Friday, February 28, 2014

NaBloPoMo March 2014 - Theme: Self



For the month of March, I am participating in National Blog Posting Month.
According to the Unofficial Guide (http://nablopomoguideunofficial.blogspot.com/) I am supposed to post something on my blog every day for the entire month.

The theme for March is Self.

This means I will be revealing something about myself every day for the whole month. Yikes! And I thought the paranormal stuff was scary.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Kaleo and the Canes

My son, Kaleo, has a fascination with canes. When he was around 5 years old, he saw my 80 year old aunties walking with canes at a family party. As soon as he saw the canes, he said, "Oh, cool! I want one!" I had to explain to him (quietly) that some older people or people who have problems walking have to use canes to help them walk. One of my aunties graciously let him try hers out. He still thought it was cool.

A couple of years later, while we were at the pharmacy waiting for a prescription, he spotted a variety of canes on display. His face lit up when he saw them. He pointed at them and said, "Look! Oh, wow! Can I try one?" Since we had nothing else to do but wait and since there was no one around, I said, "Okay, but be careful not to damage them. Other people might want to buy them." So, I stood there watching him try out a fancy blue one with 4 supports on the end. It was too tall for him, just under his shoulder height, but he happily leaned against it and tried to walk. A tall, athletic black guy came around the bend and did a double take when he saw Kaleo trying out the cane. He laughed and kept walking. I laughed, too, but I was embarrassed and told Kaleo that was enough trying out the cane.

More years have passed, but just after this past Christmas, he said to me, "When I get old, I'm going to have 2 canes. One will be brown. The other will be red and I'll make it look like a candy cane." I said, "Yeah, that actually will be cool."

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Figuring out what to write in a synopsis

So, I finished my middle grade book and am working on my synopsis. In addition to that, I've been trying to promote my YA Romance novel on other web sites. Promoting is like a full time job! Ugh!

By the way, if you want to see my drawings, I'm active on my art blog again. www.smallkeedtime.blogspot.com.

As if I didn't have enough to do in a day, I started drawing a face-a-day for that blog. I had the idea to do that 5 years ago, but it never lasted more than 22 days. Now that I actually started it on my blog, I feel like I have to keep up with it. I sort of posted it without thinking and now it's like a New Year's Resolution that I have to keep up with because other people are watching. I wonder if they are watching to see if I fail rather than actually looking at my drawings.

Anyway, I found a useful video on YouTube called How To Write A Synopsis by Mark O'Bannon of www.betterstorytelling.net. There are others out there, but I found this one to be clear and interesting: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SLJnMXwav0A.

Bob Mayer has one, too. You can't see what he wrote on the board, but he has some good tips.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QmF3Zr3L2tI. Apparently, he has online classes on writing if you are interested.


I am currently reading The Little Friend by Donna Tartt.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Query Letters and Miss Snark

I was working on my query letter and looking for tips online when I found these two sites I thought were helpful. If you are done writing your book and are working on a synopsis to sent to literary agents, you might like the following sites.

Cynthea Liu has a popular web site called Writing for Children & Teens. Here a link from her site called "Anatomy of a Children's Book Synopsis."
http://www.writingforchildrenandteens.com/submissions/anatomy-of-a-synopsis/

From that site, I found a link for Miss Snark, the literary agent. Have you seen this site? She posts examples of synopses that people have sent her and she critiques them. And she's very snarky. You can see what people have done wrong and try not to make the same mistakes. Even though this site has been defunct since 2007 it is still useful.
Take a look: http://misssnark.blogspot.com/2005_12_25_archive.html

I just came back from the library with books on finding literary agents. I have a lot of homework to do. Did you know there are huge books that contain just thoughts and quotes? Wow. You learn something every day.

The artist in me made me pick up a book called Whatcha Mean, What's a Zine? The Art of Making Zines and Mini-Comics. I've always wanted to draw a comic strip of some sort.

My goal for this year is to put together a book of my drawings and paintings, then sell the book at boutiques and conventions. I might sell prints, too. My husband and I have friends who we can share the booth with. I just have to make it happen.

The angel on my shoulder pokes me and says, "Draw something. You know you want to." And I do. But the devil on my other shoulder says, "Ugh, it's such a chore. Do it later." So, I wait for later.

I'm still reading Body and Soul: A Ghost and the Goth novel. I love Stacey Kade.

And I'm still reading The 5th Wave. Rick Yancey has some good elements in that novel. I jump up and down and cheer when I come across some of those brilliant sentences. Is it just me?

Monday, February 17, 2014

The Shit Outline



I found the following outline a while back on the National Novel Writing Month web site. It was posted by Chris Carlisle. I thought it was very clever and funny.


The Shit Outline

Act 1: The Shit
Part 1: The Shit is Alluded to
Part 2: The Shit is Presented
Part 3: The Shit is Tossed

Act 2: The Fan
Part 1: The shit trajectory is determined to be heading for the fan.
Part 2: Main characters do their best to prevent the eventual collision of Shit and Fan
Part 3: Despite their best efforts, Shit meets Fan

Act 3: The Mess
Part 1: Fallout as the result of shit hitting the fan
Part 2: Efforts are made to prevent more shit from hitting the fan as the blade still sends shit particles all over everything
Part 3: The shit gets cleaned up

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Finding Jimdo for Book Promotion



I just finished revising my middle grade book and had time to focus on doing some research on the business side of writing. There is so much information out there on the internet. It’s overwhelming.
I don’t want to be scammed or sabotage myself, so I need to be armed with information. My homework for now is to read my Writer’s Digest magazines, Writer’s Market book, watch YouTube videos for info on finding a good literary agent that specializes in middle grade books, and writing query letters.
At the same time, I need to promote my Lilah in Love novel. I know I need to create a Facebook page for it, but I have been putting it off because I haven’t had much time to put into it.
My friend has a nice web site just for his novel, so I started looking into doing that, too. I researched website building sites and have decided to go with Jimdo. I was also considering Weebly and Wordpress. Jimdo has good eCommerce functions which are good for promotional giveaways and selling books. It also tracks your sales for you. They have a free version and a paid version. Another good thing about Jimdo is that it has good video and slideshow capabilities. They seem to be improving the site with smaller ads for the free version and more templates. My cousin has a couple of Jimdo sites and is happy with it.

Here is a link to some samples of writers' web sites on Jimdo: http://www.jimdo.com/examples/writers/

I hate the business side of art and writing, but it has to be done if I want to make a living at it. I would be so happy if I could just write, draw, or paint all day, but life gets in the way. There’s not enough time in the day. Just sneezing pisses me off because it’s an interruption and a waste of time. Going to the bathroom is another annoyance and disruptor of creativity. I tell myself, “Just finish this chapter, then you can go to the bathroom!” That never happens. The bathroom always wins.
On a brighter note, found this book vlog on YouTube today by WhittyNovels that I thought was so funny! I was supposed to be writing or doing research, but I had to take a break that wasn’t a bathroom break. :o/  I wish I had no shame in my game to be a vlogger, but I get embarrassed too easily. Plus my monotone voice is boring. This girl stops to read a text from her mom in the middle of the video. She didn’t bother to edit it out, but it’s funny. I don’t know why I find these things so interesting and amusing. Here is the link to the video if you’re interested: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XSer2jQkrbc&list=TLBzrawFxut_2jD5On6RIezYk7pPFdquBW

Also, if you read enough YA books to get the references, you might like this Book Mash I found on YouTube by this pretty (but nutty) blonde girl: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MlC84Js7cZk

I’ve been reading The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey and it’s so good! Aliens invading Earth. It’s so up my alley.

I hope everyone had a Happy Valentine's Day!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Perverse Possessed Doll for sale on eBay

I heard about this possessed doll that is or was for sale on eBay. It sounds so creepy! If you want to see a picture of the doll, see the eBay listing:
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/NASTY-PERVERSE-POSSESSED-DOLL-EXPERIENCED-ADULT-COLLECTORS-ONLY-/111157884909.

Here is what is written in the listing:

**Up for sale again! Winning bidder backed out, doll is too much for him!** *WARNING EXTREMELY NEGATIVE DOLL POSSESSED BY SEXUALLY SADISTIC DEMON!***
This doll is certainly not for the beginner or casual collector. Experienced, adult collectors only please. She is one of a group of dolls I got from an estate sale of a woman who worked in the children's ward at the Pennhurst Asylum, in Pensilvania. The woman's name was Iva, she worked at Pennhurst for 6 years, clear up until its doors were permanently closed in 1987. She left a journal depicting many of the horrors these kids suffered on a daily basis. When the hospital was closed, many employees took property with them. Iva chose to take several of the tattered dolls that were used to placate the poor kids. For some years, Iva kept the dolls in a box in her attic. After her dream house was built, she decided to put the dolls on display. This turned out to be a huge mistake. This is definitely the worst dolls of the bunch. She is very actively haunted doll, possessed by what I believe to be a male demon. The dolls eyes follow you no matter where you are. She will switch position to continue watching you whenever you are in the room. She moves from where she is left, often ending up wherever you are. She is constantly nude by her own doing. No matter how many times you put her dress back on, the next thing you know, it's laying at her feet.
At night, you will hear her running around the house, getting into things, accompanied by the most disgusting male laughter. This doll gives off very nasty vibes that are felt by anyone near her. She is sexually abusive to the other dolls I have. Very sexually sadistic nature, and unfortunately, not only to the dolls... I am willing to give full disclosure of the sexual nature to the winner of this doll. Please think it over fully before bidding, be sure you can handle whatever may happen, as I will not take her back! Be at least 18 years of age, and experienced in dealing with these kinds of possessions.

International Book Giving Day - Feb. 14, 2014

Tomorrow is International Book Giving Day! To find out more about it, go to http://bookgivingday.com/
It just so happens that I gave a couple of books to my friend's teen daughter yesterday, so I guess I already participated without knowing it.
On that web site there is a link to Books For Africa which is an organization I have never heard of before today. Now I know where I can donate my books whenever I am done with them. They even accept French books. I have some French books, but I am unwilling to part with some of them. I wonder if they take graphic novels like Agathe Saugrenu: Je Suis Un Monstre (I am a monster) lol. I'm not sure how that will help Africa. I love the drawings so much in them, though that I might not part with it.
They don't accept books with words like "murder" or "kill" or "die" in the title which is understandable with all the violence that is happening in Africa. That means I can't donate my Crimes of Paris book which is so macabre it makes me kind of nauseous. I guess that also rules out La Fabrique de Violence which is basically about bullying and how a guy takes down all the guys that bully him. He seriously kicks ass. There is a Swedish movie about this book called Ondskan. I loved both the book and the movie.
Anyway, if you want to find a place to donate books other than the library, go to the link above. They have a list of organizations where the books can go to a good cause. Also, I think you can write the donations off in your taxes.

As I sometimes do at the end of my posts, I mention the books I'm currently reading. Right now there are a lot. I am reading The 5th Wave, Feast of Fools (Morganville Vampires), Better Nate Than Ever, and Body and Soul (Ghost and the Goth).

I want to mention that I read Sh*t My Dad Says and it was hilarious! Must read if you want to laugh! But warning! there are bad words in it. If that offends you, don't read.