Category Archives: Uncategorized

Outlines, Writing Goals and Cacophony

Authoring a book is not an easy endeavor.  Setting goals – daily, monthly, and yearly keeps you on track to a finished project and a successful career if that’s what you are after. If you are a short story writer, you might aim for one story per month. Writing a novel may be more difficult so finishing a certain number of pages a day or week could be your goal. Developing good habits, like writing at a certain time or number of hours per day, keeps you productive and gives you the right mind-set for finishing your project. Schedules always change and you need not feel guilty if something comes up and you have to adjust yours. It’s all part of a writer’s world.   

Do authors need a detailed outline before starting a novel? It really depends on the author.  Some authors may have an outline in their head and can just sit down and start writing or create as they go along, while others find it beneficial to create a story structure beforehand. It gives you the opportunity to break the story down into smaller parts, even chapters, helps to keep your timelines straight, and gives you a direction for your story line.  In the end, you might do a little of both since you can change anything necessary to flesh out your story.  However your creative process works will be the best roadmap for you. 

Life continues to go on around you, which also determines how much work can be done at any one time. For instance, right now we’re having our yard landscaped and the amount of noise can get crazy. Most of that cacophony is provided by two medium-sized dogs who seem to think that their territory is being invaded and that it is their sworn duty to protect us from said invaders. The fact that we invited the crew onto our property makes no sense or difference to our canine protectors, so they continue to do their jobs relentlessly and with a good deal of commotion. It is endearing, but at the same time hard to concentrate on writing. 

It’s always going to be something that infringes upon your work time.  You just learn to go with the flow and carry on, believing that your goals will be achieved. Aim to make your goals attainable, not so high that it sets you up for failure. Manage your time wisely. Rather than a rigid schedule, be devoted to your writing passion.

Solitaire

www.solitaireparke.com

Have You Watched These 10 Movies About Time Travel?  

Image by Solitaire on Emporeum

Time travel is described as the concept in which people are able to move backwards into the past or forwards into the future. This subject is one of my favorites, and I have written a few science fiction/fantasy books which focus on time travel in my Dragomeir Series.  You can check them out at my website – www.solitaireparke.com

What is it about time travel that keeps us coming back for more? First of all, is it even possible? Yes, and you’re doing it right now – moving forward into the future at the rate of one second per second. But this isn’t the kind of time travel that has made science fiction writers so prolific, or movie makers so fascinated that Wikipedia lists over 400 titles in the category “Movies about Time Travel.” Traveling by way of a time machine or by using some other means into the past or future is what is really intriguing.  If you are one of the many who find time travel to be incredible, you might want to check out the following ten movies.

  1. The Adam Project – “After accidentally crash-landing in 2022, time-traveling fighter pilot Adam Reed teams up with his 12-year-old self for a mission to save the future.
  2. The Tomorrow War – A family man is drafted to fight in a future war where the fate of humanity relies on his ability to confront the past.
  3. Tenet – Armed with only one word, Tenet, and fighting for the survival of the entire world, a protagonist journeys through a twilight world of international espionage on a mission that will unfold in something beyond real time.
  4. Palm Springs – Stuck in a time loop, two wedding guests develop a budding romance while living the same day over and over again.
  5. Boss Level – Trapped in a time loop that constantly repeats the day of his murder, a former special forces agent must unlock the mystery behind his untimely demise.
  6. 12 Monkeys – In a future world devastated by disease, a convict is sent back in time to gather information about the man-made virus that wiped out most of the human population on the planet.
  7. Looper – In 2074, when the mob wants to get rid of someone, the target is sent into the past, where a hired gun awaits – someone like Joe – who one day learns the mob wants to ‘close the loop’ by sending back Joe’s future self for assassination.
  8. Avengers: Endgame – After the devastating events of Avengers: Infinity War (2018), the universe is in ruins. With the help of remaining allies, the Avengers assemble once more in order to reverse Thanos’ actions and restore balance to the universe.
  9. Time Machine – Hoping to alter the events of the past, a 19th century inventor instead travels 800,000 years into the future, where he finds humankind divided into two warring races.
  10. Donnie Darko – After narrowly escaping a bizarre accident, a troubled teenager is plagued by visions of a man in a large rabbit suit who manipulates him to commit a series of crimes.

To all the Travelers out there – Be Safe!

Solitaire

Annual Smashwords Read an Ebook Week Sale!

March 6 – March 12, 2022

Smashwords – Ebook Week Sale!

Hello Readers!  This is the 13th annual Smashwords read an Ebook week sale and you are invited to check it out on the Smashwords Ebook site at this location – 

Thousands of Smashwords authors and publishers will offer readers exclusive discounts on their ebooks. It’s a great opportunity to fill your cart with the books from favorite authors and future favorites. Ebooks will be offered at 25% off, 50% off, 75% off, or for FREE.

If you love stories about dragons, otherworldly creatures, lots of adventure, and other sci-fi/fantasy topics then check out my site at Smashwords here –

SOLITAIRE PARKE – AUTHOR.

You can also learn more about me and my books at my website –

http://www.solitaireparke.com

If you love to read, here is your chance to stock up for the Spring and Summer with ebooks of every genre. You won’t want to miss it!

Solitaire

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

All the hustle and bustle of Christmas is well underway and a lot of us are still out there getting our last minute gifts for family and friends. I’m very close to being ready for the big day. The next few days will be very busy ones for most of us. I’m still occupying my time writing while all the festivities are going on around me and hope to finish my current book in the Spring of 2022. It’s called The Atrium, and you can find a a short summary of it’s contents on my website at www.solitaireparke.com.

In the meantime, listen to all the beautiful Christmas music, watch all the great Christmas movies and check out all the books to read as well. Here’s wishing all of you a very Merry Christmas and hoping that in spite of everything crazy that’s happening in the world right now, that you and your family have a wonderful and blessed holiday time together!

Holiday Cheer to everyone!

Solitaire

Change your life – Have an Attitude of Gratitude

GRATEFUL, THANKFUL, BLESSED

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” — Albert Einstein

Gratitude means thankfulness, counting your blessings, noticing simple pleasures, and acknowledging everything that you receive. It means learning to live your life as if everything were a miracle, and being aware on a continuous basis of how much you’ve been given. Gratitude shifts your focus from what your life lacks, to the abundance that is already present. In addition, behavioral and psychological research has shown the surprising life improvements that can stem from the practice of gratitude. Giving thanks makes people happier and more resilient, it strengthens relationships, it improves health, and it reduces stress.

 It Heightens Your Quality of Life

A practice of gratitude raises your “happiness set-point” so you can remain at a higher level of happiness regardless of outside circumstances.  Research shows that those who practice gratitude tend to be more creative, bounce back more quickly from adversity, have a stronger immune system, and have stronger social relationships than those who don’t practice gratitude.  To say we feel grateful is not to say that everything in our lives is necessarily great. It just means we are aware of our blessings.

Notice and Appreciate Each Day’s Gifts

We tend to take for granted the good things in our lives.  Imagine losing some of the things that you take for granted, such as your home, your ability to see or hear, your ability to walk, or anything that currently gives you comfort. Then imagine getting each of these things back, one by one, and consider how grateful you would be for each and every one. Start finding joy in the small things instead of the bigger things, like getting the promotion, having a comfortable savings, getting married, or having children, and so on – before allowing yourself to feel gratitude and joy.  In the face of hard times ask yourself: “What’s good about this?”, “What can I learn from this?”, and “How can I benefit from this?”

Incorporate Gratitude into your life every day

If we increase our conscious awareness of gratitude it may require that we train ourselves to think differently. This can be done by incorporating some simple exercises into our lives. For example, you might begin to keep a gratitude journal. Gratitude journals can take many forms, but one way of doing this is to simply write down one thing that you are grateful for each day.It can be something that happened that day, something you felt, or someone in your life who has made a positive impact on you.

You can also speak your expressions of gratitude. You can engage someone in a daily discussion about what you are grateful for. This might take the form of questions like, “What was the best part of your day today?”, or “What is one thing that made you feel really happy today?” This kind of discussion not only helps to increase your own awareness of all that you have to be grateful for, but can also promote positive connection and experiences in your relationship with whomever you choose to have these exchanges. Focus on the positive things, which in turn help the stressors feel less significant, and help you feel happier. Basically, gratitude promotes gratitude.

You can train yourself to notice things that you are thankful for. They can be small things: maybe you notice that your bed is very comfortable, that your lunch is tasty, that a good friend said something nice to you, etc. It is easy to take these kinds of experiences for granted and not direct our conscious awareness to them. But training yourself to notice these kinds of things and really feel grateful for them can help increase your own experience of happiness.

Be Thankful –

Be thankful that you don’t already have everything you desire,
If you did, what would there be to look forward to?

Be thankful when you don’t know something
For it gives you the opportunity to learn.

Be thankful for the difficult times.
During those times you grow.

Be thankful for your limitations
Because they give you opportunities for improvement.

Be thankful for each new challenge
Because it will build your strength and character.

Be thankful for your mistakes
They will teach you valuable lessons.

Be thankful when you’re tired and weary
Because it means you’ve made a difference.

It is easy to be thankful for the good things.
A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who are
also thankful for the setbacks.

GRATITUDE can turn a negative into a positive.
Find a way to be thankful for your troubles
and they can become your blessings.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Solitaire

www.solitaireparke.com

3rd Annual Smashwords July Summer/Winter Sale!

July 1, 2021 – July 31, 2021

Why is it called “Summer/Winter”?   Here in the Northern hemisphere, it’s mid-summer. Readers are loading their e-reading devices for summer beach reading and long-awaited vacations. South of the equator they are now in the middle of winter. They’re ready to curl up in front of the fireplace and enjoy a great read too!

Hello to all the readers and authors out there!  All my eBooks will be on sale for 50% off, so take advantage and stock up on plenty of books to read over the summer/winter.  You will find every type of genre with books from terrific authors all over the world. It’s an opportunity to find exclusive discounts from your favorite indie authors and discover new future favorites. So, check it out at SMASHWORDS.COM.

I’m currently working on a new book called The Atrium and a possible cover reveal will be up on my website soon.  In the meantime, I am continuing to do some Spring Cleaning on my digital content to make improvements and move forward into 2021.  Can you believe it’s half over already?  This year seems to be flying by.  Enjoy your Summer!

See you soon!

Solitaire

www.solitaireparke.com

10 Ways to Find “Comps” For Your Book

library-488690_640

“Comps” are other book titles that might be comparable to your book.  The main purpose for comps is to show who your readers are likely to be and to show where your book might be shelved in a bookstore.   Often agents, publishing sales people or booksellers need this information to understand more about your book.  It gives them a better idea for categorizing your title. If you are self-publishing, comps are a guide to the readers you want to reach. So how do you find comps for your book?  Here are a few ideas –

  • Look up the Best Sellers in the last few years for your genre
  •  Check out  more recent books with similar themes or point of view
  • Utilize your local library to locate books you can read or listen to without having to purchase them.  See if your library uses Novelist Plus which allows you to search for books by theme, genre and appeal.  You can also ask your librarian.
  • Use social media sites to find out what is popular in that genre
  •  If you are in any writing groups, ask other writers or readers what they would recommend 
  • Film and TV can be used as comps as well as books. If it gives a reliable comparison of what you are writing, then use it. Sometimes a visual is the best explanation. (If you use media, be sure to clarify your source)
  • Describe what part of a plot or characterization might be like your book.
  • Try not to compare your book to one that is too far out of date unless it is very well known and liked. Let people know that you are keeping up with the marketplace.
  • Barnes & Noble and Amazon show a lot of sales data that can be beneficial for comps. People often buy items that are similar. Especially when it comes to books, you can enter a title on their sites and then look for books that are recommended that appear under these headers:

     “Customers who bought this also bought . . .” (Amazon and Barnes & Noble) “Frequently bought together” (Amazon)

    “What customers bought after viewing this” (Amazon)

  • You can also ask people who have read your book for some suggestions.

TIP – Avoid saying that your book is better than someone’s title or classic.  It might be better, but you don’t want to be the one to say it.  Attacking another author only puts a negative spotlight on you. Reading is subjective, and what you hated, others might love.  So, compare your book to others that you admire or respect.

Are you influenced by other comparable titles?  I’d love to hear your thoughts.

SOLITAIRE

www.solitaireparke.com

Spring Cleaning for Writers!

It’s the time of year that often focuses on Spring cleaning just about everywhere.  So, it’s not a bad idea for authors and writers to do the same thing with their websites, blogs and various digital content.  Here’s a few ideas that you might want to concentrate on for your Spring cleaning efforts.

Update your Website and/or Blog: 

  Check for broken links

  Does your site need a new overall look?

  Update your Bio and Contact information and photo

  Make sure your site looks good on mobile and all browsers

  Check your page load speed

  Think about adding or deleting content in your sidebars

  Redo your Header or Footer

  Add or delete Social Media sites & the information on these sites

  Backup your site

Email:

  Go through your emails and unsubscribe to unneeded ones

  Archive material you want to keep

  Delete old emails

Social Media Sites:

  Do passwords need to be changed?

  Update your Bio and Contact information and photo

  Do you need a new Header or Background?

  Check privacy settings and info

Check all Book Sites:

  Are all your books listed?

  Check and update book descriptions if needed

  Update Bios, contacts and photos

  Are my sites linked to the proper places?

Backup:

  Important files of data and images (possibly an external hard-drive)

Take stock of what has happened in the past and get ready to reset things and move forward to a great year.  Things will get better and you need to be ready for a wonderful new year ahead! Get ready to accomplish your goals!!!

Solitaire

www.solitaireparke.com

Why We Celebrate Valentine’s Day and 8 Ways to Make it Fun.

 

The History of Valentine’s Day, and Why We Celebrate.

40 Children’s Books to Celebrate Valentine’s Day

The Best Romantic Books for Valentine’s Day

Valentines Day Recipes

80 Ways to Show Your Love Without Spending Money.

Valentine’s Day Quotes & Messages – 84 Messages Perfect for You

20 Great Things to Do If You’re Single on Valentine’s Day

35 Best Valentine’s Day Movies to Watch for a Romantic Night In

42 Valentine’s Day Crafts That Are a Creative Way to Show What’s in Your Heart

 

Wishing everyone a Happy Valentine’s Day!

Solitaire

www.solitaireparke.com

SMASHWORDS – End of Year SALE!

The fourth annual Smashwords End of Year Sale kicks off December 18th and runs through January 1, 2021. The sale is beginning a week earlier this year so you can take advantage of the Smashwords Store’s ebook gifting feature.  You can find books at 25%-off, 50%-off, 75%-off and 100%-off (free).  What a great time to stock up on the books you would love to read or give the gift of reading to someone you love or a friend.  Visitors to the Smashwords Store will find the sale prominently featured at the top of the Smashwords home page starting December 18th.  So, encourage your friends to visit the website and check out this amazing sale!

https://www.smashwords.com/

Have a wonderful Holiday – Merry Christmas to everyone!

Solitaire

www.solitaireparke.com

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/solitaireparke

Damyanti Biswas

For lovers of reading, crime writing, crime fiction

ellisnelson

children's author

Ms Toy Whisperer

I am a writer whom journals about life, family, New England, everything and nothing and whispers of the Holy Spirit.

H.L.M. Garrison

Failing better at writing, one try at a time

James Harringtons Creative Work

A site of writings, musings, and geek culture, all under one domain!

O at the Edges

Musings on poetry, language, perception, numbers, food, and anything else that slips through the cracks.

Storyshucker

A blog full of humorous and poignant observations.

Chris Gardner

The joys of self-publishing.

A Writer's Path

Sharing writing tips, information, and advice.

Author, C A Middleton

Part time actor, aspiring writer of poetry and prose and full-time idiot with a heart.

Jason K. Lewis - Writer (of sorts)

Writing is a painful journey- I just started and it hurts already

idiotpruf

The blog that prevents scurvy...as long as you eat orange slices while you read it.

Jennifer M Eaton

USA Today Best Selling Author

bdhesse

A writing WordPress.com site

Shannon A. Thompson

Author. Speaker. Librarian.

S.A. Mulraney

Official site of the the YA fantasy, sci-fi, and post-apocalyptic paranormal author

MR. LONG DRAG

Vape Tips. Vape Reviews. Vape Life.

T.M. Williams - Novelist blog

www.theaccidentalwriter.com

readful things blog

The search for meaning, one page at a time

D.A. Roberts - Author

The End is Only the Beginning.

%d bloggers like this: