where I share my experiences with the art of writing, publishing, and book marketing

where I share my experiences with the art of writing, publishing, and book marketing

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Where you'll find me

My sacred place-
it is not frilled with buntings or flowers.
There is no idol upon an altar.
No pipes of organs or rugs of prayer
fill the place that calls me there.

My sacred place-
is filled with papers in boxes,
there are books and shelves.
Music plays all day there,
music and song fills the air there.

My sacred place-
brings light to dark thoughts and light to hidden pleasure.
There is peace and hope and salvation there.
No limits are placed there
I am free and safe there.

You are welcome any time
if you can sit and wait
if you can hesitate and meditate
I turned a  rhyme just then
but I may never do it again

My sacred place demands no rules
no meter, or rhythm
My sacred place...

It's here
and in my head.
It's in the words I spread;
It matters not.
I live the best, in my sacred spot.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Last year I produced three books, the last of which has just been released.  Writers tend to write of their own experiences and what they know. These writings were an abstract of my own spiritual growth and—acceptance.  I did not know when I began them that they would become my gift to God, and His gift to me.  I felt a presence often, but it was not until the third book that I knew who it was.

I know there are some of you rolling your eyes, or popping your lips at that.  I know one friend in particular who will think I have gone stupid.  I have taken to telling that friend that it takes as much faith for them to believe there is no god as it does for me to believe there is; perhaps it takes him even more.

It is life that has not been good to me, not God.  Whatever He is, whatever mystery He weaves He has kept me in it.  I have very little to give Him in return.  So I chose to make the last book a gift back.

Still my books are not holy crusades; just abstracts, some reflection of what I have endured.  I wanted to share that, because now that they are written I feel relieved that I gave something back to God.  The problem I face now is how do I move on from that?

Monday, June 22, 2015

The reviews are coming in. The first is a four star!

From Gayle Pace at Books, Reviews, Etc.

Read it here: Books, Reviews, Etc.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Minstrels Save Mysterious Guardian


Saturday, February 28, 2015

Minstrels' Prize released to Kindle!

Available on Kindle beginning 3/1/2015
Minstrels' Prize is the third book in the Minstrels' Tale Mystery. It brings together all that happened in books 1 and 2 to an epic conclusion,  yet leaves the reader wanting for more.

Friday, January 30, 2015

A little preview of the soon to be released Minstrels' Prize, Book 3 of The Minstrels' Tale Mystery

   Mam had concocted a new formula to battle my seasickness and I was anxious to test its worth. I went to stand in the prow and took on the stance I had seen Andreas take so many times when we had sailed before. The feel of the wind against my face was a triumph. Joy came up in me and I threw wide my arms, tossed back my head and laughed. The wind played through my fingers and I felt like a bird in flight. I had often been jealous of Andreas as he stood reveling in the sensation of flight across the waters. I would not have to be jealous again. I blessed my mother for the gift she had given me. She did not know how great a gift it was.
   “Find your wings, Angel?” I heard Andreas ask as he came to put his arms around me.
   “It feels like that to me now. I used to hate that you could feel this and I could not. My mother’s brew works perfectly! This is awesome!”
   “Can I tear you away? I have something equally awesome to show you.”
   “I don’t know what that could be, but I’m curious.”
He took me to where several sailors were pointing at the water, laughing, and calling out in merriment. As we came to the rail I saw a school of large black and white fish. They were about twelve fotmal in length. They jumped in and out of the water, following along with us, just along our starboard side.
   “You have always been so taken with the sea sickness that you’ve missed this before. See how the pure white center and sides of their bodies look like wings? That and the legends about them saving drowning sailors have gotten them named Angelimare. In the ancient tongue it means angel of the sea.” Andreas told me this and I turned to meet his eyes.
   “Yes,” he said, “Angels seem to be coming at us from all sides, a synchronous situation. Everything happening seems to be connected.”
   “It is an odd series of coincidence that’s all,” I said as a way of dismissing what I felt but denied—synchronous.
   It was enough to start me questioning my beliefs. Perhaps God was greeting us; giving us welcome to a mission he had patiently waited for us to take up. I watched the Angelimare and asked one of the crew how often this sort of thing happened.
   “They like to play in the wake of swift ships. They stay mostly to the southern waters so it is not uncommon, but usually it is two or three. Here we have seven. That is the biggest flock I’ve ever seen.    We sailors are a superstitious bunch. A sea angel at the start of a voyage is good luck. We must have very good luck ahead to have such a big flock to escort us.”
   “Well they are angels and angels fly. Flock seems appropriate.”
   “Yes, so it does.”
We spent the entire day along that rail watching and laughing and wondering at the great creatures that they were. The Angelimare were with us even as we turned north toward the southern coast of Ahnges. Often they would chirp and dance on their tails through the water. They made the most eerie, yet beautiful sounds as they chattered. They seemed to have something to say. I only wish I could have known what that was. As the suns set, the wind died, and as suddenly, as if called home the Angelimare turned as one, dove into the sea, and swam away.
   The cook came to the deck and banged a wooden spoon against the deck bell to call us to dinner. We ate, then went to our cabin to gather a few instruments, then went up on deck to play for the crew.
   The ship moved through the water propelled more by current than wind, but we were still on our heading and the quiet seas allowed us a good audience. We played well into morning until the spotter called out,    “Land!”

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Represent with Good Editing 
Originally posted June 7th 2014 on ShadowPortal.blogspot.com

Editing—that tedious task that grinds on and on until it seems that it takes longer to edit than to write.  Over and over again through the same manuscript, until you are in danger of hating your own words.  Are you a struggling indie author who lacks the funds for such luxuries as a professional editor?  Me too.  So, let me share something that I learned the hard way.  Edit— edit until your eyes bleed and your fingers are numb.

My first book was well accepted.  Those who read it gave it good remarks and a passing grade.  All but one and that review was  scathing.  Why?  Because it was poorly edited  and the reviewer was sick and tired of indies not following through with editing.  I think I broke the camel’s back. She suggested I should have paid for a professional editor.  Believe me I wanted to, but as I said that is a luxury for me.  There were other factors in my life at the time too that caused me to rush the process, but those factors are now eliminated and we live and carry on.  In retrospect I should have waited for life to level off. I just wasn’t sure I’d ever see it in print if I waited, so I pushed it through.

 I found it interesting that most reviews spoke to the story saying it was a page turner with solid plot and good character development, but this woman ripped it apart.  Some reviewers  are kind and don’t want to say negative things about a book, unless it is pure garbage.  So I feel safe to say my story was good, but the editing left something to be desired.  Not pure garbage, but it didn’t smell quite right. I was surprised at first; I was feeling good about the book until that review, but she was right.  I had some spelling errors, and misplaced commas (what I affectionately call my identifying pen stroke), and a misused word.  In the overall picture of 296 pages that might not seem like much, but it bears on my reputation with editors, agents, and publishers. 

When I write I have a hard time extracting myself from the “fan” equation.  Do I write more for me or for them?   I write for the fans, including myself,  but I edit for the editors, agents, and publishers.  As an indie author the road is rough enough; I will take the road more slowly and carefully from now on.  I may never get the attention of a publishing insider, I am not sure I want to, but the payoff is that my fans get a better product, and I can feel  better about my reputation.

My second book is getting good reviews and it has been mentioned that it has solid editing.  I am proud of that because I worked hard at it.  Spelling may be the most important element in the editing process, but DO NOT rely on spell check. I have auto correct turned off now, so I am forced to look at each and every word without the boon of underlined words, or the bane of wrong spelling that is not underlined because spell check didn’t understand what I was trying to say.  After I go through once I turn spell check back on.  Then I go through again to be sure we understand each other .  After that I  go through and check the grammar.

Since I haven’t actually said it you should know—  I HATE editing.  I find grammar to be a bunch of arbitrary rules, but in the written form a misplaced comma can cause a reader to stumble, so I have made it a priority to learn more about it, of course I still have to write so I am learning on the fly.  I am far from a grammatical genius.  My degree is in Design, not English, so I have acquired The Norton Field Guide to Writing, and Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing. They have helped me through some rough spots.  I rely heavily on my thesaurus,  and  I have posted notes over my monitor about transitive verbs.  After that I’m on my own and rely upon my ear to tell me if the prose is flowing or rough.

These are just a few of the things I have done in an attempt to better my craft. I hope that I have encouraged those of you travelling along the indie publishing road without an editor to stop and really look at what you have written.  You will be better off for it in the long run.

Thanks for your consideration,

Nance Bulow Morgan