Thursday, March 20, 2014

March 20th Challenge

Hi, it’s Christina –

I took two days off from the blog because I had so much to do, and now I have so much to tell you.

Monday, the Kindle edition of Corporate Blues went live, and like I said, I had some marketing / maintenance stuff to attend to with the release. The Amazon page was updated, a KPD select promo was set up. Corporate Blues will be free for 48 hours – March 31st (my anniversary), and April 1st (my birthday). After that, I think I will only do free offers very sparingly, but try and hold sales once a quarter.

On Tuesday I got the email saying the print copy of Corporate Blues was available for final review, and a sample copy was on its way, so I can give it its final blessing. I’m hoping it will be here by the weekend, so I can place my order for fifty books. I find this one of the most exciting things about writing – when the package comes in the mail, and you get to hold your newest “baby”, in your hands, for the first time. (If you read Corporate Blues, please don’t roll your eyes when Dawn says pretty much the exact same thing.)

Also on Tuesday, I returned to my writing group for the first time in many, many weeks. Now that Mother Nature isn’t being a royal pain in the butt, and it’s not pitch black out at five in the evening, I can make the trek to Princeton without any issues… I’m not counting the one detour and one emergency road closure I had to navigate around last night to get there. This Tuesday happened to be a Critique Group week, so I needed to bring something with me to have critiqued, and I chose the Prologue for Faerie Tale Queen. I figured since this was the next story I was finishing, I’d gage how the “gang” liked my straying from my normal writing. They’ve only experienced my historical romance writing – they’ve been reviewing Simply by Chance chapter by chapter.

Faerie Tale Queen opens with a whole lot of Gaelic words, so I was in a bit of a panic because I wasn’t 100% sure I would be able to pronounce them correctly. So, after I couldn’t find one of those talking translator programs that worked properly, I posted a plea on Facebook for assistance. Not five minutes after I posted, my phone rang. My friend JoAnne’s boyfriend spoke Gaelic, at least one of its several dialects, and he was able to help me. Other than Comhcheol, I’m happy to say, I was pronouncing the words correctly. Not that I had the chance to read, because we had so many show up for critique group that night. It’s okay though, I really don’t mind. I don’t have to share every time. The best part was seeing my friends again. I only met these folks less than a year ago, and already, I really miss them when I haven’t seen them in a while. So, even though I didn’t get to read, I still had a great night.

One thing I’ve learned is it’s amazing how difficult Gaelic actually is to learn. You would think, because they have fewer letters, it wouldn’t be so hard; but trying to remember all the rules is a bit daunting. Vowels sound different depending on which consonants follow them, and if you pronounce the “ai” as an “aye” sound instead of an “uh” sound, you’ve got a completely different word. I guess that’s true with any language, and probably because the chances of me actually using Gaelic on a daily basis are slim, I’m having so much difficulty.

You’ll find, in almost all of my books, I use some foreign language. Luckily, because I have wonderful friends all around the world, who are more than happy to help me, I do not need to be fluent in all the languages. So far my novels have contained French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian and Gaelic.  Part of Simply by Chance takes place in Turkey, and I’m sure I will toss in some native words and phrases from that part of the world as well (as soon as I find someone who speaks Turkish, Kurdish or Zaza).

In other news, on my birthday, I will be starting a part time “job”. A friend of mine from church had a stroke a few years back. She’s doing really well. So much so, she doesn’t need a home health aide any more, but she still can’t drive; so a few days a week, I’ll be bringing her to therapy, the grocery store or wherever else she needs to go. It’s only a few hours a week, I’ll be helping a friend, and it made no sense to keep on an expensive aide when she really doesn’t need one any more. This will be good for me too, a chance to get out from behind my keyboard and out in public for a few hours a week.

Yes the start date and NaNoWriMo coincide, and it will be a challenge. But when is it not? To de-stress myself, I’m making sure I clear my plate before April 1st, so all I’ll need to concentrate on is Faerie Tale Queen. I have three remaining editing project, which have been opened for a while, that need to be completed and emailed back to the authors, and one request for a review. I will complete the edits in the order they came in, and then I can start my new project with a clear conscience. I always have three or four editing projects open at the same time because it helps me when I can break away from a project for a little while, but still keep working.

However, now that I have a job again, I think I will have to back away from editing. I will continue to help my friends with their work, but I don’t think I will be able to pick an Indie author at random and edit their book for free any more. It would take far too long for me to complete the work, and I don’t think that’s fair to the author. The last author I offered this to has been waiting weeks – I have been sending him stuff all along, but I still feel bad. Between traveling, being sick, and some craziness in my life, this edit has taken longer than I had hoped. (Then again, the book is about 200 pages longer than most I’ve edited, but that’s not an excuse.) So, Linda, Joe, Julien & Jan – in that order – if you’re reading this, I hope to have your stuff back to you by the end of the month.

See, I said I had a lot to tell you. Now, if I ever plan on actually accomplishing my goal, I best get a move on. I hope y’all have a wonderful day, and happy writing!

Your Last Challenge was:

“Oh my God! Steve, Steve, please stop.”

With a shake of his head and a resigned sigh and chuckle, Steve pull the car over so Lindsey could get out and have a look. Their entire honeymoon had been spent doing much of the same. Lindsey was a like dog with a squirrel. Every morning, over breakfast, they would plot their course for the day, highlighting the places they wished to see. Then while driving to said destination, infallibly, Lindsey would spot something along the road, a garden, a ruin, a cemetery, a man herding sheep, and their original plans were dust in the wind; but Steve didn’t mind. Lindsey’s childlike sense of wonder was one of the things he loved most about her.

“Isn’t it magnificent? Do you think we go down there?”

Steve pulled her close and kissed her temple, “It looks like the house over there is on the same property. Why don’t we stop there and inquire about the ruins.”

Lindsey squealed, threw her arms around her husband’s neck, and planted a loud smack on his lips. “You’re the best. You know that?”

“Yup, I know, but it’s nice to hear.” Steve teased. “Come on, let’s go have a look.”

Your Next Challenge is:

Cloud watching…

You have 10 minutes (be honest). There is no right or wrong, just write. Spelling and punctuation don’t count and NO ONE is allowed to criticize what someone else has written. Go.