So the WEbooker of the WEek and the Devil Walk into a Bar…

Once again, I have to thank a WEbook intern for
bringing this WEek’s
to my attention. Saraelizabeth gave me the
head’s up on a great new WEbook project, So
God and the Devil Walk into a Bar
 After reading a few installments of this absurd, well-written, and
ridiculously entertaining serial fiction, I thought: Bingo! This guy is definitely WEbooker
of the WEek

I wrote to project leader Danahi to congratulate him on
this honor and ask him a few questions about himself. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that
the author of this mature, assured collection is only eighteen years old, and a
junior at the University of Texas at Austin, majoring in Rhetoric and
Writing. Now, that’s impressive! We have a prodigy on our hands, WEbookers.

Says Danahi
, “I've lived in Texas most of my life, though I did do a brief appearance in
Providence, Rhode Island from eleven to almost-thirteen.  I've been
writing off and on since I was about seven, but I didn't really think to
myself, ‘Oh, I really want to be a writer’ until I was twelve. (Blogger’s note: Practically an old man!)
 I wrote my first ever novel inside of a
notebook, and I just haven't been able to stop.”

I asked Danahi
the tough, revealing questions that this blog is known for, and here are his

Q: What is your hidden talent?

A: My weirdest hidden
talent is probably my ability to tell what the ingredients of desserts are – I’m
really good at it! 

Q: What’s the worst lie you’ve ever told?

A: The worst lie I've
ever told would have to be this time when I apologized to this girl because of
something I said for the sole purpose of appeasing the teacher, not really
because I was sorry; I've also told a few people who aren't my friends that
they are my friends.

Q: What five words would the person who loves
you most in the world use to describe you?

A: Thoughtful,
prudent, reliable, witty, and amiable.

Q: How about the person who hates you the most?

A: Arrogant, proud,
pompous, selfish, and boring.

Danahi has
started three projects
on WEbook, and participated in three more. The bulk of his writing is in So
God and the Devil Walk into a Bar
which tells the story of Amato. According to the project
, “Amato is a hardworking guy: he has two jobs to help his mom out
with the bills, and he goes to school full time at the community college.
While at work, he notices two people obviously talking about him: a man in an
Armani suit, and a girl with dirt in her hair.  What Amato will soon
realize is that the world acts as a playground for Divine beings – and beings
not so divine.  Angels come here to dance and talk; demons do much the
same, and soon, the entire host of heaven – and hell – is talking about the
human boy whom God did not know about.”

God and the Devil Walk into a Bar
is a rare treat. But don’t take my word for it. Get over there and start
. I guarantee that you’ll be
hooked after the first paragraph.

-- Melissa

Creative Writing Advice #1: The Punchline

Confucius says:  "A single conversation across a
table with a wise man is worth a month's study of books."  Well, I'm
no wise man, but I have conversed
across my fair share of tables (and studied more than my fair share of books). So I feel sort of qualified to offer you my WEbook Writing Secrets: Tips on writing better, stronger, faster, and

Today’s WEbook
Writing Secret: The Punchline

In any list, put the most important item last. This is what your reader will notice and remember. This rule works especially well with
humor. You can create a list of ordinary
things, and surprise the reader with something unexpected, funny, or absurd at
the end. Example: “After a good tumble in the sack, Ted likes
nothing better than to smoke a cigarette, drink a glass of orange juice, and polish
his lightsaber collection

Okay, maybe not the funniest sentence in the world, but it’s
a heck of a lot funnier than: “After a good tumble in the sack, Ted likes
nothing better than to polish
his lightsaber collection
, smoke a cigarette, and drink a glass of orange

Bonus: This is a great rule for job applications and resumes. When listing all the things that make you excellent, put the absolutely, totally, most excellent thing
at the end. “Melissa has published
stories in numerous literary magazines and contributed two chapters to WEbook’s first collaborative novel, Pandora, and last summer
she saved the world from imminent attack by hostile aliens, using only a
spatula and three slices of cheese.”

And every word of it is true!

-- Melissa

Now Live at a WEbook Near You

If you’ve been around WEbook
for a while (even a very little while), you’ve probably noticed some big
changes on the site today. That’s right,
WEbookers – it’s WEbook
redesign time! 
The new look and feel
of the site includes a streamlined top navigation, where you’ll find all your
handy avenues to people, projects, and profiles. The redesign also includes an improved header
to notify you of new messages and new project, friend, and group requests. 

Project leaders will find an exciting new tool in the MY
tools box in their projects – Submit
for Publication
. If you think your
project is ready for the big time, starting July 4, you’ll be able to use this
option to do…well, just what it says: Submit for publicationWEbookers
have a two-week window to get their projects in the mix. Voting
will begin July 18, and community votes will determine the next published WEbooks. That’s democracy at work, people.

On top of all this, WEbookers everywhere can now
search projects by keyword using advanced search. If you’re a project leader who started a project
more than a few weeks ago, you might want to edit your project settings (you
can do this using the MY tools menu) and add some keywords, to make sure your
fellow WEbookers can find
you when they need you.

We think this is all pretty fantastic, but we want to hear
from you. Let us know what you think by
leaving a comment here, or visiting the WEbook
feedback forum
. More improvements
are coming soon, so keep your eyes open for regular updates. 

Happy writing!

-- Melissa

A Portrait is Worth a Thousand Words


1. a likeness of a person, esp. of the face, as a painting, drawing, or photograph: a gallery of family portraits.

2. a verbal picture or description, usually of a person: a biography that provides a fascinating portrait of an 18th-century rogue.

Today’s featured
WEbook project
, Collecting People,
contains portraits of all kinds, both visual and verbal. Collecting People is
led by WEbooker
of the WEek
emeritus anowalk,
and it offers an intimate look at the human animal in all its forms. Current submissions include anowalk’s “This
Thing She Was That Didn’t Love a Wall
,” a heart-rending sketch of unrequited
love, and WEbooker MoeBe97’s black and white image
of maternity in “up
& up

Whether you’re a photographer, an artist, a writer, or all
three, your work is welcome in Collecting People. This project is open to all WEbookers. According to the project overview, “Successful
submissions will create depth and range that speaks to the human condition or
to personal or group identity.” Collecting People is
accepting submissions on these themes: Face as Portrait, Body as Portrait, Family as Portrait, Thing as
Portrait, Memory or Past as Portrait, Place as Portrait, Companion as Portrait,
and, of course, the catch-all “Other.” 

If you want to submit a photograph or illustration, be sure
to check out the FAQ on how to
use images
in a WEbook submission. If
you don’t feel like creating a portrait of your own, visit Collecting
to rate the existing submissions, and help anowalk identify the cream of
the people-collecting crop.

-- Melissa

Quick Tip of the Day: Submit to Active Projects

Lately, lots of WEbookers
have been asking me:  Is it better to submit to projects that are
already in progress, or should I start my own project? My answer: It depends on what you’re writing, and what
your goals are – but if you want more readers sooner, submit to one of WEbook’s
many active projects.

come with a big bonus: A
built-in audience. If you’re looking to
get feedback and improve your writing, there’s no better way to do it than to
get involved with a project where WEbookers are already working
hard to create something great. You can
read the other submissions, get to know the other writers, and give feedback.  Other project participants are bound to return the favor. Active projects are also
more likely to have interested readers who are already engaged with other
submissions – and ready and waiting to read yours.

To tell if a project is accepting submissions from WEbookers far and wide, take a
look at the “Book Info” box for the project. If it says, “Participants: The
WEbook Community” and “Who can write: All Participants,” you’re good to go. For regular tips on my personal favorite active projects, visit the
WEbook Projects
section of this blog.

Of course, if you’re writing a book all by yourself – say,
The Great American Novel, or a how-to guide for left-handed chess players, or a
complete history of pre-modern Bavaria – you’ll probably need to start your own
project.  Even then, it’s a good idea to get involved
with some active projects,
either by writing or giving feedback. If
people like your writing, they might visit your other projects.  Before you
know it, you’ll have more feedback for that Great American Novel than you know
what to do with.

-- Melissa

Mr. Man Tip Scores WEbook of the WEek Honors

There’s a new voice over at 101
Things Every Man Should Know How to Do
WEbook’s hilarious “manthology” of dude do’s
and don’ts – and that voice belongs to Mr. Man Tip, resident expert in all
things guy. (Sort of.)

Mr. Man Tip is the brainchild of WEbooker infynitemonkeys, our
newest WEbooker
of the WEek
. Infynitemonkeys has
been knocking around WEbook for a while,
writing about how to properly wear
a Speedo
and how to escape
an alien abduction
. He also gives
fantastic feedback,
and he’s an invaluable member of forum
to help shape the direction of 101
Things Every Man Should Know How to Do

hit gold with the invention of Mr. Man Tip, prompting fellow WEbooker SeaUrchin to ask: “Did you ever think this would be your true
calling, Mr. Heloise?” Visit 101
Things Every Man Should Know How to Do
to read Mr. Man Tip’s tips on drinking
milk at bars
, convincing your wife to let you keep
your old junk
, and fixing
absolutely anything
around the house. When you’re done reading, hop over to the forums
to suggest new topics for Mr. Man Tip to cover.

But before you go anywhere, let’s get to know Mr. Man Tip
himself, a.k.a. infynitemonkeys,
a.k.a. WEbooker
of the WEek

has a B.S. in Ocean Engineering from Florida Tech, and his professional
experience falls into the “much-heralded, but less-than-literary field of deep
sea diving.”   In his own words, “My
interest in writing stems from years of technical writing in this field, and an
active imagination on long plane rides.”  Infynitemonkeys  currently lives in Vienna, Austria, where he
is busy studying German and “failing at the art of homemaking.”  You can
read more in his blog,

In keeping with WEbooker
of the WEek
tradition, I asked infynitemonkeys a few
random questions:

Q:  What was the last truly
horrible book you picked up?  Did you finish it?

Undaunted Courage,
by Steven Ambrose.  No, I didn't finish it.  I can't remember why I
didn't like it.  I do remember that hitting myself over the head with it
didn't help.

Q:  What was the first concert you
ever attended?

Pink Floyd's The Wall, 1990, in Berlin shortly after the
wall came down.  Five hundred thousand people.  Haven't seen a better
concert since. 

Q:  What is your favorite joke?

A piece of string walks into a bar.  Bartender says,
"We don't serve strings in here."  The string goes outside and
sits on the curb.  He gets an idea.  He takes his top half and ties
it into a knot, then frays the ends.  Inside, the bartender sees him.
"Aren't you that string I just got rid of?"  Strings says,
"Nope, I'm a frayed knot."

plans to submit his first novel, The
Legend of Vinny Whiskers
to the inaugural WEbook voting cycle on July 4th.
The story? In a few words: “ Zoo gone wrong, animals attacked in their
own cages, one prairie dog to save them all.” Keep your eyes open.

-- Melissa

Does Hockey Suck? Apparently, Yes.

The oh-so-lovely Melissa is still on vacation, so once again avid WEbook Blog readers will have to settle for a lowly intern...

This morning, I put my marketing responsibilites to the side and jumped into the pool, reading some of the hundreds of projects in progress at WEbook.

One instantly caught my eye.  As a sports fan and true cynic (I'm still dealing day-to-day with the highly evolved mentality of the college man, after all), it is no surprise that my favorite read du jour on WEbook would be one that sheds light on three fascinating topics: the perpetually happy, men, and hockey.

Why Hockey Sucks and Other Random Thoughts is a collection of ramblings (humorous, insightful, and all-too-accurate) by a man who, it is safe to say from his nearly instant replies to my numerous WEbook messages, has too much time on his hands.  Although this may be his employer's loss, it is definitely my gain.

WEbooker Balaspa tells it like it is and, even if you disagree with his views (which you more than likely will, especially when he dares to touch on basketball), Why Hockey Sucks and Other Random Thoughts is an engaging light read that will elicit a laugh or two after a long day at the office (or in the middle, as is my good fortune).

Now, as a self-published author three-times over, Balaspa has high hopes for this project and plans to submit the whole collection to WEbook's inaugural voting cycle on July 4.

Help Balaspa convince the world that hockey sucks by reviewing and rating this entertaining project! Or spam his WEbook inbox with angry messages (which he would probably find very amusing). Either way, enjoy!


WEbooker of the WEek: The Father's Day Edition

Another week, another WEbooker
of the WEek
. Melissa is on vacation and that means you all get the pleasure of reading the work of WEterns (WEbook Interns) in lieu of her eloquent writing (though we hold our own).  Today’s WEbooker
of the WEek
post is brought to you by AndiJayne, working hard to tickle your fancy.

Once again, this week’s WEbooker
of the WEek
wasn’t pulled from the Top Writers or the Top Reviewers page.  I found out about KarlLee and his project "In Between" from Pinhigh, our lovely leader here in the WEbook office. 

Why, you may ask, has he been chosen to be our WEbooker
of the WEek
?  Spend a little time reading his work, and you’ll find the answer.  His writing is philosophical, honest, open, and follows the randomness of life itself.  I hope you find him as inspirational as I did. This is a truly exceptional project with a unique and touching intent that is both beautiful and painful:  He writes to his son in order to fill the void he will someday leave.

KarlLee’s writing does more than tell a story, it gives you a sense of a life.    In his own words, “This project is not a novel, a mystery or a biography. It is a bit of everything. It is the result of a desire to leave my son with more than memories, to leave him with something tangible beside pain. It is a collection of thoughts, perspectives, advice and hopes which will hopefully act as a guide for my son and all others in similar situations.”

I bet you’re just dying to know more about KarlLee now.  Here’s his nano-bio in his own words:

“I awoke in a hospital.  Breathed, Then began an existence in the suburbs of Alameda, California.  I found myself hitting tennis balls against a wall, but the wall always won.  Sooner, rather than later I found myself graduated from U.C. Berkeley, then it was off to the east coast where I thought I was going to perish from the extreme weather conditions.  Then my classmates told me it was only Autumn in Boston.  I survived only to move south to Maryland, hoping that the change would ensure a warmer clime.  It is here where I feel a great sense of balance, of family, work, personal effort and stillness.  I currently reside in a suburb of Washington, D.C. (Gaithersburg, MD), in a small section known as Kentlands.  I am the associate tennis pro in this development.  I coach my son, Bear, and miraculously, he actually listens to me. I met my wife, Kathy, while working on a construction crew in Great Falls, VA.  I was a miserable worker, as everything I touched fell apart.  She married me regardless.  Oh, yeah.  I am also a dentist.  Currently, I try very hard not to let things fall apart.”

After browsing both his profile and his posts, I couldn’t resist trying to learn more about him.  Who is this wonderful writer who, like me, loves Iron Man and Indiana Jones?

Q)  I see that if you had the choice to be a character for a day, you would be either Ironman or Indiana Jones.  First: Did you see the recently released movies devoted to these characters?  Second:  If you did, what would you have done differently in the stories?

A)  I was truly inspired by both movies, as the heroic figure in each movie is a flawed character who endeavors in spite of himself and strives to achieve his goal despite the daunting opposition.  The drive to "do the right thing" is a powerful tool.  I would like to imagine that we all have a bit of hero in all of us, despite being a slave to social conformity and proper manners.  Sometimes a subtle action, done without thought of compensation is a heroic deed.  It may be as simple as saying, “I am sorry".  I tend to take the movies on their own merit, seeing them as works of art. I enjoyed both Iron Man and Indy, as I grew up with Iron Man in the comics, and I must have seen Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom at least 20 times.  I love them for being larger than life, for transporting me into their dimensions and allowing me to glide with them for a brief time.  So much fun.

Q)  Pick a country and then use only four words to give it life.

A)  Mexico.

Orphan.  Ignorance.  Cajones.   Home.

Q)  How did you meet the most important person in your life?

A)  The vapor of sweat enclouded my body in the core of an August summer in DC.  I was digging an irrigation ditch with a post hole digger in Great Falls, VA.  The heat was brutally mean and uncompromising, like a tick that refuses to part with the juices of your body.  I looked up, and met my future wife.

Q)  When you sit alone thinking and a random, happy thought comes into your mind, What is that thought?

A)  Bear Hunter Lee

I say keep an eye on this one, I can’t wait to read more.


Today on WEbook: Genres, Keywords, Publication, and More!

Once again, the WEbook developers
have made some changes and improvements to the site – a lot of them based on
real, live feedback from real, live WEbookers.  Some of the changes are cosmetic, like the
new purple “Read it” button and the spiffy orange stars for ratings (they’re
actually old-fashioned typewriter-font asterisks!).  Other
highlights include:

New landing pages for genres! To see an example, check out the Travel page. You’ll find a host of projects offering
opportunities for aspiring travel writers. To see more genres, go to Active Projects and use
the genre pulldown menu.

Speaking of genres, we have a few new ones – you can now
find short stories,
novels, and poetry collections using
the genre menu. (Note for poets: If you started your poetry collection more
than a few weeks ago, check to make sure it’s labeled correctly. Go to your project and click on “Edit Project
Settings” in the “My Tools” menu. If the
poetry button isn’t clicked, click it! It’s that easy. Your project will
now show up on the poetry
genre page
, and when a user does an advanced search for

Project leaders can also choose not just one, but two genres for their project to be
associated with! If you already have a
project underway, use “Edit Project Settings” to add a second genre.

Project leaders can now label their projects with
keywords. This is the only the first
step in our quest to make it easier for writers, readers, and reviewers to find the
projects they’re interested in. Keep
your eyes open for many more improvements in tagging and searchability in the
coming months!

Finally, if you’re the leader of a project, you may notice
that “My Tools” has a new menu option – Submit
for Publication!
Starting July 4, you’ll be able to use
this menu option to enter your completed WEbook project for community voting. WEbook
will select its next published books from the projects voted in the top 10%.

To prepare your project for competition, you can now remove submissions. If a submission doesn’t cut the mustard, you
can remove it from your project by clicking on “Manage Submissions” in the “My
Tools” menu. You’ll be going into the WEbook vote with only the
strongest project submissions.

WEbook is working
tirelessly to improve the writing, reading, and reviewing experience for its
users. We can’t do it without you, the
dedicated WEbooker. Post your suggestions on the WEbook
Feedback forum
, and help us help you. (For bugs and other technical difficulties, give a holler to the Report
Bugs forum

-- Melissa

Toxic Poop is Good Readin’

Maybe I’m squeamish, but the title Toxic
Poop: Stories from the Other Side of the
doesn’t immediately make me think, “That sounds like some good
readin’! Sign me up!” So I have to thank WEbook intern AndiJayne for bringing this one to my attention. AndiJayne is charged with
reaching out to new project leaders and offering them the help and guidance
they need to get their projects off the ground. When she came across Toxic
, she started ringing the big red bell we keep in the WEbook offices for use in the event of a
tornado, flash flood, or fantastic new project. 

I exclaimed. “Seriously?” But WEbook
gets its interns from the very best colleges in the country, so I decided to give
AndiJayne the benefit of
the doubt. I took a look at Toxic
Poop: Stories from the Other Side of the
and a few sentences in, I was converted.

tells the true story of WEbooker KarenGibson’s life as a
nurse. According to KarenGibson, the book is
aimed at “nursing students making their way through nursing school, nurses
currently sitting in the trenches, and patients who may have often wondered
what a nurse actually does.” The writing
is crisp and compelling, liberally peppered with lively phrases and
entertaining anecdotes. I haven’t yet
gotten to “Chapter
5: Getting to Know Bodily Fluids Up
Close and Personal
” – maybe some brave WEbooker will go where
angels fear to tread, and bring back word to the rest of us.

is currently accepting reviews and ratings, and I’m very excited
to report that KarenGibson
is planning on submitting the finished product to WEbook’s inaugural voting cycle on
July 4! If the project gets enough votes
from fellow WEbookers, KarenGibson could be WEbook’s next published author. KarenGibson is still
looking for feedback to help her polish her manuscript. Visit Toxic
today – your comments could contribute to the success of this

I’d also love to hear from other WEbookers who are planning on
submitting a project to the July 4 voting
. Leave a comment in this blog,
or drop me a note from my profile.

-- Melissa

P.S. If reading about
poop isn’t enough for you, you can contribute your own poop-related story to Poop Confessions,
where WEbookers are sharing
their “hilarious, entertaining, or embarrassing bathroom stories.” Meanwhile, I hope to win a prize for most
liberal use of the word “poop” in a company blog.


WEbooker of the WEek Gets Provocative

I admit it – usually, when I’m looking for the next WEbooker
of the WEek
, I go straight to Top
and check out the most prolific writers on the site. But this WEek’s
isn’t anywhere to be found on Top Writers. He’s not a Top Reviewer, either. So who is he, and why does he deserve the
coveted honors – and spiffy new WEbook T-shirt – that go along with being named
of the WEek

His name is revel_arroway,
and he may not be a Top Writer
or a Top Reviewer, but he’s
been making quite a splash on the Forums
these days. One
provocative post
has been hovering at the top of the General
forum for a week. If you want
to find out what’s so provocative about it, you’ll have to read
it for yourself

WEbook is a community of writers,
readers, and thinkers, and conversation is a big part of building a good
community. So this week, I’m creating a
brand new category just for revel_arroway: Top Conversationalist. Thanks for getting everyone talking, mr._arroway!

Revel_arroway is
a recovering theatre major who left New York City to teach English as a Second
Language in Spain. He’s been living
there for 27 years, and he has no intention of ever returning to the
States. You can find out more about his
life abroad in WEbook’s Ex-Pat Journal. He became a writer when A Tale of Two Cities showed up on the required reading list of his
freshman language arts class. Says revel_arroway, “I hadn’t
finished reading it before I was trying to write my own epic novel.” I don’t know how that effort turned out, but
he wrote what he considers his real
first novel during his first months of living alone in Spain. One of his WEbook submissions,
was by far
,” is an excerpt from that book.

Since revel_arroway
is so provocative, I decided to ask him a few provocative questions of my

Q: When was the last time you had a nightmare?

A: When I was a child I had a lot
of nightmares, most of them involving flying, some with deaths of people close
to me, few with monsters and the like. My mother suggested that in the flying dreams
I should try to decide where I would like to fly, gain control over those
dreams and enjoy the ride. For the rest of the dreams, she told me that, upon
waking, I should try singing a song that I liked to calm my fears. That song
was “Frosty the Snowman”, though I quickly had a nightmare about Frosty soon
afterward. Anyway, the main thing my mother was trying to get across to me was
that dreams are experience and one can be carried away or one can control, the
decision is in one’s own hands. So, haven’t had a real nightmare for years,
scary dreams perhaps, but I’ve always liked slash and gash literature!

Q: If you could live in the mountains, by the ocean, or in a city – but not
more than one of those places – which would you choose?

A: If those are the only three choices, I would say the mountains;
however, I looked at a few houses in the mountains when trying to buy a home
about four years ago and decided that driving on those narrow, winding roads
every day to get to work would be a nightmare in the winter time, and so chose
the open plains that stretch out from the foothills that are just an hour and a
half away from my new house. Maybe because I spent the best years of my life in
such an environment just east of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado. Maybe because
I don’t know how to swim and don’t like salty humidity destroying the under
works of my car. I do know that I like walking in the mountains, so much more
to see than walking on the beach. And I’ve had enough of cities after eight
years in New York, four in Barcelona, and another handful in other cities.

Q: What is the worst vacation you’ve ever been on?

Well, I didn’t go anywhere, but it was Christmas “vacation” when I was a
sophomore in high school. My stepfather had made a lot of money that year and
there were a lot of gifts for the kids and everything was going alright until
my mother discovered that someone had chomped down on an entire Tupperware of
bourbon balls that she had prepared months before and had left to ferment in a
kitchen cupboard. Bourbon balls are disgusting chocolate balls with nuts and a
lot of sugar and bourbon that my mother always made for Christmas. My
stepfather went a bit mad, made a pretty horrible scene, the holiday was
ruined, there were shouts and tears, the turkey dried out in the oven, the
dinner was cancelled, finally my siblings were accused of the crime (though I
am sure that my stepfather contributed to the disappearance of those disgusting
things). I was scot free as it was well known that I did not like bourbon balls
at all.

promises to write about that last one on WEbook
soon, so keep your eyes open.)

-- Melissa

WEbook Tip: How to Get Great Feedback on Your Writing

So you came to WEbook
hoping to post your work, get lots of readers, and get the feedback and
criticism you need to take your writing to the next level. You're in the right place! WEbook
is teeming with thousands of passionate writers, readers, and reviewers, all here to –
well, to write, read, and review, and hopefully wage a publishing revolution
along the way. Luckily for WEbookers everywhere, there are
a few things you can do to increase your chances of getting great feedback
for your WEbook submissions.

It all starts with getting noticed. If you start your own project, be
sure to upload a cover image, and write a teaser and overview that are catchy,
clear, and free of typos and grammatical errors. If you contribute to an Active Project, take the
time to fill out your profile and upload an avatar. These simple actions will help your work jump
off the screen.

Next, it’s all about the golden rule. As with all online communities, you’ll get
more out of WEbook if you put more
in. The best way to get more
participants and feedback for your work is to be an active member of the
community. The number one rule for
getting feedback is to give a lot of feedback!

Browse Active
and Top Writers
to find other writers you like. Read
their work and give them feedback – then invite them to check out your work. You can also check Top Reviewers to find the
most active feedbackers on WEbook.

are another good place to look for feedback. Join or start a Group based
on your writing interests. Connect with
other writers in the group, and use the forums to ask for help on your project.

You can also post to the Help
forum. The more specific your
request, the better! Instead of: “I need feedback,” try: “I’m looking for people to critique my ideas
about 16th Century courting rituals in northern Europe.” Remember, you’re more likely to get a response
from people you’ve established a relationship with, through providing them
feedback or interacting on the site in some other way, than you are from total
strangers coming across a Help

Finally, use “Share This” to post your work to Facebook, Digg,
MySpace, or wherever you hang out on the
web, or to e-mail it to your friends and ask them to take a look. The more readers you bring to WEbook, the more active your projects will

With a little elbow-grease and good community spirit, you
should be up to your neck in feedback in no time!

-- Melissa

P.S. Of course there’s
always the question of how to give good feedback, as well as how to respond to the feedback
you get – but those are blog posts for another day!

Mind the Gap!

are sharing stories of love and conflict across generations at Mind the Gap. This project has an interesting history at WEbook – it began as a collection of short
fiction, and it has now expanded to include true stories of lessons learned,
moments shared, and battles waged between mothers, daughters, fathers, sons,
grandparents, aunts, uncles, and friends of all ages.

the Gap
is seeking new stories about multigenerational relationships. Stories should fit into one of the following
topics – though if you have a story that doesn’t fit, don’t worry! Submit it anyway, and it might become the cornerstone
of a brand new section.

Parents Just Don’t Understand: Children young and old explore the closeness
and conflict that come with having parents.

Kids These Days!: Reflections and observations about younger
generations from the more mature.

Ain’t Life Grand: Stories about the bond between grandparents
and grand-children.

Tias, Tantes, and
Tales from the extended
family. Aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews,
and more!

Friends Like
Stories about friendships
between generations.

If you’re not in the writing mood, that’s okay. If you have a family or friends, chances are
you’ll find something to read, review, and rate over at Mind the Gap. Join your fellow WEbookers in celebrating the
joys of the generations.

-- Melissa

WEbooker of the WEek Michael Shifts His POV

WEbook, meet Michael, the newest member of
the ever-growing WEbooker
of the WEek
club. Michael caught my eye when I
checked out his novel-in-progress, In
the Wake of the Enchantress
, and noticed something pretty neat. The first chapter of In
the Wake of the Enchantress
includes no fewer than three separate
points of view!  It turns out that this
is a very intentional choice. Michaelsays:  “I have given thought to why people are
reading less and less. [The POV] is an
attempt to compete with the more fast-paced narrative of a movie or TV show.” The coolest thing about the shifting point of
view? It works!

You can check out In
the Wake of the Enchantress
and see for yourself – but first, let’s learn
a little something about our WEbooker
of the WEek

Michael tells me that he’s
been writing most of his life.  He grew up on St. Simons Island off the
coast of Georgia.  According to Michael, “It was a wonderful
place to grow up.  I had the privilege of knowing Eugenia Price and she
inspired me to write. She gave me the
best advice ever: ‘Write every single day, at least 300 words.’  That has
served me well.”

Writing, says Michael, is “a
way for me to let the 1000 little people in my head have a voice.”

In the grand tradition of WEbooker
of the WEek
, I asked Michael
a few questions in the hopes of getting something juicy for the tabloids. Here’s what he said:

Q: What’s the stupidest thing you’ve ever
done? Would you do it again?

A:  When I was 14, I let my Mom
talk me into dressing like a hooker for Halloween.  Those pictures still
haunt me at family reunions.  Knowing what I know now in life, I would not
do it again. If I was 14 again, I
would. But not now.      

Q: If you could live one day of your life over again, changing nothing,
what would you choose?

A:  Gosh, it would be easier to
tell you the days I would not.  It would have to be my daughter's
birth.  It is special to me on so many levels.

Hurry over and read In
the Wake of the Enchantress
. Leave your feedback for Michael
(he finds feedback on technical elements of craft more helpful than feedback on
content) – and don’t forget to give him a big WEbook
high-five for bagging the highly coveted WEbooker
of the WEek

-- Melissa

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