Ink or keyboard? When a computer-loving writer prefers a pen

Wonderful ideas in this article. It makes me feel much better about my fountain pen and colored inks habit. 🙂

Nail Your Novel

I adore, adore, adore my computer. I have acres of folders for each book I write, stuffed with research links, musings about characters, thoughts about the story’s overall direction. I have thematic notes, background, significant geography, historical events that might make a difference. I write my text on the computer, I have scribble files for experimenting, outtakes files and the text proper.

But there are some parts of my work that I have to do in ink.

I hadn’t thought about this until an email arrived from Robert Scanlon, who’s using Nail Your Novelwith Scrivener and was wondering whether to put the beat sheet analysis into the note cards for each scene. The short answer is, yes if it works for you. Personally I wouldn’t write a beat sheet on the computer, but we all work in different ways.

So this will be a very idiosyncratic post, but I…

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Attempting Elizabeth, by Jessica Grey – A Review

Sounds wonderful; it’s on my To Be Read list (gotta read P & P again first. Must be a couple of years since my last reading…


Image of the cover of the book Attempting Elizabeth, by Jessica Grey © 2013 Tall House BooksFrom the desk of Veronica Ibarra: 

Ever love a book so much that it is committed to memory? Have a favorite book that provides comfort and escape from life’s more troublesome realities? Pride and Prejudice is just such a book for many, including Kelsey Edmundson, the heroine of Jessica Grey’s new Jane Austen-inspired novel Attempting Elizabeth, who is magically transported through time and dimension jumping right into the story.

Kelsey is a grad student with a deep and abiding geeky love for TV, movies, and books, particularly Pride and Prejudice. She is also in recovery after a bad breakup. In an effort to help Kelsey get back into the game of life, her roommate Tori Mansfield coerces Kelsey into putting on her shortest dress and best boots for a

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Here’s A Tip: Be Someone We Want To Work With

Fantastic article: teaches you how to be PROFESSIONAL with your writing. If you’re ever tempted to argue with an editor — DON’T, if you’re not under contract. Even if you are under contract, never, ever stoop to trying to justify your words. Your words are what count, and only your words. Make them better. You can’t sit at a reader’s shoulder, muttering: “Here’s what you should be thinking…”

Copy. Edit. Proof.

I’m not going to review the obvious here — reading guidelines, polishing and proofreading your work, etc. — on the assumption that you’ve already got it covered. This is about how to be someone an editor wants to work with.

Let’s start by assuming that you’re a good (or at least competent) writer, able to produce work at a level suitable for the magazine or publishing house you want to build a relationship with. No amount of schmoozing or game-playing is going to get you there if you’re not up to standard; there’s no secret way around that. And, fortunately or unfortunately, you still need to get noticed by the editors (whether with an acceptance, a revision request, or an “encouraging” rejection that indicates interest in seeing more of your work) on the strength of your writing. But from there, you can become a writer editors see as a pleasure…

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Blog Exercises: What Are Your Reference Articles

Got a blog? As Lorelle suggests, track down your “reference” articles (or create them. Your visitors will appreciate your thoughtfulness.

Lorelle on WordPress

Blog Exercises on Lorelle on WordPress.What are the articles that drive people to your site? What are the posts that help people understand and benefit most from what you publish on your site? What articles represent you as an authority on the subject?

These are your reference articles.

Menu navigation resources page example in WordPress site.

We all have them, the articles that explain who we are, what we do, why we do what we do, how to do it better, the tips, tricks, and techniques that define our purpose and mission, as well as our passion, on our sites. While it may appear that everything you right is a reference article, these are the landmark articles, the articles that introduce the subject matter and guide the reader through the process.

It’s time to create a resource guide of your reference articles to give your visitors a one-stop spot to find the information they need to know.

A resource, reference, or guide page…

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Flipboard: Become An Instant Publisher

flipboard publishing magazines

Create Your Own Line of Magazines: Publish your writing

On my freelance writing blog, I talked about creating your own magazine in minutes, if you have an iOS device.

You create your magazines on the Flipboard app. It’s free.

Why create your own magazines?

Primarily, to publish and promote your writing. It doesn’t matter what your aim is as a writer, if you want to make money doing it, you need to get in front of people who can hire you (if you want to write for others), or buy your books.

Flipboard helps you to do that. You can add anything you  like to your magazines (as long as the content is published somewhere online), and people can subscribe to your magazines.

The new Magazines feature in Flipboard is very new, it’s only been available for three weeks. In two weeks, 500,000 Magazines were created.

As you might imagine, large companies are jumping on this feature. You can too. It took me around five minutes to create this magazine.

Give it a try — show the world how creative you are. 🙂

Want to Write, But HATE Writing?


Snoopy’s had a hard writing day…

It’s becoming a busy week; we’re feeling a little like Snoopy… Discover what we’ve been talking about…

Can you become a writer even if you hate writing? Of course you can. Chances are that you dislike writing because you’re nervous. Staring at a blank computer screen is intimidating.

“Creative anxiety” is real. Entire books are written about it. I suffered from it for years. Many writers do. In my first few years as a romance novelist I went through agonies every day. My hands shook so much that I had trouble rolling paper into my typewriter.

Of course, that wasn’t the worst of it. I avoided writing when I could. I procrastinated: weeks went by when I convinced myself that I had “writer’s block.”

It took me years to realize that it’s OK to feel nervous. And that I could write anyway, even if I hated it. If you refuse to bolt, and commit to sitting at your computer, you’ll be surprised that within ten minutes you’ll become engrossed with what you’re writing. Your nerves have faded.

Yes — if you can force yourself to sit and write, your nervousness will fade.

Let’s look at some simple tips which will help you if you hate writing. You can use these tips to write anything from an novel to a small advertisement.

Read the rest on the freelance writing blog.

Writing Kindle Ebooks? Here’s Why They Aren’t Selling

If they can’t be found, they can’t be read. You’ll love this solution.

Ebooks: Proofread to Avoid One-Star Reviews

Want to avoid one-star reviews on the Amazon Kindle and other ebook platforms?

Start by making sure that your content is as clean as possible. Yes, you can get one-star reviews from readers who are annoyed that authors (or their representatives) published messy ebooks.

Write, and Sell: The Process

If you’re a professional writer of any kind, you need to both WRITE and PROMOTE. The emphasis is on both. Usually, I need to convince writers to promote, but recently I’ve been working with several ebook writers who’ve hit the promotion trail too hard.

Yes, promotion is important. However WRITING — creating new ebooks — is more important. Write first. This week’s offering will help. If you’re not leaping out of bed early in the morning, eager to get to your computer, you need a process. Write first… 😉

Image credit


Want to Fire Your Boss? Maybe You Can


Fairies at the bottom of our garden? No, we’ve got a tame Blue Tongue

We’ve had a wonderful weekend here in Sydney. To make the most of the autumn sunshine (84 F, amazing) on Saturday we went down south on a picnic. We found a secluded beach, where no one objected to my Jack Russell terrier, Honey.

Honey’s very well behaved, a perfect little lady, although she terrorizes the tame Blue Tongue lizard at the bottom of our garden. Mind you, he gives as good as he gets, invading “her” garden, and opening his mouth and sticking out his blue tongue at her. She yaps at him in outrage.

I read on my Kindle, while the kids dug giant holes in the yellow sand. The men broke out their fishing rods and fished off the rocks.

When we got back, I realized that that might be the last such expedition until spring. Sad, but we’ve got long bush hikes and cosy log fires to look forward to.

So, I’m relaxed, and ready to write. I hope you are, too. 🙂

This coming week, on the freelance writing blog, we’ll be discussing ebooks: how you can turn your ideas into professional productions.

We’re living at a unique time: writers have power

Underwood Typewriter

Underwood Typewriter

That’s never happened before. For the first time, writers no longer need others to get their words read, or watched. Movie studio head Jack Warner famously called his writers “schmucks with Underwoods”. (“Underwood” was a brand of typewriter. The model above was one of the last desktop models, manufactured in the 1960s.)

Now you can ignore those who disrespect what we do, and can go your own way. You can turn a blog into a business. You can write books and sell them, without help from anyone — you just hire what you need. Get someone to proofread your work, and get a cover designed for $50.

The response to the post, “Why Your Kindle Ebooks Aren’t Selling”, in which I recommended Kindle Day Job Killer to you, has been fantastic.

I’ve reread the program since I wrote that post, and have made notes.

Also, I checked out the goodies which came with the program.

They include:

* A long list of websites on which you can promote your books on the KDP Select “free” days (you have five such days every 90 days);

* How to create your own category string in Kindle. I’d never heard of this before, and it’s perfect — your very own category, which you can populate with your books;

* How to customize your books’ page on Amazon. Did you know that you can customize your book description using HTML to create headlines, center and justify text, insert images, create italics, bold and underlines and even use those nifty orange headlines that you see on I certainly didn’t — this will make your books stand out.

There are lots of programs which help you to write your ebooks (I’ve created some myself). However, this is the perfect program to help you to break out of the rut, and fire your boss.

If you take the information in this program to heart, and use it, your books will be found on Amazon. Each book you create will build a foundation for you, a powerful platform.

I’m happy to bribe you, because I know that this program is exactly what you need, if your ebooks aren’t selling. Even if they are — you’ll now sell more.

I hope you enjoy my goodies which you receive with Kindle Day Job Killer — check them out, if you haven’t done so.

Onward — remember that this week’s theme is creating truly professional ebooks, so keep an eye on the freelance writing blog for those posts.

Want to Write AND Sell Your Ebook in a Week?


I received a couple of questions this week from people who are procrastinating on getting their ebooks DONE… FWIW, this 8-hour ebook guide has helped many writers.

Here’s a simple process you can use to write your ebook in a week:

Days 4,5 and 6: Write Your Ebook and Sales Page

You’ll write your ebook and its sales page together over the next three days.

Since you’ve got a solid outline, this should be easy for you.

Write your ebook’s sales page as you write the ebook.

Just follow along, day by day. It works, because you can’t procrastinate. You know exactly what you should be doing, and when.

A reminder, here’s what to do if your ebooks aren’t selling.

Good luck. 🙂