Sleepless in B’town

Okay…I agree, not as catchy as sleepless in Seattle…but I’m at home in Bloomington and have been sleepless since a little after 3 am.  I laid in bed reading books (yes, books, plural) on my Kindle, with Spook snuggled up next to me.  It sounds sweet and picturesque, doesn’t it?  The truth of it is that Spook was sleeping peacefully, while I was in pain.  But really, how could I move to try to find a more comfortable position when she was zonked out beside me, her head resting on my shoulder?  Huh?  I couldn’t do it, I just couldn’t start tossing and turning and wake her up.  Ah…the things we go through for our pets.

Anyhow, I’ve been reading books on self publishing, publishing e-books on Kindle, and starting a website.  The website seems the least daunting of the three.  Probably because I’ve been blogging for a couple of years and am at least somewhat familiar with making that transition.  But the self-publishing?  Wow!  Seems like there’s a lot involved in that.  And I’ve read some e-books that were obviously self-published…probably without anyone taking the time to edit, or even proofread, them.  I wouldn’t want any book I wrote riddled with mistakes.  I did discover that you can go back in to edit and update your e-book if you use Amazon’s KDP (Kindle direct publishing)…kind of makes me question whether or not these other authors reread their books.  KDP also allows you to run promotions for your book.  A few interesting tidbits there.

Apparently you have to format your manuscript for Kindle too.  Just to give you an idea of how much I don’t know, that’s something that wouldn’t have occurred to me prior to reading these books, although having seen the messes that some authors have published, I should have been aware of that fact.  I have downloaded the free publishing books that Amazon provides, so it seems like I have a lot more reading (and learning) ahead of me before I even attempt to publish one of my books that way.

kindle 003

I have a few (okay, a lot of) questions for you already published authors out there…e-books? Traditional publishing houses?  Self-publishing?  What are your experiences with any or all of these publishing methods?

Writing styles

Developing Understanding when Reading

Developing Understanding when Reading (Photo credit: Ken Whytock)

Since I got my Kindle, I’ve been reading a lot of books that are not necessarily best-sellers.  Some of them are firsts for the author, others are from previously published authors.  I always try to pay attention to writing styles when I’m reading.  Of course, we all notice spelling or grammatical errors.  I also notice editing or publishing errors that distract from the joy of reading.

But lately, I’ve really been paying attention to dialogue styles.  It seems that some authors write their dialogue in proper grammatical form (those are probably the folks who paid the most attention in English class!).  My issue with writing (and reading) dialogue written in this manner is that it’s not really how most of us speak in our everyday lives.  I suppose, if we’re highfalutin’,  hoity-toity, upper crust, tea and scones in the afternoon types, then that could be how we actually talk.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t know anyone like that in my life…and I sure don’t talk like that.  So I tend to write dialogue as I imagine my characters speak.  In my opinion, that allows the reader to better know and understand the characters.

I have to admit, I get distracted when I’m reading a book and the writing style is such that I get the feeling that English is a second language for the author.  I find myself constantly telling myself it would have been easier to understand had it been written this way, or had they not hesitated to use contractions.  Am I being overly picky?

As I throw my hands in the air in admission that I completely understand that I am by no means the most accomplished writer, and that anyone who has ever written anything at all can either take or leave my criticisms, I must stress that I’ve been an avid reader since I first learned to read.  And I know what I like to read as well as what doesn’t appeal to me at all.  Really, aren’t we all like that?

What distracts you from the joy of reading?

What do you do when you finally get a day off work?

bah, humbug: take two

bah, humbug: take two (Photo credit: PrincessFroglips)

First, let me say this, I have been working six days a week for around 12 hours a day.  So…tired?  You bet.  The only way I could drag myself out of bed yesterday was to keep reminding myself that I had today off.

I woke up this morning at 5…yes, you heard that right…5 am!  I got up, fed the cats and called in to work to make sure they understood my notes about what they needed to be doing.  Then I went back upstairs and climbed back into my soft, cozy bed with Kindle in hand.  I read for a while, then turned the light back off and slept until 9.  Got up and piddled around for a while, climbed back into bed around 11:30 and fell into a deep sleep for another couple of hours.  Felt oh so much better when I woke up.

But I still couldn’t get up the motivation to actually do anything worthwhile.  I did a load of laundry and the dishes, then fooled around on Facebook and Pinterest…now that’s a good way to waste some time, pinning things you’d like to do instead of actually doing them…but hey, when you’re mentally and physically exhausted…

Twenty days ’till Christmas…falalalala lalalala…bah humbug!!

Stuffy nose, watery eyes and NaNo, day 5

English: The front of CVS #4191

English: The front of CVS #4191 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Whew…this was a tough day to get through at work.  My eyes were watering all day.  I had more than one customer ask me if everything was okay (kind of nice that they care though, you know?).  I kept having to go back into the office to blow my nose.  Eventually my head started pounding.  One of the girls I work with told me to go to CVS to get Benadryl, another said Benadryl didn’t do anything for her, to get Sudafed.  Someone else said to get a nasal spray.  You know, they were all trying to help, but I couldn’t keep it all straight.

After I got off work, I went to CVS where I stood there reading those little cards that tell you what the different meds are for…it still didn’t really make sense to me, so I just picked one up that said non-drowsy (did you know that some of those medicines cost over $30?  I mean, I’m not talking about a prescription…sheesh!) and headed to the pharmacy counter.  The girl working there was nice and said she hoped I got to feeling better soon.  Yeah, me too!

Came home, fed the cats, threw a load of laundry in the washer, downed a pill with some oj, and decided I’d try to go to sleep for a little while.  I just kind of tossed and turned, then picked up my Kindle and finished reading a book.  I guess they weren’t kidding when they said non-drowsy!

When I came back downstairs, I figured I’d better sit down at the computer and try to get a few words in while I could still think (sort of).  I did alright, nothing like I did over the weekend.  I did have one line that I really liked…not sure if some of my more religious friends would consider it to be sacrilegious, but I could see a little kid thinking like this…

Concerning how he broke his arm  (abuse from his father), “…he knew he shouldn’t lie because Jesus told us not to, but he was more afraid of his dad than he was of Jesus.”  I could see myself thinking like that when I was a kid…you?

Anyhow, I ended up writing a little over 1300 words tonight which puts me at a little over 16500.  Not too shabby.  And now I’m going to get away from the computer and try my best to rest my weary, dry, itchy, hurting eyes.  See you tomorrow, chicas and chicos!!

And don’t forget to vote!!  This long election season is almost over (maybe).