Friday’s Odds and Ends

Before moving on to other items of interest, I thought I’d share a few funny memes that were shared by a friend. It might be a good way to launch the weekend.

The first one is a little naughty, so be forewarned:









Not so funny, but true in too many cases.
As a woman who has four cats, this one did make me chuckle.

Next I wanted to alert readers to some FREE books from Amazon’s imprint, Amazon Crossing. These are translations of popular books published in languages other than English, and they are free through April 24 in honor of World Book Day. There are some good titles there, so check it out. I’ve already grabbed several titles.

I found out about this offer from Amazon Crossing by reading a post by Porter Anderson on the blog Writer Unboxed. He was reporting on several items of interest that he learned first by an exchange with writer Anne R. Allen and then at the London Book Fair.

On Anne’s blog, she talks about how long a book should be and the danger of self-pubbed authors to ignore new guidelines at their own risk. I loved this comment,

A decade after the beginning of the “Kindle Revolution,” too many readers have been burned by self-published bloated rough drafts. A reader is not likely to pick up a book that screams “I’ve been writing this in my spare time for the last 8 years and I refuse to rewrite and would never let an editor tamper with my genius.”

So don’t be that guy.

I’ll admit that I am tired of hearing that mantra, too. Yes, self-publishing and Amazon Kindle have opened new avenues for so many writers, but they have also created a monster.

This monster is comprised of all of the books that have been put out through this digital publishing without any thought to hiring an editor, having the book properly formatted, and having a professional cover made.

Or perhaps considering not even publishing the book at all.

How many of you have picked up a bargain book for your electronic reading device and been horribly disappointed? I can’t tell you how many books I’ve started to read and then stopped because they were so poorly crafted and so poorly presented

In his post, Porter pointed out that some of the classics, such Slaughterhouse Five, Frankenstein, and Fahrenheit 451, were published at right around 200 pages. He wrote,  “The problem part of most novels is the boring middle bit. Best to just leave that part out.”

Porter also commented that he would be willing to read sci-fi or fantasy novels of 200 pages, or less, that came out more often as opposed to having to wait a long time for another1,500 word tome to be released.

The high page count and the endless series titles are the two main reasons that I shy away from starting a fantasy novel, even though so many of them are very well written.

Writers, what do you think about the topic? Readers, please weigh in, too.

Do you ever read the Hint’s From Heloise column in the newspapers? The column was started in 1959 by Eloise Bowles Cruse, and continues in newspapers and online by her daughter Poncé Kiah Marchelle Heloise Cruse Evans. The website is full of interesting articles, recipes and other tidbits that you might enjoy. Me? I’m going to try that chocolate pineapple cake.

This offering from Kab Bebefield, a Kitchen Craft Distributor, isn’t as comprehensive as the Heloise website, but I found these two from the latest newsletter helpful. I did not know you could put fresh flowers in 7Up to keep them living longer.

HINT 1 – Eliminate the fat from soup and stew. Drop a few ice cubes into the pot and stir. The fat will cling to the cubes. Just throw away the ice cubes before they melt!

HINT 2 – To keep your flowers fresh a little longer – add a little Clorox, or 2 Bayer aspirin, or just use 7Up instead of water.

What are your weekend plans? I will be going to see “A Few Good Men” at the Sherman Community Theatre on Sunday, and I’m really looking forward to being connected back up with live theatre. Saturday plans may be rained out, but we are keeping a hopeful outlook. I’m going to be with my daughter and her husband, and his mother, at an outdoor event. Rain, rain, go away and come back on Monday.

Have a great weekend.

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