I Know, I’m THAT Girl Again

I know that my weight loss journey has completely apprehended my writing career, but I do have something currently in the works! But it’s going to have to be a mystery for right now.  In the meantime, how about you check out my progress! Once I hit my goals I can re-focus on my absolute love of writing again!

http://allisoninonederland.wordpress.com/2014/06/16/week-22-6-months-deep-and-so-close-to-goal/

 

 

Advertisements

Out of the Old Skool Into the New…Sort Of

keep-calm-out-with-the-old-and-in-with-the-new-3Picture credit:  http://sd.keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk/i/keep-calm-out-with-the-old-and-in-with-the-new-3.png

As of next Monday its new beginnings in an old comfortable environment.

Ok this has nothing to do with writing, or my writing, or writers in general, or anything writing.

Long story short…the company I’ve been working at for the last five years was bought out, I was fortunate to be accepted to the new company.  Sadly, some did not and it’s been breaking my heart.  We lost some really great people for no good reason.

The company I’ve been employed with for five years has been in business for one hundred years.  The new company has been in business for six. Not that there’s a difference considering the old company went down in flames and this company is thriving more by the day.  One thing I’ve noticed in meeting the people from the new company which puts a smile on my face – a lot of the Principals are young women.  They are a big proponent in Women Owned Business’s which I fully support.  I’m a little wary of my future still, but I feel confident that the normal misogynistic mentality of the old company is not tolerated at the new – fingers crossed.

So again, I embark on a new journey, but really I’m pretty much doing the same thing with the same people I’ve been doing for the past five years.

What an odd situation, you know?

On the writing front – I really need to find me a cheap editor, editing is really time-consuming and hard. Wah. If you know of anyone I’ll be happy to hear any suggestions!  I have three books that are drafted to completion – now I need the editing.

*shameless plug moment over*

Wish me luck all 20 of you in my bloggerverse, thanks for sticking with me and still reading my dribble.  You have no idea how appreciated it is!

Neglect is a terrible thing to forget…

Maybe I’m spreading myself too thin, too many blogs so little time. So here…I’m begging now…

Spoiler Alert: Bruce Willis was Dead the Whole Time: If guests are treats, then we’re giving you a deep-fried banana split wrapped in bacon. We welcome special guest, Norine Dworkin-McDaniel, award-winning essayist, blogger, and author of nationally-published articles and books to discuss her latest projects and endeavors. And, as an added bonus, we discuss contents of a “Press Kit” for the newly-published author.

Listen Live Thursday, May 10 @7pm EST: Click Here

While I’m in the pleading mood. I ask all my amazing, wonderful, happy, kick-ass, good peeps, followers of mine:

Please follow Petting Unicorns on Twitter @pettingunicorns, Please like our Page on Facebook “Petting Unicorns” and Listen to our shows because we are doing this for all of you, we want you to gain exposure and unleash your talents upon the audio world. So please, we can use support to make this really something more special!

Time After Time I Still Have No Time

Work.Is.Crazy.

I’m currently simultaneously proofreading the manuscript to Julia Dudek’s sequel to Pieces, Falling In Two and writing with fervour trying to get a rough draft out of Stories From Plane View.

There just isn’t enough hours in the day at.all. I’m bursting with inspiration and it’s stifled at my day job but then again that day job pays my bills so I love my job! 🙂

Whoo ok I got that out. Must keep writing!!!

Photo Credit: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-7y8Fpn6WoJ0/Tkou2wMvSEI/AAAAAAAABB4/mkY65igyF0w/s1600/Picture%2B459.jpg

 

 

Caught the Writing Bug

Ok I have no idea what just happened. I did this whole post and it just disappeared I may have Gremlins.

Anyway this is my new tentative cover, I think it will be way more awesome.  But I’ve been neglectful in all thing i.e. blog, Facebook, Twitter etc. because I caught the writing bug again! I started working on this story gosh maybe a few years ago amidst ADLS when I got blocked I started this.  I like the story.

Stories from Plane View (or Original title Stories from a Plane) let me know which one you like more.

Is about a twenty-three year old travel publication journalist who spends her life in a new luxurious destination every forty-eight hours.  From her rebellious overpriveleged teen years she had adopted the mantra love and live like a man, she didn’t believe in intimate connections or any long-term relationships she just doesn’t have the time for it.

Until she realizes that she’s been going non-stop for three years straight and is forced to take some vacation time. She becomes very uncomfortable with being bound to home, a home that she’s never been in more that several times a year.  One day she wakes up with a strapping young and handsome man in her condo with no memory of the night before.  He turns out to be good for her so she of course feels doomed to ruin it.

This is a story of Bernice who thinks she knows exactly who she is and what she wants. After meeting Oliver she finds out that being grounded is not what she expected at all.

Myself, Yourself and the Literary Ghost

When you sit down on your computer to start a work your first sentence most of the time gives you the voice of the rest of the book.

I want to touch on First, Second and Third Point of Views.

First Person: The I point of view

Here are some famous first person POV lines:

  1. Call me Ishmael—Moby Dick 
  2. Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins—Lolita 
  3. You don’t know about me without you have read a book by the name of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer; but that ain’t no matter.—Huckleberry Finn

Second Person: The You point of view

Here are some famous second person POV lines:

  1. You are not the kind of guy who would be at a place like this at this time of the morning. But here you are, and you cannot say that the terrain is entirely unfamiliar, although the details are fuzzy.—Bright Lights, Big City
  2. People simply disappeared, always during the night. Your name was removed from the registers, every record of everything you had ever done was wiped out, your one-time existence was denied and then forgotten. You were abolished, annihilated: vaporized was the usual word.—1984 
  3. We do not know what things look like, as you say… We know what things are like—A Wrinkle in Time

Third Person: The Omniscient POV lines:

Here are some famous third person POV lines:

  1. It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife—Pride and Prejudice 
  2. Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendía was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice—One Hundred Years of Solitude 
  3.  It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.—A Tale of Two Cities

I can say with much certainty I am a first person POV writer. Maybe because it’s easier and flows the best or maybe because I feel that the main character is the one to tell the story. There are many debates on this subject, some writers find first person the most difficult because in order to write in first person you have to make the protagonist connect with all readers.

I have never braved second person, mainly because it doesn’t really work within my genre.  Second person is most seen in literary works and I am a genre writer.

Third person can be fun. I see it as a voyeuristic view into the characters and the story.  I have toyed with making my sequel in third person; narrated by a very small character from the first book whom I introduce in the first chapter of the second book. I’m just battling on whether I should introduce the narrator or just reveal them at the end, did I just show my tell?

So I ask all of you, what is your favorite Point Of View?

 

 

 

Photo Credit: http://www.google.com/url?source=imglanding&ct=img&q=http://dailydesigninspiration.com/diverse/logos/nido/omniscient.jpg&sa=X&ei=H-ejT_2xDuTm0QHrvZyTCQ&ved=0CAkQ8wc4HA&usg=AFQjCNEtnF3S7u3ZPU4Jnve0HFxTpkVZ_w

Let’s Do Bloggin’ Right!

I read this great article yesterday (which will most likely be discussed on “Petting Unicorns” on www.blogtalkradio.com Thursday 5/3/12 7pm EST)

I’ve been blogging now since WOW it was a year April 19th! I can’t believe it’s been a year. A year, 4 different blogs one successful one (this one), my first one, strictly for ranting (ramblingonpurpose.wordpress.com), one blogger.com blog to promote A Demon Love Story but I’ve discontinued that one (I just liked how blogger gave you 10,000 ways to decorate your blog but it got to be too much and I reverted back to the clean, simple and crisp look of WordPress), then of course my friend Julia Dudek and I just started Petting Unicorns just 2 and a 1/2 weeks ago, if you’d like to check it out or follow its www.pettingunicorns.wordpress.com.

I read this article and I realized that where I’m doing a lot of things ‘right’ I still have a lot of learning to do.  Would I love to be on Freshly Pressed? Absolutely, but I know that my area of blogging isn’t widespread enough to be featured (at least that’s what I tell myself). But really I just want people to interact with and have discussion on things we are passionate about.

The article below is about tricks and tips to marketing a blog to get the most bang for your buck as far as search engines.  If people don’t know you, they won’t find you, but if you gear your blog towards popular searches, people will find you!  I will actually take much of the advice in this article and I’ll see how effective it becomes.

Search Engine Marketing Challenge!!

I’m going to try to do everything this article discusses and I will check back with you in a about a month to see how much of a change has occurred.  Oh I love a good challenge!!

I have paraphrased some key points of this article, to view the entire article please click on the link below:

http://selfpublishingtoday.com/2011/06/23/blog-seo-and-book-marketing/

Key Points:

A blog about a self published book can be a very effective book marketing tool for promoting a book and distributing info.  A blog is also highly effective at driving search engine rankings and a key part of the SEO (search engine optimization) plan for your website.

Few Strategies:

Keyword / Key Phrase Research:

Identify target audience. create a list of the keywords and phrases that a potential reader might search for–that directly referenced in your book. Don’t go too broad.

Plan Your Blog Posts:

Make it a habit to first write posts that fit your keyword topics.  Your blog content plan should be structured to attract those readers – but it can still be flexible enough to let your personality show through and have some ‘fun’ posts. You might even take keywords or key phrases and assign them to future days or posts – to keep your writing on task and focused

Write Relevant, Key-Word-Rich Posts:

Your blog posts still need to be readable and not sound like they’ve been spit out of some automated system. You need to write posts that are a balance of good writing / reading and great content that attracts search engines. These are not mutually exclusive goals – if you can accomplish both, you will find your readers more engaged with your topic (and possibly more inclined to buy your book) and you will discover your  web site / blog is building more traffic due to its increased exposure in the search engine listings.

A quick list of items that will improve your book marketing efforts while building reader engagement with your content:

1 – Put the key word / key phrase in the title of your post.

2 – Put the key word / key phrase in the first heading  of your post.

3 – Be specific and use key words / key phrases in the body text of your post.

4 – Link to relevant content in your site and in your blog

5 – Use your key words and key phrases as categories and tags

Other ‘tech’ tips:

Blogging software: WordPress, Blogger, MovableType or Typepad

Add your Blog to Your Domain:  If you  really want search engines to drive traffic to your site, then your blog should be hosted right on your book’s web site.

Be Engaged in Your Target Market: No matter what focus your book takes, there is someone, somewhere, already blogging about the topic. Online communities already exist and have active members. Be engaged in this community and invite others to visit your blog.

Research Your Content Titles and Tag Your Content: This starts getting a bit more complex – though the easy part is to research the keywords and key phrases you want to use in your blog book marketing.

Keep Your Content Focused on Your Book Marketing Goals: Your blog must provide unique and valuable content – not a regurgitation of the latest news.

Add Something Extra:  Who said your blog should only include text? Got a YouTube video that covers your core topic? Pictures? Some cool gallery? While text is certainly the most ‘seo friendly’ content – the occasional fun bit is nice.

Deliver Great Content: Try not to stray from your original  writing style – or you’ll disappoint your readers, either when they buy your book or within the course of the conversation on your blog.

You, as a “Brand”:  Your blog will be a cornerstone in creating an awareness of you, your book, and your ideas. All of these contribute to what your readers will come to see as your ‘brand’.

Photo Credit: http://www.google.com/url?source=imglanding&ct=img&q=http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-pgj0Jn9D9mE/TbCQW1idXqI/AAAAAAAAAX8/IcMY4CCQp6M/s1600/90184-Royalty-Free-RF-Clipart-Illustration-Of-A-Shiny-Blue-3d-Blog-App-Icon.jpg&sa=X&ei=eMmfT63oKsfZ0QGJmoWSAg&ved=0CAkQ8wc&usg=AFQjCNHK6qwihWRIpmxeGJ9QiOjk65BDAQ

 

 

This is my new pet project, on the heels of ADLS starting to get read and reviewed I feel confident that this is my time and Julia’s time to shine.

Petting Unicorns

Wow.  Has it been two-and-a-half weeks already?  In. Sane.  Where does the time go?  Truth be told, our show needed a makeover – from the becoming-habitual “start fails” to the lackluster logo design, Petting Unicorns deserved so much more…especially when we realized we are one of the top-ten most popular writing shows on BlogTalkRadio (this is true).  We had a reputation to uphold!  Fans to answer to!  A bit too much time on our hands!  So here ya go – unveiled intermittently in an unceremonious gradual process over the course of the last three days – a new official logo, a bunch of fancy new headers, profiles in every outlet of social media available (is “Friendster” still cool?), and a pre-recorded intro that is flub-proof.

I think a lot of this “project” serves as living, breathing proof that personalities such as Allison and myself are “all in” types of…

View original post 766 more words

Revenge of Procrastination–By Reason of Something Shiny

I’ve been completely negligible with this blog. It’s #Shamelessplugfriday so I thought I’d bring the funk…

I’m the biggest procrastinator, whatever that can be done now can be done later, or what you can save for later can be done never…I don’t know really.  So in order to make myself feel much better about my procrastination tendencies I thought I’d give you all another one of my EPIC lists.

(courtesy of http://www.thedailybeast.com/galleries/2011/07/01/famous-procrastinators.html)

The Greatest Procrastinators of All Time…

1.  Hunter S. Thompson– The author of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas wrote late at night, after days of taking drugs and blowing things up, procrastinating on a story for Rolling Stone magazine about the death of Mexican-American journalist Rubén Salazar. In fact, the wild exuberance of Thompson’s particular grand of gonzo journalism began as an act of procrastination. In 1970, Thompson was sent by Scanlan’s Monthly to cover the Kentucky Derby in Louisville. He blew the deadline. With a courier waiting at the hotel door for him and without a coherent story, he began ripping pages of verbatim notes from his notepad and sending them off to the waiting press. He thought his career was over. It won rave reviews.

2. Franz Kafka– He often complained he had no time to write, however, promoted to chief clerk at Worker’s Accident Insurance Institute with reduced hours, what then? The dark, metaphysically surreal novelist’s biographer Louis Begley chronicled the rest of his day: Lunch at 3:30, nap until 7:30, exercise, and then dinner with the family.

3.  St. Augustine of Hippo–  In the latter days of the fourth century, Augustine of Hippo—not yet a saint—was living with a woman he wasn’t married to when his mother persuaded him to enter an arranged marriage—an engagement that he broke off anyway. During this time he offered his prayer, “Grant me chastity and continence—but not yet,” which has become a motto of sorts for procrastinators.

4. Douglas Adams–The British writer Douglas Adams, the author of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, once said that he loved deadlines: “I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.” He would need editors to lock him in a room and wait outside as he finished his pieces. He avoided writing his novel The Salmon of Doubt and would soak for hours in a bathtub instead. He had worked on the book for a decade and still didn’t have a complete first draft when he died of a heart attack in 2001.

5. Leonardo DaVinci–Leonardo da Vinci took 16 years to finish painting Mona Lisa. He left both The Adoration of the Magi and Jerome in the Wilderness unfinished. The version of the Virgin of the Rocks in the National Gallery in London took 13 years to complete. The Last Supper was only finished after his patron Duke Ludovico Sforza threatened to cut off funds, and it still took three years. Though he was surely exaggerating, he later claimed to have regretted “never having completed a single work.” At the time of his death, he left numerous sketches for unfinished projects in his codices.

6. Walter Benjamin–The German literary critic once wrote to his friend and fellow philosopher Gershom Scholem that “procrastination … is second nature to me in the most important situations of my life.” Indeed, he never finished his Passagenwerk or The Arcades Project. Yet as a Jew in Germany witnessing the rise of Hitler, his procrastination was perhaps a tactic to put off the gradual constraints on his freedom and what must have seemed to him the inescapable extinction of his people. In the end he’s believed to have committed suicide at the French-Spanish border while running from the Nazis. But the next day his fellow travelers were allowed passage to safety in Lisbon. If only he had kept to his nature and waited—a tragedy of irony if there ever was one.

7. Ralph Ellison–“Whom the gods wish to destroy,” the critic Cyril Connolly said, “they first call promising.” In 1952, Ralph Ellison published his debut novel, Invisible Man, a modernist, integrationist masterpiece. He then worked on what was supposed to be his “symphonic” second novel until his death, in 1994. He never published a word of it, though he left behind more than 2,000 pages of manuscripts and notes, released posthumously, in 1999, as Juneteenth, a whittled down 400-pager, and in 2010 as the 1136-page-strong Three Days Before the Shooting.

8. Trueman Capote–What’s the difference between procrastination and writer’s block? Truman Capote’s case is similar to Ralph Ellison’s, though he’d already had a few books under his belt when In Cold Blood was released in 1966 to acclaim. He had great plans for what he had hoped to be his masterwork, Answered Prayers, but he missed deadlines for years. Capote would have been paid $1 million if he had submitted by March 1, 1981. He never did, although four chapters were published in Esquire magazine. He died in 1984. “Either I’m going to kill it, or it’s going to kill me,” he said. Many writers have succumbed similarly, whether you call it writer’s block or not: Coleridge, Melville, Capote’s friend Harper Lee, Salinger, Dashiell Hammett, Henry Roth, and the beloved New Yorker reporter Joseph Mitchell.

9. Hamlet–“To be or not to be, that is the question,” Hamlet said to himself. Sometimes you just want to tell the Prince of Denmark to stop asking and just kill Uncle Claudius already. The guy basically puts off taking action for most of the play, and in the end pretty much everyone either dies or goes mad. Such are the perils of chronic hesitancy and constant double-guessing.

10. Allison B. Levine–Took her 4 years to read Stephen King’s “It” in high school a time in which reading was not only encouraged but required.  Not only does it take her 2 weeks to take her laundry to get laundered by someone else, she also tends to leave a sink full of dishes from time to time thinking “well, this is spite for lack of dishwasher”. Starting her first novel in 2008 she did not get it finished and published until 2012.  She also has a hard time keeping up with time, distance and memories mostly because she’s too busy procrastinating to remember. It’s just taken her almost three hours to eat a bowl of fruit.

Why Indie Authors Don’t Get the Street Cred

Direct quote from the article below I think it speaks volumes:

This was regarding a letter sent to publishers pleading for a competent editor from an established published author.

It wouldn’t hurt for indie authors to demand the same. Why don’t they? For some it comes down simply to money. They “put their first book out there” to see how it does, with the assumption that they’ll take the profits from that book and use them to edit the second book. But that plan often fails because readers who find a book difficult to navigate because of poor editing and grammar are not likely to pick up the author’s second book, even if it is offered for under a buck.

Hate to admit it but it’s so true!

Guess this is an ode to how awesome and underappreciated it is to be an Indie Author. You control your books destiny. You decide how to publish it, how to market it, but is there as much success on your own?

The article I read today speaks about Why Indie Authors Struggle and some of the big reasons. I will give you my interpretation of these reasons.

1. Bad Editing:  Ok so mistakes happen, nobody’s perfect unless you have a highly qualified and paid editor to painstakingly go over your book with a fine tooth comb. Or the time to painstakingly edit your book over and over till you believe there’s nothing left–but there’s always something left!

2. Quantity of Quality:  As an author you always have something cooking on the back burner, so why not get it out in bulk? I don’t know how it works with a large publisher, perhaps a 3 book deal at a time? I couldn’t tell you, but what if you can get 8 books out but they are all lacking? I like how some authors put their ‘interim’ work on their blogs instead of officially publishing it and selling it, they just share it with people they know enjoy their work.  Maybe that will promote more Quality over Quantity.

3. Crappy Covers:  Just for the record I’ve seen some big publishing house books have bad covers, this is universal I don’t think just because we are ‘indie’ that we are the only ones who produce bad covers. I happen to know for a fact that my cover rules. I’ve had a few compliments for it and I think it’s compatible with publishing house book covers. Just sayin’

4. Lack of Gatekeepers:  The article definition in laymen’s terms is the agent and/or publisher.  We as Indie have to promote ourselves, market ourselves do all the work and not pay anyone a percentage. Doesn’t sound too bad.  I may have to weigh the pros and cons of this one because it comes down to Freedom of Free Marketing vs. The Marketing Overlord which will get you all the exposure you need. Which is better? That is still debatable.

What say you about this malarkey? Some of this right, some wrong guess it all depends on the individual right?

Article C/O http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/30/indie-authors-struggle_n_1242935.html

Photo Credit: http://www.thecreativepenn.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/Independent_iStock.jpg