Saturday, March 01, 2014

Long Time No Postings

It's been since October (and I'm not even sure how I posted anything in October) since my last posting. Just letting my followers know I am still around and finally things are turning around for me. I'm out of the house, moved into an apartment on my own, have been without a job since September 12 and now am about to start a new job. I've been in the courses through the SC Works program for Medical Billing & Electronic Health Records specialist and only have 3 more to go to get to that certification exam. I've been without internet until recently so have not really done much of anything - posting or writing. I am getting back to The Ties of Time and hope to have it written (at least first draft) by the end of this month. I may be able to persuade one of the ladies from the Sisters in Crime group to do a couple of covers for me or maybe I'll do a couple of them myself for "Butterfly Halves", "La Cave" and "Zombies Amuck" to get them published. It's been a while since I've published anything. I hope now that I have internet and am back to working that more will come about in my writing world. Stay tuned for more updates. E :)

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Just Catching Up

Since my last posting a month ago, a good bit has transpired in my life and with my writing (okay not so much in the latter). I was terminated from my job of over 7 years, for some unknown reason but they didn't contest my unemployment so I should start receiving unemployment soon (fingers crossed I see a check this weekend). I've been applying for all kinds of jobs including with the state, but with the Federal shutdown, not sure how much that will affect state positions and put a hold on hiring on jobs that have been opened for a while. I have also found some positions available through the South Carolina Work Force site which I have been applying for. Tomorrow I take my skills assessment testing to hopefully get into the program for Medical Billing and Coding (that's not what they are calling it now but same idea) that will hopefully put me on a better road to getting a job. I'll keep filing and searching until I either find another job or my unemployment runs out, which, from all best guesses, is basically 4 months from now. Sadness hit the writing world as the Great Tom Clancy passed away. My baby's b-day was last week and I didn't have any funds to get him a card or anything and to top that off, my printer decided to stop working, so I can't even print anything that I need to print right now. Not sure what's up with that. On the writing front, I have decided to stop editing my friend's manuscript and have decided to get back to writing the second story in Kelly's series. I'm not very far in but I feel I can write it rather quickly once I get back to it. I have now pushed my self-imposed deadline to have it written by the end of this month. I need to knock out about 50,000 words in 27 days (considering that the 3rd is busy full with class time with the 6th graders, testing, Sisters in Crime meeting), but hopefully I can bust out some serious writing Friday. I hope I can write the story that Anita and I brainstormed, although I feel like it's not really my story right now. Guess that is the hazard of outlining or plotting a story from beginning to end when one hasn't ever done that before. I think that catches you all up on what's going on in my life. How about you? What's happening on your end? Anything good you'd like to tell us about? --- See you all in the postings - E :)

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Texting, Audiobooks and Writers

What do texting and audiobooks have to do with writers? I learned over the past week that texting and writers don't mix. I've also learned that if I am sitting up listening to an audiobook, I tend to stay awake but if I recline and turn the book on and just let it sit on my nightstand that I tend to fall asleep. Texting in general is a terrible form of communication for anyone. With all the abbreviations and "text speak" out there, it is very difficult to keep track of what you are saying. This writer doesn't abbreviate when texting and even so, she tends to misspell words that there is no reason to misspell. I was texting a friend the other day who was about to leave for a month-long trip to Serbia and was telling about my free download for kindle of Finally Home and also that I had some "short" stories available for 99 cents. Well, I meant short stories, but what came out was "slopt" and how that came about was a simple error of hitting the incorrect number key associated with the letters. I thought I was keying in the 4 for the H and the rest of the numbers were okay but when I hit the 5 instead of the 4, it put in the word "slopt", not that I believe that is a word. But it was funny when she texted me back saying she loved "slopt" stories. As a writer, we are told to use our words and when we get sidetracked with text messaging and other short forms of communicating like this, we tend to get sloppy and everything comes out incorrectly. My advice to writers who insist on texting (my preferred form of communication is email or actually talking on the phone) don't abbreviate your words. Use your words and use them correctly. As far as audiobooks, I suggest trying them - listen in the car when traveling and if too much of a distraction, then it's not for you; try them when getting ready for bed or just listen to them when you are working out. They are a great form of getting your reading time in every day. I have listened to 2 full books (although I do believe I fell asleep during one of them and may have missed some of the book or perhaps if I did, I went back and relistened to what I had missed) and have 3 more in my library to listen to. I am in the process of listening to The Story of Dr. Doolittle and know I fell asleep the other night. No worries, since I know I can rewind to a place I remember actually hearing. I wonder if reading a different book than you are listening to counts as reading several books at a time? My guess is yes since you are getting the reading in by either actually seeing the words on the page or hearing them as read by someone else. I used to think I wouldn't be one of these people who could read several books at a time but I guess I just proved myself wrong as I am currently visually reading a book and listening to a book. If you are looking for a way to lull yourself to sleep, I suggest opening an audiobook and unless its an intense thriller or suspense novel, that should work in putting to you sleep. No wonder babies fall asleep when mothers read to them. It's that soothing sound of the voice that lulls them into slumber. See you all in the postings - E :)

Friday, August 30, 2013

How do you get your book ideas? - Books & Such Literary Agency : Books & Such Literary Agency

How do you get your book ideas? - Books & Such Literary Agency : Books & Such Literary Agency

This is more interesting after reading the comments by others.  I was asked this question by one of the 6th graders a couple of weeks ago when I was doing an introduction time to the kids so that they would know who I am.  They had a brief introduction to me last year but we found it was too much for me to spend my days in all three classes (4th, 5th and 6th) and that it would be best to just focus on the 6th graders knowing I would get the 5th graders this year and they would be more likely to do writing related events that they could work with me one-on-one.  Let us know where your ideas come from - E :)

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Quick Audible/ACX Update

As most of you know, Finally Home went up as an audio book the end of June.  The first week it went up, 5 copies were downloaded (Yay!!!).  This evening I went to do laundry and having not checked my mail all week, I went to the post office first.  Upon opening there was a large, oversized but thin envelope from and I was thinking it was more paperwork that I might not have filled out, but no my first royalty check from audible for 5 downloads of Finally Home and 1 download of State of Successes.  Royalties are paid monthly as long as you have earned at least $10.  Since the first of July, I have had 2 more downloads of Finally Home and 2 of State of Successes, one of which I believe occurred today or yesterday as I haven't checked my ACX dashboard in a couple of days and the last time I looked there were only 3 total for State of Successes. 

For those of you who have downloaded the audio books, I thank you very much.  I hope you all enjoy listening to Sienna narrate the story.  Just a reminder too that there will be a second in Kelly Watson mysteries.  I'm workig on The Ties of Time and hope it meets your expectations.  E :)

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Proposal Free Days/Research Field trip

It's free download days again; this time, my short story "The Proposal" is available.  It will be free through Thursday midnight PST.  I'd forgotten to post this yesterday but I have a reason.

Yesterday, my friend Anita and I took a field trip to Iva (the town setting for my Kelly Watson stories) and explored.  We parked on the square and kind of walked around checking out the store fronts or buildings there and turned the corner to find the Iva Museum.  It was closed as they are only open Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.  The person who operates the museum was there checking on the air conditioner as he had been on vacation last week and he wanted to make sure that the folks had returned it to its normal settings.  He was coming out of the museum as we were kind of looking in the windows, stating we needed to make another trip when the museum was opened.  Anita asked him about the museum and we explained what I was doing, so he was kind enough to let us in and showed us around and allowed us to take some pictures of some of  their pictures.  We gained a lot of information from that short visit.  Thank you, Mr. David Newby, for spending some time with us and giving us some background history of the town.  He also told us about the "Antique Body Shop" just around the corner, so we naturally had to stop in there.  No, it's not an antique car shop but a senior citizens gym.  We spoke with two folks there and Anita bought herself a T-shirt. 

From there, we made our way to the town hall which houses the police department, municipal court and the place to pay water bills (I've forgotten what it was called).  We talked to the one lady who was standing behind the police department window, who happened to be the victim's advocate.  We asked for some information and she told us that the guy across from them would be able to help us but he had just stepped out of the office, but would return shortly (I missed when he did return or we would have engaged in a conversation with him).  The Chief of Police had to deal with a situation but when he finished with that business, he was very nice to sit with us and give us all kinds of other information.  He even printed out a map and marked places we wanted to explore for us.  That map may show up in the front of The Tie of Time (A Kelly Watson paranormal mystery).

When we left town hall, it was lunch time so we stopped by the cafe we had originally parked in front of and had lunch - buffet style - fried chicken, sweet potato casserole, green beans, beets (which I didn't get any of but I do love beets if they are fixed right), rice and white gravy, some greens (I think they were collard greens), country fired steak, and desserts and a few other veggies.  The buffet table isn't very large so they can only  put up a few items each day.  The waitress was very friendly.

After leaving the cafe, we drove around looking for the different items marked on the map for us including the supposed ghost house (which we didn't really find  but no worries) and the oldest house in Iva which was old but didn't really give me the impression of being the oldest house around, the old drug store (vital to The Ties of Time as this is where the whole mystery will occur), the nursing home, the old high school which is now the Civic Center and houses an indoor basketball court and is used for all kinds of activities.  There is also a very nice park in front of the Civic Center and the only remaining building of the old school which was the cafeteria. 

We got a tour of the nursing home and were invited back during the activities time to observe what one of the worker's daughter does to help out (bless her little heart, she is only 6 years old and was trying her best to do the craft of the day, which was building little bird houses or bird feeders).  Thank you to Diane, Melissa and Tina for helping us give a reason for Kelly and Emma to be in the nursing home.

From the center of town, it is about 1 mile to the outskirts in any direction, so it is not a very large area, so I'm having to change what I started out with for the girls to get around since State Law says that no one can operate a moped or golf cart without a driver's license.  So now my girls will be riding bicycles around town.  I just need to make sure they have somewhere to put their picnic basket and other stuff.  Do they still make front handlebar baskets for bicycles? 

Overall, I think we had a very productive and interesting day of discovery.  We will probably make several more trips to Iva over the ensuing months.  Everyone we spoke to seemed genuinely excited about the fact that I was an author and had set my story in their small town.  I look forward to visiting the town of Iva again and hopefully meeting more people.  I also am excited to really get to writing The Ties of Times and hopefully can get it done fairly quickly.  I will post pictures later as it is now time to get to work as there is a team conference call this afternoon and one of my co-workers is out this week.  See you all in the postings - E :)

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Bride-and-Seek Free Days

The Bride-and-Seek free days are here.  For the next three days, you can pick  up your copy of my romantic ghost story based on a legend in England for free.  Hope you all enjoy it.  E :)