Category Archives: Good News


April A to Z Challenge Theme Reveal

Some of you, if in fact you are still out there, may know that I have not posted in quite a while. You may remember that I had a hard time with some personal and health issues last winter. The health issues have persisted throughout 2014 and now into 2015. Last year, it was rounds of tests, scans and appointments that made going to the doctor seem like a part-time job. The persistence is that every couple of months, I lose a couple weeks to some medication reaction. It’s better now, as that seems to be the only issue. But it throws me and I am so far behind on so many things.

Well, that leads me to my admission that I have not taken my own advice. We should do this, shouldn’t we? Take our own advice. I always tell authors that if they are thinking of starting a blog, they should have enough material in the can to cover at least a couple of months. Well, I didn’t do that, did I? I also tell authors not to start a blog unless they are going to stick with it. I’m here to tell you that on that score, I mean to make good.

To that end, I am going to be participating in the April A to Z Challenge. What is this, you ask? It is me getting kick-started, a boot in the ass to make good on what I set out to do. But actually, no, it’s a blog-writing challenge where you follow the letters of the alphabet. Everyone writes a post beginning with A, and then on through the month (we get Sundays off) until you have covered all 26 letters. People sign up on the website and they are encouraged to check out each other’s posts. The organizers are heavily into Twitter and will be sharing post tweets and offering general encouragement to keep us going.

I have also volunteered to be one of the minions who helps out with checking blogs (we are called the Alliance). Because we are held to a standard – you have to actually post, or your blog will be taken off the website. This is meant to be a traffic boost, a great way to get to know other bloggers, and only those who are really making the effort will get the exposure. So I’ll be checking out lots of great blogs, and tweeting out my posts, and working my way through the alphabet.

Possible And Impossible Keys Show Optimism And Positivity

I’ll start with A is for AWP. We are having AWP in Minneapolis this year, and I have never been. I couldn’t pass this up, since it’s in my own backyard. For those who don’t know, this is the Association of Writers and Writing Programs annual conference. It is highly academic, but also offers a lot of information and networking for writers. I’m going as a writer, just for myself, never mind industry stuff. I want to meet editors of journals for my poetry and go to sessions on writing creative nonfiction for my book.

My focus for posts for the Challenge will be on publishing and writing, as befits the Publishing Bones, and I’ll toggle between the two. So if that’s a theme, then I am picking it. With over 20 years of experience in publishing and well, lots more years as a writer, I know I can come up with some helpful and interesting material here. My list of ideas includes distraction, fellowships, patience, Twitter, and lots more.

I know lots of other folks are doing all kinds of other themes, so if you are curious, head on over to the A to Z Challenge website and check out the theme reveal – which is today! I might get mine up there, but I’m a little late, so I don’t know. The complete list of participating blogs is at the bottom of the page.

Hopefully this will get me turbo-charged (with AWP right in the middle of April I am sure to be inspired!) to get my blog up and running again and to keep it going. I am looking forward to it! Please feel free to leave comments below if there is a topic that you want me to cover during the April A to Z Challenge!

Your Registration Wanted!

Just a quick note to let everyone know that the free registration for Publishing Bones is still open! I am changing the game plan up a bit – I have decided to keep it free until I reach a couple more benchmarks, in terms of content and members registered, rather than picking an arbitrary date. As I’m about two months behind on everything, I thought I’d cut myself a break on this and actually do it right.

I am working on articles with the spectacular editing help of Dara Syrkin, and Amanda Wray is helping me figure out how everything should look. There’s a chance I’ll change the theme yet again, but I haven’t had time to play with that yet. The learning curve for WordPress can be daunting, let me tell you. I’m also working on figuring out the email integration, getting my Google Analytics set up, and having a presence on some blogs, websites and at some events.

There will be so much content coming your way!! I’ve got two articles in the works, interviews with Chris Fischbach, who runs the ship at Coffee House Press, and Eric Lorberer, who steers Rain Taxi. I’ve got other folks lined up to interview, as soon as I get caught up a bit, including an Art Director, an agent, and several authors. I am lucky to live in a place that is the epicenter of entrepreneurial publishing and has attracted many book lovers BACK from New York City! Their wisdom will be yours.

I will also have videos (now that’s a learning curve too!), checklists, mind maps, how-tos, a forum, and some more personal interactive elements, which the membership will help decide on with their input. I’ll have regular bonuses and rewards, and lots of great advice will be given from members for members.

Please do let your peeps know that now is the time. We had nine new members in the just two days last week from just one mention on a member blog (I’m pretty sure about that, but eager to get my GA up so I will know for sure next time!). So everyone can help make a difference here. The pay model will be a mere $10 a month, but I’d like to get the membership up to critical mass before adding some of the interactive features and launching the pay model.

But YOU! You will be grand-fathered in to be a FREE full member for as long as you wish. Publishing Bones is something that will continue to grow, and I hope that you will be a part of it. Just go to the Free Registration tab and enter your info – and you’re done! If you could help out by mentioning this on your blog or on any social media profiles, that would be great. And don’t forget, you can find me on Twitter at @PubBones. Follow me there for some masterful tweeting!

Free Computer Key In Green Showing Freebie and Promo

FREE Registration on now!

Hey, you bone-crushers out there! I am happy to share that we now have double-digit members on Publishing Bones!

Tell all your peeps! I know you have peeps. Tell your friends, those in your writer’s group, the struggling writer in your book club. Tell them about Publishing Bones. Registration will be free until the end of this month. This site will only be as good as its community. And that means you!

Never fear: we will be adding more functionality as quick as we can. I’ve got plans: a forum for you to talk to each other, regular segments in which you can ask questions, videos, great interviews with industry insiders (so far, I have interviewed Coffee House Press master Chris Fischbach and Rain Taxi leader Eric Lorberer – I just have to transcribe the beasts), plus a program of monthly bonuses that will reward you for being a member.

All this and more. Yes, it’s all for you! Plus great new content, being developed as we speak. What are the Bones? That’s the blog here. Then we’ll flesh it out as we go… hehe, sorry, I couldn’t resist.

And don’t forget, you can follow @PubBones on Twitter, where I will be sharing some of the latest industry information for writers, including this great list of Writer’s Conferences. And my own writing elsewhere, including my most recent post on the Loft’s blog Writer’s Block. Start your year off right by checking out these two links.

The site is coming along, believe it or not. And you are invited along for the ride! If you’d like to register – FREE – just click here to get to the Free Registration form. Fill it out, hit Submit, and you’re done! I hope to get to know you all as we go. Can’t wait to meet you.


I guess this is it. The launch of Publishing Bones! Not as big a deal as I had imagined – the site is not quite where I wanted it to be, and I didn’t get a lot of the pre-hype stuff done (read previous posts if you want to know why). But I want to welcome anyone that is clicking through from Writer Unboxed! That ad starting to run today was my deadline. And I want to assure everyone that what they see here is just the beginning – I have the tools and technology and information to make a great community here, and I hope you will decide to be a part of it!

In light of the issues I faced that kept me from working on the site and getting it to where I wanted it to be for launch, I am going to extend the Free Registration for another two weeks. But that’s it. Get yourself registered and you will be grandfathered in to be a free member forever! The regular membership fee will be $10 a month. So, while that’s not much, why not join now? What have you got to lose?

Come on a journey to make your book the best it can be. I hope you join me and many other writers for industry news, original interviews, articles, tips and more. If you haven’t already, feel free to follow Publishing Bones on Twitter too, at @PubBones. You can find out more about what is going on with my other business, BookMania, at, but that is not what this website is about. I’m not doing this to sell you other services. This is the service. And you are what will make this a valuable and enriching experience for everyone!

Thanks for checking it out, and I hope you will join us.

“Best of” lists

Hey all -
I missed posting earlier this week, so to all of you who celebrate, Merry Christmas! I am finally home, and there is a lighted tree and my village is up, and that’s about it. It’s been a long month.

One thing I did manage to do while on the road was to post my Best Books of 2013 list. These lists seem to come out earlier each year, which is kind of silly, I think. I’m sorry, but I actually am still reading all through December! So I used to post my lists quite late. But found that enthusiasm for them waned after the holiday, and they can serve as a bit of a shopping list for those interested. So this year I vowed to post it earlier.Stackedbooks

It is, I think, a great list. It is posted in my Minneapolis Books Examiner column, and as such, it is necessarily Minnesota-centric. I tried to include only those books that had Minnesota connections. But that meant I had to excise several great titles. Still, it’s so full of wonderful things.

And I’m pleased as punch to be included this year in the online list compendium to top all compendiums, put together by Largehearted Boy. You can find me under Minnesota Nice (as the Examiner interface really does make it hard to figure out what the column is called).

Please check out this list of wonderful Minnesota Nice titles, and peruse the other great links that Largehearted Boy has pulled together for your reading pleasure.

And now, I must get back to reading because only a marathon is going to enable me to meet my GoodReads Challenge for this year. sigh.