Monday Grumbles



I hate Monday

After two days of waking up at a respectable hour of the morning, that dreaded alarms screams at a heinously early time; before the sun has even had a chance to rise. And I am expected to jump out of bed and instantly be bright eyed and bushy tailed for work.

No sir.

Ain't happening.

I hate Mondays.

I'm grumpy. I'm grouchy. I was in the middle of a good dream this morning for goodness sake.

How dare that alarm clock! How dare Monday morning interrupt my wonderful dreams!

Talk about waking up on the wrong side of the bed. Is there a right side when Monday morning is concerned?

I need to go back to bed. No good can come of this day. Already my workload has been doubled by other people who were smarter than me and called in sick. (That's what happens when you are the "backup girl" everyone else dumps their work on you.)

Mondays should be banned.

Commiserate with me people. Who else here hates Mondays?

I'll never get this word right. Ugh!!!

You ever run into words that you know are simple and easy yet you still cannot for the life of you spell or use properly?

Patience
Patients

Ugh! Which one is which again? (I know. Just venting here)

It's one of the most commonly miss-used word not because it is spelled incorrectly, but because one is subbed for another.

And for the life of me I can never get it right.

I'm a bit OCD and I always agonize of the mistakes I make in my writing, especially after sending emails and what not. So of course I am absolutely horrified to see myself constantly making the same mistakes over and over and over, especially when I make them in bad situations.

Imaging my horror to see an email response I sent to a publisher when requesting a status update...

Thank you for indulging my anxiety with an update. I will try and be a little more patient.

OMG did I really mis-use patience?? To a publisher!! I must look like a complete idiot.

*hangs head in shame*

So indulge me a little. Make me feel like I am not the only one out there who can't seem to get certain words right. Please tell me you have made mistakes like this in the past.

Who are You, Online?

So, yesterday we talked about having an online presence. Are you Google-able (Good word Megan)

So now we know we can be found. We are online!

But what do you do with this new www-presence?

Your online presence is You... Online. Yes I realize how redundant that sounds but keep with me here.

Agents will Google you. Editors will Google you. Fans (do we dare to dream?) will Google you.

What do you want them to see?

Do you want them to see that drunken picture of you hugging the toilet? Remember the one you thought was so funny you had to post it to your facebook?

Do you want them to read about you ripping another author to shreds for their lack of basic writing skills? You remember that blog, right? The one you posted ages ago? Guess what, it's still searchable.

Do you want them seeing that YouTube video of you, singing "Girls just want to have fun." Yes, Karaoke is fun, just be sure that's what you want people to find when they search you out.

Now, don't get me wrong. I am not saying you need to remove any and all personal and or cutsy stuff about you from your online sites.

I'm saying, think about what you have posted.

As an Author (Think of it as a business title), your name is now your brand. You are trying to sell, "you."

Ask yourself how potential Agents or Editors, or anyone in the publishing industry will view thing when they look you up. How is a future adoring fan going to feel when they look you up?

Go ahead and Google yourself real quick. (I know, I had you do this yesterday. Do it again and study what the links actualy point to.)

What are the first few links? Are they something you want the public seeing? Do those links portray you in the light you want to be seen in? Is there anything questionable in those links?

Remember, I am not telling you not to post personal stuff. You are selling yourself here so you will have to show some of "you."

Just be aware of what you are posting. Make sure that it is what you WANT others to see. Take a step back and look at yourself through strangers eyes.

Make sure you are putting the best, "You," out there.

Have you Google-fied yourself?

If it's not a word it should be.

Google-fy
Google-fied
Google-fication

Ok, maybe I have had a little too much coffee this morning. I do have a point with my silly word building.

Do you have a web presence?

Can you easily find yourself with a simple Google search?

Go ahead, try it. I'll wait...

So what were your results?

When I Google Katie Salidas, the entire first page comes up with links to me.

Oh no I've been Google-fied!!! =p

So if an Agent/Editor wants to find me, they can. I have a presence online.

Yay!

Of course that is only half of it. But that's for another blog post.

Building a web presence is important for us fledgling writers because it is part of our marketing platform. (remember we still have to sell ourselves and our books. Publishers will only do so much).

With social networking becoming the norm, it's so easy to get your name out there. It's an easy outlet to the world beyond our normal friends and families. Once you have a presence, you can network to thousands of people with just a click of the mouse and a few keystrokes.

Facebook
Myspace
Plaxio
Linkedin
Blogger
Twitter - I still refuse to join
Goodreads

and so many more.

There are a ton of social networking type of sites out there and they are simple and easy to join.

And I should mention, these sites are FREE. Great news for us fledgling writer with limited marketing funds.

So, you tell me. Have you been Google-fied? What sites do you belong to?

Tomorrow I will talk about "Who are you, Online?"

So, who saw the Vampire Diaries?

That's right folks, before Twilight struck YA gold with teenage heartthrob vampires in high school, LJ Smith wrote and published, The Vampire Diaries (1991).

Now comes the TV series!

Woo Hoo!

I have a feeling the Twilight phenomenon helped to push this series into the small screen. Vampires have resurfaced as quite a popular creature in the last few years. But no matter what the reason, I am happy ( and that's an understatement)to see my favorite blood sucking creatures getting a little attention.

So you know where I was at 8pm, that's right, sitting in front of my TV.

I have to say I was impressed. The characters were pretty true to my memory, but I did seem to remember Elana being a blond? It's a minor nit, I know, but I am a bit of a stickler on details. I'll have to go back and read the series as well as the new offering from the author. Stefan and Damon were nice eye candy as they should be. No complaints there.

I was happy to see the "vamp faces" weren't the buffy-esque monster masks that I hated from the Buffy and Angel series. Those always seemed a bit cheesy, know what I mean? I would have liked to see more fangs too, but I am sure that will come in good time.

Anyway, back on point. There was great drama in the first episode. I liked the build up to Damon's entrance, though they could have played up the mysterious deaths a bit more. It is a TV series so they could have dragged it out to the next episode. Little questions like, "who is the killer, could it be Stefan," hook new viewers. I seriously doubt current teenagers or even many adults remember this series (it's been a while), but now that it's out they might be tempted to read, (give them some teasers to send them running to the book store). But don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining. Just making an observation.

So all in all, I loved the first episode. It will be added to my very small weekly TV list.

So, you tell me. Did you watch? What did you think?

Watcha Readin?



Don't mind the crappy picture, It was taken on my phone. This is my current to-read pile. I was chatting with a friend and fellow bookworm about books each of us should read. Suggestions were flying and at one point I had to stop and say, "I don't need any more books to read I have a mountain to get through as it is."

The picture helped to prove my point. LoL

You will notice I have books from;

Gena Showalter
Lara Adrian
Christine Feehan
Sherlyn Kenyen
Charlaine Harris
Kate McAllister
Laurel K. Hamilton

(are you detecting the vampire theme here?)

So, what does your to-read list look like? What theme/genre are you currently reading?

Relax, don't push so hard.

It's not writers block if you miss a day or so of writing. Life comes first.

It's ok to work on different projects when you are feeling a bit drained with your main WIP. Sometimes creativity is sparked by doing something else.

It's not a crime to relax and read. We write because we want to, it's our passion, not our master. Taking a day off is ok. Reading is also a great way to spark your creativity.

When you try too hard and you push your muse too far, she sometimes pushes back, and it's like running into a brick wall.



What ends up happening, is you stare blankly at your screen with nothing to write and a nagging feeling in your gut - that's self imposed guilt - because you aren't writing.

I've been doing that to myself lately. I want so badly to get my main WIP finished (Hunters & Prey - Book two of my Immortalis series), but I am stuck and it's making me cranky (and that's a bit of an understatement). My husband keeps telling me to relax, to do something else, but do I listen?

No.
LoL.

The other day I told him I wanted 30k words by the end of the month. It was my goal.

"I'm gonna finish this thing!"

His response... "Do they all have to be different words? We could start a word drive. Get people to donate their old words."

Bless his silly little heart. At that point I was rolling my eyes, but his humor was his way to tell me to lighten up.

He then asked me if I was on a deadline? If there a publisher breathing down my neck? Did I have a contract threatening to be broken by not having my WIP finished by the end of the month?

Of course my reply was no. (I'm still unpublished.)

"Then Relax. You have plenty of time to make it perfect."

He's right of course. I hate it when that happens.

I'm not published yet. I have time to make it shine. And it needs to. If my first works aren't stunning, I have no hope for future work.

So the moral of the story is, "Don't push so hard. Perfection takes time. You have to let the muse work for you. If you are unpublished, you have all the time in the world to make things perfect."

Save the worry for later when you are a multi-published author and working on a deadline.

Remember the reason we write is because we love it. Don't change that with unnecessary pressure.

Blog Spotlight

Suzette Saxton at Query Tracker, wrote an amazing post today that speaks to all of us, Parent Writers.

You must go check this out. She gives some great advice!

Happy Labor Day

Good Bye Old Friend



If you read Nathan Bransford's blog on friday you know, that Reading Rainbow, which has been in reruns for the last few years, is no longer on air.

I remember growing up on this show. *sniff sniff, wipes eyes.* Good bye old friend. My daughter will have to watch on You Tube.

When the muse talks...

You can't help but listen.

Ever had one of those crazy nights where writing dominates your life? I mean this in a good way, I think. One of those nights where you have to get it all on paper? You know what I mean, when a story pops into your head. Characters demand attention. And all you can do is sit and write it all out.

Yep, it's awesome, isn't it? I love when that happens. It usually comes in spurts, with chapter ideas (I'm a pantser so I don't outline, I wing it.), rather than full stories.

So, I'd been working so hard on the Immortalis series that I needed a mental break. I love this series, but i've been focusing on it for so long it is becoming a chore and that is not how it should be.

A couple of weeks ago, I was at work and absolutely refused to open up my MS word file. I didn't want to look at Alyssa and Lysander for a little while. Mental break time. Know what I mean? Sure you do we've all been there, right?

Then a story idea hit. It wouldn't leave my brain until I wrote it all down on paper (the electronic kind). Characters were flashing before my eyes, dialogue was running through my mind, scenes were drawing themselves. So I did the only thing I could do.

At home that evening I started writing. In one sitting I had 3k words written. The next day another 5k. I was on a roll. Inspiration had struck and I could do nothing else but listen. Eventually I had a 10k word short, erotic story all written out. Pretty cool huh?

It's a wonderful thing when the muse is working. It definitley makes up for the times when the muse is... on vacation.

Of course that means I have two stories now on the editing pile. LoL. Alas, a writers work is never done.

So tell me, has your muse been talking, feeding you story ideas?