Archive for February, 2014

February 26, 2014

Mailing List for Publications

I’m trying to move my publication efforts into the 21st century, and that includes deep and serious thoughts about marketing. Right now, I have four titles out (three non-fiction and one novel), with more in the works. Figuring out how to let people know when new titles are available for purchase is one of the challenges self-published writers and compilers face.

To that end, I’ve started an e-mail list for my publishing company, Bone Diggers Press. Right now, I mail flyers through the U.S. Postal Service to past customers, which can get expensive and isn’t always effective. (I secretly believe some libraries are throwing the flyers away without opening them, even those that have expressed interest in purchasing future titles.) So, I’m hoping the e-mail list will be an easier, more cost-effective way for me to communicate with potential customers.

If you’ve purchased a title from me in the past, you’re on my USPS mailing list. If you’d rather receive an e-mail, just let me know and I’ll help you shift from physical to digital notices. To sign up for the e-mail list on your own, go here and submit your preferred e-mail list.

February 26, 2014

Wordwise Wednesday: etc. and et al.

Latin is still alive and well in the English language, contrary to what most people believe. Today’s examples are frequently used abbreviations taken directly from that language: et cetera (abbreviated etc. or &c., in older documents) and et alia (et al.). Both are Latin for “and others,” but they have different uses. “Etc.” is used to extend a list of things, whereas “et al.” continues a list of people. For example:

When writing, one should have plenty of supplies on hand, such as pens, paper, etc.

The Source: A Guidebook to American Genealogy contains articles written by Kory L. Meyerink, Loretto Dennis Szucs, et al.

Note that an acceptable interpretation of “et al.” is “among others.”

While these abbreviations are incidental, they are often confused. Knowing when to use which helps make one’s writing sharper and more easily understood.

February 19, 2014

Wordwise Wednesday: A Blogging Meme for Writers

Because I’m probably going to focus more on writing over the next couple of years, I wanted a way to channel that energy into my blog. Don’t worry. I’m not giving up posting about local families and research. Instead, I wanted to have a place where I can explore genealogy and writing, and particularly the methods behind the madness, such as when to follow “the rules” and when to break them. As with all the blogging memes I use here, I won’t post every week, at least, not after the new’s worn off.

I know there are plenty of other genealogy-focused writers out there who blog, so feel free to take this meme and run with it. Have fun, explore your writing-crafty side, share your mad writing skills, and maybe we can all learn a thing or two.

February 18, 2014

Shifting Priorities

A few of y’all might have noticed that I’ve only posted here infrequently over the past few months. Part of the reason is because I’m shifting my attention away from genealogy onto other things (more on that in a moment), and part of it is because since November 2013 I’ve been completely unable (for non-health related reasons) to get out and do research.

The “other things” I’m doing include refocusing my activities toward writing both non-fiction (genealogy) and fiction. In the past year, I’ve published Rabun County, Georgia, Writs, 1836 – 1859 (a book-length abstract of important historic court records), several articles for The Appalachiana, an article for the Georgia Genealogical Society Quarterly (on Georgia’s poor school records), and my first work of fiction.

The latter came about in kind of an odd way. Back in November, when I realized I wasn’t going to be able to get out to do research for a while, I started playing around with what has long been a dream of mine: writing a novel. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for decades, and the way I actually accomplished it was in many ways thanks to my skills as a non-fiction writer. The end result is The Prophecy, which I’ve self-published under the pseudonym Lucy Varna. The Prophecy isn’t really confined to a particular genre. Richard says it’s suspense with romantic elements, but I intended for it to be romantic suspense with paranormal elements (immortal women, a curse; sorry, but no vampires).

Even before I wrote started plotting (I use that word loosely) and writing The Prophecy, I’d been considering shifting my focus to more writing- and editing-related activities. It’s no secret that I’m pursuing certification through the BCG and that I’m trying to slowly establish myself as a serious academic genealogy author. Writing and publishing a novel doesn’t mean I’m leaving genealogy or those particular goals behind. It just means that I have more than one possible future path.

For now, I’m trying to juggle writing both non-fiction and fiction. The rest of my genealogy related activities are still in place, although they’re receiving less attention than I would like. I still can’t get out to do research (again, non-health related reasons) and I’m not taking on any new projects, unless something really interesting comes my way (in which case, I reserve the right to change my mind). One project I’d like to pursue and have been thinking seriously about is a historical faction (novel) set here in Rabun County. That’s a long story, and I’m not ready to reveal the details yet, but look for more information in a year or so.

In the meantime, I will try to find time to post more often here. I haven’t forgotten this blog; far from it. But my time is severely limited right now. I don’t see that changing anytime soon, but I will try to budget enough time each week for ye olde blogge.


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