Friday, March 11, 2016

Dear Teen Me

Today we're doing a fun exercise in celebration of Kelly Hashway's recent releases. I'll let Kelly explain the rules:

If you want in on the fun, just post a letter to yourself on your blog and add your name to this list. If you're participating, here's the code to add the below linky list to your site. And don't forget to check out all the other letters.

And now, for my Dear Teen Me letter!

Dear Girl with Big Hair:

Yes, you think you look cool with all that Aqua Net in your permed hair...

Okay, scratch that. You don't think you look cool. Not at all. In fact, you're pretty sure you have the chubbiest cheeks of anyone in the whole world.

You'll grow out of those. You'll also find that what you read in Seventeen magazine is correct--people with round faces look younger longer. That will all change once you hit your 40s, but enjoy looking younger than you are while it lasts!

Also--YOU AREN'T FAT! You look great. The older you get, the more you'll puzzle over the fact that you don't see that. (The hair looks ridiculous, but that's just because it went out of style sometime not long after that picture was taken of you.)

Enjoy college. Stop worrying about guys. Have fun with your friends and learn as much as possible because you'll spend the rest of your life working.

(Oh...and, by the way, you might want to pay particular attention in English class. Writing skills will be more important to you than you realize!)

Middle-Aged Me

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

So You’re an Amazon Best-selling Author, Huh?

You may have noticed there are a lot of authors who claim this:

In fact, there are so many of them, they could probably hold a big conference every year and discuss their greatness.

I started noticing it a while ago, when some nutjob who asked me to help him with his whacked-out attempt at narcissism in book form posted on Facebook that he was already an Amazon best-selling author. He couldn't even write a legible email (asking for free editing help--because published authors love being asked to work for free, y'all!). How could he have written a book that the masses would want to read?

Drilling down, I noticed something. Dude hadn't sold more books than 95 percent of the other authors on Amazon. His ramblings were number one in some obscure subcategory of some subcategory of some other subcategory of some weird topic. Like books about beans-books about lima beans-books about the lima bean I ate last night. That would get him something like this for the ever-popular (and totally made up by me to make a point) "beans" category.

Fortunately, we have the Internet. A brilliant marketing guy set out to prove that "Amazon best-seller" status is a joke. He published a book that was nothing but photos of his foot. He sold three copies and guess what? He found his obscure category:

Which gave him all a person would need if he wanted to impress all the Facebook friends who ignored him in high school. "Take that, head cheerleader who wouldn't date me. I'm a best-selling author!"

Of course, if he really wants to impress them, he probably should write a more impressive book. Maybe it would even sell more than three copies.

So if you ever see the words "Amazon Best-Selling Author" on anyone's blog, website, or book cover, know it's pure B.S. The good news? Apparently this post about the foot book has gone viral on Facebook, so braggers may not be able to pull this lie off in the future.

Last chance to sign up to participate in my Dear Teen Me blog hop. Just add your link here and post a blog Friday, March 11 that includes a letter to your teenage self.

Monday, March 07, 2016

How to Overcome the Murky Middle

Writing a novel is difficult work. There are some people who plan out every word in advance and some just start writing and hope for the best.

If you're a "pantser" like me, you can easily get stuck midway through. You haven't planned where this sucker is going, so now you have to make some tough decisions. This is where it's easy to give up...but don't!

Instead, read my tips over on Quanie Miller's blog. I tell you how to make it through "the murky middle" to get to "the end."

Also, don't forget to sign up to participate in my Dear Teen Me blog hop. Just add your link here and post a blog Friday, March 11 that includes a letter to your teenage self.