Archive | August 2012

Guest Author Stephen Ormsby

Dearest minions, I’ve been so freakin’ busy that I didn’t have time to finish my Tuesday post, but an author friend has stepped in to help me out today. Please welcome him and take a look at his book.

Today I’d like to introduce you to author Stephen Ormsby and his book, Long Lost Song.

A virus is decimating America today and Michael Decker is the culprit.  Or is he?

Is it the work of a curse recorded into a song by 1930’s blues musician Ricky Jensen?

Long Lost Song tells the story of Ricky and Michael as they battle their personal and real demons while the world reaches end times of biblical proportions.

One question remains. How do you stop a devil of a song made to break a crossroads deal?

Stephen C. Ormsby was an IT professional for twenty years before deciding to lead a more creative life.  He has always loved the idea of writing novels and had written four when Long Lost Song came along, demanding to be published.

This is his first but will not be his last.

He lives in South Gippsland with his wife, two children and a mad cat.  He has travelled extensively, is an avid reader and enjoys listening to a wide range of music.

He has a huge music collection (over 80,000 songs) that just shuffles all day. Sometimes it finds a groove, but other times it can be very disconcerting.

You can find Stephen on the web at the following links:

Blog: http://stephenormsby.wordpress.com/

Twitter: @Quiet_Noise

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/QuietNoise

Facebook fanpage for the book: https://www.facebook.com/LongLostSong

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/217451

You can also click on the book cover above to view the book on Smashwords. If you tell Stephen I sent you (on the Long Lost Song page or via Facebook message), he’ll give you 25% off the book.

Stephen has some interesting books coming out soon, so check him out!

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Spelling – 27 August 2012

Unless you’re like me and passed every spelling test put in front of you with 100%, spelling is not your friend. In fact, spelling is quite blatantly your enemy. It’s okay. Nobody’s perfect.

Believe me, I know mistakes can happen too, regardless of how well you spell. Hell, in the book I’m editing now, which was released back in 2005 but I wrote back in 1999, I just found a spelling faux pas that horrified me. I’d apparently not been paying attention when I used the word “site” in place of “sight.” Yeah, now imagine the OMFG scream coming out of me and the horrified expression upon my face. It wasn’t pretty. I’m still kicking myself.

I received a list some time ago, and because I always confuse affect/effect, I thought I’d share the list with you here…and because the contract said nothing about sharing it on my blog, though I have made some major changes and additions to it.

It’s a list of commonly misspelled and misused words, and though it may be long, it is totally worth the copy/paste to a Word doc. Just sayin’. You may have to edit out the images, but they sure are cute.

Commonly Misspelled/Misused Words

Adrenalin (a brand name that is trademarked) / adrenaline (a spike of energy; the drug epinephrine)

adverse (adj, opposing, antagonistic, unfavorable) / averse (adj, having a feeling of distaste or aversion, strongly disinclined)

advice (n. opinion or counsel) / advise (v. to offer advice)

affect (v. to influence) / effect (n. result; less commonly, v. to bring about)  To affect something is to have an effect on it.

aid (v. or n. help) / aide (n. an assistant or helper)

aisle (passageway) / isle (island)

allude (refer to indirectly) / elude (avoid or escape)

altar (raised structure for gifts or sacrifices to a god, commonly used in witchcraft or pagan rituals) / alter (change)

among (two or more involved; also amongst) / between (only two people or things involved)

anxious (uneasy or apprehensive, worried) / eager (showing keen interest or intense desire or expectancy)

any more (used for quantity) / anymore (used for time)

areola (dark area around the nipple) [Plural is areolas.] / aureola (a halo, especially surrounding a religious figure)

assure (state with confidence; affirm; promise or convince) / ensure (bring about; guarantee; make certain) / insure (provide or obtain insurance, underwrite)

awhile (adv. for a short time; never preceded by a preposition) / a while (may be preceded by a preposition—for example, in a while).

bad (adj.) / badly (adv.) “Only the bad ice skaters performed badly.”

backward: adj. (“a backward glance”), never add ‘s’. adv. backward is preferred, but backwards will be acceptable to some publishers.

baited (v, to tease, to lure) / bated (adj, restrained or held back) If you had baited breath, you’d smell rather fishy.

basis (singular) / bases (plural)

beach (that place with sand) / beech

biceps: singular ONLY, even in plural form.

blonde (female) / blond (male). In reference to a mixed-sex group of people, blond.

boor (n. a rude, unrefined person) / bore (v. to weary by being dull; n, an uninteresting person, one who bores)

born (v. to have a child) / borne (v. to carry)

bosom (the chest; a person has one bosom, not two)

brake (something that slows or hinders) / break (damage)

breach (n. an opening or gap, an estrangement; v. to break through, to violate) / breech (n. the buttocks; the part of a gun behind the barrel)

breath (n.) / breathe (v.) You take a breath, or you breathe hard.

callous (emotionally hardened) / callus (hardened area on the skin) / calloused (adjective)

can (ability or capability) / may (permission) / might (possibility)

capital (city that is the seat of government; material wealth, assets; first and foremost; first-rate, excellent) / capitol (building where the legislature meets)

cavalcade (ceremonial procession) / cavalry (mounted troops) / Calvary (hill outside Jerusalem; a great ordeal)

cement (n. powdered lime and clay that is mixed with other elements to make concrete; v. to bring together or bond) / concrete (n. a hard building material made of sand and gravel mixed with cement; adj. real, actual)

chauffer (n. a table stove or small furnace; v. to heat or warm up) / chauffeur (hired driver for a private car)

cite (to quote; to summon before a court) /sight (vision) /site (location, like an archaeological dig)

clamor (make a persistent loud demand) / clamber (climb awkwardly)

clench (v. to interlock or set firmly together, such as to clench the teeth; to hold or grasp firmly) / clinch (n. or v., two people holding each other around the body with one or both arms)

coarse (rough, not refined) / course (a route or path)

compliment (praise, congratulation) / complement (complete or make up the whole).

conscience (n. a sense of right and wrong) / conscious (adj. awake; aware of oneself; intentional)

contagious (communicated or transferred by direct contact) / infectious (indirectly communicated, such as by water or air)

continence (self-restraint, moderation) / countenance (appearance, expression of the face)

conviction (belief or a judgment as guilty in court) / convection (transfer of heat through fluid)

crisis (singular) / crises (plural)

criteria (plural) / criterion (singular)

crumble (break into small bits) / crumple (crush out of shape)

crown (commonly worn by royalty) / crowd (a large gathering of people)

damn / damned – adj. (indicates anger at an object) / Damned – cursed, or destined to go to Hell (damned to hell, the damned, when speaking of vampires or the band, The Damned)

datum (singular) / data (plural)

defuse (v. to make harmless or less tense) / diffuse (adj. spread out, not concentrated; v. to scatter or spread widely)

deprecate (express disapproval of, protest against) / depreciate (belittle, lower in value)

desert (dry sandy place – y’know, where I live) / dessert (things like tiramisu and red velvet cake)

disburse (to pay out, expend) / disperse (to scatter, distribute widely, or drive off)

discreet (prudent, careful; modest and restrained [noun is ‘discretion’]) / discrete (separate and distinct)

do (perform) / due (payable, scheduled)

dominate (verb) / dominant (noun and adjective)

dos and don’ts (not “do’s and don’t’s”)

earth (dirt, the ground) / Earth (the planet) / earth (used in idiom)

easy (adj.) / easily (adv.) “It was an easy match, and Austin won easily.”

effect / affect: See ‘affect/effect’.

elusive (adj. tending to avoid or escape) / illusive (adj. unreal or misleading)

ensure / insure: See ‘assure/ensure/insure’

envelop (v.) (darkness falls around you, to be enveloped) / envelope (n.) (what you put a letter in)

exercise / exorcise (rid of demons)

fair (adj, adv. Without favoring one party. n. a carnival) / fare (an agenda, food or drink served, a fee charged for riding public transportation)

farther (implies physical distance; a more distant point) / further (advancement along a nonphysical dimension; to a greater extent or degree

faze (v. to disturb) “That didn’t faze me one bit.” / phase (n. a stage in a series or cycle)

feign (imitate or deceive) / feint (deceptive action or attack to draw attention away from real purpose)

fiancée (female) / fiancé (male)

fission (splitting apart) / fissure (narrow opening or crack) / frisson (shudder or thrill)

florescent (adj, referring to the state or period of flourishing) / fluorescent (adj, brilliantly colored and apparently giving off light)

flout (to scoff or scorn, to mock or treat contemptuously) / flaunt (to show off, to make an ostentatious display)

gauntlet (a glove) To throw down a gauntlet in challenge / gantlet (a test of endurance or ability to bear punishment or pain) What Xena went through at the end of that Hercules: Legendary Journeys episode that spawned her series. It’s a double line of warriors who attack and inflict pain on you as you run down the line.

geez / jeez: An exclamation.

god (any god in a pantheon) / God (Christian, the one god, always capitalized when used referencing God)

good (adj.) / well (adv.) “I did well on the exam and received a good grade for the class.”

gravely (in a grave or serious manner) / gravelly (unpleasantly harsh or grating in sound)

gray (American sp.) / grey (British sp.)

gripe, griping (complain) / grip, gripping (hold on to)

hair / hare (a rabbit)

hangar (an aircraft hangar) / hanger (a garment/clothes hanger)

hanged (a man is hanged) / hung (clothes are hung)

heal (medically mend) / heel (part of shoe)

“hear, hear” – when agreeing with something, you use “hear, hear” and not “here, here”. Also “hear ye, hear ye”.

hoard (n. or v., a hidden cache) / horde (n., a large crowd or swarm)

incredible (unbelievable) / incredulous (unbelieving, skeptical)

inquire (American) / enquire (British)

insight (capacity to discern the true nature) / incite (to provoke or urge on, such as incite a riot)

into / in to

it’s (contraction of ‘it is’) / its (possessive)

(I have no words for J and K, but if you can think of any, please leave them in the comments below)

 

labia (plural, the folds of a woman’s vulva) / labium (singular)

ladies’ man (not lady’s man)

lathe (shave wood) / lave (wash)

let’s (contraction of ‘let us’) / lets (allows)

lie low (hide out, keep a low profile)

lightening (growing less heavy or dark) / lightning (electric flashes in the sky)

loath (adj., unwilling or reluctant) / loathe (v. to abhor or despise)

loose (not secure) / lose (to misplace something) When you lose something, it is lost.

lusty (robust, hearty, vigorous) / lustful (full of sexual desire, or lecherous, or greedy)

material (n., the substance out of which something can be made; cloth; adj. relevant and consequential) / materiel (equipment and supplies of a military force or organization)

metal / mettle (true grit, nerve) / meddle (to interfere)

nauseous (makes one sick)/nauseated (feel sick).

naval (related to shipping) / navel (central point or middle; mark on abdomen where umbilical cord was attached)

nosy (as in ‘nosy neighbor’) Do not use “nosey”

nucleus (singular) / nuclei (plural)

okay  (not OK)

ox (singular) / oxen (plural)

pail (bucket) / pale (light in color)

palatable (acceptable to the taste or mind) / palpable (capable of being handled or felt; easily perceived or obvious)

passed / past (no longer current, gone by, over)

peak (the pointed summit, the point of greatest value or intensity) / peek (look quickly or furtively) / pique (n., vexation or resentment; v., to provoke or arouse)

peal (ringing of bells, loud burst of noise) / peel (n., the skin of fruits or vegetables; v., to strip away or pull off)

penned (enclosed by a fence) / pent (confined, repressed; usually used as pent-up)

populace (n., the general public, a population) / populous (adj., containing many people)

pour (v., cause to flow or run) / poor (n., people without wealth; adj., pitiful, unsatisfactory, or indicative of poverty) / pore (n., tiny hole; v., to direct one’s attention on something)

principal (main or first, capitalized for the Principal of a school) / principle (basic rule or doctrine)

prostrate (lying prone) / prostate (male gland)

prone (lying face downward) / supine (lying face upward)

quiet (silent) / quite

quiver (v. to shake or vibrate) / quaver (v. give off unsteady sounds, n. a tremulous sound)

real (adj.) / really (adv.) “I am really sure that this is a real diamond, not a fake.”

rein (“free rein”, “rein in”) / reign (to rule) / rain (water)

rigid (stiff, hard, strict) / turgid (swollen, distended) / tumid (swollen)

rogue (scamp) / rouge (blusher)

sac (scrotum) / sack (bag)

secede (to withdraw or break away) / succeed (achieve success)

semen (n. the male ejaculate) / sperm (n. the germ cells)

sheath (n) (or scabbard, where the sword goes) / sheathe (v) To sheathe the sword in the scabbard/sheath

Shockwave (computer plug-in/Java) / shock wave (physical disturbance or reaction)

shown (exhibited) / shone (to be shiny) The light shone through the window

shudder / shutter (window covering)

snug (adj., a tight fit) / snugly (adverb, fits tightly) / snuggly (adj., cuddly)

stared (to fixate with one’s eyes) / starred (marked with a star)

states / States: Lowercase unless referring to the whole of the United States.

stationary (unmoving) / stationery (writing paper)

staunch (firm, steadfast, faithful) / stanch (to stop the flow of blood)

stimulus (singular) / stimuli (plural)

sure (adj.) / surely (adv.) “This surely seems like a sure bet.”

tack / tact (considerate perception of what is appropriate) Trying a different tack is appropriate of changing direction

than (used to compare things) / then (sequences)

that (refers to things) / who (refers to persons)

that (restrictive clause, no commas used) / which (nonrestrictive clause, set off by commas)

their (belonging to them) / there (at that place) / they’re (contraction of ‘they are’)

tic (n. an involuntary repetitive muscle spasm) / tick (n. a light clicking noise; a mark made to check off items; a bloodsucking insect)

tiny (small) / tinny

toward / towards (preferred is toward)

trois (as in ménage à trois) / trios

try to / try and (try to is preferred, but try and may be an acceptable form if you’re consistent)

(no words for U either, so if you have one or two, leave it in the comments below)

vice (bad habit or sin) / vise (a clamping device or motion)

vicious (evil, spiteful, malicious) / viscous (thick, non-flowing)

wander (v. roam aimlessly; meander; to go astray) / wonder (v. to have curiosity or doubt) You do not wander about life unless you’re roaming aimlessly through it.

web or website (website is one word)

where (place) / were

wrack (n., wreckage, ruin) / rack (v., to strain or torture or torment)

wreak (v., to vent, to bring about, to inflict upon a person) To wreak havoc / reek (to give off fumes or an unpleasant odor)

woke / awoke

(no words for X, unless you have some. Place in comments below)

yin and yang, not ‘ying and yang’

you’re (contraction of ‘you are’) / your (possessive) This is your pencil, not mine.

(no words for Z, either)

This concludes today’s lesson. Spelling–be certain to not only use correct spelling, but the correct word in your writing.

Thank you to The Gashlycrumb Tinies for their participation.

By all means, add more words in the comments below if you don’t see them listed here. I’ll be updating it periodically.

References:

One Look Dictionary Search – http://www.onelook.com

Merriam-Webster – http://www.m-w.com/

FreeDictionary.com – http://www.thefreedictionary.com/

All Words (word search) – http://www.allwords.com

Dictionary.com (dictionary and grammar resources) – http://dictionary.reference.com/

Your Dictionary (word lookup) – http://www.yourdictionary.com/ahd/search
Also in multiple languages – http://www.yourdictionary.com

MSN Encarta (dictionary, thesaurus, translation, encyclopedia) – http://Encarta.msn.com

LookWAYup (word look-up, translation) – http://lookwayup.com/free/dictionary.htm

Word Spy – http://www.wordspy.com/

The Electric Eclectic – http://bloxword.ca/dictionaries.htm

Common errors in English usage – http://www.wsu.edu/~brians/errors/errors.html

The Idiom Connection – http://www.idiomconnection.com/

Dictionary of English Idioms – http://www.usingenglish.com/reference/idioms/

Guide to Grammar and Writing (Capital Community College) – http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/

Lynch Guide to Grammar and Style – http://andromeda.rutgers.edu/~jlynch/Writing/index.html

Babelfish (translation for foreign words) – http://babelfish.altavista.com/

Free Translation – http://www.freetranslation.com/

US Military chain of command – http://www.candaceirvin.com/part3.html

Confusing Words – http://www.confusingwords.com/

Mythology, religion and folklore – http://www.pantheon.org/

History of words – http://www.etymonline.com/

Google – http://www.google.com

Religion Facts – http://www.religionfacts.com

Police and Fire ten-codes – http://www.bearcat1.com

Regional Vocabularies of American English: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regional_Vocabularies_of_American_English

Painless Grammar by Rebecca Elliott, Ph.D.

Interviewed by a Vampire – R.C. Murphy

Darling minions, please welcome author R.C. Murphy to My Reality today. She has a new book out (and it’s awesome) that she’s promoting, and my vamp Shawn has decided he’d like to interview her. He usually interviews the authors around here, though it’s been quite a while. You’ve never truly been interviewed, unless by a vampire.

Shawn, go ahead and take over . . . the interview.

*laughs* You’d better clarify that shit ’cause you know what’ll happen. *clears throat* R.C. Murphy . . . oh hey lady, I know you! I’ve got some shit for you to answer, so let’s get started.

First question: Mind if I call you Nee? I kinda dig that nickname. *grins*

N: Everyone likes that name. Go ahead.

S: Thanks. So, Nee, what kinds of books do you write? Y’know, genre and shit. And do you read the same stuff you write?

N: I write paranormal romance, usually. I tried to keep it urban fantasy, but those pesky sex scenes keep sneaking in. A lot of the short stories I’ve written lately are straight-up horror. Those are the most fun, to be honest.

I read a variety of books, ranging from research materials to high fantasy. Typically, if I am in the middle of writing, I try to avoid reading paranormal romance so I don’t accidentally borrow from what I’m reading. That being said, I make an exception for certain favorite authors.

S: Ooh, paranormal romance! I like that shit. *arches brow* Don’t judge. I like what you’ve done with your vamps. Pretty fucking cool. I also hear that Umi approves. There’s a great nod for ya. What was your inspiration for the story, or how’d it come about?

N: I’ve always toyed around with a vampire book in some form. The book I just released, Be Ours Forever, came from a writing challenge that my friend Quamaine gave me. His challenge didn’t include vampires, but I used them to give myself familiar footing to tackle a situation I hadn’t delved into before, a romance between two men and a woman that wasn’t a typical love triangle.

S: Well, ya did a good job, darlin’. Why do you write that shit . . . I mean, I’m not calling it shit, per se, but why do you write in general? What motivates or inspires you to write or is inspiration for your stories?

N: Ha ha! Don’t worry, on hard days I tell myself, “This shit is hard!”

I write because otherwise the ideas drive me insane. It’s in my DNA to create something, somehow and writing just happened to be the right outlet for the creative urges.

Inspiration comes from observing the world–I do a lot of people watching. Something simple, like a couple arguing in the car at a stoplight, can trigger an idea. Other times the ideas come to me in dreams. Yeah, it sounds cheesy as hell, but some of my best characters started out that way.

S: *nods* Ah yes, good answer. I read everything Jinxie reads (obviously, though I try to ignore some of it), and her TBR pile is fucking HUGE. She just finished reading the graphic novel Witch Doctor, Vol. 1: Under the Knife, which is . . . well, I’ll let you read the review. Can you name any books (stand alone or series) that you absolutely HAD to read the moment you saw it?

N: Larissa Ione’s Demonica series hit my radar hard. A friend suggested it and when I went to the store to pick up a copy, I stood in the aisle for a while reading the first few pages and was hooked.

The rest of the stuff I read right now are all things that my mother, of all people, suggests. Or rather, she shoves them at me and says, “Trust me, you’ll like this.” Between all of my writing projects, I don’t have time to browse through bookstores. Luckily, Mom and I share similar tastes in novels.

S: How do you feel about fangs? *winks and flashes fang*

N: Fangs are sexy. Especially that moment when they first touch skin. A brush of danger. The knowledge that death is right there, ready to clamp down on your throat . . . .

Oh dear, I think I delved too far into that one.

S: You and me can delve into that one later. *winks* Can you give our readers any hints as to what’s in store for future books?

N: I can give a few hints, but not too many. That would spoil the fun.

My current work in progress is a novel called Enslaved. Take everything you may know about an incubus and turn it on its head. I’ve created a whole new origin for the incubi. There is a preview for Enslaved in the back of Be Ours Forever. *hint*

After that, I’m revisiting the Be Ours Forever universe for a prequel novella. This one will feature Jarlan and Meghan . . . and a basement. I can’t wait to write that one. It should be fun.

S: Sounds like it would be. So let’s wrap this up and you can show me around this beautiful home, okay? Particularly, your cave. *waggles eyebrows* Tell all the peeps for me, Nee, where to buy your shit . . . er . . . I mean book. *grins*

N: You would want to peek into my cave, Shawn.

Folks can pick up copies of my book at the following sites:

In paperback – http://amzn.com/147822150X
Kindle – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008S2D9J6
Nook – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/be-ours-forever-rc-murphy/1112317879?ean=2940044726536
All Romance eBooks – http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-beoursforever-904951-139.html

S: Thanks, Nee, for sitting through this wonderful interview with me. I’ve really enjoyed your lovely company. *winks*

N: Flattery will get you nowhere with me, Shawn. I have a lot of smooth talking bad boys in my head, it makes me immune to your charm.

S: Uh huh. Right. They ain’t me.

N: Thank you for taking the time to do this. We’ll have to do it again soon.

Abso-fucking-lutely! Alright, folks, go check out Nee’s . . . I mean, R.C. Murphy’s awesome vampire book Be Ours Forever. See that? It’s a VAMPIRE book. I like that kinda shit because, y’know, I’m a fucking vampire. *flashes fang* Oh, and it has sex in it, just so ya know. I don’t wanna hear none of you complainin’ that I didn’t warn you.

*head desk* Um, thanks Shawn, I think. I’ll take over again. And thank you R.C. Murphy for having the courage to deal with my most troublesome vamp! I think I owe you a cookie . . . or three.

You can find R.C. Murphy on her blog The Path of a Struggling Writer, Facebook, and she’s a co-Commander on the Zombie Survival Crew, where she blogs weekly and has written stories for their anthologies.

LS Fayne – Why I Chose to Self-Publish

My wonderful minions, please welcome mystery guest blogger LS Fayne today, who will be discussing self-publishing and why she chose it over traditional publishing. An interesting topic for those newbie writers out there.

I’ve been talking with Linda for several weeks now, and she’s a lovely lady. We have a few things in common, one of which is the fact that we both have Fibromyalgia, and she’s written a book about her experiences with the disease.

Be certain to note that there IS a giveaway today!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

People constantly ask me why I chose to self-publish. For me, it wasn’t really a choice. I had my book all finished and was in the process of figuring out just where to send it. I soon realized that having a publisher actually choose my book before other known authors just wasn’t going to happen. The odds were worse than winning the lottery.

Each publisher had their own formatting requirements. Some publishers even requested a statement which would list ten things I would do to sell my book. I thought that was their job! I soon realized that these publishers wouldn’t do anymore for me than I could do for myself. Most also stated that even if they did accept a manuscript, it wouldn’t be released for over 1½ years after the acceptance. I didn’t have the time to wait for them. Not if I wanted to be an established writer before my retirement funds ran out. I had participated in an early retirement program with my company. I figured I had two years to establish a new career. It’s been five years since then, my funds are gone, but I’m still writing. We make due where we can. I have seven books out in the market.

Do I regret my decision to self-publish? Not at all! There is no one to take care of me, and I’ve made some mistakes. I’ve learned a lot. I’ve seen some new authors spend so much money they will never recoup on their losses. I’m in an élite group of people who help each other to figure this all out. We teach each other things, which helps to bring success. It’s a new era and we have a lot to figure out. Everyone is scrambling with the electronic age, including the traditional publishing houses.

Self-publishing is not for everyone. Some people need someone to push them forward, and to tell them what to do. Self-publishing is not for the lazy, or those without business sense. There are obstacles for those who self-publish, which are invisible to those who are taken care of by a publisher.

People are automatically more critical of the quality of a book they assume is self published. I’ve read many books from well-known publishers that have major editing and formatting flaws, especially with eBooks, and yet these flaws don’t seem to get much mentioned in the review process. I’ve read very well-written Indie books that get hammered in the review process when there are only a couple of typos. Part of this is because when the Indie publishing movement started, there were a lot of poor quality books pushed off onto the public.

The public has pushed back and is now demanding better stories and better quality writing. This is as it should be for all books, whether they are Indie published or from a traditional publishing house.

There are obstacles for Indie publishers; invisible barriers. We don’t even know they are in front of us until we smash into them.

I took six books for donation to the local library for the vision impaired patrons. They were 16 pt. large print, hardcover books. They wouldn’t even look at them, wouldn’t evaluate them, because they were self-published.  Each book cost me $18.60 in printing. I ended up donating them to the Senior Citizen Center. They loved getting them! Your tax dollars at work here! Not all libraries are this way; I’ve also donated a set to the library of another city.

There are a lot of “rules” determining just how authors are to present and to market their books. Most of these rules, I feel, are deterrents of the publishing houses to keep control of the book market. They discourage authors from seeking reviews from friends and family, and yet the publishing houses hire teams to write reviews and create prior marketing advertisements to the release of a new book. Book critics will not accept manuscripts from Indie authors. There isn’t a critic’s door in which we can walk through.  Maybe it’s time to create an Independent Critic’s Group? Oh wait! Critics are supposed to be independent.

Writers are being more careful to not do things that they feel might prevent publishers from accepting their work. They are being more careful to not post any piece of their work on the Internet in case it gets labeled as already published. I’ve recently learned that writers are even afraid to put in their own copyrights with the government. Afraid this even would cause a rejection letter.

I would seriously look closely at a publisher who doesn’t want its writers to protect their own work from theft. I’d like to remind writers that publishers cannot own your copyright unless you carelessly sign it away to them. It’s the same with movie rights. You created the work. You own your work!

It all looks like the best worlds meet when a person receives that acceptance letter, especially if it contains a fat advance check. Not everything is as it appears. Read those contracts carefully. You might be signing away more than you planned, and that big, nice advance check? It has to be paid back if your book does not sell to its projected number.

I’ve never sent my work to a publisher. I love the freedom. Would I sign a contract if one was offered. Maybe, maybe not. I’ve grown awfully used to having my own way with things. I chose my formatting, my style, and my covers. No one is going to rewrite my story and sign my name. No one is going to eliminate Book Two, and keep books One and Three.

I think the only way I would sign such a contract is if one of my books got so popular (50 Shades of Grey) that I got muddled with regards to fulfillment and distribution. Oh yes, just another thing Indie publishers have to deal with.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

L. S. Fayne was born in Norwalk, California, grew up in Santa Cruz, California, and at the age of ten, her family moved to Oregon. She married her husband, Darrel, in June 1984. They are still together and very much in love. Still happy and wanting more.

She and her husband created their own publishing company, Fayne Artists, and in June 2008, they published her first novel, Christmas in the House of O’Byrne. She was so taken with the storyline and characters of the book that she created a series for it called, Druantia’s Children. In these books, they described the ancestry of their magical family. Linda was inspired to go back in time, and create stories for the original seven sisters who migrated to America. This series is called, The O’Byrne Daughters.

Linda creates all her own covers and artwork. She wouldn’t mind someone else putting on the publishing hat, but for now, is satisfied to be so involved. She is excitedly writing her seventh novel, of which, her only hint is that it belongs to the Druantia’s Children Series.

Linda fights with Fibromyalgia. For those fighting with Fibromyalgia, she stresses for them to pursue something they are passionate about! Something that will help them get up every morning! She has her husband, a big extended family, writing, and cats. She is passionate about all of them.

L. S. Fayne books to date:

19th Century Series: The O’Byrne Daughters
Budding Magic: Book One
It’s Just Magic!: Book Two
Gathering of the Raven: Book Three

20th Century Series: Druantia’s Children
Christmas in the House of O’Byrne: Book One
Druantia’s Braids: Book Two
There Can’t Be Shadows Without Light: Book Three

Fibromyalgia Chatter

All the book links above go to their respective Amazon pages. All of the images below are linked to their respective Smashwords pages.

Linda has agreed to do a giveaway for a print or ebook copy of one of her books you’ll also find below, so here’s what we’ll do: comment on this post your feelings or experiences on self-publishing vs traditional publishing, and I’ll select a winner using Random.org. Then the winner can choose which of Linda’s books they’re interested in and I’ll send a coupon code for that ONE book (if an ebook edition is chosen). If the winner so chooses a print copy, I’ll get the winner in contact with Linda for shipping details. Let the comments begin! *fires gun* I’ll choose a winner on Friday, August 17th.

      

Tale vs. Short Story – 13 Aug 2012

I know I said I’d try to get a post up last week, but I was retained by drag queens for six hours the night before and couldn’t think afterward, so again, I apologize.

As you can see from the title of this post, I’m using the subject to title these from this point forward. This will make them easy to find on my blog for future reference.

This week’s Writing/Editing tip will be very short because I’d just like to share two very basic things with you that I learned in my literary criticism class a while back. These are also things I really need to remember, so I’m hoping that by writing them down, they’ll stick. Hey, I can dream!

The first regards the title of this post and was something my professor was very clear on pointing out to me after the first draft of my paper on E.A. Poe, which I’ll share with you if you’d like and if I can find it. Confusing the two is common, and especially for someone who may be new to writing or didn’t have formal training in writing or criticism (I’m talking about a degree in English, Creative Writing, etc.).

Tale vs. short story

What is the difference?

There is a difference in the construction between a tale and a short story. A shorty story has a sharp focus–either on characterization, plot, or setting. A tale describes these elements in pretty much equal degree.

Discuss in the comments below.

The next thing I’d like to share with you are those elements found in a tale.

Elements of Fiction

  • Character
  • Plot
  • Setting
  • Theme
  • Narrator
  • Style and tone

In a tale, all of these elements are focused on, not just one of them. So as an example, epic fantasy would be good because epic fantasy focuses on a lot of different aspects throughout the tale.

Discuss in the comments below.

Leave It to a Drag Queen…

…to drag a three-hour show out to six.

The Monday before Moonbug died, her breeder and my friend JL, invited me to the Miss Gay Arizona America pageant because her daughter was dancing for one of the divas…I mean contestants. Neveah, to be exact. I thought “Sure, why not? It’ll be fun and I get to see JL’s daughter dance.” What couldn’t be more fun than a bunch of drag queens onstage? Seriously. And they have a pageant I never knew existed. Right on!

For the record, my son is gay. Just in case one of you takes anything I say in this post the wrong way.

Following are some of my tweets and status updates. At one point, there was a 2-hour respite from tweeting, which meant I was thoroughly entertained. You’ll notice where it is without the time stamp, trust me:

Ugh. After such a hectic day yesterday, I don’t think I have the energy for drag queens, not to mention NOTHING TO WEAR!!! *head desk*

My “son” needs to get his ass over here and help me find something to wear!!!

“This evening’s music selection is sponsored by an elevator somwhere in Phx.” LMFAO! – as quoted from Katina

OMG The commentary on this is hysterical! LOL

For those of you who are clueless as to what I’m doing, I’m at Miss Gay Arizona America. #MGAA

At the question round. #MGAA

Going on 4 hours now. Holy crap! (See? I told you!)

#MGAA 2004 performing… http://twitpic.com/ag1zwq 

Wow! Totally did *not* call that Coco would do Lady Gaga during her talent act. No. Not. At. All.

I think she’s doing EVERY Lady Gaga song there is! #MGAA

Hey John, I’ve never met Geoff’s wife. Lol My friend’s daughter just danced onstage with Neveah. (apparently, Geoff’s wife also attended this event)

…is still at the Miss Gay AZ America pageant. Holy fucking hell.

So everyone thought this would be over at 9, just like I did, and I’ve missed ALL showings of #TrueBlood tonight. #MGAA

I’ve had to put my glasses on to tweet/text bc my eyes are so fucking tired now. #MGAA

And then someone just had to go and lip-sync the Whitney Houston versin of I Will Always Love You, which is the longest! #MGAA

Oh dear God, please END! #MGAA

Dear fucking hell, someone please shoot me! This thing just won’t end.

@JlManley: I miss 9:00pm. I miss 10:00pm Awwwe Hell, I miss 11:00pm. Thank you @Jinxie_G for keeping me from throwing myself over the balcony – G’nite.

LOL @JlManley You forgot 6pm. G’night, lady! Happy to keep you company with my snark. =) Thanks for taking me.

I am finally home. I need food, smokes, and a drink. Not necessarily in that order.

Regardless of my latter comments, the Miss Gay Arizona America show was pretty dragon! =p

Of the 11 contestants, only four had really good talent pieces, one of which was Neveah so I was really proud of JL’s daughter because damn! That girl can move! Neveah’s set was all apocalyptic-like to the tune of Britney, I think. I’m not big on pop music, but even with minimal props, she rocked the stage. Neveah won the talent award. You go, girl! Contestant #2 whose name escapes me did Tina Turner and pulled it off so well, I thought I was actually watching Tina Turner by the end. Good job! Contestant #10, I think and whose name also escapes me but she was gorgeous and wearing a yellow dress, did a Marilyn Monroe tune and I really enjoyed it. Contestant #3 was Diva (or Deva…I don’t have my program anymore) and her talent piece was spectacular Spanish dancer with four skinny dancer boys painted up all Dia de los Muertos style. The beginning part of her set reminded me of the painting that hangs on my living room wall, which happens to be The Spanish Dancer by John Sargent. The rest of the set blew me away and there is no question in my mind as to why she won.

The bad – I had to sit there for fucking six hours! While wearing spanx! And 5-inch heels are a bitch to walk in after sitting for SIX FUCKING HOURS when your legs keep going numb!

The good – I’ve decided that one of my characters in my Kick-Ass Girls Club series is going to have a gay brother who is a drag queen and will be a contestant in this pageant. I’m not kidding. Which means I’ll need more research.

I’ve told y’all time and again that Life is my muse. The above is how it fucking works. Don’t ask me why because fuck if I know. Go somewhere; get an idea. See something; get an idea. Hear something; get an idea. Feel or smell something; get an idea. Taste rarely happens, but it does happen.

So…will I go next year? Perhaps, but if I do, I’m gonna need more alcohol, bitches!