Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Wishing you the best for the coming year 2015 and hope all your dreams come true.

Last Clichès:

Duty Bound—To be firmly obligated. This phrase is from bounden duty, which dates from the 1500s and was actually redundant, since from the 1400s bound also meant “under obligations.” It appears in the Communion Service of the Book of Common Prayer (1559). It also appears 3 centuries later in The Manchester Strike by Harriet Martineau (1833). Sometime, this term was changed grammatically to the present usage “duty bound.”

On a shoestring (budget)—On a strict budget or with very limited means. Not sure where this came from. One writer suggests it comes from one’s resources being limited to shoelaces. There’s a legend from Exeter, England, that prisoners confined in debtor’s prison would lower a shoe from the window to collect money so they could get out of prison, a tale appealing to tourists but far-fetched. Another explanation is the physical nature of  shoelace, meaning it is a very slender cord or string, which became a metaphor for slender resources stretched to their utmost. It probably originated in America in the late 19th century. A 1904 issue of Cosmopolitan stated, “He speculated on a shoestring—an exceedingly small margin.”

One on One—A direct encounter between two people. This phrase was transferred to general use from several sports. Basketball—it signifies an informal game with just two players and means the standard form of defense, in which one player guards one opponent. Football—it means a player covering (or being covered by) a single opponent. In about 1960 it began to be used for nonathletic encounters.

Hope you found them all.

So, I’m sure you are with bated breath for the rest of my wisdom from Chuck Sambuchino’s workshop I attended on Nov. 22nd.

He closed the workshop with giving us ten things you can control for getting published. Of course, the worst part of writing is that so much is out of your control. But he made my day when he said: “you need to focus on what you CAN control”:

1. Always write the best you can. Don’t be impatient.

2. Understand the difference between traditional and self-publishing.

3. Create a writer platform.

4. Keep moving forward—face your rejections, setbacks, frustration and even the passive/aggressive family members

5. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Keep writing more books, articles, etc.

6. Write for love and/or money.

7. Don’t believe everything you hear. Check facts in different places.

8. Don’t fall into Chapter 1 pitfalls: A) nothing happens and story starts to slow; on page one you should shoot for attention grabbing, problem of story, conflict and trouble. B) Don’t have too much Telling; Show!

9. Steal from yourself – write from value and don’t let any of your writing go to waste. Maximize the value by taking something from your novel and perhaps make it into a short story or expand the short story into something longer. Recycle your work and reuse in other venues.

10. The biggest secret to getting published???? —- PUT DOWN THE REMOTE CONTROL! Make no ifs, ands, or buts with your writing. Make more time for your writing journey.

Hope you’ve checked out Chuck Sambuchino’s website and blog,

Until next time,

Keep Writing,


New to my blog: Check out these past posts:

Editing Phase

Useful sites

Format your book for self-publishing