Category: Articles

Who’s Who of Twentieth-Century Poetry According to the USPS

By , May 7, 2012 12:00 am

 

I’ve recently become much more excited about paying my bills.  I visited my local USPS this week and saw that these stamps are available!  If you are an avid fiction reader, mix up your free time and check out works by these inspiring poets.  It is nice to take a break from the ever-consuming indie grind to really appreciate great literature from a different genre.

 

And if you have a fairly long commute like I do, try memorizing a short piece instead of listening to Adele sing on the radio.  Again.  I can’t be the only one who feels accomplished after memorizing something!  Right?!

 

 

"Indie Appreciation" Photo by MMRule

Indie iPad Use

By , April 2, 2012 12:00 am

 

A typical Sunday means writing at least 2,000 words!  Can you tell which letters I didn’t hit?

"The Indie iPad" Photo by MMRule

Will there be any commercials for novels during Super Bowl 47?

By , February 6, 2012 12:00 am

 

Are novels and commercials a successful mix?

 

No matter whether you found the commercials during Super Bowl 46 titillating or a bore, we can agree that soda, Progressive’s Flo, and Detroit got more screen time than novels.  Of course, that is nothing new for us.  Commercial advertisements for books seem limited to James Patterson (a money making mastermind) holding his latest construction and directly telling people to buy it.

 

While most authors who’ve “made it” traditionally have stayed away from making commercials, I have noticed during the past year that more and more indie authors are posting book trailers online.

 

Do you think that these trailers help indie authors?  Is it possible to create a creative commercial for a book that is worthy of $3.5 million dollars during the Super Bowl?

 

Tell us what you think!

How you will know if your book idea is a good one

By , January 9, 2012 12:00 am

 

Remember Me!

 

Owning an iPhone 4S means that I now have the opportunity to write down every idea that comes to me.  And I come up with a lot of creative ideas.  A lot.

 

I indulged in recording every unformed thought and story fragment for the first few weeks, but I could not feel comfortable with myself.  Every time I groped for my phone after an especially vivid dream or dictated to Siri during my commute, I kept hearing Stephen King scold me.

 

“If you can’t remember it, it was a terrible idea,” he said in The Atlantic (April, 2011), and I couldn’t stop myself from wondering if I was sabotaging my future novels with The List.

 

Writing ideas down feels good.  The List is a safety net there to provide some cushion on that theoretical day when I will find myself soulless and creatively bankrupt.  If and when that day comes, though, perhaps it will make more sense to take a break from writing than to dredge through dozens of “this is sure to be a best seller” gems that I thought of on my way from the shower to my toothbrush.

 

Yes, I do have a few weeks of ideas written, but I doubt I will ever look at them again.  The good ideas are already ingrained in me and are evolving on their own.  The best ones are those that return to me every day and are waiting for me to finish my current project and find time to formally craft them.

 

So, while I cuddle with my current WIP while fantasizing about my next, I’ll take my hat off to Stephen King and hope that I’ll overcome my like of idioms by then.

 

Blogging Leads to the Perfect Gift

By , December 26, 2011 12:00 am

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas!

 

On Christmas Eve I received a very special present: a copy of Wacky Wednesday!  Earlier this year I blogged about the top ten books everyone read growing up but me, and Wacky Wednesday was #9 on the list because I could never get my hands on a copy.  No more!  By tree light I picked out all of the Wednesday wackiness, and it was awesome!

 

My conclusion?  Blogging pays off.

How Siri Can Help Aspiring Writers

By , October 24, 2011 12:00 am

"An Indie Phone" by MMRule

 

As soon as I had some alone time with an iPhone 4S, I couldn’t wait to ask Siri my burning questions.  Should I self publish?  Where can I find a literary agent?  Who wrote the great American novel?

 

The verdict?

 

Siri isn’t a fortune teller, but she can read your text messages and search Google for you.  I’ll settle for that!

 

Have you asked Siri any questions about writing and publishing?  Do you think she is a useful tool?  Comment and let us know!

Time Management for Indie Writers

By , October 17, 2011 12:00 am

 

"Indie Time Management" by MMRule

 

How do you balance work, family, friends, writing, blogging, social networking, etc.?

Does making a schedule help?  Comment and share your tips!

 

Do You Lie When People Ask You What You Are Reading?

By , October 10, 2011 12:00 am


"Indie Anxiety" by MMRule

"Indie Anxiety" by MMRule

 

What are you reading?

While it may seem innocuous to ask someone what he or she is reading, I struggle to participate in the What are you reading? water cooler banter.

 

It may seem strange for me to say that I dread when people ask me what I’m reading.  As an aspiring author, I treat reading and writing like a second full time job.  But despite the amount of time I spend in front of paragraphs and pages, I find myself often embarrassed to admit what exactly I’m thumbing through in my spare time.

 

Are you an unconventional reader?

Since I’m working on the pacing and opening of my novel, my pleasure reading so far this month has included choice excerpts from On Writing; every scene in Carrie that involves Chris Hargensen; and the first chapter of the Exorcist, 1984, and every Stephen King novel I own.

 

Oh yeah, and I’m reading The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.  At least that is what I told my dentist despite the fact that I haven’t had a chance to pick it up in weeks.

 

Do writers read like everyone else?

I love gulping down commercial novels and savoring literary fiction, but when I’m pressed for time and also trying to write and proofread, what I read is only for research.  I start with what I love and wish to emulate, and then I read and reread key sections with the intent of learning something about the craft of writing.

 

So how does that translate into casual dinner party banter?  Well, it doesn’t.

 

What is the solution?

My solution goes back to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.  It is important to always know your audience.  Read as you must and always have a good answer in your queue to share with the world.  There’s no need to stun people with the insanity of your writing process when you can just give a benign answer that gives them a smile before they move on with their day.

 

Are you an unconventional reader?

Do you ever stretch the truth or lie when asked what you’re reading?

Comment on this post and tell us about it!

Books That Everyone Read but You! (Top Ten List)

By , October 3, 2011 12:00 am

 

Since I hadn’t read the iconic The Giving Tree before my work on September’s literary cupcake, I have thought all week about those books that “got away” when I was a child.  These are the books that I remember sitting on the chalkboard ledge in my elementary school classrooms.  Books that librarians plugged, teachers designed bulletin boards after, and every student read.  Everyone, of course, except for me.  There is no time to conform when you are nose deep in a Miss Marple mystery!

 

In honor of these memorable stories that I’m reading only now that I’m an adult, I’m dedicating this week to my top ten list of children’s books that everyone loved but me.

 

Comment by revealing which books “got away” from you, and let me know if I’ve really missed out by not reading the ones on my list!

 

Top Ten Children’s Books That Everyone Read (Except for Me)

10.  Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

9. Wacky Wednesday (By far the most popular book at my school’s library.  It was always checked out!)

8. Strider 

7.  If You Give A Mouse A Cookie

6. Horton Hears a Who

5.  The Very Hungry Caterpillar

4.  Where the Wild Things Are

3.  The Giver

2.   Everything by Shel Silverstein because there are so many that I missed! (Where the Sidewalk Ends, Falling Up, A Light in the Attic, etc.)

1.  All of the classic Judy Blume books like Are You There God? It’s Me, Margret., Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, Forever, Superfudge, etc.!

 

Now it’s time for you to share your books that “got away!”  And let me know if there are any on my list that I really should have read way back when!

 

#WouldYouRather: Aspiring Author Edition

By , September 12, 2011 12:00 am

 

It is “Would You Rather” week at The Exception to the Rule.  Have fun considering this list of fun-serious-bizarre scenarios.  Comment by answering any or all of these questions or write your own for us to answer!

"Indie Options" by MMRule

"Indie Options" by MMRule

Would you rather…

♦   Read your biography or write an autobiography?

♦   Edit your novel for a decade or take ten years to write the “perfect” book in one draft?

♦   Be forced to always use contractions or to never use them?

♦   Dominate one genre or write for a variety of audiences?

♦   Write a sequel to The Lord of the Rings or a prequel for Harry Potter?

♦   Listen to one song on repeat while writing or never hear the same song twice?

♦   See your book made fun of on Family Guy or discussed on The View?

♦   Be Stephen King’s wife or his child?

♦   Always write in public or in a silent, soundproof room?

 

Now it’s your turn to answer or to write your own!

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