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21 Quite Useful Things to Do With a Book; aside from read it…

The Book of KnowledgeI confess to being guilty of Twitter wilfing in search of witty literary articles and am now completely fascinated by the mish mash of quality reading and utter dross that resides there.

I’ve seen (not read) 10 Inspirational Tracks to Write to, 5 Unorthodox Things to do with Your Characters, Top 10 Bad Author Pseudonyms, need I go on?

They say if you can’t beat them, join them, so here’s my stab at making you giggle with 21 Useful Things to Do With a Book; aside from read it.

Paperback purists, please proceed directly to the end of the article, whistle for a few minutes and forget you ever started reading this article…

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Is Social Media Important for Authors? Ask Anthony

Anthony RavenwoodWe have a prolific writer and talented musician in our stable of amazing authors, Mr Anthony Ravenwood.

He penned The Breathing Wheel, a children’s fantasy fiction book with wonderful illustrations by Stephen Bayliss and it landed on bookshelves at the tail end of last year.

He is now fully immersed writing a soundtrack to accompany his story and will be giving live performances in the not too distant future. If I had to pick a couple of artists to give you a sense of his musical style, I would say Peter Gabriel, Pink Floyd, Genesis, Alan Parsons; I’m sure you get the idea…

Anyway, this was meant to be about how social media can elevate your status and spread your message but I suspect I may also have piqued your interest for this enigmatic author.

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Top Advice For Entering Writing Competitions

TortoiseBelieve me, I know how it feels to be a writing competition addict.

You wake up with a burning urge to flip the computer on and sniff through your email to see if news of any fresh ones have surfaced.

Your mental traffic lights flash from amber to green with ideas and you find yourself people watching as you stand in the queue for the bus, scrutinising fellow passengers for their quirky mannerisms.

But what happens if your excitement gets the better of you and you upload or post your entry and fee, only to find out after the event that you forgot a crucial, silly, tiny, eenie, weenie detail that could have invalidated all of your hard work?

Arrrggghh, comes to mind!

So, what’s the magical advice?

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Can You Pot Your Summer into a Short Story or Poem?

front_loresIf it’s quirky and has entertaining read-back value, why not sling it in as an entry to the Magic Oxygen Literary Prize!

We’ve had a marvellous response to the launch of our inaugural writing competition and received some fabulously diverse entries already.

We’ve had sad, funny, criminal, quirky, romantic, saucy and more than a modicum of bizarre; all in all, a perfect blend.

A handful of this week’s entries have sprinklings of sunshine and adventure in them and I suspect the delightful UK summer (rarer than a lesser spotted twitchernit) inspired a few of our entrants to grab a pen and party.

How about you?

Mark Twain knew precisely what he was talking about when he said, Write what you know!’

So, dear creative and excitable writers everywhere, it’s time to ask yourself the following questions.

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How to Present Your Manuscript in 10 Easy Steps

An Untidy ManuscriptWe get an interesting variety of calls at Magic Oxygen from budding authors who want to talk about their manuscripts, some of which are sitting under virtual lock and key and others have been sitting on top of the wardrobe gathering dust and dead spiders, patiently waiting for the perfect moment to burst forth.

We love it when that timely event combines with finding Magic Oxygen’s contact details, because only a few things come close to talking to somebody about making their literary dreams come true.

Assuming (a) the writer can string an entertaining sentence or two together and (b) the initial discussions go well, step (c) will be to look at the practical steps that need to take place to turn the manuscript into a paperback, graphic novel, play, e-book etc.

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Update on 'Action Plan for Living With an Alcoholic' by Lilly Laine

Cover for Action Plan for Living With an AlcoholicWe are delighted to let you have a sneak peak of the finished cover for our latest title, ‘Action Plan for Living With an Alcoholic’ by Lilly Laine, due for publication on 10th March, just before St Patrick’s Day.

The subtitle leaves the reader in no doubt about the content. It’s, ‘A Survival Guide for Partners and Spouses’ and has been penned with refreshing clarity by a lady who knows all about how it feels to live with a serious alcohol dependent, in Lilly’s case it was her husband.

After years of trying all the usual tactics to get him to stop drinking, Lilly realised she was physically and mentally at her rock bottom, just like her husband.

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The Ideal Accompaniments

Laurel ad Hardy saying 'Shh'

We are delighted to re-post a blog entry made on Tracey West’s website.

She is our sustainable living and more recently, divorce author and she knows a thing or two about dark writing in the dark!

Enjoy and feel free to leave a comment with your secret.

The widely acclaimed crime writer, P D James recently commented on what she needs around her in order to start writing.

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How to Deal With a Negative Critique

Duck ShootAn interesting therianthropy occurs once you put your head above the parapet (and pen to paper) and share your views on your specialist subject.

You become one of those dented yellow tin ducks that you see at fairgrounds and fair game for anyone with a sniper rifle who holds a strong view, about the way you have laid out your view.

There are several reactions to have following a harsh critique of your body of work. You can either 1) learn from their opinion 2) take it on the chin, or 3) take umbrage and get all unnecessary about it.

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Give in to the Midnight Oil

Image by Recoverling of Writing in the DarkIf there’s one thing we know about creative writing – being passionate lovers of the English word ourselves of course – it’s that the inspiration for penning a smart line or two doesn’t necessarily arrive with gracious announcement between the respectable hours of 9am and 5pm.

En mass sentences, paragraphs, lyrics and bullet points are as likely to descend upon you between 9pm and 5am, with a screaming instruction to release themselves onto paper.

What scant consideration for beauty sleep, ye wretched words; some of us really need it!

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Magic Oxygen Publishing Tips for New Authors #2

Sad DogWe love hearing from aspiring authors, bursting with creative energy on their quest to find out what they need to do to get on the shelf.

It’s incredibly inspiring for us to hear that in an industry so often draped in rejection or no reply whatsoever to requests from new talent, writers continue to push their ideas forward with gusto.

The Team have received a few interesting manuscripts recently for a free review and are currently enjoying the warm weather and lots of cups of tea, whilst diving into them.

We thought it might be helpful to share insight on some of the common problems we’ve flagged up during our read throughs, to help you get your manuscripts in the best possible shape before you submit them to your publishing house of choice and of course, we hope that’ll be us!

Continue reading Magic Oxygen Publishing Tips for New Authors #2