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Freebie Weekend Aftermath

Twilight TalesThis weekend I did a freebie giveaway using the KDP select program for Twilight Tales. It went amazing!

It is still free for a few more hours but I thought I’d give a run down of how it went.

I tried KDP a shortly after I started to publish. I had several books up at the tigraphme, but very few reviews, and only managed to get 200 downloads for the entire weekend. No reviews. No extra sales that I know of.

This time I managed to use Author Marketing Club to my advantage
and posted Twilight Tales to every freebie site I could. Well, I at least submitted it. I know at least one of them actually ran it, no idea if others did. Most of them do not tell you whether or not they run your book. I had to go snoop in order to find the one that did. I do not think anyone ran an advert for my book the first time.

This time I gave away more than 1000 books.

The results of all the give always: ranking #1 in two categories. I managed a screen capture of the two. In the third category it ranked as high as #2, but I did not manage to get a screen shot of that.

Only time will tell if this gives me any actual sales to books, or reviews. Right now all I got was a little visibility in a couple sub genre charts. The nicest one I saw was #10 on the Horror page. Very visible for anyone looking for Horror. Did it make a difference? Not sure yet, but I will definitely let you know in a few weeks.

ranking

 

 

 

Also, if you’d like to get Twilight Tales it is still free until midnight.

 
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Posted by on July 28, 2014 in Updates

 

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It’s FREE!

Twilight TalesYou can’t beat free, right?

Right now, and for the rest of the weekend, “Twilight Tales” is FREE. If you haven’t read it then it’s a great time to pick it up.

Inside are three short stories.

The Scarecrow:
A lonely stretch of road, and a scarecrow is the only witness to a senseless crime. But the scarecrow doesn’t understand human pain and suffering.

Smother and Bake:
A man obsessed with flames and light wants to wrap himself in the sun. And maybe he’ll get his chance.

 

Necropolis:
Two women fight to abolish an ancient evil in the depths of the necropolis. forgottensml

The last story, Necropolis, is the inspiration for “Forgotten Ones“, which is also half price until the end of next week. Forgotten Ones tells more about the goddesses of Fate and their struggle to keep balance between the unseen world of gods and goddesses, and the humans who now inhabit the earth.

This is a contemporary fantasy book along the lines of “Supernatural” or “Grimm”, so if you like them you might like this.

 
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Posted by on July 26, 2014 in Updates

 

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Who Are You?

I’m 37 now. My children are 19, 17 and 15. The oldest is out of the house for the time being, the middle one starts college in two months, and the last one… well as long as he has food and an internet connection he’s fine.

If you would have asked me who I was about five years ago I would have said “I’m a mom.” It was my identity. My job. My world. My entire life revolved around making decisions for my children.

Not so much anymore. My children have grown up and need me less and less every day. Now I am freer to be myself then I ever have been before.

The question “Who am I?” is subjective. The answer changes and shifts as the seasons change. Once you were a child, then a teen, then hopefully you grew up into an adult (though some people never grow up.) Life, responsibilities, education, loves, loses… all the things that change the fundamental being of who you are.

“Who am I?” is a scary question. I think that when you finally start asking it of yourself then that is when you start really growing up. That is when you stop being a piece of floatsome washed about by the circumstances of your existence, and you start really being YOU!

We are more then the sum of our circumstances. We have choice, and free will. We can make of ourselves something more. Or… we can chose to let go, and let circumstances dictate for us.

I feel like any creative person (artist, writer, director, musician) who takes creative authority over their creations has already said “circumstances do not dictate who and what I am.” This goes for any entrepreneur who searches out their own path, not the path handed to them.

It’s sometimes lonely asking this question of ourselves. And sometimes you find out wonderful things, or things you hate and want to change. But nothing changes until you start asking the question.

So… Who are you?

 
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Posted by on July 25, 2014 in Commentary

 

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What is Love?

I’ve been thinking about writing a post for a while, but really I had nothing to say. The only thing circling around in my head lately is one question: what is love? And who want’s to listen to me blather on about love? But to hell with it, this is my blog and I can write what I want. Right?

The English language is woefully inadequate to describe love. There are so many different types, so many variables and changes. And love, when you do have it, can change over time as well.

One of the things I recall from bible study is that Greek has three words for love. According to wiki Hebrew has even more.

Agape is spiritual, or steadfast love. It never dies, nor changes. It is there whether or not it is returned. A love willing to sacrifice.
Eros is physical love. Sex. Passion. Desire. It is a flame that burns inside, and can consume.
Philia is mental, or friendship love. Denotes a love that has give and take. Respect, reciprocity, and loyalty.

All of these we, English speakers, lump into one feeling. Love. It makes little sense. The love I feel for my mother and father is nothing like the love I feel for a close friend, or the love I feel for a significant other. Oh yes we have other words. We have passion, and loyalty, and friendship. We have family, and sayings like “blood is thicker then water.” But what does it all mean in the grand scheme of things? What does it mean for me?

I’ve struggled with this question my entire life. When I was little I vied for my fathers attention. I’d clean the dishes, make him dinner, make sure my sisters did their chores, and happily wait for that affirmation that I did a good job. It never came.

My mother, on the other hand, freely said she loved me. She gave me hugs, and kisses, and never faltered in letting me know that I did a good job. When she was home. Then I got married and moved away and all of that stopped. I learned that her love had a condition. I had to be there. I had to be giving her attention, listening to her stories, and being her sounding board. Once I left I wasn’t those things for her. She didn’t call. She didn’t write. When I called it was all about her, or what my sister was doing. The one joy I shared with her was the birth of my first child, but even that was subtly about her.

I grew up and moved out, and thought love meant doing things for my SO to get him to appreciate me. I thought it meant being there for him no matter what, even if he wasn’t there for me. And while I came to grips with letting go of my parents it took me a while to see that I had married into this same situation and needed to divorce myself from it as well. Love can be self destructive.

When you are raised without knowing what love is, how do you translate that into a healthy and happy relationship? Is it any wonder I couldn’t? I failed, over and over again. I mistook “eros” for “agape” and kept trying to make it work. I mistook passion for loyalty and was hit by the hard reality. I mistook companionship and friendship for something greater, and again fell.

What is love? It is many things, in many situations. I love my parents but I have no relationship with them. It is a distant love of gratitude for giving me life, and raising me to adulthood. On the other hand, I love my children with a furious passion burning in loyalty, and would sacrifice every happiness I myself could have just to see them happy. I have love for friends who have been there for me when the chips were down and would give them the shirt off my back if I could. And I have love for others that would be more personal, with hints of ‘eros’ and ‘philia’.

What I do know now, that I wish I had known when I was younger, is that love isn’t enough to make a relationship. Love is so many different things in so many different situations that love will not keep a relationship going. In fact sometimes that love is exactly the wrong thing to build a relationship on, especially if it is not reciprocated, or not grounded in reality.

Someone once told me there are three kinds of love. One a passion that burns bright, then quickly dies. One a steady stream that may lack passion, but it will last for a life time. You can build a relationship on this second kind of love, and it may be a good long relationship. It is comfortable, and stable. But the last, and the greatest, is when you have both. That kind of love feeds upon itself, burns brightly, and does not die easily.

I don’t know if that is “the greatest” kind of love. That, I think, depends on the two people involved. I’ve met couples who are quite happy going down in a blaze of glory, their passions burning brighter and brighter with each touch. I’ve known others who are quite content in their settled lives together. I have very rarely seen that third kind of  love where two people are so compatible that they would seem incomplete without the other, and their passions are simmering just under the surface. Perhaps it is because it is so rare that it looks so beautiful when you see it.

I guess the only real answer is… I’m still trying to figure it out.

 
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Posted by on July 17, 2014 in Commentary

 

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Progress and Setbacks

I wrote the other day about my writing progress so today I thought I’d write about the other thing that’s been a big a big concern in my life. My health.

Again, feel free to skip this if you’re not interested.

With the coming of the new year I got something that I hadn’t had in about ten years. Health insurance. Thank you Obamacare, and mainly the state of Washington for doing such a great job of implementing it. I thought since I had this marvelous thing I’d take the opportunity to do what I hadn’t done in almost a decade. I went to the doctor.

Well, first I tried to go to the dentist. That was a pain in the ass and I still haven’t gotten my cavities filled, nor am I likely to for several more months because of the restrictions on dental care via my state health insurance, and the fact that it’s bloody expensive just to get x-rays, let alone treatment, for teeth without insurance.

But I was talking about the other Doctor. The one who sticks you with needles, takes your blood, and runs you through a ringer to see how fit (or unfit) you are.

All the tests came back and I was basically told “eat better and exercise or you’re going to get diabetes, and/or a heart problem.)

I’m 37. I’m too young to have a heart problem. And the thing is I know diabetes runs in my family, and that I was already having issues with my blood sugars. When you get shaky and faint because of certain things you eat you tend to know these things. I also knew my heart wasn’t as strong as it should be. I have a 80 beats per min heart rate when I’m resting, and if I exercise it gets up to 190-200. That’s not good.

Knowing it, and seeing it in black and white might be two different things. Or it could have been the energy drink I had the other day that made me start shaking. Or the dizzy spells that happen when I don’t eat right. Either way, I think it was the kick in my pants I needed to finally do something about it, like seeing the graphs for my writing. I’m not sure. I just know I don’t want to die of a heart attack when I’m 45 because I’m a lazy girl who likes doughnuts and mac n cheese.

So I’ve been exercising, and I’ve been sitting here looking at the candy bar my children eating wishing I could eat it and knowing I shouldn’t. Yay self control!

Eating right isn’t that difficult. I love fruits and veggies. Not big on meat. No problem giving up pasta either.

It’s the exercise. I hate running on treadmills, and using ellipticals. I hate feeling my heart trying to burst. I hate getting hot and sweaty and just gross. I really hate feeling like I’m wasting time in a gym when I could have been writing, or playing a game, or going to a movie.

The only exercise I’ve liked at all was belly dancing, and then it’s mostly my self esteem that gets in the way.

So, for now I’m just trying to get out, on my feet, and doing something more often so that I can try and get a little healthier. Maybe some day I’ll find something physical I enjoy. Till then… still going to do it. It’s better then shooting a needle full of insulin in myself every day.

 
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Posted by on July 3, 2014 in Commentary

 

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Around the web

 

It’s been a little while since I’ve done one of these, but I just had a few links I wanted to share.

The Reading Rainbow kickstarter. They are getting a match up to $1 million for everything over 4mil, so if you haven’t donated now is your chance.

Fiction Unboxed is done with, and they have finished “Dream Engine”. I’ve been listening to it, and it’s a fantastic story so far. Hopefully it will be available on Amazon soon.

US publishers sold more ebooks then print books last year. (Though they made about the same from those ebooks as they did last year.)

Authors dressing up as their favorite characters from a book.

If we talked to other professions like we talk to artists. (FANTASTIC video by Garrett Robinson. If you haven’t seen it yet, you should!)

Star Trek and Economics (It’s an interesting read, and kind of relevant to our point in history.)(Also, what Reddit had to say was interesting)

 

On a personal note:

“Mermaid’s Curse” is coming along nicely. I’ve hit the 80k mark and I’m still going on it. I’m expecting that it will be about 82k once I’m finished. Right now I’m working on edits, and the edits are about half way finished. Then off to a real editor who knows what they are doing ;)

If you would like to see some scenes from “Mermaid’s Curse” then check here, here, and here.

 
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Posted by on June 30, 2014 in News, Updates, Video

 

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Things that didn’t happen

Life is filled with firsts. The first kiss, first time riding a bike, first date, first time driving a car. It’s really easy to see those firsts, look back on them and remember them with joy, and sometimes pain.

As I get older I realize there is another part of life. The things we never did, and can never do. Time has passed us by and there is no longer a chance for those things to happen.

Our culture has grown insistent with the idea that “it’s never too late.” And, in a way, they are right. People get married and have children later in life. People start new careers, get collage degrees, or write novels well into their 50’s. For a lot of people there is still time. But that isn’t the case for everyone.

I will never have a picture perfect family consisting of husband, wife, and 2.5 kids living in a little house with a white picket fence, a dog, and a garden out back. It just isn’t in the cards. I had my marriage, I had my children, and I love my children dearly, but that idea of a picture perfect home just wasn’t in the cards for me. My children will never have the dad that comes home from work, gives them piggy back rides, and rough houses on the floor. My children are starting to move out.

Realizing certain things are out of reach for you isn’t a bad thing. Maybe at first it was a little sad for me, and I tried really hard to make up for it. To make my own version of the perfect little family in my own home. For a time I even found something really close, but it wasn’t to be.

With realization came acceptance. And finally it was time to make new dreams. New goals. New achievements in life that I could complete.

Life isn’t a video game. You can’t reload your previous save and try to complete that achievement again. Life is a story unfolding before you, and sometimes paths will break off, and sometimes they will end. Sometimes they will be so far out of your reach that you never even saw the glimmer of hope to achieve them. That just means it’s time to find a new path. A new goal. And strive for something more.

 
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Posted by on June 23, 2014 in Commentary

 

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