Monday, June 24, 2019

How to stay sane as a creative genius

Many people favor one side of their brain or the other, or at least many people think that's how it works...

an article from Psychology Today states:
"...theory about the brain suggests that people who are left brain dominant are more quantitative, logical, and analytical, while right-brained individuals are more emotional, intuitive, and creative free spirits; however, there is no evidence to support these classifications. On the contrary, most behaviors and abilities require the right and left side of the brain to work together to achieve a common objective."

My right brain was surprised to read this, but my left brain was not (haha). With this in mind (groan), it takes a versatile person to be a creative genius--someone who can use both sides of their brain in harmony.

Then, another question came to mind: Why do so many creative geniuses seem to have psychological afflictions? Is there a correlation? After doing a minimal amount of research, most of the articles I read said that though many famous geniuses seemed to share a thread of mental illness of some kind, there was no conclusive evidence to suggest an artist needs to suffer to achieve greatness.

My logical side says:
The human mind is fragile and complex. Being a creative person for a living, you are constantly judged. All that negativity and rejection can do two main things: 1) damage your psyche and 2) push you to be better. That's where I believe the relationship lies. Anyone who can't handle the criticisms and callous judgments might give up and never achieve greatness. It's only those who persevere through harsh words and subjective comments, putting emotion and strength back into their work that become incredible artists.

Lately, several artistic friends have been going through doubt, dry spells, and depression. I'm amazed at how many, really. But I believe every one of them will reach success as creative geniuses because they are sticking with it. I applaud them and pray for them and hope this small bit of logical encouragement helps them understand themselves a little better and proves to them how great they can be. How great YOU can be!

Believe in yourself!!

And as we continue with the WINDY HOLLOW -- Beast World #3 Release Tour...
Last week, in case you missed it...
6/20 - Heather Holden - Reverse Interview, I interviewed the Artist
6/22 - Ellen Jacobson - Fun Interview
Here are the stops this week:
6/24 - Patricia Lynne - Keeping Magic Alive
6/26 - MJ Fifield - Fantasy World-Building

I hope you'll stop by for some Magical, Fantastical Fun!
And don't forget to join in the Giveaway!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, June 17, 2019

WINDY HOLLOW - I did it!

Beast World MG Fantasy Series, book #3
by Tara Tyler
Available NOW!

In BROKEN BRANCH FALLS, Gabe and his friends go on a quest to save their school, blowing up all the rules, and discover their origins.

Then they go to CRADLE ROCK and meet some real live humans, scaring them into attack mode. The Beasts realize they have to spread the truth ASAP.

Now, school's out, and Gabe is ready for a break from all the drama...

Gabe and his friends fly over the Great Sea for the wedding of the century: a dragon prince and a beautiful harpy. But Gabe can't relax on this vacation. Besides competing in rigorous wedding events, he overhears the nearby human village WINDY HOLLOW is in danger from an evil human scientist and a vengeful were-ogre experimenting on beasts. Gabe and his friends risk crossing the mountains to help, despite several warnings. 

Maybe he's going too far this time, but he's in too deep to quit. It's do or die, hopefully not die!

After agonizing delays and finally accepting the inevitable, I took my rights back and published Windy Hollow myself. Now, I have to see what's what the rest of my books so I can re-publish them! All in all, it's not been too terrible. And those older books could all use a tune-up anyway. We get better and better with each book, right?

For now, I am soooo excited to have several friends helping me spread the news about WINDY HOLLOW! Check out my Release Blog Tour schedule where I'll be interviewed, guest posting, and more!

6/20 - Heather Holden - Reverse Interview, How does she Create such Awesome Art?
6/22 - Ellen Jacobson - Interview with some surprising questions!
6/24 - Patricia Lynne - Keeping Magic Alive
6/26 - MJ Fifield - Fantasy World-Building
6/30 - SA Larsen - Special Newsletter & a Vlog?!
7/1 - My IWSG post with updates and a Special Guest!
7/3 - Alex J. Cavanaugh - IWSG Day - Fantasy Movies
7/4 - Tonja Drecker - Independence Day! - Kids in Books
7/8 - Christine Rains - Levels of Romance
7/10 - Heather M. Gardner - Binge Watching TV
7/15 - Tyrean Martinson - Hiking!
7/17 - Julie Flanders - Gotta Have Friends
*7/22 - Juneta Key - Surprise Post! (she doesn't even know what it's about yet!)

I'm overwhelmed with appreciation. I'd never be able to do this alone. So glad to have this generous community offering time and talents!

And of course, there's a giveaway!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks for stopping by and playing. Your support is priceless!

Monday, June 10, 2019

How to Self-Publish the RIGHT way!

The traditional route to getting your book published is painstaking, time-consuming, and full of rejection. The only difference between that and self-publishing is the rejection.

While I go through the process of self-publishing Windy Hollow, I'm taking you along for the ride! (ps - Here's a form if you're interested in helping me with my Campaign or Windy Hollow's release)

Steps to Self-publishing:
  1. Write a phenomenal book - I have lots of posts on that...
  2. Edit - Hire a professional - the more eyes & critiques, the better, plus a technical/grammatical final look.
  3. the Cover - I've already given my two cents on covers, here. A definite must to get professional help, especially if you want/need artwork.
And today, I'm talking in general about Formatting.

Once you have polished the contents of your book, you have to go back through and delete stray formatting extras, like extra tabs or spaces. All paragraphs should be uniformly formatted with automatic indentations and spacing. You will have to forget about "Select All" if you need to make changes to margins, line spacing, paragraphs, etc. once you start getting it ready for publication.

There is so much involved in Formatting for publication! Just look at the first 4-5 pages of any book. Title page, copyright/publisher page, dedication page, and the dreaded Table of Contents... which I guess could be optional, but is preferred for some genres like fantasy and sci-fi and middle grade. These pages conform to no formatting used in the rest of the book and are usually not numbered.

You also have to consider that the top of each page alternates between the title of the book and the author's name. Even/Odd page headers are easy enough to deal with, but when you throw in each new chapter page, it throws everything off! New chapter pages do NOT have a header. It's best to start chapters as a new "section" which can be designated with "different first page header" and conveniently linked back to the Table of Contents. I haven't tried linking to the TOC yet, I didn't have the patience, so I did it manually.

If you have any cool/fancy images for new chapters and/or breaks within the chapter or illustrations, those also need special attention. Each one should be checked and re-checked to make sure they all look the same.

At the end of your book are the Acknowledgments and Author Page, plus any other info you want to include. As with the first few pages, these pages each get their own format, usually without a header.

Not too bad, right? Ha! I almost went cross-eyed checking all the formatting. Little things kept popping up and I'd have to re-check the whole thing again to see if the flaws were anywhere else in the book. And there's a whole other set of rules for print pub vs e-pub!

I like to write this stuff down for myself as it's usually a long while between publications and I tend to forget what-all is involved. Hope it helps!

I also want to make a special announcement! My wonderful and brilliant romance writer friend, Elizabeth Seckman recently published her latest novel! Perfect for Father's Day!

by Elizabeth Seckman

Sarah Andrews can hold her own in a courtroom, but when it comes to love, she’s 0-3 and Rich Cooper was her biggest loss to date. 

Now available!

Elizabeth is a mom, a wife, and the caretaker of far too many pets, all of whom her children swore they'd take care of. But they went off to college leaving fur babies in their place. She is a multi-published author of women's fiction and romance. 

Monday, June 3, 2019

Life is a bully - always kicking you when you're down

2019 has been a brutal year in my writing life, and there's even more turmoil ahead...

Over the next few months, I'm going to publish WINDY HOLLOW myself. I'm also going to try to get my previous books back and publishable so I can go sell them at events. My heart broke not being able to go to Ohioana this year. I'm trying very hard to be strong in this transition. And since I recently accepted a permanent teaching position--we need $$ to live--I will have very little time during the school year to work on writing. I guess the balance of writing/teaching had to be achieved. Thank you fate, life, yin-yang, Murphy's Law, etc. You suck.

Unfortunately, that's not all. My rant isn't over, so hold onto your seat. This is an IWSG post for the ages...

You see, recovery from losing all my books at once was a blow I could handle, I saw it coming and prepared myself. But as my title suggests, I'm being kicked while I'm trying to get back up off the floor.

The same day my army son drove away to move to his new home base, I saw this...

coming out in 2020
THIS IS BEAST WORLD!! It's SO NOT FAIR! And it's Chris Pratt, my fave actor! Though the story line is a little different, they're teenager fantasy creatures who live in a suburban fantasy world with no humans, going on a quest - HELLO! That is BEAST WORLD! AHHHHHHH!!!!! Wahhh. Oh, and here's their cool trailer. I'm so UPSET!

Those two main characters, Ian and Barley are so close to my camp guides, Trevor and Bonk in CRADLE ROCK. Onward could be their sideline story!
I know this happens sometimes, but to this degree?? It's such a stab to my heart! So what do I do about it? My publisher couldn't even keep their $#!+ together to publish my third book. I've been sent back to the start, slipped down the longest Chute without a Ladder.

Well, I'll tell you what I'm going to do about it. I'm going to go on a campaign to be heard. The least they can do is enlist my writing skills in adapting my Beast World series for sequels!! Right? Well, maybe that's the most they can do. But they have to do something! Anything! It's so not fair that no one can breach the realms of big productions from little hometowns in "flyover" states. I'm not young, I'm not rich, I have no connections, and I have so many responsibilities that I can't just pick up and leave. But I have ambition, determination, and will power. I can't give up. Just like my DARN AWESOME CHARACTERS - I will find a way!

As you know, I always look for a solution and try to find the positives. So through tear-filled eyes and self-pitying sniffles, here is what I came up with...
  • I have the tools--technology, social media, terrific books already written with publish dates before their measly idea was born
  • I have more time--it's summer! though I always have a ton to do, my kids are self-sufficient and I don't have to plan or grade until August... two months of as much writing stuff as I can cram in!
  • I have you guys--I know I've been pretty lame at visiting other blogs, but I always offer my services and shout outs. I don't like asking for something without offering something in return! Here's a volunteer FORM if you have time to help here and there this summer, easy stuff!
Maybe this was the kick in the pants I needed. Maybe I can get one of those people to notice me--they are just people after all. Things happen for a reason and we usually don't know why until we get to the end result (Life, you still suck).

So, Dragons as pets? We'll change that to "drakes" because the real Dragons will make a big appearance in the next one. Just you wait!

Thanks, you guys. I needed that. More news soon. It's going to be a busy summer.

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