Category Archives: rants

The Word “Poop” is in This Post. You’re Welcome.

I sat down this morning to write. Whoa, before I get ahead of myself, let me recap the morning.

I woke up promptly at 7:23 a.m.

I let the dog out to pee.

I let myself out to pee.

I made coffee.

I walked into my office.

I sat down to write.

Details of morning happenings complete.

I’ve been working on a new book project (WIP- work in progress) for about three weeks. It’s a different genre than what I normally write—SF/F—so, I was stupid excited when I started it. I played with some plot ideas for the first few days, and then landed on a solid direction. About 10k into the project, I decided I didn’t like the environment/setting/character development (all the essential crap for creating a great story, or, at least, a plausible one.)

So, I scrapped it.

Ouch. And F yeah it hurt! But, I said to myself, “Listen crybaby. It’s only 10K. Get your thumb out of your mouth and begin again!”

So, I brought out my dry erase board and scribble away on it until I was loopy on marker fumes. This process (fun as it was) took precious writing time from me, but I ended up with an even better angle. A super awesome, make your head spin, hell of a twist, angle.

I was stoked.

I was ready to write again. Or so I thought.

In the chair, blank page and flashing cursor staring back at me, I realized I wasn’t quite ready to throw down words.

I had a problem with the location of my story and the setting. So, I did what any writer would do, (Hey! Get out of the corner and lose the security blanket.) I opened Google and started researching a new place. I had one in mind, so I started there. I searched the first area through the town’s website. I researched the community, the police department, the SCENE (you know, it’s most important), the nearby university, and local restaurants and such. I even did a real estate search to find a home in the area I could visualize while writing. That was actually a reverse process. I had an idea of what I wanted the home to look like and where I wanted it. It just so happened that the first house that popped up matched it perfectly. So, I took virtual tours and researched the immediate area the home was built on, side roads, nearest neighbors, you get the picture.

Once I felt like I had a grip on my character’s world, I begin with the wordage again. This time, (up to last night’s work, precisely) I reached nearly 8K. I was happy to have a new direction and be almost back to my drop off point from the earlier draft.

Then, this morning happened.

I sat down to write, and my love for the project had vanished. Even as I write this blog post (which BTW, the whole disappearing love thing is why I’m writing this post and not working on my book project) I have no desire to continue with my WIP.

This is new to me. I’ve completed three novels this far and I’ve not felt this way about any of them. Sure, I had writer’s block a few times, but that’ different. Or is it? I don’t know.

But, I also know that I don’t just let days go without writing something, anything. It keeps me in practice. It helps me short crap out. In a way, this post is doing just that. It’s sorting my poop-coiled brain.

poop brain

While I don’t know if this project will see completion, I’m not devastated. I have other book ideas/sequels to write, and this is a great time to get those started.

If you guys have experienced this, I’d love to hear your story. How did you handle the story divorce? Did you ever rekindle your relationship? Or, did you post nasty things about it on the Internets so that no one else would date your story? My biggest question is… did you ever get your CDs back????

BUST THAT QUERY STRAIGHT IN THE FACE!

This week was the release of my newest book, Blood Soaked Ashes. It’s book two of The Eramane Saga, and I can’t wait to share this segment of the story with my readers. Publishing this second book has been an amazing experience. I owe much thanks to the lovely ladies that worked closely with me on this. My editors are amazing and my cover artist is a genius. Enough about that. Go get the book! Ok, now that you’ve gone and supported my habit, we can move forward. I am a few days away from finishing up a project that I will be submitting to agents. This manuscript has been on my desktop for a year and a half, and I’m excited about its potential. But what I’m totally stoked about is that I actually have a solid query for it. What does that mean, solid? As opposed to what? Haven’t you been sending outstanding queries, Frankie? Well, I thought I had. I thought I had the best queries that had ever been written and “Why the hell weren’t the agents biting?!” I mean, I had researched what other authors posted as their queries on their websites, and I had read countless articles on ALL.THE.SITES., and I had several rejection emails that offered some friendly advice on what did and didn’t work. I was the master query writer. So “Why the hell weren’t the agents biting?!” I had no answer as to why my queries were being rejected. For almost two years I battled back and forth with this question. But then I decided to seek expert advice. I reached out to my small network of author acquaintances and humbly asked for help. And I got it. And it kept coming and doors kept opening and finally after re-working my query I ended up with a “fantastic” one. (Yeah, that’s an air-quote.) And once I read the final, kick ass version, it was like a light bulb (like one of those coiled hazmat ones) exploded above my head. Der! How simple. How extremely f-ing simple you nerf-hearding ding dong. Yes, I can be hard on myself. But that’s what we authors do. We have to. If we don’t push ourselves and force our perspective in the right direction, no one else will. So, to celebrate my enlightenment, and the release of Blood Soaked Ashes, I would like to offer free query critiques to the first TWO WRITERS OF YOUNG ADULT FICTION that respond. I want to help you find your light bulb. SERIOUS ENTRIES ONLY. PLEASE READ!! PREFERENCES AND STIPULATIONS: Queries for young-adult fiction only please. All genres welcome. Your manuscript should be completed so that you can build a thorough query and essentially a synopsis, which is often required by agents. But before you submit what you think is a good start, check out this website for a well-rounded structure as to what a query should look like. Check out this website for a good example. If yours is already formatted like this, then go ahead and request a critique in the comment area. Make sure you offer the genre and word count and briefly describe the plot. If your query fits my simple and limited requirements, I’ll reply with how you can submit your query to me, and how the process will work. Keep in mind that this is a free critique. It is not in any way an edit, nor will I re-write the query. It’s free author advice, and I’m glad to help. This offer is no longer available.

Blood Soaked Ashes Cover Reveal

This post is a few days behind. Let me explain why.

One the morning of the cover reveal for Blood Soaked Ashes (which was Halloween BTW!) I awoke to the strangest of sounds. A thudding noise from the other side of my bedroom wall stirred me from my dreams of lollipop fields and orange juice sunshine. I sat up and listened more closely.

WTF is that? I asked myself, because I was alone, and because my cats can only talk on Tuesdays.

I threw on my housecoat and slid on my slippers and cautiously opened my front door (unfortunately for me the side of my bedroom wall I heard the noises was outside!), so outside I went.

I walked around to the side of my house where my bedroom was and to my astonishment…the vinyl siding was flapping in the wind! So I popped it back into to place and went back to bed.

The End.

I understand that  this story does not explain anything…but I’ve been chillin’ with a toddler since Thursday which has reminded me that explanations needn’t make sense at all.

So here it is…BLOOD SOAKED ASHES!!!!

IceyDesigns
IceyDesigns

Jon Snow Read This, Now He Knows One Thing.

instalogo

Here it is!! The title for book two of The Eramane Saga!

Blood Soaked Ashes was so much fun writing, and I can’t wait for you guys to read it. Dur.

This image has zero squats to do with the actual cover that was designed by Hafsah from IceyDesigns. That will be revealed on Halloween and yes! there will be a giveaway with awesomes and such.

Okay, if you are finished laughing at my very visually anticlimactic title reveal, (cause the title is bad-ass) you may proceed on with it (IT being whatever IT was that you were doing before I snatched you from…

Wait for it…

IT!

Pahahahaha!

Some start up advice, no it doesn’t involve a crank.

seo

Hi and such!
In my last post I said that I’d write a little ditty about some blog design tips (WordPress only). If you have a different host I don’t know what to tell you…come to WordPress, we have cookies. I mean I don’t but someone somewhere does.
I digress.
When I started my site/blog a year and a half ago, I had zero knowledge of how to get one up and running and even less know how on designing it to look as if I’d paid a techy pants to do it. Now I’m not saying that my site rivals those that excel in the site design industry (cause that would be crazy) but as sites go, mine ain’t too shabby.
I chose WP because, well another author used it and I totally dug their site. I did a little research and learned that WP was user friendly, meaning that I wouldn’t have to learn lots o’ HTML code to get snazzy features such as…name some.
But I chose I very basic set up and used the cover of my book as the background, and that was fine at first. But after a few months, I began to hear the “ughs” from internet visitors on my site. Since launching my site, I’ve viewed thousands of other author sites, some worse than mine, many better. And that just wasn’t cutting it for me. So I took some time and Goggled SEO plug-ins and how to install them on my site. That’s when I learned that WordPress does most of the coding crap for us! WOW!
Phew, glad that’s out of the way.
But I still didn’t like that my site was just a giant cover of my book, self promotion is great and all, but I even got tired of looking at it. I wanted people to see my brand, not just that book I wrote. When you go to a website, you don’t want one thing shoved down your eyeholes (at least I don’t) so I worked with a lovely chic at IceyDesigns who created my brand logo, that awesome Frankie Ash Author of Sci-Fi and Fantasy pic to your right! Yeah it’s bad-ass!
So, I looked back at some WordPress themes, tried a few out and found one that I love. I still had to snatch some HTML code for the social media buttons but I learned how to do that from WP too!
WordPress has tons of awesome content and customization features and that’s why I love it here. Of course there is tons more about site design and how WP can help you achieve a great design that suits your needs, but you have to invest the time in researching and reading and learning and reading and learning…or you could just pay someone to do it.