Tag Archives: authors

Stirring the water

More ages ago than I could accurately quantify, a speaker made the comparative reference to personal growth as ‘all in’ or likened to a stagnant pond. I think about their comments occasionally, using them as a metric for myself, based loosely on the ‘smell factor’ for the scum on the surface.  There is a great body of water I know for the mental imagery as well…if the spring warms faster than the aerators are activated…there is a lovely green, mossy blanket that covers the surface of the water. While pretty – it is clearly out of place.

The same can be true for notions about writer things. I’d much rather have my life pond look like this…colorful, peaceful, but also…scum free.

(Image source unknown. No copyright infringement intended.)

Why do I mention any of this? Well…I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately. I have a professional career outside of writing and publishing, one that I don’t always enjoy, but never fail to be proud of. The idea with that work is that we are always innovating, always growing, reaching out to serve the customer in new and different ways. For that position, I am also on a short list of folks for a chance to move up and be a deciding factor for a team, a location, a region, and my company. It’s daunting and exciting at the same time. There is no moss growing. There’s no time.

That said, I’ve often been fond of the notion that those who forget history, the past that brought us to this present, are condemned to repeat it. Consequently, I spend a fair amount of time learning, and sharing the past practices as we reach for new, better, or innovative ones to replace them for my non-author me. Interestingly enough, I’ve gotten an opportunity to do it for the writer side of the equation recently…and I’m submerged in the idea of how much publishing has changed.

Moreover, I’m shocked to see how some things have returned to the fore, often with the user none the wiser for the point. The dialogue and discourse of the industry has changed expansively, and divisively. I’m not saying anything new, I realize that…but in learning about where we have come from, to seeing what we’ve become…I understand better the confusion so many are experiencing. The sheer number of charlatan experiences is mind-boggling. And, I don’t believe that it’s on a course to turn away soon.

There’s another adage I know about filling many roles, but mastering none – I think that’s where publishing is right now. With the floodgates open to allow publication of works that have been neither edited, or reviewed, put into the mix by writers who don’t understand or know the history, the market has flooded. And, continues to run over. Unfortunately pooling in places that don’t get stirred.

There are pros and cons to this. Writers who the ‘gatekeepers’ withheld once upon a time until they were better positioned to be published, either by writing education, or storytelling instruction, etc…are out and in the market…and what early bard didn’t have a few bumps in their stories? At the same time…they are in the market without the benefit of firm guidance on those factors, nor the expanded circle that used to be the path. In my head I see a fish on land…

What I mean to point out is this…once upon a time, the work went through so many hands before getting to public consumption, the village worked together. Now, we have individuals who are author, editor, art designer, marketer, publisher, and media rep. How many hats can we wear well? I think it is far fewer than most believe. And, I would argue that running for the sake of running doesn’t eliminate pond scum, it only churns it up to smell as each task takes a turn on the bottom.

I further believe, that just because we are seeing someone do something, doesn’t make it responsible or an accurate practice. I think most of us NEED others in our circle of influence. I think it reveals a large scale problem with publishing right now…One we need to get ahead of and back down before it destroys us all. There are valuable lessons to be learned from the past. Innovation should be moving the bar farther…not bringing it down. We collectively need to be doing better. I think that includes reaching out to others, and clasping the hands of those who reach for us.

That said…we also need to know and understand when in the timeline it is time to regroup and right our own ship before we align with an armada that isn’t where we’re trying to go. At the end, balance is everything. It’s what keeps us moving forward without letting the moss grow. For me, after the recent learning curve, I’m more convinced than ever that I need to take some time to stir the water. The surface may be clear, but I’m not sure what’s lurking underneath. I can’t accept that.

Last – don’t forget about the Crossword puzzle blog hop…there have been hiccups, but I’m loving seeing so many new sites and what they have to offer. Hope you will too. Until next time, read something great, and tell your friends.

Sav

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The Curtain Closes

This past weekend, I attended the Glass City Author Event. It was my last signing of the season. Little did I know that after this year, the final curtain would come down on the Glass City Author Event. *sigh* I cannot say enough about how wonderful it has been to work with Kimberly Beale, Marissa Dobson, and Shauna Fox Parrot. These ladies worked their hinies off and made this an event for readers and authors alike. They and the event will be missed.

I had a great time. I met some new readers, connected with some new to me authors, and got to hang out with some great friends that I don’t see anywhere else but at signings. It will be a while before I see any of them in person again. That thought alone makes me wistful, but it is the nature of the beast when the friends you make live neither in the same city as you, or, in some cases, the same state. And I got to see some readers/friends who are bright streams of light, who make me smile every time I see them, and who’s enthusiasm for my books remind me what these events are about and why it’s important to put yourself out there to connect with reader you probably would never otherwise meet.

Right now, I have three events scheduled for next year. I’ll let you know about them as they get closer. Right now…I have a fairytale to right.

Until next week…Happy Reading!

~Jolanthe~

Savie’s Thanksgiving Crossword BlogHop

It’s almost time and I’m busting myself for it to begin. I’m so excited I can’t see straight…honest. Starting November 1st…each day is a new blog with a new clue for the puzzle…here’s all the news you need to know to participate and have a chance to WIN. GOOD LUCK!!

Here’s the board…print it off to fill it in.

 

Savie’s Thanksgiving Bloghop 2017

The answers are all things from Savannah’s books, things she loves, or qualities/attributes she values.

The clue for each answer can be found at the blog listed on the date in November equal to the number. IE: 10 across would be on the 10th, etc.  ***NOTE – on the 1st & 15th there is more than one blog to visit. They are noted on the puzzle & highlighted so you can see where the answer goes. Also, Every 5 days, Savannah will be checking in and giving a clue on her website as well…they are denoted as ‘s’ clues. For those – go to Savannah’s Blog: www.savannahverte.com/blog.***

To be entered to win you must pm your completed crossword to Savannah’s facebook author page (www.facebook.com/authorsavannahverte) or email it to her at savannah@savannahverte.com

NO LATER THAN MIDNIGHT CST DECEMBER 5th.

The drawing will be held no later than Friday December 8th & the winner will be contacted.
They then will have 5 days to respond or default & a new winner will be selected.

BLOGSTOPS FOR CLUES:

1*1         Down                   Written Love Reviews

https://www.facebook.com/WrittenLoveReviews/

1*2         Down                   Musings from an Addicted Reader

https://www.facebook.com/Musings-From-An-Addicted-Reader-1452320254989887/

1*3         Across                   Obsessed by Books

https://www.facebook.com/ObsessedbyBooks/

s1            Down                    Savannah

2              Down                    Author Migraine Central

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorMigraineCentral/

3              Across                   Turning the Pages

https://pagesofthestory.wordpress.com/blog/

4              Across                   Booked and Loaded

http://bookedandloaded.com/

5              Down                    Karen writes Murder

https://karenwritesmurder.com/

s5            Down                    Savannah

6              Down                    Dena Garrison- Real… Hot… Romance

http://denagarson.net/

7              Across                   Wickedly Innocent Promotions

Http://wickedlyinnocentpromotions.blogspot.com

8              Down                    Clare & Lou’s Mad About Books

http://clareandlousmadaboutbooks.blogspot.co.uk/

9              Across                   Summer’s Smexy Book Reads

https://www.facebook.com/Summers.Smexy.BR/

10           Down                    Ellie’s Witchy Life

https://ellieswitchylife.blogspot.com/

s10         Across                   Savannah

11           Down                    2 Bibliophile’s Guide

http://2bibliophiles.blogspot.com

12           Down                    Dirty Bad Bloggers

https://www.facebook.com/dirtybadbloggers/

13           Across                   Author Mireille Chester

http://mireillechester.blogspot.ca/

14           Down                    Twinsie Talk

https://www.facebook.com/twinsietalk/

15*1      Across                   A Naughty Book Love Affair

https://www.facebook.com/bookerscorner/

15*2      Across                   ILoveBooksAndStuff Blog

https://www.facebook.com/ilovebooksandstuff/

s15         Down                    Savannah

16           Down                    Little Shop of Readers

https://www.facebook.com/LittleShopofReaders/

17           Across                   SydneyGen Reads

https://www.facebook.com/sydneygenreads/

18           Down                    I don’t get Sundays

https://www.facebook.com/idontgetsundays/

19           Across                   Triple A

https://www.facebook.com/TripleABookBlog/

20           Down                    Books 2 Blogs

https://www.facebook.com/Books2Blog/

s20         Across                   Savannah

21           Across                   Those Crazy Book Chicks

https://www.facebook.com/Thosecrazybookchicks

22           Across                   I Smell Sheep

http://www.ismellsheep.com/

23           Across                   Terri Luvs Books

http://www.terriluvsbooks.com/

s23         Down                    Savannah

24           Across                   Read Our Thoughts Book Blogs

https://readourthoughtsbookblog.wordpress.com/

25           Down                    Eskimo Princess

http://eskimoprincess.blogspot.com/

s25         Down                    Savannah

26           Down                    Author Kassie Lane

http://www.authorkassielane.blogspot.com

27           Across                   A Book Lover’s Emporium

https://www.facebook.com/abookloversemporiumbookblog/

28           Across                   Country Reads

http://contryreads.blogspot.com

29           Across                   Barbara’s Book Reviews

http://barbarasbookreviews.blogspot.com

30           Across                   Savannah

 

THE PRIZE…A Library Shelf messenger Bag, a Kindle Fire, and a charm bracelet with charms for all of Savannah’s Books.

Glass City Author Event Bound

Holy Moly, it’s cold. Only days ago, it was flip flop and shorts weather. Now I’m fighting the urge to turn the heat on. My theory is…mind you, I haven’t had any coffee yet, so this may or may not make sense…but my theory is, once you give in and turn the heat on, any outside temperature lower than say, 60 degrees, is going to seem really cold, and then by the time winter hits you’re in full-on eskimo mode. Where am I going with this…no clue. Remember, there was a lack of caffeine coursing its way through my blood system, making its way to the brain, when I started this post. lol

Anywaaaaay…..

Tonight, I pack for my last signing event of the year. Glass City Author Event in Toledo, Ohio. I love this event. I love that proceeds go to a charity. The charity, this year, is VETSPORTS. As a Marine Corps Brat, I love that this signing is giving back to those who have fought for and ensured our freedom to do things like write books. The following info is from the Glass City Author Event website.

VETSPORTS IS A NATIONWIDE NON-PROFIT HELPING VETERANS ACHIEVE BETTER PHYSICAL, MENTAL, AND EMOTIONAL HEALTH THROUGH SPORTS, PHYSICAL ACTIVITY, AND COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT.

​Courage.resilience.teamwork

Mental wellness
Over 22 Veterans commit suicide everyday. Our programs and chapters create continuous, positive outlets to help combat these alarming statistics.

Physical fitness
Through sport and physical activity, veterans are not only bettering themselves physically, but emotionally, and mentally.
Teamwork
It is imperative to the success of VETSports that we promote and fulfill a team atmosphere, where we can all count on each other.

VetSports Website – www.vetsports.org 

I hope I get to see you there!

Until next week…Stay Warm and Happy Reading!

~Jolanthe~

Things to Come

Hi ho…hi ho…it’s off to write we go. Or something like that.

I’m excited to say I will be taking a part in a box set with some amazing authors. The theme of that box set …Fairy tale Retellings! It will be released in May. I’ll post the pre-order links as soon as I get the go ahead to do so from the set organizers.

My initial thought was to do one of the classic fairy tales. Then I thought about doing one that was less known. Then there is the vein of thought that maybe you could combine a lesser known with a well known. The possibilities are endless. What would you do? Is there a fairy tale you would like to read a re-telling of?

Anyway…I have much research to do…some of the original fairy tales are more than a little twisted. lol

Until next week…happy reading!

~Jolanthe~

 

Jiminy Cricket

“A dream is a wish your heart makes, when you’re fast asleep…”

Sounds good, huh? It is too…until you get to this line,

“Whatever you wish for, you keep.”

and you realize that this does not apply to writers. I cannot tell you the sheer number of dreaming moments that quilted so beautifully together, weaving the story just so…that even with intentional waking to jot it down, have become completely lost to me.  I’ve resigned myself to the truth that Jiminy Cricket was not an author. So, I’ll just plan to wake up and get my cussing done with first…I’m certain I will’ve lost something through the sleeping part.

With authorship among the many hats that I wear, I find that lucid dreaming is either my staunch ally, or my dire nemesis. Usually the latter. 2017 was an incredible year, even as it was surreal and exhausting. I made a choice to take on a HUGE production schedule. ((I kept it by the way, much to even my surprise)) And…sadistic fool that I am, 2018 is looking to be equally manic, falling essentially even on the production side, but with additional appearances on the signing/convention side. Don’t worry, I’ve already ordered a new ‘hug-me’ jacket in lime green.

What’s a girl to do?

Well, it seems to me that I need to return to a practice that I’ve sort of scooted away from over the last couple years of crazy: guided meditation for goals. I have purpose when I meditate, usually relaxation, but I’ve not used it for my writing production for a long time now. I think that’s good and bad at the same time and it’s coming full circle. To get bigger, and busier, I need to slow down.

I’m thinking this is step one of my twelve step program to personal growth. Acknowledging the problem:

Since I can’t count on a cricket to get me to the goal…it’s probably up to me. *shrug* Somehow it always has been. 🙂

Til next time, read something awesome!
((OH…and don’t forget about the crossword puzzle blog hop in November…it’s going to be EPIC!!))

 

Penned Con Re-Cap

As some of you know, a week ago I was on my way to Penned Con. I can hardly believe it has been a week already. Here is a quick pictorial recap.

The road trip started out with a game of luggage tetris.

I love that we get to set up our tables the night before, which was followed by a pajama party and game night.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I love meeting new readers and introducing them to my stories.

I love seeing readers who have either read Beyond the Veil of Whispered Dreams and are looking to pick up Veiled Path to Destiny, or who have read both and are stopping by to see if I have anything new since Veiled Path was released.

Nothing quite picks up your spirits like hearing a reader who has read your books recommend them to new readers.

 

The Con ended with Casino night. Dave the dealer patiently taught us newbies the rules of the game. Tickets for prizes were won, chips were lost, laughter and team work was in plenty. It was the perfect way to end a perfect weekend.

Over $14,000 was raised for Action for Autism. How cool is that? Next year’s event looks like it’s going to be amazing. If you’re in the St. Louis are this time next year, you should really check it out.

Until next week…Happy Reading!

~Jolanthe~

I LOVE a charity event!

A day late, but recovery from amazing takes time. I spent the lion’s share of the last six days in St. Louis at Penned Con. If you’ve never been…mark your calendars to be there next year for the event’s BIG 5TH!!

I cannot possibly say enough good things about this event or the staff who puts it together. Rick & Amy Miles, with their crew, pull off a phenomenal event bringing authors and readers together for charity…in support of Action for Autism Academy St. Louis. I am still jacked sky-high for the opportunity to stand with them again in the quest. THIS YEAR…with the added monies raised, they topped the 50K mark! KUDOS TO EVERYONE who helped make that happen…as an author, staff member, reader, blogger…whatever the role. You are a hero in my book!


This year, like before, I got to share table space with another of the Bard authors, Jolanthe Aleksander. She’s a rock star! I also got to share this year with the cover model for Book of Mysteries, Eric Jacob. He is such a great sport and, to me, a perfect addition to the event. Between his Care Bear pj’s and his winning ways with the younger attendees…it was a wonderful weekend to spend signing with him.

We raffled off two posters of the cover and had so much fun meeting new to me readers, while spinning the prize wheel with some great author friends from other events who made the trek to the Midwest to be part of the magic. I can’t wait to see what next year brings.

Next up is another charity signing…Glass City Author Event in Toledo Ohio. Last year the event raised money for RISE Toledo, a group that supports survivors of human trafficking. This year is to raise money for VetSports…if you’re not booked, I should have my voice back by then and be restocked. Come by and spend Saturday with the authors in Toledo…it’s going to be epic!

If you have copies of my latest releases…bring them with and I’ll sign them for you. No copy? No problem! I’ll have plenty at my table.

See you there!
Sav

On The Road Again

I’m up. It’s early. So early, the birds aren’t even awake yet. After a night of fighting to make it to the land of nod, and sleep being that ever elusive ship that is hard to catch in harbor especially the night before hitting the road for a signing event, I’m happy to report that I did manage to set sail, landing without incident on the far reaching shores. I’m equally happy to report that I will have 2 travelling companions. YAY! *throws confetti in the air*

Penned Con in St. Louis is this weekend. It is two…well two and a half days of fun filled activity. I can hardly wait. You will happy to know, I did remember to pack clothes. 🙂 As a bonus, the large suitcase I’m using this trip, allowed for packing of my pillow and blanket. Only thing left to pack in the toiletries and face paint.

Take a gander at what is scheduled for Penned

Until next week…Happy Reading!

~Jolanthe~

 

Tangled webs

I want to take some time today to talk through a few sticky situations. Why? Because left untended, they become monsters and the tangled webs are too strong, even for ninjas then. I’m no ninja, so venting them openly is the best I can do.

I’ve been gunning HARD lately as many of you know. It’s meant long days, short nights, an ass-ton of coffee, and raw emotions. The combination can be lethal…but I’m holding the tiger by the tail…so far. I know that’s not how we maintain control, but at this point, any grasp is better than none at all. Right?

I’ve noticed that when I’m in this odd euphoria of sleep deprivation that things jump out at me that I might not otherwise notice. Rather than poke the bears, I thought I’d offer some friendly advice without naming names…with the best of intentions and a smile on my face while the caffeine has continued dominion.

Let’s start with the person on social media who posts every hour or so about the same thing…or an update on something that will obviously not be resolved for days…or what they are doing at any given moment. Let’s face it, over-sharers exist. Most of the time, I can ignore the behavior, or there is always the ‘unfollow’ to click if it gets to be too much, but let’s talk about some self-regulation on social media. I’d like to point out to those who feel compelled to share such finite changes in your day…there is a difference between quality and quantity in sharing too. If your audience can fathom when you are ‘on the throne,’ based on your lack of posting for those 4 minutes, you’re doing it wrong.

Next, let us take a lesson from Yoga about breathing…there are going to be things that come up that will fluster us to no end, and when that happens…let us stop, and take a good, deep, cleansing breath before we react. The cursing, screaming, spittle-dripping tirades that some have come to favor are so unattractive…live and virtual. Personally, I think one of the rapid killers of civilized society right now is the immediate gratification of responding before having to think. What ever happened to taking a few minutes, or overnight, to process information before spitting out the first, often worst, thoughts that come to mind? We are not showing ourselves very well.

Third up on my list of ‘OhMyGoddessWhatAreWeThinking?’ is the matter of If you ask for it…guess what? I recently suggested a new writer who wanted to publish, work with an editor I know. They write outside my comfort level of what I can edit and have ability to offer good feedback for…so I referred them to someone else. I learned that they got the edits back and have ‘poo-poo’d’ the comments as being too picky, and that it isn’t fitting with their writing style. Also, that a NYT Bestselling author most of us have heard of doesn’t do it that way. Here’s the thing…One, you are not said NYT Bestselling author where you can take license with the hard rules.  Two, grammar rules ARE picky. Three, YOU ASKED FOR AN EDITOR because you didn’t know what you were doing wrong or how to remedy it…guess what? They gave you comprehensive guidance on how to fix what wasn’t working. If you didn’t want to know…you shouldn’t have asked.

Four…and mercy let me slurp some coffee before I begin this one…IF you KNOW the answer, please don’t ask the question just to get attention. I’ve seen recently…seasoned authors, with a year or more under their belts, asking first book, newbie questions. Questions that I am seeing first book/newbie authors answering with ease and confidence. I am floored. That’s all I’ve got. Well…that’s not completely true, and it goes to a larger, pandemic problem that should be addressed…If you ask a question – BOTHER TO LEARN THE ANSWER. there are TONS in the Indie author community that are so helpful and will go out of their way to assist anyone…respect them enough to take in the answer and make it work, not just hear or read the words. You’ve taken their time, return the courtesy by at least trying to apply the response. If you require repeated exposure to the same information, get a notebook.

Four segued nicely into five which is ditch the excuses. LIFE HAPPENS…to all of us. We all get sick, have babies or fur babies who need us, want to take a day away from the keyboard to decompress, have parents, or play-dates, or appliance mishaps, or any other myriad things that happen…at the end…if you made a commitment – keep it. It’s that simple. your best is not the same as anyone else’s…and guess what? It’s all you’ve got to give. Don’t bungle it up with excuses about how you didn’t go as fast as someone else, or whatever…leave the excuses for the quitters. If you’re going for it – RUN!

Lastly, if you’ve just learned it, you are not qualified to teach it and CHARGE for the lesson. There is sharing and information swapping that happens all the time, but I’ve noticed a trend that makes me nervous…young authors who had a good book do well, who jump from that to the ‘teaching class about it for $50 an hour so you can do what they did.’ It reminds me a workshop I attended at RT several years ago about learning the Amazon algorithms to maximize exposure…which translated to sitting in a class waiting in pain to get to the subject, instead of how amazon was like the presenters dating life. Many of you know just how pricey RT is…so I paid for that. I can never recover those funds, not the hour and I learned NOTHING. Welll..I learned I’m not going to that presenters class again. Basically, there is a wide range of information out there and often it doesn’t have a price tag…so Buyer beware.

I’d like to say this is everything, now squarely expunged and I’m good to go…but we all know it isn’t. These are just some examples of the sticky things that are out there…the ones that are easy to get tripped up in and off-track. It’s too easy to lose our way, and get caught up in the crazy of others.

There used to be a meme on my desk that I haven’t rediscovered since moving the office that said: “Don’t let others pull you into their storm, pull them into your peace.” It’s good advice.

All of these things are detractors, and false roads that take us away from the golden path to productivity…so let us now make an agreement to lift each other up, and offer positive reinforcements as we each try to grow, and to put helpful things out in the paths of others, and not to ask for things that we don’t truly need as we try to be a bit better than we were yesterday.

It’s my goal…how about you?