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Saturday, January 30, 2010

Bookplates

Bookplates or ex libris (from the library of) date back to the fifteenth century. They are typically a small decorative label pasted on the inside front cover of a book to indicate the owner. The earliest known examples began in Germany and soon spread throughout the world. Only the wealthiest people could afford personal libraries and thus owned these elaborate labels. Confessions of a Bookplate Junkie ventures in the many different designs created over the years. Today, their use has quite differed.

Bookplates have become a useful tool for promotional reasons. They also provide a much easier and cheaper way to own your favorite author’s autograph. Recently, Anne Rice gave away three autographed bookplates just for signing up for her newsletter. I signed up and now a proud owner of Anne Rice’s signature.

Designing your own is fairly easy as well. Websites such as Microsoft Word, Martha Stewart, HP Printer, and Avery Label all offer templates that are easy to manipulate. However, if you’re looking make one from scratch, try Elsa Neal’s “How to Create Your Own Bookplate” article at The Blood-Red Pencil or Chérie De Sues “This Book Belongs to: Making a bookplate” courtesy of the Examiner.com. Both provide adequate steps for creating your own bookplate.

Friday, January 29, 2010

The Great Outdoors

Here are a couple pics of our great outdoors as of now:



Thursday, January 28, 2010

Winter Weather Alert

Four to nine inches of snow and an inch of ice is predicted for my fair area. Everyone is prepared for the worst. It may be overkill but after what happened a couple of years ago, overly prepared is better than nothing at all. At least we won't be freezing our asses off like last time if by chance the power goes out.

Frankly, I remember those days I got all excited seeing it snow here in the country. We usually don't get a lot in the winter. Now, I can do without it. I remember seeing an ad on Craigslist. A guy was giving away free snow after the blizzard we had on Christmas. If only it were that easy.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Shock Totem Flash Contest

I submitted my short story "Sealed With Anguish" to Shock Totem yesterday. Now, I have the usual confidence and butterflies swirling around in to some kind of grotesque nerves milkshake. But I'm hoping to glance over it and continue as if I never put myself out there like that.

Anyways, Shock Totem has also begun their monthly flash fiction contests. The 1st Saturday of every month a prompt is posted. Writers have a week to write and submit a story. Then voting begins. Only those who participate can vote and you have to read and provide feedback on every entry. Not a total bad thing helping each other out. Winners get to choose a prize from a list. Sounds pretty cool. Check out their website for complete rules: http://shocktotem.nice-board.com/random-whatever-f16/the-official-shock-totem-flash-contest-rules-t2978.htm.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Beam Me in to a Better Life

I've felt like crap all weekend. Between sneezes and bouts of sleepiness, I managed to do a little research for a new story. Pill Hill Press has a few upcoming anthologies. I have my eye on Pandora's Nightmare: Horror Unleashed and A Whodunit Halloween. Had so much fun researching Pandora's Box (or rather jar), antique silver boxes and a few mythical creatures. Now if only I can get the strength and will to combine them all in to a story.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Has Your Year Started Right?

When one year ends and another begins, there is this sense of wanting change. The good intentions are there but sometimes the will is not. I started 2009 with the intentions of pushing myself to write more. In some ways I succeeded and others I did not. I did write more but not everyday for the entire year. Some of what I wrote has yet to be finished.

Recognizing the failures should help you succeeded in the end only if you’re willing to be proactive. I have found myself trying so many different techniques to boost my productivity, trying to determine which are best for me. The search is far from being over. A few days ago, I created a list of markets I want to submit to this year. Something I have never done before though some more experienced writers have suggested in doing so. I’m also considering starting a writing journal. Journaling has never been much of a friend to me in the past but willing to give it a try one more time.

The time of excuses has come to pass. Action is all that is left. You can always put simple tasks off until tomorrow but someday there won’t be a tomorrow. What will you have to show for your life then? So, I ask you. Has your year started right? Resolutions or not, have you embarked on succeeding where you failed in years past? If not, today is as good of a day to start.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Preditors & Editors Poll in Full Motion

Every year, Preditors & Editors has a poll (http://www.critters.org/predpoll) to determine the best or rather the "most popular" story, book, editor, magazine, website, etc. I get that this is important to some for notoriety and PR purposes, but I see it as a popularity contest. You can pretty much nominate anyone in the writing field and if that person or website is blessed to get enough votes, whether their work is the best or not, they get bragging rights for the year and the title that looks good on the website or resume. Perhaps it's just me, but I'd rather have someone present me an award rather than wait around for two weeks to see how unpopular I am.

I'm trying to start out the year right. I made my list of markets that I want to submit to. I have a feeling I may chicken out and not submit to them all but hopefully, I'll give myself the kick-in-the-pants that I need and submit to most of them. I also ordered Northern Haunts and issues of Shock Totem, Necrotic Tissue (preorder), Cemetery Dance, Grave Tales and Shroud. Trying to get a taste of what's out there.