Mar
2012

Changes

I started writing this post, then got sidetracked with the whole unpacking thing. We are moved, life is beginning to resume a somewhat normal pace. I need to sit down and rethink my goals and what projects are going to be worked on when. That post will be later. Right now, I’ve printed out the zombiething and will be red-penning it this evening. I think it needs to go up for sale, sooner than later.

Starting on March 4th (tomorrow), Smashwords is going to be doing a Read an EBook Week which will go until March 10th. My stories will be part of that promo. More info as soon as I have it.

In other news;

Tornados, in feb. My heart goes out to the families and communities who have been affected by these storms.

 

Now it is time to get back to unpacking. **waves**

 

 

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Jan
2012

Links and thoughts

I have been battling rl stuff (move preparation and kids with the flu) so my writing and editing, as I suspected it would this month, has ground to a halt. This morning, in between sanitizing my house post some upset stomachs, and making some mad dashes to the bathroom (yes, I know my life is soooo glamorous) I went over to Dean Wesley Smith’s* site to see what posts he has done since my last check in (about a week ago I think). His post was short, but linked to Kristine Rusch’s post on Bestseller Lists, and Joe Konrath’s post The Myth of the Bestseller.

Now I’ve heard, for quite some time actually, that the bestseller lists were not entirely accurate portrayals of who/what is selling well. Kris breaks it down very well (IMO) and the commentors are as informative as her post itself.

I’m not too familiar with Konrath’s blog, I’ve found his manner a bit brusque at times in the past, and the swearing does make me cringe (which is weird because I am worse than a sailor when it comes to swearing) but he’s very informative and well worth taking a read through his posts if you don’t already.  I don’t totally agree with his delivery ;), but that’s personal preference. That said, his post was exactly what I needed to read and I suggest you read it too.

Any writer who puts food on the table with their writing is successful. It doesn’t matter if it is a box of mac and cheese, or caviar and champagne. Taking your career into your own hands, giving it your best shot, striving to do better… that’s the American Dream, baby.

 

Are the bestseller lists important? I can’t answer that. For the brownie points, for the thrill of saying “I made it! Looksee!”, well if that what geeks you out then sure, they’re important. I can’t comment on the money side of it as I, personally, do not know authors who are on bestsellers lists and are willing to discuss their finances with me.  I have however read about bestsellers who are still struggling to pay the bills.

Are the lists important to me?

I don’t honestly know how to answer that question. In the past I wanted to see one of   my stories on the NYT Bestseller’s list. Why? Because I erroneously thought  that would show that I was a success. But lately it doesn’t seem to matter because those lists rarely contain books I actually would want to read. Now?  It would certainly feed my ego to say “I was #____ on the NYT Bestseller List”, I won’t lie, that sort of thing would have me grinning for a month. But I don’t need that list to validate me being a success.

I AM a success. I have written and I continue to write, and I have published my work. It is up, available. And people seem to like it, I’m selling a bit. And what is really cool is it will be available to readers. For as long as I choose it to be.  If I don’t sell a huge amount in the first week of putting it up, I won’t have to worry about my publisher not picking up my next story. I’m not going to fire me. 😛

I’m putting mac n cheese on the table man! 😀

As always, your thoughts and opinions are welcome. And thanks to Dean Wesley Smith, Kristine Rusch and Joe Konrath for sharing their experiences in publishing with the rest of us. Have a great day peoples!

ooo  Bonus link: 25 Things Writers Should Know About Agents.

 

 

 

*I try not to spend too much time reading blogs. I read Dean and Kris’s, and I skim over my livejournals which I have rssfeeds of other blogs. Other than that I just don’t have the time.
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Jan
2012

What the hell was I thinking??

I am packing. OMG we have so much stuff! Well I just found notes from a project idea dating 2005. I thought I would share, I have no idea where I was going with this.

The paper says:

3 Major gangs
2 arch enemies
1 thief with a case of bad luck
and the world is the gameboard…

~*~

Nadine* knows something. Something so damaging she could change the course of the future.
And Everybody wants to know what it is…

~*~

Imprisoned for years
Driven by revenge
The problem?
One child
One woman
One City
One hundred thousand men standing between him and his goal.

What the hell was I thinking? This is the only paper written on in this note book… o.O it sounds like a kickass idea (if not a bit over-dramatic), or maybe it is 3 ideas on one page, but I have no memory of writing it down.

Paper is going to get packed, but pondered over…

Time to finish clearing this stuff off the table and get myself moving for the day. Have a great day folks!

 

*I have a character with this name in a story that is half written.
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Jan
2012

Dr Martin Luther King

There are many things I could say, but it is being said elseware.

This is the entire speech “I have a dream”. We listened to it this morning, my children and I, and discussed the changes in our world since this man gave that speech. The irony of the current political situation and the protests around the world*. To understand the reasons for the “I have a dream” statement you have to hear the entire speech. To gain deeper understanding of what came before, listen to the whole thing then dust off your history books. Though, warning, history books often feed my plotbunnies, they may do the same with yours!

 

~*~

Dr. King did not just hop up one day and march up on Washington to give that one speech, he had others as powerful and potent as his “I have a Dream” speech. Here are other quotes of his.

*I aim to avoid political talk on this blog, just fyi.
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Jan
2012

Digi art Sunday

I put together a new cover for Muse Interrupted yesterday, which has me chortling as much as I was when writing the story;

 

This is cute, I don’t care what you say it made me giggle. Still does. 😛 However for some reason Amazon, though I have changed the cover, isn’t showing the new cover. I need to go see what’s up with that and maybe re-upload it.

Since I had the program open anyways I went ahead and fiddled with a cover concept idea for the still unnamed zombie thing, though the more I think about it the more I lean towards the title “Help never came

This one: then this one

 

I like the creepy of the first one but not the colors, white bear didn’t fit in that color scheme at all. When I put brown bear in the setting with the house it didn’t look right, i didn’t even try to render it. The white bear stands out more in this. Still fiddling with it while I try to get rid of the plague I seem to have caught. I need more sinister in this I think, though every one seems to think the eyes are still freaky.

What about you, interwebs? Which of the two seem to work better? Or is there another background I ought to try. The teddy and the gun are going to stay… hmmm I do need grass….

What is your agenda for the day?

**putters back to the digi art**

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Jan
2012

Happy New Year!

It is looking up on my end, what about yours?

so I sat down a couple days ago to look over the goals I made and **sigh** decided that they need to be adjusted. I am very tuned to RL right now, not writing so much, and until we get ourselves moved I don’t know that my writing will be successful. So you know what? Not gonna stress about it.

I’ve been playing with another zombie idea, the Christmas story. I realized I needed to do research to get Bastard Prince right. So when I am not fiddling with the zombie thing I think I’ll play with the outline for Crossroads and the rest of the series. Perhaps Bastard Prince will end up as a prequel…

We shall see.

 

In other news, a dear friend of mine has a new ebook out, a christmas story entitled Snow;

 

It’s Christmas. The Solstice Covenant is in full effect. So when the StarChild sends her to the North Pole to investigate the disappearance of an Earth Lord, Nikki Jeffries has to rely on something other than her normal habit of killing anyone who crosses her. Luckily, a sexy Jack Frost is there to help her out.

 

Check it out! 😀 **waves at val** Now the cover was done by an awesome Starla who is offering a limited time discount on covers. From her twitter: For a LIMITED time, I will do ebook covers for $75, and printed book covers for $100.

Up there is an example of her breathtaking work, I really think this is a good deal folks.

 

Now to go figure out if I am going to pack or write or read….

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Dec
2011

Done

Really I am.

The Zombie Christmas thing is shelved till next fall. I have Bastard Prince to finish before we move. But for now, through the 1st, I am on vacation.

This year has been a tough and amazing one. I am published, by my own means and it feels damn good. I have plans for next year writing and other. But for now I am going to unwind, maybe poke at BP. And read. Yes that thing called reading, I amso behind on it…

Happy Holidays, hope yours are wonderful.

 

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Dec
2011

Zombie thing finished

W00t! It is done, it needs so much work. I have a Zombie Christmas story to write before certain people hit me over the head with frozen seafood…

So close to the next year and I am close to flailing. I have lots of stuff I wanted to have done but it didn’t happen. Real life just kicked my arse.

So. On the list;

  • Do the zombie christmas thing
  • work on Bastard Prince, get as much as I can before we move.

 

Happy Holidays, whatever holiday you celebrate, or if you don’t celebrate any I hope you have a calm weekend.

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Dec
2011

Thoughts on Forward Motion

In 2003 I discovered the internet and the fact that there were other writers as crazy about story-telling as I am. One thing led to another and I landed at Forward Motion, a writer forum which has, over the years, helped me oh so much! There are many things I love about the site, though tbh I am not as active as I was (RL can be a pain at times) but I have made friends there who have helped me grow, helped me learn, helped me improve.

I found a community of people whom I feel comfortable.

I saw this just a little bit ago, and it made me think about everything I have done writing wise over the past 8 years (OMG 8 YEARS?!?) and I can pin it down to one site,  the one place that was my learning center. where I continue to find great info and get to talk and interact with other writerly types as crazy as I am. Forward Motion.

So Zette, if you read this I would just like to say, Thanks. Thanks for keeping it going. Thanks for having a place where I’ve been able togo, for setting up the chat where I have made dear friends whom I am blessed to have had the opportunity to get to know. Thank you for taking your time and funds to make this slice of internet calm available to us writers.

Take care, stay warm and don’t let the cats hide your outlines!

See you on the flip side!

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Dec
2011

New Book Out and other thoughts

Her job is to send ideas to the Author, however, not everyone appreciates new ideas and Muse is told to curb her idea gathering. But can you really tell a Muse to stop?

 Another one of the Inside the Author’s Mind series. It is available at Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Amazon.com and XinXii

I did that yesterday, taking a break from writing. Sometimes it is good to just take a breather, I’ve been going at a crazy pace since October. With the new year right around the corner it is time to evaluate what next year’s plan is. Put together a publishing schedule and figure out what my writing goals are.

Next year is going to be a bit crazy, at least the first part of the year will be. We are planning a cross-country move within the first three months or so of 2012, and for that time frame I will be offline while we get settled. How long will that take? I do not know. So much of it is in the air it is making me quite frustrated because I simply don’t know.

That said, in the last half of THIS year I have written a tremendous amount. I have pubbed 5 things, and if I can get a handle on this Zombie thing I may have a 6th story published by the 1st or shortly after. So I think I’ll do goals in short quarterly steps. The rest of this year will be to finish the zombie thing and Bastard Prince and possibly work on the outline for Crossroads

So;

  • Jan thru April if I can finish editing E1 and get it to betas before the move, maybe start edit pass 1 on Bastard Prince, I’ll feel like I have accomplished something for the first part of the year. I would like to get the outline for the Epic Fantasy story idea done.
  • May thru Aug should be a fairly good writing time, depending of course. Finishing and publishing E1, finishing edit pass 1 of BP and possibly start of Crossroads or start on Crown of Bones. Or both.
  • Sept thru Dec we have NaNo prep. What am I going to do for nano? I don’t know.
Mind you that these plans are always subject to change depending on my RL situation and what plotbunnies attack me throughout the year. Not to mention these are my BIG projects and don’t cover the myriad of little projects I have planned. If I deviate, I deviate.
Today’s plan; I want to try to wrap up the Zombie thing. So far it is still a short, for now. Then get back to Zander.
Recent Reads:
Night of the Aurora by J.A. Marlow
It is a freebee over at Amazon (though I don’t know how long that will last). Set in Alaska (one of my dream destinations, if I wasn’t married and had kids I would so go move to Alaska) there are hints of a haunted tourist lodge, an amazing and lively array of characters who left me laughing so hard I was almost crying, a failed sled dog and the beautiful aurora overhead. Oh and did I mention hidden aliens and a train breaking down in the middle of nowhere? This is the first book of the series and absolutely brilliant. I mean come on, Aliens in Alaska! How cool is that?  If you want to give someone a great gift this year, this would totally be a good one. I’m actually considering sending my nieces and nephews a copy. Good clean fun, great reading and a good pace.

Ok Time to get to work. Take care all.

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Nov
2011

RIP Anne McCaffery 1926 – 2011

For many of us there is someone in our life that so strongly influences us that we change the direction we are going in because of that person. For me it was Anne McCaffery. I never got to meet her. Never got to tell her “thank you” for her stories. I wanted too, oh man i wanted to see the Lady herself. But it never seemed to work out. Something always came up.

You see, when I was about 7, I “borrowed” a book off of my dad. It was a big hardback edition of Dragonflight, Dragonquest, and The White Dragon. I read it in a week and from that point on I was hooked. Anne McCaffery was my hero. I played dragons in the backyard. Pretending i had somehow made Earth into Pern. I don’t remember the logistics of the game but it involved a lot of running around the backyard with the dogs (big firelizards) and playing on the swing (fighting thread).

I read everything from her I could find. And i joined a pern fan club. Back before the internet when everything was snail mail. I wrote fanfic, and that is what got me started. You could, I suppose, say that Anne was responsible for me deciding to write. I discovered the world of reading, of writing, all because I crawled behind my couch with a flashlight and that big white book and was transported to another world.

She was my escape during High School. She was my hero. I wanted to be a writer. Just Like Anne.

My world is richer because of her writing.

I am thankful for having the opportunity to read her work, I am thankful for her stories. I am thankful she chose the path she did.

Good-bye Anne, thank you for your dragons. Thank you for your worlds.

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Oct
2011

A Moment in the life of a writer

Also could be called writer fail, or maybe tech fail. Last night, as I was working on the outline, I gripped the corner of my laptop to scoot it up my legs. It blue screened. I threw my handsup, reading the warning wondering wtf I did, then it restarted. I was a bit pissed a bit upset and all the while wondering if I squeezed the computer too hard and cause a hardware malfunction.

It is at this point this conversation between me and my amused hubby occured:

Him: What did you do to it?
Me: I swear I don’t know!
Him: You are hard on computers!
Me: **explains the moving and squeezing the corner theory as the computer boots up normal**
Him: You go through computers like everyone else goes through toilet paper.
Me:…..

at which point I got the giggles, because it isn’t far off the mark.   I assured myself that the outline file worked and that I hadn’t lost stuff then headed to bed. Still giggling.

As a writer I am constantly on the computer, I am always making backups. I AM hard on the computers I own.

Today I plan on working on the outline. If I can rally the kids to clean.

Oh, and for those wondering, here is the link to the BBC program Lost Kingdoms of Africa. It is offered trough Netflix streaming and you can purchase it at Amazon.com for about $50.00 here. I am going to invest in this one, I think it is totally worth having.

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Oct
2011

Quick update

About a week or so I had a computer malfunction issue. I had to reset my computer to factory settings.

Luckily I have everything backed up, didn’t lose any  writing, but it along with other RL issues have made me have to re-evaluate my deadlines. Oh the joys of self pubbing! 😀

That said, I am trying to re-organize my time and get myself back into a routine. I have a story almost ready to publish but there is something not right about it and I haven’t had the time to sit down and figure out WHY.

It is probably going to be something silly and obvious and when I finally **see** I will facepalm mightily, but until then…

Anyways. Deadline changes:

Elemental Truth was originally slated for release in Nov. However it is not going to be ready. I won’t release it prematurely. There are plot issues, characterization issues and I am certain some grammar things to fix before I can release it in good conscious.

Elemental Storm has been moved in the overall timeline (and is now E5) and Elemental Flame (this year’s NaNo project) has been dubbed E2. As if anyone besides me was keeping track of that!

Anyways, I am outlining CoB and E2 which are my double nano projects and doing the mom/housewife thing.

Hope you are all doing well.

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Sep
2011

Formatting and other thoughts

I apologize, I have been very caught up with RL. Haven’t had a chance to really get over here to post.

 

Writing ground to a temporary halt while I deal with some very real, very urgent issues in RL. Today, as I tried to get my brain to refocus, i started skimming through some of my links. One of which is a great tutorial for using .html to format your ebooks. I got to thinking and pulled up my files to look over my stories in the various formats. And decided to re-format my files.

Here is the link to the tutorial. The comments are as educational as the tutorial itself, I highly recommend taking the time to learn it.  http://guidohenkel.com/2010/12/take-pride-in-your-ebook-formatting/

NaNo is right around the corner and I am excited and thrilled to say that I am, yet again, going to hop on the crazy train. Naysayers go away. My participating in NaNo isn’t going to damage your delicate little tail-feathers. Here Is Lazette Gifford’s take on NaNo. I have to say I agree.

You don’t like it, don’t do it. Stop wasting YOUR time bitching about us who ARE going to do it; and go slave away at your own WIPs.

After all, if you spent all that energy on writing instead of bitching, you might just get somewhere with your own work. I sometimes wonder if the naysayers are so because of jealousy. After all there is a lot of motivation and movement and people progress writing wise. Perhaps the bitterness is because those who are bitter have no forward motion in their writing… 😉  Something to ponder, eh?

speaking of work, time to get back to it.

Take care all.

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Sep
2011

Technical difficulties and a bit o a rant

We are having a few.

It kinda keeps me a bit busy.

I have been a bit quiet over here for a number of reasons. Health, kids, and other real life challenges.

 

There is  a lot going on in the pubbing world. At the moment, I am just watching and seeing how things will play out as I write my stories and self pub. There is a mini rant inside my head right now about contracts and the attitude people have of dismissing your concerns. Of people dismissing your desire to have control over your intellectual property.

I need some time to articulate it and need to do a bit of research to back up my opinions. But it boils down to this;

I want control of MY work. It is not a bad thing, it is a good thing. I enjoy having total control.

I know, for a fact, that not everyone can do the multitasking required to self publish. It is a hell of a lot of work, stress, headache, and time.

FOR ME, the correct choice, at this point in time, is self publishing. It might change later. Berating me for deciding to self publish, putting me down because I decided that I want to make damn sure what is happening on the business side of my writing is not going to make me look too kindly towards the traditional writing community.

Furthermore, here is a bit of an open letter to people;

I respect my fellow writers who have gone the traditional route. My hats off to you, you have done a hell of a job and I am excited and thrilled to hear about your accomplishments and future plans

My friends who are planning on going the traditional route, I will cheer you the whole way! I wish you all the success. Please feel free to share your plans and dreams of getting an agent and having a trad publishing co publish you. I will remind you of other options but I won’t, nor do I intend to push you towards self pubbing. If you feel I’m being pushy tell me, I am a big girl I can take it. 😛 (Seriously I get excited with self pubbing, I don’t mean to be pushy, I openly apologize if I have been)

Fellow self pubbers/indi writers; for fucks sake be nice! I have seen this trend towards being insulting towards agents, editors, trad published writers. Just knock it off! Yes I know, we have been put down and kicked around because we choose to take our future into our own hands, but all this negative energy directed towards the traditional methods of publication are taking out of your writing time and feeding a fire that doesn’t need to be fed. The negativity is a cancer which will kill your creativity if you don’t get it under control. We can play nice together people.

Super Critical trad published writers/editors/agents: You be nice too! Yes there are issues with many self pubbed writers, but not all of us are idiots, not all of us put out nothing but crap. Take a moment and give the ones who are working hard to put out our best work the credit we deserve. You know why I have only 4 shorts up? I have about 15 projects I could, I suppose, toss up. But I won’t. Because I am working hard to ensure that what I put up is worth what I will ask people to pay for it. I could toss up E1 right now, but, as it is, it is crap. I want it to be better, so I edit, I am working on it. I hope it will be ready before Christmas, but I won’t put it up until I am certain it is worth my readers time.

This is my choice, and I am happy with it. Please respect my decision, I will respect yours.

ok I have a bunch of housework that needs to be done. Play nice, be good or at least be safe 😉

 

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