Thursday, June 28, 2012

Just Call Me a Techno-Geek!

I have been having a BLAST learning some new ways to share my writing as well as other important arenas of my life.

Since that Saturday I attended a class on "Writer Support Technology," I have been seeking out new ways to step out of my comfort zone. And in the process, WHOA! It's been a lot of fun!

I tried, and really didn't get it (sorry, voki) and today tried glogster and created my FIRST EVER  electronic poster with much better success. I have also dipped my toes into, but haven't really gotten the hang of it yet.

And yes, I finally broke down today and signed up for Pinterest. What FUN! I know, I know you guys are already on it, but I just had to let you know how much fun I had.

I have decided to make my Thursdays, fun days. Days I research new technology and do a little experimenting!

Why? There's nothing better than learning how to spread your words in a new way, IMAGINE A LUSCIOUS STRAWBERRY WITH CREAM CHEESE ON IT (yum).

Or this:, courtesy of Flickr

Take a journey today. At the very least, check the sites above and find out what I did!


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

First Things First: Making Your Writing (and other things) Sing

I often get ahead of myself.

Instead of researching my next book, (I'm researching two right now), I want to get the stories started yesterday.

Photo by mRio, courtesy of Flickr
Instead of making time for myself in the morning, gathering up the light to get me through the day (I am an avid journal and scripture reader) I often find myself washing the dishes.

Instead of spending time with family, I'm worried about the house being clean.

Instead of focusing on how I will help others this week, I am focused on how much money I'll be bringing in.

I have been thinking about focus in my life this week and I find that I am ALWAYS a happier camper when I remember first things first.

Research before book.
God before work.
Family before cleaning.
Service before money.

When I am in line with what is most important, I actually get more done anyway. I find that my day is more peaceful and full.

You may want to try it. 

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Radio Program Scheduled for June 19

If you missed the first radio interview from last week, you'll want to get in on the fun this week!

I will be interviewed by Mark Tierno on his blog radio show, Author Talk. Sign up at You will be given both a phone number and conference code so that you can call in and listen.

Date: June 19th
Time: 9 am (Pacific Time)
Place: Anywhere you happen to be!

I will be discussing my new book "Conquering Your Goliaths: A Parable of the Five Stones," and more!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Free Book Marketing Workshop

Just a reminder that I will be speaking to the Utah Romance Writers of America tomorrow (June 16) at the South Jordan Library from 11:00-12:00.

Come and learn how to Conquer Your Writing Goliaths and Market Your Book for Little or No Cost! + 5 FREE personally labeled stones for those who come!

Place: South Jordan Library, 10673 South Redwood Road. Beware, library is within a shopping complex near the back, so don't think you're lost!

The class is free! I hope to see you there!


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

9 Ways to Share Your Business on Facebook

Today I went to a FREE Facebook presentation. There was a continental breakfast (yum), a free-be (that I will more than likely use, especially since it involves advertising) and tons of advice on using Facebook in your business. I am always looking for ways to share, so here's a little heads-up.

Photo by: Thos003, courtesy of Flickr

Here's what I learned:
  1. Post regularly, at least 1-2 times a week. It's important for your friends to see and remember you often.
  2. Create a content calendar, say on a Sunday night. Decide what you're going to post for the week so you don't have to stress about it during the week you should be posting.
  3. Use the Page Insights feature. Find out when your friends are responding to your updates and where your audience is coming from.
  4. Ask questions of your friends. Get responses.
  5. Offer some deals such as "Be the first to..." 
  6. Keep it short. 
  7. Post photos and videos.
  8. Highlight favorite posts. Your favorites pin at the top of your page for 7-days no matter what new material you've added since. 
  9. Consider a Promoted Post if you have between 400 and 100,000 fans.
Getting the word out is much simpler these days and less costly than it's ever been. And Facebook continues to be a major resource in helping a business along.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Romance Writers Unite!

Are you a romance writer? Have you always wanted to be a part of a romance writer's group, but weren't sure where to find one?

Photo by: karitsu, courtesy of Flickr
The good news is that there are many groups around your state; it just takes a little searching to find the one that works for you.

Like all writers, romance writers are a particular breed and it's a good idea to surround yourself with other writers of your breed to learn, to share and to grow as a writer. Here's how to find a good romance writer's group:
  • Use social media to spread the word that you're interested in joining a romance writer's group. 
  • Ask around your community. Check at your local library or art center for groups that meet within the building.
  • Do some online research. I live in Utah, so I'd Google search, "Utah writer's groups" to find groups in my area. 
  • Get involved in social media business groups. Take your writing seriously and others will offer suggestions on whom to contact and where.
  • Start your own romance writers group! Put out the word to your friends and make sure you spread the word on your favorite social media sites.
Before you decide on a romance writers group, attend one or two of their meetings. Some groups specialize in getting published writers as speakers, while others focus on critiquing, and others do a combination of both. Are you a new writer? Then you'll want to be a part of a group with a mix of writing level experience. Are you a more established writer? You may decide on a critique group.

Whatever you decide, joining a romance writer's group (or any other writer's group for that matter) will help you to learn, stay focused, and get the help you need when it's time for you to publish!

To get you going: I will be speaking at the the South Jordan Library (10673 S. Redwood Road) on Saturday to the Utah Romance Writers of America group. That's the 16th. If you need help conquering your writing Goliaths or need to discover some FREE ways to market your book(s), stop on by! The workshop begins at 11:00.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Blog Radio Interview Today!

The news today will be short.

Learn more about my new book!
I am SO EXCITED! Please check out my first blog radio interview (TODAY ONLY) at Find out what makes me tick, how the book, "Conquering Your Goliaths: A Parable of the Five Stones," came to be written and what's up for next year!

I would love to get some feedback, so please drop me a line here or at:


(Yes, that's me in the middle!)

Saturday, June 9, 2012

5 Secrets to Beginning a New Novel

Since I am in the process of beginning a new novel, I wanted to let you in on a few secrets I have discovered through the years when it comes to writing a great book.

Here they are:

Know the Basics of Plot

1. Before you start, know who the main and secondary characters will be, the setting and a pretty good idea of the plot. Remember, I said a PRETTY GOOD idea. Something happens to me when I write; suddenly, the characters take over and the plot changes, and in fact, becomes better. Leave yourself open to change as you write.

Photo by Paul B, courtesy of Flickr

2. Get a bit of research done. I am TERRIBLE at this one and so what happens is that I'm writing about a cruise ship that is about to dock in Hawaii. Here are a few things I needed to know right away because a murder had been committed on board. How does the Honolulu Police Department function? What do their uniforms look like? How large is a typical department? What about lawyers? How do they dress? How do they perform? What of cruise ship negligence? What's a famous recipe in Hawaii that has eggs in it? And the list goes on...Once this information is at your fingertips you can write without having to stop mid-sentence to figure something out.  


3. Keep in mind that your reader wants to be involved right away. I first began my story with some reflection on why Susan (my main character) was taking this cruise, but quickly discovered that the better beginning would involve the reader in some action-- and so a murder was created.

Move forward

4. Try not to correct as you go unless you realize early on that you've bungled the beginning like I did. Keep writing and try not to go back on what you've written until at least the next day, and then only go back a page or two to refresh your mind.

Photo by J. Chris Vaughan, courtesy of Flickr
Take a break

5. If the muse quits on you, take a break, and then go back to your work. Your writing will be better. I like to take 15 minute breaks or use the time to do a writing exercise unrelated to the book I am working on.

When it comes to the beginning of your book, you not only need to make it captivating but realistic. Keeping your facts straight will lend credibility with your readers and moving forward and taking the breaks when you need them will get that book finished before you know it.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Can a Book of Poetry Sell?

I have written a little poetry through the years and have heard talk from die hard poets who say it's difficult, if not impossible, to sell their book(s) of poetry.

But I have a differing viewpoint. I think any book, even a book of poetry, if well-written and well-marketed can be sold.

Photo by: Chocolate Reviews, courtesy of Flickr
The truth is, these are your thoughts and feelings, your take on the world and how you function within it. It's your heart and soul concerning life, death, and chocolate.

I'd like to think that folks are out there interested in what you've written. And truth be known, many opportunities are available for poets that may not be available for the fiction novel writer.


A Poetry Reading
Reading segments of your poetry at a book signing. It is a bit harder to do this at a fiction novel signing because how do you choose what to share? A poem can be read from start to finish in one setting.

A Poetry Workshop
Talk about and share your work for about 15 minutes, then teach a class on writing poetry. Teaching a hands-on glass creates cohesion with the other poets. Everyone learns from one another.

A Poetry Share

Photo by: chilihead, courtesy of Flickr
Put together a poetry event where poets can gather and share their work. Give each person a set amount of time to share so everyone has an opportunity. For additional fun, have each poet come dressed to the poetry share as their favorite classic poet.

A Poetry Group
Gather a poetry group that meets once a month or more. Share and sell your work and allow other poets to do the same. By helping others out the favor will be returned.

A Poetry Event
If you want to think even larger, get some poets together and put on a poetry event that will involve the community. Contact businesses to sponsor the event and connect with your chamber of commerce. Often, already established events like art shows are already in motion--see if your group can participate.

Photo by: BEYOND BAROQUE, courtesy of Flickr
A Poetry Conference
Teach a class, share what you have learned about poetry. Make your class stand out by offering to critique one poem per participant.

A Poetry Whatever!
Can you sell your book(s) at a local restaurant, hair cutting establishment, health food store, hospital, or book fair? Of course! Consider the focus of your book and then search for outlets in your community that might be interested in selling and/or doing a book signing.

As a poet, you know that it is really only a matter of thinking outside of the box that gets you the sales. In fact, it may even be said that not thinking of the sales but of the people you will be sharing with, is all you'll ever need to get the sales that can't help but follow because of your focus to change the world in your small way.

Here's hoping you'll do it!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

So you want to start a blog

I talk to many writers and non-writers who want to start a blog. Problem is, they have no idea what to write! This may sound funny, especially coming from a writer, but I think the concern stems from feeling as if they're not yet an expert on anything.

Photo by Bright Meadow, courtesy of Flickr
What I know is that even a budding writer has gifts and talents that they can share. Consider that you focus your blog on how you're learning to become a writer and what you're doing to make it happen. Sift through your old journals and share what you have learned about life, give some time to sharing a favorite talent other than writing. Perhaps it's underwater basket weaving.

Or perhaps not.

But you get my meaning, I think.

I have never had a book publishing company before but I am learning the ropes as I go. Sure, some of it I had to discover beforehand to keep me square, but much of my learning has come through doing it.

And your blog can be a lot like that. Here are a few things I've learned through trial and error:

  • Keep your post to about 500 words.
  • Try to include at least one photo to your article, and always give credit where credit it due.
  • Focus your blog on a particular subject. It's alright to go off the path occasionally, but your readers (and you will get them) expect a certain topic from you.
  • Use bullet points as often as you can to break up the text and make for an easier read.
  • Respond to comments you receive ASAP.
  • Try to post at least twice a week, more if you can. 
Another thing I try to do occasionally, is to read posts by others as well as write posts for other websites. This does two things: Gives me more ideas for my own blog and allows me to share my words with others who may not yet have discovered my blog.

And we all want new readers, right?