News Worth Sharing

InsecureWritersSupportGroup2   For the first three of my monthly posts in the Insecure Writers Support Group I expressed my insecurities, concerns and general fears about my writing. Today I want to be positive as our monthly posts are also supposed to be offering encouragement. There are usually some excellent words of wisdom out there. I’m only number 207 among 320 other great bloggers. If you click here there are links to all of them and you can visit as many as you want. After months of prevarication, I have drafted my first newsletter and taken the first step on the MailChimp route – and I don’t regret it. This won’t be a MailChimp Guide since there are excellent ones available, like Jeri Walker-Bickett’s post “How to use MailChimp – From Sign-up To Send”. All I’m attempting to do today is to explain why I decided to go down the newsletter path and what I hope to find. Letter writing was not something that came easily to me, whether writing Thank You letters as a child, or staying in touch with friends as I grew older. However, during my career as an equestrian journalist I produced a 12-24 page quarterly newsletter for a carriage driving club. An interesting challenge as I had to master design software and PDF production. So no excuse when it comes to a simple one page newsletter in MailChimp.

Dick Lane and his team of Lipizzaners at Brighton Driving Trials

Dick Lane and his team of Lipizzaners at Brighton Driving Trials

The design options are more basic than Publisher but I can see the potential to offer readers the following – in no particular order:

  1. Links to recent Blog posts
  2. Updates on published novels, like “Spiral of Hooves”
  3. Research thoughts and Links relating to my Worlds & Work In Progress
  4. Books read, reading and recommended
  5. Interviews with authors I follow
  6. News about my current writing projects
  7. Other people’s Tweets, Blogs and thoughts that have inspired me

Most of these don’t make interesting blog posts and yet they can be very useful to followers, when phrased right. The Gossamer Wings Newsletter will allow me to keep in touch better with you… better than sporadic posts that give a snapshot of my life. I want to make this work and I believe that having a newsletter is part of the way forward, not just for me but also for other authors. What would you expect to see in my newsletter? Would you be interested in receiving a copy? How often would you want to be sent one?

It might take a week or two perfecting a newsletter that is worthy of being sent but, if you are interested, please sign up below. [I tried adding a Widget to the site but it seems that MailChimp and WordPress haven’t sorted out a compatible code.]

But I have now found the solution and you can sign up here: http://eepurl.com/V3mq5

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Two Futures: Facts or Fiction

What is the best way forward for this blog?

Ever since I wrote my post Eight Headless Chickens I have been wondering what the most important next step is.

The clear priority has to be our move to Wales, and – Beware Cliché – fingers & toes crossed, that is proceeding smoothly thanks to my wife and special friends, but no thanks to immediate family. By the end of February, I should be blogging from a new desk with a view of Harlech, the sea and mountains in Snowdonia.

But even with the inspiring view what will I blog about?

I have two, or is it three futures that are churning around in my mind.

  1. Facts: the simplest way forward. I continue posting my usual observations on my experience of the writing process, interspersed with thoughts on issues of the day. As a relative newcomer to writing, at least in getting published, I feel unable to offer great insights on good writing techniques. There are far better sites/blogs for that, some in my Links.
  2. Fiction: tasters of my writing. Should my blog become a means to release short fiction strategically over time?  Since the start of the year, I have been working on short stories and now have seven at various stages. They are loosely connected, in that they are set in the same world, one akin to the game Gossamer Steel, so that is their collective title.
  3. Dual carriageway: a mix of both Facts and Fiction. So when a story was written and edited it would be available, and when I was inspired to supply concrete Facts that would be the post.

Which do I choose, 1, 2, or 3? What would you the readers of this Blog prefer? Why do you tune in here to what I write?

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Of course life is never simple, especially here at Writing Wings where there are challenges.

There is another element, a Newsletter. It’s an option that I have given serious thought to. The factual blog would continue to share my thoughts and experiences as a writer, and as a retiree with MS. The tasters of my fictional worlds would continue, whether as interviews or as extracts.

However, for those of you that sign up to my Gossamer Wings Newsletter there would be treats: the tasters would become short stories for free. In that way you could see how the Gossamer Steel universe evolved. I would also be extremely grateful for your comments and feedback, as they would contribute to the ongoing story, providing an invaluable asset in developing the world.

As part of the ongoing creation, I am using Aeon Timeline to construct a Chronology into which the short stories fit. In the same universe, I also have two novellas that I intend to self-publish and release later this year so everyone can experience the world of Gossamer Steel.

Should newsletter subscribers benefit with the novellas in some way? Is having a pre-taste of the world enough? There would be other news and fictional snippets in the newsletter as well.

What about a life of crime? Have I abandoned my criminals and their victims? Never.  As well as a stand-alone psychological thriller, there is the cyber-crime novel, ‘Wyrm Bait’. This is the first of a series that has the gaming world of Gossamer Steel as its background.

Plus there is the sequel to ‘Spiral of Hooves’ that I wrote for NaNoWriMo 2013. ‘Tortuous Terrain’ the second part of the Chasseur series has to have a future as well. The reviews on Amazon and elsewhere have been five star, so I have a lot of positive thoughts looking ahead.

So what do you feel is my future? Please, gaze not into your crystal ball but into the past at what you enjoyed. What do you want next?

Painted Lady Butterfly (Vanessa cardui)

Painted Lady Butterfly (Vanessa cardui)

 

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what_works_III

On Monday I will be taking part in an exciting blogfest and sharing my experiences, so far, on marketing. Do I dare mention my past in the film industry?

What Works…

The first ever “Online Marketing Symposium!

A blogfest with information you can use.

The event happens on Monday January 20, 2014.

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http://www.yolandarenee.blogspot.co.uk/2013/12/marketing-what-works.html