How To Win Over Your True Love

valentine's day tips

Flowers? No.

Chocolates? Cliche.

A store bought card? Pack your bags.

The one thing that will “Wow” and “Wooo” your loved one on Valentine’s day– better yet, any day when an overt demonstration of affection is not expected–does not require talent, or even money. It just requires the heart.

Memories are funny things. Our brains choose to remember some things while forgetting others. I always remember my dad writing cheesy poems for my mom. I didn’t understand why back then, but do now.

Writing a poem–no matter how cheesy, corny, or un-rhyming it is–is a sure fire way to your companion’s heart. It shows them you spent your most precious capital on them–time. It takes great effort to put down how you feel on paper, and trust me, it doesn’t matter how poetic or pedestrian it may come across, the fact that you even wrote it down in the first place will pay huge dividends in your relationship for years to come.

So pull out that pen and immortalize how much they mean to you by putting it on paper.

p.s. You want to really make their heart melt? Be sure to include references to first dates, inside jokes, etc. That’s money right there.

*********************

My Valentine’s Day poem for my wife:

There’s a love that speaks deep–
Speaks deep from home,
A home with four chambers
That to some is unknown,
But not to two lovers
Whose paths crossed one day
While searching for “The One”
A few thousand miles away.

When God wants two people
To find one another
To be a husband and wife,
A father and mother,
He plants in those chambers
A seed that will grow,
That will last them through lifetimes,
Through the highs and the lows,
And as it’s roots dig in deeper,
They will ne’er go amiss,
And each morning’s greeting…

Will be true love’s first kiss.

 

Valentine's Day Poem poetry

Chocolates sweeten any poem.


The Tale of Nottingswood cover JR YoungA Novelette by JR Young. Experience the dystopian upside-down town of Nottingswood. Visit Nottingswood.com and read the first 28 pages of JR’s latest novelette, The Tale of Nottingswood, for free. Available now in print. Get the eBook on iBooks, NookKobo, and all other formats, including Kindle, right here.

Don’t forget to follow JR on Facebook.

Click here to join JR on Goodreads for Q&A’s, quotes and more. Read his interview with Smashwords here.

Advertisements

Publishing facts

Did your book sell more than 100 copies?

Congratulations! It’s made it to the top 20% of books sold. Here are the cold, hard facts of book publishing, and book publishing success.

Pete's Space

Publishing facts

There are about 1.2 million books published each year in the US. Nielson Bookscan tracked the records for 2004 and came up with that number. The rest of the statistics:

  1. Of those 1.2 million books, 950,000 sold fewer than 99 copies.
  2. Another 200,000 sold fewer than 1,000 copies.
  3. Only 25,000 books sold more than 5,000 copies.
  4. Fewer than 500 sold more than 100,000 copies.
  5. Only 10 books sold more than a million copies each.
  6. The average book in the US sells about 500 copies

Traditional Publishers

Typically, an author can expect to receive the following royalties:

Hardback edition: 10% of the retail price on the first 5,000 copies; 12.5% for the next 5,000 copies sold, then 15% for all further copies sold. Paperback: 8% of retail price on the first 150,000 copies sold, then 10% thereafter.

How many books on Amazon?

The latest rough estimate and growing is:…

View original post 176 more words

Stop Telling and Start Showing!

Have a great story? Do this one thing to take your manuscript from a zero to a 10 on the awesomeness scale overnight!

How do they do it? The authors who land one best-seller after another. How do they write in a way that sucks people into their story, and sends books flying off the shelves?

Here’s how.

This must be one of the best “tips for writers” I’ve read in a long time. It’s from the blog Writers Write, and it breaks down a trap many of us authors fall into time and time again.

It’s about showing the reader what is happening as opposed to telling the reader.

Just read their before and after example and you’ll immediately see how this will change how you write forever.

Click here to learn How To Avoid ‘Telling’ Words. Continue reading

Book Reviews: A Terrifying Process

nail biting terrified

Last Friday, it came.

Staring me down from its place in my inbox was the subject line:

Your review is ready to download.

The review of which I speak is the Kirkus review of my novelette, The Tale of Nottingswood.

kirkus review

Now, the internationally respected Kirkus, who proclaim themselves as “The World’s Toughest Critics,” is a big deal–especially for those of us who self-publish. A great Kirkus review means greater exposure and marketing possibilities, so you can imagine the jet-pack-wearing-butterflies in my stomach when, after 2 months of waiting, my review finally came in.

Even though Kirkus is a “pay-to-play” service, a glowing review is not a guarantee. What is guaranteed is an honest review, leaving the choice to publish the review up to the author.

But why was I scared?

  • Am I that neurotic? (Well, yes, but that’s beside the point.)
  • What if my book is not as good as I think it is?
  • What if the reviewer is not a good match for my genre?
  • What if they just don’t “get it?”
  • What if they find a typo?
  • What if, what if, what if, what if?!?!

Your book is your baby, so it’s natural to take criticism personally–especially when that criticism is coming from an organization who has been reviewing books for over 80 years!

What does a man do when he’s afraid to do something? That’s right. He calls his wife to do it for him.

ME: Hey, sweetie? The Kirkus review came in. I need you to read it for me, then call me back.

Click.

A few minutes later.

Ring!

ME: Yeah?

WIFE: Um…

That’s not a good start.

WIFE: …well, don’t they have to give you a good review because you paid for it?

Crap. A bad review.

ME: No. Why?

WIFE: Wow, then they really liked your book!

Excerpt from Kirkus Reviews’ review of The Tale of Nottingswood (emphasis added):

Young’s whimsical narrative is superb. He spins a fairy tale written almost exclusively in verse that flows beautifully throughout his short tale…. The fairy-tale elements, such as magical creatures and an enchanted cloak, will appeal to a young audience, while the underlying moral questions of good and evil, the privilege of free will, and the value of taking risks will intrigue readers of all ages. Grace’s cleverly drawn illustrations vivify the adventure, and those of the evil Ms. Grouse are particularly fun. While Young’s work feels inspired by Dr. Seuss and C.S. Lewis, he creates a story that is uniquely his own.

A touching fable that speaks to readers of all ages.Kirkus Reviews


The Tale of Nottingswood cover JR YoungA Novelette by JR Young. Experience the dystopian upside-down town of Nottingswood. Visit Nottingswood.com and read the first 28 pages of JR’s latest novelette, The Tale of Nottingswood, for free. Available now in print. Get the eBook on iBooks, NookKobo, and all other formats, including Kindle, right here.

Don’t forget to follow JR on Facebook.

Click here to join JR on Goodreads for Q&A’s, quotes and more. Read his interview with Smashwords here.

Why God, Why? (A poem for the heavy heart) | Writing Exercise

Why God

Writing exercise: Wax philosophical.

My friend’s nephew was mugged by four men in the Philippines. They brutally beat him in the head with a hammer. He died from his injuries a few days later. He was only 21.

Life is full of unanswered questions. Today’s writing exercise is to create dissonance and resolution. Those terms are typically used in music composition, and it’s what gives those musical moments we love so much such power.

It’s about creating tension then providing relief. But in this exercise, I wanted to take it further than writing a who-done-it then revealing who-did-it.

I love asking questions that take the mind deeper. The entertainment is the sugar, the underlying questions are the medicine.

So, get philosophical. Take a current event that seems “answerless”–whether personal, or in the news–and immerse yourself in that question (the dissonance), but then rise to the surface with a possible a way out, or a little hope (the resolution).

Good luck, and happy writing!

Why God, Why?

Why God, why? Is a question we ask often
As we look upon the innocent draped in their coffin.
When disaster strikes, why doesn’t He stop it?
If he created the world, why sit back and drop it?

When he sees us crestfallen, why doesn’t He care?
If he sees what is coming, why does He stand there
Just watching us suffer as we clean up the rubble
Of the storms in our lives that give us all trouble?

Why God, why? is the phrase we all ask
To this God who’s in hiding unwilling to unmask
His purpose behind what is making us sad.
If he’s the Great God of Good, then why is there bad?

Why are the answers always unsatisfying
Amid all the disease, all the heartbreaks, the lying?
Well, maybe that question is not our biggest problem
As we sift through life’s puzzles finding some way to solve them.

Maybe, if we stop asking in the Spirit of accusation
And instead ask “Why God?” in the form of supplication,
Then the heavens might open to this God you once knew
And answer your “Why God” as he weeps there with you.

 


The Tale of Nottingswood cover JR YoungA Novelette by JR Young. Experience the dystopian upside-down town of Nottingswood. Visit Nottingswood.com and read the first 28 pages of JR’s latest novelette, The Tale of Nottingswood, for free. Available now in print. Get the eBook on iBooks, NookKobo, and all other formats, including Kindle, right here.

Don’t forget to follow JR on Facebook.

Click here to join JR on Goodreads for Q&A’s, quotes and more. Read his interview with Smashwords here.

The Shame of the Fallen | A Writing Exercise

The Journey by David Shauf

Writing exercise: One syllable prompt

For today’s writing exercise, I used a prompt that challenged me to write using only words with one syllable. Challenge accepted.

1. Poem

Step by each step they climbed.
With wings of faith they flew.
High did they fly
‘Til their face touched the sky
And found peace with those friends they once knew.

2. Story – The Shame of the Fallen

George stepped down from his place on the stand. With a twinge of regret lodged in his throat, he did not speak as they all watched him pass by.

What will he say?” they thought. “What will he do?

As he found the door at the back of the room, he paused, looked back, and with a tear in his eye and shame on his brow, he said,

“Don’t lose your faith. I will not be back. Another will take my place to keep you on track.”

Then he was gone.

The hush was thick in the air of that room, and no one saw or heard from their priest again.


Now it’s your turn. Write something using only one syllable words and post it, or a link to it, in the comments.


The Tale of Nottingswood cover JR YoungA Novelette by JR Young. Experience the dystopian upside-down town of Nottingswood. Visit Nottingswood.com and read the first 28 pages of JR’s latest novelette, The Tale of Nottingswood, for free. Available now in print. Get the eBook on iBooks, NookKobo, and all other formats, including Kindle, right here.

Don’t forget to follow JR on Facebook.

Click here to join JR on Goodreads for Q&A’s, quotes and more. Read his interview with Smashwords here.

6 Effective Writer’s Secrets That Will Blow Your Mind

Well said…

Couple's Chronicle

Effective WritingYou’re passionate about writing.

You wanted to create an article that will loved by readers. It is hard to please them all but at least you will get a percentage of them, liking your work.

But it seems so hard that your mind almost blown away of pushing yourself to the limit of your so called “creative imagination”. But still it suck!

Every writer has to be creative and effective in all their writings and projects. There is no other goal for them than to be more effective.

But how to write effectively? What were their secrets?

Actually there are no secrets in writing effectively. You often oversee it, it is actually in front of you. You did not notice it because you are so busy doing other thing. But still you wanted to be an effective writer.

Now here are the “Secrets” in writing effectively, but not actually a…

View original post 747 more words