Inspiring Blogger Award

What a great surprise! Karin Wiberg has nominated me for the Inspiring Blogger Award. It is exciting to see people interested in my blog and I hope to continue to provide useful information for self-publishers as I continue to learn. Thank you Karin for not only the  nomination, but your interest and continued support!  As per the rules of the award, I will nominate not only Karin for her wonderful poetry and essays (Go check out All I Really Need to Know I Learned From Science Fiction, it’s great) but 14 other inspirational bloggers as well. 

Here are the rules:

If you accept the nomination, thank the person who nominated you in a blog with a link to their blog. Tell your followers 7 things about yourself and then nominate 15 others for the award.

Seven Things About Myself

  1. My favorite color is BROWN.
  2. I once applied to write for GAME INFORMER magazine (the best video game magazine!) by sending a cover letter that included the words “lackey” and “Chuck Norris.” – I did not get a call back.
  3. I cannot, for the life of me, sew a button (or anything else for that matter) correctly.
  4. I have taken classes in swimming, gymnastics, yoga, and kickboxing.
  5. I love all food, seriously, there is nothing you could name that I will not eat some form of, and I’m addicted to Food Network.
  6. Whether my first child is a girl or boy, I want their room to be Sleeping Beauty themed. Prince for a boy/ Princess for a girl, but one wall either way will be Maleficent, her castle and the thorn bushes.
  7. Between me and my boyfriend we have a very large collection of swords. We want an armory.

15 Other Inspiring Bloggers

  1. Karin Wiberg
  2. bluepearlgirl’s world
  3. Kenneth Zink
  4. Power of Positive Thoughts
  5. Jodiambroseblog
  6. lightningpen
  7. Texana’s Kitchen
  8. A year of reading the world
  9. Sailing the Void
  10. My Stories
  11. thebookshackblog
  12. The Sky’s the Limit
  13. Chester Maynes
  14. Michelle Proulx Official
  15. Jill of All Trades…Expert of None!

So there you have it, check them out because each of these blogs are unique and have some special qualities that make me follow, even though I don’t press that “like” button as often I need to… I’ll work on that 🙂

Bringing Up Books: The Host

The Host by Stephanie MeyerStephanie Meyer

Gah, I might have to change my Bringing Up Book from Wednesdays to Saturdays. Either way, my goal is to bring you a book review once a week. Here is for this week. 🙂

I have to start this review off by first giving a brief of Twilight. I read Twilight, I thought it was ok. I prefer my vampires to be non “vegetarian” and not sparkly. However, I think that Meyer’s series adds some interesting aspects, like vampire powers and the Volturi are interesting. Her story behind the “werewolves” is also unique, although they are technically shape-shifters, I think that makes it better. Anyways, Twilight was not particularly written well, until you get to Breaking Dawn. It still has issues, but her writing definitely develops. Meyer put out The Host while around the same time as Breaking Dawn and readers will appreciate the improved writing as well as a better story.

The world has been taken over by “souls,” alien life forms that travel from world to world to experience different ways of living. They individually insert themselves into a host and live life similar to us. When only small groups of humans remain, the souls begin to use the root through the minds of the hosts in order find the rebellious remaining humans. Wanderer is one such soul, inserted into Melanie, a young strong willed girl. When Wanderer starts searching through her mind, Melanie begins to push back, pushing her emotions onto the soul. Wanderer begins to sympathize and even miss Melanie’s brother, Jamie and her boyfriend, Jared. Winning more control over the emotions Melanie is soon able to control her limbs to some extent. With the help of Wanderer they find her family and a small community of people hiding in caves. As much as Melanie wishes to reconnect with them, they do not accept her into the community because as revealed through her eyes, she is no longer Melanie, but a soul. However, Wanderer begins to show her compassion for the human race and Melanie begins to show everyone she is still in there.

I really enjoyed this story. I thought it had a unique perspective, giving both a human side to being taken over and the souls exploratory side. Although it is classified as a sci-fi/romance, it is not overly saturated with the love story. It’s also about survival and understanding. The setting is also great, timed after the initial invasion, with only small communities of humans hiding from souls. For anyone who loves Twilight, you’ll enjoy the nearly triangulated love scenario, and for everyone else who thought Bella was a hormonal wishy-washy schoolgirl, you’l like the complication that it is really 2 girls in one mind, sharing emotions and not understanding how to deal with the people they both come to care for. The characters handle things in a more adult manner.

The movie comes out March 2013, starring Diane Kruger and Saoirse Ronan, two actresses I absolutely love. Read the book first, trust me, even if you hate Twilight, you’ll probably like this.

 

The Importance of Being Edited

When I first started saying aloud that I wanted to self-publish, I received quite a bit of advice from others. One friend in particular, who has traveled the self-publishing path very successfully, was able to steer me in the directions I wanted to go. I was able to navigate the sites I wanted to use much easier with her advice. Among that advice she gave me was the edit, edit, edit rule. Which is basically edit your work yourself, have a friend edit or, and the best, hire an editor. I decided to edit myself. I know the importance of editing, I know how crucial it is to scan and re-scan writing for all the many errors that can be so easily overlooked. I based my reasoning for editing myself on the fact that my book was a collection of poetry, not a novel. I knew that if it were a novel I would hire an editor, but I did not realize how many mistakes I would overlook in poetry.

I have words like “th” or “thr” instead of “the” and “though” instead of “through” and every mistake further strips the readers confidence that I am a good writer. I knew that, but for some reason didn’t follow not only my friends advice, but my own rules as a writer as well. I think for the most part I edit my own work fairly well, so what went wrong?

Excitement. Anticipation. The readiness to publish and the unintended too brief scanning before clicking submit.

So, my advice, stifle your excitement of publishing (I know it’s hard) and thoroughly review your work, not just once, but several times over, especially if you do not hire an editor (which for anything novel length is the only way to go). I still stand behind editing yourself or with friend for poetry (or any similar works -maybe cookbooks or short stories). Maybe schedule a weekend or two to simply edit, so it’s marked on the calendar and you have made a commitment to your work and yourself.

One silver lining I have is I am able to re-submit my book with no interruptions to selling and no need to pull it off sites, and once the resubmitted version is accepted and uploaded it transfers over seamlessly -making only the initial copies typo-ed. Ah, the world of print on demand!

I feel ashamed in myself for allowing the mistakes to run by me unnoticed and I hope by reading this you, any of you future self-publishers heed the warnings of my experience the way I should have heeded my friends.

With every experience we gain a better insight in which to venture into our next experience. Although I am shammed by my mistakes, I am proud of how much I’ve grown and look forward to all my future endeavors, welcoming the inevitable future mistakes.

We grow, we learn, we grow more.

Bringing Up Books: Guilt By Association

Guilt By Association by Susan R. Sloan 

Karen Kern is a spirited young woman who, at a pivotal point in her life – right before marriage and really coming into her own, becomes a victim of rape. Near death, she is discovered the following morning, but though she knew her attacker, her word against his left him uncharged and free to go. The story then follows Karen through her life and the challenges and consequences that have resonated from that singular event; a family that shoves the rape under the rug, a mother who blames her, a boyfriend who she can’t bear to tell the truth. She copes, she grows, she changes. In a time where women were expected to marry and raise children, where their voice held far less than a mans, Karen finds herself pushed onto another path, one that eventually leads her back to her date-rape assailant (who has grown successful and trustworthy). A path that allows her some final closure.

Again, this is another book whose characters are so vivid, they all have just enough detail to either love them or hate them. In moments I hated his book, because, like one commentator on Amazon pointed out, Karen is strong and vulnerable, lovable and flawed -she is human, so she makes mistakes and deals with her challenges in real ways. This book is set during the cusp of women’s acceptance in the workforce and having a different life than marriage and motherhood and encompasses the transition from traditional thinking.

Bringing Up Books: Ghosts That Have Haunted Me

Ghosts That Have Haunted Me by John Kendrick Bangs

I know, I missed last weeks Bringing Up Books post. Between lighting off fireworks for the fourth of July and jumping on a plane the following evening after work to spend an extended weekend in Winnemucca, Nevada with family, I was fighting for time just for sleep. So I apologize for the lack of activity, but I am (hopefully) making amends by bringing up a very entertaining short story, one I hope is new to you. And, as an added treat check out my Winnemucca post for some pictures and fun information about my trip.

John Kendrick Bangs begins his short story by explaining his (or the narrators) ideas on ghosts as well as transgressing to highlight his idea on writing truth. He tells that ghosts are really just creatures that make humans respond by physically rejecting them and that if we could overcome the physical repulsion people would be able to converse, respect and understand the paranormal creatures. His transgression into writing on truth reveals that he believes that a person ought to transform what they see into their art, in an accurate depiction of what the believe as truth -a perception is reality theory. Then he begins to account three separate instances in which he had the opportunity to overcome the physical and mentally accept the ghosts that appeared to him.

What I love about this story is  that truth is constantly bought up, as well as affirmations of the narrators honesty. While the narrator constantly reminds the audience of his trustworthiness, he embellishes his stories and accents them with extreme precision of details. It is not a frightening read, as I had believed by the title, but really funny. I was laughing the whole way through.

A Trip to Winnemucca, Nevada

Thursday evening I boarded a Southwest flight to Reno. From there, my dad met me at the airport and we drove to Winnemucca, a small mining town about 2 hours east of Reno. In this town there is one Walmart, a Burger King, a Jack in the Box and a McDonald’s… and that about covers the recognizable brands. There are numerous family owned businesses and restaurants, some with the same name. I saw Burdette’s the cleaners, Burdette’s the restaurant, and Burdette’s the motel. It’s not small enough that you know everyone everywhere you go, but just about that small.

While there I saw the two movies available, Brave and The Amazing Spiderman. The two screened theater looked like a remodeled school, and when the cashier handed me the ticket, I saw raffle tickets, ripped in half. I also visited the visitors center, a museum like auditorium of old cowboy and mining memorabilia. Below are a few pictures for you guys:

The whole town

Nearby Antelopes

Atop Winnemucca Mountain

A very large and old tree trunk.

The only main street, Winnemucca Blvd.

The town cemetery.