Look What I Found!

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I’ve been reading a few newsletters and blogs and have come across a few items that I found interesting.

Gingko http://www.gingkoapp.com was posted in David Moldawer’s newsletter. It can be used to plan and outline your next book-particularly a work of nonfiction. It is free to try.

Griefdeck http://www.griefdeck.com for artists is helpful for creative people of all kinds looking for useful prompts.

TapeACall http://www.TapeACall.com for iPhone users. TapeACall Pro can be used to record conversations with your editor and everyone else whose advice you solicit. It’s very user friendly and easy to use the recorder whether you generate the call or are the receiver.

Book Industry Study Group http://www.bisg.org The Book Industry Study Group (BISG) works to create a more informed, empowered and efficient book industry. Our broad membership includes trade, education, professional and scholarly publishers, as well as distributors, wholesalers, retailers, manufacturers, service providers and libraries.

From Florida Writers http://www.floridawriters.blog

What to ask yourself—before you decide:

When you’re ready to carry on and get your creative work out, I think there are only a few questions you need to answer for yourself.

  1. Have I spent time “re-envisioning” my work so that it feels complete to me? (You’ve not just noodled with the sentences. Real revision.)
  2. Have I spent time re-envisioning my work so that it feels smooth to me?
  3. Have I spent time re-envisioning my work so that it feels alive to me?
  4. Can I tell someone, in one or two sentences, what it’s about?

These are not easy questions to answer. But answer, you must. Complete:have I given my audience as much as is needed to arrive at the heart of my work? Smooth: Have I paved the way to the heart of my work so my audience won’t get lost traveling there? Alive: Have I breathed into my work the emotion necessary so that my audience will be eager to travel there? (Question #4 is self-evident.)

Photo by David Bartus on Pexels.com

Christina Georgina Rossetti was an English poet who wrote romantic, devotional, and children’s poems. “Goblin Market” and “Remember” remain famous.

Maria Shriver Sunday Paper

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“The Process:

1) Decide what you want to achieve.
2) Try different ways of achieving it until you find one that works for you.
3) Do more of what works. Do less of what doesn’t.
4) Don’t stop doing it until it stops working.
5) Repeat.”

Sales Sell Sheet

Brooklyn New York 1990

Canva

I’ve finally signed up for a free account with Canva http://www.canva.com. This platform allows me to design my book cover. I’m also working on a Sales Sell Sheet. Below is information I got from EverGreenAuthors blog (http://www.evergreenauthors.com):

Josie Robinson & Roseanne Cheng, Cofounders of Evergreen Authors

3 Simple Rules for Creating a Sell Sheet for Your Book:

The only “rules” you need to follow are these:

  1. You must include a high-resolution cover of your book.
  2. You must include an excellent, succinct description of the book. 
  3. You must include relevant purchasing information. 

Other additional items you can add to your book sell sheet include:

  1. Any key endorsements you’ve received. 
  2. A succinct “tagline” that sums up your book in one sentence.
  3. Your author photo and bio (especially if your book is non-fiction, and you are a speaker).
  4. Color imagery or extra illustrations. 
  5. Comparisons to other titles like yours. 
  6. Links to additional resources, such as a reader’s guide or teacher’s guide.

Your sell sheet is essentially a business card for you and your book. You want it to look professional.

Youtuber Alissa Rose in a Canva tutorial teaches how to create a digital Printable Planner in Canva, these steps are also helpful when creating a Sales Sell Sheet for your book. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YcNeZjmY4wA

There’s More To Do!

For the next few weeks I’ll be working on my Book Launch Checklist. My goal is to complete and publish my book by October 2022. This checklist will entail strategizing around my launch budget, considering the help I’ll need to help with the endorsement of my book. And where will I travel to promote my book? Will I do it virtually? I’ll have to reach out to podcasters and set up an account with Amazon and Goodreads. There’s more for me to do and consider. BookBub has A Marketing Timeline for Authors http://www.bookbub.com. I’ll be a busy person this summer!

“Don’t wait around for other people to be happy for you. Any happiness you get you’ve got to make yourself.” – Alice Walker, Author

Quiet Time

Satipatthana Meditation Center (Photo by Poet Minor)

I was so happy to find Dai Niem Xu Thien Vien Satipatthana Meditation Center in Leesburg Florida. The center is closed but the grounds are open. I took my time and walked around and took photos. This space is so peaceful and quiet. I was able to clear my mind and refocus myself. I was a bit troubled about my manuscript and needed some moments of quiet to recenter myself. This was a perfect space.

Park for the Holy Places (Photo by Poet Minor)

The Meditation Center is about five minutes from my new home in Leesburg Florida. They are rebuilding the park, center and monks quarters. There are benches in the park where I could sit and take some quiet moments for myself. Taking time here I got clear on the direction I wanted my memoir to go.

Photo by Poet Minor

After my visit to Satipatthana Meditation Center I was able to construct the outline for my memoir, with the help of my Writing Coach, Parthenia Hicks. I have compiled my manuscript and now I’m in the process of reading through it and revising it here and there. The quiet moments at the center were very helpful. This will be my new space to go to for quiet, focus and guidance. You can get more information about the center at http://dainiemxutv.com

Me Writing

I am noticing, as I continue on this journey of writing my memoir, that writing is my state of mind. I also notice that I take a lot of notes. But, it dawned on me the other day that notes are no good if I don’t read them. If I don’t use them. What I’m doing now it going over my notes. Notes from books I’ve read, notes from online classes, notes from business courses, notes from church services and Buddhism courses, notes from writing courses, notes from cooking shows and notes from podcasts. All these notes help me – they come together for my memoir. And many notes, I’m finding, stir me up and enhance my memory and are my “ah-ha’ moments. I know now that I already have what I need to succeed in writing my memoir.

Trevor Noah

Born A Crime by Trevor Noah

I am reading “Born A Crime” by Trevor Noah here is a quote from the book:

“Language brings with it an identity and a culture, or at least the perception of it. A shared language says “We’re the same.” A language barrier says “We’re different.” The architects of apartheid understand this. Part of the effort to divide black people was to make sure we were separated not just physically but by language as well. In the Bantu schools, children were only taught in their home language. Zulu kids learned in Zulu. Tswana kids learned in Tswana. Because of this, we’d fall into the trap the government had set for us and fight among ourselves, believing that we were different.”

The Queen’s Gambit

The Queen’s Gamit

The Queen’s Gambit is a seven-episode series, on Netflix. Set in the Cold War-era, it is a coming-of-age story that explores the true cost of genius: that of Beth Harmon, a highly talented female chess player. Since watching the series I now want to learn chess. I found an inexpensive chess board at Bealls Outlet store. I’ll watch videos on http://www.chess.com and learn how to play the game. Anyone else want to learn chess?

Music

I have been a DJ for many years. I started in New York City at WBAI 99.5FM and ended my career at WPRK 91.5FM in Orlando Florida. I have always enjoyed DJing and music. I’ve found the perfect global radio tuner http://www.radio.garden.com. I can listen to any radio station around the world. I use the Shazam app http://www.shazam.com to locate the song and then I go to Spotify http://www.spotify.com and look for the artists and add them to one of my playlists. I write and read to music.

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Happy writing!

Writers Tidbits

Photo by Ono Kosuki on Pexels.com

Read the screenplay alongside Netflix

For film nerds and screenwriters: you can stream your favorite films through Netflix with the screenplay, side by side, in sync. It works as a browser extension for Chrome or Firefox. You’ll see when dialogue is improvised, what scenes are omitted, or when certain actions get emphasized. Try ScreenplaySubs.

February is Black History Month. It’s a good time to read a book and post about it. It’s a good way to spread the word about the author.

This week I had my first conversation with my writing coach Parthenia Hicks. Our conversation was very productive. I got clarity on working on my outline. This week I’ll read through my writings and construct an outline that is more detailed and beneficial to my readers. As Ms. Hicks said, “You want to put your riches stories in your book.”

You can go to KN Literary Arts https://knliterary.com for free resources on book writing and follow kn literary on Youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RUoWg-682W0 to get the 5 Parts of a Book Proposal pdf.

The Seat of the Soul by Gary Zukav

Page 99:

Each human soul has both guides and Teachers. A guide is not a Teacher. Guides are what might be thought of as experts in certain fields that are called in for consultation. If you are wearing a book, for example, or creating a project, or organizing an event, a guide that has the quality of warmth, or creativity, or insight that you wish to incorporate into your work is available to you.

Photo by Vlada Karpovich on Pexels.com

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Happy writing!

Local 1549

Former Local 1549 3rd Vice-President

An excerpt from my upcoming memoir:

“It took a year for me to campaign for Shop Steward. During my campaigning process I received great support from the membership. Once I was elected as Shop Steward I attended monthly union meetings. I shared valuable information throughout the membership. As I got more involved in the union it became very time-consuming because I was working full time and attending union meetings in the evenings. There were times when union work and my employment became exhausting but the rewards I received outweighed the sleepless nights, physical exhaustion and mental fatigue. I got an in-depth education in the functioning of the labor movement as I helped members with workplace grievances and promotional battles from 2000 to 2008. I grew in the union by running and being elected to the position of District Council 37 Delegate and Local 1549 Delegate. These are the highest governing bodies of the council and local.”

I think it’s important to highlight my activities and service in the union. I served in many different positions for over ten years. I was a member of District Council 37 Local 1549. I lived in New York City for over fifty years and had a career working in a government job for over twenty-five years. Inserting my union activities in my book will help highlight the work of a union activists.

http://www.dc37.net and http://www.local1549.com

Happy Writing!

New York City

Photo by Poet Minor on top of Rockefeller Center 2012.

This is a photo I took in 2012 on top of Rockefeller Center in Manhattan. I was preparing to retire in 2013 and I wanted a photo of the city. The large green patch in the middle of the photo is Central Park. This is where I would ride my bike from Harlem New York. I took walks through the park on hot summer day. You can’t see it in the photo but at the very end of Central Park is where Harlem begins. West 110th Street on the left and East 110th Street on the right. New York City, in every nook and cranny of it, had its own vibe. Even while the blatant gentrification was progressing New York City still had its grit and grime. Standing on the top deck of Rockefeller Center and down on New York City was my way of saying goodbye.

Photo by Poet Minor on top of Rockefeller Center 2012

I don’t miss the crowded streets of New York City or do I? Sometimes I would feel so small walking among the tall buildings in the city. The city is congested with buildings and traffic and people. In the summer time New York City would be a tourists playground. I use to follow the tours along 42nd Street watching to see what kind of camera the tourists used, they always had the best cameras. I ended up being a fan of Sony and Canon.

Photo by Poet Minor 2005 “The Gates”

Below is a writeup of the art installation of “The Gates” in Central Park. Some people liked it others didn’t. I found it interesting and was amazed anyone could install such a huge art exhibit in a public space like Central Park.

“The Gates were a group of gates comprising a site-specific work of art by Bulgarian artist Christo Yavacheff and French artist Jeanne-Claude, known jointly as Christo and Jeanne-Claude. The artists installed 7,503 vinyl “gates” along 23 miles of pathways in Central Park in New York City. … From each gate hung a panel of deep saffron-colored nylon fabric.”

Photo by Poet Minor

One day back in the 200’s when I was still a union activist I went to a Lesbian and Gay Activist luncheon in downtown Manhattan. The luncheon was on the 35th floor of a building. The photo above I took from the hallway window once I stepped off the elevator. You are looking at the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges. The Brooklyn Bridge I would walk in the summer time when I worked in downtown Manhattan at the Municipal Building and lived in Brooklyn. The Manhattan Bridge I would drive across when I lived in Harlem and worked in Long Island City Queens.

Some of these stories might end up in my memoir “Baby, You Have To Go Beyond The Block: Advice My Mother Gave Me While Growing Up In Brooklyn.” Right now I’m just writing and reminiscing at the same time. I do know I will add photos to my book since images are good source of storytelling.

Happy Writing!

The Word

Amanda Gorman

Amanda S. C. Gorman is an American poet and activist. Her work focuses on issues of oppression, feminism, race, and marginalization, as well as the African diaspora. Gorman was the first person to be named National Youth Poet Laureate. She published the poetry book The One for Whom Food Is Not Enough in 2015. You can read the transcript of Amanda inaugural poem here at: https://www.cnn.com/2021/01/20/politics/amanda-gorman-inaugural-poem-transcript/index.html

Aleathia Brown

Aleathia Brown, storyteller and artist at The Moth http://themoth.org telling how “He Was Dating My Hair.” https://themoth.org/storytellers/aleathia-brown

Stacy Abrams

Stacey Yvonne Abrams is an American politician, lawyer, voting rights activist, and author of the book “Our Time Is Now.” Our Time is Now is more than a comprehensive chronicle of voter suppression. It is more than a comprehensive exposé of voter suppression. It is a book of clarity. It is a book of inspiration. It is a book of empowerment. Abrams points the way forward to American democracy.

In the tradition of Notorious RBG, a lively, beautifully designed, full-color illustrated celebration of the life, wisdom, wit, legacy, and fearless style of iconic American Congresswoman Maxine Waters.
Maya Angelou

“See, you don’t have to think about doing the right thing. If you’re for the right thing, then you do it without thinking.” – Chapter 36

I’m on a different path this year with my writings and my art. My new ideas were already peculating inside me but Amanda Gorman’s poem at the inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris turn the flame up.

Happy Writing!

Podcasts & Ted Talks

I’m checking out a few podcasts and Ted Talks for motivation, inspiration, guidance and insight. Here are just a few:

What Should I Read Next?

A podcast for readers hosted by Anne Bogel and author of Don’t Overthink It and I’d Rather Be Reading. Every week on What Should I Read Next, Anne talks about all things books and reading, and does a little literary matchmaking with one guest.

The Book Show

The Book Show with Claire Nichols. She brings you interviews with the best authors from Australia and around the world.

The Currently Reading Podcast

Currently Reading is a podcast dedicated to the love of books and reading. Bookish friends discuss what’s on their nightstands, in their earbuds, and on their Kindles right now, in addition to books they’ve loved forever, and a variety of other readerly topics. It’s hosted by Meredith Monday Schwartz and Kaytee Cobb.

America Meditating Radio Show with Sister Jenna

A conscious, humanitarian, lively radio show! Engaging in conversations with featured celebrities, leaders, authors, and average folks sharing success stories.

The One You Feed

The One You Feed is a podcast that hosts inspiring conversations about creating a life worth living. A behavior coach, podcast host, and author, Eric Zimmer is endlessly inspired by the quest for a greater understanding of how our minds work and how to intentionally create the lives we want to live.

Ted Talks For Writers

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: The Danger of a Single Story

Our lives, our cultures, are composed of many overlapping stories. Novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie tells the story of how she found her authentic cultural voice — and warns that if we hear only a single story about another person or country, we risk a critical misunderstanding.

Andrew Stanton: The Clues to a Great Story
Filmmaker Andrew Stanton (Toy Story, WALL-E) shares what he knows about storytelling — starting at the end and working back to the beginning.

Joe Sabia: The Technology of Storytelling
iPad storyteller Joe Sabia introduces us to Lothar Meggendorfer, who created a bold technology for storytelling: the pop-up book. Sabia shows how new technology has always helped us tell our own stories, from the walls of caves to his own onstage iPad.

Julian Friedmann: The Mystery of Storytelling
How we tell stories seems to be a mysterious process that millions around the world want to be able to do, but 99.9% effectively fail. Why is it so hard for storyteller and audience to be one? What we communicate can change the lives of the writer and the audience. However, why stories matter and how to tell them better may not be as mysterious as it seems. Julian Friedmann has worked with writers for over 40 years; he believes understanding that storytelling is more about the audience than the writer will result in better storytelling.

Public School 67 in Brooklyn New York

I am still writing my memoir. On the right is the Raymond V. Ingersoll Housing Projects I grew up in and on the left is Public School 67 where I went to school. My story starts here…

Inspiration

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

There are times I just need to find some inspiration to keep me going, to keep writing. I decided to take time out and watch the Soul movie by Disney. Besides this movie being fantastically made with exceptional actors and awesome jazz (I play the soundtrack on Spotify), the movie was just what I needed. The storyline is:

Joe is a middle-school band teacher whose life hasn’t quite gone the way he expected. His true passion is jazz — and he’s good. But when he travels to another realm to help someone find their passion, he soon discovers what it means to have soul.

There’s much more to the story but I don’t want to give it away. I will say I found a lot of moments in the film were I was “awakened.” If you get a chance check it out online.

I live near nature so I want to try my hand at making “Word Wands.” Word Wands are made with tree branches and items that are sentimental to you. Deborah Singletary is the Founder of Vision Carriers and teaches workshops in Harlem New York. You can find information about Word Wands and Deborah’s work at https://www.visioncarriers.com.

Word Wands

My stand by source for inspiration is watching Bette Davis movies on Youtube. I can’t go wrong watching Little Foxes, All About Eve or The Letter. I think for my birthday this year I’ll buy myself the blu-ray box set.

Bette Davis in Little Foxes

Writers are readers so books are always on my list for inspiration. These are just a few books on my 2021 reading list:

1.On Writing by Stephen King

2.Still Writing by Dani Shapiro

3.Bird by Bird by Anne Lamont

4.The Journal of Henry David Thoreau, 1837-1861

Happy Writing!