Gambling on an Opportunity I Found Permission

I took a gamble and went to Las Vegas a couple of weeks ago. No, I didn’t gamble on slot machines or baccarat tables or any of the hundreds of games of chance there. The gamble I took was on myself and my writing. I attended 20Books Vegas 2021: a 20Booksto50k® educational and networking event. By gambling on an opportunity I found permission. How it Started The 20Booksto50k® Facebook group is a social learning group created to share knowledge and best business practices for indie-publishing and selling more books. Michael Anderle, founder of 20Booksto50k®, and Craig Martelle, group leader and organizer, host the conference in Vegas every year(except 2020 when COVID-19 closed Vegas). They keep costs as low as possible to make it affordable for all writers.  This summer, generous donors created a scholarship fund for writers with limited means. Interested people answered essay questions. Awards ranged from covering all costs to partial scholarships to attendance fees only. Need and those essays determined who won what. They awarded more than 100 scholarships.  I took a gamble and answered the essay questions. Figured if I didn’t win, I’d lost nothing. And if I won, it was a sign I was meant […]

What I Learned 2020

“What I learned in 2020” could be a joke. Sadly, last year’s problems will continue for a while. But I am a writer. And a business woman. A review of my year is still necessary. Intentions I use a couple of systems blended together to record and track my intentions each year. (If you need help creating your yearly plan try Orna Ross’s Go Creative.) I divide my intentions into four primary areas: Make (anything creative), Manage (anything business related), Market (advertising and anything related to advertising), and Home (everything else.) Last year started with an extensive list of intentions. By the end of the year, I thought I’d failed most of them. I always think I’ve failed to accomplish the things I wanted to do at the end of the year. Therefore, I regularly review my intentions and what I do and don’t accomplish. Make The Make portion of my intentions consumed 66% of my time. This came very close to fulfilling my intentions. The plan was to finish the first draft, the revision draft, and publish If I Should Die, book two of the Fellowship Dystopia. I also included a stretch goal of outlining a novella and the […]

How to Use Goals & Obstacles to Fascinate Your Readers

Whether you write by the seat of your pants (a pantser) or you have a detailed outline (a plotter), or anywhere anywhere on the line in between, you’ve likely gotten stuck in your story. That’s disconcerting at the best and devastating at the worst. The story comes to a screeching halt and you beat yourself up. Yes, this happens to plotters sometimes. Unfortunately, it happens to panthers more often than not. But don’t worry. There’s a way to solve or prevent most stuck-in-the-middle events. Use goals & obstacles to fascinate your readers. Goals In story writing, a goal is what your main character wants. It might be the blue ribbon in the county fair or to save the world from a weapon of mass destruction. But you knew that, didn’t you? So why am I harping on it? And it isn’t just a want. It’s a need. To fascinate your reader, the main character’s want must mean something. It doesn’t have to be a theme-heavy, my-soul-will-be-destroyed type of meaning. But if your character does not achieve their goal, they lose something valuable. This irrevocable loss changes the principal character’s life for the worse (at least in the character’s estimation). A […]