Sunday, September 27, 2015

ROW80: Check-in: Goodbye to Round Three

The seasons turn. Perhaps fall is my favorite as leaves shimmer yellow and red here in dry eastern Washington. Or maybe spring, because that season marks the end of winter, which is far too cold here.

Round 3 of A Round of Words in 80 Days ends with a brief respite before the last round of the year, a time to reassess writing goals -- and begin again.

Accomplishments? Yes, Allen's book, Reaching, a Vietnam war novel, is now live, though we won't have the official launch until Veteran's Day in November. I've learned a bit more about formatting for CreateSpace and Kindle; the print size on the PB is perfect for reading. I'll tackle some marketing next round (maybe a press release, a small blog hop, a few presentations, visits to local book clubs, and setting up Amazon and GoodReads author pages). Bookmarks and official copies are on their way to us, and here is the cover, designed by Angie Zambrano of pro_ebookcovers on fiverr. 

In this process of thinking about marketing, I've come up with a new term to describe my hubby and me:  gregarious introverts. No wonder I resist thinking about marketing. Thank goodness for writing communities that welcome us writers as we are. 

Now as Round 4 begins, I'll return to my own writing. My challenge for this last round of the year will be to make good progress on two projects -- finishing the research and drafting of Rivers of Stone and the final editing of Mothers Don't DieA simple list. But don't all projects start in this way?

Enjoy this little break from reporting in. See you next Round!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

ROW80 Weds check-in: Poco a Poco . . .

How do we get to Weds so fast?  Almost as fast as the end of the round is approaching.

Progress since Sunday:
1. Designed and ordered 250 bookmarks for Allen's REACHING ($22).
2. Contacted local Vietnam Vets chapter for Veteran's Day events and possible reading.
3. Requested one word corrections (my fault) on finished cover.
4. Worked on 40-page program due Oct 1.
5. Committed to rejoining the Internet Writing Workshop by November 1.
6. Committed to simple marketing plan for Allen's REACHING based on minimal web presence (Amazon Central author page, GoodReads author page); e-mail launch, and 3 events for launch. Maybe a blog hop . . .  not sure yet. All for around Veteran's Day.
7. Yes, actually read 7 folks' posts on ROW80.

To do by Sunday? Decided that I can't really do more than one writing project at a time . . . so focus for this coming week to make final additions (page numbering, author's note), final check format, and upload REACHING to CreateSpace. 

And on the quilting front: Cut out strips for that last row for the 'tree of life' quilt AND got permission froM├ętis artist Leah Dorion to play around with her really beautiful designs for a quilt. Go see her stuff! 

September Manito Park (Camp 2015)
Funny accomplishment: Last week, took my new (still feels new) Kindle Fire to the park and learned how to use the camera feature. Such a beautiful day I can almost forgive myself for taking a movie of my feet.

May you have a good week, with words falling out of the keyboard as fast as you can type!

And if you have any suggestions for a downsized marketing plan, please comment. What do you think is the most important step to take to promote your book?

Sunday, September 13, 2015

ROW80 Sunday check-in: A little and a lot . . .

Just another week and a half to the end of Round 3 -- September 24 looms. Some real accomplishments to report this week:

--Cover done for Allen's Vietnam era novel, REACHING.
--Requested blurbs/reviews for REACHING.
--Corrections uploaded for YEARS OF STONE.
--Some reading and some writing for RIVERS OF STONE. Not quite my goal but still 1K.
--Steady progress on program for quilt show (deadline Oct 1, 40 pages), illustrations, text, the whole shebang.

For the coming week:
--Finish formatting REACHING (CreateSpace/Kindle).
--And whatever else I can manage.

Allen, Vietnam, 1968
The hardest task for me this week was asking for early reviews or blurbs for Allen's REACHING. First, I hate to ask for favors. Second, I asked a few people I knew locally and a few I met over the last several years on NOVELS-L of The Internet Writing Workshop. 

The result? Wow! I am humbled by the generosity of writers I barely know and so appreciative of their support. Yes, I believe in his novel and hope it will find readers. 

Now, my next challenge: to devise a marketing plan that supports his book -- without any public appearances for my hermit-like hubby. Suggestions?

May the end of the round go well for you. 


Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Weds: Last Breath of Summer?

As we all head to the end of summer in our various climes, and the end of Round 3 approaches, I find myself in that curious place -- between summer and fall, between research and writing.

WEDS ROW80 update: I'm thrilled to report that the cover is nearly finished for Allen's Vietnam War novel, Reaching. I'll post the cover as soon as . . . That means one more round of formatting for Kindle and CreateSpace, and this little baby will be out in the world. He wrote it after coming home in the early 1970s, and we'll have a launch near this year's Veteran's Day . . . if the bookstore responds!

So I looked at all my goals, got a lot of research reading done last week, but decided to tackle one that's been hanging around since April -- making a few editing changes on Years of Stone and uploading the revised e-book format. Wow! Did that feel good. Now to say thank you to PJ for her thoughtful reading.

Today was in the 70's. Despite my mangled feet, I went walking with hubby at Manito Park. Beautiful. A day to cherish when the snow comes.

Manito Park, September 2015 (Camp)
 Such green everywhere, just a hint of red and yellow on its way.

And, I'm making real progress on the latest wheelchair quilt. This one started as an abandoned 'tree of life'. It's pinned on my writing corkboard, waiting for just one more round.

I'm not sure when Round 3 ends. I only know we're close. For now my goals are to organize, read, think, cherish each day, rest my darn feet, and get back to writing. May the end of the round go well for you!

PS: Ruth Nestvold is sharing her thoughts on how effective her online ads have been. Very helpful! Check her blog out! 

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

ROW80 Weds check-in: Organize, organize?

Still unpacking from the Canada trip, but slow progress IS being made. Here's the summary of this week's progress so far (sorry if this is hard to read):

But, I'm happy to report success. In fact, let's celebrate! Got the picture for the cover for DH's Vietnam era book finally. The process may be an interesting blog topic because I discovered what appears to be copyright OK may not be. Not all pictures advertised on Flickr under Creative Common licenses are really copyright free. So, as a purse-pinching indie writer, I parted with a single image fee ($10) and found a beautiful image on Adobe's new Adobe Stock program that both DH and DD (dear daughter) approved. Stay tuned for cover reveal soon. Happy dance!

To my own progress in writing. I keep getting lost in the scope of the book (draft at 90K) and the level at which I'm working (ie, distracted by editing and not writing; distracted by research and not writing). 

Two ideas I may try (your feedback please!):

--Do I need a serious chapter-by-chapter outline . . . maybe on Excel where I can include dates, character names, track plot and character arcs, and editing questions?

--Should I put editing questions at the beginning of each chapter in red.

Either approach would be useful, but I'm still facing down months of writing and revising. How I would love this process to go more smoothly. Sigh.
Maligne Canyon, Jasper National Park
Canada (Camp August 2015)
Meanwhile, finally the days are a little cooler, the trees are just beginning to hint at coming fall, and all is well. May your own writing goals be met with joy!