Dictating a Book? Tips for Editing the First Draft by Corina Koch MacLeod


Originally published at The Book Designer.

Edited by Carla Douglas

Dictation has become a popular method for laying down a first draft. Barbara Cartland and Voltaire did it, James Patterson and Dan Brown are doing it, and popular self-publishing author Joanna Penn is determined to try it. In fact, Cindy Grigg (The Productive Author’s Guide to Dictation) and Monica Leonelle (Dictate Your Book) have written books on the subject so … Read the rest

The Woman Card . . .

Hillary Clinton

Guest post by Nanci Lee Woody, Author of Tears and Trombones

If Hillary, as Trump accuses, is using the Woman Card, then I wonder what cards other presidential candidates have used. Oh, yes. There’s the Race Card. I’ve heard that one mentioned. And the War Hero Card. The Family Dynasty Card. The Religious Card. And lately, there’s the Billionaire Card. With that one, you can make your own rules, buy … Read the rest

How to Avoid Unintentional Plagiarism

coffee desk.jpg

As a freelance writer, I use the web constantly to find new information, research topics I don’t know and find people to interview. The Internet has made my job a lot easier as the world is at my fingertips. However, as wonderful as it is to be able to instantly have the world of information so easy to access, it has also made unintended plagiarism easy. There are just too … Read the rest

Writing About Technology: A Reporter’s View

riting computer

Writing about technology is not “technical writing.” Also, it’s not like writing a novel. When we think or imagine technology, we often think of computers. For some, it is all about code or using the Web for shopping. The idea and application of technology are in our everyday life. From driving our cars to shopping in the super market.

Little could I have ever known in 1991 that in 1994 … Read the rest

The Dangers of Distracted Writing


Image: Free Digital Images.net

There is danger in distracted writing.

In my ideal world, when I’m working on a writing assignment, I picture myself at my desk drumming away on my computer. My head is down, eyes focused on the screen and every thought is directed to the subject matter of my story.

Unfortunately, that is not my reality. To be honest, before I designed a distraction-free process, I would … Read the rest

The Modern Rules of Home Workplace Organization

Home office pic

Image courtesy of www.freedigitalphotos.net/

 Guest post by Emily Johnson, freelance writer

Working from home is not only much more time-consuming than working from an office but labor-intensive as well. As a freelancer, you might have a great number of tasks daily: communication with clients, self-development, different types of assignments, emailing, finding business partners, and building your authority online. All in all, you need to stay productive, even though it’s nearly … Read the rest

When Science Puts a Baby in the White House, “Citizen Cruz” Will be Old News


Guest post by Janet Asteroff, PhD

Donald Trump dragged Senator Ted Cruz into what is now (at least) the sixth “birther controversy” in history of presidential elections since the Civil War. Cruz, the son of a Cuban father and American mother, was born in Calgary, Canada in 1970. Various legal opinions pronounce him a “natural born citizen,” and therefore eligible to be President.

Cruz is in the company at least … Read the rest

How to Conduct Compelling Journalistic Interviews


I was preparing to interview Tom Hayden for my book. He graciously agreed to meet me at his office in Los Angeles.

My interview had nothing to do with Hayden’s years at the University of Michigan when he was a student editor at the University of Michigan school paper, a founding member of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) in 1961, and one of the authors of the Port Huron … Read the rest

Attending the San Francisco Super Bowl Celebrations? Have the Terrorists Won?

super bowl


super bowl

I don’t have tickets to the Super Bowl game but I live in Silicon Valley and have the opportunity to participate in public Super Bowl celebrations.

Therein lies the dilemma: Whether to join the throngs of people in the middle of San Francisco for pregame festivities.

I mention this dilemma because of all the security issues that abound here, it is a major target.  I’m a little closer to the … Read the rest

It Was Serendipity, Don’tcha Know How to Turn the Unexpected into a Creative Discovery


There was no other way to explain it, but that the results of Wilhelm Roentgen’s discovery of the X-ray was simply serendipity. But how to explain serendipity? Is it happenstance? A brilliant, unexpected discovery?

The word, serendipity, was coined by Horace Walpole in 1754. Walpole wrote to a friend that he had made an unexpected discovery and referenced it to a Persian fairy tale, The Three Princes of Serendip. In … Read the rest