Monday, March 28, 2011


For Christmas this past year I received to my delight a Kindle e-reader.  I wasn’t certain what I thought of e-readers at that time, but since then, I have found that I LOVE my Kindle.  I don’t have to go out to get new books from the bookstore. I don’t have to pay for shipping and wait for it to arrive if I go on-line.  I search, I buy, I have, all within moments, a new book to read right at my greedy fingertips.  I love it.

Of course now that I have had the Kindle for a bit, I have found several things that are a bit hinky if you ask me.  First, unless you really are paying attention you can get gipped in the book department.  I was searching for a good read, and found a nice $.99 book that sounded intriguing.  So I purchased it and began to read.  I flipped from page one to page two and the percentage of the book I had read went from 1% to 8%.  Yep, I just purchased a 12 page book.  Of course I was a bit annoyed, but I learned a valuable lesson:  check to see how big the download is before you buy, otherwise you too can be purchasing a 12 page novel. 

The next thing on the hinky side is the cost of some ebooks.  First as an author myself, I KNOW that ebooks are almost all profit.  There is no printing, there is no cover, there is no shipping, there is no storage.  Aside from the initial set up, it’s just profit. That is one of the reasons print books have become so expensive, all the above.  So, I was recommended a read from one of my followers a few weeks back.  I searched it down and saw that to purchase the print book it was $7.99.  To purchase the ebook, it was $7.49.  To me?  That is a very greedy, horrible deal.  Yes, the author makes more money, but frankly, I am not buying books to make authors money.  I am buying books to be entertained, to learn something new, or for whatever.  So, here me now all you publishers, and self publishing authors out there, if you are going to gouge your readers with that kind of a crappy deal, I will not be buying your books.  Even if I really want to read it, I wont be spending my money on you.  Shame on you.  I’m not saying they need to all be $.99 books.  I don’t expect that at all.  But $.50?  Seriously?    

So the question is am I wrong?  Why?  Ebooks are a wonderful new thing.  But, you can’t share them;  you can’t pass them along to libraries;  you can’t take them to “used” stores to re-sell;  you get it, you read it, that’s it. What do you think?


Monday, March 21, 2011


This is a current topic of discussion on several of the writer boards that I frequent.  I personally do quite a bit of review and critique work for other writers.  So much so in the past that I had to cut back on it quite a bit.  I was spending all my free time looking at the work of others and none on my own.  Some people ask how do you do a good review or a good edit or a good critique.  Everyone has different ways that they do it.  I have several rules that I follow.  These are not hard and fast rules for all people, but my own rules that I have set for myself. 

1.                  Remember that you are reviewing someone’s hard work.  It means something to them, and their heart is involved.

2.                  Don’t only focus on the bad stuff.  There has to be good in there somewhere.  Make sure to touch on it as well.  Point it out. 

3.                  Keep it constructive.  Always.

4.                  Be honest, but not hurtful.  If you hate the story, instead of saying that, say what they could do to make it better.

5.                  Remember that it is not your story.  You might have done it differently, but you didn’t write it.  Stick with the edit and the critique. 

6.                  If you aren’t sure about a change make sure to state that you aren’t or even better look it up.

That’s about it, the basics anyway.  Are there any other rules you use that aren’t on my list?  Do you want something in particular when you ask for a review or a critique? 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Yes, I know its not Monday, which is my usual posting day, but I have been swamped lately.  I have finished,  F I N I S H E D my novel, Shadow Warrior.  This is the sequel to my Shadow Dancer novel published last fall.  It is formatted and edited (hopefully) to the best of my ability and is right this very moment, officially in the paws of my publisher.  Woo Hoo!

Now comes the hard part:  The waiting.  Nail biting, worry inducing, stomach aching waiting.  I hate this part.  What if they don’t like it, or worse hate it?  What if what I think is a great story actually sucks?  Most times I would just jump back into another story and get moving writing it, but my brain wont stop the “what if” cycle that spinning and circling around in there. 

My shorter stories I don’t have this type of issue with.  Oh I am invested in their future, but not heartbreakingly if rejected (not that it doesn’t upset me – I wish it didn’t, but alas it does every single time).  My novels though, they have my soul in them.  They have my time, my energy, my frustrations.  A ‘no’ on one of my novel submissions tend to depress me for days.  No, I’m not wailing in the streets, but the weight of that one little word, tends to hang on. 

So to try to combat my neurosis, today I have decided that I am going to read a new book.  Any recommends?

Have a great week everyone.

Monday, March 7, 2011


So many things change us as we make our way through life.  Age.  Circumstances.  Education.  Growth.  Marriage. Children.  I think back to who I was at 17 and I am so far away from that young girl that was ready to take on the world, that’s its scary. 

Being poor through my college years and even afterward made me frugal to the point of miserly, even to this day when although we are far from rich, we are no long on the poor side either.  What!  You want Kraft Macaroni and Cheese?  It’s $1.09.  We will be getting the $.66 generic brand, thank you very much! 

Getting married really didn’t change me all that much, aside from learning patience.  Tooth paste in the sink, socks all over the place, cans of soda on ever flat surface…..

Now, having children I believe changed me the most.  I became afraid all the time.  I used to love to ride roller coasters, and drive fast, and go out at night dancing with my husband.  Then we had children, and thoughts of what if I got killed on the roller coaster made the fun less.  I found myself always nagging my husband, “Slow Down!  If you want to drive like a maniac, don’t do it with me and the girls in the car.”  Dancing?  What ever!  Aside from being tired and my legs unshaved, I didn’t want to spend the time away from my children. Yes, even though they would be asleep most of the time. 

I enjoy being a mom.  I like to see how they figure things out and how their imagination can take over.  I believe that is why I write for children.  I can jump into their world and understand what they are thinking.  I write for teens as I have a teen and I write for elementary as I have an elementary aged child.

Now I wonder though, with all the change and growing, when my children are grown and gone will I still enjoy the write?  Someone recently asked why I wanted to write for adults.  Maybe this is why.  Maybe I am preparing for change.  Can you do that?  I’m certainly going to try. 

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Fundamentals – The Building Blocks of Fun.

When I decided I wanted to be a writer, it was not a jump right in, head first, into the pool of authors, kind of thing.  I had a story in my hands that I had written to help my daughter “want” to read.  I wrote it for her, but then after its use was complete, I wondered what else I could do with it.  I didn’t want to just toss it, but I also didn’t want to have it collecting dust at the bottom of some junk drawer either.  So I “googled” children’s writers.  Oh my goodness the results I got.  It was quite over-whelming.  My next thought was the bookstore.  There had to be a how-to book there somewhere.  Well, I’m cheap so I hit the used store and found two books.  One was for idiots and one was for dummies, so I figured they were perfect for me.  I read them, cover to cover, and again.  That’s when it hit me, I had no idea what in the world I was doing.  Writing the story was easy, but then what?

So, now you are all wondering, “So…what did you do then?”

Simple, I took a class on writing for children.  The class was a marvelous help to me, as it set down the basics, the ground rules, and the fundamentals of being a writer in plain ole English, step by step by step.  Not only about how to write a story or article or book, but what the heck to do with it after its written, like the how-to on getting your work out to publishers and markets.  That was the information I needed.  That was the help I was looking for.  It made writing fun.  It became a game of where can I get published next.  What else can I try. 

That was a couple years ago now.  I completed the basic course on writing for children and then moved on to an advanced class on novel writing, which I completed about a month ago.  My diplomas are lovely, btw.  I have several credits in magazines; several in anthologies; and of course one for my novel, Shadow Dancer. 

Will I end there?  Of course not!  I love to learn new things all the time, so this year…..I’m looking into classes for adult writing.  Why not?  I’m sure I can use the information and the knowledge and of course the fundamentals.  Besides, I have an idea for a  thriller….