We’re having a second Christmas this week when our friends Doug and Raul come to visit. Combine that with Ali’s birthday AND another snowstorm and you can imagine that the excitement level is still pretty high at the Hoy House!
I must have been very good this year because Santa was very good to me! I got an antique log cabin dollhouse that I’ve had my eye on. It lights up on the inside and is decorated for Christmas. It’s beautiful! My favorite gift, however, was a gorgeous tree (an artistic, metal one) my mother gave me that is decorated with pieces of her mother’s jewelry. I am honored to receive it and the display is absolutely breathtaking! I cried when I opened it. 🙂
Okay, I have to get back to the festivities!
This week’s Maxism:
“Mom!!! Frank won’t stop singing to me!!!”
Hugs to all!
P.S. QUERY LETTERS THAT WORKED! Real Queries That Landed $2K+ Writing Assignments – Want to read real query letters that landed these contracts? Woman’s Day – $2,800; Redbook – $3,500; Ladies Home Journal – $3,000; – $2,000; Lifetime Magazine – $3,000; Life Extension Magazine – $6,480; Natural Remedies – $11,300; and many more! See:
BOOK PROPOSALS THAT WORKED! Real Book Proposals That Landed $10K – $100K Publishing Contracts – Want to read real book proposals that landed these contracts? Simon and Schuster – $100,000; Berkeley Books – $25,000; Osborne-McGraw-Hill – $19,500; Random House $15,000; and many more! See a complete list here:

Letters To The Editor For December 30th

Just heard about your post yesterday with the letter from the “SEO writer.” A couple of things that I thought I’d pass on, and that you’re more than welcome to post:
I’ve taught smart business practices to many writers and know a good many more. From low to high, the 3.75 hours the “SEO writer” spent for $7 would have brought regular writers amounts ranging from $112.50 to $562.50 ($30/hour to $150/hour). And the low end is very low compared to what many freelance writers I know make. More realistic is probably $50/hour, for a total of $187.50.
In terms of SEO, only the truly inexperienced think that search engine optimization is simply cramming keywords into writing. Real SEO practices are far more sophisticated, involving writing structure, links, tags for images, and much more. Keyword research is a start, but far from truly optimizing content to be found by search engines. The reason that the content mills are successful has more to do with the choice of topics (driven by keyword research done by the mills, not the writers) and the massive volume of information added monthly. It’s the volume that lets the mills make money. Conversely, it’s the volume that keeps the writers from doing the same. And, yes, I regularly use good SEO practices in my online work. So do most professional writers I know. It’s just one more aspect of the craft.
Erik Sherman
Writer and Photographer
Writing site:
Writing, Food, and Business Blogs:
Photo site:
I think anyone who promotes proper use of the English language today is fighting a “loosing” battle. It feels as if the English language is on the decline and will be ruined forever by the Internet. Too bad. The Internet has done such good things in some areas, but elevating writing skills is certainly not one of them.
K.M. Lowe
Hi Angela;
I was just reading your reply to An Idiot Stole My Column and I saw your reference to stolen cars.
Before I retired I was in the automotive aftermarket and I had a friend who owned a custom kit car business. He bought a junker car only for the frame. He ran the numbers and it came back clean. He converted it to a $70,000 custom car for a buyer in Sweden.
As they were doing all of the required title, invoicing and Customs declaration they, Customs, ran the frame numbers through again, a different government computer system, and it came back as a stolen car.
He was forced to return the car and wasn’t allowed to recover any of the parts used in the conversion. The value of the frame was $60. Everything else was his custom parts.
The story has a happy ending because the original owner turned out to be a really nice guy and let my friend legally buy the frame / car for $75. My friend threw in an extra $1500 and some parts to help the guy in a restoration he was doing.
Just thought you might get a chuckle.
Happy Solstice & Merry Christmas,

From Another (Alleged) Google Books Victim

Yesterday I discovered that two (so far) of my published books appear for free on Google Books.
Since I didn’t put them there, and I certainly have no recollection of having authorized anybody else to put them there, I’m wondering if you have any ideas about how to get them taken down.


If you celebrate Christmas and you have (or had) young children in the house, you know what our house is like today. The children can barely sit still in their excitement for Santa’s visit tomorrow night!

The P.O.D. of Christmas Past: Self-Publishing in 1843 By Steve Anderson

The P.O.D. of Christmas Past: Self-Publishing in 1843 By Steve Anderson

Does this sound familiar? Traditional publishers won’t take a chance on an author’s new book, so he decides to publish it himself. He works late into the night, barely pausing to eat, scrambling to finish his new project while keeping up with existing deadlines. He writes a groundbreaking novel in just six weeks, gets it into the bookstores – and almost immediately, cheap knockoffs start showing up down the street.
That’s life in the twenty-first century, right? Except, it wasn’t. It was 1843.

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