Monthly Archives: December 2012

Checking In

I haven’t blogged in a while, oops! I’ve been working on my fantasy WIP, which is coming along excrutiatingly slowly. Little by little though, I’ve been rewriting what I had of it, until the word count is almost exactly the same now after two or three weeks, but the story itself is completely different. I like how it’s coming, and I’m doing what I can on it each day, but I wish I could get more written. Like most/all writers, I’m going through a period of self doubt about my writing that’s hurting my productivity.

I’m pushing through it, though, and just trying to get this first draft done. Listening to music is helping me. Well, time to get back to it!

 

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New Cover for El Diablo

I created a new cover for El Diablo because I realized the other one was – gasp – pixelly at full scale, and I hated that. I like the new one. Here it is…

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Thanks to the sxc.hu user Mikkolo for the lovely photo I used for the cover!

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Fixed My Formatting Issue!

Maybe my experience with Pages and an italics issue can help someone!

For the two ebooks I’ve published, The Devil and Thomas Wright and El Diablo, I used Pages to produce the documents, and created a .doc file from Pages to upload to KDP (Kindle) and Smashwords. On both platforms, for both ebooks, the italics in each document were wiped out. I discovered that .doc files created with Pages apparently has this problem, so the answer was to use either OpenOffice or Word instead to create the .doc file for an ebook.

So, I got OpenOffice last night. At the same time, my husband got Word for Mac for me. I tried OpenOffice first, and didn’t like it, so I tried Word for Mac. I tried the “Nuclear” version first by copying all the text in my original Pages .doc file and pasting it into the text editor JEdit, where all formatting was wiped out. I then copied all that new unformatted text and pasted it into Word. Following this guide, I created new Style types for the title, author name, centered text, italicized text, etc. so I could use those Styles to format my text instead of clicking on the specific formatting buttons themselves.

Everything was well and good until I got to the actual issue of the italicized text. The title and author name formatted exactly as the Style I created specified, but, when I selected the first phrase that needed to be in italics and clicked the Italics Style I created, the entire paragraph that phrase was in turned into italics. I retried doing it a million different ways but the whole paragraph kept italicizing! I was getting SO frustrated.

Finally, I tried this: I skipped the part about dropping the Pages text into JEdit first. I copied all the text from the original Pages document (containing the needed italicized text) and just pasted it straight into Word. All the italics were where they needed to be, but I still needed to see if the document would upload to Smashwords and KDP containing the italics.

I uploaded that sapsucker, and I was so excited to see that the italicized text stayed italicized! Everything was perfect! Finally! So, I just uploaded new versions of both of my ebooks to Kindle and Smashwords with the italics issue fixed. YAY!

I’m just glad I learned to correct this issue before I published any more titles! Fixing two was not a big deal, more would just be a hassle…

So… here’s the link to the italicized-where-needed updated version of El Diablo on Smashwords! (The Amazon version is still updating; it takes forever!):

El Diablo

Check it out! 🙂

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New Novelette; Issues with Pages

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Yesterday, I published my second ebook (Amazon & Smashwords), a horror novelette called El Diablo. I wrote the thing in Pages, half on my iPad and half on the iMac. When it was done, I converted the file to .doc. Come to discover, that all the passages in the story in italics (mostly thoughts) had been un-italicized. A little Googling revealed that Smashwords apparently has issues with documents made in Pages. Sooo… I’m currently downloading OpenOffice to stick my manuscript in there to make it acceptable to Smashwords so that my italics don’t disappear. Blah! So, it is up on the Kindle Store and Smashwords, but I’m going to wait to link to it here until I can get the italics issues fixed.

I’m happy to see that I have made several sales of my two ebooks thus far, and a couple of dollars in earnings. This is such great motivation! I’m working on my third ebook currently, a novelette that introduces the fantasy world I’ve been laboring over, and the main character. I originally planned to write a novel about this girl in this world, but it dawned on me that I could do as Robert E. Howard did, and write a series of shorter tales about this girl in her world, a la Conan the Barbarian in the world of the Hyborian Age, as published in 17 novelettes and novellas in Weird Tales. This is so much more appealing to me than a novel! So, I’m diving into the first story about the girl and her adventures. I love the world I’m creating – it’s an extensive fantasy world inspired by native cultures of North and South America.

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What I’m Reading, What I Gave Up On, & What I’m Writing

What I’m Reading:

The Fellowship of the Ring – J.R.R. Tolkien (I never get tired of rereading it!)

Red Nails – Robert E. Howard (Conan the Barbarian!- I had to laugh at the dialogue tag “quoth he”. No joke, that’s really there)

What I Gave Up On:

Under The Dome – Stephen King (boring) (gave up: 120 pages in)

The Eyes of the Dragon – Stephen King (extra boring) (gave up: 90 pages in)

What I’m Writing:

El Diablo – (horror novelette) Nearly done. I should have been done with it a while ago but I got distracted by another idea! (see below)

Roem (working title) – Fantasy story inspired by native cultures and mythologies of North and South America. Originally intended to be “sword and sorcery” but has developed into more epic-ish fantasy. No elves, dragons, trolls, orcs, dwarves involved. I thought, why is pseudo-medieval Europe the standard setting for fantasy stories? I want to do something different.

What are you reading/writing/giving up on?

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Quick Map Doodle

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I was just doodling around on my iPad this morning and came up with this little map. Who lives there? Where is this place? Is there a Starbucks there? (Probably) Who knows… It is… UNCHARTED TERRITORY!

Wait, I just charted it… Um…

I have an idea for an ebook: I’ll draw and compile lots of neat-o random maps like this for people to use/get inspiration from for their stories, games, or whatever. Is that a dumb idea? I don’t know if it is or not. :-/

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December 4, 2012 · 3:34 pm

Smashwords; new iPad!

Well, I just published my short story The Devil and Thomas Wright on Smashwords!

Here it is.

In other news, I had my first sale of that story on Amazon! How exciting! Also, I mentioned earlier my hand-me-down iPad crapping out. I’m happy to say that I now have a brand-new iPad 4. My husband bought himself a Nexus 7 (I think it’s too small for my tastes!). I’m enjoying using Pages on the iPad, because in the time the other iPad was down, I was using Pages on our old iMac (so many gadgets in this house!). I had been using Storyist on the old iPad, and I do like that app, but since I use the iMac a little now for writing, and it already has Pages on it, I’ve switched over to that app on my new iPad. I actually like it better now than Storyist! It’s especially convenient how it updates between devices, because sometimes I like to write on the iMac, and sometimes I like to write on the iPad in another room (with a bluetooth keyboard).

The other night I realized I could pair the bluetooth keyboard with my iPhone (also new! Yay! My previous one had a badly cracked screen) and type on the Notes app on the phone with the keyboard! I found that to be pretty funny, and I think some day I should go to my local coffee shop and set up my iPhone on the iPad stand, break out the keyboard, and start typing away. Hey, if it works, it works!

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