Writer’s journey – How did it all happen?

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This is  my writer’s blog about me and my crazy journey to becoming a half decent author.

Well how did I start writing? It was quite odd really. I used to write as a teenager. At the time I had a ginger tom cat called Chester, Mr. Popularity, everyone loved him. He liked to venture afar and we would often have to rescue him. I remember one occasion in particular, my brother and I ended up trudging through the woods, in Blackhall in Edinburgh, to pick him up from a house in the vicinity. He ended up at the most peculiar places. One time he chose to visit a house with thirteen cats!

I told you he liked company. So it seemed natural to  write about cats,  and I kept a diary. My dad was and still is one of my other great sources of inspiration.  He has travelled extensively to the Far East, and Middle East and is a wonderful raconteur.

As far as my writing is concerned the inevitable happened.  I was the typical teenager. I got distracted. I found boys, discos, parties, and my writing suffered. Somehow I didn’t pick it up again for a very long time. This is a regret. A massive regret. But what can I do? I can’t travel back in time, I don’t have a Tardis. So I just have to accept that the time is right now.  You see, I’m still this young girl at heart, just stuck in an older and maybe wiser body. I have experienced more, travelled more, lived more, so hopefully that will make me a better writer.

Several events came together to ignite my desire to write again. First of all I read a lot.  At the time I was reading Dorian Gray and it was definitely a novel that captured my imagination and set my mind free. Also my eldest daughter was studying GCSE Art and I took a sudden interest in art and photography. I’m not saying that I can paint or draw, though I wish I could. No, I enjoyed watching her artistic development and I enjoyed sharing ideas with her and encouraging her.

All of these influences helped me to write my first book, a children’s/YA fantasy set in Cambridge, which I hope to publish soon. The female protagonist in my novel is a teenage girl who paints a puzzle of art. But it is by no means a novel simply about Art. She expresses her sadness, and discovers her magical powers, through the medium of painting and well the rest you will find out when you read the book. Lets just say that an awful lot happens and I think that it will keep you entertained!  Well I hope so anyway.

Also I know this sounds crazy but my other source of inspiration was a black cat, a  throw back to Chester.  I had never seen this strange black cat before and suddenly he just started appearing in our garden. There was something different about him. He appeared  like a miniature panther, all glossy and splendid, looking for attention, with his mesmerising eyes, I fell under his spell. He liked to show off, he would disappear into thin air, climb to ridiculous heights, or chase his tail around the garden like a demented clown. He just had to play a part in this book too. Lets just say he has a subsidiary part to a main character, who is male, young and very interesting too, just like him. That was the beginning. Looking back I am amazed that from just a few initial thoughts my idea just seemed to grow and grow. Now my debut novel, is nearly ready for the final edit. How did that happen? I couldn’t be happier in fact if I had a tail, I’m sure I would be whizzing around and around chasing it with excitement!

Update: I HAVE SOMETHING WICKED TO TELL YOU, ABSOBLOODYLOOTELY, I’M CURRENTLY QUERYING AGENTS/PUBLISHERS RE: MY NOVEL.

SO STAY POSTED.

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AND THE MOST AMAZING CAT’S PYJAMAS.  XXX

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THIS BLOG claims no credit for any images posted on this site unless otherwise noted. Images on this blog are copyright to its respectful owners.  If there is an image appearing on this blog that belongs to you and you do not wish for it to appear on this site, please contact or e-mail me with a link to said image and it will be promptly removed. Photos courtesy of Google and Bing images.

My Friday Post: Welcome to my Quirky Houses Tour

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A hearty welcome to my Friday zest tour of Quirky houses, I hope you’ll agree that they are quite amazing.
Let’s start off with this beauty:

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This one’s a bit dingy in comparison! Hope you have a warm jumper and a torch.

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Maybe you prefer to be cushioned in a tree hand. What about something a bit more uplifting?

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Or perhaps you’re a gambler who likes to take risks? The architect for the one below must have been drink! It reminds me of a pack of shuffled cards that’s out of order and tumbling everywhere!

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Or would you like to blend into the environment? This one’s calm and tranquil. But how would you find your way home at night? Maybe you’ll need a sheep dog.

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Perhaps you like to live dangerously?

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This one would suit a hermit with a love of the tropics. Just imagine, you could swim every day. Heaven.

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Quirky, yes, why not? I wonder if you have to climb up that hill with your groceries? Or would you give up and live off the land?

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A fondness for mushrooms perhaps? Just don’t pick poisonous ones or magical ones!

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Eggs? Yes, this reminds me of the material egg boxes are made of. I hope it’s not windy, or this egg box house may turn into a frisby.  I hope you can climb trees.

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One for a posh hermit with a love of the tropics who likes diving, and living precariously.

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You enjoy the circus? Some stilts perhaps?

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A lover of shoes?

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Fond of gardening and like to keep chickens? This one’s a fancy chicken coop, but you could have a bigger version!

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Like your garden but fancy an oriental touch?

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An oriental tree house?
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An artist with an obsession with plastic lunchboxes?

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Or an artist with a door obsession?

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A lover of books?

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A bookworm wouldn’t just settle with the house, we’d need a few accessories too!

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For skiiers, and adrenalin worshippers who also like a touch of summer sun?

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Cat lovers, don’t look at me like that, I haven’t forgotten you.

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And of course, last but not least, a special home for all those dog lovers out there, equipped with tail, and cute puppy.

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My Haiku:

The Lemon Zest Tour

Many Strange Houses galore

All tastes catered for

 

© Marjorie Mallon 2015 – aka, Kyrosmagica.

Haiku  is my very own!

Thanks for coming on this Friday’s Quirky house tour, hope you enjoyed yourself. Have a wonderful Friday, and a lovely weekend see you again soon!

THIS BLOG claims no credit for any images posted on this site unless otherwise noted. Images on this blog are copyright to its respectful owners. If there is an image appearing on this blog that belongs to you and you do not wish for it to appear on this site, please cdontact or e-mail me with a link to said image and it will be promptly removed.

2015 One Word Challenge

 

thAA3AUTLHOne Word Challenge from Rebirth of Lisa – Choose just one word, instead of making empty resolutions, to meditate upon and be driven towards for the entire year. Use this word as inspiration throughout the year to make yourself and the world better. You set the rules.

Choose your word and join the challenge. We will make monthly updates to share how each of us is making a difference in the world with our word. I will post a monthly prompt on the first Thursday of each month. Be sure to ping back to the monthly post…. I look forward to reading your words and seeing your updates!

The One Word Challenge idea originated from Vera Jones, Lisa’s friend on FB. Here’s the links to find out more.

https://rebirthoflisa.wordpress.com/2015/01/01/new-year-new-challenge/

https://rebirthoflisa.wordpress.com/2015-one-word-challenge/#comment-2744

My word choice is Hope, because I’m hoping for a lot of special things this year, so fingers crossed.

Hope is the spark of life. Share your flame.

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Quotes with the theme of hope:

While there’s life there’s hope. Marcus Cicero.

 

Fear can hold you prisoner. Hope can set you free.
– The central theme of the prison drama Shawshank Redemption. Frank Darabont directed ‘The Shawshank Redemption. ’ In this excellent film hope prevails.

 

The winds of hope carry us soaring high above the driving winds of life. Ana Jacob.

 

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We have this hope as an anchor for the soul. Hebrews 6:19

 

Don’t lose hope when the sun goes down the stars come out.

 

“Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops at all.”   Emily Dickinson.

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Hope is the only bee that makes honey without flowers. Robert Green Ingersoll.

 

Learn from yesterday, Live for Today, Hope for tomorrow. Albert Einstein.

 

They say a person needs just three things to be truly happy in this world: someone to love, something to do, and something to hope for.”   Tom Bodett

 

“Only in the darkness can you see the stars.” Martin Luther King Jr.

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“Hope
Smiles from the threshold of the year to come,
Whispering ‘it will be happier’…”  Alfred Tennyson

 

“The very least you can do in your life is figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope. Not admire it from a distance but live right in it, under its roof.”   Barbara Kingsolver

 

 We dream to give ourselves hope. To stop dreaming – well, that’s like saying you can never change your fate.” Amy Tan, The Hundred Secret Senses.

 

Hope is a waking dream. Aristotle.

 

Hope can be a powerful force. Maybe there’s no actual magic in it, but when you know what you hope for most and hold it like a light within you, you can make things happen, almost like magic.” Laini Taylor, Daughter of Smoke & Bone.

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I don’t think of all the misery, but of the beauty that still remains.”  Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl.

 

“Remember, Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.” Stephen King.

 

Oft hope is born when all is forlorn.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King

 

Yesterday is but a dream,
Tomorrow is only a vision.
But today well lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness, and every tomorrow a vision of hope.” Kalidasa, The complete works of Kalidasa.

 

What are you hoping for? Do tell!

THIS BLOG claims no credit for any images posted on this site unless otherwise noted. Images on this blog are copyright to its respectful owners. If there is an image appearing on this blog that belongs to you and you do not wish for it to appear on this site, please contact or e-mail me with a link to said image and it will be promptly removed.

 

UKYA Book Blogger Awards – Voting

marjma2014:

Reblog of UKYA Book Blogger awards from Priya Appleby.

Originally posted on PriyaPiggle:

So it’s been really fun to help out with the UKYA Book Blogger Awards and today I get to help in announcing the winners (yay!) Thank you to every single person who nominated and voted.

But first, a shout out to all the bloggers that helped out:

But now onto what you’re all really here for…

PRESENTING (drumroll please……. THE UKYA BOOK BLOGGER AWARDS WINNERS!

Best FeaturePrettiest BlogBest Blog DesignBest Co-op TeamBest on InstagramBest on TwitterBest BooktuberSweetest BloggerMost Fun BloggerBest Overseas BloggerWelcoming CommitteeFriendliest BloggerMost EnthusiasticMost PassionateBest OldtimerBest Growing BloggerBest NewcomerBest Male BloggerBest Female BloggerBest Adult BloggerBest Teen Blogger

Some of the categories were so close and everyone nominated is a brilliant blogger. So here is a list of the fabulous runners up who made second and third place:

Best Feature
2nd Place – British…

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How to Get 100,000 Views of Your BLOG (21 Blogging Tips)

marjma2014:

Excellent post from Chris McMullen about blogging. Had to reblog.

Originally posted on chrismcmullen:

Blogging Tips T

BLOG SUCCESSFULLY

I first began blogging actively on WordPress in December, 2012.

Only a little over 2 years, and my blog has reached 100,000 views and nearly 4,000 followers. My blog averages over 400 views per day presently, and the viewing frequency steadily accelerates.

If I can do it, you can, too. I believe it.

It’s not rocket science. (Just ignore the fact that I have a Ph.D. in physics. I didn’t use any physics to make my blog.)

In fact, I’m sharing my blogging ‘secrets’ today to help you do the same.

It’s not just me. I meet many other WordPress bloggers with many more views and followers than I have.

If you’re not there yet, don’t worry. You can get there, too.

I’ve created multiple blogs and webpages with WordPress, BlogSpot, GoDaddy, etc. By far my most successful blog or webpage is this WordPress blog. We’re fortunate that…

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My Kyrosmagica Review of Summertime by Vanessa Lafaye

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Horrifying and beautiful, Summertime is a fictionalised account of one of the most devastating natural disasters in US history.

Florida Keys, 1935. Hurricane Season.

Tens of thousands of black and white men scarred by their experiences of war in Europe return home to find themselves abandoned to destitution by the US government.

The tiny, segregated community of Heron Key is suddenly overwhelmed by broken, disturbed men with new ideas about racial equality and nothing left to lose.

Tensions flare when a black veteran is accused of committing the most heinous crime of all against a white resident’s wife.

And not far off the strongest and most intense hurricane America has ever witnessed is gaining force.

For fans of The Help and To Kill a Mockingbird, this is the story of the greatest tragedy you’ve never heard of.

Summertime is the title of the UK edition of Under a Dark Summer Sky.

My review:

I was lucky to win a free copy of Summertime from Holly at Bookaholic Confessions. I have to say that I was thrilled when my copy of Summertime arrived, I hadn’t realised that I’d won a hardback copy! I sensed this would be a good book, and in this I wasn’t disappointed. In fact, not only did I enjoy Summertime, I would say that I loved Summertime.

It is an excellent debut by Vanessa Lafaye  and I would highly recommend it.

Summertime is a fictional story based upon the labour day hurricane of 1935.  It is set  in Heron Key in Florida during the nineteen thirties. In this fictionalised account the storm takes place after the 4th July celebrations. There is an annual beach party in which racial tensions are set to explode, like lit fireworks, but the celebratory fireworks hold back, refusing to light.  The habitual fight between white and black is engrained into the very fabric of this society ravaged by a deep and destructive racial divide.

I loved the sense of place, which is conveyed so vividly in the opening paragraph: “The humid air felt like water in the lungs, like drowning.”

The characters – there are so many and yet Vanessa Lafaye details them all in a way that makes them so real, and engaging. There are so many elements to this novel, it touches upon racial tensions, an attempted murder, the far-reaching effects of abuse, even magical spells play a part!

The developing love story between Missy and Henry is so endearing. The reader senses that Henry will do anything to protect Missy, and Missy will wait for Henry forever if needs be. Missy loves the white baby boy that she cares for, and wants only to protect him from harm. Henry arrives back in Heron Key but he is not the same man who left, war has left him in a state in which : “He felt like a ghost, haunting a former life where he didn’t belong any more.” Missy has grown from a child into a strong young woman who will fight against the forces of nature to get what she wants: “She was tired of being blown around like a leaf, with no say in anything that mattered. Anger rose up her spine like a column of molten steel and her back straightened…… By God, I will not fail at this.”

The way in which Vanessa Lafaye transports you to the very eye of the storm, make this in my opinion a must read novel. The two main characters Missy and Henry are without doubt my favourites. Henry is so drawn to Heron Key, even though he knows Heron’s Keys terrible shortcomings. Henry has experienced a sense of freedom in a culture of non-discrimination in his time in the battlefields of France, but is this a country he wants to call home? Vanessa Lafaye uses a rubber band analogy to suggest how drawn he is to Heron Key: “It was like he was attached to the place by a long rubber band that was now stretched to its absolute limit.”

The war veterans are all different, some are good men, some are not, but none of them are welcomed in Heron Key.  These hardened men don’t seem so tough when they encounter the force of the hurricane. It is as if the sheer force of the destructive natural elements of the hurricane are so much more fierce and terrifying than the atrocities of war.  In a war, I suppose you have a sense of when the battle is over but in a hurricane, no such certainty exists, just when the winds quieten you realise that the hurricane is playing with you, it is deceiving you, readying itself to deliver its final fatal blow.

” There was a collective moan, which quickly rose to an awful, haunt-ing cry. It sent a stab of dread right through Trent’s heart. He knew that noise, had heard it before: it was the sound men make when they realise they are about to die.”

Not only can the winds get you but the rising water can too:  “So this is what it feels like to die in a washing machine!”

The aftermath is devastating: “In the quiet left by the wind, he noticed the complete absence of birds. No gulls, no pelicans, no buzzards, even with the carpet of death below him.”

The carnage that the hurricane leaves in its wake is every bit as devastating and shocking as a war zone. The hurricane strips everyone bare of their possessions, their clothes,  and ultimately their human dignity. Survival becomes paramount, petty quarrels, and racial hatred are stripped away for that tiny moment in time.  Yet, there are always those with hatred in their hearts, who instigate fear and hatred in others, and this is demonstrated so clearly when white people ask the black folks to leave the apparent safety of the shelter when there is not enough room: “Traitorous stars shone within a circle of swirling cloud.”

The epilogue ends with the words, “Time to begin,” suggesting a new life will start, this new life won’t be without its trial and tribulations but it will be filled with a new-found sense of hope.

I tend to get so involved in books. This time I was so deeply affected by Summertime that one night I dreamt that my bed was filled with hurricane winds! I could feel myself being lifted, and buffeted on a bed of sheets, and thrown up and down in the air. Luckily my dream carried me gently up and down as if I was on a trampoline of buffeting air, but sadly in this book, and in real life many people die  in hurricanes, white and black alike, the interesting and emotive point that Vanessa Lafaye makes is this: the hurricane doesn’t discriminate. There are so many poignant moments, family members choose death rather than be separated from their loved ones, mothers save their children instead of themselves. Life is such a precious treasure, why waste it by hating other people just because they’re different?

My rating:

It couldn’t be less than 5 stars.

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Holly’s wordpress:  https://bookaholicconfessions.wordpress.com/

Author Vanessa Lafaye wordpress site: https://vanessalafaye.wordpress.com/

Taken from the authors notes – There are fifteen pages detailing the real hurricane on the Keys History Website and the final page, page fifteen has a link at the bottom of the post to a fascinating video of some of the survivors:

http://www.keyshistory.org/shelf1935hurrpage15.html

 

THIS BLOG claims no credit for any images posted on this site unless otherwise noted. Images on this blog are copyright to its respectful owners. The majority of images on this blog are from http://www.pixabay.com or google/bing search. All images are copyright free images. If there is an image appearing on this blog that belongs to you and you do not wish for it to appear on this site, please contact me with a link to said image and it will be promptly removed.

 

8 Ways Scrivener Aids My Writing

marjma2014:

Reblog of 8 ways Scrivener helps my writing from P.H. Soloman, Archer’s Aim.

Originally posted on Archer's Aim:

Clip Art Image Copyright by Microsoft. Clip Art Used by Permission of Microsoft Clip Art Image Copyright by Microsoft. Clip Art Used by Permission of Microsoft

When I originally gave Scrivenera whirl earlier this year I didn’t know how the software worked. But I read several articles and posts about how other writers put this writing tool to use. I took my time working through the provided tutorial after which I began using it with increasing regularity.

Over the last few months, I’ve begun using Scrivener for almost all of my writing. I’m so impressed with it’s usefulness, I’ve begun writing about this software to share my ideas. I’m getting lots of mileage out of blogging with it and I’ve begun using it for my newsletter and other email templates.

Here are 8 ways Scrivener boosts my efforts as a writer:

1. I’m better organized from the beginning of projects. Because Scrivener is an organizational tool, I’m able to develop structure from…

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Leonard Nimoy, ‘Star Trek’s’ Spock, Dies at 83

marjma2014:

Oh, so sad, Leonard Nimoy, Spock, died. Loved Star Trek. Reblogged via Variety.

Originally posted on Variety:

Leonard Nimoy lived up to his longtime catchphrase: Live long and prosper. Having achieved success in many arenas during his lifetime, the actor, director, writer and photographer died Friday in Los Angeles of end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. He was 83.

Most widely known for his performance as half-human, half-Vulcan science officer Spock on the classic sci-fi TV show “Star Trek” and its many subsequent film and videogame incarnations, Nimoy was also a successful director, helming “Star Trek” pics “The Search for Spock” and “The Voyage Home,” as well as non-“Star Trek” fare; an accomplished stage actor; a published writer and poet; and a noted photographer. He also dabbled in singing and songwriting.

But despite his varied talents, Nimoy will forever be linked with the logical Mr. Spock. Spotted by “Star Trek” creator Gene Roddenberry when he appeared on Roddenberry’s NBC Marine Corps. skein “The Lieutenant,” Nimoy was offered the role…

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My Friday Image and Poem: Landscape With Gun And Tree Cornelia Parker

 

Landscape With Gun And Tree  Cornelia Parker

 

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This little poetic ditty was inspired by this wonderful sculpture which I had the pleasure of seeing in all its splendour at Juniper Artland, Wilkieston, Scotland. You may remember that I mentioned this wonderful inspiring Artland before in several blog posts, the original being on the 15th of June 2014.

 

Landscape Gun and Tree

Halt – the daring spring sunshine

In dread symmetry.

 

© Marjorie Mallon 2015 – aka, Kyrosmagica.

Haiku and Photo, good or bad, are my very own!

 

Hope you enjoyed my Friday image and Haiku poem.

 

Have a wonderful weekend. :)

 

Links:

 

https://www.jupiterartland.org/artwork/landscape-with-gun-and-tree

 

 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of all material in this blog without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to this blog’s author with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Thank you.

How To Protect Your Blog, by Hugh Roberts

marjma2014:

A very helpful post from Hugh Roberts at Forestgarden blog about Protecting your blog.

Originally posted on Forest Garden:

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Hugh Roberts is a true blogging friend.  Not only an extremely generous and warm-hearted soul, Hugh is exceptionally clever about the nuts and bolts side of blogging.  When I discovered my posts plagiarized by an Aussie web site a few weeks ago, Hugh immediately offered support, a healthy dose of shared outrage, and then some very practical advice.

Loyal readers and I had a number of good conversations after that episode through the comments, emails, and even some phone calls.  It heightened our awareness of how vulnerable our work remains when published online.  That is when I invited Hugh to write a guest blog for Forest Garden, giving solid technical support to help all of us with things like watermarks,widgets, disclaimers, and copyrights.  February 20, 2015 hearts 004

Hugh has come through in fine style, and I hope you will enjoy his guest blog post today:

 

How To Protect Your Blog

 by…

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Guest Post on Guest Author Etiquette by Chris the Storyreading Ape

marjma2014:

Reblog of Guest Author Etiquette by Chris The Storyreading Ape.

Originally posted on Legends of Windemere:

(Today is a post from Chris the Storyreading Ape.  Enjoy and check out his site.)

Author Guest Post Etiquette

My thanks to Charles for inviting me to discuss Guest Author Etiquette (although, an APE discussing etiquette does seem a bit odd, however, since there’s no food involved let’s give it a try and see what happens…

First, there is the obvious question from authors with their own blogs all nicely set up to tout sell their own books…

WHY should I promote other authors and their books on my blog – I want people to buy and review my book(s)?”

The Answer?

By featuring other authors and their books on your blog, it will bring new visitors and followers to you; and your books (which are probably on display somewhere nearby, e.g., in widgets showing the covers, embedded with the purchase links, on the column beside the article)

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