Archive for June, 2011

A Sad Trip

This weekend I’m visiting Jonathan Eli who lost his wife (and my best friend) last month. I’m here with my best friend’s sister and mother, who are also like family to me. This is the first time I’ve set foot in this house since she’s been gone (it’s almost 500 miles away from my home), and as soon as I walked in, it didn’t feel right. Her absence hit me like a ton of bricks. There were some neighbors here at that time, so I had to go outside and cry. I refused to cry in front of strangers, but I was about to lose it, so I went outside with the dogs. I came back in after the neighbors left, and we all had a moment. This has been a hard trip. We had to go through a lot of her things, especially her jewelry and her craft items. Today, we went to church with Jon, and that was hard, too. I go to that church every year when my husband and I come up here for our annual visit, so it was very hard to be there without her. I’ve had a few moments this weekend where I couldn’t hold back the tears, but nothing as bad as when I first stepped into the house. We’re leaving in the morning, and I have mixed feelings about that. I’ll miss Jon, of course, but I’ll also be a little bit relieved to leave the house that feels so wrong without my friend. We’ve had a good visit, in spite of the circumstances, and we have been able to have a few laughs while we were here.

I just want to say that if any of you reading this has a friend that means the world to you, please don’t take her/him for granted. Spend as much time as possible with your friend, and talk often. Savor every moment and realize how precious it is. I’m glad I’m able to say that I did, and I don’t regret anything except the fact that she lived so far away. But we loved AOL Instant Messenger. 😉


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I think it’s so neat that on the last check in of round two, I get to make the announcement that I finally published the novella I was working on in round two. Dark Relic: Vampires’ Curse is for sale at both Smashwords and Amazon. (Haven’t formatted for B & N yet.) This is the first in a three novella series and I plan on working on the second one in round three. I hope to see everyone back for the next round!

Btw, a funny thing I did…I made a mistake and uploaded the Smashwords version instead of the Amazon version to Amazon. I was in a panic, but the folks at Amazon put my book back in edit mode so I could upload the correct version. But, in the meantime, the other version got published, so the title page says Smashwords. LOL. Apparently, Amazon is getting quicker at publishing our books. Usually, it takes a few days for the description to come up, even after it’s buyable. This time Amazon had everything done in less than 24 hours.

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I finally got the major edits done on Dark Relic: Vampires’ Curse. Yay! Now I’m sending it off for more proofreading, and after that, I’ll give it another glance. Then I’m going to release it. I’m not going to worry and fret about it. One of the things I’m going to make sure of is that in the description it will be clear that it’s a novella. I’ve had complaints about some of my novellas being too short. I guess the reader thought they were buying a novel. I can’t believe people complain about something being short when it’s only 99 cents! Grrrr. This is going to be the first in a three part series, so it stands alone in that the major conflict is settled. But it does leave things hanging just a little at the end so that the two main characters can continue their relationship, which has it’s own conflicts.

Here’s a dilemma I have. I’ve toyed with releasing this novella at 1.99 instead of .99. All of my backlist is .99. I think all of those stories have hit their peak, so I think I’m going to leave the prices as they are. But I was thinking about releasing the first in this series at 1.99, then when I release the second one at 1.99, lowering this one to .99. Any thoughts?

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Frannie Freeman’s Margarita Method of Interviewing – Victim: NL Gervasio

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Yes, I’m a day late again. I seem to be late every Wednesday lately. LOL.

I got another chapter edited on Dark Relic: Vampires’ Curse. But I’m way behind on my projected release date. I’m glad I didn’t make an announcement. Some of my other author friends have taught me not to do that. :0)

I’m about ready to submit The Last Cabbandeum to CreateSpace for Jonathan Eli. I’m waiting on Jonathan to tell me for sure what he wants on the back cover so Anya Kelleye can get that done. I have a little tweaking to do on the inside, but that’s a one night job.

I’m a little frustrated with my editing situation, but I was out of town for four days and this week we have VBS. Yes, I’m teaching the little first and second graders. Scary, isn’t it?

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I didn’t get much editing done like I planned, but I did get some done. We were just getting in too late every night and I can’t write when I’m tired and sleepy. The editing I got done was one afternoon when I had free time, and I got a few chapters editing. The good news is that when I was reading over it, I didn’t feel like it needed the major overhaul I was afraid it would. Someone had already told me that, but I wasn’t sure. LOL

I’ve really had a good time in NYC, even though I didn’t get to see the things I wanted to. All the brunches, lunches, and dinners have been great and everyone here has been so gracious. I think there’s a misconception in the south that people in the north are rude and unfriendly. This is not true! (Except maybe when they get behind the wheel, LOL.) I got to see the Queen’s Botanical Garden yesterday, and they are VERY green there. I wish I had time and space to elaborate on that. I was supposed to go to the NY Botancial Garden this morning, but I woke up with a migraine and didn’t make it. 😦 I’m going home this evening, and I’ll really be glad to get back to my hubby whom I’ve missed terribly.

I hope everyone else is doing well!

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When I found out I was going to NYC, I was a little excited and a little apprehensive. After all, I had never been there and didn’t know what to expect. But this is what I found out…NYC is just a city like any other city. Each one has it’s good points and bad points, but a city is just made up of people, and people are everywhere.

This is what made me write this post. Well, let me back up a little and tell you what I think of Hotel 57. I have never encountered friendlier and more helpful staff anywhere. Hotel Monteleone in New Orleans is the only place that has come close. That doesn’t mean that staff in other hotels have been rude or unfriendly. I mean that the employees here go out of their way to be friendly. Everyone from the people at the reception desk to the bellmen to the maintenance people. Anyway, back to why I’m writing this post. We had a brunch that ended around 2:00 and there was nothing we had to do until our dinner here at the hotel at 6:00 tonight. So I’m thinking, wow, I have four hours to walk around and see stuff. I left the hotel and walked down 57th, Park Avenue, and a few other streets. But there was nothing to see, and it was hot and muggy, so I grabbed a couple of canolis and the worst iced tea I’ve had in awhile, and went back to my room. And here I sit, getting ready to do some editing. I wish I had just stayed here and edited instead of wasting time and effort. 😦 Yeah, there are lots of stores here, but we have stores in the town where I live. I can buy stuff at home. LOL

If I was on a vacation where I was just sight seeing, things might be different. I might have time to go farther and see some interesting things. But I could find nothing here in Manhatten (I think that’s where I am, LOL) to see. I’m nowhere near the Empire State Building or the Statue of Liberty or anything like that. And I have no one to hang out with…I hate doing things by myself. I think I’m fairly close to Central Park, but I was scared to go there alone. It takes so long to get anywhere by taxi because there’s so much traffic.

That brings me to another thing. Why do drivers, especially taxi drivers, feel the need to honk their horns CONSTANTLY? That’s all I hear from my hotel room. Last night, when we were in the van going to the party, the driver behind us honked AS SOON AS THE LIGHT TURNED GREEN. Our driver hadn’t even had time to take his foot off the brake. I don’t understand this behavior at all. *shakes head*

Anyway, I’m a little disappointed. If I had a native New Yorker to guide me around town, I think I would have a much better time. Maybe someday I’ll come here on a personal trip instead of a business trip and that will make a difference. I regret that I’m here in NYC and don’t have time (or money for a taxi) to see the really good things that I know are here. 😦

On the bright side, the parties, brunches, and dinners that have been planned for us are awesome! The party was at an individuals house, the brunch was at the Union League Club, and the dinner will be here at the Opia restaurant in the hotel. It’s all been yummy so far. :0)

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I still haven’t done any editing. Not in about a week and a half. Excuses: wedding, preparing for my trip, getting things ready for Vacation Bible School (which starts the day after I get back!). So I figure the best time to work on this is in the quiet of my hotel room.

Which brings me to the next thing…New York City! I’ve stressed about this trip because we are going to have to dress a certain way for certain functions Friday morning and Friday evening, and then we have an all day thing going on Saturday and I’ll be so tired. I also hate to fly, and our flight is 6:30 tomorrow morning. I don’t know WHY the guy I’m going with had to book the flight so early! We won’t even be able to get into our rooms when we get there. The good news is that I’ll have some free time on Friday afternoon. But it looks like it might rain. Bleh. I hate to go to NYC and not see anything there. Any suggestions on what to visit? Is there anything interesting around 57th (that’s where the hotel is)?

I wish my sweet hubby was going with me. 😦

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I know that most of you don’t need me to tell you this. But if there are any newbies out there reading this, you may not realize the backlash that could occur from anything you say on the internet.

Back when I was ignorant of a lot of things pertaining to indie publishing (or any publishing), someone left a bad review on one of my books. This was before I acquired a thick skin about this kind of thing. Some of the things that were said were a little snarky, so it kind of rubbed me the wrong way. One of my friends jumped to my defense and replied to the review, and she said some things that I wish she hadn’t, but that started the ball rolling. Then I put in my two cents worth. I thought I was just being honest and I didn’t really realize at the time that I shouldn’t respond to bad reviews AT ALL. I thought I was pretty calm about the whole thing and the reviewer was pretty nice in her response, but it still was a bad, bad thing for me to do. Reviews are for the readers, not for authors to get defensive and respond to. Not everyone is going to like your book. Anyway, the only reason this is coming up now is because there was a response today on the comments from that review. A year later! And the person who wrote the comment felt like I was out of line, although I didn’t agree with a lot of what she said about my response. And it took all the willpower I possessed not to respond to that comment. But I took the high road and didn’t. This is just one instance of how what you say on the internet stays on the internet. I did have one review that I responded to a little more recently (although not too recently, lol) and it was because I was attacked personally. It wasn’t a true review. My author friends told me I shouldn’t even have responded to that one. I asked Amazon to take that review down and they did immediately.

So please, when you see something said about your book you don’t like, take a deep breath and forget it. I know you want to respond. It will drive you crazy not to. But don’t do it! It looks unprofessional and whiny when you respond to negative remarks. There are some reviewers who write bad reviews because they enjoy it. That’s just going to happen. And some people will simply not like your book and feel like they have to tell everyone. If you can’t handle anything negative said about your book, take Zoe Winters’ advice and don’t read your reviews. Try to stay cool and professional on the internet. Because what you say on the internet stays on the internet!

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I haven’t done any editing for almost a week. With my son’s wedding coming up, I was in a tizzy. LOL. Last night, I was really going to edit, but my power was off, and I don’t like to use the computer in the complete darkness. It hurts my eyes. But this week, I’m going to get back on the editing track. I want this novella published by the middle of June.

As for the wedding…it was beautiful! The preacher who conducted the ceremony was actually the one, along with his wife, who brought the two together in the first place, so he was able to tell a few good stories during the wedding. That made it fun. Then, my son cried during his vows, which made me cry. That was so sweet. Everything was perfect, and the bride was beautiful. I am one happy mom!

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