Fresh New Start

Today I got a new laptop (courtesy of my wonderful husband, who diligently set aside money each week until we had enough to get it–Merry Christmas to me!), and so far I love it. I can’t wait to get writing on it. Which I guess I am. Kinda. So yay!

I also can’t wait to get PhotoShop installed. I have a lot of art to catch up on.

I’m hoping that with this new, lighter, fancier laptop I’ll be able to do more. It’s one of those that converts from laptop to tablet, so I can do simpler tablet-type stuff if I don’t have to type, and I can carry it around much easier.

The screen size will take some getting used to. I’ve gone from 17″ to 13″, which is a bit of a drop. I can still read the screen okay–I haven’t gotten to the point of needing bifocals (yet), so I don’t have to adjust the font sizing or anything yet.

My husband also made sure I had Office installed so I can do my writing. Yay again.

Tomorrow–or more likely, this weekend–I’ll get to transferring files and making sure everything from the old laptop is backed up to either a cloud storage or to a flash drive before finally giving it over to the hubby to be wiped clean.

As for right now….bedtime.

The Proof Is in the Printing

They arrived today! The two hard copies of my novel that I ordered from the print-on-demand service.

They’re here, and they’re gorgeous! I’m so proud–I’m practically bursting! The cover looks professional and the interior smells amazing (as nearly all books do–lol). I’m in awe of the fact that the novel that I spent more than a year writing is here, in my possession, in print, with an ISBN and everything.

Now comes the hard part. I have to learn marketing and figure out how to get this read by more than just friends and family. I think I can do it. I know I can do it. I just need to sit down and get cracking.

Seeing stars

Out of the three people who have so far purchased my novel (not a lot, I know, but considering I did no promotion ahead of time and only limited posts/tweets since it’s pretty decent), I have gotten two five-star reviews on Amazon.

I know eventually I’ll get some negative reviews; it’s the nature of the business. However, knowing that two thirds of the people who purchased Whispers of Death online had positive experiences with the book is heartening. I worked quite hard on it, and given that it’s my first novel I have high hopes for the next one.

Going to have to research marketing methods. Just tweeting and posting on Facebook isn’t going to be enough. I need to reach out farther. Get more peoples’ attention. Push more.

But dear Gods, I hate research.

No place like home…

Home. Where you rest and relax and unwind from the daily grind…right?

Not necessarily. With Christmas coming up, I have 2 dresses to make for my niece, I’m waaay behind on NaNoWriMo, I have artwork that’s due, and then there’s laundry and all the normal household things to do. And I feel like I’m forgetting something else…

I even had to bow out of live tweeting a couple of TV shows for the website, which is one of my favorite things about the job.

Oh, crap. That’s one of the things I forgot. An interview to write questions for.

Well, back to the grind–the weekend grind.

Feed me, Seymour!

Got the first feedback of my finished and published novel today. The reader loved it! She’s going to post a positive review on Amazon and also write up a review for the website we work for.

This is what I wrote it for. This. To get feedback from readers, to hear that people loved reading what I wrote. This is what the last year to year and a half has been about.

Yeah, I know it’s one person. I know it’s only one sale. But for someone who wasn’t sure if she could get even that much, it’s a huge step. I’m beyond ecstatic. I did it. I really did it.

Now, on to the next one!

Productive procrastination

Today I spent a lot of time meeting and then exceeding my #NaNoWriMo word count for the day. I spent exponentially  more time finding other things to do.

They weren’t all useless things. I did several different Cosplay Closet Essentials interviews, so I’m good pretty much through the new year on those. Just have to compile the questions/answers into a file and then copy/paste to #TalkNerdyWithUs when it’s time for a new post. Met some interesting new people (well, met them online–not in person) and learned a lot.

Then I thought, “Y’know what? I need to work on my own cosplay page. It’s high time I picked a name for myself and spruced up the page.” So I did. Spent a few hours adding photos, organizing photo albums, and changing the name/web link/info. (FYI, the link is ). It’s not perfect, but then again neither am I. So there.

I also started cutting out pattern pieces for some Christmas presents I’m making. Because that is totally conducive to achieving my goal of getting 50k words written by the end of the month.

I’ll get there. Eventually. I have a couple of half days at work this month, in addition to the fact that my husband will be working late shifts for most of the month. I should have plenty of time.

Provided I can limit the distractions.

That’s one less on the bucket list…

Well, I did it. I conquered my fear of publishing–in a manner of speaking.

I’m still terrified of submitting to editors/agents/publishers, but I have one thing now I can say with pride: I have published a novel. I did it, from start to finish (with a lot of help from a lot of great people–but if you want to know about that, you’ll have to buy the book and read the acknowledgements!).

My writing goal for the year had been to finish the first draft. I blew that goal out of the water in April, and now I have a completed novel online. Amazing how that works. I’ve even started another one (possibly set in the same universe? Haven’t decided that one yet) that I’m going to expand upon during November’s #NaNoWriMo–which starts in a couple of hours for me.

Here is the link to Whispers of Death:

Now, I’m not going to pressure anyone into buying it. I mean, sure, it’s getting to be the holiday season. Christmas is right around the corner. And I’m sure everyone knows somebody who’s into occult/supernatural or urban fantasy fiction.

should be getting some sleep right now, but I’m totally amped about my new publication. Oh, well. It’s not like I sleep a lot as it is 😉

To the Sky

In honor of All Hallow’s Eve, I’m going to post a poem from my book Kamikaze Butterflies entitled “To the Sky.” Happy Halloween, and enjoy!

To the Sky

As we’re born, then so we die;

Sky to Earth, Earth to Sky.

They watch us well, the Lord and Lady

Through summer bright and winter shady.

But time then comes for us to leave

And for our hearts our friends to grieve.

Though thoughts of dead bring pain so deep,

Our memories we hold and keep.

Of times of happiness and regret

And things that haven’t happened yet.

Of chances missed to say good-bye;

All these cause tear-swell in our eye.

But remember this and take good care—

The dead surround you, everywhere.

Fragile bodies die so swift

But this one thought can you uplift:

The Spirit’s everlasting life

Will comfort you in times of strife.

No one ever truly dies.

We simply go back to the Sky.

Lullaby and Good-Day

These early mornings are killing me. A Ritalin, more than half a liter of Soda Stream energy drink, and a cup of coffee (that’s right, I resorted to coffee–which I hate) and I’m still sleepy. I even managed to go back to sleep after my initial early a.m. kitteh-in-my-face wake up call.

If they keep up, it will help with my NaNoWriMo next month. I can type in the morning (imagine the crazy things I’ll write at nothing in the morning!) and again in the evening while my husband is in training for work, so I can hopefully get the word count in every day. 1667 words in a day doesn’t sound like much, but as any author knows there are some days when the words just don’t come.

As a “pantser” (someone who doesn’t really outline but instead just writes by the seat of their pants), I honestly don’t really much know where my story’s going. It’s just going…somewhere. I kind of have a general idea of where it’s going to end up, but I’m not certain. Oh, and I have no clue on the middle. That’s just up in the air. So there’s that.

Some people don’t go for that kind of writing, but it actually helped in my first novel. I had an entire chapter that was completely unplanned, but the character decided to show up at the end of the chapter before to “save the day.” I had no clue he was going to do that, but as I was finishing the book he just showed up and it was one of those light bulb moments where I was like “Of course, this is how this part is going to resolve! It makes perfect sense now.”

But now it’s off to get ready for the day job. Adios.