Jacqui Murray is sharing some helpful website pointers on her post I’m reblogging today.
How many of you get tired, or when short on time, find yourselves leaving a page when it takes too many clicks to find out what you went there for? I know I’ve come across this plenty of times.
Today Jacqui discusses the ‘The 3 Click Rule‘ , as well as sharing some other helpful links for writers.
“Tech Tips for Writers is a (sometimes) weekly post on overcoming Tech Dread. I’ll cover issues that friends, both real-time and virtual, have shared. Feel free to post a comment about a question you have. I’ll cover it in a future Tip.”
Q: Some writing websites/blogs are confusing. I click through way too many options to get anything done. What’s with that?
A: I hadn’t put a lot of thought to this until I read a discussion on one of my writer forums about the oft-debunked-and-as-oft-followed 3-click rule made popular by Web designer Jeffrey Zeldman in his book, “Taking Your Talent to the Web”. This claims ‘that no product or piece of content should ever be more than three clicks away from your Web site’s main page’. . .Continue Reading
Lightning struck twice in the past week while visiting blogs, and I stumbled across another wonderful review of my memoir, Conflicted Hearts on author Christoph Fischer’s blog.
There is no bigger compliment for an author than a 5 Star review, and it was a fresh dose of motivation for me as I’m currently deep in rewrites on my upcoming book, the sequel to Conflicted Hearts, titled, P.S. I Forgive You.
Today I have something very special: “Conflicted Hearts – A Daughter’s Quest for Solace from Emotional Guilt!
Conflicted Heart is an emotional and amazing read. It is a few years old and a sequel is in the making but that doesn’t make it any less of a worthy read. We’ve heard about motherlove and the best they can do. Now let’s hear from someone who tells what happens when it doesn’t work so well.
The author writes with raw honesty about her tough childhood and her personal journey. Cruelty and abuse don’t have to be physical. This little girl became a victim of her parent’s war with each other.
It isn’t all doom and gloom, though. The author writes with humour at times and there are also some happy memories included, all of which have helped the writer to evolve as a person and draw a line under her past. Accepting hard truths and moving on is hard and I am impressed how thoughtful and balanced this memoir is.
There is warmth, humour and much entertainment to be had as well. The author had an interesting childhood and career and a beautiful writing style. Honest and refreshing, despite the difficult subject. A great achievement. Read Original Post Here
Today I’m sharing a few annoying issues I’ve experienced this week with a couple of technical issues I’ve encountered. One is a #Scam warning, and another is more bad publicity with #Windows 10 and antivirus issues with Kaspersky.
I’ve spent countless hours, disrupting my writing time this week fighting with my antivirus renewal with Kaspersky. My one year subscription had ran out and I purchased a new licence for another year, good for 5 devices.
The installation went smoothly on my other Windows 8.1 computers, even on my older Windows 7 laptop, but the nightmare began with my newer Windows 10 Surface Pro laptop.
After removing the expired antivirus program, preparing to install the new one, the program wouldn’t install on Windows 10. I spent a few hours looking up the potential problems and reading numerous complaints from others on Google who experienced the same problem. I tried several of the fixes offered by Kaspersky, which was eternally time consuming, removing, rebooting, and reinstalling the software program, only having to uninstall over again several times.
After I wasted one complete day, I called their support. They went over the same things I’d already done, then sent me an email with another fix. That didn’t work either. By then I could have punched someone there in the head after going through the same procedures repeatedly to no avail. I asked to speak to someone who knows what they’re doing to fix the darned program. I was told that was a premium service and I would have to pay to have a tech go remotely in my computer to get it working.
I won’t repeat here my reply to that, suffice it to say, I was not pleasant, and I reprimanded the person on the phone for selling antivirus that clearly isn’t compatible with Windows 10, that I had paid for, and sending me around in circles to keep trying new fixes they were emailing me, but I had to pay to someone who knew how to do it quickly.
After threatening them with bad publicity from me, there were more apologies, and another fix that came in the mail yesterday. Once again, I spent a good hour following their instructions, removing programs, cleaning disks, reinstalling and rebooting several times, again, to no avail. I just got finished chewing out another ‘support’ person, who obviously is of no support, letting them know I’m going public with this issue. And so here I am. This is a warning for you Windows 10 users, DoNOT use Kaspersky antivirus for your computers if you value your time, because IT DOES NOT WORK. Or be prepared to lose a week of your life trying.
So, with this said, I currently still have no antivirus on my favorite laptop, and am awaiting, yes, another email fix from this helpful company. If I hadn’t already installed it on my other computers, I’d send it back. As it stands, after several futile hours spent on this shit, I’ll be taking my laptop and the product back to the box store I purchased it at, and tell them to make it work. I’ll keep you posted on how that goes.
ADDENDUM: Since the writing of this post. There were two more email requests from Kaspersky, asking me to download files and a lengthy lists of technical things I should do to make THEIR program work. Besides the time factor, I have no clue what half of those instructions even mean. I have since downloaded AVAST antivirus and Malware Bytes. And here was my final response to their last email telling me I didn’t respond to ‘their latest ideas for a fix’.
“I did not respond because I don’t have hours to do the multitude of things you sent me. I am not a technician. Your support is unsatisfactory. You sell products, yet a tech won’t resolve issues immediately. You send us the onus of the work to make YOUR software compatible with our computers. You should be making your software compatible from the get go. I am a writer, I don’t have hours and days to spend to make your product work.
I find it appalling that after all you’ve put me through, someone couldn’t go in remotely and do whatever is necessary without threatening to charge me for it. I am done with your product.
I will be publishing an article about the incompatibility of Kaspersky with Windows 10. Fix your stuff. I don’t have time to fix it for you.”
On another note, I want to warn you all to be very careful with email scams. I had written a post on some scams awhile back HERE. But today, I also received an email from Paypal, alerting me that my account is under suspension.
At first I was concerned about what had gone wrong, worrying about having no Paypal to use with all my author business I use it for. But after my suspect investigation, I smelled another scam. I opened the mail but didn’t click on any links. This scam was better than their previous ones. The Paypal logo was there, and no funny names in the URL. The notice told me I had violated their policies and to rectify, I was to click on the link provided to verify my information.
Everyone who deals with money and credit cards with a company should know those companies and institutions will never ask you for personal information in an email. The notice didn’t even say the usual ‘Hello Deborah’ that Paypal usually states your name in salutation, but merely, ‘Dear Customer’. That was my number one flag.
I was certain it was a scam, but being that Paypal has my credit card number on file, I called support immediately to make sure my account wasn’t compromised. Gratefully, the support girl told me it was a scam, and my account was fine. I shared the email info with her, and she told me the scammers are hoping to get some poor unsuspecting, perhaps tech unsavvy person to click on the link and fill out their account information. And it’s hard for me to believe, but people do this.
The support girl advised me to forward the email to their firstname.lastname@example.org, where I’ve sent a few to in the past. By sending them these emails, it helps them keep on top of the latest scams using their name.
So remember people, you have to be diligent with emails. People are trying to steal from others every day. It’s up to us to do the proper investigations. And if any of these emails are asking for verification on accounts, DO NOT ever email back any information. Either go to that website direct and sign in to your account and see if there is personal mail to your from that company, or better yet, just pick up the phone and call direct before you even think about replying to these scammers.
Editing can be a trying time for many writers. I can speak from experience. Editing is the general term used for a myriad of things which go under the same umbrella, such as: rewrites, organizing chapters, first, second, and third drafts, etc., and then finally edits, before our work is even sent to an editor to start revisions. That’s a lot of work for writers.
Today I’m reblogging a helpful article from K.M. Weiland whose newsletter on all things writing, I’ve been subscribing to for a few years now. Her articles are a wealth of information. And in today’s post, you will find some helpful info on organizing your work in the editing stages.
“How to organize your novel’s edits can seem like a complicated question. Use these 6 steps to make things as simple and straightforward as possible.”
“One of the reasons editing a novel can sometimes feel like the insurmountable Mt. Never Gonna Get There is because you don’t have a clear path forward. Facing a big edit–with lots of feedback from various sources–is like facing down the mopping up after a hurricane. You’ve got the manpower and the know-how. But first you have to figure out how to put them to use. After all, you can’t move forward until you know the first step. . .” Continue Reading
Finding a lovely surprise like this was timely, as I’m currently in rewrites with the sequel to that book, titled, P.S. I Forgive You. Sometimes a nice review is just what a writer needs to keep them motivated and plugging on, especially on those days when we want to tear our hair out.
Here’s Kevin’s review:
REVIEW: Get on the rollercoaster and ride with Debbie as she shares her experiences in life. From dealing with her parent’s tumultuous relationship as a child with its many break-ups, separations, and house moves, to becoming a pawn in her mother’s endless games that robbed her of her childhood.
What really grabbed me was how her childhood experiences influenced her decisions as a blooming adult and the relationships she had while consistently grappling with her mother’s narcissism.
There are moments that will completely captivate you. One of those moments for me was her adventure in Greece, another, the first real love and heartbreak… I could go on, but I don’t want to give away too much.
As if being caught in the throes of narcissism isn’t enough, multiple health issues, and an abusive cohabitation take their toll as well.
The entire work is presented perfectly, and with such honestly… I believed every word and often reflected upon the courage of the writer. It’s excellent… Five Stars!
[bctt tweet=”5 Star #bookreview Conflicted Hearts, #memoir” username=”pokercubster”]
SYNOPSIS: Somehow I believed it was my obligation to try to do the right thing by her because she had given birth to me. Burdened with constant worry for her father and the guilt caused by her moth…Continue Reading
Jeri shares helpful articles about creative writing and great editing tips, does book reviews, and hosts author interviews on her blog. And today she has generously offered to make a guest appearance and talk about Creative Nonfiction writing.
Today, Jeri is posting here on the topic: Truth in Creative Nonfiction: What factors should writers consider when crafting reality?
Rendering the truth in creative nonfiction is an art form. Crafting a narrative involves shaping material to tell a real life story using the same literary techniques as fiction, but the story must be factually accurate. Whereas fiction begins in the imagination, creative nonfiction springs from actual events. Any writer who wants to coax a story from life’s seeming chaos has many choices to make.
Memory is a fickle thing. People often don’t remember things accurately, and time can further erode or shift memories as newer influences come into play. A detail might be remembered inaccurately, but it’s still true to the writer’s memory. This raises the question of whether realizations of erroneous recollections should be alluded to as an equally important part of the narrative. The role of truth in creative nonfiction is also further complicated by how no two people will recall an event the same way.
Telling Truths Subjectively
Everyone experiences reality differently due to the subjective lenses they encounter the world with. A person’s unique backgrounds and beliefs act as a filter used to process events, and lifetimes are spent building frames of reference. Even the words chosen to describe an event shape its perception by an audience. The rendering of subject matter varies depending on the discourse community it’s intended for. It’s necessary to consider the goals and purposes of the particular group the text must reach.
Using Composite Characters
Bringing together the main traits and influence of two or more people into one composite character might be done to protect the so-called innocent or for the sake of supposedly streamlining the number of people in narrative, but doing so brings into question the ethics of doing so. Conflating characters might be done with the intention of strengthening the story, but as it shifts the focus into the imaginary realm.
[bctt tweet=”Once a writer feels compelled to add details that were not part of the story, the motivation for doing so must be questioned.” username=”pokercubster”]
Adding or Subtracting Details
Once a writer feels compelled to add details that were not part of the story, the motivation for doing so must be questioned. If the intent is to use imagined details to arrive at a greater truth, why not just write fiction since it can also communicate larger truths about the world? On the other hand, is it any more acceptable to simply not mention something by leaving it out entirely? Another tendency may be to compress time to speed up the story.
The key is to always remember that truth in creative nonfiction entails being factually accurate. To do the genre justice, the writer must strive to provide an authentic representation of their reality to the best of their ability.
In any case, a nonfiction writer who does employ composite characters or other means of artistically shaping the truth, needs to provide a disclaimer. At the end of the day, has a writer really owned their story and rumbled with it if they have to fictionalize any of it?
What are your thoughts on truth in creative nonfiction?
Truth really is stranger than fiction, and it’s a long damn story. Jeri Walker’s short stories, creative nonfiction, and psychological novels (in progress) show the influence of being raised by a bipolar mother in the eccentric North Idaho mining town of Wallace as well as the trauma of being abandoned by her Jekyll-and-Hyde ex-husband whom she fell in love with while working in Yellowstone National Park.
She and her demanding pets call the Pacific Northwest home. In the continual pursuit of finding herself, Jeri plans to someday live in an RV or a tiny house. She dwells online at Word Bank Writing & Editing, grateful to be charting a course as a freelancer. Connect with her at JeriWB.com or browse her books.
A brief biography of Jeri Walker of JeriWB Word Bank Writing and Editing Services.
Jeri Walker offers freelance writing services and editing services of incomparable quality at affordable rates. Her blog Make Every Word Count features weekly tips on writing, editing, publishing, marketing, and more. She is currently working on a book club discussion guide for authors that will be available to subscribers in early 2017.
You may have noticed on some blogs you’ve been reading, a ‘click to tweet’ box or birdie within the blog post. You can add these to your posts by highlighting a sentence or quote from within your blog post, and placing it in the ‘click to tweet’ generator. You will also have to copy and paste in the permalink URL to that blog post, plus your Twitter handle, then click ‘generate new URL’. You can then embed the newly generated link into your post to make it a tweetable Twitter share.
Readers will now be able to click an eye-catching sentence to be tweeted into the Twitterverse and be shared, bringing you more traffic to your blog. It also enables your name to remain attached to the tweet, no matter how many times it gets shared from others, again to redirect readers to your blog when clicked on. So don’t forget to add your Twitter name.
Alternatively, you can add a #clicktotweet plugin, which will install the little ‘birdie’ in your editing tool bar. You click on the birdie in your editor when creating a post, after placing the box in the spot you’d like it to show in your post, and add the highlighted quote or words you want to go inside the box to tweet, then click on the generate button and the link is automatically installed in coded text. Then ‘save’ draft, and hit ‘preview’ and click on it to test it out.
Plugins are available in your ‘Plugins’ widget of your dashboard. Just type in the search box ‘click to tweet’ and you’ll find several plugins available. Read the details before installing to make sure that particular plugin is compatible with your blog.
Try it here: [bctt tweet=”Are you using Click to Tweet?” username=”pokercubster”]
This little beauty can also be used to add links to your books and more with the link generator. The possibilities are endless.
Okay, so I’m still playing around with it, but you can read this informative article here from Savvy Bookwriters, to get more tips and you will see a short demo video in that post by Kim at YourWritersPlatform for a quick view about how to generate a “click to tweet” link without the plugin.
Wendy Van Camp is a writer who shares many of her discoveries about writing on her blog. Her blog is called No Wasted Ink. Besides some of the fascinating articles she writes on the art of writing, and some wonderful reviews and interviews, every Monday, Wendy posts her famous ‘Writers Links’. This is where she shares links of interesting articles she comes across with other writers.
This article I’m reblogging is Wendy’s share on how to organize your rough draft for the next stages. In the post she shares some books she’s read which she found helpful in the different stages of book writing. Read Wendy’s article below, and make sure to jot down her book suggestions.
“When I write, the characters become friends to me, real people that I care about and want to spend time with. During the drafting process, this is a positive since it keeps your butt in the chair and working. However, after drafting, this love of story becomes a liability. Distance in the relationship is needed in order for you to take the next step in the process. Once that messy manuscript is completed, I stick it in a drawer or a computer file and take a long break from the work in order to allow my minds to reset on the story. . .”Continue Reading