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Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Writer Wednesday with Shakespeare

Hello!
Happy Writer Wednesday to you! On Writer Wednesday, I discuss another author and his or her book or poem. Today I'm celebrating one of Shakespeare's sonnets.

Recently, I watched interesting documentaries on a few of Shakespeare's plays.I always love learning more about the bard!

With that in mind, and in the spirit of summer, here is today's Writer Wednesday's selection...

Image of Summer Still life on Writer Wednesday post about Shakespeare's Sonnet 18 on the Blog of Writing Consultant and Editor of Extra Ink Edits providing editing services to writers


Sonnet 18
Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimmed,
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature's changing course untrimmed:
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st,
Nor shall death brag thou wander'st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow'st,
So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.


Do you have any favorite summer poems?
Today's Writer Wednesday is served with a tea selection of peach and raspberry, to round out the summer theme.

My best to you all,
Megan 

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten of the Next Books I Plan to Read


Image of Top Ten Tuesday on Blog of Writing Consultant, Author and Editor from  Extra Ink Edits, providing Editing Services for Writers

Hello!
Today's Top Ten Tuesday, from The Broke and the Bookish, is a freebie. I'm using today to share ten of the next books I plan to read. These are in no particular order. 


1. What? David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits and The Art of Battling Giants
By: Malcom Gladwell
 (What I'm currently reading)
Image of David and Goliath on Top Ten Tuesday on Blog of Writing Consultant, Author and Editor from  Extra Ink Edits, providing Editing Services for Writers













2. What? Maisie Dobbs Book 9: Elegy for Eddie
By: Jacqueline Winspear
Image of Elegy for Eddie on Top Ten Tuesday on Blog of Writing Consultant, Author and Editor from  Extra Ink Edits, providing Editing Services for Writers













3. What? The Secret Garden
By: Frances Hodgson Burnett

Image of The Secret Garden on Top Ten Tuesday on Blog of Writing Consultant, Author and Editor from  Extra Ink Edits, providing Editing Services for Writers














4. What? Pioneer Girl: Laura Ingalls Wilder, The Annotated Autobiography
Edited by: Pamela Smith Hill
Image of Pioneer Girl on Top Ten Tuesday on Blog of Writing Consultant, Author and Editor from Extra Ink Edits, providing Editing Services for Writers















5. What? Mark Twain's Notebooks: Journals, Letters, Observations, Wit, Wisdom and Doodles
Edited By: Carlo DeVito
Image of Mark Twain on Top Ten Tuesday on Blog of Writing Consultant, Author and Editor from Extra Ink Edits, providing Editing Services for Writers













6. What? Byzantium: A Surprising Life of A Medieval Empire
By: Judith Herrin
Image of Byzantium on Top Ten Tuesday on Blog of Writing Consultant, Author and Editor from Extra Ink Edits, providing Editing Services for Writers













7.  What? Mansfield Park
By: Jane Austen
The last of Austen's novels for me to read.
Image of Mansfield Park on Top Ten Tuesday on Blog of Writing Consultant, Author and Editor from Extra Ink Edits, providing Editing Services for Writers













8. What? Thinking Fast and Slow
By: Daniel Kahneman
Image of Thinking Fast and Slow on Top Ten Tuesday on Blog of Writing Consultant, Author and Editor from Extra Ink Edits, providing Editing Services for Writers












9. What? Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe 1944-1956
By: Anne Applebaum
Image of Iron Curtain on Top Ten Tuesday on Blog of Writing Consultant, Author and Editor from Extra Ink Edits, providing Editing Services for Writers












10.What? Titans of History
By: Simon Sebag Montefiore
Image of Titans of History on Top Ten Tuesday on Blog of Writing Consultant, Author and Editor from Extra Ink Edits, providing Editing Services for Writers














Image of Extra Ink Edits on Top Ten Tuesday on Blog of Writing Consultant, Author and Editor from Extra Ink Edits, providing Editing Services for Writers including query critique, edit my novel, beta reading, how to write a synopsis and more
Bonus...

Your work! I'm a writing consultant and editor and I'd love to read your work next to help make it stronger for you!



What are you reading this summer?
Have you read any of these?

My best to you all,
Megan

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Saturday's Quotation to Inspire: Thoughts and Actions

Inspiration from Writing Consultant and Editor, Editing Services for Writers, Edit My Novel

"Great thoughts speak only to the thoughtful mind, but great actions speak to all mankind."- Theodore Roosevelt 

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Writer Wednesday: Outliers

Outliers on Writer Wednesday from Writing Consultant and Editor at Extra Ink Edits, Provider of Editing Services for WritersHello!

On Writer Wednesday, I discuss another author and his or her book. Those of you that are familiar with Writer Wednesday know that I read widely. This particular selection came from my husband's bookshelf. Married bookshelves = even greater reading variety!

Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell is a number one international bestseller and for good reason. I love explanations for why things are as they are and that is precisely what Gladwell has done in this book. He uncovers why certain people are particularly good at certain things, why certain years are best for people of certain industries to be born in and why things which are extraordinary or "the best" are.

If you read this book, you'll be able to answer some of these questions...

1) What does the garment industry have to do with successful Jewish doctors and lawyers?

2) What do rice paddies have to do with strong skills for many Asian students in math?

3) What does the casual or more formal nature of speech have to do with aviation disasters?

4) Why did Bill Gates rise to such heights in the computer world?

5) What do birthdays have to do with hockey success?

6) Is there really such a thing as a "self-made" man or woman?

Have I whet your appetite for answers?

If so, dive right in. Take a chance. At its heart, this book is about opportunities that arise. Opportunities can only come about if one is willing to take a chance though. I encourage you to be willing to try for your dreams and when you look down, you might just realize that you're soaring.

Have you read Outliers? What did you think?

My best to you all,
Megan


Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Top 10 Books I've read so far this year...


Hello!
For today's Top Ten Tuesday, I'm sharing ten of the best books that I've read so far in 2016. June is the sixth month and thus marks the halfway point for the reading year as well. These are in no particular order.

1.The Revenge of Geography: What the Map Tells Us about Coming Conflicts and the Battle Against Fate by Robert D. Kaplan.
Writer Wednesday feature 

The Revenge of Geography on Top Ten Tuesday from Writing Consultant and Editor at Extra Ink Edits, Provider of Editing Services for Writers













2. Outliers by Malcom Gladwell
Come back tomorrow for my thoughts on Writer Wednesday about Outliers!
Outliers on Top Ten Tuesday from Writing Consultant and Editor at Extra Ink Edits, Provider of Editing Services for Writers












3. The Silk Roads: A New History of the World by Peter Frankopan
As featured on Writer Wednesday
Silk Roads on Top Ten Tuesday from Writing Consultant and Editor at Extra Ink Edits, Provider of Editing Services for Writers













4. Maisie Dobbs: The Mapping of Love and Death by Jacqueline Winspear
Previous Maisie Dobbs books featured on Writer Wednesday
Maisie Dobbs on Top Ten Tuesday from Writing Consultant and Editor at Extra Ink Edits, Provider of Editing Services for Writers
I'm working my way through the Maisie Dobbs books and they keep getting better! This was the most recent I read and my favorite so far.











5. The American West by Dee Brown
Here's my Writer Wednesday of it. 
The American West on Top Ten Tuesday from Writing Consultant and Editor at Extra Ink Edits, Provider of Editing Services for Writers













6. Emma by Jane Austen
Previously on Writer Wednesday 
Emma on Top Ten Tuesday from Writing Consultant and Editor at Extra Ink Edits, Provider of Editing Services for Writers













7. The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel
As featured on Books I love but don't talk about enough. 
The Case for Christ on Top Ten Tuesday from Writing Consultant and Editor at Extra Ink Edits, Provider of Editing Services for Writers












8. Hallelujah: The Story of a Musical Genius and the City that Brought his Masterpiece to Life by Jonathan Bardon
As seen on Writer Wednesday
Hallelujah on Top Ten Tuesday from Writing Consultant and Editor at Extra Ink Edits, Provider of Editing Services for Writers















9. BBC History Magazine
Previously written about on Writer Wednesday 
BBC History on Top Ten Tuesday from Writing Consultant and Editor at Extra Ink Edits, Provider of Editing Services for Writers













10. National Geographic Magazine
As shared on Writer Wednesday

National Geographic on Top Ten Tuesday from Writing Consultant and Editor at Extra Ink Edits, Provider of Editing Services for Writers












Those are some of my top ten reads for 2016 so far. What are yours? Have you read any of these?

My best to you all,
Megan


Monday, June 13, 2016

How to decide what to write next... Tips from a Writing Consultant

Hello!

As part of my ongoing tips from a writing consultant series, today I'm discussing a recent question that a writer asked me— how do you decide what to write next?


Cary Grant Gif for Writing Tips for Deciding what to write next
What do I write next?
This is an interesting question. Specifically, the writer was trying to choose between several options. She had many ideas and she wanted to know what to write next among all the bright and shining options. 


1) If you already have books published (either traditionally or as an indie author), choosing what to write next might be as simple as deciding what your readers would most like to read next or which book is next in your series. 

For these next tips, let's assume that your choice isn't as obvious. 

2) You can decide which book sounds the most appealing to you. Writing is work, yes. But, you should enjoy what you're writing. Which book sounds like it would be the most fun to write?

3) Decide what to write next based on what you have just finished. In point one, this would imply the next book in a series. For this point, though, I'm talking more about variety. If you've just written a very detailed story, with many complications, it can be refreshing to write a more straightforward story after one that is so layered.


Daffy Duck Gif for How to Decide what to write next- tips from a writing consultant
So many ideas! So much to write! 
4) You can write for the season. If you know that a book is going to be in the summer, you may wish to write that now, as your senses will be more attuned to the season. I tend to write in-sync with the seasons.  

5) Another option if you're really unsure is to write short stories. Perhaps, you'll want to experiment with new genres. This can help with describing things in new ways or experimenting with a new form of storytelling. You could write a short story about each idea and see which resonates the most with you to continue writing. 

6 )Or, you could explore the stories via another form- photography, painting, etc and see which is strongest to you. 

7) Or, you could write down what you know about each idea so faralmost like a list or chartand see which jumps out to you. 

Here are a few tips to help you decide what to write next. How do you decide? 



My best to you all,
Megan


Thursday, June 9, 2016

Very special offer!! 20% off all Editing!



Want 20% off a query critique? How about your synopsis polish? Or, maybe you need help with a back cover blurb if you're an indie author? Want the whole thing edited? Need a beta reader? The choice is yours! Pick one or all!

My best to you all,
Megan

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Writer Wednesday: The Revenge of Geography

The Revenge of Geography on Writer Wednesday by Writing Consultant and Editor at Extra Ink Edits
Hello!
On Writer Wednesday, I discuss another author and his or her book. Today I'm delving into The Revenge of Geography: What the Map Tells Us about Coming Conflicts and the Battle Against Fate by Robert D. Kaplan.

In order to explain this choice, I want to mention my own background. I'm a writer, a writing consultant and editor and I also research history, geography, geopolitics, cartography and international relations. My degrees cover these areas. So, warning, if you're not as wild about these things as I am, you might not be as enthusiastic about this book.

I loved it. The Revenge of Geography explains historical facts and ongoing geopolitical situations through the lens of geography. I read this on my reader and starred or underlined a number of passages. I sometimes mark when I'm reading, but more often only while editing. This book had nearly as many marks on it as when I edit a piece. A quick glance shows that I made approximately 125 notes in it. There was just so much that I found riveting. I love explanations for why things are as they are and uncovering links and connections. This book did that.

Here are a few sections from it...
"Geography is the backdrop of human history itself, in spite of cartographic distortions, it can be as revealing about a government's long-range intentions as its secret councils. A state's position on the map is the first thing that defines it, more than its governing philosophy even. A map, explains Halford Mackinder, conveys 'at one glance a whole series of generalizations.' Geography, he goes on, bridges the gap between arts and sciences, connecting the study of history and culture with environmental factors, which specialists in the humanities sometimes neglect." (Chapter 2: The Revenge of Geography)
"As heirs to land power, Germans and Russians have over the centuries thought more in terms of geography than Americans and Britons, heirs to sea power. For Russians, mindful of the devastation wrought by the Golden Horde of the Mongols, geography means simply that without expansion, there is the danger of being overrun." (Chapter 5: The Nazi Distortion) 
"America is bordered by oceans to the east and west, and to the north by the Canadian Arctic, which provides for only a thin band of middle class population on America's border. (The American Canadian frontier is the most extraordinary of the world's frontiers because it is long, artificial, and yet has ceased to matter.)... For the historical borderland between America and Mexico is broad and indistinct, much like that of the Indian Subcontinent in the northwest, even as it reveals civilizational stresses. Stanford historian David Kennedy notes, 'The income gap between the United States and Mexico is the largest between any two contiguous countries in the world,' with American GDP nine times that of Mexico." (Chapter 15: Braudel, Mexico and Grand Strategy).


If I've whet your appetite for learning more about the importance of geography on historical and current events,  I encourage you to read the fascinating The Revenge of Geography: What the Map Tells Us about Coming Conflicts and the Battle Against Fate by Robert D. Kaplan.

Do you have recommendations in this area?

My best to you all,
Megan


Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Why I love Historical Fiction: Tips for Writing Historical Fiction from a Writing Consultant

Top Ten Tuesday Image on Blog of Extra Ink Edits,Writing Consultant and Professional Freelance Editor Providing Editing Services for Writers

Hello!
Today's Top Ten Tuesday from The Broke and the Bookish is ten reasons I love X. My X is historical fiction. I am a fan of this genre as a reader and I also write it. In addition, as a writing consultant and editor, I advise writers and one of the genres that I do this for is historical fiction. In that sense, these ten reasons can also be viewed as tips. 


Here are my ten reasons I love historical fiction...


1) Insight into another era- Unless you have a time machine in your basement, historical fiction is one of the best ways to immerse yourself in a different era.

Revolutionary War Gif on Blog About Historical Fiction Tips of Extra Ink Edits,Writing Consultant and Professional Freelance Editor Providing Editing Services for Writers
2) Transportive locations- Ancient Egypt. WWI France. Philadelphia 1776. You know what to expect from these settings immediately. Each is unique and not like life today. It can be even more exciting when you discover a place and time that you've not read about before. It can be especially interesting to see that, although the settings are different, humanity is often largely the same. Which brings us to the next point...

3) The strength of the human spirit- Historical stories are not always in war settings, but life in general was often more complicated. The ability to thrive in difficult circumstances is a testament to the strength of humanity.

Typewriter Gif on Blog About Historical Fiction Tips of Extra Ink Edits,Writing Consultant and Professional Freelance Editor Providing Editing Services for Writers4) Variety of subgenres- More than a genre, historical fiction is really a means of setting. Within it, there is mystery, suspense, romance, adventure and often these are combined in the same book.

5) Variety of Time periods- Contemporary fiction is interesting but it's constrained to now. Historical fiction is broad meaning from pre-history all the way until WWII (usually- although some specific publishers use different endpoints).

6) Variety of locations- This may seem obvious, but history happened to the entire world. That means historical fiction can be anywhere! You can read about Egypt one day, France the next and Korea on the third- all within the realm of historical fiction.

Abraham Lincoln and Civil War Gif on Blog About Historical Fiction Tips of Extra Ink Edits,Writing Consultant and Professional Freelance Editor Providing Editing Services for Writers7) Mix of Real and Imagined Characters- Some historical fiction is based on real historical figures. Some isn't. Some is an intriguing mix of both.

8) Costumes- I say costumes because it's evocative of the wider meaning here. In short, there are hundreds of historical details that can be included- costumes, machinery, houses, cars, carriages, etc etc!

9) Nuances of everyday life- In the past, people did things differently. We all know this, of course. What can be really interesting is uncovering what were hot inventions at the time or seeing how many steps it once took to do something simple today.

10) Variations because of historical restraints- Characters have to accomplish seemingly easy tasks for contemporary characters in new and exciting ways in historical fiction, because of historical restraints. Want to pick up the phone and call to tell your neighbor that he is danger? Guess what? For centuries in historical fiction, that's very difficult to do. Need to go on a trip? Great! No planes or cars. Book a steamship or a carriage or walk. You get the idea. Also, the best historical fiction shows the particulars that are relevant to the story and avoids generalizations to make it feel "historical". Historical fiction is rich and varied and details can help bring that to life.

Why do you like historical fiction?


My best to you all,
Megan

Monday, June 6, 2016

Tips from a Writing Consultant- Pitch and Putt Analogy

Hello!

Picture of a Putter on Blog about Inspiration for Writers from Extra Ink Edits,Writing Consultant and Professional Freelance Editor Providing Editing Services for Writersi
As part of my ongoing series of tips and advice for writers from a writing consultant, I'm discussing pitch and putt today. Firstly, if you don't know, pitch and putt is 18 holes of golf that have a maximum length of 70 meters per hole. So, basically, it's golf on a slightly smaller scale.

I played pitch and putt for the first time recently and enjoyed my afternoon partaking in the game.
One of the tools that I find beneficial in teaching is the use of analogy. As a writing consultant, part of my job is to help train and teach writers. This carries over from when I taught college writing.

Pitch and putt is a great analogy for the writing process. First, one must pitch. That is, you have to write toward the general direction of your goal. Only when a manuscript is close enough to the goal (the hole in the analogy or a completed manuscript in writing) can a putter be used. This is all the fine-tuning that takes place through editing.

Image of a Golfing Green  on Blog about Inspiration for Writers from Extra Ink Edits,Writing Consultant and Professional Freelance Editor Providing Editing Services for WritersiAs you're writing, the story may not be quite what you want. That's perfectly fine! Just keep pitching it in the general direction of the flag of its finish line. Then, you can putt it to perfect completion.
Keep going! If you hit a tree, no problem. Just try again.








For all your editing needs, including query critiques, visit Extra Ink Edits.

My best to you all,
Megan