Posts Tagged ‘Arts’

Creative Writing Workshop

I just completed presenting a month long workshop on creative writing for the county schools continuing education program. We had a terrific, creative group of adults. It was a pleasure to work with them. Their enthusiasm for writing was contagious. Their questions and ideas stirred me to new thinking. And my constant research to present the different elements of writing was an adventure in discovery.

I tried to introduce and expand on as many topics as I could in that short time–character development, dialogue, plot, theme, setting, conflict, POV, show, don’t tell, and more. On top of all this, we devoted time to writing!

I relied a lot on Stephen King’s book On Writing and Natalie Goldberg’s Writing Down the Bones as resources. I am including a list of books I feel would be great additions to their library. Do you have outstanding books you would suggest for new and veteran writers?



 Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life

Author: Anne Lamott

Chicago Manual of Style

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

The Complete Handbook of Novel Writing

Author: The Editors of Writer’s Digest

Publisher: Writer’s Digest Books

How to be a Writer: Building Your Creative Skills Through Practice and Play

Author: Barbara Baig

The Elements of Style

Author: William Strunk and E.B.White.

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

Author: Stephen King

Publisher: Scribner

On Writing Well

Author: William Zinsser

Reading Like a Writer

Author: Francine Prose

Publisher: HarperCollins

Writers on Writing: Collected Essays from The New York Times

Editor: John Darnton

Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within

Author: Natalie Goldberg

Publisher: Shambhala


Creating a Book Trailer

Yes, you CAN create a book trailer, a helpful promotional tool for your print or e-book. The photos and music in the video convey the feeling of your novel. The text intrigues the viewer by telling just enough of the story to make the viewer want to know more. So you must include the BUY link at the end of the video for more information AND to close the sale. Add your author website also especially if you have more than one book available. If your book release is in the future, your link will give the information the viewer will need.

Depending on your finances and your time, you may decide to pay a professional to make your trailer or you can do it yourself.  I have done a few vidoes just for the fun of it on the MS Movie Maker that is on my laptop. So I had minimal knowledge of how to deal with putting it altogether.  I have also experimented with the movie maker on Picasa. It is a simple one to use. I have seen some fantastic trailers as a result of using Animoto. I have not tried the service, so I have no first hand info on Animoto.

To create your trailer–

1. Write the text portion using your synopsis to guide you

2. Select the photos, clip art, and graphics and place them in a file which you can easily access to pull them into the movie maker. If you select photos from the Internet, be sure they are royalty free clips. Google free clip art to find some.

3. Music is fun to choose. You can listen to so many pieces trying to find just the right combination of notes for the background sound for the  mood of your story.  No, you cannot use your favorite tune from your favorite artist. It is probably copyrighted. Incompetech has a wide variety of free music for you and organized into genre themed songs. Kevin McLeod just requests you credit him for the music.

Now it’s time for you to put on your director and producer’s caps to create the perfect book trailer to sell your book. Have fun with it!

Here is the trailer for my mystery/horror e-book, Sunshine Boulevard.

Sunshine Boulevard Available Today!

Today is the day to celebrate!

Sound the trumpets! Sunshine Boulevard marches onto the world-wide stage of e-books today! Muse It Up Publishing releases this mystery/horror with humor e-book March 1, 2011, along with a great line-up of books full of interesting stories sure to intrigue and tantalize all readers.

I want to thank so many people who have helped me along this journey to reach the title of “published author.” From my grandmother, Ma, to my sister-in-law, Sandy, who encouraged me to write as far back as when I was in high school. After selling our retail floral and greenhouse business, I screwed up my courage to ask our regional newspaper editor, Rich, if he would be interested in some ideas I had for articles for the paper.  When I turned in my first one, he actually ran it in the paper with my byline. Thanks, Rich, and the staff at the Times-Indicator
Through the years editors, my writing group who meets at the library, and writers online such as Audrey Shaffer and the gang at The Writers Chatroom and Lea Schizas’ free Muse Online Writers Conference have provided valuable information and encouragement. The welcoming, warm authors and editors at Muse It Up Publishing have shepherded me through the process of editing and answered so many questions from this newbie novelist with patience and humor. I am blessed to have my daughters and husband walking this new path with me. Thank you Sara, Lee Ann, and Ted.
It is my pleasure and great honor to offer you, my readers, this entertaining, quick read for you to enjoy. Thank you!
Sunshine Boulevard is available at Muse It Up Publishing bookstore,,, and e-book retailers online.