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?

Great books, great authors

Books - bookcase top shelf

Books – bookcase top shelf (Photo credit: ~ Phil Moore)

The other day I complained about all of the errors I’m finding in books lately.  Come to find out, many of you were also irritated by those typos, mistakes in grammar, the author losing track of his or her story line…and so on.

But…occasionally I come across a book that totally pulls me into the story, where I feel as though I know the characters.  I find myself reading these books in bits and pieces because I don’t want them to end.  When I do come to the end of such a book, I slowly close the cover and my eyes,  and sigh with satisfaction.  There’s something magical about a book like this.  Even if the story didn’t have a happy ending, it transported me to another world, another place and time.  Like a special vacation, I don’t want it to end.

Unfortunately there aren’t a lot of books like this, books that encourage your imagination to take wing…but they are out there.  And what a treasure when you stumble across one.  I don’t know about you, but those are the books I keep, pulling them from the bookcase to immerse myself in the story once again.  If I could write only one book that made someone feel like that, I would consider myself to be a literary success.

How do you like your books?

Amazon Kindle

Amazon Kindle (Photo credit: agirregabiria)

Since I bought my Kindle, I’ve read a lot of ebooks…a lot of them.  Before I started reading books on an eReader I wasn’t sure I’d care much for it.  I was one of those people who said I wanted to be able to hold a book in my hands, to feel the paper, to smell that book smell.   I was surprised at how quickly I adapted to reading on a Kindle.  However, sometimes I still catch myself reaching up to turn the page…

But today I ordered three books on writing…one a workbook, another a book written by Chris Baty (of NaNoWriMo fame)…anyhow, even tho one of the books was available for my Kindle at a lower price, I went ahead and ordered the hard copy of all of them.  I figured this was a special situation…one where I would like to make notes in the books as I read (yes, you can do that with a Kindle…but it doesn’t quite seem the same), where I would refer to the books in the future.  So it just seemed like the thing to do.  Yep, I could have already been reading the book on my Kindle rather than waiting for them to be delivered to my house, but still…I want the books, I want to see them sitting on my book shelf, I want to pull them down and page through them, I want to make notes in the margin and underline pertinent passages.

Maybe I’m not quite as technologically advanced as I like to give myself credit for…how about you?  Do you have an eReader?  Do you read most of your books that way or do you prefer to hold the book in your hands and absorb it that way?  Or are you like me and do both?  Isn’t this a great time to be alive?  We have so many opportunities.

The long and winding road to fitness, day 89

Writing

I had a pretty good day today even if it was truck day.  It seemed like everyone really worked hard and got a lot done.  I kind of got to switch my normal truck day job for a different job today and that made all the difference…made the day go a little quicker…I guess being able to do something that gets you out of your normal everyday rut can be a good thing.

I walked for 30 minutes this morning (plus who knows how much walking I did at work…I’ve got to dig out one of my many pedometers so I can keep track of all of the walking I do at work daily), lower body strength training, and quite a bit of stretching…may throw in some additional stretching tonight to ease the muscle tension in my back and shoulders.

My eating was okay as far as the calories go, but it wasn’t the healthiest of diets for the day.  I had oj and vitamins before running out the door this morning, string cheese at around 9am, 1 Twinkie (shared the package with my boss), a fish sandwich and iced tea for lunch along with about 8 french fries that my boss threw in the fish box from his lunch, dinner was a bowl of vegetable beef soup and a whole wheat bagel thin…a little under 1500 calories for the day.  Could have gone with more fruit and veggies, how many days have I said that?  How many more days am I going to say it?

I have the day off work tomorrow…woohoo!!  I’ve got an appointment to get my hair cut…something I definitely need after cancelling my last two appointments because of work.  Thank goodness, my stylist managed to squeeze me in at the last minute.  After my hair cut, I’m going to stop at the grocery store.  I think I’ll get some blueberries or strawberries, yogurt and lite granola and make a kind of yogurt parfait to eat at work in the mornings.  That way I’ll get another serving of fruit.  Maybe pick up some more V8 juice to get another serving of veggies.  Those are both pretty simple ways to up my fruit and veggie intake.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention, tonight I’m celebrating a 100 day streak of daily writing!  Can you believe that?  Got the habit going, now it’s time to really work on the story for my book.  Tonight I planned out how to do that over the next 100 days.  I’m pretty excited about that.  It feels like I’m making real progress toward finishing my book…and then, who knows? 

What have you done to make  a longtime dream become reality?