Category: Teacher-author

Teacher-Authors: What’s Happening on my Writer’s Blog


A lot of teacher-authors read my WordDreams blog. In this monthly column, I share the most popular post from the past month on my teacher education blog, Ask a Tech Teacher. Today, it’s my Book Launch for my latest historical fiction, Natural Selection. History teachers: If you teach about our ancestors’ roots, this is for you!

I will visit blogs through May 2023 to chat about my newest prehistoric fiction, Natural Selection, and writing in general. Here are articles you can read:

  1. A [Prehistoric] Day with Lucy 
  2. Could an almost-blind person get around feral Africa?
  3. Did wanderlust drive man throughout the planet? Science thinks so. (Liesbet)
  4. Early Man Can Talk. Change my Mind.
  5. Early Man Could Run Down His Prey. Change my Mind.
  6. Why Early Man didn’t Use Proper Nouns.
  7. How Did Early Man Count?
  8. How did Early Man Find His Way Around
  9. How Did Early Man Tell Time?
  10. How Smart was Lucy 2 mya
  11. Prehistoric fiction is boring. Change my mind.
  12. Why did Early Man Squat, not Sit?
  13. Was Early Man Spiritual
  14. What Did Early Man Eat?
  15. What I learned from Lucy
  16. 10 Characteristics of Great Writing 
  17. 10 Things you probably don’t know about me (Marcia Meara)
  18. 13 Writing Tips and 10 Criticisms I’ve Gotten from Twitter
  19. 60+ Characteristics That Make Your Character Memorable
  20. 5 Excuses Why Writers Don’t Write and 9 Ways to Overcome Them
  21. Why Follow Genre Rules (OC Writing)

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Teacher-Authors: What’s Happening on my Writer’s Blog


A lot of teacher-authors read my WordDreams blog. In this monthly column, I share a popular post with you on my teacher education blog, Ask a Tech Teacher. If you are subscribed to WordDreams, you’ve probably already read this!

I’ve used PowerPoint for all of my book trailers so far, following excellent directions from Diana Peach (see link under PowerPoint), but I want to change up the look in the last book of the trilogy, Dawn of Humanity so, I’m hunting for easy-to-use alternatives. Here are three I’m considering:

  • Canva
  • PowerPoint
  • Windows’ organic video editor

In the brief discussions below, I include how-to steps and examples of work completed with them. The YouTube video in Canva and Windows is from one of my go-to tech ed voices, Richard Byrnes.

Note: I didn’t include popular options like iMovie and Animoto because they are familiar to most.

Some elements you see (like the images and music) may be part of the Canva Pro fee-based option

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mAJochoLo20]

 

Here’s my latest trailer–for Natural Selection, to be published late October 2022–made in Canva:

 

PowerPoint is a great way to create a book trailer. I could go through all the steps, but fellow Indie author, Diana Peach, does it much better. Here are her step-by-step directions:

 

https://mythsofthemirror.com/2019/09/10/book-trailers-with-powerpoint/

 

Here’s the trailer I made for Against All Odds, using PowerPoint:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l5bpxvZDoSY]

This is Windows replacement for the old Windows Movie Maker. I haven’t used it recently because options like PowerPoint and Canva are so much simply for a ludite like me!

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n5pu7JjQw14]

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More options I found when I researched this article that you might be interested in:

  • Adobe Spark
  • Fiverr

If you aren’t yet to the point of selecting a recording tool, maybe wondering whether a book trailer is a good idea and how to organize one if it was, here’s a good short video from Reedsy:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CW0YzZfQe1k]

 

What do you use for book trailers? I’d love to hear what works for you.

Copyright ©2022 askatechteacher.com – All rights reserved.


Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Man vs. Nature saga, the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers, and the acclaimed Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, blog webmaster, an Amazon Vine Voice, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, Natural Selection, Summer 2022

Tech Tip for Teacher-Writers #180–2 second way to find a book on Amazon

Tech Tips for Teacher Writers is an occasional post on overcoming Tech Dread. I’ll cover issues that friends, both real-time and virtual, have shared. Feel free to post a comment about a question you have. I’ll cover it in a future tip.

This tip is to help you find books on Amazon country platforms not your home location. Say, a website guided you to a link in the US Amazon platform (amazon.com), but you want to buy the book in the UK. There’s a two-second way to get you across the world to whatever country you want.

Here’s the link for my latest prehistoric fiction in Amazon’s US platform:

The quickest way to move from the US to Britain’s Amazon platform is replace ‘com’ with ‘co.uk’ like this:

All I do is:

  • double click ‘com’
  • replace the highlighted letters with ‘co.uk’

It works the same way with any other country. You have to know the country’s international ID, but once you do, it’s simple to replace one with the other.  I say it takes two seconds, but it could be faster.

Here’s my product page in the US Amazon

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Teacher-Authors: What’s Happening on my Writer’s Blog

A lot of teachers who read Ask a Tech Teacher are also authors so once a month, I share the most popular post from the past month on my writer blog, WordDreams. Here’s one that’s humorous while hitting close to the heart: 

***

At times, I wonder if I’m missing some critical piece required to be a Real Writer. I do a lot of the right things–

  • I read, a lot.
  • I’m observant.
  • I’m a loner (or, the flip side–I don’t mind being alone).
  • I bloom where I’m planted.

But is that enough? I went in search of other traits successful friends have that might inform my endless quest to succeed in a craft that few can. Here’s what I found:

  1. Writers have a selective memory–they forget the bad stuff people say and remember the good. Otherwise, we get depressed.
  2. Writers are conversant with their muse–anywhere, any time, any subject. It doesn’t matter. When s/he starts talking, writers listen.
  3. Writers are tethered to their voicemail in case that Big Call from an agent comes through. If there is no call, they check to be sure their voicemail is working properly.
  4. Writers understand the importance of taking a break to do something fun, like read a book. If they are one of those unlucky folk who get writer’s block, this will suffice.
  5. Writers never show fear in front of their computer. It’s like a dog–it smells our distress. It’ll then do nasty things like crash in the middle of a scene or corrupt your file.
  6. You can tell a lot about a writer by the way he/she handles three things: rejection, fame, and a change in their schedule.
  7. In golf, one of 14 clubs has to be the right decision. In writing, all 14 are wrong because readers want unique.
  8. Writers don’t want to be judged by what s/he does between the lines.
  9. Writers believe in the impossible, in miracles, and in Santa Claus. They will spend hours on a paragraph, or sentence, and consider it time well spent.
  10. To rephrase Voltaire: “No problem can stand the assault of sustained thinking from a writer.”
  11. Where the engineer thinks of his equations as an approximation to reality, and the physicist thinks reality is an approximation to his equations, the writer thinks it doesn’t matter if the prose are elegant.

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Teacher-Authors–Help launch my latest prehistoric fiction

If you’re a teacher-author–like me!–I’d love your help launching this HS-level historical fiction book with your community. In return, I’d be more than happy to share yours with mine!

The world has changed. Can Lucy, too, if it will save her tribe?

In this conclusion to Lucy’s journey, she and her tribe leave their good home to rescue former tribemembers captured by the enemy. Lucy’s tribe includes a mix of species–a Canis, a Homotherium, and different iterations of early man. More join and some die, but that is the nature of prehistoric life, where survival depends on a combination of developing intellect and man’s inexhaustible will to live. Based on true events.

If you’d like to know a little more about Natural Selection, here’s the trailer.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZhlvou9hvg]

An Indie author’s most powerful marketing tool is word of mouth. We don’t have a big publisher behind us or an agent that pushes us out to the world. What we have is each other, telling our friends about the latest great book we’ve read.

I need your help

If you’re willing to help me promote my latest book, I’ll help you! Here’s how it works:

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Teacher-Authors: What’s Happening on my Writer’s Blog

A lot of teacher-authors read my WordDreams blog. In this monthly column, I share one of the most popular posts from the past month on my writer’s blog, WordDreams. 


tech tips for writersTech Tips for Writers is an occasional post on overcoming Tech Dread. I’ll cover issues that friends, both real-time and virtual, have shared. Feel free to post a comment about a question you have. I’ll cover it in a future tip.

This tip is about visiting a website that gives you an error code similar to this:

 

You probably think the site isn’t working, but a lot of times, it’s a different easily solved problem that takes no time to do.

Look at the URL address (at the top of the webpage):

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Teacher-Authors: What’s Happening on my Writer’s Blog

A lot of teacher-authors read my WordDreams blog. In this monthly column, I share a popular post from the past month (or so). 

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tech tips for writersTech Tips for Writers is an occasional post on overcoming Tech Dread. I’ll cover issues that friends, both real-time and virtual, have shared. Feel free to post a comment about a question you have. I’ll cover it in a future tip.

This tip is about visiting a website that gives you an error code similar to this:

 

You probably think the site isn’t working, but a lot of times, it’s a different easily solved problem that takes no time to do.

Look at the URL address (at the top of the webpage):

If it has https (like this one does), it could mean the website hasn’t been changed from http to https so it doesn’t recognize the address. All you have to do is delete the ‘s’ in the URL to make the site work:

I blurred everything out for privacy, but I think you can see I changed the https to http. The site immediately opened. Interestingly, that works over half the time.

If a site you manage has that problem, check with your host or IT folks and upgrade to https security protocol. Often, that’s free.


Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Man vs. Nature saga, the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers, and the acclaimed Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, blog webmaster, an Amazon Vine Voice, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, Natural Selection, Summer 2022

Teacher-Authors: What’s Happening on my Writer’s Blog

A lot of teacher-authors read my WordDreams blog. In this monthly column, I share the most popular post from the past month on that blog:

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tech tips for writersTech Tips for Writers is an occasional post on overcoming Tech Dread. I’ll cover issues that friends, both real-time and virtual, have shared. Feel free to post a comment about a question you have. I’ll cover it in a future tip.

There are usual ways to find the most recent article written on a blog:

  • Check the top of the blog--This might work, but often bloggers pin ‘Featured Articles’ to the top. It’s not always clear when those run out and the regular ones start.
  • Check the menu for ‘All Posts’–All bloggers don’t have that option.
  • Check the sidebar for ‘Recent Articles’–All bloggers don’t have that and some push it way (way) down the sidebar resources

So what to do if none of those work?

Here’s an example of what I did in one case. I’ll use a blog from a nature writer who wrote a book I loved (Christy Teglo–click to find out more–Christy has amazing adventures). Here’s what the home page looks like:

I clicked ‘Blog at the top and got:

It took a bit of sleuthing to realize these aren’t her most recent articles (though they are fascinating). I checked the sidebar, but you can see in the image above that there is none. Normal people give up at this point, but those who know me are more likely to ascribe ‘odd’ or ‘eclectic’ to me than ‘normal’. So I tried a trick that has worked for me in these types of situations:

  • Go to the search bar
  • Don’t type anything into it. Just push ‘Search’
  • The default if you don’t provide direction is to list all articles in date order

Here’s what I got:

 

Victory! I haven’t had a time yet where this doesn’t work!

How about you? Did this work? Or do you know a better way?

Other Writer’s Tech Tips you might like:


Jacqui Murray has been teaching K-18 technology for 30 years. She is the editor/author of over a hundred tech ed resources including a K-12 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, K-8 Digital Citizenship curriculum. She is an adjunct professor in tech ed, Master Teacher, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice, CSTA presentation reviewer, freelance journalist on tech ed topics, contributor to NEA Today, and author of the tech thrillers, To Hunt a Sub and Twenty-four Days. You can find her resources at Structured Learning.

Teacher-Authors: What’s Happening on my Writer’s Blog

A lot of teacher-authors read my WordDreams blog. In this monthly column, I share the most popular post from the past month on that blog:

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The A to Z Challenge asks bloggers to post 26 articles on a themed topic. It’s supposed to be every day in April except Sundays, but I find that too busy and decided to post mine ‘about’ once a month. Yes, it’ll take me a couple of years. Sigh.

My topic, like the last three times, will be writing genres.

This genre:

2022-QQQ

Quiet Memoir

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Teacher-Authors: What’s Happening on my Writer’s Blog

A lot of teacher-authors read my WordDreams blog. In this monthly column, I share the most popular post from the past month on my writer’s blog, WordDreams


tech tips for writersTech Tips for Writers is an occasional post on overcoming Tech Dread. I’ll cover issues that friends, both real-time and virtual, have shared. Feel free to post a comment about a question you have. I’ll cover it in a future tip.

I can’t believe it took me so long to find this. Windows has a native clipboard (I see some of you rolling your eyes, like of course you know this. Bear with me). The one in MS Office tracks multiple clips, but the one in Windows–I thought–tracked only one. Not true. It tracks as many as MS Office.

Why is this so exciting to me? As I read blogs or articles, I like to copy the parts that I am inspired to comment on, or copy a quote that requires attribution. I created tedious workarounds, but they were… tedious… This Windows clipboard holds twenty-ish bits. Look at the scrollbar in this image (where the orange arrow points).

That’s a big list.

Here’s how you access it:

  • Click the Windows Key and V.
  • That opens the multi-clip clipboard.
  • If you don’t have it activated, the shortkey will ask you to activate it.
  • If the clip is one you want to save–maybe a template piece for a query letter to agents–the three dots on the right side of the clip provide the option to ‘pin’.

One handy characteristic: The clipboard saves these across all of your Windows devices. So, if you save it to your desktop and are later working on your laptop, WinKey+V will bring up the clipboard list.

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