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Posts Tagged ‘books’

I’ve had a hard couple of weeks. Some of you know, my super sweet, almost 15-year-old Labrador Retriever, Sherlock, had to be put to rest on the 11th of October. It was one of the hardest days of my life. I’ve never had to make THAT decision before. Here’s a picture of him in his glory days.

Thor's Visit 012 (640x480)

Sherlock and miniature Thor. Photo by P. Rickrode.

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fireworks courthouseSo here we are on the cusp of another Independence Day holiday. For most folks this simply means a day off with pay. For some it means a full day of work at time and a half wages. For others it means a trip to the lake, the mountains, or the backyard swimming pool. It often includes BBQ, iced cold beer, ice cream and other yummy backyard cuisine. (more…)

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choosing a bookAbout a month ago I blogged about the importance of a good title, in relation to articles and books. A lot of that post was poking fun at embarrassing headlines from newspapers, but the point got made – how something is titled is important. Because I’m on the brink of publishing my first novel, I’m at the point where I need to start making some very important decisions about not only titles, but the items that will make or break someone’s decision to buy my book. The items that create a good first impression. The things that will make my book stand out from the rest on an already crowded shelf. (more…)

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count blessings memeWe’ve probably all heard the expression, “Don’t count days, make the days count.” Well, I believe that’s a good motto. It reminds us to be thankful every single day for all of the blessings that happen around us, most of which, sadly, we don’t even pay attention to. (more…)

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mother reading to childIt’s no secret that writers love books. Most are book hoarders if you want to know the truth. Books are our crack. My love affair with books began at a very young age. I blame my mother. She used to read to me every single night even after I was more than able to read by myself. It was our nighttime ritual.  (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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forgetting stuff memeSo another week is upon us and I find myself wondering: what left behind items am I going to find today? Last week was epic for people forgetting stuff. We hit the Mother Lode of things forgotten. Every day we came upon some poor item left behind in one of the guest rooms.

Oh sure, we’ve found items before now, but nothing of significance. Quite a few times I find little pills on the floor or on the bathroom vanity or even in the bed. I’ve often wondered if I should call the departed guest to let them know that someone forgot to take their medicine (I’d hate for someone to have a heart attack because they failed to take their preventative pill). But then I follow that up with, “what if an extra pill just dropped out of the bottle and if I call them, they’ll panic and take an extra one and have a heart attack or something because I’ve frightened them?” It’s such a quandary.

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Here’s this week’s message of happiness. Enjoy!

Now, get out there and jump, read, travel – be HAPPY!

What makes you happy? How do you spread happiness to those around you?

Here’s an added bonus, because this is one of the things that always makes me smile:

Photo courtesy Google Images.

Photo courtesy Google Images.

Word of the Day: Dacha

Fun fact about me: I’m a sucker for baby anythings.

Original post by Jansen Schmit. Video courtesy YouTube. Photo courtesy Google Images.

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I’m a word snob; I admit it. But, I have to be. I’m a writer, it comes with the territory. If’n I didn’t talk good nobody’d buy my books. But here in the south, folks, even well educated folks, look at you funny if you speak proper English.

Image courtesy Google Images

Image courtesy Google Images

Here, people like to run words together. I find it amusing to listen to the locals talk. I know what they’re saying, but it’s ain’t said right. Here, they use words like “witchore,” and “atchu.” I’ve started a mental dictionary because I hear repeated piggybacked words all run together a lot. Here’s a partial list:

Photo courtesy Google Images

Photo courtesy Google Images

Witchore – “What kind of dressing you want witchore salad?”

Tars – “Yesterday I had two flat tars on my car.”

Atchu – “I’m looking atchu.”

Deygohn – “Are the Rickrodes still in California?” “No. Deygohn.”

Andem – “Who’s coming for dinner?” “Patricia andem.”

Ohl – “You put a little ohl on that and it’ll slide easier.”

Gwan – “Gwan down the Frontage road to Wal-Mart.”

Sumpin – “You want sumpin to drink?”

I’m trying my darndest not to laugh at these colloquialisms but sometimes a smile still creeps onto my face. So far I haven’t had to explain myself, but I’m sure one of these days, someone will ask me what I find amusing.

What about you dear readers, what expressions make you smile? What wrong words drive you crazy? The one I find the most annoying is using “axe” for “ask.” Drives. Me. Nuts. Don’t axe me why.

Word of the Day: Bonbonniere

Fun Fact About Me: I secretly enjoy silently making fun of the way people talk. Hey, I’m a self-admitted word snob.

Original post by Jansen Schmidt, August 2015. Photos courtesy Google Images

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