Tag Archives: kindle

Myself as a character

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A few years ago I happened upon the writing tip of giving conflicts to your main character. Some authors suggest torturing them, to force them outside of their safe zones they’ve built in their life.

You don’t do this just out of some twisted cruelty…well, maybe some authors do that, but there is a good reason you add problems for the character-

TO MAKE THEM GROW.

You want them to learn and evolve through the story. You give them hardships like a blacksmith uses heat and a whetstone, to sharpen the edge.

This hit me hard in my real life. As much as I try to avoid problems and hardship, it just never occurred to me that if I were a character in a story, my story would be boring.

Heroes face the problem. They deal with it. They take on the problem and find a solutions.

When this concept worked its way into my own reality, I found catharsis to see myself as a character in my own story.  Life gives you conflict…that is quite literally what Life is about. Well, the ups and downs. But it is those downs that provide the strongest, life-changing lessons.

Instead of avoiding problems, I should focus on finding solutions to problems. That’s what heroes do, right?

Writing can teach us as much of ourselves as we’re trying to provide entertaining and education to our readers.

What lessons have you learned in your writing journey? Post in comments.

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Writing journeys; downs and ups

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My personal NaNoWriMo challenge isn’t working out as well as I hoped. I don’t reach my word count, but I find I’m still writing more fiction than I have in the past.

I even adjusted the challenge- 500 words of fiction and 500 of non-fiction, since I have a non-fiction eBook idea that keeps nagging at me.

Either way, I’m writing more towards my goal than before, and anything is better than nothing. After all- 250 words is a page in a paperback. (if in Courier font). Specifically, it is .7 of a page. Five hundred words make 1.4 pages.

CaptureWant to know how to calculate it? Use this link to Words to Pages. Its an online calculator where you add the word count, and font, and it calculates the number of pages. It’s free!

I got my first considerable check from Amazon the other day. I realized when I got it that it includes all book purchases on my Amazon account. Its not all ‘my’ money, however. The funds are primarily from the anthologies, so they go towards the meetup group.

I got about $25, and that doesn’t count the print-on-demand via Createspace. I haven’t earned enough yet from there. Its not a lot, but will help in paying the Organizer dues at Meetup.com, food, and printing fees.

I also get a small sum from blog subscriptions via Kindle Publishing for Blogs. Since I blog anyway, it doesn’t hurt to get a bit extra money. (less than $2 monthly) Unfortunately, where my blog subscription is posted doesn’t list my name, nor does it show other blogs I’ve added.

A Writer’s Journey Blog

Moon and Shadow

Learnthepc.net

I’m hoping to post my personal blog, just in case someone might find it fun to read.  I write about writing, blogging, crafts, photography, funny things my family said/did, my pets, and I share resources, tips, and links, too.

There’s no cost either, although you need approval, and you just need to know your blog RSS feed. I use a site called Feedburner to list mine, and get an RSS feed from there.

If you have a blog about writing, link in comments. I’d love to see it.

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NaNoWriMo and Published Anthology

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I’m not doing the NaNoWriMo this month, but I am working on 1000 words a day as a personal challenge, focusing on fiction writing.  I can choose any of the projects, providing its fiction. I feel its perfectly acceptable to create your own challenge, if it gets you to write.

The National Novel Writing Month spurs authors to complete a novel of 50,000 in thirty days. I think its also pertinent to note here that writing furiously for a month also strips a writer to the bare bones of his or her skill, kind of like boot camp. You push yourself beyond what is enjoyable to ‘work’, and even misery at times. In the end, you learn something of yourself and more importantly, the process of writing.

I did it once- which was enough for me. I’m content this year to spend time focused on fiction writing, and following the general rules, but a more forgiving since I have work and a teenage son to homeschool.

I also compiled another anthology from my writer’s group. This year, we selected Horror for our theme.

Our cover for the Horror Anthologyincludes my cat, Max, who often joins our writing meetings by laying across notebooks and handouts. He often picks the members who are allergic to cats, and gets lot of pets and affection. I asked members what they thought, and many agreed, Max would be on the cover this year.

Last year’s Writers Anthology: 2013 included all genres (which made it difficult to publish into a category).  This includes poetry, one of my short stories, and more choices. For this week, the Kindle version is free.

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The importance of ‘move and shake’

writer01As writers, I think we take for granted out health. We don’t exercise enough. Sitting can be deadly.

 

For the past few weeks, I’ve been using a neat little gadget called a Fitbit Flex . This little wrist band is waterproof, sweatproof, and tracks steps and even sleeping movements.

It includes a web site and iPhone app to use in addition to it, to track your diet as well. I also found this works very nicely with two other apps I like;

MyFitnessPal (site and iPhone and android) which tracks diet and exercise. I like the scanner on it.

www.myfitnesspal.com

Striiv – This app includes a cute little game where you use exercise to earn coins and energy to build a little village. Its cute. There’s also challenges you can click on, and earn trophies and even freebies like a pack of gum.

I didn’t  think too much how inactive I was until I saw the first day’s results. I barely moved a mile! The Fitbit Flex (and other experts) suggest you walk 5 miles or 10,000 steps a day to gain health. I was nowhere near that.

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I’ve been going to the gym to workout on the treadmill, elliptical, and do some weights. I also take my dog for a walk/run along the river when I can.

And here is what I’ve found;

  • Exercise often gives me ideas. I listen to music or podcasts, so I get some great prompts and ideas while I do my workout.
  • I feel stronger and healthier. This means sleeping better, and having energy.

I’m considering using my treadmill in the cellar (and it’s a scary, low-ceiling type cellar that’s cold and dank and full of spiders) and bring my tablet to type and walk at the same time. I could also read the Kindle app while on a stationary bike, or watch podcasts.

But its important to be moving, to get the blood pumping, to stave off health issues, and to embrace what the muse might inspire in me.

Perhaps my muse will enjoy a workout with me.

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