Short Stories

I am about to publish another short story, Death by Pot Luck. Meanwhile, I thought I’d tell you about the two I already have on Amazon.

The Kidnapping of Stephen Buckman

This short story has been out for a couple of months. It’s FREE July 11 and 12.

Cordelia Neale has sacrificed her life for love. Is it worth it? What does a woman do when her life is in shambles and love is no longer enough to make her sacrifice worth it?

There is a meme going around about how we know we will get old someday. We just didn’t expect it to happen so fast. That is what happened to Cordelia.

One day she woke up and realized that not only was she old. She had spent her adult life in love with a fantasy, a dream, and love that was not all that she thought it was.

Sitting Zen and Killing Clutter

Sitting Zen and Killing ClutterThis story is also free July 11 and 12.

Carol Quinn is reeling after her husband left her. She’s closer to 60 than she feels comfortable with and she is suddenly adrift in a world she cannot accept. Her best friend, Blondie, has a solution. Carol has to get out of her house and out of her slow descent into depression. Carol can become the Chaos Queen and she can begin by decluttering the house of a recently deceased woman with a severe hoarding problem.

In a small rural community on Prince Edward Island there are no secrets but there are a lot of random pieces of misinformation that become repeated until they become part of the fabric of truth. The truth that Carol reveals is much more than she ever anticipated.

What’s in a Name

Some of you might remember my Walkersville stories. They’ve been sent off to a new life elsewhere. May 1, I am getting back to writing a few short stories and novellas.  I’m working on a private project for week one. Then I will publish my short story, The Kidnapping of Stephen Buckman. 

Part of my #May100KChallenge is to, well, write 100,000 words. The private project is 25,000 words. The other 75,000 will be short stories. Continue reading “What’s in a Name”

Coping with Writer's Block

Why Do You Have Writer’s Block?

A recurring topic on Internet writers’ groups is writers’ block. The writers discussing the cursed block range from beginners to old pros at the writing game. Here are some suggestions that came out in a recent discussion as possible reasons for writers’ block.

  • Not thinking through a situation carefully enough

When the first blush of an idea strikes, the immediate feeling is to sit down and capture it on paper. However, rushing to write before the idea is fully formed can have detrimental effects…suddenly you find yourself painted into a corner with no way out. Continue reading “Coping with Writer's Block”

The Crisis of a Writer's Conscience

When I get on a roll and writing seems to pour out of me, I think, ah yes, I can do this. I can easily write my 2,000 words a day. Then something happens and I feel like I will never write again.

There is a 3D-Women-With-Notebook-01solution. Or several. I know. I’ve had this happen to me for years and always looked for suggestions to get past so-called Writer’s Block. Usually it’s a matter of not knowing what to write. I still have a couple of people I do some writing for and I rarely have writer’s block there. They tell me what they want and I write it. Continue reading “The Crisis of a Writer's Conscience”

Take (the Writing) Life Easy but Take It

Laptop

In my dreams this is what my work station looks like. The reality is that I got this picture free from Unsplash.  It appeals to me.

The point is that the easier we can make our writing life, the easier it will be to get to the actual writing. Have a dedicated and non-distracting place to write.

Harlan Coben goes to a coffee shop to write because he is not distracted there by family and other interruptions.  For me, I have to avoid the internet. It is too tempting to check my email all the time. Continue reading “Take (the Writing) Life Easy but Take It”

The Reality of Writing: Some Expert Advice

ChrisFoxThere is so much to know about writing and marketing your Kindle books. I’m sharing some of the expert advice that I received along the way. Like Chris Fox’s advice.

This is Chris Fox over to the right. I bought my first Chris Fox book last summer and it made a difference in my life but the way our brains work, it takes at least seven encounters before the names sink in. So it was not until I saw his second book on writing that I did more investigating. Here’s the first book of his that I found. Continue reading “The Reality of Writing: Some Expert Advice”

Writing Kindle Fiction Books — Does it Pay?

6-14A lot of people looking to make money online turned toward Kindle as if it were the next magic bullet. Chances are that they were be thinking predominantly in terms of non-fiction. The assumption is that it’s easier to market and easier to sell something that serves a particular purpose or answers a particular question. Besides in the info product world, that is their strength.

People want solutions to their nagging problems. So for example, people will very often search for things like ‘how to create wooden furniture’ or ‘how to make money online’ because they are things they want to learn. This makes them willing to pay (especially if they think they’ll earn money as a result) and it makes your book easier for the right people to find. Continue reading “Writing Kindle Fiction Books — Does it Pay?”

Fiction or Nonfiction? Let's Talk Nonfiction First

The Top Niches for Your Kindle Book

All AloneI’m working on this particular topic from the perspective of the marketer or the person who is looking for a viable way to make a living online. There is something that bugs me a great deal and that is how people who look for the Shiny New Object and discover the money-making info product world and get all wound up and tangled in that world. Continue reading “Fiction or Nonfiction? Let's Talk Nonfiction First”

You Can Make Kindle a Real Business Success

I am spending this weekend with my daughter (and other beloved members of my family). My daughter is a voracious reader and reviews quite a few books. We got to talking about Kindle books and since I have a few Kindle stories up there, it’s one of my favorite topics. I’m starting a Writing for Kindle series of blogs here because it turns out I have strong opinions about writing in general and Kindle in particular.

Kindle Books are Crap!

whatThat’s what my daughter said. Her opinion was based on the few Kindle books she had read — or tried to read. The sad fact is, I know what she’s talking about. Some of the books really are crap. Continue reading “You Can Make Kindle a Real Business Success”

Finding Beauty and Pictures of Beauty

Unsplash

Most of my writing career has been focused on words. Lately, I have been learning about the visual aspects of communication. Part of this experience has been due to my participation in Udemy (see my Udemy courses listed over there to the right).

One of the most thrilling discoveries I made in my search for great pictures was Unsplash.  Unsplash is a side project of Crew which is “an invite-only community where you meet top freelance designers, developers, or studios to build your next project.”

The remarkable thing about Unsplash is — well there are several remarkable things about it — but one that really stands out is that every 10 days, they send you 10 images that you can use for whatever purpose you want.

And these are truly lovely photos. All the images on this post are from a recent Unsplash set of images. If you are a blogger, you have likely heard that lately, images are the big thing to include in your blog. That and lots of white space.

People need to be able to speed read through the highlights.


 

About Technical Writing

For me, technical writing began as writing about — well, about — technology. My first technical column was called Net Content. It was the 1990s and it was so easy to write about technology back then. I went to Your Dictionary to see what their definition is. This is it:

“Technical writing is a type of writing where the author is writing about a particular subject that requires direction, instruction, or explanation. This style of writing has a very different purpose and different characteristics than other writing styles such as creative writing, academic writing or business writing.”

Instead of writing about apps, tablets, or Linux, a technical writer could write about mushrooms or skyscrapers or architecture or any number of other topics that calls for direction, instruction, or explanation.

Before I wound down my nonfiction writing, I started using Dr. Andy Williams’ Web Content Studio, which creates extremely web friendly articles. He has a great (free) course on Udemy on using Web Content Studio.

I do still write for a few clients using this tool. I have a lot of old articles stashed away on my backup drive and I have plans to take these and run them through WCS and make them more web friendly.Epictetus

Off to the right is a photo that symbolizes my retreat to the woods. It is my place of peace, contentment, and recommitment to living healthy.

I modified one of the photos and used it as a post on Facebook. This has epictitusbecome the mantra for my life. Given that I have written so often about technology and the great advances that good technology makes in a person’s life, it seems that I might be hypocritical in now talking about having fewer wants.

I’ll be exploring this in future posts.