W.O.W. – Writer Odyssey Wednesday with Katy UppermanAmy Trueblood's Blog
10 February 2016
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF SPAM?
In Canada placing someone on your newsletter mailing list without their permission (without them opting in) can lead up to million dollar fines for breaking international SPAM laws.
What I’ve noticed over the years are authors who are starting their newsletter lists being afraid to have nobody subscribed and thus add EVERYONE from their contact list to their new newsletter mailing list. This is against international spam laws. Almost every month I have someone add me to a list I did NOT subscribe to. Sometimes there isn’t even an unsubscribe button which is so, so, SO bad!
I understand the feeling of having nobody on your list other than yourself from when you were testing things during setup. We have ALL been there. But do not add people. I repeat: Do. Not. Add. People. Without their consent. Not only are you breaking spam laws, but you are…
- Sending out newsletters to people who may not be your audience–no sales or clicks from these guys!
- When you reach the no-longer free subscriber threshold you suddenly have to start paying for people who don’t even want to be on your list.
- Ticking off people who work really hard to keep their inbox clean.
- It lowers your open rates (having people on your list who do not want to be there), this then ‘taints’ your list which then lowers your delivery rates.
- It gets your email address flagged as SPAM which causes all sorts of issues I won’t get into here.
If you are starting a new list and really want to reach out to those people you know, I suggest is this…
Send an email to your contacts saying, hey, I’m starting an author newsletter. Here’s what it’s going to be about, here’s what I write, here’s how often I plan to send it out. Are you interested in keeping in touch through my newsletter? If so, you can sign up for it right here: PROVIDE SIGN UP FORM LINK. I won’t send anymore emails about this and you’ll be free to unsubscribe from my newsletter at any point if you feel it isn’t something you want.
And always use a mailing list provider. Don’t just send mass emails from your gmail account or wherever.
I hope this helps! Good luck!
Do you have these two Valentine’s Day short stories from Blueberry Springs? Now’s your chance to get two of them for FREE this week!
Happy Valentine’s Day!
One woman. One man. One question.
Award-winning baker Mandy Mattson is tired of feeling as though she’s always leaning on her boyfriend Frankie Smith to make her dreams come true. Struggling to expand her new restaurant in hopes of becoming more financially secure, she doesn’t know what to do when her boyfriend asks for the one thing she doesn’t have— more time to spend with him.
When Frankie runs out of patience, Mandy finds herself having to choose between two dreams. Will she make the right choice? Or will she find a way to have her cake and eat it too?
One new job. One chance to prove herself. And one crush on the man she most definitely shouldn’t.
Nicola Samuels has spent the past two years traveling the world with her best friend Todd Haber and is ready to settle down with her first real career as Blueberry Springs’s community planner. Eager to make her mark on the small town, she creates the first annual Valentine’s Day Love Extravaganza. Thinking she is immune to the holiday, she hires a man dressed as Cupid, not expecting to fall under the spell of the holiday…
But when Cupid strikes, will she kiss the man she shouldn’t—or will she hide her true feelings in order to prevent ruining the one thing she can’t risk losing?
Want one more short story? Vodka and Chocolate Drops–a friends to lovers short story–is available everywhere for $0.99. Or you can get it and the WHOLE Sweet Treats set (all 3 short stories listed in this post) for FREE by subscribing to my author newsletter.
Need another reason to join? I’ll be partnering with a new steamy romance author, Alexandra Waters, on Valentine’s Day to give away her exclusive short story sneak peek from her upcoming series the men of Westwood. You don’t want to miss it–it’s H.O.T!
Recovering from a major head injury and with arson investigators asking questions he doesn't know the answers to, Micah dives into what he does remember about Janie. Meeting her at their special spot in the quarry, getting drunk together for the first time, floating in a boat that probably wasn't quite safe. But there are not so great memories too, times when Janie said hurtful things or manipulated him - and he let her.
As his memories slowly come back, Micah pieces together the good and bad parts of their friendship since their childhood, as well as the last night they were ever together. Even though he knows the end might not be what he's hoping for.
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Click here to read it on Writing Wranglers and Warriors.
** no offense meant to the queer, the poet, or the queer poet
I need ideas on how to write a query that will be noticed by an agent. here are my ideas so far...
My poetry is like Zoolander: It is ridiculously good-looking. If you don't want to read it, you can derelickt my balls.
I’ve had some GREAT news that I’ve been sitting on for a while and now I can officially share. As you know, last month WRECKAGE was released in Germany as Aus Den Trümmern and translated by Kerstin Fricke. It is the second foreign language edition of WRECKAGE out in the world. The highlight of that experience was getting a box of these beauties on my front porch.
The Spanish edition of WRECKAGE, Náufragos, translated by Maria Garin, now has a cover! It will launch just a week after WHEN I’M GONE. I’ve really enjoyed the Italian and German releases so I can’t wait for this one.
And now I can announce that there are two more foreign editions of WRECKAGE on the horizon!
First, the French print rights were picked up by the fabulous publisher: Michel Lefon ! They are an independent publisher founded in 1980. They publish about 150 titles per year across a range of genres.
In addition—the Turkish rights were purchased by a newer publisher, Indigo Kitap. They publish adult fiction and non-fiction. Turkish is the sixth language WRECKAGE will be translated into.
With the March 15th launch of WHEN I’M GONE (available for preorder right now) and the on going international releases of WRECKAGE, I’m just so happy to be able to share these stories with the world. Talk about dreams coming true.
It was fun going through this draft with notes from some crit buddies with specific goals in mind.
It was also fun coming across some lines/sections that made me smile. It's great when you come across something you'd forgotten about and you're able to think -- hey, that's pretty good stuff you've got there!
Now, I'll let this simmer for a bit while I do the same for another story.
How about you? Do you need that simmering time, or are you able to look at a story right away after you've done one round of revising/editing?
IN THE BEGINNING is a collection of young adult short stories, dark retellings of Biblical tales. "First Wife" is a first-person retelling of the story of Leah, her sister Rachel, and Jacob -- and the aftermath as Leah discovers that a deception has led her to wed the man her sister loves and planned to marry.
More details about the anthology can be found at Month9Books' Tumblr. Check there in the near future for a Friday Cover Reveal, because they'll be revealing the gorgeous cover there! Oh, and don't forget to add the anthology to your TBR list on Goodreads!
Make 2016 your lucky year–and a fun-filled one as well! Beat the boredom blues and raise happy, healthy children. Less effort, happier kids, what more could you want?
Enter the 1,001 Boredom Busting Play Ideas paperback giveaway on Goodreads below (open internationally)!
Missed the giveaway? You can purchase 1,001 Boredom Busting Play Ideas today for only $0.99 in ebook and $11.99 in paperback. (Last day for this sale price.) These links below will redirect you to the store of your choice:
Amazon US: www.jeanoram.com/KINDLEUS1001
Amazon UK: www.jeanoram.com/KINDLEUK1001
Amazon CA: www.jeanoram.com/KINDLECA1001
Kobo CA: www.jeanoram.com/KOBOCA1001
Kobo UK: www.jeanoram.com/KOBOUK1001
Google Play: www.jeanoram.com/GOOGLE1001
Happy new year! Play on!
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) December 22, 2015
— Karthik TMuthu (@KarthikTmuthu) December 22, 2015
Her "official" response (or, at least, the one that's gotten the most publicity) is this one:Hi @jk_rowling Black Hermione is cool but could we talk about "Hamid" Potter ?Because i truly think Harry is Moroccan and Real name is Hamid— Sebastien-Abdelhamid (@SAbdelhamid) December 21, 2015
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) December 21, 2015Canon: brown eyes, frizzy hair and very clever. White skin was never specified. Rowling loves black Hermione 😘 https://t.co/5fKX4InjTH
This is problematic.
The "default" identities are almost always identities of privilege. In an ideal world, there should be no default (because any default automatically excludes others). Whichever identities are deemed to be "default" or "normal" determines who in society will be deemed most human. The default reveals whom society holds front-and-center in its mind, and whom society is structured to value, and protect, the most.
Applause if you imagined a low-income undocumented trans woman of color with a disability. Now, this may seem odd to you - why would you ever have imagined such a specific person? But say you imagined a cisgender documented straight white man with no disability. Isn't that person described just as specifically as the trans woman? Why is it "easy" to imagine him instead of her? Who does society deem as "normal"?
The idea of "normal" or "default" is constructed, and those who are deemed default are valued the most by society. They are given the most rights and these rights are assumed to be natural.
But they're not natural. These privileged rights are societally-given. For example, it's not "natural" that a cis man is given the most control over his body compared to other people. "Nature" does not restrict access to contraception, hormones, and surgeries. Humans do. When non-cis men demand control over their own bodies, they seem to be asking for "extra" rights, outside the "normal". See why it's so important to deconstruct who is deemed default?
As Aaron Kashtan puts so well in this article, "The default assumption of whiteness is no longer acceptable." It all comes back to messing up the idea of "default" and "normal". Casting a black Hermione does this beautifully. Since Rowling never described Hermione's race, Rowling can play with the idea that society deemed Hermione to be white. Deconstructing white normality will also deconstruct the dehumanization of people of color. Rowling can mess up the idea of a "default" race. She can get people to think twice when they label a "generic" person as white.
But JK Rowling's response also has some problems. Although it's nice that she never mentioned Hermione's race in the novel, why didn't she? Knowing full well, due to society, Hermione would be seen as white, why didn't Rowling specify her race? Couldn't Rowling have messed up the idea of a "default" race by specifically mentioning Hermione's race at the end of the first novel - tricking readers into thinking she's white, and then turning the tables in the novels? Why didn't Rowling do this in the novels?
There's an answer. Novels aren't visual. Therefore, it's much easier to avoid engaging with race if race never has to be mentioned. It's a cop-out for writers who are uncomfortable with race. In a world where race heavily influences every person, it's odd to see characters "without a race". But, honestly, we all know what we infer: these characters are white.
There seems to be a pattern of characters whose racial identities are not mentioned, and then are cast as white to no criticism. There is a pattern of characters whose racial identities are briefly specified as of color, but are cast as white (see: Katniss Everdeen). And when characters are cast as people of color: people get outraged.
Knowing full well that society will deem all characters in her British novel to be white unless specified otherwise, why didn't Rowling specify Hermione to be black? Many black girls would have loved this. Here I am, an Indian man, loving every instance that Parvati and Padma Patil show up in the books and the movies because they look sort of like me. Because even though the other main characters' races are not specified, I know I am not the generic race. I know I can never relate to them.
And there's more. Changing skin is not enough. If a character's plot is unaffected when their skin changes color, well, racism wouldn't exist. Now that Hermione is black, how will her Blackness play a part in the plot? Since much of the Wizarding World is influenced by the Muggle World, since many from the Muggle World come into the Wizarding World (Muggle-borns), and since the Muggle World is structured by race, the Wizarding World almost certainly has racism in it. (I can't imagine Snape or Umbridge not making snide remarks about Hermione's skin.) Will Rowling embrace Blackness in skin only, or embrace all the issues of Blackness as well?
Rowling did something similar with Dumbledore, announcing he was gay after the books were published, and only hinting at his sexuality in the actual novels. Yes, finding out he is gay was amazing. But we deserve more. Why couldn't he be gay in the novels?
We don't live in an ideal world. We don't live in a colorblind world, and I'm tired of colorblind novels. In a world where white is the default, we deserve characters of color to be unapologetically labelled as such.
So there's my dilemma. Rowling has done a lot. We just deserve a lot more.
Congrats congrats congrats, Ms. Dumezweni!!!!! You're going to make an amazing Hermione :D (I'm honestly so excited for this, I hope they get it on DVD so I can watch here in the USofA.)
Conan, a real hero - a man's man, from an age when men were real men and the women were... well pretty scary as well. When I first read Howard's Conan, I never realised that he only wrote the one novel - The Hour of the Dragon - which became Conan the Conqueror. At that time, L. Sprague de Camp and Lin Carter were busy reviving him in the US, and we in the UK got the backwash. The edition below appeared in the UK in 1974, 7 years after the US edition and 4 years after Marvel began a comic book serialisation with the great Barry Smith.
Lin Carter and L. Sprague de camp began a Conan industry which spawned many adventures that could have been written by Howard if he'd lived to be something like 70 (just jokin' - 69½). For a while I collected them but the industry of imitation lacked authenticity. Howard's work however - now that took me down strange by-ways. It was clear from his attention to detail in putting together his Hyborian Age that he had quite a good grasp of history. Many years later, as I studied texts dealing with historical events in Central Asia, Turks & Persians I was struck by similarities with Turan & Hyrkania. Things like that gave his work an air of authenticity. Of course Howard's Hyborian Age ended when the Hyrkanians, who were steppe dwellers, marched west to conquer or destroy - about 12,000 fictional years back.
Conan the Conqueror - Sphere edition, UK - 30p
In the real world, the Turks (also nomad dwellers) crushed the last classical empires and by the middle of the thirteenth century were ready to assault Austria (for which read Vienna) and Venice. At this juncture more important events back east in Karakorum - the death of the Great Kahn Ögedei - meant the Mongol generals retired from Europe, taking their Turkic vassals with them. They'd mostly completed their task: the subjugation of those nomads who refused to join the Turco-Mongol hordes.
The entry image is of Terken Khatun, The Mother of Sultan Muhammad, being led captive by the Mongols. It is taken from a very old MS of Rashid-al-Din in the Bibliothèque Nationale. The doings of the Mongols and Turks are covered in Juvaini's contemporaneous account: The History of the World-Conqueror (translated by John Andrew Boyle for Harvard University Press / © 1958 by Manchester University Press)
Back to Conan the Conqueror/ The Hour of the Dragon. About 70k words long. Must have taken some work in the days before computers, writing software and online research.
Within 24 hours of finishing The Tau Device, I got writing withdrawal symptoms. Some things don't change.
So I went online and it seems like no matter what you do, you need to market your books. If you're not the one doing it then nobody is. Whether you have an agent or not, a good following always help. So what I did today:
1. I've created a new logo for myself (see my profile pic).
I like it plain and simple. And once my illustrator has finishes my cover then I'll be able to do more. But at the moment, this will do.
2. I started a FB page.
I know it's hard trying to start from scratch, but you have to start somewhere. Lucky for me I have a bunch of friends but then again, I'm writing under a pen name and I don't really want them to know it's me. I'm feeling pretty insecure about people I care about reading what I wrote. Maybe this will change one day but right now, I skipped inviting them. Just more casual acquaintances and associates.
3. I started twitter.
I'm told by someone on FB that twitter is the best and easy way to get started. And I agree. It's simple and everyone has them. First thing first, though. You need followers. So what I did, I went and follow a bunch of authors and publishing company. Then I post my first few tweets. Tips I've gotten? a) stay active andaimed at 10 to 20 tweets a day and at least 10 retweets b) uses popular hashtags I don't know if this will work but I'm going to do so and I'll update my progress.
So, although I didn't get much re-editing done today, I did something. And this is how you procrastinate like a pro.
I hope this helps!
It feels like it has been eons. Ages. As if the world has overcome me in the sense of passing. By this, I’m referring to my absence in many things. From this fantastic website. From any major writing. College life as well as work life have consumed most of my available free time. Trust, I’ve had fleeting story ideas, all of which do not return once they pass through the gigantic filter that is my brain. I’ve finally found time to write something that was non-academic and not bound by the rules of an essay, so for the first time in a long time it feels good to write something with entirely my own freedom.
I’m quickly approaching my 20th birthday, and I’m feeling old. Now, of course, I know that it’s silly of me to feel this way (it’s not like I should fear getting AARP letters in the mail, or start considering nursing home options) but this literal transition from teenager to adulthood is a little daunting to me. I think it’s because of this beautiful, man-made thing I call time that has me afraid. We are all governed by our own metaphorical hour-glass that will one day run out of sand. And each grain drop terrifies me.
Funny enough, it wasn’t even until very recently (about the start of this semester) that I began to feel this sense of having no time. As if not just my own, but the whole world's hourglass was about to drop its last grain. Perhaps it is merely my own fears projected onto my view of the universe, but I cannot shake this feeling. I do not know what this means, but I hope the feeling goes away. It is hard for me to fathom the future; where will my writing go? Will I have a wife and kids? What will happen?
There are so many things that I imagine when I consider my future. But what if there is not as much time as I imagined? What if things were indeed about to wrap up? The writer in me enjoys toying with this idea of having no time, but the “self” version of me is very uncertain. There are many firsts that I still want to experience; many things I still wanted to accomplish. The bits and pieces of poetry/writing that I’ve done over the past six months or so have had a dominating (and perhaps not so underlying) theme of “time” and the lack of it.
The reason that this is happened is because there are no filters with my writing. I write what I feel, what I’m afraid of. It is therapeutic for me. If I create characters and stories that are of things I’m afraid of or things that make me sad, it makes me stronger towards it somehow. Don’t ask me why; my brain is very weird that way. So here is just another example of that—I’m writing about time and how much it scares me.
Everything comes to an end sooner or later; all things go. I feel like everyone subconsciously is aware of this, but, naturally, they don’t want to talk about it. I’m on both sides of the fence—no, I do not want to talk about the end of things, but at the same time, you can’t avoid it. So why not discuss it? Why not share ideas and theories and stories? Stories are one of my favorite things (if you haven’t already figured that out already) and guess what? All stories have an end. Everyone is living their own story right now. It had a beginning, is currently experiencing the middle, and will one day reach its end. So if we think of life as just one big metaphorical book, I know how to handle that. I can grasp this concept.
At the end of it all, at the most basic fundamentals of life, regardless of what religion you believe in, we are eternal beings. We are not here for this brief amount of time. We were not created for that purpose, to just be born and then die and become nothing. With that, I find some comfort, that perhaps while we will one day reach the end of one era, it will not truly be the end of myself.
The thought of being able to write forever is comforting, but more comforting is the fact that, no matter how it all plays out, it is not truly the end.
Until next time,
I'm, here just to rely a message to all 2000+ viewers who've seen the blog postings! Thank, you for all of your support...
For, me to step out of the shadows of poetry and expand to film is a big leap for someone like me..Yes, I grew up in the impoverished communities of Chicago but through the struggles I've learned how to do more then just survive but thrive.
Through, self-employment that is the only way to advance....In, my world through creative expression I've been able to create a world that I am truly proud of. The objective is to someday literally own the jet building create a production company that would give a voice to an under served population...
Right, now as we speak I have a fundraiser on the website indiegogo.com which is geared toward making the project His Voice His Movement a success at the box office but I am asking for your support... If, all of the 2000 plus viewers would lend a hand then we can send the message to Hollywood that the legacy of MJ is one that can't be denied.
For, every contribution that's made you do get a perk or two as a result of your efforts to spread the word and donate. Those perks include shout out's on cyberspace to Movie Merchandise! No, matter the level of contributions made you'll get a Perk!
Even, if you go out on my website www.facebook.com/HVHMCHI16 you can fill out the mailing list, answer the trivia questions and get 2 free tickets to the premier in Chicago! Of course you would handle all transportation and lodging on your own!
There, is a beauty in knowing that MJ influenced not just mere blocks (sorry Spike Lee) but nations......
Everybody, knows that the Jackson dynasty started in the MId-West...Now, it's our time to say thank you!
When, you have dreams in life you can't allow your surroundings to determine your success! You, can have a million No's keep pushing and find that there is one yes waiting in the midst of those sea of No's...
It, will get tough and the road may seem endless but take heart your help is just a step or two away...
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