A Discovery…

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

So there I was on Wednesday, after TWO horrible days at work wondering what I was going to do with my Hysterectomy manuscript.  I definitely came close to self-publishing it that day… in fact I went to Lulu and I have had an ISBN number assigned.

I went to Twitter to check out one of the editors I had found on ECW Publishing–a Canadian publisher–and she had tweeted about being on the look out during #CanLitPit

What is THIS? I wanted to know.  I clicked that link and was taken to another link where someone had posted a list of hashtagged links all containing ‘PIT’

One was happening that day! I did some brief research about #pit2pub and found a link to the basic rules.  WHAT?  I had no idea about any of this.  I quickly typed up a couple of Tweet-length pitches for some of my books starting with The Trinket Box!  For that story, on that day, I got three likes!  That means I could submit it to three publishers if I choose!  I was so incredibly excited! This is truly amazing.

There was another one being held on Thursday so many of my books ended up with Tweet-length pitches!  I can’t wait until the next one and I hate that I missed the Canadian one!  It could have made such a difference and it could have meant a publisher for my hysterectomy book.

Upon further research, it turns out that these are happening all the time and have been for several years!  Considering I have been a reader of The Writer and Writer’s Digest how could I have overlooked something like that?

We often do that don’t we?  Things that are right in front of us get missed because maybe they are irrelevant at that time?

Either way, I have a few synopses to write as well as preparing 3-chapter files to forward to potential editors.

Advertisements

THE Worst Day…

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , ,

Yesterday was the WORST day at the office that I have had in a long time, maybe ever.

I took to crumpling up full sheets of scrap paper just to try to keep my cool!  Yes, it was that bad.

And so much of me wanted to be writing, Writing, WRITING!  It was beyond difficult to not shut my office door and just sit and write.

I need to figure out what to do with my book… traditional? self? Are there other options?

I started to write a blurb and this is as far as I got…

Every year 50,000 women in Canada (and 600,000 in the US) have a hysterectomy.  We are not alone but sometimes it feels like we are alone during the decision-making process and recovery.  Information about what to expect during this time is vague because everyone is different.  It comes as a shock after the initial recovery period is over to discover things are far from being back to normal…

I didn’t think it was too bad for a first stab at it.

What do you think?  Do I self-publish it and try to market the H out of it?  Or do I try to go traditional?  At 25,000 it might be a failure.  That’s why I thought I’d ask you for your thoughts and ideas!

Does anyone know any podcasts?  Maybe some of us need to get together and form a podcast tree or something!

Always thinking!

Always a Trade-off

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

What a week it has been.  I have been dog-sitting since Tuesday which has taken a huge chunk of my time.  I have cats and the cats tend not to be as needy but just for starters dogs have to go outside to pee!  My term comes to an end tomorrow and the one thing I will miss is the walking.  If nothing else, she has definitely forced me to get off my butt!

Naturally it’s always a trade-off.  If I look after the dog it means I’m not getting to my writing.  Or I spend time with my writing and she sits in the chair over there pouting as she watches the front door.  Dogs don’t understand about tomorrow so it’s hard to explain to her that it’s one more sleep and mommy and daddy will be home.

So I have been working on writing in stolen moments. Here’s one my unsuccessful stolen moments… the kitten thought he was being helpful…

 

Don’t tell anyone (okay, one person knows), but I was spending some time on it on Thursday… especially on Facebook.  It’s difficult to explain… when my mind flicks the switch to ON it almost ends up on a rutted track in that focus on other things is nearly impossible.  There are just times and moments when my attention ends up on writing.  Sometimes it’s simply because I haven’t had the time or made the time to focus on writing and my brain just needs to get that out there!  Other times I get so frustrated with my job that I feel the need to hop on to my writing Facebook pages and just connect with other writers.

On Friday I actually wrote myself a to-do list.  I had to.  There were way too many things I need to do including applying to a couple of jobs, getting my penciled edits into my hysterectomy manuscript, work on some letters to publishers and focus on getting back to my fiction writing.

The Hysterectomy book is now finished from my perspective.  I have taken three passes at it and added and added.  I have made grammar and spelling corrections and it has come in at 25,000 words.  With some of the posts going up on The Street Team Book Marketing Group on Facebook I keep wondering if I even should try to seek a traditional publisher.  The biggest challenge is self-publishing and then there is no hope to traditionally publish because it’s now been out there according to a lot of publishers.

I think many of us do the self-publish route because it’s simpler.  It really is less time consuming to write, edit and then format and upload.  The biggest challenge is always getting people to buy it and I believe that’s where most of us get hung up.  How do we get there?  How do we get the reach we need?  How do we get people to actually buy our books versus wanting them for free?

Just a reminder to all of you, I have created the Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/groups/1668959470098290/) where we can share and promote our own work whenever we want to.  Now we need to get the page to grow!  Readers invited as well because when we get going there will be some great material to choose from!

Better get back to work.  If I decide to submit to some traditional publishers I have letters to write and perfect!

Happy Canada Day!

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

It’s definitely summer because it’s definitely HOT!  We haven’t had this much heat in a couple of years so we’re not used to it!  No complaints though because I hate the cold!

Today it managed to make it to 32 with a humidex making it feel like 38… sorry, those are in Celsius.

Yesterday I took off to the beach and actually swam in the lake.  It was very refreshing!  It was way better than the pool which was so warm it left you wondering whether you were actually sweating in there or not… back to the beach please!

Today is also Indie Pride Day for those of us who are self-published (independent) authors.  We are posting to Instagram and Twitter with pictures of ourselves with our books.  The hashtags are #IndiePrideDay and #IndieBooksBeSeen

Here’s the picture I took and posted…

IMG_1443 (2)

I also figured, since it’s been LONG overdue and my hair is twice as long as it was the last time I did author photos that I may as well give that a try again.  However, due to the heat, my hair is in a French Braid but I think it worked pretty well actually.  So here are my three favourites to turn into my new author headshot…

At least it works no matter what I decide to do with my hair!

So now it’s time, finally, to sit with my manuscript and see what I can do with it.  I’m trying to get it to 25,000 words and then I think I will be happy even though it’s probably a bit short still.

Lots going on… my dad retired on Thursday which is great for him and about time!  I need to look at a couple of stories because there are a couple of contests that have been brought to my attention thanks to the awesome groups I’m in on Facebook.

And I keep wanting to mention my Facebook page for Indie Authors and bloggers.  It’s a page where you can promo your stuff without all of the limitations.  Look it up… https://www.facebook.com/groups/1668959470098290/  Somehow you have to be accepted… not sure which wrong button I pushed… but feel free to join in!

Off to edit for a while!

The Complaints Issue…

Tags

, , , , , , , , ,

I’m stealing a page from magazines… they all choose topics for each issue.

The Index would indicate the following article headlines reflecting all the complaints I currently have.

Fatigue, Fatigue, Fatigue… because I’m not sleeping great.  I’m waking a number of times during the night and can’t get back to sleep.  I’m going to bed exhausted and falling asleep reading.

Stress 101… between fatigue and work x two–>usual job PLUS migration, I feel like I’m starting to reach my burnout point plus the fatigue that just adds a negative spin to all that.  And that’s just work.  That’s not including the pressure I’m putting on myself to spend time writing… not that writing isn’t an outlet for me but when I close in on finishing a project I stress myself to get it done.

Pain off the Charts… for the last several weeks my low back has been getting so bad that most movement is painful.  I also can’t get it to “crack” at all so I’m guessing the muscles are tight and putting a lot of pressure on the spine and surrounding tissue.  That adds onto the fatigue because sleep is incredibly difficult.

Not Enough Time… where does it go?  It seems there’s always stuff to do… whether it’s housecleaning, errands or having to get marking done, it’s always something and there’s always sacrifice .  Next thing I know it’s bedtime and since I’m falling asleep reading these days I’m certainly not able to work on anything else in that time.

I’m thinking that some of the other parts of this edition would have to counter the complaints like…

Gratitude… how we need to find something to be grateful for even in our darkest moments.

Fight vs. Flight… how we stay the course and, somehow, manage to come out on the other side somewhat unscathed!

Just keep Writing, Just keep Writing, Writing, Writing… borrowing from Dory from Finding Nemo who has to keep reminding herself to keep swimming otherwise she’ll lose focus and forget.

So that’s my latest edition of my magazine, whatever the title of that may be.

What sections and features would you like to see?

WHO are we?

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , ,

I have finally invested more time in the Life Coaching program.  I have been managing, up to now, only one video a week or so, recently less.  Part of it was the videos started to get longer but on Wednesday I worked my way up to the two-parter on… Core Identity Model.

It talks about WHO we are.  First define WHAT you do and HOW you do before getting to WHO.  “What a person does should be a representation of who they are.”  It has been quite the weekend .  I finally reached the beginning of Section Four.

But we are almost all writers… at least that’s my focus audience.

We write fiction and non-fiction.  We share our stories with the world no matter whether it is our story altered into fiction or if it’s our true story in the form of a memoir.  The book I’m working on regarding hysterectomies intertwines my personal memoir with the facts.  I figure it will bring realistic to what readers are reading and hopefully give them some hope as well.  Hope because they’re not the only one; hope because someone else is identifying with them and telling them what they are experiencing is normal and, most of all, is normal.

So I hope I can do this and do it well!

Also, since Canada will be celebrating another birthday in a week, I am giving away my books on Kindle for free starting June 29 (Friday) and it will run to July 3 (Tuesday).  Just go to Amazon and look me up and pick a book, or books.  The only one that wouldn’t let me is Confessions in the Mural.  I can’t remember when I did the last free promo with that one so it’s possible that I may have to wait and do that one later in the summer or in the fall.  I’ll keep you posted to see if it opens up sometime this week or you can just check it out when you go on to Amazon and look me up next weekend!  Confessions is a sequel to The Writing on the Wall.

Keep writing everyone!

 

Just Hangin’

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I am reaching the end of my non-fiction title on hysterectomies.  I’ve started the process of writing a query letter and wondering how or where I might find a publisher willing to take on 21,500 words.  I know it’s short but I’m trying to keep it short, sweet and to the point.  Women who are going to have this surgery have a lot on their minds and don’t need a book full of medical jargon and babble to wade through because it needs to be 50,000 words or more.

So that has me down a little bit… so did printing it!  I always print my manuscripts double sided to save paper and somehow there was a glitch with the printer and I ended up with multiples of the same page.  Pages 1-10 came out normal and that’s it.

On the up side, the anthology I had a story accepted for arrived in the mail yesterday.  It was much smaller than I thought it would be but it’s exciting all the same!

I feel positive about my writing at the same time as feeling down.  I’m not sure what those feelings are about.  I realize it’s all part of the writing path but the emotional ups and downs are similar to crashing storm waves vs the gentle waves that don’t even turn to white caps as they hit the shore.

Maybe it’s the feeling of just hanging right now… I’m hanging at my job, I’m hanging on waiting for responses from a couple of contests… I’ve reached the end of the line on Hysterectomy & You (working title) having completed three edits and I’m terrified to move on to a query letter.  I’d really like to see this book out there because I think it would help a lot of people.  I was hoping to not self-publish it because it’s harder to get the reach and sell it.

If anyone has suggestions, ideas, thoughts… as always they are more than welcome!

Not enough time…

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I was asked today how my weekend was.  My reply was “too productive.”

How can something be “too productive?”

Well it goes like this… when I’ve managed to be as productive as I adding 2000 words to a manuscript, write two blog posts, read part of The Writer and still get four loads of laundry done as well as groceries and a side trip to Chapters, it’s a HUGE letdown to have to get up Monday morning and go to work where my focus HAS to shift gears to another topic completely AND for eight hours.  Well, okay, seven if you don’t count lunch which is when I wrote this!

And I know it’s wrong to pop onto Facebook at work and I only pop in for two minutes here and there (mostly because my brain reaches a max point and I need to divert it for a few moments) but Mondays are sharing days on Blogging Boost and The Write Life Community and I always want to share what’s new usually by sharing my recent blog post.

There isn’t enough time; there aren’t enough hours in a day for me to spend writing when I get on a roll.  Of course some days I’m not in the right frame of mind and I hate myself for wasting that time doing mindless crossword puzzles.

I don’t think we writers EVER find a happy medium.

We “work” in a profession where our mind has to be in the right place and I know that sometimes that’s just NOT possible.

Yes, it’s in those times that we try and fail or we work on something that’s more research-based and can collect information vs. trying to delve into our creative brain cells that are just not happenin’ today!

It’s certainly exciting when we can have multiple projects and ideas but it’s frustrating when we have to force the mind to work when all it wants to do is sit back and order another margarita!

So may we all find the time, squeeze the time, to get it all done.

Whatever IT may be!

Thoughts, thoughts & a LOT of questions!

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

This weekend my mind has been racing!

I dug into my restored files and found the books I was talking about.  My current computer gave me a raised eyebrow when I asked Word to open it!  I copied and pasted into a single file, stretched it to double spaced so I can edit and it ended up being 312 pages!  I printed it yesterday and only one of the 50 page sets screwed up–I double side to save paper.

So now I have to put holes in 156 sheets of paper and put them into a binder.  I don’t know how this is going to go but it will be interesting.  As I said, there won’t even be smartphones which we have become so accustomed to as well as texting.

And I have so many questions.  Has anyone ever done this before?  Maybe I can hear about your experience.
How is it done?
How many changes do I make?
Do I change names and possibly careers?
And what happens when there has been so much more that has happened since then?  Do I just focus on maintaining the actual story?
The plot itself?
Or do I just edit it like a proofreader and leave the entire story intact?

I haven’t even looked at it yet so some of those questions may get answered just by doing that.

Secondly, I’m working hard at finishing my non-fiction book about hysterectomies.  It’s going to come in at about 20,000 words so I’m not sure if there’s a point in trying to sell it or not… anyone have any thoughts?  I’m trying the KISS principle because it’s meant for every woman undergoing the procedure or talking about it with their doctor.  I didn’t want to fill it with jargon and I certainly didn’t want to go so in-depth that readers are telling their doctor’s to forget it.  It’s meant to be practical, no-nonsense, here-are-the-facts.  Why it’s done, how it’s done and what they can expect from their hospital stay, recovery, emotions and sex.

So another question… how do I build the platform for this?  Do I go to every hysterectomy site I can find and make a comment that I’m writing this?  Do I start a fresh blog and blog about my experience to date and the book and how it’s coming along?

I know!  I have been writing since 2001 and should know some of these answers but I’m suddenly nearing the end of a book that I would honestly love to spend the time finding a publisher for and just as suddenly realizing that I need to create the buzz.

Give me a hand!  Get in touch Obi-Wan!

Blast from the past…

Tags

, , , , , , , ,

It seems like I am living in the past today… maybe it’s my way of removing myself from the unpleasantness of what’s going on now.  Go back to a simpler time.  Since my joyous visit to Chapters on Saturday, I feel like a bit of a shadow has covered me.  Not everything has been bad but between being told that I get 12 vacation days instead of 15 and spending hours cleaning my house for a Sweetlegs legging party that the rep forgot about last evening and I ended up trying to cancel everyone, there have been more downs than ups!

Something told me to dig out a pair of books I wrote in, I discovered, 2004 & 2005!  That was SUCH a long time ago!  Shocking really.  It seems like yesterday.  They were actually the third and fourth novels I ever wrote.  I’m not sure exactly why I got the message but for some reason I want to edit them and publish them for you.  It’s a story that I’d like to see out there.  The only thing I might do is publish them together… a two-part single book… unless, of course I could find a publisher for them or the edits aren’t going to allow for that to happen.  It’s going to be odd because there were no smartphones back then… we were barely even texting!

I’m also sitting here watching movies from what feels like a long time ago too.  Both from the late 80s.  I’m sure that many people would suddenly be criticizing them because that’s what people are doing these days.  I felt like removing myself from the now and traveling back to a time when I had less to care about might be helpful!

While I watch I have rewritten a section of my hysterectomy book because I want to get it done and up the word count.  I also went looking for some story starters and wrote the beginnings of some new stories and going to print out almost 300 pages so I can begin the process of editing.

In some ways, I miss the deadlines that are suddenly non-existent.  I’m trying to create my own!  Perhaps create some other contest entries?

I am enjoying the peace and quiet today has brought as well as the productivity.  It’s definitely every author’s dream to have a quiet, productive day.

I think we all need one of these days.