Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Woe is Meeee

My computer is gone, my dog is dead and I don't have any money for Christmas presents.

I am also anemic, overweight and unemployed.

I think I'd like to go to Canada. Such a large quantity of trees.

Then again, who isn't plagued by problem's such as these.

I think I'll start a business. Maybe read.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Computer Go Bye

Greetings bipeds possessed of a computer, I have news.
It is quite shocking to read, not Only for you but for your machines.
It is with great dismay and regret that I inform you my computer, my only laptop and my shelter from the pressures of life, is lying, case pried open and components loose, hard drive removed, atop my troublesome scanner.

My boy friend took it apart after the power connection broke and that is when we learned that asus loves hidden screws. As, the laptop already had damage that a repair shop would have scoffed at so we were left with few choices and an interest in seeing the treacherous machine's innards splayed willy nilly.

Don't worry. The hard drive was fine and all the data is safe. But. I've the use of an iPad and it's only the recent acquisition of a stylus that has me typing this much. I shall try to keep in touch but my hands shake even now.

Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

A Writer With no Supplies Becomes a Reader With Lots of Time

So.
I have a story to tell, though it isn't much of one, in my humble opinion or anyone else's.
It begins with me being to rough with my laptop charging cable. I keep my room in a dreadful state, full of things on the floor, including my futon, which I don't fold over as often as I should since I need the space. I unplug my computer frequently and when I discover that the cable has been buried under twenty pounds of shite, I do the most obvious thing. I pull.

Well, I broke it. I noticed tearing and I taped it up with electrical tape and then, a day and a half or so later, my computer cable began to smoke, to flash to burn to sizzle. Whatever you want to call it, the plastic was melting. This lead to what felt like a week but might have been less of no laptop. Instead I had the family Ipad. While nice for looking things up, it's futile to try and type out a manuscript on that thing so I didn't. Instead I rediscovered my love for reading and actually read a Victorian romance. It was pretty good. It was, This Rake of Mine, by Elizabeth Boyle and while a few things just didn't make sense, it was still darned satisfying. My favorites were Miss Porter's charges, the meddling girls from Miss Emery's school.

Finally, I have a new charging cord. Now I can get back to writing, if I can tear myself away from all these books.
What a quandary

Yep.
Also, I think I might try a fantasy romance.

As for my assertions that I will stop blogging to work on other things, I don't think it's a problem. Whether I will be very regular is another matter entirely.

Thanks,

Cait

Monday, November 25, 2013

Abundantly Clear

I don't know what I'm doing.



I think that's abundantly clear.

But I am trying,
And I will gain some measure of success.
Because I am improving.

It's either publish books or plot to take over the world.


Oh, I've plotted the changes for Snow Sands. It will be spectacular!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

I'm Done For a Bit

I'm going to stop posting for a while. I don't see much point in it. I have a lot to learn and my luck has been nearly nonexistent so I should concentrate on writing, marketing and cobbling together a plan for doing things, since right now, I'm walking around nearly blind.

I will leave you with one piece of advice. In my writing, I have discovered that publishing a free short story can help, yes, but it can only really be helpful if you publish it at the same time as your book since people may like something but not enough to go back and check if it's out yet. Convenience is one of the best things you can provide to get your work seen by more people and have them consider buying it.

Thanks,

Cait

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Snow Sands, Back to the Drawing Board

Well, I finally got someone to read through the book and tell me what they thought. I'm aware that people have stuff to do, but it always seems to be a matter of forcing people to do stuff for me. It kinda makes me wish I were a meaner person, then I'd find it fun.

Okay, to the point. The humor is great, emphases on the great. The main character is a bit too accepting of her situation and there are a few minor formatting issues.
Good.

Now the last part of the book. It falls apart. Too much is going on, the main character falls to the wayside and it's just a muddle. Still funny, though.

Based on this information provided from a kind reviewer on Goodreads, I've come to understand exactly what I have, a pile-up of stuff. It's funny and cute and nice but it doesn't quite make it as a cohesive book.

With that in mind I've taken down the book from both Smashwords and Amazon and intend to split it into two and expand on those parts, filling in any plot holes and ensuring that everything reads smoothly and makes more sense.

The lesson for today is; You usually don't know as much as you think you do and should be willing to change things once you have new knowledge.

Yep. It's back to the beginning with Snow Sands, I read it from the start again. "Fool, fool, back to the beginning is the rule."

The Wind-Up Terrier is in better shape, (hopefully) and will be released in the next month, perhaps November 30. I'm looking forward to everyone meeting Euphemia and the girls. Even though they were around before the word spitfire was coined, they definitely fit the perimeters.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Eat Grubs, Not Pugs

Eat bugs, not mammals! All us warm blooded, milk drinkers should stick together and eat the creepy, crawlies, not each other. 
That is my ruling. 
Also, I think most bugs would be easier to prepare than chicken or beef. They're already in bite size pieces, for crying out loud!
It's like eating shrimp. All we need is a sheller for different insects and we're set. Or eat them with the shell on, like my mom does for shrimp. Calcium, you kenn?
Rally with me, my friends. It's the dawn of a new generation. 

Grubs taste like bacon, apparently.

http://edibug.wordpress.com/list-of-edible-insects/

Also, Snails.

http://www.motherearthnews.com/real-food/escargot-zmaz93jjztak.aspx?PageId=1


Sounds good to me!
Perhaps I should look up what fire ants taste like.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

My Dog is Gone

You know Jager, the dog who inspired Bubble's Ordeal and Ode to Jager?
He passed away rather horribly on Monday. It was too early for him and we're feeling very guilty and horrible. This is just after he finished his four month heart worm treatment. He was worm free. He was also refusing to eat and losing weight. My guy had been laid off from his job, again and we hoped that getting him to eat and getting his tapeworms, which he seemed to get every single time he went outside, would be enough. It wasn't.
A little after noon on Monday, October 21 2013, Jager collapsed in the back of the SUV after he'd been carried there from the grass where he'd lain down and refused to stand. He stopped breathing immediately.
We'd been worrying so much that it's a relief. It's also quite painful. He should have lived longer. He could have lived longer if we'd chosen differently.

We are dealing with it and I have decided that for my NaNoWriMo book, I will write about the death of a dog and his bonding with a dog mecha. It sounds silly but I promise you it will be epic. Jager's picture will be in the beginning and the book will be dedicated to him and to my guy.
I will finish this one. I need to.



Wednesday, October 9, 2013

What Do You See? Wordy Wednesday

Today, I want to talk about perception. It's why my mother insists that many things are green when I know they are blue and why not everybody likes the same art.Things look and feel different to different people.
That's why you can't write for everybody. You have to write for people who like certain subjects and your pacing, descriptions and characters will reflect that as much or more so than your plot.

Of course, you can have relatively flat characters and a great story. Some people like that and other people will accept that if they identify with the tale you're telling, even if your mains are little more than cardboard cutouts of standard archetypes.

My point is, there's a lot of different things that go into a story and a little bit of focus to conform to a certain interest pool is good for satisfying a group of people.
Not everybody likes exactly the same things, even in a group of like minded individuals, but if you try to please one interest, you alienate the others.

I will say though, that you have to write for yourself, if you want to enjoy your work and finish as this is overwhelmingly true for many people, humans often lacking focus for boring tasks in this day and age. But, people have done quite well writing about what they hate.

This all boils down to something I'm sure everyone has heard, though not put quite the way I have said it. You should know your audience, whether that audience includes you and you love your stories or the audience is far removed from your interests and you're just in it for cash.

I don't mind people writing for the moolah, as long as they do it well, and don't make fun of the people who read their crap, at least not too much.

Some genres are like little Debbie snack cakes. They aren't exactly the best canvas to try and paint a work of art but what everyone should understand is that just because people read something you think is dumb, doesn't mean they are defined by it. There's something that calls to them but that is not all they are. Also, good artists can paint wherever they like and create something beautiful, even if it's a cheap pastry.

We all need a little reassurance or something to put zip in our lives. Just because plots are unrealistic and characters are bland cut-outs does not mean that there isn't heart to a book and to inspire feelings of contentment, love, anger, ecstasy and excitement, that's all you need.

All sorts of books are important, not just "literature." Some people may see it differently but that's what it's all about. Opinions, perception, heart and at the base of it all, hard work.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Picture Day, not Wordy at all

I've gotten back into reading, and writing and drawing.
In place of a story, here's a picture I drew and then colored in with crayon.
Man, crayons are way more fun when I actually have the fine motor skills to get them in and out of the box without breaking them.
Also, ya know, to color.
I can't center. I know, I suck.
So, here we are. Rainbow Serpent, Quetzalcoatl mash-up, done in crayon, by me. Cait. It's mine and it's pretty.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Wordy Wednesday; Characters That Make Readers Feel Good

The Heroes of Olympus by Rick Riordan
Young Wizard series by Diane Duane
Harry Potter by J.K.Rowling
Twilight

What do all of these have in common?
Characters with interesting flaws, or hobbies who come from unpleasant, though somewhat mundane situations.
That's what I've decided.

In the YA books by Rick Riordin, both the Percy Jackson series and the Heroes of Olympus series, (I prefer the later, probably because I identify with the characters.) there are all these kids from single parent families who mostly didn't even know who the other parent was. They were trouble makers who'd been kicked out of multiple schools. Kids diagnosed with learning disabilities, dyslexia and ADHD. But all of that is okay. It's just part of being a demigod. It's actually better senses and reflexes as well as a brain hard wired for Greek (or Latin). There's more depth to it than that. They aren't Mary Sues and, frankly, I'd have liked to slap some of the godly parents but that's sort of what the main characters get to do which causes me a squee of satisfaction and glee. They also get to go on quests, so adventure, albeit dangerous, and they get to spend their time in summer camp learning cool things, like sword fighting and making stuff like statues.

In the Wizard series by Diane Duane, kids become wizards. The younger they are, the more powerful they are. Kids who are curious and read a bunch become wizards. They do have to complete an ordeal, a sort of quest against a big baddy called the Lone Power but that's satisfying too, as well as kinda terrifying at times. Living dangerously through characters is pretty cool.

As for Harry Potter, his life sucks at the beginning and then he becomes the special boy, gets to learn cool things and gets to leave his horrible relatives far behind for a decent chunk of each year. What's not to envy?

Twilight, well, Bella's life is kinda blah. Edward certainly fixes that though even then it's a bit bleach. There's also romance and the ultimate bad boy who can't help what he is, if you're into that.

There we are. I don't think this is a great revelation but the thing that ties popular young adult fiction together is identifying with the characters and gaining a burst of emotion from living vicariously through them.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Wordy Day, Bubble's Ordeal, Part 2

He could hear screams from the other side of the wall. Bubbles lifted his head and looked around warily, his ears swishing gently. He must have fallen asleep. He stared suspiciously at the water. It really had been drugged! But he had been thirsty. In fact he still was. He barked irritably at the yelping screams on the other side of the wall. Damned dog couldn't take a little pain. It was probably only a shot. As the dog was only yelling, Ow, ow ow, it wasn't as though he could tell anything useful. Gosh, what a disruptive racket. Bubbles wanted to be in the same room so he could glare down whatever puppy it was and explain how you should behave properly.
He began to lower his head but raised it again and turned towards the door. The same horrible person who had brought him into the room lead a gangly brown Great Dane inside, the tech must have tugged a little too hard on the leash because the Great Dane stumbled and let out a high pitched "Ow!"

Bubbles realized he'd stood and retreated to the back of the cage. He forced himself to step forward. That was the dog who'd been doing all that yelling? What a wimp. He watched the other dog carefully as he was stuffed into a floor level cage across the room. After the tech left, he leaped forward in his cage.

"What was that all about?" he demanded with a series of short, sharp barks.

The Great Dane jumped and then turned wide, moist golden- brown eyes up to him. "They caused me pain. There was something sharp that one of them stuck in my hind," the dog said reproachfully. As the scent of the new dog wafted around the room, Bubbles had time to analyze it. This was a puppy, a female, though it hardly mattered quite yet. She was un-neutered but still a few months from being in heat. Still, dogs that big were mostly good for blocking out the light, bitch or dog.

Bubbles watched the larger dog and then laid down, letting out a little whuff of air. "You'll get used to it as you get older," he said with an air of world weariness. It happens at least once a year and biting is something you never do." He remembered when as a small puppy he'd nipped and held on. His breeder had been extraordinarily displeased and right then Bubbles had realized that he should be careful. Even if he was very important, wounding people caused him to lose height on his pedestal with the humans.

The Great Dane whined and hung her head.

"So, first vet visit, huh?"

Bubble couldn't see where the other voice was coming from, it was probably from one of the cages on his side of the room as he could see the others and the cages surrounding the Great Dane bitch were all empty.
The great Dane looked up and to one side.

"Who is that!" said Bubbles, bouncing on his paws and looking from one side of the cage ceiling to the other in frustration.

"Oh, don't get your hackles all tangled up, groaned another voice gently. "It's just me, and old terrier without even a bone to my name. Hey, y'all. My masters call me Purdy."

"I'm Dai-sy," said the Great Dane with evident pleasure as she loled her tongue right after giving her moniker.

"I'm-Bubbles," said Bubbles reluctantly. He was displeased to be exchanging given names with dogs who could have come from anywhere in Austin. He was not here to make friends. He was not here willingly, at all.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Wordy Wednesday, Feet Really Aren't Hands

Now, I know you know this, or you should, unless, perhaps you are a tiny baby, but feet really aren't hands.
They don't move the same way or look the same way or feel the same way. This is because they are at the end of your legs, farther from your heart, and they support your weight. I don't think hands can do that so easily, even gymnast's hands.

Course, if you look at a human skeleton or even that of a horse, you'll see the framework for hands. Same goes for an otter, though they actually have hands, but I'm not sure if their feet are hands. Huh, I wonder if otters will be the next race to reach sentience. I thought it would be racoons or cats. I once had a very disturbing dream about the beginning of sentience in cats. It eventually led to them trying to talk. Let me be the first to tell you, a cat's voice is pretty damn devilish.

So, feet could sort of be hands, if we didn't' have the flesh slabs that encase them. I guess they aren't because we lost the bid with the Orangutans.

This is what I say.

Feet that are hands would be cool.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Working on a New Cover and Wordy Wednesday, Success?

You know, things may be looking up for me.
I have a scanner now.
All I need is to get a decent sketch together and then scan it into the computer and do some magic to make it into a better cover.

To tell the truth, the cover I have now for Snow Sands, Book 1 is the problem.
Product Details

I am proud of it, there's no doubt of that, but it's not right. Being unique is cool and all but the cover needs to tell what to expect, at least a bit. There's a reason to do something similar to what others do. It helps people who might like your stuff to locate it since it looks similar to other stuff they liked. So, I'm going to do that sketch and I'm going to use The Enchanted Forest Chronicles, by Patricia C, Wrede as a model because I like the books and they fit somewhat with what I did.

I leave you with a, sorta, poem that I wrote free hand a little earlier when I was feeling a bit blue.
Success?
Does success mean much if success doesn't mean much? Does it matter to try and feel if you can't even get feeling from a bloody stubbed toe? 
Is there a point when your resolve has dulled?
At what time do things just begin to matter?
When does the world sparkle, the sky glow, the air fill with music and the ground begin to shake? 
What do you do to live, to sing, to write, to paint? 
At what point do the fates just say, "okay," and let the milk of inspiration flow?
Why do they just say "no?"
Or, is it just me? Is that it all it takes? I must say yes, despite all the grey, despite the dull pain, despite a tired brain?
Is that it?

Friday, August 30, 2013

Wordy Day; Ode to Jager

I dropped the ball. I got nothing...Except this.

Deep black orbs, ringed with amber, shimmering with warmth and reproach. Brows crowned with speckled brown and white. Ears shaking and rising and falling in anticipation and then disappointment. A long mottled brown and white snout with a freckled moist nose at the end.

He wants it.
He shivers and quakes, his pink tongue inviting treats.
Always, he waits, standing or reclining nearby, sometimes underfoot.
He is always within reach of your hand, always around to lick up spills.
He is an elderly, bored hound dog who loves cheese, and bacon more than even his master, sometimes.
He doesn't care for carrots or broccoli.


There we are.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Wordy Wednesday. Different ways to go about writing, Part 1, Which Medium or, What Tools I Use to Write.

Writing is an art. It is a bit more clear than many forms of art, though that doesn't have to be the case. Surrealism exists in writing as well as painting and it may be difficult to determine what the writer's intent was though, often, we try and make sure you get it but it doesn't always work since references, tropes and sarcasm only work if you know about them.
Poe's law. Look it up.

Like drawing a picture, you can choose how to go about it and, as with drawing a picture, there are a few tools that you can choose from because they work. In that case, pencils, erasers and pens, in the case of writing, the methods have changed. First it was the pen and something to write upon, then it was the typewriter and then the computer. There were some intermediate steps, like the electric typewriter which has a certain amount of memory but I don't have any experience with that and I've had a bit of trouble finding them. 

What I want to talk about is the computer. It's not a dedicated writing machine. I kinda wish it was. I spend way too much time on it not writing for me to think of it as one. Just opening up my laptop and turning it on seems to make me flighty. Despite this, I've been doing most of my writing as well as my outlines on my laptop. For a while, I was doing well, highly motivated, productive. Then I had a bunch of depression and couldn't write. Then I could write but didn't really want to. Now I sorta want to write and the ideas are definately flowing, but I just can't seem to focus very often. 

Partly because of this, I got a new notebook. I opened it up and I began to write. everything came easily. I knew that I'd have to turn my computer on to get at it and the paper was right there. Everything was crystal clear. This is why I have decided to go back to using pen and paper for writing, at least the plotting and outlines. 

One of these days, I think I may try writing the whole thing by hand, like I used to do, but only if I have a scanner so I don't have to type every single thing out. 

My tools of the trade are a notebook and a Pentel R.S.V.P fine point as well as a late model Asus laptop. 

They used to be pen and paper and they could very well be again. I have used the computer exclusively most recently, but now I'm gonna try the hybrid approach. 

Perhaps one day I will try a digital pen one day. That would be midway across the bridge between the old and the new.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Wordy Day Bubbles 1.5

I remembered it was Wednesday yesterday, I really did. Several times, I remembered. I didn't do anything about it, though and that's the problem.

The dog went to the vet again on Tuesday. He got more shots. He was a lot better than before and so was the staff, mostly, or perhaps it's only that I stayed in the waiting room and didn't have to watch any slip ups, though I was told about them later. I'm preeeetty sure an antibiotic isn't a steroid, at least that's my impression.

While I was sitting in the waiting room, I began to think of Bubbles, the King Charles Spaniel.

The water in the scuffed silvery bowl was yellow. Bubbles didn't even bother to sniff it. He wasn't going to drink it. He was in a cage that smelled nosebitingly strong of anticeptic. He scowled and settled grudgingly on the thin pink blanket folded once that he'd been given, though it did nothing for the chill. This place was terrible. His round eyes had begun to dry out the moment he'd been shoved in the cage, stinging from the antiseptic. He put his tiny chin on his paws and whuffed, his gaze wandering. It settled on the food bowl. It was also a scuffed silver and contained what he could only assume was card board. It smelled enough like it.

There we are. Just a short bit, but something, none the less, and two days after Wednesday. I've been tired. I'll pick up the slack.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Working with Old Writing

I think I'm a pretty good writer, funny, charismatic and with a good understanding of the world around me so that I can describe it properly. Also, I have google image search, so if I don't know how to describe or draw it, I can find out! I'm pretty sure I was a writer with potential in the past, barely above a laymen as far as craftsmanship in the skill of book writing, but with potential. I had ideas! I even had good characters and pacing.
What I know I didn't have was patience. I was always in a hurry to slap the words on the page, in bare bone form just to get the story written because, as my father always told me, "Just write. You add to it later but you need to get the words on the page."

This led to sparse stories, lacking in much detail, save the bare minimum and, believe me, I did make myself describe things, I just didn't do it to the degree I do today.

He leaned against a yellow stone wall.
(It could have just been a wall. I made myself describe yellow bricks.)

Janus leaned against a wall, just off the market which he shared with several vendors who looked aside at him before returning their widened eyes to their wares and their customers. The yellow brick dug against his scars even through the thick material of his dark cloak and he shifted in an unusual sign of discomfort.
(See, I'm fighting not to describe the worn down mortar which exposed the hard edges of those bricks. If anything, I describe too much now.)

My writing now is better but the ideas and the feeling that I had in my old writing are probably just as good if not more so since I had a touch of wide-eyed innocence about me then and didn't feel like anything I came up with was already overdone.

When working with old writing, I have to juggle the tone of the old story with my new found ability to use several adjectives. I haven't quite mastered doing this. I'm working on it. What I do know, is that I prefer to have the scenery in my world be full sets as apposed to merely being back drops.

Conclusion, write with the same feeling but the new skills. The difficulty in this is reading your own, much earlier, heavily flawed writing without having another feeling well up within your breast. One of great disgust. One that inspires the most eloquent of speech which, really, is kinda mean to your old writing as well as silly. You don't say a kitten is horrible compared to a cat, even if they do wet on the sheets. Kittens become cats (reference) and writers get better. It's a natural progression. Live with it. Appreciate that you started writing and could become better and read your old work like someone who isn't an arrogant ass of a composer of prose.

If you're gonna be a writer, you should be nice to other writers. Your past self counts.

For goodness sake people, be nice!


Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Wordy Wednesday 8; Styles and Nom de Plumes

Barnaby James rolled up alongside the house on his tricycle. He was three and a large child, practically bursting out of his suit that'd fit just that last fall, his blond hair falling into his eyes as he bounced along the gravel track which led to the front porch. He scowled as he swung one short trouser clad leg over the trike and swaggered inside. His grandfather was dead. His relatives had been getting on his nerves. That was why he'd taken a turn around the track that led around the house. Otherwise, he would have smacked his Aunt Judith. "Have a candy and brush your teeth, indeed!" He was three, not an infant.

This was written by me on the spot. 

"You know, I wish that I had wings," said Melody. 
"Why?" asked Arianna distractedly, her eyes on the small glass vial of purple liquid in a stand over a small fire that extended from a small round stand, presumably for a fuel source. She delicately stuck a reed inside the vial and stirred. The mixture darkened to a royal purple, losing all translucence. She clicked her tongue in approval and used a pair of copper tongs to remove the vial from a stand and stick it in a pile of sand beside where she was kneeling. She looked up at Melody as she twisted the valve that extinguished the tongue of fire. Without the source of light, there were no worse off, as the moons always shed some light, especially out on the silvery dunes. 
Melody stared enigmatically at Arianna. "Why else, she said, with a hint of belligerence. "I want to be able to break someone's arm, like a swan or a goose, if they challenge me."
Arianna frowned. "We've only seen a goose at the dinner table and a swan once, perhaps?" 
Melody shrugged. "It's not my fault that people don't read." She tilted her head, " Or cannot make inferences based on the musculature of the roast goose we have seen." 

This was also written by me with no planning. I used two characters from my Snow Sands series. 

These are more similar than I intended but I think they'll still illustrate my point. 

Pen Names. 
Why I think they're important. 
For one thing, separating the genres you write in would make sense since you want your audience to associate a specific name with a specific sort of feeling. Otherwise, they might get confused and more cautious about buying titles written under than name. That's relatively obvious. 
The other thing is if your writing style changes. Going from plot driven to character driven or having a bunch of action packed novels that give way to a whole new series where two people talk in a room, is going to be even more jarring for a reader than changing your genre. 
The problem is that an established name is advertising. In these cases, though, it'd be bad advertising. 
I'm fighting with this. I don't like it. I don't even really like using my name, though I will for this blog. I suppose that even if I list all of my young adult work here, people will still see it under a different name and the name will serve as a brand. 
Yay. 
I don't think I have a brand yet. 

Friday, July 26, 2013

Rattlesnakes and Roughriders

I've been thinking of what I should write, what I want to write and what I am in the process of writing. 
This has led me to thinking of profitability, fitting into a genre and Twilight. 
There's a video blog that I discovered a month or two ago on http://thatguywiththeglasses.com/
Fifty Shades of Green is about a question; can we write the next big Twilight (without being serious) and the process of answering that question through the two bloggers accepting comments on what they should do and brainstorming themselves, while drinking a lot. The product of this endeavor is, Awoken, a paranormal teen romance. The book centers around a girl, pale, brunette and rife with insecurities if the blog is any indication and with the last name Slate,  as in blank slate and Cthulhu in the young, hot human form of Riley. 
The sample chapter has been released. Awoken, Chapter Six
I find the video blog to be quite entertaining and am eagerly looking forward to the eventual release sometime this year. 

Back to my thoughts. 
My book hasn't been selling. I am sad. I am trying to figure out why. My conclusion is that the cover, while communicating the tone of the book, doesn't actually convince anyone that it's for them. Advice for authors, by stock footage if you can, at least if you're not a great artist. I don't think I'm all that bad but I do think a more realistic cover would get people to take the book more seriously. 

Also at fault is the genre. IIIIIIIII'm not entirely sure what genre this fits in. It's kinda a ramble through this world and is filled with talking. There is some action of course and there are a lot of intelligent conversations. The problem is, the characters are more kid's book characters and the tone is more friendly than you might see in your usual sci-fi fantasy despite the fact that I don't think it is much of a kids book. But then again, I'm not really sure. This is why my other works fit into categories, even if they're a little bizarre in those slots, otherwise, it's kinda hard to figure out who the book is for. 

I'm currently trying to get reviews, as well as giving a few reviews to other authors and trying to fill out my catalog. Snow Sands is not my only work. I have quite a few short stories and a couple of novellas but it is my only completed, full length book and it and How Dabney Got His Hat are the only completed works under my own name so far. 

I will complete more novels and I will have some success, even if it's just a little bit. I've worked on my writing for eleven years, now. I'm not giving up. 

Oh, yes, back to the title. I'm thinking of writing a Dave Barry, esque comedy with a rattlesnake as a supporting character and with some traveling through the Midwest. 


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

How I Began Writing and What I Wrote.

I have an update. I put a short story of mine up for sale. How Dabney Got His Hat.
It's a space port cantina story. I put it up to see what would happen. I'm quite proud of the hat on the cover.


Now onto other things. How I began writing.
When I was younger, about eight to ten, my father would tell me I should write. I don't know why, perhaps because he wrote, not as a profession, more as a thing he did though he had sold a few slogans to one company or another for bumper stickers or buttons. I mostly ignored what he said. My dad can be very enthusiastic about things he's interested in, to the point where he dumps enormous amounts of information on you. I'm used to this and I don't mind it too awfully much but I don't share the same interests as him or at least I don't express too much interest because he actively tried to make me learn or do things. It wasn't only writing, he wanted me to sketch. He got sketch books for me and tried to get me to carry them everywhere. I am not a great artist. I used to be horrible. Now I'm capable of making things that look like the things they're supposed to look like, mostly because I've learned to calm down so my hand no longer shakes.

When I was in sixth grade, I decided I would try writing. I was in an after school homework program and when ever I finished before the end, I would write. My first story was about two sisters (I wanted a sister) who get along pretty well, who wear gorgeous clothing. ( I wanted a blue suede trench coat with a dragon sewn on) who get invited to a wonderful school. (It's not just Harry Potter. A lot of books do that. I wanted to go to a fancy boarding school.) I stalled out a little after writing about the helicopter ride because it all felt weird and I was annoyed that I couldn't write faster because my thoughts were already becoming stale. I persevered.

My next story was better put together. My brain was figuring out what to do. It was still wish fulfillment, but it was less blatant. It was about a girl named Jessica who isn't human. We don't quite know what she is but she has claws, and a tail and is a tennis player. I let a few people in school read this and they automatically asked me if I played tennis or hated cheerleading. That's a no for both. Apparently high school grows people who think they're intelligent but ask the stupidest questions. She wasn't me, the wish fulfillment was the claws and the tail and the color-changing pet snake that liked to drape himself around her neck and could be used as a whip. Those people annoyed me. As if you have to play tennis to express that a girl likes tennis or dislike cheer leading to understand why someone would.
Gaaah! Simple minds.

That story had potato people and a voyage. It had some decent writing and fun bits but it was still torture to write since my head went faster than my hands. There also weren't enough details to make it very long. I stopped writing when I'd filled a notebook to one hundred pages. One side was a page.
My next story was in high school. It was about a vampire who was very depressed and an outcast. There was something special about her but it really only meant that she had different eating habits, not that she was a vampire messiah. (My wish fulfillment is usually pretty simple. Different but special.) It was the story of her life with a bunch of vampire hunters who refuse to believe she is one. There's a lot of her being hungry and then vampires attack and going to a castle and meeting Madeline, the mad vampire.

This attempt at a story has a sad ending. I had decided to write on loos-leaf paper in a binder and somehow, a lot of it got lost. I eventually did find the binder again but for some reason, only some of the pages were there. To this day, I still have a few pages. One of these dark, unpleasant evenings when I'm feeling terrible, I need to write a detailed outline for that story and redo it, though I'm not sure I can maintain the dour tone since I'm not a teenager anymore.

Now we come to one of the last stories I worked on in High school, the story that I published, Snow Sands: Through the Wormhole, Book 1, which is up for sale on both Smashwords and Amazon, with a new cover, no less. Perhaps it will get more views that way.
Oh, I also worked on another story, but I've stalled, only getting halfway through it. It's about a prince going to fight a dragon, under protest. I should get back to that. 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

That Superman Movie ;Slightly Better Wordy Wednesday

Oh, wait. I do have something. It's not complete but it makes my brain hurt so...I think I'm gonna leave it as is.
I went to watch that thing that calls itself a superman movie. I'm actually kinda glad they didn't have superman in the title because as far as a friend was concerned, no superman ever appeared. All we had was some guy who just happened to be from a planet far from here that just happened to have a lot of shitty stuff occur and share the same species with a dick who believes him to be an abomination and is, ya know, a genocidal maniac.

For most of the movie, he just reacted. People died and he reacted. His holo-father delivered the solution, his real father was morose and really did not instill in him the cheerful strength of mind to more easily deal with issues and he seemed to mostly try and ignore his powers except to limit his perception, up until when he found the shadow of his spacedaddy (holo-father, not farm daddy). At no point did he think, "This is cool!" He just thought, "I'm a monster," apparently. There had to be some point where he, I don't know, made an ant Aztec in the dirt with his heat vision or something. What kid wouldn't mess around at least a bit?

This perception of himself did change somewhat after he found the spaceship, which was, by the way, a little odd. Perhaps it was singing to him? Yes, I know he heard about it at the bar, By the way, anger issues! He does not inspire confidence.
 We didn't see him practice his powers before then, other than the strength.
I have more difficulties with the movie than that but I'll leave it at my most fundamental ones.

Not a Real Wordy Wednesday

I lied. Apparently.
I'm taking care of a heartworm positive dog going through treatment right now. He seems determined to get himself killed. Yay. He's also determined not to let me get work done.
I am unhappy.
I will try next week to post a proper story or journal entry or something.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Wordy Wednesday...Fail!

I was busy, I guess.
No, I was tired.
No, I was exhausted.

Here's the truth. I was beset by allergens, cats, a dog and assorted when I tried to sleep last night. I laid my head down and drifted off, content to let the world go dark so I didn't have to think for a few hours and cigarette smoke invaded my room!
I don't like when it gets inside the vents and when someone is a chain smoker and you breath in deeply when you're sleeping, it gets inside your damn pipes and you wake up at noon, wondering why you feel so sick and exhausted.

I'll have something more substantial next week, I hope.
Something that will be a literary equivalent to This!  Oh, how I love their perfumes. I'd try this one in a heartbeat if my stuff was selling.

Thanks.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Wordy Wednesday 7

Purgatory, Part 1
Solitary and awash with tears every other day. I kept in contact with those I loved, roaring infatuation encased within my heart, with each excited beat, pulsing tendrils of this feeling throughout each of my limbs and back but this was not enough to staunch the pain of abandonment. I was alone, bombarded with irrationality from each corner, locked within my room each day, sneaking out to snatch food and coming out for comfort with my furry companions and to eat dinner which was often the only time I exchanged words with my female relatives. I was far away from life, from friends, from love and from freedom. To be just outside a country town, sandwiched between busy roads and in a place with speeding behemoths of trucks and a homogeneous, hostile populace when one cannot drive is torment. Even my solace, traveling on foot through neighborhoods, observing and contemplating was lost to me on those gravel roads because with every house I passed I was jarred by barking dogs, as hostile as the people.
Day after day I worked, keeping myself busy, watching mystery serials so that I could hear calm, assured voices. I crocheted for a while and I knitted, but the thing that comforted me the most was writing. I did not think to hard about whether I was the most highly skilled or the best, what I thought of was the emotion I felt emanating from my writing and the warm, assurance I felt when I wrote. At first, I was flighty, tearful and hurt and I would throw myself around, crying bitterly, shrieking quietly so that I was not heard. Once I'd finally cried myself out, I would begin to work on some project or other, relishing that I could bring myself to finish projects, something that had before eluded me many times. I wrote every day, then, I began a novel and worked on it, gaining pleasure from the cobbling of its pages. I held within my heart, along with my infatuation a hope that I would finish this book and another and that I would be able to make enough to do all the things that I needed to do to get out of there.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Wordy Wednesday; Mario Bernadett, Lost on an Island 2

My book got over a hundred views! So...I put it up for sale again.
I also figured out more things to add to The Wind-Up Terrier. After misery and confusion and wandering around like an automoton for months, my creativity has returned and is becoming as powerful as it once was.
With that, I will begin this week's snippet which, I might add, is on time for once.

Back to Mario Bernadett, who I started talking about in a previous Wordy (wends)day, here
I uncurled from the rock and allowed myself to fall over onto some sandy grass where I lay still, until I began to wonder if there were ants or beetles int the grass. I stayed where I was. Ignore it, ignore it, I thought, but when I began to wonder about spiders, venomous spiders that would crawl inside my polo shirt and up my chest to my neck and all the way up to my face before biting, swelling my eye shut and making my head look like a half carved piece of rock, entirely organic on one side and a human face on the other as I slowly fell into convulsions accompanied by searing, blinding pain which, hopefully, would come in waves instead of sticking around for the duration. After that, I would be either permanently scarred or I would die, slowly losing control of my limbs as the venom ate its way through my nerves until, eventually, I would feel nothing, no pain at all and lose the ability to breath. I figured there would be a not-pain component, even if my nerves had fizzled out.

So, I sat up and then I stood, carefully looking down at myself and brushing off my front, jumping whenever I spotted a bit of dried grass. I screamed when I saw a spider and danced around, terrified after I flicked it off.
I needed to go find food. I wondered if you could eat grass. I didn't think you could. Things that could eat grass didn't usually eat meat and I ate meat, at least in theory, anyway but I had a feeling my vegetarianism would have to be put on hold while I was trapped on this BARREN ISLAND.
Coconuts! No, it couldn't be that easy, could it? Get trapped on a desert, no, deserted island and find coconuts to eat. I shrugged to myself. If I found them, I wondered what I would do with them. Egh, at least they were vegetarian. I set off to wander closer to the coastline, where I had a vague idea that coconuts grew.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Wordy Wednesday Bubble's Vet Office Ordeal 1

Okay. I'm still calling the story posts Wordy Wednesdays but I make no promises to post them on Wednesdays.
I really did do a snippet in advance but then, alas, I forgot. I've had some things to do. 
Here it is. 

So, yesterday I went with my boyfriend’s dog to the vet. They wanted him to drop off the dog but the dog, sweet boy that he is, has anxiety issues and instead of him being put into a kennel, he wanted me to stay the several hours with the dog while we waited for the ultrasound technician to come that afternoon. I was dropped off around eight in the morning. I don’t mind waiting, especially when I’m a little short on sleep and slightly drowsy and the environment is quiet and cool and the dog needs reassuring. My boy mentioned at least twice that I would be staying with the dog and I had two people, a vet assistant and the receptionist mention to me that it would be several hours. Finally, I had the receptionist tell me that he’d confirmed that the tech wouldn't be there until about two. The last straw was the vet coming out and talking baby talk to me to get me to drop him off.

People are weird.

We’d been quiet. I’d taken the dog out a couple times and, really, save for me forgetting to bring a blanket for the dog's hips on the tile floor (because doggy and kitty facilities are deficient on even something as simple as a washable rubber pad) there'd been nothing to suggest the dog wasn't happy, no altercations with other animals at all, especially since there hadn't been many to begin with. The dog was just mildly curious for them. 

A few hours in, we were escorted to an examination room. My boyfriend was called and managed to explain to them that I couldn’t just leave, having no ride and bus stops being unknown in this area. At this point, the dog was examined.

I fail to understand how a vet who can be pretty good with animals feels the need to talk to me like she probably believes small children should be talked to. She began with, “So, you write?” Quite a nonsequiter. I mean, I do but it was out of the blue, sort of the kind of thing my school counselor would start out with. I did like my school counselor, though so points for that.

Anyway, I began to wonder at this vet office. The place is a little run down and not particularly bright or cheerful but that probably just means they don’t overcharge. What gets to me is that the blanket they gave Jager at my request is tiny, a baby blanket and wouldn’t do shit for lessening the hardness of these floors. He’s currently using it as a pillow. I wondered if there’s stuff going on. Paranoid little me, huh. I’m not impressed by the veterinary staff but I don’t believe they’re part of the fur trade either. Still, I got a story idea out of it.

Bubbles the king Charles spaniel settled into his portable kennel. He knew where she was going and it didn’t worry him a bit. A trip to Paws and Purrs, his salon was not a cause for distress, rather it was something to look forward to because they washed him gently, massaged his back and legs and gave him a pedicure with tangerine polish. The little dog panted contentedly. He was feeling so strung out and this was the perfect treatment.

The small, green leopard print pet taxi tipped very slightly in the seat it was buckled to as the car stopped. Bubbles looked lazily through the mesh side of the carrier as he was conveyed out of the vehicle. His eyes widened.  This was not the salon. This was a bleak, off white box of a building with clapboard additions built on. Where was he being taken? He looked up through the mesh at the hand holding the carrier and then strained his moist, marble eyes to see the person attached to it. Who was that? He barked quizzically. There was no reaction, except that the carrier swayed a little more than he was used to but that may have been happening from the beginning. The dog growled under his breath. Curse his complacency! There was something nefarious going on.

The person carried him through a doorway and then the carrier jolted as he was set down. Bubbles mustered up his gumption and peered again through the mesh. There was an unknown human right in front of him, sitting bellow him and fiddling with papers. Was this a vet’s office? It did not look like his. His was bright and he knew the smell. He turned to the mesh on the other side of the carrier and peered at the person who had brought him. It was not Mable, as he had expected! It was a male, her nephew. The nephew had kidnapped him. He’d waited until Mable put him in the carrier and snatched it away without Bubbles even noticing!

The dog’s eyes narrowed. How evil! He snuffled. If only he hadn’t been struck down with a cold, none of this would have happened! He wouldn’t be stolen away if he’d been able to smell the degenerate nephew. He would have bared his teeth, flexed his muscles and escaped! He would even now be back in the arms of his beloved mistress. This was a lesson for him, don’t trust the nephew. Bite him as soon as possible so that he knows who’s in charge. Then he would take him back and it’d all be done and somewhat forgotten, save the occasional bite to drive in the point.

Bubbles staggered and let out a startled bark as he was picked up again and led to a dark room. Inside was a bunch of different doggy smells, all of them scared. Bubbles really began to worry. At his vet, there was anxiety and some piss and, of course feces, but there wasn’t normally fear. That was for first time visits. Fear was for puppies. 

Friday, June 14, 2013

Writing, What People Say and Kurt Vonnegut

So, I've been editing. By editing, I mean, being sick but before that and after I got a bit better which happened pretty much in the last six hours, I've been editing. Or, thinking about it. I really haven't been editing all that much in the last month but I've changed locals and been ill and, worse than that, really confused about what I want to do.

See, I've read books on writing.

These can be very helpful.

They can also whisper poison words into your ear. Sweet words like; You shouldn't be in every character's head. You shouldn't know everything. You should show what they'r feeling.

I agree with this but I just can't seem to do this completely. Also, I don't know how right it is. I like to know what a scene looks like but I've also read that describing a scene in too much detail, or even at all, is unnecessary. I agree. I hate reading pages of description of a tapestry in a castle, I definitely do, but I like clothes and shoes. I like to describe them. They're characters too, I guess. In some squalid corner of my head, which is round by the way, not square so how can any of use think literally outside the box, I've decided that they are important, mute little characters.

It occurs to me that I don't have those writing books, being a lapsed avid user of the library system. I would like to get them. They were well written. I'd like to remember them and read them again. It occurs to me that some of those books were written more entertainingly than some of the fiction that their authors' created. I would like to write a writing book but I need to figure out what I know about writing first, beyond that it depends on whether you're drunk, silly, sad, dull, or wild and a bunch of other things.

I just found the author of the quote that I was looking for and, while searching for the quote, I found another one. I didn't tend to use semicolons much until I got a college boy friend to edit for me. He's more fond of punctuation than I am. Now I'm not sure how to feel about them.

“Here is a lesson in creative writing. First rule: Do not use semicolons. They are transvestite hermaphrodites representing absolutely nothing. All they do is show you've been to college.” 
― Kurt VonnegutA Man Without a Country
Goodreads is apparently pretty good for quotes. 

Anyway, I think I will include bits inside the character's heads a little more and if this book is not so good, I will fix it next time. The point that many writers have put forth is that you have to write to create good stuff. You also have to write to create putrid, vibrant green, oozing filth that sticks to your shoes and cooks eyes in their sockets. So, I will continue!
And perhaps lay off the chocolate cake. It makes me weird. 


Thursday, June 13, 2013

Wordy Day 2 Mario Bernadett: Lost on an island. (Probably not a desert island, despite whining to the contrary.)

........Darn it! I missed another one again. Does it make things any better that I thought today was Wednesday?
If you were lost on a desert island, what would be your first thought?
Would you panic? Would you panic and then immediately go searching for water? Would coconutes be at the top of the list of things to find, or would you just walk along the edge, heedless of your waking nightmare of a shark suddenly deciding that it's time to try life on land just to eat a lil chillin. (I figure they'd talk without pronouncing any consanants hard, ya know, teeth. Way too many teeth makes it hard to speak and never mind that whole, head's kinda just part of the body so, no neck and probably no voice box.
They'd have to be sharks with translator collars but it wouldn't matter because they'd go on land and they'd. Eat. You! Aaaaaaaaaaah! That is what I'd think about. That's exactly what I'm thinking about so, even though it might be good to go out on the coast and try to get someone's attention, I'm sitting curled up on a rock, being as still as possible so that murderous gorilla monkey hybrids do not EAT MY FACE OFF.

My name is Mario Bernadett and I am a casualty of a yacht accident. It was my sister's yacht. I am twelve. I do not get a yacht. After this, I don't think I want a yacht. Unless my parents have a tracking device planted in my clothing (not in me, egh! I can't stand scalpels) and can send it to me RIGHT NOW.

I'm sorry if I'm shouting. I sorta thought that since this is in my own head, I wouldn't have to deal with critics.Who am I kidding. It never works that way. Give it enough time and my older sister, the one who GOT ME INTO THIS MESS, ah, sorry, will pop up in my head and start interrupting me.

"So, whatcha doing?" said a familiar, nasal feminine voice. My head sagged and the voice continued. "Curled up on a rock, how effective. Wait here long enough and I'm sure you will be found. Maybe they'll even tell you what a brave little boy you are." Her voice took on a tinkling quality, the nasal haughtiness fading away as she drove the point in deeper with fake sympathy. "Oh, I know. I'll go get help." She began to laugh and I frowned. She was only being Sybil, nothing new and in real life she really wasn't so bad.


Friday, June 7, 2013

Wordy Day

I misssed it!
Darn.
I missed a Wordy Wednesday so, today, is wordy day. It doesn't sound so great but whatcha gonna do, right?
I'll just take my licks and keep on ticking.
(today appears to be a silly day, or, possibly a dumb day. Take your pick?)
(This was begun on Thursday when I realized I'd forgotten. I decided to work on it some more that evening when I was settled in, Instead I got ill)

(This is what I mustered up today)
Sooo. This...Is it. I'm sick. I'm licked, ,I'm ticked off and my brain just clicks, again and again, not connecting the threads of the wheels inside me head that spin when I'm well, and make the stories, the writing gel, properly.
I wonder why I'm not stopping me.
I guess I think of myself so loftily,
That I can't help but continue,
Until I receive some injury,
To convince myself,
When enough is enough.
ldska;fjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjj
...Wow. That was interesting. I managed to tell myself that enough was enough by an unknown combination of keys and track pad swipes while I was trying to type, to select and then remove all text save for a d. I fixed it though but I caught the hint. I'm done for today. And late, for a Wordy Wednesday.


This is what you get, when I am sick
Two days late, but willing to fake, enthusiasm, indubitably!


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Wordy Wednesday Four

I'm gonna try to keep this story running for a few Wednesdays. I like this girl. She's weird.
Today is just a taste.

Wackadoodle Girl

“….Wackadoodle all day. Mm mm mm mm, mmmmmmmm….Aw, fuck it.” Carrie gave up as she lost sight even of what the tune for the song was.  She’d better things to do. She looked up from her feet to the student body who wandered past below the little terrace she’d climbed up on. She scuffed her feet on the grass. Like not sing a silly song she didn’t know the lyrics to after lunch period had let out and everyone, including her, was going to class. She blushed and walked nonchalantly to the edge of the raised bit of turf, like a little garden, and stepped off, practice allowing her to land without a jolt.

“Nice,” said one of her, she assumed, classmates, a girl with thick brown hair, brown eyes and an impressive rack, or, that’s what Carrie saw from the corner of her eye. She didn’t like looking directly at people, especially when she was trying to walk. 
She nodded and dashed a glance the girl’s way. “Thanks.” There. The exchange was done. She’d interacted. She felt happy to have done it and relieved that it was over at the same time. She’d be pleased with herself for hours even if no one else talked to her during that time. Carrie was simple. She didn’t need much praise to run hot. 




Wednesday, May 22, 2013

WW3; What I've Learned


I used to have a dog. I used to be neurotic. I used to be greasy and short and skinny. I also used to get a decent amount of attention from boys, I think because I excrete a lot of pheromones. I’m pretty sure that’s it because I’m doubly sure that I smelled a bit, too.
I am a…Ninja, sort of. I could wander around the school, eat my lunch outside on the grass or just sit around pretty much anywhere and no one would tell me I didn’t belong.  I could also be in a group, even talk with a bunch of people and have that group forget I was there. I chalk it up to choosing not to have much presence. It can become very annoying and I can’t always turn it off, I especially couldn’t in high school. Good camouflage doesn’t just disappear. You’ve got to know it’s there before you can take it off. You also have to know how to take it off and that’s something that I, with all my fears and causes for annoyance, was not so good at figuring out how to do.
High school was fun for me, after the first year, when I panicked and despite the two middle years when I just decided not to struggle too hard against my mediocre grades since trying made me too worried to function very well. My dog was one of the few nice things, my selfish, long-haired, cat-like dog who never wanted to hang close to you unless you were constantly petting him. Still I loved the dog, even though he was a daily reminder that people won’t get close to you unless they want something from you. Of course, that’s true and it’s not some horrible thing that limits my regard for the human and animal races. Life is based on giving and receiving things. We are pack animals. We gain good feelings from giving things but we don’t always like to give. Sometimes someone has to give something back.
It’s a terrible thing to just be happy with giving, unless you have some limits. It’s a terrible thing to be unselfish, unless you can decide when you must be selfish. Being nice is good. Being selfless and infinitely forgiving may be very nice for cultivating inner peace but it can backfire. We are built on a sequence of pushing and being pushed and those that are only pushed, are likely to get pushed much farther towards the edge. You must limit, otherwise, it’s hard for those that take to know how much is too much. I’m not saying they mean to, only that standards are based on experience.
I like knowing this. I like not believing that people will automatically give you what you want, like some people do, even if it is true for them. (Pushing and being pushed again.) I like not to demand too much, though I often fail. I suppose I could just demand what some believe to be their fair share, but I’d feel like an ass, so I don’t.
I’m less smelly and greasy now. I’m less nervous. I’ve learned several things. Of course, that is a sign of progress but I’d like to learn so much more still.
I’m rambling. Hey, look, I’m putting myself to sleep.  Whatever you believe, fine. What I have said is pretty obvious. It’s just how much you simplify it.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Me. What I Do and Why I Do it

So, I get antsy, always. When I don't get antsy, which doesn't happen often, I'm lazy.
I get depressed. I get mean. I get maudlin. I've come to understand that part of why I do this is because it's kinda fun. Also, I figure I'm entitled to get emotional. Everyone else does.

I still haven't decided if I want to stop doing that. On the one hand, it's kinda invigorating and it's good to get frustrations out, on the other, I'm like an aging former prima dona after a while. You just can't get me off the stage and I still think I can play a seventeen year old girl with jiggly breasts even though my own have long since deflated. I need to recognize when the fat lady has sung and figure out what the fat lady and her singing, is in this context.

This is a post to explain what I do.
I got very depressed somewhere around last November. It was real. It was bad. It was really, really painful and it lasted way too long. This was actually when I could write. There was National Novel Writing Month and I had a decent story. I didn't finish, by the way. The third week I couldn't function. Go figure. Still, I've finished since then. That story is The Wind-Up Terrier which you can read about here on my, I'm Writing, page.
Eventually, I got over my panic and other stuff. But one thing that I began to do which is a habit I'm proud of is to work. I always have something I'm doing when it used to be that I felt I was entitled to put things off because I was special, I guess. What I mean is, I do dishes, I cook food, I empty dishes and I clean. I also have some hobbies that I had begun long before I was stuck in the situation where I got so depressed but that I actually completed projects of which had been enormously difficult for me in the past.

So, I do stuff. Now I'm in the mood to do even more stuff, which is fortunate because I had been in a mood to barely write and have difficulty reading pretty much anything. Because of this, my book wasn't quite as good as I'd like it to be (little typos, not many but enough and some small inconsistencies) Now I'm fixing it and biting my lip that I can't add another twenty thousand new words of stuff. That would be making it a different book.
 Instead, I'll put the stuff I want to tell you about in the other Through the Wormhole book I'm currently working on, Snow Sands: Through the Wormhole, Book 1. I think it'll be a blast. You can believe me on this. I only say things like that when I'm in a good mood and when I'm in a good mood, I'm prolific and florid, but in a good way.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

WW2 To Die or Live

Well, look at me. I remembered that I needed to post on Wednesday. I even remembered earlier today, then I completely forgot until now, two hours before it won't be Wednesday anymore.

I'm a silly, willy goose, aren't I, Just?

Here's something I wrote when I was feeling depressed. Since it's me, it became about a murder, not a suicide. I might pursue the story some time in the future. I was watching Sherlock at the time and Miss. Marple and Poirot so I guess it made sense to switch it to a murder. I'm watching Midsomer Murders right now so I'll probably be able to write more about it later.
I hope you enjoy.

To Die or Live

I want to either die or to live. I do not want to have this half-life. It’s either and, at present, it seems like my most accessible option is to die. I have nowhere else to go. I have no money or lands to my name and my mother’s name is severely in debt. Should she die before me, I will be without home and paying off promises that I myself had no part in the making.  It is a matter of continuing to live without prospects and almost completely alone in my mother’s house on this forsaken bit of bog until she dies and I am thrown out or to die with some modicum of dignity in a manner and time of my choosing. I say to you I choose to control my life and my death.
I choose to die.
Three hours after penning those last four little words, Maurice Pennington was found drowned in the bog just outside his mother’s cottage by a group of hunters and their basset hound, who had been looking for duck.
This was quite odd since Maurice had never intended to drown himself. He was not weighted down so it was determined by the hunters with mutters of, “Nasty business, aren’t it?” that he was helped to his death by someone pushing his head under and keeping it there until he stopped his struggles. His mother was quite distressed and stood wringing her hands at the window, her rheumy eyes staring out in the general direction of her son’s body both before and long after the constabulary came to examine the body and it was taken away. Some generous soul had come up with money for the poor boy and so he went from there to the undertaker. 


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Perfect Book Blurb

...Once again, I have had an epiphany  The blurb and extended synopsis aren't right. Instead of an exciting shot of emotion invoking prose, I have a sedate walk in the desert complete with a tea party.

I do this sometimes. I don't deal with difficulty by recognizing it immediately. I see a problem and then try to deal with it, becoming satisfied that I have until some time has passed and my brain has had more of a chance to figure out what exactly the solution is. I can do this several times. It's how I edit books and it's apparently how I write a blurb.

This time, I'm more prepared, perhaps so much so that I can, write a damned decent blurb for once!
I've been doing research on other blurbs and I've been looking at resources on how to do a blurb/synopsis properly.

http://www.lightmessages.com/lmjom/writing/229-how-to-write-a-book-cover-blurb.html

http://romanceuniversity.org/2011/11/23/5-top-tips-for-writing-a-compelling-book-blurb-by-amy-wilkins/

I will restate what I have gleaned, as well as what I have learned on my own.

A book blurb is not a mini synopsis, at least not the first paragraph which is to a blurb what a lure is to a fish which is why it's called a hook, I say as if that wasn't obvious. I say paragraph, because it is but the first one can and probably should be a max of three sentences. Hook, lure and line, I guess.
the hook is an intriguing sentence. The lure is the motivation and the line is something mysterious or a teaser that something else is happening that you have to read the book to find out.

Here are my past attempts at writing a blurb for Snow Sands. It's really, really redundant and if you don't care to read something similar over and over and over again, you could just scroll down to the latest. I won't be offended. I was struck by how banal they were when putting them on here.
Happy writing.

Attempt OneA girl, an undead talking cat, and no way to get home from a desert country many worlds away from their own.

Attempt TwoHayley and Oliver are stuck in a desert in another world, one with magic and war brewing, where everyone has an agenda, even when they say they only want to help.

 Attempt Three: Hayley wakes up to find that she is in a desert, her bedroom furniture is in the desert and her cat is in the desert, supposedly doing calculus in the sand. It seems to be his fault that everything is in the desert. Hayley is surprised. Sure, Oliver disappeared for a while and then came back talking, claiming that he had died and come back because of her drawing a sketch of him, but that wasn’t so odd. He was her cat.

Attempt FourHayley is a cheerful, robust girl whose only recent trauma was losing her cat. She was very sad for a long while. Now she's not so sad because her cat, Oliver, came back from the dead and can talk. He can also, apparently, use magic and move her and her bedroom furniture into the middle of a desert in an unknown location. Hayley is not happy with Oliver. She also would really like some clean clothes, and some ice cream.
Attempt Five:Hayley wakes up to find that she is in a desert, her bedroom furniture is in the desert and her cat is in the desert, supposedly doing calculus in the sand. It seems to be his fault that everything is in the desert. Hayley has trouble coping and hides beneath the bed-sheet, hoping it will go away. It doesn't and she finds that the cat doesn't know how to get them home.

Attempt SixHayley woke up to find that her bedroom was in a desert. She was displeased, no, shocked, especially when her cat admits that it’s his fault they ended up their in the first place. Hayley wants to get home. Oliver, her cat, despite having transported them in the first place, has no clue how to get them back.

Attempt Seven: Hayley is a teenage girl, rather gullible and slightly manic but happy enough with her life. That is, until waking up in an alien desert accompanied by her cat, Oliver, who is the one who put them there. Hayley feels pretty unhappy about all this, especially since he can’t get them back. All they can do is walk and see if they can find someone to help them in what turns out to be another world with lots of magic but showers few and far between. 

Attempt EightHayley is suddenly thrust into a world she doesn’t understand with her cat, Oliver. She discovers magic and makes friends but her driving force is to go home.
 
Attempt NineHayley is special. She came through a portal in the sky and she can do magic even though she doesn’t have blue eyes. She also has a talking cat and wants to go home. People are only too glad to help her though their motives are unclear.

None of these work. Some get close and then I seem to lose it for a bit but none really work. With that said, here's my latest. It's almost there, not quite but almost. 

When Hayley wakes up on a desert world, she blames her cat, Oliver and hides under the sheet, hoping that this is all a dream. It isn’t. They set out to find a way home but in this world of magic, shape shifting and sand that gets everywhere, nothing is as clear-cut as it seems.



Friday, May 10, 2013

Teen Vampire Angst

Certain...difficulties with my freedom of movement and financial stability have made my creativity act like a flashlight with a faulty battery connection. I have flashes of brilliance and times when nothing happens but a lot of the time the light I cast is dim and hard to see by.

Nonetheless, I've been working on and off, like the aforementioned flashlight.

Snow Sands has been doing bearably well, though it's hard to tell since I haven't actually sold any copies or gotten any reviews. People have been liking it on facebook and, as a friend pointed out, people are more likely to be vocal with things they hate than ones they like. I know that to figure out if people like the book and actually get feed back I need to have more of the series up. I'm working on it. I'm also trying to finish another book in a different genre but people who like one book may not think the other is their thing.
I've decided I will put the book up for sale again after one of two things happen. It's out for two months or I get a review.

I've got a story that I wrote (not finished) back in high school, before Snow Sands. It was the second book I'd gotten very far on. Unfortunately, many bits of it got lost, I have no idea how, and after that I decided I would start using bound notebooks instead of binders full of loose leaf paper. I'm currently recreating the story. I'd be really nifty if I could finish it because it was about a vampire, sort of and I'd like to make my contribution to the teenage vampire genre. I do have another book that's much further along with a vampire as a main character but she's in college. She's also physically about thirty. I'd like to have some teen vampire angst done my way.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

WW1 Three Witches

Today is Wednesday. Last week I decided that on Wednesdays I would post a paragraph or a story. I pretty much forgot until six in the evening today, Wednesday. Fortunately, as is the case with most writers, I have plenty of stuff already written.
Here is a short (really short) screenplay I wrote to show that I could. It's called;Three Witches.


Three Witches
EXT/INT.  COTTAGE-WOODS
View of the cottage. It is white washed with exposed beams. It has a slightly German feel. Inside the single room is filled with smoke and there are three females sitting on the floor around a small, copper bottomed claw footed cauldron. They are, Gwen, a child of about seven in a loose torn shift, Martha, a bitch with a torn ear and a lolling pink tongue and Rhianna, a tall girl in a long brown jumper with tangled black hair and an unfortunate nose.
RHIANNA
So, what are we supposed to do?
GWEN
I don’t know. I just followed Martha. She told me there was something cool in here. She said we’d be able to play with mystical forces.
RHIANNA
Gwen, dogs don’t talk. We both know you set this up yourself and ran off so that I would have to come and get you. Let’s get this over with so I can get you back before your parents come home.
Gwen turns to Martha, the dog who still has her tongue out and is sitting with legs spread wide in that unselfconscious way dogs sometimes do.
RHIANNA
Gwen, come on!
Gwen turns to Rhianna with her arms crossed and her nose turned up. She has her eyes closed
GWEN
I am not going to do anything. Martha told me to come. Ask her!
Rhianna frowns and folds her arms.
MARTHA speaks in the gravely chain-smoker’s voice of an older woman.
She’s right, you know. I did lead her here and you too. You don’t know what you’re talking about, little girl.
RHIANNA
What?
MARTHA
I said, you don’t know that you’re talking about.
RHIANNA
Yes I do. I know exactly what I’m talking about.
MARTHA
No you don’t
RHIANNA
Yes I do, it’s you who doesn’t know what she’s talking about because dogs can’t talk! You have no idea what you’re saying because you can’t be saying it!
MARTHA
I hear your homework often enough. Use your analytical reasoning skills.
Rhianna looks down and begins to mouth words. She looks up and seems confused.
GWEN
Rhianna, you are such an idiot.
Rhianna frowns. She straightens and the confusion disappears.
RHIANNA
Let’s get this game over with so we can go home and I can get my baby sitting money. I don’t care what’s going on. I just want to get paid, go to bed and then spend every cent tomorrow.
GWEN
Martha?
MARTHA
Now we just need a dead cat and we can get started.

See you next Wednesday. If you didn't like this one, you might like the next. Cheers!





Friday, May 3, 2013

I Screwed Up

I've been wondering if I did something wrong, since I haven't gotten reviews or downloads and I didn't get a single sale for the two weeks that I had it at a price.

I thought my cover was too amateurish.

I thought my writing was too childish or slow or random.

I thought it was badly categorized.

I thought I didn't have enough tags.

Do you know what the biggest problem is, as far as I can tell. The one thing that jumps out?
Somehow, despite being a writer who tries to be meticulous, I put up a synopsis that is merely descriptive of the events. I didn't inject the weird humor I wrote with or the quirky personalities of my characters. There were no jokes, there was no enticing hook.

That was a mistake.

I feel dumb and will be fixing it forthwith.
Fixed as of...yesterday which was...5/2/2013.
Here it is! My improved book page. Note the funnies in the writing. See?

Better.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Changing Tactics

As I said in my last post, nothing. has. happened.
I know it hasn't been very long and because this is my only book up on the site with my name on it, there is a reduced chance of sales. People don't know me, it's understandable. That doesn't mean that I want to be unknown. Perhaps this will work out. I think it will. Know why? I'm working. 
I've got well developed, partially finished stories all over the place. I've got several short stories that I would like to add onto and, I'm working on what I need to do. 

I've decided to put more effort into patronizing the work of my fellow authors, pursuing their work as I would like mine to be pursued. This has several advantages. 
  • I am not a selfish little monster. 
  • I can get a look at what else is out there
  • I can get my name mentioned
  • I can gain perspective on my own work
  • I can get back into reading books which should help me get into my writing more easily. 
If you want to get into a field  you should pursue all avenues that will get you noticed and also that will help you familiarize yourself with the ins and outs. More than that, be nice. I like having friends. I really like having friends who are also colleagues. I want friendly colleagues! I'm working on that. 

I have also joined Scribophile which is a critiquing site/writer's group thingy. You critique work and gain karma points. When you have enough, you can post a poem, a short story or a chapter of your novel/novella/epic. Critiques of your work start to come in and the circle of writing is completed. 
It's a beautiful thing. Scribophile is a polite place. I haven't decided if it's because you get credit for being nice to people (I guess that's since writers are a sensitive lot and you are tearing apart their baby.) or because everybody really is that sweet. 
Not to say there aren't good critiquers. There are some very fine ones, they just soften the critique with words about what they liked which is what a good critique should have anyway, notes on both the good and the bad. 

Saturday, April 27, 2013

How Well Things are Going

Sooooo.

Nice warmer weather we've been having, huh?

I thought it might be nice to mention how things have been after publishing the book.

First Day
Yay, downloads. Everything's good, well, okay. I only got about 28 downloads on the first day and I think seven of those are Smashwords downloads so that they can assess the readiness of the book to make premium, but still, it's something.
Days Two through Nine
I was averaging under ten downloads per day, not great but not terrible. I attribute this to the fact that my book was still a new book in the category so it got first page status. On day seven, I changed the book from free to 2.99. I think I got a few downloads between days seven and nine because other people were re-downloading the book or I was checking the formats for errors, myself.

After Day Seven
Zilch.

It's day seventeen.
I've written another book in a different genre. Problem is, I still need to make it nice and pretty and get a cover. I don't think I have the strength.
Still, I think it's a solid book. I know part of the problem is no reviews and the fact that my cover is rather...unique. Things could pick up.
It's a very good thing I don't have a paper manuscript. I'd have probably acted like one of those silly, over-emotional writers and shredded it while drinking copious amounts of whisky and nearly losing a thumb, by now.

I've been a good little girl, more or less. I want juuuuust one sale, or a few thousand, whatever.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Progress.

Ugh, nothing is happening. I'm not really surprised but that doesn't mean that I couldn't hope for a spontaneous rise to fame. I think everybody does that, even with fifth grade art projects because some of them actually do gain praise and attention.
I want praise and attention.
I can't help it, I'm fond of those sweet words of approval and I'm not self centered enough to give them myself.
The book has only been out since April 10 and it has only been approved for distribution since April 17. I gave it a price which is now set at 2.99, on April 7. No bites, not yet.
Snow Sands: Through the Wormhole, Book 1, hasn't been visible for very long and it is sort of a publish to publish thing. Not that I don't think the book is entertaining, I do, but I also think that it needs two or three more books to follow it. I'll wait and see what happens once I get some reviews and continue working on my other series. At the moment, the characters from; The Wind-Up Terrier, come more easily to me, and the life of Miss Euphemia Hatter is the one I am most concerned with.
I am also working on some Snow Sands short stories which I hope to put together in a novella. The project will do double duty helping me re-familiarize with my characters and providing a companion volume for the first Snow Sands book.

I am considering changing the cover. I do like it but I wonder if something else would work better.
 I'll think about it.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Smashwords and Publishing

Someone I know said they'd never heard of Smashwords. Up until 2011, I hadn't either.
Smashwords is a distribution site rather than a publisher and there are several books up on the site, created by the site's founder which will mention things to do to publish your book and get at least a few sales. Smashwords Style Guide
Smashwords Marketing Guide
The Secrets to Ebook Publishing Success

I'm not trying to replace his words with mine and you can find out more about the history of the site from Mark Coker in his blog and throughout his books.

Some people don't care for the automated system or distributing through Smashwords. I'm not one of them.
I've published a few books under other names by using Smashwords and practice does make perfect in this respect. It will probably be a headache if you have trouble working within the confines of conventional formatting and you shouldn't double space or press enter too many times at once. Still, it does get easier and the instructional books are pretty fast reading.

Here's how it goes to publish a book on Smashwords. You read the style while scanning your manuscript. You might read the marketing book or about ebook publishing success before continuing; Then you press Publish and get sent to a page that's one long form.
First fill out the title of the book. Next is a short description of your book contents (400 or fewer), then a long description, (4000 or fewer)

After that it's just a game of fill in the blank. Book Language, Price (Free or reader sets price are options as well as charging a sum.), how much of the book is free to read before buying,Genre, tags, formats to convert the file to, cover art and, finally, the file itself.

This is still daunting to me but I was surprised before I downloaded a book.