Months before I set up my profile on Wattpad and uploaded a couple short stories to it, I'd heard of the site as a place for writers to post chapters of their works in progress. As in, that was all it was described as, so after a quick look at it, I decided not to create an account. I would prefer that the first impression a complete stranger has of my writing, especially one of my book-length works, is based on a polished work, not a first draft. I'm sure it works for some people to put complete first-draft works out there for anyone to see, but it's not my cup of tea as a writer. Then, months passed. I don't know exactly how many, but enough that I pretty much forgot about Wattpad. Fast forward to a couple weeks ago, and I heard from Ksenia Anske that she was in the process of posting her novels on Wattpad. (She has posted them in many places for free, in addition to selling them.) This triggered my interest again, so I went back to take another look.
Writings of Stuart Whitmore
When I wrote Assets, Budgets, and Credit: A Financial ABC, I dedicated it mainly to a guy I hadn't seen or heard from in about 25 years. This was definitely someone I was no longer in touch with, and who might (at best) vaguely remember me from when we were both stationed at the same overseas Air Force base. Yet, despite that long-term disconnection, he ended up with one of my books dedicated to him, which he will probably never know. He may not even be alive anymore — not everyone I knew back then is still among the living. I don't even remember his last name. So you might wonder, why did I dedicate that book to him? This blog post examines that and my thoughts around dedications, which is something I've touched on in the past but I wanted to delve into further.
Originally a Facebook Note, the following little story will help you read e-books without an e-reader!
Once upon a time, there was an avid reader named Bob who loved his shelves of books. Bob and his wife, Jan, lived on the banks of a scenic river. Bob liked to select a nice book from his many shelves and take it out to read while sitting on their deck overlooking the river. One day, Bob heard on the weather report that floods were expected in his area. Bob was dismayed. All of his shelves of books were on the ground floor of his house. He needed to move them all upstairs and the flood waters were due to arrive any moment.
"What shall I do?" Bob asked Jan. "I can't move all of my books in time!"
Today is a big day for a young writer I know, but I can't be with her to celebrate. So, I decided to dedicate today's blog post to her instead. She's not just a creative spirit and dedicated student, she's also my daughter. That pretty much guarantees that we won't see eye to eye on everything, but there's no doubt that I am very proud of her accomplishments so far, and I can't wait to see what she does next. Like me, Dana started her first novel before graduating from high school, and she was quite far into that project when she headed off to begin working on her degree in a field (bioengineering). She will probably find, as I did, that the work involved in completing a degree will limit her writing time. However, she managed to make good progress in high school despite having a heavy class load there (including multiple AP classes), so I expect her novel will continue to grow. She takes her writing seriously and was very pleased to meet Yann Martel, author of Life of Pi, when he visited her university — and he gave her personal writing advice, making the experience even more memorable.
If you look at this free book offer, you'll see the culmination of an idea I've had in mind for awhile to promote my books on Facebook. This week I finally put the wheels on it and took it for a spin. (Weak car metaphor due to newly-distracting vehicle troubles, but that's another story.) You'll notice that it hasn't had a lot of activity, so it's not the most successful experiment. It did get more attention than I thought it might, because I thought it might get none at all. It also taught me some things about Facebook and how to promote things on it. I thought today's blog post would be a good venue for sharing those things with others who might like to try something like this.
Fall is approaching, and that means NaNoWriMo is approaching too! I've pondered a new way of writing a novel, one that goes in the opposite direction that is usually advised for NaNo participations (i.e., "put your internal editor to sleep"). I want to try writing a whole novel as an editing project. I think I've mentioned this notion in my blog before, but I wanted to explain in more detail. I'll start with an example.
In recent Tweets from my @Crenel account, I have mentioned that writers would be better served by a fully-featured text editor and a basic understanding of Markdown than by the typical word processor included in an "office suite" (e.g., Microsoft Office, Corel WordPerfect Office, or a free alternative like LibreOffice). Since a tweet is limited to 140 characters, and expressing complex concepts is not really in the scope of Twitter, I thought explaining Markdown in more detail here would be a good idea.
A week ago, a fire that was probably arson heavily damaged a building on Orcas Island here in Washington State. I'd like to help out the victims of the fire, using one of my books, and you can help me without spending a dime.
Want to supplement your income and do me a favor at the same time? If you follow the three easy steps in this blog post, you can do just that. The first two steps are really easy, while the third (which is the one that has the most impact on how much money you will make) is easy at a basic level but doing it at a more effective level will take some effort and skill.