How my Next Book is Going

I wanted to do a post on how my personal book writing is going for my readers! If you’ve read the book I have put thank you so much! I wanted to let you all know how it’s going with the second book in my series.  Right now I am only two chapters in so pretty slow going. I have been devoting a lot of time to getting my blog up and running. I feel like the story line is coming along however. For those of you who may be interested I will share a small expert from my book. I hope you enjoy.


Malculm shifted his feet and fixed the hood of his robe so it hung over his face more. Rain was coming down hard, he was drenched. The torchlight blurred before his eyes, he wiped them trying to clear his vision. The cobbled stones streets were empty, not surprising who wants to be out in this? He was keeping watch for his brothers who were currently inside a church. It was important he kept people away. He didn’t know how long he’d been sitting on that wall, but he was cold and hungry. He thought he caught movement further down the street. Squinting he strained to see through the downpour. Yes! There a horse was coming towards him. He made his way to the ground and took a position on the steps of the church. As the horse came closer he saw it was a woman riding it. She halted the horse and approached him. “Sanctuary, I need sanctuary please!” She put her hood down and he noted that she was beautiful. Green eyes reflected the torchlight. Her dark hair was pulled to one side. “Who are you Miss?” “I am someone in need, now please let me in!” She made to brush past him but he caught her arm. “No, you cannot enter even if you claim sanctuary, I cannot let you.” She scowled at him, “Are you even a priest? Who are you to deny sanctuary to anyone?” He lifted a sword out of the scabbard at his hip. “The person who will use this to stop anyone trying to get into this church. Even someone like you.” She sniffed and gave him a hard look. “How dare you threaten a high-born lady sir! You will pay for this just wait and see.” Malculm chuckled, “High-born, are you? If it’s true where are your guards? Why are you alone pleading sanctuary? I don’t see many high-born women riding alone in the rain.” She bristled at him, “My men were killed if you must know! There are men after me! Let me go inside now!” She stamped her foot in anger. 

I am proud of where this series is headed so far and can’t wait to see how everyone reacts to it. It’s not easy writing a book. It takes a lot of time, research and in some cases money. I know I have dedicated hours to researching alone. Even fictions books call for a bit of research now and again. Let me know what you think and please keep in mind that my work is copyrighted and I ask that you respect that by not stealing it and using it as your own. 

Free Mini Course coming Soon!

Hello all!

I am excited to announce that I’ll be offering a free mini course on the different ways to publish! I’m currently working on it and will update when it’s ready! As I told you all in a previous post I am moving everything to chimp mail! If you want to sign up for my free course make sure to sign up where it says newsletter at the bottom of my blog! Not only will you be getting great info but I will be including a workbook and printables!

There are so many ways to publish and I always get asked what is the best way? How do I know if this is the right publisher for me? What is traditional publishing? What about vanity publishing? The list goes on and on! My hope is that this course will answer those questions and more so you don’t have to go search all over the internet. I know when I was first starting out I got confused because some people said self-publishing was the only way to go! Others were all about trying to get an agent and getting traditionally published. 

I will give you the pros and cons of each to help you make a more informed decision for when you’re ready to publish your work. So hit that button to sign up for me newsletter and join me on this journey! 

U.S. Copyright and How it Helps you

I think everyone knows that once you write something you own it. It’s yours free and clear.  However, did you know that if someone steals your work without a registered copyright that you will unlikely not be able to bring a lawsuit against them? There is such as thing as a “poor man’s copyright” but it is not the same as a registered one. According to https://www.copyright.gov website, a poor man’s copyright is 


The practice of sending a copy of your own work to yourself is sometimes called a “poor man’s copyright.” There is no provision in the copyright law regarding any such type of protection, and it is not a substitute for registration.

Once you have a registered copyright you are protected by the law if someone plagiarizes your work. You will be able to bring a lawsuit against the thief and will get the chance to prove it’s yours.  A U.S. registered copyright is not required but I would highly recommend it for the above-mentioned reason. How bad would it be if someone stole all your hard work and essentially got away with it? Do yourself a favor and get a copyright through the U.S. copyright office. 

I know what you’re probably thinking but what are the odds that my work will be stolen, that’s rare right? That may be but why take the chance? Anything can happen and it’s better safe than sorry. You will have protection for the life of the author plus 70 years if it is published after 1977, if it is a work done for commision it last between 95 to 120 years as per the U.S. Copyright website.


For works published after 1977, the copyright lasts for the life of the author plus 70 years. However, if the work is a work for hire (that is, the work is done in the course of employment or has been specifically commissioned) or is published anonymously or under a pseudonym, the copyright lasts between 95 and 120 years, depending on the date the work is published.

Your work will be protected for your entire life! I think it is more than worth it to get a copyright! Do you know how to go about getting one? I will outline how to do so. Go to https://www.copyright.gov and click register copyright. There will be different categories you can choose from these include literary works, performing arts, visual arts, photographs, motion pictures, and other digital arts. Each of these has subcategories. Pick which one fits what you want to copyright. 

You will be sent to a list showing you what is covered under your choice, to the right of the page you will click register in our case it will say literary work. If you don’t have an account you will need to make one. Once you’re done with that you will be sent to a page called eco. On the left you will see register a work, below that is standard application. Click that and you will be taken a page that explains what you need to register a copyright. at the top it says start registration, click it. 

Fill out the application, when you are done you will need to pay the fee (yes there is a fee). The cost will depend on what you are registering. A single application is $35, this is single author, same claimant, not for hire. A standard application is $55. These are the only two I will list here as this is most likely what most of my readers will be registering with. Check out the U.S. Copyright website for a full list. I truly think this fee is worth being fully protected. I have not fully listed all the laws and suggest going to the U.S. Copyright website to read up on all the laws so you know what all it entails. I hope I have added enough info here to at least give you an idea of why it’s a good reason for you to get one.

Moving over to Chimpmail/Plus Social Widgets are being updated

This not like a post I normally do! I just wanted to drop a quick post to let you all know I’m in the process of moving my email list to chimpmail for a newsletter. If you’d like me to add you to it (thank you for subscribing to my blog already) please let me know. I’m not going to be spammy I promise. It’s only going to be a once per week thing! Also, thinking of getting rid of the email you all receive every time I add a new post. Tell me what you think.

I’m also currently working on changing my social media widgets. I’ve been informed they are hard to find on a mobile device. I’m also going to be adding pins where you can share directly instead of being sent to my social media pages. There will still be a set of widgets for you all to follow me if you choose! Thank you for being patient as we make these changes and for following my little blog here! 

Fall is in the air (free printable)

Fall is one of my favorite seasons! I love the weather, the smells, the food, apple cider, and pumpkin spice are in season. The colors are vibrant and beautiful, the leaves are falling and you get that awesome crunch, crunch when walking! People’s mood just seems to change to one of warm fuzzy feelings. This is the time of year when you know the holidays are coming and excitement is brewing! 

As a writer and blogger Fall is also the time when I can write/blog about so many different things! Things I don’t write about on a daily basis. There are festivals, parades, decorations and more that are just a part of the season. Use these to your advantage and bring in more readers! There is much much you can include! I’m attaching a download for you to print that has some ideas for the Fall season. Of course, there are others but this will at least be a starting point! Enjoy! 

When you sit down to write and just can’t

Have you ever sat down to write be it a short story, poem, or even a blog post and find you can’t think of anything (even though you had a plan)? You stare at the blank paper or computer screen, willing your mind to come to life? 

You had an idea where did it go? It’s frustrating, isn’t it? I can tell you it has happened to all of us at one time or another. Writers everywhere have a story to tell about the dreaded writer’s block. Even the name sounds iffy. No one wants to think about it much less go through it. So what can help you with getting over that state of blankness? I’m going to share with you a list of things that seem to work for me. Hopefully, some of these will keep you from giving up. 

  • Go for a walk! Yes, a walk being out in nature relaxes you. This helps me forget all about writing or gives me some ideas. There’s something about being outdoors that just makes you feel better. 
  • Take a long hot bath or show! I find my mind stops trying to over work when I’m in nice hot water. My body is at peace which helps me concentrate better.  I slow down and stop worrying. Total relaxation moment! 

  • Read! This will not only get your mind off your own writing but it will allow you to step into an entirely new world. As you envision this work you may start getting ideas. I find some of my best ideas come when reading. I never steal or copy anyone else’s ideas but it helps me get my creative juices flowing! 

  • People watching! Yes, I said people watching! You may be wondering why I do this and that is a very good question. This allows me to see different people’s personalities, moods, the way they dress and move. They don’t realize they are being watched and so are themselves. I am then able to build characters from them. This can even help with a blog post because often times we are writing about people in one way or another. People watching is a great way to beat writer’s block!  

  • Watching TV! Many people see watching TV as a waste of time and while it can be mind numbing it can also be useful. Just like reading and people watching you can get ideas from what you are seeing! The way the characters talk, walk and deal with different situations. You can even get inspiration from the sets. The color schemes or lay out of the city etc. Watching TV can be a great inspiration for writers.  

  • I’m sure this one is going to be my least popular suggestion but here goes. Playing video games! You read that right! Playing games can have the exact effect on you as reading or watching TV. If you play a game that has great character development you can glean ideas from them. You might even be inspired by the look of a character and use bits and pieces of their looks in your writing. Give it a try one time and see if it helps! 

  • Last but not least talking! Talking to someone who’supportive of you and you can bounce ideas off of is a great idea! They can help walk you through what you’re having trouble with and give you a fresh set of ideas. Often times it is people outside of a situation that sees things the most clear! Find someone whom you can turn to when you need a set of ears and are willing to throw things out there for you. I find doing this helps me tremendously! 

I hope some of these suggestions can help you next time you have writer’s block and are ready to hit your head against the nearest wall. Often times we have writer’s block from overthinking, at least that is the reason in my case! If you have any suggestions of your own leave a comment! 

Why you shouldn’t overuse the word said in your writing. Plus a free printable

When I first started writing I noticed I used the word said a lot. If you are an aspiring writer you may have been told not to overuse the word said. It’s true because it can become redundant and is often times not even necessary. Most times in dialog your reader can tell who is talking. It is always a good idea to put the characters names at the beginning of the dialog because it helps your readers keep track of the conversation. If you choose not to put the names at the beginning of the conversation and just let it flow without any tags even said the read will become confused. 

Many authors will tell you they hate the word said but still use it too much in their first drafts and have to go back to eliminate the word throughout the manuscript. I still find myself doing it more then I care to admit. It took me a while to learn not to just plop the word down for the sake of it. In fact, you may hear that you don’t really need dialog tags at all, a lot of times this may be correct. If however, you want to use them or need them there are many words you can use other then said. I often find and I’m sure you may as well that if I read a conversation like the following that it is boring after a bit.  “Where are we going?” Clarrissa said. “To the castle, we need to get to the king”, Alex said. “Well let’s get moving. If we are too late you know what will happens”, Clarrisa said. “Yes, I do and I don’t want that!” Alex said.

I lost your interest after a minute there didn’t I? Imagine if that were riddle throughout a whole text. The reader would most likely put the book down. You as the author lost the very person you’re trying to draw in. The point of writing (for most writers at least) is to get people to read your work. If they get confused or bored, they won’t read. Using said too much is a huge complaint I see all too often. Today I’m going to share with you a printable of 15 words to use in place of said. You can print it out and have a quick reference to use if you need a word fast. There are of course many other words these are just some of my favorites. You can always add to it so you have an arsenal of words to use. I hope you find this list helps you when you need it! 

Hello and Welcome!

My name is Crystal and I want to welcome you to my new blog! I’m so excited to be able to share with you my writing, tips, tricks, and advice! I am not only going to be sharing with you my writing journey but also how you can become an author as well. I hope you all find this blog fun, engaging and educational. This has been a dream of mine for a long time.

I can’t wait to show you all the wonderful world of writing and what being an author is really like. Please drop a comment to let me know you’re here!

 

Articles on how to start a blog

I know this is a writing blog but I wanted to share some amazing articles about how to start a blog for you! These come from my friend and fellow blogger Cate Rosales at Sweetandsimplelife.com

https://sweetandsimplelife.com/start-blog-make-money/

https://sweetandsimplelife.com/start-blog-make-money/

https://sweetandsimplelife.teachable.com/p/becoming-a-blogger/?

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I hope if you want to become a blogger that these articles can help you on your journey. Also be sure to join Cates Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/becomingablogger/

There you will find tips, inspirations, and amazing members that will help you build your blog and start making money. I have just joined her group and have already made some friends!