Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing, and Publishing ~

Weekend Edition – Conserving Your Creative Energy

Alexander M Zoltai:

Most of us, too often, forget the common-sense, imperative guidelines of sane living…

Today’s Re-Blog is a special reminder for all creative folks………

Originally posted on Live to Write - Write to Live:

Time and Space Aren’t Enough. Your Creative Work Requires Energy.

Just. Can't. Move. Another. Step. Just. Can’t. Move. Another. Step.

I’m calling a time-out.

At least I wish I could, because sometimes life gets a little too crazy, and you just want to pull the emergency stop cord and bring the whole shebang to a screeching halt, even if you’re in the middle of nowhere, and getting off would leave you stranded and possibly lost. You just want to stop.

Regular readers may have noticed that there was no weekend edition last Saturday. For the first time in almost two years, I failed to publish my end-of-week ramblings. I just didn’t have it in me. There was too much happening and I was too exhausted to manage even a few words. After more than one hundred consecutive posts, I had hit the proverbial wall, and it felt awful.

··• )o( •··

Though I was disappointed in…

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Can There Be Art in a War Zone?

Writers are often challenged to not let things get in the way of their art… We Are Not Numbers - Gaza Writers

Many readers aren’t aware of the intense struggles most authors have to go through

I wonder how tough it is to write a book in a war zone?

The last Gaza War, summer 2014, killed over 2,200 Palestinians, about 550 of them children.

Yes, there are people who fire rockets at Israel from the Gaza strip

Somehow, though, the retaliation seems overbalanced

Then, there’s the fact that most Gazans can’t even leave for a safer area

Leaving aside the politics of the situation, can you imagine a writer continuing to be creative in a place like Gaza?

There’s an Initiative that can say, “…established and aspiring ‘word artists’ from around the world have joined with youth in Gaza to create ‘WE ARE NOT NUMBERS: We are individuals trying to change the world‘. Through this platform, we will share and celebrate the stories of the Palestinians of Gaza, with the more experienced authors mentoring the novices.

“At first, the writers featured on this site will be limited to residents of Gaza; however, our plan is to open the site up to fellow “rebels and poets” everywhere, each dedicated to giving the numbers behind the world’s injustices a face and to helping build readership for each other.”

The history of Gaza is fascinating but can also make your skin crawl

Here —> You can read 20 stories from Gaza writers

While continuing to be a writer in a war zone is incredible, you could imagine many of the emotions that war and captivity can induce might actually drive a person to be unable to not write

But what about the many Mentors, those who are not physically entangled in the maelstrom, those willing to nurture aspiring writers—writers that most folks may never imagine exist in a place like Gaza…?

If you go to the Mentor page I just linked to and click on “Becoming A Mentor”, you’ll see this:

“Each developing writer chosen to participate in the blogging showcase ‘We Are Not Numbers’ is assigned an experienced mentor to coach and critique his or her work, both in terms of the use of the English language to reach a Western audience and the art of storytelling/personal narrative. In addition (or instead), some mentors will be asked to speak to the entire group of developing writers by Skype on their published work, storytelling style, etc.”

And remember, the Mentors are from all over the World

This quote also appears on their site:

“There’s really no such thing as the ‘voiceless.’ There are only the deliberately silenced, or the preferably unheard.” 

Arundhati Roy

Please, watch this video:

Read Some Strange Fantasies
Grab A Free Novel…
To Leave A Comment, Use The Link At The Top-Right of The Post :-)
For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com

The Cooperative Children’s Book Center: A Reading Haven

Alexander M Zoltai:

Do you know a librarian?

Are you interested in books for children and youth?

Maybe you’re just an all-round book-nut? :-)

Read on………

Originally posted on Nerdy Book Club:

10668653_10152732881524747_8039155661856747443_oI started my journey to become a school librarian in 2006 when I enrolled as a part-time graduate student at the University of Wisconsin. Even though I had grown up in a small city near the university, I knew more about the college hockey team than I did about what was all housed on campus. It wasn’t until library school orientation that I learned that the Cooperative Children’s Book Center even existed–a place filled with children’s and young adult literature.

The CCBC is a wonderful examination library associated with UW’s School of Education whose staff tirelessly promote children’s and young adult literature to educators and librarians of all kinds. It seems like countless new books arrive each year at the CCBC for review by its librarians: KT Horning, Megan Schliesman, Merri Lindgren and Emily Townsend. I have found their resources and expertise to be an essential part of my professional…

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10 Ways to Avoid Distractions While You Write

Alexander M Zoltai:

Yesterday I shared a lot of information about why you should check-out the Publishing-Aid company, FastPencil…

Now, here’s a Re-Blog from them to help you Keep Writing :-)

Originally posted on Self-Publishing Blog:

Interesting read…how to avoid distractions while you write? In today’s world, we have so many distractions and we lose focus on what needs to get done! Here at FastPencil we provide an entire web application with very limited distractions and we want our authors and writers to focus on their writing unless they are ready to share and collaborate. Check us out at and subscribe to our blog today!

djking / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

One important way to avoid distraction that caught our attention is: “Don’t Compare Yourself to Others – Finally, it’s important not to get caught up in comparing yourself to others. So what if another author wrote four novels before he was thirty! There are plenty of other writers who didn’t get their break until they were much older. What’s most important is that you believe in yourself and let the words flow honestly.”

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9 Reasons You Should Self-Publish (even if you don’t think you’re a writer…)

FastPencil Self-Publishing


This post appears at the top of the first page of my 31 articles that include information about the Publishing-Aid Company, Fastpencil.

There are way more than 9 reasons to use Fastpencil in this particular post but I really like the number 9 and most folks probably don’t need more than 9 reasons to do anything

But, let me explain the other part of the title of this post, “even if you don’t think you’re a writer”

Fastpencil has free book-writing software that lets you invite friends to help you with the tasks of building a book.

And, if you talk to enough of your friends, you could find someone who could be an Editor for your project and they can use the software to help you hone and craft your effort to………

what in the world would you write about if you don’t consider yourself a writer?


Perhaps the world would love to hear about your strange family

Or, you once did something that others could learn from

Or, you have a weird hobby that lots of other folks would love

Or, you spend all your time sitting quietly and figuring out solutions to the world’s problems

In other words, if you think about it long enough and let your true feelings surface, you would have enough material for a book; and Fastpencil will let you gather a team of friends to create that book—which means that the whole creation process is FREE

Here’s a summary of what you can do with Fastpencil:

*Write a book on their site, while inviting Beta-Readers and/or editors to work with you
—> Free

*Revise, edit, check multiple proofs, upload a cover, work-out front and back matter, etc.
—> Free

*Publish (Print & E-book editionsand have the book distributed to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple iBooks, and Ingram
—> $300

However, if you have the book available on only the FastPencil Site, publishing costs as little as $9.99

They also give you a very cool sales-widget you can use on your own WebSite or Blog.

And, royalties are 80% net profit.

So, in case you missed some of the best reasons,  you can:

Share Ideas for FREE

Write for FREE

Re-Write for FREE

Proofread for FREE

Collaborate about the structure of your writing for FREE

Do Interior Layout Design for FREE

Choose Your Layout and Preview a Digital Proof of Your Book for FREE

Publish Your Book for as Little as $9.99

Naturally, FastPencil has many professional services you can pay for (but, only if you want to).

And, in case you didn’t yet find your own 9 particular reasons to self-publish, check out this video series:

Read Some Strange Fantasies
Grab A Free Novel…
To Leave A Comment, Use The Link At The Top-Right of The Post :-)
For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com


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