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: 

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Writing and Editing tips: Keeping your body comfortable

We are going to take a look at different equipment you can use as a writer and/or editor as well as ways to keep your body comfortable while you work.

Desktop Vs. Laptop

Benefits of a laptop:
You can work while you travel.
The downside of a laptop: 
They make work harder on the body. Because of the construction, the screen is too low while you type, which causes you to have to look down, and this causes extra stress on your neck and spine.

If you like to work from bed, I have an idea for you:
1. A wooden bed table
2. a sturdy chair pillow
These items will save your back and more bending forward to reach your laptop!
(See above photo)

Benefits of a desktop: 
You can make it ergonomically correct. Add a wrist rest, a footrest, a table to lift your monitor, and back support for your chair.
You can purchase 2 flat screen monitors. Having 2 monitors will benefit you when you are comparing two versions of a document, doing research for your work, and in many other instances.

The downside of a desktop: 
You have to sit in the same place every time you need to work.

General tip: Turn down the blue on your screen or purchase a pair of blue light glasses. This will protect your eyes and may help your eyes from getting tired.

More from Author Deanna Martinez:

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

My interview with POC Magazine

I am happy to announce that I was chosen to provide an interview with a local magazine!

I was asked about my work routine, how I began writing, how I started copy editing for other authors and social media management.

Several of the questions were thought-provoking and required me to take a few extra minutes of reflection in order to answer to my liking.

Others, I answered swiftly, without any hesitation.

Please take a couple of minutes to read my interview and please share with others who may be thinking about starting their own business.

I have also been featured on a local podcast: The Average Joe. Here, I tell my story of how I overcame physical abuse in order to become the person I am today. 

Sunday, March 29, 2020

How to start your fiction writing career

Prepare your writing environment: click here

Have you always dreamed about becoming an author in the fiction genre? Do you sit and daydream about doing book signings and seeing your handiwork being sold in book stores all across the world? If you answered yes to any of these questions, this article will help get you on the path to obtaining your goals!

Writing Down Your Ideas
Go out today and buy yourself a notebook that will only be used for your story ideas. While you are at it, buy the matching pens, sticky notes, and page tab holders to go with it.

Set Aside Some Time
After you have your notebook and accessories all set and ready to go, pencil in about thirty minutes to an hour on your busy calendar to sit down and write out your story ideas.

Consider Taking a Free Writing Course Online
Chances are you already have some type of writing skills or you would not be interested in writing a fiction book. However, one is never too old or established to learn! Take an online writing course to sharpen up your writing skills. One course in particular that will get you ready to write is The Crafty Writers Creative Writing Course. This course will teach you how to take your story ideas and turn them into the fiction novel you are dreaming about.

Creating Your Characters
This is a very important part of creating an enjoyable novel. You have to breathe life into each character as if they are real people living real lives. A good idea to achieve this task is to take bits and pieces about people you know and combine those traits with your fictional characters.
Not all characters can be good guys. You should have your “good guy” characters, but you also need to have the antagonistic characters (the “bag guys”). The antagonist will help to bring the struggle into your story.

Proper Story Layout
A book, as well as a movie, should have three main sections: The introduction, the struggle and the overcome. Think about your favorite movie. It has a short beginning, a lot of drama in the middle and the happily ever after in the end. Now, think about a movie that you did not like, chances are this movie started off way too slow and that made it feel boring. Ever watch a movie and after it ended you thought, “It ended just as it was getting good?” The reason for that is because the introduction was way too long and the struggle and overcome were way too short. Writing books work the same way. The introduction and the overcome are to be shorter than the actual struggle (the meat of the story).

Now that you have some really good and basic ideas about how to write a fiction book, take them and run with them. Get started today. Do not delay. The quicker you get started, the quicker you will get your first book completed.

Setting Reasonable Goals
Always remember to set reasonable goals for yourself. 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 them reasonable. 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.

Some of the bold headlines in this article have links attached. Click on the links to learn more about that particular subject.

Tuesday, March 24, 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:

More from Author Deanna Martinez:

Flannery O'Connor: How she impacted my life

Spreading cheer and encouragement during COVID-19

Easy book writing tips

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Spreading cheer and encouragement during COVID-19

Hello, world! So many of us are struggling right now with either sickness, financial hardships,  depression, or maybe even all three.

I am using this blog as a platform to share some happiness! If you are sitting home with extra time on your hands, use this time to focus on things that make you happy.

I have a food blog you might food brings joy to many of us: 

And if you are a writer or have always wanted to be, I have written several articles that will help you on your journey:

Prepare your writing environment 

One of the best writing tips around: Set reasonable goals for yourself

How to stay accountable to your writing: Don't make excuses and share your project

What is the first draft and what do I do after I write it?

Writing a novel: How to come up with story ideas and plot twists

Organization tips for writers: Writing down ideas

Friday, March 13, 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