Friday, March 30, 2012

Editor

There was a time not too long ago when I had seriously contemplated learning how to edit myself and not hire an editor.

Boy, was I wrong.

I’m so glad I didn’t follow through with that idea.

Omigod, you guys. That would have been a HUGE mistake.

Kevin even told me since my book had been critiqued several times, I didn’t need an editor.

Wrong!

So believe me, if you’re self-publishing, you need to have your manuscript edited before you publish it. I don’t care how good you are with editing. Another qualified person needs to go through it.

What makes a good editor then?

All I can tell you is what I’m going through. I’m sure each editor is different, but so far this is what I’ve been experiencing with mine . . .

When I receive my edits, each chapter is gone through line by line. He checks everything: punctuation, grammar, spelling.

He’s been catching things I wasn’t aware of, such as over using the same words like "wrapped" or "eyes."

I think it’s cool he’s pointing this stuff out because for one, my story is becoming even better, and for another, I’m learning from it.

Not only that, he makes comments as well.

He’ll tell me why a comma does or doesn’t need to be there, etc.

He’ll give me his opinion on what the characters are saying, doing, the scene, etc.

If something makes him laugh or draws any emotion out of him, he lets me know, which is great.

He also gives me compliments so I know it’s all good.

And he’s honest.

If in a scene I’ve said the same thing twice but in a different manner, he’ll tell me.

Anyway, to me, that’s what makes a good editor, and I’m very lucky to have mine. :)

Happy Friday!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Keeping Up

I have twenty-four chapters in ‘Beyond the Eyes.’ My editor is on the twelfth one, and he’s doing a wonderful job. So maybe in a couple weeks he’ll be done, and then I can do one last read through before copyrighting it. I was hoping to have it published this month, but that’s not going to happen.

It’s all good though.

This weekend went super fast. I don’t know why the week seems to drag at times, yet the weekends fly by?

I spent most of my weekend finishing writing a chapter for my third book, going through edits, critiquing a chapter for my writing partner, going through her critique for that chapter in my third book, researching, starting the next chapter for my third book, and writing this blog. Not to mention, cleaning the house, doing laundry, going to the grocery store, doing dishes . . .

Does it ever slow down?

LOL.

So Saturday I spent 12 hours doing my writing stuff, and on Sunday I basically did the same thing. Kevin and I were going to clean up the yard, but it was cloudy, windy, and nippily out, so we didn’t do that project. We also still have the porch to rebuild . . .

Well, mostly Kevin does, but I’ll help him if he needs me to. I don't mind.

On April 28th I’m going to be interviewing KC Blake. She’s a young adult writer who is writing a series. The series is called, ‘Witch-Game,’ and the book she’ll be promoting is called, ‘Witch Hunt.’ She’s starting her blog tour then, and I told her I’d interview her to help promote her book. I know it’s a month away, but I thought I’d mention it anyway.

I’m going to have to start coordinating a blog tour myself, as well as begin the whole marketing process.

I think I’ll hang back for a week or so before my book is published and do the marketing/promotion then so nobody will forget about it, and then . . .

BAM!

My shiny new book will be winking at the world.

Of course I’ll do the blog tour before diving into the rest of the marketing process.

But we’ll see how it all plays out.

I also still want to do the book trailer, and that’s going to take a while to do. So I don’t know. But I’m sure everything will come together and it’ll all work out.

Anyway, I best be off to work. I’ll catch you guys later. :)

Friday, March 23, 2012

The ‘80s.

I grew up in the ‘80s and I miss that time.

The music back then (in my opinion) was much better.

Remember MTV when they actually had music videos?

I miss that.

We didn’t have cell phones and the internet back then. Hell, most of us didn’t even own a computer, but it was still cool during that time.

Remember the Atari?

Our games were Pac Man, Frogger, Space Invaders, etc. Simple games, but they were fun at the time.

And the movies were cool too.

Yeah, there are movies now that are totally cool too. However, it seems with a lot of the movies today; the special effects are more important than the story.

Remember the movie The Breakfast Club?

That movie turned into a cult classic because it was a good story. It was told and filmed in a way so we could all relate to it.

I know and I'll admit, if you go back and watch some of the ‘80s movies, they’re cheesy compared to what we have now. But still, there were a lot of good movies back then that’s still good today.

Remember Saturday Night Live with Eddie Murphy?

Eddie Murphy rocked in the ‘80s.

Yeah, in his stand-up comedy routine he had a foul mouth, but so what. He was hilarious. In fact, remember this scene from Delirious?
 
 

 
HAPPY FRIDAY!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Update

I thought I’d update you on some of the things I had previously posted about . . .

The seventeen-year-old girl who was in a car accident not too long ago finally woke up from her coma. She’s talking and should be able to go home sometime this week. I don’t know anything else but that. I’ve heard she’s a bit slow, and her memory is foggy. I’m not sure if that’s true or not because living in a small town like I do, stories tend to get distorted when it’s circulated from person to person. So I’ll have to ask her mom when I see her again.

Some of the people in my town got together and had done a benefit for that girl to financially help her and her family out.

That’s one of the wonderful things about living in a small community. When a tragedy happens, the community gets together to help that person and family with whatever they need.

The family of the sixteen-year-old girl who was driving and died already had the funeral.

The convenience store here in town wrote on one of those signs–you know, the signs where they slide letters into a big square board that stands on a tall pole–‘We’ll miss you, Ashley.’

When I drove by and saw it, I bursted into tears. My town also made bracelets with Ashley’s name on it, to raise money for her family.

I’ll tell ya what, when I see people come together in love and support for one another, it deeply touches me and restores my faith in humanity.

Do you know what I mean?

Every day we see so much violence, hurt, and pain in this world. But there are people who genuinely love and care for others. I’m fortunate enough to experience that here, and will forever be grateful for it.

Now moving on to my shower situation.

Kevin had pulled off the surround in the shower, and we ran into a plumbing problem. It wasn’t as bad as we thought; however, we were without a shower for over a week. After the plumber took a look at our problem, he showed us how we could take a bath until the part he needed to fix it came in. So that’s what we did. I don’t particularly care for baths because it’s like sitting in your own dirt, but I prefer that to taking a sink bath.

When Kevin did the drywall and hung the new surround up, it was difficult to do. The reason why is because the walls in old houses are crooked. I asked Kevin why, and he told me because back in the 1930s they didn’t have the equipment we have today to build houses. Therefore, Kevin had to fit the new surround on those crooked walls.

Anyway, that’s all taken care of.

On Saturday, Kevin began tearing down our front inclosed porch. The floor slants down because it used to be a regular porch. They built it that way so when it rained the water would run away from the house. However, the numbnuts who built the inclosed porch did it half ass. So we ran into a bigger problem.

I’ll spare you the further details, but in short, the porch is going to be expensive to rebuild. On the bright side, though, it’ll be done right and will add value to our house.

Work is still challenging, but eventually I’ll get through it. What I’m doing is dealing with today instead of worrying about tomorrow. And this job will help me accomplish my goals.

My editor is awesome, but I already told you guys that. :) I’ve been working with him, so I’ve been super busy.

Speaking of super busy, I have to go to work now. I hope you have a good week. I’ll be back on Friday.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Editor

Guess what?

I found an editor.

Yay!

*Does a happy Snoopy dance*

And not only is he awesome, but his fees for his editing services are reasonable.

He’s been line editing my manuscript and making suggestions along the way as well. He also told me I’m a really good writer with really good skills, and I have a talent.

That made me happy because another editor had told me the same thing. But honestly, even though those editors and my critique partners had told me that, I won’t know for sure until the public reads my book(s). I mean, what they said means a lot to me, and I totally appreciate it. However, the person who buys and reads my book(s) is what really matters.

Do you know what I mean?

Because they’re the ones who will be spending their hard earn money to buy my book(s), and I want them to be satisfied with it. That’s why I’ve been diligently working on these books, so they can be worth the consumer’s time and money. Not to mention, I love the characters and this series.

Anyway, on Wednesday I received my first three chapters back from my editor, so now I have to go through them and make the changes he suggested. That’s a lot of work, but so worth it. By the time I’m done with this whole editing process, my manuscript is going to be all sparkly, and the Angels from heaven will be singing.

*Aaaaaaaaaaah*

Well, maybe not.

But my manuscript surly will sparkle. :)

Happy Friday!

Oh. I was just tagged in the Lucky 7 meme by my wonderful cover artist, Stephanie. I have to go to page 77 in my manuscript, go to line 7, and then copy that line or paragraph into this blog. I'm also suppose to tag 7 authors to do the same thing.

Here's my 7 lines from page 77 in Beyond the Eyes.

"Nathan, I’m sure," I said. "When I was a little girl, I didn’t play with dolls. Instead, I was outside playing BB gun wars with the boys. In fact, I still have my Red Ryder rifle." I loved Reddy. We had lots of fun together, and I never shot my eye out.

If you're an author reading this, I just tagged you. :)

Monday, March 12, 2012

Confidence Course

I was talking to Kevin on Saturday about being overwhelmed with my job and life in general. Afterwards, he told me a good analogy about life.

It’s a confidence course, just like in the military.

But before I get into that analogy, I’m going to give you an idea of what I’ve been going through lately.

I had been doing the block-of-time (remember that post?), and I was able to crank out chapters for my third book. But then a monkey wrench was thrown into my life, right in the center of it all. It was as if the Norse God of wind Njord, stuck his head in my life and blew, scattering everything I needed to do away from me.

But the thing is, I’ve handled similar situations like this before; however, this time is different.

I don’t think I’ve ever been so challenged in my life like I am now, and I have no idea how I’m going to pull everything I want to do off.

Take this job for instance. I manage an office and do the bookkeeping, which involves a lot of accounting work.

I’m not complaining about it, I’m just saying there’s a lot of information getting thrown at me during the day. And when I get home my brain is too tired to do anything but worry if I’m retaining the information at work well enough to do the job on my own.

And then there’s that little annoying fear in the back of my brain that I might not be living up to their expectations, and omigod. . . . What if they fire me because of it?

That would be so humiliating, especially living in a small town where everybody knows your business.

Then there’s my book I’m planning on publishing soon. That takes a lot of work to do, which I don’t mind. In fact, I rather enjoy it. But I need to find time to do it, and finish writing my third book. I also need to revise and edit my second book because I want to publish it before the end of this year.

Oh, and another thing I want and need to do is to start going back to the gym. I used to go four times a week but stopped because truthfully, I rather stay home and write instead of working out.

That’s so bad, huh?

But I totally need to get my butt back in shape because on Saturday I went to South Dakota (that’s where our closest shopping center is at) to get some much needed clothes. . .

No, really. I do need clothes.

Anyway, I still wear the same size as before, but when I saw myself in the dressing room mirror, I didn’t like what the mirror reflected back at me. So I have to get back on a workout schedule before my backside grows a shelf where I can reach behind myself and grab a book.

Ya know what I’m saying?

So how in the hell am I going to be able to do everything I want and need to do? And why–oh–why all of a sudden, I’ve been dog piled with all this stuff I need to do?

Now we’re back to the confidence course analogy.

When I had expressed to Kevin, my above concerns, one of the things he told me during that conversation was this: What I’m going through right now is my own confidence course.

During our life, we all go through our own confidence course. If we succeed, we feel good about ourselves knowing we conquered whatever challenge(s) we went through. By doing so, we’re rewarded with a confidence we never had before. Just like the confidence course in the military.

The only way I’m going to get through this and succeed, is to change my thinking from: I’m so overwhelmed. How am I going to do all of this? This is too much. Why did I take on this challenging job? To: People in my community are counting on me, and now I’m up to bat to do my part for them. I can do this job, along with all the other things I need and want to do. I will succeed in this job, in my writing, and in getting my ass into shape.

I wrote this post because it’s part of my self-publishing journey. We all go through our own personal struggles, and it’s up to us to rise above it in order to accomplish our dream.

I don’t care who you are.

It’s the same for all of us because we’re all human.

So whether I make some extra money off of my books or make it big. I’ll still be the same person as I am now, but with a different confidence course to go through.

But it’s up to me to overcome my personal struggles.

Nobody is going to carry me through it. If they did, it would hinder my growth and enable the behavior of, I don’t want to do this, or I can’t do this so I’m not going to.

On that note, I’ll go and conquer this Monday, at my shiny new job, do the best I can, and work on my writing stuff later tonight. And then I’ll do the same thing the next day, and the next day, and the next day, and the next day . . .

Well, you get the point.

Oh. Wait. I need to add the gym in there, along with household/life duties.

I knew I was forgetting something. :)

Friday, March 9, 2012

Pictures of Where My Characters in ‘Beyond the Eyes’ Live

My mind has been on overdrive this week, due to taking on a challenging full-time job and working on my third book. Not to mention, I’ve been working on self-publishing my book.

It's been crazy!

Anyway, here are some pictures of where my characters live. Of course, there are no pictures of Paige’s house, the misty forest, where Nathan lives, which is in the forest in the mountains, and so forth. Those details are for you to conjure up in your own mind, when you read the book(s) (I should say "if" you read my books. Hopefully you will though). I wouldn’t want to rob that from you. However, I wanted to give you some visual insight on where the story takes place.
 
 














 
 
 
 
Happy Friday!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Character Interview

I was wondering what to post on my blog, and was debating on whether to update you guys on what was going on in my world, or do an interview with one of my characters. I decided on the interview instead, since it’s out of the ordinary, and to do something completely different, to shake things up a bit.

So today, I’m going to interview Tree, via video chat (not really, but it’s fun to pretend, right?). He’s one of Paige’s (main character) best friends. He’s seventeen-years-old, of German descent, six foot five, has a bitchin’ black Mohawk, and right now he’s wearing a Sex Pistols sweatshirt, black jeans, and black combat boots.

Me: "Hi, Tree."

Tree: "Hey. How’s it going?"

Me: "Fine. It’s snowing right now, and at the rate it’s falling, it looks like I’m going to have to dig my car out so I can go to work. I just hope the damn plow doesn’t come by afterwards and bury my car with snow again."

Tree: "That sucks. Too bad you can’t use a blowtorch and melt the snow."

Me: "I know . . . Anyway, I know your friends call you Tree because you’re so frickin’ tall, but what is your real name?"

Tree: "Jack."

Me: I point to the dot-sized indentation in the center of his forehead. "What’s the story behind that scar?"

Tree: He laughs and leans forward. "Paige did that to me when we were twelve. We were playing war with our BB guns in the woods behind her house." He smiles, and then animatedly tells me the rest. "You should have seen her. She stuck leaves and branches in her clothes and hair to camouflage herself and it worked. I was directly in her line of sight and didn’t even see she was there. Then, POW!"–he slaps his forehead–"I was done for."

Me: I laugh. "That’s funny."


Tree: "Yeah," he says, smiling. "Paige is cool. She’s like a sister to me."

Me: "So you’ve never had any romantic feelings toward her?"

Tree: "No." He makes a sound with his lips, as if he’s doing a raspberry, and rolls his eyes. "I don’t even want to think about what she does with Nathan. Even when she and Brayden were dating--"

Me: "Brayden? Who’s Brayden?"

Tree: "He’s our other best friend, but he moved to California a couple years ago. Paige and Brayden used to date, and he’s still in love with her."

Me: I raise my eyebrows. "Really? Does he know about Nathan?"

Tree: "Yeah. He’s pretty bummed about it too, and he’s determined to get Paige back."

Me: "That’s interesting."

Tree: "It is, but he needs to back off. Paige is in love with Nathan. Brayden can’t get that through his thick skull, though, and he hates Nathan."

Me: "What do you think of Nathan?"

Tree: "Nathan is cool. I like him. However, I did tell him if he breaks Paige’s heart, I’ll break his face."

Me: "Omigod! You said that to him?"

Tree. He grins. "Yup."

Me: "Paige is lucky to have you as a friend."

Tree: "Thanks. Carrie and I like to keep an eye on Paige because her father died when she was four, and her mom is a traveling nurse, so she’s never home. Paige doesn’t know this, but Carrie and I know that she gets lonely and misses her father."

Me: "That’s right. Carrie is Paige’s other best friend." I pause, noticing the spark in Tree’s eyes at me mentioning Carrie’s name. "You have a thing for Carrie, huh?"

 He glances away, his cheeks turning pink.

Me: "Sorry. I don’t mean to get too personal."

Tree: His brown eyes’ shifts back to me. "No, that’s cool. But yeah, I like Carrie."

Me: "Tell me more about yourself," I say, deciding to change the subject, to spare him from more embarrassment.

Tree: "Well, I work in my dad’s garage, rebuilding engines or whatever. I have an electric guitar, although I haven’t played it in a while. I have a huge collection of comic books. I used to be into the Power Rangers, and still know how to do their fighting moves."

Me: "Seriously?"

Tree: "Yup. The way they fought was badass."

Me: "I can’t imagine you doing karate moves because you’re so frickin’ tall and built like a bouncer."

Tree: He laughs. "Well, I haven’t done it in a long time," he admits. "But I’m sure it would come back to me."

Me: "What else can you tell us about yourself before we go?"

Tree: "Um, well, I like to go to The Lion’s Den."

Me: "What’s that?"

Tree: "It’s a kickass dance club for teenagers. They play techno, industrial, heavy metal, and punk music. It totally rocks. That’s where Paige met Nathan."

Me: "Wow. That sounds like a cool place. I wish we had something like that when I was your age."

Tree: "It is cool. The jocks at my school, though, call it The Loser’s Den, because they prefer country to that type of music. But most of them are douche bags anyway."

Me: "Well, I hate to end this interview, but it’s getting a bit lengthy. Thanks for the chat."

Tree: "No problem."

So there you have it, an interview with one of my beloved characters. He lives in Astoria, Oregon, and hopefully one day Kevin and I will get to go there (for real). That’s where the movie Goonies was filmed, and where my ‘Beyond the Eyes’ series, takes place.

Those of you who have been reading my blog know from the blurb I’ve posted, what the main plot is about. However, every story has subplots, and the tension between Brayden, Paige, and Nathan is one of them, and bleeds into the next two books.

I hope you enjoyed the interview.

Have a wonderful Monday.

Friday, March 2, 2012

This Is Not an Argument. It’s a Contradiction.

When Kevin tells me to stop arguing with him, I always act out this skit:
 


Afterwards, we're both laughing, and all is good. :) 
 
Before I wish you a happy Friday, I’d like to mention Kiersten White. She wrote the book Paranormalcy and Supernaturally. Her next and final book Endlessly will be out in July this year.

I’ve read her first two books, and they’re good. To be honest, though, I didn’t think I’d like Paranormalcy, but I thought I’d give it a try anyway, and I’m glad I did. I really enjoyed it, and I love Kiersten’s imagination. If you haven’t read it, you should check it out.

Kiersten is running a contest on her blog. In order in enter, you have to post on your blog, Facebook, or Twitter, what type of paranormal creature you’d like to be in her books. The prize is a signed copy of Endlessly. So I thought, why not. Therefore, I’m going to post that I’d want to be like Lend because then I could change my looks whenever I wanted to.

Wouldn’t that be cool?

Happy Friday!