Saturday, June 15, 2013

Technomages & Self-Publishing an Ebook

I did it.  I finally did it.  I worked out the kinks to the formatting on my new short story prequel to "Destined Love is Immortal,"  historical paranormal romance, "Immortal Nobility," and got it uploaded and up for sale on Amazon.

I love writing, but I detest formatting.  I don't care much for editing either, but both are necessary evils for the indie writer

So what does this have to do with technomages?  Well, the whole time I was fighting the computer with the formatting of my eBook, I was wishing for a technomage.  If you're unfamiliar with technomages, they're an imaginary race from "Babylon 5" that are like wizards, but in relation to technology.

Anyway, one of them would have been extremely handy to have around while I was trying to get the computer software to do what I wanted it to.  In the end, however, I prevailed, even without the aid of a technomage.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Writing, Self-Publishing, & Laundry Avalanches

I'm trying, really trying, to get my new eBook up for sale on Amazon.  The book is written. It's been proofed. The cover picture is completed. And it feels like it's taking Forever for me to get it up for sale on Amazon.

Why?  Because so much goes into properly formatting an eBook for sale, and while I've successfully formatted two eBooks before, I don't finish books often enough to really get into a groove and be comfortable with the process. I want to make sure that when you buy your copy of my book, you don't open it up only to find that the text is overlapping itself making it impossible to read, or that the hyperlinks don't work, or that you don't encounter any other sort of disaster.

Laundry avalanches--what does that have to do with writing? Well, to many people, perhaps nothing, but to me, everything.  You see, I have a houseful of kids.  A mom to six, I  have five still at home ages twelve and under. Between 9:00 a.m. and 9:30 p.m. yesterday, I was only home just over an hour total, and that time was spent cooking and eating.  At 7:00 a.m. I'd left the house to get craft supplies, the I spent an hour making craft mockups, as I had to finish them before my meeting with the Vacation Bible School craft committee--yes, I'm directing Vacation Bible School and it starts Monday.

I digress.  Back to the laundry avalanche.  You see, I don't have a laundry room.  I have a laundry closet.  So, when I do  laundry, lots of it, there's nowhere to put it until I fold it and put it away. I've washed laundry over the past several days, more than a smaller family washes in a month, but I've been so focused on getting my eBook up for sale, that the clean laundry was simply piled in the hallway unfolded, overflowing the baskets (or in my case, luggage, as that's what I put laundry in rather than baskets which get dumped and used as droid costumes.) 

Anyway, there is so much clean laundry that is in the hall at this point, that the clean laundry mountain has fallen over and turned into a clean laundry avalanche--all because I've been using my limited free time for writing.

So, when I tell my family that if they want clean underwear, they need to dig through the laundry avalanche, they know it's because mom has been writing...

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

How to Start Blogging

I saw a tweet yesterday asking about people who blogged and how they got started blogging.  This post is in reply to that question.  While I'm not an expert, I'll share my experience, and maybe it will help others.

First, went to and signed up for a blog account. This is very easy and free.  Even those of us who are not particularly tech savvy (it took me two weeks to print an instagram photo that someone sent me) can do this quite easily.  It takes less than five minutes, and it's particularly fast if you already have a gmail account.

While I'd love to have a fancy blog page, I decided that it'd be best for me to Keep It Simple, at least for now. I picked one of the standard backgrounds that I liked, as blogger has a bunch to choose from, clicked on it, and went with it.

People have all different ideas on what you should do.  I wanted my blog page to be easy to read, not in terms of vocabulary, but in terms of being able to see it.  A dark background with white or light text is hard to read and very hard on the eyes.  From the research I've done and from what I learned as a marketing major a while back, such backgrounds are best avoided.

After that, it was relatively simple.  I could simply click that I wished to write a new post, write what I wanted, and tell it to post.  Posts can also be written in Word and then copied and pasted onto the blog page.

Of course, there is always the question of what to blog about.  I find ideas in daily life with my kids. Often I post about funny things they do. Sometimes I get ideas from television shows I watch.  As I stated earlier, today's post is as a result of a question about blogging which was posed over Twitter.  Other post ideas have come to me as a result of reading my Twitter feed as well.

When my post is completed, I click the "publish" button on the screen.  I "share" with others using the "share" option which pops up, and I also put a blurb on Facebook and Twitter about what I'm blogging about for the day, with a link to my blog.

There is a lot of information about how to blog out there, but what I've tried to do here is provided an overview into how to simply get started.  If you have a large following on Twitter or Facebook, you'll probably notice a lot of traffic quite quickly.  I hope this was helpful to you and that if you start a blog, you enjoy writing yours as much as I enjoy writing mine.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Kid Humor--A Unique Perspective on Chores

Recently, my son decided he just really wasn’t interested in doing his chores.  Normally, he’s at least a little motivated because he knows he won’t receive his allowance at the end of the week if he doesn’t do them.

Once again, it was time to do laundry.  We have a great deal of laundry, always, at my house, with five kids still at home, and none of us are particularly what you would describe as “neat freaks.”

I’d asked my kids to fold laundry, and my youngest son just wasn’t in the mood to do so.  As such, he went to his piggy bank, took out a dime, and brought it to me, trying to buy his way out of doing chores. It was all I could do to not bust a gut laughing.  Needless to say, his attempt at chore avoidance didn’t work.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

It's a Bigfoot Birthday

My sweet pea, my youngest son, turned seven today. We had a fantastic Bigfoot party. 

It doesn't take much money to have a wonderful party.  My kids baked the cake and had a wonderful time doing it.  We held it at a park.  I was unsure about how many of my son's friends would be able to make it, so I called a mom with eight kids and asked her to come because my theory is "the more the merrier."  Anyway, I knew that if she showed, it would look like a party no matter what.  She did, and though her oldest wasn't there, she brought seven of her kids plus four of their friends.

Anyway, I have a large family and there was another large family there. All in all, we had 21 kids.  They played "pass the Bigfoot food source" which is my version of hot potato.  They learned how to do a Bigfoot call, and everyone played "Bigfoot says." 

We held it at a park, so the kids could play as well.  I spent a whopping $20 on everything, including prizes for games and party favors for everyone, and it was a great success.  Overall, it was a fantastic day :)