Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Exclamation Points! Be careful! They can be dangerous!

Yes, I love them too! Exclamation points are so wonderful! As young writers we learn how to use them to convey excitement and big emotion! But, you know what? They can also weaken your writing and take the emotional punch out of an otherwise great book. So take a look at the video, and see what you think. https://youtu.be/nYjsTMslauY

https://www.danamentink.com/

Getting out some old school tools!

 

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I have always said that the truth is far stranger than fiction. This pandemic business has proved my point for sure. I thought I’d take a break from my my current inspy suspense series to bring you three observations about this wild and wacky time we are experiencing. 

  1. The old ways are turning out to be pretty handy after all! Last year I taught third grade and we finished the year remotely. Do you know what we did to help keep our third graders connected? We sent them postcards! Good old fashioned snail mail with actual handwritten jokes on them. You know what? They were THRILLED. A young teacher at our site wondered how the kids would stay in touch with each other. How about we try that old school technique known as…a phone call! Yep, the old dinosaur ways are still useful after all! 

2. Privacy is at a premium. We’ve got four people (two college kids and Papa Bear and me) living in a teeny tiny house along with a dog,  a box turtle and two frogs. There are online classes, work meetings, and personal calls going on all over the place. Having a private conversation is really a challenge. I have taken to sitting in my car in the garage to chat. Weird, huh? My mode of transportation has morphed into a private office! Stranger than fiction! 

3.  And the final strangeness…in order to celebrate our fifth graders graduation from school, we were asked to video tape ourselves clapping. You haven’t experienced awkward until you are cheering and clapping by yourself in the back yard while your hubby records you. Odd! Even weirder, my older bear cub is graduating from junior college and they were afraid the caps wouldn’t arrive in time, so they sent them a Snap Chat filter to photoshop a cap on their heads. 

In a million years, would you ever have expected the world to change so dramatically? Me neither. Stranger than fiction indeed! 

What strikes you as strange these days? 

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https://www.bookbub.com/profile/dana-mentink

 

Fiction Writing…it’ll cost ya, or not!

“If you have fresh ideas, a strong voice, and a simple word processor (or even a pad of paper) you can write a book.”

I am constantly amazed at how many programs, templates, gizmos and gadgets there are to enhance the life of a fiction writer. I’ve probably purchased more of these things than I shall admit to. (That nifty top of the line planner has now been consigned to the bottom of my drawer.) Sure the technology tools are sweet…programs that help you note take, organize and map out your plots, characters, etc, but you know what? A binder with tabs can help you do that as well. How about that coolio wireless pen that enables one to write notes that are transferred directly to a file on the iPad? Awesome? Yes! Necessary? No. I mean this to be an encouragement to writers out there. If you have fresh ideas, a strong voice, and a simple word processor (or even a pad of paper) you can write a book. Trust me…I’ve written more than forty with a simple keyboard and a WHOLE LOT OF BINDERS!

Rein in those horses, writers!

 

Hi, all. Just saddling up for some last round final edits and I thought I’d share some hard won wisdom with you! Check out the video link below!

https://youtu.be/wEEjw0jgUs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Follow me on my Amazon author page for all the exciting announcements!

Dana’s Amazon Author Page

Writing a novel is like square dancing…with chickens.

Easy, right? A novel is just a matter of making things up. How hard can it be? A little action, a hefty dose of romance, some snappy dialogue? Presto you have a novel….unless everything spins out of control somewhere in those last 20,000 words! Take a look at the video and see what you think.

To your corners, chickens! It’s time to write a novel

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Info about Dana’s latest series

Author reads an excerpt…

In which we explore the glamorous side of professional writing….

 

Trust me. I’m a professional.

In which I celebrate the art of snoozing!

 

Oh boy! You know what? I’ve found the secret to writing productivity…it’s called SLEEP. Personally, I haven’t slept soundly since the debacle of 1998, but things have only gotten worse over the past few years. At the moment, it’s a dry cough keeping me up. Papa Bear, perhaps having heard enough of said cough, suggested a humidifier. I was reluctant, because of a previous experience where the ceiling plaster caved in thanks to a humidifier (refer to debacle of 1998). They’ve improved these things, and we’ve improved our ceiling. Result? I slept great! I have consequently finished a chapter of my novella, two blog posts, planned a FB live event (Dec. 4, EST on the FB Dana Mentink Reader page if you are so inclined) and roasted a pan of golden beets. All this time, I thought the answer to the perfect night sleep was in the pillow (see video). Anyhoo, I am happy, celebrating the release of the Gold Country Cowboy series, and looking forward to another night of good sleep. How about you, friends? Got any good sleeping tips?

 

Lost Christmas Memories

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Author tip: top three ways to annoy people…

 

pexels-photo-958164.jpegYep, I worked real hard to land that first publishing contract and boy howdy, it wasn’t a piece of cake to land the other thirty plus either. Writing professionally is difficult and we authors have an obligation to trot our names, awards and five star reviews out into the world to encourage people to BUY OUR BOOKS, FOR CRYING OUT LOUD. Writing books goes hand in hand with selling them, and if one is to continue in this biz, tooting our author horns is vital. But here’s the thing…it’s really important to keep the priorities clear when one is in this nutty business. In order that my head does not begin to put too much stock in my press releases, I remind myself that, at the end of the day, people will not remember my cover, my book, and my reviews no matter how many stars are attached. It’s not false modesty, it’s fact. Each year more than a million books are published,  so my meticulously crafted words are buried in an avalanche of plenty of other fancy syllables from a bazillion other wordsmiths a lot more talented than I. (#noraroberts, #irenehannon, #geronimostilton)

So now that I’ve eaten that slice of humble pie, let me just wrap my mind around three sure fire practices that might just annoy the beejeebers out of my friends. (Pay attention, Dana. You don’t have that many friends to spare.)

1. Make sure you bring up your fancy author career in every conversation. Yep, it’s sure as shooting that everyone you encounter wants to hear all about your wacky fiction writing accomplishments. Maybe you could have a tee shirt made…. “I’m An Author, Legend in My Own Mind.”

2. Be sure to promote yourself NONSTOP on all social media platforms. Don’t talk about anything else, or people might get distracted. (I’ve been told I should have at least 30,000 Twitter followers. Only 28,000 to go! Must remember to beef up tweeting schedule to fifty three times a day.)

3. Never stray outside your “writing brand persona.” You’re a suspense writer so ALL of your social media channels should reflect this. (Brace yourself, people of Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, etc. I am prepared to deluge you with every kind of intense, edge of your seat promotion. Repeatedly. Over and over. Until your brain memorizes the name Dana- Buy-My-Books-Mentink. (No humor or warm fuzzy sentiments allowed, people. It’s all deadly serious business.)

All kidding aside, people, I know that the reality is I need to self promote in person and on social media, but that’s my business, my real work is encouraging people. I will never forget during my student teacher days, assisting a sobbing kiddo who dropped her special belt into the toilet. Did I stick my hand in there and fish it out? Yuppers. Was that important work? Absolutely. At the end of the day, nothing I ever write will probably mean as much as fishing a belt out of the toilet for a distraught child.

I hope I never forget that lesson.

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Info about Dana’s newest suspense novel

Why humor is dangerous…

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Writing humor can be a risky business. Drama and suspense are much safer and here’s why. For me, I’m a natural cornball and my preference is to write with humor, but humor is extremely subjective. Most people can agree on what is serious (murder, child abuse, etc.) but very few agree on what’s funny. Did you ever go to a movie that your buddy claimed was hilarious and you found yourself sitting through the whole thing without laughing once? Yeah? Me too. It’s the nature of humor, a tricky beast that’s hard to harness. I believe that’s why publishers and movie makers shy away from funny, because one person’s funny is another person’s flop. I LOVE it, though, crazy person that I am, which is why I continue to write in both the humorous and suspenseful genres, and host a series of funny videos on Instagram.

After watching my Instagram zaniness, I get a lot of folks inquiring about where I get my sense of humor. It comes from my dad, and working in public school is a great place to exercise it. (Believe you me, if you don’t have a sense of humor, you won’t last long in the classroom.) I firmly believe God gave me a sense of humor so I can lift people’s spirits, so I try to do that. There is way too much crude, insulting “humor” in the world that ridicules and puts people down. I’m not a fan of that kind.

How about you? Do you find certain things funny that others do not? Have you seen movies that didn’t quite meet your standards for a comedy?