Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Blog choices

Dr John Yeoman's blog at Writers' Village is always good value when it comes to initiating literary controversy.

The article that caught my eye this week was "Were Dan Brown's Novels Written by a Computer Program?"

Interesting take on what may be the way forward or too far-fetched to be true? What do you think?

The rate I'm writing, it may be the only way I ever get anything published at all.  :-)


On holiday this week but I have  edits and course preparation to tie up before enjoying myself. The idea is to learn a few new skills along the way and so back to the drawing board.

This is bubbl.us, a free brainstorming tool which lets you export your design as a jpg to your computer. Here's my mini effort for the new learning I'm undertaking.
  I'll need to bold the print but at the minute this suits me as only the first level child bubbles are clear and that's as far as I've thought.

My first project will be recording with Audacity and for that I'm following the challenge and links on the edublogs teacher challenges. Sadly some of the links--notably the readings from YA novels--no longer work, I would guess because of copyright issues.

So join me this month in creating a podcast--of your blog posts for listeners, of your book excerpts  for readers, of your daily writing diary to communicate with your friends and blog subscribers.


Wish I could write a book in three days, six days, ten days or whatever the marketers would have me believe. 

Sadly one idea leads to another, the book increases in content. I find myself absorbed by the issues of further research, cover design, formatting, marketing...
But I do have a folder on my desktop proudly labelled mybook :-)

Some day, one day. And it better be soon. 

 MuseOnlineWritersConference 2012 begins on October 8. Cut off date for registrations is September 25. Sign up--so many pitch sessions and learning opportunities not to be missed. I'm off right now to hunt down last year's username and password to be sure of registering in time.

Monday, 3 September 2012

from Writers on the Move

Being a Writer - Learn the Craft of Writing

Thiis is the title of Karen Cioffi 's article providing another justification if another were needed for taking time over one's writing in order to perfect the craft.

Posting it here because it makes some interesting points and comparisons.

And also because it's about time I caught up with my sadly neglected blog. I'm good at slow,  just not so good at the steady. :-(

Not so good at sitting down either at the moment after crash landing off the new horse. The worst of it was he was standing still at the time!

Yet another anecdote for my proposed Kindle book of horse tales...

Writers On The Move: Being a Writer - Learn the Craft of Writing: Being a Writer - Learn the Craft of Writing In the June 2010 issue of The Writer, author Jane Yolen discussed the need to learn the cra...

Monday, 23 July 2012

Writers' Challenges and Competitions

Kindle Challenges

Best laid plans of not only mice and men but women and writers are destined to go astray.

Yet more challenges are in the mix this month, the sun is shining at last and my motivation is high. Today's work was planned, outlined and sitting by the computer ready for an early Monday start.

Project One meant following Tiffany Dow's Kindle Challenge. Straightforward and straight talking, Tiffany is an ace motivator and generous with advice and help. Easy to follow outlines and writing a page a day--what could go wrong?

Well Kindle for a start. I have a Kindle for PC application which has annoyed me for various reasons in the past by swallowing all the Kindle books in my computer into its capacious maw. But I have so many books only in this format that it has become vital to my reading.

So when it was antsy last night, l forgave it, switched off and expected all problems resolved after it had had a good night's sleep.

Nope it wasn't playing this morning either. But I was well ahead of the game thanks to my outlining for the day. So quick fix and then back to business.

I wrote my one page for Tiff's Challenge and then back to battle with Kindle. l backed up my Kindle content since many of my books had not come through an Amazon purchase, then went for the step by step drastic uninstal, grappling with hidden files and content files.

When the new app reloaded, horror of horrors, there I was the proud possessor of Aesop's Fables, Treasure Island and Pride and Prejudice. I'm not complaining about that. But l had almost one hundred books on the system.

Not only am l left adding my past library one by one manually, but Amazon has decided l don't have a Kindle app at all. So it won't let me re-download past purchases.

Obviously this is not a problem unique to me but it is particularly annoying to realize how dependent one can unwittingly become on a piece of free software.

I would write a Kindle report on how to revive a sickly Kindle for PC app but it wouldn't be any use if you couldn't read it on your Kindle now, would it?


The deadline for the Writer's Digest Short Story competition (4000 words and with categories in all genres) is now September 14 which gives you time to polish or write from scratch. Prizes are good, starting with a grand prize of $2500 and six Category First Prizes of $500.

It's a $20 entry fee and you can enter online.

If you want longer to write less the 13th annual short short story competition , 1500 words, deadlines on November 15  . It's the same entry fee but with prizes for the first 25 places.

Lastly there is Write It Your Way. Another short short story competition, this is deadlining earlier on August 15 and asks for 1200 words or fewer on the theme of New Beginnings. This one is part of a series of monthly competitions with a $5 entry fee.

The rewards for the winner are free entry into next month's contest, story promoted on the WD website and $25 to spend at the WD shop.

However the reward could also be in self-motivation and having a story or article you can use for promotion elsewhere.

Read and follow the submission guidelines and have fun. Maybe I'll have my Kindle app fixed in time to read the winning stories ,,,


Four hours so far and counting... 

This will be ongoing--loaded 29 books to date and still totally baffled by the files on my back up drive which seem to be replicating themselves as fast as I try to move them...

Any other Kindle problems out there? Anyone joining me on Tiff's Challenge?  Who else likes/hates competitions? I'd love for you to let me know in the comments below.


Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Out and About at the Zoo

Welcome to Jo Linsdell , a very popular visitor here at Slow and Steady Writers earlier in the year when she demystified Twitter and told us about her new guide book Italian for Tourists. As well as being well-known for her writing, Jo is also an expert in promotion and marketing. Today l am delighted to present  the interview she gave to tell us more about her writing life and latest book--a picture book for children entitled Out and About at the Zoo.

Q: What is a typical writing day like for you?

Jo: I don't have a typical day as such. Being a fulltime mum to a 4 year old and a 9 month old means I have to fit in my writing time around them. I grab time when I can and make the most of it when they're napping. I tend to get most of my work done late in the evening after the kids are in bed.

Q: What do you do to help balance your writing life with your family life?

Jo: It's not easy but I try to make time for both everyday. I always have a to-do list written up for each day and make sure it includes both work and family based tasks. A trip to the park with my kids is right up there with writing a new chapter or carrying out marketing tasks.

I think when you love doing something you make the time for it in your life regardless.

Q: You recently released your first children's book Out and About at the Zoo. Tell us a bit about it and what you feel is the most important message you share.

Jo: I'm really excited about this book coming out. Out and About at the Zoo was released on 1st June 2012 and is a children's picture book. It's a fun day out discovering the different animals at the zoo. The rhyming text and colourful pictures make it perfect for younger children.

It also carries an important message as it highlights the joys of spending quality family time together. A day out like this one will remain with both the mother and child for a long time.

Q: How did you come up with the idea for the book?

Jo: I wrote the text after taking my son to the zoo for the first time. It was great to watch him discovering all the animals. Children see everything as magical and interesting. It's amazing watching them discover the world and being able to see it through their eyes.

I decided to make it rhyming text as those are my sons favourite type of books.

Q: You published this book using Create Space. What made you decide on this publishing route?

Jo: Self publishing is my plan A, not a back-up plan B. I like to have full control over every element of the book and call all the shots. In the past I've used Lulu.com (which I am very happy with) but, when I was researching print costs for publishing a full colour children's picture book, Create Space was nearly half the price. I'd been wanting to try them out and so this seemed like the perfect occasion.

So far I'm really pleased with my choice. The print quality is great and Amazon has one of the best customer services I've ever come across.

Q: You're currently doing a 3 month tour to promote the release of the book. Where can people find the tour schedule?

Jo: I have a page dedicated to Out and About at the Zoo on my website www.JoLinsdell.com that contains all information regarding the book and the tour.

Q: Do you have any other works in progress? Can you share a little about them?

Jo: Yes several. I'm already working on another rhyming children's picture about a young fairy called May that dreams of one day becoming a tooth fairy.
I'm also working on a chick-lit and a non-fiction book about social media.

Q: Where can people follow you on-line?

Jo: I'm a real social media junky and pretty much everywhere. The sites I use most are:

 Wish I'd asked how she manages to fit all that social media networking into her life too...

 Thanks so much for fitting us into the schedule, Jo, and all best wishes for the success of the book. Looks just right for the great-niece.

Monday, 2 July 2012

Monday Competition News

My copy of Writing Magazine arrived this morning and l suddenly realized l have never shared news of the website nor the many competitions open to writers.

This month's competition--and l'm ahead of the game here because it's in the August magazine-- is to write a love story in 1500-1700 words. The story winning first prize stands to win £200, will be published in the magazine and maybe also online at www.writers-online.co.uk 

Deadline for entries is September 14 so we slow writers have plenty of time to craft and polish.

The competition rules are clear. Entry fees are minimal and the three competitions with closing date mid-month are listed under Open Competitions here. There are opportunities for children's writers and poets are always well catered for  too with articles and competitions.The top menu bar also has a Win Prizes link, worth checking out regularly.

Great prizes too at the Valhalla Press Literary Fiction and Creative Non-Fiction contest. Access the contest from the second item down on the left hand side menu. (My server did not like the direct link.)

If you are looking for contests, grants, writing opportunities be sure to visit C. Hope Clark's marvellous Funds for Writers website and sign up for her  newsletters.

Writing for Children

In a guest post on Wednesday, Jo Linsdell is again visiting Slow and Steady Writers, this time as part of the book tour for her new children's picture book, Out and About at the Zoo.

 I'm very much looking forward to her interview after the visit she made earlier this year promoting Italian for Tourists.

 Out and About at the Zoo has  already collected loads of four and five star reviews on Amazon so many congratulations are in order.

This week l have been looking at Tiffany Dow's reviews of the Geoff Shaw course on Kindling and reconsidering my eBook plans.

Karen Cioffi's How to Write Books for Children appeals to me as a good place to start so l shall be studying that and seeing what ideas it brings to help me write a Kindle eBook.

Book Reviews

The  judges' score sheets for the Global eBook Awards are now lodged with the organisers and results will be announced hopefully by mid-month. l thoroughly enjoyed all the entries for the Suspense and Mystery categories and learned a lot from analysing the work of so many authors new to me.

My Kindle for PC is now also crammed with around sixty books needing reviews so l'll be posting short snippets here on Fridays re any books l have found particularly interesting and helpful...well, that's the plan...

Today's Question

How helpful are Twitter and Facebook when it comes to selling your books? Or do you find you spend too much time promoting books there for a minimal result?

Monday, 4 June 2012

Kick Start Your Short Story

Guest post by award-winning Australian novelist and short story writer Wendy Laharnar

What is a short story compared to a Novella or Novel?

A short story has between 1,000 and 10,000 words. The amount depends on the publisher’s requirements. It concerns one episode, only, revealed in a series of events with a climax and, preferably, no more than three main characters. It covers a short time span and has a single purpose.

The novella and novel, on the other hand, have multiple characters and episodes and cover whatever time it takes to tell the story in as many words as necessary. Therefore, I think the short story is closer to the poem where every word must count to create atmosphere, evoke a specific emotion and drive the message home with limited words, unless you are Virgil or Dante, of course, with their epic, novel length poetry.

The Short Story Framework

*The short story has three types of Framework.

The five-tier plot:
1. A recognizable type of Character is driven by
2. A specific Motive or Desire leading to
3. A Central Situation which gives rise to
4. Unexpected Complications {including the dark moment) - demanding in turn
5. A rational yet surprising solution or outcome.
This framework fits all genres of strongly plotted short stories and suits traditional magazine stories.

The three-tier plot:
1.Situation which brings out the winning streak in
2.A specific Character type who seeks about devising
3.A Solution

Revolves around the character and his problem rather than a series of surprises. This can be a character driven plot or one which takes an ordinary event and uses it to create an extraordinary story.

The two-tier plot:
1.A certain type
2. Explores a Situation.

The most difficult to write. It's a literary or plotless story of the type written by Chekhov. Through it, the talented author enriches the reader’s mind with a virtuoso display of narrative and dialogue. A less talented author might wallow in self pity and introspection.

So, with all this in mind, you can sit in front of a blank screen, like I did when writing Of Actors and Action, begin with stream of consciousness and keep typing until a brilliant idea takes over, and you are able to frame your story. In this case I chose the five-tier framework

Or develop an idea that fascinates you. With my sci-fi Happiness Guaranteed, I’d read about the discovery of an ancestral memory gene and combined this idea with my passion for Formula 1. The story tried to take over, but I contained it to one episode in Bianca’s ideal life, again using the five-tier frame.                       .

Or, begin with your episode clearly in mind, and choose the type of characters and their motivation best suited to deliver your purpose. I used this method in Billy the Bonsai Bull, using the three-tiered framework.

The Three Tier Framework

Let's take a closer look at the three-tier framework:

For Billy’s story of 6,500 words, I chose a troublesome episode from real life: raising an orphaned calf that had lost the will to survive. It spanned twelve months in Billy’s life.

My purpose: to prevent bullying - loneliness and false friends can stunt our emotional and physical growth, whereas true friends help us thrive, therefore children should not tolerate a bully nor be tempted to bully others.

Situation: A calf wants to lie down and die and the farmer’s wife is determined to save him. This brings out a winning streak in both

Character types: a stubborn orphaned calf and a compassionate but frustrated farmer’s wife. By presenting the story from Billy’s pov, children might glimpse some aspect of their own experience and empathize with Billy. Although it is the farmer’s wife who seeks to devise the solution, Billy had to respond to it.
Solution: Acceptance. Billy learns to accept genuine friends and stick with them even if they are not popular with others.

Now, if you need to kick start your short story, below you’ll find all you need for

  1. The specific Character type
·        Jung’s Six Heroes 

·        Archetypes  - a mind boggling number to choose from are here      
·        Trait's of Human Consciousness  article by Roy Posner.
      and  Character Traits created by C. Kochan    
*2. Motives

To Win: love, respect, an object, freedom shelter etc.
To Escape: oppression, danger, family, influence etc.
To Retrieve: self respect, respect from others, a skill, position, property etc
To Compete against: superior forces, a rival, a cheat, the law etc
To Conceal: a crime, object, witness, scheme, emotion etc
To Save: a life, reputation, possession.
To Uncover: a conspiracy, lie, crime, injustice, secret.
To Protect someone: weaker, unjustly accused etc

3. Situations

      According to George Polti, the 19th century French writer, there are only
                     36 dramatic situations 

*4. Complications
Change of routine
Unforseen obstacle
Entering wrong door
Making wrong choice
Taking wrong turning
Unexpected arrival,

5. Solutions i.e. Resolution of Conflict
Here are three ways to go. Win. Lose. Surrender.
Physical or Moral Strength – courage, willpower or visible means.
Moral Strength or ability – invisible means nobility, ingenuity, wisdom.
Resignation. –acceptance, conscience or the getting of wisdom

*tip: Regardless of the situation your character is in, it’s his character type and motive which determines the type of conflict at the heart of the story. ie. man against man, man against Nature, man against self. So when deciding which solution to use, concentrate on the character type and his motive only, and this should make it easier.

Hello muse, happy writing.

* From the diploma course – Professional Writing - I took with International Correspondence Schools, (Australia)  1982.

Wendy's Website

Wendy's Blog

Muse Author Page.

Thanks so much Wendy for such a useful and informative article and for being so generous with all your additional links.
Please post all your comments and questions for Wendy in the comments box below. And do buy one or more of her great books to see how it's done...
Annie :-)

Saturday, 2 June 2012

New Writing Opportunities

Writing Contests

Writing contests are a good way to hone your craft, to learn about writing to deadlines and to gain greater exposure and publicity for your work.

A new-to-me  information page from Be a Better Writer lists current creative writing competitions for both fiction and non-fiction. As the page holds details for the rest of the year, scroll down through the creative writing entries to reach the creative non-fiction contests half way down the page.

There is also a handy comments box where you can enter details of a competition you are running--or know about. After checking it out, webmaster and award-winning author Pearl Luke will add it to the listings.

A site well worth exploring and full of helpful advice.
It also hosts  the Page 47 short story submission page offering a flat fee payment for stories accepted for publication.

Read a selection of past stories already accepted and as always, read the guidelines carefully and obey them to the letter. Good luck.

How To Write A Short Story

Brush up your knowledge and technique by reading the fascinating and comprehensive article written specifically for Slow and Steady Writers by Australian novelist and short story writer Wendy Laharnar.

Happiness Guaranteed by Wendy Laharnar
Wendy's sci-fi novella Happiness Guaranteed, was third in the bestseller lists for its category on Amazon, Germany--no mean achievement. And her books and short stories for adults and children constantly garner five star reviews.

Come back on Monday June 4 and read her useful feature length article entitled Kick Start Your Short Story.

More Advice From Top Authors

Randy Ingermanson, creator of the Snowflake Method  and author of the free Advanced Fiction Writing e-zine is offering two novels Oxygen and The Fifth Man in  special ebook versions  containing appendices for writers on writing. 

Written by himself and John B. Olson they are on sale on Amazon and Smashwords for $2.99 each until tomorrow Sunday June 3.

l found the appendices so interesting, l bought a second copy of Oxygen to keep  on my non-Kindle e-reader.

Design Your Own eBook Cover

lf you're looking to save money, put June 22 into your calendar or diary. It's the date of the next free Writers on the Move Webinar.

Karen Cioffi is presenting Design Your Own eBook Cover in Ten Easy Steps. For those of us who find attending too difficult because of the time factor, the webinar is copied to send out later. Just remember to register with Karen to get the link for the event nearer the time.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Share Your Books, Websites, Blogs

We all know sharing news and views extends promotional opportunities. So take a look at Margie McAllister's 10-Week Writer's Challenge now on Week Four.

The emphasis this week is on sharing information about your book but opportunities also extend to share websites, blogs, forums about writing and social networks.

The archive category is Sharing--Look at This. With lots of writers accessing the site, it could be a way of picking up a new reader or two.

The Resources page is growing longer by the week. Now all we need is another 24-hour extension to the normal day and we might manage to accomplish at least half of everything we would like to do.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Writing Contest for Unpublished Authors

Here's another reason to speed up your writing--the Novel Rocket contest for authors unpublished by traditional publishing houses.

l'm afraid I missed the Launch Pad announcement in January so the deadline for historical fiction has now passed. But there's still time to polish a manuscript for entry to the other genres with deadlines later in the year.

This is the third year of this contest designed to move authors out of the slush pile and help them connect to a traditional publisher.

Who Can Enter?

According to the rules: any writer not on the Novel Rocket tean who has never published a novel with a traditional publisher.

Journalists, poets, playwrights, non-fiction authors are all eligible as are writers with articles and even fiction in magazines.

Check it out here:

Monday, 14 May 2012

Writing Your Book

Writing Your Book is the title of a Kindle e-Book which is available to download free from Amazon until midnight tonight Pacific time. Written by Dan Poynter, it's certainly one to put in your library.

Worth its five star reviews, the book has a couple of poor reviews, not for its content, but for the glitch which stopped it being offered as first advertised on Saturday.

All is well now. The book is also available from Amazon UK

Just off to check it out.

Writing Challenges

The U.K. website WriteLink is growing in strength and popularity with its featured writing contests and challenges.

It offers cash prizes for its monthly and quarterly challenges. I am not a member but enjoy seeing what's happening there.

Friday, 4 May 2012

Writers On The Move: You Need What King, Grisham and Roberts Have!

Writers On The Move: You Need What King, Grisham and Roberts Have!: If your name isn't Stephen King or John Grisham or Nora Roberts you've probably already figured out that you need a publicist. That publicis...

Monday, 30 April 2012

Social Networking Infographic

I love infographics for their bright and breezy way of presenting information in a highly condensed form. Long lists of statistics bore--or should that read baffle?--me. But this Mashable infographic on Social Networking caught my attention.

Drawing on various sources, it attempts to pinpoint which social network would be best to use for getting your particular message across.

Interestingly some of the comments highlight the idea that real social networking with family, friends, work colleagues and businesses in your own home area might just produce as good, if not better, results.

Here is the link again:

What do you think?

Monday, 23 April 2012

Writing Competitions and Challenges

Checking out the writing competitions widget
this month, I found many  links out of date,
and some even non-existent. If this continues, I shall remove
the widget and update my own competition
list at the beginning of each month.

If you have tried to access an out of date link,
please let me know through the comments.

Flash Fiction Contest

 The flash fiction contests at www.flash500.com
The first prize is now £300 while the entry fee is
 fair at £5 for one story, £8 for two stories

Optional critique costs £10 per story
Closing dates this year are
 30th June, 30th September and 31st

There are also second and third prizes of £100 and £50

A new humour verse competition with the same closing dates but cheaper entry fees is running alongside this with the same closing dates. Again, good prize money--check it out.

Short Story Contest

  Check out the  Spring short story contest winners at
Writer's Village
and then write your own winner for the
next round.
Deadline: June 30
Plus, you'll get personal feedback on your
stories, win or lose. Good value for the £10 ( approx $16) entry fee.

Writing Challenges

This month's challenge is from Margie
McAllister whose 10-week Writing Challenge
starts today. Her writing tips are invaluable and this challenge is truly achievable.

 Writers in the challenge set their own goals

--from using Pinterest to blogging regularly to
rewriting difficult scenes in a first draft.

Margie is publishing an ebook. When everyone
logs progress, it should provide a
compendium of knowledge covering writing
and marketing issues.

Why do Challenges and Competitions?

Newly addicted to writing challenges and
competitions, I have learned something of

real use.

If I fail to complete the challenge--and so far, I
always do--, I have accomplished more than I
would have done without trying.

I have picked up new ideas, I have speeded up
my writing through consistent daily practice, I
have met and learned from new cyber friends.

All are achievements worth celebrating.

The challenges  may have a closing date, but
there's no reason not to complete them later in
one's own good time.

The Rewards

Another cause for celebration: commenting
on blogs can pay off in a most exciting way. 

This month through commenting on the
blog tour to celebrate the publication of
Maggie Ball's eco-novel The Black Cow, I
received a wonderful parcel from Australia.

I won three autographed copies of Maggie's
books in paperback, a fridge magnet and


And now Elysabeth Elderling is sending me
one of her hand-crafted bookworm
bookmarks--again for making a blog

My tip for next month: challenge yourself,
enter a writing competition, comment on
interesting blogs and see what happens.

And here's another giveaway worth winning:

Lowcountry Bribe by C. Hope Clark

Good Luck!

And please log your opinions  of challenges and contests in the comments below. :-)

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Last Chance for Bookworms

Thought that might be an attention grabbing headline lol. And it also happens to be true.

But the bookworms in question are the Earth Day Bookworms, an unusual crafted giveaway from author Elysabeth Elderling. To win one you must comment either on the Writers on the Move blog articles from April 20 until Sunday April 22 or comment on Elysabeth's own This or That posting on Sunday at her blog, Elysabeth's Writing Emporium.

 The bookworms and giveaway news are featured here.

And excitement --I won one. (More news about my winning week on Monday.) So far, two have gone to Australia, five within the United States and mine will be traveling to the U.K. next week.

Monday, 9 April 2012

Apps, Books, and Creativity

Let's start with the apps. I found AppAppeal while researching reviews for apps to be mentioned in this article.

The top ten lists give clear comparisons as to the popularity of the various blogging, social networking, and business sites so that you can keep your eye on where to focus your efforts.

 Book Apps

 Their top thirty book apps look interesting and useful. The page keeps all the top sites together in one place. And it may provide new avenues for promo possibilities too. Many were well-known (Goodreads, Shelfari) but others were new to me and perhaps worth checking out.

Promotional Posters 

If you're into creative ways of enhancing your visibility on the web, and don't already know about this, try Glogster.

Glogster only rated two out of five stars on the AppApeal review but it is fun, a new promotional poster tool although, as with the new FB cover terms and conditions, advertising is not allowed. 

However, if you browse the blogs, you'll see that the ban applies to overt advertising.  Every poster is in some way promotional or branding.

Yes, I did spend too much time, as usual, trying it out. It has an extensive gallery of graphics, backgrounds, poster variations. One tip with the graphics--you can simply choose a graphic and move it on to your poster. If you click on the Use It button, the graphic appears at the bottom of your poster and may seem invisible if you are working at the top.

Add photos, audio, video, graphics, text--it's pretty versatile and can be embedded in blogs, Twitter, FB. It,'s easy to use. If you have any questions, just ask or look at the Teacher Training videos

Best of all, as with everything I use, it's free though you can sign up for an educational  or homeschooling licence which allows interaction with students or classes. Take a look at the Best Glogs from the top menu bar and see the range of what you can do.

Read the terms and conditions carefully to make sure they suit you and be sure you are not using anything that you do not have the copyright for..

Let me know what you think in the comments below. 
Better still, post a link to your new glog :-)

 early bird notice

Writers On The Move: Workshops:   The April workshop is in the works! The title is eMarketing with PowerPoint Webinars (How to Create and Conduct a Webinar). Title :...

Again no cost. Worth putting in your diary and emailing Karen if interested.

Monday, 2 April 2012

Earth Day

We're delighted to welcome award winning children's writer Kathy Stemke today as she starts the second week of her book tour showcasing her lovely picture book, Trouble on Earth.
Join Kathy on her VBT and, if it's not there already,why not put Earth Day--April 22--in your calendar as a possible  idea for a linking blog post?

And whether you are a keen photographer or just a happy snapper, try sending your best Earth Day photo to dancekam1 AT yahoo DOT com (no spaces) to be displayed on the last day of the tour. A winner will be selected and awarded a $10 gift card.

Welcome Kathy. Please tell us some more about Shelby and the part she plays in your new book.


With Earth Day approaching on April 22nd it's time to focus on educating our children about conservation. Trouble on Earth Day would be a great resource for this purpose and a super addition to any school or home library.


Shelby the squirrel shares what she learned in school about conservation with her parents. Together they discover many things around their house that can be recycled.

Book illustration by Kurt Wilken

When Shelby follows the cries of an animal in the woods she finds and befriends a homeless bluebird. This unlikely pair of friends unites to solve the bluebird’s “Trouble” and bring singing back to the forest.

Unlikely Friends 

Let’s take a look at some more unusual alliances. Which one do you like best?

1    All photographs removed owing to the difficulty of establishing ownership and copyright.

Sorry--they were cute....





 Let me know your favorite by commenting below.

 * * * * *
Award winning author, Kathy Stemke’s first children’s picture book,Moving Through All Seven Days, was published on Lulu. 
Her next two picture books, Sh, Sh, Sh Let the Baby Sleep,  
and Trouble on Earth Day were released in 2011.
Both these books have been awarded
the Children’s Literary Classics Seal of Approval. 

 A teacher for 37 years, Kathy understands and loves children. It’s her desire to give parents and teachers exciting books and resources to help them teach their children all the things they need to have a successful life. She offers great teaching tips and children’s book reviews as well as a monthly newsletter titled, Movement And Rhythm, on her blog. http://educationtipster.blogspot.com
Sh Sh Sh Let the Baby Sleep is available through the publisher,
Trouble on Earth Day is available at a discounted price on Kathy's blog:
Both are also available through Amazon, B & N, and other online stores.
 For more information on Kathy and her books visit the first day of her blog tour hosted by Susanne Drazic.

Saturday, 31 March 2012

The Writing Wall

Here is a lovely interactive idea from Wall Wisher, I've left the link pointing to this wall and am really hoping you will all add a tiny post by double clicking anywhere on the page and a post-it will jump up for you to complete. The little pink tabs along the bottom take you to this wall of  mine and you can try it out.

Posts won't show up right away as I've clicked the option to approve  all posts before posting. But you can add a website, a video, a media link.

It is in beta and does not work with all browsers but it supports IE7+, Firefox 2+, Safari 3+, Chrome 1+, and Opera 9+ which hopefully covers most options

How to Use Wall Wisher

I found it incredibly easy to use. You can log in to Wall Wisher by registering your name, email and choosing a url for your wall. You can log in with a Google account or Open ID or  be anonymous if you're simply posting. You choose your colour scheme. Then edit the title--the one above is called Daily/Weekly Writing--and add a small description.

Double click on the wall to add some post-its, embed in your blog by choosing from the Do More option on the horizontal menu along the top right hand side. Add or invite friends and off you go--your own social networking wall available in situ on your blog. Can't wait to try it out. The procrastination possibilities are phenomenal.

I did hope to have it in the sidebar but am keeping it visible for the moment to allow you to see the full size option which you can also use with its own url as a stand-alone. 

Six Suggestions for Building a Wall

  • Use it like pInterest for pinning your book covers and inviting reader comments.
  • Use it for reading club discussions of your book/books
  • Use it as another place in which to showcase an image, video or audio link. I simply added my website hence the view box which opens the website in a new window. The images will have to come from a url link for instance on flickr or photobucket.
  • Use it for pinning tiny poems or favourite fragments of your daily writing.
  • Use it to jot down ideas as you write.
  • Use it as part of a workshop or lecture presentation.
  Any more suggestions or ideas? Use the wall or the comments box below and let me know what you think of this as an interactive aid.

And no, this is not procrastinating. It's another way of oiling our writing mechanism after the weekend. :-)