Tag Archives: ideas

Working Together

The book world is this strange and beautiful place where women and men write, talk to and about, argue with, dream about, and kill off, people who only exist in our imaginations. Some who don’t get it would say…there are meds for that. lol

Beyond the characters who live between the covers, the book world is huge. It’s a world that consists of authors, editors, beta readers, cover designers, formatters, publishers, and readers. It can be a well oiled machine working together to produce a piece of work to proudly present to the public.

Is it always pretty a pretty and harmonious place to be? Absolutely not, but then the same can be said about any group of people working together or in the same field. There will always be drama…there will always be drama llama’s…and there will always be those who pour gasoline onto the drama fire to dance gleefully around it. Protect your sanity and weed those people out. There is just not enough hours in the day, energy in the universe, or caffeine flowing through the blood vessels to deal with that. lol

At times, a group of authors will come together to put a collection of stories within a certain theme together to become either an anthology or a boxset. I’m doing a boxset due out in May and pre-order links are available if you would like to make sure you get it…hint hint.. ūüôā

Not your childhood fairy tales!
A Limited Edition Adult Fairy Tale Collection
Reserve your #99cent copy of this collection now!
Once Upon a Twisted Time (Twisted Fairy Tales, #1)

Are you ready to dive into a world of *brand new & exclusive* fairy tales where your beloved stories are retold with a twist?
In this collection, new thrills are woven into the fables we know, both classic and modern. Uncover unexpected changes to old treasures, and fall in love with new adventures to explore.

From Cinderella to Rumpelstiltskin, The Mad Hatter to 12 Dancing Princesses, come find your unique favorites as these authors unleash diverse experiences of magical creatures in their wicked contemporary and paranormal romance worlds.

#iBooks: http://hyperurl.co/OUATT
#Nook: http://bit.ly/2zythZw
#Kobo: http://bit.ly/2yqXKLs
#Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2gkvAXU
Amazon link available soon.

(one of the authors in the boxset created this image. I love it!)

I’m off to caffeinate my brain and to put some words on the page before the getting ready for work ritual begins.

Until next week…Happy Reading!

~Jolanthe~

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Look Who Wants Their Story Told

I think making plans is along the same lines of juggling. It’s all good and great until something or someone throws a monkey wrench at you and all the balls go flying every which way.

As you know, or maybe you don’t, I’ve been working of a fairytale re-telling story for a box set. Next on the agenda was a story that was sort of kind of plotted out with Savannah 3 years ago, but Celine, Daria’s cousin from the Veil series, has decided she needs and wants her story told. And truth be told, I’ve had some readers asking for her story too, which may be why Celine woke up and said, “Hey!” Anyway…I appeased her by starting chapter 1 of her yet to be titled book. Here’s a looksy of the totally unedited and subject to change first paragraph:

The morning’s light streamed through the panes of glass, cutting a swath between the twin curtains fluttering on the current of the wind of the open window. A new day had begun. Laying beneath the multi-colored comforter, Celine found she no longer looked forward to uncovering new discoveries, but the day, and her employees, didn’t care about her current melancholy. The minutes and hours would continue to tick forward, her staff had expectations that she would continue to garner business to ensure their healthy paychecks padded their pockets and checking accounts. She was needed, and yet…she wasn’t.¬†¬© Jolanthe Aleksander 2018

Keeps your fingers crossed, that keeps her quiet for a little bit. I’ve got a fairytale to finish up.

Until next week…Happy Reading!

~Jolanthe~

New Year – New Everything Part the Third

The year is flying. It’s only the 15th and this is already the 3rd part in the NYNE posts. GOSH!

I was going to post over the weekend and have it pop up this morning, but life happens. An electrical fire at the daughter’s apartment had us doing rewiring work, sure…the apartment people should…but since they are already upping her rent 1 month in, and we have the ability and pieces…why give them cause to raise it further? It didn’t take long…just details. A lot like writing work is…details: They make or break the job being done.

Then there was the ongoing writing work that I’m not happy with and trying to wrap since the first of several deadlines is approaching. Those pesky things will sneak up and bop you on the head if you don’t keep at it…so, I’m keeping at it. I did a re-read of the other part of one story, to make sure I have the nuances and details straight in my head. It’s been awhile since I wrote or reviewed the first part, so again, DETAILS…they matter.

Next up is a not so new thing. A year ago I got a promotion. I became the compliance chairman for my state, which has a lot of responsibilities for managing federal reporting for a number of locations. This position was supposed to rotate to someone new for this year, but as things go, that person is no longer available, and thus I am likely retaining the job. Which translates to some two-step shuffle to my signing schedule if I can’t finesse the details early. I’m hopeful, even as the realist in me knows what is probably going to happen. ūüė¶

All this as I’m waiting to hear on another promotion that will translate to a cross-country move. Until there is more to know, it’s a waiting game…one my recent personal challenges are making difficult to remain calm for. An answer, either way, would be good in the short course instead of the long, but we all know how that works…or doesn’t when you’re waiting. Watched pot & alla that.

So…I have lots of things in transition, and more that haven’t entered the fray of my crazy yet. I have managed to finally get the added bits into something of a routine, though they effectively manage to throw my regularly scheduled writing work for a loop several times a week. I’m still morphing. I’ll get there…hopefully before I crash & burn.

Last…as promised….here’s the next Custos Series updated cover. Book of Change, book 2, got the logo like book one, and a minor tweak to make the cover image fit the scene from the book more precisely. I’m tickled. Can you spot it?

The Book of Mysteries updated cover will be revealed next week and I hope you love it as much as I do. It feels more like it belongs with the first two and I cannot wait to see what books 4 & 5 look like, now that we have the logo and a clear sense of where the series is headed before it wraps up.

Enjoy the week. I for one will be indoors mostly I think. The snow has been falling all day and the roads are a map of ice-covered thoroughfares. Not good for prolonged travel, so I’m not. If I don’t have to be out, I won’t be…but maybe that means I’ll get ahead, or at least back on track in my word-work. It could happen.

Til next week, read something good and tell a friend!

Sav

 

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

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~

 

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?

Collecting Pens

I’m finding that I’ve lapped myself on the hamster wheel lately. It’s a good thing, even as I fight not to give in and let myself ride the next turn and slow down. If it wouldn’t put me severely behind, I would in an instant. But alas, it will only make the next lap harder and I find that catching up is simply not in my ability if I get too far behind.

Instead, I’ve taken to doing some long hand writing. It’s got a certain meditative quality to it that typing can never encompass. As such, I’ve also taken turns writing with the myriad pens I’ve collected over the years, or through other authors at signings…because I’m a pen whore. There, I said it. No, I don’t want a 12-step program. I happen to love my obsession. There is something about finding one that just glides for you that makes the words all the more magical.

Do you have a favorite? A favorite single you’ve never been able to replace, or is it a certain brand that works for you every time? What about the feel? I have recently discovered one that I like a lot…and then found that it came in different barrel styles. They are NOT the same, even though the ink and roller are…the feel is completely foreign and I cannot make myself pick the one up…which really bites because I bought a whole package of them.

So…what’s a girl to do?

Part of me thinks that authors, like the president, should write one word or letter and then give them away like prizes. Could that become a thing? ‘Here, I wrote with this…treasure it forever.’ Somehow, unless you’re a big shot, and it has your name on it, and maybe the title of the work it was used for, and maybe some writer’s tears on it, I don’t think so. Guess I’ll go back to the old stand-by solution…donating them to the classrooms at the local school. Somebody is always needing one, right? That’s what I’m telling myself.

Meanwhile, the tried and true I’ve fallen completely in love with ones will make it into one of the multiple holders around my office and wait for rediscovery. I mean, fair is fair…gotta try them all. Don’t I?

Write It Down Before You Forget It

Two days ago I was thinking about what I was going to write about in my weekly post. I came up with something I thought would be a really good topic to talk, ramble on about. Today is the day for said post and…yeah, I cannot remember what that awesome topic of conversation was. *head desk*

Let that be a lesson to you and me…if you are planning to write something, and the muse is speaking to you…write it down immediately, because even with the two cups of coffee I’ve already had this morning, I am blank. My brain is mocking me with a, “good luck with that” attitude, and no one needs snarky attitude thrown at them during the wee hours of the morning.

Until next week…Happy Reading!

~Jolanthe~

Back to Work

When my first signing of the season ended, and The Veiled Path to Destiny was released, I had planned to jump right back into writing and getting the next book on the agenda out. My muse, she’s a fickle one, decided otherwise. So, ¬†I took the time to catch up on a little bit of reading. I should actually say, I did a re-read of a book I loved so much I have a pristine, signed copy on the shelf and an e-copy on my Kindle.¬†Do you do that? Buy a book in both formats?

Here’s another question…do you follow an author when they branch out from the genre you’re familiar reading them write? Or do you only want to read the books they write in said genre? For me, if I love the author’s writing, how they bring a scene to life, I will follow. For some, it might take me awhile to make the jump, but for others I jump with little to no hesitation.

Now….I am back to putting words on the page.The book I am currently working on is another Fae romance, but not a part of the Veil series, and will be a stand-alone. At least that is the goal. One just never knows when a secondary character will jump up, waving their hands, demanding their story be told.

The second WIP is a fairytale retelling, but more on that later one. After that, we return to The Veil Series. Celine and Coipeail will have there story told. ūüėČ

What was the book I re-read you ask? Well, I’ll tell ya…It was Sky of Dreams by Jenna Jacob. It’s a departure from the Doms of Genesis series, but OMG…it has all the feels you could possibly want in a contemporary romance. Give it a read. You’ll love it. (link at the bottom of the page)

Until next week…Happy Reading!

 

amazon.com/dp/B0153GXMGY

 

~Jolanthe~

Time to make the donuts

Somedays feel like this. Others, I feel like I don’t have enough hours, can’t get enough done, or lose track of where I’m at & what I’m doing,¬†so starting over is the best option. Time to make the donuts indeed. The days right now are a big time blur. I simply have too many projects all vying for my attention JUST as mother nature decided to stop drowning us out every day and I want to get outside and get my fingers in the soil.

On my desk sits a quote…whose? I don’t know, could be mine for all I remember. It’s just a little something written on a slip of paper with no attribution: “Life is not measured by the number of things we undertake or entertain, but by those we complete in spite of the hurdles.”

I love this. It reminds me every time I sit down that I can juggle as many things as I want, but unless I’m wrapping them up, one by one…they are only static on the journey. I can build great things and move mountains…so long as I remember that I cannot do them all simultaneously. Kinda like eating an elephant, you know?

I realized at a release party takeover I was doing over the weekend that I ooops’d and revealed a cover that hasn’t been revealed yet. LOL. Guess I’ll need to get on that soon. I have so many bits & pieces all coming to the final stages right now..that honest – I’m here, but maybe not HERE-here. So, stay tuned, keep watching…and who knows…there may be lots of surprises popping up!

sav