Some Bad News and the Start of a New Journey

About a month ago, I had a relapse of the terrible back pain that had plagued me for twelve years. Long story short, after an MRI and several doctor visits, I’ve learned that the disk I had surgery on last year is bulging once again.

What we don’t know is if this was caused by a sudden injury or if it has been this way ever since surgery. We also don’t know if it will get worse or stay the same or maybe even get better.

So many unknowns.

The good news is, on Saturday, I started the six-month ProSeries screenwriting program offered by Hal Croasmun at ScreenwritingU.com. If you check out their Buzz Page, you’ll see a lot of activity among their students. My goal is to have my picture on that page sometime soon.

If you’re looking to improve your writing skills, I can’t recommend the FREE ScreenwritingU teleconference 21 Powerful Rewrite Strategies highly enough. It happens THIS SATURDAY (May 26th).

If you decide to take it, here are a couple of hints–since it’s a phone conference, your best bet is to listen on your cell phone and use headphones. I use a pair of cheap Skull Candy earbuds. Keep your phone plugged into the charger or at least have the charger handy in case your battery starts going down. The call I took last year was 3 ½ hours long.

I know many you reading this are writers yourself, and trust me, this isn’t some kind of time-share pitch. I took this class last year, and it changed the way I write. In fact, it highly influenced the writing of my novella (for those of you who didn’t like my book, just think–it could have been much worse).

This teleconference is powerful and best of all, it’s FREE.

Four Writers to Follow

I’ll admit it. When I wrote and published Driving to BelAir last August, I had no idea how hard it would be to sell an ebook. The greatest thing about the last nine months hasn’t been any kind of sales figures or financial reward, it’s been the great people I’ve met who have been so willing to help teach me a thing or two about promotion, and those who have really liked—dare I say loved—my little novella.

People like Lia Fairchild ( @LiaFairchild ), proprietor of Quickie Book Reviews, whose novel, In Search of Lucy, has been a perennial bestseller in the Kindle Store ever since its recent relaunch.

People like Tonya Kappes ( @TonyaKappes11 ), co-author of the marketing how-too book Tricked Out Toolbox, whose fiction recently earned her a finalist’s position in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards.

People like Donna Brown ( @_mrs_b ), author of Double Take Tales, who organized Adopt An Indie Month and runs the Indie Exchange.

People like the gracious Elizabeth Kaye ( @ElizKaye ), who’s Kindle Single Lifeboat No. 8 should be on every Titaniac’s to-read list.

I could go on and on. All I can really say about these women is that they’re all fantastic writers, but more than that, every one of them in engaged in the fan community and with other authors, helping promote, encourage, and educate fledgling authors like myself.

In a world full of people shouting, “Buy my book!”, there’s something powerful about a spirit of community.  It sounds so cliche, but nothing can quite match the impact of like-minded people working together for a common good.