Monday, January 23, 2012

What do Donald Trump and Dr. Oz have in common?

They both love Dr. Eric Kaplan's books!

Dr. Kaplan and his wife were 100% paralyzed from cosmetic injections but fought through the pain, fear and suffering to complete healing!

Now here's the book that resulted as they turned Tragedy into a dream come true ... And the Simple-Yet-Powerful Steps YOU Can Follow RIGHT NOW to infuse your own life with greater joy, abundance, and happiness than you ever believed possible.

Dr. Kaplan believes you were born with everything you need to heal yourself. After millions of years of evolution, your body is equipped for any challenge that comes its way: germs, cancer cells, you name it. But a huge, profit-driven medical establishment has been built around healing from the outside in, instead of inside out. When you buy this book today, you'll also receive Dr Kaplan's other book - Imagine two books for the price of one plus 150 bonus gifts! 5 Minutes to Wellness will open up your Power of Self-Healing and The 5-Minute Motivator, will motivate you to do so. Dr. Kaplan outlines a step-by-step, approach by committing "5 Minutes a day."

From Such Seeds of Adversity Can Come your Greatest Triumphs...


JUST THINK... In "5 Minutes" a day:

• you can live the life you dreamed.
• you can be healthier.
• you can be happier.
• you could remove the toxins that are in your body.
• you could lose 10 pounds--and more.
• you could help others.
• you could own your own business.
• you could make a difference in your life and the lives of others.

Make yourself a winner. Buy this book today. Learn how five minutes a day can change your life. Take that one step further; follow in the great steps of Michael Jordan and make winning a habit. This book will teach you how.

Check it out now!

With The 5-Minute Motivator, you will soon outgrow all of your former problems and you achieve success you never thought possible before. You don't reach great heights by making more money—you make more money by reaching great heights through personal growth.


Yvonne Perry,
Author of Whose Stuff Is This? Finding Freedom from the Thoughts, Feelings, and Energy of Those Around You

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Transform Your Life in Twelve Weeks

I’ve been invited to speak at an extraordinary online event called the "From Trauma to TransformationTelesummit."

Some of the additional speakers on the panel include Joe Rubino, Dr. Sue Morter, and Dr. Reese. And the best part is, this event is totally free!

Find out all the details here…

From Trauma to Transformation Telesummit is an online event providing a wealth of information from happiness, self-esteem to health and much more. Together, all Thirteen speakers will cover current challenges such as depression, roadblocks to success, domestic violence, co-dependency, lack of ability to control emotions and addictions.

All my best, Yvonne Perry

P.S. Feel free to pass this email onto anyone you know who might benefit from this information!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Query Class for Writers

WITS Team Member Kristen House is holding Query Classes for Writers her message is below:

Queries are the one and only way to pitch your manuscript to a literary agent and/or publisher. The query process is complicated and requires a really specific set of skills - both writing and organizing. When I started the query process on my own several years ago, it took me more than 6 months to figure it out. By then, I'd already messed up so many contacts from playing my hand wrong that I had to stop querying and start on a new book! I'm putting together a curriculum now for a 2 day class that would cover all the ins and outs of querying agents. The information is below.

Now, if you'd like to take the class, be sure you can attend both sessions for the whole time. Be sure to bring note-taking implements and/or a laptop computer. Parents, if you'd like to enroll as well, you're welcome to do so. I'm also not segregating middle and high school students from adults for this class. In the publishing world, we're all playing on the same field, so the same rules apply. This class will be taught with the same general Kristen-style enthusiasm, but on a college-level. Bring your A-game, authors!

Also, if you're not ready to query your novel right now but you think you may want to in the future, you should sign up for this session. Why? Because I won't be offering another one for quite some time (Maybe October).

Class Dates:

Saturday, February 11
Saturday, February 18
1:30 - 3:30pm
Cost: $200, Discount of $50 for multiple family members
Location: Parent Resource Room at Abintra Montessori School
Part 1: The query process: what to expect. Parts of the query: writing, drafting, and creating a query portfolio

Part 2: Organizing your query efforts: spreadsheets, email folders, and paper trails. Workshop of participants' query letters.

Be sure to eat lunch before you come, and bring a little snack or a bottle of water if you'd like.

Be sure to register with me ASAP - To hold your spot, I need your name and a 50% deposit via PayPal or check.

Awesome! I look forward to demystifying the process!

Chief Executive Muse
A Novel Idea

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Writing for the Web

By Elaine Hirsch

Thanks to the Internet, writers have had more opportunities open to them. Before the Internet, a writer would have to either work with a publisher or write a book on their own book or apply for various writing jobs. A degree in journalism or English would often be required to be qualified for any writing job.

Today, writers can literally work from home by writing for clients and magazines. Other opportunities may come through copywriting, ghost writing, or just general content writing for a variety of online outlets. However, writing trends have changed thanks to the convenience of the Internet. If you plan to write for the Web, there are some key things you need to know.


If you are a creative writer or a fiction writer, then writing for the Web may not truly be for you. Yes, there is a place for fiction on the Web, but the audience for Internet fiction stories is small, as well. People usually read online content to find answers or information for popular niches, such as technology, love, travel and health. If you want to reach an audience, you must create content that they will want to read. According to MBA Online, understanding your market and gauging interest through social media is just as important today as the content you write. Regardless of pursuing a fictional or current events niche, you will need to connect with your readers and gauge interest through social media outlets. After doing so, you'll have conducted the adequate research to write targeted content for your audience.

Short articles

When people search for content on the Web, they are often looking for a quick answer; hey don't want to read an online masterpiece. Typically, content that is between 300-500 words is optimal for a single article or blog post. Content that is below or above this word count will usually be considered too long or too short for most people. Since article length is tailored to engage readers, having an optimal length will give people reason to share the article through their networks.

Additionally, even major search engines rank sites based on average word count. Google has much data on user behavior. It knows what people want to read and how they want to read it. Therefore, it ranks sites based off user behavior. If you want Google to rank your blog or site, you need to keep your posts at an optimal length, as well as incorporate other SEO ranking factors.

This is especially true among social network users. Twitter posts are never more than 140 characters. Even text messages only allow for so many words.

Style guidelines

If you wish to work for agency sites, you will need to learn a specific style, most often AP style. AP style (Associated Press) is the journalistic style of writing, designed to help save paper space. Most journalistic freelance writing sites require writers to abide by that style. Although many freelancers covet the ability to set up their own work schedules, motivating themselves to write consistently is one of the toughest parts of the job.


Take these points to heart and you will be a fine Web writer. Writing online is completely different from writing for yourself. However, with a little work, you can make the transition.

Elaine Hirsch is kind of a jack-of-all-interests, from education to technology to public policy, so she is currently working as a writer for various education-related sites and writing about all these things instead.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Automation and Interaction: Why We Need BOTH in our Social Media Platform

By Lynn Serafinn .
At long last we have reached that prophetic (if not hyped up) year of 2012 so many of us have been awaiting. According to many futurists, this year will mark the beginning of unparalleled expansion of awareness and global consciousness. And based upon the explosion of social media over the past few years — and most especially its evolution in 2011 — we do indeed seem to be ever-increasingly expanding our potential for awareness of our world. How many of our grandparents could possibly have imagined being “friends” with people from every corner of the planet, or having possibly tens of thousands of “followers” who know your name, what you do, and what you stand for?

But with our expanded capacity for connecting with others, we also find ourselves with an information overload. Sometimes there is just too much coming at us all at once, and we can get overwhelmed. We’ve all tried different ways to organise both our incoming and outgoing data. When it comes to organising our social media, integration and automation seemed like “the” solution, but we find ourselves yet again in an information overload situation. There are just so many different options on the market that we often find ourselves asking, “Isn’t there one RIGHT way of delivering and filtering through my social media information?”

In my work, I help business owners (primarily authors and holistic professionals) set up their social media integration and automation, and train them how to use it. But the induction process into the world of Twitter, Facebook and the like can often shake up many emotions and challenge many beliefs. Some people who are new to social media might have a pre-conceived idea that automation takes the “social” out of social media, and therefore eschew the convenience automation has to offer. These people end up working harder rather than smarter, and risk burning out on social media before they reap the rewards. Others, who don’t really like the idea of social media at all, but see it as a “necessary evil”, want to automate everything and don’t want to bother connecting with their audience. As a result, these kinds of people frequently become convinced that the lack of response they are receiving from their audience means, “Twitter (or whatever) is simply a waste of time!”

Yes, I’ve heard it all before.

Regardless of whether you recognise yourself as being similar to one of these two personality types, or you are already an enthusiastic social media devotee, let me assure you, social media can have a massive impact upon the success of your business. My own business was utterly built upon it! But in order to make it work “smart” for you, and to ensure you receive all the benefits it has to offer, you need to understand that BOTH automation AND interpersonal connection are EQUALLY important to running an efficient and effective social media platform because:

Automation is needed to deliver your content.

Interaction is needed to build relationships.

Learning the balance between these two can be a steep learning curve for many of my new clients. As demonstrated in the previous examples, those that depend upon one and fail to implement the other tend not to reap the results they seek.

But what makes the learning curve even more challenging is that to stay on top of things, you need to get used to changing your strategies all the time. This is because the social network platforms themselves (i.e., Twitter, Facebook, etc) are always in a state of evolution, and the plethora of third-party applications available to support these platforms are also always in a state of continual change.

The plain truth about social media:

Sometimes clients come to me expecting to learn the definitive system for social media. And while I tend to do things in a systematic way for myself, the truth is: there is NO magic “one size fits all” way to “do” social media. Your situation is not the same as mine. Your business is not the same. Your communication style is not the same. Your audience is not the same. Sure, there will be many similarities, but if ANYONE out their claims to be a guru, and tells you they have “the” one-stop solution for your needs, you’d be pretty safe to bet it’s a scam. Don’t spend your money on such claims (I’ve lost more than a few quid on such false promises back when I was a newbie).

But the fact that there are so many variables is not the only reason why there is no end-all magic bullet for social media. It is also because all the social media tools out there are all continuously changing, sometimes for the better, sometimes not. And as they change they create a butterfly effect upon each other. So you really have resign yourself to the fact that social media is a fluid system, and that there will be a continual process of learning involved. Even a Rubic Cube is easier to figure out, because the cube is a stable system that doesn’t change.

But the good news is, the more you know, the easier it is to adapt to this ever-flowing sea of change. For that reason, I thought it would be a good idea to write an eBook, going through some of the currently most popular social media tools for distributing your content:

Buy Kindle edition on Amazon US/Canada for only $2.99
Buy Kindle edition on Amazon UK for only £1.98

Don’t own a Kindle? You can download a FREE Kindle Reader App for PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad, Windows Phone 7, Blackberry or Android (and new ones being added regularly) from Amazon:

Amazon US/Canada:
Amazon UK:

In Social Media on Autopilot: Nice, Necessary or Nightmare? [Kindle edition], I bring you 5 details product reviews intended for business owners on five of today’s most popular social media applications: Ping, TweetDeck, Twaitter, HootSuite and Tweet Adder. Each product is evaluated on virtually every feature it offers, and ranked in terms of its usefulness, reliability, automation capabilities, interaction capability and mobility.

Accessible reading even for the “newbie”, this report and help you find out how the pros use Twitter, Facebook and other social networks without selling their souls or spending every waking hour at their computer. At the end of this report, you will also find some useful bonus materials covering options for integrating your media, and some ideas for using social media apps on your mobile phone.

I have helped dozens of authors and online business owners reach the top of their field through social media. Nearly all my learning has come the “hard way” by spending countless hours at my desk, trying to find products and figure out what was best. For a mere $2.99, this detailed report (at 15,770 words, it would have been about 50 pages if I had printed it in paperback format) you save yourself months of research and trial and error.

There are even a few free gifts for you at the back of the eBook.

I hope you find this booklet useful. If you do, please do come back and leave a comment on my blog (or better yet, post it on Amazon!). Also, if you have any suggestions for eBooks you would like me to write, please let me know that too in the comments on my blog. That would be REALLY helpful to me!

And do please subscribe to the Spirit Authors blog for more info and insight into the world of writing, publishing and book promotions.

Enjoy going on autopilot!


Lynn Serafinn, MAED, CPCC is a certified, award-winning coach and teacher, marketer, social media expert, radio host, speaker and bestselling author. Her eclectic approach to marketing incorporates her vast professional experience in the music industry and the educational sector along with more than two decades of study and practice of the spirituality of India. In her work as a promotional manager she has produced a long list of bestselling mind-body-spirit authors. She is also the creator of Spirit Authors, which offers training, coaching, business-building and inspiration for mind-body-spirit authors, whether established or aspiring. Passionate about re-establishing our connection with the Earth, she supports the work of the Transition Town network in her hometown of Bedford, England.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

From Screenplay to Short Story

by Linda Hayes

Mostly, if not always, people transcribe their story, short or long, into a screenplay. Just once in a while it’s good to go the other way; from screenplay to short story. As this transition is rare, here are some tips about how you could carry out this task, although it should be noted that most writers have their own way of planning and writing.

It is not just a matter of looking at the methods of adapting a story to screenplay and performing it all backwards. There are specific tasks to look at before you can even consider the beginning.

The rules and the size of the task

With a full screenplay, you are probably writing between 90 and 110 pages in screenplay format, with each page equaling about one minute of screen time. This means you have definite headings to work with:

• scene heading – the location; inside or outside shot and the time of day setting the scene

• action – what’s actually happening when the story moves along

• character – who is going to speak

• parenthetical – information about an immediate action or a direction for the actor

• dialogue – the character’s speech

• transitions – how one scene moves to another

The rules of the short story

You will look at the length of your short story to give you a guide to what you can leave in and what you should leave out of the screenplay. If your target is twenty pages, you won’t just be shaving 70-90 pages from the screenplay, but rather looking at the screenplay’s major elements and deciding which parts of the story are to remain.

It might be that you choose to make your short story cover only part of the screenplay. That way you might be exchanging 40 pages for a new 20 page version. That might make the cutting down and cutting out an easier task.

If you are entering a short story competition or have been asked to write the story for a specific purpose, there will be some rules attached. You'll need to consider engraving certain themes into your pristine ideas. This will dictate the length of your project and might offer extra information which may tell you that no dialogue is allowed. If your story is to be part of a selection of stories for print, there will be an overall feel to the book you will need to adhere to.

Story guidelines

Just like your screenplay, the opening scene must have an immediate impact. You will need to show your protagonist quickly along with your antagonist and other major players. You won’t have long to grab your reader’s interest.

You will need to know how you are going to end your story. Will it have the same ending as the screenplay or, as a short story, do you require a different ending? Once you know your ending you will be able to plan out the middle section, the 14-16 pages which will take you through more and more intense unexpected consequences leading up to the dramatic ending.

You can use dialogue directly from your screenplay - if you wrote it - but you’ll need to have permission to change or use the dialogue if you have been asked by the writer to present the short story.

The action scenes in the screenplay are always in the present tense. In your short story you will have options of using all the normal tenses available to fiction. From third person to first person, you may be taking away the current tense and replacing the action with either the past tense or perhaps the story telling tense from a personal point of view.

The action scenes from the screenplay need to be given more descriptive detail to make a story work well. In a screenplay they are set to their bare minimum to give an indication of what is happening. In your story they will be the backbone of your presentation to take your reader on an adventure.


If you are the type of screenplay writer that writes a treatment of your script, you will already have a shortened version of your screenplay which could help with your short story adaptation. Treatments are used to present a short version of the whole screenplay so a producer or reader for a studio can get a feel of the script in short-form and only ask to see the full 90-110 pages if it matches their requirements.

While treatments can be from one page to 30 pages long, they are usually closer to a synopsis version of around 5 pages. This gives you the task of expanding the five pages up to twenty for your short story. Let the writing begin.

Linda Hayes is a stage-trained wordsmith and passionate thespian. She has recently turned her attention from acting to short stories, and hopes to get published this year.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Writers in the Sky Expanding Team

Daily it is a privilege to get new inquiries about our writing, editing, and book marketing services. Over the past few months, two of our team members have taken full time jobs and this has left a vacancy in our network that I would like to fill with at least one (maybe two) qualified writers/editors.

Here is what I am looking for:

1. Nashville resident (preferred)
2. At least one year of experience writing for hire
3. Someone who can edit as well as write
4. Someone who knows the book industry and can write a knock out publisher query letter 
5. Someone with experience in writing resumes and business documents
6. One willing to be a team member and contribute material for this blog at least once per month
7. Experience in metaphysical/self-help non-fiction genres or an expertise in developing/editing novels

If you are interested in being considered as a prospect for assisting clients with writing, editing, and book marketing projects, please submit your resume and a few writing samples via the contact page of Writers in the Sky's Web site:

Yvonne Perry,
Owner of Writers in the Sky Creative Writing Services

Monday, January 2, 2012

Using "I" As a Conceit

By Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success

I don't know when I learned the word "conceited." I was raised in Utah where most of us didn't use "conceit" in the sense of an elaborate or strained metaphor but rather to mean that someone thought they were extra-super special. The little girl across the street who snubbed me because I didn't wear long stockings with garters (which was an immediate tipoff that I was not her kind) was "conceited" rather than prejudiced. The kid who was quick to make a point of how bright he was when I made a mistake was "conceited" rather than arrogant (or insecure). Gawd!I loved the word "conceited." I could apply it to so many situations and avoid learning new vocabulary words.

Of course, in a culture where being extra-super humble was valued, I soon noticed that our English language is, indeed, "conceited."

I'm speaking of the way we capitalize the pronoun "I." None of the other pronouns are capped. So what about this "I," standing tall no matter where you find it in a sentence? Recently as I tutored students in accent reduction and American culture I noticed that some languages (like Japanese) seem to do quite well without pronouns of any sort. I did a little research. Some languages like Hebrew and Arabic don't capitalize any of their letters and some, like German, capitalize every darn noun. So, English—a Germanic language at its roots—just carried on the German proclivity for caps.

But the question remained. Why only the "I?" Why not "them" and "you" and all the others. Caroline Winter, a 2008 Fulbright scholar, says "England was where the capital "I" first reared its dotless head . . . .Apparently someone back then decided that just "i" after it had been diminished from the original Germanic 'ich' was not substantial enough to stand alone." It had to do with an artistic approach to fonts. The story goes that long ago in the days of handset type or even teletype machines little sticks and dots standing all alone looked like broken bits of lead or scrappy orphan letters.

Then there is the idea that religion played a part in capitalizing the "I." Rastafarians (and some others, too) think in terms of humankind as being one with God and therefore— one has to presume—it would be rather blasphemous not to capitalize "I" just as one does "God." Capitals, after all, are a way to honor a word or concept.

Which, of course, brings us back to the idea that we speakers of English are just plain "conceited."


Carolyn Howard-Johnson is an instructor for UCLA Extension's world-renown Writers' Program, and author of the HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers including The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success. It is a USA Book News award-winner as well as the winner of the Reader View's Literary Award and a finalist in the New Generation Book Awards. She is the recipient of both the California Legislature's Woman of the Year in Arts and Entertainment Award and is a popular speaker and actor. Her website is

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