Friday, March 28, 2014

Fun things come in small packages.  Like a Mint Chocolate M &M 's candy package.  I splurged today and ended up eating half of the bag and split the rest with my girls. I'm guilty of loving dark chocolate.  And my daughter, Julia is going to use the wrapper as a skirt for The Littlest Pet Shop characters in her videos.  Too funny.  Hence, the reason for buying the candy.

I love a full fridge as well.  Don't you love it when you can stock up the fridge and the pantry with good food.  I tend to do one big trip and then go back for little necessities.

And my car is a happy oiled car today.  Thank god.  Got to have a good running car.

Well, I was able to get my novel up to 334 pages and next this weekend will be to push it further.

Going to be short today as my daughter is going to need her cord back.

Jennifer Jo. Fay

Copyrighted March 28, 2014

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Another Cold Day

It's been a little warmer, but it still seemed cold going out to the car in the early morning.  A good sign is that Spring is around the corner even though officially it is already Spring.

Vermont weather really tanks.  Don't we all wish the snow would melt just like that and be gone!!!  I was able to get more hand written pages done, and felt that I got about 41 pages.

Next to type it up.  The thing to do is keep at it.

That goes with anything we set our minds to doing.  Keep doing what we are doing and we will get there.

I visited my local library today and hadn't done that in a little bit.  It's the one near my kids house and I hadn't needed to go.  However, today I had some time to kill before going to my kids house and I decided to just sit there and read my book.  Edit.  Or more like read it today.

It's so large, I just sort of got editing some of the chapters and flying through other chapters, not wanting to linger too long.

I will have to make myself linger as I'm sure all the chapters need fixing and tweaking.  Like with one of the adult characters I decided to leave out certain information about him as later on in the story I changed that little bit of information about him and it wasn't now relevant to the story.

I think a good writer needs to always be able to edit when need be.  It makes for a better story.    You can't just write the first draft to something and say that's going to be the way it's got to be.

Going into something we all know that change is a good thing.  Like getting rid of the snow and looking forward to cut grass!!!  Brown grass first and then the good green.

Warm weather please for breakfast, lunch and supper!!!  Just wait until summer when we can hardly wait for the weather to get cooler.  We can't win.  It's either way too cold or way too hot!!  What are we going to do?

It's got to be the change of seasons that keeps us going.  Like my Mom, I always like the four seasons.  I couldn't imagine living in Florida where it just doesn't get cold that much.  I need a change and I'm a four seasons girl.

Not that we always welcome change.  Sometimes change can be a bad thing, but any how, we should go with it and try to adapt to anything.  That's life for you.

I'm onto smaller things with the knitting, finally.  I'm doing a super quicky scarf that is kind of cool.  It's a cool buttonhole pattern with some fun fur at the edges.  It's so close to being done.  It's a quick thing.

Well, should get going.  I've got to get some patterns into my Ravelry.

Jennifer Jo. Fay

Copyrighted March 25, 2014

Friday, March 21, 2014

Formatting and other things

I learned something new about formatting for which it pumped up my book to 310 pages instead of 265.  I figured out that the font has to be a basic one like, Arial, Times New Roman or Garamond and the size should be 12.  I was using 11 which made for more words on the page.

Most e-books are that size. I've been reading Publish It, by Adam I forget his last name.  Ha ha.  It's a good book, reads well seems easy to figure out.  Verses I started to read a different book and the whole formatting process in it has me confused.  More on an intellect computer geek level.

Kindle pictures cannot be more than 127 KB.  Just a few tidbits that seemed useful.  I know you can have your word docs formatted at Amazon, but it comes with a warning it may not be the perfect ebook.  I'm wondering if mine may pass though as I don't copy and paste from lots of different files.  It is all done in one file.

Who knows.  I don't know the logistics of html.  But, I'm willing to give it a stab and learn some.

Next to get my knitting pdfs uploaded to Ravelry.  I finished that skirt pattern and a headband one for sale with Ravelry.  The headband is a bobble one.  For which next headband pattern I create will not have bobbles because I've done enough of them for the time being.

Hoping for more sales.  I noticed one girl had her older headband pattern right in the front and am guessing she must pay for an ad to have her stuff run right in the beginning of the new patterns section.

I had a request for a McChicken from my daughter.  She gave me her money and I have delivered.  Ha ha.  Good thing Mom wasn't hankering for one too or I could have hmmm.... gobbled it before she got to have it.  Just kidding.  I wouldn't eat the girls special sandwich.

When you see a penny on the ground, do you pick it up even if it's tails?  Tails is supposed to be bad luck if you believe in that superstition.  Although, a penny is a penny.  An extra coin or two into one of my daughter's money jars.

I've had mixed feelings on that.  Sometimes if I've seen it's tails, I don't pick it up and other times, I don't care.

I'm going to knit up a mindless stockinette stitch headband next.  Sometimes I like simple as well.  It makes for faster knitting.  Bobbles do take extra time, but do have a really pretty result.

I also went into The Glorious Money Tree and cleaned up my chapter breaks.  It seems this is cumbersome as every time you go to edit your chapters, it moves the chapter title into another spot.

And I cropped a few of the cover illustrations and practiced what my title text will look like.

I may decide to pull it into another photo software and do some more to it.

Jennifer Jo. Fay

Copyrighted March 21, 2014

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Wednesday Hump Day

Wednesday hump day half way to the weekend.  And what do we have done?  Half of what we want to accomplish this week hopefully, right?

I was able to finish my skirt from my own pattern and I should later on type up the pattern and get it ready for sale with Ravelry.  I needed to get my larger knitting projects done so I can whip up smaller headband patterns and get more patterns for sale on my Ravelry store.

Today is a day to spend with my kids so this one is going to be short.  I've got to learn how to format my novel when it's done.  You can spend money to have someone else do it, but the few places I discovered do it for you it costs about $60 for 180 pages and I'm shooting for 450 pages.

Means I will have to learn.  It seems harder than it looks.  Notjohns guide to Kindle Publishing should be really helpful and I was referred to downloading free software called Sigil which will turn html into an e-pub.  Still seems daunting but will learn.

Yesterday, I got caught up with typing the new chapters to The Glorious Money Tree and the hours got caught away with me.  It's a good thing I looked at my phone as I had to be somewhere and I had ten minutes to spare.  Yet, I made it on time.  Luckily I didn't have to go too far!

I had to save it where I left off and then later spent another hour typing the rest.  Now that the skirt is done, I will maybe get some more hand written chapters in today.  The skirt's last leg of the pattern took a long time to do.  I added a ruffle which meant a large increase in the stitches!  And a long bind off, but well worth the cool effect.

Anyhow, time to go and enjoy my kids!

Jennifer Jo. Fay

Copyrighted March 19, 2014

My Twilight Saga collection:  And a drawing I did of Bella Swan.  And the Bella Swan Eclipse hat pattern I made.  I probably should wear it.  Oh, my Black Roses mystery novel is sandwiched in there!

Monday, March 17, 2014

When we get closer to goals

Don't you love it when you find yourself getting closer to your goals?  It's a good feeling to know that you have gotten yourself one step closer to things you are working towards.

Of course we get the delays and it doesn't always seem like we are going to get there any faster.  It is nice to know when something gets closer to completion.

I was able to push my handwriting over the weekend and got about 35-36 written pages done.  It felt really good to be able to write all of that and now I've got to do the typing which will push the book to 275 pages.  I'm going to push my next goal of getting The Glorious Money Tree to the 300 page mark.

It gets a little closer every time I write.  I felt like I was able to push the James Patterson goal of getting 4-5 hours of writing in.  If only I could push myself to do that every day!!

I think we have to approach the table of as long as we get a certain amount done each day, the project gets closer all the time.

Another thing I was glad to complete over the weekend was my cover.  I finally finished the cover art.  So what I have to do next is get my pictures of it uploaded and finalize what the cover is going to look like with a border and the title part.

It's been a long process writing a novel this large.  It is time consuming but well worth it.  I think any project can be so rewarding if we stick to goals and see that something comes to a completion we are satisfied with.  It's all worth it in the end.

Jennifer Jo. Fay

Copyrighted March 17, 2014

Friday, March 14, 2014

What you do with your life is up to you

Your life is yours if you are willing to make the most of things.  Take it in the palm of your hand and do the best to do what needs to be done in your life.

There will always be ups and downs and the hardest thing is maintaining a good outlook in the face of terrible things that happen to you.  But it can be done.

Lord knows I have been through nasty things and I've been able to be strong and not always let anything get the best of me.  It is hard to do though when you are in the midst of conflicts.  It's no fun, no bed of roses and the important thing is not to let it all bog you down.

You can either face things with a positive outlook and forge ahead or you can drown yourself in the negativity and let it get the best of you.  I will say nobody is ever completely immune from something getting the best of you.

There will always be times when you may wish you hadn't reacted a certain way towards something.  The important thing is to always rise above it.  Rise above someone who has been mean to you or wronged you.  Rise above the ones who want to drag you to their level.

It shows when someone is that way and you will look better if you don't sink to someone else's level.  Trying to ignore things is a good way of approaching a situation.  That is if you can.  If it's something that requires your attention, then you have no choice in the matter.

A mean person wants a reaction from you, so from my experiences, don't give it to them.  If you do, it will make them continue because they know they are getting a rise out of you and it is fun for them.  They don't get any reaction, they will eventually stop as their game will become boring.  Like playing chess without the other player.

Life is a series of decisions and choices we make and it's our choice to make them.  Not someone else's.

Even things like weekly schedules.  We try to stick to them, but if we don't get all we want done, do you cry and sulk that you didn't accomplish it or do you say, well it's in the past and I will try better next week to get everything done I needed to get done.

Life gets in the way of our agendas and it's not always going to go our way.  There's always going to be delays, set-backs and other things that need our attention.  Down to the looking for things that can get in the way of other tasks we needed to do.

Like today for me was searching for a bookmark and a knitting needle for which luckily I found within a short amount of time.  But there's been other times when I've searched for something, it was right under my nose, yet it took me hours to look for the darn thing.

It's so easy to get side tracked.  I tend to go with the flow and whatever I can get done in a week is good, whether it is knitting or writing.  When it should be writing or knitting.  I've got to make myself put the knitting down more often and put the writing first.

Like yesterday, I did manage to get a chapter done to the book, but I wanted to get more done.  The quicker that book gets done, the quicker I can learn to format and publish and hopefully make a decent living with it.

Once I learn that formatting process, I should be trying to focus on finishing my other multiple books I want to publish.  I guess that would be a goal to work towards.  I would be a girl on fire if I could get a lot of books finished in a year's time.

That darn knitting!!!!!!!!  I get addicted to making things!!!!  The way I see it is that I'm finishing products that I could also be selling through my Etsy shop or the craft shows or the patterns of mine for sale on Ravelry.  It's a matter of getting popular with something and then everything else follows.

That's the life of a struggling artist or writer.  We keep hoping for our big break.  Or any sort of break would be nice.  To get the foot in the door doing something we love doing.

Jennifer Jo. Fay

Copyrighted March 13, 2014

My daughter making those loom art bracelets.  But, this could symbolize peace which is what this worlds needs to think hard about accomplishing.  To find peace within yourself is the best place to start.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Winter Days again!

Winter Days again!

Here in Vermont we are in the beginning of an oncoming blizzard.  Time to dig out my boots!  I’ve been surviving the winter without putting those things on, but either today or tomorrow, I will be having to wear them.  Estimated 21 inches expected!!!!!

So much for Spring!  And it’s Wednesday hump day!  Another day to get closer to a fun filled weekend.  I’ve spent time knitting and need to start on the writing and other things.  Including my dishes are done and my food is cooked for the next day!  I opted for a rice dish with a mushroom sauce.  Deviated so this one may end up in my cookbooks.

I’m starting to go to the Kindle Publishing community and asking questions on formatting.  Seems cumbersome, but it needs to be figured out.  It’s a good idea to start reading up on things there so I get more of an idea how the whole thing works.

I even bookmarked a page where Kindle can convert your doc. Or docx. Files to html.  I’m not sure if that’s where I can finish the formatting process.  That seems too easy.  There’s links to all kinds of things.  It’s good to post questions in the threads as they will usually get answered pretty quickly.  I need to know also if I can submit my old documents that I password protected.  I was putting a password on my old writing documents when those mean neighbors were hacking my stuff.  Now I’m not sure if Kindle can accept those.

As to which, I created a new file for The Glorious Money Tree.  I’m thinking once I format, I’m going to have multiple files of this in case I mess up.

Spent a little time this morning knitting up a new headband pattern I created and will later today get the pattern for sale in my Ravelry store.  I used chunky yarn and it knitted up quick.  I had remainder so I finished up with a cabled case for i-pods or phones. 

I’m not sure what my next knitting project is going to be.  I’ve got to finish that skirt a little each day.  I may try a cool crown pattern for kids and a pair of easy slippers.  My ultimate easy is to do the cabled headband, make it longer and sew it into slippers and add a strap!!!  I may have temporarily solved my problem of not knowing how to do slippers yet.

Jennifer Jo. Fay

Copyrighted March 12, 2014

Monday, March 10, 2014

Will Spring Get here?

Snow this morning!!!  Will spring ever come?  It's less than two weeks away and we are all just about sick of winter.  Nothing like still trudging on wet snow, still thinking we could slip and fall.

I'm waiting for those yard sales!  The thought of seeing yard sale signs and good bargains could be towards the end of this month if we're lucky!

It's got to warm up soon.  I walked out without gloves and needed to reach into my pocket for them while in the car.

My girls are getting a few little things.  Julia wanted some blue yarn to finger knit and I should teach her how to cast on and do the regular knitting.  I believe it was last week, when I saw a picture on FB about knitter's arm knitting!!!  Good lord!  Next they will be knitting with their feet!

I have yet to purchase those super large knitting needles and do not think I ever will.  I prefer the smaller needles.  Even my 10 mm and 15 mm collect dust, but I save them just in case a larger project calls for them.  Like a loose weave scarf or something.

My cats are having some fun with stray yarn balls they can reach into a bag for.  Still finding some time to organize.  Isn't it the way, always feeling a need to organize and weed out.

This weekend, was my colored pencils needing to be organized as to what brand.  I am supplying Julia with her own set of colored pencils and she will be surprised to see them in a pretty mug on their craft table.

It's the little treats that they will always remember.

And looks like Mollyanne got supplied with more of those rubber band loom kits which should last her a little bit.

Doesn't it feel good when you can get things accomplished.  I love a good weekend when I can get a jump on things.  I still was able to knit like usual, but I made myself get a jump on the book and managed roughly 24 hand written pages.

I was able to get the next four to five chapters written that I needed to.  By the time I went to bed, I lay down with my I-pod mapping out the next chapters which need to happen.

So, typed within the next days I should be able to push it to 240-250 pages.  It's on it's way to getting closer to completion.

I should make myself finish the cover work too and get that uploaded.  It's so close to being done, but what did I do instead?  I worked on two other illustrations for the book, so along with the cover I have roughly 5 illustrations for the inside I also need to complete.

Seems like there's always a lot on my plate.  I've got the other books for different types of books as well, but they are on the back burner as I think this is the one that needs my undivided attention.

If you have ever done a trilogy, don't you love it when you start writing towards the middle or the near ending and you can already envision chapters for the next book in the sequel?  It's fun.  I've got some of the ideas in my head, but first things first.

Book number one!!!!!

I'm starting to go to Kindle Publishing forum too to get a feel for the formatting part of it.  I should at some point make myself read the books I have on that.  I'm so nervous about that part and want to make sure I do it right.

All writers have the feelings that if you've got a really good book, you want to invest a large part of your energy and time into it to perfect it.  My feeling is when it is ready, it's time to format and publish.  All in good time.

And that skirt needs to get done so I can type up my pattern and get the pattern into my Ravelry store.  And hope for sales!

Jennifer Jo. Fay

Copyrighted March 10, 2014

Friday, March 7, 2014

Finding New Ideas when we Write

Finding New Ideas when we write

What do you do when you run out of ideas of what to write about?  It may be a good time to perhaps focus on editing instead and maybe you will find out you come up with something.

Maybe you read back through your novel and you forgot some of the things you wrote.  It’s easy to do and I did it last night.  I kind of jogged my memory of some things and now I’ve got some more things to write about or perhaps it has helped me to decide what is going to happen to one of the characters next.

I’ve got several notebooks in different places with a sort of skeleton outline, but sometimes find it difficult to go back to find all my information.  Some days I wing it and just hope I remember all the details.

Other times, I decide I don’t want to write about a certain character if I forgot some of his or her details and I end up writing about what’s more recent.

Last night, I found it helpful to just go in and edit from the beginning, which is a good way to either add or subtract your pages.  It helps to define the scene a bit better, condense your wording and come up with a much better result.

I’ve edited the beginning so many times, I’m finding there’s suddenly not much to change, although I surprised myself and was editing.

It’s so true about edit, edit, edit.  It can either be tedious or it can be fun.

I found as I went along, I wanted to jot down new notes about what I want to write next.  That may also be a good way to approach the novel.  Perhaps every time you go back into the page, you may just want to find the chapters you want to grab ideas from and write down fresh notes. 

Date your notes as well, so you know what you are looking for if you don’t want to open up your laptop.  My notebooks are scattered.  Eventually, I may want to compile a good skeleton outline of each character.

I’ve put some of the same notes into my HTC tablet as well, but that can be a pain to have that while you have the laptop nearby too.  Each of us have our own ways of approaching the novel.

I’ve used sticky notes too, and due to I used to live in an apt that had a mold problem, all my sticky notes are bleeding and it’s hard to read those ones!

Another thought I’ve got and I may do it when the whole first novel is done.  I’m thinking of taking the zip drive to UPS and have them photocopy my whole book.  Then, I can use that one as a guideline for the next book. 

That’s when I can get HIGHLIGHTER HAPPY!!!  I’m thinking that may be a good way to refer to it when I go to write the new books.  It’s all in my head in my memory, as when we write a novel, we breath life into our characters and you feel like they are talking to you.  You know, telling you what it is they want you to type onto the page.

Trust in yourself and in your novel.  As long as you can understand it, that’s the important part.  Because if it feels right to you, it’s going to most likely be easier for the reader to continue to finish your novel.

Aside from writing, I finished a pink and purple striped headband today!  Yay!  On size 1mm which could and sometimes drives a person nuts working on such small needles.  I like the small weave it creates.

I finally learned how to string the seed beads for knitting a bracelet.  I’m trying just a simple garter stitch pattern for this.  It’s going to be a little time consuming as you need to take the time to string your beads and you sometimes run out of string when knitting the beads in.  I may finish it later today.  I won’t do large projects with beads but maybe at the bottom of something.

It looks kind of neat.

My next attempt is to get my own patterns for sale on Ravelry.  I tried to get my finished shawl pattern on the site, but goofed and have to figure out how to get the pdf file into the site.  Once I figure that out, I’m going to occasionally get more patterns in and more opportunity to sell my patterns.

Jennifer Jo. Fay

Copyrighted March 7, 2014

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

What do you do to Save the World?

We want world peace, but many of us are just one person.  How do you move mountains to help others and do your part to save the world?

Recently, James Patterson gave a million to the independent booksellers so that they can keep up with the e-book world which is rapidly changing.  Thank god it is.  No longer do we authors have to worry that we will remain in the slush pile forever never to get found.

There's been self publishing for many years, but it wasn't as big as it is now.  No longer do we have to rely on traditional publishers to achieve our dreams.

Most of us do not have millions to give away unfortunately, that is our case.  We cringe when we get a phone call from somewhere asking us to help donate to their cause.  Even if it is a good one, we have to say, "Sorry, I can't afford to help you."

If we can give money to a good cause, that's great.  If not, there are always many other ways to help others.  Down to helping people across the street.  I helped call a taxi for an elderly man last week.  Even a small help is important and makes someone's day.

Helping others makes us feel good.  It's not good to be selfish and just look out for you and you alone.  We try to be better people and care for others.  It's what makes our world a more beautiful place.  If every person in the world could attempt to do their part to make things great, our world would not be at war with each other.

There are wars being fought in other countries, in our country we have many different types of wars.  Battles we have to pick and choose.  In the political eye and on the home front.  People fighting, either by choice or put in the middle of something they didn't want.

Men and women fighting, children fighting and picking on other kids, women having cat fights and men arguing with other men or women or children, groups, etc...

Love is kind, kindness counts and shouldn't we promote peace and no conflict?

Are you the kind that devotes your time to others that need your help?  That's a great feeling as well.  Helping family and friends is always a good thing.  What about helping a stranger?  It's a very nice feeling to know we can do our part to even help someone we don't know at all.

We don't know what their life path has been like, but hey, I can do this in hopes I can help you somehow.

I've been knitting those headbands and my part in helping is going to be to fill a box with my knitted items for women and young girls suffering from cancer.  So come Thanksgiving, I should have a box filled with pretty headbands and kerchiefs and I will bring them to my local hospital.  That will make me feel really good to know that it will put a smile on their face.

I knitted a pink headband today for the box.  That Prada headband pattern I am addicted to.  I made one for my future grand kids too and one to sell.  Then had some yarn leftover so figured I could make a combo phone case and a sleeping bag for a doll toy (grand kids eons later!).  While I was sewing up the sides, I was thinking, If I could make it longer, there's my slipper pattern!  Then sewing up the side, oh and a baby booty!!

Which is a cool thing as I have yet to figure out how to make socks and slippers by the patterns I've got on hand..  Someday!

Finished my shawl and it's nice and warm.  I started a skirt for me, but am going to just knit for a little bit and not work on it every day.  I should be writing.

It felt good to get the majority of my cover art done for The Glorious Money Tree.  I'm working on finishing up the color work, then I need to take pictures, upload and work on the border art and my title etc....

I've been taking my time, which seems to be how I tend to write and pay attention to perfection.  Although, I will say every writer has flaws in the work.  We just pray we come to a point where it is good enough to say I'm done.

I'm at 223 pages and need to push it further and faster.  I get a pang of jealousy when I hear of well known writers who devote 4-5 hours a day to the craft of writing.  Hey, I could and should be doing that too.  I blame part of it on my love and addiction to knitting as well.

After that skirt, I've started, it's got to be smaller projects.  Headbands are quick and easy.  I've got a Rosalie school scarf I want to do for my nieces for Christmas but have plenty of time to start those.  I've been thinking of the skirt for a while.

As a writer dreams of writing a novel, a knitter dreams of designing her own creations, an artist dreams of drawing images that once upon a moment were not there.

This will be my first skirt that is my own pattern.  I should start writing out pdfs for some of my own patterns and sell them on Ravelry.  I have one or two patterns for sale, but was starting to think I should get some of my newer patterns on the site in hopes of selling some of the patterns.  Before I actually get them into my book I could try to get them sold there too.

Always thinking.  And we should step off the curb instead of sticking in one spot and letting the world pass us by.  Just do it!

So, after this post is done, I'm going into the novel and putting the next chapter in and doing some editing.  I've got to get it closer to that 450 page quota I've told myself I should try to reach.

I also love it when the story just takes off on us and does something else we didn't intend to do, but hey, I love it.

I had hand written my most recent chapter early yesterday morning.  Then driving home from my kids house, I thought of more to the chapter.  Like when you think you want a certain outcome to happen but then it dawns on you that this other way of approaching the page will make for a better story.

Don't you love surprises?  I love good ones!!!

"All worthy work is open to interpretations the author did not intend.  Art isn't your pet - it's your kid.  It grows up and talks back to you."  Joss Whedon

I read this today on my FB.  There comes a point when writing where the story ends up developing and becoming life like in a way.  In a sense, it says so much more than what you first wanted it to do.

It's because you had a skeleton in mind and came out with the flesh that speaks of all you truly wanted to say.

Jennifer Jo. Fay

Copyrighted March 4, 2014

The beginnings of my skirt I started yesterday.  I got up in the wee hours as I couldn't get back to sleep.  Started getting a jump on this.  I figure if I can get an inch a day at least, it will get done quicker.  I got four inches roughly yesterday.  I've got to figure out a better way of doing Fair Isle.  My problem is I get it started and by the end of the row, I see twisting of the yarn which is maddening.

Ah, good old George!  I drew my bills this last weekend!  Took a while, but they came out good.  Let's just say each dollar bill looks slightly different.  I'm so used to drawing dolls and people, not bills, but I managed to get a cover I like.

I've also been torn between my love of black and white drawings and should I add color work to make the book sell better???  Still torn on that, but the color is already in there.

Ha ha!  I thought of a new place to put my cable needle besides in my hair, the knitted skirt I'm wearing or the basket next to me.  And go figure, at one point this morning, I got looking for the needle couldn't find it and all I did was turn my hand and there it was!

Darn bracelets shifted on me to play a trick!!!  That's the pink cabled headband some woman or girl will get around the holidays.