Thursday, July 25, 2013

Indie Update did it TWO...

Today Smashwords said that my story set had been approved for their Premium status which means that it can be sold on various sites like Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

That was a very nice surprise because I really expected they would find three certain problems and maybe some mistakes I made but they didn't....amazing.

However I did have to fix one little detail. I'm really surprise they didn't say anything about that.

While in the process of learning how to link from one part of the file to another--so the table of contents could be used as a short cut to the different stories--I accidentally linked the whole forward to Yahoo.

Oops, I thought I had undine it but when I downloaded the Epub file as the request people do to double check it, I found the link still operational. Yikes, So tonight I undid it, hopefully for sure. While I was at it I also redid the short blurb.

I thought about redoing the title of the set to make it shorter but I now that I had the cover correct I don't want to try to redo it. But the next sets will have a shorter title.

The book is Here

I want to start working on the next set, the tales of Marriage, but I have a story to finish critting for WotF. I should do that first but maybe this weekend I can do that one. I want to do the others but we have things to do around the house too. And I still don't have a cover for my Fantasy set.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Indie update did it.....

Not my novel but I did upload a story set tonight.

Flying Eagle presents    I think it still needs a bit of work but so far it looks like I did most of it right. A cautious Yay

We shall see in the next couple of days.

The cover may need larger text.

These stories are not my best writing even though they should not be bad either.  It was tough going and still could be tough going if I did something wrong but...

If I did it for this set I can do it for my novel when it is all ready.

Now I will get the other four sets ready. Well, three, I still need a cover for one of them.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Indie Update two

I received a response from Lucky Bat books Right Here .

They do both editing and covers. Someone at the WotF forums suggested them. I looked them over sent an E-mail asking for more info. Their editing services aren't too bad in price but I had to send in ten pages which they will check out, then tell me how much the whole book will cost. I want line-editing which looks for typos and bad grammar even though the novel--at least parts of it--could use the book editing service, probably. Right now I think I will go with them but it isn't in stone yet.

Their covers are a bit on the pricy side but some of their artists will draw exactly what you want. They do good covers. And since I'm going to have through anyway to pay for this book, I just as well go with what I want.

I finished the final revision of the novel--kinda late but I forgot that I hadn't done the last two or three chapters. I added over 500 words--maybe way over 600-to the final battle and aftermath, making things a touch more difficult for my MC and clarifying certain sub-scenes. I had my MC going through the same door twice.

I found myself experiencing the same emotions I do when I read a scene like that. Excitement, tension, wondering what will happen next, what type of injuries will she take, things like that. Of course I knew some of that but not all of the specifics. If my feelings are any indication it's a great scene but it's doubtful they are. We shall see.

Speaking of Kickstarter. I need to make a video of me--Ugh and Egads--explaining everything and come up with rewards for different levels. My camera can do that but can I do that?

Oh, that's right. It's Saturday night late evening and I just remembered I wanted to try to E-publish one set of five stories so I can see if I have the covers right. So which means I need to work on that now. If I do it tonight or tomorrow I will add a PS, well even if I fail for one reason or another I might do a PS.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Indie Update One

This may actually by update 8 but as most of you know I called the first seven Vacation Update so since I changed the name I'm starting over at one.


By accident I figured out something on GIMP and by trying a new button I figured out something else. So I had two covers, using nature pics me and my wife took, ready. However I decided the Sci Fi ones should have something that deals with Sci Fi. I decided to take some pics of a planet my wife bought me. (Boy does that thing play havoc with gravity around here--compasses don't work either. {Rolls eyes upward--clears throat} Anyway, after playing around with GIMP I figured out how to get just the globe in a frame with a black background. But after all that work I could get the Text section to work right. The blasted software wouldn't cooperate-it even quit on me twice.  But today I thought about making a copy and see if Text would work on the copy.  It did.  

All that means that I now have a SCi Fi I want, and a second cover for relationship stories. It is a nature shot but that's Okay. Now I need a Fantasy cover. Not sure what. A full forest pic maybe. I have some of those.  Not sure what would be a general Fantasy pic. I have another set of stories but they are quirky Sci Fi so I can use the planet cover again, just need to add QUIRKY in the title.

I don't know if this will work for sure. The only way to see if everything comes across as it is suppose to is to send a set-with cover and correct format to smashwords and see if they take it. Maybe this weekend.

I am at a stand still on the novel cover. I sent a message to three cover sites--I think I mentioned that already. One sent back a note already which is the one that I said has an opening in Oct. I finally received a second response but still none from the third one. I even sent them a second note. Still nothing. They have a note on their web site that says they have a special right now which is good. The second site hasn't responded to my second note about what I wanted on the cover. They also edit novels and I now know how they operate so I'm going to have to follow their instructions to get an estimate of how much they will charge me for that. Hopefully they will send a response back about the cover I want. The first site seems to be wondering if I made a decision yet.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

My reading: "Hounded" (Iron Druid Chronicles series #1) by Kevin Hearne

Hmm, this post might very well go against one thing that Dean Wesley Smith stated in the online workshop I took from him. Never put down another writer. It's alright to express viewpoints but this one might go over the edge there.

I've heard some good things about this series and even seen a couple of the books. I didn't realize this one is from 2011, though. Anyway, I decided to give it a try. 

I'm a bit over half way done and hmmm. I have mixed feelings. 

Not bad but I think the blurb on the cover is way over done. Obviously blurbs are to catch the attention of the reader. But this one I think is more stretching things than usual. By no means is Kevin a heir to Jim Butcher. 

If I had read this to critique a new writer, I would have said it needed some work: needs more of the five senses, the Hero wins too easily, more descriptions. Some of that appears as I read along but the first couple of scenes were lacking.

At the same time Kevin has some very interesting and entertaining scenes--humorous too. The scene where the goddess tries to make a smoothie because she loves them but doesn't know about electricity is an entertaining sequence. The fights are not bad even though as stated some of the earlier ones are too easily won. 

The whole is a good read, with significant good points, and it is a very interesting world even though, on a personal note, his comments on Christianity are bothersome but it's one of those things I wonder if Kevin feels that way or if he thought the character would. They may also deal more with Catholicism than Christianity as a whole. 

And of course this is probably his first book, at least I haven't seen any previous ones listed, so of course that makes a large difference. More than likely I will read the next one so I'll see how he does.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Venting LB part two

I promised a part two from my last post so here it is.
I was wrong, ten minutes isn't enough time to eat even just a snack. But I still have lunch to write and three days a week twenty to thirty minutes before work starts.

I just wanted to say that this bossiness of Liberals goes back quite a way. They think they are right and force everyone else to conform or else. Started with spanking a Waay back when--probably before that but that seems to be the started getting big enough to be noticed. Never mind that at the very least three generations--including the Greatest Generation, was spanked with no over all harm. Never mind that mostly they were behaved and did great things-in various areas of life. Liberals didn't like it and thought it was abuse so everyone had to think that way.

Now we are dealing with guns and Medical help with the same mind set.

I won't go into more details but here in California we got it one of the worse states for that. A lot of people, including middle class have fled. So many laws, regs and taxes in what is called a Nanny state now.  Many times it hurts the people they are suppose to help but they don't care they get something in their mind and it has to be forced on people. Sometimes a situation does need some help, like Health Care, but they go Waaay overboard with rules, laws, taxes, forcing people to do what they think needs to be done. The Mayor of New York City is a good example and most of the State legislature here are also examples.

So these rules on overtime and keeping track of hours make it a lot harder on my boss--a small business owner--on me and our costumers which also makes it harder on me and my boss. This hours thing is so ridicules and a pain that does the opposite of helping. On top of it all it cuts into my writing time too. No benefits at all for me.

Okay, sorry for the venting--I could say a lot more but I won't-but this has me frustrated and there's nothing I can do about it either which makes it worse.  At least I can vent some here.  More writing stuff next time.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Even more Liberal bureaucracy Venting

For those who are new I do this now and then.

Last time it was because they ruined a good deal we had where I work. We made up half an hour a day by coming in early so we could leave work at Two on Fridays. Did for thirty some years. No more because of the Liberals who run California got this thing in their head that said any time over eight hours a day is over time. It's more complicated than that but that is what it boils down to.

Now, probably for the same laws, we have to cut our breaks from twenty minutes in the morning and fifteen minutes in the afternoon down to ten each time. We leave work ten minutes earlier but that is not a good trade off. Ten minutes is barely enough time to eat, or get my laptop out to do some writing.

There's no reason for it, they just got this thing in their heads and we get the downside of everything they do. I said Bureaucracy but that includes politicians too. Again they had to fix something that wasn't broken because somehow they felt it was or they knew how to do it better.

There will be a part two but it's late now.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Update for Writers of the Future.

 As most of you know but some of newer readers may not--depending on how new- I send in stories to the Writers of the Future contest,  Been doing it for nigh five years. Not straight but the majority of their quarters.  I have four maybe Five Honorable Mentions which gets you a very nice certificate and knowledge you did something right. My last one was given by the Late K. D. Wentworth as one of the very last HM's because she died half way through judging that quarter's stories. I feel that HM is special even though it was only a HM.

So far no HMs from David Farland the guy who replaced her. Not even with help from critiques by other WotF people.

So I tried last quarter, which is the quarter he is currently reading and judging. Their Q3. I spent time on this story, Another pro editor Dean Wesley Smith liked the opening and I hope David does too. I did everything that I know to do and I feel good about the story. Better than I have felt in a loong time. But I don't know if it really is that good, I have felt that before and I'm the only one that thought it. This is different though.

David puts out what he calls Daily Kicks in the Pants--usually thoughts on writing and how to do it better. And how to enter contests better.

So yesterday and today's Kicks are Here and There.  Read them both, they will do you good even if you never want to enter WotF. Really good stuff in both.

My thoughts after reading the first one:

Oh, yes if you want to know more about WotF try This link

Just read David's Kick for today. Called Imagination I believe but it's more Originality. 

Actually, heard and/or read that, from more than one source, before but this one goes into more detail.


How does my Q3 hold up to his thoughts on Originality? wotf017 (Actually, would rather have a head shake smilie)

Some parts are I think do, the total thing has some good original components over all problem and the scene in this sub-genre is original...I think but I don't know every type of story that is out there like he does. 

A person who critted it thought one major component was original but it isn't. In this setting, with this problem and what solves the problem it could be. 

I hope the thread that ties it all together is original enough as I think. 

But again wotf017 

Ohh, I hope it is, at least enough. I'm not placing all hope in this story but it's one I am proud of--My mind and emotions think it is a very good story well told...something I haven't felt on that scale for quite a long time. Which means I'm setting my self up for more disappointment if doesn't get at least a HM.

Thoughts after reading the second one,

Thinking back on it, I think I did at least some of what he suggested but enough or in the right way ???????????????????????? Orwotf017 

I already know setting is important DWS has preached that for years but that doesn't mean I "know" it's important if you get what I mean. But I know sometimes, at least, I work on it. So far it hasn't helped much but this time (looks heavenward--Please) it might. 

So far I seem to be batting ????? with his advice. It's there but enough?? Maybe I only tipped the ball with the bat instead of the full hit I thought it was. Or maybe I missed by an eighth of an inch even though the swing looked good. From past experience I would say that last is probably it no matter how I feel or think.

Final thoughts:

You may have to read the second one to understand about mid-ground but it's important to describing setting and a lot of writers do not do it.

This is an example of why my uncertain feelings from my last post. 
I got the senses, the foreground and distance but again without saying much, the mid-ground isn't that much different from the distance. I do mention the mid-ground but how much? 

I keep saying the same thing here but the more I read what he wants the more I think I did good but I don't want to believe I did good. There's still too much that could be wrong even if I am right and I'm probably not.

There might be a PS here But even though I believe and think this one is different I have been wrong many times. When I said no one agreed with me I mean no other editors that I sent a story to, but this one............

Monday, July 8, 2013

Vacation Update seven--last one

Okay, almost forgot I promised this one would be up by Monday at the latest.

Hmmm, over all got some stuff done but not the final product.

I managed to figure out, more by accident or God's help-than on my own, how to get the size of the covers correct. I now have two. No sure if I will use them though. The pics are nature shots me or my wife took. Good pictures--nothing wrong with them but they don't show the genre.
 Use a picture of a mountain side for SF?  Tempted to say I don't think so but maybe. I could try to find one I could use that costs only a dollar or so. One more like some of the pro published anthologies I've seen. Basically just a symbol or strange art form. I might try that. I can always use the mountain pic if need be. I still have to add a copyright page and forward to my story sets anyway and finish the formatting.

I think I mentioned--that could have been elsewhere--I sent an E-mail asking for more info to three sites that do covers. One does edits too. But I have head from only one. They would charge $300 for a POD ready cover for the novel. But they won't be able to get to it until the first part of October.  And they won't be able to do the cover I want. But they do have good covers so I could cope with one their style,
if need be. But October???  Egads.

Oh, I need a Logo too. Supposedly GIMP can do that too even though my one try didn't go very well. But maybe I can get to that manual. Problem is that I would need an artist to draw the image I have in mind and that could cost a couple of hundred dollars for a good artist.

More money to try for on Kickstarter? Speaking of that if I try them, I forgot I need to make a video of myself talking about the project..  Ugh and Egads.  My camera will do that, complete with sound I've already done it once for my wife but I would do it by myself, that would be harder. But to do everything--copy editor-cover-logo--probably not formatting I think I can do that, I will need to try it that way. Of course a pic of the cover would be nice to use for the video. If I get the story sets up on my own I could offer them in various price ranges. Plus a couple of other stories and if I could find a gift card just for books maybe that too and/or one just for books and one for B&N. Plus names on a thank you page in the novel and ?   Time to think about it.

So I'm stuck at the moment, waiting for more responses.

I said this was the last Vacation update the next ones will be Indie updates. Of course, even though surprisingly enough I haven't had any there could always be a PS if I forgot something or something breaks in the next day or so.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Vacation Update Six

So another Vacation update here. I think there will be just one more, probably on Sunday --the last day--or even Monday by the time I get to it.

So I’m I decided this is it no more revisions--pretty much that is. I have the location of the final scene to change and as I think about it, a few small changes to the final battle. I’ve thought about it since I wrote and want to make a couple small changes, a couple will add to the very ending I believe.  And I have a habit of changing a sentence or two when I check for other things--like spell checking and  proofreader check or whenever  I go over a story. I can’t  help it :)    Usually those are small, tiny even, and may not make much difference. 

I decided that if I am to use GIMP for my own covers I will need some help. The cover needs to be something like 2400 pixels high and 1600 wide. I can not figure out how to get the height to change. I can get the width were I want it but not the height. I tried to download instructions from the GIMP website but those that deal with getting your pic ready for the Web need a special plug-in. The instructions online seem to deal with everything but the Web. I will take another look in case I missed something. I could go through the whole routine to learn how to do the whole thing and maybe I would be able to figure out what I am doing wrong but that would take hours. UGH.

Someone on G+ pointed out an older copy of Photoshop that is free, I might try that. It’s supposedly easier. Or the thought occurred to me to check on a deal at one of the Cover sights. I do want one done for my novel. Maybe if I do two or three they would give me a discount especially with one being simple. (Shoulder shrug--wouldn’t hurt to ask) 

I’ve been busy spellchecking, proofreader checking, and looking for certain words(like must-most, then-than) I mix up. I’m up to chapter seven with four more to go. Hopefully that will have found the majority of the nitpicks but from a lot of experience it won’t. Especially with the commas. 

I have also readied one story to send out Saturday to Fantasy and Science Fiction plus wrote on another story I need to finish. I had to do some actual writing--withdrawal was starting.  :)  That last story might go to WotF. I don’t know yet. I think it would be good for them when I finally get it done but I didn’t write it for them but (Shoulder shrug) we shall see, I am verily tempted. 

That’s it for now...looks like no PSs with these updates but it could happen with this one. 

Monday, July 1, 2013

Vacation Update Five

Decided to do another update after all.

I worked on revising my novel some last night, found that chapter three didn't need half the work I thought it did so I went through it rather quickly. Started Chapter four. I suspect--mixed with hope--that it doesn't need as much work either so I can zoom through it.

I also felt the need to write new words so I wrote on a story that I am taking my time finishing, not sure why. Today I have been experimenting with GIMP, software Smashwords says can be used to make covers. Yeah, if someone shows you how. As far as I could tell there are no instructions for covers. So with what little I know about software works I guessed.  I have two covers with titles and my name. Neither is quite the right shape through. According to Smashwords a cover has to be 2400 pixels high and at least 1600 wide. I got the 1600 but I can't figure out the height. Thought I had it but when I reopened the file, it's not. This all took over two hours and trash can full of crushed up paper...well, it would be if I was using paper.  Maybe I need to use a slightly larger pic. I've been using one of mine.

Oh, I have asked for help on a couple of sites but people are taking their time responding. Most seem to want to help with formatting the manuscript which is important and I will be needing that soon but I want to get this cover ready.

Tonight I may do some more New writing. Tomorrow my wife and I go see a movie. Maybe I will ask specifically for some help with GIMP even though I have mentioned it a time or two already.  I also joined CreateSpace for POD books but evidently they don't have many instructions on the web site for covers either. From talking with two of the people involved with them it looks like you need to have must of the novel ready to go.