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Stormy Weather, Taxes and Computers


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Storm meme

While spring is delightful, the storms can stink. During this last round I found myself having to work around both electric and internet outages.

Today I’ve been busy playing catch up as a result. I finally managed to file my taxes (I made $200 more than I did the year previous – yay!).

Even better – H&R Block showed me that I will be able to take the purchase of the laptop off on my taxes next year, even with my royalty income since I’m buying it for my writing!

I want to thank you for the love you’ve sent to me lately after I sold the van. Every penny is being stashed away toward my laptop. Thank you so very, VERY much!

I’ve been looking on Amazon to see about saving some money on the purchase. This is the one I am eyeing:

By going through Amazon instead of Apple I will save about $100, making it easier to recover from selling the van for less, which is a big win!

Also, I discovered today that my Microplace investments will be maturing at the end of this month so I will have $40 more than I expected. Since Microplace is no longer accepting new investments I was going to put that money in my savings but since I need a laptop more it will be tossed into the pot.

How is your week going?

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The Van Has Sold


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Sunday morning I was awakened by a knock on my door. A young man from my neighborhood wanted to inquire about my van.

Come to find out, he was shopping for his first vehicle. He has a new job and needs transportation to get to and from work.

As a result I chopped my asking price almost in half to $650.

He will pay me in two weeks with his first paycheck.

I feel good knowing that my van is going to help a young man stay out of debt as he starts out in life. This was about more than money, it was about helping someone out.

I am now a few hundred dollars shy of my laptop goal but that’s okay. The money will come.

Life is good, you know?

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Thank you!


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First off, I want to thank every single one of you for your love and support! I ended up taking the week to immerse myself into my novel – I wanted to give all of you plenty of time to add the title of your desired book to the comments on my birthday post.

However, I couldn’t choose just four of you, so I selected every single one of you who requested a book by the title in the comments section.

Congratulations go to:

Sheila (my email to you bounced – can you contact me so I can resend?)
Mopsa
Stacey
Charlotte
Elaine
Angelwings
Esther
Christy
Debbie
Vicki

I have sent you the book you requested in the comments section already. If it doesn’t go through, give me a shout out here and I will resend it.

I want you to know that I love every single one of you guys and I am soo happy and grateful that I can share the love in this small way.

Here’s to another awesome year!

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I Want to Give YOU a Gift to Celebrate My Birthday!


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The kid had her way this year and I got my very first birthday cake since the day I turned 21.

Hard to believe I’m 44 now.

We celebrated a day early because my Katie just could not wait. We had cake and ice cream, eaten before she cooked us our current favorite dinner of chili spaghetti smothered in cheese.

I love that kid!

Anyway, I want to celebrate this day with you guys too! I don’t have much but I would like to do a little something to thank you for being so awesome!

To show my gratitude for your support I want to give four lucky readers the chance to own their ebook of choice from my collection. Just comment on this post with the title of one of my books that you would like to receive and I will choose FOUR lucky readers to receive a PDF file of the book they want.

If you love me enough to tweet the link to this post (tag me at @Annienygma so I know) you will receive a SECOND entry along with my undying love. Make sure to say the title of the book you want to read (“I want to read TITLE by @Annienygma!” or something similar). I will pick FOUR lucky winners from Twitter as well!

Good luck, and thank you for another awesome year!

Hugs,
Annienygma

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Progress Update


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These last few days have been spent working on two books at once. My novel is making progress (“show, don’t tell dammit!”) and the outline for my nonfiction work is quickly filling up, even though my introduction is complete garbage.

I will get it.

Between all of that I’m in the process of getting Smashwords to play nice with my latest book so that I can get it in the Apple Store (and the others, but Apple is my big one). Since Word on my ancient dinosaur doesn’t play nice with anyone I am forced to work on the formatting in between crashes.

Such is life.

We’ve had a few pretty days here but currently it is raining. Rain is such a buzzkill, especially when you have bills to pay.

I have decided to take my van to a local dealer and just sell it outright, so this weekend if the weather clears I’m going to get the damn thing started come hell or high water cause I just want it gone.

I need it gone, actually. The longer it sits there the more afraid I am of what will happen when I sell it.

Why am I such a coward?

Oh well. Face this fear I must, for write a book about this I will.

Thank you for that excellent commentary, Inner Yoda. Now go away!

Sigh.

My writer’s group (oh how I love writing that) has started a little thing where you must write at least ten minutes a day and post your accomplishment in the group every day. As a result my inner procrastinator is screaming in the corner, tied up with duct tape. Maybe I should stick a piece on her mouth as well?

I apologize about the randomness but I wanted to let you all know that I’m still alive and writing. Once my chapter outline becomes coherent I will post it here and ask for your suggestions concerning my latest book.

I want to make sure that there are plenty of goodies in it for my aspiring writers out there!

Have a nice day!
Annienygma

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The Writer’s Conference


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I was the first person to arrive for the road trip to the Writer’s conference at the Woodford County Library. Who would have imagined me, eccentric antisocial me, actually going to a writer’s conference with a group of folks I just met a few days ago?

Not only did I go, I had a total blast! The first talk we listened to was by Sally Berneathy, the author of Death by Chocolate. She discussed her decision to self publish and the method she uses.

The second talk I listened to was by Kathleen Brooks, the author of Bluegrass State of Mind. Her talk was wonderful and incredibly informative. While it was targeted toward fiction writers (as was Sally’s talk), I learned quite a bit about series writing as well as gained several ideas for when I am comfortable publishing fiction.

The final talk was by a highly energetic lady named Jesse B. Coffee, who spoke about editing. I learned how to edit my books to make them better as well as heard a detailed discussion of showing versus telling.

The library was having a used book sale while we were there so before we left I picked up two Patricia Cornwell books I hadn’t read yet for ten cents each.

After that we grabbed a bite to eat then headed to Lexington so that one of our members could have her lappie serviced at the Apple Store.

It was my very first visit to an Apple store so I savored every moment of the experience. I got to play around with my future laptop (I’m saving to replace my MacBook Air with the 11″ version) and watch the tutorial videos shown on giant screens around the a Genius Bar. After that we went over to Joseph Beth Booksellers cause us writers could not resist!

I hadn’t been inside of a proper bookstore for over three years. I had not been to Joseph Beth in about a decade so it was delightful to be able to not only look around, but to do so with folks who share the same love of the written word as I do.

Of course, I just had to get something to commemorate the event. I found the perfect mug to drink my coffee from while I write and picked out a wall decoration for Katie’s room.


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Katie adores her gift and I’m already using the coffee cup.

Normally I don’t purchase trinkets but it is so very rare that I leave this little town (and have such an awesome adventure) that I could not resist. Now every time I sit down to write I will be sipping out of a memento from the day of my very first writer’s conference – a physical reminder of just how far I’ve come.

Life is truly a dream.

I’m attaching a few photos of this spectacular day. I want to remember this forever.

Me at the conference. Photo copyright Harrison County Library.

Me at the conference. Photo copyright Harrison County Library.

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Who da thunk it?


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I signed myself up to go to a writer’s convention and didn’t discover it till I was waiting for my ride this morning. Sweet!

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My next nonfiction project


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The days after I finish a book project are always the hardest when I don’t have another one in the wings. I’ve spent so many years writing now that I literally feel lost until I start on another book.

Rather than stress over it, I took a few days off and focused on other things.

I screwed up my courage and joined the local writers group.

I cleaned my house.

I started back on the novel I drafted during Camp NaNoWriMo last summer.

I finished a great book by one of my favorite authors (“I Bring The Fire, Part IV” by Carolyn Glockel).

I knew that my next idea would come and it finally did. I finally figured out how to breathe life into a project I shelved last year.

The project in question was a book about indie publishing. It was entirely too much like some of my previous books on the subject so I shelved it until I could determine whether or not it could be salvaged.

I finally figured it out. One of the questions I am frequently asked is how I personally managed to retire on my book royalties as an independent author. I am asked about reasonable expectations, publishing platforms, finding time, locating topics, whether print is dead and a host of other issues.

As a result, I am re-visiting my old project, ripping parts out, re-working others and adding completely new content. This new book will be less of a “how-to” and more of a “how I did it and the lessons I learned.”

It will cover how I started, mistakes I made, my gripes about books on the subject of independent publishing and a host of other topics.

I just spent several hours brainstorming this new project. I’ve got a stack of index cards over an inch high filled with notes and ideas.

That’s not even including the 200-plus pages I had from the book I shelved last year.

As a result, I’ve got a lot of homework to do! I’ve even made arrangements to go to an event about an independent author who made the NYT bestsellers list for further inspiration.

Not only that, I want to keep plucking at this novel so I can finally get the story out of my head.

I plan to rework a chapter a week of my novel to share with my writing group as well as build this latest nonfiction piece to share with the world.

So don’t worry too much if I’m late responding to emails or I don’t post here as often as I usually do. I am just beaver busy tapping away in the background.

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Fictional Clarity


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Revelations can come at the strangest times. My latest came last night while I was sleeping.

I’ve always wanted to write a full-length fiction work; I started writing “stories” in the blank pages of books even before I knew how to read (much less write) by copying letters down in pleasing arrangements and “reading” them to my dad.

However, while I can do a decent short, I’ve always lost focus on longer works of fiction. To combat this I have read a number of books on the structure of fiction; one of my favorites is “Writing Fiction for Dummies” by Randy Ingermanson and Peter Economy.

This book discusses fiction in a structured context that made more sense to me, yet even that didn’t click.

Until last night, that is.

As I dreamed about the Camp NoNoWriMo piece I read to the writer’s group the other evening I started thinking about the structure.

Did I have three disasters and a conclusion? Could I tie the loose ends together? Could you really observe that same structure in movies and books?

I finally determined that I could.

I was so delighted to finally see the structure that I woke myself laughing at the revelation. It finally made sense! Have a disaster at the beginning to catch the reader’s attention, then split up the book into how many chapters you want to have. Place the relevant disasters a somewhat equal amount of chapters apart from each other then wrap it all up with a conclusion chapter.

Each chapter is a specific scene or development point. Figure out what goes where and start writing!

When I stopped laughing I started scribbling. I worked until it was time to wake Katie up for school.

It is such a delight to finally grasp the concept! Now I can tinker on this novel and see what comes out.

At the least it will give me something to do until one of my current nonfiction ideas builds itself a structure in my mind.

Have you ever solved a problem or figured something out in a dream? Please share your stories in the comments below.

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The Write Club


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One of my goals this year is to go out, make some new friends and have fun while doing it.

I wasn’t sure exactly how to go about that until I discovered that the local library actually sponsors a writing club.

I screwed up my courage and walked to my first meeting last night. It is a small group composed of both published and unpublished writers. To my delight they made me feel completely at home.

I shared a couple of chapters I wrote for Camp Nanowrimo last summer. To my surprise, the group laughed at the antics of my characters.

Maybe I’m on to something with that story!

It was a real treat to talk shop with other writers, critique for colleagues and have my own work examined. They even do writing-related field trips and invited me to come along on one they’ve already planned for the near future.

So now I’ve got a group to hang out with and actually be open about my writing achievements.

It feels good.

Are you a member of any interest groups? Please share your stories in the comments below.

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