The Work Continues

I know you all can hear my sigh of relief that I have finished writing my suspense story, “Amy’s Quest,” but the work is not yet done. The major part is writing the story, but then there is more work to be done.

My book chapters have been gone through the editing by my dear roommate, but we are human and it’s easy to miss things, especially when we get so involved with our story, or are tired, or whatever. Even the professionals miss stuff. That’s why they send it back to you to thoroughly recheck.

I’ve mentioned before that a whole bunch of eyes reading it is better than just two, particularly the author’s eyes. So now the next step is my going back and reading the whole manuscript/story to make sure I like the way it flows, there are no jig-jags along the story line, and punctuation’s and misspelled words.

What’s a “jig-jag?” I call jumping from one unrelated topic to another a jig-jag. Just my own term for it. I’m also looking for punctuation and spelling mishaps. This is a thick book. It will more than likely be 450 or more pages gauging the word count against my other one that’s thick, The Narrow Road. It’s 465 pages.

Now that I have wore myself out doing my happy dance yesterday I have spent most of today, sitting in uncomfortable chairs waiting to get my Driver’s license renewed, answering phone calls and e-mails, and supervising the heat and air guys do their winter maintenance inspection, and trying to find what the Lord wants for a cover design.

The publisher will ask if you have any particular kind of design for your book cover. I think I’ve mentioned in the past that we want a cover that will “pop” on the shelf. “Pop” means it will stand out among the dozens and dozens of other covers.

I’ve perused the google images off and on and couldn’t find anything that “spoke to me.” Finally today I just said, “Lord we gotta have a cover design!” He is always faithful and led me right to what He wants and it is the perfect cover! Hallelujah.

Okay, this is important! You cannot use a picture of something from Google images or some other website for a book cover design! We use them often for blogs but we are not using them on something that we will be selling for profit. That requires written permission from the owner of that picture.

So how do I manage to use a picture I have found on the inner net? I don’t! I find a picture of what I like so when the publisher asks if there is anything specific I would like for my cover design I show them the picture I like and ask that they make a cover design similar to what is on the picture I give them.

If the publisher has templates similar they can use those legally. If the publisher has a real artist on staff they will draw a cover design similar to what I have shown them but not exactly the same.

What we can also do is just tell them I want, for example, a path going around a curve with some trees but not overwhelming trees with our own sketch, stick figures and all. That’s what I did for The Narrow Road cover. Or, I want a mother and small child by a beach, like I did with Dawn’s Light. There are a variety of ways to get what you want on a book cover.

Now that I have accomplished finding my cover design I’m e-mailing people about writing endorsements. Nope I have not contacted a publisher yet. I want my “ducks” in a nice little row when I do. Right now the ducks are playing at the waters edge. πŸ™‚

Thanks for stopping by. I hope what I write is helpful and maybe a little entertaining at times. I really thought the little girl doing her happy dance was cute. πŸ™‚

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Happy Dance Time

These days seem to have gotten really cluttered up with “stuff.” It seems every time I turn around its something else that needs tending to. I received a notice in the mail that I need to renew my driver’s license. I’ve never had that happen before. It isn’t expired its just that I have a birthday coming up next month.

Wow, where does the time go?

That also means I have to get the required car inspection, which to me is just another means of stealing our hard earned money but its required or we can’t get tags.

It really makes me wonder about the whole system because I see several cars and pick-ups on the road that wouldn’t even qualify for a good junk yard wreck and yet they have current tags. Hmmm how does that happen?

Anyway, besides doctors appointments to get my ears unblocked, trying to write and do all the other necessary chores I have managed to get in some writing late at night.

In fact, having struggled with thoughts of this “freakin’ book will never end,” I kept writing. I go to bed at midnight, can’t go to sleep so I get up at two and write until I can’t see anymore.

Persistence pays off –

I FINISHED THE STORY LAST NIGHT!

Yahoooo, hallelujah, happy dance time…

Now I get to start researching publishers since the Lord does not want me using the same one as last time. Oh joy, how fun is that going to be? Not much but it has to be done.

Its really nice to know the story is finished but I still have to reread the entire manuscript, correct anything that may have been missed, find willing people to endorse it, and find a publisher.

The work is not yet completed.

Have a great week and thanks for stopping by.

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Keep On Keeping On

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE.

I hope you all had a wonderful celebration of our Lord and Savior’s coming. Praise be to God that He loves us enough to come as a baby, be our example for living, die a horrific death on a cross for our redemption, and rise again to greet us on the other side. Wow, I can’t wait for that day!

But until then, another year has passed by and I think we all have had some accomplishments as well as maybe some disappointments. But hey, that’s life. We do the best we can and hopefully put the disappointments or “bad stuff” behind us and use the lessons learned from those times for betterment.

I’ve been a bit under the weather with what I think is a sinus infection. I haven’t been able to get to the Doc. yet due to the holidays. It’s a good thing we aren’t trying to talk on the phone because my ears are blocked from whatever this is and I wouldn’t be able to hear you. πŸ™‚ No, I don’t text so that wouldn’t work either.

I have been able to write some when I’ve felt up to it. As you know from past posts I stay up really late at night but not with this stuff! 9:30 p.m. finds my house dark and me in the bed. Well, some nights, not every night.

I think I only have 1-2 more chapters to write to complete “Amy’s Quest” and then I will start hunting for the publisher who will be blessed to have my new story. I just need to get my head squared away and finish writing it.

Many publishers, most I think, will take your money before you’ve completed writing the story, but for me personally that puts added pressure on me to finish and I don’t like writing under pressure. Some may do fine with that and that’s okay. Whatever floats your boat, as the saying goes.

With a new year staring us in the face I hope whatever gift you have been given by the Lord will be used for His glory; be it writing, singing, or anything else. May the Lord bless you in 2020 and looking forward just keep on keeping on.

Thanks for spending the time to visit.

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What an Insult to Writers!

I just can’t wait until Monday to share this with you. Thursday I spent most of the day writing and doing research and by midnight I was exhausted and finally decided to quit and go to bed, and was up early and back at it again Friday morning. By late afternoon I was not only exhausted but brain dead from the intense concentration, so I decided I’d quit and maybe go at it some more a bit later.

I feel like I am close to finishing this story so I decided to start looking at some publishers and see if the Lord zero’s me on any particular one. I pulled up a few and quickly rejected them for one reason or the other and then came across one I had noticed a few weeks back.

Pulling up their web site I was rather surprised because there was actually very little important information on it. (red flag #1)

So I filled out their little box to receive their guidelines and I had barely gotten my fingers off these keys when my phone rang with one of their sales rep’s. (red flag #2)

We talked for a while, me asking him questions and him asking me questions, and I listened to basically the same sales pitch I’ve heard from all the other publishers I’ve used and after some time I hung up telling him I need to pray about it asking for the Lord’s guidance. He was very nice about it and gave me his phone number and e-mail address if I had any more questions.

Going back to their website I went through the many, many comments from those who had published with them previously and became quite concerned because even though there were many “good” comments there were quite a number of “Don’t use them” and why comments. (red flag # 3)

Flipping back through their website I searched and searched and couldn’t find anything about author discounts for when we buy our books after release nor could I find anything about the percentage for royalties. (red flag #4)

I e-mailed him asking about these two items plus a couple of other questions I thought of after hanging up from our phone call. (most new authors do not think about royalties or having to purchase their books) I got the answer today. And yes, I’ve been writing a good bit today also.

I think I’ve written previously that the author has to buy their books at a discounted price after their book comes out. That is done on a scale of how many books you order. The more you buy the bigger the discount.

With this particular publisher that scale was much like the rest of the publishers I have dealt with, and that would be five different publishers. (no red flag here)

Then I began reading about the royalties. A royalty is the % of your book price that the publisher sets that you receive when your book is sold through the book store or the publisher. I have found that most times its set at 60/40. 60% to the publisher and 40% to the author. Don’t forget the publisher and book store get theirs first and you get what’s left.

Reading through all the typical jargon of how the royalty is figured I finally come to the paragraph that states what I, the author, who has spent hours, days, weeks, and months typing, rewriting, praying constantly, using up reams of paper and tons of ink printing and reprinting, and editing, editing, editing, and editing, and not counting the headaches………………………

gets…………..

10% —- and that makes it a 90/10 royalty! 90% to the publisher and 10% to the author.

The red flag ripped off the pole and this writer hit the floor!

I DON’T THINK SO!!!!!!!!!!

Have a great upcoming week. I’ll be fine. I didn’t get hurt hitting the floor. πŸ™‚

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Lull or Slump?

I haven’t been writing the last few days. Is it just a lull or is it a slump? I’m not sure but having done more research I just haven’t felt like writing. Part of this lull, yes I’m going to call it a lull, is that this part of the story is something I really don’t care to add to the story. When I asked the Lord if we can skip this and do something in its place He replied, “No. Women love it.” Con found it!

I did manage to bite the bullet today and get one chapter written even though I have other things I would rather be doing or that need to be done. Procrastination is a sin – I think. Isn’t it in the Bible somewhere “don’t put off to tomorrow what you can do today?” Or something like that? Maybe not.

Anyway, between phone calls from relatives, friends, and telemarketer’s I did manage to get a chapter written only to realize I have more research to do. Darn! So maybe tonight when the phone stops ringing, I feed my face, and the house quiets down I can fire this thing up and get the rest of what I need through google search.

Thank God for Google! How did we ever live without them?

Answer – no computers! We searched the library stacks and spent hours in their files, aisles, and dusty books.

I get it, not all progress is bad.

Have a blessed night and see you next time.

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Choirs, Cookies, and Reading

That’s a google image – not me, but she might be reading my manuscript. πŸ™‚

Needless to say its been a busy weekend. A blessed one for sure.

Saturday morning was rushed to get the 8 ordered books packaged up that need to get to their destinations for Christmas and to the post office before noon when they closed. Once that was done I could breathe easier. Praise God. And by the way, my books DO make great gifts and there’s still time to order for Santa to deliver.

While I was packaging books my roommate was packing up cookies into gift tins for distribution. The rest of my afternoon was spent rereading the rest of my manuscript, or at least where I left off, and it still didn’t get done.

It still amazes me, although it shouldn’t since this is not the first book I’ve written, how many mistakes can still be found. But I’ll get to that in a moment.

I have a dear friend that is in the choir at the church I went to before the Lord moved me to the one I presently worship at. I know the hard work, the time consuming practices, and the hours spent at home learning the songs that she puts in.

At Christmas time, and months before, those practices are intensified in order to have a beautiful Christmas choir presentation. This is no small choir of a few people and when Gerri and I attended yesterdays Sunday presentation, they were awesome! All that work and practice paid off as a packed church listened, clapped, appreciated, and tears even flowed. It was quite a Sunday morning!

And then we distributed some of those cookies. The recipients were blessed and so was I. Less cookies to smell. (tee hee)

Today I haven’t gotten out of the robe and slippers. I’ve spent the entire day rereading that printed copy of the manuscript of “Amy’s Quest.” Even though it has been gone through with editing and making corrections, reprinting the corrected pages, I’m still finding errors!

This is why it is a must that we reread, over and over and have someone else read what we’ve written. Today was a jolt when I found that in an earlier chapter one of the bad guys was caught and put in prison. Yay, a bad guy off the street, right?

Reading on today, several chapters later, my bad guy that was caught and put in prison is suddenly found in the bottom of the lake with cinder blocks tied to his feet.

Wait a minute!

Yep, I really messed up. How can a guy in prison suddenly be found in a lake with cinder blocks tied to his feet? It’s called REWRITE! Its easy to get so caught up in the recent chapters we’re writing that we can forget some details that we wrote much earlier. That’s why it is a MUST to reread. Not skim through, but reread and catch those things that just don’t jive.

And by having someone else reread it is even better because they might catch what we missed. 4, 6, or 8 eyes are always better than 2.

I hope you had a blessed weekend. Thanks for visiting.

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Check Your Cookies

Wow, what a day, but before I get into that, I was up very late again last night doing the research I need to do for my new book, “Amy’s Quest.” I sort of hated having to dive into it but as usual I take the bull by the horns and get at it.

I think I finally went to bed at 2:30 and I still have more research to do before going forward with the next chapters. That was after I made a huge pot of my “Blue Ribbon” chili. I call it that because I won a blue ribbon, 1st place, in a chili contest several years ago with this recipe. And it is a secret recipe. I do not give it out!

We have a fire station just five miles down the road from me and they have helped me several times and really nice guys. So last year I made a 16 gallon pot full of my chili and gave it to two fire stations full of firemen and women. They loved it!

I decided to do that for just the station close to me and today I delivered it with a Christmas card thanking them for their service to our community and especially for their help to me. I hope they like it. There are some new faces in this station.

Then I drug out the manuscript I have printed up so far and began rereading it from the start. I’m not just checking for misspelled words or incorrect punctuation but I’m looking particularly for how the story flows. Are there “holes” that need to be filled? Does the story transition from one scene or event to another smoothly? What about the transition from one chapter to the next? These are important in writing, particularly a book.

While I’ve been reading and correcting a few areas I’m engulfed in the aroma of cookies being baked. My roommate has been baking various cookies all day. Try focusing in on a manuscript with cookie aromas floating through the air making the brain redirect and the mouth water. Can’t have slobber on the manuscript, that makes a mess to try to read.

Of course I’d have to stop and go downstairs to check on the progress of the cookie making and if there was a cookie sheet sitting on the counter with hot cookies I had to check them out. We can’t give tins of cookies that may not be just right ya’ know.

I’m also going to have to check out my bathroom scales because I think I gained ten pounds just smelling them and another five pounds tasting them. Oh Happy Christmas time is here and a roommate that loves to cook and bake. Toss the bathroom scale out!

Only 12 more days til Christmas… Then all those New Years resolutions.

Thanks for coming by. I appreciate it and hope to see ya’ next time.

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Night – Ugh/Day – Yay

Having finished a chapter and then writing for this site I finally got into bed at 2:00 this morning only to find I could not turn the brain off, so needless to say after finally falling asleep at 4:00 I awoke and dragged myself out of the bed at 10:00.

Peeking out the window I see a cold rainy day and decide it’s a good day for writing. The laundry is done, the roommate is doing great crocheting her hat without my help, the bills are paid and with a quick run down the driveway, they’re in the mailbox and only 2 telemarketing calls.

Yep, a good day to write and the words begin to flow. The Lord is giving me little clues as to what is to come in the next chapter and that really pleases me but through prayer I want to make sure it is what He’s putting in my ear and not something I just want, or think, should be the next chapter.

The words are flowing through my fingers and out through these keys and the day has been spent at this keyboard. I’ve managed two chapters before leaving the chair and stretching. Rereading the last chapter written I smile as I walk toward the kitchen and suddenly stop. “Oh No! Lord? I left out the main villain! I need to rewrite that chapter.”

Turning and heading back to the computer I pull up the last chapter and begin editing it and adding in the main villain plus one other important character. That takes a while because I’m having to revamp almost the whole chapter. Thank God I don’t write really long chapters and that’s something we need to take into consideration when we write novels.

Do we have chapters? Or is it one long on-going story? Are those chapters going to have titles or just a number? How long do we make a chapter? That one is determined where there needs to be a break in the story but leads to the next events or a change in scenery. With no chapters we’ll have an on-going story that continues continuously right up to the end. No breaks, no change of scenery’s, no past events, etc.

Anyway, it’s been a busy and successful day of writing and as I bask in the thoughts that I’ve almost finished the book the Lord drops a bomb on me. I still have a ways to go and it’s going to involve a lot of research! Ugh!

Stay warm and have a good week.

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Multi-Tasking Ain't for me.

Wow, what an exciting week it was last week. This week is getting off to a good start even though I was a bit under the weather Saturday and Sunday, but prayer works and I’m feeling much better. Some rest definitely helped along with the Lord’s healing.

I’m going to say today, (Monday) but it’s actually Tuesday morning at 1:00 A.M. I just finished typing another chapter for “Amy’s Quest” and I feel good about it. I was able to get another chapter written Saturday before the crud hit me so I have been able to accomplish some things over the weekend.

Today was busy with catching up on the laundry, teaching my roommate how to crochet a hat, write, and take care of bills for tomorrow’s mail. I don’t usually multi-task but it seemed to be my lot in life for today.

I learned something today though. I don’t know how many of you multi-task but I learned today that I really don’t care for it. I like to put my full focus on whatever project I’m doing and stick with it as best I can.

Writing while the washing machine and dryer is doing its job, (too bad it doesn’t fold the clothes, too) is one thing but having several different things going all at once is distracting and I don’t feel like I’m accomplishing anything. Aren’t women supposed to be proficient at multi-tasking?

Maybe its my age and its caught up with me and the old brain can’t take too many commands at one time anymore. As I’ve stated before, I eat, sleep, and breathe whatever book I’m writing and today taught me that if I’m going to write I need to set the other tasks aside.

It’s too cold to go down to the lake and sit on a blanket and write like I used to so I think I may have come up with the solution.

Finish this book and get it out of the way so I can do the other things I need to do!

I hope you all had a great weekend. Thanks for stopping by.

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Happy Faces Continued

I just can’t resist! I have to share our happy faces today with the distribution of the crocheted Christmas trees at the Senior Living Assisted living near me. The love, hugs, kisses, and gratitude is almost overwhelming. My heart smiles just seeing the pictures again.

Thank you so much Director Sandy at The Oaks at Hampton for giving Gerri and I this opportunity to bless others and in turn we are blessed.

He is a retired postman, and I got a hug.
The ladies are picking out which tree they want. They were so excited!
They each received a Christmas card, too.
“Oh my, they’re all so beautiful.”
She had a difficult time decided which one she wanted. πŸ™‚ We had different colors.
My favorite lady, Nell. She’s 91 yrs old and the sweetest. I taught her to crochet. Yes, at 90 she learned and has loved it! That’s my roommate, Gerri with her.
“The perfect place for my tree.” The lady couldn’t thank us enough.
“Oh I want the green one!”
“I can’t believe you crocheted 46 of those!” My sweet friend, Nell.
‘You are so very welcome,” Gerri tells this sweet lady.
And my favorite of all – Nell giving me a big ole kiss.

Do you feel the love?

See ya’ next time.

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