self publishing

Seeking the Mr. Miyagi of Writing

A-selection-of-wisdom-from-The-Karate-Kids-Mr-Miyagi-2.jpg

I love movies that depict a talented-but-too-immature student who begrudgingly goes under the instruction of some old timer. Eventually the kid realizes his pain-in-the-ass coach is giving him the tough love he needs. The student takes his lessons seriously and grows inwardly and outwardly to reach his full potential.

There are many films with this theme, but the one that sticks out most in my mind is The Karate Kid. I know I’m dating myself when I say I watched these movies in the theater as a kid and they are among my favorites of all time. Everyone wants to reach their full potential, but most of us have no idea how to get there.

I wasted years dreaming about writing and never writing. I finally began five years ago after the tragic death of a pelican (a long story I will share with you one day). Then came The Wrong David, the NaNo series, and now here I am with SICK. I’m happy to be publishing my work, but now I’m anxious to move up to the next level. I feel like I could write my ass off, but I also am aware that I’m missing something. Many things, actually. I don’t know what they are, but I sense them whenever I read my work. I know a seasoned writer probably point the faults out right away, but I don’t personally know any seasoned writers.

A few years ago, my mom gave me a copy of Eat, Pray, Love. I vaguely remember Elizabeth Gilbert mentioning something like, “if you pray for your guru, they will come.” So this is me officially putting my call out to the Universe.

I’m ready for you, my Mr. (or Mrs.) Miyagi of writing. Put me through a composition boot camp. Drill me with grammar rules until I cry. Make me type until my fingertips are raw. I don’t know if I can catch a fly with chopsticks, but I sure as hell will try. I’m dead serious about becoming a good writer. I feel I have the potential. I know I have the desire. I just need someone to guide me. Mentor, please find me.

 

A-selection-of-wisdom-from-The-Karate-Kids-Mr-Miyagi-4-1

 

 

Did you have a Mr. Miyagi in your life?

How did you find a mentor/coach/guru?

What’s your favorite inspiring coaching movie?

 

 

Quotes from Alesha Drew

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A Writer’s Greatest Fear

A Writer's Greatest Fear

I’m still studying Of Human Bondage by William Somerset Maugham. As I said in my first article about the book, great writers are those who write stories that are relevant throughout time. They expose universal truths that apply to our lives no matter what century we live in. Of Human Bondage is full of such enduring revelations.

In the first part of the book, we witness the main character, Phillip, and his crisis of faith in God. At the next crossroad in the story, we see Phillip battling self-doubt.

After being fed up with a dreary accounting job, Phillip goes to Paris to become a painter. He does well, but never creates anything extraordinary. After the suicide of a classmate, who for all her passion for art was a lousy painter, Phillip reevaluates his reasons for becoming an artist. He wonders what his future will look like if he continues to pursue his dream.

Phillip finally works up the nerve to end the subject once and for all by asking one of his painting masters to give an honest opinion of his work. The teacher is perplexed by his request.

Monsieur Foinet: “I don’t understand.”

Phillip: “I’m very poor. If I have no talent I would sooner do something else.”

Monsieur Foinet: “Don’t you know if you have talent?”

Phillip: “All my friends know they have talent, but I am aware some of them are mistaken.”

In this world of indie publishing, anyone and everyone is writing a book, but should they be? I might be a jerk for bringing this up, but I’ll say it.

I see a lot of crappy books out there.

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Stuff I Forgot To Tell You

anchorman-2

We’ve recovered from our hangovers. Get ready for some news, bitches.

I meant to get this news out in individual posts before New Years, but that never happened. I blame my tardiness partly on holiday preparations, but it was mostly the coma-like state induced by excessive eating and champagne consumption. So here’s a round-up of the latest news from my little place in this world.

 

The Wrong David with Klimt Tote

Screen Shot 2015-01-07 at 10.04.56 AM

Review of The Wrong David by Christa Wojo

New Reviews for The Wrong David

I was surprised to see two new reviews for The Wrong David. I still feel awed (and terrified) when I find out someone read my book. And I’m stupefied whenever I receive a review, especially 5 stars. I am both humbled and flattered because Max Tomlinson is a highly respected author of noir, dark fiction, thrillers, and Sue Archer runs one of my favorite blogs on writing and editing called Doorway Between Worlds. I thank these reviewers from the bottom of my heart. (These were unsolicited reviews)

 

writers-roast

New Victims for Writers Roast

I have two brave writers willing to be skewered for the Writers Roast. Amanda Mabry will be put over the hot coals first. She’s an “author and bibliophile, redeeming villains and scandalizing saints one chapter at a time…” She submitted a chapter from her fantasy WIP that I really enjoyed reading and you will too.

My next carne asada (as we call it here in Panama) will be Doug Stuber, “a visiting professor of English at Chonnam National University in Gwangju, South Korea.” He requested to be served “with a nice reduced glaze, a side of salt potatoes and pickelled garlic on the side.” I’ll see if I can manage that.

 

Sweet D Coffee Mug Contest

My winners will tell you…

coffee tastes better in a mug with a naked lunatic on it. This took place before Christmas, so I have no excuse for failing to announce my winners for the Mad Genius coffee mug contest. Please, accept my apologies. Congrats to Kim Whaley and Cecil Parsons!

Kim Whaley is my #1 fan on My Sweet Delirium’s Facebook page. She’s been there from the beginning and says she enjoys all the inspirational and funny posts and quotes. Thanks for your support, Kim!

When Cecil Parsons received his mug he tweeted, “I love it and it enhances my coffee flavor.” He also said he was fighting to keep the co-workers from stealing it. I was surprised to hear this, since blogger buddy/beta reader, Charlotta Amato, says my crazy naked man (whom I’ve named Figment) “scares the hell out of her.” I think I’ll take a poll to make sure he’s not frightening people away from my fanpage.

I have another really cool prize coming up this month, so stay tuned and make sure you like Sweet D’s fanpage to participate.

 

 Bernini's Rape of Proseperina

The Sculptor is Finished, Kind of…

I vowed to have my third full length novel done before Thanksgiving, but travel and business prevented me from keeping my promise to myself. I left my poor heroine, Ona, in an excruciating position and felt terribly guilty for abandoning her while I was off living real life.

Read 7 lines from the third book.

After a two-month hiatus, I finally sat down and wrote the ending. I considered it a present to myself on Christmas morning. Although it felt good to get it overwith, the final moment was sort of an anti-climax. After being away from my characters and story for so long, I didn’t feel like I did them justice.

This is not only the ending of the book, but the ending of the whole series, and I intended to build up everything to a such an emotional crescendo that I’d leave the reader bawling their eyes out. As of now, I think it faded out more like a hot fart, but oh, well. That’s part of writing.

At least I know I can write novels and finish them. Now it’s time to learn how to revise. I’m dreading this part. With three books in their crudest forms, where do I begin? Fellow writers, any help is greatly appreciated! I have no idea when I’ll be publishing these babies. Maybe by Christmas 2015? In the meantime, you will enjoy more posts involving Kristine Poole, my amazing sculpture consultant.

 

I know there was more stuff I forgot to tell you…

…but I can’t remember right now. Let me know if I left anything unresolved and share your New Year News below!

Also, please share any revision resources or tips. I have a huge mess to clean up here.

 

Stay classy.

Between Octobers is Back

My dear friend and critique partner, AR Rivera, is re-releasing her romantic suspense novel, Between Octobers. Why re-release, you ask?

A small indie press snatched her up and the book was doing wonderfully, but the publisher had to shut down. Devastating, right?

Well, not for this author. AR Rivera saw the opportunity to make the book better. She updated the manuscript, and although the first cover was beautiful, it really didn’t match the dark, edginess of the story.

So, here is the new cover. Ta-da!

Between Octobers by AR Rivera

Moments are powerful. Just one can destroy everything.

ABOUT BETWEEN OCTOBERS

Happy endings have often eluded Grace Zuniga. Now, as she finds herself facing down deadly trouble, she is hoping and praying the pattern will change.

When Grace wakes up in a dark, confined space with no memory of how she got there, the fear is nearly crippling. There are two thoughts keeping her from losing her head. First, her children: she is all they have left after losing their father. They need her to survive. Though Grace is not sure she can, she’s determined to try. Second, figuring out who took her and how she ended up, trapped, alone, and at the mercy of a person who will do anything to keep her from escaping.

Stumbling through these bleak circumstances, Grace’s mind wanders over the last life-changing year, from one October to the next. She relives the most precious and heart-rending moments that led to her kidnapping.

The previous October, when Grace stepped inside an elevator and into the life of enigmatic actor Rhys Matthews, it all began. But Grace must ask herself, “How will it end?”

AR Rivera

ABOUT AR RIVERA:

A.R. Rivera loves to read, write, and talk. She does all of it, at every opportunity. Sometimes simultaneously. She also writes about people with lives much more interesting than her own and blogs about the difficulties of said writing, as well as making up flash fiction and other junk.

She’s also a mom to four amazing boys (three of which are in a rock band), a wife to the greatest husband in the world, a daughter to two super parents, a baby sister to three siblings, an aunt to more nieces and nephews than she can count, as well as a self-professed weirdo, couch potato, and people-watcher.

She’s currently hard at work on her first YA endeavor, Countdown to Chaos, which will be releasing in 2015. She’s also got a mind-bending Sci-Fi trilogy in the works that she’s very excited about.

***

Not only is she a promising writer, she is a sweet person with a witty sense of humor. Be sure to connect with her and check out the sleek new version of Between Octobers.

***

WHERE TO FIND AR RIVERA AND BETWEEN OCTOBERS

Blog:

arriverabooks.com

Book Trailer:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ENIc9gRayck

Smashwords: (available after 14th)

http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/489403

Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00P31L8RA

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/authorarriverabooks

Twitter:

@girlnxtdr2u

New Hope for Starving Writers

will write for food, crowdfunding for writers

New hope for starving writers.

Do you survive off ramen noodles?

Do you wash and reuse your zip lock bags?

Do you buy wine that comes in Tetra Pak?

 

You could get a late night part time job, but instead you devote all your free time to writing. You have several books and ideas for books you hope you can self-publish before you hit menopause. The only prob is that you have no money for the editor, the cover designer, the digital marketer, and the publicist to make your dream of becoming a writer a success.

 

My series, The Sculptor of New Hope, is nearly complete. All I need are the benjamins to give to my editor so that she can polish them up for me. All I need are some $$$ to design the stunning covers I envision for each book. All I need are some dolla dolla bills ya’ll so I can hire a kickass publicist to make people aware of this crazy Christa with her crazy Polish surname who writes crazy books on a crazy mountain in Panama.

 

There’s only one setback.

 

I

 

am

 

broke.

 

I don’t mind being financially challenged. I’m not missing anything important. My life is wealthy and overflowing with all the elements my poor, starving Bohemian heart craves: poetry, beauty, strife, travel, and romance. I probably would try to make money if I thought it would make me happy, but I already know that it won’t. However, cash does come in handy at times, like now when I need to pay someone to help me finish my books.

 

Then, as if the gods heard my whining, I was contacted this week by a nice lady named Sara from a new website called Pubslush. It’s a crowd funding site just for literary projects. Yes! For writers!

Pubslush Logo

From the Pubslush website:

“A niche crowdfunding platform.

With our specialized focus on the literary world, Pubslush is able to cater our services to authors, publishing professionals and literary trendsetters.”

 

Don’t you love niches? Me too. And literary trendsetters? That’s what I’m all about!

 

Pubslush’s platform is loaded with tools to help market and analyze. Not only can writers raise funds, they can collect pre-orders and conduct “comprehensive pre-publication marketing campaigns.” The digital marketer in me loves all the technical stuff, and just to ease my bleeding heart, which will no doubt feel guilty for taking donations, part of Pubslush’s proceeds go to fighting illiteracy in poor countries.

 

So, to follow the KDP Experiment, my next mad exploration will be into the world of crowd funding for The Sculptor series. Stay tuned for the tips and tricks I learn as I create, market, and hopefully succeed in my literary crowd funding campaign.

 

Find out more:

Pubslush website

Pubslush Facebook

Pubslush Twitter

 

 

 

Have you tried crowd funding?

 

Have you tried Pubslush?

 

Got any tips for fellow writers?

 

 

OTHER WRITING POSTS

High on Creativity 

Facing and Ocean of Fear 

Publishing Yourself on Kindle Direct

 

 

 

Meet My Main Character Blog Tour: Introducing The Wrong David

Welcome readers and writers

I was delighted yesterday when my buddy, Madhuri Blaylock, the author of The Sanctum Trilogy, tagged me in a little game called Meet My Main Character Blog Tour.

Madhuri’s passion for writing and charisma for the digital writing community are contagious, and being the new girl on Worpdpress I feel so special that I was noticed.

hello

Rules 

The taggee must write a post answering the same seven questions about their MC. Then the taggee becomes the tagger and chooses five other authors. It’s sort of like a chain letter with all the potential to become a global virus.

 

So sorry, dear characters.

We’ll be hanging out all your dirty laundry for everyone to see. You better put on your dark sunglasses and prepare to punch the paparazzi.

 

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