SELF PUBLISHING, Uncategorized, writing

PUZZLE POTION BLURB

PUZZLE POTION is finished.

 
I figured I would post the opening paragraph for each chapter (or key paragraph) along with the chapter title and illustration for that chapter every Saturday at 3:30pm Eastern Standard Time. My hopes are that it will generate interest in the book. PUZZLE POTION is a childrens middle grade book, following is a blurb.

 

Potion Puzzle is an action-packed, 24,000-word, life-or-death scavenger hunt with more ups and downs than an enormous, bucking prairie dog.

 
With grudging help from a witch, Lan and Galen zoom around on a four-wheeler to find outrageous ingredients for a potion that will turn their families from stone back into pancake-making loved ones. Eight ingredients shouldn’t be too hard to find, except how do you convince a garage-sale-loving troll to give up his horn, or a woman-sized catfish to give you an egg? This will be more difficult and dangerous than they ever thought. But there’s no time to think, or even stop for a breath, because if the sun sets before the potion is ready, all will be lost.

publishing, SELF PUBLISHING, Uncategorized, WRITE, writing

Learning Spike

benescenoreds

So…I’ve decided to self-publish. I throw myself into things with a passion (I guess, or at least hope, that’s what helps me be a writer). There was no learning curve where I could just slowly take one thing at a time. Nope, not for me.

Instead, I had a learning spike. I went from zero to sixty like the best Ferrari! Hello to Facebook Account posts multiple times a day in various groups I’m part of, prior, my wife had a family page and I would only get on it on occasion. Hello Twitter Account  with my couple of tweets a day (incidentally during a recent twitter pitch I set up Hootsuite to handle it and found out that Twitter won’t let you repeat the same messages). Hello WordPress where I try to blog at least a couple of times a week (and I’m still not sure how to gain blog followers, maybe be more interesting I don’t know).  In fact, I just learned how to add links in this post.  Hello critique group Inked Voices  where I’m part of a critique group and average 3 critiques a week.

I’ve also taken a crash course in illustration. How else would I know if what I was getting, even though I liked it, would work for the market? Yep, I have better understanding of genre styles, age group preferences, interior art vs. cover art, figure placement, oh and the psychology of color.

I’ve also had to learn about the big one…SELF-PUBLISHING. Things like: finding editors, finding illustrators, which self-publishing company to use, how to build an author’s platform, various marketing and promotion strategies, and on and on.

The learning spike began 1 month ago!

Uncategorized, WRITE, writing

More than Memories

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Memories haunt me. That’s why I wrote creative nonfiction of my childhood. Darkness. Blood. Hunger. Eventually I wanted more than those memories.

 
Memories remind me. That’s why I wrote of years now turned to dust. Eventually I wanted more than ghosts.

 
Memories embolden me. That’s why I write for children, to give them a chance at laughter I never had.

publishing, SELF PUBLISHING, Uncategorized, WRITE, writing

Pepperoni Before the Storm

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I just got some of the interior illustrations for POTION PUZZLE. This is for the first chapter, before the petrification curse, the confrontation with a witch, and a mad-dash adventure to find ingredients for a potion to save their families; so, a typical summer day! Thank you Emily St. Marie!

 

 

publishing, SELF PUBLISHING, Uncategorized, WRITE, writing

Writers’ Regard

I’m exhaustes. I get about 5 hours of sleep a night after work family writing and platform building. I’m stressed. I doubt my writing and always wonder if platform building will lead to anything. I want to quit. It would be so much easier to say “f” it and spend more time with family and friends, not to mention sleep more.

Then a fellow writer gives me feedback. Not my mom, not my wife, daughter, friend, or guy on the street. Someone who know the craft. Someone you respect as a person. They said the following:

 
I read the final chapter and I love it! Ties things together nicely and leaves a hint of the next adventure.

 
I was relieved to see everything “resolved”, his mother is alive and well and his sister is mad about the mirror. I think it’s great! Concise, interesting, and gives closure to the adventure.

 
It flows very nicely. I’m seriously excited to get this book done and help promote it on my page and blog

 
I really like your writing, and I’m glad you have other books in the works! It’s a tough market to break through, but a good product is the best tool to do it with.

I continue to fight the good fight!

SELF PUBLISHING, Uncategorized, WRITE, writing

Writing Without Rules

 

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From the moment we picked up a crayon to add some scribbly words to a picture for mom to my recently typed submission to my critique group we are told writing has rules. Don’t make up words, a word only means certain things. There’s a perscribed structure to a sentence, a page, book. A story only fits into a certain genre. The list goes on and on and on. A quick search for “rules of writing” on Google comes up with a number ranging from three to 200.

Math wasn’t my strong suit in school. Writing was. Even I know that the number 3 is a different from the number 200. That tells me people have no freakin’ clue. Which is funny because we constantly say to follow this rule or that rule will make you a great author. One of the big 6 (there’s numbers again!) publishers will pick up your self published work and you will be a worldwide best seller. Basically, I just need to figure out which numbered rule out of 200 rules is the one that’ll make me famous.

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If it’s this three 3 rules one,…I’m screwed. We applaud those who go outside of the writing box. Made up words are constantly being added to the dictionary. Readers are delighted at unexpected metaphors, word use, and stylistic structure.

All I can do, and what many well-known authors do, just right from the heart. Pick out ideas from the ether. Worship at the feet of my muse. Break all of the rules, and just write. Later I can pick them up, cut myself on their sharp edges, and murder the bits of brilliance that cross the lines in to insanity. First, there’s only one thing to do:

WRITE

 

 

 

publishing, SELF PUBLISHING, Uncategorized, WRITE, writing

Prioritizing Dreams

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Dreams need prioritizing if they’re ever going to become realities.

I work 8 hours a day. I commute 2 hours a day. I spend 2 hours with my daughter a night. I spend 2 hours with my wife at night. So, 14 hours before downtime of t.v., reading, work prep, etc., etc., etc. Somewhere in there I take time to write and build a community/platform for my writing. That means write new material, edit old material, critique group, blog, tweet, facebook, and research.

The day still only has 24 hours right? My daughter and I are on to 4th grade math, so I’m a bit rusty on my 2nd grade math. 24 hours, 25 hours, whatever. There still isn’t enough time in a day to do just the day to day, let alone follow my dream of writing and now self publishing.

I could give up my dream. Let it die. Give it a funeral. Burn all my manuscripts and put them in an urn on my mantle. Sure, that’d only leave a gaping hole of sorrow, loss, and unfulfilled potential. Well, that doesn’t sound like much fun. And since I’m no H.G. Wells and don’t have a time machine (and we know just how well that turned out for him!), nor is my math creative enough to add more hours in a day, that only leaves one thing.

Prioritize.

That meant some long conversations with my wife so she’d understand, saying goodbye to netflixing, taking a shorter lunch at work so I could do all of my work prep at work, and getting better at 4th grade math! All of this in an effort to squeeze some time here and some there for myself, until I made time for my dream.

All I have to say is…this dream better be damn well worth it!

How do you all make time for your dreams?