Showing posts with label Carolyn Wilhelm. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Carolyn Wilhelm. Show all posts

Writing Through 2020, Or Not with Carolyn Wilhelm

In light of the unprecedented and scary year we've had, we thought it'd be a good idea to share our 2020 in regard to how the year affected our writing and our lives.
Carolyn Wilhelm is up next.

Happiness is 2020 in the Rearview Mirror

Dear Readers,

Everyone must be looking forward to seeing 2020 in the rearview mirror. Hopefully, 2021 will be a much better new year. 2020 has felt like we were living in a different country.

2020 began with my local writing group finalizing an adoption anthology manuscript for me to format and upload to Amazon and Barnes and Noble. While working on it, I was still blissfully unaware of the coming pandemic. In Minneapolis and waiting for a grandchild to be born in Seattle during the spring of 2020, we stayed home in case of any needed travel.

Seattle became a “hot spot” for the virus, as we all remember. In February, our neighbor was going to travel there for her great-aunt’s birthday when the airline sent her a voucher and announced the flight was canceled. Oh, so now what? We never did schedule our April flight and have yet to see our grandson in person.

Minnesota’s first elementary school to close after people tested positive just happened to be the one where I was volunteering weekly. Volunteers were the first to be told to say home. The information hit close to home, as did news about Seattle.

With nothing but time on our hands, you would think my husband and I (both writers) would work on manuscripts. Instead, we stayed glued to the TV as we followed the news. Worry, not creativity, filled our brains. I’m sure readers can relate!

Finally, life is coming back into focus, and we can see ahead a few months. Dear readers, I hope you are also beginning to see the light at the end of the Covid-19 tunnel, although it is not over. We are not out of the woods as yet, of course.

What is a writer to do?
1.       Write
When stress is high, smaller writing pieces are useful as they required less energy. Dust off older works that were begun and dropped. Find files to save or finally trash. Expect less of yourself. Be kind to yourself.
2.       List
List ideas for when life is brighter and ideas begin to flow, even if you can’t work on them at this time.
3.       Read
Checking on Goodreads, I was surprised I have read over 100 books in 2020. Notice plots, characters, and words when reading. It is sure to be a positive impact on writing at some point.
4.       Listen
Listen to stories as you talk to people on Zoom or the phone. Some writing ideas stem from conversations.
5.       Think
There has undoubtedly been more time to think, plan, and wonder if you have been part of a lockdown or quarantine in recent months.
6.       Review
Do you remember books from high school or even from reading to your children? What stands out? Reviewing such older books on Goodreads is an idea for short writes and documenting favorite reads.  
7.       Absorb
Walk in nature, listen to music, tend plants, and take more time to appreciate what is going well despite living through this extraordinary time. Our brains do need some down-time.  

I hope everyone has a much better new year!
Thank you for reading, Carolyn

Carolyn Wilhelm
is the curriculum writer and sole owner of The Wise Owl Factory site and blog. She has an MS in Gifted Education and an MA in Curriculum and Instruction K-12. As a retired teacher of 28 years, she now makes mostly free educational resources for teachers and parents. Her course about Self-Publishing from the Very, Very Beginning is available on UDEMY.

Books Reviews by Carolyn Wilhelm


As a contributor to Writers On the Move, I decided to get to know the authors beyond reading their bios. So I purchased one book from each person and will sum up what I learned while reading. As you might expect, there was a wealth of information from fantasy to caring for someone with dementia. I feel ready for anything armed with these new books. 

Karen Cioffi - (Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Writers on the Move) Children's Author, Ghostwriter, and Online Marketing Instructor

I read two books by Karen Cioffi, Walking Through Walls and How to Wr/te a Children's Fiction Book. I read Walking Through Walls first and was glad I did as it is referred to in the writing for children's book. 

How to Wr/te a Children's Fiction Book is jam-packed with examples of several authors and readers. It helped to navigate all the information as I was already becoming acquainted with the author. It is too bad I didn't have this book before self-publishing! 

Walking Through Walls is a story of twelve-year-old Wang who wants to be rich and famous. He studies the legend of the mystical Eternals. Everything is not as it might seem, however, so he has some surprises and growing-up to do. 

Debra Eckerling - Write On Online & Guided Goals 

Being a teacher, I was drawn to Eckerling's book, Purple Pencil Adventures: Writing Prompts for Kids of All Ages. I found more than I expected by way of journal pages and prompts as the prompts were comprehensive and more in-depth than usual in the classroom. Pictures were included for most prompts, which helps children who usually "see" something to write about in photos. I doubt any writing student would say he or she didn't know anything to write about using this book! 

 Carolyn Howard-Johnson - Multi Award-winning Books for Writers 

I have already read many books written by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, and I can honestly say I highly recommend them all for aspiring authors. Editing tips, frugal book promoting, great first impressions, and even a book about focused tweeting for retailers will help any new author. As authors soon find out, they are responsible for book promotion as the publisher does not do everything anymore. She has a book on blogging and one guide to frugal in-store promotion. I love her poetry books, especially Sublime Planet, about global warming. Well, I just purchased another of her books, so I must have them all now. 

 Suzanne Lieurance - Award-Winning Author, Freelance Writer, Writing Coach 

Snapshots from Real Life: Personal Stories to Warm the Heart and Tickle the Funny Bone was what I selected to learn more about Lieurance. And learn, I did. She is a writing teacher, and I found out she knows how to teach writing, as evidenced by the stories she gathered from her writing class for this anthology. I was laughing out loud while reading heartwarming stories of everyday life. There were a few stories with engineers – my husband is one, too, and we have had similar mishaps while he handled the kitchen for me. And watch Grandpa's false teeth if he has any sudden move with his mouth open. The stories were so enjoyable. 

 Deborah Lyn Stanley - Writer, Artist, Editor 

Deborah Lyn Standley's book, Mom & Me: A Story of Dementia and the Power of God's Love, is heart-tugging and a detailed journal of how to care for someone in every way (including bathing) with kindness. She stresses we should remember the person inside is still the same one as before the illness, and to consider that in everything that is done to care for him or her. If you are ever caregiving for someone with dementia, this book is a must read. It is a love story.  

W. Terry Whalin - Helping All Types of Writers 

10 Publishing Myths: Insights Every Author Needs to Succeed is full of wisdom from Whalin, who has spent many years in the publishing business. There is one chapter for every myth, and each chapter ends with a myth buster. The actions used to succeed in the book industry are included in this text. I have heard every one of the myths. If an author has questions about the industry, this book is the quickest way to find the truth. Authors will have more confidence if they read this book and gain from Whalin's experiences. I especially recommend it for authors of Christian writing. 

 Linda Wilson - Children's Writer 

Secret in the Stars: An Abi Wunder Mystery (Abi Wonder Mystery series book 1) was the book by Linda Wilson that I read. Although intended for tween and teens, I was engaged in the story, which held my interest through the end. The characters were not the usual, and Abi does know how to keep a secret. It is a fast-paced mystery with surprises along the way. I highly recommend it as there is no romance, which can often ruin middle-grade books for many children.  

Carolyn Wilhelm - Author, Educator, The Wise Owl Factory 

A Mom - What is an Adoptive Mom? is written by Carolyn Wilhelm and her daughter Betsy Wilhelm. And Betsy happens to be adopted. This is a wonderful book showing that a mom is a mom no matter what. She's the one who knows if you like the crust on your sandwich. She's the one who "understands why you can't sleep without your favorite blankie or stuffed animal." She's the one who comforts you and encourages you. She's the one who loves you. This is an important book about adoption. (Review by Karen Cioffi) 

Carolyn Wilhelm
is the curriculum writer and sole owner of The Wise Owl Factory site and blog. She has an MS in Gifted Education and an MA in Curriculum and Instruction K-12. As a retired teacher of 28 years, she now makes mostly free educational resources for teachers and parents. Her course about Self-Publishing from the Very, Very Beginning is available on UDEMY. 




Goodreads Participation Helps Amazon Best-Selling Authors

Contributed by Carolyn Wilhelm

 Dublin author Clare O'Beara writes award-winning mysteries, quarantine lit, science-fiction, multicultural children's novels, as well as horse books. O'Beara likes to share a slice of her life and inspirations with other writers. As a past show-jumping champion in Ireland, tree surgeon, member of MENSA, World-Con volunteer, and journalism student, she comes by her knowledge with a depth of experience. She is an example of leveraging Goodreads to a writer's advantage. She credits the platform with some of her book success. 

O'Beara suggests getting involved in Goodreads Groups, which should reflect an author's genuine interests, like horses in her case or green (environmental) matters. If an author joins Groups, which are about promoting books, he or she will come across as 'all about me.'

O'Beara also writes a monthly column on Goodreads, such as her post about Ireland's Octocon. First, an author page on Goodreads is required, which has to be completed by the author. So many authors have not completed their free Goodreads author pages. Writers must then select to enter their blog feeds or could write posts on the site. While the post text area is tiny, pulling the corner out will provide a larger space to allow a lengthy article.

Of course, blog posts alone are not enough; O'Beara advises authors to read books, rate, and review them on the site. Reviewing helps other authors as well as potential readers of those books, so the author comes across as the keen book lover they are, and not just about him or herself.

Goodreads offers book lists, as well. Lists may be reviewed by authors who might include one or more of their books. Goodreads won't let you add your own books to any lists, but it's always nice to find someone else has added them. For instance, YA New Releases for October 2020 might grab your attention. Goodreads offers some tips at the top of lists, such as to double-check the book's release dates make sure that they are classified as correctly. If you see a book that doesn't fit that description, you may comment. The Goodreads librarians will check comments from time to time. 

Be sure to check favorite genres from the pop-up menu under your photo to select which to follow. Goodreads will choose for a writer, otherwise, and it might not be correct. If a person has been on Goodreads for a while and not checked on genres, it is a good idea to edit those choices, perhaps. Shelving read books can be individualized by naming shelves according to what an author wants.

Authors without Goodreads author pages are advised to set one up. If you are wondering how here is the information. ( Authors who already have such pages are advised to make use of the opportunity.

Carolyn Wilhelm
is the curriculum writer and sole owner of The Wise Owl Factory site and blog. She has an MS in Gifted Education and an MA in Curriculum and Instruction K-12. As a retired teacher of 28 years, she now makes mostly free educational resources for teachers and parents. Her course about Self-Publishing from the Very, Very Beginning is available on UDEMY.



Is an Indie Kirkus Review Worth It?

Create Believable Characters and Conflict in Your Children's Story

Tips for a Better Zoom Experience




Do You Have a Side Hustle?

By Terry Whalin  @terrywhalin Do you have a side hustle? Almost every writer has one but maybe you aren’t calling it a side hustle. I’m talk...