Archive | June, 2014

Rest and Be Productive

30 Jun

003Happy Monday to you all.  Are you rested up and ready to hit the ground running?  Let’s do it!

I woke up Saturday morning thinking about future articles.  I’m a writer, and although there are times I would love to turn off my brain, most of the time I am quite happy that it is always coming up with new ideas for articles and novels.  This is what I do.  I plan on being successful at it, and I plan on doing anything I have to do to succeed.  I don’t have the luxury of forty more years of writing.  I hear the clock ticking and I’m responding to the tick.


Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.

John Lubbock

About two months ago I decided that I needed to take weekends off.  Believe me when I say it was extremely hard, for the reasons I mentioned above.  However, it is the best decision I have made in a very long time.  When I come back on Mondays I am rested and eager, and I can carry that eagerness through to Friday, knowing I’ll have two days off to again rest.

Make sure you take time for you during the week.  Your writing will be better because you did.


If you schedule your day of writing, and I would hope that you do, then also schedule in some down time during the day.  I make sure I get up once each hour and walk the garden, or do some stretching or yoga.  I believe this is vitally important for writers to do.


If you are following this on my website,, and I hope you are, then you’ll notice in a day or so a new page…..Book Recommendations….or something similar.  There I will keep adding books that I have read that I think are exceptional.  There will be a list for casual readers and a list for writers who want some resource material to help them with writing.  If you have recommendations for the list please pass them on to me.


I’m starting a new series of articles on HubPages called The Writer’s Mailbag.  There I will answer the questions that people ask me during the week.  You might find it helpful, and if you have questions again, forward them to me and I’ll answer them when I can.


The first annual Book Pipeline Contest is underway with a deadline of September 15th.  This is a chance to get your manuscript noticed by movie people, so check it out here.


Yes, I will mention my new novel, Resurrecting Tobias, and if you would like to purchase it you can do so on my website  It is available on Kindle and as a paperback through Amazon.  If you should purchase it I would ask you to leave a review when you have cover

Thanks a lot my friend, and have a great week of writing.


“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”


Do You Have a Plan?

25 Jun

003Welcome back one and all. I hope this week is progressing nicely for you.  All is well in Hollandville and my plans are progressing nicely.

And that is today’s topic….our plans.


Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort.

Paul J. Meyer
I hate to admit this, but I don’t have a clue who Paul J. Meyer is, but I like his quote.


Do you have a plan?  I have found that many writers do not have one.  They simply write, and if your goal is to simply write, then all is well.

But, if your goal is to make it as a freelance writer, or to be successful as an author, then you might want to consider a plan for your writing business.

Yes, I said writing business.  If money is part of your goal, then you are running a business, and your writing is the product that you sell.  And, as any first year business student can tell you, businesses need a business plan.

So, I ask you again…do you have a plan?

As a former businessman, and with degrees in Marketing and Economics, it was only natural that I attacked my writing career as though it were a start-up business.  I wrote down what I wanted to accomplish.  I researched the business and learned what I needed to do, and then I wrote my business plan accordingly.  I have been building my platform (my credentials) ever since, and it is all fueled by my business plan.

Just something for you to think about.


If you do choose to write a plan, be specific.  Be specific about your goals and how you are going to achieve them. Be specific about your timetable.  Give yourself monthly goals, yearly goals, and determine how each goal can be met….and then go for it.

And for goodness sake, if you are serious about making money doing this writing gig, then treat your writing like a business.  Establish hours to write and let nothing detour you.


Train ride from Elbe to 013

Give me two sentences describing this scene, and do it without using an adverb.


You have things to do, as do I, so let’s get busy.  If you are interested in purchasing my latest novel, Resurrecting Tobias, use this link and order as many copies as you want….and of course, I thank cover


“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

When the Going Gets Tough, Writers Write

23 Jun

town_250Happy Monday to you all.  I hope you found peace and relaxation from this past weekend.  Let’s hit the ground running (cliché, Lizzy) and see what kind of trouble we can stir up.


Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.

Calvin Coolidge
My apologies for quoting Coolidge. LOL  But in this case, I happen to agree with Silent Cal.


I am an observer of people.  Over the past three years of my writing journey, I have been in touch with many writers.  Something I have noticed is how easily some writers are discouraged by lack of results.  Many who write on writer’s sites like HubPages see their low viewership and decide to quit writing because of what they see as a lack of success.

Others who self-publish books, only to find that nobody bought them, throw in the towel and never publish again.

Writing is a long-term gig.  Instant success is almost non-existent in this business.  You have to build your platform on brick at a time, or in this case, one article, one short story, and one novel at a time.  You have to establish your credentials and pay your dues before real success will visit you.

Do not give up!


If your self-published novel doesn’t sell, then enter it in a novel-writing contest.

If your article does poorly on HubPages or Bubblews, then submit it to magazines and enter contests with it.

And if your writing skills are lacking, then take the necessary steps to improve them.

Just because something you have written is not immediately recognized as good writing does not mean that it is poorly written.  There is more than one way to….wait for it, Lizzy….skin a cat!  For those of you not named Lizzy, I used that cliché on purpose.



Give it a try. Write a paragraph describing this scene.  Maybe you’ll find an article buried in the picture.


Take a moment from your busy day and read this article by my dear friend Lizzy.  This is writing at its most powerful, digging up painful memories and demanding that the reader feel the same pain.  I applaud my dear friend for having the courage to write this, and I highly recommend it to all of you as an example of a writer willing to risk it all to connect with her readers.

The article is called “The Day I Killed My Mother.”

I might add that Lizzy originally posted this on HubPages and has since entered it in a writing contest….good luck, Lizzy, and thanks for proving my point.


Thank you to all of you who have purchased my book, Resurrecting Tobias.  It is now available as a paperback on Amazon.  I ask that you leave a review if you do purchase it.  Thank youbook cover again.


“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

A Good Rejection

19 Jun

book coverHappy Thursday to you all, and welcome back!

It just occurred to me that this is like a simulcast, being offered on “Artistry With Words” as well as my website.  How cool is that?  Well, not very cool, but I thought I would mention it.

Let’s start with a quote and then get moving to the subject of the day.


The biggest hurdle is rejection. Any business you start, be ready for it. The difference between successful people and unsuccessful people is the successful people do all the things the unsuccessful people don’t want to do. When 10 doors are slammed in your face, go to door number 11 enthusiastically, with a smile on your face.

John Paul DeJoria
Yes, the dreaded “R” word…rejection.


Let me share a “good rejection” with you.  I just received this lovely message this morning from agent Janet Reid in Seattle:
Thanks for writing to me about your work.

I’m sorry, this is a pass for me.

Right now my list is very full, and I’m fortunate that business
is very good so I have to pass on projects that are not only
good and publishable but ones I really like. That’s a good
problem for me, but it just stinks from the writer’s
viewpoint, yes indeed it does.

I strongly encourage you to query widely. Other agents have more wiggle room
on their lists and are able to take on more than I can.

Please think of this as redirection to another agent, not rejection.

Very best wishes to you!

Janet Reid
FinePrint Literary Management

Why am I so happy with this rejection?

Well, first of all, this is not a form letter. Janet took the time to write a personal note, and believe me when I tell you that this is very rare.

Secondly, she implies that my book, Resurrecting Tobias, is not only good but publishable.  That is music to my ears.

Third, she gave me directions to keep sending queries out.  In other words, she thinks the book has a chance of being published if I’m diligent and persistent.


This will be a short one:  don’t give up!

Believe in what you are doing and do not let rejection stop you.


Hey, the website problems have been solved, so if you would like to follow the website, go to and sign up. I’d love to have you there.

And if you are already here (remember, this is a simulcast) then note a new page on the website….I am not in the “writing coach” business.  If you are interested in getting an honest appraisal of your writing skills, and some tips and suggestions to get you on track, then drop me a line and we’ll get started.



I hope this picture will shake loose some cobwebs in your creative brain and set you on the track to productivity.


But you can bet I’ll be back early next week with more of that thing I do.


“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

The Horrible “P” Word

16 Jun

book coverHappy Monday to you all, and thanks for returning.

Today let’s talk about personality.


The ‘self-image’ is the key to human personality and human behavior. Change the self image and you change the personality and the behavior.

Maxwell Maltz

Remember that when you write and publish a book, you are not only promoting the book but also you as a person.  There are millions of books published each and every year….there is only one you.

The writer who thinks his/her book stands alone as a separate entity is a fool.  You are the face of your book.

With that in mind, how do you come across to the people who know you? How do you come across to strangers? Social media casual friends?  To a great extent, how you are viewed by those who see you is how your book will be viewed.  It is inevitable.


Spruce up your image and go meet your audience.  Do book signing and book readings. Go to workshops.  Give talks to schools about creative writing.  Put yourself out there and allow readers to know you as a human being, and not just some name on a book cover.


Room Magazine is holding their annual writing contest, and submissions will be accepted through July 15th for works of fiction and nonfiction of up to 3,500 words.  This is only open to Canadian writers.


For whatever reason, when I switched from my writing blog Artistry with Words to this website, I lost some viewers.  From now on, then, I’ll post these on this website and also the Artistry blog.  Why? Because I hate to lose followers and friends, that’s why.


Resurrecting Tobias is now on sale in paperback and Kindle.  You can order my latest novel by following this link.

Thank you all and have a great week.


“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

Finally “Resurrecting Tobias” is a Reality

12 Jun

book coverThe day has finally arrived, and I am proud to announce that “Resurrecting Tobias” is now available to purchase in either paperback or Kindle.

Only another writer can fully appreciate the long hours it takes to write a novel.  The book becomes a part of you, a living being that demands more and more of your time and effort, but when it is all done, there is relief and satisfaction.

I hope you enjoy the book.  It will make you laugh.  It will make you cry, and it will make you reflect upon your own participation in the human experience.

Thank you, one and all, for your support and friendship.