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Happy I Love to Write Day!

The Path

I always thought that when good people died, they turned into angels and went to Heaven, while bad people became demons and went to Hell. I was wrong. When people die, they don’t become angels or demons, they just become the remnants of what they used to be. They are just the spirits of the humans they once were, but where they go, is an entirely different matter.

Righteous people’s spirits are lifted up to heaven, so far off and high beyond the relativity that humans think of as the sky, that other spirits can’t even see how far they’ve gone…and they definitely can’t see the pearly gates, if they even exist. There is much debate about what makes a person righteous by those of us who weren’t granted the title, but it pretty much boils down to anyone who was a pretty decent person and actually whole heartily believed in something greater than themselves.

Can’t believe I spent all my mortal life making fun of people who “believed” and that I publicly proclaimed on multiple occasions that if Heaven exists, it would probably be open to any good person. I honestly thought that as long as I wasn’t a rapist or serial killer, I’d be ok. I was, at least for the moment, better off than the rapists and killers. They were all dragged, by their bleeding eye sockets that had been gouged out by their soon to be hellish neighbors, straight down into a boiling pit of fire, which I took to be entrance into Hell.

I wish there was a way to keep track of time here. I just want to know how long I’ve been on this path. Everyone who didn’t making it straight into Heaven or Hell, was given a path to follow to decide where they’d spend eternity. Based on the way you lived your life, whether you were good or bad and to what extent, your path was either wide or narrow in varying degrees, smooth or rock, lit or dim, and so on.

My path was relatively wide, dimly lit, and bumpy. I was actually one of the more fortunate ones. Very few people were given wide, smooth, well lit paths with very few obstacles along the way; as far as I could tell. It’s seems like I’ve been traveling this road for ages, but there really is no way to tell. I haven’t encountered any obstacles at the moment other than navigating the bumpy path. A few days ago or weeks, who knows, I stumbled across this journal square in the center of my path. I knew the journal was meant for me and that I should take it and write in it.

It took me a few days or weeks, I don’t really know, before I was ready to start writing. As I continued to walk along the path, I discovered pencils and erasers, and sticky notes, and paper clips. I was very leery of the odd and eerie gifts. I thought for sure I was headed down a path leading me straight to Hell and that these gifts were just tokens of false hope meant to build me up for a huge let down. The more I thought about this horrible possibility the less and less gifts I received and the harsher my path grew.

One day, I think it was early, but really had no way of telling, I grew tired. For however long I had been traveling this path, I’d never needed to stop for rest, eat, drink, or use the bathroom. When I sat down to rest, I finally pulled out my journal and began to write in it…

Well that’s all I have for the moment. This is officially a new WIP. Since today is I Love to Write Day, I decided to just sit down and write whatever came into my head until it stopped coming. This is the result. I will probably leave it like this for a couple of days before going back to what happens next in the story.

I’ve been a busy bee as usual networking, reading, writing, and as always learning. I am eight chapters into my romance now. My adventure has been taking a long nap; maybe I’ll try to wake it up this weekend. Still beta testing the sequel to my currently book before committing it to a professional edit.  

This week over at the Eternal Curse Series, I was visited by author Paula Stiles. She has some really great stories to share and tomorrow I’ll post the lovely interview we conducted. That’s all for now. Have a wonderful rest of the week.

How to write a review: Part 4.

*Lastly, posting reviews can also be tricky, but I believe there is a rhyme and reason for that as well. Always try to post your review at the location or site it was purchased or obtained. Sometimes, books are received without knowing the location of purchase, but that’s not a problem. Most books are now available for viewing and reviewing at GoodReads.com.

Lastly, if you have a blog, Facebook page, Stumble Upon, Google+, twitter, or other social media outlet, post your reviews there. As with most sites these days, reviews are just the tip of the iceberg. You can also show your support by rating, ranking, and Liking books and pages where applicable. For example, most Amazon book listings come with a Like button, rate option, and review option. Take a few extra seconds and pursue all three.

I hope you found this to be helpful and wish you all the best in your reading, writing, and reviews. I think I have finalized the details of the Review Challenge that I’m going to host. I think it will be a lot of fun. I will be awarding prizes to the winners. Winners will be based solely on votes. Be sure to come back tomorrow to learn all the details of challenge and the prizes…

In the meantime, I will be posting a whole bunch of reviews I should have done ages ago. They are for traditionally published books as well as Indie published books. It’s time I started putting all my theories into practice and stop being afraid to express myself when writing reviews. (I used to post my reviews at the following blog: http://ecsuniverse.blogspot.com/)

How to write a review: Part 3.

Step 5. Always be honest. A good review doesn’t mean that you have to love the book, but always try to be fair. Readers can tell if you’ve written a review to falsely build up a books rating and they can tell if you are intentionally beating a book down out of spite. Also keep in mind the average person isn’t going to be as thorough in their reviews as other writers and bloggers. This is a good thing. A distinctive credibility is what you want to display when writing a review. It should help set you apart as a writer and a professional. A good review comes with clear explanations of why the book was loved, liked, ignored, or hated; without clear explanations, reviews worthless.

After writing all this, I’ve decided to challenge myself to write more reviews. I also invite you to write more reviews, maybe even one for my new book Eternal Curse: Giovanni’s Angel.

Aside from that, I think I’ve just about figured out what to do with my Review Challenge and am pretty sure it will help some Indie Authors get more reviews. I think it will be a nice gesture just in time for the holiday season, whether you have something to celebrate or not. I know it won’t be a huge thing, but each day I’m more determined to try it. After receiving my first ever customer review, and not knowing when another will come, I just feel like I need to give back to the indie literary community somehow.

How to write a review: Part 2.

Step 3. Summarize the book in one of two ways.

a. The blurb-explain what you feel the book was about providing some plot points in 100 words or less. If you are a master blurb writer, go for 100 to 200 words.

b. The Spoiler- explain exactly what happened in the story, beginning, middle, and end. So as not to lose your audience, try to keep your spoiler around 500 to 800 words. (Always indicate whether your review will contain spoilers as a curtsey to other readers)

Step 4. Then explain why you gave the book its overall rating. If you are not sure how to do that, simply answer the following questions. (There is no preferred word length for this)

a. What was the overall theme of the book and did you like it?

b. How did you feel about the pace of the plot and the plot development?

c. How did you feel about the character development?

d. How did you feel about the finale of the book?

There are many more questions that could be included in your assessment, but these are the basic points I think most people look for in a good review…I’m still working out the details of what I’m now calling, A Review Challenge.

How to write a review: Part 1.

This post, and series to follow, will be a joint venture between this blog and my other blog, http://ecsuniverse.blogspot.com/. I will be attempting to host a review challenge at the end of this little series. We’ll just see how it goes.

As many of you may know, I am not the best review writer. I lack the confidence to praise a good work and to criticize one that could have used some more work. I also have had trouble trying to be consistent with my reviews, making sure to be fair and uniform for all the books I review. So, I’ve decided to write out a plan or instructions for writing reviews in hopes that it will make me a better review writer…and if you have been reluctant to write a review of your own because you weren’t sure how, maybe this will help you. Just know that I’m new at this myself, so if you have or find a better method, by all means, use it. The important thing is to just WRITE THE REVIEW.

All authors, but especially INDIE authors, need reviews!

Step 1. Indicate the title and edition of the book if applicable. If the book is part of a series, mention the series title and which installment the review book is. Indicate the Author’s name. If you are familiar with other works by this author, mention it briefly, other wise move on.

Step 2. Give the book an overall rating. Use a system that makes sense to you and is easy to understand by others. For example, on a scale of 1 to 5, five being the best, “I give Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern a solid 5.”

I must admit that these are things that I have tried to do consistently in the past, but haven’t always succeeded with. Now that I’ve written these principles down, maybe I’ll be better at carrying them out.

I want to do something to help Indie Authors get reviews. So far, I think I’m leaning towards doing a challenge that will involve people voting on their favorite reviews. As much as I’d love for people to review my book, I think it would only be fair to keep the review selections open to the readers.  I’m still working on the details, but I’m excited about the possibilities and hope you are too.