Archive | April, 2014

Beginning to Self Publish but Dealing with Family Drama

25 Apr

I’m in the process of uploading my travel memoir, Every Day is Magical: a Buddhist Pilgrimage in India and Nepal, onto Amazon’s Createspace. The website has a step-by-step process that so far looks simple. Apparently it didn’t even need me to use InDesign first, but I’m glad I had the practice.

I haven’t completed the process because I had to leave for a writers critique group. After the onslaught of feedback, I returned to my apartment, set my computer back up, and, based on the feedback, continued revising a novel I’m beginning to hate. I stopped at about 2:30 in the morning.

Hopefully I’ll get back to work on the Createspace project today. I’ve been rather distracted since getting up this morning and reading a text message from my mother:

“Susan, can you come? We’re both sick, we need you.”

If I didn’t know any better, I’d say she was trying to make me panic. My parents don’t live nearby. They live in Indiana.

I called my dad (when I called the house phone my mother psychotically yelled, “HELLO!” and hung up on me). It turns out that my dad is in the hospital with a hernia operation, and my mother apparently hasn’t been driving herself to kidney dialysis.

I have many plans, commitments, and appointments this week and beyond. I have two other siblings. Why am I constantly the one playing the self-negation game?

Um, they need to sell the house and move to either the Portland area or to Kansas where my sister lives. And it’s about time my brother did his share of the care-taking. I helped out for six weeks this last summer and for a month this winter.

During that last visit, my chain-smoking mother made me sick, and the doctor prescribed steroids because of my allergy to her smoke. She never apologized, showed no concern, and even lit up one of her cancer sticks while I was still in the house–the day before my flight back to Portland. I promptly said, “She’s smoking. I’m leaving.” I grabbed my jacket, bag, and shoes and hastily headed for the garage door.

In any case, what I was trying to say is that I haven’t designed the cover yet, since I’ve been distracted. I’ve scarcely gotten anything done today, other  than some manuscript revision while talking on the phone with a friend.

Gradual Progress on Sundry Books

12 Apr

For my travel memoir Every Day is Magical: A Buddhist Pilgrimage in India and Tibet, I’ve completed the eBook interior and cover in InDesign. It’s a matter of figuring out how to upload it onto Create Space,’s self-publishing page. Technology tends to confuse me.

I’ve been revising a novella that started as a short story I wrote as a teen. The working title is A Stranger at Home, and it’s a ghost story. After going over the entire manuscript and making some changes, I’ve gotten to work on the character charts. It’s weird that it’s gotten this far along while I’ve scarcely done any character chart work. After I’ve completed those, hopefully the manuscript will blossom. I’m also thinking of self-publishing it as an eBook, not only because of the state of the publishing industry but also because paranormal fiction is so popular now.

Now that I’m in a novel critique group, I’ve received feedback on my magical realism novel The Skeleton from the Closet for the first time ever. Although the feedback was respectful and constructive, it’s been rather painful. The novel is autobiographical, about a time in my life that I don’t enjoy revisiting.

I’ve completed the first volume in the middle grade Rowanwick Witches series and have started contacting agents. I’ve also resumed writing the second book in the series (I have a complete first draft for the third book, which was originally going to be the second book). However, I’ve been distracted by other writing projects.