Topic for July: Time Management

With vacations looming and long summer days with the weather beautiful, writers tend to get out more and they forget about their writing only to regret it in the fall when they look back and notice that they didn’t do a lot of writing of their own.

So, all this month, I will be focusing on how to write during the summer months. It is important for writers to continue writing, even if it is not for long periods of time. It is important that we just keep writing and keep moving forward with our writing goals, even if they move forward by a bit.

So, please coming back this month for more information on how to manage your time during the summer months.

To your best and productive summer!

Irene S. Roth

A book about love, life and profound blessings

This is a unique book that I had the honour to review for Halo Publishing International!  I wanted to share this review with all my readers because this is just a gem of a book, one that can become a collector’s item for many serious readers.  This is an example of how to write a book!

Tending My Garden: A Celebration of Love, Life and Blessings
By: Jacqueline Miller Brown

This is a unique book about the many trials and tribulations as well as blessings that life has to offer. It is written in a wonderfully weaving poetic form that is filled with wisdom and honesty. Tending My Garden will inspire the reader to be so much more than she is now.

Life presents itself as a share of chaos and blessings. But so much of this world and our daily lives are painted in negative ways. We say and do negative things both to the planet and each other. This book will urge us to rethink all the negativity that we encounter and to be the voice of positivity and beauty in our lives.

Jacqueline Miller Brown believes that life is a garden. And family and friends are an intimate part of this garden. We have to nurture this garden and cultivate it so that it bears much good fruit.

We can do this by remembering the little things we take for granted such as the rain, sunshine, the beauty of flowers and the beauty of nature in all seasons. This world is a truly majestic place if we remember all the little things, turn off our technological devices and drink in the beauty that God has bestowed on us.

We get to honour God by taking each of these little things into consideration and give them their proper merit. And Brown honours God by using her writing to promote the word of God and inspire us to be our best to each other and ourselves.

The book is a treasure-throve of wisdom and inspiration. We are encouraged to celebrate love, our family, children, home, and each other. We must also celebrate milestones, discover strength and faith, and develop Christian values and celebrate blessings.

As a whole, this book will touch many souls and encourage us to see life much more positively and to live joyously despite the fact that life can present us with moments of distress, storms, and mistakes. May we rejoice and be glad every day.

Rating: 5 stars

Reviewed by: Irene S. Roth

How to Ensure that you Write Every Day

Many writers have a difficult time to get to their desks on a consistent basis. Part of the problem is creating a habit of writing every day, despite all of our distractions and difficulties. Life is never problem- free it seems, and there is always something ready to catapult our writing time, if we let it.

In addition to your scheduled writing sessions, use odd bits of “down” time to write:

  • Your daily bus commute
  • Doctor appointments
  • Unexpected doctor visits
  • The half hour the cake needs to cool before you can ice it
  • Waiting for anything–a flight departure, the cable guy, your date to show up.

Always make sure you have something to write on (and with!), even if it means keeping a pen and small notebook in your fanny pack while jogging, or with your towel at the beach. You’ll be surprised how much you can actually accomplish in these short, otherwise unproductive periods.

A Place of Your Own

As important, perhaps, as a time to write is a place that you can lay claim to as your writing space–a place where you won’t be interrupted, where ideally you can leave your work out when you’re finished for the day. In addition to the space needed for your computer and printer, you should have plenty of desktop space to spread out your notes or any other materials you’re working with.

A bulletin board where you can pin-up inspirational quotes, pictures of settings or characters, deadlines, etc. is a great addition to your writing space. Make sure you have adequate lighting, a sturdy, comfortable chair and a handy shelf for your writing reference books. Whatever it takes, create a place that means writing to you–and to those around you–the minute you occupy it: your special place, your writing place.

The point is to make the most of whatever time and space you have. Writers work on subways, buses and commuter trains. Any place is a good place to write if you just recognize its possibilities. A quiet place is ideal, but–as anyone who has ever worked for a newspaper knows–it is possible to turn out good writing in the middle of utter chaos.

Starter-Sparkers

No matter what you accomplish in a writing session, you’ll frequently find yourself having to pick up in the middle of something left unfinished from a previous session, and you may be worried about maintaining your momentum, or picking up the thread of your thoughts. Here are some ideas that have worked for other writers:

Ernest Hemingway used to find it helpful to intentionally stop in the middle of a well-thought-out scene; he liked to stop writing before the juice was up. When he was eager to go on to the next word–when he knew exactly what he wanted to say and how he wanted to say it–that’s when he’d quit, often right in the middle of a sentence. With this system, Hemingway seldom had trouble getting started the following day. He knew the rest of the sentence he’d left hanging; he knew where he wanted the story to go next. He would simply begin the new writing session by finishing what he’d deliberately left unfinished the session before.

Hemingway’s system may work for you, too, but it requires discipline. It can be difficult to stop writing when the words are flowing. If you find this is a problem for you, you may want to try something else. Some writers, for example, warm up by simply retyping the last page from their previous session. Other writers will read their last page, delete it, and then rewrite the page as closely as they can from memory. Either practice can help you regain the momentum from your earlier work and give you a running start.

Whether you use any of these methods or concoct one of your own, the important thing is getting back to your writing project–whatever stage it is in–and continuing with it, making one step forward after another, and getting more and more words on the page.

Try it:

Irene S. Roth

Meet Brit Jones

coverHi Brit Jones!  It is GREAT to have you here on my blog!

1. Tell us a few things about yourself.

I’ve lived in Boulder, Colorado since 2004. I feel very fortunate to live in a place that has a high concentration of innovative thinkers. I’m the father of a 12 year old boy and have been privileged to receive the love and support of and wonderful family. My mother and father, as well as my two sisters and their husbands have been invaluable in their support of this book.

2. What’s your favorite book?

I’ve tended to gravitate towards books that teach me something about how to be better in life. I rarely read to escape, but rather to learn. If I were to choose an author and book I truly enjoyed, it would be “A Bridge Across Forever” by Richard Bach.

3. Who is your favorite author?

My favorite author is Richard Bach.

4. What inspired you to want to write your book?

It was never my intention to stay in the restaurant business as long as I have. But once life started happening and bills were piling up, it was a challenge to find other employment where I could make comparable money without taking several steps backward.

As I gathered more experience, it became glaringly obvious that the training programs most restaurants provide for servers don’t cover the important components of excellent service. Due to the transient nature of servers, coming and going, I could see that restaurant owners would be reluctant to provide thorough training for servers.

At the end of the day, waiting tables isn’t rocket science, but, with a few key guiding principles and suggestions on technique, service quality could certainly stand to improve. So I wrote this book for those servers who would like to discover their best selves in this line of work, as well as to provide a tool for restaurant owners and managers to elevate service quality without much investment of time and money.

5. Why do you like writing about your topic?

Simply because I have paid attention to what it takes to become better and I discovered how to articulate it. I know the topic through and through.

6. Tell us about your current writing projects.

Upon the completion of A Waiter’s Companion, I realized I have more to share on the subject. For now, I plan to market the current book, but I envision a complement to it down the road.

7. What can readers expect to get from this book?

It’s my hope that readers will discover the information to be helpful in providing structure to the learning experience and, ultimately, elevate the quality of service in restaurants across this country and around the world. Too often, a dining experience is diminished because servers have not been given the necessary training to do their job to the best of their abilities.

8. Any tips for aspiring writers?

Yes. We all have a book inside of us. When you discover yours, don’t let the opinions of others who can’t see your vision, discourage you from moving forward with it. There will always be those who will, either intentionally or unintentionally, discourage you. Push past that and bring it out of your head and into the world.

9.Any last words?

If you find something to be valuable, chances are, others will too.

The Writer’s Life: The Margaret Laurence Lectures

This is a great book about the 25th anniversary of the Lecture Series. It brings the best writers and everything that they say is necessary for a writer’s life.

Some of the stories are humorous. Others are more serious. But together, they are a threasure-throve of great tips for writers of all vintages from beginner to more mature writer.

Before an audience of peers, our greatest writers have revealed insights into their work, shared the challenges they faced in forging their careers, and give their unique perspectives on what it meant to be a part of an emerging national writing community.

Now in celebration of the series’ twenty-fifth anniversary, The Writers’ Trust is brining these lectures to the general public for the first time.

The result is a sparkling collection that ranges from sharp social commentary to deeply personal meditations.

This is a book that I will read and re-read. It is a book that every writer should read at some point in their lives. Why not now?

Rating: 5 stars

Reviewed by: Irene S. Roth

The Canadian Writer’s Market: The Essential Guide for Freelance Writers

This is a great book for writers about the state of the Canadian Writer’s market. It is a book that is necessary for all writers to be most successful in their writing careers.

It can be difficult to be a freelance writer in Canada. However, this book is an effective tool to help freelancers fend off such a nasty fate. With such a concise resource, writers trying to sell or place just about any competent piece of work will probably find places to find publication for their work.

The publishing industry is constantly changing. For freelance writers, it is essential to learn as much as possible about the opportunities and atmosphere of the publishing world in order to get a career off the ground and to grow their current business.

This book is designed to serve both the aspiring and the experienced freelance writer who needs some guidelines and accurate listings of potential markets.

The book also includes a section on self-published and e-books, which are making it easier for writers to get published.

Rating: 5 stars

Reviewed by: Irene S. Roth

The Write Track by Betty Jane Wylie

This is another book about how to succeed as a freelance writer in Canada. I have been reading a few books this month about this topic because I am a writer, and of course, I am writing in Canada. So, it is a book that I will read and re-read over the years.

This book is now revised and updated with a new chapter on electronic rights, is a personal and practical look at the author’s freelance experience as she tells how she made it from the uncertainty of a neophyte to the growing confidence of a veteran.

This book is a writer’s reference. It is packed with the information every freelance writer needs to know, including:

  • A writer’s self-evaluation: measuring the itch, the talent, the skills, the character, and the discipline necessary for success.
  • First steps: taking that leap into the freelance world and knowing where you might land.
  • Profiting from brainwaves: generating ideas and putting them to work.
  • Details of the writing life and the writing business: organizing your day, your office, your small business, your support team, and your marketing energy.
  • A writer’s right and responsibilities: contractual, moral, Canadian and electronic.

I loved this book from beginning to end. I will be suggesting it in my writing groups.

Rating: 5 Stars

Reviewed by: Irene S. Roth