GOOD MONDAY MORNING As an indie writer, I get involved in all kinds of projects with fellow journey writers. This week, I am pleased to participate in WINTERVIEWS, a series of Q & A’s about community and how it influences the writer and the writing. Today, I field questions about #Thurds Words @thurdwords on Twitter, a hashtag game I created four years ago. Hashtag gaming has done a lot for me. It put me in touch with kindreds and it kept me writing. As important to me as my writers group, hashtag gaming keeps me connected and it helps me #finishthatwip. Many thanks to Lexi Miles @leximilesbooks for connecting me with WINTERVIEWS. Here’s the link winterviews.org/winterviews-communities-thurds-words/
With just two chapters — that’s right — TWO chapters — left on the WIP, I though it was time to come out of #amwriting hiding to fire up the blog.
So much has happened since the start of the year, beginning with the home stretch gallop for SHELL GAME, my third in the Unapologetic Lives Series. What began as a reaction to an aggressive letter from city hall has turned into a novel journey that examines relationships through the eyes of a feral tabby cat.
Equal parts dark and humorous, SHELL GAME didn’t reveal it’s true self until the tag lines started teasing their way off of the pages.
It’s to all those amazing Twitter hashtag games geared to writers that I owe a debt for knocking the subtext loose:
#amwriting Psycho-social #cat #dramady with death and laughs #Thurds Words #ShareWrit
#SHELLGAME This time, the cat wins #2bitTues
A pastoral community tweaks when it crosses the black #cat #humor #wip #wipjoy #GuessWrite
This proves again what I have always known about art: ready or not, it finds you. And in this vein, I’m pleased to share two things, beginning with this chestnut:
Writing is one part of the author journey. Getting up and performing is another.
There’s no way to sugar coat performance: it’s tough. Even the most accomplished veterans, the late Sir Laurence Olivier most famously, suffered from mighty stage fright. Canada’s own Gord Downie from The Tragically Hip, I recently learned, is another. But reading the work is critical to getting the word out that writers are alive and well and writing. Believe me, the reading out loud gets easier with practice, and I proved it again just the other night.
Back in 2013, a group of crime-loving authors came together and launched NOIR AT THE BAR, an event that has spread across the country and south of the border too. The February 16 event in Toronto provided a golden opportunity to get up and read from the WIP. Was I nervous? You bet! Am I glad I did it? Absolutely! Writers Rob Brunet, Jennifer Soosar, Tanis Mallow, Hope Thompson, Ian Hamilton, and Howard Shrier shared their dark work with aplomb, along with Noir Founding Father Peter Rozovsky, who came all the way up from Philly to do so.
That I found myself in such august company was in large part due to hard work (the writing) but also finding the wherewithall to bravely get out to as many events as I could so that I could talk up what I was getting up to (the writing). The invitation to read at Noir followed.
Which leads to the second chestnut:
Talking about your work is well and good as long as you pass on the good karma by talking about the work of others.
The incredible power of the Twitter hashtag game cannot be stressed enough. For while the Twitterverse is huge, it lends itself to lasting relationships forged through shares, one line at a time.
Case in point: A group of us recently got together and pooled our hashtag games under the umbrella of #GuessWrite. Each month, game hosts like yours truly, offer up a different theme that acts as a clue to a single, larger #GuessWrite theme. The lucky participant(s) that guess the theme share in a prize pack offered up by the hosts. It is through this that I am able to share this space with February 2017 #GuessWrite winner Tanya Chris. Tanya and I have crossed paths many times through #2bitTues #1lineWed #ThruLineThurs, #Thurds Words and many, many more. Yet it is through the shared resources of participating writer gamers that I have the honor to feature her work here.
I can feel the good Karma, already. Can you?
And so it is, without further ado, that I sign off here and get to work on Tanya’s feature post, which will go live later today.
Such joy to be back here in the Blogosphere!
Adult, unapologetic and wholly cognizant,
#amwriting #amblogging #amreading #amsharing #writerslife
February 17, 2017
If you’re like this writer and Twitter is your place to #promote, #network and #share in that glorious thing called #trending, then you’ve probably heard of #2bitTues and #1lineWed. For those who don’t and are asking “What are these?” read on as you race to set up your Twitter account.
In a word or twenty, these are hashtags used on appointed days by writers of all competencies to showcase works in progress (#WIPs). There are multiple benefits in doing this. First, the writer draws tremendous oooomph from celebrating the thing they are hard at work on with others in the same situation. Copping a “like” or a venerable retweet (#RT) from a brother in arms is the proverbial shot in the arm for a writer in isolation. Receiving a #Follow from a sister traveler is even better. You are reinforced, spurred on in the knowledge that you are not alone. Best of all, you are getting your work out there, commanding the attention of like-minded’s. Such is the divine stuff of #networking.
The second benefit of Twitter play is that the writer grows like never before. Nothing says “edit, edit, edit” like the limitations imposed by tweeting. Take your glorious one liners with all their deverbal gerbils, things ending in “ly” and fave repeat actions like ‘nodding’ and ‘glancing’ and the scribe quickly finds how easy it is to slay with impunity the darlings that aren’t really needed when crushing a zinger into 140 characters.
That said, there is a cool trend emerging called “cheats” and it is from these that a third benefit is derived. Let the picture speak:
When used as an attachment to an existing tweet, one is not only able to sneak in sacred cows and darlings, but can also shoehorn in essential details like website addresses and buy links. The need to ‘cheat’ forces new skills, like mastering the art of Blip Ads easily created on your desktop using apps like Paint.
Twitter offers a vast array of hashtags to suit every marketing purpose: #MondayBlogs #TuesdayBookBlog #TeaserTuesday #WW (writer Wednesday) #ThrowBackThursday and my personal favorite #FF (follow Friday), where new book relationships are formed.
For this writer, Twitter conjures images of the wild west of old: fast, loose, dusty, loud and gritty. But it’s also a place of tremendous #spotlight and #promotion(al) potential. Recently, I launched a hashtag of my own. #Thurds, a play on “Thursday” and “Words” offers Self-pub, ePub, and Trade Pub authors of poetry and prose a place to highlight their work and advertise BUY LINKS too.
I’m pleased to be a part of the Twitterverse. In the fourteen months I’ve actively ‘played’ on it, I’ve grown my base from 74 followers to over 4,300. In doing so, I have forged friendships, kept the fires burning, and continue to foster new words at home and on the desktops of others. For those not yet there, Twitter beckons. #Follow.
Adult, unapologetic and cognizant, I am,
Geo Buy Link: http://myBook.to/ScooterNation
Geo Buy Link: http://myBook.to/heuerlostandfound
Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/u/0/118051627869017397678
Amazon Author Page: www.amazon.com/author/abfunkhauser