Saturday, October 24, 2015

Are You Using Metadata to Your Advantage?

Greetings!
There's a definite chill in the air tonight after a wonderfully warm October. We're headed into winter, ready or not. The good thing about winter? It gives us an excuse to hole up in our houses and write, write, write!

At our last meeting we watched a video and discussed metadata: What is it, why do we need it, and how to use it.

In a nutshell, metadata IS the nutshell. It's everything we wrap around the "meat" of our work. (Or the nut... but that might imply that writers are a little crazy, and we ALL know that's not so!)

Metadata is the title, the book cover, the number of pages, the ISBN number, the genre, the library classification, etc. Why should we use it? Because metadata is how folks find our books, and for today's authors, especially self-published writers, optimizing metadata is crucial for marketing (links follow).

Here's the video we watched:


More links: https://janefriedman.com/optimizing-metadata/
http://www.thewritingplatform.com/2013/02/a-writers-guide-to-metadata/

Our next meeting will be on Nov. 21 at 10 a.m. at The Artful Cup. Several of us are planning to attend the Novel Crafters Seminar in a few weeks, so I expect we will have good stuff to share!

We're discussing using Skype or Google Hangouts for members who can't make it in person or for the months we're snowbound. If you'd be interested in participating virtually, shoot me an email and we'll get something organized.

And, after quite a lengthy delay, we've gotten our bank account set up, so if you have not paid chapter dues and would like to do so, please let me know and I'll get you the necessary information! I'm currently in the process of establishing a Paypal account for the chapter, and will let you know as soon as that's done.

Looking forward to seeing you all in November!




Saturday, October 10, 2015

October Meeting: Metadata and What It Can Do For You

My brain is reeling. Santiago Sol officially released yesterday, and I have blogs to write and marketing to do and it all seems a bit overwhelming. And so, in my struggles, I ran across this fancy new term: metadata.

What is metadata? In a nutshell, it's data about data, and we need to understand its use to successfully market our writing in today's digital age.


Understanding and using metadata is also a suggested topic for official ACFW chapter meetings, and since we are an official chapter, I'm trying to make sure we're doing official things. *wink*

If nothing else, we'll be watching a video or two and coming up with our own metadata for our current projects, so be prepared to take notes and do some brainstorming.

With that said, our next meeting is Saturday, Oct. 17th, at 10 a.m. at The Artful Cup. Invite a friend, bring a buddy, tell someone you know! I hope to see you there, and if not, I'll share whatever notes and insights we come up with here, hopefully before our next meeting, which will be our holiday extravaganza before the great winter hibernation takes place.

Blessings!
Niki

Friday, September 11, 2015

September's here!


I hope you have all started applying some of the principles for "creating with God" that we learned from Allen Arnold last month! I've only gotten as far as setting aside a journal... but at least that's a step! Honestly, I've spent the last two weeks recuperating from August.

For those of you who pre-ordered CDs or would like to get the audio files, I hope we will have those available by the end of the month. 

We should also have our chapter bank account open by the end of the month, for those of you who want to join the chapter and haven't already paid your dues. 

Our next meeting is coming up fast: Saturday, Sept. 19 at 10 a.m. at The Artful Cup. I'm looking forward to seeing all of you! 

Also, don't forget to take advantage of early bird registration prices until Sept. 30 for the Novel Crafters Seminar in November in Larkspur, Colorado. This year's speaker is Brandilyn Collins. This is one seminar not to be missed! 



You can register for Novel Crafters at the ACFW North Denver website: Novel Crafters Seminar

Blessings!
See you next Saturday, Sept. 19th!

Friday, July 3, 2015

Wait, how did July get here already?

Can you believe it's already July? Happy 4th, by the way!


Our July meeting will be on Saturday, July 18 at 10 a.m. at the Artful Cup. We need to pin down the details for our August 22 seminar with Allen Arnold, pray for one another, talk about writing (you are writing, right?), and generally keep each other encouraged, informed, and excited about this adventure we call writing.

Don't forget to share the information about the seminar on social media, and don't forget to register! Here's the link: Find Your Creative Connection


Friday, June 5, 2015

Special Guest Paula Moldenhauer Saturday, June 20th!

We have MORE wonderful news! Paula Moldenhauer is going to be with us Saturday, June 20th at the Artful Cup in Grand Junction for our monthly meeting.

She'll be speaking about Creating Believable Characters from 10 a.m. to noon in the meeting room. Please mark your calendars and join us for some excellent instruction that will help us be better writers, and some fantastic coffee (or tea)! Invite a friend, or two!

Paula Moldenhauer
Creating Believable Characters 
Even the most thrilling adventure story is only as good as the characters who people it. Good characters, like good people, make us laugh, cry, grow, change, and fall in love. This workshop quickly covers the basics of character development then helps you go deeper to discover what makes your character tick—and your reader bond with your story.

Author, speaker, and mom of four, Paula Moldenhauer has published over 300 times in non-fiction markets. Her first novella, “You’re a Charmer Mr. Grinch,” included in the inspirational romance collection, Postmark Christmas, was a Carol Award finalist, and her first historical novel, Titanic: Legacy of Betrayal, continues to earn five star reviews. Former ACFW Colorado Coordinator, Paula loves helping others learn to write. She blogs about writing, motherhood, weight loss, and life at www.abenewjourney.com. For information on her books or speaking topics visit:  www.PaulaMoldenhauer.com.



Thursday, May 21, 2015

May Meeting Schedule Change!



We will be meeting on Saturday, May 30, instead of this Saturday (May 23) to accommodate graduations and Memorial Day weekend.

Have a wonderful holiday, and safe travels for all of you who will be on the road this weekend!


Sunday, May 17, 2015

Called, chosen, or created?

Hi all!

So, this coming Saturday (May 23rd) is our next meeting. I hope to see as many of you as possible at 10 a.m. at The Artful Cup! If you're coming in from a distance, make a day of it in the Western Slope metropolis of Grand Junction. Meet up with friends, go out to lunch, do some shopping, and, most importantly, get recharged for writing!

"As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another."  

(Prov 27:17)


We'll be making further preparations for our Aug. 22 chapter charter celebration, praying for and with each other, and discussing the topic Called, Chosen, or Created. Which category do you believe your writing career falls into, and why?

Also, if you want, bring a sample chapter (or paragraph) from your current WIP for critique. 

See you Saturday!

Friday, May 8, 2015

Friday, April 17, 2015

Making progress...

I started treadmill running about six months ago. (Running outside will require a more civilized locale with less wildlife than my current abode, and better weather!)

At first, knocking out a single mile required alternating walk/run sessions, and those were SLOW. For the last few weeks I've been running 3+ miles (a 5K) three times a week. Wednesday I got my fastest time ever, averaging a little under 11 minutes a mile. (Don't get too excited, that's just barely average for a woman of my age.)

I have a dear friend who is a marathon runner, working her way into ultra running. (Ultra runs are anything longer than a marathon's standard 26.219 miles. Yes, I think that's crazy.)

I've been picking her brain for running wisdom, though, since she started at square one just like me. Her advice? "You can work on speed, or you can work on distance, but you can't work on both at the same time."

It's much the same with writing. Yet how often do we try to apply EVERY. SINGLE. THING. we've learned or heard to our craft all at once? This causes frustration, and often, injury. Injuries require lengthy recovery periods and hinder our progress!

Maybe instead of working on ALL. THE. THINGS., we should focus on ONE thing. That's our assignment for our next meeting (which will be April 25th at 10 a.m. at The Artful Cup in Grand Junction). What ONE THING are you going to work on to improve your craft, and what specifically will you do to accomplish that goal?

Need some suggestions for "one things"?

  • Plotting
  • Character Development
  • Pacing
  • Story Structure

Or, consider these options:

  • Writing a certain amount every day
  • Meeting a weekly writing goal

The point is, we have to be moving forward, making progress... In yoga progress is measured in millimeters. In running, progress is measured in meters, or in seconds (depending on whether you're working on distance or speed). Don't get discouraged, just keep writing! Fifty words is better than zero words. One well-developed outline is better than none! One revised paragraph supersedes an abandoned rough draft.

I hope to see you at our April meeting. We're in the process of getting the official charter for our Western Slope ACFW chapter, and the more of us who get involved, the better our chapter will be!

Blessings!




NEXT MEETING

SATURDAY, APRIL 25th

10 A.M. 

The Artful Cup

Grand Junction, CO


AND... It looks like ACFW executive board member and 2012 ACFW Lifetime Achievement Award winner Allen Arnold will be our first ever official chapter guest in August 2015. Stay tuned for details! It looks to be a most edifying opportunity!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

This Saturday! Mark your calendar!

We're promised lovely weather this weekend, again, which probably means we all need to start praying for a nice, wet summer!

I hope you can make it this Saturday, March 28 at The Artful Cup in Grand Junction, Colo. at 10 a.m.


Blessings, one and all!

(if you have any questions, please leave a comment or email me at niki716@gmail.com)

Niki




Thursday, March 12, 2015

If at first you don't succeed...

So our attempt at a February meeting was a bust.

Western Colorado (especially our friends in SW Colorado) was deluged with snow. A good thing for the snowpack, not so good for travel. And I got knocked out by some kind of viral nonsense. Blech.
SO, although we are still in snow season, let's try this again!

We need to find THIS in the budget for our winter meeting months! Who's with me?
Saturday, March 28th
10:00 A.M.
Grand Junction

I hope we can all be there! We've got lots to talk about!

Blessings,
Niki

Saturday, January 31, 2015

It's time to emerge from hibernation!

Greetings!

I don't know about you, but when we don't have our regular monthly meetings, I have a hard time staying focused and enthused about writing. To the point that my husband accused me of being a lousy encourager yesterday... (He's starting a new project, and my response was, admittedly, less than chipper.) 

Now, there are multiple reasons for my reaction, which I won't bore you with here, but I realized when he said it that I haven't even been able to work up a good "THUSE" for my own projects lately! 


Therefore (despite the fact it will probably jinx this incredibly mild winter we've been having) I hereby declare our first scheduled meeting of 2015 for Saturday, Feb. 28, at the Artful Cup in Grand Junction at 10 a.m. (click the link for directions). 

If we end up with the Great February Blizzard that weekend we can always cancel, but as my children keep reminding me, not everyone is propelled into paroxysms of panic over the prospect of driving in the snow, and by that time I may be so desperate for fellowship with other creatures of the same ilk I will be willing to brave the roads regardless!  

On the agenda? We have lots to talk about!

1. Updates on everyone's writing, and family, and travel, and work!

2. Discussion about how we can become a "real" chapter this year. 

3. Desired topics and potential speakers for future meetings, and the possibility of hosting a mini-conference or seminar this summer.

4. Blog posts. 


Please mark your calendars, and say your prayers for good travel weather that weekend! I miss y'all! 

SATURDAY, FEB. 2810 A.M.ARTFUL CUP

As iron sharpens iron, so people can improve each other.