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Surprise the Reader in Your Life!

Welcome to Cyber Monday! We can enjoy good deals online and collect items for our holiday gift lists. Surprise the reader in your life with “Blood Magic, A Vampire Hunter Novel.” This fantasy novel by RL Collins is available through Amazon at https://amzn.to/2ltRqOs  as a paperback or KINDLE edition.

Have a sneak peek by listening to the podcast at https://indigostone.online/

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Blood Magic -Podcast Episode 5

Welcome to podcast episode 5 of “Blood Magic, A Vampire Hunter Novel.”  In this segment, we experience a chain of events following the murder at Culpeper Regional Library.

Selina Anderson is a small-town teacher with a big-time problem with vampires who are out to kill her before she can make them her next meal.  She is looking forward to a quiet lazy summer in Culpeper, Virginia, where everybody knows everybody.  At least this is her plan until three strangers enter her life in one day.  The fantasy novel “Blood Magic” by RL Collins has been released on Amazon, https://amzn.to/2ltRqOs. 

Website:  https://indigostone.online/

How to Write a Holiday Thank You

“Gratitude turns what we have into enough.” – Anon

Saying thank you is not limited by time or space. A kind gesture may be large, small, or even behind the scenes. At this time of year be diligent with saying thank you to family, friends, and coworkers.

Handwrite the thank you note. Don’t just text! Also avoid sending an email or typed letter.  A handwritten note is a more sincere way to express gratitude for a kindness.

Use nice stationary. If you are an arts and craft person, you can make it yourself or make it family time with kids. You may also choose to buy the stationary. Choose something that fits your style. There are options. You may decide on embossed or monogrammed stationary. Or something more casual from the local office supply store.

Personalize your message. If you expect to see the person soon, reference the event and your anticipation. If the person gave you an item you can use later, share how and when you plan to use it.

Better late than never. Even if you think it is too late to send a note, send it anyway. It’s the thought that counts.

Use your best handwriting. You might want to practice your message on plain paper a few times. Then when you are ready, put your very best on the stationary.

Send a thanks, no matter how small. At this time of year, you never know what someone may be dealing with on a personal level. Say thank you no matter how small the gesture. Say thank you often. There is no limit to experiencing and expressing gratitude.

NEXT STEPS: Subscribe below and come back next week.

Alternative Plan to Thanksgiving Football

Are you relaxed on the couch? Is your holiday meal digesting? If watching football is not in your plans, listen to “Blood Magic,” the podcast. Episode 4 of this vampire hunter novel is out now.  In this segment, we listen to chapter 2 set in Culpeper, Virginia. We are swept into a mystery at Culpeper Regional Library:  https://indigostone.online/2019/11/24/blood-magic-podcast-episode-4/

Or start from the beginning and listen to the pilot.

“Blood Magic” by RL Collins is available for Black Friday shopping through Amazon at https://amzn.to/2ltRqOs

Blood Magic – Podcast Episode 4

Welcome to podcast episode 4 of “Blood Magic, A Vampire Hunter Novel.”  In this segment, we listen to chapter 2 set in Culpeper, Virginia. We are swept into a mystery at Culpeper Regional Library.

Selina Anderson is a small-town teacher with a big-time problem with vampires who are out to kill her before she can make them her next meal.  She is looking forward to a quiet lazy summer in Culpeper, Virginia, where everybody knows everybody.  At least this is her plan until three strangers enter her life in one day.  The fantasy novel “Blood Magic” by RL Collins has been released on Amazon, https://amzn.to/2ltRqOs. 

Website:  https://indigostone.online/

Early Tips to Better Writing – Part 2

The holiday season is upon us. This may be the hardest time of year to find time to write. But try anyway. Take time for yourself and the creative muse.

Clear away distractions. Turn off the television, turn off email, and turn off the cell phone.  You might choose to play mellow music. Do not try to write and multi-task at the same time. It doesn’t help your creativity!

Experiment with your writing. Yes, it is important to read master writers, but do not copy their style. You can borrow a few bits and pieces. Find your own style, voice, mechanics, themes, etc. See what works for you. Toss the rest.

Revising is key to becoming a better writer. In the beginning you should spill your guts in words. Spelling, grammar, and punctuation do not matter – just write until you cannot write anymore.  But if you want to be a good writer, learn to revise. Check the mechanics. Also, go back over the writing and look for awkwardness, confusing, or unnecessary language.

Get feedback. Do not write in a vacuum. Find someone to read over your writing. If you have a friend with a writing or editing background, that’s even better. Someone who reads often can also give great feedback. Be a good listener and accept the criticism. Learn from the feedback. Don’t take anything personal.

Share your writing. After a certain point, you should share your work outside your circle of friends and family. Find a more public platform. You may decide to write for a publication. Maybe you’ll post your writings online. Perhaps you’ll write a guest post for someone who is more established. Take the risk. Give it a try. Have a thick skin. See what happens when you share your writing with the world.

NEXT STEPS:  Come back next week for more tips. Happy holidays to different parts of the world!

Blood Magic – Podcast Episode 3

Welcome to podcast episode 3 of “Blood Magic, A Vampire Hunter Novel.”  In this segment, we listen to chapter 1 set in Culpeper, Virginia. We are introduced to the protagonist Selina and her small-town community.

Episode #3

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Selina Anderson is a small-town teacher with a big-time problem with vampires who are out to kill her before she can make them her next meal.  She is looking forward to a quiet lazy summer in Culpeper, Virginia, where everybody knows everybody.  At least this is her plan until three strangers enter her life in one day.  The fantasy novel “Blood Magic” by RL Collins has been released on Amazon https://amzn.to/2ltRqOs. 

Website:  https://indigostone.online/

Early Tips to Better Writing

Whether you have professional or creative goals for your writing, there are tips to create a smooth process.

Read great writers. You’ve probably heard this many times throughout this blog, but it is important.  If you don’t read strong writing, you won’t know how to do it.  Everyone starts by reading the masters.  Read as much as possible.  Pay attention to style, mechanics, and content.

Write often. Try to write every day – multiple times a day if your schedule allows it.  Writing is a skill you can practice like playing a sport or learning a musical instrument. Write for different purposes. You can write for business, write for a blog, write for a publication, and more.  Writing gets easier with practice.

Write down ideas, no matter how random. Keep a journal offline or on your mobile device.  Throughout the day, jot down ideas from conversations, music, media, etc.  Later you may find gems that inspire you to develop a novel character, a magazine article, or a story to introduce a PowerPoint presentation.

Create a writing ritual. Find a regular time each day to write. It may be for 15 minutes, 30 minutes, or more. If you can write for at least an hour, that is the best. Choose a good time of day. Maybe you’re an early bird and do your best thinking in the morning? Maybe you’re a night owl and prefer to write when others are sleeping? Do what works for you. Pick a routine you can commit to.

NEXT STEPS:  Subscribe and come back next week for more tips to better writing.

Blood Magic – Podcast Episode 2

Welcome to podcast episode 2 of “Blood Magic, A Vampire Hunter Novel.”  In this segment, we listen to the prologue set in Warrenton, Virginia. We are introduced to the villain Marcus, and his henchmen.

Episode #2

Overview

Selina Anderson is a small-town teacher with a big-time problem with vampires who are out to kill her before she can make them her next meal.  She is looking forward to a quiet lazy summer in Culpeper, Virginia, where everybody knows everybody.  At least this is her plan until three strangers enter her life in one day.  The fantasy novel “Blood Magic” by RL Collins has been released on Amazon, https://amzn.to/2ltRqOs. 

Finding the Inspiration to Write

Inspiration.

What is it? Where do we find it?

Most of the time we are given a writing assignment as part of a mundane project or to accomplish a goal. Perhaps the boss needs you to draft a PowerPoint presentation. Perhaps an instructor requires you to write an essay. Maybe you are opening for a civic event in your neighborhood. It is the heart and personality we inject into our writing that makes it come alive.

Brainstorm. Inspiration can be found in the sunset. Inspiration can be found in a 90’s tune on YouTube.  Hot coffee on a chilly afternoon can bring good feelings. Feel what you feel and write down the words and phrases that come to mind. Don’t worry about spelling, grammar, or punctuation. Then pick the best tidbits to build your story.

Read the works of other writers. Lighten the mood and read a comic strip in the newspaper. Explore and read an article from a new magazine. Or if you really have the time, check out a book on short stories from the local library. There is no magic formula. Don’t try too hard.

Review examples of art. Works of art can be found online and offline. If you’re lucky, you might have art galleries or museums in your community.   There are online marketplaces where you can browse art for inspiration. You may even try a happy hour painting session after work. There are options to suit one’s taste.

In the end, give yourself time. There is no right or wrong method to finding inspiration to write. Satisfy the requirements for the writing assignment. Then find a way to bring it to life and put your personal stamp on it.

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