Friday, December 31, 2010

Here are 7 Writing Prompts to Jumpstart Your Writing in the New Year!

These 7 *sparks* to jumpstart your writing come from Shery Ma Belle Arrieta-Russ,
created WriteSparks!- a software that generates over 10 *million* Story Sparkers for Writers.
 
 
1. It was Erica Jong who said, "If you don't risk anything, you risk more." Write about what this means to you.
 
2. You come home and check your phone messages. You get your third message and freeze. Begin from there.
 
3. It was Herman Melville who said, "We become sad in the first place because we have nothing stirring to do." Write about what stirs you.
 
4. This dialogue must appear somewhere in your story: "You know what else her husband doesn't know?"
 
5. Use any or all of the following in a short narrative or poem: "as dense as a London fog," "a slate of solace," "like oil and water," "wound the clock," and "receding as you please."
 
6. Christina Cruz and Scott Peters meet after a failed experiment. One of them is seeking revenge. Write their story based on this quick plot: "patient turns murderous after a near-death experience."
 
7. Recall and write about a time you did something wholeheartedly.


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Article Wed: How to Write an Article at Breakneck Speed


When you write an article there are many times it can take FOREVER to complete it. Now this is due to a number of reasons which we can take advantage of to help us write articles much quicker. It only stands to reason that if you can speed up the writing process itself you can produce more articles or devote this time to other areas of your business.

Here are 5 writing strategies that you can use to help increase the speed and ease with which you write articles.

Write What You Know

When you write articles it is always wise to stick with subjects you are familiar with since your content will be of more value to the reader. The other advantage here is that if you know what you are writing about there will be less hesitancy in the writing process so you complete your work faster.

Keep Articles Short

Do not get carried away when composing an article to the point that it is 700 or more words. Enthusiasm for your subject is good however learning to write smarter will save you a lot of time.

Break the one long article up into several shorter ones and not only will you produce more but it will be easier for people to read.

Find Your Passion

Ever notice how fast you may talk when you are passionate about something? Well you can experience the same affect when writing as well.

Finding a topic you are passionate about will allow you to write faster since your 'typing fingers' will have a hard time keeping up with your enthusiasm. The out flow of your passion will minimize any hesitancy you have for ideas as you write and will also make for better reading.

Focus, Focus, Focus

One of the best writing strategies you can follow to speed up your writing is to commit fully to completing the article in one sitting. By doing this you will be more focused and able to better 'tune out' any distractions that may add time to the task.

Find Your Groove

When you find or establish that certain 'zone' in which the writing process is flowing very easily for you take advantage. Attempt to produce as many articles as you can or as time will allow maximizing your productivity.

The ease with which you write an article has a lot to do with your familiarity and passion for the subject. Trying to write articles about something you know or care little about will only serve to make the writing process lengthy and agonizing. By adopting some or all of the writing strategies suggested here today will only help to make your efforts more productive and enjoyable. The end result will be either your ability to produce more articles or perhaps use the time more wisely in others areas.


About The Author
TJ Philpott is an author and Internet entrepreneur based out of North Carolina.

To learn more about how to write an article and to also receive a free instructional manual that teaches valuable niche research techniques simply visit:http://blogbrawn.com

Monday, December 20, 2010

RFK: Stories for Children

RFK: Stories for Children On Monday, December 20th - They will be chatting with author, agent and host of "A Good Story Is A Good Story" Marsha Casper Cook about her books “Snack Attack,” "The Magical Leaping Lizard Potion," "The Busy Bus" and what it has been like doing the World of Ink Author/Book Virtual Tour. Marsha will also be sharing agent and self publishing tips; along with the trials and tribulations of the writer’s life. Marsha Casper Cook is the author of six published books and 11 feature-length screenplays, a literary agent with 15 years of experience and the host of a radio talk show about the business of writing and entertainment, “A Good Story is a Good Story,” on the Red River Radio network. You can tune in at the RRRadio’s site or listen/call in at (646) 595-4478. In addition, SFC Publishing will be touring Marsha Casper Cook and her books all month long. You can learn more and find her the World of Ink Tour schedule at http://storiesforchildrenpublishing.com/MarshCasperCookWorldofInkTour.aspx Not only will you have the opportunity to meet Marsha, but you'll get to learn about the hosts VS Grenier, D.M. Cunningham and Tiffany Strelitz Haber and their exciting writing careers, along with Stories for Children Publishing and its many divisions. Learn more about the hosts of the show and Stories for Children Publishing, LLC at: http://storiesforchildrenpublishing.com

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Marsha Casper Cook Guest on RRRadio-RFK: Stories for Children –December 20th

For Immediate Release

Marsha Casper Cook Guest on RRRadio-RFK: Stories for Children –December 20th 

Come listen to Blog Talk Radio’s  Robin Falls Kids show: Stories for Children as the hosts (VS Grenier, D.M. Cunningham, and Tiffany Strelitz Haber) chat with author and agent Marsha Casper Cook about her books, writing, the publishing industry and her experience during the World of Ink Author/Book Virtual Tour.

Marsha Casper Cook will also be sharing writing tips, andc trials and tribulations of the writer’s life.

The show will be live at 11am MST (10am PST, Noon Central and 1pm EST). You can tune in at the RRRadio’s site at
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/rrradio/2010/12/20/rfk-stories-for-children or you can listen/call in at (646) 595-4478. (Note: if you can’t make the show, you can listen on demand at the same link.)

In addition, Stories for Children Publishing will be touring Marsha Casper Cook’s children’s books all month long. You can find the World of Ink Author/Book Tour schedule at http://storiesforchildrenpublishing.com/MarshaCasperCook.aspx. Make sure to stop by and interact with the hosts and Marsha Casper Cook at the different stops by leaving a comment and/or question. We’ll all be checking in throughout the tour.

Marsha Casper Cook is the author of six published books and 11 feature-length screenplays, a literary agent with 15 years of experience and the host of a radio talk show about the business of writing and entertainment, “A Good Story is a Good Story,” on the Red River Radio network.

Not only will you have the opportunity to meet Cook, but this will be the perfect time to meet and learn about the hosts VS Grenier, D.M. Cunningham, and Tiffany Strelitz Haber, and their show on Blog Talk Radio-RFK: Stories for Children. You can learn about their exciting writing careers, along with Stories for Children Publishing and its many divisions.

To learn more about Marsha Casper Cook visit http://storiesforchildrenpublishing.com/MarshaCasperCook.aspx

Learn more about Stories for Children Publishing, LLC at: http://storiesforchildrenpublishing.com

Friday, December 17, 2010

Book Reviews by Molly: [PUYB Blog Tour&Review] Babysitting SugarPaw by VS...

Book Reviews by Molly: [PUYB Blog Tour&Review] Babysitting SugarPaw by VS...: "About the Book: A little bear named SugarPaw hopes to get rid of his babysitter, Bonnie Whiskers, by getting her into trouble after making ..."

LORI'S READING CORNER: Guest Post/Virtual Tour - VS Grenier

LORI'S READING CORNER: Guest Post/Virtual Tour - VS Grenier: "How Do Writers Bring Characters to Life? By VS Grenier Do you remember wanting to go on an adventure with Bilbo Baggins in the Hobbit? How ..."

Interview with VS Grenier – Author of Babysitting SugarPaw

Interview with VS Grenier – Author of Babysitting SugarPaw

A Cozy Reader's Corner Reviews: Babysitting Sugarpaw

A Cozy Reader's Corner Reviews: Babysitting Sugarpaw: "Author: VS Grenier Illustrated by Kevin Collier ISBN: 098-193526806-2 Publisher: Halo Publishing International Source: Pump Up Your Book B..."

The Phantom Paragrapher: VBT# BabySitting SugarPaw - V.S Grenier

The Phantom Paragrapher: VBT# BabySitting SugarPaw - V.S Grenier: "Today's VBT# is one that is part of Pump Up Your Books Promotions and for a change is a Children's Picture Book with a moral. Review : Ba..."

Ohio Girl Talk's: Babysitting SugarPaw VS Grenier Virtual Book Tour

Ohio Girl Talk's: Babysitting SugarPaw VS Grenier Virtual Book Tour: "About VS Grenier VS Grenier is an award-winning author and editor who learned how to hone her writing skills at the Institute of Children..."

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A GOOD STORY IS A GOOD STORY with Guest VS Grenier - December 14, 2010

RRWL 12 NOON CST What is a Book tour and why do you need one? A book tour is one of the best tools for selling your books. Virginia Grenier will be discussing how a book tour works and why you need one. Facebook is a great way to make connections but can it help sell your book? These are some of the questions that we will be answering on this week’s show A GOOD STORY IS A GOOD STORY. -Listen in while you have lunch. This is a weekly show every Tuesday at 12 Noon CST that you won't want to miss. Virginia Grenier will be joining Marsha Cook as well as Denise Spooner for a lively discussion on writing. Book tours and how important marketing your books really is. This show is informative and entertaining. The great discussions that come from a show like this are the conversations that can make a difference. Callers are always welcome and the chat room is always open with help from Denise Spooner. Please call in 646- 595-4478- phone calls are encouraged.

Link to the show page or listen on demand
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/rrradio/2010/12/14/a-good-story-is-a-good-story-with-host-marsha-casp#

Friday, December 10, 2010

Interview Friday with Agent & Author Marsha Casper Cook

Marsha Casper Cook is the author of six published books and 11 feature-length screenplays, a literary agent with 15 years of experience and the host of a radio talk show about the business of writing and entertainment, “A Good Story is a Good  Story,” on the Red River Radio network. She and her guests discuss writing and what’s new in the entertainment field. This year, she also began hosting another talk show “The Whole Truth”; on this show, she and her guests discuss day-to-day issues that affect family life. Marsha has also appeared as a guest on other network shows and will continue to make frequent visits to other shows.
Her published works include “Love Changes,” a romantic novel about a family in crisis, and “Sala, More Than a Survivor,” a non-fiction biography about surviving the Holocaust. She has also written three books for young children, including the short stories “Snack Attack” and “The Magical Leaping Lizard Potion” and the poetry collection “The Busy Bus.” She has just completed the fourth book in her children’s series. Marsha has also published a book version of her romantic-comedy screenplay, “It’s Never Too Late.”
 
Marsha’s other screenplays range from romantic comedies to crime thrillers to family dramas. Movie studios optioned her scripts “Grand Central Station” and “Romancing Gracie”, and the latter was named a finalist at the ASA, Houston and Chicago Film Festivals.
 
Wanting to help new writers reach their goals, Marsha founded the literary agency Marcus Bryan & Associates in 1996, and achieved signatory status from the Writers Guild of America (WGA) within two years. In that capacity, she has represented more than 100 screenwriters and authors, and has optioned books to movie production companies. Marsha has spoken about her work and the craft of writing to a wide range of audiences including bookstores, schools, museums and local cable and will continue to speak to the media.

VS: Marsha, it is so great to have you here today and I want to thank you for being my guest on The Writing Mama. You are a very busy woman with your own blog talk radio show “A Good Story Is A Good Story”, writing and also working with screen writers as an agent. How do you balance your writing life with your family life?

Marsha: I try to be there for my family and up until now, I always have been. I don’t have small children and it is easier when your kids grow up because you have more time and no car pools. That makes a difference.

VS: Yes, having older children does make a big difference. As much as I love my baby girl, I sometime think, “Why didn’t I just stop with my son or my first daughter. However, we are glad our baby girl is here. I just have to wait 5 more years to have more writing time. LOL. Okay, so we know you have been doing this for some time. How long have you been writing?  

Marsha: I have been writing for years but I feel my work is so much better now then it was before. I really do believe that you should keep writing because hopefully the skills for writing will improve and you will have a lot of happy days.

VS: I am always curious as to what inspired someone to start writing. Can you share with us what inspired you to write?

Marsha: Life and all the good things that can happen in a day and sometimes some of the days even if things don’t work out as planned I try to approach it as a positive learning experience. Sometimes that works and sometimes it doesn’t.

VS: Life is full of inspiration. Okay, we know you don’t have little ones at home anymore, but you still have a lot going on. So what is a typical writing day like for you?

Marsha: Depending on the day, I try to work at my other job, which is marketing and being a Literary Agent. Sometimes I have so much to do I feel bad that my projects have to wait. Usually on those days, I work from home at night without interruptions.

VS: I understand that because of running Stories for Children Publishing. One thing I did learn as a buyer was…Work will always be there waiting for you the next day no matter how hard you try to clear off your desk. I think this is truer with the writing world. Now is your family supportive?

Marsha: They are now. At the beginning I ‘m not sure they understood just how important this was to me. When they realized how much I love what I do, they began to understand.

VS: I think it can be hard for family at first to understand. Especially if you don’t make anything or very little at the beginning. I think over time as you said families begin to understand it’s more about your love than the money anyway that draws you to writing. Okay, so what was the first thing you ever had published? 
Marsha: Sala, More Than A Survivor was my first published book and probably the most rewarding, because the entire book is non-fiction. The book is the true story of Sala Lewis, a Holocaust survivor. Sala is alive and well and does speaking engagement at the Holocaust Museum in Skokie IL.

VS: What a great first book to have published and as you said a rewarding story to tell, too. Now you are currently touring a few children’s book, but you also have a book you’re currently working, too. Can you share with us a little about your current book, No Clues, No Shoes?

Marsha: My next book is called No Clues No Shoes. Here is a blurb about it:

Addison, feeling lonely, has just moved into a new neighborhood when he meets Emelina. At first they have nothing in common and didn't see eye to eye on anything. Addison likes to read and write stories inside, Emelina likes to be outdoors, jogging, and skating, just about anything, that keeps her active. She likes healthy food and Addison has a sweet tooth. A few weeks after they meet they are surprised to find out that they both signed up for Jr. Detective School where they team up to solve their fist case. A classmates shoes have disappeared and with very little to go on Emelina and Addison try to find the shoes. A friendship develops between the two of them when they solve the first of many cases they will solve together. 

VS: Sounds like another wonderful children’s book. Can you share with us Marsha what you enjoy most about writing?

 Marsha: All through the writing process, I enjoy the creation of the plot and characters. It’s sometimes very hard to keep focus but when asked this question the entire process for me is fun. 

VS: Okay, now that you shared your favorite part of what writing, what is the most difficult part of writing?

Marsha: The most difficult part of writing is leaving your characters behind when you are finished with your book. The characters that you have created in your books are like family. When you have completed your book and are satisfied that all the loose ends are tied up your book is finished and unless you are writing a series or a sequel the characters must leaver your and allow new characters to enter your mind for your next project.

VS: So true. Marsha, what is the best writing advice you ever received?

Marsha: The best advice I have ever received was if you write a good story someone will want to read it. So for most of my writing career I have tried to write the best story I can and enjoy writing it. Working hard on stories to make them good is also very important advice. I used to rush to get my stories and screenplays finished but now I try to get to know my characters better.      

VS: Thank you for sharing this wonderful advice. Now Marsha, do you find it hard to balance your personal writing time with your other jobs?

Marsha: Sometimes it is very difficult to find the time but I try my best to write every day even if when I finish I don’t really like it. When I don’t like it I try to do a better job the next day. I am very hard on myself but usually everything pulls together at the end and the story works out, and then I am very happy.

VS: Do you have any other works in progress? Can you share a little about them?

Marsha: Emelina and Addison’s First case as Private Detectives is the first of a series.

Addison, feeling lonely, has just moved into a new neighborhood when he meets Emelina. At first they have nothing in common and didn't see eye to eye on anything. Addison likes to read and write stories inside, Emelina likes to be outdoors, jogging, and skating, just about anything, that keeps her active. She likes healthy food and Addison has a sweet tooth. A few weeks after they meet they are surprised to find out that they both signed up for Jr. Detective School where they team up to solve their fist case. A classmates shoes have disappeared and with very little to go on Emelina and Addison try to find the shoes. A friendship develops between the two of them when they solve the first of many cases they will solve together. 

VS:  One last question Marsha before you go. The world of children’s book publishing is extremely competitive, with many authors hesitating between trying their luck with a traditional publisher or self publishing. What advice would you offer writers who are oscillating between these two publishing venues?

Marsha: I think you should try to traditionally publish if you feel that you won’t be satisfied until you do. However, if you feel like you want to start a writing career sooner self – publishing is the way to go.  I think finishing a project and getting it published is very exciting, providing you had an editor to edit your book.

VS: Is there anything else you would like to share with us about being a “Writing Mama”?

Marsha: Keep writing and don’t give up. I feel the more you write the better your stories will become. Sometimes that’s hard for writers to accept, especially when they get rejection letters. Rejection letters for me were constant reminders that if I pursued my writing career I might get better, and I did.

VS: Marsha, I thank you for taking the time to share with my readers about being a writing mama.



 If you would like to know more about Marsha Casper Cook, she is part of the December 2010 World of Ink Tour. You can find more information about her, her children’s book and her tour stops at http://storiesforchildrenpublishing.com/MarshaCasperCook.aspx.

Publisher Website: www.fidelipublishing.com

Book Places where Marsha Casper Cook's books are available:
 
Marsha’s next World of Ink Tour stop is December 13th at the Families Matter Blog where a book review of “The Busy Busy” will be posted. http://familiesmatter2us.blogspot.com

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Great Snowball Escapade Book Review

 
The Great Snowball Excapade
By: J.D. Holiday
Illustrated by: J.D. Holiday
Publisher: Book Garden Publishing, LLC
ISBN Number: 978-0-9818614-2-5
Publication Date: March 16, 2010
Genre of Book: Children's Chapter book for 6 to 8 year olds
Five Stars
Reviewed by: Irene Roth
Synopsis:
Wilhemena Brooks’ cousin, Bud Dunphry come to live with her family. Wil, as she likes to be called, finds her pink pencil sharpener is missing after Christmas. Wil knows Bud has it! Who else would have taken it? Her mother told her to be nice to Bud and to treat him like she would like to be treated. If Wil treats Bud nicely does that change anything for her?

Book Excerpt:  
The afternoon was ruined. Wil was lying on her bed looking out the window. Snow was falling again. She should be outside with her friends right now. But because of Bud she was stuck in her room.

Bud was in Jason's room. He was making pretend noises. It sounded like he was playing with cars. The car raced around crashing into things.

The pencil sharpener was on Wil's pillow. Her mother found it. It had never been used. All this time the sharpener was next to the music book on the piano. Her mother said it must have been there since her family sang carols on Christmas Day.

 Wil remembered now. She placed the sharpener on the piano while she sang

'Jingle Bells' with her brother, Jason who was home last week for the holiday.

All this time Bud did not have her sharpener. He had told the truth.


Review:
This book is a story which includes characters who face a bully, make judgements without facts, and learn to get along together. The black and white illustrations are simple yet add some dimension to the story though the story-line stands alone. The characters are likeable and the theme is a common one amoung peers- learning to trust, get along, and compomise. Young readers will enjoy the story and leave with the satisfaction that all is not what it seems. I give the story a thumbs up.




Author Bio: J.D. Holiday is the author and illustrator of two children’s books: Janoose the Goose, picture book and a chapter book for six to eight year olds, THE GREAT SNOWBALL ESCAPADE. A chapbook of her short stories called, Trespasses was published in 1994 and she has had short stories printed in literary magazines and numerous articles about writing and publishing published.  She is a member of both The Society of Children’s Writers and Illustrators, (SCBWI) and Small Publishers of North America, (SPAN.)  J.D. Holiday lives in the Delaware Valley of Pennsylvania.



Authors Links:






Facebook Fan Page URL:   




 J.D. Holiday's next World of Ink Tour stop is December 10th at Home School Blogger-Book Review http://homeschoolblogger.com/homeschoolbookreview/785969/