Life in the Slow Lane

Contemplating life, faith, words, and memories

News Bites: Writing, Books, and Tech Stuff — June 15, 2018

News Bites: Writing, Books, and Tech Stuff

Newspapers and TeaAn incredible news dump consistently comes at us via TV broadcasts, the Internet, radio, social media, and in overheard conversations in restaurants or on the bus or train.

Every now and then why not focus on news relating to things we enjoy. Like writing, music, reading, technology and more.

Here are a few articles for your perusal:

Writing News and Tips:

On May 22nd Philip Roth died. According to his obituary in The Times, Roth was the last of the triumvirate of great white male writers–Saul Bellow and John Updike were the others–who towered over American letters in the latter half of the 20th century. If you haven’t read Roth’s books, this article helps you get started.

Always on the lookout for good writing tips, I came across a post titled Writing Tips from The Elements of Style: a Summary of the Most Influential Guide to Writing. A quick look proved my suspicion to be correct–we were talking about my favorite writing book. This summary of Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style is a great guide for beginning writers as well as a welcome reminder for those of us who’ve been writing a while.

Book News:

In the last couple of weeks, I read Beck Dorey-Stein’s memoir, From the Corner of the OvalDue for release on July 10, 2018, this is a memoir you want to watch for and read. Dorey-Stein brings not only a sense of the tensions but also the humor found in the life of The White House as well as The Oval Office. She served as a stenographer during the Obama administration and flew on Air Force One several times. This experience gave her a bird’s eye view of life in the “Oval.” 

From the Wall Street Journal, we read that an uptick occurred in the sale of print units. However, there are still questions surrounding the viability of retail brick and mortar stores. Barnes and Noble is the focus of an article by Jeffrey A. Trachtenburg, Book Retailing Woes Undercut Excitement Over Clinton, Obama Titles. 

LitHub bookmarked Amy Poeppel’s Limelight: A Novel as one of the best of new books this summer. Based on five reviews, Limelight is categorized as a “Rave.” This short excerpt gives you an idea of Poeppel’s premise:

Allison Brinkley–wife, mother, and former unflappable optimist–discovers that a carefully weighed decision to pack up and move her family from suburban Dallas to the glittery chaos of Manhattan may have been more complicated than she and her husband initially thought.

Some Tech Stuff:

There is no way to scan the news without finding something tech-related. And all who write want to become better at doing that, right? The Muse posts an article sharing 7 Free Tools to Become a Better Writer. Two or three of these were familiar, but the rest were new apps I’ve not tried. Give the post a quick look. Maybe you’ll find a new helper.

Have you thought about dictating your book rather than writing it? Udemy currently has an offering, How to Speed Write Your Book With Voice Recognition SoftwareIf you’ve tried voice recognition software, please share your experience in the comments. Lately, I’ve posted about chronic illnesses and writing. That’s a situation in which this software could be beneficial.

Coming up on Tuesday, June 19th:

My review of Doom, Gloom, and Pursuit of the Sun by Antoine F. Gnintedem, a work of biographical fiction. This book shares the experiences of a young man growing up in and then leaving Cameroon. 

Until then, think about these words from Amy Tan:

The privilege of writing explained by Amy Tan.

Top Links for Indie Authors and Self-publishers — September 28, 2017

Top Links for Indie Authors and Self-publishers

News constantly speeds across the Internet each day. So fast it’s hard to keep pace with the information. Often the writer debates whether to write or read the news. 

Here are articles and posts I came across recently. I hope there is something of value to you as an Indie author and/or self-publisher.

  1. From Marion Roach Smith’s blog, How to Choose the Right Story to Tell. The post is written by C.A. Wittman, author of the memoir Synanon Kid. The post includes an excerpt from Wittman’s memoir.
  2. Narrative Magazine’s Story of the Week, “Of Kin and Kindred,” shares quotes about family. This post is a great resource when looking for a quote on family and family relationships.
  3. I don’t know about you, but I love Seth Godin’s short and to the point posts. His September 27, 2017, post is one of his best in my estimation. Seth talks about under (and over) achievers.
  4. We’ve all read posts and articles offering the advice that writing can make you feel better. Perhaps heal your hurts. Sharon Lippincott shares a personal experience to make her point in the post, When Writing Does NOT Make You Feel Better.
  5. Laura Tong at WritetoDone shares 50 Productivity Tips to Boost Your Brainpower as a Writer. I’m keeping her effective infographic handy for future reference.

Perhaps there are links you came across in the last few days you’d like to share. Place them in a comment below.

News Bites on Writing & Books for July 11-15, 2016 — July 19, 2016

News Bites on Writing & Books for July 11-15, 2016

News CP-Writing-Examples National news this week has brought more tragedy and violence. With so much news of these events, life takes on an unhealthy emotional environment in our homes and communities.

What to do? Find something positive to do in your community. Support an effort in your community to help the hungry and homeless. Volunteer at a Boys and Girls Club to help young people learn something other than hatred and prejudice. Perhaps your church is involved in neighborhood meetups and gatherings.

Look for news about things you enjoy–music, books, poetry, fiction, memoirs, and more. Here are a few articles for your perusal:

Wonder about the truth of proofreading? Susan DeFreitas, Collaborative Editor at Indigo Editing, shares The Truth About Proofreading in Indigo’s recent newsletter.

From Nina Amir’s How to Blog a Book site 15 Expert Tips to Increase Reader Comments on Blog Posts. Participants include Yaro Starek of, Joel Friedlander of, Darren Rowse of, Peg Fitzpatrick of and Mary Jaksch of

The Guardian reports on The BBC’s #LoveToRead poll and the risk it runs of closing a potentially wider doorway into modern writing.

Jennie Yarboff at Signature shares the debate over grammar by sharing her thoughts on five books on how to write “right.”

Did you see the post by Jennie Nash at The Book Designer? Jennie talks about getting our stories out of our heads and onto the page. This is post 3 with links to posts 1 and 2.

Haruki Murakami


News Bites on Writing & Books for Week of July 4, 2016 — July 13, 2016

News Bites on Writing & Books for Week of July 4, 2016

Currently, it seems the news is filled either with the turmoil of terrorist attacks or the cutting and sharp words of politics.

Don’t lose heart! There is good news to be found. It just takes a little digging, and I’ve kept my shovel sharp.

Here are some of the articles or news items I found worth reading this past week:

Guy Gavriel Kay at The Lit Hub discusses the necessity, or perhaps not, for writing rules. Best check this one out.

Need another word to use in place of “very?” Read 128 Words Writers Can Use Instead of “Very” with great infographic.

As always, Seth Godin provided an interesting and retrospective post.

A beautiful piece from Andi Cumbo-Floyd on taking your writing seriously.

In honor of author Alice Munro’s 85th birthday, a retrospective of her short stories with quotes stirs the reading desires of lovers of Munro’s works.

From the blog at Bublish, a list of five tasks Indie authors can tackle during the summer months.

Image attributions:
Jeanette Walls quote

News Bits on Writing & Books for Week of June 27, 2016 — July 6, 2016

News Bits on Writing & Books for Week of June 27, 2016

News CP-Writing-Examples
News CP-Writing-Examples

As this past weekend reflects, we are a country of independence. Freedoms abound that others only long for.

Among those freedoms are our choices to read and write based on our own thinking. With that in mind, I offer you some of what I’ve come across the last week of June in writing and publishing news.

First up, a simple curiosity. Stephen King actually has quite legible handwriting. Why a curiosity? Often writers, as well as physicians, don’t have the best handwriting. Take a look.

Diane Rinella talks audiobook production on Writers Helping Writers. A well-prepared post filled to the brim with good information.

All writers need to read to learn from other writers. Even if you write nonfiction, reading good fiction is beneficial. If you have not read any of Catherine Ryan Hyde’s novels, I recommend them to you. Here’s a cover reveal for her next novel coming out in December.

Perhaps you are a first-time writer and have no idea what an author media kit is. Don’t panic! Melissa Flick lays it all out for you on her blog plus infographic.

BookBaby offers a post from Dr. Dawn Field on Tightening Your Story’s Cause and Effect with “and So.” Her explanation and examples are rich with clarity and logic.

Personal branding consultant and award-winning author, Nancy Blanton, explains the formula necessary for creating what she calls “your author brand positioning statement.”

Robin Williams' Quote
Robin Williams’ Quote
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