Writing is only the beginning…

For the most part, I can honestly say I love self-publishing. But as I clean up the first draft of Dying to Forget, I’m reminded again how much of a pain in the booty doing it all yourself can be. Formatting is just not fun for me. Not a little bit – not in any way.

Last year my laptop went to wherever laptops go when they die. For the sake of this post, you can totally pretend that Little Miss D is sitting on top of a cloud, looking down at me and waving her power cord in my direction while laughing, ‘Bwahahahaha…you will never find another laptop like me!’ Since then I’ve been using the hubby’s laptop for Photoshop (and my new little Acer for writing only) and because we don’t want to overwhelm it with all my previous writing stuff, we haven’t downloaded ALL the software programs I was using before. Like Word. I’m a creature of habit, and when hubby informed me that his laptop didn’t have Word, but I could download Libre Office for free, I nearly had a heart attack and died. Dead. Totally factual story.

To skip ahead, I did start using Libre and for the most part, it’s pretty much like Word. I’ve been satisfied. Welp, today while working on the formatting of the newer version of DtF, I realized that any corrections I made to the original document (previously done in Word) didn’t translate exactly in Libre. Like quotation marks. For the print version of this book, I want smart quotes. Basically the opposite of what Libre tossed up there for any of my quotation changes, which is the non-curly version. Totally fine for an ebook, but kind of ‘meh’ for print. OMG, people. I didn’t realize how hard it would be to fix this tiny issue. I mean, in Word, you just ‘select all’ and go into your Tools or wherever, and make the adjustment from one type to another. I remember doing it before, and once I figured out how to do it, it wasn’t hard. Um, this same function wasn’t easy to find in Libre. I had to Google just to find out WHERE this function was.

Tools > AutoCorrect Options > Localized Options > Single Quotes and/or Double Quotes/Default or U201B or U201C = Trish going WTF?

No doubt there’s an easy way to do this, but even after putting in the changes, I couldn’t figure out why it wouldn’t work for the whole manuscript. Nothing changed. Even after going online – again – and searching articles for the best way to switch all quotation marks to smart quotes in Libre, I was unable to do so. Which, BTW Libre, why can’t you just spell that option out instead of throwing up number codes to confuse the hell out of people who don’t speak ‘tech’ as their first language? Huh? Huh?

As apparently many other users have, according to my Google search, I ended up having to do the ‘find and replace’ option. For each damn quotation. For. Each. One. It took me over an hour to click through every highlighted quotation mark to make sure there weren’t some sneaky bastards in there that didn’t match the rest (actually there were only a few actual quote marks that needed to be changed and that took less than 15 minutes, and though none had to be changed, there were a buttload of commas to check, because the style was different. SO MANY COMMAS). An hour doesn’t sound like a lot of time, but when your right hand, or more directly put – your right pointer finger, is consistently going click-click-click-click-click-pause-click-click for over 60 minutes, it’s maddening. And that was just to fix this one particular formatting issue. There be more. O.O

Little Miss D is laughing her keyboard off from atop that little cloud in the sky. I just know it.

My point? I’ve come to the conclusion that there are too many commas in my work. I’m a recovering Comma Whore addict, I admit. I’ve gotten SO much better. But I think my next book will either be one ginormous run-on sentence or a billion fragment sentences. Which do you prefer, Readers?

Commas – I don’t like you.

Formatting – I like you even less. Pretty much close to passionately hate.

Anyway, I need to take a break to feed the children before I hit up formatting in the doc again. First I must do hand exercises so my fingers don’t go into shock and just fall off in revolt.

‘Nope, we’re done. Take your business elsewhere.’ – Poor Fingers.

See, self-publishing isn’t all roses, people. Writing is only the beginning. It does take time – lots of it, and work – lots more of it. I suppose it’s my time to start outsourcing for these things. lol

Dowser 5: synopsis

Made by Meghan

One treasure down, two to go …

Three months ago, I nearly lost my best friend while retrieving the first instrument of assassination. I also inadvertently released a rival who was definitely unhinged, way more powerful than me, and obsessed with harnessing the deadly power of the artifacts I’d been tasked by the guardian dragons to collect.

Add a sexy sentinel and a nearly immortal vampire to the mix, and what could possibly go wrong?

Knowing my luck, I was about to find out.

maps release date announcement

The ebook will be available THURSDAY, JULY 23, 2015 on Amazon, Kobo, iTunes, B&N, and Smashwords. The paperback will follow about two weeks later.

Don’t want to miss the release day? Please make sure you are signed up for my mailing list.

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Is it really Thursday?

Yeah, how did that happen? Also, if you haven’t been exactly paying attention to the calendar this month – June is almost over. O.O If you feel the sudden urge to freak out, it’s totally okay, I’m doing that myself.

This morning I was pondering this Throwback Thursday, and realized the first half of 2015 has been a quietly productive one. The 10th TMDBook was published, and the fourth audiobook was added to the collection. Woot! The first two books of the Find Me series are available for listening now, and Dying to Remember just came out!

portrait of a beautiful blonde on the beachPiper has new challenges to overcome, new names to learn, and she is faced with a new Station occupation. Does she really want answers to the questions that never leave her mind? How did the Station come to be? What lies beyond? Who is Andurush and what, exactly, does he want with Piper? She must ask herself, once again, if she has what it takes…but this time it isn’t about saving lives, it’s about discovering what lies beyond death. Would you want to know?

Station books 1 & 2 are available on Audible via Amazon

There’s writing to do today to make a dent on the 4th Station book, and I’m feeling nostalgic, so Spotify is rotating me through songs mostly older than my kids, which oddly doesn’t feel that long ago. Third Eye Blind, Death Cab for Cutie, Modest Mouse, The Verve, The Kinks, Lou Reed, The Animals, Bush, Matchbox Twenty…I could get lost in the ‘oldies’ that feel like they came out just yesterday. As my daughter inches closer to teen-hood, I’m struggling to understand how the time got away from me. It’s natural, sure. But did Semi-Charmed Life really come out the year I graduated high school? DAYUM. I remember being 18 years old like it was, well, yesterday…

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And there I am, snapped laughing (Or talking? I don’t know, but neither are all that flattering lol) with my long hair and thick eyebrows (props to Debbie Rogers for actually saving this picture and scaring the shit out of me with it by sending it to my phone a few months ago…). I don’t remember this particular day all that well, but I do remember that t-shirt: “QUIT staring at my shirt”. Ironic, considering I hated guys staring at my chest, so I wore a shirt that made them read words displayed across my chest. O.o I was SO angsty, right? *dripping sarcasm* I was a good kid. My Mom was ridiculously lucky. And after her upcoming birthday this year, my daughter is only six years away from being the age I was in the above picture. *cue Twilight Zone music…or Unwell*

I wish I’d been writing back then, that I had listened to Mr. Kirk in high school and ‘kept writing’. But I didn’t. I did kinda try, but I didn’t actually do. Not until 2011 when my daughter, who was 8 at the time, asked me what I always wanted to be when I grew up.

“A writer,” I answered.

“Well, then why aren’t you? You always tell me I can be what I want when I grow up, if I work hard,” she quipped back.

I looked at her, this perfectly innocent kid who didn’t know the first thing about writing a book, and smiled while telling her, “You know what, you’re right.”

Not a moment goes by that I don’t smile, remembering that day. Because honestly, she helped push me over the edge of ‘wanting’ and into the act of ‘doing’. Kids are fabulous at this, because for them, there’s no procrastinating. When you are 8, everything is so simple. Regardless of what you thought you would be doing today, if there’s something you missed, something you always wanted to be, as my daughter would say, “Well, then why aren’t you?”