Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Tag Archives: blogs

A Bouquet of Links for Readers, Writers, and Publishers . . .


Every so often, I clean out my collection of links to possible sources for blog posts—rescue sites from the damp cellar of my browser’s bookmarks.

Two past occurrences of this were:

Cleaning Out The Drawer ~ A Bouquet of Posts

A Bouquet of Articles for Writers & Publishers

The first rescued link is to Copyscape, a place to check for plagiaristic copies of your writing—also possible by using quoted selections from your work with Google Alerts

And, here’s a wild article—the title is quite self-explanatory: Did You Know That Professional Writing Is Dying And Only Taxing The Public To Pay Writers Can Save It?

And, due to the recent death of this famous author: Remembering Gore Vidal: 10 Quotes on Writing.

For those who trust technology, a Free Grammar Checker.

Especially for Science Fiction Readers: Sci-fi dreams in reality: 10 writers’ fantasies that have come true.

And, for those writers who are their own publishers: 9 Ways to Market Your Book With No Money.

Back to grammar, for writers, readers, or publishers who love to correct others: The Curious Pleasure Of Peeving.

For those who like medical studies: Babies’ ability to detect complex rules in language outshines that of adults.

For Reader’s Eyes Only: First Page Writing – A Reader’s Perspective.

How about a writer who listened carefully to what her story wanted to say and had readers thinking her writing was non-fiction: The War of Narratives.

And last, for readers, writers, teachers, parents, publishers, and kids of all ages: Young author pens series of five books before 14th birthday.
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Our Comment Link Is At The Top of The Post :-)
For Private Comments, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com
* Google Author Page

One Author’s Journey ~ Self-Publishing A Novel


This blog is All  about Reading, Writing, and Publishing.

This is post number 573.

The best way to dig into all the information here is to use either the Top Tags area over in the left side-bar or use your own search terms in the search-box at the upper right

I often go searching past posts to find supporting information for certain topics—blogs, after a couple of years with 5 posts a week, become hyperlinkable treasure troves :-)

I just re-discovered a post I did on the day I published my last book, Publishing Day Thoughts…, and even though you may enjoy taking that link to read the Comments on that post, I’m going to reproduce it here—a bit of celebration about the last book that can encourage me as I write its Sequel

Grab a free copy of that last book right here :-)

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May 2, 2011:

Eleven years ago: I was given a Theme for a book. Wrote some of the opening scenes.

Nine years ago: the Theme changed its Plot-potential. Did extensive research and outlining.

Six years ago: the Theme changes Plot-potential again. Wrote a few pages.

Eighteen months ago: I finally had the right Plot ideas for the Theme.

One year ago: I had a scene-by-scene outline written. I began the story’s promotion in the virtual world, Second Life.

Eleven months ago: I began the actual writing.

Eight months ago: I had a full first draft. Did some major revising.

Four months ago: the manuscript was back from the Editor.

Three months ago: the manuscript was approved by a special Review Office.

Since three months ago: about 18 small changes were made in the manuscript.

Please note: since a year ago, I’ve been involved in a constant effort to promote the book through various means. If you really want to know more about all that, check out these past posts on various aspects of my promotion trail (which, by the way, will not by any means end with today’s official publishing act [more on that act tomorrow]):

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Our Comment Link Is At The Top of The Post :-)
For Private Comments, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com
* Google Author Page

Blogging About Reading, Writing, and Publishing . . .


Writing & Blogging I’ve learned a few things over the years about “proper” blogging:

Try to come up with a catchy title that still tells the truth about a post.

Try to write a first sentence that draws distracted folks in—“visitors” to a blog are not usually Readers of the blog—most visits last less than 10 seconds

Use tags for a post that reveal the essence of the subject but also consider how people might be using search engines.

Answer all Comments swiftly and with authenticity.

Quadruple check for typos and fractured composition.

Make an effort to post often (I post regularly)—search engines like prolific posting.

Prepare for the days when the well seems dry

That last tip is very important if you want your blog to be consistently available to your valued readers—they will leave if you disappoint them

Let me reveal what I went through today when I sat down at the keyboard:

I’d had some weird dreams and wasn’t feeling up to blogging.

I consulted the ever-growing list of other posts and articles I find with the help of Google Alerts, to give me something to write about.

I selected 6 links and began wondering how to weave them into a post—having many potential posts from others is quite handy when all you’re able to do is offer a potpourri of variegated links—hoping your regular readers find something of value

So, I did all that and suddenly found myself writing about blogging—the stuff you’ve just read.

Here comes the potpourri of variegated links:

Publishing Predator Creep

The Authors Guild Doesn’t Serve Writers

You can’t teach creative writing. Can you?

The 13 Best Books for Aspiring Writers

Writers Anonymous

Hope some of those draw your interest.

If they do, would you let me know which ones you liked in the Comments?
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Our Comment Link Is At The Top of The Post :-)
For Private Comments, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com
* Google Author Page

Blogging, The Way It “Should” Be Done . . .


I’ve been blogging for about four years—one of my previous blogs is now a book (8.5X11, hardbound with color pics for $172 or a Free Download :-)

This blog is a year and eight months old—I’m still learning how to Blog

However, there’s a woman who I feel has mastered the Art—Maria Popova.

I put the word “Should” in quotes in the title of this post to indicate it’s only my opinion that Maria is doing blogging the “right” way

I spend around 60 hours a month on this blog—Maria spends over 450

I have one post each Monday through Friday—Maria posts three times a day

Here’s what her About Page says:

Brain Pickings is the brain child of Maria Popova, an interestingness hunter-gatherer and curious mind at large, who also writes for Wired UK and The Atlantic, among others, and is an MIT Futures of Entertainment Fellow. She gets occasional help from a handful of guest contributors.

Brain Pickings is a human-powered discovery engine for interestingness, culling and curating cross-disciplinary curiosity-quenchers, and separating the signal from the noise to bring you things you didn’t know you were interested in until you are.

Because creativity, after all, is a combinatorial force. It’s our ability to tap into the mental pool of resources — ideas, insights, knowledge, inspiration — that we’ve accumulated over the years just by being present and alive and awake to the world, and to combine them in extraordinary new ways. In order for us to truly create and contribute to the world, we have to be able to connect countless dots, to cross-pollinate ideas from a wealth of disciplines, to combine and recombine these ideas and build new ideas — like LEGOs. The more of these building blocks we have, and the more diverse their shapes and colors, the more interesting our creations will become.

Brain Pickings is your LEGO treasure chest, full of pieces across art, design, science, technology, philosophy, history, politics, psychology, sociology, ecology, anthropology, you-name-itology. Pieces that enrich your mental pool of resources and empower you to combine them into original concepts that are stronger, smarter, richer, deeper and more impactful. Please enjoy.

I write about Reading, Writing, and Publishing—Maria writes about “art, design, science, technology, philosophy, history, politics, psychology, sociology, ecology, anthropology, and you-name-itology”

One of the most intriguing aspects of her blog is the Literary Jukebox—a “Daily quote from a favorite book, thematically matched with a song.”

Please visit her blog and see if it can become a valuable addition to your life.

Please come back and share your thoughts and feelings about her blog :-)
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Our Comment Link Is At The Top of The Post :-)
For Private Comments, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com
* Google Author Page

A Post Full of Questions About Blogs. . .


What do you like to see in blogs?

Why do you read them?

Do you relax when reading them or do they stir you up?

What’s you favorite kind of blog?

Are blogs a “form” of writing?

Will blogs ever attain classic-status like books?

What do you think motivates a blogger to persist even when very few folks comment?

Do blogs have to have pictures to be interesting?

Do you have a blog?

Have you had a blog in the past?

Are you contemplating having a blog?

What tips on blogging do you think worthy of sharing?

What’s the best blog you’ve ever visited?

Do you leave comments on blogs?

Are blogs a form of social media?

Has a blog post ever “saved” you from doing something stupid or dangerous?

Has a blog ever “enlightened” you?

Have you ever cried while reading a blog?

When you like a blog post, does that make you explore the depths of the blog—the sections beyond the daily posts?

Where did the word “blog” come from?

Have you ever watched someone “live-blog”?

Will blogs ever fall “out of fashion”?

Do blogs make an important contribution to the betterment of society?

Do many of these questions make you want to answer, “It depends on the blog.”?

Do you feel like you’d like to answer some of these questions in the Comments?

Will you answer one of them in the Comments?

If you want to make a comment but don’t, what holds you back?