Uncategorized, WRITE, writing

Puzzle Potion Chapter 2

A Nightmare Come True

 

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     It was night. No, it was darker than any night had ever been. Darkness surrounded him, swallowed him. Lan started to panic. He tried to call out to Galen. His lips wouldn’t move. Only a strangled sound, half yell, half gurgle came out. He tried to force the darkness away with everything he had. He could now see a slit of light. It gave him hope. Harder and harder he tried. With a great cracking sound, his eyes opened fully. That was all he needed. Lan forced his lips, arms, and legs to move. Gray dust flaked off with each movement.
“Galen! Galen!” No one answered him. There was no blue sky. No green grass. No treehouse. The world was empty around him except for the rope ladder, all gray. A kick proved the ladder was made out of stone, like he thought. The ladder wasn’t coiled. It wasn’t all tangled up. The ladder was now a long stone line stretching into the distance. Lan followed the stone rope and limped as he did so. He sure wished he hadn’t kicked it so hard. On and on the rope went, forever and ever. Every little while he would call out Galen’s name, even though he no longer thought he’d answer. When he thought that, he’d start to tremble. No. He couldn’t think about it. He had to…

 

There was something in the distance. Finally, there was something besides the endless rope in the blank world. What at first looked like one blocky shape soon became two, then more. They were statures. Statues of his mom, Sarah, Galen’s parents; they were all there. Only Galen was missing. Lan had never cried. Not the type of cry that made you leak tears and snot at the same time. But when he put a hand on his mom’s frozen arm his knees felt watery, his eyes felt watery. He wanted to sink into a blubbering pool of sadness. The sound of footsteps made Lan look away, and there was Galen in the flesh.  At least he hadn’t been turned to stone.

 

Illustration by Emily St. Marie

 

SELF PUBLISHING, Uncategorized, WRITE

Putting Social into Social Media

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Social media is something that I personally struggle with. Call me an old fashioned 36 year old, but I always preferred a face to face conversation. I was that guy that never answered his phone. I would just show up because you obviously wanted to talk to me. This led to a few awkward times when I was a drunk dial or butt dial. Not awkward for me mind you. I have very little shame. I’ll accept more calls now. I prefer, very much prefer videochatting. Isn’t technology great? Love it!

Oddly enough, I write. I write 15 page letters. Not emails. Real letters. I swear, I probably kept USPS afloat for as long as it has. Every holiday. Every birthday (which are personal holidays, but that’s a whole different blog lol). I send cards too. A lot of cards. I’m probably why Hallmark stores lasted as long as they did.In fact a friend of my wife’s texted to her, “I just got a card from J.D., it must be some kind of holiday!”

I need social media for self publishing. My wife had a Facebook. I didn’t. Now I have one dedicated to writing type stuff and at first it drove me crazy. I never wanted to let something go past my timeline without responding to it. I felt it was rude. Yeah, that didn’t last long. The stuff just kept coming, lol. Now I’m much better at it. I joined Twitter. I felt like I was missing everything because people I’d follow would tweet multiple times a day. The more people I followed the more I missed, lol. I started this blog and here I feel like I’m getting to know people a little bit. Of course for the platform I’m building I probably don’t have enough followers and don’t follow enough people and need to blog more than several times a week, and the list goes on, lol.

I would like to get to know people on a deeper level than I do. I have friends. I have followers. I am a friend. I think there should be more depth. I want to put more SOCIAL in social media. Don’t you?

 

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

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!

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?