Winter’s Night by Jimmie Aaron Kepler

 

Winter’s Night

The night came earlier
During those cold winter days
A full moon in the sky
Seen through a metropolitan haze

The morning comes late
As the night lingers on
Before the day’s dawn
The winter’s night is long

A star-filled sky
After the full moon goes
Twinkles announce a million worlds afar
And here we are, but do they know?

And I wish the night would never end
Yes, I wish the night would never end

Written by
Jimmie Aaron Kepler
January 2017

Note: I wrote the poem during December 2016 and January 2017

Photo Source: Pixaby

 

How’s It Going?

As I write today’s blog post, it is Sunday, January 7, 2018. Week one of 2018 is behind me.

What I Did Last Week

During week one of 2018, I worked on five items. Three were writing. One was research. One was personal enrichment.

Writing

I worked on the first draft of a nonfiction book with the working title “In Jesus’ Name.” It is book two in a series of books of prayers for the chronically ill. My word count for the week was 1,077. I wrote the first draft on days one through seven.

I worked on the first draft a literary fiction book with the working title of “Someday.” I completed chapter 8 and am into the first scene of chapter 9. I have 27,385 words written. This week I wrote 1,667 words.

I wrote this blog. It was 610 words. That gives me a total word count for the week of 3,363 words.

Reading

I am reading two books.  The first book is “Write His Answer” by Marlene Bagnull.  The book is a practical help and encouragement for overcoming self-doubts, writer’s block, rejection, procrastination, and more with Scriptures to study, questions to apply the message to your life, and space to write your response. I read a chapter a day, completing seven chapters this week.

The second book I am reading is fiction.  It is Not Perfect: A Novel by Elizabeth LaBan.  I read chapter one and am hooked.

“Not Perfect’s” book’s blurb says it all,

“Tabitha Brewer wakes up one morning to find her husband gone, leaving her no way to support herself and their two children, never mind their upscale Philadelphia lifestyle. She’d confess her situation to her friends—if it wasn’t for those dreadful words of warning in his goodbye note: ‘I’ll tell them what you did.’ Instead, she does her best to keep up appearances, even as months pass and she can barely put food on the table—much less replace a light bulb. While she looks for a job, she lives in fear that someone will see her stuffing toilet paper into her handbag or pinching basil from a neighbor’s window box.”   

The book officially comes out February 1, 2018, but is now available on Amazon. I obtained the book through Amazon’s first reads program. It is doing very well as of 1/7/2018 at 8 AM.

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4 Paid in Kindle Store

  • #1 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Women’s Fiction > Humor
  • #1 in Books > Literature & Fiction > Humor & Satire > Humorous
  • #1 in Books > Literature & Fiction > Literary

Research/Continuing Education

My agenda this week had me listening to Joanna Penn’s, The Creative Penn Podcast. I listened to Episode #356 – Thoughts and Goals for a Creative 2018 with Joanna Penn. I also went through a short course titled, “Step By Step Tutorial: How To Build Your Own Self-Hosted Author Website In 30 Minutes.” I have an author website at jimmiekepler.com but am looking at improving and doing a better job of monetizing the website.

I am trying to build a long-term career as a writer not trying to be a one-book wonder. It takes work. I work at it every day, every week. I manage to do this in spite of having a spouse battling cancer and recovering from the removal of a brain tumor. She is currently on medical leave of absence. I drove her to three medical appointments last week as well as did the shopping, cooking, laundry, dishes and all the stuff we all deal with. If you want to write, write. You are your biggest obstacle.

Photo Credit and Source: Pixaby. CCO Creative Commons, Free for commercial use, No attribution required.   https://pixabay.com/en/sentiment-quote-sign-poster-998339/

7 Habits of Effective Writers

Author Carl Sandburg’s Office. He won three Pulitzer Prizes: Pulitzer Prizes: two for his poetry and one for his biography of Abraham Lincoln. US Government Public Domain Photo. Source: https://ridb.recreation.gov/images/80329.jpg

In 1989 the book “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey was published. I am using the idea to apply it to writers. Hence the title, “7 Habits of Effective Writers.”

The best place to start is at the beginning.

Habit One

Start.  You have to put your behind in a seat and begin to write.

Habit Two

Be consistent. I am not saying do it every day. I am saying write on a regular basis.

Habit Three

Have a positive outlook.  Walt Disney was credited with saying, “Think you can think you can’t, either way, you are right.” You need to believe you can and do the work.

Habit Four

Be committed for the long haul. It takes some time to write a story. One book wonders are the exception, not the rule. You can make a living as a writer, but it takes time and hard work.

Habit Five

Be willing to pay the price. When you pay the price in time, money and effort the price you paid is spent investing in yourself.

Habit Six

Never stop learning. You learn by attending conferences. You learn by reading books on the craft of writing. You learn by listening to podcasts and reading blogs. You learn by writing. You learn from your editor. You learn by reading books in the genre you write. An editor you ask. Yes, if traditionally published your encounter editors. If self-published you need to invest in professional editing.

Habit Seven

Have perspective. Your attitude is a key as I mentioned earlier. It’s okay to begin where you are and improve over time. If you are like me you write because you must write. You may need to do an attitude check if you want to have written, just sign autographs, and be adored by fans. I’m not saying that won’t happen. I am saying it is unlikely.

What is Scrivener?

What is Scrivener?

If you look up scrivener in the dictionary you will find the definition that a scrivener is a historical noun meaning a clerk, scribe, or notary.

Scrivener software is your scribe. The scribe is a powerful content-generation software for writers that allows you to concentrate on composing and structuring long and difficult documents. While it gives you complete control of the formatting, its focus is on helping you get to the end of that awkward first draft. Almost every wants to be a writer knows the first step to getting a book published is to complete writing the first draft.

How Does Scrivener Help?

  • Scrivener is your complete writing studio.
  • Scrivener helps you to write, structure, and revise your book.
  • Scrivener helps you create order from chaos
  • Scrivener helps you organize your research where it is not only within easy reach but where you can find your stuff.
  • Scrivener helps you get the first draft completed where you can compile and/or export it for printing.
  • Scrivener even has a ios version if you use an iPhone. So far there isn’t a version available for an Android user like me.
  • Scrivener is used by persons needing a long-form project management tool. The software is used by all sorts of professional and amateur writers, from best-selling and aspiring novelists to Hollywood scriptwriters, from students and academics to lawyers and journalists: anyone who works on long and difficult writing projects.

So, what is Scrivener

“Scrivener is aimed at writers of all kinds—novelists, journalists, academics, screenwriters, playwrights—who need to structure a long piece of text while referring to research documents. Scrivener is a ring-binder, a scrapbook, a corkboard, an outliner and text editor all rolled into one. It is primarily intended to be a first draft tool; although it is possible to complete a project that requires only basic formatting – such as a novel or short story – in Scrivener, often you will want to take your draft to a dedicated word processor or layout program for final formatting. Scrivener is intended to be a kind of “writer’s shed” for those of us who don’t have a spare shed.” 1


1From the introduction in the Scrivener tutorial in the software’s help file

You’re Never Too Old to Achieve Goals or Dreams

“The world stands aside,” said David Jordan, “to let anyone pass who knows where he is going.” Having a goal or dream applies to those, who learn where they are going late in life as well as for the young.

At age 40, James Michener published his first book. He authored more than 50 titles – 26 historical fiction novels, 31 nonfiction books, and 13 of his works were adapted into TV miniseries or made into movies.

At age 53, Margaret Thatcher became Britain’s first female prime minister.

At age 60, Jimmie Aaron Kepler published his first book. This was 33 years after his first professional writing sale of a magazine article.

At age 65, Winston Churchill became British prime minister for the first time and started the epic struggle against Hitler. Churchill received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1953 at age 79 for his many published works, especially his six-volume set The Second World War. He wrote the six volume set when he was in his 70s without any assistance or ghost writers. I love his comment, “History will be kind to me for I intend to write it.” He then wrote the definitive history of World War II. It was kind to him. The photo is of Sir Winston Churchill.

At age 69, Ronald Reagan was elected President of the United States. He served two terms. He was 77 years old when he completed his second term in office.

At age 70, Donald Trump was elected President of the United States. He is the oldest person to be elected to the office for a first term.

At age 70, 80 and again at 90, former President of the USA George H.W. Bush parachuted out of an airplane.

At age 72, Golda Meir became prime minister of Israel.

At age 75, Ed Delano of California bicycled 3100 miles in 33 days to attend his 50th college reunion in Worcester, Massachusetts.

At age 77, United States Senator John Glenn became the oldest man to fly in space on STS-46, the Space Shuttle. The flight was 36 years after his original flight as a Mercury Astronaut.

At age 80, Grandma Moses, who had started painting in her late 70s, had her first one-woman exhibit.

At age 80, Winston Churchill returned to the House of Commons as a member of parliament and also exhibited 62 of his paintings.

At age 81, Benjamin Franklin skillfully mediated between disagreeing factions at the U. S. Constitutional Convention.

At age 82, Christopher Plummer became the oldest Oscar winner in any acting category for his performance in Beginners

At age 85, Emmanuelle Riva became the oldest Oscar nominee ever for her role in Amour. She was nominated in the Best Actress category.

At age 96, George C. Selbach scored a 110-yard hole-in-one at Indian River, Michigan.

On his 100th birthday, ragtime pianist Eubie Blake exclaimed, “If I’d known I was going to live this long, I’d have taken better care of myself.”

How about you? Have you slowed down, packed it in, given up, and checked out? If I know the Heavenly Father, I know that He has something wonderful still in store for you! It’s never too late. Why don’t you call God up and ask Him what that might be? His number is found in The Bible in Jeremiah 33:3. It reads, “Call upon Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know!”

Picture Source: Churchill V sign HU 55521.jpg This artistic work created by the United Kingdom Government is in the public domain. This is because it is one of the following: 1) It is a photograph created by the United Kingdom Government and taken prior to 1 June 1957, or 2) It was commercially published prior to 1961, or 3) It is an artistic work other than a photograph or engraving (e.g. a painting) which was created by the United Kingdom Government prior to 1961.

The Copyright Page

intellectual-property
The copyright page helps protect your intellectual property.

Copyright Page Contains:

  • The Declaration of copyright
    • It tells who owns the copyright
    • The gives the year of publication
    • You are informed of any reservation of rights
  • Other Credits
    • Artists or Illustrators
    • Editor or Editorial Staff
    • Cover or Graphic Designer
    • Publisher Notes
  • Copyright Acknowledgements
    • For reprinted materials that require permission (Bible Verses i.e. Scripture)
    • ISBN Number
    • LCCN or CIP Number
    • List Where Printed for Print Books
    • Edition Number
    • Usually, includes a “Published By”
      • Published by is listed at either the top or bottom of copyright page
  • Disclaimer
    • Memoirs
      • Some names and identifying details have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals.
    •  Novels
      • This is a work of fiction. Names, places, and events are either the product of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
    • Self-Help Books.
      • This book is for informational purposes only. While every precaution has been taken in the preparation of the book, neither the author nor the publisher shall have any liability to any person or entity with respect to any loss or damage caused or alleged to be caused directly or indirectly by the instructions contained in this book.
    • Health Books.
      • The information provided in this book is not intended as a substitute for the medical advice of physicians.

Dedication Page:

  • To my wonderful wife, Mary, without whose continued loving support and encouragement this book would not exist.

Table of Contents:

  • Included in nonfiction titles
  • Not usually in fiction books
    • Should not be longer than two pages.

Foreword:

  • Setup for the book, typically written by someone other than the author. A famous person or celebrity writing the foreward can help promote and sell the book.

Preface / Acknowledgements:

  • Here is where the author’s say thank you to those who contributed time and resources towards the effort of writing the book.

Introduction

  • Setup for the book’s contents, generally by the author.

Photo Source:

  • Title: Intellectual Property
  • File size: 105 KB
  • Free License permits: Sharing, copying and redistributing in any medium or format including adapting, remixing, transforming, and building upon the material for any purpose, even commercially. Attribution required.
  • License: Creative Commons 3 – CC BY-SA 3.0
  • Creator attribution: Nick Youngson – link to – http://nyphotographic.com/
  • Date first licensed: June 2016

Original Image: http://www.creative-commons-images.com/handwriting/i/intellectual-property.html

The Copyright Page

copyright-709697_640

Fiction and nonfiction contain a copyright page. The copyright page’s purpose is to help protect and identify your intellectual property. The copyright page contains specific information.

The Copyright Page Contains

  • Your Declaration of Copyright
  • Other Credits
  • Copyright Acknowledgements
  • Disclaimer
  • ISBN Number
  • LCCN or CIP Number
  • Where Printed
  • Edition Number
  • Published By

In the next few sessions, we will look at each part in detail.

Photo Credit: Pixaby

 

Your Book’s “Front Matter”

Today I’ll take a quick look at the front matter of your book. Wh there is no industry standard of front matter for your book, most books will have up to eight items. Only the title page and copyright page are found in all books.

Front Matter:

  • Endorsements / Praise for the Book
  • Title Page
  • Copyright Page
  • Dedication Page
  • Table of Contents
  • Foreword
  • Preface / Acknowledgements
  • Introduction

The Endorsements or Praise Page:

The endorsement page is where you tell the world how good you and your book is. You are letting your potential audience know not through your own words but rather by sharing the comments of other. Here is where you list lines from endorsements and pre-publication reviews for readers to view what others are saying about the book. Not everyone will have The Endorsement or Page Page.

Next is the Title Page.

Title Page:

  • Title
  • Subtitle
  • Author
  • Illustrator
  • Publisher (even if you are an indie author you let the reader know it is an independent or self-published book)
  • Publisher Location (Don’t give them your street address! There are people who may be stalking you. You can use your city or a post office box plus your city)

The title type and design elements should match your front cover. Look at how the traditionally published books do it and replicate what you see.

Next time we will look at the copyright page.

Photo Credit: Pixaby

 

How to Get Your Manuscript Ready for Publishing

Screenshot 2017-07-04 at 8.04.21 AM - Edited

Assumptions

You must write the book to have something to prepare for publication.

I know what you are thinking. Your thoughts are everyone knows you have to first write the book. I’m assuming you have taken the time to finish your first draft. After you’ve written you can move to this step.

Today I am giving you a general overview of the parts of a manuscript and how to get the manuscript ready for publication, that is, how to really polish your work.

The Parts of a Manuscript

A manuscript has three basic parts. They are:

  • Front Matter
  • Content
  • Back or End Matter

Once the manuscript is written it is time to begin polishing it. Here are the basic steps on how to polish your manuscript. They are:

  • Using Beta Readers
  • Editing
  • Proofreading
  • Interior Layout and Design

Photo Source: Pixaby

Next time I’ll look at the parts in more detail.

Use Video and Audio to Engage an Audience.

Using audio and video on a regular basis is one great way to build an audience. Below are a few thoughts on how to do it.

Consistent Schedule

  • Published on the same day of the week
  • Published at the same time

Specific Subject or Themed – Examples are:

  • Marketing your book
  • Self-publishing helps
  • How to use a specific software like Scrivener
  • Your hobby or passion. Examples are:
    • Travel
    • Dining
    • Book reviews
    • Coffee houses

Start Your Own YouTube Channel

  • Create informational videos
  • How to videos
  • Interviews

Create a Live-stream Channel and Stream Videos Using Google Hangouts

  • Create informational videos
  • How to videos
  • Interviews
  • Create a podcast

Reminder – Three Things to Do Before You Publish Your Book:

  • Brand Your Book
  • Obtain Endorsements
  • Develop an Audience

Next, we will look at preparing your manuscript for publishing. Remember, you must write the book to have something to prepare for publication.

Photo Source: Pixaby