Apr 29, 2007

Yes... I vanished into thin air.

Sometimes things happen in life.
I've been writing... reading and dealing with everyday life. I just got busy and forgot about this blog for a while.
I'm still around.
As a matter of fact, I'm probably ignoring this blog cuz I am revising.
My Sister Has AIDS should be on the shelves by late October.
The next in the series...the one I am working on now... called My Mother Has Lupus will follow (sometime next year)
My psychological thriller is on the back burner for now while I concentrate on getting through illustrations with a dear friend who is doing all the art for the two books mentioned above.

Life is okay...not great...not super...but okay.

Hope yours is too.

Mar 6, 2007

Hair Removal The Gentle Way

We all have a friend who has a nightmare story about hair removal. Some people shudder at the thought of shaving or waxing their legs. I remember a day about five years back when I tried a product I'd seen advertised on televison. You've probably seen the commercials. They spread this goo on a guy with a hairy chest, take out a white towel and wipe away the hair. I was convinced. I bought the package.

I should have known it wouldn't work. I have fair skin and red hair. The hair on my legs isn't course so I figured I could go with the shortest time setting. I followed all the directions and not one single hair came off on my cloth when the time was up. I tried again and again. Five minutes later a few tiny hairs came off. The area I really needed help with was under my chin. I had about seven hairs that grew in under my chin and would get long. I didn't want to cut them so I tried the product. No luck at all. Two of my friends tried the product as well and found it just as useless as me.

I found a gentle way to remove unwanted hair. I went online, did my research and found the absolute best company; Natural Well Being.
I ordered Hair No More and found out it is one of the best products I have ever used. Yes, it is a little more expensive than what you buy at the local store, but it is worth every penny. It smells great, which you never find in a hair removal product. It doesn't itch or feel funny when you apply it. You can use it on your face, underarms, legs, bikini area or anywhere you want to get rid of unwanted hair. It is so gentle. It doesn't leave you with bumps or uncomfortable skin.

The next time you need to look great in that little black dress or wear a bikini make sure you reach for your Hair no More or one of the other great products for gentle hair removal available at Natural Well Being. They also have wax strips ( I tried those too) and products for ingrown hairs, and hair removal creams.
What more could a girl want?
For more information about these products go here:Home electrolysis

Mar 5, 2007

Motivation and Tools for writing

Is your novel lagging in the middle (like mine)?
I've spent some time away from my project --giving it room to breathe and giving me some time to get inspired, motivated and to find some new writing tools.

Naturally I had a visit at the Emotional Toolbox. If you really get stuck and need advice and tools for moving your story along then pop on by the toolbox. Great stuff.

I started breaking down my story and the elements I thought I might be missing.

My heroine has a problem. *phew*
She has core beliefs that change throughout the story.
AHA--I found my weakness!
The inciting incident is not well defined. My supporting characters are not helping. I have sorely neglected them.
Here is where I need to FIX things.

So... I am back to work.

I hope all is well with everyone. I am writing, revising etc.

Feb 27, 2007

Little Girl Lost

I'm going through a few transitions in my life. With my writing, my poetry and yes family. Needless to say you may see the results of these transitions in this blog coming soon. I feel the need to stretch my wings.
It is time to spruce the place up a bit.
With that said.... be on the lookout for a new header....a cleaner layout and some general cleanup of the links around here. I've grown weary of the little girl approach and want I am ready for some new digs.

I'm signed up for computer classes on web design. Those start Saturday. As of now I am working on Photoshop and will be learning Dreamweaver as well. Eventually I will be able to plan my own site with flash intro's and the whole works.

I wonder how much progress I will have made in three months?
We shall see.
Just in the seven lessons I have had in the graphics program I am learning by leaps and bounds. I would post an example but the images are in the wrong format for blogger.

ta ta

Feb 23, 2007

Yikes, the page is Blank

Yikes. A blank page. What does it want from me?
Have you ever looked at a blank page and been completely filled with terror? I have. I'm working on a project. I cannot seem to motivate myself. That blank page keeps taunting me.
I know I'm not the only one. I see posts about writers struggling to get those first words out all the time. I stumbled across this ditty today about getting started writing.

If you are a serious writer you have probably faced the empty page staring back at you. At least once a week I come across advice from another writer/blogger on how to conquer it.
Weeding through the fluff, I found some of the advice helpful.
For instance.. this article caught my attention. Scott has a decent sense of humor and down to earth writing style. I like the guy.

The next time I am sweating bullets(and facing a deadline) I'll have to keep in mind a few strategies I came across in my reading.

Some suggest:

  • do something else for a while as a distraction
  • go running
  • pull out what is in your old junk pile and give it a good look-see
  • writing prompts
  • a twenty minute cat nap to freshen the brain cells

Well. I will have to let you know how the empty page looks in the morning.

Feb 22, 2007

Blogging Writers Make me Laugh

I admit it. Sometimes when I should be writing I am perusing writer blogs. I love to read what other bloggers have to say on the subject of writing. I find some real jewels out there. Though PaperbackWriter is down south right now she has Tom filling in for her. The post for Monday had me laughing so hard I nearly... well...you know. If you have ever struggled with your protagonist or read a book with a predictable protag you should zip right over to her site and read away. It is a guaranteed laugh.
Apparently television makes for good blogging material as well. I can't count the number of blogs that mentioned *gulp* American Idol (a show I watched a few years ago for one season and cannot understand how this show is surviving season after season). Several blogs (see this post ) at Writer Unboxed. Beth Ann Allens Blog also discuss (at length) the Grey's Anatomy situation. Will Meridith survive?
Why do I mention these? As a writer I am interested in the characters, the way the story unfolds and so much more. Certain things just don't work. You cannot kill off a main character and get away with it. Oh, and.... when there is a serious crisis at a major hospital you don't drag all the doctors away from surgery, the ER etc.... for a dying/possibly dead intern!
uh-- duh.
Needless to say I have been quite amused in blog central this week. Get out there and check out what people have to say.

Feb 20, 2007

Five Steps to Gaining Good Writing Skills -Guest Article

Five Steps to Gaining Good Writing Skills
The best way to start honing good writing skills is by learning to write good essays.
At its most basic, there are five steps to writing a good essay. These good writing techniques are skills that anyone can learn.
The first step is to choose a subject in which you have an avid interest. The point isn't so much that you can talk knowledgeably about it (because good research is part of good writing skills) but that you want to learn about it and your enthusiasm will show through. Let's assume, for instance, that you love working from home, so you decide to write an essay about telework.
The next step is to hone the good writing skills that let you narrow down the subject and come up with a specific topic statement. Telework is a very broad subject. You could talk about how to set up your own home office, how to convince your current boss to let you do your job from home, how to convert your dream into a work from home entrepreneurship, how to resolve impediments like invasive neighbours, computer security, meeting with clients and so forth.
Let's assume you've decided to talk about how you convinced your boss to let you work from home. Your topic statement might be "I saved my company $xxx last year by working from my home office."
Good writing skills involve clear but catchy topic statements that will entice the reader to read to the end of your essay. The next step is to answer the question why five or more times in the body of the essay. Tell the readers, for instance, why you wanted to work from home, why your boss finally okayed it, why it saved the company money, why you succeeded at working from home, why the nosy neighbors and your tiny tots didn't interfere and why you're more productive now.
The two most important good writing skills are the ability to begin your essay well, and to conclude it well. Your essay conclusion should summarize your key points and refer back to the topic statement. In this essay on telework, for example, you might conclude by saying, "My telework saves me the stress and expense of a lengthy commute. My employer is delighted with my increased productivity. Everyone wins with my telework."
If all else really fails then you could resort to hiring a Ghost Writer. But, before you do you should check out a few samples of their previous work and best of all get a recommendation from others.
Peter Morgan has been in Internet Marketing in the UK for the last 7 years. He has developed a FREE online Article Writing, Publishing & Marketing system that enables internet 'Newcomers' as well as 'Experts', the ability to earn a recurring income from writing articles. GO TO: http://www.jvmembers.com

Giveaway of the Day

I have a new item. Giveaway of the day. Yes, I am participating with them to spread the word about programs you can get for FREE. Check out the link to the right. Each day there will be a new program you can try completely free. No strings attached.


In other news....
I have been writing a lot lately and neglecting my blog. I'm in the revision stage with my chapter book. Once I complete the grammar edits and slight revisions I will be working closely with an illustrator to get exactly what I want for the cover and the six or seven illustrations needed to complete the book. I also need a photograph for the back cover so I have a lot of work to do in the next couple of months. I had no idea there were so many decisions to make. Yikes.
It is a lot of fun and a ton of work to get the book from my mind to the shelves of a bookstore.

Ebook coming out soon as well. I will try to update this blog in the next few days with some organization tips for revising and editing. Look for those!

Ta ta for now.

Feb 3, 2007

Is Self Publishing the Way to Go?

Should you self publish your book? Should you consider places like Lulu.com? Why? Why not?

Let's look at some of the advantages and disadvantages:

Advantages-- (to some people)

  • No middle man, agent, laywer etc to cut into profits. Willing to publish just about anything --including those WITHOUT writing talent.
  • saves having to continue to apply to publishing houses
  • Can get your work out on bookshelves
  • Can make and sell copies for friends/family/co-workers/church/fundraisers


  • No laywer to help you out in a jam
  • submission process
  • most first time writers don't make any money 'till the 3rd- 5th book
  • lengthy and confusing contracts
  • everything costs extra

I am sure there are many more things to consider. For right now I wanted to get a few ideas on the page. I have a friend who asked me about self publishing and it got my wheels turning. I'll think on it....do some research and then write some more.

In the meantime....more snow, more cold and the phone lines are acting up. My DSL has been 60% reliable for the past 3 days. Hope this improves.

Feb 1, 2007

How to Spot a Poor Writer *Guest Article*

How to Spot a Poor Writer
Copyright © 2007 Julie Ann Amos

You have a project to be written and you’re looking for a freelance writer. How do you know if the person you’re considering is a good writer or a poor writer? Besides the obvious things like poor spelling and poor grammar, there are other telltale characteristics of poor writing that you should learn to spot.


The number one way to spot poor writing is by looking for the basics that we all (hopefully) learned in school. Poor spelling is an indicator of poor writing, as are poor grammar and poor punctuation. Even more worrisome, though, is that a writer whose work is riddled with spelling and grammatical errors is lacking in basic attention to detail.

Think about it for a moment – if a writer isn’t thorough enough to run a simple spell-check and grammar-check on their material, what else do they ignore or not give their full attention?

Another way to spot a poor writer is to evaluate other aspects of their work that impact the quality of the material.

READABILITY – there are software programs that evaluate this characteristic, but often it’s just as easy to gauge it by reading for yourself. Look for well organized material that flows smoothly and follows a logical progression of information.

ADAPTABILITY – a poor writer often has difficulty adapting to different writing styles or requirements. Look at writing samples with an eye toward seeing how well the writer adapts to different styles and topics.

APPROPRIATE STYLE – a poor writer will also have difficulty adopting a style that’s appropriate for the subject at hand. Pay attention to how the writer matches style with topic and note any incongruence or awkward pairings.

ORIGINALITY – a poor writer may lack originality in their work. This may show up as material that’s boring to read, or that just seems to sound like everything else you’ve read on a particular topic. There’s no hook or attention-grabber that catches your interest and invites you to read on.

COMMAND OF THE LANGUAGE – a poor writer will typically struggle with their command of the English language. This shows up as improper sentence structure or difficulty with proper verb conjugations, and is often seen in writers for whom English is not their primary language.


One of the surest ways to hire a poor writer is to go with the lowest bidder for your project. It’s as true of writing as it is of other things – you get what you pay for.

We’re not suggesting you need to spend an exorbitant amount of money to get excellent writing. However, a great writer is rarely the least expensive writer, so don’t be scared off if the bids on your project cover a wide range of dollar amounts. And take into account exactly what you get for your money, including things like rewrites, edits, progress updates, formatting, etc.

A writer’s feedback and references are of the utmost importance. Look for someone who has client feedback that’s genuine rather than just a simple “good work, thanks” or something similar. A great writer will have a long list of testimonials that will give you a sense of their work quality and their reliability. Reliability is especially important because you don’t have the time to chase down a writer who has missed a deadline or neglected to send a scheduled progress report.


The internet is filled with freelance writers and freelance writing marketplaces so stick with reputable sources. Look carefully at the fees associated with marketplace sites, too, because these extra charges can quickly add to the overall cost of your project.


Julie-Ann Amos is an international professional freelance writer/author and consultant. She runs a resource for those in need of freelance/ghost writers worldwide. For more information on her writing services visit http://www.exquisitewriting.com