Reflections In Hindsight

Grace in the Rearview Mirror…it's closer than it appears

  • Ephesians 4:29

    Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. (NIV)

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  • RSS April’s Blog: A Writer’s Journey

    • Cinema Saturday-- The 41 Most Unexpected Cat Jumps of All Time
      Why do jumping cats freak us out so much? And why do we laugh so hard at people who are freaking out?I'm one of those awkward laughers--someone who laughs at inappropriate times, such as when my husband does the splits on an icy sidewalk or when my child runs smack-dab into a doorpost. Unfortunately, compassion is not my go-to emotion. I do eventually f […]
      noreply@blogger.com (April Gardner)
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    • The Lady Fugitive
      Back Cover Blurb:How does a respected elocutionist become a face on a wanted poster?Jenny Louise Parks escapes from the coal bin, and her abusive uncle offers a handsome reward for her return. Because he is a judge, he will find her. Determination to remain free grips Jenny, especially after she meets William and there’s a hint of romance. But while peddling […]
    • Book Winners
      Once again, we offer you a warm welcome to the Bookshelf of the Barn Door Book Loft.I know you want to know ... WHO WON? But before we announce our five winners we’d like to offer a special thanks to:Lorena McCourtney, who offered her Cozy Mystery: Death Takes a Ride. Kelly Irvin, who offered her Amish Romance: A Plain Love Song. Jill Nelson, who offered her […]
    • Idaho Author Angela Strong
      Hi Angela! I'm excited to know if there is a story behind The Water Fight Professional? I wrote this years ago when my son was a preschooler. We were at a church picnic and he wanted to get involved in the water fight the older kids were having, but he didn’t know how. I gave him a cup of water and told him to dump it on someone. That person saw him com […]
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    • June's Hot New Releases Clash of the Titles Champion
      Thank you, voters and encouragers, for a great Clash of the Titles, June 2014 Release Battle.We'll begin our champion announcement with the kindness of the voters....Comments of Encouragement for this Month’s CLASH Authors:They are all stunning... I love though how Tamara writes in the medieval time... Hard to find clean fiction in that time period :)He […]
    • NEW JUNE RELEASES for this month's CLASH of the TITLES
      It's a NEW CLASH!The best of summer reading - all in one list for you here. Find a New Author to love...I have.I'll apologize in advance...I could not cut anyone from the list, so we have MEGA LIST this month.You'll see what I mean: everything from spies, cloak and dagger to medieval to early Americana. Whew!The QUESTION ALWAYS IS:Based on the […]
    • O'Barr's Latest: Tender Shadows
      Author Ann Gaylia O'Barr visits today!She brings with her, in the form of her latest novel, all her experience as a Foreign Service officer in the turbulent Middle East. Tender Shadows is one of seven such novels and will appeal to lovers of foreign lands, culture, adventure, and romance.PURCHASEAmazonAbout Tender Shadows:When Beth Wilhite’s U.S. State […]
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    • Taking A Break
      If you are a regular reader you'll know I didn't post last week. We had just gotten home from vacation. Yellowstone National Park is fantastic. You know how things go when you get back. Well, that was the way it was for me. Add in an unplanned dental event and an 8 hour round trip to Chicago for a TV interview about Seeing The Life and you can prob […]
    • Sin Still Makes You Stupid and Your Stupidity  Ripples, Floods, or Tsunamis  
      A couple of years ago I wrote posts entitled Sin Makes You Stupid and The Ripple Effect. It's one of those truths that seem to be forgotten or glossed over. It's a truth we should be aware of and watch for within ourselves and others. The stupidity of sinning overflows into the lives of others. The consequences to ourselves is often increased expon […]
    • What's Next?
      Seeing The Life is off to a great start. It is garnering 5 star reviews and good publicity. Rhubarb Fest this year was good, even though I don't eat rhubarb. I left at noon on Saturday when the radar showed rain coming. I didn't want the books I had to get wet.So, what's next? I keep getting asked that question. When's your next book comi […]
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    • Christian Writers Conference
      Country  Memories Farm Christian Writing ConferenceAugust 8-9 in Manitowoc, WisconsinWe have wonderful speakers again this year: Becky Melby Ben Wolf  Kathryn SpringerFriday evening critiques by Susan Baganz  On-the-farm networking social "getting writers together" Please check us out at www.countrymemoriesfarm.com.Joy,http://LisaLickel.com […]
    • CrossReads Book Blast with Elizabeth Maddrey
      Hope DeferredBy Elizabeth MaddreyAbout the Book:Christian fiction for women. It's been a tough year. Twin sisters June and July and their husbands spent the last year trying to start a family. Now, as the sisters work with fertility specialists to see how medicine can help them conceive, each must determine what treatment is right for them in the midst […]
    • Book Review: As Is by Wendy Oleston
      As IsBy Wendy OlestonA Wisconsin Author!.99 Kindle12.99 printISBN-13:978-1499781335Buy on AmazonFrom the publisher:Life is hard for Mara Shaw. One bad relationship after another has left her a single mother with no faith in anything. She is unable to trust in anyone . . . including herself. She decides to start afresh, and never allow herself to be hurt agai […]
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    • Book Giveaway: Falling Like a Rock, Bonnie McCune
      Announcing a book launch and giveaway of Bonnie McCune’s new book Fallilng Like a Rock. A woman gambles all, including her life, when she’s “falling like a rock.”I'm giving away one digital copy of her book. To enter, just leave a comment with your email in the comments section below stating why you would love to own a copy. Here's more about the b […]
    • Book Review: The Marriage List by Dorothy McFalls
      Viscount Evers was seriously injured the Battle of Salamanca and nearly lost his life. Now he can no longer ride and can scarcely walk and the emotional scars go deep. He is under pressure to marry to produce an heir so he makes a marriage list of qualities in women who might qualify and none of it includes love.The moment he meets May Sheffers, who is every […]
    • BOOK REVIEW: SHOUT IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION BY NICK ROSENER & ERIC LEHNEN
      A simple and straight forward approach for small business owners to defining your target market and using various marketing sources to reach it. With so many social media options at our doorstep, many small business owners/entrepreneurs may feel overwhelmed. Is more better?The authors pull from years of marketing experience to present an easily understandabl […]
  • BLOG NEWS

    Thank you for your encouragement and support for the past three years. We've had fun connecting with you and hope you've found useful material here on Reflections. And here's the but... Reflections In Hindsight is closing on December 21, 2012. Elaine and Sophie and I can be found over at http://authorculture.blogspot.com; April can be found at Clash of the Titles, http://www.clashofthetitles, http://www.aprilgardner.com and watch for news for more novels from her!; Janet is ever-present on the Internet with her very special words of wisdom and grace at http://www.janetperezeckles.com, and Luther--who knows where he'll show up next, but I'd watch my back if I were you... Book Reviews are always important, so I, Lisa, will continue to offer them through my blog, as well as those promotions for your new books or book launches, or your news.
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Posts Tagged ‘editing’

AutoCrit Editing Wizard, a useful tool for writers

Posted by April W Gardner on November 14, 2012

Last month, someone on the John 3:16 Marketing Network recommended the website AutoCrit.com. Today, I looked into it, and so far, it has all the appearance of being useful tool for writers.

In the company’s own words, “The AutoCrit Editing Wizard is an instant book editor. With the click of a button it shows you the problems in your manuscript.”

Copy, paste, click “analyze.” That simple.

The free version analyzes 1,500 words each day. It will check for overused words, sentence length variation, and clichés and redundancies.

The paid version increases word count to 3,000 per day and adds on repeated words and phrases, phrases summary, pacing, dialog tags, initial pronouns, readability, and homonyms. The repeated words and phrases alone is worth the $47/year!

I put the first scene of my latest novel through the wizard. Mind you, it had already undergone four critiques, but I was still shocked at what the wizard caught. It’s mostly nit-picky stuff, but since I’m a nit-picky author, AutoCrit has potential to become by bestest buddy.

With a 30-day money back guarantee, it was a no-brainer to fork over $47, but I plan to test-drive it hard over the next month!

Swing by there now and pop 500 of your latest words into the wizard. Just for fun. Then come back and let me know what you think!

April W Gardner is an award-winning author and the founder of Clash of the Titles.

Posted in Authors, Working from home, Writing | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Market Mondays – Nuke the Slush Pile! with Jim Pence

Posted by Lisa Lickel on June 13, 2011

This month I’m delighted to welcome James H. Pence (he’ll answer to Jim), fellow author, visionary chalk artist, and gifted with a honey voice that will melt your socks, who has agreed to share his talk from the QuadCities Christian Writers Conference 2010. Take it away, Jim!

Nuke the
Slush Pile, Part 1

By James H. Pence

If you’ve been writing for any length of time, you know what the “slush pile” is. It’s that gargantuan pile of query letters and unsolicited  submissions that clutter editors’ desks. In other words, if you’re a new writer who is trying to break in, the slush pile is your competition. Of course, in today’s world of e-mail and electronic submissions, the slush pile tends to be more “virtual” than physical, but nevertheless, it’s there and it’s real.

I remember back when I was an unpublished writer, I read a short newspaper item that described the odds against getting a book published. I didn’t save the article, so I don’t remember the exact numbers, but I do remember that they were very discouraging. Something like only one in 10,000 manuscripts submitted to conventional publishers ever makes it to print.

I posted this statistic to an online forum for writers, and someone responded, “If those are the odds, why should I even try?”

Why, indeed?

Picture yourself standing before an editor’s desk, clutching your query, proposal, or manuscript in your trembling hands. On this editor’s desk is a pile of ten thousand manuscripts. I don’t know how big a pile that would make, but I imagine that 10,000 manuscripts would probably bury the desk, if not the editor.

You humbly place your envelope on to the pile, hoping that it doesn’t trigger a fatal avalanche. Nearby you hear the muffled voice of the editor calling out to you. (You can’t see her because she is indeed buried under the pile of manuscripts.)

“Thank you for your submission,” she says. “I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.”

As you leave the office, the editor’s administrative assistant takes a sip of his latte and says, “You know, only three of those manuscripts will be chosen.”

Your heart sinks as you wander out of the publisher’s office and into a rain-soaked street. The dark clouds mirror your depression.

“Why did I even bother?” you wonder aloud. As your day ends, you seek out a local Starbucks and quietly wonder if you should change
careers and become a barista.

Okay, okay. I know I’m exaggerating. But almost all of us have felt that way at one time or another. What if I were to tell you that you don’t need to worry about the odds? What if I were to tell you that there is a not only a way to improve the odds, but to “nuke” the slush pile and get it out of the way entirely?

Am I guaranteeing you will be published? No.

I am saying that it is possible for you to significantly increase your chances, bypass your competition, and get noticed by editors.

That’s what we’ll be focusing on over the next three weeks. Hopefully, by the time you’re finished reading through these blog posts, you’ll have a plan of action that will move that slush pile out of the way forever.

We’ll get into the specifics of how to nuke the slush pile next week, but here’s a little tidbit to whet your appetite:

You remember that pile of 10,000 manuscripts that has buried our poor editor?

At least 90% of them are unpublishable.

Now your odds are only 1 in 1000.

See you next week.

Bio: James H. Pence is a full-time freelance writer and the author of six books. His latest book (a collaboration with Stephen Arterburn), is titled The Encounter and is set for publication by Thomas Nelson, Publishers in November. You can learn more about James at his

web sites: http://www.jamespence.com/ and www.fulltimefreelancing.com

Posted in Authors, Encouragment, Writing | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

 
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