If you come here often, you were probably in for a bit of a jolt when you stopped by today. I’m teaching a WordPress blogging class right now at my local community college, and I got a little jealous when I saw the fresh, clean templates my students were using as they built their blog sites yesterday. I’ve been thinking about it for a while, but I finally decided it was time to update my blog site. It’s still a work in progress, but you have to start somewhere!
The past few weeks, I’ve been working on my second “real” novel, and it hit me this morning that I’ve finally figured out how to organize my work in the first draft stage so I can keep track of what I’m doing. Because organization can be a key element of being an efficient writer, I thought I’d share my system in case some other writer might find it useful. I think the easiest way to explain my system is to paint a picture of it for you, so I took a screenshot of the first page of my actual document:
And now, I will explain what I have done: Continue reading “How to organize your first draft #novelwriting”
I don’t know about you, but I’ve been busy. So busy, in fact, I never got around to doing an official announcement on here when Valley of the Bees released in print on March 1. Now, that’s busy!
Where to get your copy
Many of the most common issues indie publishers encounter when converting Word files to eBook files can be eliminated by properly setting up each Word document and sticking to specific formatting practices throughout the writing process. However, this can be difficult when you format your manuscript with the intent to publish it in print first, and then try to convert your print manuscript file to an eBook file. I learned this first-hand this past weekend when I took the beautiful Word file that I had formatted for the print version of Valley of the Bees and converted it into an eBook.
Luckily, Kindle’s .mobi format is very flexible and doesn’t seem to be quite so picky. With a few simple adjustments, my manuscript became a Kindle eBook with almost no effort on my part. It even retained the cool honeybee icon that I had placed at the top of each chapter! Unfortunately, uploading my manuscript to Smashwords for distribution in other formats wasn’t so easy. I crossed my fingers, held my breath, and let it go. And then, two days later, I received the dreaded email informing me that my book had failed the ePub review. Continue reading “Fixing your #Smashwords ebook file: The nuclear option isn’t nearly as scary as it sounds!”
My notes on my new novel have reached 12 pages and 6,500 words. I have come up with a focal point to build my story around. The more I think about it, the more convoluted the story becomes. I think it’s time to start writing!
I seem to have also discovered my main writing genre, despite the fact that there are other genres I would like to write in. The book I originally planned to write next was adult fiction with a little bit of magic and fantasy thrown in. It was going to be dark, and in many ways, devious. I still really want to write that book. However, it seems to make more sense in this moment to maintain the momentum I have built with Valley of the Bees and stick with future-fantastic dystopia.
I also can’t ignore the fact that this new novel is demanding to take center stage at the moment! Continue reading “I think it’s time to start #writing”
My new novel has topped 3,500 words of notes as I freewrite and brainstorm my way into an outline. I had a moment today when a sudden realization about what my novel is really about struck me. A shiver ran down my spine as I realized the possible implications of the totally subversive idea that emerged from the murky depths of my subconscious mind.
“This is big,” I thought.
And then, “This is probably going to piss a lot of people off.”
Not literally, but I was thinking it.
As I typed out the details of my idea, another idea struck me. By “struck me,” what I mean is that it wacked me upside the head like a baseball bat. Continue reading “Reining it in: How to focus your #story so it doesn’t run away with you #amwriting”
As I run down the final stretch of publishing Valley of the Bees, I am itching to get started on my next novel. I don’t want to waste all of this momentum I have built while writing my last novel. After all, gathering and maintaining momentum seems to be half the battle of writing!
My first problem was what to write. Luckily, I had plenty of ideas. I just couldn’t seem to choose one. I was ready to write one novel one day and a completely different story the next. When I finally settled on an idea that held my attention for more than a couple of days, I thought the battle had been won. A vibrant story world has taken shape in my mind, and my main cast of characters is coming to life.
Then I realized: I have no plot! Continue reading “New novel worries: How do you know when an idea is worth #writing?”
Thanks to the U.S. Postal Service and speedy work by CreateSpace, I am starting off 2017 with a copy of my new book in hand! That’s right, folks! I received my first set of proofs for the Valley of the Bees omnibus print edition in the mail today, and I plan to ring in the new year by reviewing my proofs for errors!
In addition to finalizing my proofs, I am also raising the funds to implement the next step in my marketing campaign. I plan to purchase a Kirkus Review and have my novel listed with them as soon as I can come up with the cash. If you are interested in helping out an indie author/publisher, please check out my GoFundMe campaign and throw a couple of dollars my way. Each $25+ donor will receive a free signed copy of Valley of the Bees upon release (U.S. addresses only)! Continue reading “Look! It’s a book! An actual-factual book! #VotB #publishing & New Year’s #writingresolutions”
One of my favorite things about working at a university is the nice little chunk of paid time off I get for the winter break each year. It’s a little less than two weeks for office staff, but it’s just what the doctor ordered this time of year. Extra sleep, a chance to get over my annual sinus infection, family time, good eats, and a little extra writing time to boot, if I don’t let myself get too lazy!
I don’t use Twitter much, but I found myself yesterday with the urge to narrate my time off on Facebook, where I already probably post a bit too much. So, I got the idea to dust off my Twitter account and started tweeting. Oddly enough, my random posts have netted me several new followers and even a retweet from a Tweeter with more than 3000 followers of science fiction. It will be interesting to see if that generates even more followers. Perhaps I should check out Twitter more often! Check out my Twitter profile to see what I’ve been up to!
At any rate, I’ve been up to random randomness the past two days and am feeling rather accomplished. I literally just ordered my first set of proofs for the print edition of Valley of the Bees! This seems like a good time for a cover reveal, so… TA-DA!
And now… well, I’m just sitting here waiting for the family to show up for our annual cousin cookie baking party and face-stuffing with our favorite finger foods. Continue reading “A bit of #randomness to round out the holiday season”
I’m in the final stretch of prepping my Valley of the Bees manuscript to go to print, and I found this particular chapter so thrilling that I wanted to share an excerpt. I think you’ll want to go right out and buy the book to see what happens! Here’s an excerpt from Keeper of the Bees: Valley of the Bees #3, which you can now pre-order from most eBook vendors:
Excerpt from Chapter 46: On the Bat’s Back I do Fly
In a few short hours, they had loaded the wagons down with as much as they could hold, while still leaving room for passengers. It was only then that Valley looked to the sky and noticed the dark clouds that were rolling in from the west.
“I think it’s time we packed up and headed home before we get drenched,” Valley said. She pointed toward a horizon line that was obscured by an ominous, green layer that moved quickly in their direction.
“I think you’re right,” Brute said. “Green skies are never a good sign this time of year.” Continue reading “Keeper of the Bees: An #ebook excerpt”