Mother of the Mountain

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Madremonte Columbia

Forest mother that protects flora and fauna from mankind.

  • The mother of the mountain has been described as an elegant woman who wears moss and leaves with a green hat to conceal her face.
  • You’ll find her living in the jungle and whenever she bathes in a river, her presence will cause flooding and heavy storms.
  • Her motive lies within protection. She will haunt those who steal land and casts plagues on those who fall under that realm.
  • She also dislikes unfaithful spouses, vagabonds, and other types of problem makers. When these people walk through her forest, they’ll encounter numerous obstacles to wear them down and force them to sleep for many hours on end.
  • She’s also compared to that of Mother Nature.

Downsizing Your Writing

Inspired solely on the act of decluttering a home, we’re talking about a part of editing some people dread: downsizing the finished product.

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There is a such thing as writing too much. Spending an excessive amount of your time world-building all at once, having long conversations between characters to reveal information, or describing your characters in great physical detail and not focusing on the plot. These are examples! There can be all kinds of details you may be able to omit!

If you find yourself growing insecure or anxious about your ability to write effectively for an audience, you may want to begin the downsizing process.

Those moments too large (or too long)…revisit them. Break it down and see what can be taken out. What’s important to your writing is showing your reader what’s going on around your character or how your character(s) perceive the world – not telling your reader. They won’t feel it.

Small details may be important to hold onto so save them in a note on the side. They might be able to be woven into the narrative in a flowing manner.

Try to set a time frame in which you’ll work on this form of editing. And if you have to – do it more than once. You’ll realize how a whole paragraph may only needed to be one sentence.

Seven Heads

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Uchchaihshravas India

“Seven-headed flying horse that became king of horses.”

Basic Facts:

  • The uchchaihshravas is the steed of the God King. But also the horse of the King of Demons.
  • The horse is described to be snow white, probably attributed to the creation of the horse. It came to life during the churning of the milk ocean, also called Samudra manthan.
  • Wonder what the name of the horse means? Long ears or neighing aloud. This is a pretty straight forward description of what horses embody.
  • Before becoming the King of horses, the uchchaihshravas was deemed the best of horses and a prototype by his master, Indra.
  • When born, there were other treasures who came from the churning of the milk ocean. The king of horses was not lonely!

Sea Spirit & Alcohol

Welcome back to The Write Nook and HRM’s place to splurge on random information!

With a new year comes new formats and new topics. As always, we’re excited to share our list of recent publications (in the audio department) and talk about whatever aspiring writers and published authors are dying to know. Or we’re ready to sit down with a cup of coffee and talk writing. Whatever the case may be, we’re excited to share this new year with you!

Even though we’ll be diving into new things, don’t think we’re going to abandon our weekly mythology lesson. This week is our last week in Japan (metaphorically…not physically!) So, keep reading if you’re interested in spirits who like to drink!


 

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Shōjō | Japan

“Red-faced sea spirit with a fondness for alcohol.”

Basic Facts:

  • Shōjō is also used to refer to someone who likes alcohol.
  • There is a Noh mask for the shōjō. Noh is a well-known form of classical Japanese musical drama. The performers use masks, costumes, and props to tell the story at hand through dance.
  • A shōjō is also a term for an orangutan!
  • There are legends surrounding the shōjō drinking the beer brewed in breweries. Watch your beer, friends!
  • They’re described to look like apes (hairy, too!) And with bright red hair and blushing faces. They wear clothes made from seaweed – and no surprise, you’ll usually find them by coasts, islands, and shallow waters.

(Almost) Ending the Year On Some Trendy Business

We know, we know…it’s not our last post of the year, but it’s close to it! We figured it would be good for anyone looking into getting published to get the heads up: the results are in, publishing trends are here.

Before we get started though, we want to direct you to the source in which the general info comes from. Opinions and advice are ours! But check out this blog/publishing service.

Let’s get right into it!

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  1. First and foremost, is the decline in reading going to push writers away from publishing their work?

    We vote a big fat NO. Reason being, we see the decline in reading as a way to push writers to treat their work with care (and to get into e-Pubbing, but we’ll discuss in a second.) Getting all the pre-publication shenanigans out of the way is something so many people don’t truly pay attention to – so maybe, it’s time we give our precious work some TLC and hire a few people to take a look at what we’ve got.

  2. Print books remain #1. What does this mean for you?

    While everyone (or maybe it was just me) believes that eBooks are the only way to read now, we come here to confirm: this is not true. Print books remain the champion of reading (even if less people do the act of reading.) Now, before you comment and say, “getting my book printed will cost so much money” or “I can’t seal the deal with PRH or Tor or any of those big publishers!” Don’t forget about print-on-demand: the most efficient way for a self-published author to get their book in physical format! So you can still make your way into the print market without a major publishing deal (sorry, big guys.)

  3. Audiobooks are still on the rise!

    We love audiobooks here at HRM. We talk about them enough to say we’re not surprised they’ll continue to rise come the new year.
  4. We’ve talked about it once, we’ll talk about it again: hybrid/collaborative publishing is important and will continue to rise in popularity in 2019. Why should it be important to you?

    Hybrid publishing and collaborative publishing are important mediums to self-published authors (or writers looking into self-publishing.) We want the quality of a major publisher (you know, the big tough editors and the fantastic printing jobs) but since deals from them are far and few between, we need an alternative. An alternative where we have creative flexibility and control over the work in question. These mediums are just that. They provide the quality care to your work as well as giving you the power over it – with consideration, of course. Major publishing houses ensure a bigger paycheck, but why not get your foot in the door to start?

  5. Marketing is your best friend.

    We talk about marketing a lot on this blog. It’s an important part of being a writer/author who wants exposure. If you’re interested in keeping up with a variety of marketing tactics, just use the search bar for this blog and we guarantee you’ll come across something.

 

Happy Holidays, everybody!

Simplicity & Books

Keeping up with book trends and sales? Don’t worry. We are too. There will always be highs and lows, one extreme to another. This isn’t really a trend but just a little something we noticed in the office. Everything is so simple.

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Sure, writing the book isn’t simple…getting the book to be noticed by an editor/publisher isn’t simple…the process of production isn’t simple…but when the final product of the book is in the author’s hands or a trusty reader’s yearning finger tips…do they just look at the cover and think, it’s so simple? We’re referring to the cover art itself. And because we came across a list of books in which the title said, “Most Beautiful…”, we thought it was about time we sit down and chat about cover art. Again.

Calling something beautiful is subjective to the writer of the article. Some of the titles on this list have been hyped up and plastered all over the internet, they were bound to become bestsellers. But there was one common thing among the covers we needed to stress. They’re so simple. There’s nothing wrong with simplicity but the simplicity of these books has helped bump up sales revenue. Many fiction titles are beginning to look…uniform. Once again…there’s nothing wrong with it. It’s getting money in someone’s pocket, regardless.

We’re not here to dictate what you should do with your book. But if you find yourself in need of change and you could envision a bit of abstract art or an object as the cover of your book, then maybe it’s time you send out a few emails to the cover designers out in the world. You may appeal to a new crowd looking for the simple covers that get them wondering what the heck the cover is trying to tell them.

Thank goodness we live in a digital age where all we have to do is delete and upload a new image.

The Least Expected Myth

This week’s mythological monster is a day late but well worth it! This week’s highlight was one for the books and a new one even I hadn’t heard of.

Keep reading if you want to hear about a bolt of cotton that will smother you to death if given the chance.


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Ittan-momenJapan

“Sentient roll of cotton that flies through the night and suffocates people.”

Basic Facts:

  • In Japanese mythology, the ittan-momen is a Yōkai, more specifically a Tsukumogami. A yōkai is a supernatural spirit in folklore while a tsukumogami is a tool that has been possessed by a supernatural spirit. Haunted items…spooooooky.
  • These spirits are more likely to be found in Kagoshima.
  • The type off cotton possessed is also what can be used to make clothes. Check your labels!
  • “Ittan-momen” literally translates to “one bolt of cotton” or “one tan of cotton.” It gives the idea of what the measurements are of the item (28.8 cm by 10 m).
  • Believe it or not…the ittan-momen has been adapted plenty in Japanese modern culture. Shows (anime, primarily) and monuments have been made in appreciation.

Will It Do Any Good?

Have you ever come across bookmarks, notebooks, or any other forms of physical memorabilia for a book? Have you ever wanted your own books to have this form of promotional material?

We usually like to encourage anyone to follow what they think is best for their books to gain exposure, but here we suggest you consider this option.

Handing our bookmarks at readings or signings will always get your fans excited for free merchandise. But if you’re an indie author with a large online audience and market for yourself (meaning you’re more an eBook-established author)…you have to consider what your audience would utilize.

For example, people love key chains. Especially decorative ones…or is that just me? Maybe getting a load of key chains printed with your book cover or favorite creatures from your book on the face…that’ll get people talking.

Unfortunately, not a lot of genres can venture down the road of promotional material because it just doesn’t fit. So, we’ll keep brainstorming how other genres can be promoted with physical gifts!thinking.gif

A Writer’s Self Care Routine

  1. If you write with the help of a beverage, we suggest anything caffeinated.
  2. Eat. This is a gift not many writers get to enjoy. We would advise sticking to something quick and fatty, but if you’re watching your health, don’t listen to us.
  3. Remember that killing off characters is necessary in some stories. So, sit back, relax, and plot the next death in your tale.
  4. Stuff your handy-dandy notebooks with every single idea that comes to your head. Your brain will thank you later.
  5. Sleep. You deserve it.

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As Summer Comes To An End…

…our reading becomes a bit more spookier!

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At the top of our list is A Killer’s Mind by Mike Omer, one of our writers with HRM. Published by Thomas & Mercer, an Amazon imprint, we are so excited to display this on our shelves!

Want a blurb? Here you go:

Three Chicago women have been found strangled, embalmed, and posed as if still alive. Doubting the findings of the local PD’s profiler, The FBI calls on forensic psychologist Zoe Bentley to investigate.

Zoe quickly gets off on the wrong foot with her new partner, Special Agent Tatum Gray. Zoe’s a hunter, intense and focused; Tatum’s a smug maverick with little respect for the rules. Together, they must descend into a serial killer’s psyche and untangle his twisted fantasies, or more women will die. But when the contents of three inconspicuous envelopes reveal a chilling connection to gruesome murders from Zoe’s childhood, suddenly the hunter becomes the hunted.