Goals and Aspirations in Review – April 2017

goalsandaspirations

Is it really May already? Maybe it has something to do with getting older, or maybe my brain is just refusing to acknowledge the passage of time these days, but I really can’t believe that April is over already and I’m going into another monthly review post! o.O Ah well, let’s just jump right into it, I guess!


Goal #1. WRITE WRITE WRITE WRITE WRITE.
The month started out okay as far as writing was concerned, although I was mostly just writing blog posts for the A-to-Z Blogging Challenge. Then things got slower…and slower…and slower. And the result was 7266 words written in the month of April. Not my best month, not my worst, but mostly annoying because those words were all blogging, no fiction.

To make things even worse though, I didn’t even succeed in the A-to-Z Challenge. If you were following me throughout the month you may have noticed that I just stopped posting at some point. There were a few posts that had been pre-scheduled, but about half-way through the month I just…gave up. This was partially my lovely brand of memory loss (missed one day…then two, before noticing I’d done it), but mainly because I just couldn’t seem to find the time to sit down and write the posts. Excuses, excuses, I know, but it’s true. Lately I feel like I’m always doing 20 things at once, and yet there’s always a list of 50 more things to do. I really don’t know how I’m going to find the time to write once I actually, you know…go back to work. o_o

Mini-Goal #1.a. Publish more erotic fairy tales.
I’m starting to feel like maybe I should remove this mini-goal from the list, but then, if I leave it here at least I’ve got the monthly reminder that I’m failing to follow through on it. 😛

Mini-Goal #1.b. Start writing blog posts again.
I tested this out this past month by doing the A-to-Z Blogging Challenge, and as previously stated it didn’t actually go so well. In the past I’ve always dedicated to the challenge a month or two in advance, and planned out and scheduled the posts before April even began. This year I actually tried to do it IN April, and yeah…it just didn’t work out.

On the other hand of things, I managed to finally catch up on the backlog of sharing our YouTube videos on the blog, so I can move forward with sharing them as they’re posted and hopefully squeaking in a “real” post here and there when I’ve got something to talk about. At least, that’s the hope. Fingers crossed!

Mini-Goal #1.c. Find ways to promote the book(s).
This one is still going about as well as it has been. I did manage to snag a sweet deal on a lifetime subscription with Self-Publisher’s Showcase, so hopefully that will help net me a sale here and there, but thus far there hasn’t been much action. I sold…very few books in April, and I have to admit that that depresses me, especially since I’m having such a hard time finding other ways to promote the books, other than just spamming social media and driving everyone nuts.

#2. Get healthier.
Short answer: I have not. lol I keep consistently failing to do this daily 10-minute exercise routine (trying it again from scratch this month!), and I’m absolutely the WORST at eating properly, although that might get a little better since Jason is starting to get on board as well. More crossed fingers. @_@

Mini-Goal #2.a. Walk/run 10k 8k steps per day.
April was the best month I’ve had so far this year for this goal, although I was still a bit off. I managed to hit 8000 steps or more on 13 days, got really REALLY close to 8000 steps on maybe 5-6 other days, and then failed miserably on the remaining days. lol Overall, my average steps per day worked out to 7834, which is close enough to 8000 for me to be happy, but also far enough away for me to be all, “Dammit! DO BETTER NEXT MONTH!”

Mini-Goal #2.b. Take daily “me time”.
As always, this is hard to quantify, but for April I’d say it’s a bit of a failure. I feel like I’ve spent the entire month doing chores, housework, filming, shopping, and basically barely ever relaxing. I suppose I could admit that I’ve watched several movies with Jason throughout the month, but that’s not ME time, it’s US time, you know what I mean? I think you do.

#3. Work on my online presence – specifically, YouTube.
 I feel like this is all I do lately, and yet at the same time, I’m not doing enough. I can spend 2-3 hours sending/answering emails, responding to comments, hanging out on the social media, in a single day, and yet it feels like I’ve accomplished positively jack. I’m not sure if that’s me being paranoid, or if I really am accomplishing jack. I’ll have to let you know how I feel about it next month. 😛

Mini-Goal #3.a. Learn to respond immediately.
This mini-goal went out the window in April. I’ve been trying, I really have, but I spent a LOT of time out of the house this month, and I find it very difficult to respond to things (particularly emails) while I’m out because of the amount of thumb-typing-on-my-phone that’s required and the fact that I do the majority of the driving. So yeah, I got behind a LOT this month, but I think I’ve managed to catch up in time for a new try in May.

Mini-Goal #3.b. Focus more on daily social media.
Still working on this one, and I basically have good stretches and bad stretches. Some days I’m all over the social media, and other days I got 3-4 days without saying anything and don’t even realize what happened. I’m continuing on with making it a daily “to-do” item in my planner though, so hopefully things will slowly get better.

Mini-Goal #3.c. Come up with new video ideas.
Not even going to get into it. I’ve come up with no new ideas. Jason has had a few, but not me, because I suck. 😛


Have you ever noticed that my goal responses get shorter and saucier as I move down the list? It must have something do with feeling progressively worse about myself as I realize how little I’ve done. -_- ANYWAY…how was your April? Did you accomplish more than me? I’d be willing to wager that you did. 🙂

“W” is for “Writer” – An A-to-Z Blogging Challenge Post

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For the A-to-Z Challenge 2017 I’m writing all about myself. Every post will be some random fact or bit of information about me that you may or may not have already known. Maybe you’ll learn something! Feel free to let me know! ^_^


This fact should come as absolutely no surprise to anyone, unless you’re just showing up here today for the first time, so I won’t take up too much of your time with this particular post.

I am a writer. I’ve loved writing since I first started coming up with stories in around the third grade. The first time I ever remember writing fiction was for a class project, and I remember it clear as day: I wrote a story called “The Mystery of the Emerald-Eyed Cat”, and signed it “Tracey Lynn Marie Clarke”, even though “Marie” is not part of my name, because I was going through a weird phase. I drew emerald eyes for the cover and pasted it to green paper, and bound it together with green yarn. I was extremely proud of it, and my teacher gave me perfect marks for it.

After that I loved writing stories, and I used to come up with tons of them involving myself and my friends. Eventually I started writing fan fiction, and after that I began coming up with original characters and more intricate plots. I didn’t always write, growing up, but I always came back to writing, one way or another. I always knew that, no matter what else I did with my life, I would also be a writer. That all came together and felt real on the day I self-published my first novel, “Nowhere to Hide“, and recently I published my second novel, the first part in a series, “The Other World: Book One“.

That’s all that really needs to be said about that. It’s a key component of my self, my personality, and my past and future. I’m a writer. Period.


Did you know that I was a writer? Do you even care? 😀 Feel free to leave a comment!

“O” is for “Other World: Book One” – An A-to-Z Blogging Challenge Post

O

For the A-to-Z Challenge 2017 I’m writing all about myself. Every post will be some random fact or bit of information about me that you may or may not have already known. Maybe you’ll learn something! Feel free to let me know! ^_^


More self promotion today!

The Other World - Paperback cover

The Other World: Book One” is my recently-published novel that is the first book in a series. It is the story of a teenage girl who has lost everything but subsequently gains a strange and unusual purpose when she is transported into a parallel universe.

This story, like my previous novel “Nowhere to Hide”, was a National Novel Writing Month project, but that’s not where it started. The original story, which I then called “Parallels”, was a single novel that I began writing after my high school sweetheart broke up with me. I was a complete mess – as one tends to be after a break-up – and one of the things I did as a result of that was to get back into writing for cathartic reasons. It was a Mary-Sue project at first, because I was writing simply to make myself feel better. The main character was based on myself, and the bad guy was based on the dude who broke up with me, and that’s really all you need to know, because no trace of that original story made it to the final cut. Those first chapters that I wrote way back then were picked up a few years later and re-written twice before being dropped again. The following year I picked it up again as my NaNovel, and a few years later I picked it up AGAIN as my NaNovel. A couple of years after that I had the idea to change the single story into a short series, and after about two years of working on it I finally came out with Book One.

The final cut (or, at least, the final cut of Book One, I suppose) is not even the tiniest bit like the original draft. As the years went on my views on life changed, my views on what is good literature changed, my skills as a writer grew, and all in all the story just evolved, became much, much better, and turned into something completely different. That’s a good thing, but in a way also very weird from my perspective, because I can remember all the bits of story that never made it in, the things that I realized were stupid, or literary suicide, or just didn’t fit anymore as the characters changed entirely.

But I’m mostly rambling. The point is that the story that was is just a memory now, and the story that is is all the better for it. So if you’d like to check it out and support your local indie author, please click on the image or link above for both the ebook and paperback options. 🙂


Are you going to check out The Other World: Book One? It’s okay, you can be honest with me! XD Leave a comment as well, if you’d like!

“N” is for “Nowhere to Hide” – An A-to-Z Blogging Challenge Post

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For the A-to-Z Challenge 2017 I’m writing all about myself. Every post will be some random fact or bit of information about me that you may or may not have already known. Maybe you’ll learn something! Feel free to let me know! ^_^


Time for some self-promotion! 😀

thumbnail_Nowhere to Hide Paperback v2

Nowhere to Hide” is the first book that I completed fully, revised, edited, and published. In those early days I even designed my own cover for it, although I later hired a professional cover artist to create a more attractive one. It’s the story of a girl named Nancy and the people she encounters as the world falls apart during a zombie outbreak. But the zombies aren’t the only monsters in this world…dum dum duuuuuuuuuuum. 🙂

This zombie apocalypse story began life after I read Stephen King’s “Cell”, which I loved. After reading it – and having recently watched several zombie-related movies as well – I thought to myself, “I could do this”, and since National Novel Writing Month was just around the corner, I planned to write my first ever zombie story. It was tons of fun, but also posed it’s challenges as well. I struggled with deciding how to handle gore (too much, too little, too graphic), what kind of endgame I wanted the story to progress toward, and for the first time I really had to pay attention to things like the timeline so that I wouldn’t lose track of basic logic (for instance, a broken bone couldn’t heal in a 2-day time-span). By the time I had a completed first draft I also had a brain filled to the brim with doubts. As many authors before me have done, I tossed the story aside, confident that it was complete and utter drivel.

Luckily, I did convince myself to go back to it, and with the help of my beta-reader I was able to fix up the manuscript and convince myself that it was, in fact, actually a good story . It went through several rounds of edits and revisions, but eventually I actually managed to sit back, look at it, and think, “This is good! People will like this!” And so it was off to CreateSpace.com I went.

Some people have asked me why I didn’t attempt to traditionally publish, and believe me, I did think about it. However, in the end I decided that I was better off going the indie route. By the time my manuscript was ready interest in zombies had begun to wane, and querying traditional publishers can be a very long and arduous journey. I didn’t want to risk the time it would require, because by the time a publisher was willing to take a chance on me, it would be entirely possible that zombies had gone completely out of the limelight and no one would be interested in the book.

Was that choice for the best? I don’t know. Selling books as an indie author is extremely difficult, so maybe I would have been better off going traditional after all. Then again, if I’d attempted the traditional route I might still be querying, with no acceptance letter in sight.

In the end, I’m glad that I did things the way that I did because what’s most important to me is that the book is out there, ready and available for people to read. Of course, it would also be nice if people were actually buying and reading it, so here’s my puppy-dog-eyed plea: check it out! You never know, you might absolutely love it!


Have you checked out “Nowhere to Hide” yet? Let me know in the comments below!

“E” is for “Evil Author” – An A-to-Z Blogging Challenge Post

E

For the A-to-Z Challenge 2017 I’m writing all about myself. Every post will be some random fact or bit of information about me that you may or may not have already known. Maybe you’ll learn something! Feel free to let me know! ^_^


Every author has parts of the process that they enjoy more or less than others, and just as we have things that we hate (editing, oh my god, the editing…), we obviously also have things that we love, things that define why we became authors in the first place. One of those things for me – and the reason I titled this post as I did – makes me look like a really, really EVIL author.

love writing torment. I don’t know what it is or why, but I think part of it is that I’m addicted to very strong, powerful emotions, and while things like lust, true love, elation, and so on can definitely fall under that category, I prefer the negative ones: terror, misery, pain.

Some of my favorite scenes to write in a book are the ones where a character has just sustained an extremely painful injury, or has just been absolutely shredded emotionally. I love delving into the psychological, feeling out the character’s mind, and expressing just what the character is feeling on any level that I can get my hands on. For that reason I also love torturing my characters, putting them into absolutely horrifying situations, dangling happiness in front of them and then snatching it away. I live for those scenes. I thrive on those scenes.

And if that doesn’t make me sound totally evil, I really don’t know what would. >:D

Mind you, I’m not a psychotic person. I’m fairly certain I lean pretty much as far away from the sociopath scale as you can get. But I’ve always thrived on those types of moments, both in my own writing and in the fictional creations of others. Perhaps it’s a cathartic thing – the real world seems a little less scary when the fictional world is made out to be beyond horrible – but I’ll probably never know for sure exactly what it is that attracts me to these kinds of moments. For now I’ll just accept that perhaps, just maybe, I’ve got a little bit of evil in me at any given time.


So…what do you think? Am I evil? Go on. You can tell me. I won’t get upset. 😐 Feel free to leave a comment!

The Other World: Book One – Now Available in Paperback!

Exciting news, everybody! I finally received my proof copy of “The Other World: Book One”, and it was beautiful! If you’re interested, I was super-excited to share it with everybody, so I did an unboxing video of it here:

So what does this mean to the casual observer? Well it means that the paperback version of the book is now available for sale! Yay!!! If you’re interested in checking it out, you can find it on the CreateSpace store, or through Amazon.com right here. And of course, it’s still available as an e-book right here.

This story started life as a cathartic way of helping myself through a tough time, transformed several times as my NaNo novel for multiple years, and eventually became something completely different that I’m super-proud of and excited to continue. So with all that said, I’m extremely happy to finally have a physical copy of it for myself, and for others to have the option to get it as well. It’s a huge accomplishment for me, so I hope you’ll consider checking it out! If you do, please consider rating and/or reviewing on Amazon or Goodreads to help encourage others to check it out as well. 🙂 Cheers and thank you everyone!

The Other World: Book One – Now Available in E-book!

It’s an exciting day, you guys! “The Other World: Book One” is officially available for download as an e-book through Amazon and Kindle! This story is a bit of a baby of mine – something that I’ve written and re-written so many times in the past decade that it’s not even the same story it began as – so it’s super-exciting to finally see it be available online!

If you’re like me and you prefer holding a paperbook copy in your hands, don’t worry, it’s coming in the next couple of weeks! But for you digital-age readers, you can click on the image below to go directly to Amazon where it can be purchased. Don’t forget that if you’re a Kindle Unlimited member you can read for free, and all you need to read is the free Kindle app on any of your smart devices!

I hope you’ll check it out, and if you do, please be sure to rate and/or review. :3 Cheers, readers! ❤

The Other World - Ebook

Goals and Aspirations in Review – February 2017

goalsandaspirations

February is the shortest month in the year, so one would be forgiven for feeling as though it just up and disappeared in a breath and a blink. Therefore I won’t spend too much time talking about how I swear to puppies it was February 1st just yesterday. Instead, let’s jump right into the details. How did February go for me?


#1. WRITE WRITE WRITE WRITE WRITE.
I hate that I’m having to admit this again, but February was an even worse month than January for writing. Looking back at last month’s post I realize that I didn’t even give you guys any numbers, so I’ll rectify that now. In January, during my epic, EPIC writer’s block episode, I wrote a grand total of 4396 words, most of them for a handful of blog posts. During February, I wrote a grand total of 1468 words, ALL of them for a handful of blog posts. That could hardly be more pathetic if I was actively attempting to be pathetic.

THAT SAID…I’m giving myself a bit of a pass for this month, because it’s not like I wasn’t doing anything. I spent a large portion of the month going through final edits for “The Other World: Book One”. I took all the notes from my beta-readers, fixed a number of typos and small issues, and began a final read to make minor changes where I felt they were needed. Because of this work I am currently only a couple of chapters away from having a completed manuscript, and as soon as my cover artist has his bit ready, I’ll be prepared to upload everything to CreateSpace and order my personal copy to ensure that everything looks good.

So yeah, I’m gonna let myself off for this one. JUST for this month, I swear.

Mini-Goal #1.a. Publish more erotic fairy tales.
This mini-goal has been put on a temporary hold, in part because of that huge stint of writer’s block in January and in part because of everything I just previously wrote. I haven’t got back around to finishing the current story I’m working on because I’ve been focusing my energy instead on “The Other World”, which I consider to be much more important. Be assured, however, that I’m very close to finishing another of these tales, and I’m confident that I’ll have half a dozen or so up by the end of the year. *fingers crossed*

Mini-Goal #1.b. Start writing blog posts again.
No excuses for this one; it simply hasn’t been happening. I do still want to start writing blog posts again, but for now, since I’ve got more important stuff I’ve been working on, I’m just worrying about catching up on sharing my YouTube videos. Once I’ve actually got to a point where I’m sharing the videos as they’re being posted, there will be lots of empty days available where I can possibly start writing actual posts again. *fingers crossed again*

Mini-Goal #1.c. Find ways to promote the book.
This is not going well. Someone help. Please. Seriously. I have no idea what to do.

In all seriousness though, I am at a bit of a loss. I can’t afford to spend money on things like advertisements and the like, and other options I’ve found aren’t currently available to me (I’ve been patiently waiting to be able to do a Goodreads E-Book giveaway, but it’s still only an option for those in the US). Any suggestions would seriously be deeply appreciated.

#2. Get healthier.
Um…what? Why do I do these things to myself? lol Okay, okay, I’ve been trying, I have, but more in little stints than reasonable leaps. I’ve been trying to drink more water, although I can’t cut out the coffee and tea without passing out multiple times a day, and I’ve been attempting to eat more fruit and veggies, but god DAMN candy is so tempting. 😀 I’m not complaining or making excuses, I swear, I’m just…not very good at being healthy. lol I’m trying though, I promise. I really am. I’m even starting a 30-day program this month that basically trains you to be able to do long stints of push-ups, squats, crunches, and lunges. Wish me luck!

Mini-Goal #2.a. Walk/run 10k 8k 
steps per day.
If you read last-month’s post, you’ll know that I’ve lowered this particular goal from 10k steps to 8k, as suggested to me by my saucy, saucy FitBit. Unfortunately it seems as though lowering the goal has only served to create a situation in which I lower my output as well. Throughout February I only had four days on which I hit the 8k goal, and my overall average for the month was only 6635 steps per day. That’s sad, really.

Now, in my defense, there were a few days on which my steps were not recorded properly because my stupid FitBit has been dying a lot quicker lately for some reason, and occasionally I won’t notice that it’s conked-out until I’ve lost half a day’s steps. But even considering that, I doubt my true average was any higher than 7000 steps, which is still frustrating. So with that said, this month I’m going to do my best to take an actual walk each day, even if it’s only 15 minutes of going up and down my street. I have got to get those numbers up before I become a completely sedentary blob.

Mini-Goal #2.b. Take daily “me time”.
I’m actually wondering why I bothered to include this as a mini-goal, since I’m not actively attempting to record anything for it. I have nothing to report, really, other than that I think probably succeeded for the most part? I’ve had several nice baths, some solo shopping, and usually I spend at least a few minutes a day just laying down and watching a couple of YouTube videos, so I think we’re pretty good with this one.

#3. Work on my online presence – specifically, YouTube.
This is another one that’s hard to quantify, particularly through February, because there was a lot going on, some stuff to catch up on, people to talk with, packages to send, and so on and so forth. We didn’t film and upload as many videos as I’m sure Jason would have liked us to, but I don’t think it was as bad as all that, considering a number of different factors. That said, I’m still working on a few things, and if I could get my mood under control it would be a lot easier to focus on this goal in the future.

Mini-Goal #3.a. Learn to respond immediately.
This is one for which I can honestly say that I’m getting a lot better. There are still the occasional times when I’m out shopping or driving and can’t get back to someone immediately, but I’ve been putting a lot of focus into making sure I get back to people asap before I forget about them. I’m regularly responding to emails, personal messages, YouTube comments, and so on as soon as I catch wind of the opportunity, and I’m happy with the progress. Now if only the people I’m talking to could manage the same courtesy. ^_~

Mini-Goal #3.b. Focus more on daily social media.
I’m still working on this one, but I’m definitely getting better. I’ve been focusing mostly on Twitter, but also trying to throw a few extra things on Instagram here and there. Facebook is still slow because, honestly, having a Facebook Fan Page is a little extraneous when all your followers have you on the more active social media outlets as well, but I’ve been trying to throw some extra fun stuff in the Basement Geeks group as a way of socializing more. Still a bit behind on SnapChat though. I just can’t get really INTO that one. 😛 

Mini-Goal #3.c. Come up with new video ideas.
And last but not least…you know what? I’m not even going to try to bullshit you guys on this one. I have absolutely not been coming up with new video ideas. I’ve been focused too much on the other fifty things going on. So let’s just not even bother. I’ll try harder in the future. 😛


So that was my February, and honestly, as I was writing this post I realized that it wasn’t all that great, but I’m okay with that. February had a lot of issues, but I still managed to get a fair bit done, and it has served to steel my nerves for March. I’ve got plans and determination, and I’m confident that next month’s post is going to be a much more positive one, so I’m going to focus on that. 🙂

How was your February? 😀

“Nowhere to Hide” E-book on Sale!

We’re getting ever closer to the witching hour, my dear friends, and I thought that perhaps some of you might be looking for something creepy to read as we approach the spookiest of holidays. Until Halloween has passed us by,  the “Nowhere to Hide” e-book is on sale for $0.99! You can’t beat a novel for a buck, right? Right. So be sure to pick it up before October ends!

thumbnail_nowhere-to-hide-ebook

“Nowhere to Hide” Super-Sale Excerpt #5

Since the “Nowhere to Hide” e-book is on sale for $0.99 this month (go get it now!) I thought that I’d spend this week sharing excerpts from the book to entice you to buy it amuse you. 😀

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Today is the last excerpt, #5: in this scene Nancy is having a feverish dream…

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Gramma Sarah shook her head and sighed a sad sigh. “I’m so sorry, my little baby girl.” Her voice was full of sorrow. “I’m so sorry that you’ve had to go through all this.”

The sky began to turn gray as the sun disappeared behind a wall of clouds. Gramma Sarah’s eyes seemed to go glassy and her skin became pale.

“Gramma?” Nancy cried. “Gramma, what’s going on?”

“I’m sorry, Nancy. I’m so sorry.”

Nancy jumped back in alarm as Gramma Sarah’s arms began to shrink and shrivel. Her hair dried and cracked and the sun dress turned black and moldy. “Gramma!” Nancy screamed. “Gramma, don’t leave me! Don’t leave me here in this world!”

The sky was red. The world lit up under and enormous bolt of lightning and a crash of thunder shook the ground. Nancy screamed and dropped to her knees. She threw her arms over her head but she couldn’t escape the light or the noise. A hand touched her shoulder and she looked up with tear-filled eyes. Gramma Sarah, shriveled and crawling with all manner of insects, set a pair of blood-filled eyes toward her, and opened her mount in a blood-curdling shriek.

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What? I’m going to end it there? Yup! If you want to find out what happens next, you’ll have to head on over to the “Nowhere to Hide” Amazon page, where you can, if you so choose, support your favorite new indie author by picking up the e-book for only $0.99! 😀