KEEP CALM & READ, WRITE

Lisa Hagan Books

You aren’t the first human to be in quarantine and odds are, you will not be the last. Every crisis throughout history – or at least the ones humans witnessed and endured – sparked fierce creativity. Think Shakespeare in 1605, cooped up to escape plague, scratching away through the night at a play he would call “King Lear.”  Edgar Allen Poe’s “Mask of the Red Death” is such rich ground that 150 years later, the great film director Akira Kurosawa left a treatment of it behind when he died; it’s now in production. (This is the fourth film treatment of the story in addition to its countless editions and comic book treatments.)

Fear is both a motivator – dear God, I was here! I existed! – as well as life-killing;  you get to choose how you use it.  Try deep belly-breaths until your heart-rate slows then pick up a book.

Reading requires a stillness inside, a quiet mind to take in words and create your own internal pictures. Those pictures engender emotion and take you from your reality to experience other realities without threat. With books, you can travel, go to war, live in colonial Africa, shoot the moon. Each time you change your reality with that book, the world becomes a little more known to you, a little less scary.

Being a reader is THE requirement for being a writer.  The more you traffic in words, the more you’ll want to traffic in words; its’ a terrific addiction! Not only do you become a better communicator, you become less afraid as you understand more. As you read and write, time slips away; there’s no quarantine boredom in a writer’s house!

As writers, editors and publishers, we live books every day; we love this life.  Use what we do everyday to pass your quarantine. At the end of it, who knows, you might have the next Why the Crawdads Sing.

Coronavirus Journal: The world will only support so many pandemic thrillers, but your micro-look at coping will serve as powerful document to future generations of your family. This is big history and you’re helping to write it.

Read a Big Book: My nephew, at home sick with coronavirus, just finished Infinite Jest, becoming the first person to do so.  Take a long ride with Anna Karenina (anything Tolstoy), Dickens, the Ferrante Napoli quartet, Yukio Mishima.  Always wanted to read Lord of Rings? Now is your moment.

Write That Book You’ve Been Thinking about for Ten Years: If not now, when?

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS

Our areas of interest are self-help, science, nature, mind/body/spirit, health and healing, women’s studies, popular culture, and business/finance/investing.  All subjects will be considered.

  1. In the body of your email include a description of the book you are writing
  2. Why you are the best person to write this book
  3. Why this book would be of interest to a publisher (research your audience, your outreach, and competitive, same-subject books by other authors)

Send your query (no attachments please!) to Lisa@LisaHaganBooks.com or Beth@LisaHaganBooks.com and please allow a minimum of two weeks for an answer.


 

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3 Sins of Bullshit Writing

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from Charles Euchner’s KEEP IT SHORT: A Practical Guide to Writing in the 21st Century (click on title to read more)

If you don’t know what your ideas are, if you haven’t flushed out details or set your purpose clearly, you might commit one, two or all three sins of bullshit writing. And that, says Euchner, is when “things get ugly. When we try to bull our way through sentences and paragraphs.”

The 3 deadly sins of bullshit writing are:

•We repeat ourselves.

•We use vague phrasing – adjectives and generalizations – instead of clear crisp logic                and details.

•We ramble, piling words and phrases, with a hope we will discover some telling detail  or concept, but usually moving further and further away from the point.

 

When you feel any of this creeping in, you know you’ve lost the grip somehow. Backtrack and flush the idea, plotting, character development, background research and how you are going to tell you story. We suggest beginners start with the beginning, move on to the middle and then give us the end.

If you see any of those those 3 deadly sins popping up a lot in that book in your hand, you may want to put it down and go get another. Life’s short and there are just too many great books to read.

Join us every Thursday on Twitter with the hashtag

#ThursdayWrites and tell us what you’re working on. 

Follow us on twitter @Shadowteams @GiantSweettart

Chat on Facebook at ShadowteamsNYC  or Beth Wareham

Visit our website at www.LisaHaganBooks.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

#somethingIheard makes twitter debut

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On Thursday, November 19 at 9:00 pm est, tune into the twitter account @shadowteams for a provocative discussion about capturing music in words, what we’re listening to and why. While we are not Bernard Holland and this isn’t as poetic and penetrating as Something I Heard, we can talk about the genius of writing short, using one art to describe another, and celebrate the sheer joy of shutting one’s mouth and listening to the music of those that came before us.

Thursday, November 19 9:00 pm  Use this hashtag #somethingIheard

See you then!  @shadowteams

 

 

 

Shadow Teams Joins the Fray: #ebookchat, Friday 9/19, High Noon

Calling all e-book, digital publishing, and reading experts, enthusiasts, and inquirers… Please join the Shadow Teams crew on Friday, September 19th, from 12.00 p.m. to 1.00 p.m. Eastern Time, for #ebookchat.

In the near future, we’ll have themes/topics for each week’s chat (always Friday from 12-1, always with the #ebookchat hashtag). This week, however, to kick things off, we’ll just have a free for all and see what kinds of things everyone is interested in discussing. This isn’t meant to be a high-level, jargon-y hour for insiders, but a jumping-off point where everyone can learn a little, find out about some other chats/resources/links, and gain a few new Twitter pals, to boot.

Here’s how to participate:

— Make sure you have a Twitter account. Don’t know how to set one up? Here are some simple instructions.
— If you don’t plan on using an application like Hootsuite or Tweetdeck, remember that you can put the hashtag #ebookchat into Twitter to search for messages. Even easier: Use TweetChat.com (there are other sites like this), as it allows you to open a window with just the #ebookchat tweets, nothing else.
— Share tweets, with or without your own comments, but try to include the hashtag so everyone knows where to turn for more information, or to join.
— Almost anything goes in a Twitter chat, but one thing that doesn’t: Self promotion. Please don’t make this about you; it’s about a community.
— Speaking of community, let your own Twitter followers know that you’ll be participating in a chat. People then know to skim your hashtagged tweets, or can “mute” you for a while. There’s a Chrome extension that can do this, too.

Are you interested in being a guest for #ebookchat? Email beth@shadowteams.com.

NEXT WEEK, 9/26/14: IS AN E-BOOK A PRINT BOOK, TOO?