Off My Writing Playlist

I can’t believe I’m doing this…

 

You’re a stronger person than I am if you can watch this video and still take this band seriously. All I’m going to say…

When to listen: DON’T!!!! Hahahaha Just kidding. This is a psych out song. Don’t listen to it while writing. You kind of have to watch the video to really get the full effect. It’s sort of a pallet cleanser to clear your mind (yes, it has that affect).



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

For the Kids!

Hi All,

As most of you know, I am very much so a big child care and protection advocate. I’ve spent a lot of time working with children and though I don’t lay that aspect on in my novels (I don’t like preaching at people), I still like to try to raise awareness for different issues where possible.

As the Holiday season comes to a close, I wanted to let everyone know about a few great charities if you’re looking for a good new years resolution or a charity for next Christmas…

#1. St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital:

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This Hospital is an absolutely wonderful organization. Founded in 1962, St. Jude’s is a research Hospital tackling childhood illnesses and diseases in the hopes of finding a cure. One of their big focuses has always been Leukemia, and since the hospital’s inception, the survival rate for acute lymphoblastic leukemia has gone from just 4% in ’62 to over 94% today. That is absolutely amazing.

81% of every dollar donated to the hospital goes directly help people. Roughly half goes to patient care and half goes to research. This is a hospital that is a 503c charity and is one of a few pediatric research organizations in the United States where families never pay for treatments that are not covered by insurance, and families without insurance are never asked to pay.

So if you’ve got a little money to spare and want to give to a cause that continuously helps countless people on a daily basis, this is truly one of the best.

Check out their website above if you’d like to get involved, and click here to donate.


 

#2 Toys for Tots

That commercial always warmed my heart around the Holiday season. Yes it’s more of a Christmas organization, but it’s still worth mentioning. This is a charity organization that is run by U.S. Marine Corps Reserve and delivers toys to less fortunate children whose parents otherwise couldn’t afford presents. Over 97% of your donations goes to our mission of providing toys, books, and other gifts to less fortunate children. Less than 3% go to operating costs.

Where to donate? Click here to give money or buy a couple of toys and keep an eye open for places with this logo around the holidays where you can go to drop them off:
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#3 The Ronald McDonald House Charities:

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I don’t even know where to start with this one… Globally, there are currently 322 locations in 63 various countries. Ronald McDonald Houses act as a place to stay for families with hospitalized children who are receiving treatment and is only accessible to families who reside within a prescribed distance from the treating hospital as determined by the board. Ronald McDonald’s Houses provide over 7,200 bedrooms to families around the world each night, with an estimated value of $700 million in lieu of hotel costs. That doesn’t include the number of family rooms and mobile homes that they also have available!

If that weren’t enough, in 1997, The Ronald McDonald’s Learning Program was formed in Australia to help children who had suffered serious illness and returned to school. The stated mission of the program is to provide educational support to these children who have fallen behind in their education. It’s the only one of its kind in that country.

Where to donate?

Visit pretty much any McDonald’s restaurant around the country. There are drop boxes and donation bins or click here.


#4 The Home for Little Wanderers:

C0xJFp_XUAQN_OZ.jpgThis is one that I’ve spoken of before. I worked here for 3+ years right out of college as both a direct care worker and a teacher. It is a wonderful program, especially around New England that offers a safe haven for children that have no home, are no longer capable of living at home, or are taken from broken homes due to abusive or neglectful parents. These kids deserve all the love and care in the world and have barely been given a chance at life.

It is also one of the oldest programs of… well any kind. Originally founded as an orphanage in 1799, The Home today plays a huge role in delivering services to thousands of children and families each year through a system of residential, community-based and prevention programs, direct care services, and advocacy.

Um Jim… Harrington house???

Yes, in case anyone is wondering, the Boston location was dedicated to my grandparents after my family helped secure and renovate the property for the The Home For Little Wanderers. So I guess you could say that child advocacy runs in the family.

Where to donate:
Click Here or if you live in the New England Area, keep an eye open for fundraiser events!


Last but CERTAINLY not least:

#5. Children’s Hospital Boston. 

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Ugh… Excuse me… I need a moment…

That is a hard image for me to look at without tearing up… I fail each time and yes, I’ll admit to a little bit of emotional blackmail on the part of the charity with that picture, but it is damn effective… especially if you have had a child that was in a position like that (which I have).

This is one of the most famous and most venerable children’s hospitals in the world. They’ve had issues over the years politically, but that is far overshadowed by the immense work that they’ve done. With more than 680,000 square feet of state-of-the-art laboratory space, Children’s is home to the world’s largest research enterprise based at a pediatric medical center. Its discoveries have benefited children and adults since 1869.

Two scientists working at Children’s have won the Nobel Prize and 5 have won the Lasker Award which is given for major contributions to medical science.

It is truly an amazing organization with connections to Dana Farber and Brigham and Women’s hospitals.

I remember when my son was here, never once were we asked to leave the room during his care, we had doctors, nurses, and even a priest come by to ask if we need anything. We were kept in the loop constantly whether on site or not, and still feel we owe a lot to the wonderful care our boy received. Today he is a healthy five-year-old whom, excepting a scar on his stomach, you would never know had been through such a traumatic ordeal.

Where to donate:
Click here.



I usually put a little shameless self-promotion down here. Not today, go back up!

 

 

 

 

From My Writing Playlist

Yeah, no Heavy Metal playlist is complete without at least 5 songs by Dragonforce. This song is pure adrenaline. It makes you feel good, it’s upbeat, and I love it.

When to Listen: Well, it’s on my general playlist and I like to listen to it whenever, but if you’re looking for a specific time to listen to it… burnout. I’m not kidding. Are you tired of writing? Take some time off and before going back to it, listen to this song.



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.  I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.
Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Thanks friends!
Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

Writing for a Niche Audience, a guaranteed way to reduce your sales/exposure #Writing #Author #Advice

Hi Jim,

I was reading some of the advice you’ve been giving out. I wanted to know what you think is the absolute worst thing a writer can do (besides giving up), when they go to get published? What is your #1 no-no?

Best,
Len


Hi Len,

I’m certain I’ve been asked this one before, and I’m also certain that I don’t remember what that advice was at this point. Given that everyone grows and changes in their writing, beliefs, etc. so too will opinions. So if you find this contradictory to a previous post about what’s most important, I apologize and this is not meant to invalidate that piece of advice.

Here we go… I think one of the worst things a person can do is create exclusionary works. Now, what do I mean by that? Well… on twitter, I see all the time writers listing in their profile ‘Mysteries FOR WOMEN’ or ‘Fiction for Guys’ or some other dumb move like ‘Writer of Women’s literature’. Perhaps worst of all ‘Sorry (ladies/guys) this is for (insert group here) only.’ It get’s even worse when you start drawing towards racial or cultural lines. This is a trend that I’ve seen taking off recently. Even in book stores. Go into Barnes and Noble and look at the ‘African American Literature section’. That’s catering to a niche audience. However, say you’ve got someone who’s looking for something in classic literature or perhaps bypassed that section all together because it’s a small one off to the side whereas the main literature section further back is significantly larger and more diverse. Why would you NOT want your book in that section? Think about it. Someone goes in, looking for something, they stand a better chance of randomly coming across your book, the book that they didn’t even know that they were looking for, in a section that doesn’t come off as exclusionary.

Look, there is certainly nothing wrong with writing on a certain subject matter, about a certain group, or making a story centric to a specific population or culture, that’s perfectly fine and should be encouraged. Some of the best fantasy stories I’ve ever read came from different parts of the world. It’s actually fun comparing and contrasting European, African, and Asian views on dragons. There are some really cool similarities with them that make for a compelling case that perhaps some creature existed that may account for such stories.

However, when you start trying to completely tailor your writing to a niche audience, you are almost guaranteeing yourself a lower readership. It gets even worse when you go on social media and straight up tell these people, “I’m writing for a specific audience. I don’t want or need the rest of you reading my book.”

That’s not only going to drive away a significant audience, it’s also going to drive away some of your desired audience, because guess what? A lot of your audience don’t like the idea of standing out in that way either. That is one way to really hurt your sales.

In the end, write however you want. Write what your heart desires and what you like to read. If you want to write a story about African Tribes successfully repelled slavers, go for it! You want to write about justifying Japan’s attack on Pearl? Hell, I’d actually like to read that one, I’ve always seen a lot of the stories surrounding that to be very skewed in one direction. You want to write alt-history? I’m all for it, just don’t intentionally push readers away. Most of us are already in niche markets, further pushing things is just going to make for a much harder sell for your book and that is the worst thing you can do.

Anyway, I hope this helps answer your question. Readers, what do you think? What’s the worst thing a writer can do in your opinion?



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Note:
If you have read my books, PLEASE log into Amazon and post a review. I really love to hear everyone’s thoughts and constructive criticisms. Reviews help get my book attention and word of mouth is everything in this business!

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

Off My Writing Playlist #Music #Metal #Writing

No Junjou Na Kanjou… let me come right out now and say this… I don’t speak Japanese. I never have. I tried to… but foreign languages are not my strong suit. I successfully learned Latin, and still botch it up on a regular basis when trying to speak it.

Then what are you doing listening to this?

Do you have to understand everything in order to appreciate it? Consider… how many songs out there do you listen to that have Na na, la la, doot doos, scat, chanting in languages you don’t know, or (God help you) yodeling? Several popular songs out there these days have these things. You don’t understand what they’re saying, but you don’t think twice about it.

I look at this like listening to something without lyrics. The vocals, to me, are simply another musical instrument playing.

Also, I’ve tried listening to the only translated versions I’ve heard:

 

Some lyrics just don’t work when translated. This is one of those songs. The English versions are inferior in every way.

When to listen: Um… I don’t really know… right as the hero rescues his/her love? Really I listen to it all the time regardless, but that’s usually when I find myself going directly for it.



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.
jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com
I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.
Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

You can also add me on Twitter!

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Thanks friends!
Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

The Ins and Outs of Publishing, A Directory of Advice. #Writing #Author #Advice

Okay, so it looks like I’m still getting a lot of publishing questions. These are recurrent questions I get on a regular basis, and while I want to try to respond to everyone who reaches out to me, I don’t want my blog becoming redundant. So I think I’m going to repost this on a weekly basis from now on to help people navigate the publishing world. I don’t really see another way around it.

So if you have questions regarding publishing, PLEASE check below to see if any of this helps you before reaching out. I’m always happy to help, but I may have already answered your question.

Publishing is a tough road to navigate. Please check out the links below. These are previous posts I’ve made about the ins and outs of publishing. They should be of assistance in your journey:

Am I Ready To Publish? This is a must read BEFORE even considering starting the process. I can’t tell you how many authors burned bridges by not being ready.

Editing… There is a Cost That Must be Paid… or is There? You can skip this one if you’ve already had your writing edited (by someone other than you!). However, I’d still recommend reading.

Getting Published… the basics… In this post, we explore traditional publishing vs. self-publishing. Here you’ll get the pros on cons of each and the steps you need to go through in order to be successful in either.

Finally…

Copyrighting my Writing. Am I Protected? This isn’t required reading… however, if you’re concerned about plagiarism, or in the future may need to file a copyright claim, I recommend giving it a read.

Feeling overwhelmed yet? I’d be surprised if you didn’t. The only sage advice I can offer you other than the documents above is simple…

  1. Do not give up. A million “No’s” suddenly become irrelevant if you get that one “yes”.
  2. People will tell you that everyone and their mother wants to publish a book. You’re up against insurmountable odds and a flooded market. This is false. You’re not up against everyone and their mother. Permit me the luxury and I’ll prove this mathematically: First of all, take the entire group of people who want to get published. Now take that number and reduce it by roughly 60%. You just eliminated all the people who want to get something published, but don’t have the time, ability, drive, or inspiration to write. Next, eliminate another 20%. You’ve now taken down all the people who can put pen to paper but can’t afford the time/money to put the work into advertising and getting published. Eliminate another 10% who can’t take criticism and thus aren’t going to be able to get their writing properly edited. Now eliminate another 5% either don’t have the patience for or get discouraged by receiving a series of “No’s” from publishers.
    Now take that last 5% and eliminate all of them, except you. Why? Because they’re irrelevant. You have your writing and they have there’s. Whether or not you get published and how successful you are isn’t about other people’s writing. Yes, in the end, it’s you against one person, you. Whether or not I’ll ever get to buy your book off the shelf depends on you; how much time, effort, and funds you’re willing to put into your writing. So make it good!

Let’s open it up to the floor. Readers, do you have any publishing advice for our friend here? Let her know in the comments!



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Note:
If you have read my books, PLEASE log into Amazon and post a review. I really love to hear everyone’s thoughts and constructive criticisms. Reviews help get my book attention and word of mouth is everything in this business!

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

Intimate Love Without Sexual Intimacey? A Drakin Question #writing #fantasy #SciFi #literature #Fiction

Hi Jim,

I finished reading the Drakin series and wanted to ask you about Qira and Radley. In the event that both of them survived, how would that have worked? Was Radley sexually attracted to a woman that was essentially a giant lizard? How would that have even worked? Sexual attraction, at least in my opinion, is important to a relationship, so I don’t really see how they could have worked. It would have been even worse given that Qira imprinted on Radley. Just wanted to get your thoughts.

Thanks,
Laura


Hi Laura,

I have to disagree with you there. Non-sexual life partners do exist, and from what I understand, they are strong relationships. I’ve personally seen no reason why a loving, nurturing relationship cannot exist without sexual intimacy… Granted some other arrangements may need to be made with both parties involved. It’s not something I personally think I could do, but that’s me. Other people are different.

However, that is a moot point as we did find a way around it with the dragon’s ability to appear as a human. For Qira, in the novels, I attempted to imply that, given her connection to Radley, that she was among the first dragons to be able to use the ability. One could then infer that perhaps gaining the ability was in part because of the evolution of the dragon mind, but also the result of her imprinting on a human. Remember, for dragons, imprinting is both a psychological as well as physiological bond where the dragon’s body conforms to suit it’s partner. When two dragons imprint, their bodies’ cycles and chemistry is altered to better suit each other. This improves their mating abilities drastically and accounts for why drakeas numbers swelled in such a short time.

In Qira’s case, she imprinted on a human. Being that his body was biologically incompatible, her body would need to pick up the slack. This isn’t something I went into great detail on… at least not yet, I may in the future, however one could imply that her learning the ability to appear as a human is the result of her imprinting on one and her body basically giving her the ability to mate. They would never be able to conceive children, but at least it would satisfy the biological need.

I hope that makes sense. Great Question!



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Note:
If you have read my books, PLEASE log into Amazon and post a review. I really love to hear everyone’s thoughts and constructive criticisms. Reviews help get my book attention and word of mouth is everything in this business!

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim