Wednesday, June 26, 2024

Falling Off the Rails


Up until last fall, I would faithfully tap out several pages of a new story every day. I set goals on Nanowrimo, even when it wasn't a Camp Nano or the big Nano in November. I usually made those goals, too. About 30,000 or more words a month. I guess that's why I have five Moon Crusher novels, several stand alone novels and a few other similar projects. 

Cover reveal for Moon Crusher 3 

Then came the time I had to spend more time getting those drafts edited, critiqued, and for some, formatted. I self published Voyage of the Sea Dragon, and I am still proud of that venture. However, I jumped off the tracks big time. Almost all of the last six months has been revolving around editing. Of course, if I want to publish all of the stories I have written in the past couple of decades, I need to do that, but I also have found out just how hard it is to get back into writing. I don't have all the ideas I once had. 

 Very frustrating! (Pixabay)

There has to be a happy medium somewhere. I did have an idea for a sixth Moon Crusher. Now I need to sit down and begin writing. Let Diego Perez explore the universe again with his friends. Maybe find another human...

 AI generated, Pixabay 

I also can't stop editing, either. As I sit here I counted at least 7 novels I have drafted. A couple of them need so much revision, I don't know if they will ever make it to the light of day. But I need to try. 

Time management.... 

Tell me what you do when you get stuck. It doesn't have to be writing, it can be any project. What works for you when you just can't finish (or start) another project? Let me know!

Monday, April 15, 2024

 Exciting News: Pre-order Available for "Planet of Outcasts, Moon Crusher 2"!

I am thrilled to announce that my new book, "Planet of Outcasts, Moon Crusher 2," is set to be released on May 6th! Even better news: the eBook version is available for pre-order right now!

For those of you who followed the journey of Diego Perez in the first award-winning installment, Moon Crusher, you'll be eager to dive back into his world. Let me give you a glimpse of what's in store.

Diego's adventures continue as he deals with the challenges of his new life. In "Planet of Outcasts, Moon Crusher 2," we find Diego, now 15 years old, grappling with the aftermath of being kidnapped by reptilian aliens known as Seressin. Despite earning his freedom and even rising in rank under the alien commander, Ziron, Diego's journey is far from over.

This time, Diego's vacation to his friend's planet, Grrlock, takes a sinister turn when he and his companions are abducted by toad-like Resh warriors. Forced into an assassination team, Diego faces an impossible dilemma: he must thwart the Resh's plans to kill Commander Ziron, as well as the high commander of the entire Seressin Empire. However, Diego is unable to convey crucial information to his leader. He finds himself in a race against time to prevent a catastrophic event.

"Planet of Outcasts, Moon Crusher 2" is packed with action, suspense, and unexpected twists. 

I cannot wait for you to join Diego on this next chapter of his adventure. Don't miss your chance to pre-order the eBook now and be among the first to embark on this thrilling ride! Planet of Outcasts will be available in paperback and hardback, and is available as an audiobook from Google Play. You can get an ebook copy right now from Booksprout, as well. 

Thank you for your continued support and enthusiasm. You are all awesome!

Friday, March 8, 2024

   While still basking in the accomplishment of self-publishing Voyage of the Sea Dragon, I am preparing a new book for middle school readers. Kai and the Nasty Neighbor is about a Siamese cat who feels the wrongness of a human trapping and poisoning animals.  Kai takes the lead in rallying neighborhood animals to thwart the nasty neighbor's harmful traps and set an imprisoned cat free. It's a tale of bravery, friendship, and the power of standing up for what's right. 

I hope to get the book ready for publication around the middle of this year. Of course, I wanted Sea Dragon ready for publication last fall, but it didn't quite make it. This book has the added complication of added illustrations. I have begun about a half dozen. Kai, of course, several of her friends and allies, as well as the poor kitty in the trap. They are in their beginning stages, but hopefully I'll have a few ready in my next blog installment. 

 The rat is an AI generated facsimile that I will use to make a drawing. 

To kick off this exciting journey, I've come up with a special campaign name that captures the essence of Kai's mission and invites you to be a part of her first adventure:

🐾 Introducing "Paws for Justice" 🐾

I hope you join me to spread awareness about Kai's quest and the importance of protecting our animal friends. Each one of us can make a positive impact in our community and stand against any form of harm to our beloved pets.

The last few paragraphs were included in my email newsletter, along with the first draft of my cover. I am hoping that Kai and the Nasty Neighbor is only the beginning of Kai's adventures. Also, Kai and the Nasty Neighbor is loosely based on actual events. Not that I had a cat that did these things, but that I knew a neighbor who did nasty things. 

Let me know what you think of the cover. If you have any ideas for it, pass them along! 

And by the way, If you haven't grabbed your copy of Voyage of the Sea Dragon; Into the Dream World, it's still in Kindle Unlimited. Eventually I am going to take it out of the KU so I can make it available on Smashwords and other ebook platforms. I hope to make it available in hardback as well. 

Happy Spring!! 

Tuesday, December 12, 2023

The Twelve Days (so to speak) of Self Publishing

On the first day of self-publishing I planned a date for publication.  (Presumably with plenty of time...)

On the second day of self-publishing, I formatted my manuscript (which had gone through at least a dozen edits from one person to another. 

On the third day of self-publishing, I collaborated with a designer to beef up my cover. 

On the fourth day of self-publishing, I changed my word.doc to an ePub. On Calibre...

Five rejections and counting!! 

On the sixth day of self-publication, I submitted my manuscript to Kindle Direct Publishing. (Refer to five.) 

On the seventh day of self-publication, I delayed my Kindle release.                   
e-book cover

On the eighth day of self-publication, my book cover came back to me from Ingram (too narrow!!)

On the eighth day of self-publication, the revised cover was resubmitted to IngramSpark. 

On the ninth day of self-publication, my eBook came out on Kindle. (on the original date--horrors!) 

On the tenth day of self-publication, I downloaded the Kindle Create app and then loaded my word.doc on the app.

On the tenth day of self-publication, I went through the e-proof from Ingram and realized the font was wrong.

On the eleventh day of self-publication, I realized Palatino Linotype would increase the page numbers and mess with the cover. 

On the twelfth day of self-publication, I redid the cover to fit the pages. 
 The redone print cover. 

[Obviously in self-publications there are more than twelve days. I am currently waiting for the next e-proof manuscript from Ingram Spark, so I can approve it and then order a copy of the book. 
In KDP, I am waiting for the updated e-book manuscript to replace the icky one.]

Definitely, if this had been the launch of a real submarine, it would have slid off the ramp and sunk to the ocean floor.  

Fingers crossed. 

Thursday, September 21, 2023

Happy Moon Crusher Day!

Moon Crusher Day! I am declaring Moon Crusher Day! Since I am declaring it, it’s not any particular day, (although today is as good a time as any). It’s a celebration of my book Moon Crusher. Why am I in such a great mood?
First of all, a little background. Moon Crusher is my award winning book about a fourteen-year-old boy from 1829 Mexican California who is abducted by aliens and made a slave on a huge starship. He must learn the language, the customs, how to serve his reptilian masters, and how to fight with weapons of unimaginable power. He must show his loyalty, his bravery, and his ability to adapt, all the while trying to earn his freedom. Moon Crusher won a bronze Royal Palm Literary Award from Florida Writers, a first place in juvenile literature from Oklahoma Writers Federation, and recently received a five star award from Literary Titan. So why the special day of celebration? Moon Crusher has gone international! Thanks to Francisco Silva, Moon Crusher is in Portuguese, Lua Eterna; Os Herdeiros do Universo! (Eternal Moon; Heirs of the Universe.) It’s a beautiful volume and I am so elated that it was considered good enough to have life in Portugal and Brazil.
I am also celebrating a new look for the original Moon Crusher! My publisher, Karen Fuller, has created an amazing new cover. It’s stunning! (Not that the first one wasn’t great, this one is greater!)
And to seal the deal? Moon Crusher 2 will be coming out in the near future. I don’t know how near or far yet, but it’s coming! So celebrate Moon Crusher either in English or Portuguese and keep checking my site for updates on the sequel to Moon Crusher!

Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Thar She Blows! The adventures of a landlubber trying to launch a submarine.

I have planned for the publication of Voyage of the Sea Dragon for months, even years. This publication is going to be different. I have learned enough over the years that I was going to whiz though the Nanowrimo and then the critique group and then some light editing. Lest I get cocky, let me back up and hitch to the reality. Yes I did quickly write the rough draft during Nano months, adapting a little of the fan fiction I had written over the years and blending it with new materials, fresh characters, and different settings. The whole thing ended up being about 120,000 words, give or take. It would be a two book 'series.' And, yes, I still fully planned on self-publishing it. Hopefully, the right way this time. (The other way was when I had possession of the manuscript to My House of Dreams and only knew enough to take what I had and put it into an Amazon template. I wasn't able to fix the size of the font. I also had to have someone take the old ISBN number off the original cover so Amazon could slap theirs on it. Then it languished on Kindle Unlimited for over a decade. It had needed a make over. ) No, this new book was going to be done right. I figured out a little formatting, but knew I'd need help. (Thanks to all of you offering help.) I messed around with a cover and was told I had a winner. Wow! I think it will still need some tweeking to make sure it will be as nice on the finished product as it was in my computer file. More suggestions as I went along. One of my book critiquing partners was so masterful about seeing where detail needed to be added or clarifying characteristics of the character and the setting. So I had inserted chapters, lots of inserted chapters. There were so many that I ended up renumbering the chapters. I certainly hope I don't have two chapter thirty-fours!
So when I finished all of that, I thought it was a simple matter to take the individual chapters of the novel and put them together into a 6 X 9 format. It was fairly easy, but that was also when I noticed that the manuscript needed more work. The editor was heading out of town, so I sent it out anyway. The editor later contacted me and pointed out the obvious. She was nice about it, though.
So, while I know Sea Dragon is going to be published, I need to remember some rules. 1. Be patient. While it's good to come up with a publication date and shoot for it, there are times when you need to admit you need more time. 2. Be patient, things happen for a purpose. Perhaps this time it was to understand that I am still learning and will continue to learn. 3. There is no such thing as a perfect manuscript and mine is very far from perfect. 4. Listen to your editor. 5. Be patient.
So with that said, I'll be patient.

Wednesday, July 12, 2023

Summer Adventures

June was a very busy month for me. Maybe I'm making excuses for not posting last month, maybe I just want to pass along some of the enjoyment my family and I had. 

My husband, Dan, and I went to the Oklahoma Salt Plains to dig for crystals in June with our daughter and her family. It was a bit cool, but that worked out fine. It was a bit wet and Dan found one of the deep dig holes. He had to go through a bucket of sand in the car to find his crystals because the wind was a bit cold with wet clothes! We were all dirty, but that was all right, too. We have lots of little crystals to show for our effort. 

Salt Plains- Selenite crystals

Later in the month, our son and his family drove down to visit with us. Five days just weren't enough, but we packed all we could get into those five days. Most of the time the kids wanted to swim, so we did Pelican Bay and the rest of the time they swam at the hotel pool. 

Pelican Bay (Edmond)

They wanted to see a movie together so we did that. (Spiderman Multiverse) I'm still trying to understand that one. We also went to Eichen's and Kingfisher, but that was the farthest we went out of OKC. We enjoyed both. How can you go wrong with fried chicken and fried okra, then putting the grandkids into an old-fashioned jail? 

Eischen's (Okarche)
In Jail (Kingfisher)

There was Pop's, an arcade, and fun and games at our daughter's house. As I said, the five days went by too fast. 

Enjoying a soda at Pop's

Fun at the arcade

I haven't had another book published. I have to get on the stick if my new novel, Voyage of the Sea Dragon; Into the Dream World, is to be published this fall.   

Anyway, that's my excuse for having fun this summer and I'm sticking to it!