Thursday, March 27, 2014

One of the Best TED Talks Ever + a Boxed Book Sale




First things first: 
Through March 29 (Saturday), BREATHTAKING, a 7 title e-book boxed set of romantic suspense novels is on sale for only 99 cents. I haven't read the books, but I know three of the authors and wish them the best.
Get it at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iTunes, and Smashwords.



A Must-See Video for Creative Types

Creativity is a funny/strange/aggravating/wonderful thing. It's complex and hard to understand (if understanding it is even possible).

A few years ago I found Elizabeth Gilbert's TED talk. If you don't know her by name, you surely know her by at least the title of her most famous book, Eat, Pray, Love, which was made into a major motion picture starring Julia Roberts.

I haven't read her work or seen the movie, so my opinion about her TED talk have no bearing on those things. And my opinion on the talk is pretty emphatic: If you are a creative type, you need to watch it.

I'm not the only who thinks so. Since it was filmed in 2009, the video has been viewed almost 10 million times (8.1 million times on the TED site, and another 1.7 times on YouTube).

I can't remember how I first stumbled on it, but it stuck with me. Every six month or so, I find myself drawn to watch it again, to listen to what she says about creativity, specifically the the creative genius and work as a creative person.

Every time I watch it, something different jumps out at me. And I'll admit that the first five times I watched it, there were entire sections I didn't remember hearing before. Maybe I hear what my creative mind needs to at any given time.

So here it is. Watch it. It's just under 20 minutes, and it's worth every second.




Oh, and here's the Breathtaking Box Set link at Amazon again, just to make things easy.

Friday, March 07, 2014

TWO Super Secret Projects & a Cover Revealed!

Many friends and readers have known for some time that Luisa Perkins and I have been working on two super secret projects. We're ready to reveal what they are!
Here we are at the 2014 ANWA Conference in February.
Aren't we totes adorbs?
(As my teenagers would say.)
Luisa and I have a long-time love of the English language. Long-time readers of this blog know my love, as evidenced by my Word Nerd Wednesday series.

We're now teaming up, creating a podcast about all of the language issues that frustrate so many people: Grammar, Usage and Mechanics.

I capitalized those words on purpose, because they are where the name of our podcast comes from: Luisa and I are your GUM Shoes! (Get it? Grammar, Usage, Mechanics? GUM!) Go like the Facebook page at that link so you can stay up to date. The first episode will be posted on Tuesday, March 11, and we'll be sure to share the link to the website when it's live.

Here's the badge you'll look for on iTunes. (Look carefully at the words in the shoe. Isn't the logo awesome?!)



Each episode will be short: a bite-sized tip to help improve your speech and writing. If you have specific questions for us, leave a comment on the GUM Shoes Facebook page!



Our other project won't be live until late April, but we're in the final stages of getting it ready. Many people have asked about our accountability partnership, and we've even blogged about it before. But those posts didn't cover everything we've learned over the years of working together, and people had many more questions, too.

We pitched the idea of teaching a class at the annual Storymakers Writers Conference about accountability partnerships, and we are teaching it!

But not everyone can attend that, and even for those who will, a 50-minute workshop isn't enough to cover the subject entirely.

So here's the second big project: We'll soon have a book released about how to create an accountability partnership to meet your goals. Check out the cover:




Again, awesome, right?! (And no, we didn't plan for both the GUM logo and the cover to be red and black, but it works!)

We'll be sure to link over when it's live. Exciting stuff, people! I'm thrilled to finally share the news!


Why Suomi 100 Means So Much to Me

(TL;DR: scroll to the end to snag Song Breaker for free. Today only.) One hundred years ago, on December 6, 1917, Finland declared indepen...