Thursday, November 29, 2012

6 Questions To Answer Before Meeting Your National Novel Writing Month Deadline

It's only a matter of hours now before those of you who are writing a novel for National Novel Writing Month will upload your 50,000-word manuscript and claim your certificate of completion. 

Before you place the period at the end of your last sentence, take a few moments to answer these questions: 

• Did you get your point across? Writers are often so busy working on the plot, creating characters, describing the sights and sounds that sometimes they neglect to focus on the purpose of the story. Be sure to let readers know why you're writing the story in the first place. Is there a moral to your story? What do you want readers to take away from the story?

• Are your characters fully developed? Each character has to have a purpose, a mission for being in your story. The actions, thoughts and feelings of your characters should help to advance the plot of your story.

• Does your story flow? Moving your story forward to build up toward the end is a process that takes some thought, and possibly several rewrites. Timelines work well in moving a story along. Creating events, some action, conflicts, and deepening a mystery also add to the movement of a story.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Need a Gift Idea? Try The "Lea Song Trilogy" by JaiLeen Shepherd

If you're looking for a Christmas gift idea for youngsters or pre-teens, consider the Lea Song Trilogy. The books can be read independently of each other since each book tells its own story, or read as a trilogy. Either way, children will find these books delightful: 

Lea's Song: The Life Of A Very Special Horse
The first book of the trilogy introduces Lea, the first horse born with hooves into a herd of prehistoric horses, miniatures with soft toes. She has a multi-colored coat, unlike any member of the herd. Lea is not accepted because she looks different. Lea ventures into The Forest where no horse of The Meadow has ever gone before. She carries the love and strength taught by her parents into each challenge she faces. Eventually, Lea grows a spectacular horn and each time she helps someone, it grows a new knob. 

This book targets pre-teens and early teens who are confused about their identity and need to learn how to establish themselves. It is also for younger children who feel they must be a bully to be recognized and for children who are the brunt of the bully's teasing. 

Anan: Sequel to Lea's Song. In this continuation of the story, Anan becomes a part of a new family. Anan encounters a dangerous bully, falls in love, has a foal, and encounters the final challenge–death. This story is beautifully told story for pre-teens, and for those who are trying to find their paths in this very challenging world. It is through this story about special horses that 10 year olds through 13 year olds will be able to relate. Basic values and lessons of life are woven through this book, one reviewer says, and those include seeking one's path, accepting differences, being thankful for everyone and everything, and accepting oneself.

Suzi-Q, a spirited little horse who is wise beyond her years, becomes a caregiver for Ashie, born with deformed fetlocks. Their path takes them to meet Anan¹s friends and families and the masterful teacher, St. William Buffalo, who tells them they are Teachers of Love, the same path of Lea and Anan. They help to change the Demons of the Dark to become Servers of the Light as they fulfill their own life¹s desires.
This book is for everyone who wants to believe that change can take place and that dreams can be fulfilled.

These books are available for $9.95 each or $24.95 for the complete trilogy, a $5 savings. And remember, $7 will be donated to the American Red Cross for each purchase made. To preview the books, go to

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Help, I'm Stuck in the Middle of My Story! Now What?

Developing the middle of a story when you don't know what to write is like getting stuck in quicksand; you're sinking fast and don't know what to do. If this describes where you are now, then you are in good company. Anyone who has ever written an article, an essay, a short story or a novel knows first-hand about what you are going through now.

The middle part of a novel is where writers give up their hope of completing their manuscript because they are not sure how to move the story along and further develop the characters. 

This article attempts to give you, the writer, just a couple of ideas. However, there are multiple ways of accomplishing this feat. Remember to do what works the best for you And, if you are writing a novel for National Novel Writing Month, these ideas may help you to move forward so that you can meet your November 30, 2012, deadline. 

Saturday, November 10, 2012

On Veteran's Day, Remember Veterans and Soldiers Currently Serving

In honor of Veteran's Day,  MANA is featuring A Soldier's Poetic Response: A Slice of His Life by Captain Adrian D. Massey and A Collection of Prayers by an Alpha Man by Dr. Clarence C. Straham, Veteran and Professor of Mathematics.

The work by Massey is a provocative collection of poetry that covers all aspects of life. It is a fine work for anyone who loves poetry. And for educators, this is a fine work to use as a literary selection.

The work by Straham is a modern-day Book of Psalms that addresses every challenge a person all face. It is an inspiring work. The works by Straham and Massey are fine books by a veteran and a soldier for one who wants to celebrate Veteran's Day!

Although Veteran's Day is only one day in the year, every day of the year, remember soldiers currently serving and those who have served. Also, help MANA contribute to the aid of those who have been challenged by Hurricane Sandy. Purchasing a book by a soldier or veteran will help honor these men as well as those who are currently in need.

Our Price: Make a purchase and MANA will donate the purchase amount to the American Red Cross for its Hurricane Sandy disaster relief efforts.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Help the American Red Cross through the MANA Short Story

MarketingNewAuthors has a different kind of offer for you that won't cost you any money yet will help many people recovering from  the devastating effects of Hurricane Sandy.

MANA is inviting everyone to participate in The MANA Short Story which is a featured post on our blog. The goal is to use the photo on the post as a prompt to begin writing a story. No more than five sentences are needed.

For every 25 posts that are written, MANA, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this month, will donate $10 to the American Red Cross.

Your literary contribution is a unique way to give to the American Red Cross from your heart.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

MANA To Donate Rebates to the American Red Cross for Hurricane Sandy Disaster Relief

As we watch the news and look at photos online of the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, we at MANA want to say that our prayers and thoughts go out to the hurricane survivors and their families.

It's encouraging to see the generous donations coming in to volunteer organizations like the American Red Cross. It's also heartening to see partisan politics put aside, albeit briefly, to focus on what really matters–helping those in need.

In a previous holiday promotional post titled "MANA's Lucky 7," MANA offered a special $7 rebate. Because of the drastic circumstances caused by the storm, MANA has changed this so that the $7 rebate will go instead to the American Red Cross's Hurricane Sandy disaster relief efforts. Visit the blog post, "MANA's Lucky 7" for more information on the rebate.

In addition, any self-publishing plans purchased between now and December 31, 2012, MANA will donate 10 percent of the money received to the American Red Cross.

We congratulate and salute the first responders and volunteers who risked their lives for the sake of others.  You are all in our thoughts.


The MANA Team

10 More Notable Quotes About Books and Writing

We love quotes about books, actually we love everything about books. Read more quotes here:

10 More Notable Quotes About Books and Writing

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Join The MANA Short Story


The first person to post should use the photo as a prompt. No more than five sentences are needed. Of course, more are fine.

Then, the next person should add onto the first post. After that every person should add to the story of the previous person.

Let's see how this story progresses. Make this story your story. And, yes, you can post more than one time.