Posted in #ASMSG, #IARTG, independent authors, indie authors, informative, Uncategorized, writing

Re-Inventing Yourself as a Writer

I haven’t been blogging over the past couple months, but I intend to change that today. To start, I’d like to share a few of the things I’ve learned recently.

I think it’s fair to say that every writer who’s experienced commercial success has had to undertake the task, at least once, of “re-inventing” themselves. I came across a really neat writing resource today, called Bookfox, which is written by author John Fox.

Fox explains in his bio that he’s all too familiar with rejection slips. After he got enough of them, though, he started thinking to himself, maybe it wasn’t everyone else who was wrong. Maybe he really needed to work on his writing.

He undertook the earnest office of learning from his failures, and using his mistakes to improve his writing. Eventually, he started winning prizes for his work.

Click here to have a look at Bookfox. (It’s filled with lots of great resources.)

It took me a while to learn the truth: we’re really never at the peak of our success as writers. Maybe monetarily, but not creatively. With every week that passes, and every story that we write, our works grows, takes a more pronounced shape, and gains more vivid colors. It’s like a forever-climbing house of cards that never falls down.

In a word, if you’re not succeeding as a writer, take another look at your work. It may very well be that you just haven’t caught your break yet — but it may also be that you need some re-inventing. I know that was the case for me.

 

Posted in Uncategorized

Project Launch: #BeautifulPsycho

For those of you who saw this project on Twitter or Facebook — I’m here to lay it down for you!

The nation’s kind of been in an uproar lately. The election left everyone confused and divided. But America’s about more than that — it’s about everything we already have, not what we wish we had.

So I’m officially launching a new project, hosted by my new indie publishing house LION & LAMB Publications. “Lion & Lamb” represents the duality that exists in everything. In God: the roaring lion with the blood of the lamb; in people, who are masses of conflicting light and shadow.

So this is the idea. Everyone in this world is a little bit psycho; but everyone is beautiful, too. In very different ways.

This is a shout-out for everyone to share your story. Even if it’s just a couple of words. Shout it out on Twitter or Facebook with the hashtag #BeautifulPsycho. I’ll be tossing ’em out as examples over the next few days.

#GiveElsaAGirlfriend was one of the more recent hashtag explosions. Let’s do the same for #BeautifulPsycho.

Posted in Uncategorized

The Lost Bible

Recently, I’ve been studying my Bible a bit. I even bought a fancy large-print one so that I don’t have to squint at those itsy-bitsy words.

For many people, the Bible is a touchy subject. It makes some people uncomfortable; and it makes some people so argumentative that you can’t get a word in edgewise. Some people don’t believe any of it; some people only believe some of it. It’s sort of like little Anne in The Others — you know, that ghost movie with Nicole Kidman? Little Anne didn’t believe God made the world in six days, and she didn’t believe that Noah got all those animals onto one boat.

Some people, on the other hand, regard every written word in the Bible as complete spiritual truth. I’m not saying that this is a bad thing, but personally, I take every word with a grain of salt. God didn’t write the Bible. Men did. First, His prophets in the Old Testament; and then, Jesus’s disciples in the New Testament. My favorite parts of the Bible are Jesus’s words, because I believe that His disciples would have recorded them with great diligence and care. I believe we read it pretty much exactly as He said it.

However, as with every ancient text, there are scholars and historians who question certain things. For example, modern scholars don’t believe that the Promised Land of Israel and Judah was peopled by the followers of Moses. Instead, they claim that its inhabitants were never switched out, one group for another. They simply say that the inhabitants of Israel and Judah adopted the God of Moses.

It would be easy to try and pick a side, and give what we call an “educated opinion” on the subject. If some people felt that they didn’t completely understand what happened, their world would seem shaken.

But I don’t take that approach. I don’t know exactly what happened after Moses led the Jews out of Egypt. I don’t know who the ancestors of the modern Israelites were. How can we pretend to understand? It doesn’t much matter who your ancestors were, if you don’t even believe that Jesus is the Messiah.

Because that, you know, is the founding basis of the Bible. There were four major prophets in the Old Testament, and twelve minor ones, all of whom predicted the coming of Christ. So, even before He came, the Bible was about Jesus.

Modern scholars claim that, once upon a time, there were even more books that proclaimed Jesus as the savior of the world. The most famous of the “lost gospels” are those of Peter, Mary Magdalene, and Judas. But the gospel of Peter, for example, is apparently much different than the other gospels. It may be older, and it shows a “gnostic” tendency.

Gnosticism is a word from ancient Greek, which is applied to many old religions, simply meaning “knowledge.” It shuns the material world, and embraces the spiritual world. But so far as Christianity goes, the gnostic approach was considered heresy, since gnostics believed that their salvation relied on a “secret knowledge” from Christ. All they had to do was know the secret, which God gave them. And salvation was theirs.

Actually, this is very similar to my own view of Christianity. I believe that the Bible is a very useful tool; but true knowledge, and true conviction, is delivered straight to your heart. You don’t need a Bible for it, although reading it can help to strengthen you, both physically and mentally.

It may be that there are an ocean of missing Bible books out there, written by men and women whose beliefs about Jesus didn’t quite match up with those of the Church. Most Christians disagree, claiming that every book God intended to be present in the Bible did end up there.

I believe that the world is a mystery. The only mystery God ever revealed is that Jesus was His son, sent to save mankind, and that one day He’ll return for His people.

All the other mysteries will have to wait until later.

(Featured image: Jesus Christ holding a Bible which reads, “Ego sum via veritas et vita.” Translation from Latin: “I am the way, the truth, and the life.”)

Posted in Uncategorized

Guest Author: Homer Buford

Hi, everybody. Here’s the final installment (for now) of Blackwood’s Magazine’s Indie Author Spotlight. Today, we have with us Mr. Homer Buford: a lovely, eccentric fellow who writes for the love of writing.

220px-homer_british_museum
Mr. Buford’s namesake, Blind Homer.
  1. Everyone has a story about why they love to write. What’s yours?

Whales dive to free depths, Birds fly to free heights,
I write to free prisoners.

 

  1. If there’s a particular book you’re trying to market right now, will you tell us about it?

My book  THE PRISONERS OF NAGA, is one  I wish to place into the hands of everyone who has ever looked into the clouded Milky Way and saw far deeper meaning than in the towering high rise forest of apartments, offices, clinics, wards, and playschools and seen more majesty in that nebulous road marker than the dirty and corrosive  shipping lanes of oil tankers.
I wish to reach those who find a hint of their true self in every night time dance; every polar flare, every gust of magnetic wind; to everyone whose atoms hear the MUSIC OF THE SPHERES; to everyone  waiting with abated breath to hear their name called, I write for them.
In PRISONERS OF NAGA, I take some lonely, soul seeking Soldiers of Vietnam out of the jungles and into THE LIBRARY located in a part of the Milky way called BLAUPUNCT, where they do not find mere SELF ,but discover a higher and greater destiny than the mortal mind [a prisoner] has never accessed; to see what the flesh of the eye has ever longed  to see; Home.

 

  1. Most authors in the market nowadays have experienced their fair share of ups and downs. Will you tell us how the positive moments make up for the negative ones?

Most authors experience THE MOUNTAIN.
It is a bitter obstacle course actually built by them!
It is dutifully, and religiously piled by borrowed earthmovers to layer the Mountain with reminder after reminder of failures-a mountain of failures.
This is all taught to them; failure.
First word Baby understands after mama? “NO!”

 

  1. If you could say one thing to the whole world, and have each and every person hear you – what would you say? It could be about your books, or anything at all in the whole universe.

I have not a single thing to say to the whole Island of MAN should my book reach that shore; I have MANY things to say,
Beginning with this simple lesson: wasps built paper nests long before paper was “invented”  and the young wasp never saw the construction ‘blueprint’ in its nursery. (BLAUPUNCT)why do you need instruction?
Writers have written in the stars and  they wrote in clay when necessary: written any good clay lately?

 

  1. Who’s your favorite author? Are you more into modern or classic literature? What do you think of modern literature on the whole?

My favorite Author has not yet written. It could be you.

Modern literature is a denigration and holds no place in THE LIBRARY. Today’s authors are too obsessed with filthy language, demeaning sarcasm, gory murder, demonic creatures  and Disneylike sorcery- nothing that edifices Mankind.
Today’s literature is to readers what Rap  is to black music. A mental maelstrom.

 

And there we have it! That was really interesting. Homer really has some one-of-a-kind views!

For a look at The Prisoners of Naga, click here

Thanks for reading, everybody!

Posted in #amreading, #amwriting, books, entertainment, humor, independent authors, indie authors, Kindle, mystery, publishing, Uncategorized, writing

Guest Author: Rohvannyn Shaw

Good evening, reading and writing peeps. With us today is Rohvannyn Shaw, author of The Dice of Fate.

 

  1. Everyone has a story about why they love to write. What’s yours?

 

I grew up with both parents being writers.  Literature was a part of life.  I always had stories to tell, but I only started to love to write when I learned to type well.  That revolutionized things.  When I got my first real computer, it was finally easy to write, revise, rethink, and repeat.  Writing was finally satisfying when my word output could catch up with my racing thoughts.  I’ve also drawn all of my life, so it’s a natural thing to illustrate.  The combination of drawings with text is especially satisfying to me.  This is why my novel, The Dice of Fate, contains a hand painted map and several pen and ink illustrations even though that’s not usual for modern novels.

 

  1. If there’s a particular book you’re trying to market right now, will you tell us about it?

 

Right now, there are two.  The Dice of Fate tells about an ordinary call center worker who is transported into a world of mystery.  She discovers her inner strength while trying to solve the mystery of how she got there in the first place.  Ultimately, it’s about learning to have faith in yourself.  It can be found on CreateSpace and Kindle and is free for Kindle subscribers.

The other is a humorous book of advice on how to be a really, really, really bad employee.  In fact, if you did the opposite of the “advice” in this book, you’d probably be near perfect!  It sprang from ten years of work in customer service.  It should be titled and available by the time everyone reads this.

 

Both books, and my other work, can be found right here:

https://subversiveartblog.wordpress.com/tales/

 

I also have a main blog called “Time to be Awesome” and that is here:

http://subversiveartblog.wordpress.com

 

 

  1. Most authors in the market nowadays have experienced their fair share of ups and downs. Will you tell us how the positive moments make up for the negative ones?

It can be hard realizing I have to rewrite something yet again, even though I thought that paragraph was gold.  Or to have high hopes about a blog post and look into my tracker in the morning and find that not even one more person has looked at my content.  However, I think those lows make the successes all the sweeter.  I really feel like I worked for what I have, like no one handed me anything.  Ultimately I would write even if I never made a cent, so anything else is a bonus.

 

  1. If you could say one thing to the whole world, and have each and every person hear you – what would you say? It could be about your books, or anything at all in the whole universe.

“Don’t ever give up.  Whatever your goal, don’t quit.  Remember, as long as there’s life, there’s still hope.”

 

  1. Who’s your favorite author? Are you more into modern or classic literature? What do you think of modern literature on the whole?

 

I have many favorite authors and they can change depending on mood, time of year, or life circumstance.  I’ll pick Tom Clancy out of the pack.  I love his passion for detail combined with his ability to tell a good story, and his amazing level of research.  I still miss him as an author.

I’m divided about modern versus classic literature.  I think some so-called classics are really overrated while others don’t get nearly enough press.  Some modern literature is pure schlock, yet is popular, while really good stuff goes by the wayside.  That’s to be expected I suppose, and it’s been going on since before everybody wrote Mozart off as popular music.

 

Wow, that was an interesting interview! I have to say, I really loved Miss Shaw’s answers.

Just a little reminder: Rohvannyn’s new book, How to P!ss Off the Customers (A Little Book of Bad Advice) is available now! Just follow the link provided above!

Thanks for reading, everybody. Have a good one.

Posted in #amreading, #amwriting, #ASMSG, #IARTG, books, entertainment, fiction, independent authors, indie authors, publishing, Uncategorized, writing

Guest Author: Suzanne Bowditch

Good evening, readers and writers. Welcome to the second installment of Blackwood’s Magazine’s Indie Author Spotlight for October! Today’s special guest is Suzanne Bowditch. Let’s have a chat with her!

workplace-1245776_640
Let’s talk about writing!

 

 

 

  1. Everyone has a story about why they love to write. What’s yours?

I have loved to write since a teenager. I entered a competition at school and came second, since then I have kept diaries, journals and scribbled notes, but was never serious about my writing. Last year however, I took a writing challenge and my passion was rekindled! Now I write most days, as a fulltime writer of historical fiction.

 

  1. If there’s a particular book you’re trying to market right now, will you tell us about it?

I’ve self published my second book Alice’s Secret: A Celtic Trilogy in July. It’s the follow on book for a saga I’m writing, based in Tasmania and Melbourne.

 

  1. Most authors in the market nowadays have experienced their fair share of ups and downs. Will you tell us how the positive moments make up for the negative ones?

As a writer, I think that any feedback received is positive, especially when that reader has enjoyed your book. I encourage any feedback really, and any constructive criticism, which helps in the writing/learning process. Fortunately the feedback so far to my books has been good, which is lovely.

 

  1. If you could say one thing to the whole world, and have each and every person hear you – what would you say? It could be about your books, or anything at all in the whole universe.

That’s a very big question! I seriously think that reading produces positive vibes, helps us to learn about the world and each other, and whilst we’re deep into a book, we’re not having cause to think negatively. Reading is good for the soul!

 

  1. Who’s your favorite author? Are you more into modern or classic literature? What do you think of modern literature on the whole?

I have a few favorites, mainly modern literature. As a teenager, I loved Stephen King and had a passion for anything by Catherine Cookson. Her books on the hardships of life in northern England have inspired me. Recently I’ve enjoyed books by Elizabeth Gilbert, Hannah Kent and Margaret Atwood. I’ve just finished reading Jane Harper’s The Dry, which I’d recommend; it’s really good.

 

suzanne-bowditch

 

Excellent answers, Suzanne! Reading definitely is good for the soul. And the Celtic Trilogy sounds like it’s off to an awesome start! Great work!

To learn more about Suzanne and her work, please check out the links provided below.

 

Find me at:

 

www.goodreads.com/suzannebowditch

www.facebook.com/suzannebowditch

www.suzannebowditch.wordpress.com

 

My books

 

Elen (A Celtic Trilogy #Book 1)

https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B01911AE8Q

 

*

 

Alice’s Secret (A Celtic Trilogy # Book 2)

Alice’s Secret