#WIPpitWed #AppalachianElementals 12/05/18: Book and Blade

It’s snowing here, and it looks like there’ll be more than a skift on the ground by morning. A skift is a dusting, in case you don’t know. Skifts are regular things here in Northeast Tennesse, but we get measurable snow a few times most years. I remember snows of up to three feet and years with only one or two skifts.

Like everything else, it all depends, but I didn’t find a wooly worm this year to know what that traditional form of weather prediction had to say.

Welcome to #WIPpetWednesday! Since Mama, Me, & the Holiday Tree has been released I’m again sharing from Keeping House, novel two in the Appalachian Elementals series.

I shared the prologue for Keeping House a while back (you can find it under #WIPpetWednesday under Topics to your right), so I’m currently sharing from Chapter One.

Here’s my WIPpet math for 12/5/2018: 5+1= 6 paragraphs from Keeping House, book two in the Appalachian Elementals series.

The Setup: I’m skipping ahead a bit. Cent and Stowne have spent some, er, quality time together, and now Stowne has two gifts for Cent before she leaves.

     “This is how we will share while you are away.” Stowne set a fat, handmade book by her head.

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Author #Selfcare: How not to be Triggered by the Crazymakers in “Safe” Online Communities

TW/CW: Emotional Abuse Discussion
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CRAZYMAKER

Why am I sharing this experience? Clarity. My directly addressing what happened makes it easier for me to put aside.

So I admit it, I was recently triggered by someone online. It happens, particularly to people with PTSD like myself, but what slays me is that it happened inside what’s supposed to be an online “safe” space, a private, membership-via-application community.

My biggest trigger is easily crazymaking behavior. Why? Because it creates a no-win situation for the victim. I lived with that behavior from an ex for over a decade then again with an adult child who learned the behavior from said parent, and it taught me to doubt every choice I make, to self-blame, to doubt my own sanity.

Needless to say, neither of these people are in my life anymore. (Don’t judge where the adult child is concerned. When the abusive behavior of someone you love is making you physically ill, it often becomes a save-yourself-first scenario. It wasn’t an easy choice, believe me.)

Here’s a further explanation of crazymaking behavior from Psychology Today (link at the bottom of this post). Continue reading

#AppalachianElementals #FictionFri The Rhodes Family Tree

One of the major themes in the Appalachian Elementals series is family. It was central to  Cleaning House, to Mama, Me, & the Holiday Tree, and is central to Keeping House, my current work in progress. Family is also, like in many cultures, central to Appalachia. We’re traditionally close-knit, though that has somewhat changed over the last few generations. That said, I might, at a later date, take a closer look at Tess and Roslyn Rhodes’ generation (meaning write a story where they’re the MCs, but that’s for another day since I’m currently neck deep in #NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month).

When Cleaning House was a rough draft, I scrawled out the Rhodes’ family tree as it relates to Cent and her cousin, Aubrey, adding details like birth/death dates, where the magic derives from in each family member, if there’s any magic at all, and ended up with four-five generations (depending on your take), going back to Cent and Aubrey’s great-great-grandmother Amadahy, a fictional member of the North Carolina Cherokee tribal rolls (one of my own ancestors, six generations back, is listed on those same rolls, I’ve been told).

Anyway, that initial scrawl to set down a lineage has become the graphic below, an actual family tree.

Creating the family tree helped bring the characters to life, to give them roots. It helped me determine how they might have thought, their experiences,  how things developed between generations and, more specifically, where things have gone wrong. Continue reading

8: Yet Another Blog Post About the Need for Diversity in Writing

 10, 9, 8… This marks day three of my ten-day countdown to the release of my novella Mama, Me, and the Holiday Tree. You can read more about #HolidayTreeNovella at the bottom of this post, but today I’m discussing something I often address in my writing, and even in the subtitle of this website, diversity.

 


 

Yeah, you’ve heard it all before. We need diversity.

And we do, more so now than ever.

 

Spare me if you disagree.

Spare me if you’re tired of hearing it.

Maybe if more authors listened, authors like me wouldn’t need to keep repeating this.

 

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10: #HolidayTreeNovella #WritersLife The Real Struggle to Define my Writing or A Guide to Plot Bunny Fur

10 This marks day first day of my ten-day countdown until the release of my novella Mama, Me, and the Holiday Tree. You can read more about #HolidayTreeNovella at the bottom of this post, but today I’m relating my struggle to define myself as a writer or a creating a plot bunny Swiffer ad one.

I’ll let you decided.


So I’ve been thinking about my writing, about its consistent inconsistencies, and I’ve decided to summarize it so others might understand that the struggle is very real.

Here goes.

Me in 2000 – first trying to get my material out there: (In a tentative voice) I’ve written a couple of short stories and a few poems. Want to see them?

Enter novel-length Sci-Fi plot bunny: Hi! Waves at poetry bunny and short-story plot bunny as they hop away: Later!

 

 

Me in 2005 – my first novel finds print: (In a semi-confident voice) I write novel-length Science Fiction.

Enter novel-length epic Sci-Fi plot bunny. Yeah, but…

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They came. They saw. They Conquered. – Concerning the Singular They/Them in Cleaning House

Pardon my mess yet again. I’m cleaning up from the, um, initial reviews for Cleaning House – A Queer Contemporary Appalachian Fantasy.

I’m an adult, a seven-time author so I can take reviews be they positive or negative because they’re simply one person’s opinion. That said, far too many reviewers seemed to have problems if not completely visceral reactions to my use of they/them singular pronouns with one set of spirits within Cleaning House, leading them to lower their ratings for what they called an otherwise good novel. In short, I used they/them for my elemental spirits and some readers simply couldn’t wrap their heads around the concept.

Hang on to your hats, this might get a bit complicated if you think you’ve never run across singular they/them usage before now. Hint: you have.

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Author How-To: The Art of the Press Release

(looks up at this post’s title) The press release might not be an actual art, but there are definite reasons and rules.

Pardon my virtual mess. I’m sweeping up from my latest press release. Yeah, press releases aren’t fun. In fact, they’re drier than dust to create, but they’re a necessary evil, albeit one that might or might not bear any fruit.

So why bother with a press release for your newest novel?

  • Getting the information out there
  • You’re proud of all your hard work
  • Someone out there might be listening
  • You might actually get some coverage

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Author How-To: Book Promotion and the Disabled Author

First off, let’s change a word in that title. Let’s strike out disabled and replace it with differently abled because it’s not that you and I can’t, it’s more like we often need to go about things differently. Regardless, disabled is the more common term, so I left it in the title.

How do I, as a differently-abled author, handle book promotion? Here’s my go-to list along with some explanations and tips that I hope will help other authors long their way.

Social Media
  •  Website – If you’re an author, you should have an active website devoted to your work and writing in general, including cross-promoting other authors. If at all possible, create your own website, whether it’s a paid or free one is up to you, but if you can’t then get someone to help you
  • Twitter – The twitterverse is often a nightmare of conflict but, if you can stay clear of that, it’s a fairly good place to do a bit of promo. (Note: that does not mean I suggest doing paid ads there.) Here’s a link to a post that tells you how to create clickable images in tweets without creating or paying for an ad. And there are some excellent Twitter chats out there too. Investigate and see which one(s) might work for you. My regular chat is #writestuff at 9 p.m. Eastern. It’s a small chat that’s easy for me to follow via Tweetdeck, a social account platform that goes with Twitter. I don’t have multiple Twitter accounts, but it lets me isolate the chat from my general feed so I can keep up.
  • Facebook – FB, in my experience, is best for socializing with other authors more than it is for connecting with readers. I have a private page as well as an author page. The former is much more active than the latter. Like with Twitter, I am not advising you to use FB’s paid ads. In fact, I discouraged it. I’ve used FB ads and nothing came of it. Zip. It was a waste of money.
  • Instagram – If you take a lot of photos, this is great. I’m not big into Instagram because my hands tremor too much to take a decent photo. Some authors are, however, excellent at using Instagram, and if it’s your thing, then use it to your advantage. Yes, I have an Instagram account. No, I don’t use it like I should. (NOTE: My Instagram had an old password, meaning it was hacked and all my access was removed because foolish me hadn’t put two-layered authentification in place). Sigh. I have a new account, but I haven’t posted to it yet. If you come across the Instagram account jlgfellers – it’s the hacked one. My new Instagram is jeannegfellers.) I know nothing about Instagram ads, if there is such a thing.
  • TumblrI use my Tumblr repost my blogs. I don’t have a significant following there, but I haven’t really tried either. (Because of the Instagram scare, I deleted my Tumblr account.  It wasn’t worth the risk.)
  • Goodreads – Goodreads reposts my blogs too, and I get some feedback from readers via the site.
  • Youtube – if you like to vlog, this is a goldmine for you. If you make your own book trailers (most authors have little success doing them), then post yours there. I’m now using Youtube to share playlists for my Appalachian Elemental series, and I’ve had a nice response from readers. In short, they think it’s ingenious, and they really like it. (grin) I just think it’s fun. I’ve research Goodreads ads and they’re out of my budget, as is their book contests/giveaways.
  • Amazon Author Central – A must if you’re selling books on Amazon, even through a traditional publisher. Link your blog, post appearances, link your profile to your books. You can advertise with Amazon on a budget and it’s something I’m looking into.
  • There are lots of other social media outlets such as wattpad and Pinterest (the latter of which I plan on investigating for my writing). Search for what works best for you. I know nothing about advertising where these platforms are concerned.

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