Tuesday, November 30, 2010

An Eagle By Any Other Name...

A beautiful winter day and I'm working on the sequel to Broken But Not Dead. In my neighbour's tree a pair of golden eagles sit waiting for their elusive fish. In the nineteen years we've lived on this lake, this is my first pair. They're indigenous to the north, but generally not on Cluculz Lake. The first time I saw one (last week) I thought it was a young bald eagle. I've tried capturing them on film, but no luck; they're out of range so fast. This is the problem with having my desk facing the window -- Way too many distractions. I'm smiling while I type that.

I gave up trying to snap a picture of my eagles and so these fellows are courtesy of Wiki. The one in the middle is a young bald eagle. At a distance, you can see how I'd make a mistake. Okay--I need glasses.




 Instead here's a photo of the lake. Notice no ice? Remember, you have until midnight Nov. 30th to enter the contest.


A bald eagle just flew by. Wonder if he and the golden eagles are friends? Somehow I doubt it.

3:00 PST November 28th, 2010

Saturday, November 27, 2010

When Will The Lake Freeze Over?

Every year locals try to guess when the lake will freeze over. Long before my time there was one winter when it didn't. This year, because our autumn was so mild many assumed it wouldn't freeze over until December. I took the first two pictures at noon on Saturday. That is definitely ice over by the island. Hope this doesn't mean we're in for a cold-cold winter. 

Winners will receive an autographed copy of my suspense thriller Dead Witness. Is you want to choose a date that's already taken, that's quite all right. We'll send out two books instead of one.



Nov 22, 2010

Water still visible Nov. 23

Dec. 1st - Susanne Drazic
Dec. 2nd - Chelle Cordero
Dec. 3rd - Sheila Deeth
Dec. 4th - Bobby Toosooey, Amanda Borenstadt
Dec. 6th - Stuart Aken, Joyce Helweg
Dec. 7th - Jackie Pervizaj
Dec. 8th - Rick Moltzo, Hilary Melton-Butcher
Dec. 11th - Suzanne Hebert
Dec. 13th - Martha Engber
Dec. 15th - David Fingerman
Dec. 20th - Carol Garvin
Dec. 22nd - Holli Castillo
Dec. 23rd - Choices, Danny Stachney
Dec. 28th - DH Ralphie
Jan. 5th - Ashton
Jan. 10th - Cheryl Manning
Jan. 11th - Ruth Cox, Sheffe

Friday, November 26, 2010

REMEMBER BANDIT'S CONJUGAL VISIT WITH NALLA?


Bandit's a daddy!

   Nalla had puppies!

Not sure about mum, but dad is resting peacefully. No, actually he's barking at the corner of the shop. I don't know why. He does that a lot, so it must be a dog thing.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

And the winners are...

CONGRATULATIONS to Jamie Manning of Alabama and Margaret Elmendorf of South Carolina. Their names were randomly chosen as the winners of my Blog Jog Day contest. Their autographed copy of Dead Witness is in the mail. 

I had a great Blog Jog Day and I'm thrilled to have it occur just as I surpassed twenty-thousand hits. When I started blogging in 2008, I never imagined reaching that number, let alone meeting so many wonderful blogger. Thank you for your continuing support. You're all pretty darn terrific. 

The contest to pick the date you believe the lake freezes over is still going on. You've got until midnight November 30th to decide. The winner will also receive a copy of Dead Witness in plenty of time for Christmas. If you really need to choose a date already taken, that's fine. I can mail two books just as easily as one. 

Good luck!

--
joylene

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Blog Jog Day -- Contest


Greetings Blog Joggers. Please enjoy all this blog has to offer, then jog on over to "My Funny Dad Harry" and check out Karen Arlettaz Zemek zany tribute to her dad. Before you go, be sure to click on FOLLOW below. In appreciation to my followers, (don't know where I'd be without you) I'm giving away 2 autographed copies of my suspense thriller DEAD WITNESS. All you have to do is click on Follow below, if you aren't already following, and leave a comment on any posts you deem worthy.  If you're not sure where to start, under LABELS at the bottom of this page there is a slew of suggestions. I'll announce the winners later in the week. Good luck and have a lovely jog.

If you would like to visit a different blog in the job, go to http://blogjogday.blogspot.com.

--
joylene 

Winter on Cluculz Lake

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Ask PZM: November 2010

Q: Why should I spend time online promoting my book if no one is buying my book?

This is a great question because it gets right to the heart of “why be a book author.”

Is your primary reason for writing your book to:
1. Make Money?
2. Enjoy writing for the art of writing?
3. Share a specific story with the world?

First, if your primary reason for writing a book is to make money, that’s probably not going to happen for a majority of book authors. Especially now, when people can self-publish as much as they want, the market is flooded with new books.

And, truthfully, how many books do you buy a year? (If you aren’t buying, how can you expect others to buy your book?)

Second, if your primary reason is because you enjoy writing, then do spread a little of that joy of writing across the major social media sites as book promotion. While you may not sell very many copies of your book, you never know what interesting contacts you’ll make because of the subject of your book.

Third, if your primary reason is to share a specific story with the world, then share that story as widely as you can, regardless of whether people actually buy your book.

This is the reason I wrote my novel MRS. LIEUTENANT– to preserve and share a very specific slice of women’s social history at the beginning of the women’s liberation movement. And because this is my objective, I make the novel’s entire manuscript available for free at BookBuzzr.com (see http://www.freado.com/read/680/mrs-lieutenant )

And, yes, I do a lot of online book promotion although I do not know how many people actually read my novel for free.

Of course, this does mean it takes more motivation on my part to continue working on the sequel to MRS. LIEUTENANT, although I may have finally found the motivation. (See my “Kick in the Pants” blog post at http://budurl.com/kickinthepants )

Still, when you think about whether taking time to promote your book is worthwhile, consider this:

You spent a great deal of time writing the book. Do you really want to abandon your work now? Or do you want to promote it so that you at least have a chance of more people buying your book?

Q: Is there a way to get a customized URL for my Facebook and LinkedIn profiles rather than having those long, awkward URLs?

Yes, having a customized social media profile URL instead of a long, awkward URL can reflect positively on your image as a book author.

Facebook: Sign into your account. Then go to www.facebook.com/username and get your customized URL for your Facebook personal profile.

(Note that this profile must be in your own name and NOT your book title or you are in violation of Facebook terms. See my blog post http://budurl.com/readFBterms )

Also, if for your book you have a Facebook Page – formerly called a Fan Page – Facebook currently requires that you have at least 25 people who have “liked” this page before you can go to www.facebook.com/username and get a customized URL for it. But when you have at least 25 people, also get a customized URL for this page.

LinkedIn: Sign into your account. Then click on PROFILE (in navigation bar) and click on EDIT PROFILE.

On the right-hand side of the next screen click on CHANGE PUBLIC PROFILE SETTINGS.
Then you’ll see at the top of the next screen YOUR PUBLIC PROFILE URL and click on EDIT.

© 2010 Miller Mosaic, LLC

Phyllis Zimbler Miller (@ZimblerMiller on Twitter) is the co-founder of the social media marketing company Miller Mosaic Power Marketing. She blogs on social media marketing and website topics at www.millermosaicllc.com/blog and is the author of the novel MRS. LIEUTENANT and the co-author of the Jewish holiday book SEASONS FOR CELEBRFATION and of FOUR COMEDY SCREENPLAYS.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

WINTER: Beauty and Danger

Our dear grandchildren live an hour away. Yesterday their area was without power for the day. Then the winds came. Last night a tree fell, hit the lines going into the house, ripped them off the siding, and split the power pole in half. BC Hydro restored power to the area, but not for our grandchildren; they'll be without power until 6:30 tonight. The current temperature is -13 Celsius. Tonight the low will be -18.



Please join me in believing that Karen, Jenna, Selena, and Reece, will be toasty warm all day and that power will be restored in no time.  

Meanwhile Fluffy is sending good thoughts too.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

THE IMPORTANCE OF AMAZON TAGS

by Aggie Villanueva

You’ve made sure your book is listed on Amazon.com because everyone says you have to. So what’s the big deal? You’ve actually made more sales to your family/friends than on Amazon. There’s probably a good reason for that. You don’t know how to work Amazon’s expansive world of sales opportunities.

Most authors think Amazon’s Book section is just a huge listing of books for sale. Amazon.com far exceeds any book selling site such as Barnes & Noble because they have in place so many procedures to help sell your books for you that there are only a few real experts on the subject. Tip: search Amazon’s help files. And one of the best is the tagging system.

Remember the Tag Section?

Most writers don’t pay much attention to the tagging section of their catalog sales page, to their detriment. The importance of tagging books at Amazon sometimes gets lost in the shuffle. It is another Amazon way for author’s to get high visibility and absolutely free advertising to the millions who visit the customer tag communities.

With a little attention to your tagging section you can rank high in their communities without making one book sale. And you won’t lose that rank in four hours like you do in sales ranking. So what exactly is a tag?

The Anatomy of a Tag

Each tag enrolls your book in a customer tag community. Amazon.com has millions of customers who are passionate about a diverse range of interests, and your book or product fits into several of them. They share experiences and enthusiasm for favorite topics with these communities of like-minded (and sometimes different minded) people. Customer Community pages provide a home on Amazon.com for thousands of topics, with new ones being added every day by our customers. And they host millions of visits daily.

To learn what these communities are all about go to any book's Amazon sales page and click on the name of any tag attached to that book. It will take you straight to that tag's customer community.

Let’s use my book, The Rewritten Word: How to Sculpt Literary Art No Matter The Genre the paperback version, as an example.

Scroll down past my reviews to find the tagging section. the section titled, Tags Customers Associate with This Product. I’ve chosen the tag Writing Skills for illustration. Click on it to go to the community home page.


The screen shot above is a view of the Writing Skills Community Product Page. Notice the pages along the top where customers explore and participate: Home, Discussions, Lists & Guides and Contributors. Each lists the number of products, discussions, lists etc. beside the page title. My book, The Rewritten Word is in the second row on page one at the time of this writing.

The screen shot below shows the Home Page where you can find Forums and related discussions about the topic Writing Skills and at related communities.


You can become active in any of the discussions, and that’s a great practice. The screen shot below is of related discussions in addition to the Writing Skills own forum discussions. Participating puts you in touch with customers who are enthusiastic enough about your topic to get involved. That’s the best potential buyer. Be sure to always include a signature with links that lead people to your own book. I include the link to my Amazon Author Page, and to my book’s sales page.


Why Bother?

Why would you want to do any of this? Because the whole purpose of each tag is to lead customers to a community where they’ll find all the books and products tagged with the same word(s). This narrows the selling field greatly from just being listed among the millions of books in most Amazon browse categories. Customers who visit these smaller communities are passionate about your book’s topic, and therefore more likely to purchase.

This is a place where your book can rank #1 without those hard-to-make sales. But once you reach top ranking, showing up on the first two Product pages of active communities, this will results in sales.

If you want your book to be seen by possibly millions of customers passionate about your topic, work your Amazon tagging section.

For full details of how to utilize Amazon tags to gain these benefits, you may purchase the full industry report at Promotion a la Carte. http://promotionalacarte.com/shop/working-amazon-the-importance-of-amazon-tags-how-to-get-the-most-out-of-them/

***

Aggie’s Bio: For decades peers have described Aggie as a whirlwind who draws others into her vortex. And no wonder. She was a published author at Thomas Nelson before she was 30, and commenced to found local writers’ groups including, the Mid-America Fellowship of Christian Writers three–day conference, taught at nationwide writing conferences, and published numerous writing newsletters for various organizations. 

Writing since the late 70's, bestselling author Aggie Villanueva’s first novel, Chase the Wind, was published by Thomas Nelson 1983, and Rightfully Mine, Thomas Nelson, in 1986. Villanueva is also a critically acclaimed photographic artist represented by galleries nationwide, including Xanadu Gallery in Scottsdale, AZ. Villanueva freelanced throughout the 80s and 90s, also writing three craft columns and three software review columns, for national magazines, and was featured on the cover of The Christian Writer Magazine October 1983.

Over the years she has worked on professional product launches with the likes of Denise Cassino, a foremost Joint Venture Specialist in the area of book launches.

Aggie founded Visual Arts Junction blog February 2009 and by the end of the same year it was voted #5 at Predators & Editors in the category “Writers’ Resource, Information & News Source” for 2009. 

Now Aggie has launched Promotion á la Carte, author promotional services where, guided by her experience and organizational/marketing savvy authors gain the most promotional bang for their buck.
For more information you can contact Villanueva at aggie@promotionalacarte.com. Or go directly to Promotion á la Carte.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Getting Old by Mary Maxwell

Need a good chuckle? Here's Mary Maxwell at the Caregivers Dinner.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vPFCn3itBFE



We've had lots eagle activity these past two weeks. This morning five played outside our windows for half an hour. Last summer we seldom saw any, now they're flying by every few minutes. The other day one of the younger eagles dropped a fish and our cat Pretty Boy brought it home. Pretty Boy isn't exactly the smartest cat we've ever owned, but presenting us with this headless wonder made his day.



Eating bugs is exhausting work.
 


Gary, knowing how fond you are of cats, I just wanted to add a Big Thank You for bestowing me with the Happy 101 Award. I'll cherish it always. I haven't chosen 4 others yet because just recently a dear friend warned that if I bestowed him with one more award he was showing up for dinner and subsequently moving in for a month.

Meanwhile, do check out Gary's blog at http://klahanie.blogspot.com/ -- it's called A Man Challenging His 'Inner Critic'.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Remembrance Day, November 11th

As many of you know, our youngest, a sergeant in the Army, did a tour in Kandahar in 2008/9. To honour our son, nephew (currently stationed in Afghanistan) and all who have served our country, our undying gratitude. God Bless You.

Canadian band Trews and their song dedicated to the Highway of Heroes.




Sunday, November 7, 2010

Book Review by Martha Cheves

Martha Cheves has gracious reviewed my suspense thriller Dead Witness. When you can, please stop by and read her review, and check out my easy recipe for Butter Tarts.


sunrise on Cluculz Lake


Dead Witness – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat

‘A long, narrow building, beyond the small shed, blocked her view.  Valerie inched past a rusty engine leaning against the hut and peeked around the corner.  Two men in black tee shirts and black pants stood at the stern of the sleek cabin cruiser docked at the wharf.  Three more men stood on the pier:  One young, one old, one dangerously attractive.  Facing her, she could see he was perfect, in fact.  Except, why was he wearing a long, tan raincoat?  Maybe she wasn’t the only unprepared foreigner.  No way would she interrupt their business.  Two of them walked way.  Mr. Perfect, the handsome Latino in the tan raincoat, smiled after them.  His sensuous, slightly accented voice broke the silence.  “Gentlemen, please. It has been my experience that even in times of indecision, a solution exists.”  His arms spread wide as if to embrace them.  The two men stopped and turned back.  Still smiling, the Latino reached inside his raincoat and pulled out a gun.  Valerie gawked at him.  She heard a pop.  The older man fell backward onto the wharf.  Pop.  The younger man’s head exploded.  The man in the tan raincoat leaned down and fired a third bullet in the older man’s head.  The body twitched, then lay still.’

Valerie McCormick is the mother of 3 beautiful daughters and wife to Ed.  Ed owns a timber business in their home town of Prince George, Canada.  In the process of trying to secure the business he runs across a possible client who has his eyes set on a boat docked in Seattle, Washington, so when Valerie wins a trip to Seattle, what better time to take pictures of the boat with hopes of scoring brownie points with the client.  But when Valerie witnesses the murder of 2 men she decides she must do her duty and report it to the police.  To her relief, the police ended up arresting Miguel DeOlmos on a traffic violation and now had him in jail.  To her disappointment, after the American FBI talked her into testifying against DeOlmos, he ends up escaping during his trial.  And to make matters worse Miguel DeOlmos is the leader of one of the largest drug cartels in the both North and South America.  DeOlmos will stop at nothing to keep from being tried in the US due to its death penalty  and it’s not beyond him to kill the only witness the FBI have against him.

Author Joylene Nowell Butler took me on a ride from Canada, Seattle, Nevada, California and then to Baja as FBI agent Mike Canaday chases DeOlmos while still doing everything in his power to keep Valerie alive.  Valerie comes up with her own ideas of how to capture DeOlmos and ends up in the clutches of his psycho brother Vincente.  Dead Witness is a superbly written murder mystery that has everything from greed to murder to deceit and of course love.  I thoroughly enjoyed myself reading Dead Witness.

Dead Witness

2008
Published by Joylene Nowell
278 pages
ISBN# 978-0-9810-3050-0

Friday, November 5, 2010

Ask PZM: November 2010

Why Promote:

Q: Why should I spend time online promoting my book if no one is buying my book?

This is a great question because it gets right to the heart of “why be a book author.”

Is your primary reason for writing your book to:

1. Make money?

2. Enjoy writing for the art of writing?

3. Share a specific story with the world?

First, if your primary reason for writing a book is to make money, that’s probably not going to happen for a majority of book authors. Especially now, when people can self-publish as much as they want, the market is flooded with new books.

And, truthfully, how many books do you buy a year? (If you aren’t buying, how can you expect others to buy your book?)

Second, if your primary reason is because you enjoy writing, then do spread a little of that joy of writing across the major social media sites as book promotion. While you may not sell very many copies of your book, you never know what interesting contacts you’ll make because of the subject of your book.

Third, if your primary reason is to share a specific story with the world, then share that story as widely as you can, regardless of whether people actually buy your book.

This is the reason I wrote my novel MRS. LIEUTENANT– to preserve and share a very specific slice of women’s social history at the beginning of the women’s liberation movement. And because this is my objective, I make the novel’s entire manuscript available for free at BookBuzzr.com (see http://www.freado.com/read/680/mrs-lieutenant )

And, yes, I do a lot of online book promotion although I do not know how many people actually read my novel for free.

Of course, this does mean it takes more motivation on my part to continue working on the sequel to MRS. LIEUTENANT, although I may have finally found the motivation. (See my “Kick in the Pants” blog post at http://budurl.com/kickinthepants )

Still, when you think about whether taking time to promote your book is worthwhile, consider this:
You spent a great deal of time writing the book. Do you really want to abandon your work now? Or do you want to promote it so that you at least have a chance of more people buying your book?

Q: Is there a way to get a customized URL for my Facebook and LinkedIn profiles rather than having those long, awkward URLs?

Yes, having a customized social media profile URL instead of a long, awkward URL can reflect positively on your image as a book author.

Facebook: Sign into your account. Then go to www.facebook.com/username and get your customized URL for your Facebook personal profile.

(Note that this profile must be in your own name and NOT your book title or you are in violation of Facebook terms. See my blog post http://budurl.com/readFBterms )

Also, if for your book you have a Facebook Page – formerly called a Fan Page – Facebook currently requires that you have at least 25 people who have “liked” this page before you can go to www.facebook.com/username and get a customized URL for it. But when you have at least 25 people, also get a customized URL for this page.

LinkedIn: Sign into your account. Then click on PROFILE (in navigation bar) and click on EDIT PROFILE.

On the right-hand side of the next screen click on CHANGE PUBLIC PROFILE SETTINGS.

Then you’ll see at the top of the next screen YOUR PUBLIC PROFILE URL and click on EDIT.

© 2010 Miller Mosaic, LLC

Phyllis Zimbler Miller (@ZimblerMiller on Twitter) is the co-founder of the social media marketing company Miller Mosaic Power Marketing. She blogs on social media marketing and website topics at www.millermosaicllc.com/blog and is the author of the novel MRS. LIEUTENANT and the co-author of the Jewish holiday book SEASONS FOR CELEBRFATION and of FOUR COMEDY SCREENPLAYS.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Has TV earned its boo-tube persona?

Recently, I reduced our television programs by half. Yes, it has a lot to do with the fact I spent 4 days at a writer's retreat and never once missed the thing. And while I was gone, my husband never turned it on. We realized old habits aren't hard to break, and now, instead of the TV playing in the background all day long, we don't turn it on until the evening news.

I grew up on TV and even today I love my Discovery, Oasis, Golf, and Book TV, yet cutting back was easy. I can even see us reducing our viewing time down to an hour a night and maybe three hours on the weekend.

So, what have I been doing with my time? You got it: writing.

Are your evenings dictated to by what's on television? You can't go swimming because Grey's Anatomy is on? I've been there. I used to work my T'chi classes around Mi-5, and no way could I leave the house on Thursdays. But I've been liberated -- Yay!


Bought this for DH last March. The Oasis channel is too kewl.
Be brave. It's your turn to 'fess up. Do you owe a TV? And if so, how many hours a day do you spend watching it? And no, off course nobody's going to wag their finger.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Interview with wacky and talented author Richard Buzzell

Q: What makes you think you’re smart enough to write a novel?

A: I figure that if Snooki’s smart enough to write one, then I am too.

Q: What makes you think that Snooki’s smart enough to write a novel?

A: Because she has a book deal with a major publishing house, and book deals don’t lie.

Q: What makes you think that major publishing houses are more trustworthy than say ... investment banks?

A: Investment banks are all about money. They’d sell their soul just to make a few extra bucks.

Q: Maybe we should change the direction of the questioning. Do you think that writers would make good reality T.V. subjects, other than Snooki, who is already on a reality show?

A: I’ve given this question far more thought than it deserves. At first I wondered about putting obsessive-compulsive writers on the show, “Intervention,” and trying to get them to go into writer’s rehab. Obviously a stinker of an idea. Then I wondered about, “So You Think You Can Write?”. The audience would watch writers typing out their stories. Obviously another stinker. I won’t even mention my idea for “Word Hoarders”.

The idea that I think would fly is, “Jersey Shore Writers Retreat – DTW”. The idea would be to have the JS cast collaborate on Snooki’s upcoming novel, “Jersey Bitch – DTR”. This is how I envision the first show playing out:

All the cast members are seated in high-back chairs in a private library in an English-style country house. They’re all in their normal attire except for The Situation. He’s in a writerly outfit of corduroy pants, an oxford shirt with a tweed jacket, and a pipe in his mouth.

SNOOKI: C’mon bitches we need a motivation thing to get Jersey Bitch down to read.

THE SITCH: Motivation? You want motivation?

The Sitch sets his pipe down and stands up. He removes his jacket and sets it on his chair.

THE SITCH: How’s this for motivation?

The Sitch rips open his shirt and starts gyrating his hips while flexing his abs. The rest of the cast, except for Snooki, cheers.

THE SITCH: Is that enough motivation to get Jersey Bitch DTR?

Snooki bolts out of her chair, throws her iPad to the floor, and storms out of the room.

CUT TO: The Sitch talking to the camera.

THE SITCH: Fact is I’m the idea guy for this mofo operation. Everybody thinks Snooki’s all the brains around here just because she’s read a couple books all by herself. That bitch needs to get off her high horse.

CUT TO: Snooki talking to the camera.

SNOOKI: Jersey Bitch DTR was my idea and now the Sitch’s trying to act like he’s all the writer genius because he’s got cut abs. He makes me sick. I feel like getting drunk and puking all over him.

Q: You weren’t kidding when you said you’ve given this more thought than it deserves. Do you think that years from now when Snooki’s President of the country, that you’ll regret all these things you’ve said about her?

A: I think by then I’ll have spent so much time watching, “Jersey Shore Runs For Office,” that I’ll find her as irresistible as everyone else does. I’m already planning to attend every one of her book signings. I urge everyone to support her upcoming book circus. I’ve heard that Kathy Griffin is in negotiations to be the emcee for it.

Q: One final question. Does ZombieStop Parade have anything to do with Jersey Shore?

A: Of course not. No Jersey Shore and no zombies, just smart writing for smart people.


www.amazon.com/ZombieStop-Parade-ebook/dp/B00332F5QQ
http://productsearch.barnesandnoble.com/search/results.aspx?store=EBOOK&WRD=zombiestop+parade
http://ebookstore.sony.com/search?keyword=zombiestop+parade
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/9698

This story has nothing to do with zombies. It's about a charismatic hip-hotster who places himself in conflict with his own society. Through his website, he conducts a campaign of ridicule against the cash-grab mentality, which he sees as the obstacle to sustainability. He manages to connect with a nascent alienation developing on college campuses in the wake of the global financial fiasco. Suspicious activity brings pressure from legal authorities, but he refuses to make concessions. His best friend is torn between his misgivings and his personal loyalty, while those around him, urge him to bail out in order to save himself.