Tag Archives: Writing

Sasquatch

Ebook CoverI just published my latest book Sasquatch. Right now, it is available only in the eBook formats from Amazon. For the next 3 days as a free eBook download, so take this opportunity to download it (and tell your friends).

Story Synopsis

When he was a child, Hok’ee had a vision of his guardian animal, Sasquatch. Legend has it, boys who have Sasquatch, as their guardian will grow up to be great men. However, Hok’ee has no social status in his tribe. He lives with his mother as an outcast on the edge of the village. The colour of his skin and the shape of his eyes make him the target of bullies led by his long-time nemesis, Matwau, also known as Three Stones.

His mother tells him that if he is kind to others, Sasquatch will protect him. Hok’ee receives gifts of a knife and a bow from Sasquatch because he is good to others. He falls in love with a young girl, Onida, who has lost her father. To marry her, he must restore the status of his family, by bringing back the scalp of Sasquatch, his one true friend.

Excerpt

Chapter 1

It was my fifth spring. Mother was worried. I had spent the day in bed with a fever. She placed wet furs on my head, as she tried to bring my temperature down, while she waited for the medicine man.

Our wigwam built from spruce poles and birch bark. There were places on the bark where patches of green moss grew. It was warm and dry except when it rained hard in the spring. Water would run down the poles and drip on my head.

In the middle of the night, a creature entered our home. I was lifted up and cradled his arms. Its fur, cooled by the night air, was soothing to my bare skin. It pressed a clay cup to my lips, and in my slumber, I drank a sweet brew. I soon felt better and fell asleep as it rocked me in its arms.

When I woke the next morning, the fever was gone, and my mother was asleep next to my bed. I poked her. “Who was here last night?”

She opened her eyes and smiled. “You mean the medicine man, Hok’ee?”

It was not the face of the village medicine man. For one thing, he had a face with a nose and lips. This being only had two eyes and a thick, dark beard. There was nothing else.

“No, there was someone else here with a hairy face.”

She knelt beside me. “No one else was here last night. You must’ve had a vision of your guardian animal.”

I scratched my head. “A vision?”

“Most children are older and must fast for days in the wilderness to receive their visions.” She placed her hand on my shoulder. “Your guardian will help you find your path in life. What animal did you see?”

It occurred to me. “I don’t know. My guardian spirit was black and covered in fur. It held me and fed me from a cup like a human.”

She swallowed hard. “Sasquatch.”

Where to get your copy

Sasquatch is available as a Kindle eBook at Amazon.

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“The Cable”

Cover (Half)My flash fiction story “The Cable” was published by 101 Words. It is another post-apocalyptic flash fiction piece. I seem to like writing those. 🙂

 

If you got a minute – it is only 101 words long – you can read it at 101words.org.

 

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Kindle Unlimited, Unlocking the Value of Non-Fiction

Introduction

Kindle Unlimited is a new subscription service offered by Amazon. With Kindle Unlimited, customers can read as many books as they like and keep them as long as they want for a monthly subscription fee currently $9.99.

Authors receive a share of a share of the KDP Select Global Fund once a customer reads more than 10%, or a Kindle Owners’ Lending Library customer downloads their book.

What does this mean for the writers of non-fiction? Continue reading

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Converting Rank to Units Sold

Introduction

When authors do market research for their book they often look at similar books to see how they are doing in the market. However, Amazon doesn’t post unit book sales figures. At most, they provide the overall ranking of a book. This blog provides a table that can be used to estimate the daily sales based on a book’s overall rank. Continue reading

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“Neptune”

Cover (Window)

Conrad opened his eyes to a view of a massive blue globe. He jerked back and twisted around in the microgravity. He touched something solid in front of him. A window.

He pushed against the window and turned around. Conrad scanned the small room, no larger than a public bathroom stall, and empty except for an EV spacesuit and door. He studied the view through the window. Neptune, he thought. How did I get here?
Continue reading

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Reaching Your Personal Writing Goals

As an auditor of financial statements and organizational performance for over 30 years and I can say that the people and organisations who make it, plan for their success then follow their plans. I have seen many that fail and almost all either had no plans or had an unworkable plan.

As this year opens, I thought I would share with you a simple strategy for developing a plan for success in 2014.

Setting Your Goal

Start with your end goal in mind. A goal is the specific desired result you wish to achieve over the next 3 or more years. A typical goal for a writer could be one of the following.

  • Within 3 years to publish my novel
  • Within 5 years to be making a living from writing
  • Within 7 years to be a best-selling author

Selecting Your Indicators of Progress

According to Tom Peters, “What gets measured gets done.” Therefore, you need to select indicators to monitor your progress towards your goal.

An indicator is a particular value used to measure activities, outputs or outcomes. Indicators should be a reflection of the things you can reasonably control. Examples of these indicators include the following.

  • Number of words written
  • Number of books sold
  • Dollars of royalties earned

It is important to select indicators that have a logical connection to your goal. If your goal were to finish your novel, words written would be a good indicator, but not if you want to be a best-selling author where you need to focus on book sales. If you what to increase sales of your book, consider adding an indicator regarding your social network such as the size of your mailing list.

Defining Your Objectives

An objective is a one-year measurable milestone, which indicates a change or benefit that you hope to accomplish on your way to achieving your goal. An indicator should follow the objective statement so that you can track your progress. You should have an objective for each of your indicators. Examples of objectives include the following.

  • By the end of the year, I will have written 100,000 words.
  • By the end of the year, I will have submitted my novel.
  • By the end of the year, I will be making an average of 5 cents a word.

Creating Monthly Targets

Ever notice how having a deadline pushes you to get things done. Creating monthly targets will allow you to pace yourself throughout the year and the monthly deadlines will help to keep you on track. Make sure that you consider all factors when setting your targets.

Say your objective is to write 100,000 words and you plan to take August off and to participate in the National Novel Writing Month. Then you need to write 5,000 words a month except for August when you are on holidays and November when you’re going for 50,000.

Checking Reality

Don’t set yourself up for failure before you start. Before committing to your plan, check to ensure that your objectives are within the resources available to you. Consider the following.

  • Your past performance – If you had difficulty reaching 50,000 words this year, you might want to reconsider 100,000 in 2014.
  • Your financial capacity – Can you afford a copy editor and cover designer for your Indie book.
  • Your time – Is there anything on the horizon that will take up more of your time, say …
  • Your health – Will you have to slow down because of an ailment.

Monitoring Yourself

Now that you have a workable writing plan for 2014, all you need to do to reach your goal is to follow your plan. Compare your progress to your targets each month to keep you on track and reach your 2014 objectives and bring you closer to your long-term goals.

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