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    Saturday
    Apr042015

    3 Ways Poems Will Improve Your Writing

    A friend recently asked me when I started writing poetry. Two words: junior high. Isn’t that when most people start writing poems? That moment in childhood when emotional angst is at its sharpest? It’s not what I would have chosen as my writing specialty but twenty-three years later, I’ve realized what a gift it is and I’m still at it I understand that poetry is not everyone’s cup of tea but here is the thing. Writing poetry, whether it is your passion or not, can greatly help all of your other writing by making it stronger and more colorful. Though I am sure there are more, here are three ways learning to write good poetry will help you be a better writer.

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    Thursday
    Apr022015

    Broaden Your Genealogy Horizons With DNA Testing

    More and more genealogists are looking to DNA testing to open new avenues of research into their family histories. Stories To Tell's Sarah Hoggatt recently decided to take the plunge. She outlines what she learned about DNA testing providers and how she ultimately chose the provider she would use.

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    Monday
    Mar302015

    Write a Book Proposal Before Self-Publishing Your Book

    Why would an author who is self-publishing want to write a book proposal? Aren’t book proposals the tools authors use when seeking an agent or an acquisitions editor at a traditional publishing house to guide their book into print? Self-publishing eliminates those gatekeepers. Before we dismiss the need for a self-publishing author to write a book proposal, let’s take a moment to think about what a proposal is and why a self-publishing author might benefit from writing one.

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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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