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Writing advice I wish I wouldn't have followed
Writing Tips

Writing Advice I Wish I Wouldn’t Have Followed

A few years ago, I was just about ready to begin the adventure of trying to publish a children’s book that I had written. Then, as I started researching the publishing process, I came across website after website that said editors almost always throw children’s stories about inanimate objects in the trash. Books about dogs, monkeys, bears and other animals were publishable. But inanimate objects? Forget it.  And just like that, BAM! My hopes of publishing that book were squashed. I set aside that doomed manuscript and instead focused on writing my novel. Then, about a year later, I went
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Book Club HQ

Picture Books You Can (and Should!) Give to Adults

If I added up all the time I’ve spent in the greeting card aisle at the grocery store, it would probably equal at least a day. Why? Because it is hard to find the perfect card. Sometimes they’re too sappy. Sometimes they’re too flippant. Sometimes I love the artwork and the message, but then I turn it over and see that the card is $7.00. Yikes! This past Mother’s Day, instead of getting my mom a card, I gave her a picture book as one of her gifts and wrote a message inside—just like I would in a greeting card.
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Caption this crazy Halloween photo
Writing Tips

Photo Caption Challenge – A Handy Halloween

Alright, my writerly friends... let’s stretch our creative muscles and write a photo caption for this crazy Halloweenery! Your caption can be funny, poignant, poetic, mysterious—it’s up to you! Let your writing voice shine. Halloween is in several weeks, which means stores are keeping shelves stocked with candy, spooky decorations and other fun tricks and treats. I snapped this photo at my local grocery store in early October, so kudos to the folks at HEB for their Halloween decorating awesomeness.  Captions from Instagram A special thanks to the super-creative Instagrammers who initially provided a caption for this writing challenge. I’m
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Review of Turtles All The Way Down by John Green
Book Recommendations

Turtles All the Way Down

The amazing ladies in my book club selected John Green’s Turtles All the Way Down for our meeting last month. I give it five stars for the writing (I don’t think John Green is capable of not writing well), and another five stars for character development. This book blends two main plots: One external, where Aza and her friend Daisy play detective to find a missing person, and one internal, which focuses on Aza’s debilitating mental illness; and a number of subplots: Aza’s romance with Davis, Aza’s relationship with Daisy, etc. It sounds like a lot of plot, but the
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Book Club HQ

The 15 Best Book Flat Lays on Instagram

One of my favorite trends in the bookish community is the book flat lay. They’re fun, they’re beautiful, and they tell a story by using a variety of items.  I love book flat lays that include elements from the story. Some of the best ones show what the story is about better than a written summary.  I'm convinced that one day authors will replace their back-cover blurbs with flat lay photos. Anyone else with me on this? Book flat lay photos are a fun between-meetings activity for your book club. Just read your club's monthly book, snap your photos, then vote
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Book Club HQ

Put on Your Best Book Face

Have you ever been accused of having your nose in a book? Of course you have! This month, challenge your book club friends or writing group to put their nose behind a book. That’s right, stand behind a book and start snapping photos. Book face photos are nothing short of hysterical because they look so odd. It’s similar to swapping heads or bodies using photo editing software, but it’s much easier to pull it off. There are numerous books with covers that are perfect for book face photos. Before you head to the library or bookstore, browse the books on
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Book Bites for Turtles All the Way Down
Book Club HQ

Book Bites for Turtles All the Way Down

I’ve never paid much attention to wine and food pairings. If I want red, I’ll drink red. I don’t care if I’m eating steak or fish or cheese or chicken. (Blasphemy, I know!) But when it comes to books and food, I do care—probably too much. I like to show up at book club meetings with an appetizer or dessert that somehow relates to the story we’ll be discussing. Sometimes it’s a subtle link and sometimes everyone sees the connection right away. During a recent book club meeting, we discussed John Green’s Turtles All the Way Down (you can read
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Writing hashtags to follow on Twitter
Book Club HQWriting Tips

75 Must-Use Twitter Hashtags for Book Lovers

Metaphorically speaking, Twitter is a V12 sports car and hashtags are the endless network of roads. With Twitter’s incredibly powerful search engine, you can find information and opinions on nearly any topic. Hashtags are the paths to get you there. Some hashtags are superhighways, busy with lots of people during peak times, while others are deserted dirt roads that haven't been used in years. Your Twitter profile page is one of millions of hangouts along these hashtag highways. The more often you include hashtags in your tweets, the more likely people are to stop and visit you. Or, if you’re
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Writing Tips

My Starting Lineup of Writing Books

When I’m tackling a writing project, whether it’s for one of my clients, a freelance article, or a chapter in my novel, I surround myself with the best of the best writing books. I’ve accumulated a lot of writing books—almost enough to fill an entire shelf on my bookcase. I have two style guides: The Chicago Manual of Style and the Associated Press Stylebook; a slew of how-to books on writing and publishing books, and one pocket-sized grammar handbook I bought from the Texas A&M Bookstore way back when for one of my Journalism classes. This book is old, but
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Book Club Essentials
Book Club HQ

11 Fabulously Fun Essentials For Your Next Book Club Meeting

Sooner or later, your day will come… to host a book club meeting, that is. You’ll either dive into planning your event a solid month before, and feverishly pin online inspirations to your Pinterest board while taste testing possible hors d’oeuvres, OR, you’ll view your hosting obligation as a cruel penance for your book obsession. Which camp are you in? For those in Camp Gung-Ho, I’m assuming you’re reading this weeks—or months—before you host your book club meeting. You have pleeeenty of time to order your favorite items from the list below.   For my friends in Camp Procrastinator, have no
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