Fictional Fridays #17

Standard

I just wanted to share this delightful post from my latest follow Nandini, who I found via a meet and greet posted by Smorgasbord. I thought this was a great way to find more blogs to follow. I highly recommend you check out the meet and greet here. https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2016/07/16/welcome-to-the-party-meet-and-greet-some-new-bloggers/

Pages That Rustle

Who thought holidays could be more stressful than the months I have to attend college? Strangely, I find myself having no time to do the things I want to finish and having all the time in the world to complete TV series in record time during my semesters. Another example of time being a vindictive creature, I suppose. Putting aside selfish concerns for a bit, I decided to write something, anything, to take my mind off of things. Here is the result (Incidentally, it fits this week’s Friday Fiction with Ronovan Writes Prompt Challenge #33 – Favourite Food).

View original post 844 more words

Does Social Media Sell? Take the Poll

Standard


5f9555324320d315ace17b466ab7c67ff4b24c42f9a9a9b2527ff123b7bea65e
Writers are told they need social media to sell books; however, they are also told they won’t sell books directly from social media or blogs.

Sounds rather counterproductive doesn’t it?

I guess the key word there is directly. Meaning, I suppose, that no one actually purchases your books by clicking on the links you provide in tweets or post.

I am a writer, so I believe other writers when they tell me they don’t see a lot of sales from their post or tweets.

I’m also a reader, and as one, I purchased ten e-books last year–all of which I found either from a tweet or blog post. That’s the only way I learn about new books. I don’t have time to browse Amazon–and Goodreads won’t even give me recommendations until I review a few more books.

That being said, I want to hear from the rest of you. How do you find your books? Do you respond to posts from twitter, Facebook, or WordPress? Please answer the poll below. If you don’t see your answer, please respond in the comment section below.

Celebrating 100 Post with My 100 Favorite Blogs

Standard

imagesThis being my 100th blog post, I wanted to write something special to celebrate. I was going to post a list of the 100 most popular Fantasy books of all time since I’m a fantasy writer–scratch that. Next, I considered making a list of the 100 things I love the most about being a writer, but I have a hate/love relationship with writing, so to be honest, I actually struggled to come up with 100 things–that I like. Still determined to do something in a list format, I thought to myself, why not make a list of my 100 favorite blogs.

Below is a list of my favorite blogs in no particular order. I could have ranked them from favorite to least favorite and so forth, but that would be difficult and time consuming–not to mention hurtful. If you are not on the list, I apologize. I still like you. I would love to list all 200+ blogs I follow, but 100 is the number of post I’ve written, and the number of post I’ve written is 100. 100 shall I list. 200 is right out.

Whether you are listed or not, please check out these blogs because they are amazing–and it took me a hundred years to insert all of these links . . . one by one. I’m pretty sure it took me longer to create this list of 100 blogs than it did for me to write 100 blog post. Once you’ve checked out some of my favorite blogs, feel free to comment below to share some of your favorite blogs. It’s that time of year where we should share and care, so support your fellow bloggers and give them a shout out.

  1. Book Chat
  2. One Writer’s Journey By Chris Owens
  3. 2HelfpulGuys
  4. Susan Finlay Writes
  5. Random Ramblings
  6. The Rolling Writer
  7. Books & Such
  8. Mandy’s space to space
  9. Charles French Words Reading and Writing
  10. MT McGuire Authorholic
  11. Your Writing Lady
  12. Archer’s Aim
  13. Author Mysti Parker
  14. Bluchickenninja
  15. Storyshucker
  16. No Wasted Ink
  17. Authors Interviews
  18. Princess of Light: Shining the Light for All
  19. Suffolk Scribblings
  20. Blot the Skrip and Jar It
  21. Kristen Lamb’s Blog
  22. Ana is the Bookworm
  23. Sarah J Carlson, Author
  24. Deborah Kelly
  25. Shannon A. Thompson
  26. Nail Your Novel
  27. Rather Than Writing
  28. Nicholas C Rossis
  29. Story Medic
  30. Inside My Worlds
  31. Just English
  32. Carol Balawyder
  33. Writing Is Hard Work
  34. SloopJonB
  35. A Writer’s Path
  36. The Owl Lady Blog
  37. Therefore I Geek
  38. Storytime with John
  39. Ingrid’s Notes
  40. The Writer’s Cafe 247
  41. Confessions of  Geek Queen
  42. Knite Writes
  43. Tara Sparling Writes
  44. A Tolkienist’s Perspective
  45. Chris The Story Reading Ape’s Blog
  46. Bare Knuckle Writer
  47. Chris McMullen
  48. Strange Writer
  49. CommuniCate Resources for Writers
  50. Write Lara Write
  51. Lit Chic
  52. Writing, Reading, and the Pursuit of Dreams
  53. Ellen Brock
  54. The Nerdy Book Club
  55. Fiction All Day
  56. MJ Wright
  57. Poor Writers
  58. Inkspelled Faery
  59. Writing with Michelle
  60. Elaine Jeremiah
  61. Legends of Windemere
  62. Avid Reader
  63. Rachel Carrera, Novelist
  64. The Letter Vy
  65. Cindy Fazzi
  66. Geeky Book Snob
  67. WordDreams
  68. Words Read and Written
  69. Tricia Drammeh
  70. There and Draft Again
  71. Michelle Joyce Bond
  72. Turning My Dream Into A Book
  73. Sweating to Mordor
  74. Committed and Caffeinated
  75. My Literary Quest
  76. 101 Books
  77. Eli Glasman
  78. Jean’s Writing
  79. Random Ramblings
  80. Interesting Literature
  81. Live to Write–Write to Live
  82. The Bewildered 20-Something Writer
  83. The Write Transition
  84. Staci Reafsnyder
  85. Blood & Ink
  86. A Writer & Her Adolescent Muse
  87. The Librarian Who Doesn’t Say Shhh!
  88. Shirley McLain
  89. I Can’t Possibly Be Wrong All the Time
  90. Anibundel: Pop Culturess
  91. My Little Book Blog
  92. Carly Watters, Literary Agent
  93. Writers In the Storm
  94. Jaimie M. Engle
  95. Just One More Edit
  96. Daily (w)rite
  97. The Editor’s Desk
  98. Tipsy Lit
  99. The Girl Who Reads Books
  100. Kev’s Blog

Authors, be Featured on Write of Passage

Standard
photo provided by flickr

photo provided by flickr

Attention all writers, I would like to promote you and your books.

Via Twitter and WordPress, I’ve met many wonderful writers. I tend to follow people who are engaged and offer writing and publishing advice. I’ve learned so much, and I’d like for you to share your writing wisdom with my readers. So I’m starting a new feature called, Ask an Author. Some of you may have already received a personal request in your email to take part in this feature. If you haven’t, don’t worry, it’s not that I don’t want to interview you, I just haven’t gotten around to it yet. Keeping track of over a thousand people can be challenging, if you know what I mean. I thought it might be easier to send a shout out.

What is Ask an Author, and Who can be Featured?

I am looking for published authors (Indie or traditional) who are interested in being interviewed. Ask an Author will be a monthly feature. It’s sort of like an author interview, only instead of a list of questions, you only answer one, which will be tailored to your particular strengths or interest as a writer. The goal of the question is for you to discuss something that you are an expert, or semi-expert, in order to help other writers. For example, if you’re social media savvy, your question would probably be social media related.

What will the Feature Include

  • a brief bio
  • the question
  • photos and/or videos
  • links to author websites, social media platforms, amazon and other sites where your book can be purchased, etc.

How to be Featured

  • email me at tbetzner@outlook.com
  • include your name, genre you write, titles of books you’ve written, a brief bio, and links to your blog, social media platforms, author site, and where your books can be purchased.

I will try to get back with you within 24 hours. From there, we’ll communicate via email unless you have a preferred means. Once I have all the information I need, I’ll let you know what month you will be featured.

Tuesday Tip

Standard

tip#1It’s Tuesday again, which means it’s time for another Tuesday Tip. Going back to the editing checklist, let’s take a closer look at style.

photo provided by instyle

photo provided by instyle

Not that kind of style–writing style.

The trouble with giving advice about style is that it’s subjective. What one person likes, another won’t. However, writers tend to prefer styles that are clear, concise, and easy to read.

Personal style

Style is simply how something is written. Everyone’s personal style varies. Your writing will convey your voice and personality. Everyone’s voice is different; everyone’s style is different, so how do you know if your style is good . . . or bad?

Potential Problems

1. Passive Voice

Passive voice is not grammatically incorrect; however, many readers prefer books written in the active voice. Sentences contain nouns and verbs, subjects and actions. A sentence is considered passive when the action comes before the subject doing the action.

Example:

Passive: The chair was sat on by the boy. (action comes before subject)

Active: The boy sat on the chair. (subject comes first)

Technically, the first sentence is correct, but the second sentence is easier to read and understand. That is the problem with passive voice; readers get confused trying to decipher the meaning of passive sentences. For clarity, use active voice. To identify and eliminate passive sentences, highlight all to be verbs in your sentences (are, am, is, was, when). Make sure actors come before actions.

2. Too Wordy

Good sentences are clear and use strong, concise wording. Wordy sentences can bore, challenge, or confuse your reader. To cut the clutter, you first need to identify why your sentence is wordy.

  • Too many qualifiers–or what I like to call filler words (very, often, hopefully, mostly, practically, extremely, somewhat)
  • Prepositional phrases (on, in, for, of, from, with, about)
  • Redundant wording (advance warning, 7 a.m. in the morning, a brief moment)

Now that we’ve identified some problems that might be weakening your style, let’s look at some ways you can improve your writing style.

1. Sentence Variety

Instead of rewriting or paraphrasing, please check out my first Tuesday Tip, which was about sentence variety. To read that post, click here.

2. Clear Concise Words

Choose your words deliberately. Use specific words, nouns, and verbs instead of vague or wordy ones.

Example: He is aware that his dog is sleeping on the bed

Correction: He knows his dog is sleeping on the bed.

3. Connect Images, Ideas, Chapters, and Sentences.

When you think of connecting sentences, commas and semi colons probably come to mind. There’s another way to connect your sentences, paragraphs, even chapters. You’re not connecting them with commas, but images. Repeating ideas and images will help your sentences flow and improve your writing style. Before you start the next sentence, look at the last one. Do this with your chapters as well. Look at the last four sentences of your chapter. What is the image, theme, message? Carry this image in the next chapter. Think of it like the transition of a movie. Have you ever seen a West Side Story? Before the dance, Maria is spinning around in her room and the camera blurs on her dress. When it refocuses, she’s spinning in a ballroom. In A Christmas Story, a bathroom scene cuts as the boy opens the toilet lid to the boy or mom opening the lid to a pot of red cabbage. Repeated images make transitions less jarring and help scenes flow.

Example: Your chapter ends with a fire or a character blowing out a candle. The next chapter starts with a sunrise.

Example: You end the chapter with someone screaming. You begin the next chapter with someone singing.

See how these images or ideas repeat. Look for these connections in the book you’re reading or the movie you’re currently watching (when you should be writing). You’ll start to notice the transitions aren’t random.

I hope you found these tips helpful. Choose your words and connect your sentences wisely so your writing style will not go out of style.

 

The Versatile Blogger Award

Standard

This has been a good month for my blog. I reached my one-year anniversary; I’ve surpassed personal records for views, likes, and comments; and I’ve been nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award.

I was nominated by Lori Maclaughlin, a fellow writer and Tolkien/fantasy fan. I’ve enjoyed reading her post, and so will you. Please check her out.versatile-blogger

http://lorilmaclaughlin.com/

The requirements are to list seven random facts about myself and nominate 15 other bloggers I’ve recently started following. Here goes . . .

Random Facts:

  1. I have a twin sister who also writes.  I get “twin senses” or fancy panic attacks whenever my sister is in danger. I consider myself a little psychic, or at least when it comes to my twin.  Check out her blog at http://litchicblog.wordpress.com/
  2. I love owls, Frozen, and The Hobbit. By “love” I mean obsess, really. If I see Frozen, Hobbit, or owl stuff, I have to buy it. Needless to say, my bathroom and bedroom are decorated in owls, and owls are invading the family room and the kitchen. Also, I know all of the songs from Frozen, even the bad ones.
  3. Aside from writing, I’m very good at drawing–or at least I used to be. It’s been awhile. About a year ago I sketched some concept art for my WIP. Since then, my only artistic endeavor has been on my son’s magnet doodle board.
  4. I was born with cataracts. No, I’m not blind, and yes, I can see. I know what you’re imagining, and I am not squinting two inches from my computer screen. There’s a healthy foot of distance between me and the technology.
  5. I love to sing, which my son loves and my sister hates. Maybe it’s my voice or the genre of music I favor. What’s so random about this fact? Well, I can sing in a deep man voice despite the fact that I have the body of a 12-year old boy. I think I fall between a man’s tenor and baritone, like Josh Groban. lol My favorite songs to sing are from The Phantom and Les Mis, which are my son’s favorite bedtime songs.
  6. Halloween is my favorite holiday. If you’ve ever watched Roseanne you’ll get a glimpse of what my family is like. This month, I’ve spent a paycheck on Halloween decorations. I’m also planning an elaborate costume that will match my sister’s.
  7. I don’t wear any makeup. I feel like that is a rare thing these days, because it seems like most women wear at least a little. With no statistics or percentages to back it up, I’m sure It’s still pretty safe to say I’m an oddity. My morning face matches my evening face: How many people can say that? I thought the older I got, the more I’d be tempted to wear it, but I’ve noticed the reverse. From one who has been all over the spectrum of ugly and beautiful, I’m just comfortable and accepting of how I look.

And my Nominees are . . .

  1. James D. Roberts offers his thoughts on writing, as well as advice. I really enjoy his writing style and his wit–and so will you.
  2. Nicholas Rossis writes children’s stories, sci-fi, and fantasy. I also follow him on Twitter, which is how I found out he had a blog.
  3. Roger Colby is a teacher and a writer. You’ll enjoy his blog. The title says it all “Writing Is Hard Work.”
  4. Ryan Lanz has a great blog for writing tips and information. I visit his blog for inspiration. That word pops up a lot in his post, so if you need some, you’ll know where to go.
  5. Christine Campbell is a published author, and I learn a lot about marketing, blogging, and self publishing from her post.
  6. the writerscafe247 is a very creative and fun blog that reminds me that writing doesn’t have to be a solitary act.
  7. Therin Knite  This is where I go to find awesome Indie books to purchase. Check it out.
  8. Tara Sparling is very knowledgeable about writing trends. Her post are fun and informative. If you aren’t following her, you should be.
  9. James writes for fans of Tolkien. If you want sneak peeks of the Hobbit movie, this is where to go to see the latest trailer, posters, rumors, etc.
  10. Dylan Hearn  is another talented author I follow on Twitter. Check out his blog.
  11. Chris The Story Reading Ape’s Blog is all about author connection and promotion. This is a great blog to find writing and editing advice.
  12. Roy Jacobsen writes great post about writing and editing. This is probably one of the best blogs for grammar advice.
  13. Steph Snow Her picture says it all. She offers unfiltered thoughts on writing and other topics.
  14. Kev Cooper is a fellow writer–and cat lover. He is a great writer to connect with.
  15. Chris McMullen is an experienced writer. Her blog is perfect if you want good advice and inspiration.

If you are nominated or would like to nominate someone for this award please visit:

http://versatilebloggeraward.wordpress.com/vba-rules/

Where Did the Time Go?

Standard

So, I did something that would be taboo in a marriage: I forgot my one-year anniversary. I started my blog a year ago on September 5, 2013. It is now the 13th, so I’m roughly eight days late. My anniversary fell on a Friday, so I know why I missed it. It was a busy day at work, I was figuring out a new visitation schedule for my son, and, as I’ve mentioned in another post, my family has been dealing with a serious illness. So between doctor appointments and flip-flopping schedules, it’s no wonder my anniversary fell under my radar. (And yet I remember when McDonald’s will be giving away free coffee and when GoT season 4 will be on DVD.)

My motto this month has been celebrate the small stuff, like baking banana bread with my mom, getting my office organized, etc. So I’m going to have a little belated one-year anniversary celebration.

imagesWhat did I accomplish this year, and what’s in store for next year? My very first blog post was about a write-in I had with my sister and her friend from college. I really enjoyed connecting with Sarah Wright, and getting to discuss writing and blogging. Sarah was actually the one who convinced me and my sister that blogging is essential to a writer’s platform. Please check out her blog at http://smwright.wordpress.com/

 I wrote my first post during the write-in; since then, I’ve written over 60 post and connected with over 200 writers, readers, and bloggers with WordPress. It’s been a great experience. I feel like I’m part of a writing community.

Since that first post, I’ve talked about writing: the ups and downs, challenges and accomplishments, and what to do and what not to do. In July, I started my first weekly feature: Tuesday Tips. I’ve had a lot of good response to these, so I will keep doing them until I run out of advice. Aside from helping other writers, I’d also like to support and promote them as well. I want to start a feature where I ask authors a question. Kind of like an author interview, but with one question that focuses on a particular strength I feel the writer has. This will be a great opportunity for them to help other writers by sharing their strengths as well as promote themselves, their writing, and gain exposure.

I’d also like to feature a poet a month. I’ve read some great poetry on WordPress, and I’d like to give poets a chance to spotlight a poem of their choice.

The third feature is a collaboration with my sister called “Twin Talk.” We are super excited about this feature, which would appear on both our blogs. We realize we aren’t using our twin gimmick enough. I mean, how awesome is it that I have an identical twin who also likes to write and blog and talk about writing! We’d like to pick one topic a month and discuss it and post our discussion on our blogs. The only reason we haven’t started this yet is because we need web cams or something to record our chats so we can upload the videos. Any advice on this would be welcome.

What do you like about my blog? What would you change? Any thoughts? Also, if you are interested in being featured on my blog, please let me know either in the comments below, via twitter, or the contact section I will be updating shortly.

Thank you all for making this a wonderful blogging year.

What Do I Write?

Standard

Looking back at my archives, I think it’s clear what my blog is about: Writing, of course. But is it important for my followers to know what I write? I’m curious to hear from you. Based on the overall look of my blog, what genre do you think I write? Please take the survey below. Also comments are welcome. Do you think the genre should be incorporated into the theme of the blog?

Celebrating 100 Followers

Standard

I have great news. Drum role please! Today I reached 100 followers! I just want to start by thanking all of you who have visited my blog. I really enjoy reading your comments and checking out your blogs. What I like best about blogging is connecting with other writers and readers, and I’ve officially connected with 100 of you!

imagesCA0UZS89

In honor of reaching 100 followers, I’ve posted a list: 100 books you should read in a lifetime.  Many of you have probably seen this list on Goodreads. I have read about 15 (some of them reluctantly due to a college class). How many have you read? What changes would you like to see to this list?

  1. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  2. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  3. Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
  4. 1984 by George Orwell
  5. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
  6. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
  7. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  8. Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
  9. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
  10. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
  11. Fahrenheit 451: A Novel by Ray Bradbury
  12. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
  13. Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
  14. Animal Farm by George Orwell
  15. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
  16. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
  17. The Help by Kathryn Stockett
  18. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
  19. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
  20. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  21. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  22. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
  23. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
  24. Night by Elie Wiesel
  25. Hamlet by William Shakespeare
  26. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
  27. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle
  28. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
  29. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
  30. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
  31. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
  32. Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
  33. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
  34. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
  35. The Little Prince by Antoine Saint-Exupery
  36. Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein
  37. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
  38. The Giver by Lois Lowry
  39. Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
  40. Macbeth by William Shakespeare
  41. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
  42. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling
  43. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
  44. The Holy Bible: New King James Version by Thomas Nelson
  45. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
  46. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas pere
  47. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
  48. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
  49. East of Eden by John Steinbeck
  50. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
  51. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
  52. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
  53. The Stand by Stephen King
  54. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll
  55. Watership Down by Richard Adams
  56. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
  57. Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
  58. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
  59. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
  60. Memoirs of a Geisha: A Novel by Arthur Golden
  61. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle
  62. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling
  63. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
  64. Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire Book 1) by George R.R. Martin
  65. The Princess Bride: S. Morgenstern’s Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure by William Goldman
  66. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
  67. Life of Pi by Yann Martel
  68. The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
  69. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
  70. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
  71. Dracula by Bram Stoker
  72. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling
  73. Catching Fire (The Hunger Games Book 2) by Suzanne Collins
  74. Water for Elephants: A Novel by Sara Gruen
  75. The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe
  76. The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
  77. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
  78. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  79. The Poisonwood Bible: A Novel by Barbara Kingslover
  80. The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck
  81. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
  82. The Odyssey by Homer
  83. Celebrating Silence: Excerpts From Five Years of Weekly Knowledge 1995-2000 by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
  84. A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving
  85. And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
  86. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
  87. The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough
  88. The Glass Castle: A Memoir by Jeannette Walls
  89. Mockingjay (The Final Book of the Hunger Games) by Suzanne Collins
  90. The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien
  91. The Road by Cormac McCarthy
  92. Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese
  93. The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky
  94. Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse
  95. Beloved by Toni Morrison
  96. Helen Keller: The Story of My Life by Helen Keller
  97. The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
  98. From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg
  99. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
  100. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

http://www.kansascitymamas.com/goodreads-100-books-you-should-read-in-a-lifetime/