Monday, December 31, 2007

I scheduled in fun yesterday and by golly, I had it! LOL I made it to Atlanta. Got in last night and hung out with friends. I watched them play Madden and I made one of the guys choose the Rams. The other one refused to play my Rams. He chose the Patriots and guess who got SPANKED!!!!! Yep, Patriots. This game is just like real life! (NOT!) LOL Well, this got me to thinking about my own Playstation. The one that's lying on the floor, next to the TV and not connected. The one that I bought maybe 4 years ago so I could learn to play Madden and spank butt. Yeah, that Playstation. So now since I finally bought a second controller for it last year, even though I've only played it twice, maybe now I'll finally buy Madden and learn to play. I'll have to pencil that into the schedule.

So I did have Devil in a Blue Dress by Walter Moseley and I listened to it on the way down. It was great listening. Walter Moseley's Easy Rawlings stories are awesome to listen to on the road. They are so engrossing, funny, and enjoyable. I love them. Then had time to listen to my Jack Johnson's Brushfire Fairytales CD. I like this CD as well, but I do like In Between Dreams better.

And now, here I sit at a Panera's in Lithonia, getting some writing done before I welcome the in the New Year. Even though I bring my camera, I'm bad at remembering to take pics. Even worse at posing for them. But I'll try to put up a couple of good pics of tonight's New Year's party with my motorcycle club.

Here's to wishing you have a happy, healthy, safe, and prosperous NEW YEAR!!!!!


Sunday, December 30, 2007

It's the 30th of the month which means it's my day to post at You can check it out by clicking the link. I also place an RSS feed on the side of my blog. Check it out today, and any other day to see what the writers there are blogging about. :-)

Well, I'm up and packing. I'm heading to Atlanta to bring in the New Year with friends and members of the Atlanta Chapter of my bike club. It's also part work too because I'm doing a write up on their New Year's activities. Along with doing that write up, I'll be working on a short article for And between working on Book 3, I'll think of ideas for my feature at Sportwave Online. I'll have fun too because I do plan to get some socializing in. That's actually going to be one of my New Year's resolutions because I don't spend enough time socializing, I think. :-) Still something I have to push myself to do. Maybe the first step would be to actually TALK on the phone though. LOL I don't know. I'm a text queen. My coworkers joke with me about basically having a computerized phone on my hip and I do everything on it except talk. I rarely pick up the phone and when I do, I'm anxious to get off. I'd rather text our conversation. It's just that I prefer talking in person rather than on the phone. The phone to me is just for the set up. When, where, and what time. But, of course, for me to have a person to person conversation, that means I have to uh, get out and socialize. Sigh. I'll work on it for 2008.

Well, I'm all geared up for the ride! :-) I bought Jack Johnson's Brushfire CD. A coworker let me borrow his Between the Sheets (?) CD and I absolutely LOVED it. He told me Brushfire was even better, so I bought it for the ride. I already listened to the first couple of songs and I've enjoyed them so far. And, I also have 20 hours worth of books on CDs. I have something by Walter Moseley. I think Devil in a Blue Dress, but I'm not sure. And I have The Price of a Child. So, believe it or not, the drive to and from Atlanta will be exciting. I'm looking forward to it. I love long driving trips specifically for this reason. Also gives me time to think about what I'm writing as well.



Saturday, December 29, 2007

I've been spending time going over the chapters I've written already. I confess. I'm like, "What the hell was I smoking when I wrote this mess?" What I'm finding out is that I'm not a good at writing under pressure or forcing myself to write if I'm not feeling it. Which is one reason why it would be hard to write to whatever the market dictates.

Okay, let me tell you what happened. Earlier this year, I was trying to hurry up to submit the first few chapters to my agent to shop. Probably wouldn't be an issue, except that I had so much going on this year (moving, job hunting and hopping) that I couldn't fully concentrate and get into a groove with this book. I've known for the longest the story I wanted to write. But in a rush to submit SOMETHING, I skipped my normal writing process. I didn't fully sketch or flesh characters. Well, I was only going to submit three chapters. Character sketches wouldn't matter for that, right? I could always go back and flesh them out later. NOT!

And then, I found what is comfortable for me is to just focus on the plot the first draft, then round out the story and flavor the second and subsequent drafts. Cool. Okay, but I don't know what the hell I did for the first five chapters that I wrote. It didn't flow. Characters were flat. I had first and third POV in the first chapter. I mean, I really looked at it and said, "What the hell? Who fucked up my story?!" LOL It was so screwed that it took me a minute to figure out how to smooth it out.

Well, the first thing I did was go back to my normal writing process. I went to what works for me. I sketched my characters to the fullest, then did my chapter by chapter plot outline. It still took me a minute to smooth out the first chapter. It was the opening I wanted, but it didn't flow. But I massaged it and massaged until now, GWA-LA! It's the way I want it.

Whew! That rush job? Remind me never to do that shit again....


Friday, December 28, 2007

This is surprising to me, but I'm tickled pink. :-) I have to admit, the best gift I got for Christmas actually came from my manager. Now, who would have thunk a thing like that? A manager actually picking out a gift that fits you as an individual rather than say, one of several fruit cakes that was distributed to every employee alike? No, rather than give a "one gift fits all" present, he gave all of his team gifts that fit their individual personalities. He gave me this cute little writing inspirations book. I'm in a unique situation where my manager actually knows I'm a writer and thinks it's cool. He even asked me a few questions about writing, as he dreams of writing his own novel himself one day. So, anyway, the book is The Pocket Muse - Ideas and Inspirations for Writing by Monica Wood. It's just a tiny book with tips and writing prompts to get you writing. This is my first little book like this and flipping through it makes me anxious to try some of the writing prompts and put them on my website. It probably don't sound as fascinating as I'm making it out to be and actually, I don't know why I'm so fascinated by it. LOL But I just think it's the coolest little thing.

One thing that really got me though was the writer's opening. She talked of leaving her job and becoming a full-time writer. And how, after a while, she longed for her old job. She longed to be amongst people again on a day to day basis. I could really relate to that. When my first book was published, I wrote full time for a while. I felt blessed. I felt like it was such a dream fulfilled. But after a while, I wanted to go back to work. Writing is definitely a lonely profession, and I confess to having somewhat of a reclusive personality. It's nothing for me to go days without seeing a single soul or weeks without socializing, and I don't get lonely. I'm comfortable. Too comfortable. I can easily see myself becoming a total recluse closed off from the world. I have to force myself to socialize as it is. Not working, I think I'd end up being the reclusive senile drunk we've all heard of a time or two. LOL Besides, I agree with Monica's quotation of the paradox: You can't write without fully living and you can't live fully and still find the time to write. So true.


Thursday, December 27, 2007

Well now. I'm finding that the more I blog, the more I keep up with my writing. I'm thinking, maybe it's like doing more or being on your best behavior when you know your parents are looking over your shoulder. Being that I'm a writer and I'm supposed to be writing, the mark of shame would be to come here and have to confess that no, I haven't written a thing in over a week for no other reason, other than I've been goofing off. But as it is, by writing everyday, it's feeding into the current desire to finish my long overdue third novel, as well as sprouting ideas for new one. Just by thinking about what I could possibly write today, I thought of a new idea for a book. Now, exactly how the thought came about, I have no idea. Thinking about a blog post, and the final story idea, I see no connection. lol

But one thing I'm starting to think about is the route of publishing for the next book. Yes, when I'm finished, I will go the route of publishing again. Of course, I'll submit to my agent to shop for a deal. But to be honest, I don't feel the urgency or the necessity of getting a publishing deal anymore. No, I'm not saying that I don't want one. If one is indeed offered, yes, I'd take a look at it and consider if it's worthwhile. But one thing that comes with publishing your own first is that you know you can do it again, so there's no worry about whether or not you will have a published novel. Yes, there's still a stigma with self-published vs. traditionally published books, but when you've done both, I think, you're beyond caring what people think of your route of publishing. It would be the same book regardless of the route (provided you self publish a quality product). For me, the only think traditional publishing does is perhaps give you an advance to where you can promote (and you'll do the same promotion no matter the route). You lose a little control over your final product though, I found. And for book three, I have a clear visual in my head of the title and cover, and I'm not sure if I want to part with it. And that makes it more important to look at the current products of the publisher. So, basically, I've learned a lot by having done both methods. I had my agent when I self published Counting Raindrops and she was supportive. I'm sure if I chose to do that with book three, she would be supportive again (at least I hope so).

Like book one, I'd do it all myself if I self published. This morning, I was reading Lee Goldberg's December 26th blog posting about a posting he read on a vanity publisher that was sued by 275 defrauded authors. Aspiring authors, beware. Doing it yourself can be expensive, but you know you're not going to rip yourself off either.


Wednesday, December 26, 2007

So yes, as I counted on, there was wrapping paper and Christmas boxes from last year at my mother's house. And I discovered that apparently procrastination runs in my family, as I and my two brothers all took up a secret location in the house to use mom's wrapping paper (and scissors, and tape, and labels, and bows) to wrap gifts that would be unwrapped in less than 15 minutes. You can't just give someone a gift at Christmas. Unwrapping is 95% of the gift exchange experience. Nothing like going home and feeling like your shortcomings are normal habits.

It's becoming tradition for my family to go see a movie on holidays and yesterday we went to see The Great Debaters. Awesome movie! This brings my movie viewing total up to one this year and it was well worth it. I'm not a big movie watcher only because I never make the time. I have to pull myself away from books to do so. But seeing this movie makes me want to check out a flick more often, if it's going to be as worthwhile as this. As I get older, I find my interests changing. I'm more into stories of real life obstacles turned triumphant victories. I'm also finding myself becoming more interested in science fiction and fantasy, which I can't help to notice, seems like a total contrast to me. It's like, one minute I want something real that I can relate to, and the next minute I want to escape from it and go to Never Never Land. I feel so creatively bipolar sometimes.


Tuesday, December 25, 2007

It's Christmas morning and I've put in work already. So far, I've spent a good hour sending out text messages to wish all my friends and distant family members a Merry Christmas. This year, I wasn't too good at getting my Christmas cards out in time. How many? How about zero. It all just happened so fast. One day I'm eating a turkey dinner, then, KAPOWAH! It's Christmas. So, I'm taking the procrastinator's way out by texting all my friends and family. I'm about halfway done because I'm reading and replying to my other texting family and friends who are doing the exact same thing. So, like for every text you send out, there's 10 to reply to. LOL I'll finish the rest later.

Okay, I went Christmas shopping at the bookstore right? And they have gift wrapping, only, I have a $20 bill. I don't want to have my books wrapped and not put something in the donation jar because, well, everybody's looking. So, I ask the cashier for change. "We can't give out change," she says. I give her the stupid look. And I want to say, "Well, I can't purchase these books," and walk off after she's rung them up, but it's Christmas Eve and only a few hours left til stores closed and I don't want to go anywhere else anyway. So, she has me over a barrel. I give an empty look and say, "Ok." But I'm thinking, that's okay. Because I'm visualizing the leftover roll of Christmas wrapping I have in the back of my closet behind my suitcases. It'll be fun to wrap them myself, even though I'm not good at it. After all, sloppy wrapping shows effort. :-) So I take them hope and prepare to go to the closet to get the wrapping, and it's not there. Uh, not the Christmas wrapping....THE CLOSET!!!! I was envisioning the wrapping in the closet of my OLD apartment! I forgot I switched apartments in my building last year and that closet, nor the Christmas wrapping, does not exist. So, I'm left with either the non-biodegradable grocery bags (news report said they contain petroleum so while we thought we were doing the environment a favor, it was all for not. Yet again, we were guilted into making corporations richer), or going over Mom's house early so I can borrow some of her wrapping paper. And yes, she DOES have wrapping paper. Because at worst, there will be the old paper that she saved from last year's Christmas gifts.

Sigh. A procrastinator's work is never done...


Monday, December 24, 2007

Okay, it's Christmas Eve and I just started and finished my Christmas shopping. Yes, I'm forever the procrastinator, when it comes to shopping. Anything to put off fighting for parking spaces and crowded shopping malls. But this time, it wasn't so bad. One, because I listened to audio books while I drove. So having to circle the lot a few times gave me more time to find out what happened next. :-) I even pulled it to a spot and waited a few minutes until I got to that "breaking point" in the story. And two, well, I cheated. I decided to do the majority of my a bookstore. LOL Yes, I cruised the bookstore, which is my passion anyway, until I found a book that would be suitable for each person on my list. And so what if I spent extra time looking at books I was interested in? That's not the point. LOL So anyway, after three or so hours in one store (which is triple the time I like to spend in an entire mall), it was off to buy supplementary gift cards and I'm done. And here I sit at Panera's again, doing a little writing. What a deserving treat!

Writing is flowing again. Reminds me especially of writing book one. I get goosebumps thinking about certain scenes and I'm anxious to describe it on paper (or screen) as best I can so the reader can get the full impact of what I'm seeing and envisioning. Yeah, it's that writer's feeling again. I haven't really set a target for completion. Ah, what the hey...I'm going to shoot for the end of January. Wait...maybe mid February. Forgot, I'm an Engineer again. LOL

So, I'm back in a reading and writing frenzy, as I've said before, I'm sure. The thing about reading to me is, that it makes you itch to write. I haven't experienced it yet, but I would imagine that when I get writer's block, all I would have to do is pick up a few books to read. It inspires me to write. I've heard some writers say that they can't read when they write because they fear copying someone else's style. It's hard for me to relate to that. Yes, reading inspires me to write, but in my own style, I believe. Mainly because it seems difficult to honestly write in another style than what I comfortable with. When I write, it's like there's a drum and I'm writing to a rhythm. I'm familiar with the rhythm, which makes it easy. It's natural. I don't have to think about it. If I purposely try to write in someone else's style, or just force myself to write another way, it's difficult to me. I would imagine the writing would be choppy or disjointed. Because I wouldn't know what the hell I was doing.

On the contrary, even though I'm reading for pure enjoyment, I'm learning various methods other writers use say in presenting an idea, showing motives, introducing characters, using props and scenes, etc. It's like word association. When someone says a word and you're supposed to name the first thing that comes to your mind. You don't think of the same word that was said, but something else. And you probably could think of MANY different words from the mention of that same word. That's what reading while writing is like to me. It's pretty cool! ;-)


Thursday, December 13, 2007

Aaaahhhh!!!! I've finally found another groove. Another writing groove. Now, after work, I head straight to Panera's in the Loop and get in my writing for today, as well as do a little reading. All while sipping a latte or eating a toasted cinnamon crunch bagel (or brownie on naughty days). It's a relaxing environment and I have the background noise going on so I can write (I can't write in total silence. Silence is loud and distracting. I can't concentrate). And often times, like right now, you can find some interesting characters for future use. Listening to dialogue is fun too. Ahem...not eavesdropping....but um...research. lol So there's a couple of older gentlemen sitting at a table across from me. Got to be late 50's. One black, one white. Old managerial fogey look. And they're sitting here gossiping their behinds off! If I was reading it in a book with no tags attached, my mind would conjure up two teenagers or two women sitting on a porch with curlers in their hair. The conversation just does not match the looks.

There's another group of older gentle a few tables over. Hey, it's not my fault if they're talking loud enough for me to hear. But the white male (and I know that he is white not because I look at him, but appaarently, he feels the need to make this known to the men he's sitting with. And I look up to find that they perhaps have roots in India, and from what I can tell, not blind) is emotionally talking about a verbal conflict with another what sounds like co-worker, and talks about speaking to each other from the heart and with understanding. It's just the emotion in it all. Makes me want to sing kum-baa-yaa.

Lesson learned....if you're in a coffee shop and there are people by you with laptops, keep your voice to a minimum because you never know when someone is randomly blogging about you under your very nose. lol

So anyway, I'm making consistent progress on getting book three done. Finally. :-)


Sunday, November 25, 2007

*walking slowly into the room, whistling, like I've been here all along...*

,,,so as I was saying, the solution to health care, immigration, and global warming is all evident. Ahem.

Okay, so yet another long lapse in blog posts, and yes, things were still busy. I know I've said this before, but I think I'm on the verge of some normalcy now. LOL We'll see.

Well, in the meantime, I've started book three over from scratch. Hopefully, this will definitely be the longest period it's taken me to write a book. It's funny, because it's certainly not due to writer's block. On the contrary, it seems like the longer it's taking me to write it, the more ideas I come up with for it. The only problem is finding the time to sit and write. Lots of changes in my life this past year that has prevented me from doing a lot of writing and reading. But the last couple of weeks is an indicator to me that things are turning around.

I'm reading again. Yea! I'm in a few online reading groups, plus my co-workers and I are talking about starting our own little book club. Nothing structured yet but the plan is to discuss during our after work beer sessions. Now, THAT should be a fun book club. I can imagine our discussions already. Our first book is Moby Dick. LOL But in addition to that, my manager introduced me to Clive Barker. A couple of weekends ago, I went to the bookstore to look him up and ended up reading one of his short stories called the Book of Death. I really enjoyed it. This made me realize how narrow my reading choices have been. I never would have picked up a horror or sci/fi book. I did enjoy a mystery here and there though. But now, I want to read a book in each and every genre to see what I've been missing. Right now, I'm reading Imajika by Clive Barker and Plain Truth by Jodi Picoult. Just picked this one up yesterday and I'm starting Chapter 5 today. I'm also listening (in my car) to Chasing the Dime, by Michael Connelly. I've purchased on audio The Husband by Dean Koontz and Snow Falling on Cedars by David G. And purchased Can't Wait to Get to Heaven, by Fannie Flagg. Plus, I still have a lot of good reads on my bookshelf. :-)

So much for the reading, I'm also writing again too. Like I said, I'm pretty much starting from scratch with book three. Not really major changes, but major enhancements. This weekend, I went over all the main characters's sketches, back story and story line. Today, I want to go back over the outline, then re-evaluate the first four chapters. The time away from it gave me time to things more about it and come up with ideas that will make it more authentic. So, actually, I think the time away from it will serve me well. All in all, I'm hoping to have it finished by the end of the year, so I can immediately start my next book, which will be the beginning of a series. Yes, I do have it all mapped out in my head!


Sunday, August 19, 2007

Whew! Been a while since I posted. It's been over a year now since I've been saying that things are going to slow down and I'll be back on a regular schedule in a minute. Yet things keep getting busier and busier. So busy that I'm not meeting my own personal deadlines on my books, and well, you know that's gotta stop. So, I made up my mind, starting today, everything else comes secondary to finally finishing books three AND four, and, uh....making money. LOL

But guess what? I'm finally getting over it. I thought it would never happen, but I'm finally getting over my fear of public speaking!!! It was so cool. Yesterday, I was the Keynote Speaker at the 4th Annual Indianapolis Book Fest. I'd been knowing about this for months (which probably helped) so had time to mentally prepare myself for speaking. Usually, when I speak before an audience, I get that queasy feeling in my stomach, I'm a-sweatin' and my voice is a-trembling... LOL But this time, I really thought about it. I mean, what am I afraid of? The audience is my friend. :-) No but really, I thought about myself before I wrote my first book or being a reader. And when I went to events, I wanted to receive any information the author could give me. So, instead of looking at the speaking opportunity as me having to talk about myself or promoting my book, I looked at it as giving others information and sharing my experience with them so that they can know what they could possibly expect. WOW! It worked. I wasn't nervous because I felt like I was giving useful information in a casual way. Man! I could do that again! That was my best speaking experience thus far.

Don't get me wrong. My inner critic evaluated me and pointed out areas where I could improve, and, to me, that's okay. I just feel like I've gotten over a major hump in public speaking, and now I can move on to making a core speech and perfecting it! :-)


Thursday, June 14, 2007

Hey peeps!

It's been a while again, but as always, I'm busy plugging away. Hope you've been checking out my posts on I do a monthly post there on the 30th of each month. I also post it on my myspace blog when I post a new one.

I'm also the new feature writer at and my first article posted yesterday. Yea! This is exciting for me. Because I'm combining two things I love: motorcycles and writing. I was never interested in freelance writing until this opportunity came. There was never a subject that I was interested in enough to make it not feel like WORK! LOL But when it's something that you love, you don't mind doing. Only thing is, I so wish I had more time to write more than one article a month. Hopefully, in the future, I will.

Anyway, check out my first feature!

Have Motorcycle Clubs Changed Their Focus?


If you’re ever blessed with pleasure of conversation with motorcycle club (MC) riders who have been on the set long before the biker boom of the ‘90’s, almost immediately you begin to feel their sense of pride in the unity and solidarity they possessed. You come to know their strength in having bonds tighter than any blood related family. You feel the cohesiveness that was formed by their common, undying passion of both living their life and in experiencing the world on two wheels. You feel a brotherly love that just has to surpass that of any love known or felt even in the deepest pocket of the city of Philadelphia. You come to know of a family fully committed to life on the road, to each other, and to living life to the fullest. And of these old school bikers, as their children, and their children’s children began to rise and go forth on two—two wheels, that is—and as technology has advanced and wealth increased, the black biker set of old has exploded and evolved to what best can be described now as the new urban biker set. In that evolution, with the additions of many new MCs, along with the exponential increase of Riding Clubs, the sprouting of Social Clubs, the movement of female riders from “riding bitch” to making some of the boyz eat dust, and the relentless flow of money onto the urban biker set, one has to wonder if all of these things have had an effect on the committed and strongly bonded brotherhoods of MCs of yesterday. One has to wonder, have motorcycle clubs changed their focus?



Monday, April 30, 2007

Just like life to get in the middle of your book promotion! LOL Well, it's been a hectic two months. Things were going great with promotion of the book, then I had to tend to some unplanned personal things that popped up at the most inconvenient time. And, as I've been saying, the day you stop promoting your own book is the day your book doesn't get promoted at all. And so it goes. But that's the life of an author and something you have to adjust for. So, now, things are back in order and I have to get caught up (once again) and get back on track.

Through it all, some great opportunities have come my way. I've never been interested in freelance writing because most of the topics I've seen never piqued my interest. And when I'm not interested in what I'm writing, that's when it feels like work. And I've got enough of that. LOL But over the past months, I've had 3 freelance writing opportunities to come my way that I'm very much interested in.

Today, Monday, April 30th, check out my first post at:

I'm excited about posting there every month along with my fellow authors. I'll post a commentary on the 30th of every month, so bookmare the site if you're not a viewer already, and check it out.

Also, coming soon, I will also be a regular poster at a sports website and an urban motorcycle community website. I'll let you know as soon as the first post is published!

Hey, if you're in Atlanta this weekend, I hope you can drop in and join me at a literary event hosted by my Sorors of the Atlanta Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. They are hosting "A Good Book and a Glass of Wine" event. Join us at the black owned restaurant and wine bar, Vino Libro at 933 Garrett Ave in Atlanta, GA. We will be there from 3 - 5 pm. Hope you can join us!

All right, gotta go get back on track!!!


Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Ah! Finally getting a chance when I can breathe a little. Most of my activities this month are at home, so I’m finally getting to tend to some things during the weekends as well. And yes, while I did have to buy new underwear, I finally found the time to do laundry! LOL I’m telling you….trying to promote, do events, and write a book, all while going through the normal routines of life, is no joke. It ain’t easy. But it’s so true that if it’s your passion, you’ll do it no matter what’s going on around you. I’ve been fortunate to have opportunities to come my way. But even when they come your way, still, a lot of follow through and follow up is required. Sometimes quite a bit of back and forth. Sometimes requiring you to put additional promotional documents together (if you want it promoted). Dozens of phone calls, emails… Trying to create and supply everything needed, which can be different for each event. And then, add to that the event and opportunities you seek on a daily basis, in addition to finding and exposing your work on a daily basis, to readers who are not aware. Doing this on the internet, in addition to going out in your area on foot to network, street team and distribute promotional material at literary events, in stores, the post office, wherever you go and tagging cars…on a DAILY BASIS. Sit and imagine. Imagine how tiring it can be, how you have to squeeze in exercising, fun and relaxation; how while you’re at home alone doing all this, your friends think you’re sleeping or laying on the couch eating bon bons while watching a bootleg movie. Because no one SEES a writer working. Wondering why you don’t pick up the phone to just chit chat, maybe thinking you're just ignoring them. Dishes and bills are piling up and waving at you; the laundry basket is overflowing and if the mold in the fridge continues to grow, it’s going to open the fridge door itself to take a seat on the couch and say, "What's good?". And, because they can’t see all this, your friends say, “You can put it aside ONE day (and they say this every other day) to come hangout until the wee hours of the morning, or party, or go skating, or go on a date, or...etc. And you want to just shake your head, sigh, and say, “You think you know…but you have NO IDEA…”

It’s work, it’s a challenge, and it’s a rush…


Thursday, February 15, 2007

Okay, my apartment’s a total mess again and there’s no time to straighten in up. Can you say, tornado central? LOL Once again, I feel like I’m there for a few hours to sleep, do a couple of hours of “book work,” then shower and get ready for the next day. I’m embarrassed to say this, but I’m just going to have to buy a pack of underwear now because I haven’t had time to do laundry. Shame, I know. But I’m going out of town tomorrow morning and since I’m driving to Cleveland, that means I need to just get home, pack, and get to sleep so I can drive out at 4 or 5am. No time to do laundry! Well, if things are busy, that always means things are going good as far as promotions. To me it means I’m doing all I can. If I’m sitting at home doing something other than promoting my book, then I feel like there’s a problem.

So like I said before, the primary focus right now is my hometown peeps. So, I hired a local “publicist” and she is GREAT! Funny how we started working together. She’s a poet (Mocha Latte) with her own platform on Wednesday nights (at the Loft starting Feb. 28th). So, I’d been going to her shows, and she came out to my signing. Without any intent, sistergirl was selling my books for me like hotcakes. I mean, she literally convinced folks to give my book a try, since most had never heard of me. I’m still a little reserved. But she’s one of those open people that can walk up to someone and talk about anything. Plus, she LOVES to promote others in whatever they do. In seeing how she worked, I’m like, I need this lady with me! LOL So, we started talking, worked out terms and now I’m her first client. It’s something she’s always wanted to do and something everybody she knows has been telling her what she should do. I could relate to what she was saying. Same thing with me in becoming a writer. So now, we’re helping each other. I’m telling her what I know about the needs of a writer as far as a publicist. She’s helping me because she has a local literary fan base and connections, plus she’s a driver into getting what she needs to promote. To me, it’s a match made in heaven. We’re just getting started but having her on my team for local promotion has been a blessing already.


Thursday, February 08, 2007

Feedback about First Fridays is starting to come in and I'm cool with what I'm hearing. It's always great to hear reader's opinions of what you wrote. And, like I said, this time, I do feel more mellow with the feedback. After Counting Raindrops, there were some thoughts shared that made me want to ask, "Are you sure it's MY book you read?" LOL Not because it wasn't liked. But usually because of some reference drawn that was from an internal perspective and projected as the underlying factor for a scene, a character, or the whole purpose of my book. Usually something I never even thought of, but they swear up and down, that that's what I was saying. LOL Yeah, it was with Counting Raindrops that I learned that in addition to personal reading tastes, readers all have different realities which may cause them to have a completely different interpretation of your book and believe to the depths of their soul that "this" is what you meant. While they may be wrong in stating what I meant, they're not wrong in their personal interpretation. That's what I've come to learn and respect about readers. If they think it's the best thing since them. If they think it could be could be...for them. I think getting to this understanding has made me a sane writer. LOL

On another note, man...lots of stuff going on (stay tuned at my Myspace Page. First, I'm scheduled to do an interview for an online magazine that's off the hizzy (can I still say that?). Can't wait to share it with you. Also, I'm on eTour with Marguerite Press and will post the site locations and chat times. And I'm traveling to Cincinnati this weekend will sign at the following locaton:

Friday, February 9th, 2007; 6 – 8pm
Book Signing
Kenwood Town Center
7875 Montgomery Rd
Cincinnati, OH 45236
Bill Carl

Busy, busy, busy, but I guess that's always a good thing. :-) And hey, I'm running a Valentine's Day Contest! Check it out! And for those of you who come out and get a book in Cincinnati, you'll be entered too!


Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Okay, I'm cheating. LOL I posted this on my myspace blog last week, and I'm cuttin' and pasting it here. Sue me. LOL

This weekend starts off my events, and it's the second time around for me. My second book. And with llke anything, you learn from experience or you change things around from experience. And your thoughts and attitudes can changed, based on the experience from the first time around. What's different this time?

I'm more relaxed about things. The first time around, I was worried about getting all positive reviews, packing the bookstores with interested, avid readers, and trying to be everything to everybody and be everywhere. Now? Bump all that! LOL I've learned from the first time around that not everyone is going to like your writing or your stories. Does that make you a bad writer or a bad storyteller? No. It's just a fact that just like I might not enjoy a certain genre or prefer books that have less narrative, so might other readers and reviewers have a preference. Although I can say about a good 98% of my reviews from my first novel were positive, it's funny how as a new writer, you focus on the 1 or 2% "bad" reviews (and honstly, thinking back, I can only remember 2 not so kind reviews). You can allow one harsh review negate the 99 positive ones you receive. So, what I've learned is to concentrate on those that enjoy my style of writing. I've learned to take in constructive criticism and separate and absorb that from actual personal preferences in reading (because I found unpleased readers can take your story and re-write it for you in their mind and tell you how you should have written it to make it more pleasing or more relatable to them...all different ways, of course. So the moral is that no matter what you write, someone is not going to be totally pleased.). I've learned to focus on my audience. They'll let me know who they are.

And this second time around, if I can say, I've learned that it is very true that African American women give very little attention to reviews, ads, and accolades. But rather if their best friend or cousin Shaniqua read your book and if she loved it or hated it. That determines whether they buy your book or not. So again, focus on the readers who love my style rather than give thought to those who don't.

And this second time around, I'm enjoying it more. I don't worry about packing the house because I'm a new writer and I have to prove myself and build my readership. So, should I happen to have only one reader to come out to a book signing or 50, the focus is to connect with readers and encourage them to pass the word along to fellow avid readers if they enjoy my writing style. Now, thus far, I've been blessed to have even more readers to come out over my debut. And I pray it will continue to build from there.

This second time around, although I promote like crazy, I don't feel the need to push like I did the first time around. I mean, push readers to post reviews on, push reviewers to read and (hopefully) post positive reviews on my book. I'm very anxioius for feedback and reviews. But, this time around, I feel comfortable in allowing whatever to happen to happen. And with that, thus far, I've gotten positive feedback and friends to come to me and offer to do certain things from the heart, and not out of obligation. And that certainly feels better.

And because of all this and more, this second time around it's even MORE enjoyable. Because I don't look at or compete with other authors. We all have something to offer and an audience that will receive it. I'm more relaxed because the readers who come out either enjoy my writing or who are interested in what I'm doing and want to know more about me and my writing. And now, I'm loving this even more. I can be me, and have more fun this second time around. :-)


Friday, January 19, 2007

One down and one to go! Had my first event for First Fridays last night. Pics will be coming this weekend. But it was great and I had a great time. We just hung out at Mack’s Sports Bar and Grill, eating, drinking, and chatting. My motorcycle club members were hosting and ever present in their vests. And they even bought books too! How awesome! It was great to get the support of family and to see my different friends come together and act like they knew each other. Well, actually, some of them did, but we just didn’t know it. Found out that night. Small world. Isn’t it funny how that works out sometime? People came from Lyrics of the Lou, a Wednesday night poetry set I hit up at the Filter Bar (if you’re in St. Louis, you got to check this out. It’s hot!). And then there were people I’d never met before who told me they heard me on the radio and came by to check me out. Now that was so cool!

So, today is Friday and I’m chilling and fixing my mind to Saturday’s signing were this time I’m actually going to have to get up and talk in front of people. It’s a reading, Q & A session, and whatever before the signing. Then I get a call from someone that I came to find out was a Soror, who wants me to come to her book club meeting next week and to bring books because she selected my book for February! Awesome! And of course, I offered to come back in February and sit down and chat with them about it. But, of course! So, I’m feeling good about the 11 books for each member that she’s telling me to bring. Because I also know that my other friend, Angelia, who works in the school district and sold 25 of my self published books in a single day at work (and who gave the book club lady my info to contact me)…well, she’s taking orders for this book, so I’m feeling pretty. Next thing I know, another friend, a nurse at a hospital, calls and tells me she has a minimum order of 30 (but she hasn’t talked to everyone yet and this is only one of the hospitals she works in), and can I come up to the hospital next week to do a “hospital signing?” Okay, I never did that before but, HELLZ YEAH!

These are FRIENDS. It feels so good when you don’t ask, but people offer because they WANT you to succeed and sell books. They see you out there chasing your dream and they want to help you catch it. Asking nothing in return (although they will get something). I can’t tell you how warm that makes me feel. I got their back at any time.

So, kick off weekend is going GREAT thus far. I don’t think I could ask for anything better.


Tuesday, January 16, 2007

In the midst of things. Going to events, passing out promo cards. And to people on the street everywhere I go. Calling on the job to try to hook up events, interviews, making arrangements for the book release party, doing follow ups, making my infamous "to-do" list...checking it twice.... Oh wait, that's Santa. LOL In other words, at the daily author grind.

Well, if you're in the St. Louis area, at 11:15AM tomorrow (Wednesday, January 17th), tune in your radio to FOXY 95.5FM because I'll be on the air for a live interview! Hope you're able to give it a listen!

Then Thursday is the book release party and I'm still in the process of tying up loose ends for it. But come on by Mack's at 6PM. You can pick up a copy of my book, get some Mack's appetizers and a free drink. And what's a party without cake?!!! It's going to be a good time. :-)

But if you can't make that, stop by the Brentwood Border's on Saturday afternoon at 2PM. I'll do a reading, take your questions, and then sign books. It's my kickoff weekend and I'm scurrying around trying to make things perfect. Yeah, I can be a bit of a perfectionist. LOL

It's the writer's grind. LOL


Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Just got wind of a review in the Seattle Medium News: First Fridays Review Check it out.

And that reminds me, forgot to mention that the December/January issue of Heart & Soul magazine recommends First Fridays as a read in their Searching for Soul section. Check that out too!

Lots of good things are happening and I'm still working hard to put things together and doing promotions for my upcoming book release party. Overslept this morning cuz I was doing promotions last night and now I'm sitting here at this computer tired as all get out, hoping like heck this cup of coffee is going to do the trick and wake me up. LOL


Sunday, January 07, 2007

My page is finished!!! Check out my Myspace Page. Let me know what you think about it. If you're on Myspace too, hit me up and let's be friends! I know it took me a long time to get around to getting one done, but I've been on it ever since! It takes awhile sometimes for me to get with the latest program. LOL But check in with me there too. I plan to keep this blog and talk about my writing/publishing experience only. But there, I may talk about that, plus any other literary related thing that's going on. Check it out!

Well, so I'm back doing the promotion thing now. With the first book, I was in Cleveland and I did a lot of internet publicity, and ads, and did fairly well. However, this time, my strategy is to hit up the hometown and get word out on the street about me as a hometown author. It's easier to do that now that I'm here in the city. My first promotions was to hit attend our local First Fridays event and get word out. Now, usually, I'm shy and not very good about approaching people and starting discussions. But one thing I'm noticing, since joining a motorcycle club, I seem to be coming out of my shy shell. What?! Say it ain't so! LOL It's funny when you find out what it takes to get you to change. I'd taken public speaking classes and considered Toastmasters...who knew that all I needed to do was become a biker. LOL There's no such thing as being shy around bikers. They will make you talk, make you dance, and just make you be sociable. So much to the point where you're like, to heck with it. And you're always at functions where you no one knows each other but in 15 minutes, you will know everybody in the room! So, I've gotten a lot better at approaching people and I was able to do so Friday night. A lot of ladies were very receptive, especially since the book was called First Fridays. Hope they show up to the book release party! So, after I passed out my promotional business cards, I waited until the party got going, then I went to the parking garage to hit up everybody's cars, just in case I missed them. LOL Yeah, it's on again.


Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Release day was yesterday!!!! Hopefully books are on shelves. Okay, now here comes the part where I have to make people aware that it's there, tell them who I am and what I write and try to get them to give a new writer a chance. Hard work. But this time, I a book wiser. With Counting Raindrops, I tried a little bit of everything within my budget and too much stuff outside of it. So, with just a teeny weeny bit more knowledge and a little bit of experience, I'm choosing my promotions wisely. Being here in my hometown this time around affords me to introduce myself to St. Louis, so that's the focus this time. So peeps here will come across me in email, see me pubbing at events, in bookstores, and just walking down the street. LOL I got work to do!

Hey, if you get Heart & Soul magazine, check out the write up on First Fridays. In the Searching for Soul section that begins on page 63, First Fridays is included as a recommended read!

I'm also in the process of constructing my MySpace page. I want to keep this blog as strictly my writer's blog to capture my writing and publishing experience. Yeah, ,I know, when I write to it. LOL But there's so much other stuff I want to write, share and talk about that's not necessarily writing. Like about other things I'm involved in and riding my bike and my motorcycle club and just living life. I'll post when it's done.

Well, here's to praying people will pick up First Fridays and check it out. I'm anxious to start getting feedback.