The First Novel Mambo: Print Layout

This is going to be a long one, friends. Buckle up! Writing a book can be difficult–anyone who’s tried to do it can attest to that fact. But laying out that book for print, especially if it isn’t something you do every day, can fill your soul with rage. There are a ton of little fiddly rules that mean you’re going to have to nudge, adjust, wiggle, and poke at things until they sit just right on the page. All the way through the book, from front to back. And. . . Read More!

The First Novel Mambo: The Cover

In previous posts, I’ve covered the planning and writing of my novel, as well as using early readers to develop and improve the book, and how important it is to hire an actual professional editor. Now, it’s time to talk about something that could make or break a book: the cover. I’m going to tell you right now, I designed my own cover. And I’m also going to tell you right now, this is something you might want to spend money on to have a professional do it. For all. . . Read More!

The First Novel Mambo: Professional Editing

Last time, I wrote about having early readers give feedback on my novel (after several drafts and lots of proofreading, of course). I think it’s essential to get the opinions of a few trusted folks; they can only make your work better. Today, speaking of someone who makes your work better, I’m going to tell you about hiring a professional editor. First, I should address the fact that I self-published my book. If I’d gone out to find a literary agent, and that agent had taken me on as a. . . Read More!

The First Novel Mambo: Early Readers

Previously, I wrote about the prepping, planning, plotting, and writing of my novel. After writing, rewriting, and reading through and rewriting again, my draft was ready to be read by someone other than me. I’ve been Scott’s first/alpha reader for all of his books so far, so of course he was mine. For both of us, we like to read the book in Word. It isn’t as convenient or hand-held as a copy on Kindle, but we both like Word’s commenting and markup features. On Scott’s two most recent books,. . . Read More!

The First Novel Mambo: Prepping and Writing

This is the first in what’s going to be a series of posts about how my first novel came into being. Like so many people, I’d always wanted to write a novel, but always had excuses why it wasn’t a good time. Well, I finally did it, and here’s how. Setting a Timeline I’d watched my husband Scott write a pair of novels the previous year, and he was just starting into a third. Granted, he’d been working part-time, while I was working full-time, but I still figured that if. . . Read More!

A Novel Idea: We Could Be Villains

So some of you may already know, and some may not, but I published a novel this week. A lot of writing advice boils down to: write the book you want to read. So that’s what I did with We Could Be Villains. It’s primarily a lighthearted action/adventure story, with elements of superheroes, sci-fi, heists, and chick lit. (If you’ve read any of Scott’s books, you already know that ours is not a household dealing in super-serious dramatic works.) At first I referred to it as “a geek girl beach. . . Read More!

Photodump: 2014 So Far, and Introducing Cheddar

It’s only been, what, nine months since I’ve updated over here? It’s because Holiday Doodles has pretty much eaten up the time I used to be able to put into writing blog posts. Someday, when Scott’s books are making a bajillion dollars, I’ll be able to quit working full-time and do more creative works. Until that day, though, the hours outside of the day job are scant and precious. I never did introduce Cheddar, aka Tillamook Medium Cheddar, our new cat. So I’ll combine that in a photodump that’ll catch. . . Read More!

Photodump: The Tail End of 2013

Well well well, if it isn’t 2014. I haven’t dumped photos for quite some time, so here are some things that I saw in the tail end of 2013. My cube neighbor at work has a late November birthday, and 2013 was one of the years where that birthday fell on Thanksgiving day. So I tried my hand at making a cake with marshmallow fondant. I’d made it once before, but several years ago. (Overall, I judge it as pretty easy, but really time-consuming. And really delicious.) I was going. . . Read More!

Comrade Meyer, 1998-2013

For those who haven’t heard yet, we had to put our wonderful cat Commie to sleep on November 22nd. He’d been losing weight at an alarming rate, going from 16 pounds down to a little over 8; we did a bunch of tests at the vet, and he passed almost all of them with flying colors. It wasn’t one of the usual suspects: diabetes, thyroid issues, kidney, or liver. He did have a bit of protein in his urine, and evidence of a bacterial infection. We gave him kitty antibiotics,. . . Read More!

Weird Holidays = Holiday Doodles

A few months back, I posted about the daily doodles I was doing at work. And more than one person said that I should be putting them online somewhere, or make a daily calendar, or something. The calendar thing would be a challenge, only because at this point, I’d have to start researching and drawing 2015. Because that’s how the calendar business rolls. But I did finally build a site where these will be online! The daily doodles are now at holidaydoodles.com, and I’ve even bumped from 5 days a. . . Read More!