Sunday Synopsis

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Today we have sunshine and temperatures are back in the mid-seventies, after a week of pouring rain and overcast skies. I know you people under snow and gray skies for months hate us. We really don’t have the tolerance that you do. We are weak and pitiful in ways you don’t relate to.

Last night we had dinner with some snowbird friends of ours, a couple from Nebraska. The lady tells me she read my book and liked it. She said it was sad and rather Gothic. I agreed with her that it is a poignant story, but ends on a very sweet note. She didn’t say anything. (I wonder if she read the final conclusion chapter.) There was a long, painful pause. Then she says, “At least you had the courage to put it out there.” I didn’t know quite how to take that….the “At Least…” part. Sort of gave me the idea that she felt it amateurish. I am probably reading more into it, because of my own personal insecurities. I still think I need to practice how to speak to people about my book…not selling it…not marketing the book, or encouraging others to read it, but how I respond to them when they share with me that they have read it. The lack of eye contact made me somewhat uncomfortable.  Geez, was she just being nice?

She asked about reviews. Of course, I had to tell her about my four and five star reviews…I was defensive to a certain degree. She seemed a bit surprised at the good reviews.  Said, “That’s interesting.” That made me feel worse, and I realized I should have stopped while I was ahead, sort of. “Not everybody is going to like what you write!” I reminded myself.

About my goals from last week, my excuse is the same for most of them. It was raining, so I didn’t want to go out. I didn’t get the oil changed in my car. I didn’t get out and peddle my books. I didn’t schedule my sensory deprivation chamber experience.  We did not make it to the antique mall in Mt. Dora, but we did find a Spirograph for the granddaughter on Amazon. She has a birthday coming up in three weeks. Any suggestions?

I did, being a recluse in the house, manage to get quite a bit of writing done. I also went back over the last few chapters and moved some paragraphs around. I write in stream of consciousness style. Sometimes my mind wanders. That might be a bipolar thing, but as I read over what was written, I found paragraphs that needed to be rearranged for better sequential flow from childhood to teenage events. It reads fine now. I am quite satisfied with it. There is one thing that I am seeing again. It is going to start out a sad story, and there is really nothing to be done about that. That is how it is.

Brainstorming with the beautifully minded and warm-hearted spirit, Ionia Martin of Readful Things blog, I have a better sense of how this novel and its main character will evolve to achieve a sense of redemption and achievement on a most positive note. That is a good thing and will lead to a most satisfying ending. I was about to take my character on a journey that I really wasn’t happy with and now I feel stronger and much more pleased with the moral of the story. Healing through helping others heal is the pathway we are taking. Thank you, Ionia, for be who you are, and for having time for me in your outrageously busy and full life.

This week I will revisit last week’s goals and hopefully make some progress. I will also be writing, and writing, and writing. I am planning a Goodreads Giveaway that I will announce formally when the Goodreads people approve it.

Sunday Synopsis

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My weeks have been dragging. It must be the weather. Too chilly for me to get out and about. We are not cold here in Central Florida, but we are not warm either.

Also, I am changing. In my singles days, which weren’t that long ago, (about five years), I was always on the go. I went new places every week, new restaurants, new theaters, new clubs, new beaches. There were new sights and sounds, new people to meet. I was once flying around the country, or out of the country, cruising the Caribbean, exploring fascinating cities, surveying scenic countryside. Camping, boating, hiking, and fishing. I used to work 60 hour weeks and keep up a social schedule on about four hours sleep. I did have more to talk about then. I have gotten lazy and become quite a recluse.

My life is totally different now. I go to Walmart at midnight to avoid the crowd. I get up and go to the grocery store at 7:30 am on a weekday morning to avoid the crowd. I will wait until 10:00-11:00 pm to go six city blocks to my daughters or to run to the 7-11 for a quick stop, just to avoid the traffic. Sometimes I will go a whole week only talking to my husband & daughter and, of course, you guys/gals online. I can sleep an 8 hour night and still curl up for a nap at mid-day.

I like to blame it on marriage and getting old, but I am not certain that I really enjoyed all of the socializing and whirling around when I was doing it. It was exhausting. I rather enjoy the serenity and solitude of staying home, reading, writing, and doing as little as possible. I think I wore myself out. I have become a cave dweller.

My Sunday Synopsis is simple for this past this week. I read some and I wrote some. I cooked and cleaned almost every night and got the laundry done.

This week I plan to schedule my car for an oil change, peddle some books to the indie book stores, and see if I can get my appointment now for my sensory deprivation experience. Maybe this week or sometime over next weekend I can get to Mt. Dora and go to the antique mall, I am looking for a Spirograph for my granddaughter. Not the kaleidoscope app on the iPad, but a real working Spirograph like I had as a kid.

Do they still sell those in the store? Sound like an exciting week?

Cheers to tranquility!  I will change again later, and start complaining about being bored, but for now this is working for me.

Sunday Synopsis

Missed my Sunday Synopsis last week.  As late as it is getting to be, I almost missed this one and this week I have no excuse. (Guess I did miss it. It was before midnight when I started writing this.)

I have been a bad blogger this week, but it is not because I am not writing, to the contrary, I have vested a good 5000 words into this new project this week and that is half as far as I got into the last one in four months. The crime novel is parked and this new work is spilling over from my brain. I have a rough outline and the chapters have already formed in my brain from beginning to end. Now, it is a matter of getting the words down on paper.

I can’t do the NaNoWriMo style of writing a thin story from beginning to end, then going back to heavily edit. I finish a chapter and then I have to go over and over it until I get it just right. I want the researched details there. I want the voice of the characters established without too many words. Personality is what I work with as the plot develops so I don’t want to wait four chapters in to flesh out character profiles. There is some history to develop these personalities, but the bulk of the back story will come out as the story unfolds.

The point is, I am writing. It is flowing well and I like where it is going. I had to add some physical violence to my gunshot scene to make it more realistic and believable. I had not intended for things to get that dark in the beginning but that is where it needed to go.

Enough about that.

In 1952, I learned from my research, Milledgeville State Hospital, a gigantic institution, the largest in the world, housed more than 11,000 patients committed from every section of the state of Georgia. A facility designed to care for “idiots, lunatics, epileptics, and the insane.”  To put that into perspective, there were 36 counties in GA with a smaller total population in 2010, and over 100 in 1950 with a smaller population. Milledgeville was one of three state run facilities.

That speaks volumes to the society’s level of intolerance.

Removed.

Carted away.

Institutionalized.

Locked up.

To be cared for by, “People more capable.” To be treated, medicated, mistreated, and possibly “restored.” Electrocuted and lobotomized without consent. Possibly returned to their communities “restored,” months, years later, or never. There is a cemetery there that literally thousands of “unclaimed” are buried in.

We haven’t found all of the solutions yet, but we have come a long way from where we were.

I would most likely fit into the lunatic category.

Are we more or less humane?

Retirement, Writing, Hobbies and Expenses

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I just read Anne R. Allen’s blog post here, and I am feeling validated. I don’t envy people trying to write for a living. I applaud you and I am amazed by you every day, but I am content to carry the Olympic Torch with honor. Writing professionally as a career choice is admirable, but I cannot claim to be anything more than a professional amateur. My writing is good. I am proud of it, and would like my work to be read, but starting another professional career after 30 years of nursing would scare the hell out of me.

Well, sort of, but not exactly.

I have hobbies. I read and I write. I make jewelry. I go fishing. I go boating. I cook. I paint in water colors and oils. I garden. I am retired. I have a few philanthropic endeavors, and a couple of places I volunteer my time and resources. I also have children and grandchildren. I am doing what I am supposed to be doing, right?

Just because they are hobbies doesn’t mean that I don’t take them seriously, or that I, as a hobbyist, shouldn’t be taken seriously.

I sell a few paintings every year at art shows and galleries. A hotel offered me thousands of dollars for a couple of giant staghorn fern balls I have in the back yard (I couldn’t part with them though). I propagate Plumeria for profit. Many have commissioned me to make jewelry for friends and loved ones. I have paired my love for fishing and my talents in the kitchen to produce some fine meals. I have even sold a few books. And I feel appreciated.

Plumeria Mardi Gras (also known as frangipani)
Plumeria Mardi Gras (also known as frangipani)

For me, my hobbies will never have a financial ROI, because that’s not what it is about.

There is; however, a huge emotional ROI.

It’s true. I sell a book and I think, “Yay! I can tip the pizza delivery guy.”  Sell a few, and I go out and buy a bottle of wine.  Sell a lot, and it becomes an obsession. It has for me.  Not to make money, because most of it goes right back into promotions/ads, or other hobbies. But it is like any of my other hobbies/endeavors, I want to excel at what I enjoy doing.

But it can fuck with your head.

More than anything, I want readers to enjoy my work. When you write nice reviews, tears come into my eyes and I feel a flood of emotion.

So, I sold a bunch of books, but I only have one new review since my successful promo. It was very nice, and yes, it made me cry…happy tears. I don’t know how long most readers keep books on their tablets before they get around to reading them. I have some books I bought last year that have been there for months, and I have yet to commit the time to read them, so I get it. But it can be hard to sit and wait for others to feed your soul. I’ll probably have a mental meltdown and have to increase my meds when I get my first bad review.

Here’s something else that will fuck with your head.  Last night, I checked Amazon and saw my ranking was at #350,000 something. I thought, “Well, well, party is over.” I went to bed.

This morning, I get up and see that I am back in a Best seller’s Top 100 list at #98, my ranking has gone up to #100,000 something and I think I have sold some books. So I check KDP reports. Nada, not one, zero, 0. So how did that happen?  I go back to Amazon and refresh the page…several times…still at #98.  Stayed there all day.  For what reason I do not know, but it will freak you out when stuff like that happens.

I spend a lot of money on all of my hobbies, art supplies are not cheap, the boat…never mind the payments…maintenance alone is literally tossing money into the water, just the metals for jewelry clasps will eat a hole in your pocket faster than acid, add nice stones and gems, it adds up pretty fast, groceries…please, rods and reels and lures…have you been inside a sporting goods store lately? So why not spend money on promoting my book?   People are telling me not to. A) It isn’t necessary, and B) It is a bad thing to spend money on ads and feed the monsters. C) There should be a ROI or it is a bad investment. I want to sell more books.

I am like the marathon runner that has to make the last mile despite all the odds, the dieter who is on the verge of the last fifty pounds, yes, and the crack ho who needs a fix and a good lay!

Okay, maybe I am carrying this a bit far.

Seriously, I am thinking about another advertisement but one that uses the contemporary fiction genre instead of the historical fiction genre.  The book barely made it into the historical fiction category based on the 50-60 years passed since the primary events.  Yet, it deals with many contemporary issues, abortion, adoption, racial tensions…civil rights, women’s rights. I am thinking of trying a genre switch, what do you think about that? When I studied reviews a week ago, I saw many books about the 1950s listed in contemporary fiction. Also, the first third of the book (Part One) takes place in the present and 1992-93. It is Part Two that takes place in the 1950s.

For the thrill of it, would you spend money on yet another ad?

Should I try a genre switch?

Do I need to tweak my meds?

Sunday Synopsis

If you follow this blog or know me from comments, you already know that I support the indie author & traditional authors and get excited when they share a success. Last weekend I ran a successful promo which resulted in a personal triumph which I shared with you. “Red Clay and Roses” made it to three Top 100 Best Seller lists on Amazon. We also had the collective Read Tuesday event on December 10th which may have contributed to that success. The flicker of fame burns swiftly. This weekend, despite an aggressive Facebook campaign and several smaller free and affordable advertisements, I am watching the book ease back into place. At the rate it is moving I would expect it to be back in the 100,000 range in the next couple of days.  So there is the trial.

Why am I sharing this?  Not to sound discouraging but to say that marketing is an ongoing process with ups and downs, triumphs and trials. Shameless self-promotion is a bitch, but if you don’t do it, nobody is going to do it for you. I can hope that there will be a second wave, as the book continues to sell slowly. Exponentially speaking, that would seem probable.  The sale is over and the book is back to its original price, so we will see how this goes.

Another expectation is that there may be more reviews. Many readers don’t realize how valuable these are to an author.  Not in terms of selling or not selling books necessarily, but in providing useful information from the reader audience that helps the writer to develop and grow. It lets the author know what you, as a reader, are most interested in. For example, some readers prefer a minimalist style of writing and others want details.  Some want action immediately and some want to be eased into a story.  Not all genres are the same, and not all readers share the same palate. So readers, let us know. Post reviews!

This past week everybody was sick, except me; husband, children, and grandchildren all with ear aches, flu, sore throats, colds, and sinus problems. I don’t know how I managed to avoid it, but I did. I spent most of the week running from this pharmacy to that one, babysitting, and being the nurse.

I did manage to slice my right thumb on my Christmas present: a new set of Cutco Knives. I was paring a potato, when I realized the potatoes were brilliant red.  There was no pain, not even a sting, just bright red blood. I didn’t feel a thing. For that I am grateful…I think. No stitches needed. I guess I could have lost my thumb without knowing it, so not as bad as it could have been.

We have always had our Christmas decorations up by the day after Thanksgiving until this year. I don’t yet have my tree up.  I don’t even think I’ll get around to the outdoor decorations this year.  We are having our Christmas this next Sunday evening and then everyone is going out of town.

The weeds and invasive vines have been ripped from The Jungle that is the back yard.  The landscape fabric and mulch have been laid.  Mexican heather has taken root and won’t need watering every day anymore.  The view is even nicer now from the back porch. Hibiscus, angel’s trumpet, and bird-of-paradise are in full bloom.

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I have no plans or goals for this week beyond cleaning house, getting up the tree, wrapping presents, and baking red velvet cakes from scratch, using my grandmother’s cherished recipe. Sometimes it is better to go with the flow than plan anything much.

I do have a book review for you for tomorrow, so please do come back and visit.

Have a very merry pre-holiday week!

Sunday Synopsis

This has been a busy week for me even though I haven’t been blog busy.  I have also been reading a lot.

I want to introduce you to a couple of people you may or may not know. First, I am reading a book by Patrick O’Bryon titled “Corridor of Darkness”.  It is a 20th century Historical Fiction about 1930s pre-war Germany, and the coming of the Nazi era that will knock your socks off.  There is everything in this book from the thrill of espionage and suspenseful duels  to the enchantment of romance.  I will be doing a full review later this week but I would like you to do something for me. Patrick is a self-published indie author who just released his book a few weeks ago.

Go to his site and read this post about his homesteading and animal adventure in Montana.

Go ahead, and do it!  It even has pictures and humor. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

I’ll wait right here. The page will open in another window.  It will only take a minute. I want to introduce you to his beautiful writing style, even if you choose not to read his whole book today.  He is a wonderful, well-traveled author and I think you might like to get to know him.

A tiny taste of a marvelously expressive writing style, huh? Don’t you agree?

Also, if you are struggling with how to get exposure or market your books, you should get to know both Charles Yallowitz, creator of The Legends of Windemere series in fantasy, and Chris McMullen, who has written many books on a variety of subjects, but most significantly, has two books on self-publishing and much information on both publishing and marketing on his site. He is also responsible for organizing the Read Tuesday promo event that debuts December 10th. The knowledge, support, and helpful expertise of these two marketing gurus are powerful.

This morning I woke up to these figures on Amazon:

“Red Clay and Roses” moved up into Best Seller Rankings and entered two more categories by the hair of the teeth.  I am so excited. I can’t say enough good things about Ereader News Today.

I still haven’t done my sensory deprivation chamber experience, but it is on my list, along with putting up Christmas lights, cleaning house, getting the tree up, having my annual pre-Christmas luncheon for my local girlfriends.  There is a lot to keep me busy this week.

Sunday Synopsis

This week has been quiet on the home front.  The quietness is possibly contributing to my blues.

I visited a former patient of mine from the pediatric extended care unit I used to work in who has been moved into a private home.  She was happy to see me, and I was surprised that she remembered me.  Grandma’s House, the unit I worked in at Orlando Health and Rehab, closed its doors and is no more.  I hated to see the children separated, and the devoted pediatric staff moved to other units.  At Grandma’s House the old folk could come visit the children every day.

I miss my kids and their families.  Speaking of my kid’s families:

I have another five star review.  I know it may strike you as odd for a book review, but it is special to me.  The review came from another patient’s mother who learned that I had written a book.  Hilda came from Puerto Rico.  She reads and understands English well, but she struggles with the spoken and written language. Hilda expressed many times how she wished she had a better grasp of the spoken and written English language.  A few years ago, before I had thought about retiring and resuming my writing, I encouraged Hilda to read to improve her language skills.  She started bringing books to the facility to read when she was visiting her son.  Obviously, she still struggles with conveying her thoughts, but it is nice to know that she is reading and that she read and liked my book.

5.0 out of 5 stars Divine, November 27, 2013

By

Hilda Cotto

Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)

This review is from: Red Clay and Roses (Kindle Edition)

Personality I know Miss. Susan, we meet at job like RN’s. Very professional, nice friend, wonderful mom. About Red Clay and Roses strong story.

 

That is a bit more personal than any book review I have ever read, but the fact that she took the time and made the effort to post one…well, it means the world to me.

I did not get the chance to do my sensory deprivation last week because I need to schedule an appointment.  So that is on my list for this week.

Tomorrow my yard guy is coming and we are going to lay landscape fabric and mulch in the garden on the other side of the pool.  We have already weeded around the flowers and plants, but we have to cut the fabric to fit around all of the plants and move the park bench, birdbath, and some other stonework before we can lay the fabric and mulch.

Have a happy, productive week, and read something!

Blog Culture: Sunday Summations

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Yes, I know it is Monday. I missed my Sunday Summations post yesterday for two reasons:

1)      My weekend was really busy with birthday, company, and having family over, and

2)      I thought it was Saturday.

The first reasons might be acceptable, but the second reason is something that has been troubling me a lot lately.  My brain has been in a fog and I am not entirely sure why. I have been terribly forgetful and lost in my own thoughts when I really should be actively doing other things. I don’t speak of this often on my blog, but I have an anxiety disorder for which I take medication and I also have bipolar disorder for which I take mood stabilizers.  Because of Express Scripts mail order drug company (Don’t get me started.), my meds were late so I did without for about five days and I really think it did weird things to my otherwise fairly normal brain functioning. I know there are those who would argue that my brain is never fairly normal in functioning, but most of the time my thinking is pretty clear.

On to Organization: 

Structure:

  • I have become bored with my blog. I knew this would happen, because I tend to bore easily.  This is one reason I can’t read many books that aren’t action packed.
  • I am thinking of trying new themes, but I haven’t decided yet.  I like my header, and I like the way the menu is set up at the top. I don’t like how the writing space is so narrow and the widget space is so very broad.  The narrow writing space makes my posts appear longer than they are (and long reads can be a turn off).  The broad widget space wastes the writing space with items that make the blog appear very busy.
  • This is an “everything” blog and I am wondering if I should have a blog dedicated to my new genre writing, or just leave it here.  I would like a blog that is more “Crime Fiction” and writing/author focused, but I am wondering if changing the subtitle to my blog might accomplish that goal without getting too scattered all over the blogging map.
  • I would also like to update my about page, so that there are separate about me, and an about this blog sections…somehow.
  • Some of the categories that I don’t contribute to very often are coming out of the header to make room for what I feel are more worthy topics, like resources for writers, and other such things, so you will see some changes there.

People:

  • I met some very interesting people who live alternative lifestyles at the Parliament House and at Cypress Cove Nudist Resort. They would all like to be in my books, and have given me permission to utilize their characters without their names. I am sure that I can work some of these colorful people in somehow. So these contacts should add to the fun of writing.
  • If you are an author, a poet, or a reader and you have not yet met Papi Z at The Literary Syndicate, I highly recommend that you drop by and introduce yourself.  He is a strong supporter of all things literary.
  • If you want to begin your week with laughter you should go by on Mondays and visit with John Howell at Fiction Favorites or Marie Ann Bailey at 1WriteWay and see their collaborative weekly installments of “Ten Top Lists of What Not to Do”.  In fact, you could stop by and see them today!
  • If you, like me, love to travel via your blog (the airfare is more affordable) Anne Bell takes regular trips to India, a place filled with culture and beauty.  You can visit her at Tales Along the Way.  Be sure to look through her categories for the colorful and interesting articles on India.
  • I would also like to introduce you to someone local who is very new to me, Nancy Pate.  She is one third of the Caroline Cousins (three real southern cousins) who published three books, “Fiddle Dee Death”, “Marsh Madness”, and “Way Down Dead in Dixie” under John F. Blair Publisher.  She is another Orlando resident who is a reader, writer, recovering journalist, book critic for Orlando Sentinel 1985-2005, and has a wonderful book review blog at On a Clear Day I Can Read Forever. (Especially if you like crime fiction.)

Process:

  • I am ashamed to admit that I only got 500 words actually written in my WIP which comprised one small, but important scene.  As you can tell, it has been a busy week.
  • In other ways of progress I have made tremendous strides in research for the novel both online and in real life.  I have gotten out visiting some places in Melbourne (where the murder takes place), and here in the Orlando/Kissimmee/St. Cloud area where much of the sleuthing occurs. This included an airboat ride. What fun!  My husband’s first, and he enjoyed it.
  • Wild_Florida_Airboats_(002)
  • I am also joining up with some organizations which will offer me some opportunities and exposure in my writing/book selling efforts.  More about those later.
  • “Red Clay and Roses” has not been forgotten.  If you have had opportunity to read it PLEASE, yes, I am screaming, begging, pleading; write a review somewhere…your blog, Amazon, Goodreads, a personal email to me at sknicholls1@gmail.com , the sidewalk in chalk, graffiti on a wall…somewhere.
  • I recently had a surge in sales, but I have no real idea where those came from, all I know is that I greatly appreciate them and would love to know their opinions on the book.  And, yes, the paperback really is coming soon.

Ideas, thoughts, and suggestions are greatly appreciated!  What did you get accomplished last week?

Alternate Lifestyle Culture: Sunday Summations

Organization_Triangle

Structure:

  1. I spent some time going through my emails and deciding how many I could keep and who/what had to go into my Reader. I had to do it. I was staying up late reading everything.
  2. More than reading, I always felt like, if I went through the trouble to click on the blog, I needed to comment.  So I was still spending way more time than I could afford visiting.
  3. I feel like a teenager who has been placed on restriction, but I am, at least, getting a handle on my blogging.
  4. I may not like or comment on all of your posts anymore, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t read and enjoy it. I genuinely appreciate all that you do, sincerely. I continue to learn so much from you and am delightfully entertained.
  5. I have myself on blogging speed dial now, so I can give attention to things I have neglected, so that’s it for structure this week.

People:

  1. I am not going to highlight any other bloggers this week.
  2. I had to spend more time in the real world meeting real people, so I didn’t get much of a chance to look around anywhere new.
  3. This is the Parliament House Resort:

    Parliament House resort entrance by day.
    Parliament House resort entrance by day.
  4.  It is on 10 lovely acres in the midst of downtown Orlando.  A lot of people come to Orlando and only see the Lake Buena Vista resort areas of Disney World, other such family venues, and never see the real downtown of Orlando and it is quite unique as cities go. The Parliament House is a full service resort, complete with hotel, pool, lake, a theater and seven bars (yes, that’s right, seven of them, all with different themes).
    Now Showing
    Now Showing

    They are a LGBT facility that is straight friendly and have events seven nights a week. I had a meeting there with the manager and will be meeting with their event coordinator next week to get the behind the scenes story to some of their theatrical and dance performances.  I call it research, but the double Crown Royal on the rocks wasn’t free (Tax write off?).

    Hotel suites
    Hotel suites

     

  5. Orlando is a very young city.  Mainly because we had no air conditioning (refrigerated air they used to call it) until the 1950s.  52 million people visit Orlando’s Disney World annually.  That’s a lot of people, and only a small fraction of them make it into Orlando proper to see our lovely city. (Lovely City pics to follow in a subsequent post.)

    Sign on my porch. I am really curious about the Magic Fingers
    Sign on my porch. I am really curious about the Magic Fingers
  6. I have a girlfriend, Nancy, coming to visit from Austin TX on the 14th. She will be here two weeks.  She is one of the two women who really pushed me to publish Red Clay and Roses. I am eternally grateful.

Progress:

  1. Okay, admittedly not as good as I would have liked for it to be, but I did accomplish something by adding another 4000 words. I am now at 14,561 words (not counting the 30,000 words I have in reference with the old MS, which is still part of the story but is having to be revised/rewritten).
  2. Progress will be better next week because I did get a lot of other stuff accomplished that will aid my progress in the future.
  3. CreateSpace is adding my final text edits, so next we will upload the new cover. Yay! That should only take a couple of days.  Don’t know if it is quite going to get here by my birthday on the 15th, but very close.

Blog Culture: Sunday Summations

Organization_Triangle

Sunday Summations

I am trying to get a better handle on scheduling on this blog, and I would also like to highlight some blogs that I have become acquainted with so you get to know them too.  Sunday summations should be a regular feature as I examine my week and my goals.  Future Sunday Summations will probably be much shorter.

Summing up my weekly happenings:

1. Structure:  How I am attempting to stay organized.

  • I have created some drop down menus on this blog to better organize and lesson the length of the menu.  The subtitles should make things pertinent to the titles easier to find.
  •  I have completed the settings posts for Red Clay and Roses, the novel, and those can now be found under the menu title of the novel.  I may divide out the feature posts as well.  These settings and features are designed for fans to find more info on the book.
  • It is a goal to have a new posts added to each menu title or a subtitle weekly.
  • I may be adding other menu titles as new subjects develop.  I would really like to have a humor post at least once weekly…sometimes I can be funny, even if I am laughing at myself in the process.  I try not to laugh at the expense of others, but sometimes that happens too.

2. People: Cruising my Reader, and getting to know more and more WordPress family and friends, I have collected some blogs that are of significance to me for one reason or another. They are from a variety of interests and I am sure some of you will find them interesting, as well.  Check these folk out!  They are really cool!  I have categorized what I could. These categories are subject to change weekly.

  • Book reviews:

  • Queen of all things Books: Ionia Martin’s Readful Things. (Many sneak peeks with advance reader copies.)
  •  An all genre serious reviewer: Rosie Amber at Rosie Amber
  •  Master of Collectables: Julian Froment at Julian Froment’s Blog
  • Music:

  •  A lovely Soprano with a beautiful voice & 150,957 followers: Charlotte Hoather
  • Writers writing:

  • A lady with a sense of humor about her serious writing efforts: Katie Sparkes at Disregard the Prologue.
  • Wonderful poetry and short stories: Helen Midgley
  • New author with a new blog and a newly published book: Dean Kealy at Dean’z Worldz
  • Math & Science:

  • Fascinating and artistically colorful geometry for the fun of it: Robert Austin at Robert Loves Pi (Prepare to be dazzled.)
  • Scientist, deep thinker, and poet: Erik Andrulis at Anacephalaeosis
  • Useful Information for writers, authors & bloggers

  • Everything about Publishing and Marketing: Chris McMullen at Chris McMullen
  • Promotional Event for all authors, readers and gift givers.  Get signed up.  This is going to be HUGE!: Chris McMullen at Read Tuesday
  • New feature on blog “How to on WordPress” videos: Bradley Corbett at Green Embers (He takes requests BTW)
  • Guidance on writing techniques regardless of your genre: Victoria Grefer at Creative Writing with the Crimson League
  • Humor:

  • My kind of off the wall funny stuff: Rob Pop at Humans Are Weird (He always makes the time to return comments, and can often be even funnier when he does.)

Gosh!  So many creative geniuses…I could go on forever, but there will be other days!

3.   Process:  Just an update on my own personal progress this week:

  • With the help of blogger friends and readers in my reading and critique group, I decided on a prologue for my first book in this yet to be titled work and series.
  • There are now four beta readers for my new WIP (not counting my husband).
  • I got 12 bookstores lined up to buy copies of Red Clay and Roses when the paperback is live.
  • We are almost there with the paperback at CreateSpace.  It has been an interesting but sometimes frustrating journey.
  • My new bookmarks came in this week.  I think they are much more professional and not so microsofty as my last bookmarks.  My former ones were created by my publisher.  I would highly recommend having your bookmark image created by your cover image artist.  They can work wonders with graphics.  Thanks to Charles Yallowitz’s idea at Legends of Windemere, the QR codes are a great way to advertise without looking so much like an ad and they give me opportunity to make immediate sells on my smartphone without carrying around a pile of books.
  • New Bookmarks
    New Bookmarks
Old Bookmarks
Old Bookmarks

Sorry my formatting really sucked on this post.  I have yet to conquer formatting, which is why I have an independent publisher prepare my books 🙂