Category Archives: Newsletters

Brief September/October’16 News from Opitmist Writer

I miss sharing my thoughts or news about my writing.

You have probably seen my writing progress here on this site, either as “Cheerleading for Writers” or new categories in the Business Blog, as well as restructured, simplified and improved website.

But I haven’t written about my writing quite in a while. Neither in separate newsletters.

I thought I had to send the newsletters only as letters to my subscribers and not post inside my blog. It’s interesting how most of us try to fit in some standards even if we fool ourselves by thinking that we are rebelling. Does rebelling itself have standards? Is the standard for rebelling the breaking of all other standards? But what are those other standards to break?

Do I have to break standards at all?

Now that I think of it, Yes, there are standards to break. But maybe they are not quite standards, but rather limits that I set up for myself, which I mistakenly consider to be standards.

I really liked sharing my Newsletters as blog posts, and sharing in them what I have been up to lately. Thus, in respect to Newsletters I am coming back to what I like doing. Writing them as short blog posts, once in a while — the while often being about one month.

So in respect to writing, this is what I have done up to this point and since the last Newsletter. I finished the very, very first draft of my future book “Cheerleading for Writers”. If you follow the blog series on “Cheerleading for Writers” you might wonder how this could be, since I have published so far only until including the letter S. This is because I allowed myself to continue writing without editing, which is necessary before publishing the posts on my website.

So now I am editing the remaining articles and will post them as I make progress with incorporating the changes on the paper onto the computer screen. I do this work in frames of the 5 Minute Perseverance Game I love playing for many of my projects and about which I have written a small book structured as a board game description. Thus the posts might appear in unequal intervals since the articles are of difference length. A spoiler alert for the article starting with T. It is quite long. 😉

I’m looking forward to discover how my project games change and develop, and what limits/standards I set for myself, as well as how I break them to create new rules.

And I am curious to hear about your breaking of standards and changes of something you have thought was so well established you forgot to question it, until your heart pushed or pulled you “by your ears” through those brick walls of the limits you’ve set up for yourself. What are those? If you don’t want to comment on them here, but still would like to share them with me, then feel free to write to my e-mail address: vib@optimistwriter.com.

Picture: Who said that you need to destroy a thing completely in order to create something completely new and fresh? Look what the Australian street art artist Guido van Helten, has created out of a silo of an old asbestos cement factory in Aalborg. He decorated it with wonderful and powerful portraits of workers from this factory.IMG_1367

February 2016 News on writing by Optimist Writer

Dear friends,

The longer than usual but shortest in the year month is coming slowly to its end. Although it is short, my life is busy and filled in with projects, so that I caught myself recently wondering whether I am mistaken, that what happened since the last newsletter in January didn’t happen in one but in two or more months. I can’t quite believe that only two months have passed this year. It is wonderful to be productively busy.

Here is February news in respect to writing. The other will follow in frame of business newsletter.

I shared this news already, but still: “Seven Broken Pieces”, prequel to series “A Life Upside Down” came out on January 30. I will present it along with my other two books at my author’s talk on March 2nd at the South Gate Society (SGS) School of Creative Writing  here in Aalborg. So, if you are close to Aalborg on that day, come and join me. It will be wonderful! But if you don’t manage to come, then I will let you know what happened in the next month’s newsletter.

I started two giveaways (the first in my life and my writing career): one for “The Truth About Family” on Facebook (I will announce the winner today) and the other on Goodreads for “A Spy’s Daughter” (continues until March 13). More will follow, but these first baby steps in marketing and sharing one’s books are pretty exciting.

Most of the busy times I referred to in respect to writing have to do with the progress of the books I write. “Nothing is As it Seems” is close to its resolution and my guess is that in March we will read “THE END” there. “Cheerleading for Writers” got several articles including one on Characters.

I’ve revised and had edited twice my first short story posted initially back in 2013. This story is called today “Between Grace and Abyss” and it will be available soon for free download here on my site. If you are already subscribed to this site and to the writing blog and news, then I will send it to your per e-mail as soon as it is up and running.The book cover for this e-book is done as well. My wonderful cover designer Alice Jago did again an amazing job. I decided to reveal the cover in this post below.

Oh, I almost forgot, I have given an interview to Samuel Mork Bednarz, a student at the SGS and responsible for SGS podcasts. You can watch one of the episodes here. The interview with me will be soon available on YouTube. This interview was quite an exciting experience. And I am curious to see the result soon.

Have a wonderful month of March. It is quite special in Moldova. And I will of course write about this.

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Picture: E-book cover for “Between Grace and Abyss”, created by amazing Alice Jago.

January 2016 News on writing from the Optimist Writer

Dear friends,

The time since the last newsletter (mid December) was one of the busiest I ever had in my professional life. And not only due to the holidays. Or rather less because of the holidays. They were as wonderful and recharging as always when we celebrate it with the family.

The busy side comes neither from external projects, since just like my family and me, most people took a break from work.

I did take a break from work (that is business side of my work), but I continued writing (and publishing), which helped me finish and start several projects in January.

You’ve heard already about the launch of “A Spy’s Daughter” a few days before Christmas. The freshest additional news here is that I have already received the edits on the prequel and my cover designer, Alice Jago, is working on the cover this week. So the prequel to the series “A Life Upside Down” called “Seven Broken Pieces” will see the light in February.

The free story “Nothing is As it Seems” is also well on the way and its end is near. I am very curious how exactly it will be.

I have also re-worked my very first short story and after that sent it to my editor. And I got the edits back this past weekend. This story was already published on my blog, but I have adjusted and edited it heavily. So it improved a lot and I will offer to download it free on my site soon.

My motivational resource for writers, “Cheerleading for Writers” is also taking shape. The three introductory and the first of the twenty-six alphabetically ordered posts are published and receive positive wave of likes and retweets on Twitter.com.  If I write it in similar pace as now (one post a week or most every two weeks) I might finish it this year. I am very excited to see how it will develop.

Besides continuing writing my works-in-progress and preparing those finished for publication, I learn a lot about promotion and marketing. I am working with BooksGoSocial to promote my first book “The Truth About Family” on various social media. It is very exciting to see many tweets about my book and see how the whole community there is supporting each member. I became a member of their two groups on Facebook and started supporting other writers there and on Twitter as well. I still got to look into other Social media they advertise at. There is so much to learn and find out. I am very excited because this is truly a new world to me. Here is the link this service created for my book. Apart from the description you can also read the first page of the book there.

And then there are many extremely exciting things awaiting me in February. Writing and publishing are two of them. But I am also thrilled about my collaboration with the South Gate Society (SGS) School of Creative Writing  here in Aalborg. On the one hand, I’ll be involved into their teaching process. Last year I have given an introductory course on Creative Nonfiction for their students and this year I’ll teach several courses on various topics. On the other hand, LeAnne Kline Chistiansen, the CEO and founder of the SGS, offered to organize an author evening for me, at which I will read from my books and share stories of my life as a writer. This is so extremely exciting! (How many times write I say exciting or excited in this post already? ;)) It will be the very first reading from my published books. I’ll report in the newsletter next month how it went.

In the meanwhile have a wonderful second month of the year 2016, enjoy reading, writing, your families, dear and loved ones, your work and any other passion you have in your lives!

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Picture: A guest in our garden.

More Christmas news from the Optimist Writer: The paperback of “A Spy’s Daughter” is available…and plans for the next year

The paperback of “A Spy’s Daughter” is now available too! You can buy it among other here.

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I am very excited about it and wish all the readers very much fun reading it!

I was thrilled to have got a reader’s feedback on the book already two days after publishing it! And they loved it!

In the meantime and on this wonderful wave of motivation, I am working on my further writing projects.

They include an inspirational and motivational book for writers “Cheerleading for writers” the chapters of which will be post one by one in this blog and summarized here.

Then I will finalize the story I publish on bi-weekly basis here on my page. This story is called “Nothing is Like it Seems”. After finishing it, I will have it edited and will publish it as a permanently free book.

The prequel to the series, which “A Spy’s Daughter” started, will be published in the beginning of the next year. I am self-editing it right now and am going to send it to my editor in January.

And I started plotting the sequel to “A Spy’s Daughter”, “A President’s Sister”. Most in my mind but the story is deepening. This book will require some research in the part, of which I used to think was not interesting for me. Politics and how it is made. Now, I am basing a book on this! Because apparently, it is quite interesting for me, especially of how it is made and the dynamics between people when they do politics. I am quite curious of this new adventure for me.

There are also more ideas and projects looming and waiting for me to bring them further, including two fiction books and one an essay collection “Everywhere at Home”, I mentioned in the newsletter from November.

I am very excited about all this, and I will let you know how these projects progress.

In the meanwhile, this blog will have a Christmas break and will recommence after the New Year’s holidays.

Here I would like to thank all my readers and friends for your support and cheering in the past year and wish you all, and your families and friends, wonderful holidays, much happiness and many exciting moments in the coming year!

Mid-month news: November 2015

First month of the new business

Fun, scary, unforgettable experience.

I’ve learned a lot in this time. And of course I am still learning.

I discovered the hidden for me clichés from the cultures I’ve been raised and being exposed too.

I thought that I wouldn’t be able to find work as a business owner and a freelancer, if I haven’t applied for the smallest possible and least payable jobs. This does sound strange. But the phrase, “You have to start at the very beginning and work your way up.” did mean for me exactly this. I thought that I all I’ve learned and experienced before didn’t matter and I had to do everything from the very beginning.

But then, when I shared my experiences on various platforms, I noticed growing interest in what I can offer. They didn’t want me to type their hand-written notes, they wanted to hear about my experience as a writer of fiction based on a true story, they wanted to learn S1000D from me, they wanted to learn and hear more from me on business rules.

And they told me that I drew them into these topics, that they were glad to have met/discovered me, that they wanted to work with me on common projects and that they were ready to pay me for my work.

That was quite a revelation. It was an epiphany that I can earn money by doing what I love. And by discovering more and more things, which I fall in love with doing.

Of course, the in-security is there. Whether I am able to earn enough money for living with what I have to offer. But what helps is to realize that this in-security might have some value, if I notice and don’t judge it. In such a case it can show me that it is time to be active and do something.

I am very grateful to have discovered the brilliance of moment of now and the value of true listening. Listening to what other have to say, without judging what and how the say it, and without judging my inner reactions to these, helped me stop complaining (especially in my thoughts) and come up with some great ideas, and take concrete steps to bring them into life.

Through listening and seeing what people value and want, I discovered that both money and the sense of well-being, being centred, come when I concentrate and put my energy to bring value to others. When I turn the focus off from me and get interested in what is important for people around me, then everything else falls in place.

Listening and reading inspiring articles in this direction helped a lot as well.

“Shift your focus away from what you want (a billion dollars) and get deeply, intensely curious about what the world wants and needs.” Justine Musk  on Quora

Words like this helped me turn my focus to what really matters in the world and matters to me. My worries don’t really matter to me. The well-being of others does. This was an interesting discovery.

Right now as I write this article I realize that this direction is completely in sync with the mission and vision I have defined for my business.

This is what have driven me in the last two weeks and brought most results in my business. And the most satisfaction.

Here is what this means concretely.

 

Consulting

I have developed several interactive courses, which would help professionals succeed in there endeavours.

Here they are:

 

Teaching/Coaching/Training

Two training courses this week.

One is introduction to S1000D. Experimenting to perform this course in a short time, and in a highly interactive way,  was extremely fun and resulted in further collaboration with the customer.

The second course this week is course on “Creative Nonfiction and Fiction Based on True Stories”. I do it for the South Gate Society School of Creative Writing in Aalborg. I research and learn on these topics, discovering many exciting things about myself, the cultures I grew up in, and the culture I am fortunate to experience now.

 

Writing

It’s amazing how many exciting projects appear as soon as I stop worrying what to write next and just concentrate on what is needed and wanted by others.

There are quite a few works in progress.

My second book “A Spy’s Daughter” is with my editor and will come later this week. I am very excited to discover the editing results and see how it will shape the book.

The prequel the series “A Life Upside Down” (”A Spy’s Daughter” is the 1st book in the series) is ready written and typed and enjoys its well-earned 2 weeks break until I will self edit. The title is also to 99% decided. Here I reveal it. It will be named “Seven Broken Pieces” and will be a short story or novelette consisting of 7 chapters.

I had an idea that I would never write non-fiction. Now I write two books in non-fiction and just started the third one.

One of them is on Business Rules and making them understandable for everyone who might need to define them. I post on this topic every week and at the beginning of the next year, this material will be compiled into a book, edited and published.

The second is to inspire writers and give them a clue how they can discover pearls in their writing. We are all too critical about what we do, but all of us create brilliant things, which we often chose to avoid looking at. But these wonderful things are cherished by others and by appreciating them, we can create more wonderful and valuable treasures. The working title of this one is “Let me be your cheerleader”. The subtitle is still in work. The idea for this book was inspired by my personal cheerleader and dear friend Marcy, who discovered me through this blog and who became one of my dearest friends. She saw me through the writing of my first book and also reads most of my writing as I create it. This book is to give this gift further and also to help Marcy and me realize a big wish of ours, to meet one day in person.

And the third one, some words of introduction of which I have written just this morning, has a working title “Everywhere at Home” and will be a collection of memoir essays about me being in various parts the world at various times of growing up and being adult, and what experiences I made.

I am very excited to discover what the next month will bring and I will share it with you.

Thank you for reading this. Have a wonderful end of the Fall and a beautiful winter start.

Picture: November bloom in our garden.

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