On Writing

On sale now until Easter (the Bunny made me do it!) You may already know about tweeting your book, but do you know how effective a Facebook event can be? My newest book, written with Michelle Campbell-Scott, gives 55 different promotional methods. We know some of them are fairly well-known, but others have flown under […]

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I sell a lengthy essay (a bit more than 5,000 words) on Kindle for $0.99 called How the California Gold Rush Changed the Face of America.  I converted the book to audio and it’s also available on Amazon for $6.95. Sales have been good – which makes me happy as the history of the American […]

Isn’t it interesting that I’ve been writing about flash non-fiction – and encouraging readers of the Art of Extraordinary Writing to try their hand at the form – – and a week later I receive a press release about an author who “breathes new life into a neglected form through masterfully crafted, universally relatable, and deeply […]

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When I was ten I wanted to be an archaeologist. I’m not sure if it was the idea of climbing through ancient ruins or the thought of making a world-shaking discovery that became my carrot; whichever it was, it didn’t happen. Instead I fell in love with the power of words andwent on to become […]

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I read an article today about 40 blog post ideas for writers. You’d think, as writers, that our brains could create dozens of blog ideas, but yes, we do get stuck. That’s why I picked #1 on the idea list – writing about a vacation. I choose a trip along the Santa Fe Trail to Bent’s […]

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I’m thinking about doing a series of articles or possibly a book on the California Missions. Although Mission San Luis Rey (King of the Missions) is only 45 minutes from where I live, I’ve never visited. Took a few hours on Sunday to stroll through the historic grounds and the original mission church.

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Yesterday I wrote about  creating a mind-map in preparation for a flash non-fiction piece. Today I’m inviting you to do the same. (If you write fiction, please join in!) If you’ve never done mind-mapping, I’ve included links below to a few quick guides.  I have mind-mapping software (Simple Mind) but I prefer using pen and […]

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If you think about it, it’s the details that draw us into a story – whether fiction or non-fiction. That’s why I was interested in reading a recent article about the value of  note-taking for travel writers. I’m not a travel writer, per se, but I never travel without a notebook shoved in my hip pocket. […]

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I recently won a contract to write several 300-400 word content pieces for a client’s websites. This is my first test of producing beautiful writing for an SEO content-driven site. I’ll be researching a topic about which I know nothing (which I enjoy) then seeing if I can use the SEO keyword list to create […]

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“The vivid tulips eat my oxygen.” Sylvia Plath I hadn’t read Plath for years, but when I recently heard a BBC recording of her reading Tulips, I pulled out my copy of Ariel to say hello to an old friend. Ariel was published posthumously back in the 60s, and contains the poems written in the […]

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Writing for any reason is fantastic but if you want to write a story that people actually want to buy and read, then you have to consider issues around story structure, plot, character and the other tools of fiction. Read the entire article here.

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Amazon has named its best books of 2013 so far, and there are some unusual choices from its editors. Lists were also published in categories including Kids’ Books, Biographies and Humor. via Pocket http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/24/best-books-of-2013_n_3492109.html

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Writers of a certain age face a stressful challenge: what happens when they can’t retrieve a word?  Everyone experiences an occasional memory lapse, but for a writer it’s terrifying not to be able to conjure up a word. Worse yet, without the *right* word, writing can become mind-numbingly pedestrian. Where once “fled” instantly sprang to […]

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