No books in these cereal boxes…

Even if you eat the whole box, you won't find the free book inside. Cheerios is hoping e-books have the same free-prize feel. By Daniel Schwen (Own work) [CC BY 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Even if you eat the whole box, you won’t find the free book inside. Cheerios is hoping e-books have the same free-prize feel. By Daniel Schwen (Own work) [CC BY 3.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons

For years, Cheerios has placed a paperback children’s book inside specially-marked boxes.

This year, the surprise inside might be replaced with a shock.

BookShout and Simon and Schuster will be offering 8.4 million e-books.

Don’t think e-books will ever catch on? There’s one corporate bee hoping to prove you, and the world, wrong.

From a self-editor who walks the walk

EditingPlacardI confess. I’m a fan of

Why? Because these people live by their words. They’re putting their ideas into action daily.

For exhibit A, I’ll nominate Stacey Roberts, the force behind The Veggie Mama blog.

She made such good sense with her “Editing for People Who Love to Write…Too Much” feature. However, grumpy, geezerly me thought: “Really? Does she self-edit herself daily, when she thinks we may not be looking?”


Her blog is a buffet of ideas. This talented blogger/writer/author is a self-editor who walks the walk.


A new book is coming: OUR book!

BellesCoverByAkersBaseball season is here. A whole new season awaits two authors.

Even though the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League members hung up their spikes more than six decades ago, it’s a whole new ballgame for us and the surviving players.

Belles of the Ballpark, the expanded history of the league written by my amazing co-author wife, Diana Star Helmer, goes public May 5. Check out the book’s special page at the website of publisher Summer Game Books. E-book or paperback. Your choice.

Sorry, F. Scott Fitzgerald. Here’s a second act more than 20 years in the making. Diana’s 1993 book is coming back. New and improved. More photos. More stories. Bigger and better!

One former player told us: “I was a part of history. Women’s history and sports history.”

Ladies, you aren’t forgotten.


Ogden Nash made poetry fun


A stamp worth reading!

Poet Ogden Nash broke rules.

Unconventional rhymes.

Unconventional attitudes.

This is National Poetry Month. I’m proud I attempted my own volume of poetry. The Kindle e-book is entitled 101 PO’ed Poems: Frustrations in Free Verse.

I thought of the master during the process, hoping he’d surrender a smirk or snicker over some of my ravings.

Essentially, Nash proves there are two kinds of writers:

1. Those who write what they think editors/agents/teachers/librarians/booksellers (and other scary mythic creatures) expect.

2. Those who write what they’d love to read themselves.

Are you having fun with what you write? If you don’t, how can readers enjoy themselves?

What makes a good book review?

Do you have BOOK LUST? It's Nancy Pearl's great review collection.

Do you have BOOK LUST? It’s Nancy Pearl’s great review collection.

I like In fact, I’d call the blogger Professor of Review-ology.

Check out this post of three titles James likes. I like his succinct framework  for any book he reads.

The book in three sentences.

FIve key ideas.

Three reasons to read this book.

Too many good books are starving for reviews, because readers are left speechless. Forget the “I’m not worthy” response. Comment. The books, and the authors, need you. Goodreads. There are countless online places where you can make your opinion count.

Customize the James Clear review vehicle. Make it run for you. Share. An author’s future depends on your present responses.


Writer’s block? Be Roger Ebert!

Circa 1970. Thank you, Roger Ebert! By The original uploader was Rebert at English Wikipedia [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Circa 1970. Thank you, Roger Ebert, King of the WHY Guys. Movie review in 30 minutes? No problem! By Rebert at English Wikipedia [CC BY-SA 3.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons

Review. Say WHY.

No, not for publication. Do it for yourself.

Teach yourself.

Find writing you admire or loathe. Does it work for you? Why not?

Supply details. How would you do it?

Now, get back to work. You can do it, too!

Baseball Hall of Famer Satchel Paige’s advice works for authors, too!

paige“Don’t look back. Something might be gaining on you.”

— Satchel Paige

How does a pitcher know anything about publishing? Hmmm…

Too many writers are fixated by the rear-view mirror. Newbies meet you at your book signing. “I’ve written a book, too.” Or, “How do you get published?”

Meanwhile, those picture books by celebrities are like fingernails on chalkboard. Why can they write clunky kid books and get published? Could you get away with such schlock?

Satchel’s right. The creative race is with yourself, not with the others. Step on it.

Worry less, write more.