Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Freshening My Abode

It's always nice to see men working on their knees. :)

Along with getting new covers, final editing, promotion, etc. I'm finally getting to some necessary painting. Rather the men are. To cover old paneling, they hand sanded, put a primer paint on, another primer type and painted. Then they sanded all over again and applied a second layer. Quite the process in which they first caulked/filled every nail hole, seam etc. This old house is looking quite a bit younger/updated now, and they're not even finished!

I'm a green person, so colors ran to seafoam green and neutral light tan. I'm wondering what paintings I should do to match. :)

I highly recommend Hayes Painting for really good detail work in SW Missouri/Tri-Lakes Area. These guys are artists! I am surprised at how much caulk helps woodwork trim, etc.

But just as I'm updating my home with color, I'm also updating my re-releases with new covers, and a delightful new product Vellum is helping beautify my ebooks as I can fit in time. The Basket Maker's Wife was my first Vellum, and Be Mine is next. Be Mine's paper back cover is finished and it will soon be available through CreateSpace/Amazon.

One full week of painting and a whole new look is well worth it! It wasn't quiet though, so final editing has to wait on The Egg Basket, my door closed as I work on other things. 

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Laugh Lines

Yesterday, a friend called, laughing away. It's always good to hear her laugh, right out there, belly laugh.

She'd just been reading The Cowboy, which I'm preparing for re-release. Lucas, aka The Cowboy, has twin teenage girls and he's divorced. Raven and Summer need college money and they submit good looking Lucas to a dating game show. Honey, aka Chastity, gets her pick of datables for a fun filled time. Naturally things take off. :)

About Laugh Lines: And here's the rub, so say whomevers: Either humor takes off, or it doesn't. And it's not a mechanical skill--sure comics can develop their delivery--but when it comes to black and white paper laughing, that comes from an innate talent of the writer. Humor can be dissected and honed, but very original humor flows from within that special spark of the writer.

And it's subjective. That is: Not everyone has the same laugh lines. But once the writer taps the right readership head on and humor is a match, that's a good read.

That writer may not set out to write humor, and then he hits a thread and laughter comes rolling in. A very natural process.

Once an editor called me, laughing away. She loved the humor in my story. I didn't set out to write humor; it just happened.

We do have quite accomplished mechanical writers, doing everything just right, but laughter/humor on pages is either there in the writer, or not. (Said that before, will say it again.)

Old Cover
Have to say, I laughed a few times myself when re-reading The Cowboy, soon for re-release, and Donna--you know who you are, is waiting. :) A new cover and The Cowboy rides again. :)

Note to New writers: Write to your strengths is the best advice ever.

Note to Readers--and Donna: Working on getting The Cowboy to you. 

Note to the Belly Laugher: No, I won't write the same vein of story all the time. I like moving around and it makes for fresher stories--for me anyway. No, I'm not going to stick with this one vein--humor--and forget my other creative outlets, i.e. painting. But I did love hearing you laugh. :)

Sunday, February 07, 2016

Living the Life

The Subject of Bucket List came up today. My mother never got her trip to Florida and always mourned not going when she could. Taking an example from a really wonderful mom,  I am determined to do the things I wish to do/learn/experience.

In review of my short life (ha,ha,ha :)) I have done what I wanted to do, needed to do for fulfillment.

In review, this period of my life may be the most fulfilling. I'm learning a tremendous amount, all coming at me at once. Life stuff is moving along, the house renovating, choosing colors, fixing this/that and getting out for those long contemplative drives. I just took one yesterday, down to Eureka Springs, AR, which is a 1900 city built on steep hills and usually filled with tourists. The drive to Eureka Springs was perfect on a sunlit day. Lots of curves, gorgeous rolling hills and plenty of scenery. My new car hasn't had this drive, so quite the experience navigating narrow, curved hilly brick-lined streets with tourists walking everywhere. :)

During the drive, I settled plot points. Love open road for thinking about my books, and am planning a summer/fall trip now.

I have 2 Bucket Lists and they conflict. 1.) I'm a painter, or was until writing heavily, and take a lot of pictures to paint whenever. I'm stocked up and want to paint more. 2). I'm writing heavily and loving it. It seems all possibilities are open now.

As a writer, (Label me Hybrid as I have Traditionally published books and Indie published now) I'm deep into learning more about Indie publishing and in an intensive learning period. Right now, I'm using Scrivener more (a major piece of plotting/writing software). Scrivener helps with keeping details of series straight. But does a lot more. Then, I've just hand formatted The Basket Maker's Wife in paper for CreateSpace, trade size. Quite the learning experience, using different fonts and styles. Very happy with that project; turned out gorgeous with glyphs, etc.  Then just got into Vellum, an ebook formatting software, also gorgeous and available in Mac. I changed from PC a couple years ago and the pain of shifting was well worth it.

I love learning. That's me, the learner. :)

NOTE: Microsoft Word does an excellent job of formatting and is easy to use. The Smashwords guide for formatting is excellent. Once down, easy. There is no reason for an Indie writer to pay for this service and sometimes it is way overpriced.

Currently, I'm learning a lot from The Creative Penn's podcasts. Terrific amount of stuff to learn there, life and writing. Podcasts are super, aren't they? Easy listening while driving or doing whatever.

Finally: This "Hybrid" is thoroughly enjoying the ride. How about you?