criticism

Demands of the Trade

Since I started freelancing I’ve been writing more and more….interesting things. I have done product reviews, I have done articles on tech support and skin tags. I have a job coming up where I need to write 8 individual articles about Home Renovations to fit the style of the 8 destination websites. And they’re due in 25 hours.

I know I can’t pick what I write about, which is kind of sad. I’m not established enough to do something like that and I don’t even know how I would go about doing that. I have applied to do an intern-ship writing for a site that I actually use and enjoy. They won’t review the application until the deadline is up, which is in December and it’s not a paid position. But that’s okay. The more experience the better.

I guess today I’m just feeling overwhelmed when it comes to writing. I have personal writing I want to do, freelance writing I need to do and writing for work that I need to start thinking about.

There’s nothing wrong with taking a bit of a break and the articles aren’t due for quite some time. It’s the occupational hazard of the craft. I’m sure many people would agree with me on this as it can be crazy.

I submitted a draft blog-style post to my co-workers for them to pick apart and suggest changes for. I know they would only be giving suggestions from an unbiased and constructive viewpoint but it still makes me nervous. I wonder how much they are expecting and I worry about not meeting those expectations.

It will get better and I will get more confident. I suppose it’s just been a long time since my writing skills were desired and potentially respected.

I will brave the storm and see where this takes me!

Posted by Sarah Jayne in Rantings, 0 comments

Voting Closes May 5th!

I added links on the sidebar of my page and I’m going to post (again! I know, I should just shut up) to see if people are willing to spend some time voting on my stories.

These are completely voter based and either my stories are actually pretty crappy, or no one is reading them.

I know we are all busy people, especially my writer friends. But if you could take the time to place your vote I would appreciate it. Please vote for either or both, whichever strikes your fancy.

You can do so here:

http://www.inkitt.com/stories/12258 and http://www.inkitt.com/stories/12247

I would really appreciate any feedback too. You have the option to write reviews when you vote so if my stories need work, please tell me! 😀 I can’t get better if I don’t know what isn’t working.

Thanks for your time! I’ll probably post this ALL OVER AGAIN in a few days.

Don’t hurt me 😛

Posted by Sarah Jayne in My Book Stuff, 0 comments

I Entered a Contest! Weeee!

Hey guys! I entered a contest through Inkitt! Here you can find the link to my two submissions. I need votes in order to win! Please read and if it strikes your fancy, vote!

http://www.inkitt.com/stories/12258

http://www.inkitt.com/stories/12247

I’ve never done this before so I’m pretty excited! Especially since I was invited to give a submission. Made me feel special 😀

 

Posted by Sarah Jayne in My Book Stuff, 0 comments

Review

Received a second review over at GoodReads. I highly suggest checking it out! It goes into great depth about what the reader liked and disliked about my book.

Some people may think it’s too honest, but as a new author trying to get my book(s) known out there, I see it as invaluable teaching material.

After all, how can I hope to make my next book, TAK, any better if I can’t build upon the weaknesses of my past? They need to be shown to me so I can do that and this review hits it all.

It’s been updated on my media page, but here is the link as well: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/632616050

Posted by Sarah Jayne in My Book Stuff, 0 comments

My Rage Boils Over

There’s nothing like getting a phone call at 4 pm on a work day that ends at 4:30 from the program area FREAKING OUT because they suddenly think we need to recruit the hell out of a program because ONE STUDENT withdrew their application.

This, of course, puts more work on my shoulders. This morning I rolled in to work at 7:25 thanks to traffic being light. I immediately went over the list for the students from the affected program to make sure we were okay or if I should start contacting students on the wait-list.

First thing this morning, I am irritated to all hell.

Irritation the first: The main reason we keeps losing students from the program in question is because ANOTHER program at the College I work at keeps STEALING the students for a different program. Um, go to hell and get your own people.

Irritation the second: While counting all the students who are complete and realizing we still have enough to at least run the program I start looking at those on the wait-list. Weeeeeeeeeeeell APPARENTLY one of the wait-listed students has already had their funding forms for the program in question signed off for, THEIR ADVISOR JUST DIDN’T NOTIFY MYSELF OR MY CO-WORKER about it. So we were really over subscribed to the program.

Irritation the third: Getting e-mails asking if I’m ‘covering’ for the co-worker who is on holiday. Um, I’ve been doing the SAME job as her since FEBRUARY if you people would get it through your thick goddamn skulls and realize that. Not that it matters because I’m leaving anyway.

Thank goodness for that. If I had to stay here where apparently I don’t do my job and am nothing more than extra flesh all of a sudden I would end up being miserable.

Manitoba, here I come! Are you ready for me?!

 

Posted by Sarah Jayne in Rantings, 0 comments

TAK

So I have decided on the name of my next work and I’ve been reading it over again. I had only written slightly over 100 pages when I went to work editing and dressing up Black & Red.

Now that Black & Red is really out there and there’s not much else I need to do to it, I can focus my attention on TAK. I’ve received some great constructive criticism for my writing style from a few people who have read/are reading Black & Red which will help me make TAK that much better. I know I have a grammar problem and I’m working really hard on fixing that. Since I’m not putting a deadline on TAK I feel like I can take my time and pay more attention to it.

The reason I didn’t do that with Black & Red  is because the fundamental story is something I had written many years ago. The story itself has received amazing feedback and I feel very tickled inside that people like it that much.

I feel I’ve done all I can for Black & Red. Sure, I could go back and fix up the little grammatical things that are nagging, but I just feel like it’s out there now, why do that? Why change something? What about all those people who have bought or read it with those errors? No, I’ve told Kalan’s story and I’ve let the world meet Terentya. They are out there now and I’m not about to change that.

For now, I will focus my writing skills on TAK and the story of Brexton and Aldric. This will be the first time I’ve written a story with two male protagonists. Yes, there were male main characters in Black & Red but TAK focuses mainly on Brexton and Aldric and the adventure they have.

Once it’s out there, I hope you will enjoy it as well! Please look forward to it!

Posted by Sarah Jayne in My Book Stuff, 0 comments

MY FIRST REVIEWS!

So I was checking out my stats etc for my book and realized that someone wrote a review on Amazon.com!

This is the link to the review: http://www.amazon.com/review/R2VFCIGE6TAXIM/ref=cm_cr_pr_perm?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B00D68GV7E&linkCode=&nodeID=&tag=

I also have a review on Smashwords which you can read here: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/321718

I hope this will help people decide whether or not to read my story 🙂

 

Posted by Sarah Jayne in My Book Stuff, 0 comments

I hate this commercial

It’s not generally my style to write a commentary piece, but every time I see this commercial it drives me insane.

COME ON! Who makes a commercial that spouts such lines as:

“He could be the one….now you just need to get him to say hello.”

Because, world be damned, the WOMAN actually goes and says hello to the man ON HER OWN. Because, heaven forbid, someone who doesn’t have blindingly white teeth approach a person they find attractive.

I’m all for having nice white teeth. I don’t overly whiten mine but I have been using a toothpaste that’s supposed to help since I drink a lot of tea. BUT. I AM THE ONE who approached the man who is my husband and loving father to my children ON MY OWN without waiting for him to talk to me. I saw him, thought he was super cute, and decided the worst that would happen would be that he wanted nothing to do with me.

This commercial seems to perpetuate the stereotype that women can’t be the ‘chasers’ in a relationship and that they must sit there, looking as pretty a society says they should, and waiting for a MAN to come and talk to them.

Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight.

Did we go back in time without my knowing it? I didn’t know that women weren’t allowed to talk to men on their own.

I hope I never have a daughter. Growing up with the pressure from society to ‘act this way’ or ‘look this way’ can sometimes be too much for us women. Why? Because society places unrealistic expectations on young women (and young men too) about how they should look and act. Even older women.

I only recently starting seeing commercials on tv for Penningtons, a plus-sized women’s store. I was so excited the first time I saw it because it’s about goddamn time we started celebrating a woman’s curves. And the models are dead sexy. There’s even a commercial of them in their underwear! And WHY NOT??

If I can be honest here for a second, I have always been jealous of bigger women because the ones I have known have always been beautiful and displaying a kind of confidence I have never been able to muster up. Growing up I was always the skinniest of my friends and maybe some of them hated me for that. I don’t know. We didn’t talk about that. I would always ask them for clothing and makeup advice because they just always seemed to know what to do when I was floundering in a world I had never known.

But this is enough ranting. I really went off on this one.

To keep the rant short, I hate the Crest 3D commercial. It should be taken off the air. It objectifies women and it objectifies men. It makes men seem so shallow that unless a woman is drowning in what is socially acceptable for beauty he won’t talk to her. It makes women seem timid and weak and that they can’t even approach a man they find attractive on their own.

TO HELL WITH YOU, CREST! I WILL NEVER USE YOUR PRODUCTS AGAIN!

Posted by Sarah Jayne in Rantings, 0 comments

The Tiny Progress

Well, I’ve not even been published for an entire week yet but I’ve made some progress!

On Amazon.com I’ve sold 2 units. On Amazon.ca I’ve sold 3! All the Amazon.ca ones are probably people I know, but I feel so grateful they’re willing to spend the $3.10 it works out to in Canadian Dollars to read my book.

On Smashwords 8 people have downloaded the sample of my book, but no one has purchased it yet. But that’s okay! It still means at least 8 people were interested enough to read the 20% sample I’ve made available!

No one has taken me up on the review offer yet, but I’ll keep trying! Maybe next week I’ll write a post only for offering my book free in exchange for a review *insert evil grin*

In other news, I’m super-stoked to get back to work on the story I was writing when I decided to publish. I think I’ll call it either Three Abandoned Kingdoms or TAK. When I started re-reading it to sort of remember what was going on when I stopped I remembered that it takes place in the world of Tessera where 3/4 kingdoms have been plunged into war. Since the closing off of kingdom #4, the remaining became to be referred to as Three Abandoned Kingdoms, or TAK for short. I think that’s a good title for now. I can always change it later.

I’ll talk more about TAK in the coming days 🙂

Posted by Sarah Jayne in My Book Stuff, 3 comments

Expectations

As I’m editing away and reviewing and rewriting my story until it meets my satisfaction (speaking of which, there’s a fight scene to clean up and some character development to throw in), I start thinking about the people who might actually buy my book and read it when it’s finally published in April.

Honestly, I don’t want to be super famous or be a best-seller. I don’t want people throwing themselves at me and telling me how great my work is. You know why? Because I just want someone to ENJOY it.

I don’t want people freaking out over it and thinking it’s so great. I don’t even think it has the potential for a reaction like that. I don’t think it’s crap, or else I wouldn’t even try to publish it. Friends who have read it in it’s most raw form have told me that they like it which is why I want to put it out there.

But I just want someone to truly enjoy it. I want them to become emotionally involved with the characters (maybe, that’s asking a lot) and I just want them to feel satisfied when they finished reading. Hell, I want someone to be able to get to the END of the book.

It’s taken me so long to even try to put my stuff out there because every story is like an extension of me. A part of me goes into this work and there is a piece of me in every character. So for someone to be rude and badmouth it would feel like a personal attack.

Yes, not everyone who reads it is going to like it. Of course not. That would be insane. But when it comes time that people are actually writing reviews I just want them to be constructive. Don’t compare me to other people and don’t just say it was shitty but don’t say why.

Although I’m pretty sure someone out there will write a review like that.

I just want someone who I’ve never met before to just say that they enjoyed it. Is that so much to ask?

I hope not.

Posted by Sarah Jayne in My Book Stuff, 5 comments