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Friendly Encouragement

Ena Noel Award for Encouragement

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I owe the inspiration for tonight’s blog post to a fellow blogger, Ellie Mack.  She gave me some encouragement do to my somewhat piteous post last night and It inspired me to write about how friends can sometimes help us to pull up our bootstraps and get back to it.

Have you ever felt like you just had so many ideas spinning through your head and yet couldn’t get them written?  That’s how I feel now.  I have three great ideas for novels that two of the three are no more than a page of notes each, right now.  I also have a lot of ideas about how I want to improve this blog by organizing it better, enhancing the EOS quality of it and writing more posts about writing and fewer posts about the random junk I originally started throwing on here in my new blogger zeal.  I also have a few ideas about writing articles for e-zines and some poems I need to write.  I love writing flash fiction too, but that’s just for fun and practice.

As if all that weren’t enough to be roiling around in my cranial cavity, I just received a shipment of 20 gallons of paint and need to paint my house.  My brother-in-law is going to be visiting with his family in two weeks and I want the place to really shine when he gets here.  (He’s a retired Colonel and my wife is always eager to bless him with good impressions of how we’re doing.)

I have a lot on my plate, but all I can think about is writing my first novel.  It’s a great idea for a novel, too.  My wife literally dreamed it up.  She does that.  She dreams full plots with a beginning, a middle and an end.  (I read somewhere that Stephen King dreamed the plots for some of his best novels.)  The only thing she doesn’t always have is a good twist at the end, but we are both very imaginative, so we can develop that as we go.  I think I have the twist I want for this one, anyway.

So I let my blog stagnate for two weeks and now I’m feeling guilty.  Here I am trying to establish an online presence so that everyone will possibly look forward to reading my work when I produce it and then I leave everyone in the lurch for two whole weeks?  Not acceptable.  But Ellie cheered me right up!  So I decided to write about the power of encouragement.

It’s not just some kind words you throw out there and forget about.  Real encouragement comes from the heart of one person and lifts up the heart of another.  There are so many things we can say to one another and yet most of us usually don’t choose encouraging words.  If you don’t agree, look at the comment section of any online news site.   You’ll most likely see that about seventy-five percent of the comments are negative.

I once heard the statement that “life is pain and anyone who tells you different is either lying or selling something.” I don’t think it has to be that way.  Our words have power and they produce results.  Just think what a different place the world would be if each of us made a choice to encourage at least one person every day.

I thank God daily for a wife who encourages me to write.  I am also thankful for the encouragement of friends like Alex and Laura.  They are friends of mine who never seem to have anything negative to say to me or about me.  Now believe me, if they wanted to find negative things to say about me they certainly could, but they don’t.  You see?  That’s what makes a difference in people’s lives.  In fact, they and my wife were the main ones encouraging me to publish The Lost Flip Flop and The Honeybee Fiasco, my two short stories, published on Amazon.com.  Another is coming soon and I feel so much better now that I’m doing something with my writing talent.

Encourage someone today and see how much better you feel too.  Trust me, you won’t be sorry you did so.

 

 

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New tools make self-publishing e-books easier – USATODAY.com

New tools make self-publishing e-books easier – USATODAY.com.

I think anyone aspiring to have their writing published will enjoy this article.  I found it useful and full of good information.

 

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How To Create a Hyperlink in Your Blog Post

Roger Engle's new short story, The Lost Flip Flop, begins a series of true stories about his life in the Mosquito Coast region of Honduras.

This short story, available on Kindle for only $.99, is the first in the series Misadventures In La Mosquitia

I have not been blogging on WordPress for very long, but one of the things I made sure to learn quickly was how to do a hyperlink in my posts.  The reason for this is probably obvious to most people, but there are some who don’t even realize what a hyperlink is.  For those of you who fall into that category, I’ll explain it now, so that never again will you be able to say that.  A hyperlink is a word, phrase or string of characters that, when clicked on, will cause your browser or app to take you to a different place in the document, open another document, or navigate to another website on the internet.  The web address or path will not show unless you look for it.  It is hidden behind the text of your document, if you will.  What I mean is this:  If I want people to see the words “The Lost Flip Flop by Roger Engle” and be able to click on those words and go directly to the website, (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0071I3JN4), where they can buy my new short story.  I should put a hyperlink behind the words “The Lost Flip Flop by Roger Engle”.

How Do I Do That?

Now we’re getting down to the nitty-gritty.  You’ll need the web address or the path of the place you  want to go, (I keep a bunch of my most common links on a post it note on my desk top.  Onenote also works, or just open a new tab and go to the page you’re wanting to hyperlink your text to) and you’ll need some text to work with.  So before we start this, open your blog on another tab and start a new post.  Type some text and highlight something you want to put a hyperlink in.

Like this:

The text I'm highlighting for the hyperlink

Here I am about to add a hyperlink for the "buy-link"to my new short story...

Next, you’ll need to highlight the address I told you to get ready, the one to which you’re planning to hyperlink your text.  (Be sure to include the “http://” part of it.)  Once it’s highlighted, copy it.  You can use ctrl+c or use the right-click menu to copy it.

Only the actual web address or path is highlighted

I've highlighted the buy-link for my short story...

Now we’re going back to the post edit page and verify that our text is still highlighted.  If it’s not we need to highlight it again.  Then we go to the top of the editing window and look for the little square button with a picture in it resembling a chain’s links.  That’s the hyperlink button.  Click it.

After highlighting your text you want to click on this button...

It’s going to open a hyperlink editing “wizard” that looks like this.

When you open the wizard it will already have the "http://" highlighted.

Now you need to right-click on the highlighted text in the top field and click paste. (as plain text)  Then you can name the link and decide how you  want it to open so that your dialogue box will look something like this:

I always try to remember to have it open in a separate tab or window so the person reading my blog will be able to return there by clicking on the tab instead of having to remember the website it was on and navigate back there.

Once you’ve done all that, click on the blue button at the bottom of the dialogue box that says “Add Link” and you’re done!  You should now have a hyperlink in the text of your blog that looks something like this:

Now when you publish your post, click on the colored text and it should take you directly to the address or site you linked it to.

Have fun doing hyperlinks.  Please comment here if you like this article or have any questions.

 
 

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Flash Fiction Online

Flash Fiction Online.

I’ve been looking at flash fiction lately.  Maybe I’ll get involved.

 
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Posted by on January 30, 2012 in Authors, Blogs, Poetry, Prompts, self publishing, Short Stories

 

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George Angus, Tumblemoose Writer – What Downton Abbey Can Teach Us About Writing

Gmail – George Angus, Tumblemoose Writer – rogerkatrina@gmail.com.

Although I have never seen the show Downtown Abbey, I like George’s blogpost because he does something I like to do myself.  He takes an everyday situation and makes a lesson out of it for himself and others.  In this case he points out that the TV series possesses three universal components for a good story.

Keep up the good work George!  I love reading your blog and learn lots from doing so.

 
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Posted by on January 28, 2012 in Authors, Blogs, self publishing

 

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A Good Word About Kindle Direct

Kindle 3 on Direct Sunlight

Image by isriya via Flickr

I was a little surprised to see how quickly Kindle fixed my problem with the title of my new publication.  It was quite quickly, to be honest.  All I did was go to my bookshelf, click on the title and change the series title on the next page.  It effectively took my title out of circulation for “up to 18 hours”, but within two or three hours of having made the change, I logged back in and looked at the book and saw the series title had changed on Amazon and my book was back in circulation.

This leads me to talk a little more about how easy it was to publish my book on Kindle Direct.  I won’t say it was as easy as I had thought it would be.  I hadn’t realized all the questions I would be asked and, not knowing how to answer some of those questions sent me on long web-surfing expeditions to find the answers.  I would like to give special thanks to another author, whose blog I have been following for about a year now, George Angus.  He helped me with one of those tough questions by replying quickly to an email I sent him.

The questions, although it was tough for me to know how to answer them because I had never done anything like this before, were not purposely difficult.  Nor were they posed in a way that was not easy to figure out their intention.  Kindle Direct, I believe, has done well in designing their website to be user-friendly and as easy as possible.  After having published through that website, I know I could do it again with little or no problems.  The difficulty, for me, was the same problem I have had with some of the “purchase online” websites I’ve used.  Simply knowing what was the proper format for each field and which ones to fill out for my needs.

The one other problem I had, was learning how to format my book properly so that it would look nice on the Kindle.  Not having a Kindle myself, I had to download the Kindle Previewer and then that didn’t want to work for me.  The simple online previewer in black and white worked better for me.  The KindleGen file converter was hard to find a link to for downloading.  What’s more, the ReadMe file that came with it, which is the same one there’s a link to on the Amazon website, was not very well explained and I couldn’t get it to work.  All I know about that experience is that anything I have to open a C: prompt and enter commands in order to use is probably not for me.  The KindleGen app, (if you can call it that), seems a useless peripheral.

That’s okay though.  The short story was already written in Word and was easily uploaded in .doc format.  I just had to preview it about a dozen times to make sure the cover, the copyright page, the dedications page, and the first page of each chapter, (in this case it was a short story with only one chapter), all showed up where they were supposed to and without having to click through a bunch of blank space to get to them.  I’ll post more on formatting in a future post.

I also need to say that, were it not for Kindle Direct making things so easy, I would still be sitting at my desk, surfing the web, looking for a company or a website that would take an interest in my book even though I was an unpublished author.  I’m very glad this option was available to me.

 

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The Lost Flip Flop – Misadventures in La Mosquitia

Roger Engle's new short story, The Lost Flip Flop, begins a series of true stories about his life in the Mosquito Coast region of Honduras.

 

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