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Showing posts from July, 2010

Preparing Manuscripts for Submission

I do freelance editing from time to time. Writers can hire me through my personal website ( ) or through the companies I have signed on as a freelance editor, such as Halo Publishing Int. The thing I find most interesting about editing a manuscript is how much of it could have been done before it reached me. I do not understand why a writer would not take the time to really prepare their manuscript for publication. If you think about it, editors read dozens of manuscripts every day, week, and month. Many of them read them at home since their offices are filled with manuscripts waiting to be proofed, edited, checking layouts, and so much more. Because of this, most editors form a quick impression based on how a manuscript is sent, written on the first couple of pages, and by its cover letter. Now, you do not need to run and hide or think, “Maybe I should just throw in the towel. There’s no way I can compete against all those professional writers.” If you f

Writing Prompt Monday: Are You an Object?

For this prompt, you’ll come up with a poem about an object that describes you. First, choose an object. Next, list down the reasons you think the object you chose represents you. From your list of reasons, which one is the most powerful? Which one conveys the strongest image of you? Once you’ve chosen your main image, list down things that support this main image. Build your poem from there. This prompt comes from

Get Up & Get Moving: Week 8

This is the week I don’t weigh myself. However, I am sure I have lost some weight after all the running around I did this past week. My kids are about ready to kill me. I made them completely clean out their rooms. Boy did their rooms need it. If a book wasn’t already written called the messy closet, I would have written it this weekend. My son’s room had wrappers from last Halloween hiding out. I even found some weird green slim. He, of course, did not know what it was or where it came from. I am thinking maybe aliens took him and that is why when I starting talking to him . . . he’s eyes glaze over and not one word enters his brain. My five year old on the other hand thinks under her bed is a great place to shove everything mommy wants to throw away. I guess she is still too young to part with her stuff. Even if half of it is broken or doesn’t ever get played with. She kept telling me, “The toys will be sad. Didn’t you watch Toy Story, Mommy?” I tired really hard not to lau

A Good Story Is A Good Story with guest Dean Kaner

On Monday, July 26th join host Marsha Cook and her co - hosts April Robin, Freda Roberts and VS Grenier. This week’s show is going to be filled with exciting segments that you won't want to miss. The special guest host for this week is Dean Kaner, a writer, manager and script doctor. He’s quite funny and extremely witty. His management skills have taken many writers right to the top. Dean is also going to share his early childhood experiences with some humorous stories about his Stan Laurel Scrap book and how over the years his management company became a reality. He is one of three authors of a wonderful produced play,” The Boys Of Winter”. The production took place in Boston. Dean is now using his excellent writing skills as a Script Doctor, to help new writers establish themselves as credible scriptwriters. The lively conversations and discussions that listeners can partake in every week are April’s Pick and Virginia’s Perspective. April’s pick is a call in discussion about

Interview Friday with Fairy Author, Bobbie Hinman

Bobbie Hinman grew up in Baltimore and has a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. She is the author and co-author of seven successful cookbooks. Several years ago, Bobbie decided to re-invent her literary career. With her experience as an elementary teacher, along with the joys of reading to her ten grandchildren, Bobbie has turned her attention to the world of children’s literature. Bobbie’s books have received numerous awards. She is currently in demand as a presenter at schools, libraries and book festivals. VS: Bobbie, I want to thank you for being my guest here on The Writing Mama today. I know being a parent and writer can be hard. Now, you started writing back in the 80’s when your children were teenagers. Can you share with us how the writing industry has changed over the years? Bobbie: In the 80’s, when I started writing, the only way to have a book published was to be accepted by one of the major publishin

Article Wednesday: Learn to Write Articles That Maintain the Readers Interest

If you want to learn to write articles that maintain the interest of your readers, you want to avoid wandering from the intended topic too often. Your article writing efforts should always focus on the subject or point you're trying to make to the reader. By deviating from the main topic, you risk confusing and losing the reader while also making the writing process more difficult. Let's face it writing articles can be challenging enough as it. By adding content that is meaningless to the reader, you are also creating more work for yourself. Effective writing skills should include trying to make your point using as few words as possible while keeping the reader's interest. Let's look at 5 major advantages you gain when writing articles that are concise and don't stray from the intended point. Increases Authors' Focus By sticking to the subject or theme of the article the writer can maintain better focus and complete the composition quicker. Allo

Help! I Can’t Break the Doors Down

I’m back from my four day weekend. I really cannot say it was much of a vacation. I spent most my time dealing with my teething baby or painting my kitchen. Of course, my hubby did most the work in our kitchen since our teething baby never slept unless mommy was holding her. Our son was luckily enough to escape the craziness of our house over the weekend. He went camping with a bunch of friends at Lake Powell . From what my son tells me . . . they were blasted by a sand monster in the middle of the day and late into the night. However, the boys faired well against the creepy crawlers of the night, the blood sucking flyers, and water creatures. The five year old was not so lucky. She spent most of her time in the back office with her four legged furry brother and sister . . . Taz and Speedbump. So after the weekend ended, I thought it was time to start promoting my book. I have been pounding on doors left and right, but not one door has opened. I’ve contacted my local

Come Talk about Self Publishing on A Good Story Is A Good Story

Today, on A Good Story is a Good Story, at 8pm central please join host Marsha Cook and her co-hosts April Robin & Freda Roberts, along with their wonderful assistant Virginia Grenier. They will have a candid discussion with independent publishers who publish good books! With so many authors publishing their books with independent publishers, it’s time to recognize these books as first rate books. Not every traditionally published book is a winner and that is the same in the Independent market. On the show this week, is Neal Wooten, owner and managing editor of Mirror Publishing. He will be discussing his theories on Independent publishing, and why the concept of books on demand and Independent publishers are on their way to the top. The Independent publishing world is changing rapidly and certainly becoming a powerful source. Robin Surface from Fideli Publishing will also be there to discuss her views on the changing market . Both Publishers are very successfu

Get Up & Get Moving: Week 7

It was great taking some time off from writing and life. I’ll share more in tomorrow’s post. I am happy to say I did not pack on the pounds relaxing. I actually have lost some more weight. Hooray! Let’s hope this new trend sticks. Health Tip: I am lucky because my family doesn’t tend to have high cholesterol. Which I do find odd, since most of my family is over weight. However, I have many friends who do have to worry about their cholesterol levels. Let’s face it . . . as we get older we just can’t eat the same things we did in our 20’s. So here is a great article for those of you who worry about your cholesterol. Top 7 Ways to Lower Your Cholesterol Without Prescription Medications Today’s Weight 188 Weight on July 5, 2010 190 Goal weight by December 31, 2010 130 I have been using a log to track my activity level and food intake each day. The site is totally FREE! Come join me on Fi

Taking A Break

This past week has been one of those weeks that just isn't getting any better. So before I completely go off the deep end according to my hubby . . . I'm taking a four day weekend starting today. I guess between the teething baby, who has gone back to not sleeping, the teenage son not doing a think I've asked him too (Like it would be any other way), and our five year old daughter running out the front door or letting our dog out every chance she gets is taking its toll. My creative juices are completely running and hiding from me. I really don't blame them or my children from wanting a break from the vein pulsing mom. So I'm going to enjoy some of the 100 plus degree weather here in Southern Utah. Take some time to sleep in while hubby is on vacation, and maybe just relax a bit. Okay, maybe a lot. I love what I do, but I think it is important to remember to take a time out from time to time when life gets a bit crazy. Or as I have been saying lately, "Insane

Article Wednesday: Why Writing Articles in the Morning is Best

If writing articles is something you do often you can appreciate the need for having to maintain your focus. The usual writing process includes the proper research beforehand to insure the content is useful to the reader. The harder part is to sit down and put it all together in a format that is both interesting and easy to follow; this is the real test of your writing skills. Even harder yet is trying to complete your article writing in a reasonable amount of time. Even the tiniest distractions can derail your train of thought and literally double the amount of time it takes to complete your article. Learning how to write an article in a minimal amount of time is more a result of following a structured and disciplined system and less about your unique writing skills. Today we're going to discuss some writing tips that should help you get more out of the time it takes you to write an article. The early morning hours seem to be the most productive time for article writing and her


RR Tracks - A GOOD STORY IS A GOOD STORY Monday July 12th at 8 pm Central, join host Marsha Cook and her two co-Hosts April Robins, and Freda Roberts. They will welcome a new assistant for the show, Virginia S. Grenier. Craig Clyde will join the show. He’s a screenwriter, novelist and Movie Director. He has directed over eighteen films and he will be discussing his new film ROOTBEER CHRISTMAS. The chat lines will be open and they welcome callers.

Writing Prompt Monday: 40 Things

Make a list of 40 things that have happened to you this month. They can be funny, embarrassing, happy, or infuriating. Then pick one from your list and write about it. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ This is a great writing prompt. It not only gives you a bunch of writing ideas, but also helps with stress. All my writing prompts come from

Get Up & Get Moving: Week 6

I am still maintaining instead of really losing. I have cut back my calorie intake, I am exercising . . . but I am not dropping the weight like I should be. What could be wrong? Normally I share a health tip for an outside source, but this week I am going to share my own health tip. Does the above sound like you? It sure has been me for the past couple of weeks I have been doing Get Up & Get Moving. I even took a break from my food log to see if I was eating more to get my total allowed calories in for the day. Thinking maybe this had something to do with my go-no-where weight lose. I did find this had something to do with it. I also noticed a few other things. And once I cut those things out of my diet . . . I started to lose again. Don’t drink soda. I know how hard this can be, but the problem with soda besides the empty calories you are pumping into your body is the sodium. Sodium causes women especially to retain water. By cutting out sod

Interview Friday with Kari Wolfe

Kari Wolfe is a writer and a blogger at Imperfect Clarity ( ). She lives in Colorado Springs, CO, with her daughter, husband, two cats and the few plants she's managed to keep alive as of yet. She has a Bachelor's degree from Marshall University in Huntington , WV , in Physics and Mathematics, but decided after attempting a Master's degree in Physics that she likes playing with her own rules of nature better than she likes trying to learn and memorize the actual rules themselves. She also tinkers around with photography and has a small portfolio at Imperfect Clarity Photography: - VS: Kari, it is such a pleasure to have you as my guest on The Writing Mama today. Now I know a little bit about you because we are friends on Facebook. However, I am hoping to get to know you better today along with my readers. So to start, can you share a little about your family? How many children y

A Good Story Is A Good Story

I am the new assistant on A GOOD STORY IS A GOOD STORY at Blog Talk Radio. I will be working the phone lines, chat room, and popping in with questions throughout the show. Below is a bit more about the show. Each Monday at 8pm Central, join host Marsha Cook, her two co-Hosts April Robins and Freda Roberts, and show assistant Virginia S. Grenier. A little about the hosts of the show: Marsha Cook is a screenwriter, novelist and the President of Marcus Bryan & Associates and Michigan Avenue Media. April Robins is the CEO of Robin Falls, the creator of a wonderfully talented network of writers as well as a children's author. Freda Roberts is a talented writer and the creator of the Literary Lounge on Facebook. Virginia S. Grenier is the Founder/Owner of Stories for Children Publishing LLC, a freelance editor, and children’s author. All four of these women, especially Freda, have learned how to be successful in the social network comm

Article Wednesday: Learn to Write Articles in 5 Simple Steps

No matter what reasons you may have for writing articles if you do this with any consistency at all it is to your benefit to learn to write in the most efficient manner possible. With so many businesses now using the internet article marketing has become very popular as a means to advertise goods and services. The need to produce fresh content, and often, can be very challenging if you write articles to generate traffic. In order to make this type of online advertising work effectively you need approach the writing process in a way that maximizes your efforts while minimizing your time. Although everybody has different preferences, strengths, and schedules to contend with the writing, process will essentially be the same. It's a matter of tailoring what works best for you and your particular situation to get the most out of your article writing. With that in mind view the 5 step process put forth here today as a starting point for you to consider when organizing your

Am I Really on Hiatus?

At the beginning of this year, I put Stories for Children Magazine on hiatus so I could focus on my new baby, my other two children, my hubby (of course), SFC Newsletter for Writers and my personal writing. However, I have found that instead of just doing those things, I have added to my To Do list. One of the things I added to my hiatus To Do list is this blog. Now, don’t get me wrong. I love writing and posting weekly and even daily here. I love sharing thoughts with you when you leave comments. I also love doing the weekly interviews and finding out more about other writing mamas (and hopefully writing dads soon). But now I’ve added another item to my list. Every Monday night at 8pm central time, I will be the assistant on a blog talk radio show through Red River Radio starting July 12, 2010. I am really excited about this opportunity. Not only because I will be working with some great authors (April Robins, Marsha Cook, and Freda Roberts), but I will also be learning a new m