Friday, January 20, 2017

I Survived! Blogfest

Hey everyone! Today I'm taking part in the I Survived Blogfest in honor of Chrys Fey's newest book. 



This is Chrys Fey reporting for Disaster 5 News. I am in Cape Town, South Africa where a tsunami hit yesterday morning. I have Misha with me, a survivor of the tsunami. Misha, can you tell our viewers what happened, and how you survived?


[Wiping away tears, clinging to the emergency blanket around her shoulders.] 

It was terrible. Just... Just water everywhere. One moment I was shopping for groceries-- [Sniffles, chin wobbling as she wipes away tears with the heel of her hand]

I'd just come out of the shop and talking to my mom on the phone when I heard screams. It just didn't make sense. [Clears throat, tears welling in her eyes.] People shouldn't scream on Fridays. I looked in the screams' direction and there was just this...this roar and-- [Breaths shallowing as she tries not to break down] Water. Water everywhere. 

It pushed me back before it even hit me, and when it did, I knew I was going to die. [Breaks down crying, shoulders shaking with the force of her sobs.]

[Manages to look up again. Speaking through tears] I woke up on the roof of a bus stop. The wave must have put me there. I... I can't believe... I don't know how I survived. 

The street below me was empty of people. 






Title: Tsunami Crimes
Series: Disaster Crimes #3
Author: Chrys Fey
Genre: Romantic-Suspense
Page Count: 272

BLURB: Beth and Donovan have come a long way from Hurricane Sabrina and the San Francisco earthquake. Now they are approaching their wedding day and anxiously waiting to promise each other a lifetime of love. The journey down the aisle isn’t smooth, though, as they receive threats from the followers of the notorious criminal, Jackson Storm. They think they’ll be safe in Hawaii, but distance can’t stop these killers. Not even a tsunami can.

This monstrous wave is the most devastating disaster Beth has ever faced. It leaves her beaten, frightened. Is she a widow on her honeymoon? As she struggles to hold herself together and find Donovan, she’s kidnapped by Jackson's men.

Fearing her dead, Donovan searches the rubble and shelters with no luck. The thought of her being swept out to sea is almost too much for him to bear, but the reality is much worse. She’s being used as bait to get him to fall into a deadly trap.


If they live through this disaster, they may never be the same again. 


DIGITAL LINKS:

PRINT LINK:



99 CENTS: Amazon
And everywhere ebooks are sold. 


GIVEAWAY!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, January 16, 2017

Balancing

I'm stealing a few moments to check in. It's really busy here on my side, since I'm trying to write 100k words this month and I got three editing and formatting jobs to do.

Not sure what I'm doing right to get all those jobs, but I'm not going to argue with it. I have to say, I'm really glad that I decided to augment my publishing income this way, because I'm actually enjoying it a lot. More than that, spending most of my working hours on this means that I'm really getting paid (and incentivized) to sharpen skills that I can use on my own publishing efforts later.

My major thing this week is to get these jobs done by Friday, because then I have enough money to pay out my Payoneer account, which means my cash flows at least until next month again. Yeah yeah. I know. Business. Bleh.

I realize the need for balance, though. I can't keep writing so much that I don't actually check in on my social networks. (I know. I'm TERRIBLE.) I can't freelance so much that I can't actually write. There has to be a way to make everything fit in.

So now I'm giving myself regular breaks on editing gigs. Usually, I have a tendency to sit down and power through the entire manuscripts in as close to one sitting as possible. I just get lost in what I'm doing, so I don't realize that I haven't moved in four straight hours.

Which is a terrible thing. Very bad for my health. So.

Now I have a timer running. I set it for 30 minutes to an hour, and stop, move around, blog, check in on twitter etc for a short while before starting again.

That way, I also get to refresh my mind, which I imagine will only serve me even better for getting frequent rests than it does without them.

I'm also hoping that giving myself frequent short breaks will keep me from being too tired once I get around to writing. I don't like pushing through exhaustion too much. It's too risky, because if I burn out, it'll be months before I can write, and I've given myself an official(ish) deadline for Book 3.

Luckily for me, writing is feeling like fun at the moment, which means my brain isn't picking up that it's actually a hell of a lot of work. Unless I'm tired.

So it's much better not to tire myself out. I'm way more productive that way.

How are you doing? Any tips for me to stay balanced?


Monday, January 9, 2017

So... looks like this is happening...

Well. I've been wanting to put my social networking stuff into a regular schedule, starting on 1 January and keeping to it as consistently as possible.

I lasted until 5 January.

Terrible, I know.

I have a really good excuse, though.

I've started working on Book 3 of The War of Six Crowns again, and boy did I hit my stride. I even wrote a whopping 10k words on January 5th. Which means for the first time in my life, I really feel like I can make and cross 100k words in one month. (Less, actually, given that I've only started writing on the 5th.)

Crazy, I know, but I really want to see if I can do it. Preferably without burning out.

My strategy was to write as much as I could for the past few days, and see if I could catch up to par for 50k (since I started late.)

It went so well that I'm on par for 75k words. In fact, I'm a day ahead. Which means I only need 6k words to get on par for 100k.

After that, it's 5k a day. Which I might actually make quite easily, given how the words just keep coming at the moment.

That said, I don't want to crash either.

So I'm going to write today's 6k words in 30 minute sprints, followed by 15 minute rest periods, to see how that goes.

Hopefully it works out. Cause it'll be awesome to have Book 3 done.

How are you doing? Anyone want to sprint with me? I'm using #100kchase on Twitter to call my sprints, if you want to keep me company. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Insecure Writer's Support Group: It's Never as Good as You Remember

It's the first Wednesday of the month, which means it's time for the Insecure Writer's Support Group. The brainchild of Alex J. Cavanaugh, IWSG is a monthly bloghop where writers can share their doubts, fears and insecurities. In supporting each other, we can then see that we're really not alone. 

You're welcome to join. All you have to do is click here for more info and to sign up.

If you'd like to rather read this post on Wordpress, please click here



As I've been mentioning lately, I'm busy updating (and in a lot of ways, upgrading) my first two books in The War of Six Crowns. Since I'm a bit of a perfectionist, I couldn't leave things at changing the covers and fonts. Oh no, I decided to give the books another proofreading pass. 

After all, it's a well-known fact that mistakes slip through the finest of nets. So it couldn't hurt, right? 

Well. 

I finished reading through The Vanished Knight yesterday with a growing sense of insecurity. Not because it was bad, but because it was good. The characters' voices sing in this story. There's a sort of poetry to the way it's written. 

It's just... amazing. 

Almost to the point where it's shocking to think that I wrote it. 

And Book 3... just isn't on that level. 

And that got me down. 

But then I gave myself a mental slap. 

See, I first published The Vanished Knight in 2013. And before that, I spent two years struggling to get through writing it and the sequel. In fact, it was such a pain in my ass that I almost quit writing altogether. Gasp! I know it's hard to think that I'd seriously contemplate quitting. 

But The Vanished Knight and The Heir's Choice were so hard to write that it damn near convinced me I couldn't write for shit. 

Fortunately, I had a lot of awesome blogging buddies (including you guys in the IWSG) who could talk me down, and I didn't give up. 

After that, The Vanished Knight alone when through over 30 (count them. THIRTY) revision and editing rounds to get it into the shape it's in now. 

And I guess I forgot about all that because one doesn't remember pain. 

But the history is there. 

The struggle was there. 

And expecting myself to draft out the sequel to the books that almost made me quit while expecting it to look like The Vanished Knight looks now is lunacy. 

So this is a reminder.

Don't ever compare your drafts to books that have been published. (Be they your own or someone else's.) 

Those books look so good because of a huge amount of work that went into polishing them. Work that you still need to do, but that you can't do if you're crippled by the idea that you're a bad writer. 

So. 

Stop moping because a book is soooooo much better than yours, and just write yours. Who knows? The book you're working on right now might just be good enough to send someone else moping later. 

Do you get down when comparing the quality of your writing to published works? 

Before you go, the Mni Wiconi Bloghop in support of Standing Rock has been extended to 7 January, if you'd still like to sign up. There are prizes to be won too, so check it out. :-)


Monday, January 2, 2017

Update Day: New Year, New Goals

Hey everyone!

This is my Update Day post for the Got Goals? Bloghop. Same bloghop as the one you've been seeing on the last Friday of every month, but now with a new (extra) name and button. For those of you wondering what this is about, a bunch of us set some crazy, huge or crazy important goals, and to keep ourselves motivated, we post monthly updates and encourage each other.

As I mentioned, we usually post the updates on the last Friday of the month, but we made an exception for December's post in order to give everyone time.


I'm doing things a little differently, by recording a vlog with my goals, and not really looking at my progress for December. (Sensible, because there was very little progress made after I decided to give myself a break.) 




Do you set goals in January? How did your goals go last year?


Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Standing with Standing Rock

Hey everyone! I hope that everyone who celebrated had a wonderful Christmas. Mine was quiet, but I got to spend it with most of my family, which is the best way, I think.

Anyway, I'm technically still on my blogging break, and will only be back toward the end of the year, but Nicole from The Madlab Post got in touch with me and asked me to help spread awareness for the situation at Standing Rock.

Yes, yes, I know this is way out of the usual line of topics for my blog, but sometimes, it's just necessary to speak up.

And since December is a month of solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, I thought it's a good time for me to help in my small way. I'm really far away from everything, and have very little chance of actually making a direct difference to the situation at Standing Rock, but I know some of you are in a position to help, so I thought I'd link up to this Blogathon.

So what's it all about? Well... I'm going to let the people of Standing Rock speak for themselves...


So what can you do about it?

At the moment, the best hope that Standing Rock has is to put public pressure on the various stakeholders in the pipe-lines. You can click here and here if you'd like to read up on some suggestions as to how to do that.

This blogathon, though, is about creating awareness by writing public letters.

The instructions are as follows:



PLEASE READ ALL OF THE INSTRUCTIONS BEFORE SUBMITTING BLOG POSTS.

How To Participate:

1. Write an open letter to a bank of your choosing, in response to the film Mni Wiconi: The Stand at Standing Rock and publish it on your blog between Dec. 27 - Jan. 2. (e.g. Dear Wells Fargo, Why Are You Funding Water Contamination? or Dear Chase Bank, You Can't Drink Oil)
·         
  • Must be written to one of the 38 banks involved (17 are directly funding DAPL.)
  • A $1.4 billion loan is on hold while the Army Corps permit for drilling under the Missouri River is suspended. This means there's still time for the banks involved in this loan to cut their line of credit.

·        Only submit NEW posts. Previously published posts will not be eligible for the giveaway (see below). If you do not have a blog, consider doing a guest post for another blogger or posting your entry on Medium.

2. Add the blogathon badge to your post

3. Send us your post by filling out the form below:




4. Promote your post on social media using the hashtags #WaterisLife #Blogathon #DefundDAPL #BankExit

LINK-UPS

Nicole will post a list roundup of the participating blogs, as they are received and compiled, throughout the week and share the lists on social media.

GIVEAWAY

*courtesy of @MadlabPost & Do1Thing

On Tuesday January 3rd, Nicole will randomly select five participants who will win a 2017 Do1Thing wall calendar and an emergency swag bag filled with a water bottle, first aid kit, KIND granola, flashlights and related goodies. The first winning gift recipient who responds to her notification will also receive a Star Wars themed surprise. 

Thanks for reading, everyone! I hope some of you will be moved to take part. I'm turning off the comments today, because it's one of those times when really, what you think and do is your own decision. 

See you soon! 

Misha

Monday, December 19, 2016

Checking in.

Eek! I can't believe how fast time has been running away from me. December just seems to be one of those months. Too much to do.

Today, my mom, gran and I spent most of this morning baking cookies for Christmas. It was a bit dodgy at one stage, because for some reason, all of our batters came out too sticky, so I we had to improvise. Thankfully, though, no flops.

Other than that, it just feels like there's a black hole around here somewhere, happily sucking up my time. I've only manage to write three times this month, which, given how much I still have to do, is a bit horrifying. Worse still, I'm not sure what I spent that time on. Some of it I do remember. Mostly, though, it feels like I've somehow managed to waste two thirds of the month, even if I haven't.

It's just that sinking feeling I get when everything I'm doing now is going toward a long-term goal.

One short term thing I've done that you actually can see: I updated the banners to all of my social network sites except for YouTube to show off my books a bit more. I think it came out beautifully, but you can see what all of my sites look like by clicking in the links on the sidebar. (Those link buttons are also new.)

It was something I've been wanting to do for a while now, but just kept putting off. Now I'm glad that it's done.

I've also imported all of my blog posts to Wordpress and replicated all of my pages, so there is no longer a difference between the content from one blog to the other. (Which was the point, given that I'm just cross-posting between the two so my Wordpress friends have an easier experience with my blog.)

I've got a whole lot of stuff that needs doing, and even some posts that I've got lined up in my mind, but my map for The War of Six Crowns is done, which means there's nothing hampering my updating the first two books, save for the fact that I still haven't finished all the other stuff I wanted to do to those books.

Sigh.

So. As much as I've wanted to finish Book 3 before year-end, it just makes sense to focus on updating my published books first. It's just... really distracting to have these updates looming in the back of my mind. And the sooner I have them done, the sooner I can start pushing with marketing tactics. (No point doing them when I might change up the book at any moment.)

That's basically where I am at the moment.

I'm probably going to be a bit absent until next week, since I really want to push to get stuff done. We'll see how that works out, though.

How are you doing? What are you rushing to finish off before New Year's Eve?

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Insecure Writer's Support Group

Hey everyone. It's the first Wednesday of the month, which means it's time for another Insecure Writer's Support Group post. For those of you who don't know, the IWSG is the brainchild of Alex J. Cavanaugh. Once a month, we share our insecurities, then visit each other and encourage each other. You're more than welcome to sign up. For more information and the entry list, please click here.


This month's question actually ties in quite nicely with my insecurities... 

In terms of your writing career, where do you see yourself five years from now, and what’s your plan to get there?

I'd actually like to be writing (and doing writing-related activities) full-time by the end of next year. (Actually, I'm basically working as if I'm full-time already, but it'd be nice to actually make a living from it.)

Five years from now, I'd like to be making a very comfortable living from my writing.

As for my plan to get there:

I'm using my writing skills to freelance as an editor/beta reader/article writer on Upwork and Fiverr. I'm also working on building a Patreon following, and obviously I'm selling books. Right now, I'm putting all of the money I'm generating back into making more money (E.G. through marketing, or through paying for products that aid me in writing, editing etc.)

Eventually, I'll hopefully be in a place where my writing earns enough for me to make a living. And actually, it's not all that impossible. The lucky thing is that I live in South Africa, which means I'm earning in Dollars and living in Rands. So, if I managed to make $500 a month after expenses, I'd actually have the same income as a good starting office job salary. (And 2.5 times my country's minimum wage.)

My insecurity right now, though, is my life at the moment. I'm not going to go into exactly what's going on right now, but every time it feels like we've finally clawed our way out of the shit we'd been dragged into, something comes by to shove us back in.

So at the moment, I'm trying not to feel like I'm never going to get anywhere again, but the thing is, the thought is there. It exists. And the only way for me to make it go away is by pushing through and working anyway to build up the life I want.

It'd just be nice if I didn't need to worry as much.

How are you doing? Do you set five year goals?