It’s Possible I’ve Gone Crazy!

It's Possible I've Gone CrazyIt’s true, there is a chance that I might have gone completely crazy!

There are a number of people who believe that this already happened, and many of them work with me in my retail job.

So, that’s actually the crux of the matter. I’m working semi-full time, and taking on a number very interesting projects.

1) Organizing the Fantasy Genre events for the Brain to Books Cyber Convention

2) A complete overhaul of my website design

3) Designing a chatbot for Messenger

4) Editing “Evaline Transcendent” based on reader feedback

5) Working on the second draft of my first full novel

6) Helping promote and test a potential social media site for authors & readers

Blog Header - Readers & Authors, Join Me At The 4th Annual Brain To Books Cyber Convention

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ll already have seen my recent post about this amazing event.

In short, it’s a full weekend of online events centered around books.

The event will be coming to you from April 6th-8th, and I’m heading up the Fantasy Genre events.

There will be more information on what we have planned, as myself and the other authors get everything organized.

Blog Header - Website Overhaul

As an author, I’m not one of the most organized people at times.

I was recently going through existing my author website, and planning to update some of the pages, with the most recent information.

Unfortunately, I rapidly came to the conclusion that the site needed a complete overhaul.

  • A lot of the key information about me and my books was hard to locate
  • Some of the pages were seriously out-of-date
  • But most importantly, I really wasn’t happy with how inconsistent the page designs were.

Enter my test site, where I’m trying out some new page layout ideas, along with a cleaner look to the page design.

Enter you, my readers. I’d love to get some feedback on what you like or dislike about both sites.

So, it’s Existing Site vs Test Site – Let me know what you think

Blog Header - Designing a Chatbot for Messenger

Back in December, I wrote a blog post looking at Messenger bots, which are basically an extension of the chat service.

These bots are built to provide a combination of live chat, and “pre-recorded” information. I’m in the process of creating an introduction series that will:

  • Help potential readers learn a little more about me
  • Introduce me to bloggers who might be interested in doing/hosting guest posts
  • Allow fellow authors to learn about my blog, and the services I offer

Check out the chatbot here (Under Development)

Blog Header - Editing _Evaline Transcendent_

A few months ago, I started getting feedback from people about my science fiction short story, “Evaline Transcendent”. There were some interesting questions raised, and a few suggestions for things that could be made a little clearer.

So, with that in mind, I’ve set about going through the entire story with those notes in hand, and making a few edits.

Thankfully, there is nothing in the feedback that I’ve received that requires major changes to the story itself. But, there will be a couple of changes to how I present aspects of the story.

Primarily, I’ll be re-writing the opening of the story, to better present some of the backstory behind the Miranda Two’s mission.

Blog Header - Writing The 2nd Draft of _Of Wolves & Men_

I’ve recently finished reading through the first draft of “Of Wolves & Men (Shadows Over Seattle #1)”, my first attempt at writing a full novel. Along the way I made a lot of notes about things that needed changing, didn’t make sense, or just had to go.

So, I’m now working on the opening scenes of the book, while going through my notes and trying to plot ahead. It’s my aim to have this second draft completed before the end of the summer. Hopefully at that point, I’ll have a solid enough plot that I can go back through and work on editing.

Blog Header - Helping Promote & Test The _Author Bitz_ Social Media Site

A couple of weeks back, I posts about an author who was in the process of raising money to build a new social media site for authors and readers to connect.

So, if you find GoodReads too difficult to navigate, and find Facebook too full of spam posts and fake news, go check out my article about the site. And if it’s something you think is a great idea, consider heading over to the GoFundMe campaign and dropping a few dollars toward hosting and development costs.

Blog Header - What Does That All Mean At The Moment_

Honestly? It means that I’m going to be very busy over the coming weeks.

But there is nothing more important to me than my readers, so please drop me a line, and let me know:

  • Which of these projects are you excited about?
  • Have you checked out my chatbot? If so, what did you think?
  • Have you read “Evaline Transcendent”? Is there anything you’d want to know more about from a revised edition?
  • Are you going to attend the 4th Annual Brain to Books Cyber Convention, either as a reader, or writer?
  • How do you like the potential changes to my website design, based on comparing the old and new sites?
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Fundraiser Spotlight – Book Bitz Author/Reader Social Media Site

If you’re a reader, author, or in the author support market, you’ve no-doubt heard of GoodReads. You may even have tried it out.

I personally have been on GoodReads for a few years now, as a writer, and reader. But, I’ve found it very clunky, under-developed and believe that it falls short of it’s goal of uniting readers and writers.

Blog Header - Is There A Solution

Well, at the moment, the simple answer is NO!

But, there is hope on the horizon.

I’m a member of several writing groups over on Facebook, and I try to pay attention to things that could potentially shake up the marketing of books.

So, it was with interest that I started reading a proposal from Lucinda Moebius in one of the Facebook groups.

Blog Header - Here's The Proposal

  • Imagine a social media site designed for authors.
  • It will be a foundation for authors to showcase their work.
  • In addition, there will be a place for readers and author supporters.
  • All those FB pages, blogs, websites designed to help authors would be easy to locate and search through.

Blog Header - But there is More

Here’s what Lucinda has in mind for the project, and I find the prospect very exciting.

For Readers For Authors For Author Services
1. A place to connect with their favorite authors
2. A place to find new authors
3. A place to review books
4. A place to discuss books
5. A place to connect with other readers
1. A place to connect with authors and support staff
2. A place to promote their work
3. A place to post their work and get feedback
4. A social media platform designed specifically for THEM
5. A place to build readership
6. A place to get reviews
7. A place to learn from experts and each other
1. A place to promote their services
2. A place to obtain reviews
3. A place to connect with authors

Does An Online Book Club Community Sound Good?

Would you like to learn more about what Lucinda Moebius has planned?

Click Here To Visit The GoFundMe Page

About Lucinda Moebius

Where To Find Lucinda Hawks Moebius

Facebook, Google+, Blog (Lucinda Moebius), Website (Lucinda Moebius)

English Rules Broken – Phonetics

Broken Phonetics - GHOTI=FISH

No, A GHOTI is Not A Type of Beard!

So, have you figured out what a ghoti is after reading the image above? And that last sentence is a huge clue.

If you need another clue, just remember, I love my ghoti deep fried in beer batter, slapped on a plate with a nice side order of chips (or steak cut fries), and smothered in salt and dripping with malt vinegar. Anyone suggesting I might want to dip my ghoti in tartar sauce with probably get a funny look, as I sprinkle on more vinegar.

Ghoti=fish.

By now, it should be obvious that I’m talking about fish in the paragraph above. But why do I keep calling it ghoti?

Simply put, phonetics are the building blocks of the spoken word. There are approximately 44 phonemes in the English language, based on the 26 individual letters, and some letter combinations. Unfortunately, there are way more ways to represent those sounds when written down (called graphemes).

This PDF file from Dyslexia Reading Well shows just how complicated spelling can be when we account for possible grapheme variations of the same phoneme.

Breaking It Down

Gh as in couGH (F)

O as in wOmen (i)

ti as in naTIon (sh)

Fish!

Author Spotlight – C.J. Rose

Introducing C.J. Rose

RoseAnn Labriola, penning as C.J. Rose. I was born and raised here in Illinois, not far from Chicago. I am a hairstylist, with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management.

Why don’t you begin by sharing a little about yourself.

I am a hairstylist, with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management. I have a select group of friends that I care deeply for and together we make up a merry band of board gaming nerds.

Could you tell us a bit about your latest book?

The Ultimate Companion Cookbook-You will find some of yummiest recipes this side of the dimension. Each Character, each book, each actor, and each staff member has a recipe dedicated to them. Each chapter is a different adventure, from soups and salads, to desserts and drinks. Dive into the bbq lamb chops, or take a sip of the magic cocktail. Each one will entice your taste buds and bring you to a new world full of tastes and smells.

Who is your intended readership?

This book is written and designed for people of all ages. I wanted to write something the everyone could enjoy.

When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?

I have always loved writing, whether it was poems, song lyrics or stories. I decided it was time to sit down and put my thoughts to paper of a story concept I have played with for long time. In the process, it developed into the full length version that I am proud to call my first published book, Bridge of the Gods – A Generation Son Chronicle. Now I have 3 novels in the series as well as a companion cookbook.

Do you have a favorite author, or writing inspiration?

Growing up I was never a fan of reading. It wasn’t until senior year when I took a novels class that I started to find enjoyment in it. One of the novels we were to read was Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. It was then that I realized that the reason I didn’t enjoy reading was because I was reading the wrong thing.

What advice would you give beginning writers?

Don’t give up. Write for yourself first, then your audience. If you get stuck, don’t be afraid to take a break from it and come back.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing? Any hobbies?

I have a major love for musical theater and just recently finished directing my first children’s musical (Madagascar Jr.) I am now in Hunchback of Notre Dame.

What’s your next project? Any upcoming book secrets you care to reveal?

Book 2 (To Rescue a King)-France, 1633; a time when ladies wore tight corsets, men’s boots came to their knees, and weaponry was a common accessory. In book 2 To Rescue a King, Come along with Luthor and Gwen as they travel back to a world here hygiene wasn’t the greatest, but parties were incredible. Fresh off the battle with Hera, Luthor finds himself teaming up with four of history’s most loyal and trusted men. With a new team of heroes, it’s a race to the finish in order to save the one true king.

Generation Chronicles: Bridge of the Gods


Bridge of the Gods is the first book in the Generation Chronicles series. It focuses on Luthor and Gwen. Here is the blurb: Luthor McAlester is a teenage boy living in San Diego, California. His father died when he was a child. Leaving him to become man of the house, living with his mother and younger sister. On his 18th birthday he discovers a power that has been held dormant until now. He is unsure what to do with it in the absence of this father’s guidance. His best friend Gwen, who claims to be oblivious, knows more than she is telling. Can Luthor figure out how to use his power and help the Gods like they ask with just the help of his best friend? Or will the lack of guidance from his father prove to be more than young Luthor can handle?

Buy Now: E-Book, Paperback

Where to find C.J. Rose:

Twitter, Facebook, E-mail, LinkedIn, Instagram, Blog (C.J. Rose Author and Blogger), Website (Facebook Street Team)

A 2017 Round-up 3 of 3 – A Year In The Spotlights

 

In This Post:

  • Books featured in “Book Spotlights” during 2017
  • Authors featured in “Author Spotlights” during 2017
  • Update on the reader survey

I know that this series started as a round-up of 2017 in two parts, but I realized there was so much that happened in 2017, that I really needed more posts…

(And yes, it might even go to 4 posts if individual posts get too long).

So without further ado, let’s take a look at the books and authors that have featured on “Ramblings of an Author” over the last twelve months.

Want Your Book Spotlighted?

Click Here To Fill Out The Form

J.N. Sheats

Heidi Angell 

Andy Peloquin

Connie Cockrell

Claire Plaisted

Rosemary Cawkwell

Stephanie Ayers

Renee Scattergood

Toi Thomas

A.L. Mabry

Patricia Josephine

Cassidy Taylor

Interested In Being In The Author Spotlight?

Click Here To Fill Out The Form

 

I’m Still Taking Views From Blog Readers

A 2017 Round-up 2 of 3 – The Year In Books

 

In This Post:

  • Statistics About My Reading Habits in 2017
  • Fiction Books I Read (and links to my reviews)
  • Non-Fiction Books I Read (and links to my reviews)
  • My Personal Book Releases, and feedback from readers

I know that this series started as a round-up of 2017 in two parts, but I realized there was so much that happened in 2017, that I really needed more posts…

(And yes, it might even go to 4 posts if individual posts get too long).

Target Number Of Books To Read: 25

Number Of Books Actually Read: 37 (28 Fiction, 9 Non-Fiction)

Number Of Pages Read: 7,982

Comment below – let’s see how we all did on our reading targets

5-Star Reviews

4-Star Reviews

3-Star Reviews

Comment Below With Any Fiction Recommendations

5-Star Reviews

4-Star Reviews

3-Star Reviews

Comment Below With Any Non-Fiction Recommendations

Evaline Transcendent

Format: Kindle E-Book

Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B073G9FPZ8

Released: July 26, 2017

Blurb: Evaline is the shipboard computer on the Miranda Two, a colony ship destined for the planet Karman-III-Delta. She is possibly Earth’s last hope of establishing a working off-world colony. However, her predecessor stopped reporting home, so now she and the colonists must establish what happened to the previous colony.
The Miranda Two has been traveling for twenty years, and now it’s time for Evaline to wake the crew and colonists in preparation or arrival at their destination. Can Evaline and the crew figure out what happened to the Miranda One expedition, and what price will they have to pay for the answers?

Note From the Author: This is the second release of “Evaline Transcendent”, which originally appeared in the “Across the Karman Line” anthology. Since that release, I have revisited the story and expanded on some aspects, and rewritten others. At its core, this is exactly the same story but reimagined for a wide audience.

Originally standing at around 8,500 words, this new release boasts a word count of closer to 14,000. I hope that those of you who have read the original story will discover new aspects to it when reading this version. For those coming to it for the first time, enjoy!

Reviews: 

Love reading! Love reading many things but not science fiction… So it’s strange that I LOVED reading this!!! A short and wonderfully captivating story which REALLY should be made into a movie!!! You’ll see why yourselves – no spoilers here 😉 I’ve just downloaded his other book too YAY 😀

Book Dreams Volume #1 (Brain to Books Anthology)

Format: Kindle E-Book

Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B075VDXD64

Released: April, 2017

Blurb: Here, we present the talents of assorted artists. In this collection, you will find short stories, continuations, and poems that encompass the hidden treasures of today’s uprising authors. May their words influence you as much as they have influenced mine.

Authors Include: Ani H. Manjikian, Adam Dreece, W.J. Howard, Toi Thomas, Timothy Bateson, Laura McHale Holland, Ash Krafton, Sanzaki Kojika, Tyrean Martinson, C.T. Callahan, Natash Jackson, Maria Elena Alonso-Sierra, Jeanne Richards, Charlene Jones, Angela B. Chrysler

A Walk-Through For Setting Up A 2018 Bullet Journal

 Having used the Bullet Journal (BuJo) system since the start of 2017, I’ve learned a few things about what worked for me, and what didn’t.

I also wanted to use the opportunity of starting a new journal to setup some page formats. For that purpose I went and purchases some stencils, which would allow me to create some amazing looking pages (hopefully).

Below are some of the thoughts that went into creating my 2018 Bullet Journal. For a better view of some of these pages, check out my “My 2018 Bullet Journal” board on Pinterest. (Clicking some of the images will take you to the relevant sections

I’ve seen a number of different keys in the last year, since I started using the Bullet Journal system.

Since I was starting a new journal, for a new year, I decided to take a look at some of the things that worked for me over the last twelve months.

  • Switching from filling boxes completely to indicate a completed task allowed me to include an ‘in-progress’ status.
  • Having icons for Email, Calls, and other location/device specific task made it easier for me to prioritize my workload based on where I was at the time (a trick I learned from ‘Get Things Done’).
  • I also decided to use these as tag for tasks, events and appointments, so that I could differentiate them.

The Index is your reference guide to the contents of your Bullet Journal. Because the Bullet Journal system allows you to add topics (also called collections) at any time, you need an index to help you find every page that forms part of that topic.

  • When creating a new topic/collection/calendar page/etc you just add the page title and page number to your index.
  • Anytime you add a page that is relevant to a topic, you just add the page numbers to your index.

The Future Log is where you focus on the year ahead, without worrying about the minutia of everyday events.

That means you don’t need a vast amount of space, because all you’re recording is key events which you are booking ahead of time.

I needed something quick and simple for this particular section of my Bullet Journal.

  • I went online and purchased stickers for the date labels (which I DID have to trim a little for this purpose).
  • Those labels make it easy to get a glance of the weekly breakdown.
  • The box under each label is used to note down the important birthdays for that month.
  • The remaining space is used to log events, appointments and tasks that are happening on days, weeks and months ahead.
  • When the time is right, you copy the item to the relevant Monthly Overview, and from there into the Weekly Overview and daily list.

This is where you move down to the monthly level, and get an overview of what’s happening over those few weeks.

  • I included an events and task list, as well as a section for events/tasks that need to be moved/added to the following week.
  • I left just enough space in the boxes for each day to make very basic notes.
  • At the bottom you’ll notice some other boxes I added for my book reading and review lists, as well as my Pinterest tracker, and the live dates of my weekly blog posts.

Here’s your chance to get an overview of the week ahead, and what tasks, and events you have coming up in the days ahead. (Spot the note scribbled in the top margin, regarding my apparent inability to spell DECEMBER).

  • This is pretty much the exact same weekly layout I’ve been using for almost six months.
  • The left-hand page tracks my works schedule, home/personal schedule, my blog schedule, writing/editing plans, and promotions.
  • I left these pages almost exactly the same as they were in my 2017 journal. All I did was move the habit trackers to the bottom of the page.

Since this is the start of the journal, there’s nothing to actually see, yet…

But I decided I wanted to add a little bit of interest to my daily lists. Banner images are something I experimented with during November and December, as I tried to decide on a format.

Then the stencils arrived, and I was able to combine the number and letter stencils with shapes to create something simple. I’m rather pleased with the result.

I’m an avid reader, as reviewer, who sometimes volunteers to pick up Advanced Reader Copies (ARCs). ARCs allow reviewers a chance to get their hands on books, before the general public, in return for an honest review.

Because my reading plans were very disjointed in 2017, I wasn’t always able to get to ARCs before the book released. So these pages will give me a chance to split my regular reading from my ARC promises.

This is another of those wonderful concepts that I’m using to try and be better prepared for movie releases.

Last year I missed a lot of movies at the cinema because of issues with work scheduling and finances. Hopefully by having the dates logged, I’ll be able to request days off for movies I really want to watch, before it’s too late to see them.

I’ll also use this to track movies and TV series that my wife and I want to purchase.

Journal:

Pens:

Stickers:

Stencils:

If you’d like to know more about how I designed and created these pages, let me know in the comments.