Aug 27

Rabid Reader Ramblings (11) Finding Balance: Blogging, Life, Writing, Self Employment

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Rabid Reader Ramblings is my “discussion post” feature here at Just Another Rabid Reader.  It is a post in which I discuss bookish or blogging related things!  Please feel free to comment, no matter if you agree or disagree because discussion and healthy debate are what these posts are for~!

 

It’s been a crazy week.  With the craziness of the last week, and all the changes in my life in the last two, I realized that my routine needed a revamp.  Therefore, I am actually sitting at my desk at 6 in the morning.  And yep, this is one of the rare occasions when my post is not drafted ahead of time.

Apr 08

Book Blogger Hop (3 ): Other Interests

Book Blogger Hop

About the Book Blogger Hop

The Book Blogger Hop was originally created by Jennifer from Crazy-For-Books in March 2010 and ended December 31, 2012.

 

I didn’t want the hop to come to end, and with Jennifer’s permission, I’ll relaunch the Book Blogger Hop on Friday, February 15th, 2013. Each week the hop will start on a Friday and end on Thursday. There will be a weekly prompt just like before. The hop’s purpose will remain the same as it will give bloggers a chance to follow other blogs, learn about new books, befriend other bloggers, and receive new followers to your own blog.
 This week’s topic:  What other interests do you have besides reading and blogging?
Besides reading and blogging?  Do work and sleep count? Haha! I barely have time for those.
But in all seriousness, I do actually have interests outside of reading and blogging and working.  I don’t always have enough hours in the day to pursue those interests, but they do actually exist.  I am actually a writer as well.  I have not been able to dedicate as much time to this lately as I would like, and have many, many, many unfinished works in progress that will one day become finished projects that will hopefully grace your e-readers.
I also crochet, though I still think of myself as a novice at that, even though I have been at it two years.  I have had to slow down with this as my wrists tire out quite a bit faster than they used to due to arthritis that I didn’t expect I would have to deal with as badly as I do at 34.
I play guitar, although, again, this is something that the aforementioned arthritis has forced me to give up completely.  My fingers just will not move in the way they need to to be able to play the way I used to.  Though I have toyed with the idea of picking it up again.  Or learning a different instrument.  I have one kid playing the violin and one playing the viola.  So who knows.
I love adult coloring books.  This is a fairly recent hobby and I am still not very good at shading and all of that, but I still enjoy it.  It is relaxing and fun and it helps calm me and help me recenter and refocus.
And I love hearing about all of the things my kids are learning and doing.  Mostly because I miss going to school and learning.  I didn’t get the chance to go to college, largely for financial reasons, and I envy the opportunities available to them.  They are not yet of college age, but they have so much ahead of them.
So, those are some of my non-bookish, non-blogging interests!  What about you?  What else do you like to do when you aren’t reading or blogging?  Link me in the comments and I would love to come check out your post.
Aug 03

Rabid Reader Ramblings (2): I am Officially a Published Author!

So, I am sure somewhere along the way, I mentioned that I am also a bit of a writer myself.  I know I don’t mention much around here about things outside of books and book blogging, but see, I figured this fits because it is about a book, right?

A little while back I had been invited to submit a short story for an anthology.  It was an Indie Author Anthology put together by another indie author, and the theme was young adult paranormal.  Well, I sat back, looked around and went, “Well, wait.  Technically, my newest novel project fits that genre, so let’s see what I can do.”

Oct 28

Author Christopher J. Lynch on “A Writer’s Awakening”

Today, Just Another Rabid Reader is visited by Christopher Lynch, author of “One Eyed Jack”.

Below, Please find Mr. Lynch’s thoughts!~

I wrote for twenty years before I really discovered writing. By that, I mean that I was so focused on “making it” by getting a sale and being published, that I left my passion for what I was writing about on the shelf. It was a huge mistake that costs me two decades of work.

Oct 05

Guest Post: The New Gatekeepers by J. Aleksandr Wootton

I had recently had a discussion post up about handling unsolicited reviews, and one of our author friends was kind enough to comment and put together a guest post on the topic. This is something that I feel relates to all of us, and something we all need to consider when looking at our existing review policies and perhaps how we need to adjust them to accommodate for the changes occurring in the publishing industry. It seems that with the change to more independently and self published authors, book bloggers have gone from mere book reviewers to almost a form of publicist for every book that crosses their desk. Lets see what J. Aleksandr Wootton had to say about this topic, and then you can all comment and weigh in on it as well!

Sep 12

Book Blogger Appreciation Week: What Does Book Blogging Mean to Me?

Okay, so this is a tough one. First, you would have to know a little background.

I have been obsessed with books all of my life. I learned to read when I was three years old and it has been pretty much bedlam since then.

As I got older, I realized that not everyone shared my unhealthy obsession love affair with literature. By the time high school rolled around, none of my friends were readers. Enter into adulthood and things get a little wacky and time to read gets slowed down. But then, a couple of kids, divorce and a second marriage later, staring down the barrel of my 30s, books take center stage again.

Aug 27

Can I Really Pen the Next Great American Novel? We shall see.

I originally posted this on my personal blog, but felt that it had a place here also. See below. Originally posted by me at my personal blog
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So, for those of you who know me, you know I have always been a writer. I may not have ever been a very good one, but I was always found with pen in hand at any given time, always carried a notebook around, and if I was not writing, my nose was in someone else’s book. It is just such a huge part of who I am that it never seemed strange or unusual. People would often ask me what was wrong if I didn’t have some form of the written word in my hand.

Jun 26

Guest Post – Connie Corcoran Wilson – On Getting Inside the Head of Your Characters.

It wasn’t really very difficult to “get inside” the heads of my characters in The Color of Evil because I taught at those levels for 33 years. I have taught every level of student from age 12 on up. I spent 17 and 1/2 years teaching 7th and 8th grade students in Silvis, Illinois, after student teaching at Iowa City’s then-Lab School for 9th through 12th graders. At one time, 5 of my former students were on Death Row (which has since been abolished in Illinois.)

Apr 26

Just Another Rabid Reader Interviews Krystal McLaughlin, Author of “The Willows”

Krystal McLaughlin is a new, up and coming YA author who has a lot to say, and 3 books currently out on the market.  Just Another Rabid Reader recently had the chance to “sit down” with her in email and hash out an interview, and without further adieu, here are the questions and answers!

 

1. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Sure! I have been writing as long as I can remember, I have a beautiful daughter and another baby on the way, I grew up in Colorado, and I am strangely terrified of orcas!

Apr 17

Guest Post: Eve Lopez, Author of Sex, Drugs and Psychiatric Wards on Finishing Your Novel

I wrote the first draft of my novel, Sex, Drugs, and Psychiatric Wards, several years ago as part of NaNoWriMo (National Writing Month). The goal of this online community event is to just write a first draft in one month. No editing; just write. 

I wrote every day for that month, and I really enjoyed myself. Sometimes, I was on such a high, that it felt like I was playing my keyboard like a piano. When the month was over, I knew that the first draft was going to require a heavy-duty editing. It was your typical “shitty first draft” filled with all kinds of nonsensical writing, typos, tense problems — all of it. 

I’ve been a professional editor for about 10 years. But at the time I finished my first draft, I was just too close to it to be able to edit it. 

So, about a year later, I hired an editor off of Craigslist to edit it for me. 

That was one of the worst mistakes I ever made. I take editing very seriously. And I simply chose the wrong editor. I didn’t do enough background information on her work. I hired her because she had published a novel and she had a nice voice on the phone.

And she messed my novel all up. 

She introduced clichés and worse. 

I could not bear to look at that draft for another six years or so.

Then, last year, I could not help but notice how the self-publishing industry was taking off. I became a freelance editor of full-length manuscripts, and seeing these hard-working novelists publish their work was very inspiring. 

So in the spring of 2011, I attacked my first draft again. 

Some parts of editing it and rewriting were fun. I had a great time in creating sordid scenes and making characters do the most extremely inappropriate things I could think of. 

But the editing itself was excruciating. Like most editors, I love editing other people’s work, and despise editing my own. 

At the time I began editing my novel, I was working as a teacher in South Korea. When I left that job in November, I traveled for four months around Southeast Asia. 

And I continued to edit, edit, edit, and edit some more. 

I realized that if I didn’t give myself a deadline, I could be at it for years. 

This actually happened to a writer I once knew. She had been rewriting and editing her novel for more than 10 years. As far as I know, she still hasn’t published it. As writers, I think we sometimes strive for perfection, and this gets in the way of actually finishing anything. 

So I gave myself a deadline. I promised myself that I would finish and publish the novel by March 7, 2012, which was the day before I was set to leave Asia and return to the U.S. 

I rewrote and rewrote. I ended up cutting more than 10,000 words from the original draft. The story took on a whole new path. Finally, I emailed the manuscript to two writer friends who were wonderful in their criticism and unanimous as well: They each told me almost exactly the same thing. They pointed out plot holes, inconsistencies, and made suggestions. 

I went back and worked some more. 

With my self-imposed deadline looming (and the pleasures of Southeast Asia tempting me every day; there are so many beautiful islands and kayaking and snorkeling to do in the Gulf of Thailand), I did the only thing I could think of: I left the island I was staying at, and booked three nights in a cheap Bangkok hotel, the days before my flight was scheduled to leave. 

I can’t tell you how many times I woke up in the mornings during those last few weeks in Thailand, looking at the ceiling fan above me, and feeling like Martin Sheen in that hotel room at the beginning of Apocalypse Now.

When I got to my cheap hotel in Bangkok, I basically locked myself in my room. And there I stayed, my eyes glued to my laptop screen. 

Those three nights and four days were horrific, I’m sorry to report. I edited and edited some more. I did a line edit. I did a proof. I did another proof. I read it over and over and over again, and every time I found an error, I felt like bashing my head against the wall. 

I chain-smoked and drank lots of caffeine. I put in 10-14 hours per day because I was hell-bent on making my deadline. I ventured out of the hotel room only to buy cigarettes. Bangkok smelled. The streets were filthy; the area I was in wasn’t in a typical tourist area, and so there was absolutely nothing to tempt me behind the walls of the cheap hotel.

The night before my flight was scheduled to leave, I finally hit the upload button on Amazon. 

I thought I’d feel thrilled and ecstatic. 

But I felt only relief. 

The next day, in the early hours of the morning, I left Bangkok and headed home. I was exhausted but the relief that flooded throughout my body made it all worth it. I had done it. I had finally finished and published my first novel. 

Eve Lopez is the author of Sex, Drugs, and Psychiatric Wards: A Novel. It’s available on Kindle and as a paperback. It is currently part of a Goodreads giveaway ending on April 25, 2012. Five winners will receive autographed copies of the paperback. Visit the author at http://thingsevewoulddo.blogspot.com or on Twitter @eveoverseas