Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Dark Places

Prior to my cancer diagnosis, I had entered a dark place in my life.  While I was never suicidal or self-destructive, I found myself within a deep depression; completely at loose ends and wondering if my life would ever begin.  I had botched yet another job interview, though mercifully it had been done over the phone, in both questions and rejection.  My crushing disappointment was mostly unseen, hidden as best as I could from those around me.  I was utterly exhausted, unable to sleep, and even brief trips to and from town would leave me completely drained of energy.  The good news, if you can call it that, was my fatigue had a medical cause.  While I am still not sure I am any closer to finding a paying position, I have tentatively resumed my job search.  If I were to be interviewed and/or hired, I suppose logistics would have to be figured out afterward—for medical reasons, I am unable to drive and will remain that way through March or April of 2015.  As I have previously stated, every day of life since my surgery has been a blessing; if a person was so inclined, they might even say my old life ended October 8, 2014 and I was reborn October 14 upon being discharged from the hospital.  I came out of the surgery a different person, but in the best way possible—I actually enjoy life now.

Friday, December 26, 2014


In life we wear many different masks.  As children we wear various Halloween masks—I was mostly a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, though once I went as Garfield and twice as a vampire, no mask required.  As adults our masks become emotional:  we feign being happy, healthy, or satisfied when we are anything but.  We pretend to be excited or overjoyed for others’ success when in reality we are dying inside:  resentful, jealous, or even bitter that we are not experiencing the same thing.  But I am here today to tell you about a different kind of mask, one that is very much real and physical.  It is a white, plastic mesh mask that I wore to receive twenty-nine radiation treatments into my brain.

The mask was placed onto my face as a warm piece of plastic, which the therapists then molded into shape.  Each morning before going into the machine to receive treatment, I would lie flat atop a table and have the mask locked down so that my head was unable to move.  This act, while not necessarily comfortable, was essential to my treatment; it made sure that the radiation was delivered to the precise spot necessary each and every time in order to destroy any microscopic cancer cells that might have remained after the removal of my brain tumor.  For the first few weeks I would receive a scan prior to the four-minute treatment.  For the last few weeks, as I began to respond to the treatments, my scans were cut down to two per week.  But for the final six treatments, the radiation was delivered in more accurate six-minute doses.

The radiation, much like the mask, causes some irritation and discomfort, but you understand going in that the process is for your benefit.  And considering that I, in my perpetually-anxious state, didn’t expect to survive the craniotomy, well, everything else since October 13 has felt like a gift, a blessing, and a second chance at life.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Hair Loss

I don’t suppose I am a vain person in the conventional sense, though I do try to make sure I look decent (read: put together) when I leave my home to go somewhere.  One warning they gave me when I was fitted for my radiation mask, however, was that it could cause scalp/face irritation and hair loss.  Interestingly enough, it wasn’t until my third week of treatment that the hair began to break off and get everywhere.  It started on Thanksgiving, and around the incision in my head.  I still had some hair in the front for the next day or so.  But with each subsequent shower, more and more hair has come out in my hands, in the drain, and everywhere else.  The good news is that hair will grow back, and I am not completely bald; my head is simply “fuzzy” now.  But I have never had a shaved head in my life—I was born with a headful of hair—so this has been yet another interesting adjustment in this period of my life.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Lil Oscar

Our memories of childhood are often hazy, idealized, or altogether fictional—but the older I get, the more I appreciate these snapshots of the past.  When I was very young, my father worked in Lexington and would get home every evening around six PM.  He always carried two things with him—a green Thermos, and a white-and-blue Coleman lunchbox called Lil Oscar.  Lil Oscar remained a constant throughout my life, likely because it predated me.  I am sad to say that after thirty-plus faithful years of service to my father, Lil Oscar has finally been retired to disability.  In other words, his handle fell off.  The good news is I bought a replacement model, but I will never quite forget the impression a lunchbox made on me throughout my years.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Brain Tumor

At the end of May 2014, I experienced two days of weirdness in which I could barely walk.  It was literally as though I had to mechanically force my legs to bend at the knees.  I didn’t think anything about it other than I might have suffered a spider or tick bite.  Based on my general life situation, I keep problems to myself.  Not the best idea in the world, but it is what it is.  After the second day any pain subsided—and after all, I didn’t want to miss the Indianapolis 500 on television.  You can see exactly where my priorities were, no matter how bad I might have felt.
I was seemingly fine for the next few months.  Just after Labor Day I received my annual flu shot and woke up the next morning in excruciating stomach pain.  A visit to the Instant Care clinic in Richmond, followed by blood work and receiving an antibiotic, was then followed by a gallbladder ultrasound and a HIDA scan, both of which showed my internal organs to be functioning normally, as did a subsequent doctor’s visit that showed all of my systems were in proper working order.
On October 8, 2014, I experienced my first (to my knowledge) seizure.  Luckily my father was home and heard and saw me making the noises.  Because I had no history of them, a visit to the emergency room resulted in a CT scan of my head, a life-saving measure that showed a lesion/tumor in the frontal lobe of my brain.  Because I went to college for several hundred years and possess a degree in psychology, I know that “tumor” and “cancer” are basically synonymous.  From Marcum and Wallace Memorial Hospital I was transported via ambulance for the first time in my life directly to the new tower at UK Hospital, where I was admitted to the emergency department.  After additional testing and such, I was placed in a room on the sixth floor of the tower and visited by many, many physicians from the neurosurgery department.  This small, invasive thing inside my head had to be removed and promptly.  Therefore I was kept in the hospital for the weekend, given enough medication to keep a horse calm, and the surgery was performed on October 13.  I can admit without reservation that I was terrified at the entire prospect; when I left my room and was taken down to surgery for anesthesia, I didn’t think I was coming back.  I guess I could have been a little more optimistic, being that UK is obviously one fine hospital, but I know enough about the brain to know that these things are never certain.
Interesting fact about my summer: during the course of this thing probably/possibly growing inside of my brain, I travelled to Florida, walked up the mountain at Cumberland Gap, and drove myself to and from Irvine many, many times.  I guess I was blessed and lucky that I never experienced the seizure while behind the wheel or home alone.
I was discharged from the hospital on October 14, which seemed exceedingly premature.  However, I was apparently medically ready, and they didn’t want to risk infection setting into the large, nearly ear-to-ear gash in my head.  I felt pretty swollen after the surgery, but apparently I didn’t look nearly as bad as I could have.  My head was patched back together with about forty-nine staples, give or take one or two (everyone else counted them—I couldn’t bring myself to do it).  I didn’t really want to come out of recovery afterward; I felt nice and calm and sleepy and I only had to leave to have another MRI and to watch my Monday-night television shows: Fast N’ Loud and Castle.  Also, I needed to see my family.  I had many, many well-wishers during my hospital stay, and I am grateful for each and every person who visited or sent a card or left a message for me on Facebook.  I would argue that your prayers were far more faithful than mine, considering I didn’t think I would survive having the craniotomy.  I do have a piece of advice I have gleaned from this situation, however.
DO NOT IGNORE THE WARNING SIGNS TO BE FOUND WITHIN YOUR OWN HEALTH.  IF YOU ARE FEELING ABNORMAL, TELL SOMEONE.  For me, the signs only seemed to manifest themselves as a severe, persistent headache that stayed with me for the four days prior to the seizure.  But I can only speculate on how long the tumor had been growing inside my head.  I have driven myself to and from Irvine on numerous occasions; I was both lucky and blessed not to suffer a medical episode along the road to town.
As of now, it has been recommended that I undergo six weeks of chemotherapy and radiation in order to destroy the remaining cancer cells and prevent a recurrence of the tumor.  Start date was determined later; however, I have been fitted for the radiation mask, which was an interesting experience. It was a warm piece of mesh that they laid out across my face; as it cooled, they made marks and performed another scan on my head.  It was like a warm washcloth, but a completely different texture and result.  And here is another fascinating wrinkle to my story—in the midst of all of this, I advanced from the top twenty-five to the top ten of a publishing contest.  I literally had to email a manuscript to an editor while I was in the hospital, preparing for major surgery.  However, I would gladly send the manuscript again from any location.  It’s just an interesting story, especially if I was to win the contest and contract.  Then again, due to my condition and the nature of my surgery, my timeframe in regard to when the manuscript was actually sent could be completely skewed; I may have already been discharged and sent home.
Unfortunately I didn't win the contest, but I did receive a lot of positive feedback about my novel,

Love for Sale.  And that type of validation is always nice to have.
My first radiation appointment is scheduled for November 10, and part of me is oddly fascinated about what it will entail.  Radiation has been going fine so far, but I am extremely tired afterward.  Then again, I was tired before, so I don’t know if this is a side effect, or merely leftover from my tumor and subsequent illness.  The first two weeks of radiation and chemotherapy have gone fine, and I have (thankfully) not experienced the severe nausea that I had always associated with cancer treatments.  The primary side effect seems to be fatigue; for the first time in my life, I am now a regular napper.  It seems every afternoon I have to spend an hour or so in bed recuperating.  The radiation mask locks me into place on the table and is a bit uncomfortable, but I take a pragmatic view of things—it could always be worse.
One of the more irritating after-effects of brain surgery—aside from the nearly ear-to-ear incision in my head—is the damage to my short-term memory.  The doctors insist that my brain will continue to repair and heal itself as I recover, but for now I have even more trouble than usual remembering what or where I am.  But if you don't see me writing much for a while, I have a good excuse.

Monday, November 24, 2014


Kentucky Summer will turn three years old next spring/summer, but the book is experiencing a bit of a second life thanks to a feature article done in Kentucky Living, AKA the Electric Book.  The book is not selling like hotcakes or anything, but to go from selling nothing to selling a few copies is always nice.  I also worked on a plan in which the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea now stocks a few of my books along with those of other local authors and artisans.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Love for Sale

Over the past two months I have gone through some pretty serious health issues, which I will relate to you in a future blog.  This one is simply a promotional piece; several months ago I wrote a manuscript, Love For Sale, which I held back from self-publishing because I knew Harlequin’s So You Think You Can Write publishing contest would be rolling around eventually.  Well, great news:  early this month I received a phone call from an editor at Harlequin letting me know that my novel had advanced to the top 25 finalists, which meant that they wanted to read a full manuscript.  I prepared and emailed it and received another phone call once I’d been discharged from the hospital, a call letting me know I had advanced to the top 10.  I liked my manuscript, but apparently they did, too.  I signed and had notarized an affidavit and sent it in, and the process was complete.  When the day arrived and my book was posted in full for everyone to read, I began to stump for votes, and everyone seems genuinely excited about my opportunity to win this.  I’m pretty excited, too.  It’s always nice to receive some recognition.  If you’d like to vote for my novel, here’s the link.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Is There Something Wrong With Me?

When I was younger, based on the world around me, I developed a construct for how I believed adulthood proceeded.  I assumed that you graduated high school, began a job, and earned a living.  I thought it was only natural to date, get married, and start a family.  Having been an adult in the eyes of the law for the past twelve years, I have found that the only way to recognize myself as an adult is by realizing that everything sucks.

My goal was always to attend college, and I did that, earning two degrees.  Thus far these degrees have merited me nothing other than a crushing amount of debt and applications that always are received with a response of “Thanks, but no thanks.”  When I was younger and finishing high school, it seemed to me that the majority of adults in their twenties and older worked; they may have had to travel to Richmond or Lexington to do it, but they were able to find reasonably good, well-paying jobs.  For me, however, there seem to be no opportunities.  No matter how badly I want a job, no matter how hard I work or how much I hope and dream and wish, nothing ever comes to fruition.  I have felt so desperate lately that I began to Google things such as “Why can’t I find a job?” and “Is Library Science a terrible degree?”  I received an illuminating variety of answers, none of which served to assuage my anxiety.  Is there something wrong with me?  Do I simply not possess the necessary skills to hold down any position?  I worked several jobs in college, and I imagine most of my former supervisors would give me high marks. Am I too ugly to be seen in public?  If that’s the case, surely there are still behind-the-scenes jobs where I could work.

And when it comes to relationships, I am clearly too ugly to live.  I don’t even like what I see when I look in the mirror, so I guess the idea that a woman might find me attractive is a stretch.  Some people exude confidence, but life has given me very little reason for high self-esteem or positive feelings about myself.  Perhaps a career could provide what I needed, because without a regular income I don’t see how I could ever get married. 

This lack of relationships, platonic or romantic or friendly, might explain the happy endings that permeate my novels.  I am simply filling in the blanks and creating a world and feelings that I don’t think I will ever know myself.  My writing career, the only thing to provide me with a meager income the past few years, has also mostly stagnated.  I guess that’s the challenge for anything in life—when it’s brand new, it’s intriguing, but when you try to sustain it, that is where the real work comes in.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Heart Trouble Redux

I was both elated and privileged to learn recently that my novel, Heart Trouble, would be featured in a newly released boxed set via Crimson Romance, Crazy for Cowboys.  The e-book boxed set is scheduled for release on September 8, 2014 via the Kindle Store, Barnes and Noble, and the iBookstore.  These types of boxed sets seem to be a hot trend in publishing—I even put one together for my Windswept Saga novels—and I look forward to seeing what kind of sales this one may achieve.

Kindle Store

Barnes and Noble Nook Store


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Faster Than the Speed of Life

There’s something to be said for taking things slowly and completing a project at a reasonable pace.  I recently finished writing a novel in two weeks’ time, and I hope and pray when I begin the editing process that it is worth reading.  My writing involves lots of brainstorming but rarely do I write anything down beforehand.  I simply open the document, write out a few passages or an entire chapter, save it and move onto my next project.  I am beginning to wonder if this torrid pace and method is a good idea.  I think I should consider some type of note-taking program where I can outline my ideas, but that also seems to run counter to the spontaneity and fluidity of writing.  When you write on the fly, you are free to change ideas without the entire story crashing down around you like a house of cards.

The good news about having two complete novels in the pipeline is that I can launch them simultaneously once I’ve completed the editing, formatting, and design.  I already have a cover in mind for one, so that’s another project for me to work on. 

Monday, August 4, 2014

Lie We Tell Ourselves

I had told myself that I was running out of book ideas—which is why I inexplicably am 25,000 words into a new manuscript I just started this week.  The good news is that I have already searched online and found the perfect cover for this book albeit not for free.  I guess time will tell if I can scrape together the money to purchase the rights for it.  The more I look, the more I realize there are some great potential covers floating around online.  So, the next time I tell you I think I’ve run out of ideas, and ask will I write again, you can answer a resounding “Yes!”

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Should I Do It?

I have begun the second round of edits on this novel, and I am considering the possibility of saving it and submitting it to editors and publishers.  I don’t plan to query any agents—that takes too long, and I’m not any good at writing cover letters, much less queries.  If I do submit, it will be to publishers who take manuscripts directly without a third party.  Having already self-published ten-plus novels through Kindle Direct Publishing, I wonder to myself if holding back this book and putting it up for potential rejection is a good idea.  My goal has always been to make myself as well as readers happy, but having some type of legitimacy or validation granted toward my writing wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world.  It also “widens the net”, so to speak, getting your book sold in a variety of outlets and pushing the work of distribution onto a professional.  I seem to have distribution and promotion issues anyway, which shouldn’t be a surprise—I’m no good at self-promotion on any level.  Regardless of what happens with this book, whether or not I choose to submit it, I will still publish it and put it out into the world.  I’m not one to hold onto my works and hide them away—whether I use my own moniker or a pen name, every manuscript eventually makes its way into e-book form.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Will You Love Me Tomorrow

I will try to maintain this blog as long as there’s a thought in my head, but I have to be honest—writing is no longer the great creative outlet it once was for me.  I recently finished my novel, the one I had been writing in fits and starts for four months. I have completed the first round of edits for Chances, but I can’t say that it turned out completely as I had planned.  I have several ideas for a new novel, ideas that have been marinating for more than half a year, but I wonder if I start to write it, will it be as good as it seems in my mind’s eye?  I thought all of my books were good ideas before I wrote them down, and I've enjoyed reading and rereading each of them, though after enough of that everything starts to run together, and it’s no small miracle that I ever removed typos from any of them.  I hope that I will keep writing for as long as I am able, but I figure there’s little-to-no profound knowledge to be gained from reading this blog unless I treat it as either a journal or a travelogue and review the posts on my own in order to glean something.  The good news is that writing has been my income the past two years—it was never exactly either a substantial income or a living wage, but it was far more money than I had earned in the previous year of unemployment.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Taking Stock

It has been approximately two years since I published my first novel.  I’m too lazy to look for specific dates, but it was June 2012 when I was reading Windswept on my Kindle while I edited the rough draft of Kentucky Summer, which was published a month later.  In the following two years, I have published eight novels under my own name, another under a pen name, and two novellas under an additional pseudonym.  I also submitted Heart Trouble and had it published via Crimson Romance, which gave me the opportunity to have one of my works available through more than one sales channel; the paperback edition has also been added to the collection of at least one public library.  I am currently working on another novel that is taking much longer than my standard pace; at nearly three months and counting, I am still not sure when I will put this one to bed.  I have ideas for at least one further novel, but aside from that I am nearly tapped out in the ideas department.  So what have I learned from these many, many hours of hard work, multiple rejections, and many sleepless nights where the ideas wouldn’t be silenced?

1. Writing is never easy.  Even when it’s easy, it’s still not easy.  You’re always digging, searching, and forcing yourself to make everything the best it can be.  In the course of typing, you will put words where they shouldn’t be and in the process of editing will have to try to figure out what your intended message was.

2. Writing is not a quick trip to fame and fortune.  It has been my only income for the past two years, through no fault of my own—I’ve been in the job market for more than three years, and it has been almost as long since my last interview.  I have had decent months of income, but none of those occurred until I had published my sixth novel.  There have been other months where I made so little that I didn’t merit a payment at all.  My sales have really trickled down to nothing over the past several months, which doesn’t exactly provide a great incentive to continue with writing as a vocation.  If I ever built up a nest egg I would love to pay for professional covers if not professional editing for my novels.  Heart Trouble undoubtedly has my best cover.  If worse came to worse, I wouldn’t mind learning how to create my own covers via some type of graphics program. 

3. Writing does not necessarily lead to instant popularity.  Not everyone will care about your writing.  Some people will care about it only so long as it doesn’t cost them anything.  Ultimately you have to work to make sure your completed novel is something you enjoy, a piece of product that is the best it can be—and if not, spell check and edit the darn thing, massage it and streamline it until you can love it.  As conceited as this might sound, if you don’t love your own work, there’s very little point in putting it out into the world. 

Friday, May 16, 2014


I have reached a crossroads in my writing career—if you can call it a career.  For the second time in as many months, I have reached a crossroads in my writing career—if you can call it a career.  For the second time in as many months, I have put aside my story, unable to continue.  In the past I have been able to harness my disappointments, and depression, and boredom into serious creativity, but lately I just can’t seem to get myself into the zone.  Too many things have been weighing on my mind, including a situation in which I am an innocent bystander, being lied to each and every time I try to rectify someone else’s oversights.  It is no fun when people play fast-and-loose with your life.  I mean, there are scenarios in life when we do things—all of us—with few thoughts to the consequences.  However, I really needed this opportunity, this chance, and as the months pass I know it is growing father and father in the distance.  When you need one piece of the puzzle to fall into place and it won’t, it’s pretty darn frustrating.

But back to my writing.  I sent out books to three different entities recently, in this hopes that I would be reviewed favorably and possibly even sold in an important store.  Still waiting for feedback, be it good or bad, on all of them.  At least there’s something to hope for.  I hope. 

Friday, April 25, 2014


I would never presume to tell an author the right or wrong way to craft their work; I believe that whatever method works for you is the right one.  I tend to write in a linear fashion, from point A to point B without reviewing what I’ve written previously.  Indeed, sometimes I only find out what I left on the page when I go back and perform the first edit upon completing a novel.  There have been exceptions to this rule; sometimes I will write about six chapters and do a read-through just to refresh myself on what I’ve written, because the early chapters in any story provide the building blocks for your characters; their first meeting, or the inciting incident that brings them together, or any other source of conflict you can imagine. 

I found myself in an unfamiliar place on my latest project.  I completed 23,000 words in a quick amount of time, and then found myself stuck.  I closed the document, put the book aside, and began to write a novella that appeared unexpectedly in my head.  I completed the novella, edited and published it, and brainstormed how I was going to get back into the swing of things.  I knocked around a few ideas and considered some possibilities.  Honestly, I am still considering some of them as I write the book!  But I decided the best solution for this novel was to go back to the very beginning, reread the entire thing, do some revisions as I went, and then see where I found myself.

I deliberated and finally decided to introduce a new character in order to give the story some additional balance.  I changed a few things and added other new elements, which may or may not improve the overall story.  Time will tell.  The good news is that via this experience I was able to continue my writing in earnest, surpassing 45,000 words.  I’m not sure that I will ever work up to full-novel length again.  I did two novels in the 100,000 word range, but I tend to be the most comfortable between 70 and 75,000 words.  Those also seem to be the easiest to edit.   

Monday, March 31, 2014

The Best Laid Plans

2014 was supposed to be my year, wasn’t it?  I had so many plans for myself.  Now March is drawing to a close and most days I feel worse about myself than ever before.  In some ways I blame the weather.  Every time I craft plans for myself, things I want to accomplish, it seems that it snows or rains again.  How nice would it be to string together three nice days in a row?  Money also continues to be a worry; I was overdrawn at the bank this month for the first time in over five years.  My lack of income was always a concern but somehow I managed to keep a positive balance despite having no steady job after December 2010.  I’m sure things are going to be dodgy money-wise at least through my birthday, which is no longer the financial windfall it was once upon a time.  The older you get, the less people care about you.  That’s the honest truth.  I literally cannot afford to buy Heart Trouble even though it is now available in paperback.  I do hope that things can eventually turn around, that at some point I can recapture my previous sales success in publishing.  I am trying to finish two different books, and I have another idea in the queue.  I just don’t have much confidence in my writing anymore, which matches the fact that I’ve never had any confidence in myself.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Paperback Writer

At long last, Heart Trouble is available to order in paperback form.  To be honest, I cannot afford to buy a copy of my own novel, which should tell you something about the ups and downs of being a writer.  Heart Trouble was not one of my longer novels, and it is a quick read.  But it also marks the point where I changed my writing style and tried to branch out into some different territory.  I’m not sure when it will be available but it is up for ordering, and that is the important fact given my long wait time.  Then again, publishing tends to move at the speed of a glacier, and the only way to have a book available immediately is to print it yourself.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014


My last novel was written in twenty-one days, which may or may not be a statistic worth repeating.  With the current one, however—I am 23,000 words into it—I find myself being a lazy writer, not having added any text for the past three days.  I think my lack of initiative may be the result of several different factors:  indifference to my last two books, lack of attachment to my current characters, or perhaps a loss of my writing inspiration.  I can clearly see my hero and heroine, the progression of their relationship and its ultimate endgame, but I don’t think I’ve been happy enough lately to give anyone else’s story its proper conclusion.  I have grown increasingly disenchanted not with writing but with lip service. I have eagerly been anticipating the paperback of my published novel for months now, as I have plans in my mind to promote it to a magazine with a large readership and wide coverage.  As the months pass, it seems increasingly pointless: if the book is ever printed, I will ship it for review, but it becomes a question of timeliness; will anyone care if the book is a year old by that point?  Have I missed my chance to make a big push and have people by the book?  I know all authors—all people, really—must multitask, and I can do it as well (or as poorly) as anyone.  But it’s very difficult to accomplish your goals when you have so much on your mind.


Monday, February 24, 2014

Cover of Darkness

Regular readers of this blog will remember that I wrote a 72,000 word novel during the first twenty-one days of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).  The turnaround time on this novel was not so great—it took me three months from completion to publication, which admittedly is shorter than most publishing lead times.  I was lackadaisical when it came to editing, holding off on the business of revisions until January, nearly two months after it was complete!  I at least have a valid excuse for the slowness of the rest of the project:  snow.  The weather has made it very difficult—make that extremely difficult—to get to a decent internet connection and upload my book.  I also struggled with crafting a cover.  I’m still not one-hundred-percent happy with the covers of “Dark Horse” or “Cover of Darkness”, but you get what you pay for.  And employing myself as a graphic designer is certainly economical.  I have no clue if the novel is any good, but I enjoyed writing it.  As always, readers, I leave my success in your hands.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Dangers of Procrastination

Call this particular blog a cautionary tale.  I completed a novel for NaNoWriMo back in November and it has been mentioned extensively in this blog.  For most of the next two months I did very little editing before jumping in feet-first in January.  As usual I was fairly happy with what I had written:  generally speaking I only change words and restructure sentences during the editing process.  After two-and-a-half edits, I was ready to publish.  I styled and began the upload process.  Herein lies the problem; due to the poor winter weather I have been unable to venture out and get everything done at once.  I have to travel to the public library in order to achieve a suitable internet connection.  I first began production of the books nearly two weeks ago, and while I completed the e-book in two sittings—I plan to redo the cover at some point—the paperback remains in the queue, with a cover that also needs to be edited amongst numerous other items on the checklist.  This experience has taught me that my focus needs to be on producing and promoting product in a timely manner.  Yes, the book needs to be a quality product, but it shouldn’t be a burden that consumes too much extra thought outside of giving the finished item some promotional muscle.   Lesson learned.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Songs for Sale

I’m never quite sure how to frame a blog that’s little more than a sales pitch, but I wanted to put it out there for anyone who didn’t know, or hadn’t bought a copy, that Heart Trouble is available for 1.99 on Amazon for the entire month of February.  I’ve posted the links on Facebook and twitter several times, and I will now post it for anyone who might have missed it or is interested in the e-book.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Cabin Fever

I am not even sure when I will be able to post this blog—that’s how bad the weather has been.

People are fond of saying that the summers are warmer, and that the years are heating up until the point that the polar ice caps will melt and we will all need snorkels.  I can’t find any evidence of such an occurrence. This is undoubtedly the worst winter I can remember in the past twenty years.  In the winters of 1993 and 1994 I can remember missing plenty of school due to the snow.  Even the interstates were shut down due to the inclement weather and poor conditions.  While we have yet to experience (thankfully) the two-foot blizzards of snow of my childhood, this winter has been interminable.  It got an early start, snowing before Thanksgiving and seldom letting up since.  Christmas was thankfully free of anything heavier than a dusting.  Then the Arctic air swept down from above and put us in an icebox.  For most of January it has been the same pattern: cold, snow, brutal cold, snow, more brutal cold, more snow.  I have never been so eager for warm weather in my entire life.  It is difficult in these conditions to find the motivation to do anything.  Lately I have been trying to keep busy but there are only so many episodes of Dallas you can watch and only so many pages of a book to read before your eyes get tired.  Whatever else has come to pass due to the cold weather, one truth remains:  I picked the absolute right time to grow a beard.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

We Need a Resolution

As I have stated in the past, I don't make New Year's Resolutions.  I also don't set overarching goals for myself.  I tend to focus on short-term goals:  I want to write an entire book in one month, I want to apply for six jobs next time I'm online, etcetera.  There would be no point in setting a goal such as, "I want to travel to Europe by this summer," because I would never be able to earn that amount of money.  At any rate, I am continuing to work toward my goal of self-improvement for 2014.
1) I haven't given up on the beard, which is an accomplishment in itself.  For someone who never leaves the house without a razor first touching their face, this is a big step.  But heaven help me if the hairs start to come in grey...
2) I purchased several reference books, and though they would not come under the general heading of "self-help", I'm going to pretend that's what they are.
3) I'm trying to cut soda from my diet by tapering off.  I may need to keep it around just in case of emergency, because trying to remove the Pepsi drip from your veins after twenty-plus years is not easy.  I'm not so much concerned about the health drawbacks as I am the empty calories.  Perhaps one a day, counteracted by lots of water, is the way to go.  To be continued...
4) I've got to get back to editing the novel I wrote in November.  I actually haven't done anything to it since Christmastime, so I'm anxious/nervous about checking back in.