Wednesday, July 31, 2013


I'm typing up my changes as we speak. And honestly, I was too lazy to finish finding my typos last night. I didn't want to, then a friend of mine, Robert Leland Taylor pushed me to do it. So I did. He has a book out, he's very funny. You should go buy it.

Anyway, when I do copy edits again, I'm going to do them hard copy, like I did with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. I'm finding way too many mistakes. We did them with "track changes" on Word and I think I got lazy. I'm not a good monitor editor. Put a piece of paper in front of me though, and I'm on it.

Plus, you catch other stuff. I had inconsistencies, and other things in the novel that made me scratch my head. Indie writers hear this, make sure your shit is edited!!!

yeah, I just needed this one.
If I had put this book out as is, I would have been raked over the coals. This proof is the epitome of what everyone probably expects a self published book to be. Riddled with mistakes. Ugh.

And time is going by so fast, as this point, I'm praying I can meet my new planned release date of the
end of October. We'll see once I get these typed up and off to Lori and what her turn around time is, then it's a matter of getting another proof from Createspace, one from Lightning Source, then we're off!

Okay, day job calls. I have to go in early because I'm getting a washer and dryer delivered today. No more having to go to the parents, I finally broke down and bought a pair.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Ermergerd! I'm Ermerlst Dern!!!

I can taste it. Twentyish pages left. Then I just have to type them up and send them to Lori, my
formatting girl. Hopefully she's not working on a huge project and can get them done for me quickly. (hint hint if you're reading this Lori)

I've learned a few things during this.

In the future I will do my copy edits on paper. I think when I do them in Word by tracking changes I probably get lazy and just start clicking accept, accept, accept...accept, accept, accept...

Fine tooth comb it the FIRST TIME. Which I thought I did, which I obviously didn't.  I'll be more careful because...poor, poor Lori. I think she regrets ever offering to do this for me.

I suck at editing.

Seriously. I suck. Big time.

And hey, it's finally Friday!!!

Here are my Scribbles!

Shuffling iPod song: Hero by Family of the Year

Book of the Week: Huh? Seriously, I've not had time to read shit. I could pick my own book. Or Divergent, which I'm still reading, if you call what I'm doing reading, or the number of marketing/branding books I've been skimming, ugh.

Netflix of the Week: Sons of Anarchy Season 1. It seems really long. I mean it's good, but I feel like I've been watching it forever.

Quote of the Week: "You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream."
~ C. S. Lewis

Thursday, July 25, 2013

I thought today was Friday

It's not. That's how my Thursday is starting out. So there's that.

It was Thing One's birthday yesterday, and as I sit here staring at the mess they left me this morning of remnant from the "R" rated movie they went to in the form of Hot Tamales and Sugar Babies boxes (my daughter was the last of her friends to turn seventeen, hence the "R" rated flick), the empty glasses, empty bottles of Jarritos and gatorade, remnants of popcorn, smores, and nachos (Geezuz, how much can 5 teenage girls eat!!), I realize that this mess is not too much unlike what my life has become.

A chaotic mess.

And one with little time for anything else to squeeze into it.

My day job, the legal marketing job at the personal injury law firm, my duties have become so much that I cannot get
anything done there. I do one task and BAM, it's time to go home. Sometimes I have to finish up at home. I work part time, and I could work more hours, but I'm trying to wait until I get my book out, which is proving to be difficult because I'm finding it hard to take time to finish finding all those damn typos in my proof copy.

This could be a catch 22.

And I have my responsibilities as a mother. My kids have soccer tournaments, music gigs. I just had both last weekend, both at least a 30 minute drive away.

Then there is the household duties. The girls have pitched in a lot this summer, I've forced them to step it up with the yard work, but I still need to be a good example and pitch in when I can, pick up my own messes, do yard work, tend my garden.

I've been trying to cook for them more often.

I try to kickbox at least twice a week, although I'd like to do it 3 or 4 times.

I'm seeing someone right now, and while this is probably the least important thing on the list (god I hope he doesn't read this and if he does, understand what I'm saying), I love spending time with him, he makes me laugh and makes me happy, and it's the only time I ever relax.

And I'm exhausted. My body forces me to nap almost every day and that's no joke. When I get home from work, I literally have to sleep or I know I will not be able to do whatever it is I have to do later, be it kickboxing, working from home, on my book, whatever.

And forget about writing. I've not written a new word in weeks. sigh.

I know I should write this list of things down and prioritize and slash. Or time manage better, but honestly, I don't know how to do that.

Help? Calgon take me away?

My boyfriend asked me to take Monday off and for the first time in my life I said, "I don't think I can, I have too much work."


Fuck that. That's not me.

I've never been someone who lives to work. I work to live, period.

Right at this moment, I think the BF just moved up a notch on the list and the day job moved to the bottom.

You gotta love writing this shit out.

How do you balance the things in your life? Are you a good time manager? Do you have any tips for a lost cause like me?

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

What is the proper venue for a rant?

It's this. And you are my audience. haha, lucky you!! I was about to post this lengthy ranting diatribe on Facebook as my update last night, when I sat and stared at it and said to myself, people don't really come here for this. They come here for our lies.

Oops, I mean lives.

Basically, we post the niceties in life, yes, sometimes our frustrations, but we don't take out our worldly problems on Facebook.

But here I can, because as my profile says, this is where I "rant, rave, and write."
 three reasons I think

1) The royal baby.  I don't give a shit about the royal baby. I'm happy that another happy couple is giving birth. Yes, it is heir to the throne in a country I don't live, but right now it's just a baby. I don't care, because there are bigger things in my life right now like...

2) Hearing five consecutive gunshots as I went from car to office that were close enough I thought the assailant might come around the corner and take me hostage. I ran, I also pulled the classic horror movie crap and almost dropped stuff and fumbled with my keys. If this were a horror movie, I'd be dead.

3) Facebook asking me what's on my mind.

So, as bitchy, whiny, or caustic as this may sound, I don't care about the royal baby. I don't care what kind of fucked up shit Justin Bieber will pull next. I don't care about the latest drug violation in the sports world. I don't care about the next celebrity death right now. Yeah, it's sad. Real people are born and die every day.

You know what I think about?

  • Why my eyesight has deteriorated so quickly in the past few months.
  • When my daughter will get past things.
  • If my mom will be okay.

Sorry for being vague, I'm not going to bore you with details, but these are my real every day worries. Those are the bigger ones, I have tons of little shit too as we all do.

You know what scares the shit out of me?

  • People falling out of rollercoasters.
  • Dead bodies being found in trash bags.
  • Women being held in basements for years with no one knowing.
  • Someone being murdered simply for looking suspicious and finding no justice.

This shit scares me because it happens in our back yards.  This shit is real.

This could happen to my kids.

I read this quote from Elizabeth Stone when my first daughter was just a tiny speck of a human, but I will never forget it because it is so true.  “Making the decision to have a child - it is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body. ”

The real stuff, the stuff that happens to real people all the time, and sometimes you never hear about it because it's real people stuff, that's what I think about.

Between work and writing and kids and other life stuff, I just don't have time to think about people-who-get-paid-way-too-much-for-what-they-do and their problems, antics, and escapades.

Sorry. I just don't.

Ahhhhh, I feel so much better.

Sorry to unload on you. Feel free to do the same in the comments if you wish.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Page 5,348...

At least that's how it feels when you're trying to find typos. And when you're finding typos, you also find other stupid little mistakes that I hope Lori doesn't mind changing (nothing big Lori, I promise, just little crap).

As I read this book, I know I love it, I think the writing is good (if any of my betas want to pipe in here, feel free to back me up), but I'm soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo sick of it. I'm getting close to being done though. I have a Saturday soccer tournament with a long break between games that I'm hoping will put the nail through the coffin and end this thing.

And then I get to move on. Finally. To UPC codes and another proof copy. And then I think we're set. I think. Or not. We'll see.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Author Spotlight: Travis Erwin

I met Travis many moons ago when we were both contestants in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest I've talked about a million times on this blog.

He's a native Texan, a meat eater, who loves his beer. He's 6' 5", nearly 300 pounds, oh, yeah, and he writes women's fiction.

Yes, I said women's fiction.

Did you spit out your coffee at the thought? I know, right?

In his own words on the profile on his blog, this is why he must write "girly stuff" *giggles*:

"I have to write the stories that fill my head. I’m obligated to be the voice for the characters that speak to me, because they’re not going to shut up either way, and at least on paper I can act like they exist for a reason. Otherwise, I’m just a guy with multiple personalities."

He's an interesting cat for sure and I'm writing about him because his book, Twisted Roads, is now available for purchase on Amazon. 

Today he's having a Twisted Party on Facebook and giving away some prizes. Go check it out.

He also has a guest post on author, Amy Sue Nathan's blog today that reveals more about the twisted road of his publication journey. You can read it here and you should. It's pretty interesting.

And he's a really good Scrabble player too. He's kicked my ass a bunch of times on Facebook, but I've got him back a few too.

If you want to know more about Travis, you can read his blog, Bacon, Beer, & Books.

You can also find him on Twitter @TravisErwin.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Monkey Madness Monday: Book Piracy and other annoyances

I got a Google Alert about Never Eighteen on Saturday. And it brought me to this. Yes, it is yet
another pirated copy of NE out for anyone to download for free. For those of you just coming across my blog for the first time, this may not seem like a big deal to you, but it is. Why you ask? Well, here's the letter I was going to send to the young woman, screen name: Screamqueen42

I guess since you uploaded this book, it means you liked it, which is flattering, but you should realize, that writers like me, and some of the others you've uploaded here, hardly make any money from their books. In fact, after our small advances, many of us don't see another dime. If you like our books, it would be better for us if you'd tell your friends about them so they'd buy them instead of sharing them illegally on sites like this.  We're not million dollar rock stars, most of us are people who have to keep day jobs to keep our families running, many of us single parents like me.

Just something to keep in mind.

However, I can't send her a message, and where I was trying to add this comment, the CAPTCHA is not working, so unless Screamqueen42 reads my blog, she'll never see this.

I went to the site's, Kickass Torrents, piracy page, and basically it looks like they're a bunch of douches protecting their illegal content rather than the artists being pilfered. The process for getting your work taken off their site is akin to needing an ancient hieroglyphic, a virgin sacrifice, the head of Sasquatch, and the blood of a vampire.  So, I left that up to my publicist with HMH.

Aside from that, some day job crap, forgetting to take my meds, a day out in a way too crowded venue in the hot sun, with a kid who didn't plan well, then ended up breaking up with her boyfriend, and realizing beer and I are not friends, helped to balance out a perfectly lovely weekend of fun.

But seriously folks. Most of writers, we don't make money. I know I don't. I'll just put it out there, I've not seen a dime of royalties from Never Eighteen and probably never will, especially if people keep downloading it for free. Every time someone downloads and illegal free copy of my book, I die a little inside.

And I'm not saying it's okay to pirate from million dollar rock stars either. They've earned their money as well. We all have and pirating is illegal. Period. But for me...I have two teenagers to support, a mortgage to pay.  Think about it. Piracy sucks.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Indie publishing: Websites, typos and release dates

Yes, so I'm setting up a website for  my indie publishing company. Well, I have two companies really because I have a mother company. Creative Chaos Media (site is currently under construction). Then under that company I'm going to have imprints because this brain of mine holds not only YA literature, but chick lit and other genres of fiction.  For now, I'll have one, Sock Puppet Press.

I was trying to create my own logo for  CCM, but my Illustrator skills are very rudimentary. I found this company, Logoytypers, who will create a logo for you for as little as $10 from just a drawing. They do have different packages. (I paid $30 and added a little to my editable logo) If you're looking for a simple logo design, you may want to give them a look.

Also, I'm still working on finding all the typos in my proof copy, and believe me, there are more than I thought there would be. Therefore, I'm fine tooth combing it. I'm hoping to really dig into it this weekend and get it done and get another proof back soon. Ugh. I'm a horrible editor I've found.

That said, I'm afraid I'm going to have to push my release date back again. I think realistically I'm looking at October. sigh. I hope my Indiegogo backers will understand.

This whole process has been educational. When I do get my website up, I'm going to lay out the indie publishing process so it's easy to understand to make it easier for others to go about getting themselves published and to get the most polished, professional book they can produced.

That is all. Happy Friday, have a great weekend.

Friday Scribbles:

Pandora Queue: Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol

 Book of the Week: 45 Pounds (more or less) by K.A. Barson. This just released this week. New YA, touted by Amazon as being one of the best of the year and I really want to read it.

Netflix of the Week: Sons of Anarchy Season One. Just started watching it. Pretty hooked.

Quote of the week: "Typos are very important to all written form. It gives the reader something to look for so they aren't distracted by the total lack of content in your writing." ~ Randy K. Milholland

Monday, July 8, 2013

Monkey Madness Monday: Typos, typos, typos!

I'm going crazy. Seriously. I've read this book over and over again. I've had an editor read it. I know that there are people out there who self publish who don't have an editor read their work and this is one of the reason self publishing gets a bad rap. So much self published work it put out unedited.  It's put out with typos and grammar and punctuation problems and turns people off from indie publishing as a whole.

For the life of me, I cannot fathom having missed so much on the first five or six passes. I'm going to get another proof copy after this one. I'm going to make sure the cover is okay then I'm going to have someone else read it for typos in case I missed any. Again. I know that there are traditionally published books out there with typos in them. It's one of the reasons I refuse to read Never Eighteen since its debut. I don't want to find any mistakes. But for my first indie project, I want it to be as flawless as possible. I don't want anyone to say things like, "well, that's what you can expect after all it IS self published" or things of a similar nature.

I admit, when it comes to editing, I'm lazy, but this? The mistakes that are in there? UGH!!! Some of
them are just plain stupid mistakes.

I'm sure every writer in the world will understand when I say, I'm so tired of this book. :)
The next couple days I'm busting these typos out and getting them back to Lori so she can get it formatted again and I can get a proof from Createspace and Lightning source and make sure we're ok again.

Man, this process can be a real bitch. At least I'm learning and hopefully things will go smoother for the next book, which I'm starting to think I should be starting this process for now.

Happy Monday all.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Hermit weekend

This year for the 4th, I've decided to be a recluse. Why you ask? (you were thinking it) It's not that I
have anything against our country, or our independence. I like independence. Here's the thing: 1) I'm not really into crowds. Never have been, never will be. 2) I like fireworks and all, but to watch a public display here in Tacoma is like getting through a labyrinth. 3) I've never really had that 4th of July "tradition". Meaning, most of my friends and family have had their things they do set it place for eons. I was married for 18 years and we really just kind of winged it every year, so now that I'm single, I don't have a "thing" I do every 4th.

Put all those things together and when the 4th came around, I was kind of like, "meh." My bosses gave us today, Friday, off, so I decided to have myself a little staycation to catch up on all the stuff I'd put aside while I was working on my major marketing presentation for said day job. So, this is what I have planned:

  • Deep clean the house. Seriously, my house is totally disgusting
  • Shop for a new washing machine. I've been going to my parents house to do laundry for like a month now and I'm over it.
  • Put together furniture that has been sitting in my garage for a year. Seriously.
  • Frame prints a friend gave me over a year ago and find a more prominent spot to display them. I had them sitting on a window ledge, but they need to be in a better place.
  • Print out pictures to fill frames that have been sitting on my mantel for 6 months. 
  • Load music on iPod. I've had a gift card in my purse for about two months. This also include getting my besties country music OFF my iPod that inadvertently got synched on. I had it playing yesterday and wanted to tear my ears off.
  • Walk the bridge. I slept through kickboxing this morning.
  • Weed. Yeah, I have lots of weeding to do.
  • Find all the typos in Dissected. Yep.
  • Work on publishing house website. I'd like to get this done before the book come out.
  • Find a box and finally put away those Cinco de Mayo decorations that have been sitting in my living room for two months.
  • Handily avoid my children. Now, don't act like that. I love my children, but it's their dad's week. However, whenever they're with their dad, they always come over and end up staying for hours eating my food and messing up my house that I'd more than likely just cleaned. I told them about my hermit weekend and that the house was off-limits. Of course Thing Two already tried to come over last night with nine of her closest friends for a sleep over. I was like, "uh uh, no way." She was not pleased.
  •  Find workout shorts that don't threaten to fall down revealing me in all my glory during kickboxing. Seriously, I don't know what it is. I guess I just have a weird body shape. I fear if I go down another size they will be so form fitting I won't be leaving much to the imagination. My body is shaped weird. Or maybe it's just that I have curves and usually what fits my hips falls off my waist. Who knows? I'm an anomaly.
  • Organize my cupboards. Kind of. Not spending a lot of time on this one.
  • Clean my office. You would think this would go along with cleaning the house, but my office is a whole 'nother dimension. I would take a picture and post, but honestly, it's too embarrassing. Imagine stacks of paperwork, computer programs, manuscripts, newspaper articles, book swag, office supplies...and I mean stacks and stacks and stacks and stacks.
  • Write. I want to work on my contemporary. Because I love it.
I think that's it for the list. Enjoy your Friday, here are my Scribbles.

Next Pandora song (Imagine Dragons station):

Book of the Week: Designing Brand Identity by Alina Wheeler

Netflix of the Week: Jeff, Who Lives at Home. Indie Flick with Jason Segel and Ed Helms. I really liked it.

Quote of the Week: The writer is either a practicing recluse or a delinquent, guilt-ridden one; or both. Usually both. ~ Susan Sontag

Monday, July 1, 2013

Major work projects and Dissected proof

Man, I have been working on a major major marketing presentation for work for about three weeks now and I'm finally done. It's why I've not been blogging. I've been having to work on it at home as well as work to get it ready for my office retreat which took place last week. Now life is getting back to as normal as my life can, so here I am, blogging again.

I received a proof copy of Dissected in the mail this week from Createspace. Let's just say, I'm glad I ordered just one. The cover came out much darker then I'd anticipated, and you know what else? I found...wait for it...TYPOS!!!

Yes, I found typos. This is nobody's fault but my own. I truly am surprised that I found typos, but there they were, a couple in the first few chapters. So I emailed the truly gracious woman who did my formatting and asked her to please not kill me, but did she mind if I send her more corrections for reformatting. She said she didn't mind, but I can't help but imagine that she was silently cursing me (or perhaps loudly) as she emailed me back telling me it was no problem.

She also told me that many of the covers she's done have come out two or three shades darker than expected, so I redid mine. Lightened it up and even added a little more color so it wasn't so black and dismal. Now I'm rereading the proof to find any other typos that may be lurking behind the pretty formatted fonts and styles.

I truly can see why many books, indie published or traditional, make it to the shelves with mistakes. It's difficult. It truly is, to find every last mistake, no matter how many eyes are on it or how many times you read through it. Humans and computers are simply not perfect. That is not a cop out, nor an excuse for my failings, it is simply a fact. I hope to catch every last error in my novel. End of story.

I'm in the process of setting up distribution so the bookstores may carry the novel. They are having a problem with one of my scanned forms for the second time though. I don't know why. So, I have to try again.

So that's where I'm at. Here is what the book cover looks like now. I'm thinking about adding a gummy bear to the back cover...

My Dad. He's awesome.

John Messina, Personal Injury Attorney

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