Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A Blogger/Writer Review

As I sit to write the last blog post of the year, I ponder over what to write. I think of what the New Year means to me - new goals, new achievements, and new discoveries. So, what does the end of the year bring? A review over past accomplishments

I began my blogging journey in August 2009 as a way to reach out to the writing world and to document my progress as an aspiring writer. Along my journey, I've gained special friends, shared writing thoughts, and moved from aspiring writer to published Author. It's been a wonderful journey and I owe you, 'the reader and friend,' for making it so.

I'd like to point out the top five blog posts over the journey of this blog.

1) Interview with Cindy Huefner Cromer - Part One
2) Interview with Terry W. Ervin II
3) Plotter or Pantster
4) How important is your email address?
5) Interview with Cindy Huefner Cromer - Part Two

In my writing journey of 2011, I've moved from published short stories to published novellas. I've took up freelance editing, which has taught me as much as the writing during the year. I also finish the year with two partial novels.

I've learned many things this year. Remember opinions vary amongst writers, so it's okay to disagree with my learning experience. We are each unique, if not, what kind of world would this be?

1) A short story is a different species than the novel. (This opinion may change as I stretch my skills toward novel writing. At this moment, novels are a heck of a lot harder to write than a short story.)

2) Writing is Rewriting (I've always believed this, but when I moved to longer works, I went from believing to knowing. While writing my two novellas, I learned to write fast and hard first. Then do the real work with the rewriting - fill in gaps, build characters, add flesh.)

3) For this writer, plotting is a no, no. (I've studied it and tried it this year. It squashes my chances of completion. I must dig the bones out by writing and then connect the joints. Maybe one day I will move to a plotter, but for now I'll stick with what works.)

4) Never give up. (This should be at the top of the list. One of my stories published this year was born many years ago. It went through a few revisions after multiple rejections, but for the most part it stayed the same story. The point is keep sending your story out, sometimes it just has to find the right home.)

5) Organization is an important part of a writer's life. (I've spent the last two weeks sorting through my mess of ideas and writing jots from years' past. 2011 wasn't too bad. I kept good records and placed items in folders and such. But when going through my mess of before this year, I found stuff from 1998. To be honest, I'm not sure where I found the time to write anything that year, but there it was. I wanted to get this done quickly so I did my best not to read over anything, just get it in order and all in one location. Of course, I couldn't help myself from time to time and found some great ideas to work with for the New Year. So, do yourself a favor and stay organized.)

This list could go on and on, but we'll stop with the top five lessons learned.

One final bit of advice: read, listen to music, or explore paintings - surround yourself with creativity - feed your muse. I am guilty of not digesting enough during this year, but plan to fix this issue in 2012. To be creative you really must study creativity. I leave you this year with a quote from Ray Bradbury.

Best wishes to all. See you next year.

“If you stuff yourself full of poems, essays, plays, stories, novels, films, comic strips, magazines, music, you automatically explode every morning like Old Faithful. I have never had a dry spell in my life, mainly because I feed myself well, to the point of bursting. I wake early and hear my morning voices leaping around in my head like jumping beans. I get out of bed quickly, to trap them before they escape.”
—Ray Bradbury

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Hope Everyone has a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Romance Junkies Winter Wonderland Contest

The Romance Junkies Winter Wonderland Contest runs all the way to January 20th. Don't miss out on some great prizes.

To get started, click on the photo or this link:  http://www.romancejunkies.com/winternewsletter/mainpage.htm

You'll find me on Main Street, and then click on the Big Red Bow, or follow this link: http://www.romancejunkies.com/winternewsletter/CherGreen.html

Hope to see you at the gathering!

Merry Christmas.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

How important are the goals you set?

As we prepare to finish up the year and step toward a new one, this is a great time to review and/or set goals. As an artist, it is important to set attainable goals. If you make goals too large, you may feel stressed and this can lead to not achieving those goals.

One way to avoid this is to make two goal lists.

The first is a list of what you wish to achieve in a long period of time, like by the end of the year. Be as specific with your list as you can and make the goal personally achievable.

Bad goal - Publish a novel. (This depends too much on someone else, unless you plan to self-publish.)
Good goal - Write a novel. (The writing is up to you, not another.)

The second list would be the tasks which need to be achieved to reach the larger goal(s).

A breakdown of the goal - write a novel. Depending on your process - plotter or pantser - this goal needs to be broke down into smaller tasks.

A plotter's list may look like: plot beginning, plot middle, plot end, character charts, etc. The smaller you can break down the tasks, the easier it will be to stick to your goals.

A panster, moving straight into the writing, may go with something like: write 500 words per day, or write 2000 words per week. As you move forward the goals will change, like: edit/revise chapter one, chapter two, etc.

These goals need to be adapted to your life, or your life will need to be adapted to your goal settings.

Focus is important when setting your goals. Prioritizing is also important. If you have more than one goal for the year, such as a different interest you wish to explore, itemize these goals according to importance. If you scatter yourself too much, you may find the goals unattainable. 

I wish you all good luck with setting and achieving your goals.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

eTreasures Twelve Day Blog Tour Contest

Come join us for the eTreasures Twelve Day Blog Tour to hear thoughts about Christmas from some of eTreasures' Authors and your chance to win free eBooks. There are multiple ways to win. Go to the opening post for details.

The tour began on December 14th with words from Pembroke Sinclair and a chance to win Bride and Dark Secrets Anthology, which includes my Seduced by Darkness novella.

On December December 15th, we put a little scare in your holiday with Christopher Hivner and a chance to win The Spaces Between Your Screams.

Yesterday, the tour continued with some words from me and a chance to win Sweet Hearts In Bloom Anthology, which includes Escape to Love.

I'm sure there are more authors and some great prizes ahead of us in this twelve day tour. Come join us in the fun and grab your chance for freebies. Visit main blog for latest postings.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Exercising Your 'Writing' Muscles

How important is it to exercise your 'writing' muscles?

Feeling a little out of sync lately, I'm wondering if I've fallen out of shape. I haven't been writing every day. I've discovered a few idea germs, but haven't found the right spark.

So, first, I ask you, what do you do when you are in-between projects, or taking a break from an ongoing project? Do you take a complete break? Busy yourself with playtime writing and exercises? Blog or write to a friend?

One exercise I do frequently, but not as much as I should, is the ten minute writing section. You write whatever comes to mind, not stopping until the end of the full ten minutes is up. To be honest, this is where most of my ideas germinate, but not all sessions produce a spark. The 'left behind' are always great for later motivation, and occasionally you'll find that spark the second or third time around.

There are many different kinds of exercises out in cyberspace and in how-to books. Some target your emotions and life, others work on character building and world building, and still others throw your character into situations to see how they react. I've tried a few, but felt I was wasting precious writing time.

I'm here to say, I'm rethinking the issue. You may end up writing words never destined to be published, but then again you may discover a missing scene you hadn't come up with yet. Besides, if you are stuck and feeling out of sync - not writing at all - what's the harm in doing some exercises?

I'd love to hear from some of you writers out there. Do you exercise when not working on a project? Do you consider your project your exercise? What exercises have you used? What exercises do you recommend?

Notice to all writers (or readers): If you are interesting in guest blogging/interviewing to help promote your work or to simply entertain/inform, email me (chergreen@chergreen.com) and we'll set something up.

Have a great week all!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Technical Difficulties

Yes, once again, I'm having technical difficulties here at Footsteps of a Writer, and of course at my other blog.

Warning - Never, ever, paste an image onto your blogger blog.

It took me a good while to figure out what was causing my problem, but finally found the issue. On Thanksgiving, I pasted rather than uploaded the images on the blog(s). This caused the html coding to be extremely long, which caused my feed to be too big, which made bother feed burner and twitter to quit using the feed. Leave it to me to cause such a problem, right?

The worst part is I made many changes elsewhere before I discovered the true problem. So, now the feed to my blog is not the same. Anyone subscribed will have to re-subscribe - I believe. Now, I may be totally wrong in this, but if you continue to not receive updates and such, you will need to re-subscribe. I am so sorry for any inconvenience this may cause for anyone.

Thank you all for your support.

After posting this, I discovered another problem which may be of interest to anyone using Feedburner.com. Google bought them out, seems like a while back, but now I can't get to my account. So, I believe anyone signed up with continue to get their email updates.

I would appreciate it if you would delete that subscription and sign up through the new link on the blog. This gives me the ability to control the output on this end. Again, I do apologize for all the inconvenience.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Finding Motivation

With the holidays in high gear at the post office, and carriers leaving the work crew, I'm finding it very difficult to find time to write.

As I write this post, I've just completed another nine hour work day.

How someone working these types of hours ever accomplishes his/her dream is beyond me. So how does one find motivation to write, and the energy to think about the story?

Here's a quote from Stephen King, "Read four hours a day and write four hours a day. If you cannot find the time for that, you can't expect to become a good writer."

You all know how much I look up to this man, but I can't say I totally agree with this statement, nor can I say I disagree. Take out the 'four hours a day' and you have something. All writers must read and write. The more you do these two things the better you will become.

With that said, how can you motivate yourself to continue when you are not able to fit one or either into your daily routine?

The answer - you fit it into your daily routine. The motivation comes from just how determined you really are to succeed. No whining, just do it. (Okay, you can see I'm trying to motivate myself, right?)

But seriously, you can Google all you want on how to find the time, and get advice from whoever, but it is 'You' in the end who has to make it happen.

I wish you all the best in your writing careers. Let's take it one sentence at a time. See you at the finish line. I'll be the one crawling the last few yards. :)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Interviews and First Review

Two interviews and a first review of Seduced by Darkness

Aubrie Dionne invited me over to Flutey Words.

Pembroke Sinclair opened the doors at her blog for an interview.

Please stop by, ask questions, and enjoy a cup of coffee. Hope to see you there.

Cherie Reich of Surrounded by Books Reviews gives Seduced by Darkness a glowing review.

Cher Green's Seduced by Darkness delights in a seductive tale of the power of love and loss. Read more.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!


I'd like to take a moment and share with my readers what I am thankful for this year. Feel free to add your list in the comments.

I'm thankful for:

Family and Friends (far and near, online and offline).

My home, my job, and my determination to succeed.

My spirit guides and guardian angel.

Life and all its wonderful (and not so wonderful) experiences.

Thank you, Lord, for bestowing upon me my gifts and allowing me to learn lessons at each turn in my life.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Seduced by Darkness featured on Promo Mondays

My latest novella, Seduced by Darkness, has been featured on Cherie Reich's Promo Mondays.

A new release is almost as exciting as the creating. It seems to be just as much work also - promotions and such.

Guess if there's to be a follow up, I better get busy writing on the next work in progress.

Do you ever feel as if the more you publish the less time there is to write? Course the holidays have got the post office hopping, which has a lot to do with down time on writing.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Seduced by Darkness released

Seduced by Darkness is now available at eTreasures Publishing.

Blurb:

Geneva Chilton, warned against human contact, betrays her family in order to be close to the world she longs to join. Intrigued by an artist’s work and his ability to capture life on canvas, Geneva steps too close to the boundaries and discovers love, but what price will she have to pay?

Lewis Hunt, intrigued by Geneva’s beauty and determined to capture it on canvas, discovers he needs more. Lewis needs the real woman behind the beauty. His course leads him to her, but also to danger. How hard is he willing to fight for a woman of darkness, a vampire?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Romance Reviews Year End Splash Party

The party is going into its third week. Don't miss out on the chance to win some wonderful prizes.

A copy of Escape to Love and Seduced by Darkness are among the prizes.

Visit the Party to find out all the prizes and to participate.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Dreaded Middle

The middle of a story is dreaded for many reasons. Whatever your reason may be, you can never have too much advice on how to deal with it, right?

I've found two interesting posts on the subject:

Planning Your Novel's Middle by Janice Hardy
Testing the Middle:Subplots by Editortorrent

Now, I can't take credit for finding these two wonderful blogs. All credits go to Roni Loren of Fiction Groupie. Every Friday, she offers up some great links in her Fill Me In Friday: Best Links of the Week posts.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Genre confused?

The idea of narrowing your story down to one genre can sometimes cause major confusion. The likely reason for this is you're crossing genres.

As writers explore their story worlds, elements may present themselves which is outside the main genre they planned for their story. Cross-genres are fine. But, it's important to realize what you are doing to avoid confusion and feeling defeat.

Over the years, I've heard write what you read, and read what you write. In my opinion, this suggestion isn't always great advice.

For one, I love medical thrillers. Could I write one? Not without extensive research. I know nothing about the medical field. But then you may wonder what if the story is about a doctor's personal life rather than his occupation. Wouldn't it still be a medical thriller? This would depend on the subject matter and story question. I'd say it's possible to produce such a book and still hit the medical thriller genre, but it would still need a splash of medical element.

The main reason for this topic this week is a revelation I had. I have two incomplete novels waiting for completion and a third in progress. I'm thinking the reasons for the incomplete novels may have a lot to do with not knowing what genre I was writing.

Those who know me are aware of my genre dilemma over the years. Those who've read my work can see the broad range of genres I write. Only recently have I truly come to understand how genre can effect what we write and how we write it.

When writing Escape to Love, I knew from the word 'go' I was writing a paranormal romance novella. There was no question of the basic plot - boy meets girl, forces separate their joining, boy gets girl. Those of you, who have read this, or even the blurb, know that this story turned into a historical paranormal romance. So, even though I had an idea of the genre, I still crossed over to another genre.

In most cases, this will work. In some cases, the story will need some rewriting because of the crossing.

If you start out with a dead body in Chapter One, and then by Chapter Thirteen you have an alien, who you didn't expect, I'd say you have some rewriting to do. Something in the beginning needs to give the reader a clue as to this new genre element or you will jar the reader. Chances are your book is about to be thrown across the room. Now, I'm not saying you need a spaceship or something to that extreme, but some hints. Maybe the dead body has a glowing mark on its chest; this would give a science fiction element - preparing the reader.

Say you start a romance novel, boy meets girl, nothing unusual. Then, at the half way mark, we learn the heroine is a ghost, with no indication of such in the first section of the book. You'll need to do some inserting along the way to prepare the reader.

Sixth Sense, the 1999 movie starring Bruce Willis, is a great example of planting hints along the way to keep from jarring the reader (or viewer) out of the story.

So, do you know what genre your story is? How many genres are you crossing?

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Technical Difficulties

It seems I've managed to mess up both my blogs. The images are gone, replaced by icky black boxes. I guess when I moved ownership over to different email addresses and deleted the old account, I managed to do away with whatever links Picasa Web Albums to the blogs.

Have patience, this may take quite a while, but I will get it all back in order.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Guest Post at Savvy Authors


Come by Savvy Authors and read my latest guest blogging post. I revisit what seems to be my favorite topic, germs - idea germs.

Sounds kind of icky, right?

So, what is an idea germ? An idea germ is the small spark within your imagination, the conception of your story. With nurturing, this germ grows into an amazing story. The first step is to discover the germ.  

Continue reading. (The original link has been broken.) You can now find this article on the blog.

Feel free to leave comments or even start a discussion. See you there.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Prison Break

Prison Break is a Fox Television Series which ran from 2005 to 2009.

The story follows two brothers and a wonderful crew of characters.

Due to a political conspiracy, an innocent man sits on death row and his only hope is his brother, who plan is to be sent to the same prison in order to break them both out from the inside out.

As with everything in life, I'm a little behind and only recently viewed this series, but I believe it came at the right time in my life. This series can be viewed on Netflix.

Okay, now what does this have to do with writing? Everything.

This series will show you how to create living, breathing characters. (These characters became a part of our household during the weeks of watching this show, even invaded my dreams.) The back stories are wonderfully wove into the story, and never bog it down. Cliffhangers anyone? This show is full of them and not just at the end of each show. At each turn, you think one thing, but it turns out to something completely different. Show, don't tell is a major pinpoint of this story. You have to figure out who's about to do what by their actions and movements, because honestly the characters don't even know what the other one's about to do.

I highly recommend watching this series for pure pleasure, but also as a learning adventure.

Warning: There is violence in this story, but what can you expect? The main characters are convicts.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Escape to Love reaches top seller status

Escape to Love appears on eTreasure Publishing's Top Seller list.

A few days ago a writer friend sent me an email informing of the new status of my novella. You can imagine my reaction.

If you haven't already checked out my novella, Escape to Love, you can find a blurb and an excerpt at my website, and e-book available for purchase at eTreasures Publishing.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Pembroke Sinclair - Bits of Advice

Today's guest is Pembroke Sinclair. She's stopped by to share some bits of advice. Please welcome her to the blog.
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One of the questions I’m frequently asked as a published author is: What advice would you give unpublished authors who want to get published? Here are some of the things I would tell them.

1. Keep writing. It’s what you do; it’s what you enjoy. The more work you get out there, the bigger your fan base is going to get. If people enjoy what you write, they’ll want to see everything you create, so give them plenty to read.

2. Develop thick skin. You will get rejected. It’s not a matter of if, it’s when. Everybody gets rejected, even famous authors got rejected. But you can’t take it personally. Writing is a business, and a publisher has to make money off your creation. If they don’t think they can, they won’t take it on. The best thing to do is learn from the rejection and become even better at your craft.

3. Be persistent. Just because one publisher doesn’t like your story, that doesn’t mean another won’t. Keep putting it out there and keep making it better until you find the publisher who shares your vision for the story. With the advent of electronic publishing and independent presses, someone out there is bound to love your story as much as you do.

4. Be patient. The publishing world moves slightly faster than erosion. Editors are overwhelmed with submissions and getting contracted stories published. From experience, it takes about a year from the day you sign the contract until you see your book published. The process can be slightly faster if you are doing an electronic book, but it still takes months. While you’re waiting, work on your next project.

5. Network. Find people and friends who share your passion and talk to them. They will become a great source of inspiration and a shoulder to lean on when you need to vent. It will also put you in touch with readers and fans. The more you get out there, the more exposure you will get, and the more people will buy your work.

6. Find a publisher you enjoy working with. This is extremely important. You need to find someone who enjoys your work and wants to see it succeed, not someone who’s looking for a quick buck. Contact some authors the publisher has published and ask them how they feel. After that, go with your gut. No relationship is going to be perfect, but it should be professional. There should be mutual respect on both ends.

As I continue down the road of being published, I learn more and more. I don’t claim to be an expert when it comes to giving advice, but I have some experience. The most important think to remember is to have fun. If writing isn’t fun, why do it?
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Bio: Pembroke Sinclair has had several stories published in various places. She writes an eclectic mix of stories ranging from western to science fiction to fantasy. Her stories have been published in various places, including Static Movement, chuckhawks.com, The Cynic Online Magazine, Sonar 4 Publications, Golden Visions Magazine, and Residential Aliens. Her first novel, Coming from Nowhere, is now available at eTreasures Publishing and Amazon.com. Her story, Sohei, was named one of the Best Stories of 2008 by The Cynic Online Magazine. If you would like to contact Pembroke, she can be reached at pembrokesinclair at hotmail dot com or pembrokesinclair.blogspot.com.

Life After the Undead Blurb: The world has come to an end. It doesn’t go out with a bang, or even a whimper. It goes out in an orgy of blood and the dead rising from their graves to feast on living flesh. As democracy crumples and the world melts into anarchy, five families in the U.S. rise to protect the survivors. The undead hate a humid environment, so they are migrating westward to escape its deteriorating effects. The survivors are constructing a wall in North Platte to keep the zombie threat to the west, while tyranny rules among the humans to the east. Capable but na├»ve Krista is 15 when the first attacks occur, and she loses her family and barely escapes with her life. She makes her way to the wall and begins a new life. But, as the undead threat grows and dictators brainwash those she cares about, Krista must fight not only to survive but also to defend everything she holds dear—her country, her freedom, and ultimately those she loves.

Buy link:http://www.etreasurespublishing.com/products/Life-After-The-Undead-by-Pembroke-Sinclair.html

Book Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/embed/hrgv7W9A_7w
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Disclaimer - I have not read Pembroke's book, therefore this is not an endorsement.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Escape to Love - Excerpt

I realized the other day, I've posted updates on the progress of my novella and reviews, but never an excerpt. It is available at my website, www.chergreen.com, but thought some of you may find more of a chance to take a glimpse here on the blog. So, here's a short sample of Escape to Love.

Chapter One

Four white candles in each corner, a small dish of water, a pinch of salt, and a bag of sage completed Constance Spenser’s ritual offering. She pulled the lilac scrunchie from her thick black hair. Heaving a breath, she tried to push aside her melancholy.

After five years with her ex, the recent breakup hadn’t improved her dismal outlook. Wading through each day, she tried to see the positive, to find a fresh beginning. She fingered the pentacle necklace, wondering if she’d ever see results.

Her Persian, Angelica, brushed against her bare leg before jumping into her lap. Constance ran a hand over the cat’s soft fur. “I know baby. You love me no matter how big of a failure I turn out to be.” The cat stretched toward her, placing a paw kiss upon her chin, like a friend’s kind hug.

Careful not to disturb the lounging pet, she withdrew a box of matches from the table’s drawer. Striking one, her voice eased over the darkness with each lit candle. “I give my body to the earth, my breath to the air, my tears to the water, my desire to the fire.” The heat from the match singed her thumb, causing her to drop it into the water dish. “I call upon the spirit world for guidance. Reveal to me my path. Set me on a journey.”

A soft breeze stirred the curtains. The tick-tock of the old grandfather clock magnified, building to a roar. Then, an eerie silence settled over the room, voiding Constance’s moment of anticipation. Dropping her shoulders, she blew out the candles and shuffled toward the kitchen.

Angelica hissed. Constance spun. The curtains whipped in the strong wind tearing through her house. Through the sheer drapery, moonlight pulsed, trespassing into her small living room. Hair on end, teeth bared, her cat arched. Constance’s heart echoed in her ears - it worked, her incantation had been a success.

Thunder rumbled, shaking the house, ravaging her senses. Soft rain fell, lulling her into a calm state. The smell of disturbed soil filled the room, like a peaceful cemetery burial. Lightning darted through the darkened clouds, slithered through the darkness, and forked across the purple sky. A haze settled as the soft rain turned into a full-fledged downpour.

Tiny goose bumps popped up all over her bare skin. She crossed her arms, but it didn’t do much for the chill rambling through her body. The thin fabric of her nightgown did nothing to stop the icy grip of the storm on her flesh. She started toward the bedroom to grab a robe, but a high pitched cry bounced off the walls, stopping in her tracks.

Constance rushed through the living room, onto the porch. She glanced back at the doorway, then to the raging storm. A tear ran down her cheek. She cringed at the thought of the possible dangers she’d brought upon them. Her poor cat hissed from the safety of the doorway.

“It’s okay,” she whispered, though who she sought to console was unclear. Angelica looked less than impressed, recoiling from her outstretched hand. Lightning shattered the sky. Constance jumped. Angelica bolted from the doorway. “Ooh, what have I done?”

The storm raged, venting its impressive force only to stop as suddenly as it began. The sky cleared, the room fell silent, leaving her to struggle with her racing heart. She eased back to the doorway, coaxed Angelica back into the opening. “See. Told ya. Everything’s fine. ” Angelica’s fur remained on end. The cat stared past her, hissing furiously.

Escape to Love is currently available at 20% off at Coffee Time Romance.

Thank you all for your support.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Read "Escape to Love" on your Kindle


Read Escape to Love on your Kindle, or any other .pdf files for that matter.

When my novella released, there were so many people who wanted to know if they could read it on their Kindle. I didn't have the answer and lost a few sales. Now, I have the answer. So, if you have .pdf files sitting around on your computer, left unread because you don't have time to sit that long at the computer, Great News, you can move them to your Kindle.

(Now I'm sure some of you already know how to do this. To be honest, I don't even own a Kindle. I prefer paperback and still holding on to the past.)

USB Cord Method

  1. Using Kindle's USB cord, plug Kindle to your computer.
  2. Locate .pdf file through Explore, right click on file, and select Copy.
  3. In the left hand panel of Explore, open Kindle folder, click on documents, right click, and select Paste.
  4. Right click on Kindle icon, select Eject, unplug from computer, and you are ready to read.
(Hope this isn't too confusing. Normally I would check steps to make sure they are correct, but without owning a Kindle, I can't really do that.)

Email Method

  1. Log into your Amazon.com account and find your Kindle email address. - Select Manage your Kindle from account page, this should be where your email address is located.
  2. Add your email address to the Your Kindle Approved Email List section.
  3. Open your personal email and compose an email. Attach .pdf file, use CONVERT in the subject line, send to amazon. (I'm assuming you send this to your Kindle email address, but not completely sure on this. Seems logical though.)
  4. Turn on your Kindle's Whispernet (not at all sure what this is, but if you own a Kindle, hopefully it makes sense). Your document should appear on your Kindle's home page.
I hope these instructions help you to enjoy your .pdf files on your Kindle. If you try this, please let us know if my instructions are correct. If you already know how to do this, please let us know if the instructions are correct. One day I will own a Kindle and be able to check it myself.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Guest Blogger - Karina Fabian - Back to Basics


Today's guest is Karina Fabian. She has chosen to stop here in her blog tour and share with us her views on getting back to basics. Please welcome her to the blog.

Sparkly vampires. Werewolves, that just want to fit in. Zombies that are the growing minority group in America. My co-author Colleen Drippe lamented over the fact that monsters aren't monsters anymore. So she and I decided to go back to the basics and write a vampire story where the vampire really was a bloodsucking fiend and not an emo love interest or seductive creature just trying to survive.

The result was Frightliner, a novella in Frightliner: and Other Tales of the Undead. We had a lot of fun with it. Colleen took us back to the old scary movies with the first scene in which Reba leaves her deadbeat boyfriend, runs out of gas and ends up prey to a vampire who drives the highway seeking victims. Her opening took me someplace I'd never written about before, and it was great fun to keep that horror movie atmosphere as our hero first discovers he's the next slated victim, tries to run, and finally has to confront a horror he's not even sure he believes in.

Going back to the basics of vampire mythos was fun, too, as we found new ways to incorporate the traditional weaponry of holy objects and faith. Both, Colleen and I, are Catholic, so we especially enjoyed writing the showdown in the old church.

People are always looking for a new twist, but when you don't have a good idea, try going back to the basics. You might find amble room for a new idea.
Karina Fabian writes fantasy and science fiction, with the occasional foray into the world of horror. Her first novel, Magic, Mensa and Mayhem, the 2010 INDIE Award for best fantasy. Her latest book, the comedic horror, Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator, was a top ten in the Preditor and Editor reader’s polls and winner of the Global E-Book Award for best horror. Learn more about her works at http://fabianspace.com.


Excerpt:
Of course that was why he had not come out to check on her, she thought with a surge of relief. He probably thought it was an abandoned car. But now--she stepped out onto the gravel, hearing for the first time how loud the crickets sang. She smelled the strong scent of the cooling air. Too early for snow. Too warm, still anyway, though she cursed herself for not thinking to put on jeans before making her big exit. She peered at the cab, but nothing moved.

“Hello!” she called, moving closer. She could not make out a logo on the truck. It was dark, dark paint. She had an impression that the shape was--not wrong exactly, but not usual. It was an older model, she decided. An old truck.

She had reached the door.

“Anyone there?” she called, hesitating to step up and look inside. What if something had happened to the driver? What if he were dead? What if she opened the door and a body spilled out onto the road?
But that was silly. He had just pulled up. Probably he was rummaging around in his berth for some tools.

But what if he was dead? What if she took hold of the door and--and what if he was right there, watching her?

She had almost decided to go back to her own car. But the thought of the semi parked behind her, silently cutting its chunk from the sky, was in some strange way even more frightening than opening the door. She reached up for the handle and pulled herself up level with the window.

The handle turned in her hand.

It was then she knew she had done the wrong thing. If only someone else had come--she prayed for someone else. A cop. Even a car full of good old boys. Anyone.

The crickets fairly screamed their shrill and mindless song, the scent of the Russian knapweed was overpowering. But it wasn’t strong enough to hide another smell, a dark earthy smell. A smell of death mellowed by long usage.

The door opened.

Reba froze, clutching the handle, balancing there with the driver’s seat in front of her. She tried to speak, to call, but nothing would come out. She hung there, thinking of death, while the night passed and the stars moved and the moon looked in over her shoulder. Finally, she climbed into the truck.

“Daniel,” she whimpered. She was ready to forgive the new pickup, but it was too late. Something moved in the back and she turned in the driver’s seat and saw a pale face, caught in the moonlight, eyes gleaming. She had an impression of lank hair, grizzled beard. And then two hands reached up to take her shoulders and she saw the mouth open.

To purchase your copy from Amazon - http://amzn.to/lJDL9b

To follow the rest of Karina's blog tour -
14-Oct http://rosalieskinner.blogspot.com/
15-Oct www.fabianspace.com
16-Oct www.snoringscholar.com
17-Oct http://jaletaclegg.blogspot.com
29-Oct http://timothycward.com/

Disclaimer - I have not read any of Karina's work other than the excerpt above, therefore this is not an endorsement.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Announcement

I find myself in a position of unbalance and what feels like chaos. In truth, I’ve put myself in a spot where I can’t keep up with everything. I have no time for writing, reading, and all the other projects I’ve set up. I need to be advertising my book. I need to be preparing for whatever the post office might throw at me, in terms of do I have a job or not.

I’ve went about the process of pulling in editorial work, but you can imagine this is a struggle. Between post office work and editing jobs my time is sparse. So, it’s time to make changes and make some sacrifices. I’m going to take this slow, in hopes everything will come together in time.

What does this have to do with the blogs? Cuts start here. I’ve met so many people through both my blogs and gained so many friends and acquaintances. My two blogs are my home away from home, and closing them down would be like killing my friend. So, to keep from closing them, I’ve chosen to cut back instead. Please bear with me through the changes, and hopefully one day life will settle down and I can go back to the old routine.

Here is the schedule I plan to keep for now.

Tuesdays - Footsteps of a Writer (I do have a few guest blogs and interviews set up which will not correspond with this day.)

Thursdays – Tarot Guidance

Sundays will be set aside for any type of reviews: Writing How to Books, Fiction Books, Tarot Cards, Spiritual Books, etc. (These posts will occur when available, not weekly.)

Wednesday will be promo day. Any exciting news about my writing journey will appear on this day. (These posts will occur when available, not weekly.)

The Newsletter will continue as usual, releasing during the first week of each month.

If you are interested in guest blogging or being interviewed on either blog, please contact me, and we’ll get you set up.

You don’t know how much weight has lifted off my shoulders just by this one change.Cutting my blogging in half will allow a little more room to move. I hope you all understand this slight change, and chose to continue following my journey through life.

Best wishes,
Cher

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Muse Online Writers Conference 2011

The week has arrived. I hope everyone is having a wonderful time and learning new things. As you can imagine, I'm a little busy trying to keep up with everything - classes, day job, editing work, and so on. Please forgive me if there's a lapse in interesting posts this week. Feel free to let us know if you are attending the conference and any exciting classes you may be taking.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Writer's Block - A Myth Breaker

What is writer’s block? According to Wikipedia, Writer's block is a condition, primarily associated with writing as a profession, in which an author loses the ability to produce new work. The condition varies widely in intensity. It can be trivial, a temporary difficulty in dealing with the task at hand. At the other extreme, some "blocked" writers have been unable to work for years on end, and some have even abandoned their careers. It can manifest as the affected writer viewing their work as inferior or unsuitable, when in fact it could be the opposite.

The problem I have with this mythical condition is author loses the ability to produce. Really, why? Does he not still function in life, does he not still have hands and fingers. A more correct definition would possible be loses the desire to write. For whatever reason a writer hides behind this condition, there are possible ways to break out, and the writer has the ability to do so if so desires.

Please – I’m not bashing anyone who thinks they have this condition.

I’m simply offering a solution to overcome it, because quite honestly it’s in your head. And to me, to lose the ability, suggests physical limitations. The brain is a wonderful tool and should be used to your best ability.

If you’ve lost your desire to write, and just don’t want to do it anymore, this is your choice. But, please quit saying its writer’s block. So many new writers are hiding behind this wall instead of facing the truth. Which might include: it’s too hard, I don’t have time to concentrate on this right now, I don’t know which road to take my characters down, and the list goes on and on.

Free writing – this is a wonderful method of loosening up you creative muscles. Set a timer for 10 to 15 minutes and just start writing. It doesn’t matter what, just type or write whatever comes to mind.

Character Interviews – Stuck on where to take your character or what reaction he should have in the next scene. Stick him in a chair and grill him. Ask him anything, he’ll answer. You’d be surprised what can happen when you face your character one on one.

Change Method/Location – Write if you normally type, or vice versa. Move to the kitchen, outdoors, or even jump in the bath. A change of scenery may be just what your muse needs.

Make a list of what’s bothering you – You’ve set up the first five scenes and something isn’t right? Start listing possible problems and solutions.

Sleep on it – This is a wonderful method but beware of becoming too dependent on it. You sure don’t want to sleep every time you get stuck. I’d suggest using this as a method to go with your normal sleeping routine. Before you go to bed, run the last scene through your mind, and during the night answers may appear. Place a pad and paper close by though because your muse has no respect for your sleep, she’ll appear anytime she’s ready.

Feel free to share your favorite method to overcome what some call writer’s block.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Untied Shoelaces of the Mind Anthology 2011




My short story, Friends Forever, is now in print and available for purchase.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

What makes a great opening line?

What makes a great opening line?

One of the most stressed pieces of advice is make your opening line count. If not, grab them in the first paragraph. So the question is what makes a great opening line?


It seems if you can do these four things in the matter of the first sentence, you’ve got yourself a killer opening.

1) Set the tone for the book
2) Set the scene
3) Introduce the hero/heroine – and if you can at least one obstacle
4) Create a question the reader has got to get answered

So, how are you supposed to fit all this information within one sentence, or even one paragraph? Let’s see if we can discover how.

The Restorer by Amanda Stevens
I was nine when I saw my first ghost.


• The tone – You put ghost in the mix, and you should probably expect some darkness right?
• The scene – Ms. Stevens misses this one with her first line.
• Intro of hero/heroine – We may not know the character’s name, but we know she sees ghost, which is sure to be an obstacle.
• Create a question – Who is this person, and why can she/he see ghosts? What kind of life would you have if you could see ghosts?

Overall, I’d say this is a good first line. I want to read more to find out more about the character and whether the ghosts are good or bad.

Prior Bad Acts by Tami Hoag
He knew before he entered the house that day that something was very wrong.


• The tone – Successfully suspenseful wouldn’t you say?
• The scene – We are outside, about to step into a house – where something is wrong.
• Intro of hero/heroine – He is introduced, and most likely whatever is wrong will be an obstacle.
• Create a question – What is wrong, and why does the character suspect anything is wrong at all?

Overall, I’d say we have another good line. I want to read on to find out what’s wrong in the house.

Faces by Martina Cole
Mary Cadogan was lying on her bed.


• The tone - ?
• The scene – We are in a bedroom.
• Intro of hero/heroine – Mary Cadogan, but no obstacle.
• Create a question - ? Don’t see one.

Let’s give this writer a chance – She was frightened, but then she was always frightened. Frightened her husband would get nicked, and even more frightened that he wouldn’t.

• The tone – A little more clear now, I’d expect dark things are to follow.
• The scene – Again, we are in the bedroom.
• Intro of hero/heroine – She is introduced and we know for certain she is frightened. Her husband seems most likely an obstacle.
• Create a question – Why is she so frightened of her husband? If she’s so afraid, why is she just lying on the bed?

Overall, we have an okay opening. Would I read further? It’s an iffy with this one. I can pretty much guess why she’s afraid of the husband, so the next two pages would have to be extremely catchy before I’d dig into the rest of the book. Also, notice the repetition. As mention on last Friday’s post, repetition can kill but when used correctly it can present key text to the story. In my opinion this is overkill. What do you think?

Take a look at your opening line/paragraph, do you achieve these four elements, or are you missing them? To be fair, most would read at least the first full page, but if you can grab them in the first sentence and keep them hooked, you just made a sale.

Feel free to share your thoughts on these three examples, or even present your own. Are there other elements you feel should be present?

Happy Tuesday.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Repetition Kills

Repetition can kill an otherwise perfectly good story. In a few cases, this is a technique to draw attention to certain text, but only if you are aware of it. And even then, be careful not to overdo it.

Repetition can consist of the same wording, but it can also be the same subject matter repeated more than once. This is an issue all writers should pay extra attention to during the editing process. For one thing, it’s extremely noticeable. So, send that manuscript in to the publisher with repetition and I guarantee he’ll know you haven’t taken the time to go through it with a fine tooth comb. And, if you don’t care, why should he care enough to put it on the publishing table.

It seems every writer, along with each different story, develops a word, or phrase, she loves to type onto the clean white page. With my latest, Seduced by Darkness, I discovered quite a few, but the main three were darkness, desire, and need. The words plagued the manuscript. These are the special words we narrow in on. But there are obvious ones which stick out like sore thumbs.

And, he, she, felt, watched - these are a few that find their way onto my page no matter the story or the mood I’m in. You should pay close attention as you move through your writing career. Creating a list of these overused words will help you recognize them quicker, but it will also help you to rid yourself of the habit. Unfortunately, you will probably gain a few new ones to replace the old.

This isn’t a major issue, don’t stress over it, but do make extra effort during your own editing and revision sessions. Your editor will thank you for it. And you’ll thank yourself when you get your manuscript back and it isn’t full of red slashes urging you to rid the manuscript of these troublesome words.

On subject matter, if your character is blond, the reader doesn’t need to be reminded of this every other page. If Shawn stabbed Josh, the reader only needs this information once. So, you think the reader may have forgotten? Go back and make the incident unforgettable instead of repeating it.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A Blast From The Past

Footsteps of a Writer began in 2009. I present the very first posting, August 25, 2009.

Some Thoughts on Writing

When I first began writing, I thought it was the easiest thing in the world. I wrote daily, stringing words together into wondrous stories. Then I sent my work out and was rejected over and over again. I didn’t know what I was doing wrong, so I wasn’t sure how to fix it. I laid my pen down, and gave up. In the back of my mind, I still believed that one day I would be a writer.

After years of avid reading, I looked back at those pieces and saw major problems. There was no rhythm to the prose. The characters moved around from one point to the next with no thoughts. My writing lacked emotion and detail.

I began writing once again. Three years later, I still hadn’t sent anything out in hopes of publication. No rejections. You may consider this a waste of time, writing with no rewards, but still no rejections. A true writer writes for the joy of it, not the promise of fame. The truth was I was still learning and hadn’t reached what I consider my time to submit.

I’ve recently began submitting and receiving rejections. Now, I don’t look at the rejections as a bad sign. I look at them as stepping stones. It may be a long walk, but each step will bring me closer to being a published writer.

I’d like to share with you some of the things I’ve learned over the years.

There are many tools that you will use, but there are four I’d say that are a must. They are: American Heritage College Dictionary, Roget’s Thesaurus, Punctuation Plain & Simple by Edgar C. and Jean A. Alward, and William Strunk Jr., and E.B. White’s The Element of Style. These should be on every writer’s bookshelf, and don’t forget to use them.

Writer groups have both good and bad points. Writing is a solitary job and will become very lonely. It’s good to have a few people around who share the same ambition in life, even if they are in cyber-space. But on the downside, you can read too much into other’s criticism. You must be careful when having your work critiqued. Everyone has an opinion, and they are not always correct. Your story is just that, yours. Now, I’m not saying to turn a blind eye to the truth. If you have five people read your story, and they all ask why your character did this, chances are you haven’t provided motivation for your character’s actions. Trust in yourself to know which advice to take and which to discard.

Reading is a major part of a writer’s life, because you learn from the examples of others. Your ideas will grow and techniques will improve. I asked a member of one of my writing groups what type of books he read. His answer was he didn’t have time to read, he was too busy writing. If you don’t read, how can you begin to know how to write? Each day should include some sort of reading; consider it part of your job. And by all means, enjoy yourself.

Writing, of course, is the most critical issue. It should become part of your daily routine. Most writers compose and rearrange scenes in their mind, which is perfectly fine, but you have to sit down at some point. Every writer has a different routine. It is important to establish what works for you. Start out slow, maybe thirty minutes a day, and increase the time limit as it feels right.

Self-editing should be separated from your writing time. Don’t let that part of your mind mess with you while you create. Find a different location to do this task if necessary. Let your piece sit for a few days. Try to detach yourself from it, as if it was written by another. Like writing, you will also need practice at editing. One way to get practice is to edit someone else’s work. It’s easier to see the flaws in another’s writing.

I would also like to suggest reading material of an inspirational level. There are many articles and books out there telling you how to write. I’m not saying not to read these, but don’t dwell on them. There is no simple plan to show you how to write that best seller. I suggest reading some that tell you why they do it.

One, in particular, I would like to recommend is Stephen King’s On Writing. He offers a few pointers, but what I enjoyed was the way he lets you step into his world and begin to understand why this man is so widely read. He writes for himself, as you should write for yourself. If you’re not having fun, what’s the point?

Above all else, a writer needs ambition and drive. If you don’t want it badly enough you won’t get very far. Writing is hard work; it’s more than stringing words together. You must be able to create worlds and characters that the reader wants to get to know.

Now go, create something wonderful.

Feel free to share your thoughts. Are you a struggling writer trying to get published? Have you found the path to publication? There is always something to learn from others. Share with me what you’ve learned along the way. Ask questions.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Making Connections by Guest Poster Karina Fabian


I'd like to welcome Karina Fabian, author of Mind over Mind, to the blog. Before I hand the floor over, here is a little about our guest.

Bio of Karina Fabian: Unlike her characters, Karina Fabian lives a comfortably ordinary life. Wife to Air Force Colonel Robert Fabian and mother of four, her adventures usually involve packing and moving, attending conventions, or giving writing and marketing advice in one of her many workshops. She's always had an overactive imagination, however, and started writing in order to quell the voices in her head--characters who insisted on living lives in her mind and telling her their stories. Winner of the 2010 INDIE award, winner and finalist for the EPPIE and finalist for the Global e-book awards, she's glad people enjoy reading the tales her characters tell.
http://fabianspace.com

Please welcome Karina Fabian (applause)

I wrote my first novel back in 1986, mostly because I was challenged by a professor who liked a short story I'd written and thought it was the good beginnings of a novel. I spent a whole summer outlining it, lost the outline, decided it wasn't that great anyway, and wrote a second version. My professor introduced me to a writer friend of his and I shyly called and asked a few questions about publishers while in the back of my mind, I imagined him introducing me to his agent and taking me under his wing. Of course that didn't happen.
But I took his advice and bought Writer's Market and started querying. I got a lot of rejections, some with handwritten notes. I no longer have them, but they were more a testimony to my complete ignorance of the publishing industry and of writing. It was many, many years later that I had my first novel published, and it wasn't the one I'd written in college.

A lot of us hope that someday, we'll find that person who will love our work and help us to hone our story then connect us to a publisher. I still dream of that. However, finding a mentor right off, just by asking, is a rarity, and usually comes from a build-up we didn't even know we'd done--like the friend of a friend who is already impressed by our story. We won't find it by "ambushing" established writers. Still, you find people who will go to a writers' chat room and their first questions is, "Who will critique my novel?" Sometimes, I get e-mails asking me to recommend publishers (or recommend them to a publisher)--and if I'm getting them, I know more famous authors do.

A better way to handle this is to develop the relationships rather than jumping to the goal. Find critique groups in your local area or online. Go to conventions and meet people--talk to them about their books, share your story, keep in contact. Find writers' workshops--there are a lot online as well as live. Take the classes and use them to show off as well as hone your writing. (My first novel contract came from a workshop I took from a publisher who liked the story I submitted as homework.)
Learn the business side of publishing: how to write a query, what an elevator pitch is, how to write a synopsis, a book proposal, etc. Read up on what's happening with publishers. Seek out agents who are starting in the business. You can do this by reading Publisher's Weekly, Writers' Market, or many of the blogs by publishers, agents and writers in your genre. Jim Butcher (Dresden Files) said that when he found the agent he wanted, he learned about her, met her at a convention, struck up conversation and got to know her before presenting her with his book.
Be willing to give as well as receive. If you want your book or story critiqued, then be ready to comment on others' works as well. And please have a thick skin when it comes to receiving a crit. Most people take time--hours even--to comment on a story. Even if you totally disagree, be gracious, especially if it's by an established author.
Through it all, keep writing! That book I wrote in 1986 stayed in the drawer for 20 years. In the meantime, I wrote stories, edited anthologies and wrote articles. When I started thinking about novels again, I pulled it out, realized how awful it was, and completely reworked the concept. That book is now a trilogy, the first book of which, Mind Over Mind, is out from DragonMoon Press. Sometimes, I look back at the person I was when I wrote the first version, and I'm kind of glad I didn't get my wish back then. I had to learn a lot--and my stories are far better for it.
Karina, Thank you so much for stopping by. I hope the rest of your Mind over Mind blog tour goes well.
Purchase links for Mind over Mind - Amazon / Kindle
Other connections to author - Facebook / Twitter / Google+

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Your Mission...Should You Decide to Accept It



Education Wants to be Free by Terri Main

Terry posted an article I thought you might enjoy. For the full article - click here.

Most businesses and nonprofit organizations have mission statements. A mission statement is an (ideally) short statement of the purpose of that organization which sets a focus for the organization's activities. Of course, the reality of mission statements is that often they bear little resemblance to what the organization truly does and those that do, are rarely short.

So, what does this have to do with you as a writer?


Writers lose focus, just as organizations can lose focus. Sometimes we need to set a point on a map and concentrate on arriving at the location. I find the description of the mission statement very similar to setting a goal. By looking at it from this viewpoint, you may find it easier to find your way.

Basically, a mission statement can keep you on track, rather than drifting in other directions. I often find myself doing just that. I have many interests, and I tend to go in multiple directions. When writing your mission statement you should devote your words toward your writing career, not other hobbies and such. Make it direct and leave no room for side roads. Save those delightful journeys for your free time, not for your writing job.

Your mission as a writer is what you plan to accomplish, and it will change over time. To keep it simple, your statement should be around 25 words.

My mission: Cher Green's mission is to provide the best possible journey, whether it is through her own writing or the editing process of others work.

So, what's your mission?

Monday, September 12, 2011

Another Escape to Love Review

Aubrie Dionne, author of Paradise 21, recently read my novella, "Escape to Love", and gave a wonderful review at her blog Flutey Words.

Aubrie not only read the novella before publication, but also gave wonderful suggestions for revisions. Thank you, Aubrie, for all of your support in my writing journey.

"Escape to Love is action packed with a sweet romance at its core. Cher’s writing is very smooth and calming to read. I enjoyed watching Constance fall in love and find her own way in the twisted new world she’s fallen into."

Visit Flutey Words to read the full review.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

September 11 - The Day We Joined Together


Ten years ago, the United States joined together as we lost our loved ones to a great tragedy.

Where were you when the moment of silence fell across the states?

At that time, I worked in a clothing factory in Tennessee. I don't remember who told us about the events, but as the word spread from one end of the building to the other, silence engulfed us all.

I didn't lose anyone in this tragic event, yet when I heard the news tears filled my eyes and I believe my heart stopped beating for a split moment. Tragic news such as this affects us as a whole. It is during times as such, we join together through a spiritual connection, whether we realize it or not. We are of one in this great big world and one day that togetherness will span more than a few minutes, hours, or days.

As we face a day ten years after the fact, please take a moment of silence to send prayers out to all those in need, all around the world.

Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning) by Alan Jackson



Have a blessed day!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Muse Online Writers Conference


It's that time of year again, time for the Muse Online Writers Conference. Registrations are open, deadline September 25th. Don't miss out on this one of a kind free writers' conference. A variety of workshops and chances to pitch your book to various publishers are available. You can't go wrong, it's free!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

September's Newsletter

September's Newsletter is available in archives.

This month's feature update: first look at the book cover and blurb of my novella, Seduced by Darkness.

Also, there is news on an upcoming anthology containing my short story, Friends Forever.

If you haven't already subscribed, join the list for all the latest news.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Liebster Blog Award



It's always a joy to receive an award. For me, it shows others are listening and enjoying what I have to say. This award was presented to me by Joylene Butler, a wonderful woman and author. Thank you, Joylene!

The rules:
1. Thank the giver of the award and link back to them.
2. Give the Liebster to five bloggers and let them know with a comment to their blog.
3. Copy and paste the award onto your blog.
4. Have faith your followers will spread the love to other bloggers.
5. Have blogging fun!

I present this award to the following bloggers. Thank you all for sharing with me and others a little piece of yourself.

1. Aubrie Dionne - http://authoraubrie.blogspot.com/
2. Cherie Reich - http://cheriereich.blogspot.com/ 
3. Michelle McLean - http://michellemclean.blogspot.com/
4. Kalayna Price - http://kalayna.blogspot.com/ 
5. Lynnette Labelle -  http://lynnettelabelle.blogspot.com/

Enjoy your moment of fame ladies!

Escape to Love Review

Asandra, Spiritual Guidance Examiner, recently read my novella, "Escape to Love", and gave it a glowing review on her Examiner page.

"Green writes with a brisk style that keeps the reader glued to the page. We are drawn into the protagonist’s dilemma; will she be pronounced guilty of witchcraft, or will Lawrence Wilder, the sole council member who wants to save her, be successful?"

Visit http://www.examiner.com/spiritual-guidance-in-national/escape-to-love-a-review-review-1 to view the complete review.

Other reviews available at Goodreads.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Bad Attributes by Guest Poster Aubrie Dionne


I'd like to welcome author of Paradise 21, Aubrie Dionne to the blog.

She's stopped by to talk a little about characters and some of their bad attributes. Before I hand the floor over, here's a little about our guest.

Aubrie is an author and flutist in New England. Her stories have appeared in Mindflights, Niteblade, Silver Blade, A Fly in Amber, and several print anthologies including Skulls and Crossbones by Minddancer Press, Rise of the Necromancers, by Pill Hill Press, Nightbird Singing in the Dead of Night by Nightbird Publishing, Dragontales and Mertales by Wyvern Publications, A Yuletide Wish by Nightwolf Publications, and Aurora Rising by Aurora Wolf Publications. Her epic fantasy is published with Wyvern Publications, and several of her ebooks are published with Lyrical Press and Gypsy Shadow Publishing. When she’s not writing, she plays in orchestras and teaches flute at Plymouth State University and a community music school.

http://www.authoraubrie.com
http://authoraubrie.blogspot.com

Please welcome, Aubrie Dionne (applause)

Bad Attributes for Heroines and Heroes

I thought for fun today, I’d make up some of the worst attributes you could ever give your heroine or hero. I try to stay away from these character traits at all costs, and make sure my characters are one hundred percent the opposite!

1. Boring- Characters have to have a personality. They have to have their own motivations, and things they like and dislike. They have to yearn, to fear, to love. They have to have a past that’s shaped who they are today. They can’t be one dimensional line shouters based on common archetypes that only move the plot forward.

2. Inactive- Characters have to do something. They have to be “make it happen” type people. They can’t wait around and let life breeze by. Or at least, not for the whole book! They have to make conscious decisions, to get up off their feet and change their world in some way.

3. Mean- I’d leave this trait for the bad guys. Your main character has to be likeable. They can’t go around picking on those weaker than them, or talking behind their friend’s backs and calling people names. It just doesn’t work. Unless, they start this way and change very fast, before you lose your reader for good!

4. Ineffectual- Main heroes and heroines have to make a difference. Their actions have to have consequences. They have to strive to better their situation, to save the one they love, or make the world a better place. They can’t continue to fail to the very end in everything they do. What a downer that would be, heh?

5. Self loathing- Too much whininess can drive a reader crazy. Sure, your characters have to have modesty and fear. They have to question their actions at times, and experience remorse and regret. But not on every page. A main character has to develop confidence, and they have to begin to believe in themselves.

6. Arrogance- There’s a fine line between a confident hero/heroine, and an arrogant one. Sure, they can believe in themselves and their cause, but they also have to have faults. They have to be human, and they have to wrestle with their own flaws. Or else, they have nothing to overcome. They can’t have an arc, they can’t develop.

7. Whishy washy/Ambivalent- Characters can’t keep going back and forth and changing their minds. They have to act definitively. They have to make choices and either stand by them, or regret them later on. You have to explain why they change their minds (if they do) and have a good reason for it. Or else, why fight for something you don’t care strongly about?

What do you think some bad character traits are?

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

How well do you know your characters?


All through the how to books, you will find some writers put plot over character development and some the other way around. In my world, the two go hand and hand. The characters create the plot; the plot creates the characters.

When I begin a new project, my first step is to capture an idea germ. These little creatures come in many shapes and forms and can appear anywhere. My next step is to brainstorm around the idea germ. Who is the character? What does she want? How will she reach her goal? Who will stop her? What if the villain turns out to be a nice guy? And on and on goes the questions.

Then it’s time to get to know my characters. Usually through the brainstorming session at least 3-4 characters will show themselves and volunteer to be participants in the story at hand.

In short stories and novellas, the characters usually grow in my head. But with my work-in-progress, a novel, I’m feeling a need to really get in touch with these characters and what motivates them. The story is on the complex side and the better I know these people I’ll be spending so much time with the better we’ll all be.

I believe the information needed about your characters may depend on the story at hand and how long you anticipate on spending with them. That’s not to say knowing your character is any less important with a short piece.

Through the years, I’ve read many suggestions on getting to know your characters. From information sheets, to character interviews, and even producing scenes just to see how they react. I believe the depth and technique you use will depend on you as an author. You may not need to know your character’s favorite color or her favorite food. But, knowing such things can give you added insight you may find useful during your time with your new family.

Ask yourself, “What is my favorite color? In what way does this affect my everyday life?” Does it?

I’m partial to blues, maroons, and browns. I feel this aspect of me does affect my life to a certain degree. I find these colors to be earthly colors, but others may find them boring. What does this say about me? I think it has to do with my down to earth nature, my mature and responsible attitude. Not to say anything’s wrong with hot pink. It’s a fun color, but you probably won’t see me wearing it, at least not on a normal day.

Did your character have a happy childhood? Did you have a happy childhood? How did this affect you during your teenage years, your adult years? If you really think about it, a person’s likes, dislikes, childhoods, parents, and so on, make us who we are. So, why would it be any different for our characters?

Some authors take it further by producing birth charts, reading tarot cards, and even shopping as their character.

How well do you know your characters? How deep do you go?

Friday, August 26, 2011

Procrastinators Unite! Tomorrow

Are you a procrastinator?

Do you put off what you could do today till tomorrow?

Or are you creating quietly in your head?

It is important to realize that all lazy days are not actually a waste of time. Our minds work 24/7 - or at least mine is continuously rattling away, lol. Sometimes you are preparing for your next step, rather you realize it or not.

This preparation could be for a creative project, or life.

Someone brought it to my attention, "I am a thinker." I'm not sure if it was meant as a compliment or not, but the truth was spoken. My mind is never still. Even in sleep it goes on, creating the most bizarre things you could imagine.

Is this a good thing? Sometimes, yes - sometimes, no. As a thinker, I also find I am a worrier, but not as much as I have been in the past. Most of my thinking now  revolves around my next project, whatever it might be.

So, the next time, you feel defeated at the end of the day because nothing was achieved, think back over the day. How many times did you think of what needed to be done? How much of that time was spent deciding in what order to accomplish this goal? Did you have a quick moment of thought on that next scene in your book and jot down the one sentence moment of inspiration?

Sometimes our best ideas come forth while we are doing nothing at all.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Paradise 21 by Aubrie Dionne


Paradise 21 takes you on a ride you’ll never forget.

Aries finds herself trapped in a world where she has no choices. As a Lifer, her husband and profession are chosen for the good of future generations.

Determined to be her own person, Aries takes the ultimate risk and escapes the confines of New Dawn, a ship traveling toward Paradise 21. Landing on her targeted planet, Aries finds more than she ever expected – dangerous life forms and another human.

Aubrie Dionne did a wonderful job. The story is well-written, vivid, and heart touching. I’d recommend this read to anyone who enjoys a fast-paced story that delves into a sweet romance set in a futuristic atmosphere.

http://www.entangledpublishing.com/paradise-21/

Friday, August 19, 2011

Blogging - Your Target Audience

The top discussion around writing blogs seems to be whether picking writers as your target audience is the wrong direction for a published author. Some believe this isn’t the best way to get readers for your publications.

When I began blogging, my goal was to build a following and meet others interested in the same things I am. The main suggestion I found was to blog about what you enjoy. Writing and Tarot became my topics of choice, and the results were two different blogs. I’ve built a following on both my blogs. I enjoy my readers and my article writing. 

So now that I’m published - Am I supposed to concentrate on a new, different audience?
I’ve thought about this from different angles.

What blogs do I follow? Writing and tarot blogs
How do I decide what to read? Reviews, recommendations, and favorite writers

How do I find these reviews, get recommendations, and discover favorite writers? Writing blogs
If I changed to writing about my cats, my cross-stitching, and my job, would I gain a new audience? Sure, but would that bring them to read my book? I wouldn’t think so, but it is possible, I guess.

Would I enjoy writing about such things? Maybe an article or two, but definitely not a whole blog. My life revolves around writing, tarot, and other spiritual matters. The rest really isn’t that interesting. Don’t get me wrong, I love my cats, enjoy my cross-stitching, and well the job is a job, nothing more.

Tuesday, I went in a different direction with the blog and shared an interesting tidbit I discovered during research. I enjoyed writing the post, and I hope some enjoyed the topic. The response for this post will determined how many more posts will appear similar in nature. But for the biggest part, the blog is not changing.
I plan to do more interviews, guest posts, and book reviews, but that was already a part of the blog, so not much difference there, just more of it, which is actually just a part of the plan for more posts overall.

At this moment, the schedule on Footsteps of a Writer is Tuesday and Friday writing related posts, and Wednesday has been set aside for any promotional type posts. I’ll be over at Tarot Guidance on Sundays and Thursdays. Saturday and Monday are my days off from blogging. This schedule was only recently decided upon, so you will notice it gets off track over the next couple of weeks due to previously scheduled guest posts, but bear with me as I get settled into the new routine.
Happy Friday!
 
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