Friday, January 30, 2015

Big Dreams and Goals Update (And Celebrations - big and little)

Goals Update:

1. Working towards getting something off my desktop and into the publishing world each month. JanuaryAshes Burn Season 1 - completed and out! Release day was Wednesday and I'm still celebrating! :)

2. Write1Sub1 and re-submissions of rejected works:
Three rejection letters.
Two acceptance letters. 
One new story submission to Brilliant Flash Fiction's Life is Good contest.
Re-submissions so far: zero, spent a few hours researching new markets.

January Publications: "Okay is Enough" at Brilliant Flash Fiction today!
Five hint fiction stories at Seven by Twenty this week!

3. Writing progress on the semi-secret project (a novella based on the script of a web/local tv paranormal series): B plot (my creation) Log-line, Full Outline, First Draft to 12 chapters.

4. Getting out there somehow (marketing):
Alex J. Cavanaugh gave me a shout-out! Many Thanks!
Liz at Unicorn Bell hosted me on Wednesday! Many Thanks!
I filled out a form for a podcast . . . may be on the air in April. :)

5. Exercise: Daily Yoga and 1,000 miles bike and walk.
 Um. 5 miles exercise bike, 15 miles walked. Then, I fell down the stairs and sprained my foot, ankle, and my back, neck, shoulder, etc. So . . . chair stretches commencing. Core workouts planned for when I get the sure go-ahead from doc.

6. Relational:
Invitational attitude - invited various friends and family members over for two birthday celebrations, and open house for our home-school co-op. And, invited two authors to have a spot on this blog next month.

7. Spiritual:
Quiet Time/Bible Study/Prayer (Note: I believe that Jesus died to save me from my sins, I don't have to do anything to "earn" grace - it's free. I just want to grow in my faith.): Only an average of three planned quiet times each week, crazy prayer moments throughout the day as usual.

What are your big castle-dream goals this year? How are you putting some foundations under them?

 And, if you haven't taken a look at it yet, please take a look at my page for Ashes Burn here on my blog, or check out my post at Unicorn Bell which gives a little hint about hint fiction. :)

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Ashes Burn Season 1 Release

Fantasy, intrigue, and adventure in 30 episodes of hint fiction.

Wend wants to run from a nightmarish past.

Teresa wants to find the man she loves before his enemies do.

And King Bryant just wants total power and no complications.

Liz at Unicorn Bell is hosting me today for a quick run-down on hint fiction and a "what if" question.

Please visit with me at Unicorn Bell!!!

Or, check out Ashes Burn Season 1: Ashes Away at one of the above links!

I'm also being featured at Seven By Twenty on twitter this week! @7x20  

And, if you can, please help me out with some tweet-love on twitter!

Epic fantasy in bite-sized amounts - Ashes Burn - a #hint fiction series

Fantasy, intrigue, & adventure in 30 episodes of #hint fiction - Ashes Burn

Monday, January 26, 2015

Quick Thanks!

My "main" post for the week will be up on Wednesday, but I just wanted to give a quick


to Alex J. Cavanaugh

and Liz at Unicorn Bell

for giving Ashes Burn Season 1: Ashes Away a shout out this week!

I'll be at Unicorn Bell and here on Wednesday.


Friday, January 23, 2015

Celebrate the Small Things, the Necessary Edition

Hosted these days by Lexa Cain, Celebrate the Small Things is going strong! I didn't think I would be able to post on Fridays, but here I am.

Life went a little crazy on Wednesday night.

Or, maybe it started on Tuesday . . . when both our working vehicles broke down at the same time. One went in for an oil change and ended up with the transmission out. Then, the other smelled like burning oil and needed a strange part replaced.

Three days without transportation does not work well in my house.

Then, on Wednesday night, I fell down part of our stairs while carrying a ginormous load of laundry. I landed on my left foot (that left foot-argh!) wrong, and then hit knee, elbow, and then shoulder with a bit of head whiplash.

Yeah, fun. (NOT!!!)

So, how is this a celebration post?!!!

Well, here's what I'm really celebrating:

1. Super amazing helpful friends and family. All transportation needs were taken care of by them.
2. One helpful foot doctor with an open appointment! (And so far, just major soft tissue damage found)
3. I already owned the "boot" of shame for my foot and had kept it in a plastic bag in my closet for four years (just in case - my husband made me keep it).
4. I have ibuprofen, ice packs, and coffee, and my hubs is taking care of the grocery shopping while my girls are helping me keep the house clean(ish).
5. I have plenty of time to write on Fridays now . . . my schedule of teaching ski lessons has been cleared completely. (not my original plan for Fridays, but I'm going to make the best of it.)
6. We have one running vehicle now thanks to my husband's awesome mechanical skills and a quickly ordered part.
7. The van is supposed to be ready to be picked up today or tomorrow - which is good, since I can't drive a stick with a "boot of shame."
8. We had full coverage on the van. (not our normal insurance way, but this is a huge blessing at the moment. My husband can fix cars but taking a transmission out takes time and energy that he doesn't have right now.)
9. In the midst of all of this, I only got whiny once or twice . . . well, maybe three times if you count the initial rolling around on the basement floor by the laundry room saying "ow, ow, ow."
10. Lots of prayer from friends and family.
11. God's grace is enough. Yep. I'm thankful for the blessings at this moment in this time.

So, this is the Necessary Edition of Celebrate the Small Things. I'll be around on Fridays now . . . so I look forward to celebrating more. :)

What are you celebrating this week? Have you ever found it necessary to celebrate the small things?

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Writing in Someone Else's World

 Writing in someone else's world is like seeing the world through a different lens, especially when that artist's world is almost like our own. For example, see the pic below:

Earth with Two Moons
by Grebenkov
Artist's conception of Earth with two moons, generated in Celestia with addon from Eugene Stauffer (GPLv3)
Wikimedia Commons - ShareAlike

How different would the world be if we had two moons? Imagine the havoc that might cause on our tides? Without our realizing, much of our planet runs on the turning of our tides. Our oceans are full of life and oxygen. What would happen with two moons?

Maybe I'll have to actually do some research on that one of these days and write an alternative/fantasy/scifi story based on those questions.

But, I've digressed. 

As a reader, I've always taken those "script from movies" books for granted. As a writer working with a youtube* series script, I can say, it's a little more challenging than it looks. I'm trying to stay close to the script, work in a secondary "B" plot of my own as asked for by the publisher, 
make it good -

This is when my interior editor interrupts with this - 

"No, not good, perfect. This is someone else's world we're dealing with here, not your own. Make sure you know the details. Understand every nuance of world-building. Research your subject matter. Know the meaning of each name, each item on the background of the set, and get it right!"

 - But wait, isn't that what I do with my own books?

Yes, it is. I've done this before. I can do this. 

Have you ever written something in someone else's world? Have you ever written or told fan fiction stories? Or, written under the wing of another author**?

*the series has also aired on a local television station and at a festival in Seattle.

**The author I'm working under has been completely positive and encouraging. She never ever sounds like my inner editor. 

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The Business of Self-Publishing, Part 3*: Keep the Window Open and Sudden Secrets

Section of Girl Reading Letter by an Open Window by Johannes Vermeer 
(public domain) Full Picture Found HERE

Keep the Window Open

Some of the discussions about publishing that take place online are purposely inflammatory to draw out a long conversation of incendiary comments. Since my blood rises hot under my skin during some of those discussions, I've finally decided that it's best not to read or take part in them. 


I want to keep the window of publishing opportunities open. My dream of writing and publishing includes becoming a completely hybrid author with books on the big traditional, the small press, and the indie shelves. 

I self-publish short stories, novels, and collections of work. Also, I submit work to magazines and anthologies. Currently, I am writing a novella in a series for a small press publisher under the wing of a novelist who wrote a bestseller as a teenager.

This last project came from a direction I didn't expect, like a heavy curtain drawn back to reveal a hidden window of bright sunshine opportunity. It came at an unexpected time and from an unexpected place, but I wasn't going to close the window or draw the curtain back over it. I've throw the shutter open and leaned out into the air.

I love being a self-published writer, but I also just love writing and getting published. :)

How do you keep the window of opportunity open? And, what's your progress in writing, submissions, publishing, marketing, etc. this week?

For a similar theme, check out Lynette Labelle's post on the Number One Rule of Publishing (Be Nice).

Also, if you didn't know already, there's this amazing hybrid author who writes incredibly wonderful teen fiction and her latest book is out!
Sudden Secrets by C. Lee Mckenzie at Amazon and Evernight Teen!

Tiny Update on Writing Submissions: I had one story rejected, and a series of hint fiction stories accepted since last Wednesday. Several short stories are hanging out there in the submission ether, and I haven't written or subbed for Write1Sub1 this month yet. I'm keeping all the windows open and enjoying the breeze. :)

.*Next month, I'll be changing this series to "The Business of Writing and Publishing." I'll still have some tips on here for self-publishing, but I think this is a better name for a series of posts meant for all writers.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

IWSG and the Sarcasm, Snark, and Sass Blogfest

IWSG Introduction Day!

IWSG, brought to us by Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh, the IWSG Website Team and Facebook Team, invites us to share and encourage! 
For our New Year of 2015, we have all been invited to re-introduce ourselves in 100 words or less. So, what to say?

I can be a wordy worrier, but I would rather be a word warrior.
I hit rock bottom with some health issues in the summer of 2014, and I'm struggling with some of the aftermath of that. Fitness and health are two of my primary goals this year (other than my crazy writing goals).
I have an amazing family, and I can't help but include them in some of my posts because they inspire me to move, grow, and live life fully.
I love Jesus as my Savior.

I write novels, short stories, poetry, non-fiction, and journal entries.

And this is my battle cry for 2015:

Watch out insecurities past, present, and future of 2015! 

I have castle-sized dreams, and I plan to build solid foundations under them, one brick at a time! 

To see how I keep building the foundation, check the news section and link list for story submissions at the end of this post. 

The Sarcasm, Snark, and Sass Blogfest to celebrate LG Keltner's blogaversary!!!. I needed it when I heard of it. Enough said. Pictures say all (and all found on pinterest):

This is me . . . not! It takes me days to come up with comebacks, but I still like this quote.

BTW, I'll just be posting Wednesdays this year . . . at least for now.

News flashes from my writing life: I finished a crazy, back-seat project over break - not what I planned to do, but what I did do. It's up for pre-sale. See the page for Jumble for more information. Plus, the e-book draft of Ashes Burn: Season 1 Ashes Away is on pre-sale. And, my hint fiction story, "Big Money" made it into the Nail Polish Stories Best of 2014 edition. (Madeline Mora-Summonte, amazing micro-fiction author and fellow blogger, made into the 2014 edition, too!) I had a story accepted for the January Brilliant Flash Fiction (coming later this month). Currently, I'm working on a top secret project that has Champion's Destiny and Captain Wrath on hold.

As part of Write 1 Sub 1 (awesome organization, follow the link), I try to write one new story and submit it for publication each month. As I've been submitted, I've discovered that it's hard to find places to submit work to, so I'll be giving out link lists of ongoing or one time submission windows for my fellow writers.

Submission Idea Links:

One-time Contest Due January 15th! Brilliant Flash Fiction has a "Life is Good" contest for stories of 300 words or less. Check it out!

Brilliant Flash Fiction also takes ongoing flash fiction submissions. Non-paying market with a kind and helpful editorial staff.

Every Day Fiction. I had a story rejected by them last month and it felt like I won a prize: five editors gave me specific, detailed and kindly written feedback. Small paying, professional market with an awesome editorial staff.

Nail Polish Stories. A non-paying quarterly market for hint fiction stories of 25 words or less based on the names of nail polish colors. It's fun, it has depth, and the editor is highly professional.

Electric Spec. A paying market for fantasy, scifi, and macabre stories between 250-7,000 words. Has specific submission windows. Seems professional. (submitted to them for the first time last month)

7x20: a journal of twitter literature. A non-paying market for twitter length micro-fiction. (submitted to them for the first time in December)

Babybug Magazine. A paying, professional market for children's literature for babies and toddlers ages 0-3 years old. Stories of six sentences of less. (submitted to them for the first time in December)

Ever feel a little sassy, snarky, or sarcastic? Ever want to tell off your insecurities with a message that has meaning to you? 

And are you ready to build the foundations for your dream castles this year?