Friday Brag

Go ahead and take a little peek at my side bar. See the work in progress? Hunter's Prey is now up to 30k words. I've been a busy little writing bee lately. If I keep this up I might actually finish book two in the next few months.

Of course it is only a Skeleton draft, it will take more work to get it to first draft status, but, the ideas are flowing and I am a happy little writer.

So how are you all coming on your WIP?

Go ahead and brag too! Give yourself a pat on the back for the hard work you have been doing.

Read this

Jody, I am spotlighting your blog today because I think you have made some excellent points about, The Advantages of Professional Editors.


Part One

Part Two

Jody does a wonderful job showing both sides of the coin and I think her points are very good.

I myself have been debating about getting an editor. As a new writer, I am often unsure of the quality of my writing. I know I have issues with the mechanical stuff. Spelling and Grammar checkers in Word, don't always fix my mistakes, so a helpful set of eyes is always nice. Beyond that, Editors can also help us refine our work. They can take an objective look at our story, The characters, the plot structure, etc... On the other side, there is the price and the tendency to rely on the opinion of someone else to make our story good.

So take some time and check out her blog post. If you are like me, in the "Do I get and editor debate," it might be a really helpful read.

Writing/Editing Software

This list is mainly for me, but if it helps out another writer, Great!

After looking into my editing options, I just don't have the $1,000-1,500 sitting around for a pro. I might be able to afford some helpful software though. Here is what I've found so far.

White Smoke - Looks a little pricey, but has some interesting features like a style checker.
Download.com has a 30 day trial version.

Clear Edits - Looks a little cheaper than the White Smoke program. They offer a free trial too.

Writers Workbench - Ouch $115.00 for a personal copy. This one offers no free trial. Has anyone ever used it? It looks to be geared towards teachers rather than individual writers.

Auto Crit - This one is more Web based. It's cheaper than the rest for the basic package. Also has a cliche finder setting.

Serenity Software - Reasonably priced, but does nto offer a free trial or evaluation copy. Has anybody used this?

Cliche Cleaner - searches out standard cliche's to remove.

It's a small list for now, I'm sure there are more software options out there. If you know of any, feel free to link them. I'm interested in seeing whats available.

Allow yourself to, just write. Put anything down that comes to mind.

In my opinion, this is the best advice to give someone who is writing a skeleton or first draft.

I say that of course because, it is the advice I am giving myself. I’m not a plotter. I don’t really plan too much for my stories. I let the idea flow from head, to pen, to paper, and then sort it all out in the end. Sure I have a general idea where I want things to go, but for the most part, I’m just winging it.

For a person like me it is easy to get hit by writers block. If the ideas aren’t flowing, I’m stuck staring at an empty piece of paper with nothing to write.

That’s where I need my little reminder.

Go ahead and write badly. Write whatever comes to mind. Just put something-anything- on the page.

After all, first drafts never get published.

It doesn’t matter if you waste 4k words on the main character tying her shoes. If it helps me move the story in some way, or helps me spark an idea, it is worth it.

The boring and mundane stuff can always be edited out later.

I say this all of course, because I got myself stuck this weekend and it took, letting my MC babble on about random things, for me to finally figure out where book two was going. I’m now 21k words into my skeleton draft of book 2, (tentatively called, Hunters Prey) I have the main plot all figured out now, and I am ready to power through this draft. I’m feeling creative now!

So remember, allow yourself to write whatever comes to mind, no matter how dumb. It may spark your creativity.

Promoting You

So, the loose topic this week has been, promoting. For many, this advice is old news. But that doesn't mean it isn't valuable.

We, as authors, should be promoting ourselves before, during, and after our book is published.

We have a veritable schmorgasborg (did I spell that right?) of free ways to get our names out there.

The first and easiest are the ones I think we are all using.

Blogging and Social networking.

How many of you have a Facebook account? Go ahead, raise your hand. It's ok. =p

How many of you have a Myspace account?

How about Linkedin?

Blogger? (obviously every hand should be raised here.)

Twitter?

Those are just the tip of the iceberg. Check this list out.

Social networking is free and the easiest way to create a presence on the internet. All it takes is a picture and a few words. Instantly, we have a little corner of the web with which to start self promoting.

You could start a fan page, dedicated to your upcoming book. You could tease bits and pieces of the story to get readers interested. You could chat with potential readers. Network with other authors, (and don't forget about agents and editors too) who use social networking.

So my real question here is, What are you doing to promote you and your WIP or published book? For you seasoned pro's, any advice for us newbies?

Book Trailer



Hope you like it.

Why not do a little Marketing



Since I am talking about Marketing this week, why not plug another authors book/book trailer.

Don't forget to visit the Website & Blog too. Spread the word and you might win a free copy of her book.

In Your Face Marketing!

In your face marketing. It works!

Released on May 15th, Angels and Demons hasn’t even been out a full week, yet it is already topping a blockbuster like Star Trek by a little over 3 milion dollars.

By last look, (on Rottentomatoes.com) Angels and Demons is at a very respectable 46.2 million. There is only one problem. The movie sucks. This is according to the tomatoemeter on Rottentomatoes.com ( 38%)& Critc rating on Yahoo Movies ( C+). With only a 38% approval rating, this movie shouldn’t be such a money maker. Why then is it beating out Start Treck, who’s franchise is well known world wide and receiving a respectable 95% approval rating?

In your face marketing!

I don’t know about you, but I haven’t gone to see a move in the last 6 months without hearing about Angels and Demons. I have seen so many commercials and ad’s for this damn movie, I was about ready to scream. I had even planned on seeing the damn thing, though I still haven’t read the book. It is this constant plugging that is getting me curious. I should mention that I never saw the Da Vinci Code either, and the book is collecting dust on my bookshelf (because I never got around to reading it).

The same type of marketing was done with another movie not too long ago. In early 2007, Ghost Rider hit the silver screen. Not a movie I would have ever thought of watching. It too was marketed to death (I started to consider seeing it) and it also carried an abysmal approval rating (a reason I didn't go see it). At 27% approval, the movie still managed to clear $115,802,596 at the box office.

These are a perfect example of what, in your face marketing, can do.

Make noise, tease something enough times, and people will get curious. If they are curious, they will buy. It works for books as well as movies. It doesn’t matter if the movie/book has the worst approval rating ever, you will still sell tickets/books. Sure, people can demand money back, but most don’t. (I’m not saying write a flop, I’m just highlighting how well this in your face style works.)

Good news for us authors out there (once we do get published.). With Social networking, Blogs, YouTube, etc... There are so many ways we can get our names out there. We can make a lot of, free noise, about our work. There are plenty of avenues to promote our work and maybe see some great success.

Anyway, that’s my 2 cents for the day.

Murphy's Week

Murphy's law states that; Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.

Well that pretty much sums up my last 5 or so days.

It all started with last Saturday. I've been a non-smoker for the better part of 2 years, after my Husband found the key to helping me quit. He was able to tap into my stubbornness and got me to quit just to prove to him I could. That crafty little devil.

Well for some unknown reason, be it job stress, family stress, or maybe just a combo of multiple stresses, whatever it was, I felt the absolute need for a smoke. So I did.

I know, I know. Bad Katie!

I feel I am being punished for that already. Well I was outside, smoking, when I noticed a problem with my sprinkler system. It wasn't shutting off. I thought it was a simple problem so I temporarily shut off the system at the box.

Problem solved, or so I thought.

Sunday morning, my sprinklers were back on again, and pouring water into the street. I turned off the sprinklers and cleared the timer so they would not come back on again, planning to get a lawn care service out. The sprinklers shut off but continued to leak small amounts of water.

It just so happens I work for a plumbing company so I thought I would ask our service tech if they could look at it. Monday morning I chatted with the service guy and was told they no longer provide help to employees.

Bummer.

He told me to turn off the valve to ensure that no more water would leak untill I could get a pro to look at it.

I should mention now, I have some pretty crappy plumbing.

I told the hubby to turn off the valve outside for the sprinkler line, as I had been instructed to do.

Well, hubby tried, and the valve broke.

Whoops.

In the process of breaking the valve off, he managed to cause a big leak outside and shut off all water to the inside of the house.

Time to get a pro involved.

We called a 24hr service plumber who came out that night, but it was too late and too dark to properly fix the problem. He got a new valve in place as a temp fix and told us he would have to come back the next day to solve the problem. The pipes were pretty bad and needed to be replaced around the valve.

So I missed a day of work waiting on the plumber. A few hours of work later, I was given the $400+ bill.

We still need another pro to come out and fix the leaky sprinklers, but the plumber got the main problem fixed with the valve/pipe leak.

Thinking we were on the down hill of our problem week, I breathed a sigh of relief.

That is, untill I was rear ended today coming home from my Daughters swim lessons.

Do I dare say it? What else can go wrong this week?

Editor Questions

Revisiting the, editor topic for a moment.

For those of you out there in blogger land, if you have used, or have considered using an editor to review your work prior to submitting to agents and publishers. Tell me how the process worked.

How did you search for them?
What questions did you ask of them?
Did you research them on Predators and Editors? Maybe even check them out on Absolute Write
Did you choose a freelance editor or go with an editing service?
How much communication was there between you and your editor?

and finally...

Did you feel the service was valuable?

Ten Mistakes

On Sunday, Editorial Ass & The Screaming Guppy, plugged this post by, Holt Uncensored,

Ten Mistakes Writers Don’t See (But Can Easily Fix When They Do)


I figured I might have to check it out. Sure enough, there is some great information here for writers new and seasoned.

I know I'm guilty of quite a few of these mistakes.

The big 5

To my baby










My little love
My splat
My honey-bear
My silly
My huggle
My crazy girl
My little cuddler
My munchkin
My princess






My reason for grey hair's (just kidding)

My big 5 year old!

Happy Birthday. Mommy Loves you!







Ally's first ride on the Tea Cups

Nick, my husband (Ally's step dad), spun the Tea Cups as fast as he could. Ally told us to get her really dizzy. He he he.








Her first words after the ride was over were, "Mommy, I want to go on that again!"

Soap Box Ranting♦




Feel free to ignore this post. I'm in one of those moods.

I see how easily the view of the American public can be skewed. We tend to get a bad name and are called: rude, pig-headed, fat, and lazy (just to name a few). Most us us don't fall into this stereotype, but the general rule prevails here. The few, almost always ruin it for the many.

Now all political reasons aside (I'm not here to discuss politics), the general public gets a bad name from the actions of a few bad apples.

Case-in-point 1

I'm at Disneyland with my family, there to celebrate my daughter's birthday. We sit down at the tomorrow land cafe. There is a small stage show getting ready to start. We took a seat at the edge of the cafe, so we could easily see the show.

One table over, a nice looking Asian couple must have had the same idea. They sat, eating their food, while looking over to the stage. The crowd around the area naturally thickened as time drew near to the start of the show. Without warning, a rather large (I'd estimate 400lb) man, walks up and yanks a chair out from under the table where the Asian couple is sitting. They look up a bit confused, and the man barks out, "You guys done eating?" They nod, confused looks still on their faces (I'm not sure they understood the man). The large man whips the chair around and point's at it. Seconds later large teenage boy (presumably the large man's son.) takes the chair. The large man starts yelling and making obnoxious waving motions for the rest of his family, to come sit at the table.

The poor Asian couple, who were still snacking on their french fries, ended up having to share their table now with a family of rather large, pushy individuals.

I could not believe the audacity of that family. I personally, would never attempt to take over a table that someone was sitting at. I don't care how close they were to being done with their food. That was rude beyond all belief! No wonder we get labeled as rude and pushy.

They weren't the only ones who got squished in by obnoxious people though. A group of chatty teenagers stood behind our table, mocking the stage actors during the whole show.

Case-in-point 2

Later that day, (actually make that all day long in every single ride we stood in line for. There were so many instances of this) we noticed how little parents pay attention to their children. They don't do a thing to teach them about personal space or respecting other peoples personal space.

The Disney princess line was a great example. In this example, I'd estimate the child's age at 8-9 and the mother's age at 35-40. The line was at least an hour long and I spent it getting knocked in the back, butt, legs, and side, while this kid behind me fidgeted. What is mom doing you might wonder? She's chatting on the phone the whole time, oblivious to the annoying actions of her daughter.

That was the longest hour of my life. I'm standing there watching out for my own kid, hoping she doesn't annoy the person in front of us. All the while, about one more 'bump' away from turning around and smacking the snot out of the kid behind me. I was very close to yelling at the mom. "Teach your friggen kids to stand still. Respect the people around you."

The kid in the princess line wasn't the first, nor the last of the day. By the end of the day I was ready hurt the next person who bumped into me. I can just imagine the view foreigners get of us, Kids running amok whole mommy and daddy are on the cell phones.

Lastly, In walking and driving, people really need to open their eyes and watch where they are going. (I'm no saint here either, so I should take a good dose of my own advice here.) In the park, we almost got run into too many times to count. An my poor little munchkin, she's just a nugget. A few people almost stepped on her. Grrrrr! I thought it would be over after we left the park, but no! On the drive back from Cali to Vegas, we almost got run off the road by a guy trying to merge into our lane without looking.

Thankfully we made it home safe and sound and, despite my gripes we did have a good time. I do see now how easily people can get a bad image of us. Disney is an attraction that welcomes people from all over the globe. Sometimes those foreigners only see America once. In that short time, think of the examples they are seeing. My examples come from just 1 day in the park. I think I would have a pretty bad picture of society after seeing a week or more of this.

Just my two cents.

If you made it to the end, thanks! I promise, I'll be in a better mood the next time I post.







How did I miss this post?

Thank goodness for Nathan Bransford and his week in publishing links. With the rather large blog list I've been building, I seem to be missing out on some really great posts.

It appears Rachelle Gardner, told us agent rejections are nothing compared to post publishing reviews. LoL How did I miss this!?!?

Hope you all have a great weekend.