Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Aunt Carmen - Finding My Father Part II

The visit with Aunt Carmen today went absolutely fantastic. Wonderful woman, easy to talk to and there was an instant connection - a familiar connection - the moment I saw her.

Wachapreague, which locals call "the little city by the sea," was just as I remembered it. I had been there before as they have a carnival going every summer to earn money for the fire department. Funny, she lived directly across the street from the carnival grounds, only I never knew it of course.

I always loved Wachapreague. You could smell the salt from the ocean just yards from the carnival ground. It was a fisherman's paradise with fishing boats lining the piers and guys in pick-up trucks loading their gear into them regardless of the weather.

Even though it was January and the wind was a bit nippy, they were still out there. Guess you can't keep a fisherman from their calling.

I pulled into the mission called the Alison Jolly House (Casa Esperatza in Spanish) and pushed open the heavy chipped-paint door, not knowing what was on the other side, but believe it or not, even though I should have been nervous, I wasn't.

Aunt Carmen greeted me and introduced me to the migrant workers who were in there with their children, gathering bags of goodies for fifty cents each. A bargain. They could get anything they wanted for only fifty cents. She said that the stuff used to be free, but people were taking advantage of her and going out with bagfuls, so she had to charge a token fifty cents. She said that it cut down on that.

One Spanish woman asked her how much were her goods and Aunt Carmen said, "What do you have?" The young Spanish woman, with two dark-haired little girls, pulled out a handful of change and Aunt Carmen said, "That'll do."

She gave me a tour of the mission, explaining what she was doing there. She was a minister who lived in Orlando, Florida, who had a calling to help the migrants in a little town on the Eastern Shore and that's where she's been since 1999. She showed me the framed copy of an article the Virginian Pilot (daily paper out of Virginia Beach) that she hung proudly on the wall. This was a labor of love for her. Definitely her calling.

The Spaniards would talk in Spanish and Aunt Carmen would respond back, then translate for me. I even picked up a word or two after listening to them. Really neat.

After they left, we talked. We wanted to figure out why it was that my mother and father separated in the first place. She said she knew someone who was quite elderly but would know and she promised to contact her and let me know.

I found out all kinds of neat things. I have Italian heritage which I believe was the most interesting. I also have four Popes as ancestors.

My father is 6'4" and I have his mouth. He used to be blonde, but now his hair is white. He does not know of my visit today yet or that I've been found.

I have a brother, possibly two. His name is Douglas, he's in his forties, married, with one child and lives in Salisbury, Maryland, which is only 45 minutes from me. He's my next contact as soon as I rest up from today's adventure.

I also might have a brother named Terri (my notes I took during the whole conversation are sketchy as I didn't want to look like a reporter, lol) and a sister or two.

I think knowing that I have a brother is about the greatest news you could tell me. I always wanted a brother and envied those who did. Now I do.

My grandmother died of breast cancer. Funny, whenever doctors would ask me if there was cancer in the family, I'd say no. Guess I can't say that now.

I found out my father's physical address and his phone number. I will not do anything until he knows of me and that I want to see him.

After we talked, she wanted to show me where my grandmother and grandfather were buried. She also showed me her plots and she showed me where they had just buried a Spanish baby. On her plot. Maybe they didn't have any money. This is the kind of woman she is.

She then showed me the church where she holds service. I took pictures so maybe soon I'll be able to show them to you. It was a beautiful church. She apologized at the condition of it, but to me, it was simply breath-taking, even in the middle of winter.

She also showed me where an uncle lived. A Tommy Colonna. And then she took me to her house where she showed me pictures of her husband. I couldn't tell if it looked like my father or not since I've never seen him nor any pictures of him.

As I was leaving, I hugged her and asked her to do one thing for me - tell my father that I want to meet him. She said she would.

I got in my car feeling elated. The pieces of the puzzle of my life are coming together - one piece at a time, but very important pieces that make up a part of my life I never knew about. It's like whoa I have a family. I have brothers and sisters and aunts and uncles - could my life be better than this?

I did vow to myself that if my father refuses to see me, I would not get upset and that I would understand. Supposedly, my family refused to let him see me, so I could understand what pain he must have gone through.

But, there are still unanswered questions that I need to know. Why didn't he try to contact me after all these years? Or, did he and give up? Or, did he try to block that part of his life out?

I don't know...so many unanswered questions that I will find the answers to.

For, after all, these are my roots and it is those roots that give me strength to be who I really am.

Monday, January 30, 2006

I Have a Father!

I wanted to wait until tomorrow to blog about this, but I'm sure I'll have so much to tell then that I'll not have space and I want to keep record of everything that's happening so I begin tonight.

I have found my father. And he's alive.

Almost fifty-two years ago, there was a court battle. My mother's family against my father's family to see who gets custody of the offspring of Jeri Jarman Colonna and Ernest Lee Colonna. A baby girl. Who didn't have a chance to choose.

My mother's family won.

After the court hearing, I never saw my father again. According to my mother's side of the family, he wasn't worth knowing put in other words I fail to remember.

I grew up a fatherless daughter.

Sure, I had a step-father who delighted in using my sibling, me and my mother as punching bags, so needless to say, having a father meant nothing to me.

Or did it...

I spent the rest of my life wondering (to myself, of course) what he looked like, if I looked like him and if he was even still alive. More importantly, I wondered if he ever thought of that little baby girl who he would never know as his daughter.

While all the kids had both mothers and fathers, I was denied that right.

Two months after I married, my mother died. She took with her the secrets of my father and I would never be able to ask questions ever again.

Not that I asked any when she was alive as talking about him was taboo. After all, he wasn't worth it, so they said.

I loved my mother more than anything in the world. She tried to be a good mother, but something was always missing. My next-door-neighbor, I envied so, because she had a father who taught her how to ride a bike and, more importantly, someone to call Daddy. I never had that privilege.

Five years after my mother passed away, I gave birth to a little girl. A healthy bouncing baby girl I named Melissa. She was beautiful. She had red hair just like everyone on my mother's side, which made me question why it was that I was the only blonde. Was it the fact my father, so they told me, was also blonde? So many unanswered questions.

After Melissa was one-year-old, for some unknown reason, I wanted to try to contact the Daddy I never knew. I'm not even sure why. I'm thinking it was a hormonal new mother kind of thing going on, but the urge to find him was ever present. I just had to know if he was still alive, if nothing else.

I found his mother's (my grandmother) phone number, took a breath and prepared to tell a woman I never knew that I was alive and that she was a great-grandmother.

"Don't call here again," was her response. I'm sure he never got the message that I had even called.

I put the phone back in the holder and walked away, empty. That was my last hope.

I never thought anymore about contacting my father again. It was obvious to me they didn't want to know me or even acknowledge me. It was like a shot right through my heart, but I went on my business and never contacted them again. After all, I figured that if I never knew them, then I'd never be able to initiate feelings with them one way or another. But, still, the nagging to find him persisted.

Years later, I was on a local board on the internet and I noticed people were placing ads to find lost loved ones. I thought, what the heck, and placed an ad for a plea that if anyone knew anything about my father, Ernest Lee Colonna, to get in touch with me.

That was three years ago.

Tonight, I get a call.

It is a man on the other end named Jamieson all the way from Orlando, Florida.

Seems he was doing a family tree on the Colonna family and one thing led to another and they found out that there was a little girl that his uncle had sired fifty-two years ago and had never seen.

I can imagine what was going through his head at the time...was she still alive? Would she even be willing to listen to me when I tell her that her father was still alive? Should I even try to contact her?

Jamieson used the search engines and found my websites. He said that when he saw my photo, he knew. This was Ernest Lee's daughter.

I listened to the young man tell me about my father and his family. Seems the Colonnas came to the Eastern Shore of Virginia in 1650. The first one was named Owen Colonna.

I found out more, too. My grandfather's name is Arthur Colonna and my great-grandfather's name is John William Colonna. And the woman who wouldn't talk to me over the phone twenty-seven years ago? She had since passed away.

According to Jamieson, I have aunts and uncles and cousins I've never heard about. What a concept.

I am to meet one of them tomorrow. Her name is Carmen Colonna and lives in Wachapreague. She's a minister who helps migrant workers in the area. She wants to meet me. And, she even said she'd try to find a picture of my father.

And my father? He's been sick, but he's alive. They almost lost him a couple months ago, but now he seems to be doing well. I think he said he was about 73.

He's living with family in Mardela Springs, Maryland, a hop and a skip from me.

So many emotions are running through me right now. I don't have any immediate family, not really, except for a sister I don't really speak to and an aunt who I don't get along with.

I'm a very private person and where I have books to write and a million other things to work on, this suits fine with me.

But, is it time for me to find my roots?

What does my father look like and what would it feel like to see him for the first time? What would I say? Would I cry and say I'm sorry?

So many emotions.

Tomorrow I meet Aunt Carmen. I'll keep you posted. This will sure be interesting.

Wish me luck and godspeed, please! I'm going to need it...

I Hate Writing Fiction

If you knew what I'd been through the last couple of days, you'd know why I came out of the closet with this.

I hate, hate, hate fiction.

Okay, back up.

Sisterhood got turned down by Dream Agent. I thought, well, maybe I need to rewrite it (not thinking that maybe one agent might like it while another won't...noooo....), so I took out the prologue and totally wrote a new beginning chapter in the place of it. More chick/hen litty type of chapter. It seemed to look better...I had a few people tell me that it was better than the previous version with the prologue and everything, but now that I have added a whole brand new chapter, it has to blend in with the rest of book, right?

You would think that this would be easy. Not!

I've introduced a new character who lasts until the first chapter. Very minor character, but I'm hoping that when I go back in the book and reshape it to fit this first chapter, no one will miss her gone.

And, since I've already introduced the protag's daughter in this new chapter, I'll have to go into the next chapter that's already written and which she's introduced and change it.

Plus, the previous version has her divorced for ten years, yet this new chapter has her newly divorced but now I'm trying to get the dates right. Guess you'd have to be there.

Another thing. The title.

This book has gone through fifty million titles. Started out with "Over the Hill," then for some odd reason, I liked the word "Sisterhood," so it became "The Sisterhood of the Inner Goddess," since it's about three women whose goal is to reclaim their inner goddess once again.

Then, someone suggested "Sisterhood of the Traveling Granny Panties" since it's a road story. I have to admit, I died when I saw that for the first time, but do I want to can the Inner Goddess part?

Then, someone today suggested "The Golden Goddess Girls" playing on the Golden Girls theme.

Then, someone else suggested "Road to the Inner Goddess".

Most liked the Sisterhood Traveling Granny Panties title, thought it was funny and agreed it would attract attention.

Now I'm thinking about this Golden Goddess Girls thing...that soooo has a ring to it. So, how do I incorporate Golden Goddess Girls into the Traveling Granny Panties title?

Now you see why I absolutlely hate fiction?????

Friday, January 27, 2006

Just Stick to the Facts, Ma'am and Wearing James Frey's Shoes

I'll tell ya...seems the phrase lately is, "If you're going to write a memoir, you better make dang sure it's truthful. If you want to stretch the truth a bit, call if fiction. Or don't even consider having Oprah back you up."

I'm sure all of y'all have read about how James Frey, author of "A Million Little Pieces" and who just so happens to have the words "Oprah's Book Club" as broad as daylight right beside his title on Amazon (btw, his ranking is at #666 as we speak), stretched the truth a bit in said book for the sole purpose to SELL his book. While truth might be stranger than fiction, it seems James didn't think so.

But, let's get to this stretching the truth thing.

As a journalist, columnist and humor writer, I've written hundreds - well almost hundreds...there I go again...truth! truth! - of columns about my life told in a humorous way.

I've also written front page human interest stories for my local newspaper, The Eastern Shore News (Gannett publication). Well, okay, one. Man, this truth thing is really getting on my nerves.

And, yes, I have stretched the truth a bit, especially in my humor pieces. But isn't that expected?

When I'm writing a humor column about something that occured in my life, people expect it to be true and I'll admit most of it is. But, then, there's that 2% that might have stretched the truth a bit. That 2% barely goes noticeable and isn't enough to warrant a reader to get all bent out of shape and call me down on it, but how many of us who write columns are guilty of this? Did Erma Bombeck stretch the truth enough to become a bestseller or was her life just like anyone else's? Was her book, "Family - The Ties That Bind...And Gag!" simply written because she exaggerated a point or two for laughs?

As writers, we have incredible imaginations. Besides that, we know when a piece can be "refined," "made better," "improved," and that often results in stretching the truth a bit in order to get that laugh, cry, sigh, whatever.

But, is there a fine line between writing humor columns and writing memoirs?

Guess it must be because the world is in an uproar over James Frey and his incredible tale which everyone presumed to be the truth and which they are up in arms because they found out it isn't.

To humor me, and to express a point that needs expressing, let's put ourselves in James Frey's shoes for a moment.

I haven't read the book but I've read where he said some woman - sorry, don't recollect just who this woman was - hung herself instead of slitting her wrists like she really did.

Well, to me, both represents death and to James, as a writer who wants to make his book the best it can be for reading pleasure, chooses the woman to hang herself which he's probably ready to do himself at any moment. Hang, slit wrists, it's all the same.

In another incidence, he claims he was in jail for a much longer stay than he quoted in the book. Hey, if you're in jail, it seems like eternity so perhaps James is stretching the truth a bit but to him, it might have seemed that long. Or maybe he used the longer length in time to express his point...it's called exaggerating, but it's all relative.

I agree that a memoir should be fact-based. If it isn't, then call it what it is.

This is interesting because I have written my own memoir. Well, only two or three chapters...just can't get that stretching the truth thing down pat just yet but is there a fine line between a memoir and an autobiography? I say there is.

An autobiography is definitely fact-based. So why didn't James Frey call it an autobiography? Because it wan't fact-based entirely. He knew that much anyway.

Columnists and memoir-authors have been doing this for years but I think the reason why Frey's boat has been blown out of the water is because of Oprah Winfrey.

Oprah has standards. She has an empire that depends on her and she must meet those standards in order to keep her empire.

The world has learned that Oprah has endorsed a book that was supposed to be fact-based, yet how many other Oprah Winfrey Book Club Inductees have done the same thing?

I say it's all too confusicating to me. And the next time I write a humor column, I'm going to stick to the facts. Will I receive less laughs? Who knows, but they say truth is stranger than fiction. Just might try it. Only the problem is, no one would believe it.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

WANT AD: LOOKING FOR DREAM LITERARY AGENT

I admit it, not only have I gone over the edge, but I'm obsessed.

Yesterday, I received a rejection from Dream Agent #1.

Okay, so I've decided I'm not going to hang myself or throw the idea of getting a literary agent that will get me a major deal at some hot shot NY publishing house out the window as I was thinking about doing yesterday, so I have another strategy that will either get me strange looks or will get me that star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame...

So here's Strategy #1:

I'm going to put out a plea to agents out there in Agent Land to please give my book a chance. It's a cool little book really about three women who have turned the big 5-0 and travel across country to attend their thirtieth high school reunion. Only, it's not all fluff. There's also suspense and a little eye-opening revelation about what it's really like to be over the hill approaching the last years of life when you thought that those last years meant sitting on that rocker on the front porch, sipping elderberry tea while watching the grandkids tear up your rose garden...

Okay, if you're interested so far, here's a few prerequisites that must be adhered to...

1.) You have to looooove my book.

2.) You have to get me an advance that will make me set for life.

3.) You have to get me a publisher that will do all the promoting while I sweetly smile for the cameras as paparazzi hound me while I'm sitting butt naked in my hot tub in Beverly Hills.

4.) You must get me a movie offer. Okay, now this is set in stone. You must have Meg Ryan as the leading actress. I know, I know, that might be a little tricky, but Meg would love the part as Celia Fields Gladstone. Believe me.

5.) The pig must be white. I know how you publishers are and you like to change things, but Fluffy must be white. Any other color would clash with her red hat.

6.) Oh yeah, I must have that star on the Walk of Fame once you get all that publishing stuff out of the way. Beg, borrow and steal if you have to. I won't tell. Promise.

7.) Very important...it must be in the contract that I get a full-length billboard with me and my book in Times Square. No little itty bitty sign on the back end of a Trailways.

8.) Royalties. This is negotiable as I know publishers must pay for those condos in Miami, but I do insist that they come on time. No diddley-daddling. My hot tub is going to be very expensive, not to mention all the traveling I'm going to have to do to visit the homeless, feed the poor and pay for those designer hats for Fluffy.

9.) As MY agent, you must answer my phone calls even if it's in the middle of the night and I'm drunker than hell.

10.) And ten, you must not fold up your business and join the Peace Corps right in the middle of my fantastic publishing adventure. This is a big no no. I will really find that rope and hang myself then. After I hang you first.

Well, I guess that's about it. Anyone interested, please email me at thewriterslife@yahoo.com. I'm available 24/7. Oops, forgot to mention. If I don't get back to you right away, don't worry. I'm just getting myself psyched for the next rejection.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Rejections...Gotta Love'em...NOT

So much for loving Mondays.

This has been one bummer of a day. It's cloudy outside, I have the day off which is terrific, only BF walks in with a letter from an agent I queried. After they had asked me to send them the full, I waited for two months and because this agent is my dream agent, I didn't query anyone else.

And I hate being psychic because as soon as he handed me that letter, I knew.

I would have received a phone call if it had been an acceptance. I knew.

The cloud of despair was already forming around me and I stood there, almost out of body like in a trance, and opened the envelope slowly. I knew.

And there it was. Sorry, but we can't offer you representation.

I didn't tell BF. I just stood there. Then, I put the letter in a spare room I have and closed the door. I didn't want to even look at it.

I walked back out and sat down at the computer and with fifty-thousand things to do that were on the agenda today, I couldn't lift a finger.

And I haven't moved since. I know all about rejections. I know to get it out there and everywhere just in case one turns you down. I know to kiss it off to at least I tried, but this freaking hurts.

And I know better. I know how the publishing world works. And yet I fell right into that trap - of thinking that I have what she wanted.

Well, I didn't have what she wanted and I'm trying to get rid of this cloud that has enveloped my head...and it won't go away.

I do have a publisher and a good one, Zumaya Publications, but I just wanted that one chance, that one chance to get a traditional publisher that actually paid advances and all the perks they could give out because they have the money where small press doesn't.

Ah well...guess I have a house to clean...if I can just find the strength to get up.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Let's Hear it for TGIM Day!!!

I never claimed to be normal, but I think I'm in the minority when I say I look forward to Mondays. They have TGIF for Fridays, why can't they have TGIM for Mondays?

Doubt it would work.

For the vast majority, most have to either go to work or school and Monday seems to be one of the worse workdays of the week.

Have you ever heard anyone say, "Thank God it's Monday?"

Doubt it.

But I live for Mondays.

Mondays and Tuesdays actually.

Where the rest of the world usually has the week-end off, I have Monday and Tuesday off.

I'm going to get up and welcome Helena Bachmann-Milligan, author of "Teeth in a Pickle Jar," into my group, TWL Author Talks. After that, I'm going to work on a book cover...actually two...for my "clients," then I'm going to clean house.

And I mean clean house. I'm not going to bore you with the gory details, but I'm going to turn this house upside down.

In between cleaning, I'm going to finish my free e-book, "101 Things You Never Knew About Soul Mates," send my latest article, "What is a Karmic Soul Mate?" to fifty million online magazines that I syndicate to, work on my e-book promotion book and get that pretty well almost finished, update my website, add covers to The Writersville Gang's webpage, gather some questions to ask Helena Bachmann-Milligan in case the other members can't think of any, work on a new bookmark design, and have the house finished before I pick up my son and bring him over to eat crabcakes with us for dinner.

So, while the rest of the world is slaving away in corporate America or wherever, I'm going to be home...working.

Wait a minute. Something isn't right here. I thought this was my day off????

Thursday, January 19, 2006

It's American Idol, Baby

According to Variety Magazine, Fox's "American Idol" kicked off its fifth season with its best-ever premiere numbers Tuesday night, rising nearly 10% ahead of last year's score, according to preliminary nationals from Nielsen.

I know because I was one of those numbers.

I LOVE American Idol. I was quite perturbed the rocker guy from last year didn't make it, though. If I had been one of the judges, he would have. That guy had the most beeeaaautiful eyes, noticed that?

I guess eyes have nothing to do with it.

I would love to be a judge. But the problem is, I'd be like Paula and wouldn't have the heart to say, "Hey guy, you suck."

I would love to be able to say "Welcome to Hollywood!" Wouldn't that be a gas.

Well, all I have to say is, if any of them want to step down, I'd be glad to take their place. See the picture on the right? Wouldn't I look terrific in the hot seat?

It's American Idol, Baby!

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

The Writersville Project

I'm finally done with a project that has kept me at it for two weeks. The picture on the right is a hint.

Sexy little number, eh? No, I've not joined the can can girls, but the thought sure does sound like fun!

You see, I moderate an online writing group called The Writer's Life. We call ourselves The Writersville Gang and I thought wouldn't it be neat if we had our own webpage, but not just a regular old boring webpage with all our books, something a bit more exciting.

First of all, I turned the members who were participating in my little project into divas. Each one got their own personalized diva graphic.

Then, I put all of them on a magazine cover. Some of them turned out so real that one of them told me that she had people believing it!

If you want to see what I'm talking about, click on http://www.dorothythompson.net/Writersville.html.

We've got big plans for the upcoming months including publishing an ebook or two to give away so that others can see what fine writers we are. Cool, eh?

But, it's been fun and I'm almost sad it's finished and that now I have to go back to work...groan.

Oh, btw, if anyone wants to join the group, you'll see how on that link I just sent. Also, if you want your own diva graphic or your face on the cover of a national magazine, email me at thewriterslife@yahoo.com and we'll set things up. The price is only ten buckeroos, payable by Paypal. The funds will go towards helping to pay for the website, plus other promotional items.

Or, if you want these items free, join my group! As you can see by the link I just sent, these ladies are a scream. We have a few men in the group, too!

Well, it's back to work now that this project is finished. I want to get my free e-book finished so I can start sending it out, plus finish the proposal for the soul mate book. Work, work, work, it seems that's all I ever do. But at least I'm having fun. Okay, night John Boy...I'm going to catch a few zzzzzz's....

Monday, January 16, 2006

Celebrities Love Romancing the Soul!

I am just soooo excited!

This is unbelievable...my anthology has been sighted in the hands of celebrities! If you want to see who and why they'd even be interested in a book of soul mate stories, click here.

If I can calm down for a minute, and after you have clicked on that link to see what I'm talking about, you'll see what I've been up to for the last two weeks. I've missed you guys and I promise I'll check out everyone's blogs today. I've also been working my butt off with a new project for my writing group which should be done in a few days. When it's ready for the public view, I'll pass the link over to ya.

On the literary front, still no word from Dream Agent. I know I'll kick myself in the butt for not sending off to other agents who have requested the partial, whatever, but I feel that if I put all my energies into this one, maybe some of those positive vibes will take effect on her and she'll tell me she wants the book. Ha...like that's going to happen...

On the homefront, I'm mad at BF. I might not be going to Las Vegas. Seems he procrastinated getting in contact with the people who are booking this trip and it filled up. The guy he spoke to over the week-end said that if they have someone drop out, he'll get the spot, but why in the hell did he wait this long to get in touch with him when he knows full well to CALL the freaking people when they leave messages over the phone to get in contact with them for confirmation???

Men. Okay, not all men, but this is really bothering me. If you have been following, this was a free trip to Las Vegas and I was going to take a picture of that Welcome to California sign which incidentally was only twenty minutes away and I really needed that picture for lots of personal reasons.

Oh well. Men.

So, I mope.

I'm trying not to think about it. Hoping that someone will cancel. Would you cancel a free trip to Las Vegas?

Arrgggg....

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Judging a Book By Its Cover

I am book cover obsessed.

I can't pass by a book in a store without admiring its cover but what regular people see isn't quite what I see. I analyze. For instance, in the grocery store tonight, I only had to get some cat food, a 2-liter of Pepsi, and of course a couple things I hadn't planned on buying like chocolate-coated vanilla ice-cream bars, some of that delicious Cracker Barrel sharp cheddar and some white cheddar Cheez-Its. Ymmm.

But, anyway, I had to stop off at the magazine aisle and gaze at the books that were there. My main purpose is not to buy (I already have stacks of those) but to see how their covers are put together. Is the author's name larger than the name of the book and why is that? What colors blended well and what graphics did they use to match the title? Could I do better?

I don't know, but I bet I could give some of them a run for their money.

In between a couple of covers I've promised to friends, I redesigned my website. If you'd like to see what I've done, click here. I'm having so much fun designing things, I can't stop.

Anyway, back to covers, I feel this way...I think it would be so hard having someone else do my future covers. I know that's silly but as I've gotten my feet wet with the process, there's no reason for a shitty cover, if you know what I mean, and if I get a shitty cover, I'll go beserk. I will become the author from hell on them.

I have seen some shitty covers, too, and there's no reason for it. Of these shitty covers, I wonder what in the hell was in the cover designer's mind at the time? They slap a poorly designed graphic on the front, throw on a few letters for the title and the author's name and bingo bango there's your cover. Ack. And it's not just the e-publishers or the small press, but I've seen shitty covers from traditional houses as well.

But as the author, we can't say a thing because at that point it's out of our hands. We're just so happy we are published, we go blind to that fact that some day down the road, we're going to say, "Man, that's a real shitty cover."

God, let's hope that never happens because I know I'm going to go postal on whoever was responsible, publishing contract or not.

But, you know, I think it's all in the eye of the beholder. What is Salisbury Steak to one person is meat loaf to another, you know? What might be shitty to me might be the most beautiful thing to someone else. Isn't that the way art is anyway? It's highly individualized.

Anyway, speaking of books, Dream Agent still hasn't responded. Exactly two months. Still too early.

So, I make covers...redesign my website...paint my toenails...twiddle my thumbs...pray...

Monday, January 09, 2006

The Future of Marriage?

I just read something funny.

I was researching and came upon an interesting observation by someone. They were recommending the following system for the future of marriage:

"First of all," she says, "let's reject all notions of eternity from the outset. When marriage was created, forever was a lot less daunting than it is today. Forever back then was a lot less time than it is with the advent of modern medicine, etc. Also people don't need to get married so they can have kids to help them work the fields as was the case in many pre-industrial societies. So we will go back to the old Irish way of making marriage an annual contract. Every year, each spouse will have the option to renew the contract or walk away. This way people don't stay together just because it is a pain in the ass to get divorced."

This woman is a genius.

Why haven't we thought of this before? America means freedom of choice, then why can't we have the freedom of choosing if we want to stay in a marriage on an annual basis?

Wonder if it would work?

Sunday, January 08, 2006

101 Facts You Never Knew About Soul Mates

Ahh...my free ebook has taken on another face. I wasn't happy with the first one. The letters didn't stand out and I feel that this one really makes the letters more vivid.

I've not finished writing it, but at least the cover is done. Next step (after completing the book) will be to add it to the website as a freebie for buying my other book, How to Find and Keep Your Soul Mate. Man, I think this cover outshines the ebook I'm charging for!

Ah well.

Still haven't heard from the agent on my hen lit. It finally passed the two month mark. I'm still waiting...waiting...

On the home front, I never knew how many muscles I had that could ache until I made a trip up to my attic to put away the Christmas stuff, the Christmas tree (yeah, I'm behind on this, too) and whatever winter clothes we won't be wearing this year. So many clothes. Most of them ended up in the trash. I wouldn't even give them to the thrift shop.

Anyway, it's nice to see my living room again without all those boxes and bags. The dogs think they have a new home and don't know what to do with all this space.

BF is cooking tonight. Some kind of chicken tenders and fries. I don't cook. Or, let me put that in another way, if someone else is willing to do the cooking, who am I to disagree?

At least he doesn't burn the house down like I've tried to do in the past.

I need to soak in the tub now...the flies are starting to form circles...talk to you guys later...

Friday, January 06, 2006

Playing With Book Covers

Okay, I'm getting out of control.

Book covers have taken over my life. I can't wait until I get home to play around some more. Kathy Holmes, my dear friend, has written a book called Real Women Wear Red which is being represented by a top notch agent and is presently doing the publishing house rounds. I thought...hmmm...if I were her book designer, what kind of cover would I come up with? I mean, I have to practice you know.

So, this is what I came up with.

I call it the cover before the cover. The fake cover, you might say. Not bad if I say so myself. I might put it up at EbookCovers4U even.

I also came up with a fantastic cover for my hen lit, The Sisterhood Girls of the Inner Goddess. Oh man, I simply love it.

The Grand Canyon is the place where the girls get abducted and is the place they discover their inner goddess which they had all along only they didn't know it.

Gosh, I wonder what my girls are doing now? Still sitting in the pile of unread manuscripts or have they been picked up and taken to various places to be read? I hope they are having fun, but knowing them, they're probably getting into trouble.

Oh well, it's almost been 2 months and still nothing from the agent.

Guess I'll go back to making covers...

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Custom E-book Covers!

I am so behind in blogging and I hope my friends out there will excuse me, but I've gotten a new venture going and I promise I'll check on everyone's blogs tonight when I get home from work.

Well, the new venture is E-bookCovers4U, in which I design professional custom e-book covers. This is my new banner to the right and you can check out my website here.

I'm really excited about it because now I can get some great covers out there for people who need them and are tired of those unprofessional computerized covers. That's what made me even get into this in the first place.

Plus, it's about time we had control over our own covers, don't you think?

So, basically, it's geared towards self-publishing authors who sell e-books off their website. Most graphic artists charge a hundred bucks or more, but I'm selling them for the introductory price of $25 until March 31. Cool, eh?

Well, on the home front, work is killing me. As most of you know, I wait on tables at night but between getting this business going and finishing up my e-books and waiting for the agent to tell me she wants my book *heh*, and trying to please the masses at work who all they want is a decent meal and good service, I'm a wreck.

So, I'm off to take a nap but I wanted to let you guys know about this e-book cover venture and if you're interested, drop me an email and we'll talk. Have a cup of coffee. Shoot the breeze. Play Parcheesi. Whatever your little ol' heart desires...;o)

Y'all have fun now, ya hear?

Monday, January 02, 2006

Self-publishing Ebook Marketing, Oh Boy!

Okay, if you've been following, I've delved into the self-publishing e-book marketing business. Quite not as technical as it sounds. I'm not sure what happened to me but something did and it's been non-stop designing e-book covers and finishing up another soul mate e-book that I'm going to give away.

WHAT? GIVE IT AWAY?

Yep, you heard it. Give it away.

You see, there's a point to my insanity. I want to move my first e-book, HOW TO FIND AND KEEP YOUR SOUL MATE, and to do that means I have to promote it, which I'm sad to say I haven't even begun to promote in until the last couple of days. And to promote it, there's several things you can do...in fact, there's so much you CAN do that you would need a lifetime to do it all. I know. I've been there and still doing that.

I think it's to take my mind off this agent who has yet to get back to me. I don't know if I want to hear anything or not because if it's a rejection, that means crying bucketfuls and, quite frankly, I ain't got the time.

Anyway, back to this free e-book.

I've designed the cover, just haven't finished it, but that's a picture of it over to the right. Cool, isn't it?

There are millions of places to list your free e-book, too, plus a lot of other ways to get the word out about your book. I have a notebook full of those ideas, believe me.

I'm thinking about putting all these ideas into another e-book, but that's not for a couple months now.

I've even gotten my writing group on the bandwagon and they're all writing free e-books to promote their other books. We're having fun, that's all I got to say.

Tomorrow...groan...I go back to work after being off for two days and I'm not going to like it.

You guys don't do anything I wouldn't do while I'm gone, you hear?

Sunday, January 01, 2006

E-book-itis and My Killer New Cover!


First of all, Happy New Year everyone!

I'm starting out with a bang. I think I've finalized the cover of my e-book, How to Find and Keep Your Soul Mate. I'm going to try to upload it here...hope it works.

I've also revamped the website to go along with the new cover. If you'd like to take a peek, go here.

So, how about those resolutions?

I usually don't even make resolutions because I never keep them but this year, I'm not taking any chances of screwing anything up so my New Year's resolution this year is to become even more productive and also get my hen lit published.

Still haven't heard anything from this agent and I'm getting reeeeeal antsy.

My girls so want to be stars. Have you ever had three voices in your head all going "We want to be stars! We want to be stars!" I tried shutting them up but three to one, I might as well give in to them and do what I can.

Now that I have my e-book cover finished, it's time to work on my free e-books and finish my relationship how to book. I've just been so busy getting these e-books finished and the covers done, but I really need to go on and send off that proposal. Eek. Proposals.

I have an outline of what I'm going to put in it, but it's still WORK.

Anyway, that's what's going on. New Year's Eve was kinda quiet with the BF out to the slots and my daughter out celebrating, so it was just me and my doggies up until 4 in the morning trying to get this cover finished.

So, whatcha think? Did I do all right with the cover or should I change anything?