The power to create a world, solely from the words written by your own mind, is a gift that should never be hidden.

Saturday, 30 July 2011

I have a dream!

Well I have lots of dreams but this morning I woke up with a dream fresh in my mind. The weirdest part was it was a dream I remember having as a young child. I mean really young. I can't remember the age but it would be when I was maybe 5 or so? Needless to say that was well over 30+ years ago. I have never had this dream again in all those years and for some reason it crept back into my mind last night. So I will now do my best to try and explain what happened in my dream... gulp.
Ok the setting. I believe it originally was in my grandmothers house. (Long gone) I was moving some old and very heavy dressers when one of them tipped over. I looked down as it fell and heard the crunch of broken wood. I knew something had broken and thought it was just the dresser. Standing it back up I inspected it and found it to be in tact so I looked down at the floor and found a crack in the old hard wood. I dug my fingers into the breaks in the wood and pulled up a section of the flooring about two feet by four feet long. The seams of the wood had been so close you couldn't tell they were there until I had broken them. With the wood gone it left an opening underneath the house. It was a small drop that extended out into complete darkness (This is where it gets weird) There was a dog laying in the space directly under the wood. He looked up at me and just stared. I had no idea why this dog was there so I just whistled to him to come on out. He took one look at me and his eyes seemed to say. "Ok, if you think you got it" and he danced out the front door. I called for my wife to bring me a flashlight so I could explore this space that no-one even knew was under the house. While I waited they started to come out from underneath. (Now we are into REALLY weird parts.)
They were dolls. Yep just dolls, about 8 inches tall. The older cheep kind with the cloth bodies and plastic faces yet they were not the kinds you want your kids to play with. The eyes were dark, black rimmed like someone had made them goth. Others looked to be alien only stretched out, melted almost. The first one out of the hole pretty much rushed to get out of the house as well and as I moved to grab it two others followed it up and started attacking me.
Now, remember I am an adult now and while some things scare me these little buggers do not. As a five year old (before Chucky) you can imagine they would instill some fear though.

They didn't even have any teeth or claws ( just cloth remember) yet they tried to nub me to death. I tossed one back into the hole and grabbed the other two, tossing them in. Reaching for the boards to try and cover the hole back up to keep the little demons inside I realized it was too far gone to fix without leaving the area for more wood. Then I realized the dog had been a guardian and I had released it too.
I started putting back what I could to block up the exit/entrance and the little monsters kept pushing past me. Every time I grabbed for one, two others would get by. I knew if they got past they would start to spread. Then I woke up to my alarm.

So... you have read all that and thought. That isn't that bad. I want you to know, I agree. It is just a dream. What really rocks my mind is that I have NEVER thought of this dream in the last 30+ years. I remember many of my childhood nightmares yet this one was completely forgotten. So what triggered it to come back? I was grown up in this dream, the problems with these things I had as a child were nothing this time. I assume I could have simply ripped the little devils to pieces if I had to. So what happened? Why this dream after all this time. Has anyone else had a dream come back to them from their childhood after so long? The dream the same as then only different? Adapted to the person you are now?
I really want to hear them. Tell me your dreams!

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Web page design.. The page of the future

I have been stalking following a lot of writers lately in the ever present quest for knowledge and one thing I have noticed that really sticks out is web page design. Some are nice, clean and up to date while others are shall we say... less than up to date. My own page has gone through three major transformations in the last three years. I am pretty happy with the one I have now and until I can have my own domain I don't see it changing again. So with that, one question comes to mind.

How important is your web page?

I have just recently had this very same discussion with a fellow tweeter and was left feeling a little out of sorts. They claim to be a very good selling author. Making more then enough to take care of their needs and I really have no reason to dispute this at all. They haven't tried to sell me anything or sign me up for any special insider deals so I believe them to be legit. I have known them online for a long time and have had conversations a plenty with them. They profit in no way from lying to me. Yet, the web page for their own books is less then perfect. It seems outdated. In fact it reminds me very much of the web pages I used to design in the very first days of the internet. Blocky buttons, bold flashing lights and a page design that never seems to fit your screen. Yet that being said it really doesn't seem to matter to them in the end. The books are selling and selling rather well I am told. So it begs me to question. Do people really care or is it the end product after all. Is the package no longer important and the old adage "It's what's inside that counts" come back with a vengeance. In the superficial world that we now live in it seems so hard to believe that someone will simply ignore the package and look deeper. In fact as a new writer even I know how important a book cover is. Bad cover = less sales. If there isn't something on the cover that makes a new reader pick it up then you will never have a chance to sell it to them by your blurb on the back. And you can forget those same readers opening to the inside to read the first page.
So with all that in mind am I mistaken? Is the web page really not that important? Please let me know your own thoughts in the comments. Love to hear from you all.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Published? Sorta...

So I took the leap and decided to put my short story PAST JUMPER up for sale on Amazon and Smashwords. I thought I was doing the write (hehe) thing and I re-read the story word for word as well as passing it out to some friends to have them read it for me. It all came back with the thumbs up. I fixed a few minor issues, re-read the guide lines to post it online, re-read them again. Changed the format to what was recommended and clicked the submit button to have it available to buy.
Then it hit me...
In the very FIRST page where people read about what my story is about I misnamed one of my main characters. So, I pulled it down and had that fixed... another three days passed so Amazon can make sure I didn't fill the book full of instructions on how to topple the American government. ( Or something like that I have no real idea why it takes them three days to review one changed word.) Then my short story was up for sale! (again) The oddest thing happened. My book started selling. Yeah! I know! Someone out there actually paid money to read what I wrote. Yes, I know it is ONLY .99c Heck a coffee these days costs more then that but it actually started to sell!
Then comes the bad part.
I have a friend that bought it. Thank you! And he found things that all my readers and myself missed inside the work. Granted they weren't horrible blaring mistakes but they were there regardless. That hit me the hardest. I honestly feel bad that people paid that much for a work that wasn't perfect. Yeah, I know, it's .99c but it doesn't matter. My readers expect something less flawed. I would expect that from someone else. I haven't pulled the book, it is a little more of hassle if you decide to do that but I have swindled a friend that actually went to school to be an editor to take a look at it for me. I am happy to say that she did a read and wasn't totally revolted with what I wrote. She is cleaning it up now. So with any luck there will be a revised edition up to replace my flawed one very soon.
One reader did review the book for me. (Hopefully more will soon) Her comments were good with the one exception. It was too short! Well, I did warn people it is a short story but it got me thinking. I created this story to enter a short story competition and decided that I didn't want to tie my story up with an unknown company for six months waiting to see if I win or not. So I decided not to enter. Their rules at that time were to keep the work under 8000 words. I adapted some of the story before posting it for sale and it ended up at around 8300 words. Pretty short, but the world I had created had many opportunities. So on the advice of the review I have started the "sequel" so to say. Actually I have it planned to be four short stories all around the 10k mark ending with a 5th of unknown length. I think this is a novel (hehe) idea and I am already 50% finished the second short. If this idea takes off then perhaps I will appease the masses and have a load of fun at the same time.
Must get back to writing!
P.S. Sorry no little picture, this was a long enough post without me putting one up there :)

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

To Indie or not to Indie... That is the question.

First off, I have a couple readers that might not know what "Indie" means. No, it most certainly does not mean Indian... Least not to me. It means independent, as in, self published. I have tossed the idea of self publishing around since the very last word of my very first book was typed into my laptop. How do I want to publish this? Others have asked me what road I am taking. We have debated it, (Always with mutual respect for opinions) and in the end I have come out with no real answer as to the best way to go. So I am going to travel both of the paths and see what happens. Yes, you can do that! Some books I will put up for sale myself, others I will try and sell to agents/publishers.
I already have my short story going up on Amazon. As soon as it is ready to buy I will be providing a link. OK I will be honest, I will be providing a TON of links. I am not sure how well this one will sell being of a shorter variety but it is a toe in the water so to speak. I am really looking forward to the reviews. Yep, I am that crazy. I KNOW they will not be all positive. In a way I am actually counting on that. It will give me a chance to hear what readers really think. I can guarantee that they will be honest; for the most part. Yes this is the age of the Internet, and yes, the trolls are still out there in full force. I am OK with that too. Call it a point of honor to me. If you have the attention of the Trolls then you must be in the limelight. Someone once said. "There is no such thing as bad press." While that too is debatable I think it has some merit.
As for my traditional publishing path. It is still on a very slow, hurry up and wait train. Did I mention it is slow? Being pretty new to this part of writing I really had no idea how long some agents can take to get back to you. Even with a "not for us but thanks" note. Yes, people are busy. I know all about busy; what with my 8-5 and my family as well as selling a house, moving, looking for a new place. You name it and I have probably done it or am doing it at this minute. Yet I find the time to still fit in things I care about. Be it writing, gaming, playing with my children spending time with my wife. You name it. You just make it work.
So agent's; why does it take up to four months to respond? I am sure there is a reason. I am not trying to be snarly just being me. Albeit, an impatient me. I have read during #askagent on twitter how most agents know in the first few minutes if the book is for them or not. So why does it take so long to reply? Anyone know the answer to this. It is a grey area in my knowledge and I would really like to learn more about it.
Till the next time and ohh...
Buy my book! (Kidding)(No really, buy it)
P.S. There is a link on the upper left side to get to my book PAST JUMPER pop in and grab a copy for yourself.