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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Done At Last…

Yesterday I was very proud of myself, rarely are the dishes and laundry both done at once, but never do they coincide with a clean living room! All was done, and although the bathrooms still both needed a little attention, I felt I could kick my feet up and relax… aaaaaaah.

My rest and relaxation dream was short-lived.  When I entered the once clean living room, now missile testing area, I saw a pink blur wiz by and my husband chasing after it/her, trying hard not to re-injure the not-so-purple-toe.
Within a minute my older two daughters came to my… aide? They felt the urge to surprise me and clean their rooms. I thought it slightly odd that they didn’t bring me all the dirty stuff when I first asked for it. Well, they did it eventually, right?

I felt a little overloaded so I took a small lay down. At least I was able to get off my feet, but I don’t know if I’d count passing out in the hall a nice break.

Back to square one… One day when I’m in a nursing home, the dish will all be done, the laundry finished and folded, and the house entirely clean.  Who am I kidding? With whimsical ideas like that I should start writing fairytales not Vamp fiction.

My first book, The Flowers and the Flowers…

When I was 6 years old there was nothing I wanted to do more than to write.  I wrote a book called The Flowers and the Flowers.  It was all about flowers.  We were living with my grandparents at the time.  My grandpa had a big garden in his yard.  One day I went outside with him and looked at all the lovely flowers.  He told me all of their really long names and I got a little overwhelmed.  I told my grandpa that I was going to write a book for him about flowers.  He told me that as long as I didn’t pick any, he would be happy with it.  I wondered back in to the house.  My grandmother gave me some typing paper, I grabbed my crayons and I went into the back of the house.  I sat on the floor at the foot of the bed in the pink bedroom while my mother unpacked and I enjoyed writing and drawing.  When I was done I told my mother that I was going to be a ‘book writer’, I was corrected and told ‘author.’  I didn’t like the name out of fear of someone thinking I was changing my name to Arthur.  I called it a ‘book writer’ for many years before I would finally say, “I want to be an author.”  Looking back on it now, I think that everyone thought I just liked the flowers, and although I thought they were nice, I just wanted to write a book.

Skipping ahead now to when I was 10-11, a few friends and I decided to write a sequel to Stand By Me (the movie).  I didn’t know about laws, copyrights, and such at that age. We worked on the outline together and I was supposed to fill in everything else (write the main story) and they were going to take turns adding to it when they read it.  Anyway, I filled about 3 note books full of writing before one of the other girls wanted to borrow it, so she could see where we were, and I never saw it again.  I was sooooooo bummed.  We were sure Hollywood and Stephen King were going to love it.  I was so very naive.

Fast-forward about 3 years. We were moving back in with my grandparents.  I was bored… very bored… So I wrote about 6-9 comic books on an art pad my Aunt Barb gave me. In truth these were funny and good.  About 9 years ago I ran across them and laughed my butt off.  I wrote them in comic book format but like a very large comic strip.  I had read several comics by 13-14 so I knew how many pages they were.  I had 5 to 6 main people in the story.  I don’t want to say too much here because if I can find them I will share them.  The art work is a little on the blah side but the main people don’t vary too much from frame to frame.  I really had fun with it.

When I was a sophomore in high school I had a teacher who was mad at me for having “Too much imagination for creative writing.”  Somehow I was skipped over when the “tell’em what you’re going to tell’em, tell’em, tell’em, tell’em, tell’em what you told’em” speech happened so I was writing stories, not papers.  When I found out the formula all was great. But I still never understood why they called the class ‘creative writing’ when it was anything but.  I wanted to be creative when I wrote and I wanted to write stories.

I’ve always wanted to be an author.  There were years upon years when negative people told me that I couldn’t, I was young and trusted them.  I stopped tell people what I wanted to be and started telling people what I was told I could do and what I was told I wanted to be.  When I was 25 my ex-husband, who was my ex-husband at the time, told me that he knew I could be an author. He said that he knew that’s what I really should be.  He wasn’t my friend, he wasn’t someone who cared about me, but he knew me, and when he said it I knew one day I would write.  I didn’t know what would finally push me, but I knew I would write.  Then with the support, love, and constant encouragement (plus treats) I get from my husband I feel I was and am strong enough to do this.

Follow your dreams and don’t let anyone hold you back.  If you want it bad enough you will find away.  There are armless artists who use their feet or mouth to paint and draw, there’re dyslexic and autistic writers, there are one armed mountain climbers, and if no one else in this world has faith in you, I do.  If we can fly in the air, survive underwater, and be shot into orbit, your dreams might one day be a reality.  The only people I don’t have faith in are the bullies; the ones that bring us down so they can feel better and stronger.  I pray for them to grow past who they are, but experience has taught me too, I have no faith in them.

BUY MY BOOK…

The picture of the book is a 'Buy My Book' button!This is not an advertisement, but it is… oh just read on.  M.J. Rose pointed out the other day on FaceBook something that has been bugging me since before I started down this road.  She pointed out that most authors don’t have a ‘Buy My Book’ button in their home page, or at least not one that is easy to find.  I agree this should be one of the very first things we see on an author’s page.  The potential customer should not have to scroll, hunt, or not find the button.  My webpage (which is getting a little facelift soon) has it right there in your face BOOM!  But here on my blog… one has to look.  So I’m going to change that, I am going to have a big, at the top, in your face, BOOM, right there, button… it may or may not help but hey, it’s worth it.
Anyone who wants me to look at their site to see how long it takes me to find their link and what problems (if any) I have getting there, I will gladly help out.  That is what we are all here for.

Note ~ this is not the big thing I’m working on, or one of the little things, this is just a thing thing.

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…

My strongest weakness…

Advertizing ideas…

I stink… no let’s face it; I suck at selling my book.  I can talk another person’s book up to perfection and sale it.  Some books I can do that with that I have never even read.  I used to all the time, that was my job at B&N.  It’s why I was moving up so quickly.  Yes, I did read a number of them but not all of them.  I had the experience from the years in the library to look at a person, talk to them for a few minutes, and give them a book that was made just for them.  Moms that had sons that would never read would come back, thank me for giving them just the right book, and ask for more.  I can’t tell you how many unwanted hugs I was given working there, but I still can’t sell my book.  I know it better than any other, but I still can’t sale my book.  I feel like a street walker when I try.  Please, don’t take that wrong those of you who can.  I have witnessed hundreds of people sale their book with class, grace, style, and a lovely smile, but I still can’t sale my book.  I’ve thought about giveaways but it frightens me… I could do it, but I truly want everyone to win.  I want everyone to smile and be happy with the outcome.  So people of the blog reading world, how do you sale your books without feeling like you’re selling yourself?

{insert shameless plug here}…

When is plugging your book too ‘used car salesman’ like?  This is a tough question that most of us authors deal with on a regular basis.  Most of us have read articles that say things like, “Don’t just say ‘my book’ always say the title and say it as often as you can”  “Advertize on every site you can think of”  “Mention your book everywhere”  “Bring it up in every conversation that you possibly can”  “Be seen reading it… everywhere”  “Brag”  “Boost”  “Show people a copy”  “Never go out without a copy”  “Always type, write, use your full name whenever and wherever possible” and many more things similar to all of these.  I try to leave my name and a nice link to my blog or website’s and on people’s blog because most sites offer a link back if wanted.  I figure since the feature is subtle and they’re for all of us to use… why not?  But I’m not very good at always bringing up the title.  And I don’t feel comfortable parading up and down the mall with a flag with a picture of my book taped to my back, while my book is in one hand and I’m yelling from a bullhorn in the other, all the while demanding that people read it.  That would get attention, but it’s just not me.  As a matter of fact, I just told some of my friends and the other good friends don’t know yet.  Why?  Because I don’t feel comfortable rubbing what I’ve done in other peoples faces.  And I’m writing this blog because I feel like I just used a famous person’s thread to shamelessly plug my book… but now I feel shame.  I feel guilty, even though it was slightly relevant, I still feel like I shouldn’t have even commented on their Facebook thread.  So when, where, how, and who do authors use to drop their name in the bucket with all the other authors out there?  I wish I had an answer we could all use.  I know that I don’t want to lose my tact, grace, and dignity plugging my book and I feel like there should be a nice way to properly advertise to others without feeling dirty.

Things I can do that don’t make me feel gross…
1. I leave comments or blogs with a link back to here
2. Talk about fellow authors work (I like this one, some books out there should get read)
3. Post on my own site and blog
4. Read my book in waiting rooms (why not, I read other peoples)
5. Have the title engraved on my license plate frame (I’d rather that than any other add)
6. Advertising in magazines and announcing in the local paper
7. Reviewing other’s books (I haven’t done this one yet)
8. Make a hoodie (or t-shirt) on Café Press or Zazzle with the title of my book on it (did that last night)
9. Donate a copy to the library, or multiple copies to multiple libraries

Who, what, when, where, and how do you feel comfortable plugging you book?  Also, please feel free to leave any and all shameless plugs in the comments to this post.

I’m an author, Jim, not a used car salesman! < — Shameless reference to Star Trek 😛

FYI ~ The Strongest Fire: Book One of The Vampiress Sagas is still being sold for a very reasonable price on B&N and Amazon.

Barnes & Noble Link

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/The-Strongest-Fire/Sarah-Winters/e/9781440183218/?itm=2&USRI=the+strongest+fire

Amazon Link

http://www.amazon.com/Strongest-Fire-Book-Vampiress-Sagas/dp/144018321X/ref=tmm_pap_title_0