Tuesday, April 26, 2011

I finally finished editing Wingless, one of my friend's novels. I am pleased with the results, especially since she seems to be happy about them as well. Problem is, now I have all this time on my hands that I don't know what to do with. So, I have been slacking on homework and researching how to promote my own works of art. It doesn't sound as if I am really being modest, but in reality, I totally am. Thing is, I don't even know where to begin!

I've joined all kinds of market places, facebook sites, and signed up for countless accounts across the board. The only true success I have had in really getting any of the avenues I have started up and running in my favor is on a site called Digycat. They feature indie authors which gets the word out there for all to see. It's a great tool to have. Other than that, I have so many things to read, sign up for, create accounts for, and input information that I feel like my head is about to explode. Who knew there was so much information out there!

One thing I am trying to do is link up this blogger account to Amazon. Seems their widgets don't want to work with me today :/ They work for everyone else! These are the hiccups and road blocks that can be truly frustrating and discouraging. Not to mention time consuming. But I am hanging in there. Between editing, writing, hunting and signing up, I am making steady progress toward marketing myself. The only thing I can say that has been truly enjoyable about this whole experience thus far has been meeting some of the great people I have and the amount of info I have gleaned not only from them, but on my own through trial and error. I have to say, my choice to pursue a career in editing is definitely a good road for me because this marketing business is seriously hard to do! It's not for the weak of heart and I would recommend that if anyone out there is thinking of pursuing this avenue, try to find a support team that can back you up and relieve you of some of the burden. I know I could use a helping hand, or two. I won't give up though, not matter how stressful it may be, because, in the long run, I know my efforts will pay off. For what it's worth, to those of you who are reading this, you shouldn't give up either. There are so many out there that have taken the same path and have found, and continue to find, success.

Thank you for reading :)

Monday, April 18, 2011

Editing is a labor of love.

I've heard a lot of people say otherwise, but I would have to totally disagree. Yes, it can be a little daunting and a lot like a "job" even if you are just doing it as a side project, but since undertaking a friend's project I have expanded my knowledge of the field tenfold. Okay, not that much, but still. Between researching different techniques and exploring what works best for me, I have not only found how to make the best of it, but I have also benefited my own writing as well. Take for example last night. This is a situation that has plagued me since the beginning, but I have always wondered how in the world the books you get at the stores have such neat margins. Everything is so crisp! Now, I think most of us who write on our PCs and use Microsoft may have noticed that their new and improved version isn't all that user friendly sometimes. At least I have. I've spent hours of my time trying to figure out how to do it until, finally, I began to think, maybe this is just a trick of the trade that professional editors have and I will never be able to achieve myself. But I don't give up that easily. I surfed the web looking for programs and downloads that might solve my problem. I found nothing. Eventually I came to a site that talked about "justifying" your document. Now, once upon a time I knew how to do this. Not so much anymore. Every step I was told to use just didn't apply to my program, until I found the shortcut "Ctrl J". Now my document and any project I undertake looks superbly professional just as I've always dreamed they would. Why does everything have to be so ridiculously difficult and yet so easy!

I have also been writing again. It's been so long I feel like I am reconnecting with an old friend. Now, I think there a couple of reasons why I am feeling motivated again. One, I am curiously without a book to read. Seriously, it's like losing an arm or something. But I have always noticed that my creative mind blossoms when it isn't being shushed by the creative genius of others. Still, it's so much fun! I wish I could do both without the nasty side-effects. Second, I am really enjoying the company of my fellow Book Junkies on Facebook. They are a great team of fellow indie writers that offer great support and suggestions or even just a friendly hello. I am finding that reaching out and making connections can be very rewarding, even if it's just spiritually.

Let's see.....

Ah, yes. I have been expanding my musical selection on and beefing up my iPod like a fiend lately. Usually, I search for musical suggestions in places like where I can see what everyone in my community is listening to, and I tend to get a lot of good stuff. But I always have another source, and that is books. Yes, books. One of my fav authors is J.R. Ward and she is always good for a handful of awesome songs or artists in each of her novels. In her last installment to the Black Dagger Brotherhood series Lover Unleashed (amazing read, btw) she introduced me to Black Veil Brides and Rick Ross. Can I just say, I love that woman. Her mind is a beautiful thing. For all my hardcore musical choices, my new theme (you know, the one that follows you around as you strut your stuff- like John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever) is Adele's new song Rolling in the Deep. Now that is something I can jam to while writing, editing, cleaning, what have you. It's just awesome.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Food For Thought

This morning I woke up before the sun. Early bird catches the worm and all that. I hit the mats and did some pilates/yoga shoving my body past the breaking point and into severe pain. I really shouldn't have shredded it with Jillian (Biggest Loser) last night... But with the temperature creeping into the 80s for the first time since I don't even recall when, I couldn't help but be in a state of bliss. Originally, I planned to walk through the park, play with my kids on the swings and gyms, maybe go for a jog, but those plans were dashed when two of my three woke up sick. No matter, retail therapy was next on my list anyway. So, one romance book book later, I was home- not reading. Instead, I decided to clean out the files piling up on my PC. My goal? To start tackling my vast collection of unfinished novels.

I think I've mentioned this before, getting rid of your deformed little love child is not the way to go. For those who don't know me, I am a bit of a pack rat. That holds true even for my laptop. I keep everything. Even the simplest line or chapter or idea. You never know when it might come in handy. Fact is, you wrote it for a reason. So it doesn't work now with this particular story. You may be able to work it in somewhere else down the line. Why am I telling you this again? Ah, yes. Never delete, just shift.

I can't tell you the treasures I found! No, seriously, I can't tell you. You might steal it. Okay, that was harsh, I didn't mean it (I totally did). Anyway. From outlines to chapter starts to endings--even a story I don't remember starting hidden in a "outline" doc. I found a little of everything. I can't believe it! So, back to the no deleting just shifting...

Apparently, somewhere along the line as I was writing a story (way way back when) I had "deleted" and entire ending, not confident enough in the ending created to keep it, but not entirely convinced that it should be scrapped either. I decided, enough is enough with this not finishing what I started, I'm starting to feel like I'm neglecting my children here! So, I opened that sucker up and got to working on the who, what, when, where, why's of it all and discovered, this ending works. What was I thinking! I smooshed those docs back together better than all the kings men put together and voila! story complete. Maybe. That depends on if I want it to be done. Which I do. Either way, I am feeling accomplished tonight and pretty darn justified in my pack rat ways.

Sometimes, all you need is some distance to see the full picture. I get discouraged just like everybody else and I get down on myself and doubt my own abilities often. What matters is that I never give up on myself. I may put some distance between me and my projects from time to time, yes, but I always come back stronger than the last. I try to bring new things, new experiences and knowledge to the table and become better with age, like a fine wine. All I can say is, never give up and always have confidence in your abilities. And when you find yourself lacking, give yourself the time to discover how wrong you were. You are better and more capable than you give yourself credit for. And most importantly, don't get rid of anything! That's your creative genius you were thinking about throwing away. Embrace it.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Catching Up

Wow! It's been a week since I last blogged. And what a week it has been. Let's get caught up, shall we?

Starting with classes:
Monday marked the last day of Literature (A.K.A. the "D" class). I must say, it was a real struggle to get through that one. Particularly since I am not one of those people who think out of the box too well. I prefer those black and white, no shades of gray situations. So, needless to say, in a class where everything revolves around analysis and critical thinking- looking for that hidden meaning- I had my work cut out for me. I had my support group in place, however. A group of lovely ladies with which I chatted away, ranting about our grievances 'n' such. All in all, it turned out to be a great experience. One in which I got an A thank you very much. My only concern is that I now owe my first born to Google, or at the very least, a bucket of my blood. I bow to that entity and it's vast cache of knowledge.

Next up on my list of wonderful and exciting news: I got my first editing gig! A dear friend of mine, who just so happens to be a prolific writer, gave me the go ahead to edit a series she has been working on. Every evening I carve out a couple of hours to sit down and comb through her work of art. It's quite an experience I must say. One that only solidifies my decision to become an editor. Truly, this is the place I was meant to be. Now, applying my admittedly limited knowledge of graphic art apps and love of all things creative, I also took a leap and redesigned a few key elements in the opening of her book. I submitted the changes to her last night, crossing fingers and toes that she would love them as much as I did, and was relieved to find that she loved them, to which she told me she has the utmost trust in me to do my thing and make her already fantastic story into a polished masterpiece. I can't describe the feeling that comes with the opportunity to help out a friend, apply your own growing knowledge to a field you love, and getting such high praise. So, in an effort to express this feeling, I quote the infamous Jack Dawson, "I'm the king of the world!" Of course, I'd have to change that to queen, but you get the idea.

On the home front, my daughter's doctor told me this morning that she is growing like a weed. She far exceeds almost every other kid in her age group in height and weight. "Tall" as he put it. Apparently she is in the ninety-seventh percentile. Now, for those of you who don't know what that means: Ninety- seventh percentile simply means that only three percent of all children in her age group are bigger than her. This puts her at an estimated 5'8" as an adult. Why is that so great you might ask. Well, coming from someone who is the tallest in her family and a staggering 5'5" yet a veritable midget next to her all of her friends and extended family, it had always been a dream of mine to be taller. Now, I can live vicariously through my daughter! Height is always a coveted attribute when you are wedged into the middle of both extremes. So, as I head into those dreaded 30's and unlikely to have another growth spurt any time soon, I have to be content with adding a set of sexy pumps to make these stumpy legs appear longer. At least my daughter won't need to do that.

Last, but not least: I was lured into a writing group called Book Junkies, on Facebook. Now, I haven't been there long, but I have to say, these people are freakishly nice! I've never met so many people in one place that are so warm and welcoming. It's not a click or some haughty taughty group who thinks everyone there should worship them. No, instead, this group is about the closest thing you can get to a family on a community website. Needless to say, I am glad I joined. Time will tell if it is anything but what I have described, but I am fairly certain it is as awesome as I think it is.

All in all, it's been a good week.

Friday, April 1, 2011

As It Stands Today

Good day :)

Today I decided to jump start my new class: business. So far, it's pretty okay. I think I will learn a lot for that inevitable day when I am released upon the world *evil laughter*. I don't think I will ever get into management, per say, though. Although, I do like the idea of power and wielding said power over my own personal set of minions. Hmm. Well, we'll just have to wait and see what happens there, now won't we?

Aside from school, I think I have a new idea that will further a story I started months ago, but got roadblocked and never finished. Sometimes, all it takes is a little (or a lot) of brainstorming to make the brain kick into gear and pull out the big guns. Hopefully, it will pan out and I can further my creation, though even I don't know what it will be yet.

I also made a decision that has been plaguing me for about a week now, and on and off for a couple of years. I don't want to pursue publishing my stories. Yes, I think they are good and I really enjoy hearing how much others like my work, but I just don't think that avenue is for me. That doesn't mean I won't make them available in print or Kindle or whatever, but I just don't plan to promote away. The stress isn't worth it, especially when it takes me away from writing and the joy of the whole creative process. For now, I am just content to watch my best gal pal chase her dream and chant her name from the finish line--which I know she will cross.

Yes, editing is where it is for me. I love the idea of reading so much, I want to do it for a living. I want people to come to me with their hopes and dreams and I want to see their faces when I tell them they really have something here, and I want it. I've heard so many writers say they hate reviewing their own work, to look for and fix those little errors. But, for me, that's the most enjoyable part. I may not know all, because there is so much yet to learn, but I plan to be the best of the best (at least that's the plan, anyway).
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