Jun 23 2017

A Myers-Briggs ESTP Personality has this Superpower

I found this site while on Pinterest.

I’m an ESTP. According to the site, this means I have super agility. Actually, that makes a lot of sense. (I’ve been a fantastic tree climber since I was old enough to stand.) It also says I’m good at finding logical solutions and that I’m good in a crisis. Both also true.

A while back, I filled out Myers-Briggs tests for Xavier of my Existence series. He scored an ENFJ.

The site says his power is empathy, and it makes him a powerful leader. Very interesting, considering the story.

Have you ever taken a Myers-Briggs personality test? What are you? Which superpower on the list would you want?

Jun 22 2017

Theme and Plot – Fractions of Existence

plot theme discuss



Today I’ll be giving this image (which I found on Pinterest) a try. I’m using my Fractions of Existence book because that’s what I’m polishing this week.

What should go wrong?

Xavier’s attempt to reunite his kind, The Existence, to stop the Eyes in the Shadows (who are working to bring about the apocalypse), should go wrong.
Gwendolyn’s quest to get to Xavier should go wrong.

Spoilers Ahead

What is discovered?

Xavier discovers a reason to not reunite Gwendolyn with their kind.
Gwendolyn discovers that Xavier, or something about him, is more important than the life her parents planned out for her.

Spoilers Ahead

Protagonist: (first half of the story) Xavier:

Protagonist goal:

Xavier’s goal is to reunite his kind.

Protagonist choices:

The choice not to tell Gwendolyn what she is.
The choice not to reunite Gwendolyn with their kind.
The choice to let the world end.

Protagonist struggle:

Trying to find his missing one.
Finding her and learning that she’s content with her life.
Learning that the missing one has no idea what she is.
Struggling between leaving Gwendolyn in her happy life or being honest and yanking her out.
The fallout of knowing that, in leaving her out of it, the Existence will not be able to stop the Eyes in the Shadows.

Protagonist: (second half of the story) Gwendolyn:

Protagonist goal:

To get to Xavier before midnight on New Year’s Eve (before he leaves the country).

Protagonist choices:

She chooses leave the life her parents planned out.
She chooses to leave her friends and family.
She chooses to travel across the country alone.
She chooses to find out about the life Xavier hinted that she could have.

Protagonist struggle:

Gwendolyn is not equipped to deal with a cross country adventure by any means.
She struggles with her choice, as to if this quest is actually a good idea.
She struggles with the fact that it sounds crazy to walk out on her life, her family, her pre-planned future to travel across the country with nothing but the clothes on her back to find a man she barely knows.
She struggles when her car dies.
Her biggest struggle comes seconds after she sees Xavier with someone else at the ball drop.

I haven’t read the book, but here is where the meme comes from:

Story Trumps Structure:
How to Write Unforgettable Fiction by Breaking the Rules
by Steven James

Jun 20 2017

Bridges #WEPFF #FlashFiction Reverse Poem

June Badge #WEPFF Bridges writing

Write Edit Publish




Here’s a book with the word bridge in the title:

Rook (Bridge & Sword: Awakenings #1): Bridge & Sword World by JC Andrijeski




A covered bridge in my region:
Lehigh Valley, PA — covered bridges
Bogert Covered Bridge — Fish Hatchery Rd. Allentown, PA 18103 USA
The oldest bridge in Lehigh County, it dates back to 1841 and spans 145 feet over Little Lehigh River.

It’s right near the:
Museum of Indian Culture which “showcases the cultural heritage of the Delaware/Lenape Indians” (my people).

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My entry:

SPRING ACROSS THE BRIDGE / SPACE ISN’T LIMITED

Good-bye!
Waves
Crash
Against the ship
Stars
Gather to view as
We pop
Fizzy drinks which spill as
Glass clinks
Spring across the bridge
We
Behold nature’s power
We are travelers in awe
For a few moments
Until
Passing the point
From known to unknown
As we venture
Music plays
We cross the bridge
From this world to the next

By: J Lenni Dorner

line break

Sixty is the word count but,
tricky tricky…
double to one-twenty for
trouble that’s risky.
Read lines up after down,
indeed this is nifty!

#WEPFF critique badge
Word Count: 60+60= 120 FCA


While explaining poetry generally ruins it, non-native English speakers might have a difficult time with this.
Information/ translation assistance:
“Reverse poetry is a poem that can be read forwards one way and have a meaning, but also be read backwards and have another different meaning.” This poem is meant to be read from the top line down and then from the bottom line back up, because it’s actually two free verse poems in one.
The Titanic departed in spring time.
Einstein–Rosen bridges, or wormholes, are “a theoretical passage through space-time that could create shortcuts for long journeys across the universe.” Being caught in one that collapses could crash a spaceship into a star, or multiple stars as it’s ripped apart.
The bridge of a ship is the room or platform from which the ship can be commanded.
Ships can be water vessels or space vessels.
Waves can be a curled body of water or a movement of the hand.
Stars can be famous people, or people who worked for White Star Lines, or giant balls of burning gas in space.
“Fizzy drinks” — Sparkling wine, such as Champagne, or other carbonated beverages.
Pop can mean to open a fizzy drink (as in “pop one open”), or it can mean to burst.
Spring can be a time of year or a rapid movement.
“Cross the bridge” — can be a metaphorical way to say dying, passing on, going to Heaven, etc. — can also literally mean to cross an actual bridge.

Titanic ticket image from Pinterest

drawing of a spaceship crashing in space

June Badge #WEPFF Bridges writing

Write Edit Publish

Jun 19 2017

Down the TBR Hole Week 1

Down The TBR hole meme

During the #GetSocial17 hop, I found a blog (thanks Amy of bursting with books) participating in Lia’s “Down the TBR Hole” meme.
From the Lost in a Story blog:

Most of you probably know this feeling, your Goodreads TBR pile keeps growing and growing and it seems like there is no light at the end of the tunnel. You keep adding, but you add more than you actually read. And then when you’re scrolling through your list, you realize that you have no idea what half the books are about and why you added them. Well, that’s going to change!

  • Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

Going through your tbr one-by-one makes you more aware of what’s on there. (Get excited again for books you forgot about.)



I’m going to combine this chore/ activity with the books on my Amazon Wishlist as well as my Goodreads TBR. I read an average of 50 books a year. Currently, it would take me about 6 years to read all the books on my Amazon wishlist of books and 17 years to get through my Goodreads TBR. That’s just not realistic, especially since there are bound to be new books I’ll also want to read!

Wanting to read a book and wanting to buy a book aren’t necessarily the same (which is one reason we have libraries). That’s why I’m judging each of these books for both my Amazon and Goodreads lists.

June 19, 2017= AWL: 324 | Goodreads TBR: 783 books

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Break Into Fiction: 11 Steps to Building a Story that Sells
by Mary Buckham, Mary Buckham (Kindle Edition)
Added April 28, 2012
Currently unavailable.

It’s not even in print anymore.

Judgement 1:

AWL: Removed | Goodreads TBR: (wasn’t there)



Come the Shadows (The Campbell Creek Mysteries)
by Wendy L. Young (Kindle Edition)
Added June 5, 2012

DESCRIPTION –

Officer Will Harmon lives a comfortable life in Campbell Creek, North Carolina, where there hasn’t been a murder in seventeen years. When bones are discovered in the old bread factory his life is disrupted but the body only the beginning. Surprising threats are coming and he will do whatever it takes to protect the life he loves…

I don’t read many mystery or detective books. The author and I follow each other on Twitter. @wendyyoung That’s probably why I added it.

Judgement 2:

AWL: Removed | Goodreads TBR: Added



Guerrilla Marketing for Free: Dozens of No-Cost Tactics to Promote Your Business and Energize Your Profits
by Levinson President, Jay Conrad (Paperback)
Added June 13, 2012

The guru of the Guerrilla Marketing series, with over a million copies in print, teaches entrepreneurs how to market aggressively without spending one cent.
Levinson, the authority on big-business marketing on a small-business budget, takes this concept one step further by offering scores of marketing ideas that are completely free. He proves that aggressive marketing doesn’t have to be expensive if you use creative and unconventional means.
* Hold a giveaway contest. You’ll attract customers and acquire names for your mailing list.
* Give free talks, consultations, and demonstrations. You’ll establish yourself as an expert and publicize your business at the same time.
* Post on websites, bulletin boards, and other online communities. They offer countless opportunities for spreading your business message.
* Feed your clients. Sending cookies or offering free refreshments in your store can set you apart from the competition.
Levinson offers dozens of other tips — some straightforward, many surprising — in a unique, indispensable guide that proves you don’t have to pay top dollar to improve your bottom line.

It was published in 2003. I’m not sure how useful it would be for my needs, which is selling a book in 2017.

Judgement 3:

AWL: Removed | Goodreads TBR: (wasn’t there)



Google Advertising Guerrilla Tactics: Google Advertising A-Z Plus 150 Killer AdWords Tips & Tricks
by Bottletree Books LLC (Paperback)
Currently unavailable.
Added June 13, 2012

Again, it isn’t even for sale anymore. There’s no point to it being on my list.

Judgement 4:

AWL: Removed | Goodreads TBR: (wasn’t there)



Marketing Without Advertising: Easy Ways to Build a Business Your Customers Will Love and Recommend
by Michael Phillips, Salli Rasberry (Paperback)
Currently unavailable
Added June 13, 2012

Probably had little to do with book marketing. But, since it’s another that isn’t even for sale anymore, I’ll never know.

Judgement 5:

AWL: Removed | Goodreads TBR: (wasn’t there)



Yesterday’s Daughter
by Sallie Lundy-Frommer (Kindle Edition)
Added July 18, 2012

Yesterday’s Daughter is full of suspense and surprises as the plot develops. It holds a mirror to contemporary society so we can consider our feelings about people who seem different from us, the assumptions we may make about other groups, and the consequences of those assumptions. Yesterday’s Daughter is an emotionally laden paranormal vampire romance novel woven with layers of betrayal, love and loss. Grace Stone, who later learns her true identity is Sapphira, is a loner who survives abuse in the foster care system after being abandoned as a child.

A brilliant student, she escapes from her brutal foster parents as a teenager and creates a life for herself. But, her life is little more than existence; plagued with questions about what she really is, a family that she has never known and the never-ending need to keep her differences hidden. She is alone and lonely, believing it will always remain so until Malachi appears in her life.

Malachi, a Guardian of the vampire communities, has searched for his life mate, Sapphira, for decades. He refuses to cease searching for Sapphira even though she is believed dead by all. Conflict arises over the decades between Malachi and his family because of his refusals to accept another mate. But his very soul drives him on to continue his search, knowing that he could not exist if Sapphira were not in the world, somewhere.

Keeping it on the list! I can see what drew me to this — the description reminds me of my book, Fractions of Existence. (Except for the vampire angle.)

Judgement 6:

AWL: Kept | Goodreads TBR: Added



Full Throttle
by T. C. Archer (Kindle Edition)
Added July 31, 2012

Fast cars and a smokin’ hot passion…

Rex intends to own and drive his own car, but that will cost him millions up front. Last season was a disaster, thanks to a nasty break up, but it taught him a lesson and helped sharpen his focus on what he needed to do: Win every race. And stay away from pretty girls. The last thing he needed was to learn that his new head mechanic, Jimmy James, was the gorgeous redhead pin-up walking around his pit like it was some kind of dance floor.

Gail “Jimmy” James is the first female NASCAR mechanic. As if competing in a man’s world isn’t tough enough, her bombshell figure bellies her genius IQ, and the pit is no place for either. Nothing Jimmy knew about Rex Henderson the driver prepared her for Rex Henderson the man. But Jimmy has no time to dwell on her feelings as strange mechanical problems curse Rex’s car. Whether sabotage or her own mistakes, Jimmy must stay one step ahead of trouble if she’s going to keep her job, and keep her driver alive…

I like cars. A female mechanic reminds me of some women in my family. Keeping it on the list.

Judgement 7:

AWL: Kept | Goodreads TBR: Added (wasn’t there)



We Are Not Alone: The Writer’s Guide to Social Media
by Kristen Lamb, Bob Mayer (Paperback)
Currently unavailable.
Added August 4, 2012

I’m a fan of Kristen Lamb and the WANA tribe. But if the book isn’t in print anymore… Uhh, why wasn’t this an ebook? I’m guessing the social media game has changed since this was written, and thus it has been pulled from print. No reason to keep it if I can’t get it.

Judgement 8:

AWL: Removed | Goodreads TBR: (wasn’t there)



Are You There Blog? It’s Me, Writer
by Kristen Lamb, Jennifer Talty (Kindle Edition)
Currently unavailable.
Added August 4, 2012

Another Kristen Lamb book that isn’t for sale. I guess I’ll never read this one, either.

Judgement 9:

AWL: Removed | Goodreads TBR: (wasn’t there)



Dare Me
by Megan Abbott (Hardcover)
Added August 4, 2012

Addy Hanlon has always been Beth Cassidy’s best friend and trusted lieutenant. Beth calls the shots and Addy carries them out, a long-established order of things that has brought them to the pinnacle of their high-school careers. Now they’re seniors who rule the intensely competitive cheer squad, feared and followed by the other girls — until the young new coach arrives.

Cool and commanding, an emissary from the adult world just beyond their reach, Coach Colette French draws Addy and the other cheerleaders into her life. Only Beth, unsettled by the new regime, remains outside Coach’s golden circle, waging a subtle but vicious campaign to regain her position as “top girl” — both with the team and with Addy herself.

Then a suicide focuses a police investigation on Coach and her squad. After the first wave of shock and grief, Addy tries to uncover the truth behind the death — and learns that the boundary between loyalty and love can be dangerous terrain.

The raw passions of girlhood are brought to life in this taut, unflinching exploration of friendship, ambition, and power. Award-winning novelist Megan Abbott, writing with what Tom Perrotta has hailed as “total authority and an almost desperate intensity,” provides a harrowing glimpse into the dark heart of the all-American girl.

I like author Megan Abbott. But I have no idea why I added this book to my wishlist. Was I researching cheerleaders for a short story? I don’t know. There are too many other books I know I’d rather read.

Judgement 10:

AWL: Removed | Goodreads TBR: (wasn’t there)



Have you read any of these books? Do you have unavailable books on your wishlist or tbr?

Tune in next Monday to watch as I fall even fruther…

Down The TBR hole

Jun 17 2017

Ask and Answer 2017

Ask and Answer game image


The game is a simple one.
You ask me a question (normally a “get to know you” open question).
Then you also answer that same question about yourself.
I’ve already supplied the coffee cups!


*Ends August 17, 2017

Jun 13 2017

Would You Rather – The Book Edition – Thanks to @deb_atwood

I was over at the peninherhand.com blog (who, you may recall, I tagged for the Mystery Blogger Award), and stumbled on a “would you rather” game.

@deb_atwood wrote:

Now I hereby tag … all my followers–yes, I mean you!

Onto the 10 questions!

WOULD YOU RATHER

1. READ ONLY TRILOGIES OR STANDALONES?

I’m a fan of both. I’m torn because finding non-fiction in a trilogy is very rare. Finding speculative fiction that isn’t a trilogy or series is also rare. So I guess I’m going to have to go with trilogies.

2. READ ONLY FEMALE OR MALE AUTHORS?

I’d rather have absolutely no idea about the gender, race, creed, age, etc etc etc of an author. Either you have a well-written book for me to enjoy or you don’t.

You know what? 25% of my followers change my gender! (Four this month alone. Not kidding.) Some even change my name. There’s one person who emails me three times a week and is convinced I’m another gender based on a book I read and reviewed. (It’s called research, bro. Try it sometime. I’m not gonna run out and experience this for myself, so I’ve got to learn some way in order to help my characters reach their goals! Duh.)

But frankly, I don’t think gender should matter at all, especially when it comes to books. So if I have to answer, I’m going to say I’d rather read a book by a hermaphrodite.

3. SHOP AT BARNES and NOBLE OR AMAZON?

*glances at my receipts from this year*
I assume we mean just for books. I mean, B&N has a Starbucks, but Amazon has new bedding.
I do enjoy going to a bookstore, though the belief I was raised with about avoiding photography of any kind makes everything 100 times more difficult. I sort of live in the gray area as much as possible with that. “You’re risking your soul, you realize.” And if you were raised as I was with the kind of understanding and feelings about souls, you’d realize that my going out to places with cameras…
So I’m going to say Amazon because it’s just easier.

4. ALL BOOKS BECOME MOVIES OR TV SHOWS?

As if they do either one especially well? At least they have more time with TV shows, but also more chances to mess up. I’m not over the last movie that claimed it was in the Divergent series (two character arcs failed and the main character… I can’t EVEN).
It’s not about the directors, producers, actors, or writers. It’s about THE FANS of THE BOOKS. And, overall, they don’t want “your vision” or “your direction” but rather they want what is on the page to be brought to life. Apparently, that’s a very difficult task.
Whatever feelings you may have about Twilight, I think Catherine Hardwicke did a great job with the adaptation. So my answer to this question is, “Whichever medium she’d prefer.”

5. READ 5 PAGES PER DAY OR 5 BOOKS PER WEEK?

Not sure how this factors in with having actual time, but reading 5 books a week sounds great! I’d never hit my goals reading only 5 pages a day, 1825 pages a year (that’s only 4 to 10 books!).

6. BE A PROFESSIONAL REVIEWER OR AUTHOR?

Author. I write reviews because it’s the polite way to thank an author, and because sometimes people see my reviews and give a book a whirl. (Or, occasionally, decide that a book isn’t quite for them because of certain morals or whatever.)

7. ONLY READ YOUR TOP 20 FAVORITE BOOKS OVER AND OVER OR ALWAYS READ NEW ONES THAT YOU HAVEN’T READ BEFORE?

It would be sad to not read my favorites again, but I crave new books. It’s an addiction.
“Hello, my name is J, and I’m addicted to new books.”
(*Not sure if that came off as fun or insensitive. Was aiming for fun.)

8. BE A LIBRARIAN OR BOOK SELLER?

Librarians have to deal with government types restricting them. So Book Seller it is!

9. ONLY READ YOUR FAVORITE GENRE, OR EVERY GENRE EXCEPT YOUR FAVORITE?

Dead Like Me what fresh hell is this gif
I have more than one favorite genre. But since I’m behind on my reading goal for Spec Fic, maybe I ought to pick reading only that so I can get back on track.

10. ONLY READ PHYSICAL BOOKS OR EBOOKS?

Read the Printed Word! Physical books.




That was a lot of fun! Play along, if you feel so inclined. Let me know so I can stop by and wave hello.

I just signed up for the Get Social Blogger Event! (June 4-17) I’m late to the party, but better late than never!

Get Social Blogger Event June 2017 image

Jun 06 2017

Mystery Blogger Award Number Two

mystery blogger award given to @JLenniDorner

1 rule humor New is Better HIMYM Barney
Deb nominated me as I was nominating her! Thanks for the recognition!

There are rules to this award, of course…

Rule 1: Put the award logo/image on your blog.

Rule 2: List the rules.

Rule 3: Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog.

Deb of bunnyandthebloke.com.

merci thank you

Rule 4: Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well.

About the creator: Okoto Enigma’s blog The creator’s name, Enigma, means mystery, thus the title of the award.

Rule 5: Tell your readers three things about yourself.


  1. I know basic French Belgian Sign Language (French: Langue des signes de Belgique francophone; LSFB), but almost no American Sign Language. I recognize only a few spoken words in French.
  2. goal meme
  3. I grew up eating Creamed Chipped Beef at least once a week for breakfast. (The fake bagged or frozen stuff in stores is horrid. Make it at home or go to a diner around PA Dutch country!)

sos creamed chipped beef
Sh*t on a Shingle (SOS) is an (unofficial) US military food term for Creamed Chipped Beef. It’s some kind of meat in a sauce, served over toast (the toast being the “shingle”), often served as a breakfast dish.
This is also good served over hashbrowns (sliced and fried new potatoes).

Rule 6: Nominate 10 to 20 bloggers.

Rule 7: Notify those people.

Rule 8: Ask your nominee any five questions of your choice, plus one weird or funny question.

(And, obviously, answer what you were asked!)

I was asked:

Do you have an “ideal reader” of your blog in mind to whom you address your posts?
I can’t say that this is something in the forefront of my mind. In thinking about it, my “ideal reader” of my blog would be a bibliophile (or a logophile) with a sense of humor.

Do you use a fountain pen, ballpoint or pencil when you write?
Keyboard.
That’s an honest answer.
I’ve also written using a twig dipped in blood.
Wow, that sounded creepy, didn’t it?
My parents weren’t “grocery store” types. I grew up in a hunter-gatherer environment. We used every part of the animal. The first time someone asked me where I got deerskin pants, I looked at them like they were stupid. At that point in my young life, I had never met someone before who lived another way. Now when someone asks me something like that, I just laugh and shake my head. I’m just barely “civilized.”
Of the people you know, I’m the Daryl Dixon.
Daryl Dixon of The Walking Dead #TWD damaged people are dangerous, they know how to survive

Do you have any subjects which – for you – are off-limits for blogging?
I try to avoid religion, politics, and personal finance.
I’m not saying they don’t sneak in from time to time. And I’m not saying that I don’t have innuendoes on this blog which one could ascertain my position on all three of those topics.
But I try not to let those factors, my values and beliefs, alienate my readers.

As a reader, do you prefer lots of pictures or lots of words in a blog?
Mostly words but a few images mixed in is my preference.

Your favourite cake? Or biscuit/cookie?
Boston Cream Pie.
“A Boston cream pie is a yellow butter cake that is filled with custard or cream and topped with chocolate glaze. Despite its name, it is in fact a cake, and not a pie. The dessert acquired its name when cakes and pies were cooked in the same pans, and the words were used interchangeably.”
(My favorite pie, by the way, is Shoo-fly pie.)

What is your favourite fantasy creature?
Dragons!

The questions I have for my nominees are:

  1. What is the most memorable trait or visual oddity of a fictional book character you’ve read?
    (Example: Harry Potter’s lightning bolt scar.)
  2. What most motivates you to buy a new book to read?
  3. How do YOU make an educated guess as to if a book by an author you haven’t read before will be “good” BEFORE you read any of it? (Number of books sold, number of reviews, average star rating, awards it received, friend suggests it, the cover, etc)
  4. What’s your favorite comfort food. (Pic? Recipe?)
  5. Where do you look for blogging inspiration?
  • Weird/funny question: Do you have a celebrity encounter story you can share?

Rule 9: Share a link to my blog’s best post.

All of my blog’s most commented on, most liked/ star clicked, and most viewed posts are from blog hops. (Especially the A to Z challenge.)
I’ll leave the first link to Anah’s story again, because it was very popular.
The story started with All Intents and Purposes.

Thanks for checking out this post!

Jun 05 2017

Mid Year Check in #NewToMe2017 #SpecFic

#NewToMe2017 image GenreSF120

What’s a #NewToMe2017 book?

–First time reading an author
–first book in a series
–first book you’ve read from a series
–first time trying a genre/subgenre
–a debut book from an author (even if you’ve read them before)
#NewToMe2017

Pick Your Genre Reading Challenge:
My genre choice: Speculative Fiction #SpecFic

The book just needs to fit your chosen genre.
Any book over 80 pages
Any format is fine.
Re-reads count!
Pick Your Genre

#NewToMe2017 total so far= 9

#SpecFic total so far= 6

The Virgin Billionaire (Virgin Billionaire, #1)The Virgin Billionaire by Ryan Field #NewToMe2017 (First time reading this author)
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book is the love story of Luis and Jase. (Jase being the Virgin Billionaire, and owner of a company called Virgin, so it’s a double entendre.) I really liked Luis. He picks a favorite word and then works it into conversations. His train of thoughts felt like Holden Caulfield of Catcher in the Rye, which intrigued me. He’s exactly the sort of gay guy that one expects in NYC. (Before you lecture me, watch Sex and the City. “Cliché for a reason.”) The best part of Luis is his heart; he does things to have money to send to his uncle who is HIV positive, even though the uncle sends the money back.

Luis is obsessed with a blog. There’s a section where he tells Jase about commenting on the blog, and it really hit me. It’s just brilliant. I’m not sure why I haven’t heard others say something along these lines, but it feels like it ought to be a popular quote. “Elena wasn’t getting paid to write these excellent blog posts. She was doing it because she loved it, and Luis liked to compliment her as much as he could so she’d keep her blog going forever.”

What I disliked, or just found difficult “suspension of disbelief” wise, was the world these two men live in. It’s not just that there’s an unbelievable amount of acceptance everywhere, but the uncanny amount of men (of any/every sexual preference) that are attracted and flirty/ accept flirts. The book seeps into Fantasy there, in my opinion. Luis says that no one cares if you’re gay nowadays, and Jase asks what planet he lives on, “The Planet of Celestial Hope and Goodness?” Granted, NYC has a considerable amount of open-mindedness (or general lack of giving a f…), but the book felt like it skirted over the line just a bit. Maybe that was intentional, making the setting a dreamy character for the reader to lust over.

I felt on-the-fence about Jase’s character. On one hand, it felt accurate. On the other hand, his thoughts about being glad that Luis takes on a feminine role… it just struck me wrong. More the way he thought it than that he thought it, if that makes sense.

The editor only missed six typos (knew/new, hip/up), so I feel I can say the author’s writing is good.

Tender Wings of DesireTender Wings of Desire by Harland Sanders #NewToMe2017 (First time reading this author)
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Oh my (*insert voice of George Takei here). Judging by the cover (which we all know to never do), I expected a corny, hilarious story mixed with some romance. Also, the main character doesn’t wear jeans, but rather is from the era of corsets and dresses covering hoop skirt petticoats. I’m willing to overlook that because the artwork, as hokey and unrelated to the story as it is, is what drew me in. Actually, this was just an ordinary alternative-history romance. (I’m assuming it’s alternative history.) There is only a vague reference, near the end, to the chicken chain.

I’m giving it four stars because it’s a fine book, but I’m not going running to social media to insist all my friends read it. (Even if such insistence is how I end up reading most of these cisgender romance novels about Europeans.) It’s low on the heat scale, probably so conservative readers can enjoy it too. A privileged young lady runs away from an arranged marriage, pretends to be a commoner to get a job, and meets a guy. (Was there a spoiler in that? It’s basically a “reforming the rake” romance plot.) And there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s even done well.

There’s a character named Caoimhe— gotta love that.

The chicken-making author has two typos/formatting issues (“womenin” and “womaninto” ), and there’s always a debate in the grammar world as to if “alright” is an acceptable word (instead of all right).

Glass Sword (Red Queen, #2)Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard #SpecFic
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I would go mad if there wasn’t another book in this series. This rollercoaster of emotion and action that fills the pages ends on a note that’s like being struck by lightning.

Like Red Queen, I find the book, a fantasy story which seems to have a setting of future Earth, to feel very much like the present day. There’s a line, “He never got to teach me about the Divide, the ancient moment when silver blood split from red,” which feels to me like the way Americans talk about being divided now. (Rich versus everyone else, healthy versus anyone taking any prescription ever for anything, races, religions, etc.) There’s a line in the book, “Sickness with easy cures, but no money to buy the medicine.” This is fantasy world where there are people who can heal almost anything with just a touch… but they only treat the richest, the silver bloods. It’s those tiny mentions in the book that hit too close to home for my heart and head.

In this a fantasy world filled with people who have super powers, it’s still the psychic, Jon, who gets questioned. Calling lightning and commanding electric, sure. Healing with a touch, okay. Seeing a few minutes into the future, you bet. But seeing time, seeing days ahead… that’s where the characters get skeptical. I found Jon and his power, and the reactions the others had to it, to be very amusing. To quote, “chose to trust what they could understand, rather than what was true.” Those are more than words in a book. There’s wisdom leaking out, which is what I love about this author. A paragraph later explains the fantastic covers of these books, the crowns dripping with blood. I love when the reason for a cover becomes obvious in the pages.

I’m pretty sure I know what Farley’s question is, the one to which Jon tells Mare that the answer is yes. It’ll be the next book before I know for 100% sure, but I’m 99% betting that I know.

I’m also going to mention quickly how fun the acknowledgment was to read.

RunawayRunaway by J.R. Vincente #NewToMe2017 (First time reading this author)
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Before I get to the review, let me recap a little conversation…
Me: I finished reading that choose-your-erotica book you mentioned.
“Friend” (note the quotes…) : Did you find secret scene?
Me: Secret scene? You mean the secret she has for most of the book?
“Friend“: No! There’s a secret scene from one of the choices. I found it. Didn’t you find it? Who did she end up with?
Me: The dog owner was texting her, but she ended up single and fine with it.
“Friend“: I can’t believe you missed the secret scene.
Me: I can’t believe how much I hate you right now.

I then reread the book, making different choices. And then… read it again. The scene! I found the scene!

Yes, this does make me cooler than the rest of you.

The cover of the book, by the way, is a bed (or mattress) that’s bondage ready. That cover should be your clue to how high on the heat scale this could be.

Some of the book takes part in my home state of PA. (I was looking for a book with a setting in my hometown for a reading challenge in 2015.)

I read the book three times (in my quest for the secret scene). I enjoyed all three read-throughs. There is a good amount of suspense, making it more like a mystery-thriller, in several of the choices. It’s easy enough to believe that this could be real; that the characters could exist, as could the scenarios. Runaway was as fun to read as every other choose-your-adventure book I’ve picked up. It might be hardcore, it might be softcore, there are some HEA and some not, or it might just be a suspense with some romance… the reader decides.

I read erotica when it is written by someone I know or recommended to me. (This book was a recommendation.) I was pleasantly surprised by how fun this was to read. Perhaps because I was able to decide her fate. The only problem I had was that I didn’t get that secret bonus scene on the first read, so I had to go back! Okay, that’s not a bad problem to have, and speaks more to my stubborn determination. It was a fun journey.

Red Queen (Red Queen, #1)Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard #SpecFic re-read
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The book does stand alone, but I’m hoping for it to become a series. The themes presented in Red Queen are relatable. One more story of oppression, of the 1 percent lording over the 99 should be eye-rolling and dull — but this book makes it feel fresh and exciting! Another fairytale with the poor girl catching the eye of the handsome prince should be a snoozefest — but the twist and turns of Red Queen turn it into a thriller. Books are supposed to have one climax, but this book has a new climax every few chapters. There’s some beautiful foreshadowing. Poetic prose snuck in a few times and took my breath away. This book is utterly magnificent. I’ll be in line for the midnight release of the movie or the next book — hopefully both. Yes, it really is that good.

Word Magic for Writers: Your Source for Powerful Language That Enchants, Convinces and Wins ReadersWord Magic for Writers: Your Source for Powerful Language That Enchants, Convinces and Wins Readers by Cindy Rogers #NewToMe2017 (First time reading this author)
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

There is quite a bit of information in this book which I have previously used and been called out by editors for daring to put in a manuscript. On the other hand, this book defines what those methods and such are in a well-done way. Proceed with caution if you are above an eighth grade writing competency level.

Antimetabole, repetition of identical words, is often a frowned upon practice. Antiphrasis is used in every mob-fiction story I’ve ever encountered, as they all have a character named “Tiny” who… isn’t. Chapter 11’s ideas about writing colors, however, is useful and interesting. (Wine red and glittering gold instead of just red and gold.) The vivid verbs topic interests me, but the book made it dependent upon sports reporting, and was less helpful than I desired. However, a GREAT tip in the book: “The peppering of to be verbs, and of helping verbs such as do, have, can, may, might, must, ought, could, should, would deadens a paragraph or a scene faster than hail on a tin roof deadens the senses. Action verbs activate a scene every time.” And there’s a good review of show-don’t-tell. There’s a mention of embedding the setting into the action.

The section on titles and using key words is spot on. Then there’s a tip which is contradictory to several other writing how-to reference guides: “Chapter endings cannot all end with a dangler or a lure into the next chapter.

For information and education theory, this is a 5-star book. It would be great for young writers or those interested in learning about the craft. For adult writing in the world of submitting to agents and publishers, it’s a 3-star book.

Moonless (Maiden of Time, #1)Moonless by Crystal Collier #NewToMe2017 (First time reading this author) #SpecFic
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

OMG! I have a new favorite book in my top 10!

There is a Pride and Prejudice similarity in the scene where a friend asks another friend to marry him, and soon after someone else says, “Why can you not take up a decent prospect like any normal girl?” It’s an amusing scene.

My heart… all the feels in this scene: “Alexia realized, self-consciously, her mistake. They belonged to the adult world now. They couldn’t interact as freely as they once had.” That got me. Reading it again here, I’m still feeling it.

Here’s my very favorite quote from the book: “That is what I like about you. You have never cared what others think. It is all about what matters to you.” Powerful line!

I’m torn between reading this one again and moving on to the next in the series. I want to do both at the same time! Ha ha. But seriously, this book is fantastic.

Carve the Mark (Carve the Mark, #1)Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth #NewToMe2017 (first book in a series) #SpecFic
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What we have here is the ultimate example of Speculative Fiction. There’s plenty of fantasy, of that which feels imagined, and there’s science with spaceships and floating vehicles, and there’s even some horror with all the killing that goes on in this book. Plus, there’s mention of the history of that galaxy, which has multiple interpretations, some of which just feed perfectly into fantasy. As I said, this is Speculative Fiction, this is the gold standard for encompassing the entire genre.

There’s also a grab bag of diversity (though it is set in another galaxy, so take that as you will). There are two main characters, one with “brown skin” (Cyra). Cyra’s chapters are written in first-person, but the chapters belonging to Akos are written in third-person limited. It sounds jarring, but it isn’t. The book is gripping and wonderful. When does the next one come out? The ending has me needing the next book.

Some of my favorite parts:

“The pain I chose, instead of the pain that had chosen me.” This is a line that anyone suffering from chronic pain will appreciate.

The book just came out January 17, 2017, but it feels very current and politically relevant (in the USA, in my opinion).

“Ridiculous, really, but sometimes people just believed what they were told. It was easier to survive that way.

Testament: The TrialTestament: The Trial by Edward V’Kanty #NewToMe2017 (First time reading this author) #SpecFic
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book has strong and very explicit violence, sexual content, and drinking. It is not for the faint of heart. However, if you want a book that blends historical fiction (1665), fantasy (assuming one counts possible witchcraft and voodoo as fantasy), and erotica (including and especially the more violent types), then this book will quench your thirst. There is a degrading and pain-filled rape scene which is difficult even for the main character to witness. The writing is solid and the grammar seems spot on. It’s partially first person written in a journal, but also contains statements and testimony from other characters. Were the character Tiekka the main character of this book, it would count as diverse fiction. (Indeed, I imagine the story from her point of view would be astounding.)

The book makes it easy to see how mob mentality and a lust for power brought about so many witch trials. Some of it feels like history that needs to be re-learned by society today. Here’s a quote:

“I’d watched this crowd -a group of what I’d assumed had been sensible, civilized, 17th century people- and had seen them grow irate and fearful. They knew next to nothing of the case and even less of the people directly involved, yet they were already demanding blood for the apparent injustices suffered.”

Here’s something that I never heard before and did not know:

“Under English law, witchcraft in itself is not illegal at present, but to practice said arts for the purpose of causing harm or peril is most definitely a crime and will be prosecuted.”

However, it conflicts with other research, such as, “In 1542 Parliament passed the Witchcraft Act which defined witchcraft as a crime punishable by death. It was repealed five years later, but restored by a new Act in 1562.” (http://www.parliament.uk/) I am unsure what to make of this conflict of knowledge.

I disliked that the book concluded in a choose-your-adventure fashion whereby the ending of choice is sold separately. (I can appreciate the marketing tactic, but I personally felt jilted.)

Four: A Divergent Story Collection (Divergent, #0.1 - 0.4)Four: A Divergent Story Collection by Veronica Roth #SpecFic
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Fantastic writing. A thrill to read. There’s a line in the book, “How is it possible to live the same story twice, from different vantage points?”, which is ironic and sums up half the book. Reading Divergent first is imperative. If you enjoy getting the other side of a story, this book is ideal.

There is quite a bit about child abuse in this book. (If you know the character Four, you know why.) There’s a part where Four is afraid that Tris would look at him with pity, and make him feel weak, small, and empty. But, of course, she doesn’t, she instead is angry at the abuser. To me, this is a really deep moment. All too often, those who have been abused, those who have experienced horrors without consent, feel they will be blamed– and, disgusting as it is, that does happen. There is hope and brilliance in a book that reinforces putting the blame on the abuser, on the attacker, on the person unable to control their own behavior. I’d give the book a sixth star just for this scene.

A quote that cracked me up:
“uncomfortable and wrong, the way an Erudite feels when she reads a grammatically incorrect sentence.”

A quote that I want as a pin image:
“Dead people can be our heroes because they can’t disappoint us later; they only improve over time, as we forget more and more about them.”

The Miniature Golf Course Murders (River Corners Mysteries)The Miniature Golf Course Murders by Sara Penhallow #NewToMe2017 (First time reading this author)
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book follows Isobel Santini, an editor, as she accidentally discovers and solves a murder. The guilty person, the one who did it, made me laugh in an “I see what you did there,” way.
Some quotes I enjoyed from the book:
“Some of us don’t decide that God is irrelevant when he’s inconvenient.”
“But Papi always said his little princess didn’t need to work,” Aunt Rosa said softly, “and you didn’t want to disappoint him.”

Blog, Inc.: Blogging for Passion, Profit, and to Create CommunityBlog, Inc.: Blogging for Passion, Profit, and to Create Community by Joy Deangdeelert Cho #NewToMe2017 (First time reading this author)
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I recommend this book to everyone who has a blogged or is thinking about starting a blog. This is a wealth of information. This book was like taking a 101 college class about blogging.
The book suggests thinking about what makes your blog special. It asks if this is your hobby, outlet, or possible career, and then offers tips for each of those choices.
To quote:
“What makes it unique? The best blogs are ones that add their own unique twist or style to a topic. What ideas do you have that will make yours different?” And, “a succinct description of your blog that tells others why you started it, what you blog about, and why it’s fun and different.”
I learned that some of the types of posts I most enjoy making are “Updates: In addition to seeing your newest work, readers often like to see pieces that didn’t make the cut,” and “Updates Similar: behind-the-scenes details from the building of your (novel), special discounts for blog readers,” and Reviews.
It defines Trackbacks, Categories, and Tags. (I knew about Tags, but I never considered using “Google’s Keyword Tool or Wordtracker to find the optimal words or phrasing to use.”) It explains, in detail, how to write your Bio and the function of having one. It mentions trademarking your blog’s name. (Which I never thought about spending money on before.) It talks about a blog’s bounce rate, which I had never heard of before.
The made me wonder if I give enough of myself, if I have enough of a “real person” angle to inspire people.
A great quote from the book:
“Building and maintaining your community is just as important as coming up with a great new post and should be given the same care and attention.”
To me, that part of the book reminded me of the #AtoZChallenge. That feels like the very definition of what we do in April.

47 Mind Hacks for Writers: Master the Writing Habit in 10 Minutes Or Less and End Writer's Block and Procrastination for Good47 Mind Hacks for Writers: Master the Writing Habit in 10 Minutes Or Less and End Writer’s Block and Procrastination for Good by Karen Dimmick #NewToMe2017 (First time reading this author)
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

There were parts of this book that interested me as a writer. It would certainly be more relevant for non-fiction than fiction, but it’s still useful either way. The book had some insights and knowledge that I had not encountered before. I enjoyed doing the suggested exercises to the best of my ability (see next section about downloads). The book has helped me set some new goals, and for that, I’m grateful.

To create my “pick up plan” I was supposed to download a template. To download a template, I had to go to the site (again) and enter my name and email (again) and wait for yet another email that never comes (and yeah, I’ve checked spam).
When an author has templates that go with the book and I have “sign up for” or jump through a hoop to get them, I feel annoyed and exploited.
When that template doesn’t come, I feel cheated and betrayed, and my opinion of the author’s authority drops considerably. I question if the author does not believe in the work, and thus created a way to trick readers onto a mailing list.
I wonder what my purchase meant to the author. I wonder if I’m just a number to grow an email list.
I would prefer if I could go to a web page and download the templates which accompany the book, and then be given an option to sign up for a mailing list and such. If a book is genuinely good, then I’d sign up. But I feel that being required to sign up for an email list (especially to get what I’d consider “the other 25% of the book I paid for) is a weak and shady business practice.
As a result of several templates that never came and being required to sign up for an email list to attempt to get them (rather than signing up because of a genuine interest), I’m knocking off two stars. I’m genuinely more displeased at having to sign up for a list than I am that the emails didn’t come. Forcing me to sign up to get the rest of what I paid for is a choice the author made. Only one download (the 8-page workbook) out of all of them coming is probably some computer glitch, and that’s something which annoys me but that I could forgive.

The sections about Trolls were well-written, humorous, and insightful. (However, it doesn’t address how to deal with doxing. Perhaps because no one actually knows how to deal with it yet.) But I liked that section enough to give back one star.

That’s a total of 4 out of 5 stars for this book.
So long as you’re prepared to click on SIXTEEN links to 47MindHacks.com (backslash whatever template or directory), and enter your name and email address each time, you’ll enjoy this book.

I do believe that plenty of people read, and that self-publishing is a viable option, and most of the rest from the workbook. (The only email download from the sign-up list to come.)

View all my reviews

#NewToMe2017 total so far= 9

#SpecFic total so far= 6

Jun 02 2017

Book Review of 47 Mind Hacks for Writers #NewToMe2017

I read:
47 Mind Hacks for Writers by Karen Dimmick & Steve Dimmick 4 star rating image on the blog of @JLenniDorner

#NewToMe2017 – I have not previously read this book or anything by these authors.

There were parts of this book that interested me as a writer. It would certainly be more relevant for non-fiction than fiction, but it’s still useful either way. The book had some insights and knowledge that I had not encountered before. I enjoyed doing the suggested exercises to the best of my ability (see next section about downloads). The book has helped me set some new goals, and for that, I’m grateful.

To create my “pick up plan” I was supposed to download a template. To download a template, I had to go to the site (again) and enter my name and email (again) and wait for yet another email that never comes (and yeah, I’ve checked spam).
When an author has templates that go with the book and I have “sign up for” or jump through a hoop to get them, I feel annoyed and exploited.
When that template doesn’t come, I feel cheated and betrayed, and my opinion of the author’s authority drops considerably. I question if the author does not believe in the work, and thus created a way to trick readers onto a mailing list.
I wonder what my purchase meant to the author. I wonder if I’m just a number to grow an email list.
I would prefer if I could go to a web page and download the templates which accompany the book, and then be given an option to sign up for a mailing list and such. If a book is genuinely good, then I’d sign up. But I feel that being required to sign up for an email list (especially to get what I’d consider “the other 25% of the book I paid for) is a weak and shady business practice.
As a result of several templates that never came and being required to sign up for an email list to attempt to get them (rather than signing up because of a genuine interest), I’m knocking off two stars. I’m genuinely more displeased at having to sign up for a list than I am that the emails didn’t come. Forcing me to sign up to get the rest of what I paid for is a choice the author made. Only one download (the 8-page workbook) out of all of them coming is probably some computer glitch, and that’s something which annoys me but that I could forgive.

The sections about Trolls were well-written, humorous, and insightful. (However, it doesn’t address how to deal with doxing. Perhaps because no one actually knows how to deal with it yet.) But I liked that section enough to give back one star.

That’s a total of 4 out of 5 stars for this book.
So long as you’re prepared to click on SIXTEEN links to 47MindHacks.com (backslash whatever template or directory), and enter your name and email address each time, you’ll enjoy this book.

I do believe that plenty of people read, and that self-publishing is a viable option, and most of the rest from the workbook. (The only email download from the sign-up list to come.)

UPDATE

——– Original Message ——–
Subject: 47 Mind Hacks for Writers
From: “Steve Dimmick”
Date: Sun, June 11, 2017 1:28 pm
To: JLenniDorner

Hi J Lenni,

First off, I’d like to thank you for buying our book. I know there are lots of books you can choose from on Amazon and I appreciate you choosing ours.

This brings me to the second thing I wanted to contact you about. I saw your review on Amazon and I would like to apologize for the issues you encountered with our email optin process. I can confirm that once you have joined our email list once, you will then get access to all of the extra materials that our book mentions. We definitely wanted to avoid asking our readers to optin for every single extra we have available.

I see that you did receive the email for the Workbook. That email also contained your login details so you can access ALL of the other extras from the book. Now that I look at it, I can definitely see that this could be communicated more clearly so it is easier for people to realize that. I am working on updating that specific email so it is more clear.

Thanks for your feedback and please let me know if you have questions or if there is anything else I can help with.

Regards,
Steve

Steve Dimmick





In fairness, this is an example of what I saw in the ebook:
47 Mind Hacks link in ebook
I went to that link expecting just the template for the pick up plan.

I got to the site and believed I was going to get the template.
47 site image

The template for pick up plan is still the only thing I expected.

47 Mind Hacks for Writers email

This is what came.

In all honesty, I didn’t give it my full attention. I didn’t read it for comprehension. I was motivated by the book and wanted to fill out a template. So I clicked download. It wasn’t the template. I figured the wrong item came and I went back to reading the book. I did not reread the email. (Today is the first time I’ve ever really given that email a proper read.)

I went to more of the links, looking for similar stuff, but never received emails with WHAT I WENT TO THE LINKS TO GET. That was the only email that ever came.

I did not look at the email and then go to another link and log in and then try to get stuff again. That is what the email intended for me to do.
I was meant to

  1. STOP reading the book.
  2. Go to a link.
  3. Input my email.
  4. Get an email (not with the desired item, but with instructions).
  5. Fully read the email instructions.
  6. Go to another site.
  7. Log in.
  8. Do whatever there to get the goods. (I don’t know because I never went.)
  9. Still feel motivated enough to do the template.
  10. Go back to reading the book.

If you’re the sort of reader who will do all those steps, you might well enjoy the book more than I did.
I do not care for this system. My star rating remains unchanged by this information.
To each one’s own.
In the comments, you’ll see that Juneta had a better experience and DID complete the required steps.

I’ll also mention that the workbook (the download I thought would be the pick up plan template but wasn’t) was meant, in part, to be done before reading the book. But I didn’t go to a link that triggered an email until the Pick Up Plan template link was up, which is 36% of the way into the book.

Do you feel that templates with reference books should be easy to access, or that authors should require an email sign up in order for a reader to get the accompanying book material?

Jun 01 2017

Author Procrastination

I’m reading:
47 Mind Hacks for Writers by Karen Dimmick & Steve Dimmick
and using the exercises as blog post prompts.

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put the pro in procrastinate

Why am I procrastinating?

That’s the subject of today’s exercise.

What will happen when I complete my Fractions of Existence book? When there’s no more editing, reasonably speaking, to do?



I will have to come up with a promotion plan.
It might take months or years to get 5, 20, or even 50 reviews.
Some of those reviews will be from people who do not “get” the book, and some from people will not carefully read it.
Some people will question why I didn’t make the books into graphic novels. (I don’t have an interested artist.)
I’ll need to resume work on book two. The opening of book two is extremely dark.
Becoming the author that published FoE will redefine me from just “speculative fiction” writer to author of this.


If Fractions of Existence is a success, it will boost the sales of the next books in the series, along with the high fantasy series which follows. It will open up the minds of some readers, exposing them to a lore they haven’t heard of before, one that either enhances their beliefs or makes the reader question their beliefs. But some people will probably just think it’s a good fiction story and probably pick a character or two to ship. Maybe focus on a relationship that does happen, did happen, or that they wish would happen. I’m looking forward to Caleb’s shippers.

If Fractions of Existence is a failure, then I’m a failure. I will have fallen down on what was meant to be my destiny. I’d need to reevaluate my life, my beliefs. Hopefully, I’d just pick up and keep on writing. But I’d wonder why I was supposed to tell this story, why they picked me, if I ended up failing. But maybe it’d be one of the things where it’d become super popular 20 years after I’ve done something else or I’m dead or something. Kevin Smith reference time!
Clerks Box Office Opening: $31,665
Clerks II Box Office Opening: $10,061,132

What will happen in my life after FoE is published is that I’ll be able to direct people to a fiction book I’ve published, one with J Lenni Dorner on the cover.
I have no intention of stopping, of not writing anymore after FoE. In fact, I just made a year of weekly writing goals, and half of them take place after FoE is published.

Yes, I really need to publish Fractions of Existence. Not just because it’s my destiny and I was chosen or whatever, but because I love the story. I love these characters. They deserve a book series, so I’m giving them one.
I wouldn’t rather be doing something other than writing. Except, perhaps, making connections (which can lead to sales, so it’s writing adjacent). I wouldn’t rather have any other fiction book as my debut. Fractions of Existence has always been the first one I wanted to put my name on.
I don’t want anyone else to finish the book for me. Ghost writers are great. (I know, I’ve been one.) But this story is mine to tell. I was given these characters to weave into this lore.
Editing parts that I’m not sure are actually wrong… that slows me to a stop. It took me a few years to figure out that I’d need to change the whole setting of a scene because it’s the only way I could make the suggested changes. And the opening… that first part has been rewritten to death.

And the already written reasons:

I want to publish the Existence series because I believe the characters can give people a reason to aim for more peace, that the books could get one person to reconsider committing an act of violence against another person.

Remembered For Writing @JLenniDorner quote

May 31 2017

Ideal Reader

I’m reading:
47 Mind Hacks for Writers by Karen Dimmick & Steve Dimmick
and using the exercises as blog post prompts.

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The task at hand is to identify my ideal reader. For the Existence series:

1- Someone who will buy, read, and review my books.

(That was kind of obvious, wasn’t it?)

2- Someone who enjoys fantasy mixed with the real world. Someone who is ready to think, to wonder, and to question. Someone who enjoys a bit of action, a little romance and sexual tension, splashes of darkness, and who isn’t closed off to the idea of beings more powerful than humans (at least in fiction). A reader who pays attention and is patient.

3- Anyone who has ever glanced at ancient histories, mythologies, or architectures and questioned how these groups of people who never met all had such similarities.

history pyramids

3b- Or anyone that ever read those old histories and myths and asked, “Okay, but then what happened?”

4- Readers who get through a whole dystopian book series (Hunger Games) and ask, “Well what happened before? What’s the story before society went off the rails? How did we go from our current world to the one presented in this society? Nuclear weapons, bad leaders, aliens, ran out of bees, what?”

Three is from the story my ancestors passed down. Four is how I figured out when the story should begin. (2003 to 2005 for Fractions of Existence.)

Do you feel like you’re one of those ideal readers? Have you ever made a list of your own ideal readers?

May 30 2017

Genre For Book Marketing

I’m reading:
47 Mind Hacks for Writers by Karen Dimmick & Steve Dimmick
and using the exercises as blog post prompts.

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For today’s excersise, I’m supposed to find some books in my market, guess what they’re about, and then write why my book is different.

Fractions of Existence is an Urban Fantasy.

Define= “Urban fantasy describes a work that is set primarily in the real world and contains aspects of fantasy. These matters may involve the arrivals of alien races, the discovery of earthbound mythological creatures, coexistence between humans and paranormal beings, conflicts between humans and malicious paranormals…” Wikipedia

According to Amazon’s list:
Best Sellers in Paranormal & Urban Fantasy

1. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
Unless you’ve been living under a rock at the bottom of the sea, you know what Harry Potter is about. So I’m not going to pretend to “guess” at what’s become common knowledge.

Why my book is different

I don’t have a boy wizard. There’s no Hogwarts. It’s set in NYC. Fractions of Existence has more in common with How I Met Your Mother than with Harry Potter.

2. The Library at Mount Char
I have no idea what this book is actually about. I’m going to guess the main character will turn out to be more than human. There seem to be orphans in this. They have books to guide them, I’m guessing.

Why my book is different

Not about orphans. No books to guide the main character. Vastly different.

3. A Shade of Vampire 44: A Tangle of Hearts
Right off the bat, I’m going to guess this book is about vampires. Looks like some romance and friendships.

Why my book is different

I do not believe the Existence series is ever going to be considered vampire books.

4. Raised in Fire (Fire and Ice Trilogy Book 2)
Takes place in Seattle. Has Mages, Demons, a vampire, guilds, and swords. Possibly a detective novel.

Why my book is different

Takes place in NYC, southern CA, and on a cross-country road trip. This isn’t a spellcasting book, nor is it a detective series.

5. American Gods
A storm brewing for the soul of America. Seems to focus on one character figuring out mysteries of the fantastical variety.

Why my book is different

It isn’t just about America. It isn’t even just about one character.

6. The Secret of Spellshadow Manor
I’m going to guess it’s mostly a book with magic.

Why my book is different

Fractions of Existence doesn’t have Magic.

7. Born in Fire (Fire and Ice Trilogy Book 1)
“Supernatural Bounty Hunter” and a vampire.

Why my book is different

No “Supernatural Bounty Hunter.”

8. The Billionaire Dragon’s Secret Son
I’m guessing there’s a shifter that turns into a dragon, and he and the main female character are going to make a baby (or already have).

Why my book is different

Fractions of Existence does not mention dragons. There are no secret babies.

9. Alastair Stone Chronicles Box Set: Alastair Stone Chronicles, Books 1 through 4
A professor who is a mage is also an investigator.

Why my book is different

Not about professors, mages, or investigators.

10. Death and Relaxation (Ordinary Magic Book 1)
Police chief with magical powers deals with the paranormal.

Why my book is different

Again, Fractions of Existence isn’t any type of detective novel.

To be honest, the first book on this list that seems even slightly close to Fractions of Existence is:
Unborn by Amber Lynn Natusch (Number 84 on the list.)

I decided to take a look at another Amazon list.

Best Sellers in Myths & Legends Fantasy

15. Elementals: The Complete Series
“Nicole Cassidy is a witch descended from the Greek gods” A comet awakens powers.

Why my book is different

The main characters in the Existence series do not descend from the Greek gods.
There isn’t a witch in Fractions of Existence.
There’s no comet.

Just for fun:

The Historian
It’s 16 on this list. It isn’t like Fractions of Existence, but the antagonists would own this book, or one much like it.

The Land: Founding: A LitRPG Saga (Chaos Seeds Book 1)
Number 18 on the list is a book that both Xavier and Gwendolyn would probably read.

The Prophecy: The Fulfillment Series, Book 1
This description has a similar feel, except the reader age is far younger than my book.

And more searching…

The Immortals (Olympus Bound)
This seems like it could be closer to what I’ve written. But then there’s a glance at the lists it lives on:
#332 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Literary Fiction > Action & Adventure
#500 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Historical
#596 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Fairy Tales

I do have action and adventure, but “Literary Fiction separates itself from Genre because it is not about escaping from reality, instead, it provides a means to better understand the world and delivers real emotional responses.” – HuffPo And that is not a category I expect to land in.

Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Historical
I just looked at the top 100, and none have any real similarities to Fractions of Existence.

(Fairy Tales does not seem to be a category under Fantasy in Books, only in Kindle. Interesting.)
Nothing in the top 100 of Best Sellers in Fairy Tales is comparable to Fractions of Existence.

I just read descriptions of a lot of books, and none of them strike me as similar to what I’ve written.

On the upside, according to 47 Mind Hacks for Writers, this means I’ll stand out in marketing.

On the downside, the lack of vampires, detectives, orphaned main characters, magic users, and dragons could alienate me from those who read Urban Fantasy.

Urban Fantasy Clichés and Tropes

I found a list of Clichés and Tropes that I seem to have avoided:

  • Bada$$ female loner
  • Bada$$ normal who “plays” with paranormals
  • vigilantes/hunters/professional monster-fighters as the protagonists (Mine are antagonists…)

Have you ever encountered a book that didn’t seem similar to other books in the same the categories/ genres?

May 29 2017

Using Character Archetypes

There’s a great blog post about Lesser Known Archetypes over at http://writershelpingwriters.net/2017/05/three-more-lesser-known-archetypes/.

I examed my Fractions of Existence book to see how I used these.

The Penitent –
“that character who’s seeking cleansing, forgiveness, and redemption from a dark past”

In Fractions of Existence, that archetype is represented by Xavier.
The trouble is, Xavier doesn’t recall what he’s done. He’s just convinced that he’s done something. After all, why else would his mate be gone?

The Curmudgeon –

Fractions of Existence still has one, but it’s no longer obvious. This character is the narrator, who introduced himself in the one-paragraph prologue. But I’ve since cut that prologue, so now readers* will have no idea that there is a narrator until they meet him directly later in the series. (A bit of a breaking of the fourth wall.)

*Except for readers of this blog. Congratulations on finding out this insider information!

The Sycophant –

Meet Tred’s children and then tell me if they fit this. I believe they do.

What book have you enjoyed that used all three of these archetypes?

May 27 2017

My Bookish Bingo Spring 2017 Card

Bookish Bingo Spring 2017

My Bookish Bingo Spring 2017 Card @Jlennidorner

Runaway by J.R. Vincente
We Can Be Mended (Divergent #3.5) by Veronica Roth
Glass Sword (Red Queen #2) by Victoria Aveyard
Tender Wings of Desire by Colonel Sanders
The Virgin Billionaire by Ryan Field
Wider Still and Wider by Curtis Bausse

May 26 2017

Barbequing Summer Goals

goals image




I’m over my A to Z burnout. The survey results are on the a to z blog, with my thanks to the 231 people who filled it out.
(There were 1344 blogs at the end of the 2016 challenge. Feel free to do the math on the likely percent of participants took the 2017 survey.)
The stats were pretty positive, overall. Here’s my favorite one:
69% follow blogs they found through the #AtoZChallenge!

If you’ve been checking out my blog over the last few days, you know I’ve been reading the book 47 Mind Hacks for Writers by Karen Dimmick & Steve Dimmick. There are two new sections in my usual goal area as a result. (Writing End Goals and Weekly Goals) Accountability is likely to keep me on track, and that’s part of what this hop is about!

As for my annual outdoor adventure by myself… Snookums and I had a bit of tiff over it. There was some bad weather, so the other half didn’t want me to go. I explained that I don’t care if it rains. It isn’t as if it was all sunshine and roses for the first decade or so of my life. But I somehow lost this debate this time.

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The MAIN LIFE GOALS:

  • Publish two decent-selling book series (speculative fiction)
  • Survive at least another 38 years
  • There’s also the Bucket List.



Current Writing End Goals

From the End Goals of an Author post.

  • To consider the feedback of two (already lined up) Beta Readers and then self-publish Fractions of Existence in 2017.
  • Self-publish Anah’s Story by March 20, 2018.
  • Find a way (emotionally, mentally) to complete the high fantasy short story.
  • Redo the longer version of the tribal story, then self-publish it in 2018.



2017 Resolution:

  • This year I resolve to finish at least one of my big writing projects.



2017 Goals:

survivor #atozchallenge
@JLenniDorner #nanowrimo Camp-2017-Winner-Profile-Photo

2017 Reading challenges GenreSF120 #NewToMe2017 image #FlightsOfFantasy image debut author reading challenge 2017 image

2017 Reading Challenge

J. has
read 0 books toward
their goal of
50 books.
hide



Goals for June:




June Badge #WEPFF Bridges writing



Weekly Goals:

May 28 – June 3 Prepare FoE for Betas.
June 4- June 10 Prepare for WEP
June 11- June 17 Prepare FoE for Betas.
June 18- June 24 Writing 6000 words of Anah’s Story.
June 25- July 1 Writing 6000 words of Anah’s Story.

Review of Goals for May:


  • #atozchallenge reflection post
  • Leave comments on A to Z reflection blog posts Mischief Managed because @JLenniDorner accomplished this goal
  • Help in the OA Pass or Pages query challenge Mischief Managed because @JLenniDorner accomplished this goal
  • Annual trek alone to the wilderness Naughty List because @JLenniDorner failed to accomplish this goal
  • Finish following the All Author group members on Twitter Naughty List because @JLenniDorner failed to accomplish this goal
  • Bout of Books 19 Read-a-thon Mischief Managed because @JLenniDorner accomplished this goal



Finished during Bout of Books
Runaway by J.R. Vincente
We Can Be Mended (Divergent #3.5) by Veronica Roth
Glass Sword (Red Queen #2) by Victoria Aveyard
Tender Wings of Desire by Colonel Sanders
The Virgin Billionaire by Ryan Field
Wider Still and Wider by Curtis Bausse
The next Bout of Books starts August 20.






@JLenniDorner is the Interviewer for the Operation Awesome blog Debut Author Spotlight on Wednesdays

NOW FILLING August 2017 SLOTS!

Please share the debut author image. Thank you!


Have goals? Need encouragement? This blog hop is for you!




Try the grammarly extension in your browser. Improve your writing!



May 25 2017

Anti Inner Critic

I’m reading:
47 Mind Hacks for Writers by Karen Dimmick & Steve Dimmick
and using the exercises as blog post prompts.

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Note to my inner critic:
A few people have disliked the opening of Fractions of Existence. (*Rather, they’ve disliked various openings, as no two people who disliked an opening read more than one.)
BUT
Some people have liked the opening of Fractions of Existence. (Those same people have liked every one of them.)

I wonder if bakers go through this?
One person disliked the chocolate cake, which was the only one the person tried. One person disliked the cherry cake, which was the only one the person tried. One person disliked the hazelnut cake, which was the only one the person tried.
And the other few people liked all three of the cakes.

Why do the cake tasters that disliked have more weight to their opinion?
“Maybe the other people just really like cake. Any cake at all. Maybe they don’t know good cake from bad cake.”
And that might be true. But… doesn’t it also stand to reason that those cake loving fools are the ones out there buying cakes? Maybe the people who don’t like cake aren’t buying many cakes. Maybe they’d never buy a cake because they only like their own cake and maybe the cakes of two other people. Honestly, the cake disliking people, I don’t know them that well, so I don’t know if they eat cake.
I do know the other people. And the fear that they’ll like any cake I make is what gives less weight to their opinion, even though these are people who I know actually do buy cakes.

Words to say to counter the inner critic:

There are readers who enjoy my words.
There will be more readers, ones who will make it beyond the first set of words, beyond the first few pages, beyond the first chapter. They too will enjoy my words.
I will eventually get more than 50 Amazon reviews for Fractions of Existence.
I’ll honor my ancestors.

May 24 2017

Trigger, Action, Reward, Investment in Writing

(If you took part in April, today is the day to stop over at the A to Z Challenge site. The survey results are in!)

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I’m reading:
47 Mind Hacks for Writers by Karen Dimmick & Steve Dimmick
and using the exercises as blog post prompts.
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To create my “pick up plan” I was supposed to download a template.

To download a template, I had to go to the site (again) and enter my name and email (again) and wait for yet another email that never comes (and yeah, I’ve checked spam).

I’m telling you right now, this is the one thing about this book that annoys me. If you’re going to offer a template, just offer it. If I have to sign up for your email list to get it, I’m irritated. If I have to sign up for the same stupid list MORE THAN twice, that’s not acceptable. (I still I’ve not received this stuff a week later. I might have unsubscribed after the first template, so maybe now I’m not eligible for the rest of them. I genuinely don’t want to be on this email list.) Right now, I’m ready to knock two stars off the review for this. I find this sort of campaigning to be offensive. You sold me 75% of your book, in my opinion. Not even a free book! No. That feels shady and underhanded.

I found this: https://bookthority.com/mindset/how-to-write-like-a-pro But it isn’t the template that goes with this.

So I did a Google search. This is off by one word (it uses “investment” rather than “escalation”), but otherwise seems to match: http://www.nirandfar.com/2012/03/how-to-manufacture-desire.html

Trigger



Sitting down with a tasty, caffeinated beverage triggers me to open a writing program. (Word, Scrivener, Google Docs)
The trouble with this is, no matter how many rewording attempts I’ve tried (that’s number 5, btw), I can’t find a way to make it always true. I do have beverages at other times of the day. I do open those programs for other reasons.
I’ve been meaning to try the tip of lighting the same candle everytime I sit down to write. Perhaps this is the time to give it a whirl.
Lighting the coffee candle will trigger me to work on this week’s activity to reach my end goals.

Action


actions should be “easier than thinking”

I thought writing would be the action. But as I read (here and here and other site I listed), it doesn’t seem like it is. The action seems like it should just be to open the file containing the project.
On the other hand, the book suggests “writing for five to ten minutes” as an action.
Access the project, perhaps get a little work done.

Variable Reward



Based on the three sites, it seems the best reward is something I’d want but am not expecting. Like when I’m in the forest, living there for a few days, and need to get food. I want nutrition, but I don’t know if I should expect deer, rabbit, fish, or berries. What’s for dinner depends on a hundred little factors. (Have I ever mentioned how much “meal planning before writing a grocery list” makes me want to bash my head against the wall? I’m the only person screwed up enough to be excited when the grocery store is out of something. Until my beloved Snookums points out that there are two more stores within a mile. My actual favorite meal is “surprise me,” because not knowing what it’s going to be is always a million times more rewarding, and feels more real, than naming any certain dish. This is one of those times when people call me “difficult.”)

Okay, so… maybe if I toss a bunch of stickers in a box and don’t know what one I’ll get as a reward, that’d do it.

Ha! I found something!
https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/astropix.html
Astronomy Picture of the Day.
My reward is viewing the APOD from NASA.

Investment / Escalation



In the book, the purpose of this is to get back into the habit. The escalation is that if I wrote for 5 minutes one day to get the reward, I’d have to write for ten minutes the next day for that same reward, and so on until I got back into my normal groove of writing for three hours straight or what have you.

The investment generally comes in the form of asking the user to give some combination of time, data, effort, social capital or money.

It’s possible the authors of the book considered buying the book to be the action and signing up for the same mailing list multiple times to be the Investment / Escalation. It’s having the opposite effect on me due to the lack of reward. (The stupid freaking email that never comes. Mouse presses button, mouse expects cheese. After three presses, the mouse isn’t gonna bother with the stupid button anymore.)

I’m not sure I fully grasp this one, but it seems like the long-term purpose is to figure out what will make me keep coming back to this over and over again.
Remember @JLenniDorner For Writing
My investment is a completed and published story. That’s important because:

((Update Note:
Subject: Book Formatting and a Quick Question
From: “Bookthority”
Date: Wed, May 24, 2017 2:03 am
I DID get an email where the authors are considering an ebook formatting class. So I know I’m on at least one of the mailing lists. Just not the one where I get the templates from the ebook.))

How do you feel when you’ve spent money on a book and then need to sign up for an email list to receive portions of that book?

May 23 2017

52 Weeks of Writing Goals

I’m reading:
47 Mind Hacks for Writers by Karen Dimmick & Steve Dimmick
and using the exercises as blog post prompts.

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The next step is to break my goals down from the “end” to the next 52 weeks.

Current Writing End Goals

From the End Goals of an Author post.

  • To consider the feedback of two (already lined up) Beta Readers and then self-publish Fractions of Existence in 2017.
  • Self-publish Anah’s Story by March 20, 2018.
  • Find a way (emotionally, mentally) to complete the high fantasy short story.
  • Redo the longer version of the tribal story, then self-publish it in 2018.




May 28 – June 3 Prepare FoE for Betas.
June 4- June 10 prepare for WEP image of @JLenniDorner Google calendar set with goals
June 11- June 17 Prepare FoE for Betas.
June 18- June 24 Writing 6000 words of Anah’s Story.
June 25- July 1 Writing 6000 words of Anah’s Story.
July 2- July 8 Writing 6000 words of Anah’s Story.
July 9- July 15 Prepare story for STORYTIME BLOGHOP
July 16- July 22 Prepare story for STORYTIME BLOGHOP
July 23- July 29 Writing any more words for Anah’s Story.
July 30- Aug 5 prepare for WEP
Aug 6- Aug 12 FoE edits.
Aug 13- Aug 19 FoE edits.
Aug 20- Aug 26 BOUT OF BOOKS
Aug 27- Sept 2 Edit Anah’s story.
Sept 3- Sept 9 Edit Anah’s story.
Sept 10- Sept 16 Tackle TBR (guessing at the dates)
Sept 17- Sept 23 FoE final fixes and creation.

Sept 24- Sept 30 Publish FoE.

Oct 1- Oct 7 prepare for WEP
Oct 8- Oct 14 Prepare story for STORYTIME BLOGHOP
Oct 15- Oct 21 Prepare story for STORYTIME BLOGHOP
Oct 22- Oct 28 Prepare for Nano Work on Tribal and/or High Fantasy shorts
Oct 29- Nov 4 NANOWRIMO Work on Tribal and/or High Fantasy shorts
Nov 5- Nov 11 NANOWRIMO Work on Tribal and/or High Fantasy shorts
Nov 12- Nov 18 NANOWRIMO Work on Tribal and/or High Fantasy shorts
Nov 19- Nov 25 NANOWRIMO Work on Tribal and/or High Fantasy shorts
Nov 26- Dec 2 NANOWRIMO Work on Tribal and/or High Fantasy shorts
Dec 3- Dec 9 prepare for WEP
Dec 10- Dec 16
Dec 17- Dec 23
Dec 24- Dec 30 Edit Anah’s story.

2018

Dec 31- Jan 6 Get Anah’s story to Beta group.
Jan 7- Jan 13 BOUT OF BOOKS
Jan 14- Jan 20
Jan 21- Jan 27 Work on Tribal and/or High Fantasy shorts
Jan 28- Feb 3 Edit Anah’s story.
Feb 4- Feb 10 Edit Anah’s story.
Feb 11- Feb 17 Finalize Anah’s story stuff.
Feb 18- Feb 24 Prepare for the A to Z Challenge
Feb 25- March 3 Prepare for the A to Z Challenge
March 4- March 10 Prepare for the A to Z Challenge
March 11- March 17 Prepare for the A to Z Challenge
March 18- March 24 Prepare story for STORYTIME BLOGHOP

March 25- March 31 Publish Anah’s stroy.

April 1- April 7 A to Z Challenge
April 8- April 14 A to Z Challenge
April 15- April 21 A to Z Challenge
April 22- April 28 A to Z Challenge
April 29- May 5 A to Z Challenge
May 6- May 12 ~away~
May 13- May 19 BOUT OF BOOKS
May 20- May 26 Work on Tribal and/or High Fantasy shorts

I left myself three weeks of wiggle room in Dec/ Jan. I think that’s realistic.
I also get to give myself “win” stickers each week that I manage these goals. Stay tuned the last Friday of the month, every month, if you’re interested in my progress.

Have goals? Need encouragement? This blog hop is for you!

Have you ever written out your goals with a weekly breakdown?

May 22 2017

Can Fiction Create a Reason for More Peace and Less Violence

I’m reading:
47 Mind Hacks for Writers by Karen Dimmick & Steve Dimmick
and using the exercises as blog post prompts.

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This is another goal setting exercise, but this time it seems to be to determine why a set goal is important.
I’m going to start by working with a goal from my previous post.

To consider the feedback of two (already lined up) Beta Readers and then self-publish Fractions of Existence in 2017.

For simplicity’s sake, I’m knocking that down to just the ending. (I already know why I’m considering the feedback of these two lined up Beta Readers. One is a tough critic and I’m looking forward to seeing if I can win him over. The other is great for spotting errors, so that’s more like a proofing thing, which matters because I have two new scenes.)
For this, I’m supposed to label the answers 1 thru 7.

What’s important to me about publishing Fractions of Existence?

1— The basis of FoE was passed on to me by my ancestors. I was chosen to write it, to be the one to share this story and these characters with the world.

What’s important to me about publishing the story my ancestors chose me to write?

2— I fell in love with the characters and got to know them in a way that, perhaps, no other ever had. I feel that it’s important to share this version, my version, of them.

What’s important to me about sharing these characters?

3— There’s so much world history that divides us. These characters, though it perhaps isn’t totally evident in the first book, are the opposite of that. They are what unites humanity.

What’s important to me about humanity being united?

4— Peace is the end result of a united humanity. Perhaps we aren’t all working toward one goal, but maybe if certain groups felt that our origin was more common ground, maybe it would change the way they think. That’s a bit pie-in-the-sky for a fiction series, but if it stops one act of violence, that’d be something.

What’s important to me about peace, common ground, and stopping violence?

5— I grew up in a peaceful community where people considered all life to be connected. The acts of violence I’ve experienced outside of that community… (I’m the uncivilized one? There’s something wrong with the Dictionary.) I don’t see how society can possibly go on this way. And, SPOILER ALERT, the book series will reflect that. (Is that a spoiler? I’ve mentioned before that the first four books are pre-dystopian.)

What’s important to me about keeping society from collapsing in a dystopia?

6— Okay, first off, my ego needs to clarify that I don’t believe that this one book series is going to single-handly usher in world peace, or even peace in one country. But what would make a huge difference is if it changed the view and actions of one person who would have otherwise committed an act of violence. (This trail of thought is really interesting, considering that the characters in the book aren’t non-violent. One especially, who very much enjoys wars and fighting.)

What’s important to me about getting just one person to not commit violence against another?

7— It will mean the world to the person who isn’t hurt. Technically, the person probably will never know. That’s okay. I can’t change my own past, or the past of others who have been hurt. But maybe, just maybe, I’ll save one person.

The next part is summing up the reasons from 5, 6, and 7.

I want to publish the Existence series because I believe the characters can give people a reason to aim for more peace, that the books could get one person to reconsider committing an act of violence against another person.

Seems like a very lofty goal.

How would it work out with Anah’s story?

What’s important to me about publishing Anah’s Story?

1— I hadn’t set out with that intention, but several people liked it and asked if I was going to turn it into a book. So I guess what’s important to be about publishing this story is appeasing the crowd, giving the people what they want because I’ll enjoy doing it.

What’s important to me about giving people what they want while doing what I enjoy doing?

2— To write a story that’s already marketed is much easier than writing one that an audience is leery about. (This is the basis for why big-name authors can get almost any book greenlit.)

What’s important to me about writing a story that’s easier?

3— It’s relaxing and cathartic. I love writing. The stress of trying to sell a hard-to-grasp concept or book with a controversial subject at the core has left me broken. Trying to phrase a query letter in a way that makes it seem like Fractions of Existence could be a stand alone book… absurd. It isn’t. It’s just the latest part of the story that can serve as an opening. If it started on the second book, the audience wouldn’t know why Gwendolyn is so far behind everyone else. If it started on book three, six of the character arcs would be lost. If it started on book four, none of it would make sense at all. But now I’m rambling on about the Existence series when I’m supposed to be talking about Anah’s story!

What’s important to me about writing a less stressful story?

4— It’d just be fun. Just fun, plain and simple.
goal meme a job I don't need a vacation from

What’s important to me about writing for fun?

5— I don’t want to be one of those writers that burns out. There’s a point where it’s not just writer’s block, where it’s dread and fear and negative emotions. I don’t want those bad juju vibes in my writing space!

What’s important to me about not burning out?

6— There’s nothing I’d rather do with my life than write. Burning out would prevent that.

What’s important to me about writing?

7— It’s what I’m meant to do, or so I’ve been told. And, honestly, it does feel like what I should do, because it’s something I have been doing since I was old enough to string together sentences on a page. There’s nothing I’d rather study, nothing I’d rather devote my career time to, nothing I’d rather be remembered for work-wise. Maybe it’s more than work-wise, since that seems to be how history remembers people — not as great spouses, parents, or children, but as leaders, artists, or inventors.
(Off the top of your head: Gaius Julius Caesar, Napoleon Bonaparte, Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn, Charles Dickens, Melitta Bentz, Charles Babbage — who were their spouses, parents, and children? Roman Emperor, French Conquer, painter, writer, coffee filter inventor, father of computers — that’s how they’re remembered by the population. We remember people for what sets them apart from the pack, not for mastering what we’re all expected to do well.)

Summary of 5, 6, and 7:

I want to be remembered for writing because that’s what I want to spend my life doing, and I never want to stop.

Remembered For Writing @JLenniDorner quote

Have you ever tried writing a goal this way?

May 20 2017

End Goals of an Author

I’m reading:
47 Mind Hacks for Writers by Karen Dimmick & Steve Dimmick
and using the exercises as blog post prompts.

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Map the end goal

If writing a book is a journey, then it’s up to the writer to determine the destination, the point where the author considers it a success.

“…end goal where you and only you are contributing to the outcome.” (Line from the book.)

So my bucket list goal of “sell 2,000 copies in one week or 8,000 copies in one month” won’t work here, because I cannot control sales. I can take actions to influence the outcome, but unless I’m personally the one buying the copies, I can’t directly contribute to this outcome. (And, honestly, even if I did buy that many copies, it wouldn’t be reaching the goal, not the true spirit of the goal especially. Technically I didn’t write “to other people” in there, but I believe anyone in the publishing industry will agree that it’s strongly implied and obvious.)

Technically, after hitting the “publish” button on a book-selling site, can a writer control anything? Steps can be taken to influence goals after that (doing book tours, interviews, hoping for reviews, etc), but once “publish” is hit, are the writer and no one else contributing to the outcome of any further success goals?

“Polish and publish” might seem like a good goal, and indeed it accurately describes what I’ve been focused on for the last few years. But polish is a vague term. My inner critic is a psychotic perfectionist when it comes to book editing.

Perhaps the best goal for me right now would be:

To consider the feedback of two (already lined up) Beta Readers and then self-publish Fractions of Existence in 2017.

After that, I intend to work on Anah’s story.

Anah Survey @JLenniDorner

As you can see, a majority of voters are in favor of it becoming a book. I did sacrifice several storylines to create it as an A to Z post.
(If you don’t know what that means, consider Harry Potter — if you read the books, you know what S.P.E.W. is, but if you’ve only seen the movies, you don’t. There was no room for S.P.E.W. in April.)

Great news for anyone who ever wondered… it looks like readers don’t mind if a story (or a large portion of a story) is on a blog first. No one ticked that box at all!

In all honesty, I’d want to publish Anah’s story at the end of March 2018. It exists because of the challenge, so I’d want it to debut for the #AtoZChallenge 2018. So there you go, goal two wrote itself.

Self-publish Anah’s Story by March 20, 2018.

The high fantasy series I’ve written has several holes to patch. As much as “waiting for lightning to strike” is a bad plan, that’s what I’m doing right now. It feels like the answer is right there, just slightly out of grasp yet, but “Eureka” is coming.

I have a high fantasy short story that I never finished. It has five or six scenes that would tie it all together, but the scenes never made it from my head onto a page. The story was one I was working on before my near-death (or temporary death, depending on your point of view). I really like the story and the characters, but every time I start working on it, I’m taken back to that moment, and sort of go off the rails. Perhaps I need a goal of getting around that block. Of not associating that story with that time.

Find a way (emotionally, mentally) to complete the high fantasy short story.

There’s also a story I wrote for a competition. I had to cut a lot of it due to word count restrictions. But it’s a complex story that spans time and generations, and cutting it down made it very confusing. Plus, given the mythology element, it was asking a lot of the reader to accept that there was an unexplained element at work. Someone is both in a room and not in that room at the same time. Or rather, the person is in the room, but hidden in a kind of pocket of magic. (There have been time travel stories along this line, where the traveler can only observe, but is otherwise in a ghost-like state, unable to be detected.) The story is actually person-versus-nature, but the cut-down version seemed like it was two person-versus-person storylines.

Redo the longer version of the tribal story, then self-publish it in 2018.

I feel confident that the only person who can contribute to making those four goals happen is me. None of those rely on another person doing something. Therefore, I believe I’ve done this exercise correctly.

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