Really getting into the promotion part of the career this year.
Tag Archives: #amlearning
Hey kids – just popping in to remind all you romance writers and RWA members that I’m presenting a workshop this Saturday on the RWA website for those of you who want to know about Kindle Vella.
Here’s the link to join – it’s $25 for RWA members and $ 50 for non. And you don’t have to write romance to join us. The KindleVella platform is open to all genres of fiction writing. : Kindleforbeginners
If you’ve been considering adding your work to this platform, this class is for you. I’ll tell you all the ins and outs to get your story uploaded and in front of new readers.
Hope to see you Saturday.
This is a Zoom workshop and the link will be sent to you if you register. The class is being recorded.
My reading material for this month ( so far)
1 book for pleasure ( the Nora)
3 books for craft (The Trope Thesaurus, Body Language, Irresistible blurbs.
2 books on self-betterment: Positive Thinking, and Next Level thinking
And 2 research books for my next PNR book for Magnolia ( 1001 Spells, and The Witches Almanac ) Get the notion this next book is about a witch? Heehee
What’s on your reading list for the month?
Yeah, I know it’s a Cher classic,
but that’s not what I’m talking about today.
The other day one of my favorite writers, Christie Craig, posted this on her fb page:
If I could go back and change something in my past, I’d have told the guy who broke my heart that I knew I could do better. What would you change if you could go back in time?
That’s some thoughtful question, isn’t it?
The possibilities are endless…at least for me they are.
How many times in my life have I said, “if only…”
If only I’d told my mother how my grandmother used to verbally belittle and physically hit me when she babysat me and was drinking.
If only I’d told on my step-cousins when they locked me in a closet for three hours because they didn’t like having me around and then laughed when I cried.
If only I’d told a teacher the truth about why I let that mean girl cheat off me on a test.
If only I’d reported that college professor for putting his hand on my butt, or better yet, kicked him square in the balls.
If only I’d told my father what a shitty human being he was for sosososo many reasons.
If only I’d realized sooner what a loser the first boy I’d ever gotten engaged to was.
If only I’d spoken up when I saw that man hit his little boy in the parking lot.
The one thing I certainly would change if I could go back and have a do-over is that I’d tell my mother how much I loved her when I was a teenager instead of screaming at her about how much I hated her. I really didn’t hate her. I just hated the life we had and she was the easiest one to blame.
That one haunts me more than anything else.
So, What would you change if you could go back in time?
Things to things about, peeps. ~ Peg
The prompt for this week’s blog experience is What to read to learn about X. A little vague but I’m gonna take it to mean something to do with how we, as writers, do research. ( Fingers crossed I’m correct about this!)
If you’re a follower of mine you know that I approach everything in life as if it was a study because I have such a strong scientific background. I love the scientific method. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this, here’s the textbook definition:
Let’s be honest: most of us took a basic English class decades ago. I would bet I’m not the only one who can’t remember the appropriate use of a semicolon, or when to use ellipses. For the basics in grammar, sentence structure, and just plain word use, The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation is hands down the best one – and easiest one to understand – of all I’ve read.
Before I wrote romantic fiction I dabbled in short stories that were mostly about murders, murderers, and mysteries. Since I’m a nurse, there are a great deal of little tidbits I’ve picked up along my career about poisons, drug interactions, etc., and ways to cause someone’s death – all great info if you write about murder! My favorite reference books for these are The MERCK MANUAL and the Nurse’s PDR ( Physician’s Drug Reference Guide). Both these little gems, when combined, can get those creative, murderous ( on the page only!) juices flowing.
One last series I think I should mention are the “Thesaurus” books by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi. These include the Emotional Thesaurus, The Negative and Positive trait Thesaures, and a few more about location, setting. All of these books are gold mines of knowledge for the writer.
Those are my top five “research” books for now. I’ve got oodles more, but don’t want this blog piece to go on ad nauseum!
Since this is an author blog hop, hop on over to the other writers participating and read how they interpreted today’s prompt. L&SRWednesdayBloggingChallenge.
And, as always, if you’re looking for me, here I am:
and here’s the link to my TELL ME ABOUT YOUR DAMN BOOK podcast interview, just in case you missed it: TMAYDB
and one more: here’s the link to my appearance recently on New Hampshire Public Radio, talking about all things romance.
I’ve been taking an online marketing course for the past 11 days and one of the biggest takeaways from the guy giving the course has been how to connect with people and readers in a more personal way. Since I live in the woods in a tiny New England town and I don’t get out much because, you know….writing…connecting with and meeting new people has been a problem for me. I can’t afford to attend every single book signing out there or travel to every conference.
Really, all I want to do is write.
This is the age of easy access to people via the internet, so I’ve moved into the twenty-first century and tried something new, something the course director says should boost my online presence ( read:book sales!) if done correctly.
I can only hope I’ve done it correctly. Hee hee.
So, long story short, I did my very first FACEBOOK LIVE EVENT yesterday. It was terrifying, just me, sitting in front of the laptop, talking. Terrifying, I tell you.
I don’t even like to get my picture taken much less be videoed.
I made it a short piece ( 10 minutes) and talked all about something near and dear to me, the Great American Read blog I’d done that morning. I’d had the forethought to make a few notes on what I wanted to say so that made it easier. I will admit I rambled a bit and if you watch the video you can hear me clicking my pen nervously off camera – something that sounds really loud to me. I had someone else tell me they didn’t hear it at all, so I hope that’s true for the masses.
Depending on the response I get to the video (and this blog, talking about it) I will do another. Everything horrifying always gets better when you do it a few times, right?
Okay, let’s be real here because this is me: I’m never going to be comfortable being videoed. Not gonna happen in this lifetime. All I can see when I watch it is how crooked my face is, how my left eye is ridiculously smaller than my right, and my neck is starting to resemble the Thanksgiving turkey I’m going to serve this year. Add in the fact my voice sounds like a million pointy nails scratching against chalkboard and you can understand why I didn’t pursue any type of career in the performing arts. If you do watch it I suggest you keep the volume low so that my voice doesn’t annoy you too much.
And if you do watch it...BLESS YOU. If it’s something that you find either funny, interesting, worth the ten minutes you lost watching it, I’d really appreciate it if you could either pass the link on to your friends, or drop me a word or two in the comments section either here, or on my FB page, telling me your thoughts and reactions. I’m not being falsely humble and fishing for compliments, peeps. I truly need advice on how to do this better and more effectively.
So. I’m off to do the one thing that doesn’t give me agita: write.
So, in my NEVER ENDING attempt to learn new things and make it easier for people to review, preview, and actually BUY my books ( heehee) I have once again updated my website. You can now Read PREVIEWS of my books before you decide you want to buy them, and you can also Read REVIEWS of the books without having to go look for them.
Let me ‘esplain.
This is the MENU for my website, located on the landing page, in the header.
Click on MY BOOKS.
Once there you will see a listing of all my current, in publication, and available books for purchase with the current one first.
Just scroll down to the bottom of each picture and you will see this:
Click on the link you want. The previews are generated from Amazon and most offer the first chapter, some up to the end of chapter 2, which I think is pretty cool. I know myself before I buy a book by an author I’m not familiar with, I want to read the first few pages before I commit to purchasing. I’ll bet most people want to do that as well since money is a little tighter these days.
So. Once again, the learning curve steepens.
I have this recurring dream/wish/desire/want(!) that I will hit a national bestseller list and actually be able to HIRE an assistant to do all this stuff. One who actually KNOWS how. Yeah, I know what they say about wishes…..
My facebook page has been deluged for the past two weeks with happy pictures of graduations, both high school, and college. I love sharing in the excitement and joy of all my friends and their families at these monumental achievements.
These young people have so much in store for them, ahead of them, and concerning them, their futures, their successes, and –let’s be honest — their disappointments, too.
I can clearly see the days I graduated from high school, nursing school, college, and then from my Master’s program. Clearly! At each, I remember certain emotions of the day that seem almost prophetic now.
High school: “Thank God I can get legally get out of the house now!”
Nursing School: “Thank God I can get a good job now!”
College: “I did something no one else in my family has ever done – graduate from a school of higher learning! Thank you, God, for giving me the strength and fortitude to do this.”
Masters: “Done! Now I can get married knowing my formal education is done!” ( I never wanted a Ph.D., so I knew I was stopping here.)
I was 27 when I got my Masters degree and married the man who gave my life meaning.
I’m now 57 and all I can think about is how fast those 30 years went by.
Marriage, moves to different states, childbirth, back to work, family obligations, deaths, more births… yadayadayada. Those 30 years flew. Really. Flew by. If the insurance statisticians are correct and the average American born woman lives to 79 years of age, I’ve already lived more than half my life. Way more.
People call this The Second Act of your life. What you’re supposed to do now, since you’ve gotten all the obligatory things out of way, are the things you’ve always wanted to do. Travel, invest, take up those hobbies you never had enough time for before now. Retire, learn to do the things you’ve always dreamed about learning to do. In the great scheme of things I shouldn’t be writing – that should have happened in the first act. But…it didn’t. The writing career I wanted– the one where I could financially support myself with my writing and have it be my primary job, my career, my way of existing — didn’t happen when it was supposed to. No. It happened when I turned 55. Way after graduation. Way after my life was already settled.
At my college commencement, the speaker asked the graduates to evaluate their education. Did it prepare us for the future we wanted? Did we feel we were adequately informed and prepared for what was in front of us? Did we feel we could go out into the world and change it?
My answer was a resounding NO to all those questions. Looking back now, I’m changing that to “HELL, NO!”
Life is longitudinal. You keep moving on that line, having some success, having some failure, reformalizing goals and aspirations, but always moving. Sometimes the line moves up, sometimes down. Sometimes it just moves straight and steady from one point to another without fluctuating. But it always moves and we are always learning.
Our education doesn’t end simply because we’ve been given a piece of paper that says Graduate. No. We are lifetime learners. I learn something new every day. Every friggin’ single day. And yes, some of it I wish I didn’t know!
If I was giving a commencement speech the one thing I would emphatically tell the graduates if this: This is not the end of your education, of your learning, your schooling. Nor is it the beginning. It’s simply part of a continuum. Meet every day as a new challenge, a new learning experience. Keep your eyes, minds, and hearts open to new things, new thoughts, new ways of doing something. Don’t be static. Be dynamic instead. Embrace the new while learning from the old. Plan for the future, yes. Please do that. But don’t forget about the present. Enjoy it, don’t just look at it as a means to an end. Don’t NOT do something you dream about doing because you’re worried you might fail. Do it anyway. Failure is a form of learning; people tend to forget that.
Learn something new every day. Every. Day. You don’t want to get to a certain age in your life and think: “I wish I’d done that. I wish I’d gone after that dream. I can’t now because it’s too late.”
It’s never too late, especially for a dream.
I really think Mother Teresa said it best:
Apparently, it’s National Library Week. This is one celebration I can get behind and actually enjoy. Enjoy writing about; enjoy celebrating.
I’ve mentioned many times before in this blog that I — for all intents and purposes — grew up in my local library. I was what was called ( during my youth) a latchkey kid, meaning, after school, I was on my own, home alone, because both the adults in my life had full-time jobs that didn’t let out until 5 or 6 each night. School let out at 3, so that meant five afternoons a week I needed a babysitter until I got old enough to be left on my own for a few hours, which in my case was at the age of 7.
I’m remembering what my daughter was like at 7 and am horrified that my mother believed it was an appropriate age for independent responsibility, but that’s another blog topic entirely.
Every day after school I would be dismissed after the bell and then trek to my local library to stay until it was time to get on home.
I loved the library.
I loved the safety of it.
I loved all the books.
I loved loved loved the Librarians.
I loved the quiet.
Like Belle in Beauty and the Beast, all I wanted to do was read. I wanted to be transported to other places, live lives that weren’t my own; be loved and cherished like a princess and rule a kingdom with wisdom and grace. I could be anything I wanted to be and I could explore everything. It was in the library that I discovered my imagination and my joy of storytelling.
Once I was through the library doors each afternoon, after a 15 block walk along city streets from my school, I’d let out a sigh, safe in the knowledge that nothing bad could happen to me here. I was secure now, protected. Bad people didn’t come into the library, only good ones. People who wanted to be educated, and who wanted to escape from their everyday, boring lives and live richer, happier, more exciting ones. The library wasn’t the place where the bullies who tormented me in school “hung out.” I was free from the cruel insults, tormenting taunts, and physical violence that had become my daily life at school.
The Librarians all knew me by name and were my first, actual, REAL teachers. I learned facts in school. The Librarians taught me about life. They’d recommend books for me to read and once I was through the kids’ section selection, they moved me onto what would now be called YA ( young adult) novels. I may have been 8 or 9 years old, but I was reading about the lives of pre-teens and teenagers, living in their shoes as they drifted through life, and getting a feel for what was to come my way once I was their age.
The Librarians talked to me about books, asked me my opinion on ones I’d read. They actually valued my thoughts. They showed me the strength there is in knowledge and the beauty there is in imagination. They fostered in me that desire to tell a tale, tell it well, and change a reader’s life. They taught me how to be entertained, and in so doing, how to entertain. They taught me how to gather knowledge, the beauty there is in research, and how to prioritize. To this day, my home library follows a basic Dewey Decimal system. To some, that may be a bit extreme. But to me, it is a real tribute to the librarians who helped form my mind and fed my soul.
In the library, we spoke in hushed tones and whispers. We used the original inside voices. In my house, the voices were more often raised than hushed, loud than peaceful, tormented than quiet.
In the library, I found myself…as a girl, a person, a student, and, ultimately, as a writer.
Every day I thank God for the women and men who worked and still work in local libraries. They are unsung heroes to countless children and adults. Where some may think that the previous statement is a tad theatrical, it isn’t to me. The Librarians I knew as a child were my heroes. They kept me safe, loved and cared about me, and opened a world for me I never knew existed.
Heroes, every last one of them.
So, help me celebrate National Library Week. Support your local libraries by donating old, in-good-condition books, attend book sales and fund drives and become a Friend of the Library. Encourage your children and grandchildren to get Library cards and to use them! Often and with enthusiasm.
Finding your local library is just a Google search away!