Archive | July, 2014

Reach Out and Touch Someone

30 Jul

003And a very Happy Wednesday to you all!

First of all, I need to thank my dear friend Cyndi for allowing me to guest blog on her site yesterday.  You can see that by following this link.  Cyndi, you are a good friend, and it was an honor to share some thoughts with your audience.


When it comes to partnership, some humans can make their lives alone – it’s possible. But creatively, it’s more like painting: you can’t just use the same colours in every painting. It’s just not an option. You can’t take the same photograph every time and live with art forms with no differences.

Ben Harper

I’ve made this offer before, but let me make it again.  If you would like to guest post here, please, just drop me a line.  In the coming weeks my friend Melanie will be a guest here, and shortly after that Christy will do the same.  I am a big believer in writers helping each other.  I also believe we need each other.  We gain strength from those who have travelled the same path, and the life of a writer isn’t quite as lonely as long as we have each other to lean on and learn from.


Reach out to someone and form a friendship in the writing world.  I have several close online friends who I rely on, and I would like to think they feel the same way about me. I cherish those friendships.  Give it a try.  You just might like it.


christmas 2012 014

Remember a special Christmas you spent in your past.  We are approaching the deadline for Christmas articles, and maybe remembering a special holiday will help you to write the perfect Christmas article that will knock the socks off some magazine editor.


A non-fiction book contest with a deadline of October 15thFind it here.


As you may know, I’m debating how many times per week to write this blog. I can either do three short ones like this one, or one long, expanded one each week.  You decide, please.  Leave me your vote in the comment section.


That’s it for today.  Get busy!  There are words to be cover


“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

Embrace the Change in You

28 Jul

Monarch Sculpture Park...Tenino July 2011 082Happy Monday to you all, and I mean that sincerely.  I love Mondays now that I learned to take weekends off.  My mind is fresh and I’m bubbling over with writing ideas. How about you?

What did we do this weekend?  We went to the movies and saw “Lucy,” a sci-fi movie with Scarlett Jo in it…liked it.  We worked in the garden.  I finally built the door for the quail run.  I had been dragging my feet on that because I was too lazy to dig the post holes, but I finally did it.  The weather was perfect and we managed to harvest the remainder of the raspberries and blueberries.

So, let’s get this show started.  How about we talk about change today?


Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.

George Bernard Shaw



I thought it would be appropriate to quote another writer today.




All of a sudden I’m typing in bold style.  Oh well.  I don’t feel like trying to switch it over, so live with it.

About change…..


I’m not afraid to change as I travel this writing road.  I have very specific goals in mind, but how I attain those goals is a roll of the dice.  I try stuff, and if it doesn’t work, I try different stuff.  No secret formula to my approach in this freelance writing game.  If it works I ride it; if it doesn’t work I discard it.


I think this is the fifth blog I have tried.  I’ll stay with this one as long as people enjoy it.  I don’t get much from this except a chance to communicate with all of you, and it also serves as part of my platform, which I consider important.  I may change this soon…I may not. I’m thinking of only doing this blog once a week, but filling it with more information for that one posting.  We’ll see how it goes.  Doing three blogs a week is time-consuming, and I don’t have a lot of time.  So again, we’ll see how it goes.




There are no Ten Commandments of writing.  No burning bush of truth.  There are suggestions made by those who have been there and done that, but in the end, you have to be accountable to yourself.  You are the business owner, so run your business as best as you know how.  At the end of the day, you are still a writer, and that’s pretty cool.



street fair Aug 2012 001

How about a verbal prompt today?  Country fairs are starting up, and of course we’ll be going to one or two.  What memories do you have when you hear “country fair?”





How about a short story contest with no entry fee?  First prize wins $200 and publication, and the deadline is August 11thCheck it out here.




Collider Mag is accepting science fiction articles and stories.  They pay between fifteen and twenty-five cents per word.  Check them out here.




My good friend Deb Neyens has started a new blog called “Counting My Chickens,” and it details her urban farming efforts as well as some great down-home wisdom and reflections.  You can find her blog here.




But I’ll be back, so until next time, thank you so very much.  I appreciate you all greatly.




“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

What Can I Do For You Today?

25 Jul

book coverHappy Friday my peeps!  How ya doing?  All is well here after a pretty busy week.  I managed to somehow write about 3,000 words in my new novel, which is now on its third working title.  And I kept customers happy and managed to support a few of you along the way. Not a bad week any old way you slice and dice it.

What can I do for you today?  That’s not a rhetorical question.  I want  to help you…but first…the quote of the day to get us started.


Unity is strength… when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved.

Mattie Stepanek
I believe those words, and if you are a writer, you should believe them as well.


There are only a few million of us who do what we do.  That number may seem large, but compared to 7.2 billion, it’s a drop in the ocean my friends.  We need each other.  Only another writer can understand what it takes to keep pouring out our heart and soul with no promise of reward….just doing it day in, day out, because you love what you do and you have a voice inside your head spurring you on.

I cannot make it without you, and I’m telling you right now, you can’t make it without your other writing friends.

So, what can I do for you?  Would you like me to guest blog for you?  Would you like me to highlight your work on my blog, or interview you for an article?  Can I link your work to one of my articles?

We build this business one contact at a time, and hopefully those contacts will spread the word to others, and so it goes.  Word of mouth advertising is the best advertising there is, and if we all support each other our businesses will grow.

So…what can I do for you?


I can never remember who I’ve highlighted in the past, but I’m going to give a shout out to my friend Mari because I just love her blog and her sense of humor.  You can find her blog right here following this link. I encourage you all to give her support.


Another poetry contest right here.  Submission fee of $25 with first prize of $2,000 and a deadline of October 15th.


I’ll be guest blogging on my friend Cyndi’s blog next week and I’m excited about it.  Remember what I said…what can I do for you…and what can you do for other writers?

Have a great weekend. You earned it.


“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

A Guest Blog Today

23 Jul

003Happy Wednesday to you all.  Today I get to play hooky and turn this blog over to my dear friend, Liz Davis.  I’ll start it off with a quote related to Liz’s post, and then let Liz do the rest of the work.


Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.

Thomas Jefferson
And now, here’s Liz!

“Crystallize your goals. Make a plan for achieving them and set yourself a deadline. Then, with supreme confidence, determination, and disregard for obstacles and other people’s criticisms, carry out your plan.” Paul J. Meyer, motivational speaker


Know what your goals are, make a plan, and get to work. Sounds easy enough, right? If you’ve been reading Bill’s articles for any length of time, you know a plan is crucial if you’re going to make this writing gig work.


But if you’re like me, planning is a challenge. I applaud anyone who has a knack for coming up with a goal and building clear steps to get there.


Just the thought of being this organized makes my brain spasm.


So although I want to make writing a viable career, I wing it. It’s like I’m taking a journey across the country without a map, just following the pretty scenery until oops! I’m lost.


I’ve come to a point where I need to take my writing career seriously. The first step is to think of it as just that: a career with goals and daily objectives to get me there.


This requires a (gulp!) plan.


So how do the planning-challenged plan? How can you reach your goals when you can’t even wrap your head around the process it takes to get there? Well, here’s my 5-part strategy:


  1. Find Someone to Work With


I know planning isn’t my thing, so finding someone to help me carve a path to my goals is essential. Friends who have a knack for planning–whether they are writers, business owners, or managers–can make the task less daunting.


  1. Establish New Habits


I’ve been writing every day for the past couple months. The purpose of my daily journal is to develop a writing habit. In other words, I don’t publish most of what I write at this point. But every morning after I get up, I make my coffee and write. Now, instead of making time to work, it’s simply part of my morning ritual.


  1. Feel the End Result


The journey isn’t quite clear yet, but tickets are bought and clothes are packed. Feeling like my goals have already been accomplished is vital. I can’t base my goals on wouldn’t it be nice or I hope I can do this. It’s going to happen or it’s not.


Take the ball and run with it or head to the locker room because wishy-washy is neither fulfilling nor profitable.


  1. Read About Writing


I love to read books about writing, especially those on personal essays or memoir. Like any other job, learning is crucial if you want to advance. So right now I’m reading a book called Naked, Drunk, and Writing by Adair Lara. The author is hilarious and the book teaches everything you would learn in her memoir writing class.


  1. Lose the Excuses


The kids make great excuses when I can’t get things done. I have a four-year-old and a baby, and it’s apparent that neither one of them care about my goals! In spite of this, I have chunks of time that spring up throughout the day. If I take advantage of these moments, over time I can get some serious writing done.


Seth Godin said this in his blog post today: “Pretty good ideas are easy. The guts and persistence and talent to create, ship and stick it out are what’s hard.” Writing a list of goals is the simple part. Creating a plan and following through isn’t easy. Showing up for the job and getting help when needed is required. And that’s what I plan to do!


What’s your plan?




Thank you, Lizzy.  I love the message, and I really do appreciate you taking me up on my offer and writing this blog post.

Anyone else out there up for the challenge?  Drop me a line and let me know if you want to expound on writing on this site.


You can find Liz on HubPages as Radcliff…go here and say hello to her.




“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”


Embrace Your Creative Genius

21 Jul

003Happy Monday to you all.  I hope you had a great weekend.  I spent mine working on the quail enclosure, and starting the rabbit hutch construction.  In my spare time I picked peas and berries.  These are busy times on our little urban farm, and I love leaving writing on the back burner and doing something worthwhile on our little piece of heaven.

I am now back at the computer and my little head is exploding with ideas.  This week I’ll continue to send out query letters for Resurrecting Tobias, and work on the new novel, The Shadow Man….and of course, following your writing efforts and working on this blog.

Shall we begin?


Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things.

Steve Jobs
I love that quote by Jobs…let me tell you why.


I am of the belief that what we writers do it special.  I have known some writers who, when asked what they do for a living, are embarrassed to say that they are writers.


What we do is special.  We create!  We entertain!  We inform!  We make a connection between ourselves and our readers, and that connection can be, and often is, meaningful and memorable.  It is not easy to write well, but when it is done, it is magical.

Be proud that you are a writer.  You should be shouting it from the rooftops.

Bev has asked me before, as have other people, how I do what I do.  Where do all the ideas come from, and where does the creativity come from.  I have no answer.  It just happens.  I sit down at the computer and my mind switches into creativity mode, and I love being an active participant in something so magical.


Let your creativity work for you.  If you are an article writer, look for connections that nobody else has seen.  Find a new approach to an old idea, and remember to always write to the senses.  We all share senses.  We all respond to taste, to smell, to touch, and so on.  It is crucial that you remember that so your readers can relate to what you are writing.


Go to YouTube, right here, and listen to The Who sing this song from the rock opera Tommy.  Let it be your inspiration as you prepare to write today.


Guest blog on my blog.  Come on, you know you want to.  I’ll be turning this over to my friend Lizzy in a few days and she will give us some of her views on writing.  We can all learn from each other, so why not share your views here on my site?  Drop me a line and let me know if you are interested.


Yes, I’m tooting my own horn, but I’m allowed to do that on my own blog.  Here is a recent review for Resurrecting Tobias:

“I took this book to read while I was on vacation. Page one had me wanting to cancel all of my vacation activities so I could enjoy uninterrupted time reading this book. I enjoyed my vacation and with this book on my nightstand, I never had any “down” time.
Reading this book took me on a whole other vacation.

This is the kind of book that I lovingly call interactive. William Holland creates truly engaging characters. I couldn’t help developing a sense of friendship with some of his extraordinarily captivating characters. The more I read, the more I experienced a plethora of reactions – sighing, gasping, weeping, and chuckling. I also experienced love, sadness, happiness, joy, and more. It’s all good!book cover

I highly recommend reading “Resurrecting Tobias” to people who want to read a book that is filled with non-stop actions that move you through the past, present, and future in the life of Toby King.”


Have a great day of writing my friends.  I’m here for you as I know you are for me, and isn’t that just too cool?


“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

Be a Yardstick of Quality

18 Jul

003Happy Friday!  There was a time, not too long ago, when you had to pull me away from my computer kicking and screaming.  I’m happy to announce that now, when Friday’s arrive, I have absolutely no problem walking away from my writing for the weekend.

Today let’s talk about quality control.


Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.

Steve Jobs


I think there is a real danger among freelance writers to try and take on too much.  After all, making money is an important reason why many are writing.  I don’t believe it should be the only reason, but I’m realist enough to know it is important.  So we rush and we rush, and we try to do a blog and submit to magazines and write a book and find customers and….and….

We end up doing a shabby job of it all.

I am a stickler for quality.  I believe writing is almost a sacred calling.  There are few in the world who can do what we do, and we really need to make sure we are doing it well.

Do not be in a rush to write a book.  Take your time and make it the best book possible.  Do not feel you need to do a blog post a day if it means quality suffers.  Make your blog the best online blog imaginable, and if that means only posting twice a week then so be it.

You are the manager of your business, and you are the quality control foreman.


A friend of mine wrote a review of my book, Resurrecting Tobias, and if you would like to read it then please follow this cover


Hey, it’s Friday, and I simply do not feel like writing more today.  Have a great weekend, and come back Monday refreshed and ready to light the world on fire with your words.


“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

Diversify but Don’t Water Down Your Quality

16 Jul

003If today is Wednesday, and it is, then it must be time for another installment of my blog, so let’s get to it.


The secret of happiness is variety, but the secret of variety, like the secret of all spices, is knowing when to use it.

Daniel Gilbert
So, what does variety have to do with writing?


I have written before about adding variety to your approach of writing. In other words, writing for passive income, submitting work to magazines, publishing ebooks, doing a blog, etc…..but…..

Variety becomes a hindrance, in my humble opinion, when a writer does a mediocre job at all of the various writing endeavors.  I’ve seen this before, where a new writer, all excited about kickstarting their career, will throw together a blog in a hurry, whip out ten articles, in a hurry, and toss together an ebook, in a hurry, and then sit back and wonder why they aren’t making any money.

Anything you do as a writer reflects on you as a writer.  That is not a riddle or a play on words.  Your work is who you are as a writer, and shoddy work reflects poorly on you.

It’s fine to diversify and spread your efforts around the writing world, but make sure you aren’t spreading your talents too thin.  The most important thing writers have going for themselves is the quality of their work. If you neglect quality you are cutting your own throat.


Do one thing and do it well before you move on to another stage in your writing career.



What do you see? What does it remind you of?


A flash fiction competition from Gemini.  Entry fee is only four bucks. Check it out here.


I would love to chat longer, but my new character, Eli Baker, is calling me.  He’s stuck in a murder investigation and doesn’t know where to go without my help.

Have a great day of writing, but then, honestly, any day of writing is a great day, right?book cover


“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

Sticking to the Plan

14 Jul

003Happy Monday to all my peeps.  How was your weekend?

I survived my weekend without Bev, but it wasn’t easy. Sixteen new baby quail kept me busy, as did chores and errands, as did the business of staying cool in this unusual heat we are having in Olympia.

I’m here, though, and my brain is exploding with ideas, so let’s get started.


You were born to win, but to be a winner, you must plan to win, prepare to win, and expect to win.

Zig Ziglar
True words from the Zig Man!

What is your plan as a writer?  Do you have one?


I started writing professionally three years ago.  When I began, I sat down and wrote out a five-year plan.  I am happy to announce I am right on schedule.

The plan is stapled above my computer so it is always there as a reminder.

If you are a recreational writer, then forget about a plan.  Just write for your enjoyment and don’t worry about any of this nonsense.

But if you are a freelance writer, or a writer who has goals, then you should have a plan.  I have said this before, but it should be heard again:  the writer is his/her business, and what he/she writes is the product.

All businesses have a plan.  Ergo, you should have a business plan.


Write down what it is you want to accomplish.  Then write down how you are going to accomplish it.  Then take those “how tos” and put them on a calendar.

Get serious about your writing or get run over by those who are.


Let’s try something different today.  Write a metaphor or simile about this situation:  you are walking down the street, and you see a man trying to lift a very heavy box.


If you are not there already, go to my website at and check out my suggested reading list.  I add to it periodically, and I promise that I have read them all….thus the personal recommendation.


I’m still taking offers to guest blog here. Only one requirement and that is that the topic must be about writing.  Get in touch with me and let’s chat.


Thanks as always…have a great week…thanks to those of you who have written reviews for my latest novel Resurrecting Tobias.  You are greatly cover


“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

A Guest Blogger Joins Us Today

10 Jul

003Happy Thursday to you all!  The blessed weekend is almost upon us, and then it will be time to kick back and say goodbye to writing for two days.  Bev is deserting me for the weekend, the temps are supposed to be in the nineties, and I have a to-do list to attack.  I suspect I’ll be more than ready to write on Monday.

Today I believe we will talk about……fear and rejection.


We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.




I would like you to say hello to a writer friend of mine who graciously accepted my invitation to guest blog.  Say hello to Zainab Tarawali.   You can find his blog here and I encourage you to do so.

Fear and Rejection: My Two New Pals

I’ve been writing since I was a child – from silly short stories to intimate journals on life’s lessons. It wasn’t until a few months ago that I finally mustered up the courage to make a business out of my writing. I would say that I put all doubt and fear to the side but that’s not exactly what happened.

Like many folks, I dreaded fear for the longest. If a situation arose that lead to adversity, fear would always find its way in and I couldn’t stand it. Plus I hated myself for reacting to fear and letting it affect me. I would let it cripple me and sometimes even stop me in my tracks. Then it got to a point when I decided to fight back. Fight back the thoughts, the naysayers and the horrible effects it had on me. Fighting worked at first, but that stopped working after a while.

Then there’s lovely rejection. We’ve all experienced that more than once and it’s never pleasant. Situations that left me rejected would just leave a nasty scar on my mind and heart. So I took the same steps I took towards dealing with fear, I decided to avoid any situation that would lead to rejection as best as I could. Yeah, that didn’t last long either. Plus I got tired of missing out on things.

When I realized that I needed to take my writing seriously and make moves, fear and rejection made their way to my mind, but after dealing with them so much over the years and learning that fighting them wasn’t working, I reached a conclusion. I shouldn’t dread or avoid either one. They are a part of life and I wasn’t abnormal for feeling fear; it’s a natural emotion. Rejection was a part of life and I could learn from it and not hold onto painful memories. These two could really take me places! Case in point, after experiencing fear and rejection career wise, I was able to face both and use them as motivators – the end result was a huge promotion doing something that I love. I’m applying this same type of energy to my writing and I couldn’t be more excited.

So I look at fear and rejection and say to both of them: I thank you for everything you’ve taught me and given me over the years. You guys are not setbacks, stumbling blocks, or delays. You are motivators and fire starters! Thanks for giving me the courage to write my first pitch letters to editors and to even serve as a guest blogger on a great website. Thanks guys!


Thanks again to Musu for taking the time to do my work for me this week.  I hope you all follow his blog, and I wish all of you a wonderful weekend of rest and relaxation.  Oh, and if you should want to read my new novel, Resurrecting Tobias, you can find it on Amazon or my website at cover


“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”


Recycle, Reuse, Rewards

7 Jul

003Happy Monday to you all.  I hope my American friends had a wonderful 4th of July weekend.  I spent it taking walks and working in the garden, so it was a weekend well-spent.

Let’s talk today about recycling.


The purpose – where I start – is the idea of use. It is not recycling, it’s reuse.

Issey Miyake
That is the perfect quote for our discussion today.


I’m somewhat of an anomaly on the writer’s site HubPages, because I did not join that site to make money.  Occasionally a new Panda will come along, and earnings dip, and you can hear the screams from coast to coast, as online writers seeking passive income see their dollars shrink to pennies….but it has no effect on my efforts at all.

I write at HubPages because I love the community, but also because it is a means of building my writer’s platform, my accumulation of work for which I am known.  But, and this is a big but (t)….I make my platform work for me.  Articles that I write for HubPages can be recycled (reused) for ebooks….they can also be used to submit to magazines for publication.

But I don’t stop there. I have sold one article to three different magazines. I simply changed a little part of the article three different times so that it met the submissions requirements of the individual magazine.  Get it?

And don’t forget about contests….the articles that you have written that are gathering dust on the shelf can be submitted to contests and possibly make you money.

In other words, don’t just write an article and forget about it.  Use it over and over again to earn you an income.


Mind Magazine has a poetry contest going on right now. Ten dollar entry fee and the deadline is August 15thCheck it out here.


I don’t know where the big break is going to come from, but I’ll never know if I keep my writing to myself.  Put yourself out there. Enter contests…submit to agents and publishers….start your own blog….submit to magazines….the only way to find out if you have game in this business is to find out….pretty simple really.


I’ve had two people take me up on my offer to guest blog on this site, and you will see their efforts in the next week or so.  The offer is still open…as long as the topic is writing, I’m open to just about anything here.

BOOK OF THE DAYbook cover

A bit self-serving, but in reality all writers have to be self-serving.   You  can buy my new novel, Resurrecting Tobias, if you go to

Thanks for the visit.  See you  on Wednesday


“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”