Wednesday, June 6, 2012

SpaceHive, new book to be released soon

SpaceHive, my YA/MG Sci Fi novel, will be released soon. I've seen the cover page, awesome!!!

Jessie B. Tyson is working on a narration. With or without music? Which will it be?

See the trailer, to be released same time as the cover page.

Read the book, soon to be on! Enjoy this little video, which is free stock from my Fotolia site. I paid for it and it's not ripping off any one's creativity and hard work.

Thank you, parents and good teachers, for teaching me the value of honesty.

And the fear of the law, ha.

Too much ego

Remember this! Those authors who won't take guidance.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Stock Photos

I joined Fotolia, a site where I bought credits in order to download real nice photos and images. There are hundreds of them. A Twitter friend sent me a couple of links to sites, also, that offer free stock photos. Some must be paid for but there are a lot of free images. Have to give attribution to the photographer or graphic artist and a link to the site if I use those images, but I'm glad to do it. So I've spent the last couple of evenings replacing my images with the ones I bought and/or gave credit for. Certainly didn't mean to do anything illegal.

I'm going to post one of my Fotolia images on here to illustrate a soldier Bee from the Jive Hive. Mean looking little critter, isn't he? Cost me 3 credits at $1.30 a credit. But I'll use him again.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Copyright of Images

I have a question. Are the images I take from Google all copyrighted? And if so, how do I find out and where do I go to ask permission? I certainly don't want to be sued for infringing copyright on an image. Maybe I should make my own. I could draw something, take a picture of it, and post it to my blog. I sometimes, even often, use my own photographs.

I found a site with images that are public domain but they charge a few hundred dollars for subscribing every month.

I think a bit of searching on the internet might come up with free images.

If anyone can help I'd be grateful. And if I'm infringing on someone's copyright I apologize perniciously and will immediately remove the offending image.

For example, I used a space war image meant to promote my upcoming book The Jive Hive. I have a wonderful publisher who will supply me with a cover page and graphics (I presume) for my book cover and personal use. When that arrives I will be so elongated. Until then serrate head and puzzle. Perhaps be in deep doo doo yet again for ignorance and hitchhiking the galaxy without permission.

I found a site with free images but my computer detected malware when I tried to download the image. So I saved the image in Dropbox, not ideal, it has their logo on it.

Help, anyone?

Sucking the Joy out of Twitter

I started out my experiment with social media by alienating a family member on  her blog. Then I progressed to sucking the joy out of Twitter for her. I joined Facebook and was horrified at pictures of mutilated animals and bored by stories about grandchildren, so I quit. Then the powers of Light changed Facebook. I joined again. Twitter changed and I got the hang of it. .

LinkedIn was my first venture into the social media forest. At first I enjoyed the chats and tips, but found at one time there were more than 400 comments on how many words a novel should have. There were some fights and rude comments on other posts, which led to reports of abuse. That was a good thing, but the threads I found seemed frequented by authors who self publish and some refused to rewrite or edit, so I left. Not before I'd met some very nice authors, though.

I began to buy ebooks about how to create interest in one's blog and how to use social media, SEO, and Amazon to advantage. I didn't learn a thing.

I started to amuse myself and not care so much what others posted.

If I live long enough I might figure this all out.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Carpe Diem, Crap Breaks Writer's Block

I broke the writer's block by sitting down and typing crap crap crap carpe diem crap and then I went on to write 4000 words.

My 96,300 word horror anthology is finished. You've heard of Circle of Friends -- I called it Circle of Fiends then realized my readers would think I'd made a typo. So it's Circle of Devils. Will be submitted in March to Imajin Books for their consideration. Writer's block now broken. Another author came up with the same solutions. Good article on writing and distractions.

These were my solutions:
  • My publisher advised me to set the book aside for one week
  • On another suggestion I sat down and typed anything to get started
  • Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, anything to break the ice
  • Just write
  • A deadline helps
  • Are you simply burned out? Give it a rest
  • Go for a walk or workout
  • Have a hot shower
  • A cup of tea
  • Read something similar to the genre you're writing
  • Read something pertinent to the subject you're interested in
  • Write a poem
  • Listen to music
  • Dance like nobody's watching. Chances are nobody is.
  • Read for pleasure, read for interest, read for knowledge, read your Kindle
  • Go to the library
  • Go to a used bookstore
  • Go to a thrift shop
  • Go shopping but don't use your credit card
  • Get a cool exercise book at the dollar store and write your goals and plans in it
  • Write an outline of what you'd like to say
  • Call a friend
  • Sleep
  • Dream about it
  • Take a notebook with you and jot down ideas
  • Write in your own handwriting on a pad of yellow foolscap
  • Write in the park on your laptop
  • Write in a cafe while drinking a latte
  • Go to a conservatory if it's winter and smell the roses, walk around
  • If it's summer go to a park or for a walk
  • Jog or run
  • Lift weights
  • Watch a movie
  • Forget about it for a day, a week, or if you have a deadline, then:
  • Just write anything and the juices will start to flow. You can always edit later.
Photo by Vlado,

Good luck. Life is short, seize the carp!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Writer's Block, Entrepreneurship, and Some People's Lack of Business Sense

I suspect I may have writer's block now and then but I get up and move around, clear my mind, do something else, or read a bit about the topic I'm interested in, and the words flow again.

I may have something called Reader's Block, though, because I'm not reading what I'd like to and there are so many ebooks on my Kindle and print books on my shelves that I doubt I'll get through them before the Second Coming. And there are more I'd like to get. Puddles of Ithaca is a charming children's story written by an author I correspond with, and I must download Puddles of Ithaca. Puddles was the author's dog when he was a boy, and Ithaca, New York was his childhood home. Sounds very charming and I'd love to read it. I'd like to get it in print but it's a bit pricey, I thought.

I do spend a lot on books, ebay and Amazon.

As a child I read voraciously to escape from reality, I think, and later read for enjoyment and knowledge. It's important to get a good grounding in literature and I read all the classics I could as well as popular and nonfiction -- for some time reading more nonfiction than fiction, which isn't a good idea for a fiction author.

As I have my own home based business since 1999, and got that established without any knowledge of how to do it, basically, I did read a lot of marketing and business books and talked to people. I try to help out those who are just starting out if they show promise. I struggled on my own for about five years before succeeding so I could support myself without outside jobs, and I have empathy for those just starting out who perhaps don't know the ins and outs of business yet.

I've had numerous calls and conversations with people, though, primarily women, who think that working at home is a piece of cake. I don't know how many times I've heard someone say they'd like to work in the morning in their pajamas when they felt like it. How unrealistic is that! I try to steer them straight in their thinking how hard it is, and how hard I worked, from seven or eight in the morning until midnight seven days a week most weeks, and getting dressed to meet clients when they came to the door, in those days before everything was digital. I try to tell them clients can tell if you're dressed and ready for business by your voice when they talk on the phone. I try to tell them the marketing and promotion necessary, the need for professional business relationships, the organizational skills needed and the discipline. Not to mention the money needed to see oneself through the first five or six years of not breaking even. I spent all my savings on my "baby" -- my medical transcription business.

I'm a sole proprietor, have associates I talk to and consider friends, and refer to, but don't employ anyone directly. I like it that way. Probably could have done better if I had employees but I don't want the hassle of paperwork, hiring and firing, supervision, and the risk involved. I did hire a transcriptionist many years ago on a contract basis and she was excellent. I don't think I could have easily replaced her when she moved to another city, and I didn't try. But she was excellent, honest, and hardworking. I did appreciate her as an employee. I realize that excellent employees are hard to find and don't want to push my luck.

Now I'm a senior and slowing down somewhat. I won't retire before I'm 80. Can't afford to retire, anyhow, and my health is good and I enjoy working. I'm branching out into writing more and more, but my business clients are very important to me and I don't want to neglect them. I'm guilty of hinting that I want to retire to a number of them, and regret that, as I have no intention of retiring. I was delusional, I think, when I started writing a lot, and didn't see how I could have the energy to do both.

Certainly it's working out and I'm balancing both worlds, the medical transcription and the authorship, not taking on any new clients at the present time for transcription, but the faithful original clients are still with me and I'm very grateful for them.

Humans make the business. Let me never forget that. If you don't like people, stay out of business. Maybe hide in a cellar and eat worms.

As far as I know, none of these early adopters I tried to advise have ever succeeded. Most haven't even tried after a desultory attempt at entrepreneurship.

Guess it isn't that easy, eh?