Tuesday, October 30, 2012

KAREN ELIZABETH BROWN: It was a dark and stormy night...

Wow - some terrific points by Karen Elizabeth - stop over and see what she has to say.  See you all in the postings - E :)

KAREN ELIZABETH BROWN: It was a dark and stormy night...: Have you had trouble with that first sentence? Do you want to set the scene without becoming cliche? I've struggled over that first line tim...

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Anne R. Allen's Blog: 8 Sure-Fire Ways to Improve Your Book—Tips from a ...

Check out the posting on 8 ways to improve your writing.  Some of these were just discussed with the 6th grade class I work with.  Nice to be reinforced a bit.  E :)
Anne R. Allen's Blog: 8 Sure-Fire Ways to Improve Your Book—Tips from a ...: T his week we have some serious nuts-and-bolts advice from our own Ruth Harris. Ruth learned this stuff from both sides of the editorial d...

This and That

Not much going on this week.  Halloween is right around the corner and behind that is NaNo (National Novel Writing Month - November) and my writer inspiration friend is back (and particiapting in NaNo also) and I hope to get Imogene's story written during the month. 

I am still running my afghan drawing special through the middle of November for the special deal of 2/$1 - so hurry and get your chances before the deal goes away.

I am also offerig my 8 "Curl up with a good book" afghans at 10% off until October 31 (reduced from $75 to $68 plus shipping - $80 total).  I would love to see them go to good homes and I did have a lot of comments on them at the Sugarfoot festival last weekend.

I've been trying to play catchup with work so I best get over there and really buckle down today since romorrow is laundry day and editing for a friend day.  See you all in the postings - E :)

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Alaskan Healing

My friend Lana has been interviewed by my other friend Darcia Helle.  Stop on over for a coupon code for Lana's book on smashwords and see what Lana has to say about writing and life in general.  E :

Alaskan Healing

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


We were talking about characters and developing them in our stories in class and lo and behold, Elizabeth posts a really good listing of how to keep track of your characters' characterizations/personalities/mannerisms  - stop over and see what all she has to say on the subject. - E :)

KAREN ELIZABETH BROWN: Characterization: Creating characters that are believable and capricious all at the same time can require a lot of work. I've started a character journal ...

Monday, October 22, 2012

PUTTING WORDS DOWN ON PAPER: Check Out L'il Gal Al And The Zombies Of Amarillo ...

Susanne is at it again - finding the zombies or should I say they are finding her.  Wonder if they have eaten anyone's brains yet - lol.  Stop over to check out the book she is featuring today - E :)

PUTTING WORDS DOWN ON PAPER: Check Out L'il Gal Al And The Zombies Of Amarillo ...: Stop by Christine Rains blog and check out her book, L'IL GAL AL AND THE ZOMBIES OF AMARILLO.   You'll find a blurb for the book and l...

Sunday, October 21, 2012

This and That

The online sales this week have been nil again. 

The Sugarfoot festival this weekend wasn't too bad but I don't think the crowds were nearly what they were a couple of years ago.  I did sell 3 books and about a dozen bookworms, no afghans though which I really needed to sell some of them to pay the car payment or get groceries but it will all work out. 

I sold 3 (really 6 since I had a 2/$1 special going on) chances for the red, white, and blue afghan and gave 15 chances for the book purchases.  This year's drawing will be a good one since I have quite a few chances in the bucket, compared to last year only having 20 but I didn't start the drawing idea until May and didn't do the drawing the same way.  Last year I didn't have rolls of tickets for the drawing but used the sales receipts so only those who actually made a purchase got their name in the drawing and only one time regardless of how many books on their purchase.  This year the chances are greater since you get several with the purchase of a book and you can buy chances without buying a book. 

The people next to me are starting their own "festival company" where they book festivals and invite vendors in to come display their wares and I've been invited to two fairly local ones in November and it may be a good thing as I didn't have anything scheduled in November this year secondary to finances.  I can't make the first event since it is a couple of weeks away (although I would love to go to that but I don't get paid until after the event so can't even pay for the booth rental right now).  The next one is the middle of November, the week before Thanksgiving, which I will probably do as that will be the Christmas shopping season.  I hadn't planned doing any events in November secondary to finances as well as wanting to write Imogene's story during NaNo, but if I can get to the point of being back on track from book sales, et cetera.  It will all work out as it is supposed to and if Imogene is meant to be completed next month, she will be. 

One of the ladies who bought a State of Successes book works in the museum in the next town over and asked me to contact the person in charge of the gift shop there to put my books there on consignment, which I will do this coming week. 

And then I had the 11-year-old who bought a copy of State of Wilderness and Finally Home who wanted to talk my ear off at the end of the day after having been there for over 12 hours.  She was sweet and had the heaviest southern accent I've heard on a child but then again she lives in the area and this is a very redneck/hick/southern town/area.  I hope I don't sound that southern when I'm talking to folks since I'm not a true southerner, having been born in Japan and lived in quite a few places, although admittedly I have been in the South Carolina/North Carolina area the last 36 years probably makes more more southern than not.  She told me jokes, about "kidnapping" her grandmother and taking her to Cracker Barrel for her birthday, about the place in Anderson where her cousin apparently fell in the hay like she was supposed to and hit her head on something and ended up with a mild concussion.  She is an avid reader, more than I can claim to read because she read over 17,000 pages during the summer (I think that is the number her mother said or maybe it was more than 1700 pages) so I gave her a bookworm for that accomplishment.  After all the jokes and what not, I pulled out a composition book that I had won as a door prize from an event I attended back in March and gave it to her to start writing all her stories down so that when I see her next year at the Sugarfoot festival she can share some of her stories with me.  I really think she needs to write down all her little ditties as she has some pretty good stories to tell.

Her mother also encouraged me to try to be at the Standpipe festival which is in Belton, the next town over, which the lady from the museum had also asked if I participated in the festival, because they do a thing called heritage days and that will help get me in the schools since they have local schools doing field trips and what not.  I have to double check and see when it is next year since I'm committed to Georgia COMO next year again and I can't have any conflicts - lol. 

Lastly, a man came up to the table right near the very end and does some work with one of the children's home in the area and was telling me about the event in December and so I'm looking at a possible book signing or author event there the first weekend of December. 

We had a good crowd late in the afternoon but most folks weren't even stopping at the tables - mostly just walking by and not talking.  I had printed off some Halloween coloring books for the COMO event to pass on to the librarians but no one wanted them (I think I gave out 2) so had those to pass out and I tried to give them to the smaller kids are into coloring and what not - so I did give all of them away. 

You all will probably see me at a few more local events next year with my travel being limited by finances right now, but if the distributors start carrying my books, then I could be at more events - see you all in the postings - E :)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Next Big Thing blog Challenge

Ten Interview Questions for The Next Big Thing:

What is the working title of your book?  Imogene:  Innocense Lost

Where did the idea come from for the book?  I was looking at some creative writing prompt sites last Decmeber and came across this site and five of the pictures jumped out at me that just said - story, story, story - (the numbers of the picture are #10, #20, #23, #38, and #41, not necessarily in that order - but China came to mind when I saw the pictures and the doll basically said - kidnapped little girl and the search for her.

What genre does your book fall under?  This is a tough one.  I'm thinking maybe intrigue, suspense but not a mystery per se - because we know who kidnapped Imogene; we just have to figure out how to get her back to her family.  Perhaps it's a psychological thriller - I just don't really know what genre to put it in. 

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?  I've not thought that far ahead and I don't really follow any actors or actresses and the ones I do follow are too old to play this young family. 

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?  A young girl goes missing and the search is on; mother is unrelentless until she brings her home.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?  Probably self-published as I don't feel it is necessary to go through the angst of trying to get someone else to publish for me.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?  Ha.  I'm still working on the first draft.  I hope to participate in NaNo next month and totally write the story but it will be going through a revamping since I can't really get it to start in China but can get her mother to China after the fact.  There is a secret that will have to come out that helps get the mother there. 

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?  When I was describing this story to someone on the phone, they kind of said this sounds like one of those made for TV movies   So, I'm not really sure what other book to compare this to.

Who or What inspired you to write this book?  The pictures from the website as noted above.  I know there is a decent story here; so, now, the challenge is just to write the story. 

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?  We have kidnapping, search and rescue, and bringing a family together - what's can be better than that?  Only kidding.  I don't know what would pique my readers' interests. 

UPDATE:  10/28/2012 - I was supposed to post this a couple of weeks ago and forgot but I don't have anyone to tag, so I apologize to Susanne for posting late.  If any of my readers would like to participate, same questions and just let me in the comment that you tagged yourself so we can follow your blog and postings - E :)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

"The Look" Blog Challenge

I've been tagged, not once but twice this week to participate in two different blog hops.  The first challenge is from my friend, Lana Voynich, author of Alaskan Healing and upcoming hockey romance story, Faceoff of the Heart.  For the challenge and to see Lana's posting, you can find it here

Here are the rules:  "The Look" is a writing prompt, a game, another tagging event. This is how U Got “The Look” works: you take your current manuscript, search for the word “look”, and post the surrounding paragraphs. Lastly, you tag 5 blogging authors who you think will be a good choice for the game.

So here is the beginning of Imogene:  Innocense Lost with the understanding that even though this story is really rough I'm about to revamp it next month when I participate in NaNo (gave up on BIW as previously challenged for myself).  I hope to release this story next summer or fall. 

Jacob watched his mother move her mashed potatoes around on the plate. He knew that this was a big trip for her. He couldn't help but wonder if he would ever measure up to Imogene. Even at his young age of almost eight years, he knew that Imogene was the love of his parents' lives. They always told him that he was special too and that they loved him just as much, but he had seen his mother holding the photograph, talking to the doll and crying herself to sleep so many nights. The photo. It wasn't anything spectacular, just the last time they were a family, and that was even before Jacob had been born. The photo was that of a smiling, young, dark-haired girl. So full of life and bubbling at the brims. Her long, straight hair and slightly slanted eyes gave her the appearance of having been of a different nationality, almost giving her an Asian look. His parents had been happy then too, but in pictures of Jacob and his parents it was very noticeable that the smiles had faded. People always said if Jacob had been older that he and Imogene could have been twins, and they could have; they had very similar features and shared more than just their parents as Jacob shared the same birth date with Imogene

The conversation lacked words but the emotions spoke loud and clear. Sarah Beth had decided that she would make one last trip to find her daughter. Daniel didn't want her to go; Sarah Beth fought and screamed and cried until there were no words left. She felt this trip was going to be different than previous trips where they had tried to make it a family vacation, all the while searching for their lost daughter. This year, something was different. She couldn't quite put her finger on what was bothering her but she had to try. It was find Imogene or die trying and with that thought, Sarah Beth decided this had to be done on her own as she really didn't want to lose the rest of her family.

UPDATE:  10/28/2012 - I was supposed to post this a couple of weeks ago and I don't have anyone to tag so I apologize to Lana for being so late in posting this - See you all in the postings

Monday, October 15, 2012

YA Authors You've Never Heard Of: The Poisoned Pencil – new YA mystery imprint

If you write YA mysteries and are looking for a new publisher, Poisoned Pen has opened a new imprint specifically for YA mysteries - go to the submission guidelines to see what they are looking for.  E :)

YA Authors You've Never Heard Of: The Poisoned Pencil – new YA mystery imprint:   Poisoned Pen Press is launching a new imprint The Poisoned Pencil , which will publish YA mysteries. Jessica Tribble was named publish...

This and That

So sales this week have been nil across the board but it's all good.  I'm still hoping the book distributors will pick up my books and start getting them into schools and that I'll be able to hopefully get back to the state stories next year (fingers crossed; without the distributors, I won't be able to pay my illustrator to get back on track, although I guess technically I could write the next four states as I have already picked the clues so we could title them already). 

The Sugarfoot Festival is this weekend, which is a local street fair of sorts where there will be lots of entertainment and crafts and food.  I hope to sell at least half or more of the afghans and several books to boot, knowing the bookworms will sell as they have been my most popular items since I started doing them last year at the Sugarfoot Festival.  The colors have grown so selling out of them would be nice, but the afghans would be icing on the cake. 

I'm running a special deal on my red, white and blue afghan chances - 2 for $1.00 - so you can double your chances of being the winner of this beautiful afghan.  Thsi deal will run through November 15 and the drawing will be December 1.  Tell everyone you know.  Remember you can email me for more instructions on how to purchase chances for this drawing.   See you all in the postings.  - E :)

Friday, October 12, 2012

I'm an Addict!

No, I'm not addicted to drugs or alcohol or anything like that.  I'm addicted to my tablet.  I had gotten it for events for the ability to take credit cards since I don't have a smart phone or a phone that has touch ability.  I love games, card games in particular.  I love playing spades and it's been a while since I've played euchre but another enjoyable game.  You can find apps for all kinds of games, and most of them are free.  So I've downloaded a version of spades, spider solitaire, solitaire, and free cell solitaire as well as several other game that are non-card.  Among them are various versions of Bubble Blast (1, 2, Halloween, Easter, St. Patrick's Day, Valentine's - you get the picture.

The thing about most of these free apps is the ads that come between games or levels or whatever.  The ads can be bothersome but are tolerable.  Playing against the computers is the most aggravating part of playing spades, especially when playing partners.  You have stupid moves being made that likely can cost the game or hand.  Playing with real people you have the ability to read body language and of course, "talking across the table" which isn't supposed to happen but if you are playing a friendly game, everyone does it.  I miss that, yet I continue to play the game. 

Bubble Blast 2 is the other game that is my doing in.  I tell myself I'm only going to play 25 levels and then get back to work or do something else productive.  That happens less often than planned.  There are 100 levels per "pack" and after only having the game installed a little less than a month, I've already played over 35 packs - which is over 3500 levels.  I think I'm on pack 38 or 39, just starting out.  In addition to all the levels on BB2, I've also played several packs all the way through on Halloween Bubble Blast.  So why is the game so addicting?  If someone has the answer, I'm happy to listen.

Why can't I put these games on hold and be productive some days?  I think there is something in the install that sublimely makes us continue playing.  That's my story and I'm sticking to it. 

Tune in next week when I participate in the Next Big Blog Hop, having been tagged by Susanne this past Wednesday. 

PUTTING WORDS DOWN ON PAPER: The Zombies are Giving Away Some Prizes

First group of winners announced! - Stop over and check out what is being given away - E :)

PUTTING WORDS DOWN ON PAPER: The Zombies are Giving Away Some Prizes: This is Harold.  He and some of his zombie friends decided it was time to draw names and give away some prizes. Things got a bit scary ...


If you are following Susanne Drazic's blog this month and leaving comments or have subscribed to her feed to get the updated postings, you know she posted three winners today and I was one of them. I get a zombie surprise package. What a way to start off the weekend. Congrats to the other winners too. If you haven't checked out Susanne's blog, drop on over and leave a comment on the zombie postings to be entered to win. She even says you can win more than once so the more comments you leave, the better your chance of winning a prize. I'm looking forward to more of her zombie postings. I think next year I'll have to do something for Halloween the whole month of October and have lots of giveaways. I'll collect all my prizes after Halloween this year when everything goes on sale. I may even do something starting next week for a couple of weeks - so stay tuned for more Halloween-y themed postings - E :)

Monday, October 08, 2012

PUTTING WORDS DOWN ON PAPER: Spotlighting Kids Books with a Zombie Theme

Susanne is at again.  She's featured a couple of zombie books for kids.  The second one is a "choose your own adventure" book with 13 possible endings.  Just an FYI, that one is sold out, but they have a lot of other books available and I may still order a different book.  The site says there are 20 available as ebooks but they are only available for ipad and iphone, not for kindle (that I can see).  Hope you all will stop over and leave a comment on these featured books.  See you in the postings - E :)

PUTTING WORDS DOWN ON PAPER: Spotlighting Kids Books with a Zombie Theme: Stone Rabbit Night Of The Living Dust Bunnies Written and Illustrated by Erik Craddock Publisher:  Random House                   ...

Sunday, October 07, 2012

This and That

Sales were low for ebooks again - no sales across the board, but I did sell two books at the GA COMO event and as posted previously made contact with four distributors who will hopefully get my books in schools. I've received a response from createspace regarding how they can acquire my books and am ready to send the information on. The next month or so maybe I'll see a huge influx in my sales. I did sell 19 bookworms to one of the reps from Rainbow Books (the bikini colored ones which look like the rainbow colors) and then sold 16 or 17 others with two people buying a chance on the red, white and blue afghan. My presentation went okay; I had 2 ladies show up and found out that possibly my books are being talked about in one of the schools in Cobb County Georgia, which needs further investigation tomorrow. I am still in need of young writers writing questions for my Wednesday weekly postings, so teachers send in your students' questions and I'll do my best to answer them. If you are a class or writing club participating in NaNo and would like an author visit, please drop me a line and let me know so I can schedule all the class visits. If you are into zombies or just want some fun stuff for the month of October, stop over on Susanne Drazic's blog and sign up for her email notifications so you know when a new posting is made and leave a comment on her postings to be entered for some zombie related prizes. You never know when the zombies will show up. I wish I had a cover for "Zombies Amuck" and had it up for sale to participate in Susanne's zombie extravaganza but at this point I don't so maybe next year; and by then, she may do ghosts or werewolves or vampires or some other Halloween-y theme. We just have to wait and see. Time to get to work as I have been away from the work since Wednesday morning - see you all in the postings - E :)

Saturday, October 06, 2012


The experience was worth it! Here's how the week progessed and what I got out of COMO. First, I was supposed to be helping out in the SELA booth. I arrived Wednesday afternoon and no one was around for me to know what I could use table wise. So, I set up my books and afghans and could have condensed myself down to half a table if needed. I came in Thursday morning bright and early and found I had been condensed to a corner of the three tables where no one could see me. Talk about feeling dejected. So Gordon finally comes over to the table and tells me that they had a cancellation, so he was going to let me move to that booth and have my own booth - YAY! The moving all my stuff was a pain but it was worth it for 2 reasons. I was placed right next to Rainbow Books (A book distributor) and across from State Standards Publishing. Mimi (State Standards) mentioned Follett (another distibutor) with whom they work, so Friday morning I wandered around and happened upon Follett's booth. Talked with them for a few minutes and they referred me to the Mackin booth (another distributor). I went over to talk to them. So that is three distibutors and a couple of booths up from Rainbow Books was a fourth distributor, Davidson Titles. I met the rep there yesterday and after talking to the folks from Rainbow Books now knew I had to work on getting my books in with the distributors. So I'm in contact with createspace about how distributors would go about getting my books to distribute to the schools. Mimi, with them doing state books, was a good contact since I can get her into the homeschool conferences and she can get me places I need to be for my books - like in with all these distributors - lol. I also talked to several other folks and a couple of the ladies are wanting to publish their books so I've lead them to createspace and my experience and both are going to jump on that bandwagon. The last contact I made was just meant to happen I think. I was about to leave after the author reception and had stopped in the restroom and there was a lady in there. We started chatting as we were leaving and I found out she was staying in the hotel right next to the one I was staying in and that she was heading out to dinner but was carless and was going to try to ge a shuttle or taxi to get somewhere to dinner and then to her hotel. I asked her if she would like to join me at the S&S Cafeteria for dinner since our hotels were right next to each other and I was heading that way and didn't really want to eat alone. She said yes, that it sounded good as she hadn't eaten at an S&S in a long time (neither had I but I was just wanting to eat there since it was near the hotel). I asked her if she wanted to follow me to the cafeteria and that's when I found out she was without a car so we rode together and just being a kind soul and offering some company for dinner and a ride to the hotel, she paid for my dinner. I thank you, Ms. Val. The company was excellent and the dinner was delicious. I did sell 2 books and 36 or 37 bookworms and 2 chances on the red, white, and blue afghan but I think the contacts I made were exactly why I needed to be at COMO this week. I hope everything works out with the distributors and that I can be there next year. Just a note, I went to take picutres of my booth set up and all but my camera wouldn't turn on, so I think the battery is dead and I didn't have my charger so couldn't take pictures. Overall a great time and I'm tired so will bid you all a good night. E :)

Friday, October 05, 2012

YA Authors You've Never Heard Of: Falling into Autumn... or What if?

Have you ever played "What If?" with your writing?  If so, stop over to the YA Authors You've Never Heard Of blog and see what Christine Marciniak has to say about the topic that she threw out there for her daughter to use to write something pre-NaNo (for those of you who don't know -National Novel Writing Month - or November).  Good luck to all who participate and to Christine's daughter and hopefully she'll come up with a great short story to write this month - E :)

YA Authors You've Never Heard Of: Falling into Autumn... or What if?: It's Autumn. Time for fresh apple pie and cozy sweatshirts and thinking about NaNoWriMo . If you're not familiar with NaNo, it's Nationa...


here's the first of Susanne's zombies posting.  Don't forget to leave a comment to be entered for a zombie prize.  E  :

PUTTING WORDS DOWN ON PAPER: Zombie Jokes: Q:   What is a zombie's favorite home-cooked meal? A:    Brain loaf and black- eye d peas! Q:  What is a zombie's favorite breakfast...

Monday, October 01, 2012


If you are looking for something fun this month, how about stopping over and checking out Susanne's blog during the month for some zombie invasion.  She will be giving away prizes throughout the month just for leaving comments on her zombie postings. 

PUTTING WORDS DOWN ON PAPER: Zombie Invasion!: Zombies have taken over my blog!       They are everywhere.   SEND HELP! Please stop by throughout the month of Octob...

On the zombie note, I have a 2nd place winning short story, "Zombies Amuck", that I had hoped to publish this month in time for Halloween but as money is tight and I can't pay my illustrator I don't have a cover.  If I had cover, I'd put it up for sale as an ebook.  Hopefully this week will be a big break and help me a lot (Georgia COMO with 12 states represented in SELA booth plus all the other librarians from Georgia and the Southeast being there) and I can get back on track with getting state stories out and covers for my other stories.  Nonetheless, stop by Susanne's blog and have some fun, and don't let the zombies scare you away - E :)