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Newsletter Dated: 11/2/2003 12:36:02 PM
Subject: Soup's On
Andrea Campbell’s Newsletter
*** Greetings! ***
This newsletter is being sent to you because you are a writer, family member, professional friend of Andrea’s, or a fan and reader of her books. If you are new to the list, welcome. There are a ton of newsletters and e-zines out there to read, thanks for requesting and reading mine. I am excited about this venue because it gives me the opportunity to reach larger numbers of people in a much shorter time. It will also contain more personal content and address things I don’t discuss on my web site.
Have questions, comments, or ideas for future publication? I look forward to your input and never turn down helpful hints. This newsletter is a continued work-in-progress and I hope you will stay around to see new features in every bi-monthly issue.
In this issue:
• From the Author*s Desk
• Ziggy Update
• On The Road
• Creating A Character
• I Placed
• Notable and Quotable
• More Notable and Quotable
• Sleuth Sayer
• Web Search Tips
• Another Author’s Offer
*** From The Author*s Desk ***
An agent commented to me just recently that an author can get too close to their work. The workaholic in me freely admits to throwing all into projects and, yes, I agree, it’s a good idea to take a break from both creation and revision, just to gain some objective distance.
If you need more than space and reflection, a friend and colleague of mine has launched a new web service for editing, you might take a look. Lisa describes the site as:
BookInk.com is a freelance editing service committed to help your manuscript look its very best before you submit to Literary Agents or publishers. Not only will our editing team correct your manuscript, but we will also evaluate its content, what genre it will best fit in and much more. For more information, please see our website for details.
*** Ziggy Update ***
For those of you who are new to the list, Ziggy is a capuchin monkey I raised for Helping Hands. We got her at five weeks old and she went to headquarters for training just a few weeks before her thirteenth birthday. A memoir detailing our experience together was published as Bringing Up Ziggy (copies can be ordered through my website).
A phone call from Judi Zazula, the director, gave us lots of good news. The physical report is: Ziggy is fat and happy (we always did call her little Buddah belly). Also, she frequently spends time at the director’s home and now has a new game worked out with Judi’s son, Michael. Apparently, in a play-pretend voice, Michael announces that Ziggy is “Sumo Monkey”, which is her cue to rise up bipedally, arms overhead in a make believe attack posture, whereupon she dives at Michael and, just before reaching him, rolls into a ball.
People who have primates know that play-acting is not uncommon with capuchins. Since they are strongly gifted, they thrive on games with imagination. There are many types of games that can be initiated just by a change in voice and a few well-chosen words. It’s a joy to see what emerges from the monkey, however, as the attendant response is always just a little bit unique.
And just to illustrate how brilliant my little darling actually is, she is almost potty trained—returning to the cage to defecate and pee—but she is also in the process of learning discrimination, a very important step. For example, discrimination means that it is not enough for a monkey to fetch an object for a quadriplegic, say, getting them a cassette, but they must learn to locate and bring back the exact object the person needs! A laser pen held in the person’s mouth triggers this search because a light is shown on the item needed. Basically Ziggy is nearing the final stages of training. I knew she was smart, but this just demonstrates how smart.
Helping Hands is a nonprofit organization that places helper/companion monkeys with quadriplegics at no cost. To find out more or to donate funds, see: http://www.helpinghandsmonkeys.org
*** On The Road***
Well, I did it again, volunteered to be a moderator for a panel for next year’s ASJA Conference in New York City.
Last year I invited and got the best panelists, Roy Peter Clark from the Poynter Institute, Patricia T. O’Conner a grammarian and author of Woe Is I, Rebecca McClanahan, poetess extraordinaire and author of Word Painting (a favorite of mine) and Philip Gerard, author, teacher and man of many media feats. How would I follow that up?
My topic for next year is Finding and Managing Sources and, again, I lassoed some really stellar panelists. First there is Steve Weinberg, colleague and author of The Reporter’s Handbook, Steve is also a book reviewer and occasionally teaches at the University of Missouri Journalism School; next there is Dan Forbush. Dan is President of ProfNet, a service that connects reporters with news services from all over the world along with a database of 11,000 expert profiles. Also, I invited and snagged William Bastone, Bill is editor of TheSmokingGun.com and one of the founders of the site, which has become an enterprise in its own right, featuring a special on Court TV, a twice-monthly column in People, a weekly radio segment for Infinity-owned stations and a book expected sometime next year. And, finally, we have Roger Johnson, President and founder of Newswise, an international organization that provides source information and press releases for journalists. I’m a daily digest subscriber of Newswise and a big fan of its services.
Wow! It’s raining men for me, and, ahem, lots of serious expertise. The conference will be open to the public on Saturday, April 24, 2004. It is held at the Grand Hyatt (near Grand Central Terminal) and advance registration is suggested (the conference has sold-out in the recent past). So, sign-up, come to my panel, and stop by to say “Hello” to me. For more information, go to: http://www.asja.org
*Note: I plan on being in Manhattan for at least a week, and will sandwich in the Mystery Writers of America Symposium, which I believe, will follow the ASJA Conference (more on an exact time at a later date, most folks don’t even have their 2004 calendar yet). But if you want to meet me, go to lunch, or attend the Symposium together, send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
*** Creating A Character ***
This issue introduces author, colleague, and friend of mine, Denise Tiller, who offers some unique advice on one of her techniques for creating fictional characters.
Using Myers Briggs and Enneagrams for Developing Characters:
My favorite part of writing is creating characters and watching them interact. Every time I sit down at the computer, it's like having a play date with my imaginary friends. In order for me to create complex and vibrant characters,
I need to understand how they think and feel. While I base a lot of that on personal experience and observations, I've found two good sources to help me understand the psychological makeup of my characters.
The first source is based on work done by Jung, Myers-Brigg, and David Keirsey, who studied temperament and character. Each of the specialists looks at four basic factors in personalities:
Extraverted/expressive vs. Introverted/reserved;
Sensory/observant vs. Intuitive/introspective;
Thinking/tough-minded vs. Feeling/friendly, and
Judging/scheduling vs. Perceiving/probing.
Based on these factors, they've developed 16 temperament types. Keirsey and Marilyn Bates’ PLEASE UNDERSTAND ME, and PLEASE UNDERSTAND ME, Vol. II give the reader detailed analysis of how these different types think, feel, react, and the sorts of occupations that attract them.
My protagonist is an INTP. She bases her self-image on being smart. She likes to assimilate knowledge and she values intelligence—good traits for a detective. She also values emotional support and feelings in others. Consequently, she attracted to the ISFJ cop. He's a protector. He's also very reserved and sincere.
The other tool I've found useful is the Enneagram. It's an Eastern/New Age way of looking at emotions and relationships. There are nine basic groups: Perfectionist, Helper, Achiever, Romantic, Observer, Questioner, Adventurer, Asserter, and Peacemaker. Each group has a unique relationship with the others.
Mathematically, there are more possible combinations than with Myers-Brigg, but that's my own INTP coming through, math doesn't really fit into the Eastern approach.
By looking at the Enneagram, you can get more traits to help fine-tune your characters and understand their motivations.
Calculated Risk, ISBN 1-587252-015-X Trade paperback
Writing Exciting #1, ISBN 1-58752-084-2, Audio Book
Timberwolf Press, www.TimberwolfPress.com
*** I Placed! ***
Some good news came in just recently. I made it into the Top 10 group for the Writer’s Digest Best Web Site Competition 2003, out of more than 160 nominations. Yipee! The #1 winning web site can be viewed at http://www.scottjohnston.com.
The Web site Finalists are listed in the October issue of Writer's Digest. I also got a complimentary subscription to Writer's Market online. So happy.
*** Notable and Quotable***
I’d like to direct your attention to a website with great style. It’s called Word Spy and it’s crafted by Paul McFedries, author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to a Smart Vocabulary. The description is as follows:
>This Web site and its associated mailing list are devoted to recently coined words and phrases, old words that are being used in new ways, and existing words that have enjoyed a recent renaissance. These aren't "stunt words" or "sniglets," but new words and phrases that have appeared in newspapers, magazines, books, press releases, and Web sites.<
*The Web site link is: http://www.wordspy.com
While there, I also usurped the quote for a particular day and you can read it below:
The quotation for Wednesday, October 15th
Stories happen only to those who are able to tell them, someone once said. In the same way, perhaps, experiences present themselves only to those who are able to have them.
— Paul Auster, American novelist, essayist, poet, and playwright, The Locked Room, 1986
*permission to publish granted by Paul McFedries
*** More-Notable and Quotable***
And if you write about business, finances or management, point your clicker to this link:
This is the site of the Gallup Management Journal. Here you will find a variety of articles of topical interest. The one that drew me in the day I visited was called Gallup Study Finds That Misery at Work is Likely to Cause Unhappiness at Home.
Who they are:
The Gallup Organization has studied human nature and behavior for more than 70 years. Gallup employs many of the world's leading scientists in management, economics, psychology, and sociology. Gallup performance management systems help organizations increase customer engagement and maximize employee productivity through measurement tools, coursework, and strategic advisory services. Gallup's 2,000 professionals deliver services at client organizations, through the Web, at Gallup University's campuses, and in 40 offices around the world.
They also have a subscriber service for $95/year that provides statistics and reports on a variety of topics. The Recently Updated Poll for Topics and Trends lists baseball, the death penalty, the economy (U.S.), and the general mood of the country; guns, illegal drugs, and Iraq were the subjects covered.
*** Sleuth Sayer ***
Glad to announce that I am a new Contributing Editor for Sleuth Sayer, the Official Publication of the Southwest Chapter of Mystery Writers of America (MWA/SW). My contribution will be a forensic science column under the familiar catch phrase, No Stone Unturned. For those of you who belong to MWA, think about joining your regional group as well, they have a lot to offer.
*** Web Search Tips ***
These shortcuts come from Marilyn Mobley* (email@example.com)
I use the Internet daily to do research and have recently learned a few helpful shortcuts. Here are some favorite tips:
1. Use the minus sign to eliminate most commercial sites from your search. For example, while doing research for a speech, I wanted statistics and
studies, not specific products. By typing the search words then "-.com" (not the quote marks) I was able to eliminate most commercial sites, whittling the number of potential sites to less than half the original number. Of those left, most were .org, .edu and .gov. (potentially more reliable sources of information).
2. Add the year to your search string. By adding 2003 to the end of a string of search words I used, I was able to get the most recent information first. It can be frustrating to link to a site only the find the information is four years old!
3. Add instructions to find hidden searchable databases. Sometimes, searchable databases on specific sites don't turn up in a larger Google search. To find them, just type your search word string, then add "searchable online database" (use the quotation marks) and the search engine will dig deeper to find sites with their own searchable databases.
To know more, go to http://www.magicsearchwords.com and
http://www.searchwordpro.com. These sites were created by Paul Krupin, a researcher for the U.S. Department of Energy. He has authored several books about the Internet.
*Note: This originally appeared in PR Tips and Techniques, edited by Marilynn Mobley. To subscribe to this free e-zine, go to www.acornprtips.com
*** Another Author’s Offer ***
A friend and colleague of mine has written a book I wish I’d thought of, and you might want to take a look…
NOV. 19 IS “GET ALL KINDS OF FREE STUFF” DAY! Jenna Glatzer is running a huge special: if you buy her book “Outwitting Writer’s Block” from Amazon.com on Nov. 19, she’ll give you more than $70 worth of bonuses immediately!
Find out why people LOVE this book! Buy it at --
or http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1592281249 --, then
send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org to claim your bonuses! Or visit: http://www.absolutewrite.com/freebies.htm
*** Correction ***
In the last issue we received some comments from Kathryn Lively on how she begins her books, i.e., her chapter outline approach and other tips. I apologize to Kathryn and my readers for making a spelling mistake in her link. The correct link for Kathryn’s site is: http://www.kathrynlively.com
*** Future Newsletters ***
In upcoming newsletters I hope to answer reader’s questions, share a new story or two, talk more about publishing, and provide additional writer’s tips. If there is any area of my life or work you would like to discuss, from autopsy to monkeys, just send me a note. Thanks for the read. : 0 )
Copyright©2003 Andrea Campbell If you wish to quote from here, fine, just attribute it to me and my web site.