Strikes & Charms: Writing and Author Tool Reviews!

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LogoSo excited to bring this news to you!  As you probably know from previous posts, I’m also a film critic for FilmObsession.com.  It’s a beautiful fit because not only do I love movies, I love writing reviews as well, of any kind!  Goodreads reviews, Amazon reviews, Yelp! reviews, product reviews, you name it.

It seemed logical to me that the next step would be to review tools that are specifically (or by happy accident) useful for authors and writing.  Over the past few months, I’ve been accumulating and organizing lists of different apps, programs, sites and books that are particularly useful for authors.  Some are absolutely amazing and I can’t wait to share them with you, some are duds that I can’t recommend.  To best share all the features and to supplement the review itself, each review will have an accompanying YouTube video, walk-throughs, my thoughts, lists of pros and cons, and then a final “score.”

I’ve named this new feature Strikes and Charms…why?  Well there are “three strikes and you’re out,” as well as “third time’s a charm,” and I love that symmetry.  At the end of a review, a “Struck Out” rating will indicate that I don’t recommend it, a “Charmed” designation will mean that I do.

It goes without saying, but all opinions will be my own.  I have already purchased some of the books and applications with my own money, but should a developer/author offer me a free version for review, it will in no way affect my review and final recommendation.  In the interest of transparency (and following the law), I will absolutely disclose if the item was provided to me for free, or if I paid for it myself.

I’m already finalizing the first review, but I would absolutely encourage you to let me know if there are any products that you would like for me to take on!  They can be apps, desktop programs (disclaimer: although I have an iPhone and iPad, I have a Windows computer and as of yet will not be able to review an Apple-only computer program), books…basically anything that falls under the category of Tools for Writers!

I hope that you’re as excited about this new endeavor as I am!  If you have a suggestion for a review (with or without a specific product) or just want to see what I’m up to (including sneak peeks at what I’m reviewing), you can leave a comment here, or shoot me a message:

Instagram: StrikesnCharms
Snapchat: StrikesnCharms
Twitter: @StrikesnCharms OR @Twintypebooks
E-mail: twintypebooks@gmail.com

So let me know what you think, and if you have a specific review you’d like to see (“Scrivener!”) or just a general idea but not sure what’s out there (“Is there anything that helps capture those plot bunnies that hop away if I don’t catch them right away?”). I would also be truly grateful if you happened to spread the news by Retweeting or Sharing via social media.  If you are a developer/author/creator and would like to submit your product for review, please e-mail me directly.

I can’t wait to hear your thoughts, have a wonderful day!!!

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Books & Authors 2017!

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Just got this in my e-mail…

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Previously they held Books & Authors in the fall, so this was a very pleasant surprise!  It’s especially excellent timing since Sub Rosa will be out in the spring!

If you live in Metro Detroit, even if you aren’t an author, I strongly encourage you to check B&A out.  Not only will you be supporting local authors, you can buy books right there, have them autographed, and chat with the authors.  Plus it’s held at Leon & Lulu, which is arguably one of the coolest stores in Southeast Michigan (and my personal go-to for gift-buying).

Not as though you need any more convincing, but you can read my previous post about B&A when Pistils was released!

2017 Writing Resolutions!

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First and foremost, HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!  The clean slate of a new year is always intoxicating to me, and although I don’t formally “do” New Year Resolutions, I actually do have some goals that I’ve been thinking about, planning for, and some I’ve actually already started!

Although I know that more goals will come along with the coming days, here are the ones I’m starting off with!

  • Give bullet journaling a try (I think my new InkWELL Press Planner will lend itself to this very nicely
  • Utilize Bublish on a regular basis, I’ve had an account forever but haven’t done anything with it
  • Try #3 with Scrivener…I tried it a while back then stopped using it (something I blogged about), I’ve got Sub Rosa in it already so now I’m in the middle of going through the handy online tutorials and YouTube reviews
  • Complete and share more writing-related product reviews (especially apps!)
  • Share the deets of our TTB Book Club with YOU!  Because we want YOU!
  • Start sharing another aspect of my writing life with you…I’m a film critic for Film Obsession and it’s definitely a different world from fiction writing!
  • Give the website a nice fresh facelift!

I think that’s a good start for now!  Do you have any writing resolutions that you want to share?  Or have you tried any of the things I’ve listed above?

Happy 2017!!!

-Kate

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Do You #NaNoWriMo?

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I tried the Official NaNoWriMo a few years ago, I truly did.  I gave it the genuine college try, and then I genuinely beat myself up when I fell short.  I wasn’t even mad that I fell short due to just…not writing enough…I was just mad that I hadn’t been able to give it 100% and therefore didn’t really stand a chance of hitting 50,000 words.  Life, work, health…the usual.

But I’m not a special snowflake, and many others at least achieve the goal they set for themselves, not in spite of life happening, but in addition to life happening!  So I thought about it a lot this year, and realized I was more angry about failing at a goal set than actually writing a novel in a month.

So I guess I’m doing the lazy woman’s NaNoWriMo…I’m not doing it officially, but I’m doing it quietly in my head, not taking up the official challenge.  Is anyone else doing this?  In thinking about it more, I believe my downfall in years past was realizing I wasn’t going to meet the Official Challenge, and pretty much gave up after that.  So for NaNoWriMo 2016, I’m just challenging myself to do something every single day, even if it’s just writing the back cover blurb.

I might not hit 50,000 words, but if I can meet my little goal, I’ll be happy (and much further along than I was last year).

Anyone else doing an Official or Unofficial NaNoWriMo?

Piece of Good News #1 – I’m Obsessed!

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Remember in my last post I mentioned I had a couple of pieces of good news I was waiting to share?  Well I’m super-psyched to share the first one with you…thanks to a dear friend, MontiLee Stormer, I’ve been given the chance to spread my writing wings (fingers?) a little wider and be a content provider for Film Obsession.  This means I get see new movies…before they’re officially released…and write reviews on them.

Let me repeat that…they want me to watch lots of movies…and write about them.

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I don’t think I need to spell out my reaction or how loud I screamed or how fast I typed YES PLEASE THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!  Movies and writing, two of my favorite things in the entire world!

Please head over and check out the site…I was actually already a fan well before this happened because it’s chock-full of honest reviews, news, giveaways(!!!), and all-around awesome good stuff.  And *deep breath* my first official review is live too, you can see what I thought about Nerve.

I won’t be cross-posting all my future movie reviews here, but if you follow TTB’s Twitter or my own personal Twitter, I’ll be Tweeting when one is posted.  When (I refuse to say if) a movie is made based on a book by one of us hard-working indie writers, that review will absolutely be posted here because DUH!

I’m thinking the second piece of good news will be posted here this weekend.  Talk to you soon!!!

-Kate

P.S. – I’m having some fun with Snapchat too, feel free to add me as a friend, my username is strikesncharms!
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Been Reading – The Quick and Dirty Version

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Don’t you hate it when bloggers start off by apologizing for not writing and end up writing more about that than about the real reason they finally cracked open ye olde blogging software again?  Me too!  I actually have two pieces of good news that I can’t wait to share with you, but I have to finish one, and there’s a reason I’m waiting a couple of days before I share the other one (hints: no, Sub Rosa the book isn’t complete and no I’m not pregnant or gave birth, so there).

I have been reading like a fiend, though…I’ve always been an incredibly fast reader and due to some health issues I’ve found myself on bedrest more often than I’d like recently.  Rather than write a review for each one, I’m going to take the lazy route and screenshot my most recent reads below, along with the star rating, then I’ll tell you what I’m currently reading.

So first, what I’ve recently finished:

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Of these, I’d recommend Harry’s Rules for the most entertaining (although Down the Rabbit Hole was a close second, disqualified because I couldn’t determine if it was really an autobiography or some kind of freaky hallucinogenic dim rambling), and then Light of the Fireflies as my favorite overall, although it’s the kind of mindfreak that makes my husband ask “Why do you read this stuff??”

Currently I’m reading Neanderthal Seeks Human by Penny Reid and although I’m only 31% through, I’m really enjoying it so far.  Plus it’s currently FREE for Kindle, so dash over there and download that bad boy!

If you’d like to shoot me a friend request on Goodreads, please do!  I normally write a lot more reviews than I have been lately…plus a lot more writing in general is in my future.  That’s the biggest hint you’re going to get from me right now, but keep your eyes peeled over the next couple of days!

-Kate