Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Wednesday WIP: Girl in Motion (book formerly known as Cheesy)

Chelsea Reed's dad signs her up for Powder Puff football, even though he knows she's been playing with, and wants to continue playing with the boys at her high school. Little does he know, much of her desire to play football stems from her estranged relationship with him and her longing to strengthen their relationship. 
The rest of the week was like time standing still because my first football game caused me 
anxiety. I tossed and turned the night before, barely getting any sleep. In the morning, I trudged down to the kitchen. My dad sat at the kitchen table, reading the paper.
“I need coffee,” I said to no one in particular.
     He peeked at me over the top of his newspaper like I was crazy and said, “Coffee?  You’re a little young for coffee aren’t you?”
 “You are aware that high school kids pretty much live on coffee, pizza, chips, and gum, right?”
     “Hmph,” he said. Seriously, do people really say hmph?
     I poured a cup of coffee, leaving enough room for about half a cup of creamer. I hated the taste of regular coffee. I preferred Starbucks, but I needed the jolt and my only option was the slop in Dad's coffee pot. While I drank my coffee I made myself a breakfast full of good carbs and went and got my uniform on.
     My stomach fluttered, and not in the good way, like when Tommy said nice things to me, but in the bad way like when I’m about to throw up. I sat down on my bed and took a few deep breaths. I pulled on my socks, put my hair in a ponytail, and grabbed my cleats.
     As I walked toward the garage, I stopped at the kitchen table where my dad still sat. I stood for a moment which caught his attention. He glanced up from his paper and said, “What is it?”
     “Um—” I couldn’t ask, knowing the answer would disappoint me.
     “Well, what is it?”
     I stared him square in the eyes and asked, “Are you coming to my game?”
     His gaze immediately shifted back to his newspaper. “I’ve got a lot of work to do.”
     “Oh, okay.” I admit, even though I knew what the answer would be, it still  disappointed me. I mean, he signed me up for the stupid team with their stupid ugly players and dumb skirts and he didn't even plan to see me play?

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Indie Publishing: Moving Forward

Yesterday I decided to order a little swag. Some of my fellow writers have called me the queen of Never Eighteen came out I may have gone a little overboard, but I wanted to test out different types of swag to see what people liked. The favorites are bookmarks, buttons, stickers, and silicone wristbands, so those are what I'm sticking with this time. I also want to buy postcards to send out to schools, libraries and bookstores.
swag. When

So, yesterday's orders consisted of bookmarks and wristbands in black, red, and white swirl that say Dissected on one side and have my website on the other side.

My book is also officially being formatted, Lori posted about it on Facebook yesterday, SQUEE!! Once I get that back I have a little more editing to do on it. Then I upload to Createspace to create my book, look into getting my bar codes, set my price and figure out how to set up distribution.

Things are coming together. I'm hoping my release date of July 16th is still realistic. Okay, that is all. Have a great Tuesday.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Changing gears and writing about tornado debris

After prodding from a couple people, I'm going to write the story about the journal that travels 50 miles via tornado and ends up in a teenage boy's yard. I've been wanting to write it for two years any way and it has stuck in my head all this time, so while I'm getting Dissected off the ground, revising (probably run football book which still needs a new title through autocrit), I will write this story. It's a long time coming and my friend Gae says she will steal the idea if I don't write it now. :)

I will tell more of the background of where I got the idea. After the 2011 tornadoes that blasted through Virginia, Mississippi, Arkansas, Alabama, etc, there was a news report about a man who was picking up debris in his yard, only to find a tattered piece of a pay stub, or something similar (can't remember exactly).

He had enough information from the torn paper to find it's owner. That piece of paper had traveled 100 miles. The man contacted the family at the other end, I believe it was a couple with two daughters. They had lost just about everything. The man ended up helping them pick up the pieces a bit, sending clothing, toys, and such to help them out.

The idea of finding a piece of someones life in another's front yard fascinates me. What if it was
something more than just a pay stub. A personal glimpse into their life. So the idea of sending a tattered journal came to mind and letting this boy, who maybe doesn't care too much about the people and the world around him, find it, and letting him read it, and for once in his life, become involved in something, become attached to it, care about it, and when he thinks he's going to lose it, want to do something about it.

That's it. Working title, A Tattered Life. May change it down the road. We'll see.

Happy Friday everyone. Pray for those in Oklahoma. Remember Zach Sobiech. If you have a three day weekend, enjoy every minute of it.

Friday Scribbles

Pandora song on queue: Runaway by Yeah Yeah Yeahs (Postal Service station)

No book or Netflix of the week, as I've had no time to watch or read anything. First time I've skipped. Oh well.

Quote of the week: “When we think of the past it's the beautiful things we pick out. We want to believe it was all like that." Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid's Tale

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Wednesday WIP

How about...hmmm, no idea. I don't have anything with me. Maybe I'll dig out something old, or write something of the cuff that I've had in my head for while.  BRB...

You know what's weird, I was just thinking about this WIP the other day. I've not written much on it, but the idea was conceived in the aftermath of the tornadoes that barreled through Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Virginia two years ago. I'd read a newspaper clipping about some debris that traveled 100 miles and came up with a story idea. The premise is a journal that flies 50 miles to the front yard of a teenage boy. He reads it and gets involved in the writer's life only to find that she eventually wants to kill herself. So, he wants to find her to stop her. Anyway, I'd lost the beginning of that 1st draft, then remembered I'd posted it here a while back, so I'm posting it again. It's the first entry of that journal. Here ya go.

March 18, 2011 

I’m tired.  Tired of living in this sardine can of a home with its lack of windows, torn curtains, and the smell of dog piss emanating throughout.  I’m tired of going through the motions as daughter, sister, and friend when I feel like nothing more than a speck of dust on a window pane ready to be wiped clean away.  I’m tired of the snobs and flakes and posers at school who think they’re either better than you, smarter than you, or more pathetic than you and take pride in it.  When did we come to strive for depression.  The Emo boy and girls with their dark makeup and their skinny jeans brood in the hallways acting as if their blue-collar lives are pure hell while they listen to their iPods, play on their Xboxes, and talk on their cell phones.
They don’t know what it truly is to ache.  What it’s like to watch your dad walk out the door and never come back.  To watch your mom spend every waking moment with a drink in one hand and a cigarette in the other.  To be the sole provider for your family, the mother to your sister.  To be mocked and bullied at school because of it all.
And this journal, and the art, it’s not enough anymore.  I can’t do it.  I’m ready to free fall from life, to plunge into the unknown.

I’m ready to let death take me away from this place.  I don’t care what’s waiting for me on the other side.  It has to be better than this . . .

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

I went to Vegas

And as I was having a great time in Vegas , people were dying in a tornado in Oklahoma.

And while I was having a great time in Vegas, a 18 year old boy succumbed to cancer.

But it's things like this that brought me to Vegas in the first place. I wrote a book last year. It was about a boy, much like the boy, Zach Sobiech, who died of cancer yesterday. It was about a boy who wanted to say goodbye. A boy who wanted to make a difference, even if it was a small one, before his time on earth was over. A boy who wanted to remind people that you only get once chance to live your life, and that you shouldn't take it for granted.

Though it was my message, I didn't live up to it, not until recently at least. But then people in my life started getting cancer. And people in my life started dying.

So I started living.

I'm publishing a book.

I'm kickboxing.

I'm getting out of my comfort zone.

Then a guy I'd never met asked me to go to Vegas and I said yes. 

Don't get me wrong. I've known him virtually for a while now, and I insisted we meet in person before  I actually made a final decision. So we hung out a couple times then I decided to go.

I went because at any moment I could take my last breath and leave this world without ever having seen Las Vegas and that would have been sad.

We continued to hang out until we went and we got along great and had a lot of fun together and we had a blast in Vegas, all while people lost their lives in different parts of the country.

But I don't think they'd mind much because we were taking advantage of the life that was given to us.

I hope when I die people are out there living life to the fullest. I know when I leave this place people will mourn my death, but I hope they don't do it for long. I hope they move on quickly and find solace in the memories they have of me whether I was their daughter, sister, mother or friend.

 I hope  they remember me when my spirit soared and how I tried to live like at any moment I could
get hit by a bus, or a piano could fall on my head or we could finally get that huge earthquake they've been promising for years and my world could come crumbling down around me, taking me with it.

But until that happens, I went to Vegas, and I know Zach Sobiech had huge Vegas moments, and I hope most of those who perished in Oklahoma had their Vegas moments.

Make sure you don't forget to take your Vegas moments. One day, you may not have the chance.

Love and Life,


Thursday, May 16, 2013

Adding to Goodreads

Even though most writers have a love/hate (mostly hate, not me, doesn't bother me much) relationship with Goodreads, I've added my novel, Dissected to its list of books (it's cool to see my book up there). Why you ask? So I can get some pre-publication buzz, and so I can host a giveaway, which I will post next week. And now people can add it to their to-read list. Of course now I'll probably get requests for ARCs which I won't have, but oh well. I may send out some proof copies to bloggers I've worked with before and respected, but not very many as I'll have to pay for those copies.

I've been trying to add the book to Amazon as well, with no luck. I've sent them an email, so hopefully it will be resolved in the next couple of days.

I've also sent it in for formatting, which I'm super excited about. I can't wait to see what it looks like in book form. It's going to be about the same size as Never Eighteen. I think I'll keep all my books about the same size, unless they're just too many pages to do that, but I think Dissected will be around the same word count when I'm done with it.

That's all for today. Have a great Thursday.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

ISBN Numbers

I bought them today from Bowkers. Ten of them. It's cheaper than buying just one, and each format, for instance, e-book and paperback, has to have their own number. So I bought them and started filling out the necessary information to get Dissected listed on Amazon and Goodreads. I still need to design the back cover. I wrote the jacket flap copy today, so I can do that soon and upload a cover in its entirety to Createspace, so it's ready to go when my formatting is done.

I'm still revising in Autocrit. It's a slow process and to be honest, I've been busy and tired and I've not had much time to do it, but I think it's important. I think I'm going to shoot for a release date of mid July. I'm hoping to really dig in the next couple days and get it done and get it off for formatting.

I've already designed my bookmarks, so I should send those off for printing. Just need to design postcards, buttons, bracelets, and stickers, and I have my swag done.

Then I have to purchase a barcode and set up distribution and I'm good to go. It's a lot of work, but I'm hoping in the long run, it will all be worth it.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Tailored Ads

Does anyone else find this creepy or annoying? Like Google and Facebook are stalking you? I guess I used to find it amusing that Facebook always knew what I had been searching. At one point they were advertising online dating and weight loss. I was like, what are they trying to tell me?

Now it's getting to the point where everything I do online is being tracked. Last week they were advertising self publishing. This week it's cleats and soccer balls. And it's not just things I'm searching, it's also websites I visit. I use iStock to get stock images. I went to the Neptune Society to research an article for the day job. Has Google and Facebook collaborated to become today's Big Brother?

Are they using it like some kind of Chinese water torture. If they keep the ads there long enough, will I crack and click on it and finally buy the fucking cleats?

I feel like I have a stalker following me everywhere I go, watching my every move. I need a virtual restraining order. Of course, I'd never be allowed one because Google and Facebook pretty much own the internet.

So, does this bother you?

Okay, Friday Scribbles...

Next Pandora Song: 405 Death Cab for Cutie

Book of the Week: IDK, been too busy. Um, took a break from Divergent, as good as it is. Too busy writing, editing, revising. We'll go with my own book, Dissected, coming to Amazon this summer. :)

Netflix of the Week:  Um, haven't had time to watch anything either. I'll stick with Desperate Housewives. Still making my way through season six.

Quote of the Week:  "Advertising is based on one thing: happiness. And do you know what happiness is? Happiness is the smell of a new car. It's freedom from fear. It's a billboard on the side of a road that screams with reassurance that whatever you're doing is OK." ~ Don Draper

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Singing the praises of Autocrit and opening bank accounts

So like I said a couple days ago, I purchased Autocrit. If you've never heard of check it out. You can get a free test drive on their site. I'm telling you, I cannot believe how many words I repeat. I mean, I knew I used the word "just" two much, but 8 times in one chapter. Um...

Seriously, for those of you thinking about indie publishing it's worth the money at only $117 for the year. Of course, if you don't want to spend that much, they  have other pricing options as well.

I also opened a banking account for my writing. I'll probably end up getting a business license at some point. I'm hoping to make enough money to where it matters. *cough*. I think it's a good idea to keep my writing money separate from my own money anyway, especially since I got the Indiegogo money. This way, I'll be able to keep everything separate for tax purposes too.

I honestly can't wait to get more books written and published, even before I get this one out. I've really enjoyed the process a lot. I hope I keep enjoying it.

I probably going to buy my ISBN numbers today so I can start putting my book out online, on Amazon and Goodreads, etc.

Anyway, that's it. Happy Thursday (I can't believe it's Thursday already).

Enjoy the day!

WIP Wednesday: Triggered

This is the new title of the novel I once called Lockdown. I can thank J. Anderson Coats for that. I wrote this book a few years back, in fact, I think I wrote it for NaNoWriMo 2009, so it's rough, really rough. I've decided to do a major overhaul on it and perhaps put it out as my next indie project after Dissected. We'll see. Anyway, here's a snippet, keep in mind, it's rough. Setting the scene, it's a book about a school shooting, these kids are on their bus on the way to school.

Cameron, a junior, was absolutely gorgeous.  His skin was like dark chocolate and he had these bright penetrating hazel eyes.  With a tall, muscular, lean body, he was a perfect fit on the basketball team.  A ready made star.  Only he didn’t play basketball, he played the drums.  Instead of being on the court, he was in the stands, in my opinion, a likeable choice.  He seemed like a cool guy, friendly with everyone, always cracking jokes and acting goofy.   He and Brady were best friends.  He sat with Kimberly across from Brady and Kat.  Cameron and Kimberly’s sister were a couple, another thing for her to be jealous of.
     “Hey Brady,” Cameron said.
     “Why do men find it difficult to make eye contact?”
     “I don’t know, why?”
     “Because tits don't have eyes.”  Brady just shook his head.  He probably wanted to laugh, but dared not with Kat sitting right next to him. Cameron laughed at his own joke; a few giggles broke out throughout the bus.  “I have another one.  What did the blonde say when she opened the box of Cheerios?”
     Kat, being a blonde, shot Cameron a dirty look.  “I don’t know, what did she say,” Brady asked.
     “Oh look! Doughnut seeds!"  Cameron again laughed like a lunatic.
     “Cameron,” Kat said.
     “Uh-oh, I’m in trouble, huh,” Cameron said.
     “Kat ignored the question, “Why are blonde jokes always so short?”
     “I don’t know, why,” Cameron asked.
     “So guys can remember them.”
     “That’s a good one.”
     “ You know the problem with most men, Cameron?”
     “No, what?”
     “The problem is they’re assholes.  The problem with most women is that they put up with those assholes.  Cher said that.” 
     “Ooh, Cher’s smart.  You got served,” Kimberly said to Cameron.
     “So I did.  But who’s Cher?” 
     “You’re not serious,” Kat said.
     They all laughed together, happy little group.
     So many of the kids on the bus don’t even seem real, like they are imitations of one another, plastic and trying to be something other than what is real, a character in the teen movie of the week, a stereotype, a caricature of who they’re trying to portray.  In some ways, I suppose it’s expected, on other ways, it’s just pathetic.
     The bus driver closed the doors and began rolling down the street.  Angel was missing, Cameron’s girlfriend, Kimberly’s little sister.  She was my favorite to watch because she moved with this smooth elegance you only see on catwalks.  In fact, it was smoother than that even; it’s as if she glided.  She was beautiful enough to walk down a catwalk one day, with her long shiny black hair, her flawless brown skin, her deep brown eyes, and tall, slender frame.  Her name was fitting, as she was not only beautiful, but also soulful and kind.  If I were to have a friend, I’d want it to be Angel.   At first I was sad not to have seen her that day, but realized soon enough, she was one of the lucky ones.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

A Tuesday rant from me to you: sometimes online dating sucks

For a couple days I've been talking to this guy. He wrote me first. He seemed like a nice guy. Lived a
little further away then I prefer, but he didn't have any pets, which is good because I'm allergic, and he stated that all his kids are over the age of 18, which it states on my profile I prefer if they have kids they are 12 and older.

He found me interesting, called me things like "awesome"  "beautiful" "kind" and he said my honesty in my profile was "noble" and "you don't even sound rude in it". That comes into play later.

He looked pretty cute in his pics. He had one at his daughters wedding, then he had one with this little boy, which I assumed was his grandson. Then we were talking (messaging) one day and he mentioned that he was "fighting for the boy in the picture. I asked who the kid was, and he said, "my son" . I asked how old, he said...wait for it...5.


...all my children are over the age of 18...


So, I happen to say I felt a little duped by the fact that on his profile he said his kids were all basically adults when he has a kid that's 5. Need I remind you my profile clearly states, and this is a direct quote from my profile, "Please have children over the age of 12 (give or take a year)" Give or take a year does not mean 5. If I'm doing my math right, um, that's 7 years. 

Then he tells me I'm giving him drama and that he enjoyed reading my profile, though he found it a little harsh (see above about me being noble and not even rude). And that saying he duped me was a big turn off and no woman would matter more than his child. yadda yadda yadda.

Um...drama? or...honesty, which initially he found...what was the word? Noble. Which he wasn't being saying all kids were adults. Last time I checked 5 wasn't an adult.

I explained that having teenagers allowed me certain freedoms of travel, not having to find babysitters, doing what I want when I want basically, and I didn't want to be bogged down by small children. Again, just being honest. I also apologized that he felt I was attacking him with my honesty and left it at that to which he said he just wanted someone who wants him for him. Fine. Go find someone who wants a liar. I"m cool with that. Been there, done that.

Um, kooky pants? Yes or no?

Monday, May 6, 2013

Indie publishing: Moving forward

I just sent my book on for formatting. I'm so excited. Lori, who I mentioned...I think it was last week, blog about indie publishing. For formatting she recommends Book Design Wizard. She swears by it.
is busy for another week or so, so it's going to take a little bit, but she says once she gets to it, it will be fast. I know not everyone will have someone that can do their editing for them, and clearly, I'm not going to rely on Lori to do mine every time. I have another friend Karla, who I'm sure I've mentioned before. She has a great

If I had my Indiegogo money, there are actually things I'd be doing before the formatting, so I'm kind of going out of order. There is an editing program online I want to run my manuscript through called autocrit. It's $117 a year. It's not your everyday editing program. It helps find overused words, cliches, redundancies, repeated words and phrases, pacing and dialog problems, and more. I'm excited to try it out.

I also want to get my ISBN and distribution set up so I can get my book set up on Goodreads and the like and start some marketing. But for now, I do the formatting. My Indiegogo money is supposed to come in within days, then I can start in on the good stuff.

There you have it.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Indie publishing: The next step

Here's what's going on. I finished my line and copy edits for Dissected (I just need to find the final version, which I'm pretty sure is on my work computer, *crosses fingers*).

Then I send it to be formatted to my wonderful friend Lori.

Next I wait for my money from Indiegogo to be disbursed to I can get my ISBN numbers, set up my distribution and order swag. I've already started designing my bookmarks. Instead of getting author blurbs, I've decided to go with librarian blurbs. A couple librarians beta read for me, and I got their permission to quote them on the back of my bookmarks. Here's what they look like. Tell me what you think. I'd love your feedback. Does it need more? Less? Is there any more info you think I should have on there?

So excited. Things are coming together. I should be able to have proof copies by mid to end of this month, then have a release date set in stone. Summer is such a busy time, I may try to shoot for Mid June. If not mid June, 2nd to 3rd week July.

Happy Thursday everyone!

My Dad. He's awesome.

John Messina, Personal Injury Attorney

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