Tag Archive: writing

Do you dream of seeing your work published some day? Do you have a short story that needs a home and you’re thinking self-publishing may be the way? Ok, there are lots of places you can go to publish. Some are vanity presses where you pay to have your book in the hardbound/softbound format, print-on-demand or as an e-book. Other places will take your work for free and put it on their site. Still, there is the option of self-publishing your beloved story for money too.

All of the above options don’t follow the accepted form of the traditional agent/publisher route and therefore they all have the same thing in common. In order for these online sites to give you the respect your work deserves you must have a cover. With cover art, a whole new world opens up for you. For a time, many of these sites will give you free exposure on their Recently Published area. This could be you! It only will be you if you have a cover. No cover = no exposure and very little interest.

While the age old saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” shouldn’t be true, it is. If you have a wonderful cover that sparks the imagination in some way, people are more likely to pick it up. When they read your synopsis, the deal should be sealed. That part is up to you.

Elizabeth Rye (who goes by the author name Grace Rellie) will read your story and let the images your words invoke lead her to a cover. She will not lie to you. It won’t look like all the other covers out there. She hopes that’s what you’re looking for, something that is unique and not canned. She firmly believes that a truly great cover is one that stands out in a crowd. It’s a cover that tells a story all by itself and lead the reader on a journey before they’ve turned to the first page.

Below are a few samples of covers she has designed for specific titles, one published on smashwords and the other soon to be published. If you are have a short story that you’d like to self-publish and are interested, please let me/her know and she/we’ll be happy to discuss completion times, prices and terms.

Cover Image - DJ Marcussen -The Tax Angelhttp://www.smashwords.com/books/view/420881

Bleeding Ice-COVER ART - Grace Rellie

Publication is not for the faint of heart. There are many hurdles jumped through everyone of the takes time. It is a commodity that will not and cannot be a stingy one.

As with any business there are steps to being published writer first you must have something to say to know how to say it. Then there are two different paths to choose. Each is a busy throbbing partnering. One direction from the four belongs to the domain nonfiction all the other is reserved for flights of fancy, fallacy and fantasy. Like the writing, the direction you take is of the utmost importance.

If you go with nonfiction you can sell an idea but shall need to write a book proposal. If your heart throbs with fiction ideas you must first write to complete the book. No one will look at an idea in this arena.

Okay, you know what you’re writing and you’ve written what you have to. Either a book proposal or the completed manuscript is sitting on your desk. You have been accepted format in you get a few local people with good grammar spelling skills go over to, says the best can be. Good. Now it’s time to find agent.

All some of the smaller publishing houses will take “ unsolicited” manuscripts, the larger ones won’t. That means you need an agent who can talk to those people for you. If you have the right agent they will fight for you. They believe in you’re writing and their job is to sell it for you and get the best possible price. After all, they don’t get paid until you do, if the price is small than their pay is smaller yet.

So how do you get a good agent? Research, like anything else. Find out what they specialize in. What kinds of books have they recently sold? Will you are book look good in this line up?

Do not just look at the agent’s accomplishments. Look at them as a person. After all, if they agree to represent you you’re going to be working together. Is there something in their background that you can’t deal with? Do you have something in common? You have to walk away from your research with the idea that you found a good fit and possible friend.

All right. You found an agent. Now you need to write that all-important cover letter that will not only sell your book but you to the agent. Be personal. Don’t send a form letter! Let them know just by how you write that you did your homework. Just like there was a special format for writing either the proposal or book there is a format here to. It is important. If you don’t follow these qualifications you run the major risk that the agent won’t even read cover letter and if they don’t read that, they won’t read the other things you sent either.

Writing is a crap-shoot. If you don’t have the facts or don’t follow through on them, you lose. The winning streak begins when an agent picks up the letter and grins. They found a new jewel. You find out because you don’t get a form rejection letter, you get an acceptance letter. Now sit back and take a deep breath. You did it. You got an agent. You’re on the way to publication. Now write that nonfiction book or smile if you wrote fiction because you’re done.


Cleo Lampos is a wife, mother, teacher, friend and now a writer. With her book she teaches us yet more lessons. I highly recommend, Teaching in the Tough: Mining the Potential in Every Student. While it may have been written with the teacher in mind, there are many principals that can be applied to anyone’s life.

Here we see that Tough doesn’t have to mean Tough Love. There are many solutions to life’s problems and here Cleo shows us what she’s learned along the way to a fulfilling life. Teaching Diamonds in the Tough is a gentle self-help book in a small bejeweled package. Walk with Cleo into a world of troubled children and walk out with a smile that says we made a difference.

Cleo’s prose speak of hope and light on the other side. Written in the form of personal essays we see what types of roadblocks the modern teacher may encounter and learn life lessons that will remove both the mental and physical signs to allow for a more open understanding between teacher and student.

Just as each child and situation are different, so are the stories she shares. Life is a blessing. Cleo clearly teaches this and defines what it means to be a kind gentle soul who’s along for the whole journey.

I know you will both learn and enjoy. The teacher is in. Let life lessons begin. Be assured the ride is worth the trip.

Visit her on her guest blog at http://evelyncullet.com/author-cleo-lampos/ or on her own website at http://cleolampos.com/

For writers, every day is Writer’s Day. Yet there are certain days throughout the year that hold a special meaning for writers over regular people.

Since we are creative in many ways, we share ourselves in different sectors. We write about the real and the imaginary. Our stories are found in books or on the silver and small screen. It is a type of magic that is enjoyed by many.

For ourselves we experience frustrations and lagging while we struggle to find our true path. It is who we are and exactly what we are supposed to be.

Listed below is a list of days that speak to writers as a group. There are days for ideas and emotions. Each expresses us whole sharing who we are with others. Have fun and remember that to be a writer is to be on this list.

1/13 Make Your Dream Come True Day

1/23 National Handwriting Day

2/7 Charles Dickens Day

3/5 Multiple Personalities Day

3/12 Alfred Hitchcock Day

3/23 National Organize Your Home Office Day

3/29 Festival of Smoke and Mirrors Day

4/5 Go for Broke Day

4/9 Winston Churchill Day

4/15 Rubber Eraser Day

4/27 Tell a Story Day

4/28 Great Poetry Reading Day

5/1 Mother Goose Day

5/11 Twilight Zone Day

5/12 Limerick Day

6/14 Pop Goes he Weasel Day

6/27 National Columnists Day

7/4 Tom Sawyer Fence-Painting Day

7/26 All or Nothing Day

8/18 Bad Poetry Day

9/4 Newspaper Carrier Day

9/6 Fight Procrastination Day

9/10 Swap Ideas Day

9/22 Hobbit Day

9/25 National Comic Book Day

10/5 National Storytelling Festival

10/2 International Moment of Frustration Scream Day

10/16 Dictionary Day

11/1 Plan Your Epitaph Day

In all the world there is not a single soul exactly alike. Though there be twins that are identical in appearance and sound, below the surface there is an individuality that simply can not be discounted. Their thoughts may be similar at times but for all intents and purposes they are indeed two separate identities.

So to the writer is handed down the task of taking from life and adding traits. We must create in a single story many characters. Each must sound like one unto himself. The reader will not accept two characters with even a hint of alikeness. Thus we must be ever diligent to keep our own thoughts from creeping into that of our characters. We must add that special difference that signals to the reader that we have switched characters.

If we do our job correct, we could technically get away with writing an entire novel without ever using the aid of tag lines. We would never have to use a character’s name as a reference tool. Our readers would know exactly who was talking. They would understand so perfectly what the character wanted that we would hardly have to do anything. Or at least it would appear that way.

By no means is this a simple task. All of us are prone to write the same character in multiple stories. Yes, we change the characters name and sometimes we even change a gender but it is oh, so easy to fall back into what we have just finished and rewrite the same character’s story. All we would really be doing was changing a setting and time-frame. This we can not do. We must be diligent. We are writers, storyteller and artists. We translate to our readers what is going on. Without our lead, they would be lost. We can not allow that to happen. Do whatever you must to ensure that all your characters sound different and that in the end, they come alive.

     When you walk out your door you never know what you will be walking into. It may vary well be absolutely nothing but then again, it might be s something.
Since we can’t control the weather, our surroundings or the people we come across, life continues to be both a mystery and an adventure. From one minute to the next hundreds of possibilities present themselves.
As writers, the daily comings and goings of nameless neighbors could be the plot of our next book. It doesn’t matter if we live in the city or the country. Our characters can and invariably live anywhere. They can be good people or monsters. They may resemble family members (be careful to change them enough so they don’t easily recognize themselves) or that annoying kid in school who always seemed to know what to say to make you mad.
Characters and incidents come from our daily lives. We either met or endured it ourselves or listened while someone else went on and on about it. That leaky pipe that kept you up all night could cause your character to lose his job because he fell asleep on guard duty. The bank robber who got caught in the ceiling might turn into a man caught in the vault itself. The possibilities as a writer are indeed endless. Senseical or non-senseical, they serve humanity’s quirky humor.
All of us need to laugh. It releases so much that we don’t even realize is being pent up. When we see our hero finally stand up for himself, we cheer. After all, he’s only doing what we wish we had done years ago. The love story that ends happily reminds us why we said yes all those years ago.
So you can easily wee why writers and their characters are needed. They fulfill our hidden desires. They bring out feelings forward and make our lives fuller for having read them. Books can show us a new more enjoyable way. They represent hard work for the writer and an easy comfort to the reader.
Keep going. Your book is growing nearer to completions with every jot of the pen and every keystroke of the computer. A word, sentence, paragraph, page, chapter, section and then a book and it’s all done. Write one word at a time and soon your count will show great progress. Happy writing.


Whoever said writing was simple, never put pen to paper. “It’s easy,” they say. “After all, I have a full time job and all you do is sit in front of the computer.”

Yea right! That’s it. That’s all we do? We sit all right, but there’s a heck of a lot of pacing too and it’s not all physical.

Words don’t just write themselves. We need tools like any working man. I’m talkin’ encyclopedias, dictionaries, thesauruses, synonym books and coffee, gallons and gallons of coffee. Ok, so maybe I don’t drink coffee. But do you have any idea how many tea bags I go through?

Writing is a full time job. Our minds never stop thinking. While other people come home from work and put it behind them, we keep going. We can’t stop ourselves. A plot, a character, a damn sentence that just won’t lie down and die or leave us alone until we get it right. Seriously, all we do is sit? Are you kidding me?

Writing is not easy. It’s a chore. A chore we love and wouldn’t trade because if we could trade it, we would never be writing in the first place. Who needs that kind of strain anyway? Don’t we have enough in our lives already?

So when someone sits down, asks you what you do and then gives you that sad sorry look of, “Oh, that’s all you do,” don’t back down. Stand up for what you do. You have a full time job too. You just don’t get paid for it, unless you count joy as your payment and really that is more than payment in full.

Psst, give it time and you could be a bestseller. Then what would those annoying people do? They’d be falling all over themselves asking you what your inspiration was for that last book. Wouldn’t it be fun to tell them the character that annoyed them so much was modeled after them? Hey, we can dream can’t we?

%d bloggers like this: