Whispers of the Future

The kid is asleep, So I thought I would take the time to do an update here. 2020, for all that it has sucked, has taught me a lot. I updated most of the covers on my poetry volumes this year, but I really have not looked at the interior of any of them since I published them…until recently.

Now don’t get me wrong…I did not publish anything badly, I just can clean it up and make it look a little nicer. So I have decided that is what 2021 will be. I have a full schedule with Fae Corps…We have multiple authors who have entrusted their books in our care. And there will be 3 anthologies for fae corps. I have one I am hoping to release (Wisdom: Grandmother’s Words). So instead of trying to release any new poetry volumes in 2021, I think that I am going to update and re-release my older volumes.

Changes in staff at Fae Corps is making this year coming exciting…and scary. Fae Corps is growing. We have up till now just had Cyndi and I doing whatever needed to be done. That left both of us stuck with marketing, something that neither of us are normally that good at. Now we have KT. Due to a difference in opinion we lost our consulting editor. We decided on official roles. Cyndi is our Developmental editor, I am the Copy editor. I do the Cover designs, KT does the marketing, and the scheduling. We also take projects for authors who do not choose to publish with us. Cyndi took an editing job that ended up choosing to publish with us after.

So with Fae Corps being so busy, I feel like I should plan my own writing projects to be lighter.. Not nonexistent, just lighter. Song of Shadow releases December 1st, 2020. I also am in the Coffee House Writer’s Anthology Volume 1 which is available for preorder. Serena is working hard to get stories ready for Fae Corps 2021 anthologies, and has one coming out in Circle City’s An Absurd Apocalypse. (It’s only a flash fiction, but I read it and it is cute and funny). 2020 was a busy year writing and publishing wise. I submitted to a project for Indie Blu(e) publishing which I hope to hear whether it is accepted after the first of the year. (Another small press with big talent that I want to support) So even though I am planning to do clean up on older volumes in the upcoming year…as you can see it will be a busy year.

Of Course I will still be working with Coffee House Writers, and I am still working on the two new volumes…I am just not rushing to put them out over the next year. Maybe I can do a re-release a month and see what else I can squeeze in from there.

time for a pause.

I don’t often post pictures of my daughter or myself, not on here. Today it seems important. I got a call this morning, while making breakfast and listening to her laughter as her and her dad were picking at each other.

I took her to the doctor yesterday. She is asthmatic, and her left lung has been hurting for a couple of days. She also had other concerns and needed shots. So the doc sent her for a chest X-ray.

That call was the nurse from the Doctor’s office. The X-ray came back as she has pneumonia. They want a covid test. And my heart dropped into my stomach. Since the pandemic hit we have been very careful. We don’t go anywhere, at least nowhere unnecessary. We are both asthmatic and her dad has emphysema. The whole lot of us are high risk.

So I am scared. I have a 16 year old stubborn girl who is going to need to rest… and like her mama, she is not inclined towards rest often. She is a busy bee with multiple things that she is wanting to do at any given moment.

We are just about to go out to get her covid test… and I am worried.

So I am probably not going to be posting this week due to this. I will be back next week, and I am going to try to be more active. thank you for understanding.

Friday, really?

This has been a crazy month so far. Fae Corps is releasing 4 anthologies on the 31st, and I have been busy getting them ready for release. Then I get a seasonal crud. So I have been sick for the last two days.

I am starting to feel better and I look into the blogs (as I am often the one that maintains the Fae Corps blog). I did a few planned posts and decided to read the blogs that I follow to find a few to spotlight. Y’all! I literally had an angry comment on one of the shared posts claiming that I posted it without permission. I have taken the post down, unfollowed the blog in question, and blocked them so I will not accidentally see them and reblog anything by them.

I was under the impression that reblogging gave the post more reach. Which seems like more people seeing what you wrote is better? I don’t know.

I am not going to dwell on this. Instead I will let you know that we have a newsletter now (see the Fae Corps blog). We are always looking for stories and poems to feature on both. I like to link directly to the persons site when I feature people.

I have a few more people in our author spotlight file to still post on the blog… I have not forgotten. Once the meet the author for the new anthologies are done I will be returning to focus on those.

So, it’s Saturday

I know that I missed all last week.

I have been struggling with files for four anthologies. Trying to get it all to shine. I have been fighting my own self doubt. I have been working on trying not to feel like I have to do it all.

That is probably the worst thing about me, that feeling like I have to do it all, like I can’t lean on anyone else or I will burden them. Because I am, in my own mind, never good enough. I work extra hard to attempt to be seen as even half of the capable as the others around me. And then I end up intimidating the ones that I admire. Intimidating and hurting, because they end up feeling that they cannot possibly do as much as I do. While I am feeling that I am a screw up because I am dropping balls that I should have never tried to carry at all.

Balls bounce, and I can often grab them in rebound, but the hurt… I regret that. I try to be a good person. I try to do everything right… Even though I often do not have a clue what right actually is. So sometimes all that I can do is see the balls drop, and apologize for causing the hurt.

I read somewhere that the truest apology was changed behavior. This is where I truly fail. I try. But in some ways it is like an addiction. I have to put myself in that mess. I have to try to be the one that is doing the overwhelming of myself. It is my toxic trait.

Because I want to be seen as amazing… And there is the voice in the back of my head that is always going to tell me I am not.

That voice we all have. It’s mean. It bullies us into believing the lie… AND it is a lie. I am not worthless. I am talented and I am loved. I have been improving at art, writing, cover design, and publishing. I have been improving with all of my skills that have been a struggle… Except for dealing with interpersonal relationships.

I am sorry for those who I hurt when I am dropping the balls. I am sorry for the heartache that I cause in those who love me. I am not going to say that I will try to do better, because I should not lie, even to myself. However I will say that when I am struggling with the mental gremlins, and fighting for the strength to share the load… I am so very grateful that I have you all in my life.

You are amazing. You all keep me going. And I only hope that my own stubborn nature will not end up pushing you away.

oVERLOad In PrOGress

I normally juggle the balls in my life reasonably well. Author, blogger, editor, formatter, artist, friend, CHW poet, poet, game master, cover designer, mom, teacher, housewife, publisher….

These hats all are comfortable. I can deal with the multiple things happening at once. Not Today. this week has been one nightmare after another. Me making mistakes that I normally avoid.

Including missing posts on my blog. And then realizing that I am too stressed to know what to post all week. Fae corps has 4 volumes coming out at once(fae dreams, and 3 volumes of Nightmare Whispers) and one of the volumes is causing Technical difficulties.(Fae Dreams). Said difficulties are because I missed details, so I am being extra hard on myself. I am fighting those gremlins that come from it. However I am dropping balls because of it. I will try to get a couple of things back on track and figure out something to post. So please stay tuned…this may be an unusual week….but bear with me.

I may just post a couple of reviews to get me through the rest of the week….

Tuesday Tunes

A day for me to discuss music

Before I do this… I apologize for the late posts the last couple of days… I have been helping a friend and I have been late getting home. Usually I will do the posts while out if need be, but I was the driver this time. Stretches my ability to get things done.

Fivefold – Lost within

Lyrics – Crawl out of the hole you’re in
Who you are is not who you’ve been
Now’s the time to sink or swim
Will you fight the tide or get lost within
And I know you’re feeling low
Feel like you’ve lost control
But the darkness that you know
It’s not your home and you’re not alone
And all you’ve wanted was just so much more
This world has taken ahold
Don’t let ’em get your soul
The silence
You feel it cold as a winter storm
This world has taken ahold
Don’t let ’em get your soul
Iron bars are hell to break
Tell me now, do you know what’s at stake?
Your whole life in a blank stare haze
You walk around like the end of days
And I know you’re feeling low
Feel like you’ve lost control
But the darkness that you know
It’s not your home and you’re not alone
And all you’ve wanted was just so much more
This world has taken ahold
Don’t let ’em get your soul
The silence
You feel it cold as a winter storm
This world has taken ahold
Don’t let ’em get your soul
I’m callin’ out to you
Can you hear me?
They can’t break you down
Let you hit the ground
I promise you it won’t be long (Won’t be long)
You’re feeling overwhelmed here
Drowned by the pain and the fear
The sun will come with the dawn
All you’ve wanted was just so much more
This world has taken ahold
Don’t let ’em get your soul
The silence
You feel it cold as a winter storm
This world has taken ahold
Don’t let ’em get your soul…
Get your soul…

My 2 cents – this is a song about learning how to be strong after a struggle. Don’t let the world destroy you. It’s a good song, and it feels like a good message.

Monday Money – pdf

Ok, last week I discussed desktop publishing programs – word processing types. I left the pdf programs for today. I have three different programs to suggest… And each has a different user feel.

We will start with the most basic. Adobe. I personally found that the editing ability for this program is lacking. It has a few free features, but with the pdf programs you really do get what you pay for. You used to buy it straight, but Adobe has taken most of their products to subscription. Right now there is 2 plans. ($15 and $13) both require a yearly commitment.

The next one served me well for many years. It is also one that I still use for details that are not supported anywhere else. The program is Nitro’s pdf productivity suite. It’s $159 for a single license. I honestly recommend this program, even if you do get one of the others.

And then the last one. This is my current program. Quoppa’s Pdf Studio is a solid editor. It has a solid ability to make sure your documents are just as you want them to be. Two tiers of possible cost. $89 or $129. The site lays out the features well.

Money Monday

So I was thinking about doing a discussion on Friday about the programs that I use/have found for making the files for publication. Then I realized that this was actually a better topic for a Monday Money post. The reason? Because the programs are an investment. A fairly costly one.

I will start with a free program. One that I highly recommend for anyone, author or reader alike. It is Calibre. It’s a ebook library manager for windows. It has a decent conversation ability and lets you edit epub files as well. That really makes it a very useful program.

My next suggestion is another free program, however it is only really good for the author who is looking at using KDP only. Kindle Create is wonderful if you have no interest in publishing anywhere other than Amazon. It has a previewer and is user friendly.

Another open source /free option, and one I am currently exploring, is Scribus. This is a complicated program with many options.

The last free option is libreoffice. It is a full featured office program that is free. I, personally, try to pay as little as possible for my tools and still try to retain quality. This is the best office program and it is free.

Ok. Here is where I start to talk about cost. Scrivener. It is not an easy program to use. There are a huge amount of tutorial videos on YouTube. It’s cost is $40, but there is often deals that can cut the cost in half. It is a one time cost vs subscription pricing. This program saves files in epub or any other format you want.

Now, this one is a program I found when I was looking for scrivener’s link. Iiving writer seems to be similar to scrivener. It’s pricing is a subscription service. It’s $96 a year or $9 a month.

This post has already gotten bigger than I expected. Next week I think that I will cover 3 pdf programs. That way I have a topic and this post can be ended.

Echoes into the void

Ever feel like you are doing the same thing on repeat…ad nauseum? Well that’s what formatting of books often feels like. When I first started wanting to do desktop publishing, the pdf was the file of choice… It was supposed to be “print perfect ” as it allowed your to see how your file would be when it printed.

Well now it is one of multiple file types you need to know how to handle. And then there is the files that change after you convert it to be what you need.

Each site for publishing requires a different format. Kdp(Amazon) requires docx. Draft2digital for the ebook (if you don’t want them to change details) needs epub. And the print book version for them needs pdf.

So on days like today when the responsibility of publishing is too much… Those are the days when I step back. I breathe. Tomorrow is soon enough for all of that. I think that tommorow I will talk about the computer programs that I have found to be most useful in making the formats needed for publishing.

Tuesday Tunes

A day for me to discuss music

Meredith Brooks – Bitch

Lyrics – [Verse 1]
I hate the world today
You’re so good to me, I know, but I can’t change
Tried to tell you but you look at me like maybe
I’m an angel underneath
Innocent and sweet

Yesterday I cried
You must have been relieved to see the softer side
I can understand how you’d be so confused
I don’t envy you
I’m a little bit of everything all rolled into one

[Chorus]
I’m a bitch, I’m a lover
I’m a child, I’m a mother
I’m a sinner, I’m a saint
I do not feel ashamed
I’m your Hell, I’m your dream
I’m nothing in between
You know you wouldn’t want it any other way

[Verse 2]
So take me as I am
This may mean you’ll have to be a stronger man
Rest assured that when I start to make you nervous
And I’m going to extremes
Tomorrow I will change and today won’t mean a thing

[Chorus]
I’m a bitch, I’m a lover
I’m a child, I’m a mother
I’m a sinner, I’m a saint
I do not feel ashamed
I’m your Hell, I’m your dream
I’m nothing in between
You know you wouldn’t want it any other way

[Bridge]
Just when you think you got me figured out
The season’s already changing
I think it’s cool, you do what you do
And don’t try to save me

[Chorus]
I’m a bitch, I’m a lover
I’m a child, I’m a mother
I’m a sinner, I’m a saint
I do not feel ashamed
I’m your Hell, I’m your dream
I’m nothing in between
You know you wouldn’t want it any other way

[Chorus 2]
I’m a bitch, I’m a tease
I’m a goddess on my knees
When you hurt, when you suffer
I’m your angel undercover
I’ve been numb, I’m revived
Can’t say I’m not alive
You know I wouldn’t want it any other way

My 2 cents – OK, some days I feel the power of self confidence. I know that I am unique and my power is in my creativity… But those are the rare days. I have struggled with public opinion and self esteem my whole life. Today I see my flaws and I embrace the idea that they are part of my uniqueness. Tomorrow the weight of them may be too much. This song speaks to that. Nobody is perfect, that struggle is in every single soul. The need to be both saint and sinner exists in each of us. So, if you are not sure of someone’s situation… Be kind. Lest you send them into a personal hell.