Friday, July 31, 2020

Book Signing aka ice cream gala

Sometimes, especially now, you just have to get out.

Sure, it's hot, (the event will be outside under the wonderful trees) and you have to wear a mask, but you get to eat ice cream and spend some time with books and their authors.

Tremonton City Library will be holding its Author Only Extravaganza on August 3, from 4-7. It's really a summer reading party with a little hot fudge Sunday on the side, and you'll not want to miss it.

Social distancing will be in play, so come and have a little fun.

You know you want to!

The event is FREE - including the ice cream.

I will be there too along with all of my books

My newest is a picture book entitled, "The Human Bean."

The Human Bean by [Kathryn Elizabeth Jones, Daniel B. Minson]

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

In college? How to write that book

I've been to college. I know how it is.

Every possible living and breathing moment is spent listening to lectures, doing your homework, taking part in a study group, studying for tests, taking tests, eating...

...and maybe sleeping.

Who has time to write a book?

Granted, with seemingly fewer hours to write your book, you're probably wondering why I broach the subject in the first place. 

I am tackling it because there's interest, that's why. When I was in college I still wanted to write that book, but I always used the excuse that I really didn't have time. Besides, I was ornery, tired, and overwhelmed. 

Working for the school newspaper took care of a lot of my anxiety, though it didn't clear it completely. And I need to be honest here, I was never disciplined enough to write a book while in college. But once it was all over, I began to take a look at it.

One of my more recent books shared at "Touch a Truck"
in West Valley City

This is what I see looking back.

Writing a book would have cleared up much of my anxiety if only I'd spent a few minutes a day on it. I'm not talking huge sprints, just short jumps whenever I had it. 
Television/YouTube. I used television as my escape. When I was stumped on a math problem or I just couldn't figure out what to write my essay about (imagine that) I turned to the tube. What if I'd worked on my book?

Television, or any other electronic gizmo, can suck you in.
Big time.

Bathroom duty. Some people read while on the pot, why not write?

Dinner. Right, you just want to visit for a minute or two. A couple of times a week, take a night off and write while you eat.

Nightmares: I had a few of these while in school. I never wrote them down though. 

Dreams: The same holds true for cool dreams. There may come a scene in your book where a dream comes in handy.

Summer vacation: So, you don't attend school during the summer? Start your book then. You'll have at least three solid months of  'school side' uninterrupted time. Once back in school, you can move forward, having written a big chunk of your book before other duties start waggling their ugly heads at you.

What we spend our time doing during our "free"
time will ultimately get our book finished
or shelved for a later date

Spring/Summer/Fall/Winter break: This is a given. Even if you decided to use only one of the breaks writing, you would make a lot of headway on your book.

Driving/Walking to class: Write your book via electronic means. Once in the car or on your feet and off to school, instead of turning the music on, speak the next portion of your book into your phone. Times like bathroom duty and dinner can easily be used to make a plan on how your book is going to go. 

This little guy is much too young to drive
or go to college, but he is cute

Between classes: How much time do you waste between classes? Are you always studying? Are you often visiting? There nothing wrong with visiting all of the time unless you have a book to write. 

You've also heard it's a good idea to keep a notebook by the side of your bed. This same notebook should go with

you to school and wherever else you go. When was the last time you worked on your book while waiting for the dentist or doctor? Hum, some pretty scary stuff there.

What I'm trying to get at, if you haven't figured it out already, is all of the moments on a given day you really have time to write. 

Sure, I've been to college, but I also know this. Excuses never helped anyone write a book. Not even me.



Thursday, July 16, 2020

DIY Marketing - 2 things you can do NOW during COVID-19 to connect with readers

Do it yourself marketing is kind of like remodeling your bathroom with a cheat sheet. (Pretty good going so far, but I'll get with you again after the pipes are cut to fit the new vanities). There is always trial and error. Stuff you've never done before. Videos to watch, books to read on the subject. Time to spend.

You may not finish it in a few months like you thought. :)  

The difference between bathroom remodeling and DIY Marketing, however, is obvious. You will more than likely enjoy the results of your new bathroom for a few years, but when it comes to marketing, the minute you think you've got it all down, it changes to something else. 

Consider your teens favorite hair color as an example.

Enough said.

Now, with COVID-19 keeping readers pretty much at home I've had to rethink DIY marketing all over again. I will be at an event at the Tremonton City Library on August 3rd, (outside) but the focus is "still" books, so there isn't much of a surprise.

Here are two new things I am doing right now, during COVID-19 to connect with readers.

Thing 1:

Facebook Interviewing

I have recently done a video interview with Celeste Martin. She has a health and wellness group on Facebook called Wellness Wise. She exercises and posts what she does, posts inspiring quotes, and the week this blog was written, her focus was on books. She asked if I'd do an interview with her on how writing affects our wellness. I was excited to do this. I have interviewed before, but never "off paper" so you can imagine I was a little nervous. 

But I loved it! DYI interviewing is great! And I've decided that this is a step-up that I'm going to continue to take. So many people are online, on their phones, especially now, and it doesn't cost anything but your time to put something together.

Thing 2:

Blogging with My Reader at Heart

Sure, I want to sell my books, but I also want to turn my readers to books I haven't written, or teach them a writing skill I have just learned. I want to answer their questions.

No matter what you may think, blogging isn't really about YOU, it's about all those people who have questions about how to write, how to sell, how to meet people, how to do anything that you may just have the answer to!

I used to blog whatever I wanted to. Now, I hope you can see a change in the way I blog. I do a bit of research to discover what YOU WANT. DIY Marketing should be a hit because most writers do it themselves. They can't afford to pay someone else. 

I have learned some great things from other authors out there, as well as marketing gurus that know more than a little about things like keywords, headlines, plugins, Google analytics, and more.

Take some time, and take some free classes to improve your blog. I am in the process of learning more as I write this post.

Now it's your turn.

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Mountain Climbing for Writers 101

Writing for me is a little like walking up a mountain – you never know what you’re going to find. Sure, there are the things you expect. A pathway, rocks, trees, and hopefully, a stream or waterfall.

A cool looking tree at Silver Lake

But you may forget about poison ivy, sunburn, and tired legs. I write because I love the journey, but the journey, as in hiking, is not always easy.

Big Cottonwood Canyon

My Journey

This last week my husband and I hiked up Big Cottonwood Canyon to Donut Falls. It was a fairly tough hike. My legs got tired (my butt, but I didn’t tell you that), I got muddy, some places were steep, and there were far more people hiking up that day than I expected. But I loved it. The waterfall was beautiful, and so was the hike up to the top.

Donut Falls

A few days later, my husband and I made a second attempt up Big Cottonwood Canyon with our grandchildren. We took them to Silver Lake which is a little farther up. This hike was a lot easier. There were no climbs, everything was flat, and the lake was beautiful. The kids took pictures of each other over playing their usual games on their phones, and just as we were leaving (we started earlier this time) the place was getting busy.

Beginning of the hike at Silver Lake

Smooth and Rough Hikes

Sometimes writing will be like the second hiking experience. Everything will run smoothly, the journey will be beautiful, and everyone will have a good time (including your characters). But then there will be those times when the opposite is true. Mixed with the great experience will be hardship; times we will want to quit but don’t because you want to make it to that book publishing deal or that marketing opportunity that will finally “work” for you.

Silver Lake

Mini Hikes

Often the hike is a bunch of mini hikes experienced on different days. We may reach the top, but the next day, the hike changes (we’ve published our book, now we have to market it, or we’ve been marketing the same way for years without the success we “expected” and are finally open to trying something new – (that would be me).

Silver Lake

New Hikes

We may be just starting the hike and have no clue what we’re doing, or think we have a clue only to find out down the trail that we don’t (kind of like a teenager who thinks they know everything, only to discover up the trail to adulthood that they don’t know as much as they thought).

My grandchildren, Heather, Christian and Bekah at Silver Lake

We may be up the first book trail of our lives, about mid-way, not really knowing if we have the talent or desire to keep going, or we may have been on many and varied writing trails with no clue what to write next (I have been there a few times, scratching at the poison ivy).

Me and my husband, Doug, at Silver Lake

Today’s Hike

The best news about our hike, especially the hike we’re on right now, is what we’re learning from it as we go along. What stuff do we have in our pack that we’ve learned to carry on previous hikes? If this is our first hike, what have we studied before the hike to prepare us for the journey?

Your writing journey should be planned, but what happens after that isn’t always what you expect. And that’s okay too. Just remember to keep walking.