My best promotional source

Truly golden nuggets to info and advice from C.S. Boyack on a writer’s greatest resource – their blog!

Story Empire

Craig here today. I’ve read it before, but years of experience cements the comment: Your blog is your best promotional opportunity. Let’s talk about how it works, because it may not be how you think.

There are a couple of things you have to accept in order to make this work. Blogging is a form of social media, and you are the brand. You may think your book(s) are the brand, but that isn’t true.

I recommend not opening a book-titled blog. While this is curable over time, you might want to avoid this trap. What happens if you write a second, or subsequent book? The book isn’t the brand, you are.

Pick a title that has more longevity. I call my personal blog Entertaining Stories. (Shameless plug there.) You can see that it allows me to expand my content into multiple books, even multiple genres without the need…

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I’ve been here before…

… and there’s NOTHING I can do about it! So there!!! 😛

It’s been one of those weeks where I’m constantly taking one step forward and promptly taking it back to square one – one of those, yeah? It hasn’t helped that this week’s been pretty hot and sticky, with or without the sun out. Not the type of weather I enjoy, although there has been the odd cool breeze to make up for it a little.

Things started off on Bank Holiday Monday OKish – I was having the new kitchen dresser delivered between 1230H – 1530H. So I hauled arse off the computer for that period. They came at 1520H. I wasn’t expecting much, and even then I was disappointed (it was one of those T&C deliveries where all they do is dump the furniture and leave you to unwrap it all, with a customer service card to call if it’s damaged to get it taken away again. I wasn’t expecting 2 packages as they allegedly don’t do self-assembly – which I, in my obvious stupidity, thought meant they didn’t do flat pack. Wrong. Well, wrong-ish. It’s a massive piece of furniture over 6 foot tall and about 4 foot wide, which is why it came with a top part and the bottom part – 1 piece per package.

OK, so that’s not so bad, except you had to destroy the packaging to get the darn things out – and if they were damaged then you had to put them back in the sturdy cardboard they came in… Oops! Anyway – that was OK too, ‘cos it’s a really sturdy quality piece of hardwood, so no worries on that score. Except they’d dumped it in the spot I directed them too – on the wrong side. To be fair this wasn’t entirely their fault as neither cardboard box had one of those helpful ‘this way up’ arrows or text… Luckily I’d already sussed what had happened, because I was home alone and there was no way I was touching the boxes until my sister arrived the following day to help me cut my way into the boxes. It would have nice to have done some of the unwrapping straight away though – it really is a beautiful piece of furniture and I wanted to see what it looked like. The next day duly dawned and my sister came over, bearing pasties for lunch – did I mention my sister is a genius, as I’d planned sarnies and/or salad for lunch?!  😀

Anyhoo, we managed to wrestle the base unit (the heaviest one of course) the right way up and, by accident, facing the right way around to ‘slide’ into its rightful place. This is the point at which we both realised there was no way on earth, or in heaven or hell come to that, we could get the top part on top of the bottom part… Also, and more worryingly, there were no slots or little dips on which the top bit would neatly park itself on the bottom bit, so they didn’t part company accidentally. This was because, and I can’t say this enough, the top part was almost as bleedin’ heavy as the bottom part, and so it moving ‘by accident’ was not an option, unless there was significant tectonic activity right at the top of the Richter scale. Not likely, even in NE Cornwall. Ever practical, I simply said ‘what the feck’ and, as both bits weren’t obstructing access to the kitchen, or to other active pieces of furniture, they didn’t need to be put together until I had several people with bigger biceps around the place to shift it. Since then, I’ve also decided that the base ain’t going anywhere at all. And the eventual new flooring can be installed around it, as it’s just too awful to contemplate having to move it again. Ever.

So, feeling a tad sweaty and achy, we went out into the sunny, breezy garden to recover a bit, then repaired indoors for luncheon and the blessed pasties. Which took us, with time to burn, onto the main event for the day, which is what I’d really wanted my sister to come around for. I’d arranged for a free quote from some posh kitchen installers to come over and do stuff to my delapidated old kitchen. At 1500H. We’d just polished off the pasties and were thinking of moving onto the strawberries and sorbet I’d got in especially, as I knew we’d be exhausted with moving all that stuff around, when the door bell rang. This was at 1340H. ‘It’s the postman!’ I said, with some authority. It wasn’t.

‘I hope my office warned you, I might be a little early. I’ve been doing a quote up the road so I’ve been able to fit you in a bit sooner.’ Just as well for him that we’d had the pasties and the living room wasn’t in too much of a state of disarray.

Very nice man. Very nice work surfaces, and doors, and units and door handles. It will go with the new dresser wonderfully as well. The price wasn’t anything like as much as I’d thought, so the deal was done, and today I’ve had the final site survey and installation date booked – mid-August! Like their sales wrangler said – ‘if we could do it straight away, we wouldn’t be very good, would we?’

So, that’s another landmark stage on making the old homestead a lot more homier for me. Problem is, with all the excitement, I’m completely cream-crackered (knackered or completely spent) and the weather ain’t helping! The weather forecast for the weekend sounds more like it – sunny still, but cooler with a bit of wind. I’ll take it anyway, but in the meantime, I’m not up to doing much except an idle bit of surfing for new appliances. A rather nice, swankily expensive fridge-freezer is winging it’s way to me next Monday. Yeah, I know. I’m a glutton for punishment. At least this sales force will fit the damn thing and take away my old fridge, so I won’t have to do any circuit training to get in shape to put it where I want it – and get it working!

At least I do learn – eventually… 😎

So, in case the message hasn’t got through yet, what passes for normal activity on this blog is not an option until next week, because, in the immortal words of Lili Von Schtupp in Blazing Saddles –

I’m so tired…

My ‘Soooz Says Stuff’ page. “It’s A Guy Thing”… guaranteed to contain NO Political-Correctness whatsoever. Social commentary … my way.

Love it – there’s a pub called the Elephant’s Nest across the Tamar from me… I think I know this bloke… 😛

Welcome to the World of Suzanne Burke.

My observations of life are often expressed with my rather dark humor. I enjoy helping folks take a look at something serious, expressed my way.

I  originally wrote this around eight-years-ago.

A  conversation I overheard recently forced me to recall it.  It also amused me to recollect that when I first posted this all those years ago I had some interesting reactions, some of the women that commented were initially outraged … Until they discovered that a woman had written it. Then it became suddenly acerbic and clever. Some of the men that commented, initially laughed and shared it … Until they discovered that a woman had written it. Fascinating, yes?

Besides which, it’s just sadly funny, and you don’t need any damned permission to laugh.

It’s ‘A Guy Thing’… guaranteed to contain NO Political-Correctness whatsoever.

“It’s A Guy Thing”

It’s very short … trust me.

It's A GUY thing Picture

“What the … ?”

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Why You Should Never Live With A Husband From A Women’s Fiction Novel

I needed a good laugh – Tara does the job again! 😀

Tara Sparling writes

(This is another in the Why You Should Never Live With… series. Unreliable Narrator here. Chick-Lit Heroine here. Cop From A Crime Novel here. Young Adult Protagonist here. Literary Fiction Hero here. Romantic Hero here. Historical Fiction Hero here.)

It’s morning. You turn over in bed, sunshine streaming through your tasteful curtains and hitting the antique crocheted bedspread which was made by your grandmother, who was a bit of a wild child in her day, before you knew her as the loving old lady who taught you that hope was eternal, despite the fact that she had buried two husbands and single-handedly brought the family jam-making empire through some war or other.

The bedroom door opens. Women’s Fiction Husband enters the room, carrying a breakfast tray.

Women’s Fiction Husband: Morning, love. How are you?

You: [yawning] Yeah, grand, thanks.

WFH: Really?

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…use words, not weapons?

As you’ll probably have sussed, current events don’t often appear on this blog, but today is an exception, in that it was supposed to be a day of celebrating friends (my respiratory group is 5 years old this month). I set the alarm early so I could have a nice relaxing bath (with water jets! 😀 ), woke and turned on the bedroom TV only to discover that something terrible happened last night in Manchester.

A bomb went off as thousands of young children and teens were leaving an Ariana Grande concert at the Manchester Arena. The blast went off in the foyer/lobby where people were buying souvenirs before going to get on transport home, or back to hotels. 22 are dead – the youngest, only 8 years old. 59 people have been seriously injured, and many more, less so. Islamic State has claimed responsibility.

Reaction is pretty much as expected with these things – except there is the added horror at the blatant targeting of such young people and children. There were large groups of children present with their schools or youth clubs.
There are tales of courage and kindness coming out of a subdued and quiet central Manchester today. People helping the wounded and shocked out of the stricken building; passing traffic and taxis ferrying people to safety; strangers offering stranded people a room in their homes, or hotel rooms. And of course the bravery and professionalism of the emergency services and the hospitals.

I went to my celebratory lunch, at a seaside pub as planned. We did not talk about what went on last night. Well, I did not, and I didn’t hear anyone else either. Not out of disrespect, but because some of the people attending have been very ill this year and there was a lot of catching up to be done, and happier things to discuss. But I was thinking about this a lot, which is why I’ve come back home to my keyboard, and onto here to share my thoughts, because words and not weapons are what are needed today and I want mine to last a little longer than the few moments of breath it takes to say them. Or the nano-seconds of the sound of a bomb going off takes to destroy lives and loves.

The pen is mightier than the sword.

Edward Bulwer-Lytton in 1839, from the play, Cardinal Richelieu

The fluid it spills last longer for one thing, whether or not it’s on paper, or strung out in cyber-space.

Words can, of course, be used as weapons. To repel, to insult, to fight off an attack, or to intentionally wound the soul. They can even kill, but, for the most part, using words postpones violence, literally keeping a path open for dialogue and resolution, rather than conflict. To convey understanding, rather than incite mayhem and pain.
Which found me in the rather strange position of agreeing with something that US President, Donald Trump said.

Don’t call these terrorists ‘monsters’. They’ll like that. They’re losers.

 

I paraphrase, but the statement stands. Words imbue status. Use them carefully.

I leave you with an image I use on social media a fair bit.

It’s a quote, out of context, from one of the tales in ‘Sexing the Cherry’ by Jeanette Winterson. It’s about a city where words have a life of their own. Here’s the quote in case you can’t see the print

the words tumbled him over in their desire to be free, and were seen flying across the city in the shape of doves.

 

Those soft words were supposedly spoken in a frenzy of forbidden love, that resulted in the couple suffocating. They were found by a priest, who made haste to release the deadly words from the small belfry room in the cathedral, with the above results.

So today, instead of keeping my words prisoner in my head, I release them to you in memorial of such a tragic, unwarranted loss of life, and the thought that we must always choose our words well and wisely. As weapons for love, peace, the communion of solace, and to refute all that is savage, hateful and just plain wrong, wrong, wrong.