Friday, August 15, 2014

All About Moonswallow Gates

About two weeks ago, I published my first novel, Moonswallow Gates on Kindle. And already, I have a bad review, one star and here is it verbatim (seriously I just cut and paste the review from Amazon): I have a habit of reading the samples of Kindle E-Books if they dont have any reviews. This was a sample read, and I am glad thats my habit. From the start of the book, the editing was horrible. Entie paragraphs without punctuation. It was difficult to even know who was speaking because of that. I strrongly suggest that the writer take a basic English punctuation class AND get a new editor

So I thought about it some and I wondered what I should say about this... Well here are my thoughts, if one is going to bash my grammar skills then one must have their review written in perfect English with zero spelling and grammar errors. I read the sample and I didn't find anything wrong. There are periods and commas and some question marks and no exclamation points. I hate exclamation points and I rarely use them.  I am asking you to make your own decision about this book read the sample, it's there. And if I get more reviews on my lack of copyediting skills, I will unpublish the book and try it again. Here's the kicker... before this review came in I already sold 2 copies the day it came out. I am assuming that the persons who bought the book read the sample, right? It makes logical sense considering I have the book priced at $6.99 USD. I sold one copy to a customer in the UK ( and I can't remember what the price is for the UK) that's not important. What is important is  that I sold copies and if they did read the sample, those readers apparently didn't find anything wrong.

I stand by my writing. I think this is a good book. Enough with that let's get onto to discussing the book... I really like the description I wrote for the book. Here it is

SEX. MAGIC. BLOOD. AND WITCHES

Valisa Ravensquire inherits more than a fancy house and a ton a money. She inherits a family legacy- a magical one. Valisa moves to the family home Moonswallow Gates which is a giant stone tower in Pennsylvania and the blood shed begins but it’s just part of the house’s legacy. This is just Valisa’s story but the story of the entire Ravensquire clan that spans from the late 1700's to present day with bloody twists every step of the way.

It’s probably best to read Valisa’s story- with the lights on but much more fun to read it by flashlight or candlelight in the middle of the night in the quiet woods.


Some things about this book you should know, it is very graphic and very bloody and there is very graphic language. If it were a movie, it probably would be rated NC-17. At least I am honest. It is edgy and heavy at the same time. I sincerely hope that you get a copy and read it. It will be on Kindle Countdown for both the US and UK market in the beginning of September. 

What is in future? There are two books I am working on,  one is called Santa Shorts, which will be out before Christmas and it will feature Christmas poems and short stories. The other is called Blood on the Carpet a collection of short stories that are in the mystery genre. Some of these stories are several years old but I am going to spend some time with them and use my more refined skills that I learned in school (since you know I am in college getting my degree in creative writing and every writing class has been high A's, so I must know a thing or two about punctuation).

Here we are at the closing of another day and the sun will rise, I know this and I know I am supposed to be great...

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Coming Soon Moonswallow Gates

I've been up in the air about Moonswallow Gates. One part of me thinks I should try sending it out to traditional publishers and there is another part of me that is screaming THE TIME IS NOW. I shouldn't wait to publish but do it now. The time is now, it's about as good as any I suppose. I finished the book cover the other day and now I preparing the manuscript first for Kindle and then for print. I have already went through 107 pages. When it is printed there will be about 300 or so pages which isn't too bad for a 6x9 book.

Do you want to know a secret? I am scared to publish it. The novel is seen as this pinnacle to writing. To write the novel. To publish the novel. This novel could one of  three things:

1. It could make me
2. It could break me
3. It would neither make or break me and it will just one of thousands of titles on Kindle.

See what I mean? It's like I am jumping into a deep ass sea with no clothes on and I see the hungry sharks coming my way. This novel, my novel, is nothing like the novelettes and short stories I published before.  I admit, I enjoyed my own book. I want to share my book with you because I don't think it should be locked away on the hard drive of computer for all eternity. I want to share this with you and I hope you don't think different of me when I do.

I have to push those fears aside because maybe those sharks are tiger sharks and they won't bite or maybe I will plunge into the water and find myself lifted out of danger in a shiny bubble. Who knows. I don't want to wait. What will happen will happen, right? Isn't that the saying?

Maybe there is nothing to fear. Maybe I am over reacting. Maybe imagination is too wild.  Just maybe I should shut the hell up and let the world pass judgment.

I am working on the Kindle version which I want to have done in the next week.  Within the week of the Kindle release, I will have it available for print.  Remember Moonswallow Gates by me JM Scott. A novel filled with MAGIC, WITHCES, SEX AND BLOOD. Awesome right? I should be able to sell 50 copies with that alone.

When we meet again, I will have a novel published. Until then, keep your feet warm and your ice cream in your underwear.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Energy and all the Writing that Goes With It

More reading about writing, I do it every Sunday to keep ahead of my school work. But this week, this week made me panic. One of the textbooks in class is The Practice of Creative Writing by Heather Sellers. It's a fine book and I had to read a few chapters one of them about tension and energy and then it hit me... do I have the energy? Am I boring? Shit, I can't do this or I can do this but it won't be any good because it is flat and boring and lifeless. I often wondered if my work was boring.

I sent my parents a copy of my novel to read over before I put in on Kindle. Honestly, I love it, my novel that is. It is twisted and demented and crazy and just everything. It is the right time to publish this book. It has to be now and not two years from now. And guess what both have said they have not finished reading it.  Horse shit. They didn't finish a short novel which my first thought was it so boring they couldn't finish it. Let me tell you that really sucks.

I read my work and I read it fast, it moves fast. But I am too close to the work, I am always too close to the work. Even when I put an editor hat on, the work is still close to me. I think about my novel everyday. Not about the story because I think the story is fine. I think about getting it ready without anyone's thoughts on it. I have to rely on myself and I really wanted feedback on the novel. Now, I am back to the self doubt again, maybe I am not a good writer.

Sure, I can write a grammatically proper sentence. I can make proper paragraphs and cohesive papers but that's not enough. Sometimes, reading books about writing is a damper. I never think about tension but I know it exists. I don't create triangle diagrams or other diagram to display the action sequences. If any of this exists in my work, I would have no idea because writing just comes to me.

I don't think about stanza or line breaks, what ever comes out comes out. It varies. Where does this leave me? Who knows? So, I am going to toot my own horn I am special and different and that is reflected in my writing.  This has to be true, right?

To me, energy is transposed from the writer to the page to the reader. If I am excited and energized what I am working on, then it's going to show without me knowing about. That is your job as a reader to discern.

This Tuesday is my birthday and I will be 34 and I know that there is something amazing for me just around the corner (in addition to the camping trip we are taking in the middle of the week). Have a wonderful week.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Books on Writing

This term in school I am taking creative writing and of course, we have these writing books we have to read. I've read a lot of writing books, I am not sure why because I really don't learn anything new. I don't learn anything at all but there is something about those books. The one I read to was Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg and I like it. She writes like she is writing a letter to me her friend...

I am old enough to have actually written letters to my friends. One in particular, I used to write long letters to. I don't know if she kept them or not and I don't even remember what I wrote. She used to write back to me, there was a lot of joy in going to the mailbox and getting a letter or a postcard. Now with Facebook there are no need for postcards or long letters or even birthday cards.  Diatribe over.

Back to these writing books, I love them and there is one thing that is common in all of them. They all talk about the joy of writing. The actual physical process of writing and makes me remember physically writing because there is still that joy when I am writing so much and so fast that the clack clack of the keyboard is almost like music.  I remember those joys of writing and especially right now where my writing is slowed down so much. There is the same message in every one of these books, just write and write. Write without excuses and just write.

I turned in a poem for the writing class and I am terrified everyone would hate it. I am also afraid that I won't get an "A" on my poem or any other writings I turned in because you know that "A" is like the pinnacle right? You know that, I know that. Of course, I have rejected A worthy poems in my day as a literary magazine editor, so what is an A really worth? I don't know. I like my poems, I know other people like my poems. SO where does that leave me? Who knows?  Maybe that is all part of being a writer.

Okay I am thinking about heading outside for a little bit. Until next time...

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Has it Been a Month?

Hell, I've been slacking on the posting. A whole month has went by and I didn't write anything. First I want to say, how much I hate Math. Thank God, this is the only math class I have to take for my degree program. Nothing makes me feel like a moron when it comes to the math class. I used to be good at math. Well good news, I only have one more week of Math and I am done. My other class I am doing real well. It's Humanities and I like art and I like talking about art.  Next term I am taking creative writing, (I hoping I get my creative juices flowing plus I should be able to post some of my work on here unless it is really excellent than I might send it away) and Intro to Critical Thinking. I am not sure how the thinking class will go but there does seem to be exams which I do pretty well at except for math.

Honestly, I've just been working on school for the past month and spending too much time on games on my computer. I really should get my priorities straight and spend more time writing. Perhaps I am on vacation. Funny thing too is I have a bunch of story ideas but not a lot of drive to put those stories to paper. Enough about that.

I am so glad summer is here. We've already went swimming several times at the state parks but those super hot days aren't here yet. Still would like to get a pool but maybe I will wait until they go on clearance. I am not talking about a large pool, but one of the ones that are taken down every year. I have a small pool already but I need a filter pump which for some reason are quite high even though the one I need is discontinued. I can buy a new pool with a filter pump for a little bit more at Big Lots. So it doesn't seem like a good idea to spend so much on a pump. 

I signed up for Amazon's affiliate program but they are going to drop me because I haven't had any clicks. I only signed up to use their advertising banners for my books and ebooks. Now I have to think of something else to do. That is on the list. Really though, I am used to being ignored. Speaking of Amazon, I did sell my poetry book for full price which was freaking awesome. I just checked today and no one reviewed it which sucks because I would love to know what other people think of it .  In the last month, I also have added two additional print books. The only one  left is Nickolaus but I am going to leave it as an ebook since it is a Christmas story.

I will be releasing a collection of Christmas stories and poems through Kindle. I will start working on it probably in the next month so it will be  100% ready for Christmas. It's weird to think of Christmas now but in the world of retail, Christmas goodies will be coming too soon for my taste.

And there you go, that's what I been up to. Once I become famous, I am so glad I will have enough money to hire an accountant because Math is for the birds. Until next time, wear plenty of sunscreen and be sure to give libations for the lost homies.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Hoodoo

A witch doctor
not in the Cajun south
or a palm lined island
waits for me in her
neat home filled with glass animals.
She sits in her black glory.

You come here for answers she says.

I just need to know.

Yours is a life of pain but
with it great things will blossom
Its kismet baby.

Why me? Why can’t I have a gilded life?

It is gilded in time anyway.

Se destine ou mete wout
la long, men tout kontantman
ini ak yon pri
Your destiny is set, the path long
but all happiness comes with a price.

No smoke, no fiery magic
she shows me out and closes
the door.
As I stand on the smooth and perfect
cement, the berry wreath sways.

I wait for some life changing,
radiating light there is nothing
as rain trickles from above.

***
I wrote this poem a little more than a year ago. I still really like it. Anyway that mumbo jumbo is creole. Now, it's probably not perfect since I used an online translator but I think it sounds cool nonetheless. I can't remember what inspired this and I don't think it really matters but I wanted to share a poem with the world.  I haven't written poetry in a long while and I really should start working on poetry. I miss writing poetry. My next term I will be taking intro to creative writing so I should be writing at least one poem. Today is a stormy day, a very stormy day. I love nature's raw appeal. Thunder was so deep and loud this morning, it actually rattled the house. Enjoy the poem and if you hate it, please tell me. I want to know.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Is that Sunhine or Just my Imagination

Here we are in beginning of May and finally it feels like spring. Fuck it feels more like summer today. As if Mother Nature just turned on the tanning bed. In one week, my yard went from growing grass to a yard full of dandelions and now it needs mowed. Times like this I wish I had a goat. Anyway so I am working hard in school this term I am taking Math and part one of Humanities. I hate Math but on the flipside, I am already doing well in the class. One of the nice things about Math is there are no discussion boards, I hate waiting around for other people to make posts so I can respond to them. In Humanities, the people seem to make their posts early on which means I can get my work done earlier in the week. Hey that's great JM but what about your writing?

Hmmm, here's where I could make a clever excuse but there is none. I haven't been motivated to write. Although I started a short story while we were camping last weekend. I plan to keep the short story as a short story and send it away. It has been forever since I sent anything away. Because I find looking for a publisher very tedious. Yes, I know that is an excuse because if I worked harder on publishing eventually I will be published the odds are in my favor, the more work I send out the better chance I have to be published. Supposedly, sometime this year I am supposed to have a poem published in Ardent! That magazine had some issues so they pushed their publishing timeline back but I suppose that is the life.

Writing is more than writing, and I wish it was just only the writing. The self-promotion is killing me because I am trying my best I still can't the word out, I can't get book sales and worst of all and I can not get reviews on Amazon if my life depended on it. I can give free copies away and there is silence. It is annoying but then I think about myself and how I don't review books either (it's not just books I don't review anything on Amazon. Okay that's not true I did write one review for my tablet case only because I wanted to share with other people this particular case fits a certain tablet). Perhaps it is the universe telling me  in a karmic way to make reviews and you will get them. Just like the line in the movie, Field of Dreams, "if you build it, they will come." On the other hand, I have physical copies of my books and I plan on selling them at flea markets alongside my jewelry and try to drum up business and fans by doing it old fashioned way. Sometimes, I need some kind of feedback. Okay enough about that.

And that's about all right now. I am going to outside fix my grill, get a sunburn and do some yard work. Sounds like fun. Till the next time, wear sunscreen and dance in the storm.