Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Whipping Myself Into A Routine...

I've decided that since I am spending far too much time on the internet and not enough time writing, that in order to get back into a routine, I've got to trick myself.

So I am making myself write before I do anything online, be it Facebook or gaming or whatever. It doesn't matter the amount, the length of time, or even content. I have to write before I "reward" myself with doing other stuff.

Jewelry has even been put off these days. Mainly because I don't have a good enough space to work on it. I can go back to my little T.V. tray, but at night, the lighting is not very good in the living room. So, until I get decent lamps, it's on hold. Which is all right. Writing is what I want to be doing, now that I have my computer desk. I have everything (well, almost everything) I used to have around me. My map is up on the wall, I have my index cards and index card files, I have my binders with all my notes... whoa, wait... Just realized my main binder is missing.


I'll have to find that later.

For the most part, I have everything I need. So whether it be a blog post or flash fiction, or even some revisions, I've got to write something before I can have fun. Sounds reasonable, right? And if I was truly worried about getting into a game or something, this post would look like this:

"I'm rewarding myself for writing ANYthing so I can play Guild Wars 2. See ya."

Ha! But not only would that be cheating, I'd be cheating you out of the time you are taking to read this as well as cheating myself of some good quality writing time.

Did I mention it is also nice and quiet at my house? That's another reason for writing something. Love my granddaughter to bits, but she's hitting that age where she's learned the power of the screech. So I'll take what quiet time I can. Never realized before just how important that was to me.

The things you learn, right?

Hope you have had a good week so far and continue to have a good rest of the week.

What are some of the silly things you do to get yourself to write? Do you need noise or quiet? Music or silence?

Monday, January 26, 2015

Flash Fiction...

The long irons thundered around them and fire crackled like lightning. The screams of dying men filled the air like background music of some macabre symphony. Men fought in the water, between the two behemoth ships, unaware of the collision course. Just as two men swung into the air, cutlasses drawn, the bow of both ships connected with a resounding crack of wood that rose above the noise of the fight. More men lost their balance with the collision and were tossed mercilessly into the drink to fight for their lives as embers drifted down like fiery snow. The Captains, locked in combat on one ship, lurched at impact, but did not lose their footing.
"Now you owe me a ship, as well," Alyxsander snarled at his one time friend and crewmate.
"Me? It was your ship that ran into mine!" Rastuff growled back, incredulous.
"If you hadn't taken my gold, started a mutiny and tried to run off with my sister, we wouldn't even be here in the first place!"
The two men grappled, then pushed off of the other. Alyxsander parried a blow, then quick like a striking snake, pierced Rastuff's chest with a lunge.
Rastuff looked down at the blood that bloomed from his chest, soaking his shirt. His fingers loosened and his blade rang out one final time as it struck the deck. He crumpled to his knees, his eyes fixed on Alyxsander's face.
"She loved me," he whispered. "She came to me. I did not pursue her because you were my friend."
Alyxsander turned as pale as his former friend, eyes wide, as the man toppled to his side, dead..

~Artwork titled "Hellstorm" by Anastasia Bulgakova

Friday, January 16, 2015

Using Twitter To Your Advantage...

Even though I've been "radio-silent", I'm still reading stuff out there that is writing related. The one thing I keep seeing is using Twitter. Lots of people want to use it to help promote their writing and they should! I've blogged about this before, but I offered up a lot of info and might have overwhelmed people. I'm going to attempt to break it down even further. But this post might run long, so bear with me.

Just to be clear, Twitter isn't about who you are following, or about who is following you. That is important, because people following you will see all your Tweets. But those who are NOT following, can see them as well. How? Well, read on!

The very first thing you have to do is compose your Tweet.

Composing: You are only allowed a maximum of 140 characters. Not words. Characters. This is each letter, space and punctuation! If you are just starting to use Twitter, you're probably thinking, "How the hell can I communicate about my book with so few characters????".

The answer is: Creativity!! Trust me. It'll be fine. "But I don't want to sound like a caveman, either.". 

Well, you won't.

Here's my Tweet Trick: I write out what I want. Then I figure out a way to shorten it and then figure out which words should have a Hashtag. Then I add my book link. So, for example, I wrote out this Tweet:

Readers and Fantasy fans are like Cheetos and Mt. Dew while playing Dungeons and Dragons. You don't ever want to be without them.

Okay, now first of all, that is close to 140 characters. Left me with 11 characters to spare. Seriously, it will get irritating, but it will also get easier. But at the end of that Tweet, is my book link. Which was too long and made Twitter spaz out. So, I played around with the Hashtags to see if I could shorten it somehow.

First of all, you can search just about any Hashtag. Up in the upper right corner of Twitter, you'll see a SEARCH box. Your Tweet you are composing, it won't go anywhere, so go ahead, type in a search for a Hashtag word and then click on HOME to get back to what you were doing. I typed in #Dungeons and Dragons and discovered it was there, but without spaces. So it ended up looking like this:


Which got rid of two characters and shortened my post by two. Now I have 13 to spare! Woohoo! But I still had to add in my book link. Well, I shortened that, too. How? Go to You can shorten just about any link there to work with Twitter.

Now, after you have composed your Tweet, checked for Hashtags, shortened your book link and Twitter says, "Okay! You can Tweet this, now!", your Tweet should look like this:

#Readers and #Fantasy fans are like Cheetos and Mt. Dew while playing #DungeonsandDragons, you don't ever want to be without them.

Hashtags: Hashtags (These little guys: #) are very useful when you are about to use Twitter. Just about everything you can think of has a # (hashtag). Hashtags allow you to reach a LOT of people . Especially Trending hashtags, but I'll get to those in a second. Like I said before, searching for a hashtag is easy. Type it in the search box and see what happens. If you don't see a lot of other Tweets with your hashtag of choice, don't use it. You want ones that seem to have a lot of posts. People use these hashtags in different context, but that doesn't mean they won't see it. And these people don't have to follow you, or you them, to see it. Anyone else searching for that specific hashtag can see your post.

In my Tweet, I've got three. So I've reached "Readers", "Fantasy" and "DungeonsandDragons" people. What's even cooler? I've had people I don't follow, or who don't follow me, "favorite" my Tweet (which is similar to "Liking" on Facebook) and I got the notification. If they like your Tweet, they can "ReTweet" what you've Tweeted. Which reaches people who follow them. So by adding in hashtags, you're reaching thousands more than just your followers.

Trending Hashtags: Now, Trending Hashtags are even more awesome than just a regular hashtag. To the left of your scrolling main screen of Twitter, you have "Trends". Most of these will have a hashtag, some will not. But if you are clever, and you are, because you are a writer, you can work these into your Tweets.

Right at this moment, I have a trend of "#FiveWordsToRuinADate". If I really wanted to, I could Tweet something like this:

"I'm fluent in Tolkien's Elvish might be #FiveWordsToRuinADate, but let your geek show anyway! #Read #fantasy! (booklink)"

And I did. Ha!

This is the basics of Tweeting on Twitter. If you don't want to go through all that hassle all of the time, I do recommend making a list of your best posts and keeping them handy in a Word document. Something you can just open up and copy and paste from. The Trending Hashtags will always change, so you'll have to keep making up new ones, but that shouldn't be too much of a problem. You don't have to use the trending ones, but I highly suggest it, to reach more people.
So, now you know how to compose the Tweet, shorten the links, add hashtags and all that good fun stuff. Go forth and Tweet! Let me know how it works out for you. Also, let me know if this has helped you at all. I'd appreciate your feedback in the comments.

Got any advice? Any Tweet Tips? Leave a comment!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

I'm Still Here...

 Hello all my lovely fellow authors and readers and followers! I know, I've been stuck in limbo yet again, trying to get back into the old routine.

Much more difficult than I anticipated, especially with work. It's an issue, but I'm working on correcting things. Scheduling will become my friend again.

At the moment, I haven't really been writing much, or revising. I do have an editor lined up for book two and I'm excited, but I'm dealing with the whole, "Am I really good enough to be doing this?"

I'm confessing, here. I've read some pretty bad reviews of my book and I thought I had a thicker skin, but they affected me. Granted, the one review I saw that was pretty bad, the person put a link to THEIR book at the end of it all. So, I sort of blew that one off. That just made me upset, and I don't want to take their comments seriously.

But I have to stop writing for other people. This is my story and yes, "Adversarius" was my first book. It's a rewrite of something else that came out much better than the first one. So I do keep improving. And I am aware of my improvements. This current story, with "Adversarius", is my introduction into my world. It's my way of bringing people in and showing them what my characters are up against.

Yes, the plot is not the best. Yes, I have a LOT of characters to deal with. (Which I am learning to manage better.) Yes, I use typical Fantasy elements and names. I know a lot of people don't like the "hard to pronounce" names or using an apostrophe in the middle of a word to make it look like "Fantasy". Honestly, this is stuff I enjoyed reading. I'm a tabletop gamer girl gone cyber gamer. I grew up on typical fantasy and hard to pronounce names.

Yeah, I'm defending my work. I really shouldn't be, but I suppose this is a way for me to come clean with myself, and you, about why I'm slacking again. The wind is passing right through the tears of my sails. I also swear I have adult ADD. I try to finish all of my projects. Writing is one thing I just can't seem to stop doing. So even though I have been silent on the internet for awhile, it doesn't mean I've halted everything. Trying to juggle lots of projects with work and family. Something tends to give, in that respect. Sadly, it's been my writing. 

I am going to get back to it. In fact, I've signed up for a 5 week online writing course. I want to better myself as a writer. I know I will still get bad reviews, but I need to create a thicker skin, to let those reviews roll off my back. I enjoy writing, tremendously, and it is something I will fight to continue.

Thanks to all of you who stick around and still read my blog. I need to get on here more, because that does help me get into a routine and work on my writing skills. Feel free to give me a kick in the backside!