Happy New Year: The First-Foot Tradition

by @AnnieDaylon 

 

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According to Scottish and Northern English folklore, the First-Foot is the first person to walk through the door of your home on New Year’s Day.  I became familiar with the concept of the First-Foot through my mother-in-law who, in order to ensure good fortune in the New Year, observes this tradition annually.

Often, the person to be First-Foot is chosen by the householder. It must be a dark-haired male–in our case, my husband– who must arrive bearing the following gifts:

  • a COIN, so that the household experiences financial security;

  • BREAD, so that food be in abundance;

  • SALT, so that life have flavour;

  • COAL, so that the home be filled with warmth;

  • DRINK (usually whiskey) so that good cheer abounds.

Each year, my hubby and I plate these gifts (as above), always making one substitution: matches represent the fuel portion. (Santa never leaves us lumps of coal!)

Here’s hoping you all start 2016 on the right foot!


With best wishes for happiness, health, and prosperity throughout the coming year,
shutterstock_110397353 (2) Happy New Year

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My Write Before Christmas: 2015

by @AnnieDaylon

ALL-ABOARD-with-medallion

My Write Before Christmas: 2015

It’s my Write before Christmas! This year I’m delighted
To blog hop with BRAG for I’ve been invited
To share my tradition of greeting in rhyme
Readers and wordsmiths at holiday time.

Authors work solo but none are alone.
It takes a village, an adage well-known.
With this in mind, herein I’m highlighting
Links and events in this world of writing.

A new writer? The world’s a mysterious place.
Catch a conference! It’s there that you’ll come face-to-face
With writers and editors and agents and such.
Volunteering’s an option if the cost is too much.

Don’t want to travel? Still want to learn?
This Indie group can ease your concern
About writing and publishing and marketing scenes
With FREE online events in 2016.

Love story contests? There’s fun with deadlines!
This>Contest Calendar’s< a favorite of mine.
As is Poets & Writers, a site that makes space
For a Contest and Grants and Awards Database.

Got a post that helps others? Want it retweeted?
@MondayBlogs is a place you’ll be greeted.
Ready to market? Don’t know the score?
Book Marketing Tools has ideas galore.

Having trouble with structure? Can’t seem to outline?
K. M. Weiland has guidelines to help you refine.
Seeking courses or webinars to carry you through?
Writer’s Digest will surely have something for you.

There’s a ton of advice from Elizabeth Craig
Author Media’s the place if tech is a plague
And if you’re afflicted with grammar trouble
Grammar Girl delivers help on the double.

Bestseller Labs has suggestions for selling;
Enovel Authors has info compelling
“How I sold 30 000…” is well-worth the buy
Martin Crosbie’s the author (I wish it were I ! :-))

Do you have a routine? Great tales must be spun
And writers toil daily to get the job done.
(On that note, dear writers who are reading this verse,
If today you’ve not written, go away and WRITE FIRST!)

So here’s to my tweeps, and all Facebook friends,
I’m new to the latter and the fun knows no end.
As for Tea & Critique with friends Fran and Mary,
I always apply their sage commentary.

Here’s to you, readers, on you we rely,
The work’s not complete until you stop by.
Samuel Johnson once said (and I paraphrase herein)
“A reader finishes what a writer begins.”

Thanks, BRAG Medallion and Layered Pages
for bidding me join with your blog hop sages!
Debra Martin‘s site is next on the hop,
she’s there tomorrow, be sure that you stop!

That’s it for this year. Best wishes to you
As 2016 comes into view.
And now, ere December rolls out of sight,
Happy Christmas to all! Have great reads and great writes!

Sardis, Retreat, Christmas 034

My best to you,
Annie Signature Light Blue

 

Goodreads Giveaways: Anticipation and Information

by @AnnieDaylon

First and foremost, many thanks to readers and writers whose support and encouragement made it possible for me to release both a novel and a picture book this year.
As I write this, I am in the middle of Goodreads Giveaway events for both books!
Entry numbers are climbing as is my anticipation of the email announcing the winners. (Dec. 5th entry deadline.)

The Goodreads Giveaway procedure is pretty simple:

First, read:

Your Guide to Giveaways on Goodreads

Then:

  • contact Goodreads if you have any questions (all mine were answered courteously and promptly);

  • select the dates for the Giveaway;

  • fill in the form;

  • await approval from Goodreads (mine came swiftly); 

  • begin promo on FB, Twitter, Linked In, … whatever your social media outlet;

  • either prepare a box labeled Goodreads Giveaway into which you put  books, mailing envelopes, and anything else you wish to send (bookmarks, personal notes,etc.) or await the winner list and send books directly from the printer.  

Something to Consider:
Due to mailing costs, I offered my novel– OF SEA AND SEED— only in Canada, and my picture book– THE MANY-COLORED INVISIBLE HATS OF BRENDA-LOUISE— in both Canada and the United States. But…
After my giveaway was underway, I came across a bit of wisdom from Catherine Ryan Howard who stated that the purpose of giveaways is to increase awareness, and writers should make giveaway prizes available internationally. Mailing costs can be offset by offering fewer copies. (Brilliant, that! Too late for my current giveaway, but perhaps not too late for you!)

So:
After you’ve read the Goodreads Giveaway How-To-Do-It instructions, you might want to jump to the following post in which Catherine Ryan Howard offers, in addition to the above mailing advice, other giveaway  tips that may be of help to you.
Goodreads Giveaways: Don’t Do What You’re Told 🙂

My best to you,
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My Business Name? A Doggone Great One!

by @AnnieDaylon

logo4_300dpi_2.8inches_with_blacktext (2)

www.anniedaylon.com

I am an authorpreneur with a sole proprietorship, i.e. a type of business entity that is owned and run by one natural person. In a sole proprietorship, there is no legal distinction between the owner and the business. In order to acquire this kind of business, one must choose a business name and apply to register it.

So, how did I choose the name McRAC Books?

I remember being hurried and harried when I came up with that as I was on the cusp of publishing my first novel. Concurrently, I was trying to create time to write: we had recently adopted a canine rescue, CoCo, who required mega attention.

The first time I left CoCo –aka Her Highness– alone for twenty minutes so I could write, she chose to chew one of the corners off the couch. (I know you’re laughing! I wasn’t!)

CoCo smiling

CoCo

However, it wasn’t long before that incident morphed from frustrating to funny. Then I experienced a round of nostalgia centered on the early antics of all the dogs we’ve had over the years:

Muffin, the first of three Pomeranians, ate half a box of tiny donuts and showed up looking guilty, his face covered in powdered sugar.

Cindy, our second Pom, was so miffed when we got a third dog that, for three whole months, she hid upstairs, barreling down only when she heard the sound of kibble hitting the bowl.

Rocky, the third Pom, another chewer, gnawed a chunk out of the headboard on our bed.

(Aside: All three Poms loved having their pictures taken and would pose upon request. The photo below was taken in a professional studio; we were in and out in twenty minutes.)

2015-10-17 07.39.59

L-R: Cindy, Muffin, Rocky

Angus, a sweet rescued boxer cross, ripped up a square metre of linoleum. (Okay, the lino needed replacement anyway… and no, he wasn’t too crazy about that raincoat in the picture below.)

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All the memories brought smiles. Loved those little critters! The business name, an homage to Muffin, Cindy, Rocky, Angus, and CoCo, popped into my head:

McRAC 

Next up, I needed an image to complement the business name.

2015-10-17 07.28.03


Inspired by the picture on the left, a gift from my brother, I asked author/designer Michael Hiebert to create a simple logo that 
reflected my love of books and dogs.

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www.anniedaylon.com

 

 I was thrilled with the result. >>

 McRAC Books is definitely a keeper! 🙂

 

Free Short StoryI invite you to join my author journey: subscribe to my newsletter which contains news about books, links to blogs, and occasional fun facts about my beloved island of Newfoundland. Place your first name and email address in the space provided on the right. Rest assured your email address will not be shared for any reason. 

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10 Gratitude Quotes: Happy Thanksgiving, Canada!

by @AnnieDaylon

In honor of Thanksgiving weekend in Canada, I am sharing some of my favorite quotes about gratitude. (Other than the the two Shutterstock images marked, the photos are my own.) Enjoy!

 

Nature's Beauty

 

Cicero Thankful heart

Shutterstock Image

 

Willie Nelson Gratitude

 

Massieu Gratitude

 

Gibran gratitude

 

Colman Gratitude

 

Tolle Gratitude

 

Proust Gratitude

 

Nietzsche gratitude

Shutterstock Image

 

Shakespeare Gratitude

My hubby  took this last pic. That’s yours truly, perched on a picnic table on Pender Island in British Columbia, doing what I love best…communing with the sea. 🙂

Happy Thanksgiving, Canada!

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Pick of the Twitter: July, 2015

Pick of the Twitter 005

Looking for writing/marketing tips? Here are my Top Twitter picks for July, 2015:

  1. Spicing Up a Story With Similes & Metaphors @JodyHedlund

  2. 2 Ways to Make the Most of Your Story’s Climactic Setting  @KMWeiland

  3. Omniscient Point of View– Craft at Write on the River  @Bob_Mayer

  4. Verb Mistakes #9: Past Tense forms of Lay and Lie @MaeveMaddox

  5. The Key to Writing Good Action Scenes (Hint: It’s Not Just the Action)  @KMWeiland

  6. Writing Advice from Joyce Carol Oates  @BuzzFeed via @GalleyCat

  7. Advice for Authors from a Bookseller’s Perspective   via @WriterUnboxed

  8.  Authors, confused about promoting your books on Twitter? Go day by day via @Bkmkting

  9.  TWITTER TIPS for AUTHORS  via @IndieAuthorNews

  10. How to Find an Editor for Your Book: 5 Crucial Questions to Ask  via @thewritelife

  11.  50 Simple Ways to Build Your Platform in 5 Minutes a Day via @WritersDigest

  12. Choosing One Brilliant Idea for Your Business Book  @BookBaby

  13. Top 10 Confused Words in English [G-H]  @MaeveMaddox

  14. Ask a Literary Agent: What Do You Look for in a Query Letter? @thewritelife

  15. Question: what constitutes a book series?  @Janet_Reid

  16. Book Publicity: The Top Ten Things Book Publicists Want Authors to Know by Cindy Ratzlaff @BrandYou

Many thanks to Tweeters and Bloggers alike!

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Writers’ Associations: Of Value to You??

by @AnnieDaylon 

Writers Associations Value


I am a member of three writing associations– the Federation of British Columbia Writers, the Houston Writers Guild, and the Writers’ Alliance of Newfoundland and Labrador–all of which have proved valuable. How? Here are three examples: 

 

 1) At a recent meet up of the Federation of British Columbia Writers, I met up with a very talented artist, Loreena M. Lee who is now preparing illustrations for my upcoming picture book, THE MANY-COLORED INVISIBLE HATS OF BRENDA-LOUISE.

2) I entered my novel, CASTLES IN THE SAND, into a contest at the Houston Writers Guild, won the contest, and have since received the B.R.A.G. medallion for excellence in independent writing for that novel.

3) For most recent manuscript, OF SEA AND SEED, which is set in Newfoundland, I wanted an evaluation by an author/editor who wrote historical fiction in the same setting.  I have worked with editors across Canada and in the United States and am fully aware of the range of cost factors. I found exactly what I needed at a price I could afford through my membership in the Writers’ Alliance of Newfoundland and Labrador.
Members of WANL are entitled to receive a manuscript evaluation at 50% off the actual cost; the Writers Alliance pays the rest. The fees for this service are based on the number of pages in the manuscript. My manuscript is 306 pages long; the total cost, tax included, came in at about six hundred dollars. The cost to me? $300. (My membership costs me twenty-five dollars per year.)
The WANL contract promised a turnaround time of three weeks. It was actually two weeks from the day I agreed to the contract that my evaluation arrived. I received not only a fifteen page, single-spaced anecdotal evaluation but also a full version of the manuscript with Track Changes applied.

The take-away for you? Spend a little time checking out your local or national writing associations. Maybe you are a member of one or two, yet don’t know all of their offerings. You too could benefit from a meet up, a contest, or a professional critique.

Thank you to all of the above writing associations for the services they offer. A special thanks to Alison Dyer, Executive Director of the Writers’ Alliance of Newfoundland and Labrador, and to author/editor Paul Butler for his prompt, detailed, and professional evaluation of my work.

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My best to you,

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Pick of the Twitter: May, 2015

Pick of the Twitter 005

Looking for writing/marketing tips? Here are my Top Twitter picks for May, 2015:

  1. Recently, I watched, then tweeted about SHOWRUNNERS: THE ART OF RUNNING A TV SHOW  (Don’t usually include my own tweets here, but I was blown away by the amount of work these writers do! This show is available on Netflix and is well worth the watch!)

  2.  Wondering how to use Pinterest for author website? Check it out! via @BublishMe

  3.  Writing Different Genres? This is one of many Reasons to Use a Pen Name  by Danielle Hanna

  4. How To Make Your Book Stand Out In A Crowd by Kathleen Boucher via @shareholic @bkmkting

  5. 10 Ways to Promote Your Self-published Book [Infographic] by @chrisrobley via @bookbaby

  6. Chilliwack used book store parody video goes viral – Chilliwack Times  via @BlackPressMedia  @MargaretAtwood

  7. Book Marketing: How to Sign a Book  by Debbie Young @IndieAuthorALLI

  8. Steve Jobs: Do What You Love Motivational Video via @111publishing

  9. Pros And Cons Of Being An Indie Author by Joanna Penn @thecreativepenn

  10. Aspiring writers: Before worrying too much about networking/promo, FINISH WRITING YOUR BOOK by Debbie Ridpath Ohi @inkyelbows

  11. No, Not Anyone Can Write a Good Book  (Patricia Park on Becoming a Writer After Life in the Publishing Biz) via @GalleyCat

  12. James Patterson Gives Tips on How to Kill Off a Character  @GalleyCat

  13. 10 Book Marketing Tips from 2 authors, one traditionally & one indie published. @bkmkting

  14. 4 tips for writing children’s books by Alexa Elheart @bookbaby

  15. Spring Cleaning Your Blog in Ten Easy Steps by Allyn Lewis @allyn_lewis

  16. Want an Unforgettable Protagonist? Your Minor Characters Are the Secret  by @KMWeiland

 Many thanks to Tweeters and Bloggers alike!

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Troubles with Tech? 3 Places to Get Help

by @AnnieDaylon

shutterstock_127171886 I knew nothing about tech three years ago. (See former Technology Woes post.) I have learned a lot, but every now and then, tech woes build and I still long to put my computer out of its misery. Something I’ve noticed while attending online conferences is that I’m not alone: tech issues are common. Something I’ve learned from webinar presenters is that you (calmly) work through the problem.

Sometimes, however, you can’t fix the problems yourself. What follows is a list of three sites where you can get help. I have used only the first of the three but have heard good things about the others.

1) Odesk : “What Kind of Work Can I Get Done?”
“Anything you can do on a computer—from graphic design to software development—can be done on oDesk. Our freelancers can tackle a wide range of projects: Big or small, Short or ongoing,
Individual or team-based.”

I have used Odesk twice, both times successfully. Once you post your job, you will receive applicants and you communicate with them before hiring.  Fees of freelancers range from $4/hr to $50/hr. Note: Posting a Job is FREE.
 

2) Elance  “Hire a talented Freelancer” 
“We’ll help you find and hire the perfect Freelancer, making it easy to grow your business even faster.”

I signed up for Elance for the work I am having done currently, but found a suitable candidate on Odesk first. With Elance, as with Odesk, posting a job is FREE.

3) Fiverr    “What do you need done? Find it on Fiverr”

I am actually waiting for something to crop up to use this one. Apparently, the motto is “anything for five bucks.” Yes, they have a “programming and tech” section. I know  someone who had his email signature designed there (Yes, $5.) I also know someone who hired a violinist to accompany a vocal/ piano arrangement. (Can’t beat $5 for that!)

 

Caveat Emptor: Exercise caution in hiring for tech as in all things. The first time I hired from Odesk, I hit it out of the park. This time, I communicated with three freelancers before I found the right fit. (Thank you to Edward Unger for all his hard work!)

If you have any suggestions for tech help, please share in comments below. Many thanks!

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The Rule of Three in Writing

by @AnnieDaylon

The Rule of Three in WritingHave you noticed the prevalence of threes in writing?

I was reminded of it last week during a beginning course in photography when the instructor explained the rule of thirds in the composition of a picture. Instantly, I thought of creating a blog post about the rule of three in writing (defined by Wikipedia as a principle that suggests that threes are inherently funnier, more satisfying or more effective than other numbers of things.)

When a smattering of research on my part revealed an abundance of readily-available info, I chose to share rather than reinvent. What follows are posts (three, of course) related to the rule of three in the writing of speeches, blogs, and stories.

 

1. How to Use the “Rule of Three” to Create Engaging Content by Brian Clark
“…Think in terms of three when crafting your content, and you’ll likely end up with a more engaging outcome. If at first you don’t succeed, remember—the third time’s the charm…” Read More

2. How to Use the Rule of Three in Your Speeches by Andrew Dlugan 
“The rule of three is powerful speech-writing technique that you should learn, practice, and master.
Using the Rule of Three allows you to express concepts more completely, emphasize your points, and increase the memorability of your message.
That’s the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.What is the rule of three? What are some famous examples? How do you use it in speeches?”  Read More

 3. Omne Trium Perfectum by L.G. Smith
“Omne trium perfectum! No, it’s not an incantation lifted from Harry Potter, but it could be considered a magic spell for crafting effective stories. Literally it means everything that comes in threes is perfect. In writing it is referred to as the Rule of Three.” Read More

Many thanks to bloggers Brian Clark, Andrew Dlugan, and L.G Smith.shutterstock_48236599

My favorite post from above?
As a lover of Latin, I have to tell the the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. The third one’s a charm. 🙂

Latin Textbook Series, Grade 7-11

Amo, amas, amat… From my past: three Latin textbooks that have been in my library for more than three decades.

My best to you,

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