Posts Tagged ‘Philadelphia’
Friday Fragments are bits and pieces of your week that are usually brief; too short for a stand-alone post, but too good to discard. Collect humorous observations, “Heard” items, and other small gems (hint: a notebook is helpful) and put them together in a Friday Fragments post. Then leave a link to your Friday Fragments post in the comments…
I hate being the person that says, “Wow this week went really fast,” because time really doesn’t move faster or slower, right? Whatever, this week and the short month of February seemed to go by really fast.
I waited a long time for my prince charming. They say be careful what you wish for. My Prince Charming is kind, supportive and understanding with me. He is also all of those things with everyone who crosses his path. There was no reason for me to be surprised when he came home one night with an elderly homeless woman.
Sophie was eighty-years-old, homeless and mentally ill. I wanted to know how she got to that point in her life where she didn’t have one friend or relative to take her in from the cold and had no choice but to trust us, virtual strangers. Yesterday was her birthday. We miss her.
Insecure Writers support group
Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak.Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!
Traci has taken the reins at Friday Fragments!
Welcome to Friday Fragments. If you haven’t fragged before, Friday Fragments is a place to share those thoughts, quips, and tidbits that don’t quite make a whole post, e.g. fragments or frags. I host every Friday and would love for you to join in. Please link up and visit other Fraggers.
My week was pretty unremarkable until yesterday.
I have always been fascinated with woodworkers. Someone that can take a plain piece of wood and create a piece of furniture, a door or even an entire house with their bare hands and the oldest and most basic of tools in my eyes is a true artist.
While scrolling through posts on Instagram a few weeks ago a photo of a gorgeous door caught my eye. I liked the photo and continued looking through Richard Voroscak’s photo’s and then his profile. I was equally surprised to learn that he was from, and still lived in my hometown of Bristol, Pa.
He specializes in historic reproduction and restoration but he can make anything.
I fell in love with his work and I am so excited to introduce you to him and to share his work with you.
Thank you so much Richard for taking the time to introduce us to your work…
Has social media changed the way you do business and if so how?
I do a lot of work here in Bristol Borough and it’s all because people know me or by word of mouth. I started an Instagram account to show the work I am doing to a broader audience and hopefully meet up with more designers or architects that will ask me about doing work. It is also really great to connect with other woodworkers and see what they’re up to and they’re not just in the US, I’ve even connected with a woodworker from the UK.
When did you discover you had a talent for creating with wood?
As a young kid in my parent’s basement I made a wood lathe out of two pieces of wood and a bow and I was actually able to use it for a while!
You started your woodworking/cabinetmaking business twelve years ago. Can you tell us the story of why you started that business, was it something you always wanted to do or out of necessity?
This is something I always wanted to do! I started on a framing crew then moved on to a finishing crew when I was younger. I was fortunate enough to meet a great cabinetmaker who taught me his skills. I worked for 3 cabinetmakers before I decided I wanted to work for myself.
Do you work with reclaimed or recovered wood?
No, I don’t use reclaimed or recovered wood. I do a lot of historic reproduction work though using new materials.
What is your preference, joinery or nails and screws?
I prefer joinery to nails and screws because that’s the way they did it back in the day and the way I feel it still should be done! It’s more authentic.
What is the worst woodworking injury you sustained?
A table saw cut my thumb. Reason: It was sitting on the floor, not a TABLE. Lesson learned!
Do you display your work or is everything custom?
Everything is custom. I have several designers and architects who hire me to do custom work and I do work for a lot of individuals and local businesses as well.
Do you have a website?
No website, but I’m trying to use my Instagram as a web landing page.
What is the most sentimental piece you’ve ever made?
A cradle I made for my daughter and my 7 grandkids. I made it because I knew it would be passed down. It’s made out of cherry wood and hand carved.
What is your favorite thing about Bristol?
I was born and raised here and I know everyone! My entire family lives here too so I see them all the time.
My favorite pieces are the cradle, the custom bunk bed and the custom door.
Please stop over and follow Richard on Instagram and check out some more of his amazing pieces.
I came across this article and thought it was so important.
Why We Should Bring Back Vocational Training in Schools…
Keep it positive and powerful,
Wednesday is the day I share what I have learned on my journey from writing to publication, marketing and writing and publishing again. If you have any questions please feel free to leave them in the comments and I will do my best to answer them. If you have any tips please share them with us…
How do you get you and your book in bookstores…
To have a chance at having your book stocked in a book store, your publisher has to be willing to offer your book to them at a wholesale discount price of at least 55% off the cover price. The books must also be returnable to the publisher if they do not sell within the stores allotted time-frame.
All print books are ordered and delivered to stores through a book distribution center. The two major distributors are Ingram and Baker & Taylor. If the publisher you are planning to use does not use one or both of these distributors, move on from that publisher.
It is possible to have a CRM (Barnes & Noble) or an Event Coordinator (Independent) to allow you to bring books to the store and have them manually put them into the store’s inventory. This is not something they like to do so you will have to convince them the book has received decent reviews and that you can get people through their door.
If you have an agent or a publicist they will most likely ask you for a list of place’s you would like to have a book signing or a reading. Chances are they have a business relationship with the event coordinators for those stores and will have a better chance at booking you than you will have on your own. If you don’t have an agent or publicist, don’t give up. Follow the stores on social media, share their events and most importantly attend other author’s events at the stores and get to know the employees.
Once you have an event scheduled you will need to do your best to get customers through the door. Social media alone will not work. You also cannot count on foot traffic in the store. Once people realize you are selling something they will go the other way. You need to be creative to get them in front of your table. I use chocolate and promotional items like book markers, pens and notebooks.
Print postcards and ask the book store to keep them on the counter, mail them to everyone on your address list and ask other stores if you can pin one on their bulletin board.
Print flyers, do an e-mail blast, send press releases (see PR post,) post the event on the calendars of every local newspaper and magazine (online and in print if available,) write a blog post, social media posts and place a small add in your local newspaper.
Once the promoting is done it is time to completely stress out over what to wear, just kidding (no I’m not!)
Other suggestions for book signing/reading locations:
- Gift shops
- Book Fairs
- Holiday Fairs
- Charity Events
- Book Clubs
Did you know that if you go into a library and donate paperback books it is possible (highly likely) they will be thrown in the trash can? Libraries prefer hardcover books. Like bookstores they also use their own major distributors to order books. Ask the librarian what their policy is before leaving books. You would be better off donating books to Hospice facilities and homeless shelters if they will take them.
I will be at the Big Blue Marble Book Store on August 1,2015-/551CarpenterLane/Philadelphia/19119/ Time 7:00pm. There will be lots of chocolate and cupcakes. For more info:
Wednesday is the day I share what I have learned on my journey from writing to publication, marketing and writing and publishing again. If you have any questions please feel free to leave them in the comments and I will do my best to answer them. If you have any tips please share them with us in the comments…
Post Philadelphia Writers Conference
I hadn’t attended the Philadelphia Writers Conference for a few years because my schedule and life got in the way. This year I was determined to make it and I am so glad I did.
No matter where you are in your writing career, a beginner or a best- selling author I believe there is something we can all learn by networking with other writers.
The Philadelphia Writers’ Conference represents a broad range of writing categories, including fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, as well as editing and public relations.
The annual June conference attracts conferees from most of the United States as well as a few from Canada, although the core of attendance is still from the Tri-State area.
The conference was held at the Wyndham Philadelphia. I decided to stay in the hotel this year to get the complete conference experience. I was a bit disappointed that so many writers chose not to stay in the hotel.
Our room was beautiful but I have to say the service at the front desk and of the hotel in general was horrible. The restaurant was atrocious. We ordered lunch, only salads and after an hour and ten minutes we had still not received them and in fact they never arrived. We attended our afternoon workshops hungry.
I shared a room with Toni McCloe, a friend from the Lower Bucks Creative Explorers writing group. Toni is the author of Rude Awakening. (A powerful story with Philadelphia roots.)
We checked into our room at 8:30 Friday morning, dropped our suitcases off in the room and hurried down to the lobby to meet fabulous friends, Kelly Deeny, Helene Cohen Bludman and Cathy Sikorski.
The opening speaker was Sara Shepard. Her bestselling young adult series, Pretty Little Liars, is loosely based on her experiences growing up on Philadelphia’s Main Line. The book series has also inspired the ABC Family television series of the same name.
In a more informal session later that day Sara shared some tips on protecting ourselves and our work should we be lucky enough to have interest from film or TV producers.
The workshop that I got the most out of was short story writing facilitated by Fran Wilde. I signed up for this workshop because I needed some inspiration to get some of the shorter stories I have rolling around in my head on to paper, before I forget what those ideas are.
Fran Wilde writes science fiction and fantasy. She’s taught writing and digital media at two colleges, a high school for the creative arts, and a long-distance program for young writers.
Her first novel, Updraft will be published by Tor in September 2015.
I also signed up for a Free Verse workshop. Ken Pobo teaches courses in literature and creative writing at Widener University, where he has won the prestigious Lindback Award for teaching. The award was well deserved he was very inspiring and his workshop sessions went SO fast. I used to love writing poetry. The last poem I wrote was for a memorial service for my brother who was murdered in a road rage attack. Since then I haven’t been able to write poetry. I needed inspiration to try again and for me the class was a success. Ken and other attendees have inspired me to try again.
Apples to Writers, a sort of writing prompt game was hosted by the brand new PWC Board President, Jim Knipp. Jim is the author of over a dozen short stories and several novels. I was so nervous to participate but it turned out to be a lot of fun. How could it not be, Jim is fabulous!
I love all writers and have very few favorites. Stephen Fried is one of my favorites so I was thrilled that he was the keynote speaker for Saturday’s Awards Banquet. Stephen is an award-winning investigative journalist and essayist, and an adjunct professor at Columbia University’s graduate school of journalism. He is the author of the highly praised books Thing of Beauty: The Tragedy of Supermodel Gia, Bitter Pills: Inside the Hazardous World of Legal Drugs, The New Rabbi, and Husbandry: Sex, Love & Dirty Laundry—Inside the Minds of Married Men.
Stephen’s best-known magazine article is “Cradle to Grave,” his investigation into the deaths of all ten children of Marie and Arthur Noe, which led police to reopen the 30-year-old Philadelphia case as a murder investigation. The day after the story was released to authorities, the Noes were taken in for questioning and Marie Noe confessed, and later pleaded guilty to multiple charges of murder. For his role in the case, Fried received a medal—he became the first journalist ever to receive the Medal of Honor from the Vidocq Society, the elite international group of criminologists, pathologists and police investigators.
Fried’s wife, Diane Ayres is a fiction writer and the author of Other Girls. He shared some funny stories with us on what it is like to be a nonfiction writer living with a fiction writer.
I am a fan because Stephen writes about mental health, crime and the pharmaceutical industry and that is what I write and like his writing has done I can only hope that my work will one day make a difference the way his has.
Another exciting but extremely nerve wracking event was the opportunity to pitch a literary agent. I have no idea why I let my friends talk me into it but I did and it went well. Do I have a new agent? Stay tuned, more on that experience later.
I also had the pleasure of meeting Ayesha Hamid, editor of Philadelphia Stories. I am looking forward to submitting an essay to them later this month.
Finally, I had the pleasure of meeting Facebook friend, Kerry Gans who is also fabulous as well as several other social media friends. I just love meeting people that I feel like I already know, in real life.
The conference was a great experience and I got out of it exactly what I needed which was the inspiration to go home and write like crazy.
Wednesday is the day I share what I have learned on my journey from writing to publication, marketing and writing and publishing again. If you have any questions please feel free to leave them in the comments and I will do my best to answer them. If you have any tips please share them with us in the comment section.
Preparing for a Writers Conference
As writers one of the best investments we can make in our business/career is to attend as many conferences and workshops as we can afford. To get the most out of our investment we need to be prepared.
Have you followed all of the presenters, agents, the event itself and other attendees on social media? Learn as much as you can about each of them. You might be able to pick up a conversation starter that can break the ice. They might even remember something witty that you tweeted.
Bring plenty of business cards, pens and a notebook. When someone hands you a business card jot a note on the back of it, something to help you remember who the person was. Do not bring written pitches to hand out.
Prepare your pitch. Can you describe your manuscript in two to three sentences? Describe yourself and your book in ninety-seconds? This is the single most important thing you can do for yourself. Prepare that pitch and practice, practice, practice.
Dress appropriately. Agents and editors are professionals and they are looking for professional writers. You don’t have to suit up but I would say wear your best business casual.
Don’t monopolize an agents time. Everyone is there to meet them. They will not remember you favorably if you are a conversation hog. They want to meet everyone. Keep the ninety-second rule in mind and practice!
No matter where you are in your writing process there is always something to learn. Take the time to listen.
Relax, smile, socialize, make new writer friends and have fun!
Who is going to the Philadelphia Writer’s Conference?
I hope to see you there!
The Stranger in My Recliner has a cover. It’s almost a real book!
Friday Fragments are bits and pieces of your week that are usually brief; too short for a stand-alone post, but too good to discard. Collect humorous observations, “Heard” items, other small gems and put them together in a Friday Fragments post. Then leave a link to your Friday Fragments post and link back to our host Mrs. 4444 at Half-Past Kissin’ Time.
It’s not too late to join in on the fun and we would love to have you!
Finally! The weather is a perfect 72 degrees, this morning. It feels like spring.
My granddaughter, Adriana Jean is 6-years-old today. She has brought so much joy and fun into our family. Six is so grown-up but she will always be the baby in her family. Her big brother Dominic will be 13 in two-weeks and her sister Allyson will be 20 in September. OMGoodness I am going to have a 20-year-old granddaughter, yikes!
She lost her first baby tooth and was thrilled to find dollars under her pillow. I like her tooth fairy. Mine left a nickel and a pack of Trident.
I finally received the mock-up of the book cover for The Stranger in My Recliner. It is growing on me. Now I am anxiously waiting on the release date. I cannot wait to share Sophie’s story with everyone. What do you think of the cover?
What is going on in Texas? I have been praying for my friends and relatives who are dealing with flooding and no power and it is still raining. My uncle who lives in Texas had a 20-pound-racoon fall through his roof at 4:00 this morning. I hope his week gets better, he needs some sun.
Two weeks from today is finally the start of the Philadelphia Writer’s Conference. I haven’t attended for a few years now so I am really looking forward to listening and learning but most importantly I am looking forward to hanging out with some of my favorite writers. So excited!
And one week after that is finally our annual family beach vacation.
Of course I am hoping, finally for some kind of good news from the surgeon I am seeing on Tuesday about my pelvic congestion. I am praying for a non-invasive fix. I don’t want to miss the conference or the beach. Please think good thoughts for me.
TV has been pretty boring this week. I have new guilty pleasures. Married-The First Year-ended last week and one of the couples said they won’t be backL. ‘Arranged’ is a strange one but I am fascinated by the craziness and Married at First Sight has me hooked too. I am really rooting for these couples. These two are ending next week but Sunday is finally the season premiere of Halt and Catch Fire. This show kind of picks up where, Mad Men left off. It took a couple of episodes to get hooked but I love it now.
I am finally, back to working on book #3, The Father’s Pain. This one may be my last nonfiction for awhile. I am looking forward to making some stuff upJ
This weekend will finally be quiet for us. We need to rest-up. What are you up to?
Have a blessed weekend,