Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Author interview with GKJ Publishing

 


 I am thrilled to announce that I have been a featured author on GKJ Publishing's YouTube channel! 

I have embedded the link below and have to say, he did a great job with this interview. I recorded my answers and he added everything else in and I think it looks great! 

I am thankful for this opportunity to share a little bit of my life as an author with the world!

 

Covid-19 writing

What is the first draft? 

Visit GKJ Publishing on Instagram

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

On Strike for Christmas book review: 12 Days of Bookmas / Blogmas

 

I read this book every year! On Strike For Christmas by Sheila Roberts has something for everyone. I laugh and I cry every time I read this book. There are many relatable characters that keep me wanting to read it over and over again.

It may be an older book, but it is one I will keep forever.

On Strike For Christmas 

At Christmastime, it seems as though a woman's work is never done. Trimming the tree, mailing the cards, schlepping to the mall, the endless wrapping—bah humbug! So this year, Joy and Laura and the rest of their knitting group decide to go on strike. If their husbands and families want a nice holiday—filled with parties, decorations, and presents—well, they'll just have to do it themselves. The boycott soon takes on a life of its own when a reporter picks up the story and more women join in. But as Christmas Day approaches, Joy, Laura, and their husbands confront larger issues in their marriages and discover that a little holiday magic is exactly what they need to come together.

Sheila Roberts gives the best gift of all in this funny, heartwarming novel that touches the very core of Christmas spirit.

What is Blogmas? 

Book release: Picture This

Monday, December 21, 2020

Quacker Factory Christmas book review: 12 Days of Bookmas / Blogmas

  


This is the most entertaining cookbook I have ever read! I remember seeing her, full of life, on QVC, selling her sparkly clothing line. 

When I saw years ago, that she had a cookbook, I purchased it right away. I still have it and read it often, It is a cookbook that reads like a biography. Jeanne tells stories of her life throughout the book. 

She also filled it to the brim with easy, comforting recipes. Definitely a MUST have!

Amazon has no description. I hope I did it justice:

Jeanne Bice's Quacker Factory Christmas: Simple Recipes, Fabulous Parties and Decorations to Put Sparkle, Not Stress, Into Your Season by Jeanne Bice (15-Nov-2006)

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Christmas in July book review: 12 Days of Bookmas / Blogmas

 


Let's look at Christmas in July by Debbie Mason for 12 Days of Bookmas...

Grace Flaherty had given up hope of ever seeing her husband again. After all, it'd been over a year since he went missing in combat. So when he strides through the door of her bakery in downtown Christmas one sunny afternoon, she can hardly believe her eyes. But her happily-ever-after is going to take some effort - because Jack has no memory of his family.

All Jack Flaherty remembers about Christmas is that he couldn't wait to leave town. Now he's a local hero with a wife and son he doesn't know. Even as he struggles to rekindle the romance with his wife, he knows in his heart what he wants: a second chance at love.

Christmas in July on Amazon  

 I read this book years ago and never wanted to put it down. After all, any book pertaining to a bakery and love is right up my ally! 

 

 

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Blogmas: My favorite Hallmark/Lifetime Christmas movies


 

 I have to confess, I watch Christmas movies on the Hallmark channel every chance I get! 

I do have a few Hallmark / Lifetime favorites I would like to share with you...

1. Comfort and Joy

2. Trading Christmas

3. Mrs. Miracle

4. Good Morning Christmas

These are my top 4, although every year they reveal so many new movies so, this is subject to grow in years to come. 

What is Blogmas?

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Christmas Get It Organized book review: 12 Days of Bookmas / Blogmas

 

Ready to get organized and have a relaxing Christmas? It's not too late! This book will help guide you and provide you with recipes to make it happen!

Kindle

Softcover 

Do you find yourself dreading the Holiday season? Does the word Christmas make you cringe? Christmas…Get It Organized by Deanna Martinez provides easy steps to be ready for the Holiday without all the stress, crowds and expenses. Learn easy ways to stay organized, spend less and have more time to spend with the people you love, doing the things you love. 

Deanna will show you how to make lists, shop ahead of time, have parties, bake treats, create drinks, add new family traditions and much more. Gifts do not have to be things we buy. They can be things we make or time we can give.Put Deanna’s organizing ideas into practice this year and find yourself laughing instead of crying this Christmas. Simply click to purchase and download your copy of Christmas…Get It Organized, now!

What is Blogmas? 

Book release: Picture This

Sunday, December 13, 2020

Blogmas: Top 5 Christmas movies you have to watch

 


I love Christmas movies and have my top 5 favorite that I would like to share with you...

1. National Lampoons Christmas Vacation

2. A Christmas Story

3. Elf

4. Home Alone 2

5. The Grinch

 

Runner Ups:

1. Christmas with the Kranks 

2. Mrs. Miracle

3. The Santa Claus

4. Funny Farm 

 

Try a family movie night...pick a movie, pop popcorn, and make hot cocoa. Laugh and enjoy!  


What is Blogmas?

Blogmas: Christmas gift wrap alternatives 

Blogmas: Family Christmas traditions

Friday, December 11, 2020

Blogmas: Family Christmas traditions, Part 2

 


Traditions are not just for family...create new traditions with your friends too! Here are 6 more traditions for you to try:

1. Caroling

Pick a few of your favorite songs and visit some neighbors.

2. Christmas movie night

Pick a Christmas movie on Netflix, Hulu or on demand. Pop some popcorn and make hot cocoa.

3. Counting trees

Count each tree you see on top of a car and compare everyone's numbers after Christmas. 

4. Christmas folders

Create Christmas folders with stickers to decorate and fill with recipes, decorating ideas, and all things Christmas.

5. Cookie house

Bake or buy a kit...decorate a cookie house together.

6. Advent calendar

Buy one filled with chocolates or buy a fabric calendar and fill it with goodies yourself. 


Blogmas: Family Christmas traditions, Part 1

Blogmas: Christmas gift wrap alternatives, Part 1

What is Blogmas?


Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Blogmas: Family Christmas traditions, Part 1

 


Would you like to start new family traditions this Christmas? Blogmas is here to help! Here are 5 new ideas...

1. Elf on the shelf

Even if the kids do not believe, it's still a fun time!

2. Baking cookies

Spend the day baking.

3. Share with your neighbors

Take some cookies to the neighbors!

4. Take a drive

Hop in the car one evening and go looking at Christmas lights in the neighborhood.

5. Go shopping

 Go out together in search of a new Christmas tree ornament. Maybe get one with the year printed on it so every year you decorate the tree you can remember each one and where you bought it.

 

What is Blogmas? 

Blogmas: Christmas gift wrap alternatives, Part 1 

Blogmas: Christmas gift wrap alternatives, Part 2

 Photo: Happier.com


Monday, December 7, 2020

Blogmas: Christmas gift wrap alternatives, Part 2

 


Ready for more gift wrapping ideas? Here are 6 more...

1. Tissue paper

Use 3 or 4 sheets of tissue paper to wrap your gifts.

2. Tins

That tin collection that is collecting dust...wash them off and use them to give your gifts this year!

3. Baskets

Most people have baskets sitting around. This year use them! 

4. Newspaper

 Wrap gifts with newspaper or magazine paper and adorn with ribbons and bows.

5. Dishtowels

Place gift inside and secure on top with ribbons.

6. Leftover wallpaper


Tip: Our of ribbon? Use yarn!

Photo taken from Amazon 

 

What is Blogmas?

Blogmas: Christmas gift wrap alternatives, Part 1


Sunday, December 6, 2020

Blogmas: Christmas gift wrap alternatives, Part 1


 

 It's beginning to look a lot like Blogmas! Today, we will take a look at 5 gift wrap alternatives...

1. Fabric

Wrap your gifts in leftover fabric. Adorn the gifts with shiny ribbons.

2. Glass jars

You can buy inexpensive glassware from Goodwill or consignment store OR use what you already have!

3. Stockings

If you have a box of Christmas stockings sitting around the house, use them for gift giving this year!

4. Parchment paper

Wrap your smaller gifts with parchment paper and adorn with ribbons.

5. Aluminum foil

Shiny and bright! Wrap gifts with foil...no tape required for smaller items and tie with pretty ribbons.

 

Save money and get creative with these gift wrap alternatives! 

 Photo taken from Pinterest

 

What is Blogmas?

Writers Corner: Fall writing tips

 Blogmas: Christmas gift wrap alternatives, Part 2


Friday, December 4, 2020

What is Blogmas?


 

I have recently learned about Blogmas. It is when a blogger writes on their blog every day for the month of December...much like an Advent Calendar! Only, there is no candy involved. 

So, here I am, making a solid effort to participate this year. I may be a few days late, but I have always said...Better late than never!

Who's in? Will you join me?

When we share our Blogmas posts on social media, we must add the hashtag #Blogmas, this way we can all support one another. 


Covid 19 writing 

Writers Corner: Fall writing tips 

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

COVID-19 writing

 


I have a question...have any writers found that they have been more productive through the pandemic? 

I for one, have definitely found myself writing and creating more. I am up earlier in the morning and find myself staying up later at night. Which may or may not require more coffee. I often wonder if coffee sales have skyrocketed through this thing! 

I have published 3 new books and started writing 2 more. 

Picture This, is my new novella, The Ultimate Guide to Cheesecakes, is my new cookbook, and Step Out and Invite Them Anyway, is a guide to hospitality. 

In addition, I have been blogging with a dash of podcasting thrown into the mix.

I would sty, I am staying productive with my writing. All this in addition to having a family and 2 home businesses! I offer social media management and copy editing for authors. I have just put together a photography we4bsite as well, where I am selling digital photos for authors to use on their projects. I love doing all I can to help fellow authors!

I have a home bakery as well and have been taking orders, orders, and more orders! 

Just like you, I have a lot on my plate...but, I am thankful for it all!

New release: Picture This 

Writers Corner: Fall writing tips  

What is the first draft?

Friday, October 9, 2020

Book Release TODAY: Picture This

 


I am excited to announce the release of my new novella, Picture This on Amazon, TODAY! 

It is available for Kindle, Kindle Unlimited, and in soft cover! CLICK HERE to order.


Carmen Sloan was married at a young age to a man she knew she would spend the rest of her life. She owned her own home, was attending college, and was quickly moving towards the life of her dreams.

After her husband Joe becomes sick, Carmen finds herself living an unrecognizable life, dealing with guilt and sadness daily. Walking to work at a pizza shop to wait tables, while her husband sat holed up in their home, was not the vision she had for her future.

A series of selfish decisions bring Carmen to a place of darkness. Dark secrets begin to wear on her, so she decides to admit her secrets to her husband, the one she used to love more than herself.

Just as Carmen makes a fresh start and life begins to bring her peace, an ugly part of her past drags her back into darkness. Will a broken heart be the death of her?

Picture This is a story of love, strength, secrets, darkness, and new beginnings.
 
Ready to order? CLICK HERE
 
Thank you to each and every reader. Without you, I would not be doing what I love to do! 
 

Author Page on Amazon

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Writers Corner: Fall writing tips





Fall is officially here! I have put together some fall-inspired tips and ideas to help us get into the season.


Seasonal tips:
  • Dress for success: Get out your comfy sweaters, pants, and socks, it's time to write
  • Hot drinks: Stock up on coffee, hot cocoa, and teas... these are a must when writing in autumn
  • Writing outdoors: Take it outside...write with your laptop on the porch or in the park
  • Writing from home: No porch or park available? Open the house windows and enjoy the fresh air while writing
  • Reading: Take your book and a blanket outside and enjoy the sun

Topic and computer tips:
  • Change your background picture on your computer to something fall-related
  • Take fall-inspired photos to post on social media
  • Start a blog and write fall-related posts: weather, clothing, books, and foods
  • If you write articles online, write a few fall-related articles
Now, grab some friends or family and go pick a pumpkin! (Take a picture for social media!)

Book release: Picture This

What is the first draft?

Author organization tips: Writing down your book ideas

Monday, October 5, 2020

NEW book release: Picture This


Hello! I am so excited to announce my new novella, Picture This!

Carmen Sloan was married at a young age to a man she knew she would spend the rest of her life. She owned her own home, was attending college, and was quickly moving towards the life of her dreams.

After her husband Joe becomes sick, Carmen finds herself living an unrecognizable life, dealing with guilt and sadness daily. Walking to work at a pizza shop to wait tables, while her husband sat holed up in their home, was not the vision she had for her future.

A series of selfish decisions bring Carmen to a place of darkness. Dark secrets begin to wear on her, so she decides to admit her secrets to her husband, the one she used to love more than herself.

Just as Carmen makes a fresh start and life begins to bring her peace, an ugly part of her past drags her back into darkness. Will a broken heart be the death of her?

Picture This is a story of love, strength, secrets, darkness, and new beginnings.

It will be released on October 9, 2020! Pre-orders are available right now for Kindle: Pre-order HERE 

Author Deanna Martinez-Bey on Amazon

Funny Farm: Why do I love this movie?

Monday, September 28, 2020

What is the first draft?



If you are reading this article, it means that you are a writer or want to become one.
Congratulations on following your writing dreams! So many people desire to write and never get around to actually doing it.

Let’s talk about the first draft of your book. What is the first draft? It is the original manuscript. You may be thinking… Now that I have written my book it is ready to be submitted to agents and publishers. Well…hold on just a minute. Before you click send, print out your pages and let them sit on your desk for a day or three. Yup…just let them sit there staring you in the face!

After a few days go back, begin to read your book. Have a red pen handy because there are going to be story, grammatical, and spelling changes that you are going to make.
After you read through your book, mark your changes, and then apply them to your computer document.
After this step is complete you have two choices:
  • Move forward with your submissions
  • Have someone else proofread it for you
If you are looking for a copy editor, please reach out to me! book.writer.deanna@gmail.com
In addition to being an author and blogger, I am a copy editor and social media manager for authors! 
To answer the question that I proposed at the beginning of this article…What is the first draft, it is just that, the FIRST draft, not the final copy.

More from Author Deanna Martinez:

Preparing your writing environment

Can earbuds save lives?

New approach to writing a plot and creating an antagonist 

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Funny Farm: Why do I love this movie?


Have you ever seen, Funny Farm? It stars Chevy Chase and Madolyn Smith and was released in 1988.


Basically, it is about a couple who moves to "the country" so that the husband can write a novel. They have a variety of strange events that occur and make them second guess their decision of moving from the city to the country. The move pushes them apart and then ultimately pulls them back together.

I said all this to say, that for some odd reason, this movie encourages me as a writer. I'm sure we all have certain music, movies, and books that encourage us to do what we do and this is my movie of encouragement.

One of my friends on Instagram proposed a question yesterday, "What songs do you listen to when you write?" To her question, I responded that I will often have, Funny Farm playing in the background, but I prefer to write in silence.

Now it is out...I'm apparently a quirky writer. But aren't we all?

You may be wondering right now... What is the purpose of this post? And to you I say... I have no idea!

Author organization tip: Writing down your ideas 

Christmas Organizing book 

Monday, August 10, 2020

Author Organization Tips: Writing Down Your Book Ideas


Writing down ideas, what is that? I know most of us rely on electronics to keep up with our ideas, schedules, contacts, basically our lives.

Call me old fashioned, but there is something about writing down ideas that help me stay organized. I always have a little notebook that I carry with me so that I can write down any ideas I have while I am out and about, pertaining to the book I am writing or project I am working on.
You never know when an idea will come to you. If you don’t have a notebook handy, by all means, make a note on your phone. But, be sure to transfer the info to your notebook later. Having all of your book information together in one place will benefit you in the long run. You can refer back to it or add on to it as needed.

I buy a new notebook and a colorful pen each time I start writing a new book. Anything I think of relating to that book goes in that notebook. As I stated, it helps me stay organized and keeps me from having to remember all the details. I don’t know about you, but my brain doesn’t always remember all the details! Some days it is all I can do to remember to wear socks that match!

Tips for writing down ideas and staying organized:

  • Purchase a notebook (colorful pen optional)
  • Carry the notebook with you
  • Keep all of your book information in one place
  • Keep a special notebook for each book you are writing


This is an article about writing down your book ideas, but as you can see, organization is also important for a writer. They go hand in hand.
Write down your ideas and stay organized!

Christmas organizing book 

Organizing your books

Book organizer: Wordy Writer

Monday, July 27, 2020

Interview with P.E. Gilbert: Paul's Fantasy Writings




I met P.E. Gilbert through Instagram. After chatting we decided we would like to interview one
another and publish the interviews on our blogs. Paul published my interview on his blog last week, and now it is my turn! Paul's Fantasy Writings: Interview with Author Deanna Martinez-Bey.

  1. Please tell us your name and a little bit about yourself...
My name is P.E. Gilbert, and I am a blogger, YouTuber, writing consultant, and the author to the fantasy novella, The Sultan’s Daughter.


I studied history at Birmingham University, before spending the next ten years writing a fantasy series (not The Sultan’s Daughter, as it happens). Nowadays, I give writing tips on my blog and on YouTube, plus interview authors and lend advice where I can. I do these things to help writers/authors write more engaging stories.

  1. Tell us about your book: Title, genre, page count, blurb
My book is called The Sultan’s Daughter. It is a fantasy novella, targeted for fantasy lovers and women. It is a short book of 121 pages and it is fast-paced and full of suspense.


The story is from the sole POV of Princess Nalini, the Sultan’s daughter, who must do everything she can to save her father’s kingdom, despite having two older brothers and several advisors around her who are supposedly more competent than her. The blurb is as follows:


Victory means life and furthering everything that her father has built. Defeat means death, destruction, and ruin.


The choices could not be starker for Princess Nalini after a curse is placed upon her family. Untrained for rule and war, she must adapt quickly. For who else can stop the armies of frightening fanaticism marching toward the capital if not the Sultan’s daughter?

  1. What is your writing inspiration?
In general, my desire to write stories comes from my love for great books and films. I write in order to give back to the industries that have given me so much joy since childhood.


More specifically for The Sultan’s Daughter, my inspirations come from history, fiction, and historical fiction. I got the idea to write the story after I read a biography on Saladin by Professor John Man in 2019, around the time (coincidentally) that the new Aladdin film came out. Yes, Princess Jasmine is an inspiration for Nalini, but I would not say that they are alike in personality at all.


Other inspirations for this book include my general knowledge of Ancient Egypt and the Middle East; the deaths of the three French kings Louis X, Philip V, and Charles IV in the early-14th century (all of whom were brothers and died heirless, which in turn started the One Hundred Year’s War with England), and Margaret Beaufort as depicted by Philippa Gregory in The Red Queen.

  1. Are there more books in the works?
Yes! I am planning the sequel to The Sultan’s Daughter as we speak. I do not have a title for it yet, and it will be a while before I start it (let alone finish it). But I intend to start writing it in the autumn, and I am excited to continue the story.


(I must say that I have been overwhelmed that people, who have read The Sultan’s Daughter, have asked me if there is going to be a sequel. It is wonderful to know that people enjoyed my story so much that they want to read more. That is a dream come true, honestly.)

  1. What are some tips you can provide for other writers as far as networking their books?
Yes, I have a few tips on this front, all of which I do on a regular basis. First, I would advise writers/authors to use social media platforms, like Facebook and Instagram, so that they can: a) regularly post content to show their expertise, and b) make connections and promote other people’s works. 


Second, write a blog and interview authors or other forms of content creators. This second point links into my third tip, as I urge authors to focus on getting promotions rather than sales for their books. The more promotion you can get, and the better name you can get for yourself, the more sales will come your way.


Fourth, if you want to go to the next level, start a YouTube channel or TikTok account. Video content will give you a greater profile online. And the greater your profile online, the more chance people will have of coming across your books, which can mean more sales. (I will be setting up a TikTok account very shortly in order to give myself a greater profile online.)

  1. Can you please share your contact information with us? (Please include social media links)
For sure. I am on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, plus I have a WordPress blog (Paul’s Fantasy Writings) and a website. Here are my links, so that you can view my content and/or contact me:

Lastly, I would like to say thank you, Deanna, for this opportunity. I really appreciate it and I wish you only success and joy going forwards.

It was truly my pleasure to work with Paul. He is kind, professional, talented, and knowledgeable. I look forward to working with him again in the future. 

Wordy Writer: Workbook Review 

 Flannery O'Conner: How she impacted my life

My interview with POC magazine

Friday, July 24, 2020

Christmas in July: Christmas Organizing Book


https://www.amazon.com/Deanna-Martinez-Bey/e/B00N4O44QK/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1


Are you enjoying all of the Christmas in July posts? I have been! Let me introduce you to a book I have written, it's called, Christmas, Get It Organized. I wrote it several years ago and just updated it on Amazon.

It is now available on Kindle or soft-cover. Both are super affordable!

Christmas, Get It Organized: Kindle 

Christmas, Get It Organized: Soft Cover 

Let me share a description of my book:
Do you find yourself dreading the Holiday season? Does the word Christmas make you cringe? Christmas…Get It Organized by Deanna Martinez provides easy steps to be ready for the Holiday without all the stress, crowds, and expenses.
Learn easy ways to stay organized, spend less, and have more time to spend with the people you love, doing the things you love.
Deanna will show you how to make lists, shop ahead of time, have parties, bake treats, create drinks, add new family traditions, and much more.
Gifts do not have to be things we buy. They can be things we make or time we can give.
Put Deanna’s organizing ideas into practice this year and find yourself laughing instead of crying this Christmas.
Simply click to purchase and download your copy of Christmas…Get It Organized, now!

Christmas in July: Tips for writers

Christmas in July: Christmas folders

https://bookwriterdeanna.blogspot.com/2020/07/christmas-in-july-christmas-folders.html

Monday, July 20, 2020

Christmas in July tips for writers



Happy Christmas in July, authors! I have come up with a July to-do list for writers. Here you will see things that we can do now to prepare for the upcoming Holidays.

1. Start writing your Holiday e-books now. These can be fiction or non-fiction books that pertain to the Holidays. Create, edit, design them, and get them uploaded into KDP (or platform of your choice) to release in time for the Holidays. (I am a copy editor, so please reach out for your editing needs.)

2. Develop a Holiday themed blog, Facebook group, or website. By creating these now, you will have time to grow your following for when you start posting Holiday related posts. These sights will help you share the Holiday e-books you have for sale.

3. For freelance writers, start sending queries to magazines and websites. It is time to send in your Holiday themed articles and material.

Christmas in July: Christmas Folders

COVID-19 Decluttering: Organize your books

Wordy Writer Workbook: Great Christmas gift

Friday, July 17, 2020

Christmas in July: Christmas folders



It is that time of the year again...Christmas in July! This craft idea is perfect for writers because it requires research and we all love research, right? In all fairness, I do! It is one of my favorite parts of the writing process.

You can make the folders by yourself or with your children. I made mine with my daughter and bought all our supplies from The Dollar Tree. I may have spent $8 on our supplies, but you can get more elaborate with your folders if you want to.

Supplies:
  • Pocket Folder
  • Stickers
  • Old magazines
  • Scissors
  • Computer and printer, optional
  • Markers, optional

Fortunately, I have a collection of Holiday magazines, ranging from Good Housekeeping to Women's Day and then some.

First, we decorated our folders with a Christmas theme.
Then, we flipped through the pages of the magazines and clipped Christmas ideas. We clipped recipes, decorating ideas, gift ideas, and anything else we wanted to try out this Christmas.

If you don't have magazines, you can search for ideas online and print them out.

Then, add all of your clippings to your folder. It's that simple. 

Fiction writing: Character living space

Fiction writing: Nature settings

Monday, July 13, 2020

Fiction writing: Character living space




Do you realize that the detailed living space of a character speaks volumes about the type of person they are? Allow me to explain:

Dynamic extrovert:
A character with this personality type will typically live in a vibrant space.

Scatterbrained:
Your flighty or flaky character may have a messy, yet cozy living space.

Lonely introvert:
A loner will most likely live in a crisp, clean, non-cluttered environment.

I'm sure you can see where I am going with this. Your characters' personalities will determine the type of space where they live, work, or spend their time.
These spaces do not simply serve as a backdrop, they are scenes in your story and need to be treated as such.

Example:
Susan walked into her living room and dropped her keys and briefcase onto the couch, after scooting the flannel blanket aside. As she sat, she glanced around the room and realized it had been weeks since she picked up or cleaned the place. Dustbunnies were gathered at her feet and take-out boxes from last week still sat on the coffee table.

Does this scene make you think that Susan is a straight-laced professional who has her life together? Nope. It sounds like Susan falls in line with a scatterbrained character, right?

Houses, rooms, workspaces, and hangouts can show the reader into the life and personality of your character.

Fiction writing: Nature settings

What is the first draft?

Flannery O'Conner: How she impacted my life

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Set reasonable writing goals


Always remember to set reasonable goals for yourself. The keyword in that sentence is,
you guessed it: Reasonable!
Writing a two hundred and fifty to a three hundred page novel is going to take you more
than a week to write.

It is good to have goals, but make sure they are suitable for your life. If after looking at
your calendar you feel that you will be able to dedicate three hours a week to writing, set
your goals accordingly.

For some, writing every day is a reasonable goal. If this is a possibility for you, decide if
you are able to dedicate 30 minutes a day to writing your book or 3 hours a day. Always
remember that something is better than nothing. So, 20 minutes a day or every couple of
days is better than going 2 weeks without writing at all.

For others, every other day or twice a week may be attainable.
Sit down and take a few minutes to write out your daily schedule. Then, decide when you
can fit in time to write.

It is really that simple.
After you set your writing goals, strive to attain them. But, do not beat yourself up if
sometimes you do not reach the goals you have set for yourself. Just decide to start back
up tomorrow and try again.

To print off a free daily calendar that you can design yourself, click here
http://www.worksheetworks.com/miscellanea/calendars/hour.html

Fiction writing: Nature settings

COVI-19 Decluttering: Organizing your books

Sunday, July 5, 2020

Fiction writing: Nature settings



Think about the climate of where our story is going to be set. Do you have a clear image in your mind? Is it sweltering or frigid, do you see cactus or snow piled mountains? Is it raining cats and dogs or is the sun shining bright in the sky without a cloud in sight?

These facts are more important than you may think when writing your novel. Why? Because the reader has to be transformed to where your story is being told.

Before you begin describing the natural aspects of your setting, decide on the geographical location. By doing this, it will make the details of describing much easier.

If you have never been to the geographical location of your story, be sure you do plenty of research before you begin writing about it. You have to know enough about the climate and visuals in order to take the reader away to that place.

Questions to ask yourself about the climate of your story location:

  1. Is it hot or cold
  2. What will people wear (coats or bathing suits)
  3. Is everything green and lush or brown and barren
  4. Will there be high rises and apartments or white houses with picket fences
  5. Concrete patios or miles of grassy land
  6. Rain, snow, sunshine, tornadoes, hurricanes, avalanches 

I think I proposed enough questions to get you thinking about the natural details.

Tip: Be sure to transport your reader to the setting of your story.




Monday, June 29, 2020

COVID 19 decluttering: Organize your books



Are you sitting home bored out of your mind with nothing to do? Even if you're not, chances are you do have more time on your hands.

Let's make the most of being home by purging and organizing!

Let's talk about all those books we've accumulated over the past several years. Now is a perfect time to go through and let some go and get the rest organized. 

I ask for books for my birthday and any Holiday that encourages giving gifts; from anniversaries to Christmas,  books, books, books. So, I have a few! 

What books should I get rid of?

1. Cookbooks with difficult recipes
You know, the ones you bought, but NEVER use. Yes, those. Time to lighten the load.

2. Books you read and wouldn't rate with 4+ stars 
You know you won't read them again, so pass them on.

3. Old textbooks 
You've held onto these in the event you need to refer back to clarify what you once learned.  But, all they do is collect dust and take up space. Pass that learning forward.
  • You can donate these books to a local library or thrift store. 
  • You can also sell them on an online marketplace. 
  • Offer them to family and friends who need or want them.
Fun idea:
Organize a virtual book exchange! Use social media or your contact list to get a list of people who are interested in taking part. 
Post the books you have available and have them picked up from your front porch. Social distancing...check!

More from author/copy editor Deanna Martinez: 

Sunday, June 7, 2020

Wordy Writer: Workbook review




Wordy Writer sent me a copy of their workbook: Wordy Writer - The Bones of your Story.

This workbook was designed to help authors create an extensive outline for their book. It contains sheets such as Story and Structure Development, Character Chart, Character Development, Chapter Outlines, and Notes.

Basically, what it does is lead you through the entire writing process of your book, allowing you to keep track of all the important details. It even has a chapter entitled: Kill Your Characters!

The workbook is approximately 122 pages, is geared towards fiction writing, and is well thought out and put together. The cost, including tax, is $26.56 and worth every penny.

I am working on my fourth novel, and when I start preparing for number five, I will be using this workbook. I suggest using a new workbook for each book you write.

Please visit their website for more information: www.wordywriterorganizer.com


More from Author Deanna Martinez:

Flannery O'Connor: How she impacted my life

Spreading cheer and encouragement during COVID-19

Easy book writing tips

Friday, May 15, 2020

Flannery O'Conner: How she impacted my life...

 
I have this quote on my work desk!


The writer is only free when he can tell the reader to go jump in the lake. You want, of course, to get what you want to show across to him, but whether he likes it or not is no concern of the writer.
~ Flannery O’Connor

It has been years since I first laid my eyes on this life-changing quote. Flannery O’Connor was a writer and a darn good one in her time.
I was browsing online one-day several years ago, and read this gem. It jumped out at me, resonated within me and changed my life for the better immediately after I read it.
As writers, this is exactly our job. She nailed it. We are to write the story we have in our hearts…do what we are called to do. We are to write it the best we can. After that, it is not our concern. Of course, we want to write a best seller and in order for that to happen, people have to like what we wrote. But, this quote goes even deeper. We will always have people who do NOT like our stories, writing style, genre, etc. It is those people that this quote is referring to, (At least in my opinion it is.)
  •     Write your story
  •     Write the best you can
  •     Have it published
  •     Do not worry about the naysayers
  •     Create your own success and keep writing 

 More from Author Deanna Martinez:

 To the lady who handed me her dirty tissue

 Easy book writing tips


 How to stay accountable to writing