Big News: I’m a Publisher

I’m easing myself into a new role, publisher. It only makes sense. I self or indie publish. Chuck Wendig (http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2013/09/09/why-i-like-the-term-author-publisher/)   has proposed that those of us who indie publish are not only authors, but publishers too. He’s encouraging the term Author-Publisher.

I’m embracing that term.  I took the plunge Sunday morning and bought a domain name for my own publishing house: 2ndWindPress.com.  What was exciting was filling out the on-line form. It asked for my organization and my position. I, with more than a bit of a thrill, typed in 2ndWindPress and Publisher. I know, I’m easily entertained, but my heart actually beat faster.

Today I’ll go over to the Chamber of Commerce and get my Doing Business As (DBA) form. I might as well jump on into the deep end.

How will this affect me? I’ll have a nifty logo (still in design) and publishing house name to add to the spine of my books. It sets me up as a professional. It confirms that I’m serious about my writing and getting my books published.

It has been a crazy 2 years since I first began writing. I hope you stay with or join me for the ride.

Just a reminder, my latest book, Recall, is on Amazon.com at http://www.amazon.com/Recall-Connie-Cockrell/dp/1484886224/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1375657368&sr=1-2

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Flash Fiction Friday: Defiance

Defiance

Jean chopped the banana peel up small. Hiding it in her hand so the children wouldn’t see, she picked up her pruning shears and went into the back yard. They were too young yet to trust with her secret. She walked around her prize rose, a hybrid Musk in Lilac Pink. Squatting down she pretended to examine a branch and scattered the banana peel across the base, tossing dirt over the pieces.

She clipped one stem and came back into the house. “Can I smell, Mama?” Kaitlin begged, from the breakfast table.

“Of course, darling.” She put the rose bloom, only half open, in front of her 6 year old’s face.

“Me too, Mom.” He son normally didn’t care about the roses but at 7, he was still at the age where he didn’t want to miss out on anything his sister had.

She held the rose for him. He gave it a perfunctory sniff, then ego satisfied, went back to his cereal.

John, her husband came into the kitchen, straightening his tie. His eyebrows went up. As she filled a narrow vase and clipped the end of the stem under running water he whispered, “You’re going to get us in trouble.”

Jean glanced at the kids. They had their eyes on the government approved morning commercial disguised as a cartoon. “They didn’t see anything.”

He positioned himself so the kids couldn’t read his lips. “I understand, babe, I do. But you know they’ll take the kids and put them in the state orphanage and send us both to jail if we get caught recycling.”

She put the stem in the vase and turned it until it could stand up. “I know. But I get so sick of the mandatory consumption and waste.”

He put his arm around her shoulder and kissed her on the top of her head. “I understand. I’ll go to the meeting tonight. Maybe we can think of a way to overthrow the corporations.”

Jean put the vase on the counter where she could see and smell it while she washed the dishes. “I hope so.”

The End

350 Words

Find more of the Forward Motion Flash Friday Group here:http://www.fmwriters.com/flash.html

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It’s A New Week

Busy, Busy, Busy!

I know, everyone is busy. I’m a volunteer for my Project Management Chapter and for my local county fair (www.NorthernGilaCountyFair.com). It’s hard to get a hold of people to get things done, we all have so much on our plates already. Sigh. I just found out the fair book, just released, has several errors. It’s annoyed the advertisers and confuses the people who want to enter the fair. It makes it all so much harder.

My peach tree produced a bumper crop of peaches. I planted it 3 years ago. Last year I had 3 peaches. This year, the branches all bent over to the ground under the weight of the fruit. The peaches became ripe last Monday. They begin to go bad immediately so I’ve been freezing, canning and cooking with peaches since then. I picked the last of the fruit Saturday. I gave peaches away, ate peaches and at this point have had all the peaches I want. However, I have a good supply in the freezer and on the pantry shelves to last me the rest of the year. As soon as I recover from the glut.

The same holds true for the green beans. Their saving grace is that they don’t come all at once. However, I pick every other day and have just about all I need in the freezer and we eat green beans every third day or so. I’m giving them away now too. The brother-in-law got some (and peaches!) yesterday.

The ripening cherry tomatoes are now also running ahead of our ability to consume them. The brother-in-law got some of those too. We keep them on the counter in a bowl and since I grow Sungold cherries, they’re treated like candy or grapes. Just pop one in your mouth every time you pass the bowl. I picked the 1st of the Early Girl tomatoes yesterday. Hubby cut it up as soon as I washed it off and put it on a sandwich. Yum.

I haven’t forgotten my writing. I finished my Mugging The Muse class and learned a lot as well as picking up 6 new story ideas. I have picked up my Gulliver Station series and started revising the 1st draft I wrote, back in November. I needed to make some technical decisions about the book and over the weekend finally came to a conclusion. It involves math on my part, (it’s a SciFi series), so that will take some time for me. The math wheels in my brain are fairly rusted. But now that I’ve made that decision, things can move forward pretty quickly. I’m hoping to have the series start coming out as Indie publishing in late January with an every other month release schedule for each book. There are four books planned. Things depend on my revisions. I’ll keep you posted.

So, stay productive you busy people!

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Writing Workshop Mapping Exercise

I’ve been taking this writing class called Mugging the Muse by Holly Lisle. (http://HowToThinkSideways.com) One lesson has us think of a new story idea by drawing a map.

Here’s mine.

Image

After you have some things like cities, mountains, lakes, oceans on the map, you start naming things, coming up with ideas about who lives there, what are they all about, and so on.

I’ve developed a whole Fantasy story from this map with people and 2000 year timelines and wars and social strata. Pretty exciting. I don’t know when I’ll write it but if you ever wanted to know the thought process behind writing a story. Here’s just one.

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Flash Fiction Friday: For Alana!

This is one of the stories I worked on while taking the Holly Lisle class: How to write Flash Fiction the Doesn’t Suck. (https://howtothinksideways.com/) I know, great title. Anyway, this one seemed appropriate for the 4th of July Weekend. Enjoy!

For Alana!

“I have a meeting.”

Mom looked worried and grabbed her arm. “Alana, don’t. It’s too dangerous.”

She patted her mother’s arm. “I’ll be fine. Don’t worry.”

Leaving the house she pulled her hood up. She didn’t need any nosy neighbor turning her in to the patrols.

Alana stood at the front of the barn and clapped her hands to start the meeting. Stron, the owner of the barn and her first convert, stood to the side of the hay bale she stood on. “It’s time to stop talking.  Now is the time to fight and get the rest of us to rise against the oppressors. I’ve found out the Mayor is travelling from the capital to his summer villa by Lake Osaka. I intend us to attack his convoy and stuff our demands down his throat.”

“That’s a hundred miles away, the middle of nowhere,” Stron shouted. Many in the crowd of 40 agreed with him.

“Yes, that way the oppressors won’t know which village to punish.”

“How will that get the rest of the villages to rebel?”

“It shows we’re doing something, anything to overthrow these oppressors.”

“We’ll get killed,” she heard shouted from the back.

“It will prove our passion!”

It took some argument but she assembled a team of four others. The day of the raid dawned overcast. She scanned the sky as her team assembled. “There’ll be rain later. That’s good; the Mayor’s guards will be less alert.”

Stashing the truck a quarter mile from the road they set up the ambush. When the convoy approached, the lookout whistled.

Letting the first truck pass they attacked the second and fourth vehicles. Converging on the Mayor’s car, third in line, the driver and guard opened fire. Alana tossed a tear-gas grenade in through the open window. The two men and the Mayor fled the car. She tackled the Mayor as he knelt, gasping for air. The rest of the team took care of the driver and guard.

“Mr. Mayor,” she jerked him up. “The oppression must stop.” She jammed the list of demands into his mouth.

That was when the Imperial troopers arrived from both road directions. Her four teammates took off for the truck, leaving her behind. The troopers captured her just inside the woods.

A week later Alana was hanged in her village square, her mother wailing at the front of the crowd. The rebels from the barn remembered her passion. The revolt began, Alana’s name cried during each attack. “For Alana!”

The End

499 Words

Find more of the Forward Motion Flash Friday Group here:http://www.fmwriters.com/flash.html

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Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour: Writing Characters

Characters.

I think this is one of the hardest things to master as a writer. I want to write a Beowolf, Jack Ryan or Pyanfar Chanur. Instead I get half dimensional talking-heads, mouthing platitudes and engaging in dull conversation. I write characters that make a Mr. Milktoast look like Superman.

I’ve just started reading the Janet Evanovich series about Stephanie Plum. I can’t wait to get to the next book. Stephanie Plum and her supporting cast of characters are real, and I want to find out what trouble they get into next. Shoot, I want to move to New Jersey to meet her.

I want to write great characters like that; real people who my reader can’t get enough of. Characters that can carry my novel from start to finish and aren’t ever, ever boring. I’ve got a long way to go. Sometimes, I actually write a scene where my character’s personality shines through. The character, for just an instant, is real. I can’t wait until I can do that with the same skill as Tom Clancy, C.J. Cherryh or Janet Evanovich.

The Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour is sponsored by the website Forward Motion (http://www.fmwriters.com). The tour is you, the reader, travelling the world from author’s blog to author’s blog. There are all sorts of writers at all stages in their writing career, so there’s always something new and different to enjoy. If you want to get to know the nearly thirty other writers check out the rest of the tour at http://merrygoroundtour.blogspot.com!  Up next: Jean Schara!

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Gardening

I love this time of year in the garden. Everything is started and growing well. The peas are expanding their pods and I’m eager to start picking them. The tomatoes and the eggplant are blooming and the squashes and melons are lifting their leaves up to the sun and growing an inch or more a day.

The lettuce and spinach have just about quit. The 90 degree days are too much for them. The swiss chard is doing well though and is a great substitute for spinach.

I still need to get some basil in because you just have to have basil to go with the tomatoes. The thyme is blooming and the oregano is just about ready to bloom. Good thing I cut and dried them already. The sage is just lovely. I planted a variety that has gold blotches on the leaves and it looks so pretty in the bed.

My peach tree has a lot of fruit on it though the pear tree has only a few pears. Peaches are my husband’s favorite so he’s looking forward to peach cobbler, canned peaches, peach salsa and of course, fresh peaches.

All I can say is, yum!

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Five Things I Like and Five Things You Like

I swiped this idea from Briana Soloski, who blogs on Girl Seeks Place. During the week, she shares all kinds of ideas on writing, her life, books and so many other things. A few days ago, she did life: five things I love & five things you love. The idea is that I will share five things I love and then, in the comments, you share five things you love in those same categories.

Name a food you absolutely love – I love pasta, but a few years ago I was diagnosed as Celiac. I was crushed! No more pasta? But then I found rice pasta. No more cravings!

Name an activity you love – I love hiking. And backpacking. Especially if I can get out alone. There’s just nothing like walking through a forest, or across the top of a mountain, just me and the environment.

Name a television show you love – This is a tough one for me because I love to watch TV. Some of the current faves are: The Walking Dead, CSI (any and all of them), any SciFi show (current ones are Revolution and Continuum), and Castle (because who doesn’t love Nathan Fillion?)

Name an author or book you love – I started really reading when I was twelve and discovered that the school library would let me borrow books. I discovered Sci Fi when I was 13. I’ve never stopped. I love Sci Fi and Fantasy. Greatest authors include Heinlein, Asimov, Clark, CJ Cherryh, Andre Norton and, and, and,……

Name a hobby that you love – My list of hobbies tried and liked is long. This includes cheese making, oil painting, sewing, greeting card making, cooking, gardening, weaving, and reading. The biggies right now are reading, weaving, and reading.

What are five things you love? Come on, don’t be shy, post yours in the comments section.

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Plug for My Friend Jaime

My friend Jaime Raintree is posting a web story on her site, a chapter a week. It can also be reached through her FaceBook fan page. An author of Women’s Fiction, this is an excellent story and I hope you all can find the time each week to enjoy it each week. Even better, if you join her Fan Page on FaceBook, you’ll get a notification of each publication.

Here’s the links: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=460653713984532&set=a.432839213432649.90830.397495956966975&type=1

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National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo or NaNo for short)

Last November, 2011, I entered a challenge, to write 50,000 words of a novel in just 30 days.  The 30 days of November.  It turns out, even though I’d never heard of it until just two weeks before November 1st, that several tens of thousands of people had heard of it.  Not just heard of it but participated.

I’d dabbled, of course, who hasn’t.  But seriously, I never got more than a chapter or so.  I just had no clue how to go about it.  My daughter, the one who challenged me, by the way to enter this challenge, had a book on a way to write a novel.  I read the thing in just a couple of days and given my understanding of it, planned out my novel.

I’d always heard that you should write what you know.  I did, in a way.  I wrote about a segment of our society that really bugged me, the serious take over of our food by mega corporations.  I ‘won’ the challenge.  That is, I wrote over 60,000 words by the end of November.  I got a prize.  If I could get the novel revised by the end of June 2012, I could get 5 free copies of it.

Hoo!  My next step was how to revise a novel.  That’s another post.  Let it suffice to say that I was hooked.  I had a path, I had developed resources and contacts.  I had an avenue of expression that I never had access to before.  I haven’t stopped since.

So, if you’re thinking of writing a book.  Look around.  There are books and other resources out there that will tell you how to go about it.  Find the one method that works for you and write what you’re passionate about.  I’ve over 55, it’s never too late.

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