Scribbles and thoughts ...

These are ramblings from J L Wilson, published author of romantic suspense, mystery, and paranormal -time travel fiction....

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Isn't it spring yet?

I shoveled for 2.5 hours on Sunday.

We didn't get much snow on Saturday, just a dusting. When I went to bed I figured the weatherpeople had exaggerated again and the so-called blizzard wouldn't arrive.

Woke up on Sunday, looked outside. It's deceptive, you see. It's sort of hard to tell how deep the snow is on the drive and in the back yard, well, it's all woods, so it never looks deep out there.

I figured I'd drive over to the gym, work out then come back and shovel.

Opened the garage door and stepped outside. Snow up to my knee.

Hmm. I shoveled for half an hour and took a half-hour break. Shoveled for another half-hour, another break. Then one last half-hour. Keep in mind that I don't have a big driveway. It's about 1.5 car wide and 2 car long. Not huge. But huge enough.

Luckily the wind wasn't blowing too much so nothing drifted over. We're supposed to get some more tonight and through Friday. Heck, I don't care. I brought my laptop home and if it gets bad, I'll wimp it out and work from home. I've got more than enough work to keep me busy.

Why couldn't my Florida conference be in March instead of April? I could use a dose of sunlight right now ...


Saturday, February 24, 2007

Time for ... time

I sorted my socks today.

I can hear you now --"Whoee, what an exciting life this author must lead, she sorted socks today." {sounds of puzzlement expressed.}

This is momentous because I haven't had time to do mundane things for about four months. I have been:
  • writing
  • editing
  • researching publishing
  • researching promotion
  • researching 1934 St. Paul (for my next book)
  • doing errands
  • working 40+ hours a week
  • staying in touch with friends, family and spouse
  • watching after the elderly and aging cat
  • doing laundry
  • getting groceries
  • going to the gym
  • attending RWA chapter meetings
  • writing newsletters (mine and for the chapter)
  • planning trips
  • going on trips

Then the whole cycle starts again.

Don't get me wrong -- I'm enjoying it. But yesterday I had back-to-back appointments, for which I'd taken some time off from work. At one point, I decided to nip over to the grocery store. For the first time in probably 3 months, I wasn't there with a list and a purpose. I (dare I say it) browsed. I thought about upcoming menus. I considered options. I did not power-shop the store.

And today I sorted my socks. I took the time to gather all those widowed socks, and find their partners, which were lurking in the back of the drawer. You see, I'm feeling organized, and in control of what has to be done so I feel I can take this bit of time.

Oh, yeah, I have to write a couple of new books this year and the old muse just isn't striking me. I'm not worried. It will strike and I'll write them. When it does, I'll be so immersed in my own little world that I won't have time to sort my socks, go to the grocery store, or do much of anything on that list up above.

So I'm going to enjoy this while I can ...

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

I did it!

I think I've tamed the Promo Pile.

I spent most of Sunday going through all my notes and looking at what to do, and when to do it.

Then I made a big old checklist:

3 months before release

2 months before release

1 month before release

You get the idea. Then I logged on to a bunch of web sites and got lined up for interviews, signed up for feature spots, touched base about getting spotlights -- and have most of that lined up for the summer. Then I got me a calendar (yet another calendar) and I put in everything I need to do for 'Grace' and for the Pig Book, this winter.


As long as everything goes as planned, I'm good. And if not, well, I'll figure out something.

Oh, and I started my next book. Yea! I'm writing again!


Saturday, February 17, 2007

I think I know what's been missing ...

I've been feeling a bit panicked lately, wondering if I should sign up for this promo opportunity or that one, should I buy a banner ad here or there, should I ...

I think I know what's happening.

I don't have a Plan.

I have notes on what I should do ("sign up on X web site for a banner ad for June"), etc., but I don't have the overall plan.

So that's my goal for the weekend: come up with a Print Book Marketing Plan and an Ebook Marketing Plan.

I feel better just thinking about it. I think if I can nail down a checklist of things to do ("Order bookmarks", "schedule meetings with librarians", etc.) and get the timeframe for them, then I can use those checklists for all the books coming out, refining it as I go. I'll still use the Master Notebook (that huge notebook that has my calendar, misc. notes, etc.) but this will be more of an overall thing.

Yep. That's the Weekend Goal. Another goal is to dig into a new book. I haven't written anything new for almost a month, and it's making me a bit crazy. I love to write but I've been pulled away from it to do this promo stuff. I need to get back to it.

I'll report back on Tuesday how well I do ...


Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Don't tell me worry doesn't do any good.

I know worry does some good.

The things I worry about never happen.

Like today. We were supposed to have snow. Not major snow, not like the poor folks out East (Pittsburgh is forcast to get 2' --that's 24" -- of snow. I used to live in Pittsburgh. I can well imagine the gridlock that will shut that town down.)

No, we were supposed to get a paltry few inches, but last week we got about 4" of snow and life got a bit miserable. So I worried about it.

I didn't sit around and fret, but I didn't sleep well, tossed and turned and woke up (as usual) at 3:30 or so and looked outside.

No snow.

Well, good.

I'm one of those people who wake up and I'm AWAKE. There's no going back to sleep for me. So I got up, went to the gym, did my workout with the other 3 or 4 people who are also insomniacs, and came home to get ready for work.

No snow.

Still good.

I drove to work and logged in to my computer system.

"Snow has shifted south, we might get flurries."

See -- what did I tell you? The things I worry about just don't happen ... Heck, I should get paid for being the Snow Prevention Catalyst.

Yeah. Don't I wish.


Saturday, February 10, 2007

Another sale ...

This is getting bad. Did I announcement this one already?

Well, if I did, bear with me, I'm announcing it again.

I sold If Not For You, another romantic suspense to Cerridwen Press and I sold The History Patrol: Forgiveness to CP. HP:F is the first in a series, so you can pretty much count on a few more announcements about that in the future. I've sent in proposals on five other books, sent in one completed book, and am working on another one.

I'm really pleased about all of these, but I'm going to stop on the RS books for a while. I want to see how my sales are for Grace (coming in June) and INFY, release date TBD. Once I see how that goes, I'll maybe try some more of my RS books.

Oh, and I got a request for a full manuscript from a third publisher. Not sure if they'll like it or not, it's a bit different than what they normally publish. But it doesn't hurt to get another set of eyes on my work, does it?

Juggle, juggle, juggle.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

This is how I felt last night ...

Tussling with technology again.

I was trying to update the web site for my local RWA chapter, and the #*@(! ISP kept kicking me out of the page I was editing.

Mind you, this is an archaic editor tool I was using to start with. It was a bastardized version of Word, in which I could use some Word functionality but nothing really useful like, say, an easy way to change the font size or color. It took me almost 2 hours to update one web page and I finally gave up. It's not perfect but it's okay.

The part that was truly annoying was that I'd click 'Save' and it would hang there and hang there and hang there. No message, no nothing. Did it save? Didn't it?

Those who know me know that patience is not my long suit. Hell, it's not a suit at all in my deck of cards. I don't mind hang time, but TELL ME SOMETHING WHILE YOU'RE SUCKING UP MY TIME!

Of course, the good thing of this all is that I may have found a shortcut. Frustrated with the #*(@ editor, I copied everything to Word and edited it there. Now if I can get the ISP to ever open up again so I can try an experiment, I'll try downloading my sample, bypassing their archaic editor. It will either work, or you'll hear a loud scream all the way to wherever you are.

Hey, maybe I'll fry the brains of the archaic editor and they'll have to get something new.

{rub hands gleefully} There is a method to my madness.