The Loss of time

There never seems to be enough time.

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For anything. This seems especially true for writers. One would think with all the technological advances we’d have a lot more time. Instead, we’re  trying to fit more into less time. Even if someone were able to unfold space and time to make the days longer, we’d still try to do more than we have time for.

So,  how do we manage the time?  As authors, we spread ourselves thin trying to post to every social media we’re apart of, write, read,  edit, send out queries, and work full time (in most cases). 24 hours isn’t enough,  even if we didn’t have to sleep.

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Over the past few years I’ve been trying to find a solution to this particular problem. Much like a Rubix Cube, there seemed no end in sight. (To tell you the truth,  it still seems that way.) I never found a complete solution to ‘do it all’, but I  came to a conclusion.

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I put myself in the shoes of my readers.  I’ve signed up for so many writer’s advice emails, books, and so on. It’s exhausting to sift through them all and absorb all the advice. Not to mention trying them all out. I kept wondering; what are they doing that I’m not? It was simple,  spending a ton of time sending out emails to other authors.  Authors were their main source of a platform.  While this is effective,  I want more.  I want readers.  I want to inspire the lost. Yes, that’s a tall order. 

If you’re still with me, you’re probably in the same boat.  Here’s what I do. It’s slow going right now,  but everyone must start somewhere.

1. I post where most of my readers/followers are.  If those outlets connect to other sources, I’ll share it. But be careful not to post the same thing everywhere.  Have variety. You want them to seek you out.  Not the other way around.

2. Post stories for your readers and interviews/reviews for your fellow authors.  I currently have the following sources for my stories. 
Wattpad: where a portion of my published stories can be found. This way they can get a good view of the book to determine if they want to buy it. 
Wordpress: short stories,  poetry, mini series. Avaliable to everyone.
Email/mail chimp: A never before seen, and never to be seen again, short story series that can only be found in my reader’s email. An exclusive treat for my most loyal readers. These stories will never be published.

So, I have something for everyone. How do I manage the time? Simple. 
I write one story a month (occasionally more) for the email.  The reader had something to look forward to with out feeling overwhelmed by the mass content. 
I try to write two to four things a month on WordPress.  Again, less is usually more. Then I share these in my Facebook page, Twitter page and tumblr.
I, very slowly,  add half my books to Wattpad. I sometimes share these on Facebook and twitter.
Is this working? Yes. With the help of hashtags, I’ve managed to grow my reader base by a few hundred in 6 months. Slow, but getting there. 

This isn’t a guaranteed method,  but for the busy author,  it’s better than nothing.

I hope this helps you struggling authors out there. Comment below if you try it and how well.

Your Beloved Author,
Sandra Easter

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Martine Lewis (Author) Interview

Welcome my dear readers. I have a new author to introduce to you. A real gem. A fan-fiction writer branching out to new horizons. Her name is Martine Lewis. Join me here next to Martine in Houston, Texas as she sits in her chair with her two cats mewling for attention while we ask her a few questions to get to know her.

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“Hi Martine. Why don’t you tell us, my followers and your readers, a little about yourself?”

“This is always the hardest part, isn’t it?”

“Of course it is. Not all of us likes to toot our own horns.”

“I start writing at 11 and have written on and off ever since. I wrote mostly fanfictions and some bad originals when I was younger, mostly inspired by people I knew. Fanfiction was a good way to hone my skill and when I became ready to write my own original fiction, I was ready.”

“Now you love writing.” 

“Now, I write original fictions with no end in sight.”

“Always a healthy obsession.”

“On a more personal side: I work a full time job to pay for my “writing addiction”. Hopefully one day, my writing will support itself and me and I’ll be able to do it full time.”

“We hope you get to do that as well. What books would you like to tell us about?”

“Crossing the Barrier – The Gray Eyes Series Book One.” 

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“Attention ladies and gentlemen, this book will be release in March 2016. Tell us a little something about Crossing the Barrier Martine.” 

“High school student Malakai Thomas, star wide receiver of the varsity team, collides with band member Lily Morgan on his way to football practice. As days go by, Malakai cannot get the petite clarinetist out of his head.

Lily Morgan can feel everyone’s emotions. She loses her ability to shield herself against them the day Malakai runs into her. Now she must try to maintain her sanity in the emotional jungle that is high school, as well as deal with her growing feelings for Malakai.

Can Malakai get over the social stigma and his own internal struggle to be with Lily? Is Lily’s secret too big to accept, even for him?”

“A socially awkward teenager and the popular varsity football star hit it off in the Gray Eyes series. Sounds interesting. Who is your favorite character?”

“Malakai is my favorite.”

“It’s always great when we can fall in love with our own creations. I do all the time. What makes this book special to you?”

“It explores something I never had when I was in high school. Where I went, we didn’t have football, we didn’t have band, we didn’t have cheerleaders. It was not in our culture at the time and it barely is now. I missed all that. And I wished I had it.”

“Oh my, you were deprived of fun in high school. I’m sorry. Who is your favorite author?”

“I have many but one I particularly like is Cambria Hebert, especially the #hashtag series.”

“I’ve heard of this series but still haven’t checked it out. I’m going to have to do that. What inspired you to write for the first time?”

“Believe it or not, Duran Duran. I was eleven years old and I imagined I knew them and they were part of my life. I wrote the story of them interacting with me and my friends.”

“That is certainly different. What keeps you coming back to writing?”

“I had, and still have, too many ideas inside of my head, characters talking to me, telling me their stories. I have to commit them to paper.”

“Let’s hope you never run out of ideas. If you could say anything to your fans, what would it be?”

“Stick around, there’s a lot more coming!”

“You hear that readers? There’s nothing better than an author that can promise more of what you love, worlds to escape in. Martine, what is the first book you’ve ever read that pulled you into its world?”

“Mmh, I do not remember. It’s been so long. Maybe Mercedes Lackey and her entire Valdemar universe. I didn’t write any fanfiction in it however.”

“What would you say to future authors you might inspire?”

“If you want to write, do it. If you want to write fanfiction, do it. If you want to write original fiction, do it. It cost nothing to put pen to paper and start writing. The day you’ll be ready to publish something, someone will be there to help you do it. It’s that easy.”

“I whole heartily agree. It’s hard work, but if you love it enough, it’ll be worth every bleeding word. What are the best ways for readers to reach you?”

“Any of my social media account. My website also contains my email address.”

“Thank you, and your two sweet kitties, for the chance to get to know you. We look forward to reading your intriguing books.”

You can find below links to each of her social media accounts to follow her and keep up with the latest news on this new YA/NA series.

Twitter

Facebook

Email

Newsletter

Your Beloved Author,

Sandra Easter

 

Abandoned

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I feel so ashamed that I’ve not written a blog post in a while.  The holidays have kidnapped me and are demanding a ransom of 80,000 words.
I know! It’s crazy right? What do the holidays need with that many words?  Doesn’t it get enough from the gathered families?

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They’ve stolen my laptop, taken my phone, and destroyed my zip drive. I’m sending this via Morse code to an unknown source. I just hope they’ll actually post it.
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Who knows Morse code anymore? Weird. Who has an Alphanumeric Transceiver open to messages? WHY do they have one? Creepy.

Back to my plea. Send 80,000 words to your hard drive (collaborate if you must) and title it holiday ransom by New Years Eve or I may never be seen again. They threaten to feed me to Krampus.
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Though, he may not get to eat a few of my fingers as they feel they will fall off from sending out this desperate message for help. S.O.S.

WHY ARE YOU STILL READING? Start typing! Please! I can’t write you stories if I’m dead.

Your Beloved Author,
Sandra Easter

NaNoWriMo

As promised (hears readers inhale a breath of anticipation) a post all about NaNoWriMo! National November Writing Month.

That’s right writers…and those wondering if they could be a writer. There is a month dedicated solely to writing. And even that not only challenges you to write more than you’ve probably ever written forcibly in one month but also benefits children. Interested? GOOD!

I discovered NaNoWriMo a couple of years ago. I’m not sure how though. I think it was Twitter. Go figure. I was intrigued and felt challenged to do this as I was just starting to learn to maintain a writing habit. At first I thought, “50,000 words? No problem.” I didn’t realize just how many words that was. This event begins on November 1st every year. Yep, during the beginning of the holiday season. I know, right. Crazy stuff. But think of how challenging that is. Spend time with family, work, save for Thanksgiving and Christmas by working longer and STILL write 50,000 words. I also discovered a gem inside those cyber walls. A nonprofit organization that encourages writing and reading. A rare quality these days.

“National Novel Writing Month is also a 501(c)(3) nonprofit (formerly known as the Office of Letters and Light) that believes your story matters.

Through all our programs, we work to empower and encourage writing and vibrant creativity around the world:

The Young Writers Program promotes writing fluency, creative education, and the sheer joy of novel-writing in K-12 classrooms. We provide free classroom kits, writing workbooks, Common Core-aligned curricula, and virtual class management tools to more than 2,000 educators from Dubai to Boston.
The Come Write In program provides free resources to libraries, community centers, and local bookstores to build writing havens in your neighborhood.
Camp NaNoWriMo is a virtual writing retreat, designed to provide the community, resources, and tools needed to complete any writing project, novel or not.”

I found I could donate (there’s a goal to reach every year) or purchase NaNoWriMo items. Really cool stuff by the way. People from all over the world join together and connect on Facebook, Twitter, and so on. If you participate fully, you’ll get to meet writers like you, those that have been where you are, and those that are trying to get where you are (wherever that may be). So not only will you be able to reach out to your oh so awesome peers, but you’ll be able to help others that may be struggling just like you.

Click Herehttp://nanowrimo.org/how-it-works to find out how it all works.

Are you still on the fence? Really? After all that you still want more? Well guess what, there is more. If you manage to complete your 50,000 words (honestly), you will get a few goodies from companies that donate. Scrivener, Lulu, and some others offer discounts, free books, and other really great things.

If that is still not enough. Accept the challenge. Challenge yourself to make a mark that will assist in forming a habit that makes great authors so great. Writing. Always writing. It’s a practice that is never quite over.

Still not enough? Well, then maybe you don’t need to be a writer. Sorry, but there it is. Good luck and I hope to see you in the Facebook forums.

Your Beloved Author,

Sandra Easter

Happy birthday!

As the years pass
I begin to see
Just how wonderful life could be

As I grow older
I look back
And sometimes wish that were me

Then I remember
The bad times
That got me here

I remember the lessons
The pain and loss
The shadows over the sunshine

How could I have forgotten
How much better
I’ve become

As the years pass
I begin to see
Just how wonderful my life has become

Your Beloved Author,
Sandra Easter

Calling all Writers! (And readers too.)

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Come one, come all! The Writer’s Workout. A funtastic  group of writers with several different writing backgrounds. This site is full of writing support, fellow writers, short stories, and so on. It is run by the ever fun loving judges of the NaNoGames. Never heard of it? Are you living under a rock? Well then, that’s a story for another time then. (I promise.)

This week they are featuring none other than yours truly!  That’s right! Your favorite source for poetry and dark words that fall from the mouth, ears, and fingers of a quite demented person. (I love you all too! No, really, I do. Fine, believe what you must. 😘 )

Click here to read all about my feature, and don’t forget to take a look around. You might learn something. Don’t think so? Well then, make it a challenge on my part. 😛

Here is a little about them, “straight from the horse’s mouth”:

“I write because that is the only way I can make sense of the mess in my head.” -Member

We are an eclectic group, from all walks of life and all stages of writing competence. From authors published several times over, poets featured in anthologies, to new writers just starting out, we have one thing that binds us together: a love of the written word. 

We know that no single author is the same, that no author approaches The Craft in the same way as the next, and that’s okay. We cater to everyone at all skill and interest levels, and our members are always willing and able to help aspiring writers wherever and whenever they can. 

With an excited group of admins, who hold a variety of English Degrees; Creative Writing Degrees; Theater Degrees; and just plain old, time trusted experience putting words to paper, there is always someone around to offer advice and cheerleading.
Www.thewritersworkout.net

Your Beloved Author,
Sandra Easter

Horror Movie Cliché

When my life ended,  it wasn’t the creaking of the stairs that warned me too late. It wasn’t the flickering of lights, or the unnatural draft blowing through the room. Not the fear in my belly, or the sense of being watched. I didn’t hear voices and ask who’s there. No. I didn’t creep in the dark of a haunted house. 
When I died, it was the breath on my neck,  the stab of the knife in my back, the pain that brought me to my knees.  That’s what warned me too late. 
It was the machete you plowed through my center, the one we used to hack away at the overgrown vines on the door. I didn’t have a cliché horror movie moment where the viewer yells “He’s behind you.” No, your betrayal made no sense. The shock of it left me in pieces as you stomped your way through my escaping blood. The laughter coming from your gut chilled the last remaining heat from my body as I lay lifeless. My last sight was your retreating figure not looking menacing at all,  but rather joyful.  My heart beating quickly at the rapt confusion pushed what blood I had left at your distant feet.  My body cold, my life extinguished.

Your Beloved Author,
Sandra Easter