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Hey, all. Hope your day’s going well.

I have an update: there will be a delay on THE ALCHEMY OF SHARDS Spring release. I’m putting a lot into my Summer release, and going back and forth with myself about how necessary it really is to put out another book of short stories. Why? Well, because I really don’t think its going to sell. The Alchemy of Shards2 (2)

Let me back up a little. In the beginning of self publishing, I read that, the more books an author has available for purchase/download, the better. I thought that that made sense, and out of my many novels and short stories, I decided which ones I would have have edited, and make available. And I got started with publishing.

Honestly? Now, I’m wondering if it’s wise to publish multiple books, and have them all sitting, collecting dust, despite the constant promoting and research and hard work.

Giving up isn’t an option. But what happens when most everything you do seems to be rejected? Or worse, ignored, seemingly invisible? Does it hurt? Umm, yes. Especially when you see similar books in your genre flying off the shelves because of the name or names attached, people who have the funds to put into placing ads. (Or because frankly, some people have more people in their corner.)

So, what do you do when people you have supported while you were quietly running on empty, who love to read,  aren’t interested in you or your passion?

Maybe you question your passion. Perhaps you question your gift. Maybe you begin to consider that it just isn’t your time, because what you write about isn’t “in”. Maybe you grow bitter, because memes about thinking positively suddenly seem more like mockery. Perhaps you feel even more bitter because people were more focused on pointing out that typo, than they listened to the awareness aspect (when traditionally published books are slacking on typos, too, these days).

Where do you put all this frustration? How do you keep trying when you seem to be sharing your art in an empty room?

I’m going to go with … I don’t know. This isn’t a peachy, preachy pick-me-up post. Its an I’m with you update.

Readers: If you’re out there, reach out to the newbies when you can. Especially if they’re your best friend. Old acquaintance.  Your sister. Your uncle. Your step mom. Even distant cousin. Even if you’re a stranger, and you thoroughly enjoyed an indie book .. don’t hesitate to reach out. Maybe they’re too busy to thank you, or aren’t as grateful as they should be, but mostly, you’ll brighten their day.

We’ll be eternally grateful, because sometimes, this process is hard — really hard. And we know, no one forced us to put ourselves out there. But still, it’s hard on us. We go up and down. And it only takes a review. A kind email. Constructive criticism, even.

New/Undiscovered Authors: What can I say? I’m with you.

If I haven’t said enough — haven’t quite made it clear — I love to work on multiple projects at once. It keeps everything fresh and exciting. Well, lately — actually, for the past two years, I have been re-writing the novel Fountains, while working on another novel, Disappear, conjuring up short stories, in between time.

But Fountains, like Just Beneath the Surface, was was written almost ten years ago. It’s a prequel to Where were you, with many integral, intricate characters.

The book needs a lot of work, and I keep feeling like, I’m having to force it. I’m not really used to that, because I hop around, keeping the passion alive. (Let me say, this isn’t writer’s block; I am very connected to the story and characters. When I work on it, and I focus, I’m right there, and it flows — but it’s forced, because I feel confined.)

But not, now. I was inspired. I was so inspired.

He (Mr Ramsey) said to me (paraphrasing, but almost verbatim): “I remember ten years ago. You’d come to my job, wearing that striped v-neck sweater, that skirt, and I think flipflops. ‘Member that?  The way you’d look at me — that look, so sweet and genuine — never had that, before. We’d stay up late, talking, holding hands, until 3am. We’d sit on the bed of my truck, listening to music, looking up at the stars  .. and through ups and downs, I still see us that way.”

And just like that, there’s a shift, and I’m inspired — not to go and write some romantic scene. I’m inspired to appreciate what I’ve got and re-written, so far. I’m inspired to admire from afar and look at it the same way I did when I was so proud of it, years ago. I’m inspired to not force it, but to trust, that it will get there, through “ups and downs”.

No more rushing. No more forcing. Thanks, Mr Ramsey, for the inspiration 😉

Yes, I am publicly flirting with you.

Just Beneath the Surface I character “Michael” : the father speaks

 

Not much to tell. I am a father, a good man, hard worker — I have my shortcomings, but don’t we all?

Parenting — nothing terrifies me more. I’ve never had to question myself or ask for so much advice or help. I’ve got two kids. My youngest gives me hell. My oldest is an angel. I wish I’d told her that, more. 

 
My son reminds me of myself, except that I’m an only child. He’s got his sister and he fights with her, but he’s protective of her. That’s what I want for her. Because she’s — she’s not handling things well — neither of them are. And I can’t be everywhere at once, but I know my son. My son has his eye on her.
 
And as for him, well, he can toughen up. I have little patience for anything less than sucking it up and getting things done. Neither of them are allowed to pity themselves. Out of the question.
 
My daughter is sweet. She’s innocent. She’s an old soul. I look at her and I don’t see myself or her mother. I just see — her. I don’t tell her as often as I should, but, I’m proud of her. No matter what, I’m proud of her. Even with — everything that’s …
 
I’m always proud of her.
  
 Then there’s Kendall. Kendall and this new man …

Kendall and I never got along. She was always pressuring me. I was never able to be whatever it was that she — expected. That’s all there is to that.

Him — I always thought he was a coward. Now, I believe it more than ever. Kendall is the type of woman who knows how to stand up for herself. The fact that I see her arms covered in bruises makes no sense to me. I don’t recognize her, and I’m starting to believe that she believes the lies she tells to cover up for this guy.

My problem isn’t with her or this guy. I’m tired of wondering about them — they’re sick. Anyone who lets that type of thing go on is sick. She doesn’t want my help, so they can have each other.

My problem is this: seeing my kids’ faces when she’s not available. Or when she’s got those marks on her arms. What father wants to see his kids hurt? What father wouldn’t wanna fix that? She tells me this has nothing to do with me. Nothing to do with me? This has everything to do with me — it’s sick, and it’s affecting my kids. Any parent knows, your kids are your world. Their worry is your worry. Their hurt is your hurt.

She’s killing this family or what’s left of it, anyway. If she wants to kill herself with this lunatic, fine. But she’s not gonna take my kids along for the ride. That’s where I draw the line.

I know Kendall, and I know she’s so much stronger than the person he’s made her. She was strong. She was confident. She’s not like this. I don’t know if I’m more mad at her or scared for her.

This is dangerous…

Very dangerous…

And I don’t recognize her anymore.

 

Just Beneath the Surface I

Also, be sure and check out:

Character thoughts: Mystery antagonist

Character thoughts: Diamond

Character thoughts: Kendall

Character thoughts: Bobby

Here’s part 2 of the Just Beneath the Surface spelling test!

Last week I used “Just Be,” and today, I will take the letters “neath the.” I will finish up with  “Surface” in 2 weeks! (Answer key is below – for some of the words, I have included definitions)

n -a congenital or acquired usually highly pigmented area on the skin that is either flat or raised

nevus or nevous

e –

elsewither or else-wither

a –

anecdotes or anectdotes

t – tomorrow or tommorrow

h – hierarchy or heirarchy

t – To plow for the third time in summer

thryfallow or thryfollow

h – By chance or accident

haply or happly

e – sudden rise of tide in a river

eagre or eager

Answers are below book cover image.

nevus elsewither  anecdotes tomorrow hierarchy  thryfallow haply eagre

So …

How about a spelling test? I have used “Just Be,”  today,  and will continue the test with ” neath the Surface” next week! (Answer key is below – for some of the words, I have included definitions)

J –

 jujitsu or jiujitsu

 

u – the bone on the little-finger side of the human forearm

 ulnar or ulner

s –  one who observes the Sabbath on Saturday in conformity with the letter of the fourth commandment

sabbatarian or sabatarian

t – 

tabacco or tobacco

B –  refusing or likely to refuse to proceed, act, or function as directed or expected

balkiness or balkyness

e –  is a common ceramic material, which is used extensively for pottery tableware and decorative object

earthenwear or earthenware

 

***

 
When Kendall Berkely takes a look in the mirror, she not only desperately wants to run away from the stranger staring back at her; but she also knows that her days are numbered. She can feel it in her bones, and has the bruises to prove it. To make matters worse, Kendall will soon discover that her seventeen year old daughter, Diamond is on a path nearly just as dangerous. After the demise of the family unit she once knew, a distracted mother, and being forced to accept a new stepfather, Diamond finds herself knee deep in a multitude of mistakes. When Diamond finds herself more lonely than ever before she crosses paths with Bobby Lidell; a teacher’s aide with a dark side. Just as Diamond realizes that she is in over her head, her mother and father have already been notified, and will do everything in their power to protect her.But what is lurking in the shadows will not stop until a vow has been kept; what is lurking just beneath the surface will come seeking revenge.
 
One reviewer says:
“This is an excellent book and can be used to help others who may feel trapped in this type of situation. This was an inspirational story and I enjoyed reading this book. I know that many people who find themselves in these type of relationships are stuck in the cycle and hope that their partner will change, just like Kendell.”

jujitsu ulnar sabbatarian tobacco  balkiness earthenware nevus elsewither  anecdotes  thryfallow haply

How’d you do?