Nick Daw's Writing Blog - Inside the writing world of Nick Daws
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Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Vistaprint free business cards offer

Every freelance writer worth his or her salt should get some business cards printed and carry them about at all times. You just never know when you'll meet a potential client. I recently did a copywriting job for my local second-hand car salesman - and yes, I first met him when I bought my car from him and handed him a business card on the off-chance!

Internet printers Vistaprint have a very good special offer on at the moment, where you can get 250 full-colour business cards printed for free - all you pay is a few pounds for post and packing. They are printed to a high standard on good quality, thick card, and various designs are available. The only thing that differs from their paid-for cards is that the Vistaprint logo appears on the reverse.

Vistaprint also offer free and low-cost rubber stamps, should you happen to need such items. For more details about their special offers, just click on www.nickdaws.co.uk/Vistaprint

Incidentally, the link above takes you to the UK site, but Vistaprint operates in many other countries as well - just click through to the Vistaprint homepage then scroll down to find the necessary links.

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Wednesday, February 15, 2006

My radio interview

Further to my posting last week, I did an Internet radio interview with Karl of WCCL yesterday. He phoned me up at ten to three, and I finally put the phone down at five to five. It's possibly the longest phone call I've ever made, and my ear hurt for a while afterwards! Still, it seemed to go well, and I'm looking forward to hearing the edited version in due course (Karl has promised to cut out all the times he said 'basically' and all the times I said 'at the end of the day'!).

If you'd like to be on the new writers radio station yourself - all you'll need to do is read out a few of your favourite inspirational snippets - do send Karl an e-mail. All the necessary details can be found by clicking on the link below:

New Writers Radio Station

Incidentally, the radio station isn't on the air (or I should say the web) yet, but I'll post details on how you can tune in as soon as it is up and running.

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Friday, February 10, 2006

An unusual source of inspiration?

If you're struggling to come up with ideas for your novel or short story, have you thought of tapping into one of the best free sources of ideas available - your own dreams?

Many books and stories are said to have been inspired by a dream of the author. One of the best-known examples is Alice in Wonderland, the complete plot of which came to Lewis Carroll in a dream.

Of course, many people claim they never have dreams, but research has shown time and again that we all do - four or five times a night. It's just that, when we wake up, we almost instantly forget them.

So one of the best ways to ensure you remember your dreams is to keep a notebook by your bed and record any dreams as soon as you wake up. If you don't fancy writing at this time, I'm sure a mini-recorder would do just as well.

I mention this because in the last few days I've been writing some promotional material for the Lucid Dreaming Kit - a new product from my writing course publishers WCCL. This explains how people can learn to be aware in their dreams and take control of them.

The Lucid Dreaming Kit isn't really aimed at writers, but it struck me it could be a great resource for them. If you can learn this skill, you could act out exciting stories in your dreams, then transcribe them the following day. You could even test different plot twists and see which works out best!

Funnily enough, I've been noticing my dreams more since I started writing about the Lucid Dreaming Kit, and I've even had a lucid dream myself - though almost as soon as I realised I was dreaming, I woke up! Anyway, it's a fascinating field, and one I plan to explore further.

If you'd like to see more information about the Lucid Dreaming Kit, just click on the banner below. Incidentally, I do highly recommend the product - the manual is extremely well written, and you get all sorts of bonus software and an 'audio stimulation CD' as well.

Sweet dreams!


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Tuesday, February 07, 2006

The Janus Effect

I was pleased recently to receive a copy of The Janus Effect, the first novel by my old friend and fellow writer, Alan Cash. We met many years ago as members of the Birmingham Science Fiction Writers Group, to which Alan still belongs.

I've just finished reading the book, so what did I think of it? I'm glad to say I enjoyed it. It's a fast-paced science fiction adventure story, with echoes of The Matrix and (dare I say it?) Doctor Who.

The Janus Effect is set in Britain in 2040, where Eugenics is the dominant philosophy and only the genetically perfect are allowed to breed. The central character, Moss/Loratu (you need to read the book to understand the two names), leads an undercover resistance movement. The trouble is, he has been captured and 20 years have been wiped from his memory. The book concerns his struggle to remember who he is and change the past to protect the future.

The story starts and continues at breakneck pace, with a series of twists and double-twists that keep you guessing right to the end. It also includes some very interesting speculations about the nature and consequences of time travel.

If I have any criticism, it is that some of the characters are drawn a little thinly. Then again, this is really a novel of action and ideas rather than characterization and character development. From that point of view, I could easily see it making a successful Hollywood movie (though it would need a big budget!). If you like intelligent, science-fiction adventure stories, it's a good read.

The Janus Effect is published by Welsh publishing house Y Lolfa at £6.95, or at the discount price of £5.95 from Amazon.co.uk via the link below.


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Sunday, February 05, 2006

New writers radio station - coming soon!

My colleague Karl Moore from WCCL recently made the following announcement at the Mywriterscircle.com forum:

How would YOU like to get your voice heard... on an inspiring new online radio station, EXCLUSIVELY for writers!

The station will broadcast ambient background music, with inspirational quotes, story starters and an hourly writers "alarm". We'll also feature regular interviews -- and we're hoping to convince a number of the authors from this board to take part too!

Its intention isn't to become a source for all the latest author news. We have no illusions of grandeur or fame. We simply want to create some high-quality, focused background noise. As one of the founders of My Writers Circle, I'm helping to develop this as another free resource for the writing community.

Now HERE'S YOUR CHANCE TO TAKE PART. We're currently looking to create a series of "inspiration snippets" -- simply YOU reading out your favourite writers quotes. We're also looking for general INSPIRATIONAL quotes for a similar radio station devoted to self-development.

INTERESTED? You can record the snippet yourself, or just drop us a line and we'll record it over the telephone, or Skype, or Google Talk.

If you want to take part, please send me an e-mail at karl.moore AT whitecliff DOT net. I'll then send you further information. It'll only take a few minutes of your time -- and you could end up on the station forever


This could be a great opportunity to get a ground-floor spot on what could become a world-wide phenomenon for writers. If I were you, I'd e-mail Karl today and ask for further info. Just replace the AT in his email address (above) with the usual @ symbol.

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