My Blog is Now Available on the Kindle

Subscribe to mlvwrites on the Amazon KindleAnd now for a public service announcement.

If you enjoy reading my trials and tribulations and appreciate the blood, sweat and tears that has gone into this blog over the years, then you may want to consider taking advantage of a new service. Now, you can read my posts from the comfort of your own e-reader, the Amazon Kindle.

Included with your subscription is a fourteen day free trial. And yes, the listing is under my name as opposed to And yes, my name is quite long, a subscription in and of itself.

I hope you’ll consider adding me to your queue. I may even wind up emulating the letter “E” in my posts…

Educate, Enlighten, Entertain…

Sign Up for My Newsletter for Free Fiction

Based on the feedback I’ve received over the past couple of months, my monthly newsletter is going to take on a more personal tone. Each month, newsletter subscribers will receive free fiction in their In Box.

To read free fiction, all you have to do is sign up for my monthly newsletter. I use a third party provider called “MailChimp.” They have a great privacy policy and whitelisting service built into their interface.

I hope you’ll consider being a part of my growing community of readers, colleagues and friends. Thanks so much for supporting my work!

– Monica

Day 5 of 100: Social Media is More Than Noise

Well, it’s the fifth day now since I’ve started this one-hundred day blackout, and already I can tell that this experiment wasn’t as simple as “tuning out the noise.” What I found, through the course of dealing with a bunch of snafus, is that I’ve been relying on these tools to resolve problems. For some of those issues, like communicating when my site goes down, there is no other tool that exists to send out a message.

Going dark has forced me to circumvent what I normally do, in an attempt to resolve a problem I normally solve through social media. I didn’t expect that to happen. I mean, it’s not even the end of the week and I’m already realizing I use these tools for more than just inane babble and telling you what I eat every day.

Note: I heartily enjoy a decent plate of nachos with real cheese. None of that orange reconstituted dust in a can business.

Sorry, I just had to throw that in there. Anyway, it’s interesting that I’ve experienced first-hand what I often tell people about social media. These are tools that have multiple uses. They don’t just facilitate a constant stream of noise; pick apart what Twitter or Facebook or IMs are being used for and they turn into complex information networks.

Believe me, while I miss some of the conversations with friends that live long distances away, I am enjoying the break. Written words are sounds to me; always have been, always will be. So cutting down on that stream has helped me shrink my world considerably, which is what I felt I needed to do.

I’m not going to post during my appearance at OddCon, but I will do a wrap-up post for the week and another one about OddCon. I’m curious to see if anyone is going to bring this experiment up; I’ve had a few instances where people I’ve never met before mention things that I’ve said online. We shall see what the weekend brings, I suppose. Hopefully, a million sales of The Queen of Crows, right? RIGHT?

What? I’m innocent! No, really.

Okay, you can stop laughing now.

About 100 Days: From April 4th to July 13th I’m turning the lights off on Facebook, Twitter and IMs for personal use. Read 100 Days: Turning off the Lights on Social Media for more information. You can also read the 100 Days post archive.

[My Guest Post] Are You Owning, Renting or Leasing Your Writing?

This month at the How To Write Shop I was inspired to talk about content ownership. As in: your content ownership.

Although the internet is filled with tools to publish and produce stories, blog posts, images, etc. not every tool is creator-friendly. In this case, I’m not talking about copyright. Instead, I’m talking about something much, much more frightening. Many places that you post your words online–including Facebook–spell out the fact that you do not own your own content. What’s worse, in some cases you rescind your rights even after you delete your content.

Why does this matter? Writers, artists, photographers, illustrators, musicians, etc. make a living not only by the creation of original content, but by its distribution. For people like us, our words are valuable because it’s what we get paid to do. In other words–your content is your greatest treasure. –SOURCE: Do You Own, Rent or Lease Your Content?

In the article, I also offer five tips on how you can ensure that your content is exactly where you want it to be. To read them, visit Do You Own, Rent or Lease Your Content? at the How to Write Shop.

Leafy Links for Mon, Dec 13: Writing, Blogging and Publishing

Thought I’d pop in and offer you some reading material. This is a mix of links about query letters, publishing, blogging and writing. A virtual link salad filled with leafy goodness to feed your head.

  • Why You Can’t Make Money Blogging from – I stumbled upon this late yesterday, and I absolutely have to put this one at the top of the list. The message of the article really resonates with my own observations about being online. To quote the article: “If you don’t offer customers something they dearly want, whether it’s to gain some great pleasure or escape some great pain, you’re not going to make any money.” Amen.
  • Seth Godin’s Domino Project – Hot off the heels from the PR frenzy that this marketing guru left his publisher, is now backing a new publishing venture. Why am I watching this? For two reasons: one, Godin is a brilliant marketer and strategist. Two, I’m more interested to see how other people will react and whether or not someone will apply this to fiction. To be clear: The Domino Project will be run by a small press comprised of hand-picked people specifically for non-fiction.
  • 10 Tips for Writing Flash Fiction from – Flash fiction is extremely popular right now. Writer’s Digest featured a ton of markets you can sell your flash fiction story earlier this year. More and more—this format is turning into a great way to offer a free sample of your own writing. These 10 tips are a great wrap-up for helping you shore up this fun format. I love writing flash!
  • How to Write a Query Letter from Writer Beware – Victoria Strauss is one of my virtual heroines. If you haven’t checked out Writer Beware, then you’re doing yourself a disservice. In this post, she gives a step-by-step process for writing a query letter
  • Top 10 Query Mistakes from Rachelle Gardner – This article is written from a literary agent’s perspective and gives you the skinny on what mistakes to avoid. Be sure to check out the comments, too, for more information.
  • Write and Wrong from Ari Marmell on – I’ve known Ari for a while via the gaming industry. He’s a really personable guy who has managed to expand his publications to include his original work. In his article this week on, he talks about why you should be cautious when reading books giving advice on writing. If you’re interested in learning more about Ari’s work, be sure to check out his preview of THE CONQUEROR’S SHADOW on
  • Daily Blog Tips – There’s quite a few sites and personalities out there that talk about blogging, but I was impressed with this one because of articles like How to Build Your Credibility as an Expert While Blogging and 30 Traffic Generating Tips, which was written by several, different contributors. And, they have a whole category devoted to “Strategy.” A site after my own heart!
  • Writing Conferences for January to March 2011 from the How To Write Shop – I don’t know about you, but I hate having to hunt down news about writing conferences, conventions and events. This is a list compiled by my friend Lori Devoti covering writing conferences that are going on around the U.S.
  • Galley Cat on – You may already read publishing news from Publisher’s Weekly; keep up-to-date with Galley Cat and I guarantee you’ll be well-versed in industry news. I’ve backed off from reading industry news unless it comes sprawling in my lap, just because I want to pay attention to what’s relevant to what I’m pitching or doing now. News about bankruptcies, the changing market, etc. can really get depressing, but I’m a long ways away from being affected by the flux.

  • Hope you enjoy your link salad!

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