June 27, 2011

Ever have one of those days?

     It seemed like everything that came out of my mouth today got twisted and scrambled up and my tongue absolutely refused to cooperate with my brain. By the end of the day, every word of this video made sense to me:

June 23, 2011

I heard a literary joke today...

... and I couldn't pass up sharing it:

     A man asks his literary agent, "What type of writing brings in the most money?" 

     The agent answers, "Ransom notes." 

June 22, 2011

Riding the Fence

      I've read a lot of indie books lately, and noticed that many of them seem to have skipped the use of an editor or proofreader all together. I'm not sure yet how I feel about that.
     On one side, I sort of like getting to look at a pure unfiltered work. Although writing is a different art form, Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dali didn't have anyone go over their art before "publishing" it.

     And neither did Auguste Rodin, or numerous other artists. It's almost like looking straight into a writer and seeing all of their best traits along with their flaws. You get to see the words they overuse, the ones they can never seem to spell right, and the tidbits of passages that make sense to them, but not to any other mortal being. In a sense, I like seeing that I'm not the only one who screws things up.

     On the other hand... I have to consider that I spent hard earned money on this work. I tend to take someone's "art" only as seriously as they do. It tugs at me that someone who puts it out there without even reading over it first - didn't consider the consequences and didn't give enough effort. Can you imagine how many edits the songs on the Billboard charts go through?

    I'm not sure where I stand really, which is odd for me. Some say it's bringing down the quality of the literature industry, while other say it's allowing story-tellers who aren't so much writers to be heard. I can see it both ways. How do you feel about buying unedited work?

June 20, 2011

This paperback thing is, for lack of a better word... dfiohw uihuabartjkb

        I have the ebook all polished and ready to post, but this paperback formatting is a madhouse!! I kinda (sorta) have a good start, but indeed, there are problems...

1. I can't get the page numbers to stop showing up on Chapter Title pages....

2. I have the same problem with the Author and Title headers

3. I have to have a barcode? This is confusing me, because some sites tell me I can get a free one (as long as you understand how to set one up with incoherent instructions) while others say to go buy one?

4. I've read that I need to apply for an LCCN, but I'm having trouble applying for one since I don't own a publishing house... I've also heard you don't need one... I'm sincerely unsure...

If you have any idea how to address any of these tormenting issues, don't hesitate to respond. Am I in over my head on this one? Anyone up for LOTS of coffee tonight? 

June 18, 2011

Don't say it if you don't mean it.

     I heard those words many years ago from my mother. I never thought I would hear them in relation to writing, but oddly enough, it's something I think about often now. I learned to appreciate that phrase a lot more while working with my editor. I love how different she and I looked at things. A lot of the revisions she suggested had nothing to do with what I was trying to portray, because she interpreted what I was saying in a completely different manner than I meant it. That caused me to break down my writing and clarify what I meant. While it's good to leave vague suggestions in writing, sometimes things just need to be said exactly how they are meant.

     This phrase is good to keep in mind with relationships as well. I'd venture to say a lot of complications can come from your partner taking something you said the wrong way. Now when I'm writing and speaking, I reflect back to that little phrase a lot. I'm working on trying to make something exactly what it's supposed to be. 

      At the same time, keep in mind that this issue has been used for the basis of romantic comedy for as long as it has existed. Sit down and watch any episode of George Lopez, and you're sure to see him trying to say something nice to his wife while she gets offended because she perceived it quite the opposite of the way he meant.

     Have you ever said or wrote something that came off the wrong way?

June 13, 2011

A work, invaded.

I was bright and cheery that I have nearly all the technical crap out of the way and my first novel is ready to post up. I was overjoyed that after months of learning and working out all it takes to get a book ready, I could finally get back to writing! I opened another WIP last night, but while I was writing, my mind kept trailing back to how this work wasn't formatted at all. It was full of "tab" indents, the font was wrong, the line spacing was wrong... It's strange how my brain tries so hard to stay locked on one thing and I have to give effort to make it "mind". So as of now, I'm trying hard to focus on JUST writing.

I try to stay away from filling this blog with personal things. After all, this is about the writing aspects of my life and only faintly remarks on the personal. I just couldn't help thinking this fits into both, though. I awoke a few mornings ago to find this:

My son was in his PJ's having a (not so) nutritious picnic with a good book. The fact that both of my children enjoy reading warms my heart to no end. My daughter tells me constantly she can't wait to be older so that when she tries to read my books they will make sense, bless her.

The best part is, no matter what happens with this novel, nothing can deter me from trudging ahead. If I only sell two books, I will still keep writing, keep publishing, and keep going. I have the chance to demonstrate to my children how important it is to hold onto your dreams and not get discouraged. As of now, my son wants to be in the ARMY and my daughter wants to be a teacher. I'm sure those will change many times over the coming years, but I will always be there to encourage them. I don't care what they do, as long as they're happy doing it. I know I sure am.

That being said, I've noticed a lot of the blogs I follow have progress meters that tell current word counts and status of a WIP. I hope one of you would be so kind as to tell me where I can find one of those to put in this blog :)

June 9, 2011

Attempting a book trailer...

I've been playing around with this movie maker trying to come up with a decent book trailer. If you have a minute (literally, it's only about a minute long) check it out and give me some feedback or suggestions. All comments are welcome, I'm new to this whole movie-making thing...

To watch it, click H E R E. (I can't seem to get it to upload directly into the blog post...)

June 6, 2011

Brain Spaz

       Warning: This post may be completely scattered at random. 

     This week, I vowed to put down this book and not even look at it. I won't perfect formatting, I won't question myself, I won't plan more marketing strategies, I won't... I won't... I won't. 

    It's been a much needed break. My housework is all caught up, I've seen family and friends, and done a lot of fishing. I love fishing. The best part, though, has been cracking open some old works rewinding back in time when I wasn't ready to start putting things out there. This very moment, I have one finished novel, and six other novels in the making. After not looking at some of them for literally months, they were all fresh and exciting. I can't wait to look at my published list one day in the (FAR) future and have all of them done and in print.

Anyhoo, I wanted to talk about something. I have this habit of nicknaming my characters. They start off with a typical name, and somewhere along the line, it usually gets shortened. It's strategically incorporated in the hopes that my readers can feel closer to these characters by having something more personal to call them. It's something we do in everyday life. I don't remember the last time I called my daughter by her name. Since she was a wee little tot, she's been "Sassy". My husband, also, has been "Cricket", and my son, "Pepper". I wonder why I have this incessant need to nickname everything? Just ask Robert and Richard, two men who I used to work with, better known as Bobert and Dickard. Do you nickname your characters? Or is this just another of my strange quirks?

Back to fishing... (I warned you). While I was patiently waiting for something to bite, I was scribbling about on my notebook. Here's a glimpse of what goes through my mind while I'm scribbling to myself: 

Fishing is all about trust, or at least trying to mimic it. The best way to catch a fish is to gain it's trust. If you can put something out there that the fish believes is an easy meal, well, there you go. 

My fishing trip tonight has made me think a lot about trust. I think it's the single most fragile thing in the universe, and so important at the same time. Trust should come in a padded carton, like an egg -- instead it hangs by a thread out there in the balance just waiting to be dropped and broken. 

Another random thing -- I was going to post a pic of my notebook instead of typing it, but I fear no other human can read my handwriting. Thank heavens for keyboards. 

I also wrote out a life motto. What's a life motto? --  you ask. It's sort of like the golden rule. It's a code of ethics that I think everyone should write for themselves, and reflect back on it frequently. I'm not going to post my detailed code out here, but the last line of it, I really use a lot. 

Before you do anything, ask yourself: How many people will this hurt?

Enough randomness for one day. If you have character nicknames, tell me what they are. Also, if you have anything to add to my excerpts on trust and ethics, feel free to share. I love to hear what other people think about these things. 

June 2, 2011

Special Thanks

I wanted to send out a special THANKS to some wonderful ladies who took my first page and very professionally made some revisions and pointed me in a better direction on a few things. Their comments were very helpful and I can brush up the beginning of this book to really grab readers.

My unending gratitude to:


Your suggestions have offered me the chance to give anyone who reads this book a better FIRST IMPRESSION.

Check out their blogs and FOLLOW. Submit your first page and see what they can do to make you make a better first impression.