Category Archives: Blogging

Upping the Stakes for Spring Cleaning

Quote for the Day: The objective of cleaning is not just to clean, but to feel happiness living within that environment. Marie Kondo

 

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Spring is the season to clear away the cobwebs from the winter and breathe in the freshness of peace and joy in your surroundings. Most times this calls for deep cleaning of your home and office.

A friend recommended Marie Kondo’s cleaning method. After reading her book, I decided to pursue decluttering using her guidelines. And, let’s just say it’s a huge undertaking, but I’m game! Here’s my review from Goodreads.

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and OrganizingThe Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondō

Follow my blog for the latest news about new releases, giveaways, sweeps, and more. Check out novels by Carolyn M. Bowen. Thanks!

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The Days of Our Lives: Winter Solstice

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Quote of the Day: “Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home.”  Dame Edith Sitwell

Today, December 21, 2018, is the winter solstice in North America, officially the shortest day of the year. We can look forward to the beginning of shortening nights and lengthening days after this astronomical event. As we celebrate tonight look to the sky and mark the occasion with the spectacular Ursid meteor shower and a full Moon.

What is the Winter Solstice?

The winter solstice is an astronomical phenomenon that happens twice yearly, once in each hemisphere. It occurs when one of the Earth’s poles has its maximum tilt away from the Sun.

This rhythmic event is also called Midwinter, Yule, the Longest Night, and Jól. Celebrations include family gatherings, festivals and feast, dancing, and winter fires. Wikipedia

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For the long winter nights, download and read a mystery by Carolyn M. Bowen.

Attention Reviewers and Book Bloggers

My new mystery-thriller is coming out this winter. Interested? Enter your name and email address below to be one of the first to receive an advance copy. Thank you!

Thank you for following my blog and connecting on social media. I appreciate your support. Carolyn M. Bowen

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James Thayer’s: The Complete Guide to Writing a Novel

Book Review: The Complete Guide to Writing a Novel by James Thayer, The Writing Life, Carolyn M. Bowen
Photo Credit: Pixabay

The Complete Guide to Writing a Novel

by James Thayer

Quote of the Day: If you don’t have the time to read, you don’t have the time or the tools to write. Stephen King

The Essential Guide to Writing a Novel: A Complete and Concise Manual for Fiction WritersThe Essential Guide to Writing a Novel: A Complete and Concise Manual for Fiction Writers by James Stewart Thayer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

James Thayer doesn’t mince words when describing the personal habits and characteristics of writers who want to succeed. Focus and concentration, persistence in staying the course, a willingness to learn, and perhaps some luck are helpful.

The Essential Guide shows you the proven techniques of writers such as John Grisham, Tom Wolf, Jeffery Deaver, and Patricia Cornwell to name a few. These insights provide clues for creating a successful novel.

My quick take is to do what has been shown to work time and time again and you’ll be successful. However, there’s room for outliers, the incredibly talented writers whose genius places them on a literary throne of their own. Thayer talks about the rules of writing and the breaking of the rules by some authors and what that means.

Creating a timeline for your manuscript
Thayer provided proven steps for creating a timeline for completing your manuscript. He was forthcoming with examples from well-known authors. I especially liked Stephen King’s formula for having a first draft ready within a season.

I highlighted throughout the book and will place a paperback order to add to my bookshelves to keep handy. I just touched on a few of the techniques discussed. Read – then reread it to get the most out of this writer’s guide.

View all my reviews

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I share on social media daily. Hope to see you there, too! Carolyn Bowen

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Book Review: An Innocent Client

Quote of the Day: “I write not because I want to but because I am destined to.” Jules Haigler

The Writing Life, Book Review: An Innocent Client
Photo Credit: Pixabay

The why behind the doing!   

First, let me define some of the terms I’ll be using as to not complicate the understanding of what I’m saying.

  • Who is a writer?

A writer is a person who uses written words in various styles and techniques to communicate their ideas. Wikipedia

  • What is the difference between a writer and author?

According to the dictionary, a writer is one who expresses ideas in writing or engaged in literary work. An author is a person who writes a novel, poem, essay etc., and the composer of a literary work. You become an author when your books are published, but if your writings are never published, you remain a writer.

  • What is the meaning of authorpreneur?

Authorpreneur is the business end of being an author. To me, it’s no different than being an entrepreneur for starting up any kind of business. Of course, the author added to the shortened entrepreneur pinpoints the exact kind of business the person is involved in.

Learning to be an authorpreneur is about positioning yourself (branding) for the best possible outcome for your writing efforts.

You may be thinking I don’t want to do this! I’d prefer to just write. You are not by yourself. Many writers turned authors who became entrepreneurs feel the same way. However, even the bestselling authors are required to participate in the marketing of their books. Many embrace this opportunity to better understand their readers and to help keep the buzz around their names.

Being a writer and authorpreneur, in the business of promoting and marketing to sell and profit from your writing, is a lifetime learning experience. To accomplish this feat as a writer you need to write, read, and study the craft of writing.

Then changing directions towards getting your book/s in the hands of readers is another challenge in of itself. The same lessons apply to learn publishing and marketing – study, read, write, and learn how to expand your brand to reach new readers.

To improve as an author, I’ve found that it’s a good idea to read books in your genre, continue your daily writing and set aside time to learn more about writing.

Today’s blog post is the result of my applying these steps to my writing life. My personal standard is to never read a book I don’t think I’ll enjoy!  Hope you enjoy my review of An Innocent Client by Scott Pratt!

An Innocent Client (Joe Dillard, #1)An Innocent Client by Scott Pratt
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wherein Lies the Truth?

Joe Dillard was a criminal defense attorney who didn’t like his job. Never did. His plans after law school were to work in the District Attorney’s office as a prosecutor. The problem, the pay didn’t line up with the time and cost of the education required to practice law.

The only choice was to open a law firm. He did with a promise to himself that eventually he’d quit and become a prosecuting attorney. But, first, he had to provide for his family and see his children through school. The pay was good. Yet, knowing his clients were guilty and worse, maggots of the earth tormented him. He desperately wanted to be on the opposite side, not defending the scum of the earth.

The years passed by and he was looking forward to retirement. The income from his practice and his wife’s management of their assets was securing their future. And, when the time was right, he’d call it quits. But, for once he’d like to represent an innocent client before he retired.

He was counting down the days to his exit from practicing law when a new case was offered him. He quoted a fee much higher than normal for he’d not planned to stay for a lengthy trial.

Money wasn’t an issue and his desire to represent an innocent client came to mind. All he had to do was talk to the young, beautiful woman charged with first-degree murder and decide whether to take the case. Would he finally get a chance to represent an innocent client?

If you enjoy reading legal thrillers and mysteries, check this one out! It’s a well-written story that’ll keep your interest.

View all my reviews

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I share on social media daily. Hope to see you there, too! Carolyn Bowen

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These are a few of my favorite social media hangouts! Drop by and say hello!

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It’s beginning to feel like Christmas!

Quote of the Day: Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful. Norman Vincent Peale

I can’t believe it! I’m in the Christmas spirit right after the Thanksgiving holiday. Go Figure! This is early for me. The first of December is when I normally get in gear for the holiday celebrations. What about you? What sights, sounds, and aromas draw you into the holiday season?

It's beginning to look like Christmas, Carolyn M. Bowen Author
Photo by Eftodii Aurelia on Pexels.com

Here’s a new recording made by singer-songwriter and business leader Diane Michel for Christmas this year! In her own words: “My thanks to my long-time friend Chip Martin for producing this and bringing it all together! And special thanks to Shay Watson for asking me to write it with him for the Hallmark Channel a few years ago. We got a good one that day. It felt really good to sing again today….been a long time. Merry Christmas everybody!”

From my home to yours – Happy Holidays! Carolyn Bowen

I hope you’ll follow my blog and connect on social media where I post daily. Here are a few of my favorites places. Drop by and say hello!

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Happy Thanksgiving 2018

Quote of the Day: “Thanksgiving Day comes, by statute, once a year; to the honest man it comes as frequently as the heart of gratitude will allow.” Edward Sandford Martin

Happy Thanksgiving 2018, The Writing Life, Carolyn M. Bowen, blogging

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving Day in the USA is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November. A United States Congressional declaration officially designated the date in 1941. Throughout November we also celebrate Native American Heritage Month. The mutual trust and collaboration of Native Americans and the New World English colonists played a significant role in U.S. history. Today we reflect and share our bounty with family and friends in the spirit of the first Thanksgiving.

Background

The history of the celebration dates back to November 1621 when the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians shared their first harvest festival at Plymouth Plantation in Massachusetts. The autumn harvest celebration lasted three days and is considered the “first Thanksgiving.” According to attendee Edward Winslow, there were 90 Native Americans and 53 Pilgrims participating in the celebration. Wikipedia

Happy Thanksgiving

The Attitude of Thankfulness and Gratitude Benefits

  • Family Time – Together as an extended family
  • Strengthens family bonds
  • Improves our self-esteem
  • Reduces depression
  • Increases our energy
  • Helps develop a stronger immune system
  • Decreases blood pressure
  • Increases sleep quality
  • Reduces negative stress

From my home to yours – Happy Thanksgiving! Carolyn Bowen

I hope you’ll follow my blog and connect on social media where I post daily. Here are a few of my favorites places. Drop by and say hello!

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A Tribute to Native Americans

Native American Heritage Month

Paying Tribute to Native Americans
Photo Credit: Pixabay

Quote of the Day: Everything on the earth has a purpose, every disease an herb to cure it, and every person a mission. This is the Indian theory of existence. – Mourning Dove Salish

 “Sovereignty, Trust, and Resilience.”

November is Native American Heritage Month and we pay tribute to the rich ancestry and traditions of Native Americans.

Background

  • The first America Indian Day was established through the leadership of Dr. Arthur C. Parker, a Seneca Indian, who was the director of the Museum of Arts and Science in Rochester, N.Y.
  • The first formal appeal for recognition of Indians as citizens was declared September 28, 1915. The annual Congress of the American Indian Association meeting in Lawrence, Kans., formally approved a plan concerning American Indian Day with observation to be the second Saturday of each May.
  • New York was the first state to observe American Indian Day. The governor declared the second Saturday in May 1916 as the beginning of the proclamation.
  • Many years later, President George H. W. Bush approved a joint resolution designating November 1990 “National American Indian Heritage Month.” Additional proclamations have been issued since 1994 under the names “Native American Heritage Month” and “National American Indian Month”.

Here are some of the events scheduled for this month honoring the American Indians.

Paying Tribute to Native Americans, National Native American Heritage Month, Writing Life, Carolyn M. Bowen Author
Photo Credit: Pixabay

Recollections from days gone by…

Interview with a half-breed: What’re your favorite memories growing up in a mixed culture?

Looking out the window and seeing headlights from automobiles coming up the lane to our home stuck in my memory. I knew it was a significant moment.

Word spread and people lined up at our front door to seek alternative herbal healing from my grandmother, a medicine woman. So much it became a problem and my first generation English grandfather stopped it.

She was never the same again. You’re probably thinking I can help you with the insights she provided. NO! According to her, the Native American medicine, what some folks misunderstand as magic, is passed down through the opposite sex.

She shared her knowledge with a male she’d helped. However, she did tell me who to talk to. It was way too complicated for my mind and at the time – honestly not interested. I wonder who the young man passed the secret to for keeping it in his family. Be what it will be – the young man she shared her secrets with had two sons who became M.D’s – medicine men in their own rights.

You’ll be very lucky if they’re you’re attending physician. For a secret has to remain a secret – Native American Heritage protects those who are called to help their fellow earth walkers.

May you soar with eagles in your quest to learn more about Native Americans. The  American Indians saw the Eagle as a symbol for great strength, leadership, and vision.

Recommended reading

Native American culture is explored in Cross-Ties, a fictional coming of age novel. You’ll meet Nokuse and his family in this classic novel.

Thank you for following my blog and connecting on social media. I appreciate your support. Carolyn M. Bowen

These are a few of my favorite social media hangouts! Drop by and say hello!

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Love picture ideas? Me, too.  Pinners Follow Here!

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Simple Guidance For You During The Holidays

Quote of the Day: Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love.” Hamilton Wright Mabie

Simple Guidance For You During The Holidays, The Writing Life

The holiday season is here along with the jubilance associated with this spirited time of the year. However, whether you’re a big holiday fan or one who’d rather be somewhere else, you’ll probably feel stress – some good and other bad.

Let’s focus on the possibilities of good times this season. What does that look like to you? A Christmas tree decorated with colorful lights and music playing softly in the background with your family, friends, and pets gathered around? This ideal family holiday season idea (mine) or your traditional or nontraditional family gathering is enjoyed by many. The sharing of holiday food and drinks adds to the pleasure of the season.

Simple Guidance For You During The Holidays, The Writing Life, Carolyn M. Bowen Author
Photo Credit: Pixabay

Some suggestions for the holidays

  • Maintain your healthy lifestyle – exercise and stay hydrated – drink plenty of water with lemon or herbal teas.
  • Make shopping for gifts fun – plan your shopping trips with an interval for resting and relaxing. You can order online early for items on your list available from retailers you trust.
  • Make time for friends and family – Meet friends for coffee and/or lunch. Cook or bake recipes together with family members.
  • Take a nature break – breathe the fresh air and become invigorated.
  • Give to those less fortunate through charities helping others through the holiday season.
  • Feeling stressed or overwhelmed? Talk to someone!

What are your holiday plans? Share your ideas with me on Pinterest –Happy Holidays  2018.

Follow my blog for my latest writing news and new releases. A new mystery/thriller coming soon! Thank you, Carolyn Bowen

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Write and Grow Rich: Book Review

Quote of the Day: “You don’t start out writing good stuff. You start out writing crap and thinking it’s good stuff, and then gradually you get better at it.  That’s why I say one of the most valuable traits is persistence.” Octavia E. Butler

Write and Grow Rich: Book Review, The Writing Life

There are several things necessary for me to grow as an author/publisher. There are some easy, others difficult and timely to implement across my author network. First, the easy one – learn from reading books by others in the genre I write and publish. Second, study the craft of writing to become a better author. Third, learn how to build a business (tech stuff included) and marketing as a successful author. And, fourth, connect with other authors/publishers for mutual encouragement and knowledge.

Today I’m sharing my review of Write and Grow Rich. Reading this book was a learning experience for me and I’m grateful for the honesty reflected by this group of authors. Thank You!

Write and Grow Rich: Secrets of Successful Authors and PublishersWrite and Grow Rich: Secrets of Successful Authors and Publishers by Alinka Rutkowska
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a must-read for how-to become a successful author and/or publisher. The book answers questions that maybe you didn’t know to ask yet in your authors’ journey. If you’re seeking personal and professional growth, this bestseller will lift you up mentally while delivering education that’ll make a difference in your future.

Each of the authors candidly answered the same questions with a variety of descriptive details of their failures and successes plus the tools they used for creating and marketing their products. It’s interesting how the members of the group turned negative events and downfalls into positive learning experiences with a successful outcome.

I made notes while reading and noticed trends for becoming successful and how it was defined individually for the author. You can bet that I’ll follow-up with the resources offered by this group of experts.

View all my reviews

I share on social media daily. Hope to see you there, too! Carolyn Bowen

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Marketing: What You Don’t Know May Hurt You!

Quote of the Day: “Build it, and they will come” only works in the movies. Social Media is a “build it, nurture it, engage them and they may come and stay.” – Seth Godin

Marketing: What You Don't Know May Hurt You!, Marketing, Carolyn Bowen Author

Our world is constantly changing and business is no exception to this rule. Marketing strategies are constantly evolving and being made new to reach customers where they live and work with products/services relevant to their wants and needs.

Entrepreneurs are required to become smarter and more resourceful in attracting and maintaining customers’ loyalty. Marketing and advertising play a major role in accomplishing business goals with repeat satisfied customers.

Marketing is not a shush word one is afraid to say out loud. The best made beautifully crafted products or most polished service is unknown unless it is marketed and advertised. But, with the variety of marketing strategies available, it becomes deafening and confusing to most business owners.

The idea of simplicity is a favorite go-to for me. Just give me the facts, nothing fancy, like I’d have to stand on my head to accomplish and I’m happy. The 1- Page Marketing Plan by Allan Dib made sense for me. Here is my review from Goodreads. Check it out and see if his marketing ideas will work for you.

The 1-Page Marketing Plan: Get New Customers, Make More Money, And Stand out From The CrowdThe 1-Page Marketing Plan: Get New Customers, Make More Money, And Stand out From The Crowd by Allan Dib
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

No hype here. This marketing book is straightforward about its offerings. Allan Dib provides a step-by-step plan for developing and executing a marketing plan along with a sample one page worksheet to download. Simple instructions making the complexities of marketing easier and more customers oriented are at your fingertips. I’d also recommend buying the paperback to have on hand as a resource. This is one of the best marketing books available right now.

View all my reviews

I look forward to learning about your successes. Thank you for following my blog and reading my books. Hope you’ll check out my “About Page” to learn more about my books and writing life.

I’ll be writing and sharing on social media. Hope to see you there, too! Carolyn Bowen

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