Editing with AutoCrit

I learned about the web-based editing application AutoCrit through writers’ circles last year. It looked interesting, and I signed up for the free program thinking I would get to it when I had time. Well, you know how that goes….

So when AutoCrit announced the AutoCrit Line Editing Lab in February, the lab became the catalyst I needed to focus on editing my work in progress (WIP), Believing In Horses Out West. The course description read, “10 days of group activity, live workshops with the AutoCrit team, and of course, edting!” It was that, and more. The AutoCrit team made it easy to attend sessions by hosting two live sessions daily at 11:00 am and 8:00 pm EST; attendees could attend either or both. The team also supplied a video recording and a copy of the day’s slides delivered to your inbox.

The lab kickstarted my lackluster editing effort and introduced me to the tremendous features of the program. The effervescent Beth hosted the courses and did a phenomenal job of teaching, answering chat questions, and keeping the course interactive. She engaged attendees in ways that made the lab more fun than a one-way conversation.

I discovered the power of AutoCrit and its wealth of editing features broken down by categories including Summary, Pacing & Momentum, Dialogue, Strong Writing, Word Choice, Repetition, Combination, Readability, and Grammar. For an example of the subcategories, see Strong Writing shown below.

I learned invaluable lessons about strengths and weaknesses in my writing through the specific categories and subcategories. As a result, I purchased a Professional AutoCrit membership. I saw how using the program improved my WIP, and I plan to apply the lessons learned to future work. I’ve appreciated being a member of the AutoCrit Member Community with features such as:

  • An actual community where authors interact without selling to each other
  • Instantaneous tech support
  • Live webinars, for instance, “How To Work With Your Cover Artist To Get The Cover You Deserve” featuring artist Lynne Hansen of Lynne Hansen Art. Lynne’s discussion was enlightening, informative, and free to members.

I highly recommend AutoCrit if you would like to gain new perspectives on your writing and connect with a friendly, helpful writing community.

Marketing for Those Who Hate to Market

(Note: Click the image for the recorded presentation.)

I had the opportunity this month to present a marketing workshop with my fellow author and dear friend, Kathleen M. Rodgers.

We did this as part of the Military Writers Society of America‘s (MWSA’s) new monthly online writing workshops and were thrilled with the number of people who attended and their active participation. MWSA presents these types of workshops as a benefit of MWSA membership. MWSA allows presenters to share our workshops with our own networks. I hope some of you may be interested in this organization or learn something you didn’t already know. MWSA is open to active duty military, veterans, families, and those interested in telling military-related stories. [Read more…]

Equestrian Author Spotlight Podcast – Believing In Horses!

Valerie Ormond and Believing In Horses

I was so happy Carly Kade included me in her wonderful lineup of equine authors for Episode 42: On Believing in Horses, Local Media & Telling Military-Related Stories with Valerie Ormond (Equestrian Author Spotlight Podcast).

Watch on YouTube, listen to the audio version, and see Carly’s superb interview style. The show notes contain some interesting side tidbits, too.

Thank you, Carly, for this opportunity, and for inspiring me to begin my third book in the series. More about that later….

In the Moment

Pileated Woodpecker

For many us, our worlds have turned upside down in a matter of weeks. COVID-19 has put us in situations we are not used to. Last week, I took a moment to write a poem that came to me, inspired by a pileated woodpecker.

“In the Moment”

Out the window I spy, [Read more…]

Your Amazon Author Central Page

I’m surprised by the number of authors who do NOT have or do not know about Amazon Author Central Pages. And as a reader, I enjoy these pages finding out more about the people who have penned the books I’m about to invest hours of my life in.

Authors benefit from an Amazon Author Central Page in many ways:
1. It’s free
2. You reach your target audience because Amazon is a place readers shop
3. The page allows you to showcase all your published work across genres in one place, including books to which you have been a contributing author
4. You have an opportunity to promote your blog
5. It is very easy to set up and update [Read more…]

Benefits of Horseback Riding


Please welcome guest blogger Mike Shortridge –  all the way from Australia!

Horseback riding is an enjoyable pastime for all ages and can be a fun hobby. But it also comes with amazing benefits including offering good exercise and helping to strengthen your muscles.

A ride provides significant exercise, but also offers benefits including improved balance, coordination, and even a meditative effect, helping riders forget about everyday stresses for the duration of the ride.

We caught up with Russ from horseseller.com.au and asked for his top ten ways in which horseback riding can benefit your overall health. Here they are. [Read more…]