Monthly Archives: July 2016

Ego…It’s a Killer

Ego…It’s a Killer

A few days ago I received a friend request on Facebook. I didn’t know the guy, but I saw he was connected via another FB friend, who I didn’t particularly know either, but she was a writer, so I clicked Confirm.

Damn, that was really convoluted, wasn’t it?!

Anyway, I had noticed that this guy was always posting some new link to his book or books. And then this post came up on my feed from him today:

Ok I will write this and most likely get flamed for it but who really cares. Right? I was contacted by a “ free-lance” Editor today whom had some “ Tips “ for me as such as spelling and grammar, all in an attempt of course for me to soloist his services. While I do welcome open criticism of some ones work, even my own. To sit there and to attempt to degrade some ones writing style or even a couple poor points of gramma usage for a quick buck in my opinion is pathetic. Some of the grates had major issues with spelling, grammar and even continuity issues in there novels. J.R.R Tolkien had over 500 grammatical errors in his bestselling novel “The Hobbit” and guess what, no one cared. It was a great story. The point is this , the use of words to relay a story as long as it legible and has gone through some sort of proof reading to make sure the story can be enjoyed is all an author really needs. Too much has great authors ( not that I consider myself a great author) been torn apart by grammar Nazi’s whom have never published or had the gut to self-publish a book. I have more respect for a struggling Author whom sells only 200 copies of there novel and does not give in to those that will sterilize there books and keep their work pure , then I do for those that will pour bleach over a who would be creative master peace to make sales. The art of writing is as much about the author as it is about the reader. So if you have an issue with small grammatical mistakes that are not picked up by Microsoft word or if you have an issue with a single word being spell wrong or misused by an author , perhaps then you should not be reading a book because your missing what the story being woven for you is about. I stand by my works, regardless of what others think. I am writing a novel series, because I want to , I have a story to tell. IF that story never becomes a best seller, so be it. If that story never is read by more than 100 people , so be it. Because I would rather have a form of honourable dignity that what I have create is my own, is what I intended and not the reworked sterilized , plastic and commercial junk that I pick up in a lot of the large books stores.

Well if that wasn’t one unholy mess of grammatical and spelling errors.

What followed were a couple of catty responses that immediately escalated into sniping, insults, and name calling from the person who posted above and his wife who jumped to his defense.

At the risk of being spat, punched and kicked, I added in my own two cents (while quietly unfriending said person). I’m posted it below, if you want to read it.

I see this as nothing but ego. He feels put out (or put upon) by those evil, evil editors that just want his precious money. The reality is, someone tried to help him. That is one hell of an editing job that person was trying to take on, and I commend them for being willing to even offer their services!

Each time I think of the person i want to be, I think of ego. I don’t want to be that person. You know the one I’m talking about – the one who thinks they are so damned perfect, that they have finally gotten the acclimation they so richly deserved. The one who doesn’t have the time to answer someone’s questions or take a moment to help.

That isn’t to say I don’t guard my time fiercely. But in all things, there should be balance.

Every time I see ego rear its mighty head, I do my best to slap it down. It stands in the way of me improving myself, my writing, and my life.

Here is what I wrote:

Mistakes happen, sure, but rampant mistakes pull the reader out of what would be an otherwise excellent story. Why do that? I want people to enjoy my stories, not bounce out of my carefully constructed world just because I didn’t bother to do the boring second half of my job as an author. Editing is necessary. Otherwise, you step outside your house wearing this snazzy new shirt over stained pants. It is no different from creating a professional cover, something I learned from experience! You can write your heart out, but in the information age, with Grammarly and Hemingway apps at our fingertips, one merely has to spend a little extra time to achieve results that will create an even better reading experience. I’m a big enough person to thank someone who finds a typo or incorrect phrasing and promptly fix it. My writing should be its best.
And his response:
I understand your point Christine , but i would also like to point out as paul said , most people don’t have above a basic college education , if that education does not prepare one to apparently write a book ( If anything can I seen very boring books from english professors lol ) then how can it prepare them to exactly point out grammatical mistakes in a language is so broad such as english . Then there is the issue of what about the creative side of it? Again drawing on the grates , using the term tatters is not correct, yet the hobbits with out that term would not be the hobbits we know and love. There is also several other major issues , people don’t think , speak or even read in a grammatical sense. The point is if you don’t have spell check in front of you , then you don’t know if something is grammatically wrong or rather most people don’t. Thens ones who do , dont really read as there busy trolling the net for the next victim. The point is , writing should be fun and yes there is work involved , i know i proof read a lot of my work and throw half of it out as im not happy with it . But that being said , the term still holds as was said in the 1800s your biggest critic is you , the writer. So why give power to a bunch of editors and even publishers whom never in the most part ever released a book , no less wrote one? That’s not saying all editors and publishers have or have not , thats saying if they were so damn great , they would not be correcting our spelling and grammar they would have wrote a master peace by now.
Apparently, he thinks people are complete idiots that won’t notice his rampant errors, only those nasty old editors. (p.s. I SUCK at grammar and even I wanted to scream by the end of each of his posts)
And my response:
I’ve had great experiences with editors, so I simply cannot relate to what you are saying. The editors I know, and work with, do not tear you down or crush creative spirit, not at all! My eldest daughter is my content editor and she is amazing. She will point out areas I need to put in more detail, where I have lapsed into telling instead of showing. She reminds me to use less adverbs (and believe me, my readers thank her for that). She points out inconsistencies and long-winded sentences. My daughter is also well on the way to writing and publishing her second book. My line editor/proofreader catches a lot of the crap that my daughter doesn’t or that slips under Grammarly or Hemingway’s radar. I pay her in farm fresh eggs and my charming company because she’s my friend and a self-published author herself. Don’t sell readers short. I know plenty of readers who don’t have that “basic college education” that can spell, and generally pick up on major faux pas’ in writing. In summary, we will not agree on this. But editors can (and often are) writers in their own right. And readers, college education or no, are perhaps a little more perceptive than you are willing to acknowledge. That said, keep doing what you are doing. It will all shake out to one side or the other in the end.
Read between the lines on those last two sentences. He believes what he wants to believe, and quite obviously is not going to be dissuaded from such foolishness. He will keep putting out grammatic nightmares and get nowhere fast in his writing career. And he will either learn from it or not.
Ego…it is a killer!

Edits and Free Days

Edits and Free Days
Edits and Free Days

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Free Days Start Tomorrow

I will be offering War’s End: The Storm for free Kindle download for the next three days. At this time, all of my books are part of Kindle Unlimited, so if you are a subscriber (just $9.95 per month!) you can always read my books for free.

However, if you are not a KU subscriber, then get the book while the getting is good!

If you have read Gliese 581 and are wondering what the references to The Collapse and the Second American Civil War are all about – War’s End: The Storm will explain it. Beginning in 2017, this book serves as witness to the socioeconomic collapse of the United States and the civil war that follows.

In the day after tomorrow, after the socioeconomic collapse of the United States, one young girl fights for survival. Violently ripped from her family, abused and now pregnant, Jess must somehow survive while fleeing those who pursue her. Jess must come to peace with the life growing inside her as she struggles to return home.

So get it while the getting is good – starting Wednesday and ending on Friday!

Kaplaran Universe

Schicksal Turnpike

Dee, my editor extraordinaire, has returned the first draft of Schicksal Turnpike to me. I’m reading through her suggestions now and will begin working on edits this week. My hope is to have the book done and on Amazon by early fall, but we will see what happens. Deadlines are flexible things.

Schicksal will serve as the prelude to The Chronicles of Liv Rowan, which is somewhat of a prequel to War’s End.

And for those of you chomping at the bit for a sequel to Gliese…all in good time, all in good time. There is a method to my madness.

It is still madness, but that’s okay, a writer is allowed some lunacy, don’t you think?

Project Funding

I am doing the last bit of prep on two different crowdfunding campaigns – Kiva and IndieGoGo. The reality of the matter is, I need to do something with The Cottage at the end of our property, and that means raising money. I mention it here simply because I’m mentioning it EVERYWHERE. I’m drumming up support and encouraging folks to contribute.

When it comes to Kiva, you get your money back, 100% of it.

With IndieGoGo, you are receiving perks in return for your contributions – everything from unique art to night’s stays at The Cottage once the renovations are completed.

So you aren’t sending money out into the abyss to never be seen again. I want to stress that because it is important to me that others understand I’m not looking for handouts. This won’t just help me and bring me income, it will also bring worth to my neighborhood and community.

Stay tuned!

While in Limbo

While in Limbo

On Saturday I clicked Send and off flew my first draft of Schicksal Turnpike to my editor extraordinaire and eldest daughter, Dee.

If Schicksal follows my typical pattern, the current 51,000-word count will grow by at least 1/3 by the time the edits are complete and the book is ready for publishing.

Immediately, I looked at my list of writing projects, story starts, notes on my cookbook, and my SYO Housecleaning Biz book and was chomping at the bit to get started.

That first day, I did manage to write nearly 2,000 words in my erotic romance The Hired Gun. But after that?

Each time I would look at one of my projects, my attention would break into fragments, and I would find myself obsessively checking email, Facebook, book stats and the news.

This has happened before, and instead of fighting it this time, I’m going to shift my focus. I’ve got up to a week of waiting ahead of me – so instead of writing, I’m going to spend that time learning and marketing.

  • I have several non-fiction books on writing, publishing and marketing to read.
  • I also need to immerse myself in several Facebook writing groups.
  • I need to re-learn Microsoft Access. I used to be fabulous at it, but with all of the changes over the past 11 years, my Access skills are just above “older than dirt” level. I found some YouTube videos that I hope will do the trick.I use Access to track all of my characters, my master timeline, and the books that they all appear in. I’ve limped along with half of a database for years now, it’s time to beat it into shape.
  • I’ve also got to get a better handle on Scrivener as well. There’s still a lot to learn in that program!

And speaking of Scrivener, if you are a writer and have been considering Scrivener, I highly recommend it. I am enjoying learning the ins and outs of it, and I’ve also signed up to promote it. It doesn’t cost you any additional money, but I will earn a small referral fee if you click on the following link:

 Buy Scrivener for Windows (Regular Licence)

 Well…time to get to learning and marketing!

Someday I Will Look Back

Someday I Will Look Back

Someday I will look back and remember how it felt with those first books, waiting, nail-biting, hoping, pestering…for folks to read and review my stories.

I will remember how it felt to question myself, to wonder if I had any stories worth telling.

I will think of how it felt to see the reviews roll in, one at a time, where weeks stretched and my fears grew once again…that I had been mistaken, that this was all a very nice try, pat me on the head, chuck me on the chin, and tell me “Atta girl, you keep writing those words and someday, someday maybe you will be good enough.”

I will look back.

And I will smile.

I won’t take it for granted, I won’t let it go to my head.

I’ll be grateful…

Just like I am in this moment. The rain is falling outside, steady, as it has all day. Damned if we didn’t need it, it has been so dry. Occasionally there are bursts of fireworks in the distance.

This day, as it comes inexorably to a close, was our tenth wedding anniversary, complete with a decent lunch and a ridiculous movie (Julie Hennessy, if you are reading this, I still went and saw it even after you told me not to bother!).

I have seventeen reviews now.

And I hope to see many more. Another 83 would make me very happy. I’ll get there eventually.

For now though, I have at least seventeen people who have taken the time to read my book and post a review on Amazon. And I have to tell you, I’m grateful to every single one of them.

Three Free Days for Gliese 581

Three Free Days for Gliese 581

Gliese 581-Departure

So today, tomorrow and Sunday will be the last free days on Gliese 581: Departure for a while.

I’m racking up the reviews but I could always use more!

Here are some recent reviews:

reviews

I’m just one chapter away from having my first draft of Schicksal Turnpike done and headed for my editor. Schicksal is…well…consider it the prequel, to the prequel, to the prequel, to Gliese 581: Departure. Set within the same universe it is set in 1950s Kansas City.

So get Gliese 581: Departure. Read it and review it, and I’ll try and get this next reading adventure ready for you.