I tend to not use tablets to do my writing. I am more comfortable using my Alphasmart Neo as a digital typewriter, keeping my iPod Touch nearby for research, serve as a dictionary, or to provide music if I don’t like what is playing at the coffeehouse. However, I am discovering that more writers are turning to their Apple iPads as full flung writing devices, forgoing even their laptops in favor of the lighter weight, smaller tablets.
Now that I am free of Amazon’s Kindle Select exclusivity agreement, I am able to make bundled book deals, special offers and free ebooks available. As a thank you to my followers and CommuniCATE readers, for the month of December, Prayer Journal Workshop is available free to celebrate the Christmas season. You can download the book in pdf format from this link.
(Please note that you will not be able to print or copy from that file and there is a copyright on this work which applies Internationally. Your adherence to it would be greatly appreciated.)
Prayer is one of the hardest aspects of a Christian lifestyle, particularly as we have so many distractions around us these days. It will help you focus, set goals and keep track of where you’ve been and where you’re going. The book is a mixture of inspiration, how-to and practical exercises. It is suitable for any age group, from fourteen years upwards.
My other books for writers can be found here on my web site. That landing page will take you to the book descriptions, table of contents, reviews, author interviews and ordering information. Phoenix Thriving is available through this page as a two for one deal.
Merry Christmas to you all and thank you for your support throughout the past few years.
This article / blog post is Copyright Cate Russell-Cole 2013. All rights are reserved Internationally. You may not reproduce it or this book in any form, in part of whole, without Cate’s prior written permission. That includes usage in forms such as print, audio and digital imaging including pdf, jpg, png etc. A fee may be requested for re-using her work if it is for a commercial venture.
Link sharing and Pinterest pins are most welcome as long as Cate is the attributed Author.
Earlier this year I started to study the history of Ireland and the Celtic people, including Wales, Scotland, Basques and the Picts. The more I studied, the more I became intrigued by the rich cultural heritage, strong characteristics of the people and their legends and beliefs. Then I found myself engrossed in Mediaeval history, castles, weapons… It’s been fun!
If you are a fantasy, paranormal, romance or historical writers, you will find a generous helping of inspiration on these pages. Please also explore the sites these pages belong to for more information.
Nature Worship: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celtic_nature_worship
Other Worlds: http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/celt/ffcc/ffcc260.htm
The Pale: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Pale
Sacred Groves: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sacred_grove
Cult of the Severed Head: http://www.celticheritage.co.uk/articles_headcult.cfm
Resources on Castles
These links will will assist you in designing and writing about your own. Some of the information is introductory level. The free Project Gutenberg books should be very helpful.
- An extensive and detailed list of Medieval weapons with images:
- Medieval Warfare: http://www.medievalwarfare.info/
- Castles of the World: http://www.castles.org
- The History and Design of Medieval Castles: http://www.medieval-castle.com
- Life in a Medieval Castle: http://www.castlewales.com/life.html
- Castle Design and Floor Plans: http://medievalcastles.stormthecastle.com/castle-floor-plans.htm
- Exploring Castles: http://www.exploring-castles.com/castle_designs.html
- Castle Defences: http://www.castles-of-britain.com/defenses.htm
- Portchester Castle Defences: http://www.portchestercastle.co.uk/fortsdefs.html
- Towers and Ramparts: http://www.warwick-castle.com/explore-castle/towers-and-ramparts.aspx
- The Battle Castle TV Series: http://battlecastle.tv
- The Medieval Knight (introductory): http://library.thinkquest.org/10949/fief/medknight.html
- Knights Templar, Knights Teutonic and Knights Hospitallers can be reached from: http://www.middle-ages.org.uk/teutonic-knights.htm
- Teutonic Order from the Catholic Encyclopaedia: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14541b.htm
- The Official Site for the Knights Hospitallers: http://www.theknightshospitallers.org
- The History of the Knights Templars, the Temple Church, and the Temple by Addison, Project Gutenberg: http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/38593
- Windsor Castle, by William H. Ainsworth, Project Gutenberg: http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/2866
- The Legends of King Arthur and His Knights by Knowles and Malory, Project Gutenberg: http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/12753
What you are up against when storming a castle, thanks to Horrible Histories.
This article / blog post is Copyright Cate Russell-Cole 2013. All rights are reserved Internationally. You may not reproduce it in any form, in part of whole, without Cate’s prior written permission. That includes usage in forms such as print, audio and digital imaging including pdf, jpg, png etc. A fee may be requested for re-using her work if it is for a commercial venture. Link sharing and Pinterest pins are most welcome as long as Cate is the attributed Author.
No images on this blog may be copied, captured, or altered for your own purpose without the consent of the originating owner.
Finding this card tucked away in a box felt like receiving a love letter from “the other side.” I’ve kept it in the box for so long without reading the message that I’d forgotten its origin, and even the fact it was used. A couple of days ago I opened it, thinking maybe I’d send to someone, and discovered anew that it is a birthday card from my long-gone mother, sent in 1985. It is full of questions about how things were going for me on various projects I’d long since forgotten, and the reminder of her level of interest in my life was touching. Since we lived in the same town during the years I was raising children, I never had letters from her as evidence of this.
But the most amazing thing was the message on the cover. “The things I never said…” I was flabbergasted that I’d never noticed or “got” that message before, that she was aware there were some “things she never said” and maybe this was her way of saying them. I did not grow up in a family that openly expressed caring, concern, and support. I don’t recall ever hearing the words, “I love you” from my parents. I don’t feel deprived for that — I knew I was loved and cared for. We just didn’t talk about it. So, now I find this message about those words that were never said … I think they are still waiting somewhere, and I think I just realized what they are. Perhaps that card finally said the things for her.
Perhaps the card is most poignant because of its ambiguity. I have no way of knowing what was on her mind when she selected it. Shucks, if I found the card on the rack at the store today, I may think of all the stories I have not yet gotten around to writing, and that if I wrote non-stop for the rest of my life, I’d never be able to cover even half of what I’ve already experienced and thought. Or that conversations always branch and there are always “roads not taken.”
That’s pretty much how I understood it at the time. Just as I always have at least half a dozen writing projects underway, she always had stacks and piles of paintings, glass, sewing and other arts and crafts projects underway, so she could also have meant it that way.
But she sent that card a generation ago when she was about the age I am now. Perhaps she was a generation ahead of me in understanding and understood it then as I do now. Perhaps I have caught up?
The card will remain an enigma, but I’m going to hang onto my fresh view of it, because it is so satisfying and enriching.
Meanwhile, it can also serve as a reminder that because readers bring their own experience and needs to the page, even the most carefully crafted story will be understood differently by each one, and perhaps understood quite differently from what we had in mind as we wrote. And that story may be understood one way today and quite differently a generation from now. Our job is to write the words, the stories, the “things,” then release them to serve whatever purpose they will.
Who knows? Perhaps a card, letter or story you’ve already written is tucked away somewhere, waiting for a time many years hence when it will be rediscovered and mean way more than it did at the time. Maybe more than you realized you meant at the time.
Write now: about some of the things you never said that are waiting somewhere. Pu them in a letter and mail them, or write them in a journal. Or write them down and shred or burn them. But write them down.
This post is Copyright Sharon Lippincott 2011. All Rights Reserved Internationally
The leap into publishing can be an unnerving journey marked with a steep learning curve. Not only do writers have to understand the specifics of the trade, but they also need to wear a variety of hats when handling the different aspects of the business as it evolves.
Some of the lessons I learned while writing and promoting my first mystery novel came from how-to books that still line my shelf. The other lessons I learned came from hands-on experience. From these lessons, I set up five guidelines that would come in handy the second time around. I’d like to share them with you now:
1. Above all, be true to yourself. Write in a genre that is familiar to you. Don’t attempt to write stories about vampires and wizards just because they’re trendy. Write what you know best and write to please yourself—not everybody else. Use a style of writing that comes naturally. It will help you find your author’s voice. Accept who you are as a writer. Trust your instincts and make choices that you won’t regret later on.
2. Organize your time. Most writers agree that writing is a priority, but so many other things begging for attention can be a drain on your time and energy. Writing calls for discipline. Reinforce good writing habits by maintaining a schedule, even if it’s only a couple of hours a day. It’s surprising how much you can accomplish when you’re under pressure! If you encounter a setback one day, keep on going the next. Tomorrow offers a chance to get things back on track. Reward your progress with a good book, a movie or more family fun time in the evening.
3. Understand the give and take of social networking. The more time you spend online, the more it takes away from your writing schedule. Try to limit your daily visits online to three sessions of twenty minutes each. Use this time to build up your network, promote your work, and support fellow writers. Walking away from your writing helps to refresh your mind, so these short breaks play a dual role.
4. Hire a professional editor. Your software program might not spot the distinction between there and they’re in a sentence, but a copyeditor will. Feedback is important, and an editor who has expertise in structural or developmental content can be an invaluable asset. If you’re on a tight budget but happen to belong to a writers’ group, you can ask another member to review your manuscript in return for the same service. At the very least, get someone with an excellent knowledge of grammar and punctuation to proofread your work.
5. Promote early. Don’t wait until your book is published. Ask one or more authors to read an advance copy of your book and provide reviews for promotional purposes. Offer to read and review their work in return. Create a buzz about your book months before the release date. Once you have a final book cover design, promote it through social media. Many sites offer free or inexpensive services that help promote authors. Do your research and choose sites that work best for you. If you’re publishing paperback copies, bookmarks with a link to your website or retailer is an economical way to spread the word about your book. Find out which bookstores support local authors and sponsor book-signing events. Some coffee shops hold author events too. It pays to ask around.
Website and blog: http://sandranikolai.com
False Impressions on Amazon US
Fatal Whispers on Amazon US
Sandra Nikolai graduated from McGill University in Montreal and worked in sales, finance, and high tech before devoting her days to writing. She is a member of Crime Writers of Canada and has published a dozen short stories online and in print, earning Honourable Mentions along the way.
Fatal Whispers follows False Impressions in a mystery series featuring ghostwriter Megan Scott and investigative reporter Michael Elliott. When not plotting mysteries, Sandra shares her thoughts and experiences about the writing world on her blog and has been a frequent guest writer on other blogs. She lives with her husband near Ottawa, where she is currently at work on her next novel in the series.
This blog post is Copyright Sandra Nikolai 2013. All rights are reserved Internationally. You may not reproduce it in any form, in part of whole, without the author’s prior written permission. That includes usage in forms such as print, audio and digital imaging including pdf, jpg, png etc. A fee may be requested for re-use if it is for a commercial venture.
If all writers thought and expressed themselves the same way, all books would be the same. Fortunately, they aren’t. We enjoy libraries stocked with diverse characters, settings, views and approaches. There is always something new to discover. It whets our appetite for thinking outside our own style and genre.
However, as I roam around writer’s blogs on the Internet, I see so much of the same repeated. The same blogging challenges, the same badges, the same marketing techniques. I also read regurgitated lists of rules on how often we must blog to capture the attention of search engines, approach social media and present ourselves. There are excellent reasons for following some of that advice… but…
If our success as writers is dependent on our individual creative instincts, why do we fall into a carbon copy approach online? I feel like rebelling: jumping out of line and saying, “Hey, I am going to be ME. If you don’t like my style, that’s OK. I don’t like everyone’s style either. I am not going to conform and fail at being myself.”
Following the flock of sheep in front of us involves the risk that all people will see, is another woolly behind. We can be too well blended into an indistinguishable mass of cream woolly behinds. When you promote other writers on Triberr and Twitter, you can start to tune out and not pass on another round of giveaways, challenge posts and blog tours. You’re looking for something different, something that catches your interest and hasn’t been done before. A new design. A new point of view. A new theme. With the number of people online, that’s not always easy to do; but when you put yourself forward in your own individualistic style, then people do notice. That can generate a more positive response.
So, while being sensible and sticking to the most essential rules for promotion, may I challenge you to not be afraid to be yourself. Show your personality, show your passion for your work and if you hate blog challenges or tours, don’t do it! Find an approach that fits who you are.
Be yourself. You are your best shot at success.
This video from TED Talks highlights how we tend to gravitate towards like-minded people. They are often the least able to help us when we need to break free of the norm. Please enjoy Maria Bezaitis, speaking on the surprising need for strangeness.
This article / blog post is Copyright Cate Russell-Cole 2013. All rights are reserved Internationally. You may not reproduce it in any form, in part of whole, without Cate’s prior written permission. That includes usage in forms such as print, audio and digital imaging including pdf, jpg, png etc. A fee may be requested for re-using her work if it is for a commercial venture.
Link sharing and Pinterest pins are most welcome as long as Cate is the attributed Author.
”How can you ever finish YOUR life story if you are stuck in the past and not willing to turn the page to go to the next chapter in your life?” Kamaria aka Lyrikal
As I settled into my first week as a “retiree” (I’d rather think of it as a “transition-ee”), I found myself thinking back to October 2009, when I attended The Writer’s Digest Editors’ Intensive weekend in Cincinnati, Ohio. My main revelation was that I could call myself a writer. The term seemed strange at first, even though I had the first 50 pages of my work-in-progress to submit for review. In previous years, I had a few clinical articles published in nursing journals. It took a while for the term to fit my idea of who I was.
Of the thirty people in the room at that conference, there were only four of us who were working on memoirs. Uh-oh. This was not a good sign. Talk of memoir being the trickiest, most difficult genre filled the room. On top of that, if I wanted to get involved as a writer, I needed to join Facebook and Twitter. What are you, crazy? Well, I didn’t have time for that…
So, I left determined to do it my way - to just keep writing and to heck with all that social media “stuff. “ It would only distract me from what I wanted and needed to do.
But, the messages and advice from the experts – Writer’s Digest editors, Jane Friedman Alice Pope, and Chuck Sambuchino lingered in my mind, like seeds that were itching to burst forth to the surface.
Soon after the conference, I joined The National Association Memoir Writers (NAMW) with Linda Joy Myers, Jerry Waxler and Sharon Lippincott to find out more about who I was and what I needed to do. After a few introductory classes on memoir writing, I was ready to join the 9-week Healing Memories and Personal Autobiography tele-workshop with Linda Joy, which I have taken continually from the Spring of 2010 through the present.
Recently, I was indecisive about signing up for the summer workshop, thinking that I needed a break. But at the last minute, I signed up. Why? Because, stories from a certain time frame in my past were bubbling up inside of me and what better way to do it than to pour those stories on to the paper, and get expert feedback and suggestions from Linda Joy and fellow memoirists in the class. Through the editing process, I experienced a breakthrough in my writing, like torrents of water gushing through a well-fortified dam.
As far as the need for social media,after meeting with agents and publishers at the Christian Writer’s Guild “Writing for the Soul” conference in Denver, I decided I needed to take Dan Blank’s “Build Your Author Platform” Course. The take-home message: You have to have your own tribe of followers and a way to connect, engage and influence before you will be taken seriously by any agent or publisher. My point: listen to the experts. They know what they are talking about. ‘Nuff said.
Sometimes, when you think you need to quit, you really do need to plow through it one more time.
Memoir writers do linger a bit in the past but revisiting the past and finding the essence of the truth in it does not have to mean getting stuck in the past. Sometimes you have to go through it to get to the other side. It’s moving on to the next chapter in your life by putting the past in its place. And if you have an inkling you want to publish your writing, you need to reach out, connect and engage prospective readers. How to balance the writing with the platform-building is one of the challenges any writer today faces.
I am ready to call myself a memoir writer and am dedicating my blog to my memoir writing journey. I want to chronicle my journey as it unfolds and dole out tips and insights I am gathering along the way.
I want to share my story of the power of hope in my life through my faith in God.
I’m ready to start my next chapter.
I love your presence on my journey and look forward to sharing our stories of hope.
Treat yourself to Jonathan Fields’ awesome book trailer on his new book ” The Uncertainty Book,“ a heartfelt and powerful testimony about taking the next step in your life. You will be inspired.
How about you? What’s in your next chapter? What stories do you want to write?
This post is Copyright Kathleen Pooler 2012. All Rights Reserved Internationally.