A Writer's Journey through the Maze of Life

Thursday, June 28, 2012


Last Saturday was ORACON (Ozark Romance Authors Conference) in Springfield, MO. I hadn't planned on going this year, but the contest coordinator hounded me until I figured okay--it's only three hours away.

I've touted conferences before and I'm touting this one today. This one day conference hosted Jennifer Brown (YA), Leigh Michaels (Harlequin author) , and Steven Law (Yuma Gold western). Two agents Cori Deyoe and Lucienne Diver were present for pitches.  And look at this fabulous lunch buffet. As if that wasn't enough afternoon snacks were provided. And the raffle baskets are always fabulous.

So, what was learned? 1. Competition is getting worse. You are competing with eight million other books. 2.E-books are the way to go. But you also must promote, promote, promote. Or another way of saying that is sell, sell, sell.  3. QR's (those weird little code boxes that are popping up on everything) are needed. Even you yourself do not own a smartphone, you can still obtain a QR by Googling QR generators. For those who are still trying to figure out what I'm talking about, here's an example:
When you obtain a QR code with your website or product/book, the smartphone will scan the code and directly load the webpage. An easy way to link author to product to public.

Now I've got one more thing I'm going to have to save my pennies for and learn how to do. How about you? Is all this tech stuff going too fast to keep up?

Saturday, June 9, 2012


In lieu of the recent move by New York's Governor banning super-sized  soda drinks, I have to wonder what next? Will books eventually see their demise? No joke. When I think of how our personal freedoms are being taken away little by little and we lean more and more toward socialism, what's to say that the day won't come when books will be banned? And if there is any print material it will be dictated to us what can be printed and what can be read. I can see it now. Publishers blacklisting anyone who infringes on the rules. Government policings. Burnings in the town square.

Stupid. Preposterous, you say. But look at the news. An American wants to fly the American flag and their homeowners association sues and says "no-no-no, or we'll evict you". What about the child who brings a Bible to school? What about how you must maintain your property? Or what about eminent domain? Just because it hasn't hit your neighborhood doesn't mean it can't and won't happen. I can see where book banning could fit in. It reminds me the movie Fahrenheit 451. Are you familiar with it?

uy Montag is a fireman who burns books in a futuristic American city. In Montag’s world, firemen start fires rather than putting them out. The people in this society do not read books, enjoy nature, spend time by themselves, think independently, or have meaningful conversations. Instead, they drive very fast, watch excessive amounts of television on wall-size sets, and listen to the radio on “Seashell Radio” sets attached to their ears. (http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/451/summary.html)

Hmm, maybe Bradbury was prophetic.


What does wine have to do with writing? Nothing. And I don't advocate drinking to become a better writer. However, I do have to toot my horn. I just discovered Wild Vines Wines. These are light, sipping wines full of fruit flavor. The Blackberry Merlot is to die for. The Raspberry Zin is great too. There's two or three others I haven't tried yet. So, if you like a nice glass of wine with dinner or after dinner or just to relax with, I'm personally crusading for Wild Vines. Try it. I guarantee you'll like it.