Monday, June 29, 2020

Social Media

I signed up to take a course on how to best use social media as an author without constantly posting "buy my book" on various social media platforms over and over which is sure to annoy any followers one may have. I'm already on Facebook and Twitter, though I don't do too much on Twitter.

The course consists of 12 lessons and lasts about 2 weeks. It will cover Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. I use Pinterest, but not for anything writing related so it will be interesting to see the lesson(s) on that. There also a few lessons on basic graphic design and web design for very beginners.

I'm looking forward to the classes and hope that I'll learn a few things I can use.

Friday, June 26, 2020

This I know for sure...

I had decided that I wasn't going to do any container gardening this summer. I didn't want to have to fight off the squirrels. They like to dig up my flowers and either dig holes in my vegetable planters or they take a bite out of whatever vegetable happens to be growing and then leave it there still hanging on the vine.

My nephew stopped by on Wednesday and brought me a planter with three extra plants he didn't have room for in his vegetable garden. So I am now the owner of one summer squash plant, one acorn squash plant, and one cucumber plant.

I'm not sure how successful I'll be in getting anything to grow that the squirrels won't take a bite out of but I'm going to give it a try again this year, I guess.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

What's Up Wednesday

This week...

My Current WIP (Work in Progress): I did about 20 more pages last week. I'm looking at it as "slow and steady wins the race."

Quote of the Week: "Don't sit down and wait for opportunities to come. Get up and make them!" ~ Madam C.J. Walker

What I'm Reading: I will be starting "The Book Charmer" by Karen Hawkins tonight. It's the first book in the Dove Pond series. 

Random Thoughts:  I have been crocheting since I was a young teen, but this pattern I'm working on now is making me feel like a beginner. I've had to frog it back 5 times now, but I'm refusing to give up on it.

Random Photo of the Week:

                             When your cat doesn't want you to take his picture.

Monday, June 22, 2020

Writing Back Cover Copy

I have a hard time writing the description of the book that would show on the back cover (known as the blurb). I think writing the blurb is harder than writing the the book. You're taking a 350 page novel (about 87,500 words) and summarizing it down to two, maybe three paragraphs consisting of no more than 200 words and trying to include enough information to make a reader want to buy the book. (The 200 word limit is the rule of thumb, or so I'm told.)

The funny thing about my struggle with writing a blurb is that I have no problem writing a description of my book(s) in a single sentence (sometimes know as an elevator pitch). You would think that would be harder than writing a description consisting of a few paragraphs.

I took a free webinar last Thursday given by Bryan Cohen on writing book descriptions that was very informative. He discussed setting up a process and then gave an example going through each step in the process. While I don't think I'll be able to whip off a blurb in no time flat, I do feel like I have the tools to make writing one a bit easier.

Friday, June 19, 2020

This I know for sure...

I never learned to sew, not for lack of trying by my mother. My mom taught all of my sisters and myself how to sew. For some reason, I could never get anything I tried to make to come out right.

I can't even blame my lack of sewing skills on my mom's teaching since one of my older sisters made her own wedding gown with help from my mom. My youngest sister made cute dresses and other clothing for her girls when they were little. She also continues to make beautiful quilts, table runners, tree skirts, and such. 

I tried to blame my poor sewing on my mom's sewing machine. Every time I would try to use it, I always either broke the needle or had bobbin issues that resulted in giant knot messes of thread and material.

Her sewing machine died just after the pandemic started. It's probably a good 40 years old so I guess it was about due to stop working. I was able to purchase my mom a new machine before they became hard to find in stock. She doesn't like it as much as her old one. It's too different. I told her she doesn't like it because it's so much more modern and will just take some time to get used to.

We decided to get used to it together. My mom is giving me sewing lessons again. Hopefully, I'll actually acquire the skill the second time around.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

What's Up Wednesday

This week...

My Current WIP (Work in Progress): I only did about 20 more pages last week. I had an unscheduled appointment for my hand injury and my mom had an appointment later in the week. 

Quote of the Week: "Keep going. Everything you need will come to you at the perfect time." ~ Unknown. 

What I'm Reading: I started reading "The Girl Who Knew Too Much" by Amanda Quick on Monday night. It takes place in 1930's LA/Hollywood. I'm not too far into it right now, but it's been interesting so far.

Random Thoughts: I'm making my first amigurumi item. Even though I've been crocheting since my early teen years, I feel like I have no idea what I'm doing. I had to frog my project back 5 times before I got the pattern working right. I'm hoping I've got the hang of it now so I won't have to keep undoing parts and redoing them.

Random Photo of the Week:

                             Somebody likes to check out my card making supplies.

Monday, June 15, 2020

Cliff Hangers

How do you feel about books that end in the middle of the story that require you to buy the next book and the next book after that to be able to read the complete story?

I don't mind them, but I feel there should be some type of warning or statement on at least the first book (if not on all of them) so the reader/buyer is aware that the book he/she is purchasing is not the complete novel but is part of a serialized or installment novel.

This happened to me recently. I bought a book by an author I read regularly. There was no indication that this book was the first installment of the story and would be continued in two additional books. As far as I am aware this is the author's first serialized/installment novel so I didn't expect it or know to be aware that some of the author's books are written this way.

I couldn't help feeling like I was duped because I paid the same price for this book that I pay for regular books that contain the complete story. So in order to read the whole story, I will have to pay three times the normal price of one book. I don't think it would have bothered me as much if I had known going in that I was only buying an installment and not a complete book. Though to be honest, I probably wouldn't have purchased it and would have tried to borrow it from the library instead due to the cost of buying all three installments at $7.99 each.

Friday, June 12, 2020

This I know for sure...

I've had some enlightening conversations regarding the race relations lately. These conversations were with friends who are both white and people of color. Some of the conversations were eye opening in both good and bad ways. I hope these conversations will continue both in my own circle of friends and in the world at large.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

What's Up Wednesday

This week...

My Current WIP (Work in Progress): I managed to get 30 pages done last week which isn't as much as I'd hoped, but a lot more than I'd been able to accomplish the previous two weeks.

Quote of the Week: "Push yourself, because no one else is going to do it for you." ~ Unknown  I'm repeating the quote from last week because I need the reminder.

What I'm Reading: I started reading "Dead Girl Running" by Christina Dodd last night. 
Random Thoughts: I'm getting pretty good at typing with only 3 fingers on my left hand. I feel like my speed is picking up though I still seem to make quite a few typing errors. According to my physician, it will be about another month before I can use my index finger. 

Random Photo of the Week:

                                       Mrs. Green posing for her close up.

Monday, June 8, 2020

Blazing A Trail

Well, I'm not really blazing a trail, but I sure feel like it. Previously I wasn't able to get a lot accomplished due to my hand injury.

Now that I don't have to keep my left hand above my heart 24/7 and my first two fingers are no longer taped together, it's a lot easier to type. My index finger is still bandaged and I have to wear a plastic guard over it to protect it. It's also supposed to help keep me from bumping what's left of the tip and causing further damage to the wound.

Now that I have three fingers to type with on my left hand, I'm able to type much faster than before. I still make quite a few typos, but less than when I was mostly hunting and pecking with my right hand. I've gotten more accomplished in the last few days than in the last two weeks since I injured myself.

Friday, June 5, 2020

This I know for sure...

While our local library isn't yet open to the public, they have started doing curbside pick up of items. You can either call or email them with a list of the items you would like to borrow and your library card number. They will put your items together and check them out on your card, then call you to let you know your items are ready for pick up. You schedule a time to come get them, then call the library when you arrive. A library staff person will place your items on a table inside the vestibule area. Once the person goes back inside the library, you can then go into the vestibule and pick up your items.

I've missed being able to go to the library so I'm thrilled that we are able to borrow materials again.  I've requested a few books and am eagerly waiting for the call stating I can schedule a time to go pick them up.

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

What's Up Wednesday

This week...

My Current WIP (Work in Progress): No writing work done last week due to my hand injury. I went to the doctor's on Monday to have the wound examined. My fingers no longer need to be taped together for stabilization and my hand no longer has to be kept above my heart 24/7. The wound is still heavily bandaged, but I should be able to type with at least the last two fingers on my left hand. I'm hoping to get some writing related stuff done this week. I'm not sure how much I'll get accomplished, but getting even a few pages done will be better than nothing.

Quote of the Week: "Push yourself, because no one else is going to do it for you." ~ Unknown

What I'm Reading: I'm still reading "Mine Until Moonrise" by Jennifer Bernard. I'm enjoying it, but haven't had a lot of time to read.

Random Thoughts: I received my new phone. It's all set up and everything was able to be transferred from my pld phone without any issues. I like being having a phone that actually works properly and doesn't overheat. I guess I shouldn't have complained about getting a new one. 

Random Photo of the Week:

                     Somebody and Mrs. Green sharing a spot in the windowsill.

Monday, June 1, 2020

Time, It Sails on By

I can't believe we are over 5 months into the year already. Time has flown by. For some of us, time may be dragging interminably due to the pandemic. Thankfully, I haven't really been affected so very little of my day to day routine has changed. April did seem to last much longer than 30 days though.

I feel like I'm ahead of schedule in terms of some of my personal goals, but I'm definitely behind a bit in my writing goals. I wanted to release Honor Bound, the first book in my series in April, but decided to wait until I have the second book back from beta readers and any changes/corrections/suggestions taken care of so I can release them both within a month or so from each other. I was a bit late getting it out to the beta readers so I'm not expecting any feedback from them for another couple of weeks.

I'm plotting out the major story arc for the third book in the series. I'm not a big plotter, but I like to have a paragraph consisting of a couple of sentences for each chapter to help keep me on track.

I'm working a little more slowly than usual due to my hand injury. My middle finger is taped to my index finger to help give it some stability so I only have two fingers to type with on my left hand. I'm not sure how much longer the doctor will want them taped together, but it will be some time before I'll be able to use my index finger to type with again. Since a good portion of the tip and nail are gone, the doctor said it's going to be painful to put even the slightest pressure on it for a few months or more.