If We were having Coffee – I would tell you my goings on

Goings On-

No, I did not work on any of my wips this week. I still did do some writing, with my weekly assignment for class. This term is Organizational Behavior and Fundamentals of Taxation. I never knew that doing taxes could be so interesting. I am already compiling a ton of deductions that I may be able to take in the coming year.

Since I was not working on any of my manuscripts, what have I been doing?

InDesign –

I have played around some more with the Adobe software, InDesign. The more I use it and poke around with it, the more I like it. I can see that once I have mastered that program as much as I have mastered Microsoft Office we are going to get along really well.

I am hoping to have my skills up to par by either February or March when I plan to tackle more of my backlist and get them transferred to Ingram Spark. With any luck, maybe I will have a new title to publish by then.

School – Is going well.

I am about to hit another milestone next month. I will be on the last leg of my bachelor degree. October will see me become a senior. Graduation for the Bachelor degree will take place in October 2019, but the official commencement will be May of 2020.

I will then continue to complete a Master’s of Science in Accounting.

Ten years ago, I never thought I would be learning to crunch numbers let alone go back to school. College was nothing more than a long-lost pipe dream that I had given up on, but things changed in 2016 causing me to see that it was possible to go back to school 30 years later.

It has all been hard work, but well worth the effort. I feel so much better about myself. I even have a better understanding of people because of it.

When I first started out with my education, I was pursuing an Integrated Study plan of Business and Social Services with the hopes of becoming an HR Manager someday. But several people pointed out to me that the job market for HR was too competitive, and my education could be a waste of my money. So I decided to change my education track to accounting which will come in handy as a writer. Who knows what might be waiting for me around the corner in the next five years? I certainly never suspected that I would be going to school five years ago.

 

Keelaa B Publishing

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Keelaa B models for the position of company mascot.

I have created my publishing house. I am in the beginning stages and will continue to develop my marketing and business plan. The first step was to secure the company name, which I completed. Next, I will use my publishing house to publish my books, and as I gain more knowledge about using InDesign, I will be able to open my submission door to providing services to others to help them get their titles published with Ingram.

The decision to go ahead with my own publishing company is an inspiring time for me. With only two years left of school, I am looking to get this company up and running by 2021, and I can’t wait!

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Trying to find a balance between work, school, and publishing

Publishing World is always changing. Sometimes it is difficult to keep up with all the changes whether it is technical or business wise with publishing houses closing.

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Photo by LinkedIn Sales Navigator on Pexels.com

I’ve been away from writing and publishing for too long. My goal for the rest of the year and the coming year is to reestablish myself as a writer. It is time to say goodbye to writer’s block excuses and begin filling paper after paper with lists of this and that to give me jarring ideas for the stories that I have in progress. I need to clean up my to be finished pile and start publishing new stuff.

 

Is this a Lack of Commitment?

– Maybe

 

Truthfully it has been lack of time.

Class work eats up most of my free time leaving me with the need to use whatever little time I have left for some form of entertainment. That entertainment may come in the form of playing Sim City – my way of trying to learn about economics, World of Warcraft – for the adventurer in me, or attempting to create some craft project. Those craft projects never get very far before I give up due to lack of time and forgetting where I left off.

 

So why the change?

 

– School is not over yet but

 

The publishing world is moving on without me, and I don’t want to be left behind or forgotten. Look at the changes going on with Amazon’s KDP and CreateSpace. I have used those sites for years to publish my works, but I don’t want to have to move everything and receive fewer publishing services. I want better distribution for my books.

 

That is why I am moving my works, slowly, away from KDP and CreateSpace. I needed to find a better distribution program for my books which is why I started removing my Wings from Ashes series from KDP and CreateSpace.

 

For beginners, I am using Draft to Digital for the eBook distribution. My books will still be on Amazon Kindle, but they will also be on Kobo, Barnes & Noble Nook, iBooks, and several other outlets. The print versions will be moved to Ingram Spark so that bookstores will be more willing to stock my books in their stores. However, because of the cost involved, this move will happen slowly over the coming months.

 

In the meantime, I will begin plotting and planning as much as time allows. NaNoWriMo is right around the corner, and I want to be able to say done by November 30th this year.

 

Whom do you use to publish your books?

Are your books published with Ingram Spark?

Just the print?

Just your eBooks?

Do you publish both formats with Ingram Spark?

Please share your experience with me!

If we were having Coffee, I’d tell you…I hit a lifetime milestone

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Image courtesy of creative commons By: Ray MacLeanCC BY 2.0via flickr.com

Let’s Chat over a cup of Coffee

It’s been a while since we last met which was way back in November. Since then I have read a couple of books. One book opened a door of learning to appreciate my coworkers and the other about the benefits of Stress. Usually, I prefer to read fiction like that of fantasy, mystery, sci-fiction, or romance but I’ve found these books on business informative.

 

Christmas and the Holidays have passed.

Phew! They flew by without incident, and everyone was happy with the gifts they got. I did stay up to watch the ball drop.

 

Keelaa, our Jackshund, is getting a new kitten.

She has been pretty lonely since her much older sister, Julie, passed away back in October. We were all very sad to say goodbye to our trusted furry friend of 16 years, but she was in a lot of pain. Her death was a relief. I hated seeing her struggle to walk. She was at the point where she needed aid when standing up, and many times she would stumble and fall or slip on the linoleum landing with a big huff. I feared how she would fair, come wintertime. With all the ice and snow, her mobility would’ve been limited. She was a trooper right to the very end.

 

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Julie – RIP 2017

 

My Milestone Moment!

May of 2016 I began taking college courses at Franklin Pierce University while keeping my day job. Up until then, I had only wished that I had gone to college and believed that this was just a forgotten dream that would never come true. But yea me, it did!

This week, I completed my Associates Degree in Business Associate. I’m moving on with my Bachelors in Science of Integrated Studies. My coursework will consist of a concentrate of Business and Social Service classes, and I did declare my major as well. I want my MBA of Human Resource Management with SHRM certification.

I should have my bachelor’s degree by September of 2019 and my MBA by 2020-21.

 

Have I stopped writing?

Not really. Though I have not published anything in a while, I do have several stories I am writing, while my primary goal with them is to improve my writing style making the stories much more professionally written. I like having the control over my written works even though they do not fill my bank account with wads of dollars. I don’t write to make money. Writing is my way of expressing myself, and the goal is to write stories that I would want to read. They may never be as good as Game of Thrones or am I selling myself short? I won’t know until I publish them and you as a reader give me feedback on how much my writing has changed in the past ten to twelve years.

 

Till we meet again – bottoms up!

Have Americans Gone too far with Christmas Lights? #Christmaslightwars

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Image courtesy of creative commons license via flickr.com by terren in Virginia

I used to look forward to driving home from Grandma’s House at Christmas time when I was a child, to be able to see all the pretty Christmas decorations and lights on our way back home. I remember oohing and gaping every time we passed another decorated house. Nowadays, the homes are a hit or miss. They are either undecorated because no one can afford the light bill or they are over decorated and look gaudy awful and too bright for the eyes to behold.
For instance, in the article, Christmas Lights ‘on Steroids’ Bring Parking Headaches to Dyker Heights, parking is limited even more because of the draw the Christmas lights have on crowds to the neighborhood. (SCHWEBER, 2016) I wouldn’t want to live in a neighborhood where the annual Christmas light contest was taking place. First off, I wouldn’t want that light bill nor to waste that much energy on an over-decorated home. Christmas is much more than decorated homes with giant live Christmas trees. I also wouldn’t want to deal with the traffic or know that thousands of tourists are coming to my neighborhood to see a dazzling light display. The traffic is bad enough on my street, more cars and trucks mean that I would need to turn up my television so I could hear it over the traffic.
When we decorate for Christmas, we put up the yearly artificial tree. We did do the live tree for a few years, but then the cat discovered pine tea and knocked the tree over multiple times trying to get that last sip of water out of the bottom of the tree stand. When we switched back to the artificial tree, the tree stands unharmed.
Sometimes we put up a string of lights at the front door with a pair of candy cane lights. This year only the Christmas Wreath decorates our entry which does not mean I’m not feeling the Christmas spirit; it just says we intend to stay within our budget and finish the year on a positive note.

Reference

SCHWEBER, N. (2016, December 2). Christmas Lights ‘on Steroids’ Bring Parking Headaches to Dyker Heights. Retrieved from The New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/02/nyregion/christmas-lights-on-steroids-bring-parking-headaches-to-dyker-heights.html

 

Farfetched Story Sounds Familiar

 

Someone has been reading my short stories or so it appears.

An article was posted in the Facebook news feeds and I had to go and check it out. The story does sound a bit farfetched but hey, I suggested this in my short story that I wrote years ago, Bed Bug Ridden.[1]

Apparently, some woman decided to burn down her house because of a bad infestation of bed bugs. I wrote Bed Bug Ridden back around 2010 as a short story and you can read it in my Time Pieces Collection which has stories that are funny, simple, short and sweet with a touch of some suspense. There are 13 stories in this collection.


[1]  (Jennifer Baker 2017)

 

References

 

Jennifer Baker, Digital Content Produce. Woman trying to kill bed bugs accidentally sets multi-family home ablaze. December 9, 2017. (accessed December 9, 2017).

 

I Ask Myself A Thousand Times Why I Write

I will continue to ask myself over and over why I write and the list continues to grow.

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  • Communication: Writing is a form of communicating with those not met or seen every day. A friend, a sibling, former co-worker, even someone never met may find a shared experience to be inspirational, helpful or educational.
  • Sharing: Experiences are wonderful to share. By sharing the experience the how, why and what will offer insight to what to possibilities for others.
  • Caring: Everyone needs something. Caring is part of sharing insights of experiences of how to do something, why to do it, and what the reason was for the experience.
  • Business: Writers write, plain and simple. Writing becomes more than a hobby as the experience continues to grow, which leads to greater sharing opportunities that are all part of business as usual.
  • Just because I can: The more experience a writer obtains, the more they need to write. Just because, writing is a form of communication just like talking to someone in person. The letter, diary, story, note, message, chat, or phone calls all are forms of communication to not only other people but also to the self.
  • Something I like to do: Writing is fun and allows detachment from the current world. Life can be shaped to reflect dreams, illusions, or reality.
  • Imagination: A form of dreaming, day dreaming, scurrying the unknown to experience what if possibility. Nightmares can be horrifying, but the disturbing nightmare can be overcome by the power found in imagination. A weapon can magically appear to kill the monster; one only needs to imagine – or think it.
  • Creativity: To think something into existence. What is real? Think and see something appear as one wish. What comes first? Imagination or reality.
  • Development: Can be personal or creative. Change takes place without one knowing, realizing a plan is in action until all is done and over with the final result or outcome.
  • Pondering: Thinking, imagining, wonder, inspiration, and creating a new idea or thought.
  • Growth: Personal, knowledge, financial, character, and wisdom are all desirous for any individual.
  • Aspiration: What one wants, wishes, and desires in their life. The one and only, the bucket list that never empties.
  • Escape: Freedom from the events of the day. An excellent way to release stress and learn to enjoy life once again.
  • Experience: What has been learned from doing something, being somewhere, being with whom, and knowing a common knowledge?
  • Learning: All that is needed to know how to do something, to be someone, to get somewhere in life.
  • Self-discovery: Self-knowledge, knowing who you are, become all that one needs to be, and understanding the self.
  • Self-expression: Communicating who we are and what we want and why we want what we want. Just being a being is all one needs to be.
  • Experiencing life: Life happens regardless whether we want to be on the boat of life. Open up and know what is happening to experience the storms so one can ride the waves of life without capsizing the boat.

My Year Flashed Before My Eyes

Where did my year go?

This year has rushed by, and I can see why with being as busy as I have been with school and work. First-year terms are coming to an end. They finish up on May 13th leaving me with two years and two terms to go before acquiring that Bachelor degree. Microeconomics is not one of my favorite subjects. Economics, in general, are not a favorite either. I haven’t struggled this hard since taking Principles of Finance though I sure I’m going to pass.

I added to my book collection

 

 

 

I discovered a couple of good buys this weekend on Amazon dot com. One of which was the book, Writing Romances – A Handbook by the Romance Writers of America. I picked the book up the used book for $6. It turned out to be a sweet find. I plan on reading a minimum of one chapter a day. So far it has taught me about the functions of an agent, and now I’m learning about the duties of a publishing house editor. This book holds the nuts and bolts about publishing.

The other book I found in the used book section is the Chicago Manual of Style 15th edition that I picked up for $10. The 17th edition is about to release, but the used version will suffice for now, which is better than going without any edition. 

I love stumbling across things, especially great deals. So what if the RWA book was published back in 1996 even though so much has changed in the publishing world, some things never change that drastically like what editors do or what agents do. Yes, we have moved into an electronic era, but print books are making a comeback. I have found electronics to be hard on the eyes, and there is still that something about being able to hold a physical book in your hands. If I have to have that book, it will be a print edition, but if I’m not sure whether or not I will like the book, I tend to go with the electronic version. Why waste a tree on paper if the book is not worth reading?

My manuscripts still sit covered with dust.

I will return to them in time. Ideas are beginning to flow, and I can feel a story brewing in the back of my mind. I should be journaling every day. That won’t happen. The next 12 weeks will be hectic with school. I will have two back to back crash courses that will contain eight weeks of work to be completed in 6 weeks each. – My summer school. What I do to try and get ahead in life all because my story ideas seemed so lame at the time. Now I barely have enough time to post to my blog.

Blog ideas for the coming year:

  • Journaling
  • Interviews – I could not only host questions and answers with writers but what about professionals in every neck of the woods. Hmm… what a thought.
  • Books I have discovered – books of the craft, for the craft, and arts and crafts
  • My pets – Keelaa and Julie
  • My grandbabies are growing up so fast.
  • Pictures of my garden
  • Works in progress updates

I wonder which of these will find their way to the surface the most, who knows what the coming year will bring besides being one more year closer to getting that degree.