Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Starting a new Adventure

Porch Dog Press. The Cowboy's Sexy Songbird. A new adventure in publishing.


To my blog readers: I'm excited to announce the release of my first fictional book.

The Cowboy's Sexy Songbird also featuring, The Sheriff's Passionate Princess

I started my own publishing company, Porch Dog Press, to publish my writing. After years of going the traditional path to becoming an author and never quite reaching it, I decided to strike out on my own. We live in a digital age, with the ability to offer our stories directly to the readers.

It took a lot of thought on my part to decide to go this route. I didn't want people to think I was self-publishing because I wasn't good enough. I didn't want to offer stories that screamed self-published.

I decided if I was going to publish myself then I was treating it like a business. Because that's what publishing is- a business.

I found a company, The Editorial Department that would edit without holding anything back.
And they weren't afraid to tell me exactly what they thought.

But a long story, short: After a lot of hard work, perhaps some tears I'm not admitting to, and realizing that owning a publishing company is a huge learning curve-

Oh, and marketing. What the heck? I wrote and published a book. Shouldn't people somehow magically find it on their own? -

I have accomplished the biggest hurdle. Publishing the first title of a new company. 

I love the story. It's fun and serious and humorous and sad. It has a strong and independent female and a sexy hero.

It has adventure because I don't like romance novels that are just a big, long mooning session. And it has a touch of paranormal, because I love superheroes. And so it was fun to create a female character, who has a special ability to solve the problem. To help the hero. To not be the total damsel in distress.

The first title is in the past, mixing historical with paranormal- and I created a fictional town, Rocky View, Colorado and a fictional ranch, The Rusty Halton Ranch, for my setting.

The second title will be coming out this fall or early winter.

I'm so excited about this adventure and I hope you join me in Rocky View. I have included the link to Amazon.

Also, you can like Porch Dog Press on Facebook.

And if- no, when you like it, please write some awesome reviews at Amazon or Goodreads.

Because now, apparently it's all about marketing.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Lois Lane Drives a Minivan

Do you wanna play with me? 

     I have a confession to make: While I write this blog, Baby Blueberry is munching cold left-overs for breakfast, the weeds are starting to take over my front yard, and in two weeks I have to start homeschooling two children- who will never be the poster children for the perfectly agreeable homeschooled child who doesn't argue when it's time to do math.
     In the meantime I have two articles due and I just released my first fictional book on Amazon.com. Yay!! (More on that next time, with links. Because if any of my readers love romance stories, than I will be begging them to purchase a copy and if they like it, to write a review on Amazon for me. If you want and be so inclined. Just a small flavor to start getting the word out. )

      This summer has not turned out the way I hoped, which I had some inkling of when it started, there was a general feeling in the breeze, in the chilly wind that has not warmed up yet and continued to stay on the cool side right into August. Even this day started with a fog weaving through the leaves of the trees, a cloud mist sinking to the ground.

    A fog is fitting for the state of my mind.- dealing with confusion and a general sense of being overwhelmed. I can kinda feel the warmth of the sun through it, and I know eventually it will burn off- this sense of lostness- but in the meantime...
   It's starts like this: Yes, I agree that putting Abu through orthodontic work would be considered a 'first world problem' Blah. - And I AM NO LESS GRATEFUL that Hero Hottie and I can scrimp and save and somehow magically pull money together to pay for this. We are gladly giving up dinners outs, new clothes, work around the house, trips, etc. to make sure she has a healthy mouth, a painless smile and bite.
     This does not mean that I am not overwhelmed with the amount of money I owe on this or the juggling to my finances it takes to pay the 'car payment' size bill every month.
    I know financial experts say money is just a tool but when I pick up a hammer my stomach doesn't tightened into a knot. My thumb might try to hide but that because I have a tendency to not hit things on the head. - I look at my bank statement and my Crohn's threatens to kill me. Hasn't been a great month for the whole gut and emotion connection theories that I can attest to as probably being fact.

     I think someone can be grateful for something and still be overwhelmed by the sheer size of it. So when I complain about how much this is costing, I'm not any less full of gratitude- I just know every time I pay the orthodontist it's the same as taking a loaded cannon and aiming it at my bank account.    
    And I know myself enough to realize I will continue to stress about it until it's paid.
    I also realized a few other things this summer.

   If the truth can set a man free- it does not restore things to their previous order. A man will still have to claw, as if in a fight and struggle for survival, against the dark lies that put him in a position to have to defend himself in the first place. Truth may shine brightly, but it does not give a man back his position in the community, his livelihood, his honor.
    The truth ends one battle- which is proving that the lies are nothing but that- and sets a man on another path- which is regaining what he has lost.
   I guess I had a fairytale version of truth, which was once truth won- everything was bright and shiny again. I was wrong.
   But the other thing I realized: truth gives you back your soul and that has value of immeasurable worth. 

    That life is an endless, sloppy mess of joy and grief- all mixed together. And there isn't any balance. Sometimes you will have more joy than grief and other times you will definitely experience more grief than joy.

Currently my parents are having to relocate. The rental house they are living in is up for sale by the landlord. I'm not sure if the realtor knows this is just a desperate attempt on his part to sale the house before the banks takes it- but I don't think it matters. My parents have to find somewhere else to live and it's not going great.

And I had two wonderful friends move this summer, far, far away. So missing people always make me a little sad.

Another friendship is drifting and I don't understand drift. I always moved before any of my relationships could enter that weird zone of being someone I used to know.

But joy is always present in my life and these are the moments that help me deal with this strange existence called being human.

Watching my children grow. And lately with the world in such burning chaos, I have made the hugs a little longer, the listening to their stories more attentive, just spending more time with them. Grateful to have them in my life. Grateful that they are safe, and have full bellies, and shoes on their feet.

Gibson. He drives me nuts but he is also a character who we took to the dog park and now he knows where heaven is. - It's at the dog park where they have that creek and all the dogs play together. Life is so good there.

Pretending to be Lois Lane as I drive to interviews in my minivan, hoping that the nose wipe on my shoulder that the Baby just sent me off with will dry by the time I arrive. Hoping that I can find a blank sheet of paper in my notebook when I open it up and realize someone else had used it for their drawings. Trying to keep my mind focused on my questions and the interviewees' answers as I also fall into mommy mode and plan dinner and wonder what is causing Baby Blueberry's diaper rash. 

Next time I will talk about my new book, The Cowboy's Sexy Songbird.

In the meantime:  the dog park is apparently heaven. And running through a creek, chasing each other for a stick is the answer to finding happiness.


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

How to Avoid Change

      My parents grew up as Army brats, moving place to place, never settling- never finding their roots. A rolling stone collects no moss which is funny that during my childhood they should end up in the Pacific Northwest because everything collects moss there. Get lost in the woods there- don't look for the moss on the North side of the tree.
      The moss also grows on the West, South, and East side. And if you stand too long it will grow up your legs too.
         When they had me- what they wanted out of life and what it took to carve out an existence were on two separate ends of the stick- so they moved- often. It's a side effect of being poor.
           We moved every few years, about the time it took sensitive me to make a friend, it was time to put all my belongings in the vegetable and fruit boxes collected from the stores and become the 'New Girl' at school.
          And I didn't do 'New Girl' well when I was little. Heck, I don't do it well now.
          Damn insecurities. So God has been spending the last four months trying to push me out of my comfort zone.
         Stepping away from your comfort zone requires change.
         Something else I realized I'm not all that great at. I thought I was better with it, with my childhood of moving but nope, I hate it. Just about the time I find my place and it's fitting me like a well-worn slipper, something changes.
        Since I have spent the last four months quietly fighting the fire and the sharpening, I will give you my tips for avoiding change.

        1. Pretend it doesn't matter. If the change is something you can't handle, just pretend you don't care. Develop and master a shrug to give when someone brings it up.

        2. Lock your heart away and never give any part of it away. Or like on the TV show, 'Once'- learn how to take your heart out of your chest and bury it in the backyard. I love the fantasy aspect of that show, the scientist in me says, 'uhh, how can the blood move through your system without a heart?'

        3.  Learn the fine art of cussing at kids scooting down your sidewalk, while you water your yard and complain about the weather. Complaining about the weather is a great cover. You can bitch and moan about it being too cold or too hot. Too windy, too stale, too anything. It doesn't matter. Your heart doesn't hurt when you complain about the weather.

        4. Blog about avoiding change, so you can avoid further change. It's like a form of procrastination, but even better because you feel like you're doing something useful at the same time- giving advice- while still managing to avoid change.

       5. Refuse to move from your comfort zone until God pushes you out of it. And don't worry- God, the universe, the smarter part of ourselves,- is great at reminding us that we have to change to learn and grow. Otherwise, I suppose we end up like every rock and tree in the Pacific Northwest, covered in moss.

     6. Don't get a Gibson. Seriously, with a dog that chews up everything you own, including shoes, toys, and furniture, your environment is constantly changing on a daily basis. Also, you have to avoid growing attached to anything because it might be a chewed up mess of broken parts and dog drool the next morning. -But he's always sorry. It's not his fault that the expensive, unused baby diapers rip apart in such a fun way.

    7. Don't have children. Just about the time you get use to a stage- they change. Talk about change in motion. Childhood is a constant collection of changes, perhaps that's why we don't like to do anymore changing when we reach adulthood.

   So there you have it. Why I've been gone for three or four months without a peep. I've been avoiding changes. But I'm at a point where I can no longer avoid the changes coming -so here's my leap of faith- which for a writer always comes with the written word.

   Or perhaps I'll take my own advice and start to complain about the weather.