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    Tuesday
    Mar242015

    For a Writer One Key to Success Is Staying Grounded

    Staying grounded is one of the most important things a successful author can do. Sarah looks at how to do it.

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    Monday
    Mar092015

    The Look of Your Book: The Question of Illustrations

    The old saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words,” is only valid if the picture is the right one. This post addresses some of the options an author may consider in choosing and acquiring the right images to illustrate her book. Which one best fits your situation?

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    Wednesday
    Mar042015

    4 Ways for Writers to Get Unstuck

    Every writer runs into moments when the words stop flowing and the ideas don't fit. They're stuck. When it comes to times when like these, when we don’t know what to do, there are several ways to help ourselves out. These are four of them.

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    Saturday
    Feb282015

    Bringing It All Together

    Writing a book is often a process of discovery. When you create a collection of short stories, non-fiction anecdotes, personal essays, reflections or poems, you often face a critical question: How do they fit together? One of the most important tasks in turning them into a book is organizing the collection with a logical progression which gives coherence to the development of your ideas. Stories To Tell editor and book designer Sarah Hoggatt discusses the way grappled with the problem of how to bring effective order to her latest poetry collection.

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    Wednesday
    Feb252015

    Think Twice Before Publishing in an E-Book Format Only

    You have just completed the manuscript for your book. You are ready to publish and , after reviewing your options, you have decided that you will publish in e-book version only. After all e-books are the wave of the future, especially among younger readers who have grown up online. Before you go ahead you should check out the Washington Post’s recent report that “wired millennials still prefer the printed word.”

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    Sunday
    Feb222015

    Genealogy Surprises

    I searched for my grandfather’s name on a whim. While designing books about other people’s family history, I had started to wonder about my own. Growing up, I was told little to nothing about my family heritage. Only as an adult did I learn about my great-grandparents. My grandma’s dad ran a carnival in a mall for a time and her mom immigrated to the United States from England; she is the one I’m named after. Their pictures now sit a on a bookshelf in my home along with a card she wrote shortly after my birth. My grandpa’s dad was an evangelistic preacher and pastor and his mother was an immigrant from England as well. Knowing I am also in ministry, a cousin mailed me one of my great-grandfather’s ministerial certificates – a gift I treasure. But this is all I knew of my dad’s side of the family and I wanted to know more.

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    Wednesday
    Feb112015

    RootsTech 2015: What Technology Can’t Do For a Family History Writer 

    We’re at RootsTech, the annual Salt Lake City extravaganza which melds the latest technological bells and whistles with genealogy and family history. It’s a wonderful event. Stories To Tell founder Nancy Barnes will be presenting two computer lab sessions on restoring historical photographs with Adobe PhotoShop. We picked up some good ideas for better ways to help authors from the Innovators’ Summit today. But, at the moment, I’m thinking about what technology can’t do for the family historian.

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    Monday
    Feb092015

    What Is This Book About?

    When I started writing this book, Finding Love’s Way, I did it without knowing where I was going. I wrote about whatever caught my attention or the words and thoughts I needed to get out. I let myself go without concerning myself about where it would end up. It’s much like starting a journey without planning where you’ll go but taking one step at a time. Some may call this poor planning and they may be right. But my poetry is, first and foremost, an expression of me and my relationship with God. It’s honest and open and real. If I planned the larger story out, I believe it would come across as faked and unsubstantial. So I let it go knowing I would look back later to find the way I went. I’m now at a stage where I’m doing this looking and finding the over-arching story. Having the title has helped immensely with this process. It’s given me a point to the journey and now I can go back and retrace my steps in order to find out how I got here. What have I struggled with? What did I learn through those experiences? What have been my joys along the way? Where is the path through the hills I created with the tread of my feet?

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    Sunday
    Feb082015

    Using Psychoanalysis in Your Fiction 

    In English class this past week, my teacher handed each student a copy of The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss as we walked in. Some students reacted the same to it as if it were a copy of a George Orwell novel, and some students had a good laugh at it. None of us understood the reason for the books until my teacher wrote the word psychoanalysis on the board.

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    Thursday
    Feb052015

    Should You Start a Genealogy Blog?

    Have you thought about keeping a genealogy blog as you discover and research your family history? Are you working on compiling a family history book but are not sure where to start? Let's look at some of the benefits both provide.

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    Sunday
    Feb012015

    Sometime a Writer Just Needs to Get Away - Stripped to Our Bones

    Sometimes a writer just need to get away. There are times in our lives when we need to shed our skin. There are times when the life we have been writing about has become too heavy and needs to be let go of for a while or released completely. Maybe you’ve had a lot going on, maybe the growth has outpaced the roots, or maybe it’s just time to retreat to somewhere else far away.

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    Wednesday
    Jan282015

    My Way of Getting Out of the Dreaded "Writer's Block"

    Every writer, young or old, has experienced it at least once in their writing career. You put your pen on the paper to write words, but words don’t flow onto the paper like they usually do. You are stuck in the writer’s block.

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    Tuesday
    Jan272015

    Using Photographs to Create a More Engaging Family History Book

    Have you ever watched the way a child explores a new book? She might pick it up an examine the cover image, then flip through the pages, stopping occasionally, usually on a picture or photograph. She often has a fully formed opinion of the book before she begins to read it. I have watched adults examine books and seen the same thing. They peruse the books images before going back to examine the text. As you create a family history book, consider making yours an illustrated book.

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    Wednesday
    Jan212015

    Finding the Title For My Book

    Just about all my book titles have two things in common: there was another “working title” before it and I came up with the final title while in my bed. So often they come to me in the night and even now, I’m not sure why. Perhaps it’s the lack of outer stimulation when my mind is finally quiet enough that the right words have the space to come into my conscious awareness. Whatever it is, it’s developed into a rather mystical habit.

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    Wednesday
    Jan072015

    The Dying Art of Journalism

    As I was applying to colleges this fall, I was one of the few kids that knew his or her major before starting their first year. Or at least I thought I did.

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