Ten Signs That You Might be Watching Too Much of, 'The Walking Dead'

Where is the line between healthy love and obsession, when it comes to AMC’s post-apocalyptic hit series, The Walking Dead? Read the following list of behaviors to be leery of to find out if you have cause for concern or if you can continue to enjoy your weekly dose of zombie gruesomeness.

Behaviors to watch out for:

1. Hospitals haven’t been the same since Season One.

2. You catch yourself evaluating your neighbors and friends’ statistical chances of surviving the zombie apocalypse.

3. You subconsciously start avoiding the ones that you don’t think will make it.

4. You are seriously considering applying for a concealed weapons permit for the first time in your life.

5. Your spouse, who has only seen bits and pieces of the show, agrees with you about the whole permit thing.

6. You’ve recently developed debilitating fears of open wounds and viral infections that you cannot logically explain to a medical professional. 

7. You can no longer take the trash out at night without doing a perimeter check.

8. There’s been no natural disasters in your community in years, but your pantry houses more canned food and water jugs than an underground nuclear bunker.

9. Your kids know more than one version of a “fire” drill.

10. Seal Team Six couldn’t pull you away from your television on Sunday evening.

If you like this article, please share it with other zombie enthusiasts. You'll find similarly awesome articles by Christine on Medium. Catch moment by moment updates on Christine's stories by following her on Twitter at: cedwards001.

BookIt! Celebrates 30th Birthday by Launching an Alumni Program

If you haven't heard of BookIt!, it's a program to encourage grade school students to read. Beginning in October each year, BookIt! challenges students to set monthly reading goals for six months. When they reach them, they are awarded Pizza Hut Personal Pan Pizzas. 

I loved this program as a kid and I love it even more as an educator. Reluctant readers can fall in love with reading, if they find the right book. BookIt! motivates students to read lots of books and thereby helps introduce them to a variety of genres and topics. 

Each year, BookIt! steps up their game by adding to their toolkit. Educators will find mazes, reading logs, and even lesson plans on the BookIt! website to help them incorporate the program into their classes. This year, the website paired with author of the Wimpy Kid series, Jeff Kinney, to create short video stories just for BookIt!. 

BookIt! didn't stop there. Over the years, the program has incorporated challenges like Give Me 20, which calls on students to read for 20 minutes every school day for a week straight. 

They also promote National Young Reader's week through the Principal's Challenge, which tasks principals to read for an entire school day. 

Over the years, principals have taken this challenge to the next level and staked out reading spots in the most unlikely places, such as firetrucks and flag poles. This year, principals can win 101 copies of Jeff Kinney's ninth Wimpy kid book for entering the challenge.

BookIt! also raises donations to fight world hunger through their Read Your Heart Out For Hunger program. Students pledge reading goals and collect donations from family and friends when they reach their marks.  

BookIt! will also land one lucky kid a ride to college. Participants who reach their reading goals every month can enter the BookIt! Fairy Tale giveaway, which awards one reader 30k for college.

BookIt! is celebrating 30 years of promoting youth literacy by launching an alumni program. The simple online registration page asks a few questions about where the participant attended grade school and their chosen profession. Once registration is complete, a map of all BookIt! alumni is displayed. You can also follow BookIt! on Twitter at: #BOOKITKid.

According to the BookIt!, 60 million students have participated in their program since it's inception in 1984. That means one in five of us is alumni and possess stories about the program that can promote literacy when shared. 

Reasons you should register as BookIt! alumni: 

  • Registering is a great way to say thank you to BookIt! for giving you free pizza and introducing you to lots of books when you were a kid. They didn't have to do any of that and you know it made your day when you traded in your certificate for a delicious Personal Pan Pizza.

  • BookIt! is still going strong. Registering as alumni is a way that you can spread the message and help promote literacy in a few minutes. 

  • After registering, you can share about your experiences with your children (nieces, nephews, neighbors' kids--you get the idea) and motivate them to participate in the program. Take it a step farther and share what you are reading now to show that you didn't quit reading when you stopped getting pizza for doing it. 

What do you get in return? You get to revel in your past BookIt! success and promote a lifelong love of the written word simultaneously.

Lastly, it's BookIt!'s birthday. What kind of childhood friend would you be if you didn't grant their birthday wish for lots of registered alumni? And it's not just any birthday, it's BookIt's 30th birthday. Some of us already know how much that milestone sucks.

On behalf of the BookIt! alumni in my household, happy birthday, BookIt! You rock!

If you like this article, please share it with other bibliophiles. You'll find similarly awesome articles by Christine on Medium. Catch moment by moment updates on Christine's stories by following her on Twitter at: cedwards001.

Kindle Scout: Amazon Launches a New Reader's Choice Book Publishing Program

Today, Amazon announced the launch of Kindle Scout, "a reader-powered publishing program" through Kindle Press. The site exudes a crowd source vibe similar to that of Wattpad, the largest community of readers and writers online.

Amazon's soon to be released publishing program is customer nomination based. This means that publishing contracts will be offered to the authors of submissions that receive the most nominations. Kindle Scout can result in a publishing contract with Amazon that renews every five years, offers a $1,500 advance, and publication within 30 days of acceptance.

When Publisher's Weekly announced the Amazon Writing contest last week, the program didn't even have a name. This morning, authors who expressed interest in the program received an e-mail from Amazon formally introducing the program as Kindle Scout.

Many have called for a platform outside of traditional publishing that sells what consumers are hungry for instead of what the Big 5 choose to offer. The source of contention lies in that many feel that the Big 5 publish books based on trends they create and not reader interest. 

The other side of this argument is that the Big 5 has to stay ahead of trends because the publishing process takes anywhere from 12-24 months. The publishing industry is saturated with zombies now, but few if any literary agents are accepting manuscripts that feature them because they are signing clients for the next big trend.

Given that Kindle Scout is guaranteeing a 45 day turnaround on books that consumers choose, the program will publish books that are in demand today by consumers who participate in the nomination process. Whether those nominating books share literary tastes with fellow readers the world over remains to be seen.

A Kindle self-publishing option has existed for years, known as Kindle Direct Publishing, but Kindle Scout isn't a self-publishing program. 

In May, Amazon and Hatchette had a very public and dirty tiff about e-book pricesIt's uncertain whether Kindle Scout is a public relations maneuver to bury the ugliness or a way to recruit authors to write for Amazon in lieu of traditional publishers. The answer could be none of the above. 

To submit their work, authors upload an unpublished manuscript with accompanying cover art, a short blurb, and author bio to Kindle Scout. The submission is vetted and then made available to customers for thirty days online. 

Kindle Scout books are promoted during this time, but few details about the level of promotional activities are provided on the website. Kindle Press promises to do targeted e-mail campaigns, promotions, and enroll published authors in the Kindle Owner's Lending Library and Kindle Unlimited. Authors will earn royalties for being enrolled in these programs. An example of what a Kindle Scout book looks like is here

Books that receive the most nominations are offered five year renewable publishing contracts with Amazon. Many of Amazon's terms are unconventional, including:
  • Authors will keep print books rights for their books 
  • Amazon gets worldwide e-book and audio rights in all languages for five years with an auto-renewing contract
  • Authors earning less than $25,000 over five years can elect not to renew their contract and request their rights back
  • Authors earn 50% royalties on net e-book net revenues, 25% for audio editions, and 20% for translations. Click here for more info about how they factor net revenue
  • Kindle Press only creates audio and e-book versions
  • Kindle Press will provide monthly royalty statements and pay out royalties every 60 days following the end of the month Click here for more info about unaffiliated third party sublicensees and foreign sales
  • Kindle Press doesn't seem interested in first right of refusal on an author's subsequent works and even states that only one book per author is eligible for submission to Kindle Scout at any given time in their Eligibility and Content Guidelines
Kindle Scout has set content standards that allow some sexual content but steer away from graphic violence and excessive use of profanity.

Kindle Scout only accepts unpublished work. Kindle Press considers a work unpublished if it has never been made available for sale. If a book has been posted online for free, that isn't considered published. 10% of an author's work can be posted online for promotional purposes while in the Kindle Scout program.

The program is brand new and won't open up to customer nominations for a few weeks. There are many unknowns at this time to include whether Amazon wants first right of refusal on subsequent work by authors.

Their website states that authors will have an opportunity to make editorial changes before their work is published, and that Amazon retains the right to make edits, with author approval, but doesn't go into detail about how extensive their editing process will be. The website does state that if authors don't provide a final manuscript within 30 days that Kindle Press will publish the initial submission.

If Amazon isn't doing substantial in-house editing, Kindle Scout will further blur the lines between self-published and traditionally published books.

The price for Kindle Scout books hasn't been set but is expected to be between $2.99 and $4.99, with some books possibly being set at $9.99.

The information about Kindle Scout was collected from the program's website. The Kindle Press Submission and Publishing Agreement information is available here. Amazon encourages interested participants to read the agreement before submitting their work.

The overriding question about Kindle Scout is what Amazon's goal is and how it will affect the already volatile publishing industry.

What do you think Amazon's end goal is? How will it affect the Big 5? Share your views in the comments section below.

If you like this article, please share it with other writers. You'll find similarly awesome articles by Christine on Medium. Catch moment by moment updates on Christine's stories by following her on Twitter at: cedwards001.

Dangerously Close to a Query Letter

Greetings and salutations,

Today, I finished another round of edits on my manuscript. This story of mine is dangerously close to being queried. It feels amazing to make some progress on this project. 

So now I'm going to partake in a celebratory cup of coffee and scroll back to the beginning of my manuscript to begin yet another round of edits. These should be the finishing touches, which is rather exciting. Honestly, I can't wait to edit. I thought I'd never say that.

Happy editing,


Weekend Plans

I'm not sure what the weekend holds in store for you, but I've got BIG editing plans. The goal is to make some real headway on my MS this weekend. I've been 98% done with it for quite some time and I really need to wrap this book up and send it off to agents. Post haste.

Wish me luck!

In the mean time, I'd love to know what this beautiful fall day will find you doing. Share your day's events in the comments section below.

Happy editing,



Truly skilled authors create images in your head and emotions in your heart without having ever met you.