partlyopenbook: Not me. :) (Default)
I made a new cover for Zandry of Bonewood (and other stories). Also changed the license agreement to reflect the fact that the book now has an actual price. Previous license agreement was for a free ebook.

The reason for the new cover is that Dalliann created that awesome cover for that one story, Zandry of Bonewood. We didn't intend to use it for a book with other short stories included.

It was a long overdue change! The new cover still reflects the tree/weirdness/bone thing from Zandry of Bonewood.

You can see it here.

Chores

Thursday, 22 January 2015 10:39
partlyopenbook: (wolf)
All of my chores are done -- and before 11 AM!

//Smashwords//

The (very minor) epub errors of The Hero and the Holly have been repaired. The new file is already on the site. The only thing that appeared to be wrong with it was a mishap with the NCX ToC... I forgot to make one of the hidden bookmarks carry the prefix "ref_" ... and that hurt the little NCX's brain. So I fixed that, and added in my own ToC.

Also mentioned in my Smashwords profile that I'm available for these services: story editing, Smashwords manuscript prep, book cover design, and private story commissions.


//Learning//

The other day, I was browsing ebooks, as I do, and I came across one called BOUND, by Kate Sparks. I haven't read it or anything (it's on my Wish List), but one of the things that struck me was its synopsis.

If you want to learn how to write a really good book synopsis, study this one. It has a good beginning hook. It's concise. It hones in on the important parts of the novel and makes them seem even more important.

It's one of the best synopses I've read. I'm studying it. Everyone should.

Well. On that note...

I'm off to start editing my newly finished story! If you hear a continuous and rhythmic THUMPTHUMP... that's just me banging my head against the desk... I'll have to keep track of the number of preposition errors I fix. If there's a typo, it's usually a preposition. My other common error is an improper verb ending!
partlyopenbook: Not me. :) (Default)
I don't know about anyone else (no, really, I don't), but I'll be happy to see the last minutes of this year.

Granted, I realize that every moment contains its own RESET button. But 2014 wasn't very good to me, and at times it was hard to remember the RESET button existed.

There were a few good things about 2014. I released three "books" on Smashwords: The Information Man... Zandry of Bonewood... and my newest one, The Hero and the Holly.

I met some interesting people. Of course, now none of that really matters, since I moved back to The North Hole and left those interesting people behind. Which didn't seem to bother those people that much. C'est la vie!

I got a new (used) car. That in itself has been a mixed blessing. I love, love, love driving my car... but I hate that I've had to put $1400 into it since I bought it. In May. I hope it doesn't cost me nearly that much in repairs and maintenance in 2015.

I got away from some very bad people that were in my life. And it hurts to think that they're thinking the same about me....

Despite having only a couple of stories accepted and published by the professional writing world in 2014, I am still writing. During the upcoming year, my focus will stay on what I can accomplish. The last two years, I honed in on challenging myself as a writer. Whereas my inability to have erotica published might have seemed like a failure, to me it isn't quite so. I did write a lot of erotic tales, and I had a very good time doing it, too! That isn't a failure. Am I going to try again to have an erotic tale published? Probably not... I'm not closed-off to the idea altogether. Simply, there are other avenues to explore.

I have a few things that I want to finish up in 2015... like The Pickled Pirate.... and After Dan & Steve Saved the World. After that, my intention is to clean up my novel manuscripts and send them out to publishers using Ye Old Query Letter and Submission process. This upcoming year will be about that, and if I work on anything at all, I mean for it to be this sweeping, gargantuan epic that I've wanted to work on for years... Or (sigh) perhaps a couple of sequels. I have three ideas for sequels to stories I've already finished. At the very least, I could block them out, chapter by chapter, which is handy to have if a publisher is interested in Book The First, so I hear.

Largely, however, I've found that blocking books out doesn't work very well for me... I tend to get a bit tangential when I write. Or another idea hits me that makes the book more exciting for me to write! And that, that I like better than trying to stick to a pattern. Patterns tend to dull the senses after a while. Good some of the time, but not, for goodness sake, all of the time!

So, in 2015, I intend to finish my outstanding projects... The Pickled Pirate will probably be out sometime in February... depending on the amount of editing the volume requires. The titular tale isn't finished yet. The accompanying four short stories are in splendid shape and form, as far as I can tell, and the editing there will be minor, if it exists at all. But the release date depends on how quickly I can actualize the book itself, seeing as how I plan to release it using a different site. There will be new formatting rules to grasp. Always an adventure!

I plan to read more in 2015 than I did this year. Of course, this year was dangerous with dips into devilry, beleaguered by bandits and beasts of the metaphorical and allegorical sort—and I didn't have much time for reading. Since returning to The North Hole, I've felt relaxed enough to sink into books... now, of course, that all of my books were left behind me. Thank goodness for digital libraries and electronic reading devices (and my brother's personal library)...

In the upcoming days, I intend to start charging the minuscule fee of ¢0.99 for my books, except The Hero and the Holly. This includes all others, though: The Information Man, The Carols of Holly House, and Zandry of Bonewood (which is already listed for a price). I would like to try and make some money (please reread Paragraph 5), and, of course, free samples of those works will be available to read prior to purchasing. A lot of people don't want to pay for art, I know. If you don't want to pay for my books, there are plenty of other good stories that you can find for free, either on Smashwords, Project Gutenberg, Fiction Press, Archive of Our Own, or your local library... But a nice book, for less than a dollar? If I found a book at the thrift store that I really wanted, it would be ninety-nine cents there, too. Comparatively, my books are bargains, even if they're not very long. Please consider buying books for authors you like, whether it's me or Meg Cabot or Chris Colfer!

The upcoming year is far from mapped out. (See my sidebar on blocking books.) There are things I want to do, sure... Mostly, I just want to have a good time, have some fun, earn a bit of money from my stories, from hard work in the less fictionalized world (Real Life), and maintain an interest in my art without falling into crevices of heartache. Basically, I want to stick to my oldest of old new year's resolutions: Be happy, and try not to die.

Happy 2015 to everyone!

partlyopenbook: (hullo)
I had a lovely, busy weekend attending a retreat, and met new people, had wonderful insights into religion and the human condition.

I used to keep a paper journal, in which I wrote quotidian events. However, I've encountered a lot of problems writing in it lately. It seems to trigger PTSD stuff, and I'm not sure why... Instead of writing the mundane, now I keep it strictly for religion and writing. Using these subjects for journaling seems to be going well. I'm able to write without bursting into tears! So—success!

I've been studying religion intensely the last few weeks, which might be related to the events of the past year (or past two-plus years), or some other unknown, undiscovered reason. It's nice to have a place to pen my thoughts and—dare I say—insights into my labyrinthine religious paths, both Druidry and a more conventional monotheism. Druidry "allows" you to have another religion. Not sure if other religions allow you to have Druidry.

At the retreat, we studied and practiced silence. This is definitely a theme I'd like to explore in my writing, and I hope to do it in the more theological and Christian (Lutheran) story I started last month. It's intended to be a novel, and I hope I can finish it... I hope I can finish all the little projects I've started! But I found Silence an inspiring attribute, and it made me want to work on the story again.

Though I haven't gone back to it yet, I have been working (slowly) on the short story which will complete the upcoming collection of short stories, a collection titled The Pickled Pirate. From circumstances that I won't get into, I wound up writing a plethora of pirate parables (okay, not parables, but points for alliteration, right?) during the summer. Since none was used for the project, I'm going to release them myself. There are four, and they are...

1) Arthur Nobody
2) Out of the Blue
3) Captain Storm's Revenge
4) Seth

All I need is this last story...

Interestingly, this titular tale (ah-haaa!), "The Pickled Pirate," uses Rex Malin! He's The Information Man, the hero of, uh, The Information Man. Malin is in the plot's background, but I expect that he'll show up for dialogue eventually. So, if you haven't read The Information Man yet, you might want to. Like my other titles (currently), it's free. The Pickled Pirate takes place in Toronto (hi, Canada, ILU!) in 1929, more than a year after The Information Man.

I still have a long way to go before The Pickled Pirate is finished. Cheer me on, if you'd like, with tweets or emails or comments! I could always use the extra support, and it's nice to know that people appreciate what you're writing.

Also, since I'm in the mood to sell my work, I've posted an opening chapter of a novel I started but am not going to finish—posted at the community I run, [community profile] erotic_bubbles . It's a members-only community, so to read it you'll have to have a dreamwidth account. It's free, too (like my three books). I had great plans for my DW Community, but, like most things this year, it's had to be put on hold.

As we come towards Samhain, the end of the Wheel of the Year, I grow more and more confident that things will begin to turn around for me. I'm really looking forward to celebrating Samhain, even if, as usual, I have to do some quiet rituals on my own! But it will mean quite a lot to me, more than it has in the past, as I have spirits to acknowledge and the beginning of a new life cycle to celebrate. It's time my life went forward. I hope your futures are bright, too.

FREE BOOKS!!! :D

partlyopenbook: (stache)
Finally got around to updating and editing the main site. And fixed a typo. Trust me, when you're a writer who prides herself on editing skills, a typo on your web site is embarrassment times twenty... But I can't remember when I last updated, though it was likely this past summer, when R + M = LOVE was released on Hyacinth Noir. I doubt I had my editing and writing cap on very securely through a summer that would've made Carroll's Mad Hatter worry. Considering what's happened the last couple of years, I'm surprised I've managed to accomplish one impossible thing before breakfast! Forget six!

Hyacinth Noir is having a photography contest, called The Samhain Wild Hunt! I can't wait to see the photos sent in! I won't be participating, alas. I may have the opportunity to offer my own Halloween/Samhain gift, however, so be on the lookout!

By the way, stories still FREE.

Which leads me to mention why I decided not to remove Zandry of Bonewood, after all... I moved its Category—again! I think that'll make me feel better, and I think it's less erotic than other erotic tales out there... but it's sexy enough that Adult Content is still required! I remain bewildered as to what makes a novel fall under the category of "erotic". Is it personal opinion? For me, I tend to think of erotic stories as anything that contains more than 50% SSS — Significant Sexual Substance! But I guess the Personal Opinion part is what matters.

I'm planning to release another set of short stories in the upcoming future. It'd like its title to be "The Pickled Head and Other Tales" ... but we'll see. This new compilation might be released somewhere NOT Smashwords, and probably under another name, although I'll talk about it plenty on this site... So, under another name, but still me. If released elsewhere, it'll have to be purchased rather than downloaded for free. I have the cover art planned, just haven't started creating it yet. And I'd like to write a fifth story to add to the four already finished. I wish we had 36-hour days. Who's with me?

If I start feeling a little better today (do I have a sinus infection or what? IDK), perhaps I can sit and write for a few hours! It'd be lovely to get a story written, what would be my first completed anything since early August! Wish me luck! 

Free

Thursday, 23 October 2014 12:15
partlyopenbook: Not me. :) (Default)
Leaves fall... frost settles in during the dark mornings... nature is calming down... everything is rather tranquil, and, as always, everything is beautiful.

I still have no regular employment. And I can't make anyone give me a job, no more than I can make anyone pay for something I wrote. Unfortunately...

I've made all my books free at Smashwords. As in, you can get them for zero cents, zero dollars — money is not required to purchase them!

It'd be nice if my writing was worth more than free, but I'd rather have people download the stories and actually read them rather than get paid for a full-download. At present, having just moved into a place after a good fortnight of literal homelessness, I'm hardly in the mindset to market myself, and making my stories free is the only way I can really sell my art right now.

If you like what you read of mine, tell your friends... tell through social media, leave scrap pieces of paper with my name on them in random places (public restrooms, parks, subways, buses, your favorite indie bookseller's). Word of mouth is still the fastest and best way to let others know about good writing for our LGBT community.

Thanks, and have a nice day!

Free books!
BTW: If the prices aren't listed as FREE! yet, Smashwords is still working on it. Check again later! Don't give up!

Autumn.

Friday, 10 October 2014 17:25
partlyopenbook: (bird)
Long time, no post... Things are better. Going to collect some wayward short stories into another collection. Release date TBD. As soon as I figure out if I can write the fifth and final addition to the collection...

In the meantime, enjoying what I can of the outdoors.

partlyopenbook: (stache)
I added another whole story to Zandry of Bonewood! (Ahh, the joys of self-publishing...)

So now it's five stories, ninety-nine cents! That's a yard-sale, Goodwill bargain price, so go and get it!

Plus, if I ever make any money, I still plan to donate to no-kill animal organizations.

For anyone who's already purchased it, as far as I understand, you can download the new version without paying again.

New story, new book!


Zandry of Bonewood and Other Stories
Four FIVE short fantasy romances
¢0.99 at Smashwords.
partlyopenbook: a raccoon looks like it's clapping (yay)

Zandry of Bonewood and Other Stories
Five short fantasy romances
¢0.99 at Smashwords.
25% Free Sample

edited 9/13/14 to most up-to-date book info
partlyopenbook: Not me. :) (Default)


Potential cover art for new ebook release. Cover art background by Dalliann. Text by me.

Looks like Zandry of Bonewood & Other Stories will be about 33,000 words long. It contains four "short" fantasy stories:

Last Time in Summervale
Zandry of Bonewood
The Ribboned Arrow
Colin, Who is Not Quite Dead

Finished formatting the document tonight. Just have to read through the stories for typos and errors!

More soon!

#57

Wednesday, 11 June 2014 14:15
partlyopenbook: (hullo)
Another fine day of work, work, work!

It doesn't look like I'll be releasing The Information Man today. I came across an easy continuity issue, and while I think it's resolved I want to read through the whole thing again.

The artwork and summaries are ready to go! Here's the Short Summary:

It's a normal day for information broker Rex Malin when he's asked to deal with a murder victim, and the missing fiancée of a leading Toronto citizen. But as the hours pass, the stranger and more nebulous these things become. With the help of us his friends, Rex tries to unravel the mystery. It's his memories of the Great War that connect best the eerie present circumstances: the murder, the missing fiancée, and the spectral wolves invading the city.


#55

Tuesday, 10 June 2014 19:23
partlyopenbook: pinkie pie pony leaps into frame (happy)
I've been working all day...

This morning, I edited the first fifty pages of a novel that's to be part of a spontaneous query letter. Haven't written the query letter yet, but I will do that tomorrow, as long as I'm able.

Throughout the afternoon and evening, I've been editing The Information Man, and performing the rigorous duty of formatting it for its final upload. I hope to have it released ASAP, partly to coincide with the query letter, and partly because I'm tired of having it hanging over my head! I've finished the majority of the formatting, and since I'm running low on energy, I may save the rest of it for tomorrow.

Still, the final countdown has begun! 

Not as epic a countdown as, say, this, but it's epic for me!

ETA 20:08
I finished formatting The Information Man for its release! Now I have to check the cover to make sure it's the proper size. Should be able to release it soon! All I can hope is that it's relatively typo-free...

Oh mon dieu, how the house does smell of roasted garlic tonight. In theory, that seems quite pleasant. In practice, it's hard on the nostrils after a while.

#49

Thursday, 22 May 2014 14:31
partlyopenbook: a raccoon looks like it's clapping (yay)
After buying some new athletic shoes (finally!), I went for another walk in the park today. I know for certain that there is indeed a Kentucky Warbler wandering around. According to a few of the sites I've looked at, it isn't unlikely that they'd be here, but it's rare. I'm hoping to contribute to the e-bird database my sightings of Kentucky Warblers in the area! 

Yesterday, I saw a female wild turkey … keeping my distance … and for those of you who've never had the fortune to see a wild turkey, they're much larger than you might think! 

Also yesterday, I saw many Yellow Warblers flitting round! They're pretty, sprightly birds… putting me in mind of butterflies, the way Restarts do… and completely unable to stand still! I have a feeling that Yellow Warblers are a bit more curious about people than most warblers, more along the lines of Chickadees. 

Of The Information Man, I can gladly report that I've done editing work on the first chapter! The character of Mr. Weatherstaff is now, I think, keeping more in line with the rest of the story. He seemed a bit off in the opening chapter, nothing that a little editing couldn't save. It's always interesting going back and working a bit on a piece that you haven't written in for quite a long time. Sometimes you still know the characters really well, and sometimes it takes a time or two to get the edits right. Or you're then required to edit your edits. 

I edit my edits, and then edit my edits again. Storytelling is two-thirds editing. I've said it before (and I'll probably say it again because I'm dull — and it's so true it hurts).  

This morning, I reached the rather sad conclusion that I have not finished writing a novel-length piece since my grandmother's death, and that was in 2012. I've finished a couple of novellas and short stories, and I did work on Dan and Steve for a really long time. Although I've somewhat given up on After Dan and Steve Saved the World. Not forever, just until I get my situation cleared up, and until I can find a way to get that missing notebook (with very valuable story information in it) back from the room in which I'd left it. That's what happens when you leave your living quarters in a hurry. But, in the meantime, I have plenty to work on. I haven't been getting a whole lot of writing done, as I seem to be having trouble with my health (for one thing), my keyboards (when is Apple going to put out a decent keyboard, when, WHEN??), and the location of my computer. Things have been better lately, and I hope to find some good routines that will enable me to spend a decent amount of time on writing work. 

Getting closer to releasing The Information Man. Just another edit, and perhaps one more after that on the Kindle so I know it looks all right, then the formatting … then the release. So, how many steps is that? Three, four? I'll try to keep this ole blog updated as a kind of countdown to the story's release… in case anyone is anticipating it or has just stumbled upon this journal and is curious. 

Latest Book Purchases
This Side of Paradise (F. Scott Fitzgerald) - My second copy. Other copy still at former residence. My favorite Fitzgerald.
Redwall (Brian Jacques) - Decided to pick it up, since I've read two of the prequels (Mossflower; Martin the Warrior).
Field Guide to the Birds of North America (National Geographic Society) - For obvious reasons. Have actually never had a North American field guide to birds before, only for certain regions.
The Thirty-Nine Steps/Greenmantle (John Buchan) - This is a very nice hardbound edition which features two of John Buchan's most famous works. I left a lot of unread John Buchan back at home. There's yet more unread John Buchan on my Kindle.

Still Reading
The Old Maids' Club (almost done!)
The Portrait of a Lady (stalled again)

partlyopenbook: Not me. :) (Default)

The Information Man Cover


Possible cover for The Information Man.
The black border is just to highlight it against the white background of this entry box.
partlyopenbook: Not me. :) (Default)
Given the busyness of the next two months, I expect that my next novella, The Information Man, will be released Tuesday, 22 April 2014.

Well! That's the date I'm aiming for!

Good decision?
Sure. Good decision.
 

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