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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.

(more…)

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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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Photo courtesy Google Images

Photo courtesy Google Images

Moving is never fun, what with the packing and cleaning, deciding what stays and what goes. It becomes even more complicated when you have to consider that taking stuff means more expense (extra boxes, added weight in the truck, etc.), but leaving stuff means severing an emotional attachment to something. Downsizing or decluttering is good for the body and the soul, but getting rid of stuff can be painful, too. I have things in my drawers and cupboards that I rarely use but I’m keeping simply because they were my mother’s things. Should I pack those things? It seems silly, but they represent a small part of my past, a part of my mother that I can cling to. Is the sentimentality worth it?

Hmmm, what to do, what to do?

Because we are moving into a much larger home than what we have now, we should have room for every single thing. But, that big house we’re moving into is also already furnished. We don’t need our furniture, but some of my furniture is unique; one-of-a-kind items handmade specifically for us. I can’t give that away, nor do I want to. I love some of my furniture. My sofa is super comfortable. My dining room furniture can never be replaced (with the exact same items) and nobody will appreciate it like I do.

Photo courtesy P. Rickrode

Photo courtesy P. Rickrode

Hmmm, what to do, what to do?

And then there’s the closets. For 30 years I’ve worked in a professional environment; two-piece suits, pantyhose, heels, etc. I have lots of really nice professional clothes with matching shoes and accessories. I love my clothes. Will I ever wear them again? Probably not. I paid a lot of money for those clothes and shoes and accessories. Will I ever need them again? Probably not. Is it painful to part with my massive shoe collection? Heck yeah. Should I pack them all and try to find a place to store them at my new home? I don’t know. I have some really cool shoes. I love my shoes. Am I going to wear heels at the inn? Maybe once in a while. But, I love my shoes.

Photo courtesy Google Images

Photo courtesy Google Images

Hmmmm, what to do, what to do?

Finally, there’s the books. This one is a no-brainer. All 99+ boxes of books go into that truck (hey, I’m not the one loading the truck). No sorting, no downsizing, no emotional meltdown for having to part with even a single book. You want to know why? My new house has an honest to goodness, full-fledged LIBRARY!!!!! I can acquire even more books!

Photo courtesy Google Images

Photo courtesy Google Images

Life is good.

Do you find it hard to part with certain things? Do you hold on to things for sentimental reasons? If you had to pack your entire house and move, would you keep every single thing? What advice do you have for me about packing and moving across country? Come on, let me hear it.

Word of the Day: Sabayon

Fun fact about me: I’ve moved about 7 times in my life.

Original post by Jansen Schmidt, June 2015. Photos courtesy Google Images and Patricia Rickrode.

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