Looking for Opportunities

31 Jan


I recently posted on Facebook that this was the first time in five years that I wasn’t working on a novel.  People immediately took that to mean I wasn’t writing at all, or I somehow came down with “writer’s block.”

Sorry about the confusion…I’m simply working on a different writing project that I need to get completed before March.  As soon as I finish that I’ll return to “Shadows Fall On Rosarito,” the novel I’m two-thirds done with, and then I have four other novels I want to write…so you see, there is no writer’s block at all.

Now that we have that all cleared up, let’s move to today’s blog posting.

But first…


“The key to growth is the introduction of higher dimensions of consciousness into our awareness.” Lao Tzu

I met a character from my next novel yesterday.

Read that sentence again and let it sink in.

I met an imaginary character from a novel I haven’t written yet.

Cue the caretakers…get that straightjacket ready for me, please!

But as strange as that sentence seems to be, most writers will understand completely.

I’m always on the lookout for my next character.  I’m always observing.  I’m always jotting down mental notes for future stories and books.

I just assume all writers are like that.

Are you?  Please say you are or I’ll feel like the weirdest human being on the planet, and writers will be using me for their next homicidal/suicidal/mentally-unstable character.street fair Aug 2012 013


Short but sweet . . . observe!  Be aware!  You’ve got five senses.  Use them!


You all know what guerrilla marketing is, right?  It’s using unconventional methods to market your goods or services when you have a very small budget to work with.  Most writers can relate to that, I think.  I love finding new ways to market my writing, and I’m currently taking a break from novel-writing to try one of those new ways.

I’m making coloring books!

I love that coloring books are making a comeback in today’s society.  It seems like every single time I go into a retail shop, I see a display of coloring books, and since I love coloring books and I love trying new things, it is the perfect avenue for my guerrilla marketing.

I’m just finishing up my first coloring book, “The History of Olympia, Washington Coloring Book.”  It combines my love of history with my love of writing with my love of coloring, and I plan on selling them at the farmers market here in Olympia.  My next will be an urban farming coloring book, which I’ll start next week.

Will I sell a ton of them? I doubt it, but I’ll sell some, and those sales will combine with the sales of my novels and the money I make freelancing, and it all adds up.

I use a free computer program called GIMP, which takes photographs and changes them into sketch drawings….there are quite a few programs out there that do the same thing…Photoshop…Pixlr….and they are all user-friendly.   Then I format it all for CreateSpace and presto, I have a coloring book. The cost to me, including shipping, is less than three dollars per book.

Anyway, I just thought I’d mention it in case you are looking for something new to try.


I hope you have a superb week of writing and marketing. Thanks a ton for spending part of your Tuesday with me.


“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”


26 Responses to “Looking for Opportunities”

  1. Janine Huldie January 31, 2017 at 3:20 pm #

    Seriously, you are awesome and I can’t wait to see the coloring book you are making. You just got me so excited this morning and thanks for the Tuesday post to get my engines revving so to speak, Bill!! 🙂

    • Billybuc January 31, 2017 at 3:55 pm #

      Very cool, Janine! Maybe you can make a coloring book??? It’s just pretty easy to do, my friend. If nothing else your girls would love it, right?

      Thank you and Happy Tuesday to you.

  2. Lisa Williams January 31, 2017 at 3:24 pm #

    I am always on the lookout for a new Character! I have recently started writing “character sheets” on people I know, or in some cases, only met briefly. I geuss that’s why they say to be careful around a writer, you may just end up in one of their books!😆

    • Billybuc January 31, 2017 at 3:56 pm #

      Lisa, it’s good to hear from you. I love that you are making character sheets….you are right, nobody is safe when a writer is on the lookout. LOL

  3. Sarah Potter Writes January 31, 2017 at 4:15 pm #

    Wow, that sounds like a brilliant idea. Good luck with it. I have GIMP on my computer and I love photography, so maybe I will give the colouring book idea a try. Soon, I’m going to be doing a post on my blog asking my blogging friends which of my books they would most like me to publish next, as I just can’t make up my mind. Whilst asking them, I could ask whether they would be interested in me doing a colouring book, too, and of course credit you with the inspiration behind the idea!
    And yes, I’m always meeting characters in my head. They’re not always that nice, but they’re interesting! The ones in my dreams are the best, as they’re the quirkiest. I go on long adventures with them, quests of a kind, and we have very lengthy conversations. My dreams are always in vivid colour. Do you dream in colour?

    • Billybuc January 31, 2017 at 4:27 pm #

      Sarah, I rarely dream, or perhaps I should say I rarely remember my dreams, so color? I have no idea. Is that strange? I feel as though it is. 🙂 Yes, do try the coloring book idea….there are Youtube videos to help you learn how to do it on GIMP…I can send you a link to the one that helped me if you want.

  4. Linda Lum January 31, 2017 at 4:20 pm #

    A coloring book? That’s awesome. Can’t wait to see it. What a great idea.

    • Billybuc January 31, 2017 at 4:24 pm #

      Thanks LInda! I’m currently working on the second one. I’ll publish the first in about two weeks.

  5. suziehq January 31, 2017 at 4:28 pm #

    Hi Bill, what a cool idea to do coloring books! I love it too and such a choice now for adults too. Loved hearing how you are doing it, learn something new each time I read your bolgs and posts! Well done you have a fab week my friend xxxxx

    • Billybuc January 31, 2017 at 4:32 pm #

      Suzie, the coloring book would be a perfect addition to what you sell at craft fairs. Drop me a line if you want to know more.

  6. Lawrence Hebb January 31, 2017 at 7:46 pm #

    That’s a brilliant idea!
    Last weekend we had a family gathering and I got to tell a few more family members about my book, I got challenged with “you can’t sell a secret!” In other words ‘market the product’
    I’m working on my ‘online presence’ with a FB page for the ‘Scorpion Team’ series.
    I love the idea of the colouring book, maybe you can link it with some of the places in your books, he’ll, maybe I’ll do that for mine, the next one is set here in sunny New Zealand!

    • Billybuc February 1, 2017 at 2:45 pm #

      There you go, Lawrence. Great follow-up suggestion….love it!

  7. Dee January 31, 2017 at 11:49 pm #

    Thanks for the tip on Gimp. I will look into that one. Don’t work too hard on that next novel, the chickens need your sunny disposition.

    • Billybuc February 1, 2017 at 2:46 pm #

      Writing is never hard work, Dee. I’m blessed to be able to do this.

      I’ll tell the chickens you were concerned about them. 🙂

  8. Michael Milec February 1, 2017 at 2:40 am #

    You are not alone ‘the weirdest human being on the planet’ Bill my friend. Similar preoccupation such as ‘observing’, ‘jotting down mental notes for future stories’ have been my companion all my life, which up to this point I have never admitted publically. It has something to do with “the key to growth” taking a ‘genuine’ soul into some ‘celestial spehere’ making it aware of a unique mission here and now. . . Perhaps something more then a mentally stable character. (What do I know, anyway ?!)

    • Billybuc February 1, 2017 at 2:47 pm #

      Michael my friend, I suspect you know a great deal. Some of the wisest men I’ve known were observers of life…..so thank you, and blessings always.

  9. marlenebertrand February 1, 2017 at 5:48 pm #

    I don’t think you will ever stop writing, Bill. It is part of your DNA. I can totally identify with what you said about meeting a new character. I remember a character that came to me out of the blue one day. I was so intrigued by this character that I could hardly wait to place him somehow, someway in a book I was writing at the time. Thank you for the coloring book idea. I really enjoy coloring books. Maybe I’ll try your idea of creating my own and selling a few, because like you said, it all adds up.

    • Billybuc February 1, 2017 at 7:41 pm #

      It all does add up, Marlene…maybe a real estate coloring book…great way for kids to deal with moving to a new home. 🙂

  10. Jo Miller February 1, 2017 at 6:27 pm #

    Thanks for the information on GIMP. She’s been talking about doing adult coloring books. Good luck with that and with your farmer’s market. It all sounds like fun. There are so many interesting things to do, I don’t know how anyone ever gets bored.

    • Billybuc February 1, 2017 at 7:39 pm #

      I don’t know how they get bored either, Jo! I can’t find enough hours in the day to do everything I want to do. 🙂 Thanks for the comment.

  11. Sageleaf February 2, 2017 at 2:26 am #

    Right on with the coloring books, Big Bro! HAHA!
    And you’re not needing a straitjacket: when you’re into your craft, your mind works on it even when you’re not “working on it.” Good for you!!
    And, I LOVE using GIMP. I’ve used it extensively for my photography. It’s addictive. Watch out. 😉

    • Billybuc February 2, 2017 at 2:44 pm #

      Well shoot, Lil Sis, why didn’t you tell me earlier about GIMP? I would have been doing this years ago. LOL Thanks dear sister.

  12. phoenix2327 February 2, 2017 at 1:56 pm #

    Colouring books are making a comeback? I didn’t even know they left. I started colouring when I was 5 and never stopped. Does this mean I won’t get odd looks anymore from people who ask if the books are for my children and I say ‘No, they’re for me’?

    Clever you making colouring books. You make it sound really easy too. I’ll have to try it out on Photoshop. Thanks, Bill.

    • Billybuc February 2, 2017 at 2:45 pm #

      Hold those coloring books proudly, Zulma, and tell people flat out they are yours. LOL Bev and I color. I’ve always loved it.

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