All posts by Sashley

For Writers: Self-Publishing Works!

Not everyone gets published their first try, in fact, J.K. Rowling was rejected nine times before someone would publish her first Harry Potter book. Now, according to New York Times, she has sold over 6.9 million copies. Authors get rejected quite often in their line of work, but that doesn’t stop them. There are other ways to publish a book if the traditional publishing route fails.

Subsidy Publishing

If you want to get your book out there in the market place, this is one of the best ways to use. However, you better make sure you have sufficient funds because the author pays for the binding and editing of the book. But don’t fear! These publishers market, house, and distribute the book. Once the book sells, according to Brighton Publishing Website, the author receives about 20% to 40% of the royalties. This is way more than the Traditional Publishing royalties, which are about 8% to 12%. The author pays for the editing and binding which Traditional Publishing originally would pay for, which is why the author receives more royalties. There’s one important catch. The publisher owns the book until it sells.

Vanity Publishing

The author pays for a lot more here than anywhere else. They pay for the producing, marketing, distributing, warehousing… but not for the editing. The author will have to make sure that their stuff is up to par before they send it out to be published. So if you want to publish in large amounts DON’T use this system! Even though the author receives all of the royalties it isn’t worth it. Not unless you’re rolling with cash. Vanity Publishing is usually used for people who just want to see their book in print. Blurb and Lulu.com provide fantastic service. Just download the system, piece together your book and print as many as you want to pay for.

Self-Publishing

Now days, this type of publishing is best known through iBook and Amazon. Writer’s Digest Shop says that this system is best for authors who have a well-established fan club. These authors pay for all of the services and receive all of the royalties. eBooks have become quite popular for this type of publishing. The cost is relatively low and more people are willing to buy something that’s just as cheap.

Print on Demand

This one is rather similar to Vanity publishing with one exception; the books are produced for a very limited audience. However, you can still use the services like Blurb and Lulu.com. They’ll only print as many books as you wish and they’ll print for anyone. Writer’s Digest Shop says that the company asks for a very cost-effective prices so no worries if you don’t have a lot of money to spend. The books are printed as the orders come in, one at a time.

Don’t give up; there are different ways to self-publish a book. If Erika Leonard, author of Fifty Shades of Grey, can do it, by selling her first book as an eBook, then you can too.

Formatting

Why is formatting important? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s hammered into our heads that we need to learn all of these different formattings when we write our papers for school and for most of us we think: why should I bother? I’m never going to use these ever again in my life! Prepare yourself… here come a big surprise. A lot of researchers, scientists, and many more use these different methods to make their papers clearer for the public. Those who use APA are writer and students in: Social Sciences (Psychology, Linguistics, Sociology, Economics, and Criminology), Business, and Nursing. Those who use MLA are students and writers in various humanities like: English Studies – Language and Literature, Foreign Language and Literatures, Literary Criticism, Comparative Literature, and Cultural Studies. Those who use Chicago Manual formatting for: social science publications and historical journals. Each style has a particular use in each of the different areas. APA is really good because it gives an Abstract, a summary of what the whole paper is about. MLA is a more artistic format, it flows like a story, which is probably why Literature groups like it. The best thing about Chicago Style are the footnotes and endnotes cited at the bottom of the pages and in the bibliography. It helps avoid plagiarism and give insight to what the author wants to say.

For further help on how to format in APA, MLA, or Chicago Style visit Purdue OWL!

Nerites

**In my Creative Writing class we’re required to write for 45 minutes during class. I was giving a prompt to write whatever in the form of a script. What do you think? Tell me in the comments Below!

(Brothers enter a cave covered in old seaweed and rotten fish. The smell is atrocious. The thicker one is holding a map, double-checking that this is the right place)

Ran: (holding nose) That’s nasty! Man I can’t do it, you know I hate the smell of rotting fish.

Tithrone: (nods in agreeance, then takes out a handkerchief to cover face) Come on, let’s go.

Ran: Are you sure this is the right place?

Tithrone: (muffled)                                  Yeah, it has to be somewhere in here, the map so.

(Starts to look around cave for hidden crevasses)

Ran: -sighs dramatically- Bro, we’ve been at this for hours. Can’t we just go home?

Tithrone: You can if you want to, but you’ll never find out what Poseidon left hidden here.

Ran: (grudgingly starts to look around) Why would he leave it in a cave? Poseidon is a water creature.

Tithrone: Exactly, that’s why no one would ever guess.

Ran:                                                                              What are we even looking for?

Tithrone: A button…. Or a removable stone….

(Brothers rummage around)                                                                                                       

Ran: (removes some seaweed off a rotting fish, gas is pushed into the air) (feels as if he’s about to barf) I can’t handle this….

Tithrone:                                Got it! (puts finger behind a stone and it clicks)

(A portion of the cavern wall slides open to reveal a passageway, Tithone slips inside. Reluctantly, Ran follows. The walls are covered with moss and there’s a dripping noise further down the hall. As soon as they step forward, Ran steps on a stone that triggers the stone wall to close behind them. The smell of fish disappears also, replaced by mold)

Ran: Well this isn’t much better.

Tithrone:                              Well at least we’re getting somewhere. (Walks further down the hall)

Ran: (Reluctantly follows) You still haven’t told me what we’re looking for.

Tithrone: There’s a legend that Poseidon loved a neried  named Nerites, but so did Aphrodite. Nerites was a beautiful neried with much skill with horses and ships. He was sought after by many minor gods for his skills. Nerites decided to reject Aphrodite because he and Poseidon had a thing and Anteros was born. Aphrodite was so jealous that she turned him into a shellfish and adopted Anteros, treating him just as well as her son Eros. Poseidon mourned Nerites death and put him in a cave where he could be taken care of in his shell-like state.                                                     

Ran: So Nerites is in here?

Tithrone:                           He supposed to be.

Ran: (getting nervous) Bro, I don’t think we’re supposed to be here… Poseidon will kill us when he finds out that we disturbed his lover’s grave…

Time vs Characters

Time can be worst enemy to writers. The longer the author ignores a character, the flatter the he becomes. For example, I have ignored my character Ran for months on end and when I pick him up again and start writing from his perspective, his personality fluxes. He’s no longer the same person because my writing style has changed and I’ve started to think of him more of facts on a list rather than a real person. Without a round character, the author can’t predict the character’s next moves and write it sufficiently for the audience to understand and relate.

Time and genuinality need to be taken into consideration with characters. Think of them as your friends. Best buddies can guess what the other would like and do, acquaintances can only shoot wildly in the dark or not at all. This is why Time kills characters. The further removed the author is, the harder it’s to come back. The certain character may change due to the author’s writing style, or something may have happened in the author’s life that shows up in the character’s decisions or personality. While these changes may be good, if the changes pop up too often or too much they may jeopardize the plotline of the story and make the character stick out like a dirty thumb. The more time the author spends with the character in Alternate Universes the greater they will come to understand the character whom they are writing. This quality time will help the author’s story and make their quest seem more genuine and realistic.

In other words spend QUALITY TIME with the characters you love and your story will turn out better.

Send Me On My Way

A couple of my friends and I decided to make a short music video to a song by Rusted Roots. We were unsure what to do at first but as soon as we started the ideas kept coming.

Send Me On My Way

Imagination might be all you need to start something new, but if you don’t start creating it whether it be on paper, video, or a recording, you will never truly know how the story ends!

Click on the link and tell me what you think about it!

Pigeonhole Principle

The abstract theory of the Pigeonhole Principle can be very useful in the life of statistics. Knowing that if there’s a limited number of input and that it has to go through a limited number (smaller than the input) of hoops and every hoop has to be filled before the extras can go through, can be helpful, especially when thinking of it in terms of Chemistry.

In Chemistry, after hypothetically combining the atoms with bonds, the student has to distribute the electrons evening so that every atom has eight electrons, including those atoms that share a certain number of electrons. Pigeonholing is used here. The total number of electrons are the pigeons and that every atom has to have eight electrons are the holes. We know that each atom has to be connected by a covalent bond, thus completing the principle that in some order there are atoms sharing electrons. Also within Chemistry the principle of Pigeonholing is used. Within electron configurations, for each energy level, the electrons have to fill up one row spinning one way (i.e. down or up) then fill in what’s left spinning the opposite way. When putting together the electron configuration I don’t know for certain which portion of the configuration has a partner or not but I know that at least one does, especially if the number of electrons for a certain element is in the middle of the periodic table.

The PDF book that I read, Infinity and Beyond by Dr. Kent A Bessey mentioned other theories that go along with the Pigeonhole Principle, such as the Existence and Uniqueness Theorems. I find that these three go hand in hand very well. The Existence Theorem explains that there is a solution to every Pigeonhole problem no matter what the numbers and situations are. The Uniqueness Theorem explains that there is one solution to the situation.

At first I thought the theorems above were annoying and useless. What is the purpose of having a possible solution if you don’t know how to get it or find it? It was not clear until I read a portion of chapter three in Infinity and Beyond. It states, “knowing that a problem has a solution is wonderful, but equally satisfying is knowing there is only one solution” (Bessey 46-53). Strangely enough, this is a thought process that I’ve known all my life. From grade school to the present, knowing that there is a solution to the problem I am solving is wonderful, because I know that I’m not wasting my time. My teacher used it a lot in AP Calculus AB. He would give us the problem and the answer so we could check our work.

The uses of Pigeonholing, and Existence and Uniqueness theorems are used throughout our lives whether it is within Chemistry, some sort of statistics or simply trying to figure out how many people per seat you can fit into your car.

Thought… or Lack of It

Erm… what to write, what to write… Don’t you hate those days where you are ready to start writing up a paper but the moment your fingers stroke the keyboard nothing comes to mind? When you spent the whole day sorting out your feelings for the subject only to be denied it by your subconscious? A variety subjects have the same problem. An artist, for example, sits down to paint and finds her canvas blank after hours of recollection. How do we stop this wall from sheltering our own thoughts from us? How do you begin? Dynamite. Or for those who aren’t allowed explosives, hammers work too. Walls usually fall to these tactics. Mental brick walls need something just as affective. I recommend quotes, song and conversations with friends.

Here is one example of the three:

“You know when sometimes you meet someone so beautiful and then you actually talk to them and five minutes later they’re as dull as a brick? Then there’s other people, when you meet them you think, ‘Not bad. They’re okay.’ And then you get to know them and… and their face just sort of becomes them. Like their personalities written all over it. And they just turn into something so beautiful… Rory is the most beautiful man I have ever met”

-Amy Pond, Doctor Who S06E010

Huge quote I know but some things work perfectly. Now what do you do? Now that you’ve found something to base your thoughts it’s time to investigate it. The main theme I got from the above quote is to: not to judge a book by its cover, that everything is not what it seems, mysterious, and who are things/people really? BAM! We found our thesis! If you combine these supposedly insignificant insights you can find something to base your paper on. But, since I’m mostly a fiction writer this thesis would help define a scene in the story than be the main topic. Thesis are essential in all forms of writing, and can help prevent writer’s cramp.

Thoughts are a peculiar thing. The more you think about it the more you tend to forget. But it you combine outside information with your topic, the easier it will be to write it down quickly and demolish that mental wall.

Senses

Inspecting the world around me, I notice the smallest of things. The contrast of cream colored letters on a jet black keyboard and a brilliant copper coin laying against the top of a mellowed brown desk top. These vibrant colors entice me if I care to give them a glance. Reaching out to feel the articles, my fingers run over smooth, frequently used surfaces. Coldness seeps into my bones as my heat flees into the objects I hold. Can you feel it? The small grooves of the penny in my hand? The subtle rises and falls of each line form the image of Abraham Lincoln on the front of the coin.Sadly, we spend so much time staring at our world that we forget how magnificent everything really is and then we lose our appreciation of it. Such as our eyes. They are complex objects that allow us to see. We pick up fine details every second of every day  and then the information we gather is directed to our brains to sort out. There is where I suppose we discard the details as something ordinary and dull.Through my eyes, ears, mouth, hands I can help you feel the world around you as you inhale words on pages that flutter by. Reading a book is like being  blind and deaf. You can’t tell what’s going on except that the world is moving around you. Until you are told, one way or another, every detail around you, you don’t realize the beauty you could behold.

Musicians know the concept that I am trying to explain. They produce music with such rhythm and beat that they can’t help but prick feeling within you. Adam Young, author of the band Owl City, creates flows of music that gently push your feelings this way and that. By manipulating you through song and lyrics, you feel what he is portraying. Through writing you can do the same if you add details that will blow your reader away.

Don’t be afraid to describe. The longer the description the better the book. It depends on the situation and who the reader is. Description is needed, don’t forget that. Let go of your description juices onto your paper and write away. Convey the feelings you mean to give and your reader will soak it in and imagine what is happening. “There is more to this great adventure than you will ever believe” (To the Sky, Owl City). Let your reader be involved with your adventure with the description you give.

Old Words Long Forgotten

Words flitter though my mind
Ruminating the one I miss.
The pain
Flares within my bosom
To be stroked by the sight of him
Aware that his wish to be with me has gone.
Still
He clouds my mind.
Pricking my ever probing eyes
With glass daggers.
Colleague, Friend
A creature whom to look up to.
Obscure assassin have stolen him
Enticing him to complete obeisance.
The battle for him is over
My rival has won.
Flooded with feeling
Lacking a scheme
I scrounge my mind for something of use.
For lost is he from me.
Wait do I
Looking for a sign.
Tension bites
My smarting muscles.
Waiting for him.
Missing him.
Lost.
Alone.
Forgotten.

Originally written in 2009