Back in 2012 when I had been blogging for two years, I had gotten to know the blogging community pretty well through top sites for bloggers like Copyblogger, which has since turned into a multi-faceted media and software company. I was struck at the time by the almost total disconnect between authors, who were learning…
Pile-o-presents day. Remember the anticipation from the night before? Flutters in the stomach and a jump-up-and-down, I-just-can’t-wait-another-minute feeling?
I still have those when I learn something new that is going to advance my art or story craft.
Cheryl B. Klein’s book, Second Sight An Editor’s Talks on Writing, Revising, and Publishing Books for Children and Young Adults contains a broad collection of techniques that fine tune the art of writing. These editing tools are universal – you don’t have to be a children’s or young adult author to benefit from them.
Second Sight paints pictures in the mind’s eye…and is entertaining to read. “I am a narrative nerd,” says Klein.
With each topic (delivered as a transcript from blog posts or lectures given at various writer’s conferences) Cheryl provides examples of how it was used in publishing projects. As an editor for Arthur A. Levine (a Scholastic Inc. imprint), she gives glimpses into the workings of the editorial mind that are as valuable as the mechanical and organizational techniques.
Topics Include; Author / Publisher / Editor Relationships, Creating Empathy for Your Characters, Hooks, Flap Copy, Chapter and Story Arc Maps, and Action vs. Emotional Plots.
Manuscript editing has always been a dreaded chore. Now, I’m almost as excited about editing as pile-o-presents day. This book is a gift to writers everywhere.
Click here for my entire collection of editing and marketing books.
Programs are like bicycles, scooters or skateboards. If you don’t use them daily the skills get a little rusty. Here are my notes (for me and) for you on how to set up a PDF file so that will upload seamlessly to CreateSpace.
Your manuscript is edited and completely ready to go in MS Word. To upload it to CreateSpace, it must be converted into a PDF file that embeds the fonts.
Before you begin, you should have entered all the information necessary to start a book project within CreateSpace. In this process, you will have chosen a size for your book. CreateSpace will provide measurements of that size. These exact measurements are what you will enter when setting up your PDF document.
Example: A standard book size is 6″x 9.” CreateSpace provides the measurements 15.24 x 22.86 cm. This will need to be converted to mm by moving the decimal over one space to the right. The numbers you will enter on the PDF set up is 152.4 x 228.6 mm.
- Within Microsoft Word, Click on Print
- Change the Printer Setting to Adobe PDF
3. Click on Printer Properties
4. Change Default Settings to: PDF/X-1a:2001
5. Adobe PDF Output Folder: Click on Browse to direct it to where you want the PDF file to go (this should be a file folder that you can navigate to when CreateSpace asks for which file to upload).
6. Adobe PDF Page Size: Add a custom setting using the measurements that you got for your book at CreateSpace.
And there you have it! Good luck and happy authoring.
Click here to read about How to Format KDP files (e-books) with pictures.
It can start as a cry at a higher than normal pitch, a raging fever that won’t come down, bruises that appear for no reason. A parent, consumed with worry seeks out help. The Pediatrician makes a preliminary evaluation and orders more tests.
Then the moment arrives…words, delivered with professionalism and care from the doctor; everything has changed for the family and the child with the difficult diagnosis.
For nearly 300 families in Nevada County (California), these experiences are part of their story. But that’s only the beginning. A new reality sets in—one that involves long drives to special care units at UC Davis, San Francisco or Stanford and physician specialists, dieticians, nutritionists, social workers and rounds of medication.
Maryellen Beauchamp has a special connection with these families. She is Nevada County’s Public Health Nurse Case Manager for California Children’s Services. California Children’s Services is operated by the State of California. Over 80 years old, it has an office in every county. Maryellen acts as the conductor in an orchestra that encompasses multi-faceted medical assistance for children with severe health issues. These issues can range from growth plate or skull fractures, endocrine, neurological, orthopedic, and metabolic disorders to Cerebral Palsy, Muscular Dystrophy and premature infants.
This type of work comes with a heavy weight and knowledge that is often difficult to leave behind at the end of the day. On her desk, Maryellen keeps several inspirational quotes that remind her to remain grounded. One of them reads; Today, I am fortunate to have woken up. I am alive; I have a precious human life. I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others, to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings. –H.H. the XIVth Dalai Lama
Maryellen recently had the opportunity to incorporate something important into her program—a sense of positive empowerment for her young clients. It came in the form of a beautifully illustrated book, Toby Bear and the Healing Light. It is the story of a stuffed bear who teaches a sick child the power of affirmations, meditation and visualizations in the healing process.
Toby Bear and the Healing Light was created by author, Lisa Boulton while undergoing cancer treatments, as a gentle way to help children going through difficult illness. Boulton enlisted photographer and artist Lisa Redfern to create the photo-illustrations. “I wanted the story to feature local people, places and businesses as a way to express my love for our community and for the outpouring of support and caring that I received when I was sick,” says Boulton.
Maryellen says, “I like that the story features Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital—the place where the journey with California Children’s Services begins for many of our families. It is also a plus that the Nevada County Public Health Department could partner with the local women who created the book.”
As Maryellen puts it, “You can’t get well with doctors and medicines alone…it takes the right attitude to make it all work.” She’s excited about the books because she plans to give them as gifts to the age appropriate children in her program. “It is a positive message and gift from Nevada County Public Health Department to the children (and their families) who need it most.”
Read more about this topic at The Union.com.
[reddit writing prompt]
A married couple start another average morning on an average weekday. No one dies. No twist. Show their overwhelming love for each other without them speaking a single word.
Their movements were automatic with a choreograph-like smoothness. In a galley smaller than most American coat closets, this was an accomplishment. The 45 foot Caralee housed all of their worldly possessions and had transported them to exotic ports all over the globe.
He reached for bowls while she filled a pot with water. He struck a match to light the flame on the stove as she pulled out spoons from the drawer. She placed the pot on the burner while taking a box of oats out of the cupboard.
When hands were not occupied with tasks, they would glide across or alight upon the other’s body; a brush down the back, coming to rest upon a shoulder, a hip or making a light tap on the behind.
Oats were added when the water boiled, the pot covered and the heat turned down. During the brief pause in their morning dance, their eyes lingered upon each other; they smiled.
He enjoyed watching the light play across the pink facets of the pendant that always hung around her neck. A gift he’d presented to her some thirty-five years earlier on the day that Asmara was born. Their only child had been conceived above deck, on a warm night, under a ripe Sri Lankan moon.
Sitting hip to hip at the tiny table, they held hands as they ate. Her nervous fingers twisted his wedding ring around and around on his finger. She paused occasionally to rub her fingernail over the smooth mound of rose quartz that she’d found in Brazil.
Before taking that first sip of coffee, they clinked mugs together softly. A tradition adopted from their time in the British Isles. It signified ‘a robust day and a tender heart.’
Bundled in coats, they went topside to welcome the sun as it crested the horizon. Elbows resting on the rail they let the cool breeze flow across exposed skin. Smiling, she turned to him, observing the lines on his face and the wiry gray hair that steadily overtook the brown along with the passage of time. She thought that he looked as good as the day they met…even better. She mouthed the words, ‘olive juice.’ This was a family joke; these words look like something else if one is lip reading. A chuckle from deep in his chest echoed across the water.
Author Interview – Resources for Writers
If you are a Haylee fan, you’ll discover a bit of the back story in this condensed author interview. You’ll also learn about the historical research – San Francisco and California Gold Rush – that went into the project.
Created to coincide with the release of Haylee and the Traveler’s Stone (paperback), the interview contains marketing and social media tips for authors. It also delves into character development, creativity and sources for Public Domain images.
The original, in-depth author interview can be read on the blog, You Read It Here First.
Debbie McClure, author of In the Spirit of Love and In the Spirit of Forgiveness
You Read It Here First Blog owner—Christina Hamlett, Screenplay Consultant, Media Relations Expert and Award-Winning Author.