Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The End of the World Sucks - Free for 'end of world'

Free on Saturday, Dec. 22nd, and Sunday, Dec. 23rd.

I've put my book on free promo that day - it's title is The End of the World Sucks.  It's the Kindle version available for free download on Amazon.

If you don't have a Kindle, you can use the Kindle reading app on your PC, tablet, or smartphone.  Or if you have some nebulous plan to one day own a Kindle or tablet, you can download books now - probably stick to free ones - and choose to put them in Amazon's cloud storage.

Later, if you read it and like it, you can leave a review.  Or if it's not your cup of tea (thanks, Kate Policani) perhaps you know someone else that may enjoy zombies, a vampire, and people behaving badly.

Monday, December 17, 2012

My Free Time

OK, so this blog isn't about what I do at work during the day or even my PT job - though they may give me inspiration to write.  This blog is about me as an author, but since it'll come up on page 1 of a Google search I thought I'd clarify some of my recent posts.

My volunteer work takes up some time, and if you don't want to scroll around to find out - I foster kittens for an animal rescue group, take them to adoption events, and will take care of them till they're adopted.  There's no expiration date so they can stick around until they find their family.  There's a limit to how many I have in my house so it's not out of control as long as I'm on top of it. 

To some, this seems a waste of time because I'm not helping people in some way.  I used to do volunteer work with children, both at my daughter's school, and when I worked at a large corporation that formed a partnership with a middle school to mentor pre-teens. 

When I chose to volunteer my time to assist animals, it's due in part to my beliefs that they need help and that there's a combination of factors involving other people that put these animals in this position.  A short list would be abuse, abandonment, and lack of spay/neuter.

And to some people, these hours I spend helping animals isn't good enough.  I can accept that - universal adoration is not my goal in life.  There will be no pleasing some people, and I am not helping animals to try to please those that will never be satisfied.  I like the baby cats.  And my own cats.  And my dogs.  And my daughter too.  Some of them may like me outside of meal times.  Win-Win.

So back to the more objectionable part of my life.  I write.  I don't watch that much television any more.  I don't travel because of the animals.  I no longer play an MMO.  And I never got the thing about dancing drunkenly in the street while talking loudly, except to commend the individuals for choosing not to drive.  (those who know the city I live in might get this - at one time, the Rand McNally "Places Rated Almanac"  listed it as having the most taverns per capita in the U.S., 1 for every 218 residents)

When there's an event like National Novel Writing Month, it gives me a goal.  50,000 words in 30 days.  Quantity, not quality.   Not even first draft ready.

After the event is over, I mold those words.  For 2011 and 2012, I wrote some fan fiction to push my word count to a greater number after working on my original novel.  I post it for free on the internet.  I make no attempt at selling it because someone else created those characters.  It's my comfort food writing, and some people like reading it.

However, I can take the original characters and turn those into publishable work.  That's going to take months, but in the end my investment could lead to some income.  It will become latent or passive income because once it's published, it's a finished product.  I don't need to make monthly updates.  The royalties are direct deposited into my account.  So writing is a third job for me, and I'd like it to replace my second job one day.  Replace my primary job?  Let's wait on that.  I'm going to need to have a backlist of books first.  That's years at the rate I'm chugging along at.

Liking the idea of a goal, the third job of writing may one day produce a list of titles that will generate noticeable income allowing me to be more particular regarding my other work.  The ability to choose is important to me.

My ability to choose also goes into writing.  I write about topics I want because chasing trends and following formulaic plots doesn't seem that interesting.  There's no guarantee that writing something that's like what's been written before will equal actual dollars.  If I did that, I'd be in ReWrite X, maybe with an agent now, who would query publishers on my behalf or a possible publication date in 2014, rather than having The End of the World Sucks out there as an indie published piece.  It's making money today, shaking with this mama gave it.

Considering writing to be a third job is putting me and my family (I die, and the rights go to my estate) before the needs of others.  When I go to my other jobs, I believe that is the same situation.  I work hourly to get paid.  When I write, it's a self-employment opportunity, and the hours invested are not translated into a livable wage.

I really don't get why people need to be so vocal about what they expect others to do when I'm not too sure what they're doing regarding making the world a better place other than giving others grief.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Goodreads Giveaway Completed

Hey all,

I was working both jobs the day the contest completed and the next day, but I did get to the Post Office Friday and the winners' books are on their way.  They should receive them Monday.

Over 500 people entered the GoodReads contest to win a copy of my book.  That's a lot of people (at least to me).   Maybe I'll do another Kindle version giveaway later in the month - I haven't had one since August.  

Why would I give away my book for free?  I understand if people don't have money.  I don't have money for the things I used to buy or donate to. I'd like to think of writing as a source of income, but if it came down to 500 people (perhaps?) wanting to read my book but not being able to afford it - it doesn't cost me anything to give away Kindle copies if the readers can't afford them at this time.  Maybe they'll buy a future book of mine, or they could leave me a nice review.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Cool It Nerd


I backed out a couple of recent blog posts because I'm reentering the job market for a full-time job since my contractor job that's been extended a few times already is now out of funding :^(

I like it there and I've liked working at other places, but it's not solely up to me.

So I thought I'd better restate in politer terms what I had posted regarding National Novel Writing Month before anyone thinks I wig out.  No, there's things that go through people's minds, but they don't say or act upon them.

I think Chris Christie put it the month in perspective for those outside New Jersey -
“Now we’ve got a big task ahead of us that we have to do together. This is the kind of thing New Jerseyans are built for – we’re plenty tough and now we have a little more reason to be angry after this. Just what we need in New Jersey, a chance to be a little more angry.”

During the month of November, I was participating in National Novel Writing Month.  I did not get off to a great start because I was writing with a pen in a notebook, usually at night by flashlight and candlelight while monitoring the stove to heat up my house with steam.  I had no power for a while, but I was able to contact both jobs and get some hours.  Both are hourly, so if I don't work, I don't get paid. Sandy and Thanksgiving were not helpful to my bottom line.  I did not have much loss compared to others so I know I'm lucky. 

I did not travel to somewhere else with better facilities, like a hotel, because I have pets and foster animals in my house.  In an emergency, shelters will take us in, and I do have carriers and a vehicle that can hold them all.  I am prepared to a degree, but it was easier last year with Irene to have an evac plan with an older, driving teenager in the house (at college now) and a storm that wasn't 800 miles wide.  So I lived at home, went to work, and left early enough to return while there was still daylight.

There was also the maneuvers to gas up the car.  I started with a full tank so I wasn't involved in the initial panic, but once I started travelling to work sites, I needed to pay attention to the odd/even days and get in line.

After I visited Union Beach to help with clean up at a feral cat sanctuary and the person's home, I was settling back into a schedule and that included my free time activities.  On my evenings off, I sometimes go to programs or meetings for writers.  In November, a lot were scheduled so after checking to see that a particular library was open and the program was not cancelled - I went.

I was the only person that showed up.  I went to the librarian desk at the start time and asked, and she said it wasn't cancelled and asked me to wait to see if other people showed up.

Well, there was an angry mom hanging around the library who overheard me inquire about the National Novel Writing Month event.  Her mind was made up that November as National Novel Writing Month should have been cancelled if it wasn't already.  I was a *bleep* for participating when so many people were suffering.  And there's schools that have been washed away that I should be rebuilding.

Her mind was made up without knowing anything about me, or that National Novel Writing Month is a worldwide event. I doubt she was even aware of the volunteer needs of the unnamed washed away schools because if I think it over, I would not want my child going to a school that was rebuilt the same way an Amish barn is raised.  Without planning, skilled labor and the right materials, the new building may be unsafe.  Also, what am I supposed to do in the dark to rebuild a school, or is she insisting people no longer go to work if their workplace is open? 

I also did not observe her children in tow - she was flying solo, enjoying the heat, lights and internet, but they may have been left in the children's section of the library which also rubs me the wrong way.   The librarians are there to assist, but they aren't babysitters to give mom time to go pick a fight in another part of the library.

Anyway, the result was I wasted my time and gas going there, but the thing that ticked me off more was judgmental mom who doesn't possess the ability to keep her opinion to herself.  Anything I said about sand, mud, lives on the curbs - not good enough.  If I'm not working to get her kids out of the house during the day, I'm not doing shit.

I do consider writing a third job - or some may say a hobby that produces money.  I've already heard about making the big bucks on eBay by visiting garage sales or becoming a distributor ... I'd rather write.