Writing

9 10, 2018

Make ‘Em Laugh! Humor Is for Everyone

By |2018-10-11T14:16:40+00:00October 9, 2018|Publishing, Writing|Comments Off on Make ‘Em Laugh! Humor Is for Everyone

Guest post by Tom Cordell, author of The Bard of Withering Heights

Live, Love, Laugh! That sage advice speaks to the universal appeal of humor writing. People love to laugh, and they admire those who make them laugh. While some writers are naturally funnier than others, there are ways everyone can inject humor into their writing.

WHERE DOES HUMOR COME FROM?

In thinking about what makes people laugh, we can distinguish between humor and comedy. Comedy is anything that makes people laugh quickly – a joke or a pie in the face. Humor is more subtle. It may elicit anything from a smile to a belly laugh, but unlike comedy humor contains an element of truth about human nature. Humor springs from the foibles and eccentricities of everyday people, and it often reveals some quirk or uncomfortable truth that people hate to admit. For example:

“Hardly anybody […]

21 08, 2018

Make Your Writing Easier to Follow

By |2018-10-12T09:17:48+00:00August 21, 2018|Publishing, Resources, Writing|Comments Off on Make Your Writing Easier to Follow

Guest post by Barbara McNichol, a nonfiction book editor and creator of WordTrippers Tips, a fun resource for better writing skills. www.BarbaraMcNichol.com & www.WordTrippers.com

 

Whether it’s an email, a marketing message, or a chapter in a book, are you sometimes challenged to make your writing easier for your readers to follow? How can you create a smooth flow that guides them with ease and doesn’t leave the impression it’s tedious to read?

Give these five techniques a try:

Use subheads: When you use subheads throughout your piece, readers can skim your content and quickly discern what’s intended to follow. Even more, subheads indicate a change of subject has occurred. In turn, that subhead allows readers to find the related topic quickly. Your guide: new subject, new subhead.

Convey one idea per paragraph: If you pack a paragraph with more than […]

20 08, 2018

Tell Me a Story, Friend

By |2018-08-20T10:51:05+00:00August 20, 2018|News, Publishing, Uncategorized, Writing|Comments Off on Tell Me a Story, Friend

This Summer I had the pleasure of seeing three people, who in various ways I connect with through book publishing, tell stories from the stage at storytelling events. For years I’ve been a big fan of The Moth storytelling radio hour and similar podcasts, so it was a real delight to hear people I actually know tell stories from the stage.

The first two storytellers I saw at one of the amazing monthly shows put on by Odyssey Storytelling of Tucson. The theme for the show was Different. Terry Filipowicz, my cohort on the Book and Movie Biz Genre of the Book and Author Committee for the Tucson Festival of Books (wow, that’s a mouthful), Vice President at Great Potential Press, and Instructor at Pima Community College, and Ethel Lee-Miller (etheleemiller.com), Wheatmark author, writing editor and coach, public speaking coach, […]

20 07, 2018

Ode to a Peach Tree

By |2018-07-20T16:10:26+00:00July 20, 2018|News, Publishing, Writing|Comments Off on Ode to a Peach Tree

There’s nothing quite like the experience of holding your finished book at the end of the publishing process. After writing, waiting for editing, designing, and working through multiple revisions, you’ve got it! Reminds me of a story from my childhood about a peach…

As a kid growing up in Southern California, I looked forward to two things every summer: our annual July trip to Minnesota, and the homegrown peaches that were waiting for us when we returned home in August. Every summer the peach tree that leaned against the fence in my backyard would produce the most juicy, sweet peaches imaginable. My family would get so many of them that my mother spent many hot summer days in the kitchen canning fruit and making jam. I loved that tree.

So when my father decided to try out his tree-trimming skills on my beloved tree […]

9 07, 2018

Publish, Baby, Publish!

By |2018-07-19T12:19:30+00:00July 9, 2018|News, Publishing, Writing|Comments Off on Publish, Baby, Publish!

Billionaire oil magnate J. Paul Getty quipped: “Formula for success: rise early, work hard, strike oil.” He was, of course, highlighting how important luck is as a component of success. This same sentiment can easily apply to writing and publishing a book, “Formula for success: rise early, write well, and get discovered.” If you try to get published by a major New York publisher, you will soon find, that unless you have published with them before, or are a famous movie star or politician, you have little chance. Even if your book is incredibly well-written and interesting, you, as a first-time author have to somehow get discovered by the right person at the publisher. Without some lucky accident, like a personal or professional connection on the inside who can champion your manuscript, it’s very tough. If you decide to self-publish, luck will […]

9 07, 2018

Finding Inspiration in a Dry Season

By |2018-07-06T16:11:01+00:00July 9, 2018|News, Publishing, Writing|Comments Off on Finding Inspiration in a Dry Season

Photo by Robert Murray on Unsplash

I never imagined myself living in the desert. Born and raised in Orange County, California, I believed that my life would always exist within a certain radius. While we experienced our fair share of heat waves, there was some reassurance in the knowledge that the beach was just a short drive away. The cool coastal breeze and marine layer could temporarily relieve any discomfort caused by summer’s warm embrace.

My life trajectory changed drastically when I met my now husband. Committing to a man who owed at least three years to the Air Force meant that we were no longer the masters of our fate, and that fate was destined for Tucson.

We moved to the Old Pueblo in the middle of June 2014, and I was not prepared for the heat. June heat is unrelenting. Cool mornings […]

26 01, 2017

Crime: Truth and Fiction

By |2018-03-29T11:09:20+00:00January 26, 2017|News, Publishing, Writing|Comments Off on Crime: Truth and Fiction

Fans of crime fiction and true crime: I’d like to draw your attention to two award-winning authors who’ve recently published two exciting new books.

Duke Southard is a First Place winner of the 85th Annual (2016) “Writer’s Digest” Writing Competition, a finalist of the 2016 Tucson Festival of Books Literary Awards, and a finalist of the 2015 Indie Publisher Next Generation Book Awards, to list just some of his accolades.

Southard’s new book Cracks in the Wall (Wheatmark, 2016) is a suspense novel in the Parker Havenot Police Detective Series. The plot centers on the murder of a young mother of three in a quiet suburban town in what appears be an open-and-shut case. Detective Havenot, however, is not so sure, suspecting that the key to the murder lies somewhere in the victim’s past. This book is a fantastic fast-paced read from the first page to the surprising […]

6 10, 2016

‘Tis the Season . . . for Author Ordering

By |2018-03-29T11:09:20+00:00October 6, 2016|News, Publishing, Writing|Comments Off on ‘Tis the Season . . . for Author Ordering

It is hard to believe that another year is already winding down, which means that the holiday season is right around the corner. As the hustle and bustle of life begins to ramp up the closer we approach Thanksgiving and Christmas, it is normal to try and get ahead on our holiday shopping. The quest to find the perfect gifts for the ones we love is often an annual tradition of fighting traffic, battling unending lines and searching for the best deals, while never feeling completely satisfied with your final choice.

For our authors who want to avoid the shopping chaos, what could be better than giving someone the gift of reading? While I may be biased, I believe books can be some of the most cherished presents, particularly when the giver is the writer. Some of the most precious gifts I have received have been personally created or designed by […]

24 08, 2016

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one blog post

By |2018-03-29T11:09:20+00:00August 24, 2016|Social Media, Writing|Comments Off on The journey of a thousand miles begins with one blog post

I have a friend who is deeply passionate about a certain subject. My friend’s spent years reading every book and article written on, and watching every documentary made about, the subject. He’s studied and thought about it deeply. He feels that he now has something to contribute to the global conversation. But, my friend doesn’t have any academic credentials in the subject. He’s not a member of any online (or offline) interest groups. And, he hasn’t yet written any books or articles on the subject. His study has been done mostly in isolation.

He recently asked me if I thought anyone would read books or articles by him on the subject. I had to answer, “I don’t know.” The question was impossible to answer with a definitive yes or no without some knowledge of his potential readers and without having read his yet unwritten writing.

I did have a recommendation, however, as […]

22 08, 2016

Yes, you can become an author!

By |2016-08-19T13:38:31+00:00August 22, 2016|Publishing, Writing|Comments Off on Yes, you can become an author!

Writing is simply a number of sentences strung together. Remember the paper chains that you made as a child? One slip of paper rolled and wrapped around another until a chain was formed that stretched from one end of the room to the other. That’s how you write your book.

Create small, manageable writing goals. Start by just writing a single paragraph. That’s all. Just one simple paragraph. You can do that, right? If so, your first goal has just been accomplished!

As a writer, it’s easy to get swamped by the mountain of things to do before your book gets finished. Add to that the burden authors today must carry of promoting and marketing their books, and it is so easy to get discouraged.

There is a solution, however! It’s simply this: Create small goals that can be easily accomplished. A friend once shared with me her story on her experience of […]