Monday, June 30, 2014

Everything You Wanted to Know About e-Books, Find Free e-Books, This Week

EVERYTHING YOU WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT E-BOOKS
by J.Q. Rose

Image courtesy of ddpavumba / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The more you read, the more things you will know. 
The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go. 
--Dr. Seuss, I Can Read with my Eyes Shut!

As unusual as it sounds to many of you, some readers are not familiar with e-books and are afraid to ask about them. I decided to offer a little primer for information on e-books today to help dispel the mystery behind where they came from and how to get them. Even if you are an e-book reader, you may pick up some fun facts here. Please feel free to add more information so we can all help more people enjoy e-books.



What is an e-book?

An e-book is simply the manuscript of what could be a print book, but instead of being printed on paper, the story is tossed into a mystical place called a formatter so that the manuscript comes out as an electronic file or electronic book, hence the term e-book. This file, also known as a digital file, can be read on an electronic or digital device. Because of the size of the files, this allows a reader to carry an entire library in his pocket.




Just as Gutenberg’s printing press in 1440 revolutionized publishing and and made the Bible more accesible to readers in those times, the development of the e-book has made books more available and less expensive for contemporary readers.


The electronic book (e-book) was born in 1971 as eText #1 from Project Gutenberg, a
project created by visionary Michael Hart to publish electronic versions of literary works.
Thanks to the internet which appeared on the scene in 1974, the invention of the web by
Tim Berners-Lee in 1990, and the release of the first public browser Mosaic in 1993, forty
three years later, ebooks are a major factor in modern publishing.

They are readily available on our computers, mobile phones, smartphones, and e-book
readers by purchasing the e-books through booksellers online. The major player in the publishing business is Amazon with its Kindle reader and apps. They sell anywhere from 50%-70% of the e-book market. This figure varies depending on the reports you read. 

But even with this mega company, online booksellers and publishers are popping up all the time. Take a look at a sample of the companies where you can purchase e-books.
Booksellers
            Amazon US (Kindle)
            Barnes & Noble
            BooksOnBoard - Mainstream
            Bookstrand - Mainstream
            Coffee Time Romance
            Sony e-Reader Store
            Diesel E-books
            Omnilit
            All Romance Ebooks
            Apple iBookstore
            Kobo
            Smashwords
            DriveThru Fantasy
            DriveThru Horror
            DriveThru Sci-Fi
            Muse It Up Publishing
         Publishers/small presses

How do I get the e-book?
 
Choose the device you will be using to read your e-books. Then you will know what book
seller to use to purchase the correct format/file that is compatible with your device e.g.

E-book Formats
.mobi and .prc for Kindle devices and Kindle apps
epub- for Apple iPad/iBooks, Nook, Sony Reader, Kobo, and most e-reading apps including Stanza, Aldiko, Adobe Digital Editions, others
PDF (good for reading on PC, or for home printing)
Amazon (Kindle reader and apps) and Barnes and Noble (Nook reader}make it easy to purchase your e-book using your credit card. When you order the e-book you want using your account, the bookseller charges your card and magically your e-book appears in your reading device. Very convenient.
Sideloading--If you order from a different bookseller/publisher, you will have to sideload your book (digital file) by attaching the cord to the computer where you download and save the file, then hooking it to your reading device. Check your particular device for complete instructions.
 
 Why read an e-book?
Yes, that may be the most important question. Why bother with e-books when we have print books. Here's my list of why I love reading e-books. (In fact I still enjoy reading print 
books too!)
  • E-books are less expensive to purchase. You can also check with your local library to find out if they have e-books to check out.
  • Download a sample of the e-book, usually 15% of the total pages, so you can check it out before purchasing.
  • E-books are easy to carry with you when traveling, going to the beach, or sitting on your front porch.
  • The font is adjustable so I can enlarge or decrease the size of print
  • When I finish reading, the page is automatically book marked for me so next time I turn on the device, the page will be right there for me to begin reading.
  • Dictionary is available to look up the meaning of a word just by highlighting the word.
  • When I turn pages, there is no noise to wake up my DH
  • E-books take up no room on my already packed shelves

Free Ebooks links-

Find lots of free e-books online. A lot of them are the great classics.

            Free E-books http://www.free-ebooks.net/
            Project Gutenberg  http://www.gutenberg.org/
            20 Best Websites for Free E-books http://www.hongkiat.com/blog/20-best-websites-to-download-free-e-books/
            Feedbooks  http://www.feedbooks.com/publicdomain

            Promotions through the bookseller or publisher

When my first mystery novella, Sunshine Boulevard, was released e-book form in 2011, instead of selling the book at signings, I was introducing e-books to most of the folks who attended. When my second mystery/sweet romance, Coda to Murder, hit cyberspace, more people had reading devices and actually were anxious to check out the story. 

Book publishing is exploding with new authors, publishers,  and e-books. What an exciting time.

Reading a book is like re-writing it for yourself. 
You bring to a novel, anything you read, all your experience of the world. 
You bring your history and you read it in your own terms. 
                                                                        –Angela Carter

Thanks for stopping in today. Please leave a comment.  Do you read e-books? What do you like or dislike about reading e-books? Do you have a favorite site to download your free e-books?

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This Week:

Wednesday, July 2-- Insecure Writers Support Group IWSG page Join hundreds of writers for this amazing monthly blog hop to learn about writing, get tips, and help other writers with their insecurities. 


Thursday, July 3-- Because of the Fourth of July holiday this week, the How to Begin Recording Your Life Story series will resume on Thursday, July 10. If you're in the USA, I'm sure you'll be celebrating the anniversary of the birth of the USA! Stay safe...












Thursday, June 26, 2014

How to Begin Recording Your Life Story Part 2 Opening up your memories and organizing your story.



HOW TO BEGIN RECORDING YOUR LIFE STORY PART 2
 by J.Q. Rose
Telling the story of our lives is one of the most important activities of the later years. It reminds us that we are still emerging, growing people.  It shows us how we have changed and how we have been transformed… Life review is…a stabilization in the security of the past so that we can go beyond to embrace the future. –Jane Marie Thibault





Opening up your memories and organizing your story.

Did you try drawing your time line? Some of us have more years to include in that line and a lot more stories to tell about our lives. Don’t get overwhelmed with the length of that line. Celebrate it!
Remember you eat an elephant one bit at a time. So pick and choose stories that you have shared many times with friends and family.

Memoirs don’t have to be done in chronological order. In fact they can be a string of vignettes. Write what comes easily at first. We all have those stories we tell every time the family gets together. The kids always want to hear them and stay at the table for stories. (That is evidence of the importance of you sharing your story with the next generations. They want to listen to your story instead of grabbing their tablets! Amazing...)
Begin by writing that story down or making notes for your audio or video recording. You've told it or heard it many times, so it should be easy. Have fun with it.

I began memoir writing by telling our daughters’ birthday stories. When they were kids they loved hearing about the day they were born so I set it down on paper. They were adults when on their respective birthdays, I slipped the story in their birthday card. They were delighted. As each grandson arrived, finally a granddaughter, I recorded the story of their birthday too and gave it to the mom as a keepsake for the child.




Ways to Open Up Your Memories

Free Writing--Choose a topic from your memory bank and begin writing about the topic. Don't stop to plan it out, just begin writing and don't let your pen or pencil leave the page or you fingers leave the keyboard. Let it flow. Never mind about grammar and punctuation because noone is going to see this except you. Be sure to include your emotions about the topic and let it all out. 
Here are some topics to choose from to give you an idea--automobiles, travel, sports event, fine arts production, a relative, pets, and toys.

I Am From Poem--Get your creative juices flowing with this poem which will allow you to pull out memories and set them down in poem form. This exercise is taken from the Chrysallis website. Visit it to read how several folks filled in the blanks.


I Am From Poem Template
I am from _______ (specific ordinary item), from _______ (product name) and _______.

I am from the _______ (home description... adjective, adjective, sensory detail).

I am from the _______ (plant, flower, natural item), the _______ (plant, flower, natural detail).

I am from _______ (family tradition) and _______ (family trait), from _______ (name of family member) and _______ (another family name) and _______ (family name).

I am from the _______ (description of family tendency)
and _______ (another one).

From _______ (something you were told as a child) and _______ (another).

I am from (representation of religion, or lack of it). Further description.

I'm from _______ (place of birth and family ancestry), _______ (two food items representing your family).

From the _______ (specific family story about a specific person and detail), the _______ (another detail), and the _______ (another detail about another family member).

I am from _______ (location of family pictures, mementos, archives and several more lines indicating their worth).

# # # #
Talented writer and friend, Tanja Cilia, shares her touching poem that she created using this template. Thanks so much, Tanja. 
I think this will certainly stir us to try writing the poem about our life story.



Where Are You From?

I am from sea-urchins and anchovies, and from Lighthouse Sea Salt and the Mediterranean’s best-kept secret island... I am from the Grand Harbour view flat, cosy, homely, comfortable, an islander who feels as much at home in the water as outside it.

I am from the tiger lily freckles and the honeysuckle tendrils, and orange blossom water used as scent because it smells faintly of 4711.

I am from the lion rampant holding the fleur-de-lys; the stubborn and the witty, the tall and the big-footed. I am from the Paul and the Catherine, but also from Valletta, Vittoriosa and Zabbar.

I am from the parsimonious yet generous, proud yet humble, solitary yet friendly clan. The ones who lisp. From the intelligent and gifted and clumsy and inept. The bookish. The let’s do crafts but not homework especially if it’s mathematics. 

I am from the Catholic Pessimist and Jewish Cynic and Agnostic Believer. I read and I write and I empathise with most.

I'm from Malta, land of honey, capers, prickly pears and olives, from if I’ve told you once I’ve told you a thousand times. And Linz in Austria. And Foggia in Italy. And anchovy and spinach pie and rabbit stew and vegetable soup with ham hock.

From the person who had stalls in the marketplace, from the person who did bobbin lace without using a pattern, from one who preserved fruits and vegetables and sold them to support her family, from the person who made designer patchwork quilts from fents.

I am from the sideboard drawers bursting at the seams with millions of photographs in sepia and monochrome. I am from Alexandria, Egypt, but also from a cauldron of Phoenician, Carthaginian, Norman and French genes.

I am me.

Tanja Chilja 


Please feel free to work on this poem for the next several weeks, then come back and post your poem in the comments section. Yes, I WILL reward you with a fun prize if you do so. Have fun with it and yes, you can tweak this however you wish.



Organizing Your Life Story

Life review yields long-term gains that enrich character by bringing understanding to events. The patterns in your life become more discernible among the wreckage and the romance, more like a well-plotted novel that reveals characters through their actions and reactions.                                                                                  ----James Hillman

Now is the time to begin writing your story. But how do you organize all these anecdotes, these precious times in your life?

Organizing Stories
There is no hard and fast rule about how to organize the stories. I do believe each person has to take some time to first write the easy stories to tell. Once you start writing and conversing with friends and family about the old days, so many stories will surface. Write them all down without worry about organization. Keep them in your three ring binder.

1. Themes--The more you write the more you may discover there are themes to your stories. There may be several accounts about being a caretaker for your parents, a hobby you love, pets you have had over the years, the story of an illness. birthings in your life (not only your birth, but the birth children or family members, ideas, businesses.) Each topic will be a theme which you can expand.

2. Chronological Order--It is easy to write only the facts when writing chronologically, but in life stories writers need to include their feelings about what is happening to them in their lives. Describe the people and location where the story takes place and allow the reader a chance to step into the scene. Remember to show, not tell, the story. 


3. Relate happenings in the present to something in the past e.g. the movie/book Julie and Julia. The story follows the exuberant chef, Julia Childs in the past and the present story of Julie who decided to write a blog about making every single recipe in Julia’s cookbook every day for a year.

You must have control of the authorship of your own destiny. The pen that writes your life story must be held in your own hand. -- Irene C. Kassorla

Adding these familiar tips as a reminder--

The Five W’s and How
When writing your memoir, remember your journalism class and the prof expounding on the five w’s—who, what, where, when, why, and how. It is very important to explain to readers of the future who this person is and how he/she is related to you, the location, the dates when the action takes place, and why this particular episode in your life is significant to you.


Show and Tell
In every good story, there must be more showing than telling to keep the reader’s interest. Dialogue is an interesting way to help move the story along. Using the five senses immerses the reader into the story. Include interesting characteristics of your subject to bring them to life. I have a woman in our family, who shall remain nameless, who picked her nose all the time she talked to me. Maybe you have an uncle like I did who prayed and prayed and prayed before a meal. And how about my aunt whose mustache was so dark that when she died, the undertaker shaved it off and nobody recognized her in the casket?

Hope you're all geeked up to begin writng about your life. Jump right in and go for it. It doesn't have to be an award-winning epistle. Just do it. Let me know how you're doing by leaving a comment below or drop me an email at jqrose02 at gmail dot com. Feel free to ask questions. Thanks for stopping by today!








After writing feature articles in magazines, newspapers, and online magazines for over fifteen years, J.Q. Rose entered the world of fiction beginning with mysteries, Sunshine Boulevard, and Coda to Murder, published by Muse It Up Publishing. With Girls Succeed!, a non-fiction e-book for girls,  she returned to her first love, writing about real people. 











Monday, June 23, 2014

Writers' Critique Groups, This Week

The peach roses in our yard are simply exquisite this year. 
They are blooming graciously and filling the air with perfume.
Sad that a rose doesn't last very long. But then, perhaps that's why we appreciate them so much.

I am fortunate to be able to partcipate in two in-person (as opposed to online) critique (crit) groups.  I have been attending the group that meets at the library for many years. Different people come and go in this group. You never know who will attend, but we do require the submission to be sent in to our yahoo group so we can print and crit it before the meeting.

The second group is made up of four members. When we began getting together no one was published. Now all of us have traditional published books. Each time a book is accepted, we all celebrate the signing. Supporting each other whether by critiquing the stories, talking publishing, or even complaining about the kids, is a huge part of being a member of this group.

Are you a member of a crit group? Is it online or in-person? How's that working for you?

I decided to write this post today because I discovered a great guest post on Karen Cioffi's Writers on the Move blog by Shirley Corder titled Tread Gently--10 Steps to Provide a Helpful Critique. Helpful is the operative word here. Take a peek.

This Week:


Thursday, July 26-- The series on How to Begin Recording Your Life Story Part 2 continues. I am honored to share a lovely poem by Tanja Cilia. Be sure to stop in.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

How to Begin Recording Your Life Story Part 1: What is memoir or life story, why record it, spark your memory






HOW TO BEGIN RECORDING YOUR LIFE STORY 
by J.Q. Rose

What is it? Why write a memoir?


Our lives are filled with extraordinarily ordinary moments.  Our souls are illuminated by them.  Sharing them around the hearths of our hearts, we become tellers of sacred tales, artists of our lives.
                                                      ----Dr. Susan Wittig Alberta, Writing from Life

Welcome, Dear Writers. I am J Q Rose. I am delighted to be here with you today to share my passion. I have led workshops on life story writing since 2004. It is my mission in life to help people record their life stories for future generations. The precious gift of your life stories to your family will certainly become a treasured heirloom for future generations.

This mini-workshop is an overview of the salient points in creating memoirs. I included some quick “homework” assignments if you care to try them and share with us.

What is a memoir or life story?

You may choose to write a chronological diary with only names, relationships, dates, and places. An autobiography is usually a chronological record of a life. A memoir or life story fleshes out your story revealing your memories, but also emotions. It gives life to people in your story much as you write characters in your novel. A memoir is a more intimate record of your life revealing true feelings. It may cover only a segment of your life and concentrate on one theme such as overcoming an illness, discussing your career(s), or taking readers on your travel adventures. Only YOU can record your memoir, but you must tell the truth when you decide to record it. Otherwise, why bother?

The easiest way to record one is to begin one story at a time. Don't try to tell it all from the very beginning. Write in vignettes or snapshots of your life. You can organize all those stories later either chronologically or group them together in themes.

Telling your story is like eating an elephant, one bite at a time.

The information you choose to share in the memoir will depend on your audience. Writing for family members only or writing for publication will shape the stories, relationships, or themes you will choose.

A memoir can be recorded by writing your life story or by telling your story using an audio file e.g. mP3 or video format.


Why record a memoir?
So many of us question why anyone would want to read our stories. We just live such ordinary lives. We didn’t discover electricity, build a rocket ship, or discover the cure to a deadly disease.

1. No, we didn’t (or maybe some of you did), but each story you tell will be read with interest by your family members and friends. Each joy and sorrow you share with them will be a guide for their lives. They can find comfort and assurance knowing someone else can overcome difficulties, be gracious in situations, and find joy in living an ordinary life.

2. Writing your story helps you understand your life. Seeing it through the lens of time, people’s actions, emotions, and words become more clear to you than when you actually lived the moments.

3. You will preserve the family history as well as telling the “real” story of historical events and how they affected your ordinary life. Have you lived through the Vietnam War era, civil rights movement, Kennedy assassination, Martin Luther King assassination, the first step on the moon, 9/11 tragedy?  Yes, you have stories to tell.

4. One of the best reasons to write is to have fun. You'll be surprised how many family members will be willing to share memories with you. This is a great conversation starter and you will learn a whole lot about your family and friends by re-living the memories as seen through their eyes. As one commenter added last week, she helped her Grandmother tell her story and they grew closer.

Resource

If you still feel unsure about deciding to write your life story, please download and read this free e-book from Women’s Memoirs entitled the Top Ten Reasons to Write Your Memoir.






Now that you are convinced to write a memoir, where do you begin? How do you recall all those memories? 

View details

Make a Memory Bank

A Memory Bank is just what it says, a bank or storage for your memories. A three ring binder with pockets is the best way to keep everything together. Your first step in setting out to record your life story is to make a memory bank. The Memory Bank is an idea from Lois Daniel’s book, How to Write Your Own Life Story, the most helpful book for writing life stories I have found.

Use one page in your binder for each topic—Family, Holidays, School, Homes, Careers, Recipes, Relationships, etc. Individuals will discover topics unique to each person’s experiences and interests such as Military Service and Travel. Write the topic at the upper right hand side of the page. Jot quick notes about each memory related to the topic. You may want to further break down each topic to have a separate sheet on each family member or career. Then when something sparks your memory, note it on the appropriate topic page or start a new one. These ideas will become the basis for your next story. Sometimes when writing about a holiday, a memory of a special dessert your grandmother prepared will come to mind. Write a note about it on your grandmother’s page and on the recipe page.

The extra pages of lined paper will be used to write your stories if you wish to handwrite them or notes to use on audio recordings. If you do use a keyboard, print your notes or stories, punch the three holes in, and add them to the binder. (I like to print my stories out so I have a hard copy, just in case technology lets me down.) The pockets will hold photos, articles, memorabilia, flash drive, CDs, and any treasures you gather during the course of your writing.

As you experiment with the following exercises, you will recall all kinds of memories. Be sure to transfer them to the appropriate page in your Memory Bank binder.


View details


Spark your memory

  • Time Line. Draw a horizontal line on paper to represent your life. Mark off the years beginning with 0, 7, 14, 21, 28, and so forth. Above the line write all the good things that happened to you in these segments e.g. between 14 and 21 driver’s license, engaged to be married. Below the line write the bad things that happened e.g. between 21-28 a car accident, loss of a loved one. One memory will lead to another. Add to this time line during your writing.
  • Life Stages. Some are more comfortable dividing their lives into different stages of life such as childhood, adolescence, young adulthood, adulthood. Note your outstanding memories during these stages.
  • Photos. Looking through photos really brings the past into the present. Seeing the faces of friends and family and the background locations truly spark memories.
  •  Writing Prompts. Google “memoir writing prompts” and you will find many sites dedicated to writing memoirs with helpful prompts to trigger your memories.
Resource
CreativeWriting Prompts, Starts & Story Starters  for memoir/life story prompts   


Homework
Choose a writing prompt. If you wish, please share a paragraph with us from your story or writing prompt in the comments section.


Are you convinced writing your life story could be in your future?If you have questions about life story writing, please ask in a comment below or email me at jqrose02 at gmail dot com. 

Thanks for stopping. Come back next Thursday to learn how to organize your story.





After writing feature articles in magazines, newspapers, and online magazines for over fifteen years, J.Q. Rose entered the world of fiction beginning with mysteries, Sunshine Boulevard, and Coda to Murder, published by Muse It Up Publishing. With Girls Succeed!, a non-fiction e-book for girls,  she returned to her first love, writing about real people. 


Sunday, June 15, 2014

Goal, Motivation, Confict in Your Story, This Week


Artwork from Writers University Boot Camp
Award winning novelist and creativity coach for writers Beth Barany is one of the guest speakers at the Writers University Boot Camp founded by Connie Dunn. She suggested drafting goal, motivation, conflict and strengths for your main characters. She also wants us to describe a secret your main character is keeping from everybody else in the story. This is a delicious exercise, so I am going to share with you, Dear Readers,  my main character in my latest mystery work-in progress, Dead Wrong. Since this book is a WIP, the title is just a working title. I'm not sure I will keep it.

My main character is Lauren Staab. She is the daughter of a funeral director and works at her dad's business, Staab and Blood Funeral Home, as the bookkeeper. No, she is not an embalmer, but she does help with visitations and funeral services as well as keep paying the bills and hopefully collecting money to meet the expenses.

Goal: Lauren wants to find the person or persons who killed her friend Tony and left his body in the garage of the funeral home between the hearse and the flower car.

Motivation: Because she has no idea who killed Tony, she fears the killer will come back to harm her father, mother, brother, or herself. 

Conflict: The police are trying to implicate the family members in the murder, so she must prove their innocence. 

Strengths: Lauren is a strong, independent thirty year old woman who has had to get through the loss of her fiance who was killed fighting in Iraq. She is back home in the small town she grew up in to help her dad with the business because her mother has been admitted to the memory care unit of the nursing home with Alzheimers. She has the stamina to deal with her mother's illness and keep the family and funeral business together.

Describe a secret your main character is keeping from everybody else: Lauren's secret is Henry. He is a shadow man who visits her in the funeral home. He s not malicious, but instead, very friendly. She doesn't feel threatened by Henry, but she has no idea why he has decided to appear to her. Afterall, she works in a funeral home, and no other spirits have appeared in her office. She doesn't want to tell anyone because, well, who'd believe her anyway?


# # # #


Don't miss out on this informative How-to blog series on How to Begin Recording Your Life Story. I am passionate about folks taking time to write down stories of their lives to share with friends and family. Come on over on Thursdays this month and find out why and how to do this exhilarating exercise. Re-live wonderful memories and gain new perspective on some of the troubling times in your life. 

Please realize you don't have to be "old" to write a life story or memoir. We have stories to tell at all stages of life. I know you have plenty of them to share.

Here's something that may spark a memory you want to write about. I bet it will spark a smile from you. Enjoy!

DO YOU REMEMBER A TIME WHEN…?
Decisions were made by going “eeny-meeny-miney-moe”?
Mistakes were corrected by simply exclaiming “Do Over!”?
“Race issue” meant arguing about who ran the fastest
Catching the fireflies could happily occupy an entire evening?
It wasn’t odd to have 2 or 3 Best Friends?
The worst thing you could catch from the opposite sex was “cooties”?
Having a weapon in school meant being caught with a slingshot?
A foot of snow was a dream come true?
Saturday morning cartoons weren’t 30-minute commercials for action figures?
“Oly-oly-oxen-free” made perfect sense?
Spinning around, getting dizzy, and falling down was cause for giggles?
The worst embarrassment was being picked last for a team?
War was a card game?
Baseball cards in the spokes transformed any bike into a motorcycle?
Taking drugs meant orange-flavored chewable aspirin?
                                                                       ---Author Unknown



Thursday, June 12, 2014

How to Begin to Record Your Life Story

Our lives are filled with extraordinarily ordinary moments. 
Our souls are illuminated by them.  
Sharing them around the hearths of our hearts, 
we become tellers of sacred tales, artists of our lives.   
                                             –Dr. Susan Wittig Albert, Writing from Life

Image courtesy of thawats / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
It’s a Gift by J.Q. Rose
The most precious gift you can give to your children is a record of the stories about your family and your life.
Whether you decide to write them in a notebook or computer or record them on video or mP3 file, it makes no difference.  The important thing is that you preserve these stories for future generations. 
Some of you will push back from the idea of telling your life story because you haven't discovered a cure for cancer or designed a space ship to land on Mars. Your life is more important than any of that because you will be a historian writing about your times and happenings of the day. Only you can tell the truth about your life and experiences.
 Future readers will wonder as they peruse the stories how you ever lived without a TV, computer, smart phone, or microwave (or what else they may be using in the future?).  But the story of your life, the struggles, the joys, the accomplishments, will be what they understand.  Your account will be a guide to help them through their own lives.


Decide to Do It Now
Don’t put it off anymore.  Begin today.  Pick one story out of all the family stories and write it down.  Perhaps you remember a funny experience when you were in school.  How about that disastrous Christmas dinner you prepared for your in-laws?  What was your favorite toy when you were growing up and why?  Is there a family recipe that has been passed down from one generation to the next?  Share it and tell about the Grandma or Aunt or the person who used to prepare it for you.

See?  Just pick out one story your family always tells at get-togethers and develop it.  Scribble it down quickly without regard to your Sixth Grade teacher who would definitely mark it up with her red pen. You get the basics of the story (what I call the bones) down on paper, and then you can always go back and flesh out the details.  Don’t worry about grammar and punctuation until you have the story down.  Then you can revise and edit or have some fresh eyes read the story to find errors.

Once you begin writing and discussing your story, the joy you and your family receive from sharing it around your "hearths" or campfires will amaze you.  Have fun with it.
My Mission
As you can tell, I am a crusader for life story writing. I have presented several workshops on Writing Life Stories. In April the woman who influenced me to pick up this cause passed away. To honor her work, I want to continue her mission of encouraging everyday people to record their stories. I will be presenting some ideas to you in the next few weeks to help you get started on writing your story. Please return Thursday, June 19, and the following Thursdays to get motivated to write/record your story. 


Monday, June 9, 2014

When Your Writing Plans Go Awry, Doughboys and Camping

Hi Writers and Readers,

Glad you stopped in today. I'm a bit late in posting. In fact most of my writing plans are going awry. I gave myself a deadline to finish my WIP, but that deadline has passed and so has another, and now I am looking in the face of a failed deadline yet again.

I am working on a mystery/romance/paranormal. (Do you think that's enough genres for one book??? LOL) I don't even have a title for it and I am on Chapter 31. No name has even begun to swirl in my head, but then, I don't usually title my stories or books till I'm done writing THE END on the last page.

I really really wanted to give you a hint of the story, even the first scene, but as I write, I see I have to make some changes to the beginning chapters. Heck, I'm going to have to add and take away quite a few places in this book. It's one of the most complicated stories I have ever written. Too complex can be a bad thing. Readers don't want to have to stop and sort out every piece in the plot or make notes to read the tale! (I know this because I am a reader too.)

The Reason Why My Writing Went Awry

 This past weekend I had huge plans of writing while we were on a camping trip with the family. There is no WiFi in the Muskegon State Park, Muskegon, Michigan, so I knew I wouldn't have emails and Facebook and reading blogs to distract me. However, I didn't anticipate having such a good time with the gang. Yes, I am blaming my lack of progress on my WIP on the fishing, the delicious cookouts over the campfire, and great conversations. Plus it doesn't get dark until after 10:00 pm EDT in this area, so we were out and about late. 

I didn't even open my laptop or take out my notebook while camping. Do I feel guilty? Not at all!! My characters Lauren, Gary, Chip, and Randy will just have to wait for me. I'm feeling the sand between my toes, the warm sunshine, the sweet hugs and kisses from my grandkids instead.

Take a Peek at my Weekend


We enjoyed S'mores and Doughboys over this campfire
as well as burgers, hot dogs, and chicken.

Doughboys are dough of crescent rolls wrapped around the end of a large dowel rod. It takes patience to "bake" it over a campfire, but oh so yummy when filled with pie filling, apple butter, or pizza toppings.


Kids are ready to go fishin' in the channel
that connects Muskegon Lake to Lake Michigan.

We found out there weren't many fish in the channel. :-(
 Ethan was lucky to catch a 15 inch rock bass.

What a gorgeous day for a boat ride. No, not our boats.

All shapes and sizes of boats use the channel to reach the big lake.

This is our home sweet home when camping.

 Hope you had a delightful weekend. Now tell me, if you are a writer, when do you have a title for your stories? If you are a camper, share one of your camping experiences with us. Please leave a comment below.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Time to Celebrate at the Book Marketing Blog Hop


Welcome to the J.Q. Rose blog! Thank you for stopping in. Today is party time!! Help yourself to the cake and punch on the festive table decorated with these gorgeous red roses. We're getting together to celebrate the completion of the 30 Day Book Marketing Challenge with an amazing Book Marketing Blog Hop. 

Participate in the Blog Hop

For 30 sessions D’vorah Lansky of Build a Business with Your Book hosted informative guests who shared their knowledge and experience in their special fields of book marketing. What a fun time for learning about new methods for marketing and getting to meet and network with professionals who try to shed some light on the overwhelming task of getting the word out about our books. D’vorah was so organized and her speakers were generous with their tips and information.  I learned many new-to-me strategies, and I am anxious to try them!

The next time I'm a guest blogger on an author’s blog, I plan to use a tip I gleaned during the workshop in my own book marketing. (A guest blogger shares stories about writing their book, speaks on a topic chosen by the host, or answers an  interview style Q & A. She also has the opportunity to promote her book.) When guesting, I will include a link back to my blog so the reader will pop over to my blog to download a free gift such as a list of tips on my topic, a report. or even a teleseminar. I have compiled recipes in cookbooks that I think would be a worthwhile free gift for readers. When they hop over, they may spend time looking around the blog and sign up for the gift.  I’ll add the reader’s email address to my list and hope to have an ongoing relationship with website visitors.

You're invited to hop on over to visit the other authors who are also throwing a party at their blogs. You’ll pick up some useful tips on book marketing too. Remember,  cyber party food and drinks contain no calories! Enjoy!
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To discover more about the book and to learn about incredible role models and trailblazers, visit The Girls Succeed Blog.

Girls Succeed! is available at Amazon and major online booksellers.