Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Stalking the Wild Introvert

Nodaway-Holt Middle School kids and me

So you wanna be a writer, huh? 

Sit there at your keyboard and punch those books out like so much bubblewrap.

*slightly psychotic laughter*

Sure. Go on. Write that book. Make it 90 – 95 K words. Perfect it. Polish it. Find an agent or publisher.

Signing books at a trade show
KaPOW! You have a contract.

You are a published author. Now, you will market the book.

WHAT! Market? 

But I’m shy, an introvert, a total geek that practically wears camo when I go out in public. Me? Give presentations? Sell my book face to face with the *shiver* public?

What? Are you bloody mad?

*wiping tears off cheeks from maniacal laughter*

Ah, my children, that is exactly what you must do though. The last thing an introverted creature such as myself wishes to do is stand on a chair and shout, “Look at me. I have something you want to buy.”

*rolling on the floor*
Marketing. Selling yourself, your book, the premise. Making it interesting. At this point, you wanna-be writers, think and plan. Because someday, marketing will consume you. And by all that is Holy, you’ll wonder:

What have I gotten myself into.

Monday, February 17, 2014

First Drafts, Book Signings, and Pandora

What a journey last year was for me. 

My debut as Published Author, an excellent turnout for my book, Wilder Mage, and the continuation of the series. 

My prequel short story, Out of Magic detailing Sable's first brush with magic, is awaiting a cover.

I completed the First Draft of The Unlikely Mage (working title)book two of The Magic Withheld series. It is now in the hands of my treasured critique partners, Marcy Hatch, Charity Bradford, and L. Blankenship.

Its first outing occurred at UnicornBell, our writer’s realm of informational overload, where our followers critted the first 1400 words.

The third book of series is 1000 words into the first scene and chapter. And just to be contrary, my mind came up with the ending of the book when I was half-asleep. Evidently, that is one of the best times to develop a storyline. The other time is when I’m driving down the highway at sixty mph.

As if edits of the second book and writing the third wasn’t keeping me busy enough, I am promoting the first in the series as well with a book signing at the Mark Twain book club. The following week, I am the guest at the Maryville chapter of the Missouri Writers Guild meeting at NWMSU. The local paper asked for an interview also. Waiting on the date for that one.

Need musical inspiration for your novel? One word: Pandora. 

I had the free app for a quite a while. Then last year I signed up for the paid subscription and have been very pleased with my Nickelback, Daughtry, and Hinder stations. But it didn't occur to me until recently to enter Two Steps From Hell into the faves.


I have several albums from this group already. But selecting them as my favorite radio station gives me not only their strictly instrumental music but also groups such as ES Posthumous and Audiomachine, soundtracks from movies like Inception, Pirates of the Carribean, Lord of the Rings, Man of Steel, and Robin Hood. 

Included in this group is Lindsey Stirling, who is an amazing violinist. Her picture alone makes me love her music.

And gaming music! Love, love, love Halo, Assassin’s Creed, and Skyrim. The muse is fantastic.

If you don't care for the Pandora app, I highly recommend all the above groups for your battle scenes, drama, death, and romantic creations.

So when is your muse most active? And do you listen to music? Book signings, are they in your future?

Friday, February 7, 2014

Why? Because I need some Spring

Winter does bring some rather cool stuff though, meteorological-wise:

This sun dog or halo, known as a parhelion in dry scientific terms, stayed for over an hour.

I read a book that described them rather succinctly as " pups around a bitch..."

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

IWSG - Insecurity

IWSG—Insecure Writers Support Group, coming together on the first Wednesday of every month for a virtual pat on the back. 

Writers have many things in common.

Creativity, drive, the ability to hear small still voices in a crowd.

Those are the good things. Other traits are not so desired.

Introvert. Not many of us are the outgoing type, the life of the party. We smile and nod then turn back to our pens and keyboards.

Ego. Our self-image has more to do with context than substance. We don’t look at ourselves as runway models or beefcake stars but as the common Joe or Jane. The difference is that we have a story to tell. Our egos come to the fore when an agent rejects a manuscript or a critique comes back with red slash-and-burn pen marks. That beloved work, our one likes it. *grieve*
The above traits, in my opinion, pale beside this creativity killer though.

Insecurity or I’m not good enough.

This ugly beast raises its head at least several times a week. Good book reviews, a big thank you from a fan, virtual hugs from my blogger buddies throw a blanket over it like a smothered cat, but it always finds a way to wiggle way out, one ear at a time.

Insecurity never leaves my side, always whispering in honeyed tones,

“Wilder Mage is a fluke. Quit trying. Stop writing. It’s no use.”

For the love of all that is Holy, how do you silence that nasty little Voice?

* * * *

Insecure Writers Support Group: The Final Frontier.

These are the continuing voyages of the Ninja Captain, AJC. His mission, to explore all new writing venues, to seek out new authors and new blogs. 

To boldly go where no blogateer has gone before.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Backups, Critiques, Facebook, and Grass Skirts

Imagine losing twenty-five years of financial records. Or even worse, five years of manuscripts.

I had a week of horror wondering if nothing remained of my computer hard drive. Farm records, emails, photos, music, and *heart thumping horror* my manuscripts. Yes, I had backup. In fact, I had three, one more than I thought I had. In my heart, I knew nothing would be lost. But wondering, speculating about the prospect of losing everything to the wrath of God jangled my nerves.

All is back to normal...relatively. After updating, sorting, slotting, and using words that would rate the stink eye from my mom, my records and manuscripts are back in place. There is still some warfare continuing between my preferred browser (Google Chrome/blogger) and my internet security program (Norton). But I’m not losing any sleep over it.

My advice? Use redundant backups. Online as well as an external drive. I use Carbonite Mirror Image, Norton, and Dell for storage. Seagate is my external drive. If you don’t have backups, for the love of Pete get them. Now. Set them up and then you can forget about them.

At least until you’re working on the sequel to your book and something pops, the screen goes dark and the computer starts beeping.

Critiques. My writers critique site, Unicorn Bell has new blood, fresh eyes. Check out the additions to our team:

Our blog is the crucible of critique, a writer’s realm with crits, information, book reviews, book tours/spotlights, and bloghops. This week the query monster has taken over the site.

In line with our new faces, we now have a Facebook page. Grab a cup of your favorite beverage and mosey on over.

Want a good laugh? Check out the duel between our Alex, Blogateer Extraordinaire, Cavanaugh 

And how about this tidbit from the Ninja Captain: From February 4 – 10, CassaFire will be 99 cents at Amazon Kindle, Amazon UK, and his publisher’s site. 

“This sequel to Cavanaugh's first novel, CassaStar, delivers on the promise of its predecessor, combining military action sequences and political intrigue with strong, memorable characters. Reminiscent of the action-driven stories of Robert A. Heinlein's early fiction…” - Library Journal

Check out CassaFire. And MK's legs

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