Monday, April 17, 2017


I signed up to be part of a four-day Book Lover’s Book Fair two years ago. I had no idea what I was doing then. I have no clue what I’m doing now. I’ve missed my self-imposed deadlines. I won’t have a new book to highlight. I can’t quite figure out how to stand out in a crowd of authors that do these book fair deals one-hundred-weekends of the year. 

Then there are the classes I’ve been attending at every writer’s conference and seminar with titles in the form of lists. Lists of everything that a writer should not do, or they’ll die a dozen poorly plotted deaths before they’ve gotten out of bed—not to mention when they’re at book fairs. The endless, negative lists that mean well but confirm every deadly fear you’ve ever had as a writer/author/artist/dream weaver/scribble monkey. 

Because, you, my friend, are doing it WRONG! 

Lists! They’re the worst. For example . . .

Seven Mistakes Authors Make Before They Pee In The Morning 

Twelve Horrible Book Covers Authors Should Reject Before Anyone Sees Them, Including You!

Thirty Biggest Writing Goofs That Scream, ‘Silly Amateur Writer Person Trying to Write Some Good Word Stuff Very Okay!’

Twenty Secret Things Every Reader Wants, But You’re Not Stuffing In That Story! 

Ninety-Nine Ways To Make A Cardboard Character HOT Enough To Catch Cardboard on Fire!

Sometimes, I’m not only afraid to think outside the box, but I’m afraid that the box has already swallowed me and is now digesting me in its sleep. But I swim on: typing, backspacing, re-typing, printing, experimenting, trying, retrying, and thinking, “Take your lists and go fold a box.”

So, off to the book fair conference I go. It’s going to be a fact-finding mission if nothing else. I might dress up as a survivalist and hand out chunks of hard tack with a list, Top Ten Ways To Eat Hard Tack, as an introduction to Prepper Fiction. How’s that for thinking outside the box?

Linda (Listing to the Right) Zern

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