Pick of the Twitter: November, 2014

Pick of the Twitter 005

Looking for writing/marketing tips? Here are my Top Twitter picks for November, 2014:

  1. How To Build A Top-Notch Media Kit by @MMJaye via @mollygreene @BelindaCrawford

  2. The Art of a Distraction Free Life by Courtney Carver @bemorewithless via @elizabethscraig 

  3. 17 Tips: How to Successfully Run Book Giveaways   @111publishing

  4. Rejections Are Part of the Journey by Patricia Sands via @Jess_Alter

  5. What Is #MondayBlogs and Why Should Bloggers Participate? by Rachel Thompson @BadRedheadMedia

  6. Considering Doing a Blog Tour?  by @stephaniebond  via @bkmkting

  7. 5 Rules of Writing From Pixar  via @magic_violinist via @write_practice

  8. Guest Post Strategy: Should You Pitch the Editor Before You Write? @SteveGillman @thewritelife

  9. 10 Blog Post Must-Do’s for Writers | The Book Sales Accelerator @IstanbulPuzzle

  10.  Your Elusive Creative Genius  A TED Talk by Elizabeth Gilbert


Many thanks to Tweeters and Bloggers alike!

Please subscribe to my blog by including your email in the space provided on the upper right.


My best to you,
Annie Signature Light Blue

My NaNoWriMo Experience

by @AnnieDaylon

CASTLES-IN-THE-SAND (2) brag medallion

This week, I am guest blogging on the B.R.A.G. Medallion website. Here’s a snippet:

It’s November and, once again, information about NaNoWriMo is flooding social media. Many writers participate in this annual National Novel Writing Month. Maybe some sit by the wayside, wondering: Is it worth the effort?

I have participated in NaNoWriMo twice. In 2010, I wrote a complete first draft of my novel Castles in the Sand. In 2012, I wrote a complete first draft of my work-in-progress, Of Sea and Seed.

See more here>>>   My NaNoWriMo Experience


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(Thanks, @indiebrag, for invitation to blog!)

My best to you,

Annie Signature Light Blue

Conference Riches, Blue Pencils, and Pitches

by @AnnieDaylon

SIWC 2104 camera 004For the past three years, I have attended the Surrey International Writers Conference as a volunteer. (SIWC: My Volunteer Experience)

This year, because I wished to include Blue Pencil and Pitch sessions, I paid the price of admission (Saturday only.)

My day was rich with many events: riveting keynote speech by Cory Doctorow, an agent/editor insight panel, SiWC Idol panel, Rookie Mistakes workshop, and a Creating Kick-Ass Characters workshop. In addition, I became reacquainted with conference buddies, and met up with author friends.

I’ve been writing for several years now and feel very comfortable  walking into Blue Pencil and Pitch sessions; in fact, on Saturday, I did so without a twinge of anxiety. (It helped that a wonderful post jumped into my Twitter feed on Friday:  How to Rock a Writers Conference. It was a reminder: have a goal, but have fun, too.)

Prescheduled on my agenda were two appointments: one Blue Pencil, one Pitch. Once at the conference, I lined up to sign up for a second session in each (first-come, first-served basis.)

My two Blue Pencil sessions were back-to-back, one at 11:15, the second at 11:30. For my prescheduled session, I chose a writer who was familiar with the Celtic world: I wanted to see if my second chapter, which references the Great Famine, rang true. She was lavish in her support of what I was doing and offered suggestions, such as the addition of a third element, to enhance it.
I lucked out in the line-up-to-sign-up for my second Blue Pencil. My appointment was with a writing professor/accomplished author. I deliberately showed her a different chapter, the opening. Once again, I received great feedback and suggestions ( i.e. use more internal reaction of narrator.) 

After I finished my Blue Pencils, I lined up for a second Pitch session. Not one of the agents I wanted to see was available, but there was one free “now.” I  jumped at the opportunity and switched to ‘pitch’ mode.  After initial introductions, the conversation, paraphrased, was:
Me: “They just offered me this slot and I jumped, without knowing what your area of expertise is.”
Him: “I am looking for stories to turn into screen plays.”
Me: “So you’re looking for another Gone Girl?”
Him (eyes bright): “Do you have that?”
Me: “Nope. Do you mind if I just practice my pitch with you?”
Him: “No problem.”

So I pitched my historical fiction trilogy. He offered advice that would improve my pitch. I listened. During lunch, I received and overheard tips about presenting a pitch. Here’s the rundown:

  • Memorize, don’t read, your pitch.

  • Focus on story.

  • Insert history afterwards  (if, like me, you’re writing historical fiction).

  • Be prepared to say who the comparable writers are (I floundered a bit on this one. Know better now.)

  • Know your word count.

  • Be prepared to answer the question “why are you writing this?”

I incorporated all of the above at my 1:40 session.

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Overall advice? Go with a goal. Be prepared. Be open to everything. Enjoy the opportunity to have professionals offer advice. Be determined to have fun.

My thanks to  all at SiWC, including those amazing volunteers, who made my experience so enjoyable. I left feeling inspired!

Please subscribe to my Author Newsletter by placing your first name and email address in the space provided on the right. Many thanks!

My best to you,

Annie Signature Light Blue


The Thing with Feathers (A Short Story)

by @AnnieDaylon


 I love to enter short story contests (see previous post: Why Enter Story Contests?) In my 2014 goals, I listed that I would enter a few. (One done in January, one in October. Yay!)
I enter to learn, not to win. I enter for the fun and for the feeling of accomplishment that the marathon of the novel does not provide.

Here is an entry that did manage to land second place this year:

The Thing With Feathers*
© Annie Daylon

shutterstock_121881667 woman birdsAirborne at last, after a lifetime of longing.

Bittersweet memories float past, memories of emerging from the womb, hoping to fly, flailing like a nestling, disillusioned by gravity. Childhood slips by in a blur of fairy stories and bluebirds and magic carpets and angels’ wings. Deeds of derring-do slide in: toppling from tree branches, leaping from monkey bars, jumping from a second-floor balcony. Echoes of painful cries ring out as I recall dropping like Icarus to broken bones and harsh reality.

Footfall (not free flight) was to be my transportation.

Grounded, literally, yet one day I fluttered with hope when I spotted a skein of Canada Geese scissoring the sky. Hope is the thing with feathers, Dickinson’s apposite metaphor, instantly flitted in. I stared at my bony arms which were peppered with freckles and wisps of hair, nary a feather in sight. Juxtaposed with tears of frustration was dissolution of hope. Knowing that I could never soar with birds, I shelved the dream and faced the future, determined to live my life to the fullest.

Love tapped on my door and I ushered it in.

Marriage followed and, with it, the free flowing joy of motherhood.

Never planned for divorce, but there it was and there I was.

On my own.


Quickly, so as not to dissolve in a puddle of loneliness, I found a platonic partner with whom I happily shared more than two decades of living expenses, childrearing, and world travels.

Retirement years loomed, yet I, still committed to living large, never gave them, nor money, a thought.

“Save for your golden years,” warned my adult daughter, “else you’ll end up residing in my den.”

“The truth of the matter,” I replied, “is that life is short and I intend to experience all the joys of this earth, and that I will continue to travel until…”

“Until death do you part this mortal coil?” she grinned.

Vibrations shook me momentarily, a cold shiver passing through.

Was it really days later, after a minor surgical procedure, that doctors told me I had mere hours left? X-rays confirmed their diagnosis and soon I was gone, my body cremated, my ashes residing in an urn, in my daughter’s den, just as she had predicted.

Yes, my earthbound life was over and my loving daughter, knowing my deepest desire, chose a blustery day, this very day, to fling my ashes into the wind. Zillions of tiny particles, the remains of me, now sweep through the air like a murmuration of starlings, joyous, soaring, and I, after a lifetime of longing, am airborne at last.



The above story was written in January for an Alphabet Acrostic contest. The opening, “Airborne at last,” was given. The criteria? “Complete your story in 26 sentences, each beginning with words in the sequence of the English alphabet.”

The learning? I have entered this contest before, each time loving the experience of  reading the dictionary to search for words.  (Yes, X is limiting, but there are ways around it.) The fun? Love it! (This particular contest is available annually through The Brucedale Press. The sixteenth annual Alphabet Acrostic contest will be announced sometime this month (October, 2014.) Check their website!

*The Thing with Feathers was first published by The Brucedale Press in The Leaf #34, Spring 2014.

My questions for you: Did you notice as you read the story that I was progressing through the alphabet? If not, did you go back to check? 🙂


(Please subscribe to my blog by including your email in the space provided on the upper right.)

My best to you,

Annie Signature Light Blue

Pick of the Twitter: September, 2014

Pick of the Twitter 005

Looking for writing/marketing tips? Here are my Top Twitter picks for September, 2014:

    1.  27 Places to Get a Book Tour (and the Top Ten) via @WriterUnboxed @selfpubreview

    2.  How Stephen King Teaches Writing  via @theAtlantic @WriterlyTweets

    3.  How to Really Stop Checking Your Email Constantly  via @dailymuse @HughOSmith

    4.  How to Write a Gut-Wrenching Tragic Scene-Thanks to One Surprising Detail!  via @KMWeiland @WriterlyTweets

    5.  Submission Tip Checklist   @ChuckSambuchino via @WritetoSell

    6. Writers: How To Let Go Of The Pressure To Be Perfect  via @writersrelief @elizabethcraig

    7.  The Evolving Role of the Literary Agent by @JaneFriedman via @WritersDigest

    8.  Will Bookstores Sell Your Indie Books? A Case Study @WhereWritersWin

    9. 7 Ancient Archetypes Your Brand Storytelling Should Use  via @BrianHonigman

    10. Attending Conventions and Conferences as an Independent Author @Goblinwriter via @EricStoffle

    11. How to Avoid the Extra Work of Social Media @JaneFriedman

    12. 7 Point-of-View Basics Every Writer Should Know  @JodyHedlund


Many thanks to Tweeters and Bloggers alike!

Please subscribe to my blog by including your email in the space provided on the upper right.

My best to you,

Annie Signature Light Blue

Favorite Quotes about Writing

by @AnnieDaylon

I’m  drawn to quotes about writing. Here are ten of my favorites:

shutterstock_110397353 (2) writing1. “There are three rules for writing the novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.” ~ W. Somerset Maugham

2. “Be obscure clearly.” ~ E. B. White

3. “I do not like to write. I like to have written.”  ~ Gloria Steinem

4. “Writing is easy. All you do is stare at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead.” ~ Gene Fowler

5. “When you take stuff from one writer, it’s plagiarism but when you take it from many writers, it’s research.” ~ Wilson Mizner

6. “Writing is a way of talking without being interrupted.” ~ Jules Renard

 7. “Proofread carefully to see if you any words out.” ~ Author Unknown

 8. “History will be kind to me, for I intend to write it.” ~ Winston Churchill

 9. “I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.” ~ Douglas Adams

10. “If you don’t have the time to read, you don’t have the time or the tools to write.” ~ Stephen King


Got any favorites you think I should add? Please let me know.

Please subscribe to my Author Newsletter by placing your first name and your email address in the space provided on the right.

My best to you,

Annie Signature Light Blue

Bonus quote:  “Strong nouns. Strong verbs. Kick descriptors to the curb.” ~ Me



Pick of the Twitter: August, 2014

Pick of the Twitter 005

Looking for writing/marketing tips? Here are my Top Twitter picks for August, 2014:

  1. The Right Sort (A Short Story on Twitter) by David Mitchell @Sceptre Books

  2.  Nietzsche’s 10 Rules for Writers by Maria Popova  via @brainpickings @WriterlyTweets

  3. How to Get Your Short Stories Published in Lit Mags by Suzannah Windsor Freeman via @WriterUnboxed

  4.   7 Writing/Publishing Resources and How to Use Them @111publishing

  5. Blogging Tips for Authors: How to Generate New Blog Ideas  @chrisrobley @BookBaby

  6. Show, Don’t Tell, How Time Is Passing  @CSLakin (Great post!)

  7.  The Best Literary Hashtags on Twitter by Michele Filgate  via @Salon @HughOSmith  (Love this!)

  8. How I Write 8 Blog Posts a Week While Running 2 Companies by Neil Patel @neilpatel via @BrianHonigman

  9. Elmore Leonard’s 10 Rules of Writing: Annotated by Ron Yates @Jhawker69

  10. Query Question: Getting Requests for Full MS but No Rep  by @Janet_Reid (As always, superb response. Love this blog.)

  11. My Latest Thoughts on Marketing for Writers   @JaneFriedman

  12. 10 Ways to Grow From “Someone Who Writes” Into a Writer by Diane O’Connell @WriteToSell

  13. 10 Ways to Tighten Your Pitch – How’s yours?  by Shari Stauch @WhereWritersWin

  14.  TWITTER TIPS for AUTHORS  @IndieAuthorNews


Many thanks to Tweeters and Bloggers alike!


Please subscribe to my blog by including your email in the space provided on the upper right.

My best to you,

Annie Signature Light Blue

Pick of the Twitter: July, 2014

Pick of the Twitter 005


Looking for writing/marketing tips? Here are my Top Twitter picks for July, 2014:

  1. Getting Things Done: The Art of Workflow Management  by Molly Greene @mollygreene

  2. 16 things to do prior to sending your work out to agents & editors  by Chuck Sambuchino via  @WritersDigest

  3. Top 5 Pet Peeves in Books–Angela Ackerman | Mindy Hardwick’s Blog   via @AngelaAckerman @WriterJoMalby

  4. A day in the life of a Literary Agent by Katie Shea Boutillier via @WomenWriters

  5. Foreshadowing’s #1 Job in Your Story by @KmWeiland

  6. Pitching a Guest Post? 7 Ways to Stand Out in an Editor’s Inbox by Adrienne Erin via @thewritelife

  7. Query Question: Plan B  by Janet Reid @Janet_Reid

  8. 5 Tips to Help Writers Avoid Overwhelm   by C. S. Lakin @CSLakin

  9. What exactly does a Poet Laureate do? by  via @nytimesarts @nationalbook

  10. Tips to help you be successful on a blog tour! by Stephanie Bond @stephaniebond via @bkmkting

  11. 10 Tips to Writing Excellent Book Reviews  via @IndieAuthorNews

  12. 5 Things to Keep In Mind When Writing a Memoir by Diane O’Connell @WriteToSell

  13. A free directory of cover designers, formatters, freelance editors, and more by Elizabeth S. Craig @elizabethscraig

  14. How Many Tweets is Too Many Tweets?   by Jade Furubayashi via @simplymeasured @HughOSmith

  15. A Writer’s Guide to Stop Panicking and Get the Most from a Critique  by Emily Wenstrom @emilywenstrom via @write_practice

  16.  Authors: 11 Ways to Quote Promote Your Book Using Images   by R. J. Adams via @bkmkting @Joelfriedlander

  17. Stephen King’s 20 Tips for Becoming a Frighteningly Good Writer  via @111publishing

  18. 4 Ways Authors Can Reach Readers on Pinterest by Jody Hedlund @JodyHedlund

  19. Dealing with Rejection Letters from Agents & Publishers  by Ron Yates @Jhawker69

  20. So You Want To Make A Living Writing? 13 Great Truths  by Bob Mayer @Bob_Mayer

  21. Using Track Changes to Revise an Outline by Elizabeth S. Craig @elizabethscraig

  22. Manage Your Beta Readers  by Richard Ridley via @CreateSpace


Many thanks to Tweeters and Bloggers alike!

Please subscribe to my blog by including your email in the space provided on the upper right.

My best to you,

Annie Signature Light Blue

12 Opening Lines: What’s the Book Title?

by @AnnieDaylon



If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others:
read a lot and write a lot. ~ 
Stephen King

I do both.

What follows are some of my favorite opening lines.

Can you name the titles of the books?

(See answers below!)

  1. “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.”

  2. “Once upon a time, there was a woman who discovered she had turned into the wrong person.”

  3. “The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there.”

  4. “As a boy, I dreamed of fishing before I went, and went fishing before I caught anything, and knew fishermen before I became one.”

  5. “I was sitting in a taxi, wondering if I had overdressed for the evening, when I looked out the window and saw Mom rooting through a Dumpster.”

  6. “Elspeth died while Robert was standing in front of a vending machine watching tea shoot into a small plastic cup.”

  7. “Riding up the winding road of St. Agnes Cemetery in the back of the rattling old truck, Francis Phelan became aware that the dead, even more than the living, settled down in neighborhoods.”

  8. “My name was Salmon, like the fish; first name, Susie. I was 14 when I was murdered on December 6, 1973.”

  9. “Watch your step. Keep your wits about you; you will need them. This city I am bringing you to is vast and intricate, and you have not been here before.”

  10. “It happens that I am going through a period of great unhappiness and loss just now. All my life I’ve heard people speak of finding themselves in acute pain, bankrupt in spirit and body, but I’ve never understood what they meant.”

  11. “They’re all dead now.”

  12. “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”


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  1. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (1813)
  2. Back When We Were Grownups by Anne Tyler (2001)
  3. The Go-Between by L. P. Hartley (1953)
  4. Lines in the Water by David Adams Richards (1998)
  5. The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls (2005)
  6. Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger (2009)
  7. Ironweed by William Kennedy (1979)
  8. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold (2002)
  9. The Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber (2002)
  10. Unless by Carol Shields (2002)
  11. Fall On Your Knees by Anne-Marie McDonald (1996)
  12. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens (1859)

If you have any favorite opening lines, please share. Would love to read them! Might even read the whole book!

A FREE SHORT STORY for you when you subscribe to my Author Newsletter! Simply put your first name and your email address in the space provided on the upper right.

My best to you,

Annie Signature Light Blue

Pick of the Twitter: June, 2014

Pick of the Twitter 005


Looking for writing/marketing tips? Here are my favs from my June, 2014 Twitter feed:

  1. What the World Looks Like to a Hammer (Understanding Your Character’s Obsession)  by Bret Anthony Johnston @glimmertrain via @JaneFriedman (Superb post!)

  2. 8 Steps For Getting Started on a Writing Career  by Jody Hedlund @JodyHedlund

  3. Mixed Review? Why it’s All Good.  by Therese Walsh via @WriterUnboxed

  4. 5 Ways to Find Blogging Motivation by Amberr Meadows @amberrisme via @CiaraBallintyne

  5. 5 Basic Literary Devices That Will Deepen Your Fiction by S. Alex Martin via @KMWeiland

  6. Tips for Attacking Any Big Project  by Elizabeth Spann Craig @elizabethscraig

  7.  101 Ways to Blog as a Book Author – Updated Again  by John Kremer via @IndieAuthorALLI @K8Tilton

  8. A Critic at Large: BLOCKED (Why do writers stop writing?) by Joan Acocella via @NewYorker

  9.  12 Leadership Traits every Author Needs to Survive & Thrive. by L. Z. Marie @LZMarieAuthor

  10. Political Correctness & Historical Fiction  by Ron Yates

  11. Breaking the “Write What You Know” Rule:  by Alan  Rinzler via @WriteToSell

  12. A Scientific Guide to Hashtags: How Many, Which Ones, and Where to Use Them  by Kevan Lee  @kevanlee via @socialmedia2day

  13. 6 Ways to Outline Your Novel Faster  by Cathy Yardley  @cathyyardley via @KMWeiland

  14. The Four Characteristics of Author Attitude and Why You Need Them by Nina Amir @NinaAmir  via @WriterUnboxed

  15. The 8 Types of Images That Increase the Psychological Impact of Your Content by Alex Turnbull via @copyblogger

  16. Five Thing I Learned When My Publisher Went Under by Kim Curran @KimeCurran

  17. Why Authors Need to Talk to Their Readers by Carole Jelen   @CJelen via @KMWeiland


Many thanks to Tweeters and Bloggers alike!

Please subscribe to my blog by including your email in the space provided on the upper right.

My best to you,

Annie Signature Light Blue