Sunday, December 15, 2013

Goodbye 2013 -- but with hope one of my darlings finds a home

I got one emailed out yesterday and will send out another one tomorrow. I have two others after that, which I plan to get out this week also. That leaves only one, which I intend to epub once I feel comfortable with the cover. Someone just used one so similar to my 2-year-old design, that I need to modify it some. If I intend to have print-on-demand paperbacks, then I'll need more. I'm leaning toward electronic only. Then back to writing!

One week later: Grrr. Don't you hate interruptions? I've had quite a few. Still working on it! 

Later in same week: Wow! It worked out! Done. Four out of five submitted to the one publisher. I'd pulled that first one back, fixed a couple of things and resubmitted it this week. Great people at Open Door Publishers! I then got 3 more ready and sent to them. That other one, with the cover issue I mentioned above, I haven't submitted yet, as I'm still deciding what to do with it. MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Goodbye 2013

Well, the year is almost over. I had a goal to get at least one of my five novels published this year. No luck yet. Since I don't have any out at the moment, I doubt that is going to change unless I hurry up this week and am very, very lucky.

This year I've spent a lot of time fine-tuning and polishing three of my novels. Two mostly due to fighting Microsoft problems with Word, trying to get clean copies ready, again. Plus my first one to make layout modifications, so it is more palatable for the spoon-fed readers who can't accept something different, by breaking it into five parts (still one novel). There's an irritating attitude of "Follow a basic storyline or I come unglued!" That's not a quote, but it's the underlying message. Argh! A little grumpy? Me? Just a bit.

Yes, I listened to one acquaintance and reluctantly broke it into 5 parts. I wanted to tell her to do me a favor and read something else! Not to tell me to redo it to fit her preferences. She also wanted me to add lots of flowery descriptions. It's too long already, and everyone else who read it thought it was descriptive enough. (That person is not one of my followers, so her feelings won't be hurt. By the way, she loves the 50 Shades trilogy and would hate many of the classics.)

I'm currently re-reading Little Women, and it breaks a lot of current trends. It's still a great book.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Feedspot: Thanks, but No.

I got an invitation from Feedspot, telling me that I had been linked in (Blogspot to Feedspot) and already had 26 views. So naturally I signed up to view it. I personally hate only having that option. I prefer to view first, then decide.

I was very disappointed. Feedspot doesn't include my additional why bother? Keep in mind that those pages are for my novels as the introductions to the stories, an appetizing sample. To date there are five, with one more well on the way. I am working on getting those five published. (No luck yet.) As an author I find Feedspot worthless if it can't connect to my pages for each of my novels. The sole purpose for having the Blogspot site is to connect potential readers with my stories so they will choose to read my work.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Ready to go another round

I'm feeling recharged but still not up to the normal mark yet. I feel like I'm on a merry-go-round, but I'm ready for another turn. (You thought that was a boxing reference?)

I refuse to send out any more hard copies. It's simply too expensive. So I will not be submitting to any agency who requires it. Friends have recommended a few, but they are automatically eliminated. What I need to find is the right fit, not just my work fitting their goals, but their options fitting mine.

I wanted to submit three stories to one big-time publisher online, but their link is down...and has been since about August 1st. I'm not sure they even got the one I electronically submitted on July 29, as I haven't received any kind of acknowledgement. I guess I won't be getting my foot in that door. Drat.

That publisher has been trending away from new authors, and putting out more and more as series. I don't care for the series idea. It is so long between stories, I have to go back and skim over the previous ones. I really don't want to keep all these books on hand for that. I prefer standalones.

Oftentimes the newer books off the press by established authors are of inferior quality. The publisher admits to not editing established authors as thoroughly as new ones. What's with that? One well-established author (LF) has a new proofreader/editor assistant--she must sing her own praises to LF as she's doing a terrible job!--and some of us no longer want to read her work, even though LF was the author who brought us to that publisher because we liked her work so much. LF is singing her assistant's praises and backing her as a new author. Oh, no! If LF read her own last 3 novels in print with fresh eyes, she'd fire her assistant! She's making LF look bad.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Burning Out

This submissions process is the pits. Another rejection today. There's got to be a better way! It isn't about my ego; it's business. Now I know why people self-publish. Maybe I should just go that route, even though the potential returns aren't nearly as good. Either that or box them up and forget it. Truth is, I am burning out. (I'm fighting illness and age, so I'm not sure I'm up to it now.)


I am about ready to start another round of submitting my novels to agents/publishers. One online system has gone down. It was the one I had been aiming for, for three of my novels. I prefer to use the internet method over the USPS snail mail. The cost of printing and mailing quickly add up, especially when there are five novels and one is twice the size of any one of the others. One at a time would have been easier, but I had to learn the ropes and prepare the documents.

I'm working with a handicap: I'm not a salesman. You have to sell yourself and your work. That just isn't who I am, nor is it someone I want to become. I thought that was the job of "agents" but now it appears that we need agents to submit to "agents".
Thursday, October 10, 2013 at 8:36:00 PM CDT

Still feeling burned out and still recuperating from tripping in my bedroom last week, I need to get new shoes with non-Velcro-like rubber soles: Comfort vs. Safety. The stairs are hardest for my knees, a lingering issue from the fall, but there is daily improvement.
Wednesday, October 30, 2013 at 6:21:00 PM CDT

Saturday, September 21, 2013

The Office has been moved.

My flash fiction story "The Office" has been moved to another blog. I have three blogs but only one is public at this time. (The other two are for me only since the Ken Martins scam, That cut their possible access down to 1/3 of what it had been, unless they have backdoor access.)

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Submission Day

I submitted two novels today, separately and exclusively. One was the crime/intrigue (name and pseudonym being withheld at this time). The other was Mysterious Castle, the teen fantasy.  With luck I'll get a third one out today....

Sunday, February 24, 2013

BEWARE: "Ken Martins" & Other Nigerian Scams

"Ken Martins"(Kenneth/Keneth/Ken) takes on many forms: Different ages, occupations, races,  countries, after women and men. It's a scam that has been a problem for over five years in Europe (including Romania), Australia, Canada, and the US. When "he" wants to share a secret, it is to get you to send money (to Nigeria, Malaysia, etc.). My granddaughter works in a grocery store and tells me that unsuspecting folks are sending of their cash to these countries via Western Union, obviously thinking they are helping someone who loves them and expecting big money in return. My contact said he had gone to Nigeria for a few days and wanted me to text him on his cellphone, a  different number than the first one, a Nigerian number per internet search (+234). It's a typical Nigerian scam that I've seen go from mail to fax to the internet over the last 20+ years. It started out as royalty in distress because of a death in the family, then progressed to using dating services.

I was contacted with a friend request on Facebook, my public site. I never indicate my marital status or mark "interested in" anywhere. I've never used a dating service of any kind. Red flags went up. So my first thought was "why me?" I remembered seeing an African viewing in this blog's stats. Aha! The light came on: My bio, my link to Facebook...

I played with the "friend" to see if there was some way I could bust them. Unfortunately there isn't, so I decided to jerk them around. I waited to see when the request would come. Their story got so twisted. Pertinent questions were ignored until they thought I might walk away, and then the excuses/reasons were lame. It took less than two weeks! (Some say it has been up to three months. Others that the requests keep coming for more money.)

Google/search "Ken Martins scam" and see for yourself.

By the way, the pic was of a handsome, silver-haired, debonair gentleman, probably an  Italian model, so gorgeous that I kept a copy of it. No wonder it gets women's attention! I also found "him" on LinkedIn, along with other versions of Ken Martins, with a different picture of the same man working as an admin. asst. in Dallas. (In USA he's a widowed engineer, in UK a divorced doctor or a lawyer.) I knew not to text or call the cell phones. Those who did reported strange accents and high charges. There are 3 Facebook accounts for him, with the same picture:!/kenneth.martins.75?fref=ts!/keneth.martins?fref=ts!/kenneth.martins.7923?fref=ts

What did I do? He said I was his one and only...and then asked if I could be trusted with his family secret, I FB-messaged them I already knew the secret: Nigerian scammers. Then I clicked Unfriend.

Advice from an attorney-friend when I was 20, "If it sounds to good to be true, it probably is. Don't."

Don't fall for it. Tell your friends.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Feeling Great!

This is a great day! I'm finally over my cold enough that my head (mind) is clear and I feel so good. I felt like I was in a mental fog last week.

I know some of you haven't seen me in years, so I'll give an update. "About Me" disappeared from this blog months ago, and I can't retrieve it. It is on my other two linked blogs if you're interested. That weight I gained in 2003 is TOTALLY GONE, slow but sure. I have a waist again! Now I need to trim my waistline and flatten my tummy. Yes, I do and to shed a few more pounds doing it. I'm back into my normal skinny sizes, but I'm not skinny, yet. That's a benefit of big bones. If you don't get it, it's because you're normal. :) 

My broken feet (August 2010) are doing fine, as long as I refrain from going barefoot. too much. I need to keep them supported with shoes most of the time.  

On my next visit to my daughter's, I hope the weather is good enough to ride the horse. If not, I'll just cuddle the ferret. Oh, yeah, that breaks my heart. Good times. ;)

I'm really pleased with how well my adult granddaughter (my roommate) is doing. She's got a great job and going to college at the same time. She's majoring in accounting, like I did. She and her special guy have been together almost 3 years now. 

I'm so glad my son, daughter and all my grandkids are doing well. I miss the close contact we used to have. Distance is such a hinderance.

I miss all my great friends, family and extended family who are now separated from me by distance. I think of all of you often, with love and joy for having you in my life. Love you all!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

2013: One submission, one rejection year-to-date

I submitted Mysterious Castle to a literary agency in New York two weeks ago and received the "Thank you but no thanks" reply within a week. On Monday, I opened the letter to receive the all too common "not the right fit" comment that said it wasn't what they are looking for right now. That's all right. I have other options.

I was trying to stay within a specific word limit for teens and young adults, which is about 2/3 to 1/2 of the minimum for adults wanted by most publishers. I had to leave out a lot of the adventures I'd planned. A friend led me to another publisher that has a much higher word-limit range (75,000-100,000). Yes! I will be writing those adventures before resubmitting Mysterious Castle. This is a good thing!

My backup plan is epublishing, avoiding the frustrating middle men.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Today is a special day

My friend Joyce told me that she had a feeling that this year would be the breakthrough year for me. I hope she's right. Tomorrow morning I will go to the post office and mail the query letter and synopsis off to a literary agency in New York City for Mysterious Castle. It was so fun finalizing everything today and getting the final prints ready to mail and sealing the envelope. Waiting for their response will be difficult. I try not to think about it, as to whether they will say yay or nay.