Thursday, January 31, 2013

I have taken the first step towards self-publication

Since the new year, I have been attending the 3by3 Writing Method Meet-up group.  The moderator, Steven E Browne is a friend and will be publishing his book "3 by 3 Writing Method" sometime this month.

Anyway, Steve moderates a critique group and at the beginning of the meeting, he gives a little 15 minute lecture on some aspect of writing.  The lectures starting in 2013 have been about self-publishing, (he's got 9 books out) and that is the reason I've been attending. (although the critiquing is 'fun' too.)

So, I've been following along with the lectures, and have taken the giant first step - I've hired a professional editor and picked out a cover designer. 

For editors, I've asked around a lot and everyone told me it was going to be around $1000 for a manuscript of 75,000 words.  Well, here is the beauty of the blogosphere.  I've been reading all your wonderful posts and one of them recommended a few editors.  And so I went to the recommended editors' websites and I found one who had edited books I had actually read and enjoyed.  And even better, their prices were affordable!  Another sign they're good?  They're busy.  But they can take me in about two weeks! Yay.  So thank you dear bloggers who blog about writing.  I appreciate the advice and info. And yes, I do read your blogs!

Next I found an e-book cover designer.  Steve (of 3by3) suggested that I take a look at some covers in the genre I write (YA) and then read the free sample pages.  On the page that has the copyright info, the writers usually give credit to their cover designers.  I did this and noticed a lot of the authors don't do this.  But some did.  And I looked  up  this one designer, and WOW!  She had done a ton of book covers I recognized.  Yeah, no question, I'm going to approach her.

But not now, because who knows how much editing I'll need to do? And I'm not 100% happy with my title "Piano and the Perfect Guy". 

Also, I'm going to go with a pen name.  Any suggestions as to how to come up with one?  I can't call myself Fairview Fairview, can I? And dang, Cassandra Clare is already taken.

Maybe someday, that will be me up there

Monday, January 28, 2013

Only one resolution left to break

We're into the fifth week of the year and I only have one resolution I haven't broken yet...Technically. 

Here's a recap of all resolutions I broke:
write everyday - nope
finish first draft by end of January - nope (and nope to all the resolutions built upon this one)
Try writing a short story in January - nope
blog twice a week - nope
comment on 5 blogs a week - nope
read two books a week - nope

But there is one I still have going for me:
Do not buy or or borrow any more books/ebooks until I have read everything I already have stockpiled.

So I'm still on course with this one.  Why?  Because I went to the town's library gigantic 25 cent book sale today with every intention of buying bag-loads of books.  But I didn't remember to go until late in the day; 30 minutes before closing.  And by then people were packing up the books.  The books were going into the trash, and the lady at the door handed me a paper bag, and said, take everything you like.

So I have ANOTHER stackful of books.  But I didn't buy or borrow them so I'm still keeping to my one remaining resolution, right?

Have a great week!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

New Goals

Dealing with the illness, then passing of Charlie-cat kind of put everything else on hold.  I've failed miserably in my resolution to finish my 2nd novel by end of January.  I'm only on page 21! So the new goal is

Write everyday.  Maybe I'll be done with a first draft end of February?

My other goal was to post something here twice a week and comment on 5 blogs I read a week.  This resolution is already broken as well.  But I feel I can get back on track here this week.

Finally, I said I would read two books a week.  Which I have been able to do. 

Last week I read  "The Raven Boys" by Maggie Stievater.  I loved her gorgeous, lyrical writing and the plot is tight and works.  I'd give it a five out of five stars!

I would also add a caution if you are a writer.  Don't be reading Maggie Stievater if you're in the middle of your first draft.  Because when I read Maggie's glorious words, all I could think about was how sloppy and amateurish my writing is in comparison.  Which lead to depression: 'Why in the world am I torturing myself trying to write when I will never, ever be as good as Maggie.' Which leads to no writing.  (see 3rd sentence above!)

I picked up "Providence" by Jamie McGuire next.  I really enjoyed her book "Beautiful Disaster" so I figured I'd try it.  It was okay.  A paranormal romance and it looks like her first published work.  As I was reading, I felt a little better about my own writing.  Still not up to par with Jamie's level of writing but I could see myself getting there.  Three stars out of five

Last week I read "Requiem" and "Eden"  which are books 2 and 3 of the Providence Trilogy.  The plot of these two started to repeat themselves and I really had to struggle to get through these.  But I'm not sorry I read them.  I'd give these two books 3 stars as well.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

My Cat Charlie

My cat Charlie had to be put down Friday.  I've been a cat-parent most of my life so I can say that Charlie was the sweetest, gentlest cat it has been my pleasure to know.

I think he knew he wasn't the prettiest cat on the block.  There was something wrong with his tail, he had a permanent kink in it, and he didn't have the white chest and socks that his brother had, but he was a sweetheart.

He'd meow and come running everytime I called his name.  I think I taught him to meow into the phone but that may have been coincidence. He'd be waiting at the door when I got home and followed me around everywhere.  He'd purr the second you paid him any attention.

He lost a ton of weight in June and I took him to the vet (several, in fact).  He had a tumor in his stomach which they removed in July.  He was a fighter, he gained back all his weight but a mere two weeks after the operation, another tumor appeared and it grew over the course of the next six month.  In past two weeks, he started to lose weight again at an alarming rate.  I tried everything - force feeding him high-calorie supplements, appetite stimulants, anti-nausea medication, shots of pain killer, injection of fluids.  Nothing worked and he was suffering.

So finally, on Friday, we had to put him down.  It was heartbreaking but I know he's in a better place.  He'll forever be my pretty pretty Charlie.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Year's Resolutions

Happy 2013 everyone.  This seems to be a good place to put down my goals/resolutions for the new year.  These pertain to reading, writing and blogging only - I won't bore you with the gym/diet/be a better person resolutions as I'm pretty sure they're the same as every other person on the planet.
  • Do not buy or borrow any more books until I read the 100+ books/e-books I already have
    • Read two books a week

  • Blog at least twice a week
  • Comment on at least 5 blogs a week

  • Write a novel by end of March
    • Write a first draft by end of January
    • Rewrite it by end of February
    • Get to final draft by end of March
  • query or self-publish finished novel by end of march
  • try writing a short story based on a prompt in January (inspired by "The Curiosities")
Will revisit the above on April 1st and see how I'm doing.