Handwriting: From Tool to Art

by @AnnieDaylon

shutterstock.com

My cursive is cursed!

Recently, when I received a handwritten letter from a friend, I chose to abandon my keyboard and respond in cursive. Alas. My lengthy days on the computer came back to bite me. I found myself hesitating over handwriting’s loops and swirls. I also experienced growing agitation when the deletion of errors resulted in scrawls and scratches. I discarded my first attempt and started again. I had only written a few lines when I paused and questioned my spelling. It actually crossed my mind that the word I was staring at must be accurate: if not, wouldn’t there be a red, squiggly line under it? 🙂 

On the heels of amusement came a streak of sadness.  How computer dependent I have become! Am I losing my ability to hand write?

Years ago, as a teacher, I was on the side of keeping handwriting as a part of the curriculum. Later, as a volunteer at a writers’ conference where it was my job to assist writers with registration, I was appalled at meeting young writers who could barely sign their names. The awkward curl of their fingers around a pen brought to mind images of children—six-year-old students—gripping stubby pencils.

After seven years as an author, one who gets words on the page through typing or voice-activated software, I see things differently. Why would those young writers have been comfortable using pens when such activity was not a part of their daily lives? Handwriting feels awkward even to me and I have a solid background in it. The closest I get to handwriting now (in daily journals, in note-taking, and on science-display storyboards which are awash with colorful, post-it notes) is hand printing. Yes, I can still use handwriting. But would I choose it? No.

And I can foresee a time when no one will.

Still, I wonder at the dependence on technology. My parents’ generation, the greatest generation, the now dying generation, could do darn near anything: fish, hunt, sew, build, design, farm, sow, reap, print, and write in elegant cursive. What if, in some dystopian universe, today’s society loses all its tech assistance?  We would, I believe, have to start from scratch, learning once again to curl our fingers around a pencil.

My hope is that handwriting survives. It is beautiful and personal. I used to think it a valuable tool. Now? I still appreciate its beauty.

But, for me, it has moved from tool to art.

I invite you to join my author journey: subscribe to blog or newsletter or both! The newsletter contains news about books, links to some blogs, and occasional fun facts about my beloved island of Newfoundland. To sign up, simply place the required information in the spaces provided on the right. Rest assured your email address will not be shared for any reason. 

My best to you,eNovel-Round-Logo

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Fun Facts about My Native Newfoundland

by @AnnieDaylon

Canada Map 2

The province of Newfoundland and Labrador is located on the eastern part of Canada; Labrador is on the mainland of Canada and Newfoundland is an island. I was born and raised on Newfoundland’s Avalon Peninsula (south east corner) and I enjoy weaving stories through the history of that area. Here are a few facts:

  1. Newfoundland officially joined Canada in 1949 as the 10th province. Prior to that,  the residents had the opportunity to become part of the United States of America.

  2. Newfoundland equilateral triangle

    When it’s 7 a.m. here in British Columbia, it’s 11:30 a.m. in Newfoundland.

    The island of Newfoundland forms an almost perfect equilateral triangle on a map. Port aux Basques, L’Anse aux Meadows, and St. John’s are all nearly the same distance apart. 

  3. The island of Newfoundland has its very own time zone, one that it does not share with its counterpart, Labrador. Newfoundland time is thirty minutes ahead of Atlantic Standard Time.

  4. St. John’s, the capital city of Newfoundland and Labrador, is the oldest city in North America.

  5. 010309_0775_5614_nslsIn downtown St. John’s, there are many vibrantly-colored Victorian row houses, fondly known as “Jellybean Row.” When people ask how to find Jellybean Row, they are often surprised to learn that no one street has that actual name. Jellybean Row is a nickname for all row houses in that area.

  6. Often, news reports from Newfoundland warn drivers to be on the lookout for moose on the highway.shutterstock_193643531 I have even heard moose referred to as Newfoundland speed bumps. 🙂 It surprised me to learn that moose are not native to Newfoundland. One pair was introduced in 1878 and thought not to have survived. Two more pairs were introduced in 1904. Currently, there are 100 000 moose there, assumed to be descendants of the 1904 pair.

  7. Print

    Argentia, the main setting for OF SEA AND SEED, Book I of my Kerrigan Chronicles series, is one of the two foggiest land areas in the world; the other is Point Reyes, California. Both places have over 200 foggy days a year.

  8. Jerseyside, which is near Argentia, got its name from the large number of people who came from Great Britain’s Channel Islands– Jersey and Guernsey.

  9. Cape Spear, about fifteen km east of St. John’s, is the most easterly point in North America. It is a major tourist attraction and is also home to a WWII bunker.

  10. Screeching-in is a traditional way of welcoming first-time visitors to the province. It consists of a shot of screech (rum), a short recitation, and the kissing of a cod.

  11. April 2012 026

    I took this photo at Harbourside Park in St. Johns, NL. There are two sets of these dog statues in St. John’s. The other is on Signal Hill.    (Sculptor–Luben Boykov)

     Both parts of the province have a dog breed named after them: the Newfoundland dog and the Labrador retriever. (To learn more about the dog statues in the photo on the right, CLICK HERE.)

  12. Memorial University in St. John’s is the largest university in  the Atlantic region (18,000 full and part-time students.) 

  13. The oldest continuous sporting event in North America is the St. John’s regatta held on the first Wednesday of August

  14. Dictionary of NL and Labrador 001 (412x640)Due to unique dialect,  Newfoundland and Labrador has its very own dictionary. (To read former post, “Newfoundland Dialect: Derivation and Appreciation,” CLICK HERE.) The Dictionary of Newfoundland and Labrador, a “unique collection of language and lore” is both informative and fun, an absolute treasure amidst my book collection. For me, it is not only a valued reference for the Newfoundland language, but also, in a rapidly changing world,  a valuable record of that language. 

And there you have it! A few tidbits about my pine clad hills. If you have interesting or fun facts to add, please send them my way!

I invite you to join my author journey: subscribe to blog or newsletter or both! The newsletter contains news about books, links to some blogs, and occasional fun facts about my beloved island of Newfoundland. To sign up, simply place the required information in the spaces provided on the right. Rest assured your email address will not be shared for any reason. 

My best to you and long may your big jib draw,

Annie Signature Light Blue

Canadian Author? Save a Few Bucks!

by @AnnieDaylon 

shutterstock_110397353Are you a busy Canadian author looking to save a few dollars? Read on…

Recently, I came across a post about additional sources of income for Canadian Authors.*** It occurred to me that, with the loonie at a thirteen year low, Canadian authors might be not only seeking more revenue but also searching for ways to keep that revenue in their pockets. Here’s one possibility:

My husband, who teaches business strategies at BCIT, informed me that Canada Post has a Solutions for Small Business Program. Upon consulting the Google gods, I discovered that this program was free to join. Without knowing exactly how it could benefit me, I signed up and printed out my paper membership ID card.

The next day I set off for the post office to mail books (ten picture books and five novels) to winners of my two Goodreads Giveaways. I pulled my paper Solutions for Small Business ID from my wallet and asked if it would be of benefit.  Much to my delight, the clerk nodded and smiled.

How did the membership help? On the picture books, it did not help at all: they fit snugly into 8 X 10 manila envelopes and slid easily through the two centimetre wide mail slot. However, my ‘fat’ novels did not fit through that mail slot and had to be shipped as parcels. On those, I saved between two and three dollars… per book!

As promised, Canada Post delivered my ‘real’ card a few weeks later. I was surprised to discover that they sent me not just one copy, but five. I assume the reason behind that is that most small businesses have a few employees. (I’m sure I will use all five cards once I rocket to the top of Amazon lists and hire myself some staff. 🙂 )

I don’t know what other gems the Solutions for Small Business Program has in store for me, but it will be fun learning. Right now, I know that this program saves money on the cost of shipping.

A dollar saved is a dollar earned!

*** Additional $ources of Revenue for Canadian Authors  via  Indies Unlimited  written by Martin Crosbie, author of the amazing ” How I Sold 30 000 E-books on Amazon’s Kindle.”

I invite you to join my author journey: subscribe to blog or newsletter or both! The newsletter contains news about books, links to some blogs, and occasional fun facts about my beloved island of Newfoundland. To sign up, simply place the required information in the spaces provided on the right. Rest assured your email address will not be shared for any reason. 

My best to youeNovel-Round-Logo

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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,
Annie Signature Light Blue

 

 

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. 

Thursday’s Storm by Darrell Duke: Review and Thank You!

by @AnnieDaylon

 THURSDAY’S STORM

 “The sea stops for nothing.”

That line from Thursday’s Storm jumped at me because it fed right into my new novel, Of Sea and Seed, which is centered around the 1929 Newfoundland tsunami.  My gratitude to Darrell knows no bounds for my work sits squarely on the shoulders of his research: his creative nonfiction account of the nameless hurricane that hit Placentia Bay on August 25, 1927 comes straight from the hearts and souls of the victims’ families.

  Thursday's Storm cover image (519x800)                            Thursday’s Storm
When the crew of the fishing schooner Annie Healy left their home port of Fox Harbour, Placentia Bay, on Wednesday, August 17, 1927, no one could have imagined what fate held in store for them. Times were hard in Newfoundland that year. On shore, wives of the crew were often worked to exhaustion, even more so while their men were at sea. Most had lost parents, siblings, or children to tuberculosis. Each family had at least one tragic story. But when a hurricane struck Placentia Bay on August 25 of that year, a tragedy unlike any they had lived through would unite these people in ways untold. Now, eighty-six years later, the full story of the ill-fated vessel and her crew is told for the first time. The closeness of the crew and their families, and how they worked together to ensure their little community survived, is relived through the memories of children of the crew, stories passed down from their mothers, and reports from the last men to see the schooner afloat.

 

As a native of Placentia, I grabbed this book on Kindle to sneak a glimpse at the lives of those who came before. Then I bought a print copy for my father who remembers the event and the people affected by it.
As an author of a novel set in that era and area, I gobbled up Duke’s details about life at home and on the sea, details that engage the senses and plank the reader down, right there

  • in the kitchen, where “…a round, cast iron pot shivers, its cover clanking like mad from a fit of dancing hot water inside.”

  • in the garden, where one must lift “… the clothesline as high as possible out of the reach of the sheep that think nothing of standing on their hind legs and eating a shirt or pair of pants.”

  • in the fields, where  “Long black rats scurry through the wet grass.”

  • on the wharf, where “Empty barrels for bait are rolled up splintery wooden planks and onto the deck…” and

  • on the schooner, where “Darkness creeps in from every corner of the earth as the Annie Healy cuts through the black water…”

Darrell Duke’s talents are not limited to the written word. He is a musician who first penned this as a song, The Annie Healy; next came a play, and then this book.
Thursday’s Storm is a stirring depiction of lives dependent upon, and devastated by, the sea which (and Darrell said it best) “stops for nothing.

Many thanks, Darrell!

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. 

My best to you,

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Brenda-Louise: From Imagination to Reality

by @AnnieDaylon

Invisible-Hats

The idea for THE MANY-COLORED INVISIBLE HATS OF BRENDA-LOUISE appeared long, long ago and far, far away, sparked by a friend whom I thought could express emotions as easily as one could don a hat. The completed rhyme stayed in a file for years.

Then, one day, at a meetup of the Fraser Valley Branch of the Federation of British Columbia Writers, I met up with author and artist, Loreena M. Lee, who showed a picture book that she had illustrated. I was intrigued. At home later, I visited her website gallery and was enchanted by a portrait she had painted, that of a little girl. I knew then that Loreena was the illustrator for my picture book.

I emailed the rhyme to Loreena and, when she expressed interest, we set up a meeting… and several more. At the first couple of get-togethers, we hammered out a contract; Loreena promised that she could have the work done in four months. With the contract out of the way, Loreena asked questions, telling me that she had to get into my head. Then, she did pencil drawings and awaited my approval before moving on. Sometimes we communicated by e-mail; often I visited. I think it took about ten meetings total.

A TIP FOR WRITERS: Collaborating with an Illustrator?  Own your words, but be flexible.
EXAMPLE 1: Before the illustration was created, in order to facilitate the illustration, I changed “Each box is the shape of its very own hat” to “Some touch the ceiling while others lie flat.”                                                         EXAMPLE 2: After the illustration was created, because the illustrations were wonderfully specific, I changed “rubber hats for rain, straw hats for sun, and party hats for parties…” to “A sou’wester for rain, a straw hat for sun, a cone hat for parties…” 

Near the end of the process, I walked into her home as usual one morning. In preparation for my arrival, Loreena had set out her original watercolor paintings on a love seat. The sight stopped me in my tracks.

IMG_0008

Have you ever watched Extreme Home Makeover shows? If so, you’ll understand what I mean when I say this was a “Move that bus!” moment for me. Freeze-frame magic!

Loreena completed all the work prior to her four-month deadline. From there, I worked with another member of the Federation of BC Writers, Brian Rodda, who, when asked to design and format this book, said, ” I will do it with a song in my heart and a lilt in my step.” (Excellent price too, I must add.) And now, The Many-Colored Invisible Hats of Brenda-Louise is a reality.

Many thanks to Loreena M. Lee, to Brian Rodda, and, of course, to the original, one-and-only Brenda-Louise!

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. 

My best to you,

Annie Signature Light Blue

 

 

 

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.)

Scan0002

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.

logo4_300dpi_.65inches (2)

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. 

My best to you,

Annie Signature Light Blue

 

 

Adding a Map to a Novel? Here’s an Idea…

by @AnnieDaylon

If you are considering adding a map to the front or back matter of a novel, consider this idea …

My upcoming novel, OF SEA AND SEED, is set on the island of Newfoundland, located on the east coast of Canada.

Canada Map

Newfoundland and Labrador shutterstock.com

Newfoundland and Labrador  shutterstock.com

As an avid reader of books with varied geographic settings, I appreciate authors/publishers who include some kind of map to help anchor the story. In order to provide that visual for my readers, I hunted for the perfect image. None available.

I downloaded a map (right) of the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador. From there, I considered drawing, labeling, scanning, uploading… a lot of work.

A simpler solution came when I consulted a friend (author/graphic designer Brian Rodda ) who suggested doing it the way that National Geographic does. He did a pencil demo; I loved it.

The dedication for my novel reads simply: for love of Newfoundland. I decided the map could be placed below it.  The map is not greatly detailed; that is not required. The main areas in the story are shown: the community of Argentia and the city of St. John’s on the Avalon Peninsula, the Burin Peninsula (community not specified in novel,) and the tiny French island of St. Pierre

Print

Having just seen the interior proof of my novel, I can report that Brian successfully mapped out a solution to what was for me a dilemma. Maybe it is one that will work for you too.

Or maybe you have other ideas to share???

My best to you,

Annie Signature Light Blue

 

Pick of the Twitter: August, 2015

Pick of the Twitter 005

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

  1. 7 Tips to Promote Your Book for FREE  via @111publishing

  2. An Updated Guide to the Marketing in the Big 6 Social Networks  via @socialmedia2day

  3. Book Launch Tips for Traditional and Self-Published Authors  @BookBaby

  4. Overwhelmed As An Author? How To Work With Virtual Assistants  @ChrisDucker via @thecreativepenn

  5. How Long Is A Novel? @MaeveMaddox

  6. How to Write Vivid Descriptions by @ChuckSambuchino via @JamesLeeSchmidt

  7. Protagonist and Main Character— Same Person? The Answer May Transform Your Story! @KMWeiland

  8.  “What Should a Novelist Blog About? Do’s and Don’ts for Author-Bloggers”  by @anneallen via @thecreativepenn

  9. How to Self-Publish Your Book on a Budget by @miralsattar

  10. Have you seen our FREE Author Marketing Checklist? Great guide for authors! @bkmkting

  11. Writing Your First Book: 5 Tasks to Focus on Besides Writing: @thewritelife

  12. Broken, Not Bitter. An Author’s Life with Repetitive Strain Injuries  @thecreativepenn

  1. It Only Gets Harder Once You’re Published  by Chuck Wendig

  2. 8 Tips for Writing a Synopsis:  @ceciliaedits via @elizabethscraig

  3. How to Find an Editor as a Self-Published Author via @janeFriedman

  4. Take Your Writing Outdoors: 9 Tips for Successfully Working Outside @thewritelife

  5. Making Bad Things Happen to Good Characters @aliventures

  6. Writing Your Book’s Back-Cover Copy  @JaneFriedman

  7. Basic Formatting of Your Manuscript (Formatting 101) by @JodieRennerEd

Many thanks to Tweeters and Bloggers alike!

A FREE SHORT STORY is yours when you subscribe to my Author Newsletter: simply your first name and email address in the space provided on the upper right. Rest assured that your email address will not be shared. 

My best to you,
Annie Signature Light Blue