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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Every Day That I Work for Myself, I Am Rich

I wrote about this before. One post I found is here http://livingthedreampublishing.blogspot.com/2012/09/i-am-so-blessed.html although I thought I had been much more poetic than that. Maybe there is another post where I was (ha!).

But early this morning I read Barbara Conelli's "Today, I'm Rich" here: http://barbaraconelliblog.com/2012/11/27/travel-writers-diary-today-im-rich/ and she wrote it all so beautifully, said everything I wished I had said, and I so want you all to embrace this happy freedom, that I have to share her words.

Oh, here is another one of mine to check out at http://livingthedreampublishing.blogspot.com/2012/02/like-you-are-on-vacation.html. Still not as perfect and as succinct and as rhythmic as Barbara's, though.

Not that we all have to be freelancers and authors, like Barbara and me. But we all should be ecstatic about the work we do, day after day, hour by hour, second to second.

If you are already there, you are truly blessed, wealthy and happy.

I wish that for everyone.

Can you imagine our world if every single person on the planet was enthused about their work? Think how that would spill over into their home life, their dealings with strangers, their outlook on life in general, their hopes, their dreams, their goals.

I look forward to seeing that world in my lifetime.

Denise Barker, author + blogger + copy editor

Sunday, November 25, 2012

GCB Quotes from Episode Ten (the Final), "Revelation"

Months later, I am still forlorn that the powers-that-be failed to see what I saw in this series. However, I pulled up my big girl panties and faced compiling quotes from this last and final episode of my beloved GCB. I was really enjoying the interplay between Mason and Cricket and now there is no more.

~ ~ ~
Mason Massey: I know you enjoyed our little kiss last week . . . you enjoyed that kiss way more than a happily married woman should ever enjoy a kiss with a man she barely  knows.
Cricket: So inappropriate.
Mason: So I was thinking we could take an early lunch that could easily turn into a late one.
Cricket: Not interested.
Mason: Really? Because it’s clear from your body language that you’re hungry.

Blake: It’s okay, Crick. We both have our outside interests.
Cricket: No. Uh-uh. Mason is not okay. Mason cannot be an outside interest. He’s different.

Amanda to Pastor Tudor (who just committed himself to fly to Juarez with Carlene, Cricket, Sharon and Heather): You don’t want to chow down on a big plate of crazy by yourself?

Zach (to Sharon): Trust me. I’m a car salesman (and he’s smiling too while he says this!).

Cricket: Zach! Off [the phone]! You can play Master of the Universe when we land.

Carlene: …our security detail. Now I know what you’re thinking. The Lord always protects us but a couple of big guys with guns helps make His job easier.

Gigi [to Amanda]: Don’t argue with me. I have pesos and I’m packing.
Pastor Tudor: I’ll go with you. Juarez can be dangerous.
Gigi [to Pastor]: That’s sweet, but she’s got her mama.

Amanda [to Gigi]: I’ve got a plan. I’m gonna ring the doorbell and rip him a new one. Luke lied to me. I’ve had it with men lying to me. Oh, I never got to confront my dead husband about his lies so this will feel extra good.

Sharon [ to Zach]: I want to be a Mistress to the Universe. Just like Cricket.

Blake: Not now [when Cricket kisses him in public]. 
Cricket: Uh-uh. I almost just died in the desert. From now on, EVERYTHING IS NOW.

~ ~ ~

Bye to all you wonderful actors who made this novel come alive. Gonna so miss every single one of you.

Denise Barker, author + blogger + copy editor

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Two Collections for the Indie Author Uploaded

You will be happy to know that I am using my non-NaNo time for better purposes than to watch mindless TV and eat bonbons. Which, maybe in a couple months or so, I can actually partake of. We'll see...

I uploaded two collections just now to Amazon. One three-book and one four-book, containing my nonfiction titles with the Indie author in mind.

Granted, I wasn't keeping a strict accounting of my time involved, but here's a pretty good breakdown for my future use, which may be of import to some of you as well:

1. ONE HOUR - Looked everywhere for my missing Word document for one of the ebooks that served as part of both collections. This would fall under that Miscellaneous category for things we do not expect to happen, much less have to deal with. Grrr.

2. ONE HOUR - Retyping document into Word from my Kindle ebook. Notice it took just as long to recreate the doc as it did trying to find the doc. Sigh.

3. TWO HOURS - Combining the four ebooks into one and needing one master Table of Contents, but two of the four had their own internal TOC. So I had to newly designate an endless array of titles to NOT be included in the overview TOC. And for some reason after copying the individual docs into one, I had weird character fonts show up by paragraphs. Anyway, fixed that too. Also, I spell-checked the document afterward out of an abundance of caution.

4. TWO HOURS - Uploading and previewing, with an emphasis on the previewing part, followed by adjusting my Word doc each time in hopes to solve the glitches I saw on Preview.

And just to clarify, all four of these nonfiction titles I had written last year and uploaded as singles. Since I am not qualified to do these beautiful 3-D covers for the intended collections, my artist, Ron Perovich, worked his magic and provided me with them earlier this month. So that took care of the creation part and the cover art part.

5. HALF HOUR - Now, remember, I had two collections in mind. So once the four-book one was successfully loaded, it took only an additional half hour to tweak it into the three-book collection I also wanted.

Wow! That entails the top two items on my short list of five. The remaining three are my WIPs with WCs less than 7K. I need to read them and assess their viability for a short story, a novella or a novel. I'm so jazzed I might even get to one of those tomorrow.

Doesn't it just feel great when something you've been dreading and procrastinating about turns out to be a job done in less than seven hours?

I maintain it was because one of our homework assignments in my creativity class was to make a list of our five topmost things we would like to get to by year-end (or whatever date we wishedDecember 1 for me).

Physically writing the list must have alerted my subconscious and, believe me, I had already worked almost six hours on a freelance copyediting job earlier today. So I no plans whatsoever to start (much less finish) these two personal projects into the evening hours of November 17, yet looky here! I beat my optimistic deadline by like almost two weeks.

A-mazing! Carry on, all.

Denise Barker, author + blogger + copy editor

Friday, November 16, 2012

NaNo Update

I really hate to abandon NaNoWriMo 2012, but I have chosen to. In my perfect future, my NaNos are not cut short and I get to attend at least one of my local Nights of Writing Furiously. Or the original Night of Writing Dangerously. Sigh.

Sometimes decisions entail choosing between something bad and something good. Boy, are those ever easy to pick. And then they work up to harder selections, like mine. Both for the best. Both within my author purview and both would move me forward.


You knew that was coming, didn't you? Among all the November activities anywaynot to mention freelance jobsI signed up for two online classes and have been enjoying both, mostly lurking. However the creativity class by Mary O'Gara has opened my eyes.

Why do we not see clearly what is right before us?

Anyway, through one of the homework assignments, I discovered I had seventeen WIPs. Eighteen if I count this 2012 NaNo idea. More than double the eight I kept talking about.

So, yes, I have yet another novel idea for NaNo 2012 and I will finish it, after I get some other projects finalized.

As an Indie author, with no extra time or money, I wear all the hats. So the creating part, the new novels, is just one step in a multistep process, which entails:
  1. CREATING. Enough said.
  2. EDITING. Checking for plot holes and irrational stuff that screams, What were you thinking?
  3. COPYEDITING. Grammar and whatever else cleaned up.
  4. ADDING. Front matter, such as your blurb/description and your copyright info page for each of the online venues you choose to use. I have my offerings on Amazon, B&N, Kobo and Smashwords; therefore, I make four separate title pages to accommodate each. Back matter, including your links to ALL your other books. (FYI: I previously listed each item grouped by website; now I just have a link to each store that leads to my author name search page.) Add in any free stuff from your own writings, like your prose poem or your inspirational article. Also social media links to Facebook and Twitter and Pinterest, if you like.
  5. CATEGORIZING your current work, the two-to-four genre headings you wish (depending on the online store), along with seven tags, for use when uploading and coordinating with your title, your blurb/description, etc. Think SEO.
  6. BEAUTIFYING with styles applied to your chapter headings and openings and time breaks.
  7. SIMPLIFYING with a Table of Contents and links to each chapter. For your reader's ease in jumping around. Probably better used in nonfiction, unless you've compiled a collection of fiction (like short stories or whatever). I'm now inclined to add one no matter what.
  8. WRAPPING with cover art (adding in your tagline, title and author name via GIMP 2 or whatever software you choose).
  9. UPLOADING. Set aside a good chunk of time for this so you don't get frustrated. Let me amend that. Setting aside ample hours at least lets you not get antsy about the time running out too soon. There are still plenty of other details to ignite your ire.
  10. PREVIEWING. This is where I spend a couple hours at best fixing any visual problems with my upload. Remember, I'm a do-it-yourselfer. For those of you who have someone who formats for you for all the venues, I bow to you. You are The Man.
Rinse and repeat. For each new book. For each online store.

Exhausting, isn't it?

Still, I now have ten steps defined within my Indie-publishing domain. None of that covers dealing with any social media or accounting or researching, whether a topic or cover art, or being sick or having unseen problems to address. Like I cannot find one of my nonfiction books, so will have to type it in from my Kindle edition. Unless I can email it back to me. Hmm. Have to check that out, too.

Stuff like that slows down the process.

The point is: creation is only the first step. Until I get my own assistant (yes, to dream), I must hit each step in the process. I cannot focus merely on creating, creating, creating without getting to all the other levels.

Hence my release of my NaNo participation this year.

It hurts. But I have additional clarity now. While I've already drafted a (very rough) 2013 production schedule, this new overview will help in nailing down the details, the dirty work, the stuff that I don't enjoy the thought of doing, yet feel invigorated once I've chosen to dig in.

I hope this helps someone else out there in Indie-publishing land who is busy, who is focused, who is immersed in the reading, writing, learning...yet not "producing" as in new offerings coming with each passing season.

It is a process.

I'm thinking a physical wall calendar with huge squares to write in to cover yearly/monthly/weekly goals on top of my daily ones will help me.

I'll let you know. Confronting the problem is part of the battle, right?

Best wishes to all you lucky NaNo participants. I'm there with you in spirit.

Denise Barker, author + blogger + copy editor