Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Next Big Thing by me - JD

Genevieve Scholl The Author, via


tagged me in this award thing called The Next Big Thing. I too am not really sure what it is, but here’s my post. I was asked to answer these 10 questions.

1)  What is the working title of your novel?

Now that’s secret for now.  Call me paranoid if you will, but it’s a long ways from being done, and I don’t want anyone to steal my thunder so to speak.

2)  Where did the idea for the novel come from?

The opening lines just popped into my head one day.  Then I opened up a new word file and started writing.

3)  What genre does your novel fall under?

Science fiction.

4)  Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Now that is something I have thought of.  If it were being cast right now, Dean Cain would definitely be one.  And that actor who played Angel in the Buffy spin-off series. 

5)  What is the one sentence synopsis of your novel?

There’s an evil seeping though the government, and it will affect one family in particular, and the secrets that they don’t even know they have.

6)  Will your novel be self-published or represented by an agency?

I’m thinking self-published right now.

7)  How long did it take to write the first draft of your manuscript?

Still drafting that baby.  Up to chapter 4.

8)  What other novels would you compare this book to within your genre?

Hmmm, it doesn't really compare to any other.  It’s the brainchild of my own imagination.

9)  Who or what inspired you to write this novel?

My own vivid, active imagination.

10)  What else about your novel might pique the reader’s interest?

Not sure.  I guess I would say, when it is published:  If you like this one, hang on, for there’s more where this came from.  I have ideas for some 30 plus other novels.

I tag and nominate:

Corey Feldman

Angus H. Day

GJ Elle

Patricia Macias

Sunday, November 25, 2012

The changing landscape of publishing

To be honest, the landscape of publishing began changing back in 1979, when I graduated from high school.  No, it doesn't have to do with me.  But it does have to do with the fact that personal computers were beginning to make their arrival upon the scene.  And the internet would soon follow.  Then would come the windows format on DOS computers.  This my friends, is when publishing began to change.  And some in publishing today are like dinosaurs who don't realize that the end is coming for them.  They don't grasp that it is coming to 'change or die' finality.

The newspapers and magazines have been the first to suffer, when it became so easy for everyone to get their news and info online.   Encyclopedia makers would suffer too.  I mean, why bother with those cumbersome set of books when you could go online and get tons of info.  Back in 1979, if you had told someone to google it, they would have looked at you like you were crazy.  And back then, you would have been.

But now, with ebooks, and Amazon, and self-publishing, and all - the big, traditional publishing houses are beginning to feel the squeeze.  They are beginning to feel threatened.  I'm reading with great interest all the stories on this subject.  Plus I tons of facebook friends who are self-published authors, and are doing quite well without the trappings of traditional publishing.  And let us not neglect to mention all the small ebook publishers that are springing up now.

Even today, I ran across a side ad on facebook for a literary agent; and I clicked on over just out of curiosity.  It led to her facebook page, and among other things, she discouraged authors from pursuing self-publishing in preference to traditional publishing.  A rather self-serving viewpoint on her part.  In fact, there almost seems to be a war today between old-school traditional publishing and the new Indie writers of self-publishing.

You know what all this puts me in mind of?  I think all this must be a lot like when the first automobiles appeared on the scene back in the late 1800's to the late 1900's.  For a while, both cars and horse drawn vehicles could be found together on city streets and country roads.  Now the only places you find horse drawn vehicles are in Amish communities or fairs and festivals.

The world of publishing is changing, it is in a state of flux.  It has been so for a while.  The bottom line is this:  either you keep up with the changes and go with it, or you get left behind.  We as writers must embrace the changes and go with it.

The winner in all this will be the readers, as they now have a much wider pool of reading to choose from.  And all these ereaders and ebooks are leading to what I have heard called 'a renaissance of reading'.

Yes folks, our world is changing.  It has always done so.  But some eras of change, I think, are more dramatic than others.  Such was the introduction of electricity, the advent of the automobile.  And now computers and the internet are the driving forces creating such dramatic change today.  We are a more connected, better informed, more intelligent society today.  That person on the other side of the world from you is no longer a stranger.  It is a friend that you just chatted with on facebook.  Things such as this can't help but change every facet of our society.

And the big publishing houses who once dominated and controlled what authors did and didn't make it, their grip on that has been loosened.  Why wouldn't they!  This self-publishing stuff and ebooks threatens their livelihood, changes the way things have always been done.  But so did electricity and cars too.

Yes, the landscape of publishing is changing; and some get it, and some don't.  This blog, in and of itself, is an example of that change.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

A Napa holiday tale

A Napa holiday tale

Once upon a time, on the day before Thanksgiving, Papa Bear and Mama Bunny were getting ready to go out and run a couple of errands and pick up some things.  While Mama Bunny was finishing up getting ready, Papa Bear thought he would run down to city hall and pay the water bill, which absolutely had to be paid that day to avoid getting the water cut off. 

So Papa Bear saunters out to their 20 plus year old trusted chariot, Cecil.  Well Papa Bear gets in, puts his key in the ignition, cranks it - but no go!  Papa Bear knows what the problem is, for it has happened before.  Fair Cecil needs a new battery.  So back in the house goes Papa Bear. 

Now Mama Bunny, who was getting ready, knows something is amiss when she hears Papa Bear come back in the house so quickly.  She goes into the office, where she finds Papa Bear on the phone with the local Napa Auto Parts store.  He informs her of the calamity, and she stands there and waits to see what she can do to help. 

Well, the Napa  people tell Papa Bear that it will be an hour or two before they can get there with a new battery for Cecil.  For you see, Cecil was the only chariot that Papa Bear and Mama Bunny had to drive.  And there really wasn’t anyone else they could call. 

Well after Papa Bear got off the phone with Napa, Mama Bunny settled in at her desk and got on the phone, making inquiries about help for their battery problem.  She wanted to give poor Papa Bear a chance to settle down, because the whole thing had upset him a good bit; and Papa Bear had been very sick last year (2011). 

So Mama Bunny called some other places, and most said they just couldn’t help, or she got no answer.  A couple of places said they could help, but their prices were much higher than what the nice Napa people had quoted.  So Papa Bear and Mama Bunny settled in to wait for the Napa man to show up.

Well, when it got about time for the Napa man to show up, Papa Bear went outside to wait on the porch steps for him.  Fortunately it was a nice sunny day.  But Papa Bear got to feeling antsy about their coming, so Mama Bunny called and checked, and was assured that they would soon be there.  But it was then that Papa Bear discovered a new problem.  Cecil didn't want to open his hood mouth so they would be able to put the new battery in when the Napa man came. 

Papa Bear tried and tried to get Cecil to open his hood mouth, to no avail.  Mama Bunny got out the WD40 to use to try to persuade Cecil with, and she checked his owner’s manual, and searched for the shop manual (which she couldn't find).  She too found a place to spray WD40, through Cecil’s front grill, in an attempt to persuade him to open up. 

While all this was going on, the Napa man showed up and joined in the efforts to try to persuade Cecil to open his hood mouth.  Finally Mr. Napa man was able to persuade Cecil to open up for them.  Well I must say, Papa Bear and Mama Bunny made sure to thoroughly grease Cecil’s hood opening mechanism with the WD40 to make sure this wouldn’t happen again. 

With the hood open, the nice Napa man proceeded to put in the brand new Napa Legend battery he had brought for Cecil.  When the Napa man had the battery all in and hooked up, Mama Bunny cranked Cecil up, and he purred like usual.  Both Papa Bear and Mama Bunny were both very relieved.  Papa Bear paid the nice Napa man, and they both thanked him very much for all his help. 

Then Papa Bear was able to go pay the bill, and he and Mama Bunny were able to go do their errands.  One of their errands included going shopping at Walmart on the evening of the day before Thanksgiving, but that’s another story entirely!

You see, dear reader, fair Cecil had a habit of just suddenly turning up with a dead battery.  One time in particular, Papa Bear and Mama Bunny were driving down Frederica Street in Owensboro, Kentucky, when Cecil’s battery decided to up and die.  So there they were, stranded there in the turning lane in the middle of Frederica Street; when low and behold, what should come up behind them, but none other than the WBKR van with a big bear on it.  The nice WBKR men helped Papa Bear and Mama Bunny get Cecil across Frederica and into a parking lot. 

So friends, Papa Bear and Mama Bunny will always have a soft spot in their hearts for WBKR and Napa Auto Parts, for both have came to their rescue. 

And if you should be wondering why Papa Bear and Mama Bunny didn't call on their kids to come help them, then perhaps this photo will show why.

For Papa Bear and Mama Bunny’s kids are cute and fuzzy, and great for hugs and smiles, but they suck at changing car batteries.  Their cute, fuzzy bodies just aren't made for such tasks.

And in case you are wondering, this is all absolutely true.

Lest we should forget the heroes in this tale --

Our local Napa Auto Parts Store:
M & B Auto Parts
1340 S Main St
Hartford, KY 42347
(270) 298 - 4900

WBKR 92.5 The country station

Copyright November 22, 2012 by Jacqueline Driggers

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

How to become a book reviewer

How to become a book reviewer

Becoming a book reviewer is a fairly easy process.  The first requirement to becoming a book reviewer is:

-- enjoying or liking to read.

Passed that one?  Next,

-- decide what genres of books you want to review?  Are there any genres that you specifically don’t want to review?

For example, take me, I don’t do horror genre (the gory violent type) because I don’t care for the movies, so I know I wouldn't want to read the books.

-- Can you write fairly decently?  I mean, can you manage to string together at least 5-10 sentences about a book you have read?  And this includes using proper punctuation and grammar and spelling. 

If you have passed all of the above, then this leads us to your next step on your way to becoming a book reviewer. 

-- Where will you post or share your reviews?  Me, I have a blog where I do that.  Here’s a link to one of my book review blog posts. 

I like and use blogger.  They have a wide variety of templates to choose from and it’s fairly easy to set up.  Here’s the sign in link:

Now if you’re going to use blogger, you will need a google account.  If you have a gmail email address, then you have a google account.  Just go to the above link and sign in using your gmail log in, and you will be on your way to creating your blog.  If you don’t have a google account, just click on the ‘sign up’ link in the upper right-hand corner.

Another option is to create a facebook page and share your reviews there in the form of page posts or notes created by your page.  Here’s the link to create a page on facebook.  Please note that you must be logged in to facebook to do this.

Plus there are lots of other free places on the internet where you can create a blog.  So you will need to set up a place to post your reviews. 

Okay, if you’re with me so far, then now you need to . . .

Find books to review.

This is probably the easiest part.  There are tons of authors out there today seeking reviews of their books.  Here are some places to find them:

-- a facebook group that I belong to called:  Review Seekers

-- free kindle or nook or Smashwords ebooks - There are tons of these to be had on these websites. 

Smashwords free ebooks

Barnes and Noble free ebooks for Nook

my own Kindle facebook interest list which will clue you in to tons of free kindle books

And you will need something to read ebooks on.  This is easily solved too, as there are free apps you can download to read ebooks on.

Barnes and Noble nook apps

Amazon Kindle free apps

Adobe ereader app

Sony reader app

So now you have your reader apps, and you links to find free books.  You have set up where you are going to post your reviews at.  You’re all set to become a book reviewer. 

Something else you need to do is decide how authors can contact you.  You need to have an email address to give them, because after you get established as a reviewer, many authors will email you a word file or a pdf file of their book for you to review.  I let authors contact me about reviews via my book review page.

But where do you post and share the links for your reviews at?  Here’s one place:

Book PReview Central

And here’s another place:

JD’s Leisure Zone

Plus you can share the links on your own timeline.  Facebook and the internet are just full of places to share your book review links. 

Now, there’s one more thing you need to do.  Drop by this note by the page Book PReview Central, and add your reviewer info to the note.  This will help authors find you. 

Book Reviewers List

So you’re all set.  Got any more questions?  Feel free to message me via my website or my facebook writer’s page.

facebook writer page

my website

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

About being edited for the first time, and doing editing

Just recently, I had two pieces of my fiction edited.  Two totally different pieces, totally unrelated to each other, edited by two totally different people, also totally unrelated to each other.  

Now I am 51, and I have been writing since high school, which was back in 1976-1979.  And this was the first time that my stuff had been edited by a person other than me.  To say that I didn't like the experience is putting it mildly.  And I have come to the conclusion that most editors will try to rewrite your stuff.  

Now one piece was for a blog, and was a 2 page short story.  When I got it back, the opened file looked like it had been in a knife fight and had lost. There was red all over.  The other one was something I am working on, and was looked at by a friend of a friend.  I didn't agree with what he said in the way of editing.  

Well, between the two, it put me in a bad mood; so I went on facebook and made a status post, and vented, as many people do when something gets them in a bad mood.  Here is some of what I posted:

To me, a good editor does the following:
-- looks for typos,
-- looks for spelling errors,
-- looks for wrong word use, i.e. their instead of there
-- looks for places where a sentence might be reworded to make it flow and read better,
-- looks for really glaring grammar errors, such as missing commas or using wrong punctuation or run on sentences and such. 
I also commented about how this experience had given me clarity as to the type of editor that I wanted to be.  You see, over the past several years, my husband and I have had some hard times.  And the last two years in particular have been really hard.  I haven't been able to work for years now due to physical issues, which made my husband the sole source of our income.  But back in 2010, he had to go to working part-time because of his bad knees.  And in 2011, he was fired; and about a month after he was fired, he was diagnosed with cancer.  Now he is cancer free, and on disability, and through with working.  I decided to try to get into doing some editing work to make some extra money.  I had excellent spelling and grammar skills, and work experience that enhanced this endeavor.  Plus I had something that you can't teach, and that is error radar.  So I thought, why not.

I want to be the type of editor who helps the author find the typos and spelling errors and obvious grammar errors and when the wrong word is used.  I want to point out where a sentence might be reworded to flow better in the story.  But I don't want to rewrite their work.  

I was, and am, grateful for the insight this has given me.  It has shown me that I hate having someone else edit my work.  My writing is my child, my creation.  It has also given me insight about doing editing.

But the real kicker on this whole thing came when I got online today.  It was then that I discovered that one of the editors had found my post and had responded in a rather personal way in the form of 3 comments to my post.  I used the handy facebook feature which allowed me to remove the comments.  Why the editor did this is beyond me, and why the editor took it so personally baffles me.  Shouldn't a good editor accept beforehand that the writer may not accept their editing?  Don't we writers have the option to reject an editor's editing?  After all, it is our work, and not theirs.  Isn't it somewhat unprofessional of an editor to take an author's rejection of their editing personally?  Just wondering.

Thus more insight for me as I throw my hat into the editing field.  Note to me:
  - do not take it personally with an author rejects my editing of their work;
  - do not be surprised if an author should react in a negative or hostile manner to my editing;
  - to avoid the above, edit with a light hand;
  - when editing, respect the author's writing style.

And why have I done this post?  What is the moral of the story? 
I'm not sure if there is a moral to all this.  It's just an experience I had, and have learned from.  And I did it because I wanted to, and this is my blog, and I get to say what I want here.

In conclusion, I will close with the following thought:
How would editors of today have handled the works of Twain, or Shakespeare, or Edgar Rice Burroughs, or Hemingway, and the like? How would they have edited and criticized their works?
How were those works edited?  Were they edited by another at all?

Some things to think about.
-- jd --

Friday, June 15, 2012

Hollywood has lost its magic

Let's begin this post with a link to another writer's blog post:

Crap TV – the fightback starts now. Right here, right now. Are you with me?

This post is by Stephen “Yolly” Yolland, and yes Stephen, I am with you.  You see, I haven't been on facebook in several days.  At the end of last week, I got my dvds of all 4 seasons of the tv series - Lois and Clark, the new adventures of Superman.  I made a marathon out of it and watched all 4 seasons from the first to the last.  When I finished the last episode, I fell into a deep funk.  The end of the series left tantalizing loose ends that would never be resolved.  If they had of made a season 5, it would have been great.  But what bummed me out the most is that now I had to go back to watching the regular mind numbing crap that fills the tv channels now.  Watching the Lois and Clark series made me realize how crappy the shows and movies are that Hollywood now cranks out.  It made me realize that Hollywood has lost it's magic.

Actors just don't bring the roles to life anymore.  The speak lines, but they don't bring the roles to life.  There is no magic in their tv shows and movies that carries you away.  The Lois and Clark show was great!  It had romance, action, great drama, and humor; all in one show, and most usually all in one episode.  And Dean Cain and Teri Hatcher just sizzled on screen together.  The had enough sex appeal between the both of them to fill the universe.  And they never got naked.  But they could sure steam up the screen with some great kissing scenes.  And the rest of the cast, well what can I say, they were all outstanding.  Their guest stars on that show reads like a who's who of Hollywood.

But that show was made in the mid to late 1990s, during what I have decided to call the Golden Age of tv shows and movies.  During the 20th century.  In the 21st century, I find very little to recommend as being outstanding.  But back in the 20th century, there is tons to recommend as outstanding.  It used to be that the prime time tv slot (7-10 pm), on the network channels, was filled with great dramas.  Now days you can't hardly beg, borrow, or steal a good weekly drama series.

The only recent movie that comes to my mind to recommend as an outstanding movie is Avatar.  That is an absolutely fabulous movie.  But otherwise, the offerings leave a lot to be desired.  As for weekly tv shows, the best 3 weekly tv shows that come to mind are all on Disney XD.  They are:  Lab Rats, Tron: Uprising, and Motorcity.  And 2 of those shows are animated.  But they are good shows.  Among the few good shows on tv.  Too much of the channels are taken up with reruns of series, or reality shows.  And the only thing Hollywood seems to know how to do best now days is to remake old shows and movies, and their remakes are usually pitiful facsimiles of the original programs.

And don't even get me started on the big screen movies they crank out.  They know how to mess stuff up so well.  And they crank out crap.  Most of the big screen movies cranked out today depend on big special effects, graphic sex scenes, or graphic violence or horror scenes to sell their movies.  They are JUNK!!!  Nothing but poorly made junk!  And they are an insult to the great movies that Hollywood has cranked out in the past.  I know, I watch a lot of movies.

I just wish Hollywood would regain it's magic once again.  I miss it.  I miss the great shows and movies that could suck you into their world for a while.  I miss it's imagination and spark.  I miss great movies and tv shows.  Watching those Lois and Clark shows reminded me of what great acting is all about.  Just too bad we don't see much great movie and tv show making any more.  And they can take all these STUPID reality shows and shove them down the garbage disposable.  
-- JD --