Thursday, December 17, 2015

Where Have I Been?

Merry Christmas and/or Happy Holidays! I can't believe it's been a month since my last blog post. Eep. I didn't mean to be so lax. I DO have excuses. Work, writing, (Yes, I have been writing--just not on this blog.) and life with two cats and a troll.

I had to drop my tradition of sending Christmas cards this year. I'm a little sad about that, but it saved me a lot of time and money. I'm going to treat this post as my Christmas letter to everyone.

I'm still working full time. The troll is not. I'm losing weight. My pants fell off at work today. Thank God I was working alone at the time! Spartacus Jones and Freya are fine and still the cutest creatures ever.

But enough about that. Here's my REAL reason for writing....

I'm going to publish a brand new novella in February. Its name is 'HER TRUE NAME: Volume One.'  It will be self-published, and the edits are already done. (Thanks Heather Savage. You did a GREAT job!) It's about 25,000 words. My ISBN is ready to go, and I'll start with a digital version.

I would publish the cover for you to see, but I haven't purchased the iStock photo yet, because I don't know what size I need. My bestie is going to come over and help me design said cover. I need to set up a PayPal account and take care of other details like the description on the back.

My God, am I ever SCARED. But sometimes you have to do things because you're afraid of them. I would rather wrestle with this than waste time and energy trying to find an agent or another publisher. That could take months, even years.

If this works out, I could probably have another full length novel out in 2016 as well. Remember me talking about 'CHASING MONSTERS'? Yeah, that's next. Oy. Wish me luck! Hopefully, I'll have new information soon.

Anyway, I want to wish YOU an awesome season and all the happiness in the world now and in the New Year. MmmmmmWAH!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Decaffeinated Work

A Tim Horton's 'Double Double'.
* I am in no way disrespecting or diminishing the events which recently happened in Paris. I've decided NOT to blog about it, because I have nothing interesting or insightful to add. Believe me, I'm as hurt and angry as everyone else, but I won't be commenting on it. *

I LOVE coffee. I could write thousands of words about my first taste of it, my favorite kinds, (Turkish and Ethiopian)  how it affects me, and how I order it in various coffee shops. But coffee has left me with a kind of homesickness.

At both jobs, my need for coffee is legendary. (How many have you had today, Donna?) The first thing I do, even before punching in, is turn on the coffee maker. Yes, you can still talk to me--I may not make a lot of sense yet, but I'm still reasonably human. I'm okay as long as I know I'm going to GET a *&%# coffee. No matter what time I have to get up, it's what gets me to work on time, knowing I get to drink coffee when I get there. I take my first sip...ahhhhh! And I can get on with my day.

Yesterday, my city finally got snow. In typical, unpredictable Alberta weather fashion, it was overly-expected. This year it's at least three weeks late.

I hit my snooze alarm three times before I got up, looked out the window, groaned loud enough to wake hibernating bears, and prepared for work.

Why don't I make coffee at home BEFORE work? Because if I did, there might be reasons not to go. This is where the homesickness kicked in.

I like my jobs. Each day I get a lot of exercise and satisfaction from all the things I cook and prep. I like a job well done, and I like my co-workers.

But yesterday, as I left my desk, my husband, kitties and warm home, I couldn't help but remember what I was doing this time last year.

I'd woken early, and made myself bacon, eggs, and coffee. I stayed in my flannel pajamas. I fed my cats, snuggling the hell out of them before I sat at my desk, smug with the knowledge that I didn't have to go outside and face the cold. I could sit still and create. Bliss.

I remember that first sip of coffee, felt the anticipation of the rush I knew would come. I opened the file to my novella, eager to begin my writing day.

I miss that feeling so much. I miss my old routine. Nowadays, I sit at my desk--after work--checking the clock, assuring that I don't write too late so that I won't be dusty-eyed tomorrow. Knowing I have to be up in six hours. Or less. Then knowing exactly why I need that coffee so much, because this happens so often.

So I can't have a coffee. I've actually reversed my life. How does one write without coffee? First World Problem, I know.

Here's a link to one of my first and favorite blog posts. I wrote this one as 'Thoeba', and it's about her first experience with coffee. :

Friday, October 30, 2015

When Piracy Turns Personal: Plagiarism.

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I'm so mad, I don't even know where to start. I wasn't sure which was worse--Piracy or Plagiarism. I'm going with plagiarism. It's one thing to steal someone's work and profit from it, but it's another thing to steal someone's work for profit AND pass their hard work, sweat, aggravation, and joy off as your own.  Every author knows exactly how difficult it is to write, edit, publish and promote a novel. Why would you steal from a fellow author? Isn't it hard enough to be a writer without turning on each other? Why the hell would you WANT to put your name to something you can't be proud of, because you didn't do it? I can't wrap my head around it.

I've seen two articles about plagiarism this week alone. Here's a link to one of them:

Worse yet, this is not the only incident I've found recently. I'm currently supporting Rachel Nunes'  GoFundMe for taking her plagiarist to court. Standing Against Plagiarism I wish I could help Ms. Nunes more. Wish I could afford to max out my Visa for her. If this happened to me, I'd sue too.

Notice she still doesn't have all the funding she needs? Notice the harassing posts she got from her antagonist? Where's her backup? As many writers as there are in the world, and we're not rallying to her rescue?

People are looking away. Too busy, financially strapped, can't be bothered...What if it happens to you? We need to start doing something, or it's going to happen more.

Collins English Dictionary defines the word 'plagiarize' as--"to appropriate (ideas, passages, etc.) from (another work or author)" Even the dictionary takes a bland attitude toward this.

When I was in elementary school, a teacher spelled it out for us. It started as a warning against cheating, but ended as a threat against plagiarism. She told us if we were ever caught doing it as an adult, the consequences would follow us for life. If you did it in college or university, you would be thrown out, and no other institute would take you. And good luck getting a job. If you did it at work, you would most certainly be fired, and would probably need a lawyer. Again, good luck getting another job. I was horrified at the thought of how that kind of thing could ruin my future, but at the same time, I had to ask, "Why would anyone do that anyway? What's the point of just copying someone else?"

I'm finding, especially lately, that originality in writing is hard to come by. I struggle to find new things to say all the time, but NOTHING could make me pass off someone else's stuff as my own. I cherish my individuality, and feel the same way about my work. I need it to be mine. I'm sure most writer's feel the same way.

Don't these people know that this is the age of the internet? The things you say and do are here FOREVER, for the world to see. Wouldn't you want your legacy to be the very best things your mind could produce? But no...Their legacy will be that of a thief. They could have written the most poignant tome of love, peace and racial harmony but no one's going to remember, because they'll be known for stealing. Yet, somehow these people don't seem to care much. Nobody seems to care that much. What's wrong with this planet? Is it just me?

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The Sophie Lancaster Project

Dare to Shine: Anthology

I can finally talk about this! I'm so grateful to be a part of this anthology! It's all about empowerment.

But first, a little backstory.

Emma Hibbs is a friend and fellow author/family member from Staccato Publishing. She's a talented young Australian living in England. While there, she learned about a young woman named Sophie Lancaster.

Sophie Lancaster was a twenty year old goth who was murdered just for the way she looked. Her and her boyfriend were accosted by a band of thugs who literally kicked their heads in. Sophie's boyfriend survived only because Sophie used her body to protect him after he lost consciousness.

Although it happened years ago, Emma recently learned of it, and expressed her horror and heartbreak on Facebook. I shared her emotions, and asked if there was anything I could do. Turns out there was something we could do, and this anthology is Emma's answer. I'm FEROCIOUSLY PROUD to be a part of it. Thank you Emma for inviting me!

I can't speak for Emma, or any of the other writers included in 'Dare to Shine', but I can tell you why this is so important to me.

I'm 14-15 here. Do I look menacing? Perhaps not quite yet.
I grew up in a town of 2000 people. The kids there were mostly preppies and jocks--There were precious few headbangers like me. Maybe seven or eight of us? I back-combed my hair as high as I could. I wore the most obnoxious jewelry, and eclectic clothing  I could find. I went everywhere with a Walkman blasting Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer and other stuff that would cauliflower your ears. And I was proud of it! I LOVED being completely different from everyone else. Still do.

People called me names--behind my back, and to my face. Headphone Girl. Fool. Weirdo. Space Cadet. Satanist. Adults would openly sneer at me and roll their eyes. But never, EVER did I think that anyone would try to kill me for the way I dressed. And it hurts to know that someone murdered Sophie Lancaster just for that reason. And that's why I'm in.

I can't give you a peek. I can't give you any excerpts--Ever. I wrote the 8000 word short story, but it belongs to S.O.P.H.I.E. now.  All rights and 100% profits belong to the foundation that bears Sophie Lancaster's name.  I feel so good about this, like I contributed something valuable to the world.

When the time comes, I will post a link for purchase, and I hope you all check it out. Remember, the proceeds will help fight bullying and you'll get some good reading on top of that.

Always be proud of who you are!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

When Writing Causes Work Injuries

I feel so stupid right now. My thumb is encased in five miles of gauze, because I successfully sliced off a full centimeter of flesh off, with a sizable chunk of fingernail to go with it.

I was cutting kale into a small dice when it happened. I was carrying on a half-assed conversation with a co-worker about...Oh Hell...What were we talking about? Something work related. I was thinking about writing.

I have finished a sex scene for my new novel Elaina's Fate, and was wondering where exactly I start after that.

Plus I'm not happy with said sex scene. I've been quoted as saying "Writing sex scenes is like losing your virginity in public." This is much worse. Elaina's written in first person. And in present tense. Which means I'm writing it as though I'm LIVING it. If writing sex scenes is like losing your virginity in public, then this feels like inviting all my friends over to watch my own sex tape and making them popcorn. Why do I do this to myself?

So I was thinking of writing, and babbling about work with my hand splayed out, not digits curled in like I know they should have been. We were out of coleslaw, and I was trying to hustle. So when I sliced my thumb, I did it with an aggressive chop borne of determined haste.

My agonized, startled yelp caused Dhodie to jump about three feet straight up in the air. He has the nerve to ask,: "Did you cut yourself?"

So we inspect my injured digit, and he turns grinch green and teeters slightly. I've seen worse. And it hurt worse than this. Actually, the powder they dumped on my cut to stop the bleeding hurt worse than the cut itself.

The bad news? I'm not allowed to push, pull or lift anything over eleven pounds. I can't do yardwork, peel anything for canning, or generally anything that might cause me to bleed again.

The good news? I type with only two fingers, so I can still write to my heart's content!

Monday, September 14, 2015

The Writer's Constant Companion...Doubt.

I just found my very first one star review for Aphrodite's War. I wasn't hurt or angry. Not at first. I was godsmacked and shocked. The reviewer hated it. Loathed it. Would give it zero stars if she could. She made it twenty percent in before giving up on it.

She was rather vague, but I figured out a few reasons why she didn't like it. She didn't like the multiple POVs, I'm guessing, and didn't like my voice. I also guessing the sex scene between Ares and Strife turned her off. She also found a glaring mistake in the way I portrayed the relationship between Aphrodite and Hermes--definitely my fault.

The part that hurt was how she said it seemed like a bad knock off of a series she'd already read. She didn't say which author or series, so I've got no idea who she's talking about. It bothers me because I try to write original material, and HATE the idea that I may have copied someone else. I wouldn't have written the book if I'd known. Why would I regurgitate something that's already been done?

Now I'm working on a novella based in the time of the Funnelbeakers. I'm six chapters in, and I realize that despite my research, I know very little about them. I went to write about a feast, and discovered I don't know what they eat. I googled it, but I'm shaken with the idea that I might be wrong, and my novella will be filled with holes and inaccuracies. I tell myself I'm not writing a historical document, that my readers are more interested in the story, but shouldn't I be as authentic as possible?

I wasn't going to blog about this incident at all, but it's giving me Writer's Block. I'm afraid to write.

My friend Kathy pointed out that this is a rite of passage for a writer, and she's right. EVERYONE gets bad reviews, no one is that good that everyone loves them. My friend Delvina told me this one star is validating. One can't have only four and five star reviews all the time, because they look 'planted'. She's right. I think I'd be suspicious too if every single review I saw for a book ranted about how great it was. This blogger probably did me a little favor with her blunt honesty. Actually, I appreciate her honesty. Strangely glad she didn't fake anything, even if it stings.

So I'm venting here, on my blog. Now that I have it off my chest, I'm going to write that feast scene. I'm going to describe the fire-roasted deer, pig and mallard. I'm going to comment on the rich bowls of barley and carrot and the charred crabapples and hazelnuts. They're going to drink copious amounts of beer from clay bowls made by Agneta. I WILL keep writing. After all, this is just the first draft. I can always fix it later.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

I am Writer, Dread my Post!

I'm sitting outside, having a smoke break when I am joined by a young friend who works at the restaurant next door to mine. We usually talk shop, his upcoming wedding and Pinterest. He tells me, after eight years, he's leaving his job. Eeeek! "I'll miss you!" I tell him. "I'll miss you too!" he says back. We decide we should stay in touch and exchange cell phone numbers (And first names, I might add. I chatted with this guy for four months and we never knew each other's names.) and I tell him I'll give him one of my bookmarks. I can tell he doesn't know what that actually means.

Later that day, I send him a text to confirm we have the right numbers. I tell him I got sent home early, but it's okay because I've got edits to do. He says "Bummer. Edits arn't fun." And I wonder if he's trying to be funny.

Today I give him a bookmark and tell him the picture is the cover of my second novel, Aphrodite's War. He asks what it's about. I give him a short run down....failing to tell him it's a love story and that I write paranormal romance, but it doesn't matter because he responds with a deadpan-- "Cool...Didn't know that about you." As if it anything BUT. I think I muttered something about marketing being a bitch and having trouble self-promoting.

That's the trouble with being a writer. I'll bet my friend is thinking, "Oh God, ANOTHER one?" Writer is the new 'rock star'. Everyone wants to be a writer.

That's why it's so hard to make a living at it. I'm just one in a couple million, It doesn't matter how hard I work, there are millions of people just like me. We all want to tell a story. And self-publishing has made it that much easier.

I think this is funny. It's happened that people tell me I should write THEIR story. One guy insisted he was so interesting, I'd make a lot more money writing his family history than I could ever make writing fiction of ANY kind.

It's weird to be on the other side, where being a writer might make people find me tedious. I don't think I've ever experienced that before. Interesting. Good thing I'm an armadillo.

Monday, August 10, 2015

A Few Minutes with Kathy Steinemann

Today I want to introduce you to Kathy Steinemann, the author behind the anthology Suppose, and a good friend. I’ve got a soft spot for her for getting me involved with the Suppose project, and for her wealth of expertise in all things writing and publishing. Welcome Kathy!
Hi, Donna. Thanks for inviting me to your blog.
You are a master at drabbles and flash fiction. Please explain what those are, and how you came to write them.
A master? Aw, shucks. Thanks for the vote of confidence.
A drabble is exactly 100 words long, and flash is usually a piece of 1000 words or less, although some definitions will stretch that to 2000 words.
I started to create shorter pieces when I joined a writers’ critique and networking site, Scribophile.
When did you first start writing?
I can recall scribbling stories before grade one. I won’t tell you how many years ago that was, but I will say that I remember the debut of the Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show. I won a few prose and public-speaking contests while I was still in school, I wrote for the high school newspaper, and submitted a school news column to the local weekly.
My love of writing continued through the years. One of my jobs was editor of a small-town weekly, but life presented other career choices until 2009, when I gravitated back toward my first love.
You are self-published. Have you always been so? How did you get your start?
I considered the traditional route, but after investigating the alternatives, opted for self-publishing.
The self-pub learning process required countless hours on the Internet as I researched resources and interacted with other authors. During my journey, I had several pieces accepted by literary journals and a few anthology publishers. I won four flash fiction contests, and placed in several others
Who are your literary heroes? Muses?
My literary heroes? Probably Ray Bradbury and Pearl S. Buck. And I’d have to call Rod Serling my muse. That’s an eclectic excursion from sci-fi to historical fiction to fantasy and horror.
Tell us about a book that had an impact on your life.
Besides the Bible, probably the Black Stallion series. I read several of Walter Farley’s novels when I was a child, choosing reading over chores. The books inspired me to become an avid reader.
Tell us about one that had an impact on your writing.
That’s a difficult question. An author who had an impact is Fredric Brown, a master of short stories with surprise endings. However, I like to experiment with a variety of voices and formats. I’ve often thought that I should invent different pen names for some of my projects.
Maybe I already have.
What is your favorite format to write? Do you prefer drabbles, flash fiction, short stories, or novels?
Drabbles are difficult, and are probably my least favorite. As Mark Twain said, "I didn’t have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead." When you only have a hundred words to tell a story, each one must count.
Novels, especially series, require attention to dates and details so you don’t make mistakes with your plot.
In the middle are flash fiction and short stories, my favorites. I like to tell a complete story, usually with a surprise ending, that only takes a few minutes to read.
What do you like to read?
Tales that engage me, that make me reluctant to put the book down. Novels like Aphrodite’s War, Thoeba, and the Dune series. [Kathy chuckles.] (Aw, shucks. I'm blushing. Way to plug my stuff in YOUR interview!)
Do you have any rituals to write with? Favorite drinks, snacks, or music? What gets you in the zone?
I like coffee nearby, but never snacks. It’s difficult to type with crumbs on your fingers. I find music distracting, preferring the company of a low-volume news channel on the TV. I don’t need anything to get me in the zone, but I break every twenty minutes or so. Sometimes if I’m bogged down, a three-minute walk will give me fresh ideas.
The house is littered with sticky notes; I have a notepad in my purse; my cell phone contains memos; and my hard drive holds dozens of in-progress pieces. Sometimes all it takes is a casual comment from my husband or a friend to inspire me.
What do you love about writing?
I enjoy sharing the ideas in my head. I can work in my pajamas if I want to. There’s no boss looking over my shoulder and cringing when s/he sees my weird Google searches. Those searches are a constant fount of new knowledge and frequent chuckles.
Self-publishing allows me to work without deadlines, and I can experiment with style.
What do you hate?
Rejections. And I say that again: rejections. Having an editor say no to something I’ve slaved over is always a disappointment.
I also hate trapping myself in a corner, but I’m a pantser who dislikes outlines. That corner trap usually develops into a plot twist, although the solution might occur to me days or weeks after I’ve put a piece away to ripen.
I miss coffee breaks and discussions with coworkers.
I could do without the business end: promoting, finding reviewers, accounting, and the myriad mundane but necessary tasks that tear me away from writing.
If you could offer any advice to new authors, what would it be?
Believe in yourself. Don’t give up.
Cultivate your unique voice, realizing that you can’t follow every bit of advice you hear or read.
WRITE. Every minute you spend writing will open new vistas. It’s a craft that demands practice and dedication.
Where can readers find you?
The best place to find me is at my website,
I’m also on Facebook: KathySteinemann.Author.
And Twitter: @KathySteinemann.
Can we have a list of your published works?
I have several available, ranging from travel tips to German-English dual-translation collections to IBS tips, as well as two novels in the Sapphire Brigade series, and Suppose. I keep an updated list on my website.
Are you able to share anything about what you’re working on now?
In September, I plan to release Nag Nag Nag, a humor anthology about a married couple who bicker and snipe, but love each other beyond words. They spar, spat, and love their way through pre- and post-retirement, with guest appearances by their daughter and granddaughters.
Late in 2015 or early 2016, I’ll be releasing Envision, a collection of science fiction stories by me and guest authors who are competing in a contest I’m sponsoring at Scribophile. I also have a children’s book, Galoomph, ready for the illustration phase.
Next year I plan to publish Zarminixia, another sci-fi anthology.
Any final comments?
Thanks for the interview opportunity, Donna, and good luck with Chasing Monsters and Elaina’s Fate!

Thank YOU, Kathy!!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

A Cure for Insomnia

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So tired. So wired. Need a Deep Sleep.

My husband is snoring. My bed is too hot and too hard. I steal my favorite pillow and slip to the basement.

I lay down in the guest futon, and bury myself in the fluffy comforter. Bliss. It's dark, cool, and quiet. The old futon, the one I've had since I was single and just moved to Edmonton envelops me in it's old familiar, squishy way, bowed in the middle to cradle me.

Deep Sleep, I tell myself. Deep. Sleep. 

I feel my face relax. My mask, the one of worry and consternation I wear so much these days falls away. It isn't until then I realize how tense I am. Feet are still buzzing from the day, but their burden is finished for the night. Aching shoulders unwind. I still feel the twinges, but remind myself to let them settle. I have worked my body hard, and it deserves rest. I deserve rest. I deserve Deep Sleep.  I shift, just a little uncomfortable for a moment, and something in my spine pops like a tiny, satisfying firework only I can hear, and I sigh.

I am now in carefully cultivated, floating relaxation.

Thoughts of work drift through my mind. Tomorrow's prep cooking. Coleslaw, mashed potatos...We will have to make Beef and Mushroom Pot Pie, an all day affair. But I let it all slip away. I'm not at work. I'm sleeping. It will be okay. We will get through the day fine. I am able to dismiss my anxieties, let them fade.

My stories dance, and I let them. They will be fuller and richer when I wake. I have learned to trust my vivid, dreaming brain.

Deep Sleep, I gently chide myself. I'm wearing the mask again, and as odd as it sounds, I concentrate on letting go again. One does not notice how much one crinkles her face until she must work to ease it away.

Spartacus Jones comes to press his nose to my head and purr. My mouth drops open, but I don't care. I have successfully dropped the mask, and my comfort is complete.

I'm laying perfectly still, thinking of my father, and the best advice he ever gave me. Just be quiet. Don't get up for a cigarette. Don't get up to watch TV, or clean the house because you can't sleep. Your body needs to be quiet. Even if your mind can't stop, your body has to, and you'll feel better in the morning if you didn't leave your bed. 

Eventually I learned to let go, to be at peace with the silence. To suggest to myself the Deep Sleep. To believe myself . To believe in the Deep Sleep.

Deep Sleep. Deep Sleep. Deep Sleep. Say it to yourself until it comes true. Best of luck.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Yelling From Mountain Tops.

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I am NOT having fun. I've finally sent my novella off to beta readers, and have had reasonable success formatting Chasing Monsters in order to send off to agents and publishers. Time to get on it. The first agent query went out  on the 24th.

So I decided to page through the agent and publisher section of my copy of the 2015 Writer's Market with a highlighter. I'm almost sorry I did. Talk about overwhelming and discouraging! Page upon page of people and organizations with specific requirements and discriminating tastes. Even the avant garde looks daunting. There are several pages without the telltale neon yellow of possibility.

This one only wants Canadian content. This one, only wholesome Christian content. This one only Imprints, whatever that means. No unsolicited manuscripts. No fiction. No romance. Did you know there is a publisher that deals exclusively in vampires? They don't care about the word count or genre, just as long as it has vampires. No vampires, no publishing contract.

I got such a weird feeling. I had a visual of my cartoon self climbing a mountain. (Just a smallish one. No Kilimenjaro or anything.) I stood on the top, listening to loud murmuring from the ground. I yell, "HEY!! I WRITE PARANORMAL ROMANCE NOVELS!!" The noise lessens as groups of people leave. "I WRITE ANGELS, DEMONS AND GODS. PLUS REINCARNATION." It gets a little quieter. "I WRITE GRAPHIC SEX SCENES." By now, I can barely hear the voices from the Earth. "I'VE PUBLISHED TWO NOVELS, BUT I DON'T HAVE MUCH OF A PLATFORM." I'm greeted with silence.  No one out there is listening to me anymore. And I'm worried.

Now I understand the allure of self-publishing. I used to think, "Why would anyone want the hassle?" Now I know. The world of literary agents and publishing houses is an unwelcoming place.

But it isn't a reason to give up. I'm an optimist after all. I'm also an armadillo, and I will persevere.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Thorry You Didn't Stay

A writer never lets her readers dangle. One must tie knots in the ends of her threads, so here is the final Thor Report.

For those of you who don't know, Thor was the little orange stray we were trying to coax into our family. We were so close...I even have pictures to share. But we haven't seen the little cat with the big balls for weeks now. I guess it wasn't meant to be.

The last time we saw Thor, we fed him, and he let both myself and my husband hold him. He meowed a lot over it, but his body seemed relaxed. He stuck around for about fifteen, twenty minutes before trotting to the gate. He perched atop it, looking back at us. He looked reluctant. Like he was trying to decide if he really wanted to go.

A few nights later, I dreamed I was holding him. He had a collar and tag very much like the ones we have for Spartacus Jones and Freya. I tried to read the tag, wondering if I would find our address and number on the tag or someone else's, but he wouldn't let me read it. He kept squirming, and I woke up.

After a few days, and much thought, we stopped leaving food out. We hadn't seen him at all, but the neighbor's cat started coming into the yard, and we suspect she'd been eating the food. I think Joyce, her owner, probably wouldn't appreciate us getting her tubby cat even tubbier.

So I guess Thor wasn't meant to be ours. I'd like to think he's safe in someone else's house. That we weren't meant to have him, but we were supposed to help keep him alive so he could find his furever home.

Further thought makes me question whether we should get a third cat after all. Freya is the Greta Garbo of cats, clearly wishing to be left alone. Spartacus Jones might want a sibling, but perhaps he wouldn't like sharing his Mommy with another cat. He's jealous of attention I give to Freya.

I guess we will remain a two-cat household, and maybe that's for the best. I'd like to think that if another cat comes into our lives, I will know when it's right. We'll see. Goodbye, little Thor. It was nice knowing you <3 If things don't work out...You know you have someplace to go.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Why the Review?

Last week one of my fellow author's on Facebook asked. "Is it rude to ask a reader for a review?"  He'd sent a contest winner a FREE  digital copy of his latest, and added "If you could leave a review, it would mean the world to me." Or something generic like that.

The response was an emphatic 'NO'. It isn't rude, not in our opinion. Every author does that. We all ask. We can tell you our novels are great, but doesn't it sound a lot less biased coming from someone else?

This author received a rather terse and detailed email telling him that if she'd known that he EXPECTED a review, she wouldn't have accepted the prize. That she was an English Major and she was FAR too busy to write a review for a book she might not have the time to read, and didn't even remember winning. She couldn't believe he'd had the audacity to ask!

How do I know? Unfortunately, he posted it. Let us all see the obnoxiousness that this woman poured forth.  Equally unfortunate? He posted his response. This included a snarling apology and reasons why he sent the prize late (death in the family) and how he didn't feel he was being rude or demanding of her time. He intimated that he too had schedule demands.

This is why you don't respond to haters. She wrote BACK, basically telling him her academics and life (Did she mention she was an English Major?) were more important than his petty needs, and it was not lost on any of us how much time and effort she'd taken to blast him. Even though she's VERY busy. He wisely decided to let it go. He has books to write.

Why do we ask our readers to write for reviews? It's a suggestion. We're hoping you'll do it, but we won't lose sleep if you don't. We are not asking you to write a thesis. We ask because it's the cheapest, easiest way for us to get exposure. If you liked it, a star rating and a couple of sentences are all that's needed. If you hated it, please feel free to do the same. Most of us, (Not all, but that's another blog) won't bite.  Hell, a handful of stars will do the trick if you're in a hurry.

I repeat:It's just a suggestion! No need to slam us, especially if you might end of working alongside us. By the way, he gave us her name too. I'm not sure if that's fair or vindictive, but I'm guilty of being glad he did it. I don't want to work with someone like that. Writers DO have feelings, you know.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

I am a Fearless Armadillo.

Now you know why writers drink.
When I set out to become a novelist, I honestly had no idea what I was getting into. I figured I would write the books...That's it. I would write the books, and someone else would handle the cover, editors, marketing and money. I would just happily write books.

BWA-HAHAHAHAHA! (Wipes a tear away.)

Just the task of marketing alone must be a testament to the determination of writers everywhere. You know just how serious you are about making it in this business if you are willing to struggle in the futility of finding readers for your hard work.

No, writing is not for the casual dabbler. First you have to write the book. Then you either find an agent and/or a publisher. That requires hours of writing emails for people who often ignore you or frequently reject you. Writers also need the skin of an armadillo. BE the armadillo!

Once you've done that, someone (the editor) will pick apart your work, but it's for your own good, and the good of your work. Be the Armadillo.

Then comes interviews, blogs and reviews, which can be fun...until someone doesn't like you or your work. DON'T piss off a blogger. I had one blogger 'friend' me on Facebook, and send the post she was going to publish. I POLITELY corrected her spelling of 'Thoeba', it's a common mistake for an invented name, and she blasted me, saying it was MY fault she misspelled it because she'd only copied and pasted everything. She went on a Facebook rant about 'disrespectful authors'. She didn't name me, but told all her friends to 'PM' her for details. Ouch. I am an armadillo.

Now I'm finding myself in a place where I've got the goods, but nowhere to put them. I've been looking at self-publishing. I'm a sweating armadillo. Now I have to learn how to format properly and meander around things like 'Createspace'. (Insert panicked laughter here.) I'm barely tech savvy enough to write my own blogs. I've done enough research to know that I will need an expensive editor. My grammar isn't up to snuff, and I doubt my knowledge of legalities is either. Time to toughen up, and open my wallet. Time to learn things and try something I never wanted to do. Sometimes you have to do things BECAUSE you are afraid of them.

I am an armadillo, and I really wish I could curl into a tight little ball right now.
Tiny ferocious Dragon Ball, that's me. RAWR!
Wish me luck.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Thor Thpots.

This isn't Thor. I got this off the internet. Thor is smaller and thinner.
When did I become such a sap? Yes, this is a cat blog, but no, it's not about Spartacus Jones or Freya. It's about an orange cat with orange eyes I've named 'Thor'.

The first time I saw him, he was sitting in our driveway with Spartacus and our neighbor's cat 'Charlie'. He was skinny, skittish and didn't have a collar, so naturally, I had to try to befriend him.

Cats without collars stress me out. All I can think about is...Are you abandoned? Do you have a safe place? Are you hungry?

We've been feeding him. He lets us touch him, and Spartacus will actually watch him wolf down food without getting territorial or jealous. In fact, Thor follows Spartacus right into the yard. I think Spartacus wants a little brother. He never gets nasty with Thor.

Thor is polite, even though his table manners are atrocious. He scarfs down his food, rubs around my husband and I, chirps a little thank you and runs away. He's made it as close as the porch, but won't come in.

I worry. I hurt for the little beast, but my husband is far more stoic. Thor seems more like an actual stray than an abandoned cat. He's thin, skittish and clearly not fixed. (Is it normal for cats to have testicles the size of peach pits?) He's a little warrior.

Dan reminds me that this is his normal life, being outdoors foraging or scavenging food. He doesn't know he's missing anything. The weather is nice, and Thor doesn't seem to be suffering. He isn't cold, and he probably has a good hiding place during the day. We always have water out. Nights have been nice.

I've been reminding myself I have time to gain his trust. Summers are short in my province, but I have at least three months before the weather gets ugly. Maybe by then, he'll be ready. Maybe not. In the meantime, I'll just keep leaving a dish of wet food on my porch. I'll keep looking for that empty dish in the morning. I'll keep searching for a little patch of orange.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

A Sunday at the Words in 3D Conference

How was the conference, you're wondering? Too short! Due to work obligations, I could only attend the Sunday, and I really wish I could have attended more.

Breakfast was simple. Muffins and coffee. I got a swag bag that included a program, two issues of 'avenue' magazine, an issue of 'Glass Buffalo', some useful booklets on independent publishing, literary catalogs and Professional Editing Standards. Plus a couple stationary treats that every writer loves to get. You can never have enough paper or notebooks!

I went to a seminar about success after publishing. This was an informative talk with a panel that included, an author, the owner of legendary Edmonton book store 'Audrey's', a publicist and a librarian.  The message is clear...use social media to the best of your advantage and BE POLITE!! Because writers tend to get aggressive while trying to sell books, Laugh. Out. Loud.

Keynote speaker was Cory Beatty from Harpercollins Canada. He gave us stats and told us stories, both to remind us to work hard and we'll get there eventually...But it won't be easy.

Lunch was my favorite part for two reasons that didn't involve the food. Not that it wasn't was simple, tasty fare of soup, sandwiches, fruit and cookies.

Reason number one is the gentleman who sat next to me and introduced himself as Douglas Gibson. I'm embarrassed now, because I had no idea he's a MAJOR celebrity in the Canadian literary world. As in, "No one else has done more for Canadian Literature than Douglas Gibson." kind of famous. I just thought he was a nice older gentleman with funny stories about speeding tickets.

Reason number two is Penney Kome. Such a cool, knowledgeable woman! We used massive words, and appreciated the fact that we understood what each other was saying. (If you're ever in the company of writer's having a conversation, listen to their idiolect. We all utilize an advanced vocabulary when speaking to each other.) We talked about politics and feminism. She's a former reporter and has written seven non-fiction books about suffrage, feminism, and politics. I wish I could have HER as a mentor, even if we don't actually write the same things. We seem to have a lot of the same ideals. I haven't read anything of hers yet, but I think I'm a fan!

Unfortunately, and this is my fault, I wasn't able to pitch or speak to designated mentors after lunch. I didn't put my requests in quickly enough. I'm an idiot, because I thought 'Pitch Camp' would be a room full of writers and someone up front teaching us how to sell our work to agents. Wrong!

It's a bit of a bummer, as I stayed up late choosing and printing out samples for them to read. Again, I should have moved faster. Now I have an envelope of excerpts and no one to read them. Lesson learned.

Friday, May 22, 2015

New News

Okay, so I have some news, good news and bad news.

THE BAD NEWS: I let a good friend beta read 'Chasing Monsters' and while she loved it, sad to see it end, and couldn't put it down...she has made me a list of TYPOS she found!! TYPOS?! Bummer. I guess 'Chasing Monsters' isn't ready yet after all. I can't send an MS with typos in it to an agent. Funny thing is I sent an inquiry to an agent already, and I forgot one letter in the e-mail address and it bounced back. I was disappointed, but figured I could probably add a few things to my letter, and considered it a good thing. Looks like it really WAS!
Image by"meepoohfoto/

NEW NEWS: Edmonton is hosting a writer's conference called 'Words in 3D', and I get to go on Sunday. I barely made the deadline to register, but I had to make sure I wasn't working. As it is, I won't be able to attend on Friday and Saturday, but I'm really looking forward to it. I never want to miss an opportunity to hone my craft. Plus it includes 'Pitch Camp'.

THE GOOD NEWS: I'm ever writing whenever I can, and I finished the first novella in what I hope is a series involving humans, reincarnation, and gods. The first installment takes place in ancient Egypt. This is a huge undertaking for me, but I intend to work on it as often as I can. My friend Nicole, who was my best friend in highschool, and adores all things Egyptian gets first crack at it after a round or two of edits.
Bast makes an appearance in the novella

Hopefully, I'll be able to tell you more about the conference next week. Until then...The first photo is a bit of a tease about 'Chasing Monsters'.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

My First Fan

These aren't Kevin's, but he does have three of them.
So last week I wrote my first blog in weeks. Mostly just to announce that "I'm still here." I got a WHOLE LOTTA support through here, Facebook and Twitter. Thank you!!

That night, I did it. I finished the synopsis for Chasing Monsters. I also did some writing. I think I just needed a little boost, you know? Now I feel like I can move on. Get an agent maybe. New publisher. I have all you guys to thank for it.

Particularly Kevin. I would like to take this time to thank him. He was my first REAL fan. As in, the first person to openly appreciate my work who wasn't related to me, or a long-standing friend of mine. Of course, he's become a dear friend over the years :)

I met him on Farmville when I was still a meatcutter. One day he messaged me and asked my advice on what cut of beef I would recommend for Beef Stroganoff. I was happy to chat about whether he would want to use tenderloin, top sirloin or inside round and why.
This stuff...Beef Stroganoff. Yum!

When I started writing seriously, and Thoeba had been published, he messaged me again, because he loves to read. It escalated from there.

I appreciate Kevin's friendship for more than just writing. He's smart, interesting and kind. He loves cats every bit as much as I do. (He has three.) When I lost Sully, he was there for me. He even wrote a sweet eulogy for Sully's memorial. Even though he never met the cat, he did a beautiful job. He obviously knew Sully's heart.
My favorite pic of Sully and my husband.

He's always encouraging me. It's like he has a kind of radar that tells him when I need a little pep talk for my work. He actually READS this blog. All the time! And he misses it when I don't do it. No really, he does.

Oh, and for the record? The Kevin in Aphrodite's War is NOT based on him! Not even close. That Kevin was inspired by an argumentive creep I once worked with, and a scary guy I met in Chilliwack, BC that sat next to me and carried on an imagined conversation between us when he couldn't get  my attention. I actually caught him imitating me. They were both named Kevin and my character looks like the BC weirdo.

Someday, I'd LOVE to immortalize MY friend Kevin in a book, and maybe give him a a dedication. And I'd like to meet him in person some day. Here's to you, Kevin! Whenever I feel like I'm a terrible writer, or if I just feel a little blue, I'm glad I have your friendship. You always make me smile :)

P.s.--There are no pics of Kevin or his cats because I'm protecting his privacy. I didn't tell him I was writing this ;)

Thursday, May 7, 2015

I'm Still Here

Yeah, it's been a couple of weeks, I'm sorry.It's not that work is hard. It isn't, but it is. I love my jobs. My work is fun, actually, but my feet JUST stopped torturing me. I can now stand for hours without feeling as though I'm walking on razor blades. Last Saturday was a 9 1/2 hour shift, and I made it just fine. Must have been adrenaline. But usually, by the time I finish work, I don't feel like doing much. I've probably written only about 900 words in the last two weeks. Sigh...

But yesterday I received a royalty check from Staccato. It's the biggest one I have ever been paid as a writer. Please don't ask how much. I had a friend guess, and he said, "I don't know...a grand?" I almost choked on my cider. No, uh...much, MUCH smaller.

Bummer that my friends think I actually make money at writing, but it did inspire me. It gave me a kick in the ass. I HAVE to get moving! I HAVE to get that synopsis down to two pages and look for an agent. I need to write more. Something. ANYTHING.

Did you know that only 2% of novelists become financially successful? Did you know that most of us give up after awhile? I don't want to be one of those who surrender to the reality that I probably won't make it.

I will still write. I will still publish. It's just going to take me longer than I anticipated. I hope you stay with me, because I intend to stick around.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Work Has Become Sesame Street

How's the new jobs you ask? Really good actually. I'm enjoying the work and the routine of a prep cook. I like my co-workers. I go to work everyday just a little bit excited, and it's good.

It's just that things have gone just a little bit Sesame Street.

Allow me to explain. I've discovered that talking to humans on Facebook or writing my thoughts on screen is ENTIRELY different than talking to people in real life. You only get one shot at speaking your mind to people. The first draft that pours from your lips is the one that gets used. There is no delete button or backspace. I open my mouth, and all that comes out is AROO-BA WAH NEH, ACK RRAHHHHH!
People are starting to give me a wide berth.

That's not even the worst part! There's no tunes back there, you see. No radio, Ghetto blaster or dock. No music. Just quiet. And I do a lot of portioning. Which means a lot of counting. I know what you're thinking, but you're wrong. I WISH I had songs and scenes of The Count dancing in my head while I work, but NO. I'm not that lucky. I get those wacky counting cartoons they do up. I can just imagine the producers way back in the seventies waving their hands at the musicians in charge and saying, "Whatever! Just make it memorable and weird!"
I'm currently stuck with this:   Count to Ten  HAHAHAHAHA! You're welcome.

Don't get me wrong, I'm having a good time. It's just days like that I wish my fertile brain could come up with something else. Like maybe fresh new ideas about new novels, or the ones I'm currently working on. But nooooo...MY brain has to revert to my childhood. Why is that? It's okay, I guess. It could be worse. I babble like a two-headed purple monster talking to itself, and count like a muppet vampire, but at least I'm not a---

Thursday, April 9, 2015

The Big Shift

Yes, I missed last week, but I have good excuses, and it might start happening more often.

I just got not ONE new job, but TWO. Because  have to be careful what I wish for, as I usually get it. Because I'm greedy and I want to do it all. Because I just can't say no to good job opportunities.

I actually thought about letting this blog slide...It doesn't have a big fan base--only a few people actually read it--I figure I might not have a lot of time to write it. But didn't I just write the 'Don't give up your day job blog?' Why should I give up my blog? My link that keeps Donna the Author connected to everything else?

I'm still going to write. I'm ALWAYS going to write! I'll keep on writing novels, novellas and short stories here and there, and I'll continue to publish.

As having a day job keeps one connected with the world and industry, this blog will be my life line to the world of writing. I got lucky to find two fantastic jobs after being out of touch for so long, and I'm not going to let that happen with writing. I'll still be here, as often as time and energy allows, and I'll still keep you informed of what's happening with my world of angels, demons and gods.

You're all still stuck with me!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Why Can't I be a Morning Person?

My new favorite. Takes a little longer, but easy and worth it!
Does anyone else have this problem? I am an insomniac--mostly. I was kinda born that way. My mother complained often of my absolute unwillingness to sleep from pretty much day one. I don't like sleep and I don't really know why. I still resist it like a bratty child. Sometimes I don't have to resist--It isn't coming. Did it have to do with the fact that my daddy worked night shift? Are my rhythms off? Did growing up in a haunted house effect me to the point where I simply CAN'T sleep at night? I don't know.

Want to know something weird? I didn't start sleeping properly until I moved to a city. Nothing erks me worse than complete silence. The only thing worse, is complete silence interrupted by say, a howling coyote, or creaking floors, and other noises that interrupt that eerie, complete quiet. Ugh...

I'd like to be a morning person. I'm so much more productive that way. The sun is shining, people are up and about their business, and everything operates as normal, including me.

On Tuesday, for the first time in months, I woke up at 5 a.m. Okay, SPARTACUS JONES woke me up at 5 a.m...I got up, and fed my cats and realized I probably wouldn't sleep. (I tried until 6:30 actually) So I got up, made coffee and breakfast, and tackled my day. I did a  rough draft on a synopsis, 1200 new words written, walls washed, desk cleaned, linens washed and I COOKED, as in three different meals! All while herding two cats and a troll, I might add.

Do you know what happens when I wake up at my usual time of Ten a.m.? Not a hell of a lot. I can't even figure out what kind of meal to wake up to. Breakfast? Lunch? Brunch? THEN  what do I do? I've wasted my morning, so do I write? Do chores? Run errands? Which one? There isn't time for all of them...Not if you're trying to get to bed early. Which I apparently never do.

MY FAVORITE BREAKFAST: The one you saw on Facebook...That's where I found it, in a language I didn't understand. But do you think I could find the video for this blog? Nope.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Separate egg yolks from whites. Whip egg whites with a pinch of cream of tar tar until it looks like frothy white icing, and forms small peaks. I do my mixer on low, and ease up to high. Fry your bacon or sausage while doing this, on medium high heat.

Place whipped egg whites in an oven safe dish, taking care to make a 'well' or deep hole for the yolks. Pour yolks into those wells. Keep an eye on your meat ;)

Bake eggs in oven for about ten minutes, longer if you don't like your yolks runny.

Remove bacon or sausage, and blot them on a napkin. (saves a shocking amount of calories-like 300 or so, I've heard) Season your eggs with salt and pepper after you remove them to a plate. Eat and enjoy <3 The more you do it, the easier it becomes.

BTW: Even if you break your yolks, you can drizzle them over the whipped whites and it will still taste pretty awesome :)

Thursday, March 19, 2015

How to Tell if Your Human Worships You.

Psst...She's asleep!
My writer needs a nap. She's been working hard at looking for a job, writing and spring cleaning. We'll let her sleep, and I, Spartacus will point out to all you felines the various ways you can tell when your human is a little too obsessed with you. This will help you learn the train-ability of your human and allow you to determine their place in the event of the global cat domination.

1. That flashy thing. If you have a human, chances are your human has one of those annoying flashy things. They point it at you constantly, no matter what you are doing and will spare you no decorum or dignity. This is an unfortunate thing that cat obsessed humans do, and cannot be avoided. Be adorable whenever possible. It will lead to expensive toys and treats once you master 'The Cuteness'. Which leads us to...
Ugh! No privacy to be had!
2. Insufferable Cutesy Nicknames. It is the absurd habit of people to give you one name, but call you by a variety of others. These include, but are not limited to: Sweetie-kitty, Handsome-boy, Little-Man, Sweet-boy, Baby, etc, fill-in-your-humiliating-moniker-here. The good news is, you can pick and choose which one, if any, you will respond to. I myself only respond to Baby. You would too, with a name like Spartacus Thomas Jones Milward.
It could be worse...I could be 'Mittens'.

3.They will share their noms. Once you have mastered 'The Cuteness', stealing noms becomes easy. This also works on forbidden surfaces like counter tops. The worst that can happen is being 'shooed', and the rewards outweigh the possibility of needing to execute a hasty landing.
Always be photogenic when sneaking noms.

4. The Constant Cuddle. Obsessed humans always feel the need to pick you up, and cuddle you. I suspect it is due to their lack of fur. They covet the soft warmness that we have and feel the need to rub it upon themselves. This too can be used to your advantage, and for training. How, you ask?
Sigh...Mommy loves me. A LOT.

5. They will remain motionless for your benefit. The devoted human will endure extended minutes of discomfort to avoid disturbing you. It is the true indicator of gauging your human's commitment. Feel free to perch on whichever body part you find comfortable. A worthy human will suppress tingling nerves, hunger and even the need to urinate in order to maintain your happiness. Feel free to nap. Feel free to interrupt THEIR time on their poo-pond. If they are willing to sit on their wet white seat, in the dark, while you enjoy a siesta in their lap, you have an obsessed human, and therefore a dedicated minion when cats take over the world.
She makes a great cat bed.

These are but five reliable indicators of fanatical behaviors in the species Homo Sapien. If you are lucky enough to find such a human, congratulations. If you are not, don't worry. Humans are highly susceptible to cuteness and easily trained.  Maybe some time soon I will tell you the finer points of 'The Cuteness', and how to use it. 
Yes. They keep me on a pedestal.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Don't Quit the Day Job

You know what I learned this week? Job hunting sucks! Yeah, yeah, I know...Poor BABY! But seriously, you don't know how long it's been since I've had to look. Try 2002.

That was the meatcutting job at Champions, after Save-On-Foods.  There were two other jobs after that, but I didn't need to apply to them. I got 'head-hunted'. I literally got phone calls at home, asking if I wanted to come work for them. Sigh...I miss that.

I left Champions (again) five years ago, when new owners took over (again). I was burned out and just didn't want to go back. The idea was that I would stay home and make a living writing novels...

BWAAAAA-HAHAHAHAHA!! Yeah, we know how THAT went!

My advice to anyone else with that plan is this: Don't quit that day job. Stay in the loop. Stay in touch with former bosses and co-workers and take a few shifts here and there at least.  Do some volunteer work, and get yourself out of the house.

I'm probably the only one dumb enough to follow Plan A to a 'T' but in case you are wondering, Plan A was pretty flawed. Five years after leaving my promising trade, I'm scrambling to even find references. I'm lucky that my boss from McKernan, who I haven't seen in eight years didn't change his number and remembered me. My most recent reference came from the Food Bank I volunteered at two years ago.

I've gained a lot of weight sitting at this desk, which will also make it harder when I finally find work.  Keeping a job would have made a big difference there too.  Back then, I believed working would take time away from writing. Did you know lack of exercise and social interaction can cause writer's block? Trust me on that.

Needless to say, I've been humbled. I'm looking forward to sweating and aching and sleeping well. Wish me luck on my new chapter, the one I'm NOT actually 'writing'.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

When is a Muse Not a Muse?

Borrowed from Post Secret
The man on the left is Henry Rollins. He is a punk icon from the eighties. He has continually re-invented himself as a musician, poet, publisher, activist, radio and TV host. If you ever get a chance, go see his spoken word tours. He's funny, smart, strong and not hard to look at either.

He is my muse. I've been a fan of his since I read the lyrics from 'Grip.'

When those walls close in around you
When all about you doubt you
When the world can live without you
Get a grip and keep it

Henry Rollins - Grip Lyrics | MetroLyrics 

The man on the right is Bruce Dickinson.

He's been the lead singer of Iron Maiden for more than three decades. He's also an author, songwriter, world-ranked fencer, and commercial pilot. He hosts his own radio show, brews beer and has a company called Cardiff Aviation dedicated to aircraft maintenance and pilot training. Is there anything this guy can't do? He's fighting cancerous tumors at the back of his tongue and if anyone's going to beat cancer, it's Bruce. I believe he is invincible and he is my number one muse. Always has been.

The person in the photo below is no longer my muse. All the good this guy ever did is over-shadowed by the fact that he is facing appalling charges of sexual assault. I want to rant. I want to burn up my keyboard with my disgust and rage. But my husband reminds me that he hasn't been charged yet. My words would be tantamount to slander.

In the past, I have called this television personality my third muse. I'd like to publicly renounce those statements. Convicted or not, this will be the last time I mention the name 'Bill Cosby' and the word 'muse' in the same sentence.

I guess from now on, I'll stick to old rock stars to be my writing inspiration. And to think...Parents used to be afraid of metal/punk musicians corrupting their kids!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Diving in with my Heels On.

I'm in love with this book!
So I bought this book called Writer's Market 2015. ( Robert Lee Brewer, Editor) Brilliant stuff. If you are a writer, you should get one. I bought it because I need to know the best ways to market myself, and how to write an effective query letter. Not to mention, this book is stuffed full of the names and addresses of editors, agents and publishers and what they are looking for. Actually, that was the main reason I bought it, but I got MORE.

I'm at the part where it tells you how to build a Platform. 

Platform? I know what a platform is. You can dive off a platform. Platform shoes make you taller. Right? Not exactly apparently. I've just learned how to dive into a platform to make myself bigger, that's for sure. Am I the only writer who didn't know about this? It's not hard to theory... but I think it will be hard to build. I hate being in-your-face and trying to push a sale.

Essentially, I've learned that one must use social media such as Facebook and Twitter to gain followers. Other things you can do to build a platform include mailing lists, newsletters, and street teams. Hoo-boy.

Turns out I had the right idea, but like the book says, "Think big. Then think bigger." It's not enough to have eight hundred followers on the author page, or seven hundred followers on Twitter. I need THOUSANDS. Tens of thousands. Yeah, I have 90 followers of this blog after 4 years.

So here's the plan: First I'd like to thank the bloggers and fans who've been tweeting their reviews like confetti for me. I've been retweeting them. Thanks for making it easy to make myself look good.

Jennifer R@pearlofagirl30
The Avid Reader@Magicofbooks
Roxanne Kade@RoxyKade
Melissa Simmons@GHBTours
Girls *Heart* Books@2grlsheartbooks

Thanks ladies <3 I deeply appreciate it. Thanks to Norm R. Peterson too. I saw all those retweets :) I'd like to thank all my Facebook bloggers too. There's a long list of you to thank too.
Image Courtesy of:

I've been a bit of a Twitter snob, going about things all wrong. I didn't see the point of following people who didn't seem to have much in common with me. NOW I get it. It's about Networking. It's about building a platform and staying in touch. It's about supporting others as well as yourself. It's my own fault if I find Twitter boring, because I haven't connected.

So you know I'm here...Where are you? Where's your blog? How do I reach you? Share, share, share. If you'd like me to follow, let me know in the comments. I look forward to hearing from you.