E-Book Giveaway!

So you’ve (hopefully) heard that Eikasia’s first major novel, Tributaries, is making its way to the market. It’s open for pre-orders now at Smashwords for a limited time price of $2.99!

BUT!

If you’re cheap, or somehow that tight on cash, there’s something else you can do…you can enter this new giveaway! Not only will it give you a chance to get the ebook free, but you’ll receive an advanced copy!

Starting October 1st (tomorrow) until the 17th I’ll be taking entries for 10 free copies of Tributaries!

The contest will be powered by Rafflecopter. Enter to win here: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/07acc6731/

Each winner will receive three e-book versions of the book for their convenience, but please do not share or distribute these files. Winners will be contacted 48 hours after the contest ends.

Tributaries Available for Pre-Orders!

Eikasia "Tributaries" Cover

It’s here! Well…almost. After 6 YEARS of writing, editing, and even monetary investment, Eikasia’s first installment, Tributaries, is available for pre-order at its special limited time price of 2.99!

Want to pre-order? Click here!

This has been one long, crazy road. Since starting Eikasia, I have gotten married, gone through three different jobs, moved across the country and back, graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing, and had a baby. In that time I learned so much in terms of different writing techniques, publishing tactics, about author rights, and the power of art for art’s sake. The self-publishing experience has been no less educational for me. For instance, I re-discovered the importance of meta-data, realized how weird ISBNs are, and learned how surprisingly straightforward the copyright process can be. I also had a hiccup with the cover art, of all things. A simple misunderstanding, but one of unfortunate timing. Still, I rolled with it thanks to the help and support of my editor/consultant/ebook designer Vicky, and the suffering patience of my husband.

All of that is behind me now. Tributaries is scheduled for release November 1st. My work is not done, however. Because of the exceptionally close release date, I have to get on top of trying to generate buzz for the story. That essentially means sending out copies to bloggers and review sites. The unfortunate bit is that these people tend to be inundated with these sorts of requests, so while my plan had been to release Tributaries well before Thanksgiving, I can only hope that some kind soul reads my work and drops a review on Goodreads or LibraryThing in time before the frenzy of holiday shopping.

I don’t think that I’m rushing my work out, however. You see, the thing is about being an underground author is that I don’t have the sort of clout or fame as say, Stephen King or J.K. Rowling. There is no frenzy for my books. So why would I delay a chance for people to purchase the work? The coming weeks will be me enacting my simple one-man ad campaign for my story, all the while experimenting with whatever techniques I can employ until then. That is the only reason for the pre-order. So that I can get my bearings, hype the book, and start with my best foot forward. This isn’t something I can afford to drag out or wait on. My reason for waiting is more precaution than necessity.

In truth, I seriously doubt I’ll ever make back even a fraction of what I’ve invested in Eikasia. I have spent so much money in artwork, site hosting, advertising, and editing. If I got a bit of that money back, that’d be great, but that wasn’t the point of this whole thing. I was doing this for reputation economy. (which I talked about last year on this blog)

…Honestly, it’s hard gathering my thoughts together. I’m so excited and my book isn’t even out yet. I’m aware of how silly that sounds, but I can’t stress enough how much I’ve put into writing Eikasia. It means everything to me. If I were to die tomorrow, it would be my second greatest achievement after the birth of my son.

And I’m not done with it! I know some of you reading this are still waiting for me to continue the free serial. You might even wonder if the release of this ebook means the death of the free site. No. That isn’t what it means at all. Don’t you see? You guys are the ones who made this happen! I wouldn’t even be doing this if it weren’t for you all! THANK YOU. Give yourselves a hug on me. If I could meet you in person, I’d hug you and squeeze.

Since I became a mother late February of this year, then graduated a short week later from university, I have found myself unable to continue my serials as I once did. If we’re all honest, the preceding three years had definitely seen a hit in terms of frequency. What I hope the release of this ebook shows is that you guys can have faith in me to keep bringing you great story content to enjoy. Seriously, this ebook is NEW. If you read Tributaries on the website, you owe it to yourself to read the new version. It really is different in many important and noticeable ways.

And I intend to do the same with In Sight, In Mind. With any luck, by the end of 2015! But I can’t do it unless you guys support THIS ebook! All proceeds will go towards editing and design costs for book two. Like the first book, it will feature new scenes, new dialogue, and a much smoother reading experience. I was even considering a more dramatic overhaul to its overall plot (because, let’s face it, book two ain’t perfect.) If you’re still wishing I could continue my serials like before, don’t worry. Soon my life as a full-time mother will be more accommodating to more involved writing projects. For now, editing is about all that I can handle. It’s easy to pick up, easy to put down, and much easier for me to wrap my sleep-deprived-mommy-mind around.

For a limited time until the end of November, Tributaries will be on sale at a special discounted price of $2.99. After that, it goes up to $3.99. If you’re a frugal person, now is the time to purchase the new ebook!

I still can’t believe I made it this far. Thanks again to all you readers, and let’s keep the adventure going!

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New Year’s Eve 2013

So this year definitely had its ups and downs. I faced challenges at my job, I faced challenges at school, I faced challenges with my writing, I faced challenges with my marriage, I faced challenges with my pregnancy, I faced challenges with my family, and I faced challenges with my friends. Most of all, I faced challenges in myself. Did I make mistakes? Yes. Do I regret them? No. Did I have to make some hard decisions this year? Yes. Some of them were very recent in fact. But 2013 is a year unique to all the years I have lived. It is the one year where I can look back and say, I am not ashamed. It is the one year where I feel I can stand tall and say, for all its bumps and steep climbs, 2013 is not a year I wish to forget. And that’s saying something, because this year had its share of painful memories. The worst of which came from back home, the place I’d been looking to as my sort of salvation from the isolation and adversity my husband and I have faced here in Georgia. Drama has splintered my family apart. Grave misunderstandings have estranged me to close friends.

…But you know what? I’m going to be a mother. And while I’m still grappling with the enormity of that responsibility, I find myself welcoming it, with open arms. All the challenges of 2014 will pale in comparison to the task of ushering in new life and raising it. I’m excited. I’m nervous. I look forward to it.

And 2014 will have its own joys too! I’ll be (finally) publishing the first full length novel of Eikasia to the ebook market. I’ll be graduating from my school, earning my bachelor’s degree, and seeking to start my new career. And for all its problems, I will be home, back with family where I belong.

So bring it on 2014. I’m ready for ya.

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“You can’t do that! Stories have to be about White people”

Originally posted on Media Diversified:

Young Writers of Colour

byDarren Chetty

I’ve spent almost two decades teaching in English primary schools, which serve multiracial, multicultural, multifaith communities. I want to explore two things I have noticed.

1)    Almost without exception, whenever children are asked to write a story in school, children of colour will write a story featuring white characters with ‘traditional’ English names who speak English as a first language.

2)    Teachers do not discuss this phenomenon.

Furthermore, simply pointing these two things out can lead to some angry responses in my experience.

Why are you making an issue of race when children are colourblind?”

is an example of the sort of question that sometimes gets asked.

Well let’s look at that. If children were writing stories where the race of characters was varied and random, there might be some merit in claiming that children are colourblind. However, even proponents of racial colourblindness…

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The Notebook and HIMYM’s Dobler-Dahmer Theory

Okay…OKAY. So I just started watching The Notebook. I had to pause it JUST to type this because this scene was ridiculous to me:

I mean, I  realize that McAdams character gets her revenge by pantsing Gosling’s character, but this scene immediately made me think of How I Met Your Mother’s Dobler-Dahmer Theory:

For me? The Notebook’s “big romantic gesture” was straight into Dahmer territory.

As hot as Ryan Gosling is, if some guy persistently pestered me, then coerced acceptance through fear, I’d either kick him in the nuts or get the authorities.

Fine, fine. I hate party poopers like the rest of you. I can engage in a bit of suspension of disbelief. This is a romantic film, and we know that these two characters will inevitably get together.

But Rachel McAdams character tells Gosling’s character “NO” pretty clearly several times, and he proceeds to continuously invade her space, then manipulate her through bullshit antics. I guess as an audience we’re supposed to find this “roguish” behavior as charming. Yeah? Well when I was a kid I would’ve thought his persistence was romantic, now I just see it as menacing.

I guess I’ll keep watching this, but this isn’t a great start for what’s supposed to be such a huge cult movie…

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The Beautiful Perseverance

(My 200th post!)

Today I posted the latest update for Eikasia (Chapter 41.3) and it made me think of something.

The beauty of perseverance.

I was down almost a thousand words until meeting my word count goal and I was in a funky mood this morning. I considered saying, “No, I won’t write today. I’ll do it some other day.” The lethargy pressed down on me hard, to the point that even sitting up and looking at my computer screen seemed to take great effort. Negative thoughts ran rampant through my head. “You can’t do this. Your story’s quality is declining–not that it was that high to begin with. This update is boring.” What loomed over me was a big thick wall, and spray painted across it was the phrase: YOU CAN’T DO IT.

Then I just started typing. I ignored it all as best I could and just started typing. Did the feelings go away? No, actually. I felt like crap the entire time I typed. Almost unto the point of tears, even. But the point is, I got it done. After I read it to my husband and heard his input, I realized afterwards that this really WAS all just in my head, and there was nothing wrong with my update as a whole.

I’ve been very open on this blog about my struggles with depression-anxiety, and I’m proud to say that I’ve handled my pregnancy just fine, and haven’t had the need to resort to medications again since I kicked them to the curb October 2012. The thing is, while perhaps the degree of my sudden funk is not what most experience, to have a funk AT ALL is something I think everyone can relate to, especially with writing. I guess the point of this little post was to just say…if I can do it, so can you. Sometimes you just have to chew through it. Yes, even when it is really bad. What perpetuates depression is not depression, it’s our willingness to allow for it.

My husband’s been watching The Ultimate Fighter on DVD, and while I recognize that many of you aren’t into MMA fighting (or even despise it) I wanted to share this insightful bit of advice from fighter, Chael Sonnen. I think it can be applied in any person’s career, hobby, or lifestyle, including writing.

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December 2013 Update

I’m calling this the “December Update” but it probably won’t be the only one I do this month. In it, I talk mostly about the recent Eikasia update, as well as my career goals after graduation, and the lil’ old fact that my birthday is tomorrow. ;)

Fun Fact: After finishing the video, I got a call from my “Graduation Liason” (who was also my Financial Advisor once upon a time) and was informed that my graduation date was the same day that my baby son is estimated to be due! Another weird thing? My son’s due date is a day after my hubby’s birthday. So graduation, baby due, and husband’s birthday… The stars are aligned!!

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November 2013 Update

So this is super late! I was supposed to post this here but I forgot. I talk about school a lot and the fact that I’m close to graduating my degree program. (Among other things)

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Celebrating 5 Years of Epic Love and Magic!

Join me in celebrating five long years of Eikasia! Get the ebook Tooth and Nail for FREE at Smashwords when you use the code: ZG56K (not case sensitive).

Click here to get your free copy now. 

Share this deal with friends!

Tooth and Nail ebook cover

Offer valid till 9/30/13.

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Dear son, don’t let Robin Thicke be a lesson to you

Originally posted on The Matt Walsh Blog:

***Update, August 1: In response to the thousands of people who, after reading this entire post, decided to harp on one single phrase (“I’m no feminist”), I wrote this. If you want to know how I can say all the things I say here, yet still reject “feminism,” click the link and I’ll explain. Otherwise, carry on. Thanks for stopping by.

Our country dangles on the precipice of starting a third World War. We are on the verge of a completely unnecessary conflict where the United States will fight along side Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood. This, in another day and age, might earn the crown as the Most Controversial Story of the Week. But we’re in the year 2013, and this is America, so a young pop star’s dance moves on an MTV awards show have predictably overshadowed the prospect of global chaos and bloodshed. I wrote…

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