Archive for May, 2007


Welcome to the last edition of a contest carnival – submit your article! From these entries we will choose one winner to receive a $25 Barnes and Noble gift card as well as free books and/or promotional material from authors on The Writers’ Block that will be participating in this contest. (*Please note that not all authors on The Writers’ Block blog will be participating.)


FMR presents The Minor League theory posted at FollowtheMusicalRoad, saying, “Thank you!”

presents Treasure of Life posted at Success Step.


Jon Swift presents Who Needs Books? posted at Jon Swift, saying, “For a long time I have been saying that actually reading books is overrated. Now I have an unlikely ally: librarians.”

Aspeth presents How To Write Chick Lit In Ten Easy Steps posted at TwelveYearsOfBeingAnnoyedByChloeSevignyDotCom, saying, “A critique of the “chick-lit” genre.”


Brent Diggs presents Building My Career With A Book Signing Tour posted at The Ominous Comma, saying, “Thank you for your time”


Lorraine Roach presents Anxiety Sufferers posted at Coping With Anxiety, AnxietyEnded.com, saying, “My article is a simple idea about the help that we as anxiety sufferers can receive from published programs and techniques. There are many types of helpful books etc. available and I had a comment concerning the money made by publishers from peoples desire to end anxiety.”


Corner Scribe presents Which route? posted at cornerscribe.com, saying, “In this article I talk about traditional publishing verses print on demand, and why an author might choose one or the other.”

EelKat presents Business Plans: Moonsnails Magazine: We’re Back! posted at MoonSnails Magazine: The Official Blog.


Ruth Mitchell presents 12 Step Program for Bloggers posted at Buy Outside the Box, saying, “Just when you thought it was safe to blog.”


Dorothy Thompson presents How Self-Syndication Leads to Free Publicity posted at Pump Up Your Online Book Promotion.


David Maister presents Writers and Performers posted at Passion, People and Principles.

Greenearth presents Become Carbon Neutral posted at A New Green Earth, saying, “Together we can create a new green earth.”


Robinson Go presents A Comprehensive Blogging Guide posted at Robinson Go dot Com, saying, “This is a future comprehensive blogging guide to help all aspiring bloggers from the newbie to the above average blogger. I believe this is a good tip for your readers who may exhibit enthusiasm for blogging online. Thanks.”

Past posts can be found on our

blog carnival index page

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As you might imagine, I frequent quite a few writing sites. Each one of them are chock full of great information such as: How to write a book, how to get an agent, how to write a query letter, how to market your business and so on.

The one thing I never see is any of these writers musing everyday events, or world politics etc. The technicality of writing takes precedence over the writing blogs and websites. I have ideas for several blogs just on the events that have transpired on”The View”.

Have we become too politically correct to have an opinion? I don’t know about you, but reading the pros or cons on whether to write a book in first person or third person is nice, but it’s not what gave me a burning passion for writing.

The next time you decide to play it safe and write about dangling participles, go ahead…write about something that really means something to you. Being a writer means taking chances-take it.
Taryn Simpson is a freelance writer currently co-authoring a book with Alan Solomon entitled, “The Mango Tree, Loi Kroh Road”. Read about the book and it’s progress at: http://www.MangoTreeCafe-LoiKrohRoad.blogspot.com

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There’s a certain knack to writing erotica. A lot of people write a mechanical piece, insert tab A into slot B (or C or D) with a lot of grunting and shoving of anatomy. That’s not erotica – and in some cases it doesn’t even get to porn. Strong erotica requires the same writing skills as any other piece. It is not the bastard step child of the writing world as some would have you believe. A published romance writer I know once quipped that the hardest thing she’d ever tried to write was a pure erotic piece.

Sexuality: You must be relatively comfortable with both your own and your characters to write decent erotica. That does not require you to have done everything you character has done. You can be happily married to your first partner. I know one writer of romance with an erotic bent and some pure erotica who is self defined as A-Sexual: neither wanting, nor requiring, a personal sexual relationship. Because she can understand the desire others have, she can give that to her characters.

If your character is a virgin he/she will react differently to a sexual situation than a jaded hooker. A bisexual who leans more heavily to guys is in a sexual situation with a gal will not respond like the bisexual who’s more into women. Homophobic heterosexual female, wantonly gay man, closet lesbian, do anything and anybody M2F non-surgical transsexual you have to know who your characters are sexually.

Know the fetish you’re writing as well. I write rope bondage. I know it. I understand the appeal of it. I don’t write S&M because I don’t understand the appeal of that. Domination, I get. Pain, I don’t get. Does that mean you can’t write in a sexual fetish you don’t have? No. But you have to understand it. You have to research it – there are cue words and situations in fetish fiction that don’t appear anywhere else. Example: handcuff fetish. The work is not about the ultimate sexual act. You must sexualize the restraints. Maybe half the piece will focus on describing the handcuffs and the characters reaction to the handcuffs.

Sensuality: You have to pay a great deal of attention within erotica to all five of the senses. The richer the description the more delectable your piece will be. To that end, forgo numbers. I, and the reader, could care less if your heroin has a 34DD chest. In writing that’s a speed bump: two thumps of your brain and you’ve put it behind you.

If the writer takes time to really describe that person, the reader will connect better. Tell me why I should care and more importantly why the characters care. I’ve read works that pushed the boundaries of my “squick” factor which were incredibly hot. Why? Because the author got me quickly and entirely into the head of the character who cared about that fetish. They wove that tapestry so richly that I moved past my own personal issues and got into it.

You will have to get familiar with the names both proper and vulgar for all sections of anatomy. Whether you use them or not is a personal choice. It becomes painfully obvious in a work when a writer is avoiding the use of slang identifiers and hiding behind the proper nouns. There are words we all end up using or not using… that’s preference. But to make erotica work you have to be get comfortable using multiple terms for male and female anatomy. Be careful because the line between sensual and silly can be one word.

Sensuality pervades everything in erotica. Like pixels in a computer photo the more filled in the richer the color, the more lifelike the expressions, the more pleasant overall the image becomes. That means if a guy’s pulling it out, you need to describe what he looks like. No two people look the same. No two people react the same to how someone looks.

Emotions: Erotica is porn without emotions. This is my opinion of course, but reader and reviewer comments seem to back up my less than empirically tested theory. They like the pieces where the writer lets them into the character’s head. If I don’t know why someone is doing something, I’m not going to care about them. It’ll be just stroke fic.

The reader has to get into the characters head. Why does he/she want this person, this act, at this moment? What is special about this situation? Does the character like sex? Emotions are the spices in an erotic dish. They take a work to the next level.

Show Don’t Tell: This is the same for all writing, but particularly important in Erotica. It is the only way to bring out the true richness of erotic writing. Bland, broad statements leave you flat. In order to pick up all the topics above, you have to become a master of Showing not Telling.

If what you write is:

Alessia nervously glanced at the man seated next to her, worrying what people would think

then you’ve missed a chance to speak to her desire, wants and needs.

Alessia glanced at the man seated next to her. The three day growth of stubble and black leather jacket sent a thrill from her shoulders to her hips. Subtle hints of motor oil mixed with spicy cologne and wormed under her skin. Bad Boy, it screamed to her. James Dean and Johnnie Depp and a thousand screen stars… all unapproachable. No bad boy would want Miss Mouse. She wiggled in her seat trying to catch a glimpse of him without being obvious. He couldn’t know she was looking. Only bad girls stared at guys.

If you want, try this erotic writing exercise: in three paragraphs, describe someone enjoying eating a chocolate covered strawberry. You have to use all three paragraphs. Taste, touch, smell, sight and sound all must be included. Then go back and write it from the point of view of someone who hates chocolate covered strawberries, and then from angry, sad, etc. You quickly will find that it only takes one or two words to completely skew the thrust of the work. As with sex, there are only so many physical actions involved in eating a strawberry.

That’s the quick and dirty of it.

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The following is a re-post from my official blog:


-David H. Schleicher



Upon just arriving home from vacation (stay tuned for an upcoming travel log), I’ve learned that THE THIEF MAKER is now “in-stock” at some additional Barnes & Noble locations in the greater Philadelphia area.

In addition to being in stock and on the shelves at the Marlton and Moorestown, New Jersey locations, steady sales mean my novel will now also be in stock at the Deptford, New Jersey location and also in the Philadelphia and Valley Forge locations in Pennsylvania.  If you go to any of these locations to pick up a copy and they are out of stock, tell them to order more.  It means a local author is selling and they should jump on the bandwagon.

Thanks to all who are helping my grass-roots campaign to turn THE THIEF MAKER into a success!  If you are among those who live in the Philadelphia/South Jersey area and have not been able to purchase a copy because you prefer not to shop on-line, now you have no reason not to get a copy!

A Novel

An ambitious, intricately structured novel that resonates with emotion and suspense,” heralds Daniel Jolley, an Amazon.com Top 50 Reviewer.

“Schleicher has done a good job of creating a mystery that is mysterious, thought-provoking, entertaining, and sometimes shocking,” hails Joe Graham from ReaderViews.com.

Purchase Now from Barnes and Noble

Purchase Now from Amazon.com

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[Simpson-E Publishing]

Nashville, TN (PressExposure) May 17, 2007 — Two writers, each worlds away from the other have recently completed the novel, The Mango Tree Cafe, Loi Kroh Road”.The co-writers, Alan Solomon and Taryn Simpson live in different parts of the world and used the internet as their sole means to collaborate on this riveting, emotional novel. Solomon, who lives in Beijing, China and Taryn Simpson who lives in Nashville, TN has heard from countless literary fans from England, Scotland, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Beijing, Australia, Belgium, South Wales, South America, South Africa, Canada and the United States, and more, thanks to a blog that details the writing experience and their progress of marketing the book worldwide.

BOOK TAKES PLACE ON LEGENDARY MYSTICAL ROAD The book is a work of fiction based loosely on Alan Solomon’s life in Chiang Mai, Thailand. The main character buys a restaurant near the jungles of Thailand that sits upon the most legendary mystical road in the world. Legend states that whoever walks upon Loi Kroh Road will be forever changed or shall never be seen or heard from again. In fact, the English translation of “Loi Kroh Road” is “Wash Your Bad Luck Away”.

The authors are seeking representation and a publishing deal and can be reached for interviews or more details below.

Taryn Simpson
100 Nashboro Greens
Nashville, TN 37217
Phone: (615)414-3217
Email: TSim681157@aol.com

Alan Solomon Email: Alan.surrenderdorothy@gmail.com
Website: http://www.MangoTreeCafe-LoiKrohRoad.blogspot.com

About Simpson-E Publishing: We are a writing service for individuals and businesses. We specialize in ghostwriting novels, articles, web content and more.
Press Release Source: http://PressExposure.com/PR/Simpson~E_Publishing.html
Press Release Submitted On: May 17 15:18:47, 2007

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Can you guess what I’ve been up to?

Polishing your work is a mentally time consuming project, but also interesting and most definitely worth it.

I’ve said in posts before that the technical side of editing, aside from the basics–like putting a period at the end of a sentence and proper spelling, is not my cup of tea. (Bless great editors everywhere!) However, as much as I may grumble about it, trying to make sure the commas are in the right place is part of the “fun” of editing. Going through the pages and sorting out the good parts from the bad or not-so-great ones, and deciding on what to keep and what to throw out can really do wonders. I don’t consider the former to be one of the “technical” aspects, as it seems to have more to do with creative analysis of the work, but it’s also a part of the refining process.

I’ve started consulting The Elements of Style more and more, and one thing I appreciate about the book is that it acknowledges the fact that some of the “rules” are absurd and arbitrary–but they are still the rules. Once I’ve done what I can to edit the work, creatively and technically, it’s nice to know that I can turn it over to a more-than-competent copy editor to get the (hopefully few!) commas and semi-colons, and other technical do-dats that I missed. Whether I enjoy that aspect or not, part of being a professional writer means getting the little things right, as much as I possibly can.

For some, sitting in front of the computer and writing/editing is not considered productive; I know–almost every week I have a conversation with someone or another telling me that writing is not a real job. But anyone that knows, knows better.

Whether you are writing for a company or writing short stories, screenplays, novels, or all of the above, writing is work. If you love it (which you should if you want to be a writer) and you’re good at it (again, which you probably should be–or at least practice enough to expand your talent), then it’s satisfying and it can be easier than some other types of jobs–but it is still work. And someday (hopefully) all that work pays off.
Nancy O. Greene

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why is it that I can write books, articles, newsletters, screenplays etc., for my clients but when it comes to my writing another book, my fingers freeze before they hit the home keys of my laptop?

I’ve written numerous books…of all types. So, what is the problem? What is this silent killer that is snuffing out my muse?

Any ideas, comments or suggestions will be welcomed.
Taryn Simpson is a fulltime freelance ghostwriter specializing in web content, blogging, fiction, non-fiction, articles and more. http://www.Simpson-EPublishing.com

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(Sorry about the delay in posting this week’s Blog Carnival–electricity was out yesterday!)

Here they are, more other interesting blogs for your reading pleasure. Enjoy!


Welcome to the May 12, 2007 edition of writers from across the blogosphere.

Al Nye presents Free Anonymous Lawyer Books! posted at Al Nye The Lawyer Guy.

Al Nye presents Hundred-Dollar Baby by Robert Parker posted at Al Nye The Lawyer Guy.


Susan Borgas presents Hints for Staying Focused posted at Arts & Stuff, saying, “Staying focused in your work isn’t always easy, especially if there is a daunting amount of work to do over a period of a year and the next and so on. Time management is so important to stay focused on what needs to be done. This is how I try to stay focused and for the most part it does work.”

Rajesh.P.I presents Train journeys posted at Rail Magic, saying, “Travelling by train is the best way to capture the soul of India…”


LaShawn M. Wanak presents Adventures in Potty Training, Prelude (or Thoughts of the ?Chair? again?) posted at The Cafe in the Woods, saying, “Come to the Cafe to see LaShawn’s musings on life, writing, and how to write the world’s greatest epic fantasy in the time a two-year-old takes a nap.”

Robinson Go presents Robinson Go dot Com » Blog Archive » What is a blog? posted at Robinson Go dot Com, saying, “This is my first post for a free blogging series that will help bloggers achieve excellence in blogging online.”

Rajesh.P.I presents Waiting for the Monsoon… posted at open windows, saying, “Like waiting for a beloved, I am waiting for the Monsoon to arrive…”


Damian (EnglishBard) presents The holy man on the train. posted at be the change – tread the path.

John Crenshaw presents The One Idea That Took 23 Years To Understand And Changed My Life Forever posted at Dominate Your Life, saying, “There’s one path on the way to meet your goals, and it’s disappearing behind you; there’s nowhere to go but forward, there’s no other option but to succeed.”


Sudhanshu presents Gyaan Sutra: The rant of the entrepreneur posted at Gyaan Sutra.

politics/current events

Steven Silvers presents Memo to U.S. news media: Please remember to refer to the head of any government office as a Czar. posted at Scatterbox at stevensilvers.com, saying, “Because it’s the news media’s job to help Americans understand important news about their government, that’s why.”


Mr. Besilly presents Ideas Are Like Rabbits posted at Mr. Besilly – One Man’s highway, saying, “I will always be a recovering idea guy. Creative ideas are the life blood that keeps me forever young. The most difficult part of having new ideas is knowing which ones to cultivate and which ones should be pushed aside.”

Laura Spencer presents Compelling Copy–What is It? How to Get It. posted at WritingThoughts, saying, “Do you ever wonder why you are drawn to some writing, while other writing barely holds your interest? This post explores some of the components of compelling copy.”

Mr Edward Bison presents Mr Bison’s Journal: Toilet Joy posted at Mr Bison’s Journal, saying, “Mr Bison’s Journal
The blog of a freelance writer. Allegedly humorous.”

Wakish presents Wakish Wonderz » Writing posted at Wakish Wonderz, saying, “Why you should write! Get inspired!”

Wakish presents Wakish Wonderz » How to write good english posted at Wakish Wonderz, saying, “A must for any who wants to write good english or any other language..”

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of
writers from across the blogosphere
using our
carnival submission form.
Past posts and future hosts can be found on our

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Lately, I’ve been reading a lot of other people’s work. I mean yeah, I read other things, but I have been “studying” other work. Is it just me, or does anyone else find themselves feeling a little “less than an artist” when they read someone else’s work that seems to just knock yours out of the water.

Of course I know that there are way better writers out there. And I love to read them. But recently I’ve been reading other writers who aren’t published. Just some work that they have “out there”, and I suddenly feel… unworthy. Like I shouldn’t have ever tried this. I don’t know… I hope I get over it soon. Because it’s affecting me in such a way where when I do sit down to work, I find that I can’t. And then I get depressed. Is that normal?

Until next time…

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I am finishing up the sixth draft of my new novel, Reply All. It’s hard, hard going. I am sending it to new brand-new readers, but at the same time not giving my three beloved crit partners any break. I’m at the point where sometimes I read it and I think, “Wow, this is so good. How could I have written it,” and then half an hour later, I read it again, and think, “God, does this suck.” I am pretty pleased with the first 50 pages, I have to say.
And now what I am doing a lot of is catching those bits that come out of the ether while I’m driving, or cooking, or sitting in the backyard watching the dogs romp. Grabbing them and putting them where they belong. These are the best bits, the true ones, the ones that aren’t darlings to slay, but actually right and proper. Those doomed darlings are always the ones I write in cold blood rather than hear while I’m not trying. Everyone I manage to wrestle out of the air and onto the page makes it a better novel.
And I have worked harder and longer (again with lots of help from writing partners) on the query than I have ever before worked on one, even sending it through the Agent X hook contest. I am truly hoping this–my eighth completed novel–will be the one to break through and be first agented (if I get a new agent, it will be my third) and then published.
As you all know, this writing life is long and hard, and frustrating, and discouraging. But it’s also intoxicating on rare occasions. But whether I’m high or low, I have to write. Can’t not. It saves my soul.
So wish me luck. And I wish every writer reading this boatloads of luck as well. We need it. But it better find us working.

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