Day 4 of Vac: Snail Progress…

Let me just think...I seem to be stuck on a few things for my sequel…

...and it happens to deal with one of the characters.

Ouch!With all the research I’m doing lately, something doesn’t fit right in this jigsaw puzzle I’m working on. This is going to be a can of worms as soon as I bring this character out into the light. Hope I can manage, especially on my vacation. I’m supposed to be taking it easy, I guess.

So many questions, so little time. Just praying that I can get this book done on time. One thing’s for sure though, once I get all my credit card bills paid off, I’m going to be hiring a few editors and some artists. I want to first finish everything before I do anything else though.

Report's gone..A bit of bad news

Amazon’s kindle lending library program (say that 3 times fast!) hasn’t been working out so far for me. Nothing’s happening and everyday I wait and wait. I’ll keep checking for a couple more days, either before or after, I announce the special ebook sale coming up soon.

I’ll try to monitor it as best as I can. I mostly look at my sales once a week or so, but I may do that once a month instead. I’m just hoping it works. If nothing changes, once the three months are up, I will not bother continuing with it. Maybe when I publish my sequel… I’ll try again, perhaps?

More Chapters. It Just Keeps Getting Longer & Longer!

Shock!

I should be sleeping, not staying up and writing till the break of dawn. But I can’t help it!

A bit dizzy

There’s just so much I have to finish. I wrote ten pages this morning and that’s just the beginning. I have at least 17 missing spots for these scenes/chapters, not to mention, I have so many floating chapters that need to be shortened, extended, taken out, arranged, and re-arranged for the final setup draft, which is still a rough copy.

Eventually, I’ll have to put these additional chapters in the trilogy and continue where I left off. The page count is now 390. Luckily, I know what needs to be added. But not what needs to be taken out. I’ve written little notes to myself while I was reading the sequel. There are certain plot points that don’t make sense or fit in the context of particular situations.

There are too many flashbacks in this one. I noticed a pattern here…some jumping back and forth from one character to the next. I have other characters that need a lot of attention. So far, I can positively say… it’s looking good, since I know what needs to be added, in order for the story to make sense in a linear structure.

What’s not good is the length…and some other things, I won’t get into at the moment. ^^; So once again, I’ll have to decide how I’m going to do this. I probably need to keep it as simple as possible. I feel like I’m rushing some scenes and I really hate that. I’m going back and adding as much detail as possible, without going overboard with it. I’m trying so hard to show emotions, but I feel like I’m just repeating myself. How many times can I describe sadness or anger? I’ve highlighted phrases I love to say way too many times! Even I say them on my blog––it’s getting annoying for me to see and read them. I’ll be cutting back on my adjectives and making sure I don’t sound like a broken record. Easier said than done, right?

I hope I’m not becoming like Stephen King, describing everything, even blades of grass. :( I just need to focus on what’s important: location, setting, characters, and emotions. I do try to describe people’s apparel, but it’s gotten to the point when I describe a person once, I don’t feel like talking about their clothes again… unless it’s like a special dress for an event or important occasion or something. I’ll be avoiding the whole “what is she wearing?” trend. Is it stylish?

Just going to stick to sight, smell, taste, sound, and touch. Whatever characters were introduced in the first novel… I will not be re-introducing them over and over, in really long paragraphs, about how they look and what they wear. I’m cutting right to the chase and hitting it off with dialogue, action, and story. I don’t really care if readers (who didn’t read the first book) don’t know what these characters look like exactly. I’d prefer it if people just use their imagination.

Thinking About KDP Select. Should I Try It or Avoid It At All Costs?

Hmm...let's see nowI was just reading Amazon’s KDP terms today and noticed something I didn’t notice before.

ContemplatingFor the longest time, I have opted not to place my ebook into KDP Select… or never considered Kindle Unlimited, due to a program in place that lets people borrow books through a library lending system. They’re one in the same, except one is for authors while the other is for book lovers.

I’ve read lots of blogs about the pros and cons of KDP and UK. Most warning about the dangers of Amazon, abusing their indie authors by exploiting their weaknesses… by some PR move (or stunt) of getting more readers to read their undiscovered gems. To help indie authors find their own niche in the world––I’m saying that term loosely. I’ve realized now that I can still sell my book through other outlets as long as its the physical copy itself; however, it can’t be the digital format.

So many fears of the unknown. As a nobody author, who has nothing to really gain or lose by choosing the KDP… I’m going to try the KDP Select for 90 days (or a month) and see what happens. I know I won’t get much, but it’s just a chance I’m going to have to take. Don’t know what the results will be, whether it’ll be good or bad. I’ll keep you updated about how I’m doing.

 

Still Waiting…

Waiting Here...

So, I’m still waiting for someone to call me for my mac repairs…

Sweatdrop...

It’s been nearly five days and there seems to be a delay in the process. All I can do now is just hold on.

All the world's a stageI’m officially broke. This week money has been going out like water. I’ve had to pay to get the damaged hard drive…to get it fixed and a new external hard drive and a upgrade. Had to pay for a new pair of glasses, since they cracked yesterday.

LALALALALA!!!!!

The only good buy I made was a tablet. Finally! It’s a dream come true. Been using it for two days. I’m loving it so far.

But then, I look at the price tag…

OMG!

 

I’ll be dead somewhere… I'm dead

Too Much Doubt. Too Many Worries. Too Much To Think About.

Shocked!I found out some of my links are not working properly, so I’ve had to go back and make a few adjustments.

Sweatdrop...The link to Erebus Horror and my book interview have been fixed. I don’t know why they weren’t going directly to the site, but it’s done now.

...In other news, work has been––YEAH, let’s not talk about it! I’ve been stressed out about a lot of things lately and I cannot indulge on why. It’s just a very very long story. An epic story that I don’t want to get into right now. It will probably bore you to heck anyway.

Progress on my sequel seems to have come to a complete standstill. I love the first and second parts of NR, even the third segment is great. However, the fourth and fifth sections of my book have become a little difficult for me. I don’t know why, but they have. I did a drawing last couple of weeks ago and every time I come to that particular chapter, that creepy image is right in my face. Staring at me! It’s kinda scary. I never thought I’d outdo myself with that one.

I’m not a great artist though. I try and all, and yet I can only do so much. I was just experimenting with brushes and textures in Photoshop and thought I’d make something different for a change. If you ever saw this picture, you’d flip. I’m usually not a fan of such depictions or morbid creatures, but I seriously must have been having a field day ( a brainstorm).

Never have I made such a disturbing drawing before. I will not show it here, because I seriously don’t want to give anyone nightmares tonight. I love NR to death! But it pains me to continue working on such a dark story. All the world's a stageIt really does take a lot out of me. Physically, emotionally, and spiritually. So, it is with a heavy heart that I will have to take a break from NR for a bit longer, until I can get my Writing Mojo back. Mentally, I’ve been in a state of catatonic shock. Going day to day like routine as though I’m not here––it’s like I’m practically invisible sometimes.

I don’t know what’s wrong with me. Maybe I’m just lonely? Maybe I’m sad or something? I don’t know! I don’t know why it’s taking me so long. Some part of me wants to get this over with. I hate to complain. Don’t want to sound like some whining brat either! Let’s get this straight––I’m not complaining! There’s so many things in life that I’m grateful for. I’m truly blessed!

Anyhoo, I have a feeling I may not be able to keep up with this blog. Sorry to sound so depressed, folks! Things are just so-so for me. I’ve always said, “I live to write and write to live.” However, I’ve got nothing to really live for. Okay, maybe that’s not entirely true. Except maybe family and the few friends I have. I don’t have a life people! :|

Oh well, beggars can’t be choosers. It could always get worse, couldn’t it?  Right?

Report's gone..*Sighs*

Here’s a list of Some of The Things In This Sequel That Aren’t Jiving With Me:

  1. Conflicted Personalities. Many of the characters’ arc has changed over the course of the novel. The characters that were once sympathetic are no longer emphasized as much. This is a huge NO! NO! for me. You see characters in another perspective, including all their horrible flaws.
  2. The Timeline jumps around way too often. I think I’ve said this before, but I hate the timeline. In the beginning it’s not that bad, however, it’s getting to the point that leaving dates out makes it even worse. Having dates is confusing enough, but not having any timelines will leave everyone in the dark. They’ll be asking about who, how, where, and WHEN this all took place.
  3. New characters are a pain in my butt! I like them all, but not enough to give them a book of their own. A friend of mine recommended that I should just write more sequels, starting off with a new character. It sounded like a wonderful idea at the time… but the more I thought about it, the less inclined I was to do it. One main character is enough! Having multiple main characters is way too much. I’m not competing to be the next George R.R. Martin. I really am not!
  4. The Writing Flow is up and down. In the first novel, I had a distinctive voice and style. Now, it seems with so many voices in my head, I’ve been struggling to keep the flow together. Once I get a character down, I can do wonders, and yet I don’t want to have characters repeating the same thing or actions as another character. Repetition is another factor. I hate the feeling as if I’m repeating the same words, scenery, and events over and over again in my head.
  5. Formatting the book’s interior has been nothing but a nightmare to me. Due to new characters’ input (including voices) I can’t seem to decide how the interior should look exactly. I’m slowly getting there…but for some reason the format is bothering my eyes to the point that I’m having trouble reading some parts. It could be my eyes or just plain fatigue. One time, it took me a whole day to get the correct format down for NR just so Createspace could finally load it in book form and preview it to me. What a waste! I should’ve spent that time writing, but the format had to be done for me to continue.
  6. Last one! Continuity.  I’ve got most of this correct, so far! I hope! Except certain scenes that go back into the past seem to be lacking a bit of continuity or transition from one event to another or one place to another. I’ll eventually figure it out, I think?

black circles under my eyes...Many, many things to take into consideration with this sequel. Even though I’ve been going to the gym and getting some exercise, I can’t help but feel as something is wrong with this book. Or is there something wrong with me?  I don’t know…

Hopefully, my next post will be less depressing and more hopeful and engaging.

 

Just Too Many Distractions!

A bit dizzy

Too many things to do, too many worries, too many ideas to sort through. Just too much on my mind!

Sad

Two years have passed and I can’t finish this blasted sequel.

OMG!

What is wrong with me?

Am I too tired?

Am I bored with writing?

Am I not getting enough rest?

Am I too stressed out?

Why can’t I finish this sequel on time?

I can’t even finish 20 pages! 20 pages, folks!

Is it writer’s block?

Is it fear?

Is it the thought of me not doing good enough?

Is it indecisiveness ’cause I suffer from that a lot?

The reason I wrote Nightmarish Reality was because I was suffering from nightmares I couldn’t explain. Now that the book has been written (it’s been nearly 2 years since it’s been published), most if not all of my nightmares are gone. Although, that doesn’t mean they’ll never come back. So, why is it that I cannot finish the sequel. Will it live up to the first book…? Even though not many people really know about it? Will I make the sequel worse? Will I make it better?

These are a handful of questions, out of a million, that swirl through my mind all the time. However, no matter how hard I try… I feel that something in this sequel is seriously missing. Am I rushing certain scenes? Is there not enough explanations? Why do I feel trapped?

Where Do I Get My Strength and Inspiration From?

My strength and inspiration comes from my mother. I Am A Woman! Hear Me Roar!She is the rock in my family that holds everyone together. When times are hard and I don’t seem to have the energy to continue on with my life, I talk to her and she gives me the hope and the courage to make it through another day.

My mother speaks her mind and always tells me how it is. Even if I don’t want to hear it, even if I can’t stand her sometimes, she’s always there to guide me. I hope someday I’ll make her proud. Like all families out there, we’ve had many ups and downs. I guess that’s just part of life. No one’s perfect. When I see others out there struggling and have no one who cares for them, I feel grateful to still have a family.

Sad...Anyway, I had one of those gloomy days. The type of days where you want to pack up your things and run away to some tropical island.

Yeah, I’ve had many of those days. I’m glad I did some writing yesterday; however, it wasn’t for my sequel. Still struggling to finish this book. There’s a lot of problems I’m going through. Things I don’t want to dwell on for too long. I look around and see other authors who are more popular than me, have a bigger fan base, write more books, and so on. I really should stop comparing myself to other people, to other writers/authors. It’s a horrible habit.

I’m going to try to take things one step at a time and do a little writing everyday. I’ve finished with Camp Nano, which is great! Now, I can move on with bigger and better things. It looks like it’s going to rain soon. Going to do some soul-searching. One question before I go…

 

I'm hit!How does an author handle jealousy?

Well, usually I try to get my goals organized and just do the best I can to avoid negative influences. Even though I have no fan base and I’m still technically penniless, I try to look at the bright side of life. Here’s a list, since I feel like rambling today.

Fanatic

The Pros & Cons of Having No Fan Base, No Success, and No Money.

THE CONS OF HAVING NO FAN BASE:

  1. If I died tomorrow, no one would know my real name. In fact, probably no one would actually even care. There would be no media attention. No articles about my death and so on and so on. People would just go on about their daily routine or lives as if nothing happened. That’s just how it is for an unknown author/writer in this day and age.
  2. No continuation of stories, back-stories, or notes. Unless, I’m J.R.R. Tolkien and leave a Will stating to release my new limited edition novels in the near future, it’s just junk and going into the trash. No one in my family knows how any of my stories will end, so if I were in the hospital in a coma… let’s just say, books don’t write themselves.
  3. No royalties for my great, great-grandchildren. Unless, I become a bestseller after my death, but I don’t have any children. So yeah, they’ll never see a dime. All the money will probably go to the bank or my surviving relatives, if they’re still alive.

THE CONS OF HAVING A FAN BASE:

  1. Not much risk taking. If I’ve developed a formula for success, living solely on my writing, I may not want to change it. There’s a chance I’ll probably take less risks in the future. No more writing controversial stories for me.
  2. The pressure of trying to please everyone, including your publisher, your editor and so on. The pressure of success is a big stress factor. The pressure to get that book done next month. The pressure of succeeding every time. After awhile, you get a bit worn out.
  3. You might attract some crazy fanatics, stalkers, and some jealous authors/writers. We live in a world where people will kill you for the stupidest reasons, even a T-shirt. Some just want their five minutes of fame. You know who I’m talking about. :| There’s a lot of crazies out there. Did you think you were the only one?

And that’s all I can think of for now.

THE PROS OF HAVING A FAN BASE:

  1. Going on talk shows and talking about your books. You get to go on tours around the world, book signings, adoring public, and book conventions. There’s no door you can’t open. Movie deals. Who wouldn’t want that?
  2. Maybe you’ll get an award in literature or some Noble Peace prize.
  3. Reviews, feedback, and galore! That means both positive and negative remarks from people who either love you or just plain hate you. You’ll have people put themselves into two groups all over the internet (on websites), saying, “I Completely Hate This Book & Here’s Why!” or “I Completely Love This Book & Here’s Why!”

THE PROS OF HAVING NO FAN BASE:

  1. You take lots and lots of risks! You can write whatever you want and no one gives a damn… they won’t even give you their .02 cents. That’s wonderful!
  2. No one hassles you to finish the next book. No pressures from the outside world. Since no one even knows your name, they don’t care if you publish that sequel to your novel. You can live your life alone and in isolation. No one will come knocking on your door, asking you for all the plot points to your story, the meaning of life, and why your character jumped off the bridge at the end of scene two, chapter 45.
  3. You can focus on other things and other projects besides writing. You can take up another hobby like fishing or painting.
  4. You can walk down the street without some crazy fan (s) following you everywhere.

And that’s it.

Sigh...Hmmm… who knew this was coming?

The Truth About A Writer’s Journey

Yes...I'm an idiot.

Saw this comic in the newspaper and had to share it with others this instant!

Click for larger view.

A writer's journey

Shocking

And I thought I had problems. Funny, but true! Probably a select few (a handful) of writers really ever get recognized for their works anyway.

Sad

…guess I’m not the only one who feels the same way.

...

I’m having one of these moments in life, again… where I’m stuck in this place, this dark pit of no return. I feel like doing nothing, since I have no energy to do anything whatsoever.

So, let’s just leave it at that for right now. I really need to find my focus and get back to writing. But I can’t.

Hopefully, this too will pass…

The Price Of Too Many Pages! Costs Per Page Length. Why Amazon?

Angry as HellI have a beef to pick with Amazon. I think I’ve done this price list before when I was publishing the first book, but I’m going to do this again for all those people thinking about self-publishing in the future.

Let me make this clear for everyone – I am not a big fan of Amazon! Not so much beef with Createspace though. I still prefer Createspace and their lower prices, even though there are some things I’d love to change right now. I just wish that CS were wildly available in the international markets and had more flexible payment options for those who cannot afford their services such as their business cards, their interior design templates, their marketing agents, their editing services of $160 bucks for 10,000 words, and their $5,000 book trailer. I get that they are all in the business of making money. It’s understandable… I guess…

Why are you so against authors, Amazon? Always ripping off self-published writers like myself.

whoa!

Longer books mean higher prices that I have to set my book at!

COSTS per PAGE LENGTH FOR 1st BOOK – NIGHTMARISH REALITY

For my 356 paged book to be made through CS, it costs them $5.12. That’s not bad, considering other places are twice as expensive. *cough cough* For example, Lulu.com would’ve jacked that price up to eight or ten dollars… forcing me to sell my book at $20 dollars. Who would buy a book at that price from an author they don’t even know? No Money coming in... It’s the same as… well just shoot yourself in the foot. Let me know how you feel afterwards.

  • Standard shipping costs for 3-5 business days is $3.59.
  • So, let’s do the math: $5.12 + $3.59 = 8.71

I set my book for $9.99. Out of that 5.12 is going to CreateSpace to make the book.

  • So, $9.99 – $5.12 = 4.87

Out of that $4.87 I get $2.87 of royalties from Createspace. But through Amazon, I get .87 cents.

  • 4.87 – 2.87 = $2 for Createspace
  • 4.87 – .87 = $4 for Amazon

DIE!

WTF Amazon!? :|

Here’s a list of some possible page lengths.

ROYALTIES per PAGE LENGTH FOR 2nd BOOK – NIGHTMARISH REVELATIONS (Based on Amazon’s Wonderful Standards)

$8.99 PRICE RANGE PER PAGE COUNT:

  • 300 pages  = .94 cents
  • 340 pages = .46 cents
  • 350 pages = .34 cents
  • 356 pages = .27 cents
  • 360 pages = .22 cents
  • 370 pages = .10 cents
  • 375 pages = .05 cents
  • 377 pages = .01 cent
  • 380 pages = negative .02 cents

$9.99 PRICE RANGE PER PAGE COUNT:

  • 300 pages = $1.54
  • 340 pages = $1.06
  • 345 pages = .99 cents
  • 350 pages = .94 cents
  • 360 pages = .82 cents
  • 370 pages = .70 cents
  • 380 pages = .58 cents
  • 390 pages = .46 cents
  • 400 pages = .34 cents
  • 410 pages = .22 cents
  • 420 pages = .10 cents
  • 425 pages = .03 cents
  • 430 pages = negative .02 cents

Now, you’re probably wondering how many pages does the sequel have? It’s 456 pages. I wanted to add 100 more pages because so much happens in the sequel; however, I’m confined to Amazon’s wonderful standards… I’m forced to stifle my creativity and my passion to end at the most devastating cliffhanger in all of history.

Let’s do the math, folks!

$10.99 PRICE RANGE PER PAGE COUNT:

  • 390 pages =  $1.06
  • 400 pages = .94 cents
  • 430 pages = .58 cents
  • 440 pages = .46 cents
  • 450 pages = .34 cents
  • 456 pages = .27 cents

...

REALLY AMAZON? 

After 10-11 years of writing and putting my heart & soul, my time and money into this project, spending sleepless nights to edit/read my manuscript a million times, hiring people to edit for me, going through a roller coaster of emotions (drastic ups and downs, even depression), not to mention marketing my own book and going around town making business cards and going to libraries on my own, ’cause I have no PR agent. To put my book on your site, since you’re The Big Kahuna and the #1 site in customer service… I deserve only .27 cents for all my hard work?

There’s no way I’m putting my book at 500 pages. Could you imagine?

Let’s do the math:

$11.99 PRICE RANGE PER PAGE COUNT:

  • 390 pages = $1.66
  • 400 pages = $1.54
  • 450 page = .94 cents
  • 500 pages  = .34 cents

Don’t forget to add tax and shipping costs to that, depending on where you live! Now, imagine if Amazon said to Stephen King, vaguely…

“Sure, go ahead and write a 600 to 800 page novel. You can’t go over 800 pages! Just remember now that your book’s price is going to have to be $13.99 or $17.99 plus tax and shipping. You’re going to have to keep all your books at the 300-400 page mark, if you want to make higher royalties.”

Enough!

You think he’d put up with that?

I am not getting paid for this, folks. I’m just a poor writer/author, who wants to share my stories to the world. I make little to nothing at all. I still haven’t quit my day job and I’m certainly not making a million dollars.

After I figure out how to get myself in gear and start editing again…

After I kill off those plot bunnies and connect all the dots…

After I search for an ending that will not have my readers in an angry mob formation…

After I find myself an editor online by searching thousands of websites/forums…

After I sent emails to that editor, who will hopefully not rip me off, and go through the steps and trials of a working relationship…

After I wait for days on in for the revised drafts and finish paying him or her…

After I go through endless days, weeks, and months of editing the story dynamics, punctuation, & grammar, including both the cover and interior designs until perfection…

After I publish my sequel through CS and order a copy for myself to edit it another million times…

After I set a reasonable price range that will not have me stabbing myself in the back…

Once it’s done and over with, I seriously need a long vacation…

Passed out

Hot Topics: The Walking Dead & Some Other Stuff.

YESS!

The Walking Dead was amazing last night. I can’t wait for next week’s episode. Carl was going through one of his temper tantrums as every teenager does and Michonne changes for the better, becoming the total badass that she is. I’m just glad they finally met up in the end ’cause I was so thinking Rick’s chances of survival were going to be slim.

As long as Michonne’s with them, she can pretty much defeat a herd of zombies with that sword of hers. Loved the flashback scene when she was cutting up vegetables with her katana. Wishing I had one of those for my kitchen! It would’ve been nice if they had shown more of her history from the start, you know, in the beginning of season 3. Oh well. Beggars can’t be choosers.

All the world's a stage

Anyway, back to reality…

Report's gone..Progress has halted to a stop. The NR sequel is killing me! I have been totally out of touch with it since after the NaNo Contest. Don’t know how much longer I can take… I am so not feeling in the mood to write or edit or do anything at the moment. Every time I look at it I just want to cringe or cry or burn it up completely.  Just don’t know what to do from here. It’s either too long, too many storylines at once, too many plot points to focus on and this was supposed to be about one main character’s dilemma.

At least I did my taxes today, thank God. I’ll be waiting for it in the next 3 months or so. I can’t believe I paid so much just because I’m single. Geez, what a rip-off! Anyway, once I get my refund I’ll be very happy. I’ll probably just save that for whatever publishing I plan on doing with this sequel… if any…

Can't get up!I’ve been sore and in pain a lot lately due to work. I work the next five days, but I’m off for three. Hoping to get something done by then. Seriously, I have no life right now. Just work, eat, and sleep. That’s all I seem to be doing nowadays. Even though it sounds like an excuse, I’m literally too exhausted to even get out of bed. My bones creak and I can barely even walk.

Yes, I sound like a whining brat right now. I’m grateful that I do have a job, but there are days (plenty in fact) it’s craptastic. I may end up taking a hiatus soon to just get away from everything… that means turning off my phone, turning off my computer (internet), and avoiding all contact with friends and family, until I can figure out what’s missing from this damn sequel.

I'm dead

Someone call the medic!