Death & sparkles

Want to check out a cool, funny, cute kids graphic novel? Check out Death & Sparkles by Rob Justus! Death himself teams up with the last Unicorn on earth (who is also a huge social media star) and things get as crazy as you would imagine! Multiple trips to the unicorn afterlife, reptilian aliens who want to save the world from climate change, turtle hoarding, video games, rainbow unicorn vomit, eating bugs, and LOTS of cupcakes make this a ridiculous but fun read.

Handmade bookmarks for sale

I got a laminating machine recently, so I’ve been using it to make some handmade bookmarks to sell on my Ebay ($3 each including shipping). My favorite thing to make the bookmarks out of is old books – the covers, illustrations, etc. Here are the first few bookmarks I’ve made:

Guest Post: Top DIY Editing Tips

Today I’m featuring a guest post by Emma Brown. She is going to give out some professional DIY editing tips, focusing primarily on article/essay writing! I hope they can be of use to you!

Top DIY Editing Tips

It’s not enough just to write an article. After all, the first version of the text is a draft. You must make it informative and easy to understand, put it into order, and edit it. It is unwise to show it to the reader right away; the draft must be looked at by an editor. Well, or postpone the article and return later to make the improvements yourself.

Sometimes editing and revisions take longer than the actual writing. After all, any article can be improved endlessly, there is no limit to perfection. But there is not always enough time for such perfection. Our 10 Quick Editing Tips Checklist will help you speed up your work.

10 tips of essay editing

The main principle of editing says the simpler the better. Plain language, easy and understandable words. After all, we are not writing a work of fiction kind of document, but a note that should quickly make one’s point to the reader, solve the problem.

Students and writers often face the problem of essay editing and this is when professional edit essay services online come in handy. A professional editor will edit your essay and deliver it in a timely manner.

Forget about the flawless syllable, excessive expressiveness looks strange in essays on general topics. And even worse if we see this in technical texts about metallurgical equipment. Therefore, take into account the subject of the text, the language of the target audience – everything is individual.

We recommend finding a middle ground, so that the paper does not seem out of place. It is inappropriate to imitate Nabokov in informational articles and descriptions.

Now in detail. Let’s move on to specific recommendations:                                                             

Tip #1.

Clean up unnecessary things. Any text can be reduced by 20% without sacrificing content. To make papers strong, squeeze out the waffling: remove every excess word, without which the meaning of the sentence is not lost.

Tip #2.

Remove hackneyed phrases and cliches. These are english phrases that are used in texts/speech so often that they have ceased to be means of expressiveness. They have become standard, trite, and boring.

Tip #3.

Forget about bureaucracy and colloquial words. Use an informational style so that an assignment about travel does not turn into an excerpt from a dissertation or everyday conversation.

Tip # 4.

Make things clear and give examples. The text must be 100% objective. Omissions, understatements, and uncertainties are not needed here. Add specific, accurate information.

Tip # 5.

Simplify the complex things. Put things in order. Sentences should be clear from the first read through and written simply.

Tip # 6.

Replace verbal nouns. Verbal nouns require weak verbs. Experienced editors are well aware of this issue. This makes sentences more difficult.

Tip # 7.

Don’t overuse leading questions. Such questions allow the reader to identify the article as suitable for them, regardless of whether it is academic writing or something else. These questions relate to the problems of the reader. And if a person internally said YES at the very beginning, then they are already involved.

Tip # 8.

Split the sentences. To keep the reader’s attention and not clutter up the text, divide long sentences into several short ones. This will make the article lighter and save the target audience’s time.

Either way, applying for expert assistance from essay-editor.net, you will get your paper edited and proofread the best way possible.

Tip # 9.

Check repetitions and tautologies. The author may not even notice overuse of words from the same root. After all, work on a small text can last 2-3 hours, during which time the eye gets blurry. But to the reader, these flaws immediately catch the eye and spoil the whole impression of the text. A professional service will not let it happen.

Tip # 10.

Make the text beautiful: work on the design services. The structure of the article plays an important role. Even if the text is super informative and useful, written in plain language, and without a single mistake, it is not a guarantee that it will be paid attention to. Readers may not feel like reading solid text without visual clues. 

Conclusion

Don’t be afraid to cut, divide, and remove unnecessary parts. Only practice will help you achieve perfection. Maximum benefit, minimum waffling, and simplicity are the three pillars on which any successful article is built. But don’t go crazy either – do not overdo it with proofreading, so that the text turns into a dry outline of the original article. Everything should be in moderation. It’s easy to lose track of authorship, which should be the hallmark of your writing.

The Page Turner Awards are Now Open for Submissions!

As I mentioned a little while back, I was honored to be asked by the Page Turner Awards to help judge their Young Writer Award category. This opportunity excites me because I love literature and am excited to get a chance to help recognize and encourage some blossoming young writers!

The Page Turner Awards are now open to submissions, so make sure you check it out! Here is a bit more information about the Page Turner Awards from a recent press release:

Page Turner Awards is an inclusive writing and book awards with one goal – to change the lives of as many writers as possible. While traditional writing awards are often steeped in elitism, the Page Turner Awards passionately believes that talented writers can be from any background, age, race, religion, or interest.

Our mission is to get new unpublished writers discovered, helping published authors get their writing recognized and celebrated, so they can find new reading audiences and giving screenwriters the chance to have their scripts placed in front of film professionals.

Page Turner Awards gives unpublished writers the chance to enter unpublished fiction and non-fiction books, to be read by a carefully curated judging panel made up of influential players in the publishing industry. We also give published authors, whether mainstream published or independently published, the chance to get their fiction story or non-fiction book recognized by successful authors, high-caliber industry professionals and film producers. Plus, screenwriters have the chance to showcase their screenplays to film producers and film production companies actively looking for scripts to produce. Prizes span everything from mentorships to audiobook production and publishing packages.

Have you used a blog optimization service?

I was curious whether any of my fellow WordPress bloggers have ever used a blog optimization service?

As my blog has grown, it has gotten to the point where I am constantly being contacted by companies and people offering these kinds of services, promising they can improve your blog traffic and help you to rank higher in Google searches. I haven’t hired any of them, but I’ve wondered at times if it would be worth it.

They are rather expensive, and many seem to want a monthly recurring fee to keep your blog “optimized”, which I kind of balk at. This month for the first time, I will actually meet the $100 WordPress ads minimum threshold and get a payout, so I definitely don’t make a lot of money off this blog. Occasionally I have done paid posts and links, but very rarely because I am picky about that kind of stuff and will only host things I believe in or that are directly related to my blog themes.

If anyone has used a blog optimization service, I would love to hear about your experience, and if there are any specific services you would recommend or warn away from!

Get Signed Copies of My Books on Ebay!

I wasn’t sure if all of you were aware that I sell signed copies of my paperback books on Ebay, so figured I’d give you a heads up in case anyone was interested. The books for sale are either my poetry books or books for children. All my print books are currently available except for “Searching for the Truth” (I’m sold out of that one right now).

Each book is $5, plus shipping via Media Mail. Below, I’ll give the Ebay link for each book. If you don’t do Ebay, but are still interested in getting a signed copy, let me know and I’m sure we can work something out. Numbers are limited, so get yours soon!

Ebay Book Links:

Ode to Icky (kids picture book)

Not Afraid to Be Real (poetry)

From Both Sides (poetry about foster care)

Creepy, Funny & Just Plain Weird (kids short stories/poetry)

Can’t Keep Me Down (poetry)

Life Update – Health, Exciting News!

It’s been a minute since I just did a life update, so let’s take a minute to do so! I’ll break it up into categories for ease:

Physical health – Thank God, the Topamax increase seems to have helped the migraines quite a bit. They aren’t gone entirely, but have been much better lately. Still having some digestive issues, so I’m seeing the GI doctor soon. We suspect Gastroparesis or some other motility disorder might be at play. I’ve already been following a gastroparesis diet and it has been helping my symptoms, but we won’t know till I get a test obviously. That condition is really common with Ehlers Danlos though.

Mental health – Uh, all over the place. Anxiety like crazy. Kinda hyper. Hard to concentrate and focus…that one has been a real pain lately. Even getting stuff like this done isn’t easy. My brain wants to go in fifty million directions, none of them what they are supposed to be doing. Depression too, but kind of medium level. Like just the blahs. Apathetic. Need constant positive stimuli to not start feeling blah again, but that isn’t reality, is it?

My writing – Finally, some good news!!! First off, I was contacted by a music professor at Central Washington University in Washington state who wants to use one of my poems to set to music for a project she and her colleagues and a few students are working on. They will compose music for the poem (for instrument and voice) and then put together a concert music video for it (because covid and all I assume) and it will be released in April. Of course, I will be credited for my part in the project, and will share the video when I can.

Also, I just got an email today that the educational resources website Twinkl has chosen my blog to be one of their Top Autism Blogs of 2020! They get pretty high traffic on their site, so it is quite an honor and I’m psyched about it!

The Most Successful Blogs on WordPress

Have you ever noticed that some of the biggest blogs on WordPress focus mostly on telling other bloggers how to “make it as a blogger” and “grow your blog quickly”? I noticed this a while ago myself. It makes sense, people are most likely to read a blog that posts information they find useful and practical, and since many WP readers are also bloggers who dream of huge followings and internet stardom, it makes sense that the blogs that promise that or try to help you achieve that would be most popular.

It is human nature to want what helps us to succeed. At times I have been tempted to follow the example of these large blogs and focus on commercialization, but I can’t bring myself to do it. I’m just not interested in focusing on follower numbers, views, and marketing strategies. I understand those things and think I could easily follow the “formula” to try to make it happen, but my passion just isn’t there.

What makes me feel alive is sharing my art, my poetry, my experiences and lessons learned from this whole crazy experience called life. I like to share my pain, my joy, my sadness, my hopes, my dreams, and my heart. I like to read other blogs that focus mostly on the same types of things. It may mean I never become a superstar, and neither will my WP friends, but I enjoy our communication and heart-to-heart connection so much more than large numbers β™₯

New Poetry & Short Prose Chapbook on Kindle!

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Hey guys πŸ™‚ I finally got down to work and published a new poetry & short prose chapbook on Amazon called “Can’t Keep Me Down“. It is currently only available as an ebook for Kindle, but the price is pretty good ($.99 or FREE if you have Kindle Unlimited)!

As the description on the Amazon page states, the underlying themes of the collection are determination, perseverance, trauma, healing, and the importance of becoming a survivor. The collection contains 25 poems and short prose pieces on those subjects.

I really hope you will check it out and if you do, PLEASE consider leaving an honest review on Amazon. We indie authors desperately need that feedback and (if you like it) recommendation! I am also willing to gift the ebook or reimburse purchase price to people who will promise to review it, so let me know if you are interested.