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.

What to Do when you have writer's block

Let's face it we all get writer's block sometimes. Perhaps it's only been a few days or more like months since one has written anything. Maybe it's just that you feel you are slightly rusty.

I tried to write something more to a chapter a few days ago and found I could only get a paragraph in. I had to open up my document and refresh my memory of my last chapter I had written to Loving Her Until Infinity (erotica version).

Yet, still I couldn't find myself writing very much. Felt I was at a loss for words that day. I'm hoping I'm able to write more to that today.

Sometimes when we get writer's block, the best thing to do is to write. Maybe nothing will come but there always seems to be something in what we surprise ourselves we are able to write.

I know for most of us, when we do get an attack of writer's block, we want to do everything but write. In my case, I resort to knitting. It's therapeutic and while I'm knitting I am thinking of writing. While I'm dreaming, I'm thinking of writing.

Everything but write. Today, it seems I am only writing here. I guess it's refreshing myself with blogging. Hadn't done it in a long time and realized how much I miss it. Even though I'm not earning from Google Adsense. My blog was disabled quite a few years ago. I've asked them to reinstate it today. Not sure if they will, but it's a stab in the dark.

Overcoming writer's block is like a stab in the dark. You have to retreat into the unknown to find out if there is anything there. If you don't try, you will not know what you have inside you to begin with. Everyone has something even if it's only a draft of low caliber. You've got to write in order to get better.

If you must, go get a bite to eat or a cup of coffee before setting down to write your heart out. Don't delay yourself too long or you won't do it. Like me yesterday. I delayed and did everything but write.

I hate it when I don't. I keep thinking to myself I could have written ten to twenty pages to something. And because I waited, the novel also waits. But it is there for when I come back to reconnect myself with what I wanted to say.

Stay away if you must. Sometimes we need a break from it. I break by knitting. Do what you must to find your much needed release.

There is always a hole in writer's block where the vessel pours out upon a new blank page. Do what is necessary.

                                       Here's my retreat. Whenever I don't feel like writing, I knit or putter around on some other craft project. This was a pair of legwarmers and I think I have to change them to knitting cases as they didn't want to go over my right foot. It fit over my left but struggled with my right. I think it's the yarn I was using as another type of yarn I used to make these fits better.

These scrunchies were fun to make. And time consuming. Plus my bracelets in there.

Jennifer Jo Fay
Copyrighted May 2017

Have a Little Patience

Patience is such a hard thing to learn sometimes. We all can lose our patience sometimes. Including myself. I'm not immune to it.

Today, my boyfriend is trying to learn how to use his new phone. He wants to transfer all his contacts, photos and text from his old phone to his new one. He's got texts from his daughter and his wife who passed away that is priceless.

This morning it was telling him he needed a gmail account and a google account. I helped him set up a google and gmail account yet he was getting frustrated as it wasn't registering on his new phone. We went and updated his new phone into his google and hopefully that works.

He didn't know how to get to settings so I helped him with that and helped him get onto my internet and now he's calming down and seems to be feeling better about it. But he was frustrated for a bit and seemed to lose his patience.

It's so important to have patience with anything. The possibilities of anything causing us to lose patience is endless. If you don't possess patience, you need to quickly learn how to have some. It will get you much further in life if you can manage your patience for things.

Just like me this morning as well. I had gone to the post office as I made a sale yesterday with Etsy and discovered it this morning. I had sold a pair of finger-less mitts. I was so excited. I brought my camera as you never know when there is going to be an image to snap.

The Travelled Cup in my town had a fuchsia plant hanging. On the way back from the post office, I stopped to take a few pictures of me by a tall shrub of white flowers. Then closer to my apartment in the park were lilacs in bloom.

I arrived in the back to chat with a neighbor who was waiting for her taxi. After chatting, I went upstairs. I discovered my debit card wasn't in my pocket. Panicking, I went back downstairs and traced my steps and sure enough there it was on the edge of the sidewalk next to where I had been standing. Lucky.

Patience is key to everything sometimes. If you get so bent out of shape, frustrated and on the verge of yelling it's going to do you no good. Stop, think about what you need to do next as there's always a solution to whatever it may be.

Tomorrow always comes so there will be a way to resolve issues. No matter how big or small things always work out somehow. It may not always be what we wanted. It may not come in a way you expected, but there is always change to make something better.

Patience is a virtue. My mom used to say this to me as a young girl and I've always stuck by it. I have a lot of patience sometimes and other times it does wear thin. We're all human and we make mistakes.

Jennifer Jo Fay

Copyrighted May 2017

Keep Writing! Don't Stop

Good advice! Keep writing! I'm going to make myself write more today. I don't have a set routine for writing. It just happens when it happens.

I hate the days when you start off the day thinking you will write a lot and then it ends up you did everything but write.

Yesterday was one of those days. I thought I would write, kept telling myself I still had hours in the day to write and instead I finished knitting a headband for the farmer's market, started another one with finger weight yarn and I snacked on potato chips, ate cheesecake I made for my boyfriend's birthday and I cooked supper.

Not to mention surfing the web on my iPod. Or rather, surfing E bay. Birthday shopping for my girls and fun little make up treats. I put on red lipstick for the first time in years and my boyfriend got a kick out of that.

I bought the red Revlon lipstick for part of the cover for my newest novel. Just thoughts in the works on that as of now. And after I put it on, I forgot to twist the lipstick down and screwed up the top of the lipstick slightly. I think I can touch it up, but it's not a perfect formed lipstick now. Darn. I'm thinking of dragging the lipstick across part of an antique mirror for part of the cover. Not sure.

So yesterday, no writing got done. The hours dwindled, we watched American Beauty. I hadn't seen that in years. Definitely not worth watching again, but we did. He gets the movies from the library and doesn't know what I have seen.

He brought back Million Dollar Baby last week and that was really good. Sad but good.

I kept thinking I would put the iPod down, grab that notebook (steno book) that was beside me on my card table I will actually be breaking down tonight for the farmer's market. The weather looks like it's going to be good in my town tomorrow. Yay. Praying for no wind like last week. My fingers were so cold that day, I was determined to grab one of my fingerless mitts but I didn't.

I've got to yank out one of my legwarmers as it probably won't fit a person's leg.

I decided to call it a night after 9pm after drinking a sweet tea. Peach. I love the Pure Leaf peach tea. Raspberry is good as well.

I grabbed the phone, the iPod, my camera, and the steno pad and my black fine tip marker. Thought I was going to write. Right? No. Didn't even look at my phone. No iPod. I kept thinking of hearing that person again blare her TV. Earlier in the evening one of my neighbors blared her TV so loud I could hear it coming into my living room and drowning my TV. I could hear her phone go off and part of a conversation.

I had gone down with the trash to see where it was coming from as it could have been by a nearby pub. But no. When I came up, whoever had it blaring stopped. Almost as if noticing I was peeved about it.

I didn't even look at the camera that I had taken a bunch of pictures on yesterday.

So, today, I guess I am writing. Two posts on this blog. The one I haven't written on in about a year and a half or longer. Sorry. I guess I should keep writing on this. I finally put the link to my Amazon author page next to the blog. Don't know why I hadn't done it before. Well, for the longest time, I didn't know how to copy and paste the links. Now I know how to do that as I've been promoting in the FB groups for a long time.

I'm going to make myself finish the short story I started this morning. About my dream I had.

It really doesn't matter when you write as long as you do come back to it. I have my spurts of writing for 4 to 5 hours in a day and days when I don't write but knit. It's a balancing act. If you're not in the mood, then don't write.

Although it is good to try to write each day if you can. You think you won't have anything to write about but you will. Surprise yourself.

Jennifer Jo Fay
Copyrighted May 2017

New Adventures

It's been a while since I have posted on my blog. Chock that up to balancing other agenda. I've published a lot more since I posted last. I am now up to about 44 published books including novels, poetry, recipe books and two knitting books on Amazon.

I've just started doing my local farmer's market this year and sold two of my paper back novels last weekend. It was very cold and I am hoping this weekend is better. Last weekend, my umbrella fell off two times as it was so windy. The first time, it fell on top of another vendor I was talking to. I was so embarrassed and luckily she was fine.

I am currently writing a new novel, Loving Her Until Infinity (erotica version) which is about 91 pages so far. I published the mystery version which has the two main characters in it as well but is an alternate story line.

I also have a new poetry book in the works and some days just feel like writing poetry. It depends on the day as to what I do. Lately, I've been knitting a lot also as I've needed to have a lot of knitted product for the farmer's market as well as my drawings, paper dolls and the books.

I've been taking the train to visit my kids and that is working out fine. Except we have to make sure our voices aren't too loud. Meaning I can't be on the phone with my best friend. I have learned from experience I have to make my phone calls to her elsewhere. But I'm not going to not talk to my kids or knitting friends when they visit me in the library. I need to talk to my kids.

I tried my hand at Ukrainian egg dying and will continue to do that also when the mood hits. I'm Lithuanian. My boyfriend is thinking I could have Jewish in me. I wouldn't know for sure until I take a DNA test and I don't know if I want to fork over the money to do that. It's in the past, but I guess if I am curious enough, I will bite the bullet.

I've got a few recipe books in the works, one on Biscotti. Those are going slower.

I've been replenishing a few of my dolls and recently bought a new composition doll that is very pretty. I bought Crissy doll as I used to have her as a kid. I'm slowly preparing myself for grandchildren. That should be a while.

My oldest is going to be a senior in college next Fall. He would probably be the first to make me a Nana.

My youngest, Julia, has taken up embroidery and made me a number one mom embroidery for Mother's Day. My goal is to get it framed next month.

I've got two daughter birthdays coming up next month and am excited to give them some cool gifts and introduce my boyfriend to the family.

He is a neighbor whose wife passed away about a year and a half ago. We've been dating for a while.

A good laugh, he's fodder for the fiction. Like everyone needs to know, we writers can use anything you say or do. Some of the words he comes up with find their way into some of the novels.

And this morning, he's found my way into a short story that is sort of based on a dream I had this morning.

The short story book is going to take a while before I publish that. I've got only thirty pages so far and don't come up with lots of short stories.

Anyhow, that's what I've been doing in a nutshell. Still writing, publishing and knitting. And I may try my hand at embroidery too. Plus I'm going to do a little bit of patchwork quilting. I bought a few square packs already cut.

Jennifer Jo Fay
Copyrighted May 2017