Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Midnight Angel, Paperback Swap, and Mini's Tooth

The day before yesterday, I managed to salvage eleven writerly files I thought might be lost forever. Woot! I still haven't done a complete hard drive recovery off the old computer, so I'm still missing plenty of pictures, old book covers, story pieces, etc. However, I have all the Werekind series story files now, and I've started reading through them.

In my free time I've been working on cleaning up and reissuing the Werekind books. I recently started re-editing Moonlight and Shadows—kind of the outlier in the series, but one of my favorites. I'm a couple of chapters into it, and I've been rewriting bits and pieces of it as I go. That's my big project for this week: get M&S cleaned up.

I'm also working on wrapping up Midnight Angel, which is the last short story in the Under A Midnight Moon trilogy. I have only a few scenes left to write. Midnight Angel is Gemma's story, for those who remember Betsey and her friends. Once that story is cleaned up, I'll start compiling the trilogy into one file. I'm going to post that set of shorties in a single volume. The stories included: Under A Midnight Moon, Feral Instinct (which has been extremely hard for readers to find up to this point!), and Midnight Angel. The set doesn't have a title yet, but it will be available this summer. If you want to be notified when the set goes live, be sure to subscribe to my newsletter, which I use only for new releases, and important writerly updates, etc. I promise never to spam you, ever. There's a sign up box on the side bar of this blog, and also on my website.

Kindle Unlimited and Paperback Swap

I've talked before about Kindle Unlimited and how much I love the program. I've never tried it as a writer, only a reader, so I can't speak for how well it works for writers. It has kept me with a steady stream of good reading material though, and I've discovered several new to me writers that I have added to my auto-buy list. After reading one series on Unlimited, I went back and bought the entire set of paperbacks. Pricey, since they were done through CreateSpace, but I loved the books and wanted them for my keeper shelf.

In addition to Kindle Unlimited, I recently signed up for Paperback Swap. I wanted to trade off some of my older keeper shelf romances for horror novels and supernatural thrillers. I signed up for the service, and right now I'm still on the shelf whether it's a program I'll stick with. For one thing, the credit system. The cost of purchasing credits is about the same as you'd pay for a brand new Harlequin at the bookstore. Roughtly $3.50 per credit, or something like that. Then there is the .49 cent swap fee. So, you request a book, and it costs you 1 credit plus the .49 cent swap fee. That's roughly the cost of a new paperback. The other person, the book holder, pays to ship it to you. (Senders can use printable shipping on the website). When the book arrives, you go to your control panel and mark the book as "arrived", and the other person gets a credit they can use to request a book from anywhere on the site. It's not a bad program, but it's not as cost saving as I thought it would be, especially when almost all of the books I'd hoped to find on Paperback Swap weren't available for request in the database. They're wishlisted instead, and may never end up available for trade. So, even after "swapping" several of my romance paperbacks, I've only managed to acquire one horror novel on my actual wishlist. I haven't been with the program long, so I'm going to give it a while. I'll update when I settle on a final impression of the service.

The Broken Tooth

Today Mini called me from school. He'd broken a tooth, and I needed to go pick him up. He didn't know how he fractured it, but he'd cracked his upper right six year molar in half. I drove to the school to pick him up (we live about four minutes from campus), and I took a look at the tooth. A permanent tooth was pushing it out and compromised it. That's why it broke. It was nothing to worry about, and didn't hurt him in the slightest. In fact, as of this afternoon, half of the tooth has come out, and the other half is wiggly. He didn't even feel the half piece come out.

Anyway, I signed him out of classes for the day, and as we went to leave, the principal comes striding out of her office and says she wants to speak to me in the hallway. (She asked if I was his mother, too. Who else would I be?)

In the hall, she told me they had confiscated Mini's watch, because "students aren't allowed to have recording devices at school". I looked at Mini and asked "what watch?" He took it out of his pocket - a new watch I'd never seen before.

I asked, "Where did you get that?"
He told me, "I bought it at the book fair this morning."
The principal, "You bought that here? Today?"
Mini nodded, "I bought it this morning."
Principal, egg on face, "Well, you enjoy that at home, okay? We can't have that kind of watch here."

I'm like, whatever, let's go home. If she expected me to scold him, she walked away sorely disappointed. He bought it at the school, what else is a kid going to do with it but play with it until he gets it home. It's Kid Logic 101.

We leave the building and are walking toward the car when Mini starts to laugh. He tells me, "I totally busted BULLY kid with my watch. I recorded him harrassing me. It was beautiful."

Hence, the real reason the school doesn't want recording devices - even the ones they sell in the library - on campus. Parents will find out what's really going on.

In that regard, they can kiss my fat fanny. Bully kid is the same little shit who threatened to shoot up our house with his father's hunting rifle earlier this year. On top of that, you can't tell me that there are no kids on campus with iPhones. And if that's not a recording device, I don't know what is.

In Closing 

That's all for now. Sorry for any typos in advance...Mini is telling me to hurry up. He bought a how-to-draw Pokemon book from the book fair, and we're about to test it out. Until next time, happy wishes! ☺

Saturday, April 18, 2015

A Wordy Weekend

Hurray for Friday! (Or Saturday, rather, since it's almost midnight) I'm thoroughly jazzed the weekend is here. Although I still can't ride in a car (the jarring around puts me in horrible pain), I'm able to get around the house fairly well. In the morning the guys are heading off to the Sunshine Festival, and it's a bummer I can't go. However, the guys have promised me that if the gator booth is open this year, they'll bring home some fried alligator on a stick - with dipping sauce, of course! ☺

For the past few days I've been enjoying all the Indie Recon posts. There are videos still posted for authors to check out when convenient. To find them, simply check the IndieRecon hashtag on twitter, or do a google search for Indie Recon 2015. There's a lot to take in. 

I read through part of the vamp manuscript today, and made a few notes on what's there and what isn't. After a while I switched over to working on the final revisions for Moonlight and Shadows. It's almost ready to be sent off to the formatter. I'll be thrilled to have it back in print, but I'm a little concerned about what to do with it when it's ready to go. I'm torn over how to price and distribute it. I'm playing around with the idea of offering it up for Kindle Select, and then enrolling it in the Kindle Unlimited program. As a reader, I love the Unlimited program; however, I've never tested it out from an author's side of the equation. I've heard horror stories - poor reader response, a pittance for royalties, some books taking a steep plunge in sales after doing well off the program, etc. Then again, Moonlight and Shadows is so short, I'm sure that I'll have a lot of reads and returns, anyway. That's the sucky part about writing and selling short stories, especially since Amazon makes it so easy to return ebooks. Either way, I'm going to try not to worry about it too much. I'll cross the distribution bridge when I get to it.  

Over the weekend, I hope to get some more revision done, and then check a book or two off my TBR stack. I bought a handful of a next books this afternoon to keep me entertained while the guys are doing their thing. Anyway, that's all for now... I need to hit the hay. So until next time, happy wishes. ☺

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Breathing Easier

Whew! Deep breath! I haven't been to my blog in a while. I'm feeling better. (Again. Yes, I know. I had a relapse.) It's been a rough three months, but I'm having a good day today so I'm going to enjoy it. I'm not in pain right now, so that's a blessing all its own. *does the slippery socks dance*

Oldest is home from Bahrain, and home to stay. Well, at least until he figures out what he wants to do, where he wants to go, etc. etc. For now, we're enjoying a full household again: hubby, both boys, and me. Plus all the fur family members. I haven't been able to lounge around the living room with everyone yet, but I've been hobbling through there every so often, so I can see everyone and socialize.

Some of the worst of the worst stuff lingering from last year has finally wrapped up, our taxes are done, and I'm actually able to move around without screaming in agony. The overall picture: I'm finally breathing a sigh of relief. What's that popular saying? If you're going through the fire, don't stop, run so you can get through it as fast as you can. Something like that, anyway. That's my life right now. I'm running as fast as I can, trying to get somewhere better. I'm long overdue!

Last week, or maybe it was the week before, I managed to finish my new book. This is amazing, since I haven't been able to sit at a computer for several months now. Just in the past few weeks I've moved the laptop into the bedroom so I can tinker around with some words. I wrote a lot of the book on my phone, my ipod, and my kindle, and then emailed the pieces to myself. What a chore! But, I managed to piece it together. The book hovered around at the 30-40k mark for the longest time, but I finally broke through that barrier. It still needs work, but the draft is done and I have that big writerly heap of word clay to work with. I've been picking through it, trying to judge what's in there, what needs to be cut, what needs to be added in, etc.

While working on the novel, I also began cleaning up Crossing Borders to release on Smashwords. I've decided to add a considerable amount of story to it, and I've written several new scenes already. I like direction it's going, and I think it will resolve some old questions still left standing. Stuff I didn't realize I hadn't answered as a newbie writer. I'm also going to bring Seth more to the forefront, since I get a lot of questions about him. He's not the evil guy he's made out to be...just overprotective. I want to reinforce that in the book.

Anyway, I was thinking in broad terms about the series, and I believe it will be the best for the series overall if expand most of the books, repackage them as singles, and then as an omnibus. Then I ned to let them go. *dust in the wind*

When I'm a top form and can get back to my writing desk, I'm going to have plenty of revising and editing work to do on multiple books, but I'm really looking forward to it.

Another thing I'm looking forward to is PIZZA. Oh my god, I haven't been able to eat pizza since...January?  Maybe longer? Once I'm back to rights, that is the first thing I'm going to do - order a pizza. Canadian bacon with black olives, please! I can hardly wait! ☺

That's all for now. Until next time, happy wishes! ♥♥♥