Welcome

You have made it all the way here, so you may as well sit down, take a minute to look around, and enjoy. What you will find, depends on the day and my mood. You just never can tell.

Monday, January 16, 2017

2017 - Here We Come

Welcome to the new year – 2017.  In the past I have set up a few resolutions for the new years, but let’s face it, by June we are different people with different priorities and any resolutions we may have made are long forgotten.  So instead, I have set up a few goals for the year.  Ones that I think I will stick with and actually strive for. I have set down 3.  Three is a good number.  Not to many and not to few.  3 is something to work towards.

1.  I am on Goodreads (in case you want to hunt me down to see what I am reading) and each year I have set up a goal to read so many books.  This year my goal is 52.  That’s one book a week.  I can do that.  Esp. as on a good week I read 2 or 3 books.  Like last week, I read 3.  This goal works for me, because there are some weeks I don’t read at all.  Such as when I am hard-core writing.  Then you have 4-6 weeks where I am not reading a thing. 

2.  I have 3 fully drafted books sitting in my office at home.  Why have I not sent them out and done something with them?  I don’t know.  There is one that I know my publisher would love, as it’s paranormal fantasy.  It’s so my thing.  Then there is a horror story that is pretty much ready to go out, but for one more read through.  The problem with it is that it is not as long as I wanted it to be and I’m not sure a publisher would want a full length novel that comes in at 47,000.  I can add filler to it, or I could toss in one more scene, but that seems like wasted words and space.  The third book, sitting gathering dust, is one that I think is my best work ever.  Most of my books, I think are good.  The stories are sound.  The characters fleshed out.  Not too bad at all.  This new one, that I am sitting on, is really, really good.  It’s different and it’s controversial, and it’s got some hard moments.  It’s almost like I’m afraid of putting it out there because I think it is so good, what if it’s not?  Regardless of any of the reasons I am holding these three books, it’s all in my head and that needs to stop.  So, goal number 2 is to deal with all these books.  NOW.  Stop staring at them. Stop having them take up useless space on my flat surfaces.  These books need to find a home. 

3.  Enjoy the days.  I am a future planner.  I look forward way to much and forget to see what is right before my eyes.  I want to take more time in the present.  That sounds easy right?  I have been doing that for about a week now and it’s really hard.  I find myself still planning and seeing things way down the road.  Not just days but weeks, and months and even years.  I’m so busy planning for a future that I am not living the days. 


That’s it.  Three goals for 2017.  Let’s see how I do.  Did you set up any resolutions?  Or goals?  How is that working out?


Monday, December 19, 2016

Christmas and Kindles

As the electronic book craze continues through another year, more and more people are getting e-readers such as the nook or kindles, and some are simply reading books on their phones.  

For anyone buying kindles or other ereaders for their loved ones and friends, or even for themselves this holiday, I thought I'd share a few ideas for books to load for my zombie/horror readers.  AND best of all, they are FREE books, which make them even better.  Please make note that these titles are only free on December 25th and 26th so you need to be on top of it, however, it's would be quite the haul of free'ness if you do.  Also, as an added bonus, there is a short story from yours truly, in the Zombies Inside book.  




Merry Christmas everyone.  Be safe for the New Year, and I will see you in 2017.  

Friday, October 28, 2016

Submissions - How to


If you are a writer, you have to learn all about submissions.  Whether you are submitting to a magazine or a publisher or an agent, there is a process you have to learn and accept.

1.  The research.  I don’t mind this part of the process.  I use market books, and google and site searches.  I like looking up agents and publishers and magazines.  I like to see what people are reading and what is coming out and new book recommendations.  Plus I like lists.  It’s a nice way to feel like you are making headway as you make your way down a list and mark things off as done.  The research, yeah, this part is fun.  Yes, really. 

Once you have done your research and made your lists, you move on to crafting:

2.  The Query.  We all hate this little guy.  I hate it, as I think I am good at telling stories, but I suck at being a salesman.  I don’t want to be a salesman.  Well too bad!  You have to learn and learn it as well as you can.  I am still learning.  I personalize each and every query letter.  There is not one query letter that goes out that is exactly the same as another even if I am sending multiple queries out on the same project.  Try to make your book or story or article interesting.  Try to brag about your self.  I am really bad at this.  I don’t want to be noticed.  I want my book to be the star, not me.  I like the shadows and watching the world.  The query is not easy to do.  Don’t just wing it.  Take time and think and try to be exciting and excited about your project. 

After you are done tearing your hair out over the query, then you get to pull out the rest of it drafting:

3.  The Synopsis.  I have shed tears over writing a synopsis before.  Frustrated tears, the I suck at writing tears, this project is awful tears.  Again, I will say I am not a salesman.  I sound stiff and boring a lot during this process.  I don’t know how to sell a book.  I know how to write it.  My solution is to write one, send it to other authors for feedback.  Rip up the one I wrote and try again with the feedback.  Again, find new authors to look it over and again, add in their feedback, until I feel like it’s as good as I can make it.  I never feel it’s perfect, but I always feel that it is good by the time I send it out.

4.  The package.  Now that you have a basic package of documents, next you have to put it all together. Each market and person and whoever you are sending to will want something different.  Give them exactly what they want.  Don’t deviate.  Don’t think you know what they want better than they do.  So I again will stress, give them EXACTLY what they ask for. If they want something different, they will tell you or ask for it. 

Once you do all this and hit send, you will inevitable come to:

5.  The regret and the mistakes.  I do each submission one at a time.  I will usually only do one or two a day if I have a big list, because I don’t want to overwhelm myself.  I like to recheck all the information and all the materials everyone wants.  But there are days that no matter how hard I try I find mistakes in my submissions.  I agonize over the query.  I agonize over the format.  I agonize about the spelling of names.  But I still find wrong things.  A missed name change.  A format letter that I didn’t update the date on because I was too busy freaking out over the content.  Or, my favorite: when I don’t put the correct name in the email, because I’m looking at the wrong list.  Oh yes, I did that once, recently, and beat myself up over it all day.  Knowing that my hard work and agonizing was a complete waste, as I insulted them by not having the right name.  I love that…let me tell ya.  We all have to remember that we are human and not perfect.  Do your very best and the hard work will payoff in the end. 

Don’t give up.  You can do this.  If you have any questions, I may not have a perfect answer, but I will always try to give you the information I know.  So, ask away.  Good luck out there everyone.  This market is hard.  I got your back.

One last thing before I go:  I will be working on a Nanowritmo Book again this year.  Therefore, I will be swamped for November.  I will do my best to stay in touch by social media, and I will of course return emails.  Otherwise, you may not see much of me until December and let’s face it by December we are all a little crazy so maybe not even then. 



Monday, October 17, 2016

Indian Summer

What is Indian Summer?  I heard about it all the time growing up and in my head I thought it had something to do with when the Native American’s had their summer.  The minds of children…what can I really say?  Ask me sometime what I thought the saying "making ends meet" really meant.  Hint:  I thought the word was MEAT not MEET.  Ha!

What the actual meaning of Indian Summer is: A period of unusually dry and warm weather in the autumn.  But it also can mean a period of happiness and success occurring late in life.  For me, I’ll take the warm weather.  In Ohio, I swear that every year, the first day of fall hits and it goes from 90 degrees to 50 degrees overnight and from dry and hot to cold and damp.  I am not a fan of this time of year, as most of my regulars will know. 

How am I staving off the effects of the coming winter?  Well, this lovely Indian Summer is doing wonders without much effort from me. I also got a few bright purple mums to bring life to a dying garden.  I hope they last a good long while.  They make me smile every time I walk passed them.  I am adding more festive scents to my warmers so that the house smells of apples and cinnamon and pumpkins and spice.  That at least gets me thinking along the lines of coming events that make me happy.  That helps a lot.  Other than that, not much I can do about the changing seasons. 

I know so many people, including the tiny dancer (the traitor) that love this time of year.  It’s the hoodies and the bonfires and the falling leaves and the cooler more enjoyable weather for some, and the lack of bugs.  I get it.  I really do.  But for me?  I’ll take the bugs, if I can get the heat.  At least the horror movies are still on. 


Happy Autumn Everyone

Monday, October 3, 2016

Welcome to October

It’s October.  I guess if I have to survive the coming winter, there should be at least something I enjoy about this time of year.  Well, I am happy to announce that there is.  It’s called SCARY MOVIE SEASON! 

I happen to love the horror movies/series/books genre.  I don’t only deal in the genre in October but, this is the time of year that I can find a horror movie on tv any day of the week at any time of the day.  It’s exciting.  Some movies are really bad, but that is part of the greatness of the season.  I can watch all kinds of movies that never made it to the theaters and enjoy them all the same.  I can honestly say that of the horror flicks out there; I have probably watched 90% of them.  The top movies, the B movies, the made for TV movies, all of them.  Some are so silly they are funny.  Some are so scary I have to watch something easy afterward before I can go to bed (those are my favorite).  Some are gross and bloody and some are boring as all get out.  All in all, I can usually find something redeeming in any movie in this genre. 

Here are a few of my favorites, in no particular order:

1.  The Exorcist.  The original.  To this day, this movie still creeps me out.  I have it on VHS and on DVD.  I have seen it so many times, but it still is one of the best.  

2.  Salem’s Lot.  Both the book and the movie are entertaining as all get out.  Not so much goose bump inducing scary, but very good story and characters. 

3.  Nightmare on Elm Street.  This is a gory bloody mix movie.  It’s great. Plus this is the first movie of that Johnny Depp was in.  The series continued on for many movies but this is by far the best one for me.

4.  Halloween and Friday the 13th.  These weren’t so much scary to me, but I liked the ideas behind them.  There are many sequels to each of them, which will keep you entertained for a long time. Granted these movies are part of the T&A time period and if you don’t know what I mean by that, then you are not an 80’s horror movie girl.  No pre-teen/teenage girl want to spend a night watching a horror flick with her boyfriend or parents when it’s all boobs and butts.  Can you say awkward? 

5.  Phantom of the Opera.  This isn’t really scary at all to me, but I love this movie.  It’s one of the few that I feel sorry for the bad guy.  It breaks my heart every time. 

There are so many more that I could make this list go on and on.  These are just a few movies off the top of my head that bring good memories along with them. Things like: how I felt while watching, who I was with, was it in the theater or at home, all kinds of reasons.  What movies in this genre are your favorites?  Do you have any?  Maybe you aren’t a horror movie fanatic like me.  That’s okay.  What is your favorite genre then? 



Monday, September 19, 2016

Kindness in this Day and Age.

The world is not kind to nice people.  Why is that?



Don’t expect me to have an earth shattering answer to that question, as I don’t.  All I know for certain is that no matter how kind or understanding or giving we sometimes are, the world likes to stomp the kindhearted down. 



I wonder if the exceptionally nice people just feel the judgment of others more fully?  Do we care too much and that is why slights whether directed at us or directed at others, of even the simplest type get under our skin?  Do people know that is what happens to us and they get delight out of the little pokes and slices here and there just to see us crumple and break down?  Gossip and rumors may only be words, but their edges are as sharp as a knife. 



I wonder these things now and then as I go about my workday and see the scenes played out again and again.  The difference between me and others with this affliction is that I feel the hurt very deeply, yet I smile through it and laugh as usual, as though the person with the sword is a fool and has no power over me, when in truth, sometimes they are tearing me apart on the inside.  Some are not as lucky as me to have that exterior shield. 



I don’t know where this is going.  I’m just off some days at what I see and what I hear and the heartlessness of others.  I wish I could be mean and less kind. I wish I could care less what others do, think, and say.  I wish I could step back and lose some of my emotions.  Instead, I will smile and laugh, and I will move forward one step at a time with no one the wiser of the struggles I may or may not be facing.  I will read more and paint more and I will write me.  Some days that is enough.



The real and in my face reality is that maybe I need a different day job.  There are too many emotions involved in family law.  After 20+ years of being enmeshed in it, maybe I simply can’t push it aside anymore. Remember that the next time you have “just one simple questions” for me about your divorce or child custody case or adoption that isn’t going well.  Please.  Please. Just don’t.

  

Monday, September 12, 2016

What's New in the World of Me?

What’s new?  

1.         In my writing world my fans may be happy to hear that Before the Dawn, the third book in the A Howl in the Night series is now officially in the hands of my publisher.  Once I have an idea of publication dates I will be sure to let you know.

2.            Homecoming is this week for the High School and that means, for the Tiny Dancer as well.  This is her first go around with this event.  I can’t decide what emotion it is that I am feeling.  We went dress shopping just the two of us and we had a great time.  I realized we do have some of the same tastes in clothes, which was a bit of a shocker.  I have also passed along my shoe obsession, which is good and bad.  There are worse things to spend your money on.  But then I realize that the last of my children is in high school and well it’s not sadness I feel it’s just more of a creeping loss of something I can’t put my finger on.  Maybe as I see her getting ready and heading out the door come Saturday, I will figure it out.  The shoes by the way are gorgeous.  It helps that she has the dancer legs to pull them off. 

3.         I will be closing down the garden this week.  For my first go around with container gardening, it went well in some areas and not so well in others.  I don’t think peas were a good idea.  They simply didn’t have the space necessary to grow well.  Beans were kinda the same thing.  The tomatoes and the peppers did the best.  The cucumbers started off really well and then just fizzled out for whatever reason.  I still got a good crop of them while they were going strong though so I’m not complaining, I will just figure out how to make them do better next year.  I wonder if I could pull off corn in a container type setting?  Anyone know?

4.         My grandson, also known as my Sunshine, spends Saturdays with me.  Has since he was born pretty much, as his mamma has had to work Tuesdays through Saturdays.  She has been able to finally get on a Monday through Friday schedule and that means, I wont get to see my Sunshine as much.  I know that being able to sleep in on a Saturday now will be like heaven, but I am not sure the trade off is worth it.  In my head it sounds great, in my heart, I don’t like it at all.  We will see how it all shakes out.   

That’s pretty much it for me.  With school back in session and a firm dance schedule in place, things are currently running like clockwork.  Zumba has begun again for me and I am working on ideas for promotions.  All in all things are going well.  Let’s see how long that will last…

Have a great week everyone. 

Ctny