An online newsletter I subscribe to contains queries from journalists, book authors, broadcasters, and others who seek input for articles, books, broadcast/podcast shows, and other media. Lately there has been a rash of queries seeking suggestions for gifts for people of varous demographis—by age, by occupation, by avocation. These articles the queries are for suggest gifts for people in their 20s, 40s, retirement age, pregnant women, new graduates, sports lovers, wine lovers….and of course, gifts for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, Valentines Day and Christmas. Sometimes these queries are specifically looking for books; other times the queries are more open-ended—any classification of gifts will do.Continue Reading
The first time was quite a few years ago. A fellow writer showed me a manuscript he had written and was getting ready to submit to an editor. I noticed a number of typos and other errors right off the bat and asked him wasn’t he going to clean up his misspellings, punctuational goofs, and other errors before sending it in. “That’s what editors are for,” he replied blithely.Continue Reading
April is National Poetry Month. Have you read any poetry lately?
Have you written any?Continue Reading
April showers may bring May flowers, but they also bring the frustration of rainy days, when your outdoor plans get squelched. That tennis game, boating excursion, work in your garden, or walk around the neighborhood are gone with the raindrops. What to do?
Read a book!Continue Reading
Time was when almost all kids’ books taught a moral or a lesson. They weren’t written to be read just for entertainment. There was some kind of take-away.Continue Reading
I don’t get it. What is the pleasure in thrillers? Whether novels, nonfiction books, or movies, thrillers are calculated to scare you…and this is supposed to be GOOD? Where is the pleasure in being frightened? Where is the pleasure in having your pulse rate rise and your heart race?Continue Reading
As I write these words, I have just been asked to be interviewed on a video podcast tomorrow. That’s short notice, but I expect the conversation to be freewheeling, so I shouldn’t need to do anything to prepare. When an interview is specific to a book I wrote a year or several years earlier, I really don’t remember it and need to go back and reread or at least skim it, but in this case I don’t think I need to do any prep work. I just need to remember it’s video, not the more common audio-only, so I shouldn’t go digging in my ear or <gasp> pick my nose during the interview.Continue Reading
As the old cigarette commercial used to proclaim, “You’ve come a long way, baby.” WE’VE come a long way—from the first moveable type to search engines.Continue Reading
Although the Polar Vortex is gone—at least for now—and despite Punxsatawney Phil’s predictions of an early spring (and did you know that statistically he is wrong more often than not?), most of the nation is still in a deep freeze.
What to do with your free time? It’s not gardening weather; it’s too early to plant anything. You can’t go out and practice pitching or batting. You can’t shoot hoops. Not with snow still on the ground in many places, and ice in some. If you’re into winter sports, great, but most of us don’t own snowshoes or a snowmobile, nor live near ski slopes.
How about staying in where it’s warm and curling up or stretching out with a good book?
Books are really an all-season enjoyment, but reading is particularly satisfying when there’s nothing else to do but watch TV. (Blecchh.)
You can buy new books, re-read old faves that you have on your shelf, or go to your local library to borrow a few books (or more. (Naturally, as an author, I hope you’ll BUY a book or a few books to help support my fellow authors—or maybe even buy one of my own books.) But reading books is good wherever you find them.
The dark and cold of winter is a good time to read new books (or books you simply haven’t read yet) from your favorite author, or in your favorite genre, whether that’s sci-fi or self-help, parenting or romance or inspirational/motivational. Bios of famous people? Tell-all tattlers? Political musings? Cookbooks? Craft and hobby help?
So pick a book to read. Heck, pick a few books. And settle back in your favorite comfy chair, or stretch out in front of your fireplace if you have one, or stretch out on (or in) your bed and READ.
Spring will be here before you know it!
So many writers and would-be writers, when discussing a boutique publisher or a self-publishing company, will ask me the almost inevitable question: “But can they get my book into Barnes & Noble?”Continue Reading