About Me

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My friends call me Elldee. And breaking the half century mark has been highly motivating: happy wife, mother, writer, teacher, day dreamer.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

A Stab at a Self-interview: Question 10 ~ Newsletter news

What have you been doing that's writing related but not actually writing one of your books?

I'm glad you asked because I have taken the plunge and am busy putting together a newsletter subscriber system.

I'm a newbie at this particular process, so I am learning as I go. My plans include having a subscribe button on my blog, nothing overly demanding, just an option for my readers who visit my blog and read my books. Of course, anybody who accidentally drops by and would like to subscribe will be welcomed as well.

What's going to be in the newsletter?
  • Upcoming books in my series
    • Standing Stone (fantasy magic)
    • Students of Jump (time-travel scifi) 
  • Upcoming sales for my books
  • Publication of those new books
  • New series plans and publications
  • A tidbit about me and my activities in my non-writing life

I also intend to add the option to subscribe in my books, and if I'm feeling particularly adventurous, I will figure out how to add the option to my Facebook page. I hope I can type with crossed fingers.

You can assume I'll also be writing these newsletters soon. Just not today. And I will not be sending them out more often than once a month as I pretty much give family, work and novel writing priority in my life. Lately, my dogs have been nabbing most of my free time (but we'll save discussion of that for another interview day, or maybe a newsletter ;)) Blogging and newsletters will run second on the must-do-soon list. But they will occur, just not more often than monthly.

And that is what I am doing writing-related but not actually writing.


Saturday, July 8, 2017

A Stab at a Self-interview: Question 9 ~ Social media and me

Do you spend a lot of time on social media?

Hmm. Not like I used to. In the past I gave a lot of time to Twitter and Google+ (made a lovely friend and joined a wonderful group). I have an account with Pinterest and Goodreads as well, but I visit rarely. I've since narrowed my activity to Facebook and keeping up this blog. I just can't be split all over the place keeping an internet presence, writing and publishing, and working the day job.

Even my efforts at keeping those two sites up are cranked down quite a bit. I visit Facebook once a day and read the two groups I like, post a comment or two and maybe visit my books page and make a post there. As for this blog, I am trying to post once a week on Saturdays. Even so, I've missed a few days here and there.

But my writing is a daily effort. I am working on the third book in the Standing Stone fantasy series and am meeting the goals I set for myself to ensure a publication in September. When I'm not writing and putting in my brief social media visits, then I'm spending time with my husband and learning to play a musical instrument.

I posted awhile back about keeping the mind sharp. One of the points I made is how much learning to play an instrument it related to maintaining memory. So I've taken the plunge and I'm learning to play the twelve hole ocarina. I won't be posting any songs online anytime in the near, and probably distant, future. I am about as novice a musician as they come. I am learning about notes and rests and treble clef, etc. It's another language to say the least.

So no time for a big social media presence. But I do have author pages at Smashwords and on Amazon for those interested in knowing me better than just what I post here.

I am working up the courage to start a newsletter. It was one of my summer goals. Summer is not over yet, but I won't promise anything. I'll have to learn how to create an email base, a newsletter, setup signup pages and add them to my books as well as this site. But it will have to wait for the completed draft of book 3 and the weeks it will be with my beta readers when I can take a short writing break.


Saturday, July 1, 2017

A Stab at a Self-interview: Question 8 ~ losing a draft to electronic failure

Have you ever lost a manuscript or partial draft to electronic failure?

Happily, I can say no. But there is more to my answer than that. I can say no because I have several different automated backups that I use because I have had computers throw up their hands and go black screen on me. And I do panic for a couple minutes. But then I remember I have two external drives (manual system), one Dropbox (automated), one network drive (automated) and emailed copies.

When my daughter was in her senior year in high school, we went downtown and I took pictures of her. They came out amazing and I worked on them all evening. The next day my computer went black. My automated backup system was for all my writing, not for pictures or other work. I had a manual backup system with a external hard drive I used for those since they changed less frequently. I put off backing those lovely pictures up for the next day. Heartbreak.

My daughter and I went out to recreate those pictures. We ended up with other nice ones, but not the ones my memory was certain were the best I'd ever taken.

The Geek Squad came to my rescue and retrieved all the pictures and other documents. Since then I've bought a hard drive reader and when the same computer went black again, I retrieved my recent documents myself.

However, even though I had not lost any work in progress, I had feared that I lost my folder on future novel ideas. It was in a section of my drive I did not bother to back up more than once a year. Thankfully, the Geek Squad retrieved it along with my daughters pictures (which were a great as I remembered them), which in retrospect makes me quite happy as I am currently writing book three of the fantasy series that was inspired by two-pages of notes I kept in that infrequently saved folder and it would have been gone had my luck not held out.

One doesn't have to lose everything to learn a lesson: save everything!