Tag Archives: writing

Mary Higgins Clark Does it Again…..

The Lost YearsThe Lost Years by Mary Higgins Clark

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It’s been quite a while since I read a MHC book, but the style remains the same. She always brings you along on the journey quite nicely with an interesting cast of characters, locations, suspenseful situations, and a murder mystery. I appreciate the fact that you always know what the main character is thinking, and feeling, and the writing will leave you wanting to know more at the end of each chapter. Of course, she brought in Alvirah and Willy, the amateur detectives, to help solve the crime. Since I have become accustomed to her writing style, I figured out the murderer about halfway through. That does not take away from the fact that her story was well written and suspenseful. Just what we’ve come to expect from Mary Higgins Clark.

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Stray Far from Stay Close

Stay CloseStay Close by Harlan Coben

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I picked this book up because of a review that grabbed my attention in our local paper. I have never read any prior work from this author, and knew nothing about him. From reading reviews of his prior novels, I think I will go back and try one of those to see what the fuss was all about. The opening of the book started out interestingly enough to capture my attention. I was intrigued to find out all about the different characters and how their lives entwined together. However, as the story wore on, I found myself less and less interested, to the point of not even caring who the heck the killer was. The Ken and Barbie characters just did not ring true at all. Maybe there are really nutty people out there like this, but I didn’t believe it in this novel. The characters didn’t hold my attention, and it seemed to go off in one direction, only to halt and head off in another. I’ll reserve judgment until I’ve read one of his prior novels. I really can’t recommend this one.

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YOU can write for Kindle!

Did you know you can write a book for Kindle?

If you think this seems too far-fetched and you don’t believe in yourself, let me be your encourager. Start by answering these simple questions:

Have you written an essay or term paper in high school or college?
Do you know to research on the internet or in the library?
Have you written a poem?
Have you written a letter to a loved one?
Have you written a sentiment on a birthday card?
Have you sent e-mails, or texts, or tweets?
Do you regularly post on Facebook?

If you answer YES to any of these, then you can write a book.

This will be the first in a series of posts that will give you your own ideas for your very own book that you can begin to craft for Amazon Kindle–and share with the world.

It does not have to be a huge book. You can publish short stories (fiction or non-fiction) from 15-30 pages to start. Remember, you can always do a small test book just to get the hang of what it involves. It doesn’t have to be a best seller right out of the gate. Sometimes it is easier to start with a non-fiction book.

Start brainstorming. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • What are your PASSIONS (think: hobbies or ANY life experiences)

Do you sew? Write computer code? Bike? Play Warcraft? Raise children? Raise goats? Live on a farm? Grow flowers? Collect toy trains? Cook? Bake? Entertain? Belong to a book club? Retired? Professional? You get the picture.

Start making a list. Get a notebook just for this pursuit.

I’ve got a spiral bound, 5-subject notebook that has 5 colored dividers. In the first section goes all the brainstorms of all the ideas I have for writing. Start your Kindle journey by brainstorming everything you like or know something about. You don’t even have to be an expert at it. Make a list. It doesn’t matter if you think it is stupid, or that you think nobody would want to read what you write about. Just write it down. This is just for you. The list might look like this:

  1. Mother (or father) to two children
  2. Speak a foreign language
  3. Grow flowers from seed
  4. Run my own farm
  5. Race dirtbikes
  6. Love motorcycles
  7. Grow my own organic vegetables
  8. Exercise daily (biking, running, soccer, basketball, football)
  9. Great organizer
  10. Know how to budget
  11. Spiritual
  12. Love to travel to new places
  13. Have a dog (or cat)
  14. Married (or single)
  15. Love to sing
  16. Play Piano (guitar, sitar, ukelele, banjo)
  17. Great at cutting hair
  18. Woman of a certain age
  19. Man of a certain age
  20. Divorced and dating

If you have more, keep adding to the list. See how many you can come up with. This is going to be your springboard for your first small book. In the next post, we’ll go into narrowing down the list to #1, and how to expand the material into a book. Have fun!

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Write About your World

One of the first Kindle books I actually bought and paid for was “Rumors of Water–Thoughts on Creativity and Writing” by L.L. Barket. The title does not hint at the valuable nuggets inside this book. This is a book about writing–writing about your world. The lessons are woven right into the stories. The author writes about her experiences in her every day world, which consists of teaching her two daughters at home. Lest you think this would be scarce material to write about, she surprises us. The stories spring from their lives, and the language beautiful. Did you know you can weave a wonderful story around tea and flowers and picking colorful vegetables? It is true.

Each of the book’s seven headings tells part of the story:

Momentum
Voice
Habits
Structure
Publishing
Glitches
Time

The one big take away from this book, is that all of us have a story. Our stories–yours and mine–are stories that need telling, and there are people that need to hear them.

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Reading Road to Writing

Do you want to be a writer?

If so, you first need to be a reader.

Sound strange? It isn’t. You learn how to write from reading. When I was in first grade, we learned to read from “Dick and Jane”, “Spot and Puff” books. We also learned to write letters, sound them out phonetically, and finally form words that we wrote on our 1-inch lined paper, with a dotted line cutting the space in half. The reading and writing went hand in hand.

As first graders, we read. We wrote.

It is the natural order of things.

When I first began the process of teaching my daughter how to read and write, we used a program called “Writing Road to Reading” by Romalda Spaulding. It was almost like a college level course for a grade schooler in phonetics, reading, and writing. We had to use a program heavy in phonetics since my daughter was partially deaf at the time. She may not have been able to fully hear, but she could see the sounds I was forming on my lips, and the sounds became clear to her as she repeated them and wrote them in her notebook.

When teaching both of my children, we started using a program in grade school that incorporated all facets of language arts together. It just made sense for us. It got extremely tiring having separate reading, spelling, grammar and writing programs.

Life became a lot simpler when I started teaching a program that tied all of those entities together. The name of the program was “Total Language Plus”. It was wonderful. The kids each got to pick out a classic book of their choosing, and a yellow workbook accompanied the book. The lessons were pulled from the book they read. The lessons were reading comprehension, weekly spelling words, grammar, and writing exercises.

My children read, and they wrote.

As an adult, it can sometimes be hard to find time to read. But try to sneak in some time when you can. Read a variety of book genres to expand your mind. I love Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Scarlet Letter”, and I’m now reading “House of the 7 Gables”. The language is challenging, to be sure, but I enjoy analyzing the writing of a classic book as I read it. I’m amazed out how much description he goes into to describe even the teensiest little item.

Be a diligent reader to learn how to be a fantastic writer!

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Kindle FIRE is Hot!

I just had an opportunity today to view the New Kindle Fire for myself, and I will have to say that it is fabulous! Not only can I get my reading books online, but also movies, news, and articles with colored pictures that come alive. I would recommend you take a look at the new options the Fire provides. You may, like myself, get so hot you’ll burn up your fingers using it.

Chuck Garfield, field editor

http://www.amazon.com/Kindle-Fire-Amazon-Tablet/dp/B0051VVOB2/ref=sr_tr_sr_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1340925661&sr=1-1&keywords=kindle+fire

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Kindle and Me

I love BOOKS and I LOVE Kindle!

I fought getting a Kindle for the longest time, but since I received one for Christmas 2 years ago, I have never looked back!

Now I just have the super simple one, with the basic grey screen and black letters, but that’s fine with me. I may upgrade to the Kindle Fire one of these days if I want to add more color into my life.

I loved my Kindle so much that I wanted to publish and my first book is up and going on the Kindle store:

http://www.amazon.com/Sweepstakes-Contests-Confessions-Admitted-ebook/dp/B007ZJGOTK/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1336694784&sr=1-2

If you would be so kind, please take a look and give the book a “Like” for me. I would really appreciate it. If you decide to purchase, please leave me a review! I am currently working on several others that will be published soon.

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