Happy Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day! Why do we celebrate mothers? The best answer is, why not? Mother’s Day is not really about the gift, but the thought. The homemade gifts I have received still have a place of reverence on my countertop and kitchen table. As we grow and understand our mothers don’t really “need” anything, the [...]

Book Launch for My Name is Erin

Book Launch April 27 Amy Voltaire’s debut book, My Name is Erin, and My Mom’s an Addict, will launch this Saturday, April 27. I’m very excited to have been a part of this process with Amy. Her young adult novel is about Erin, whose mother left her to get a heroin fix when Erin was [...]

Cover Art

Creating cover art is a specialization in the book world. It is NOT my specialty. There are trends to track, colors to express emotion and fonts that convey meaning. In the traditional publishing world, the author may or may not have input into the cover process. As a hybrid publisher, I’m able to guide my [...]

April Rebirth

Spring is a season of new beginnings and rebirth. In the Blue Dragon Publishing world, it’s also the start of book signing season and new releases. Time to plan out the year ahead and prepare the authors for events. April is especially busy for Blue Dragon. We are hosting a Girl Scout Day on April [...]

CONJUNCTIONS REBORN

Chicago Manual Style - Conjunctions This is a fun bit of trivia I wish I could go back and show my high school English teacher: according to the Chicago Manual of Style 5.206, it’s okay to begin a sentence with a conjunction. A conjunction is a joiner, typically of two sentences or thoughts—and, but, however, [...]

SWALLOW’S DANCE

Swallow’s Dance by Wendy Orr My rating: 3 of 5 stars Reading was not a waste of time but I didn’t feel hooked from the beginning. It was more like something I had to finish because I started it. Even halfway through the book I was trying to identify the point of the story. The […]

TELEPHONE TUESDAY

Telephone Tuesday Today is Telephone Tuesday. They truly have a day for everything! How does this relate to writing? Most phones these days have cameras. Pictures can be a great inspiration: a perfect scene that is begging to be described in one of your books; a fun quote posted on a bulletin board or at […]

VOLCANIC MOMENTUM

I enjoy reading a mix of fiction and fantasy to simply lose myself in the story. The other part of my brain craves improvement and knowledge. I recently picked up a book by Jordan Ring called Volcanic Momentum. There is something to be said for a book that pushes you to become a better you. […]

SPRING CLEANING

Your Writing Space Is your writing feeling dull and sluggish, following the weather trends outside? Maybe it’s time for spring cleaning. Perhaps your writing space has gotten cluttered over the winter; papers piled up, scribbled notes on scrap paper, unopened mail. Or is that just me? Take a few hours and go through those things. […]

Spring Cleaning

Your Writing Space Is your writing feeling dull and sluggish, following the weather trends outside? Maybe it’s time for spring cleaning. Perhaps your writing space has gotten cluttered over the winter; papers piled up, scribbled notes on scrap paper, unopened mail. Or is that just me? Take a few hours and go through those things. [...]

It’s Cookie Season

Girl Scouts It’s cookie season. For some people that means extra pounds to work off later in the year. For others, it is a time to prepare their gracious “no thank you” speeches for when they have to walk past yet another Girl Scout cookie booth outside a store front. I was a Girl Scout [...]

Writing for Young Adults

[siteorigin_widget class="SiteOrigin_Widget_Slider_Widget"][/siteorigin_widget]Writing for Young Adults I recently took a workshop led by Jessica Grace Kelley and Hannah Capin about writing for young adults. Both Jessica and Hannah have published young adult fiction and had a lot to offer to the class. First thing to realize is that Young Adult is not a genre, it’s a [...]

Volcanic Momentum

Volcanic Momentum I enjoy reading a mix of fiction and fantasy to simply lose myself in the story. The other part of my brain craves improvement and knowledge. I recently picked up a book by Jordan Ring called Volcanic Momentum. There is something to be said for a book that pushes you to become a [...]

Telephone Tuesday

Telephone Tuesday Today is Telephone Tuesday. They truly have a day for everything!How does this relate to writing? Most phones these days have cameras. Pictures can be a great inspiration: a perfect scene that is begging to be described in one of your books; a fun quote posted on a bulletin board or at a [...]

The City of Lost Fortunes Book Review

The City of Lost Fortunes I LOVED THIS BOOK! Bryan Camp did a great job weaving together many different spiritualistic beliefs in a way that was entertaining and educational (in a fun way). The dialogue was realistic and catchy. Hard to believe this is his first book. I look forward to reading more of his [...]

Why Family Members Don’t Make Good Editors

Chicago Manual Style - Time I know it’s frustrating to hear that you shouldn’t proof your own work. Then, to add insult to injury, not even your school teacher father or mother can proof your work. Why? You are all too close to the story. You may try to argue that your parents are particularly [...]

Conjunctions Reborn

Chicago Manual Style - Conjunctions This is a fun bit of trivia I wish I could go back and show my high school English teacher: according to the Chicago Manual of Style 5.206, it’s okay to begin a sentence with a conjunction. A conjunction is a joiner, typically of two sentences or thoughts—and, but, however, [...]

Commas, Commas, and more Commas

Chicago Manual Style - Time So how do you do with commas? I think I’m pretty good most of the time. It took me a while to adjust between the military writing style using American Psychological Association and the Chicago Manual of Style (CMS) used in novels.You may have heard that it’s optional to put [...]

Time According to Chicago Manual of Style

Chicago Manual Style - Time Am I the only one that gets confused by 12 a.m. and 12 p.m.? Probably not, which is why the Chicago Manual Style suggests always using the terms noon and midnight to avoid misunderstandings (CMS 9.39). That will make my life much easier. The book has a lot of helpful [...]

Chicago Manual of Style

Chicago Manual Style The Chicago Manual of Style is an essential guide for writers, editors, and publishers...and word geeks. I turn to this 1,000+ page reference guide often as I'm writing or editing to look up the approved way of formatting or abbreviating something. But I get lost in the interesting facts that probably only [...]

Theme Your Days

This one is my favorite—Theme Your Days. Even my daughters will comment to me that’s it’s “Website Wednesday.” My schedule seemed impossible to get a handle on. As an entrepreneur, I could work the hours I wanted to, but that seemed to be most the hours in my day. Kevin Kruse, author of 15 Secrets [...]

Outsource

Outsource “Leverage your expertise and delegate the rest.” These wise words come from Jeff Moore, president of two seafood companies. Another word for delegating these days is outsource. Kevin Kruse, author of 15 Secrets of Successful People Know about Time Management, talks about the importance of prioritizing how you spend your time. He quotes the [...]

Notebook

[siteorigin_widget class="SiteOrigin_Widget_Slider_Widget"][/siteorigin_widget]Notebook In my 28 years in the Air Force, I saw many Army officers carrying notebooks. And not any notebook; it was typically a green hardback that could fit in their cargo pants pocket. I never understood the draw. Kevin Kruse, Author of 15 Secrets Successful People Know about Time Management, finally explained it [...]

Leave at Five Without Guilt

[siteorigin_widget class="SiteOrigin_Widget_Slider_Widget"][/siteorigin_widget]Leave at Five Without Guilt As Kevin Kruse, Author of 15 Secrets Successful People Know about Time Management, explains, to leave the office at five without guilt is more about setting your priorities than actually leaving work. There will always be more to do. This was especially true when working at the Pentagon. I [...]

The Procrastination Buster

[siteorigin_widget class="SiteOrigin_Widget_Slider_Widget"][/siteorigin_widget]The Procrastination Buster My weakness is Gummy Drop. No, not a sugary treat. It’s a computer game that one of my sisters got me hooked on. I always laughed at people that played those silly games. Until I got to the upper levels. Now I justify it by saying it does take strategy and [...]

Use Your Calendar

[siteorigin_widget class="SiteOrigin_Widget_Slider_Widget"][/siteorigin_widget] On first glance, I thought I already had this one down. I use my calendar all the time. We even have a family calendar that we share so we can track each other. But no. Kevin Kruse, author of 15 Secrets Successful People Know about Time Management, takes it to a whole new [...]

15 Secrets…Your Most Important Thing

[siteorigin_widget class="SiteOrigin_Widget_Slider_Widget"][/siteorigin_widget] With apologies to Kevin Kruse, author of 15 Secrets Successful People Know about Time Management, I am going to put my own spin on his most excellent book. The second thing he talked about is determining your Most Important Thing. Determine what the most important thing is that you need to get accomplished [...]

Time Management with Kevin Kruse

  15 Secrets of Successful People Know about Time Management 1 1,440 Minutes I am a member of the Williamsburg Business Networking group. We are not a typical networking group whose primary goal is to expand reach using new business leads from other members. Yes, we do pass each other leads when appropriate, but more [...]

Prepare for NaNoWriMo

November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). The stated goal is to write 50,000 words—an entire novel—in one month. But the real goal is to motivate you to write. I find getting started is the hardest part. I have an idea. I even have a whole book outlined in my head, and I could tell [...]

Book Festivals

Just finished the Williamsburg Book Festival. It's a great chance to connect with readers and writers-in-the-making. I love sharing a story. Your story can be about anything--totally fiction, autobiographical about how you were raised, a children's book teaching a lesson. Stories are fascinating! And I love helping them reach the world. I was encouraged today [...]

Self-Publishing vs Traditional Publishing: Which Is Better?

I just read a great article by Gary Smailes that does a fantastic job of outlining the differences between Traditional Publishing, Indie Publishing, and Self-Publishing. I highly recommend it to anyone that is considering publishing. The first thing I always ask my clients is, "What is your reason for publishing?" Keep that in mind as [...]

Getting the word out-Author Series

Getting the word out-Author Series Blue Dragon has pulled together a group of authors local to the Hampton Roads, VA area to form the Author Series. We give talks to book clubs, schools, timeshares, and housing communities. Part of being an author is making your own opportunities. My husband and I own a timeshare (vacation [...]