Wednesday, July 30, 2014

What's Up Wednesday

This week...

My current WIP (work in progress):  It has moved forward in drips. Concentrating and trying to get into the mindset of my characters has proven difficult. I did realize I have a major flaw that runs throughout a large portion of the book. Rather than stop writing and go back and fix it, (mainly because I want to finish this book already. It's taken me far to long to write the first draft as it is) I'm going to try to edit the pages already written while still pushing ahead with writing new material. Whether or not I'm successful in this will be another thing.

News from the publishing world: Harper Collins is starting to sell books directly from their website. Here's a link for a bit more information. http://www.digitalbookworld.com/2014/harpercollins-pivots-to-sell-print-and-ebooks-directly-to-readers-through-main-website/

Quote of the week:  “Life is short, live it. Love is rare, grab it. Anger is bad, dump it. Fear is awful, face it. Memories are sweet, cherish it.” ~ Unknown.  I think this says it all.

Health news: Sorry no health news this week. I just haven't been able to get to any of the journals I normally peruse.

Random things:  A few people have told me I've been having a string of bad luck lately. It all started on July 10th when I had a flat tire. Thankfully, the tire waited to deflate until I'd been home and parked in the driveway for a couple of hours. A few days after that, my mom slipped down the last few stairs in our house and injured her wrist. A day or so after that, my loved one became ill and as you all know passed away 2 days later. I don't know if I'd put everything I've been going through down as bad luck, but I'd sure like things to start looking up.

Random photo of the week: 

This was on Facebook a few days ago on a friend's page. Given everything that's been happening in my life lately, I thought it was entirely appropriate.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Writing...Or Trying To.

The sudden death of my family member has thrown me for a loop. It was so unexpected and she was very young. I'm finding it hard to concentrate or focus on anything. One day last week I found myself staring into the cupboard looking for laundry detergent which is always kept in the basement on a shelf next to the washer and dryer. I don't know why I thought I'd find it in a kitchen cupboard. Even though being at work during the day helps keep my mind busy, I feel as though I'm walking around in a fog with the slightest things setting me off on yet another bout of tears. 

In the past, I've read items by other writers who took solace in their writing during a family member's long illness or after the death of a loved one. I remember one particular moving post about how the writer sat at her father's bedside while he was in hospice care. She dealt with the sadness of what her father was going through by escaping into the fictional world of her characters. 

I wish I could be that type of writer. This is by no means a condemnation of writers who write while grieving for their loved one, but I found it almost impossible to get into the mindsets of my characters. Writing even this post was difficult. Actually writing anything, even the grocery list, has been hard, if not next to impossible this past week. It was a struggle to put down the 100 words per day required to keep my 100 day challenge going. I have to admit I did not write at all the day my family member died or the day after, but am trying to continue with the challenge. I keep telling myself every day will get easier both in writing and life in general, but right now it's hard to imagine.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Apologies

Due to a sudden death in the family, there will be no posts this week.

Friday, July 18, 2014

This I know for sure...

Sorry no post today due to a sudden illness in the family.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

What's Up Wednesday

This week...

My current WIP (work in progress): Wrote 25 new pages last week which is an accomplishment because I had two appointments after getting out of work so I lost writing time, but I did manage to write at least a page both of those days. I'm almost 30 days into my 100 day challenge.

News from the publishing world: While this article doesn't necessarily fall into this category, I thought I'd include it here as it's more or less a bird's eye view of what some "slush pile" manuscripts look like. What I Learned About Submissions As A Reader For An Agent

Quote of the week: “One of the most important keys to success is having the discipline to do what you know you should do, even when you don't feel like doing it.” ~ Unknown. This quote was very apt last week. When I arrived home after those two after work appointments, the last thing I felt like doing was sit in front of the computer to write when I knew I had such a short amount of time in which to do it before it was time to make dinner and then family time after the clean up.

Health news: According to a research study from the Rush University Medical Center, people who meditated as little as eight minutes a day were better able to control stress, emotional eating and the triggers associated with them.

Random things: It's always been some what of a joke in my family that I have a brown thumb when it comes to growing plants. I now have something or someone other than myself to blame for my plants that don't seem to flourish -- Squirrels. I left a planter of daisies outside on the back porch overnight and the next morning found the daisies dug up with little paw prints in the dirt that had been thrown out of the pot.


Random photo of the week: 

This was posted on Facebook and I found it very true. It's something I need to continually remind myself to do.
 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Reviews

Last week on one of the writing loops I belong to there was a lengthy discussion about reviews. While we writers bask in the glow of a wonderful review, the bad reviews take the wind from our sails, leaving us riddled with self-doubt.

As a writer, I can't stress how important reviews are and, in some cases, how they can impact a writer's career both in a positive and negative way. If a novel receives a majority of glowing reviews, buzz builds about the book increasing sales. The impact may be the author is contracted to write more books for that publisher, or if they are self-published, the buzz may end up having publishers and agents reaching out to that author to offer them a contract or in the case of an agent, representation. Amanda Hocking is an excellent example of this. Of course, I'm not saying every writer that receives excellent reviews is going to have the same experience as Amanda.

If a novel receives mostly negative reviews, odds are sales will be low and the publisher may decide not to publish any other novels by the author. Once a book receives a large number of negative reviews, it's very hard to overcome the stigma associated with the bad reviews. People may decide not to buy the next book based on reviews of previous books. Unfortunately if the novel is self-published, then rumors may start that the author self-published because their stuff is so bad, they couldn't get published any other way. Many times when an author chooses to self-publish that is not the case. They choose self-publishing to have control over the cover art, cover copy, and the like. They also can schedule the release date whereas in traditional publishing most novels aren't released until 12 months or more (usually 18 months) after the contract has been signed. I won't even mention the royalty issues.

Like most things in life, reviews can be good and bad. If you've read a book, please leave a review. You may be helping an author you enjoy reading reach new heights in her/his career.