My interview with “Selling Books”

Check out my interview on “Selling Books.” Here is link:

http://www.sellingbooks.com/john-a-burnham-the-kitten-burglar

Any of you who are published authors may benefit from this site.

Brainstorming Session

The brainstorming session on October 28th was well attended. We had la lively discussion with lots of ideas brought forward.

I’m in the process of distilling those ideas and the ones posted on this site into an action plan. It’s a bigger job than I thought it would be, so you’ll have to be patient.

Going provincial

As you can see, by the addition of the “Literary Arts Committee” tab, I’ve gone a bit provincial.
My initial intent for this blog was to present material of interest to all authors, but recent events have narrowed my field of concentration to the concerns of literary artists in Red Deer Alberta, Canada.
After the present obligations have been dealt with, I hope to restore my scope to it’s original intent.
However, following our local situation may be of interest to any literary artist. During the past year, it was recognized that the numerous organizations representing the various artists in Red Deer were lacking effectiveness due to a lack of coordination. So, the several organizations-representing visual, performing, and literary artists-amalgamated into the Red Deer Arts Council (RDAC). The mandate of the RDAC is to enhance the image and exposure of artists by coordinating the efforts of craft-specific organizations with the City of Red Deer, Tourism Red Deer, Culture Alberta and any other entity affecting arts and culture. You can see how this is going by following the discussion under the “Literary Arts Committee” tab.

The Writer’s Most Valuable Tool # 2

Wow, is this ever a come-uppance! I didn’t realize that it’s been two months since I posted. I’ll never get anywhere as a blogger at this rate.

Yesterday, our writer’s group hosted it’s annual workshop. The experience inspired me to reiterate my opinion that a writer’s most valuable tool is a local writer’s group. We had four speakers, three live and one via Skype. All of the presenters provided us with great tools and information, but the combined inspiration from four successful writers was the most valuable item.

If you’d like to see more about the workshop, here is the group’s website URL: http://www.writers-ink.net

The Writer’s Most Valuable Tool

What’s your nomination for the most valuable tool in a writer’s kit? A good dictionary? An up-to-date thesaurus? I’d opine that it might be something less tangible, like a supportive partner or an effective local Writer’s Group. Top ranking between those two—in my book—goes to the latter.

I experienced the value of our local Writer’s Group as I did my first reading at a meeting. It didn’t sound nearly as good as it had when I read it to myself! Since then, I’ve realized it’s a principle; a piece rarely sounds as good as it reads. The opportunity to read aloud (and thus become less enchanted with one’s own genius) is the first benefit of a local Writer’s Group. The second benefit is the critique they offer. A group can always come up with suggestions to make the work better. The third (and greatest) benefit is the things they don’t say. As I read, their eyes tell me if the piece accomplishes it’s goal. If they register enjoyment, if I see lights come on, the piece is singing. If I don’t see things like that, it’s back to the ole drawing board, Wiley.

Woe Is I by Patricia T. O’Conner

Have you ever gone to your resources hoping to find rules for using  a word like “that” and come away feeling like your brain had been in a blender? The experience is a frequent one for me. My Word Processor will tag something as incorrect grammar. I’ll digest the reason it gives but I’ve learned not to stop there. Aside from an innate distrust of all things Microshaft, I’ve found ol’ Bill’s boys to be just plain wrong at times and uninformed in others. So, I check to see what White Smoke has to say. If this doesn’t satisfy me, I’ll proceed to the online Chicago Manual of Style or one of my reference books. Usually, this is a mistake because my net discovery is inconsistencies between the references. I’d like to standardize on the Chicago Manual of Style, but digging therein for a grammatical rule can make the search for Tut’s Tomb seem trivial.

My salvation may be “Woe Is I”  by Patricia T. O’Conner. From what I’ve seen so far, she explains English usage in an entertaining,  sprite like manner. She doesn’t try to explain the difference between a participle and a partridge, but gives witty memory-joggers to correct usage. I’d love to know the technical rule for why I shouldn’t use “lugubrious” with a particular antecedent, but before I can understand, I have to know the difference between an antecedent and an anteater, and so on. At seventy years of age, I’m not at all certain I have time for that.

Perhaps Patrticia will provide me with the tool I need to produce better prose😉

John

The Constabulary Deals With Driver Distractions

 Pull Over!

What more can be said about this?

It doesn’t have anything to do with writing. It relates to Motorcycles and Humor, both of which are dear to my heart.