Monday, December 29, 2014

End of the Year

So it's the end of the year.  In three days it will be 2015.  It has been a pretty interesting and busy year.  I am sure some bloggers out there are doing end of the year surveys.

Remember Back to the Future II?  The movie takes place 2015 (I think) and they were flying around in hover cars.  Well it's almost 2015 and we are still driving on the ground-in hybrid and electric cars. There are a few things that came true from that movie including tablet computers, video conferencing, and wireless video games.

I'm not doing a survey, but I will hit some highlights.
  1. I had a summer job at a healthcare center. It was my first working in the medical field.  Therefore, it was an interesting experience.
  2. I went to Hilton Head Island this summer.
  3. I purchased a lot of books this summer, and I have some that I have not read yet.
  4. I had to learn some life lessons this year. One of those lessons is: don't count on promises that people make.  This is always a constant reminder. I had a few promises that were made to me this year and they weren't fulfilled.  Another reminder was: don't let people use you.
  5. I got up enough courage to write another ebook. 
  6. I bought a new computer because it was time.  I am getting use to Windows 8.  
  7. I used public transit to get to and from work.
  8. The biggest thing that happened this year is I lost 20 pounds.  It takes hard work and patience. It boosts your self esteem when you are able to fit into clothes you haven't wore in a long time.
  9. I had to go back do some edits for my ebook. I think I should hire an editor.  
This post isn't very exciting I know.  I hope that I will have more exciting news in the new year.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Taking Stock...

Well, I can't believe that 2014 is almost over.  Things tend to slow down and or come to a screeching halt this time of the year due to the holiday season.

Work has slowed down at Knoji AGAIN.  I am glad that I mustered up the courage to write another ebook. I intended for it to be released on January 5, 2015.  However, somehow I published it early on AmazonTaking on the Writing World is still scheduled for purchase on 1-5-15 on Smashwords.

I don't know if anyone has purchased it on Amazon yet, but at least six people and counting have downloaded a sample on Smashwords.  Thank you so much for your support.

I hope that next year will be a better year all the way around.  I have been thinking about writing a whole new novel.  However, I find myself trying to write out the same old story.  Maybe there is a story that needs to be told.  Or maybe there are some bad novel ideas that need to be shelved forever.

For months now, I have been struggling with a business plan.  Since I have no data to show for income statements and marketing, I feel like I am writing myself into a corner. I try to search for data on the Internet, but just when I think I have solved the puzzle, I find out that I have to pay for it.  I am probably not looking in the right places.  I have been dealing with this project since September.  I saw a book in the Kindle store about how to write a business plan in three hours.  Really?  Really? It is taking me three months to write a business plan.  It shouldn't take that long.

Sometimes, it feels easier to just watch TV or grab my Nook and just read. I don't know if it is the winter season that makes you want to be lazy and sleep.  South Carolina doesn't get the brutal winters like the Northeast and Midwest. 

Until next time...

Monday, December 8, 2014

Book Review: Breakdown by Ellie Grace

Goodreads says:

Amy Porter has had a thing for her twin brother’s best friend since she was a teenager. After being considered “one of the boys” throughout her childhood, he’s the first guy to look at her and see past the tomboy she used to be. Unfortunately, he’s also completely off-limits. She does her best to move on as the years go by, but it’s not until her life takes a drastic turn that she finally accepts the fact that they aren’t meant to be. However, as her world crumbles around her, Nate always seems to be close by to help her pick up the pieces.

Nate Miller knows that Amy is the one girl he can never have. No matter how badly he wants her, he won’t risk destroying his friendship, or the promise he made to look out for her when her brother goes overseas with the Marines. As life continues to get in the way and keep them apart, the only logical choice is to give up… but giving up is the last thing he wants to do.

With so many obstacles stacked up against them, can they find a way to make it work or are they headed for a breakdown?

I didn't know who Ellie Grace was until I spotted Breakdown on Amazon. After reading the description, it sounded interesting enough to give it a chance.  And I am happy to say that I am glad that I gave Ms. Ellie Grace a chance.

First, I was excited that the book took place in my home state of South Carolina.  I don't see too many books that take place in South Carolina.  I wonder if the author is from Charleston, SC.

We meet Amy and Nate.  Nate is Amy's brother Dex's best friend.  Dex has always been protective of Amy which meant scarring off any guy who showed interest in her.  Amy and Nate have been crushing on each other for years, but due to circumstances, unexpected pregnancy, fear of Dex, and bad timing-they just weren't able to get together.

The time they did spent together, they weren't able to keep away from each other and couldn't fight their feelings. The book takes place during the time period of over six years. Amy and Nate finally realize they are meant for each other.  Can they make it work? Will they be able to face Dex? Will Dex accept their relationship?   I don't want to give too much away.  I must say that this book is a quick read because I was so eager to find out what happens next.  I will give a hint-there is a happy ending.

Ummm....there were a few steamy scenes to put it nicely, so this book is more so for the mature crowd.  I believe that Breakdown is classified as general fiction and or new adult (18-25). And some are probably yelling at me, "You need to just grow up."  Yep, I heard it before.  Don't say I didn't warn you. 

3 out of 5 Stars
Personal digital copy purchased from Amazon

Friday, December 5, 2014

Coming January 5, 2015

Guess what?  I have finished the final edits for Taking on the Writing  World: The Ups and Downs of the Writing Life.  It is scheduled for release for January 5, 2015 on Amazon and Smashwoords.

I'm so excited.  As eager as I was to put the ebook out there immediately, I knew that I needed to take my time.  First impressions make lasting impressions, so there was no time for sloppiness. So here is an excerpt from the book.  Enjoy!


When I decided to send out my children’s story to magazines, it was rejected.  I know now that rejection is the norm for writers who want to get published.  However, I was tired of it.  I felt like my writing was worthless and I was wasting my time.  I began to believe Ms. M who said that it didn’t have what it takes to be writer and I was proving her right.
I was tired of being turned down because my stories didn’t fit in with the publications I wanted to publish them in.  Thanks to contest scams, I feared that my work might get stolen.  So what do you do in these situations?  Give up altogether?  Let the nay sayers win?  Or do you find another path?
As a person, I know that I don’t fit in.  I stand out from the crowd rather I like it or not.  I didn’t fit in at school or at work.  The fact has proven true for my writing.  Big Brother, Little Sister didn’t fit in any children’s magazine.  Also, my unfinished novel didn’t exactly fit into the young adult category because my main character was 22 years old and out of high school.  I came to the realization that it was time for me to pull up my boot straps and face my fears.  I have also learned that I needed to have thick skin in order to make it in this business.  I needed determination, drive, and discipline to continue in the fight to publish my stories.

Is there a place where writers can publish their stories that just don’t fit in with the current trends of the market?  Thanks to self-publishing companies like Create Space, Smashwords, Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing, Book Baby, and others, authors can publish their stories that would probably still be stored away on flash drives, discs, hard drives, and clouds. 

In October 2011, I created an account on Smashwords.  I primarily opened the account so I could download books from the site.  It took me two years to be brave enough to self–publish short stories.  I decided that this would be an experiment to see if anyone would want to read my work.   I had a few short stories and flash fiction pieces that I wrote for Helium.  I decided to clean them up and publish them as a short story collection titled, The Stories We Tell When Drinking Coffee: A Collection Short Stories and Flash Fiction. 

Monday, December 1, 2014

10,000 Words-Accomplished

That's right...I reached 10,000 words on my work in progress project: Taking on the Writing World. I plan to have it ready for Amazon by next month.

I know that 10,000 words is barely scratching the surface compared to full length books of 60,000+ words.  For me this is an accomplishment because I completed a book that I am proud of and I saw the project all the way through. I didn't let self doubt and negativity get in the way.  I just wrote and told my story.  I will spend the rest of this month editing-making sure that typos repetitive words, and spelling errors are gone.  That can hurt your reputation as a writer.  I have learned this the hard way.

Last Tuesday, I had an appointment in Clemson. After it was over, I took the bus over to Starbucks to treat myself to a peppermint mocha coffee and cheesecake brownie.  I know I need to keep away from sweets and I have for the most part, but I thought that I should reward myself for my little victory.

The other day, I took inventory of the unread books on my Nook tablet and I resolved not to buy anymore books until I finish reading what I have and when Sarah Dessen's and Susane Colasanti's new books come out next year.  The other day I was on Amazon and I saw a book for $3.99.  I thought well, it's just $3.99, but I exercised self control and exited the Kindle store immediately.

I am almost finished reading Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins.  I have been reading the book off and on because I have been sidetracked by other books and life itself.  Which brings me to another realization: I am not going to finish the Goodreads 2014 Reading Challenge. Although I have been reading non stop, I am not going to reach my goal of 50 books.  Maybe next year.  While it's nice to curl up read during the evenings and weekends there's stuff that needs to be taken care of.  I have been working on my e-book and some freelance work for Knoji.  (I have to strike when work is available).

I hope to have an excerpt up soon.