Remove Fear From Writing

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Remove Fear Factor & Let Those Fingers Fly
Writing when you don't know what comes next is just about impossible.

I don't care if you do like to fly by the seat of your pants when writing, you have to know a few things in order to continue to write. Otherwise, you end up staring at a blank page or, in actuality, a blank monitor screen.

Simple Roadmap

Even if you're a pantser or a newbie who doesn't know "how to write a book," draw up a simple roadmap. That's less intimidating than thinking you have to make an outline of the entire book. Without a roadmap, you may well sit in front of the computer, lift your hands to the keyboard, and...nothing happens. You're blank. Your mind is as clean as a wiped slate.

Create Your Map

Many writers get intimidated when they think about writing 75,000 words to create a novel. They hear they should outline each chapter, but they get discouraged just thinking about the enormity of what must be included: characterization, scene and sequel, motivation, conflict, theme, etc.

Take the intimidation factor away. Stop thinking about all of that and just sit down with a piece of paper and think of the book as a vacation you're about to take with stops along the way to see the sights.

At the beginning of your trip (your book), you just need to look at the big picture of a trip from your hometown, to the big destination, and back to your familiar world again.

Write these words: "This story is about..." Write down what you think the book is about. You know this, or you wouldn't feel the itch to tell this story. The short paragraph you write will keep you tightly focused on the actual story.


On any journey, there are planned stops to see the sights or just to rest--waypoints between your hometown and your destination. These waypoints are, of course, the chapters in your story.

Write these words: "This part of the story is about..." In your own words, just say what happens in this small part of the story.

That's what you do for each waypoint (chapter) in your journey (book). Using this technique takes the pressure off and removes the intimidation factor. Get the words down. That gets the book finished. Then you can go back and make the words shine.

Takeaway Truth

Do you think this technique removes the fear factor from writing--whether you're writing a blog post or a book? Leave a comment with your email address and be entered to win an audiobook edition of one of my romantic comedies.

Copyright Registration Quick Tip

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I filed an application recently for Copyright Registration on two of my published books. One of the applications was a re-application because of a dumb mistake I made.

Back Story

My first mistake was trying to complete several pending issues during the week my brother in law went into hospice care. One of those matters was copyright registration which I'd put off because I was too busy.

So I raced through the online application, paid my $35.00, and uploaded the file.

My second mistake was the file I uploaded. I just opened my Word .doc file, saved it as a PDF, and then uploaded it to the Copyright Office.

Weeks later, I received an email that my application had problems with it. The problem? The file I uploaded also included an excerpt of my next book.

Proper Upload File Protocol

The file you upload must contain only the actual book text. No excerpts, no note from author, no book list, etc.

I knew that, but I'd been in a hurry.

Here comes my third mistake. I had 45 days from the date of notification to correct the application. However, I was out of town when that email came in. Then with all the promotion I was doing for 2 box sets (Love Blooms on Main Street and Summer Fire) and various personal family emergencies, I completely forgot about the needed correction.

My initial haste and being the "go-to" gal for everything and everyone cost me the original $35.00 because the fee you pay when you file your application is non-refundable.

So I had to pay another $35.00 today to file the application again. Dumb, right? I learned my lesson so I'm passing it on so you won't make that mistake.

1. Create your story-only PDF file first.
2. Proof the application carefully before you click SUBMIT.

Takeaway Truth

Respond in a timely fashion if you receive correspondence from the Copyright Office.

Newspaper Statistics

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Do you read books? How about newspapers?

I read a lot of books (mostly on my Kindle but many in print) though not as many as I'd like. Newspapers? That's a longer story.

Once, I was a devoted newspaper subscriber. I had my morning coffee and read the newspaper.

After buying our house in the country where we spend a lot of time, I canceled my subscription rather than bug my neighbors to pick up the papers from the driveway when we were gone.

I tried subscribing to the digital edition, but it just wasn't the same. I'm not alone in abandoning my subscription. Newspapers have lost a huge number of subscribers in the last decade.

Fewer subscribers, fewer advertising dollars have translated into smaller newspapers and more content that's focused on entertainment news rather than what made newspapers different: thoughtful news articles and tightly-focused local news.

Scary Stats

Like me, most newspaper readers want to read the paper in print. In fact, readership data from Nielsen Scarborough’s 2014 Newspaper Penetration Report showed "56% of those who consume a newspaper, read it exclusively in print, 11% also read it on desktop or laptop computers; 5% also read it on mobile; and another 11% read it in print, on desktop and on mobile. In total, more than eight-in-ten of those who read a newspaper do so in print, at least sometimes. Only 5% read newspapers exclusively on mobile devices."

I hate to think that the daily print newspaper will one day be a thing of the past, but that seems to be the way this beloved institution is headed. I say beloved because I learned the newspaper habit from my mother who learned it from her parents. I remember listening raptly while my grandfather read the Sunday funny paper to me.

I still subscribe to the weekly paper from my hometown, and I think I've talked myself into subscribing to the local paper again.

Takeaway Truth

Do you subscribe to a print newspaper? Leave a comment with your email address and be entered to win an audiobook edition of one of my romantic comedies.

Review: Aliens on the Moon

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I couldn't help it. My curiosity got the better of me so I watched Aliens on the Moon on Netflix. (If you don't have Netflix, you can watch it on Amazon.)

According to Aliens on the Moon, this documentary contains never-before-aired NASA footage released under the Freedom of Information act. The documentary purports to present evidence that our Moon is being used as an alien base.

Before you laugh too hard, may I point out that interviews with Apollo 11 Astronaut Buzz Aldrin, Apollo 14 Astronaut Edgar D. Mitchell, and Ken Johnston, Former NASA Photo Manager, are part of the film. In case you don't know, Astronaut Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon, 

Directed and written by Robert Kiviat and narrated by Roger Leopardi, the documentary features interviews with a host of other scientists, researchers, and the expected paranormal investigators.

In case you're interested, here are the other interviews credited: Amy Shira Teitel, Spaceflight Historian; Joshua P. Warren, Paranormal Investigator;Lee Speigel, Journalist, Huffington Post; Nick Redfern, Author & Researcher; Mike Bara, Writer & Lunar Researcher; Danielle Y. Wyrick, Planetary Geologist; Ron Collins, Lunar Researcher; Don Ecker, Broadcaster & Researcher; Vito Saccheri, Petroleum Engineer; Allan Sturm, Lunar Photo Researcher; Donna Hare, Former NASA Contractor; Dr. John Brandenburg, Clementine Team Member; and Marc D'Antonio, Imaging Analyst.

My Thoughts

I found the documentary fascinating and thought-provoking. I'm forced to believe that the astronauts who were interviewed reported what they saw. Weird, right? Watch it and form your own opinion. I like what Shakespeare wrote: "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy."

Takeaway Truth

Do you believe in aliens? I'm cruising the high seas, but leave a comment with your email address and be entered to win an audiobook edition of one of my romantic comedies.

Vacation Bonus for You

I've spent several days arranging life so I can leave on a cruise vacation. I've shopped the sales for some cool cruise clothes, confirmed the house sitter, and got my prescription anti-seasick patch.

In keeping with my goal to get back to regular blogging, I've scheduled a blog post for each day to keep you entertained and knowledgeable. I've even set up a book to be on sale for only 99cents from now to Oct. 10.

Leave a comment with your email address on any of the blog posts and be entered to win an audiobook edition of one of my books.

Only 99 Cents Oct. 1 Thru Oct. 10

Jane (I'm Still Single) Jones, one of my most popular romantic comedies, is on sale while I'm gone.

"If you like Sweet Home Alabama, you'll love JANE (I'm Still Single) JONES!" ~ Amazon Review

"Jane (I'm Still Single) Jones, 1 of 5 great Indie Romance Novels." ~ Amy Edelman of IndieReader

What could be worse for a former high school beauty queen, who never landed the only man she ever loved, than attending--alone--her 10-year high school reunion? Not much, according to textile designer Jane Louise Jones as she prepares to endure the weekend in her hometown, just south of nowhere in the rolling hills of Louisiana, with her grandmother and the rest of the well-meaning Vernon Ladies Bridge Club trying their best to find her a husband.

Jane agreed to attend the reunion because her best friend told her that Morgan Sherwood, the town boy-wonder who made good in a big way, was going to be a no-show. Morgan, once her secret love, was a geeky teen who stole her heart and then broke it before leaving town forever.

Isn't it awful when you can't trust your best friend? Morgan arrives with his entourage in a stretch limo, and he's not a geeky kid any more. He's six feet of tanned, rippling muscles, and he plans to focus his high-powered brain and every seductive charm he possesses on the lovely Miss Jones.

A man and woman who should have ended up together, the matchmaking blue-haired women of the Vernon Ladies Bridge Club, lots of southern charm, a ten-year old betrayal, and plenty of romantic humor. That's Jane (I'm Still Single) Jones.

Amazon Kindle * AllRomanceEbooks * iBooks * Kobo * Nook * Smashwords

Returns to the regular price of $3.99 on October 11, 2015.

Christmas Baby Caper Coming Soon

The matchmaking Vernon Ladies Bridge Club rides again in Christmas Baby Caper, a romantic comedy short story coming in December.

Takeaway Truth

Remember, leave a comment on any post from now until October 10 and be entered to win an audiobook edition of one of my romantic comedies.

Thursday3Some: The Visionary by Pamela S. Thibodeaux

I've been having technical problems for a few days, but I think they're finally fixed--just in time to welcome award-winning author, Pamela S. Thibodeaux, co-Founder and a lifetime member of Bayou Writers Group in Lake Charles, Louisiana, back to Thursday3Some.

About Pamela S. Thibodeaux

Pam is multi-published in romantic fiction as well as creative non-fiction. Her writing has been tagged as, “Inspirational with an Edge!” ™ and reviewed as "steamier and grittier than the typical Christian novel without decreasing the message."

Find Pamela S. Thibodeaux Online

Website * Blog * Facebook * Twitter

About The Visionary

Hailed by her peers as “a visionary with an instinct for beauty and an eye for the unique,” Taylor Forrestier is undoubtedly a brilliant architect and gifted designer. But she and twin brother Trevor, share more than a successful business. Can the love of God and the awesome healing power of His grace and mercy free the twins from their past and open their hearts to the good plan and the future He has for their lives?

1. When did you write The Visionary?

I wrote The Visionary in 2003. After years of editing, revising and pitching the novel, I signed a contract with Five Star for their Expressions line. The book was published in 2011, one of the last in the line before it was cancelled.

2. What was the spark that gave you the story idea?

I wanted to write a romance story that contained male/female twins. I’ve seen numerous books with one or the other (F/F or M/M) but not many with M/F twins. I initially thought the book would be my “light/fun” romance, but God had other plans.

3. Why do readers buy The Visionary?

The Visionary deals openly and candidly with the horrors of child abuse and the healing process involved in becoming whole. Although no fiction story can adequately express the pain adult survivors of such atrocities experience, I hope to show that healing is not only possible, but promised.

Add The Visionary to Your Library

Amazon Print * Amazon Kindle * CreatSpace Print * B&N Print * Nook * Smashwords * Deeper Shopping

Takeaway Truth

The weekend is coming. Why not add The Visionary to your weekend reading entertainment?

Flash Fiction Contest

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Type fast! Deadline is next week.
For all you Flash Fiction Fans, here's a contest sponsored by Houston Writers House.

The deadline is near so don't delay.

Contest Details

Deadline: 09/30/2015 -- that means get it in fast!

Length: 500 TO 1,200 words per entry (They told me they're not really counting words.)

Entry Fee: $10 OR 3 for $20

Criteria for Acceptable Flash Fiction

Is there a definable plot? Do you have a clear beginning? A strong centerpiece? A definitive ending? Does your story make its point and drive it home, hard? Though not all stories need to be forceful to fit into this small genre, it’s a trend that follows flash throughout the years. Still, if your story doesn't have that hard-hitting theme and end by smacking into a wall, don't worry; it's not a necessity.

Other Contest Details

Poems qualify as Flash Fiction.

Entries accepted only by email, but entry check can be mailed or just use PayPal.

All entries will be published in a special anthology in time for Christmas gift giving--if at least 72 entries are received!


No ties. First Place: $150, Second: $100, Third: $75

Just Want Your Story Published?

If you do not want to enter the contest, but have a short story you want published, send it to them, along with a $20.00 fee. No word limit. If it won in a previous contest, that’s okay.

More Information

Questions? Email: rpaulding @ or snail mail: HRH, 12523 Folkcrest Way, Stafford TX 77477.

Takeaway Truth

This sounds like a nice, laid-back contest to give you a taste of contesting. Enter today.