Posted in Education, Writing

A Writer Never Stops Learning

galecoursesOne thing I love about being a writer as well as a librarian is that both occupations encourage and actually necessitate continuing education. I remember when I first began writing again and the idea for “A Stone’s Throw” was not even a seed planted in my mind yet. I took some online Gale Courses that my library offered. The instructors and course material covered in each of these classes was beyond my expectations. The best thing about taking these classes, beyond picking up some useful tips and a lot of knowledge, was receiving a certificate of completion. I’ve placed links for all the ones I’ve received on this site under “Writing Certificates.” The reason I was able to create this WordPress blog was because I took “Creating WordPress Websites” with John Agress and Cindi Keller. I followed it up with John’s “Blogging and Podcasting for Beginners” class and learned how to record podcasts some of which are also featured on this blog and that I hope to continue on a monthly basis. John and Cindi have a Facebook page, WordPress with John Agress and Cindi Keller, where they can answer questions from their previous WordPress students.

Another course that was highly helpful was Eva Shaw’s class, “How to Make Money from Your Writing.” Eva’s students created a Facebook group, Eva’s Writerrific Garden, so they could keep in touch with this wonderful instructor. Linda Askomitis, who taught my “Introduction to Internet Writing Markets” also has a Facebook page, “Writing and Publishing on the Web with Linda Askomitis.”

As an author of romantic suspense and mystery novels, I found Steve Alcorn’s “Mystery Writing” class of particular interest as well as Lee Anne Krusemark’s “Beginner’s Guide to Getting Published” and Jacquelyn Landis’ “The Keys to Effective Editing.”

I think these writing classes were a great help to me, and I recommend them and many others offered by Gale Courses. They are six-week classes done in the comfort of your home or wherever you can access the Internet. If your library subscribes to the Gale Courses database, you can access the classes free with a library card.

Posted in Podcasts

Podcasting Plans

sound I’m amazed at the amount of options the Internet offers  authors today to promote their books. One area I never investigated was Podcasting, online audio recording. When I learned that a blogging and podcasting course was offered by Gale Courses, online classes that I had taken through my library, I decided to enroll in it.

I’ve been told by co-workers and friends that I have a good voice for audio and should consider recording my own books. I believed that Podcasting would be an opportunity to test my talent in this area.

My instructor, John Agress,  provided information on the equipment I would need to produce a podcast. Without buying additional software for my computer or a Mic (which I may purchase in the future), I was able to make a simple recording with an app (Voice Record Pro) I installed on my cell phone.  I had to admit the result sounded good, but the following lesson covered converting the sound file into an MP3 format and editing it in Audacity, another free program download. The editing phase allows extraneous sounds, long pauses, or other unwanted notice on the recording to be cut out and even permits copyright-free intro music and/or background music to be added to the podcast for further interest.

The class also discussed how interviews could be conducted through another app that recorded phone conversations or through Skype. I decided this method might be nice for my Podcasts and invited authors from Limitless Publishing, the publishers of my upcoming romantic suspense novel, “A Stone’s Throw,” and fellow members of the Cat Writer’s Association who might want to participate in author interviews. The response was overwhelming. I have a growing list of 22 volunteers. I had originally planned to post the podcast episodes of “Ruff Drafts” on a monthly basis to my blog. I may need to do it more often to accommodate all my guests.

The first two episodes of Ruff Drafts will include an introduction and some excerpts from my own writing. Look for them here soon. I hope you enjoy the broadcasts.