Sunday, October 30, 2011

Happy Halloween

Amazing weekend, family fun abound - trick-or-treating, pumpkin carving, football with a Texans win - priceless! I had a spectacular time and saw my first book go on sale to boot. How lucky am I?

Right now we are watching Coneheads, the kids first experience with them, Hahahaha. There are so many small stars in this film, it is insane! The kids are fascinated! I have to confess that I forgot how entertaining it is.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Taking the plunge

I did it.  I actually dove in head first - something I haven't done since before I had kids - and submitted RYDER ON THE STORM to Barnes and Noble's PubIt.  I feel very good about my decision and am pleased to be starting small.  In the end, as I discussed before, I grew tired of the agent/publishers game because I just want my books to be read and I am somebody who learns best by doing - so I did.  I am hoping for a lot of support from family and friends over the next few months and maybe a few positive reviews!  Thank you to those who have supported me through all of this.  Look for my book (under the pen name Violet Patterson) in the next few days! 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Soapbox moment - bullies suck!

So, it has taken far too long for my kindergartener to have the courage to expose some kids who are bullying him at school. He thought that just because they weren't violent or physical with him that it didn't constitute bullying. He was also scared because they are older kids. What is wrong with kids? I mean fourth graders picking on a kindergartener? Really? Does that make them feel tough?

What kinds if things do they do? Um, told him he looks stupid in his baseball cap, took his hat off his head and tossed it around, picked at his backpack, jumped at him and scared him, and in general mocked him (expressly his name). My daughter witnessed it this week and convinced him to tell me. I am proud of them both but when I asked my daughter if they ever messed with her she said "no, not really." It kind of makes me wonder if they are picking on the kid who won't speak up (my son has a speech delay and my daughter definitely could not be more outspoken). I get kids are mean, I remember, but I don't remember it ever being cool to pick on a kindergartener.

I place a lot of blame with the parents. It is their responsibility to teach their kids about bullying and I wonder if they were bullies themselves. I admit to doing some things I was not proud of back in the day and I definitely learned my lesson. Then I grew up which brought the revelation that bullying sucks and I never want my kids to feel or make others feel scared or humiliated and I have worked very hard to teach them compassion. I really wish that more parents would do so and it saddens me greatly that my kiddo is dealing with this now. One would think that over the last several years every parent would have learned how serious bullying can be.

Okay, I will step off my soapbox now with the idea (and hope) that the parents of these children will find out and have the right discussions with their kids and put an end to the cycle.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Is unconventional becoming more conventional?

There has been a lot of hoopla in the media lately about self-pubbing and/or using bookseller sites (B&N and Amazon for example) to self pub your manuscript as an e-book.  I used to hear a lot about that being "the slacker way" or the "way of the bad writer" but I am finding myself increasingly convinced that it is the only way to publish anymore.  I mean, I have to admit that I have been assessing things myself lately and decided to start up my romance novel (and eventual series) as an e-book and skip over the hoopla of finding an agent.  So, here is my current list of pros and cons, feel free to chime in an add your own pros/cons if it strikes you.

- Money (I mean, let's face it, highly inexpensive to upload and even if a handful of family and friends buy them you just made more than if you were still waiting to be picked up by an agent.)
- Full editorial discretion (you don't have to change a character's name, you can select your own book cover)
- No need to query (does anybody enjoy the waiting game to say nothing of cramming your whole concept into a query letter)
- No middle man

- Miss the thrill of actually being accepted by an agent and/or publishing house
- Miss out on the experience/expertise of agent/publishing house

I admit being very new to this field but I have been researching this extensively and received a lot of good feedback (and bad if I am being honest) from forums and chat rooms.  The decision to self-pub the romance novel/series was not easy but a good friend made a great point when she said that even if I mark it at $1.99 each and collect 80 cents for each one, if I sell 50 I just made $40 that I didn't have before AND people are reading my book(s).  Point taken. 

As my title suggests, it seems to me that self-pubbing is no longer the unconventional way to publish.  I just want to see my book in print and even if I sell two copies (my mom and my sister, duh!) I will have SOLD A BOOK.  Isn't that what it is all about?

Look for RYDER ON THE STORM within the next few weeks.

Sunday, October 16, 2011


It is 11:53 and I know that the kids will be up in about six hours - give or take - while I truly hope they snooze until 7 or so.  Yet here I sit, my facebook checked, my fantasy football teams set (I think!) for tomorrow, twitter re-evaluated, an hour or so of edits on Estelan and a few new pages to its sequel, words with friends updated (and I am sure all of my friends are safely tucked in their beds dreaming of new zingers for me), and I still can't sleep.  I have had an uber-productive day which makes me proud, but my mind will simply not shut down and enter relaxation mode.  How does that happen?  It is the weekend, I am a Mom, I have had a busy day, why does that not add up to sleepiness?  I can't figure it out.  So here I am rambling on in my blog about my complete inability to sleep.  I guess I am hoping that there are several of you out there who can relate to it.  I mean, I don't have a lot of followers (I am not blind) but judging by my stats, unless my followers are cyber-stalking me and checking my page several times a day then othere people are reading - or at least maybe skimming - my blog. 

In re-evaluating things tonight, I have also realized that my blog has lots its focus in a rather large way.  I have only dropped occasional updates on my actual writing and that is in part due to switching books.  I left Estelan to marinate for awhile and entered into the world of Storm Sullivan, whose town remains nameless as it is not particularly crucial to the plot of the romance.  I discovered that I liked the idea of a no-name town that could really be anywhere.  So there you have it.  Along my road to creating Estelan, I took a detour and created not only another manuscript but an entirely different world with entirely (well almost) different characters in an entirely different genre.  It was actually fun and by taking a break I was able to revisit Estelan with fresh eyes and have decided to have another go at it including some reformatting.  Will it be better? I am not sure but it feels right and I wonder if I wasn't just a little to close to it before.  I think I missed some things, some great opportunities that I simply didn't see.  I have a friend who will take credit for some of it - and you know who you are - but in the end, friends can only offer suggestions based on their individual perspective and sometimes with Estelan, as with many things in life, it takes a little time for suggestions to evolve into actual changes.  That said, I have been re-working Estelan, still hopeful to get it off the ground but in the mean time, I am looking to give Storm Sullivan not just a face (thank you Dave Holtz) but a place in the literary world. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

My song of the day

"Over my Head" by The Fray, I love this band. Honestly, they are fabulous and I look for their new releases. Anyway, I was driving home today and this song came on, triggering a slew of memories including the first time I really listened to the words (thank you singstar). "I never knew, I never knew that everything was falling through, that everyone I knew was waiting on a cue to turn and run when all I needed was the truth. But that's how it's gotta be it's coming down to nothing more than apathy....." I mean they actually used "apathy" correctly in a song lyric, one of my truly favorite words. The song just gets better from there and it can function as low key background noise for writing (i.e. today) or singing at the top of your lungs in your car (also today at which point my brilliant daughter reminded me of my small problem with tone-deafness). Regardless, if you haven't already, check out The Fray. You won't be sorry!!

P.S. Editing done on RYDER ON THE STORM, started the sequel, book 2 in the Emerald Seer Series - LIGHT MY FIRE. Yes, I have a theme going on, love The Doors!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Yes it's been a while

I have fallen off the blog train lately.  I blame my obsession with editing combined with having little to say.  So, this will be short, sweet, and to the point.  I have been editing, and editing some more, and then editing again. Rotating projects seems to work well for me, ESTELAN then EMERALD SEER.  I have also worked on outlining the sequels for both books.  I have written a bit of the sequel to ESTELAN which will be titled ECHO RISING.  The second in the Emerald Seer series will be LIGHT MY FIRE.  I have tabled my children's book - PEANUT AND MADSOX - but I continue to jot down material.

I just want to take a minute to send out thanks to my family for all of their support and immense love to my brother, Jay.  Love you, bro.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Origins - footballbutterfly

Hey all!  So lately I have gotten a lot of questions about where I came up with my name.  The truth is, I love football and butterflies are generally associated with beauty and grace.  I liked the contrast of the two words and they form such a unique combination that I can use it (or some variation of it) for almost everything from fantasy football (thank you fleaflicker) to ESPN/NFL to Texans sites to twitter to querytracker and studio 8.  I feel that people are somewhat dejected when I give that explanation but I am not going to make up a convoluted story just to make it more exciting.  I save story telling for my books, it is better that way.

In other news, I am working on the second installments of both my series (Estelan and The Emerald Seer/Storm Sullivan Series).  Of course, I continue to revisit my first two books and plan to join the realm of epublishing if I don't get any bites by the end of October.  I will keep you all posted on that front of course.  I am still planning to send my manuscript to two fantasy publishers but I want to do a little more prep work on them first and my fabulously talented friend, Dave Holtz, is working on covers still for me.  I would very much like to include his artwork and if any of you are looking for some stunning cover art please consider him!

That said, I am hitting the sack.  Today has not been as productive as I would have liked, but we all have those days, right? 

I will leave you with a song lyric that just makes me happy ~  Thank you to Dexy's Midnight Runners ~

Poor old Johnny Ray
Sounded sad upon the radio
He moved a million hearts in mono
Our mothers cried and sang along and who'd blame them
Now your're grown, so grown, now I must say more than ever
Go toora loora toora loo rye aye
And we can sing just like our fathers

Come on Eileen, well I swear (what he means)
At this moment, you mean everything
With you in that that dress, my thoughts I confess
Verge on Dirty
Ah come on Eileen