I’m going to open this post with an apology for being late getting this written. I actually forgot to create this post ahead of time. Then this morning, I found out that I was one of several authors who’d been quoted in a blog post by fellow author & blogger, Mercedes Prunty.
If you’re a writer, feel free to add your thoughts to the comments in Mercedes’ post. I know that she’s looking to help as many people as possible, and we’ve all got things we wish we knew when we started our writer journeys.
I’m proud to announce that “Ramblings of an Author” now has OVER 400 posts.
I’d like to give a HUGE thank you to everyone who’s visited, and taken the time to read my posts. Also to all the authors who’ve contributed to this milestone, by allowing me to interview them for Author Spotlights, and letting me share their books in the Book Spotlights. (See below the infographic for some exciting news for authors).
In honor of the occasion, I rounded up some statistics from the WordPress.com servers.
And Here’s Where Things Get Interesting For Authors
There’s a little something I’ve been working on behind-the-scenes of this blog, and I’ve had a couple of author friends test it out.
Until last month, if an author wanted to book an Author Spotlight, or Book Spotlight slot on this blog, they had:
Approach me on social media, or email me a request
Wait for me to respond with the criteria and list of questions, required images, and links
Give me enough lead time to format the post
Then I had to check the post for errors, email the author and confirm any new images/changes
Finalize the post schedule, and then email the author the posting date, time, and links
Well, I just removed MOST of the first three steps of that process… How?
Announcing The Author & Book Spotlight Application Forms…
Starting about a month ago I decided that I wanted to make things easier for my fellow authors to apply for a slot on this blog. To that end, I’ve put together two forms, which both serve the same functions:
They walk you through the entire list of things I need to know
They allow you to upload images directly into the form
I receive an email to let me know that you’ve applied for a blog spot
All the information goes into a database, which I can refer to at any time
A draft blog post is AUTOMATICALLY created, and formatted with the information you provided
From there the following things happen:
Once I get the email notification, I check the draft post, and make any changes that are immediately obvious (like removing text for links that aren’t provided).
If it’s a Book Spotlight, I create the advertising poster, and insert it into the post.
I then touch base with the author, by email, with any questions, requests for further information, (and approval on Book Spotlight posters), as well as confirm any preferences on posting dates.
Once any changes are finalized, I email the author the date and time the post will go live, as well as the links to that post (which only work once the post is live).
My Preferred Genres to Feature:
However, just because your book doesn’t fall into one of those categories, that doesn’t mean I won’t feature it if something about it catches m interest.
Apply For A Slot Today… Or Bookmark These Links For Later…
This is one of those blog posts that is going to enter very weird territory before it’s finished… But then that’s what happens when people have conversations when neither one of them is entirely awake.
On the subject of bomb warnings…
If you grew up in England during a particular time, you might have lived with the potential threat of bombs going off in some of the big cities. If that’s the case, then you may have seen posters similar to this one in any number of places.
I remember seeing any number of posters reminding people to keep their eyes open for packages, suitcases, bags, or other unattended. They were a constant reminder that there was always the potential for one of those items to be a bomb. Some went so far as to remind you not to approach the item, but contact the police instead.
Warnings turn to humor…
After a while, I started seeing graffiti that took the warning, and added humor. But not before I’d already had the conversation with some friends in the early hours of the morning…
Now this was before the internet had become an invasive part of our lives. It was also way before people turned such things into viral memes, that would spread like wildfire.
And then turn into the unexpectedly bizarre…
Now my wife is very much aware of these conversations, and just how strange my mind is at times. But last night, we were talking about something (I can’t for the life of me remember what), but I turned to her and said “Be alert”, and she came back with a reply that left me speechless and laughing, because it was so unexpected.
I jumped out of bed, wrote it down in my journal, with the lights off, in the dark, and could still somehow read it this morning. So I couldn’t help but turn it into a poster. And for what it’s worth “I’m sorry” and “You’re Welcome”
Do you have any bizzare late night (or any other time) conversations you want to share?
Feel free to drop them in the comments below and I’ll share the best responses in a future post!
Before I answer that question, I should answer another one:
What IS Bullet Journal?
Simply put, it’s a process for getting thoughts out of your head and onto paper through a system called rapid logging. It was developed by Ryder Carroll back in 2013, has been the subject of 900,000+ Instagram tags and 680,000+ YouTube videos, and has a following of over 92,000 on Facebook.
And if that wasn’t enough:
the Quick Guide for this system has been translated into 25 languages
There is a dedicated app to help Bullet Journal users
and a journal format specifically designed for this system.
Topics allow you to utilize individual pages for particular uses. In my case, that’s my:
my daily to-do/notes lists
lists of websites I need to keep handy
notes on things I’ve read/watched that I need to reference from time-to-time
story writing/editing/promotion plans
Page numbers are used to index all of those topics, so you can find them easily.
Short sentences make it quicker and easier to get your thoughts on paper, and prevent the entire process from becoming a chore. They’re intended to act as a quick reminder, more than a detailed description. But if you need to provide more details, just start a new page, give it a topic header, and put a reference to that page alongside the short sentence, and your index.
Bullets encourage you to keep sentences short, since that’s exactly what bullets are intended for, and it’s pretty instinctive to use. Different bullets represent tasks, events, appointments, and notes. Add a signifier alongside that bullet and you can mark it as urgent, a deadline, something you want to investigate more later, and so on…
Bullet Journal 101
Go check out the other resources out there, but if you’re easily distracted don’t spend too long looking. There is a vast number of Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, blog entries, and more waiting for the unwary.
I’ve been using this system since January, and my personal advice, is to stick to the basics while you learn the system. Then start customizing your bullet journals to fit your needs, as you discover them. I’ve developed a customer weekly layout that tracks my work hours, my household chores, writing/editing, blogging and book promotion tasks, which I’ve included in the pictures below.
From time to time, I like to check back on the sales and reviews for the books I’ve released.
It’s always a pleasure to hear from readers that they enjoyed a story that I’ve spent time and energy working on. Many people have reached out to me through Facebook, Twitter, or email, and told me they’ve liked my work, and asked for more. So when someone takes the time to put a review up on Amazon, I’m always excited to see how they rate my work.
As a reader, I often look at book reviews before picking up books from new authors. Some of the stories I’ve read and loved have only earned 3-star ratings from other reviewers, and I don’t know if that reflects on how I rate books compared to others, or how hard earned those higher ratings are.
Either way, I’m more than grateful for any 4-star (or better) ratings… I’m posting a couple of these reviews for “Under A Hunter’s Moon” below, so you can see what people are saying:
Prequels are mean! Especially when the book isn’t out yet! Timothy, I know you are releasing Evaline Transcendent right now, but can you hurry up with the first book in the Shadows over Seattle Series? Seriously, this was just… Sucked me right in and then left me with nowhere to go 😦
I enjoy the author’s twist on the old werewolf lore, creating a whole new version and calling them Lupines, to allow him to break the rules of the legends without really breaking things, if you know what I mean.
This is a great teaser to the main character, his motivations, and his drive. Jump on in and then go yell at the author to hurry up and finish the book, just like I’m doing!
An amazing take on Lycans. I love the dark view taken but also the unique point of view that makes you want to care for the dark creatures.
See Why People Are Rating This Book 4-stars
Richard Parsons is a lupine, one of the many breeds of shape-shifters living in Seattle. Mortal legends of his kind call them werewolves.
When a traveling exhibition returns to Seattle, Richard takes a night time visit, with plans that go beyond seeing a particular display. However he is unprepared for the memories and emotions that come flooding back.
If you’re a member of my newsletter, then you’ve already heard that I’ve been busy getting interviewed for a number of different blogs.
Well one of those blogs is over at the “Authors Talk About It” site run by the amazing Rob and Janelle Alex. This husband and wife team are pod-casters, marketers and branding experts, with years of experience behind them. They host book competitions, offer editing assistance, book critiques, and help indie authors to shape their bios.
I had the pleasure of being selected for a featured author interview. I had a lot of fun sitting down and going through these questions. Some of them were the kind of questions you see on almost all author interviews, but others really made me stop and think. Go check it out!
Reactions from fans have been very mixed. I’ve seeing every kind of response from “Best idea ever” to “Worst mistake ever”. Personally I’m excited to see what comes from this.
It’s obvious to me that that BBC has been building up to having a female Doctor for some time. Even the shows creators had suggested the possibility to the BBC controllers back in the 80s.
Even more interestingly, the last couple of seasons have teased the possibility of the Doctor becoming female, one day.
In “The Doctor’s Wife” Neil Gaiman wrote a line that more than suggested that the Time Lords can change sex
Then there was the Time Lord who regenerated from male to female on screen
The Master became Missy, and we’ve still yet to see how that resolves itself
And finally the seemingly throw-away line about the future being “all female”
To say I saw this coming so soon would be a lie, but it’s definitely something I’ve been hoping for.
Unlike with David Tennant, I’ve not seen Jodie Whittaker in anything, so I’m not going to be going into this with any preconceived ideas of what to expect. So I’m ready to see what the Christmas Special brings, and how Chris Chibnall handles transitioning into the role of show runner, and the switch over from Peter Capaldi and Jodie Whittaker.
The one thing that is certain is that the dynamic between the Doctor and Bill is going to change, and things could potentially get very interesting.
Whatever happens it can’t be as rough a transition we had from Peter Davison to Colin Baker…