Sunday, November 18, 2012

Too busy to blog

Earl Grey Monument

Well, it’s been a while since I’ve posted since I started work. Now I have two weeks of teaching English in England under my belt. I’m very lucky to be at the school I am because it’s just a world of difference from the public schools of Florida’s boondocks. (And if you’ve ever been to Florida’s boondocks and seen the schools, you know what I mean.) The kids are still getting use to their new, American teacher but they’re polite and smart. The faculty is super supportive as well so, yes, I’m happy where I am.

I’ve obviously had to quit NaNoWriMo this year too. It’s a shame but the second book in the series will get finished one day. I’ve also not promoted my book on Amazon and Smashwords so I’ll have to set up some automatic updates for my Twitter account – my very neglected Twitter account. It’s honestly a bit of a relief to not feel I have to use it. I like a lot of people on there but my following list has gotten to the point where I can’t keep up with anything.

Anyway, this is an extremely short post. We’ve already started Christmas shopping and even visited Newcastle’s Christmas Market last night (very, very cold but luckily we found some mulled wine to warm us up.) I’m taking my Life in the UK Test and my Practical Driving Test in December as well. Once I have that completed, I plan on heading out to find us a car.

No more waiting in the cold for the bus to come! Hooray!

Hope everyone in the US has a wonderful Thanksgiving. We’re celebrating with a turkey dinner but it’s just not the same. I hate missing the Black Friday sales too. Oh well, at least some stores ship to the UK.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Thirty days of thankfulness

My Muse woke me early.

It’s a bit hazy outside this morning and a good 36 degrees (whatever that is in Celsius). I got myself out of bed at a reasonable time despite it being Sunday. I have my teaching job for the week to starting Monday so I’ll be up with the roosters, or cows, or whatever the expression is.

I know I should be working on NaNo today because I was short 600 words Friday and I skipped yesterday completely because we were out doing some Christmas shopping. I’ll have to get semi caught up this afternoon. I’m going to have to start using Write or Die, otherwise I write at a snail’s pace. I like taking my time – just like I do with reading.

Speaking of which, I have about five books checked out. in print and ebook, from two different libraries right now.

My friends on Facebook have been celebrating Thanksgiving all month by writing down what they’re thankful for each day. For myself, I’m thankful for:

Nov 1: My sweet husband, Steve.

Nov 2: My loving parents.

Nov 3: My home (even though it contains my crazy cat for which I am also grateful for.)

Nov 4: The opportunities to work (this includes teaching and writing) with the potential to make a living.

Anyway, this post will be short because I have more pressing issues to take care of. Hope everyone has a great November and happy writing!

Friday, November 2, 2012

I (self) published my first book!

Introducing The Cupcake Witches!

Delia Bright has just started seventh grade. Now that her best friend, Travis is on the track team and her parents are busy at their restaurant, Delia is lonely. When she meets Fern, Irene, and Agnes, they realize that Delia's baking abilities are just what they need to create perfect spells. Delia's gift has hurt her family in the past, but she's too curious to not bake her magical cupcakes.

So, here it is! My book! This is the first in a series of young adult novels for middle grade readers. We wanted to get it published in time for Halloween, so Wednesday afternoon Steve finished up the very last image and I uploaded it to Smashwords and Amazon.

We’ve been working on this together for a while now. I started writing it last Spring so once I had the first draft, we could get the illustration ideas down, then there was a lot of editing, polishing, and formatting to go through.

I’ve been very excited to get the project out the door but once I did it felt weird. I was in two minds whether to even tell my Facebook friends about it because that’s criticism from people I’ve actually known my whole life. But when I posted the link, saying that Steve and I put the book up online, they were proud of me. I think they even thought I was published, and then I felt guilty, as if I’d tricked them somehow.

But then I realized I shouldn’t. We did an awesome job and we specifically wrote this for self-publication. Everywhere I looked, Writer’s and Artists included, said not to submit a book with illustrations in to an agent. Publishers like to choose an illustrator themselves, according to them. The whole purpose of our project was for us to work together and when we found out we could publish ourselves online, we went that route.

Still, once that book was online, I felt nervous, sick, anxious, you name it. I’m now in the club of self-published writers. I have to market and promote (without being a pain in the rump, of course). This is a whole new territory. Before the book is online, I was able to sit back comfortably and be on the side-lines. I’m the kind of writer who likes keeping things to herself until absolutely necessary. Now I’m here, looking at swapping book reviews and creating giveaways. I like it though. I’m promoting something I really enjoy doing, so it’s all worth it.

Now I am working on the second book in the series for NaNoWriMo and our next step is to get this first book available in print on CreateSpace this month. I’m really happy to be in the ranks of the rest of my indie publishing authors whom I’ve talked to so much over the years. It’s amazing how much we can do these days with a computer and a big imagination.