Gator Gets Too Close for Comfort

After we moved to Florida in July, we discovered alligators living in the canal in our backyard, which was pretty cool and not totally unexpected. We’ve seen alligators off and on since then – infrequently enough that we all still come running when somebody yells, “Gator!” We give them a wide berth, however, because it’s illegal to “molest” the gators and we don’t want them to get too comfortable with humans…

Avoiding a Trademark Infringement Lawsuit is SO Easy!

Avoiding a Trademark Infringement Lawsuit is SO Easy!

Imagine you just finished your new book. You came up with the perfect title years ago, when you first started thinking about writing it. You’ve paid a cover designer to design the perfect cover and you’ve paid your POD publisher to design the interior. You spent weeks or months on the publishing process and you bought a domain name that matches the title of your book. Your website is finally live and your book up for sale! Then, just as your starting the marketing phase, you’re completely blindsided by a nasty letter from a law firm. They’re demanding you immediately cease and desist using THEIR trademarked phrase…

Writing Classes: Buyer Beware By Rich Mintzer

Writing Classes: Buyer Beware By Rich Mintzer

Thanks to the Internet, anyone can claim to be a writing teacher and post a website full of pages, promises and long-winded verbiage on how much they can help writers. But what is so often lacking is a little thing called “credibility,” as in experience and education.

Was I Ripped Off? Yep!

I saw an ad in a local magazine asking for writers and article ideas. To my surprise and delight, when I inquired, I immediately got three writing assignments. The editor said that they’d pay me $75 for each, but, after I wrote them (the articles) she was disappointed. She said they weren’t long enough, and wanted to bring the price down to $45 each. I actually thought that was fair so I said it was okay.
Well, I spent two to three weeks getting the articles ready, even neglecting other things I was working on. I sent the articles in and was asked for my address so they could mail my check. This morning, however, I received an e-mail from the editor informing me that the publisher said that it wasn’t in their budget to pay me–not later–simply not at all. I wrote back immediately saying that that was unacceptable (I felt as though I’d been scammed) and that I wanted her to have the publisher get back with me IMMEDIATELY. The bad part is that I threatened to take it to small claims court. I guess I shouldn’t have done that. I just was soooooo angry! I truly feel that the entire deal was a scam from the beginning…

Whispers And Warnings For August 31st

Google – Reaches settlement with second French publisher. The publisher, not Google, will be able to determine which titles are scanned by Google.
The Brazilian government – is allegedly upset with a novelist for his satirical portrayal of Brazil. A newspaper in Brazil claims a government official “insisted all Brazilians must be ‘treated well, even in fiction.'”


Max (age 9) and Mason (age 5), who are homeschooled, started their new school year on Monday and we are having SO much fun! While they learn traditional subjects, we try to make their lessons more fun by ensuring they revolve around a central theme each week – something they are very interested in. This week, it’s sharks! Ever since we moved to Florida, they’ve been wanting to go shark fishing and they’ve been watching endless shark nature videos on YouTube and Netflix. Richard even rented Jaws and Jaws 2 for Max and I watched those with him last week, which was a hoot. At one point, Max asked, “Why did guys wear such short shorts back then…”

Topic, Common Themes, and Winners of the Summer 2011 24-Hour Short Story Contest!

For the past six weeks, we’ve spent every spare moment judging the hundreds of entries submitted for the Summer, 2011 24-Hour Short Story Contest. In case you’re not familiar with our quarterly contest, this is how it works. On the date of the contest, at start-time, we send out the topic for that specific contest to all registered entrants. We also post it online. Entrants then have 24 hours to write and submit their stories. The stories “must deal with the topic in some way to qualify” and they must not exceed the pre-assigned word count.
After reading the entries for each contest, we can see how difficult it is to come up with a unique plot when working with an assigned topic. But, inevitably, a few writers do manage to successfully break away from the pack.
So, today, join two newlyweds embraced on the beach, and learn what he’s been keeping from her…

Do NOT Use Odd Punctuation and Misspelled Words in Book Titles!

I agree with you on book titles. Personally, I think that they should consist of words people know already even if the book contains words that are unrecognizeable. They will find out for themselves when they read the book and once reading those words, their meaning tends to get revealed within the book anyway.
George Arnold Hall
Business: George Arnold Hall’s Pen and Pencil
Amber Khoolie’s Blog:
Works done or in Progress:
Series: Immortals of Scar –

Write About Fido & Fifi – It Sells! By Susan Sundwall

Okay, I don’t think anyone names their dog, cat, hamster or whatever Fido or Fifi anymore, but maybe that title caught your eye because you love writing about animals, as I do. We currently own a fifteen-year-old Springer Spaniel, and have owned several cats and other dogs. We also deal on a regular basis with local wildlife, which includes white tailed deer, possums, crows, foxes, rabbits, and the occasional black bear. And don’t even get me started on my new found love of hummingbirds. Many of my encounters with these animals serve as fodder for my eager pen…

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