Tuesday, October 28, 2014

National Novel Writing Month

It's that time of year again!  November 1st is the start of National Novel Writing Month (or NaNoWriMo to "those in the know").  Don't know what this is?  Well, let me tell you -- it's a month of frenzied writing.  Participants try to "win" the event by writing 50,000 words in 30 days.  Can it be done?  Yes, as many winners will tell you.

Have I ever won?  No.  But, then again, I've never tried to win.  I love NaNo, but since I write for kids, 50,000 words is like 2 middle-grade novels in one month.  Instead, I use NaNo as a kick-start for whatever I'm working on.  There's tons of encouragement from other writers, lots of excitement as you add up your word count, plenty of write-ins (both virtual and in person), and many chances to ask for help and support from other participants (whether in person or on one of the many threads and chatrooms).

Am I participating again this year?  You betcha!  One of these days I might try my hand at writing 50,000 words, because I do have some adult novels I'd like to write.  But, for this year, I'm going to work on a middle-grade novel.

I'll let you know how I do.

Want to participate too?  Go to www.nanowrimo.org and sign up!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Calling Cards for Writers

Yes, writers do need "calling cards."

Today, no one today feels obliged to call you (whether in person or on the phone), email you, or even visit your website.  So why have one?

1)  It's puts a name to your face.
2)  It tells the recipient that you're a writer (and what type of writer you are:  fiction, nonfiction, short stories, books, articles, etc.)
3)  It tells how to contact you, just in case the receiver of your cards wants to.  You never know!
4)  It shows that you're professional, that you take your work seriously.
5)  It's easier to exchange information with someone, especially a fellow writer or editor or agent.

What needs to be on your business card?

1) Your name (obviously), as well as any pen names you use.
2)  Phone number (cell or home or both -- you can also set up a Google voice mail account that has a separate phone number for free)
3)  Email address (You can set up one just for your writing business so that your personal email isn't overwhelmed or your writing business emails get lost amid your personal ones.)
4) Website and/or blog

You can also include:

1)  Your photo (This makes it even easier for the receiver of  your business card to put your name and face together and remember you.)
2)  Your address (However, I recommend getting a post office box instead of listing your home address. P.O. boxes don't cost that much.  I've used one for years.)
3)  Your books or articles (If you have many, perhaps just list the most recent ones.)
4)  Your services (Do you ghost write?  Edit or proofread? Research?)

What to do when you get a business card from an editor or agent or fellow writer:

1)  Write on the back of the card when and where you met them.  It helps to remember who they are. You'll also need that information if or when you decide to contact them so they can also remember who you are.
2)  Keep it in a place where you can find it again.  Some people use business card albums (like photo albums, but with little slots that fit business cards) to organize and file the cards they receive.  You can get these at places like Office Max or Staples.  You can keep them in "recipe" boxes.  You can staple or tape them in notebooks.  The idea is to be able to find them when you need them.
3)  Write a short note or send a brief email (or visit their website and leave a comment) not long after meeting them.  It will keep you in their mind and provide a way to network.

A writer's business cards provide a way to network with others, both socially as well as professionally.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Victorian Calling Cards

Back in the 1800s, both men and women of middle and upper classes used calling cards.  These cards had their names printed on them and were the size of today's business cards.

You would present the card to the servant who answered the door as a way of introducing yourself.  When you called on someone, you visited them in their homes, spending a large part of the day with them.  If you called and that person wasn't home, then you'd leave your calling card to show that you'd come by to see them.  Sometimes a very short note was jotted on the card in the corner or on the back.  Sometimes the calling card would list the days and times when you were available for a social visit.

A calling card tray was in the entrance and a servant would leave your card there.  It was considered polite for the absent person to return the social call within one week.  You would have had a case to hold your cards to keep them nice-looking, and it would have been made out of sterling silver or ivory or something similar.

Change "calling card" to "business card" and it sounds somewhat like what we do today.  When a businessman visits a company or meets someone, he hands out one of his business cards.  The card will list the businessman's name and contact information, and maybe even a tiny bit about the company.  While "calling" today can mean a personal visit, it often means a phone call or email or visiting a website.

Do writers need business cards?  Find out in tomorrow's post.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Good Intentions and Passionate Subjects

I really do have good intentions when it comes to blogging.  And, yes, I do know where good intentions lead.  LOL!  Edie Melson always inspires me to get back to blogging, and she's right.  It's a great way to connect with people.

Perhaps I'm trying too hard to make blogging work.

I think I'm trying to make it like writing an essay for class, instead of making it a conversation.  So I'm trying to change that.  Some of my blogs may turn out like essays, but some may be more like this one...a conversation about what's going on in my life.

I should blog about my passions, and, of course, one of my passions is writing.  That's one reason I chose "Hurt the Bunnies" as this blog's name.  I love to write, to create stories about fun and interesting characters (that grow into people I love), as well as to research and learn new facts, and then relate them in a fun and interesting way to readers.  I love to teach others how to write, to share my knowledge and see the articles and stories that my students write.  I love to edit, to help shape an article or story into something that will sell. I love to sell books, sharing my favorites with customers.  I love to read!

Another passion of mine is animals.  I love all of God's creatures...with the exception of roaches.  I absolutely can't stand cockroaches.  They have no redeeming quality that I can see, and I think it would take an almost impossible amount of convincing to change my mind.  Nope.  Nothing will change my mind about roaches.

Kids are another passion.  I really enjoy them, whether I'm teaching them, writing for them, or just playing with them.  I thoroughly enjoyed my boys when they were growing up (okay, I still enjoy them!).  But I've discovered an incredible new love...that love I have for my grandchildren.  It's so hard to explain why I have such a tremendous amount of love for them, so I won't.  I'll just enjoy them.

I have a passion for Jesus and am so thankful that He gave His life so that I can live mine, knowing that I'll have eternal life in Heaven with Him.  It's another hard to explain passion and love.  I want to learn more and more about Jesus, about God, and I want to share what I've learned with others.

Man, I have lots of passions, don't I?

What are you passionate about?

Friday, April 12, 2013


Saturday, November 24, 2012

Black Friday and Black Saturday

I didn't venture out at the crack of dawn in search of specials yesterday.  Instead, I ventured out at the crack of dawn to work at LifeWay behind the counter.  I got up at 4 a.m., got to work at 6 a.m., and we opened the doors to a hoarde of people who swarmed in, grabbing up specially marked items.

The nice thing about working in a Christian bookstore is that everyone behaved.  No one fought over copies of Jesus Today (and that was one of the "hot" items) or $10 Study Bibles.  And we did something different this year that our store didn't figure out until well into the Early Bird Specials time of 7 a.m. until Noon (it was probably around 8:30 or 9 a.m. before we figured it out).  Some of our specials weren't ringing up correctly...and that was because they were supposed to be Early Bird Specials for Black Saturday...not Black Friday.  We'd never had that before and I've been working for LifeWay for six years in Greenville and four years before that in Houston.  The ad was very confusing.  So we had to pull the signage and go around and tell all our customers in the hour-long line that what they thought were specials didn't happen until the next day.  They actually were all forgiving!

Out of the hundreds of customers I waited on, I had only one grumpy customers.  Mr. GrumpyPants didn't say anything rude, but his body language screamed "I don't want to be here!"  He drummed his fingers, stamped his feet, frowned, snorted, rolled his eyes while I checked him out at the register.  For a moment, I thought I was dealing with my sons when they were teenagers.  But Mr. GrumpyPants was probably in his late 40s or early 50s...and probably in need of a nap.  Not bad, not bad at all for Black Friday.  I have gotten much ruder customers on a regular workday.

While I don't love Black Friday because of all the craziness, I do love working in a bookstore.  I love seeing what sells and what doesn't.  I often can predict correctly.  We had a bunch of books on sale for crazy prices...$1.99 for a Karen Kingsbury double book, for example.  I usually wait all year to buy some books and movies, because I'm pretty sure they'll be offered super cheap on Black Friday.  So, after my shift was over at 3 p.m., I picked up some excellent deals on books that I've been wanting to read for a very long time.

With the busy Christmas season on us, I may have to wait until January to read them.  Now *that* is really hurting my personal bunny.

Thursday, November 22, 2012