Tag Archives: influence

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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Support hose on standby

I’ve never felt so old in my life.

A former assistant of mine was fond of commenting how the body began its crumble at 40. I laughed at her for years…
Having managed to eeek out another decade before mine started giving in, I guess I should be grateful, but MANNNNN, there are days when I’m thinking the years since 40 conspired and jumped to catch up all at once! My bones hurt, and my muscles argue for days after I do any project that is remotely physical.

My mad scramble lately has been wrapping a couple of writing projects for deadlines so I could get my office moved out of the lower level where just about every recent storm has decided to come in. Saturday night at 10:52 CST, the last of the words were sent off and it was time. The next line of storms are already tracking this way. I had to move quickly.

Over the next 24 hours, THIS…

 

…became this.

It sure feels empty now.
I’ll be spending the next week or so getting everything re-homed in the new space. Paint and recently shampooed carpets weren’t quite dry…so I’m giving it time. (or, maybe it’s just me needing a break.)

Either way, I’ve earned a respite…a day or two anyway. Stories #5 & #6 of 8 for 2017 have whisked away to where they need to be and it will be time to take #7 & #8 off the shelf to rework, clean, & polish once the office is back up. I can ill-afford the day…but at the same time, there isn’t another one coming soon, or in sight.  I set a heavy load & aggressive pace for this year. I’m determined to complete (and survive) it. Come November…Scotch for everyone. I’m pouring if I can move. 🙂

Til next time…all the usuals; read something good, take care of you, and keep checking my facebook page and author website, I’m still in the midst of cover reveals, preorders going live, and author features for my co-conspirators in Cimmerian Shade. Don’t miss out!!

Sav

Return to the cave

I’m wrung out. Weirdly too. From Biloxi Mississippi to home is a 15 hour drive. I did that with few hiccups, though the drive to the gulf was nearly my undoing…15 hours on next to no sleep made the sway of the car far too soothing to easily continue. caffeine was my friend.  North Iowa Book Bash is a mere 4.4 hours away…should be able to do that blindfolded and in full zombie, but the return trip this time kicked my ass.

The great thing about it is that I sold out of 2 titles, and liberated most of my swag inventory….which means…I get to order books and choose new swag. YIPPPEEEE….it’s like a holiday all over again. My Mardi Gras connection is getting a call ASAP! I need more goodies with Book of Mysteries hitting this summer.

Seriously though, BFF Bookies do such a great job of putting on an amazing event. I swear – it’s like a reunion with all the folks that you shared the kids table with at Christmas and conspired with on how to liberate the desserts without the grown ups noticing. SO MUCH FUN! I will return every year they’ll have me. TRUTH. Normally, I’m a full table girl cuz I like to spread out. This year I had a half and shared which was fine…but I’d sit at a tv tray in the corner if I had to…if you’re in range – PUT THIS ON YOUR TO DO LIST! I promise you’ll thank me.

Other than a little library thing…I’m in the cave now. I’ve WAY overloaded my calendar and I’m raring to get on it. I’ve got a box set and an anthology releasing this month yet…but I’ve got FIVE more releases happening THIS YEAR…and after a brain detour in Clear Lake…I may be swapping a cover out yet for one of those (or quite possibly two) with a model whom I’ve come to respect for his professionalism and poise in the midst of the reader event crazy. It matters…and this guy has earned the marks…hope you agree when you see the covers. It makes me happy to give back to the community that shares this writing world.

So – keep an eagle eye on the horizon…there’s gonna be something popping up often. Til then, see you on the pages.  ~Sav

 

Continuing my journey

As of November 1 I will no longer be an author with Eclectic Bard Books. This is not a decision that I came to lightly. My journey has taken me in another direction. It has made me make some very difficult decisions. One of them was deciding to leave EBB.

Although, I am leaving the business side, I will never forget or leave the friends I have made here. The authors here are wonderful people and I am glad that I have met them. I am sure that we will continue to keep in touch and continue to help each other it will just be in a different capacity.

This opportunity has helped me in a way that I never thought possible and I will forever be grateful. I have grown as an  author. I have been taught things that I didn’t even realize that I needed to know. My eyes were opened to a whole new world that I didn’t even know existed.

We all have our own journey. It is up to us to follow our own path. Nobody can tell us which way to go. We have to follow our instincts. As much as I have enjoyed my time here, it is time for me to move on.

Thank you for taking me into your corner of this world, showing me what I needed to see, teaching me what I needed to know, understanding that I am still trying to find my place in this author world, and making it easy for me continue my journey.

~Miranda

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When inspiration eludes you

There is nothing more frustrating than looking at your computer seeing that cursor blinking at you having nothing come to mind. It is not really writers block. You know what you want to say, you just don’t know how to put it on the page.

That is when inspiration eludes you. I have so many ideas running around in my head. It is almost causing a traffic jam. This is the time that you have to decide to either focus on one project or work on multiple ones.

Whichever of these methods works better for you, it will most likely help to get your mind less cluttered. I find that if I can get some of it down I can focus a little better and then I can clean it up and inspiration then strikes and I can move on and the projects take off.

If I have too much vying for my attention it is hard for me to focus on anything. Inspiration can be fickle. As long as you don’t try and force it, though, it can always be found.

~Miranda

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When life gets in the way

We all have busy lives. What we have to remember is to make time to get the important things done. Between the day job, kids, cleaning the house, grocery shopping, and the daily chores, sometimes writing and editing gets put on the back burner.

When I do get to the writing and editing I feel so much better. It is my outlet. It is what I love to do. I have started to make sure that I make time for my writing. It is important to me so it needs to be a priority. Yes, life gets in the way, but writing is part of my life.

Always make time for what is important to you in your life!

~Miranda

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When to move on

We are always told we have to fight for what we want. That is true. There also comes a time, though, when we have to think about what we really want. We all know what our end goal is. That does not always mean that everything we thought would come with it will be there.

We have to fight for the things that really matter but sometimes we have to let go of the things aren’t necessary. We have to recognize when it is time to give up the fight and move on. That can be the most difficult thing to face. To admit that you have to give up something you put your time and energy in to. Something you pinned your hope on. That doesn’t mean it didn’t serve it’s purpose on your journey, it only means that it’s purpose is done. Now it is time for you to move on to your next phase.

I have always been a fighter. I have never been very good at giving up on a fight even when I have seen it was a time to give up. I could clearly see that I would lose but I would go down fighting. The older I get the more that I see there is no point in that. I can now see when it is time to move on to something new. When something has served it purpose in my life I can smile and be thankful for the good and part on good terms instead of burning a bridge that has no reason to be burned.

This is an important lesson to be learned in the book world. As you make connections and network you can always go back to people that you have met in the past. You may not have talked that person in years but as long as you did not burn that bridge you can still talk to them and have a nice conversation and talk books at the next event you run into them again. There is no tension and there is no problem with not getting to go to an event you want to go to because of a feud.

Words said in anger will haunt you. Fighting for the sake of fighting will only hurt you in the long run. Learning when to move on is what will make you the happiest. Not everyone will understand this, but it is not for everyone to understand. It is for you to be happy with your life.

~Miranda

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Changing things up

The event season is over for me. I am always a little sad when my last event for the season is over. This year was a little different because I ended up not getting to go to my last event. The brakes went out on my car a week before the event. The ABS system went out and that is a very expensive repair. The cost of that repair prevented me from making the trip.

When the season is coming to an end I let my stock of swag slowly dwindle down. By the time I finish my last event I am usually down to very little swag left. I do this on purpose. The reason is that every year during my off season I change up my swag. This is exciting for me. I love to look through all the swag available and decide what I will have for the next year.

I have already decided what I will be ordering and I will use the off season to take my time and slowly order and get a little at a time and stock up for next year. I am only keeping a couple of things that I have had from the beginning. I am adding some things that I am really excited about for next year. Sorry, no spoilers you will have to wait and see!

As much as you love to see all the swag that is on our tables, it is just as much fun for me to find and design it. I have to admit that I don’t make any of my swag. I am not that creative or crafty. I may decide to try it at some point but as of now I have not been that brave. I love to work with the person I order it from (who is amazing to work with) and get the finished product shipped to me 🙂  Not everyone can be crafty that is why there are people that run the swag sites LOL

Until next week

~Miranda

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Snowball effect

It seems like once things start on a path the snowball effect takes over and it is hard to stop it. That is what has been going on with me lately. The snowball keeps getting bigger.

I am the type of person that tries to look at the bright side of every situation. I have to admit it has been hard to find it lately. I am proud to say that I have been able to find a bright side every time though, even if it has been very small.

Last week Soul Redemption (Soul Series Book 2) was re-released and is now live and available for you! I am very excited to have it back out!

I have some changes coming for me. I am nervous about what they mean for me but I believe they are what is best for everyone involved. Hopefully this will be the boulder that stops the snowball!

Until next week, always find your bright side!

~Miranda

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Exciting times

I am finishing the final edits on Soul Redemption (Soul Series Book 2) this weekend. The cover adjustments will then be done and it will be uploaded next week. That means it will be live by Friday! I am so excited to have the next book re-released!

What is even more exciting is it is being re-released in just enough time for me to take it with me to Penned Con at the end of September. I have heard so much about this Con and can’t wait to attend. To be able to take my newly re-released book is an added bonus.

I have had a few of you emailing and PMing me on Facebook asking about how long the series has been unavailable. I apologize for that. Unfortunately, sometimes the editing process takes some time. We are diligently working on them and are getting them back out as quickly as we can. It does take some time to edit five books. The last three are not far behind and will be back out shortly! I know I have responded to each of you individually but I want to keep you updated.

Now I am diving back into my manuscript to finish the edits and get this book back out there!

Until next week

~Miranda

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