Even being a stay home mom I work with clowns…

I was sitting down minding my own business editing when I was needed to run to the store really fast to grab a few things for dinner. I left all my editing stuff out (although I did take my phone with me).  Leaving it all out might have been a mistake.

This is how it looked when I left…

One computer has all my writing (I don’t have internet on it), one has a dictionary/ thesaurus open, and one is just for research. I know I could have windows open for the research and thesaurus, but I didn’t want too. Also I had my phone next to me because I always get phone calls and texts when I’m writing or editing — not because of Facebook or Twitter or anything. I’d never waste time there. 😛 The binder is one of my beta’s with their notes and such, and the list on the binder is my “said list.”

When I returned home from my store run I found this…

Ok, one of these is broken, one is my oldest daughter’s, one is my husband’s, and then they put their cell phones on the high chair… *deep sigh*

Yep, I can’t get away from clowns in my work place. I guess I should be glad that they didn’t mess with anything important.

Note ~ My “said list” is a list of about 100-200 ways to say “said” so I don’t always say “she said” or “he said.” It reminds me to add the extra emotion and use words like words for example “she cried” or “he chuckled.” When I first write the story I usually write it so fast I just over kill the word “said.”

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I don’t think she’s coming back…

Yesterday when the post ran there was a little something in there for me.  It was a postcard from my Muse. The picture was of her sunbathing off the shore of… somewhere, she never said.

I’m starting to get a little worried that she might not come back………… here is what the card read…

I wonder how the postman knew where ‘over there, not here’ was?

To B, or not to B: that is the question…

I know lately I’ve drawn a lot on here.  It’s been fun but here is a normal blog post… boring I know, but I still needed to do it. 😀 (FYI ~ I couldn’t help myself there’s a funny at the end.)

This is the back and forth topic that a lot of us are now being forced to choose.  The first choice we have is do we self-publish or not.   That is an entire different blog post that many authors have done, and a choice that only you can make on your own.  But if you’ve made up your mind to self-pub, here is the second choice and a new question… Do we go with the $.99 book that Kindle is offering us?  We all keep hearing the rags to riches stories.  And, although we know our work is good, we are also aware that there is only one JK Rowling out there and unfortunately it’s not us. (Ms. J.K. Rowling, if you are actually reading this, please give me a shout out. 🙂 <– Shameless promotion, mixed with wishful thinking.)

To get back on track, I’m going to list the perks and the downs. Yes, another pros and cons list by yours truly. This one is about the 99 cent books which are becoming labeled B books –just like the old B movies.  I shall start positive with the perks.

The pros…

1. Your book will sale. There is truth to it.  People don’t mind wasting a buck on a book when a latte’ costs 4 to 5 times as much.

2. You will make a profit — IF you did it all yourself.  You still might make a profit if you hired an editor, which, no matter what, you should do everything you can to be properly edited, even when it costs 30 to 45 cents a word!

3. Well, there is no three I just felt there should be at least one more…

The cons…

1. You will be labeled as a B author. That is not “you might,” you WILL be labeled.  The truth of the matter is we do not yet know in 20 years if that will matter, but we know right now it’s not a great thing.  If you are planning on NEVER going traditional or you think only snobs will care and bookstores are dead… then being labeled doesn’t matter one bit to you… which is great! Go for it!

2. Traditional publishing is not dead, it’s just a little sick and chances are it will recover. There will be changes but it will recover.  The only indie movement we have to compare this new one to is the one the music world faced years ago.  Music labels and big companies didn’t die, they just changed.  By stating this I’m saying we shouldn’t place all our eggs in either basket.  I think there is going to be a meeting ground.  Why is this a con when we can just about guarantee that self-pubs are here to stay too, you might ask. The reason is we know that self-publishing will not dirty an author’s name, but we have no idea yet if being a “B” author will.  If, by some unforeseen event, the entire self-pub dies out, and one is labeled a “B” author, traditional pubs are less likely to tarnish their name by publishing a “B” author.

3. This is going to sound very cliché, but there is nothing in the world like holding your book in your hands.  It’s very much like seeing your child for the very first time.  You love to just look at it and hold it.  After all you created that book.  I’ve held my book in e-format… not the same.

Here is a good link to read a little more… http://www.publishingebooks.blogspot.com/

Now before everyone gets mad at me for what I’ve said please read this last part.  The reason this blog is up is because for the last 3 months I have taken this topic into the deepest consideration.  I have asked myself, “How fad is it?”  “How bad would I suffer?”  But after long, hard deep, consideration I have decided that I will just keep doing what I’m doing.

Note ~ I cannot stress editing enough. Before you submit to agencies, edit. Before you self-pub, edit. Before anyone but betas read it, EDIT! Have a pro look over it and fix what you, your friends, and your family didn’t see. It is VERY worth it! Your book Your baby deserves a fair start on the selves.

Note Note ~ Yes, I broke a writing rule and used ‘you’ all over the place.  Please forgive me Mrs. Brundidge, you and Mrs. Fleming are still my fav HS teachers! (My hubby is too, but he was never my actual teacher.)

Note Note Note ~ Some people do love B movies! Just NEVER watch Worm Eaters your eyes, tummy, and mind will thank you.

Shhh, I’m working…

Shhh, it's a secret...

I’m working on a secret project that I really hope goes well… It’s for me and in the hopes that I can advertise better.  Right now it’s eating up my time.  I guess really I’m working on two secret advertising projects. I’m also trying to improve my art skills.  I don’t know if that can be done but I have a few new toys and I know I rock like no other with stick figures… well, maybe not as awesome as JC Little or a few others but hey I can do stick like people ok enough . 😛
Anyway, my editing is moving along. Two of my betas for book two asked if I can give it to them a week later than plan.  This worked out just right for me because I was rushing myself to get it done sooner.  I just wanted one extra week and BOOM I got it! The other beta had no issue about waiting.  I’ve still been wondering how many people other authors use as betas.  This will be my first run ever wih betas and I’m very nervous about it.
My new computer is great. Only issue is I still need to sort through and move over my junk. I have about ten outlined, half written, or all the way written blogs on it. My old computer isn’t wireless and had to be moved into another room while I slowly go through all of everything.  Some of its pictures, double pictures, cropped pictures, old documents, old school papers, to-do lists, blog stuff, book stuff, music, videos, and you name it and I pack-ratted it on to my old ‘puter.
Also in two months I will have been doing this blog for two years and I don’t know if I should be doing anything for that date… we shall see if I have time and can come up with anything. 😉  I’m super, crazy, stupid, busy right now and I still need to clean out the garage. Well, I’m off to go do something secret… Shhh…

Characters, my favorite part of the book…

Characters make the story, at least for me they do.  Everyone comes up with different ways to write them. Sometimes they are like Frankenstein’s monster with their bits and pieces from old friends, a cluster of flaws from people we know to make a neurotic creature, or maybe we borrowed little morsels of cuteness from a few crushes of the past to make our dream love come to life.  No matter how they’re made though they have to start with something, some idea of what’s needed, what makes them tick?  It’s the author’s job to know that and work it all out.

I love dark hair with blue eyes.  I think it’s dreamy.  My husband has near black hair and sky blue eyes.  I love his eye color.  Anyway, I’ve found that I wrote a book with way too many ‘good looking’ people.  My biggest villain, dark hair with blue eyes, my other villain, dark hair with blue eyes, my hero, longer dark hair with blue eyes, one of my main ladies, dark hair with blue eyes.  I’m going to have to give one or two of them brown eyes.

This got me wondering about how everyone else sits down to make their characters.  I feel that this is one of my biggest strong points in a story.  I’m bad at scenery, but great at the ‘people’.  I start with my idea. Then I draw (a poor sketch): One of a close up and one of them standing.  They are either standing next to a ruler or a tree to give me an idea of their height and girth.  My art could be better, but I’m an artist of words, not an artist of pictures.  On the opposite side of the paper I have a character sheet.  For those who are unfamiliar with what that is: it’s a page where info such as age, height, weight, hair color, personality flaws, rich or poor, and so on are written down.  For me the detail all depends on how important the individual is in the story, that’s how I decide how much info they are given.  For important ones I give them four to six pages and both drawings, for less important ones, two pages and one (maybe two) with very sloppy sketches, for a one time encounter just one sheet with the bone basic info.  I keep all of these in a binder just for that book. I save it, and if needed, I rewrite repeat characters from the series, put it in the folder for the next book, and write in the changes.  I use birth year and date, not age.  Ages change even with immortals so dates act best.  Also, I have found that to give them more flaws and personalities I’ll give them a little history, even if it’s not told in the book.  I feel this helps to add depth.  This is also if I ever need a little more of a reference to the individual, it’s there.  One of my characters is gay.  I don’t think it will ever come out but he just is. I need that info when I work with him so he never looks at the ladies.  Two of my characters are 1/2 brothers that are very close and one of them had a mother who was a slave, the other mother was sickly. I need this so I know why and how they both might feel in certain situations.  We never read more than one line about Mary’s sisters, but in my binder their age differences, married family, and such are written down just for reference.

I would love to hear (read) other ideas for characters and if you have any tips for landscape details, besides just visualizing, please, please, PLEASE share.

Juggling…

I have a few books that I am working on. The Vampiress Sagas, of course, is the one at the very front of my work load.  There are more though.  I have been working on a comedy sci-fi that I truly hope is funny.  Another one that I’m working on is a YA fantasy.  Then I have family life, kids with school, husband just back to work, and (for those of you who don’t know… I’m finally talking) in September I’m due to have another baby.  So, yeah, right now I’m juggling.
The Vampiress Sagas is my prime, ‘you have to work on this’ book.  There will be four in that series when it is done.  But there will also be a planned three in another series with a large amount of the same characters.  I’ve fallen in love (or a wonderful dislike) with most of the heroes, villains, and anybodies in this series that I don’t know if I will ever tire of working with them. (Ahhhh, warm fuzzies.)
The sci-fi book is my second priority with work, and the one my husband is dying to read the most.  He absolutely loves the storyline.  He loves the others too, it’s just this one makes him laugh and it tests some of my boundaries.  I’m writing this one a little differently, and working on changing some of my style… just for this book.  I work on this story when I’m in a more playful mood and just can’t settle into my vampire world.  This book also takes very little historical research.  So if I’m stuck in a doctor’s office for an hour I can just freely type without having to worry about investigating the past.
Just like with The Vampiress Sagas my YA fantasy has been in my head for years.  When I was in high school I wrote a short story of it in a journal.  I’ve also, over the years, have had several dreams with this storyline.  I work on this when I’m in a dreamy mood.  And although the characters in this book and the sci-fi one are fun, enjoyable, completely developed, I just can’t see either being more than one book worth, so no sequels are planned.
There is also an additional book that I have to start thinking about… I think it will be a novella.  My 10 year old requested that I write a werewolf book.  I’m going to need to think about it very carefully.  I’ve never planned on writing anything with werewolves.  I’ve loved and enjoyed several movies and books featuring or ‘starring’ them, I just never planned on this.  I think it’ll be a challenge, but one I’m sure I can handle.  I’m only doing it because she was a little broken hearted that my vampire book had sharks, zombies, and vampires, but not her favorite… the werewolf.  I still will not add one in my vampire world because they don’t work there, but I will write a story just for her.
My husband started back to work two weeks ago, but his students just came back last week.  He has been upset about the lack of reading that will go on this year.  His school, like so many others, got rid of their AR reading program and they are not getting another reading program in its place.  With him being the high school librarian he is going to need to come up with an incentive program for the kids or most of them will never read.  It’s really sad.  My daughters start back soon and they are both a little eager.  And everyone wishes that my due date was in July so we could have started the adjustment period with the new baby when the family was all at home.
So here I am working on three different stories, while trying to think of a fourth.  My husband and kids are getting ready for school and my baby is getting ready for her big day… the day that will always be her birthday.

Here is my little question/s for you… How many books are you taking on at once?  And if you are also adjusting to the new school year, how are you taking it?

August, September, October, November…

I have not counted days, weeks, and months like this since I was expecting my daughters.
Here’s what my chart thingy/timeline looks like right now.  I still don’t have any clue when my book will be done.  I know I’m close.  I know that even though I am close bad things can still happen.  I know I’ll have one more look at everything before it’s ready to be finished.  I don’t know how long that will take on their side, but from what I understand on my side it should just be a quick check and a stamp of approval.  I’m still hoping everything will be done before the Holidays

Send Marketing Success Workbook 08/03/2009 Ready  
Implement Proofreading Cover Corrections 11/10/2009 Active  
QA Proofreading Interior Modifications 11/10/2009 Ready  
Submit Materials 07/29/2009 Success  
Evaluate Manuscript 08/03/2009 Success  
EE Preparation 08/04/2009 Success  
Conduct Editorial Evaluation 08/04/2009 Success  
Conduct Evaluation QA 08/13/2009 Success  
Send Evaluation to Author 08/13/2009 Success  
Author Review Evaluation 08/17/2009 Success  
Editorial Consultation 08/17/2009 Success  
Submit Revised MS-Post Eval 08/28/2009 Success  
Conduct edit 08/28/2009 Success  
Conduct Edit QA 09/11/2009 Success  
Send Edit to Author 09/15/2009 Success  
Assign PSA to Project 09/24/2009 Success  
Prepare for Design 09/24/2009 Success  
Polish Cover Copy 09/24/2009 Success  
Setup Proofreading 09/30/2009 Success  
Design Interior 10/01/2009 Success  
Design Cover 10/01/2009 Success  
Author Review Edit 09/18/2009 Success  
Conduct Interior QA 10/02/2009 Success  
Conduct Cover Design QA 10/05/2009 Success  
Submit Final MS – Edit 10/06/2009 Success  
Confirm Proofreading Readiness 10/06/2009 Success  
Conduct Proofreading 10/06/2009 Success  
Conduct Proofreading QA 10/29/2009 Success  
Send Proofread to Author 10/29/2009 Success  
Author Review Proofreading Interior 10/29/2009 Success  
Author Review Proofreading Cover 10/29/2009 Success  
Submit Proofreading Corrections 11/10/2009 Success  
Implement Proofreading Interior Corrections 11/10/2009 Success