Tag Archives: Millennium Media Masters

A Creative Extravaganza: Living the Writing Life

This past week’s writing and creative activities have certainly felt in the spirit of the season —  a series of outstanding Christmas stocking stuffers. All of them remind me of why it is so wonderful to be a writer, an editor, and blessed with a lifestyle in which we get to meet and work with some of the most fascinating people in the world.

Without further adieu …

Workshop and Conference Teaching Schedule Announced in January

Next month, we’ll announce most of the 2011 Word Journeys conference and workshop teaching schedule. We’re going to expand from 2010, with confirmed appearances at February’s Southern California Writers Conference in San Diego, March’s Tucson Festival of Books, and a May workshop at New York’s Open Center preceding the Book Expo America convention. We’re also planning workshop series in North San Diego County, Tucson and more. Stay tuned!

Memories with PT

The other day, I met with old friend Peter Townend, professional surfing’s first world champion and co-star of the epic surf films Free Ride and Big Wednesday. He had just come from lunch with Basketball Hall of Famer Bill Walton and others involved with the Legends project that features a group of great sports champions. We sat down to talk about a series of books on which we’ll be working together, including Memories in Pink, a memoir presented in a much different format than usual. During our meeting, PT pulled out a notebook of old typewritten manuscripts dating back to 1974. (While winning the world title in 1976, when pro surfing had no money, he made his living as a surf journalist, working for Rupert Murdoch’s Sydney Daily Mirror and United Press International, among others.) In the notebook was the manuscript of an article on Surf City USA, Huntington Beach, that I assigned him 30 years ago while I was the original editor of Breakout Magazine. In a moment of shared history, he handed me the manuscript and I looked down at my handwritten edit marks … that was cool. Much more coming from PT through the company I co-own, Millennium Media Masters, as we move into 2011 and beyond.

A Poetry Read Worth Remembering

I’ve become thoroughly convinced that San Diego County is one of the most underrated parts of the country when it comes to poetry. San Francisco and New York get the ink, but every time I turn up for a reading in San Diego County, something or someone else blows me away. Which is good, because if you blow me away, you’re likely to get published in the literary journal I edit, The Hummingbird Review.

The other night, I attended the Magee Park Poets reading in Carlsbad — the third of three fantastic readings in the past six weeks. The others were our Hummingbird Review Poetry Revue and a group reading by students of Solana Beach master poetry teacher Harry Griswold. Poets read their works that were selected for the annual Magee Poets Anthology, and many were quite outstanding.

One poet, however, took my breath away: D.N. Sutton. She’s been in this blog before, three years ago. Now she’s 90, and this elegant Southern belle walked up to the stage and brought the house down with her meticulously read poem, “Question Mark (at age 90).” It’s about going into the twilight, but not before living her life to the fullest. You’ll see it in the next issue of The Hummingbird Review, which releases in mid-February.

Fascinating Interview with A Longtime Friend

Last week, I took my sister and brother-in-law to see Wild Child, the Doors tribute band, at the Whisky A Go-Go in Hollywood. This was special because, despite my four-decade love affair with the Doors, I’d never been to the Whisky, where they broke on through in 1966. And Wild Child is easily the best tribute band. The show was fabulous — 2 1/2 hours during which they played side one of my favorite Doors album, Morrison Hotel. A few days later, my lifelong friend and former cross-country and track teammate at Carlsbad (CA) High School, the screenwriter, director, teacher and artist Randall Jahnson, was profiled in Examiner.com. It’s been almost 20 years since the movie Randall principally wrote, The Doors, was released. He’s done many more things since then — and his newest projects are awesome, as you’ll read in the interview — but just goes to show how long our books, films and other works can remain relevant if we work on our material until it can be improved no more. Check out this interview.

The Dandy Warhols Concert

Normally, I don’t mix music and writing. Well, yes I do — all the time. What a special treat to see one of my favorite bands, The Dandy Warhols, in top form the other night. It was one of the finest concerts I’ve ever seen. The Dandy Warhols have produced some of the most original music of the past 20 years — but for some strange reason, they are much more popular in Europe, Canada and Australia, even though they come from Portland, Ore. Maybe it’s because they weren’t on American Idol! Whenever rock critics and pundits give you five or six genre labels, well, you’re both multi-faceted and truly original. It was a treat to hear them play songs spanning all 17 years of their history, to hear their often poetic lyrics, and to see the truly artistic interplay between singer-guitarist Courtney Taylor-Taylor, guitarist Peter Holmstrom, drummer Brent de Boer and keyboardist-bassist Zia McCabe. It’s like watching rock music paint an intricate design. While at the concert, I ran into an old friend, Ken Leighton, who used to manage the early 1980s band that should have made it to the big time out of North San Diego County — Incognito. Ken had them in prime position, but the band self-destructed.

Check Out Millennium Media Masters

We’ve spent the past three months building the foundation for a true 21st century Knowledge Economy media and publishing powerhouse. Now, as 2011 arrives, we’ll be fully rolling out the combination of more than 100 years of writing, editing, publishing, marketing, photographic, graphic design and online media experience — Millennium Media Masters.

We’ve assembled an incredible team to serve authors, publishers, agents, entrepreneurs, business executives, content providers and online media aspirants with the highest quality work available in the market — in all genres. Besides myself, our core team consists of business partner John Josepho, who has 30 years of media, photography, marketing and business consulting experience; director of operations Lisa Maine, with 20 years of graphic design and writing background; web designer Laura Brown, one of the true up-and-coming forces in the yoga and health markets; web designer and social media expert Brian Wilkes, whose 40 years of experience covers all aspects of print, broadcast and online media; and our “young guns,” the graphic design and production team of Chitra Sudhakaran, Jamie Dawick and Anna Preston.

See what we’re up to by visiting our website.




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Filed under Adult Literacy, Author Platform, Books, Christmas, E-books, Editing, Featured Websites, Journaling, Journalism, literature, Marketing, Millennium Media Masters, poetry, Promotion, Promotions, Reading, travelogue, workshops, writers conferences, Writing, Young Writers

Readings, Teaching Workshops, Going Online

To purchase The Write Time: 366 Exercises to Fulfill Your Writing Life

To join Writing The World Workshops

During the Southern California Writers Conference, I met the associate editor of Toastmasters Magazine, Beth Black. We talked for a few minutes, and continued the dialogue during the past week. Our conversation pertained to the way writers and teachers of writing have migrated online to conduct all parts of their businesses.

This is a monumental week for me in that regard, in three ways:

• I have joined Harvey Stanbrough and Chris O’Byrne in presenting the Writing The World Workshops membership-based website, with its writing courses, articles, tips and video classes;

• The 7-minute social media and networking tutorial I delivered at the end of my “Your Journal, Your Goldmine” workshop at the Southern California Writers Conference is now available on You Tube and my newest business website;

• Which is the third major development: I’ve joined my longtime friend, John Josepho, in forming Millennium Media Masters — which is all about print and online publishing, platforming, media and affiliate marketing development for entrepreneurs, artists of all media (including filmmakers), musicians and writers who want to get their stories, messages and brands out to their audiences in a variety of different forms.

So when Beth asked me a couple of Toastmasters-type questions pertaining to the online migration, and reading publicly, I obliged. Thought I’d share the answers with you:

Q: If you can give me a quote or two on what it’s like going from the quiet of writing time to presenting in public (or pitching to an agent or publisher), that would be great.

A: Writing alone is very solitary and insular, almost like being in another world — especially when writing fiction, when we should be in another world, the world of our story and characters. Everything happens between the creative and thinking minds. When presenting workshops or talking about writing, we have to carry all this information outward and be crisp and confident when doing so, because attendees are seeking to apply your experience and knowledge to their work. I find it easiest to approach this like a storyteller, weaving together information with anecdotes that best illustrate the point. Pitching to agents or publishers is different yet: I have 60 seconds to interest them and another 60 to 120 to summarize my book — making the ability to communicate verbally and with good expression a must.

Q: Also, if you’ve done any public readings of your work, what’s your take on that?

A: I’ve read from my poetry and essay collections all over the country — Boston, New York, Chicago, LA, New Mexico, Tampa, the South, San Diego, plus a few European cities — Munich, Venice, Florence. I love interacting with the audiences, seeing which poems or essays draw them most or provoke strong responses, and telling the back stories behind the works. It is a great way to see how your writing impacts people — and a reminder that all writers should read their works aloud, to hear their voice.

Next week, we’ll post the three-part series on Platform Development.

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Filed under Adult Literacy, Author Platform, Books, E-books, Editing, Featured Websites, Journaling, literature, Marketing, poetry, Promotions, Reading, workshops, writers conferences, Writing

Why You Need to Build a Platform — NOW

As I prepare to return to the Southern California Writers Conference this weekend to teach writing workshops and offer read & critique sessions to writers of all genres, I can’t help but think about what has kept me very busy for the past six months with clients and businesses alike: building platforms.

Until about 10 years ago, the word “platform” was unknown to most people outside the public relations and marketing world. Now, every publisher and most literary agents are requiring that anyone trying to sell a book — writers, entrepreneurs, CEOs, celebrities, athletes — enter the publishing arena with a strong existing platform before they bother to pitch their book or message with a book proposal and sample chapters.

This scares 90% of working writers to death — with good reason. Most writers don’t consider themselves strong self-promoters, let alone experts on social media, social networking, traditional media, promotions or marketing. Yet, in today’s world, you need to know how to factor all of these tools into your ability to sell your book — even if you’ve signed with a publisher. And you also need to know where to turn for help. I’ve been fortunate in this respect, since I owned a public relations agency for seven years and now have migrated those skills to book and brand promotion — and offered those services to authors.

Which begs the million-dollar question: What is a platform?

Quite simply, a platform is the way in which you build public awareness in yourself and your company or message — or, in the case of an author, your book. The greater the public awareness, the greater number of potential readers or customers — and the greater your platform. The bigger and more expansive your platform, the closer you are to becoming a household name, at least among the target audience of your book or business initiative.

That’s what book publishers are looking for, because it guarantees a core group of people likely to buy your book. No matter how wonderful your relationship is with your agent, or the acquisition editor of a publisher, it all comes down to one thing with virtually all publishers, from the biggest New York houses to your own self-publishing initiative: SALES.

This leads to the next question: How do I build a platform that expands awareness in my book and myself, and attracts these very discerning publishers?

The quick answer: One plank at a time — starting RIGHT NOW, no matter where you are in the writing process of your book or the process of converting your message and practices to published form.

We’re going to spend the next four blog posts focusing on the following four essential elements of building platforms:

1) Strong Traditional Media Presence — Print, Online, Consumer and Trade

2) Strong Online Presence — Websites and ACTIVE Blogs are a must

3) Strong Social Media/Networking Presence — If you’re not on Facebook or Twitter, sign up NOW

4) Outside Activities Related to Your Book Subject — This includes participation in workshops, conferences, teaching, speaking engagements, seminars and the like.

We’ll address each of these elements in future blog posts. Also know that we offer top-of-the-line platform building services and consultation to authors of all genres. Our goal is the same as yours: to see you in lights, and to see your book published.

Visit us on Facebook:

Word Journeys — Resources for Writers

Millennium Media Masters

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Back in the Saddle

For a host of reasons, we’ve been quiet this summer with the Word Journeys Blog. But now we’re back with a new and improved blog, designed to give you specific insight, tips and ideas from our many years of experience in the journalism, non-fiction, fiction, poetry and business writing worlds.

The Word Journeys Blog will focus on the practice and business of writing, and on the works of our clients and the print and online publications that we edit or to which we contribute. We’ll also showcase new services provided by our sister company, Millennium Media Masters. We will post two to three times per week. Our sister blog, 366 Writing, will feature my newest writing and excerpts from my books and e-books, hopefully posted daily. If you’d like, check out today’s piece, “Morning Prayer,” which I wrote the other day while driving through eastern Utah’s majestic Capitol Reef area.

The Word Journeys blogs will primarily concentrate on six areas:

1) Innovative ways to promote your work and build your promotional platform — and ways we can help you do it. We’ll also discuss innovative approaches taken by our clients and other writers.

2) Strategies for presenting manuscripts to agents and publishers – or taking the self-publishing route, which actually works better for more and more people these days.

3) Writing activities and exercises, based on my books, The Write Time: 366 Exercises to Fulfill Your Writing Life, and Writes of Life: Using Personal Experiences In Everything You Write.

4) Excerpts and back stories from future books and e-books from our clients. This also includes occasional interviews and excerpts of interviews with working authors.

5) Blogs on techniques, strategies and approaches that can help you with every writing challenge you face — and give you greater flexibility and voice in your work.

6) Information on writers conferences and workshops at which we will be presenting seminars and classes.

So sharpen your pencil (or fire up your computer), and let’s get ready for a busy autumn and winter of writing, promoting and publishing – in any and every print and online media that suits your work!

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Filed under Adult Literacy, Author Platform, Books, E-books, Editing, Featured Websites, Journalism, literature, Marketing, poetry, Promotion, Promotions, travelogue, workshops, writers conferences, Writing, Young Writers