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Saturday, September 10, 2016

Books and My Family

My Auntie Vee had a tremendous influence on my life, even though I seldom saw her. She grew up in the mid-west (North Dakota and Minnesota), took care of her mother after her father died, and became a teacher. She eventually moved to California, earned a further teaching degree, and taught there until she retired. She was a gentle lady that carried a great deal of wisdom about her. When I was going through my mother's things, after w moved her to a senior care facility, I found one of my Aunt's books. I ran across it again recently, and took a good look at it. It is a small book (77 pages), that carries a huge punch!

The name of the book is The Story of the Other Wise Man, by Henry Van Dyke. I was astounded when I looked on, to find many versions of this book. Well, I may not want to say many versions, but the publication dates are different, and the covers are different. It seems that what I have in my hands is copyright 1895 by Harper & Brothers, with a second copyright of 1923 by Henry Van Dyke.  My Aunt has written her name, and the date she got the book (February 1946) in the front of the book.

That it belonged to my Aunt makes this book precious to me - the story itself adds to the feeling that this is something to cherish. The story is about a fourth Magi, called Artaban. He sawthe same heavenly signs as the other Magi, and he carries his own gifts for the baby Jesus (a sapphire, a ruby, and a pearl).  On the way to Jerusalem, he stops to aid a dying man,and is left behind. His life becomes a journey of search for Christ. His need to help others acts as a barrier for accomplishing that goal.

 This is a well written, gently written book, writtenin story format. I recommend it for all.

But this is not meant to be a book review, it is meant to be thoughts on what books can mean to us, especialy when handed down through family. I remember when I was living in Hawaii, sharing a very small house with three roommates. In the living room was a set of encylopedias. books that came with their own story. They were the only thing left that one of my roommates had to remindhim of his deceased father.  They meant the world to him.

What books have been handed down in your family, and what do they mean to you? For me, books are a strong part of my journey, and my story.

(c) September 2016 Bonnie Cehovet

Friday, August 5, 2016

Bringing All the Strands of My "Web of Life" Together!

The web of my life for 2016 is pretty much what I asked it to be - which is favorable for me, but it  meant that, aside from reviews and the ooccasional article, my writing was at a standstill. I am now getting back to work on my WIP - a book on decision making. There has been an inordinate amount of "start/stop" with this book, due to life intervening. I am not going to push myself - but I do hope to have it out reasonably soon aftr the first of the year.

Then I will focus on marketing that book, and writing what is to be the first in a series of cozy mysteries. I am going to start from scratch on this book - I have the start of a bible, and a storyline, but I am going to start from ground zero, and see what happens. One of the things that I can do while I am finishing my non-fiction book is to research software that will help me create my bible, and keep characters and the storyiine together. Since I will be including parts of my metaphysical world, it will need to be tight to be believable!

I will be starting a newsletter within the next few months that will be published on a monthy basis. In it I hope to keep my audience apprised of where I am with my book, while at the same time building a reader base. I have no clue what software I will be using - I imagine trial and error with whatever looks good!

I would like to share a few links from my writer's world, beginning with Punctuation In Dialoge. Then we have Writing Jobs From Writer Access, and Magazines That Pay $400 Plus Per Article.

Wishing you all well with your writing!

(c) 2016 Bonnie Cehovet 

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Site Updated

I finally got around to updating my review links from my blogs to my site - I knew I had slowed down on reviewing, and some of the reviews will not show for a while because they were submitted to a magazine, but this is really slo mo!

Here are the links to specific review categories on my site:

Tarot Book Reviews
Tarot Deck Reviews
Oracle Reviews
Non-Tarot Book Reviews

(c) February 2016 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without the written permission of the author.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

A Writer's View of 2016

The most important seed that I could have planted for 2016 happened at the end of October, 2015, when I finally made the physical move back to Nevada. I feel as if a great weight has been lifted, and I can now move forward with purpose. I was blessedin that the house that I rented, sight unseen, is both a lovely home, and located close to everything that I need (including thge DMV!).

I do not do New Year's resoutions, as, in my humble opinion, they are an epic fail. My version of life is to set goals for the coming year, and check in on those goals on a periodic basis, to make sure that I have not strayed from my path. My first goal for 2016 is not one that I had planned, but one that came up unexpectedly. Close to the end of February I will be getting a lens inplant in my right eye. Long story - the short version of which is that when I had the cataract surgery on that eye, the ten year study had not been finished, and my opthamologist could not implnt a lens. My second goal is to clean up my finances so that I can purchase a home before the end of the year. This is where my major energy will be going.

As far as writing goes, I will continue my work with The Cartomancer, write a column here once a month, write flash fiction on a consistent basis, and look for short story contests to enter. I need to work on myself over the next year (I am still unpacking "stuff"), so that tghe person in the mirror and the one in my mind carry the same image.

I am also contemplating doing an imspirational deck, with quotes on each card that reflect different life areas. That will evolve over time, and may take a couple of years to come into print. I already have a good idea who I will have carry this deck, and that for me is a major part of this journey.

On January 13th I will be attending a free teleclass by author Eleanor Brown on setting writing goals for 2016. I very much am looking forward to this event, which I see as a good way to firmly anchor my writing in 2016, and a way to connect with another writer. That all important networking!

Wishing you all much success in 2016!

(c) January 2016 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written permission of he author.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Planning For The New Year

I am doing well this year - I remembered that Ineeded a new planner for 2016, and Amazon got it to me in time! Last year I basically "settled" for what was available in the store - this year I ordered ahead of time, and am very pleased that it is already here! What initially attraced me to it was the bright red color - what a great way to send energy into my day! My day planner is always on my desk, so I can note appointments, deadlines, etc. as I move through my day, so having a nice size, and a great color, are real bonuses!

My 2016 planner is 8 1/2" by 11", featuring a full two page calendar for each month, with verticle, appointment-style planning pages, I love the tabs that give easy access to each month - the first and third quarter tabs are in black, the second and fourth quarter tabs are in red. In the front of the planner are reference calendars for 2015, 2016, and 2017, with a full page to list goals for the coming year.

At the back of the planner is a full page for notes, and a full page entitled "Future Planning" that lists the next twelve months, with a column for the date, and space for notes. Definitely a onus when juggling multile projects, or noting dates for seminars etc. for the coming year.There is a full page for listing birthdays and anniversaries (a good way to keep on top of both personal and professional dates of note), a reference age listing both metric and U.S. measurements, a page for listing websites, blank pages for notes, pages for listing addresses and phone numbers, and maps listing time zones (U.S. and global).

I feel confident that everything that I need is contained within this planner. It will help me to focus my vision for the coming year, as well as setting the ground work for 2017. Many of us are involved in multiple professional areas - I am a writer, I am a reviewer, I blog, I act as a PR contact for a wonderful - and very busy! - music journalist, and am on the editorial staff of an up and coming quarterly cartomancy magazine.

Each of you will have your own projects to keep track of. Life can be exciting when we take a small moment to keep it on track - and that is what these planners do!

Here is the link to the planner that I am working with: daily planner.

Wishing you all a highly productive 2016!

(c) December 2015 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written permission of the author.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Promoting Books On Twitter

I have to admit that I used to put much more effort to working with Twitter than I do now. I know that it has more to offer than I am making use of, which is why I was attracted to an article that I saw on promoting books on Twitter. (Here is the link, so you can red it in its entirety - How To Promote Books On Twitter.) 

Spoiler alert - the article starts at day one - how to sign up for Twitter!  Then it moves on to the basics of creating a profile, how to Tweet, how to follow people, and how to get them to follow you. Personally, I wish that this had been presented as a separate article. If you are already on Twitter, I woud just move right down to the meat of this article, which is selling books with Twitter!

The first thing addressed here is hashtags, which I almost never use, although I know full well that I should! This is how we attract followers - by letting them know what we are talking about! There is a list of specific hashtags for authors, which is a goldmine! There is a listing of hashtags by genre, and for getting idustry information, creative writing help, and connecting with readers.

Of course, you also have to Tweet about your book! I am going to make best use of this section to get my books out there for the holidays. Whether we self-publish, or publish through a brick and mortar, as authors we need to do the heavy work of promoting our books ourselves. There is no magic wand! The greatest tools that we may have at hand are the social media - Twitter, Facebook, Linked In, and Google +, to name a few.

We also have to think about the very basics - Twitter is a 140 character base. If we choose to use links (and we shoud!), then using a shrtened link is a huge help. This article presents a link shortener that I have never heard of (I am of the Tiny Url generation!), but that I will be trying out.  One of the main reasons that I will be trying out this tool is that it focuses on where the individual clicking on a link is from, and takes them to the relevent link (think Amazon and all of its incarnations in various countries).

Competitions and give aways are also discussed. This has never been a tool that worked wll for me, but I know others that it has worked very well for. Certainly something to consider.

Twitter apps and tools are something that is beyond where I am right now, but certainly something that should be considered. I know that I need to up my tech savvy. and this doesn't lok that hard.

There is a great deal of information here - take away what works for you, leave the rest behind!

(c) December 2015 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without the written consent of the author. 

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

The Beat Goes On!

It has been a while since I blogged here, but the beat goes on! Still writing, but also having to deal with the little things that life tosses at us! Major changes coming up, but more about that later. Today I want to talk about iPad apps for writing. Now, I don't have an iPad, but I know that many of you do, so you might be interested in this. Just know that I have not personally worked with any of these apps!

Pages is an app from Apple that functions as a word processor. You can check on word count, use Arabic and Hebrew templates, do a custom color mix, insert images, customize alignment guides and more. You can check out Pages here

My Writing Spot is an app from Apple that provides the writer with an uncluttered writing environment. (Great for non-techies like me!) It has all the good stuff - auto save, spell check, word and character count, is password protected, and works with either an on-screen keyboard, or an external bluetooth keyboard. You can find more information here.

Chapters - Notebooks For Writing is an application that allows the compilation of notes into self-titled, searchable notebooks. There is a really decent review of this app here.

iA Writer is an application that helps provide an atmosphere free of distractions, like graphical settings, formatting features, auto-correction, spell-check, tool bars, etc. Focus mode fades out everything but your last three lines of writing. That might irritate me a bit, but it has its uses. It also has a feature that allows you to see approximately how much time it will take someone to read your text. Love this! More information can be found here

(c) September 2015 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written permission of the author.