Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for July, 2014

Wonderful writing tips from 15 successful writers. I’m going to try and apply several of them to my writing life. Let me know what you think – do you already do some of these things? Which ones have worked for you?

I hope you’re enjoying my blog posts and links. Want to show some love? Visit my Amazon page and consider buying a book. 🙂

Read Full Post »

Beatrix Potter “This looks like the end of the story; but it isn’t.” – Beatrix Potter, The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin

I love this quote, because in the best books, you think you know the end of the story. But you don’t! Everything you need as a reader to figure out the conclusion of the book is there, but the writer has woven the tale so masterfully, you don’t see the finish line until you’re nearly upon it.

Of course, there are times I want a happily-ever-after ending, and I know by the final page characters will die, dreams will collapse, and wars will be lost. Like in the movie, Atonement. We think the joyful story of young lovers reunited is true, but alas discover the soldier was killed and never returned to his beloved.

How about you, do you always recognize the “real” end of a story

Read Full Post »

This is the tenth blog in a series of owl-focused posts to promote Owl Light, my new YA-friendly collection of stories featuring owls. Each post features a mix of owl art, facts, folklore, quotes, and links to owlish sites. If you’re a fan of owls, or know someone whooo is, follow my blog, buy my book, and be kind to these beautiful birds.

Rush of Wings owl close up Owl art: A small rectangle of a larger painting called “Rush of Wings,” rather than a drawing from Owl Light. “Rush of Wings” was used as a page in a 2014 calendar of my speculative art published by Alban Lake Publishing.

Owl fact: An owl has 3 sets of eyelids: 1 for sleeping, 1 for blinking, and 1 to clean the eyeball and keep it healthy.

Owl saying: Even an owlet is beautiful in the eyes of its mother.

Owl folklore: People of the Lenape Native American tribe (named by Europeans: “Delaware Indians”), believed that if you dreamt of an Owl, it would become your guardian.

Owl link: If you want to know about North and Central American owls, Owling is the site for you,  and a video of a very vocal owl.

And, of course, here’s a buy link for Owl Light.
Or buy it from The Owl Pages and help out owls.

Read Full Post »

As an author, reader, book-lover, and a fan of sharing the love of writing, I love the idea of little free libraries scattered here and there. Now, I’m not sure I’ll spring for the hundreds of dollars needed to buy one of the little free library mailboxes they sell, but I’m betting I can come up with a reasonably-priced substitute. What do you think of this idea?

Read Full Post »

I visited this post just to see if I’d read any of the Science Fiction novels listed!

I had – five to be exact. And of that five, I hated one of them. (No, I’m not going to tell you which one I loathed). Of the remaining four, I think I liked Dune by Frank Herbert (and his other novels set in this world) the best.

Though lists like this perhaps nudge readers to pick up a good book they’ve missed, I think they also do a disservice to the dozens of should-read books they ignore. For me, what I noticed most about this particular “top ten,” was the lack of female writers. Let’s not forget the ladies!

Do you agree with this “top ten” list?

I hope you’re enjoying my blog posts and links. Want to show some love? Visit my Amazon page and consider buying a book. 🙂

Read Full Post »

154 “If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.” – Cicero

As a gardener and an avid book reader, I agree. Which is why I not only share books with my grandkids, but encourage them to help me in the garden. Yes, sometimes they pull up flowers instead of weeds. Yes, mulch goes everywhere. Yes, I end up covered in more dirt and debris than I would if I gardened alone. But visiting a library and gardening with children are ways to make the world a better place.

I hope you’re enjoying my blog posts and links. Want to show some love? Visit my Amazon page and consider buying a book. 🙂

(And, yes, I know Cicero is kind of a geeky favorite — but I took Latin for years, and read quite a few quotes by him).

Read Full Post »

AUTHOR Thanks to author Tami Cox, author of Spirits of Gettysburg: Tales of a Ghost Tour Guide (as Tami Rasel), for stopping by and chatting about her newest romance novel, Boone and Molly.

Whimsical Words followers will remember Tami stopped by in March with a post about her first novel, Blue Moon Over Martinsburg. I mentioned in the intro to that post, West Virginia holds a special place in my life (and heart) – so it’s great to have an opportunity to promote another book set in WV.

Boone & Molly by Tami Cox

“When we last visited with Boone & Molly (Blue Moon over Martinsburg) – Spoiler Alert – the couple had finally gotten married in a romantic ceremony and was planning on moving away from the little town on Berkley Road. Boone & Molly, the second book in the trilogy, begins with the couple starting their new life in a new town.

Life appears perfect to Molly. She is finally attending college, they live in one of the most charming towns in West Virginia—Shepherdstown, and she is married to the man she has loved and adored since she was fourteen-years-old. Perfect that is, until she discovers Boone’s dark secret—his addiction to drugs and alcohol.

Boone’s addiction sends their life into a whirlwind of turmoil and has disastrous consequences for the young couple. Molly soon realizes that she has to make one of the most difficult choices of her life. She can stay with the man she loves more than anything and continue in her role as Boone’s enabler, or she can leave him and begin to live free from a life consumed with drugs and alcohol.

boone and molly 2 Continue on with the epic love story of two unforgettable characters in Boone & Molly.

And now, a little bit more about me, my writing, and books:

I chose to give Boone and Molly the trial of dealing with drugs and alcohol because I’ve worked as a drug and alcohol counselor and a prevention educator in York and Adams counties for the last several years. I’ve seen firsthand how drugs destroy a person’s life and also the life of their family, their loved ones, and worst of all, their children. Enabling the addict seems the compassionate thing to do. It’s not easy to turn away the person you love; unfortunately, enabling usually does nothing but prolong them from getting much-needed help.

I love the story of Boone and Molly. I enjoyed writing it and have received so many wonderful reviews from folks who also enjoyed reading Blue Moon over Martinsburg and have begged for their story to continue. Both books are an easy read and both I believe will be difficult to put down. One of my favorite reviews was from a lady who told me that when she wasn’t reading the book, Boone and Molly’s story kept playing over and over in her mind and she couldn’t wait to get back to the book.

Recently, I went into my local bank to take care of some business and the tellers told me they were all reading Blue Moon over Martinsburg, and were excited for the next book to come out. One teller told me that she was in the middle of the story, was supposed to go to a Bruno Mars concert with her husband and was so anxious to find out what happened that she took her Kindle with her to the concert. I love hearing the excitement my readers are sharing with me and how they can’t wait to find out what happens to Boone and Molly next. I’m grateful for the fans.”

Want to learn more about Tami and her books? Visit her on Facebook.

If you’re curious about her first book, Blue Moon over Martinsburg, here’s the Book Trailer to give you a taste, and you can view the Book Trailer for Spirits of Gettysburg, too.

You can buy Blue Moon over Martinsburg, Boone & Molly, and Spirits of Gettysburg from Amazon.

Thanks again to Tami Cox for her guest post. Watch Whimsical Words for more Monday Guests, Quotable Wednesdays, Saturday Owl Posts, blogs from me, and more. Have a fabulous day – Vonnie

Read Full Post »

I’m really excited my newest book, Owl Light, has been published. I’ve added owl information and videos to Whimsical Words, but I need help from my friends and readers to make Owl Light a success.

My publisher, Cold Moon Press, is indie. What that means is their marketing budget is tiny, but YOU, my friends and readers are mighty.

I’ve compiled a list of things you can do (#1 requires spending money, but the rest are free) to help promote Owl Light. (And, if you choose, my other 2 recent books, The Enchanted Skean and The Greener Forest, also from indie presses).

I’ve tried to make the tasks on this list as easy as I can – in some cases, a simple cut-and-paste. But, as easy as these tasks seem, each and every one of them will have a huge impact.

I hope you’ll consider taking a few minutes and choosing one task from this list (or more!) And if you do, scroll all the way down to the bottom of the post for the bribes – ah, rewards – I’m offering. Thanks for your help. – Vonnie

Costs some dollars:
1Buy Owl Light. Of course. Then…
1aWrite a review and post it somewhere (your blog, Goodreads, Amazon, etc.)

Free to do:
2Contact your local library and ask them to purchase copies of Owl Light (and also, The Enchanted Skean and The Greener Forest, for that matter). This is usually pretty simple. In fact, most metropolitan area library systems have an online form where patrons can request a book. Then…

2aCheck Owl Light out, read, write a review, and post it somewhere (your blog, GoodreadsAmazon, etc.)

3Copy one of the below icons, and use it for a day as your user picture on social media, with a post explaining what it is:

For Twitter:
My icon today is @VonnieWCrist ’s new book, Owl Light, a collection of dark fantasy & science-fiction tales: http://tinyurl.com/Owl-Light-Vonnie-W-Crist-Amazn

small owl light

 

 

 

 

 

For Facebook:
My user picture today is the cover of Vonnie Winslow Crist’s  new novel, Owl Light, a collection of dark fantasy & science fiction tales. Check it out at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and elsewhere.

Maybe6 owl light cover

 

 

 

 

 

 

For Pinterest:
Pin Owl Light or one of Vonnie’s other books.

3a– Post about Owl Light, skipping the icon. That’s great, too.

4Bookmark Owl Light on sites such as Delicious/del.icio.us, Digg, or add it to StumbleUpon, or Reddit:
http://tinyurl.com/Vonnie-Winslow-Crist-Amazon
http://tinyurl.com/Vonnie-Winslow-Crist-B-N

5Freely post this specially-written blog post as a guest post on your blog. You don’t have to ask permission or anything. Just copy, paste, and publish.

6Tell a fellow reader about the book, face to face or in email.

7Chose Owl Light for your readers’ or book club’s selection. Contact me using the form on my website and I’ll be glad to Skype with your group. Discussion questions are on my website, too.

8– Are you a middle or high school teacher or home schooler? Chose Owl Light to read with your students. Discussion questions are on my website. Contact me using the form on my website and I’ll be glad to Skype with your group.

9Organizing a sf/f con or writers’ conference? If you’re nearby, it would be an honor to attend and participate on writer and/or illustrator panels. Or if you’re looking for an Artist Guest of Honor, I’ve had over 1,000 illos published, and for travel expenses, room, and con fees, I’d be happy to appear. Contact me using the contact form on my website and let me know if you’re interested.

10Create! I’d love for you to draw/paint something from Owl Light or create a youtube video dramatizing a story (or the whole book). I only ask 2 things: credit Owl Light as inspiration, and let me know about it (so I can link to it).

11Put an affiliate buy now link for Owl Light on your website, using a program like Amazon Affiliates (doesn’t cost $ and you may make some $).

I’d like to show my gratitude to anyone who does any of the above on my behalf. Please email me using the contact form on my website and let me know!

– If you complete tasks 1 – 4 from the list, I’d like to publicly thank you on my social media, so let me know your handle or user name.

– Complete tasks 1-5, 6, and (either 7, 8 or 9) from the list, I’d like to send you an e-copy of one of my books, and publicly thank you.

– Complete 1-5, 6, (either 7, 8 or 9), and 10 or all 11 tasks, I’d like to mail you a paperback copy of one of my books, and, of course, publicly give you my thanks.

PS. Thanks to Caren Gussoff for the idea for this post.

Read Full Post »

This is the ninth blog in a series of owl-focused posts to promote Owl Light, my new YA-friendly collection of stories featuring owls. Each post features a mix of owl art, facts, folklore, quotes, and links to owlish sites. If you’re a fan of owls, or know someone whooo is, follow my blog, buy my book, and be kind to these beautiful birds.

12 Bells large Owl art: One of my owl pen and ink sketches from Owl Light.

Owl fact: A barn owl can eat up to 1,000 mice per year. No wonder farmers try to attract barn owls to help control rodents!

Owl folklore: Because of their association with the goddess Athena, owls are sometimes viewed as guardians with a magical inner light that enabled them to see at night.

Owl link: The Barn Owl Conservatory Network focuses on British Barn Owls. Still, there is a lot of information here that owl fans will find interesting  and a video with lots of Barn Owl Facts.

And, of course, here’s a buy link for Owl Light.
Or buy it from The Owl Pages and help out owls.

Read Full Post »

This list and its fabulous photos are truly haunting: The 38 Most Haunting Abandoned Places on Earth. Of course, as soon as I read the title, I wondered what the most haunting places off Earth would be!

Of those pictured, I found Six Flags Jazzland, New Orleans, Louisiana (especially the 2nd photo) and Gulliver’s Travels Park, Kawaguchi, Japan particularly creepy. The Chateau Miranda in Celles, Belgium appears horror-movie haunted. And Red Sands Sea Forts in Sealand, United Kingdom looks like something out of a science ficiton film.

I’ve been to Eilean Donan on Loch Duich, Scotland, and found it lonely. As far as the haunting vibe, the hairs on the back of my neck did indeed stand up in one part of the castle.

Which of these places feels the most haunted to you?

I hope you’re enjoying my blog posts and links. Want to show some love? Visit my Amazon page and consider buying a book. 🙂

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »