Paralyzed Dreams Virtual Book Tour

Paralyzed Dreams Virtual Book Tour.jpg

What could be better than a book tour? A virtual book tour. Especially when it revolves around Paralyzed Dreams. You can find more about the tour, the book, and the author here.

Excerpt from Paralyzed Dreams (car crash scene):

“Do you think we should pick up something to eat?” Mrs. Wilson suggested, hiding a grin.

“Sure,” Pam agreed enthusiastically.

Her mom laughed. “How did I know that you were going to say that?” she teased.

Pam frowned. “Maybe I’m too predictable?” she suggested, a hint of a grin in her eyes. Her mom laughed. One of Pam’s favorite things was eating out. She insisted that it made it much easier on her mom, but it also made it easier on her, since there weren’t many dishes to clean afterwards. She really disliked doing dishes.

Mrs. Wilson drove into one of Pam’s many favorite Mexican restaurants. After a quick breeze through the drive-thru, Mrs. Wilson turned to Pam. “Just think of this as your reward for being so nice to Cheri and Chelsea, and as a celebration. After all, it’s not every day Timothy Genther talks to you,” she teased.

Pam rolled her eyes. “Mom, please don’t get started on that again.”

Her mom raised a hand. “Okay, I’m not,” she told Pam, but the teasing twinkle remained in her eyes. The man in the drive-thru window handed them their fajitas, and her mom pulled out of the parking lot.

Pam closed her eyes, leaning her head back against the headrest. The motion of the car as they turned corners created a calming effect, and Pam’s thoughts started drifting. She imagined herself on a huge volleyball court, surrounded by people, as she and Lauren competed against the twins again, this time in the Olympics. Pam could practically hear the crowd screaming as she spiked the ball over the net, scoring the winning point. Her thoughts jumped to the medal ceremony. She and Lauren stood on the podium, the gold medals around their necks, the crowds cheering and screaming.

She was startled out of her reverie when the food she was holding on her lap started slipping. She grabbed the boxes before they had a chance to fall. Sighing, she looked out of the windshield, wishing she could truly be competing in the Olympics now.

Suddenly, a car zoomed out of a side street to their right, slamming into the side of the car with a loud metallic crash. Tires screeched. The passenger window shattered, showering glass over Pam as the other car’s momentum pushed them towards the opposite side of the road. Pam shrieked as the car tumbled over the edge of the road into the embankment. The car rolled until it came to a rest in the bottom of the ditch with creaks and groans. Neither Pam nor her mother stirred.

More about the book:

Fourteen-year-old Pam Wilson’s life is going perfectly. She and her best friend, Lauren, are becoming an amazing volleyball duo, and her dreams of playing in the Olympics are coming along wonderfully. Then a car accident paralyzes Pam from the waist down, and her dreams for her life are shattered. No more volleyball, no more walking, no more future.

Paralyzed Dreams.jpg

More about the author:

C.B. Cook is a teen author with many short stories under her belt, and now a published novella, Paralyzed Dreams. She has been blogging for over a year and is working on writing a middle grade fantasy series. When she’s not balancing homework or writing, she can often be found messing around in Photoshop or talking to her dog. You can visit her at www.theworldofthewriter.wordpress.com.

That’s all for today folks.

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Aspiringwriter22 Officially On Facebook! Coming To Twitter Soon!

I started this blog a few months ago (near the beginning of April to be exact), with no marketing, no social media, and absolutely no advertising help from anyone, anywhere. Looking back, this blog you are reading right now was created solely for fun. For me, blogging was an endeavour I always wanted to try out but I did not realize how much I would come to fall in love with it.

Writing is a huge part of my life along with blogging. Until now, my blog was a part of my life I kept hidden from practically everybody, almost like a dirty, little secret.

However, I realize the importance of social media and having multiple platforms to reach various audiences. So with that I decided, on a limb, to create a Facebook page about my blog today. Moments ago, I set up a Facebook account for my blog since I knew this summer I would have more time on my hands but also because I would like to promote my blog further.

My biggest hope is for people like me (i.e. writers and bloggers) to be a part of a community. Aspiringwriter22 is a place where I want to reach out to like-minded people, writers, and bloggers.

As I continue on this journey, one that I invite you to join in with me, I wish for us to learn more from each other in a friendly, mutual relationship.

I will be posting updates regularly with information pertaining to writing, blogging, editing, publishing, etc., on Facebook. I kindly ask that you check out my Facebook page (Aspiringwriter22) if you have enjoyed this blog so far, as the content I publish on this blog will be similar to what I write about on Facebook. I look forward to seeing you there.

On a final note, I will be creating a Twitter account later on in July. But for now here is the link to my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/herminia.chow22

How To Become A Published Writer In 5 Easy Steps

“Keep writing. Keep doing it and doing it. Even in the moments when it’s so hurtful to think about writing.”

-Heather Armstrong

People often wonder how I managed to publish an essay in an anthology at the age of 14. I never put much thought into how it happened but it seemed like once I broke through into the publishing ring and finally published my first essay, the process gradually got easier. Up until now, I have been published in six anthologies, had my work featured on Teen Ink, and I even started a blog where I publish one or more posts a day. I accomplished such a feat by writing all the time, revising happily, submitting great work, being patient, and using feedback.

The first step in pursuing publication is to write as much as possible with the intention of improving my writing. Over the past couple of years, I have learned to write well through constant practice. Indeed, practice makes perfect. Writers perfect their craft by writing regularly like an athlete training for a marathon would run on a daily basis. In addition to writing a lot, a great way to learn more is by studying the work of others. As an avid reader, I can honestly say reading expands my vocabulary, enriches my descriptions, and enhances my life. By reading and writing continually, my writing has reached new heights that I cannot even begin to imagine. Furthermore, the more experience I gain with different genres, the more material I develop for various streams of publication. This is incredibly beneficial in discovering my “writer’s niche.” It takes trial and error to figure out what I like to write about but more importantly, in finding my writer’s voice. Writing consistently develops my own, personal voice and ensures that I do not mimic or replicate another writer’s style. Once my writing has matured enough, I can begin to focus on revising and editing. Or as I like to call it…turning-first-drafts-into-excellent-final-drafts.

Read a lot of everything.

Read a lot of everything.

“Writing is revising.” Whoever said that line must be a genius. The saying is only three words but holds plenty of truth. Revising and editing with glee is an ability all writers should acquire for several reasons. All writers must revise their work despite how the difficult the process may be. For instance, the first manuscript I wrote entitled “Breaking Ground” is still undergoing several revisions regarding sentence structure, syntax, etc. Furthermore, I went through multiple drafts of my essay, In the Eyes of Imperfection, before I was completely satisfied enough to send it into a contest. The time spent editing my essay paid off however. As a result of all the time I spent editing, not only was the essay published, it even secured a spot in the top ten of my age division. I was delighted to have my essay published—receiving a cheque with my name on it was icing on the cake, sweetening the moment. If I had sent in the first draft of my essay, I certainly would not have come close to making the top ten much less publish it. Although, the revision process is not always enjoyable, it is necessary if one expects to see their work in print.

A look at the first essay I ever published entitled, "In the Eyes of Imperfection."

A look at the first essay I ever published entitled, “In the Eyes of Imperfection.”

After creating and polishing a creative project, I can submit my best work for the world to read. Honestly speaking not everything I write is great or is worthy of publication. Achieving such glory and acclaim is not exactly easy either. Passing the inspection of various editors, qualified judges, and keen agents requires writing that has merit. Any story, poem, essay, or play ever published stood out from the rest of the pack for a reason. Try to imagine a slush pile of manuscripts sitting on an editor’s desk. Then envision a savvy but extremely busy editor flipping through hundreds of pages of words in one day. The manuscript picked out from the pile is the one with an engaging opening, a fascinating plot, an interesting world with characters that seem to come alive and jump out at the reader. All these elements make the story stick out because the writing is memorable in a good way. Thus, this book is eventually published, turned into a high-budget movie, and millions of copies are sold all around the world. What happens to all the other manuscripts? They are tossed in the trash, forgotten about, and abandoned forever. The competition among writers is extremely fierce. In order for any of my work to catch the eye of an editor or judge, I had to send in excellent work so I could actually stand a chance among the numerous participants. Only the best work will rise to the top of the slush pile ultimately prevailing in the quest for publication.

The Creative Communication Essay contest award.

The Creative Communication Essay contest award.

I am the least patient person ever. That is an understatement of the century. I knew however, to be successful as a writer I had to practice the art of being patient. Unfortunately, success does not happen overnight. No one handed me success on a silver platter. I had to work for it. These days instead of my patience meter being practically non-existent, I try to take a few deep breaths before letting frustration get the best of me. My patience has helped to alleviate stress whenever I faced an obstacle obstructing my way. Every now and then, writer’s block threatens to destroy my confidence to the point where I want to throw in the towel. Whenever this happens, I am ambivalent about chasing my dreams to be a published writer. Had I given up on my aspirations, I would not be where I am today. Successful writers must be patient, not only with themselves, but with the world around them as well.

Writers experience rejection all the time. Some of the best writers like Stephen King has taken criticism and learned from rejection. Even though overcoming rejection is one of the hardest things to do, writers must develop this skill at some point in their career. In spite of this, this universal writing experience should not be taken personally. Certainly, I seek feedback to improve my writing but negative feedback destroys my ego faster than a bullet travelling 30 miles an hour. To put it into perspective, some people will never like my writing. Period. I am okay with this fact because there are over 7 billion people on this earth yet I do not intend to please them all. Actually, that feat would be impossible. I could work on my writing all day for the rest of my life but there will still be people who dislike or disapprove of what I have to say. That said the process of rejection and growing from previous experiences is the only way any writer will ever get better.

Being published requires much more than relying on pure luck alone. A few years ago I never would have thought I would publish anything much less publish something at a young age. But if I could tell my younger self five things, they would be; write every single day, revise without complaining, submit awesome work, try to be more patient, and grow from mistakes by using rejection as a tool to motivate myself. Becoming a published writer is not easy but following these five steps pushed me closer to that goal every day.

***

This is one of the longest posts I have ever written. I didn’t technically intend on writing this in first person but I didn’t necessary have a choice. Read this post (Why I Love Writing But Hate English Class) to find out more. I did however, think that it would be helpful to share these tips with all the aspiring writers out there.

Traditional Publishing Advantages

So yesterday I mentioned 6 advantages that come with self publishing in a post.

Today I will continue on with 6 advantages of traditional publishing.

Traditional Publishers

TRADITIONAL PUBLISHING

  • You have access to plenty more resources like editors, cover artists, etc., that are at your disposal. You probably wouldn’t have these contacts if you were taking the self publishing route. So exploit these people as you see fit.  
  • You learn more about the publishing industry. Just remember to sharpen those ears, open your eyes, and pay attention.
  • You earn respect, prestige, and you develop a better reputation. Getting published requires you to write a gem that stands out from the rest of the crowd. The quality of your work is likely much better after rigorous screenings from agents, editors, publishers that have deemed your work worthy of publication.
  • You earn money from royalties and advances. $$$! Need I say more?
  • You get exposure and plenty of it. Sure your books hit the shelves in bookstores but even better is being in that inner circle with a possible chance at film rights, book reviews, foreign rights, media attention, award nominations, press interviews, and so on.  
  • You can concentrate most of your time on your writing. You have a whole team of experts working to design your book, promote it, increase sales, and everything else that most of your time can be invested into the actual writing process. Yay?  

Self Publishing Advantages

A publishing post listing six advantages to self-publishing as opposed to traditional publishing.

Self Publishing

SELF-PUBLISHING

  • You don’t have to wait as long. Self publishing is much faster than waiting on traditional publishers. You make your work top priority. Best part is you choose when you publish, how quickly you want to publish, or if you want to publish at all. 
  • You have complete control over all the aspects pertaining to your book like editing, designing, marketing, graphics, etc. All writers love control. All narcissistic writers crave this sense of power. Do what you want. Don’t like it? Scrap it and start over. With a traditional publishing house, you usually don’t have this freedom to begin with.
  • You can charge whatever you want. One penny? One dollar? Ten dollars? THIRTY dollars?!?! However, be careful that you are reasonable when adjusting the price of your book. The last thing you need is to turn potential readers away because your book is more expensive than purchasing a brand new laptop.
  • You can do whatever you want with your books. Throw them away. Sit on them. More reasonably you could sell them or give them away (for free?) Gasp!
  • You retain all (or most of the rights) to your work. Yippee!
  • Your work remains in the digital world forever. Or until the day the Internet fades into oblivion. We all know that will never happen.

 

Ten Rules To Follow To Get Published

My claim to fame was through having my work published and being Googleable. This means that if you searched my name up, you would see my writing posted on a website as well as in an anthology. Furthermore, you would see a picture of me featured in another article online. Here I offer you my top ten rules to follow in order to achieve that ever-prevalent goal among writers of being published.

  1. One shall write (preferably every day).
  2. One shall write well. If one cannot, then one shall learn to write well.
  3. One shall revise, edit, and proofread without whining.
  4. One shall never plagiarize or copy off another writer under any circumstance whatsoever.
  5. One shall seek out editors, agents, publishers, and others in the business knowledgeably.
  6. One shall submit his or her best work only. This means no first or rough drafts.
  7. One shall never procrastinate.
  8. One shall learn from mistakes vowing never to repeat those same mistakes again.
  9. One shall take criticism well and learn to overcome rejection.
  10. One shall learn to be patient.

On that note, having my writing published isn’t just a dream anymore…it is actually a reality.