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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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 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 40- Original Ideas Are All You Need

Cat fight

The other day I decided to start clearing out the office section of my house. Before I got into it, our office supplies resided in several junk drawers strewn about the three floors of my house, with papers and staplers and sticky-notes and at least twelve workbooks issued by Texas public schools piled into bins and shoved into drawers and cabinets. As I was purging old papers, I discovered two old term papers from my International Relations undergraduate program, titled…

U.S. Humanitarian Intervention: The Legacy of Somalia, and NATO: A Comparison of the Post Cold War, Post 9/11 era and the Importance of the United States for the Future NATO Alliance. Shrug.

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Coronavirus Part 2, Day 39- Creative Process

Protect the process and the work will take care of itself.

Dan Brown
Chloe

About a month ago I decided to purchase the year subscription to MasterClass content after getting bombarded with their limited buy one, get one free promotion. Back in 2017 when MasterClass was newer with fewer course offerings, I had asked for James Patterson’s class on creative writing for my birthday. I was generally pleased with the content and learned some stuff that I wouldn’t have otherwise. Back then you could only buy access to one class at a time, but now they’ve figured out a subscription model where you can gain access to their entire catalogue, which by now is robust.

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