7 Lessons I Learned from a Local Author Fair

If I asked you to describe a published author, what would you say? Would you think of someone famous, with their book on every shelf, living in the big city and going on book signing tours across the country? Sure, that may describe a portion of the published authors in the world, but that certainly isn’t true of every single one. Oftentimes, there are published authors living right in our hometown, we just don’t know it.

The area I live in has a population of a little over 800,000, and though we have our fair share of cities and attractions, it’s not a super famous area (except for a misnamed Billy Joel song). When I learned the library in my town was holding a Local Author Fair, I wasn’t really sure what to expect. Were there really that many authors from our area? I decided to check it out though. It gave me the opportunity to listen to an author panel and speak with a few of the writers, and I certainly learned a lot.

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Week In Review – May 19

Welcome to Friday!

I can’t believe another week has passed already – it feels like just the other day I was writing last week’s WIR! The summer sure is going by fast.

This week, I shared my Freshman Year soundtrack, a list of songs that both defined this past school year and also encouraged me. I also participated in the Beautiful People linkup on Wednesday, so be sure to check that out if you’d like some backstory on one of my characters.

As for the rest of the week, it wasn’t so bad! I spent a lot of time playing video games and working on a new journal (more on that soon), but I also got to spend some time with my family. Oh, and for those who are wondering about the things I mentioned last week – yes, I did get my haircut on Tuesday (thank goodness), and my job interview went well on Wednesday! I’ll try to keep you posted about that as the weeks go on.

In terms of everything else I’ve been up to…

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Beautiful People #24 – May 2017

Welcome back to another edition of the Beautiful People linkup! For those who don’t know, BP is a monthly blog linkup hosted by Paper Fury and Further Up & Further In. Each month, they share a list of ten questions for writers to think about for one of their characters, and then the writers share their answers on their blog! It’s a great way for fellow writers to connect with each other, so for more information, click here.

If you’d like to go back and read (or re-read) some of my past BP posts, you can do so with the links below.

BP #17 – May 2016 (Riley Taylor)
BP #18 – June 2016 (Leslie Summers)
BP #20 – August 2016 (Chey Cooper)
BP #21 – September 2016 (Trevor Johnson)
BP #22 – February 2017 (Leslie Summers and Riley Taylor)
BP #23 – March 2017 (Eden Hunter)

This month is a “parental edition” of BP, so all of the questions focus on the character’s parent(s) and their relationship with their parent(s). I chose to do my character Riley Taylor once again, mostly because I haven’t really talked about his parents before and the story there, so I thought this would be a nice new look at his character. Without further ado, onto the questions!

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Freshman Year Soundtrack

First year of college? DONE. Now I only have three more to go…

Anyway, this past year I listened to a lot of music. I mean, I don’t have over 500 songs on my phone for nothing! Plus, I think music can often provide motivation, encouragement, and support all through life, and it expresses things that sometimes can’t be described in just words.

This week, I wanted to share a handful of songs that I’m calling my Freshman Year Soundtrack. Although I listened to much more than this list, these are the songs that I think most describe my year and are also some of the songs that most encouraged me all through the school year. You can listen to the whole playlist on Spotify, but if you want to hear my explanations of the songs, keep reading!

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Week In Review – May 12

Welcome to Friday!

I’m back with a regular WIR post this week, finally. We have a lot to catch up on this week, but I’ll try to keep this post at a reasonable length. No promises, though…

Also, I know that normally I summarize my month goals at the end of each month, but with everything that happened over the past two weeks, I didn’t really get a chance. Without going into too much detail, I think I did pretty well with my goals in April, especially with my skill-related goals. Hopefully I can keep that up!

In case you missed it, this week I wrote a list of 19 Things I Want To Do (In The Next 10 Years). I guess in a way it’s like a bucket list, but hopefully I’ll be able to accomplish some of these things before I turn 29. Especially #2.

Now, for all of that catching up…

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19 Things I Want To Do

Guess what? I’m 19 now! I celebrated my birthday this past Friday (May 5) which was pretty exciting!

Anyway, last year I celebrated my birthday by sharing 18 Facts About Me, and this year, I’m going to do something similar. The problem is, 19 is such an odd number – it’s a prime number, so it’s a bit strange to use it in blog posts. I mean, who ever heard of a list with exactly 19 items? It just sounds weird to me, but I decided to go with it anyway and make a list of 19 Things I Want To Do. The twist? I want to do these things before I turn 29 – ten years!

Now, I’m not setting these as huge goals or things I’m gonna make myself anxious over, but there are a lot of cool things I’d like to do in my life, and I decided to finally put them together in a list. Will I accomplish all of them? Probably not. But it’s fun to dream and have things to look forward to!

Without further ado: 19 Things I Want To Do In The Next 10 years!

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Week In Review – May 5

Welcome to Friday everyone!

There’s been a lot going on these past two weeks, so instead of my regular WIR post format, I’m going to write this one a little differently. I have a few things I specifically want to talk about today, so this is going to be more free-form without the typical structure.

But before I get started, in case you missed it, I posted about Good vs. Evil stories this past Monday. I wrote this post a while back as a “backup” in case there was ever a time when I couldn’t get a Monday post written, but it also happened to be rather fitting for this week. But either way, I’d love it if you’d stop over and read it later!

As for the rest of the week…

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Why I’m Okay With Good vs. Evil Stories

A Good vs. Evil story is usually pretty straightforward. You have the Good Guys on one side, and the Bad Guys on the other side, and you’re almost always cheering for the Good Guys to win. It’s the type of story you see in children’s fairy tales, but that doesn’t make it childish.

Lately, I’ve noticed people tend to steer clear of these types of stories. The argument is that “Good vs. Evil” is too unrealistic – people and societies really aren’t that clear-cut when it comes to morality. In reality, there’s a lot more ambiguity. That’s how we end up with writing advice about giving our villains redeemable qualities and giving our heroes flaws.

And don’t get me wrong, that’s good advice – you do want to have fully developed characters on both sides of the equation, or it isn’t a very fair story. But in the process of giving this advice, we shun the typical good vs. evil stories, calling them cliche, predictable, overdone, and so on and so forth.

But here’s a secret: I’m actually okay with these kinds of stories.

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Friday

Hey there, wonderful followers – No WIR post this week. I’ve had a lot going on the last few days which hasn’t left me a lot of time to write today’s post, and with the circumstances, I’m not quite ready yet to talk about it here. I do have a post scheduled for Monday though […]

Blogging How-To: Title Images Part 2

Remember that blog post I wrote last month about creating title images for blog posts? Well, I’m back again with more title image tips, including ways to find fonts, troubleshooting to make sure your image shows up on Facebook, and creating abstract backgrounds!

If you haven’t already, be sure to read my original blog post, since that tutorial lays the foundation for this one. Also, I use the free image editing program GIMP in both of these tutorials, so if you don’t have that program, you can download it here. If you’re not familiar with GIMP, don’t worry – it’s a pretty easy program to learn!

So, are you ready to learn some more tips and tricks? Keep on reading!

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