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Archive for August, 2014

owl light cover 300 Something a little different for an owl post – I was a guest author promoting Owl Light at the Snap, Crackle, and Popping Blog of writer Sharon Buchbinder. A link to an excerpt of one of the stories (“Feathers”), the entire intro poem, and details about the first story in Owl Light, “The Clockwork Owl,” are included.

Please stop by the post, and maybe even comment!

By the way, the artwork included in today’s post is the full painting for the cover of Owl Light. And, of course, here’s a buy link for Owl Light.  Or buy it from The Owl Pages and help out owls.

Happy owling to all! – Vonnie

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Hidden Bookcase Door In Library I’ve never met a book shelf I didn’t like (though I have met a few I wish were in better condition). In my home, I’ve managed to stack books in assorted nooks and crannies, which I’m pretty sure weren’t designed with book storage in mind. But I need the book space, since I don’t have floor to ceiling shelves.

The book cases I do have are sagging with many wonderful (and often beloved) tomes. So when I discovered Book Shelf Porn, I enjoyed the many creative and fun ways people have of displaying and storing books.

Any of you have a favorite book case or book shelf? Or a really cool way of storing and/or displaying books?

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Good old PBS had a media tips post that made me consider my forays into the social media world.

I think authors (and anyone else trying to build a following) will find this post useful. Any other social media tips you can think of?

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

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IMG_1833“I wish I could write as mysterious as a cat.” – Edgar Allan Poe

Viewed as a master of the macabre, Poe recognized that a feline was by nature (and when magnified by human imagination) more mysterious than most writers can ever hope to be. I love the simplicity of the quote – and its truth.

IMG_1803 For those who’ve never been, I recommend a trip to the Poe House and burial sites in Baltimore (where the pictures were taken).

And for Poe fans, here’s a link to some little known Edgar Allan Poe facts. IMG_1821

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© 2013 | Kristina Sherk Photography | www.Kristinasherk.com Thanks to author-editor Katherine Pickett for stopping by and sharing some thoughts about writers, the writing community, and life. Enjoy! (By the way, in 2 weeks, Katherine will return with information about agents).

Give More than You Take by Katherine Pickett

“Human beings can tend toward the selfish side, taking from others more than they give out or giving only so they can get something in return. This is particularly true when resources are slim and people become concerned that their livelihood is at stake. This phenomenon plays out on the large and small scale, and the writing community offers one excellent case study of how it happens and why it is not the best approach when trying to achieve personal and professional success. Don’t be one of these people. Give more than you get. When you do that, your writing will be improved and so will your relationships.

Read Other People’s Writing
Many writers spend their time reading their own work, rarely looking up long enough to read something from someone else. However, reading other writers is a great way to improve your own writing. Offering your time as a beta reader is one way to do this. Reading one of the many literary journals available to you is another. Before you submit your next flash fiction or essay for consideration, take the time to read the other authors included in the journal. Read related journals as well, and think about how you can learn from those who have gone before you.

Buy Other People’s Books
PerfectBound-cov1-600x900 Some writing communities are home exclusively to budding writers, while others also include traditionally and self-published authors. It’s easy to feel competitive with the ones who have already reached what you yourself are striving for. You may feel tempted to tear down what they have done, perhaps feeling they had some unfair advantage or their book really isn’t all that good. The negativity this generates takes its toll on you as well as those around you. Instead, support these writers by purchasing their book and sharing it with others. Add to their success rather than knocking it down. This is the essence of community.

Turn Off the Self-Promotion
We get it: you have a book coming out or a manuscript to sell or a signing to host. Now turn off the self-promotion and start paying attention to what other people are doing. Once again, it’s about supporting those in your community. Contrary to what some people think, there are no self-made men. We have to engage with the world in a meaningful way if we want to achieve any level of success that matters. Attend someone else’s signing. Help get the word out about someone else’s news. Be involved in more than your own small world. Then notice how many more opportunities come your way because you were willing to get involved.

Erase the Scoreboard
‘Tit for tat.’ That is the attitude some writers seem to have when they decide whom to help and whom to ignore. When you support someone in a tangible way, it is normal to expect a little support yourself down the road. However, that is not the reason to do something nice for a fellow writer or other publishing professional. Rather than keeping score with each good deed you do for someone else, waiting to cash in that favor, put good things out into the world and let them go. People can tell when you have an ulterior motive, and it’s a turnoff. Give selflessly and others will notice that too. You may not get back exactly what you put into your relationships, but it will likely be more valuable than whatever tangible gift you have given.

When you’re trying to ‘make it,’ it’s easy to become self-absorbed. With every new person you meet you may think, ‘How can this person help me get where I want to be?’ The thing is, life is much more enjoyable when you turn that around. So, when you receive help with writing opportunities, speaking engagements, a new job or publication in a coveted journal do what you can to return that to the universe. I truly believe giving more than you get makes for a much more rewarding life and career.”

Katherine Pickett is the owner of POP Editorial Services, LLC and the author of Perfect Bound: How to Navigate the Book Publishing Process Like a Pro from www.HopOnPublishing.com  Since 1999 she has edited more than 300 books in a wide range of topics and genres. She is an active member of the Editorial Freelancers Association and the St. Louis Publishers Association, and is president of the Montgomery County chapter of the Maryland Writers’ Association.

Want to discover more about Katherine Pickett and Perfect Bound? Visit her blog and follow her on twitter.

And you can purchase Perfect Bound: How to Navigate the Book Publishing Process Like a Pro on Amazon.

Thanks again to Katherine Pickett for her wonderful guest post. Make sure to stop back on Monday, September 8, for an excerpt about agents from Perfect Bound. Watch Whimsical Words for more guests, Quotable Wednesdays, Saturday Owl posts, blogs from me, and occasional Readers & Writers Recipes. Have a pay-it-forward day! – Vonnie

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13 Owl Flying extra This is the fifteenth 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.

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

Owl fact: “Whitewash” is the polite name for the white, paint-like splashes of owl poop that cover the ground, lower branches, base of a tree, or anything else below an owl roost.

Owl folklore: In the Hindu communities of Bangladesh and the Indian state of Orissa, the goddess Lakshimi is associated with the white owl – which is felt to be as an omen of good luck and prosperity.

Owl quote: “I think I’m a tiny bit like Harry ‘cos I’d like to have an owl. Yeah, that’s the tiny bit, actually.” – Daniel Radcliffe

Owl link: Lots of great owl info at the World Owl Trust site.

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

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As a reader myself, I, of course, think readers are wonderful people to fall in love with. Plus, I’ve found that readers make excellent friends for all the same reasons they make wonderful partners.

Now, a recently published article, Why Readers, Scientifically, Are the Best People to Fall In Love With, reinforces my feelings on the subject. And, for those who are curious, yes, my husband of 41 years reads! Here’s the link.

Enjoy, and if you’re looking for a good read, please check out my books.

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