Thursday, April 26, 2007

Walking through the Trees

The breeze is blowing through the trees
The sun rays filter through the leaves
Birds sing
A deer holds still and lifts his head
Hold real still and wait to see
The fawn peeks out around her legs
Before moving to the edge of the lake to drink
You wait to move not wanting to be
The force to scare them, making them flee
They bound away
Grace and agility there to see
Continue your walk through the woods
Enjoy the peace you should
It’s over too quickly for you to be
Hurrying through life and missing the trees

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Naming your Work

You have been laboring over your writing for days, months and even years but you have finally finished it. Now you have to decide what to name it. You want it to be something classy that will jump up and take people’s notice. Unfortunately, all the good titles have been used. So how do you come up with a title that will grab your readers’ interest, be memorable and fit your story?

The first thing you need to do is brainstorm. Sit down and try and think of as many words or phrases as you can that come into your mind while you are thinking about your book. Make sure you write them all down, no matter how stupid or lame your think they might be. Once you have finished writing them down, look them over again and see if anything else comes to mind. Then take the list and talk to a friend or family member and ask them for help.

Have the friends or family members read through you list and even if they haven’t read your book, have them pick out the words or phrases that jump out at them. This will help you narrow down the field and work on coming up with the phrase that will finish off your work. You also will want to ask them any words or phrases that come to mind for them when they read over your list. They might come up with the word or phrase that is exactly what you are looking for.

You have created your list and had it either embellished or diminished with the help of family and friends, now you need to decide which phrase or word best describe your masterpiece. Which entry on your list jumps out at you? Once you have decided put it aside for a couple of days and then come back to it. If the word still jumps out at you and you still like it that just might be the title you were looking for. Try it out on different people, see if they like it, but ultimately the title of your work comes to you. You have to decide which phrase or word is the title that finishes off your work to perfection.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

How to Write a Press Release

One of the questions you need to ask yourself when you are working on moving your company online is how do I go about creating buzz and continuing the buzz about my company. The answer is press releases; they will help to drive quality traffic to your site and also help to gain exposure. As a communication strategy it is important to distribute press releases on a regular basis to help keep your company in the front view of your consumers.

When you are creating your press release campaign there are a few aspects you need to keep in mind while you are setting down the guidelines your campaign. These include what you are going to include in your press releases, how you are going to create brand awareness and how you are going to get and maintain quality exposure for your company.

Some of the items you need to include in your press releases are the same things you need to include on your website, which include links and keywords. When you are constructing your press release campaign your goal is to create in-bound links to your site. You manage this through creating a press release that is rich in keywords that relate to your site, but you want to be careful to not over saturate your press release. The optimal amount of keywords to incorporate should be two to three words with a primary keyword and two secondary keywords. It is essential to research your keyword selections to make sure your keywords are geared toward your target audience and subject matter.

Brand awareness is important when working on your press release. You can optimize your press releases by utilizing media portals such as and Both websites will help you syndicate your press released to thousands of news outlets. It is imperative to include relevant back links to your landing page as it will provide valuable traffic to your site.

As always when creating anything for your site whether it is press releases, blogs, articles or general content then it is important to maintain consistent content. By having the information flow through the different media channels for your website you will be able to maximize the potential for long-term exposure for your business. It is important to provide a newsworthy and journalistic feel to your press releases as this will provide a professional image to your company. If you provide great content with optimization you should be able to yield good results for your press release campaign.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Soul of Vengeance Excerpt

Okay, let me think about this for a moment, how do I get back to the club. I can figure this out, after all I am male. Xander stood quietly for a moment thinking through his different options. I received an amulet from Mother Nature would that help me? No, that wouldn’t work it is just for protection. Hmmm…what else do I have available? Well I have magick, but it doesn’t work in this area, so first I have to get out of this area. So what else do I have at my disposal that I could use? Suddenly Xander’s thoughts were interrupted by a small voice, “What are you doing? Is it normal for humans to talk to themselves?”
Xander turned too quickly almost falling over his feet in surprise when he heard the voice talking to him. “Who are you,” he demanded, staring in surprise at the small fairy sitting on a blade of grass next to him.
“I am the niece of Queen Laurel,” the faerie replied haughtily. “Who are you?”
“I am Xander, I work for Father Time and his daughter Lexie.”
“Ah, you are the one that broke the Ring.”
Xander flushed in embarrassment. “Unfortunately yes, but I repaired it and even added a fence.”
“Yes you did, but still you destroyed the sacred Ring. Even repaired it isn’t the same, it will never be the same.”
“Everything changes, some for the better.”
“Why are you standing in this field? Don’t you have some place to go?”
“I am trying to get someplace but I do not know how to get there.”
“What, are you such a stupid human that you can’t follow directions?”
“What are you talking about? I am not a stupid human and of course I can follow directions.”
The small faerie rolled her eyes, “Let me make it simple for you, W h a t d i d Q u e e n L a u r e l g i v e y o u?”
Xander thought about it for a moment, “Oh the pendant!”
The faerie looked at him and sighed, “It took you long enough to figure it out.”
“I would have figured it out on my own.”
“Yes, maybe next year.”
Xander narrowed his eyes at the little faerie, “How would you like an extra hand in flying away?”
Xander heard a tinkle of laughter as the faerie flitted out of his reach. “I do not need help, but thank you.”
Xander sighed, “Couldn’t you just go away? Now that you have helped me figure out what to use I have to figure out how to use it.
“No this is too much fun. I can use this around the campfire for the next hundred years.”
Xander looked at her in disbelief, “You wouldn’t?! What am I thinking, yes you would. Listen, I do not have much time, I have to get back to the clubhouse to talk to Father Time and get him back here to help Lexie.”
Xander turned away and concentrated on the pendant trying to get off the ground, when nothing happened he sighed in frustration. He looked around the meadow, there has to be something here that could help me he thought. He smiled to himself when he saw the boulder. Of course why didn’t I think of that sooner? He strode over to the boulder and started climbing it, clamoring to reach the top. The small faerie flitted around watching him in silence, but staying a safe distance away. Once Xander got to the top of the boulder, he took a deep breath, shut his eyes and prayed, “Please help me to fly. Amen.” With out another thought, Xander jumped off of the boulder and tried to picture himself flying. It didn’t work. He hit the ground hard. He lay there for a moment, the breath knocked out of his body. Once he was able to breathe again the pain hit which caused his breath to hitch in his throat. As he was trying to make sure that nothing was broken the silence was interrupted by a soft belly laugh. Xander carefully looked around and saw the faerie sitting on top of the boulder holding her sides, laughing so hard the tears were sliding down her cheeks.
Xander glared in frustration at the faerie as he slowly stood up, “It is not funny. I could have been hurt very badly and you are laughing.”
As the faerie wiped the tears of her cheeks she hiccupped before replying, “Yes it is, I can not believe that you actually thought that by jumping off of the boulder you could fly. The only way you can fly is by thinking about flying through the sky. Jumping off of a boulder is just funny and you couldn’t have been hurt, you weren’t that far off of the ground.”
Xander looked at the faerie, “You mean all I have to do is picture myself flying and I will be able to fly.”
“Of course, it is not like it is difficult. You just think about flying and you fly,” the faerie said with a shrug.
“I can do that,” Xander replied. He stood quietly for a moment picturing himself floating in the air. The next thing he knew he was floating at the treetops. He saw something out of the corner of his and turned his head to see the faerie floating next to him a large smile on her little face.
Xander looked at her in puzzlement, “You are happy I have managed this much.”
“Of course, now I can tell everyone that it is possible to teach an old, stupid human new tricks,” the faerie replied, clapping in delight.
Xander growled at the faerie then decided to just ignore her. Okay he thought to himself, I am floating in the air but how do I move forward? Xander sighed in frustration; I need some sort of air flow. Birds have wings and feathers that is how they are able to fly. Everything that can fly has wings of some sort even airplanes. So maybe if I flap my arms I could fly. Xander only briefly thought of the faerie watching him before he started flapping his arms trying to get some air flow. Nothing happened, so he flapped harder. Still nothing happened. He heard a sigh and looked over at the faerie. “What now,” he demanded.
“I guess it isn’t possible to teach humans new tricks,” she said sadly. “I even told you how to fly and you still can’t, you will just be floating here forever.”
“You did not tell me how to fl…Xander trailed off as he realized that the faerie had told him how to fly; he just didn’t listen to her because she annoyed him.
Xander glared at the faerie before once again picturing himself flying, except this time he pictured himself flying like a bird more than just hanging suspended in mid-air. Xander started zipping through the air, swooping around trying to avoid the trees. It was making him dizzy as they flashed by him so fast that it was a blur. All of a sudden there was a tree directly in front of him; Xander knew that he would not be able to swerve in time to miss it. He closed his eyes in panic as he hit the tree and started sliding down it. Thankfully a branch broke his fall before he hit the ground. He sat there straddling the branch trying to catch his breath again when the faerie flitted over and perched on a branch just out of his reach.
“Do all humans have as hard of a time as you learning something new? You do realize don’t you that you are supposed to avoid hitting large objects?”
Xander narrowed his eyes at her. He replied in a high pitched voice, “I would,” he paused to clear his throat before continuing, “I would recommend that you fly away.” He gingerly dropped down out of the tree, wincing when he hit the ground.
The faerie looked down at him, “Why would I do that, this is much too entertaining? Besides, Queen Laurel and Jane Merlyn told me to keep an eye on you.”
Without saying another word, Xander turned and walked out of the trees. He could see the mountains in the distance; he knew that if he could just get beyond them he would be in the clear, the clubhouse was just on the other side of the mountains. Once he was clear of the trees he once again concentrated on flying and quickly lifted off of the ground heading towards the mountains. He didn’t have to look around him to realize the faerie was following close behind. He continued to head toward the mountain aiming a little higher so he would be able to clear the mountain tops.
The faerie flitted around him opened her mouth and said, “Um, stupid human Xander, you had better…”
“I do not want to hear you faerie, you do not exist to me.”
The faerie smiled to herself in amusement as Xander continued on to the mountains. Oh well I guess I do not have to warn him then, she thought to herself.
Xander continued on his way, getting closer to the mountains. It is getting cooler up here the closer I get to the mountains, it must be the thinner air, he thought to himself. As he relaxed, he started to enjoy the freedom of being able to fly. The view was stupendous as he looked out over the mountains and the valleys below. Off in the distance he saw a group of deer grazing in the lush grasses, there were some fawns venturing out on their own. Circling around the tops of the mountains he saw a family of bald eagles and a few falcons. Looking down upon the lush valleys, he saw where Mother Nature had truly been given free rein. There were different varieties of flowers coating the surface of the valley. Even from the height he was at Xander could identify a few of the varieties. He saw some daffodils, daisies and a couple of wild roses. He was paying such close attention to the valley surface that he didn’t realize how close he had come to the mountains until he looked up and right in from of him was the first peak. He quickly rose above the mountain before continuing toward the ocean.
A few clouds were starting to form now that he was closer to the water and it was making visibility a little difficult and dense. Xander wasn’t paying close attention to the mountains below him as he focused on the clouds above. He did not want to get caught in a lightening storm. He was so engrossed in the clouds that he did not see the volcano in front of him until it was too late. The first moment that he realized that he was flying over a volcano was the blast of hot steam hitting him. He quickly moved upwards to avoid being severely burnt. Unfortunately he flew right into a cloud bank.
“Ow, ow, ow , ow , ow, that stings,” Xander exclaimed.
The faerie looked at him and grinned, “Do you realize you look good with singed eyebrows?”
“What is your name?” Xander asked.
“Why,” the faerie replied suspiciously.
“So I do not have to keep calling you faerie.”
“My name human is Seraphina.”
“Great, now I can let Lexie know how unhelpful you have been.”
“She will be happy that I have been a bother to you, as she always is.”
“Yes, she is. But between her and I, it is friendship. We do not have that. You antagonize to be mean and cruel.”
“No it is not, that is just an added benefit.”
Xander threw his hands up in exasperation, “Why do I bother to argue with women, they all say the same things.”
Xander took a deep breath and started moving forward again and was immediately rewarded with a mouthful of cloud. He started pulling it out of his mouth and spitting to get rid of the last of it, just as he came out of the cloud bank.
“Ah,” he screamed, as in front of him appeared a giant jet plane from the late 20th century. He immediately used his abilities to make the plane disappear. He knew that he wasn’t supposed to but occasionally you had to use magic in dire circumstances and this was one of them. He just hoped the plane ended up back in its own time. He would have to make sure and talk to Father Time when he got back to make sure it did.
The faerie looked at him and said, “You are not supposed to make people that are not from the islands disappear. It is frowned upon.”
“I know, but I didn’t have a choice it was either make the plane disappear or myself permanently.”
“Oh that is right, stupid humans are not immortal.”
“Will you quit calling me stupid?! I am not stupid. You are just a small useless faerie. What have you ever done to help out? Hmmm, let me guess…nothing. It is because you are too little to help with anything. Some one might accidentally step on you and that would be just too bad. Now leave me alone.”
Seraphina flitted over until she was at eye level with Xander. “For your information human, I was the key negotiator for the peace treaty between the Troll Kingdom and the Pixie Brigade. If it had not been for me and my group there would no longer be any Pixies or Trolls. As for your other stupid comment, of course I am small, I am a faerie. As you humans say, duh!” With her words echoing into the wind, Seraphina flitted a safe distance away and hovered in the air glaring at him.
Xander looked at her in amazement for a moment for turning and flying away. She continued to follow him at a distance mumbling under her breath about being a small useless faerie. They continued on for a little while longer before she flew up next to him and with a grin on her face said, “Five.”
Xander turned to look at him, “What do you mean five? I have no idea what you are talking about.”
“You will,” she cryptically replied.
Xander frowned at her in puzzlement before continuing on his way toward the clubhouse. Xander started to look around at the beautiful scenery displayed in front of him. He could smell the ocean on the breeze caressing his face. He glorified in the magnificence of being able to experience the utter tranquility of being able to fly like the eagles soaring around him. He crested the last of the mountain ranges and caught his breath in the brilliance of the ocean crashing against the rocks on the shoreline. Xander glimpsed the clubhouse off in the distance, the only building to be seen as it stood majestically against the coastline. The spray from the waves washing the deck in a sparkle of rainbows as the sunlight reflected off of the water droplets.
As Xander approached the clubhouse, he realized that with being able to learn to fly, he had not had an opportunity to learn to land. It shouldn’t be too hard he thought to himself. I can do this. I will aim for the deck, all it takes is positive thinking. He concentrated on landing gently on the deck of the clubhouse. He realized as he came in to land that he had missed his target and was going to hit the water. Water sprayed in all directions as Xander hit the water and continued to bounce across the surface like a smooth rock being skipped by a child. Xander tried to stop himself, but there wasn’t anything he could grab onto. He skipped once and tried to push his hands into the water to stop himself. He skipped twice and reached for the sea turtle that was swimming next to him. He skipped thrice and tried to drop his legs, but only got wet. He skipped four times and tried to grab the dolphin that thought he was playing with him. He skipped five times and ran into the side of a whale and stopped. Xander grabbed onto the whale as best as he could and tried to get his bearings. He thanked the whale and turned and started swimming toward shore. As he got closer he noticed a small figure sitting on the railing of the deck. After a few moments he was able to make out who it was. He sighed in disgust, it would have to be her. Xander pulled himself up onto the deck and shook himself to get some of the water off of him.
Seraphina turned to him with a grin and said, “I told you, you would hit the water five times.”
Xander glared at her, “That is what you meant, why I aught to…”

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Writing Tips - Finding Ideas

This is a common question that many people ask successful writers. They read their books and wonder why didn’t I come up with that idea. I love it and it seems so easy. The answer is simple, you have two different people in the same setting and one will come up with a book idea and the other will just enjoy the setting. People are different and they come up with different ideas through different methods and at different times. But the easiest way to come up with writing ideas is basic and I will explain it here.

Carry a notebook with you at all times. It can be small and fit into your purse or jacket pocket. You might have it be in the car or even in your back pocket, but it is an essential piece of equipment to have as a writer. This is because you will receive ideas all day long while you are outside and going about your daily life. You could be in the grocery in line and overhear two people talking and from their conversation you could come up with an idea for a book.

We were driving out to Michigan from Nevada and going through the Rocky Mountains I had an idea hit me. Unfortunately because I was driving I couldn’t write it down, but my daughter knows how I get my ideas and as I was talking to her, she started writing the thought process down so that I had it when we stopped. My husband was amazed. He asked how is the world did I come up with that idea while driving through the mountains, but once I explained it to him he understand how it worked. This is a perfect example of how two people can go through the same area and come up with different ideas. He was thinking about how much farther we had to go and I was thinking of a story line.

Another way to come up with different ideas is through books you read and television shows. I was reading a book with my daughter the other day and she was telling me about something she had seen and it brought a book idea into my head. Because my daughter is starting to write also, she understood what I was doing immediately and talked through the idea with me. But even though she is a writer she didn’t think of the same idea I did. It just shows you that two people can view the same thing or in this case read the same thing and come up with radically different ideas.

Coming up with ideas isn’t the hard part of writing. It is taking through ideas that run rapidly through your head and getting them down on paper in a manner that will entice readers to want to continue reading your stories. You will find ideas throughout your daily life, just remember to write them down before they turn into something bizarre and out of control.