Tag Archives: journey

Time to Get Lost in the Words

My day started at 3:45 this morning. Seriously, there is not enough coffee in the world that would make getting ready for a long day at this time of the morning ok.

At 5:15, mom, dad, my son, and I boarded the shuttle from the hotel to the VA hospital. Dad is having surgery. Agent Orange is a gift from the government that just keeps on giving.

The tic tic tic of the second hand making its usual circuit around the clock face seems to be louder than usual. I have brought my laptop, my handy dandy thumb drive, a pad of paper, and numerous books for research…and if the words don’t flow through the tips of my fingers, I have my lovely kindle to help pass the time.

Oh oh ooooooh…the working title (subject to change) of my fairytale retelling is….Breathe Me to Life. I’ll let you try to guess which fairytale it’s based on.

If you have a mind to…prayers and petitions to whichever deity  you choose would be most appreciated.

Until next week…Happy Reading! 

~Jolanthe~

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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

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~

Recovery mode

What a year…SERIOUSLY, what a year??!

From the early months when we were hitting the 80’s before spring officially sprang, to the summer of rain and cool breezes… & finally the autumn of record and near record highs… It’s finally temperate, and average for the time of year, and I’m in shell-shock. 42 degrees overnight after sleeping in the upper 50s & low 60s with the windows open is a hard pill to swallow.

But, that’s only one of the whirlwinds I’m trying to wrap my head around. This year has been manic, and exhausting, and exceptional, even as it’s been ominous and scary. I haven’t found solid yet…which is a problem since next year is looking like it’s going to be similar – or worse.  I need to find a way to recover quicker. The weather going wonky just doesn’t work for me…I need something to be stable. 🙂 As if, right?

This week is the week. It has to be. This Saturday marks my final signing event for the year- GLASS CITY AUTHOR EVENT – WOOOOT!!! -so the last time to clear inventory before the crates get tucked onto the shelf for the season, or something like that. It’s not like they get buried. It’s also the final piece on my white board of doom…kind of like the white screen of death, except that everything starts on the board and slowly disappears. The notion that I’m starting November with the board blank is giving me a twitch…but I’m looking for the lining and organizing my thoughts to fill it early.

Jump starts are allowed, aren’t they?

My November Crossword Puzzle Bloghop is nearly finalized and ready…look for the details on that with my post next week. I’m so excited to play…I LOVE WORD GAMES. I can’t wait to see how this format goes. It’s a new one, so there’s bound to be hiccups…but I’m excited. I hope you’re planning to join me.

Honestly, I need a week, or a month… where the fam leaves and I can do the gut and grouse…tough love clean sweep of the house with no witnesses. I think that’s the problem I’ve got finding level. Everything around me goes up for grabs while I’m in the cave, but it keeps swirling once I emerge and I can’t get a clear shot to take it out, and keep it that way. I’d hire a maid, but this is SO MUCH MORE than maid issue…this is borderline hoarder in a couple of rooms that I can’t peek into without getting hives.

I think a track loader starting at the back, shoving it all to the curb would make me feel so much better…I just need the others to stop chaining themselves to the woobies, roller skates that no longer fit, and the lawn ornaments that migrated from other family members houses. Do you think they’d suspect cruise tickets or something?? I mean, I can’t wear this whiplash collar forever…it’s me or the stuff. I’m voting for me.

See you next week – hopefully saner. Til then, read something amazing and thank the author…leave a review.

Sav

 

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!!))

 

Two Years and Counting

Wow! Two years and two days ago I sent my baby, Beyond the Veil of Whispered Dreams, out into the world to make its debut. Two years and two days ago I became a published author. It seems surreal at times, until I meet those readers and bloggers who have read my story and want more, until I read the reviews from people I may or may never meet.

Have you read Beyond the Veil of Whispered Dreams? Here is what some of the reviews had to say about it:

Exciting new story!
on December 8, 2015
Format: Paperback
3 3/4 Stars! Great start to a new series!
Very promising beginning to a new series! This is a story where the Fae Queen is missing but is found in the human realm. She is no longer in fae form but reincarnated as a human.

Beyond the veil
on September 1, 2017
Format: Kindle Edition
An entertaining and sexy start of a new fantasy series. I enjoyed the tension and romance between the characters. I’m a huge fan of fan so I was excited to read a new story about them.

Fantastic Fantasy Debut
on February 1, 2016
Format: Kindle Edition
Fantastic Fantasy Debut!! If I could just write that I would, but should elaborate, YES!If you are ready for a sensual journey through Jolanthe Aleksander riviting tale of love lost with a sudden twist of drama and betrayal this is the book for you!

Are you ready to give it a read? Just click on the link below the picture.

 Until next week…Happy Reading!

~Jolanthe~

(don’t) Let it Show…

I’m not a big dog in this race…not even close. There are some that think I’m a big deal though, and well versed too…why? Because I learned one lesson in business young and have never forgotten it – Don’t flinch…and I don’t.  That doesn’t mean that there isn’t a full-blown tornado ripping though my soul at any given moment.

I did something a week or so ago, something I never thought I’d ever consider doing again…I pitched a literary agent to go back to traditional publishing. I LOVE being an Indie…don’t get me wrong, there’s just something about the idea of traditional backing, and marketing funds, and a few other perks that are tempting…though only recently. I’ll give it to you gospel…I was shaking in my shoes and nearly yerked my lunch before I got to the door. All in all, there are some great things on the horizon though because of that meeting…and I did manage to keep lunch in. So there’s that too. I just have to re-evaluate how I’m going to travel the road I’ve endeavored to take.

I’m fully confident of my abilities to write and be in the public eye at signings or conventions. I love the energy in a signing room…not gonna lie, it’s a hard habit to break and I have a fix every chance I get. That said, I also know my limitations. Public Relations and Marketing are easily my predominant Achilles heel, and the aspect of the business I struggle forward every inch to gain ground. I have to consider that I may need to go hybrid at the least to be able to have that front get the attention it deserves. It scares me more than a little, but I know I need help.

 

I did not make the decision to leave traditional publishing lightly. Any consideration to go back must be as carefully weighed. Whichever way this road goes, one thing will hold true…you won’t see my frenzy if I can help it. Composure will be me, if I have to stand on my own feet to accomplish it.

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~