Tag Archives: Definitions

Cowboys: Rope, Lasso, Lariat, and More

cowboy with lariatCowboys: Rope, Lasso, Lariat and More

Did you know that the word “lasso” refers to the act of throwing the looped noose at the end of a “lariat”? Lassoing is the actual synonym for roping a cow or a horse.

Some Useful Definitions:

Hoolihan: A particular style of loop used when throwing a rope. The loop is thrown over the head for roping horses. The rope is not swung round and round before it is released, to keep from exciting the animal.

Lariat: A long rope made of braided rawhide, hemp or polyester or nylon. It has a running noose at one end, which is used for catching horses and cattle. The noose (ring) can be tightened by pulling the other end.

Pigging String: A short piece of rope carried on the saddle. Used for tying the back legs and one front leg of an animal so they can’t get up.

Rope Strap: A strap made mainly from leather, with a buckle. It is attached to the pommel of a saddle to attach a rope.

References: Articles on Roping

How to Tie a Quick Release Cattle Rope Knot: http://bit.ly/1F1WIzw

Throwing a Lasso: http://bit.ly/1D9n1EL

How to Tie a Honda Knot in a Lasso or Lariat: http://bit.ly/1KnR5g7

Ropes from Scruggs Farm: http://www.scruggsfarm.com/Ropes.html

Cowboy Personal Gear: http://bit.ly/1u1JgKQ

 

References: Videos on Roping

Pasture roping: http://yhoo.it/1BYRrry

Sundance roping in pasture scene: http://yhoo.it/16eVQeU

Ranch roping: http://yhoo.it/1ECXANz

How to rope cattle with a lasso: http://bit.ly/1u1wgoC

 

By Starla Kaye

Promotion: When is enough, enough?

rubbish-button2Writing a book is hard work, every author knows that. After that grueling process, you need to figure out the whole “promotion” thing. It’s not enough to have the book published in some form and have it listed on one or many of the book selling sites. There is too much competition out there for similar books. You, the author, need to determine how best to Promo, Promo, and then Promo some more.

I’ve been preparing to present a program for a local writers’ organization this weekend on Social Media, in other words learning all about promotion. The task of just learning about it all was daunting. And I quickly realized how many things I’ve been doing wrong or not at all. (heavy sigh here)

The basic elements of an Author’s Promotion Platform should at least include some, in truth, a lot of the following:

  1. Website with a blog, or a blog site
  2. Brief bio to use whenever your name appears online
  3. Press kit
  4. Social media accounts: Facebook fan page, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest
  5. Social book cataloging sites for mix with readers: GoodReads, Shelfari, LibraryThing
  6. E-newsletter
  7. Contributing to other blogs
  8. Public appearances: book signings, speaking engagements, readings, interviews

Does that all seem daunting? Yes. So you need to do the best you can, choose the promotion ways that you can be the most comfortable with. I’m still working on fine-tuning my Author Promotion Platform. At the moment, because I write/publish under three pen names, I have 4 websites, 3 Facebooks, 3 Twitters, Google+, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. Plus I’m loosely on GoodReads and Shelfari.

This promotion stuff takes a lot of time away from actually writing. Carefully consider what works best for you and will allow you to continue your real purpose: writing and selling your work.

Stop by and leave a comment on works best for you…or what doesn’t work for you.

Timeless Love cover-Amazon    CowboyDreamin_highres-1        abigailsearl200X300-72dpi        2940016324050_p0_v1_s260x420         trialbypartnership_full

By Starla Criser

aka Starla Kaye and S.K. Fero

Merchants in Medieval Times

Merchants of one kind of another have been around for many, many years. My heroine, Annabel, in The Great Scottish Devil had grown up being part of a family of traveling tinkers (merchants). When the last of her family died, she intended to keep on with the only life she had known. But the hero, Brodie, naturally had a totally different opinion.

Title:  The Great Scottish Devil

Book Length:  Novel

Publisher:  Blushing Books

Buy Link:  Blushing Books

Buy Link:  Amazon Kindle

Sample Download:  Blushing Books-The Great Scottish Devil

 

Medieval Town Markets and Guilds

  1. It was common for local merchants to set up stalls once a week in the square to market their wares.
  2. Merchants within a city formed associations to protect each other. There were Guilds for bakers, butchers, grocers, millers, smiths, carpenters, weavers, mason, shoemakers, and more.
  3. Merchants who belonged to the guilds had a higher social status.
  4. The Merchant Guild could negotiate with the lord of a land and get the trade levy he charged regulated. The merchants paid an annual payment to the lord who owned the land where the town was based.
  5. Guild members who fell sick were cared for by the guild. Burials were arranged and the guild cared for any orphans.
  6. Guild members provided protection of their horses, wagons, and goods when travelling around.

 

Traveling Merchants/Tinkers

  1. Many local merchants struggled because they couldn’t compete with the selection of merchandise offered by traveling merchants who went from village to village.
  2. They sold food, raw materials, wool from England, furs from Russia, wood from Scandinavia, salt and wine from France, horses from Spain, cloth and tapestries from Flanders, glass from Italy, and silks and spices from Asia.
  3. They were important in establishing and maintaining connections among people in different locations.

Traveling in the middle ages was dangerous and hard. It was uncommon for most people to get beyond 5 miles of where they were born. But people did go on crusades to the Holy Land, Spain, France, Germany, and Poland

Traveling on foot 30 miles would take several days, going about 3 miles an hour. Travelling by horse 30 miles would take 3 days, going about 8 miles an hour.

Sources:

The Town Merchants: http://library.thinkquest.org/10949/fief/medmerchant.html

Merchant Guilds in the Middle Ages: http://www.middle-ages.org.uk/merchant-guilds-in-the-middle-ages.htm

Business and Commerce: http://www.medieval-life.net/commerce.htm

The Medieval Warhorse

Many of us who have read medieval romances or watched movies about that time period have heard about/seen the fierce warhorses ridden by the knights. I have pulled together some information on these powerful horses. Sadly, the original warhorse breed is now extinct, although Clydesdales and Quarter horses are bred today to produce a similar horse.

I lightly referred to such horses in my medieval romances from Blushing Books and Black Velvet Seductions. Here is a sample from The Great Scottish Devil.

He forced his warhorse into a gallop and thundered down the hill. He pulled his sword from the scabbard on his back at the same time he roared, “Stop, thief!”

 

 

Title:  The Great Scottish Devil

Genre:  Medieval Romance, light BDSM elements

Author:  Starla Kaye

Publisher:  Blushing Books

Buy Link:  Blushing Books

Buy Link:  Amazon Kindle

 

A Knight and His Horses

  1. A knight owned several horses used for different duties.
  2. The palfrey was used for general travelling purposes.
  3. The most common type used for battle was called a Destrier and was brought England in 1066. They were bigger and stronger and more expensive. Only the most wealthy knights could afford to have one.

 

Description of a Warhorse

  1. This type of horse had a thick rounded body, a broad back, powerful hind-quarters, and long legs with dense bones.
  2. Generally, a medieval warhorse was black, brown, bag, or gray. They often had long silky, often white, hair on the lower parts of its legs.
  3. These massive animals measured over 24 hands tall.

 

Training a Warhorse

  1. These horses were specially trained for riding in battle or in combating at jousting tournaments.
  2. They were trained to command from a knight’s leg pressure instead of the reins because the knight must hold his shield and his weapons.
  3. They were trained to trample the bodies of fallen enemies.
  4. They were also trained to bite and kick on command.

 

Protection for a Warhorse

  1. Horse armor called barding consisted of rigid pieces of plate armor made of leather and steel.
  2. A warhorse would be fully dressed with armor on the head, neck, body and chest. The head armor often had spike horns.

 

Sources:

Warhorse: http://www.medieval-life-and-times.info/medieval-weapons/warhorse.htm

Horses in the Middle Ages: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horses_in_the_Middle_Ages

Kilts: Going “Commando”

A much often asked question is “What do Scotsmen wear under their kilts?” If you have seen the previews for the upcoming movie Brave, there is a scene with one of the fathers flashing his bare backside to the crowd. The crowd is well…less than impressed. But from what I have found out many modern day Scottish Highlanders don’t wear anything under kilts. Apparently the men like the comfort and sense of freedom in comparison to the restraints when wearing trousers/pants.

The tradition started in the Scottish Highland Regiments and this is when the terms “going regimental” or “going commando” originated. It is documented that Highland clansmen removed their kilts before going into battle. The long tunic/shirt they wore was enough covering. And some even went into battle completely naked.

In my medieval romances (The Great Scottish Devil and Maggie Mine), I used some writer’s choice and Brodie Durward and his clan wore kilts. I went this way rather than following with the more commonly accepted fact that Scottish kilts didn’t actually come about until three centuries later, mainly because readers and movie goers are familiar with this style of dress.

 

Brief History of the Kilt

  1. Pharaohs and warriors in Ancient Egypt wore a piece of pleated linen wrapped around the body at the waist called the shendyt but is often now referred to as a kilt.
  2. The Scottish kilt was first worn as the breacan or belted plaid in the 16th century. Prior to then men went bare-legged, wore short, long-sleeved tunics, and woolen cloaks (brats).
  3. The original feileadh mhor was a utility, plaid garment worn only by Highlanders, made up of 6-8 yards of wool material 2 yards wide.
  4. The large kilt was spread on the ground, then the wearer lay on top of it, and then he folded it round the waist and over the shoulders. A broad leather belt held the kilt in place.
  5. The top part of the material could be used as a wrap to keep out the cold or to carry things like food. Military units used the belted plaid as something like sleeping bags. One plaid would be spread on the ground, four men would lie on top of it, then a fifth man would lie in the center and cover them all with a second plaid. Body heat plus the plaids gave them protection against the cold Highland winds.
  6. Early Scottish kilts were made of white, dull brown, green, or black fabric. Tartan patterns of multicolored plaids came about in the late 1800s.
  7. The smaller kilt, feileadh-beag or philabeg, became popular in the late 17th century. It was basically the bottom half of the great kilt and was loosely gathered into folds and belted at the waist and went to just above the knee.
  8. The tailored kilt, with pleats sewn down, began being worn in the 1790s. This is the style still worn today.
  9. Wearing of the kilt was banned from August 1747 (defeat of Bonnie Prince Charlie in 1745) to 1783 by the British government to suppress Highland identity. During the ban, pipers in the military were legally allowed to wear their regimental tartan kilt.

 

Sources:

Your Kilt.com http://www.your-kilt.com/under-kilts.html

Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kilts

MacGregor MacDuff  http://www.macgregorandmacduff.co.uk/history-of-the-kilt

Authentic Ireland Travel  http://www.authenticireland.com/scottish+kilts

Dress: Tartans & Kilts  http://windsorscottish.com/sc-dress-kilt.php

Addictive Behaviors: Using them with fictional characters

As writers we do all kinds of research for our books: historical aspects, setting details, career information, and so many more types of information. For one particular story, Too Much Red at Christmas Time,  in my new Christmas anthology release from Black Velvet Seductions, Cowboys in Charge, I researched a growing problem in our society: Shopaholism. I hope some of you reading this will recognize this behavior in yourself or in someone who matters to you. These people need your help and understanding.

 

Shopping ‘til you drop – Shopaholism

Many of us go crazy with shopping at Christmas time because we feel pressured. We want to find that “perfect” gift for our loved ones. Or we want to find at least one thing our loved ones will appreciate receiving. Or we just want to find anything for those people on our shopping list. These are the normal feelings we experience, along with relief when we’ve finished with our shopping tasks.

Some people can’t stop shopping. Compulsive shoppers get caught in a vicious cycle of anxiety. They experience endorphin-fuelled highs, euphoria, and excitement while shopping until they literally drop. When they’ve maxed out their credit cards and bought all they can possibly carry, they must stop shopping…for the moment.

Often these shopaholics buy things they don’t need or really want, including seriously over-buying gifts for others. Guilt quickly replaces the “high” they experienced while shopping. They find it difficult or impossible to face their spouse or significant other with what they have done and with all they have purchased. This guilt leads to secretive behavior. Those unnecessary purchases get hidden away in some manner.

Hidden away or not, these unnecessary purchases have already caused a problem in the compulsive shopper’s life. As the guilt weighs heavily on the person, it triggers the emotional problems forcing them to out and shop. Debt has been increased, often to serious financial instability. And trying to keep all of the shopping and hiding of purchases takes a big toll on relationships with others.

Why does someone compulsively shop? It isn’t known for certain what triggers the behavior, but there are various suspect causes. Some people experience a strong need to feel special and somehow shopping satisfies that, temporarily. Some people shop to combat loneliness, depression, or anger. Some people believe that shopping will somehow change them for the better. There is also a belief that the behavior can have roots in early experience such as an emotionally deprived child or teenager unconsciously replacing what they need with objects.

What are common results of compulsively shopping? This kind of shopper will start changing their shopping habits. Instead of shopping with others, they will shop in secret. Personal or family debt increases, and sometimes these shopaholics will have secret credit card accounts. And relationships with family members, friends, and at work become strained.

What are signs for family members or friends to watch out for in shopaholic behavior?

  • Spending well beyond the budget
  • Compulsive buying of more than one particular item, buying three or more of the item
  • Heavily shopping at more than just Christmas time, and way too much at Christmas time
  • Hiding purchases
  • Having secret credit card accounts
  • Emotionally and physically isolating themselves from others

Research shows that approximately 6% of the United States population suffers from shopping addiction. Of the compulsive shoppers, 80% are female, and the behavior usually begins in the late teen years/early 20’s.

Links for more on the subject:

Oniomania–http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oniomania

How Can I Manage Compulsive Shopping —http://www.indiana.edu/~engs/hints/shop.html

What Is Shopping Addiction? —http://addictions.about.com/od/lesserknownaddictions/a/shoppingadd.htm

Shopping Spree, or Addiction? —http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/features/shopping-spree-addiction

How to Manage Shopaholism–http://helishopter.com/a/shopaholism

 

EXCERPT: Too Much Red at Christmas Time

(NOTE: These are specific examples from the story that tie in with the compulsive shopping behavior mentioned above.)

I will not buy this for Trent. I will not get him one more present. I won’t. I mean it. I won’t.

Lizzie Morgan heaved a sigh so deep it came up from her toes. She stood in the men’s area of Patterson’s Department Store, Christmas music played overhead, last minute shoppers milled around as they searched for gifts they should have bought before the stock was so picked over. She didn’t need to be here, but she had this bizarre addiction to Christmas shopping. She couldn’t stop.

But you need to stop. Now. Forget these gloves. Just walk away.

She glanced at her best friend Suzy for support in her decision. “I shouldn’t buy these. Right?”

Suzy shook her head, her chin-length blond hair shining under the fluorescent lighting. “Absolutely not. Trent warned you not to charge anything else. His stern command when we left your house is still ringing in my ears.” Her forehead pinched and she sighed in resignation. “But you’re going to buy those gloves anyway.”

“They’ll keep his hands nice and toasty this winter.” Lizzie studied the fine leather gloves with rabbit fur lining. She reached onto the counter and ran her fingers over the inside of one glove. “It’s so soft.”

“They’re not gloves for doing ranch work and that’s all he does.” She studied the gloves, frowned. “Trent won’t appreciate this gift nearly as much as you do.” Ever the logical, responsible one in their friendship, Suzy attempted to pull the gloves away.

******

She had to understand that he wouldn’t keep letting her get by with spending them into bankruptcy. He’d talked about this too many times already. She’d sworn she understood. But obviously she didn’t – or at least her understanding didn’t change her behavior .

“I don’t know how to make this clear to you. You tell me one thing—promise me—and then go out shopping again. Like we hadn’t even discussed the subject.”

“I don’t even like going shopping that much. But I…I just have to.”

She just had to? She felt compelled to shop? Her emotions were driving her to do this?

“Tell me honestly, Lizzie. Do you have stashes of things you’ve bought? Besides these Christmas gifts? Things you didn’t want me to know about?” He had a bad feeling about this now.

For a second he didn’t think she would answer him and then her head bobbed. “Yes,” she whispered. “I’m so sorry.”

His gut tightened as he recognized real remorse, her embarrassed guilt.

 

BOOK INFO

Title: Cowboys in Charge

Genre:  Contemporary, Erotic Romance

Publisher:  Black Velvet Seductions

Publisher Buy Link:  Cowboys in Charge

Buy Link- All Romance Ebooks: Cowboys in Charge

Amazon Buy Link: Cowboys in Charge

Give me an “A,” give me a “L,” give me a “PHA”…ALPHA male

Am I really cheerleading…about Alpha males? Well…kind of.

What is an Alpha Male? He’s a man with a serious overload of testosterone. In fiction, he’s bigger than life. The Alpha male in a story generally controls the momentum, driving the story forward. In a romance, he drives the story, too, sometimes reluctantly, and sometimes with determination. He shows passion everywhere…in his work, in his life, and definitely in the romance. He might be a take charge man and others wary of him at times, but he is won over by a woman he can’t help but love. She brings the mighty man to his knees and, at the same time, he recognizes her goodness and worth. He will protect her however necessary until his dying breath.

 

 

Alpha Male Physical Traits

  • Moves and stands in ways that show he expects to get what he wants, appears taller than others
  • Consciously uses his body posture to show signs of dominance: standing or sitting erect with chest out, holding head up, keeping arms relaxed.
  • Stands with hands on hips, elbows to his sides
  • While sitting, will put hands behind his head, put his feet on the desk, will remove eye glasses
  • Moves slowly and deliberately to indicate self-confidence and determination.
  • Maintains eye contact during interactions

Common Alpha Male Behavioral Traits

  • Asks forgiveness, not permission
  • Communicates in a clear, straight forward manner with confidence and calmness
  • Directs and control conversations, steering the conversation without resistance
  • Asks questions and expects a response
  • Takes a long pause before answering a door knock or phone call, or before replying to someone
  • Aggressive and dynamic, does what needs to be done
  • Respectful of others who follow his direction
  • Others look to him for advice, help with problems, and listen to what he says.
  • Leads and take responsibility for others
  • Tackles problems and sees them resolved
  • Confident in his ability to overcome challenges and any obstacle
  • Keeps focused on his goal until the goal is achieved
  • If he makes a commitment, he keeps it
  • Does what is right, even if he gets hurt in the process
  • Touches others, but others don’t freely touch him back
  • Will stare at others and demand their attention
  • Never breaks eye contact first
  • Occupies a bigger personal space on purpose
  • Doesn’t sit around talking about his feelings
  • Not superficially emotional
  • Doesn’t wear his heart on his sleeve
  • Brought to his knees by the love of a woman
  • Will protect someone he feels strongly about with his dying breath
  • Faces his fears head-on
  • Can cause great personal and family problems, takes his problems home with him

Types of Alpha Males

  • Strategist: rational and logical, receives bursts of inspiration, tends to speak down to others, not sensitive to others or perceptive to emotions
  • Executor: master of accountability, but doesn’t delegate well; micro manager
  • Commander: most likely to become angry, strongly competitive
  • Visionary: has big dreams that may seem unrealistic, has conflicts with pragmatists

 

Men I See as Alpha Males

Increasing Your Google Rankings With SEO

Continuing on with ways to promote you the writer and your works, now I want to talk here on my website about increasing your Google rankings with SEO.

There is very little as important as having the search engines like google, yahoo, and msn being able to locate your website and your blog posts using good SEO. Your goal should be that they not only be able to find you and your books/articles or whatever, but that a person searching can find your information easily.

There are many tips of using the correct keywords for these searches. I have tried to create a simple to understand article with the basic definitions and some tips. Please check out the article “Increasing Your Google Rankings with SEO” in my Writing Tools area.

WEDNESDAYS WITH STARLA KAYE: Common Errors in Writers’ Work — MM the Queen of English

Allow me to share my EXCITING NEWS before I get to those common errors. Laurie Sanders of Black Velvet Seductions and I are in discussions about turning my workshops into books. At present, we are determining how best to translate them to book form. IF BVS publishes the workshops in book form, they will be available in Kindle format, e-book format, and paperback format.

The books will expand upon the material covered in the workshops with more examples and more check-yourself exercises (homework) with answers supplied. Even if you took the workshop, you’ll want the book because of the new additions.

Visit the queen’s blog often at The Queen of English ‘s Blog http://queenofenglish.wordpress.com for the latest info concerning this exciting new development.

Now, on with those common errors —

As a line editor for Black Velvet Seductions, I have read many entertaining and thought-provoking stories over the past year. I have also found some common mistakes in punctuation, grammar, and usage in these manuscripts. I’ll share the two most common errors with you – mixing up its and it’s, and joining the parts of a compound sentence with only a comma – an error called a comma splice.

Before I end the confusion surrounding these mistakes, I have a question for you readers: Workshop or book? Which would you rather do – attend a workshop or buy a book with the same info as in the workshop? I’m considering publishing my most popular workshops as books. I’d really like everyone to give me an opinion. One lucky person who leaves a comment will receive July’s workshop free. You have until this coming Friday to leave your comment. Good luck. Remember if you don’t comment, you can’t win!!!

On with these pesky mistakes–

its and it’s

I really think that some writers say to themselves when it comes to apostrophe use, “Eenie, meenie, miny mo, where does this apostrophe go?”

Its is a possessive pronoun – Possessive pronouns do NOT use an apostrophe to show ownership.

The puppy hurt its paw.

My little brother hurt his hand.

My big sister hurt her hand.

My mom and dad hurt their hands.

Did you hurt your hand?

 

No apostrophes anywhere!!! Possessive pronouns don’t use an apostrophe. Repeat that ten times. I’ll count –

One

Two

Three

Four

Five – don’t stop now. You have only five more to go.

Six

Seven

Eight

Nine

Ten  — Great job

It’s is a contraction for it is. A letter is left out. When we leave out letters, we use an apostrophe to take the place of these left-out letters. Other contractions are

you’re – you are

they’re – they are

we’ll — we will

she’d – she had or she would

See the apostrophe in each of the words in the list above? Apostrophes are there because a letter or letters have been left out.

 

Comma splice – This error is the one that really tips my tiara. Here’s an example of the ERROR:

Jody walked to the door and knocked, no one answered.

Commas separate; they do not join. Remember that and I hope you won’t make this mistake.

 

Repeat ten times – Commas separate; they do not join. I’ll wait.

Finished – great!

Let me explain some English terms before I show you how to correct comma splices.

Did I hear a groan? I promise the explanation will be painless.

Compound sentence – Two main ideas joined by a comma and a coordinating conjunction

Coordinating conjunctions – for, and, neither, but, or, yet, so — FANBOYS

The problem is deciding if you have a compound sentence or simply compound parts of a sentence. Let’s look at our sentence again. Jody walked to the door and knocked, no one answered.

Ask yourself – How many ideas are there? Can each stand alone – is a complete idea?

Jody walked to the door and knocked. Makes sense.

No one answered. Makes sense. So the answer to our question is YES. Each main idea can stand by itself. In this case, that comma needs a coordinating conjunction following it.

There are three ways to correct a comma splice.

  1. Add a coordinating conjunction AFTER the comma.

Jody walked to the door and knocked, but no one answered.

  1. Change the comma to a semi-colon.

Jody walked to the door and knocked; no one answered.

  1. Break the compound sentence into two simple sentences.

Jody walked to the door and knocked. No one answered.

Now I can hear you asking, “Most marvelous Queen, why didn’t you add a comma after door? And is a coordinating conjunction.”

Yes, you are right about and. Let’s look at the first part of that sentence again. Jody walked to the door and knocked – check to the right and to the left of and for a subject and a verb. Subjects do the action of verbs. Here Jody walked – subject –verb.

and knocked – no subject, only a verb. In this case, we have compound verbs, but we don’t have compound sentences – no comma after door.

I hope I have helped clear up the confusion of its and it’s and comma splices. If you are punctuation-challenged, visit my blog – http://queenofenglish.wordpress.com – for more of the Queen’s tidbits of wisdom.  Even if you’re not punctuation-challenged, visit anyway!

You also might want to consider taking a workshop with the Queen. July’s workshop is CREATING AGREEMENT BETWEEN SUBJECTS AND VERBS AND BETWEEN PRONOUNS AND THEIR ANTECEDENTS.  You will find more info on my blog http://queenofenglish.wordpress.com.

I will present a week-long workshop PUNCTUATING YOUR WAY TO A CONTRACT beginning August 1, 2011, on Savvy Authors —http://www.savvyauthors.com/vb/showevent.php?eventid=812 .

I will present a month-long workshop PASSIVE WRITING: DO YOU REALLY WANT TO SEND YOUR READER INTO A COMA? beginning September 1, 2011, on Writers Online Classes — http://www.writersonlineclasses.com/?page_id=592.

If you have a suggestion for a workshop, please e-mail it to me at [email protected].  I offer workshops on many different topics related to English and writing mechanics. Watch for announcements of future workshops on my blog at http://queenofenglish.wordpress.com .

Thank you again, Starla, for allowing me to take over your blog for a day. To all you readers, remember if you don’t comment, you can’t win a free workshop with the Queen.

MM the Queen of English

 

PROMOTION: Social Media for Writers

A big part of the promotional efforts for a writer is communication…anywhere and everywhere.

The days of sending out letters to your friends, family, and current reader-base announcing your latest release are long gone. Today it is all about making the most of social media: Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, LinkedIn, Yahoo Group loops, and any place else you can think of.

Creating a Facebook Fan Page or a Twitter account are free, other than your time involved. But these are essential in today’s market for a writer.

My article this time, Social Media for Writers: Facebook and Twitter, is a quick summary of the topic. I have also provided some very useful links.

PROMOTION: Promoting yourself as a professional writer in a bio

Another item of great importance for a writer is the creation of a number of professional bios. Even a first time writer needs to have several bios prepared and ready to go.

A bio is more than just the rattling off of who you are, what you write, and whatever credentials you might have. Those things are all important, of course. But various audiences for your bio are interested in reading different aspects about the writer.

My article Writing an Author’s Professional Bio should be carefully read by authors, particularly authors just getting started in the process of promoting themselves. I have provided examples using my own various bios.

PROMOTION: Making your email signature work for you

What is your easiest way to promote yourself as a writer, including your work(s)? By using your email signature.

In today’s world we communicate via email. Of course many of us still make phone calls and text, too. But the common way we communicate with friends and family, our readers, our agents, our editors, and our publishers is via email. Your signature is an important way to reveal information about you. It is the cheapest form of promotion you can find. Use it well.

This time my article is on The Art of a Writer’s Email Signature. Be sure to read this article and check out the number of links on how-to’s for creating email signatures.