Monday, August 27, 2018

ALMOST TIME...

It's almost time for the Creatures, Crimes and Creativity conference.

Have you registered yet? 

You need to make sure that if you are in the Maryland area that you check out this great, local, small conference.

They feature local as well as best selling authors.

This event showcases products from suspense, thriller, horror, sci-fi, fantasy and paranormal. 

It's happening on Oct. 5-7, 2018 in Columbia, Maryland at the Sheraton Hotel.

This is where you can meet your favorite author, have lunch with them, have dinner and a few drinks. 

You can purchase novels and also make sure to get those selfies.

Are there other conferences that you attend that I should know about? Let me know and make sure to include the link. 

So will you be there? It's not to late to register.

Click this link and register today. Creatures, Crimes and Creativity 2018


Monday, August 13, 2018

BLOGGING IS NOT HARD....

Some people say that blogging is hard. 

I find it pretty easy. That's because I ALWAYS have something to say.

See, I find it very easy to blog; especially if I am upset about something. However, I find it pretty easy to blog about things I observe and things that I learn while being an author.

You don't have to 'give tips" every time you blog. You can simply write about what happened during your day; while writing or not writing. 

Write about what has upset you. It's the cheapest therapy I know. 

Better yet, write about the struggles of your writing life because a lot of us want to know how you overcame that particular problem.

Last week, I met up with fellow book diva Dee Lawrence and we had an amazing breakfast at Eggspectations. I had the breakfast burrito and after seeing mine, so did she. 

We were able to chat and catch up on all that has been happening with us in our private lives and our writing lives.

After a couple of mimosas' we just sat and people watched for a bit before calling it a morning. 

We met early and before we knew it; four hours had blown by and we really didn't want to leave but life called and told us we needed to stop relaxing and get back at it.

So we said our goodbyes and inked ourselves in for another breakfast meeting to just catch up.

See, I didn't think I would tell you all that but it's part of the reason I like blogging. 

I can say just about anything I want and it relieves me of some stress. 

+LadySunshine95 says she doesn't know what to blog about but I tell her; just sit at the computer and you will be AMAZED at what pours out of your mind.

Many people think you have to blog once a day or once a week. But that is not the case. You can blog as often as you need to. I find that blogging once a week helps my mental status. Just don't go to long without a blog or people will forget all about you. 

Do you find it hard to blog and if so; what are you doing to make it better? 

Let me know or better yet; write a blog about it and send me the link; I'd be glad to read all about it. 

Until next time, keep reading and I'll keep on writing. 

Monday, August 6, 2018

NEW OPPORTUNITES; LEAP OF FAITH AND SCARED

So I've officially done it.

Well not that I wanted to but I had to.

I met with doctors, nurses, specialists, my therapist and my partners and I finally made a decision.

One that will either help me or teach me a lesson; either way the decision is made and I"m not turning back.

I will officially no longer work in the school system. I am leaving my job after 21 years.

Now, that decision didn't come easy. 

As you all know, I fell on Feb. 18, 2018 and had a severe break of my ankle, leg and foot. Surgery was on Feb. 26, 2018 and as of today, Aug. 6, 2018 I'm still on crutches, still wearing a hard brace and still suffering from pain and from severe swelling. 

So after months of therapy, deliberation and tears; I've decided to call it quits and focus on my health, my tiny house and my new business.

I am scared out of my wits but I am taking a leap of faith in this new opportunity. 

I don't know what the future holds for my ankle but I know that my tiny house, my author life and my future will be better because I made this decision.

Have you made a decision that you were scared to make but knew it would be OK in the end. 

Comment below and tell me what you did and how it worked out or didn't work out for you.

Remember, keep reading, keeping writing and keep believing in yourself.

Monday, July 30, 2018

CYBER BULLYING

I have always heard about it but had never experienced it.

Until last week.

I was on FB and commented on a post. Suddenly, Christina began commenting about what I had said. She even went as far as to go to my other FB page, copy and paste a picture I had taken and post it in the group we were having a discussion in. She was rude, name calling and mean. She was, what you would call a Cyber Bully. 

When I asked why she went to my other FB page and copied/pasted a picture from my page, her words, "I posted it in another one of my groups to show people that you are a SPAMMER."

Wait, what?

How did I spam my own page. I didn't post it anywhere else and I was in my own home. I posted it to MY followers; which I said to her. So unlike so many people on that post that privately messaged me and told me to ignore her. I was NOT going to let this bully get away with 1. accusing me of something I didn't do and 2. take my photo and post to other groups, that I am not in, without my permission or consent.

I responded to one young lady who told me that Christina "does this in a lot of groups and people just block her or ignore her." Uh, no..that is why she thinks its OK. Not today and not me!

She kept on with her barrage of comments and name calling and I responded by telling her that it was "raining in DC all week and I was sorry she was having a bad day but to take a breath and it would be OK." That got a barrage of more aggressive and mean spirited replies including, "OMG, ARE YOU SERIOUS. YOU TAKE A BREATH. YOU ARE SO AGGRESSIVE."
My response came much later and I said, "I'm sorry that you think that is aggressive but sharing my photo is not something that you should be doing." To which she said, "I WILL SHARE WHAT I WANT AND YOU CAN'T STOP ME." (and yes, it was in all capital letters)and then she wrote this, "I see you commenting back but I'm not going to say anything else." I looked and she had deleted all but her last comment. So, I went back and deleted every comment I made. (although I had been pleasant and didn't call names) I wanted her to see that I was in this 'game' to win it. 

Then it happened, someone spoke up and said, "Wow, Christina is there a problem? Why are you attacking Sandra?" 

Boo-yah!

She was caught! and just like that...dead air!

She then had the nerve to private message me and say, "you don't deserve to be on FB." My response, "Yes, I do..it's bullies like YOU who don't deserve it."

She posted one last time and I quote. "You can block me if you don't like me but I am not the aggressive one. You all are." To which a lot of people took exception to it and called her out. 

Many of them are in different groups with her, asked my permission to screen shot her comments and share them. 

Bullies can't handle when you stand up for yourself and for this woman; cyber bullying seems to be the way she makes herself feel good. But she met her match when she said one to many rude comments to me. 

So if you are on FB and know Christina W. (who is a travel agent as well) just know, she is aggressive, a cyber bully and will post your pictures without your knowledge or consent. 

I am breaking her reign on FB of cyber bullying people 

Monday, July 23, 2018

EMOTIONALLY YOURS

I am such a sucker for real love. Not the kind that these reality shows depict but the ones that you feel when you are reading a great novel. I am also a sucker for a great emotional read.

One of my good friends, Jen Buckley, is a great reader and great critic. She recently described a book that she read; Give Me Your Hand by +MeganAbbott "as an amazing read with twists and turns." She said she had "to stop multiple times because of the twists and turns but by the end of the book it had her screaming, what the F***."

See, Megan Abbott got it right. She gave her readers, or at least Jen, an emotional reaction to her story line.

I learned at a conference, Thrillerfest to be exact, that each of your readers should be emotionally invested in your book by the middle of it. If they are not; you aren't doing a good job of telling a story.

I have a thing that I do on my Facebook page called, "Stepping onto my soapbox" and some times my followers/friends read it and are so emotionally attached to those three paragraphs that they are angry, happy, sad or just laughing so hard that they forgot that what I was saying may or may not have been true.

So when I read a book, I have to be emotionally yours, so to speak. I have to feel what you were feeling when you wrote it. I have to feel almost every emotional range that a human has and then be just like Jen at the end of the book. 

What the F***...yeah, if you have me cursing at the end of the book, I'm emotionally yours.

So, make sure to read through your manuscript. Are you having an emotional reaction to your characters. If not; START OVER. Ir's that simple.

Happy writing! 

Monday, July 9, 2018

SUMMER IS THE PERFECT TIME TO BEGIN AGAIN

It's the perfect time to drag out that manuscript you have been working on for years, or months, or weeks.

It's also the perfect time to look at how things may have changed in that novel that you started on. 

Speaking to Author Austin Camacho recently, he had been working on a novel for a couple of years and pulled it out since he was now retired and is a full time author.

First, congratulations and secondly I asked him how it was being a full time author.

He said that while he enjoyed working on his latest Hannibal novel, he found that he had to ; hold on to your computer, delete almost half of what he wrote because it was no longer relevant to today's world.

See when you begin that novel; you have to make sure to go back, no matter how much you loved it when you first wrote it, it may not be relevant in the time you are working on now.

When you first started that novel, pagers where the in thing. Now; even doctors use their phones as a paging system. So that delete key becomes your best friend. 

I know it is hard to see those words disappear from the page. The same words that took you almost three months to write just four chapters are gone within 10 seconds. 

You may even shed a tear but remember, when you get over the demise of your precious words; the words that come back will be so much better.

So, the summer is a great time to look at that novel again and tweak, delete or continue but whatever you do; make sure that you are writing the best book possible. 

Thursday, July 5, 2018

WHEN BEING AN AUTHOR IS NOT ENOUGH

Why do people assume that just because you are an author that you do nothing else.

Well, I have many things that I like to do besides being an author. I like to travel and I like to cook. I like to shop for shoes. I like to read and I like to work with other authors.

Being an author IS enough for me but it is not my only job. 

When people say, "oh, your just an author" you need to speak up and say..."no; I'm an author AND I like to..."

Don't let people minimize your hard work. Being an author is hard work.

How many nights did you lay awake trying to figure out who to kill in your novel? Or if you have to cut out those first few pages of your novel because they just don't fit the way the story is going. 

Now, having a nine to five is hard. But at the end of your normal work day; you are off. 

At the end of the author's work day...never happens. Here is an 'average' author's work day.

Get up, have coffee (because that gets the juices flowing)
Go into your home office or she shed or man cave (wherever you like to write) and sit down.
Write an outline
Or just start writing
Have more coffee
Get the kids off to school (or wife/husband off to work)
Sit back down and start writing
Delete half of what you wrote two hours ago. (it doesn't move the story along)
Begin a new outline for a new novel because you have gotten 'stuck' in your current novel
Wait, its after three already? Kids are coming home. Help with homework 
After getting kids settled,  you are back in your man cave/she shed writing. 
Now you are in the groove and "honey, I'm home" 
Wait, what? it's after six already? 
Get up and hope that you don't loose that train of thought that you had for the problem in the story you JUST fixed.
Dinner, dishes and kitchen done and now back to the writing office.
Now you need more coffee because
Wait, what? it's after midnight? and you just finished chapter three.

Yes, folks that the life of a full time author. So is being "just" an author what you do?

I would say no.