Thursday, November 19, 2015

Do you have a story to tell? WOI Hosts V S Grenier & Marsha Casper Cook

Join Marsha Casper Cook and "VS" Grenier on November 19th at NOON PST 1PM MT 2PM CT 3 PM EST for their premier show on THE WORLD OF INK NETWORK  when they discuss topics in response to their listeners questions.

It's going to be an open discussion and a live chat on Twitter.Over the last five years they have been asked so many questions that have not been answered about writing and marketing and everything in between. It's their turn to talk and to help other authors. They will be sharing their trials and their success on their new monthly show. Together they have built their network and have reached over two million listeners with their blogs,  websites and radio shows.

Virginia "VS" Grenier is one of the partners of the World of Ink Network. She is also a Silver Mom's Choice Honoree, Award-winning Author, Freelance Editor, Creative Writing Instructor at Dixie State University Community Education, Speaker, BlogTalkRadio Personality, Founder of SFC Publishing LLC and Director of the St. George Book Festival. She has been president of her local writing chapter, Heritage Writer's Guild, which is part of the League of Utah Writers (LUW) and is actively involved in literacy programs in Southern Utah.

Marsha Casper Cook is also a partner of the World of Ink Network. She is also an Agent, Award-winning Script Writer, Novelist, Writing Coach, Speaker, Media Release Specialist, BlogTalkRadio Personality and Founder of Michigan Avenue Media. Marsha is the author of more than 10 published books and featured-length screenplays and a literary agent with more than 15 years of experience.

For more info about advertising with World Of Ink Network at

To listen live and to call in, visit

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Picture Book on Hopi Indians Shares A Story of Tenderness and Love

Live Radio Show on Wed. November 18, 2015 at 3pm Eastern - 2pm Central - 1pm Mountain - 12 noon Pacific

Welcome to BlogTalkRadio's featured World of Ink Network. Listeners will get to meet author Ellen Cromwell and illustrator/artist Desiree Sterbini as they chat about their newly released picture book about a Hopi (pronounced: hope-ee) Indian girl who takes readers through many metaphorical doors to explore the different aspects that make each our lives: family, friendship, culture, education, creativity, and nature.

TALASI... A Story of Tenderness and Love exposes children to new experiences as Talasi explores her native world and later the modern culture of the white man while holding to Native American beliefs and traditions.

About our guests on the show:
Author Ellen Cromwell is the founder of the Georgetown Hill Early Schools in Montgomery County, Maryland and has been an educator of young children since the 1970’s and is the author of early childhood professional texts and children’s books.

Artist, Desiree Sterbini creates award-winning works with oil pastels and colored pencils on textured paper and board. Desiree received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and continues to study through workshops and studio classes. Her oil pastel paintings have been exhibited and featured throughout the DC metro area and nationally.

The World Of Ink Network has endeavored to create radio shows geared toward excellence in the reading/publishing community. Our company has grown to a viral reach of nearly two million. If you'd like to be on our network or need commercial advertising, marketing and writing help, please visit our website

Newly released picture book about a Hopi (pronounced: hope-ee) Indian girl takes readers through many metaphorical doors to explore the different aspects that make each our lives: family, friendship, culture, education, creativity, and nature. 

TALASI... A Story of Tenderness and Love exposes children to new experiences as Talasi explores her native world and later the modern culture of the white man while holding to Native American beliefs and traditions. This charming and lovingly illustrated picture book teaches young readers how love and friendships get us over the rough spots in life and to never stop exploring the world around them.

Many American children are growing up in a multicultural world and are curious to understand all the cultures surrounding them. “Traveling through Arizona, I was terrible curious myself about what life on an Indian reservation was like when I visited a Hopi tribe,” said author Ellen S. Cromwell. “I wanted to understand the culture of these amazing people and visited with a kikmongwi, primarily a religious leader for the tribe. This experience truly touched me.”

TALASI…A Story of Tenderness and Love is about a young Hopi Indian girl named Talasi. Her name comes from corn tassel flowers that surround her pueblo home in Arizona. Tassels are tall, slender flowers clustered at the very top of corn. Corn, in its many forms, provides basic nourishment for Hopi People.

Wonderfully written, this children’s book clearly reflects the author’s fascination with the Hopi people and their history. Hopi means “peaceful person” or “civilized person” in the Hopi language and Ellen S. Cromwell evokes a compelling portrait of the Hopi Indians and how they truly are a peaceful people.

You can purchase “TALASI... A Story of Tenderness and Love” through Halo Publishing’s website (, Amazon, and B&N.

Listen to the interview at 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

You Can Write Without Inspiration

Or do you?

Writers write. You shouldn't wait around for inspiration to come. But sometimes, there are days you can't get anything written down. Or you're at a loss for words. You can't think of anything to write. You don't have any idea what to write about.
And then you end up believing you're having writer's block.

You end up believing it too much, you stop writing altogether. You might even think of yourself as not a real writer.

And all because of what? You think your muse deserted you? You think you have writer's block?

Think again! You sure as heck don't need inspiration to write!

What you do need are prompts to help get your writer's mind working and your hands writing or typing.

These prompts are your beginnings; the glimmer; the little sparks that you can shape and fashion into stories, articles, essays and features.

You don't need inspiration. All you need is an idea; a spark.

And here are a dozen sparks you can try out for yourself:
1. The first typewriter was patented on July 23, 1829. Interview some of the writers in your group and find out how they write. You can develop this into a light-hearted article for/about writers.
2. Many fictional characters are not fictional at all. Write about one real person who has been fictionalized.
3. Electricity is a recent discovery. Think of 10 things to do when there's no power.
4. Pirates no longer just refer to the highwaymen of the seas. There are different breeds of pirates today. Write about today's pirates and what they're pirating.
5. Many words in the English language come from the names of people -- such as mesmerize (from Mesmer, a hypnotist). Find out more words from people's names and write the story behind the words. (Or invent stories for names that became words.)
6. The US Declaration of Independence begins with this line: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal..." Write your own Declaration of Independence by using the same line as your starting point.
7. How do you start a fan club? Write a how-to on organizing a fan club for a favorite author, singer, actor or sports figure.
8. How do planets die?
9. Expound or dispute this: "Where science ends, religion begins."
10. Take a look at your bookshelf. Pick one book and write a review of it.
11. How is privacy invaded on the Internet?
12. Write an article on how to choose a pet. Target your piece for kids aged 7-10.

Copyright © Shery Ma Belle Arrieta-Russ

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Make Your Stories Come Alive

Vivid and clear descriptions make stories come alive. Concrete and specific details paint a more memorable picture for your reader.

Carefully chosen words to describe something or tell a story make your reader use her senses. Not only can she imagine, she can also feel what she's read.

As a writer, it's your job to provide a vicarious experience to your reader. The only way you'll be able to do this successfully is by stimulating your reader's imagination. Not by bombarding her with too many details in one go, but by gradually drawing her into your story or essay using descriptions.

Avoid abstract and general words. Don't just say that a girl is beautiful. Instead, describe her beauty. Maybe she has large, dark chocolate-colored eyes with long lashes and wing-tipped brows.

When using description, you're not working with just one sense, seeing. Stimulate your reader's other senses -- sound, touch, taste and scent.

So don't just say the music is loud, the concrete rough, the tea bitter, or the air foul.

One descriptive device you can use is comparison and contrast. Compare or contrast something foreign with something your reader is familiar with. For example, "A calamansi fruit tastes like orange but it's less sweet and more sour."

Another thing you can do to be more descriptive is to give "life" to inanimate objects, abstracts, or animals in your story or essay. Give them human characteristics. Onomatopoetic words come in handy. These are words whose sounds imitate the sound they describe. Examples are buzz, whir, sigh, bang, and murmur.

Use fresh words in your descriptions. Forget about writing, "They walked slowly to the park." Just how slowly did they walk? Did they trudge? Did they drag they feet?

Remember, if you want your reader to experience the same thing you've experienced - or experience something you've imagined - write and describe it well.

Now it's your turn. Turn these bland sentences into sentences that ooze with descriptive words. Make your reader see, feel, taste, hear or smell them just by reading your descriptions.

  1. The song began.
  2. A police car went by.
  3. The pie was tart.
  4. A little boy stood still.
  5. Her hands were rough.
Now try writing a paragraph or two using these prompts to guide you. Be descriptive.
  1. Look out your window. What do you see?
  2. Describe yourself when you were between 5 and 8 years old.
  3. Close your eyes and imagine you're in a room full of people. You're the only blind person there. Describe the room and the people in your mind.
  4. You've gone to a carnival before, right? Write what it looks like. Imagine you'll read your description to a blind child.
  5. Choose 12 small objects in your house. Put them all in a box. Without looking inside the box, touch each object one by one. Hold each object for 3-5 minutes, then describe what that object is.

Copyright © Shery Ma Belle Arrieta-Russ

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Do You Know How to Make a Bottomless Notebook?

Reading through a writer's notebook or journal is like discovering pearls, rubies and diamonds amidst a pile of rubble.

That little notebook is a powerhouse of ideas for every writer: The more you write down bits and pieces of your thoughts and observations, the more you are adding into the well of ideas for future works.

Here are a few things you can record in your notebook or journal, so that in case you run out of ideas to write about, you can refer to it:

Your Shoeboxed Life: Write what you know, feel and experience. Jot down snippets of events in your life. Write a sentence or a paragraph about a funny, embarrassing, happy or infuriating experience.

The Interesting People. Scribble descriptions of people you meet every day. How do they react in certain situations? How do their names fit their image?

A Word a Day. Whenever an interesting word catches your attention, write it down. It may have a different meaning for you a month or a year from now. If you keep a list of words in your notebook, these words can serve as story starters for you.

Those Quotable Quotes. A meaningful quote can start you off to writing. Collect quotes you come across that interest you.

Ordinary People with their One-Liners. Overheard lines in a conversation can sometimes spark your creative mind. Write down these one-liners in your notebook. They can be great story starters.
Something You Read. Read good books. Keep a file of memorable lines or quotes. Write down quirky billboard ads. Scan the papers for one-liners. These are good idea stimulators.

Emotions. Describe what you feel at any given moment. If you feel angry right now, write what your anger feels like. Describe it. Use vivid words.

Writers are similar to store owners. Store owners stock their supplies in their shelves, while you stock ideas between the pages of your little writer's notebook.

You can make your stock endless, bottomless. You can reach down again and again for inspiration without exhausting your notebook of reserve.

So start stocking your writer's notebook today. A week from now, take a peek in it and you just might find something there that could connect your pen to paper.

Copyright © Shery Ma Belle Arrieta-Russ
About Shery: Shery is the creator of WriteSparks!™- a software that generates over 10 *million* Story Sparkers for Writers. Download WriteSparks!™ Lite for free at

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Set Goals to Achieve Writing Success

Overcome writing blocks and writing anxieties by setting goals!

If you find yourself wanting to become an Expert Author, but are anxious about your writing abilities, or feel you have exhausted every writing bone in your body, listen up: YOU CAN WRITE!

Goal setting, in article writing, in business, in publication and even in one's personal life, helps you focus your efforts into a plan. Whenever you are stuck or feel anxiety looming, you can refer to this plan and stay on the road to success.

Here are some tips on how you can effectively set goals and conquer any writing anxieties once and for all.

1. Set a Goal
Setting a goal can be as broad as "I want to write more articles or books," or something a little more focused as "I want to master 2 niches related to my expertise."

Once you have set a goal, it will become your mission to achieve this goal. When you are in a tight spot, you can revert back to your original goal and consider the following:

  • My Goal is…
  • Will this help me achieve my goal?
2. Plan Strategically
Now that you've set your goal, begin implementing measures to achieve it by breaking the goal down into manageable tasks over a period of time. Most writers feel overwhelmed because they focus on the big picture or overall goal.

By breaking down your goal into smaller goals you take pressure off your muse and stop focusing on the main finish line. Instead you might focus on acquiring resources to develop your knowledge base. Challenging yourself by stepping a degree outside of your comfort zone.

You'll surprise yourself with what you can do!

For instance, if my goal is to write more blog posts, my plan might look like this:
"I will write 5 blog posts this month."

Once I've achieved that goal, I'll step it up and write 10 pages of my novel the next week.

3. Set Milestones with Quality Checks
In order to stay the course and prevent yourself from goal derailment, ensure you've set milestones and quality checks.

Milestones can be used to reward yourself and measure your progress. Quality checks can be used to ensure you don't derail completely and sacrifice your credibility and writing time.

For example, I will reward myself when my 5 blog posts are finished. To ensure I'm reaching my audience, providing informative content, and not submitting my blog posts with reckless abandon, I will track which posts were published and if there were any problems along the way.

For example on my book/novel goals, I will reward myself when I've completed 10 or 20 pages. To ensure I'm engaging my readership and providing engaging content, I will submit my work to my critique buddy for feedback and double check what I've written against my book's outline.

No matter your goal and play it's important to write every day.