Eat and Read

Free Today on Amazon

I wrote almost 2,000 words today for my NaNoWriMo novel. Still haven’t caught up yet, but I’m getting there.

I also went to see a chiropractor and a massage therapist for my tweaked back. Can’t recommend doing this enough. I’m still a little sore, but feeling much better. By the way, if you need a quick fix, I can recommend The Joint.

As a reward, I decided to take a look-see at the Kindle freebies. NaNoWriMo has curtailed my reading time for the month, so I headed over to the cookbooks. Still gotta eat. At least, that’s my excuse. I was delighted to discover two books that are themed around cooking, eating and reading. Nice haul for a Monday night. Enjoy!

  Bookworms Anonymous by Jan Stafford Kellis
Part memoir, part cookbook, and part informational guide, Bookworms Anonymous is a laudatory examination of reading as a hobby, diversion, obsession, even sport. The book features a Bookworm’s eye view of eight meetings as well as menu plans, recipes, and instructions for establishing your own chapter of the fresh, frugal, fun book club known as Bookworms Anonymous. The book includes lists of the club’s favorite reads, Book Handling Commandments, book shuffling and other literary athletic pursuits, strategies for finding reading time every day, anecdotes about life in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, and many book reviews (mostly positive).

  Eat, Read, Love by the Ruby-Slippered Sisterhood
They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. If so, then you’ll need a copy of EAT, READ, LOVE! This unique literary cookbook pairs recipes with excerpts from the romance novels that inspired them. From YA to suspense to historical to contemporary… Join the members of the Ruby-Slippered Sisterhood for some “romancing the stove,” and delight in romance and recipes from some of today’s hottest rising stars, such as Darynda Jones, Jeannie Lin, Hope Ramsay, Laurie Kellogg, Kim Law, Amanda Brice, Liz Talley, and more! Because there’s no place like the kitchen!

Descriptions provided by Amazon

Disclaimers and Disclosures

I found these books via Amazon’s Kindle eBooks store. Resources for free Kindle and other format eBooks are listed in my sidebar.

These freebies are limited time offers, so there is no guarantee any of these books will still be free when you click on the links. Grab them sooner rather than later.

Books that I have previously listed will occasionally come up free again. I add those to my current posts for people who didn’t see them the first time.

Tweaky Procrastination

Free Today on Amazon

I’m still behind in my NaNoWriMo word count, though now I can partially blame it on tweaking my back yesterday. Not sure how it happened. I’m feeling better today, though a trip to the chiropractor is now on tomorrow’s schedule.

I planned to get some writing in this morning, but found myself wandering over to my favorite method of procrastination: free ebooks! So, let my word loss be your gain.

I was trolling the nonfiction, looking for reference material and I found a couple of interesting books. One is particularly relevant to my novels. It’s a guide to getting your first tattoo. I don’t have a tattoo, but several of my characters do, particularly my main character, Paul. I have tattooed friends, including a tattoo artist, and I even watched her ink a friend. Still, it’s good to have a written guide to refer to.

The other book is a guide to Jane Austen’s house. This book includes diagrams and room by room descriptions. I think it’s an excellent resource for someone writing historical fiction or regency romance. Even if you write in neither of these genres, you never know when you might have a situation where your characters enter an historical home.

  Tips For Getting Your First Tattoo by Jacob Fairclough
Thinking about getting your first tattoo? Don’t do it without considering everything involved. The eBook, Tips For Getting Your First Tattoo is the perfect source to help tattoo beginners get started in the awesome world of ink.

  Behind Jane Austen’s Door by Jennifer Forest
Behind Jane Austen’s Door takes you on a tour of a Regency house, room by room, to explore the delicate challenges and the beautiful lives of Jane Austen’s women. Jane Austen did not place her stories in castles or on the battlefields, but in that one building so important to Elizabeth and Elinor, a home of their own. What was life like for Jane Austen’s women in the home? From drawing room diva, to mother, wife and savvy housekeeper, Jane Austen’s women lived fascinating lives in their homes. Behind Jane Austen’s Door is 14,500 words, perfect for a few hours relaxing reading.

Descriptions provided by Amazon

Disclaimers and Disclosures

I found these books via Amazon’s Kindle eBooks store. Resources for free Kindle and other format eBooks are listed in my sidebar.

These freebies are limited time offers, so there is no guarantee any of these books will still be free when you click on the links. Grab them sooner rather than later.

How to be a Great Author

Free Today on Amazon

Today is day eight in the NaNoWriMo competition. I am behind in my word count, though not by too much. For those not familiar with NaNoWriMo, the goal is to write 50,000 words in 30 days. That equals 1,667 words per day. At this point, I should have written 11,666 words, but as of now, I’ve written only 10,607. Hopefully, I can catch up by today or tomorrow.

Still, I hate neglecting my blog. Or perhaps I love procrastinating? Regardless, I poked around Amazon a bit this morning and found a fun-looking book, “Shaman, Healer, Heretic.” Its description reminded me a bit of the series, The Dresden Files, which got me thinking about the author of that series, Jim Butcher.

I met Jim Butcher at a writers’ conference awhile ago. He and his wife, Shannon, who is also a best selling author, are two of the nicest people I’ve ever met. They were so friendly and easy going, and eager to be perceived as fellow participants rather than star attractions.

Jim sat on several panels and always showed up on time, while other, lesser known authors either bailed or showed up late, and in one case, drunk. He was attentive to the questions asked and gave great advice. He spoke of how he was hardly an overnight success, that he’d received piles of rejection notes, and offered encouragement, that if he could make it, anyone could.

The conference was open to the public during the afternoon of book signings. Jim’s fans showed up and he had a very busy table. Afterward, he chilled out in the lobby with a group of fans who’d hung around.

Jim Butcher, to me, is a great author because he’s a great person. He put aside his ego and reached out to aspiring authors and eager fans. Putting aside ego was one of the points he made during a panel discussion. He said when he first started writing, he thought he was all that and didn’t want to listen to any advice. And he failed miserably. Then he started attending conferences, listening to authors and editors, and going over the notes from his creative writing class. He took the advice to heart and his writing improved.

I think this is so true. If you just want to write for yourself, then write however you want. If you want to write for an audience, you need to start taking advice on how best to reach that audience.

Today’s freebies include the above mentioned book, plus another fun-looking paranormal, along with a tasty selection of writing guides.

For those of you also participating in NaNoWriMo, no more procrastinating. Let’s get cracking!

  Shaman, Healer, Heretic by M. Terry Green
Even for a techno-shaman, a kachina in the bedroom isn’t exactly part of the drill. When Olivia Lawson wakes to find one towering over her, she panics. A Hopi god visiting the real world isn’t just wrong-it’s impossible. Or is it? Soon Olivia learns that the kachina is the least of her worries. As she struggles to save her clients, clashes with other shamans, and fends off the attacks of real-world vigilantes, Olivia finds herself in the destructive path of a malevolent ancient force intent on leaving the spiritual realm to conquer this one.

  Brightest Kind of Darkness by P.T. Michelle
Nara Collins is an average sixteen-year-old, with one exception: every night she dreams the events of the following day. Due to an incident in her past, Nara avoids using her special gift to change fate…until she dreams a future she can’t ignore. After Nara prevents a bombing at Blue Ridge High, her ability to see the future starts to fade, while people at school are suddenly being injured at an unusually high rate. Grappling with her diminishing powers and the need to prevent another disaster, Nara meets Ethan Harris, a mysterious loner who seems to understand her better than anyone. Ethan and Nara forge an irresistible connection, but as their relationship heats up, so do her questions about his dark past.

  The Seven Moments In Storytelling That Really Matter by Christian Blake
Stories are told through the Seven Moments. You can’t tell a story without them. It’s impossible. This book explains what the Seven Moments are and how to use them within your writing. If you want to learn how to captivate your reader from the first page of your story to its very last, read this book.

  Plotting Simplified by Eddie Jones
We remember characters; we pitch plot. In Plotting Simplified you’ll learn how to map your story using the “passage markers” that shape every story’s journey. From introduction and motivation to your Lead’s moment of maximum angst, you’ll see how easy it is to develop a story line and keep your characters on the path to a compelling climax. Learn how to introduce the Great Disturbance, what 4 Questions you should ask of your plot, how to map-out your story, manage your key scenes, the 7 Keys to every good plot, whyWorry, Conflict and Disaster spells success for the writer, and how to introduce your Major Dramatic Question.

  The Prolific Writer by Ethan Miller
Stop staring at the blank page and make your writing dreams come true through professional, prolific writing. Every writer knows that writing takes practice, but how do you find the time in a busy schedule? For those who write full-time, the schedule may be open, but pushing yourself to complete tedious writing projects can be difficult. The Prolific Writer: A Minimalist’s Guide to Productive Writing provides numerous tools and tips for dealing with problems that plague many writers.

Descriptions provided by Amazon

Disclaimers and Disclosures

I found these books via Amazon’s Kindle eBooks store. Resources for free Kindle and other format eBooks are listed in my sidebar.

These freebies are limited time offers, so there is no guarantee any of these books will still be free when you click on the links. Grab them sooner rather than later.

Books that I have previously listed will occasionally come up free again. I add those to my current posts for people who didn’t see them the first time.

30 Day Writing Guides and Other Goodies

Free Today on Amazon

Welcome to the fifth day of NaNoWriMo. For those participating, I hope you’re doing well. The word counter in my sidebar shows that I’m slowly creeping up, but not quite where I should be. No worries, though. I plan to catch up today. (fingers crossed) (then uncrossed so I can type)

This year, I am what’s called a NaNo rebel. We are the writers who are following a somewhat different path. The conventional wisdom of NaNoWriMo states that you must begin a new novel from scratch. Rebels write nonfiction, memoirs, a book of poetry, or work on an existing project.

I decided to use the time to finish “The Wayward Way,” the second book in my Crossroads series. I’m not editing. It’s all new material and will hopefully come to at least 50K words by the end of November.

A writer friend who is also working on an existing project spoke these words of wisdom: “Writers weren’t created for NaNoWriMo. NaNoWriMo was created for writers.” Use the time and momentum in a way that suits you best. If you need encouragement or want to be in creative atmosphere with crazy, fun people, go to a write-in. If you’ve joined the competition, write-ins should be listed in calendar for your region.

Struggling with the idea of writing a book in 30 days? Here are a couple of guides that could help you. One is free today, and I’m not certain of its quality. The other, “No Plot? No Problem!” is the definitive guide to NaNoWriMo by the event’s creator, Chris Baty. It costs $8.69 for the Kindle and I highly recommend it.

  Write that Book! – 7 Steps to Write a Book in 30 Days or Less by Victor Cannon FREE TODAY
Here is what you will learn in this guide: Key Number 1: The way to write a book quickly is to break the process down into a “paint-by-numbers” system. Once you are able to break the project down into small manageable chunks and map out a paint-by-numbers system, the actual writing process becomes easy. Key Number 2: The way to write a book quickly is to write a book quickly. Momentum is a powerful tool in getting your book project completed.

  No Plot? No Problem! by Chris Baty NOT FREE $8.69
Chris Baty, motivator extraordinaire and instigator of a wildly successful writing revolution, spells out the secrets of writing — and finishing — a novel. Every fall, thousands of people sign up for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), which Baty founded, determined to (a) write that novel or (b) finish that novel in — kid you not — 30 days. Now Baty puts pen to paper himself to share the secrets of success. With week-specific overviews, pep “talks,” and essential survival tips for today’s word warriors, this results-oriented, quick-fix strategy is perfect for people who want to nurture their inner artist and then hit print!

I also wanted to add a few more freebies I found today. One, a guide to fashion poses, could be useful to writers when trying to figure out the mechanics of the human body. While many of poses are contrived, some are natural and could be useful when trying to describe a character’s pose. The eBook is better viewed on a tablet or a computer.

I also added a fun recipe book on the drinks of James Bond. For those of you not participating in NaNoWriMo and just want something good to read, I included a five book series of historical fiction. Enjoy!

  1,000+ Fashion Poses for Photographers by Simon Walden
1000+ Fashion Poses for Photographers is the definitive guide to posing. The guide covers clothes from suits to swimwear and styles from casual to elegant. Each type of clothing and style is illustrated with full colour photographs. Altogether there are over 1,000 different poses suitable for any type of clothing or context. After studying this guide you will be able to confidently pose models and members of the public to great poses. You will be more professional and make the most of your time during any shoot.

  The Complete Guide to the Drinks of James Bond by David Leigh
“The Complete Guide to the Drinks of James Bond” takes a comprehensive look at the drinks consumed by 007 in both Ian Fleming’s novels and the Eon movies. In this new expanded edition you’ll find details of everything James Bond drinks, whether cocktails, Champagne or even beer, which 007 certainly did drink on occasion in the books and that Skyfall is not the first film in which he drinks beer.

  The Seasons Series by Denise Domning
Denise Domning’s Best Selling Medieval Series in a box set. Includes: Winter’s Heat, winner of Romantic Time’s Best First Historical 1994; Summer’s Storm; Spring’s Fury; Autumn’s Flame; A Love for All Seasons

Descriptions provided by Amazon

Disclaimers and Disclosures

I found these books via Amazon’s Kindle eBooks store. Resources for free Kindle and other format eBooks are listed in my sidebar.

These freebies are limited time offers, so there is no guarantee any of these books will still be free when you click on the links. Grab them sooner rather than later.

Books that I have previously listed will occasionally come up free again. I add those to my current posts for people who didn’t see them the first time.

10 Habits of Successful Writers

Free Today on Amazon

To make up for yesterday’s strings attached freebie (see earlier post), I looked on Amazon and found this free-for-now writer’s guide. NaNoWriMo participants, check out Habit Number 8:

“Successful writers are not afraid to write terrible first drafts.”

Words to live by, especially during the month of November.

  The 10 Habits of Successful Writers by Diana Bocco
Insider secrets from some of today’s top writers. What do a New York Times bestselling novelist, a six-figure freelancer, and an award-winning indie have in common? More than you can imagine. Find out:

  • How one writer sold over a million copies of her books and another one sold movie rights to a major Bollywood producer
  • How indie writers are selling thousands of ebooks a month
  • How to become highly productive so you can earn more
  • How to create a step-by-step pathway that works for you
  • The common mistakes that are holding you back
  • How successful writers deal with rejection and writer’s block
  • Which publishing rules to follow (and which ones to break)
  • The one thing every writer believes is key to success (Hint: It involves a chair)

Descriptions provided by Amazon

Disclaimers and Disclosures

I found this book via Amazon’s Kindle eBooks store. Resources for free Kindle and other format eBooks are listed in my sidebar.

This freebie is a limited time offer and there is no guarantee it will still be free when you click on the link. Grab it sooner rather than later.

Books that I have previously listed will occasionally come up free again. I add those to my current posts for people who didn’t see them the first time.

Strings Attached

Please Accept My Apology

I’ve just deleted my post about Writer’s Digest 30 Days of NaNoWriMo Giveaways. Sadly, the magazine was not forthcoming about the subscriptions we will be subjected to.

What happened is this. After entering my email address to get the daily freebie, I got a message that stated:

“Thank you for signing up for our free e-mail newsletter (written by @BrianKlems, our multi-talented online editor who moonlights as a not-so-talented slam poet).”

Which led me to believe I was signing up for a single newsletter. So far, I have received three newsletters. After going to the subscription center, I discovered that I am signed up for 10 newsletters.

Not cool.

I went to the Writer’s Digest Subscription Center and unsubscribed from all but two of the newsletters. However, when I entered my email address for today’s freebie, I discovered that I had been once again automatically subscribed to all 10 newsletters.

So not cool.

I apologize for subjecting any of you to newsletter hell. Here’s how to get out of it.

  • Go to the bottom of one of those newsletters.
  • Click on the link, One-Click Unsubscribe
  • Click on the button, Unsubscribe From All

It’s too bad about not being able to score these freebies, but let’s face it, a freebie with strings attached isn’t really free.

Again, sorry for the hassle.

NaNoWriMo: More Free Resources

Resources For Wrimos and Nonparticipants as Well

Whether or not you are participating in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) this November, you will probably find most of the resources listed below to be of some use to you as a writer.

I also wanted to note that although the word “National” is used, this is an international event. Writers in countries all over the globe will be participating. Wherever you live, after you sign up, you’ll be directed to join your region, which will put you in contact with fellow writers in your part of the world. It’s a great way to meet new people.

First, I want to once again shout out the free Young Novelist’s Workbook made available by NaNoWriMo’s Young Writers Program. It’s geared to high school writers, but I think it’s a valuable resource for any writer, particularly if this is your first NaNoWriMo. Did I mention it’s free? Go get it!

Want a nifty word counter like the one appearing in my sidebar? You can find it here.

Companies that sponsor NaNoWriMo offer participants some sweet freebies and special dealios. For example, CreateSpace will give NaNoWriMo winners (i.e., those who write 50,000+ words by midnight, November 30) 5 free printed copies of their novel. You can find the sponsor offers here.

If you’re looking for word processing software that offers more inspiration than Microsoft Word, you many want to check out yWriter5 and Storybook. I’ve tried both and while there’s a bit of a learning curve, both programs offer lots of fun and useful features for writers. yWriter is always free. Storybook has a free lite version and the option to purchase a pro version.

I’ll list more free resources as I find them. If you have any free resources to recommend, please share in the comments section.

Writing Prompts and Guides

Free Today on Amazon

The first time I participated in National Novel Writing Month, I didn’t attempt to write a novel. I didn’t want to. I just wanted to write and needed something to get me going. I decided instead to write a story a day that had to include Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day.

I got mixed results because sometimes the word was fabulous and inspiring, and other times, not so much. I didn’t write 50K words. I did write 30 short stories and vignettes. Overall, it was a great writing exercise.

Even if you already have your novel outlined and ready to go, it’s easy to get stuck. A little inspiration can go a long way. Below, I’ve listed three websites containing prompts that can help get the juices flowing.

Need some help focusing that creativity into a novel? The freebies I’ve listed below are geared toward newer writers, though more experienced writers will probably find them helpful as well.

  The New Author by Ruby Barnes
A self-help guide to novel writing, publishing as an independent ebook author and promoting your brand using social networks. With foreword by Jim Williams, author of ten internationally published novels including the Booker Prize nominated Scherzo.

  Firsts In Fiction: First Line Hooks, Hints & Help by Aaron D. Gansky
Maybe you struggle with the first line, and that’s okay. To a large extent, we all do. It’s hard to find a line that’s going to entice readers and propel them onward with eager anticipation. But crafting a stellar first line doesn’t need to be confounding. A fisherman has many types of bait. A writer has many ways to open their fiction—character, setting, voice. More often than not, the best bait is the unexpected, the question-proposing line that skims across the surface of the water to attract impatient readers slogging through the river. The first line has become organic and has breathed, and the reader can smell its breath. These are the lines that live in our memories—the stuff literary dreams are made of.

  Write To Be Heard: Write Like You Talk: Help With Voice, Character, Dialogue… and more! by Aaron D. Gansky and Diane Sherlock
Learning one skill will improve everything you write. Ready? Here it is: Write like you talk. That’s it? Yes, that’s it. But it’s not as easy as it sounds. It’s a skill and like any skill, it can be learned and with some practice, you can master it. What’s in it for me, you ask? First, writing will be easier, less of a chore. Instead of fighting the page, you will sound like you. You might even find you really like to write. Who knows. You might have a story inside you that other people really need to read.

Descriptions provided by Amazon

Disclaimers and Disclosures

I found these books via Amazon’s Kindle eBooks store. Resources for free Kindle and other format eBooks are listed in my sidebar.

These freebies are limited time offers, so there is no guarantee any of these books will still be free when you click on the links. Grab them sooner rather than later.

Books that I have previously listed will occasionally come up free again. I add those to my current posts for people who didn’t see them the first time.

Resources for NaNoWriMo 2012

Preparation is Key to Success

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) begins on November 1, 2012. For those not in the know, NaNoWriMo is an exercise in group madness, wherein people all over the world attempt to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days.

It is possible. I’ve done it and the proof is here. The first draft of my novel, “Fake,” was written and completed during NaNoWriMo.

Writing is a solitary business, which makes November and NaNoWriMo an awesome occasion for writers. After signing up on the official website, you can join your local region. On your local region’s forum, you can find a calendar of events that includes write-ins throughout the month. During these write-ins, participants meet at local cafes, restaurants or even private residences, and settle down to work on their novels together. It’s an opportunity to meet other local writers, exchange ideas, and participate in fun activities.

If you would like to participate or just want to check it out, this is the official website.

50,000 is a lot to write in 30 days. It’s not a finished novel, but it is a reasonable size for a first draft. I was able to accomplish this by preparing in advance. The official rules for NaNoWriMo state that you must not begin your novel before November 1. However, you are free to do as much research and preparation as possible prior to that date.

Where to begin? I’ve listed some free resources below that I’ve found helpful.

NaNoWriMo’s Young Novelist Workbook
Although the intended audience is high school students, this 91-page workbook is helpful for adults writers, too. Inside, you’ll find helpful worksheets as well as advice on character development, conflict, setting, plotting, etc. I highly recommend this for beginning novelists.

How to Write a Novel: The Snowflake Method
This method was developed by Randy Ingermanson, author of “Writing Fiction for Dummies.” His 10-point process will take you from a one-sentence summary to beginning your first draft. For NaNoWriMo purposes, I used the method up to Step 5. However, you may want to use the whole method.

Notecarding: Plotting Under Pressure
Author and writing coach Holly Lisle developed this method of using note cards to plot out a novel. I’ve found this to be a very useful method for the getting the story out of my head. One thing I highly recommend is, after finishing the note cards, don’t hesitate to shuffle them like a deck of cards. This can help you let go of your story as something written in stone and allow serendipity enter into how the characters and scenes interact.

25 Ways to Plot, Plan and Prep Your Story
Novelist Chuck Wendig offers 25 different methods on his blog. One or more may suit you.

If you decide to participate, good luck! You can do it.