49 Days (and ways) To Be Amazing By New Year’s

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  1. Spend half as much on Christmas this year
  2. Give twice as much to Charity
  3. Start that blog
  4. Get a ‘walking buddy’ and walk three times a week
  5. Make a party plan, and only go (and eat and drink) when you really want to
  6. Start your novel
  7. Write a love letter to yourself
  8. Go to a dance — and dance
  9. Find a new favorite song
  10. Plan to make 2014 amazing
  11. Picture who you want to be in 49 days (and make it happen!)
  12. Get on the Paleo diet
  13. Start Cycling
  14. Go on a blind date with the idea on finding a new best friend
  15. Do something nice for a stranger
  16. Visit your oldest relative
  17. Make a homemade gift
  18. Take a class
  19. Make a Christmas playlist that makes you want to dance all day long
  20. Make Christmas cookies with your best friend
  21. Write a love letter to your dream boy/girl (even if you haven’t met them yet)
  22. Invest in bath bubbles
  23. Buy a new comforter — super soft
  24. Volunteer
  25. Clean out your least favorite room — make it your favorite
  26. Write down one hundred people you are grateful for and tell them about it
  27. Make a ten year plan
  28. Make a five year plan
  29. Make a one year plan
  30. Don’t plan everything
  31. Pick three days between now and New Year’s to be ‘do nothing’ days — and have Ferris Bueller fun
  32. Watch a ‘Reign’ or ‘Blacklist’
  33. Buy a Frank Turner song
  34. Visit this Pinterest page
  35. Watch a TED talk
  36. Visit a state park
  37. Write a poem
  38. Buy a Christmas ornament that speaks to your craziest, awesomiest self
  39. Make your own Christmas cards out of memes
  40. Send Thanksgiving cards
  41. Become an adventurer
  42. Be kinder than necessary
  43. Spend a full day cleaning your house
  44. Smile more
  45. Give away everything you don’t love
  46. Stop apologizing
  47. Start to awe people
  48. Try a new genre of music
  49. Buy Lady Gaga’s song Christmas Tree

from ThinkGeek.com

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Amazon Descriptions for Your Novel (Part one of Three)

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What is this a picture of?

Now, you might say trees, which is correct.  You might say a meadow, which is not quite correct.  You might even say water (though I can’t image why) which is also, oddly, correct.  Lastly, you could say “A carpet of red and green plants on top of the water at Merchants Millpond State Park in NC, which, in the summer, can look like a lost scene from ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’ — but that’s quite a mouthful.  Which brings us the today’s topic:

How Do You Describe a Thing?

Say a bookish, wordy thing, that you’d like people to not only buy but come to love, cuddle, carry around on most weekdays, and speak dreamily of for the next 50 years because it is the central tile to the mosaic of their lives and OH MY GOSH, WHAT IF THEY’D NEVER READ THAT GREAT DESCRIPTION AND HAD TO BUY IT???  Or, even worse, what if the description hadn’t told them what the book was really like?

And, as in the picture above, everything in this odd, descriptive realm is not always what it seems.  Now, let’s look at the first of a few common misapprehensions (all mine at one time or another) —

Descriptions Are Easy

I think this confusion comes from three sources — very good descriptions, unnecessary descriptions, and simple ones.

  • The very goods ones are probably burned in your memory, they inspired you to read that greatest book or they are the creme de la creme of what’s out now — the bestselling books, the biggest movies.
  • The unnecessary ones are for the things that are already huge and you probably don’t really need to know much about.  I was shocked that when I looked at some bestselling fantasy on Amazon, the newest books in successful series did not have that great of descriptions — but then, all they need to say is “the fifth book in the New York Times bestselling series . . .” and they’re golden, or at least a lot closer than the unknown book.
  • Now simple descriptions are the one that get you — because we all are using them every day and we use them well.  “Todd’s my boyfriend.”  “The new house is a great A-frame with a blue roof and giant front windows.”  “You’d like Suzy; she’s Cher from ‘Clueless’ meets the Terminator.”  These simple images work because 1: We all know what a boyfriend is; 2: We can see the house in enough detail to be happy for our friend (but we’re not about to buy it ourselves); and 3: This ‘taste of Suzy’ is either funny or weird, but it’s interesting, and we don’t need to be that invested.  We’ll probably meet Suzy at a future party — we’re not taking a week off work to climb a mountain to speak to ‘Suzy the Guru’ .  Can you imagine the description you’d need to convince someone to do that?


Next up — Descriptions are IMPOSSIBLE!  and Writing a Bestselling Description.