‘Acier’ {Ah-Cee-Ay}, next Smashwords publication–January 1st

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I took Spanish through grade school and Japanese in college. I have little to no concept of French pronunciation. So when I titled this short story, I would say it Ah-See-Ay.

And I still say it like that despite the fact that Google translate told me I was wrong T__T. So please don’t tell people that this is the actual pronunciation of the word for steel in French, its just the title of my story.

This is a lost place…a fae place. The tears of stars, the jewels of magpies, the memories snatched by finches, the stolen treasures of taphs…that is what this place is.

Acier is a descriptive bit of fiction about a mysterious town nestled on Mount Elbrus. I suppose I should think of a better description soon….

It was inspired by a song actually, “Love Remembered” by Worjciech Kilar from Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992), and scenes from the same movie*.

*NSFW? The music in the video is very low but the scenes are some of my favorites.

 

So now its 99 cent

The only reason The Taker isn’t being offered for free on Smashwords is because I need the money.

I really need to get something else published so I’m not constantly adjusting the price and tags on this one book. I think I’ve got some help with that and I’m looking at some of my short stories to see what I can offer for free.

I also need to be patient. If the book sells at all, its not going to sell over night.

The Taker went from 3.99 to 2.99. to .99. Because I’m totally overthinking it. Of course I think its worth at least 2.99 but in overthinking the situation, I started to go, “Well, you’re a new author with no positive reviews, no reviews at all actually, under your belt. You think people are going to take a risk and buy your work just like that? Its totally likely no one will notice you at all.” So I changed the price twice. Smh. I’m very proud of myself for trying for doing so much in a few days and I need to act like it.

In the meantime, while I’m trying to stop overthinking, I’m doing the platform building, trying to figure out what communities I want to be part of, and where I want to start writing my reviews. Book Country, JukePop, and the books I got from Kobo are likely places to start.

NaNoWriMo Fiction Contest+JukePop Serials *December 1, 2013 through April 1, 2014*

The Taker cover 2.2

NaNoWriMo Fiction Contest+JukePop Serials *December 1, 2013 through April 1, 2014*

The Taker got accepted to JukePop Serials for the NaNoWriMo 2013 Fiction Contest! I will proceed to make a big deal out of this! I will be posting chapters of the novella from December to April 1, 2014 on JukePop. So please stop by, read, and vote for me!

I was just applying and registering everywhere there were NaNo sponsors using my finished works. Both Smashwords and JukePop got The Taker.

So you can buy The Taker on Smashwords (and support the author with your purchase) for the chance to enjoy reading it without interruption or you can register at JukePop Serials, VOTE FOR ME AND THE TAKER, and read it in installments for free every month.

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Why I Published It Anyway

Its a big deal to me that I published a novella on Smashwords. I could be arrogant but its amazing that the world just keeps on turning, like nothing’s happened while I feel like everything’s spinning out of control because of this one thing I did.

I really didn’t think The Taker was ready to be published. I know its far from perfect in presentation and I need to read through it again. I know I have no way of improving further without a professional (and holistic) editor who can do the work for free.

But I published it anyway because all my life I’ve always gotten the impression from others that writing isn’t a legitimate life pursuit 1) unless you have the money to pay for it already or 2) someone recognizes you, you hit it big and you play the politics of the market to get ahead. Or you have to be a J.K. Rowling or a Stephen King, Dan Brown or whoever wrote Fifty Shades of [I can’t even completely mention the title here because I don’t like fads, especially ones that are rumored to promote misconceptions about sexuality and even violence–not that I completely believe rumors of books that I haven’t read myself]. I don’t have money. I don’t have connections or connections that have connections. I don’t have an editor, a cover artist, a publisher, or a literary agent.  I don’t have a support network of people who care about my dreams or passions who will help bounce back when I feel like an utter failure or like my stories don’t matter. I don’t have a job. I grew up poor.

Its just me, alone, trying to figure out what to do.

I’m always thinking that the reason no one cares about my work is because I’m weird, I think about writing the wrong way, I don’t do what’s popular and trendy, and I don’t try hard enough and put myself out there enough to get any real exposure. I’m just not “doing” writing “the right way”.

I am afraid of getting hurt, I’ve been hurt enough in my life. So I hesitate to offer myself (that means my writing as well) to anyone or anything. And that would be okay if I hadn’t always dreamed of being published in a way that is closer to the traditional idea. What if I get it? A dream come true, a little shine, a little attention, a published book that a few people read. I don’t know what I’d do then. Probably keep writing. Maybe I’d stay thirsty and hungry and keep trying to get more, maybe I’d keep trying to climb higher.

I published The Taker anyway (even though it could have repercussions if anyone actually finds it, buys it, and reads it) because I wanted to challenge myself. So far like twelve people have looked at it. No purchases. No downloads. No sample read. I didn’t expect instant fame. I hoped. I fantasized. I expect people to ignore it, leave it under its rock, to tell me its garbage. I’ll be hurt, I’ll fight to get over it. I published the novella anyway because for some reason I feel like if I can get people to read my work, maybe I’ll find love at last. I am prepared to accept rejection and obscurity as long as I try to help my dream come true instead of getting stuck on all the reasons that its unlikely.

I’m not looking for anyone to coach me or tell me the error of my thinking. I’m just putting this out as a sincere collection of my feelings right now.

not just broke: why I chose indie publishing

Like most things that are labeled as “free”, when it comes to self publishing, there’s all this fine print, double meanings, and hidden agendas and costs. They say nothing in life is [really] free.

I keep finding that to be true everywhere I look in the publishing industry. Its hard to listen to writers with well-paying jobs and published books that people are actually buying tell working class and poor writers to self-publish as if its absolutely free.

See, its not really an issue of me being “broke”. I’ve never had much to begin with and getting paid these days is even harder than it was in my mom’s day when she was building her super working class career.

Some publishers will act like not having presentable and tasteful cover art, an editor, and an agent is a choice. Pardon me for saying it sounds like these people don’t know what it’s like not to have access to those resources or  be able to afford them

I often compare publishing to getting a record deal. You don’t really choose them, they choose you. You are recognized by them. I don’t know if that’s the way I should think about it but it is what it is. Probably sounds very pessimistic.

But it does require you to have money, it requires people of status to recognize you.

There’s this unspoken understanding that nothing is really free no matter what anyone tells you. Pay up or suck it up. This has always been one of my greatest obstacles in really believing I can be published, write from my passion, and make any semblance of a sub-modest living out of it.

I don’t ever expect to be as famous as Octavia Butler, J.K. Rowling, or any of the big names. I think I just want to be heard.

Really Liking Aeon Timeline

NaNoWriMo turned out some decent sponsor offerings this year. I am currently on a trial version of Aeon Timeline.

Its very useful. I can now crawl into a hole with my manuscripts and micromanage my characters’ lives and world events right down to the second, muhahaha!!!sora2

But, seriously (as if I wasn’t before…), Aeon Timeline has already helped my novella, The Taker, which I recently published on Smashwords. I expected to have some grammatical and flow issues since I don’t have a professional editor (and cannot afford one). However, in plotting out the world of the story with Aeon Timeline, I noticed some discrepancies regarding three of my characters’ ages around a key event that happened prior to the story’s current events. (There’s no way one person could’ve been thirteen, another three, and the other five given their birthdates and the time of the event.) I also found some of my typos on the way through my novella while plotting on my story’s timeline. Using Aeon even pushed and inspired me to fill in some gaps, flesh out some background, and reword a few errors to my liking.

It was a little confusing to me at first, but that’s only because I hadn’t comprehended just how great it was yet and have been reading so many how-tos I just can’t read any instructions unless I absolutely have to. To comprehend the features and how they work with plotting a timeline I had to reacquaint myself with the meaning of terms like BCE and AD. I had to remind myself how bad I am at remembering historical events that people think everyone is supposed to know. I mean, how does one suck at history? I suck at history…and that’s why I’m better at making it up *wink*. This software allows me to plot the history and current events of my worlds and my head has been spinning with all the stories I want to use with this software. I even read that I can synchronize it with Scrivener (which I still don’t know how to do even after reading the how-to…).

Why do I want to be published?

From Gary Chapman’s The 5 Love Languages

My love language, according to The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman, is words of affirmation. My friend keeps pulling me into these quizzes and assessments online, but its true: I express myself with words and I receive a lot of love through words. I can be loved and hurt through words. I experience love through people hearing and listening to what I have to say. I thrive on hearing kind and encouraging words that build me up.

Why do I want to be published?

Writing helps me survive, it nourishes me. I want to be acknowledged. I want affirmation. I want to share my stories with people. Even if it only touches one other person (though lots of people would be nice :-D). I feel as if writing is my calling in life. The truth of this desire makes me want to be humble and deny it. I am also an INFJ personality type according to a Myers-Briggs evaluation. If I feel I can’t contribute something meaningful and positive to the world, I feel I have no purpose. Enough about personality tests though, I actually don’t like them.

I’ve been writing since I was in the third grade. In all that time, I’ve always thought I was too poor to ever be published, not trendy enough, borrowing too much from my inspirations, too sloppy, not diverse enough, and not worthy. Any teachers who read my work, encouraged bu eventually pulled away. Acquaintances got caught up in my urban fiction but wouldn’t read what was closest too my heart which is cross-genre speculative fiction (more along the lines of fantasy) and I didn’t want to be pigeonholed in the urban genre. Even my family doesn’t support my deepest passion with words, encouragement, or money.

But I still wanted other people to read my work. Here I am years later, still thinking about it, still trying. Still writing. I’m either stubborn, stupid, or there’s something to it that hasn’t allowed me to let it go.

The copious amounts of blogging (not referenced here) I’ve done in the last couple of years has helped me get to know myself as person and as a writer. I never gave up, but I’m ready to keep trying again.