Oklahoma Women Bloggers and the First Ever Mini Conference

This weekend I got to go and hang out with some pretty amazing ladies and learn some more about blogging at the first ever Oklahoma Women Bloggers Mini-Con.  There was good food, great conversation and so much information it will likely take me weeks to process everything.

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These women really know how to do their jobs, and they provided some much needed insight into a lot about professional blogging.

And there was silliness.

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There was also some amazing swag donated by Riceland and some of our local crafters.  I can tell you that the Prairie Bloom moisturizer is awesome, and the Vacant Wheel candle smells fantastic!  I also can’t wait to try the cherry habanero jelly from Dining with Debbie, and maybe even get into making some myself this summer on the Oklahoma Jelly Making Trails, ’cause I could seriously make Jelly my Jam.IMG_1143

IMG_1140, conference swag, sponsors
Our sponsors and local artisans are pretty amazing!

NEWSFLASH!

The Kindle Countdown Deals start tomorrow on BoneSliver!  Get ’em while they’re hot!

Kindle Countdown Coming Up!

Reformat, New Site and New Merch!

So, there are some neat things coming up, as we get ready to switch into high gear at Twisted Candle Media.  First off, we have a badass new logo.

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To boost the success of the company itself, Twisted Candle Media will be getting its own website soon, and the goodies I have for sale will be listed there.  This site will remain just for the author page and the services I offer.

Here’s some of the goodies we’re gathering up  to go with the books, and soon we hope to offer other people’s stuff as well!  Here is some of the cool stuff you can pick up at our booths this year…IMG_1099IMG_1100

And that’s just the beginning.  Bone SLiver is getting a reformat to increase distribution across platforms, and I plan on increasing our services and stock as well in the coming months and years.  The improvements come with the book sales, so remember to write those reviews, folks!   Look for appearances and booth dates coming up soon!

 

 

 

January in the Forest of Dark Delights

Untitled design (2)So the holidays are over and I’m back in classes.  Totally ready for this semester–I think.  The book fair was fun, I got to meet a lot of nice folks and hang out with some old friends, and had some other friends (Hi Ian and Lisa! Hi Judy!) stop by my table and say hi.  It was a cold and blustery day,  so the turnout was dampened a bit, but it was still worth it.

Now the flush of holiday activity is faded, the fair is over, and the cold reality of late January is setting in.  This is my birth month, so you’d think I’d love it, but January is actually pretty rough for me.  Cold and I are not friends, and birthdays–while fun– always have that “contemplating my own mortality” vibe to them. (It begins at midlife, so get used to it.) Interesting, and with the bizarre string of deaths that we’ve had this January, it’s got me thinking:

  • The boomers are getting on in years.
  • There are two major points in each life that are an absolute requirement.  Birth and death.
  • In the next twenty to thirty years, the number of deaths is going to increase at the same rate as births did during the baby boom.

Depressing, yeah?  It’s not weird, it is the natural cycle, but what we will witness is an unprecedented increase in death rate.  In contemplating this, I wonder if that will mean an increase in the fascination with death, as occurred during the plague years.  Is it not appropriate for writers to contemplate mortality and the unknown right now?  Will the writing of this generation recover some of the Gothic tendencies of those first trailblazers, Shelley, Poe, and Hawthorne?

Granted the Gothic has never left our minds since its inception.  It has grown, changed, acquired appendages in disturbing places, but it has not ever disappeared. It can be traced through our modern romance, especially the paranormal that is so hot right now, fantasy, mystery, sci-fi, and horror genres.

I liken it to the kraken of myth, or perhaps more aptly, Cthulu or one of his ilk.  Squirmy, hard to pin down, and with tentacles breaching every orifice sub-genre.  Still, this is where I’ve chosen to make my home, this forest of dark delights.  So I put my head sown and delve into these dark mysteries for you, dear readers.  For you I brave the dark nights and cold headstones.  Over the next few years I will be studying the Gothic on as many levels as time will allow, and I will share what I can for you here.  I will also resume my work on book 2 of The Nova Wave series, but don’t be too shocked if things get a little darker.  After all, what is a good tale without a few monsters?

Until Next Time…

~D

Fundraiser Book Fair

I’ve been selected to participate in the Tulsa City–County Library’s annual fundraiser book fair.  There will also be a panel for aspiring writers!  Come on out and see us (40 local authors in all) and maybe get a book signed to boot!

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Book Signing and End of Semester

So… this upcoming Saturday, November 28, 2015 I have a book signing at Needful Things Market in Owasso, OK.  Come on out and see me, and get a copy of the book signed.  I’d love to see you there!

Also the end of the semester is screaming right along.  Week after Thanksgiving is finals week.  I don’t want to say I’m stressing, but I am feeling the pressure a bit.  These classes are a little more challenging than the ones at TCC.  Also these classes were all online, where communication is sometimes an issue all on its own.

I am looking forward to next semester when I take fully half of my classes on campus.  I am also looking forward to Christmas break when I will do my own version of NANOWRIMO.  It will be a month late, but it will help me get the second book in The Nova Wave series done and ready to go out to you!

Lots of happy stuff in the works.

Stay tuned, and be well!

~D.

Book Launch a Success

Book Launch Halloween 2015 by Angela Van Winkle

I suppose it depends on what one calls success.  It’s not like Neil Gaiman came to the little town called Sand Springs for Halloween.  There were not hundreds of books sold.  If that is one’s definition of success, this was not it.

This was setting up a table in a lovely shop owned and operated by dear friends, and having a day-long parade of friends and family show up and shower me with affection.  That, my lovelies is my definition of success.  It may sound like stardom, and I have to admit they made me feel amazing.  To put it in perspective I am pretty much a complete unknown.  I am a small-town girl, and my newsletter e-mail list (until saturday) consisted of 4 people, of whom I was one. I don’t say this to garner sympathy, but to highlight the surprise and gratitude I felt at the idea of selling a book before I ever got there, and then selling twenty-two through the course of the afternoon.  Most of the sales were to people who had been watching my progress on Facebook, friends and family, but a few were new to me.

Still it wasn’t the sales that floored me.  It was that each of these people, many of whom I didn’t expect, took a few moments to come and see ME.  ME?! The level of amazement had me in happy tears off and on for the next three days.  It still gets me.  If you went to the Book launch and you are reading this blog post, know that you are one of the most precious people on the planet, and you have my eternal gratitude.  I love you.

If you didn’t get to come but wanted to, You also have my gratitude, and I love you too.  You are just as precious because you feel it.  Thank you.

Of course I over prepared as usual, but it went better than I could have dreamed.  To everyone at Earth and Soul and everyone who made the day amazing, Thank you.  You make it all worthwhile.

~D~

August Newsletter and the Next Degree

Ammonite fossil
Ammonite fossil

The end of the month brings with it the end of summer for me.  This next couple of weeks are all about the August Newsletter and cleaning house and organizing to prepare for the start of school this year.  This year I ambark on the next leg of my educational journey.  This year I start on the Bachelor’s degree.  This is also the year of my debut novel’s release.  The novel is in post-production now, and will be ready for release by Halloween 2015.  I have been working hard on everything, but right now it’s all about prepping for the next leg and following through on commitments.

If you haven’t signed up for the newsletter yet, you can do so here: 

. It’s free and only arrives quarterly with looks at some of my yet-to-be-released work and photography, and news about what’s coming up with the writing and school and local events.  If you have questions, or just don’t like the web form, you can email tcmedia@hotmail.com and I’ll sign you up.  I will never give away or sell your info, and I won’t fill up your inbox with annoying spam.

So then, it’s on to the housework for me!  See you in August!

~D

Formatting That Manuscript

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I have typed in Word for years, and I’ve maybe used 10% of the tools it offers.  Two features that I haven’t used until venturing into self-publishing are the Space After, the Section Break and the Page Break.  Surely, the return key is just as good, right?  Well, maybe for regular use.  When you go changing the format of your document though, they make a big difference in how the finished product looks.

In his CreateSpace Article, Self-Published Authors: Don’t Make These 5 Newbie Book Layout Mistakes , Joel Friedlander outlines several common mistakes and how to fix them.  To be honest, I glanced over the article and thought, ah I won’t have any of these problems, and proceeded to make some of the very same. While I didn’t have any blank right pages, I had some very odd spacing problems, and I had no idea how to get Word to skip more than the first page with the page numbers.  I went back and read the article again.  This time I took notes.  Then I went and found the Createspace article A Step-By-Step Guide to Formatting Your Book’s Interior, and took some copious notes from it as well.  Much of what I learned was from those two articles.  Basically Sovling most of my fromatting problems boiled down to following simple suggestions like:

  • After creating your title page, copyright page and Thanks page, go to your layout tab and select “Section Breaks-Next Page.” This will create a separate section and allow you to start page numbering from there. You can create as many sections as you want, but this is the important one.
  • Once you type and center your chapter headings, instead of hitting the enter key, click on the Paragraph dropdown and select “space after”, and enter a number.  Friedlander suggests 42.
  • At the end of your chapter, instead of hitting the enter key until you reach the next page, select “Insert” and then “Page Break” This will keep the ends of the paragraphs from running into the headers and keep the spacing where you want it when the manuscript goes into the formatting “sausage grinder” that is electronic publishing.

 

There is a lot more to it, but these are some of the snags I ran into and a couple of the helpers I found on the CreateSpace website.  Best of luck with your work, and hope to read you soon!

*~*~*~D~*~*~*