General Updates, Memoir, Mental health, Sackets Saga Book 1, Writing Updates

Update

Lately, I have been working on Sackets Harbor Saga Book 1. I don’t have a title for the book yet, but I know it will come.

The story I was working on about my mental health really turned out to be article length after I scrapped most of the idea I had. So no book there like I was hoping.

But I am happy to be working on Book 1 in a series. This is based in historical Sackets Harbor, NY. I went to school there and know the history pretty well so thought I would write a story based in that area but in a different time period. So that is what I have been working on as I can. I have been struggling emotionally for several days and just started a new medication. I only hope it helps and that I’ll be able to do more writing in the morning.

What have you been working on lately? Making any progress?

Please let me know in the comments.

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General Updates, Poetry, Reflections of the Heart

Latest Decision in Publishing

Since the last time I have written, I have made several changes. For the last few years I have had four poetry books up for sale in print through CreateSpace and through KDP for Kindle. I thought about it and contacted CreateSpace and had those four titles retired. I decided I wanted to try and get my poetry books traditionally published. Poets and Writers Magazine (www.pw.org) has a great listing of publishers who are looking for poetry so I am going to go through there list and see what happens. I am starting with the small presses. Here is the link if you’re interested: https://www.pw.org/small_presses

I still have yet to remove the Kindle versions so you will still find them on Amazon.

Last November (2016), I finished a novel for NaNoWriMo. I have been editing that book and was going to traditionally publish, however, I found Tablo (www.tablo.com) and decided to try publishing through there and see what happens. I’m curious to see how the company does things. It depends on how things go if I decide to keep my book published through there, or pull it. But first I have to finish adding chapters. I hope to have it published before the end of February.

There is also another website I’d like to tell you about called Authors.me (www.authors.me). It’s a site where you create your profile, talk about your writing style, add any book projects you’re working on and then based on the information you put down for your book, the website will pull up agents and publishers who fit the criteria for your book and you can submit it to them. This saves a lot of hassle trying to find agents and publishers. Note that only the agents and publishers who are using Authors.me for submissions will show up in the search.

If you’ve exhausted your search results through there it would be a good idea to return to WritersMarket.com for more results. (You have to subscribe to Writers Market. If you can’t pay the full price up front for a year’s access you can pay $5.99 monthly which will renew each month. I like this because it makes it more affordable for those who need such resources.)

I hope these resources help you on your path to publication.

If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them in the comments. I happy to hear from my readers! 🙂

So long for now!

General Updates

5 Common Book Cover Mistakes Made by Indie Authors – Writer’s Edit

5 Common Book Cover Mistakes Made by Indie Authors – Writer’s Edit.

If you’re an Indie Author, how much time do you put into creating your book covers, or do you have someone do them for you? I try to do my own, but I am curious what others have done. I’d love to hear your comments. Feel free to leave a message below or email me at jisoucie@hotmail.com.

General Updates

Fibromyalgia & The Author Platform

I have been in flux for about a year or so about doing away with Twitter, my Facebook page, and my blog, together known as the Author Platform. This is not that I believe it’s a bad idea. I don’t. It’s good for those who can manage it, or if you can hire someone to manage it for you.

With a chronic illness (fibromyalgia) this is difficult to do. Some days I barely have energy to pull myself out of bed without crying and get my daughter ready and off to school. This is not counting house hold chores and caring for the dogs that some days are overwhelming and my muscles hurt and shake when I try to do anything. Then add on to the desire of wanting to write, but then realizing in order to gain a following it is suggested you create an Author Platform and consistently update those who are following you.

Maintaining an Author Platform is hard enough for a person without a chronic illness. It takes time to set up and to maintain and this is time taken away from other areas of your life. With fibro I have limited energy, or spoons, to use in a day. And I have to decide what to use that energy on.

I still desire to write, but keeping up an Author Platform has become stressful and I am resenting it. It has become something that is overwhelming because I know those of you who follow me are expecting updates from me, but I cannot always deliver those updates. I feel by keeping my Twitter, Facebook page, and blog open,  I am leading you on waiting for updates when there are times there are no updates. You are expecting something from me I cannot guarantee I can deliver. It weighs on me you are expecting an update or news of  new book release but there hasn’t been one. I must be honest with you, my followers, and with myself. I will continue to write but I will not be a slave to the Author Platform movement. Sometimes we have to figure out what works for us in our current circumstances and do what we can within our limitations. This is a choice I have to make. I will keep up my Twitter, Facebook page, and blog going and I will post when I can.

Changes are coming, and I will keep you posted on the developments.

Thank you for following me and commenting. God bless and take care.

~Janis~

Camp NaNoWriMo, General Updates

Creativity In Full Swing!

I am just buzzing with creative energy lately and so many ideas. Oh, I can hardly keep my mind focused and my fingers taping on one project at a time! But I love feeling so creative.

About a month ago I joined Hope Alive Ministry’s team as the Program Manager and we are putting together a documentary about what “hope” means to people. I plan on recording my bit today.

Then I am inspired to create my outreach program under Voice 4 Society, Inc. Hope Alive Ministry is also an outreach under Voice 4 Society. I am still writing out my ideas and deciding what idea I’d like to start with. I’ve never done this kind of thing before but I am excited and energized about it.

Then, Camp NaNo is coming up and I have a book ready to go and have a book cover created for it. The title of the book is Secret Anguish: Uncovering Celiac Disease. Here is the book cover I have right now. What do you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

I have my profile and book info updated on CampNaNoWriMo.org. Just waiting for cabin assignments and then writing starts in eight days!!! Ahh! I really need to get some research done before that time. I have set a 50,000 word goal this time. I’m really going to try for it. It will give me practice for November. 🙂

Are you participating in CampNano this year? If so, what kind of genre are you writing in? What is your word count goal? Feel free to leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you.

Have an awesome day!

Janis

jisoucie@hotmail.com

General Updates

Changing Tides?

Have you ever started down a path in writing and believed that was the path you should be on…or rather felt you HAD to be on because it had some meaning or purpose? Like an event from your life took you from one writing in one direction and caused you to do a 180 in another direction.

Lately, I have been in deep thought about that one event that changed my writing path from fiction to nonfiction, even though part of my still tried to squeeze out fiction, but it just didn’t feel the same as before. So I’d jump back to nonfiction. The experiences in my life I wanted to write about…or rather I “thought” I wanted to write about stemmed from a family member’s death. I felt that if I had known now about her situation I could have been able to help her and I felt that by writing my life experiences in a few areas, I might be able to enlighten and encourage others with my knowledge. I had the right motivation: to want to help others. But there was a question that popped up after I recognized why I switched to writing nonfiction after I once told myself I would NEVER read it let alone write it. The question was: Do I WANT to write about these stories, or do I feel like I HAVE to? Clearly, if it was just wanting to write the stories I would be done by now, but I think the reason it has been so hard to write them was because I felt I HAD to in order to spare someone else…from what? Pain, grief, hardship… I don’t know. I can know that my experiences would do anything, but I can’t believe they would do absolutely nothing for someone else.

I realized that trying to write these experiences was simply too hard from an emotional standpoint as well as the factor of feeling like I HAD to write about them, like I owed the world or something. Maybe at some point down the road I’ll write about these things, but for right now, I need to think on them. I’m sure others have already written their stories on Celiac disease, Fibromyalgia, and losing a parent in their teens. Would my stories really matter? Only God knows that answer and I’m waiting for the right time and the right way to tell my stories. Sometimes I wonder if the emotional aspects of the stories are more draining on me and more stressful than say fiction writing would be. With fibromyalgia I have to be mindful of what zaps my energy and how quickly. I need to reconstitute and focus my energy on things I enjoy and that matter such as responsibilities.

My true passion has always been in fiction. But it has been so many years since I have focused on writing purely fiction and used my imagination for this reason. I feel like I have to learn to ride a bike again, to feel things out. I wonder if I even remember my old system for planning out novels… I have to admit I’m a little nervous getting back into this, but at the same time I feel a sense of relief and excitement…a sense of freedom if that makes any sense. But maybe there is also a sense of loss, like I feel a pathway has been shut…a pathway that was familiar. And now I face and the pathway of fiction that was once familiar but now seems so strange, so uncertain. Forgive me if I’m a bit hesitant to step on this pathway and begin my walk down this old, yet seemingly new pathway. Yet, I know that the only way to get the feel for things again is to jump in and do it. How does one get past the hesitancy and get started? For me, being a Christian, my first step would be to pray. Do I NOT share my life experiences, or do I? Am I afraid to share? Oh why the conflict? Why can’t I just write for the pure joy of writing? How has it lost its vigor so?

Have any of you run into a similar situation in your writing, that at one stage in your life you were so involved in one genre only later you realize you’re not comfortable there anymore (for whatever reason) and decide to try something new? What were your feelings and how did you manage to work through the fear of stepping into unfamiliar ground? Have you lost the enjoyment to write, and how did you get it back?

I look forward to your thoughts.

Facade, General Updates

Sunny, Cold, and Thinking…

Have you ever had a dream to sit down every day and write a little on your novel, short story, or poem until it was finished? Then when that book is edited and published to start that process over again? I certainly have and I have been striving to meet that goal for some time now.

I’ve had compliments on my writing in the past so it’s lack of confidence standing in my way. I can write…anyone really can, but some of us have more natural talent that is enhanced with continued learning and practice.

Yet, it seems God may either have “other” plans for me, or plans in addition to my own writing. I have gained a new position as Program Manager for Hope Alive Ministry whose outreach is to children with life-threatening and rare diseases. This is definitely a learning and growing experience for me.

I don’t plan to stop writing. Not by any means. I have continued to so working a little on Facade and reading books on plot and story engineering to help me gage the events in my book better. There is still something not quite working but I do have an idea…which if you excuse I’d better right down before I forget! brb

Okay…there. Got that down. Now as long as I don’t lose that paper I’ll be good. lol

In between getting ideas for Facade and working on the characters a little, I have been working on a personal experience story. I don’t know that it will ever be published but it will keep in the writing practice.

Have you ever had a story you wanted…no felt you NEEDED to tell but decided against it, even if it could help people, because in the process of helping others you could risk hurting those close to you? Yeah, it’s one of those. So even though I’ll be working on it, you won’t find details about it.

Now the question goes to you: What do you do when you are trying to come up with ideas to a story you have already started writing but it hits a roadblock? Do you work on something else and go back to the other book occasionally? What process do you use?

Facade, General Updates

Through Blizzard Winds and Blinding Snows

Ahhh…sitting here relaxing by the fire of pellet stove, my Raggle at my feet. In case you didn’t know what a Raggle is it’s a dog that is part beagle part rat terrier. My Chihuahua has run off into the other room. Must be the heat was too much for her. Ha! And I thought they were supposed to like the heat.

Anyway, I noticed it has been quite some time since I have written a post. I have to admit there have been some things going on in my life that I have been working through and trying to manage.

That aside, I pulled out a manuscript I started and dusted it off. I put it away because something just seemed to stop me from writing it and I couldn’t figure out just what it was. And part of they way I wrote some of it just didn’t fit with the first part and totally messed up my plan for the book and left me stumped without a path or even a crumb of an idea of where to go next.

Now that my editing job has wound down and the only thing left to do is publish my client’s book after the beta readers are finished with it, I will be able to do more of my own work. The manuscript I pulled out I have currently titled Facade. I’m going to brainstorm on it and try to have it ready to go for Camp NaNo. Last year for NaNoWriMo I did try to be a pantser, but in all honesty, it didn’t work for me. I like to plan things out. I have an idea I write down and then work on the characters. Granted the characters start out as meager sketches and they reveal themselves more as the story goes on and I add the new information into their “file”. I’m very excited to work on this story as the real action takes place in the 1950’s. I actually had the opportunity to dress up in the 1950’s attire for the sock hop they had at my daughter’s school this passed weekend. It was awesome! I just imagined what a real sock hop was like.

Yes, I was dressed up as the good too-shoo girl in a poodle skirt, saddle shoes, and knit top with a ribbon in her hair and make up lightly done. There were pink ladies there and I stood next to one for the costume contest. I thought it was just for kids so imagine my surprise when the adults were called to the front to be judged. Oh my!! The pink lady next to me did a great job and I thought for sure she had it, even after all my research. In my mind I had already congratulated her, but instead I was congratulated as I received the prize for best costume!! Boy, it does pay to do your research doesn’t it? And going to the sock up with my daughter dressed similar to me, was actually fun coupled with research. It gave me some experience and a time and place to use my imagination for exactly this book! Couldn’t have happened at a better time.

So while the wind whips the snow around outside, I’m sitting here contemplating the next steps for my novel.

When you get stuck on a novel, poem, article, short story, or script, what do you do to clear the block? I would love to hear your answers. Please leave your comments below.

Facade, General Updates

Far Too Long

It has been far too long since I sat down and wrote a post.

It has been busy here on the homestead. Summer vacation is over and school has started for my little one. Which means more time for me to do some writing. I will be able to get back into the writing craft that I have missed so much.

I sit here in my cozy recliner, the fan and the AC cooling the room. Brrr…almost a little too cold. My hubby is on the couch working on a text adventure game, which I might just delve into here at some point. May not happen until after NaNo though. We’ll see.

Our dogs are asleep, and so is our daughter. Quiet…ah…so that’s what it sounds like. *Looks around* Okay so now is the moment when some loud noise scares me five feet out of my chair. Ha! Can you picture that?

Hmmm…so the story I’ve gone back to working on is Facade. I had mentioned this story before. The main character is Wesley who is based off Elvis and he has a twin brother, Keith. This is based of my fantasy of “What if Elvis’ twin survived?” scenario. I think we’ve all had it at some point. The funny thing is I just heard on the radio this morning that Identical, a movie that is based on that principle, “What if Elvis had a twin brother?” only in the movie the brother is given up because the parents can’t afford both babies.

My story is quite different. The twin brother in my story is believed to be still born but the father doesn’t give up. He and his mother, and mother-in-law, take turns clearing the baby’s airways and smacking him firmly on the back until the baby finally wails to life. The second twin, Wesley, is born more easily and thriving. The twins get along fine for several years until Wesley takes up a love of music at an early age. Keith just doesn’t have that same rhythm though he tries. Eventually, jealousy brews between the brothers and Keith is set out to take his brother’s place no matter the cost.

So I may go back to working on this story, though another story is weighing a little more on my mind.

Just wanted to give you all an update from, Maine’s Northern Woods to your laptop, tablet, or phone, have a good one!

Camp NaNoWriMo, General Updates, highly sensitive person

The Clicking of Keys

The light shines down on me and my husband, both working at our laptops. I’m writing while he is programming an android garden app.

I realized tonight that the last post I had written for this blog was saved in the drafts folder instead of being published. I apologize for that. I’m not sure what happened.

I am still holding down editing jobs and reading, though, a few books may have to be put down for now (and possibly re-read later) because there are some books I need to read for research for one of my books. A couple of my books I’m at various stages of writing are in the creative nonfiction genre, which I have found enjoyable to write. One book is going to be about living as a highly sensitive person, and the other, about my experience as a teenager, caring for my terminally ill mother. I want this second book to be one of, not only sharing my experience, but also be a book that can be encouraging to teens who have lost, or are losing a parent, or parent figure.

I have signed up for Camp NaNo but have not decided which of these books I would like to write yet. I think it may be the second book since that is the one most ready to begin writing. The book about being an HSP (highly sensitive person), still requires a lot of reading, notes, etc. This one will be a while in the making. The first book I will be reading will The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You, by Elaine N. Aron, Ph.D.

I have also been listening to The Creative Penn podcast hosted by author Joanna Penn (J.F. Penn). I love this podcast. You learn so much about the creative and business side of being an Indie Author. Highly recommend if you are looking for a podcast dealing with writing.

I think that is all for now. Off to read and then to bed. Morning comes quickly!