Sunday, September 2, 2018

False Logic

I am reading Robert W. Bly's book, The Copywriter's Handbook, to learn the art of copywriting--writing advertisement copy.  Bly has written an informative and eye-opening book, which many people in the advertising business consider to be the copywriter's Bible.  I am currently reading the chapter in which Bly discusses the concept of false logic.

Falso logic is not exactly false advertising.  False logic is a true statement that misleads the customer and plays upon the customer's desires.  For instance, take this passage from a freelance writing company.  They pay so poorly that they could be considered a content mill, except that they have sane turn-around times.

As you develop your skills and portfolio, your rate may increase - many experienced freelance writers receive in excess of $100 per article.

It is absolutely true that your rates 'may' increase.  And they may not.  It is also true that many freelance writers earn more than $100 per article.  But whether this particular company will ever pay that amount to a writer is anybody's guess.  The company never asserts that they will pay their writers that amount, just that others have.

I see false logic used a lot in the ads I read on the web.  It is implied when the fine print says, "Your results may vary."  So be careful of it.  Read advertisements critically, and keep an eye out for verbal sleight-of-hand.

Friday, August 31, 2018

Checking In

Hello--I'm checking in to let you all know that, yes, I know I haven't posted here in a while.  I am in mostly a fiction-writing hiatus for the best of all possible reasons--I am pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Healthcare Management from Western Governors University.  I plan to submit a story to one fiction anthology later this year, but aside from that, any non-educational writing I do is likely to be articles about medicine.  I'm working on building a portfolio of medical writing so that I can start a content writing business.  Medicine was one of my first interests, and my love for it has not waned.

I am currently reading a book about copy-writing, which is a writing style that I want to learn.  It interests me because writing advertisement copy is completely different from the other kinds of writing I have done before.  At the moment I am in the stage of taking copious notes.

In other news, I resumed taking voice lessons last June, which makes me very happy.  My voice sounds so much better and is so much stronger now that I can hardly believe it.  It is now easy to sing notes at both extremes of my range.  I am so thankful to have found my new voice teacher.

I wish you all a very happy Labor Day weekend!

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Microfiction on Zathom!

Three of my microfiction stories have been bought by the editorial team running the Zathom app, which goes live on Friday, October 20.  The stories by me are called "Masked," "Suspect," and "Two Weeks and No Utilities."

The third story is somewhat autobiographical, relating to 16 days without electricity that my husband and I experienced after Hurricane Ike in 2008.  The weather afterward was still hot and steamy in the mornings, and I'm sure we both looked like the great unwashed.  We certainly felt it. 

The first two stories are purely from my wild imagination, using words provided by Zathom's editors that had to be included in the stories.

Sunday, September 24, 2017


I am working on a novel idea whose working title is Strayhaven. It's an earldom in a fictional country called Comhar, which uses elements of Irish culture for its setting. I'm starting the world-building and plotting now. It is my hope to have enough of the pre-writing work done by November 1 that I can successfully complete this as my NaNoWriMo novel for this year.

I haven't posted to this journal in a while because I hit a creative dry spell and was doing nothing but RPG (role-playing game) writing.  A couple of weeks ago, however, I found out about a story-writing app called Zathom that is in development.  Once the app is rolled out, it will be a platform on which users can write flash fiction stories of either 55 or 415 words in length, using certain words chosen by the Zathom organizers.  For their roll-out, the designers were soliciting a whole slew of 55-word stories.  So I submitted about 24.  I will let you know if I sell any of them.  

The Zathom work has been somewhat of a jump-start for me.  it convinced me that I could still write and that I could still come up with interesting ideas.  I really needed that emotional shot in the arm.

Also helpful was reading an excellent book on writing by Marshall Dotson, called The Story Structure Secret:  Actions and Goals.  This is the kind of information I have been needing all of my writing life.  It has been of more help to me than even Donald J. Maas' Writing the Breakout Novel and James Frey's How to Write a Damn Good Novel.  It is because of Dotson's book that I feel able to work on Strayhaven and to feel that it has more than a snowball's chance in Hell of becoming a good story.  Dotson's book is giving me a very clear road map and is allowing me to see that I will be able to finish what I start.  That in itself is a great relief.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Military Information - Time in Service vs Time in Grade for Naval Promotions

I was curious how long it takes to be promoted from one naval rank to another, so I looked it up in terms of the US Navy and found these stats:

ENS to LTJG:  TIS:  2 years.  TIG:  2 years
LTJG to LT:  TIS:  4 years.  TIG:  2 years
LT to LTCDR:  TIS:  9-11 years.  TIG:  3 years
LTCDR to CDR:  TIS:  15-17 years.  TIG:  3 years
CDR to CAPT:  TIS:  21-23 years.  TIG:  3 years

They want their higher-level officers to have much more experience than the minimum time in grade would indicate.  I call BS on Captain Kirk being promoted to captain at age 34.  He should have been a lieutenant commander at most.  :)

Sunday, March 5, 2017

'Dragons & Witches' Now Available for Pre-Order!

Dragons & Witches, the next anthology in which one of my short stories will be published, is now available on Amazon for pre-order!

The link goes to Amazon Smile, which donates a small portion of the book's price to the Texas Masonic Retirement Center to help support the nine elderly ladies who live there.  If you would prefer not to support a cause, you can pre-order Dragons & Witches here at the usual Amazon site.  Whichever way you might choose to purchase the book, you have my sincerest gratitude.

My short story, "The Eyes of Death" was declined for the anthology, The Death of All Things.  Back to the drawing board!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Status - "Where To, Ma'am?"

Good news and bad news!

My short story, "Where To, Ma'am?" was declined by Flash Fiction Online, but I did receive a note from editor Suzanne Vincent that it had reached the final round of their selection process before being rejected.  I take that as a good sign.  Ms. Vincent offered me the chance to receive some feedback on the story, so I have accepted the offer and will use the feedback I receive to, I hope, improve the story and my writing.

In other news, I decided to back the launch of Cloaked Press, a small, independent SF/F press run by author Andrew M. Ferrell, who lives in Wisconsin.  You can visit its Kickstarter page and give it some love here.

Final bit of news:  I have been invited to submit a short story to a middle-grade children's anthology, so I will be working on that.

Good night!