Welcome to ‘The Art of Writing a Book.”

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Woman book fire

Hello, and welcome to “The Art of Writing a Book.”

This website is dedicated to you, the aspiring writer.  If you are anything like me, you have been thinking about writing a book for a long time.  Well, this is the place for you.

Join us as we talk about things like creating a character, or finding the time to write and even the cheapest and easiest way to publish your book.  Our archives (to the right) hold many articles that you will find helpful, and you can also cheek out our product reviews at the top of the page.

If you have any questions or suggestions about an article you would like to see, please take a minute and fill out the form below.  I would be happy to address your comments.

So, pour yourself a cup of hot cocoa and put your feet up on the coffee table; lets talk about writing…

Writing Sideways

Real Men and Poetry

creekAfter a long week of work and play, I found myself in a very ‘blah’ state this morning.  I felt that I needed some inspiration, and the best way I know to get that is to take a walk through the woods.  If I have to live in a city, Atlanta is a pretty nice one.  Lots of parks, woods and streams to walk by.

As I was walking next to a wonderful creek that runs through our neighborhood, found myself thinking about my brief encounter with poetry a few years back, and I have to laugh at myself… I would never, in a million years have believed that I would ever write a poem.  I thought they were sissy-ish and dumb.  But, the joke was on me because I have written many poems in my time.

Most of my poems are funny… taking life in stride.  I have been through a couple dark periods in my life, and my poetry helped me get through it.  There is a poetry tab at the top of the page, in case you were curious.  There are different kinds of poems, all of them depending on how my mood was.  Please don’t make too much fun of me.  Like I said, I was going through stuff.

Poetry can be a wonderful release for people, and the reason it works so well is because it fits every mood.  It’s a way of telling your story, even if there is nobody to tell it too.  I released a great deal of pain through poetry in my days, and it provided healing and comfort.  Most of my poetry was thrown away when I came to my senses.

I think every writer should try poetry, even you tough guys.  There are many different ways to write poetry, and I think this blog has inspired an article. I am not an expert, or even very good for that matter, but I am someone who has been healed through poetry.  Who knows?  You might even learn something from me.

So, what do you have to lose?  If you have something to share, please drop me a line below.  Have a great weekend, and I’ll see you on the other side…


Rabbit Cake

Happy Fat Tuesday! Did you know that Marti Gras is French for Fat Tuesday? That’s a fact. Did you also know that Fat Tuesday celebrates the end of the carnival season every year? I am not really sure why the carnival season really needs a drunken send off, but those are the facts.

I would like to say that I am very smart and full of facts like these, but I did have to google it. I hope that’s not too disappointing for you. Now that I have cast a shadow on your view of me, let’s move on to something more enlightening. Rabbit Cake

Recently, I came across a book that kind of caught me by surprise. The book is called “Rabbit Cake” by the award winning author Annie Hartnett.  It is narrated by an eleven-year-old girl named Elvis Babbitt. Her days are spent on a lonely journey trying to keep her family together after the untimely death of her mother.

I liked how the story was told from the view of a young girl, which makes me think about characters like Harriet the spy, and Jean Louise ‘Scout’ Finch. It kind of takes you back to your childhood, and the innocent way we used to look at things before we became worldly.

Elvis quickly becomes likable, and you will have a hard time putting this book down. The way Annie Hartnett brings us this story in her down to earth way make it an enjoyable read. She also does a nice job of tying up all the loose ends at the end.

My wife’s cat and I both give this book a 9 out of 10 rating. If you would like to check out other ratings for “Rabbit Cake,” click the link below…

                                      ———->   RABBIT CAKE   <———-

I will be doing some other book reviews from time to time, when I am not working on my novel. Did I mention to you that I am on page 19? Anyway… have an awesomely Fat Tuesday!


I heart you…

roseIt looks like another Monday is upon us, and this one is wet and yucky. I have so many things to do today, what with Valentine’s day on the horizon and my book needing to be written. Now I am not a big Valentine’s day guy, but it is special to my wife, so I try to make it nice for her. I also like to send cards to all the women in my life… mom, sisters, and daughters.

While I do see the value of Valentine’s day in making people feel special, I can’t believe how much money is wasted on this day every year. My wife and I have the same view on it, thank goodness… it’s the thought, not the day.  To avoid wasting money, I usually buy her a couple dozen roses a day or two before or after the 14th, and that usually saves half the price. As far as stuffed animals and chocolates… we really don’t have a lot of use for those.

Do you know the origin of Valentine’s day? About a million years ago it was said that Emperor Claudius II didn’t like for his men to get married during war time. I guess he wanted their heads in the game, and not in the clouds. Bishop Valentine went against his bosses wishes and started performing weddings in secret.

When Bishop Valentine was caught, he was jailed and executed. While he was in jail cooling his heels, he wrote a letter to the jailors daughter and signed it “from your Valentine.”

So, we have disobedience, deception, imprisonment and death. What more could a lovers’ holiday ask for?


The Night to Shine

This has been one busy weekend. Friday night was the annual Night to shine, which is sponsored by the Tim Tebow Foundation. This is the second year that The First Baptist Church of Atlanta has been holding the Night to shine, and I was blessed enough to volunteer both years. tim TebowThe point of the event is to take special needs people and give them the royal treatment. It is an awesome night and I strongly recommend it to anyone.
It has been such a nasty weekend… rain, cold, wind… yuck. I have been working on some articles and reviews to give you a better idea of what you are buying. I hate when I go into a store to buy a computer and the sales person smiles when I ask question. So now I always check out the reviews first so I can look smart. If you are in the market for a new laptop, I recently did a review on the most popular laptops, and you can see it right below this line.

                     >>>>>>>>>     laptop review   <<<<<<<<<

Now I guess for the rest of the day, I will chill out and maybe play some games with my boys. Oh, I just remembered my sister’s birthday is this week, so if you see her, tell her Happy Birthday!
Don’t for get to save, and have an awesome Sunday evening.


Ghosts and Pirates!

Yesterday I was throwing around the football with my son Alexander, and as we were playing I started thinking about the book I am writing. I really like where it is going, but I still haven’t started writing again. Every time I sit down and try to write, my mind goes everywhere.pirates

What we all need is some inspiration. We have to get our brains in gear and start with a fresh approach. Sometimes when I am get to a spot where I am stuck, I will skip ahead and start working on the body of the book. Maybe my problem is that I have been thinking about my book for so long, I am just done with it. No, that can’t be it.

I haven’t even gotten to page twenty yet, but I am kind of anxious to write the plot. It has to do with an evil twin who cheated the bartenders father out of everything he owns. The grief of the crime is what drove the father to his deathbed, and now the son and his buddies are about to rain down on the evil twins’ parade.

Did I mention the ghost? Yes, there is always a ghost in my books. I like ghosts because they can be anybody for any reason. Ghosts are a blank slate. I also like pirates and anything that has to do with the sea. Wow. I sound like a seven-year-old boy.

Anyway, the weekend is upon us and it is supposed to be wet, cold and nasty. In other words, a perfect weekend for writers! So I need to get everything I might need for the next two days, because I am ready to write!


Monday –

Monday mornings are pretty great around here.  Being a stay at home dad, I usually get caught up on everything on Monday.  The kids go to school, the wife goes to work, and I am here, alone.  Except for the cat, and he is no help.
This morning I am thinking of writing an article about characters.  I never really had a problem with characters, probably because I have witnessed so much in my life, and I have known so many people from so many places.buck and a quarter

The book I am writing now starts off with a group of characters who would not normally hang out together.  Some are old, some are young. Some married, some widowed, some divorced.  The one thing that binds them is the love of service, and the love of a nation.  I have even started thinking about the cover, which should be the least of my worries.  Don’t worry… I am sure it will change many times before I am done with it.

I think that when you create a character you need to give them depth.  If you make a character too great, you can easily paint yourself into a corner.  I like to give them flaws, so they can grow.  I created a character in one of my books who was overweight, balding, unattractive and unsuccessful.  With that, he could do anything, go anywhere, and function well no matter what I did with him.

Every Superman needs kryptonite. Otherwise Superman would get old fast.  I think that may be why they killed him off in the recent movies. But, now I am getting sidetracked.  I am on page 19 in my book, and hopefully today I can get it going again.  I stopped writing almost a year ago to the day.  When I left, my pub owner, Russ, had just told a ghost story and was wiping down the bar. After a year on wiping, that bar must really be clean…
Now the cats hungry. Didn’t he eat just yesterday?

Distracted again –

So, it’s 5:19 in the morning and I am ready to go.  I have my coffee; I have a dried biscuit left over from yesterday’s breakfast, and I am ready to get this done…
distractedI started my book ‘A Buck and a quarter’ a couple years ago, but then I got sideways on it (distracted).  I am not really sure where I went wrong, but something threw me off my game.  At first I thought it was my wife’s cat, because he was that one who made me lose my train of thought. Maybe not.
This isn’t my first book, so I can’t really blame it on writer’s block.  Actually, I have never had writers block.  I have come to a point in my writing when I wasn’t sure which way to go, but then I would usually just jump to another place in the manuscript and start writing there.
I think I might have just gotten bored.  I first started writing in business school about ten years ago.  Who would have ever though that I would be a writer?  Now, I never said I was a great writer, but I do write, so by definition, that makes me a writer.
My first book wrote itself.  I am a military man, so my first novel was an autobiography of my time in the service.  I enjoyed the service, so I wrote about it… that’s simple enough.
After that, I tried my hand at mystery stories, and I really enjoyed that. I seemed to be on a really good trek at that time, because writing was so easy!  I just wrote and wrote and wrote… until now. I just stopped.
Tomorrow will be a better day to write.  I can just feel it. Who knows?  I might even get on a roll and finish the first chapter… if my wife’s cat doesn’t distract me.

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