Scratching the Surface of Indie-Publishing

I’m sitting here on the floor of my bedroom, it’s nearly the end of the day, past 10 pm. I think every one of us is on an iPad with no sign of shutting down. We like to call moments like these, independent study time.

Yesterday I heard from my editor. She apologized for being a few days behind on returning my critiqued manuscript, said she enjoyed reading it and thanked me for the “fun read.” A fun read! How about that?! I beamed after I read her message, and while I know I still have a lot of work left to do, it feels good to think I will finish this project. Maybe other writers trying to write a book for the first time have also worried about failure, which in this case simply means failing to finish the project!

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How to Get Started Writing Book Reviews

My first opportunity to write a book review came when the editor of Task & Purpose emailed me and asked if I wanted to review a fiction anthology titled, The Road Ahead: Stories of the Forever War. At the time, I had already written a few articles for them and should have kept going, working my way toward being on their shortlist of contributors to call. But alas, I didn’t know what I was doing at the time.

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How to Plan Your Writing Projects

Visiting with J this week, it occurred to me that it’s fun to visit with friends and family around shared interests via apps. It’s something different from the usual catching up over the phone, which sometimes feels like a run-down of “this is what I’ve been doing since the last time we talked,” rather than a fluid conversation. Sadly, it can be quite hard to remember the details of where exactly a friend is in his/her life journey. But finding a shared interest is easy. And fun. J is big into interior design and decorating, so we talked about Pinterest.

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To be Happy is to be Productive

Penny and I journeyed back from our trip to San Antonio this afternoon. While I’m glad we made the trek out to see my friend J, I’m dismayed about the inevitable second Coronavirus wave about to crash. The news today is not promising. The barefaced people walking around the Buc-ee’s gas station store today was not a good sign. And I’m mentally preparing myself for when the schools finally announce that the 2020-2021 school year will be in part, if not completely, virtual.

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How to go From Concrete to Abstract in Personal Essays

Yesterday one of my best friends stationed in Germany messaged me to say she was bombing into Texas for 24 hours on some military-related duty. Unfortunately, it was San Antonio, not Houston, where she would make her Texas pit stop.

“It’s not that far!” I had said, “It’s only three hours. I’ll come with Penny. We’ll have a girls’ trip. We’ll spend the night. We’ll see the Alamo!” I made the mistake of telling Penny. She packed her school bag with a set of pajamas and a stuffy.

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Use A Grammar Word Processor

Yesterday I said I would talk about the Hemingway App, so here goes. The Hemingway App is a word processor technically, but it does more than run a spell check on your text the way Microsoft Word does. The Hemingway App doesn’t do spell check at all. The Hemingway App is tuned to pick up passive voice, hard to read sentences, and the overuse of complicated words. The New Yorker did a story on it, which I found interesting. For this post, I’m calling applications that go beyond spell check, grammar word processors, rather than just word processors. I won’t review the Hemingway App, but here’s a decent overview if you’re interested.

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Coronavirus Part 2, Day 47- On Being In The Right Position

On the lake.

Every room has a main character.

Penny, referring to the dog, sunflower, and John Wayne themed decor in our rental cabin.

Several years ago when I was first leaving the military, I started searching for corporate jobs. I looked at a slew of roles with the ambiguous job title of “project manager”, and other Junior Military Officer transition programs. I looked at one program at Macy’s, which was a rotational program for recent graduates. After reading one job description, Steve did me a favor by saying, “This program is not for you, Diana. It sounds like you’ll be folding pants, and you won’t do well if you’re just folding pants.”

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Coronavirus Part 2, Day 44- On Finishing Projects

I’m sitting out on my balcony this morning, listening to the birds and the beeping of the waste removal truck and a downy woodpecker doing his work in the distance. We were supposed to be out of town on a trip this week, but this hasn’t panned out. So it’s staycation I guess. It very humid today.

This weekend I had virtual drill which was a lot of fun, almost as much fun as in person drill. I don’t care what anyone says, being in the military is fun. There was a time when I thought it was miserable, but I look back and marvel at how naive I was. Because in the military you instantly belong someplace. It’s a place where you make friends quickly, and you do unusual things with your new friends. I read somewhere that it takes 200 hours to become best friends with someone. It’s very hard to hit 200 hours in normal life.

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Coronavirus Part 2, Day 41- Specific Information in Writing

This week I have been focusing on creating more structured time for my kids. Since summer let out and virtual school came to a much-welcomed end, that void has been filled with, well nothing. Actually it was filled with media. Nick spent all his waking hours playing Fortnite, and Penny watching iPad or pacing around … Read moreCoronavirus Part 2, Day 41- Specific Information in Writing