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Monday, 30 April 2012
Scary Writing
Mood:  lazy
Now Playing: Writer's Block is Blocking Me
Topic: contemplative

Okay, I admit, I'm probably my own worst critic. However, looking over some of my old writing I have to think - What was I thinking?

 I recently reread one of my novels I wrote years ago that was supposed to be a humorous mystery. I almost threw it away!  Wow, was it bad. Well, maybe not bad but more uninteresting. 

 The whole point of a mystery is suspense, and this was bad!!!

 Even I didn't care about the characters (there was hardly any character development), the plot (what little of it there was), and humor (what little of THAT there was).

 I think my problem is, half way through the novel, I started losing interest in my story.  I didn't care about the characters, nor did I care about the victim.  Nor how it ended.

 Word of advice, if you are going to write mysteries, make sure you at least have SOME idea who did it. I didn't and at the very end, I had to slip in all sorts of clues - not good if you are trying to write a GOOD whodunit!

So, I'm wondering if I should just chuck the whole thing, or do a major re-write? I'm thinking about the re-write, but I just don't have enough get up and go to get it done. Right now, I have so many other stories that are actually GOOD or at least starting to look that way, that I just don't know if I have the energy to work on it.  But again, I get started on a decent idea and then, how do I end it?  (I have far too many stories started with no middles or endings to count.)

So how does one get motivated?


Posted by heymolo at 3:16 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, 30 April 2012 3:17 PM EDT
Saturday, 14 April 2012
The Trials and Tribulations of Writing
Now Playing: Edgar Allan Poe

So, since I've been seeing "The Raven" movie advertised everywhere, I started thinking about one of my favorite writers, Edgar Allan Poe, again. 

Now, I do like his work, I mean I LOOOOVE his work, but sometimes he gets a little wordy.  I'm thinking of the story "Ligeia". To get to the heart of the story, you have to read about three or four pages of why he Loooves Ligeia, so you get why he can't really love his second wife. Okay, maybe that is needed, but I think one or two paragraphs on the subject would be enough. But let's face it, the man knew how to write, and so let me get to my point:

What gets me is that I read his autobiography last night and it is completely depressing.  The man couldn't make any money as an artist.  As an editor and a critic, he could, but then he never felt appreciated monetarily and quit. Let's face it, trying to acheive any artistic success is difficult and for many, there is very little reward. So you do have the drudgery of every day life you have to deal with just to survive. But this was EDGAR ALLAN POE!  The guy was ahead of his time and maybe that is why he wasn't so successful. But you think someone could've thrown him a bone! I mean he was brilliant. (Too brilliant probably, and made everyone else jealous?) I don't know. But it makes me think that if Edgar Allan Poe couldn't get paid decent  money for his work -- couldn't even live off of royalties, what chance do I have?  Sure, if anyone has any artistic temperament they HAVE to write, or HAVE to draw, or HAVE to create something.  But again, you have to wonder, is it going to come to something. 

I don't know about other writers, but I find myself questioning my abilities all the time.  Will people like this?  Will this make any money?  Am I leaving out too much or did I say too much? What will become of my work in one hundred years time? Will people even care?

So, anyway, I realize my rambling is all over the place, but I have come to this conclusion:

I may not be the best writer, the best story teller, or the most successful, but I HAVE to write. And in writing, I'm allowed a voice I don't normally get to use, nor one I would want to use everyday. And through the wonderful folks of Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, and others, I can let that voice be heard. As far as anyone wanting to hear that voice - well, it's up to them. But I like the fact that I can freely publish and sell my work without doggedly looking for agents and publishers. I've been through that, and all it got me was a lot of rejection and wasted time. No, maybe I'm not a high level writer, and maybe I won't make any money at it, but at least I CAN do it.

And no, I don't compare to Poe, but at least I can say I tried.   


Posted by heymolo at 2:58 PM EDT
Wednesday, 22 February 2012
Games
Mood:  lazy
Now Playing: My niece's love Monopoly

I'm not a big fan of Monopoloy by my nieces are.  Well, I should say my two youngest nieces are. My oldest niece just had a baby so she is too busy to play board games.  (Yet I find her on Facebook ALL the time.)

But my other two nieces could probably live on Monopoly, if that was all they had to do all day.  I personally don't have anything against it other than it is a loooong game.

I know you can shorten it and it comes in various themes but it just doesn't amuse me the way it does my nieces are amused by it.

I am starting to like slot machines - a lot.  I never used to care for them, but now, if there is even a remote possibility of winning money, I'm there.  Which makes me wonder: Am I getting old?

My mom and dad used to go all the time to Reno, or Vegas, but now that my dad has passed away, my mom goes with me or my older sister. And I'm starting to enjoy it! 

I like the slot machines that do more than just spin the wheels. Like if you get three bonuses, you go onto some interactive game. Those are loads of fun!  It's even better when I win!

But I only have limited funds and can only play so long - as they all seem to take my money. 

So yes, Im getting old. Just ask my nine-year-old niece.


Posted by heymolo at 6:25 PM EST
Sunday, 19 February 2012
Publishing
Now Playing: Traditional Publishers

I don't know how many times I have tried to get one of my books published using the traditional route.  First, it was going directly through to the publishers, then, more of them wanted a "represented" author, so I went through agents.

Sure, there was an occasional bite, but then it seemed that I would never hear from them again. It was disheartening as well as time consuming. (Not to mention the amount of stamps I had to go through.)

So now I have the ability to publish my own books, and you look through the Amazon blogs and you find that there are those readers who aren't so kind to those of us who "self-publish." The truth is, I have only started getting into this self-publish thing and I haven't really read many authors who are into it - though I plan on changing that. 

I've been reading one - John Soennichsen's "The Fat Detective" and it is pretty good.  Not much difference between that and a regular published book. Yet, there are those who will not give such a book the time of day because it is "self-published".

I have also read some lousy published books, so I can't say one is superior to the other.  As far as grammer and typo's go, I'm not perfect myself, so an occasional one won't get to me but if it was constant throughout a book, I guess that would bother me.

So my point? My point is don't judge a book by the publisher. Don't assume all self-publishers are bad writers. Don't throw the baby out with the bath water. Don't count your eggs before their hatched? Don't put the cart before the horse? Don't put all your eggs in one basket? Somebody needs to stop me before I overdose on the cliches. 

Anyway, here's a very good article that tells a little about what we writers go through to try to go the traditional route.

http://daveconifer.blogspot.com/2011/12/sorry-not-for-me.html


Posted by heymolo at 2:15 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, 19 February 2012 4:56 PM EST
Monday, 13 February 2012
Who is that?
Mood:  cheeky
Now Playing: Who is that?
Topic: Self-Publish

Going through my first ebook again, and guess what! I found more typos/grammar mistakes. Curses, curses.  How many times can you go through a manuscript and find more mistakes?  What's wrong with me?  Well, all I can say is that most of the issue seemed to be with the long story at the end, which is most of the book, so that's not good.

 However, there is always, always a mistake that you find that you swear you fixed, but it comes back to haunt you.

His name is Boris Chairlift. 

Who the h*ll is that? Well, in  my short story, "Charlie's Problem", I mention him.  HOWEVER, I originally wrote it as Boris Karloff. How did he become Chairlift?  Well, in MS or WordPerfect's (I'm not sure which), infinite wisdom, it did an autocorrect for me.  Did it ask me?  No. Why was the autocorrect on?  I don't know. All I know is now I find in my ebook the name Boris Chairlift. I SWEAR I fixed this at least once or twice already, but it keeps coming back to haunt me. Stop it!

I rant because this is not the first time where I find an error such as Boris Chairlift, KNOW I corrected it, and then find it again later in the SAME SPOT!  Is it a conspiracy to make me crazy?  I'm beginning to think so.

Something is going on, and until I know the cause of this, I will have to remain on my toes....

 


Posted by heymolo at 2:54 PM EST
Friday, 3 February 2012
Looney Tunes
Mood:  happy
Now Playing: Giant Robot Love!

I have always loved the Bugs Bunny cartoons, and recently, I disovered the new Looney Tunes cartoons on Cartoon Network.  AWESOME!  Not only are they just as funny or funnier than the older cartoons, they have some particularly silly situations.

 My favorite I think is the Daffy - Porky song, Giant Robot Love, though Lola's patriotic song was also very funny!

Giant Robot Love is a stream-of-consciousness type song that only proves why Daffy Duck's first name is "daffy."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K7QDtjOqz04

But I love seeing all the old characters: Bugs Bunny, Yosemite Sam, Granny, Speedy Gonzalez, and all the others.

 Though I always thought Bugs was my favorite character, I think I have slowly developed an appreciation for Daffy Duck.

 Long live Duck Dodgers! (in the twenty-fourth and a half century)


Posted by heymolo at 9:49 PM EST
Saturday, 21 January 2012
Publishing a Children's story with Pictures
Mood:  chatty
Now Playing: Getting the pictures to show up in ereader format
Topic: Self-Publish

Okay, here's something that I have been struggling with for a few months.

Ever since I got into ebook publishing, I have been looking at old manuscripts that never got published. 

A few of them have pictures.

One I just published "Christmas Witch" was a children's story so it HAD to have pictures. 

Well, putting pictures in ebook format is not as easy as just putting text into ebook format.

When publishing to HTML, no one bothers to tell you in a footnote that any images in the document will only be referenced in the document, not actually IN the document.

So, everytime I would load the HTML file into the Kindle Previewer, I would get the camera icon with the exclamation point where the picture was supposed to be.  The pictures were not loading.

There was in fact someone mentioning zip files on the Kindle community, but I wasn't sure how to do that.

So, I talked to some people at work. One of them mentioned that I should put it in PDF form. And he explained further to me about the limitations of putting it in HTML.

However, HTML was what the Kindle took, so....

I took a look at the files again.

Word did save the file to HTML as I wanted it to do, but it also made a folder of images for the document in the same spot I saved it to. I just didn't see it right away. So, after playing with it for a while, I decided to the do the zip thing.

I right-clicked on the icon for my html file and it gave me the option to add that file to a zip file. So, I did.

Then I did the same for the folder with the images.  I right-clicked on the image folder and added that to the same zip file, making sure it was named the same as the zip file I saved the html to.

Then I loaded it into the Kindle previewer. 

It worked!

So, that was my funness for the weekend.  Anyway, Christmas Witch is on library lending as well as available for sale for $2.99 on Amazon.


Posted by heymolo at 5:52 PM EST
Sundance Festival
Mood:  happy
Now Playing: My Brother's Going to the Sundance Festival

So, in this entry, I'm going to talk about my brother, Mark Steger. 

 He just celebrated his birthday and is Park City, Utah at the Sundance Festival.  He is in the movie, "The Pact," which was a short file in the Festival last year.

 My brother has been in a few things, mostly as a creature or bad guy. He was one of the infected in "I am Legend" and an alien in "Men in Black II". He also does graphics and set design and has been on both sides of the camera.

Anyway, Mark is also starting this interactive comic book type site on the internet.  It's at

www.gearboxcomic.com

Check it out!


Posted by heymolo at 5:37 PM EST
Tuesday, 10 January 2012
A Paranormal Menagerie
Mood:  a-ok
Now Playing: Publicity
Topic: Self-Publish

No, I don't have any fancy publicity going on for my book, but what I do have going on is Advertising on the Goodreads.com site.  I went ahead and spent *gasp* thirty dollars for advertising. Everytime someone clicks my ad, I have to pay *gasp* ten cents. Yeah, I know the suggestion was fifty cents (it's the default), but I thought I couldn't afford that. Besides, my ebook is only 99cents with 35-40 cent royalty so I thought I could afford ten cents a click. 

So far I have had several thousand views of my ebook (at least that is what the counter says) but I have only gotten ten clicks.  Which I suppose isn't bad - hey, I'm not complaining.  But I was hoping that I would have a few more than that by now.

 Well, it has been about a month, so I guess I can't complain.  Talk to ya later.


Posted by heymolo at 9:37 PM EST
Tuesday, 4 October 2011
Contest
Mood:  a-ok
Now Playing: Writing Contest
Topic: Writing Contest

Well, Comics Forge announced the Winners of the Horror Happy Hour/Comics Forge about a month ago, and now Horror Happy Hour announced it on theirs: http://horrorhappyhour.com/?p=11785

I'm happy I came in second, but I was hoping a review would be posted for my book by now. By someone.

I'm also waiting for a another reviewer to post a review for my book, but I still haven't gotten any review for A Paranormal Menagerie : (

I have even given it away to several people, but I think they just put it in their ebook queue and haven't gotten around to reading it yet.  I'm crossing my fingers, hoping I get a review by the end of this month.


Posted by heymolo at 9:16 PM EDT

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