Friday, January 30, 2009

Take Your Higher Self into the New Year

Have you made your New Year's resolutions yet?

Lose weight, become debt free/financially secure and get organized are always on the top of most personal lists. Professional resolutions often include getting promoted, starting a business, increasing revenue and perhaps writing a book. The reason those goals look familiar is that they are often the same ones we've made last year and the year before that and so on.

To turbo-charge your resolutions, tap into your best, brightest "Higher Self." Take a moment to review this list of eight enlightened practices based on universal principles. Set an intention to explore a few this month. You'll find your work and life will be easier, more rewarding and more fun when you access your own inner wisdom and take your Higher Self into the New Year.

1. Learn to Meditate. Spend some time each day in quiet contemplation to increase your creativity, clarity and peace.

2. Visualize. Activate the power of visualization by creating a Treasure Map or Vision Board filled with what you want to manifest. (If you have one already, make sure to review and prune it often.)

3. Affirm Success. Counter the negative tapes that run through your mind with affirmations, positive statements in the present to remind you of what you desire and deserve.

4. Be on Purpose. Write a Life Purpose Statement based on your top motivations, key values and natural gifts. Refer to it often as you make decisions.

5. Clean out the Clutter. Take an inventory of the physical, emotional and technical clutter that distracts and confuses you and drains your energy. One-by-one, eliminate that clutter from your life. The universe will fill the space with what serves your highest good.

6. Raise Your Vibrations. Energy attracts like energy. Make a conscious effort to love and nurture yourself by doing things that reduce stress and bring you joy. When you're feeling good about yourself, you will vibrate at a high level which will attract other high-vibration people and circumstances to support you.

7. Be Grateful. Write in a gratitude journal to focus on what's going well in your life and work because what you focus on expands.

8. Stay Present. Reserve some time each day to resist multi-tasking and practice mindfulness. You'll be more productive and fulfilled.

For more on these and other enlightened practices, see "Divine Wisdom at Work" and Working with Wisdom® programs.

Molloy is a professional speaker, business consultant and author of Divine Wisdom at Work: 10 Universal Principles for Enlightened Entrepreneurs and the upcoming book, Take Your Higher Self to Work: 7 Best Practices for Success. Visit Sign up to receive a monthly e-newsletter for more information and inspiration.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Poetry Corner January 2009

Please note that we will be doing a special poetry issue in February! Send your poem and bio (URL to your blog or Web site) to Yvonne no later than February 6 to make the February 13 pub date.

Rodeo Hearts

Wild and free
Like a mustang running ‘cross the open plains,
You and me
Diving headlong screaming through a ring of flame.
And we never stop to wonder if
It all might fall apart.
We just ride that raging bull with our rodeo hearts.
Eye to eye
Is what we see when we are in the here and now.
No goodbye.
Wouldn’t want to face the future anyhow.
And we’ll ride this bronco to a place
Where reason soon departs,
Living out our dreams right now with our rodeo hearts.
Reaching out and reaching onto every crazy dream,
Making no excuses on the way.
Filling up our senses til they’re bursting at the seams,
We brave the night until the break of day.
Until then
There is no denying what we have to do.
It would be a sin
If we stopped right now and didn’t see it through.
So we take our winnings and we say a prayer
As the wisdom soon departs.
We’ll just keep on riding high on our rodeo hearts.

Dennis S Martin


Twisting Through The Aggressive Rubble
A Crazy Thought Becomes
A Belief In Magical Motion

Fumbling Around Space
A Crazy Tool Bag
Becomes History

Crazy Car Magnets
Attract Energy
In A Congress
Filled With Matter Less Debris

Blank Shelves Carry
A Crazy Carcass To Market
As Wall Street Asks For A Spoon

Insurance Dips Into Empty Pockets
Of Ethics
As Crazy Bankers Step On Their
Own Tails Crying, “Balance Now Due!”

A Collection Of Socialist
Find Peace
Crazy On The Steps
Of Kat Man Due

Crazy Ice Melts In Daylight
As A War Jumps
Over The Moon
Landing In A Sinking Garden
Of Sense Less Ness

Life Becomes A Torrent
Of Craziness
As Love Hangs Its Shingle
In Change

Confused I Find Crazy
Where It Is Born

As I Cry For Joy
You Kiss My Mind
And I See
The Beauty Of Craziness
In You

Friday, January 23, 2009

How to Effectively Set Goals and Reach Them

How many times have you set a goal for yourself and not followed through with it? There are some simple steps to take to prevent this from happening again.

Most people know that setting goals is important when they want to achieve something. Unfortunately, not many people know how to effectively do this. How many people can you think of who set a New Year's resolution with an attitude of giving it 110 percent, only to give up on their resolution less than two months later? Some people do not even make it that long. Why is that?

When setting a goal, make sure that you are realistic. You can pick a goal that is challenging, but do not pick one that is impossible. If you pick a goal that is impossible or nearly impossible, you are more likely to just give up on the goal.

Next, determine how long you have to reach the goal. Do you want to reach it within a month, six months, or a year or more? Give yourself enough time to reach the goal, but not so much time that you don't have to "work at it."

Once you have determined whether your goal is short or long-term, take the time to plan how you are going to reach your goal. List the steps that you can take to obtain the goal. Be as specific as you can. This is a very important step. If you do not plan out how you are going to achieve your goal, then you are setting yourself up for failure!

Another important factor in setting a goal is to list any problems that may come up that will prevent you from reaching it. This list should include ANYTHING that you think can stand in your way of reaching your goal. Include small things like your car breaking down, to illness, and big things, such as a death in the family. Remember, anything is possible. If you expect something may happen, then it won't crush your chances of reaching your goal if it does.

Now you need to ask yourself what you would do to overcome each of the obstacles. By doing this you are "planning ahead," and you will be in a better position to deal with any of these obstacles, should they arise.

Okay, by this point you have decided what your goal is. You have outlined the steps that you need to take to get there and you have figured out ways of dealing with any obstacles that come your way. Now all you have to do is start taking the steps one by one to complete your goal.

Planning all these things out prepares you mentally to achieve your goal. You will not be as likely to give up or just "forget" your goal. Read over your goal often. Add any new obstacles and solutions you come up with over time.

Seeing your goal in written format will motivate you to work harder to reach your goal. Planning your goal out in this way is the biggest part of accomplishing your goal. Congratulations, you are well on your way to achieving your goals!

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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Poetry Special Issue for February

Please note that Writers in the Sky will be doing a special poetry issue in February! Send your poem and bio (URL to your blog or Web site) to Yvonne no later than February 6 to make the February 13 pub date.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Book with a View January 2009

Tuey’s Course
Author: James Ross
Publisher: Xlibris (2008)
ISBN: 978-1-4363-8994-5
Pages: 285
Reviewer: Barbara Milbourn for WITS

From the first book in the Prairie Winds series, Lifetime Loser, author James Ross shows his penchant for exposing the bad guys—those unscrupulous and unsavory among us in the fields of real estate, law, accounting, and governance who play dirty politics and prey upon the well-intended but not-overly-astute average Joe. In Tuey’s Course, Ross ratchets up the heat and widens the gap between the haves and have-nots, shining a glaring light on a wider-than-you’d imagine ring of greed, power, and hypocrisy in white America.

Twenty new characters combine with several we already know in an intertwined series of quick-moving and interesting plots and schemes, some of which come to bear heavily on the shoulders of protagonist WeWildapheet Ulysees O’Tweety (Tuey).

Tuey is an excavator married to his high school sweetheart (LaVournique) for nearly twenty years and living, as he would say, among his own kind on the edge of town. His gapped-toothed constant smile, poor black man’s dialect, and innocence have us sympathetic as he struggles under a mountain of injustice bestowed on him by a host of animal look-alikes at city hall.

The government’s incessant message that his business isn’t welcome in their town presses down on him and strains his marriage, but when Tuey tries to make things right he becomes further alienated by the city and victimized by bank president Harold Syms. Syms is portrayed as a sly fox who has numerous people in his pocket and skillfully beguiles them to join him in using other people’s money to increase his and their personal wealth. One of Syms’ deals is with a local farmer/landowner who decides to sell the family’s land adjacent to the golf course for development. Syms stands to exact a hefty profit for himself, of course. In exchange for a necessary easement through Prairie Winds Golf Course, J Dub and Curt, who have met Tuey and understand his plight, insist that Tuey be awarded the job of running a long sewer line for the project. This brings Tuey into the fold of the colorful Prairie Winds family.

Much of the time we’re back in the company of the regulars—in and out of casinos, the clubhouse, and the golf course—and enjoying their antics. Is it my imagination, or is Ross hinting that there might be a somewhat rotten apple in the barrel?

Tuey’s Course happens to overlap with Finish Line at the time Curt is battling cancer. A knock-out, athletic govie-gal who can play the game catches Curt’s eye and brightens his world at the same time that weather set-backs, equipment breakdowns, mounting friction at city hall and at home have Tuey crying for help and relief. He turns to religion in a church in his neighborhood where congregants pray for him and believe there are mighty lessons to be learned from the animal kingdom. He turns to the regulars at Prairie Winds, including Puddles who leads him to a cave. Here is where Ross flexes his fictional muscle. The reader is uncertain whether they are in a dream or real time, but the plot sorts itself out and the book comes to a surprising and quite climatic ending.

Ross’s writing shows an increasing level of skill that includes the simultaneous climax toward the end of the book, a lot of satire, and fantasy—something new for him. Knowing Ross, he’s dropped a few crumbs along the trail that we might expect to surface in some future tale. I’d bet there will be more about the human tooth from Lifetime Loser, certainly some further romantic development with Curt, and I wonder if something might be lurking about the GPS killer.

A word about the new characters: some are caricature-like and compared directly to animals for reasons which become obvious, and others are so rife with stereotype that at times you think the author is kidding until you realize he expects you to say “typical.” He is certain that we all have noticed these characters around us, we’ve all formed opinions, and in most cases, we’ve mostly turned a blind eye and gone on with our own business as usual.

I’ve read and enjoyed all three of Ross’s books so far. This past weekend I was far from home driving through the St. Louis area when I caught myself looking to the right and left for signs of Prairie Winds and lime green skull caps.

Authors Access: 30 Success Secrets for Authors and Publishers
Edited by Irene Watson, Tyler R. Tichelaar, Victor R. Volkman
Modern History Press (2009)
ISBN 9781932690989
Reviewed by Vicki Landes for Reader Views (11/08)

Not too long ago, the only way to obtain the coveted title of ‘author’ was to sign with a traditional publishing company…and that was only for the extremely lucky ones. The hopeful author spent a great deal of time writing query letters, contacting agents and editors, nervously waiting for replies, and knowing there are many more ‘no thanks’ in this business than ‘welcome to the team.’ With the advent of self-publishing, the industry has literally exploded with hundreds of thousands of books on every imaginable subject. But when everyone from your grandma to your neighbor’s cat has the ability to publish a book, what can you do to ensure yours stands out above the rest? Editors Irene Watson, Tyler R. Tichelaar, and Victor R. Volkman believe they have the answers.

“Authors Access: 30 Success Secrets for Authors and Publishers” is a compilation of podcast interviews of award-winning authors, editors, publishers, publicists, business owners, consultants, freelance writers, and book reviewers. Within 200+ pages, they guide the prospective writer through many of the obstacles faced and common mistakes made in DIY publishing while making certain the finished product is as marketable as those published by established publishing companies. Further, and as many new authors come to realize, there is just as much work after your book has been published. “Authors Access” continues to provide sound information on promotion, obtaining book reviews, hiring a publicist, and making the most of today’s technological advances.

With an already innumerable amount of publishing how-to books on the market today, what makes “Authors Access” so special? Consider this: most of these types of books are written by one, sometimes two or even a small group of experts in a specific field of the greater publishing world. This person, whether a published author, editor, or agent has extensive experience doing whatever it is that they do best. However, their how-to books are limited to their road to victory. Want a second opinion on how to be a publishing success? Read another book…and another and another. With “Author Access,” you have the advice, the techniques, and the proven track record of many professionals from all aspects of the business…and in one concise book. Additionally, there is a natural flow to the book; organized and edited in such a way that there is seamless cohesion despite the number of different ‘expert voices’ sounding out.

Authors Access: 30 Success Secrets for Authors and Publishers is a must-read for any first time writer or self-published author looking to improve their skills. As a self-published author myself, I’ve got lists of ‘mistakes made’ and ‘lessons learned’ from my experience. As I read Authors Access I kept finding myself saying, “Oh, great idea!” or “I wish I’d thought of that before.” My lists are now being supplemented with “here’s what to do next time.” There’s a wealth of information in these pages; enough to keep you motivated and on the right track without bogging you down in ‘information overload.

Although self-publishing has allowed many writers to fulfill their dreams, it has also inundated the industry with books considered substandard and unmarketable to traditional publishers. Many wide-eyed, na├»ve authors have taken advantage of the opportunity to self-publish and their efforts have turned into an expensive disappointment. Within “Authors Access: 30 Success Secrets for Authors and Publishers,” you’ve got experts and their invaluable knowledge at your disposal. Editors Irene Watson, Tyler R. Tichelaar, and Victor R. Volkman do have the answers!

The Last Cowboy
Daniel Uebbing
Robert D. Reed (2008)
ISBN 9781934759134
Reviewed by Danelle Drake for Reader Views (10/08)

With eager anticipation I opened the book and was consumed from beginning to end. “Hey, baby, this is America. It’s a free country.” Even for those who would never admit it, everyone (both men and women) loves a cowboy. Bringing up visions of the sweat-covered hottie out on the tractor or the Wrangler-clad bull rider on television, the cowboy is the all-American fantasy.
Henry Dunn, “The Last Cowboy,” reads like a crazy man. He puts the best of them to shame. Beginning with a duel where both participants, he and the sheriff, were both barely able to stand, much less shoot, Henry starts a killing spree which really never ends. Rarely showing any heart, Henry is a cold, cold, uncaring man. He is consumed by the fact he wants to return to his girlfriend in Kansas. None-the-less he relieves his stress by bedding prostitutes whenever available. One encounter left him with more than he bargained for; killed the mother and now caring for the child. The Kid, barely a toddler, learns the ropes quickly and almost instantly becomes the cowboy’s partner in crime.

Both serious and down-right hysterical at the same time, this book is worth the read. From dance class to tae kwon do, I carried the book around for days while my daughters attended classes. When asked what I was reading, I would giggle and say, “I am reading ‘The Last Cowboy’ a book about a drunken cowboy that could have been written by a drunken cowboy.”

Friday, January 16, 2009

Who Should You Be Marketing Your Book To?

Your book marketing plan should include strategies for reaching several different target audiences:

• Readers -- people who buy the book to read. This is the most obvious category and it includes your primary audience (the "ideal customer" that the book was specifically written for) as well as secondary audiences who have an interest in your topic.

• Purchasers -- people who buy the book for someone else. For example, people buy books as gifts, parents purchase books for children, and women buy men's health books. Who would be likely to purchase your book for someone else, and how can you reach those folks?

• Influencers -- people who communicate with your target customers and can let them know about your book. In online book marketing, the influencers may be the most important category of all. Think about how much you can multiply your marketing efforts when other people spread the word to their own readers and customers.

Traditional and online media are important influencers. You can reach them through traditional publicity efforts as well as online press releases and article distribution.

Other authors, coaches, and bloggers who cater to your target customers can mention you, your website, and/or your book in several ways, including blog posts, links, Twittering, ezine articles, and media sharing tools like Digg. Here are some tips on working with influencers:

• Search the internet to compile a list of the top websites, blogs, ezines, magazines, newsletters, online forums, books, ebooks, clubs, and association that cater to your target market or cover your topic.

• Study each site to get a good understanding of what they do and how it relates to your book, and look for possible promotional opportunities

• Write a thoughtful, customized email or letter complimenting the prospect about their site, publication, or organization, and suggesting some specific ways that you might work together to your mutual benefit.

• Read the top blogs and online forums on your list and look for opportunities to make useful comments about posts. When responding to posts, use a short promotional signature (name, author of xxx, URL).

How can you expand your marketing reach by promoting to all of your target audiences?

Dana Lynn Smith, the Book Marketing Maven, specializes in writing book marketing plans for nonfiction books. For more book marketing tips, visit her blog at and subscribe to The Savvy Book Marketer ezine.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Your link to Conversation with Editors

Carolyn Howard-Johnson and Yvonne Perry have recorded a one-time class called "Conversation with Editors." In it, we covered some of the common mistakes writers make and how to correct them. We also provide helpful tips for impressing a publisher with your query letter.

Listen to the recording...

Carolyn is an editor and author of The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward To Avoid Humiliation And Ensure Success (How to Do It Frugally). Yvonne is a full-time freelance ghostwriter and editor, and the owner of Writers in the Sky Creative Writing Services.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Author's Corner January 2009

Happy New Year, everyone! We have some exciting things in store for you in 2009.

Carolyn Howard-Johnson and I will be facilitating a one-time pre-recorded audio class to air on Tuesday, January 13, 2009. It will be called "Conversation with Editors" and we will cover some of the common mistakes writers make and how to correct them. We will also give some helpful tips for impressing a publisher with your query letter. Ask your editing and querying questions in the comments feature at this WITS blog post now to be sure your question is answered during the class. You may contact me to get the link to the recorded class. Carolyn is an editor and author of The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward To Avoid Humiliation And Ensure Success (How to Do It Frugally).

I have three grandbabies on the way! Baby blessings to my three girls: step-daughter-in-law, Katie; my daughter, Sareya; and my daughter-in-law, Amanda, who are all expecting in 2009! Katie’s boy (her third child) is due in April, Sareya and Scott’s baby (their first child) is due in June, and Amanda and Zeb’s baby (their second child) is due in July.

WITS is considering making our newsletter a full-blown online e-zine. I realize this would take even more time and money to produce, so to offset the cost, we may offer ad space. Please take our survey to let us know if you would/would not be willing to pay for ad space if we were to create an online magazine. We would still have our regular features: The Writing Life, informative articles, Network with Us, Book with a View, and Poetry Corner, but we might expand it to include more feature columns. Let us know what your favorite features are by taking a survey to help us improve what we are doing.

Recently, I proofread a series of e-books called Just the FAQs authored by technical expert, MaAnna Stephenson. I cannot say enough of good things about them! Just the FAQs gives authors, writers, or anyone who has little experience with online technology, the essentials for setting up a blog, adding RSS Feed, creating a Web site, and book promotion through article marketing. See how valuable and easy these non-geeky e-books are when you visit . Oh, and there are free online marketing resources and downloads on the JTF blog . Check that out, too.

My 92-year-old grandmother (we call her Nanny) is still unable to walk after falling and breaking her hip and arm in November, but we have a contraption, which reminds me of an engine hoist or an amusement park ride, to get her in and out of bed. She does several hours of “chair time” each day. Her arm is healing well, but the osteoporosis in her hip is too advanced for the bone to mend well enough to regain weight bearing condition. My mom is a saint and should win the galactic lottery if good works and patience had anything to do with. She cares for Nanny around the clock in her home.

There are only a few seats left in my mentoring program for freelance writers that begins January 14. I look forward to facilitating a weekly 1-hour tele-seminar on Wednesday evenings at 7:00 Central Time. In these writing classes, students will build a real-world portfolio while learning the craft and business of freelance writing. Weekly assignments will be given to the group and graded individually. This is a great way to get encouragement and help in specific areas of need. Learn more about WITS mentoring program at These classes are filling up fast, so contact us to be placed on the January 2009 newbie class roster. An entry essay will be required before admission is confirmed.

Be sure to see the WITS resources page for some great recommendations on books to improve writing, technical expertise, newsletters and web sites, internet radio shows and podcasts, book publishers and literary agents, book marketing sites, book printers, and online promotion books and e-books.

Here’s to your writing success and the best WITS year ever!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Accepting Submissions for WITS February Newsletter 2009

It's time to submit your book reviews, articles, poems, and announcements about anything related to writing, editing, publishing, and book promotion.

If you wish to contribute anything to Writers in the Sky Newsletter for February 2009, please review the guidelines on our Web site:

Hurry, the deadline is January 24, 2008.

To help us improve our newsletter, please select your favorite WITS feature at

I also want to let you know that my new eBook Book Marketing in the Digital Age Online Promotion Made Easy is available at You will find many free tips for book marketing on the site as well.

Yvonne Perry
Owner of Writers in the Sky Creative Writing Services

Friday, January 9, 2009

The Writing Life: January 2009

Proofreading as a Form of Right Livelihood

I recently completed an assignment proofreading galley copies for a novel en route to the printer. Reading the work of an emerging author is like opening a Christmas present. It’s all fresh, new and exciting. The challenge for me was to keep my proofreading senses sharp.

Here are some techniques I use to ensure effective proofreading:

1. Read the work out loud. When you can hear the rhythm and cadence of a piece, the grammar, punctuation and formatting almost reveal themselves. I’ll also note places where I stop mid-sentence or have to read a sentence more than once. This is often a clue that the words could be confusing to other readers.

2. Work in short blocks of time. I know just how long I can read before I lose my concentration or get swept up in the author’s style. I make it a point to stop 5-10 minutes sooner than my “point of diminishing returns.” I will do some physical task, but I will not read anything else. My entire body needs to take a break in order for me to stay fresh and alert during my proofreading.

3. Keep a dictionary handy. Whether I’m working online or on the page, I make sure to check the spelling and/or meaning of words, if I have even a shadow of a doubt. I also double check the tricky words like “affect/effect” and whether words like “merthiolate” should be proper case with an initial capital letter.

4. Pay attention to details. When proofreading fiction, I’ll check for continuity in action, character, and whether a term is consistently used. I’ll notice if “Magnolia Station,” is sometimes written as “Magnolia station” or if a character speaking in a 20th Century setting is using 21st Century terminology.

5. Read the piece backwards. I proofread highly technical or foreign language words as if they were a series of numbers. By checking these terms one letter at a time, I ensure consistency throughout the work.

6. Read the piece aloud more than once. I not only read on different days, I will read each chapter or section of the work more than once. Whether it’s a very rough first draft or a polished piece ready for publication, I’m likely to see things I missed the first time through.

7. Submit with confidence. By pacing myself and making sure the work is read carefully, I’m able to proofread to the client’s satisfaction. Getting paid to read–especially when I’m among the first to read–makes proofreading a satisfying way to apply my writing skills.

Writer and naturalist JJ Murphy,, offers creative nature curriculum, wild food recipes, fiction, poetry, articles and writing services for individuals, entrepreneurs, small businesses and ecologically aware companies.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Podcast Schedule January 2009

January 16

Sarah Moore, author’s assistant for Writers in the Sky, will be talking with author Charles Tillinghast about his new book How Capitol Got the Beatles. Tillinghast worked for fifteen years as the head of the Law Department of Capitol Records, including the time during which The Beatles were signed with the label. He shares inside information about how the contract with The Beatles almost did not come to pass, who really discovered the Fab Four, and how strains in personal relationships caused problems with the band’s contract negotiations. Tillinghast puts aside his training in legal writing to create a book that is easily understood by the casual reader and has prepared a must-read for any Beatles fan. Listeners will enjoy some fascinating stories about John, Paul, George and Ringo as well as valuable information concerning the record industry in general. Purchase on

January 23

Writers in the Sky’s very own Yvonne Perry will conduct a special interview with author and publicist Pam Lontos. Ms. Lontos is president of PR/PR, a public relations firm that gets experts, authors, and speakers into the media. She previously held the position of vice-president with Disney-owned Shamrock Broadcasting. She recently earned the great honor of being named “Publicist of the Year” by BPSC. Ms. Lontos will be discussing her new book I See Your Name Everywhere: Leverage the Power of the Media to Grow Your Fame, Wealth, and Success. Detailing information that is certain to be important to all aspiring authors, Ms. Lontos’ book includes how to get your name into media, prepare for an interview, and create a winning press release. She also shares the most common publicity mistakes. This is a must-listen interview with a professional who excels in her field. For more information about Pam Lontos, please visit her business website at Purchase this book on

January 30

MaAnna Stephenson rounds out our fantastic podcast guests for the month of January. Ms. Stephenson will be interviewed by Yvonne Perry to share some information concerning her Just the FAQs eBook series. Blogs, written both for professional and personal purposes, are becoming increasingly sophisticated and instrumental in how we gather information. Do you need to learn how to create and customize your own blog? How do you submit articles to the right directories that are certain to drive traffic to your website or blog? How do you best get your blog content to potential and current readers? Billed as the “Online Marketing Resources for Non-Geeks,” the four offerings include new eBooks on blogs, RSS feeds, Web sites, and articles. Ms. Stephenson will share with our audience how her clear and colorful texts can help any aspiring blogger. For more information about MaAnna Stephenson and her eBook series, please visit

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Writers in the Sky E-zine January 2009

It's the first Tuesday of the month and the entire WITS E-zine has been published and emailed to those on our permission-based subscription list.

If you are reading this post right here on our blog, you may notice that there's no January e-zine here to read. That's because we took a vote and everyone agreed that anticipation and patience, as outlined in option 3, is a great virtue. Therefore, we will post the individual features/columns/sections of the e-zine in intervals over the course of the month. If you have subscribed to the RSS feed of our e-zine blog (which is a very good idea), you will get a notice whenever we post something on the blog.

However, if you just can't wait for the sections to go live (who could blame you?), you can read the entire January 2009 e-zine now!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Network with Us January 2009

NETWORK WITH US is a free service offered to readers of Writers in the Sky Newsletter.

Add your announcement or brag about your writing accomplishment. Tell us about your book or business. Share information and ideas or send articles or advertorial for the next issue by contacting us on our Web site. Here are some announcements from our readers this month:

A new e-book series, Just the FAQs, gives beginners, who have little experience with online technology, the essentials for setting up a blog, adding RSS Feed, creating a Web site, and book promotion through article marketing.

As an author, you are probably trying to promote your books online, but you may not know how to create a Web site or blog, much less customize, optimize, and syndicate it. You don’t want to spend hours learning the technical side of online promotion, but neither do you want to pay thousands of dollars to have an expert to do it for you. That’s where the simple Just the FAQs series of e-books come in handy. They contain no geek speak, and no prior technical experience is required to understand them.

The FAQ series contains four e-books Just the FAQs – Blogs, Just the FAQs - RSS Feeds, Just the FAQs -Web sites, and Just the FAQs – Articles and a Quick Step Guide designed for beginners who have little experience with online technology. The quick Step Guide is an overview of the first four e-books and will give basic information about blogging, RSS feeds, Web sites, and article marketing. The individual e-books go into more depth about its particular topic. See for more information. There are free online marketing resources and downloads on the JTF blog

Conversation with Editors Yvonne Perry and Carolyn Howard-Johnson. Ask your questions and sign up for the call at

Join Yvonne Perry and Carolyn Howard-Johnson on January 13 for "Conversation with Editors." Yvonne has a full service editing business and Carolyn is an editor and author of The Frugal Editor. Ask your questions in the comments feature below this post, and then sign up for the call here.

The Lieurance-King New Year's 2009 Article Challenge starts January 5 and will last till February 28. The challenge will be to write a total of 45 new articles within that time period and submit them to online article directories. People may sign up for the challenge at make sure you also sign up for the free e-course, “21 Tips: A 21-Day Course in Effective Article Marketing” while you are there.

WITS Mentoring Program for Freelance Writers begins Wednesday, January 14 at 8 p.m. Central Time.

During these six weekly tele-sessions, Yvonne Perry will provide coaching to help writers build a real-world portfolio while learning the craft and business of freelance writing. Weekly assignments will be given to the group and graded individually. Participants will be given encouragement and help in specific areas of need.

Materials need, fees, and pre-requisites are listed WITS Web site.

Be sure to check out WITS resources page for some great recommendations on books to improve writing, technical expertise, newsletters and web sites, internet radio shows and podcasts, book publishers and literary agents, book marketing sites, book printers, and online promotion books and e-books.

Travel writer, Linda Ballou, shares the secret side of paradise in her novel Wai-nani, High Chiefess of Hawaii-Her Epic Journey.

Wai-nani, Linda’s ultimate destination piece, is a portal into a world we can’t get to any other way. She will also impart tips on how to make travel writing work for you.


Registration is underway for the 2009 National Writers’ Empowerment Conference and Book Expo to be held on Saturday, February 21, 2009, from 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM, in Nashville , TN. The event will be held at the Holiday Inn Select Opryland/Airport, 2200 Elm Hill Pike, Nashville , TN 37214 .

Hundreds of novice and seasoned writers from all across the country will converge on the Holiday Inn Select, Opryland/Airport in Nashville , TN to attend the Fifth Semi-Annual National Writers’ Empowerment Conference and Book Expo. Founded by prolific writer and self-publishing guru Renee Bobb (, the conference is billed as an event where aspiring authors can not only learn about the book publishing industry, but promote and market their works as well.

This year’s theme is: “Moving Beyond the Dream to Reality.” The one major aspect that has been noticed from past conferences is that participants are not only motivated to write, market, and publish their books, but they are putting the information into action. Everyone has a story to tell but very few know the in’s and out’s of how to first write the book, then how to get their books on the market. With the help of technology and the knowledge of publishing professionals, anyone can master the art of writing and publishing a book.

The National Writers’ Empowerment Conference is uniquely designed to train the aspiring author on how to make the transition from writer to published author. This event provides the information, resources, and training that writers and authors need to write, publish, and market their books. Conference participants will have an opportunity to hone their writing skill in sessions led by established authors, editors, and publishers. Workshop Topics include:

There is a great line up of speakers and panelists ready to help you become a polished writer and author. Visit to receive more information about the speakers and workshop leaders.

Participants will spend the entire day not only attending workshops, but meeting and networking with local authors, independent bookstore owners, suppliers, editors, printers, and much, much more. (Private consultations are also being offered for a small fee for those who want more one-on-one time with the experts.)

Early bird registration (on or before January 15, 2009) is $75.00, full registration (after January 15, 2009) is $95.00. Special pricing for Active Duty Military and/or Veterans is $75.00 and College Student or Teen Registration is $75.00. The registration fee will cover breakfast, lunch, all workshops and workshop materials, as well as entrance to the book expo.

For more information about the National Writers’ Empowerment Conference and Book Expo please call Renee Bobb at 615-753-5647 or e-mail Visit the web site at

Author of Defying Gravity: A Celebration of Late-Blooming Women, Prill Boyle shares:

Like many of the people I write about, I'm a classic late bloomer. I dropped out of college (a story in itself), married young, and ended up at Harvard--as a secretary, not a student. Twelve years later, tired of doing clerical work, I enrolled at Georgetown University and earned a B.A. and M.A. in English. After graduating at age 38, I became an English teacher. Then, in January of 2000, I read a NY Times article about a 65-year-old woman who had waited 39 years to join the Peace Corps and was leaving for a 2-year assignment in Ukraine. Inspired by this woman's persistence and courage, I decided to take my own leap of faith. At age 48, I left my teaching job to write DEFYING GRAVITY. Since its publication, I've given over 80 talks and keynotes in 20 states, including a speech at the United Nations. In 2007 I traveled to Botswana to speak to school and government groups in cooperation with the Peace Corps. Now 54, I continue to research and write about late blooming.

In addition to the above and to my blogging (, I write a monthly column for the Nat'l Assoc. of Baby Boomer Women. Website:

Here is an endorsement for Prill Boyle’s book DEFYING GRAVITY:

"Boyle lets each woman tell her story in her voice, and those voices ring with humor and courage...You'll come away from this book with a new determination to write that story, get that degree, apply for that promotion, take that trip, or start that hobby." - Ann Byle, Grand Rapids Press is a FREE literary sharing website (like YouTube but for the literary world) where writers can upload, view and share their writing. The only restriction is that the material cannot be illegal in any sense of the word (such as child porn, plagiarism, etc.). Other then that, feel free to post in any of the following categories:

ASSORTED writings

Our goal at Writing Raw is simple - to serve the literary community with the opportunity to have their work online and out in the world. Who knows who may see it! In this world of disappearing literary magazines, Writing Raw is providing the blank pages for writers to fill.

To view someone’s writing, just click on the link and a .pdf version of the piece will open in your browser. Read it, comment on it, vote for it to be a showcased piece! Most important - ENJOY IT.

There is no catch here – all writings will be posted. Let’s create a world where no one rejects a writer or the work of their future masterpiece.

The Editors of Writing Raw. A Poker Sisters Publication

2009 Be My Valentine's Story Contest
Want to get a chance to get your story published for FREE? Romance and love stories are the theme of the 2009 Valentine's Story Contest. Submission Deadline: 2/14/2009. View Stories

Please check out my video interview on "Today's Author With David Ewen" on YouTube where we discuss the genesis of my novel "Painting The Invisible Man."

Thank you,
Rita Schiano, author "Painting the Invisible Man" and "Sweet Bitter Love"

The Muse Online Writers Conference is now taking registrations for its upcoming FREE conference. Deadline is August 1st, 2009. For more information, see