Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Full Speed Ahead

This post is really late tonight, because oh my goodness what a day it has been!  First there was the almost 9 hour work day...which started with me realizing I had left my ID/Time badge in my other pants and ended about 30 minutes sooner than usual when the lights went out at 3.  Of course, we had to wait and clear the line of meat before we could clean up and go home.  No big deal.  I come out into the locker room and find text messages from my hubby saying that we had no power at home.  ???  This could have been a problem as we heat by electricity!  But it came back on, and turned off again, and came back on...I almost wasn't sure if I dared try to write this!  So we went out to dinner, got double fortunes in our fortune cookies (that has to be good luck!  Esp. since they were spot on!) and came home to lights still on.  So here we are!

My hopes for the new year are fairly simple.

I expect to get myself caught up to speed on all this social networking business, which is really kind of fun, and sell more copies of my first novel.  I know that there will be some locals things done to help promote it, as my fifth grade English teacher has been talking to our local library about helping me out.  I'm not sure which is cooler...having the library hype my book, or my former English teacher giving it the thumbs up!

I also expect to finish the second book in the series, Ring of Fire, and edited and published.  By summer, if I'm lucky.  That's my goal at the moment.  Because once I 'finish' it, I know I'm going to want to let it sit for a bit before I edit it and do any necessary rewrites.  I don't think I'll need ten years like last time!

In my dreams, I would like a job change.  Mostly because what I am doing hurts my hands.  I had trouble driving home after work today.  Every time I had my left hand on the steering wheel, it would hurt between my middle and ring finger.  It's very unsettling.  Especially since I don't get to drive much anymore.  No real reason, aside from not having our own vehicle.

Which is another of my hopes/expectations for next year.  For my hubby to get his truck back on the road.  This project is closer than the last one, so I'm thinking it'll happen.  I so miss my little Beretta.  It was such a good little car, even though there was a spider in it once, but that's a story for another time.

Oh, and I'd like to be able to get propane for our tanks again so I can stop heating my electric as much and actually start cooking/baking again!  I kind of miss that!  I've lost track of how long it's been since we ran out.  Two years?  It can't be three can it?  I really don't know.  I do decent enough cooking by electric...a griddle, frying pan, slow cooker and the microwave.  If I want to use an oven for anything I have to either use my mother's, my mother-in-law's, or my one friend who is also a neighbor.

Every year is the same.  We take time to reflect on the past year, good or bad, and hope the new one holds better things.  This past year was pretty good for me, and I have no reason to doubt 2014 will be any different.  I know bad things will happen, they always do.  But they don't have to ruin a year!

What are your hopes for the New Year?

Monday, December 30, 2013

Looking Back to Move Forward

In every religion there is a grain of truth.  The Roman god Janus was often depicted as having two faces, one facing backwards and the other facing forward as he was the master of time.  January is named in his honor, which is fitting as it is the beginning of the New Year.  These next few days many will devote to setting resolutions, if they haven't already.  Many of which they will not keep.  It is a time for both beginnings and also endings.

Before I start looking forward to 2014, I want to take just a few paragraph's to look back at 2013.

The first half of the year, was pretty bland as I remember it.  I downloaded my novel from me email towards the end of April and was overtaken with the writing bug again.  It felt really good.  And all I did was read through the rough draft and decide that I like it, except I had to change the ending.

At the end of July, my partner of almost five years kind of sort of proposed to me.  We had an argument about marriage the weekend before my vacation from work and that next Monday he bought something on EBay...and of course since my birthday was approaching, I tried twisting his arm to get him to tell me what he'd bought me.  He said it wasn't anything for any of his vehicles, but that night he passed his phone to me and said, "Ok, go to my EBay app..."  He had bought wedding bands!  One of the few times in my life I was speechless.  Until I said, "Are you serious?"

Which he was.  And since he didn't care about when it was done, I had things arranged and by that weekend in August we were married.  Like I told a friend, "We've been together for almost five years...why piddle fart around?"  We did get some grief for marrying "so quickly" but I was happy with the day, and he was happy with the day and that's all that really mattered.  Neither one of us wanted a big church wedding.  Or any kind of big wedding.  We had a reception a few weeks later.  We actually had two receptions, one for our local family and one for our New York family.

And then in September, I made the impulsive decision to self-publish my novel through Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing.  A few weeks later I published to CreateSpace.  And afterwards realized I had no idea how to get the word out and market it, or myself.  Which is what led to this new blog.  And my emerging presence on Google+, Twitter, Pinterest...and yes, to some degree Facebook.  I had over a thousand free downloads on Kindle, and a handful of real purchases.  I've even sold a few paperbacks.  And released to Nook as well now.  It blows my minds a little to think that there are over a thousand people out there with my work in their hands...or on their Kindle which is pretty  much the same thing.  And that was a worldwide event!

And in November, I was able to go to New York City for the first time in my life.  That alone could have made the year!  Finally I was able to see the Statue of Liberty with my own eyes!  I got to look down from the top of the Empire States building!  I got to walk the streets that I see so often in CSI: NY!  I loved the sounds!  The traffic is everything they say it is, although I didn't drive in it.  The subways were pretty cool in my opinion, even when it was 5pm and crowded!  I loved the little bit of lights before we left.

December has been a month of winding down.  Much needed after the exciting few months we've had.  As much as one can wind down during the holidays!

Tomorrow, I will take a few paragraphs to 'look forward' and dream a little.  Because after all the good things that have happened in 2013, there is no telling what is going to happen in 2014!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Lazy Sunday

After all the excitement of yesterday, today's been a lovely lazy Sunday.  I have done nothing but hang with my hubby, taking only a few minutes now to write this post as my Ramen Noodles cool enough to eat.

He's been busy playing his new Xbox Game, GTA 5.  It's something different from Halo wars!  I've just been watching him try to do the various missions, and as his wife getting to distract him every once in a while.  Like my mother says,  we're still newlyweds until next august. ;)

Hope everyone is having a good day!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Small Miracles

This may not mean anything to some people, but I have the full weekend off!  Considering that we had both Christmas day and the day after off as paid holidays, this really is a small miracle!  We all started the week off with the full expectation of having to work this Saturday, but of the departments working tomorrow, mine isn't one of them.

After the family dinner tomorrow afternoon, I'll spend some more time working on book two.

There's not much else going on at the moment.  I've spent a bit of time on Google+ and Twitter reading a few good articles.  Twitter and Pinterest are challenges to me, as I'm never sure if I'm using them correctly.  I get this chilling feeling that I'm not getting the most they have to offer.  It is a struggle, but I'll keep plugging away.

When it comes to Twitter, I probably don't follow the right people.  A lot of the people I follow are actors that I like.  Gary Sinise, Marina Sirtis, Mara Wilson.

I really like Mara Wilson.  I was never a big fan when she was a little girl in the movies.  Probably just a generational thing.  Oddly enough, I never even saw Matilda until recently, in the past few years.  And that was because my husband had seen it growing up and liked it.  My hubby's near Mara's age, while I'm ten years older.  It was an okay movie, but I have to be honest that it made me angry the way Matilda's parents treated her; and it made me angry that they just let her go at the end of the movie, even though it was for the best.  But I've read a bit of her blog, Mara Wilson Writes Stuff, and follow her on places like Twitter and Facebook and I just like her attitude.  She's a young woman who has more boldness and bravery than I ever had at her age.  I may be a bit envious of that.  Or at least her online persona has those qualities I admire.

I do have more practical Twitter follows, people in the same trade as I.  Frank Perreti, Ted Dekker, M.B. Mooney, and Jess Hanna.   Not all of them are frequent Tweeters though and I end up with more from my favorite actors.  And "guru" types like +Peg Fitzpatrick and +Jeff Roach even though I follow them more on Google+.  I can't help it, I just like Google+ (even if my computer sometimes doesn't! lol)  I just love Peg F.  She's probably my biggest source of social media information.

There is so much I feel like I'm missing.  I can only spend so much time online because of my job.  And breaks are never long enough!  I'm going to have to learn to better utilize them though, because I don't think my 'day job' is going to be changing anytime soon even though I do have a job interview tomorrow morning.  This week hasn't been too bad in the area of work, two 8 hours days Monday and Tuesday, two whole days off, and then a killer 9 hour shift today.  Usually we run five 9's.  But between family events and just being tired, it doesn't feel much different.

At least I don't have to wear earplugs tonight.  I did earlier in the evening, but the Halo Wars crew has changed so the volume has changed as well.  But it's the low rumble I prefer, so I'll be getting off now to pick up my writing in book two.

#offtowrite #twitter #small miracles

Thursday, December 26, 2013

The Day After

And the day after Christmas is very much a lazy blah day.  At least here in my home.  There is this feeling of..."Really?  It's over?  That's it?"  Unmet expectations coupled with too much rich food.  Although I will say my blood sugar was a nice 119 this morning, so I didn't overdo it too badly yesterday.

About 3 this afternoon I was hit with a wave of exhaustion and I tried laying down for a nap.  I don't think I got any sleep and I still feel absolutely drained.  And tomorrow it's back to work.

I have gotten nothing accomplished with my writing today, but sometimes we need to give our brain a rest.  Mine has certainly been on overdrive recently, especially during the REM part of sleep.  Of course, I'm at a hard spot in the story where I'm not sure how to word things so I might also be procrastinating just a bit.  But I'll get over it like always and find the right words and then it'll flow out of me like water onto dry land.

Hope everyone had a great holiday and let's get geared up for New Years!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas is...

Christmas is family.  An expectant mother and father looking for a place to rest after a long journey.  All they had was each other.  They knew no one in Bethlehem or that's where they would have been staying.

Christmas is a time for gifts. The gift of a newborn child. For many He was the expected Messiah, come to rule the world.  But for Mary and Joseph that night...he was just their son. 

Christmas is a time for hope.  As Mary and Joseph held their new son, they had only the promises of the angels.  They didn't know what the future held, but they hoped for good things for their son like any parent does. 

We don't always get what we want for Christmas, but sometimes exactly what we need to keep our focus on the things that really matter.

You don't need to believe in the Christmas story to celebrate the meaning of the holiday.  There is truth in every story and I've given you some in this brief post before I head off to spend time with my family.

Enjoy your day no matter the reason for the season. 

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Already Christmas!

While I was perusing Facebook not that long ago, I read a status from a friend who lives in New Zealand and I was struck with the warm fuzzies as I realized something: it's already Christmas in certain parts of the world!  Time differences are something I seldom think of, but with friends across the world, it does occur to me once in a while.

I can't really tell you why exactly it cheers me to know that it's already Christmas in places. but it does.  I've heard so many people comment recently that it just doesn't feel like Christmas to them, or they're just not in the Christmas spirit, etc.  I'm not sure what's up with that, but it's more than just one person.

Some people go through a depression this time of year, whether it is from missing lost loved ones or just the general hectic pace of the season.  My work ran the cow line extremely fast today in an effort to get us out early...nice, but hectic.  We did have almost a foot of snow last week, and we were all happy to see it because it meant we were going to have a white Christmas (We live in PA, USA).  BUT can you believe - temperatures last weekend were a record high for out area at 64 degrees Fahrenheit and it ALL melted!  So some of us, even myself who hates the snow, is feeling bummed because of that.  Although I must say that it is trying very hard to snow at the moment.

I know that it's a tight time for us financially right now, and that brings it's own slump.  The holidays are supposed to be a time for family and friends, but when you have nothing to give...it makes you feel sad.  As though our presence is somehow not enough.  We all know some people that will tell us otherwise and it can be hard to remember that it's not true.  Our presence at the dinner table tomorrow (or today) is what really matters.

Of course, not everyone has someone to celebrate the day with.  I hope they can find at least one person, one moment, to pause and just be happy with and be appreciative of each other.  I would miss my hubby if he weren't here to drive me crazy with his Halo Wars...it's become such a constant in my life.  I'll still complain, but deep down I know the truth.  (It would still be appreciated if he could be a little quieter...)  Maybe I'll get on later and play a game or two with him...so long as we're playing with Rabbitman!

Whether you are already celebrating Christmas, or getting ready to...make sure to give your loved ones a hug.  Or go out on a limb and hug a stranger - it might be the only Christmas present they get.

I need a sign off slogan...something catchy, cool and me.  Until I figure out what it should be: have a great day and a Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 23, 2013


I'm sitting hear tonight in front of the computer working on my second book, my phone in my hand as I type this short blog post.  I never realized how sensitive I was to sound while writing until tonight. I know some people like to listen to music while they write; I do sometimes but never too loudly.  Tonight my dear hubby is making so much noise playing his Halo Wars that I decided to put earplugs in while I work.

It's working. 


But I don't think I'll try writing a longer blog, as much as I'd like to. I've got two good ones started. One on dreams and one on diversity.  But I'll be lucky if there's no errors in this one!

Partners to writers: if you truly love your writer, try to respect their work area.  I get that it goes both ways. But I'm trying to create something and no offense to gamers, but that's a little more important to me than gaming. 

Back to my story.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Why I Love Google+

One of the reasons why I love Google+ is that in my opinion it is far cleaner is appearance than Facebook. It's more to the point with it's news feed and to be honest, I've found less "drama".

I read a great article today, shared by +Sociallogical.  I'm trying to put myself out there, trying to sell my novel and in a sense create a community of people who like to read in general, and maybe even those who like to write like me.  I'll be honest, a lot of the time I feel like I've jumped in over my head just to see if I could swim and fins myself holding onto a tree limb while the waves crash over me!

Since one of the ways I'm trying to do this is obviously through this blog, I'm constantly trying to rate myself to see how I'm doing and this article about blogger mistakes really struck home because I know I'm guilty of a lot of them.  I used to blog a lot, on a different site, but it was mainly just an online diary.  And this blog is meant to be something different.

And I am determined to succeed in this venture.

Because I plan on publishing more novels.  I plan on being something more than what others have told me I could be.  So I plan on learning whatever I can so that I can write better posts, write better books, and be a better friend to those of you out there who need one.  I'll be honest enough to say I'm counting on your guys' patience while I figure this stuff out.  Because like my blog says below the title, this blog is all about my venturing into self publishing.  So mistakes are going to happen, they're to be expected in any venture.  But I will always do my best to fix that mistake once I realize it.

If any of you out there reading have any comments, don't ever be afraid to leave them!  I need your feedback to know if I'm on the right track or not.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Out of Order

Sometimes you just have to kick back and have some fun no matter how hard your day is:

Everyone laughed or chuckled or rolled their eyes at me!  It was great!  I so enjoy bringing a little bit of levity into people's lives.  We don't have to be serious all the time!

Not even at work.


Thursday, December 19, 2013

Loss and Life

Loss is a part of life.  There is no way around it at the moment, although there are times I insist I'm going to live forever!

When I was in third grade, age 8, my only surviving Grandmother died.  I never knew the rest of my other grandparents.  I remember not understanding what was going on.  And being sad.  Really sad.  I loved my grandmother.  I don't have a lot of memories, but I remember watching the ball come down on TV on New Year's Eve with her.  I remember the day after the dryer fire that burnt her house.  I remember how she looked in the casket when I was allowed to see her on the funeral day...like herself, but not.  It was scary.

That was my first experience with death, though far from the last.  My father died when I was 18.  The past three years has been especially hard, loosing one person or another about every six months.  One is never the same afterwards.

My brother's widow just lost her sister today.  I'm not sure what was wrong with her, I wasn't told that part.  I just knew that she was in the hospital and she wasn't expected to make it.  And it's just so sad.  Especially since I just got a Christmas card from my sister-in-law.  This isn't the time for funerals, this is supposed to be the time of joy and happiness.  My heart grieves for her.

If you are missing a loved one this holiday season, know that you're not alone.  It's okay to hurt and not be happy.  It's okay to cry.  It won't last forever.  Hold onto that.  You will never forget that person and you will always miss them, but one day it won't hurt so much.  Don't force yourself to quit grieving before you're ready, don't let anyone rush you.  It's a process that it unique to each person, and yes to each death.  I grieved differently for my brother than I did my father, differently for my friend Audrey who died from cancer and to whom my first book is dedicated.  Each person leaves a hole in your life, and that hole is as unique as they were.

Someday there will be joy again, and happiness.  Laughter and contentment.  Something will remind you of them...a song on the radio, a TV episode, a penny on the pavement...and it won't bring more sorrow.  Instead it will bring you a bittersweet happiness.  You will even smile.  Your step will be lighter for that moment.

May you find peace.  

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Midweek Blues

I'm feeling better than I did last night.  Less pain in my neck and shoulder, although my fingers are still achy.  At least they didn't lock up on me today!  Typing on the computer has never seemed to bother me, a few times my wrist has bothered because the mouse is in a poor position, but not the typing.

Ah well.

I've gotten a little writing done tonight, trying to sew up the middle of my second book in the series.  I know it's just a rough draft, but I so want to have all the pieces together now!  I don't remember this much trouble with the first one, but then that was a few years ago.  But I'm making progress so I won't complain.

Random trivia for the day: in my first novel, one of the main settings is a general store.  Of all the jobs I've work at in my life, I've never worked in any kind of store.  I've worked in more than a few factories, worked at a nursing home as a nurse's aide, worked as a bus driver, a librarian...I really miss that one...But I've never worked in a general store.  I know we're 'supposed' to write about what we know, but the story really isn't about the store.  Or the Carman's farm for that matter.  (I've never lived on a farm either, just next door.)

It's about the people, about Craig and Angela's relationship, about overcoming the past and embracing the future.  And when it comes to workplace drama...one thing I've noticed in all my jobs is that it's all pretty much the same.  Different faces, different stories, but people are still people and drama happens just the same everywhere.  We all have hopes and dreams, we all have troubles and sorrows.  And drama is just a normal side affect of people rubbing up against other people.  It's hard not to do in such a crowded world!

On the brighter side of my present work, we've been getting done before 3:30...although just barely a few times.  Today we were done before 3!  We start at 6 AM.  Of course, they've turned the cow line up really high like we're in some kind of race...which you'd think they'd stop doing since stuff keeps breaking whenever they do that.  On my end of the process we've been buried...which might be why my mental wandering has been off.

Here's to hoping we have Saturday off though!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Short and Sweet

Just a short note to say I'm not going to post much tonight.  Had a hard day at work and I'm really in a lot of pain.  I spent all my lunch break in Medical trying to get things taken care of.  It didn't happen today, maybe tomorrow.

I'm not even sure I'll get any writing done tonight, although I have it open and might try.  Stuff just hurts.

Have a good night, everyone.

Monday, December 16, 2013

The "Missing" Link

Here is the link for my book on Nook.  Presently I'm selling it for $2.50 there, US dollars.  Judging by some of the books I saw there, that's a fair price.

Truthfully, I hate putting a price on my novel.  It's just weird to me.  I mean, there will never be an amount that would accurately match the amount of hours I put into it...ever.  But I want the price to be attractive enough that people will want to buy it.

Because I like people reading my book.  It feels good when they say they like it.  Even my mother liked it..."enough".  I knew it wouldn't be met with rave reviews from her because of the smidgen of language in it, the f-bomb was dropped twice, and there was a little bit of sex in it.  Just a little.  My mother can be a bit of a Puritan sometimes, but to each their own, right?

I love hearing what people's favorite parts were.  One of my favorite scenes in the novel, is the "almost kiss" in the laundry room on Christmas day.  To come so close, and to be rudely interrupted.  Grandma Pearl meant well, but she obviously did not get the family memo stating that Craig and Angela were to be left alone!  In many ways, that moment marks Craig's first breaking point.  He decided at Thanksgiving that he wanted to see where his friendship with Angela would take them, so long as it was slow...but things begin to ramp up without his expectation.  On Christmas he also gets to see the depth of Angela's pain over her brother's death, and it once again puts his own in perspective.

Craig's pain is very real, and in no way does his opinion that Angela's pain is worse than his own pain mean that it actually is.  While it is true that there is always someone who has a worse situation than our own, that in no way diminishes the reality of what we feel and experience.  Many times it's just a matter of perspective.  Many times it's just knowing that we're not the only ones to feel pain and despair.  For so long, Craig only ever saw his own pain.  It consumed him.

But then he saw Angela's.  And knew that he wasn't alone.  While Angela's struggle with her guilt over her brother's death was far from a perfect Christian example (there is no such thing, but we often think there is), it is enough that it gives Craig hope.  Because Angela never stops fighting the despair that so often threatens to consume her; she often ran from it, denied it, but she never stopped fighting.

And I went on a lot longer than I intended!  That happens from time to time.

Hope everyone has had a good Monday!  Here's looking to more snow on Tuesday!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

The Nook Book

If I did everything right, my novel Farmer's Daughter should be available for Nook tomorrow!

Going to keep this post short as I had a great day with family, but a long one.  It's that time of year for family and food!  And football!  Which is odd because I prefer hockey over football, but when it's what everyone else is watching, it's hard not to get involved!

Have a great day everyone and I'll keep you updated!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

The Life of this Writer

The life of a writer should be easy, right?  I should be able to get up when I want, write when I want, write in the atmosphere I want, go to bed when I want.  In a perfect world, maybe.

Work has been rough this week, even though I had two days off midweek for mother's doctors appointments.  Thursday and Friday we worked 9 1/2 hrs.  It is not just my opinion that we should never have combined first and second shift and that we need to go back to that arrangement.  While it may save the company money, I have to ask: at what cost?  Their people are suffering, and this particular branch only seems to care for the bottom dollar and not those who earn them that bottom dollar.

And the hubby has been home a lot this week.  While I appreciated his company for my mother's appointments, it makes me worry whether he's lost his job or not.  Waiting by myself can be very trying, so I was very glad that he was there.  Mostly routine things, but the scans Mom had done on Wednesday should hopefully give us some insight as to her constant bladder infections.  I just heard from her and she's gotten a report back from the one scan already saying that she has a partial blockage somewhere between her kidney and the bladder...I'm guessing the same one that she had back in 2010 that no one bothered to tell us about.  I'm not sure how something like that is fixed, but I'm guessing there's going to be more surgery and more waiting in our future.

I can usually write and do my social media stuff while hubby plays his Xbox games, mainly Halo Wars, but lately he's been exceedingly...exuberant.  He did turn his music off last night when I was having trouble with my Nook Book cover.  Which I think I've finally settled on one that I like:

I like it.  I don't think I'll update the other covers, the one for Kindle and CreateSpace, but I will be sure to carry this on for the rest of the series.  I like the font. Naturally I made it with PicMonkey.  I'm not sure what the problem was last night, but every time I tried saving my cover it would crash on me.  So I finally shut down my other window and just kept PicMonkey open and that seemed to do the trick.  All's well that ends well.

Signing off for now.  Going to try to get some writing and 'socializing' done.  Google+ and Twitter, here I come!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Hopes Dashed!

I've spent a week off the computer in an attempt to rest my aching wrist, and have missed this place sorely!  But my hopes for an audio book have been cut short!  I tried to send an offer to the woman who auditioned, only to find out that she's super new too and didn't realize that she needed a home studio or acces to one. Which I understand totally, it's all confusing to me too. But it's still a bummer!  I guess I'll keep shopping!  I did send an offer out today, and am keeping my fingers crossed!

And then there's the death of movie actor Paul Walker!  I spent all day last Sunday hoping that it would turn out to be a hoax and finally had to accept that it was not.  I wasn't a huge fan, as I tended to find his characters somewhat annoying (which is why I would have wanted him to play Pastor Mark if my book was ever made into a movie lol). But he was one of my favorite actors. And all his undercover good deeds that are coming into more media coverage really kind of make me respect him more.  He was so much more than a pretty actor. He was a man who flew with teams into disaster zones as a 'first responder' to help and give aid...out of his own pocket.

I've had the house pretty much to myself today, although I've managed to write very little.  I have gotten some social media done, Facebook and Twitter, and even some Pinterest.  I've also started formatting to release Farmer's Daughter on Nook later next week.!!  Woot woot!  I have to do something for a cover though, and they don't have a program to build one right through them like Kindle did.  I will find something suitable and make it myself through PicMonkey.  I really enjoy that site!

There are a lot of thoughts on my mind right now, too many to include in this post.  Some I'm not sure I dare voice.  We will see what the week holds.  I do have Tuesday and Wednesday off, though the days will be filled with my mother's doctors appointment: it can be hard getting old!

Monday, December 2, 2013

New Things

This chicky has had a long day.  In my area, many companies give the Monday after Thanksgiving off as a paid holiday because it is the first day of deer season and they know that all the hunters will just call off "sick" if they don't.

But even though it was a holiday, I was still up way to early to take my mother to a doctor's appointment.  And it was very enlightening.  It was a new specialist and this one might actually get us somewhere.  My mother suffers from chronic urinary tract infections and no one seems to know why.  Or what to do to either fix it or make it more tolerable.

And then I went out hunting.  For the first time ever in my life!  Regardless of what you may think of hunting, it is big in the area and you're somehow odd if you don't go.  And this was a very trying time for me.  I have no problem trying new things, but have to admit I felt more than a little pressure from my husband and in-laws.  But at the end of the day, I was glad enough that I went ahead and tried it.  I didn't see anything, except squirrels - all of which I would gladly kill for the nuisance they were, and basically froze my bum off.  At least Hubby came and sat with me and kept me company.  Which is probably why I didn't see anything--we were too busy whispering to each other!  ;)

It's good to have family to encourage you, as I'm feeling the lack of it from my biologicals at the moment.  While I hardly expected all my family to read my book, I would have expected a little more support I guess.  I've heard: "the print is too small" (for the paperback - which I can remedy for future books; at 472 pg's I think the font is big enough for Farmer's Daughter), "it's too long" (not everyone is into big books and I understand) "unpronounceable words" (not much I can do about that as the person saying this has an extremely low reading level and would find most basic words a problem) "It's just not my thing" (totally get that one) and "I'm not reading love stories any more" (which is okay, but why start reading it and give up when you know it's a love story to start with?)

I knew criticism would come eventually and really did expect it to come from family first.  I'm trying to take it all with a grain of salt and take from it all what I can to become a better writer.  But obviously I don't write to please my family.  (obviously as there is some language and some sex in it.)  If I did, the book would never have been published in the first place!  There are some who don't want to see me succeed.  They'll tell you other wise, but their sarcasm and nay-saying indicate otherwise.

But on the bright side, I did get permission from a local restaurant to bring in a few paperback copies and see if they won't sell there  Crossing fingers and waiting to have the funds to buy a few more copies!  It's a rough time of year for us as Mr. Janney is essentially laid off for the winter.

I haven't given the go ahead to the audio book yet, but plan to later this week.  Also will be releasing to Nook in the middle of the month as well.

New things = exciting times!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Being Heard

I've been looking into ACX this past week, with the intentions of making Farmer's Daughter available as an audio book.  It's another branch of Amazon somehow.  My profile on their site went up on Wednesday, and I've already had a narrator audition for it.

And it makes me a little nervous actually.  I've read her profile, I even googled her and she's a real actress.  Why this intimidates me, I'm not entirely sure.  I want to message her and ask her why she chose me and my book.

It's like, it's too good to be true and I'm afraid to contact her and get the ball rolling.  I have no idea how long the process would take, ACX estimates the book would be 20+ hours.  That's a lot of talking!

I didn't even have this much fear when it came to publishing direct to Kindle.  I mean yeah, there was some fear, but nothing like the trepidation I feel right now as I just think about making an audio book!

I shouldn't wait too long, as she might pick up another project or change her mind.  She's been trained at Julliard for crying out loud!  She was on TV back in the 80's.

No doubt I will be pacing the floor back and forth for the rest of the day.  Odds are I will press the buttons I need to and get the ball rolling...but it's going to take a good bit of encouraging myself.

Why not?  I mean, it's a good story and it ought to be made available to as many people as possible.  And don't I deserve to work with someone professionally trained? And yet, I quake in my boots.

It's going to be a long day!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


It's a crazy time of year...and it's only Thanksgiving!

Saturday was the first of two family get-together's for me.  Traveled about an hour away from home, after working four hours.  We had to work Saturday because we have Thursday off for Thanksgiving, obviously, and then we will have Monday off as well since it is the first day of deer season here in PA and that is pretty much a holiday here.  We'll be working ten hours on Friday and then another ten on Tuesday to prevent having to work this Saturday.  I'll take that deal!

Tomorrow Mr. Janney and I will be headed to his parents' so that I can back my dish-to-pass (sweet potato yumyum) and then head to his grandparents for dinner.

This explains why my posting is not consistent this week for which I apologize.  I'll have a better plan in store for Christmas, which promises to be just as crazy and is now less than a month away.  And as usual we have done no Christmas shopping!

I have gotten very little new material written this week, which is a little frustrating but I will have to deal with it as I have no choice in the matter!  As my friend Jaime says at work, "Suck it up Buttercup!"

One thing I did get accomplished is putting up a title page for Farmer's Daughter in an attempt to have it made available as an audio book.  I want to make it as available as possible.

Which, a quick reminder, Farmer's Daughter is still on sale for Kindle.  Although the price is bumped up to $1.99 now, but it'll be there for two more days.  And 16 some hours according to the last countdown I just saw!  It'll hop back up to $2.99 after that.

I'll get this stuff figured out eventually!  In the meantime:

And Happy Hanukkah!!

Friday, November 22, 2013


Just a reminder: my novel Farmer's Daughter is on sale this week starting today!  I verified it before posting to make sure the promotion has started.  You can get the Kindle edition for only 99 cents for a limited time!

I'm excited to see how it turns out!


Thursday, November 21, 2013

Unproductive Week?

So far it has been an unproductive week for me; at least when it comes to writing.  Mr. Janney has been home sick from work and the first the computer has been turned on this week has been to write this.  It hasn't been wasted time, as any time spent hanging with my hubby is nice!  He usually gets home so late that there is little time in the evening to really enjoy the time.  I'm not sure if I'll get anything other than this blog post written tonight as I am exhausted from another long day at work.

I did spend some time on Sunday working on back story for my series, scenes that will never be published and are solely for my information.  I'm still not sure they're events I want to have happen, but either way the rough draft of my characters' pasts is at least partially written.

Which is important for me at least to know because in a  very real sense, one of the antagonists in my novel Farmer's Daughter is the past.  At the very least, Craig and Angela's different reactions to past events which hampers their lives.

They both withdrew from life.

Craig's reaction to his abuse as a teen closed him off from the female gender, and because he didn't feel safe enough to tell his father it also hindered his relationships with men.  He also turned away from God.  Kevin, his friend from college, is the deepest friendship Craig has.  Craig is seen as aloof, sometimes unfriendly, and moody.  Most people fear his temper, although we don't really see much of that once Angela comes on the scene.  Although it is never said in the novel, it is evident that Craig lives a very scheduled life.  There is some debate as to whether or not Craig is considered kind, and it probably depends on who one talks to.

Like in any town, everyone has their own opinion about everything and everyone, but we'll talk about that on a later day!

Angela's reaction to her brother's accident is varied.  Because she feels responsible, Angela internalizes her emotions.  All her anger from that day, all her guilt and self-loathing.  She manages to live some semblance of a normal life.  She still went to school, graduating and enrolling in college.  She has several close friendships with other females, but because she felt abandoned by her brother and later betrayed by her brother's best friend she holds herself distant from men.  Yet she lives on a knife's edge, because the accident left her with Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome and just the sound of squealing brakes can send her into a panic attack.

Had these two continued to live in the same town without crossing paths, something Angela worked very hard at, odds are they would never have found the healing they needed.  Don't get me wrong, I believe in the healing power of God and right thinking about ourselves.  But I also believe in the human factor.  Our words, our actions, our love or hate towards another human being can do so much good...or harm.  We are powerful beings and all to often we ignore the powerful influence we can have on other people.

Each and every one of us has a past.  And we've all had heartaches and abuses and bad things happen to us. How we allow those experiences to shape us, is entirely up to us.  Fortunately it's something that can be changed if we come to realize we've made a wrong decision.  If we allow it, our past circumstances can give us the experience needed to help pull someone else out of the same dark hole we came out of.

I think I'm going to wrap it up.  I'd like to write more, but I don't want to go on too long.  And I'm thinking bed is in order soon.  4 AM comes WAY too soon, regardless of what time I go to bed!

Before I go, a question for you.  Have any of you had a chance to read my novel yet?  If not, the Kindle version will be going on sale at 8 AM Saturday morning and will be .99 cents for 72 hours.  :)

Monday, November 18, 2013

A Merry Chase

Well, here we go again.  I'm feeling a little more focused today.  I think problems at my job have been weighing too much on my mind this past week.  It's hard to see my friend hurting and struggling because the 'powers that be' made a really lousy choice in who they promoted, and didn't promote.  I probably shouldn't comment on it, because this is a very public forum and I know they watch social media like hawks for crap like that.  So my apologies for letting it all distract me; I may work it into a post eventually, but not today.

Today, we're going to talk about the romantic chase.

One thing that is commented on a couple times in my novel Farmer's Daughter is how the female lead Angela is hesitant to let Craig know that she likes him beyond friendship.  Her grandmother calls her on it at Christmas, reminding her that 'women are bold these days'.  Craig thinks about her hesitancy after Christmas and their 'almost kiss'; in fact Craig has the thought that he wishes she would just up and say 'Craig, I want to be more than just friends', as it would make it easier for him...and then realizes that in subtle ways, Angela had done exactly that.

She doesn't come right out and tell him, because she is a perceptive woman and realizes that a move like that would set Craig to running.  And she herself is terrified of being 'caught' in a one sided romance.  But once Craig makes up his mind, he pursues Angela with a gentle intent.

Which opens up the door to the entire question of whether that's how it's supposed to be?  Is it up to the guy to do all the asking and pursuing?  I once had a man tell me that a woman has no say in the matter of romance...that it's entirely up to the guy to notice her and then pursue her.  And this was a very proper Christian man, and I'm thinking I'm glad that he shot me down the way he did as I'm not sure I would want to be in that restrictive of a relationship. I mean, really?  As a woman, I have far more power than that!  I can say NO, and then where would Mr. Proper Man be?

It's not how my own relationship with my husband began.  We were both hesitant to pursue a relationship, for reasons different from my characters.  Some were legit (both our previous romantic partners were cheaters!), others were just plain silly...at least in my opinion.  Who cares who had a vehicle and who didn't?  Who really cares that there are ten years between us, me being the older one?  OK, his parents cared and that was a bit of an issue at first.  But we both had jobs, we both liked each other, and we were both adults...so why not see where it could lead?  And neither one of us really made the initial move...a friend/co-worker of ours gave us a good push towards each other.  Five years later, we're still enjoying tormenting each other and making life interesting.

For Craig and Angela though, it was necessary.  One thing I've learned from my many years as a single woman watching others relationships is: Every relationship is different and can't be approached like it's going to fall in line with a set of man-made rules.  That and you can't judge someone else's romantic relationship or marriage unless you're a part of it somehow and that too is a subject for a different day...indeed, Book Two.  In many ways, Craig was emasculated as a teen; indeed, it was his abuser's intent.  Predators go after the weakest member of the herd, and that's what Craig's abuser did.  And she wanted him to stay that way, so she could always have that power over him.

Angela figures out early on that Craig doesn't like to be touched.  She doesn't understand why, but almost every time she inadvertently touches him, he withdraws physically and even emotionally.  It causes more than a few hiccups in their relationship.  But that doesn't mean she never shows any initiative.  While Craig starts spending time with her at work on his own, to the point where he even asks her to come in on her nights off, she's the one who asks him to help her with her new karate class and she's the one who invites him to Thanksgiving dinner, an invitation which causes Craig to face his attraction and feelings for her in the face.  In many ways, Craig does the chasing, but Angela's the one that does the leading.

And it was indeed a merry chase.

At least that's what people have told me.  Well, my mother told me that there were times she wanted to reach into the book and smack the two with a two-by-four.  High praise indeed.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Wednesday Night Dilemma

I'm not sure what the problem is tonight, but I can't focus to write a post of any substance tonight.  Usually I write my post the night before and have it scheduled to post the next morning and it's just not happening tonight.  And I don't want to post something just for the sake of posting.

I've had my intended post on my mind since Sunday, perhaps I should have just written it then when it was quieter and I wasn't as tired.  Live and learn.

Tomorrow is another day and I shall try again.  Because that's all one can really do, right?

Monday, November 11, 2013

No Easy Answer

I was at a family get together Saturday and was once again faced with the inevitable question: so, what's your book about?

And really, there is no easy answer.  Because it really is more than 'boy meets girl'.  It's about battling fear. It's about letting past wounds heal.  It's about finding the courage to face an uncertain future.  It's about family discord and unity.  It's about faith and doubting...and finding faith again.  It's about the loss of a loved one and the impact it has on the entire family.

And there's a dragon in it.

Okay, she's just in Craig's dreams, but she's still there.  And she is one of the antagonists in the novel.  Although we never meet the woman the dragon represents until late in the novel, her influence over Craig even as an adult is undeniable.  His friend/shrink Kevin calls him on it more than once in the novel, telling Craig that he needs to stop comparing every woman he meets to his stepmother.  He denies it, but Craig does indeed compare Angela and his stepmother Veronica...and he can't help but notice the differences.  How Angela doesn't push herself on him, how she tries to consistently put others above herself, how her touch doesn't do the same thing to him that his stepmother's did.  Oh, it definitely arouses him, but it doesn't disgust him.

As an adult survivor of molestation, one of Craig's biggest struggle is with his own sexuality.  While the community in general thinks he is homosexual and he doesn't do anything to change their minds, the only thing about Craig that is in the closet is his romantic streak.  He's content as he is, for the most part.  At least, he thinks he is.  The truth is before he formally met Angela, he was a lonely recluse.  Oh, he was friendly to all but he made no real friends in the time he lived in Tyler's Grove.  Afraid that all women were like his stepmother, he not only shut women out...he shut men out as well because of the father that was unable to protect him and blind to what had happened.

The sole exception would be his friend Kevin, but even that is on his own terms.  He calls Kevin sporadically, usually only when something has sparked the dream sequence they both refer to as The Dragon Dream.  Kevin's wife Sherry is considered a friend, but mostly by association.  Kevin and Craig's relationship is probably seed for another post at a later date.

In the prologue, which I will forever question whether it was a good literary move or not, the comment about Craig is made: he no longer tried to escape the nightmare he was caught in.  He made the mistake of accepting what he had been told, of accepting that the nightmare was never going to end.  And then he caught a glimpse of sunlight in his darkness and he was faced with a whole new dilemma.  At once afraid to embrace the sunlight, and yet afraid to lose it.

But once he had a taste of happiness, he gave himself to the chase with his whole heart.

More on the 'chase' on Thursday...

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Like Jumping off a Cliff

Once again I tried getting ahead of myself!  Before I get into the different antagonists of my novel, perhaps I ought to tell you why decided to self publish.  After all, someone's bound to ask me sooner or later!

So, here I was with a finished novel and I wasn't quite sure what to do with it.  Do I send it to a publishing house?  Try to find an agent?  Send query letters...after I figure out how to write one that is.  And I knew that all this took time.  One of the pages I follow on Facebook, Saints Not Sinners had recently been telling us how he was going to publish his book straight to Kindle.

I didn't think too much of it at first.  Until I was sitting with a finished novel on my hands and a sequel unfolding at the same time.  I thought...should I try it?  I looked into it first, to make sure there were no hidden fees.  I mean, that was always my first thought when I considered self publishing...it takes money.

Not anymore!

Amazon makes it really kind of easy.  Publish straight to the Kindle and there's no cost involved.  Easy peasy.  Just like jumping off a cliff.

I hemmed and hawed for weeks, stuck in indecision.  Was self publishing some kind of cop out because I didn't want to face rejection letters?  Was it the same?  It came to me one morning, that I either believed in my story or not.  As simple as that.  So I took the plunge  I still face the possibility of rejection...not from agents and editors.  Friends, family, readers in general...are far more scarier!  Granted, I haven't heard too much negative yet, but it's bound to come.  I know I'm not going to be everyone's cup of tea and I'm ok with that because I know I'm going to be somebody's cup of tea!

And then there were those friends and family members who don't have a Kindle.  They wanted a chance to read it too.  So I dug a little deeper and found I could do the same with CreateSpace.  The cost for the printing of the book comes out of the list price, you couldn't ask for it to be easier!

Until you take into consideration everything I didn't think of until afterwards...like marketing the book!  It has been a learning experience, and I'm glad I did it.  I'm learning the ins and outs of all the social media I ignored before, like Twitter and Pinterest.  I've met some really cool people in the process as well.

This will happen.  It is happening!

Monday, November 4, 2013


I'm posting late today, and there is good reason for that.  Yesterday my husband and I experienced New York City for the first time in our lives, something I absolutely loved!  Today we have spent catching up on everything we would have normally done yesterday.  I absolutely loved the City, and the inspiration I was looking for, and would gladly go back...in my wildest imaginations to actually live!  As if!  I'm not sure Mr. Janney would go with me willingly!  LOL  He is a country boy through and through.

Saturday, I think it was, I realized that I've really done things backwards.  I have a bad habit of doing that.  I mean, I published my novel straight to Kindle and then to paperback!  Ah well, we live and learn.  The second book will probably be released simultaneously to Kindle and paperback.  I've never actually told any of you what my book is about, the synopsis I mean.  I've just kind of assumed everyone will go to the website I link to!  Presumptuous on my part.

So, here it is:

When two wounded souls meet for the first time in a decade, sparks fly and threaten to catch an entire community on fire.

Devastated by a childhood accident, Angela Carman does her best to hide her pain hoping that no one will see the guilt it covers. When she learns that her family's farm is at the brink of foreclosure, Angela's course of actions sets into motion events that will change not only her life but her entire family's as well. As if learning to balance work, school and church wasn't enough, Angela is soon faced with adding love into her equation.

Haunted by his own painful past, Craig Moore is more than a little unwilling to hire the pretty young woman who arrives at his store at just the right time. But something about Angela in those first few minutes intrigued him and he found himself wanting to know her better. Perhaps it was the way she looked at him with only professional interest when other women always seemed to have ulterior motives. Perhaps it was her determination to not take "no" for an answer, or her tightly controlled emotions. Craig soon finds himself drawn into her world. A world steeped in faith and incredible pain, and he finds that he is not alone.

As two sets of self imposed prison walls begin to crumble and they fall in love, the entire town of Tyler's Grove notices and not all are pleased at the turn of events. From the young pastor who covets Angela for his own, to her own jealous cousin, to the Beast who works against them in another realm; at first the two only find support from their own best friends, both of whom are phone calls away. But as tragedy after tragedy seems to beset Angela, the small town unites behind her and Craig.

Will it be enough? When Angela is kidnapped from the streets of this small country town in broad daylight, and her life hangs in the balance, will her town's loyalty be enough to bring her justice? When Angela once again stands at the crossroads of life and death, will Craig's love be enough to bring her back? Will Craig's renewed faith stand the strength of this test? Or will it shatter them all?

In many ways, it's a love story...but it is about so much more than that.  It's about faith while questioning the One you believe in, it's about healing, and there is enough suspense to hopefully keep you guessing at the secrets the different characters hold close.  I mean, we all have secrets...some are just darker than others.

And there is no single antagonist in the book, there are several and I hope I managed to balance them all well.  Because just like secrets, none of us really have one single person out to get us.  Sometimes all we have are selfish people just trying to look out for themselves.  I think Thursday's post will touch on that some more.

For now, I think I'm going to end for the day by saying I LOVE NEW YORK!!  And back to life as normal tomorrow!  :)

Thursday, October 31, 2013

What's Good for the Goose

What's good for the goose, is good for the gander, right?  If I'm going to look at my writing and my descriptions of my female characters in Farmer's Daughter, then I have to be honest and take a look at the male characters.

Do I have to????

I think this is an area that I really kind of fall short in.  I really skimp on describing my male characters, even worse than the women.  There's just not that much there.  The Carman's are all noted as having auburn hair, the matriarch Maude being described as just having dark hair.  There is no other description of Philip that I can think of off the top of my head other than he has brawny arms.  Which makes sense if you consider that he's an active farmer.

Craig, the male lead and Angela's romantic interest, is taller than her though I never specify by how much beyond stating that she swims in his clothes.  Brown hair, brown eyes.  She thinks he's handsome; several of the female characters share that opinion.  One can conclude that he's physically fit given that he actively maintains his black belt in karate.  In my head, given my mood on any given day he bears a striking resemblance to either a young Stephen Caffrey (The sole reason why I watched Tour of Duty) or Chris Pine (my current Hollywood favorite).

Everett Crane is described as being tall and slim with red hair and green eyes with wrinkles around them.  And he likes to wear suits.  A lot.  The typical dress code for the mob, right?  It's commented later in the novel that he's older than Philip.  A similar comment is made about Doctor Evans looking a great deal older than Philip.

Is my lack of description good or is it a failing?  I'm not sure at this point.  At least the very least I highlight what I think is "important" when looking at a man.  My husband's eyes were the deal clincher for me, back when I first noticed him and just had a 'crush'...I took one look into those hazel-green eyes and thought, "Oh my God, you've got to be kidding me!"  I've been hooked ever since.

The one character who receives negative descriptions would be Harry Flynn, one of the minor male antagonist.  He's referred to as greasy, not just shorter than Craig (because we see him early on having to look up) but also smaller than him.  In my initial re-scan of our first meeting of Harry Flynn, I could find no reference to his hair color or his eye color.  He's also referred to as weaselly, though it's far more a commentary to his character than any physical appearance.

Even though I don't think it detracts from the story at all, and allows the reader to use their own imagination as to the minor details of the characters appearances, I may have to work on this for the next book in the series, Ring Of Fire.

For those of you who celebrate Halloween, have a happy and safe one!

Monday, October 28, 2013

And Then There's Maggie

In my previous post, I mentioned being uncomfortable writing an overweight character because of my own body weight issues.  This is only part true, but may very well be part of the reason why I keep forgetting about Maggie Witherspoon (no relation to Reese).

She seems to be a relatively minor character in my novel Farmer's Daughter, but she's far more important than might be suspected.  Mentioned through the novel at several different spots, usually in connection to her red sports car, we don't actually meet her until almost three quarters of the way through.  It is a short scene, and we are left with the impression of a large woman uncomfortable in her own body.  She hides her plump curves with baggy cargo pants and large t-shirts.

I portray her this way on purpose, because I want her to remain a mystery.  No one pays attention to the fat chicks in life.  Even when she's mentioned in connection to the kidnapping scene, I want people to wonder about Maggie.  How is it that this plump awkward woman is capable of moving in such a confident manner  Who is she really?  At the end of the novel, we're aware that Angela goes to see her, but the reader remains clueless as to what the two women discussed.  Book two will illuminate us more on the true nature of Maggie's part in the story, but I will then plunge us back into darkness.

Not because fat women are supposed to remain in the background.  How often did I get that impression while I attended church?  Women in general are meant to serve in the background...quietly doing their chores, making coffee and tending to the dinners.  Fat women even more so.  Sometimes I am amazed that I was allowed to be on the dance team during its peak...after all, no one wants to see a fat woman dancing, even in worship.  Maybe especially during worship, if you consider the fact that a few times I was asked to take my dancing self to the back of the sanctuary where no one could see.

I keep Maggie in the background, because when the truth about her quiet work comes out people will be astounded that a large woman could pull it off.  Hopefully not in the veiled contemptuous way I was complimented for dancing with the group.  "You're so much more graceful than I expected."  Unsaid is: for a fat woman.  But I always heard it.  Hopefully the readers will be more appreciative than that.

Maggie is beautiful in part because she works in the background out of love.  A friendship with Angela was forged in those few short scenes, although they may never have the chance to explore that friendship.  And her love for Angela compels her to break rules, go deep undercover in rough situations, and even put her own romance on hold.  I keep us in the dark about Maggie, because that's her nature.  It has more to do with her character than her looks.  And like any beautiful woman, she uses her looks to disarm people.  Instead of wowing people and distracting them, Maggie makes herself invisible.

All to often I myself have felt forced to remain in the background.  Maggie chooses to do so.  We all get to choose, which image we present to the world to see.  And sometimes, we chose to surprise people when we allow ourselves to shine.  Will Maggie ever allow herself to shine?  Or will she insist on remaining invisible?  Time will tell.

Shine on.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Price Change!

Hi peeps!

Just a quick blog to update you on the changes to the price of my novel.  Amazon has the paperback priced at $9.68 I don't know how long that will last, as that is their offer and not mine.  Grab it quick if you like the feel of a novel in your hands!  I've lowered the Kindle price to $2.99!


Thursday, October 24, 2013

Body Image and Angela Carman

What do you see when you look in the mirror?

Last weekend I was engaged in a rather heated discussion with a man on a friend's Facebook post over body size and beauty.  He was insistent that a large woman wasn't beautiful or sexually appealing and that the men who thought so were somehow twisted.  Being a large woman myself, which is something you can't really tell from my profile pic, I insisted that it doesn't matter what size we are, we're beautiful.  Fat chicks need love too!

Which brought me to my female lead character in my novel, Farmer's Daughter.  Angela Carman is regarded as beautiful by nearly everyone in the novel.  She is between 5'7" and 5'8", slim and physically fit (which makes sense since she has a black belt in karate).  Why did I do this?  Did I fall prey to the media need to have a physically appealing female lead?  Am I as guilty as the man I was arguing with about what physical beauty is?

Uncomfortable thoughts.  Granted, I made Angela to be what I myself want to be.  What I am in my head.  It may be that my own discomfort with my own body makes me hesitant to try to write an obese character.  So often, I am unable to see my own beauty, just like Angela.  Angela's own body image will become more of an issue in later novels.  Does she have an eating disorder?  Will she ever believe herself to be the Angel that Craig calls her?

And how will Craig handle her issues?  Will he become frustrated?  Will he always be patient?  My own husband gets a little frustrated with me, because I don't always believe him when he calls me "Cutie" and "Gorgeous".  Am I really beautiful to him?  Or is he just trying to make me feel better?  Although I had not met my husband when I first began to write the character of Craig, I was better able to fine tune his relationship with Angela after I had some of my own experiences.  His acceptance of me will probably seep into Craig's character.

Time will of course tell, as we only see the merest blush of what their future together holds in this first novel.  I'm excited as I explore this world that has opened up to me, and can't wait to share all the nooks and crannies of it with everyone.  And as I become more comfortable with who I am, physically and spiritually, the more interesting their lives will be I think.

Because Angela's beauty, as with my own and your own, is far more than just what is on the outside.  She is a strong woman facing the weakest part of her, facing the darkness inside of her and battling demons she's been afraid of for far too long...and by doing so, she gives others the courage to do the same.

#robinjanney #farmersdaughterrobinjanney #bodyimage #truebeauty #courage

pic from http://www.hdwallpaperstop.com/mirrors-edge-2-wallpapers/

Monday, October 21, 2013

Books and Genre

Like many writers, I like to read.  Currently I'm reading Ted Dekker's "The Bride Collector", and then I'll be reading Matthew Keith's "Watchers of the Night".  Dekker is an old favorite of mine, going back to "Blink" and "Blessed Child".  Keith is a new author I am trying out, someone I found on Facebook.

I tend to bounce between two general genre's when I read, Sci-Fi/Fantasy and Christian Romance.  Occasionally I'll find decent Christian Fantasy, although they tend to call it Allegorical, as if Fantasy is something to fear. This is probably why my own novel is a blend of the different worlds, it's Romance, but it's also Fantasy, or Urban Fantasy.

Years ago, when I was starting my first free-writes for "Farmer's Daughter", I let a church friend read the first few chapters I had.  At that point, it was loftily named "Dominions of Darkness" based on a bible verse.  And it was mainly Romance, as I had yet to feel free enough to read what I really liked.  She gave the notebook back to me with mixed reviews.  "It's good, BUT...you have to decide which world you're writing for."  She didn't like the sexual overtones I had in it at the time, specifically the emphasis on Craig's fascination with Angela's body.  In essence, was I going to write a secular novel, or a Christian novel?

This stumped me for a while back then.  I was a terribly self-conscious young woman at the time, easily upset by criticism from people I looked up to.  Eventually (almost ten years later) I decided that I didn't have to pick a world to write for...I only had to write the world in my head.  Once I made that decision, that world became unlocked to me.  It is filled with hurting humans struggling to find peace, filled with demons and dragons unhappy in their own existence and so feel the need to interfere with the humans.  Eventually, they will collide.

So, my question to you:  what do you like to read?

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Hello there!

This is not my first blog, but since I've decided to self publish my novel and throw myself out into the public, so to speak, I've decided that it's time for a new platform from where to speak.  My old blog was an online diary, where I would vent or ramble given my mood.  I used to be quite prolific, but life got in the way and it dwindled down.

I just had my first Google+ Hangout today, which was pretty darn cool!  Ever since my birthday, life has just been one adventure after another.  I'm not sure what was special about this past birthday, but I'm not minding what life is bringing me!

So it was Jeff Roach from Sociallogical.com and it's about building a community of like believers etc. instead of traditional marketing.  I'll end up signing up for their membership eventually, once Justin gets done working on his truck.  Well, that might never happen...he's always working on one vehicle or another!  But once that gets settled down, because I can learn on my own - I just need a few pointers to get me headed in the right direction.

One thing I took away from the Hangout was that I'm on the right track by beginning to blog again.  He used an example of another author blogging about their area of expertise.  Even though I write fiction, that's still something I can do to.  I might not be an expert in anything, not even in writing, but I am an expert in my own writing LOL

I've been writing since I was in the third or fourth grade.  I can remember my first stories...they were 'fanfiction' for a tv show I really liked back then.  "Airwolf".  Oh my goodness...I had such a childhood crush on the guy that played Stringfellow Hawke, Jan-Michael Vincent!  My writing has gotten much better since then...thank God!  All by villains were names "Bad John" or "Bad Kelly" etc.  While of course their counterparts were "Good John" and "Good Kelly"  LOL

So, "Farmer's Daughter" the novel I so impulsively self-published...because I decided I believed in it.  It is actually based on a dream I had in either 1997 or 98.  I really don't remember which, just that I was still working as a nurses aide when I was doing the first free writes for it.  It changed drastically from those first free writes, and that's a good thing.  The original idea had Craig being hesitant to build a relationship with Angela because he was afraid of a sexual discrimination lawsuit, but out of the free writes evolved the idea that it was actually because he'd been sexually molested as a teen.  Some of the villains were re-"casted" since then as well...which is going to turn out to be really cool in the long run.

After I finished it, about 2005ish according to my email records, I hit writer's block.  I had ended it in a cliff hanger - the kidnapping mentioned in the synopsis, and then I hit that brick wall.  Well crap, now what?  I tried starting a sequel, but didn't get anything.  I was able to write a few poems here and there, but it was like the pond had dried up.  So, I let it sit idle in my email until last April when I decided to download it and reread it to see if it was any good.  And it was, it is.  But I still didn't like the ending.  So, I tacked on a new ending, that went a different direction and opened the flood gates not just for a sequel but for a series of either 3-5 books.  It'll probably be 5, but I don't want to bore people so we'll see.

For right now, I think I'll stick to Monday/Thursday posting and see how it goes.  Back in the old days, I used to write a blog post everyday.  Not sure I have the time for that anymore.  Still learning, which is good.

Robin  :)