Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Ash Wednesday tomorrow!

Preview the Ash Wednesday page from Easter! Creation to Salvation in 100 words a day. Just go to http://www.lulu.com/browse/preview.php?fCID=4401106 and scroll to page 4, or type 4 in the top right corner.

Monday, February 23, 2009

I'm a Finalist !!!

Second Wind Publishing is running a contest based on Pat Bertram’s book, More Deaths than One. The three finalists are posted at http://secondwindpublishing.com/bertramcontest.html, and I’m one of them! Please follow the link to read the entries, and please vote. Thanks!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Writing Book Reviews

Most of the nings I’ve joined are for readers and/or writers, and on one of them I found myself volunteering to write some book reviews. I’d done a few reviews on gather before (www.smd.gather.com) but this time I was asked to post my reviews to Barnes and Noble and Amazon…

Yeah, I know. It’s no big deal. But I’d never done it before. Should I use my real name or stay anonymous? How much or how little should I say? And how on earth do I rate something when I’m seriously ratings-averse?

…and on Goodreads? I’d never even heard of Goodreads. So I went there, signed up, and in a spurt of unaccustomed energy ending up posting all my reviews at once, new and old. You can find them at http://www.goodreads.com/review/list/2039269, though it’s not a representative selection of books that I’ve read – just of ones I’ve reviewed. Maybe I should write a few more, just for completeness. It’s on my to-do list.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Devolution: blogs, tweets, nings and social networking

Once upon a time, I promised my sons I would never visit Myspace or Facebook. It’s a privacy thing—-I wouldn’t go messing with their stuff; I wouldn’t barge into their rooms without knocking; I wouldn’t search their files on the computer. And it’s trust—-I have three sons, and they care about each other: they let me know if anything’s wrong. But it’s also a generational thing—-Myspace and Facebook just looked so strange, I wouldn’t know what to do with them anyway.

Then came Gather. To be more accurate, then came the first ever Gather First Chapters Competition, just as I finished writing my novel, so I joined (www.smd.gather.com) and entered. I wasn’t sure what all these groups and connections were about—“It’s just like Myspace,” said my sons—-but it was a fun place for me to write and make friends.

There was something on the Gather front page about blogs back then. Yes, I’d heard of blogs. I wasn’t quite sure what one was, beyond a public private diary, but I’d heard of them. Still, it really didn’t matter that I couldn’t figure out how to “post” one on Gather; I didn’t want to. And then…

Well, then I wrote another novel, and lots of short stories, and poems, and children’s books, and Bible books… and I really, really wanted to get published. Not being totally averse to the internet, as my skills evolved, I learned to find and read lots of really useful articles. I started following fascinating blogs, and finally realized, if I really want to get anywhere in the writing world, I’d have to have a blog of my own. So I got one. I wrote a few articles that nobody read. And I got two followers (is that like two friends? Ouch! Only two friends in all of cyberspace!)

I thought the boys would be impressed. Look guys, I’ve got a blog. But they just said “How lame.” I’m so far behind the times. Then I got invited to join some nings. That sounded really modern. “Hey guys. Come and look at this ning.” Nah. That was lame too. And then I met Twitter (www.twitter.com/sheiladeeth).

Twitter’s the next best greatest new thing, so they all say. But not my boys. I feel like I’m devolving before their eyes, getting older and less with-it every day. So I tweet and I blog and I write, and then I saw this comment on someone else’s “discussion” on a ning—“Why don’t you post this to Gather and get paid for people reading it.” I think I’ve come full circle. (Of course, if you buy my books at www.lulu.com/sdeeth I’ll get paid too, but not much.)

There’s a moral to this tale: Don’t try to impress your sons.

And there’s a question: Can anyone tell me what’s the difference between a blog, a ning (private or public), a social network and a tweet? (Yes, I know tweets are limited to 140 characters—even shorter than my beloved drabbles, but apart from that…) Answers please in tweet, comment, drabble, blog or fully fledged article form (with links) would be greatly appreciated.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Easter is coming

Easter is coming, and I'm hoping to sell some copies of my Easter drabbles.

Easter! Creation to Salvation in 100 words a day will take you from Creation on Ash Wednesday, through the 40's of the Old Testament; to the Beatitudes, parables and miracles of the New Testament; and all the way to death and resurrection on Easter Sunday. A hundred-word Bible story, Bible verse, calendar quality picture, and hundred-word commentary for each day of Lent...

available from www.lulu.com/sdeeth

preview at http://www.lulu.com/browse/preview.php?fCID=4401106

or email me for special deals while stock lasts.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Pitching a book at an online writers' conference

I started my computer fresh, had a word doc open with my pitch ready to play, signed into the conference chat room, and tried to stop my hands from shaking.

The first person was called to pitch, and the next; my hands still shook. Then my turn: I clicked on the link and my computer froze. “Help,” I typed, my computer too old to support two chatrooms at once, and while they helped it froze again and crashed.

Control-alt-delete, shutdown, restart, hands shaking even more, I finally made my pitch. But I’m thinking face-to-face might’ve been less scary after all.

Thanks for your good wishes. They said I could send a writing "sample" so I'll let you know if anything comes of it.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Still trying to sell books

I sold two more books today. That means I’ve sold all my first batch of Genesis People. Now I can use the money to order more. I won’t be making any profit, of course, but it’s fun to know somebody’s reading them. And who knows… maybe one day…

Meanwhile I’m pitching Psalms and Parables to Pauline (children’s) tomorrow, and still dreaming of being professionally published. So, if you happen to be reading this, please wish me luck.

Genesis People: three-minute stories and thirty-second prayers based on the first book of the Bible. Real world; real people; real God, from www.lulu.com/sdeeth.