1.23.2015

Thank you, Mr. Exposition

Hobo Mama wants you to know she's a professional blogger! Look at how professional she's being!

Sam and I are junkies for mysteries and appreciators of the jerk-cum-genius character as showcased popularly in House. So we decided to give Backstrom a watch.

For those who aren't as glued to their screens as we are, Backstrom is a new TV detective show on Fox starring Rainn Wilson. The titular character is presumably fabulous at closing cases but is otherwise a nearly unbearable boor. I found the pilot we viewed problematic for several reasons, one of which I'll talk about here.

Despite that, I'm curious now to try out the original source novels by Swedish author Leif G.W. Persson and have the first on hold at the library. I'm wondering how different the show is from the books. For instance, are the women as vapidly pretty? (/sarcasm)1 Here's an affiliate link to the first in the series on Amazon (the English translation), where you can see the dubious tactic of putting Rainn Wilson's face and full-body silhouette on the cover, a choice that might backfire if the series is canceled.

Anyway, what I'm going to address today is the writing sin of telling readers the background facts in a plodding fashion. There's a scene in which Backstrom goes to his house and says something to the man there along these literal lines: "You're my roommate who's a gay man and who also fences stolen items, which I tolerate because you are my criminal informant. We are not romantically involved."

It's not quite that awkward, but close.

7.02.2014

Make do vs. make due & Without further ado vs. further adieu

The copy editor is in.
I'm presenting occasional posts on the use of English,
not to be pedantic but just for the fun of language.

Make due vs. make do & Without further ado vs. further adieu == LaurenWayne.com

This is one of those times when people try to make things harder than they are. We have certain words in our language that are just so plain that apparently they beg for spicing up.

The phrase "make do" means to manage with what you've got. You don't have to add a fancy "due" to make do with the original.

"Due" is mainly used to indicate that something is owed, which doesn't make sense in this construction.

4.20.2014

Sunday Surf: Where's the money in publishing?

Links to share, from Writing Tidbits:

The 7k Report – Author Earnings

What authors are really earning self-publishing vs. traditional publishing, and what’s right for you. Hint: Self-publishing’s earning more for everyone. Really interesting results!
1 WEEK AGO
Finances self-publishing traditional publishing

money
money (Photo credit: 401(K) 2013)


An Open Letter to Journalists and Brands About Blogger Compensation | IFB

If you’re doing the work, you deserve to be paid. Tips for bloggers working with brands.
1 MONTH AGO -  2
blogging Finances monetizing 2 notes

Haters and Critics: How to Deal with People Judging You and Your Work - James Clear

How to focus on the positive and respond to the negativity.
1 MONTH AGO
writing criticism blogging reviews comments negative comments

On Professional Editing and Why I Charge My Friends For Advice

So I only work with highly successful highly motivated writers and I expect great things from them. You can’t hire me if you are only dabbling or if you want someone to tell you how great you are. You can only hire me if you are willing to succeed. And you can only hire me if you are going to be so successful that you make back my ridiculously high hourly fees and then some.
1 MONTH AGO
writing editing


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4.06.2014

Sunday Surf: Reposting old posts & Facebook giveaways update

Links to share, from Writing Tidbits:

Blogging Basics: How to Revive Old Blog Posts

Check your analytics & follow a few simple steps to boost your archive views.
2 MONTHS AGO
blogging blogging tips
Blogging Workflow
Blogging Workflow (Photo credit: cambodia4kidsorg)

Facebook Promotion Guidelines Update: What You Need To Know

It’s less restrictive now if you want to host or promote a giveaway on Facebook.
2 MONTHS AGO
facebook giveaways

The Other Side of the Story: How Do You Feel About Re-Posting Old Blog Posts?

Rules on reruns
3 MONTHS AGO -  1
blogging tutorials writing 1 note



3.23.2014

Sunday Surf: Pinterest, moms writing, & book signing pressure

Links to share, from Writing Tidbits:


Validating for Rich Pins for Pinterest: Blogger Xpertise

Make your pins stand out.
Pinterest recently announced new functionality for “Rich Pins” for Pinterest for different types of pins (product, recipe, movie, or article).
Pinterest + iPad = Love
Pinterest + iPad = Love (Photo credit: Bunches and Bits {Karina})
4 MONTHS AGO

3.09.2014

Sunday Surf: Google dos & don'ts for bloggers and bad romance novels

Links to share, from Writing Tidbits:

The Top Ten Signs You're Reading a Very Bad Romance Novel | Smart Bitches, Trashy Books

Hilarious list that goes all the way to 11. I particularly appreciated this one:
Number 2.5: There’s a widow who is still a virgin, despite being married to Lord Humperslut for years and years.

How is this possible? Well, sit back and we’ll tell you. The heroine married Humperslut just before he started introducing his bloodstream to metric tons of opium, and his penis was lost shortly thereafter in a tragic riding accident. His young bride is sworn to secrecy lest his reputation suffer, leaving her to misery and, of course, sexual unfulfillment.

OK, fine, we’re exaggerating a little — but only a little. Yet again, the Sacred Virginity of the Heroine rears its ugly maidenhead, and the heroine’s validity as a woman is tied up in the sanctity of her love canal. Virgin widows may have been novel plot devices back in the day, but Romancelandia is lousy with those beasts. We say it’s time to put this particular cash cow out to pasture.
5 MONTHS AGO -  60
novel writing romance novels novels genre novels writing reading 60 notes

2.18.2014

Olympic, side-splitting cozy: Murder on Ice, by Alina Adams

Hobo Mama wants you to know she's a professional blogger! Look at how professional she's being!

PRODUCTWant some novel reading to go along with your Olympics watching? As the women's figure skating finals come into view, read up on the world behind the scenes in Alina Adams' hilarious and entertaining mystery, Murder on Ice.

Granted, Murder on Ice is set at the world championships, but close enough. For those of us who follow figure skating once every four years, this is all a fun new experience.

Full disclosure up front: I happened to tell Alina Adams on Twitter (I think? It was awhile ago — I am anything but prompt!) that I loved her book (the paperback version) and was going to review it on my blog, and she offered to send me the multimedia Kindle version as well. So this isn't a sponsored post, but I did get a free enhanced e-book out of it!

So, this all makes me want to review Murder on Ice first as a reader — and then as a writer. It's an inspiring book in both categories!

Reader's review

Bex Levy is a researcher for the TV series 24/7, and she's in charge of knowing everything — absolutely everything — about the figure skating competition that the famous commentators might need for their patter and that the show might need for choosing camera angles and interview opportunities.

I came across the term micro-niche, and I love it. As a reader, it means you can find something written specifically to your interests: In this case, you can enjoy a peek into the world of figure skating and the world of being a professional TV researcher, as well as enjoy a cozy mystery along the way. I suppose some readers choose interests that already align with what they know; I actually love opportunities like this, where I get to see into a life I've never led.

It's not enough just to have an intriguing setting, though — fortunately, the book comes through with a clever mystery and plenty of funny. An Italian judge is murdered — and Bex's boss decides that, as a researcher, Bex is the perfect person to find the killer in time to reveal on air at the finale! But no pressure.

Bex, underpaid and generally beleaguered, sees no choice but to agree. She does already know all the players and quickly becomes adept at nosily sussing out their secrets.

One of my favorite passages is when Bex considers the lengthy and detailed descriptive travel passages in mystery fiction. I've often wondered about the same thing.

"As a reader, Bex had assumed the technique was nothing more than filler. […] However, now that she was a sleuth herself, Bex decided to give all those poor, maligned writers the benefit of the doubt and guess that the interminable itinerary listing was actually a sensible way of organizing their thoughts in a linear fashion, the better to make sense of the knotty puzzle before them."

She decides to give it a go:
"She noted that they seemed to be driving down Nineteenth Avenue. The street was … street colored. Concrete colored. Gray.
[… ]

And, anyway, now they had left Nineteenth Avenue and were driving through Golden Gate Park, which was pretty and green, as parks are wont to be. Finally, they pulled out of the park and alongside the Pacific Ocean. It was blue and big and, presumably wet."
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