The Inkling  News from Linda Faulkner

Welcome to the newly formatted and re-titled edition of my newsletter, The Inkling.
For your reading pleasure, I will be including regular columns and topics that will appeal to a broad range of interests.  Because my professional life involves me in the worlds of publishing and insurance, my friends, fans, and clients comprise an eclectic group of individuals and businesses.  I hope to provide each of you with items that are interesting, entertaining, and/or professionally beneficial.
Regular columns will include:
  • Clueless - One or more questions from readers (aka YOU) who have inquiring minds--or who really need some help;
  • Market Me - Most of us have something we want to sell, share, or shout from the rooftops.  This is YOUR opportunity to market  yourself.  Send me some good stuff, folks!
  • People - One person will be spotlighted because he or she  makes a difference in a special way;
  • Business - One business will be spotlighted because it provides an extraordinary product or service;
  • Book Review - Books I've either read or heard really good things about;
  • World of Publishing - Recent news and/or tidbits;
  • World of Insurance - Recent news and/or updates - Come on, don't be nasty; I wouldn't be where I am today if it weren't for the insurance industry!;
  • Linda Update - Updates about my books in print, books soon-to-be in print, and other stuff.
I'm hoping you'll send me your referrals for people and businesses to be spotlighted and that you'll take advantage of the Market Me column.
Happy reading!
P.S.  If you're local to Missoula, MT, check out my career development workshops!
The question of the month is: 
Should I self-publish? 
In a word:  NO!
 Disclaimer:  Unless you have a narrow targeted audience and are publishing for a single specific purpose, such as providing a genealogy for your family.
There are so many independent publishers out there looking for the work of good writers--and they'll pay you to publish your book.
   September 2010 

Linda Faulkner

In This Issue
Clueless...Question of the Month
Market Me
Book Review
World of Publishing
World of Insurance
Linda Update
Find Linda
Sometime during the first week of each month, I'll be sharing a short mystery on my website and I'll ask YOU to provide the ending.
I'll accept entries through the 25th of each month.  The winner will be announced on the website and in this newsletter--and will also win a prize.  The prize, however, will be a mystery...until it's announced.
For more information, click this Whodunit link.
Market Me! 
Have good news to share?  Have a special event to promote?  This is where YOUR news will be posted.  Send me a brief blurb and I'll help you shout it from the rooftops.
The special person of the month is:
Katharine, who turned 7 years old on September 6th.   Where does the time go?
Seems like just yesterday when her mother was this age.  God bless our children and grandchildren.
The special business of the month is:
In the words of Terre Short, the founder of BetteBoomer:  Bette Boomer represents the ageless boomer generation that is redefining what it means to grow older. We research and present the ultimate resources for boomers transitioning through various life stages. We profile fellow uber-boomers and provide a platform for identifying with our "agelessness." 
BetteBoomer welcomes contributors who can add their voices to the dynamic approach they seek in uncovering the Boomer path over the next 40 years.
Book Review
BOOK OF SPIES by Gayle Linds
If you like some history thrown in with a thriller that contains mystery, suspense, espionage, and memorable characters, you should be adding BOOK OF SPIES to your  reading list...
World of Publishing
Writer's Resources
Half a dozen writers contact me in recent weeks with a variety of questions that included acquiring an agent, self-publishing versus traditional publishing, and how long does it take to get published.  Two of the best things a writer can do to learn the craft of writing - and about acquiring an agent or publisher - is to read writer's magazines and join writer's groups.  In no special order, here are few resources:
World of Insurance
What Insurance Has Done for Me
When most people hear the word "insurance," they groan.  They think of their pocketbooks emptying as they pay huge insurance bills that get bigger, year after year.  And usually, the most frustrating part of this process is the fact that they've never had a claim and don't expect to have one.
I am here to tell you that insurance is a wonderful thing.  I LOVE insurance.  Yes, I do.  Why?  Because I understand it.  Why else?  Because when I explain it to other people in a way that helps them understand it, they love it too!
Basically, insurance is the transfer of financial risk.  You decide what kinds of financial risk you DON'T want to handle yourself.  Like, if your husband dies, you don't want to lose his annual income.  Or, if your car gets wiped out when some 16 year-old is texting to his girlfriend instead of paying attention to the road, you don't want to pay cash to buy a new car.  With me so far?
Good.  Once you've decided what financial risks you don't want to assume yourself, you pay the insurance company a relatively small premium in exchange for their promise to pay a relatively LARGE sum in the event those things you don't want to happen do happen.  See?  You transferred the majority of the financial risk to the insurance company.
I began explaining insurance, and how it works, in 1974.  I'm still doing so:  to people and businesses who want to transfer certain financial risks and to insurance agents and adjusters who want to learn more about how insurance works.
The insurance industry welcomes all kinds of people:  young, old, male, female, college graduates, high school graduates, loud-outgoing-sales-type personalities, quiet-comforting-advisor-type personalities, and everything in between.  The insurance industry welcomed me with open arms when I was a college drop-out at age 18, it helped me support my three children as a single mother, it helped me pack up and move cross-country to Missoula in 2003, and it helped me launch my writing career.
You see, life has a way of interfering with our dreams and plans.  But when you really, really want to do something, you find a way to do it.  Without even consciously realizing what I was doing, I began writing all kinds of insurance stuff:  agency forms, website content, procedures manuals, and insurance education courses.  All that writing about boring old insurance not only interested me, it helped me hone my writing skills.
Voila!  I became a published writer--thanks, in large part, to the insurance business.  Oh, and did I mention that my THREE different insurance businesses enabled that writing? They funded it.  They supported it.
Now do you understand why I love insurance?
Linda Update
Latest Book
My non-fiction manuscript will be in the hands of my publisher during the first week of October.  Then editing, then rewrites, then...bookstore, here we come!
Taking the Mystery Out of Business is the first in a series business books.  Each book will focus on a particular subject, peeling back the layers of complexity to expose its basic components.  Like a good suspense novel, the world of business involves drama and suspense--not to mention a never-ending supply of red herrings.  I'll take a business subject and break it down into chapters and scenes, showing readers how to recognize the clues and identify the killers so they don't fall victim to anything less than resounding success.  From there, it becomes easy to plot out a course and achieve business and professional goals without having to commit murder and mayhem.
Stay tuned for updates - the latest information will be posted on my website or in my blog.
Freelance Writing
The world of freelance and technical writing has kept me VERY busy this year.  I've been writing online insurance education courses for several clients, all of whom are national insurance education providers.  If you're a writer who possesses an area of expertise or special knowledge, I strongly urge you to do some research in the business industry of that area of knowledge.  You'll be pleasantly surprised to learn that many businesses need people who are both excellent writers AND experts in their field. 
We have a new family member at our house:  Molly.  We adopted her from AniMeals in Missoula because she'd been living there for nearly 2 years!  No one,it seemed, wanted to adopt an overweight, elderly, mostly black cat.  (For those of you who don't know it, black animals are the very last animals to be adopted from shelters and are euthanized more frequently than any other color of animal.
My husband and I, however, love black animals:  we already have a black cat and a black dog!
Molly's former owner committed suicide after locking her in a secure room with food and water and taping her vet records to the door.  She arrived at AniMeals on Christmas Eve in 2008.
She's loving the life at the Faulkner homestead and regularly curls up on our bed with Max (the other black cat) and the non-black dog.  She's also lost weight--mostly because of increased activity:  she follows us EVERYWHERE!  If you visit my Facebook page, you'll see a picture of her helping me write!
Feel free to visit my Forever Friends blog, which focuses on adopted animals and the heroes who saved them.  Guidelines appear on the blog for the submission of your animal stories and photos.
Where to find Linda: 
Fiction Writer Website 
Faulkner Education Services:  Website     Blog
Linda Faulkner Insurance Agency:  Website    Blog
Forever Friends Blog