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Ta-Da!

I’ve been gone for so long, and I’m probably going to vanish again for another week or two as life wraps up. Oy, that life… Keeps getting the best of me. I have a few updates to post really quickly, though, as well as some shameless promoting of a fabulous artist.

First, Calypso is nearing the halfway point! YAY! I know, I know, it’s dragging by. Trust me, I want it out there just as much as y’all do. I’m beginning to understand why it takes some books years to appear. There are so many details and subplots and character flaws to fix! For those of you out there that are authors, tackle massive projects with care… I’m beginning to wonder just what I’ve gotten myself into. As it stands, chapters 1 – 9 are fully edited (first round edits), so chapters 10 – 18 remain. Luckily, the second half is more concise and coherent, so it should be quicker. Now, just to stay within my 80K to 120K word limit for Sci-Fi… Can I pull a J. R. R. Tolkien or Diana Gabaldon please and have it be 150K? Please?

Second, Puck is on hold indefinitely. I am so incredibly disappointed in myself for this, but I’ve had to face the reality that I’m tackling too many projects at once. I hope to get a few chapters up in the coming weeks, but don’t hold your breath. School lets out, and I’ll be immediately jumping into “homeschooling” my son (if you count Pre-K as school, which I do) and preparing for the arrival of the fourth member of our little clan.

Third, the lovely Li Bromfield has completed the new cover for Puck! For those of you new to S. G. Ricketts, she is the same artist who did my cover for Calypso. She has an amazing talent for drawing the scene right out of a writer’s mind, literally and figuratively. Here are my two covers done by her:

Puck - Cover Title WEB

Calypso-Web-Text

 

She’s on deviantart.com under the-Li and does a myriad of different things. She does commissions for indie authors, gamers, and those who love awesome art. Here are a few of my personal favorites, but remember: you can always look through yourself. Who knows? Maybe your idea or book will be her next masterpiece.

"Nebula"

“Nebula”

"Against the World"

“Against the World”

"Perfects" Book Cover

“Perfects” Book Cover

"Warrior Within"

“Warrior Within”

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Oh Good Gracious!

I was going through recent blog posts to post a link on my Facebook page when I realized that the second post on the page says I’ve STOPPED writing Calypso. Then, that was true… Now, not so much. Oh, how time changes things.

Right now, I am a quarter of the way through editing a complete Calypso. It’s looking to be a rather massive book, so here’s hoping the story is told well, and that some agent out there is willing to take a chance. Don’t believe me? Prologue through Chapter 5 sits at 101 pages and 33k+ words. Multiply that by 4 and add two chapters: yeah… It’s a lot. Like, a lot a lot.

Needless to say, I’m working on it again. My Facebook page has the brand new prologue as well as the edited Chapter 1 up, and I’ll be posting interesting excerpts as I go, so feel free to check it out! Also, I’ve had my first official author interview. (Yay!) While there are a few grammatical errors, her article is really well done. (And yes, the “blue girl” she speaks of is Rashir.)

Laid Bare Before the World

Anyone who knows me will tell you: I hate to talk about myself. I’m great at helping others and I love being a part of what they create. I have no problem promoting my books on the free websites like BookRix or Figment. I plaster things all over Facebook and Twitter about my writing or my progress. But…when it comes to telling people about my eBook, I clam up. It isn’t that I think it’s an inferior work. At least three of my highest rated short stories on BookRix are in the book, so I know it has at least a few good stories in it. Plus, I wouldn’t have published anything less than my best. I just…hate imposing on people.

I originally published Freedom From Chains because I wanted to test the eBook market. I offered up a collection of my short stories to the Amazon gods and prayed they’d take off, but I forgot about promoting. When it failed to draw in any buys, even after telling family and friends about it, I floundered. Writers have to be made of resilient stuff, to be sure, but we’re not immune to disappointment. I don’t think I’ve ever been as disappointed in my life. Freedom wasn’t necessarily my greatest work (because I considered my novels much better), but I still thought it was good. To have even family and friends turn it down when it cost less than a cheeseburger was tough. I’d been writing for years and finally got up enough courage to put it out there for the world to see and it fell flat. I think to date I’ve sold 10 copies. That’s not enough even for a royalties check.

Now, I didn’t get on here to lament my failed book. The flopping of it was entirely my fault. I didn’t do my share of the work. Yes, I wrote it. Yes, I edited it. Yes, I told a few people about it. I failed to really promote it, though. No one outside my Facebook friends knew about it, and very few Facebook friends actually care what someone else posts. I have some wonderful reviews and a few books sold once I started promoting in BookRix, so I know there’s some merit to it.

Freedom From Chains is a collection of short stories I wrote during high school and college. Most of it deals with the turmoil we go through as teenagers. The stories from high school reflect an air of invisibility. As the nerd in my class and my family, I had the same insecurities so many other teens face. I was just another face in the hallway. I was just another child in the house. Those teenage years were some of the most difficult in my life as I struggled to figure out who I was and where I fit. Writing was my way of crying out, of getting attention. Stories like “Dolls” and “Graveyard Hour” are great examples of that, full of the emptiness and desolation I felt.

Many of the stories are tinged with the depression, fear, and wonder I felt when I got pregnant my freshman year of college. They were either inspired by that new feeling of love or by my attempts at looking for the good in that terrifying event. I knew it wasn’t fair to blame a child for my own mistakes, and writing became yet again my form of therapy. It was an outlet to form the new dreams and desires I would have as I shed the old hopes and plans. “Dust of the Earth” stuck with me throughout the entire pregnancy as I faced the disappointment of my parents and the judgment of the people around me. Life took on new meaning, and I began thinking much farther than just my little world of school and friends and the CW at night. Everything became so much deeper and so much more intense.

Freedom From Chains, while written at a younger point in my life, is a patchwork of the transformation I had from an immature, insecure high school girl to a determined young mother. It holds all of my pain, all of my fears, and all of my passions. Perhaps that’s why I’m so afraid to tell people about it. It isn’t so much that I’m afraid of imposing on them. After all, $.99 isn’t a big amount to ask. I’m afraid of exposing myself. Perceived reality is still a reality for whomever experiences it. Freedom contains so many elements that many people close to me wouldn’t understand or would question me on, but it shows where I stood and what I felt. It is, in the truest sense, one of the best pieces I’ve written. It isn’t a novel, but it has just as much of my heart in it. Even more, it lays out my mind more than any novel would. Freedom From Chains is a naked reflection of me, free from the trappings of plot and story arch and characters in need of further development. It is simply just me.

If you’re reading this, I would be so honored for you to buy the book. I don’t so much care about the royalties from it. At $.99, there’s not a whole lot I can garner from it. I would be honored to know if any of the stories touched you. We as people are all essentially the same. We all have our insecurities. We all fear. We all dream about the future and mourn the past. As a writer, my dream is to touch the soul of my reader. If I can or have done that, I’ve succeeded.

Leave me a comment if you have read the book or if you think you might buy it. The picture below is a link to Amazon. Thanks.

 

Freedom From Chains eBook