I have added a blog. I now have Life Rewritten and Life with a Book. I don’t know how I would live without books. They add so much to my life, adventure, comfort, love, knowledge just to name a few. So if you like to read, I’d love to have you follow my new blog.
I finished writing. I am not certain 67,439 words qualifies as a book but it is certainly the most I’ve ever written. Now I need to take the steps to get e-published. It isn’t as simple as it sounds. An editor must be found and paid to do the work. A professional book cover artist must be hired to make the book look appealing. I must research and determine which e-publisher is the best fit for me. This is followed by making certain the book is formatted to meet the qualifications for whichever e-publisher I select. Then the prayers that someone will want to buy my book. I may never become a famous writer, but I can now honestly say I have written a book. Below is a sample from the beginning of the story. I hope you enjoy it. And if any of you have been down the e-publishing road, I would love any and all advice you have to share. The words below are my creation and not to be republished without permission.
First comes Shame, second comes Fear and then comes Murder
Spring was on the horizon. It was one of her favorite times of year here in Bowie Hills. Central Texas prairies produced some of the most beautiful wildflowers. It wouldn’t be long before the roads were lined with Bluebonnets, Indian paintbrush, purple foxgloves, honey daisies, orange milkweed and more. It was a veritable artist’s palette covering the fields. This year was set to be a good one. There had been enough rain and no late freezes. Charlotte was lost in her thoughts when she used her electronic swipe card. Opening the side door, she entered and headed to her classroom. The lights were motion sensitive and turned on as she made her way down the long corridor. Charlotte marveled at how much the school had grown. Just over 900 students in two grades when it first opened, Bowie Hills High was now home to four grades and over 4,000 which did not include teachers, staff and administration. Bowie HHS was almost as large as the town had been when she first arrived here as a young wife and mother. She had been set to create a perfect life for her, Dan and Hannah. Kaitlyn came along two years later. Her dreams were big then. How dreams can change she thought to herself.
Charlotte had forgotten the latest essays her students had turned in. She had been deep in a conversation with her two favorite students over their most recently read novel. Her attention had been on Andrew and Brandon and not the essays. She had walked off and left them in her classroom. Charlotte decided after dinner to return and pick them up. She would have plenty of free time to read and grade them since it was a three-day weekend. The lights to her hallway would not turn on until she actually had walked a few strides down the corridor, so looking ahead it was dark. When she reached the corner of the English classroom hallway and turned, Charlotte took a few steps and then she tripped. Managing to stay upright and not falling completely to the floor, she turned to see what had caused her to trip. She froze. Unable to scream due to the horrific scene before her, Charlotte just stood there. Staring. Staring at the body lying on the floor in a pool of blood. Coming to her senses, she dialed 911 and requested emergency help. Then doing what seemed obvious, she checked for a pulse. None was to be found. The face was covered with long blond hair and Charlotte carefully moved it away to see if she recognized the girl. There had been an unspeakable crime in her school, in this safe haven for children.
You would think with all the time I’ve had on my hands I would have spent it writing the book I’ve always said I’d write. I would begin and then think this story is dumb no one will read it. Then I went to a Meetup group for aspiring writers. I met writers who had actually written books, self published and made money!!
I spoke to one afterwards express in my belief no one would read what I wrote. She assured me in no uncertain terms if I wrote a book, self published it, someone would read it. Maybe that’s all I need to hear because as present I am at 38,000 words and counting. According to Internet gurus I need approximately 80,000 words for an adult novel. So I am not quite halfway.
Hoping to finish before I move out and into the unknown I’m using my time during the day to do nothing but write. The story probably makes no sense at all but it has given me something to focus on during the day. Now to find something other than hopelessness to fill my night.
While researching one of my favorite characters, Miss Phyrne Fisher, I came across the website for the company that publishes the books. Allen and Unwin which is located in Australia. They have all sort of posts about how to write, improve your writing, getting ideas etc. I thought I would share the link to the Getting Started page. I hope you find some helpful information there.
Excuse me but I need to vent. I have been seeking a job for the past 3 years. It is necessary that I support myself since my ex-husband left me after 30 years of marriage for a younger woman. There is no spousal support or alimony in Texas. I am almost out of money. And if you think I am trying for jobs out of my reach, I am not. I can’t even get Target to interview me.
There is definitely age discrimination. I realize I haven’t been in the active workforce for years but I have lots of skills. I went back to school to update my computer skills. I have a college degree. I am personable and friendly. I don’t know what to do. I just read a really bad eBook, so maybe I should give that a go. No one can discriminate against my age or experience then. Sorry for venting. I am just afraid.
“There’s such a lot of different Annes in me. I sometimes think that is why I’m such a troublesome person. If I was just the one Anne it would be ever so much more comfortable, but then it wouldn’t be half so interesting.”
― L.M. Montgomery,
The quote on my homepage is a L.M. Montgomery quote from Anne of Green Gables. I always identified so much with Anne. While I was not an orphan, I never did feel that I quite fit in anywhere. My own mother has told me all of my life that I was difficult when I was young, she didn’t know what to do. So she had to take me to see a psychologist. Now I don’t know what could possibly make a 5-year-old so difficult, her mother would feel the need to take her to a psychologist and the need to remind her over and over again.
Anne always had trouble holding her tongue. She would speak without thinking and it would get her in trouble. She also had a way with words and many times could talk herself out of a situation. She loved to write. She loved Octobers. She loved reading and loved learning. Sometimes I think if I had red hair, I would change my name to Anne (with an e) Shirley.
I think most of us aren’t monotone and one dimensional people. We are multi-colored and three-dimensional. There are facets to our personalities that shine under different circumstances. And sometimes those facets need a lot of polishing before they truly shine.
I have no idea if I added the twitter link correctly, so I copied and pasted the actual tweet into my blog. I went to a meetup group tonight. If you don’t know what a meetup group is you can find out by going to http://www.meetup.com It is a place where you can find people in your area with similar interests. There is a wide variety of choices, so there is something for everyone. I went to a writing prompt group. There were just 3 of us which made it much less intimidating for a first time visitor.
The group leader gave us our first prompt. He used story dice. I got an eyeball and a man thinking. The tweet above was definitely true for me tonight. How do you begin a story based on an eyeball and a man thinking? Each of us got different things. I definitely had the worst roll. From where would the words come? Should I even be there? Could I really write something someone would want to read?
As I watched the other people write when we began our second prompt, lines from a song, I was amazed at how quickly they could put their words to paper. And then when they read them, they were so good, so creative. My story sounded like something an 8th grader would turn in for a creative writing project. Would my writing every mature?
Our last prompt was a collage of photos. We could write something in general about all of the photos in our collage or we could select just one photo. I wrote about one photo and when the young woman next to me read her story, I was blown away. She had chosen to focus on the fact almost all of her photos had blue in them. Where do people get such creative ideas?
So I agree with the tweet. It seems that writing comes so easily for other authors. Their stories, their blogs, their books all seem effortless. My stuff reads heavy, like a bag of trash someone has to drag behind them. When will the words mature and the story come?
Maps. Directions. Roads. Lost. GPS, yes, GPS. Living in a new city my GPS has become my new best friend. I have never had a good sense of direction. When I was 14 years old, my family was driving from our home in Las Vegas to Disneyland. With my map reading skills, we ended up outside of San Diego. That is NOT close to Disneyland.
One of the first things I did when I moved to Austin was to buy a map. It is large and I stand and look at it, trying to get an idea of where I am located in reference to where I am going. Studying the map, I determine there are endless ways to reach my destination. When I plug-in the address to my GPS, it even gives me options. It is up to me to decide which route to take.
Of course our route can be interrupted by road work, an accident, one way streets etc. So we are forced to find another way to our final destination. GPS of course makes it simple. But when there were only maps ,no GPS, and I would get lost, I had to pull over to the side of the road and study the map to find a new route.
That is my life right now. I am pulled over to the side of the road studying it and trying to find a new path, a new direction to reach my destination. What is my destination? A life with purpose and lived with passion. Prior to my divorce, I was on a one way road and believed the life I was living was the only way to experience happiness. Since my divorce, I have slowly discovered that there are endless paths to living a new purposeful life. Just like when the GPS gives me a choice of routes, it is up to me to select which road I will take now because joy, purpose and passion lie just around the bend.
Prompt 1: I write because
I write because I feel compelled to do so. I don’t remember a time in my life that I didn’t write. I’ve always loved to read and as a young girl I would lose myself in books. Then I would try my hand at writing my own stories. I remember pretending to be a radio DJ reporting the news. I wrote my own newspaper as a girl. This was all done at a time when it was all done freehand. I didn’t have a typewriter and I had no idea computers even existed.
I write because I believe there is a story waiting to be told, but I haven’t figured out quite yet what that story is. The ideas always seem to come when I am drowsy and too tired to write. I am positive I allow the distractions of the day to act as interference. I love to write but I am afraid to write. I am afraid to let the words flow, for the story to come. I hope writing 101 helps me breakthrough that fence, those fears and actually pursue writing.