Category Archives: Blogging

Changes

This past year has been a big one for learning and trying new things. Every week there seems to be a new adventure, or something else I’m trying. It’s really been a wonderful ride and journey so far.

Part of learning and trying and adjusting is the process of trying new things, and changing the old ways when the new ones are better. I’ve debated making this change for awhile, but have decided that it’s finally time to do it, now that I’ve learned enough to mostly know how! And hey … it’s always a good way to celebrate a birthday week — something new for a new year.

I am changing this blog over from a WordPress.com site to a self-hosted one, for a variety of reasons.  If you’re interested, I may do a “Techie Tuesday” series sometime about why, once I really have it all figured out for myself.

For the most part, the new site won’t be terribly different from this one. It will look and work much the same (although there are some exciting design changes pending).

The biggest change is the location, and the fact that if you’re following me here to get updates when I post, and to get the scoop on new news about The Dusk Gate Chronicles, you will NOT be getting them automatically at the new site.

So what I’m asking for today is a huge favor. 🙂 I’m asking you to head on over to the new site at  www.breeanaputtroff.net  and check out the new post there that has some fun information about the upcoming re-release of the paperback version of Seeds of Discovery, AND a special giveaway for those of you who are kind enough to “follow” me over to the new site!

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Lucky 7: Lines from the 7th Page

Tonya tagged me in this fun meme, and I’m happy to play along. 🙂

Here are the directions:

  1. Go to page 7 or 77 in your current manuscript
  2. Go to line 7
  3. Copy down the next seven lines (sentences??) as they are – no cheating
  4. Tag 7 other authors

My current manuscript is, of course, Thorns of Decision, which is due out June 1st. I have started initial writing on Book Four, but it’s definitely not ready for public viewing yet. 🙂

So here you are … this is from page 7 of the Word document — I don’t yet know what will be on page 7 of any other version. 🙂

“No, he doesn’t.”

“But I can’t tell him the truth!”

“Not all of it, anyway.”

She blinked. “What do you mean?”

“Okay, so obviously you can’t tell him everything. But maybe we should think of what parts you could tell him that are true.”

At that instant, the small black phone sitting next to her buzzed. The tiny sound seemed strangely ominous. Quinn jumped away from it as though it might somehow bite her.

So … guesses? This conversation is between Quinn and ? Who are they talking about? 🙂

Comment below if you don’t yet have a digital copy of either Seeds of Discovery or Roots of Insight. In keeping with the “7” theme — the first 7 people to ask can have a copy of the book of their choice, in the e-format of choice (Kindle, .epub, or .pdf — basically any e-reader or computer).

Oh, and, nope, you don’t have to have the right answer to win — just ask!  But play along for fun, anyway? 😉

Now for the tagging! I can’t wait to see seven lines from some of these folks. 🙂

  1. Kristy K. James
  2. Cara Michaels
  3. Morgan Dragonwillow
  4. Danni Menard 
  5. Jayrod Garrett
  6. Steven P. Watson
  7. Lillie McFerrin

Twitter Tuesdays #5 More About Hashtags and Columns

So, the last time I did a Twitter Tuesdays post, I got several comments and messages from people, both on the blog and off, who, until then had NO IDEA you could do columns and searches with hashtags. And really, if you’re struggling to learn how to use Twitter, or you’re trying to build a platform and still feel like you’re fumbling in the dark, it is kind of life-changing news.

Keep the comments and questions coming, guys — I really would like to be as helpful as I can in my limited scope here. 🙂

Again, my posts now for the most part presume that you are using TweetDeck (if you’re not using TweetDeck or another app that you like, such as HootSuite, check out my post on why I recommend using something like TweetDeck.

Another question writers (and others who build platforms on Twitter) have is — “How in the heck do you keep up with your stream?”

I follow over 1100 people. I don’t keep up with everything in the stream every day. I do try to browse through the full stream a couple of times a day to look for interesting new things, but it’s definitely the part of Twitter I neglect the most. Once I find the interesting stuff, I use columns, hashtags, and lists to help me keep up with the rest.

Hashtags

I’ve already discussed these a little bit.  A hashtag is a little way of categorizing things on Twitter so that others can find it. One really important thing to know about hashtags, is that if you include one in your tweet, ANYONE who searches that hashtag can see your tweet, even if they’re not (already!) following you. Using hashtags, therefore, can make your tweets that much more visible and powerful (if done correctly!)

For example. I’ve already told you that #wordmongering is one of my very favorite hashtags. I LOOOVE these people, and am thankful everyday for the two awesome people who created it, and got it going. So I have #wordmongering saved as a column in my TweetDeck. I created the column by clicking the little + sign in the upper-left corner. When the search bar popped up, I typed #wordmongering, and then, like magic, I had a whole column filled with #wordmongering tweets!

Now, whenever someone tweets anything with the #wordmongering hashtag, I see it, whether I follow them or not. (And usually, if they like #wordmongering, I follow them!)

This same technique works with any hashtag you see someone tweet. If you see someone in your stream type a hashtag you’re unfamiliar with, but it looks interesting, ASK! Include the hashtag when you ask, too, so you might form a quick connection with someone new. It might look like this:

You: So @personIfollow, what is #wordmongering?

Someone new: Oooh! #wordmongering is a great group of folks who write for 30 minutes at the top of each hour, then post word counts and cheer each other on!

Person you follow: Want to join?

And the next thing you know, you’ve made some new friends and become a bigger part of the Twitter community.

Did you KNOW people CHAT using hashtags?

It’s true. Because of the nature of being able to search using hashtags, oftentimes, people use particular hashtags to create chats. These can be REALLY awesome, because they’re like a huge world-wide conference call in which anyone who adds the hashtag to their tweets can participate! The chats can be a bit harder to find, because they usually run on a schedule, but again, if you’re lost ASK!

So again … take a week (or two, I know it was two weeks — I was writing, which is better than blogging! I logged over 10k new words on Thorns of Decision last week.  Besides — have you SEEN the new covers?) and practice searching for new hashtags, making columns, and interacting with folks. 🙂

For Writers Especially:

Here are a few more hashtags you might like to try. And PLEASE, if you have others that you love, leave them in the comments.

  • #amwriting
  • #writingsprint
  • #myWANA
  • #writechat (On Sunday afternoons, particularly)
  • #FNTWP (Only on Friday evenings, but check it out!)
  • #row80
  • #wip500

A Final Plea …

Once you’ve learned how to harness the power of hashtags, it can be a little tempting to use them gratuitously as a way to get your message across. PLEASE be respectful of hashtag communities and what the “rules” are inside them. DON’T use hashtags to spam. It won’t work, and it will likely get you blocked by people (who might otherwise have liked you and eventually bought your book/product/whatever).  For example — #wordmongering is for people who want to WRITE together. Don’t hit them up with BUYMYBOOKBUYMYBOOKBUYMYBOOK #wordmongering. They won’t.

Besides, if you look around long enough, you’ll find plenty of #hashtags that are fine places to spam er, market … 😉

Winners All Around

Wow! Has it been a busy week! Between launching Roots of Insight, running the scavenger hunt, and beginning the writing of Book Three in earnest, I’ve been busy. Oh yeah … I’ve also started watching a sweet new baby in my 50-hour-a-week day job. (Anyone want to do my laundry? 😉 )

The winner of a $10 Amazon gift card,  a gift pack of e-books by Kristy K. James, and your choice of an e-copy of either Seeds of Discovery or Roots of Insight, as determined by Random.org, is …. Megan from Hardcover Feedback! Thank you so much for participating!

Check this space later this week for another chance to win! 🙂

And now, for another winner … Me?

I’ve said it before, and at this rate, I’ll find the need to say it a million more times. The writing/blogging community is

A-MA-ZING. 

The people I have met, and the stories and articles I’ve read in the last six months since I really started to make a go of this thing absolutely blow me away. The support and the love I’ve felt in this community … I can’t even begin to describe. Those of you who really know me know that a year ago at this time, I was miserable. Writing, and being a part of this community has changed all of that. I am thankful every day.

A week ago, Kristy K. James passed on my first-ever blog award — The Versatile Blogger award. 🙂 And then, in the time it has taken me to get this post up (I’m busy! And for those of you who are dying to know — today I’ll pass 15k words of progress on Book Three, and the one beta reader who’s seen it so far says it’s her favorite yet) …

Anyway… in that lag time, I’ve actually been given this award not one, but two more times. By Lillie McFerrin, (@LillieMcFerrin) and Steven P. Watson (@AshViper), two amazingly talented writers who so very frequently keep me motivated and going over at #wordmongering.

There are some rules I must follow in accepting the Versatile Blogger award, so here goes. 😉

1. Thank the blogger(s) who gave it to you. Kristy, Lillie, and Steven – you guys rock my world every single day.

2. Share 7 random things about yourself. (Do I ever share anything about myself here that’s not random?

  • My daughter shares a middle name with my grandmother, who was the person in my family who inspired me to write. Someday, I’d love to share some of her poetry with the world.
  • My favorite cereal is Sweetened Wheat-Fulls by Mom’s Naturals (like Mini-Wheats, but without chemicals). They’re so popular in the house that we sometimes go through 3-4 boxes a week.
  • If I ever get rich from writing (this used to be my lottery dream, but since I don’t play the lottery and I do write, and getting rich from my writing carries about the same likelihood as winning the lottery — it’s a new dream), I will spend at least a month of every year in Australia, right in the middle of our winter and their summer. An entire month of writing on my laptop, and drinking beers by the barbecue with my dear friends, Kylee and Mellisa, while we listen to our girls chatter to each other in their beautiful different accents. It’s a good dream.
  • Even if I never get rich, I’m going to save up enough money to have an Australian summer like that at least once.
  • I have a thing about brushing my teeth. If I think about it, I have to do it, or it drives me crazy. In fact … I think I’ll go brush them right now. 🙂
  • I cannot handle having long fingernails. Manicures are a waste of time on me (but a gift certificate for a pedicure is a perfect gift for me — my birthday is April 23). I chop off fingernails without mercy, even when I can’t find my nail clipper and have to use the baby one. I’ll even do a hack job with the toenail clipper (I wash it first.)
  • I can name all 50 states in alphabetical order, from memory, without singing the song. And lots of other weird things, too.

3. Nominate other bloggers you love for the award and share it with them. (Okay, it’s supposed to be 15, but a lot of the bloggers I love have already passed around this award, and I’m still new at this!) But here are some of my favorites! 🙂

Thank you so much everyone. Hope it’s a wonderful week for you all. My goal this week is ambitious — I want to break 25k words on Book Three. It’s working title is Sprouts of Decision. 🙂 (All title suggestions welcome at this point!)

Getting close …

The release of Book Two – Dusk Gate: Roots of Insight is getting closer … 17 more days! 🙂  In celebration (and because I’m too busy preparing for the release and doing the wonderful Christmas thing with my sweet Little Goose to be very creative with blog posts), I’ve decided to re-run some of the awesome reviews and posts others have done.

Really, I don’t know where Seeds of Discovery would be right now if it hadn’t been for some of these folks who were willing to take a chance on a new book and then share their thoughts with the world. One of the very best things that has happened as a result of publishing Seeds of Discovery is the amazing new people it has brought into my life. Just as wonderful, is the few “old” people I’ve been able to reconnect with as a result of the book as well.

Merry Christmas to all of you, and thanks for being on this journey with me!

And here is a re-post of my very first video review … thanks so much to S0rceress0! Please don’t forget to check out her awesome blog review site, E-Book It Reviews

Number one Contemporary Fantasy and Children’s Fantasy

Wow! This has been a whirlwind day … a whirlwind month, really.

I just realized that I haven’t blogged since right before Thanksgiving, and I know that’s bad, LOL. In reality, a lot of it is because this is a challenging month for me personally, and it wasn’t long after Thanksgiving that another family member of mine passed away, and my thoughts have been in a jumble.

So, rather than post about my random introspection, I’ve been focusing my efforts on Dusk Gate. 🙂 Book Two is written! There will be some heavy editing over the next few weeks, and then it will release on January 9th! Some of you who have been helping me with my Amazon promotion of Book One will be receiving free advance copies!

In case you were wondering … the official title for Book Two (since, unfortunately, I can’t call it Book Two forever) is … *drumroll* Dusk Gate: Roots of Insight.

And now for the really big news…

Yesterday, I put Seeds of Discovery up for free on Amazon, intending it to be a one-day promotion. But when the day was close to over, the book had hit the top ten in both the Contemporary and Children’s Fantasy categories. So, I thought, what the heck. I’ll leave it free for another day, and see what happens.

Number. One. No, seriously. As of this exact moment — 10:07 P.M., the book is the number one bestselling free book in both of those categories. And, if I can actually type this without falling out of my chair … it’s #103 in free books overall on Amazon.

I am amazed and grateful and shocked, and a million other things right now. Oh, and my house is a TRAINWRECK because every single time the kids were happily absorbed today, you can guess what I was probably doing. LOL.

And, um … the book will be free tomorrow, too. 🙂 Tell your friends. (please!)

My First Blog Review

This journey to sharing a story with the world is filled with new adventures and experiences. The biggest, and definitely best, part of this journey has been the people. I’ve met so many completely wonderful people throughout this process of learning to write (and share! sharing is the bigger learning curve) this story, that it really is giving me renewed hope that there is a good future for us crazy humans.  Even better has been the re-discovery, and in some cases re-connection with the people who have been there all along.

To all of you – thank you. From the bottom of my heart, whether you are new in my life at this point, have always been, or are yet to come, you will never know how much I truly appreciate you.

And, a really special tribute to those of you who have read my story and enjoyed it, and have lived for just a few short moments with me in Eirentheos … wow.  I know everyone has different tastes, and I still love you even if you think my story is terrible, or boring, or whatever, really. 🙂  But finding those people who really do like it, who have connected with me in that deepest of places inside my mind … that is a feeling that cannot be matched by anything else. It’s amazing, and you are my kindred spirits, and the story is as much yours as it is mine. Thank you.

And now … check out this FANTASTIC blog review, by the amazing and talented Tonya Christensen on her blog, What All the Kids Are Reading.

 

 

Yay, Internet Again!

I know, I know, it’s been WAY too long since I last posted. Thanks to those of you who have stuck around. 🙂  The last couple of weeks have been pretty insane around the Puttroff house. 🙂 After the whole lovely HOA thing, we are finally (almost) all the way moved. There are still a few trips of random stuff left at the other house … my computer chair and water cooler are among the pile, and I am missing those. I am WAY behind in everything, which is nothing new of course, but the piles are a bit more overwhelming at the moment – most especially after moving in on Saturday and starting with a couple of temporary new kiddos on Monday morning. So, in addition to being buried underneath piles of my own accumulated JUNK (trash bags, here we come!), I have also been trying to keep up with two babies under a year, plus a slew of 2-5 year olds who circulate in and out. It may be, *ahem* a few days before I’m back to normal writing/blogging/communicating status.

So, for tonight, to save us all from my rambling, I will direct you to the amazing piece of awesomeness that happened today – my first video review! And, it’s from someone I’ve never even met!

Hello world!

So, after hours and hours of reading blog posts, following people on Twitter, participating in #blogchat, and who knows what else (when I should be unloading the dishwasher, vacuuming, and doing laundry), I’ve decided to try transferring my blog to WordPress. Who knows if I’ll keep the change, but there are things about the blog on my Homestead site that I am just not loving – the sharing and following capabilities are just not there. And as I’m paying for the hosting there… well. I have to try new things before I really know what I’m doing, I guess.

Anyway, I love all of the people who have been reading my blog.  Let me know what you think of the change.  I do take what you guys think seriously!  Some of you have been at this a lot longer than I have. 🙂

Friday, Friday …

Crap! Now I have that ridiculous song stuck in my head… not sure I’ll ever forgive Dan for introducing me to that one. 🙂

My momentum today hasn’t been what I wish it would be – still have almost 400 words to go before I hit my goal, but I did do some editing too.  I’m stuck at a point right at this moment where I can’t decide if I should do something or not, so… I’m procrastinating. Spent a good deal of my evening on #FNTWP (Friday Night Twitter Writers Party) chatting with some amazing people, and practicing my newfound mastery of the hashtag.
And here is the thing, I LOVE writers. Oh, yes I do. I love writing, and I love my characters, and I love the people I have already met in the short time that has been my journey so far. People who get it, and support each other in their ups and downs, and their maybes and might-bes. They don’t need to see (or make!) someone else fail just to feel good about where they are right now.
 Ten years ago, teaching was like that a good chunk of the time. It isn’t anymore, and I’ve missed this feeling so much. This over-the-top fun, exuberant, happy-to-be-where-I-am feeling.
Anyway, this is probably a disjointed and nonsensical post, but I’m just happy right now. Now if only I could get Xander to make up his mind about whether he’s going to pop into the library or not…