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Sunday, July 29, 2018

Updating Your Websites and more

Hey, it's been a while since I wrote to this blog and I really should be writing more to it. I think it's just the simple fact I don't because I get so busy with everything else. Also, that darn life gets in the way. Really! Seriously! Enough said.

I've published a good amount of books so far this year, putting me at 71 published books. A bunch of poetry books and two novels. I finished America's Favorite Lottery Winner: Poetess (the sequel to the first one) and published that one in early spring. I loved the plot of that one. It had one of my characters writing poetry. I love when I can incorporate that into a novel.

The other novel I published just about a month ago, was Iris the Diarist. It's a novel about young college student, Iris, who gets sucked into the lair of a ruthless killer. Add a bit of romance and there you have romantic suspense.

So, about updating websites. You really need to do it once in a while. Do you ever have the websites that you haven't gone to in a really long time and when you go back into it, you see an old bio that's so out of date, hardly any info (links) so people can find you on your other links? I mean, seriously, it's time to go into all your sites and start fixing things.

Makes for a better website, page, etc...

I had gone into a majority of mine changing things around. I mean, my Zazzle site had the old town I lived in for the store. Old information about me, so it all needed to be changed.

You basically want people (potential buyers and readers) to find you on all your sites. It's all about boosting your presence. Eventually, they find you and they may indeed like you. Love what you do and want to support. Maybe.

The writing world can be ruthless, as we have soooooo many writers publishing everyday. We all know it's so hard to get found if you aren't someone like Stephen King or J.K. Rowling. Just saying. Demographics and sheer luck plays a part in that. That's a sad fact.

For the past month, I've been posting snippets of my work on my face book author page, Twitter and Instagram. I figure, it helps to get people to have a feel for my work and get to know my style. That's important. Many readers will not invest even .99 cents on your work if they do not know you as a writer and like what you write. No matter how small amount of money that is, they simply do not want to fork it over to read your work unless something really jumps out at them.

You obviously have to sell them your soul, right? Yeah!

I went into Zazzle and changed banners too, added pictures to my Face book page story. Every little bit, helps you get found a little better.

I'm not a great marketer for sure, but I do know a bit about getting my presence known.

I've found that sometimes promoting on Face book helps make sales and other times it doesn't. It all depends on who is looking on any given time.

Sometimes, you have to commit yourself to making your pages, websites, etc. stand out. Keep maintaining them on a regular basis and eventually, maybe MAYBE, they'll come to you.

You also have to believe in yourself, know you have a great product and OWN it. And believe in God. That always helps. Simply believe that you can have good things if you try hard enough and know that if it didn't happen, then it wasn't meant to be.

Another thing: Be happy with what you have. Even in the face of all the stresses that come your way. No life is perfect. God knows that.

Keep on writing. Keep trying.

Well, I'm going offline for a bit to finish knitting a pair of fingerless mitts to add to my Etsy shop. I have added a few new items as of yesterday.

Jennifer Jo Fay
Copyrighted July 29,2018 (My knitting patterns for sale) (my photography on cool products) (My author page) (My etsy page)

I took this picture one day this summer near my kids neighborhood pool. I love the Queen Anne's Lace. My mother did too.

There was this pale yellow butterfly nearby as I was taking the picture. Something about nature is just so beautiful. You know? We should try to be more aware of the beauty that surrounds us, for often, it goes unnoticed.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Author's Bus Depot Face book Group

I recently joined a new Face book group called Author's Bus Depot group. It was started in July and right now, the group is growing. We are around 70-80 members now, but need more. The more the merrier.

If you have a book you want to promote and want to have fun meeting other writers at the same time, this is the group for you. It is a lot of fun participating in this group.

The object of the group is to help each other promote our books. What better way to get your book out there faster. Let's face it, we all keep trying to promote in the FB groups and sometimes our book gets lost in the shuffle of so many writers promoting their books. One would have to scroll down far to find one of ours.

Unless you start promoting your book several times on the FB page, and then you're considered borderline spamming. I wonder about that sometimes when I'm promoting different books. They are not the same book, but still, am I considered spamming?

So, you join Author's Bus Depot and participate in one of the bus rides to get started and figure out how it works.

Each member picks a time for the bus ride. Say, 4pm eastern time, 6am est. time or the late night 11pm.

Whoever can do one of those times or a different time, comments 'I'm in.' etc....

Lately the bus rides try to limit it to 5-8 people due to the famous Face book police.

These are the best bus rides where you can sit in your rocking chair to do it.

Then, the leader of the bus ride (the driver), will give you instructions in a message chat (close to the time of take off). He/she will start off giving you one of the banners to put on your FB page or timeline. It's usually a cool picture with the words (support an indie writer, etc...). You download it so you have it ready to post to your page when it's time for your turn to post.

The leader usually starts the ride by posting on his/her timeline first. Then under the banner picture you post the details of your book you want to promote. You get to put your book first on your page under the banner. Then all the other participants post their book under yours.

Don't forget to like each person's book as they're posting. Likes are awesome and makes the post look even better.

Your book promotion:

Note: On the link, you may want to shorten it if you want. It's optional.  A good place to shorten links is   Or another one is I think this one is right. I'm trying to remember from yesterday's chat.

That's what you will be posting in the comments section under everyone's banner.

So, next, after the leader has his/her turn, the leader will pick the next person to have a turn. Then everyone jumps to their page and posts on their posts. And you friend each other in the process and get to meet new people.

Sometimes we get hoppers/hitchhikers who want to join in the fun. Which is fine as long as they share the banner on their page too. Sometimes, they can be late for the bus ride. It happens.

Usually the bus ride chat starts about a half hour before take off so if anyone new has questions, moments to chat about what we're eating, music we're listening to, etc....

The shares are great. These particular posts on my FB page have become the most popular posts on my page with sometimes over 200 views.

Some of the members have been getting over 40 shares to these posts.

We leave the chat open for a few days so when each of us gets shares, we let each other know. Then, we need to go post our book info under those new shares, as when someone shares the post, they only are sharing the banner picture.

So, potentially we can get lots of views to these posts. More views to our books and potentially more sales.

More than several authors including me have seen sales generating after doing these posts. It's really cool.

But, anyway, the more members we have in the group, the more potential we have to reach a wider audience for our hard writing work.

Come join us. Join in the fun.

Jennifer Jo Fay
Copyrighted August 2017

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Go For It: Just Write

Don't push off what you can get done today. Write, write, write. Sometimes we hold off on things as we're not sure how we want to proceed next.

I've had days where I really want to write something, but I can't seem to put the pen to paper and just do it. That's the problem. Not making ourselves write. It's that hesitation which causes us to dilly dally.

That's when I knit. Yesterday seemed to be a knitting day. I think it was partly to blame on the weather. I hate the heat and humidity. I didn't want to do a whole lot besides running errands. I needed groceries and a trip to the store is always fun.

I sat outside my building yesterday and it was actually cooler outside than in my fourth floor apartment. Heat rises. I sat out there with a container of fresh strawberries and blueberries. Not that I (being diabetic) should be eating those, but they're the good sugar. And I knitted a strap to a water bottle holder. I've been making those lately.

I knew I had to type my hand written chapters into the book, Loving Her Until Infinity (erotica version), but I didn't feel like it. Didn't feel like typing in my hot apartment. Yet.

Other days, I can write or type for hours and get a lot done. I like when I can do that. Like this last week, was for the majority, spent writing and typing up poems. Over the last few weeks, I've published two poetry books. Flowers for Mom and other poems and Here's to You, Sylvia Plath and other poems. I was on a role and now I'm at a loss for words of poetry.

I've got two new poems to add to a new book, but I'm not thrilled with one of them. Time to pull out my paper word pieces from one of the writer's toolboxes. This one is an Edward Cullen pouch. About three years ago, when I was dating a different guy (who liked to write poetry), I was into creating words on paper. I had the magnetic words too, but wanted to make my own in cursive writing.

The boyfriend turned out to be an alcoholic and I couldn't handle that, so we broke up after a month of dating. Plus, he was homeless and wanted to move right in.

I'm dating a nice guy now. He was a widower who lives in my building. A really nice guy.

I ended up later on, typing up the chapters I had written. Pushed the novel to 108 pages. It's getting good. I think today, I want to write more. It's a matter of going for it and doing it without thinking it's going to be a floppy mess of words. Don't look at your writing with criticism yet. Save that for the editing.

Just write. If you don't think you have the time, find the time. Even if you feel you've been drained of your energy, worked a long day and don't feel motivated. Surprise yourself. You may be able to get in a good hours worth of writing to progress things along.

If you allow yourself an hour or more a day, you would be surprised how it will add up if you keep at it.

Lately, I like my boyfriend and I get up early, so it seems I have extra hours in a day to get things done. Although, at the same rate, if I've gotten up at 5 am, I'm often tired by 9 pm. I also like staying up to 11 pm. One time, around the holidays, my boyfriend stayed up all night and ended up he was up for about 48 hours. I don't see how he could do it. He was on vacation for one thing.

I need my beauty sleep.

Monday night, my train back home after seeing the kids, was delayed until 10:30 pm. I ended up pulling out a book from the library book sale. I read half of it and finished it yesterday morning. Julie and Romeo Get Lucky, by Jeanne Ray. What an awesome book! There were a few spots I came close to laughing in the train station. The part about Romeo's mother cracked me up. And the 8 year old gambler had me laughing.

I hadn't read a book in a bit and it was good to get back to reading. Need to build up the writer's toolbox. Not that I can remember all the phrases I liked in the book, but I'm sure a few will jump out at me sometime. She describes Audrey Hepburn's neck like a willow branch at one point. I liked that metaphor.

I've got to sew up a few of my water bottle holders I finished and list one or two on Etsy.

I was floored when I sold two poetry books on Amazon in the space of two days. That was cool. Now I'm patiently waiting again.

Someone bought Flowers for Mom and other poems. I finally got another book review. Someone gave me a review for that.

Well, I should go if I'm going to go for it and write, write, write. The day is young and seems cooler. Maybe that should motivate me.

Jennifer Jo Fay

Copyrighted June 2017

There's my water bottle holder. This was last week at the farmer's market. I didn't sell anything. It's been three weeks since I sold anything. I think the people mostly want the food vendors items. The grapes were good.

This is the photo I used for the cover for the newest poetry book. I picked a picture of Sylvia Plath to draw from so it can go with the first poem in the book. The butterflies were really fun to make. I should make more of those. My favorite is the green one.  I've got to figure out Amazon's cover creator a little better. Sometimes my whole photo doesn't get in, except for one of the ones I can choose from.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

What's in Your Writer's Toolbox?

I do believe every writer should have a writer's toolbox of some sort. What are writer's without one?

I think a large part of our writer's toolbox comes from reading the works of other writers. Every time we sit down and read a book from start to finish, we are building our toolbox. It doesn't mean we remember everything we've read, but we store information in our brains for when we go to write our own stuff.

Are you the type of writer who likes to highlight or underline words or phrases in the books you read? Some people do this. My book by Sylvia Plath arrived in the mail yesterday. Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams. When I opened it up, I noticed someone had written inside on the first page.

I will never let you go unread. What a terrible fate that would be. This was one.

"The greatest enemy to creativity is self-doubt." Sylvia Plath.

There were also other writings inside by someone. And when I opened to one page where she had written about a storm, there were several small sticky note cut outs about what the person thought of the essay.

I am awed by Sylvia Plath's descriptions in the first two stories I have read so far. Mothers. And Ocean 1212-W I really liked reading this one. The descriptions are so vivid in my mind and I'm finding her work fascinating.

I've ordered The Bell Jar once again. I gave it away the first time as I couldn't bring myself to read it. I'm going to make myself read it. Last week, I wrote a poem based on Sylvia Plath. It ended up being four pages long and was the longest poem I have written. It's going to be the first poem in my newest poetry book I am working on.

There should be lots of other things in your writer's toolbox. I started creating one this last week. On an excursion to Family Dollar with my boyfriend, I discovered a cool mason jar just for this idea. I got it home and started writing ideas on a steno pad and began rolling them up and tossing them in the jar.

Note: When cutting my writing prompts off the paper, I cut towards me. A bad habit that stuck with me since early childhood. Everyone thinks it is funny.

I brought the jar to the library on the night I visited with my kids. Mollyanne and Julia had fun reading some of them.

Write anything that comes to mind and toss it in a jar, a box or anything else you want to put them in.

I also have one for poetry that is all kinds of words cut up on small art paper. Then, I can pull out seven or eight words and create a poem from it.

Some people like those magnetic words. I have that and use it once in a while.

Come back to your writer's box any time you want. Maybe you have a day when writer's block has set in. Go to the toolbox, fish out an idea and start writing.

Keep reading and building your toolbox so you have more to work with.  Whenever you come across a word you don't know, look it up.

A writer's toolbox should also possess a thesaurus and a dictionary. Reference books are great. Also, build your collection of books on writing. It's all essential to being a writer.

Now write.

Jennifer Jo Fay

Copyrighted June 2017

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

When should You Publish?

I don't think there should be a deadline to publishing. The book is done when you think it is ready. Not when someone else thinks it is ready.

Of course there are deadlines when other people set them for you. That cannot be escaped. If that's the case, then you better get it done in due time. Don't delay when you know you will be panicking when your deadline is fast approaching.

In most cases, we want the book to be perfect, without flaws. So, we push the publishing date as far out as we can possibly set it.

There is no set time frame for publishing though if you are going at your own pace. The most important thing is to make sure your book is to your liking. Edit, edit, and edit more until you think it looks flawless.

Keep in mind, no book is flaw free. All books could stand to be edited in some way or other.

Some people can publish a book within a two week time frame, a month, several months or more like a year or longer. In some cases, ten years or more to write that one book.

Then, on the other hand, there is the occasional writer who claims he can write thirty books in a month. You have to question how he or she can do that. They may tell you Dragon Naturally Speaking software. But still. 30 books? Seriously?

I can sometimes publish several poetry books within a few months time frame, and then longer for a novel. I seem like it takes me more like 2 to 3 months or longer to write a novel. And I've had some novels that have taken me several years to write. Like The Glorious Money Trilogy: Book One. That one book took forever. Although, I did take serious breaks from that and knitted and other stuff.

It just depends. I keep thinking how quick could I write a book if I wrote longer each day. Or if I wrote instead of knitting. Who knows.

Publish when you think it is ready. You will know as your instincts should remind you it is  done. Go for it.

Don't wait for other people to tell you it isn't done yet. Publish it.

Jennifer Jo Fay
Copyrighted May 2017

Monday, May 29, 2017

Stick to Your Plans: Write

Here we are on Memorial Day weekend and what will we do? Try to write. Don't stop writing just because it's the holiday weekend. Of course you will need to shuffle agendas around as we can't escape the weekend and all the fun it brings.

Last Saturday was a wash at the farmer's market. I was hoping to sell something but didn't. I guess I can't complain as I sold a pair of striped fingerless mitts on my Etsy shop, so I sold somewhere. Maybe the next weekend will be better. It probably takes time for them to figure out who I am and that I am going to be at the farmer's market all season.

I did manage to write 18 poems while at the market in the morning. I've got to type them today.

My kids are having a day at their grandparents probably today. I'm home alone as my boyfriend is working.

My treats are next to me. Mesquite kettle chips, a small bottle of blush wine and my cup of coffee. I already ate the whipped cream and pudding treat. And am saving the broccoli salad for when I visit my kids in a few days.

The day was definitely nice to write at the farmer's market. After not selling anything, my boyfriend and I watched Fantastic Beasts. Awesome movie. I spent the rest of the weekend knitting up five dishcloths and I'm working at finishing a scrunchy.

I'm going to make myself write today. We do have to stick to our goals and write when we can. Putting it aside can make us grumpy if we don't get to it.

I have also been wanting to add some new products to my Etsy Shop so will do that today as well. And I've got rhubarb that's going to go bad soon, so I'm making jam today. I'm wondering what lavender sugar would do to it. Hmmm..... I may be adding a new recipe to the latest cookbook!

I'm looking at a granny smith apple that needs to be sliced and munched on. I've got to have something healthy to go with the not so healthy stuff.

Maybe I need to put on some Rod Stewart music to be inspired to write. I was able to also finish a chapter the other day and I need to type that in.

The day is still young and there is plenty of time to write and knit. My game plan for writing is different every day. I woke up later this morning due to some weird dreams and then listening to someone blaring their TV at 7am. It was so loud I could actually know what was going on in their TV show.

Got up and turned on my TV loud enough to not hear their's. Today Show. Sometimes I can't start my day without the Today Show. I've got complete silence now. Sometimes I love the silence. Except for the fact someone is playing a radio now. I live in the downtown so I'm going to hear noises from outside. Makes for an interesting day I suppose.

I should make myself stay up late tonight and write. I haven't written in the middle of the night for a while. I've been getting tired and done at 9pm or a little later. I do occasionally like staying up to 11pm or later. I've also been known to wake up later on and get up and do something. I stayed up knitting one night.

Some people enjoy writing in the wee hours in the morning or late at night when everyone else is sleeping. Perhaps that is when some of your best work comes.

Anyway, write something before this holiday weekend is done.

Jennifer Jo Fay
Copyrighted May 2017

Friday, May 26, 2017

Where do Ideas come from?

Just where do you get your ideas anyway? Sometimes people will ask you where you get your ideas. I've often said I get them from my head. But that's not always the case.

Ideas stem from anything. It could be you flip open a magazine and there it is. Or maybe one's own experiences are fodder for your writings. It's like that old saying, "I'm a writer. Anything you say or do can be used in a novel."

I broke down and bought that cup from Etsy last holiday season. I think I shall need to have some hibiscus tea in it later today. I took a liking to the tea in late Fall.  I was not a fan of rose-hips and jasmine tea. I bought some dried rose buds for tea and wasn't crazy over that. Hence, they're getting used in photography instead. Why throw out when something is useful?

Look all around you and there's ideas brewing everywhere. Sometimes we need to be nudged for ideas. Also, by reading we discover new ideas. All writers need to be reading as well. By reading, you are filling up your toolbox with added knowledge.

I for one should also read more. I don't do it enough as I've got so many other things on my plate and when I'm not knitting, I'd rather be writing my own stuff than reading. But I should make myself read more.

Conversations can be great sources for writing. Ever just sit in a coffee shop or any other place and just quietly listen to passersby? You never know where something will jump out at you. It could just be a phrase or two that sparks something.

We all watch the news. It too can be a great source for writing. Perhaps it's an issue you want to write about and find it leads you down to a great piece of writing. Who knows.

But the large part of how we incorporate it into a story must come from our heads. You can't obviously use someone else's writing. Plagiarism.  However, fan fiction is different. I've never done it, but if my girls ever wanted to try it, I would encourage them to try it. Role playing and extending upon a work of fiction already out there. And I've heard it's good practice for someone who wants to learn how to write better with something already there.

Your kids can be great fodder for stuff. Learn a thing or two from them and perhaps your next novel shall be written.

Or perhaps it is the visual arts that would entice you to write. I've tried that sometimes, writing a poem from looking at an image. Sometimes the results have been kind of cool.

Whatever you do, don't spill your ideas to the world. You've got to have your secrets about what you write about. And do realize once it's in published book form it is out there for the public. But do wait until you have a completed manuscript.  Do spill to your friends or colleagues if you want advice upon what you have written. Sometimes that is necessary.

I guess just be open to anything and when the moment jumps at you, write it down before you lose it. Perhaps have a recorder or something to jot it down until you can get to your laptop.

I love having a pad of paper ready at the helm to start writing if I need to get down something. It's a start. Sometimes, I have eighteen or more hand written pages that later need to be typed.

Other times, I like to be typing on my keyboard. Like now. I'm click happy coming out with words as they form on the page.

Just typing what's in my head.

Also, anything that happens to you is all fodder for writing. You can certainly use any of your experiences. Write what you know.

Research. Research can feed our brains to write.

Whatever you do, just write. It doesn't matter where our ideas come from as long as we're inspired.

So find your inspiration.

Jennifer Jo Fay
Copyrighted May 2017

Perhaps you need a candle to help inspire you. Set the mood for your inspiration. I do believe the surroundings are key to enabling our creativity. Although it really doesn't matter where you write as long as you write. The picture below is my window set up. This changes when I'm in the mood for something different.

That little doll with the black skirt I won one year when I sent paper doll drawings into Doll Reader. Plus I got my drawings into the issue. She was a Riley doll by Helen Kish.