Author: Vet1nar1

Marketing for Writers is really phishing for suckers

While I’ve learned to recognize the come-ons by snake oil sales people on the Internet, I sometimes give one a chance to prove me wrong. (I’m actually planning a post on how to recognize at a class an obvious bottom-feeder.) So far, none of them have. A disappointment this morning was Marketing for Writers (; and it’s not a link for a reason). They come up first in Google if you search on the term, however, don’t waste your time and certainly don’t waste your money there. The URL takes you to a landing page optimized for Google with Yahoo text ads at the top, a bit of out-of-date copy on the absolute basics (and hardest way to promote your writing) and on the right side promotion for her own e-books and materials including a sign-up for a “Free E-course: How to Earn a 6 Figure Income from Your Writing”. So I signed up (Not with my real email address; this is what email forwarders are for and many blessings on my hosting service for allowing me unlimited forwarders. I make a custom forwarding address for almost everything I sign-up for that might sell my address). I’m then taken to a funneling page that pitches an incredibly overpriced collection of “web marketing tools and tips” — which are actually free or another MLM/Affiliate scheme — that happens to be...

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Beware Freelance Home Writers Scam

You! Yes, YOU! Can make thousands of dollars a week writing articles, blog posts and the occasional short story from the comfort of your home! Thousands of smart people like you are doing it! And if you believe that I’ve got some desert property in South Louisiana to sell you. About once a week I check my Junk mail file to make certain there isn’t something worthwhile that was mislabeled (just before I erase everything). This week I came across one with the subject “Can we pay you to write something?” and a header Freelance Job Opportunity. Now it so happens I occasionally apply for a gig through a legitimate freelance jobs board, so I decided to open this one. Here’s how the email started: Hello,  We would like to know if you would be interested in working from home in your spare time writing short articles for us. You will be paid $25.00 – $45.00 per hour writing these articles. We will also pay you $12.00 – $50.00 per hour for posing in blogs, and up to $450 for each fiction or non fiction story we ask you to write. Not exactly personal, but I was curious so I checked the link beneath this come-on, found no attempts to add anything to my system and clicked it. I was taken to what in the hard-sell (read scam) online...

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Nature Writing: the value of journaling for writers

Now this is irony (unlike the song “Ironic” by Morissette)! My first post-lunch (a vast hoard of potluck foods and beverages from the Richard Hugo House volunteers and Costco) workshop was canceled, however, the workshop I wanted to attend at the start of the day replaced it. It’s enough to make me believe in being medieval (see the earlier post about Medieval in P.A.). The Nature Writing workshop was presented by Susan Zwinger, a second generation naturalist, nature writer and avid nature journalist. Her journals are works of art by themselves with not only her lovely handwriting, but sketches, paintings and collage. She emphasized that nature journals are useful to all types of writers, fiction and non-fiction. The point of a nature journal is a) learning to see deeply, with all the senses and b) collecting observations and details about our natural world that can add texture to our writing. Here are some of Susan Swinger’s tips for keeping a nature journal: Even if you aren’t an artists, stop and draw in your book. “Once you draw something, you know it intimately.” The secret is to keep your journal with you and take notes everywhere, even where you don’t expect to keep them like traffic jams. Identify species, this means learning to use guide books. You can get out of the cliches like “the bird sang in the shrub”....

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Ordinary People: a writing exercise to capture characterization

Writer and teach Margot Case offered a brilliant workshop at he Richard Hugo House Write-O-Rama workshop entitled Ordinary People. We read excerpts from “Robert Kennedy Saved from Drowning” by Donald Bartheleme, Sixty Stories. I’d tried The Dead Father by Bartheleme, but found it at the wrong time and had never tried Donald Bartheleme again. What a mistake! I’m hot footing it to the book store to find more of his short stories. Essentially, “Robert Kennedy Saved from Drowning” is written as a series of vignettes supposedly from Robert Kennedy’s life by various people’s viewpoints. It’s similar to a collection of Flash Fiction. What happens when we put these disjointed things out there and let the reader’s mind create the meaning and the organization. “The instants are points which organize themselves into a line, but what is important is the instant, not the line.” The story presents the concept of “surprising” the reader by capturing the moment creatively. Not only does it surprise the reader, but it gave me interesting ideas on creating characterization by viewing my characters through the eyes of others. Exercise: Snapshots of a Character Create  a series of vignettes, moments or Flash Fiction pieces about a single character; basically snapshots from moments in a person’s life from different perspectives. A exercise in exploring characterization that would be great for non-fiction as well as fiction writers. For...

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Memory Babe: a writing exercise inspired by Jack Kerouac

Wow! The beat goes on! Molten meltdown of mental memes send me searching shelves for slender volumes. I’ve tried reading On the Road by Jack Kerouac three times in my life. I forced myself to finish it last time. But apparently I was reading the wrong Kerouac or the wrong format. My 1st choice for second period of the Richard Hugo House Write-O-Rama was overflowing. So continuing the medieval mind theme for the day (still taking things a signs and portents), I’m at the Jack Kerouac class — Memory Babe with Deborah Woodard as our instructor. The first thing was listing the senses: sight sound touch taste smell Then Deborah Woodard asked for other senses. Students came up with “thought” and “intuition.” Woodard asked how we came up with thought and a student said ideas were popping out of her brain all the time. Even when meditating. Another student suggested his dreams were merely nighttime thoughts. (Which made me wonderful if my nighttime thoughts would be different without a cat sleeping on my head.) Woodard then suggested we should practice notation — Notation is a way to quickly capture ideas and memories — and record them in journals. It seems Kerouac kept these kinds of journals which he used when working on his writing. (It seems his works were not the stream-of-consciousness impulses I’d been led to believe in...

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