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I love words. Gawk is one of my favorites and I try not to forget it. Some people stare, others gawk. I’m not quite sure how they differ.

I admit that I like to gawk. A good gawk, at least one a month, helps me to relax and rid myself of questions that over-populate my thoughts.

Another word that I like is “woo.” I’m sorry to see this word disappear into the mists of time. Not many of us can recall the intricacies involved in a good woo. And to keep the process from being forgotten I wrote about it… look here for a quick woo.

Sneakers, the kind that lace up and reach your ankles made my socks ripen in a single day. The inside of my sneakers smelled like week-old road kill. Everyone had the same problem with old-fashioned old high-tops.

Now they’re low-slung jobbies called tennis shoes, cross-trainers, or casual footwear. The long-associated foot odor of such atomic footwear still remains …some things never change.

Here are more words I hate to see go down the textual paths of time.

  • Agog
  • Swain
  • Hobnob
  • Lollygag
  • Moxie
  • Frump
  • Moth-eaten
  • Court (spend time with)
  • Swoon
  • The vapors

Do you have any favorites?



Time for a Boo read?


Halloween is the best time of year for a BOO read. Get yourself some nibbles and a favorite beverage too. Snuggle down, get comfy, and read Ghosts of Pumpkin Hollow. it’s a story you’ll remember for a long time. And right now, it’s only 99 cents. 

A western without horses: Who says?

Saddle horn

A contemporary western takes place here and now. The location could be somewhere near you. Equine transport may have given way to ATV’s, and boardwalks have morphed into a harder surface. True to the genre however, Come Sundown has a pretty girl or two, good guys and bad, and a hugely serious problem. Yes, this contemporary western offers more than simple trail dust; there’s action and laughter waiting for you Come Sundown.


Republish or not: Indie authors respond



I’m an Indie author. I spend countless hours writing stories. When each tale is told there’s more work to be done and that’s when I bring in the hired help. Book cover graphics need selecting; my story goes to-and-from my editor so often, I’ve almost memorized it. This is the business of Indie.

A reader told me recently,  ” I clicked on a link in your book, and it didn’t work.”

Yikes, a comment like that knocks my authorial reputation down four or five notches. so, I asked three writers if they ever reviewed and freshened up their published works:

“I felt sort of relieved every time I republished one of my books. It felt as though I had cleansed it of any impurities. Still, I guess we’re never satisfied, and strive for perfection. I understand my earlier novels were littered with errors, mostly to do with past tense. I have also recovered from my short spell with writer’s block and have started another novel. When will this madness end?”

“How tough it was to get all my rights back from traditional publishers. Solstice was the hardest because they wanted money. I didn’t pay anything but it took two years to get the rights back. I had the books scanned into word and went from there. I had 16 books already published and rewrote them for update then submitted them to Amazon as new.”

What motivates writers to look over their published works and opt to “freshen up” one or more and republish?  “A desire for higher quality. Refreshing their backlist, revising and upgrading their covers, and renewed promotion potential.”

Yes, the fellow above is yours truly and I’m in the process of reviewing each of my published works. And yes, I’m the one to whom a reader pointed out a significant issue she encountered in a few of my books. 

So, how does one ensure that published books truly are publish worthy? The process begins like this, carefully scrutinize each title,

  • View the book on an eReader
  • Check the title for justification
  • Review the front matter text
  • Adjust formatting, if required, of front matter
  • If your book has a table of contents, make sure it works
  • If no TOC, be sure that each chapter has a heading
  • Make notations of any adjustments required
  • Download the book’s file copy
  • Activate your system’s spell/grammar check
  • Begin to slowly review each page.
  • Watch for words and/or sentences that run together
  • Look for long “white” spaces separating words or lines
  • Insert page breaks were required
  • Look carefully at all hyperlinks; check each one; make sure it works
  • Double-check accuracy and make sure web sites shown are active
  • Read through the book’s interior. Check  dialogue for errors.
  • If the cover is out of fashion, this is a good time to update it
  • Revise book price, if warranted
  • Review and rewrite book’s description
  • Check and redo keywords, if needed
  • Check the publisher’s name

Think you’re done at this point? No. Upload all the changes to your book, and view them on your eReader. Check, double-check, and triple check until you know your text is as good as you can make it. And now ask a friend or beta reader to re-read the book in is entirety, and give you a report.

Back to work now my friends, I hope this post is helpful, and saves you from the embarrassment I experienced.  if I omitted anything important in the above process, please, please let me know.

Keep on writin’.





Who are You Reading Now?


Who am I reading right now? Hmm, I’m very selective, for three reasons. The first is that my vision doesn’t allow me to opt print books; the second is that my eReader is a fabulous too for me; and the third is that a large number of books in digital format are available at affordable prices. A few authors of choice are:

Click on a photos for a link to their books:

Crystal Hubbard: This veteran author has books in many genres. Each one is superbly written, and always a good solid read.


Earl Chessher: You can’t miss with books by this author. A multi-genre writer, Earl has stories that will live forever.

Earl Chessher 123

Anthony Hulse: This specialist in horror, mystery, murder, and mayhem is the go-to person for a great read, anytime, anywhere.



George Snyder: When you want a glimpse into society’s underbelly and crime noir, Snyder is da man.


Oh yes for titles that bring a smile to the stoniest of faces, take a look at my stuff too. Please.


Ted Atoka (Me)

Now the rest is up to you. Are you ready for a good read

About writers groups

Speakers' Corner

I firmly believe that writers of different levels find fresh ideas, new concepts, and powerful motivation from members of a solid writer’s group.

One of my favorite groups, and the one I visit most often, is called Fiction Writers Group, headed by my friend and veteran author Earl Chessher. I have asked him for permission to share this brief editorial he recently presented to FWG:


“After visiting a BUNCH of other writing groups in FB land, I have to say I am proud of our membership, policies and programs on FWG. The predominance of alternative groups is book promotion, and that promotion is on so many of the ones that I follow, I get bombarded by duplicate self-promotion up to five-or-more-in-a-row every day. Very little else is featured or provided on at least 90 percent of the sites I visited. I know we just introduced our very first “Buy My Book Monday” and reintroduced First Lines Friday, in a different and limited format—every other Monday for book listings and the first Friday of each month for sharing first lines. We also have professional services listings on the first of the month—sometimes with overzealous provision of links—as well as anything goes self-promotion on the 15th of each month.

Some love all the above, a few of them or one. Others hate them and complain on other venues about how FWG has gone to the dogs by revising the rules, omitting links in most other OPs or comments, and allowing the return of what was a unanimously-favored exercise and the introduction of GASP, an every other Monday book promotion feature.

All-in-all, I think FWG and its admins have brought together a good blend of programs, open discussion and administration. I’m proud of FWG and I am proud of the overall quality of membership we enjoy here. More than anything, I’m proud of the general attitude of most of our active participants and their adherence to the “respect everyone” rule. Thanks, all of you, for making FWG a great group.”


What Earl didn’t mention is this. When the original founder of Fiction Writers Group handed him the reins to the group many years ago, membership was around 200 people.

I watched, and participated, as Earl molded and shaped his fledgling group into a solid go to place for all things pertinent to writers and the business of Indie. Today, FWG’s membership hovers around 10K people and Earl still brims with fabulous new ideas.

Click here, or on the FWG icon, and visit Fiction Writers Group web site.


Click here for books by Earl Chessher.

Earl Framed AA