Spring in My Step

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Hello everybody! It’s springtime here in NY!

I have been gone for quite a few months. Just work and things. Kinda haven’t felt the very best in terms of being confident about my writing, either.

It seems now is a perfect time to write, read, and talk about writing with what’s going on in the world. How are you all doing with COVID-19 and being isolated? M and I have been doing well; we are watching lots of old movies and going for walks. I thought this would be a great time for me to break my writer’s block, but I haven’t done that as of yet, and we’re starting week 7. I have been reading, though, which I’m happy about.

I used to have my nose stuck in a book all the time growing up. I kinda stopped reading as I got older. Now I’ve gotten back into it. I’m glad. I love reading. I’ve gone through 4 or 5 books so far. Right now, I’m currently reading Raven Black by Ann Cleeves. It’s a mystery thriller. I’m liking mysteries right now.

I was scrolling through Facebook last week and I came across a competition that the Writer’s Digest is holding. It is the Writers Digest Self-Published Book Awards. I caught it just in time; the deadline for submitting work is May 1. It’s an expensive entry fee, but I talked to M and we decided I should go for it! So I sent in The Underground Dogs. I’m not holding my breath, but I’m hoping for honorable mention!

Speaking of The Underground Dogs, sales have been okay. It seems they’ve slowed down. I thought they might pick up due to everyone being stuck at home. I might have to change my ad strategy. It’s a double-edged sword; I hate having to pay for ads because it gets expensive, but it’s the only way to get people to find my book on Amazon. So far, 12 people have reviewed it and I have a 4.5 star rating. If you haven’t checked it out yet, I encourage you to go get it. Its dystopian fascist themes are reminiscent of what’s going on in today’s world. It has some thrills and humor, too. I am sure you’d all enjoy it!

I also discovered people are rating and talking about The Underground Dogs on goodreads. I had no idea! It has a 4.33 rating on there! And there are 8 people who are currently reading it or want to read it. How amazing is that? It made my day! I feel somewhat ignorant and naive I completely overlooked goodreads. It seems like readers very much like that site to talk about and rate books. I will have to make an author profile over there. If you have a goodreads account and have read The Underground Dogs, please consider rating and reviewing it there! I’d be very appreciative.

So, because of those things (Writer’s Digest competition and ratings), I feel more motivated to work on my novels and start writing again. My psych and M have been telling me to “just do it” and write something. It is much easier said than done, of course. I am really going to try though. I have set myself a somewhat lofty goal: I want to self-publish (with Amazon) 4 more books before I am 40. Without telling you how old I am, know this is doable, but ambitious. BUT! This also means I have to move my butt, stop feeling sorry for myself, and actually WRITE! I am hoping to do so ASAP.

I am also thinking about adding a section to my website here about self-publishing. I am thinking of putting together some FAQs and How To’s. There is so much information out there and I figured out a lot of stuff for myself. I think I’ll put together tips and tricks in one spot to help others that have no idea where to go.

Well, that’s what is going on with me. Let me know what you all have been up to!

-JCDK

Flying High

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Hey weberverse,

I’ve got some good news. My short science-fiction-western story, “The Bounty Hunter,” is going to be published in the April-ish edition of the sci-fi magazine, Bewildering Stories. How cool is that!? I’m very excited. I’ve sent some other pieces out, too, and I’ve received one “no,” but am still waiting on others.

Also some cool news. M is going to be designing the covers for my short story collection and The Novel That Will Get Me Published. So once he does that, I am going to self-publish them with Amazon. I’m thinking that’s another spring release. I’m not sure which one I’ll release first…

I’m also on new medicine and it’s working really well and I feel great. 🙂 In general, I feel really uplifted, positive, determined, grounded, and mindful. I know a lot of it is probably the medicine, but I also hope some of it is how much work I’ve been putting into fighting myself and trying hard to practice mindfulness. I’m also proud of myself for sending stories out and working to get my stuff published. Hurray for hard work and positivity!

Up, up, and away!

Harvesting My Brain Juices

 

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Fall the Red Door-Manning Street, Philadelphia by moocatmoocat

 

We’re well into it, but Happy Fall, everyone! Huzzuh! It’s my second favorite month: October. (It’s also my birth month. ^_^)

Last year fall (and winter) was a hard time for me because I hit rock bottom as far as my depression and anxiety goes. This year, I am staying positive and looking forward to the new adventures and opportunities it will bring. Plus, it’s freaking gorgeous outside.

My new job is going well. I love the place and the people, and the work is great. I’m doing lots of editing and writing. Thumbs way up. I’m so thankful.

I’m very excited for next month. It’s National Novel Writing Month!

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I don’t know if I’m gonna follow the rules and write a novel, but I’m definitely going to sit down and WRITE. The other day I had a great plan to rework a couple novelettes into short stories for my sci-fi collection. I’m still three stories away. I don’t want to rush it or anything, but I’d like to finish the collection by end of the year. (My old goal was by end of summer, but, well, yeah…) I haven’t been working on these novelettes because I’ve been concentrating on the short stories, but I’ve hit a wall with them (no ideas). Then I realized, “Wait, these novelettes are sci-fi and I really, really want to write them. I know, I’ll turn them into short stories! I can always go back and make them longer later if I decide.”

So that’s my plan right now. You’re excited for me, I can tell. Shucks, thanks, dolls.

I’m also working on coming up with more tips and tutorials, too. (Don’t worry, that hasn’t totally faded away.)

What about you? Are you participating in NaNoWriMo? What are you going to be working on?

Happy as a Chondestes grammacus

Hey, I did it. I finished The Novel that Will Get Me Published. It was kind of surprising, actually. Finished is around midnight, Monday morning this week. When I realized I was done, I just kind of stared at my computer screen for a while. I think the shock has worn of now…I think. Hey, come on, the thing took me eight years to write–but I did most of it in the past year. And now it’s done.  The first book I wrote in a year; the second in five years. (Those ones suck. I don’t want to talk about those.) But this one is weird. It’s different. It’s…special. Aww. No, seriously, it is.

Now I can’t look at it for a couple days. But then I’ll go back and read it. Then I’ll start editing. I already know who I’d like to send it to for critiquing. Then after that: some more editing! Then it’ll be time to put together publishing packages [which I remember so fondly]. (Oh, look how excited I am! I’m already thinking of everything I get to do next! I’m happy as a lark. A darling lark!… ‘the hell kinda bird is a lark anyway?)

In honor, I suppose this poem is appropriate:

Scriveners
JCD Kerwin

My pen writes
in a different way
each time I hold it,
as if to say,
“They’re not done yet.”

(December, 2011)

And my break’s over. Stay off drugs, kids.