Riding With Mother by Momma Fargo, AKA Kathryn Marschalk Loving

Posted by on Apr 22, 2016 in Group News

Here’s an excellent read.  The author, an ex-police officer from the State of Wyoming, takes her dear old mother in the passenger seat of her squad car for a first hand look at the dangerous, stressful life of a real policewoman.  Kathryn’s goal is to show her mother what a self-sufficient, resourceful, and genuinely tough police officer she is.  What happens is hilarious!

Here’s the link to Riding With Mother by Momma Fargo. Trigger warning: don’t drink anything while you’re reading this.

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Toledo Authors Website

Posted by on Mar 1, 2016 in Group News

There’s a new web site offered by a local company that is worth looking at.  Becky Robinson from Weaving Influence has just launched a site that exclusively features authors in the Toledo metro area.  The new site, Hometown Reads, provides a list of local authors and their work, an individual page for each author, and includes links to the author’s website, Facebook page and other social media sites.  Also included is a link to purchase the book in question.

If you’re an author, this is free advertising and a connecting point to other authors.  If you’re a reader, you’ll find a list of local authors and their work in one, cleanly written page.

There has been a need for this service for a long time now, and I’m glad to see that Becky and her team have picked up the ball and are running it in for a touchdown.

You can read an extended review at Hometown Reads by W.L. Emery.

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Book Review: This Is Me, Jack Vance! Or More Properly, This Is I

Posted by on Oct 24, 2015 in Group News

This Is Me, Jack Vance! Or More Properly, This Is I by Jack (John Holbrook) Vance (August 28, 1916 – May 26, 2013)
Copyright 2009
ISBN 978-1-61947-065-1
ASIN: B007V7VCYI
File Size: 3018 KB
Print Length: 213 pages
Publisher: Spatterlight Press LLC (April 17, 2012)
Publication Date: April 17, 2012

Jack Vance is one of my favorite authors, so when I discovered his autobiography had been published I naturally bought a copy for my Kindle and started reading it.  Vance is somewhat notorious for not talking about his writing process, and although he largely remains true to this idiosyncrasy, he does make a few exceptions in his autobiography, mainly at the insistence of his editor.

Vance starts with vivid memories from his early childhood, progresses through several attempts at college, and spends most of his time describing his married life.  If you’re familiar with his work, you’ll find a few familiar scenarios that appear in his novels.

A few things that I was interested in learning is that Jack Vance never wrote with a typewriter.  He wrote his novels longhand, using one or more fountain pens with various color inks.  When he finally lost his eyesight, his son arranged a word processor for him so that he could continue writing.  I was surprised to learn that Vance and his family traveled extensively, settling down in some exotic location just long enough to write a novel or two, then moving on.  The family ran out of money several times, but this condition didn’t seem to phase Vance very much.

This book is an excellent read, and provides real insight into the life of a truly great author.  I recommend it to everyone.

You can read my review in its entirety here:Book Review: This Is Me, Jack Vance! Or More Properly, This Is I as it amuses you.

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The Proverbial ‘Harbinger of Doom’ and How To Handle It

Posted by on Jul 6, 2015 in Group News

About a week ago during the weekly meeting of Toledo Writers Group, Mary Shipko passed out and hit the floor with a meaty smack a proposed FAQ for her latest release, AVIATRIX: First Woman Pilot for Hughes Airwest. The group took a few minutes to read it over, then our esteemed group leader opened the door to the usual flood of criticism.

To make this mercifully short, I’ll omit the levity.  When my number came up, I offered what I fervently hoped were a couple helpful suggestions and disposed of the whole thing.  But instead of moving on, Mary asked me if I found the questions on the FAQ interesting and stimulating.

“In a word, no.”

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Getting Paid

Posted by on Jul 2, 2015 in Group News

Back in the early ’70s (that would be in the last century for all you digital natives) I read Winning Through Intimidation by Robert Ringer, the little tortoise who could.  The only two words in his book that are underlined are: Get Paid.  That phrase stuck with me for the rest of my life, but it took me a while to learn to put it into practice.

To this end, Larry Correia of Monster Hunter Nation has written several articles that are well worth reading.  The series begins when some unknown contributor with nothing but time on his hands manages to ruffle Larry’s feathers.  Here’s the link to this story, which should be read at your own risk: File 770 Is Mad At Me Again.  Larry goes on to explain exactly how authors get paid (or not, as the case may be) in How Authors Get Paid, Part 1 and How Authors Get Paid, Part 2.  All of these articles are easy reads and well worth your time.

The part that Larry doesn’t cover is that, unlike the rest of the world, the typical author isn’t fighting with an employer or a client about a contract, a bounced check or the real meaning of net-30.  The typical author is battling obscurity, and in order to Get Paid you must first beat obscurity three falls out of three.

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