Reflections Based on Recent News

sadfaerieAs most of us around the world know by now the sad, and tragic passing of Los Angels Lakers basketball star Kobe Bryant, who died from a helicopter crash along with 13-year-old daughter, Gianna. This is news is shocking and unbelievable at the same time and this also comes under the heading of you will never forget where you were when you heard the news.

While Kobe was not a writer, but given his talent we are all stunned to hear this news. Yes, he had full filled his basketball career but he still had so much to give to this world and to his children. But this post is not about that, it’s about who we as writers try to cope and come to grips with these sudden and tragic events. One way is with our words.

Yes, our words and the voice that we have gives us strength during this times that we feel helpless and at times feel like we have nothing else in this world to give. As many times as we have seen the tragic and senseless tragedies of school shootings, and other world shaking events we have our words to get us through the tough and the bad times.

I can remember where I was when the events of September 11 was taking place when I heard the news that one or even the second tower had collapsed. I was 14 at the time just starting my freshmen year of high school. They day was also my sister’s birthday, and granted while she had a rather bad day that today due to some of the bullying that she faced, which I will not go into now for that is her story to tell not mine. However, I was in my second period English class when we got the news of what had taken place. The class fell quite and the teacher, who at the time was taking the news rather sadly like the rest of us, told us that through out the class period we could do anything that we wanted to do as long as it was constructive. Of course for me, it was to write. I wrote about four or five one page pieces on various things just to get my mind to focus on the rest of the day while I was at school. It was hard but I pushed through it some how.

I am not making light of the events of today or of that day or any other day that we have faced like this in our lives. But during this shocking time we have the use of our words to get us through. While I have said that our jobs as writers is help our readers to escape, now I’m going to change the phrase in that when the world can get to be too much, writing can be an escape for us during these rather difficult times.

Granted, for most of us we do not live in the world of celebrity, but we do live in a world that is some what highly influenced by the world of celebrity. This is one day that I shall never forget. While I am not a real fan of Basketball, I do like so many others know about Kobe Bryant and his accomplishments on and off the basketball court. Right now, I’m feeling sadden by his loss and the loss of his daughter. I fell sad for his wife, Vanessa, who has to deal with so much right now while trying to take care of her other three daughters, one of which is just seven months old.

But while I feel this great sadness that has shaken most of us today by this tragic news, I know that I can get through it by writing. Writing this blog entry, or by working on my fiction. There are some that will find comfort by writing poetry, which I have also done in the past. There are others that will write pieces on his life or by praying and trying to find comfort during this time.

Today or tonight when you take to the keyboard to work on your craft, I hope that you find comfort in knowing that in times of sudden shudder that your work will help set you free just a little bit until time has passed and you don’t feel the shudder anymore.

kobe candle

Let’s switch things up…

Hello again and today I want to change topic from what I have been talking about through the past several posts, which is getting your writing space and the tools that you will probably use in order so that you can spend an hour if not hours on writing and working through your projects. However, today I want to focus on the bland answer of its all up to you.

That’s right, there are times when you will find that when you are asking for guidance on working on your writing career that you will find what works for one person may not work for you. This is where a bulk of the solitary writing life begins, because it all comes down to the style.

One example of this is the initial work, you know planning and outlining. While this may work for some it may not work for all. Case in point, I do not like outlining. Outlining is a pain for me. However, coming up with lists of ideas for what I think will be good ideas for a story, I’m there. This is what works best for me.

I can’t tell you how many times, when working on the initial ideas for The Raven Prophecy, I started with a list of ideas and then worked on that initial paragraph and then from there my work grew from there for then I created my character list.

Now before I get too far ahead of myself, this is not the way that I work through all of my projects. Sometimes, an Idea comes to me based on what information I have and I start writing away. It all depends on that initial spark that you get.

While this also works for some, it doesn’t work for all. It all depends on how you work. It’s also like some like to work straight away on the computer, while others tend to like the old fashion pen and paper. I can honestly say that I like working on the computer, putting my fingers to the keyboard and working that way. Granted, this has changed over time, for I use to be a pencil and paper type. But after looking at the side of my right hand all covered in lead from wiping and smoothing out the writing on the paper, I transitioned to the computer where I don’t have left over pencil on my hand.

But if that is how you prefer to work, then that’s how you work. In this business, every one has their own ideas of how to get organized and practicing their craft. Granted, let’s face it every writer no matter their style has some of the same tools in their arsenal. I can name a few, a good pen, a pencil or two, a journal/notebook, and highlighters and books. Yes, books!

Let’s face it without books, we would not want to be writers. I also can’t tell you how many times you are going to get the advice, if you don’t read then how are you going to learn the mechanics of writing. This is everything from structure, vocabulary to dialog, grammar and most importantly the way to tell a good story.

Sorry, because if you don’t know the mechanics of how to tell a good story you will lose your reader and the point of our job is to engage the reader and sometimes challenge what they know of the world. Granted, there is also entertaining them but a good story will not only entertain but will challenge them. Once you challenge that reader to get to the end of your story then you know that you have touched them and you have done your job.

I have talked about what our job is as a writer before, but mostly in that post I said that it all comes down to crafting our story worlds and working on our craft. However, over time my answer to the question has changed in two fold.

The first part is the job that we need to opt hold ourselves too, which is to practice and work on our craft. The second part is that we need to as I mentioned above is to engage our readers in ways of entertaining them, not only letting them escape from their every day lives but also challenge their thinking. Not only about the world that they know and live in but also the with the world that you created. But also comes back to us as writers, in that we need to also challenge ourselves. Granted, most of what can come up for challenges in some ways come with in the later drafts unless you are crafty enough to work it/ weave it through the first draft.

These are just things to mull over while you are dreaming or thinking about your writing dreams. While you are thinking over these items, keep in mind that things are not set in stone and you can always change your writing preferences all while working on your craft it’s all up to you. Think about it this way, this is were you get to be independent from all the others in the sea of writers.

I hope that you have found today’s post helpful. Until next time I hope that you all have a happy writing day!

Spilling more Hot Chocolate: #SplashGate anyone? In other words here we go again…

Dear friends, I have just learned that the word “splash” has now been trademarked. Over the course of some time we have seen the devilish #cockygate which died after the author pulled back on her copyright infringement claims on the word “cocky” but now we have to worry about the word “splash.”

Here is where I sit on this, “splash” really can’t be trademarked since it was the title of a movie back in the 1980’s; however, if this claim is successful in being pursued I think Disney might have something to say on the issue and here we go again folks for another episode of:

cockygate-audacity-faleena-hopkins1

Granted many can try on their claims for these type of things but as a community, we should take offense that there are authors/writers out there that want to limit the community as a whole from using words that have been used for years and years and thousands of books.

The last time that we as a community dealt with these type of issues, and I’m talking about #cockygate, the writing community as a whole had a massive blow up and this was the start of many of the issues that we as writers face within our community.

Yes, our community can be great but like so many communities out there are, we also  have some bad seeds. I will say that a post that I did some time ago about spilling the tea about authortube has been popular over time, and still continues to be, sheds some light on the issues that have come up over time with the authortube community.

Here is a link to the blog post if you would like to read it for yourself: https://moonspinner3books.com/2018/10/25/spilling-hot-chocolate-over-the-latest-drama-authortube/

All of this drama is one of the reasons why I said that I had enough with the community. Granted, there is still more drama going on with authors on authortube and some other places that author’s use for the platform but enough is enough.

When I first joined this community of online writers and as an aspiring writer, the message that came over loud and clear is “I want to help writers like yourself to succeed.” Granted, there are still some that say that but then there are others that bring on the drama like if you don’t do something like I do then you’re a bad citizen of the writing community.

Sorry, not everyone goes on the same path with their writing. Some aren’t young when they start their first novel, some are just as old as my parents. But that part doesn’t matter, what matters is this plain and simple: don’t make the barriers to enter harder for anyone. It wasn’t hard for you to get into writing so make it hard for others?

Yes, you might be sitting there reading this and thinking, “Wait isn’t this simple ethics? or like the Golden Rule?” Why yes, it is. Think about it treat others as you want to be treated. If you want to be a traditionally published author then deal with those barriers and those gate keepers that like to look at trends and tell you what you should be writing. But if you want to be an independent writers and be self-published then help others and suggest things that work instead of tearing down writers.

 We all want to succeed in this world of writing, but if you make it hard for someone and they run from their dream then you have already started hurting this community.

Granted, from the beginning with this site I have stated time and time again that I want to help writers not hurt them. But when I post things like this, it’s to help them understand what we as a community are facing at the current moment. Do I like posting these things? No, for it hurts me. I get angry and upset and that’s not what this is for me. This is my place to escape from the realities of the world, and like I have posted on here before too writing is an escape. It should be relaxing and enjoyable but when things like this drama come up, it adds more pressure on us writers then helps to relax us.

That’s how we should think as a community. Help other writers rather than hurt them. Granted, on many of the writing groups that I am a member of one book keeps being brought up, and that book is “Children of Blood and Bone.” I, for one can honestly say that I am not quite over what this author did back last year, and I even wrote a post about it:

https://moonspinner3books.com/2018/11/30/here-we-go-again/

Here is a brief overview on the topic, the author tried to claim that Nora Roberts was stealing titles. Now pay attention, children, Nora Roberts wrote a book titled, “Of Blood and Bone,” which came out a year prior to “Children of Blood and Bone.” Now think, how can some one steal a title when it came out a year prior to someone else’s book? You have given it some thought and are probably thinking, “That’s not how it works.”

Here is the other thing on this, both authors’ works were published by the same publishing house but under different imprints.

Granted, the author did apologize to Nora hours after the fact, but the issue remains that she did not correct her readers on any of the facts, for they still to this day go after Nora for the author’s cries of foul. I’m sorry, but when you make a claim like this, and even if you apologize, you should call out your fans and also make them apologize for their actions. I know it’s hard but it would go a lot further in this community with one simple act instead of sitting around and doing nothing.

Maybe I should let it go, but I’m not quite ready to since her readers have not let their tirade towards Nora Roberts has not been let go either. Yes, damage has been done and done and continues to be done. But we as a community need to find a way to come together instead of falling apart and being further apart then before.

Over the years we are told that writing is a solitary job, and let’s face it is. We write alone, we come up with our ideas alone and at times we have no support, and yet we are told that finding a community of authors/writers is away to come out of that solitary life and make it worth while. But if more episodes like this come up, we are still going to be solitary in our writing pursuits.

Sorry, if this was not a happy topic, but it needs to be put out there. I hope that in the mean time that you have a happy writing day! But just be careful for a using the word “splash”.

 

 

 

In Memorial: Christopher Tolkien

The Fall of Arthur

Today, we learned of the passing of J.R.R. Tolkien’s son, Christopher. Christopher in the later part of his life brought and even edited some of his father’s work which was a continuation of sorts to his father’s legacy. Christopher was 95 years old.

 

Necessities for that Perfect Setup

Last time, I talked about getting the computer that you are using for your writing organized. Now I’m going to talk about what every writer should have for their computer, this is either for a desktop or a laptop. This are some of the must haves that I need in order to spend hours on end in front of the computer.

The first important item that you should have no matter where you setup your computer is light. Yes, let there be light. Having either a good desk lap or natural light can never be a bad thing, in my opinion. Your eyes will thank you for this later. Granted, when it comes to picking the perfect spot to setup the computer, when it comes to natural light, you want to make sure it is a spot where the sunlight won’t hit you direct in the eyes or on your screen. If the sunlight hits the screen, you are going to find it hard to see what you exactly doing. My suggestion, whether you deal with daylight savings or not, pick a spot where the sun won’t hit your space but it allows enough light to come in the room, and then at night if your overhead light is not the best, get a lamp that will give you the perfect light and make sure it is also not adjusted to where it will it you in the eye either.

Now getting back to the computer, whether you are using a desktop or a laptop, my number is make sure that you have a monitor that is big enough to where if you need multiple screens open of your word processing document, you can have them side by side. I know that not everyone can afford big monitors and I’m not talking that you need a fifty inch television, but somewhere between 19 inch and 25 inch should be good. Now I’m using a 25 inch. The reason, if you are using a laptop, which most people are looking at that tiny screen will hurt your eyes after hours of use. Take it from most college students that use a laptop.

Now when it comes to hooking up that laptop to the monitor, you can do it one of two ways. One is either by using a HDMI cable or a VGA cable. The difference between the two is the VGA has blue connectors and the HDMI cable has a smaller/slimmer connector. So on my setup, I have a laptop that I have connected to a monitor using a HDMI cables and most laptops use HDMI connections rather then a VGA cable. I have posted pictures of the two connections down below:

Image result for VGA cable"                            Image result for hdmi cable"

VGA Cable                                                                       HDMI Cable

Once you have your monitor hooked up, then your screen problems are no longer an issue, just make sure that when it comes to what is on your screen, then do a simple right click and go down to display settings and then go down to multiple displays and select “Duplicate these displays.” Once this setup is completed then you are off to the races.

Now the other thing that I really recommend, especially if you plan on typing or working for a couple of hours, investing in a good keyboard. The number one reason why I suggest this, is for one I can’t stand the cramped space that my fingers have to use for the keyboard, and since I like to have room for my fingers to move across the keyboard, I invested in a good keyboard. I’m currently using a wireless keyboard that I can hook up to my laptop via a USB connector.

IMG_4904Granted, some keyboards can be expensive but I suggest not spending more than $75 for a keyboard. My top recommendation is the Logitech MK550 Wireless Keyboard with the Ergonomic Wave Design and Mouse set. The other thing about using this keyboard is that you don’t necessarily have to use the mouse that goes with the set for you can use mouse that you preferred instead. Now this where my alpaca and llama love come in, for I’m using a mouse that has llamas that can be found at Walmart:

That does it for all of the computer hardware that you could ever need for that perfect setup when it comes to typing and working on those project electronically. Now for the other technology things that we as writers must have at or near our desks, such as pens a good notebook and a USB drive. Yes, a USB drive and the simple reason is just as we are told to save our work a lot, I would also suggest backing it up. Using a USB drive is one of the simplest ways to back up your work. You pop it in and do a save as for your work to the drive and you are all set for the next time that you go to work on your project locally on your computer.

Now with the USB drive, I would suggest that you also keep it organized for when you need to find something. This sort of goes back to the helpful organization tools that I posted in the last post on here.

Well that will do it for today. I hope that you have found this post just as helpful as the last. I hope that you all have a great writing day until next time.

Organizing the Computer for Writing

While I continue the conversation about getting organized in 2020, let’s talk about getting the computer in tip top shape in terms for writing. I know that some may be have been lucky enough to get a new computer for Christmas, and while that is great and fantastic, I can honestly say that sometimes this is where users tend not to keep it as organized as we may like. So today I’m going to talk about getting and keeping the computer organized.

Let’s first talk about the desktop, and no I’m not talking about the desk that you put the computer on. I’m talking about the desktop that is on the computer. I know that are probably many out there that save many of their files to the desktop. First off stop the habit right now, because when you save all of your files to the desktop you are actually making that computer perform slower when it comes up. So keep that desktop clean. The only think that should be on your computer’s desktop is the trash or recycle bin.

Secondly, when you are cleaning off of your computer’s desktop, all of those short cuts, remove those for there is absolutely no need for them. If you a program, such as Word, Scrivener, your Internet Browser you can add it to your task bar that is on the bottom of your screen. This way you can make it tidy and neat at the same time. Here is what my task bar looks on my computer:

taskbar

See I have my file folder accessible, my popular Internet Browser (ie, Google Chrome), Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Scrivener, my snip tool, and my least popular Internet Browser just in case I need it.

Once you have these parts done, next is to work on organizing that documents folder. Yes, this is where you should be saving all of your files. Now to take it a step further, so that your writing projects are not being confused with your other files, I would suggest that you make a folder called “Writing” or “Writing Projects” and then with in that folder make a separate folder for each project. Now if you are making writing your business, and you have a publishing folder, this is where you should create a folder that named after your business, and then put your writing projects in there.

Granted, I have my writing folders organized under my business name, and then within that folder I have one called imprints, which every imprint has a folder, and within each of those has a folder for the projects that will be published by that imprint. Now I admit that my filing system may be a bit massive, but at least I can find my files when I need them.

You can do anything that is listed above whether you are using Microsoft Windows or a Mac. But if you follow these tips your computer and you will have a happy relationship.

I hope that you have found this topic handy, until next time I hope that you have a happy writing day!

Time and Space in 2020

Last time that I was on here, I talked about how this year I was going to be different from last year. Let me start off by saying that last year was one giant mess, in that I would find time to write, or I would think that I would have the time and then something would happen and then my writing time would go poof. Between you and me, it sucked big time.

This year, so far I have the time to write, due to many factors. One being that I am currently looking for a job. Secondly, between job searches, is when I hopefully will be doing most of my writing.

Granted, as writers, one of the first pieces of advice that you are given is that we need to have a dedicated time to and place to write. While most will say that you should write the at the same time and or place. I will say that some times when writers, especially those starting out, try to follow this piece of advice, will fall into the waste land that is burnout.

On the subject, I will say that when it comes to finding that right time, all depends on when you can give writing your full attention. Granted, even if you are able to donate fifteen minutes of your time to your craft, then that is all that you might be able to give during a day or even a string of days. Let’s face it, we all have busy lives, and while writing is not exactly a community activity, for it can be solitary, our lives are not solitary. We have families, and families come with their hassles.

But at least while I can say that there are a few minutes, or even hours when I have the house to myself, then I can dedicate that time to both my writing and to my job search. While I can say that work and having a job can be a creative suck on so many levels, I can say that on the other hand it does come with one perk and that is money.

As much as I want to say, that I have made money so far from the projects that I have published, so far I have made nothing. This is not to say that others can’t have prosperous success, but I have not found it yet.

I’m not giving up yet, for I’m still enjoying writing and I love it when I have completed works. It’s just so far, I have not seen the whole might dollar my way when it comes to my writing.

However, but getting back to the topic at hand. We as writers need to dedicate some or a little time to our projects and our craft. While time may be a difficult thing, so may be space. I can’t tell you how many times, I thought that I have found a space that is dedicated, where I can do my writing and then something happens or someone comes along and puts designs on my writing space. Does that mean that I gave up on finding my space, hell no! It just means that I moved my space.

As part of my goal as making writing more of a priority than last year, I moved my writing space into my bedroom. I know that some will say that your work space and your personal space should be separate, but when you have no choice, then you have to make the necessary changes to do what must be done.  Therefore, in my case I moved my writing space into my bedroom for the time being.

While I can say that most times writers are told that they need to have a permanent time and space, it does not always work that way, therefore, we as writers need to be flexible in our pursuits having making our writing goals a reality.

Nevertheless, the more flexible that we are in our en devours then there is a greater chance in achieving success.

I hope that you have found this topic helpful. Until next time, I hope that you have a great writing day! Happy creating!

2020 is here and where is this year going?

Hello and we have made it 2020! Boy did 2019 fly buy and this year, I’m hoping to do better than last year. Last year was crazy with lots of changes to my life and as much as I tried to make writing and my business a priority, I really didn’t. I will admit that I failed last year, and I am hoping that this year is going to better.

I’ve already decided that I”m not going to make as many changes to my business’s appearance as I have done in the past. Therefore, what is out there on the heading will stay. I think that is where I lost some of my focus by trying to cover every part of fiction by having this imprint and that imprint. But I think that also this focus on having the different imprints I also because of some of the advice that I have been given.

See as writers, we are often told, that if you are going to write in different genres that you have to have a different pen name and sometimes you have to sign with different publishers. Well, as much as this might be common practice, it is probably not is best. I mean look at some known writers that have written in different genres they still use their name. The authors that I’m talking about is Stephen King. Granted, Nora Roberts uses a pen name when she switches from romance to mystery and thriller to a pen name, I think that its harder for your readers to follow a writer.

Granted, I will admit that some readers may not like romance or fantasy, but if their author is dipping their toes in that part of the water, than maybe their preferences might follow where their authors are going. Maybe I’m wrong, but in some ways, or in a lot of ways the madness of trying to please or change when your mind wants to try something new is just flat out crazy.

I’ve already decided that last year, I would not be using several pen names based on genres that I’m writing, but would rather use one name for all of my works. So maybe I need to do the same thing with by publishing business as well? Sorry, no, that’s not going to happen. I’m keeping off the imprints and not creating anymore.

Yes, last year I was away a lot and that was hard. I think that in someways my craft suffered for it, and I really didn’t put out anything new. I just worked on updating previously published works, and I’m still working on that. But I’ve also decided that this year, I’m going to dedicate my time to one project at a time, instead of switching back and worth between projects.

Previously, I’ve made a point of stating that I’m working on said project, and then I get to a point and switch to another project. No more of that, at least I can try. This year, I want to start something and complete it to the end. Granted, right now, I’m busy working on updating the first of the Sheriff John Crimson Stories, Crimson Bounty. Once that is completed then I will work on the second and then the third. Once those are completed we will see where this year really takes off.

I want to thank all of you that have stayed with me, through out my few years of growth on this site and for following everything that I am working on to see where the future will go.

I want this year, to be the better than last year and I want to really focus on my craft and get organized, which I will probably talk more about later.

I am in the process of working on things to build upon and to discuss.

I will leave you there. Happy New Year, my friends. I hope that you all have a great writing day.

 

What Have I been Up to Lately

Hello again! I have been quite busy behind the scenes, writing of course. But I have also been updating a few things as well. Before we get to all of that, I wanted to inform you all that there are now editions, or rather updates made to the ebooks My Grandmother is Missing and Poems in a Milk Bottle.

In both of these ebooks, they first have new covers, which are down below:

My Grandmother Cover-page-001          Poems in a milk bottle cover-page-001

There are many reasons why I changed the book covers for these two works, but first and for most the original covers were not doing it for me. So they needed to be changed.

The other changes that made to these works, was by putting them under their imprints, such as My Grandmother is Missing has been published under both Moonspinner3 Books and Black Knife Mysteries and Thrillers Press. As for Poems in a Milk Bottle, I only published it under Moonspinner3 Books.

Besides all these make up changes, I have updated the story to My Grandmother is Missing, so that it more considered a short story piece than that of a flash fiction piece. I wanted to make this change, because first and fore most I felt the story was not really complete enough, and I wanted to add in some details, so that I was a stronger piece.

As for Poems in a Milk Bottle,  I made more formatting changes to the collection. However, in view of these changes, I have also made them look more professional, such as adding both front and back matter to the book.

So what is next for me…well, I am currently working on The Raven Prophecy and I will be making similar changes to the Sheriff Crimson stories that I have already released.

I hope that you will stay tune to those changes, and I will let you all know when they are available. But as of right now both, My Grandmother is Missing and Poems in a Milk Bottle are both available for release.

I hope that you all have a happy writing day!

 

 

Welcome to Moonspinner3 Books!

Hello and welcome to what is now Moonspinner3 Books! Yes, I have just changed faerierosepress.com to now moonspinner3books.com. This change is all due in part to my original vision for my publishing company changing from being Faerie Rose Press to being Moonspinner3 Books.

In the beginning, I stated that Faerie Rose Press was for publishing works of fiction that is under the genre of fantasy. However, as a writers, sometimes we tend to work and write works that are in other genres. Therefore, I am diversifying my portfolio and made Faerie Rose Press and imprint of Moonspinner3 Books. Therefore, with this change that I made months ago, I am now making the changes to the site to reflect this change in that the website is now under the main company name.

Yes, I have been away from my site; however, this does not mean that I have not been writing or working on various projects. I hope that you continue to come back for more content as things are changing and becoming better in focus for myself and my works in fiction.

Thank you as always for supporting me and I hope that you will continue to support the site.