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  • 15 Apr 2021 7:13 AM | Rick Lakin, Webmaster (Administrator)


    From Goodreader

    April 14, 2021 By Michael Kozlowski 4 Comments

    Amazon is launching a new system the iOS Kindle app called Kindle Vella, in the next few months.  It is a new way for authors to share serialized stories with readers, one chapter at a time. Authors can self-publish Kindle Vella stories in a serial format, one short 600–5,000-word episode at a time, using the same Kindle Direct Publishing platform that have always used in the past.

    Kindle Vella stories will be able to be purchased right on the iOS app, using tokens. The first few episodes of every story will be free so that readers have a chance to check out a new story and see if they like it. Readers will then purchase and redeem tokens to unlock subsequent episodes. The number of tokens required to unlock an episode is determined by the length of the episode. Amazon will have different bundle options for readers and will be sharing the details soon. Authors will earn 50% of what readers spend on tokens, which are used to unlock a story’s episodes. Authors will also be eligible for a launch bonus based on customer activity and engagement.

    This service is available now for authors in the United States and readers when it launches in a few months. It remains to be seen if tokens will be sold right on the Kindle for iOS app, because Amazon does not actually sell books on the app, since they don’t want to give Apple a percentage of every book sold. I have reached out to Amazon to clarify on how users can buy tokens, and will update the story.

    Kindle Vella will have a social component, where readers can talk to the author, using author notes. Readers can leave a Thumbs Up for any episode they like. Once a week, readers who have purchased Tokens will receive a Fave to award to the story they enjoyed most that week. Amazon will then feature stories with the most Faves in the Kindle Vella store.

    One of the most interesting things about the Vella program, is that it provides a fresh approach to storytelling and provides a revenue model for new and existing authors to make money. Serialized novels, can easily be written, a few pages here and a few pages there, once published, readers can give feedback and authors can tell their readers, what feedback they are using, for feature chapters. Ideally, this will help chart the future direction of the overall story and catter it towards what readers want to see. Ideally, once a Vella has been completed, the author can likely spin it into an ebook and sell it on Amazon.com. Although, if they do this, they will have to remove the story from Vella. The serialized and social approach is similar to Toronto, Canada, based Wattpad, except they don’t pay writers.

    Michael Kozlowski

    Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.


  • 14 Apr 2021 6:59 AM | Rick Lakin, Webmaster (Administrator)

    by Rick Lakin

    On Sunday March 28, 2021, William Barrons, aged 95, sat at his computer for six hours and finished his 17th book, Cadillac Commands, the 13th in his series San Diego Police Homicide Detail. The next day, as his publisher, I visited Bill and picked up his last manuscript. I put the book up on Amazon on Friday of that week. The following Monday, his daughter called me and told me that Bill passed away.

    Born in 1926, in Cadillac, Michigan, Bill was the oldest boy of fourteen kids.  He survived the Great Depression and joined the Marines the day after he turned 17.  He could hardly wait to go fight those nasty Nazis and Japanese.  Bill served 2½ war years in the Marines, got married, went to college, had kids, and re-joined the Marines in 1949 - in time for the Korean War. Bill was commissioned a Marine Second Lieutenant but was a Platoon Commander only for a short while as his wife nearly died and he had to resign to care for his family.  He became a Telephone equipment engineer with AT&T in Chicago, then was a kitchen and home remodeling designer for 22 years.   Bill retired at age 69 and began to research and write novels. He became a long-time member of San Diego Writers and Editors Guild. At the age of 95, he was still at it!

    Rick Lakin is the publisher at iCrew Digital Publishing. 

    Visit his website at williambarrons.com


  • 7 Apr 2021 5:57 AM | Rick Lakin, Webmaster (Administrator)


    Dear Local Author:  

    As one of our most loyal and cherished constituencies, the library values your opinion and would like your help with this important community outreach project. The San Diego Public Library wants to know what you want your library to look like. We are working with the San Diego Public Library Foundation to complete a Library Master Plan and are seeking broad public participation in a Community Survey that asks: 

    • What you need from the Library,  
    • How can the Library serve the community,  
    • What services, technologies, and programs would help you and your community. 

      Please visit the survey webpage and complete the survey online. The survey is open February 17 to April 17 and is available in Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Farsi, Tagalog, and Vietmanese, in addition to English. If you have questions or would like to get more information, contact the Library Foundation at office@supportmylibrary.org or call (619) 236-5849. 


    Kind Regards,



    Local Author Exhibit Staff

    Humanities Section, Central Library @Joan Λ Irwin Jacobs Common

    City of San Diego

    San Diego Public Library

     


  • 4 Apr 2021 7:58 AM | Rick Lakin, Webmaster (Administrator)

        

    THE WRITERS’ WORKSHOP

     387 Beaucatcher Road

    Asheville, NC 28805

    www.twwoa.org *  828-254-8111 *    writersw@gmail.com

     

     

    Writing Workshops, Poetry Contest

     

    The Writers' Workshop of Asheville NC is offering online classes for beginning and experienced writers. Each class meets on Saturdays, 10-3:30 pm, with a lunch break. Registration is in advance only, at www.twwoa.org. Classes are $80/75 members, and financial assistance is available for low-income writers in exchange for volunteering.

     For more info, see www.twwoa.org, or contact writersw@gmail.com.

     

     

    April 17: Finding Your Poetic Voice with Bruce Spang

     

    May 1:  Writing Your Memoirs with Karen Ackerson

     

    May 15:  Writing From The Top Of Your Head with Nina Hart

     

    May 29:  Screenwriting Workshop with Nathan Ross Freeman

     

    June 12: Fiction Writing And Revising with Karen Ackerson

     

     

    Poetry Contest Deadline Extended to April 15.

    For Awards and Guidelines, go to www.twwoa.org.



  • 1 Apr 2021 7:34 AM | Rick Lakin, Webmaster (Administrator)


    April 10th marks Encourage a Young Writer Day, and to celebrate, Caitlin Stewart, Resource Coordinator at the Center for School, College, and Career Resources in Reno, Nevada, rounded up some of her organization’s favorite writing resources to help inspire the world’s next great writers. She shared those resources with the Guild. If you know of a student interested in a writing career, please share this message with them.

    The first guide details the steps young people can take to become a professional writer, an overview of career concentrations and related jobs, and the skills they’ll need to be successful:

    How to Become a Writer – https://www.learnhowtobecome.org/writer/

    The second resource is a go-to guide for students that walks them through what they need to know to improve their writing skills in college. It details various writing styles and lists available writing tools and apps:

    Writing Guide for College Students – https://www.affordablecollegesonline.org/college-resource-center/college-writing-guide/

    The last guide Caitlin shared was created with help from four experts in English language and writing. It breaks down common essays students will encounter in school, how to nail the research and outline process and keep their writing on track. It also lists common writing mistakes and how they can avoid them. You can read more here:

    Student Guide to Academic Writing and Research – https://www.accreditedschoolsonline.org/resources/student-writing-resources/

    The Center for School, College, and Career Resources believe that by sharing these guides, they can help aspiring writers cultivate a love of writing.

    From Alyssa Johnson: I have been writing for the past few years and have taken part in conducting a Writing Resources Guide: https://edubirdie.com/blog/writing-resources



  • 1 Apr 2021 7:31 AM | Rick Lakin, Webmaster (Administrator)


    This is the eighth in a series of posts to address common issues in manuscripts with my suggestions for how writers can improve their manuscripts before turning them over to agents, editors, and the many other individuals involved in the process of turning a manuscript into a book.

    #8 USE ONLY APPROPRIATE SENTENCE-ENDING PUNCTUATION

    There are five appropriate sentence-ending punctuation marks, three legitimate ones and two coincidental ones that just end up there because of what the author has written.

    • The legitimate ones
      • periods (referred to as full stops in British English) (.)
      • question marks (also referred to as interrogatory marks) (?)
      • exclamation points (!)
    • The coincidental ones that just end up there
      • ellipses (. . .)
      • em dashes (—)

    The Legitimate Ones

    Period

    The most common sentence-ending punctuation mark is the period. A period at the end of a sentence is what we all expect. When you reach the period, the message is complete. Anything else signifies information beyond the words that were spoken or written. And that’s why we have more than one sentence-ending punctuation mark.

    All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players; they have their exits and their entrances, and one man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven ages.

    WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, AS YOU LIKE IT

    Question Mark

    The appropriate mark at the end of a question is a question mark. Pretty obvious, right? Questions might indicate a request for information.

    Who is that masked man?

    Or they might serve as a clue that the speaker disbelieves what has been said.

    Are you telling me you’ve never been to Paris?

    The inherent quality of a sentence ending with a question mark is that the speaker wants more information.

    Exclamation Point

    An exclamation point marks the end of a sharp or sudden utterance (says Merriam-Webster.com).

    Watch out!

    Such utterances are not usually whispered or spoken in one’s inside voice. And that’s why people interpret an exclamation point as evidence that the speaker is shouting. Add all caps, and the message is even clearer.

    Since almost no one in the world likes to be shouted at, editors, including me, stress the importance of being very cautious in the use of exclamation points. Some editors will accept one exclamation point per chapter. Some accept one per book. The most stringent of editors prefer to see only one exclamation point in a lifetime’s work. My view is that if you need one, use it. But if you use too many, be aware that the reader may be dissuaded from continuing.

    The Coincidental Ones

    Ellipses

    Ellipses (or ellipsis points as The Chicago Manual of Style refers to them) function most often within sentences. CMS defines an ellipsis (three or four marks that look just like periods) as denoting “the omission of a word, phrase, line, or paragraph from a quoted passage.” When the passage continues after the ellipsis until it reaches the end of a sentence, the ellipsis consists of three dots. When the omission falls at the end of a sentence or in the middle of text that picks up again with a new sentence, the ellipsis consists of four dots, which is really a sentence-ending period followed by the three ellipsis points. An ellipsis can also follow other punctuation marks, including commas, colons, semicolons, question marks, and exclamation points.

    When following the rules for the use of an ellipsis when a character stops speaking without finishing the thought, CMS refers to the dots as suspension points. This is the case for the appropriate use of the ellipsis (or what looks just like an ellipsis) as a sentence-ending punctuation mark.

    I wonder if I will finish my first novel this year or . . .

    Em dashes

    Like ellipses, em dashes are used most often within sentences, where a comma, a semicolon, parentheses, or a period would also be appropriate, but where the writer wishes to connect items or distinguish among items, when the use of other punctuation may lead to confusion. For example, when items in a sentence, separated by commas, include one or more items that are further explained within the text, as an appositive would do, the use of commas alone may confuse the reader regarding how the pieces of the sentence fit together. The preceding sentence, with em dashes in place of some of the commas, makes the main clause easier to identify by isolating the subordinate text between em dashes:

    For example, when items in a sentence—separated by commas—include one or more items that are further explained within the text—as an appositive would do—the use of commas alone may confuse the reader regarding how the pieces of the sentence fit together.

    One of the usual uses of em dashes, according to CMS, is “to indicate sudden breaks.” This may occur within a sentence or at the end of what is spoken, whether or not it’s a complete sentence. This is where an em dash functions as a coincidental sentence-ending mark in dialog. If one character interrupts another in mid-sentence, an em dash marking the interruption at its end becomes a sentence-ending punctuation mark.

    She said, “I thought we were going—”

    He interrupted and said, “Don’t tell me what you thought. You never think things through anyway.”

    Ellipses vs em dashes

    The rules to remember:

    • An ellipsis marks the end of a segment of dialog if the speaker trails off without finishing . . .
    • An em dash marks the end of a segment of dialog if the speaker is interrupted—by someone or something.

    Putting them all together

    Question: How do all these sentence-ending punctuation marks go together?

    Answer: One at a time. No sentence-ending punctuation mark should be repeated or combined with another sentence-ending punctuation mark.

    Never use more than one sentence-ending punctuation mark together with another one. One period (.) One question mark (?) One exclamation point (!) That’s it.

    Each sentence needs only one sentence-ending punctuation mark. What might look like three or four periods in a row is really a three-dot ellipsis or a period that ends one sentence followed by a three-dot ellipsis that marks something has been left out.

    What about the interrobang? (‽ or ?!)

    Merriam-Webster.com defines the interrobang as “a punctuation mark (‽) designed for use especially at the end of an exclamatory rhetorical question.” It combines a question mark with an exclamation point. Considered an unconventional punctuation mark, its use has not caught on widely, but I suspect this will change. Given my statement above that exclamation points are interpreted by readers as shouting, I will continue to recommend against using the interrobang. I suspect in the future, it may become accepted since each legitimate sentence-ending punctuation mark already includes what looks like a period, and each conveys its own subliminal meaning (surprise for exclamation marks and more information, please, for question marks) that may call for combining occasionally.


    Sandra YeamanSandra Yeaman retired from the US Department of State in 2007 after 23 years as a Foreign Service Officer. As a management officer, she served at US embassies in Qatar, Barbados, Moldova, the United Arab Emirates, Yemen, Madagascar, Zambia, and Eritrea. In addition, she served in consular positions in Germany and Barbados and previously taught English as a Foreign Language in Iran and Romania.

    She is familiar with Arabic, Farsi, German, Romanian, Russian, and Spanish. Her experiences overseas brought her in touch with underserved minorities and religious groups out of favor with the current government. These experiences provide her with a sensitivity in her writing and editing not easily attained by others.

    These changes in environment and cultures challenged her notion of what success is. What made it possible for her to thrive in the midst of the change is the solid foundation she received in her childhood years in northern Minnesota.

    Since retirement, Sandra has been writing her story and her journey from a young woman seeking adventure to a mature woman who found her mission. She hopes to complete her novel in 2021 and looks forward to gaining the expertise in the full range of pre-publication book preparation and marketing.

    Sandra's Website



  • 31 Mar 2021 6:40 AM | Rick Lakin, Webmaster (Administrator)

    Virtual Event Series

    The San Diego Union-Tribune Festival of Books virtual event series is back! This Thursday, April 1 at 12:30 p.m. PDT, we are kicking off the first virtual live Q&A with No. 1 New York Times bestselling author Marie Lu on the Union-Tribune Facebook. Abby Hamblin, the Union-Tribune opinion editor, will moderate.

    Marie Lu's Skyhunter
    Marie Lu

    Marie Lu is the No. 1 New York Times bestselling author of the Legend series, the Young Elites trilogy, “Batman: Nightwalker,” the Warcross series, “The Kingdom of Back” and “Skyhunter.” She graduated from the University of Southern California and jumped into the video game industry as an artist. Now a full-time writer, Lu lives in Los Angeles with her illustrator/author husband, Primo Gallanosa, and their son.

    Purchase “Skyhunter” on bookshop.org.

    Upcoming Virtual Events 

     

    April 8 at  11 a.m. PDT – Children’s storytime with Mayor Todd Gloria

    April 15 at 12:30 p.m. PDT – Author Q&A with Joe Kenda

    April 22 at 11 a.m. PDT – Children’s storytime with Gulliver of the San Diego Gulls

    April 29 at 12:30 p.m. PDT – Author Q&A in Spanish with Paola Ramos


    For more info, click here

    SAVE THE DATE FOR OUR FIFTH ANNUAL FESTIVAL OF BOOKS!
    AUGUST 21, 2021

    For more information, visit sdfestivalofbooks.com.


  • 17 Mar 2021 9:50 AM | Rick Lakin, Webmaster (Administrator)


    This is the sixth in a series of posts to address issues I have seen in the work of others with my suggestions for how writers can improve their manuscripts before turning them over to agents, editors, and the many other individuals involved in the process of turning a manuscript into a book.

    #6 ITALICIZING FOREIGN WORDS

    The Chicago Manual of Style recommends italicizing unfamiliar foreign words. But what is unfamliar and foreign to one person may be familiar to another. A standard means to determine the familiarity of a foreign word is whether it appears in Merriam-Webster’s dictionary.

    When I edit the work of others, I use merriam-webster.com to look up all foreign words and place any not appearing there in italics. I do not rely on whether the words are familiar to me.

    The exception—there’s always an exception—to this rule of italicizing unfamiliar foreign words is that foreign proper names are not be italicized.

    In my own work-in-progress, set in Tehran in the mid-1970s, therefore, I have not italicized the names of streets even though the words do not appear in merriam-webster.com. In addition, I found many words I thought would be unfamiliar to readers in merriam-webster.com, likely because more than forty years have passed since I lived there.

    Image credit: Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash

    Sandra YeamanSandra Yeaman retired from the US Department of State in 2007 after 23 years as a Foreign Service Officer. As a management officer, she served at US embassies in Qatar, Barbados, Moldova, the United Arab Emirates, Yemen, Madagascar, Zambia, and Eritrea. In addition, she served in consular positions in Germany and Barbados and previously taught English as a Foreign Language in Iran and Romania.

    She is familiar with Arabic, Farsi, German, Romanian, Russian, and Spanish. Her experiences overseas brought her in touch with underserved minorities and religious groups out of favor with the current government. These experiences provide her with a sensitivity in her writing and editing not easily attained by others.

    These changes in environment and cultures challenged her notion of what success is. What made it possible for her to thrive in the midst of the change is the solid foundation she received in her childhood years in northern Minnesota.

    Since retirement, Sandra has been writing her story and her journey from a young woman seeking adventure to a mature woman who found her mission. She hopes to complete her novel in 2021 and looks forward to gaining the expertise in the full range of pre-publication book preparation and marketing.

    Sandra's Website



  • 14 Mar 2021 12:17 PM | Leon Lazarus (Administrator)


    Dr. Patricia Daly-Lipe
    literarylady.com

    What is creativity? To find out, we can pursue two avenues. On the one hand, we can follow a systematic, methodical mode of rational thought. On the other hand, the search can be approached irrationally or non-logically, a non-linear mode of thought.

    On the rational side, we begin with words. To form a description of creativity, we need a vocabulary. Or do we? Here, the right brain (the non-rational side) kicks in and challenges the left's (or rational side's) attempt at analysis. Is part of the essence of creativity beyond definition? If this is the case, can we think (and thus experience creativity) without words?

    Are language and the naming of things equivalent to thinking? According to Webster, to think means "to have the mind occupied on some subject; to judge; to intend; to imagine, to consider" and "to believe." Can we imagine without imaging something? Can we believe without believing something? Prior to naming things, is man thinking?

    Thinking involves knowing, and what follows is the possibility that knowing does not need an image. Perhaps to know requires that we recognize how much we do not know. To paraphrase St. Thomas: "The more that I know, the more I know how little I know." Etymology or the study of the derivation of words can assist and enhance our search for the origin of thought. The word "recognize," for example, comes from "re" (again) andcognosere (Latin, meaning 'to know'). Thus, if we recognize something, it is because we knew it before. But when did we begin to know? And, therefore, when did we begin to think, since thinking and knowing are mutually supporting? Again, we look at words. How do we "know," understand, and "recognize" (know again) the following words: love, hate, envy? These are words, but they aren't objects; they cannot be visualized. They come from within. These are called emotions. Our primitive ancestors probably anthropomorphized word pictures to express feelings; adjectives came later.

    Metaphor pairs two images thrown into relief but intact, each unto itself. There is a definite psychological mechanism used in the processing of a metaphor. "Metaphor is probably the most fertile power possessed by man," wrote Jose Ortega Gassetin in 1948. For Ortega, life was an intense dialogue between oneself and one's environment. "Things are not me and I am not things: we are mutually transcendent, but both are immanent in thatabsolute coexistence, which is life." (Unas lecciones de metafisica, (1966) "Yo soy yo y mi circumstancia—I am I and my circumstances." Metaphor transcends the obvious and the visual; it translates man's relation to his environment on another level—a "transcendent," unique, or creative level.

    Another linguistic aspect of creativity might be observed in Descartes' definition of the essence of man: "Je pense, donc je suis" (I think; therefore, I am) which occurs in his Discourse on Method (1637). Philosophical thought expresses both the potential and the limitations of human knowledge. It demands that we attempt to think beyond reality.

    But how did man jump from naming names to 'understanding' them, from depicting observed images on the walls of a cave to developing philosophical insight? The answer, I believe, occurred when we became conscious of the difference between us and other; when we understood that we were 'seeing' this or that and we were somehow involved with what was "out there." Could it be that our awareness of ourselves in the world as other than the objects came before words? If so, the words, even the painted images, followed thought. And if this is so, thought comes before words. Man can think without words. I am; therefore, I think. So, the depiction of what we observed and the development of a language to express our relationship with the observed were preceded by something beyond words.

    The root of the word imagination, is image. To imagine something in the mind's eye, we must have seen it in the "outside" world. The object is on the outside; the thought of the object is on the inside. However, the two sides are not separate. Sensations follow the same logic. We can feel/hear/see/smell; there is no hearing without sound, no sense-perception without an object to provoke it. Again, it is a question of the person knowing that he knows, being aware that he is aware. First there is the thought and then there is the thing. The inevitable question follows: If there were no thought of it, would the object not be there? Is an object/sensation a thing unto itself without a person's perception of it? Does thought exist before words?

    Science can contribute facts; however, the philosopher (from Latin, philos, meaning "loving," and Sophos, meaning "wise") in his wide intellectual pursuit knows no boundaries.

    The word 'create' means to bring forth something new as an artistic or intellectual invention. The moment preceding the act of spontaneous creativity has been described many ways. Dancer Isadora Duncan called it a "state of complete suspense." This non-verbal excitement, dreamlike, vague, and ambiguous is also experienced in the other arts: painting, writing, music, and sculpting. Author and poet Stephen Spender expressed it succinctly and pointedly as "a dim cloud of an idea, which I feel must be condensed into a shower of words." In painting, I have often experienced what Cezanne described as "an iridescent chaos" when the painting and I compete for dominance. Paint stroke by paint stroke, the colors sit up on the canvas, and the adventure begins as I attempt to come to an agreement (or image) while the painting seems to have a mind of its own. This sounds like nonsense, but for me it sets in motion my subconscious. Mesmerized, I watch as something new manifests itself on the canvas before my bewildered eyes. The same happens in creative writing, when the words take over and I am amazed.

    But it is the art of music that represents a plane of consciousness beyond form and epitomizes creativity at its most abstract and pure state. In its acoustical and physical manifestation, music is imbued with mathematics. Pythagoras (c. 582 B.C. - 497 B.C.) was considered an early "scientist" and was thought to be the originator of the theory of harmonics. Fascinated with numbers and their manifestations as chords, Pythagoras is supposed to have "cured" his ailing disciples by playing music. In ancient times, music was inseparable from science mainly because of its source, mathematics. Recent studies have shown that the music of Mozart strengthens the neural connections that underline mathematical thought. So, the ancients were on to something after all. The etymology of "mathematics" is from the Greek mathema, meaning what is learned. Perhaps this should convince us of music as a source of creativity outside of the visible but well within the norm of analysis?

    Digging into the consciousness, letting loose associations and the confines of sequential constraints and expressing an ah-ha moment or creative vision is not confined to the artist. Were it not for the free ranging of his imagination, Einstein could never have formulated his laws of relativity. It was in a dream, he said, that he "discovered" the basis of his insight into relativity. "Inspiration," he wrote, "is more important than knowledge." The free-roaming mind allows the scientist to "discover" things he surely would miss if he were locked into pure rationality.

    To summarize, "creativity" may be viewed in this new age of fiber optics and cyberspace as an oddity, half-feared and half-distrusted but surreptitiously peeking its head out, demanding attention. The sixth sense needs to be heeded. Perhaps that is the most important function, the goal of the artist, to "transport the mind in experience past the guardians—desire and fear—to the...rapture of seeing in a single hair 'a thousand golden lions' (Joseph Campbell). As Alfred North Whitehead concluded,

    "Nature is a structure of evolving processes. The reality is the process." And equally, understanding creativity is itself a "process." Answers are not required!

  • 14 Mar 2021 7:59 AM | Rick Lakin, Webmaster (Administrator)



    Hello Friends and Family,

    If you would like to be in on the Zoom portion of this FREE workshop please respond to this email with a YES. I will let you know if the class has been filled (so if interested let me know asap as it will fill). It's next Saturday, March 20 at 10 am. We are very excited to be hosting the one and only Keith Rosson who will be discussing Magical Realism.


    To learn more about Ketih: http://www.keithrosson.com/news/


    More about the event: https://fb.me/e/8NXGrfDh9


    SDWF sends love,

    Marni Freedman




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