No Hot Water Needed

We are currently in the northern part of Nevada. It is so hot here we don't need the water heater turned on to get hot water for showers, washing dishes, etc. Likewise, our society (including our politicians) are so heated up with their own agenda that we have people fighting and killing each other over … Continue reading No Hot Water Needed


Top 3 Books For Writers

Although I already have about 2 dozen books on the craft of writing and am really trying to keep the advice of all of them in my head, these sound like good additions too. So I’m reblogging in case some new writers out there are looking for some good help. Reblogged from

The Uncensored Writer

Last week I gave you a list of free resources you can use as a writer. Mostly resources that help you be a better writer, rather than resources with practical application (like a word processor). This week I’ve decided to combine the usefulness of last week’s post with the value of books.

Here are my top 3 books for writers:

On Writing – Stephen King

I don’t know of any book as good as Stephen King’s On Writing for the aspiring novelist. Honestly, I feel like this is the best book written on the subject. Stephen King is not only a phenomenal wordsmith, but he is also an amazing storyteller.

In, On Writing, Stephen King takes us on a journey through his life. Half the book is like a memoir, the other, is like a manual. In the first half, you get to see what circumstances and events led to…

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Grief and Funeral Planning

I received an email today with the following links. They cover everything from preparing for the imminent loss of a loved one, to dealing with cancer, loss of a pet, dealing with children's grief, to various stages and types of depression.

The Estuary Road

This is an interesting short story with a bit of poetry mixed in. Reblogged from

Tallis Steelyard


I can remember my first sight of the estuary road. It’s a short length of cobbled road, the cobbles laid between timbers and the timbers held in place by great piles driven into the mud. There’s not much left of it nowadays, and the older shore-combers will tell you that they can remember when there was more. Perhaps another century or so will see its final disappearance.

A road

Hard driven

Across the mud

Timbers riven

And bowed.

Sets squared

Once bearing

The passing traffic

Clog wearing

Heads bared

The route decided

What destination

Drew them seawards

Poetic cunctation

Elucidation not provided.

I suppose that like everybody else who saw it occasionally I didn’t think much about it. After all, it was just there. But like everybody else, I’d never walked along it. Somehow you just didn’t.

Then I mentioned it in passing to Ranni Quelart and he asked for…

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Why Is Writing A Book Blurb Harder Than Writing An Actual Book? Guest blog post from Lucy Brazier

Great advice on writing blurbs. They aren’t as easy as one would think. Reblogged from

Dan Alatorre - AUTHOR

img_2351-4 your humble host

Lucy Brazier stops by to vent shed light on why writing a blurb for your book is such a hard task.

Here’s Lucy.

I’m not going to tell you that writing a book is easy; no one’s going to tell you that.

13131361_10154451168558455_2986224098739414197_o author Lucy Brazier of the PorterGirl series

Writing a book is time consuming, mentally and emotionally draining and plays havoc with all aspects of your normal life. But once it’s done – once those magic words ‘The End’ are typed after revision after revision, draft after draft – it feels like you have climbed an insurmountable peak and nothing can ever seem impossible ever again.

Until you come to write the blurb.

What Is The Blurb?

This is the wordy bit that goes on the back of the book and serves as a means to tempt potential readers to pick it up and turn to…

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Ten-dollar words #amwriting

Great article. Thanks for sharing. Reblogged from

Life in the Realm of Fantasy

Words with few alternatives become problems for me, as in certain circumstances they can become repetitive. For that reason, I have the Oxford American Writers’ Thesaurus on my desk, and I refer to it regularly. I have found it saves time to use the hard copy book rather than the internet because I am not so easily distracted and led down rabbit trails.

But this leads me to the problem of using words that are jarring and obscure.

The important thing is to remember the audience you are writing for. If you are writing for a YA (Young Adult) audience, remember their reading level. They are just embarking on the reading journey, so don’t use words that my editor refers to as “ten-dollar words.”

Quote from What is a Ten-Dollar Word? A ten-dollar word is a longer word that is used in place of a smaller and more well-known word…

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5 Ways That Playing with Pricing Can Sell More Books – From the Writers in the Storm blog

Great article. Reblogged from

Author Don Massenzio

Penny Sansevieri

Arrow pointing up over graph of money

Many authors talk about the complexity of book marketing, but sometimes it doesn’t have to be that hard. Sometimes all it takes is a tweak here or there to give your books a lift.

And with this being a new year, maybe it’s time for a new promotional boost that drives sales!

Adjusting a book price is often the last thing an author thinks of, but it’s a great tool to keep in your book marketing tool box if your book sales seem to be lagging.

You’ve probably heard this from other indie authors, or even experienced it yourself: once your book is on Amazon, it stagnates. You see virtually no movement.

And it’s disheartening to see your hard work just sit there. Believe me, I know. I hear it all the time. And, as an author myself, I understand.

But here’s the good news:…

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Book Review: Dog Tails: Three Humorous Short Stories for Dog Lovers by Tara Chevrestt

Cute review. Love animal stories and their “personalities”. Reblogged from

Write to Inspire

Dog Tails: Three Humorous Short Stories for Dog LoversDog Tails: Three Humorous Short Stories for Dog Lovers by Tara Chevrestt

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review pawed by Ronan

I’d like to make two things very clear before I start my review of this excellent book.

DSCN0657.JPG Me – Ronan the Reviewer

Firstly, I am NOT thick! Just because I am Irish and mixed breed, there is no requirement to stereotype me. You humans are just too quick to do that. In fact, I am a very clever border collie, springer, and various other superior breeds, cross. You can tell that I am clever, because here I am, at nine years old, writing my first ever book review.

Secondly, I have a vested interest to declare. My Dad was sent an early copy of Dog Tails to review by his friend in Utah, who is the author, and the Mom of my three cousins, Lola, Pudgy and Jazzy…

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The Art of Bantering: Not As Easy As You Think

Great post on depicting the difference between banter and sniping at someone. Reblogged from

Legends of Windemere

What exactly is banter these days?  I know the official definition is a ‘playful or friendly exchange of teasing remarks’.  Not exactly like what you see in one of the above examples, but I keep seeing examples of banter that ignores the playful or friendly part.  Since comedy/humor is subjective, this is going to be a tough topic to write about.  I know what I believe might not be shared by others, so I’m going to try my best to keep it within the mechanic of banter and what I always thought it was.

Keep in mind that I grew up with The Marx Brothers, who excelled at cutting remarks and comedic banter.  That tends to be my baseline, which was expanded by me reading older Spider-Man comics where he flung insults.  Now, the superhero stuff tends to be labeled as banter even if there’s no back and forth.  I…

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