Writers Helpful Sites & Vacation

I’ve signed up for newsletters at these sites and appreciate the information that is emailed to me.

Writer’s Relief
Writer’s Digest – has a great article titled 10 Simple Steps to Handselling Your Book which explains how an unknown author gets the attention of buyers at a book signing so they buy her book.
Some of these sites list agents looking for clients, publishers, and magazines looking for stories. There are grammar lessons like when to use who or whom. Also, helpful tips about using the internet to sell your books.
Publetariat is a website that is filled with articles and blogs about how to publish your book, self publishing, and the publishing industry. I blog on that site and sometimes I wind up on the front page as a contributor.
Book Marketing Network is made up of groups looking to discuss many subjects about writing and publishing. You can advertise an upcoming book, book event or give other authors useful tips and read about their tips. There are blogs. One of them is mine. 
Authonomy is a website you can put chapters of your book on and get reviews from other authors. In return you will be asked to read other authors works and send them a review. This is a competitive site where each contributor tries to get to the top of the heap so Harper Collins Publishers will look at their work. I enjoyed the site and loved the responses to my work but found the return reading time consuming. Agents watch this site. I know because I had one contact me after reading five chapters of each of my Amish books.
Now for the fun stuff. I’ve been gone on a vacation to Northern Arkansas to visit my husband’s relatives. I went with my husband’s sister. We had the most enjoyable time. The countryside from Iowa to Arkansas is so beautiful this time of year. We’d drive between rock ledges up to the top of a hill and look down at rolling, timbered hills, shrouded in blue mist and see the winding pavement twist through the valleys. The views were breath taking.
Northern Arkansas country roads are tree lined, narrow, natural rocked clay that twist and turn, seemingly going no where but up and down like a roller coaster ride. For someone used to perfect formed mile intersections with street signs, those roads are not to be traversed alone if you weren’t born in that area. If you do, I suggest taking a survial kit. That way if you run out of gas, you can survive until you find your way out.
The sun was hot. The atmosphere was humid so thank goodness for air conditioning. We enjoyed the back yard view from inside, watching for deer from the relatives kitchen window. After we went to bed, in the cool dark of evening, we listened to whippoorwills call and mockingbirds mocking the crows. The dog, Zoe, waited until she was right under our bedroom window to protest the armadillos that came to root up the lawn under cover of darkness. Each time, Zoe disconcertingly startled us out of our drowsy doze.
My writing repetition preceded me to Arkansas. Uncle proudly introduced me as the niece that writes books. I’d get a nod and hear, "You’re the one." 
As usual I brought back some plant starts and clay for my mother-in-law and me. I saw old fashion climbing roses in pink and pale pink hidden in high grass in the corner of Aunt’s yard. She offered to let me add some of her bright pink climbing rose on the trellis by the carport. I confess here that I got snip happy and came home with a couple twigs off her pink crepe myrtle while I was at it. I always like adding flowers to my outdoor heritage collection. When I give my flower tour if the roses and the crepe myrtle make it, I’ll be able to say those belonged to Aunt Gladys.
My mother-in-law, the authority in all things green thumbed, told me roses can’t be started without putting a ball of wet clay on the stem.  Tear off the green leaves near the bottom, cover the stem with a clay ball for a ways up the stem and bury the stem in dirt in a pot. Put a jar over the plant and keep moist. The jar acts as a green house. If the plant is going to live, old leaves will fall off and new leaves will grow on the stem. Making a clay ball is harder than it sounds. First time, I added too much water to the clay and had to add more clay until I had the mud the right consistency. The wet clay stuck to my hands, the knife and scissors but wouldn’t hang on the stem. I finally got the hang of it with some practice.
As usual I gave my mother-in-law some of the plant clippings with an ulterior motive. She has such a knack for growing plants I always think I can get another start from her if mine all die.
Arkansas gardens are about a month ahead of Iowa. We were treated to fried catfish and new potatoes from the garden. Strawberry shortcake was dessert. When we left Sunday morning, we took with us ham and cheese sandwiches and strawberry shortcake for lunch. A roadside park was right where we needed it at noon. It was time to get out of the van, stretch our legs and get a breath of fresh air while we enjoyed the picnic.
We left Iowa when it was raining and came back to rain. Looks like more rain all this week. Our hay is still waiting for three dry days in a row to be cut, dried and baled. We’re waiting, too. 
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