Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

To Everyone,
I wish each and everyone the Merriest Christmas ever and may the New Year fulfill all your dreams and aspirations.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Toil vs Talent

As in all endeavors, toil is necessary to succeed and more so in writing. Work or its habit is the mother of talent. A writer must labor over his craft until it becomes strength, and the only way the writer can develop this efficacy is by working at it, sitting at one’s desk or computer and writing.

Like any work, this requires the expenditure of time—time spent writing, time spent thinking, time spent practicing the craft of writing, and time spent deliberating about what to write and how to write it. All of this requires the habit of work, the usage of time, the routine of sitting at a desk or before a computer, and the effort of writing.

Procrastination, dawdling, delaying, and hesitating hide any talent that the writer possesses. Only by forcing oneself to write, and to write consistently, daily, will this talent develop and produce results. Of course, the amount of time spent at writing will depend on each person’s situation, desire, and goal. Learning how to use any talent that one possesses is where effort is controlled, where struggle has a purpose, and where determination to succeed is required.

Learning how to use the whole of one’s talent will result in great success and satisfaction. “Learning how to use the whole of one’s talent” is the difficult part, the part that requires a great deal of dedication, much thought and reflection, and the physical exertion of actually penning or typing the words on paper or screen. Sometimes even that can be a struggle.

Thought and reflection are two important essentials required of any writer—thought that comes from the very soul of the writer whether it is poetry or prose, reflection that develops that thinking. All writing comes from the deep within and embodies the essence of the person. Without that kind of attention, the writing is shallow and weak.

Once the thoughts are torn out and become tangible as words on the page, then it is the time to review, re-assess, and revise the ideas and polish them until they shine brightly and express truly and succinctly what the writer intended.

Thus, the labor of the writer’s craft requires three things: thought, labor, and revision.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Ubiquitous Rejection Slip

All the famous writers I heard of could paper the walls of their offices with rejection notices.
Rejection slips are the bane of all writers, yet they are inevitable. The most successful of writers had their share of them, and even get them now that they are prosperous.
Although rejections are inescapable, they should not be considered maleficent; they should be considered helpful. Though when first received, they can be disheartening, they should be contemplated as a valuable learning experience. Even if they come as form letters, they can serve as valuable lesson in determination.
Look at it this way: One more “no” is that much closer to a “yes”. Each time a manuscript comes back, the quicker it should be sent to the next market prospect, and the writer should get on with the job of writing. Hesitating will only prolong the period of time before the piece is accepted for publication.
If the rejection notice has a personal message attached with a critique from the editor it should be studied carefully and heeded. If that happens, the writer knows that the composition had merit, and with a little more work can be placed.
Once the “work of art” is further improved, it is time to send it on its way again. When the writer is confident that it is the best that can be produced, then it is ready to return to the eyes of editors, whether it is an anecdote or a mammoth saga. It must be out there to be considered.
Perseverance is the writer’s best virtue. If at first you do not succeed, try and try again.
As Ana├»s Nin says in her autobiography “Beware of allowing a tactless word, a rebuttal, a rejection to obliterate the whole sky” that should be a writer’s philosophy about rejection slips.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Write Every Day

If you want to be a writer, then you must write—you must write something every day.
If possible, have an established time to write every day. Budget your time to make that period available even if it is only a few minutes. You will be surprised how much you can write in a short period of time. This writing should have a dual purpose: first, to improve your writing skills, and, second, to record your ideas.
As well, a special writing place is also helpful. It should preferably be a spot where you are free from the distractions of daily living—a corner of a bedroom, living room, or even kitchen, but it should be your writing site. Of course, an office of your own would be a preferred location. It is surprising how the mind can develop creatively if given the chance.
To write every day requires a plan; it requires a time; it requires a location; it requires a focus; and it requires a reason. The first two have already been dealt with, so what is a focus plan? A focus plan is a decision of what kind of writing one will do: fiction, non-fiction, poetry, essays, articles, short stories, etc.
Here, the writer has to find his/her voice. Do not spend the writing time thinking about it; the important thing is to write and the voice will come.
Of course, a focus requires a reason for writing. Is it for personal satisfaction and enjoyment only? On the other hand, is it for public consumption and financial augmentation? Perhaps both. Usually, though, one writes to share one’s thoughts and ideas with readers.
What about ideas and topics? Without them, a writer is lost. In writing every day, the goal is to express whatever comes to mind—a memory, a gripe, a desire, a feeling, an incident, or grammatical exercise. It really does not matter; the important activity is the writing. Once started the words usually flow.
So, write something every day.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Toil Produces Capability

As in all endeavors, toil is necessary to succeed and more so in writing. Work or its habit is the mother of talent. A writer must labor over his craft until it becomes strength, and the only way the writer can develop this efficacy is by working at it, sitting at one’s desk or computer and writing.
Like any work, this requires the expenditure of time—time spent writing, time spent thinking, time spent practicing the craft of writing, and time spent deliberating about what to write and how to write it. All of this requires the habit of work, the usage of time, the routine of sitting at a desk or before a computer, and the effort of writing.
Procrastination, dawdling, delaying, and hesitating hide any talent that the writer possesses. Only by forcing oneself to write, and to write consistently, daily, will this talent develop and produce results. Of course, the amount of time spent at writing will depend on each person’s situation, desire, and goal. Learning how to use any talent that one possesses is where effort is controlled, where struggle has a purpose, and where determination to succeed is required.
Learning how to use the whole of one’s talent will result in great success and satisfaction. “Learning how to use the whole of one’s talent” is the difficult part, the part that requires a great deal of dedication, much thought and reflection, and the physical exertion of actually penning or typing the words on paper or screen. Sometimes even that can be a struggle.
Thought and reflection are two important essentials required of any writer—thought that comes from the very soul of the writer whether it is poetry or prose, reflection that develops that thinking. All writing comes from the deep within and embodies the essence of the person. Without that kind of attention, the writing is shallow and weak.
Once the thoughts are torn out and become tangible as words on the page, then it is the time to review, re-assess, and revise the ideas and polish them until they shine brightly and express truly and succinctly what the writer intended.
Thus, the labor of the writer’s craft requires three things: thought, labor, and revision.

Day 3 and 4

Since I last posted, I've completed Day 3 and Day 4 of my new novel. On Day 3, I made a list of all the possible locations of each chapter or scene. Of course, some of these will be used, but others will be discarded as the manuscript progresses. On Day 4, I listed all the Wants of each character that will people the book. Some of these wants will change as the characters develop and evolve. Presently, they are just an accumulation of ideas.
My list of characters include the protagonist, the antagonists, and a number of secondary characters. Since the novel is to be an historical mystery, some of the characters are there to add confusion and misdirection to the plot.
Of course, the plot is still a vague conception in my mind, but it is growing.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

New releases

Chronicler Publishing, of which I am the editor, has just released two new books. A Gift of Words by Jack Stevens is a memoir with many historical facts and stories about the early history of the Province of Alberta and the role that his family played in its development.
The second, Anne-Marie Martel, is the biography of a young woman from France who started a congregation of nuns, The Sister of the Child Jesus, that have a large community in Canada. The book is by the author, Joachim Bouflet, that has been translated by Kate Larson into English.
Both are available in Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, Barnes and Noble, Chapters, and many other bookstores in Canada, and the USA.
If they are not in your local bookstore, ask them to order it through their local distributor.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Day 2

Today is Day 2 in my plan for a new novel. In Day 1, I worked on the theme for my new novel and have decided on what the novel will be about.
Today, I will make a list of the characters that will appear in the book: the protagonist, the antagonist, and any other characters that may appear, fictional or real life characters.
As well, I will try to see the relationship between and among the various characters, but at this time that may be quite vague. I will continue to add to the list as the novel develops.
This will take up the second hour of may plan.

Day 2

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

New novel

I am working on a new novel; the character is chosen, the theme is coming, the plot is incubating, and the plan is developing. Usually it takes me about ten days to develop the plan for the novel.
I begin with a one sentence summary of the entire novel, and then I work from them to discover the locale, the plot, and the characters. Notice, I said characters; the protagonist has been chosen, but the antagonists have still to be considered.
For the next few days I will let the story percolate in my mind with many 'what ifs', but each day I will keep notes on these 'what ifs'.
Next week, starting Monday, I will spent the next ten days exploring my novel idea.
I will only spend an hour a day on this development because I want to keep it fresh in my mind without a great deal of stress.
As I said, I plan to spend an hour a day working on this novel; I will chose a time and try to stick to it, writing at the same time and place each day until I've developed a routine for the actual writing of the manuscript.
The first day of the ten days I will spend defining my idea: What is the novel about?
To this is the most important part of writing a novel. Write down all the things you can think of about the novel at this point. Then condense down to a one sentence summary of the novel; be sure it is only one sentence.
After the hour, when you are satisfied with that one sentence, write it out and tape it to your compute and keep it before your the entire time you are writing your novel.
That's why it's so important to think it out clearly and precisely.
Tomorrow I will tell you about the second step that I use.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

I'm thinking of a new novel. I haven't yet formulate a form for it yet, but the idea is incubating. I need a character protagonist, a theme, a plot, etc. before I put too much on paper. The first step is to summarize the novel in a single sentence, and then proceed from there. Since it will be a historical novel, I'm also thinking of it as a mystery story. The seed has been planted and now it must grow.
That's it for now.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Up and running

Chronicler Publishing has moved and is now up and running at its new address: 402 17150 94A Avenue, Edmonton, Alberta. The new website will soon be complete with all the information that authors need to contact us.
We are looking forward to our new location and hope it will provide greater opportunities for our writers.
Due to the move we have not been able to deal with submissions as quickly as we hoped, but that will change. We apologize for the delay.
Thank you for your patience!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

A new year

The new year as started with new direction and emphasis. The move to Edmonton, though not complete is progressing. We didn't realize that such a move would entail so much work and disruption.
The new offices are almost ready to go, but our website has not been changed yet.
We are hoping to have that done by the end of the month with a complete revamp of the website.
We are still looking for the great Canadian historical novel; if you think you have written it, please let us see it.