Two shorts on Kindle

So, Kindle Direct Publishing finished approving/converting my two short stories sometime this morning. Very exciting (for me, anyway!) 😀 The lowest price I could set them to was 99 cents, but the program does let me offer five days where the price is FREE! Since you don’t have to use the days all at once, I’m just doing it one day at a time. The first FREE! day is tomorrow (3/29/2012); they should be free by Midnight (Pacific Time). Squeee!!!

The book covers aren’t exactly the greatest, but they’re better than the “no image” you see on a lot of kindle books. The “Ben Phelan” book was drawn with my tablet PC, which isn’t exactly designed for art. Long story short: my elbow has had a calcium deposit for a few years and it’s now reached a point where it prevents me from doing much that involves gripping for any length of time. I’ll be having surgery next week (wish me luck please, please please please!) and another 4-6 weeks after that, SUPPOSEDLY, my arm will be useful once again! MAJOR finger crossing, for sure. Please. 😀

The cover for “A Joyful Journey” is actually one of the first drawings I ever did with my first tablet, an Aiptek (serial, not usb — wow!! that was a while ago!). It was drawn in the free program it came with called Art Dabbler, which later was bought by Corel and merged/turned into what we all now know as Corel Painter. The painting was called Mountains. While the story doesn’t really have anything to do with mountains, it was a nice image that makes a decent cover and I’ll probably colorize it and use it for other short stories in the future. The “Ben Phelan” one will definitely need to be redone once my project for my brother-in-law Richard Flores is finished. Well really, it’s for my nephew, but he’s the publisher 😉

I hope you enjoy the stories. Even if you don’t, at least you’ll have a better idea of what you don’t like. The “Ben Phelan” one is a severe stray from my usual stories (none of which are completed, so only a few people have ever read them) and isn’t really meaningful in any way. I’m not entirely sure it’s a path I want to take since it doesn’t have unicorns or rainbows. Perhaps Jsean13 would be interested in picking up the story. He tends to add a bit more blood to his stories though, so who knows where he’d take the series!

Have an awesome week and HAPPY WEDNESDAY! Half-way to the weekend!!

September’s Short Story

I’ve learned a lot from the first short story I wrote, including some stuff from the feedback I’ve gotten from everyone. Here’s what I’ve learned:

  • Other writers have their own style. Take style advice sparingly.
  • If a kid is narrating, make them sound like a kid.
  • Don’t read your own story for at least two days so you have a chance to forget what you wrote
  • Double-check for similar-sounding names from other books/authors
  • Even a short story has a beginning, middle and ending.
  • Avoid repetitiveness, particularly in a short story where it’s far more obvious.
  • Your spouse can be your worst critic and your biggest fan simultaneously. Remember: They know you better than most people, so they know when you’re putting your all into something and when you’re just being lazy.

One thing I’ve decided I enjoy immensely is bouncing ideas around with someone like my husband. He’s one of those people who nit-picks everything, uses yes-or-no answers, and doesn’t confine his feelings to gray areas. If he likes it he’ll say so, and if he doesn’t he’ll call it crap. While his taste in books and movies may leave the majority of people scratching their heads (I know it often leaves me confused!), it helps to have someone give advice and insight instead of sugar-coating everything.

The next short story I’m working on is almost done churning in my mind. It’s a combination of Fantasy and Society, almost an intellectual piece. My favorite stories are ones that make a person think beyond themselves. It’s the Libra in me that wants to show the world “LOOK! There are at least five thousands sides to every story! Stop thinking you’re the only person with eyes!”

The other year-long story I’m working on is actually loosely based on my best friend/sister-type Sara. I’ve even gone so far as to name the main character Sara 😀 It’s coming along a lot more happily than the past books I’ve tried to write, mainly because it’s actually really interesting and there’s always something going on. The main character does seem to have an internal battle with depression and connecting to people, but the hope is she’ll blossom and take on the world with the internal strength she will discover. She’s got unique abilities that make the story a Fantasy-style book, and it’s written in a vaguely Young Adult manner.

A lot of the inspiration for my stories comes from dreams. The dream I had last night brought out a lot of ideas, most of which must be written down ASAP before more dreams take up all those creative nooks and crannies.