Time to Think Again!

 

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A new week starts, a time when my enthusiasm usually renews itself, but there is a noticeable lack of ‘get up and go’. It was more like, ‘get your arse moving and see what you can muddle through this week!’

Last month’s USB failure, resulting in the loss of three weeks work, has left a sour taste in my soul, leading me to wonder if I should even be doing any of this promotional stuff. I have ended up juggling so many balls; I am in danger of losing sight of the original dream, consumed as I am with the need to find that one magic ingredient that will make it all worthwhile.

It is always possible that I am not destined for greatness, and I am happy to realise that. Relieved, actually, but that will not stop me from trying my best, and improving my work. (At the time of writing, I plan to re-edit my books and update the covers, blurbs and keywords. I have been having a long hard look and not entirely happy with what I see!)

Little by little, I think I am beginning to lose my edge, the ability to juggle everything and still keep my balance. I seem to recall that this has happened to me before, a long time ago. I was in a relationship, and as long as I obeyed the rules and performed as instructed, I was grudgingly allowed to breathe.

Of course, the day eventually came when I needed more than that when I was tired of the constant struggle to be the person that was required. This wasn’t the first time I escaped from tyranny and it wouldn’t be my last, but eventually, I found a better way to live.

My present struggle is beginning to feel the same, and the need to escape is growing again. This presents a problem, for I don’t want to run away from most of it. I have to find a compromise, a way to keep our options open and the dream alive. I have to stop trying everything and anything, looking for the golden goose, who, for all I know, gave up laying eggs a long time ago…

When… #Poetry

 

 

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Image by Pixabay.com

 

 

When she loved me,

midnight was never dark

The moon always full,

 my bed never cold

My heart ever full,

the touch of her lips

Never fading, a permanent reminder

Of when she loved me.

Now I care not for midnight skies,

The stars have fallen

from their velvet mooring

Music has no melody,

ocean waves crash

against lonely shores, soundless.

The sun has lost its warmth

The smile on a strangers face

 no longer delights me

I am outside my body looking in,

As I sit remembering

when she loved me…

AAAAA

#Throwback Thursday ~ How Do You Achieve the Impossible?

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I have never been one to back down from a challenge, although there was that one time when we were considering renovating this house, only to find that half of the supporting walls were missing. Or the time when the previous owners had removed all the fireplace walls in the house, but not the chimney stacks on the roof, creating the granddaddy of all disasters, but I digress.

Just let it be said that there are some challenges you just cannot entertain.

Some challenges, however, beg to be taken on.

You know what you need to do. (more or less)  Thousands of people are already doing it, so how hard can it be?

It also helps if you have already mastered stage one…

For a rank beginner, writing a book was hard enough. Then I had to learn how to edit, format and upload it to Amazon. To be fair, once I knew the basics, this turned out to be reasonably easy. Although, knowing I could change anything was a get out of jail card, as my memory has more holes than a colander.

At that time, I thought that was all I had to do. Over the years since then, the truth has gradually dawned, bit by frustrating bit, pointing out that there was a lot more to it than that if you wanted to be successful. Even now, there are days when the enormity of it all makes my head spin.

What We Have Tried

Paid Book Promotion Sites… most of these do a good job, but they are expensive and the results were disappointing.

Book Tours… fun, but a lot of work. We met many people but didn’t sell many books or get reviews.

KDP promos… very good for putting your books out there and shifting a ton of free copies and that’s about all!

We have recently pulled most of our books out of KDP and placed them with Draft2Digital. Seriously thinking about going back to Smashwords too, as being exclusively on Amazon just doesn’t sound right anymore.

Over the last five years, we have sold a few books and received several wonderful reviews. We have established a popular website/blog and a slowly growing list of followers, and the fire of determination still burns bright. Almost every week, I try something new, either to do with books or marketing, something supposedly guaranteed to make our books bestsellers.

The Future?

We are contemplating having a go at advertising, even though we don’t have much of a budget they seem to be the way to go. If anyone knows better, please let us know?

We are constantly told that the best way to make it in this business is to keep writing until you finally create a masterpiece. Apparently, the more you write the better chance you have of creating something that cannot be ignored.

Surely, there must be a little more to it than that?

 

 

I See You… #Poetry

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I See You

I See You

I see a piece of you

like a puzzle that has slipped out of place

it’s the reason you are out of step with your life.

I see the chaos in the space between

strange moments that don’t fit

that don’t belong to you.

As if someone is trying to occupy

the space before it closes.

I hear your voice, the sound belongs to another

harsh, cruel. It scares me as if someone

has taken a piece of my mind.

Does it match your missing part?

Will we find a way to put them back in place

I see a piece of you

like a puzzle that has slipped out of place

it’s the reason you are out of step with your life.

I see the chaos in the space between

strange moments that don’t fit

that don’t belong to you.

As if someone is trying to occupy

the space before it closes.

I hear your voice, the sound belongs to another

harsh, cruel. It scares me as if someone

has taken a piece of my mind.

Does it match your missing part?

Will we find a way to put them back in place

will life tear more away,

as if we were no more than cardboard cut-outs

from a forgotten jigsaw puzzle…

AAAAA

 

Flash Fiction 99 Word Challenge for Carrot Ranch Literary Community

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My school was buzzing today, the nuns were all running around like deranged penguins. We were to receive a special throat blessing from the Bishop and were to address him as Your Eminence if spoken to.

The blessing involved two large candles joined in the shape of a V.

Sister Margaret held my hair away from the flame as the candles were placed around my throat and I have never suffered from a sore throat since.

Not bad going for 72 years.

I have wondered whether it was the blessing or just good luck

It still puzzles me today…

AAAAA

#Jaye’s Journal ~ week 12

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There has been a noticeable air of determination in the office this week. Even Merlin, our cat has spent more time with me, sitting on my desk for all the world as though supervising the whole shooting match.

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And what has triggered this state of affairs?

I think it started when I realised I was in danger of drowning under the growing piles of paperwork on my desk, and that something needed to be done about it and sooner rather than later.

I have known for some time that we have been drifting like a rudderless boat. It was never spoken about, but I think we had slowly abandoned all hope of ever achieving our goals. ‘Maybe one day,’ had turned into ‘In your dreams.’ almost without our noticing.

It was while sorting through the pile of paperwork, that I think I was bitten by some kind of creative bug. I became determined to do something about our state of inertia. Everywhere I looked it seemed, other people were making progress so it was reasonable to assume we could too.

Somewhere among all the paper in front of me had to be the key to our future in the writing business. I was in the habit of saving helpful articles, all claiming to turn me from hopeless to genius in no time at all. So I systematically sorted through the pile, keeping some and discarding others. I started a list of things to do, determined to master or learn one new thing every day.

On day one, I updated our Pinterest boards, adding new pins relating to our book promotion and adding our URL to them all. This, apparently, will increase the traffic to our website.

Day Two, I updated the header menu on our website, adding all of our #BlogBattle posts. Not essential, just something I had been meaning to get around to.

Day Three, we need to find readers, so I start with Twitter. #Amreading. and follow some readers.

Day Four, update our book promo posters. I also took the afternoon off and spent it cuddling our new Great Grandchild, something far more rewarding!

Day Five, read up on creating a street team. We need several readers to help promote my almost finished crime mystery novel. If anyone has any helpful hints for this, please holler!

 

My days are beginning to look quite different now. I write first thing in the morning for at least an hour, more if it’s flowing well. Then I attack the emails. This can take up to two hours. Then it’s social networking and follow-ups until lunch.

I like to do an online jigsaw while I eat, something that is supposed to help my ageing brain! so no guilt there!

After lunch, I post whatever articles we have available, and the rest of the afternoon is dedicated to the new learning routine and or research.

What we need to do, is set up a schedule that will mostly run itself, freeing up some time for other activities.

As that old adage is slowly becoming true around here.

The one about all work and no play…

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#Wordle 390 #Poetry

 

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Shoot for that star.

The one that carries your name.

Set your mind apart from others

believe in your own heart.

Take a chance on that shy promise

made long ago

to be true to what you believe.

Give credence to your dreams

let your thoughts fly.

Let them grow wings.

Let no one mar your journey

of self discovery…

aaaaa

February’s Speculative Fiction Prompt from https://mythsofthemirror.com

 

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Snow Storm

Molly the elephant lay dreaming

of a snowstorm, a blue dolls house stuck in a tree.

Tiny white mice huddled there on the roof.

“Fear not, I will set you free…”

She pushed and shoved with all her might

The tree held fast to mice and house.

A voice was heard from high above

“There is no need to shake with all your might

The mice can climb upon your back

to safety, you can carry.”

All night she trudged through deepening snow

the morning light was waking slow.

The blue house stood to the right

windows burning bright beneath the tree of evergreen.

Her family waking, lived outside.

Her dream she told, her mother smiled,

“There are no mice outside this house…”

aaaaa

#Wordle 387 Waiting… #Poetry

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Waiting

As I walk through the forest

I notice the leaves dancing

Like tiny ballerinas

I hear their song

As if played by an invisible violin bow

Music made by the very air we breathe

The sound calls to something

Born inside me before I existed

Wild, untamed, unknowable

The trees sing of a world I should remember

Of a love that waits in silence

That makes its own sound

Like blood rushing through your veins

Time repenting memories

Tiny pebbles of thought

Run like marbles through my mind

At night on knees, carpet bare

I pray for a dream to bring an answer

Sunrise rains through my window

Painting shadows across my wall

I know I am still waiting…

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#Jaye’s Journal Week Three

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Jaye’s Journal. Week 3

 

Despite still feeling like the remains of a dog’s dinner, I am determined to sort out the mess that is masquerading as my WIP, PayBack.

I knew it was a mess, but not how bad it really was. The experts say you shouldn’t worry about the state of your first draft, that it is more important to just get it all down on the page. You get to make it shine during the editing process.

I kept trying to tell myself this, but obviously wasn’t very convincing, so over the weekend, I tackled the first Act, all twenty sprawling chapters. After much rearranging and second thoughts, I reduced it to twelve chapters and felt quite smug pleased with my efforts.

This week has not been like that. All I can think is that some other idiot must have written the second Act. Although I was an editor long before I became a writer, this did not prepare me for the shambles I found. Continuity was simply not present. It looked for all the world like I had completely forgotten the basics. Instead of throwing it away in disgust, I kept reading, as a good editor should. There can be a brilliant story hiding under the waffle and confusion.Well, that’s what I hoped!

Gradually, I began to see what needed to be done to create a better story. The thread was there all along. PayBack would need substantial editing, but the framework was taking shape and I felt so much more confident about it.

I’m not sure how it all went so wrong, but my other books didn’t give me so much trouble.

 

Something else has been happening too. Even though I have been spending a lot of time sorting out PayBack, I seem to have more time available for other things too. I know this doesn’t make sense, but I have noticed before that time can stretch if you lose yourself in a project.

For all we know, time is not constant. This would explain why some days seem so much longer than others. All I can say, is I am grateful for the help, wherever it came from…

 

 

I am trying to discover just how good D2D is. They talk the talk and it sounds wonderful. So easy to have all your books on there and all that, but can they walk the walk?

Some of our prospective buyers have reported problems when they try to buy our books, so I am wearing my detective bonnet!

Has anyone else experienced problems with these people?

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