Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Writing { and reading and publishing } ~

Tag Archives: Simone Benedict

Do Publishers Hate Libraries ?


With e-books becoming all the rage you’d think publishers would know that folks who go to libraries and borrow books regularly also buy books—regularly .

Strange that some of the largest U. S. publishers won’t sell e-books to libraries and one of them is charging 300% the normal cost.

I’ve had a number of posts about libraries. Here are just a few:

Been To Your Local Library Lately?

E-Books, Libraries, Publishers, & Bottom Lines

E-Books, Libraries, and An Experiment In Blogging

E-books & Libraries of The Future . . .

My blogging friend, Simone Benedict, recently sent me an article from the The Wichita Eagle, Libraries, including Wichita’s, have a hard time providing e-books.

That article pointed toward an effort to collect signatures for a petition to publishers which includes these sentences:

“As book lenders, libraries directly and indirectly encourage us to purchase books. We will still buy your ebooks, but we need libraries to help us discover, explore, and connect.”

If you love libraries, appreciate e-books, and are even slightly adventurous, I hope you’ll Sign This Petition To Send A Message To Publishers
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A Certain Woman from Kansas…


Simone Benedict is a friend of mine. She’s a writer who blogs and who I want to see published. She happens to live in Kansas.

Her wit is only exceeded by the wildness and whimsey of the tales she tells. Her commitment to writing is commendable.

Once, in the comments, I named her my Roving Reporter–out on the fringes of life’s possibilities; bringing words of wonder to my readers.

Here’s her first report:

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When Alexander asked me to write a guest post, a few of his words grabbed me. Roving, roaming, free and vagabond. Movement was my first thought.

My writing significantly improved when I heard:

Your writing must move.

I’d already heard show, don’t tell and use active voice, not passive voice and the rest of those rules that are dictated to us. I needed to know the big picture and it was downright divine when I did. Writing must move.

How can we do that? At first it seems contradictory. Words on a page are stationary. The act of writing itself is mostly a stationary activity, as is the act of reading. So why is movement so important in writing? I don’t have any pat answers. I do know it’s a truth and good writing moves.

Depicting movement in writing is a part of the art, I’ve determined. There are some basics every writer can use to achieve it. Yet, it’s a part of each writer’s style. Movement involves speed and rhythm. I work on that while I write. I listen for the movement in others’ writing. As I read, do I hear the “boom, boom” of a marching band or the gentle rocking of a lullaby?

Alexander has posted about the subject of imagery in writing. This too is a part of movement. Our words create visual images for the reader. When I read some writing, I see a series of snapshots. With other writing, I see a film.

If our writing moves as we’re writing, I believe that means we’re on the correct path. This quote by Annie Dillard vividly reveals movement while writing:  “With your two bare hands, you hold and fight a sentence’s head while its tail tries to knock you over.”

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OK, now you get to ask Simone some really hard questions in the comments :-)
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Nifty Writer’s Tool + An Excuse To Laugh


I know

There shalt not be two topics in one blog post.

Well, there are only two topics in that title up there but there are three topics in this post :-)

First:

Today is the Book Launch Party for Notes from An Alien in the virtual world, Second Life. There will be people from all over the world gathering on Book Island for Door Prizes, Fireworks, Live Music, Dancing, and All-Round Fun :-)

Second:

I found a really cool little piece of free software for creative writers: SLang

Here’s what they say about it:

“SLang is a story-creation tool, primarily of interest to writers. SLang stands for ‘Story-Language’. It is a story-creation tool, similar to an index-card tool but much more sophisticated. It allows you to break your story down into ‘events’, each of which will have a block of text describing the event.In addition you can have any number of alternative versions of these text blocks for each event. SLang allows you to mark an event as ‘excluded’ rather than having to delete it from the project, so you can come back to it later.SLang allows you to define special rules for each event called dependency-relationships. These define which events depend on which others. SLang can then examine all the rules, and then put all the events in a sensible order automatically, and show you how it made its decisions.Alternatively you can put the events in order manually. Either way, you can then generate an RTF or TXT file containing the whole story. Because of the way SLang allows you to specify dependency-relationships between events, SLang allows you to experiment with which events get included in the story and which don’t, so you can experiment, generating alternative routes through your story.The ‘Find shortest/longest path’ utility finds out what events are required to reach a specified event in the story, and lists them in chronological order, thereby enabling you to deal with individual threads.SLang can now export to ScriptMaker (a screenplay tool, free from the same website). This export facility creates an annotated ‘framework’ for your script.”

Third:

There are two of my blogging buddies I immediately thought of when I watched a video recently.

First was Karla Telega. She works at and succeeds brilliantly with writing humor.

Second was Simone Benedict. She writes about her life in Kansas (among other topics) and instills a natural sense of playfulness into her posts.

So, here’s the video that reminded me of Karla and Simone:


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A Post With The Purpose of Pointing You Toward Another Post…


My most favorite author is C. J. Cherryh.

My other most favorite author is John C. Gardner.

If you read, or write, or publish, this interview with John is worth studying…

Thanks to Simone Benedict for reminding me of John’s importance.
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