Tuesday, January 24, 2012


My daughter, Erin, had to do a project for her 7th grade Civics class about a governmental program. She chose NASA. Here's her  Presentation for it. Her writing has improved so much over the past two years of middle school! So proud!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Title of Book Two Release

After writing an extremely emotional scene from the second book of the Children of the Psi series, I have decided to release the name of the book. This is the name of the sequel to Dreaming Dangerously. Tell me what you think. Comment below.

Darkness Descends

Friday, January 13, 2012

A Scene Per Day and Sexy Science

I'm doing really well with this goal of writing or revising ONE SCENE per day. Tonight was an especially difficult scene, because I had to include technical information. It had to seem organic, and my character's quest for answers had to sound like they were coming from a seventeen year old guy! I may have to revise that one again because it is a brand new scene that I've never written before. He had to do research about the Human Cognome Project, which is similar to the Human Genome Project, except that the former, HCP, is about mapping human-thought processes and where they are generated from in the brain. Really cool, but highly scientific. I've been reading a great deal about it lately as research for the Children of the Psi series.

By the way, Psi, has several meanings, and some wonderful connectivity between those meanings and how it relates to this series. For those of you who have studied the Greek alphabet, psi Ψψ, is the 23rd letter. Psi is commonly used in physics for representing a wavefunction in quantum mechanics (Wikipedia). Now, I happen to believe that psi abilities are possible because of quantum physics, as do many other people. The psi symbol is often used in psychology and especially parapsychology, in particular, the use of extrasensory perception or ESP, which would include mind-reading, clairvoyance, premonitions, telekinesis and other mind over matter kinds of phenomena. In biochemistry, psi represents a kind of RNA substance (which is genetics). It's even the name of a superhero (I just found this out) in the comic, Monochrome, Psi is a mentally disturbed character.

When I originally named the series, The Children of the Psi, I only knew two of the above items, that psi is a letter in the Greek alphabet and that psi was connected to ESP. That's it. But tonight's research kind of freaks me out because it almost seems like I knew all the other stuff BEFORE I knew all the other stuff. Yeah, like some kind of unconscious premonition, if that's possible. Okay, enough of the psi talk for tonight.

By the way, I think science is sexy. Anyone want a little fiction with their science?

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Procrastination and Writer's Block

Like every writer, I get writer's block quite often. But sometimes, it's not really a block, but more of a procrastination. Unfortunately, one of the ways I have been procrastinating lately has been building this blog, making comments on other blogs and posting on Facebook. I know this is important to connect with my readers, since I can't do this in the book store; however, I need to be writing my second book, too.

During NaNoWrMo, I found out that I could actually write three scenes in a single night, if I focused. Well, I don't really want to write three scenes a night, but ONE scene should be my new goal. ONE scene each day. That's how I wrote my first book, and the first drafts of my second book. So, now that I'm revising my second book, this will be my new daily writing goal. If I write more, great, if I write less - well, I need to remember what my readers want, which is the second book and SOON!

So, writers out there - here's a bit of advice:

  1. read your last scene
  2. decide what you want your characters to accomplish in your next scene
  3. then write it!
When I am seriously facing a writer's block, I go to my journal and brainstorm my ideas about the scenery: like where the characters are, what it looks like, who else is there, and other sensory details as well. This gives me a starting point and I write from there, either in long hand or on the computer.

I make lots of lists. Lists of character actions, lists of places, lists of characters. The key to this list making is to use it as a jump start to writing. Don't just end with the list or make another list (unless you need to) - write a couple of paragraphs. Another way to break writer's block is to listen to music and write down some words that stick out in your mind. Then, try to weave some of  those words into your writing.

In fact, I write with headphones and music in my ear to block out the rest of the world. It helps me get beyond the lists and the first few lines of text that I've typed and into the zone where I can see and hear my characters interacting, just like a movie in my head. Once I'm into the zone, I can keep writing until I finish the scene.

Now, I need to stop procrastinating and actually revise my next scene!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Virtues of Becoming an INDIE AUTHOR

For the last two evenings, I've been exploring the world of book blogs, and I've learned something not only valuable, but very empowering for an INDIE author like myself. We really don't need the big publishing houses. I mean, it would be nice to just sit back and collect that advance, fly around the world on book tours and stuff, but really, not everyone gets that big advance - maybe 6 people a year receive that. (I read that on someone else's blog somewhere).

So, why don't we need a major publisher or an agent, for that matter. It's simple, if you want promotion, just go on the web and hang out in some blogs. There are so many opportunities out there for Indie writers to get the word out about their books. I generally read the books that I've heard about again and again. I'll also try books that are 99 cents on Kindle or in some cases, free for a limited time. If I really like that author, I will find a way to buy their next book if they have one, even if it is $10 or more. However, in order for authors to be discovered, you have to be very visible on the web.

This visibility, at first I thought, needed to come from having a Facebook page and Twittering as well as blogging at least once a week. However, that's not enough! Next, I signed up for Goodreads and joined a bunch of groups there and started to get to know people through these groups as we talked about books. I now have a small following of people who read my reviews on there. Maybe they'll buy my book as well. I also use their book GIVEAWAY program and their small ad program. It's garnered some sales, but still it's not enough.

So, I started looking at other INDIE author's blogs. What did they look like? What features did they have? Who did they connect to? Then, I found out about things like Virtual Book Tours and how to promote yourself to the top of Amazon's best seller list. I just wish I had a little more cash to put up for the prizes, but I think that will come. I just have to be a little more patient.  I've decided that when I launch my second book, I will definitely learn how to promote it a lot better than I have been promoting the first one. I'll need to create BUZZ amongst the reading blog community. At least, now I know which market to target.

Also, I've been worried about not being in book stores when I haven't even talked to bookstore managers yet about doing book signings. I always sell my books if I get the chance to actually talk to the person I'm selling it to. I've discovered that I'm a really good sales person. Maybe because for the last sixteen years, I've had to "sell" my lesson  to students, who are the most particular of "buyers."

I've thought about doing a video where I talk about my book and putting it out there in Cyberia, but I just don't always look my best when I'm working on anything that has to do with writing. (End of the day, usually late at night, wearing jeans and a t-shirt with my eyes all droopy and my hair all stringy - not a pretty site, at all.) I envy those people who can do a daily vlog and look good at their computers. I always look like some old lady. Plus my built in camera on my computer has about the worst clarity in the world. But then again, that could be a good thing. See what I mean??? I actually flipped my hair around a little bit to get it to look like it has some life to it!

ANYWAY, my point with this blog post is to say that although I have a lot of work to do and some money to spend (not as much as I originally thought), I can actually get some buzz going and finally sell this book!

Monday, January 2, 2012

My Blog Has a Whole New Look!

Check out my new blog. Go ahead. Click all over the place! Scroll to your heart's content. I have lots of new buttons and features. Meanwhile, I will be getting with other book bloggers and trying to add them to this site as well. I finally figured out how to put a lot of content on my blogger site without crowding the pages too much.