Monday, November 28, 2011


It's amazing how best laid plans can get way-laid by irritating distractions.  After spending a rather restless night writing out the next section in The Soul of Arial in my head (yes, lots of tossing and turning as the scenes unfolded), I was ready to put those scenes down on screen.  Of course, I start up my computer and what do I find?  It telling me that I might have a security risk.  Which leads to scanning my system.  Which turns into installing more updates.  And that leads to cleaning off a bunch of junk on my pc that I don't use anymore. 

So, by the time all of that's done, the morning is shot to hell and I've still not written one word of the story that had kept me up half the night.  Sigh.  Oh well, my computer is semi-clean and ready to be productive again, so I guess that counts for something.

Anyway, I am horrible when it comes to distractions.  I'm very easily distracted, unfortunately, and getting back on track again is one of the hardest things for me to do.  I've reached a point now where I'm more inclined to just shut everything down for the day and curl up with a good book (it's kind of gloomy, yucky outside...perfect weather for reading).  See, now I'm distracted again.

But, maybe...just maybe...I can pull out some resolve that I know is hidden within me somewhere and actually write for a little bit before I give in to the dark side.  It will be a struggle, but the story must continue.  Leaving characters dangling is not a good thing and it will just haunt me the rest of the day if I don't do something.  There's always tomorrow, when I can start fresh and correct any glaring mistakes or ridiculousness I might type out today.

So, wish me luck...I have a feeling I might need it this afternoon. ;)

Friday, November 25, 2011

A Blog's Purpose

Over the last few weeks I've come to realize that if you don't set out with a specific purpose for your blog, it will soon take on a life of it's own.  This blog was originally meant to be for me and my musings about being an author.  But, I've quickly come to realize that I've got a lot of different things going on here.  Sure, I still have musings and ramblings and some of those even pertain to being an author.  But I've come to realize that there's nothing specific going on here.

So, I will continue to keep this blog up for my own ramblings.  But, I am in the process of creating a few new blogs that pertain to specific themes.  One blog will feature all things relating to The L & L Mysteries.  Another blog will feature all things relating to the Galactic Dynasty series that I am co-authoring with my Muse.  And, I am contemplating maintaining a blog about all things books because I'm rapidly rediscovering my reading fetish and want to share my true thoughts and feelings about the books I read.  If I do decide to create this book review blog, I'll post a link here for anyone interested.

Each blog will be updated as I reach milestones and have news to share.  They all won't get updated everyday...if I did that, I probably wouldn't have time to write the novels I'm blogging about. :)  And this blog will remain my source for rambling and musing when I feel the need.

Now it's time for me to get back to creating.  I hope everyone is enjoying their Thanksgiving holiday!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

It's That Time of Year...Again

The holiday madness has begun once again.  I just wish I could get rid of this sinus headache in order to enjoy it more.  Oh well.

I don't know about anyone else, but I've never been a big fan of shopping and I especially hate Black Friday.  I've tried it once and I will never do it again.  People become insane over ridiculously stupid things that they would normally never look twice at when shopping.  Nope, definitely not for me.  Just give me a decent internet connection and a credit card and I'm happy.

I also find it to be a sad state when stores won't even close for Thanksgiving Day.  More and more retailers are opening that day to give pre-cursor Black Friday deals and that's just wrong.  Those employees have families too or at least friends they would like to enjoy a nice turkey dinner with.  Give it a rest, people.

Anyway, I'll get off my soap box now.  After all, these are the holidays and it should be full of cheer.  And I do have so much to be thankful for.  I have a wonderful husband, a good family, an awesome house, excellent health (minus the sinus headache which will go away eventually so that doesn't count), and the extreme fortune to be able to pursue my dream of writing instead of reporting into Cubeville every day.  So, my life is wonderful and I'm extremely grateful for that.

So, even though I gripe and complain about the commercialization of the holidays, it's still hard not to get excited and happy about this time of year.  And I can't wait until tomorrow, when I get to partake in all that wonderful, yummy turkey and dressing and mashed potatoes and pumpkin, I'm already putting myself into a food coma just thinking about it. :)

Once Thanksgiving is behind us, then I will officially be ready for the Christmas season.  I'll be much more amenable to listening to Christmas music and determining how I want to decorate the house this year.  And I'm very excited about going out and getting a tree from one of the local tree farms to put up in the living room again this year.  It will be my second Christmas here in the new house and it should be a wonderful, fun time!

With all this said, I guess I really am excited about the arrival of the holidays!  For anyone who is reading this, I wish you a very wonderful holiday season!! :)

Monday, November 14, 2011

Back to Work

So, the last week was a blast!  My Muse and I went on a road trip to visit relatives in Opp, Alabama.  Just before we left, I'd really started feeling the effects of burn-out and this road trip was hitting at the perfect time.

Now I'm back and feeling refreshed and ready to hit the writing again.  Fortunately, I left Leyla & Lucien and Rosa & Daemos in relatively safe places, so I should be able to pick up where I left off and get the action going again.  And hopefully I won't find that my characters have gotten into too much trouble from being left alone for so long...hehe.

I also have a website that is crying for attention.  Some of the changes I made to it before I left didn't work out so well.  So, I'll be playing website doctor this week and fixing whatever is wrong with the site.  Gotta love playing with html and css code. :p

And, this Thursday I'll be attending a Self-Empowerment series that is available to Women's Network members in Martinsburg, WV.  The series sounds really good, so I look forward to checking it out and maybe making some new contacts with other business women in the area.  Time to brush the dust off of my CEO cap.  I've been wearing my author, cover designer, and web designer hats far more frequently these past several months.

So, that's it for now.  I'm going to go grab a fresh cup of java and get into the heads of my characters once more.  Who knows where we'll end up by the end of the day?  But it should be a fun journey!

Thursday, November 3, 2011


Being self-employed and doing what I love most (writing books) can be wonderful.  I've made a living in the "real world" and know what it's like to exist in Cubeville.  Not that I didn't enjoy what I did (for any of you in the Food Safety Branch in KY reading this post...I love you guys).  But, it was restrictive and definitely didn't lend itself to being creative.  So, I am very fortunate to finally get to live out my dream of being a full-time writer and I love every minute of it!

Of course, when I first had this dream (I believe I was 14, maybe even younger), I envisioned myself spending all my time writing.  I never realized until I started living this dream that there's so much more to being an author than just writing the books and waiting for people to buy them.  There's that little concept called 'Marketing' that I never envisioned having to do myself.

Now that I have two books published (yay!!) and am working on the third, I find myself coming face to face with what I consider one of my worst fears: self-promotion.  Lately, I've been following other author's blogs and their Facebook pages and it keeps jumping out at me that these authors spend a lot of time promoting their own books.  And it hits me that if I'm going to have any success in this business, then I really need to seriously consider doing the impossible: becoming my own marketer. 

It's quite obvious that I can't sell books if nobody knows they exist.  And while I have sent out promotional copies to people, it takes so much more than that to really make an impact.  Now, my Muse and I are co-owners of Cressen Books LLC, the company that publishes my books.  And we each have agreed that there are certain roles that we will play, since there are only two of us.  He's been doing a fantastic job of handling finances and such.  And he has already agreed to tackle the marketing once we feel that we are ready. 

But I can't help feeling a little guilty when I realize that most authors are doing their own marketing instead of relying on someone else.  Of course, most of these authors are published through big name publishers like Harlequin Teen and such and that's really awesome.  The publishing companies actually do have a marketing team that helps to promote new books.  But, the authors still spend a lot of time doing self-promotion because let's face it; big publishing companies have more than one author to promote, so only a fraction of their marketing budget goes towards promoting a single author.

With this realization, I have begun to explore all the different methods I could employ to promote my own books.  Between Facebook, Twitter, my own blog, and probably a hundred other avenues I've yet to discover, the marketing field seems daunting and a little scary.  I will admit right now that I'm an extremely shy person that has a hard time engaging in social networks.  But, these social networks could very well be the key to making potential readers aware of my books.

So, I am struggling with the question of whether I'm truly ready to make that big leap and start self-promoting.  I do have two published books now and three more are slated to be published within the next year or so.  Not to mention that I am also co-authoring a new series with my Muse.  So, it's not lack of ideas/products that keep me from marketing.  It's my own insecurities and uncertainties about how to go about promoting my books. 

I want people to know about them and read them, but I struggle with whether I'm forcing myself on the public or not by telling people about my books and wanting them to purchase and read them.  I've never been one to want to force anyone to do anything they didn't want to.  And I do recognize that if I don't say anything at all, then no one will know my books exist.  I just don't want to end up in the pushy zone, I guess because I feel that will definitely turn potential readers off.  I'm sure it's a fine balancing act and one that I will have to figure out for myself, just as so many other authors before me have had to do.

So, maybe within the next few weeks or months I will finally gather up the courage to plunge into the world of marketing and self-promotion.  Until then, I will continue to write and research and work myself up towards that daunting task, knowing that once I do take the plunge, I will at least have a very understanding and encouraging Muse to hold my hand and help me get over the obstacles that may stand in my way. :)