The “myth” of writer’s block…

I never used to believe in “writer’s block.” Part of me still doesn’t want to think it exists, that its something we writers have to power through. There have been times in the past where a story has been difficult for me, where I didn’t know what happened next. I rarely had a deadline or readers waiting, it was just me and the characters trying to figure out what adventure they’d find next. I could take as much time as I wanted to figure it out, and invariably I did.

I’ve always written. My mother still has “books” I made from preschool about dinosaurs and horses and other fun stuff. Being able to make up stories, bring to life interesting characters and situations, was something I loved, something I wanted to do for a living. Several months ago, I was finally able to get that dream, quitting my day job to focus solely on my craft. I thought it would be smooth sailing from here on out, doing something I loved so much.

The last month has shown me otherwise.
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The "myth" of writer's block…

I never used to believe in “writer’s block.” Part of me still doesn’t want to think it exists, that its something we writers have to power through. There have been times in the past where a story has been difficult for me, where I didn’t know what happened next. I rarely had a deadline or readers waiting, it was just me and the characters trying to figure out what adventure they’d find next. I could take as much time as I wanted to figure it out, and invariably I did.

I’ve always written. My mother still has “books” I made from preschool about dinosaurs and horses and other fun stuff. Being able to make up stories, bring to life interesting characters and situations, was something I loved, something I wanted to do for a living. Several months ago, I was finally able to get that dream, quitting my day job to focus solely on my craft. I thought it would be smooth sailing from here on out, doing something I loved so much.

The last month has shown me otherwise.
Continue reading

Real life blues

2013-02-25 13.35.05
A real pic I took of the house

Why is it that, whenever you feel like your life is looking up, fate gives you a suckerpunch to the gut?

The last several weeks have had me focusing a lot of time and energy with two things: the “Anything He Wants 6” release, and getting the CPA of very-not-awesome to get me paperwork. Some of you may have gathered that the Dude and I are trying to buy a house. Beautiful home, a bit of acreage, out in the country – you know. Perfect. 🙂 One of the things the mortgage guys needed was a tax draft for 2012, since I was mainly a self-employed writer without a reliable income.

Except, the CPA we hired wouldn’t return my calls or emails. Worse yet, he’s four hours away, back in my hometown. Apparently he figured my distance meant I could be shunted to the back of the list, and he kept giving me the runaround or outright ignoring me until finally I sent him a nastygram voicemail message and got my do-NOT-mess-with-this-man father involved.

Sufficed to say, we’ve wasted so much blasted time, and the CPA didn’t do his job last year informing us correctly on what to pre-pay the IRS…there’s a good chance we won’t get the house now. 😦

It’s put a damper on a lot of things, including the AHW6 release. I generally don’t like sharing personal information online, and try to keep an upbeat energy on my blog, but dangit this is SUCH a huge disappointment. First off, we put a lot of trust into this tax guy to guide us newbies (neither the Dude nor I have been self-employed before), and apparently that trust was misplaced. Now we have a big tax bill that’s eaten way into our down payment…. *sigh*

So if I haven’t replied to your post or comment or other communication, I sincerely apologize. I’ve been a bit preoccupied with Real Life, and the various disappointments that lie along that road. I’m not looking for pity and I’m not trying to excuse myself for ignoring you but, arg, it’s so depressing. Not to say there haven’t been good points: AHW6 broke through the Amazon Top 100 Kindle ebooks yesterday, but fell back under today. It also peaked at #11 in the Barnes and Noble Nook store. So it isn’t like my life sucks monkey nuggets all the time, just in certain disappointing ways. 😦

**

However, that said, I need to say once again a BIG THANK YOU to all my readers. I love you guys, there’s no doubt about that. I appreciate every bit of support I get, and even though I’ve been too overwhelmed of late to say it, THANK YOU. You, unlike my CPA, are FULL OF AWESOME. 🙂

Former indie author Jamie McGuire penalized for self-publishing?

Earlier this evening, during a break between edits for AHW6, I saw something on a Facebook page “What To Read After Fifty(50) Shades Of Grey” regarding Jamie McGuire, author of the indie (and now traditional) bestseller Beautiful Disaster:

** SPECIAL NOTE: Please Read This!! **

From Author Jamie McGuire:

I have looked into this as best I can, but being a Saturday, Amazon isn’t responding.

It appears that Amazon has sent a mass email to everyone who’s ever purchased the self-published version of Beautiful Disaster. They are encouraging readers to request a refund. When asked why they are offering this refund, Amazon customer service has given several different reasons, the most common is problems with content. THERE IS NO PROBLEM WITH THE CONTENT OF BEAUTIFUL DISASTER, and it makes no sense for them to encourage a refund for a book that has already been read and enjoyed 6+ months later, but that is the only information I have for now.

Customer service admits that if you do NOT get the refund, your copy of BD will NOT be affected. If you get a refund, they are offering to reimburse the $4+ difference it costs to purchase the $7.99 version, but what they aren’t telling you is that **I** am paying for every refund.

Last week, I sent an email to Amazon asking why the self-published version of my book is still experiencing returns. Returns are only allowed for up to 7 days after purchase. 6 months after the self-published version of Beautiful Disaster went off-sale my account was still seeing negative amounts for returns. I’m not going to assume the reasons behind this mass email, but it appears that Amazon customer service is now encouraging these returns.

I was not notified of this. This email has nothing to do with my publisher Atria books. If you do not get a refund, your copy of BD will not be affected. If you do, the refund will show as a negative amount in my Amazon KDP author account. Because BD is no longer available, this money will be taken out of my Providence sales.

In other words, this is very bad, and I have no idea why this is happening. Please do not return your copy of BD, and please help me spread the word to not return your copy of BD.

I will let you know what else I find out from Amazon. In the meantime, your support has brought me to tears. I love you all. ♥

Well, you can imagine my shock at reading this. While I have yet to meet Ms. McGuire, she and I were fortunate enough to share similar career choices around the same time when our bestsellers were picked up by (separate) publishing companies. I won’t lie, I found this story difficult to believe; Amazon surely wouldn’t be this stupid, would it? I purchased BD as an indie book in 2011, long before the author signed a contract allowing the novel to receive a wider, worldwide distribution.

Yet, an hour ago, this is the email I received in my inbox:
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There’s nothing like…

There’s nothing like going out to your car one morning to find the passenger door ajar and your paperwork piled neatly in both front seats and the passenger floorboards. Apparently our naive habit of only locking the car doors when we remembered caught up with us, and allowed somebody to rummage through the vehicle. There wasn’t much for them to take but all the change from my cup holders is gone. We haven’t identified anything else out of the ordinary.

To add insult to injury, the thieves left the door ajar all night so the battery was toast. We managed to get that jumped by my old Maverick; I thought we were okay but the Dude wanted to check it out first so we drove around a bit, parked it in the driveway, turned off the car then tried again.

*click*

Arg!!

$130 battery later I’m left shaking a futile fist at the neighborhood thieves as they did manage to get us for some funds. I was just relieved both garage door openers were gone – both the Dude and myself have taken motorcycles lately so the remotes were in our jackets. If they’d gotten into the garage now THAT would have been a disaster.

Interesting side note: apparently the old car battery was leaking badly and had already eaten through part of the metal bit holding it down:

20120716-111358.jpg
See the white bit? Half is eaten away.

Considering that battery is right over the passenger leg compartment, that coulda been one mean accident waiting to happen!! *EEK*

There's nothing like…

There’s nothing like going out to your car one morning to find the passenger door ajar and your paperwork piled neatly in both front seats and the passenger floorboards. Apparently our naive habit of only locking the car doors when we remembered caught up with us, and allowed somebody to rummage through the vehicle. There wasn’t much for them to take but all the change from my cup holders is gone. We haven’t identified anything else out of the ordinary.

To add insult to injury, the thieves left the door ajar all night so the battery was toast. We managed to get that jumped by my old Maverick; I thought we were okay but the Dude wanted to check it out first so we drove around a bit, parked it in the driveway, turned off the car then tried again.

*click*

Arg!!

$130 battery later I’m left shaking a futile fist at the neighborhood thieves as they did manage to get us for some funds. I was just relieved both garage door openers were gone – both the Dude and myself have taken motorcycles lately so the remotes were in our jackets. If they’d gotten into the garage now THAT would have been a disaster.

Interesting side note: apparently the old car battery was leaking badly and had already eaten through part of the metal bit holding it down:

20120716-111358.jpg
See the white bit? Half is eaten away.

Considering that battery is right over the passenger leg compartment, that coulda been one mean accident waiting to happen!! *EEK*