Monday, April 10, 2017

How It Went

In my last post, I told you about my upcoming author forum, at which I was one of the five featured authors/speakers. Today, I thought I might tell you how it went because I know you're just dying to know.


So, I had planned to talk about inspiration—places where I have found it, and how it helped to shape my one, lonely, little novel. And I practiced my talk a few times beforehand in hopes that I would more or less memorize it and be able to deliver it somewhat smoothly. I did the same thing before my first talk, but I practice-delivered that speech a lot more. This time, I just lacked the time. And the focus. (I am living for Book Three right now. Which may or may not be a good thing.)

Anyway, there were eleven people in the audience (not including the other authors), and I was scheduled to speak fourth. By the time my turn came around, a few people had left, but there were still a lot more people than the no one to whom I had been practicing all week long.

So I get up there and begin talking. In my practice runs, my talk went approximately twelve minutes. It was supposed to last around fifteen, so I figured twelve was good because it would allow for a few minutes of me getting off track and rambling about some completely unrelated subject. (Not that I ever do that.) In my practice runs, I had proper transitions and pace and...other things I can't think of at the moment.

In actuality, I didn't deliver the talk anywhere close to how I had wanted to do it. I blew every transition and dumped an entire section. I have no idea for how long I actually spoke, but I'm pretty convinced I sounded a lot more like the Micro Machine Guy than I should have. In the event that you do not know to whom I am referring, I refer you to this video:




On one of those completely unrelated side notes in which I never indulge, if you've never heard the Micro Machine Guy's album "Ten Classics In Ten Minutes", you should really look it up. It's funny as hell. (His real name is John Moschitta, by the way, but I am an 80's child, so to me, he will forever be the Micro Machine Man.)

Getting back on topic...

But other than the aforementioned issues, I guess the talk went...not entirely horribly. People laughed. Possibly because I said a funny thing, but given how the rest of it went, I can't be too sure.

And then came the question and answer period.

Some of you know how this went because you saw it on Twitter, or even on this blog, because look—there it is on the left, but things went fine until this happened:

Audience Member: What's your book about?
Me:
Me:
Me:
Me:
Me:
Audience Member: Hello?

I. Couldn't. Answer. The. Question.

One of the other authors (who had read my book) had to answer for me. (And did so very well, might I add. I should really just hire her to be my official spokesperson.)

Such a proud, proud moment.


(Note to self: Next time, practice answering questions, too...)

But despite all of that, I did manage to sell a book, which was one more than I had expected to sell, and there was even talk of having me on yet another panel. I suspect they were either just being polite, or super desperate. Or maybe the certain comic relief provided by a walking human disaster is just too good to pass up?

Time will time, I suppose.



So, this will probably end up being my last post until May. You know, because I really need a break from blogging. And because there's some travel in my not-too-distant future, and I just won't be around. But have a great week, and rest of the month.

Thanks for stopping by—see y'all in May.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

I Have A Lot Of Feelings (An IWSG Post)

Hello, everyone.

It's the first Wednesday of the month (at least I think it is. I haven't really slept in a while, so I suppose it might not be.), which means it's time for another installment of the Insecure Writer's Support Group (unless it isn't actually the first Wednesday of the month after all, in which case, let's just pretend it is, okay?) (seriously...do you know how many times it took me to type that close parenthesis correctly...or how many tries it took me to spell 'parenthesis' correctly? I don't even know if I did spell it correctly either time. Feel free to let me know in the comments.)

For more information, or a complete list of participants, please click on the above link.

This month's fantastic co-hosts are: Christopher D. Votey, Madeline Mora-Summonte, Fundy Blue, and Chrys Fey.

This month's (optional) question asks, "Have you taken advantage of the annual A to Z Challenge in terms of marketing, networking, publicity for your book? What were the results?"

I haven't done that. Not really. Well, maybe. I don't know. (Seriously, I am so tired right now.) Last year, my theme was the music I listen to when I'm writing. Like, songs that remind me of specific scenes or characters. Which I suppose could seem like it was marketing or publicity. Just not particularly good marketing or publicity.

Because I am an utter failure when it comes to marketing and publicity.

That said (again. It's not like it's a secret or anything.), this Saturday, I shall be participating in an author forum where I will be expected to stand up in front of people (gasp!), and speak (double gasp!) intelligibly (triple gasp!) on some subject for, like, fifteen minutes. (now I'm hyperventilating.)

It's true. Here's the flyer:


There are actually two flyers, but I chose the one
that doesn't actually have my face on it.

I think I've made my feelings on public speaking (or simply interacting with the human race) pretty well-known over the years, but in the event that you're new here, they can be summed up with one simple gif:

I have no idea what this is from, but it terrifies me
almost as much as public speaking does.


Regardless of the terror, when I am asked to participate in one of these forums, I say yes. Because it's good to get out of our comfort zones once in a while, right? It's good to challenge ourselves, and it's probably good that I at least make an attempt at promotion.

But I hate doing them. I hate promotion. I don't know how to do it without feeling all boastful and braggy. I feel horrible going into them, and I feel horrible coming out. And I carry around this horrible weight for a good week following each event.

This will be my third since moving to the first circle of hell Florida. My talks must be going reasonably all right, given that they keep asking me to come back, but it doesn't make me any less terrified. (I know I keep using that word. It fits and I'm too tired to think of another. And you have no idea how many tries it took me to spell 'another' correctly. I really need to go to bed.)

I suppose they could be asking me to come back each time because they've placed bets on when, exactly, I'll pass out, run away, or just projectile vomit all over the audience (first three rows may get wet...) and they all want to be there to record it for YouTube.

But let's hope it's the other thing.



Sorry...that Stephen Colbert gif has made me laugh and lose my train of thought, so I have no idea what I had originally intended to type in this space. Probably something about feelings, as the title of the post is "I have a lot of feelings", and the only feelings mentioned thus far have been terrified and tired. (Is tired a feeling? My goodness, I need to sleep.)

Oh! I remember! I was going to say something about how the terrible, horrible feelings there make me feel (see...feelings) like I can't do this writing thing. Well, maybe not the writing thing. I can write (kind of anyway...just don't use this blog post as an example). The author thing—that's what I meant. I don't always feel like I can do the author thing.

And I have no idea what to do about that except to finish writing my talk on inspiration (yeah, I'm talking about inspiration, which I feel kind of ironic), get up and deliver it, and then go right back to writing. And say 'yes' to the next opportunity.

For you, Patricia Lynne!

And maybe take a nap in there somewhere.

Have I mentioned that I'm tired? (I'm kidding. I know I have.)

So, yeah. I'm going to stop here. I'm going to sleep for a bit, and then feel horrible because I wrote this post and told you these things.

Because I have a lot of issues. And feelings. Let's not forget the feelings.




Thanks for stopping by today—See y'all next time (provided I survive the forum and I haven't scared you off...)!

Monday, April 3, 2017

Expand Your Vocabulary

Hey everyone!

I am poking my head out of my latest, totally unplanned blogging break to throw the spotlight on a brand-new book release by author extraordinaire, Patricia Lynne (aka Patricia Josephine).

Check it out...


A collection of flash fiction inspired by unusual words. Each tiny tale is crafted around a word that is unique or no longer in use. Read them while waiting in line, or before bed. They range from sweet and lighthearted to dark and disturbing. Look out for the supernatural, but don't turn your back on the average human. A killer might be lurking underneath. Expand your vocabulary, and get some inspiration of your own.


Now available at:

Smashwords
Kobo
B&N

About The Author:

Patricia Josephine never set out to become a writer, and in fact, she never considered it an option during high school and college. She was more of an art and band geek. Some stories are meant to be told, and now she can't stop writing. She writes Young Adult under the name Patricia Lynne.

Patricia lives with her husband in Michigan, hopes one day to have what will resemble a small petting zoo, and has a fondness for dying her hair the colors of the rainbow.

Find her online at:

Website
Twitter
Google+
Goodreads
Amazon Author Page
Smashwords


Congrats, Patricia!

See y'all on Wednesday...and for all of you who are A to Z-ing, we salute you.


Monday, March 6, 2017

And Then There Was None

A funny thing happened over the weekend.

I may (or may not) have completed my revisions.

I have to keep the 'or may not' part because I am, after all, me, and I have a long history of not actually completing my revisions.



But, for the moment at least, they are complete, and the manuscript is in the hands of my last beta reader. And in theory, she is reading at a neck-breaking pace because she finds it impossible to put down the story. (and also because she'd like to get to the end before I decide I must rewrite the entire thing. Again. My beta readers love me. Just so much.)

So until such time as I decide to either move forward, or rewrite the entire book (again), I'll be working on other things. It's kind of weird to be saying that because I've been revising for so long. Like, just this side of forever. I'm a little worried that I'll end up revising more just because I've forgotten how to do anything else. So if you see me with a red pen, just slap it right out of my hand, okay?

Here's what I'll be attempting to work on in the coming days and weeks and possibly months, all in the name of distracting myself (and also because they need to be done anyway—but mostly that first thing...):

1. Write a blurb for Second Nature

I had one brief moment of happiness upon the completion of my revisions. It was quickly swallowed by the knowledge that the dreaded blurb now awaited me. Is it too late to run away to join the circus?

2. Work on plan for Full Circle (aka, Book Three)

When I last looked at this manuscript (the last time I thought Second Nature's revisions were finished...), there was one of those super fun big ole timeline problems. I really need to figure it out before I can do anything else with this book.

3. Once the timeline problem is solved, find that scene I wrote in a notebook somewhere for Full Circle but now can't seem to locate.

I swear I wrote that scene fairly recently (translation: since having moved), but I haven't figured out in which notebook it's written. Fortunately, I only have about a million notebooks, so I'm sure tracking down one scene in one of them will be super easy.



Good thing I have a lot of time on my hands...

What's going on in your corner of the world?

Happy Monday, all.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Tales From The Vault (An IWSG Post)

Hello, everyone. It's the first Wednesday of the month, which means it's time for another action-packed installment of the Insecure Writer's Support Group.

(As always, I'm assuming that, by now, you know what this is, but if you need/want more information, or a complete list of participants, please click on the link.)

This month's co-hosts are Tamara Narayan, Patsy Collins, Nicohle Christopherson, and, you know, me. (I always feel weird writing this particular part when I am among the hosts. But, as I pretty much always feel weird regardless of the situation, I perhaps didn't need to mention this particular instance to you.)

Anyway. On with the post.

This month's question asks, "Have you ever pulled out a really old story and reworked it? Did it work out?"

Well, I'll tell you. Well, at least I'll tell you half of it. I have no idea if it will ultimately work out, but I did, not too long ago, pull out an old manuscript of mine.

I generally have two projects going at one time—a main project, and a back-up project that I work on a little bit whenever I need a break from the main project. At the moment, my main project is Book #2 of my fantasy series, and my back-up project is Book #3 of said series.

And because there was this time when I thought I might actually finish Book #2 (Ha!) and promote Book #3 to Main Project Status, I went hunting through the archives of abandoned never-finished stories to look for a new possible back-up project.

One of my top contenders was this novel I had started in high school, and worked on through a few years of college, but never finished. (The story of my life, I know.) What pages did exist were well-received in college. Like, really well-received. The feedback from professors and classmates and fellow writers met at conferences was excellent, flattering, even—and maybe, just maybe, played a minor part in cultivating my ego a little bit. (I know I'm always so ego-free, so this information may seem jarring to you.)

So, fast forward many, many years to the time when I thought I might actually finish Book #2. (Again, I say, "Ha!") I pulled this abandoned story out of a box and submitted the first ten pages to my critique group, just to get their take on the story.

And their take was:


Leaving me all:



and wondering what in the world all my professors, classmates, and conference-writer acquaintances were fawning over during my college years, as well as worrying that my entire decision to be a writer (made the summer before my junior year of college) had been predicated on big, fat lies designed to avoid hurting my delicate artist feelings.

But that's another post for another day, perhaps.

I went home after my critique and paged through the rest of the manuscript, and had a good long laugh at both it and myself. My critique partners were so incredibly right, and if this story ever does make it to Back-Up Project Status, or even Main Project Status, the characters and I will be in for a total overhaul.

And boy, am I looking forward to that.



Thanks for stopping by today, everyone. Happy writing.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Abducted Life

No, this is not another post about how editing has completely taking over my life. You may breath your collective sigh of relief. Go ahead—I'll wait.

Instead, we welcome author Patricia Lynne (or, Patricia Josephine, as she's also known...) back to My Pet Blog. She has a brand new book out, and she's here today to talk about some real life influences found in the story.

Take it away, Patricia!

Five Real Life Influences in Abducted Life

Writers seem to like to insert little homages (boy, did I just have one heck of a time trying to spell that word) to things in their real life. I did it in Being Human with names of people in my life. Abducted Life was no different. Here are five real life inspirations that helped me add a little personality to the story.

Number One: Did I say that out loud?

The baker at my day job can have quite the snarky mouth and often she will say something sarcastic and end with a flair of snark. "Oh, did I say that out loud?" There's a scene where Savannah is walking behind two women who are gossiping about one's boyfriend. Savannah accidentally says what's on her mind out loud and earns a nasty look from the women.

Number Two: I love this song!

This is another coworker story. I used to have a cook who loved music and, I swear, 80% of the songs on the radio she said she loved. I'd actually tease her when she didn't say it. So naturally, when Mandy and Savannah are clubbing, I had Mandy enjoy each and every song she heard and declare it to Savannah's amusement.

Number Three: The dump

Behind my parents' house is an old, cleaned up dump, but there is still stuff littered there, including and old beetle car. It was a fun place to explore in hopes of finding a hidden treasure. When writing where Evan hung out when not stalking Savannah, I envisioned that dump down to the sloping hills and overgrown road that ran through it.

Number Four: The old farmhouse

Speaking of my parents' house, that was were I got the inspiration for where Savannah's parents lived. My parents own a 100+ year old farm house that has a giant tree in the side yard. They have a picture of the house when it was first built and the tree was just a sapling. Mom also loved flowers and birds so she has many flowerbeds and birdfeeders. The land surrounded the house is also hayed yearly and is very secluded for an easy alien abduction.

Number Five: Trouble

The last little detail is a small one. In the beginning, Savannah recalls how she and Evan met in kindergarten and had gotten in trouble for not paying attention. My bestie of 30 years and I met that way. We were sat next to each other and I remember the teacher separating us for talking.





Savannah Janowitz’s perfect life was destroyed the night she and her boyfriend vanished without a trace. When she reappears a year later––alone––she’s a shell of her former self. Robbed of her popularity and her boyfriend, she has no memory of what happened to her. Savannah struggles to move forward as strange, new abilities manifest.

Evan Sullivan never gave extra-terrestrials much thought until the night he and Savannah were abducted. While Savannah’s memory was wiped clean, he remembers every horrific detail. Constantly reminded of the experiments that made him less than human, Evan hides in the shadows and watches Savannah rebuild her life without him. But neither can let the other go.

When their paths cross, Savannah and Evan finally see a glimmer of their old lives return. As they face what happened to them, they soon discover they aren’t safe. There’s more to fear than what’s hiding in the stars.



About The Author

Patricia Josephine never set out to become a writer. In fact, she never considered it an option during high school and college. She was all about art. On a whim, she wrote down a story bouncing in her head. That was the start of it and she hasn't regretted a moment. She writes young adult under the name Patricia Lynne.

Patricia lives with her husband in Michigan, hopes one day to have what will resemble a small petting zoo, has a fondness for dying her hair the colors of the rainbow, and an obsession with Doctor Who.



Other places to find her online:








Congrats on the new release, Patricia! Hope everyone out there has a wonderful weekend. See you next week. Unless I forget. Which I totally might because I do occasionally do that. Regardless, hope you have a wonderful weekend.

Friday, February 3, 2017

One Question With Chrys Fey + Free Ebook + Giveaway

Hey, everyone. Today, the spotlight is on author Chrys Fey, who is celebrating her latest release, Tsunami Crimes. (Congratulations, Chrys!)

She asked the participants of her blog tour to ask one question each.

Here's mine:

MJ’s Question for Chrys: What is your preferred writing method? Are you an old-school pen-and-paper person, or do you trend toward more "modern" methods of writing (i.e., Scrivener, or voice dictation programs, etc.)?


I’m old-school. For every story I write, I always have a notebook for it. I carry it around my house wherever I go, in case inspiration strikes or for those moments when I’m lounging on the couch with nothing better to do than write while I watch TV. I keep every notebook, too. I have them all in boxes in my closet. Now before you think my closet is full of these boxes, let me correct you. There are currently three small boxes. Just three. Well, that’s a lie. I also have a backpack.
Aside from the notebooks, I do have a desktop computer and a laptop. Depending on the story, I may write most of it at my desk or at my kitchen table with my laptop. For Tsunami Crimes, I wrote it entirely at my kitchen table. For some other stories, I find the inspiration to write them while at my desk. I don’t know why this is, but I’ve found that if I start writing a story on my laptop, I can’t write it at all at my desk. And vice-versa.
I’ve never actually tried Scrivener or voice dictation programs or anything else. Truthfully, I can’t even think of another modern writing method. I’ve heard many great things about Scrivener, but I’ve never tried it out. My old-school method works for me, so why fix something that’s not broken?
What methods do you use?


BLURB:
Beth and Donovan have come a long way from Hurricane Sabrina and the San Francisco earthquake. Now they are approaching their wedding day and anxiously waiting to promise each other a lifetime of love. The journey down the aisle isn’t smooth, though, as they receive threats from the followers of the notorious criminal, Jackson Storm. They think they’ll be safe in Hawaii, but distance can’t stop these killers. Not even a tsunami can.
This monstrous wave is the most devastating disaster Beth has ever faced. It leaves her beaten, frightened. Is she a widow on her honeymoon? As she struggles to hold herself together and find Donovan, she’s kidnapped by Jackson's men.
Fearing her dead, Donovan searches the rubble and shelters with no luck. The thought of her being swept out to sea is almost too much for him to bear, but the reality is much worse. She’s being used as bait to get him to fall into a deadly trap.
If they live through this disaster, they may never be the same again.


On SALE for $2.99!


BUY LINKS:

P.S. Hurricane Crimes and Seismic Crimes are on sale for 99 Cents!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Chrys Fey is the author of the Disaster Crimes Series. She is a blogger, reader, auntie, vegetarian, and cat Lover. 


FIND CHRYS:
Facebook / Twitter / Blog / Website / Amazon / Goodreads





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