I Finally Tried Audible

audio books

Everywhere I go I see ads for Storytel, a Swedish app that provides books in audio format, similar to the app Audible. I see these ads on the backs of buses, in subway stations, plastered above the seats on the train, and anywhere else they can get away with advertising.

When I speak to other authors, it feels like ‘audio’ is the new buzzword. The word that takes on a life of its own. It shows up in conversations like an unexpected lurker. One minute you’re talking about a female treasure hunter and the next you’re talking about audio books. Later you look back and wonder how the subject wormed its way into the conversation. Read more

What do you like in a story?

What do you like in a story? Have you ever thought about it? And by that, I mean more than for a few seconds. Have you ever sat down and made a list of the things you enjoy about the stories you read?

I read Chris Baty’s book, No Plot, No Problem last week. For those of you who didn’t know, Chris is the guy who started NaNoWriMo and I was curious to see what he said about writing a novel in 30 days. If you’ve never written a novel before, you would benefit most from the book, which gives you tips to keep track of word count, how to tell your family you’re writing a book, along with advice on how to stay sane during the month-long challenge. Read more

Our 52 Stories Project

Yesterday, I mentioned one of my goals for March was to begin documenting a story the kids and I create together each week. Today was electronic-free day in our house, so I figured it was the perfect time to start. When we were finished, the kids were laughing so hard, I couldn’t understand anything they said, so in full disclosure, these stories might have continued much longer than their official ending. Considering how they couldn’t get past the giggles, they finally agreed to the endings, and then they begged me to put it up on the blog, so here I am =). We ended up with two stories, but since I’m calling this Our 52 Stories Project and we’re a few weeks behind with documenting them, it works out. Read more

Thursday Thoughts – Wicker, Zombie Babies and a Scary Fish

Thursday Thoughts –

Every Thursday I’m going to post a few short paragraphs, or photos, about random ideas to share with you some of the things that inspire me. It has the added benefit of keeping me focused, because let’s face it sometimes writers are interested in everything but writing (see how I didn’t mention the ‘p’ word there?). A blogger I admire, Aethereal Engineer, does this with art and music every week (Aethereal Engineer Blog) and I’ve enjoyed stopping over to see what inspires him when I can. I don’t listen to music much, so I’ve adapted the idea to fit my style. I’m hoping that I can use some of these elements in my work in the weeks that follow the post, much like writing prompts. Feel free to do the same if you find something that inspires you =). Read more

Why Aren’t There More Pictures?

20151116_134312Earlier this week I wrote a blog post about the smell of books. Normally I try to use my own photos on my posts, mostly because it takes forever to find royalty-free photos. For that post, I knew I wanted something book-related, so I pulled out a few of my older books, and in one case, one older-looking book, The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo, took a few photos, chose one I liked, and added it to the post. When I was finished, I put all the books back in the bookcase.

Fast forward an hour later and the kids are eating their snack. My five-year-old son picks up the one book I apparently did not put back and in his most incredulous, I-can’t-believe-people-actually-want-to-read-words, voice asks, ‘Why aren’t there more pictures in this book? What kind of book is this?!’

I told him the pictures are trapped inside the words. He has to read the story to release them.

 

The power of 750 words

750-words-a-day journal
750-words-a-day journal

I first heard about the power of writing 750 words a day while attending the University of Iowa’s MOOC last fall. A forum post popped up asking who else used the site and I didn’t think anything about it. I write as much as I can when I can. I’m spastic enough as it is, I don’t need to add another burden to the obligation pile. I kept watching that post, though. Another member posted. And another. Before long, I was scrolling through pages of people who all swear by this method of writing 750 words a day. I finally decided to see what all the fuss was about. Read more