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Conversations with Barb and Jann

February 2, 2012 by in category Jann says . . . tagged as , , , , , ,

by Barb DeLong and Jann Audiss

Jann:  Well, Barb, how are you doing in Kitty’s on-line Time Management class?

Barb:  Not so well.  Can’t seem to find the time to get assignments done.

Jann:  I know what you mean.  I did my first two assignments and posted every day what I loved about my writing, then fell off the wagon on Sunday.

Barb:  We’ll get back on track.  What’ll help is when we get down to the nitty gritty and mark up our calendars. 

Jann:  Calendars?  Last night I counted five: my Smart Phone, my Franklin, my day planner, my pocket planner and the cutest Mary Engelbreit calendar, if I could only find it.  I want to settle on only one because it’s driving me crazy.  I might miss a hair appointment if I’m not careful.

Barb:  And we can’t have that.  I’m afraid after I fill out the calendar or calendars with all my appointments, working full time, yada yada, there won’t be enough time to write.

Jann:  That’s what we’re taking this class for, Barb.  Where are your priorities?  Is writing even among them?

Barb:  Okay, mom.  I am getting some writing done, but there’s only so many quality pages one can do in the bathtub.

Jann:  Thanks for that picture.  Seriously, it’s all in how you figure out your goals and prioritize them.  You’ve got to take a hard look, decide what you really want.

Barb:  Well, baths take a long time.  I could cut them out, but showers will get my paper wet.  Yeah, yeah, I know.  I’m following the class.  I’m working on Lecture Four.

Jann:  Hate to tell you, but Kitty has just posted Lecture Five.

Barb:  Oh, crap.     
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A Fantasy Life by Janet Quinn Cornelow

January 27, 2012 by in category A Fantasy Life by Janet Cornelow tagged as ,


Everyone is talking about self-publishing at the moment. For those of us who have a backlist that is sitting there doing nothing, it is a good thing. If your book is out-of-print or just been out so long it really doesn’t sell at the publisher’s list price, self-publishing is the way to go if you can get your rights back. You can also put that book that is under your bed because it didn’t really fit anywhere and no publisher would take it, but you know it’s a good story.

I have several of my backlist up at Kindle and Nook. I am starting to put them up at Smashwords. What I learned with my first one, Wild Honey, was that putting it at Kindle and Smashwords was not the way to go. I took it down from Smashwords after seven months and put it on Nook myself. It had been on Nook through Smashwords. I made in one week by myself at Nook what I had made in the seven months it was with Smashwords at Nook. Smashwords does hit other sites, so there is some money to be made with Smashwords. It is a lot like the small publishers, however. Smashwords has to wait for the money to come from the sale sites and they are not that speedy at sending out payment.

The other side of self-publishing is the money. Some people make a great deal of money with what they publish. Certain books sell more than other books and there really doesn’t seem to be a reason. Western romances seem to be the biggest sellers. Others make a much smaller amount, but enough to make it worthwhile. I made as much on A Moment In Time in the first month at 99 cents than I had in the last four years. It wasn’t a great deal, but it was nice. I figure a total of approximately $500 a month for all my books is worth the effort.

It is worth the effort if you keep your expenses down to get it put up. Those who make a great deal of money, like Debra Holland, can afford to pay people to do the work for them. People like me, who only make a few hundred dollars a month, maybe don’t want to spend too much to put their books up. Me, I’m cheap and don’t want to pay lots of money to someone else. I can’t do covers, so I pay Lex Valentine. She does really nice work. The rest I have learned to do myself. I can format and upload so the only thing I pay for is a new cover. Jackie Hamilton learned to make her own covers so she can do it all.

I have formatted manuscripts for a some other people. The thing I learned is that it is tedious, boring work. It is even more tedious and boring than grading essays all day, which is my other job. I never figured I’d find something more tedious than grading papers.

I hope everyone is working toward their 2012 goals. I have one finished. Yeah!

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Greetings, New Year’s Grinches

January 6, 2012 by in category Pets, Romance & Lots of Suspense by Linda O. Johnston tagged as , , ,

Admit it–are you a New Year’s Grinch?

Okay, I realize there really isn’t such a thing. That’s certainly not the background of the character created by Dr. Seuss who despises Christmas in the book How The Grinch Stole Christmas.
But the term Grinch has been extended somewhat in common use to mean more than that nasty, greedy and cute character. It can also mean someone whose holiday spirit is lacking.
So why not a New Year’s Grinch?

Most of us have looked forward to the New Year as a new beginning. We like to think that whatever went wrong for us in 2011, or wasn’t ideal, or even could just use some changes or tweaks, will get resolved in 2012. Sometimes it’ll just happen, and sometimes we have to work on it, but this year can definitely be better than the last.

Can’t it?

What about if you just let one year run into the next? I don’t make New Year’s resolutions, so although I may aspire to changes, mostly those that I cause, they don’t rise to the level of promises to myself the way resolutions might.

What about people who just figure January 1 is just the day after December 31? Those who may enjoy taking time off over the holidays because everyone does (well, everyone but writers) but don’t really consider the upcoming year to be different from the one that just expired?

Tell you what. All you New Year’s Grinches: since you don’t believe in the magic of the New Year, make your resolution now. This year, you’ll vow to stop Grinching and start working on changing all those things in your life that need improvement. And admit it. There are some.

Silhouette Nocturne BITES
November 2011
Like–if you haven’t read any of my Pet Rescue Mysteries or my Harlequin Nocturne Alpha Force miniseries books, that’s something thing you can start in 2012. Or if you’ve read some, pick up some more! Then there’ll also be my first Harlequin Romantic Suspense book in July…

Okay. Enough BSP. How about your own writing aspirations or career? What can you change in the upcoming year to improve wherever you are? Or what about your family life? Your home? How can you improve our environment? Help save some homeless animals? Whatever!

Tell us all, right here. Are you a New Year’s Grinch? And are you resolving to change that?

In any event, to all of you OCC members and friends, whether you’re Grinches or not: Have a very happy and productive 2012!

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Conversations with Barb and Jann

January 2, 2012 by in category Jann says . . . tagged as , ,

 by Barb DeLong and Jann Audiss
We have been friends for what seems like forever and been struggling with our writing as well.  So to start 2012 off with a bang, we have decided to blog on the Slice of Orange.  What better place to get our mojo working.  We decided to do a conversational blog between the two of us exchanging our thoughts and ideas about our writing.
Jann:  Hi, Happy New Year. Yada, yada…been thinking about blogging again.  What do you think about blogging together?  I remember when we were doing it as a group several years ago?

Barb:  Yes, I remember.  I also had a Pro blog and my own blog for a while.  But I stopped writing them, as it seems I do regularly with my creative writing.  I plunge in, all excited about a new story, write feverishly, then more slowly, then I hit the skids.  How can I make this year different?

Jann:  I know what you mean. One problem I have is getting sidetracked with other obligations. Remember when we use to meet once or twice a month for critique group?  We were actually getting pages out, why don’t we try committing to – oops backup and remove “try”, let’s commit to meeting twice a month to write for 2 hours or critique.  If we critique, let’s set a page minimum – doesn’t’ matter if the pages are good, bad or ugly. 

Barb: The goal is ACCOUNTABILITY! 

Jann: Hey, what about taking Kitty’s Online Class for January.  Going the Distance: Goal Setting and Time Management for the Writer??  Sounds like we could use it.
Barb:  Setting goals, supporting each other – sounds like a plan, Jann!  And hey, I think we just did our first blog!  Blogging is writing, so we actually wrote something.  I like this already.  

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A Fantasy Life by Janet Quinn Cornelow

December 28, 2011 by in category A Fantasy Life by Janet Cornelow tagged as ,

Happy Holidays to everyone.

I hope everyone enjoyed Christmas and have recovered. It was a very busy day in my house since everyone comes to my house. My sons and their wives were here. My middle son’s mother-in-law and my sister were here. My two youngest sons helped cook dinner which is always good. Chewbaca, my dog, got his new squeaky ball first. He had it unwrapped quickly and then demanded that everyone play ball with him. He wore himself out.

Count Rugen, my cat, nearly had a nervous breakdown with so many people in the house. He’s not good with people. He hid behind the Christmas tree, under the dining room table where he tried to steal the silverware and finally collapsed on the bed.

It was Isabella’s first Christmas. She is my granddaughter. She mostly watched, but liked one of the balls and a rattle I bought her. We had to keep the ball away from Chewbaca. It was hard plastic and I didn’t want to be picking pieces out of his mouth.

I got a Kindle Fire for Christmas. I am still haven’t decided if I like it. It seems very difficult to work. It took me an hour to register it and an hour to actually purchase a book. It seems to get stuck on certain screens and it is difficult to change. The keyboard is super sensitive and hard to use. The reviews I read were all bad. Probably should have read them first.

I have all my backlist up at Nook now. It was as easy as putting them on Kindle thought some of the questions were different.

I am on vacation so I am trying to get some writing done on my western time-travel. It is going a bit slow because I am still tired from Christmas.

Everyone have a wonderful New Year. Remember it is time to set goals for the next year.

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