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Showing posts with label holiday. Show all posts
Showing posts with label holiday. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Holiday season is upon us

If you haven't noticed, it's not long to Christmas, Hanukkah and many other festivities relating to the middle of winter or the solstice.  It's even closer to Thanksgiving.  If you like being bombarded with things you can buy and throw away again when you're bored with them you are probably enjoying life to the full.  Since I dislike waste, and don't like shopping, and would rather sit in a corner by a log fire with a book (or my eReader) than party outrageously, this is the time of year that I go into hibernation.

What really frightens me is the number of books that are available now.  Self-publication has a lot to do with this.  The flood has turned into a tsunami, and good books are being tossed in the flotsam of life, hoping to surface long enough for the right reader to find and enjoy them.  It always was this way around now, every commerical organisation hoping to make its big buck in the run up to the present-fest.  I don't compete - I try not to bring my books out when there is fierce competition, fuelled by deep pockets.

But I do try the odd promotion.  I'm working on an anthology for middle grade children (8+), with six writer friends, called BookElves Anthology Vol. 1 and I'm doing some Giveaways.

I'll draw your attention to Read Tuesday, styled as a "Black Friday type of event for readers and authors" which takes place on December 9th.  Hundreds of special offers will be featured, on all types of books, with particular emphasis on family friendly ones.  And in the lead up to the event there are things to interest authors and readers and bloggers, so that probably includes you!

The A to Z Blog Challenge is another promotion for authors and bloggers, but of a less 'in your face' kind (on the whole).  I'm constantly amazed by the number of writers taking part.  Not all of them blog stories during the Challenge: some choose different topics entirely, others mix and match.  It's only five months till we reach G in the Challenge, so anyone writing short stories may already be past that!  I have seen blogs that do a serial through the month, but I confess that turns me off.  It's difficult to get into those serials if you're blog-hopping, and very disappointing if you arrive on day 23 and find the story makes no sense to you.  I also learned the hard way the first year I took part, that doing a detailed background to your stories only works if you already have a core of readers who would be interested!  It may help your own writing, though.  Blogs that do flash fiction during the month work best for my style of doing the challenge - but you may disagree.  That's what makes this whole thing so much fun.

I've met some wonderful people and wonderful writers during the Challenge, so many that I'm hard pressed to keep up with them all.  Damyanti Biswas writes amazing short stories as well as talking about writing, and she does two blogs (at least) plus Team Leading through the Challenge!  I've thoroughly enjoyed Sue Ann Bowling's Homecoming blog for the last three years thanks to her Challenge participation.  She writes great stories as well as blogging about her Alaska home.  Sadly, Sue is seriously ill, but I hope this mention cheers you up, Sue. 

More writing blogs I've enjoyed through the Challenge you could look out for:
Hilary Melton Butcher at Positive Letters, Inspirational Stories
Ragged Writers
Sara C Snider, a lovely author
Patricia Stoltey, Writing, Colorado and things
Madeline Mora-Summonte's Flash Fiction Collection
Silvia Writes
Noelle Granger Sayling Away
Tyrean's Writing Spot
and so many more, and not forgetting Samantha Redstreake Geary and Csenge Zalka who were among my co-minions #Team Damyanti on last year's Challenge.

Jemima Pett writes scifi/fantasy The Princelings of the East for older children and is working on a new scifi series, with asteroid miners and sentient trees, for publication in 2015.  Twitter + Pinterest

Monday, September 1, 2014

National Literacy Month and Happy Labor Day

Co-creator of Spider-Man, the Hulk, Xmen, Iron Man and the Fantastic Four and Honorary Chair of Library Card Sign-up Month Stan Lee.

September is National Literacy Month and Library Card Sign-Up Month. And as a writer I'm interested in raising awareness about this issue. After all, I write books, and what's the use of doing that if people can't read them? Here are some stats that I discovered when doing research for my latest novel in which my main character is barely literate.

  • 2003 National Assessment of Adult Literacy (NAAL) revealed that 90 million Americans read at basic and below basic levels. READ MORE
  • The anual U.S. cost for low literacy is mind boggling: 80 billion in lost worker productivity, 225 billion lost to unemployment benefits, lost taxes and crime. Literacy Partners 
  • L.A. county, population 7,000+ has 33% of its people who are lacking basic literacy Visalia Times READ MORE
  • 2 million New York City residents are functionally illiterate (25%) READ MORE .
  • 32 million (14%) of U.S. adults can't read and 774 million people worldwide can't read. READ MORE
If any A to Zers are interested in joining the cause here's the LINK to my post about Writers Supporting Literacy. 


And now LABOR DAY!

Labor Day has been with us for 132 years. The U.S. celebrated the first one on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City. Then in 1884 the first Monday in September was selected as the holiday.
Over the years, it's had it's poster girl and other spirited patriotic images to communicate the U.S. Can Do spirit.

Here's the famous Rosie The Riveter that was popular WWII. 


Have a safe, wonderful, restful LABOR DAY! 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Time to go travelling

Yes, we're well into July now, and it's time to go travelling - and not just on the #atozroadtrip.

One of the things I enjoy most on the #atozchallenge are the travel blogs.  I don't know why I don't take more notice of them through the year, but it seems to me that picking a travel theme gives you a great opportunity to show off your holiday snaps AND engage with people who have been to the same places, or would like to go to the same places, even from their armchair.

Last April I had a chance to do a little of that because my theme was the NATO phonetic alphabet, which offered me Hotel, India, Lima, Quebec, Sierra and Zulu.  I had a tale or two to tell about some of those, and I hope people enjoyed them.  I am tempted to do a travel theme next year, but I really haven't got enough photos of places beginning with.. well, the usual difficult letters.  But my next holiday (vacation) is to somewhere special, to do something special, so I decided to fit my theme around that and I'm already considering what to put against the other letters!

Are you holidaying (vacationing) somewhere nice this summer (or winter, in the Antipodes)?  I'm thinking hot summer days with a pleasant breeze to stop me melting; shady beaches with waves lapping, palm trees waving, good food and pleasant company.  Nice countryside to walk in would be essential, and a few interesting buildings to fulfil some cultural yearnings would be nice too.  Sounds like I ought to be back in Goa, or somewhere else in India - or maybe substitute the palms for pines and do the Mediterranean - Knossos would be nice, I've always wanted to go there.  Or is Disneyworld more your thing?  How about the Harry Potter world?

My next holiday?  I'm going to the arctic circle to see a total eclipse of the sun - next March.  So that's E for Eclipse sorted out!

Did you miss these travelling posts on the @AprilA2Z?
Natasha's eXpress -
Reflections En Route did Lithuania
A Taste of Travel did a restaurant tour:
Bob Sanchez is one of many who did G for Grand Canyon!
and Jennifer Garcia did Florence, among other places

My 2p in the Blogger or Wordpress for following blogs is solved by pinning them to a Pinterest page for A to Zs  :)

See my blog at and follow the news of my Princelings of the East series at  The sixth book, Bravo Victor is FREE 9th and 10th July on Amazon worldwide (last chance!)