Thursday, June 30, 2011

My Random Mind

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Shaaazam, I say!  I am ready for Harry Potter.  This weekend is when we begin the movie marathon.  YOU know you have to watch all of them before you go into the latest movie.  If you don't the world will end, okay maybe not.  But you would miss something.  It could be important.

Was going through the blogs I takes some time when the number exceeds 300.  I found the coolest article.  I have seen it before by Dean Wesley Smith (a mystery writer who is knee deep in the e-publishing biz.)    Well, it is about the money bits of publishing and the number and sense.

After reading that...pretty sure I need to get back to writing. Deuces.


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Bad news...

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Have you ever been told something, or several somethings and the weight of what they could mean make you feel like you could drown?  

Doctors don't tell you much with their words. The faster they move to get you an appointment, to run test, and to get in for follow ups tell you much more then what they say.  Seems like the more test you get, the faster, the worse your condition may be.  You can ask what it means. But the answer is the same.  Of course their response is we see, we think, we need to be sure, we won't know till... They leave you waiting.  Always waiting.  

This post is a bit of a bummer...and well a mess. There is no definite news on anything.  Only that there must be test. I am pretty sure I have some wicked run-ons. It is how I feel.  I will be better.  

Had to purge.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The step is all

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Every journey begins with a single step.  Right?  When you do anything worthwhile that journey begins daily.  Sometimes hourly you are starting.  And if you like twitter and the minute.  A few words of wisdom from one that has gone before and is on the daily journey with you.
  • Go all 1980- Turn off all of the fun exciting social network games, and entertainment.  I have a routine...there are probably many other way more productive ones out there but this works for me.  I check all that stuff...facebook, and twitter.  I keep it quick no more then five minutes.  Then I  get on blogger.  I post and read a few post.  Then I am off.  No more for several hours. It is white page in front of me and ignore the family.    
  • Protective Force Fields- The television can be blaring, dogs barking and people arguing I hear none of it.  In the zone it is me and the music of the words in my head.  In flow I am reading the text and talking it out...yes audibly.  If you walk near me I sound like the little homeless lady rocking gently and mumbling to myself. The family knows, "Oh she is writing."  They know I don't hear them and it is no use talking to me.  It is not like that every time. I wish.  Sometimes I struggle to get into that zone.  
  • Go to the Dark side- I don't know why but my best writing gets done at night.  I know all the websites say to writing in the morning.  I can't see, can't talk and don't like people in the morning.  At night everyone is in bed and I can easily get in the zone.  Talking to myself is not such a big deal all alone. 
Admittedly, these three tips will tell more about me than help others. Yes, writing makes you a little nuts.  You are the master of a world the fate of them are in your hands.  You are in constant fear that you are writing trash, and that nobody will love the characters but you. When you get to the middle of your work you will know it because everything gets harder.  You hate looking at your writing.  It is all overwhelming.  You feel like you are nowhere near the end but (if you are me) you have no idea how to find the end.  It is ugly...lots of crying and procrastination.  Stick to it.  It gets better.  Everything gets better if you stick to it.  The key to all writing is well...Keep writing!  

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Succulents surrender

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Succulents stretching to the heavens. 

Give shade to the tired soul. 

Storms gathering their thunder 

Will squeeze out their tears.

Terra firma soaked and replenished. 

Saturday, smile please

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When was the last time you giggled like this?  

Friday, June 24, 2011

The changing face of e-publishing...I was right!

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The owls arrived with great news.  Basically the best news ever...I was right.  It is documented you can check. What does this along with other more 'advanced' e-books mean for e-publishing?  Perhaps I am drunk with being right earlier...but I take a stab at it on Chubby Bunny's Ink.  

Side note:  I am looking for followers.  I have stalled out both here and my publishing company blog, Chubby Bunny's Ink.  If you like reading them why not hit that follow button and let me know.  

Please Watch Out for Me

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I found this on tumbler.  

It is a sign we all wear.  Except I would scratch out motorist. I would write humanity. Maybe I should write this on the back cover of my book.  Lovingly placed I would send out my dreams, my baby with a simple plea for kindness.      

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Writing the Synopsis

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The novel is nearing publication.  It is in the second to the last read through.  Part of this stage for me is to prepare to write the synopsis.  It sounds simple a quick summary of the book.  When I first tried to do this last year I almost cried.  It is like trying to trap an entire world into a tiny cage.  They don't fit.  The characters are your friends and you feel like you are hurting them by limiting with your words.  

I had to learn "it isn't personal it is business." Thank you Godfather. Take the feeling out of it and get something on paper.  Once you have it down you can always tweak and grow from there. 

There are some questions that have to be considered: 

  • What is this story about?
  • Who are the main characters?
  • What do these characters want?
  • Why do they want it?
  • What stands in their way of getting it?
  • How to write a great synopsis
  • Write your synopsis in the present tense.
  • Focus on your characters and what is happening to them.
  • Give the editor a sense of the setting, tone and pace of your novel - they are your reader and you have to entice them. 

The synopsis should be short and to the point.  When editing ditch the adverbs and adjectives first.  Your description should come from your verbs and noun usage.  Always keep the synopsis in the present tense but remember to always keep the flavor of the story.  Happy writing today!


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

You have to pick your battles

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I am a relatively new follower of the Bloggess.  She is sassy, crass and spiteful!  She recently posted one of the funniest post I have read in a long time.  Do yourself a favor and check it out. 

More Pottermore

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I may not talk about it in mixed company but inside it simmers, and chews at my brain...what is she up to?  What is Pottermore?  I couldn't leave it alone. I rolled up my sleeves and dug in to the great interwebs.  

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The HarryPotterForum is alive with speculation of anything from a news of a new theme park, a social network. to a Harry Potter encyclopedia.   What do we know for sure?  
  • Warner Bros has purchased several URLs for Pottermore.  
  • Warner Bros has gotten copyright licenses regarding the name Pottermore that include print material, audio, toys, entertainment film and entertainment.     
  • A dear friend of J.K. Rowling was quoted in an interview saying that while he was on a visit with her he saw she was working on a Harry Potter encyclopedia, also known as the Sacred Scottish Book.  
  • ClubeDoSlugue has released three images. (One is the the store front above.) It seems to be a social network with  games and fan fiction in ereader format.  
I think it will be all of the above.  I think the creation of the social network would be amazing.  It could capitalize on the popularity of the final movie, and keep her fan base plugged in to any additional side novels that she has arise about other characters.  Plus it could eventually be used to explore other parts of the theme park idea.  I wouldn't even doubt if movies, cartoons came out as part of the side stories.  

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Monday, Dog Blog It

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After a great weekend with family what could a girl possibly want to do?  

Kick boxing, is your guess.  

It wasn't that bad.  I enjoyed it. I used to set such high expectations for family gatherings but after enough physical altercations, and cussing tantrums my expectations have calmed down.  No police were called, we all laughed, and when everyone left we are still on speaking terms and will not have to go through the family network of mediation.  You know the one where one poor relative has to relay between the two warring sides, my poor mom.   It really wasn't that bad.  We had dinners out, went to see a movie.  We had chats, talked about the good times and worried about the tough ones.  That is what it is all about.  A time to recognize the community of family, joined history and reflection. 

Then there was the dog...

For some reason my super sweet, Machie...yes the giant lab...lost his mind.    

He has the refined talent of escaping all cages, locked gates, doors, basically any kind of binding device. I am not sure how he does it.  When you watch him he is all smiles and waggles.  When you blink, or turn away he pulls out the kit and fights his way to freedom.  Well, at least he did till Saturday was more Sunday morning.  I escorted him to bed.  Put him in the locked cage myself.  

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To the untrained is a fortress, a prison that none will leave.  After I put him in the cage I got out the baby...Snoop Dog for a midnight potty.  About 5-10 minutes later I was back in the room to put him to bed and found my sweet baby wedged chest deep in between the bottom two pieces of metal.  His eyes were bulging and his breathing extremely restricted. 

Terrifying, right! 

Out came the assorted kitchen appliances. The only sharp scissors in the house, that ginsu knife they say can cut metal- all of it was strewn across my bedroom.  We cut and pulled.  If you got to close to my sweet baby's head you got the growl.  It was like freeing a trapped bear.  Bless his heart.  Looking back, pictures would have been a great idea.  I am a blogger...I should be prepared for those kinds of moments.  I couldn't do it.  The predicament sounds ridiculous but he was in real danger and a picture of his last moments weren't something I could do.  

It was a three man effort and me on my knees and elbows in front of him calling him but we managed to pulling the frame apart enough for him to wiggle out.  Who do you think he ran to in celebration?  Me of course!  Not the crew that were risking limb and getting the back aches...nope me.  What can I say I am a charmer!  

The crazy dog is fine.  We had to do an emergency run to the local Walmart at 3 am to get a new cage but we got to see all the strippers and such so it made the trip worth while. You would think with all that drama he would be terrified of getting in cages. Nope went right in and was asleep in minutes.  Not just asleep...but the kind of snoring that would put a tubby old man to shame.     

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Looking for 1,000 true fans

I have heard this before...that any artist that is hoping to make a living only needs 1,000 true fans.  It has been a number I have kept in the back of  my mind and you my writing friend should too.
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The Technium writes,

A creator, such as an artist, musician, photographer, craftsperson, performer, animator, designer, videomaker, or author - in other words, anyone producing works of art - needs to acquire only 1,000 True Fans to make a living.

We all have a goal now, my young writing friends. 1,000 is the golden number.  

What in the world is a super fan? 
A True Fan is defined as someone who will purchase anything and everything you produce. They will drive 200 miles to see you sing. They will buy the super deluxe re-issued hi-res box set of your stuff even though they have the low-res version. They have a Google Alert set for your name. They bookmark the eBay page where your out-of-print editions show up. They come to your openings. They have you sign their copies.  
When I read that I had to think, who have I been a super fan for?  What artist do I follow and track?
Sorry I got all distracted...watching the owls come in.  I do love me some Harry Potter.  Think I will put on the movie just makes me all happy inside. 

Friday, June 17, 2011

Anyone else hyped about this???

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My hero of literature, J.K. Rowling has launched a new website. is a simple one page site, with the owls gathering.  There has been a statement released from her spokespeople that there will not be another Harry Potter book coming.  (I would love to have spokespeople.)

If you click on the owls it leads to a youtube video with a countdown in a little over 5 days something amazing will happen.  I can barely contain my excitement!!! 

Dealing with the heat

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It has been over 100 degrees for two weeks.  My sad air-conditioner is limping.  It is acting as a water feature.  There is something wrong with the drip pan.  Not completely sure what that is, but to me it means I have to put a pile of buckets under it and keep it set at 84.  Not everyone gets to live in a sauna, don't be jealous. 

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This is just the type of week where you were meant to live in water.  Slap on those goggles and wiggle into those swim suits people, it is time to cool off.  To bad they don't make water proof computers...then we would never have to leave.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

happy place

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Have been doing edits...need to find my happy place. 

The candle is blown out.  Time to sail away to bed.  

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The last thoughts of a driver's ed teacher

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I drove three first time drivers today.

As we nearly side swiped a Mercedes, I wrested the steering wheel and wondered what I did in that first life to be punished so severely in this one.

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As I tried to explain for the forth time in twenty minutes why you have to turn the steering wheel the opposite direction after a turn, I subconsciously made my to do list for shopping tomorrow.

As I adjusted the steering wheel, so we wouldn't hit the mail box that seemed to be jumping in front of us, I wondered why is the steering wheel so mushy and sticky feeling. (Nasty boys!)

As I wiped the cooties off my hand onto my shorts, I made a mental note to wash the shorts I was wearing as soon as I got home.

As the little old lady flicked us off when she sped by, I tried say a little as not to cuss in front of the children.

I rode shot gun, but my day was so much more.

What multitasking did you do today?

Monday, June 13, 2011

Basking in the new routine of summer

I struggled to sleep last night. I was giddy with excitement. No- it wasn't because my Mavericks won...although that was pretty exciting. 

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  It was because today, this very Monday, would be the very first day of my new summer routine.  I do realize this may elevate my nerd status a bit but I love routine.  I love being active, despite all the times I have wallowed, (perhaps basked is a better word) in the hermit lifestyle being active is way better for me. 

Why am I so hyped? Three days a week this is my joy. Allow me to give you the layout on all that is good and perfect with the world my new schedule...
  1. Wake up at 7 am
  2. Play with dogs for an hour and get breakfast.
  3. Go to gym for 1.5 hours. 
  4. Any errands that need tending to, today it was a quick stop at the local super Walmart.
  5. Come home and again play with dogs while I get lunch together. 
  6. Pack/prep for the rest of the day.
  7. Meet BT at the gym for work out number 2. 
  8. Go to driving school and teach those teens how to drive for 4 hours and return home.
  9. Write and eat dinner and think about how perfect life is.  

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I know it is really easy to be jelous of such an extravagant life.  Two gym visits?  You wonder why in the world would someone do that.  Well, last summer was a chubby summer.  Followed by a chubby fall...and you see where we are going. Yup now I am wearing the rewards.  

That is okay we all slip sometimes.  I have a wonderful book out of the ordeal. It is a little like trying to take off the baby weight after giving birth...but it is a 400 page newborn book not a newborn that wants to keep me up all night.  Think I got the better deal. 

What wonderful adventures and routines are you starting this summer?

Saturday, June 11, 2011

So it begins

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I have summer dreams of languishing in a pool all day.  

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I am pretty sure I am allergic to the sun.  

I could be partial vampire, my Eastern European roots. 

Unfortunately, I have an aversion to blood.  

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Ghost of today

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I stood in a busy hallway, invisible. 

The world spun around me.  

I was the core. 

Each figure a smoke filled dream.

I choke.

Their allusion morph into my disillusion.  

Letting Go, and taking hold

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I do know that it is sunny and 100 degrees outside. But it feels like this to me, cold dark with a hint of fog.

This time of year is rough.  My little darlings are leaving the nest for 8th grade.  Some are moving far away.  Some I can't wait to get rid of.  But there are always a know the ones.  They walk in and after a year's worth of experiences, stories and tears you get to May and don't want to tell them good bye. You want to hold them and keep them this very sweet age for a lifetime.  

Maybe it is tougher this year because I have buried three students in the last year and a half.  (Not in some sicko way...they drug overdosed.)  I look at the little faces in front of me and wonder which of these darlings will be the one in their graduating class that will or won't make it.  Cheery...I know.  

Maybe, I am in a funk because my routine is changing.  I am a creature of habit and routine.  I detest change.  I get all stressed and upset.  I have told myself that we cannot do another chubby summer like the summer of 2010.  They will have to cut me out of the house, if I try that stunt again.  This summer will be sweating with workouts with three different workout buddies.  I set it all up.  I have been excited, but now I think the excitement has slipped maybe morphed is a better word.  All I can think of the sweating, pain, and exhaustion of it all. It makes me want a nap.  Oh and a giant cookie, dipped in chocolate, with some ice cream on top.  I will like it, I know it will be good for me.  I think I can, I think I can.  

What big changes are you making this summer? 
What things are you having a tough time letting go of?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

How to write a novel

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Every writer starts differently.  There is a point where the imagination combines with circumstance and if you are lucky you are in tune enough to catch it and trap it on paper.  On Chubby Bunny Ink, I will be exploring just this topic.  I invite you to hop over and follow the series. 

Monday, June 6, 2011

Last Monday in School...for 2010-2011

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My mind has already done this.  

Three more long days till my body gets to do the same.  

Last year I was a maniac this time of year...

there was cleaning, organizing and even, dare I say, dusting.  

This year....I have the cartoons on and my blogs up.  

I have entered any possible inservice on my phone.  

That was the last thing I did that could possibly be ratcheted up to productive.  

Strike that, I did toss three posters. 

I know stand back for the the madness.  

I will see about filing, psst who am I kidding...I think I might color. 

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Writers Give the Best Advice on Writing

"Finishing a book is just like you took a child out in the yard and shot it." 

Truman Capote

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I feel like I have been shooting my child for the last year and now I have to polish her up and set her out for display.  A bit depressing and scary.  

Today, I happed on the most helpful site.  It always helps to talk to those that have gone before you.  Plosblogs has a post that focuses on just that.  It is Practical Tips on Writing a book from 23 Brilliant Authors. 

I remember when I started writing my first book I was so anxious.  I didn't know if I was doing it right. There was constant self doubt about the process and the quality of the product I was putting together.  I found that reading advice from writers that had gone before were the only comfort.  The sages that had been before and knew the journey I was on were what kept me writing.  

I offer to you, dear reader, who are still in the trenches desperate to find your way out a few of the sites that kept me going.  

  • Nathan Bradford is a top writer, agent, and amazing blogger.  He has great articles on the nuts and bolts of the writing process and story structure like, How to Write a Novel, and How to Write a Synopsis   
  • Joe Konranth is an old time favorite.  He was a mid list writer that sat with several books published but not going anywhere.  He took e-publishing by the horns and has chronicled his journey for everyone to read.  
  • Writer's Digest seems like a natural starting place as well.  In any career you have to become a fan of the industry professional organizations.  They are there to support you.  Take advantage of it.  
  • Follow as many author bloggers as you can find.  Watching the sages that are a step in front of you will help you find your own way through the mind field.  
The most important advice I can give anyone that is a step behind me is keep writing. Even when it is ugly and you have no time, write.  Sketch characters when you sit in restaurants, while you are on planes write where ever and when ever you can.  

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

We got a Rough...not that (:

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My Book- the Back story:
As you guys know, for the last two years I have been up to my arm pits in the harry businesses of writing my first book.  It was drafted, rewritten, edited, and rewritten.  It stayed in those last two steps for the last year.

Meanwhile, in this same year I have been a researching maniac.  After queries, and endless rejections I decided that maybe the old way wasn't for me.  Maybe I needed to go with the new technology.  I dug in and started more researching. The more I read the more excited I got.
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So today: 
I have started my own publishing company, Chubby Bunny Ink.  Currently I am my only client. I am a bit of a handful.  I need to try to get that one unwieldy client under control before I accept additional artist.

Starting your own company takes a ton of work.  Getting domain names, getting the IBN numbers, editing, and cover art.  I have been working with a great friend of mine on the editing...well a series of friends.  I have discovered that I may have some OCD tendencies when it comes to writing.  Every time the book goes to a friend for editing it is like a clock is ticking in my head and inner being.  I might go a little nuts with the emails and begging for a response.  My buddy, BT, happens to be an amazingly talented English teacher and overall grammar expert. She has an amazing skill that none of the others have mastered...she calls me out on my crazy.  Every stinking time, it never fails.  I go into OCD and she shuts it down and shuts me up with some wondering lecture on comma splices and run on sentences.  Blah, blah...I got it.

BT has the book and like a mom bird feeding her chick she slips me chapters one at a time.  It is just enough to appease the OCD monster.

A few weeks ago a friend of mine, Cal at the Cave of Cool, suggested his artist buddy MJ, the very talented man that made the header art on Cal's blog.  I jumped at it and practically begged him and he did.  Just yesterday I got the best email known to mankind...he had rough sketches for the book.  They are rough, very rough.  But I am just so happy to see what images my book inspired for him.

This is cover 1.

I love the contrast of images and how he works so much of the story into the cover.

I do worry that a regular Joe might not get that this is a story about murder and political deception.

I would like for him to switch the woman and the truck.  I worry it might be a bit overwhelming and too much to take in.

This is cover 2.  

This one is much more simplistic which I really like.  He suggested that we switch the building to be the capitol.  I like is hard to draw a high school that looks like a school and not an office.

I am in love with her face in this one.  The detailing is nice and I like the images in the blood puddle.

This one does seem to be all the same color.  There isn't much punch to it.

This is where I need help.  I would love it if some of my artist/ e-reader friends could offer up some advice.

 Which of these piques your interest and/or what are some suggestions do you have to make it perfect?