Category Archives: Get Published

Homemade Ornaments Handmade Career

Homemade Ornaments Handmade Career. Both are created from scratch out of whatever might be hanging around your house or your office or your imagination. In our family, the handmade ornament tradition began with our daughter in law, back when our granddaughter was too young to handle anything more dangerous than scissors and glitter. Her mom took over where a hot glue gun was required. The gold and purple stocking at the top of the tree in the photo is an example of one such project. Our grandson joined the glue gun gang a few years later. I dearly love every one of their homemade ornaments.

Homemade Ornaments Handmade Career. In anybody’s career tradition, if we want to reach our goals, most of us start out handmade, doing it on our own, beginning with the Business Plan. My long experience has taught me Step One of that plan must be this. Work Your Butt Off. Again, you start with whatever you already have, hiding in the corners of your work space, tucked away at the bottom of your skill-set bag. For example, if you have a mailing list or the makings of a mailing list, start there. Google how you can use a mailing list to grow your career. Meanwhile, give your best effort and brain time to your true focus, your writing project, or whatever your project may be. Then, like I said, work your butt off, all the way down to the bone.

Homemade Ornaments Handmade Career. I’m kind of a nut about Christmas. Maybe because my birthday is December 26th and something in me imagines the Christ child, sharing a tiny bit of his thunder with me. Friends and family are aware of my yuletide obsession, plus the tendency to over-decorate that goes with it, and have gifted me with many tree ornaments. In fact, each ornament on our tree came from someone we love. But the homemade ones are all from our grandchildren, who eventually graduated from scissors and glue to dough and paint and the era of the home-baked tree began.

Homemade Ornaments Handmade Career. Back to the Career Creation Tradition. Business Plan Step Two is as demanding as Step One. Do Everything Right. Please, don’t panic because, the truth is, nobody can do everything right. Here’s a more realistic guideline combo of Steps One and Two. Work Your Butt Off Trying to Do Everything Right. You’ll fall short sometimes. We all fall short sometimes. For example, in terms of doing something crucial very wrong, there was my first lunch with a book editor. Thank heaven she was a compassionate soul, or I’d have made an even bigger fool of myself than I actually did. BUT, I never let myself play the fool with an editor again. BECAUSE, when you fall short of doing everything right, you learn.

Homemade Ornaments Handmade Career. We were living in the Pacific Northwest when the era of the home-baked tree began, and every year new ornaments arrived. Carefully crafted and even more carefully wrapped, they nestled under the tree they would soon adorn, waiting for Grandma and Grandpa to un-swaddle them with a full hearts and glistening eyes. The Santa face and the flower on a blue background and the brightly colored sun, all in the branches of the photo tree, and many more. They accumulated, and the boughs hung heavier and more precious to us with each passing year. They are precious to us still, and always will be.

Homemade Ornaments Handmade Career. Which brings us to Step Three of the Business Plan. Which, in turn, takes me back to my beginning as a literary agent, my previous profession before becoming a full-time writer, and the origin of the bright-light epiphany idea for this final step, or maybe I should say, this final leap. I’d had a good run as an in-house book editor, but I have the heart of a writer and had been uncomfortable serving the interests of a publisher. Becoming an agent was an obvious next move, but how would I do that? I needed a Business Plan. I bought how-to books. I did a lot of research, but what I found were basically templates that didn’t tell me much about what I might want to accomplish in my career. Nothing was telling me that. until a single sentence popped into my head. “Let’s see how far I can go.” I wrote it down, hung it on the wall, and those six words turned out to be the bright-light epiphany that made everything afterward an adventure. I share them with you. Just See How Far You Can Go.

So this, my darlings, is the two-fold tale of Homemade Ornaments Handmade Career, and it ends with five more words, these from the immortal Charles Dickens. “God bless us, every one.”  Alice Orr –


A Time of Fear & LovingAlice’s new novel, homemade and handmade by her, is A Time of Fear & Loving – Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Book 5. Available HERE. You can find all of Alice’s books HERE

What readers are saying about A Time of Fear & Loving. “Alice Orr is the queen of ramped-up stakes and page-turning suspense.”
“Warning. Don’t read before bed. You won’t want to sleep.”
“The tension in this novel was through the roof.”
“A budding romance that sizzles in the background until it ignites with passion.”
“I never want an Alice Orr book to end.”
“The best one yet, Alice!”

TAGS – Holiday Season, Storytelling, Career Help, Career Discipline, Career Attitude

Series World Wonders – Holiday HeadsUp for You

Series World Wonders. If there is a single gift of value I can add to your holiday season, this is it. Series World is a fabulous realm for a reader to step into for a while and borrow as a home for her imagination. Series World is also a place of professional and personal potential, where a writer may explore and discover rewarding story material. I’m talking about an immersive experience all around, and that immersion can be the source of Series World Wonders for anyone who cares to give it a try.

Reader fascination with Series World Wonders has a contemporary aspect that didn’t exist until a few years ago, though stories in a series have been with us for a very long time. My first adventure among Series World Wonders was all about Nancy Drew, who was also my first real foray into popular fiction. I fell in love with Nancy. I wanted to be Nancy, or at least slip in among her friend posse and follow along toward excitement I wasn’t likely to encounter on East Avenue in Watertown, New York.

Alice Orr Books Danger in Disguise Nancy DrewAfter I had read one story, I couldn’t wait to leap into another and another and another. Nancy Drew had hooked me on her Series World Wonders, so much so that I published a Nancy story myself, ghostwritten under the pseudonym Carolyn Keene. I already had my own author career as Alice Orr by then, but I couldn’t resist the lure of fulfilling a youthful dream, to become Nancy in the only way I could practically manage, by creating a story with her at the center and living with her in my head for a while. I will never forget Danger in Disguise.

Now, let’s get back to the reader, and how her attraction to Series World Wonders has taken on a fresh wrinkle these days. I not only love writing series, I also love reading series. This love affair may have begun with Nancy Drew books, but it didn’t end there. I galloped through the Black Stallion series, wandered and pondered with Anne of Green Gables, and eventually graduated to more adult thrills with the likes of Kinsey Millhone and Michael Haller. Which made me, and millions like me, ripe to become enthusiastic fans of Series World Wonders on the small screen.

Remember the phenomenon of the Downton Abbey series? The breathless excitement that accompanied anticipation of every new season? Some of us were so afflicted with separation trauma at season’s end, we would binge-watch the whole thing again, one episode after another for hours at a time. And when Downton alas deserted us altogether, we searched out full seasons of Upstairs Downstairs just so we could remain in the delicious Brit landscape of “Blimey” and “Egad” a while longer.

We had been captured by Series World Wonders. We had been seduced by their charms and immersed among the twists and turns of their stories. We had lived, via our imaginations and television’s vivid images, in that delightful, though obviously idealized milieu for what felt almost like a period of our own lives. We hungered to immerse ourselves in other Series World Wonders again very soon. Services like Netflix and Amazon  Prime recognized our whetted binge-watching appetites and indulged them, and we’ve been a happy mix ever since.

Which brings me from readers and watchers to writers. And especially to what the binge-television contagion, with its Series World Wonders, means for us. Has watching binge television conditioned our entertainment-eager culture to be ripe for binge book reading too? As in series, series, and more series? It absolutely has. This is great news for both writers and readers. When artfully invented, the Series World Wonders we conjure up can set a reader’s teeth into a story that carries her along lickety-split, absorbed by our absorbing characters, and puts her in a foul mood when she is forced to read “THE END.” She yearns to be carried along and absorbed some more. She yearns for us to expand this book into a series. My holiday heads-up to writers is for you to consider satisfying that yearning, if you have not done so already.

Why Is the world of a series a great place for a writer to live? In purely practical and professional terms, a trip to Series World can be an adventure on the road to success for an author. An adventure we share with our readers, as we build that world detail by detail, and they revel in it scene by scene. I am currently traveling through my first series world as a writer, and I love it there. My goal is to draw readers in and make them want to stay through one book then the next and the next. To captivate them with my Series World Wonders.

Riverton Road Suspense Tree logoThe Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Series takes place in and around Riverton, New York in what is known as the North Country. Stories of danger and romance feature the Kalli and Miller families and the Women of West Main Street, to be introduced in Book 6. The setting is a town in remote northern New York State, where I happened to grow up. No real-life town called Riverton exists there, but who cares? If I perform my storytelling job as I should, readers will believe in Riverton Road so deeply that they will miss it when they have to leave and will, you guessed it, yearn to return.

A bonus benefit to me as a writer, one I had not expected before I began this so far five-story excursion, is that I have myself been lured into a love affair with my own Series World Wonders. I have become at least as deeply immersed in my Riverton world as I hope for my readers to be. From that deep place I bring my stories to real life, because in that deep place they have real life for me. Frankly, this is the most fun I’ve ever had as a writer. Which is the true holiday gift I share with you. My experience of diving into the flowing ocean of my story world and discovering how much I do not want to leave. I invite you to dive along with me, and find out what Series World Wonders might lie ahead for you.

Alice Orr –

– R|R –

A Time of Fear & LovingAlice’s new novel, filled with Series World Wonders, is A Time of Fear & Loving – Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Book 5. Available HERE. You can find all of Alice’s books HERE.

What readers are saying about A Time of Fear & Loving. “Alice Orr is the queen of ramped-up stakes and page-turning suspense.” “Warning. Don’t read before bed. You won’t want to sleep.” “The tension in this novel was through the roof.”
“A budding romance that sizzles in the background until it ignites with passion.”
“I never want an Alice Orr book to end.”
“The best one yet, Alice!”

TAGS: Storytelling, Series Novels, Riverton Road Series, Romantic Suspense

How to Bookmark Your Brand

AOB Sunrise ImageI said it over and over again back when I was still presenting workshops for writers. “Don’t brand your book. Brand yourself.”

I have a habit of not listening to my advice. Just ask my savvy author friends. They get a kick out of puncturing my pride with my own words on occasion in the form of a humorous anecdote. I could make a column of those witticisms called “What Alice Says vs. What Alice Does.”

To be fair to myself I did pay attention to my message when it came to one thing. The visual that banners the website where this blog appears plus my Facebook page and my Twitter feed.

I thought a lot about that visual. What image best represents who and where I am right now? Not just in my work but in my life as well? I needed inspiration so I went to and started clicking through possibilities.

Nothing grabbed me for quite some time but I didn’t mind. Compared to my usual work routine of struggle to make my characters and their actions come to life on the page – searching through hundreds of graphics felt like toddler play.

Then I saw it and I knew. Just as I was thinking I’d have to settle for “good enough” there was “perfect” staring out at me from my laptop screen. It was titled “Sunrise over the Sea” and the colors were glorious. The sky was gold and red-orange and reflected in water that turned to blue-green as it flowed toward me.

This is the way I feel about the place I now occupy and what I choose to do in this place. A new morning filled with promise. The crown of a full life spent doing things I loved – now offering fresh things I love. A dawning with mysterious adventure ahead. What will happen today?

I immediately emailed Kim Killion and Jennifer Jakes of The Killion Group Inc. We were on the same wave length as usual and within hours my sunrise was everywhere. Eventually we’d strengthen the impact with my book covers overlaying the right corner of the banner.

I couldn’t stop smiling. This was my brand. I’d had difficulty understanding exactly what Brand was until that moment. Your brand is You. Not as much what you do on the outside as what you feel – or are in route toward feeling – on the inside. I’d noodled around the edges of that. Even wrote a Blog Post about how long it had been. But the words didn’t sink into my heart before I made the sunrise my own.

Then I designed my first bookmark and that bright gold/magenta/turquoise epiphany disappeared into forgetfulness. It was a beautiful bookmark but it was for one book only. A Christmas novella no less – limited by both its singularity and its seasonal story.

The novella came and went along with the holidays. I gave away more of my thousand bookmarks than I thought I would. The rest were trash but I still liked the bookmark idea. I don’t care if they’re in or out. This is my sunrise time and I do what feels right for me. Right?

That reminder brought my epiphany winging back. “Brand yourself not your book”  goes for bookmarks too. I’m currently putting the finishing touches on my new Alice Orr Books bookmark so I can send it to Killion. And – you guessed it – the background is my sunrise.

Alice Orr –


A Wrong Way Home – Book 1 of my Riverton Road Romantic Suspense series – is a FREE eBook at Amazon and other online retailers. All of my books are available at my Amazon Author Page