sallyhanan’s blog

A writer’s blog

Why keep blogging? April 29, 2010

Filed under: Business advice,Social media tips,Writing — sallyhanan @ 10:23 pm
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You write a blog, but what is your ultimate goal with it? Every journey should have a destination. Here are some more questions to help you on your path.


Why do you write?
Who do you write for (if not just for you)?

If you are writing for others, are you writing:
a) to inspire?
b) to teach?
c) to amuse?
d) to enrich?
e) to provoke thought?

No matter what you want to write for, you need to decide if you will use material from other sources or if you will provide something unique. From what I can gather, most of the popular blogs are the unique ones.

So my last question for you is:
How can you make your blog unique? (Or is it ok to be another blog in blog world that is just like everyone else’s?)

 

 

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Fed up writing your blog? April 27, 2010

Filed under: Social media tips,Writing — sallyhanan @ 11:06 pm
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As you may have guessed, I’m tired of writing this blog. Things will have to change. While I remain on sabbatical, resting my mind and then forcing it to think again, here are some questions to help you decide what to do with your own blog.

What made you start your blog?
How did you decide what to post about?
Who is your target audience?
How many people have you managed to inspire/help?

If you were to change one thing about your posts, what would it be?
If you were to completely change your posts, what would you write about instead?
Do you need to zone in on a more specific topic or broaden your topic choices?
Will you post with the same frequency?
Will your posts be the same length?

Has it just been a good experience but your taste for it has gone?
What would happen if you never posted another thing?

 

 

Every piece of writing needs to be clear and precise. With microscope in hand, Inksnatcher’s writing and editing service will hone any work until it glitters in the light of a 1,000 watt bulb.

sallylogo3 INKSNATCHER.COM                                                                                                                                      

 

 

 

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Forget Me Not April 18, 2010

Filed under: Writing — sallyhanan @ 9:14 pm
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First off, I apologize for posting two book reviews in a row—I prefer to spread them out. This week, though, I had two books that needed to have reviews posted within certain dates, and Forget Me Not and The Bridegrooms happened to fall together.

Forget Me Not
Forget Me Not is a thriller that makes one read fast. This is not your usual templated plot—Hinze has managed to put intricate details into her story that add excitement and interest to each of her characters. As for the romance, she has been able to pace the love interest angle with restraint.

The plot has many characters in it—probably the only thing that made the reading a little less satisfactory—but it makes sense for the plot and the sub plots that tied in to the main story as it was revealed. For speed readers, it might be difficult to remember who’s who. Dialogue is well written, settings are detailed enough to be seen in the mind’s eye without being overdone, and the MC’s worst fear isn’t repeated ad nauseum until it’s suddenly gone.

All in all, I recommend this as a good read for people who love a realistic thriller to sink their teeth into, with romance attached.

 

 

Every piece of writing needs to be clear and precise. With microscope in hand, Inksnatcher’s writing and editing service will hone any work until it glitters in the light of a 1,000 watt bulb.

sallylogo3 INKSNATCHER.COM                                                                                                                                      

 

 

 

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The Bridegrooms April 12, 2010

Filed under: Book reviews — sallyhanan @ 10:56 pm
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Overall impression
I must confess: Because The Bridegrooms was set in the late 1800’s, I was expecting to read the usual frills and clichés period writers seem so fond of using. I should have known better than to have a Multnomah book be a normal read. The Bridegrooms was a delightful concoction of unexpected happenings and tantalizing writing.

It would have been tempting for the writer to move into the Jane Austen style of sarcasm and make fun of people with money and the desperation of single ladies, but Pittman doesn’t do this.

The plot
Mixing a middle-class family without a mother, baseball, music, and a dalliance with the town’s wealthy visitors, Pittman has a unique style of her own that illustrates the richness of the soul and spirit within each of her unique characters. Following the stories of four girls keeps the plot and sub plots moving along quickly, and this is a book that is difficult to put down once begun. Each story within the story is beautifully paced to the end, and even then Pittman doesn’t wrap it all up with a perfect bow—she leaves the readers to use their imaginations to see into the future.

(This book was given to me by Multnomah in exchange for an honest review.)

 

 

Every piece of writing needs to be clear and precise. With microscope in hand, Inksnatcher’s writing and editing service will hone any work until it glitters in the light of a 1,000 watt bulb.

sallylogo3 INKSNATCHER.COM                                                                                                                                      

 

 

 

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What happens to my book proposal? April 8, 2010

Filed under: Business advice,Writing — sallyhanan @ 10:51 pm
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Chip McGregor is one of those guys who seems to do it all—blogging, speaking, writing, finding future best-selling authors, securing over 1,000 book deals . . . blah, blah, blah. It’s enough to make the lesser gods sick, but you can temper your loserville/lessergod pain quickly when you read all of the great advice Chip gives you in his blog.

Chip’s latest post is about the journey your proposal takes once an agent asks for it. Many times your novel/non-fiction opus might not pass through the golden doors of publishing for reasons you’ve never thought of.

Read more here.
                                                                 
And for some other insights on what happens to your blood, sweat and tears:

From proposal to published book.

The parts of the proposal agents focus on.

Thoughts from author/editor Diane Eble.

 

 

Every piece of writing needs to be clear and precise. With microscope in hand, Inksnatcher’s writing and editing service will hone any work until it glitters in the light of a 1,000 watt bulb.

sallylogo3 INKSNATCHER.COM                                                                                                                                      

 

 

 

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How to punctuate (simple) vertical lists April 4, 2010

Filed under: Editing — sallyhanan @ 12:12 pm
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So many lists. So many ways to write them. Fortunately, punctuating them (in line with The Chicago Manual of Style) makes sense.

If you have a list with numbers, put a period after each number and capitalize each word.
1. Pen
2. Ink
3. Paper

When you are just listing things needed, all you need is a colon before the list. Don’t capitalize each line.
Include in your synopsis the following:
an introduction of the hero/heroine
a statement of his goals/motivations
the inciting incident
what stands in his way
the key elements of the story
the black moment
the MC’s epiphany

You can also put the above list in columns.

When you’re explaining the reasons for doing something, you can number and capitalize each point, but don’t end each one with a period if it is not a complete sentence.
Add ground flax seed to your food:
1. To lower your cholesterol
2. To add fiber to your diet
3. To improve digestion of your food

To get your teenager’s attention:
1. Make sure he knows you enjoy his company.
2. Look him in the eyes when he talks.
3. Validate his interest in things.

A vertical list should only be punctuated as a sentence if each item in the list needs to be emphasized.
The college student stated that
1. he was no longer going to follow in his father’s footsteps to manage the company;
2. he was quitting school to live as a homeless man for a year;
3. he had asked his father to give his inheritance, prematurely, to the local foundation for the homeless.

The punctuation would stay the same (in the above) if bullets were used instead of numbers.
                                                                                                                                  

 

 

Every piece of writing needs to be clear and precise. With microscope in hand, Inksnatcher’s writing and editing service will hone any work until it glitters in the light of a 1,000 watt bulb.

sallylogo3 INKSNATCHER.COM                                                                                                                                      

 

 

 

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I can still feel the dry heat April 1, 2010

Filed under: Writing — sallyhanan @ 8:57 pm
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I can still feel the dry heat on my skin as I walk up the paseo to the town. I see toothless old men grin and nod their heads from the benches that line the walkway; they tap their canes in the pleasure of my acknowledging smile. I see old couples—the women still dressed in the black of mourning, not choosing to care that their husbands are eyeing up every young woman that passes by.

I see “El Trapero” —the town tramp—standing by the collision bars on the street corner. He waits there for the bank customers to come out and give him some change. He sings to himself and his breath weaves around the one tooth he has left. He mutters and turns to shuffle away; dirty, ragged clothes flapping by his thighs.

I sit in the dining room, eating thin steak and fries while the TV stutters its way through gaudy advertising and a bullfight. I stand in the cool pantry, gazing into the three-foot-tall vat of olive oil from the family farm. I press my hungry fingers into the fresh bread rolls the bread man just delivered. I watch during breakfast as Belen dips half a packet of galettas (flat cookies), one at a time, into her chocolate milk. I sit with the extended family and eat paella in the front yard, with the smell of chicken and seafood sweating on grains of saffron rice.

I drive in the open country of Jaen, a wild place untamed by construction, cacti and dry dust swirling into the blue sky as the tires churn. I stand in the market place, lusting over the reds and purples and greens of fresh fruit and vegetables. I climb the steep hill to the doctor’s house as two boys freewheel by on one bicycle. I eat and sleep and speak and think in Spanish.

At the end of that year, I wait in the railway station with friends, hugging each one in turn until I finally step onto the train and wave until they seem like a spiral of smoke on a twig.

When I think back, I can still feel that dry heat on my skin.

 

 

Every piece of writing needs to be clear and precise. With microscope in hand, Inksnatcher’s writing and editing service will hone any work until it glitters in the light of a 1,000 watt bulb.

sallylogo3 INKSNATCHER.COM                                                                                                                                      

 

 

 

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