December 2010

Year-End Roundup

When designing our “Life Lessons from the Desert” 2011 Calendar, Tim compiled the book covers of all my releases and reprints for 2010.  Another busy year!

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WINDS OF DUNE in Afghanistan

Brian and I just received this letter from a Marine stationed in the desert.  Perhaps not as unpleasant a place as fictional Arrakis, but still a tough place to do pleasure reading:

“Hi, I am a U.S. Marine over in Afghanistan right now and since I joined the Marines I haven’t read a book in three years. Since I have been out here for my second deployment I found your book “The Winds of Dune”. Because of your book it has got me back into reading again, every chance I get to read I take it. So I just wanted to say thanks for getting me reading again.”

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Free Teacher’s Guide Now Available for STAR CHALLENGERS: MOONBASE CRISIS

The Challenger Centers for Space Science Education have created a detailed Teacher’s Guide to accompany the first novel in the Star Challengers series, Moonbase Crisis.  This Guide is an educational companion to help extend the learning as students enjoy the novel.

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Panel Schedule for Superstars Writing Seminar

Here’s the schedule of panels for the next Superstars Writing Seminar, which will be held in Salt Lake City, January 13–15.  As you can see from the list of topics, this three-day seminar is packed with great stuff, no-nonsense and practical material taught by six bestselling authors.   We’re not aware of anything comparable for the serious aspiring, or even professional, writer.

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Free Writing Podcast and $200 Discount on Superstars Writing Seminar

Rebecca and I just did an hour-long Writers Advisory conference call about collaborating, various techniques, the reasons to do it, pitfalls, etc.  You can listen to the MP3 free by clicking on

Collaboration Discussion

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Free Music Downloads from Terra Incognita CDs

Getting started a little early on the holiday gifts.  We have arranged with ProgRock Records to offer free downloads of two complete Roswell Six music tracks, one from each Terra Incognita CD.

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Writing Productivity Tip #11—KNOW WHEN TO STOP

The last entry in a series of eleven tips to help you get more time for writing, and to produce more writing when you do have time.

Science fiction master Robert Heinlein proposed a set of rules for writers.  His first two are “You must write” and “You must finish what you write.”  Endless polishing and editing and revising and polishing again and then rewriting and then editing does not make a story perfect—it just makes a story endless.

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Writing Productivity Tip #10—GET INSPIRED!

A series of eleven tips to help you get more time for writing, and to produce more writing when you do have time.

Every creative writing teacher repeats the classic axiom, “Write about what you know.”  Therefore, it stands to reason that the more you know, the more things you’ll be able to write about.

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Writing Productivity Tip #9—THINK OUTSIDE THE KEYBOARD

A series of eleven tips to help you get more time for writing, and to produce more writing when you do have time.

After the previous tip, now that you’ve set up the perfect established writing spot, keep in mind that this is not the only way you can write.  Your word processor isn’t the only tool you have.

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Writing Productivity Tip #8—CREATE THE BEST WRITING ENVIRONMENT FOR YOURSELF

A series of eleven tips to help you get more time for writing, and to produce more writing when you do have time.

So, you’ve developed a writing routine, set up an office or at least a place where you use your laptop.  It’s the way you’re accustomed to writing.  But habit doesn’t necessarily make your setup the best.  Have you ever stepped back with an objective eye to consider whether it works for you?

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