New Squirrel cover and updated romance

Phew, another crazy day of updates. After spending a phenomenally invigorating 3 hours in the sunshine snowshoeing with my family I sat myself down in my usual comfy chair and focused on my books. I have a new cover picture for Accounting for Squirrels….although I have to fix the title, darn it, I forgot to add the Volume 1, but it’s really cute. It’s a picture of a tiny sculpture Gayle made for me of a squirrel and a hedge, from our first conversation about starting this book on understanding accounting. He has quite the character and is perfect for the book. I updated some of the terms in the book too after receiving a few comments and suggestions, there’s still more to go but it’s getting there. Check it out using the link on the ‘Accounting for Squirrels’ page if you need something to help you fall asleep tonight.

Jesse’s Place is all uploaded and ready for the painful process of editing and re-editing and formatting.  I forgot how much I liked this book. I’m not super happy with the ending, I find it ends a bit too abruptly, but there are a few chapters in it that just make me bawl when I re-read them. I’m a bit of a softy, so maybe it’s just me, but I’m hoping readers find a tear or two running mascara down their cheeks when they read it, too.  I want to be able to write in a way that doesn’t just tell a story, but makes the reader really feel something for the characters. If I can manage that for even a small part of the book, I’ll be thrilled. For now. Later I’ll move my personal goals higher. Much higher. I’d better if I actually ever want to sell any of these books.

I’m still looking for a better cover picture but for now it’ll do.  I’ll have to check out some of the online book cover artists.  Personally I pick the books I want to read from the look of the cover first, the blurb on the back second, and a quick skim of the first page third, so I know how important that cover picture has to be. And mine right now kind of suck, so they won’t be going out looking like that.  Maybe I can get my brother to do two pictures for me, one for each book…..hmmm. He did forget to call me on my birthday, that should be enough leverage.

If you’re into romances, accounting, or just want the chance to be a critic to a new aspiring author, check out the links for the updated novels on my pages.  I think there’s even a place to add comments while you read, so please feel free to add any constructive criticism that will help improve the final copy. Hey, if it’s really helpful I’ll send you a signed copy of a first edition.  Someday it might even be worth something more than the .99c you’ll be able to buy it for online. 🙂

 

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Cover pages and Squirrels

Today was another productive day. I love those. I played around with some pictures and a basic version of Photoshop and made my own cover pictures for my books. Professional, they are not, but they’re better than the generic Pressbooks cover I and every other pressbooks user has ever been assigned. I also did a bit more editing on the two romances I’ve loaded.

Gayle also sent me some preliminary drawings for Volume 1 of the accounting series I mentioned in an earlier post, and I worked on adding those in with appropriate captions. It’s starting to take shape and I’ve added a new page and a link to the preliminary draft. There’s still a lot of work ahead, and about 10 more volumes, but I think I’m going to enjoy writing it, and I hope more than just my family enjoys reading it. Even more, I hope that it helps a few more entrepreneurs develop strong, profitable businesses that continue to grow.

The snow has stopped finally, and it looks like we might even have a day or two of sunny weather this week. I probably just jinked it didn’t I?

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Jessie’s Place has been started

The first chapter of Jessie’s Place, my second romance has been loaded to a new pressbooks account. This has been a very productive day. 🙂 Another few weeks at this rate and I’ll be able to load the unfinished book 3 and see if I can figure out what went wrong with the plot line. That one’s going to keep me busy for a while.

I’ve also secured my cover model for Double Diamond. My brother is a model in Toronto and has offered to do a couple of cover picture options for me. I think he can manage to look sexy enough  to get some people to take a first glance at the book.  🙂

Happy Blizzard day!

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Writing in a blizzard

Well, it’s happening again. Another Blizzard. This one is supposed to add a nice foot and a half of snow to the already 4 feet we’ve received in the last 2 weeks. I will NEVER wish for more snow in my life. 3 weeks ago we could see the grass. It was frozen solid, but hey, it was still grass.  At this rate we won’t see grass again until next July.

But, back to writing. It turns out that not being able to do anything except hang out in my living room, snuggled into my favorite chair in my fleece pants and super fluffy sweater is a great way to get some serious writing done.

Today I finished volume 1 of my new series on understanding accounting. As soon as my illustrator… yes, Gayle, that’s you…gets me the art work and cover I’ll be able to put the first draft together. I’m pretty excited about it. I know, excited about accounting? But it’s a really fun book……You’ll just have to take my word for it, for now. 😉

I know it’s not helping me finish my romances, but I have to mix it up once and a while to keep it interesting. OK, fine, I have a short attention span and get distracted easily 🙂

This is the view out of my front window. The front porch is under there somewhere, but it’s going to take a while to dig out the front door. snow!

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Double Diamond is fully loaded

I did it, the first book is fully loaded and ready to edit further. It took a while to upload it all, but I did it. Now to read and reread, edit and reedit and find myself a really good cover picture and then to start promoting.  This is kind of exciting. It’s fun to be able to see how the book will look when transferred into a real ebook, The format you see on pressbooks doesn’t come close to how nice it looks when it’s actually transferred into the required format. Next to upload book 2- Jesse’s Place, and finish book 3 and 4! Lots of work ahead of me 🙂

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Reading, writing and blogging

So, today I read up a bit on blogging and how to actually get people to visit my site. I also told 4 people about my site and agreed to send them the link. Now to just…..do.

It’s incredible how difficult it is for me to share my writing with other people. I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that the books I’ve written come from me. The voice, the emotions, the belief system…even though I may try to create characters who can stand on their own, who are three dimensional people in their own right, who maybe look, talk, feel and act nothing like I do, I can’t help but feel there is enough of me in those people that any criticism will be direct attack on me.

Of course any criticism of my writing style, or ability to create three dimensional characters and believable conversation to begin with is definitely directed at my ability. I just have to keep in mind that any comments are not personal, rather they are directed at the process of writing, and the areas in which I need to improve.

I envy those of you who can write blogs, novels, articles….anything available for public consumption and feel self-confident enough to know that not everyone will like it, definitely not everyone will love it, and there may even be a few who hate it, and to feel that it’s all OK. To me that shows an enviable level of self-confidence, self awareness, and acceptance.

That’s my goal, to be confident in the abilities I do have, knowledgeable about my lack of experience and the need to continue to improve, and to able to accept any comments as a tool to help me become a better writer.

So tonight I’m going to actually share my blog address with some people who aren’t related by blood.  Wish me luck 🙂

Oh yeah, I also plan to stop writing blog posts that read like a self help pamphlet.

New chapters have been added to Double Diamond. Check them out at   the link on the Double Diamond page.

And I started a new page for my second book. There’s no link yet, but keep checking back for updates.

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I’ve mixed things up a bit

Today you may have noticed that I’ve changed my blog site address. I’ve decided to use my real name. Yup, I’m putting it all out there for my 2 followers. Who know who I am anyway but this way I won’t forget my own blog address.

I’ve also set up a pressbook account and am using that site to upload my book as I edit chapters. It formats it into an epub reader automatically and makes my book look almost like a real book. I removed the content from my book page and added a link to the pressbook site, oh and I found a new name for the book so don’t be confused, so far I’ve just started the publishing process for one book, the title is just a little less corny.

Check out the link on the Double Diamond page, the new site is awesome!

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Chapter two is in

Another chapter has been added. And I figured out how to add pictures to the blog site. I guess my next step will be to link to a facebook page, twitter account and invite people to my site….Or just keep it like my own personal journal floating out there in Ethernet land. It’s kind of defeating the purpose, but it does have merit.

I went to a seminar a while ago where the speaker talked about setting up your web site or blog and compared it to setting up a new home in a community. The idea being that I should find out about the writer blog communities out there, pick one I liked, introduce myself by posting on their blogs and then eventually inviting them to visit mine. Nice idea, but I’ve always been more of the sneak in in the middle of the night, avoid contact with any human for as long as possible, and then sneak away type. This unfortunately is obviously not helping to get me any likes, re-posts or comments on my blog. Bummer. On the other hand I haven’t had anyone tell me my writing sucks worse than rotten lemons either.

At least I’m at the ‘I’m moved in and getting comfortable in my new home’ stage. I like to look at my blog as a house trailer. Easily picked up and moved to wherever I feel most comfortable living, so I can first get organized, decorated, moved in, and then I can worry about what community I want to be part of and then look at trying to introduce myself to the people who live there. It sounded good when I first thought of it anyway.

Hey, I came back for a second post, that has to count for something. My next post I’ll have to explain how editing my book page almost deleted the whole page, and the great writers group I was part of when I lived in Iowa years ago.

Happy reading!

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Week one, and so it begins

Today is the first day of my goal of becoming a real, true, certified published author….instead of just certifiable. To those truly published authors out there who scoff and say creating a blog is not the same as being published, I have to argue that it’s a whole lot more published than any of my work has been to date.

I believe in taking baby steps and learning new trades from the most basic components. I have a pretty good grasp of spelling and grammar, can string together a few thoughts to create sentences and paragraphs, and have a crazy imagination that allows me to have full conversations in my head. I can also type fast enough to get most of those conversations down on paper, which takes the voices in my head from a truly psychotic break issue to the start of a writing process, and have managed to use that process to complete 2 novels and 3 incomplete manuscripts. I figure the next step in this process is to take some of those words I’ve written and send them out into the public domain to get feedback, constructive criticism (note the word constructive) and to make me keep writing, with the goal of sending more of my work off to an actual agent or publisher to receive my second rejection letter.

The book I am going to start the blog process with was submitted to Harlequin back in 2000 and received a nice rejection letter. I chickened out after that attempt but am determined to get back into it. I finish projects much faster with a goal and a timeline, and have given myself a goal of summer 2015 to submit my next query letter and receive my next official rejection letter. 🙂 Wish me luck!

So, here it is. Because of an evening out for drinks with a friend who was turning 50 I have been convinced (blackmailed, forced, coerced) into starting a blog. My goal was to get this out before my birthday at the end of February, so if you are reading this and it isn’t March yet I must have met that goal. One down.

My plan is to re-read, re-edit and post one chapter from every book I wrote, or am writing, every few days….worst case every week if I get lazy or lack motivation…. and track a log of issues such as: my writing process, the difficulty in finding time, the difficulty in finding the words, the difficulty in hitting that post button. And other stumbling blocks on the way to becoming published. Not sending query letters does tend to hinder the process considerably I might add.

Considering I am an accountant and we’re coming into tax season my hours are going to be limited for the next few months, but I am going to hold myself accountable. Besides, How can I keep readers engaged if I don’t finish the story, or get the next installment finished on time?

So, here we go, out into the web. Feet first. Eyes tightly closed. And my breath held. I hope you enjoy my blog and my writing. Someday I hope you will enjoy reading my latest novel while lounging by a pool with a cold margarita in your hand 🙂 For now I hope you enjoy the first installment of my romance “Sealed with a Kiss”. I know, the title’s a bit corny, but I’m working on that.

Now, where’s the darn post button?
I guess I need to get the invitations to read my blog out there too, don’t I? Acckkkk!!! Sigh…. Baby steps, right? :s

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