Monday, April 07, 2014

Dislike of Modern Fantasy Books

Perhaps I'm "old-fashioned," but I dislike the modern fantasy books and find them depressing.  Are they contributing to the disrespectful attitudes of many who read them?  Do they lead youngsters and young adults to look at the world with a depressing view?

This isn't to say that books should create a rose-colored and unrealistic view of the world and our lives.  However, so many of the modern fantasy books delve into violence and present jaded characters.

I realize many people will say I'm wrong.  They (adults and young readers) regard these books and series as wonderful.

I read fantasies, or "fairy tales" as we called them, in my youth.  But they didn't seem to have so much violence and depressing outlooks.

I did come across one mother who refuses to let her children read these types of books until they're 14.  What happens when the books are included in class reading in middle school and discussed in class?  What happens when they want to attend movies of these books at a younger age?  They will hear classmates and teachers discussing the books and movies.

Reading the books your youngsters are reading and discussing your "old-fashioned" views of them does help to give them insight into why you may not approve...and give them something to consider.

Saturday, April 05, 2014

Combining Book Writing with Scrapbooking

I've had great fun illustrating my picture book about my Uncle William "Buffalo Bill" Mathewson using sketches and scrapbooking techniques.  I wrote the story of his life first, then came up with the illustrations.  Since I'd been teaching scrapbooking and family history research, I decided to incorporate some of these art techniques into the art work of this book.

The book initially was written to share with my family about their ancestor.  Then I was asked to share the story of the life of my ancestor who was known as the first Buffalo Bill in the schools.  So I began drawing pictures to accompany my presentations.  These evolved into illustrations for the book.

The original book contains the scrapbooking additions and has somewhat of a 3-D effect.  This comes through fairly well when I photocopied the book. Since I self-published the book, I was able to be creative and use some unorthodox techniques.

I'm also making postcards of the cover as promotional pieces.

Be creative with the books you write and publish.  It's such fun.

Friday, April 04, 2014

Catching Up with Blog Writing

I have, for some time, been quite inactive with keeping my blogs up to date due to a variety of, family challenges, work other than writing and computer slowdown.  I'm now trying to catch up and to decide which of my blogs and writing projects should take priority.

Which will tie in with other writing projects?
Which will promote my writing projects and books?
Which will be the most enjoyable to write?
Are there any I should delete?

Sometimes we get caught up in writing projects that have little or no direction and, although fun, might be better to put off for awhile.  Concentrate on those that will help you move forward.

Your blogs, too, may be a way of sharing with family and friends without having to write to each one individually.  I'm doing this with my family history musings since many of my family seem interested in their heritage.

Why do you write your blog(s)?

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Maintain One Project When Your Writing Slows Down

Our writing often slows down for one reason or situations, health, taking on other projects, loss of market, etc.  When this happens, try to maintain at least one project that will keep you writing. 

This might be:
  • Daily journal
  • Letters to friends and family
  • Blog writing
  • Work on a book
  • Writing a column
Throughout the years, I've found my Country Kitchen column my standby.  This was my first published work many, many years ago for my hometown newspaper.  When that newspaper was sold and the new owner wanted to use syndicated columnists, I looked for another publisher.

Over the years Country Kitchen has appeared in magazines, newspapers, and blogs...sometimes in only one publication and sometimes multiple newspapers.  I sometimes didn't get paid much for it, but it kept me writing and on a deadline. 

Due to health and family situations, I've had to slow down temporarily with my writing.  However, Country Kitchen appears weekly in the McKenzie River Reflections at McKenzie Bridge, OR.  I also have begun writing in my blogs again.

Find something   to write about and keep looking for creative ways to promote your writing.

How Can I Use Postcards for Promotion?

In participating in Jennifer Chiaverini's postcard promotion for her last book and hearing about her  postcard/pin pal promotion for Sonoma Rose, I began to wonder how I can further use my postcards for Tales of Adventure & Discovery (a children's anthology of poems and stories).  I had them printed when the book was published and have been using them ever since.

Send postcards when announcing events.
Send postcards when writing to friends and colleagues.
Pass them out at book signings.
Give to friends to send out, along with a small gift, as Jennifer does with her pins.
Include them with a book purchase.

I'm trying to discover some new and creative ways to further use these postcards.