Editorial Reviews. From the Back Cover. Smile lines, a Hawaiian beach shack, podcasting, Ann Kipfer. Religion & Spirituality site eBooks @ lingrlichcarocoun.tk Something to be happy about: This mesmerizing bestseller is revised and updated. Originally published 25 years ago (happy anniversary!) from a list that Barbara Ann Kipfer started making as a child, it’s the book that marries obsession with happiness. And it now has 4, fresh and. Something to be happy about: This mesmerizing bestseller is revised and updated. Originally 14, Things to be Happy About. by Barbara Ann Kipfer. ebook.
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Get this from a library! things to be happy about: the happy book. [Barbara Ann Kipfer] -- No opinions, no explanations, no asides, footnotes, editorializing. things to be happy about: the happy book by Barbara Ann Kipfer; DAISY for print-disabled Download ebook for print-disabled (DAISY). things to be happy about by Barbara Ann Kipfer, , Workman Pub. edition, in English.
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Barbara Ann Kipfer Publisher: New York: Workman Pub. No opinions, no explanations, no asides, footnotes, editorializing, or proselytizing. And all in a plain white cover with large black type. With over one million copies in print, 14, Things to Be Happy About is the mesmerizing bestseller that celebrates all the little things that make life worth living. Any random page is an instant pick-me-up, and reading it is as irresistible as popcorn: Adding to the pleasure are joyous and jewel-like illustrations from Pierre Le-Tan.
And usually I describe it as like watching a film in my head. So I see the characters in the scene, I see everything around them. I see what they're doing with their body language and I just write what I see. I take dictation from what I think they would be saying to each other. I hate to say that anything is easy when it comes to writing but as far as the scene playing out for me and the dialogue, for me, that's the easy part.
Then I will stop after I finish a chapter and I will go back and read what I wrote and I'll kind of tweak it a little. Then I'll do another chapter and then go back and read.
And if I do a third chapter I will then go back and read the entire three chapters again, and by this time, it's getting to be about or And then I will call it quits for the day if I've met my word count, so essentially my day is based on word count. I work much better when I have deadlines. If I don't have a deadline, it will take me forever to write a book. I'm a procrastinator from the word go. I will always put off something today that I can do in a hurry tomorrow.
If I have a deadline, say 30 days out and I want to write a book that's about 85, words which is about average for me and I only want to work on weekdays and not weekends, then it's very easy in Scrivener for me to set that all up and it will tell me exactly how many words I need to write each day. Those are my best days. When I know what my word count is going to be and I don't stop until I finish it. But there are a lot of days I don't meet my word count goal because something pops up, or other things like I have three kids and occasionally their emergencies become my emergencies and so I'll get taken away with that.
Earlier this year, my husband was hurt pretty badly from a fall from a horse, so that kind of took over all of our days so I stopped writing for several weeks when that happened.
I'm not as rigid as I used to be but I still get the writing done. The way I do it is just if I have to, I will do a second writing session in the afternoon or I stay up very late. I'm a night owl so I can stay up till two or three in the morning if necessary. I would say that's my general process. Joanna: And you said you just changed it.
Elle: Yes, somebody joined me up to a private Facebook group called Dragon Authors or something like that. Joanna: Yeah, I'm in the same one. Elle: Okay. So I was like…people join me up to groups all the time and I usually just delete them.
I find it slightly offensive that somebody would join me to a group without talking to me first. But this one caught my eye because there were people in there…I just clicked on it to see what it was and there were people in there talking about dictating their writing for their books.
I have tried dictation twice before. And I tried with Dragon and I tried with the built-in dictation software that comes with your Mac and it was horrible. It was absolutely horrible. So I gave up on it and I thought what a great thing that would be in the future, maybe if my wrists get destroyed from all this writing, I'll have to do it but until then, I'll just keep typing.
14,000 Things to Be Happy About.
I'm a very fast typer. But my wrists do ache. The first day I did it, it was like the end result wasn't great but I could see the potential. Give it a couple of weeks.
I feel like I'm about to a launch an infomercial right now. And I should probably give you a word in edgewise. I'll pause. Joanna: No, no. I'm getting excited too because I am on day two. I'm an infomercial too. So you tell us why it's so amazing for you. Well, before, I used to be tied to my computer and tied my bed because that happens to be the most comfortable place for me to write and it's the quietest place.
So I'm either writing in my bed or I've written several books up in my friend's apartment in Paris, in one of her spare bedrooms. I'm stuck in a bedroom while everybody else is outside enjoying the beautiful weather in Southern France, walking the dogs, and doing all that fun stuff.
So I bought a little Sony Dictaphone that it's about half the size of my cell phone and I took one of my dogs for a walk and it was late in the evening, it was dark out.
I started walking and I realized that with the dog kind of keeping part of my attention, I could dictate a chapter without really realizing what was going on. Like I didn't focus too hard on it so I let my mind wander. I walked through my little village, my village has people living in it, so it's very tiny. And I'm thinking it's dark, nobody is out here. I can act like I'm talking to myself and nobody's going to know. But of course, little do I know, the village is as active at night as during the day.
Several of my neighbors saw me wandering through the neighborhood talking to myself and I'm sure they think I'm nuts but I can take an hour walk with my dog and I can write 5, words. I can write 5, words in 1 hour whereas 5, words took me 4 hours before, or 3 hours.
I would say closer to three hours. So I have had 14,, 15, word days just working a few hours. I could literally write a book in two weeks now, start to finish. Now, that being said, there's always the other side of the coin. It's very rough because first of all, the dictation software doesn't get it exactly right, so you have to go back and polish but also telling a story is a totally different skill than writing a story which is kind of weird.
But there's something going on when you're staring at the screen and you watching the words versus not seeing the words and just wandering around the Earth somewhere. I have had to build that skill and it's taken me two months to be a semi-decent storyteller. In the beginning, when I would come back and plug my little Dictaphone into my USB and upload the dictation to Dragon, it sounded like a person who'd never written a book before.
It was very stilted, stupid and discouraging. But when I went through the editing process, which to me is not difficult, I was able to flush it out and make it better. It just was kind of the bare bones of the story from the dictation. But now I've gotten so much better at dictating that I'm really getting a lot of the story. And I'm at a point now where my dictation is just as good as sitting down and writing at the computer but I'm doing it three, four or five times faster. And I dictated a chapter in the bath tub yesterday.
Joanna: It is, it's like magic. But did you do anything to learn to speak better stories or did you just do it until it got better? Elle: I just kept trying.
I didn't do anything. I didn't like listen to anybody's advice except to just keep trying. What happens is after you upload your dictation and you see the words in front of you and you see how stilted it is and then you kind of tweak it, it's almost like you're tweaking it inside your storytelling mind.
You're not tweaking something you wrote with your hands. Maybe it's just the way my brain works but that's how it seems to have worked out. But one downside to dictation is because I also dictate my grammar.
User dialogue. End quote. Next line.
14,000 Things to be Happy About
Joanna: Punctuation. Elle: Yeah. Joanna: Exclamation mark. Elle: Exactly. If you do too much dictation, it messes with your brain in a weird way, like you start seeing dictation as speaking.
I don't know. It's very weird. I think it's my brain trying to adapt and get better like I'm asking it to but it's going a little too far off into these weird places. Joanna: That is awesome though. I'm definitely into it, it's amazing. So we're going to change the subject now. I wanted to come back to you. Elle: I started out with action adventure because that story happened to be the one story I've been thinking about since I was a kid. And then, because I'm a big fan of fantasy, I thought I'm going to write fantasy because I also have these characters.
I didn't know what was going to happen, I just had the characters in my head. And the characters were based off of me and a friend in high school, so this was me like reliving part of my youth and where it would have been fun for my youth to go, were there was such things as vampires, witches, and whatever.
I was writing what I love to read and what I love to think about. And then, what came next? Then dystopian, science fiction-dystopian came next because I always…since I was a little girl, I've been reading stories like The Boxcar Children and all these other little titles people have never heard of. But they're about kids who have to survive without parents. I love that concept.
So then I wrote a four-book series about that and then I added onto my fantasy series. So it was all just the things I'd always been thinking about. But I…What was it? Four, five, six, seven. Seven books. But I was like I needed to get away from that for a while. I was getting tired of talking to the same characters. So I'm online. At the time, I was online a lot with this writer's forum and there's people on there all the time talking about what's working for them or whatever.
And I was seeing more and more people talk about romance. And I have been a romance reader since I was eight years-old.
And Harlequin was not that hardcore back in the days. Joanna: Yeah, I read it too. There was no sex in there, it was like a kiss. Elle: Yeah, but there were boobs and that was very exciting for an eight year-old girl. So I read a lot of romances and I continued to read them throughout my adulthood and I went from historical romance to modern romance to chicklit, to all these different things but I stayed in it as a reader.
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And I had a special relationship with my grandmother, the romance reader. So I said, I'm going to try to write a romance because number one, I've been a reader of it for a long time, so I absolutely know the genre, but also, there's money in it.
And I am now to the point where I'm going to quit my job as a teacher if I can swing this thing full-time and so far, it looks like I can but now I need to make some decisions about exploring what's the most marketable work. And fantasy is great and science fiction is great and action adventure. For me, what they are is kind of like base hits in baseball. Like, you need those in order to have points on the board and you need those steady players.
And they are steady sellers for me.
And the key to being successful is to get your name in front of as many people as you can because if you're a good writer, then you just need someone to give you a chance. And I felt like the market that I was writing for at that time was quite small and I wanted to get my name in front of more people. So I thought, let's try romance. So I wrote my romance. I had no idea what it was going to be about when I started, I just had this character in mind. So I knew the area, and I just created the best versions of these people and hooked them up in this romance that seemed like a lot of fun, and I added a lot of humor which is kind of my trademark, what I put in no matter what genre it is, and I hoped for the best.
And then I also got like a blog tour and I contacted bloggers who had blogged about my other books or had…I kind of did the traditional what everybody tries to do to get their thing going. But again, this was back in so the playing field was not as competitive as I think it is right now.
And it took off. I got some really great reviews right away from people who were kind enough to put them up on site and I don't think I did any ARCs. I didn't really know what an ARC was, I didn't really know how helpful it would be but I did tell a lot of people about the book and the book ended up hitting the New York Times bestseller list. And so that really made things happen for me.
It just got my name out there in front of a lot more people, and because I can write a book a month, at the time, I was writing a book every month. I quickly followed it up with several other romances. So I had this huge group of people who started following me and romance readers, as I'm sure you know, are voracious readers and they're very loyal to authors who they like and they tell their friends what they're reading, which is kind of unique to that market.
Not a lot of other people share as much as romance readers do. And this is before the site apocalypse, the KU apocalypse. So people were actually being paid for their work. And so when I had that many people following me, that's where things really took off.
I stayed in romance for a while but then I got a little tired of it, like I do with anything that I do for too long.
And so then I tried some other things but I keep going to romance, number one, because I love to read the genre and I love my fans and I don't want to ever disappoint my fans. I see romance all around me, so the ideas are really unlimited. And also, I signed a publishing contract with Montlake when they approached me about these already published titles. I signed up to do some new titles for them, so I've got some old titles with them and some new titles with them. And then, they started marketing my romance titles which also had a big effect.
Then I dropped back into space opera, science fiction, because I love watching it. Like Firefly is one of my favorite series. Joanna: Oh, I like Firefly, yeah. Elle: Yes. My focus this year is going to write a couple of pilots to see if I can get somebody interested in that.
Joanna: That's fantastic. My biggest question, with all of those different genres is you used the same name, right? And received wisdom has been don't use the same name for different genres. Have people followed you across those different genres and do you have any issues with branding around one name? Elle: Well, at first, I was going to write romance and chicklit under a different name. I did write a chicklit before I wrote that romance and I put it under a different name and nobody found it.
And I realized I was going to have to start all over again. I created a second Facebook fan page, a second email account, a second Twitter account, like I doubled everything. And I realized that I was doubling my work. I'm essentially a lazy person at heart, so I did not want to have to double my work. It was really just laziness. I put so much time and effort into branding and marketing myself, I didn't want to have to start over and I didn't want to lose the power of what I had.
And the breadth of first of all, the people, who they are, their ages and where they're coming from and what they do for a living.
It just blew my mind. We could build cities, we could feed the masses, we could care for all the people, healthcare. I'm super thrilled that when you go into my fan club, you'll meet men, women, boys, girls. Whole families are in there. I have three generations of people reading my books. Husbands and wives will sit down and read my books together.
That's very rare and that's very special and I like that about me. It's not something I planned for, but now that it's rolled out, I feel like I was super brilliant. It was no mad plan, it's just I got lucky.
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I think it is possible in this day and age to break the mold, really to do something different.Pieces of You. Then I will stop after I finish a chapter and I will go back and read what I wrote and I'll kind of tweak it a little. Miranda Kerr. Randomly selected and catalogued over the course of twenty years-and illustrated with joyous and jewel-like precision by the gifted artist Pierre Le-Tan, THINGS is Barbara Ann Kipfer's perfect antidote to the all-too-frequently-mentioned things we should be unhappy about.
Sometimes it works - that is, it puts a smile on my face - and sometimes it doesn't.
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