Writing is a Struggle against Silence

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“The front door to your business is never closed. It’s open 24/7, 365.”


“The front door to your business is never closed. It’s open 24/7, 365.”

Natalie Bright

 

Book Review: RISE OF THE YOUPRENEUR by Chris Ducker (4C Press, 2018) “The Definitive Guide to Becoming the Go-To Leader in Your Industry and Building a Future-Proof Business.”

The above quote from Ducker’s book really caused me to pause and think about my Indie Author business. Our books are always for sell. Every social media outlet should act as a funnel directing people to your store–your website. It’s open all the time and is available to people all over the world. Loaded with tons of insight into today’s world of business, this is just one of many jewels you’ll find in the powerful guide for entrepreneurs.

Social Media has changed the way we do business, how we market ourselves and our products, how we relate to our readers, and this book provides you with timely help for rethinking your personal business. It’s not just for Indie Authors. Any business owner in any industry or career path would benefit from this information and examples for plans for action. There are solid tasks that you can put into practice now. I have marked-up this book with sticky notes, highlighted “to-dos”, and reprinted sections for quotes to hang on my bulletin board.

Add this one to your writing reference library.

 

Rough Work Part III


Rough Work Part III

by Adam Huddleston

 

Here is the last part of the first scene that I began posting two weeks ago.

Lucas tossed the empty bottle into his neighbor’s chair and began searching the house.

“Kimberly! Jax! Junebug!” His heart, which was already hammering in his chest, doubled its pace. Sweat streamed down his face and back.

“Are ya’ll here? Somebody holler something!”

He scanned the two guestrooms and the bathroom connecting them. He checked their game-room and instinctively grabbed a pool cue from the rack on the wall.

A muffled yelp came from the bedroom at the end of the Waldon’s central hallway. Lucas ran through the doorway and listened for the sound again. Another cry came from the closet. He yanked the door open and his mouth dropped open. His family sat huddled in a small circle, their hands bound behind them and mouths gagged.

His wife’s eyes widened and something hard crashed into the back of Lucas’s head, turning everything dark.

Editing


Outtakes 342

 

Editing

By Cait Collins

 

I don’t know about other writers, but editing is my least favorite part of my writing career. I don’t mean thing like checking my spelling and grammar, it’s the big things like switching tenses or failing to develop a character or storyline correctly. I am concerned that as I make a change for one issue I will create another problem. I’ve tried making the edits as I received suggestions from my critique partners and that has helped. But as I tie up the loose ends, I worry I will compromise my story. But the edits are part of the job and they will be done and done on time. So please forgive this short note. I’m only on chapter three.

 

Things that make you say, Humm?


Things that make you say, Humm?

Rory C. Keel

 

I recently had the opportunity to spend a couple of weeks in the state of Massachusetts on a business trip. Several friends had asked if I had ever been there during the time that the leaves change in the fall. Between all the maple, Sumac and Birch trees the change in color is said to be unbelievable. When I arrived, the trees were still green, however, like a magic trick, change appeared within a week. It was an amazing thing to see.

I decided to take one day and go to Boston and experience some great American history. In my search for the most fantastic piece of history, I found the Boston drain. Many people would spend their time imagining all of the creepy things underneath this heavy metal stopper, but not I.

My query was how long it would take for the city to begin to swirl and be sucked down through this little drain.

 

 

Happy Spring!


Happy Spring!

 

“Being a writer is a very peculiar sort of job; it’s always you versus a blank sheet of paper (or a blank screen) and quite often the blank piece of paper wins.”  ~NEIL GAIMAN

The blank piece of paper is winning in my world. Can you believe it’s already half-way through March? We have not had any moisture in the Texas Panhandle this winter, so fire is on everyone’s mind. It is true that you can see for miles, and that means the sight of smoke rising on the horizon is a scary thing. We’re hoping for spring rains to begin soo.

I have so many projects half way done, with none finished, and that many more ideas swirling in my head waiting to come alive on the page. If we the ideas overwhelm us, we’d never get anything written. I’ve learned to focus on the task at hand and push the other projects out of my head. Sometimes I have to add notes to an existing stack or add a new page to the idea journal. It’s the only way to stay sane.

First things first, I’m down to the last chapters of edits for the Route 66 anthology that the Wordsmith Six group is doing. You are going to love this collection of stories, all with a common setting of the U-Drop Inn in Shamrock, Texas. I’m also editing a collection of animal stories for a friend who has also worked as a veterinarian of 30 years. His stories are so much fun. It hardly seems like work. Coming soon are two more books in the Rescue Animals series about rescue horses. These are in easy reader format for emerging readers eBook and print.

Hope you have a production week,

Natalie

 

Excerpt from THE SPRING OF 2025


POST CARDS FROM THE MUSE

Excerpt from

THE SPRING OF 2025

By Nandy Ekle

Raylene and Sherry handed their tickets over and were led to the car. Raylene felt the same old butterflies in her stomach and sweat spring out on her hands.

“Are sure this is safe?” She asked the woman buckling her in.

“Oh, yeah,” the woman answered. “Nick has been running this thing for a long time. He’s very careful with his passengers. He checks the machinery and stuff over and over.”

“So it’s working okay? We’re not going to be stranded in this seat?” Raylene felt Sherry roll her eyes. “I mean, well, I’m a little scared of heights and I don’t want to be stuck at the top.”

“Oh, no, ma’am. You’ll do just fine.” The woman smiled, waved at Nick standing at the control center, and backed away. “You’ll be fine.” Nick touched a dial on the board and their seat went backward and raised off the ground, then stopped so the next car could be filled with passengers.

Raylene took some deep breaths. She closed her eyes and gripped the safety bar for dear life. After a minute she heard Sherry muttering under her breath.

 

Rough Work Part II


Rough Work Part II

by Adam Huddleston

Here is the continuation of last week’s story.

Lucas alternated hammering his fists against the Waldon’s front door and jabbing repeatedly at the bell beside it. A minute later, the door creaked open and Fred Waldon stood in the entrance, his massive frame eclipsing the light coming from his small kitchen.

“Lucas? What’s wrong? It’s nearly eleven o’clock.”

“Have you seen Kim or the kids today? I just got home and the car is in the garage but the house is empty. I can’t get ahold of her on the phone either.”

Fred took the frightened man by the elbow and led him into his home.

“Sit down, son. You want a drink?”

“No. No, I’m fine.”

Waldon grabbed a couple of longneck bottles from his fridge and sat down in the chair opposite the younger man. He twisted the caps off with large, calloused hands, handed one to Lucas and waited for him to speak.

“She didn’t say anything about going anywhere tonight. And the Suburban is in the garage so someone must have picked them up. I mean, the kids have school tomorrow and all, so why would she take them somewhere?”

Fred remained silent, sipping his pilsner. When his visitor had quit speaking for a minute, he cleared his throat.

“Relax, Lucas. Drink your beer and relax. What if I told you that your family is alright? Would that calm you down some?”

“What the hell, Fred? What’s going on? Where are they!” Lucas started to get up, and with a speed belying his size, the older man sprang to his feet and pressed Lucas back into his seat.

“Be still, son. Finish your drink. They’ve been chilling all day.”

Lucas kept a firm gaze on his neighbor and did as he was told. When the only thing left in the bottle was a thin line of foam, he lowered his eyes and began slowly peeling off the label. Feigning what he hoped was calmness, he began making an inventory of his surroundings. If the situation turned south, he wanted to know if he could escape. Regardless, he planned on keeping a firm grip on his empty bottle.

The older man nodded at Lucas’s free hand. “You cut yourself?”

Lucas looked down and reflexively closed his hand into a fist. “No sir. Been painting.”

Fred gave a small grunt and continued drinking.

“Okay, Fred. I gotcha. Everything’s cool. We’re good.”

The older man stood up and leaned over Lucas. “Damn right we’re good.” He reached one grimy hand behind his back and that’s when Lucas made his move.

Holding the glass bottle by its neck, he swung downward as hard as he could in a large arc. Fred’s eyes went wide for a moment, then the bottle connected with the top of his balding scalp and split the skin open. Warm blood splattered Lucas’s upturned face, running into his eyes and mouth.

“Whaaa-,“ Fred moaned. From a holster attached to his belt, he pulled a small pistol. Lucas swung the bottle again, this time cracking his neighbor’s left temple. Fred dropped to the floor, twitched twice, and lay still.

Finishing Touches


Outtakes 341

Finishing Touches

By Cait Collins

 

The story is written. My characters are people I would be proud to call friends. I love the twists. And I like the surprises. But it’s not done yet. I still have to review every chapter for spelling and grammar errors, tense shifts, and discrepancies. (My hero can’t have blue eyes in chapter one and brown eyes when he finally gets the girl.) And I have to make sure every sentence moves the plot and that every word counts.

Once I’m sure the mechanics are good, I will reread with an eye to the story. Is there a true beginning, middle, and a satisfying ending? Will the readers be able to visualize the characters and settings? Have I tied up all the plot twists? Can I put “The End” on the last page or do I need to edit or complete storylines?

When I have made the needed edits, I will email pdf copies to my critique group and beta readers. Before submitting the final version to the publisher, I will review the changes suggested by the critique group and beta readers and make appropriate changes, proof read the story, and send it to the publisher. Now that the product is completed, I can focus on marketing and the next story.

Better Blogging


Better Blogging

Rory C. Keel

Tonight I have worked on my blogs. I’m trying to be a better blogger.

Here are some tips i’ve been trying to follow. Try them yourself

 

Here are ten tips that help me with my blog writing.

  1. Make your opinion known
  2. Link like crazy
  3. Write less
  4. 250 Words is enough
  5. Make Headlines snappy
  6. Write with passion
  7. Include Bullet point lists
  8. Edit your post
  9. Make your posts easy to scan
  10. Be consistent with your style
  11. Litter the post with keywords