Very Inspiring Blogger Award

Just a few days ago I was totally flattered and encouraged by a fellow blogger when she nominated me for the “Very Inspiring Blogger Award” by Stacy .

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These were the rules for accepting the award!

• Display the award logo on your blog.
• Link back to the person who nominated you.
• State 7 things about yourself.
• Nominate bloggers for this award.
• Notify those bloggers of the nomination by linking to one of their specific posts so that they get notified by ping back.

7 things about myself:

  1. All of you know I recently got back to the States from Australia. So I decided to put a few places that I haven’t been on this point. A few of the States that I’ve never been to are Hawaii, Alaska, and New York.
  2. If I could have tea and lunch with any writer in the time of writers it would be C.S. Lewis.
  3. I wish I were at a cabin nestled mountains of  Montana right now, near Polebridge listening to wolves howling. I would like to do a writer in residence in Montana some time. I think it would really be an inspiring and revitalizing experience. I’d like to do this. *Hint: my next book that I am planning on writing is set in Montana and involves… duh…duh…duuuuhhh… Grizzly Bears! :)
  4. Most of the time I find myself wishing I were in a good ole’ Disney movie. Like Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin.
  5. I just taught my puppy, Cocoa to sit yesterday.
  6. I remember my first memory. It may sound strange, but I remember a very bright light. I think it was the day I was born.
  7. I am planning on applying for an assistantship with a literary agent or assistant. I would be good for working in Chicago, New York, Tennessee, Florida (I recently decided Florida is pretty nice) or California. I think Chicago, Tennessee, or Cali would be my top pics, though.

I am going to Nominate…

1.) D.M. Kilgore – http://www.dmkilgore.com

2.) Blue Monkey Writing – www.bluemonkeywriting.wordpress.com

3.) Stephanie’s – The Glitter Globe  – http://www.theglitterglobe.com

4.) Zen – http://zenscribbles.wordpress.com

5.) Dave – http://davidpagan.wordpress.com

6.) Teryn O’Brien  –http://identityrenewed.wordpress.com/about/

7.) Annette Berglund – www.annetteberglund.com

8.) jjoubertArt – www.jjoubert.wordpress.com

9.) Anushka – http://findingmycreature.wordpress.com

Sorry that the links aren’t working very well in the line up of nominees. Something silly is going on with my WP.

Review: What is Professionalism…

REVIEW: Professionalism Is IMPORTANT!!

As you all know, I am currently revising my manuscript.

I had no idea how to go about this whole process, but I just mucked right on in with my rain boots. haha… I like this mental picture, because I can picture a time in my life when I was probably 8-years-old. I was wearing my rain boots out near the garden. It had rained a lot and it was really muddy. I mucked on in and was having a blast, but then I realized something.

I WAS STUCK… I started breathing in deeply and tried pulling my rain boots out, but at that very moment my foot came flying out of the rain boot. I was a crying little island in the middle of the mud ocean. I braved myself and pulled the other foot out and ran to safety. My feet were all muddy. haha… my boots stayed out there for a few days!

But, with revising I picture it that way. You need to get yourself dirty. You have to roll up your pants and get in there.

I am quite a few chapters in now, and am excited about my progress.

But a few weeks ago I was looking for some books or courses on how to revise.

I heard from a few people that I should look into the course How To Revise Your Novel by Holly Lisle. They also told me it was quite expensive, being $49.95 per month (5 payments) = $249.75. I looked into it and read reviews on it. I couldn’t find anything bad about it. I know sometimes you have to pay a bit to get some education on a topic. So, I decided to try it.

I got the first lesson that night and I was super excited!

I sat down with the print out and ecstatically started reading. But then, I came to run-on-sentences, repeated words, and simple misspellings. (The misspellings could have been found if it had been read over. It was almost like the last edit was done by spell check, because some words were not the correct words.) These mistakes really bugged me.

I couldn’t read any further. And after writing Holly, to tell her about the misspellings. I didn’t hear back from her.

On her site it said that if you weren’t happy with the course you could cancel and get a refund for the segment that you were unhappy with. Since this was only the first lesson, I decided I couldn’t pay for something that was so unprofessionally put together. I can easily ignore a spelling mistake here and there, but when there are multiple and when it’s supposed to be a writing course teaching you to revise your novel into something publishable. I couldn’t trust the voice.

I would be so embarrassed if I had published and sold something that had so many mistakes. That’s why I wrote her, because I would have loved for a person to  alert me to a spelling problem, “Oh, I spotted this…” because any kind of mistake makes you look unprofessional. I would have been like “Oh, my goodness… thank you!!! I didn’t even see that! Thanks again!!!”. I didn’t get a response from her.

So, I wrote her and told her I would like to cancel the course.

Then, she wrote me that night and I was refunded the money. But, it was the unprofessional reply that really bothered me. I am sorry, but a person can boast all they like about their years of experience, but if it doesn’t show in the person’s writing, then that says something especially if that writing is full of mistakes and they expect to get paid for it.

I decided to write about this experience that I had for a few reasons…

Originally, I wasn’t going to write a review on this… but it has been bugging me for the past two days. I want you all to know it isn’t worth the price, for being so poorly edited and put together or for the attitude behind it. I only did one lesson- but why pay for anything less than professional.

I don’t usually like telling people about bad things or giving bad reviews, but I definitely do not recommend that course.

This is a timely article written by the amazing Michael Hyatt, on being professional and on how your brand can be hurt because of unprofessionalism.

Some things that I was reminded of:

  1. Make sure your writing is squeaky clean… without errors. (like so squeaky that a rubber ducky would be jealous.)
  2. Treat people online and offline professionally. (What you say could ruin your brand)

Please know this review was done in the best way possible! 

I want the best for all of you writers and don’t want you to be scammed.

Happy Writing & Editing & Revising! :)

Up For Air…

Coming Up For Air…

I have been deep in a pool of revisions. That is why I haven’t been on here much lately, but I wanted to let you all know I am still alive and that I will soon be posting more often! I never knew how much work the editing/rewrite stage takes in writing a book. I always thought the writing part was what took up all the time, guess I was wrong. Boy though, does the editing take a while.

This next week I will give you all an update.

I am trying to think of some different things to help me get done quicker. I’ve been thinking of getting up earlier to work on it before the rest of the world is beckoning for my attention as I have been EXTREMELY BUSY during the day. Mom had a surgery this last week, so I’ve been helping out a lot.

Besides that, I’m happy because I’ve been able to do a lot of reading as well… or maybe I am just squeezing reading time into the in-between time that I have. I’ve been reading on my iPad and have been enjoying it.

Although, I must say nothing will ever compare to a real book. There is just something so sacred about holding a book, smelling the paper and ink together so close, the chance to experience what so many people in the earlier ages never could… since books were so rare and expensive.

I think our world needs to be careful with just relying on the digital world. I mean look at the Library in Alexandria (A LONG TIME AGO). When it burnt down think about all that history that was just gone. The burning parchment holding secrets to the past that we would never get back. I just fear that with the internet and digital world- we take it for granted. But, yes I just went on a small bunny trail… I will post later this month a list of books that I read and also some reviews as well.

I have been search for jobs and internships. I really want to get an internship at a Publishing House or with a Literary Agent- as an assistant. But on the side I am planning some information and lessons for writing classes. I want to teach some small classes here and there. I want to offer classes at physical places and I may also offer them here online. Let me know if you would be interested. I will post more on that soon!

Just a parting thought for the night:

Have you ever wanted to be someone?

You know what I mean, right?

Have you ever had days where you feel like what you are doing isn’t making a difference, like what you want to do is too far away and unreachable?

I was always told to reach for the moon and other galaxies and if you miss you will land among the stars… I still believe that…

Book Coming Soon!!

Cover for "Final Goodbye"

Cover for The Final Goodbye

Today was a full on day of editing and design work. The cover design for one of my stories was finished today!

I am so excited with how it turned out.

I feel that it shows my story so well.

I will post more information about The Final Goodbye soon! I will be setting a release date soon… so please come back soon to find out when that is.

I edited 5 chapters today from The Mason of Hearts and I plan on finishing the read through tomorrow. I am amazed how much time it actually takes to go through a manuscript while forcing myself to not slap my finger (or cross something out) if I don’t like it.

New website page will be set up tomorrow for my design business along with prices on my cover design and layout design.

What do you think of my finished cover? 

MY PROMO FINAL

Editing Away With The Wind

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A few things I have learned at 51 Minus 11 

Today was a full day of reading. YES… I managed to read 11 chapters of my manuscript! It was intense… and I plan on reading more tomorrow.

I just thought I would leave you all with a short list of what I have learned today. (posts have been a bit shorter lately because of my crazy writing and editing schedule… but I will be having some guest posts shortly from great writers and artists.)

  1. Read Through… make sure you read your manuscript to make sure you are finding where your plot holes are. If you find a plot hole don’t start writing it as soon as you find it (in your first read through). Make sure to jot a note down on a notepad next to you.
  2. After each chapter… think of a 1-2 sentence summary of that chapter and write it down on index cards. So that once you are done you can look back and see if you are missing something or if certain spots need more or less.
  3. If you use an iPad… let me introduce you to an amazing app that is just like printing out your manuscript without needing to print it out! It is called NotesPlus. (I LOVE IT!!!) It allows you to edit your manuscript on your ipad screen with a stylus. You can highlight a sentence, cross something out, or rewrite something above that you want changed just like you could if you printed it out! It also has a recording button where if you have an idea you can press record and talk about your story ideas… then you can listen to them later. PREFECT WRITING APP!!!
  4. Start writing something new… I decided that I need to start writing a new story. This story has new characters and a different world. I am excited to finish it as well. Besides this I am also working on a few short stories and some book covers. (I’ve decided i need to stay busy with my writing and do more than one thing at a time. I need to get all these stories out there. How else can I do it than write it down.)

    Writing something new also helps you freshen up and rejuvenate from long sessions of editing and rewriting.

How about you then? Have you done any of these, before? Have any things that I should try out?? 

 

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The To Dos and To Not Dos of Editing – Edit Round 1 Update

I just love this picture! Last Halloween I dress like an un-dead writer... and my cat was wondering "What thee heck!?" lol... in between purrs! :P

I just love this picture! Last Halloween I dressed like an un-dead writer… and my cat was wondering “What thee heck!?” lol… in between purrs! :P

Today was an interesting day of edits. It was also a full day of packing. I think I might write a post on what I have learned from packing a container and then I would compare it to things in life. I think it might be really good!

But, back to editing… I never realized how many times I use certain words when I write. This is going to be a short update, but it will be a list of to do’s and not to do’s for editing… that I have learned already in this first week of edits.

To Dos and To Not Dos

So there are more to not dos than to dos… but hey, it’s all in learning! :)

  • To do for next book I write -> I will edit what I wrote the next day before I write, then I will be able to have a somewhat cleaner 1st draft. This draft is a bit messier, because I did it for NaNoWrimo and just needed it done!
  • Don’t switch point of view. I know now that I had a problem with it, but will most definitely correct this habit in this edit. I was writing “She said this or did this…” and then a few paragraphs later it switched to “I said this and did that…” But, I kicked that in the behind today! :) 
  • Don’t switch tenses… I fixed this problem a while back when I was focusing on a short story edit.
  • Don’t use “go to” words… There are certain words that I always “go to” and they are: like, that, was, were, have, just. After editing today I was disgusted by those cheap words.

What about you? What are your editing To Do and To Not Do lists?