A few things to report for a new year

First, I’d like to say happy new year to everyone. I hope everyone had a great holiday season.

I’ve been off work since December 20th, but go back sometime around the 13th of January. Though I have not written much, I have been reading quite a bit. Lately, I’ve been a bit preoccupied with Permaculture and gardening books…

So, one thing I’ve changed for the new year: I’m no longer a smoker. I hope this change lasts, but according to everything I’ve read, smokers tend to fall back into their old ways after about eight weeks. Right now I feel as if I’ll never touch another one of the nasty things again, but I also have an occasional craving for the habit of the cigarette.

Change #2 – I’m seriously thinking about working on a new blog. I’m just considering this because the content would have nothing to do with indie authorship. I can no longer access the maturehealth.wordpress.com blog, so I would have to start from scratch and most of the content would be about some aspect of gardening, food health/security, etc.

Change #3 – I’m currently looking for a small piece of property to live and garden on. I don’t need anything large, but hoping to find something affordable in Siloam Springs. I know it would be a big change from apartment dwelling, but I think I can handle it. We’ll see…

Anyway, I’m looking forward to 2014 and wishing everyone a great year.

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Updates

I attempt to get online two days a week. The days I have off from work, but lately I have neglected blog posts, my apartment is a mess and the laundry has piled up.

By the time I get home, all I want to do is take off my shoes, sit down and either read for an hour or if I’m too tired to read, I’ll watch an old video on the computer until I’m ready to fall asleep.

The upside of this are the people I’ve met lately. I did not realize how lacking in social interaction I was until thrust into the midst of it. Two months ago, my daily routine included going for a walk/run, visiting the library, a bit of internet/social media and writing.

Now, in the new position (at the university) I have to interact daily with co-workers, supervisors and students. There are challenging moments, but to be honest, I’m grateful for this experience. The people working at the university are a diverse crowd from other states and countries and have great stories.

There is Betty, a woman nearly eighty years old, who works through the week, serving students at our main Exhibition food station. By watching her, you would never guess her age. She’s quick, hustling to get everything she needs to set up her station and after the dinner rush, doesn’t hesitate to break everything down and begins the hard labor of cleaning.

Mrs. Casey is also elderly and refuses to retire. The matron of the pots and pans area, she labors over the sink from the wee hours of the morning until 3 P.M. She’s done this for fifteen years and says that things have changed too much for her liking. There are too many students and we’re using too many pans.

Adam, who reminds me of my oldest grandson. He’s a socially awkward, workstudy student. Tall, thin, has been sheltered most of his life–homeschooled and isolated (I think), but attempting to obtain an engineering degree. He’s quiet, appears lost much of the time, not quite sure what he’s supposed to do next, but figuring it out, on his own.

Every time I see him, I’m glad he’s hanging in. He hasn’t quit yet and I hope he’ll tell me of a new adventure, or some girl he’s met.

A couple of people were displaced by Hurricane Katrina and somehow ended up here.

I think there are times, it is so good to be back in the world to listen to stories of others. Writers and artists get locked into their own stories and the imagined worlds they create and sometimes forget reality beckons. Tales of humanity are out there.

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More recent news:

I’m also taking an online Permaculture class, have volunteered to maintain a local garden in exchange for fresh veggies and am still trying to keep up with running.

Taria of the Dead is on hold. I just don’t have the mental and creative energy to write a novel right now. Despite this, I feel good about recent changes. It’s not easy, but it’s fulfilling.

The Morgan James fiasco

Last week I wrote about the acquisitions editor from Morgan James that contacted me through Twitter. Well, after hanging up from a sales call by same editor, I was irritated my time had been wasted.

About five minutes into the call, after touting both companies, (MJ and Koehler Books Publishing), the man tells me, “Authors with a track record are given a traditional deal, but since you don’t have that we would need five-thousand dollars from you. It’s an investment on your part.”

Huh?

But, he did mention earlier, in the selling spiel, that this company was not a vanity press. It was not a self-publisher. “We split ebook royalties 50-50,” he said.

Agents jump on that, he said.

Not if they’re paying $5,000. out of their own pocket.

I don’t care what a ‘publishing house’ calls it, when they begin asking authors to pay for the service of being published, that sounds like self- or vanity publishing.

Traditional publishing houses pay the author. These companies, despite what they want to depict in advertising and marketing, are not traditional publishing houses.

Morgan James and Koehler, through this scam-sleazy ‘partnering’ program are not just making money through books that hit, but on the author services.

In addition to the $5,000. I was also told there is an ‘Author 101’ event annually in LA and Las Vegas, in which authors are only charged half of the $500. to learn insider secrets of publishing and guerilla marketing.

The companies stress that authors participate in these events because it would make them more successful.

At the end of the conversation, I said “No thanks,” and hung up.

Still, I’m fuming a bit at the ruse. I felt there was a bit of misrepresentation involved by presenting these companies as traditional publishers.

For anyone else approached by these guys. My suggestion is to avoid contact. They are a waste of time.

Fishing for Ideas or Writer’s Life #2

Portrait-Photo-Girl-fishing-Color-Photo-2

 

I’m sick to death of the Broke-artist title, so I think the blog may change.

Possible options:

carlaherrera.com
cherrera.com
carlarherrera.com
crherrera.com

I know these names don’t sound quite as glamorous as broke-artist, but that’s okay. At this point, I don’t think anyone doubts I’m a broke writer who keeps writing, despite the lack of sales or attention generated to my work.

Is that crazy?

Perhaps crazy-making.

Anyway, if you have ideas for a name for this blog based upon the personality or content, go ahead and leave it in the comments. It may be awhile before it changes, as paypal let me know (through the very convenient monthly updates) that my balance is $1.42. [Thank you Paypal].

In more recent news: an editor for a NY publisher, I met on Twitter, sent me a DM recently and through email, I ended up sending him a copy of Nexus, along with a synopsis and all other relevant information. [Did I mention he’s from a NY– that’s New York–publisher?]

I don’t want to jinx this, but from what I understand, some of the new publishing ‘houses’ are more like PublishAmerica. BTDT.

They don’t offer advances to authors, require a long-term contract and don’t market well.

I’ve only seen a couple of blurbs about this particular company, but most of the information has been speculation. So for now, I’m keeping my fingers crossed and hoping this turns into a genuine offer.
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The job hunt: I’ve applied to several different jobs in Siloam Springs and am seriously thinking about writing about this experience. It’s amazing how many companies paying minimum wage ask you to devote your life to the position.

In fact, an app I filled out this morning for a food service position had the little agree/disagree buttons you’re supposed to click on.

“I want nothing more than to work in a restaurant.”

I checked the disagree button. I know they want the agree to be checked, but I just couldn’t do it.

Next week, I may post a list of the different types of positions I’ve applied for, along with some of the crazy things they ask on the questionnaire/personality assessment.

 

Kickstarter Project

Today was the first day of the Kickstarter Project for Taria of the Dead. As the project develops, I’ll be giving regular updates, including videos and regular posts about my progress.

If you look to the left, you’ll also see that I’ve create a page, specifically for Taria. There, you’ll find info updates, along with various incidentals. There’s so much to the creation of a new world/project that I have a feeling that particular page might spill over into its own (different) site.

We’ll see…

Also, I will be using a local (Arkansas) artist for my cover illustration. If you are, or know an artist in Arkansas who does this kind of work, please get in touch.

starvingartist0 at yahoo dot com.

More posts coming soon

raingirl

Rainy days don’t last

UPDATE: I’ve finished the material for Kickstarter and just awaiting the review process. The video may hold up that process, because it is really amateurish. I’m a writer, but unfortunately not much of a film maker–yet.

I haven’t been writing many blog posts lately, because I really have been working hard at getting things done with Taria of the Dead.

Some of it has nothing to do with writing. I’m waiting to launch the Kickstarter project until Friday, so I have everything in order. Plus, I’m working on another video about the making of Taria of the Dead. It’s challenging, but slowly getting done.

Plus… I’ve been conducting an intense job hunt. I can’t even count how many resumes I’ve sent out at this point, or applications I’ve filled out at local businesses.

So, the blog has suffered for it a bit.

But more posts will be coming this way soon.

Smashwords summer promotion program

sunwglassesJuly 1 – 31st all my books will be enrolled in the promotion program.

So any that were .99 will be free. Others are 50% off. Even Nexus is going down to less than $2.00.

My list of books on Smashwords can be found here:

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/starvingartist

Please pass this on. Tell your friends. The promotion begins Monday, so you can get Blue Tent, Tesla’s Secret and Two for FREE.