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Showing posts from July, 2012

Distracted

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I'm having one of those days where the ADD is threatening any chance of productivity. I'm not even sure why I just can't bring myself into focus today. I've given in to one of my standby methods to center myself- eat a big meal, take a short nap, and turn on an old familiar movie. Instead of the usual results, I'm even more distracted.
My knee is a little achey. I remember how I twisted it, and it makes me laugh.
The knot on my forehead is pounding. I feel like I've grown a second head up there.
I can't help but notice that one of the speakers in the surround sound system is out of place. I cannot possibly be expected to focus until the sub-woofer is thumping out the growling engines of the USS Enterprise in just the right location.
That pile of laundry isn't going to do itself.
Why have we not invented automated laundry yet? NASA needs to get on that.
Maybe I should spend a few more minutes proofing my manuscript today, and come back to writing this …

Big in Japan (Book Giveaway!)

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My friend and awesome author Jennifer Griffith has written another book! And lucky me, I got to be one of the advance reviewers for it, AND I get to give away a free copy!!

At home in Texas, Buck Cooper is considered obese and too big to be taken seriously. But a last minute trip to Japan with his parents changes everything. One minute he's the foreigner who stands out like a (tall) sore thumb, the next he's discovering his true potential in the elusive world of sumo.
Big in Japan is big on laughs, landscapes, and love. The main character is enjoyable and relatable and makes you wish you could give him a big teddy bear hug. Whether or not obesity and sumo are in the reader's future, the main character's struggle with his self-image, self-loathing, and personal courage, will strike a familiar chord.
Author Jennifer Griffith grew up in Idaho and learned to speak Japanese while she lived in Japan for a year and a half during college. She earned a degree in wri…

Whirlwind Trip to Washington (again)

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After my whirlwind weekend I am ever so glad to be home and in my own bed again. I love my little car, but it kills my back. I don't have this problem in other cars. It seems to be exclusive to my car. There is something about the seat and the way I hold the steering wheel! It just does me in! Add in over 12 hours of driving solo this weekend, and that's a lot of back pain.
Also, a lot of Dr. Pepper.
It was a great weekend though. I got a lot accomplished, saw friends and family, had some fun, and enjoyed the experience of speaking to the singles conference. As I said before, I enjoy speaking and it doesn't intimidate me. However, when I arrived (much later than I had intended to) at the conference, and saw that most of the audience was older than me, I got a little concerned that they would not take me seriously, or would not care. It was a really good learning experience for me to see not only did they listen to me, but that by listening to them, I learned something. So…

Single in the Hot Summery City

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I've been falling back into that habit where I have so many things to write during the course of the day that by the end of the day, I have little desire to write something for fun on the blog. 

Life pretty much revolves around doing my two freelance jobs during the day, and finishing up what is required to publish my novel at night. Every day I think, "This is the day! This is the day where I finally finish everything on this stinking book, and I never have to work on it again!" But no, by the end of the day something else has come up, and I have to push off the launch another few weeks. Does it ever end??

This weekend I am speaking at a singles conference. I don't dislike public speaking. I am one of those unusual people who actually enjoy public speaking, especially if I can interact with the audience some. (And I hope to be able to do that this time.) But I am always intimidated by speaking to singles. I feel like a fraud or imposter, and that they will see righ…

Wahoo!

The good news is that all of the Kickstarter funds were raised! Thank you to all who supported me. It really means a lot!
Now to do more work! As all published writers can tell you, writing the book is only half the battle. Then comes the marketing, editing, more editing, graphic design, marketing, promoting, editing, and rewriting the synopsis 5,000 times until you actually like it.
(And then we get to do it all over again for the next two books. Fun.)

Last Plea for Help!

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As you know, for the past several months I have been working hard to write three novels. I am happy to report that the books have been written, and the first in the series is ready to publish.

But self-publishing is not easy. In order to succeed a self-published book must be beyond reproach. And in the case of the books I have written, they must go a step further. These books are centered around family values, good morals, and a smart woman who refuses to compromise what she believes in.

It is exactly the kind of book that will be mocked for not embracing more "forward" thinking, or progressive ideas.

The book must be accurate (I reference real events, history, government, and the stock market- this book required a lot of research!), perfectly edited, and above all else, an exciting and engaging read. To ensure the top quality of a self-published book it takes more than just a passionate author. It requires editors, graphic designers, and other professional…

Not gonna lie. It kinda makes me mad!

Everything about this kinda makes me mad.


Why does someone's very personal choice have to be mocked like that?
Sure, they had to pick a goober of a guy to make it "interesting" TV. But when they do that, it also implies the rest of us who choose the same morals are also goobers.
And that makes me mad.

All of which is just one more reason why I am so passionate about my quest to self-publish this book with its family values and good morals! Can't we choose to make the person with family values the cool kid, and not a goober on cable TV?

Warning: Bad Day Ahead

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It is barely 1 pm and I feel like throwing the towel in on this day. So far, very little has gone right, and I don't see much room for improvement.
Any "career" that requires a ton of self-promotion online is bound to have its ups and downs. This has everything to do with why I wanted to get out of social media marketing as a career. I hate having to spam my own friends for a living. Even more, I hate it on days where I feel like I have failed, because it seems like my friends are the ones not supporting me.
Of course, none of this is actually true. I am very aware of the fact that I over-spam my friends. I'd ignore me too if I were them!
But that's not the whole problem today. I'm trying to be mature enough to believe that that isn't even a problem!
There's just a dozen projects I need to tackle, and so far, not one of them has been easy to do. It seems like I'm missing some major detail for every single thing!
I'm even annoyed with the dog.…

What will my legacy be?

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It feels like a lifetime ago that I attended the LDS singles conference in DC. Really, it was only 10 days ago. Girls Camp can mess with your head that way.
During the conference I had a very unusual and fun experience. There were 4 sets of speakers, of which 2 were couples I knew. The first couple I had not seen since I was 12 years old. The wife was my first young woman's leader (my Beehive teacher- sorry for the odd language to my non-LDS friends), and first Girls Camp leader. I went up and asked if she remembered me. She said, "Oh honey, I may not remember your name, but I sure do remember that face! You were one of my young women, weren't you?" We talked for a few minutes. It was a unique experience to get to ask her for advice just as I headed off to camp myself. I wondered if my sweet young girls will remember me in 25 years? (I told them the story (through numerous tears), and one of them replied, "We're all cousins! We'll still be seeing each o…

Mama Bear Meets Mama Duck (my week at Girls Camp)

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We're back from Girls Camp. The picture above is me and my "Baby Ducks" as we arrived back at the church. Actually, we're short 4 Baby Ducks in this picture. "Number Two" is in the picture as well.
Let me explain the Baby Ducks. The nickname came from how often I started to feel like a Mama Duck. Everywhere I went I had a little flock of baby ducks following behind me. All I wanted to do was get them from Point A to Point B alive, and without wandering too far off the path- not unlike a Mama Duck. And sometimes easier said than done.
Much to my own surprise this week I discovered I'm not just a Mama Duck, I'm also a Mama Bear! You DON'T mess with my girls! Don't even think about it! Come to think of it, a Mama Duck will also attack if you mess with her babies. I think the Mama Duck and Baby Ducks are a great name for us!

See the van in that photo? Let me tell you a little story.
Have you ever had a moment where you just knew angels stoppe…

Greetings from Girls Camp

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We interrupt my week in the woods with lots of young women to bring you this important message-

READ THE FIRST CHAPTER OF MY NEW BOOK!!

I hope you will join me in my new cause to bring this book with good conservative morals to mainstream fiction!
Over the past 6 months I have worked hard to write 3 novels (and a fourth is still to come) featuring a woman of high moral character. What makes this book different from most other mainstream literature is that it is not a book about morals or values. Instead it is a fun, engaging, and at times thrilling and emotional, plot that just happens to be centered around a good conservative woman.

This is something not easily found in the mainstream press, which is why I have decided to self-publish.

Typically if books like these were presented to a commercial publisher the author would be forced to make the character evolve or change away from her traditional values. Or these books would be forced to go the way of a smaller, niche marketin…

Put Good Conservative Values into Mainstream Fiction

For the past several months I have been writing a new book. One book turned into two books and then into three. And there is a possibility there may even be a fourth book before this series is over.
I wrote the bulk of the first book in about 6 weeks. If you've never tried to write a novel before, trust me when I say that is insanely fast. But I was inspired and obsessed with my story. All I wanted to do was write it.
At the time books 1 and 2 were the same book. I hadn't planned on making them 2 separate books. But through the all important editing process (adding nearly 100 more pages to just the first half alone) I realized it needed to be 2 books. I've been fortunate enough to work with several good friends in order to edit, revise, and edit again to make this book happen.
I have felt strongly for several years that I wanted to write a book with a strong female heroine who does not have to compromise her values or what she believes in in order to succeed. I feel all t…

Screen Time

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My new little netbook has arrived. Do you see how small it is next to my old laptop?? I'm so excited.  It is just an 11" netbook. Just a baby really. It barely weighs over 2 lbs. Considering all of the places I have to travel over the next few weeks alone, I cannot wait to carry this little thing around. The big brown laptop? It weighs closer to 7 lbs, I think. It is great for watching movies on, and for saving my eyesight on days where I have to type for 12-16 hours. But it is killing me to haul it places. The new one only weighs a tiny bit more than my Nook. (Oh how I wish tablets were more convenient for endless hours of typing. But they just do not work for full-time writing needs. Le sigh.)
I have to give the Amazon seller some credit here. I ordered my laptop at 1 am (maybe 2 am) Tuesday morning. Amazon didn't offer an overnight shipping option, but I did pay for the best option available. (I needed it by Friday when I leave town. I tried to buy one from 5 differe…

Fourth of July

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While reading an article this morning about the role women played in the American Revolutionary War I found a comment that quite frankly, cracked me up.
" I am disappointed in the anti-British attitude running through this article. Sad."

Seriously people?

My Fourth of July wish to you all is good fireworks, plenty of air conditioning, and liberty from stupid people.

Anyone want a writing gig?

Anyone interested in a writing job?
The Motley Fool is looking for more bloggers. It's a great gig.
As far as money goes, they pay better than any other freelance blogging gig I have ever found.
Worried you don't know anything about the stock market? Don't worry, you can be taught! As they put it to me when they took me on, "You can teach the stock market, but you can't teach good writing."
There is an extra, crazy huge bonus for new bloggers who sign up in July. (And a nice referral bonus for me!)
It is freelance work, pick and choose if and when you want to work, and even pick your own topic. (Granted- it has to be a stock market topic.) They offer direct deposit, and a very transparent, easy to understand payroll. (Which is also hard to find in the freelance writing world.)
If you live in the DC area you can attend a workshop they are offering in August (you have to be accepted as a blogger already). You can attend even if you don't live in DC, and ju…

Into every camp a little rain must fall?

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It seems like every summer of my adult life has revolved around Girls Camp. I know this can't actually be true, because when I lived in Utah I didn't go to Girls Camp. So there are at least those 3 summers I didn't go. And I know I didn't go every single year in Virginia, but it sure felt like it.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not complaining. I love Girls Camp! (For the life of me I cannot bring myself to say Young Women Camp. It doesn't roll of the tongue the right way. Not to mention, there's very few "womanly" qualities about a week in the woods with teenagers.)
In one week from today I take off for another 6 days at Girls Camp. This year is a little different from my past years. I'm really carrying more responsibilities than before, and I'm in charge of more girls (from my congregation) than ever before. That's bringing just a little anxiety into my life. But as I have said many times before, my girls are awesome, and totally worth…