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Posts Tagged ‘#TBSU’

A friend recently shared a question they had been asked about what is considered “good writing”. As I’ve come to learn, it is related to the old saying, “Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder”. There is no such thing as a book that every single person in the world is going to like. And the criteria for what constitutes a good book as just as varied as the people that read.

Yes, there are certain key points to remember when writing. Things such as spelling mistakes, poor grammar and vocabulary, can all ruin a good story. Editing and proofreading are necessary tools of the trade. But since people’s preferences in their reading choices are so varied, how does an author know how to write a “good book”?

The best answer I’ve come up with is this: an author usually writes for one of two reasons. They have a particular message they wish to share, or they have a creative imagination that likes to make up stories. Sometimes they combine both.

In either case, the author wants to connect in some way with their readers. I think perhaps the best way to do that is to simply write from the heart, as if writing for yourself. Write something that you would enjoy reading. At least that is what works for me.

Since there are so many curious minds out there seeking advice on writing, for this week’s #FridayForwards post, I decided to do things a little differently. Instead of listing books, I decided to share a few links to a few blogs of other authors. These authors share tips and advice about writing on occasion that are well worth looking into for those considering taking on the journey of becoming an author, as well as those already on that journey.

I hope you’ll take a moment and check out these blogs. And make sure to leave a comment. We all love to hear from our readers, and the feedback helps us to improve in our work.

Keep on writing, and have a great weekend! – Amber

Blogs:

Timothy Pike of “Dream, Play, Write” http://theimportanceofbeingedited.wordpress.com/

Lisette Brodey, author http://lisettebrodey.com/category/blog/

Melissa Foster, author http://www.melissafoster.com/resources-for-writers/

#FridayForwards #authors #writing #TBSU

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When asked in a casual conversation what I did for a living, I replied, “I am an author”. I had just published my first book, and I admit that I felt a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction in hearing myself say the words. The reply however, was not what I expected. The words, “Oh, living the easy life. It must nice to just work when you feel like it, ” rang out in my ears like a jack-hammer. I thought to myself, “Are you serious”? I thought about a quote I once read: “It is only when you open your veins and bleed onto the page a little that you establish contact with your reader…” (from “Confessions of a Story Writer” by Paul Gallico, author of “The Poseidon Adventure” and  “Lou Gehrig: Pride of the Yankees”)

When an author writes, they are exposing a part of themselves to the world. One never knows what kind of reviews (if any at all) their work will receive. What if people hate it? Or even worse, what if no one ever reads it at all? There is an endless list of fears (both real and imagined) that can fill an authors head.

I will fear no evil

So what does an author do to overcome those fears and put the pen to the paper? Some do nothing, and those words stay locked up inside forever.  I chose to “do it afraid”. I felt like if I tried to keep those words inside, my head would explode. So I just started writing. To change Mr. Gallico’s words slightly, I opened my heart and let it bleed onto the pages.

Most of the authors I know work in that way. They write because they love it. They write the words that are in their hearts and minds. It is not an easy way to make a living. In fact, most authors work at other jobs to pay their bills, at least in the beginning. But it is a great reward to see the fruit of your labors in print, especially if others are sharing it by spreading the word about it.

Which brings me to this week’s #FridayForwards, and a message to all the authors out there: Keep writing, FEARLESSLY! And when you find something you enjoy, PLEASE SHARE IT!

The Wolf of Tebron by C.S. LakinThe Wolf of Tebron by C.S. Laskin. C.S. Lakin’s first novel in The Gates of Heaven series is about the journey of Joran in his quest to find his wife. Along the way, he is joined by a huge wolf, Ruyah, who soon becomes Joran’s companion, friend and teacher. It’s written in classic fairytale style, where magic, fantasy, and the forces of good and evil abound. Rich in vibrant language, adventure, personification, and more, this allegory offers the reader more than just a thrilling story. As Lakin says, “Joran’s journey inspires and encourages readers to focus on our deep purpose and meaning in life.”

 

The Screwtape Letters by C.S. LewisThe Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis. A classic masterpiece of religious satire that entertains readers with its sly and ironic portrayal of human life and foibles from the vantage point of Screwtape, a highly placed assistant to “Our Father Below.” At once wildly comic, deadly serious, and strikingly original, The Screwtape Letters is the most engaging account of temptation—and triumph over it—ever written.

 

 

1 book coverFaith, Hope & Miracles by Amber Leggette-Aldrich. A tragic snowmobile accident that resulted in the death of 8 year old Christian Aldrich is just the beginning. Miraculously revived over 40 minutes later, there was still little reason to believe that this child would survive, let alone fully recover. What Christian describes about his experience with death and heaven has had a profound impact on many. Faith, Hope & Miracles is a true story about a family’s 18 month journey through tragedy and blessings. It is a story of hope and encouragement. Anyone who has lost a loved one, suffered in agonizing pain, or felt desperate and alone will appreciate this straightforward account which describes in detail what Christian and his family went through, and the true miracles they witnessed.

Have a great weekend and God bless! – Amber

#FridayForwards #TBSU #Authors #Books

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Help 4 authors

It’s Friday again, already? Seems like time just flies on by these days. At least there were a few things crossed off the “to do” list. At this time of year, for me, there are usually more things added to the list than accomplished.

A few things that I did accomplish was to complete a few reviews, finished the outline for my upcoming book, along with the first two chapters, and the #FridayForwards list for this week.

As stated in the post last week, being an author involves a lot of hard work and diligence. One of the hardest and most time consuming aspects is the promotions and marketing. On the other hand, one of the most rewarding aspects is engagement with our readers.

Our readers mean a great deal to us. After all, if it wasn’t for the readers, there would be no reason for writing. And we absolutely love to hear from you! Whether it’s in the form of an honest review on Amazon, or comments left on our blogs, or meeting you in person at a book signing event, it is a great encouragement and reward for an author to make those connections.

It is also very much appreciated when our work is shared with others. That is the main reason that this #FridayForwards was started, to share. So I’m asking for your help in spreading the word about these authors, and helping to share their work. It only takes a few minutes, and it means so much!

Also, if you have any suggestions or comments you’d like to share, I would love to hear from you!

Thanks, and have an awesome weekend! – Amber

Stage Wars by Mary E HanksStage Wars by Mary E. Hanks. During an onstage sword fight, rivals, Shem Michaels and TJ Fortine, crash through the trap door straight into Professor Plunkmeyer’s whirling time machine. Thrown into medieval battles, they must either find a way to help each other or die. Can they survive? Perhaps, even become friends? (Ages 10+)

 

 

Beyond My Control by Stuart Ross McCallumBeyond My Control: One Man’s Struggle With Epilepsy, Seizure Surgery & Beyond by Stuart Ross McCallum. Stuart Ross McCallum shares a true account of his battle with epilepsy-beginning with the peculiar sensations he experienced as a teenager that led to his diagnosis and concluding with his eventual recovery from a temporal lobe lobectomy.McCallum vividly describes his twenty-year journey of living with epilepsy and how this unpredictable disease has not only impacted his life but the lives of everyone around him.

 

The Light and the Glory by Peter Marshall and David ManuelThe Light and the Glory by Peter Marshall. Peter Marshall and David Manuel explore the Christian foundations of American history, considering God’s special role in America’s creation and its implications for today.

 

 

 

#FridayForwards #TBSU #Authors

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As an author, I know all too well the struggles of promoting and marketing our work. It can be grueling work, and sometimes down right frustrating. But the joy and rewards of sharing what we do as an artist is well worth the effort!

I came across this on Facebook this morning, and I think it explains things quite well. Remember, artists of all kinds do what they do because they are sharing a piece of their heart. You can show appreciation for what they do by helping to spread the word about their work, give reviews, and of course, buying their creations.

The Heart of an Artist

In honor of a few author friends, I’m beginning a “Fridays Forwards”, to help them share their work. And so, for this week: (Click on the images for the links to purchase on Amazon.)

Butterfly Fields

Butterfly Fields by Twylla Carlson

Set in the foothills of a thriving cattle ranch, this story begins the journey of a naïve young woman dealing with a family tragedy that will change her life forever. Through the unexpected struggles of others she finds healing and a new awareness of the evil in her world while discovering that divine intervention surrounds her daily.

 

 

 

 

 

Out from the Shadows

Out from the Shadows by Pamela Thorson

Caregivers live in the daily shadows of death, countless duties, and shattered dreams. But they don’t have to exist in the shadows of their faith.

Nurse and veteran caregiver Pam Thorson offers weary families hope and insights gained from her own struggles. Out from the Shadows is a collection of thirty-one stories that pull back the veil on the unique joys and challenges of caregiving. Each devotion draws from the author’s own experiences to reveal a fresh understanding of Jesus’ call upon our lives as we care for others.

 

 

Seumas book cover 1

Self-Publishing Steps to Successful Sales by Seumas Gallacher

A self-publisher with over 75,000 sales/downloads explains in simple steps how he uses the social networks and ePublishing to enhance sales of his books on the Web and in hard copy.
As always, if you see something you like, please feel free to share away. And if you have any recommendations you’d like to share, you may do that also by leaving a link in the comments section.
Blessings to all, and have a great weekend! – Amber
#FridayForward #TBSU #Authors #amwriting

 

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An Easter Gift

There are many occasions throughout the year for celebrations, and Easter is one of my favorites!

Actually, I try to celebrate every day, being thankful for all the blessings in my life. Still, there are certain days that feel extra special to me.

The reason for celebrating Easter is the gift given freely by the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The gift of salvation because of His great love for us, is very precious to many, including me.

I used to think that miracles like being raised from the dead only happened during the biblical times. Even after I became a believer and my faith began to grow, I never imagined that I would see a miracle. But that all changed in November of 2010.

When my youngest son, Christian, was killed in an accident and then brought back to life over 40 minutes later, I knew, along with many others, that it was a miracle! But the miracles didn’t stop there. As Christian began sharing his experiences of being in heaven, more miracles were beginning.

Our family began an unexpected journey, which later lead me to write a book. In my heart I knew, it was a story that I wanted to share with everyone. I did not write it to become rich or famous, but rather to give God the honor and glory that He alone deserves. I wrote the book to share with others the awesome power and love of Jesus, and what He did for us.

It has become sort of a tradition for me now, to give away the E-book “Faith, Hope & Miracles” during Easter weekend. It is my gift to anyone that may be searching, hoping, doubting, or just curious about whether or not modern day miracles exist. It is my way of sharing our blessings with others, and to give thanks and praise to God.

From today through midnight Sunday, April 20th, anyone can download the book for free from Amazon. And you don’t need a Kindle to read it. There is a free app for computers and i-pads to read it. I encourage everyone to share it with family and friends, as it is a message of hope. And please help me to spread the word! I really want for as many people as possible to have the chance to read it for free.

Just click here to get your free copy.

1 book cover

I pray that you all are blessed, and have a very thankful and happy Easter! – Amber

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Today I have a guest post, written by my friend, Seumas Gallacher.

I’ve asked Seumas to share a little about his journey to becoming a writer because he’s had a great influence on me. His good-natured generosity and sense of humor has made it quite easy to like him.

Seumas started a strategy in social networking a while back called, “The Blog Scratchers Union”…a you scratch my back (or blog in this case), and I’ll scratch yours sort of thing. It has become quite popular in helping authors spread the word about each other’s works. I shared his idea in an earlier post. So now when you see the hashtag #TBSU, you’ll know where it came from.

So without further ado…meet Seumas Gallacher…

…what do YOU wanna be when you grow up?…

As much as I protest at the utter surprise at realizing I’m living well past the three-score years mark, my brain rejects anything other than a youthful mind-set.

Sure, it seems I can’t sprint from the armchair to the sofa in search of the television remote control as swiftly as I once could… and birthdays appear to be arriving in a concertina-ed time scale. But I believe I’ve arrived at a place of cerebral satisfaction… I’ve become a writer… never, ever labeling myself as an ‘aspiring writer’… but a ‘writer’… if you’re gonna be something, then be it totally.

However, it wasn’t ever so imbedded as it is now.

In my earlier youth, the preferred occupations ranged from ‘a drummer in a beat group’, followed bylead singer in the same beat group’ (note ‘beat group’, not ‘band’… kinda dates me a bit, doesn’t it?)… then it was to be a ‘back-street betting bookmaker’, short-lived when I learned that would require capital to get started. Brief skirmishes with the notion of being a ‘professional soccer goalkeeper’ lapsed as the need to get real and earn a living thrust me into the tentacles of Big Bad Banking. In that guise the world saw Master Gallacher over a period of four decades, tramping round the global greed centres of London, Hong Kong, Singapore, Sydney, Manila, and now Abu Dhabi.

In retrospect, it dawns on me that all of that was merely to equip my grey cells with background material to indulge what I think has always been in my soul… writing… telling stories… entertaining people… enjoying the pleasure of word-smithing.

I didn’t complete my first crime thriller until about five years ago, and since then have become addicted to laptop-tapping constantly, in producing what has now become the Jack Calder series, with three titles on Amazon Kindle already, and a fourth Work-In-Progress…

Seumas 3 books covers

Available on Amazon at:

Savage Payback 

Vengeance Wears Black 

The Violin Man’s Legacy

Being the oldest self-confessed computer Jurassic on the planet, the advent of the social networks was beautifully timed. My incompetence has proved no barrier in a steep learning curve.

Marrying the eBook phenomenon with the proper business application of the various social networks has resulted in 75,000+ downloads/sales to date in eBook and hard copy … not bad for somebody who still doesn’t know what he wants to be when he (eventually) grows up. It still tickles and astonishes me that in this few short years I’ve become in some quarters, the darling of the self-publishing brigade. So much so, that many, many newbie and established author friends have exhorted me to tell how I did it. The result… the recent launch on Kindle of ‘Self-Publishing Steps To Successful Sales’…

Seumas book cover 1

 

Available on Amazon at ‘Self-Publishing Steps To Successful Sales’ 

…I welcome all and any contact regarding this wonderful world of quill-scraping and invite your interaction through:

Blog : http://www.seumasgallacher.com
Twitter : @seumasgallacher
Facebook : http://www.facebook.com/seumasgallacher
Email : seumasgallacher@yahoo.com

 

Seumas Gallacher profile picSeumas Gallacher was born in Clydeside, Govan in Glasgow and spent his formative teens in the idyllic Scottish Hebridean island of Mull. His career as a banker took him from Scotland to London for ten years and thence on a further twenty-five year global odyssey through Hong Kong, Singapore and the Philippines in Asia. Along the way he metamorphed into a corporate troubleshooter and problem solver. He came to the United Arab Emirates for a month in 2004 and has remained in Abu Dhabi ever since.

A late discoverer of the joys of writing, his first two novels, The Violin Man’s Legacy and Vengeance Wears Black have sold more than 70,000 copies. The third in the Jack Calder series, Savage Payback was launched in late 2013.

Seumas has become a strong proponent of the use of the social networking channels to reach and engage with a global readership market in the new age of self-publishing and eBooks. Seumas is a sought-after speaker and lecturer on how to develop productive online relationships. He was voted Blogger of the Year 2013.

(* Don’t forget to drop Seumas a line, and help spread the word about #TBSU)

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This is for the writers out there, from my friend, Seumas Gallacher, a talented man with a fine spirit. Though his words may be humorous, there is some valuable information here, especially for those just stepping into the world of self publishing. I wish I had known about Seumas when I wrote my first book, “Faith, Hope & Miracles”. It would have made things a lot easier.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy. And please stop by Seumas’ site. Even if you’re not a writer, you’ll at least be entertained! Wishing all a happy & blessed Wednesday! – Amber

Seumas Gallacher

…absent being the owner of your own currency printing machine, I offer the following synopsis for all the wannabe Croesus(es) [Croesii?] out there in quill-scribbling world…I’m presently about three-quarters of the way through the process, so forgive me if may have to revert for the final corroboration of its efficacy…and having only my own personal experience to draw on here, I’ll pitch this accordingly…my story to date:

1. Kick-off/start/genesis/beginning is …WRITIN’…

Nicking from Nike—JUST DO IT!… don’t be an ‘aspiring writer’—if you write at all, then you’re a writer—and despite nasty rumours to the contrary, it’s NOT a nefariously negative pursuit…get the stuff out, down on paper  or on the laptop…along the way, like any apprentice, emulate the writers you admire…ask for advice…the universal author/writing family is immensely generous of spirit.

2. Having written, now it’s…MARKETIN’…

As of two days ago, I’m officially an Old Age Pensioner…but…

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Unstuffed Cabbage

Many years ago I was invited to dinner at my cousin’s house. She served a dish called “Stuffed Cabbage”. I had never tried it before, but with one bite, I fell in love! I have always enjoyed Italian foods, and this particular dish was delicious.

I asked for the recipe, which my cousin was happy to share. I attempted to make it a few weeks later, and quickly discovered there was a lot more work to it than I had thought.

I’m what you might call a “lazy cook”. I prefer meals where you throw everything in one pot and call it dinner. It’s a good way to clean out the leftovers in the fridge too, only you seldom get the exact same taste twice. Still, I’ve never had any complaints about my cooking. (Maybe it’s only because I make them wait until they’re so hungry, anything would taste good.)

Well, I decided that instead of spending all that time to steam the cabbage leaves, prepare the meat mixture and roll it up in the leaves, then put it in the sauce to cook, you guessed it…I just put all of the ingredients into a crock pot and turned it on, calling it “Unstuffed Cabbage”. I let it simmer for several hours while I went about taking care of other matters, like playing with the kids.

Unstuffed Cabbage has now become one of my favorite meals, and has even been requested on occasion at our church potlucks. Of course everyone laughs when I tell them I came up with the idea because I’m a lazy cook. But it is the truth. It’s not that I mind cooking at all, I just usually have a lot of other things going on that require my attention (and I’ve burned a lot of dishes that require too much tending to).

It occurred to me recently that my recipes such as Unstuffed Cabbage, allow me to multi-task as well as save time, money, energy and space. And I really like those ideas! I’m actually thinking about creating a cookbook for other lazy cooks too. It might make a great gift item. What do you think? Any ideas for a good title? Got any suggestions for saving time or money, etc. you’d like to share? I’d love to hear your ideas!

One more quick note: In an effort to better organize my time, I’ll be updating my posts here on Wednesdays and Fridays.

And since it’s Friday, as promised (I know, I’ve missed a couple of weeks) here is this week’s #TBSU (The Blog Scratchers Union) List:

http://livingthescottishdream.wordpress.com/

http://www.goodreads.com/

http://losrodriguezlife.com/

http://sethsnap.com/about/

http://ruthninawelsh.com/

http://cutterlight.com/

http://pacificparatrooper.wordpress.com/category/introduction/

http://healthadvocation.wordpress.com/

http://blog.bookmasters.com/

http://caddoveil.com/

Take a look and if you see any blogs you like, please follow and share! If you have any blogs you’d like to recommend, #TBSU is free to join and easy to share. Or if you prefer, I can add your suggestions to my lists too…the more the merrier!

Have a great weekend, and God bless! – Amber

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Good morning fellow bloggers! It’s Friday, and I almost have my voice back. I think I’m on the mend finally, praise God! With Christmas just around the corner, life has gone into the busy mode now. But I did manage to find some humor this week, and I wanted to share it with you.

I pray that I will age as gracefully (and with such a sense of humor about it) as the lady in this video! I hope you enjoy this as much as I did. 🙂

A hilarious prayer

As promised, I have added a few more sites to my #TBSU (The Blog Scratchers Union) list. I hope you will pass them along to your friends, and thank you for helping to spread the word! Don’t forget to “like” and “follow” the ones you enjoy and find helpful!

Happy blogging & have a very Merry Christmas & blessed New Year! 🙂

Blogs to follow: #TBSU

http://ruthninawelsh.com/

http://cutterlight.com/

http://pacificparatrooper.wordpress.com/category/introduction/

http://healthadvocation.wordpress.com/

http://www.faithwriters.com/

http://www.independentauthornetwork.com/

Note: Some of the above sites are not actual blogs, but sites for writers with lots of resources you might find helpful, so I wanted to include them. Also, I have had some trouble with the actual links not working. If that is the case, you can copy & paste the addresses into your browser. (I’m still learning about building the links, so I appreciate your patience with me!)

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It’s Monday morning, and I’m not feeling quite up to par. Christian and I have had a bad cold since last Wednesday, which has left me with almost no voice for the past 4 days. Christian kinda likes it that way, saying now I can’t fuss at him. 🙂

Today will be mostly spent on catching up on household chores and some arts & crafts time. We are working on making our Christmas gifts, and our projects qualify as Art in home schooling. So Christian lucked out for today with an easy school load.

As for writing, I did post pictures on our animal site, Christian’s Critters. Other than that, it’s difficult for me to put many of my thoughts down today. The book that I am currently writing is meant to be from a humorous point of view, but I’m just not feeling very humorous right now. So perhaps I’ll have to put the book on hold for now.

For my fellow authors though, I do want to share another interesting idea from my friend, Seumas Gallacher. It’s another creative way for connecting with other authors, getting to know a little something about each other. It’s kind of a game of tag for authors. Check it out and please share. Seumas has a lot of really fun and interesting ideas for helping each other in promoting our work. Click here to check out his blog: Seumas Gallacher

Well, that’s all for today. Hope everyone has a blessed day, with hearts of hope and encouragement to share with others.

Love, Peace & Blessings – Amber

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