, the doors of a wardrobe open to provide entrance to the kids’ books section. My 12-year-old granddaughter and I have already explored it a few times and made purchases there.

The shelves are arranged to make browsing easy, but if you know exactly what you want, odds are good that Dallas can take you right to it. They even take trade-in on your used books with credit toward purchases of other used books.

It reminds me in many ways of the “Shop around the corner” from “You’ve Got Mail.”

With a new snap of cooler weather, it’s a great place to pick up a book for reading in front of your fireplace!

Keep reading! It gives you great ideas for your own great American novel.




By Nandy Ekle

As a horror/thriller writer I read a lot of horror stories and thriller stories. I’ve been told I’m an adrenaline junkie, and that may true. I just love a story with lots of deep layers, tortured main characters, a little action, a little (okay, a lot) of mystery and scary, and tons of surprises.

But as much as I love these things, sometimes I feel like I’m in a rut. I look through my library and pay attention to what I mostly look at in the bookstores and realize most of my reading material is basically all the same. And really and truly, I have to admit half of it did not deliver what the synopsis on the back of the book promised. So I get leery of starting another book with same formula to end up disappointed.

Not too long ago, I found myself in a rut so deep I had completely stopped reading and writing. So on a trip to the bookstore where a friend of mine was having a book signing for her latest book, I shopped for something new. I was convinced something light and fast, humorous and glamorous would be the answer to my dilemma.

So I found a cute little cozy mystery. A cozy mystery is a mystery story that’s very light hearted. There might be a murder, but it’s not tragic, except for the person murdered. The one I bought the murdered person follows the main character around through the whole story helping her solve the mystery of her death. And there’s another ghost of a murdered person from a previous story as well.

One thing I didn’t do before I bought the book was look at the first page. If I had I would have seen that the book is full of gimmicks. The writer shamelessly tries to get the reader’s attention by using sarcasm. As the narration and dialog is so unnatural it’s actually quite distracting from the story.

I’ve always said you can learn something from every book you read, even the not great books. And the thing I’ve learned from this book is to not use gimmicks. You should make your narration and dialogue flow naturally, and that will keep the reader’s attention much better than a gimmick.

Congratulations. You have just received a post card from the muse.

Literary Terms

Literary Terms

by Adam Huddleston


Many weeks, the subject of my blog involves literary terms or devices. You may wonder, “Does Adam possess that great of an inventory of knowledge that he can spout out definitions and examples of these topics?”

I say, “Nay.” Allow me to impart the sources of my weekly knowledge.

Two excellent websites: and are full of excellent definitions and examples. Although the lists may not be exhaustive, for my intents and purposes, they definitely suffice. I hope these resources will help you in your craft.

Happy writing!

What A Day

Outtakes 281

What A Day

By Cait Collins



I started my day by reading a book. Then I spent eleven hours editing other people’s work. I spent a few minutes trying to flesh out a scene in my new novel. Now I’m writing my blog. Sounds like a productive day to me.

Not all days go well, but if all you can accomplish in a day is one well written paragraph, I’d considered it worth the effort.

Writing Brains & Scrivener

Writing Brains & Scrivener

Natalie Bright

Scrivener software totally gets my writing brain. The more I work in this software, the more I’m amazed at all it can do.

For example, this morning the opening scene for the second book of my Texas Frontier Series popped in my head. BAM! There it was. I am almost 10,000 words into the first draft and the opening chapter I’ve already written is absolutely wrong. Does this ever happen to you? I kept replaying the new scene in my head, over and over until I could get to the keyboard.

Here’s where Scrivener makes your life easy: Within the file that you designate as chapter, you can add a new text file. The chapters will autromatically renumber when you compile the final document. No renumbering pages or worrying about chapter numbers. No cutting and pasting to shift the work. I have a seperate text file for each scene and these scenes can be moved easily around within the manuscript document. That first scene may not be the opeing by the time I reach 30,000 words. No problem. The ‘scene’ file can be shifted to any order within the project file.

For more explaination, here’s the link to watch a great video from the creator of Scrivener:

I also recommend the online class,

Stay tuned for more tidbits about this powerful writing tool. Are you using Scrivener? What has been your experience with Scrivener?

The Saturday Morning Blogger – Lady Eagles state championship run

The Saturday Morning Blogger – Lady Eagles state championship run

James Barrington

During five years with the Canyon News, I attended three girls’ state championship basketball game in my official capacity. The Lady Eagles won all three. Since leaving the newspaper, they won their third in a row in 2016 and are looking for a four-peat this year. Friday night they overwhelmed Mont Belvieu Barbers Hill by a score of 66-39 in the semi-final. Saturday (March 4) afternoon at 3 p.m., they will play for their fourth consecutive state championship, this time against Mansfield Timberview.

There are some amazing young athletes on this year’s team, just as on the last three, but the common factors binding them all together is head coach Joe Lombard and two-time state tournament MVP Angel Hayden who has been a varsity starter since her freshman year.

As this is being written, we have no idea what the final score of that game will be, but Canyon’s Lady Eagles have every incentive to play their best. If past history is any predictor, their best is likely to produce some amazing results in the history of Texas UIL sports.

Tom Clancy has been quoted as saying that fiction is harder to write than non-fiction, because fiction has to be believable. When the New England Patriots recovered from a stumbling season in 2001 to win their first Super Bowl championship with a second-string quarterback in the aftermath of the attack on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, it was “storybook” writing. The Patriots bringing the nation to its feet after such a terrible blow was something that many would have blown off if it had been a fictional story.

There have been times when real sports news has played out in life like a fairy tale. By Saturday evening, March 4, 2017, we’ll know if the 2016-2017 basketball season will add another fairy tale ending to the illustrious history of Canyon’s Lady Eagles, Coach Joe Lombard, and senior Angel Hayden.

The fact that this season is coming to an end during the middle of crises for the Lombard family adds to the drama, and perhaps gives extra incentive to the team in what is shaping up to be quite a game in the Alamodome.

Writing Prompt


Writing Prompt

By Nandy Ekle



“Write about a time you were surprised.

On Monday I was sitting at my desk at the office, I had my earphones on listening to the radio. The DJ announced he was holding the last pair of tickets to the Eagles concert that Friday night.

“I’ve been told these are the last two tickets on the face of the earth. All you have to do for a chance to win them is to put your name and phone number on a piece of paper and drop it in the box at the car lot.”

I have never in my life won a raffle. If there are only names in the bag for the drawing, mine will not be drawn. However, The Eagles are the number one band on my list of favorites. Besides that, if you never put your name in, there will not even a chance at all, no matter how infinitesimal. So every day the week I left the office during my lunch hour and drove across town to put my name the box. My husband put his name in the box, and even my son entered for a chance to win the tickets.

Friday morning I was sitting at my desk at the office. I had my earphone on listening to the radio. The DJ announced he was about to draw a name for the winner of the last existing pair of tickets to the Eagles concert.

“My hand is going inside the box.”

I heard paper mixing around.

“I have one name in my hand.”

I wasn’t paying close attention because I knew it wasn’t my name.

“I’m dialing the phone number.”

I heard beeps and boops of numbers being pressed on the phone. But I kept working.

“The phone is now ringing.”

I heard the phone ring over the radio waves. Then something extraordinary happened. My phone lit up and the caller ID said “radio station.” I stared at it as it rang a second time.

“Is that your phone?” The lady sitting next to me asked.

“Yeah.” It rang a third time.

“You should answer it. I think it’s the radio station.”

“Yeah.” I picked up my phone and pushed the button. “Hello?” I said.

“Is this Nandy?”

“Yes?” I still felt like I was in a dream.

“Did you put your name in the box at the car lot for Eagles tickets?”

“Yes, I did.”

“Well, I pulled your name out of the box. You’re going to see the Eagles!”

I have no memory of what my answer was.

The concert was as fantastic as I knew it would be. But the most incredible thing was the fact that I won those tickets in a raffle. 🙂

Congratulations. You have just received a post card from the muse.

Writing Prompts

Writing Prompts

by Adam Huddleston


As writers, we sometimes suffer that dreaded phenomenon known as, gasp, writers block. One of the best ways of breaking through that block is to work on a project outside of the main piece that you are trying to finish. It’s funny, but sometimes just getting the words flowing is enough to help you with your main work. But where, pray tell, do you get ideas quickly and conveniently? I’ve found a great resource!

The forum website is a very valuable tool. There is a metric ton of subreddits that you can “subscribe” to and converse with folks from around the world about any number of topics. The resource of which I speak is the /r/WritingPrompts site. It is constantly being updated and you can reply with your work, or submit your own prompt. Most are sci-fi/fantasy related, but almost all are entertaining in some way.

Happy writing!