Quaking Soul Update #5

Quaking Soul Update

Wow, it was not my intention to go this long without blogging. Sorry I’ve been away for so long!

I’m going to steer clear of commentary about our world today. You can guess the pandemic and everything else has touched my life just like it’s touched others without me saying much about it.

The Adventure Candy Since I started this blog back in 2012, the Adventure stories have turned into my bit of fun for the world, like fun-sized candy bars. I intend these stories to continue to offer a bit of escape and enjoyment amidst the crazy. Rest assured, they will return. Just not quite yet.

Likewise, Quaking Soul (Q.S.) is intended to bring some fun to readers—once I get it out into the world. Originally, I intended to publish Q.S. by this spring. Urg. Seeing as how spring ends tomorrow, that’s definitely not going to happen.

Last time I checked in, I’d just found an editor. Felicia and I have done two full editing rounds with Q.S.. It’s been intense, to say the least, but we’ve wrangled the monster into some form of submission (we’ve cut about 10k words from the manuscript). Felicia’s gone above and beyond to help make the book shine.

I’m just finishing the last bit of editing according to her comments.

Fun tip for anyone who’s looking at self-publishing:

Do not pull a cover template from the printer until after you’re positive on your page count. Cutting 10k words will change the spine width and alter your cover spacing. (Thankfully, I knew this before I started.)

What that means, however, is that Justin has just started on the cover design. His rough drafts look amazing, so hopefully I’ll have a cover reveal soon! (For those familiar with my book The Adventure, Justin did the artwork for The Temple of Night and Wind.)

And one last, small thing, I’ve also been working with an artist on images for inside the book. These are small chapter headings that I’m super excited about. One thing I didn’t think about going into the professional editing stage was that some of my chapters might change. So, I started Esther on drawing the chapter headings…and then had to have her go back and redo a bunch of them. Still learning. Always =)

Up next, formatting and ordering a proof copy. Shipment times from the printer are long right now, which means this may take a bit longer than expected.

New tentative publication: Fall 2020

Thanks for stopping by. I’ll update you again soon—erg—hopefully a lot sooner than I did the last time.



Updating the Face…

I’ve a confession. Sometimes I’m lazy.

I started this blog in 2012 after listening to one of Michael Hyatt’s lessons on writing and self publishing. He advised putting a picture of myself on every platform I used. That way, no matter if it’s WordPress, Facebook, Twitter, or some other platform, readers could recognize each site as mine by my picture.

2012 HeadshotSeemed logical, so I pulled up my pictures, selected one, and posted it on all my online sites. Never thought about it again.

I missed the part about updating that photo periodically. Some say you should update it every six months. This seems excessive to me, but after six years with the same photo, I’ll admit, it’s horribly out of date.

When I called one of the book stores in town concerning a book signing, they asked about a current, high quality photo of the author. Ummm. I don’t have that.

So, as with everything involving The Adventure, a photographer friend stepped forward and offered to help me out.

As a self proclaimed introvert, I’m not big on having my photo taken, so I was extremely nervous about this whole deal.

2018 HeadshotHowever, I couldn’t be happier with how the pictures turned out.

So, for those trying to build a platform, update your photo once in a while. (I’ll make this note to myself too =).

And here’s a great big thank you to Dan. You can check out more of his photography here on instagram.

Goodbye to my old photo.

And hello to my new photo. Me, six years older and maybe, hopefully, a tiny bit wiser.



Savoring the Moment

The Adventure Amazon Page

The Adventure is up on Amazon!

There was a point I wasn’t sure this would actually happen…actually, there were a lot of points. There’s a proverb that says, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.” (Proverbs 13:12)

I’ve felt that heartsick feeling. Now I can say the flip side of the proverb is also very true.

I’m savoring the moment.



P.S. Here’s the link to The Adventure’s Amazon Page. Check it out!


As The Adventure’s launch date arrives this weeks, my well laid plans screech into the finish line with the back end swerving out of control.

As the saying goes, “We plan, God laughs.” This may be true. I don’t think the laugh is maniacal or cruel, I think it’s just amused because God knows the disparity between what we imagine and what reality will bring.

CreateSpace Proofing

Online proofing tool in CreateSpace

My ‘well laid plan’ said that the book would launch on the 30th of November. Set, specific, easy to remember launch date. Throw in the reality of how CreateSpace does things. Their verbiage goes something like this, “Once you proof your book, hit approve to finish the set up process.”

This led me to believe there was a bit more to making the book available on Amazon beyond proofing the book. Maybe I just assumed that’s what they meant.

I hit approve. Next message reads something like, “This book will become available in 3-5 business days.” Done. I have lost control of when the book goes live.

Ummm… guess that’s that. So I can say The Adventure will be available this week. I can’t say the exact date. Oh well. Guess I can laugh with God and be happy over the success of finishing the process.

Next step: Figuring out the hardcover edition. This hiccup came about as I was informed that CreateSpace does not offer even the author a hardcover book. They used to, now they don’t. I’m digging into other options now. I’ll let you know how that goes =)

Until then, Blessings,


Mental Shift

Mental Shift Blog Post

Writing’s a solitary activity. As Stephen King says, “Write with the door closed.”

That’s the initial process, at least. Close out the world and let the story reign. But then the book’s written and it either sits alone and unshared, or the writer must crack the door open.

With trembling fingers, she opens the door a bare inch and the feedback comes rolling in. Good, bad, ugly, tear worthy, but then, as before, the writer either sits on the feedback, letting it fester, or the writer continues forward, opening the door an inch wider.

On down the path the writer goes until she looks back and realizes, the door’s no longer on its hinges and the story can’t be shoved into the privacy of her room even if she wanted it to be.

This is the publishing process.

The scary, thrill filled process that takes a story from its initial secluded setting to something that can be enjoyed for years to come. Writing may be solitary, but publishing is not. And I’m coming to realize it shouldn’t be.

My stubborn side wants to resist, wants to insist that I, the writer, can do it all by my lonesome self. The world does not work that way, however. It’s an interconnected muddle of human activity that can be both intimidating and fulfilling.

As I’ve dug into the ins-and-outs of publishing so far, I’m coming to cherish the muddle. There are connections I didn’t even realize I had, connections that span more years than I care to calculate, that are now coming into play. People are insanely generous. They want to help, and my stubborn internal idiot needs to step aside, humble itself, and continue asking those people for their amazing talents.

In a nutshell, that’s how I’ve found my editor, both illustrators, the amazing woman who is working on my book trailer and so many other people.

Going from the solitary writer, drinking her coffee in her writing cave, to the socially connected Independant-publisher is a difficult shift, especially for a self proclaimed introvert. But as with all my dreams so far, I cannot achieve them on my own. And it’s wholly more satisfying to share the journey with others.

Share the journey, the adventure, no matter what your dreams are. What adventures have you experienced lately?



Join Me in the Adventure?

Join Me in the Adventure blog post

I’M BACK! Oops, sorry, didn’t mean to shout.

It’s crazy how fast time flies! Especially when you set yourself a goal that you really want to achieve.

To recap:

This year involves The Adventure to Achieve a Life-Long Dream. In other words, my goal is to publish a book. Thus, why I’ve not been posting. I’ve been figuring out why it TAKES SO LONG to produce a beautiful book. A traditionally published book can take 18 to 24 months to hit the shelves.

With self publishing, or Independant publishing, this can move a lot faster…but to do it well, you have to slow down to learn the ins and outs because there are a lot of details involved. (Once I learn all the shenanigans, things should run more smoothly). But to give you an idea of my process so far, I feel like a Jack Russell puppy chasing a group of squirrels.


It’s starting to come together to the point that I can see the finished product emerging from the flying fur. MY EXCITEMENT KNOWS NO BOUNDS! (Oops, sorry, there’s the shouting again.)

If you’d like to join me, I’d love to share this adventure with you. For progress details, check out The Adventure Page.

Otherwise, I’ll be posting stuff as I learn it in the coming days. Hope to see you around =)



(P.S. The book’s titled The Adventure.)


Going Forward

November marked two years for Adventure Awaits You. My brain’s still doing a ‘wait, what?!’ I’ve no idea where those two years went.

Anniversaries kind of require a hind’s sight 20/20 review. At least, that’s how it seems. Like an unwritten rule somewhere.

Looking back, I wonder who took over my brain. I was terrified to share my writing, so may as well leave the gate running, right? I got the idea of adventure stories and started writing out all the choices before they posted (that’s 15 possible posts at about 500 words each).

Then I had the brilliant idea that I needed a week in between adventures for writing them. Sounds perfect, right? Except, every blog-advice-thing I could find said the more I posted the better. So I decided to fill the in between weeks with short stories…that added another 1,000-3,000 words.

Yup, somebody took over my brain and then vacated just as suddenly at about the year mark. I woke up one day to realize I was running at breakneck speed without an end in sight toward no actual goal.

I was writing, producing stories, but the longer stories I desired to write fell by the wayside somewhere in the chaos. With them went my passion. The adventures that started out being so fun became the goblins chortling in my mind telling me I needed to write more.


All this rambling to say the past two years have been a wild adventure but it’s time to rework the system.

I can’t stop writing the adventure stories. Perhaps it’s stubbornness (or insanity), but I truly do enjoy testing my brain coming up with all the different endings. You’ll probably not notice the behind the scenes difference but I’m shifting from writing everything out to simply outlining until I know the direction each adventure takes.

As for the short stories. Yeah, those are taking a hike for a while so I can edit Dryad.

This is my goal. Over the next year I’d like to get Dryad ready for publishing. Traditional or self-publishing I haven’t decided but it’s time to make this blog only one part of my writing, not the only writing I do. Oh, and I might look at self-publishing the adventure stories. What do you think?

So for now, thank you to everyone who participates in the adventures! You totally make them worth the time. I’ll see you next week.



That Monster Under the Bed, Publishing And How Amy Dale Wrangled the Beast

(Got to admit, this one's a bit creepy.) Photo courtesy of Sebring's Snapshots.

(Got to admit, this one’s a bit creepy.) Photo courtesy of Sebring’s Snapshots.

Remember as a kid when your imagination got the better of you at night? When you just knew there was something under the bed and if you peeked an arm or leg out, that monster would get you?

But if you got brave and hung your head over the side of the bed to look underneath…nothing.

The elusive, sneaky…

This is publishing. At least for me. Maybe I’m not alone.

No matter how many times someone explains the whole process to me, traditional publishing is that sneaky monster. It’s a huge beast that you should be able to hit with a blind shot but any author can tell you horror stories of sending out proposals and missing by way of rejections and silence.

It’s like waiting with your leg out from under the sheets for the monster to bite. And yet it never does even though you just know the monster’s there.

It’s a lesson in patience in a society that loves instant gratification.

So what other possibilities are there other than waiting out the monster?

Self publishing? Enter the bed monster’s brother—that creature in the closet.

One thing’s better about it, you can stare at the closet door without leaving the comfort of your bed. But if you want to assuage your fears, you have to invest more. I.E. Leave the warm bed, expose yourself to the dark room and go open that door.

I’m talking about investment. Self publishing not only requires up front funds for help with editing and printing but also demands time. Insane amounts of time to design the book and market, market, market.

So what else is there?

What if there’s another way?

Perhaps there is if you’re willing to put in the time for marketing anyway.

In many ways, I’d call this pure genius. It’s like turning on the light in your bedroom and exposing both the bed monster and his brother.

I came across this because of Amy Dale with her book Off With Her Heart.

It’s called kickstarter.

You see, Amy’s running her book through kickstarter, which takes the writing straight to the readers, eliminating the whole agent and publisher process like self publishing but also allowing readers to weigh in by investing in the project.

If you believe in Amy’s book, you invest and get the book, printed through Amazon’s Print on Demand Service. If you don’t, than no investment.

But then Amy doesn’t sink thousands of dollars into a book that might not sell and doesn’t have to be privately rich to print the book if it is popular. Her readers speak for her. All she really has to do is get the word out. Tell mom, dad, brothers, sisters, friends, pets. You know, anyone who will tell others because they love what you do. If readers like the project enough, lo and behold, their support speaks to publishers. It’s marketing research with a guarantee.

Now the light’s on, the closet monster’s in a choke hold and the bed monster’s been caged.

You can sleep tight.



P.S. This is my shout out for Amy and her bit of genius. Check out her kickstarter or her blog.

Her book, Off With Her Heart, is the Queen of Heart’s side of the story. Check out the book trailer on the kickstarter.

Disclaimer: I have backed Amy Dale’s book and received an e-version.