Be a Wholehearted Author! These articles share with you the techniques I’ve used to build my author platform and publish fiction and nonfiction books.

Don’t Let Fear Paralyze You

I live with the fear that all raccoons have rabies. Or distemper. Or cooties and other germs. They’re cute, but I avoid them. This despite having a childhood friend who had one as a pet. I used to cuddle “Ricky,” until he hit raccoon puberty. One day, Ricky left and he didn’t come back, listening to the call of the wild, instead of my friend at the back door. [...]

2018-07-12T21:23:59+00:00By |

Find the Beautiful, the Strange at Your Local Botanical Garden

Botanical Gardens Have Historic Roots I am not a botanist, but I enjoy spending time at Botanical Gardens. According to Wikipedia, the inception of botanical gardens is linked to the history of botany, and most 16th and 17th century scientific gardens were devoted to growing medicinal plants. The concept of a botanical garden evolved to encompass, "displays of the beautiful, strange, new and sometimes economically important plant [...]

2018-07-12T21:36:34+00:00By |

Out of Nowhere? Generating New Ideas

How do you generate ideas? Has it ever been a priority for you? Or do you simply wait for an idea to surface, not wondering how it formed? You may be interested in the concept of producing ideas on demand, and the techniques you can use to hurry them along. I am. I'm a "thinker." I love to spend time researching and thinking about things. I hyper-focus on a [...]

2018-07-12T21:32:28+00:00By |

The Eager-Beaver Writer

Are you an Eager Beaver Writer? Does this describe you? This person has wonderful intentions, and after riding the wave of motivation, promises to: Wake up early to write Write 1,000 words per day Learn how to use Scrivener Build an author’s website The Eager Beaver Writer burns out, generally in the first week, because motivation doesn’t endure without a constant injection of enthusiasm. Setting far-reaching goals is a sure-fire [...]

2018-07-12T21:25:06+00:00By |

Useful Guide to Free Photos, Media and More

As a writer, you're not always concerned with visual or audio artwork. It's often secondary to the Muse dictating the story to you. As a Self-Sufficient Author, however, you need media for marketing your author brand, so how do you find it and use it legally? The Ultimate Guide to Free Photos, Media & More was too ambitious, plus it wasn't an achievable goal, so I created A Useful Guide [...]

2018-08-05T18:49:33+00:00By |

Reawaken Your ‘Sense of Wonder’: Remembering Rachel Carson

Rachel Carson The spirit of Rachel Carson lives on, instilling in the Earth's human population awareness of its fragile environment and an urgency to protect it from toxins. Although it's been five decades since the publication of her runaway bestseller, "Silent Spring" (1962), Carson remains one of the greatest nature writers of America and one of America's Top 100 Scientists according to a Time magazine poll. "The beauty [...]

2018-07-12T21:19:29+00:00By |

Register Your Author Website Domain Before It’s Gone

Claim Your Name Now Register Your Author Website Domain Before It's Gone What are you waiting for? An invitation? If you haven't registered your name with ICANN as a domain for your Author's Website, then you better get a move on. I have a unique name, and there are still several people in the United States with the same name. Lucky for me, I'm tech savvy and I registered [...]

2018-07-12T21:29:11+00:00By |

Why I Broke up with Smashwords

Why I Broke up with Smashwords Fall In Love with D2D Excuse me, please, but this is a "Rant Post." I've been struggling with the dreaded Meatgrinder at Smashwords for years. In fact, it's been a battle since I self-published my first novel, DISTRACTED. The problem with the Meatgrinder is, it requires you to upload your book as a Microsoft Office file, with no formatting (or minimal). Smashwords also [...]

2018-07-12T21:33:48+00:00By |

Use BOTH Sides of Your Brain in Harmony

Use BOTH Sides of Your Brain in HarmonyDoes the left side of your brain dominate your actions, or the right? Are you logical, organized and methodical, or are you intuitive, spontaneous and creative? Or, do you use both sides of your brain in harmony?Scientists have studied brain-injury patients for years and have determined that both hemispheres can affect personality. Did you know, however, that it is possible to develop a [...]

2018-07-12T22:12:42+00:00By |

We Know We Have to Market Our Books, But What’s the Best Way to Do It?

Let's face it, there's too many types of social media applications, and software subscriptions, and email providers, and landing pages and funnel pages and squeeze pages and ad nauseum, to learn how to use all of them. Trying to find our way through the business of Internet marketing is a minefield, and we're wary and insecure. Not only that, we don't' have time to learn all that stuff, especially since [...]

2018-08-05T18:49:01+00:00By |

Easy on the Hooptedoodle

If you've never read Elmore Leonard's Rules for Writing, you're in for a treat. Justified's Timothy Olyphant and creators Graham Yost and Elmore Leonard, right, with their Peabody Award at the 70th Annual Peabody Awards Luncheon. Image courtesy Stemoc, Flickr. Leonard was an American novelist, short story writer, and screenwriter. His earliest novels, published in the 1950s, were Westerns, but he went on to [...]

2018-07-12T22:14:28+00:00By |

Doing the Difficult

I recently had a great, and at the same time miserable, experience. I'm working towards my Advanced Open Water PADI Scuba Diving certification, and completing the Deep Dive is one of the tasks I selected. I knew it would be tough, and I dreaded it. I had to build up my confidence. I should have built up more, specifically, my lung capacity and energy level. I was sucking wind [...]

2018-07-12T22:07:36+00:00By |

Solo Camping

I spent a week solo camping, as a way to kick start my writing this summer. I viewed solo camping as a "Writing Retreat." Constant Companion: Chubbers, an Australian Shepherd-Husky Mix.Constant Companion: Chubbers, an Australian Shepherd-Husky Mix. Confession: I wasn't alone. I brought my constant companion, my dog, Chubbers. My husband and the cat can get along without me for a few days. She can't. Feeling ambitious, I took [...]

2018-07-12T21:55:05+00:00By |

National Archives Releases Civil War Documents, Photograph

National Archives Releases Civil War Documents, Photograph Interested in the ephemera of the Civil War? The National Archives has released thousands of documents and photographs from the American Civil War, and Wikimedia Commons is organizing them. Here's just one of many photos of U.S. History in the category: Virginia, Army of the Potomac Headquarters. Captain Harry Page, Quartermaster. This photograph, "The Halt," was taken by Timothy [...]

2018-07-12T21:47:10+00:00By |

Our Milestone: 35 Years Together

We celebrated a milestone in the Van Auken family: our 35th wedding anniversary. I made a short video for my sweetheart that summarized some of the adventures we've had this past year, and I'm looking forward to many more. Van Aukens observe 35th anniversary Robin and Lance Van Auken Mr. and Mrs. Lance Van Auken, South Williamsport, observed their 35th wedding anniversary Feb. 14, [...]

2018-07-14T13:01:47+00:00By |

Small Changes Ripple Outward

Small Changes Ripple Outward I spent a delightful 12 minutes watching a Ted Talk by Shawn Achor, a psychologist who teaches about positivity and its effect on happiness. Shawn Achor(Photo courtesy Alexismbr, Wikimedia Commons) Not only did I laugh most of the the time, but I was inspired to pause the video (so yes, it took longer than 12 minutes to watch) to jot down some [...]

2018-07-14T12:54:15+00:00By |

Thinking Like Leonardo

Thinking Like Leonardo I've been pondering the concept of a New Renaissance. I've been wondering if it's possible to think like Leonardo da Vinci. On the topic, Parade magazine's resident genius Marilyn Vos Savant once wrote she would: "... found a school for art and music, dedicated to bringing back the classical beauty in sight and sound that – transfigured by contemporary imagination – could make the modern world a glorious [...]

2018-07-14T13:35:15+00:00By |

Social Applications

If you are considering adding social media and other interactive elements to your public relations and marketing plan, here is a comprehensive list of the more popular and effective applications. The bottom line is that all of these are free on a basic level. As you require more services, you can subscribe to paid plans. Most are very inexpensive. If you're not comfortable using these services and need assistance establishing [...]

2018-05-05T11:21:04+00:00By |

Why I Use WordPress and Why You Should Too

I use Wordpress for all of my websites, and all of my college students create one during their time earning their Media Writing minor. Perhaps you want to use WordPress but you're not sure how to go about it? A LITTLE BACKGROUND ON WORDPRESS WordPress is a popular Content Management System (CMS) used by companies, large and small, as well as individuals. There are two versions of WordPress -- the .com [...]

2018-07-14T15:25:11+00:00By |