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READ LIKE A WRITER, a teaching blog
January 31, 2017
September 1, 2016
“If anything can go wrong, it will.” – Murphy’s Law
In today’s techno-world this is especially true. The day of a recent video-chat school visit I posted on Facebook, “Satan is alive and lives in my computer.” Although my stress-level skyrocketed that morning when my PC’s operating system corrupted, (more…)
August 22, 2016
It may seem obvious, but if you’re an author you should be on Goodreads. That’s where your serious readers and reviewers hang out. Christine asked if I’d write something to show what I do to make Goodreads work for me, so here are a few tips that (more…)
August 1, 2016
Ursula Nordstrom. senior vice president and publisher of Harper & Row from 1940-1979, didn’t address me as “Dear Genius”, but she was kind enough to write a two-page typed letter to this sophomore in high school who dreamed of growing up and becoming a published author.
I found this dictated (more…)
July 21, 2016
The date July 21, 1944 is a time Chamorros—the indigenous people of the island of Guam—can never forget. On this particular day, United States Armed Forces set foot on Guam to liberate the Chamorros from two-and-a-half years of occupation by the Japanese Empire.
Many of the native islanders suffered greatly (more…)
May 1, 2016
Publicity photos are more important than ever since the advent of internet. I’ve had many experiences regarding publicity photos since my first four fiction books were published in 1985, so I’ll share with you how to get the best bang for your bucks.
Tip #1 – Release: Make sure the photographer will (more…)
April 19, 2016
April 2, 2016
March 22, 2016
UPDATE: Normally updates are at the end of articles, but I've decided to break with the norm and post it up-top so you don't have to scroll or skip altogether, wondering why I ran the same article twice.
First, Pixabay.com must have changed it's swap policy. An author recently drew to my attention that she could not find anywhere in the policy that Pixabay.com wanted people to upload 10 photos, approved by their committee, in exchange for using their photos free. I pulled up the policy and re-read, and she was right. I could no longer find that request.
Second, you may have noticed I removed my own thorny photo with this article and the cutline explaining that the close-up desert nature photo had been rejected by Pixabay. Just to show how subjective the arts are, I submitted this same photo as one of three in an application to iStock by Getty. Their committee accepted it. So the photo no longer belongs to me, and that's why I removed it so I don't get in any legal trouble later for using my own photo when others have to pay for it. (My photos on this site are not protected and anyone can copy them with a right click of the mouse.)
Which leads me to my third update...
I am now an iStock by Getty contributing artist! I was especially surprised I was selected first try because I don't doctor my photos with PhotoShop or other fancy software. Photos today on any of these professional sites are stunning, whereas I'm more of a point-and-shoot news photographer. I'm sure my photography professor at the University of Hawaii would be flabbergasted, too. I won't make much money, but it's better than giving away my photos free. If I do make even a little money, I'll roll it into buying a new 35mm camera with a longer lens. One thing I won't be buying is PhotoShop. They have also changed their policy and now it costs a monthly fee, which is against a personal principle of mine.
If you do photography in stills or videos, illustrate, or design graphics, consider applying to one of the paid professional services. You won't make a lot of money, probably not as much as freelancing, but it may provide "low hanging fruit" as another author-editor friend calls it.
Anyone who has ever maintained a website or blogged knows the challenge of finding free photos and illustrations, and obtaining permission to use them. Writers and artists, possibly more than anyone else, are sensitive to the copyright issues. We not only support, but defend, copyright laws. Just ask an author about (more…)
March 1, 2016
If you must use a Greek chorus in your story, amp it up and rock the scene.
A Greek chorus is a group of characters who comment on action, according to A HANDBOOK TO LITERATURE by Holman and Harmon (McMillan). The group of goodwives in the first scene of Hawthorne's THE (more…)