Insight into the behind the scenes of my writing, exciting news, project updates, and release information.
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Spring is Here! (Almost)


I hope this newsletter finds each of you well and that you all are able to find some calm in this chaotic life. This should be a bit easier to do now that spring is almost here. The cold, long nights of winter are already becoming memories of yesterday, as we look towards warmer weather and new birth.

It has been busy in the Calm Scribe office and a lot of changes are underfoot, some good, some not so good, but always moving forward.

The results have come in from the Short Story Challenge 2017. While the judges loved Terraforma, I did not make the final cut and will not be moving forward in the contest. However, this is not the end of the story. I will be taking the amazing feedback I received from the judges and will be reworking the story into novel at a later date.

There has been a lot of exciting progress on Project Persyphious. The story has been vetted through my military advisor for any mistakes and the response was overwhelmingly positive. It is now beginning the next step of the journey, test readers. All of this movement means that Project Persyphious will no longer be available on Channillo. I would like to thank everyone who was subscribed to the series for their support, but it now needs to be looked at as a whole as it moves forward.

The removal of Project Persyphious from Channillo had nothing to do with the hosting platform, it was a decision based solely on the needs of the book. My Channillo channel with still be open, it will now be hosting short stories which cannot be read anywhere else. As well it may be used again for another book I am working on. The first short story will be posted shortly. Thank you for your understanding.
Idea to Book

The process of taking an idea and turning it into a book is a long one involving many steps. I have decided to list a few of them here to help you better understand where Project Persyphious is in the process.

Step One: Writing
The first step is to have an idea and get it on paper. I think of this step as filling the sand box so that I may be able to later build a castle. This is the rawest form of your story. Once this is completed, go back to the beginning and try to fill in the details and create a full story (a lot more involved than it sounds).  Then comes the "fun" part, going back to the beginning and doing a full edit. While this step may be boring, it is important to try to polish the story as much as you can, before moving on to the first nerve wracking stage, the test readers.

Step Two: Test Readers and Editor
The role of the test readers is to give an overall opinion of the story and catch any inconsistencies or potential errors. I use this step as an opportunity to have any advisors I am using (medical, legal, military, etc.) make sure there are no errors. After taking in the advice and reworking the story, it is then sent to the editor (copy and story). The writer and the editor then work together to make the story presentable to an agent.

Step Three: Agents and Publishing
This can be a very long step as the writer then writes submission letters and query letters to agents trying to gain permission to send a part of or all of their manuscript. If the story finds its appropriate audience, it gets picked up by an agent. For a fee, the agent then tries to put the story in front publishers that may like it, in the hopes of it being brought to a larger audience and placed in bookstores.

Project Persyphious is deep into step two at the moment and steaming along nicely to step three. 

Loose Ends

March is an important month. It sees the beginning of spring, earth hour, and international women's day. This is a month that reminds of to stop and think about things that we may brush by in our day-to-day lives, such as the plight of the earth and equality for women. Take a moment to celebrate the important women in your lives and perhaps read a book by a female author. As tough as it may be to break into the publishing industry, it can be even harder for female writers, so please show them some love. Why not go old school and read said book by candle-light during earth hour?

After working on the dark thriller Project Persyphious for so long, my pen wanted to work on something nicer. I am now outlining the details of a new Young Adult book series called Violet and the King Prince of TBD. It is a story about a young, space obsessed girl who befriends an alien and has wonderful adventures. Be sure to follow me on social media for more details.
Recommendations of the month:

Website: Because I Am A Girl
This month my wife and I added another charity to the list of charities we already support. Because I Am A Girl is a great charity helping women and girls in need around the world. I will not go into detail as to all that they do, it is easiest to please visit their website. My words would not do justice to the great work they accomplish.

Book Challenge 2017: (No change to the list from last month)

Each year I set a goal for how many books I will read. Last year I did not hit my goal, yet this year I am already deep into my challenge. In 2017 my goal is to read 26 books. I have found a fun list which makes this goal easier to attain. Each book is a challenge, for example, a book you can read in a day or a book with over 500 pages. So far I am into my third book and will keep track of them here so they may serve as suggestions. Follow me on Litsy or Goodreads to read my reviews of each book.

1 of 26: A book from your childhood.
The Bear a.k.a. The Grizzly King- James Oliver Curwood 

2 of 26: A previously banned book.
The Catcher in the Rye- J.D. Salinger

3 of 26: A book with over 500 pages.
501 Must-Know Speeches

4 of 26: A book you read in school.
Of Mice and Men- John Steinbeck

5 of 26: A book that will improve a specific area of your life.

Whatever You Think, Think The Opposite- Paul Arden

Tip of the month: Your Local Library

I know I discuss libraries a lot in these newsletters, but for good reason. I feel that they are a very important part of our societies which often are underutilized. They have changed over the years and many offer things you may not know about so I thought I would do a quick did you know.

Did you know...
  • Some libraries offer free access to 3D Printers and also laser cutters?
  • Some libraries offer free meeting spaces?
  • Some libraries offer free passes to local museums?
  • Some libraries offer courses for people of all ages?
  • Some libraries offer after school programs?
  • Some libraries offer workshops, like writing workshops, often for free?
You local library can be a great resource. When was the last time you visited?

That is it for this month's newsletter, thank you for your continued support.

Travis J. Croken

Have a suggestion for the recommendation of the month? Email me at
My new 1960's Underwood 21 typewriter, holding the first story it ever told me, The Watcher in the Window.
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Copyright © 2016 The Calm Scribe, Travis J. Croken, All rights reserved.

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