Friday, August 26, 2011

Fourth Wish Contest and More

Busy, busy, busy!  The Fourth Wish is on Kindle now and I'm holding a contest.  Winner will have a choice between the paperback or the Kindle version if he/she lives in the US; otherwise the winner gets a Kindle version, assuming he/she has a Kindle reader.

Here are the contest rules: The contest starts today and ends Friday, September 9th at midnight -- California time. You can get a point each time you:

     1. Comment on this post
     2. Tweet the contest and this site
     3. Mention it on FaceBook
     4. Mention it on your blog
     5. And, if you are a new visitor, following this site.
You can do the first four as many times as you want. (Well, please don't comment four times in a row, because that could look strange, as in "Here I am again." "And again." "And again.")

Whenever you do #2, #3, or #4, just let me know so I can give you your point. At the end of the contest I'll use to choose the winner.

There is also another contest you should know about:
David Powers King, who has one super blog -- both funny and extremely informative -- is having a contest where the winner can get one of three books.  That's right, three! They all look good, and I certainly put my dibs in for the one I would like to get. Hurry over there now and get in on this. The rules for his contest are in the post you'll find when you click here  .

Last, but not least, I want to pass on the Helping Hands Award to two very special blogging friends: Michelle Fayard, who clued me in about how to run a contest, and J. L. Campbell, who clued me in on delivering the Kindle version if that's what the winner wants (and whose own ebook I won in a similar contest.)  Thanks, Michelle and Joy.  No obligation goes with it except to pass it to those you feel have helped you. Meanwhile, anyone reading this post should hop on over to their blogs which are always full of good reads and reviews and through-provoking articles.
That's it for today. 

Monday, August 22, 2011

This Was The Week That Was

This week I hardly did any writing for three reasons: 1) We had more company than we've had for awhile (and boy was I ready to see emmisaries from the outside world again!)  2) I was going through the procedure to set up my book, The Fourth Wish, on Kindle. 3) I was answering interview questions (via email) about writing The Fourth Wish (quite fun.)

I'll work backwards:
Interview: Diane Gross writes book reviews for Sacramento Book Examiner and will be reviewing my book later in the week (I'll tweet it when she does). The two part interview is prelude to the review, and you can read part one of her interview here.

Kindle: Ah, Kindle! Friends have been telling me I should put my book on Kindle, and so I decided to do just that. Originally, I self-published The Fourth Wish through CreateSpace, a very user-friendly publishing site with links to Amazon -- you can sell your book through both sites.  CreateSpace also offers incredible technical support. (I speak gratefully, since I am one who can be one click away from disaster whenever I try new ventures in technology.) They helped me immensely when setting up the original publication, and they helped me set it up for Kindle (charging a small fee to first format the book for Kindle). By phone, a technician walked me through the whole process of  downloading a free Kindle for Mac from Amazon, downloading my formatted book so I could read it to see if it looked good (it did), and then uploading it into my Kindle account. This was last Wednesday, and CreateSpace will connect the two links so that all reviews, etc. go to both sites, and both the paperback sites and the Kindle site are shown together, giving one a choice of which way to purchase. (The paperback sells for $14.95; the Kindle for $6.99.)

Visitors: I have been truly lucky, even before this week.  One of my classmates from art class has stopped by a couple of times with the teacher's demo pictures she saved for me. She also brought pasta, pasta sauce, and fresh basil. My wonderful neighbor has stopped by several times with books to read, a bag of  eats and treats, and a beautifully potted African Violet. (Visits I especially appreciate, as she has had surgery of her own to deal with.)

But last week's visits came all in a bunch: A writer friend stopped by with a beautiful potted succulent plant whose name I can't pronounce. Our nephew out from New York and stayed overnight. Friends from Colfax brought us lunch -- tortalini, salad, fresh bread, fruit salad, berry pie -- we are still marvelling over their kindness. (Especially kind for Sir Husband, as I am not cooking yet.) And yesterday my picture book writing group met at our house, since I also am not driving yet.

But I will be, and soon! I'll be doing all of it, and then my news will encompass more than the state of my foot. Until then, I look forward to visiting your blogs again and catching up on your news.

And please leave some recommendations for good reads.  I'm reading again.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Best Laid Plans

I think I got over-ambitions with my recovering foot.  I did not accomplish everything on my list in my last post as soon as I meant to. Over about three days, I did get those three poems sent out, and I rewrote a short story for a fiction contest and entered it. I did visit websites, etc. for agents I want to send my MG mystery to, and made my list.  And then I just got plain tired.  I will spare you the details of foot excercises three times a day, 20 minutes each time.  But those exercises, plus walking around a little, really wore me out.

So, I've been reading again.  Not fiction, because I think I reached "fiction glut" rather than "reader glut" last week.  Instead, I've been re-visiting books on the writing craft and doing some more research for my current WIP under revision, my MG ghost story set in 1919 Sacramento. My characters are Irish-Americans, so I've been especially soaking in anything Irish, and the book I just finished reading (and thoroughly enjoying) is Thomas Cahill's How the Irish Saved Civilization, a wonderfully written account in a style that makes history truly exciting to read.

The writing books I've been poring over are: Self-editing for Fiction Writers, by Renni Browne and Dave King, and Novelist's Essential Guide to Crafting Scenes, by Raymond Obstfeld.  The latter is really for writers of adult fiction, but, except for the chapters on murder mysteries and sex scenes, the advice and examples are superb for children's writers as well.  Both books are good.  I've read them before, they are part of my library, but you never can revisit a good book on the writing craft too many times.

So, now the foot is better, the energy is back, and it's forward and on to my revision of Granny's Jig, and query letters for Imogene and the Case of the Missing Pearls -- although my computer time will be in smaller doses for a few days. (I have learned my lesson.)
Hope all of you are   writing well, and look forward to visiting your blogs again soon.  Ciao for now.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Reader Glut and Writer Excitement

Even though this is Book Review Friday, recent posts were all book reviews while my foot was healing up.  Today I just have to share how good it feels to be up and about again.  That, plus the fact that I read about 16 books in the past 5 weeks and I am experiencing "reader glut".  My well has been filled with what feels like a lake!

The doctor removed the pin yesterday and gave me some truly uncomfortable toe excercises to do three times a day (but they are already taking positive effect!)  Meanwhile, when I rest, my foot still needs to be elevated, but activity is good for it, so I am making a point of walking around the house as often as possible.  And yesterday I had both lunch and dinner on the patio, enjoying close up and personal the garden I had been looking wistfully at out the bedroom window for 5 weeks.  Listening to bird calls and watching butterflies.  Feeling a faint breeze.  Joy!

So, what have I been doing besides reading these past weeks?  I am happy to say that I submitted 5 poems to various online sites, listened to some great writing tutorials, took notes in my notebook for my WIP, Granny's Jig, and bookmarked magazines to submit to, and agents to query. I also started a new book, inspired by Martha Alderson's wonderful tutorials on plot.  Martha Alderson is "The Plot Whisperer", and her approach to plotting is one I like a lot.  I first found her on Jill Corcoran's blog, here, and oh, how I wish I were writing the books Jill Corcoran is looking for, because she gives such great advice on her site.

Today Sir Husband set up my computer and printer on a table in the livingroom so I can sit at the computer and work with my foot propped up on a comfortable padded chair. ("Sir Husband"because I knighted him a few weeks back for taking such good care of me and treating me like royalty.  He's still doing that, too.)  Let me just say it feels great to be hunched over my keyboard instead of balancing my computer on one knee.  So my agenda today includes snail submissions for three children's poems, and some query letters for two of my books.  (Cross fingers, as I send them out into the world.)

Meanwhile, I have to thank all the reading I did for how mentally massaged I feel, how ready to write again. With all that input, it's time for output again, and I'm all revved up.  This is a case where deprivation made the heart grow fonder.

I also want to thank all of you for your comments during this period.  It was so cheering to hear from you, and I've enjoyed making new blog friends as well.

How about you?  Have you ever had "reader's glut" but appreciated it because it left you wanting to write again? I'd love to hear your thoughts on that.