Writing 101: Weekly Wrap-Up 6-10

weekly-wrap-up2

Weekly Wrap-Up of my past week assignments:

Assignment #6: The Space to Write
Assignment #7: The Best of Both Worlds (Short Story)
Assignment #8: Write a Letter: Dear Indie Author < Tips for Indies
Assignment #9: Breaks: When I’m Not Writing
Assignment #10: Let The Scene Write Itself – Artificial Life

Writing 101 – Assignment #9 – Breaks – When I’m Not Writing

I found it best to structure these assignments without introduction. It’s more engaging, I think if we just get right into it. For today’s assignment however, I suppose I can hip you to the rules. Since breaks are so important, like sleep that rejuvenates the body, we are to write about our lives when we are not writing, so here goes.

***

Since I write full time I have equipped my day with a schedule to help to keep me balanced. As I mentioned in Assignment #6, I write best in the early morning. Though I do not publish a post until halfway through the morning, this doesn’t mean this is when I have begun writing. So I adjust my schedule so that my mornings are my writing time. When I’m not writing the direction of my day depends on what kind of day it is. But to keep me balanced and refreshed and to keep my mind clear there are a few things that never change from my day to day:

Biblical Study

bible

Prayer and studying the scriptures is what keeps me refreshed and moving in the right direction so that I do not forget my purpose. As astonishing as it may be, there is something I love more than writing and that’s the word. I have to study my scriptures and keep my head clear. As one of my favorite sayings goes: “Don’t neglect the physical because you live on the physical, but do not neglect the spiritual because it is higher than the physical.” I begin every morning with a prayer before I do anything and I pray throughout the day (at least 3 times a day). This ensures my eyes are always open and my head is always clear. Mental stability and clarity is everything.

Household

file(4)

Another major part of maintaining a balanced life for me when I’m not writing is managing my household. For the most part I’m a full time wife. Not that there are part time wives (who knows) but I’m a housewife to the fullest and it is something I take pride in because I happen to be good at it. Since I have the afforded luxury of working from home I see no reason not to keep a clean house. My husband’s career in Heating and Air Conditioning is very demanding so I make it my business to create an environment that keeps him happy. He’s Universally Certified which means he can work on anything for anyone and if he’s working nine, ten, eleven hours a day I see no reason for him to have to come in and do anything but rest. Of course, my husband is a very active person. He’s always finding something to do and he absolutely loves to cook so I don’t say this to say he doesn’t do anything. I say this to say that he has that option. This is his place of peace. My man’s place of residence should be nothing less than paradise.

Wine

wine_2697549b

So I went back and edited this post to include wine. Wine and Movie Nights with the Hubby is definitely a great time to relax for me. I have to wind down with a nice glass after dinner and a good laugh. Daily laughter / intimate and mind provoking conversation with my love and daily wine, it doesn’t get more refreshing than that.

Workout

file(5)

I also enjoy working out which a) is a great way to renew my energy and b) something I’ve been admittedly slacking on. I suppose a trip to the gym is something I can incorporate into next week’s schedule.

Travel

Travel-Bucket-List

Last but certainly not least is another one of my most dear past times: Traveling. My husband and I love to travel. There is something about going outside of your environment and smelling air that does not belong in your backyard that is very refreshing. Because I write full time non-writing days may still consists of things that are writing related. There are orders to fill, packages to send off, people to contact etc. For this reason, whenever I want to really break I have to exit the whole scene; I want to leave my element. A break for me is not merely a break from writing it’s a break from the city! Let’s hop in the car or on a plane and just go. If I go too long without some form of travel I’ll get agitated because I really need these breaks. Speaking of vacations, I’m looking forward to the end of the year where I’ll be leaving this city once again for a chance to explore new lands. Talk about breaks, I’m so ready for one.

cropped-seal_v2-03

Writing 101 – Assignment #8: Write a Letter – Dear Indie Authors

Letter

Yecheilyah Ysrayl
The PBS Blog
Shreveport, LA 71104
Wednesday, November 11, 2015

 
Indie Author Name
Future Best Selling Author
My Pen Name LLC
Word press Blog
My City, IL 60639

Dear Indie Author Name,

It is a pleasure to see you stepping into this exciting field. It has been far too long since we’ve talked to each other. I was pleased to hear that things are going well for you and that you are happy in your new career.There is something, however, I would like to share with you. I hope it will be beneficial to your new role as an Independent Author.

We live in an age where hackers rob banks from computer screens. Identities are swiped with the clicking of a mouse and the input of numbers on a keyboard. Now days, whole books are stolen, articles are copy and pasted from blogs like yours and websites are turned into books. A legal name is not required to self-publish and apparently, neither is talent. What does this mean for you, dear Indie? There is no sure way of firing the self-employed computer geek from his position in his mother’s basement where he lives off coffee and stolen material. No sure way of tracking down thieves who have no face. There is however, something that we can do: Name Brand Yourself.

It starts with trust really. As an Indie Author you’d have to have tons of trust in your work. Humility is a must but part of being humble is staying firm and my dear Indies, you must stay firm. Start by producing your own website. By website I do not mean your blog. Purchasing a domain name for a blog does not make it a Website. Seek to create your own author website or hire someone else to do it and link your website with your blog.

Next, you’d want to promote your website. This means you will direct people to your website to purchase your books and they can access your amazon pages from there. Remember that trust thing we were talking about? You’ll need it here. Right now you’re pretty much a nobody but being a nobody is part of the deal. Everyone started out as nobody’s. Yes, even Oprah.

Once you’ve established an author website (www.yournamehere.com) you may now add product. Never ever sell PDF copies of your book. My advice would be to sell print books only. Yes, through your website. Use POD (Print On Demand) as your printing company and not just where people can buy your books. If your name branding yourself you should be directing people to your website anyway, not the print on demand site. Am I telling you to forget POD? No. You need them. Unless you have your own printing company somewhere, you will always need Amazon and Smashwords or wherever else Indies are publishing. But, there’s a smarter way to use them. Instead of waiting on royalty checks alone, use PODs as printing companies. That is what they do right? Print your books? Buy in bulk and sell directly through your website.

This is the most secure option I can give you. Make sure to invest in a good platform for your website, preferably one that prohibits people from being able to copy and paste. To go further, set up a legal structure (a sole proprietorship or LLC) if you really want to do it big. This is added protection.

What about Amazon? What about them? You need eBooks so put your Amazon eBook links on your author website. Only have the option to purchase a Kindle or otherwise non-easily downloadable version of your book. (Did I say not to have a PDF version for sale?) DO NOT sell PDF versions of your books on your website. The rest is marketing and promotion. Direct everyone to your author website. Create business cards and bookmarks using your logo and author website. Want to securely Self-Publish a book? Treat it like a business. It will take time (lots of time) but the hope is that people will not be able to get yourwebsite.com out of their heads. Soon they’ll say: “Did you read the latest novel by yourname? Visit http://www.yournamehere.com. That’s right; eventually your name will be the brand they remember.

Does this guarantee illegal copies of your book won’t be available elsewhere? Probably not. That guarantee went out the door when technology surfaced centuries; I’m sorry, worlds ago. Of course, no method is guaranteed, but at least you can keep a better eye on product if you a). produce professional work that is hard to copy and b). you’re selling it from your own site as opposed to someone elses. You never know, you may even save enough money to hire a lawyer. Now that’s what I call taking Self-Publishing to another level.

I will call you next week. In the meantime, I hope to visit your website soon. I’ll access your amazon page from there.

 

Sincerely,

 

Yecheilyah Ysrayl
Author, Poet, Blogger
http://literarykornerpublishing.com

cropped-seal_v2-03

Writing 101: Assignment #7 – Social Media Inspiration: The Best of Both Worlds

https://twitter.com/BluMarTen/status/605128443475456001

“Whatever”, Tasha spoke under her breath and logged out of her twitter account. It amazed her how exactly those few words had summed up her life. Technology was a trip.

Curtis
“Hello love”

Tasha
Not a good time

Tasha slid the smart phone under the covers as her husband entered the room.

“Hey babe,” he said planting a kiss on her lips. She watched him walk away. Completely compact with everything she’d ever wanted in a man. As he slipped out of his shirt she took the opportunity to admire the dark chocolate, toned physique of her child’s father. Standing 6’1 the man had beauty and brains and had swept her off her feet ten years ago and everything else had been storybook. In less than a year they were married, Carson was born six months after that and their combined salary afforded them the luxury of the two story house sitting comfortably between two large Oak Trees in Elmhurst Illinois. Tasha hated those trees. They had somehow become the mocking occasion of her perfect life. Attorney, wife, mother, and home owner and yet here she was, stuck between two men; both just as large and overwhelming as those trees. She’d have to remember to have at least one of them cut down. Their existence, how they mocked her very life, was too much to take.

“What time you getting off tonight?” yelled Anthony from the shower.

“Nine, this case is really kicking my butt.”

There it was. Another lie. It was her fourth lie this month. She knew because she counted. It was difficult at first, but whenever she thought about rolling around on the floor with her boss it became much much easier.

Curtis was nothing like Anthony and that reality was perhaps one of her greatest fears. More so than the betrayal, the lies, even more so than the sex was that these men couldn’t be any more different. It was that, their differences, that Tasha feared even more so than getting caught. She smiled wickedly. Why did the thought excite her so? She’d built trust with Anthony and now she capitalized on that trust. Taking advantage of their years she played the men like strings. Pulling and tugging on their position in her life and manipulating the occasion.

Tasha met Curtis when she was just an intern at Curtis & Law and he was well aware that she was married. Tasha preferred it this way and often beamed with satisfaction. If ever there was an occasion to sleep around she’d found it. If ever there was a secret to deceit, she’d cracked the code. Her life with Anthony was secure and she made it clear she would never divorce him. Curtis was OK with that and vowed that their time together was nothing more than a thing.

Curtis
Tash, you there?

Tasha scrambled to mute the text alert before it became noticeable. One downfall to cheating was extreme paranoia. Tasha was sure the muffled sound could be heard through the sound of the Shower and peeking down at the screen she rolled her eyes. This was starting to get old real fast. He knew he had no right to call her that. Only Anthony called her “Tash”. But Curtis had professed his love last night and somehow thought it gave him free reign to be the first man in her life. She thought she’d made it very clear that would never happen. “Maybe I should just call off”, thought Tasha. The dread of the workplace had become intense. Any occasion to which she had to see his face in public sent her cascading through mental turmoil and she felt she would explode.

“In our universe a star explodes and dies every single second..”

“Hmm,” thought Tasha, “Is this what death feels like?”

Anthony was her everything. Her love and her heart broke at the thought of what this would do to him if he ever found out and yet, the thought was quickly erased by another lie.

“Please, I’m tripping. Men do this all the time”, she told herself to soothe the bruise of adultery seeping from her pores.

Anthony walked out of the bathroom, a towel wrapped around his waist and another one he used to dry his hair. “Goodness, that’s a beautiful man.” Tasha said to herself.

Curtis
Meet me at the spot, 1 hour

Startled, Tasha scrambled to answer her text.

“Tell Curtis you’ll be late this morning”, smiled Anthony, seductively approaching his wife.

Tasha smiled a wicked smile. Poor Ant, he would never know. It amazed her how color had such an impact on the way people saw the world. Anthony would never suspect a culprit in the proper, brown haired, blue eyed Caucasian that is his wife’s boss.

Tasha
I need a few hours. (wink)

Curtis

OK love.

Who needed worlds? Tasha had both.

cropped-seal_v2-03

Writing 101: Assignment #6- The Space to Write

unnamed

Step #1: The Early Morning Wake-Up Call

An hour or two after the sun has risen and the birds congregate on my windowsill with their songs. When the sky is still a combination of yellows and orange and reddish highlights all tap dancing on the clouds. I write best during the time of day when the wind is still waking up and blowing not too harshly; just enough to sway the leaves. Not even the branches, just the leaves will do. When the air smells like you just bought it from the store this morning. That first early morning wake-up, after morning prayer and just when the creative juices are new and fresh. This is my ideal time of day to write.

Step #2: Coffee

Freshly brewed dark roasted Folders that grabs my throat by its hinges and engulfs my body before racing to the tips of my fingers; I arise to the occasion of the coffee cherry. After I started teaching and tutoring a few years back, when my daily routine consisted of chasing three and four year olds around the room and getting on my hands and knees to see which monopoly piece I would be, I developed a love (OK an addiction, whatever) for caffeine. And it, the coffee bean, must accompany me in the next phase of our adventure.

Step #3: Solitude

Give me neither food nor noise. Lock me away from society, I no longer live here. Put me instead inside a quiet place. Though I would much rather be somewhere in the country, swallowed up by trees and grassland, my home office will have to suffice. Where I shackle myself to solitude and feed from its delicacies. My fingers march to the beat of songs that can only be heard inside my head. I am not here in this office. I am instead in another place. That place where only writers go. I’m an introvert by nature but writing is when I am the most reserved. Let the rushing sound of my heart and the beating of keys be the only noise in the world worth paying attention to in this moment. Please, I beg of you, dare not shatter my concentration with the world and its worries, for I am not of the world.

******

cropped-seal_v2-03

On day 15 of Blogging U, we will be asked to refer to our list of ideas, as provided by fellow bloggers, to complete that days assignment. For this reason, I am asking you to submit writing topic ideas to my contact page. Is there something you would like me to write about? Creative writing ideas? Topics? Poetry? Short stories? Let me know. Again, I’ll have to refer back to this list on day 15! I’m really looking forward to your ideas. Thanks a lot.

Writing 101 – Weekly Wrap-Up

weekly-wrap-up2

On Friday I mentioned I rest on Saturday’s. Turns out I was late in discovering there are no prompts on Saturday and Sunday! LOL. So this is totally awesome. It gives us all a time to rest and readers a chance to catch up. So my custom will be to present for you a weekly wrap-up of links to all of my assignments for the week on Sunday before the new week begins. Please find below my posts for this year’s Writing 101 course so far:

Assignment #1: Why I Write

Assignment #2: Write a List

Assignment #3: One Word Inspiration

Assignment #4: A Story in a Single Picture

Assignment #5: Hook ‘em with a Quote

Writing 101: Assignment #5 – Hook ‘em with a Quote: Natural Revolution

In a time of deceit telling the truth is a revolutionary act.
― George Orwell

I remember the first year I got my hair loc’d. It was 2009, about three months before Chris Rock’s debut film “Good Hair”. There are moments in your life where people speak and you never forget what they say. When I read Orwell’s quote it reminded me of something I heard in that movie. One of the women interviewed said, “It’s like wearing natural hair is seen as revolutionary”. She didn’t say it as if she agreed, she said it from the perspective of why? Why is Natural Hair seen as being revolutionary? Why do we attribute people with natural hair as being part of some kind of Afrocentric movement? Those are good questions. Especially since I think we all have the common sense to know that every black person with dred loc’s is not necessarily positive or conscious for that matter.

Angela Davis
Angela Davis

To use the word “Revolution” for many black people is to hearken back to the days of black fists, panthers, pride and Afro’s. It is to wear hair that is natural, to welcome skin the color of coal, African garments, medallions, and to be at ease with the urban tongue. The word ceases to mean “to change” but also “to become” or “to transform”. Whenever black people get to a point where they want to embrace the truth concerning themselves one of the first signs of consciousness is natural hair and it stems from many of these movements where African Americans sought to do away with the pretentious manner in which we carried ourselves. Most importantly however, it stems from our welcoming of the truth concerning ourselves and this is why, whether conscious or not, natural hair is often seen as a revolutionary act because natural hair involves embracing the true state of ones hair and thus ones identity.

cutebaby
Random super cute baby I found on the internet

I should not be placed in the same category with Afrocentricity or Rastafarianism because I use the word “revolution”. At the same time, we cannot throw the baby out with the bath water and in this case the baby is Natural Hair and it is a form of revolution or change. Revolution is change and it is truth and because it, the truth, is so absent in this society the word “change” morphs into something that’s deeper. To change becomes more than to adjust or to amend, but to change becomes a movement and revolution then becomes simply a movement to change. This is why, in my opinion, Natural hair is seen as revolutionary because it is a change in perception and in thought. It is a movement back to the original state not just of a hair style, but of a way of thought and a way of life. My hair is not naturally straight so by wearing locs I am exposing a truth concerning myself; that truth being that I was born with thick and kinky hair.

cropped-seal_v2-03***

I rest on Saturdays so this is my last assignment until Sunday.

In Case You Missed It: This Week’s Assignments:

Assignment #1: Why I Write

Assignment #2: Write a List

Assignment #3: One Word Inspiration

Assignment #4: A Story in a Single Image