Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Not enough students?

So far, it looks like my pursuit of teaching a creative writing class to middle school students is floundering. Only three kids are signed up, one of which is my son, so it doesn't look promising. Bummer! I was really looking forward to it. But I totally get it. What kid wants to spend an extra two hours at school sitting at a table with a pencil in her hand? It doesn't sound very appealing when you put it that way. Maybe I'll have to suggest a Saturday class or a summer session. We can write outside so that it doesn't feel like work. The class doesn't start until Monday so there's still time for more kids to sign up. I won't give up all hope.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Giving Amazon Prime a try

Sincerely, sad dad is now available to Amazon Prime members at no cost when they elect to borrow this title from the lending library. I recently read a blog post from a more established writer and she made it sound pretty wonderful. So, since Sincerely, sad dad isn't gaining momentum on its own, I thought I'd give this Amazon program a try for the next three months. The only catch is that I cannot sell a downloadable copy of the title anywhere else, which means it is no longer available through iTunes or from Sales at those sites were less than desirable anyway. I'm not expecting anything mind-blowing from this trial, but you never know. At this point in my life, it doesn't take a whole hell of a lot!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Finished with my first "cozy mystery"

I recently finished reading my first book that is considered a "cozy mystery." It was good, but not great. The beginning was slower than I like and some of the fluffy material, as I like to call it, didn't interest me too much. The story got better, more characters were introduced, and the ending finished somewhat unpredictably, which was nice.

Not a great review, huh? I wanted to love it. I wanted to get done with it and say, "Yes, this is where I belong." I have three more "cozy" titles on my nightstand so I'm not giving up. My writing is similar in a lot of ways, but hopefully it's a tad bit more exciting. I also think I add more humor, which to me makes the book more fun to read. Or perhaps it only makes it more fun to write.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Do dreams have deadlines?

Do dreams have deadlines? I'm thinking so. I'm about at my breaking point. The dream to succeed is losing out to my fear to fail. It's an intense battle, I tell you. The blaze is burning high; the emotional strain is at maximum levels. I'm giving the dream until September. I'm not exactly sure what sort of payout I'm looking for between now and then, but whatever it is has to be better than how I'm feeling about things now. UGH!!! Another venting post...

Friday, February 15, 2013

Checking out the cozies

On my last trip to the library, I loaded up on books by the top "cozy" authors as according to a cozy website I recently discovered. I immediately noticed how different the covers were from the mysteries/thrillers I usually read. They are more playful and almost cartoonish. I'm only about 30 pages into my first one so it's too early to make judgement. So far I'm enjoying it. I'm really trying to see how my work compares--still trying to figure out where I belong. I've come a long way in my search, but I don't think it's quite complete. I'm actually shocked at how different my work is compared to what I read. When I first started writing, I was comparing myself to James Patterson and Sandra Brown. Hey, at least I aim high! Now, I realize how far off I was. My stories are gentler, more subdued. They include death and love, but not nearly to extent of how those popular writers portray it. Wherever I fit in, I truly enjoy the stories I write. A lot of thought goes into the characters I create because they are what interest me the most. I'll keep reading my "cozy" books and cross my fingers that I've finally found a home.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Dreams and sacrifice

“Dreams do come true, if only we wish hard enough. You can have anything in life if you will sacrifice everything else for it.” 
― J.M. BarriePeter Pan

I'm having a hard time lately justifying the sacrifices I'm making and how they affect my family. Because of my desire to pursue my dream, my family doesn't necessarily get all the things they want. Sure, they get me 24/7, but they don't get the material items or the vacations they dream about. I tell myself it's only temporary.  Everything is temporary. They probably don't even see it the same way. I'll look back ten years from now and be glad for making the many sacrifices. In the mean time, I need to get over this guilt. It's weighing on me like a heavy blanket. BUT, if J.M. Barrie is correct, my dream will come true and it will all be worth it.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Reader reviews

As I check out other self-published novels on Amazon, I can't help but notice some authors' blatant attempts at recruiting more readers. I want more readers too, but to have your friends and family write up multiple paragraphs about how wonderful your book is, well, that's just plain obvious. As a reader, I'm skeptical of those books. I'm more apt to read a book with a few bad reviews than one with 11 five-star reviews, especially if the book was just recently published. Sure, my mom and mother-in-law gave me five-star reviews on my books, but they have to! They're moms! I would do the same for my son or daughter. The rest of my reviews though, I want friends of friends or complete strangers to review my work. How else will I get better? What else will drive me to produce an even better novel? Oh, by the way, this next one is already better. I can't wait to share it!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

When the writing just flows

I'm proud to say that I wrote 2000 words yesterday for book #3. What can I say? Words were pouring from my fingers. Now, this only happens once in a blue moon because I usually get stuck and end up rewriting one paragraph over and over again to get it just right, even though I'll rewrite it again when I'm finished with the whole thing. Speaking of finishing, my husband sort of challenged me to finish the book by mid-March. That might actually be feasible since this new outline I've worked up is still working. I see the end. I see where the characters are when the story is done. What a sense of relief. There's nothing like being stuck in the middle of a book not knowing where to go next. Like many other authors have said, the middle is the worst to write. When you get that great story idea, you can picture the beginning and ending, but the middle you tell yourself you'll figure out in time. Well, that figuring out time period can get pretty lengthy. Here's to another great day of writing!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Reading buddy

I was at my kids' school the other day volunteering as a reading buddy for a couple of kindergartners and I must say they are the cutest little things ever. My youngest is only a year out of that grade so it brought back a lot of great memories. He's since picked up some attitude. It's either because first grade is much cooler or my older kids' behavior has worn off on him. I usually blame the older ones. It couldn't possibly be my little boy's fault!

Reading to your child is soooooo important that I don't mind taking time out of my day to work with a student or two to give them a little more practice. Every little bit helps. Now I get to look forward to hearing them improve. That's the best. Whether it's a few extra sight words or better fluency, it's all worth it.