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Archive for the ‘writers’ Category

odd facts

Yes, I’m doing it again. I’m posting odd, bizarre, strange, weird facts that will boggle your minds. And, because I believe no zany fact is ever complete without my obscure and witty commentary, I’ve added that for your enjoyment. Feel free to pass along these tidbits of information to your friends and loved ones.  (more…)

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sigh-in-relief

Whew! I’m glad that’s over. Ever have one of those weeks? My last week was jam packed with inn guests, meetings and special events. I mean jam packed!! (more…)

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beach-writer

Lots of people think authors live a glamorous life; sitting in a beach chair, toes in the sand, large floppy hat, cool beverage with little umbrella in the glass with a laptop or tablet on their lap, just tap, tap, tapping away on the keys until – BAM – 90,000 words later, a best-selling masterpiece appears. The next day someone slaps a gorgeous glossy cover on it and plasters it all over the Barnes & Noble front window.

bookstore-window

Then, after several hours of tap, tap, tapping, said author dons oversized dark glasses and some sparkly flip flop sandals, gets into their luxury sports car and dashes off to some posh restaurant for lunch with their editor, agent, and some movie producer from Hollywood to discuss the details of turning your latest masterpiece into a Hollywood blockbuster.

power-lunch

Spoiler alert – that NEVER happens. Oh sure, JK Rowling probably does that NOW, but not when she first started. Steven King is a household name and James Patterson’s name gets tossed around a lot on movie sets and such, but seriously, that didn’t happen overnight.

So, how did it happen? I’ll tell you – I have no idea. Believe me, I wish I did. I wish I knew what secret, besides hard work and perseverance would shoot me straight up that ladder to the beach chair in the sun because God knows I would love love to dig my toesies into some white sand right about now. Not to mention that little umbrella drink.

Here’s what I do know, those people spent many, many long days and sleepless nights fussing over the right words, the parts they deleted and maybe shouldn’t have, the opening scenes that should work but for some reason don’t, a reviewers harsh comment, hours of endless re-writing.

working-woman

In other words, they worked hard and they didn’t quit. They didn’t let disappointment ruin their vision.

And, despite how it seems to authors most days, they didn’t reach a certain level of fame alone. What? You’re saying others helped along the way? Absolutely. A lot of people probably helped and didn’t even know they helped. Strangers can help strangers. Readers can help writers. Here’s how:

helping-hand

Buy books, read books, talk about awesome books.

A great way to take it up a notch, is to leave a review. It’s easy, it’s free, it doesn’t take that long, and it goes a long way in helping authors’ careers. Here’s a few places where you can leave a review: https://www.goodreads.com/https://www.amazon.com/; or http://allreaders.com/.

Go to book signings if you can and BUY THE BOOK, even if you gift it to someone else.

Spread the word on social media. A “like,” a “share,” a comment, helps boost that author’s visibility. It seems trivial, but like election time, every vote matters. (Please don’t make this political people. God knows we don’t want to go there again.)

book-with-bowGift a book. A great way to help authors is to buy books for someone else. Especially in this day and age of electronic gadgets, almost everyone has an e-reader of some fashion. If not, you can download a free app to most smart phones. Heck, you can read books on your home computer. What better gift for a person who has everything or no longer wishes to “collect things?” Again, it’s easy and relatively inexpensive. Some e-books are less than a dollar. Gifting an e-book is super easy through Amazon or other on-line e-book retailers. All you need is the recipient’s e-mail address. What a lovely surprise for the recipient to open their e-mail and discover a gift! And it won’t clutter up a closet or shelf.

 

comment-boxHere’s how I’m going to help some authors this week: Every person who posts a comment on this blog between now and Friday, February 24th, will be gifted an e-book of my choice. Simply leave a comment and mention your favorite genre so I can choose an appropriate book for you from one of my favorite starving authors. Some of you I can wager a pretty good guess about genre, but others not so much. If I don’t already have your e-mail address, send me an e-mail at jansen.schmidt@yahoo.com so I can make sure your e-book arrives. (Caveat: I will only be gifting from Amazon so you’ll have to have a Kindle in order to participate. Sorry to those who prefer other e-reader methods.)

You in turn can help the author of the book I gifted to you by posting a review and I strongly encourage you to do so. I’m acting on good faith here that you will leave a review. If you do not wish to write a review and post it on any or all of the sites I listed above, please let me know if the comments. (Caveat: If you absolutely hate the book I gift you, please do NOT leave a bad review. An honest review yes, but not a scathing one.) Remember, the purpose of this week’s blog is to help each other out. I’m helping readers, you’re helping writers.

trust-quote

That’s it. Easy peasy. You can pass the word to your friends if they want a free book all they have to do is leave a comment and their e-mail address. I’ll do the rest.

So, thanks in advance to all who post a comment and enjoy your books!

How do you help starving authors? Do you routinely leave reviews? Do you attend book signings? Do you have an e-reader?

Word of Day: Acroter

Fun fact about me: I have 3 e-readers but I prefer paper books.

Original post by Jansen Schmidt, February 2017. Photos courtesy Google Images.

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1sts and lasts 1

Two or three or fourteen weeks ago, I posted some opening and closing sentences from my manuscript entitled On Hallowed Ground. That book is the second in a series (the Grounded series) that has been professionally edited and is nearing its final phase of production before presentation to the world. Stay tuned for more info on that. (more…)

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So, tomorrow’s the big day; America’s getting a new Commander in Chief. I don’t know about you, but I for one am terrified to see the results. Either way, I’m going to be holding by breath for the next four years.

But, enough about that. Let’s let that fracas happen tomorrow shall we? Today, let’s have some wacky fun. I’ve already told y’all how much I like trivia, so here are some more totally random oddball facts for you to do with what you see fit. Feel free to laugh, scratch your head, research, whatever.

Everyone has a unique tongue print, just like fingerprints.

Most Muppets are left-handed. (Because more Muppeteers are right-handed, so they operate the head with their favored hand.)

Female kangaroos have three vaginas.

During World War II, the crew of the British submarine HMS Trident kept a fully grown reindeer called Pollyanna aboard their vessel for six weeks. (It was a gift from the Russian government.)

reindeer

The first man to urinate on the moon was Buzz Aldrin, shortly after stepping onto the lunar surface. (So he was holding it all that time and needed to relieve himself? Seriously? I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty sure peeing isn’t what I’d have been doing if I stepped onto the moon’s surface. I mean no gravity. Think about that. Where’d it all go? On to his space suit? But hey, whatever.)

In 1567, the man said to have the longest beard in the world died after he tripped over it while running away from a fire. (I can’t make this stuff up.)

cousin-it

In 1993, San Francisco held a referendum over whether a police officer called Bob Geary was allowed to patrol while carrying a ventriloquist’s dummy called Brendan O’Smarty. (He was by the way, in case you’re wondering.)

The Dutch village of Giethoorn has no roads; its buildings are connected entirely by canals and footbridges. (And don’t you just want to go there now after seeing these pictures?)

The first American film to show a toilet being flushed on screen was Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho.

The top of the Eiffel Tower leans away from the sun, as the metal facing the sun heats up and expands. It can move as much as seven inches.

eiffel-tower

Lt. Col. “Mad” Jack Churchill was the only British soldier in WWII known to have killed an enemy soldier with a longbow. “Mad Jack” insisted on going into battle armed with both a medieval bow and a claymore sword. (God bless “Mad Jack.” I wonder if he also wore a kilt?)

There are around 60,000 miles of blood vessels in the human body. If you took them all out and laid them end to end, they’d stretch around the world more than twice. (But, seriously, don’t do that.)

So there you have it. A whole bunch of useless knowledge to clutter up your brains. I know, silly, but, I took your mind of the political circus for a few minutes anyway, huh?

What crazy thoughts do you want to share? Any random weirdness happening in your world? Who wants to go with me to Giethoorn? Have kayak will travel.

Thanks for stopping by. Until next week – here’s to random weirdness.

Word of the day: Lytta

Fun fact about me: I fed a reindeer lettuce when I was in Alaska.

Original post by Jansen Schmidt, November 2016. Photos courtesy Google Images.

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It’s all about piddling around sometimes. It shouldn’t be, but it is. I can waste so much time piddling around doing nothing.

woman-on-tricycle

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I know, I know, being your own cheerleader is hard. That’s why we have friends and support groups and such. But, sometimes, only YOU can talk yourself off the ledge.

swear-wordsLast week I ventured down a path I rarely travel and there’s a reason for that; it’s the road of disappointment and discouragement. Usually I keep the gate shut on that life exit, but sometimes the wind blows it open and that little bastard demon living inside me wants to go exploring. Damn that little demon! (more…)

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I need a lesson in Facebook etiquette.

FB rules

I mean, think about it, anybody can join Facebook but when you sign up you aren’t handed a list of rules or an instruction manual or anything. So how does one know, besides the obvious common sense stuff like pornography, copyright infringement, bullying, etc., what is appropriate FB behavior and what is not?  People post whatever the hell they want whether others wish to see it or not; freedom of speech and press and whatnot. I know you can unfriend and unlike and hide posts and all, but once you’ve seen the post, you can’t unsee it. But that’s not what I’m talking about.

Let me explain.

rules

Recently I decided that I haven’t been giving my FB author page enough love, so I decided to spend a little more time over there. I try to be upbeat and positive and not offend anyone when I post on that particular page. Nothing religious, political, offensive, snarky – well maybe snarky – but you get it. Anyway, I decided to reach out to some of my FB “friends” who haven’t yet “liked” my author page. So, I sent out invitations to “like” my page. That’s appropriate right? There were a lot of names on my “friends” list to invite; some of them, honestly, I didn’t even recognize. I guess at some point those folks requested to be my friend and I accepted.

Anyhoo, most people either ignored the invite, didn’t see the invite, or “liked” my page. Good right? Well, apparently not for everyone. Here’s one of the responses I got back: “Please don’t invite me to like your page when you haven’t been to mine.

Excuse me?

woman shocked

First of all, I’ve never even heard of this person, other than their name appearing on my “friends” list. I’ve never seen any posts on any social media platform from this person. I guess at some point, SHE must have come across me and requested that I be her friend, because I never send “friend” requests to people I haven’t seen somewhere else before. NEVER. Assuming she sent the “friend” request (and she did), I must have done some snooping around and deemed her an appropriate “friend”, because she is on my current list of “friends.” I usually only “friend” people I’ve “seen around” in cyber world, met in person, was recommended to find by someone I trust, or owns a reputable business. That’s pretty much it.

Second, why did she make the assumption I “haven’t been to” her page? Maybe I did visit and I chose NOT to “like” it. See, this is where that rule book would come in handy. Am I obligated to “like” a page just because I visited it? What if I truly don’t like her page? What if I don’t like what she posts or what she stands for? Why in God’s name would I “like” that?

Which brings up another point where I must defer to the rule book. Is it a requirement that people reciprocate in kind? I mean, just because someone “likes” my page, does that mean I HAVE to like their page?

egotistical friend meme

Third, why do I have to “like” her page FIRST? I mean, can’t she “like” me and then I “like” her back? I guess if the world really does revolve around her, that logic would make sense, but seriously? Someone has to be the first to “like” right? And, let me restate that SHE originally sought me out, not the other way around. Shouldn’t she, in theory, “like” me first?

Fourth, did she ever invite me to “like” her page? I’m pretty sure if she had, I would have hit the “like” button, after all, I did choose to “friend” her. Why would I “friend” her but not “like” her? Seriously, who “friends” someone they don’t like?

Fifth, which ties in to number four above, perhaps I didn’t even know she had a page. Why not “like” me FIRST then encourage me to “like” her page in return. I’m pretty certain, I’d have hit that “like” button. See how simple that would have been? Now, after her in-your-face, egotistic, narcissistic (is that the same thing?) comment, I’m not so inclined to “like” anything about her or her page. Just saying.

ego meme

It’s all so terribly confusing sometimes. What’s your opinion of the whole “friending,” “liking” business on Facebook? Has it ever confused you? How do you decide when to hit the button and become friends with a complete stranger? Do you accept invitations to “like” pages? Do you have “friends” but choose not to “like” their pages?

Word of the Day: Chiropodist

Fun Fact about Me: I gained a whole bunch of new “likes” on my FB author page in the past couple of days. Yay! (That’s good right?)

Original post by Jansen Schmidt, September 2016. Images courtesy Google Images.

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Here at the Baer-Williams House I’ve noticed an interesting and curious trend; people don’t sleep between the sheets.

feet in sheets

Say what? (more…)

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start

As a writer, it’s important to know where to start your story. “You start at the beginning,” is the obvious answer, but as all writers know, it’s not that simple. You see, stories always “start” way before the real story starts. Characters have lives before you meet them on the page. (more…)

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