I am so lucky to have been invited to D.G. Kaye’s blog. In case you are unfamiliar with her you are missing out on someone whose blog is versatile, useful and always interesting. She is a great supporter of writers (Indie and other), provides a panoply of writing and blogging tips, writes about her amusing travel adventures and is very outspoken about things she does not agree with. In short, she is a person who cares.
She is also the author of several memoirs, all of which are worth your time in reading. I have read everyone of them and have laughed, been provoked and become tearful at times. She is that kind of eclectic writer that digs deep into your emotional roots.
Thank you, Debby, for sharing your blog with me today. I appreciate it from the bottom of my heart. ❤
Source: Q and A with D.G. Kaye – Featuring Carol Balawyder – Warning Signs #Thriller
Award Plaque by Sally Cronin
Thank you to D.G. Kaye at dgkayewriter for nominating me for the Blogger Recognition Award.
With each award there are rules of courtesy to follow. Here are the rules:
1. Thank the blogger(s) who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
2. Write a post to show your award.
3. Give a brief story of how your blog started.
4. Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.
5. Select up to fifteen bloggers you want to give this award to.
6. Comment (or pingback) on each blog to let them know that you’ve nominated them and provide a link to the post you’ve created.
How my blog got started
This was one of my first posts on a blog I named A Girl Called Brenda.
Posted on July 24, 2010
Writer: A Profession Like No Other
Brenda had just completed all the revisions on her novel. She’d been working steadily on it for three and a half years and now it was finished. She had sent her synopsis to a publishing house and the editor now asked to see her manuscript. She felt elated.
The next morning her sister called. “I’m having a bar-b-q for the family,” she said. “Do you want to come?”
“Guess what?” Brenda said, “I’ve finished my novel.”
“That’s nice,” her sister said. “What do you want to bring?”
“I’ve got a publisher and I’m sending it this morning to the editor.”
“Bring potato salad. Our mother’s recipe.”
At the bar-b-q Brenda placed her potato salad on the table and took off the plastic wrap over it. Her aunt who was standing next to her said, “How have you been, dear?’
“I’ve just sent out a manuscript to a publisher.”
“It’s nice to have a hobby,” her aunt said. “Your potato salad looks good. Is that your mother’s recipe?”
Then a cousin whom she hadn’t seen in a long time spotted her. “Hey,” he said, “How it do, Brendy? Long time no see.”
There were reasons for that, Brenda thought but was keeping them to herself. No sense ruining her sister’s bar-b-q. “Yeah, well, I’ve been busy writing my crime novel. I sent it out yesterday.”
“No shit, Sherlock. I always thought I could write a novel. Can’t be too difficult. I’ve got a few crazy tales up here myself,” he said pointing to his head.
“I bet,” Brenda said. “Excuse me,” she told her cousin, “I have to talk to grandma.”
“I heard you say that you finished your manuscript,” her grandmother told her.
At last, someone in her family was taking an interest in her writing.
“I did, grandma,” Brenda said glowing. “Three and a half years and I finally sent it out.”
“Oh my, how many pages is it?” her grandmother asked her.
“Five hundred and thirty,” Brenda said. “Double spaced.”
Her grandmother’s face lit up. “Do you have any ruined sheets?”
“What do you mean?”
“I just thought that maybe if you had any extra pages that didn’t come out you can give them to me to line my budgie’s cage. Newspaper is so messy.”
It was also on this blog that I posted my Ten Great First Dates series which I eventually migrated to my current blog and shut down A Girl Called Brenda.
Two pieces of advice for new bloggers:
- Check out all the WordPress Tutorials for beginners on YouTube. There’s lots of easy to follow advice.
- Remember that you are not the only one who bloggers are reading so be efficient. Avoid Anna Karenina length posts on your blog. Short and sweet is better than seemingly endless.
I’ve chosen to nominate some new bloggers I’ve discovered whose blogs are inspiring, positive and beautiful.
Lost in Nowhere
Site Title: Pictures
Daffodils are my favorite flower. Last fall I planted dozens of daffodil bulbs at my family grave. Today, when I went to check on the daffodils I was delighted to find a host of golden daffodils lighting up the aisle.
I picked enough for a bouquet and left the rest behind for joy and beauty.
Here’s William Wordsworth’s famous poem on daffodils:
I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
Continuous as the stars that shine
and twinkle on the Milky Way,
They stretched in never-ending line
along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
in such a jocund company:
I gazed—and gazed—but little thought
what wealth the show to me had brought:
For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.
Wishing you all a joyous weekend.
Just thought I’d pass this along:
Free Webinar on how to write a crime novel presented by The Writers’ Academy at Penguin-Random House. Thursday March 29.
It sounds interesting.
Here’s more info:
Do you write under a pen name? And if so, why?
An article in Writer’s Relief lists reasons why writers choose to adopt pen names. It could be, as they point out, that another author “owns” your name. For example, it would be difficult for someone named Agatha Christie to write under her real name.
Or, as a high school teacher who writes erotica, you’d want to conceal your identity. I hope.
Or maybe, you write in a genre that has basically a male audience and you are a woman. Joanne Rowling used the initials J.K. (K after her grandmother Katherine) because she feared that boys would not want to read Harry Potter if it was written by (horror!) a girl. Similarly, Mary Ann Evans used a male name because she wanted to be taken seriously and wrote under the name of George Eliot. Of course, that was in the 1860’s and that doesn’t happen anymore, right?
Should you be interested in using a pen name you might want to consult Ellen Sedwick’s Self-Publishers Legal handbook for the legal aspects on using a pen name .
Here are some well known pen names:
Amanda Cross: Carolyn Gold Heilbrun
Isak Dinesen: Karen Christenze von Blixen-Finecke
Ann Rice: Howard Allen Frances O’Brien
John le Carré: David Cornwell
And pen names that hide more famous real names:
Rosamond Smith: Joyce Carol Oates
Richard Backman: Stephen King
And there are authors who write under several pen names.
Click to read an excerpt from Marie Lavender’s latest book.
What are your thoughts on a pen name for yourself?
Two things have been happening since my last blog post eons ago.
Moving is much like doing a major spring cleaning of every room in your house. Every nook and cranny and every spec of dust. In a way, it was very liberating and made me practice minimalism. It struck me as incredible and depressing to see how much stuff I’d accumulated throughout the years.
I moved into a smaller apartment and so I needed to downsize and trim my possessions. I still haven’t been able to let go of a small beige colored handbag which I haven’t used in years but it used to belong to my mother. What am I holding unto?
And then there was the move itself during Montreal’s heaviest snowstorm of the season!
Oops! Sorry, wrong photo!
My poor dog, Bau, didn’t at all like the move.
Wake me when it’s over!
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
The second reason why I haven’t been posting on my blog is that I had nothing to say.
Then, I received an e-mail from Thelma Mariano, the editor of my women’s fiction novels:
Thelma was recently interviewed by Duke Diercks where, along with 12 other editors, was asked this question:
What is the #1 mistake that you see first-time authors make?
Here’s part of her answer:
Most first-time novelists underestimate the amount of work required to bring their completed draft to a publishable level. This leads to what I believe is the #1 problem with early manuscripts: a lack of story tension.
If we lack a “story-worthy” problem, something strong enough to pull a reader through hundreds of pages, needing to know what happens next, no amount of editing will make it better.
Click here to read more on Thelma’s answer
and here on the editing process