Stressful Times #MFRWAuthors #9

Growing up with a high metabolism, I’ve developed some weird eating habits.  I could eat an entire bag of chocolate and not gain weight; I once ate half a loaf of bread (4 pieces at a time, toasted with butter and sugar) while I watched a TV program; I loved cake, cookies, and pizza.  In fact, when Nobel Romans came out with their ‘Monster’ pizza, my sister and I bet our waiter we could eat the whole thing.  He ended up shelling out coupons for his half of our meal…

But I digress.  When I get stressed, something strange happens in my body….I lose my appetite.

Maybe this comes from having a mother who stress-eats?  I don’t know.  All I do know is, when there is conflict in my household, the last thing I want to do is go into the kitchen.  I’ll go bury myself in a book, a TV program, or even vent on a blog post.  One thing I do not do is reach for the chips, or anything sweet.

Am I In The Minority?

I have had to learn healthier eating habits since entering menopause; my metabolism shut itself off mid-way through my thirties, which caused me to admit to my doctor I was eating a box of cereal a day and not exercising….then not understanding why I’d suddenly packed on ten pounds.  When he quoted my words back to me, I sheepishly laughed and admitted I saw his point!  I had to cut out the Frosted Mini-Wheats, my sugar intake, and now my carbs.  Fortunately, I do like the zucchini noodles, and my veggie intake has gotten better.

It’s only taken me twenty years, ha ha!

We’ve all had the stomach flu this week, ugh.  Despite being sick, I finally managed to revise a short story I’ve subbed for a Dreams anthology, and my daughter came up with the title, High Hopes.  I’ll let you know if it’s accepted; my poem was rejected, because the antho is supposed to be about actual DREAMS, not just about attaining one.

Also, after further inspection of my Catered Romance file, and probably four drafts later, I think the final version is up on the Amazon website.  I’ve heard some some horror stories this week about Amazon sending out the wrong files, so if you get one where the covers aren’t centered; a few scene breaks are doubled or not centered; one issue with a paragraph; and ‘the end’ isn’t centered, please let me know?  Mine were minor issues, but still, it reflects poorly on an indie author if ‘rookie mistakes’ are there.

If you’ve been following the #CopyPasteCris issue this past week, please know that all my stories were written by ME.  Back in 2012-13, when I was putting out books every other month, it was because the books had either been written from 1993-2000, or from 2007-2009.  They were just simply waiting to be ‘discovered’ by an Acquisitions Editor.  All I had to do was polish them up for the submission process, then bite my tongue during edits.  My writing ‘voice’ had changed over the years, and my earlier characters were trying to rebel.

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Eclectic Music Choices #MFRWAuthors #8

If you’re a friend of mine on FB, you know that 95% of the time I wake up with a song in my head.  I swear when I die, they’re going to open up my head and find a juke box AND that Mucinex guy in there, lol!

Ahem.  Anyway, there are some people out there who can’t write if there is any noise in the room.  That’s definitely not my case.

Back when I was starting out, writing my books by hand, I found my creativity was bolstered by Hooked On Classics.  I even wrote while at the laundromat while listening to Motley Crue, Don Henley, and Nirvana.

Once I even outlined an entire book while sitting in a noisy bar, waiting for a job interview.

Depending on my mood, I’ve written to the music of Prince, Bon Jovi, Pink, Nelson, Jon Secada, and even some Eminem and Linkin Park.  Disturbed has even made an appearance.  When my ‘caboose’ was a toddler twelve years ago, I learned to write with Dora The Explorer, Bob The Builder, and Spongebob Squarepants in the background.

One glorious week, my kids were all gone, and I was looking forward to spending that week revising one of my longer books.  I went through my entire (at the time) 8-CD library, and couldn’t summon the motivation.  Finally, on the last day, I put in Aqua (“Barbie Girl) and the darn thing played through at least three times while I changed my 1st-person novel to 3rd person.

I’d avoided that particular album, because I had been ‘in the mood’ for a more hard rock sound.  Turned out Britney Fox, Monster Rock, Styx, and Journey, not to mention Melissa Etheridge, was not my muse’s preferred sound!  Who knew?

What about you?

Find out here if I’m the only one who writes to music.

What’s the weather been like in your corner of the world?  Ours has been cold, with only a light dusting of snow this past week.  Had some rain on Wednesday, and hoping to end the week in either the upper 40s or lower 60s (again, with rain).  I keep telling myself, “I’ll take rain over snow; I’ll take rain over snow” as I’m sloshing through puddles!

We’ve also had one kid with strep throat and my spouse with a round of the stomach flu.  Really hoping the other occupants of my house, including me, stay healthy!

Update on Catered Romance:  The kindle version is available for pre-order for only $.99!  When it goes live May 21st, the price will increase to $3.99, so order yours today!  The print version is still on track to release on that date also:)

Listen To Your Gut #MFRWAuthors #7

From the time we learn to dress ourselves until we cross over into The Great Beyond, we’re bombarded with advice.

Don’t wear stripes with polka dots.

You look so much better with your hair that way.

Eat this/wear that.

If you buy this product, you’ll be healthier/popular/better looking.

You want to do WHAT?  Oh no, follow this career path instead.  Better yet, go to college and get your XYZ degree.

Face it, we’ve even given it to our best friends, siblings, even coworkers.  Read Dear Abby, in hopes of finding something similar.

When you’re starting out, you know nothing.  You eagerly soak up all the advice from the experts, the pros.  But ultimately you discover that what works for one person does not always mean it’s going to work for you.   Learn to trust your gut; do what seems right for YOU.

And the best piece of advice I’ve ever been given as a writer?

Don’t get it RIGHT, get it WRITTEN.  You can always go back and revise.

Want to know what others have to say about advice giving and taking?

Some of you are aware I tripped over the spouse’s canes this past weekend aka ‘random gravity check’; I’m happy to report the swelling in my left knee is down, and walking isn’t painful anymore.

I also may have gotten myself hired at one of our local stores, for seasonal help, and extra income.  I should find out in the next two weeks, so more on this later.

Yes, it was on the advice of my spouse, who’s informed me he’s not letting me have any more $$ for my booth fees/inventory/promo materials/travel expenses.  Not good when I’ve already spent most of my Christmas money on upcoming events, plus made plans for others in April, and now have to get there!

1st, 3rd, Past, or Present? #MFRWAuthors #6

Before I pursued publishing, I wrote stories and read books in two Point of Views:  1st person past and Omniscient.

1st Person Past I like sometimes….

“I walked up to him and slipped my hand into his.  He smiled at me as we walked down the hall….”

Then there’s Omniscient, also called ‘head hopping’, where you’re in two different POV’s over the course of a page, or even a chapter.  Read some old Danielle Steele’s or possibly old Harlequin’s, and you’ll understand what I mean.  Maybe even Kathleen Woodiwiss or Johanna Lindsay.  It’s been a while since I’ve read my old books, since they’ve been in storage for the past 12 years, and the last DS book I read was a couple of years ago, when I realized the POV had switched.  A friend of mine published one of her books in Omni POV ten or so years ago, and I think I was the only one who actively ‘Loved’ it.

The experts say ‘write what you know.’  I saw nothing wrong with the way the books I’d read were written, so I wrote the same way.  Imagine my shock in 2007 when I learned the rules had changed, and I’d written my first five books the wrong way!

“Readers will be confused…”   

“You have your main character leaving the room, yet the conversation continues?  Whaa-aat???”

Yeah….I’d envisioned a movie in my head as I was writing….

I fixed it…somewhat.  Read Wild At Heart and see if you can spot the tiny Omni-moment, that I managed to slip past my editor.

What POV Don’t I Like?

1st-person-present.  Made popular by That Book Which Shall Not Be Named and its sequels.”

“I walk up to him and slip my hand into his.  He smiles at me and we walk down the hall.”

If that’s the kind of book you’re writing, and you want to promote it, that’s fine.  But unless you’ve managed to write a fantastic blurb that makes me really, really, REALLY want to read it, then I’ll continue to applaud your efforts and wish you all the best.

I’ve read some 1st Person stories, and while they’re not my favorite, again, the above criteria applies.  Hook me with a good blurb and some excerpts, and I might buy it.  Or enter a contest to win it.  Or even download it for free or for $.99.  I’ll even buy the print version if I meet you in public if I open it up and start turning pages.

Want to know what others think of the POV Controversy?

Update On Mom and Roof:

Mom is happy to be home!  She still has outpatient therapy twice a week, but she and Dad are settled back into their familiar routine.  No word yet if she wants me to resume my monthly visits.

The roofers finished last Friday, and so far so good!

The Bad News:

My gmail account was hacked last week, and I woke up Feb 1st to over 100 emails from newsletters, Amazon orders, and other businesses I’d never heard of.  Managed to change my password and contacted Amazon, since a $50 gift card had been claimed, thankfully NOT on my card!  In fact, there were two cards on my account which weren’t even mine, so got them deleted and that PW changed too.  Emails have slowed from one every minute to every five minutes to now probably four or five per hour.  If anyone has further suggestions on how to fix this, I’m all ears.  The last time this happened, my AOL account was hacked, AOL’s solution was to wipe out all my contacts.  Thankfully, I seem to still have all my email addresses and old mail saved from cover artists, docs I’ve sent myself, and other stuff.