Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Big O (Organization) & The Big P (Prioritizing)

I'm not a linear thinker. I'm left-handed, right-brained, and ideas come to me in flashes of disjointed inspiration and dreams, which I try to put together later in some coherent fashion. This may be a good thing for creativity, but it sucks for being an organized person--especially when I also have a short attention span and am easily distracted Look--something shiny! What was I blogging about? Oh yeah...So I was about to say that my top resolutions for 2011 are to get more organized and prioritize. I've said this in previous years, but without any sort of attack plan. Yesterday, I bought my very first Weekly/Monthly Planner. (Can you hear the sound of gospel choir singing 'hallelujah' in the background?) I'm going to use it to schedule and log marketing info., sales, and my writing word counts.

But, that's just one weapon in my attack plan. I've realized (can I get another 'hallelujah'?) that it's impossible to DO EVERYTHING THAT I WANT TO DO. So, I also need to prioritize. I've always wondered why, as people get older, they get 'stuck in their ways'. Well, I've realized that it's partially due to life editing. There are only 24 hours in a day, and you have to sleep for 1/3 of them, and possibly work for another 1/3 of them. That doesn't leave a whole lot left to indulge every one of your interests. You have to prioritize what's most important to you, so if you get hit by a bus tomorrow (sadly that happens a lot in my city), you won't be lying on your death bed thinking, 'Gee..I wish I had...' If I was at the end of my life, I would most regret not writing and publishing more of the stories in my head. So in 2011, I'm not going to study French,  play with tarot cards, bellydance, read 20 magazines each month, read all of the newspaper every day, clip lots of coupons, or watch much t.v.  Instead...(with the help of the ROW80 challenge to get me started)...I'm going to write.  I intend to publish three more books this year, and that's only going to happen if I'm organized and able to prioritize writing over dozens of other distractions (reading excepted--books are food for the brain). I see a lot of other indie writers with similar goals on their blogs. Here's wishing us all a year filled with gazillions of happy, creative keystrokes.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Thank You Santa!

I figured I'd get a couple of books for Christmas, but Santa was very good to me. (Did he really check his list twice to make sure I wasn't on the naughty list?) I received four hardbacks--The Passage by Justin Cronin, Horns by Joe Hill, Holy Ghosts by Gary Jansen, and Of Love and Evil by Anne Rice. I want to read every one of these and wish I could just download them directly into my brain! (In the future, we'll probably have discs that plug in above our ear and connect directly to our neurons to make that possible. Maybe, we will be able to upload books at night while we are asleep, and process them like a programmed dream.)

In between holiday festivities, I read Lauralynn Elliott's novella, Guardian Vampire, a nice paranormal romance romp with enough rich visceral detail (read: blood, danger, blood, action...) to keep me interested. The models on the cover were also chillingly perfect for the characters in the story.

Now that Eaters: The Beginning is available online, I'm trying to dip my toes into a little PR. I really found this tough to do with The Gardener. But, there are a lot of zombie fan sites out there. So, I'm going to try to go straight to the fan base. Unfortunately, the AMCTV website does not allow posts that are unrelated to their Walking Dead series. Since, at one point, there were fans talking about zombie movies, and there was even a link to an unrelated Christmas parody YouTube video (which was removed 24 hours later) on their chat site, I thought I could mention Eaters. Apparently, the powers that be have some strict gatekeepers trying to keep their site pure 'Walking Dead'. I look forward to watching this show again when the series continues, but I am disappointed with their website and the fact that they chose to fire all their writers right before the holidays. They had a highly successful series going. I'm guessing the writing staff wanted more money, and management figured that the story could carry on with cheaper writers.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Santa Brought Books

I know there's books under the tree (MLOL - maniacal laugh out loud). I must go to Christmas morning will come...

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Eaters and Stocking Stuffers

Eaters is now for sale on Amazon and Smashwords, and I just submitted it to Barnes & Noble tonight, so it  should be live tomorrow. Tonight is a lovely lull after the storm of finishing Eaters and getting Christmas shopping done. All that's left to shop for is stocking stuffers for my trio of feline masters. (The dog's is done. She's getting some tennis balls and chewy treats. In a dog's world--it doesn't get much better than that!) I REALLY REALLY look forward to doing some reading in the next few days. Readling Lauralynn's Guardian Vampire is at the top of my list and I'd like to finish Pork Pie Hat by Peter Straub. There are also some other indie authors out there with some great books that I'd like to squeeze in. Since Eaters is a zombie novella, I was curious why Tom Lichtenberg's novella, Zombie Nights, is #2 on the Smashwords bestseller list. I guess free+zombie=popular. I read it and wrote a review on the site. I don't know if the Eaters trilogy will enjoy such popularity, but one can only hope :) It was a lot of fun writing the first book, and I look forward to getting my fingers dirty on the keyboard with the 2nd one which will be filled with more fingernail-biting danger for the main character.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Eaters Available This Week

I just submitted Eaters to Amazon tonight. It should be available for download in a couple of days there and very soon on Barnes & Noble and Smashwords. It was a bit of a risk to let my neighbors read the manuscript, but the 'That was awesome!' comment afterwards was a nice payoff. I didn't start out planning a trilogy, but as I was wrapping up the story, I realized that it was really just the beginning of Cheryl's story. So, this first installment is called Eaters: The Beginning, and it will be followed later this year by Eaters: Dark Journey and Eaters: Destination. That will definitely give me some 'meat and potatoes' to dig into during ROW80 which starts in January.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Eaters Finito

I was a bananas to the wall typing monkey yesterday and finally finished Eaters late last night. (DH...starting to snore...did not seem to share in my excitement). If the cover is ready, I'll publish it this weekend. If you've read The Gardener, you will find this story is quite a different animal. There's no time to stop and enjoy the scenery...or smell the's very fast-paced and action-packed. I'm going to give my zombie-loving neighbors across the street have a sneak peek of the manuscript. I'm sure they're going to be surprised...and maybe a little shocked at the dark things squeezed out of me into the text. Never judge what appears to be a normal 'soccer mom' by her cover.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

It's Not My Fault

I did not intend to go to a bookstore tonight---really I didn't! Bookstores are dangerous for me. I could get lost in one for hours...and be found days later under a pile of books, dehydrated, starving, and gasping for air. My rescurers would try to dig me out...and I'd say, 'Wait! I haven't finished this chapter yet..." Bookstores are also dangerous for my cash flow. So, as I said, I did not intend to make such a dangerous journey tonight. It wasn't on the agenda at all. But, when I called home to say that the office Christmas party ended early, there was panic on the other end of the phone. Apparently, DH is building some sort of contraption thingamajig for me for Christmas, and there were parts of it all over the house that I am not to allowed to see. I was told not to come home for at least one hour. So, after a quick foray to Target, to finish some Christmas shopping...the used bookstore across the street beckoned me with its seductive orange sign. I must say that I was very good tonight. I only left with two books for my kidling and Love in Vein II (short stories selected and edited by Poppy Z. Brite). But, if I hadn't gotten the phone call with the green light to go home, I might have been bad....very very bad. They had a big paranormal romance section with some wicked looking titles. They also have a good number of horror novels (unfortunately all jumbled in with the thrillers). So many little time. I think I'll have that engraved on my tombstone :)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Christmas Shopping = Time Vacuum

There was soooo... much on the 'to do' list today, but Christmas shopping sucked all the time away. Can you relate? This month is so busy with shopping, parties, and other commitments. Working on my Santa duties, I hit more than half a dozen stores and did not get to the photo shoot that I wanted to do for my next book cover. DH even volunteered to be my zombie hand model. (Okay...'volunteered' probably too strong of word. I should have said, 'he did not protest too much' when I told him that I needed to paint his hand with makeup to look like a dead thing.) The photo shoot will have to wait, but I still intend to plug away on Eaters this evening, because I'm trying to finish before Christmas.'s going to be another late night.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Dark Days of Winter

It's 5 o'clock at this time of year. The short days are rough on me. Though I'm typically not a sun-seeker (read: vampirish tendencies and wrinkle-phobia), a nice tropical vacation sounds pretty good right now. It takes a little extra effort to stay up late and work on my writing, instead of caving in to the lure of hibernation in a warm Snuggy by the fireplace with a mug of hot cocoa and a fuzzy cat on my lap. In more positive moments, I remind myself that this is the best time of year to 'go within' and find those dark creative places, let them gestate a little, then pour them forth on cyber paper. I know this...and yet...bring on the solstice! I need the energy that more daylight brings. I've signed up for ROW80 that starts in January. With the lengthening days and the fresh start that a new year brings, I have a lot of optimism that I'll start off 2011 with a reserve of energy to work on my next writing project.

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Walking Dead Episode 6 - What They Didn't Say

Episode 6 of The Walking Dead aired last night on AMC. There were times during it when I wanted to hit 'pause' and ask a few questions of the script writers. When the generator in the CDC building began shutting non-essentials down, Dr. Jenner said that running everything on fossil fuel was stupid. (Sure wish he could have elaborated on that, reinforcing the idea that sun and wind power sources don't run out of fuel at inopportune times, like during a life-threatening apocalypse!)  Then, when Dr. Jenner locked them all inside the building that was about to self-destruct, nobody told him, "You don't have the right to play God." I just kept waiting for that line, and it never came. The show ended with them driving away in the RV towards...what?...we don't know. If this had been the end, perhaps they would have found a safe haven somewhere and some hope for rebuilding society. Guess we'll have to wait until the second season...
Has a start date been announced? I didn't see it on the AMC website, but I did sign up for 'The Walking Dead' newsletter to stay posted.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Congratulations to NaNoWriMo Participants and Winner Lauralynn Elliott!

 Congratulations to all the participants in NaNoWriMo that ended yesterday on Nov. 30th. Lauralynn Elliott had fast-flying fingers, winning with a total well over the 50,000 word count goal.

Although, I didn't enter this challenge. I am considering entering ROW80 (A Round of Words in 80 Days) that begins in January. It would be a good way to make headway on my next writing project after Eaters is finished. It might also help me establish a more regular writing schedule. A deadline can be a good way to have a little pressure to get that going. Otherwise, life can keep you busy enough with other priorities besides the keyboard. I really wish that I was a 'morning person' who could spring out of bed in the early wee hours and get a couple hours of writing in before getting a kidling off to school and going to my day job. In reality...I'm one of those 'don't talk to me until I've had my coffee' kind of people. Unfortunately, that makes me more of a night writer, and that means that my writing sometimes gets the ashes of my brain after a long tiring day. It would be nice to give my writing the freshest part of my brain early in the day before it gets too exhausted from other commitments. If I decide to challenge myself with ROW80, I'm going to consider a little morning writing and see how it goes. (That will definitely mean putting the alarm clock farther across the room and perhaps enlisting some sort of shock therapy to get the word juices flowing--an ice cold shower, a quick zap from a finger in an electrical socket, or (with some serious optimism) a quick run on the treadmill.)