Posts made in June, 2017

On Podcasts, Cave Dwelling, and Studying the Art of Writing | Author Toolbox Blog Hop

Posted by on Jun 21, 2017 in #AuthorToolboxBlogHop, Creativity and the Writing Process | 11 comments

On Podcasts, Cave Dwelling, and Studying the Art of Writing | Author Toolbox Blog Hop

Unless you have been living in a cave in a very, very secluded part of the world, you have most likely heard about, if you are not actually engaged in, the trending phenomenon known as the podcast.

I, myself a resident of said cave, have heard of the term only thanks to the fact that I teach high school. Were it not for my students, my technical savvy would be lacking on a much greater scale. My students keep me updated on all things trending, and we have a secure enough relationship that they don’t laugh too much when I ask them how to use whatever new technological marvel currently obsesses their media-saturated interests.

For those of you who are quite content in caves of your own and are unfamiliar with this new-ish technological marvel, a podcast is an episodic, radio-style talk or video show you can subscribe to, most often for free. Once you are subscribed, new episodes will download automatically to the media-playing device of your choice.

I tend to ban myself from excessive use of media. It is easy for me to lose hours in the time-sucking vacuum created by the computer or television screens dotted throughout my life. It’s not that I don’t enjoy it… I enjoy it too much, and I don’t have a lot of down time. So when I first heard of podcasts, I noted the idea, then filed it in the portion of my brain labeled “Highly Interesting but of Unlikely Benefit” and moved on.

Oh, how wrong I was.

As a writer who is addicted to research, one of the ways I work myself out of being stuck is to dig deeply into researching the concept I’m stuck on or the technique I’m wrestling with. I am new to the marketing game, so as I was researching marketing strategies, I discovered for myself what a wonderful thing the podcast is. I discovered that podcasts are portable, free, and abundant. I subscribed to one focused on marketing for authors, and now consider podcasts one of my first go-to resources, especially for research on the go. I can listen to podcasts while completing mindless chores, such as folding laundry or washing dishes. Thanks to current technology that allows me to sync my phone to the sound system in my car, I can even listen to podcasts while I’m driving. As I spend a lot of time driving, this is a beautiful thing.

I should come out of my cave more often.

For those of you who are new to the podcast form, or for those who are looking for some new podcasts to try, here is my current lists of writing-helpful podcasts.  They are listed alphabetically with brief descriptions of major focus in the parentheses. I hope you find something among them that meets whatever need you are experiencing on your current writing journey, and I’d love to hear of any writing or creativity based podcasts you are listening to. Happy listening!

  • #AmWriting with Jess & KJ (writing in general)
  • Ann Kroeker, Writing Coach (writing in general)
  • Book Launch Show (book marketing)
  • Create If Writing (authentic platform building)
  • DIY MFA Radio (writing-specific how-to)
  • Grammar Girl Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing (grammar how-to)
  • Hastag Authentic (social media how-to)
  • HopeWriters (writing in general)
  • Podcast Communicator Academy (writing and creativity)
  • ProBlogger Podcast (blog tips)
  • Save the Cat! Podcast (story structure and form)
  • Story Grid Podcast (story structure and form)
  • The Author Hangout: Book Marketing Tips for Indie & Self-Published Authors (book marketing)
  • The Creative Penn Podcast (writing in general)
  • The Portfolio Life with Jeff Goins (book marketing)
  • The Sell More Books Show (book Marketing)
  • The Writer Files (writing in general)
  • Write Now with Sarah Werner (writing in general)
  • Writing Unblocked with Britney M. Mills (creativity and inspiration hacks)

 

To continue hopping through other great blogs in the monthly #AuthorToolboxBlobHop, or to join in, click here.

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The Button Girl | Book Review

Posted by on Jun 7, 2017 in Book Reviews | Comments Off on The Button Girl | Book Review

The Button Girl | Book Review

You NEED this book in your life.

Repentance Atwater is a headstrong girl with a resolute spirit and a plan… and she will enact that plan no matter who she hurts. Because of this, I had a hard time with this story at the beginning. I understood Repentance’s reasoning for her goal, and I certainly related with her stubborn determination, but I was angered by the way she refused to see beyond her nose. However, her growth through that selfishness to learn how actions have consequences that ripple out beyond just ourselves is one of the main themes of the story. It is what makes The Button Girl an excellent fantasy dystopian novel.

As with the character of Sara in Jim Henson’s movie Labyrinth, I was frustrated with Repentance through the first part of the novel. However, the author is a friend of mine, so I kept reading. I am very glad that I did because, again as with Sara in Labyrinth, The Button Girl shows how Repentance grows from short-sighted girl to a compassionate and generous young woman. By the half-way mark I was totally emotionally invested, and by the end I was an emotional wreck. I enjoyed this novel so thoroughly that I plan to buy a paper version (instead of reading it on my reading device) so I can display it on my bookshelf in my hall of favorites. I am confident you will enjoy this novel just as much.

Do yourself a favor – skip the digital version and buy the paperback one first.

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