Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Author Interview VIDEO - Terri Meeker on Billy the Kid and Forks in the Road

I met Terri Meeker through Samhain Publishing. She's awesomely entertaining and so much fun to read. I'm delighted she could visit my blog amid her packed schedule. Enjoy! Original post http://maryhughesbooks.blogspot.com/2018/04/2t-repeat-performance.html


Tuesday, May 15, 2018

3T Writing Tidbit

This is another in my 25 Ways You're Losing Readers (and what you can do about it) series.

One size does not fit all. And it's getting more so.

The market it huge and getting bigger. It's also tiny and getting smaller. In the music business, this is called fragmenting.

The days of the monolithic cultural icon are disappearing. We had three channels, so it was easy to talk about popular things around the watercooler. Almost everyone had watched Dragnet the night before.

Now, even if you watch prime time television, more likely your neighbor is streaming Netflix. Or an alternative show on YouTube.

We can find exactly what we want, now. And a lot of it. I love quirky scifi with a magical twist. In the old days there was...nobody. Now there's Butcher and Stross and Hearn and the guy who wrote Red Shirts and...

See? How many of you read any of those authors? There are still monoliths like JK Rowling and JD Robb that we've most read or at least heard of.

The good news is, you can write your particular brand of story and there's gonna be at least one other person out there who's hankering to read it.

Published since 2009, over the years I've accumulated various items of writing wisdom. The Third Tuesday Writing Tidbit showcases these items in no particular order. Click here to see all 3T Tidbits. Click here to see all 25 Ways You're Losing Readers.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

2T Repeat Performance

In December 2016, the lovely Magical Musings crew decided it was time to close down their blogging shop. I had three wonderful years with them. This is another of those posts.

photo credit: Lex Photographic via photopin cc
My #1 Favorite Thing--It's Not What You Think--originally posted March 4, 2015.

Can you name some famous introverts? Some of the names may surprise you. Answer below :)

Those who know me, know I'm an introvert. So this may also come as a surprise.

My #1 favorite thing is--other people.

First, let's take a look at what being an introvert actually means and explode a few myths while we're at it.

Myth #1: Introverts like to be alone.

Not true. As Sophia Dembling in PsychologyToday.com's Introvert's Corner says, "Introverts are people, and people need people. That's human nature." (Aaand of course Streisand singing "People"..."people who need people" loops in my head.) It's just that, being quiet is how I recharge my batteries. While many people get energy from groups, like big parties--I don't know the science behind it but maybe it's like being in front of a really big pipe organ playing Phantom--introverts can get overstimulated.

You can prove this if you don't believe me. Take your introverted SO to a quiet library. He/she will happily stay there hours, even if it's wall-to-wall people.

photo credit: JoeInSouthernCA 
via 
photopin cc
Myth #2: Introverts don't like other people.

Actually, just the opposite. We care so much about our relationships, we're all about one-on-one time.

Okay, if that's true, why do introverted friends screen phone calls, even from friends?

Because we want to be sure we're mentally and emotionally in the right place to give our friends our very best.

If an introvert loves you, you're really special to them.

Myth #3: Introverts can't be leaders.

Not according to Susan Cain’s life-altering book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking. Introversion isn't a handicap. It doesn't stop a person from doing anything. From PsychologyToday.com's post 5 Myths Abount Introverts and Extraverts At Work by Adam Grant, Ph. D.: 'As actress Emma Watson (a.k.a. Hermione Granger) laments, “If you’re anything other than an extravert you’re made to think there’s something wrong with you.”' Now that people are beginning to recognize that, 'Leaders are coming out of the introvert closet in droves.'

Are you introverted? Here's a quiz you can take, 23 Signs You're Secretly An Introvert at HuffingtonPost.com.

Those famous introverts? Emma Watson, Albert Einstein, Bill Gates, Abraham Lincoln, Heath Ledger, JK Rowling, Lady Gaga, Michael Jordon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Harrison Ford, Charles Darwin, Marilyn Monroe, David Letterman, Courtney Cox, Christina Aguilera, Audrey Hepburn...add yours below!

Let's get to know each other! In my first year as a Magical Musings blogger, I'm exploring my 10 favorite things. This is number one.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

1T Status Update

Forecast for May: Changes.
And the time it takes to get those changes right.
  • Night's Kiss (The Ancients Book 2).
  • Printing with the printer which has been working fine for two years.
  • Piccolo playing (which I've done off and on for decades).
  • Computer programming (ditto).

Computer programming story
I've been writing pretty much since middle school. In 2010, I made more money with my books than I did through computer consulting, so I gave full-time writing a go. Changes in the publishing industry has since cut into sales until it's simply not paying anymore. I'm working hard learning advanced advertising skills, but when a programming gig opened up, I decided to look hard at getting back into the game (that is, learn the newest programming techniques). It's been nearly ten years and a lot has changed, but the educational opportunities are insanely good. I've been halving my day between writing and programming videos, which unfortunately makes progress in both twice as slow.

Piccolo playing story
I bought my Yamaha 61 with my first real paychecks. I love that piccolo, and it's a lovely instrument, grenadilla wood and cork pads and an upper register that'll knock your socks off. But playing it in my new orchestra, I can't make the high G sound in tune. Eek! Fortunately, a nice piccolo showed up the last time we were visiting our local music store. I'm giving it a try.

Printer story
So when I get something expensive (see piccolo story above) my husband usually gets something, too. In this case, his main go-to for entertainment, Imgur, wasn't loading and he wanted a new router. Great! Got the router, he installed it, I connected my computer and tablet, typed in the new password and away we go! Except... connecting my wireless laser printer wasn't so easy. The documentation had outdated links plus instructions that plain didn't work. I ended up blowing away its configuration and redoing it from scratch. THERE's three hours of my life I won't get back. (*grumble, grumble*)

Night's Kiss story
In August 2017, I submitted the book proposal for Night's Kiss. I finished a few projects, then, having heard back once from my editor requesting a couple easy updates, I went ahead and wrote the book. In February I finished the first draft. Naturally, it was at this point that the proposal came back with the need for major revisions. It took a lot of back and forth, but finally we came up with an updated proposal both my editor and I were satisfied with. Now if it passes the head editor's inspection, I'll be rewriting the book...

These things happen. Some months are like that. Meditation helps keep me balanced. Reminding myself nothing, if you learn from it, is wasted--that helps. Other people have just as hard a time if not harder. I'm glad for the opportunities I've been given.

Hubby made me cake, and that helps a whole lot, too.

Sometimes progress just takes longer and requires more effort. If anyone's wondering why things are going a bit slowly, this is why.

Hope your month is going better!