Wednesday, March 25, 2020

I'm Over There Today

Since I have nothing writerly to talk about today, I posted at The Writing Spectacle.  Head over there, if you're so inclined. 

Monday, March 23, 2020

Writerly Things to Do Amidst the Chaos

Since we're all pretty much stuck at home, which isn't actually a real difference from how writers usually live, here are a few writerly things we can be doing amidst this chaos.

- Writing/editing.  I'll admit I'm having a tough time with this one because my brain is in a non-writing place right now, but I'm going to try to get back on the horse this week.

- Marketing.  Have a sale.  Make things free.  Throw some ads up on social media.  Again, not in a place personally to do this yet, but I'm going to try once things settle down - so I'll probably address this after Wednesday.

- Create some new marketing materials.  If you're into doing it yourself, go for it.  If you've never done it, give it a try.  

- Re-evaluating your blogs/websites/online presences.  If you think your stuff needs a makeover, now would be the time to do it.

- Evaluate your covers.  Are they still right?  Could you make them better and more saleable?  Now would be a good time to change them if you can.

- Do your taxes.  If you haven't done them yet, now is the time to get them done.  The federal government is supposedly going to be throwing some cash our way and the word is that they'll be sending it to you the way you chose when you did your taxes.  If nothing's changed from last year, no problem.  If it has, get your taxes done ASAP.

- Organize your stuff.  Get all your physical stuff into some kind of order to make the days ahead easier to deal with.  Get all your digital stuff organized, too.  Now would be a good time to delete files you're not using or going to use.  Once you've done that...

- Back up your files.

- Clean your work space.  I know I have this one desk drawer I just kind of throw things into that could really use a good cleaning.  Plus, the dust bunnies are starting to take over.  And my monitor could use a wipe down again.  And my computer's intake fan could use a good swabbing again.  Dust... it's a killer.

- Make plans for the coming weeks/months.  Look ahead to some things you can do once this settles down - plan sales and marketing events, work out a writing schedule, set goals.

Now, as you may know, I'm great at giving suggestions but not so great at following them, so how much of this list I will actually do remains to be seen.  This list is as much a poke in my butt as it is a nudge for you. 

We'll get through this.  Hang in there.

What are some things you're doing while you're on forced isolation?

Oh, and by the way, the whole 'stay inside' thing is only to keep you away from other people.  If you're in a place or can drive to a place where there are no people, get your ass outside and soak up some fresh air.  Humans need sunlight and fresh air as much as any other living thing.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Caught Up in the Crazy

Now would seem like the perfect time to get some writing and editing done.  There's nowhere to go.  No sports on TV - unless you enjoy curling.  Hell, here it's even been pouring rain so outside activities are suspended.  I should be here with my butt in the chair, working away. 

But no.  My stupid brain is so caught up in this carnival of crazy that I can't seem to make myself focus on the things I need to do.

For example:  Last night, at about 2:15am, a lightning crack woke me up out of a sound sleep.  After I got up and did my stuff and the cat's stuff, I couldn't get back to sleep because my brain switched over to 'what if we lose power?  I have a month's worth of meat in the freezer.  :panicpanicpanic:'  So it's little wonder I can't shift into work mode during the day.

To that end, I'm glad I didn't set a date for release yet.  I'd have to delay it.  I can't promise anything right now.  I thought I was scatterbrained before.  This makes the old me seem like a stable person.  Blerg.

On the upside, I had an interesting thing happen yesterday.  A wildlife photographer I follow on FB had set up a Pinterest page and was asking for help, so I commented.  And then someone commented on my comment.  And then she liked my FB Page.  And then she bought four of my books.  Wow.  I guess you never know where sales will come from, eh?

So, where's your head at these days?  Caught up in the crazy?  Keeping calm and carrying on? 

Monday, March 16, 2020

Pandemic-Based Marketing and Other Sundry Stuff

The bandwagon in marketing these past few days seems to be 'self-isolating? read my book'.  Initially, I thought I might use a variation, because I'm trying to market the SCIU books right now and it seemed like a fresh take, but I missed the window.  Now, mere days later, it's already overused and obvious.

Why obvious?  Well, people are trapped at home - whether because they chose to be or they have nowhere to go because their work, their entertainment, their schools, etc. are closed.  Of course, they're going to read if they're inclined to read.  Otherwise, they'll be surfing the net or watching TV or watching TV on the net. 

Me?  I'll be reading, of course.  And watching TV.  And surfing the net.  Although right now, being on social media is a minefield of crap.  The pendulum swinging between 'don't worry' and 'worry lots' is making me dizzy.

In addition to reading and vegging, I'll be working*.  Because that's what writers do.  We're already self-isolated 90% of the time anyway.  I started in on the edits for Ugly and the Beast yesterday.  When I get this done, I'll go back to writing new words - because, at this time, I can't seem to focus on new words while I'm editing.  While I'm writing new words, I'll be reading through UatB again, just to make sure I didn't insert new typos while I was fixing old ones.  Because that happens.

When I get closer to having UatB done, I'll give you a release date.

Anyway, I'm well here.  So is Hubs.  If you hear me coughing, it's because I smoke.  And I smoke more when I'm stressed.  And guess what?  This whole thing has me stressed.  Which is why I locked my keys in the car on Saturday (see yesterday's post on The Writing Spectacle).  Because stress also makes me stupid.  Blerg.

Hang in there out there.  Check in on any old or infirm people you know because they may not have the resources to weather this shit.  And keep your head down.  This may get uglier before it gets better.

What are you up to these days?  Pandemic-based marketing - yea or nay?  Talk to me, folks.

*I'd also go fishing, but it's raining and it's supposed to continue raining through Thursday.  Yippee.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Sale Time Again - SCIU Edition

Ack, it's Wednesday.  I should've already written and scheduled this post.  Derp.


I know you've all heard this before, because, like, you're my regulars, but just in case someone stops by who hasn't been hanging around...  All of the SCIU books are on sale starting today. 

Here's what went up on FB this morning:
Tales from the files of the Serial Crimes Investigation Unit. Standalone novels connected by a common purpose - tough heroines and heroes hunting down serial criminals wherever they prey on the innocent.
On sale starting today! 99c/99p each. (Always free with Kindle Unlimited.) Buy one or buy them all.
#suspense #ebooks #SCIU #99c #99p #reading #entertainment #fun #serialkillers #murder
Fingers crossed it generates some sales.  I'm sitting at almost 16 books sold this year for about $16.  This, as you know, is not good.  I mean, of course, it's better than a sharp stick in the ear, but yeah.  And yeah, I'd probably sell more if I paid for advertising, but you know how it goes.  

Now, back to your regularly scheduled lives.

Monday, March 9, 2020

More Randomness

The five-days-free thing for UNEQUAL ended last night.  I moved 99 copies and it reached as high as 54th in free dystopian.  We'll see if any page reads come of this.  If nothing else, there are 99 people in the world with the opportunity to read and enjoy it.

I'm up to 27516 words on Cinder Ugly.  It would be more, but I took Friday off to watch Live PD and then the yardwork I did Saturday screwed up my wrists enough that I took that night off, too.  There's a pivotal scene coming up next and I have no idea what's gonna happen.  Should be fun writing.

I started work on the blurb for Ugly and the Beast.  Here's what I've got so far:

Jeni Braxxon’s life as a up-and-coming supermodel hit the skids when she got cursed.  The asshole who did this to her is rotting in jail, but the curse remains, leaving her as ugly as the north end of a southbound dump truck every damn night.  Still, she’s trying desperately to hold onto her old life.  As if this case of the gruesomes and impending unemployment wasn’t enough for a gal with serious esteem issues, someone snatches her nephew.  The fight is on to find the boy before something seriously heinous happens to him.  With the help of her friends and a magical cat, Jeni will face anything this world or the next throws at her.  If she’s lucky, she might just make it out alive.

Yeah, it's pretty rough, but you get the idea of what goes on, so it's not totally lame.  Or is it?  I'll keep working on it.

UatB is at the readers and so far, I'm feeling good about it.  We'll see if that holds once the responses start to come back. 

I tell ya, it's nice to be working again.  The writing is flowing pretty well and with it, excitement for other stuffs keeps popping into my head.  But I'm staying focused.  Fingers crossed the excitement is still there when I sit down to write SCIU #4 or DH #3.

Oh, and I did some pricing stuffs this weekend.  I raised the prices on Sleeping Ugly, Accidental Death, and Natural Causes to $3.99.  When Ugly and the Beast comes out, it'll be $3.99, too.  Just trying to get my books in line with the market and each other.

I hope y'all aren't bored with this random stuff, but it seems like the only stuff I can hold in my head long enough to write an entire post. 

How are things with you? 

Friday, March 6, 2020

Getting Out of My Own Way

As you know, Bob... Umm, uhh...  As you know, I was having a difficult time getting back into writing Cinder Ugly.  I was stuck at 19K words and just couldn't seem to get over that hump.  So, once again, I set the damn thing aside so I could focus on editing Ugly and the Beast.  As the end of editing approached, though, the fear of what the hell would happen when I sat down to write again rolled over me like a herd of frightened buffalo.

What's a gal to do? 

Well, I'm not sure I did this consciously, but I got the hell out of my own way.  I sidestepped the herd.  When I sat down to write again, I did NOT go back and read what I'd already written.  I didn't check to make sure I had everything in line.  Which is good because I already knew I'd backed myself into the corner of boring and meh, so going back over that crap again wasn't doing me any good.

At first, the writing was slow and kind of crappy.  Then I hit a stride and the fingers were flying.  I pounded out almost 3K words and I felt really good about them.  Then I had a flash of insight for what would happen next and I've been writing on that ever since.  To the tune of around 7K words so far this week.  Woohoo.

Sure, I'll have to go back and fix a bunch of stuff in that muddy part.  But that's what edits are for.

I have to remind myself of that fact more often than I'd like to admit.  Write crap, edit it later.  Everything can be fixed in edits.  Except blank pages.

So, as always, getting out of my own was the trick.  I wish I'd figured that out sometime in the last year, so I would've gotten more work out, but better late than never, eh?

Right now, Cinder Ugly is sitting at around 26K words.  Onward and upward.  The plan is to have this first drafted by the end of the month, edited in April, and out not too awfully long after I get Ugly and the Beast into the world.  :fingers crossed:

Feeling good about it all.  Yay.

Wednesday, March 4, 2020


Hey all.  Just thought I'd let you know that UNEQUAL is free now through Sunday.  Five days of freebie fun.
In a world where being different is against the law, Rue Logan lives in fear of being branded Unequal and getting disappeared like so many others. The Department of Equalization had other plans for her life, but she couldn’t let that stop her. Now, she works her assigned job as a janitor by day and prowls the hospital’s corridors at night, saving lives.

Until she’s caught.

On the run from the DOE, Rue finds others like her, Unequals working in secret to achieve their goals and live their lives. But their leader has a mission of his own. With war brewing, both sides need her skills to help them win. Torn between her own deeply held beliefs and her desire to save the people she’s come to love, Rue must find a way to stop the conflict before any more lives are lost. Even if it means uncovering secrets and lies that could break her world apart.

I love this book so much.  I hope you will, too.

Monday, March 2, 2020

More Updates and Random Stuff

Since I'm more than a little scatterbrained this morning, what with stuffs and junks, here's another random post.

I finished my round of edits on Ugly and the Beast yesterday and sent the manuscript out for proofing.  If you were expecting a copy and didn't receive it, let me know.  I really think I nailed it, but we'll see what readers have to say.  Hopefully, it's not too messy.  I tried really hard to make it a clean copy, but sometimes we writers miss stuff.

I took the rest of yesterday off.  Kinda.  I did sit down to see if I could get Cinder Ugly jumpstarted again.  Nope.  I suspect I am going to have to either go back and delete a bunch of stuff to get back on track, or just forge ahead and hope I can fix it in edits.  I'm kind of a linear writer, so it'll probably be Option A.

To whoever read Fertile Ground and Early Grave over the weekend, thanks.  Now, if you could wander over to Amazon and leave a couple reviews, I'd really appreciate it.  Like mightily. 

I discovered why I'm suddenly showing more Amazon review numbers than I had.  Amazon decided to put all the worldwide reviews together, so basically I'm seeing the few reviews I have in the UK added to my US numbers.  Still pissed about the ratings thing, but international reviews are okay. 

And that's about it for me today.  Time to wander off and get the day started.  What's on your plate today?