Tag Archives: internet

A Book is A Book is A Book


I have a Kindle. I also have an extensive library of good old fashioned paper books. I also own a Galaxy 10.1 that has the Kindle software on it and I have occasionally, while waiting in the car for my spouse to finish shopping, read on my smartphone. I like to read but more importantly, I don’t care what format a book is in….it’s still a book.

These days there is a war raging between those who embrace technology and those who think that we are killing off the original book formats, hardback and paper back. Those who embrace technology will say things like;

·         I can now read wherever I want.

  • ·         I can take my entire library with me at all times.
  • ·         I can easily order a book and wham, there it is. No waiting for delivery.
  • ·         I’m saving trees by reading on tech.

Those who fight for the original book format say things like;

  • ·         The tech will eventually cost you your eyesight.
  • ·         We are losing the “art” of reading.
  • ·         You aren’t a “real” reader if you use tech.
  • ·         The death of books (in the paper format) means the death of the book altogether.

There are other things they say too but the bottom line is that this is a subject that has clearly divided readers and writers and it shouldn’t have. Here are my thoughts….a book is a book no matter what format it is in. I kind of side with Margaret Atwood on this one and say, hey however folks want to read, yeah…they are reading. What does it matter of someone orders my book in paperback or in a digital format? They are still buying my book, right?

I remember when I was young hearing the same argument between hard covers and paper backs. Book snobs thought you should only own hard covers while the rest of us understood the value of both buying paper back (cheaper) and the fact that the size of the book made it easier to take with. Now…some 30 years later, that argument is back only now it is digital vs paper book and you know what? It’s the same argument but with two different formats and the bottom line is still the same…at least readers are reading.

© The Writer’s Advice, 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.


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Holiday Sale #2

Passions-Revenge-cover1-217x300For the holidays the prices have dropped on 2 of my books so that more people can purchase them. Visit Amazon today and support the starving writer…

Visit Amazon to purchase Passion’s Revenge for just $3.

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Posted by on November 19, 2022 in Business of Writing


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Don’t Be Too Good to Ghost Write

ghost-writerhighOver the years I have met a lot of writers who refuse to be a ghost writer. Now this is a subject near and dear to my heart because I do quite a lot of ghosting and I love it. I make good money doing it and, frankly, for me telling a story is telling a story no matter who gets the actual credit.

There is nothing more satisfying that seeing your work in print but what we all need to get over is “needing” to see our name in print. I know, it’s kind of cool, your name out there for all time and not in the hey-I-know-that-guy-on-the-tabloid-behind-the-counter kind of way. It’s nice to be appreciated for something that you have written…but you know what? After the 75th time the luster sort of wears off and that’s when you know it’s time to just be a writer.

Ghost writing, mind you, isn’t for everyone. You have to love people and you have to be curious about them; curious enough to want to hear and then convey their story. You also have to be able to check your ego at the door. When you are ghosting you are telling someone else’s story and it doesn’t matter how you feel about it; it isn’t your story. Your job is to listen and then do what you do best…write.

I will tell you that over the years I have made some very good money ghosting and it is rewarding when you finish a project and see the look on a non-writer’s face as they look at their produced story. We have a gift that not everyone has and this is a great way to share that gift so if you can, get out of your own way and ghost write someone else’s story. You may find that it is a great way to bring joy to someone else.

© The Writer’s Advice, 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

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Posted by on November 10, 2022 in Writing, Writing Tools


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Are We Teching Ourselves Out of Creativity?

WaitThey have invaded every aspect of our lives just like Ray Bradbury suggested they would. Computers determine everything from climate control inside our homes and cars to how long I need to cook my food in the new-fangled crockpot I just bought. And you know what? Like sheep that absently follow the Shepard into slaughter so have humans gone in terms of computers. We have all bought into the concept of making our lives easier all the while never actually realizing that we are literally easing ourselves out of jobs…hell out of usefulness.

Remember all those Science Fiction movies where computers and robots take over the world? Well the one thing that many movies watchers fail to see in those movies is that those scenarios are our fault. We created those situations and we are at fault for the fall of humanity in each and every one of them. We, the humans, were just trying to make things “easier”….what where we thinking?

I just read an article on Flip - A News Gathering Program on my iPad, about how even writers could one day be replaced by software and computers. That’s right, there are eggheads out there who are trying to create algorithms that will write a book. No novelist, no starving writer, just a computer program in a dark room somewhere slapping words together for the masses. I don’t know about you, but the concept terrified me. But let’s go back to the first sentence of this paragraph…”I just read an article on Flip - A News Gathering Program on my iPad”, OMG…I’m part of the problem.

Admittedly I am a gadget junkie. If it’s cool and it lights up I would like to own it. I’m kind of stupid in that way. For me it isn’t about the ease but sometimes it is just the “cool” factor yet, I am still to blame for the advent of stuff being created to replace me. I use to write long-hand (for those of you techno junkies, “long-hand” is when you use a pen and a piece of paper to write down what is in your head…I know so old fashioned huh?) but now I have a digital journal on my iPad. I also use to write the first draft of my novels in long-hand. Somewhere in the garage there is a whole box of yellow legal pads with my first two books written on them…now I have a program (actually several of them) to write me books. I’m currently writing this column on my iPad which I will then transfer to my laptop and then put it up on the blog….I am so close to not having to write it at all…I’ll bet there is already a program out there that will compose an article about any subject I want. It’s frightening when you think about it. (Of course that article won’t have my rapier wit…but hey you have to sacrifice something for advancement right?)

This realization made me sad this morning and then it made me kind of angry at myself. I have been using my iPad to write, my laptop to create, I have been reading digital books instead of buying the old standards (which I actually enjoy more, the standards that is) and I have been searching for those programs that will make my writing easier, more organized. And do you know what I realized this morning?  My search for those programs has often stopped me from actually writing. I am often so busy searching that I don’t write…I’m too busy trying to find the “right” program. I am a part of the problem and I have to stop.

There may come a day when computer programs attempt to write novels, short stories and articles but you know what? Without the human element I have to believe that the work will not have the same feel as a book written by an actual person. Missing will be the heart that the writer invests in his/her story and I think real readers will miss that to a point that, in the end, writers will always b around to some degree. As for me and my part, I am going out today and purchasing some comp books and I’m writing my next book first draft long-hand. I owe it to the craft and maybe…just maybe…if I’m not searching for the “perfect” program I will actually get some writing done…imagine that…a writer….writing…..hmmmm……

© The Writer’s Advice, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.


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Facebook for 2013 – Should You or Shouldn’t You

android-connected-fragmentationIt is a question that writers everywhere struggle with…should you continue to Facebook or should you let it go for something more grown up like Google Plus? I’m sure that when Facebook came out folks on, what was that other social thingy called….oh yeah; MySpace…asked themselves the same thing. Therein lies your answer….as a writer…you must evolve.

Now for me personally, I wouldn’t kick Facebook to the curb just yet…it still has like a gazillion people using it but I would suggest that you explore other social media sites as well. Do some research; see what’s out there…I have and it is exciting to say that least. There are all kinds of branches of social media that you can add to your platform. I would caution that you thoroughly check them all out and make sure that your particular audience is using the networks you are considering. Here are  some suggestions of networks I have spent some time playing with:

These are a few of the places I have visited. I especially enjoyed Writer’s Café because it gives you a chance to hook up with other writers. It is very important these days to evolve with the ever changing world around us and keeping up on writer’s networks is an important part of the process. So check these and others out and see if you can flow into the next new big thing. Besides you can never have too many writer friends!


© The Writer’s Advice, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.



Posted by on December 19, 2022 in Business of Writing, Writing


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A Whole Month to Be Thankful

It’s November and we all have a lot to be thankful for. Personally, it’s been a tough year but, things are coming around as they always do. Here in the Pacific Northwest they are expecting it to be a harsher winter than normal so all of us PNW writers are hunkering down to do some serious word slaying on all those cold winter nights. There are a few things, words of wisdom, if you will, that I wanted to pass on to all you writer folks out there when it comes to winter writing.

  • Make sure that you don’t lose touch over the cold winter months. It seems silly to say that with the internet and all but I have learned that just because you are on Facebook every day, it doesn’t mean you are communicating.
  • Don’t forget that editing is just as important as the actual writing. I know, I know, editing sucks but if you don’t edit, folks will know and that is not a good thing.
  • Read and read a lot. Reading is the one thing that writers lose almost immediately when they are working hard at getting their own words down on paper. Don’t lose the reading…the reading is what helps make your own writing come alive.
  • Help someone else this month. Take a baby writer under your wing and nurture them. It is hard to start out and we all know that. Take some time this month and reach out to a young writer (and by young I mean both in age and in book sense) and help them along the path. It will make you feel good.
  • Build your information collective. Winter months are the perfect time to cruise through the internet looking for great resources. Compile resources that will help you be a better writer and then share those resources with your friends and fellow writers.

These are the few things you can do during the month of November to help you develop even more things to be thankful for. Enjoy those cold winter days and nights while putting them to good use. The sunlight and warm weather will be back soon enough to distract you once more.


© The Writer’s Advice, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.


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The Writer’s Tools - When Too Much Information is a Bad Thing

I am what you might call a disaster hound. No, that doesn’t mean that I run around causing disasters, (although my spouse might take issue with that statement) but it does mean that I have a certain fascination with them. (Weird huh?)

As a writer I like to have every tool possible in my arsenal. I read everything, I watch the news, I have even been known to cruise the obits looking for interesting ways that people pass on. (I know, I know morbid) One of the things I do use is called the RSOE- Emergency and Disaster Information Service. ( This fun little map tells you, in real time, what is happening around the world in terms of disasters. It keeps track of earthquakes, tsunamis, large vehicle crashes, strange and severe weather and even toxic accidents. It can be a lot of fun but it can also be the source of many a nightmare.

My spouse gets on me about keeping up with the RSOE on a regular basis. The logic they are using is this…sometimes, too much information can hurt you and lately, I have to agree. As a writer I naturally pay attention to everything that happens around me. I can’t help it, I’m a writer…it’s what we do. But when I add to that natural observation stuff I am actually actively seeking out, I have noticed that it affects my writing….in a weird way. My stories start to take leaps they shouldn’t and if I am really seeking out a lot of outside information that is dark and ominous, the stuff I am taking in takes my writing over to the dark side. (darker than usual)

My point is, we, as writers, have to be careful about how the stuff around us affects us on a regular basis. It is too easy to allow outside influences to color our outlook and then that will slowly seep into our work. Now don’t get me wrong…if you write this type of stuff, then by all means, explore away…but if you don’t (and most of us don’t) you have to be careful. It really is a “garbage in, garbage out” type of situation; everything we are exposed to affects us deeply and, in turn, affects our writing. So if you discover one night after a long session of editing that your writing seems to have taken a turn towards the darker side…explore your world and take stock in what you are allowing to influence you. Chances are what you’ve been taking in…you are letting out…through your writing, and that is not always a good thing.



© The Writer’s Advice, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.


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Posted by on October 20, 2022 in Healthy Writers, Writing


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Mam…Sir…Step Away…..From it All

There are days when I, as a writer, don’t do a whole lot of writing. I know I should. I really want to. But…I have a condition that won’t allow me to get anything done…it’s called technologicalitis. (no really it’s a word)

I have a morning routine, I have get up and shower, (because no one likes a smelly me) I make some coffee, (because no one likes a grumpy me) I sit down at my desk and the electronic barrage begins. I check my e-mail, (just in case I won that Sweepstakes or Uncle Jack has finally gotten married for the 8th time) I check my own websites, (because I am a wee bit vain) I check out the news, (to remind me how screwed we all are) I check my text messages, (to make sure that the world didn’t end during the night, OR while I was checking all the other crap) and I check Facebook. (Because I am nosy) I spend roughly an hour and a half checking in with the grid. It’s shameful.

There are days when all of the above mentioned crap steals away a huge part of my day. It’s like I begin checking stuff and when I look up, it’s 5 p.m. Holy crap where did the day go? The truth is we are all way too plugged in. I have been heard to say in my household that I have considered turning everything off for a few days, no television, no computers, no cell phones…but then I have to rescind the idea so that my kids, and my spouse, will stop planning my demise. Turn it off, they ask? Not and live.

Okay so I can’t flip the switch on the family but I can flip it on myself once in a while. As a writer it is really important to unplug and take some time away from the constant buzz. I have been trying to take a few minutes every day to grab a good old fashioned pen and notebook pad and escape to the other side…the non-electronic side. It’s refreshing and it often reminds me that I don’t have to continue at break-neck speed all of the time; I can slow down even if it is for just a few minutes.

So today I challenge you fellow writers…somewhere in between your e-mails, texting, phone calls, internet, Pinterest, Farmville, Castleville, (and any other “Ville”) television, and Facebooking….step away from the desk, grab a pen (that’s the pointy thing that makes a mark when you press it onto a piece of paper) and unplug for a few minutes. You will feel better for it and oddly more connected and you won’t burst into flames I promise.



© The Writer’s Advice, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

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Posted by on September 26, 2022 in Healthy Writers


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That’s it! I am not Reading Ever Again!

No silly…not me…but recently I had a writer friend tell me this because he was so outraged that Kindles and Nooks have replaced actual books for a lot of people. He was outraged…outraged in the way you should be when someone torches your beach home…it was more than a little overboard in my opinion.

So what is my opinion when it comes to Kindles, Nooks, iPads and the like? Should e-readers replace paper books? This is a question I get asked all the time. I guess because I am a writer it is supposed to make me some kind of paper book loving radical but it doesn’t….e-books are kind of exciting as far as I am concerned…if you don’t think so…you might be old….or just plain stubborn.

Don’t get me wrong, I have a certain loyalty when it comes to books. I grew up reading those little bound paper collections, often in the dark, after bedtime, with a flashlight; I love books. But let’s call the e-readers what they are…advancement…the future of books…not the end of books. I have never understood the hollering folks are doing about electronic books being the end of books in general. I don’t know when the last time you picked one up was, but my iPad and my Kindle (yes I have both) use a program that, when I turn them on, tada….the novel that comes up looks like…oh my…a book!  E-readers aren’t killing reading unless all those naysayers who claim loyalty to paper products stop reading because of a stubborn makes-no-sense idea that somehow reading on anything else is not reading. Seriously….

So how do I really feel about e-readers? Well….

  • I can carry around my entire library any time I want.
  • I have a backlight on my e-readers so I don’t have to worry about book lights at night.
  • I can see a book while I am out or be discussing one at dinner and instantly purchase it.
  • E-readers are getting better and better at what they do as they are being developed and that’s cool.
  • I have the Kindle software on my iPad, my computer, my phone, my Galaxy Tab…oh yeah…and my Kindle…so I can read anywhere, anytime.

I think technology is cool and anything that lights up or makes my life easier is okay with me. I am also handicapped (in a wheel chair most of the time) so being able to carry a Kindle as opposed to four paperbacks is great! Do I still buy paper books? Yes I do, because there are still some publishers who aren’t converting to e-readers. Do I think that e-readers are going to kill reading or hurt writers? No, absolutely not…I think that there are some bugs to work out but in the end I think that writers are going to enjoy a wider audience because of e-publishing. I also think that we, as a society, are going to be subjected to a lot more crap writing but that’s the price you pay for being more accessible.

Grow people and stop seeing technology as the big bad of the reading and writing world. Instead seize the opportunity and run with it….get your work out there and get it into the hands of more people…it’s simple math the way I see it…better technology=more readers=more money…..simple.


© The Writer’s Advice, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.


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When I’m Alone I Google Myself

Hey writers, the internet is your bi-polar neighbor. No…really…it’s the neighbor who can be helpful with a borrowed cup of sugar or who may just mow part of your lawn to save you the trouble. But he/she has a dark side too….one you have to be aware of and accept that, left to its own devices, may destroy everything you are trying to accomplish.

I love to Google, explore for unusual stories and research future stories on the internet. I am not your regular internet user in that I don’t check Facebook 100 times a day or stalk people on Pinterest. I use the internet for research….most of the time…. There are times when I do get stuck in a loop though. I check Facebook, one of my friends mentions a new site, I look it up (just for a minute) and 7 hours later, I haven’t written one damn thing. It’s like quick sand for the brain.

So what is a person to do in order to ensure that they don’t find themselves screaming “Google” at passersby in the mall? The answer is to put your writing above everything else. When you sit down at your desk, make a deal with yourself….30 minutes to check e-mail, check Facebook, check Google +, Tweet, check your blog and chime in on Tumbler. (and whatever else you do…there are probably more than a few people still on Myspace) After those 30 minutes, you write. Set a word, page or chapter goal and stick to it…no internet until that goal is met. I know it’s hard, I have issues with it too, but if you don’t make some kind of deal with yourself, you will never get that book finished.

Remember that checking Facebook can become like checking the refrigerator…no matter how many times you open it, it’s still full of the same food. There are no little minions in there adding pudding cups when you close the door. (Damn it) Sure Facebook has a zillion posts on it every hour but honestly, do you really need to be THAT up-to-date? Frankly, I personally don’t need that much information about anyone…. So check it and leave it so that your characters can have some of your time, because if they don’t get any time, they will eventually go away….. no time = no book = no money. Now get off the internet!


© The Writer’s Advice, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.


Posted by on May 19, 2023 in Writing


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