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Twofer – Part 2

I’m still running with that gag. You may be able to catch me, but you can’t stop me.

Reading back through last week’s post, I realized I barely talked about openings, other than the War of Art. For a series called Noob Notes, that’s not terribly helpful, so I’m coming back around to it today.

Openings are easy. Every time you start a project, you craft an opening. Once Upon a Time is a classic, though seldom used in the current market. Dark and stormy nights notwithstanding, one can often get away with a touch of purple. Not full-on Roman royal, but maybe some pastel lavender.

The trick is-

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On reviews

Once again, there are rumblings among indie authors about how big, bad Amazon is being mean. I’m the first to admit Amazon isn’t without fault. It takes actions, mainly due to automation, without warning. Innocents can and sometimes do get caught in the massive bans wrought by Amazon bots. For those wrongly caught up in the bans, the process of getting their accounts reinstated can be long and frustrating. They are why Amazon needs to look at their process and change it. Read more

To con or not

Conventions – what are they, and what are they worth to me (and my writing career). This is principally a writer’s advocacy and support site, but most of us got into sf/fantasy because we liked to read it, or at least some of it. The line between writer and fan is blurred one – which is a good thing.

Let me start by saying as marketing tool for most noobs and even midlisters Cons are singly useless. If – for all the expense and hassle and stress you get to breaking triple digits worth of extra sales… you’ve done exceptionally well. Of course one can achieve that with a single Bookbub or even a Kindle countdown. Unless you’re a flamboyant extravert with self-promoting skill at the Scalzi level, it’s not going to – in financial terms – break even, unless the con is in your home town, and entry is exceptionally cheap. Read more

Opt out of mandatory opt-ins

Many of you are familiar with the CAN-SPAM act, and how it changed things for newsletters with North American subscribers (US & Canadian). Now, there’s a new act that’s affecting all your EU readers, called GDPR. Read more

7 Habits of Highly Successful Invaders


I was driving home from work, appreciating that the switch has been flipped, and suddenly! Spring. The greens are moving all misty into view, and predominantly among them here in Southern Ohio is the Amur Honeysuckle. I was contemplating this, and how that trait is one of the things that makes it a highly successful invasive species, and it dawned on me that there are more ways to invade than are portrayed in movies about aliens. Sure, overwhelming military force is one way. But what other things have species done here on Earth that enabled them to conquer and victoriously rule the forest field stream continent? Read more

Breaking Up Is Hard To Do


I like a good ellipsis . . . but perhaps a 167 of them in a work that is (so far) sixteen thousand words long is a bit much . . .

And then there’s commas, 759.
Periods. 1315.
Semicolons; 2? Only Two?
Em dash—26.
Paragraphs. 708.
Double paragraphs for blank line. 36.
Scene breaks *** 12.
Chapters. 10.

Without these little nuisances all our beautiful words would just run together into an unintelligible wall of words. We need breaks, but where do you put them? Read more

The Internet of All Your Stuff


The other day Peter blogged about the immense vulnerability created by the Internet of Things. His comments have given me to think about the connections that crawl spider-like over our entire landscape, both physical and mental, and the weaknesses they expose.

Our privacy is being eroded at a rate that would have appalled Winston Smith.

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