Thursday, June 28, 2012

Personality tests for characters? Really??

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I recently found an old file that showed the results of a Myers-Briggs Personality test that I had taken over fifteen years ago (and it seems like just yesterday….gulp!) Anyway, the results were different than what they were when I tried the same test today.  As a younger woman I’d scored an ENFP and I have to admit to knowing why things have changed for me.

Always having been an extrovert, I derive enjoyment from interaction with others. I watch their idiosyncrasies, and I admit to using some of their foibles in my characters. It helps me tremendously. I do know many authors who are introverts and love using their imagination rather than real-life examples. Not me!

Intuition has stayed the same and as an author I’m glad. I’d rather see the big picture than deal with all that annoying small stuff. Of course one does have to edit…??

Feeling rather than thinking will never change. I admit to being a bit of a bubble head and it’s too ingrained. People matter to me much more than ideals, and so I’m afraid I’ll be stuck with this till the end.

The one that has changed is the last, from perceptive to judgment -  and of that I am glad. Since I’ve become an author, I’ve had to plan my days, and my characters days. To do this properly it’s taken a lot of organization. I’ve had to become predictable in my choices using sound judgment.   

  • E – Extraversion preferred to introversion: ENFJs often feel motivated by their interaction with people. They tend to enjoy a wide circle of acquaintances, and they gain energy in social situations (whereas introverts expend energy).[7]
  • N – Intuition preferred to sensing: ENFJs tend to be more abstract than concrete. They focus their attention on the big picture rather than the details, and on future possibilities rather than immediate realities.[8]
  • F – Feeling preferred to thinking: ENFJs tend to value personal considerations above objective criteria. When making decisions, they often give more weight to social implications than to logic.[9]
  • J – Judgment preferred to perception: ENFJs tend to plan their activities and make decisions early. They derive a sense of control through predictability.[10]

I wonder if our characters would benefit from taking this test.  After all, many writers plan their character’s roles from the day they’re born to the day they show up on the page. Would you consider this as being a useful tool?


And would it matter if you wrote for a living? This information could help anyone in their day to day life. Explain why they do the things they do—make the choices they make. Marry the people they chose.


If you would like to take your own test go to:



 And check the results:



 What do you think…does it make sense??





I Am A Reader, Not A Writer
 
 
For this Freedom to Read Blog Hop I will be happy to present one lucky winner with a $10 Amazon Gift certificate and five others with a free e-copy of My Cheeky Angel. All you need to do is leave a comment with your e-mail address.

And...I'll be adding your names to my newsletter list, so I hope you won't mind getting a periodic letter from me telling of new releases and special news!

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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

I won the Sunshine Award!

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I won the Sunshine Award!!!



Below is the comment that my fellow blogger Jo-Ann Carson wrote on her blog lovindanger about Believe! when she passed on the Sunshine Award.



Believe! - Mimi Barbor deserves the Sunshine Award because she uses her blog, and a good part of her life, to promote other writers. How cool is that! In books she writes about angels, time travel and recently crime, but her blog is all about writing and writers. She’s the sunniest personality I know.



My first step is: to share the site with you of the person who nominated me Jo-Ann Carson.



Such kind words from someone who I admire and like very much made me extremely happy. I find that her posts are always interesting and most times her subjects force me to leave a comment - I just can't help myself. And trust me, I don't have time to leave comments on all the blogs I like to read.



My second step is: in accepting this award is: to answer ten skill-testing questions



1. My favourite colour is yellow. It makes me feel happy.

2. My favourite animal is a dog. Especially puppies. I love puppies!

3. My favourite number is 7. I was born on the 7th and married in the 7th month.

4. My favourite drink – rye and diet coke in a tall glass with lots of ice.

5. Facebook or twitter – I guess I'd have to say twitter because I spend more time there

6. My passions – the people I love and the activities I enjoy (writing is probably my most favourite)

7. Prefer giving or getting presents – giving ( who's going to admit to the other???)

8. My favourite pattern – cross-stitching angels

9. My favourite day of the week – Monday…I love working, so the beginning of the week means I have 5 days to write.

10. My favourite flower – a yellow begonia…it's my dad's favourite and therefore will always be mine.



My third step is: I get to nominate two bloggers who I admire.


Mac's Mad Mania is a wonderful blog site which has a constant array of interesting topics that cover many different subjects. Mackenzie Crowne is a multi-published author after just publishing her second book That DatingThing and works very hard to keep her followers interested. I find her style of blogging is so friendly, that a person reading her words almost feels as if you're carrying on a conversation. She's warm and lovely and deserves the Sunshine Award.



Shelly Bell's Books is also a great blog to check out often. Her guests are always interesting ( ahem - I've been welcomed in the past ) and Shelly is very supportive to other authors like herself. Her book A Year to Remember is to be released on July 20th, 2012 with 10 free copies available to be won on Goodreads. From many book reviews to posts on spiritual mediums and muses, she keeps her blog interesting and fun. I've picked up more than a few new book choices from her reviews. She's also very deserving of the Sunshine award. 


 
Last but not least – I'll take this time to thank everyone who comes to visit my blog page. You keep me writing these posts and while I do so, I'm always picturing whether or not you'll be interested in my choice of topics. If you ever feel like you have any suggestions of things you'd like me to cover, please just leave a comment.







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Friday, June 22, 2012

Believe in Yourself!

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I'm very pleased today to be able to welcome Tammie to my blog. We've worked togther on some promotions and she's been a joy to know.
Leave a comment with your e-mail address. Take the chance to win a copy of her newest book!!

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Thank you so much to Mimi for hosting me on her blog. 

I love her blog name, BELIEVE.  The name of my blog is DAYDREAMING...So, today we are going to do some DAYDREAMING and BELIEVE that we can achieve those dreams.

I’ve been told I should have been a motivational speaker.  I reply by saying, “I am” because I try to motivate every time I open my mouth or touch the keyboard with my fingertips.  I’ve been blessed, I guess with a gift that allows me to look past the shallow and sometimes demanding nature of others and see through to the positive and gifted person within.  I know. We are surrounded by negativity. Open any newspaper, magazine or online venue and you are bombarded by negative expressions.  It can be very depressing, and it can be very difficult to rise above the attitude of others.  It’s necessary.

Today is a new day. This hour is a new hour. This minute is a new minute.  We are surrounded by newness that we overlook with frequency.  When we wake up in the morning, we should value the sunrise for what it is “an amazing new opportunity for change."

The only way that we can achieve anything is to resolve that we want to.  Goal setting is important because it gives us a framework to hang all our hopes and dreams and a way to measure our progress. Whether you’re a reader or an author, it doesn’t matter we all have a basic need for accomplishment, whether it’s a business or personal goal.

There are a few things that no one controls but us.  The major one is attitude. Our attitude is an extremely personal thing yet it has the power to influence others and essentially cause a domino effect.  How is your attitude affecting your ability to reach your goals?  If a negative attitude could help you achieve even one of your goals I’d say go on be negative, but it won’t it will only have the opposite effect.  A positive attitude alone may not.

How do you change an attitude and regain that optimism you once had?  Well, take a lesson from childhood and rediscover the art of DAYDREAMING.  Find a quiet place for some alone time.  It could be in your room on your bed, beside a pool or on a pallet in the woods.  Close your eyes and let your mind wander to places that only it can.  Allow the real world to melt away and call upon your inner child because the child within was never afraid to dream and began life full of optimism.  If you find it difficult the first time, don’t give up because it’s taken years to develop the attitude you’re wearing. If you’re willing to change, to recapture the part of you that feeds your self-confidence you can. 

DAYDREAM and learn to use your imagination again because all the biggest contributions to mankind were first an idea as small as a grain of sand in someone’s imagination.

If you’re not achieving what you want to, and you’re not happy with your life the way it is, you owe it to yourself to try anything that will spark that renewed energy to face the world again with fresh eyes, a new attitude and effect it in a positive way.

The world around us cannot change until we change. We can only change the world as one-person  changes and then another and then another.

Without a dream, nothing is accomplished, but without some work dreams cannot be accomplished.  So, how does one tackle the obstacles between their real-life situation and the goals their imagination has set for them?  By treating them as if they are something we can achieve.

Here are a few tips:

1.         Write your goals down.

2.         Research what you will have to do in order to reach your goals.

3.         Then, divide those tasks up and determine the path to take to achieve each of the minor objectives.

4.         Start at the beginning.  Many goals are not reached because of poor planning and a lack of focus.  We all love a short cut but in most cases taking a short cut may prevent you from reaching an otherwise obtainable goal.

The most important suggestion I can make to you whatever your goals may be is to “do something."  Don’t just allow your dreams to fade away.  Today is the day to reach for the stars.

Tammie Clarke Gibbs has over twenty years in marketing and graphic arts. She has two novels and several non-fiction titles that are published and was a nominee for the 2001 Georgia Author of the Year Awards.  In addition, she spends time helping her fellow authors to achieve their goals through assistance with everything from marketing plans to cover art.  The first book in her new 8-Hours Series for authors hit three Amazon Bestseller’s lists on the first day of publication and is receiving rave reviews for it’s easy to follow, step-by-step advice.


Forget about spending 8 Hours a day on promoting your book. For less than a value meal you'll learn how to take just 8 hours and invest them in actionable tasks that will pay dividends into the future. Don't you owe it to yourself to reclaim your life?

Authors are sick and tired of spending every minute of the day promoting themselves and their books. It doesn't have to be that way. 8 Hours to Jump Start Your Career: A Step-by-Step Guide for Self-Published Authors shows you how to invest just 8 hours into actionable tasks that will pay dividends into the future freeing you up to do other things. These are not tasks thought up overnight they are the results of over 2 years of research and personal experimentation. I cannot guarantee that it will make you a Bestseller, but many who've followed the tasks outlined in the book can now boast that Bestseller status. Spend it with family, go on vacation, or write your next book it's all up to you. What will you do with all that time you're going to have?


Other books by Tammie Clarke Gibbs







Contact Tammie via:


@tammiegibbs

http://www.tammieclarkegibbs.com (links to blogs, Facebook etc. can be found via the website)

To View the Cover Art she’s done for fellow authors visit her Facebook Gallery




 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Themes - Got it!




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I went off to do more research on themes and much to my surprise, many others seem to be as perplexed by this term as myself. Or is it just that I don’t want to feel left out?

I found there were thousands of theme articles on Google (no surprise) and looked for some of the least intimidating.

I liked this one - A theme should be a statement that expresses a universal message. But once I read this list: Birth, Death, Heroism, Escape, Love, Journey, Coming of Age, and Patriotism…. taking these terms literally, they really didn’t describe how the theme of birth for instance would be woven into a fictional story.

Wait…how about the birth of new life-style taking over a pathetic existence lived by
a person in the beginning.

Okay, I’m feeling maybe I’m on to something here. Take Death…it could be the death of self-pity or bad behaviour to be replaced with t new attitude because of overwhelming conflicts in the plot.



As I went through each word, I could come up with examples that would work until I tried…Love.

It was the most difficult. Because there are so many themes around love, it’s hard to pin one down. Until I thought of my latest release “His DeviousAngel” where my hero, who is suffering with post traumatic stress disorder, hates himself for the things he was forced to do while in combat. He also has an ongoing situation with his mother and father. Issues that he has to deal with are tearing him apart and only love will heal. And our heroine’s biggest lesson is to learn to love the person she is and not the way she looks.  

Okay…I think I’m getting into it now. If I took every one of the seven topics, I could twist them to fit into my book in some way. In other words, I really don’t believe there is just one theme to a person’s life and therefore there can’t be one theme to a character in a book, or in fact, to the story.

Granted, there might be a main theme, I can accept that. But I honestly believe that a truly well-written piece should have many themes interwoven for complexity and interest. And that for each person who reads the tale, it might mean something different because everyone who is reading it is searching for their own answers.


What do you think? Am I on to something here?





 

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Friday, June 15, 2012

Themes - Huh??!!


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What does the theme mean to a well-written story? I never really understood the concept and so I hoped I’d managed to incorporate it naturally and didn’t let it faze me. I guess I figured my editor would pick up on it if I’d missed it somehow. Yeah - I know - duhhh!!

I knew that each character had to experience growth from the beginning to when they reach the final pages. That the conflicts in the plot should force this.  And to me, that made sense.

Recently, I read a report about theme being one of the four pillars of a story: setting, characters, plot and you guessed it…theme. This threw me into a total spinout. I mean, have I missed out an important element in my work?


So I began to research what a theme is. Claudia Welch put it into words I could understand when she wrote a piece for the June Romance Writer’s Report. She wrote:


Theme:

* Is a universal truth

* Is defined by a single word or an extremely short phrase

* Is not manacled to plot, character or setting

* Inhabits the plot, not vice versa

* Is what powers a book, it’s the fuel

And that back in the olden days, basic themes would be:


* Man versus man

* Man versus nature

* Man versus self

Nope - I still didn’t get it. So I checked the thesaurus and it says subject, topic, idea, subject matter, argument, premise and thesis. Well that was a big help - not!


So I’m off to do more research.


Any of you want to try explaining it to me in a thousand words or less?

      ***
Indie Book Blowout - Featuring He's Her



ALL BOOKS 99¢ for two days only June 15-16th

Come back tomorrow for DAY 2!
EVERY DAY MORE FEATURED TITLES! MORE PRIZES MORE CHANCES TO WIN

The Indie Book Blowout: Feed your book addiction!

And check out an amazing new program
Novel Seniors! Win ebooks monthly through Amazon. Win a Kindle!!





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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

It's a win-win situation!

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www.freepartay.com


Here I am again in another Free Par-tay with the Indie Book Collective. The more times I’m involved in these par-tay’s the more I realize just how difficult it is nowadays for an author to get her book in front of the people who love to read. I mean if I went and paid for all these ads myself that IBC uses to advertise these free days, I couldn’t possibly afford it.



Because of the organization, our books show up on all the major free sites. They are tweeted and facebooked by close to forty authors who are involved. And I have no doubt— as I have done here—the others are blogging about the Summer Sizzle to their followers.



Let’s face it!  Everyone I know is happy to get something for free. Right? And getting books from many Indie best-selling authors is a real treat. Plus it helps the authors by having those book-lovers read their stories, and hopefully, write a review.


So it’s a win-win situation.



Announcing

Summer Sizzler Free Par-Tay

June 13th – 14th!



Let’s celebrate summer: time to kick back, relax, and read!!!

There’s no better way to ease into it

than with Dozens of Great books that are FREE!

TWO DAYS ONLY

Find romances from sweet to suspenseful to humorous and hot,

Thrillers, Mysteries, Sci-Fi, Historical, Contemporary, YA, Children’s and more!

All FREE!!

Fantastic eBooks, many by award-winning and best-selling authors.



Visit www.freepartay.com for all the titles, Kindle & gift card

raffle entries, and links!


Join in the Par-Tay! Let’s sizzle!


Today my book "He's Her" will be free so please grab your copy!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Holidays for a writer???

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Coming soon! Summer Sizzle Free Partay featuring "He's Her" - June 13th and 14th!!

Free books for anyone who loves to read!!
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My apologies for not blogging for a while...see explanation below!!

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I’m writing this blog to the many people who work from their homes and cannot unplug the computer no matter what. As a busy author, I know the trials of trying to carry on an ordinary life and still complete the hundreds or so little tasks that are always tapping on my back for attention.



I’ve just returned from a trip to face hundreds of e-mails (many of which I’ll just delete but others that need attention), a huge amount of work that I put off before I left, and a guilt that’s ridden my backside since I tried to shut off the valve to my conscience.



I began to wonder if everyone feels this way about leaving their workload to visit family and friends. I mean, when I went to Hawaii a while back, I stayed in a hotel that had WIFI and my precious laptop of course accompanied me to be used during the late hours and early mornings. Therefore, not only did I have a blast, I kept up with the important stuff and didn’t feel as if I’d let myself down.



But the last trip to see my folks was different. They have no computer. Don’t have a clue what WIFI stands for and really didn’t understand why I had to go to the library most days to check my mail. In fact, I believe they rather frowned on my compulsion and I heard them whispering the words hooked and obsessive.



Not true!!



Nowadays, a working author has to have so many balls in the air at one time, that when one drops the others end up who knows where. Then it’s a pain to have to scurry around to gather them back up, flip them in the air and get the rhythm flowing again.



But…having whinged and whined in the previous paragraphs I must add the most important fact. Letting go for a while gives one a healthy dose of reality. So what if the book drops in ranking a bit and does it really matter if the daily word count gets missed for a couple of weeks? Will the world fall apart if the cover editor has to wait a few days or the many e-mails don’t get deleted the day they come in? As hard as it may seem to take a well-deserved break, it is important. Not only to you but to the family who loves you.



Then once you’re back home and working day and night to catch up, well….then you can bitch!!



Okay - I feel so much better now. Back to work!!

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