“If we were having coffee…”? – #weekendcoffeeshare

English: A photo of a cup of coffee. Esperanto...
English: A photo of a cup of coffee. Esperanto: Taso de kafo. Français : Photo d’une tasse de caffé Español: Taza de café (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’d tell you why such a glum face.

I’m one of those writers who needs to keep a full-time day job besides writing. It is how I connect to the world. Interacting with people is what keeps me going. It is where I can come up with new ideas. Inspiration comes from the daily interaction with co-workers.

So why so glum, you ask?

For the past few weeks, I was part of a workforce reduction. That’s right. I was displaced and left to scour the internet in search of a new day job. It’s not so easy to do these days, that is unless you have some sort of degree.

Last week, out of frustration, I applied to go back to school to get that needed degree. I should hear back within the coming weeks. It does look promising. I also got my job back – pfff – as a Temp, that is.

I used to believe that companies would reward their workers for loyalty and good work ethics. I guess that isn’t the case anymore. Or at least, at this company. I know, you ask, why go back to them? I had no choice. I need the job and the interaction if I’m going to write.

“I’ll be that one person who continues to work until the day they die.” – Linda Nelson

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Short Stories #Free for you to #Read

I have a short story collection I have compiled over the years. Every time I write another one I add it to this collection. The eBook edition is easy enough to update and add new ones to it. The paperback is updated every so many years, when necessary.

Since this book is a sample collection, it will be my free sampler. I’m making it per-ma-free. It is already free on Apple. Barnes & Noble will be free in a few days. I’m not sure how long it will take for Amazon’s bots to pick up on the free price. You are welcome to notify them that you’ve found it free at Apple.

Then, there is always Smashwords.com too.

Happy Easter and Happy Reading!

Time Pieces
eBook short story collection

Catabook

Image courtesy of ipkitten.blogspot.com via Creative Commons Bing Images

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“There comes a time when you sit down to write but the need to read overcomes you.”

Reading – Game of Thrones – Clash of Kings – book #2

I know I need to get to work on the next book. Orgarlan has been waiting for me to return for some time. I haven’t forgotten it. There’s been other stories craving for my attention. The Game of Thrones has remained at the top of my list. It would be so easy to just buy the series on Amazon and watch the video of it, but I really wanted to read the books instead. I’m glad I chose the later route. George Martin is a fantastic story teller. I love his style, it fits well with my own style.

Fire and Blood (Game of Thrones)
Fire and Blood (Game of Thrones) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Each time I sit and open up a file to work on, I always wind up reading on the Kindle app on my desktop. This book, for me, is more addictive than facebook.

I know there’s nothing wrong with that. GM is a master, and while I’m reading his work, I’m studying it. His story is written in multi characters. Everyone has a tale to tell about the common events taking place. He makes character building look easy, though I’m sure there is more to it than there seems.

Have you ever come across an author that has struck a chord with you in their style and language to the point you need to read each book there after because you can’t get enough of them?

Tell me about them. I’d love to hear which authors hooked you with a hook, line and sinker.

Howling Good Holiday


Image Courtesy of Lone wolf moon
by AbyssWolf666 via creative commons

 

2014 will go down in history as the year I used to fill my writing well.
Here is to hoping that I can finish some unfinished stories I started writing over the past three years. For starters, I need to finish up my Orgarlan Saga, or at least write the next book in the series, that is, if it is going to be a series instead of just a trilogy. Then there are a couple other stories I began over the years, two of which are half written.
My writing discipline has slipped over the past two years. I used to write a couple of short stories a year. I need to get back into the flash fiction habit.
As you’ve probably noticed, even my blogging has slacked this year.
This is a good time to compile my New Year’s Resolutions.
1. Blog more often.
2. Write short stories when I can’t seem to form more than one sentence for a work in project.
3. Finish the slush-pile stories, even if they are crappy stories. A finished story can find new life during an overhaul edit.
4. Read more books – especially the fantasy, historical, and romances. Nonfiction titles are handy for researching.
5. Remind myself, I’m a writer – so write…
6. Exercise more. I have a new puppy that is waiting for adventures in the great unknown world of walking down the street.
7. Buy chicks to rebuild the pet laying hens. Our flock took a hit this year when some strange monster ran off with a couple of the chickens in the middle of the night leaving a trail of feathers behind.
8. Create items to take to the farmer’s market in the spring. I can sell my books while I’m there too and let the locals know that they have a writer living in their town.
9. Publish more books.
10. Continue to re-edit already published works if I see a missed edit. This is a never-ending process, and I’m grateful when a reader takes the time to point something out to me that I apparently missed.
I do have a couple of beta readers, but if they really enjoy the story, then they seem to miss proofing errors too, when they are sucked into the story.
11. Make all the ROW80 check-ins. I really slacked in this area last year and may have been my biggest contributing factor for feeling the need to refill the well.
And last but not least.
12. Listen to more music. A must when it comes to writing and setting the mood and setting for a story.

My year in review:
I went to my first RWA Conference – NEC. I’m looking forward to going to NEC again in April. This will be my annual conference, even if I can’t really afford to go, this will be my must-do-thing. I learned so much from the workshops I have to do it again.
Deb Dixon happened. That was the workshop my RWA group held that happened the weekend after NEC. I think by the end of that weekend I was on information overload that may have helped contributed to my needing to refill the writing well.
Finished and published next work in progress. But because the story was on the other end of the spectrum I had to publish it under the pseudonym of Lydia Clark. That is all I’m going to tell you. You’ll have to search Amazon for the book; it’s exclusive in the Kindle Select Program where it is going to stay for a while.
In fact, I’m moving all my books to Kindle Select for a while. It appears that Oyster and Scribed are effecting the eBook sales for most of the Smashwords titles. So I might as well take advantage of Amazon’s program, maybe I’ll sell some print copies at the other sites. I think more people are going back to buying print books anyways. It is only a matter of time before the eBook craze ends and reading returns to the print norm. There’s something about being able to hold a real book in one’s hands and you never need to worry about the battery running low.
Do you know how many times I’ve forgotten to recharge either my cell phone or my Kindle?
By the way, I discovered the Kindle app for my cell phone. I don’t need to carry my kindle with me to work anymore. I can just read those same books on my cell phone.

 

May you have a Howling Good Holiday!

Sunday Scoopful and #ROW80

On Saturday, November 9th, we had another speaker for our NH Chapter of Romance Writers. We meet in Bow, NH the second Saturday of the month from September to June. Each month we have a speaker to give us tidbits on what they found worked best for them as in writing or promoting.

So yesterday, we had a visit from none other than – wait for it – wait – Marie Force. That’s right. She was our speaker.

What she brought to us was tidbits on being a hybrid author. You see, she is not only traditionally published but she is a self-pubbing author as well. If you ever get the chance to hear her speak in person than take it, she has a lot of insight into what comes into factor for being a hybrid author.

She spoke mostly about the importing things a self-published author needs to know before hitting the mighty publish button.

  1. Write a book that is not just good – but great. Make sure your plots are sound and your characters are likeable.
  2. Have your book professionally edited. It is costly but well worth the money spent. That is copy-edited for the most part. They are the ones who pick up on a lot of grammar problems and spelling problems, maybe a proofreading error or two.
  3. Use a professional designer to make your book covers. Book covers do have a huge impact on whether your book is going to attract a reader.
  4. Make sure your manuscript is properly formatted. If you can’t figure out how to format your book then pay someone to do it for you. Lots of times sites like Smashwords will tell you to try again if the formatting is not correct. But if it takes you more than five tries and you still don’t get it or all your hair has been pulled from the top of your head then you really need to seek out a formatting service to take care of your manuscript properly for you.
  5. Even eBooks do need front matter. This is where you put the name of the book followed by author name then published by and so on. Smashwords has good examples of this in their style guide that is free for everyone to read and use.
  6. Every book needs an ISBN. Or should read, every different format of you book needs its own ISBN. That means that an eBook needs its own for ePub and Mobi, PDF and so on. Right down to making sure that you have a separate one for you paperback. You can’t use the same ISBN for all the books under that same title. Each one has to have its own.
  7. You need to distribute your book. This can be done by setting up an account with the various venues like Amazon Kindle Direct, Barnes & Noble Nook Press, Kobo Writing Life and so on. Or you can do the one shoe fits all and use Smash words for you distribution needs. (Note: you still need a separate account for Amazon Kindle Direct when using Smashwords unless you are a bestselling author, otherwise, if you are not a bestseller, Amazon will not open their distribution gate for your Smashwords file. So it is best to work with amazon direct in the beginning.)
  8. Promoting your book. Marie found that Facebook was the best social media avenue when it came to promoting your book. This is without posting multiple posts about your book. Just engage with your readers and treat them the way you would love to be treated and word of mouth about your book and how nice you are really makes a difference in how well your book sells. Readers love to say my friend – so and so – Facebook link – wrote a book that I loved. This is so good for you and your reader. Let them have at it. Friends are some of your best readers. Believe me; everyone wants to be someone’s friend.
  9. If your book is not selling, revisit it and take a peak to see why. If the cover needs to be improved than change it. If your formatting is not good enough than fix it. Update your books periodically so they can keep pace with the ever changing face of technology.

If you need help with your self-published book Marie has a solution for this as well. She runs a service called
Formatting Fairies
. They do everything from formatting to copy editing and book cover design. She also has a self-pub loop at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/selfpublish/

ROW80 Update: My NaNo Work in Progress

It has been a couple of weeks since I last checked in or maybe just over a week. I’ve been working on a Nano project for this month. It will be interesting to see how far I can get with this WIP. I missed two days this week and fell short on word count on one day too. As of yesterday my word count sits at 7k words. I might be done after the first of the year. (LOL)

I have to keep telling myself that the best I have done is writing a first draft in 90 days. That is still not too bad. So if I don’t make the NaNo deadline I will not beat myself up over it.

Next weekend Sunday Scoop: Monadnock Writers’ Group

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Monadnock Writers’ Group Meeting Minute and #ROW80 Check-in

It is the third Saturday of the month and time once again to let you all know how my monthly Monadnock Writers’ Group happened to be. Our speaker for today was Hilary Weisman Graham. I met her a few months ago when she spoke at our NHRWA meeting in Bow, NH. That time she had told us all about the marketing things one should not do. This time she spoke about her other form of writing that she feels she loves even more than writing fiction. She is a screenwriter at heart.

Hilary wrote a YA Contemporary a year ago called Reunited. I still have yet to read it. Winter is coming. There should be plenty of time to read then.

Her explanation of what she had to go through to pitch a screenplay for TV Shows, explained how difficult that kind of writing tends to be. It is a never ending battle to come up with the right story line, the right characters, and what they are looking for in a screenplay during that actual moment. Many screenplays are tossed in the file after file to become lost in time.

She was asked about the difference between managers and agents. Hilary said that the managers are more personal, and she can cry on her manager’s shoulder about things easier than crying on an agents shoulder. The relationship tends to be closer.

All in all, I found her screenplay presentation much more enjoyable and funny. Thanks Hilary. Hope to see you again soon and good luck on your screenplays.

Other News:

Along Came Neil is up on Smashwords – finally.

I don’t believe I will bother taking part ever again in the Kindle Select program, especially now that Smashwords has come out with the prerelease feature. I really do like Smashwords so much more than any other venue. The meat grinder was my nemesis in the past, but I do believe I may have conquered that. Now I just need to wait for them to approve the file for their catalogue. In the meantime I have a little treat for my readers. I have a coupon code to share with all of you and if you want you are free to share this code with your friends and your friends’ friends, and their connections too. So please pass it around. I am hoping to get some ratings and reviews if possible in exchange for this code.

For your Free eBook in your choice of format. Promotional price: $0.00
Coupon Code: MH37M – Not Case Sensitive
Expires: November 19, 2013 https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/368935

ROW80 Check-In:

I missed my check in for Wednesday. So much for my goal of not missing a post, but I won’t give up on that goal just yet. I plan on trying again and again until I finally meet that goal without having to force myself to make the posts.

What I do have to report: I started working on the next Orgarlan Book. The first 1k words are done. I will give it a shot again tomorrow and see what kind of word count I can get before noon time. I know that 3k would be too much to ask for, but then again, that can be about the same length of a chapter, so one never knows.

How’s your writing going this week? I would love to hear from you. Do you attend writing groups? Who have your speakers been?

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No Tablets in Schools

Tablets do not belong in the classroom. What are the teachers thinking these days?

Tonight on the news they talked about how a school had decided to put eReaders in the classroom, and it turned in to a major problem. The elementary students learned how to hack the device and access the internet when they were supposed to be doing school work. I have a feeling that there is more to this problem story than the media let on. This sounds more like they put tablets in the hands of the students than mere eReaders.

I know for a fact that using an eReader to access the internet will not leave the user with a satisfying experience, or at least, not with my ordinary Keyboard Kindle. This is one function that is seriously lacking on the device. Mine might be one of the older models, but my mother’s is also the same way. There are some things you just don’t do with a Kindle. It was designed for reading books – period.

This sounds as if the school board did not do their homework before deciding to spend all this money on these devices for the students. If they had, they could have saved the public a lot of money.

I’m sure other eReaders are the same way when it comes to the internet function.

Now I wonder what they plan to do with all those tablets.

ROW80 Check-In:

The writing discipline has been working this week. I only have six more chapters to go over in Witch Book. Then I will be able to start thinking of the plot outline for the next fantasy book in the Orgarlan Saga.

I may be able to finish it up tonight or by tomorrow at the latest.

As I go I have been sort of thinking up plot twists for the next book. I have different things to consider as I think about my current characters.

1.    What does each of my characters want?

2.    Everyone has secrets. What are theirs?

3.    What are they afraid of?

Once I can answer each of these questions I can weave a pretty nifty plot using Cause and effect. This one does that so this one has to do this and so on. Just like what happens in life. Hmm… a title thought, not guaranteed to remain the same, but the thought is there. Darmin Karma – nah don’t like that.

When the book ends, Darmin is trying her hand at bewitching Lord Ky’ debaul.

Cause and Effect = Karma

Karma Effect?

It Sounds catchy to me. What do you think?