To the Last…

by Carole Browngrass n dew free

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in life is the brevity of it–and many other things. We know of a surety that all things must come to an end at some time.

I Peter 1:24 says: For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower thereof falleth away.

When Tamera asked me to join her Word Sharpeners site, we agreed that it was a temporary situation. She needed help for a period of time, and I was agreeable with that situation. Now, she’s entering into an exciting new adventure with her Facebook Book Parties, and I’m excited for her! But…

That means I’m moving on. I have new plans for my blog site this year: Sunnybank Secrets  ( Sunnybank Secrets ) and am excited to follow God’s leading for my life. Please be sure to follow my blog and/or any of my sites where you can find my books, offers and discounts, my thoughts on life, God and other tidbits of my life and adventures. My up-and-coming newsletter signup can be found on my blog site too. 

I’d love to connect with any of you at one or more of these places:

Personal blog: http://sunnebnkwrtr.blogspot.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CaroleBrown.author

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Carole-Brown/e/B00EZV4RFY/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1427898838&sr=8-1

Twitter: https://twitter.com/browncarole212

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/sunnywrtr/boards/

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/5237997-carole-brown

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=67381031

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/113068871986311965415/posts

Stitches in Time: http://stitchesthrutime.blogspot.com/

Thank you to those who’ve read and commented on my posts. It’s appreciated more than mere words can convey, but that’s all I have to show it. May you be blest in your own endeavors.

I’ve loved this adventure in sharing Tamera’s blog and have nothing but affection for her and wishes for her continued success! Do keep in touch with her FB parties (I’ll be participating certain months). moving on free

Following God’s leading is always so interesting and wonder-filled. Where will I be headed next? What is God thinking in my current situation? How can I fulfill his new plans for me? How does He want me to glorify him here? Sad times? Of course. That’s a part of life. But so many beautiful, energizing times too. 

Forward! Onward! Our cry for the here and now! 

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10 Ways to Find Time to Write Your Novel

by Tamera Lynn Kraft

Writers have a difficult time finding time to write sometimes. With the burdens of family obligations, daytime jobs, marriage, and church or other activities, it sometimes seems impossible. It’s easy to make excuses and give up, but if you really want to find the time to write your novel, here a ten things you can do to carve out some writing time.

1. Get up an hour early. When you get up early, nobody is awake. This is prime writing time.

2. Stay up an hour late. This is the same principle. After everyone else has gone to bed, you’ll have the time you need. But be careful. Don’t get so lost in the story that you stay up all night. Set a timer if you have to.

3. Spend your lunch hour writing. If your work won’t let you use their computers for personal use, bring a small laptop or tablet to work and write while you’re eating.

4. Assign a certain time every day that you write. Let your family know that this is your “Do Not Disturb” time. Scientists have proven this will also bolster your creativity. You are training your brain to be creative during your writing time.

5. Get a maid. No, I’m not kidding. Don’t feel like you have to do it all. Hire a maid or someone to do your laundry. This will give you added time to write. Isn’t it worth the money?

6. Hire a babysitter. You could hire someone to take the kids to the park or to McDonalds Playland a couple of times a week. The kids will love it, and you’ll enjoy the writing time.

7. Stop time wasters. Organize your schedule and see where you are wasting time you could be writing. If you can’t figure it out where you’re wasting time, try keeping an activity diary for a couple of weeks.

8. Turn off the TV. Enough said. There isn’t anything good to watch anyway.

9. Take a tablet or small laptop with you  when you go to doctor’s appointments or kids’ soccer practices or everywhere else you go. You can write during waiting time.

10. Quit playing Facebook Games. Facebook and Twitter are great tools for writers, but don’t let them monopolize your time. Writers need to be on social media for advertising, but plan your time there, and set a timer to make sure you don’t get distracted while online.

So quit putting it off and making excuses. Find the time you need to write your novel, and get busy.

Ideas for Marketing 4

by Carole Brownbreak free chain free

“A year from now, you’ll wish you had started today.”

Karen Lamb

How do I get started with marketing? It’s so scary! And I’m a loner!

Really?

So?

So am I. You must take yourself by the “bootstraps” or “shirt collar” and move ahead. Truly.

Venturing out into an unknown world is scary for many of us. We’d rather lurk in our self-imposed writing “hut” than to meet and greet those in the BIG world of marketing. But it can be done. Here are a couple encouraging ideas to help you get started:

  1. Take small steps. Ask friends, family and close associates for help. Whether helping you prepare a few memes or doing a small free promotion on their website, it will get you moving. Think small, think easy, think friendly. And one step…at…a…time.
  2. Allow yourself time. Don’t try to take it all in at once. Begin small, read and re-read the online marketing place that caught your eye. Pour over all their material. And if it sounds viable, take a breath and go for it. What’s the worse that can happen? They say no? Reject your request? Accept? Either way, you’ve made a start, and each step helps you on your marketing journey!

Now, here are a few suggestions on marketing for this month:

  • Check out marketing gurus who offer freebies and/or heavily discounted programs.
  • Book Heaven is growing and seems to be a great source of promotion.
  • Offer to write articles for magazines and blog sites. I’m not sure how many sales you’ll obtain, but your name will be in front of multiple eyes. Don’t discount this avenue.
  • Don’t overlook your own personal space, and by that, I mean your hometown/state. Get acquainted with writing groups in your area, check to see what marketing festivals and smaller writing conferences are available. Snag a spot if possible. Put each group in a folder and keep track of when and where events are happening. Libraries, small hometown bookstores, specialty groups that you may have a hand-in by including something of interest in your books. All of these are important.

That’s it for this month. Don’t despise the small. Whatever works for you, use it! 

sun smiley face freeHave a great month! 

Help for the Hurting Military Families at Christmas

by Carole Brown

pins stars patriotic free

 

 

Many military people dread Christmas due to various sadnesses, physical problems, financial setbacks, and loss of loved ones. It’s a struggle to move forward, to face each day let alone enjoy the season. PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) is a serious threat to returning home soldiers.

 

I wanted to share a bit today that is the real–the true meaning of overcoming and/or getting through each day.

Here’s a story example:

He started to scoot out onto the balcony when pain shot through his whole body, and he wanted to scream. He pulled himself from the window ledge and staggered forward two steps before falling on his face.

What had happened? Marshall’s screaming voice echoed outside his head, but the world had faded to mental darkness. His left leg had gone numb. He shook his head. He couldn’t lose consciousness. To do so might mean death. He hung over the rail and surveyed the climb he’d have to make. His stomach churned with nausea.

The pain and fear of facing the unknown, of knowing you’re injured…

What happened?”

Her gaze flicked to the bottom of the bed, then back. “You were shot.”

The memory of that night swarmed in. “How long—”

Must you talk? You’re still pretty weak.”

How long?”

She sighed. “Two weeks. You almost died.”

Facing the fact that you are injured. Learning what exactly that injury is. Knowing you’re at the mercy of the doctors, possibly your wife or family…

Jerry. Lie still. You’re too weak to get up.”

Squeezing his eyes shut, he gritted from between his teeth. “I have to. It’s too dangerous for you to be coming here.”

I don’t mind.”

I do. Help me, and I’ll try it again.”

I wasn’t able to get a doctor. Our family doctor is not to be trusted. You almost died. Medwin—my cousin—has a bit of medical training and he thinks a bone or bones was shattered in your leg. He did what he could but your leg still became dangerously infected. I thought—”

What?”

Vanda bit her lip. “I thought we’d lose your leg if not your life.”

The infection’s gone?”

Yes-s. But it still looks bad.” Her brow lined with another worried frown. Her gaze flicked to his legs and back. “I-I’m not sure you’ll ever completely recover from that wound.”

The reality of the truth: you won’t ever be the same as before. Through luck, carelessness and/or lack of training or funds or uncooperative military bureaucracy, life will never be the same.

Soldi

ers who’ve given their lives for their country and come back injured severely—and their families—face extreme difficulties. It takes strong and determined companions to get through, to accept the fact that this new life will be a life long endeavor. There are no magic wands to change the facts of war.

Besides the horrific injuries many face, the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder with its moodiness, verbal abuse, feelings of wanting to commit suicide, embarrassment, rejection, etc. takes its toll on soldiers.

During WWII

In A Flute in the Willows, I tried to show a bit of this in Jerry and the effect it had on Josie, his wife. Young and inexperienced, both of the Pattersons struggle to understand and deal with conflicting emotions. Josie’s father, experienced in war service, offers advice and encouragement.

“You’re going to have to be stronger than you’ve ever been in your life.” He warns Josie, and those words stay with his daughter over and over to strengthen and give her a boost to not give up on Jerry. In time her patience and love for Jerry win out.

 

raising-hands

 

“I’m here if you ever need to talk.” Knowing what military service is like, and having lived long enough to know a few things, Captain Ossie, Josie’s father, offers, but never intrudes on Jerry’s emotions. In time he heads to his father-in-law’s office to seek guidance.

  • Families need to understand that their soldier is going through unspeakable damages. Love, offer help and listening ears, don’t talk when their loved one is moody, encourage and never, never give up.

 

 

  • Friends who are there, offering hope and encouragement. Accept any help given and be grateful you have those kinds of friends.

 

  • God.  He is truly the only source who can pull a person through. Whatever comes, God is the strength, the supreme encouragement, the one who understands all, and the one who loves you unconditionally. Lean on him. Trust. Believe.

Both Josie and Jerry come through their own personal, and shared, problems, with God’s help, and understanding from others, that pull them through.

That’s what it takes for servicemen/women to overcome the worst of the nightmare of PTSD and injuries during the Christmas season–or anytime throughout the year. God, understanding and love.

A Flute In The Willows-2 Front cover

Read about the Patterson’s struggles and how God helped them overcome

their troubles in the midst of danger and heartache.

Amazon

 

Welcome Ruth

by Carole BrownChristmas ebook cover

It’s wonderful to have Ruth here today sharing about her new devotional book and a bit about her life. Do check it out and leave a comment too! 

Enjoy the interview!

Welcome, Ruth! How long have you been writing?

I have been writing since I was nine years old. My first story, “The Hunchback Bug,” is now a writing tool for my students. Your first story doesn’t have to be good, but if you keep working at it, your writing will improve.

Wise advice. What made you want to write this Christmas devotional?

I had already written a lot of stories for children as well as a lot of devotions over the years. It seemed logical to combine them to create something unique for whole families to use during the Christmas season. I mentioned it to my friends and it became a project we worked on together.

What a fantastic project. Since this is a Christmas devotional, can you share a favorite Christmas memory?

Oh, goodness, there so many! I remember getting up super early with my siblings when I was a child. My parents would allow us to open our stockings, which was probably an effort to let them sleep a little longer, although I’m not sure how quiet we were.

Then there was the tree my husband cut down with our children one year. I’m not very good at spatial things and that tree looked a lot smaller outside. My husband had to cut a couple of feet off the bottom to fit it in the house, and the tree was so big around, it took up half of our living room. That was my favorite tree ever!

Fun!! I remember a couple times of “oversized, underbranched” beauties in our living room too! Lol. What made you want to be a writer?

That must’ve been God. I never struggled as a teenager with what I wanted to be when I grew up. I always knew I would write.

Me, too! Seems I’ve always loved writing. What are some of your other favorite things to do?

I enjoy quilting – that’s my thinking time. If I’m stuck on a writing project, I can go sew for a little while and then all of a sudden ideas start to come. I also enjoy being outdoors. As a family we enjoy hiking and camping.

Sisters blog (2)

In this picture of you, as a child, which one are you?

I’m the one on the right, the oldest. 

 

Family time is the best, and I do that too to energize my writing muse again. There’s a song for each day of the devotional. Do you have a favorite Christmas song?

There are so many beautiful ones. I’m not sure I have A favorite. I enjoy “Home for Christmas,” “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” (the Steven Curtis Chapman version), “O Holy Night.” I could go on, but I won’t. Christmas songs just make me happy and help me focus on the reason for the celebration.

Where can we find you?

Blog – http://ruths-real-life.blogspot.com/

Website – http://ruthoneil.weebly.com/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/RuthONeilAuthor

Twitter – https://twitter.com/writerrutho

Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Ruth-ONeil/e/B00AJ5S3YQ

Buy link for the book – https://www.amazon.com/Days-Christmas-Family-Devotional-Meaningful-ebook/dp/B01N1LTH26

Thank you for joining us today, Ruth!

Readers, don’t forget to check out Ruth’s links and her book!

 

Your Novel’s Details

by Carole Brown

elephant forget free

Have you ever read a book that has the details wrong? And I’m not just talking about historical details, but mundane details that you didn’t catch when writing–even editing–your manuscript. Examples:

  • You wrote that an event happened on Wednesday, but a couple chapters later, on that same Wednesday, you wrote a totally, and unusable, event happening at the same time?
  • Or what about forgetting to finish a subplot detail by not following through with a satisfactory solution?
  • Did you ever change a name and find out you missed a time or two where he/she’s referred to as the previous name? Ouch!
  • Or start out with the main character’s eyes blue and finish up with a green-eyed protagonist?

 

If you’ve ever read about this happening and don’t want it to happen to you, or you know you’ve missed a few things in your manuscript, then may I suggest a couple ideas:

 1. Choose a paid-for program that works for you. There are different ones that are available that can give you guidance and steer you in the direction needed to keep all your manuscripts details clear and in order.  Depending on the money you want to invest, it can go from inexpensive to very expensive.

To those who like having it all set up for you in advance and have the money to spend, this is the way to go. There are all kinds of apps out there with varying prices. Google or ask other writers to find out what would work best for you.

programs free

Note:

I’ve heard good things about Evernote (basic is free; premium costs a decent price). Use it to keep track of your characters by using tags and keywords: eye and hair colors, photos of possible character look-alikes, clothes, styles, etc., and articles of research that you want to keep and refer to later in your work.

Scrivener: a writing software where you write without worrying about formatting. You also have the ability to use tags and keywords, clip websites, store photos and other research material. It can outline with text or a simulated cork board with index cards. You also have the added benefit of it tracking your daily quota of writing.

 

2.  Create your own “program” where you keep a detailed list of what’s happening, when, where and who.  This is the one I want to focus on today.

checklist free

 

 

 

First:  you’ll need to decide what you’ll use for your Details List: post it notes, whiteboard, index cards, spreadsheet, physical notebook, etc. Use these to help you:

  • Keep track of all characters, including minor characters who may appear only as a mention or very little in your book. List their names, ages, looks, habits, character traits, quirks, relationships (past and present) and anything else you might want to attribute to them and that helps you understand them better. You may not use everything, but it’s valuable for you to determine why and how your character acts the way he/she does.

Example: It’s easier than some realize to forget a minor character’s name, what color of eyes you first used, etc. I changed a minor character’s name in one book and couldn’t remember what it was. Another time, I changed a pretty important character from one position to another, from one name to another, then back again. Details like this are so much easier to remember when you have your handy, detailed lists.

 

character2 free

 

  • Keep track of what happens in each chapter. Some events or thoughts or actions may need follow up in later chapters. This helps you to not miss anything that needs to be visited again.

Example: this saves tons of time when you need to double check something to make sure what you previously wrote vibes with what you’re ready to write (rather than having to scroll through pages trying to find that particular scene).

book chapter free

 

 

  • Keep track of all major scenes in your book. This is a more specific listing that keeps you right in line to where you’re headed. You can follow the scenes and know whether you’ve left out any vital action, thought or words that would help clarify it or make it even more realistic.

Example: Recently, I wrote a scene of which I had that vague sense it wasn’t quite what I wanted. But in the push to finish the book, I went on writing. When the first draft was finished, I realized details weren’t as they should be in that one scene. I went back through and rewrote it twice before I came close to being satisfied with it.

Praise on the Bible

 

  • Keep track of timeline. Obviously, this is a biggie. Writers have to keep track of the time events happen, whether it’s minor or major. Readers are sharp. They can pick up a major error like this easily if they’re detail-oriented. It’s an author’s obligation to make sure their story’s timeline is “time-right.”

Example: Is it on Sunday morning before church or after an evening meal when the bad guy is taken to jail? Sometimes, especially when you switch viewpoints, you can overlap actions and times from various characters, but when it comes to certain actions or the same character, you have to consider that he just might not be able to scale Mount Everest the same time he’s eating luncheon with his girlfriend. Keep it straight with your list!

timeline free

 

  • Keep track of your plot.  Make sure you’re headed in the right direction. There will be changes and sidelines that create an even better story, but you want to remember that by keeping track of your plot, it will help keep you in line for a satisfactory ending. Every line, every scene, every chapter should lead to the ending of your plot.

Example:  In a couple of my books, I realized, the closer I got to the end, that the bad guy wasn’t the one I’d planned for when I first commenced writing the book. Because I kept track of my plot–which didn’t change–changing the character worked fine.

20171016_104443[1]

 

There are many other things that can be added to your lists, but the main thing is, keep track, however you decide to do it. I like simple and easy, so going my own way (preparing my own lists–usually with physical notebooks or cards) works for me.

However you decide to go, I think you’ll find this a great idea. Many times writers want to write and not be bothered or “distracted” with lists and such. But I encourage you to give it a try. I had the same mentality once I seriously began writing novels. It didn’t take long for me to realize I needed help…and lists was the way to go.

Questions? Ask. If I know the answer, I’ll be glad to respond. If I don’t I’ll try to find the answer. Best to you as you work on your manuscript!

Ideas for Marketing 3

by Carole Brown

Quote

                        “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.”                                   –Henry Ford

           confused man free            

Henry Ford said it right. Attitude is a large part of a writer’s problem or ability to do the marketing. In today’s world, it’s vital. Besides knowing what a writer should write, a writer must discover for whom they’re writing: widespread or a set group of people or even for themselves. That decides how they should market which leads to where they should market. And sometimes when.

What, Who, How, Where, and When (More on these another time). Keep them all in mind and your writing journey will be that much easier. 

Here’s this month’s marketing tips for your perusal

  • Join some Facebook groups that specifically pertain to what you’re writing. Historical: you’ll find many. Thriller? Poetry? Again, do your research, and, I think you’ll not find a lack of like-minded poets. Just be diligent. Remember, if you write inspirational, use discretion. Some of the groups may not be christian, so decide if you can use them without bothering your conscience. I’ve gotten a few reactions/readers from posting on these sites.
  • Ask David. A Twitter-user-marketing site. This is a very valuable asset to my own marketing. It seems to keep my stand alone, The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman, higher in the Amazon ranks at times, so check it out. It’s reasonable, cost-wise.
  • Facebook Parties. I know some of them may get annoying or even boring. But if you do decide to use them, then join in with enthusiasm and creatively. Don’t just post information about your book and links, but have fun and brief contests and short information tidbits that catch interest. People love to read interesting facts about you and your work. Just have fun and friendly, and you may gain a new reader or two! 
  • Offer freebies when other writers ask. Yes, sometimes these will gain you readers when you offer your book as a gift. This can be an author’s private launch of a new book where he/she gives gifts of others books. Or a writing conference that requests books for welcoming bags or even bigger conferences where you can create baskets for auctions. DO take advantage of some of these by creating a beautiful and appealing basket that readers are begging and hoping to receive! 

Remember, if some of these seem a lot of work for little gain: nothing is to be despised. We can’t all be NYTimes best sellers, but we can all take control of our writing marketing. Gaining one or two readers (plus more!) here and there is not to be overlooked. Most everything is valuable in its own time and way. Smile.

Blessed Marketing to you!