Browsing Archive: November, 2010

Is Virtual Reality Really "Real" ?

Posted by Alexander M Zoltai on Monday, November 29, 2010,
After I publish this post, I'll be taking one of my weekly trips into the virtual world, Second Life, for a listen to the next chapter in an author's live readings...

I've been involved with Second Life for about three years but it was last year when I started pre-publication for my forthcoming novel. I touched on this in a previous post.

Before I decided to do promotion in Second Life, I usually went to various Sims (separate areas built by members) to listen to music. Since I created an avata...
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Do You Talk Back To Books?

Posted by Alexander M Zoltai on Sunday, November 28, 2010,
At some point in my past, from a source I can't remember, I heard that it's therapeutic to talk back to TV ads.

I watch TV programs on the Web now so my chances for Ad-Rant-Therapy are, thankfully, shorter. But, my talking back to books has always been with me, and not just the swearing variety. Sometimes I coo at what the book is saying. I've even gotten so far into philosophical discussions with a book that I've forgotten to finishing reading it...

Reading is a creative act. Some even say tha...
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What Does "Publish" Really Mean?

Posted by Alexander M Zoltai on Saturday, November 27, 2010,
This blog is about reading, writing, and publishing. I've read one heck of a lot. I've written more than most. I'm now learning what publishing means...

I have published in the past and all those books are free to download. Now, though, I'm getting ready to publish my first novel. You can get a free pre-publication copy; and, making comments on it can get you into a special listing in the book, even a short Bio and your Web address :-)

In fact, giving away a manuscript to get feedback is par...

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Book Promotion ~ Virtual & Real

Posted by Alexander M Zoltai on Wednesday, November 24, 2010,
I started an activity over a year ago and only found out last month that the "experts" think it's a good idea.

Long before I began the writing of
my novel, I started promoting the idea of the book in Second Life--a virtual world where the residents create everything; their avatars, their houses; their landscapes; and, ultimately, their Reality.

At first, I just rented a shop on Book Island and started talking up the idea for the book. My plan was to encourage folks to discuss the book's themes ...
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One Book - One Gazzilion Reactions...

Posted by Alexander M Zoltai on Tuesday, November 23, 2010,
It's only a little over three months before I publish my first novel. I've known from my other writings that people can vary widely in their response to any given set of words. Even calling my next book a novel has varying reactions. It will top-out at about 45,000 words. Many people will tell you that a "novel" has to be at least 50,000 words.

Well, as it seems to be with all things written, there are exceptions to the "rules". One famous author, Samuel Beckett, wrote a "novel" called Mercier...

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Jumping Through The Hoops of Self-Publishing

Posted by Alexander M Zoltai on Monday, November 22, 2010,
Got back from my trip to the Chicago area last night--body exhausted, emotions drained, spirit soaring :-)

Jumped right back into all the activities I must pursue as an author choosing to self-publish; even though last night's work seems like it happened in a dream...

Significantly more conscious today. Ready to line up my sights on a few more hoops I need to jump through...

I just did a search on "jumping through hoops" ( I often go looking for things when I'm writing a blog post :-) and found ...
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Coming Out of The Writer's Cave...

Posted by Alexander M Zoltai on Tuesday, November 16, 2010,
I've been working on my novel for eleven years. Ten of those years saw four failed attempts--lengthy, sweaty, but failed.

Last year, I found the proper vehicle for the theme and I've been in my cave non-stop (except for quick jaunts to get food and such).

My comfortably small cavern has been aglow with planning, pre-publication promotion, more planning, outlining, beginning to actually write the book, lacerating the outline, watching a minor character demand a more important role in the plot (...
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Get A Free Book That Can Help You Broadcast Your Name And WebSite

Posted by Alexander M Zoltai on Monday, November 15, 2010,
If you've read previous posts or know me from Facebook or Second Life, you know my first novel will be published in March.

One thing that's become obvious over the time I've been writing the book is that pre-publication promotion is critical. There are just too many books being marketed to not get out there and do all one can to raise interest, even well before the book is written...

I started my promotion about a year before I wrote a single word of the book. Of course, I had a clear idea of w...
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What Readers Want...

Posted by Alexander M Zoltai on Sunday, November 14, 2010,
The title of this post might make you think I'm going to give you the top ten list of what readers want...

Thing is, I really can't be completely sure; even though it's important to me as a writer. I have many ideas about the topic and I continue to explore the issue. I absolutely need to consider what readers want, whether or not I ever figure it out. I'm a novelist and a blogger and I'd be foolish to never consider it.

Still, discovering what readers want is nowhere near being as easy as dete...
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Revising Your Life...

Posted by Alexander M Zoltai on Saturday, November 13, 2010,
Many readers never consider how many revisions a novel needs before it takes them on a journey.

The novel of my life has undergone nearly constant revision; and, some parts of me-the-protagonist just refuse to be changed. This doesn't mean me-the-writer-of-my-life doesn't get in there and attempt revision.

ReVision...

In art or life, if the Vision isn't clear enough, the story resists changing its texture.

In my novel {get a free pre-publication copy}, one of the planets is completely corporate....
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Just Because...

Posted by Alexander M Zoltai on Saturday, November 13, 2010,
This is a Non-Off-Topic post.

It's not about Reading, Writing, or Publishing...

But it is about the necessary conditions for all three of those activities, if...

We really want all our Brothers and Sisters in our Human Family to have a decent life.

It's simple.

Watch this video, then...

Do something about it.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Take careful note of the lyric: "What won't kill you will make you strong."
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Read Me A Story ~ Help Me Dream

Posted by Alexander M Zoltai on Friday, November 12, 2010,
Long after I became an adult, a friend persuaded me to lie on the couch and let her read to me. What a wonderful experience--not like an audio book at all--as she read and I mmm-ed and oh-ed and she added sweet asides...

I think that experience gave me the courage to, many times since, become a child again--approach experience with temporarily untrained eyes, ears, and heart...

The work on my novel (due to be published in March and available as a pre-publication freebie) took me back to that un...
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Social Media Blues...

Posted by Alexander M Zoltai on Thursday, November 11, 2010,
I'm sitting here listening to one of my most favorite Get-Up-and-Out-of-The-Dumps songs...

I've been studying book promotion; and, social media is the core of that study.

A blog post by Elana Johnson, Dear Self: Social Media, got me up to the top of the ravine of self-hyping "experts" and listening to that song is helping me walk away into the meadow of relaxed and tranquil Web-interaction.

Self-published authors absolutely have a lot of work to do to get their books noticed. But, it certainly d...
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Rules? Whose Rules??

Posted by Alexander M Zoltai on Wednesday, November 10, 2010,
I just posted a link about mistakes fiction writers make on my Facebook page. I agree with most of what it says, but...

I'm fairly sure you've heard it said before...
(Pick One)

* Rules are made to be broken
* Break rules intelligently/creatively
* Don't cling to a rule if it's making you break another rule

All of those rules assume that the rules are right.  But, who decides if the rules are right?

The professor?
The editor?
The publisher?
The genre?

How about the Reader?

I think this is where most "goo...
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In The Writing *Mood*...

Posted by Alexander M Zoltai on Tuesday, November 9, 2010,
Writers do all kinds of things to get their mood flowing just right:

- Always writing in the same place at the same time
- Always writing somewhere new
- Waiting to write till the mood arrives
- Ingesting various substances to induce the mood
- Reading certain works to ignite the mood

Then, there are those writers, like me, who listen to music...

I've recently been contemplating the writing I'll be doing after my work-in-progress
is published and that contemplation synchronistically found a very goo...

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So, Who Am I, *Really*?

Posted by Alexander M Zoltai on Tuesday, November 9, 2010,
In this blog I'm Alexander M Zoltai. On Facebook I'm Sena Quaren. But Sena says I'm her co-author. And, I've been known to say that she's my co-author...

To set things slightly straight, Sena is real--just as real as most characters in works of fiction. She's absolutely as real as any honest author's Muse. And, what makes her even more real is that she believes I'm real...

It's actually a bit more complicated than what I've said so far... I should let her speak for herself. What follows is from...
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Writers On A Rollercoaster

Posted by Alexander M Zoltai on Monday, November 8, 2010,
It's less than four months till I publish my first novel. I've published before but a novel is a totally different kind of ride.

During the writing, my confidence would be strong as the words flowed onto the page. As I approached revision, my feelings would bobble but steady-out after the task.

Reviewers along the way made me confident and less than confident (there were actually three kinds of reviewers--more on that in another post:-)

My copy editor has it now. So far, she likes it but she's a...
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Calling All Blogs !

Posted by Alexander M Zoltai on Monday, November 8, 2010,
    Notes from An Alien blog is new and we're looking for other blogs to link with. No recieprocal linking necessary :-)

Can't promise a link but will try to include as many as possible.....

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Point of View - The Camera of Your Mind

Posted by Alexander M Zoltai on Sunday, November 7, 2010,
In the prologue of my forthcoming book, Sena, the alien, exposes her first person point of view and alerts the reader that the bulk of the story will be third person omniscient--"all-seeing". She then promises that her "voice" will return when the story reaches the point of her birth.

But, to say that most of the book is third person is a crass generalization...

What point of view does this paragraph have?

"He was ready to go but delayed slipping the bonds for a moment as he bid farewell in his ...
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Writing Sites...

Posted by Alexander M Zoltai on Saturday, November 6, 2010,
Some folks swear by Web sites that cater to writers; some never go near them. I'm kind of in the middle. There's a forum I visit called BestsellerBound. And, a site that's new to me but has been around for ten years--Writing.com.

The forum is a great place to talk to other folks who spend their time working to make words do acts of magic. And, so is Writing .com but it's bigger, more dense with spaces to visit, more populated with other writers, more daunting and yet, because of that challenge...
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Communing With Communication

Posted by Alexander M Zoltai on Friday, November 5, 2010,
So...

Now we have a Forum, a Chat Room, and this Blog on the Notes from An Alien site...

The Forum is for extended discussions.

The Chat Room is for "water-cooler" conversations.

This Blog is for reaching out--offering ideas that can be commented on here but, hopefully, will spawn conversations in the Chat Room and discussions in the Forum...

I'll start the process of Reaching Out with this idea:

Sena has written a book that tells the story of her People's climb from Dark War to the Light of Peace....
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Hello To Many Worlds :-)

Posted by Alexander M Zoltai on Friday, November 5, 2010,
Time to start blogging. Getting close to publication of Notes from An Alien and need to establish a place to chronicle the continuing Life of the book :-)

I'll probably post most every day...
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Alexander M Zoltai I started writing seriously rather late in life but I'm forging ahead with roaring flames in my heart... I've written the novel, "Notes from An Alien", with Sena Quaren--taking her other-worldly experience and translating it for an Earth audience. No, I'm not Channeling. I'm merely taking the "reality" of one of my characters to a new level :-)

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