Friday, September 30, 2011

New NEW cover!

So after I created my last cover I started researching stock images, turns out the one I found didn't have a standard Royalty Free option, as it was created by a talented artist on deviant art. So I had to find a new image to purchase so that it was legal and all that mumbo jumbo! Long story short I found something I like, maybe not as much but enough to replace the old one. Luckily I'm allowed to keep the other as long as I don't publish with it as my cover so the oldie will stay on my blog, as a friendly reminder to other indies, to double check those stock images, and cover your butts.

So without further ado here it beautiful New NEW cover!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Finding my voice!

It seems like everyday I'm on a roller coaster of emotions ranging anywhere from elation to disgust. Some days I think my writing is incredible. I'll write a scene that I'm so involved with I cry as I type the words on the screen. Days like that, are the best days to be a writer. You feel invincible, and your creative energy is flowing at such a fast rate you can barely keep up. Today I not only wrote some great pages, but I also found that THING that will link all my stories together.

On the bad days. I want to hit delete and throw it all away, and start over, or maybe not start over at all. Those are the days that take the most effort to not give up. It's easy to write when you're high on endorphines. It's hard to write when you feel like you're an idiot, and a dreamer that will never be talented no how hard you try, or how much you read, or how much you want this.

I don't think I'm a great writer, but I do think I'm a good story-teller, and I'm okay with that. The more I come into myself and find my writing, the more I realize that what I want to do is weave a great dream! I don't need to go down in literary history or win a Pulitzer, I'm connected to the words I put on the screen, and I made myself cry from the sheer emotion it took to write them.

Today is a great day to be a writer!!!

I learn something new about this process everyday. I'm starting to find my stride, my flow. I'm recognizing my voice in the story, a voice I'm starting to be really proud of. I worry about my work being good enough for other people, and then I remind myself I'm not writing this for them. I'm writing this for me, because I have to, because I love it, because there is no greater high on the planet than creating your own world. It's more fun then I ever thought, and more work than I would have ever believed possible. Checking word frequency is the biggest pain in the ass I've come across, because no matter how well the story flows, or how good the words sound out loud. When I find eyes seven times on ONE page, I freak out. Don't I have a higher vocabulary than that. Don't I love words like obtuse, pious, and incessant?

So after I scroll through the thesaurus, and rearrange sentences to weed out the overdone. I still feel better about my writing. I'm growing, I'm becoming better, I'm figuring out my craft. So without going overboard with the self back pats, I have to say that today I am grateful to be a writer!

And even when it seems like you'll never get there, everyday you write, you are becoming a better writer. So do that thing that makes you high, get out some paper, grab a pen or a keyboard and write!!! God knows today I will, and hopefully tomorrow too.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Waiting.............and waiting some more.

Some time ago I blogged about sending my Uncle the first pages of my novel to read. As a published professional, I was very worried, anxious even about sharing my words with him. Would he enjoy my words? Or be able to even read them. Was what I saw and felt really what other's would read?

These are hard questions. What in my mind is fantastic and an emotional journey, could be stale and boring to someone else. Stephen King said that writing was like being an archaeologist, but instead of pulling a large bone from the ground, we try to describe it piece by piece, hoping that what you see in your mind, is what we see in ours. The gift of the writer is the ability to describe this bone, this fossil in such a way that it stays intact as we expose it. Now I'm sure I don't say what King said as eloquently or as easy to understand, but what he says is important. What lives in our mind is fresh and beautiful, but what transfers to the paper can lose so much of what our feeble words try to convey.

I will always believe that writing is art. But like any painting or sculpture the beauty of said art is in the eye of the beholder.

So as I wait to hear back from my Uncle, I type some pages, and cut some more. I search my word frequency on what has already been written and then write another chapter, cutting and creating in equal time. When I'm not writing I'm spending time with my grandma, while balancing my family life at home.

Wanting to self-publish is so much harder than I ever expected, I am the writer, editor, marketing director, book cover creator, and number one fan. My job is never done. Sometimes I resent it, hating that this obsession has taken over so much of my life. Like a sickness it's under my skin, breeding and taking over all of my other cells. It's in me now, and I can't sleep if I don't write it, or express it. If I gave up now I'd never sleep again. It would eat at me, waiting to be told. I love writing. I love it more than I ever thought possible. I wish that when I started as a teenager I would have understood then how much it was a part of me, this need, this want.

I'm forgetting what my whole post was supposed to be about now. My insecurities or my anal retentive tendencies,and my obsession. I really am going crazy waiting. Waiting, for that email that says what I fear the most, that I am horrible, and I'd be better off burning my novel in the backyard.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The late Andy Whitfield.

Last year when Spartacus Blood and Sand premiered I was all over it. I watched all the trailers, and I was hooked. It was like Gladiator and 300 had a hot sexy baby. Every episode I fell more and more in love with Spartacus. He was brutal and savage, and full of so much heart you couldn't help but want him to win, to get his wife back, and kill them all.

It probably didn't hurt that Andy Whitfield was gorgeous, with defined abs and intense eyes, no the eye candy factor was there big time. But truthfully it was something more, it was the actor himself, doing his craft, being Spartacus. For a girl who doesn't tear up often, especially during bloody television shows, when his wife died I cried with him. Man that show had me so in tuned with what was going on. And I'm a girl, maybe not the typical girl (my love of all things serial killer, and scary), but damn did I love the fighting and the blood.

So when Andy Whitfield was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, I might have yelled and cried a little. Alright if we're going to be really honest I did, and it was not a normal response for me. I loved that show, loved it so much I couldn't even watch the prequel Spartacus Gods of the Arena because it didn't have him, it didn't have Spartacus.

A week ago, the super talented Andy Whitfield passed away. I cried, not just because someone so talented was lost, not because the show would never be the same without him, but because another human being, a man on the brink of a great career lost his life to cancer, and left two children behind.

Sometimes life is crazy. Last night, feeling a wee bit sad, and a little nostalgic I went on and got my hands on a movie Andy was in before he was Spartacus. The Australian movie Gabriel.

Like I expected it was pretty good, which just made me sadder. I was looking forward to seeing this guy in more movies. Sure there are a couple more out there, and I'll watch every last one of them. But I don't think I can watch Spartacus Vengeance, it just won't be the same.

So RIP Andy Whitfield, you were an incredible actor, and you died too young, you burned bright and you burned fast but you won't be forgotten.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Sharing my Work

That all important day has come! I've sent my work to be read by an outsider..........DUHN duhn DUHN.

Okay so maybe I'm being a little over dramatic, it's possible, I mean I am extremely over-protective of my work. The honey has been reading it through, chapter by chapter , but he's not an outsider. Well and neither is my Uncle really, but he's been published, he's a professor who is well educated. So I'm nervous. Of course he's assured me he'll be gentle, and I believe him, he's a pretty good guy my Uncle. But I'm still anxious and my stomach is in knots and I hate this. I want to publish my work, but how do I get over my fear. I know not everyone will like it, heck I'll be lucky if anyone does, but wow does sharing it make me feel crazy.

I guess as a writer one of the less known necessities is developing a thick skin. So I have to keep plugging away, writing and editing, and re-editing some more, and hope that the passion I feel about my story, the need to share it with the world will come across onto the paper eloquently. And I'll share it with a few more people, then a few more, and so on, and hopefully toughen up in the process.

Monday, September 12, 2011

ART.........In word form.

Most weekends, or at least the ones when my oldest son is here. I unplug myself from facebook, goodreads, blog spot, and all of the other various forms of Internet I find myself wasting time on everyday, so that I can spend more time with the family. The only reason I'm on now is because of something profound that came over me.

That profound thought was that as a wanna-be-writer I spend half the time that should be devoted to writing, researching. I research grammar, and mythology, other Indie Authors, and what books are popular at the time. I research writing styles, and how to avoid passive voice, I research every question or issue I come across and still nothing has made deleting any easier.

Even though a line may be bad, (and believe me there are plenty) I still have this emotional attachment to every word I write. I feel like I'm calling my children ugly. LOL I can't get past it, I tweak the sentence then feel guilty, I delete another and feel sick. I know that my words are not literary genius, hell half the time it might not even be considered English, but I'm attached to them. It probably doesn't help that the first draft I wrote for The Wild Hunt (previously titled Midnight Manor, Finding Harmony, and a lot of other really BAD ideas) didn't just get gutted, I tossed it, all 370 pages of it.

Maybe my agony over editing is the residual affects of my murdering the first draft, who knows. I just find it interesting, and slightly comical that I have this strange attachment to my story. I'm dreading the moment when it's out in the world. Will people hate it (probably) will it be any good (probably not) but I want to shield it, like a five year old child's first day of school. I want to hold my books hand and pat it on the back. I want to protect it from the big mean bullies that will pick on it, and tease it, and make it feel bad about itself. It's a book, I remind myself, not a child.

So do other authors feel this way about their stories?

Are they as protective of their work as I am of my words?

It makes you think, and it also makes me realize what big bad ass balls Authors truly have. Because they aren't just walking their book to the first day of school, no they are inviting you inside their own minds. Asking you to see their world, to read their words and find the dream they are trying to weave. Like anything else some are better than others, some are so in tuned with their creation the words flow over the page, fingers tapping, keys clicking, until the screen is filled with more than just letters on a page, but a creation, a work of art. And that's what writing is really, ART. Instead of a paint brush or a piece of charcoal the artist holds the pen, or types the keyboard, and where once there was only a blank page, at the end of the day a dream unfolds, a manuscript, an idea created from nothing.

It's profound. It's intoxicating, and it's something unlike anything I've ever done before. So when I shield my creation, when my finger floats just above the delete key, hesitant to press down, I'll remember that to others it might be just a word on a computer screen, but to me it's as timeless as a symphony, as invoking as a sculpture, and as painstakingly soul bearing as a painting.

Art, in word form.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

New Cover!

I started researching Self Publishing a few months back and I remember coming across a couple of Indie Authors that said how important it is to self advertise. That being said, I've started looking into making my own book covers, and book trailers etc. So I've played with a few concepts all of which are so dang simple its sad. I used my paint to make the first one, which for me isn't that surprising since I don't have photoshop. After a while I started bugging the honey to use his Mac, and his photoshop to make me a cover. He obliged and the first cover was born (under the terrible title of Midnight Manor, ick right). Anyways this cover was not wonderful, but better than what I've built on Paint.

Today I decided to go for it and downloaded my own trial version of Photoshop, and just let me say for the record that I am hooked. All day I sat behind my laptop downloading new brushes and patterns, just cranking away. I messed with the color contrasts, and built layer, after layer, and I am proud to say I have my first GOOD cover. I probably went a little overboard (way, way overboard) but I think it's beautiful. I'll probably tweak it a bit here and there, but I'm truly proud of myself. I only screamed and cussed a few times (lie, lie, lie) so here it is. My new improved book cover!!!

Original Picture

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Writers Block

Everyday it seems I fight a little bit of writers block. Whether its getting stuck on a particularly important dialogue, or trying too hard to perfect everything, I fight daily with writers block. I think the hardest thing about it is that its always there lurking in the shadows waiting for me to lower my guard and pounce. It's a bastard that way, always trying to get you when you're down. My biggest issue is being a perfectionist. I've spent hours before writing and re-writing the same paragraph. I don't know if any other writers find themselves doing that. Maybe that's why I'm bringing it up now.

Are the truly good writers immune to writers block? Or are they just better at working against it. I write everyday, sometimes its a lot, sometimes its a little, but I do make the effort. I've been working on this book, my book, my passion project for almost two years. I've taken a few breaks in the middle of it. Once when I tossed the whole first draft (a total of 370 something pages). I took another break early on when my grandfather passed away. He was the main reason I even started.

I've flirted with the idea of writing since I was in high school. I'd daydream about the worlds I could create and the characters that would live there. I'd start dozens of ideas and then after a while lose interest. I think I've always fought against having a short attention span. Which makes writing and finishing a book all the harder. But grandpa believed in me. He wanted me to write, and read him my story. In fact I was about to start reading my now tossed draft to him right before he died. I miss my grandpa, and I hope, no I know that I'll finish this book.

The reason I bring up how long I've been working on it is because of the research I've put into other writers formats and the time it took them to write a book. Some people like the author of those sparkly vampire stories, wrote it in a matter of months. Now I won't be too harsh or at least hope I don't sound it, when I say that it shows. It was not a work of literary genius, nor am I foolish enough to think that my book will be genius either. But, I mean the time an author puts in only makes a book better right?? I guess that's the big question, when am I done, because with the way I am about it sounding perfect, flowing perfectly, I may never finish.

So I'm going to go back to my story now and fall into its pages, but I'll leave you with a question. What makes a book good? Is it the length of time taken to write it, or the research you put into it, or is it something as simple as pure talent, because if that's the case, Lord almighty I hope I was blessed with it. :0) Cheers!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Dexter Season 6 Trailer

OMG, Okay so I've been sick lately, and kind of not been paying a whole lot of attention to the fact that the new season Dexter is starting really freaking soon!!!! HELL YEA!!!

Anyways the point is I finally started thinking about how the trailers had to be out, so I looked it up, and BAMM. Personal Jesus baby. I can't believe it. Here's the trailer.

What's really sad, is that last year I was on an ARG,, and I lived and breathed when the premiere was coming. We had it down to an hourly countdown. Sadly, oh so sadly, those days have passed and I miss my fellow hunters like crazy. So how is it I missed the premiere, how did I not watch it the moment it was launched, I blame Showtime, because if their lazy butts had gotten up and done a zombie infinity killer return, I would have known. What's worse is my fellow hunters didn't even shame me for not seeing it immediately. Why, because Showtime was again LAZY. Uh, I swear I didn't sleep for months while that ARG ran. The memories, the JC references, and Bangs Badass BBQ. The comics, (Dumbass Dee) and the crazy giveaways. I still have nightmares about And I miss the second most love able serial killer in the world, f8. You haven't lived until you've scratched and clawed your way to the top to win a crumbled piece of paper drawn by crazy Heath while he was in the institution. You haven't lived until you're fighting about who gets the urn, or the ring, or the plastic soldiers. Here's a little comic, from the archives, yes I have been de-masked I was know as Seek3r during that long ago game of chance. I also voted Kill Dee, yes, this is my alternate identity.

Sadly only about ten other people on earth will know what the heck I'm talking about. Okay maybe a couple more, but yes we loved that freaking ARG.

Now back to the number one serial killer of all time the sexy Mister Dexter. I can't wait for this season. Last season was fun because of the ARG, and seeing the fallout after the whole dead Rita, and new partner/lover Lumen. I really wanted it to work out between them. Oh well. Can't wait for the next season!!!

The Caller

When I saw the previews for this film I was hooked. I love thrillers and adding in the whole time-warp serial killer just made it even better. It was as good as it promised, if not better. I was not dissapointed. But I was sad to watch Vampire Bills (I mean Stephen Moyer's) character end up where he ended up.

 I don't want to spoil it for you.

Which is strange considering I've had about as much Vampire Bill as I can take. He bugs the ever living hell out of me lately. I wonder if his character will ever come back around.

Oh well back to The Caller. Another thing I thought was kind of funny was how the lead Mary (Rachelle Lefevre) was a Twilight vamp and John(Vampire Bill) was Vampire Bill. Now obviously if we were to play that game my honey likes so much, of who can beat the sh!t out of who, Vampire Bill would win hands down. I mean he doesn't sparkle nuff said.

But I did keep thinking about the whole logistics of their vampirism's and the differences. The movie was good (even though I was distracted by the whole vamp thing) better than I expected really. Oh the sex scene was pretty hot, even though it didn't show anything. Sometimes less really is more. But I wouldn't tell the writers at True Blood that, I like me some hot naked Eric Northman! Yummmy.