amusing musings…considering conundra…dark sparks

Archive for November, 2007

Give a bunch of incoming links to win an Amazon gift card! has a new creative challenge. Just use the words given in a story or poem posted on your blog, with each word linked back to its page on, and you can win $100 gift certificate from Amazon. It’s  a great way to get free incoming links. I wish I had thought of it!

 The guidelines are below, copied verbatim from the site along with the give words and phrases. You might want to click on each one to find out what it means unless your vocabulary is in the top 5% of the nation. I say that because I have a two masters degrees (one in education, one in humanities) and a BS in English, and I’m not sure of the meanings of at least two of these words.

 But I’ll give it a lick and an promise anyway, to see if my praxis  for sapid prose is up to snuff and to assure my ataraxia.  If I can crank up my mantic pendulum and spew out some of my zeitgeist about subjects often considered contraband, I’ll relax with a semilunar bite of halva and enjoy the serendipty of contests.  

  • Be creative.
  • Write an original composition using no more than 750 words. Entries may be poetry, prose, fiction, essays or any other form of creatively written expression.
  • In your submission, correctly use each of the words or phrases below and hyperlink each one to the corresponding entry.
  • Please keep it clean. We’re a family-friendly site.
  • Post your submission on your blog or website. We must be able to access the entry from a direct link.
  • Fill out the entry form so we can judge your work.
  • Entries must be submitted no later than December 21, 2007.

Your creative and original submission must include each of the following words and phrases with hyperlinks to the entry for each one:


The WriteWise Program from Bookwise

Before you plunk down a few thousand to self-publish your book, please read about the WriteWise program. I am an associate of the Bookwise company, so I do have an interest in making a commission from it, but here is the information as it was given to me. Make up your own mind about the benefits, but it looks like a deal for the money.

Here’s a link to a free teleconference call that you can listen to all the information.

The program costs $4995. For that you get:


  • Your work must be in harmony with and meet BookWise standards
  • You must have the financial resources
  • You are willing to invest the time and energy

If you are selected you will receive the following:

  • Coaching to discover your unique bestselling idea
  • Admittance to a 2-Day Write Wise Writing Seminar
  • Assigned a “Book Producer”
  • Your manuscript will be finished in 2008
  • Your book will be strongly endorsed by Richard Paul Evans & Robert G. Allen
  • Richard Paul Evans and Robert G. Allen to write foreword for your book
  • RPE and RGA will be your literary agents to major publishers
  • BookWise publishing guarantees that your book will be published
  • you get 50 copies of your book for your use
  • Book editing
  • Book cover design
  • RPE and RGA will escort you to Book Expo 2008
  • RPE and RGA’s Step by step plan to make it a best seller
  • RPE and RGA’s Step by step plan for attracting media to your book
  • A “Wow” Press Release about your book
  • Mock media audition test
  • Live interview on
  • Autographed copies of all of Richard Paul Evans and Robert G. Allen’s books
  • Photo with Richard Paul Evans and Robert G. Allen for your website
  • Listed in acknowledgements of future books by Richard Paul Evans and Robert G. Allen
  • Website with purchase links and name collection
  • Learn the book industry
  • Get your book to the right people
  • Partners in BookWise publishing royalties

For comparison, see Booksurge’s Fictionwriter program at $5759
(Booksurge is a print on demand subsidiary of

  • Author’s Advantage (Black & White Interior)
  • Comprehensive Copy Editing (includes up to 3 rounds)
  • Signature Cover Design
  • Advanced Marketing Copy
  • Short paragraph describing your book
  • Condensed sentence description
  • Author biography & Publicity Kit with 500 full-color postcards, business cards, bookmarks
  • Press Release Creation
  • Targeted Press Release Distribution Service
  • Buy X, Get Y Advertising on -matching your book with a similar bestseller

iUniverse/, which is owned by Barnes & Noble, has a premium package for $2200 which includes book packaging, author support, a website (for an extra $29/month!) and marketing/editing package. You get 20 paperbacks free.

From, 10,000 copies of a 300 page book at 6×9 would cost over $56,000, roughly $5.60 each. They do not offer any assistance for editing or marketing other than their website. .

You can also contact Lee Clevenger, Southeastern Writers vice president and faculty guru about the services.

A limited number of authors will be in the program at one time in classes, so you will have support form fellow authors. If you should decide that this is for you, please contact me as an enroller. You do NOT have to join Bookwise to take advantage of this program.  Visit my WriteWise page for more information

Write ON!
If you are interested in Bookwise, having your own bookstore website and network marketing business, I’d love to hear from you. 

Information about  Richard Paul Evans and Robert G. Allen’s WriteWise program for James Brausch

Who is this Masked Woman?

Self-portrait with mask and totems

Generally speaking, that is always the most important question. Who am I behind my masks, and what masks am I wearing?  What are the images I bring with me and why have I collected that particular set of baggage?  This image reflects  my totem animals of jaguar and snake, along with my heroines, Emily Carr, Frida Kahlo and Georgia O’Keefe, who were contemporary artists of the first half of the last century. Several goddesses are noted, particularly Baubo as Isis on my forehead, who is an later incarnation of Au Set or Wadjet, who was the original Eye of Horus. In keeping with the snake theme, a small image of Medusa runs across the Jaguar’s forehead. The tattoo of my initials on my shoulder was just a lucky find–the name of the rubber stamp block was celtic borders–so I stuck it in there on top of a glamour shot picture blended with a picture of me in a mardi gras mask. So–who am I and how much of what you see is me? That is the question for each of us as we look into the mirror.

Where to Start? HERE!

Since coming back from our last residency at Pacifica, I’ve been working through the backlog of unfinished projects and neglected chores here at home. I mistakenly thought that I would have a lot of free time because I was no longer in school, and I had no teaching projects. It is a truism that any work expands to take up all the time available for it.

Now is the time for me to start using the information that I have been gathering–and to stop spending so much time “Gathering”. But I could not decide how to get started or what to do first.

Then I found James Brausch’s Info Product Creation Videos, which shows how to create information videos using Camtasia, and then how to create a website to promote those videos. I realized I already had all the tools–including a cheap version of Camtasia, a web hosting package and a microphone. While watching the videos and making notes on 5-minute market research, I began thinking of ideas for such a product–how to do APA formatting, for example, or even some of the nicer points of grammar that so many students have problems understanding like parallelism or misplaced modifiers. Then I found an Easter Egg! I won’t tell you what it is, but I was very happy to see it, and it will help me to promote the ideas that came to me as I was learning.

So today, I will start my brainstorming and freewriting to write down and orgaznize my more esoteric knowledge on these subjects and see what kind of product I can dream up. My school could use some fo these short info videos for showing people how to register online and showing instructors how to get their virtual paperwork done. I think this is going to be a lot of fun.

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