Monthly Archives: March 2016

One Step Closer

How  is it even  the end of March already? This month has just flown by!

Deadline red grunge textured vintage isolated stamp

Deadline red grunge textured vintage isolated stamp

I haven’t accomplished everything that I set for myself as goals for this month, but I’ve made progress. One  benefit that Eclectic Bard Books has  provided for me  was  setting a deadline for Red Wine and Roses. Although it was stressful at the time,  it was necessary to be disciplined and stay on task.

Like many, I tend to get distracted,  often procrastinate, and sometimes seem to be trudging through a bog without making any progress. However, that outlined date on my calendar looms before me demanding my attention, setting my radar to high alert. It’s getting closer.

Without a deadline I drift aimlessly along, never accomplishing anything. But  give me a firm date and come hell or high water I will bust my butt to meet it.  With many things, knowing is half the battle.  I know this is  an area that I am really bad about so I set myself on a schedule with my own deadlines.  In fact, I’ve set a few for myself for the rest of the year. I figured I would borrow the tool that Eclectic Bard Books had previously set for me.

Sadly,  I didn’t meet my goal for today, which was to have Valkyrie’s Curse: The Awakening sent to my beta readers today.  I have been working on it the past two months revising, adding  epigraphs, and cross checking my plot and subplot. This story is far more complex than Red Wine & Roses, but then again, it’s not a romance.  I am close, but my self-imposed deadline has to be pushed back a couple of weeks.  Here in lies the rub,  if it’s my own deadline I don’t give it the priority that I would  if it were set by someone else. 

*SIGH*  On one hand I’ve made progress but on the other hand, I revert back to old habits which don’t accomplish my goals.

On another note,  I write in ink.

You’re saying to yourself: Yeah, so who cares and what does that have to do with meeting a deadline?  

I use a planner — lately a bullet journal — which has been an absolute godsend for me! My point is,  I write in ink on my calendar and in my planner. I can’t scratch it out or erase it. Having to push a deadline out further means that I have to put the dreaded forward task arrow into my planner. I put lots of stuff into my planner, like my monthly goals and daily todo lists but forward task arrows . . . . that’s like receiving an F on a term paper. There is no amount of smiley face stickers, washi tape, or colorful highlighters that can undo the bold forward task arrow.  I DON’T want to have to add another one! I can go without sleep if I have to. The family can exist on cereal and peanut butter sandwiches if necessary but I am NOT sullying my  bujo with another forward task arrow.

April is shaping up to be a very busy month. I have 3 books to edit, Camp Nano to work on my newest WIP,  a class to learn how to use InDesign, and now the addition of finishing  my revisions and sending VC to my beta readers.

This is going to require a lot more coffee!

On a bright note,  I am the featured author on the Penned Con Fan Page today -woohoo!

Tomorrow is April and another chance to buckle down and  get the bulk of a first draft down on paper or virtual paper. It’s one step closer to having another book released.

What goals have you set for yourself? Do you give yourself the same priority as you would someone else?

‘Til Next time,

~~~~

Ellie

 

Misfit me

I have always been the square peg when the world about me was teeming with round holes. I’ve never minded. Recent years, it has actually served me well and allowed me to step back and see through untainted vision what was happening around me, and I’m grateful for that.

What I’m going to talk about is not likely to garner me any friends in the literary world, but I think, in the interest of being able to look meself in the mirror, I need to say this to more than my immediate circle. We are in ‘the purge.’ I firmly believe this, and further believe that we are the ones who created the scenario which it is coming about.

There is a great amount of uproar about piracy sites, and the ‘mooch’ readers who want everything for free…but folks, we have created the situation where that is an expectation. It is not that we shouldn’t be compensated for our labor, quite the contrary, it is that in our zeal to reach the top spot on Amazon’s elusive algorithm, we have given away so much for free…free downloads of our work, free hard copies for release parties, free swag items that seem to get bigger and bigger, and free, free, free…if you can have milk everyday without a nickel, why would you seek to have one in your pocket tomorrow? The expectation is that we will eventually give it away because that is what we have done; so they just wait. They are out nothing, but we lose again and again. The piracy sites are the offspring of the impatient who just don’t want to wait for it…that and the infidels who need a medium to corrupt from for those who are otherwise cautious to scams.

Yes, I too have given away free things for promotions and takeover events, but have tried to limit them. In part because I can ill afford to give away so much. I am not wealthy; I am a writer with a dream to tell a story that lasts beyond my time here. Does that mean I value readers any less than the author who can afford to part with so many gifts, or copies? Not at all. It means that I have different financial priorities and keeping a roof over my family’s head is one of them.

I’ve been out in the publishing/writing world for three years now. I’m no more a household name than my cat is, but I can say this much; I have not had a single month since I started where I did not get paid. I can look at myself in the mirror and know that I’ve done the best I am able. And, I can look into the faces of my children and know that their dreams have not been short-changed as I pursued mine. That’s all I need.

Sure, I’d love more readers. I’d love more reviews. The challenge is that I’m not going to lose myself or my financial foothold to make it happen by giving away more than I make. I will pursue the piracy sites via DMCA notice, and will keep on doing what I can on the rest.

The purge I refer to is that I think we are in a time where, because so much available so cheap in many cases, we are seeing a time where we will find who can and cannot survive in this business. Who has the internal fortitude, and external support to survive this time of sales slumps and expectation of more for less or none at all. The only advice I have is if you love writing, hold on. The world as we know it has always been cyclic, this too shall pass. I have to believe that, or I’d be pulling the stakes and moving on.

Like I said in the beginning, this is not likely to earn me any friends as I point out what to me is obvious…we created this monster. But, I ask you each to take a moment and look objectively at the beast, he’s bigger than he used to be. Why? Because we fed him.

Aedan

Let the Signing Season Begin

A week from tomorrow, two other EBB authors and I will be on the road making the trek to Atlanta where we will be meeting up with another EBB author who will be traveling from Louisiana. It’s crunch time, and I haven’t even begun to pack. *smh*

Anyway…I’m super excited to attend the events I have signed up for this year. I’m excited about meeting some really cool authors, but I’m super excited to meet all the awesome readers who make what we do worth it. If you’re at any of these 4 events, don’t forget to stop by my table and say “Hi.”

Until next week…Happy Reading!

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The Novel Experience Atlanta April 6-10

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Writers on the River…Peoria, Illinois July 9

Once Upon a Book...Frankenmouth, MI August 12 & 13

Once Upon a Book…Frankenmouth, MI
August 12 & 13

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Penned…St. Louis, MO September 23 & 24

~Jolanthe~

Tripping points

I started writing a post for today and had to hit delete. It was inappropriate for this audience. My soapbox was misplaced and for that I’m sorry. So, instead…here’s the what’s what for the next four weeks or so.

In 7 days I’m leaving for The Novel Experience Event – Atlanta. Should be a blast.

Two weeks later, I’ll be headed to North Iowa Book Bash for a quickie signing event.

After that, I’m on a break for a little bit as my daughter graduates and ships off to basic for the Navy. During that time, I’m also slotting myself to crack the whip and finish Book of Change, and possibly Bet the House. I tried to wrap BoC the first quarter, but other needs within the house bumped my track and I did not fight hard enough to keep my ‘me’ time. The big choice is if I’m going to sign on for Cherry Adair’s contest or let it go. I’m torn.

For now…thanks for the support and I’ll see you somewhere down the road.

Sav

Getting ready

I have a little over a week before I leave for my first event of the year. I have never been to Atlanta Georgia so I am excited not only for the event but also for seeing a new place.

I decided I needed a change before I started this years events. I went in for my hair appointment and told my stylist that I am tired of always going back to the same style. No matter how she cuts it I end up back to the same thing.

When she was done I was amazed at how well she did with my little bit of instructions. I trust her judgment to not do something that would not work with my face shape or coloring. I may be able to eventually get back to what I have always done but it will take quite a while. I am so excited and I love my new look!!

I have started packing and getting everything together. I have to pack small since I will be riding down with 2 other authors. That is the hardest part for me! I am used to packing what I want knowing it will fit in my trunk. Knowing I am limited on space is new to me and difficult to adhere to.

My hubby is a master at packing small so I have been following his instructions gratefully. He has condensed everything down as much as it can be. I am hoping that I don’t take up too much room but there is only so much you can pack into one bag or tote.

I am so excited that my books and swag have been packed since I received my last book order. I have had the promotional items packed since that day as well. All that is left is my clothes and bathroom stuff. I keep seeing it sitting there and my excitement grows.

I am a little nervous because this is the first time that I will be on panels. I am second guessing signing up for them. I am sure they will go well but I am nervous about them.

I love the ideas we have come up with for the paranormal party I am hosting with three other authors. That party is going to be so much fun!

I hope to see you there!

~ Miranda

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Enjoying the journey …

I came home from work this past Thursday to find boxes waiting for me on my bed. 50 copies of Phoenix Rising were staring at me when I opened them. There are no words to describe the thrill that overpowered me at that moment. A year ago if you had told me I would be a published author, I would have laughed at the notion. Who knew? So much has happened in such a short period of time. It’s been an incredible journey and it’s truly just getting started.

Sitting here, I find myself surrounded by boxes full of swag goodies and books and things I’ll need for TNEE. Wondering how all of this stuff is supposed to fit in the one suitcase I have allotted to ‘book stuff’. I know that’s not going to happen. I am glad however, that I decided to rent a car and drive the 8-ish hours instead of fly, because there is no way I could manage all my stuff on a plane and try to maneuver through a terminal by myself. Oh yeah, and then there are my clothes. I haven’t even gotten that far yet.

I picked up the last of the items on my list and (hopefully) I should be ready for my debut book signing in Atlanta. Am I nervous? Hell, yeah. Am I excited? You have no idea. This is a big deal for me and I can’t wait to get there.

I’ve been trying to work on my second book, Eternal Embrace (maybe a working title, maybe not.) 😉 I’ve made some major revisions. I still have a long way to go before it’s anywhere close to finished. But I’ve got a handle on it now and once I come back from Atlanta, I’ll be able to devote all of my energy to completing it. I’m hoping to have it ready for the beta readers by September. At least that’s sort of the plan.

For now, I’m scratching things off of my list and revising them. Back to the lists….

Till next week,

               ~ Madison

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week #13 – M

REPOST

Me, Myself & My

By Abyrne | September 9, 2013

We’ve been talking about all the things that we have within our arsenal that make us great writers, or that would make us great writers if we tapped into them…this is one such post because we need to learn that it is ok to be selfish. The big “m”s if you will…ME, MYSELF & MY. Growing up- many of us were taught to share, to think of others, to ‘put ourselves in the other persons shoes’….with writing it is this for the characters we are creating, but for the real world it is their turn to give way to us. To see inside one’s own head requires vision beyond what’s in front of our face. Sometimes, it takes un-invaded space too.

Probably the most difficult adjustment for my daughters was the idea that when I retreat to my office (which is in the basement), that they cannot come in over and over again with math questions, or boy questions, or just to sit and gab. Writing time is MY time and needs to be respected if everyone in the house ever expects me to come out from the basement at all. It is a difficult line to draw and does go against the grain for what many of us were brought up to know as common courtesy, but think of it this way…our characters and the stories they tell us so we can share are as elusive as garden sprites and will not come to whisper if you are not there to give them your undivided attention. The choice is ours to make…are we writers? or are we not?

If we are, then we have to adapt to a behavior pattern at times that allows us to create and be inspired, or risk the dream of the words… Dream big!

It’s Getting Close

Exciting times ahead!  Savannah and the rest of the gang are heading off to Atlanta in a couple of weeks.  I’ll be heading in the opposite direction to Iowa for the Romantic Rendezvous. 8731960008517383260_700x390

I have never been to Iowa before, this will be a new experience for me. Next week I will begin packing and planning my table. Somehow this is more intimidating than standing in front of a room of 150 people giving a public speech.  I know, I’m weird.

More people are afraid of public speaking than are afraid of dying! But for me, standing  in front of  people one on one, having them judge my work as worthy or not. . .  is intimidating for me.  I will say that some of the advice that I have received over the years for public speaking was terrible. Like for instance,  picture your audience naked. OH GOD NO!

Not only are there people like me who have expanded their horizons and their waistlines,  but there are people who are ripped and extremely good specimens of the human form. How can you focus on speech when you glance across one of those guys???

There is no way to hide the stumble on that one when my cheeks turn vivid red!

Anyway,  as the other ladies are preparing to head south,  I’m going north. By the way, I think it’s really cool that their banner matches my cover.

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Well, pretty close anyways! I’m also excited because I got another review – 5 stars!

I loved the characters!

If you haven’t read it yet maybe you should! Meanwhile, I need to get back to work on Valkyrie’s Curse.  I’m this *measures gap between index finger and thumb*  close to having the final touches on it to send to my beta readers. My goal is to get it in their hands before I leave for Iowa!

till next time

~~~~~

Ellie

 

More than words

It’s been a week now since Kingdoms Fall released. For some of the family members who still don’t quite grasp the magnitude of the event, it is a bound tablet of words. It is, and it is so much more.

Writing is the pinnacle of crazy, the self-doubt, the hoping that your words convey the imagery you want to show, and the worry that it will miss the mark. It is a collection of words on bound pages, but at the same time it is the culmination of fear, doubt, worry, angst, incredible summits, and the brushing of dreams with your fingertips…if only for a moment.

Sav has passively suggested that I need to get back in the saddle immediately. I appreciate it, but have declined. I am exhausted by the last year of writing and re-writing Kingdoms. Perhaps when the fog clears I will be able to see what is to come, but for right now, I’m enjoying the reprieve and holding my breath to hear what the readers think.

I know it was a long wait. I want to know that it was worth it. I want to know too if it was not. To those who have hung with it and waited for Kingdoms to come and have already ordered, THANK YOU. To those who are just embracing the stories, thank you as well. I hope to hear from each of you what worked, what didn’t, what made you react, and what left you wanting more…it is all on the pages now, and in your hands.    ~Aedan

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Behind

Ack! My first signing event of the year is in a little less than two weeks…I think. Actually, I leave for it two weeks from today. Ack! I’m behind schedule. I planned and planned…and I’m still behind.

Books ordered and arrived….check. Rack cards ordered and delivered….check. Lip balms….check. Ball costume….check…sort of. The dress is here, the cape is in transit, the shoes and other accessories are to be bought this weekend. The gift with purchase necklaces….yet to be put together. *head desk* I’m taking volunteers for anyone who is crafty, because I’m sooooo not. lol

All that aside, let the signing season begin!

Until next week…..Happy Reading! business cardsf1d235a9-c918-4b2a-b693-3a3be06b468e