I Have A New Book – Personality Runes!

Personality Runes Cover

I have so many other books to finish, but this one kept calling to me. The ideas behind Personality Runes were ones I’ve used myself over the past several years. I never thought to share it beyond some hastily-scribbled random words, posted on a digital flashcard site.

As I delved deeper into each Rune to flesh out my thoughts more, I felt more in tune with the Runes on a whole. Strangely enough, the Runes I’d so carefully crafted (and wrote about in this book) were lost when we moved last year. I remember carefully packing them so I could get to them as soon as we unpacked, but I still haven’t been able to locate them. Along with the Runes were a beautiful set of Goddess Tarot cards, and a growing collection of semi-precious stones. I’m sure they’ll be found at some point in the future. Who knows, perhaps they’re meant to be handed down to one of my kiddos!

In any case, I relied heavily on my artistic/creative side to connect with each shape and symbol in the Runes. It’s something I enjoy quite thoroughly on many levels. I love to find out about all the different sorts of people there are in the world. To get into their minds, figure out what drives them, and possibly turn them into a character for one of my stories. Isn’t it interesting how everything always comes back to stories?

This book is available on Amazon as a regular book (gasp – not just an eBook?). It’s available through several different places as an eBook, too!

If you’d like to get your hands on a copy, check out these resources:

Print copy
Barnes and Noble

Ebook copy
Google Play Books
Nook (Smashwords Edition)
iBooks (Smashwords Edition)
Kobo Books (Smashwords Edition)
Scribd (Read it for free with a Scribd subscription!)

Smashwords distributes to many other channels, too, so check your favorite eBook stores in the coming days!


My posts have lately been centered around a more self-help perspective than the usual writer-talking-about-writing-stuff. By “Self-Help” I hope you all understand the posts are from my perspective and aren’t intended to fit the world. Just as an author writes in the genre they are good at, a person lives the life they’re good at. Well I suppose you could write in any genre regardless of how much you enjoy it, but I prefer to stick to what I like!

Meryl’s been getting WEIRDER AND WEIRDER. The book, not the character. The character is definitely turning into a strange person as well, but things keep happening that I just hadn’t planned for! I’ve read several different “writing process” type suggestions that range from “get the outline” to “write on the fly.” It’s the same with drawing or art of any sort. Some people work very well within a structure, and some give up on their structured pieces if they try.

I’ve got PLANS to do the nanowrimo this year (I will do it I swear!!! I will!) and have been struggling with what to write. It has to be something you start fresh, and you have all of November to write 50,000 words. You can’t start it in October and finish in November. For me, if I don’t finish Meryl by then (and I’m 1/3 of the way through my new goal), it WILL be the first novel I finish. I’ve finally settled on a sort-of strange idea for a book that’s based on a recurring dream of mine. Generally with my recurring dreams, I feel they’re some sort of flashback to a previous life. While in some circles it could be considered “Non Fiction” to write about a previous life, I’m pretty sure that’d be stretching it a bit for most of the world. Since I intend on taking some poetic license with the story anyway, I’ve already started preparing it mentally as a more fiction-type story. Reading about a previous life could get really boring if it’s presented like an auto-biography. What would a previous life book be called anyway? Pre-biography?

The story is actually really really depressing and sad and has no true happy ending. The optimist in me is sorting out the ending to figure out how to make it happier, or at least have some take-away from all the sadness. In the dream version there are a few things that are different, but ultimately the gist of the story will be relayed. I hope it helps people in similar situations understand people like the characters in the book. Other than that, it’s really not going to be one of those OMG YAY yippy skippy things. It wouldn’t be classified as Romance or Mystery or Sci-Fi. What genre is Sad Lit anyway?

On a rather unrelated note, I’ve switched back to using Disqus instead of the Jetpack comment system. Apparently I’d need to completely reinstall WordPress on my domain to get it working again, possibly maybe, so I opted to just go back to what I know works.

My Brother-In-Law’s new book, Dissolution of Peace, will be out on October 16th 2012. I’ve had a chance to read the book (before it was done being edited) and can say with confidence the story is really awesome! It’s available on Kindle and Paperback through Amazon so be sure to pick up a copy. He’s put a lot of work into making a truly great book. You can pre-order your copy now by clicking the link up there. The link also has a pretty snazzy video for the book. My daughter loves dancing to the music 😀

Smashwords and Birthdays

My two Kindle books are now also on Smashwords! The first two books I’ve uploaded are Free: “A Joyful Journey” and “The Fantastical Tales of Ben Phelan: Story One.” You can view my Smashwords page here. They’re micro stories, which is why I intentionally made them free. They are also slightly different from the Kindle versions (updated story, different “book extras” like “Upcoming Books,” etc), which will be corrected in time. The stories themselves are intrinsically the same but some suggestions from my readers were implemented.

The Smashwords “Meatgrinder,” one of the most beloved and hated aspects of Smashwords, was successfully satisfied with my .doc! Woot! Thank you work for that $10 copy of MS Office xD Oh, and MS for the HUP. In any case, I followed the “Style Guide” to the T and the Meatgrinder said “om nom nom you should make more properly formatted word documents for me to consume!” I’ll definitely do that, you gorgeous software machine, count on it! Since the Meatgrinder digested them so easily, they’re already approved for Premium services and will be dispatched to all the normal places as a free eBook within the next few weeks. Exciting!

Meryl’s story is progressing nicely and I hope to have her story finished by the end of September. That original hump appears to be part of a past era, with all of the characters (except the two main ones) ready and willing to share their love lives and personal failures. By October, I’ll need some people to market the book with and provide their input on how many times characters smile and sigh, or whatever mine do the most. Mine seem to talk a lot. Sounds like someone else I know Cough Jaiden Cough.

In other news (like life), my baby brother just turned 13! I know what you’re thinking!! You’re thinking “Wow, so young! How can you already have two children?” Well just FYI, our older sister has two children too. Our baby brother is almost two decades younger than us 😛 Perhaps something like that should make it into a novel…hmm! He’s already an uncle four times over with the youngest my almost-one-year-old daughter Deia. The oldest is that Jaiden kid who just started first grade (and whose teacher informed my husband “Jaiden talks a LOT, I mean a LOT.” Yep, that’s our kid! His baby sister Deia talks just as much, especially to her food. Perhaps in time we’ll find out what she’s telling those M&Ms and that bacon, but we like to surmise it’s things like “I’m going to EAT you and then DIGEST you and then fill up my diaper with you!!”

Happy Back To School, folks! Try not to school too hard. The last few months of the year are always relegated to enjoying life as much as possible before you have to spend the beginning of next year following your New Year’s resolutions! Cheesecake, anyone? Mmmmmm.

5 Mistakes A New Author Can Make: Indie vs Traditional Publishing

Indie Publishing vs Traditional Publishing

This blog is co-authored by Jean Hopkins and Richard Flores IV. About Richard.

Indie Publishing (eBook):

  1. Submitting your eBook before researching your options
  2. Not promoting your eBook sufficiently when you have a “Free” or “Discount” time-period.
  3. Adding your eBook to the wrong category
  4. Not being ePrepared for your eBook
  5. Expecting too much of your first eBook

1. One of the first mistakes I ever made when publishing my first two (finished) short stories on KDP was electing to use “KDP Select” without reading the fine print, or researching more on how to make eBooks “free” on Kindle. We’ve all seen the free/cheap Kindle books that are available, which led to my belief that there must be some option for Authors to set their books to $0.00 (or whatever your currency is) on the back-end. In fact, there is! The option is limited to 5 days every 90 days, however, which is significantly less time than I’ve seen many publications set at “free.” There are other options for setting a book free, which I’ll go over shortly. The main point here is not that KDP Select is horrible, which it isn’t at all, but that it may not be for everyone. KDP Select is incredibly useful for Authors who are establishing a name on the market. The relatively short contract length (although probably the standard in Traditional Publishing) is definitely a bonus, since 90 day spans can help get your name out there long enough that you can start submitting elsewhere. Kindle has the largest market share of eBooks (or so I’ve been told) with an enormous number of readers. This doesn’t mean no other eBook store is worth submitting to, but it does mean it’s your quickest entry into the market if you use don’t mess up like I did. Just so we’re clear here, submitting using KDP Select first is a good idea, but once you have established enough readers, you should also submit to other stores. Many Kindle readers have friends who prefer Sony, Nook, Kobo, etc. Those friends won’t be able to get your eBook unless they have an Android or iOS device, or some other Kindle-supported device. Some of them specifically stayed away from Kindle. You don’t want to alienate potential readers.

I want to note here that KDP Select is an option for your Kindle books. You can sell your eBooks through Kindle and not elect for KDP Select. It is a tool used to allow you to get more visibility on their site, however it does lock you in to a 90 day contract. You have three days from your initial “signature” to opt out of it, however if you use any of the 5 “free” days offered through the program, you will be locked in. You can use the 5 days individually or all at once. From my own research and the opinions of others, using 1-2 days at a time gets the most visibility, with a month between sales.

If you want to offer your eBook for free and do NOT want to use KDP Select, you CAN. You just need to submit your eBook elsewhere, which you can do if you aren’t tied to the 90 day contract on KDP Select, set your eBook free there, then use the “Report Lower Price” option on your eBook’s Amazon page. Amazon is good about switching it back to its “regular” price if you change it back from $0.00 on the other sites. If you want to offer free books on multiple platforms, this would be the way to do it. KDP Select only lets you offer free eBooks 5 days every 90 days, which doesn’t work if you want the book to be free all the time.

Here’s a list of other places to submit your eBooks:

  • Smashwords – Smashwords is the first place I would go after establishing clients on Kindle. It submits automatically for you to several places, and if you format your eBook using their (somewhat strict) guidelines, they’ll even provide an ISBN for you. This enables you to submit to eBook resellers that require an ISBN, like iTunes. Smashwords is completely free, but does take a % of your sales.
  • B&N Pubit! – Smashwords will also submit to B&N, but many authors prefer handling this account separately. Smashwords lets you pick-and-choose your vendors, so it’s definitely an option. Some authors prefer having one vendor handle all of their distribution. I’m lazy enough that I’d go the only-Smashwords way.
  • Indie Publishing – there are a lot of Independent Publishers out there. Many cater to specific genres (Erotica, Horror, Sci-Fi, etc) and some are very picky about who they publish. In this sense, they can be like Traditional Publishing.


2. There are many sites out there that provide their readers with lists of Free or Inexpensive eBooks. Letting them know in advance is a good idea, since they do have other Indie Authors alerting them of their sales. Since eBooks are Digital, many readers are active on the Internet. It is very important to go to your potential readers and “hang out.” I don’t mean running up to them all and saying “GO TO MY BLOG!”, I mean getting to know them and being a PERSON. Don’t be sneaky and two-faced about it either. If you don’t understand or like someone, they probably aren’t the sort of reader who would want to read your work.

Consider advertising your Blog/Website well in advance. Facebook, Google, and Kindle Nation Daily all offer advertising options that are budget-friendly. You can set your maximum spending limit for Facebook and Google, and KND allows you to pick a “Package.” Set up your ads in advance to go live a day before your eBook goes free/on sale, then set your budget for those days. KND suggests choosing the day of the promotion so that readers don’t get confused, since they publish your “ad” the day of the free promotion (if you choose the $29.99 package).

Websites to submit your Free Kindle eBook days to:

  • Pixel of Ink – submit at least two weeks in advance
  • Kindle Nation Daily – unless you pay for highlighting, they will only post if the eBook is one they feel stands out from the crowd
  • The Digital Inkspot – E-Mail the owner directly (there’s an E-Mail address on the page). They are very nice and SUPER awesome! <3

There may be more, but these ones seem to be at the top of the stack so to speak. Ty Johnston has a huge list of even more resources for Indie Authors, and has written 100 blogs for 100 sites.

3. Number three on my list wasn’t a HUGE issue for me, however it definitely will hinder sales if you tell people your eBook is about hearts and rainbows, but your cover has a bloody corpse on it. There is a list a mile long for categories on KDP, but they only allow you to choose two. For both of my first eBooks, I selected “Short Stories” first. If you are submitting a Short Story it is VERY important that you make sure your reader knows. I’d even go so far as to say you should put your Wordcount in the description so that readers know what they’re buying. If you’re concerned that putting a Wordcount in your description will discourage too many readers, remember the number of Kindle users out there. This does not mean the number of people with Kindles — I don’t own one, however I have the app on my Android, iTouch, two computers and a Blackberry. There is also a Cloud Reader that allows you to read on a browser. The number of people who read Short Stories is significant. In addition to providing Short Story readers an easy way to decide whether to get your eBook, it also keeps you from getting negative reviews from people who feel upset that they were not told the eBook’s length. Win/Win!

4. If you don’t have a website already and you plan on being an Author, Self Published or Traditional, you need to go get one right now. Namecheap.com is a very inexpensive place to get a domain (if you are so inclined), which you can host WordPress on. If you’d rather have someone else do the hosting for you, you can use authorblog.me (I’m http://jeanhopkins.authorblog.me actually. They use WordPress), WordPress.com, Blogger or Livejournal. If you do decide to use a hosted service (all of which are free, but have added features for $$, except for authorblog.me), you have the added benefit of the socialization aspect that is so necessary for getting your name out there. Livejournal has had years to acquire their users, while WordPress and Blogger are often the preferred hosts for many authors. They all have their own communities that help you have an Internet Presence. Authorblog.me is actually still too new to have a user base, but they do have a nifty URL! You can also sync up your authorblog.me account to WordPress.com (using the Jetpack addon) so you get the benefits of WordPress.com’s community, AND a nifty URL. Right now they’re invite-only, but the host is currently accepting invitation requests. Kindleboards is one of the LARGEST forums for Kindle readers. Many other eBook readers go there as well, however their first and foremost purpose is for Kindle eBooks. They have some strict policies that are very important to follow, however they have a large number of readers and everyone is very nice and welcoming. I’d suggest setting your eBooks up there well in advance (it’s pretty easy to do, they have many guides on how to do it and on how to get started as an Author using Kindleboards). Since you can only “bump” your eBook threads once every seven days unless someone comments on it, I’d suggest setting everything up at least 8 days in advance. That way, if you do make your eBook free, you can comment on your eBook thread. Submitting your own eBooks to the Book Bazaar’s “Free Book Finds” thread is a HUGE no-no (only self-promote in your book’s thread, once every seven days), however at least posting that your eBook is free on its thread will let others know. Just FYI — you can make a thread in “The Book Bazaar” for each of your eBooks. This lets others discuss the eBook. It’s a very large forum.

5. Last and most CERTAINLY not least, do not expect too much of your first eBooks. Consider this your “Learning Period.” A lot of people luck out majorly their first time through the grind, whereas others find their experience falls short. This is due to the type of work you are submitting: the book cover, the size, the price, the description and the genre. Erotica is a very popular genre, particularly in Short Story format. Maybe not everyone is interested in reading a short Mystery, but many people might be interested in Sci-Fi Flash Fiction. If the cover looks like something their cat couldn’t digest, or perhaps doesn’t even HAVE a cover, it might deter people who would otherwise find the description interesting. Most notably those with a GOOD description attract more readers. A description doesn’t have to be the whole book (if you wrote Flash Fiction); it can touch on the story, provide some insight into the author, and display a bit of the style the author writes in. All of those aspects help a reader decide if they want to buy an eBook. If your eBook has a lot of words but is underpriced, readers may assume it’s junk. You’re the next Laurell Hamilton, so don’t go charging next to nothing for all of your hard work! I’m not going to tell you how much your words are worth; you should try adjusting your prices until you get a good mix of buyers and profit. Each author will have their own experiences with this. As a baseline, the minimum you should go (other than Free) is .99 cents. If you want to stand out from the .99 cent crowd, try $1.99 or $2.99. Even if you don’t have 1,000 buyers at $2.99, your profit will be higher, which may make your bottom line higher.

Traditional Publishing: By Richard Flores IV

  1. Not researching the Market
  2. Not reading the submission guidelines
  3. Not tracking their submissions
  4. Limiting yourself to one type of publication
  5. Giving up too early

I think you have to first decide how you want to publish.  There are many mistakes you can make when you choose to go with traditional publishing.  Since this is called “5 Mistakes” and not “You can really mess this up” I will give you what I think are the top 5.

1.  Not researching the Market:  If you plan to submit a Space Western, you might want to make sure the market publishes Space Westerns.  I don’t just mean that they say they will accept them, do they actually publish them?  Read the market, see what other authors are published there.  Since typically you can expect 30 days to six months of waiting for a response, don’t tie up your time with a market that likely doesn’t like your genre.

2. Not reading the submission guidelines:  Standard Manuscript format (seen here), is what I write all my stories in.  12 point courier font, 1″ margins all around.  It is pretty standard.  But, the format a magazine wants it in is not always standard.  Some may want a different font, or only certain file types, or no name listed in the header and footer.  Some may want a cover letter, others may want your previous publishing credits.  The point is, you have to read every single line on the submission guidelines for the publication you want to submit to.  You worked hard on that story, don’t let it get tossed out because you can’t follow directions.

3. Not Tracking their submissions:  There are a few ways to track submissions, but you really need to use Duotrope.  It is free (though I recommend you donate something), and it gives you more information then you can imagine.  Average response times, acceptance percentages, pay rate classifications, and so much more.  I’ve found publications I didn’t even know of on Duotrope (I’ll get to that soon).  But, the main feature on this is the submission tracker.  With many places not wanting simultaneous submissions (meaning you have the story out with other publications at the same time), you need to know where your story is.  Even if they allow your story to be submitted to others, you will want to let the others know if it is picked up.

With how long it can take some places to respond, it can be very easy to forget where your story is at and where you have already sent it.  Don’t embarrass yourself be sending the same story to an editor twice.

4. Limiting yourself to one type of publication:  Don’t be foolish here.  Don’t limit yourself to one publication type.  Don’t say you will only take “pro rates” or “Print magazines”.  You are limiting yourself.  I talk about this in my post “Quality Versus Quantity” when I talk about aiming for certain pay scales, but you also need to accept where the dart hits.   So don’t limit your story to a certain type publication just because your dream is to be seen on Daily Science Fiction.  That is a great dream, but your story deserves an audience.  There is a just as loyal an audience at any publication.  Aim for your dream market, but don’t stop when you miss the target.  The more you write the better you will get and the closer you will get to a bulls-eye.

5. Giving up too early:  Duotrope has over 4,000 markets listed.  Hard as it is to believe they don’t list every market either.  The truth is, while I can’t guarantee results, chances are there is a home for your story somewhere out there.  It may take some time to find it, or you may find it right away.  But stopping short of publication is foolish.  I refuse to see any of my short stories die, even if I have to try all 4,000 markets.  For me it is not about pay, it is about telling my story to an audience.  If I stop there, I fail my story, my characters, and worst of all my audience.  Trust me, if you don’t tell your story someone else will.

There is a cycle to getting published, I talk about it in “Getting Published“.  It is easy to give up with rejection.  But, it is part of the process.  You will have to learn to accept that your story doesn’t fit every market.  But, you also need to accept that your story DOES fit at least one market.  Don’t let yourself believe otherwise.  After every rejection, you must submit to the next market.  Don’t even wait a day.  Just send it on out to the next one.

Richard Flores IV is an author of Speculative Fiction who lives in Vacaville, California.  He fits his writing time around being a father of three young boys and a husband to his beautiful wife.  He has been published in Cygnus Journal of Speculative Fiction and Liquid Imagination.  He also runs a blog where he talks about publishing, writing, and whatever else interests him.  For more information on Richard Flores IV, you can find him online at http://floresfactor.wordpress.com/.  You can also find him on Twitter @Richard_Flores4

Tendons, Tendons, Teeeendons

I bet you guys are all totally wondering about my elbow. I had the surgery, then left you wondering if my arm had subsequently fallen off during my follow-up. You were all probably picturing the look of abject terror on my face as I watched it plummet toward the doctor’s feet.

Oh well, too bad for you guys! It’s totally still an elbow! They took out ONE stitch (that took up two inches of my arm, how does that work?!?), which hurt for a few seconds, and I almost passed out. Hah! See, my arm was nowhere near the doctor’s feet. If I’d had breakfast, the poor doctor would’ve had pancakes all over her feet though.

It’s still a bit early to be determining the surgery a Grade A success. Right now I’m sticking with Grade B. It’ll (apparently) still be a few more weeks before I can bend and unbend my elbow sufficiently to, say, eat with my right hand. It’s amazing though; every evening I go to bed with a sore elbow, and every morning my elbow bends and unbends further than the day before. The ibuprofen was making my stomach crazy so I had to stop taking it, but this pain is NOTHING compared to how bad it was before the surgery. How sad is that? I really need to learn that pain = something bad is going on. At the present moment I’m able to grip a pen sufficiently to sign stuff. Trying to write or draw for any length of time makes my arm and fingers ache, though, which I take to mean is me stressing my newly re-attached tendons. Those suckers are seriously resilient, though.

My hypoglycemia has been acting up lately thanks to the new changes the Weather Channel has been making. They made it high 70s here for a few days, which always exasperates my asthma and hypoglycemia. Bad combination to have; you should stay away from it. Thankfully the easiest way to maintain the hypo part is to stick to a 30g or less a day low-carb diet. For the asthma, lots and lots of water and an inhaler if necessary. Those stupid albuterol shakes make me use it as a VERY last resort, preferably before I start freaking out, since the freakouts make it even worse. In any case! In the words of the aunt who helped raise me, if you’re ever in a situation where this is relevant, “cheese is wetter than crackers.” You probably can’t stop an asthma attack with cheese, but quoting my aunt may help you laugh, forcing air into your lungs to try to circumvent the attack. Hey, it worked for her!

I’ve got an upcoming article in the works. In fact, my half is finished(ish)! Just waiting for my collaborator to have time (having a big family and his own projects AND a job doesn’t make it easy to find time) before going back over my parts to see if I can sneak in some “like he said’s.”

Now that I’ve finished my pre-bedtime ramble, I’ll go head off for bed. Meryl’s story is nearing completion, just to keep you guys updated. It’s into the Novellette length now. It probably won’t get much larger. So much for another short story, huh? 😛

Later gators 😀

The ever important Word Count

According to fictionfactor.com, my two short stories fall between the “Flash Fiction” and “Short Story” categories. I’ve long wondered how to tell the difference between all the names bandied about on forums everywhere. Thanks to Google, I’ve got a much better idea, though fictionfactor seems to be talking mainly about print books. I’d imagine the same rules apply for eBooks as well, and they seem reasonable, so I’ll use them.

Based on their chart, my (unfinished) stories currently fall in these categories:

  • Witch World: Start of the End – Novellette (will probably end up being a Novella)
  • Sara Flynn, At Your Service – Novellette (will be a Novel, probably not an Epic…but who knows!)
  • The Undragoning of Meryl Bennett – Short Story (Will probably stay one, or be a very short Novellette)
  • 2030: AI – Well….this one has 0 words. Micro-Fiction! Hah…still not sure if this will be a Novel or not. It is definitely as wiggly as jumping beans in my head.

Now I just need to conjure another short story for the Ben Phelan series. To do that, I have to figure out whether it’ll be a campfire-type series, or a rundown on the Phelans. Perhaps my next one can be a campfire how-it-all-began. I can see that falling into the Short Story guidelines quite easily. Anybody have any thoughts? Perhaps Richard or Jsean13 (or someone else!) would interested in writing campfire stories from the perspective of the other unnamed kids? We could do a compilation of shorts and give the proceeds to a charity or something. Horror for Charities!

In other news, this stupid thing on my arm is finally coming off tomorrow, along with the stitches. I plan on scrubbing the arm really well with a hot shower before exposing the world to it. It probably looks and smells disgusting, even after only two weeks. Yiiiick!

Elbow Surgery

Deia and I hunting for Easter eggs

I’m slowly learning to type one-handed. If I could use my dominant hand instead, it would be vastly easier. This Thursday will be the unveiling-of-the-arm, when my doctor will remove this splint and the stitches in my elbow. They’re saying another month for physical therapy is necessary, but I’ve been using it somewhat with out any issues. The meds were making me sick so I had to stop them. Considering prior to the op I was downing 8+ ibuprofen a day, not needing any is a huge stride. There is no pain at all except when the hubby bumps into it, but that’s probably because of the plaster splint jabbing my stitches.

I’ve discovered Cabin Fever is really bad when you can’t use an appendage. I call it “Appendage Fever.” You get these needs to do things you can’t because you are tired of being unable to do what you used to. For instance, I’m typing this on my phone because it’s easier to use one hand on an app. I type a lot for my job, and I’ve kept my typos to a minimum while using one hand, but that’s mostly because I’ve had to do that a lot the past few years. The anticipation of getting my arm “back” has also made it hard to come to terms with the whole thing. In the end, though, a few weeks of disuse vs the rest of my life is a no-brainer. I’ll take one surgery for $6500! (yay for tax returns!)

In other news, Meryl’s story got steamy a few nights before my surgery. I mentally tell myself stories as I fall asleep unless they’re stories I’m actively writing (forgetfulness, bored muse, etc) so now I’m all antsy wondering what’s gonna happen next! Eep!

Scared Muse!

My muse is scared! I am, too. I’ll be having Elbow Surgery tomorrow morning (EEEEEEK!) on my dominate arm (EEEEEEK!!!!) and my orthopedic doctor said, “You’ll be in recovery for 4-6 weeks.”

AAAAAAAH!!!! OK, enough with the exclamation marks. I’m honestly relieved to finally get it resolved. The list of things to do once my arm is back in the game keeps growing. In no particular order:

  1. Hold DeiaDeia in my OTHER arm
  2. Tickle Jaiden
  3. Finish the SECRET PROJECT for Richard Flores
  4. Enjoy the hubby more thoroughly >.> (oh wait, TMI!)
  5. Write Write Write Write!
  6. Draw Draw Draw Draw 😀
  7. Finish “The Undragoning of Meryl Bennett”
  8. Finish “Sara Flynn, At Your Service”
  9. Play some DCUO (if the new changes don’t make it suck)
  10. Clean up my office at work (the Boss Man is up in arms over my cable management system. It consists of dangling cables wherever I can so he can trip over them)
  11. Resume workouts so I can get my muscle back. Having babies is hell on muscles. It’d be nice to be able to pick up my 50lb kid again 😛 You know, the almost-six-year-old…giant child? He’s like a tall, skinny WEIGHT! Heavy heavy! Anyway.
  12. Tickle Jaiden
  13. Throw away the ginormous bottle of Ibuprofen I’ve been living on the past few months. Nomnom Ibucandy.
  14. Bash my elbow into more door-ways (OK — maybe not!)

Anybody have a good deal on bubble wrap? Perhaps I should consider encasing my elbows in it. Jaiden runs into walls, I bash my elbows into doorways.

Last week I was on a Muse Roll (they’re really good with ketchup) and surpassed my original intent of “Short Story” on a Muse-fueled dream-turned-story I’ve named “The Undragoning of Meryl Bennett.” As a result, the story is…well, half-way finished. Maybe more, maybe less. So far Meryl has been leading a merry chase with that human male she found, and I have no idea when she’ll be done telling her story. My Muse is as distractable as I am so we keep seeing shinys everywhere. Wheeee! It’s already at approximately 5,000 words. At what point is it no longer a short story anyway?

In the meantime, another story I’ve been working on has gotten more complicated. “Sara Flynn, At Your Service” has finally finished introducing all the characters (I think??) at the 8,000 word mark. It’s not a slow story, just a long one. The hint-of-trouble has finally been suggested, and one of the freshly introduced characters has informed me (and the main character) of some interesting stuff regarding ANOTHER character. Drama! No, not really. Well, maybe. We’ll see.

Oh oh oh!! By the way! The Amazon Books I’ve got up at the moment will be going Free again on Sunday April 8th and Monday April 9th (Happy Easter!). See my previous post for links to them. Don’t forget to write a review for ’em if you do grab them. If you’d like to critique, please respond on my blog so we can get a discussion going. 😀

Happy Monday! I’ll be out of work all week cause of the surgery, but I’ll be thinking of all you busy bees out there 🙂 Well, in-between Vicodin-induced naps. Snoooooooore.

Happy Easter! If any little ones pop up in 9 months we’ll all know Eostre was doing her job 😉

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!!

New Baby, Life, More Life

Big Brother and Little Sister at the Pumpkin Patch
Big Brother and Little Sister at the Pumpkin Patch

We have a new baby! She’s absolutely adorable. She was born shortly before my birthday on September 21st, 2011, at 1:25pm (she should’ve been born at 1:20pm but they made me wait before I could push. Don’t get me started on birthing stories — us moms have too many!). She was 7lbs 7oz, the same size as her brother was when he was born, and 22in, also the same as her brother. We named her Deia Georgia. Deia has a variety of meanings in other languages. Georgia means Farmer, which we hope keeps her down to earth. Her Maternal Gramma swears Deia means Goddess (Deity), but it actually means Expensive, Milkmaid, and a Small Coastal Village. Well really, there is a village on the coast of an island named Deiá (the village, not the island). We figure when she grows up she’ll be a well-paid Horticulturist of some sort in a village on a coast xD

Deia’s brother is absolutely fanatical over his little sister and is always trying to help with taking care of her. He’s slowly mastering the snap-buttons on her sleepers and onesies, and from time to time we let him “help” put a diaper on. His favorite thing is to talk to her and tell her all about the video game he’s playing. She stares, coos and smiles at him.

We’re slowly adjusting to having a baby in the house again. It seems that Mother Nature makes us forget how hard it was with our previous children so you have more children. Honestly, it does seem harder than I remember, but it’s so completely worth it for new baby snuggles and smells (NO, they don’t smell like dirty diapers).

In other news, I’m slowly making progress on a few projects for family while finding time to write. The oldest kiddo is turning out to be quite a story-teller himself, along with a knack for drawing. Part of his Christmas present included a drawing tablet for the Wii, which he loves playing. He’s finally getting upgraded to a Grown Up desk which will allow him to have his own computer (in a few years), as well as do homework somewhere other than where he eats.

Happily Holidays everyone, and have a wonderful and safe New Year! What are some of your resolutions? I’m contemplating actually having resolutions — there’s always a first time for everything, right?