Jane 1-2-3

Photo by Leonardo Rossatti on Pexels.com

I imagine Jane 3 cover something like this. It seems so far off. I did finish first draft of Act 1 Jane 3. But now it’s time to change gears and do another edit for my publisher for Jane 2. I’m still hoping it comes out this summer but heck it could be fall. Or winter. Jane’s house looks like this year-round, though because she’s in Florida. If you’ve read Jane in St Pete, you might wonder what happened to Jane’s condo in Winding Bayou. Somewhere close to the end of Body on the Bayou (Jane 2) (coming soon) there’s a big change in Jane’s life. Huge change.

And it will last into Jane 3 except now I have to take a break from J3 to do more edits on J2. Then I think after these edits I’ll have a cover. And hopefully J3 draft done and revised as well by the end of the year.

What else?

I am changing my main social from Twitter to Instagram and it’s going slow. I’m also changing from photos and my #bookstagram hashtag to reels. So I did one today! I have yet to figure out how to load photos from Mac to Windows. All in good time. We have our house mostly fixed since the hurricane six months ago. Again, going slow. And I’m in a writing group that is very active, thus making me active. IRL. You know, on the circuit selling books at community fairs like the Venice Book Fair. Giving library talks. But mostly behind the scenes, doing my part as Vice President of Gulf Coast Sisters in Crime.

I could not wait to move to Florida full time and write full time and that is what I’m doing. We made it happen! Although there are still other things I need to do and want to do besides writing. Like reading. And catching up with friends. My birthday is this month and my friend since 5th grade invited me out to lunch. I’ll take a picture and hope I can post it here. If not, for sure Instagram.

Everything Imperfect All the Time

Yes, it was thrilling for my story to be chosen by my new writer’s group in Florida for their first anthology. But not perfectly thrilling. So far I have been told several times by people I trust that the story is triggering. One of my Michigan critique group members quit the group and couldn’t finish my story it triggered her so bad. Also found out that according to Sisters in Crime national, it will need a content warning if I don’t change those triggering bits. That’s not such a bad idea, really. I want to entertain people, make them happy, with my writing. I had actually pulled the story from Jane 3 because it wasn’t cozy. And it was another teenage girl trying to take over Jane’s trilogy. I pulled it and thought maybe I’ll use it in future. Which I did. I spoke to my editor for anthology and she agrees it should be edited if I don’t want a content warning. Example of how it would read:

Some content, such as kidnapping and rape, may be triggering. Read at your own peril.

Ok, second sentence I made up. Anyway that is Imperfect thing #1. Also I can’t get the indent off now.

Imperfect thing #2

My website is out of control and the people I rely on the work on it were not able to help. One of them is seriously ill and the other just could not figure this site the fuck out. I have a lot of content. This is true. 20 years worth of blogs and hundreds of photos and all kinds of banners and book covers and whatnot. I was just going to migrate to something easier but it cost $600 because I have so much content. And the media person at my publisher showed me how to do some cool things on Instagram with my content. My husband said “Just stay at WordPress and hire someone there to help you.” Which is a good idea but then I saw some of my plug-ins would disappear until I switched to jetpack. So I did, because the comments say it’s so much easier. Well, I beg to differ. It’s a teeny tiny bit easier but I still am not happy with the appearance of my website and I need help. Know anybody?

imperfect thing #3

My Mac, which I was trying to keep chugging until I finished editing Jane 2, crapped out before revisions even started. My editor is understanding but it is embarrassing when I do something she asked me to do, something simple if a little bit time consuming, and then I send the manuscript to her and she says “I don’t see any changes after page 100” and asks nicely again for those changes. I look for and find them and am able to insert them into master document but it is so unprofessional to not know how to use your tools. People warned me not to switch from Mac to Windows. But I love WORD in Windows. Not so much WORD for MAC. Except WORD now is like, a whole new universe from when I first used it.

and another imperfect thing

Life. Life is imperfect. I have not seen my grandkids (and of course my kids. and their wives.) in over a year, but we are going to see them all finally this summer on a long trip. I moved into an older house (2006) formerly owned by a master gardener who had lovely plants and blooms everywhere. Which I have mostly killed or if I didn’t the hurricane did. We did not lose any palm trees (or our lives) so that’s good. I worked in the yard for twenty minutes today and my legs were shaking from exhaustion. It used to take four or five hours before that happened. Hmph. On the plus side, I have a book out this summer on top of the anthology story and as every writer knows, that makes up for everything else.

Cindy x

Holiday Happenings

I’m giving away five copies of my first mystery “Blue Lake Christmas Mystery” during December 2022. On December 23 I will choose five random names from the comments section, contact you for your address, let you know you’ve won and mail a book to you anywhere in USA. I can send Kindle copies to UK, where I know so many of you from blogging, reviewing and Twitter. I have not had time to tweet, but I love and miss my blog and chatting with other bloggers. How did I let this happen? Here’s the story, short version.

Al and I moved to Florida, where we had a little condo for winter getaways. Soon we were looking for a bigger place and moved again. Al realized his lifelong dream of becoming a landlord. Yes, we kept the condo too with the understanding that I would not be involved except when shopping or decorating. Florida, we love it here. Except less than a year after we moved, a CAT 4 hurricane blasted us. We are still recovering. Most of our damage was to the outside: no more garden, no more screens on lanai, toppled trees. We’ll be needing a new roof but we have a temporary one our insurance guy says will “last a year.” He said this cheerfully, which is not a good sign.

The condo in St. Pete sustained no damage from the hurricane although we are doing a refresh for new snowbirds. I chose the carpet and furniture and Al deep cleaned everything. He’ll also wait for the various deliveries and installations. Likewise he is dealing with renters and contracts, past and present.

Speaking of contracts, I just sent in my contract for the second in my JANE IN ST PETE series, so there will be a new book in 2023. Happy Holidays!

Kindle Exclusive

Finally after two years of Covid, another year of moving three times, and a hurricane, I have started to plan and attend book events. First a great weekend at Cedar Key. No hurricane debris! Working WiFi! New writer friends! Sold many books 🙂

I’ve got two more one day events coming up in November and January at local libraries. I want to make a Kindle Exclusive thing to show off my e-only books. Tried on Canva all morning. About to cut and paste something by hand. Maybe with help from an office supply store.

Unless anyone has a better idea…

Senior (Re) Learning

Photo by Ruca Souza on Pexels.com

My editor will get feedback on my manuscript to me July 1. I have started book three and I need the time because Al bought me a new computer and I can hardly type my name on it. July won’t be our last work together on Body on the Bayou either. Usually we have three rounds of edits, each looks at different things. Each round takes a month or two. And then there’s the marketing and admin stuff. But I am happy to have this block of time to relearn Windows. I bought a manual that’s coming today something like Windows for Seniors. 🙂 My parents are in their 80s and have refused to learn how to use a computer or a smart phone. I suppose that makes me the senior.

There are good and bad to Mac and Windows. In a way, I wish I would have stayed with Mac because I’d know it and not have to learn new stuff. But learning is good for seniors; we need to keep our brains sharp. Also I am hoping I won’t have to deal with the photo thing (converting to JPEG). My other issue with the Mac is the keyboard was shot and I had a keyboard on top of a keyboard. I had to finish my book in good time so that’s why it’s now. Start a new book on a new computer. Especially if you’re going from Mac to PC.

I originally got the Mac because my website was being hacked. I heard Macs do not get hacked. That is the ONLY reason I bought a Mac. But I liked the lessons, too. My work was right across the street from the Apple Store and I utilized those lessons. Now I live 30 minutes from an Apple store, which is fine, but Word for Mac is just not as good as Word on Windows. I use the computer mainly for word processing. My website, my books. So it makes sense to go back to Windows. Easier said than done.

One thing I wish I could change is the mega monster keyboard. I have always had a “normal” keyboard but the new one has a whole other side with an adding machine and etc. I am a good typist. (Was once a secretary.) I type fast, almost as fast as the scenes come to my mind. This is a nice talent to have if you are not rich and do not have a typist. I am not typing fast on the new machine. I am getting better, it’s just something that will take practice.

I tried to post the blog today on the new machine but it doesn’t like my log in. Also I talked to my website admin and she says she knows basically nothing about Windows; she is a Mac lady all the way. There’s so much more to learn besides email which is the one thing I have mastered. I’m going to hop on Word and get Book 3 going. I hope that’s as easy as email. And maybe look around the internet for a trainer. All advice happily accepted. Except “you shudda stayed with Mac, stupid.”