Monthly Archives: July 2018

The Noble Pen for July 26, 2018

Next Noble Pen Meeting

July 26th, 2018 at 7 pm

Scott’s Family Restaurant

1906 Blairs Ferry Rd NE, Cedar Rapids

News

What story scared you the most? Several authors answer.

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The bake shop will sell your book.  Ask Ciuin for details.

Victories

Ciuin wrote more on CM.

Education

Many words and phrases linger in English but have become idiom because their original meaning is obsolete. Everybody knows the phrase “carbon copy,” but how many have actually used carbon paper to make a copy? For a writer, it’s a tradeoff between using phrases that carry a sense of the past versus losing readers who don’t have that history.

Someone may say they were “hung out to dry” if left alone to face a problem, but how many have hung out clothes to dry on a clothesline? Who has actually heard a “broken record” on the phonograph?Have  you bought anything that was “a dime a dozen” recently? “Don’t touch that dial,” but do you have a radio or TV upon which you can actually turn a dial? Is it bigger than a bread box?

Many other phrases never had a literal interpretation, but convey a sense of the past to those old enough to remember their use. Life used to be “swell”, but when’s the last time anything was swell, cool, far out, or neato? Gee whillikers!  Can you dig it?

There are more of these old expressions “than Carter had liver pills”. “Kilroy was here”, but he isn’t anymore. This is a fine kettle of fish! Do you look “like the wreck of the Hesperus” when you get up? Heavens to Betsy! I’ll be a monkey’s uncle! Jumpin’ Jehoshaphat! Holy moley!

You can’t bring those days back, not for all the tea in China, but you can remind people of them by using them when writing a story set in the past.  Just be careful not to lose the younger readers who aren’t familiar with them.  See ‘ya later, alligator!  Catch ya’ on the flip side.

Upcoming Schedule

Jul 26
Uriah
Aime
Ciuin

Aug 2
Nick
Open slots

Aug 9
Open slots

Aug 16
Open slots

Aug 23
Open slots

Keep Writing,
Bill

The Noble Pen for July 19, 2018

Next Noble Pen Meeting

July 19th, 2018 at 7 pm

Scott’s Family Restaurant

1906 Blairs Ferry Rd NE, Cedar Rapids

News

An article discusses how romance novels have tended to ignore ethnic diversity and people with disabilities, and recent developments that widen their view.

Victories

Randy has the cover for his book, now showing the whole coffin.  He got the results back from the editor in record time.

Ciuin wrote on Chessmaster and killed a vampire.  She sold a book at the bake shop.

Nick wrote a train report.

Aime was contacted by an outfit wanting her to buy advertising for her book.

Stacie is researching humor to find what might work in her so-serious book.

Education

Sometimes you may try to write and nothing happens.  Writer’s block.  Here are some tips for getting around it.  The key is to get around it, not through it.  Don’t just stare at the page or re-write the same sentence hoping it will get better.  Do something different, whether it is to change method, location, subject, or incentive.  Write another part of the story instead.

Don’t mistake distraction for writer’s block.  If you are constantly being interrupted by messages, turn off your phone or unplug your router (Last time I checked this was NOT a crime).   There are phone apps that will disable F*ceb**k and Messanger for a prescribed length of time.

Also, don’t demand that your output be perfect.  Just write something and know you can improve it later.  Charlie Jane Anders discusses several types of block and how to deal with them in an article that also has some cool pictures.

It’s hard to find words to describe writer’s block. ~unknown

Writer’s block – when your imaginary friends won’t talk to you. ~unknown

If I waited for perfection, I would never write a word. ~Margaret Atwood

Upcoming Schedule

Jul 12
Uriah
Logan
Aime

Jul 19
Ciuin
Stacie
Logan

Jul 26
Uriah
Aime
Ciuin

Aug 2
Nick
Open slots

Aug 9
Open slots

Aug 16
Open slots

Keep Writing,
Bill

The Noble Pen for July 12, 2018

Next Noble Pen Meeting

July 12th, 2018 at 7 pm

Scott’s Family Restaurant

1906 Blairs Ferry Rd NE, Cedar Rapids

News

Award-winning SF author Harlan Ellison (wikipedia) died recently at age 84.  He wrote over 1700 works, including short stories, novellas, episodes for Twilight Zone, Outer Limits, and Star Trek, and films scripts. He was sometimes called “America’s weird uncle” because of his outspoken and contentious personality and the unusual situations and portrayals in his stories.  Here’s a remembrance.

Victories

Randy did a local signing, which was a very limited success.

Education

If you self-publish, you are responsible for the “cover” art, which you hope will have entice people to buy, whether print or ebook.  There is lots of advice on line.  You can find cover-builders on line, suchas this one or this one that will let you upload images or sell you theirs.  This site shows covers that they think don’t do a good job of selling.  Some of the titles could be improved, too.  See what you think.  And here’s another collection of questionable book covers.

The “blurb” testimonials usually seen on the back covers of books are a common marketing device, intended to convince the reader that other people think it is a book worth reading.   The word blurb was coined in 1907.  A search for the terms blurb request will find many articles about getting people to help you by writing them.

Noelle Sterne has some thoughts about gathering testimonials.  Here’s another view, saying the blurbs are a small factor in readers choices but still worthwhile.  Best-selling authors get too many requests to comply unless you have some  connection to them.  More advice on requesting a blurb.

Upcoming Schedule

Jul 12
Uriah
Logan
Aime

Jul 19
Ciuin
Stacie
Logan

Jul 26
Open slots

Aug 2
Nick
Open slots

Aug 9
Open slots

Keep Writing,
Bill