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Messages - Ryn Shell

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I find that there is a horrible "guilty until proven innocent" undercurrent to a lot of discussions.

And of course it's all fuelled by the fact that some people use ghostwriters/box set promos/extreme WTM/trend chasing/popular genres and other stuff some people get bent out of shape about, none of which is illegal and some of which are unpopular. And while it appears that shenanigans do concentrate in certain subgenres, many of the shenanigans are not against the rules and it's just that people don't *like* the shenanigans and therefore the people who engage in them or are associated with people who engage in them, or are Facebook friends with people who engage in them, or... anyway *those* people deserve what they get.

Seriously, what a destructive attitude.

How about we entertain a more positive "innocent until proven guilty" attitude. Not only that, how about we all stop speculating and dishing dirt based on rumours. Or we simply stop worrying about what other people are doing unless it clearly and provably hurts others an breaks rules. You know, not my circus, not my monkeys.

I agree.

If we want an ethical industry, let's encourage it to be so by assisting other ethical authors, as Patty Jansen has set an excellent example and done through her cross-promotions. Turn our desire for a clean industry around and direct it to lifting authors up, not speculating about, or relishing in another author's downfall, as that's not the KBoards that helps anyone.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Got good news today
« on: Yesterday at 09:37:27 AM »
So pleased to hear your numbers have improved, Mark. :-)
Thrilled for you.

Perhaps KU encourages authors to not trim out all superfluous words when they edit.

I just purchased and read a KU borrow mystery where nothing happened other than MC traveled from point A to point B, and I didn't even find out why. Was that padding to make the book longer for KU or the author's writing style? Just because I won't buy another of that author's books doesn't mean they aren't a great writer. I see it as my personal reading choice. This book was by a successful KU author. Obviously, her style suits many or they wouldn't be as successful as they are. I'm certain there are people who want the longer book filled with the scene transition descriptions and the angles of the characters head, I'm just not one of them. I don't select many KU reads as I want a story and not descriptions of travel from one scene to the next, and the angle of legs, eyebrows, and shoulder bags.

Okay, I'm a difficult reader to please, because I've been reading books since the 1940s when there wasn't any KU and there were good editors who cut what I now find is unnecessary fluff out of books. I don't mind paying extra for a book that has been well edited to remove all words that don't improve the story for me. Even that's subjective. What improves a book for me might ruin it for a reader with a lot of time free to spend in a book.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Thousand Words a Day Club 2018
« on: July 08, 2018, 08:16:39 AM »
I wrote a daily 4k, and edited 4k, from Jan 1st until June 30, this year, but none of it to do with a novel.
July 1st, I switched to writing a novel, and less of the other writing. The same daily average of 4k written and edited, appears to be my comfortable writing zone regardless of what I write.
Tonight, I took a break from the novel, as real life became the focus of my interest and writing again. I'll strive to maintain that average 4k writing and editing target.

Writers' Cafe / Re: On the topic of Pen Names
« on: June 29, 2018, 02:03:10 AM »
I simply liked to separate my private life from my public life. You don't always want to be asked questions about your creative work in a private life situation, or the reverse. I like using pen names, but make no secret, where it matters, that they are all me.

I have a small private group which I post to about three times a day. It is a non-promotion page, and by invitation. I found it a great place to chat with authors about the cross-promotions I'm creating. I share what's in my garden and surroundings and the progress images of my artwork, and whatever I'm writing.

It does what I used to do on my Facebook Page, before Facebook started badgering me to promote everything I put on my Facebook Page. So, now I don't use my Facebook page, I use the group I started, and I love the contacts who post there. :-).

I encourage others to chat about whatever creative projects they are doing, or encounters with nature. I also offer to respond to questions about art. I share my videos there, including my newsletter subscribers bonus offers. I deleted only one poster for being self-promotional, and I know that's why I prefer a small easily managed group, over an open invite group that might attract spammers. I don't try to sell my books or art in my private Facebook group. It is a friendly, sharing and helpful group.

Congratulations, Pauline! You have worked hard, and have excellent books. You deserve this.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Do you have a favorite book you've written?
« on: June 22, 2018, 08:59:01 PM »
All of them.  Seriously, they're like my kids! LOL  How do you choose? :)

That sums it up for me.

I gave up, temporarily, another successful creative career that I loved with a passion, for the eight years it took to write the seven The Stolen Years novels, and a book of my short stories. I'd carried these oral history stories in my head for fifty-years, wanting to write them into fiction, until they had developed to where they had to be born. Then each writing process was as long as a pregnancy, and that was only the start of the nurturing process. Each book went through multiple self edits and two or more paid editors, to ensure my Australian words would be understood in context, (station not ranch for example) in other English speaking countries. That effort and cost wasn't something I would have done if I'd not loved the stories that I've written in this pen name.

I also had to master severe dyslexia and an emotional hang-up that I'm the sister of a brilliant professional writer and my writing would be judged within the family against her brilliance. That terrified me.  I had to love my stories with a passion to overcome that last emotional block. I'm so pleased I did.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Cover porn or "oooo, shiny!"
« on: June 20, 2018, 04:52:29 PM »
An excellent choice for your book. It works so well with your other cover designs.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Facebook Ads Crisis
« on: June 20, 2018, 02:14:08 AM »
Yes. Facebook has billed me for advertisements that I did not place, three times, over four years. They did not refund on any occasion, and I definitely had not left any advertisement running. I'm currently not using my Facebook page due to my lack of trust of their accounts department and their failure to show my posts unless I do some advertising.


You are in good company.
Bryce Courtenay, the author of the brilliant, The Power of One, novel, which sold millions of copies worldwide, so dispensed that novel that he tied the manuscript in a string and used it as a doorstop, and didn't show it to anyone. When it was discovered and read by his daughter-in-law and eventually published, and made a small fortune, and received high acclaim, and film rights (loved the book, hated the altered story in the film) Bryce still could not bring himself to look at it or read it again. Mind you, Bryce was a master of, "The good story," and advised authors to make their heroes, "Larger than life"  Just the same, these stories, about artists and authors hating their own work are commonplace,

Stephen King tells a similar story about having thrown the unpublished manuscript for Carrie into the rubbish bin, and his wife retrieved it. That was the book that launched his writing career.

Painters often experience rage at some point at their creations. It's so normal to feel this discontent. You are up there with some of the greatest creative minds.

Yes. you can sell books well without Amazon.
I asked myself years ago, "Why did I need to give readers the Amazon or the Draft2Digital link to a book in the first place if I was the one doing the promotion to find my readers? I found no logical reason why.
I've gone back to not promoting my links to books on distributors and to sharing that I supply my work direct. I also keep my books wide through distributors, but underplay that link when I promote my work.
Actually, I rarely promote things I have for sale, I don't like book spam on social media. I promote what I offer for free, and allow the trickle through effect to happen and those who want to buy more find what I have for sale direct from me.
It can be done.

Writers' Cafe / Re: I'm in tears. Amazon has cut my numbers for May.
« on: June 09, 2018, 02:05:06 AM »
I'm sorry that happened to you.

I am and I'm not, depending on which books and in what market you speak, and what my goals are within that market.

Several publications in my real name have been in constant reprint since the 1970s. I don't need to work for an income now, so I work for the joy of it. Book rankings mean zilch to me. I tend to forget about the best-sellers I wrote in my Kathy ... name, as I turned the ongoing royalties over to charity. I'm at a stage of simplifying my life. My current creative goals have 'work ethics and professional excellence,' but not 'best seller' in the descriptions.

When I moved thirty-two books from Pronoun to Draft2Digital, last November, Amazon didn't bring the reviews across with the change, so I ceased promoting my books, other than "Direct from Author," where the sales figure numbers are not made public. I kept my books available with the online distributors, but my focus is not in promoting distributors. To do that means that you need to break away from concerns about the distributor ranking numbers and work directly with your readers. Besides, I'm moving from ebooks to video. I've downplayed the earning aspect there, as I still have so much to learn. I'm focusing on having fun, and taking pride in what I do achieve creatively, and rejoicing that that's possible in the senior years, especially when you did write best sellers in your youth.  :)

Writers' Cafe / Re: Anyone ever invited to talk at a school?
« on: June 08, 2018, 01:46:05 PM »
I've spoken at schools many times. It was always an enjoyable experience, and at one stage it was profitable as I was put on a teacher's salary for ten months to allow me time to talk individually with every child in a four hundred student school, (Jells Park Primary) to encourage them with their creative work, and also in weekly group sessions. This was as part of the authors and artist's is schools grants. That expanded into my talking to all the parents, and the teachers in that school and then all the creative arts teachers in the state. For years afterward, (as the children were able to get to know me well during that year,) I had children calling out to me in the street, and waving to me. It was a fantastic, fun experience at the time. As well as the salary, there was a gift presentation at the end of my stay. They offered to pay for all my supplies and expenses, I refused to accept that, and, there are fantastic memories. The long engagement was covered by a leading magazine and the major state newspapers, so the publicity was excellent. I did this in a different name, my real name. Ryn is my retirement creative life name that I changed to eight years ago,  :) when I wanted to leave public appearance life.

I've never asked for payment for speaking engagements, but generally, I've been either paid a fee or have been presented with an excellent gift. Engage a public relations officer, the school may have one who will do the work for you, or you can do the PR yourself. Just try not to allow a newsworthy story to go unprompted, not if you need an income from your work. As an example of what good PR can achieve, I received interviews on a major television network's top lifestyle show and prime news stories as a result of some of those 'unpaid' talks. Those publicity bonuses are worth tens of thousands of dollars if you can get a major television station interested. It won't happen if they don't know there is a newsworthy story. They also like to add one human interest story to the news, usually at the end of it. Regional, rural based television will often accept a a local story with children, or about a creative person involved in the community, to end a 6PM news session, just before the weather report. Radio interviews, in the localty of the school, and local newspaper stories, are even easier to get, especially if you hand them an already written suggested script.

If you want to maximise the opportunity, get your blurb writing skills focused on writing a newsworthy story of why these children want to hear from you and make appointments to speak to editors where you hope to have it covered. I would go to the newspaper offices and the radio stations and the television channels in person, if I was hoping to gain big coverage of a story about where I might be. I'd always ensure there was a community benefit involved. If there wasn't, I'd create one, such as my presenting something I'd created as a gift to raise funds for a worthy cause. In those situations I could unload the scary part of fronting the media with my story, in the hope they would send a reporter to cover the event, to the public relations officer for the charity. Back then, I gave equal time to the public relations and to the business side of every opportunity that came my way an I did to the creative part. I've seen too many brilliantly talented creatives fail to earn a living at their work because they couldn't or wouldn't make themselves promote personal appearances, hence I'm stressing that the talking engagement is only one third of the work involved for a professional creative.

I mention all of that, to show that you can help the school gain publicity, and give a reporter an easy story to cover, while gaining publicity yourself. That sort of promotional work doesn't come easily to many creative people, it didn't come easily to me, I just made myself front up to those places with a press release in hand, and a compelling human interest story they might want to use.  Back then, it was a case of 'make myself' do those things as my income relied on it.

The speaking part of the engagement should be fun. You will be a pleasant change in the curriculum for most students, and they enjoy hearing from someone who may be living their dream. They will have heaps of questions you can answer if you're unsure at any stage of what to say next, not that a writer would be short of words. :-) Go and enjoy yourself and what it brings.

I think there's a line you need to walk between accuracy, verisimilitude, and offensiveness.

As a writer of alternate history, I aim for more verisimilitude than pure accuracy; though I do try to do enough research that I know when I'm changing things so I can do it on purpose. I also don't focus on the expressions of racism and sexism in past eras because that's not the story I'm trying to tell and I've no desire to seem "edgy" by focusing on the offensive aspects of past cultures.

It's like historical sexism; it's one thing to depict a historical society as sexist. It's quite another to write a story in which those historical sexist attitudes are treated as being an accurate depiction of women rather than their role in that society. I have the same feelings about racism; characters can be racist, but that doesn't mean that the author has to depict racism as being right.

If you're writing about nineteenth century Vancouver Island coal miners you shouldn't shy away from the fact the white Canadians were very racist toward the Chinese laborers. At the same time that doesn't give anyone license to use the racial caricatures of the time to depict those Chinese laborers in a modern work.

Showing the racism is verisimilitude; using the caricatures is offensive. There is a difference.

I like how you have expressed this. I agree.

I've needed to write about racism, and sexism, as history has its ugly sides. Knowing that there have always been people with courage to defy inhumane and unjust treatment of others, allows us to find heroes to write about, from any era. We can keep a story acceptable to today's reader, while being true in our depiction of the different lifestyles and social settings of the past.

I always found Star Trek too sexist to watch when it first came out.

Funny how the various Newspapers of the era failed to report this "massive" event. (They are still available to examine.) They reported a much smaller disturbance involving as many civilians as "troops". Most of the crowd blocking streets were onlookers, not US/Australian troops fighting. Regardless, the issue is that in general American servicemen were liked and appreciated - not the image portrayed by the original claim.

It was wartime. The press are never a free press during a major war. People living in southern Australia were kept largely unaware, so that they would not panic, (as much of the world still is unaware,) that northern Australia, coast and inland, were being extensively bombed by the Japanese, and that many people were killed in those raids. I'm thinking that you had to live in the area at the time, to know what happened.  It wasn't reported that the men of two allied forces, Aussies and Yanks, constantly brawled in the cities of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth, that I know of. I don't know about other areas, but those were our most densely populated cities during WWII. I agree, history gets distorted by time, as oral histories generally differ to what's printed in newspapers, especially during wartime.

Racially charged? The term "Jap" is simply a contraction of Japanese. During WW2, Americans were "Yanks" - no racial inference, British were Limeys (Or Poms if you were Australian) and Australians "Aussies".  It is simply usage, no negative racial intent involved. Possibly referring to Germans as "Krauts" originating with Germans liking sauerkraut was a little more derogatory, but that dated from WW1, not WW2.  If I read a book that has reality swamped by Political Correctness, I dump it. It angers me.

Edited. Drop me a PM if you have any questions. - Becca

Unedited! After discussion by the mod team, we're going to allow the specific words previously edited; however, this thread is being monitored and gratuitous use of the words will be removed. Drop me a PM if you have any questions. - Becca

Now I do recall where I did hear of racism associated with WW2.
"Yanks," definitely was used, frequently, as a slur here in Australia.
Hey, don't blame me. I was just a baby.  :D  Maybe my father was a Yank. :o  You see, that was the problem. While the Aussie men were away on service for their country, the Yanks were down under, and in the Aussie men's opinions they were being- 'Over-sexed, over-paid and over here with the Australian women.

It went deeper than the sexual tension of the Yanks on leave in Australia dating Australian women, which caused brawls between Yanks and Aussie men all over the country. The US army was segregated, and the US segregated parts of the city of Brisbane, Australia. which infuriated Australians. That triggered a brawl that was called The Battle of Brisbane, and the brawl extended into cities around Australia.

Isn't that sad, the Aussie men held more animosity for an ally in the war than they showed for their enemy?
Eventually, things settled down. The one million US servicemen left Australian shores at the end of the war, and twelve thousand Australian women left with them as American war brides. The term "Yanks," remained as a derogatory term by many Australians for US men in particular, through the 1950s. It took a long time to disappear. The Kennedy presidency brought a new respect for the US from within Australia, as most Australians liked the young US president. we were also inspired by peace movements and equal rights movement, plus the moratoriums against war, that were strong in the US, and earned more Australian's respect, from the 1960s, and that derogatory use of the word Yank vanished from our common language.

Other Aussies of my era may remember things differently, but that's what I remember.

If the hero in a book called Germans "Krauts," or Japanese "Nips," and there wasn't an early sign that their racist attitudes would change, I would not read the book. Racism was a choice back then, as it is now, and my heroes are not racists.

My father was an Australia Army officer during WWII, in charge of a Japanese prisoner of war camp, following his having been wounded in action by the Japanese while fighting in New Guinea. Never once did he refer to the Japanese condescendingly, nor call them by any name other than Japanese. I overheard a lot of WWII reminiscing. My husband is older than me, and from a totally different Australian background, he says he has no recollection of racial slurs words being used for Japanese when he was growing up during WWII. He only heard them, as I did, in the war movies, with anti-German and anti-Japanese propaganda newsreels in them, played in the cinema in the late 1940s.

You can overhear racism and choose not to absorb it. Gosh, I am glad I fell in love with such a hero.  ;) Our Golden Wedding Anniversary a week from today.  :D  We wouldn't have made it together if one of us had been the type to learn to hate a race or use a racial slur word, even though there were propaganda newsreels in the cinemas when we grew up, attempting to educate us to fear and hate the 'yellow peril,' ie, all Asians. If two children from totally different backgrounds can independently decide that racism is wrong, despite a government campaign to push a racist, WWII hatred of Japanese followed by a racist 'white Australia policy,' then I certainly expect it of any literary or life hero.

My three older half-brothers, were in the air force fighting the Japanese. I know they never considered the Japanese pilots who fired on them evil, just combatants on a different side. While my father said he would never trust a Japanese, while we were at war with Japan, hat comment was tempered with respect for a trained soldier. He said that he made friends with many of the Japanese prisoners, but they'd have killed him in an instant if given half a chance. He regarded them with respect, not hatred. He'd have not tolerated disrespect for the prisoners in the men he commanded. It wasn't only my family who showed respect for the Germans and Japanese during and following WWII.

Our home was always full of Dad's Army friends and my brother's Air-force mates for my earliest years, and while I heard plenty of a famous Aussie b...y swear word, and saw plenty of alcohol consumed, I never heard a racial slur word, or name aside from Japanese, spoken in our house about the enemy these men had fought.

Later, I did hear frequent derogatory words spoken about the Japanese by some men in an army repatriation hospital. Those men were hardly our finest humanitarian examples at that stage, as they also lacked any respect for women, frequently groping their nurses. I do understanding that name calling, along with other anti-social behavior, is symptomatic of the mental breakdown of people who have experienced great trauma. Just the same, I have never been a reader who fell in love with the bad boy hero, and I'll not start now. My heroes have to start out worthy of my respect, before I'll fall in love with them, in real life, or as the hero in literature.

Edited. Drop me a PM if you have any questions. - Becca

Unedited! After discussion by the mod team, we're going to allow the specific words previously edited; however, this thread is being monitored and gratuitous use of the words will be removed. Drop me a PM if you have any questions. - Becca

Writers' Cafe / Re: Jack the Ripper
« on: May 14, 2018, 06:18:20 AM »
I feel as if I've known about Jack the Ripper all my life. Until I read this thread I'd never heard about H.H. Holmes.
Years ago I researched the possibility that Frederick Bailey Deeming's story might make a good novel, but I dropped the idea when new evidence made it less likely that he had been Jack the Ripper.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Happy Mother's Day All!!
« on: May 13, 2018, 10:02:53 AM »
Happy Mothers Day to the mothers.  :)

Writers' Cafe / Re: Question for Romance Writers.
« on: May 13, 2018, 10:00:26 AM »
I don't ever think in terms of POC, and frankly referring to people as coloured or a person of colour is considered racist here in Australia. In my novels, my characters, and couples are typical of Australia's multi-cultural diversity. I don't consider the ratio of male to female skin colour variation is relevant in life or to relationships. Differences in personality and culture do have a relevance to how people connect, but those differences are not tied to the amount of melanin in the skin.

Reading some of the other comments I see mention of cultural behaviour associated with skin colour. Maybe my experience is totally different to your experience. I don't see skin pigmentation and behaviour or culture as being necessarily connected.

I would just write the story, and mention skin colour only when, and if, and at the time when it's relevant. The best books, in my opinion, focus on the character of people and what is happening to them, and not what they look like. Skin colour isn't an issue in a good story, unless it is a story about racism, rather than a story about life and love.

And, I'm delighted to have found your work. Will be ordering a phone case (Wallaby Hop) for a dear friend who loves Australia. She'll be visiting in September, for the 4th or 5th time (can't quite remember).

I will be getting a darling Australian Labradoodle soon (bred in the US, not us Australia  ;)) and wondered whether, if I get a pic of her/him that I really love, would you do a commission piece?

Thank you so much for the offer, CegAbq. I retired from professional art exhibiting and original art sales in 2010, after a fifty-five-year full-time career in art. I have only sold digital products since 2010, and I've also retired to a rural retreat, which we rarely leave. Fine Art America handle all of my physical product sales for me from the digital images I send them. The mere mention of your dog had me visualising painting it.  :D I had to pull myself into line and remind myself that my body cannot keep up with my enthusiastic brain. So, I have to decline your kind offer.  ;)

I'm certain there will be younger artists, equally, or even more skilled in canine portraiture who are eager for, and need the work, whereas I basically work to keep my mind and body active, and because I want to share what I've learned from some of the best artists that I've been fortunate to have learned from and worked with by creating online art tutorial videos for my students. I'm loving that work, and it forces me to be as active as I can manage, which is just what I need. I unloaded the tutorial with voice over of the Phalaenopsis Orchid watercolour panting to my students last night. All I want from my artwork these days is that reason to make my body move as much as I can make it, and the satisfaction that teaching a good art lessen gives me. Also my vision is failing. It hasn't stopped me doing anything I love, but, gosh, I'd not want the pressure of accepting a commission with my reduced vision. One day I'll paint the equivalent of an embarrassing typo.  ;) That might be fun.

Oh, gosh, I can take a long route to just say that I would have loved to have been able to accept, but my husband and I are long past the degree of fitness we would need to sell physical products. We get all our needs delivered to us these days. :-).

Not Quite Kindle / Re: Just adopted an Australian Cattle Dog and...
« on: April 22, 2018, 09:46:36 AM »
He looks to be a lovely dog. They have a beautiful nature, if their nature is catered for. He is bred to be a working dog, so he will appreciate getting a lot of exercise, running if you have an area suitable, and training, they are smart dogs. He'd love to be a useful family member rather than just a pet.

It's really only when working dog are confined and can't be active and useful, that they get bored and are destructive, and you can't blame them for that.
I'm sure he and the cats will make a good team too. :-)

Not Quite Kindle / Re: 50 Mums / 50 Kids / 1 Extra Chromosome
« on: April 22, 2018, 09:18:04 AM »
Beautiful and fun to watch.

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