self-publishing

I Came, I Participated, I Left

If you’ve been following me at all lately you’ll know that I was going to a group therapy meeting last week for people with Depression and Anxiety.

I was hella nervous going because that’s my anxiety and it’s just ‘normal’ nerves at that point.

It was a nice place. It took place in an old house in a library. There were couches, a fireplace, and books. Obscene amounts of books. The people there were really nice. One of them is going to be our facilitator going forward.

Will I go back? I don’t know. I learned that there are those out there struggling with something I can’t even begin to imagine. While I am certain that my issues are very real, I do not have to be on disability. I am not living with any parental figures.

I came to understand that I need more than just a group discussion. I need personalized plans. I work better that way. I was able to go to kick boxing for the first time in a month and I felt absolutely fresh afterwards. I think a lot of my issue was the fact that I was under immense pressure with no outlet. I have managed to convince my husband to allow me to keep my subscription for my kick boxing class. As long as I go at least four times a month it will pay for itself.

So where do I go from here? Perhaps I need to make contact with my employee assistance program and source out a personal counsellor. I don’t think I need intensive therapy like I did in university and I also don’t think I require medication.

The pressure I am under is immense and real. I need real tools to combat the concerns I have and someone external to hold me accountable for completion.

It’s a long and potentially slippery slope that I’m on right now. But I can climb it.

In other news, we’ve taken one of our vehicles off the insurance and I now walk home from work. We’re trying to save money while we wait for the payout to come. As you may also know, I live in Canada. Which means it’s freaking winter right now. Goddamn is it cold! I have to pull my snow pants out this weekend so I don’t freeze on my way home. Good thing I have a tolerance for the cold. It’s not a super high one, but it’s  better than most people.

Also, using a gift card my in-laws gave me for my birthday I got a perm done! It’s already fallen out but the remaining body looks fabulous. I am still happy with it.

In the meantime, work continues to be done on TAK. Just little bits here and there. Puttering along. Keep your eyes peeled for a new short! I should have that one done next week!

Posted by Sarah Jayne in Rantings, 0 comments

New Beginnings

On the 24th of August a whole bunch of new beginnings are happening in my family.

My eldest son is getting ready for kindergarten this September and to help him adjust he’ll be starting at the before/after care place that is right beside the school on the 24th. He is a pretty shy boy when he is in a crowd of people he doesn’t know, so I wanted to make sure he was going to be able to take his time to adjust to the new surroundings. They will walk him to and from school so he won’t get lost or be too scared. The freedom progresses as he gets older but it’s great for now.

As well, I’ll be starting a new job. I had some interviews last week and I was offered a very nice 2 year contract at a higher wage than what I am at right now. The benefits seem pretty good and even if it doesn’t get extended for some reason past the 2 years my husband will be done his College course by then and hopefully working.

This is awesome because it allows me to relax a little bit and not be so paranoid about how we’re going to pay for things while he’s in school. It will also (hopefully) give me more time to work on TAK and get that out to the readers who are anxiously waiting. Well, maybe it’s only one reader but that reader is still important!

I haven’t had much time to write any more shorts for TAK but that is something I’d like to do too. I was thinking of writing one about Brexton and Aldric when they were growing up in the camp. I have another character I’d like to write about too but it might spoil some things for the main story so I might just write it but not release it until the book is finished.

I caught up on rereading where I had left off and the ideas are flowing! It’s just a matter of getting back into the swing of things. Hopefully it all works out the way I’d like it to!

Think good thoughts for me, okay? 🙂

Posted by Sarah Jayne in My Book Stuff, Rantings, 0 comments

Time Keeps on Keeping On

In my quest to craft my new work I have, admittedly, forgotten about Black & Red. It has been a very long time since I sold any units and most of that is because a) It’s not my best work and I know that plus b) I haven’t been promoting it as much as I probably should.

I’ve been so wrapped up in writing my shorts for TAK as well as my everyday life of being a full-time working mum Black & Red has fallen by the wayside.

I woke up this morning to something interesting, however.

Apparently, in January, I sold 2 units! This caused me to log in to my dashboard with KDP and I realized something.

Black & Red has been out for nearly two years now! Isn’t that amazing? It’s amazing for me!

I have a friend who is anxiously awaiting the release of TAK. In fact, she is probably the only one who looks at my Facebook page and every now and then she will post that she wants the book. She doesn’t come and read the shorts because they are not enough for her, as she’s said.

I can’t stop writing the shorts, however. I am finding myself spread very very thin and I don’t have the time I want to devote to writing the chapters. I am trying to save myself from forgetting about my characters and their lives completely by writing the shorts. I find it is a good way for me to flesh out the characters and their personalities in ways that would maybe take too long to do in the actual story.

Today I will be writing one of the shorts while I am at work during my breaks. I brought my outline so I can look at the maps and remember what my characters look like (because I can forget these things I have descriptions and such written down).

Stay tuned. This short I’m working on is about Aldric, one of the main characters in TAK. I believe it’s the first time I’ve written a short that includes one of my leads; who are surprisingly both male.

Posted by Sarah Jayne in My Book Stuff, 0 comments

The Sunshine is a Lie

Today at lunchtime I was talking with some of my international colleagues about the sun.

The weather right now in lovely Manitoba, Canada is very misleading unless you look at the numbers. From my office window I can see a brilliant sun shining down upon the ground. It dazzles my eyes as it sparkles on the frozen earth. The tree branches dance ever so softly in an almost non-existent wind. Snow is still dusted on their outstretched arms as they rise above towards that brilliant sun.

At first glance, it seems like a warm winters day.

But the seasoned Canadian knows that that is a lie. Even someone who has lived in this country for a year will know that this picturesque scene is fraudulent.

One quick glance at whatever weather app we have firmly affixed to the main page of our smartphones confirms this.

It is 1pm where I am. Should be closing in on the warmest time of the day.

My app tells me it is -21°C. Feels like -34°C.

Of course, I knew that already. I have braved this weather and ventured from my nice warm home so that I may get myself to work. I have bundled up my small children in defiance against this chill and hurried them to the waiting and warm vehicle so that I can whisk them away to their day home while I trudge off to work.

I will repeat this for every day of the winter and cringe as the temperatures dip lower and lower. I will rejoice when the weather app tells me it’s -10°C outside and it FEELS LIKE -10°C as well.

In order to stave off the madness that can creep in when one is locked indoors for days on end I entered a contest! I highly encourage all my writer friends and followers to check it out as well! It is the Indie-Visible Publishing Pack! Click the link to find out more:

http://indie-visible.com/giveaways/indie-visible-publishing-pack-giveaway/?lucky=250

You know you wanna. I know I wanna. I would love to score this for my upcoming work TAK. You know you would like me to score this for TAK as well. Because, well, let’s just face it: it’s going to be AH-MAY-ZING.

Why?

Does “Because I Said” count? 😛

Posted by Sarah Jayne in My Book Stuff, Rantings, 1 comment

Hello Tuesday!

With my Day Job I get to be on Television! Did I tell you that before?

It’s local cable and it’s basically me sitting and talking to people about what is happening around my fair little city and how it relates to/why it is important for immigrants to Canada.

Today is only my second screening because I was sick last week :'( I was so sad, but I was also dying and it’s better not to spread my evil germs across the planet. I’ve done that enough by procreating.

I’m hoping to find some quiet time to get back to work on TAK. I feel like Brexton and Aldric must be mad at me since I’ve abandoned them for so long. While I did post some shorts in the past few months, none of them have included my two leads from the actual book. Part of that is because I have yet to separate what is important for the main story and what would be classified as just extra information.

A lot of the shorts I’ve posted are to give some back story to not-quite-main-but-important characters in the book. There were about 3 stories posted about The Charlatan and two that included his Nurse/Aide Kokoro. While both of these characters will show up in TAK I felt it might be better to include their back stories in a separate format as I don’t want to use the entire book to explain how each person met up with each other. There will be brief mention of it in the main story to explain the context and such, but not as much detail as the side stories.

This is also true of the story I wrote which centralizes on Project: Ghost. Gideon, who is a fairly important character, is given much more back story. Of course, all the stories I have posted are drafts and rather far from being perfected. My idea is that after I FINALLY finish TAK and publish it, I will finish writing and compiling the short stories and publish that separately like a companion book or whatever.

Sounds pretty damn fancy right?

I am almost jealous of myself!

Now some one find me some extra hours in a month so I can get on this.

Posted by Sarah Jayne in My Book Stuff, 0 comments

Lines, lines, dropping lines

Hello!

I know I’ve been away for a long time now. Life kind of gets in the way when you’re a mother of two and you work.

I commemorate my return, I’ve discounted my book permanently. You can now purchase Black & Red for 99 cents! Cool right? I realized it’s not about the money. It never was. I don’t know why I thought I would sell my first book at $2.99. Thank you to those who purchased it at that price! I appreciate it.

I don’t have much time today to write anything too in depth. I just wanted to let all my followers and readers know that I am still around. I’m still working on TAK and I look forward to the day I can publish it. It is a huge step up in terms of development for both the characters and the story. I am really proud of what I have written so far. It’s hard for me not to fall in love with these characters. That’s not to say that I didn’t love all the characters in Black & Red.  I did, and I do, love all of them. That was why I wanted to publish that story because even though it’s rough around the edges and even though there is probably lots of room for development and refinement of my technique and basic skills, it was still a story I wanted to share with the world.

I hope I wasn’t missed too much. I’m back now. I doubt I’ll be able to go back to writing a post every day like I had before, but I will do my best to post more than once a month 😉

Posted by Sarah Jayne in Rantings, 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

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

Reading, reading, reading

I’ve done what I like to call a “Story Swap” with a couple people from the Twitter and WordPress who are writers as well and I just started reading the books. I’ve got 4 to get through and I’ve promised to write reviews for these people as well.

I think it’s only fair and they’re helping me while I help them. Nothing wrong with that at all!

I didn’t start anything this weekend though because I wanted to play my video game, Tales of Graces f (I strongly believe the ‘f’ stands for ‘Foreign’ since it’s English Dub :P) and I got really involved in that game this weekend. I really like the Tales series and I am really looking forward to the next one which is due out in August as it was supposed to come out in JANUARY of this year but got pushed back.

The first book on my plate is: A Seer Ended by Michael Hale. You can find his work at: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Seer-Ended-The-novels-ebook/dp/B00CQBYLQ0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1368296410&sr=8-1&keywords=A+seer+Ended

I just loaded it up on my tablet but it’s sitting at 400 and something pages. That actually makes me really excited because that means it’s probably really involved! I like stories like that. He’s got a profile over at GoodReads too so you should check him out. I’ll touch base on the other books when I get to them.

Happy Monday! I’m alllllllllllllllmost done my Day Job for at least a year. I can’t wait!

Posted by Sarah Jayne in My Book Stuff, 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