Archive | September 2017

Should I give up writing?

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

by Bryn Donovan

Last week, a woman in one of my many online writer groups asked us this. She’d written and self-published a historical novel that had gotten twenty or so good reviews, but a few months after its release, it wasn’t selling many copies. She was having trouble staying motivated to work on her next project, and she wondered if she should just quit.

Now, there are all kinds of good reasons to quit writing. If you expected to get a lot of money right away and that didn’t happen, and you didn’t really enjoy writing anyway, that’s a great reason to give it up. In this case, there was no shame in trying, and there’s no shame in quitting, either.

But speaking of shame…a couple of times, I’ve had long conversations with people who were wondering if they should quit, even though they loved writing.

That made no…

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This entry was posted on September 26, 2017. 1 Comment

Image Copyright Do’s and Don’ts

image copyrightsWhen I teach professional development classes, by far the topic that surprises attendees the most is the legal use of online images. And they’re not alone. On my blog, in educator forums, and in the virtual meetings I moderate, there is much confusion about what can be grabbed for free from online sites and what must be cited with a linkback, credit, author’s name, public domain reference, or specific permission from the creator. When I receive guest posts that include pictures, many contributors tell me the photo can be used because they include the linkback.

That’s not always true. In fact, the answer to the question…

“What online images can I use?”

typically starts with…

It depends…

To try to understand this topic in a five-minute blog post or thirty-minute webinar is a prescription for failure. It is too big. Instead, I’ll cover only four main subtopics with a (very) quick…

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This entry was posted on September 25, 2017. 4 Comments

How to avoid 9 common punctuation mistakes that make you look dumb…

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

by Lucy Yang  in Business Insider UK site:

The INSIDER Summary:

National Punctuation Day is on September 24.

The day was created to celebrate the correct usage of all punctuation.

While we all slip up from time to time, there are some basic punctuation mistakes you should never make in formal writing.

For example, don’t confuse “it’s” and “its,” don’t use an apostrophe to pluralize nouns, and don’t use semicolons and commas interchangeably.

National Punctuation Day is celebrated every year in the US on September 24.

Founded by Jeff Rubin in 2004, the day was created to celebrate the correct usage of all punctuation, from the “lowly comma” to the “ever-mysterious ellipsis.”

In honor of National Punctuation Day this year, INSIDER rounded up nine basic punctuation mistakes you should never make in formal writing.

Watch out for these errors in your cover letters, academic essays, professional emails, and more.


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This entry was posted on September 24, 2017. 2 Comments

A Devon Rex Tale by A.M. Lewis


A Devon Rex Tale by A.M. Lewis

My review follows the author’s book blurb found on Amazon.

“A beautiful Devon Rex kitty named Enock has a huge secret. He can read. Enock learns that books can take him anywhere he wants to go. He also learns that books like the Bible are instructions for us, not just stories. He has many adventures and makes many colourful friends in every book he reads. English editions of the rest of the series coming soon.”


This is a well-crafted children’s adventure book containing multiple adventures in which a kitty named Enock reads and sees through his own eyes. A cat which reads, and immerses itself into each story is brought alive through not only the narrative, but also in the vibrant plasticine illustrations. This fantasy book for children is the first in which I’ve seen plasticine used, and not only vivid and bold, they are unique, and fit the narrative perfectly. Five Stars!

This entry was posted on September 23, 2017. 3 Comments


This kind of horrendous treatment must be stopped.

lucinda E Clarke

Just for once this is a serious post as I want to raise awareness of something that is going on in dozens of countries, including the United States and many places in Europe. It’s a theme I chose for my latest book and the more I researched it the more horrified I became. FGM is a topic only ever discussed behind closed doors, many people have never even heard of it.  

Then this popped up on my timeline on Facebook. It’s written by Serena Cairns and personalizes the fears and feelings of a young girl. It tore at my heart and I think it will tear at yours too. How long must we wait for men and women to be regarded as humans, different, but equal? Women are not possessions neither should they be second class citizens.

With reference to your latest novel, Lucinda, I thought you might like this very short piece.

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This entry was posted on September 23, 2017. 6 Comments

How To Handle Online Criticism Of Your Writing…

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

By Lisa Brown  on Just Publishing Advice site:

It already takes a brave individual to share themselves in such a vulnerable way.

Writing is very personal, and when a writer’s work is criticized, it becomes very personal.

When you write something, you surely believe that you have done a fantastic job.

Now when you send that out into the world, it can be very difficult to deal with anything else, but compliments.

Unfortunately, the world is not always that kind, and sometimes you might require coping skills.

Here are my tips to help you deal with criticism as a writer.

Handle Criticism of Your Writing

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The top 25 grammatical terms you should know

Book Editing


Active voice is a type of sentence or clause in which the subject performs or causes the action expressed by the verb. Contrast with Passive Voice below. Example: “A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti.” (Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs, 1991)


An adjective is the part of speech (or word class) that modifies a noun or a pronoun. Example: “Send this pestilent, traitorous, cow-hearted, yeasty codpiece to the brig.” (Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, 2007)


An adverb is the part of speech that modifies a verb, adjective, or other adverb. Example: “There I was, standing there in the church, and for the first time in my whole life I realized I totally and utterly loved one person.” (Charles to Carrie…

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This entry was posted on September 22, 2017. 2 Comments

But You Promised to Review My Book…

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

by Big Al  on Indies Unlimited site:

At first glance, my assignment seems straightforward. Write a post about what authors can do to not get taken advantage of by reviewers who ask for a print version of your book and then don’t come through with the promised review. The short answer is probably “not much.” But Ms. Brooks says one paragraph of seventy words won’t cut it as a “real post.” So, I’ll ramble on.

The reality is that once this has happened, there isn’t a whole lot you can do. It doesn’t matter whether the “reviewer” is a scam artist looking for inventory to sell at his or her local used bookstore, or a well-meaning reviewer who didn’t follow through.

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This entry was posted on September 22, 2017. 2 Comments