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Restarting The Writing Business – ACK!

mohamed1982eg / Pixabay

There are plenty of blogs out there charting the course of a new endeavor in writing and releasing fiction. No real need for me to duplicate what has already been done unless I have something special to say (which isn’t very often).

But from someone who was making several hundred a month in book royalties who then lost a few years and is now in the process of getting going again? There aren’t that many of those.

Why did I lose a few years? A major life-roll. Mother Hen was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2013. I became one of her full-time caregivers. She passed away in 2016, and it’s taken until now to really come out of the fog. I still miss her terribly, but I know she wanted me to keep writing (she said it many times during those last years). It made her so happy to see me reaching out for that dream.

It’s time to do that reaching.

So that’s what I’ll be talking about on my little blog here for a while. Who knows, maybe a few out there will find it of interest and my rambling will help them along with doing the same thing.

So, here are the first steps I’m taking:

1. I’m back to writing! I’m not doing it daily, as I’m working a seasonal job at the moment and have had some fatigue issues. But, I’m definitely making progress! One of the goals is to start recording the progress over at Writing Groove. Oh, and thanks for all the support the writers at Writing Groove and Forward Motion have given over these trying years!

2. Over the winter I took a 6-week writing workshop that I had a lot of fun with. I’ve been reviewing my notes on a few past workshops. I’m also reading writing craft non-fiction books, just to get my mind back into the game (very much picking and choosing what I want to take away from those books). If I find anything of interest, I’ll post here.

3. Creating a new business and writing plan, starting from this point and looking forward. This means setting goals on such things as how much I want to write per week, month, quarter and year. Setting new publishing deadlines. Setting deadlines for getting print editions out there for works that do not have any so far.

4. I’m also investing in myself. This October I’ll be heading to Lincoln City, Oregon to participate in the upcoming Master Business Class for writers, hosted by WMG Publishing. I’m hoping to learn how the industry has changed over these several years, and hopefully learn a few things to better my writing business.

5. Find the new baseline for my publishing business. I am no longer selling at the rate I used to. Not with no new releases in a long time. Using my old baseline as a measurement against the upcoming months would only lead to disappointment and depression.

We don’t need that!

I’m in the process of downloading sales reports across various distributers and retailers, and coming up with an average of how I am selling. I’ll post a detailed report of this baseline when I have it finished. I can then use this new baseline as a reference to see how I’m doing as I get back into the game. I think it would be fun to track on this blog the build-up from that baseline to a new and improved baseline!

All of the above takes time, and yet it feels like it all needs to be done RIGHT NOW. And that list doesn’t even scratch the surface! ACK!

…take a deep breath…

I’m trying hard not to overload myself with everything that needs to be done. That would only set myself up for failure. I don’t need that. So, I’m trying to do what I do at work: Keep my head down and focus on only one task at a time. Finish that task. Feel good about it! Then, and only then, look at the next task that needs to be done. Rinse, repeat.

So, join me on this journey. Let’s have some fun getting back into the groove of things!




The Lovely and Surprising Creative Mind

The creative mind is starting to work again. It’s not consistent yet, or really strong, but it is happening. It’s even resulted in words!

One things that is helping me is working on a new series. Even though I was a little miffed at myself for creating yet another universe when I already have so many. On top of the new universe I started writing on, The Enigma Watchers, the last year before Mother Hen passed away.

So yeah. Had an alternate history action-adventure series in The Enigma Watchers.

Now also have the Atlantis Shifters romance series.

And then earlier today…

WHAM!

These aren’t two new universes! Both of these series are in the same universe!

I was working on the timeline of The Enigma Watchers when it happened. I realized that the Atlantis Shifters ‘world’ diverged from that one in the past. Only they take place at about the same time, just in different parallel universes. But they do cross over. To the point that characters can cross over, if I ever wanted to do it.

Talk about getting a shiver of delight!

Sometimes I just love the creative mind. 😀




2017 Writing/Revision Tracking Spreadsheet

skeeze / Pixabay

Wow, it’s been a while since I’ve posted here. It hasn’t been an easy year, but I’m still puttering forward with the writing and other creativity. To start off the new year in the right direction, I have updated the yearly Writing and Revision Tracking Spreadsheet.

This format is a little different than before. Instead of separate tabs for the writing and revision, this time it’s been combined into one single tab. I’ve been using it for the past year and like having both were I can see them in one glance.

Another post soon on the other big project I’ve been working on.

So, go! Write and revise!

View every word forward as a triumph.

All spreadsheets are available on the Writing Freebies page.




Memories: Making It Happen

We never had much money. But, that didn’t stop Mother Hen from making things happen and that’s something that all of us learned from her. A commercial yesterday reminded me of one such incident.

I’m a born and raised Alaskan (Yes, really to those who put a review on the Salmon Run books that I’ve obviously never been to Alaska. So much for that thought.). The ironic thing is that those living in an area don’t always see all the sights around them. It’s close by, so the mentality is “I’ll get to it eventually.”

But, as painters, Mother Hen decided one summer that her and I needed to go see and photograph the Kenai Fjords. It would be great to get our own reference pictures to use in our own paintings. We had to save several months to afford one of the boat rides and fuel to drive to Seward. Paying to eat one of the fancy meals on the boat or the high-priced food places around the harbor though?

Forget it.

So, off we drove to Seward, Alaska along with our cameras and a bag-load of film, as well as the 11 bologna sandwiches we’d made. I’m not sure how we arrived at that number, but that’s what I clearly remember. Even this last year when Mother Hen’s memory wasn’t what it was, she still remembered this trip and those sandwiches. Our bologna sandwich saga always made us laugh and smile.

saxonrider / Pixabay

The day was dreary and rainy, but that’s rather normal in that area. It gets a lot of rain, as well as snow (feeding all the glaciers). The cruise was hours long and fortunately the ocean calm. There was only one other person on the boat that was out on the deck taking pictures as much as us, and his camera gear told us he was a serious and perhaps professional photographer. We laughed with him about why come if not to get out and take pictures and SEE what was out there?

We might have gotten cold standing out on the deck so much, but we did it. Went out to take pictures for as long as we could stand it, then went inside just long enough to warm up. Then out we went again. I remember taking pictures of many sea otters, puffins (one of the birds in a pic above), dolphins, tidewater glaciers, all sorts of marine birds, seals, and several whales that unfortunately kept their distance from the boat. Then there was the scenery itself. The murky weather created a layer of clouds, but under we could see pretty far.

It took years for us to afford having them all developed. No, the pictures here were not taken by us. This trip happened in the days before digital cameras. One day I hope to find them and scan them into the computer.

A day we usually we couldn’t afford, but Mother Hen decided it needed to happen, so it did. She made it happen.

Another life lesson that I’m very thankful to her for.




Memories: Creative Support

Mother Hen and I were always encouraging each other in art and other creative endeavors. Today, a find brought that home…

I’ve been trying to sort and clean just one bag, box, or corner at a time. Today it was a to-go-bag that we would use whenever we headed to a doctor office, went for tests, or drove to the ER. Along with all the typical stuff I found a tiny notebook on the bottom. Most of the pages are empty, but on several is her quite unique handwriting. Notes to herself, things to look up, other artists to look up…

And several pages of names. She loved to look for new names for me to use in my stories. She would make these lists on anything within hand-reach. Notebooks, scraps of paper, backs of envelopes.

That mind was always working. So was her wanting to help. She was always trying to help.

stacyvitallo / Pixabay

I have many writer friends and find it sad how many have family who are not supportive. I find that so very sad.

I never had any doubt of her support (or Father Rooster’s, for that matter). I’m very glad to say that I never left any doubt of my support for her art, too. She often said she wouldn’t have been as good a painter or done as much as she did without it.

Well, Mother Hen, I wouldn’t have this much writing done, or be this far without you, either. We were the wind beneath each other’s wings, and that’s something I deeply miss each and every day.

I hope each and every one of you have surrounded yourselves with people, and hopefully some family, who are supportive of your creative endeavors.




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Mom (A.K.A. Mother Hen) Cancer Fund

Yes, our very own beloved Mother Hen is now struggling with a GBM tumor. The family is struggling because of no insurance and we are desperate to get her the life-saving treatment she needs. If you have a little extra and would like to help out this very deserving person, please consider giving a little donation to help her along the way. Thank you!

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Writerly Progress

2015 Yearly New Words
47.15%  188600 of 400000
2015 Yearly Revision Words
9.53%  38100 of 400000

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Available Ebook Formats

The works of J.A. Marlow are available in a wide number of formats including DRM-Free. Below is a list of a few of the retailers the various formats can be found at.

Mobi (Kindle compatible): Amazon, Drive Thru Scifi, Omnilit/All Romance Ebooks, Smashwords, Xinxii

Epub (Nook compatible): Barnes & Noble, Drive Thru Scifi, Google Play, Kobo, Omnilit/All Romance Ebooks, Smashwords, Xinxii, iBookstore

PDF: Omnilit/All Romance Ebooks, Smashwords, Xinxii

Palm DOC/iSolo (Palm compatible): Smashwords

RTF (Rich Text Format): Smashwords

LRF (Older Sony Reader format): Smashwords

Plain Text: Smashwords

Online Reading (HTML): Google Play, Smashwords

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