Thursday, January 29, 2015

January 29th, 2015 Challenge

Hi, it’s Christina –

Good Morning! Yeah, I know, it’s been forever. If it’s any consolation, I have been busy. All of my books are available on Nook again. I am also trying to get them up and running on Kobo, but I keep running into problems. They won’t load correctly. I couldn’t get the chapters to break properly, so it didn’t look right. Then I finally figured out how to fix it – sort of – and then I found a bunch of other issues.

The most annoying one was, for some unexplained reason, when I started a sentence with a quotation mark, the Kobo program put a space between the quotation mark and the first letter. I had to go in and manually change each and every one of them. When I FINALLY finished, I couldn’t get a preview of the book. I gave the Kobo team access to my books, so they could try and figure out what is going wrong.

Even though all three books are uploaded onto their system, I only did this for Corporate Blues. Be darned if I am going through and correcting line by line the other two. Heck, Taking Chances is over 120K words!

I don’t get it. It’s not like I’m a novice with creating e-books. I’ve been doing this for three years, with very few issues. Kobo, which is supposedly the easiest platform, is giving me the most angst. Hopefully I’ll hear back from them today, and the remaining two books will load without a hitch. I have invested just shy of sixty, that’s right 60, hours already, and I don’t even have one book live on Kobo. It took me between three and four hours to get all three books live on Nook.

I also took this opportunity to re-edit all three books. It has been years since I’ve read them, so I was seeing them with fresh eyes. Thankfully there were only a few small errors, but there was one in Taking Chances, which had me doing a head smack. Even though I’m pretty sure none of my readers would take the time to do the math, something jumped out at me. (No, I’m not going to tell you what it was. If you didn’t catch it, then that just proves my point.) I corrected, what to me was a grievous error, and all is right with the Bradford world again.

This brings me to a question for all of you. Even if you do not chose to do today’s writing prompt – even though I think you would have fun with it, I did – I would like you to reply. My question is, how closely do you pay attention to small details while you are reading? Do you stop and say to yourself, “wait a minute, that doesn’t add up” or go back and do the math?

I think I have always done that, and now with writing and editing, I do it even more. I’m down right terrible with it. I have even, while reading a series, gone back to a previous book in the series, to check something – back in book one you said he had three sisters, now in book four he only has two, where did he lose a sister?? You get my drift.

Perhaps this is one of the reasons Simply by Chance is taking so much longer to write than the first two books in the Bradford Series. I have come to a decision. I am going to get one of those large evidence boards like you see in TV cop shows, and I am going to map out my books. Characters, relations, homes, staff, distance between each point of interest, timeline. This way I will be spending less time going through my previous books to figure out if something I’m mentioning in a current book gels.

Speaking of writing, which is something I should be doing WAY more of, I had an idea. I bounced it off Annie Acorn, my publisher for all things non-novel, and she liked it. I want to know what you think. (Yikes, I’m asking y’all to respond to three different things in one post.) Here’s the idea – a project I’m going to call Bradford Shorts. Would you like to hear how Aaron & Suzanne got together, or how about Derrek & Anna, or Patrick & Arianna? I’m not sure each of these couples warrant an entire novel, however, a short story or novella may be just the ticket. I would sell each one separately and in a boxed set. As the Bradford Series progresses, I’m sure more secondary couples will arise, and with them subsequent “shorts”. So what do you think?

Okay, there are some things I need to get done before I have to leave to pick up RV. One of the things is calling the courthouse to see where my jury duty papers are. Last year, I was called for jury duty, and it was supposed to start on the same day I started with RV. They let me postpone it until this year. Even though I know it is supposed to be either the first or second week in February, I don’t know the exact dates, and I have not received notification. I need to be able to plan accordingly, so not knowing won’t cut mustard; hence the phone call.

Alright, let me boogie. I hope you have a great day, and happy writing!

Your Next Challenge is (stolen from my friend Keith. Since we didn’t have our writing group this week because of the snow, this was one of our “homework” assignments – I’ve also posted my response below, if anyone is interested):

A dog's (or cat's, or horse's, etc) perspective/ interpretation of experiencing snow for the first time

You have ten 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.

My response:

You said the “O” word. I heard it. Out, out, out. We’re going OUT. Yeah, I like out.
Let’s go, let’s go, let’s go. Why are you taking so long? Quit looking for your glove, you’re not going to find it. At least I hope you don’t find it, or you’ll start yelling.
Come on, come on, come on. Open the door already, I gotta pee! Hallelujah, it’s about time. Let’s go, let’s go, let’s go.
Whoa, what? That stuff wasn’t here last night. What is it? It smells…Ahh, cold, cold, cold, on my nose, on my nose. Get it off, get it off, cold, cold, cold, on my nose, get it off.
Wait Mommy, what are you doing? I don’t want to go out there. No Mommy, don’t make me. It’s cold…umf. Why would you do that? It’s… it’s…fluffy.
Is that a ball you have? Throw it. Throw it. Throw it! I’ll get it, I’ll get it, I’ll get it. I got it, I got it, I got it. Where’d it go?
Another ball? Throw it. Throw it. Throw it! I’ll get it this time Mommy, I’ll get it. I got it, I got it, I got it. What the heck?
You’ve got another one? Where are all these balls coming from?