Thursday 28 March 2013


“you can, you should, and if you’re brave enough to start, you will.”
Stephen King

“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.” ― Abraham Lincoln

“Get going. Move forward. Aim High. Plan a takeoff. Don't just sit on the runway and hope someone will come along and push the airplane. It simply won't happen. Change your attitude and gain some altitude. Believe me, you'll love it up here.” ― Donald J. Trump

“Minds are like flowers, they only open when the time is right.” ― Stephen Richards

“Thoughts Become Things... Choose The Good Ones!” ― Mike Dooley

“The power behind taking responsibility for your actions lies in putting an end to negative thought patterns. You no longer dwell on what went wrong or focus on whom you are going to blame. You don't waste time building roadblocks to your success. Instead, you are set free and can now focus on succeeding.” ― Lorii Myers

“Think big thoughts but relish small pleasures.” ― H. Jackson Brown Jr.

“To change the world takes time; to change yourself takes courage.” ― R.S. Lowel

“Always strive to aim for the highest peak of the goals in life you have set, this way if you manage to reach even half way toward a goal, landing in the middle is not such a bad place to end up.” ― Victoria Addino

“The same view you look at every day, the same life, can become something brand new by focusing on its gifts rather than the negative aspects. Perspective is your own choice and the best way to shift that perspective is through gratitude, by acknowledging and appreciating the positives.” ― Bronnie Ware

Care to add to the list?

Wednesday 27 March 2013

The Artist Unleashed: THE BENEFITS OF WRITING GROUPS, by Paphos Writers' Group members

The Artist Unleashed posts have moved to a new domain. Please click HERE to read the rest of this post and for the opportunity to comment. Just search for the title of the post in the search bar on the new site.

Monday 25 March 2013

Ever just wanna throw everything away and live like a bum?

... well, a slightly more elaborate bum.

I do.

I want a life outside of the house ... I work from home, I write from home, I market and promote my books and music from home, I play guitar and sing ... at home (yeah like once every six months). I eat, I shit, I cook, I (don't) clean ... at home. I even go outside, at home. Yeah, that doesn't make sense to you, but it does to me.

There's got to be a way I can do everything I need to do away from home. My sanctuary is becoming a prison!

If only I had more money (yes, don't we all wish that.)

Like this:


I wish I could just throw everything I own away. (Well, donate it to somebody.) Buy a laptop with a decent sized screen so I can do my work from anywhere, and live out of a couple of suitcases. But there are these things called spouses and dogs. (Well, I only have one of each.)


Do you ever feel trapped in your own home?

Thursday 21 March 2013

Somebody give me a Xanax ...

Me and my crazy schedule:
  • My novel BITTER LIKE ORANGE PEEL is being considered by an agent. So the impatient fretting must be factored in. You'd be surprised how much time I waste staring at the wall.
  • I'm 2/3 of the way into another novel, called WHITE LADY. And loving it. Literary/Crime/Thriller? Really need to figure out its genre.
  • I'm 1/3 into my second Writing in Nutshell Series craft book called, Adverbs & Clichés in a Nutshell: Demonstrated Transitions from Perfectly Atrocious Adverbs, and Dull as Dishwater Clichés, into Gourmet Descriptions. You can see the first in the series HERE.
  • I'm well on track organizing an anthology called, Indiestructible: Inspiring Stories from the Publishing Jungle, in which many fantastic authors are contributing such as Susan Kaye Quinn, Anne R. Allen, Leigh T. Moore, and many others!
  • Critting the wonderful Matthew MacNish's manuscript, Running From Ruby Ridge. Whisper: It's really fabulous.
  • I have a few interviews to get done ... whoops, I totally just remembered now.
With all that I have my other life. You know, the one that consists of a day job, that can sometimes be a bit stressful with its deadlines. Somewhere in this other life I also have my partner and dog to pay attention too. Most of the time I have no idea where they are. I should start looking in the cupboards. Or maybe it's me that's gone missing. :-P

What's on your plate at the moment?

Hope you all have a great weekend. See ya Monday!

Wednesday 20 March 2013

The Artist Unleashed: WHY DO YOU DO THAT THING YOU DO? by John Davy

The Artist Unleashed posts have moved to a new domain. Please click HERE to read the rest of this post and for the opportunity to comment. Just search for the title of the post in the search bar on the new site.

Monday 18 March 2013

Clean Monday

It's a public holiday today. And I'm busy writing. So I will leave you with a video of what CLEAN MONDAY is all about on the Greek island of Ithaca, where I run the Homeric Writers' Retreat & Workshop every summer ...

Thursday 14 March 2013

And thus begins the censorship phase ...

I knew this day would come.

The day I would realize that I cannot truly be myself online anymore. It is a sad day for me, because I really do my best to be totally open an honest about who I am:
  • I am opinionated.
  • I am blunt.
  • Do I come across as rude sometimes? Maybe I do, but it's not intentional.
  • I stand up for what I believe in.
  • I try to make a positive difference wherever possible.
  • I try to help Indie authors get their name out there.
  • I run a reputable literary magazine so that writers can see their work in print. I want writers to succeed.
  • I organize a writer's retreat in Greece and bring in reputable instructors from abroad.
  • I do everything I possibly can to be active in the writing community, to support others' efforts, and offer advice.

I believe I am a good person.

But I am also human. With human reactions. And feelings that get hurt.

Yesterday, I was verbally abused online. Actually, I've never experienced such a thing in my life. Such heavy anger, such a lashing out, that I believe, was not called for at all.

I said something that someone didn't like. I'm not ashamed of what I said. At all. It wasn't an insult, it was a statement of joy, which as it turns out, wasn't worded properly. Because this person seemed to be offended by it. As a result they totally violated my privacy and publicly announced what I'd said. And to put it nicely, they didn't use very nice words when doing so. :-)

What did I learn?

Everybody reads things differently depending on their own situation. I've also learned, that now that I'm actually getting fans, real fans, not just online friendships, I'm going to need to second think ... every ... single ... thing ... I say.

It makes me sad. Really sad. That it has come to this point.

I no longer feel free here. I feel trapped.

But this is what it is now.
Everything I do and say will be judged.
And I suppose I'm going to have to accept that.

We live and learn, right?

Wednesday 13 March 2013

The Artist Unleashed: DEVELOPING CONTACTS, by L. Diane Wolfe

The Artist Unleashed posts have moved to a new domain. Please click HERE to read the rest of this post and for the opportunity to comment. Just search for the title of the post in the search bar on the new site.

Monday 11 March 2013

Another Amazon BEWARE post.

I'm offline today, but just wanted to quickly let you all know to be very careful about posting examples of the content of your books online. I got an email from KDP today after uploading an updated file for one of my books saying:
During a review of your KDP submission(s), we found content that is widely available on the web. You can do an online search for the content inside your book(s) to discover which sites are offering the content for free. Copyright is important to us – we want to make sure that no author or other copyright holder has their work claimed and sold by anyone else.
To confirm you have publishing rights to and control where you distribute the book(s), please provide all of the following information:
1. The URLs for all websites where this content is published
2. An explanation as to why the content is available online
If the books are in the public domain, please confirm this and include the information you used to make this determination. We may request additional information to confirm the public domain status.
Please respond within 5 days to, and include the title and ID of your books in your reply. If we do not receive the requested documentation, your book will not be made available for sale.

I emailed them with some links that I KNOW of, but if anyone has posted content from my book in a review, for example, I'm not going to know about it. I'm sorta shitting bricks right now. I can't afford for them to take my BESTSELLING book off the market.

So today I will be FRETTING. A LOT.

Please keep your fingers crossed for me that it all works out!!!

Wednesday 6 March 2013

The Artist Unleashed: DON’T UNDERESTIMATE THE UNDERDOG, by Laura Diamond

The Artist Unleashed posts have moved to a new domain. Please click HERE to read the rest of this post and for the opportunity to comment. Just search for the title of the post in the search bar on the new site.

Monday 4 March 2013

Why you should NOT mark newsletters as SPAM. Think before you click. It has consequences.

Lots of authors and artists send out newsletters to fans to let them know about their latest news. Newsletters are usually sent out with a service such as MailChimp. Sometimes people sign up, and either forget that they've signed up, or the author/artist has signed them up on their own. I know that I've signed some people up to my mailing list myself because I converse with them frequently on social media and genuinely think they would be interested (I'm talking about FRIENDS here, not just anyone). And if they're not interested, all they need to do is unsubscribe from the newsletter, and Bob's your uncle, everyone is happy. No dramas.

But ... some people think that it's easier to just mark the newsletter as SPAM so they don't get it anymore. WHOAH! THIS IS NOT GOOD! Seriously, do NOT mark people's newsletters as spam. The consequences suck. Big time. Please legitimately UNSUBSCRIBE from the newsletter by clicking the link at the bottom which says, you guessed it, UNSUBSCRIBE. It's not rocket science.

So why should you not mark newspetters as SPAM?

Here's what it says on the MailChimp website.
"At first, you should take an abuse alert as a "heads up" that people are complaining about your campaigns. We've found that 100% double opt-in lists get about 2-5 abuse reports per 50,000 recipients. If you get more complaints than that, you should be concerned. It's highly recommenced to re-evaluate your email marketing process to prevent further complaints.
You should be very concerned if you see more than a small handful. Once abuse complaints exceed our threshold (1 complaint per thousand (1000) recipients) you will receive a warning notice. If the complaint rate is far beyond that threshold, a suspension notice will arrive in your inbox from our abuse team. They will ask about your list collection process and ask for other details about the health and life of your list. We'll need that information because by then ISPs and anti-spam organizations are threatening to blacklist us unless we explain why your list generated so many complaints. A full investigation will proceed once we have the requested information from you.
Even if you're a legitimate marketer who does everything "by the book" and only uses opt-in lists, you can still get reported for spamming. Basically, when a recipient gets your email and thinks it's spam, or just "junk mail," they can click the little "Report Spam" or "This is spam" button in their email application (even if they signed up for it!) Some people just think the button is an easy way to unsubscribe from your list. Some people are just too lazy to scroll down and click your opt-out link. That's why a couple of complaints are understood, but several gets into sticky territory."
So there you have it. Do not take that SPAM button lightly. Newsletters are not spam, they are not people trying to scam your bank details from you by claiming you've won a million bucks; they are not people saying they're abandoned in the middle of nowhere and could you please wire them some money to get them back home; they are not suspicious standalone URLS; they are not people trying to steal your identity. They are artists, trying to gain exposure.

PS: Those who run the newsletter can also see exactly who makes what actions. So if you mark a newsletter as spam, you are likely going to offend the sender because they will know exactly who you are. :-)

Next time you get a newsletter, think twice before you decide what to click, because that one click may just be the click that gets the sender banned from ever sending out a newsletter again.

NOTE: I'm posting over at Laura Diamond's today for Mental Health Monday. Would love it if you could pop by!