Enjoy your family time, but remember your writing goals

Timothy Pike, editor-in-chief
A Letter from the Editor

Here come the holidays again!

As family and friends show up from out of town, shreds of wrapping paper fly about the living room, and entire tables of food disappear before your eyes like some kind of mind-blowing (but mouth-watering) magic trick, ’tis the season for enjoying the company of those we love.

And even though we should all be taking plenty of time to get some much-needed rest—you won’t catch me anywhere near my laptop on Christmas Day—it’s easy to let the ambitious writing goals you’ve set for yourself take a back seat to the excitement and merrymaking of the holiday season.

Don’t let that happen! Says Shirley Holder Platt, award winner and Tier V Rising Star Author at ChapterBuzz, who knows how easy it is to get distracted over the holidays and fall out of your writing routine. Fortunately, she also knows how to stay disciplined through all the festivities, and this month shares her top five tips on how to spark your creativity wherever you go. For example, are you dictating ideas or passages while you’re out running errands, using only the texting features you already have on your smartphone? After reading this article, you might be.

Next, Jodé Millman, a New York–based attorney and Tier IV Newcomer Author, enlightens us on the parts of copyright law that pertain to our work as writers. It might set your mind at ease to know that your work is protected from the moment you write it, but you might also want to know under what circumstances your work wouldn’t be protected. In Q & A format, Jodé gives us a thorough rundown of the copyright options available to you as an author.

We round out our issue with a debut article from Tier II Rising Star Author Cynthia A. Jensen, who tells the tale of how she became a writer—really did it—after a series of false starts in years past. “I used to have notebooks filled with my writings,” Cynthia recounts, “until my sister spilled her Kool-Aid all over them.” But now, after participating in not just one, but two 10K Novel-Building Challenges—and with all sugary drinks safely out of the way—she’s finally making steady progress on her thriller novel, Starrbodies.

And now, our feature presentation: on the cover this month is fantasy author John Alleyn, one of the most recent award winners in the previously mentioned 10K Novel-Building Challenge. From his home in Maryland, John talks about how he taught himself to write, how the smallest detail can bring an entire story together, and how the hours evaporate whenever he starts dreaming up fantastical new worlds.

This is the perfect time to throw another log on the fire, fill your glass to the rim with egg nog, and enjoy this month’s issue of Books & Buzz Magazine.

Happy reading,

Timothy Pike
Editor-in-chief, Books & Buzz Magazine

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