Wednesday, March 25, 2015
Tuesday, March 24, 2015
Monday, March 23, 2015
Thursday, March 19, 2015
Wednesday, March 18, 2015
Tuesday, March 17, 2015
Monday, March 16, 2015
Sunday, March 15, 2015
Saturday, March 14, 2015
Tuesday, March 10, 2015
Sunday, March 08, 2015
Saturday, March 07, 2015
Friday, March 06, 2015
I was reading a book recently and realized I was really bored with it. This sparked me into trying to figure out why I get bored with particular books, and I came to the realization that it all comes down to the plot not having a big enough crisis. The main plot problem in your writing needs to be a life or death situation, or it won't be compelling enough to keep reader's attention. The crisis can't be that your aunt will lose all her inheritance if you don't find a certain locket. It also can't be that your girlfriend kidnapped your dog and you have to get him back. These things won't be compelling unless there is some worry that someone will die because of the problem. I don't know why this is. I just know that whenever I'm bored with a book, it's because the crisis isn't life or death. So next time you're working on the plot of your next big novel....keep that in mind. Give your characters some life or death problems to overcome. Your readers will thank you!
Thursday, March 05, 2015
Wednesday, March 04, 2015
Tuesday, March 03, 2015
Tuesday, February 17, 2015
Wednesday, February 11, 2015
Tuesday, February 10, 2015
Monday, February 09, 2015
It's important to laugh with your kids. It teaches them how to have a healthy perspective, to not take themselves too seriously, and to have fun. It's also really great bonding time and is a great way to break up tense moments, and it can help a child lower their guard, so that he feels safe confiding in you. Here are 6 ways we like to laugh together.
1. Tell your "Best, Worst, and Wierdest" moments of the day during dinner
2. Watch hilarious Youtube videos together.
3. Watch funny clean humor shows like Studio C.
4. Read comics like Calvin and Hobbes together.
5. Email each other funny internet pictures like the one above.
6. On Sunday nights, we like to read aloud from funny authors like Dave Barry or Patrick McMannus.
What are your favorite ways to share humor with your family?
Saturday, February 07, 2015
Tuesday, February 03, 2015
Publishers don't just want you to be able to write the book. They want you to be able to sell the book. So when you write your book proposal to publishers and agents, they will want to know your marketing skills and willingness to get out there and sell. Unfortunately, most authors are introverts, so this presents a problem. Luckily, a lot of marketing today is online through social media and blogs (i.e. blog tours), and that is one solution for authors who have trouble speaking in front of large groups.
Here is a great article about 3 Questions you should answer when writing a book proposal, which should help. And don't worry if you're not saavy about marketing yet. There are lots of articles online about how to market your book. It's pretty easy once you get started. One last word of advice...join an author group. They will help you with the ins and outs of book marketing and also be willing to promote you on their blogs, once your book is published. It's a great first step, and one you can tell your publishers about when you propose your book to them. Good luck!
Saturday, January 31, 2015
Wednesday, January 28, 2015
Tuesday, January 27, 2015
Saturday, January 24, 2015
Thursday, January 22, 2015
Wednesday, January 21, 2015
Need fun ideas for teaching and playing with your kids? (Or for giving them the gift of "Time" with mom or dad?) I've pinned almost a thousand pins on fun activities to do with your children. Follow my "Kids" pinterest board here.
Friday, January 16, 2015
Wednesday, January 14, 2015
Tuesday, January 13, 2015
Monday, January 12, 2015
Saturday, January 10, 2015
The magazine market is a great place to make some real money as you wait for your books to be published or royalties to come in. Here are some tips on how to get started:
Typically, if a writer is trying to break into a magazine it takes a few tries to figure out the "hook" and style for each particular publication, and the hook and style will change with each magazine. What a writer will usually do, is experiment a bit as they try to figure out the market. They will send a "feeler" biece to a magazine to see if they get any interest. Usually if the mag is intrigued by the subject they will respond. Even a negative response is good. If a magazine or newspaper isn't interested at all, they will not reply.
Typically, it takes a few tries to get it right. But once you do, you then "know" that market and will be successful most often afterward. Also, once you get it right, it behooves you to send more articles, so the publishers can become familiar with you, and you can build a relationshiop with them. This is how I've become successful in the particular niche that I have written for previously.
Also, be aware that you have to repeat this whole process for each new mag, so it takes time and some experimenting and failing with each new market, until you figure it out. Sometimes writers do get lucky and figure it out on the first try, but this is rare. Usually a writer breaks in by writing for the small columns in the back of the mag, and once the publishers are familiar with the writer, they start accepting bigger pieces.
I hope these tips are useful as you try to break into the really exciting world of writing for magazines!
Thursday, January 08, 2015
Wednesday, January 07, 2015
Tuesday, January 06, 2015
Monday, January 05, 2015
Have you read this? I hear it's so good! Instant best-seller. It's on my "read next" list. I can't wait until it comes in the mail. The author lives in Boise, ID and says he doesn't know why everyone likes it so much. My sister said she tried to check it out from the library and was 101 on the waiting list. Wow!
Saturday, January 03, 2015
I know, I know, I already have two blogs going, a writing one and a parenting one, but now I've started a SEWING blog because my daughter got a new sewing machine for Christmas and I wanted to document our projects together. Click Here to check it out! Below is one of our first posts!
Here's a picture of my 12 year old daughter. Together our first project was this zippered pouch below. I think it turned out rather well! What do you think?
Below is the tutorial we used. (Click the caption to go there)
Friday, January 02, 2015
2 onions, minced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 T olive oil
1T tomato paste
(Cook the above in the microwave for 5 minutes to bloom the flavors, then place in crockpot)
1 can mushrooms
4 C chicken broth
4 C Vegetable broth
4oz. bacon, uncooked, chopped
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 cup brown lentils
2 bay leaves
8oz swiss chard, chopped (opt. I don't use this)
Salt and Pepper to taste
Add remaining ingredients and cook on low for 9-11 hours, or high for 5-7 hours.
Tuesday, December 30, 2014
I LOVED this post about Family Meal Time and how you can make it work. I agree that our family meals together make a HUGE difference. This is one way families bond together and family bonding helps kids resist peer pressure! Click Here to read it!
Monday, December 29, 2014
Friend to her son in his bed: Why are you crying?
Son: Because... Santa is going to bring me a lump of coal tomorrow and then everyone will know I've been naughty!
Nothing like last minute regrets....
Saturday, December 27, 2014
Friday, December 26, 2014
How can you tell if your writing is good? Here are three ways I use to make sure my writing is clean and that people will love it.
1. Get Beta-reader input- This is essential. You cannot see all the flaws in your own writing. Get a tough skin and seek criticism.
2. Clean it up- Omit flowery stuff, unnecessary descriptions, scenes, and words, such as "that" or "Really" or "Very". Go over it and clean it up at least 7-10 times. You'll be amazed how you find new things to omit each time. Omit anything that doesn't advance the plot.
3. Let it sit- I have to let my humor writing sit for like a week or even a month and then read it again. Fresh eyes really help to see if it is as funny as I thought the first time. I do this several times.
4. Map out your Scenes and Sequences- This is to make sure you have your pacing right. Put each scene and sequence on a sticky note and place them in a line. Try to determine if you need to speed up or slow down the pace in any area. Remember scenes speed up the pace and sequences slow it down.
Wednesday, December 24, 2014
Merry Christmas blog friends! I hope these holidays are wonderful for you and your family. We've had almost 24,000 visitors since this blog first started a few years ago. I feel blessed by so many of you who also consider parenting, humor, and writing your passion!
Tuesday, December 23, 2014