Thanks

Thank you for following my blog. I’ve moved to a new website. You can continue to follow me at http://carolbalawyder.com/category/writing/ under the blog menu. Hope to see you there. 

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I’m Moving

 

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Photo Source: Juvenile Dreamer at deviant art.

Photo Source: Juvenile Dreamer at Deviant Art

It was a Thursday June 17, 2010 when I met Marsha Lawrence at Concordia University for my first introductory lesson to blogging. At the time she was the organizer of the Meetup group Her New Self, a group where local women  were undergoing or making major life changes.

I was one of them. The first question she asked me regarding my blog is,”What is it’s purpose?”

I told her that I wanted a blog to showcase my writing in an attempt to find an agent, a publisher for my books.  She chose WordPress as the blog software and the decisions began:  Username. Password. Web address. Blog name. Choosing a template.  This was as foreign to me as a new language.

For awhile, I had one blog going which was titled Writing Scales on the Art and Craft of Writing. Through this blog I began to write about my online dating experiences and thus started another blog titled a girl called Brenda. It was all experimental for me  both blogging and the writing. In time a girl called Brenda evolved into a novel, The Dating Club, which is currently in its editing phase and I hope to have it out shortly.

The novel revolves around four women who are looking for their Prince Charming. One of the characters, Missi Morgan is a writer for an online e-magazine about mid-life dating. Brenda became Missi.  Such is the mystery and magic of fiction.

Sometime else happened in these years. Self publishing began to take up more space saying, move over traditional publishing, and the stigma that was so often associated with poor writing and Vanity Press was quickly dying. Terms such as branding and platform were showing up all over the place and I knew that if I wanted to share my writing I would have to adapt to this new technology.

My first attempt at self publishing was a memoir on grief through Create Space. Not a best seller. Can’t figure that one out. Still, it put me on the self-publishing cho-cho train.

As the train moves forward so do I.

As Einstein once said: Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.

Who am I to argue with Mr. E?

I have moved to a new website at http://www.carolbalawyder.com where I have centralized my writing. Under Women’s Fiction you will still find Ten Great First Dates.  The menu also includes short summaries of my crime novels for which I am still debating whether to go traditional or self-publish.

I also have a blog which has expanded beyond just writing. Here, I will regularly post  blogs where I will make you meet some very interesting people on this planet.  Of course, I’ll also continue to write about writing workshops and  conferences I attend and whatever other creative  and fun inspiration I can share with you.

I hope that you will subscribe to my new blog and continue our online relationship.  I truly look forward to your comments and our growing friendship.

Thank you all from the bottom of my heart for following me.

Warm Regards,

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In Loving Memory

Four years ago today, my sister, Diana, died.

Diana,jpg Since then I wrote a collection of essays on mourning in great part to deal with my grief. Yet, here I am still feeling the grief. It is not that I want it to go away. It is difficult to separate grief from affection, from missing a person.

On some level, mourning comforts. It tells me how much I loved her. How much I cared for her.

Grief is also, to me, about all the things I didn’t tell her, all the things we won’t get to do together. About how she will always be in my heart.

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4nBAJZrVp1k

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Building Your Platform

I recently picked up Emily Giffin’s latest novel Where we belong. Here are some quotes from her two full-page acknowledgments:

First, she thanked her loyal readers…”talking with you on Facebook, Twitter, and book tours gets me through every painful bout of writer’s block…”

I thought. How do I get through writer’s block? A glass or two of wine? A walk through the Botanical Gardens, a deep discussion with myself as to why I’m putting myself through this torture. Well, it isn’t really torture. The truth is what else would I do with my life?

Back to Emily. So she gives eternal thanks to her editor Jennifer Enderlin, to Stephen Lee, her publicist, to too many to name at St. Martin’s Press (13 I counted). The entire Broadway and Fifth Avenue sales force. To Olga Grlic for the cover design.

And oh, yes,  her world-class agent, Theresa Park and her team…and to Molie Smith and Mara Lubell for taking care of her website and for Sarah Hall, Danielle Burch and Susan Stockman for their publicity efforts.

Then, of course, thanks went to family members for their moral support, to her assistant. Who among us trying to build our platform has an assistant?

So, these are some of the people behind Emily Giffin’s where we belong.

And to top it all off, have you seen her photo?

What would your writing be like if you had such a team?

So, that kind of discouraged me and made me wonder about all this building a platform hype. I mean, isn’t it really the other way around. What are your thoughts?  What ever happened to good old-fashioned writing?

Are you beginning to feel alone in building your platform? I for one sometimes think I am building a house with only a hammer and a box of nails.

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Beating The Writing Blues

This was my Sunday morning:

I have 3 novels on the go, all of them past the first draft stage. One of them, a Woman’s  fiction novel, The Dating Club, I’m working with a professional editor (www.JennieNash.com). I am still uncertain whether I will go the traditional route with this novel or self-publish.  The two others are crime fictions. I  entered the The Red River Murderess in first crime novel contests last year but alas didn’t make it. Still, I think it’s a good novel and so I queried a publishing house about it. I sent out my third novel, Cora’s Cry for Help, to agents who are looking for writers (see Writer’s Digest, October 2013).

I also went online and found such sites as http://www.writersservices.com . An awfully interesting sight but who has a week of holidays to go through it? I also went on the forums on Backspace and found  IntenseDebate.com  What the heck is that all about? All I could figure out is that it had something to do with my wordpress blogs. But what? I don’t know.  Then, I found that I should be on the author program of Goodreads. Guess who’s on it? Meg Cabot, John Irving, Margaret Atwood. Come on! These are big league authors.

All this takes up a lot of time and energy and left me well…feeling blue. I mean what was the point of my continuing to edit Cora’s Cry for Help if it was to go nowhere?  The entire process left me discouraged and my writer’s soul felt like it was empty.

So, instead, I headed out to the Botanical Gardens.

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They are currently holding an international mosaic exhibition and I thought that the change of scenery would inspire me. Inspire me it did. I got all sorts of ideas for my blog www.agirlcalledbrenda.wordpress.com  This was stimulating but it also meant more work.  I am already overwhelmed with writing projects.

After the Botanical Gardens I headed to the National Library (really, if ever you are in Montreal, you ought to pay this a visit. It is spectacular, not to mention that it is in the wonderful Latin quarter of the city) to return some books. I then remembered that in my novel The Dating Club, my protagonist was going to India.  So I took out a few travel books on India and boy was I back in the game. I was reading all about India, a country I’ve been dreaming of visiting for years. All in the name of research for my novel. And that’s how I beat the writing blues.

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Mourning Has Broken

Wow. It’s been such  a long time since I’ve been on my blog.

I’m happy to say that my book Mourning Has Broken is available on Amazon and Kindle

 

http://www.amazon.com/Mourning-Has-Broken-C-Balawyder/dp/1461029279/ref=sr_1_cc_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1320843244&sr=1-1-catcorr

For all who are interested I hope that you will enjoy it and if you are going through your own grief process may my book be of some comfort to you.

Namaste

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AGAIN MOTIVATION

I have been talking a lot about motivation these days. Saturday evening I went to see Midnight in Paris with a meet-up group I belong to. The movie brought me back to Paris, especially at the beginning of the movie where Woody Allen gives us a grand tour of the city. But the movie is also about literature and writing and a longing for the past and it made me think how my writing is moving at such a slow pace and that I am lacking the passion that I seek in writing.

These meet-ups are always an opportunity to meet new people. And I did. I met Judy. It so happens that she’s a counselor and when I mentioned to her how I was lacking motivation in my writing she responded by saying what I’ve known for years: follow your intention with action. It’s not good enough to just want to picture myself as a writer although that is a necessary step. At least for me it is. She suggested that before I fall asleep I ask whoever or whatever it is that makes good writers write to give me the motivation that I need to keep going on my novel. This I do. Not only before I fall asleep but when I awake. I pray to the gods of motivation. Give me names I can hear you skeptics out there. So here they are: Continue reading

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