Wednesday, May 24, 2017

SOMETHING AWESOME THIS WAY COMES!


So much has happened and is happening since my last post. I must have sat down to write this blog at least 15 times in the last couple of months but I can't get past the first sentence without losing myself. What to write first? Should I start with the most important or keep it chronological? Then I forget what exactly I wanted to write...Oh Yeah, so much stuff and so much brain fog. This is going to be a long blog post...

We finally sold our house in February! Thanks to Snohomish Counties runaway house prices our 780 square foot house sold for 250K and almost three months later our same tiny house is worth nearly 300K!!!! Heck, at that price, we couldn't afford to buy back our old house let alone buy a better one anywhere near Everett, Washington. If we wanted to stay in Snohomish county we would have to buy a complete dump or rent. No and no.

But, even before we put our house on the market Tacoma has been calling me. The years I lived there as a child had a huge impact on me. It inspired the Raina Kirkland series. It's this strange mixture of grunge and grime and history and elegance. It's as dangerous as it is intriguing, as fun as it is sad. The city is a living being, being both beautiful and good as it is disgusting and shameful.  James, however, would never agree to move there. He hated that idea. Tacoma doesn't have the best image. She's a lady whose been around the block a few hundred times but has a heart of gold...still, she's not the girl you marry.

But something changed. Everett's house prices are causing a huge income gap, as only rich people can afford to move there and poorer folk are priced out of their homes. Seattle's monstrous homeless problem is extending north to Everett. Twice in the past year, I've called the police because I've found a body on the side of the road, unresponsive and seemingly dead, only to discover upon police arrival that it is a homeless man 100% past out and laying in his own shit. The Taco Bell down the road has had at least two shootings last year. The high school had bomb threats and Chace Bank was robbed twice. Everett, Washington may seem desirable to home buyers for some reason, but its culture is suffering. Desperate people do desperate things.



Mid-March James finally agreed to 'look' at houses in Tacoma and that very day (which was after a night shift for me, meaning I had 0 sleep between working a 10 hour shift overnight and staying up past 8 o'clock at night!!!!) we drove down, but by the time we arrived only one house was still open for a  showing. It was a nice house, but the stairs were extremely narrow and steep.

After leaving that showing we actually found one more open house and drove to the far south Tacoma on the border with Spanaway...only to find out that the open house had been canceled and their website not updated. Oh poo...when we got back to the car I checked the website (redfin) once more and saw that a house just 4 miles down the road was actually open as well, but it was closing in 5 minutes! Without even looking at the pictures James, the kids and I drove down to see this home...and I was surprised to pass my dad's house on the way. In fact, he was only 2 blocks down the road from the house. As we pulled into the driveway, the agent selling the house was just closing up shop, but he let us take a look and we fell in LOVE hard. We made an offer on the spot! The agent left but we hung around the house with my Dad when some strange and mean people drove up. They said that they already bought the house and James got into a bit of a tiff with one of the men...


30x40 On Sale, Contact Me

After we left the house, all upset about the fight and the fact that we finally made a move on a house but we weren't fast enough, our agent called to let us know that the owner of that house did indeed agree to sell it to the mean folks, but that he HATED them! As soon as the paperwork was signed they were mean to him too. They wanted to sell it to us instead, so as soon as they could get out of the contract with the mean folks, we were free to buy the house!!!


New house's living room...

My husband was able to transfer his job with coca cola down from Everett to Tacoma, which is awesome and also brings me to some other news.  I was fully prepared to drive from Tacoma to Mukilteo ( a town near Everett) for work 3 nights a week for my 10-hour shifts, but just a few weeks before the move was to physically begin my General Manager hired my arch nemesis as her new Assistant Manager, AKA my new boss! Nooooooo! I put in my 3 weeks notice (3 because I'm awesome like that) But now I'm out of the job. OH NO! Every month I'm not working we're near $2000 short, so what's the plan?


Going Away Flowers from Boss Lady.


Well, as far as I've budgeted we can survive until the beginning of July without me working, but then I either need to get a job or find a way to not pay utilities or buy food.

The plan is to try and make a go of being an Artist, and hopefully not a starving one. I have 6 published books, 25 awesome drawings, and 2 massive paintings so far. I've written the first episode of Fatal Retribution and submitted it to Amazon for a new series pitch. For a month I paid Facebook to advertise my books and I think it helped a little at first, but now it seems useless. I posted both my paintings on OfferUp and Letgo. I had one bite on OfferUp for $150, but it fell through. I have a gig in July with Urban Unglued to sell my books and art under a 10x10 tent in Pacific Park, but I can't really afford it, so I created a GoFundMe thing.

By the way, please press HERE to donate a dollar to my dream. LOVE YOU!




I don't know if being an artist will ever support my family. Probably not. There is a plan B. Around the end of June my adult sister will be moving in with us. She needs to put her life together and we need a live-in nanny so I can go back to work. It fits. We help get her her driver's license, a car and support her while she attends college and she watches the kids so I can work again.

But I have until July to try...I just feel like something Awesome is going to happen soon!


Oh, and I got a new cat. We found this starving half dead thing under our new house a month after we bought it. Her name is Lizza and she is doing GREAT!




Sunday, May 7, 2017

Baby Book Blogger

I know the #1 way to sell books is to have hundreds of reviews...and the #1 way to have hundreds of reviews is to contact hundreds of book bloggers and ask them to review your books. That's one of the reasons Fatal Retribution has so many more reviews than the other 5 books I've published. I just kept sending out request after request after request....eventually someone would bite, and if they liked it, I'd ask them to review the next book if possible...

I need to do that again, but it's scary. It's a bit like walking out the front door without any clothes on and asking random men if you're fuckable...Will they respond at all? Will they just walk away? Or will they say something? If they say something, what will they say? Will they notice all my imperfections and focus on them or will the see the overall package and shrug? Will they smile and nod politely? Or will they get super excited!...Books are like that for authors. They are like little bits of your naked self just sitting out there for all the world to see. Asking someone to openly judge my naked self is hard. It was easier when I was younger, but now it feels harder for some reason...Rejection hits harder.

I've thought about becoming a Indie Author Book Blogger for many years. Whenever I meet an Indie A, like myself, I buy their books and write a review, because I know the struggle and I'm hoping they would do the same for me. They usually don't, but I still try. 

When I receive a great review from a reader, and I mean a great review; insightful and well articulated, I encourage them with all my heart to review more authors, start a blog, share your gift. There have been only a few readers who saw in my books things I didn't even realize myself. Like how Raina relies so heavily on her brothers, Nick in particular, for emotional support; probably for lack of a father figure in her life. Nick mirrors this, probably for lack of a mother figure...I don't know if I have that gift as a reviewer. Normally, once I realize I have to write a review, it feels more like I'm in high school again and this is a book report project...It's no fun anymore.



Saturday, May 6, 2017

Out With The Old Problems, In With The New

Everything seems to be falling into place, but I'm scared...


James and I sold our old little house in Everett, WA and bought a bigger house in Tacoma, WA...James got a transfer and Morrighan will be starting school there soon. So what am I scared about? 

Well, for one my mom is moving to Indiana and I'm afraid I'll never see or hear from her again. I am the worst at long distance relationships...If you don't live near me, you don't see me usually. And I don't call people no matter how much I love and miss them. I have this strange phone anxiety...I'll call for business or to make an appointment, but not for social reasons. Never. No matter how many times someone tells me to call them any time, I have an unsettling fear of bothering people by calling them, so I never do. I try not to think about my mom leaving because I start to cry. My kids love her so much and my baby boy is young enough that he won't even remember the grandma he adores right now...

The other thing weighing heavy on my mind is that I quit my job. I quit for a lot of reasons. I could write a list for you but if my boss saw them I would 100% not get a good recommendation from her. What I can tell you is that 1. Everett and Tacoma are not close, and while I was actually looking forward to the train ride up to Everett 3 nights a week, reason number 2 came along, and it suddenly didn't seem worth the effort. In fact, because of reason number 2, I likely would have quit even if James and I bought a house in Everett... Reason number 2 being that my boss just hired a woman I dislike very much as her assistant manager, meaning as my new boss...This will not stand!

But, without a job James and I are short nearly $2,000 a month. Where am I going to get that kind of money on a monthly bases? My books...they are selling but certainly not that well. Should I get another job...First I need to work the opposite of my husband, so there's always someone home with the kids. As long as his schedule is fixed, I can do that, but that brings me to my third problem.

My third worry is that my Give A Shit meter is fucking broken all to shit. I don't know what happened but lately I just can not do customer service, and that's 90% of the jobs out there... Every day that I'm catering to the needs and wants of people I'm coming a little more undone. Pretty soon I'm going to start saying what's really on my mind. I'm getting more and more mouthy. I don't think I can handle it. I feel like I'm a ticking time bomb. 



via GIPHY

Out with the old problems, In with the new

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Fatal Retribution. Episode One



For years I've wanted to write Fatal Retribution, the first book in the Raina Kirkland series into a movie, but moves run only 2 hours long, meaning the script could only be about 180 pages...I was faced with the impossible task of cutting material out. I asked myself what Raina Kirkland side stories can be thrown away...Katie's story? Nicks? No, not Nick! Michael's probably. But that was not enough, nothing even was. I was at an impasse. I could not bring myself to take away from the story.

But as luck would have it Amazon.com has started seeking out new movie and series scripts!  I hadn't considered making Fatal Retribution into a TV series...But as I planned out each episode I quickly realized that a series approach didn't just mean I could keep the story intact, but that I could/needed to add to the story! 

As the books are written from Raina Kirkland's point of view, you never get to see what she doesn't see. As a reader you are only allowed to see the world through her eyes. But, since I have a whole season to fill, 12 episodes at least and each episode is 1 hour long, that means we are going to see so much more! 

Here is the outline for Episode One which includes the first 3 chapters on Fatal Retribution: Dead and Dying (I've highlighted the scenes that are in the book so you can see the awesome extra bits)

Teaser:
* It opens on Raphael bringing Alcestis back to life.  It's a shorter scene full of Shock and Awe meant to capture the audience before the opening musical number.
Act One:
* Opens to Mark selling Paul the altered vampire blood.
*That scene transitions to Raina at home talking to her dad on the phone and to her mom in the kitchen (in the book)
* Then we see Katie at home with Jed, Rachael and Michael. She overhears Michael is leaving for the weekend and begs him to take her with him.
* Then Raina is talking to Tristan on the phone about their plans and learns that Katie is coming along on their trip. (in  the book)
Act Two:
*At Paul's house he's turning into the undead.
*At Raina's house all her siblings are meeting up to go camping. Drop a couple drama bombs based on old mysterious family history and racial tension! (in the book)
*The siblings travel to Mount Rainier (in the book)
Act Three:
*Mark and his dad are arguing over him selling vampire blood and angering their all powerful ancient immortal ancestor, Admetus. 
*A couple living in Darkness, Washington (A Gothic Town on Mount Rainier that is ran by vampires) argue over their dog before going out to dinner...it's missing.
*Paul eats their missing dog...then runs off into the woods to escape the town's lights.
Act Four:
*The siblings wake, have some more drama based on racial tensions, nice.  (in the book)
*Nick leaves the group to pee and smoke pot.
* Michael and Raina talk about deep family shit  (in the book)
* Paul attacks Nick!
* The family hear Nick's screams and run to the rescue, but Michael and Raina get hurt badly by Paul before Tristan kills him. Raina and Sibs have to watch Nick die. (in the book)

The end...

I would have just posted the entire episode here but it is 50 pages long! I've submitted the episode to Amazon.com....They are Evaluating it, but I've already started writing Episode 2, Dead not Dead. I don't know what I'm going to do if they reject my show...well, I do know. I'm going to hate myself, cry a bunch, take a month or two to recenter myself and keep on trucking...I really don't know what I'm going to do if the accept it!...What ever they tell me to do, I guess. 





Sunday, March 26, 2017

ALL THE SHIT I DO

I laugh sometimes when I think about all the stuff I like to do...Writing, drawing, painting, sculpting, acting, comedy...ing... On top of being a wife, mother and working I feel very busy ALL THE TIME, even while I'm sleeping I feel very busy.

My day:

Wake up at 7:30AM
Get out of bed and pee NOW!
Wake up the kids!
Make breakfast!
Get kid off to school NOW, DO IT NOW! 
Walk the damn dog! What are you waiting for? Do it! 
Coddle with your baby. Don't waste time. He's fucking precious! 
Clean or write or draw or something. DO SOMETHING NOW!
Put the baby to sleep for his nap. 
OH SHIT! You fell asleep too! Damn it! 
Pick up your daughter, stupid! You're going to be late, go NOW! 
Make dinner now!!!! 
Bathe those fucking kids! 
Read a bedtime story, NOW!
Everyone is asleep, so stay up until 2AM writing and drawing or cleaning or something!

It all starts again at 7:30AM the next morning...unless it's Thursday-Saturday...I work nights and my schedule is fairly fucked. 

At least the stress is worth it.
My books are for sale only at Amazon
And, my art is for sale only at Redbubble


Sunday, March 19, 2017

COMING TOGETHER

At the beginning of this month everything in my life felt like it was falling apart; my home, my family, my career. I was overwhelmed with a sense of loss. 

You know, I love that kids movie, Inside Out...it has an important lesson for kids. It's okay to be sad.

In a moment of weakness I posted a blog and a facebook post that expressed my inner turmoil. To my surprise I was almost immediately surrounded by supportive loving people. I never expected it...Like Riley from Inside Out, I let myself be sad and people that loved me came together to cheer me up. That was awesome.

I want to thank every one of you for that. I love you. 

Because of the great support I received, I've been extremely productive. The Librarian (the second book in The Serial Series) is coming along nicely. The coloring book, Dark Whimsy, is nearly done! I've finished formatting all my books so I can start ordering them for an even in July: 



I'll be selling all my books, including the coloring book. I can sign any books that are bought, but mostly I just want to hang out with you guys.  

The hubs and I are still house hunting, but my mom and dad (Michael Trainer) have come to the rescue! Since they are moving to Indiana, they are going to let us stay in their house so long as we take over the mortgage payments. I would much rather they sell it so that they can get all that massive profit (almost 200k in profit if they see at market value!!!!) But, they love us more than they love money. We are still looking for a home to buy (we could never afford my mom's house) but their offer is a welcomed safety-net.

So, you see. It's all coming together. Home- no worries. Career- no worries. Family...well, I'm still losing my mom and dad to Indiana but I'm going to visit them as much as possible. A week in the summer and a week in the winter is my hope...But it doesn't quite seem enough since I haven't gone more than a few days without seeing my mom in over a decade. 


Friday, March 10, 2017

LIMBO

So....I was a tad depressed in my last post and it took me damn near 2 weeks to get over it. In all honesty my depressed state of mind had more to do with my own personal life than my writing career.

The Good:


  • My house sold for asking price. Awesome! Let the house hunting begin!
  • And to an Awesome man, a veteran. Fantastic! I miss my home so much, but I know it's in good hands.
  • My Mom's boyfriend got a job. Wooo Hooo I was fully afraid of moving out of my mom's if he still hadn't found work. I wanted to stay and help...


The Bad:


  • The Job Mom's boyfriend found is in Indiana, not Washington, so they are leaving. I will miss my mommy so badly! And I feel terrible, because I know she wants me to come with her. She will miss the only grand-kids she's ever known. Heartbreaking all around.
  • Because they are leaving James and I need to find a place of our own immediately! But, the market in Everett, Washington and ALL the surrounding towns is so fucking HOT right now. We can't afford a house here...So in a few months we might actually be homeless! [James is putting in for a transfer to Wanatchee, Washington and we can afford the houses there]
  • On top of that my daughter has been acting out, everyone in the house is fighting and my plans to become a caretaker are being completely destroyed by all of this...


I feel like I'm being pulled in a million directions so I'm stuck in limbo.

So What am I going to do about it? 

I have to center myself.
Who am I? A mother, A friend. An artist. At my core, this is who I am, so I'll be that. I'm focusing on my kids and my friends and my craft. The rest of my life might be a mess. Complete upheaval really, but I will be a steady rock, or something like that.


Thursday, February 23, 2017

I suck.

Disappointed but not surprised...
The Urban Unglued event in Tacoma, WA invited me to attend as a vendor and I was so excited. I was preparing my books for a big order and designing banners and business cards and getting my stupid website back up and running (which cost me $140) and putting a flame under my butt for the coloring book I'm creating...but then they gave away the spot that they'd offered because I suck.
I was waiting for them to send me an application through a message or something. Then I reread our correspondence and realized they wanted me to find the application on their Facebook page, which I found but wouldn't have been able to send it out until tonight, which is too late because I suck!!!

I'm feeling extremely discouraged altogether. I haven't sold a book in months and now I feel dumb and rejected...
What am I even doing? No one wants to read my books and 99% of those who do don't care enough to leave reviews to help me. 

This is an existential moments for me. Should I just give up?

Friday, February 3, 2017

ROUGH SKETCH COVERS: BOOKS 1-5


I feel like once a year or so I have to remake the covers of my Raina Kirkland Series because the old ones don't speak to me anymore...That's one of the reasons I'm afraid to hire an actual cover artist. What if I love a cover that cost me hundreds of dollars, but then a few months go by and my mood changes and I no longer love it. Also, I don't have that kind of money. 😉

So, here I am again, once again with five new covers...sort of new. Re-imagined, lets say. I'm going to keep these new covers up for a few weeks and see how people respond. 


BOOK ONE

BOOK TWO
BOOK THREE
BOOK FOUR
BOOK FIVE

Saturday, January 28, 2017

It's About The Journey.

Like pretty much everyone else on this planet, I day dream. Most of my day dreams involve me reaching some kind of success or getting a bunch of money via a lucky ticket or I just waking up one morning and suddenly I'm a best seller...because me winning the lottery and me becoming a best selling author have about the same likelihood of happening. But, as nice as it is to day dream, there has to be something said about the hard road. 

It's the journey, not the destination, right? I look down at my body and I see scars everywhere. I stretch and I feel old injuries that never healed right. All of this reminds me that I didn't just pop into existence. Everything I am and everything I'm ever going to be has and will happen in it's own time with hard work. 

My 6 published books didn't just pop into existence. Nor are they the only books I've written. I've been writing since 2003, when I was just 19 years old. I didn't publish my first book, Fatal Retribution, until I was 27 years old. From 19 to 27 I wrote some pretty weird stuff. I found an old binder of mine the other day. I wrote a novel called Herwall of Midgard. It was a play on LOTR, Gondor...as in the Door is Gone but the Wall is Here. *giggle*

Inspired by Tolkien, I created an entire world; mapped out, populated, cultured...I even created my own language with it's own alphabet and syntax and punctuation...it was nuts! I filled a binder with notes and maps and diagrams... The book is lost. Probably saved on a dang floppy disc or some such shit. But, it probably wasn't intelligible anyway. The first draft of Fatal Retribution certainly wasn't reader-friendly. 

The second book I wrote was something so random, but there was a lot of strong imagery. ^_^ I remember feeling very empowered while writing it. It was called, Collide. It was about souls living in life, out of life, and in past lives all converging on a single moment in time to defeat a great evil as technology is being used to rip apart the veil between worlds...and then at some point the narrator went from a disembodied 3rd person to an actual character half way through the book and the story got away from me from there...pure craziness. 

It was a long road to finding my voice as a writer and teaching myself how to write...It likely doesn't surprise any of you that I've never taken a writing class...Quirky sentence structure, fragment and run on sentences, too many commas, and ending the sentence with a proposition...Me and rules just don't get along, man. But that's not why I didn't study writing in College. It's because I thought I wanted to be a psychologist. Luckily, psychology helps writing. What doesn't help is horrible, horrible dyslexia. LOL

Right now I'm trying my hand at other genres. The Raina Kirkland Series was Urban Fantasy with a touch of Mystery, Romance and Horror. Taking the reader into a world much like our own, but full of myths and monsters made real. As you read the first 2 books you begin to think you understand the world as something close to Laurell K Hamilton or Kim Harrison's works. But by book 3 and 4 it starts to feel very different...Book 4, Deadly Encounters, is my favorite! By the last book you see the whole picture. Toxic Warrior doesn't have any reviews, so I don't know if anyone likes it or what they think of Raina's whole journey just yet. 

My plans are to write a Serial Killer Book, a Zombie Book and a Erotic Book. 

I've already published the first in the serial series, The Artist. And I've started work on the second book, The Librarian. 
The Zombie Book is nearing completion, but I am fully looking forward to the Erotic book. it's going to be so damn smutty. Believe you me, I love writing sex almost as much as I love writing gore and action. 

I don't know where my journey will take me. I'm taking every day one step at a time. Making plans and plowing ahead. I so badly want to just wake up tomorrow and have hundreds of reviews for my books and feel a great measure of success, but in all seriousness, this is my journey, this is my road. Every inch gained is hard won. Nothing in my life has been easy; from growing up in poverty surrounded by drugs, hunger and violence, to putting myself through college and buying my first house at the age of 25. Why would writing be any different, and why would I want it to be? It's about the Journey. 




Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Social Whore

I'm hiding from my neighbor. She a nice woman, beautiful, friendly, but I'm sitting in my car and ducking so she doesn't see me. Why? I don't know. I'm social enough at work and on the internet. Why should I talk to people outside of those places? Small talk makes me cringe! 

And it's not a stranger or acquaintance vs friends and family thing either. I never call my family unless I must. When they call me my stomach hurts. That must be where all my social butterflies nestle. Feels like it. I have literally not spoken to one of my best friends since before Christmas. It usually takes me some time to build up to calling or texting her. Such is my anxiety.  And it's always the same excuse. I think about you every day, but I never want to intrude into your life at the wrong time...

It seems bad that the only times I'm outgoing is at work or on the internet; Facebook, Twitter, Blogger and Instagram. Because I'm a writer and exposure is key. All my time on the internet is potential money and work is money...

If the only time I'm social is when I'm getting paid to be, does that make me a social whore? 

Sunday, January 15, 2017

2017 BLOWS SO FAR....

I haven't blogged since New Years Eve. I don't know what to write, so I'll just give you an update on my life. Things have been keeping me busy.

I had a sever case of bronchitis for a while. I just thought I had a really bad cold, but turns out my baby and I both had it...

I was coughing so bad from the bronchitis that I actually strained my back muscles. I was coughing and something went POP in my back. I collapsed on the spot and couldn't get up without the help of my coworkers. I managed to drive myself to the walk-in clinic even though I could barely move without excruciating pain. 

The doctor gave me a shot and some pills and I laid in bed for a week. It still hurts like hell sometimes...

Selling of my house has turned out to be harder than I thought. We put our lovely bungalow on the market on my birthday, November 17th. We got offers that day and accepted an offer for full price, with us paying the closing costs. Everything was going swimmingly...Well, there were a couple set backs that costed us nearly $3,000...But other than that everything was on schedule up until we found out that the buyers were in fact not permitted to buy the house in the first place...

We put it back on the market on the same day my back went out on me and we had several offers right away. We took the best one, 10k more than the asking price and they pay the closing costs. Happiness! ...Until the buyer raised some concerns about the septic tank ...Yesterday the buyer had someone inspect the septic tank and I guess we'll find out whats what soon. Either way, we're tapped out financially speaking, so now everything is up in the air again. Fun times...  We'll see how that turns out soon...

Also, I published The Artist just before 2017, but so far I've sold 1 copy. Not the turn out I was hoping for...

You could say 2017 is really trying to beat 2016 for the crappiest year of my life. 

I'm sick
My back hurts
My bank hurts
My house isn't yet sold
Still living with my mom (totally love her, but I feel like a loser)
tRump is 5 days away from being the most powerful man on Earth.
My hours are cut at work
I'm taking on a new job, which is scary
And no one gives a shit about my books.
Awesome! 





I still hold out hope that everything will turn around soon.

I'll start to feel better
My back will feel better
My debt will be paid off when we...
Sell our house, and I'll feel better when...
Hubby and I buy a new home.
tRump is either impeached or turns out to not be so bad
Working less pays of because...
My new job makes up the money I loose from working part time 
People who've read my books decide to write reviews and other people decide to buy them based on those reviews

That would be truly Awesome!