Friday, December 27, 2013

Cough, cough. I'm sick.

I no longer trust in the healing powers of animals. I'm house sitting and have three dogs and two cats orbiting me at all times and I'm still sick. I'm Dr. Doolittle with a fever, cough and runny nose. 

I rarely get sick, but every few years during the holiday break my body will succumb to some freakishly strong super virus that repeatedly kicks my ass all up and down Candy Cane Lane. 

It's been slow and going adjusting to my new schedule and it would be manageable had I not gotten sick with the holidays upon me. It's been an unusual holiday because my family is off the main land and I'm watching all the pets while I work. 

The animals are making it harder, not easier. Instead of getting my eight hours I get hungry dogs wining in my face at the crack of dawn. It's hard to jump out of bed with a head full of NyQuil. 

I was three days late on my book review video. Needless to say I'm not my usual high energy self this week on YouTube. On a happier note I'm on the mend and looking forward to feedback on the Twist's sequel Chosen.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

How to be a sleepless robot.

First, I'd like to apologize that I can't get to my videos this week. My poor channel. It's been neglected due to the fact that there aren't enough hours in a day. Screw the midnight oil. I've been burning the 2 to 3am oil and I don't see any other way to get my crap done. I was hoping to be finished with the second draft of Chosen last night but I'm still scraping away at it.

My days off are usually spent alternating a healthy balance of social media and working on my novel. Now that I have more than my usual self imposed deadline ahead of me the second book of my Rebecca Ashley series trumps all. I have to go to a school library tomorrow for work so now I'm wishing for a miracle.

How to be a sleepless robot:

1. Set unrealistic expectations for what you can get done in a day and stick to them while abusing yourself with enough caffeine to drop an elephant with a cardiac arrest.

2. Repeat.

I crown myself the Queen of Hyperbole!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

IWSG Feeling Chicken


It's the first Wednesday of the month which means it's time to contribute to Alex J. Cavanaugh's brain child with a post. View more posts here: http://alexjcavanaugh.blogspot.com/p/the-insecure-writers-support-group.html

I've been working away at the never ending second draft of my sequel novel for my Rebecca Ashley Mystery Series. I am getting so close to the date I promised to hand out copies of the manuscript to my beta readers that my stomach knots up looking at copies of the first book TWIST. I really want this second book to be better than the first. While I love TWIST I feel CHOSEN will surpass it with it's more complicated plot line. I learned so much writing my first (first published, fourth written) book. 

I can already tell with this one the syntax is better. My voice is clearer. I don't have to go back as much to delete overly wordy sentences. But the plot line for this mystery is so complicated I've caught some serious continuity issues. 

Thankfully I'm starting my work schedule at Books Inc. tomorrow which should help prevent sleepless nights of angst as I obsessively scroll over my word document. Other people's books are the best distraction. 

Monday, December 2, 2013

Damn the distractions!

It's hard to get back in the swing of things over the holidays. I have work lined up. I'm working a gig Friday and I'm finally going to start at the independent bookstore I'd mentioned earlier. Now I can sit back and focus on the second draft of my next book. Um...right?

Nope.

I am having a harder time than ever avoiding the mundane shit that keeps me from applying ass to chair. I do my usual - turn off my modem, take out the dog, and have a pot of coffee within reach before I sit down but damn if it isn't hard to focus after the booze over-indulgence and turkey tryptophan overload imbibed over the holiday.

I push the 'turn on brain' button and get prompted the question 'Are you sure you don't want to eat and drink first?'

Getting back into a work rhythm after the noisiest of holidays sucks. I stuck to my promise to avoid burnout and remember fun. I was so effective in fact that now I can't keep my butt at my desk long enough to get any work done. I'm getting together with some writer friends to form a work group. Kind of like an adult study group where you're motivated by others to do work because they're working. Time to rally.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Avoiding burnout and remembering fun.

It's been way too long since I posted so I'm making time today...

I've been busy with the holiday schedule beating me down but have yet to take a nose dive in my work.   Still, I never feel I get enough done. I think the fact that the only deadlines I have are self imposed makes this feeling of constantly floating worse. I don't answer to anyone and don't have people telling me what to do and how to do the work.

That's how people become workaholics. It's the fear that if you miss a step or relax and take a break everything you started will go to shit. This leads to the inevitable burnout in which you actually do drop everything and everything does go to shit!

I'm making a promise to myself to relax over Thanksgiving weekend. Everyone have a great holiday! Cheers!  

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Warning: This Is A Rotten Review

I'm on the fence about whether to put the author's name and book title in this post. I don't want people to google the author and/or title and receive this rotten review before checking it out for themselves. That is bad book karma. Still, if you search San Francisco Mystery on Amazon this book comes up and I was so excited to read it. 

It's an e-book by an unknown, like me, who professes to write in the noir style, like me. His dark descriptions about the Tenderloin (where I've lived) makes Twist look like it takes place in Candyland. The author's gritty scenes are so visceral and gross reading this book could be used as a dieting technique. You will literally skip meals reading this book. But that's the good part, the only good part about this book.

This author was also a philosophy major, like me, and he lets you know! The story starts out with a philosophy professor searching for his daughter, a possible drug addled child prostitute in the Tenderloin. While sharing what is possibly the worst dialogue written in the genre with the private dick  the author manages to name drop Hume, Socrates and Plato. 

After the author beats you over the head with the fact that he's smart enough to grasp complex concepts you realize that it has nothing to do with the story. The authors pedantic rant (is it pedantic to use the word pedantic?) only stagnates the story. The mystery also has no clear beginning, middle and end. 

This book is so bad and it's gotten good reviews. Maybe I'll come back and post the title but right now I'm not up to it. Not because I can't take responsibility for my opinion but because as a writer I'd be pissed if some one posted under my book -Do Not Buy. Sucks!-

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Who Reads Your Books?

I must admit I was shocked when I found out how many close friends and family members, most of whom are readers, haven't read my book. I'm not saying all, a few have, but many that I thought for sure would have by now haven't. Want to know why? My friends and family are not my audience. From talking to other authors I've come to the conclusion that either your friends and family aren't your audience, or they are your only audience. 

Yes, some close friends and a few family members have responded to me about Twist after reading it. Still, most of the people interacting with me about it are friends online and people in my writing community. I've had so so many offers online to do a review through my sample. I still have yet to trade 'free copies' for 'honest reviews' because I'm technologically challenged and can't figure out how to send a 'mobi'. WTF is a 'mobi'?

When I look at it from my friend's and family's perspective I get it. It's hard to lose yourself in fiction and achieve that suspension of disbelief when you know the author personally. I write in the first person and have a hyper active voice. It's clearly my voice... and it probably scares them. 

Inversely, there are friends of family members and acquaintances that have heard the legends of my craziness and buy my book for that exact reason.

Think about it. You are asking people to commit six to eight hours of their life to reading your book. I was listening to one of my favorite authors being interviewed online. They stated that the biggest mistake first time authors make is focusing on marketing their first book. Woops! The trick is to keep writing books, better books, then repeat. I think of my current royalties times four and I get it. 

Patience is another annoying virtue she suggests. Give your audience a chance to find you. -meh-

Me: I just published a book. Here's my card.

Bartender: Congratulations! What can I get you?

Me: A job.



Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Cyberbullying - Feeding The Beast

It's a fact. Under the anonymity of the Internet people grow balls. Some people, cowardly otherwise, use this 'strength' to spread the misery around. Unfortunately, with the way YouTube has their comments set up they're making hate easier than ever. The most responded to comments get shoved to the top of the video page. Those comments tend to be the most demeaning and YouTube sustains the reputation of hosting some of the most hateful comments on the web.

You're probably thinking what I usually do. Don't be on YouTube if you can't laugh at it. We can laugh at the offender's misspellings and how stupid and ridiculous their hysteria is but now we can't fire back. The more responses the person gets the higher their comment gets bumped up to the top of the list.

I think this creates a mob mentality of insulting the video host. I can ignore it to a point. If you can't take ridicule and develop thicker skin don't be in the public eye. Still, it's one thing to make fun of someone's appearance or how they present the topic but a group of people telling someone to go 'f*cking kill themselves'! Especially someone who clearly might be depressed. I find the growing numbers astounding. The one thing I can think of doing is ignore the trolls and post something nice to the host before leaving their video page. 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

I Was Nominated For Another Liebster Award!

I know I'm late. I got distracted this weekend and my Monday was derailed. I'm still trying to edit this weeks YouTube video.


I copied this Liebster Award logo from Rose's blog. ;)

Rose has done research for the previous award post on what the Liebster award is (see that post here).  

~Rules For Accepting The Award~

~Link back to the blog that nominated you.

~Answer the questions they set for the blogs they nominated.

~Nominate 10 blogs of your own, and be sure to let them know, with a link to your post!

~Ask 10 questions for the blogs you nominate to answer in their post.

~My Questions~

1. How long have you been blogging? Almost six months I think.

2. What kind of stuff to you post about? I post about writing, marketing and being an all around nut.

3.  What's your favorite book? This morning I'm feeling it's Simone de Beauvoir's A Dutiful Daughter.

4. What's your favorite movie adaptation of a book? Lord of The Rings and I'm looking forward to seeing Ender's Game.

5.  If you could travel to any book land, where would you go?
Amazonia so Wonder Woman and her mother Diana can teach me to be a bad ass and I can pick up a pair of super cute boots and magic accessories. (Insert extra nerd points here)
6.  What book character is most like you, and why? Luna Lovegood from Harry Potter because I'm a dreamer who's also awkward and inappropriate.

7.  What made you want to start blogging? I wanted to connect more with my online writing community.

8. What's your favorite kind of music? I like everything from Classical to Experimental.

9.  Who's your favorite band/artist? That's tough. I'm entranced by all three of Jack White's bands.

10. What are you doing for Thanksgiving? I'm going to Tahoe with my family.

~~~~~*~~~~~

My Questions For My Nominees

1. Cats or dogs?
2. If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?
3. Psychology or sociology?
4. Which fictional world would you most want to visit?
5. Which fictional world would you least want to visit?
6. Fellas, boxers or briefs? Ladies, boy shorts or floss?
7. What do you claim as your talent?
8. What's the name of your first pet? (if you never had one I apologize and hope you were still hugged as a child.)
9. Have you now, or will you ever go back to Myspace?
10. How many hours a day are you on the internet. (be honest!)


Saturday, November 9, 2013

I Was Nominated For A Sunshine Award



Liz Blocker said, "I should preface this by saying that I'm going to follow my nominator, the lovely Ashley Nixon's, lead here, and copy what she did...because I don't actually know what the rules are. Ahem."

I say, "Ditto Liz."

Fave color: Pink
Fave animal: Seven Pound Long Haired Miniature Dachshunds named Peaches
Fave number: 17
Fave non-alcoholic drink: Tweaky Frappuccino with a double hot shot 
Fave alcoholic drink: Greyhounds
Facebook or Twitter: Twitter, it's less intrusive. 
Passions: Laughing at the absurd. Life is comedy!
Prefer giving or getting presents? It depends on what I'm giving and/or what I'm getting. Both giving and receiving crappy gifts are as horrible as giving and receiving great gifts is wonderful.
Fave city? When good American's die they go to Paris! 
Fave TV Shows: Mystery Theatre, Masterpiece Theatre, Modern Family, Tosh.O

My nominees are:
Chrys Fey Write With Fey
Jennifer Donnie Darko Girl

Friday, November 8, 2013

The Built In Excuse Of Being A Writer

I was just on the phone and asked what I was doing. Before I could stop myself I answered, "I'm sitting in bed."

"It's ten thirty on a weekday!" exclaims the woman sitting in an office on the other end.

I amend my statement, "I'm sitting in bed writing."

"Oh," she says.

It's why sometimes our hair is messy and some days we stay in our pajamas until noon. My attempts at social media aren't the best. I don't have a flashy website (I'm getting to it). My video quality is shitty (I'm working on it). If I focused on those things I'd have no time to write!

I invoke the built in excuse of being a writer.

It's nice to be free of the confines of perfection.


If you agree and call it creative freedom or don't agree and think I'm a lazy bum, tell me in the comments below. 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Crowdsourcing. Why not? Day 1 of Project Launch!

It was suggested to me by my friend Frank that I look into crowdsourcing which I had a rudimentary understanding of. This morning I launched my project kickstarter chosen-book-two-of-the-rebecca-ashley-mystery-series. I'm nervous that the idea of using a crowdsourcing site to get my second book published wont be well received. I purposefully do not  put google AdSense on my blog or adware on my channel because I personally find it annoying. The best way to support my writing is to buy my books. ;) I hope this doesn't jeopardize my place in our online writing community.  Keeping my fingers crossed!


One thing that putting together this project helped me with was my pitch! I made a YouTube video titled How To Pitch Your Novel which can be found through the link. Wish me luck friends and if you have any questions about crowdsourcing or want advice on putting together your own project please post them in the comments below. I'm happy to help! 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

IWSG - Too Plugged In?


It's the first Wednesday of the month. Time for another IWSG post. Check out the link Link to IWSG. For writers like me IWSG and other groups that make up the online writing community are very important. We are each other's audience. I get so excited to have my work read and critiqued that I feel I must return the favor in just as timely a matter.

I'm having problems balancing this. I'm trying to obtain and maintain an audience for my blog, my YouTube channel and my 'Rebecca Ashley Mystery Series'. I'm always reading other writer's work and enjoy it immensely, but I need to find balance. My phone is constantly dinging and I get lost in all the  correspondence. 

People are starting to mention it and I can tell that my being constantly on my phone is irritating the hell out of my friends and family, because they'll say things like, "You constantly being on your phone is irritating the hell out of me."

Time to power down. Anyone else have this problem?

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Liebster Award

Thank you Glendon for nominating me for the Leibster Blog Award! I actually read through the rules this time. ;) Glendon totally deserves this award. Check out Glendon's site. You'll be glad you did.  Glendon Perkins' Site


Here are the nomination rules:
1. List eleven random facts about me.
2. Nominate eleven bloggers for the Liebster Blog Award.
3. Notify the bloggers.
4. Ask eleven questions the bloggers must answer upon receiving the
5. Answer the eleven questions you were asked when you were nominated.
6. Link back t
o the person who nominated you.
Eleven random facts about me:
1. As a Navy brat and for other reasons I've moved over ten times my whole life.
2. The first time I moved I was eight months old. 
3. I have a big mouth.
4. I wont eat uncooked mushrooms unless it's fun afterwards.
5. My eyesight is probably a direct result of reading by flashlight as a kid.
6. I have two tattoos.
7. I'm a cat person yet I don't own a cat.
8. My best friend is an eight pound, long haired, miniature dachshund named Peaches. 
9. I play the guitar.
10. My dream is to work at an independent bookstore which might happen soon.
11. I've jumped out of a perfectly good airplane with a parachute because I didn't want to be the only one in my family that hadn't done it. (I wasn't doing back flips or anything like my sister-in-law. Ha!)
Questions for my Nominees 
1. What’s the meaning of life? What’s the point?
2. What are you best at?
3. If you were captured by aliens and put into an arena and they used their power of divination to determine your greatest fear or the one creature/animal/monster fake or real—what would appear out of the shadows to face you?
4. Favorite gig of all time?
5. How do you boil an egg?
6. If you could magic your mind into the body of any living human being on planet Earth, who would it be? (Keep in mind there’s no going back.)
7. If a clown jumped out of a van in the street while you were minding your own business and handed you a big pot of pink paint and a big crush, and said, “You mush paint that house over there pink, if you do then you’ll get this,” he shows you the biggest diamond you’ve ever seen in your life, what would you do?
8. Favorite food?
9. If you were suddenly transformed or transmogrified into a great bowl along with your equivalent selves from every country in the world, and you were asked by God to compete against each other in a variety of sports and test, what self from what country would win and why?
10. The best thing you’ve done for another human being?
11. What are your long term life goals?
My Answers
1. Need to be more specific. In which dimension are we talking? When I wake up in this one I tell myself, "What ever you do don't die."
2. Getting the ball rolling. I'm a woman of action. Even if I suck at it at least I try.
3. Dick Cheney
4. Working on the People of Richmond vs Chevron trial as a litigation assistant for Attorney Frank Kucera. Eye opening.   
5. For three minutes.
6. Lori Anne Allison for obvious reasons.
7. I would run screaming because I'm terrified of clowns, I hate painting houses and aint no way that diamond is real.
8. Fromage.
9. Um, what?
10. Not judge.
11. To support myself as an author.
My nominees for this award are as follows:
Kish Knight
http://gulp-fiction.blogspot.com
http://lizblocker.blogspot.com
http://cantbeatagoodbook.blogspot.com
www.deborahlawerson.co.uk/
http://dianawilder.blogspot.com
http://sandramarshallblog.blogspot.com
http://pickyourpoisonbookreviews.blogspot.com
http://author-cmgray.blogspot.com
http://donniedarkogirl.blogspot.com

To my nominees: Please nominate eleven more blogs. Be sure to let them know they've been nominated.
Cheers!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!

Kish Knight just posted her author interview with me to her site. When you get a moment go check it out! Kish Knight Interviews Mystery Author Adrienne Reiter

Unfortunately I don't know if I'm going to make it out tonight. I have a bit of a cold. Okay, understatement. My sinuses are throbbing and my body feels like it's made of cement. Sucks. Although, I've been known to drag myself to a party feeling worse. ;)

The pictures below are from 'I Married A Witch', a nineteen-forties movie I would watch with my grandmother around this time of year. When I was a little girl and to this day, the film seems magic. At the moment I want to curl up with some soup and order it On Demand. Ha!
Veronica Lake in I Married A Witch!

Veronica Lake in all her witchiness!

Happy Halloween!





Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Count Down To Halloween!

I hangout with some of the best people. This weekend for my friend Justin's birthday we all dressed up as super heroes and walked from the Marina down to Fisherman's Wharf to take the ferry from the Marketplace on Embarcadero to Tiburon. We almost didn't make the ferry because groups of people kept stopping us to take pictures with them.

My life's been so hectic I hadn't seen my friends in awhile. It was cool to be able to hand them an actual physical copy of 'Twist'. I met a few new awesome people. With our coffee cups disguising everyones favorite social lubricants we marched in our impromptu super hero parade. Everyone had a good time. 

Fisherman's Wharf trying to make the ferry.

A blond Wonder Woman and and even blonder Super Girl at Sam's in Tiburon.
What are you going to be for Halloween?

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

What's exciting to some is scary to others. Why some writers can't let go.

I just finished reading my friend Glendon Perkins' post 'Subconscious Writing'. I recommend checking it out. Glendon Perkins' Site 

It was about writing from the subconscious and his hypothesis that subconsciously we have a tale to tell. He's not alone. Many other writers feel the same way, myself included. But some just think the idea  absurd. 

I've asked them, "How many times has a reader come back with a totally different interpretation  of what you meant to say but the scene and emotion it evoked was exactly what you wanted, only that much more powerful?" 

The answer from the naysayers is always the same:

"It doesn't matter because it was an accident." Literary slop. Kind of like shooting for the four in the corner pocket but banking the two instead and pretending you did it on purpose because now you have a clear go at the eight ball. Pool is just as horrible of a writing analogy as it is to claim we control all variables as we write. 

But what if you meant to write it and you just weren't conscious of it at the time? Writers have so much running through our heads while we're crafting a story how on Earth can we expect to control it all and be conscious of every detail? I think the idea of not being in complete control and our subconscious having the ability to tattle on us scares some writers.

I hadn't thought about the subject since it was addressed in my last writer's workshop. Again, check out Glendon's post link above as he relates writing from the subconscious to his most recent short story. It's thought provoking.

What are your thoughts on writing the subconscious? 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Author Stereotypes - New Video

I just posted a new YouTube video. To watch click on the link Author Stereotypes

I can't believe we're almost at the end of October! October dictates fall leaves and increasingly cold weather. It also means Halloween! People drink, dress slutty, act like lunatics and no one can judge. My favorite holiday!

I've decided to write a short story during my day after hangover about the nights events. What are you going to be for Halloween? Post in the comments below. I'm considering making Peaches be a dragon. Hotdogs on dachsies are over done. My costume designer family member has said she'd brainstorm with me so we'll see. I still don't know what to be for Halloween.

What are your Halloween plans? What's your costume? Please share in the comments below. Sharing is caring!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Another Week, Another Book (plus a link to my interview)

It wasn't until I was asked the question, "How many books do you read a month?" that I really thought about it. I have ADD with everything so I read multiple books at a time of different genres. I pick up a book to read depending on what mood I'm in. 

In my interview with writer and radiographer Glen Perkins I said that lately I have on rotation a few mysteries, a Chuck Palahniuk novel, a book on the craft of writing and an e-book downloaded to my computer by an unknown like me. I read four to five novels a month. I never thought about it like that. The amount of reading, as well as writing, that I get done depends on my draft deadlines. After the interview questions I felt compelled to update my Goodreads profile, which I've never done. Ha!

Here's the link to see the entire interview Author Interview with Glen Perkins.

How many books do you read a month?




Sunday, October 20, 2013

Writing and Marketing

The opera yesterday was salvaged better than I expected. The only thing I really didn't like during the dress rehearsal was the Flying Dutchman's costume. When I think of the Flying Dutchman I envision a wealthy pirate, not Rasputin. This is in no way a knock against opera singer, Greer Grimsley, who was fantastic in the role.
He needs a hat. Something!
I'm working on the final climax of Chosen, the sequel to Twist, and my Tuesday YouTube video which I'm very excited about. I was discussing it with a non-writing friend who made the off hand comment that sustaining an audience has more to do with good marketing than good writing. I can't disagree more!

Even from a purely market based standpoint you first have to have a good product. All great marketing does is help a bad product fail faster. If you have a great product and terrible marketing it just prolongs the process, but eventually the word will get out and the product will sell. 

So many people are focused on how to publish, when to publish and where. First, you need to write a good book. Something actually representative of your work that you can stand behind through all the negative feed back you are bound to receive due how subjective the art of it is. When you publish your debut novel your reputation is on the line. I believe that if you write a good book your audience will find you.

What's your opinion? I heart comments!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

San Francisco Opera and Pumpkin Tea. F*#k Yeah!

I will start off on a serious note this morning. Trader Joe's Pumpkin Spice tea is freakin amazing. It's a mug full of happiness. A steaming cup full of holiday goodness. In so many words, Adrienne like.

As I sit here sipping tea typing this post I'm anticipating a fun afternoon in the city. Today I'm going to see the first dress rehearsal of The Flying Dutchman. I scored the seat a la my cousin who works for the San Francisco Opera. 

This will not be a normal rehearsal. A week before, actually not even, the director was canned errrr, retired. They are now trying to salvage the show. From the stories I've heard about the director's eccentric and controversial vision for the show before he was, uh, before he retired this should be an interesting one. 

I entered the first twelve thousand words of 'TWIST' into the 'International E-book Competition'. I'm still waiting on announcements for the 'Three Day Novel Contest'. Waiting really is the hardest part Tom. Anyone else waiting to hear back on something exciting? Tell us about it in the comments below!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

I'm On YouTube. Please Subscribe To My Channel!

This is my official YouTube announcement! Check out my first vlog at Writer On Self Publishing Test 1.
Cheers! ha ha
-A

Bear With Me While I Get My Channel Up & Running

I could totally use a vent and go on a tangent right now but I'm trying to make up for the pissy post I left you guys with Tuesday.

The video is done but of course right when I'm trying to edit it down to go live a gazillion things come up that I have to do. I will write an announcement post when the video is available. After discussing with a few people my networking ideas and what I'm doing in my spare time I've gotten some mixed reactions.

"Congratulations!"

and...

"How long did the first book take you? When do you plan on having it's sequel done?"

and...

"It must be nice to have the luxury of all that free time."

For all the congrats, thank you! 

In regards to the two part question the first book took me three years. I let the idea for the entire series percolate and it took six months just to figure out the formula. I had many false starts. Now that I have my Mystery 101 down as a mystery author it keeps getting easier to write better. Think of it like creativity body-building. I'm almost done with the first draft of TWIST's sequel CHOSEN and hope to have the final draft on my editors desk by Christmas.

For the snotty mention of all my free time and luxury: (insert rude noises here!). I don't have free time for writing, I make time. It is a job. For me it's a dream job and I press the 'I believe button' daily that it will support me some day.

My first video has to do with my book and what I think about the perceived over population problem YouTube has with self published authors promoting their work. Notice how I didn't say anything truly pissy yet? (pats self on back) With this week covered what do you think a good topic would be for next weeks vid? 

Leave your suggestions in the comments below!


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

TWIST Is Now Available In Print! Plus I'm Pissed!

I could kill the office manager at my apartment complex. My print proof for TWIST arrived yesterday! It was signed for by the office manager. Apparently I like to pay extra money to have packages expedited and sit unopened in a dark room.

If you sign for an over nighted package for one of your tenants isn't it safe to assume that they NEED IT NOW!

On top of that, once I had clicked on the tracking number to find out where the hell my proof was that I paid to have overnighted and saw that Ms. Toofuckingtiredtocallme signed for it I went down to the office. The office is closed. CLOSED! Closed, with a sign announcing it will be back open tomorrow at 9am. $%^&*#@! **&^%!!!!!!

My cousin is BARTing in from the city to work on the YouTube vlog. I call the maintenance guy who agrees to come to the complex and help me out. Genius. The man is nice enough to come back to where he just left work to help me out and an office of three b*&ches can't pick up a phone.

Gah! I'm done. That feels better. I love you blogspot!

Click on the Createspace link on your right to purchase the print copy of TWIST. TWIST will be available in print on Amazon in a few days.

Has anything like this happened to you? Share in the comments below! Sharing is caring and I just shared all over you. ;)

Monday, October 14, 2013

Preparing For Tomorrow

While I'm anticipating the print copy of my mystery novel 'TWIST' I'm trying to make some final decisions about how I'm going to approach my YouTube channel.   I am not known for my patience and I've had a hard time keeping myself from climbing the walls this weekend. I wont relax until my proof gets here and I can confirm it's okay. Or I might get another excited burst of energy. Maybe I can transfer that energy into my first YouTube vid. 

My topic will obviously be 'TWIST' and self publishing but I don't want it to be like the thousands of boring author videos already out there. I've been told that a vid should be between three and four minutes long. I want it to be funny. Any suggestions?

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Let's Try This Again!

Thank you for ordering a proof of TWIST (A Rebecca Ashley Mystery), Title #4447427. Your order was received and is currently being processed. Your proof will ship shortly. Delivery times may vary depending upon shipping method. 
Once you receive your proof, we suggest you review it thoroughly before approving it for distribution. Best regards,The CreateSpace Team


If all goes well TWIST will be available in print on Tuesday the fifteenth. Finally! Shout out to Erin and my step-brother Ian for all their help! It's been pointed out that every time I discuss photoshop and book formatting I sneer a little. 

The paperback copy coming Tuesday means the first YouTube video on my channel will also be Tuesday! 

I was explaining to a friend of mine who called earlier why I was excited for it to be Friday tomorrow. I've been on a 'cleanse' since Sunday. No alcohol for the last five days. I did the same last week. Once she quieted herself after laughing into the phone she said, "Most people call that drinking on the weekends. You're the only person I know to call not drinking during the week a "cleanse"."

If laughter really does make you live longer I just helped my friend out. She calls it "drinks only on the weekends", I call it "my weekly cleanse". Tomato, tomato.

What do you think of a YouTube channel? Would you be interested in listening to a self published author talk about writing and self publishing or are you tired of seeing such shameless self promotion? Let me know in the comments below!

Don't hold back. I'm doing the channel whether you guys tell me to or not. ;)

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Deep Breath 1..2..3...

Reason one thousand seventy-two why self publishing is all time consuming and emotionally draining. TWIST is available on Barnes and Nobles Nook now. I wish I could say the same about iTunes. 

iTunes finally got back to me and said my account was ready to go. Every time I attempt to upload my e-book I'm told there's something wrong. I converted the file to .xml yet I get prompted that I haven't. I'm hoping it's a temporary problem with their site and not user error. I have a sneaky suspicion it's the latter.

I have my step-brother and his tech genius friend helping me put the finishing touches on my hard copy. Thanks you guys! 

Shout out to Frank Whidden for giving TWIST five stars on Goodreads. You rock!

It's so frustrating when you can see the finish line for so long and have cinder blocks for feet. Is anyone else in the same boat with an event in their lives? It doesn't have to be the same. Post it in the comments below. Sharing is caring.  

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Creativity Well

I read a post in this last week's Insecure Writer's Support Group blog hop asking writers where they find their creativity. Many stated that they get their creativity from other writers, artists, and books. I agree that I'm inspired by those things but that's not where I think our creativity comes from. 

I think our creativity is innate. I had a friend in grade school who at a very tender age could not see beyond black and white. I don't remember what her family was like but I hated being forced to stay at her house after school. No matter what I tried to get her excited about something the kid was born with no imagination. 

I'd say, "Let's be unicorns and play outside!" and she'd respond "We can't because we're not." Kid watched a lot of T.V.

Creativity can be blocked. I view it like tapping a well. I first learned I was talented at fiction when I told cops an elaborate story about how I couldn't possibly be the kid that was playing with the pay phone at the park. I thought you needed a quarter to dial 911. I was six. Motivated not to go to kinderprison I told a story. Motivation taps the well. You have to want it.

Do you agree? Please agree and/or disagree in the comments below.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Research Fail

 While attempting to find someone to interview about Holy City and get a local perspective for my next book 'CHOSEN' a small hole in glass prevents me from investigating further.

.Click here to see the one minute vid.

Has anything similar happened to you or was I being a weenie? Tell me or have at me in the comments below.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Forwarding this from a fellow writer.

Only is should say "What my mom thinks I should do." My mother is my biggest fan and also my biggest critic.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Insecure Writer's Support Group - When I try not to care, it means I really care!


The first Wednesday of every month members of the IWSG share their fears, thoughts and insecurities.  

Where do I begin? I've jumped head first into promoting my book when it was a draft and had just hit my editor's desk. It was a lot easier getting behind something I was sure I could make perfect. Now that it's out there and less than perfect (it is what it is) I'm waiting with bated breath for some reviews. 

I know Kindle is notorious for bullies and I have been blessed with thick skin. I've had a few snide comments thrown at me due to some typos and while no one has said it's a bad story, and it's not, no one's written an official review yet either. 

After zipping and unzipping my e-book file to make some minor corrections and having more beta readers give me the go ahead my book will now be in print.

It's one thing to be rejected by a few nasty people on Book Blogs, but what about independent bookstores? The one's I've stopped by in Berkeley said their policy is to read the book first and then decide whether or not they'll sell you. So I'm waiting. I'm waiting less than patiently.

Despite my insecurities I'm still committed. Self doubt still intact I'm managing to persevere anyway. I'm going to launch a YouTube channel soon to help promote my book and answer questions about my own journey in self publishing the same as here. 

A whopping thanks to Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh for providing this venue for us to reach out and help each other. Check out the group! Insecure Writer's Support Group

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Check Me Out On You Tube! Coming Soon!

Just a heads up to everyone. I'll be starting a YouTube channel soon. I have a couple of friends helping me launch it because compared to them I'm video retarded. I do not understand how iMovie works and when I play around with sound/voice over I tend to panic.

On my channel I will be talking and answering questions about self publishing and writing. I'm very excited to get the channel up and running. Any suggestions on a channel title? Leave a comment below!



Monday, September 30, 2013

An Addendum To Last Night's Post

Yesterday I posted that in order to stay prolific in my work I have to be hyper organized. It's been mentioned by a few people who followed me during the Three Day Novel Contest that they remember my mentioning large amounts of whisky. 

The Three Day Novel Contest is not a sustainable homeostasis. Yes, I was able to produce a first draft of a novel drinking whisky at night and tea during the day. I didn't eat much except candy and I slept in shifts. 

Shifts of restless naps filled with half asleep daymares about what a terrible writer, philosopher and human being I am. It's not how I operate day to day. Thank God. I was told Hemingway drank heavily to write beautifully. One reread of my first draft submitted to the Three Day Novel Contest confirms I am not Hemingway. 

I've recently been dealing with some heavy life stuff. I've been having a hard time accepting loss. In response to this I've started a Monday through Friday cleanse. I'm hoping the lack of toxins wont be too distracting and my brain stays creative. We'll see.

On a lighter note I finally cracked the Createspace code... again. More on that tomorrow.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

One Writer's Dirty Secret

So many writers claim to have a creative need for chaos. I've taken workshops and joined writing circles with writers stating with shameless announcements of how much they can drink, how they can't sleep until three am and rarely wake up before noon and how much partying they manage to fit in month to month. I listen with reverence on how prolific they are in spite of so many bad habits.

I enjoy a good party just like everyone else and I've been known to stack up a few sheets of paper. But, I CAN NOT FUNCTION IN CHAOS! Does this make me less of an artist? I can drink an obscene amount, and I do, but not when I'm writing.

If you've seen the pictures of my home office I've shared in previous posts my work area is immaculate.   I have issues with balance so I'm either hyper organized or a mess. My writing space is hyper organized. 

When I have deadlines my workout schedule becomes more regimented and my sleep hours better regulated. Sharing this with you is oddly cathartic. I've grown quiet in writing circles while listening to others explain how painful and unhealthy their 'process' can be. 

My creative process, unlike many other things in my life, is pretty healthy. Perhaps because when I'm writing I'm at my happiest. I also enjoy celebrating when I feel I've completed something. Hopefully there will be a lot more of that! ;)

E.L. Watts nominated me for a Liebster Award! Thanks E.L.!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Fresh Start

I admit I'm impulsive. I rush things. When I make lists I like to check things off, as quickly and not always as efficiently as possible.

My new book cards came. I've looked them over again and again. They look good. I reached out for help with Createspace. Thank you to everyone that responded. My being unable to put 'TWIST' into print turned out to be a blessing in disguise. More typos were found (minor ones) that I was able to fix. I'm okay with the Kindle version having a few typos as it's a mere $2.99. The print copy will be $12.95. I want to put out the best product that I can.

My weekend in Tahoe helped me decompress and gave me some perspective on my life and my priorities. I'm feeling much more confident this week!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Createspace Fail

This is so frustrating. I've been formatting and re-formatting the print copy of my book. For some reason I can't get the page numbers to transfer from word to a PDF file. 

If you can't tell I'm not that tech savvy and it doesn't stop there. Apparently I also don't have an eye for detail. I received my book cards and discovered a typo. I had to reorder five hundred more cards. Grrrr. I've now been obsessively proof reading all that I've done. Pain is an excellent teacher.

My mom and I are off to Tahoe with the dogs. I've decided to give myself the weekend off of book duty and just enjoy the process of creating my first draft of 'Twist's sequel 'Chosen'.  The first draft is one hundred percent my favorite part of writing a book. My mysteries are very involved and require heavy plot outlining.

Even though I plot point like mad before I even write a word of my first draft I never know what I'm going to get. It's not until I throw adversity at my characters that I learn more about them. They always surprise me. I'll anticipate them to respond one way and sometimes they react the exact opposite. I've never written a sequel and am excited to learn more about these characters that have grown into complex people with their own hopes, dreams, fears and personal struggles. 

I'm ready for my over due break from Createspace.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

'TWIST' will soon be available in print.

It only took me three days of formatting and fixing unnecessary page breaks to finally have a hard copy decent enough for Createspace to do a twenty-four review. Yes, that was sarcasm. I'm exhausted. I had to take another day off of running and it's been a beautiful, breezy sunny day. 

I'm doing yoga again tonight to tend to the knots that have developed under my shoulder blades. A fellow writer and blogger said it best. Self published writers who get things done in a timely manner are "sleepless work obsessed zombies".  I haven't gotten anything done in a timely manner and I'm beat. I'm hurting but it's a good hurt. ;)

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Avoiding Burnout

I'm excited about going back to the San Francisco Art Institute, where much of the action in my book takes place, and begin promoting face to face with my intended audience. I'm excited about 'Twist's" sequel 'Chosen'. I nearly have the first draft completed. I'm also dreading the inevitable burnout!

It's easy to get rolled over by the proverbial snowball. As it grows in size it begins chasing you faster downhill. I've been warned by other writers in our community who have had this same experience. If you let your 'snowball' get too big too fast it will get to a speed you can't outrun and crush you. Think Loony Tunes. Elmer Fudd is running through the snow and Bugs Bunny's once baseball size snowball, now mountainous, crushes him.

I'm a new face on social media sites. While most others my age have built up a resistance to the bacteria I find myself exposed all at once and am now infected. 

I literally can't stop answering emails, responding to questions and plot pointing projects that don't even need to be thought of yet. I'm afraid that if I take a break my creative high will dissipate. I have three blogs and have been answering and sending countless emails trying to get my book reviewed/promoted. I've already had to turn off the internet once in order to get some writing done. Social Media ADD is it's own special kind of writers block. 

I'm ecstatic about my progress but I wont feel like I've published a thing until I get reviewed. I think tomorrow I'll take half the day to lie in sun since it's almost fall, but I can't promise anything.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Must Do Yoga!

Sorry I have to keep this post short. I'm one giant stress ball and I'm trying to make the six o'clock Bikram yoga class.

Finding a healthy balance between promoting and writing has been tough.

I joined bloglovin.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Self Publishing Is Hard The First Time

Now that I feel I can finally let 'Twist' go I'm diving into it's sequel 'Chosen'. I've learned so much. I know how to format an e-book, zip and unzip files, and I have acquired some pretty necessary Photoshop skills. I feel invincible in the self publishing world. 

Given my competitive nature and obsessive need to be published I feel my entry into the 'published authors club' was initiation by fire.  I'm not super tech savvy so for me it was a real challenge. I realize self publishing doesn't have the same cache as traditional publishing but if you put out a quality product, you earn the title. The only judges I answer to are the readers. They're the ones I write for. 

If I didn't push myself to 'get it done already' it wouldn't have happened. If it wasn't for all the help and support from friends and family it wouldn't have happened (I'm still surprised no one did me bodily harm). If it wasn't for supportive writers and readers hounding me to push the button so they can finish what they halfway started, it wouldn't have happened.

Thanks guys!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Happy Friday the 13th. It's Alive! 'Twist' is now available on Amazon.

'TWIST', the first book of my Rebecca Ashley series, is now available on Kindle. If you want to check it out simply click the link next to this post. I will have hard copies available on Amazon in a couple of days.

It took some doing but after consuming a lot of chocolate and many adult beverages Kristi and I managed to crack the Kindle code. I'm excited to finally focus on the next book of the series which I believe will be even better than the first.

There is no right or wrong way to develop a book and no two writer's creative process is exactly the same. My mysteries require pretty complicated plot lines so I outline heavily. 'TWIST' is my fourth attempt at creating an audience worthy novel and I finally did it.

Happy Friday the 13th everyone. It's my book's birthday! 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Self Publishing Is Hard!

:p I officially stick my tongue and make rude noises at those who get down on self published authors. I've actually had a writer friend say, "Oh, so you're going the impatient lazy route."

I thought I would have a hard copy to edit. I expected it to arrive yesterday but I ordered it wrong. I've been formatting and getting ready to do my own proofing. I've read and re-read my book double checking for errors so many times after I got back my professional edit. I damn well nearly have my 55,000 word manuscript memorized line by line. 

Self publishing is hard. There are so many writing adjacent jobs you have to do. I'm finding the process both exciting and exhausting at the same time. Anyone have any suggestions or want to add their two cents please do tell! 

I heart comments!


Saturday, September 7, 2013

Old Fashioned Hard Copies

I do read e-books but when I have the option to order a paperback I can't help myself. I know it's probably wasteful and not that great for the environment. There's just something about the way a book smells and flipping through it's pages that brings me back to the nostalgic childhood crap I enjoy reliving. 

As a kid I was always reading. I was one of those flashlight under the bed nerds that couldn't put a good book down even for things like sleep, friends, or good hygiene (JK on hygiene, kinda). 

I got this idea from Jennifer's Donnie Darko Girl Blog. When I went over to a new house as a kid and discovered it's inhabitants had their own personal library I would get super excited. I guess now I still do. 

This is a fun blog topic. Show me a pic of your library. Thank you to every dude that has ever helped me with the boxes at moving time!

Bookcases and my pet squirrel!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Goodbye Bay Bridge!

Since my stories are usually set in or around where I live, the San Francisco Bay area, I find it sad to read through my descriptions of the old Bay Bridge. It looks so different now.

In my noir mysteries San Francisco is a character in and of itself. I feel a sense of loss, over a bridge! Is that weird?

Old Bay Bridge
New Bay Bridge

New Bay Bridge

"Are you in Boston?"
"No, I'm on the new Bay Bridge."


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

First Post For Insecure Writer's Support Group

Today is the 2nd year anniversary of Alex J. Cavanaugh's Insecure Writer's Support Group. When my blog was new Alex posted a few comments of encouragement that really meant a lot. My blog is new now but then is was brand new. I'm talking a handful of hits new and completely free of followers. I hope I can pass it on.


I'm most insecure about self publishing my first novel 'Twist' of my Rebecca Ashley mystery series. It's so hard to tell when a book is done. I'm such a new writer that I can't tell if I'm over or under editing certain parts of my book. Sure, grammar is obvious but what about content? How can you tell a book is done?

A family member mentioned rewriting the beginning again. I'm not so sure but I'm willing to listen to what they have to say. I'm always open to suggestions. In fact, I could not have finished this book without them!

I've done everything people suggest self published authors do. I had my book professionally edited. I had a professional artist design the cover. Now I need to format the book and upload it. I will read through the finished manuscript one last time and then press the publish button. To learn more about The Insecure Writer's Support Group check it out!: http://alexjcavanaugh.blogspot.com/p/the-insecure-writers-support-group.html 

Paperback Cover For 'Twist' Done!

As you know I've had a wild ride this weekend. I completed the International Three Day Novel Contest, had my witness statement signed that I indeed wrote my book titled 'The Academy' between Saturday 12:01 am and 11:59 pm the following Monday. I'm just coming down off the adrenalin high.

Driving over the new Bay Bridge was weird. I agree with people saying it reminds them of Boston.


Doesn't look like the usual drive into San Francisco.


Yesterday I was still amped and some how managed to focus enough to take advantage of it. I drove into the city to meet up with Kristi, my cousin and cover artist, to format the paper back cover to 'Twist'. During the night our friend Mona came over to give us some much needed input. We were glad she came over even though she had just gotten done working out and had stinky feet.  

Kristi did an excellent job.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Done

I feel like I could sleep for a week. I was hopped up on so much adrenalin that I didn't go to bed until the wee hours. When the Three Day Novel contest ended at midnight it was wine o'clock and it took a lot to calm my nerves.

The first draft of book one for my next series is born. I've tacked it's outline to my wall as a carrot to get the next two books of my Rebecca Ashley series completed. Then I can start on my Lia Parker series. She has her own world in San Francisco and I can't wait to dive back in.

The first book of my Rebecca Ashley series titled 'Twist' is done and will be available on Amazon as soon as it's formatted. I will post the link on my blog once it's available.