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Monday, May 30, 2011

Rainbow Cookies!!

They look good, huh?

Well, it turns out they are *&%$%*#$ hard to make. Perhaps not for a skilled pastry chef, but for little old me. Well, it has been quite the expletive filled challenge. Crazy Italians.

Ostensibly, I was making them for the intermission sales at the band concert tomorrow. But I'm not sure they are fit for prime time. So perhaps they won't actually see the real world.

And that is fine because, having sampled some of the cookie along the way, they are pretty danged yummy.

But now, what will I make for the band concert?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Teen Angst- AKA Characters we love to hate... or just hate.

Ok, before I start with my self-indulgent blah, blah, blahing, I have to comment on this photo. I was searching for a photo that demonstrated"teen angst". And I came across this and thought, "that's it". When I clicked through it was an advert for a depression clinic and it was posted next to "warning signs for depression." Ok, teen depression and suicide are no laughing matter, but I looked at their list of warning signs and then looked at this photo and couldn't help but laugh because what is a bigger warning sign of depression than LYING IN THE ROAD? I mean, come on.

So, back to the point. In my conversation with my brilliant friend yesterday, she said that she had read some of my book and she found my young main character super annoying. Which, on the face of it, is hardly a compliment. But then she compared her to that annoying Bella Swann-- who I also found extremely frustrating-- and I couldn't help but think, "I nailed it". So, hurray, I have captured the annoying-ness of teen angst. And, as long as people can get past my irritating character and keep reading, I'm good. But therein lies the hurdle. If they can't, I have created bonfire fodder. Good thing it is camping season.

Pardee out.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Books You Read While You Poop

I had an enlightening conversation with my enlightened friend about, as the title says, books you read while you poop. These would be books that don't take too much brain power to follow and yet keep you reading. Since she lumped books such as Harry Potter and Twilight in this category, I guess I aspire to have Clown Schlong, fka Star-crossed: Secrets, to be a pooping book.

So, please, if you feel the need to drop some friends off at the pool, please take a copy of Star-crossed... Clown Schong... whatever.

Pardee out.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Introducing-- Clown Schlong

So, my title blows. Not only is every other book in the world named Starcrossed but the title Star-crossed: Secrets makes me gag. The more I say it, the more I gag. So, I unveil my new title: Clown Schlong. I can't possibly say that enough. And, to the left, is the new cover. What will he pull out of that hat? If you guessed Clown Schlong, you might be right.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Ah, Powell's books. Haven of bookstore awesomeness. How we love thee.

I got a text from Powell's from my wandering peeps and once I got past my crippling envy, I started to think...... When my oldest daughter was four or five, she used to write these little picture books that she stapled between construction paper. Then she would take them with her when we went to stores or libraries and put them on the shelves with the other books. "So people could buy them," she would tell us. We thought it was adorable but, really, it was also genius marketing. Visibility is the first step, am I right?

So, perhaps I should have sent a copy of my book, Star-crossed:Secrets, with the surfers to place on the shelves. Then someone could find it and read it and create demand. Or, conversely, it could really confuse the check out people and they would throw it away. But still, it would have basked in the awesomeness of Powell's for a time, and isn't that what really matters?

Pardee out.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Swimming to Portland

Yes, it's me. Aren't I awesome. And, from afar, I look naked.

I wish I looked that fantastic... clothed or naked.

So, my insane friends and I are "swimming to Portland"-- as in, swimming the distance to Portland. You know who you are, insane friends. And we are swimming huge amounts of yardage trying to keep up with/beat each other. And it is a blast. And it is painful. And I am seeing stars. But that might be all the Sangria.

What does this have to do with your novel, Star-crossed, Laurel? Well, I'm glad you asked. Because Star-crossed, while it seems to be sci-fiy and romance, is really a swimming novel. And Chara looks just like tight buns in the photo there.

Say what?

Ok, that is a stretch. But one of my characters is a swimmer. Brett might seem minor, but in the only-written-in-my-head third novel, his roll is significant. There is much swimming.

And, of course, since most of the book was written in my head as I swam laps back and forth, it is a novel born of swimming.

Ok, so that is a stretch. But what can I say, I am full of Sangria. It makes sense to me. Perhaps you should try some Sangria and read this again and it will make sense.

Pardee out.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Oh Nooooooooo!

Ok, my friend came across this searching for my book, Star-crossed: Secrets. And, dang, it is mighty similar. I had no idea I was so unoriginal. I mean, ok, Star crossed is kind of a mainstream title, but the kissy silhouette? Come on.

On the other hand, this book will cost you $9.99 for Nook and mine is a mere 99 cents. So, you certainly should buy mine instead.

Well, and the author of this book is a breast cancer survivor, so you should buy hers too.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Cookies, cookies, cookies!!!

Okay, enough prattling on about that dumb book (Star-crossed:Secrets-- read it!). Today I made some amazing cookies. They kind of look like these but not really.

Anyway, I substituted peanut butter for butter in my oatmeal cookies and they are amazing!!! Yummy and protein-y to boot. But they are crumbly. You can't have everything... right?

Sunday, May 15, 2011

We have a winner!!!

And the winner of the Starbuck's card for reviewing Star-crossed: Secrets is.....

Tina Egurrola

Thanks for reading, Tina, and thanks for saying nice things!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Thursday, May 12, 2011

The dangerous pitfalls of the eyeroll.

I am re-editing Journeys because, as always, there are some blatant errors hiding in there. And it can always use a bit more polish. But what I am finding is that my characters are constantly rolling their eyes or raising their eyebrows. Sometimes they even do that ever-tricky single eyebrow raise.

Yes, my characters are talented individuals.

Also, they probably look like they have some sort of seizure disorder with all the twitching and eye rolling.

So, I have to wonder, am I overdoing it? When you read a book and there is lots of eye communication, does it bug you or do you just go with it?

Pardee out.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

To publish or not to publish

So, I just read a blog discussing the dangers of self-publishing, the take home message being that sometimes a manuscript should live in the drawer and not ever be published.

Because it stinks like month old ricotta cheese.

Ok, I get that. Sometimes, a book isn't ready for the world. Or the world isn't ready for the book.

But just because an agent or a publisher or an army of agent publishers, with claws, and fangs, and herpes say it isn't ready for prime time, doesn't mean it isn't.

I think the point I am trying to make through this ponderous babble is that there isn't really much to lose in self-publishing. And this is true even if your book is the biggest piece of garbage to wash up on the south shore. Really. Because once you put it out there, people will read it... or not. And people will like it ... or not. And it seems like you should be able to give that choice to the reading public. Lord knows I've read enough stinkers released by the publishing world. And I've read some self-published gems that deserve the accolades and adoration of the literary world. And a movie deal. Like my book. Star-crossed: Secrets.

Not really. I'm not that arrogant. But other books... like Tammy Blackwell's Destiny Binds.

So, that is my opinion for the day.

Pardee out.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Cross training

Today has been a hard day.

Sometimes, you just need to look at the sunset.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Phallic anemones

When I was done with the second half of the Star-crossed series, Journeys, I decided that it would be sneaky and clever to put a watermark of very penis-looking anemones on every page. That way the reader would wonder if they were looking at penises on every page. And it was pretty darned funny, when I did it.

However, the watermark did not transfer when I changed the formatting to upload the file. So, the literary world will not have the pleasure of wondering "is that a penis?" on every page of my book. Sorry world. The time has not come.

Pardee out.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Whyblogsarebetterthanchocolate: For love or money

Whyblogsarebetterthanchocolate: For love or money: "The other day, my 10 year old asked me if people write for the money or for fame. That made me consider why I wrote the Star-crossed boo..."

For love or money

The other day, my 10 year old asked me if people write for the money or for fame. That made me consider why I wrote the Star-crossed books. As I mentioned before, they originally were a challenge to my lazy children to write themselves. But once I got into writing them for serious and finishing them... did I want riches or fame? Or, more realistically, a bit of pocket change or recognition?

Well, when I chose to self-publish, I was thinking that I just wanted to get my book out to all my friends so they could read it and, hopefully, like it. Because, really, what's the point of spending years of your life writing and editing if the book is just going to sit on your hard drive? It's a nice mental exercise but it feels a bit wasted. So that's what I did. And many of my friends have read and at least pretending to like Secrets. So, hurray! Goal accomplished.

But, I guess it would be nice to make a little money. I am blessed to have all my needs met and then some. But I feel like I am pouring money into copies of the books to hand out to friends and I know my outflow will exceed my intake. So... a few healthy sales would be nice.

So... I guess the answer is, for both love and money. At least for me. What about the rest of you writers?

Pardee out.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

The joke is on me

Two years ago I put up my easel and my paints and engrossed myself in the very entertaining task of writing a novel. Initially it was an effort to inspire my girls to write over the summer, but it took on a life of its own.

Now, here I am, publishing said novel and realizing that I need some bitchin' cover art because the photo I used as the cover is too blah. And as I am searching for art, I am learning that I will need to pay $350-ish for said cover art. So for my 99 cent ebook that I will be lucky to make $20 from, I will need to pay hundreds of dollars for the cover. Twice, because there are two books.

Silly Laurel, you should have stuck with painting!

Friday, May 6, 2011

You could already be a winner...

I am not above bribery.

$20 Red Robin gift card to the first person who reviews Star-crossed: Secrets on Kindle or Nook.

Pardee out.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Revisiting the Cover

So, I listened in on a Q&A on self-publishing yesterday and one of the main points that I took away was that the cover is everything. Bad cover = no sales. This is the second time I have heard this and I am ready to take it seriously.

Now, my covers are lovely photos, but they are kind of boring and lackluster and make me want to sing hymns and drink the Kool Aid.

So, I have begun the search for a new cover through the awesome power of Google images. And, lo and behold, I found it. The perfect photo.

No... not this one. Although it would make a hell of a cover. Sadly, the photo I pine for was not taken by Uncle Bob on vacation, it was taken by a professional. A lovely British woman. So I have e-mailed her and we are in negotiations.

And I am stuck. This photo is awesome. I can't show it yet but trust me. But how much should I pay for it? I have made all of $2.00 on this book and may not make any more. So how much are the rights to a fantastic cover worth? On the other hand, if the cover really makes the book, I could be swimming in cash-ola. I guess this is what they call an investment gamble.

Anyone with advice?

Pardee Out.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

What the...

Is this scary, bulbous fish creature a character in my book, Star-crossed: Secrets? Or is he just a poor fish waiting in the Petsmart fish tank for some poor sot to take him home and feed him too much food so he will have to be flushed down the toilet?

Or both.

Oh snap!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

You know you want this!

Ten dollar coffee card to the first person who writes a favorable review of Star-crossed: Secrets on Amazon. Or Barnes and Noble.

Pardee out.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Jack Black in a Speedo

Yeah, that's me.

Well, not the photo. Nor is it Jack Black. But it is still effing hilarious.

But I would be Jack Black if he were a girl, and wrote a self-published novel.

Actually, I shouldn't disparage Jack Black because he is probably a very competent person. But, as he is not on my friend list, I can only go from his cinematic performances and on those, he is a boob.

I have spent my weekend finding, or being informed of, errors in my novel. I suppose that is the pitfall of the self-published author. And, certainly, I have found plenty of errors in self-published ebooks I have read. I have also found a ton of errors in real books that were published by a publisher. So... how big of a deal is this?

Well, it's pretty embarrassing. That is for sure. Fortunately, with epublishing, you can fix your errors and upload a new file. So I am on that. But still... what a boob I am.

Pardee out.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Toxic Pee

Yes, there is toxic pee in my book-- Star-crossed: Secrets. At least once in every chapter. Aliens with toxic pee. Beware, puny Earthlings.

Ok, not really. The only alien with toxic pee around here is the dog. But he killed my lovely bush. It is now dead.

Here is said alien villain. Doesn't he look guilty? The bush is behind the BBQ. He probably just peed on it.

So, it is a sad day for us all here. Please save us from the mean alien. BTW, the aliens in Star-crossed: Secrets are nice. At least as far as you know. Read the book and find out.

Pardee out.