Tag Archives: publishing

Journal: Week 4

23. The last fiction book I read was Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman. I gave it four stars on Goodreads, which was a bit generous, but whatever. I like an unpredictable narrator, though I saw the twists coming in this and got a bit bored.

24. A project I’ve been putting off is hanging a painting because it involves a few annoying steps and mehhh.

25. The thing that frightens me is having to find a new apartment at some point. Everything will be ridonkulously out of my price range and idk what I will do.

26. A person I would like to meet? No one. I’m good with not meeting people and continuing to have imaginary friends, thx.

27. A change to make is the same one I say every time ~ get some exercise!

28. Thoughts about today’s events… idk, were there any? Let me go check the fake nooz.

A. Polar vortex: 🥶

B. Trump breaks with intel chiefs: 🙄

C. Bezos launches investigation into leaked texts that killed his marriage: 😂😂😂

D. You can skip these Oscar nominated movies: 👍🏻

E. Mental health linked to body clock: EARLY RISERS RULE YOU LOSERS!!!

29. One thing I always do is that they have to put a bunch in my kitty. (Used predictive text there, sorry.)

30. Something new to try is doing a book in audio format. One of my friends has a few of his books available in audio and they are selling well.

31. My favorite part of this past month was paychecks. It’s lovely to be able to pay rent and bills and things. It would be lovely to write poems all day too, but unfortunately I do enjoy having a place to live and food to eat, and so does Gatsby. 😸

Finally, a big thanks to Nova for posting this journal prompt. It’s been a good month for writing inspiration!

Combo Question Time!

Sadje nominated everyone to answer these questions and I thought I’d have a go. Yes, I’m procrastinating, but I have written a lot on my novel lately, so there. 😛

1. How long have you been blogging?

– Since the end of 2003 (I’ve had several blogs).

2. Do your friends and family support you in this?

– No one cares.

3. Which is your favorite time of the day?

4. What would be your dream vacation?

– Stay home, read, write, watch movies, get massages, have a personal chef deliver meals.

5. What genre of movies [do] you like best?

– Depends on my mood. Good romcoms, mafia flicks, interesting psychological dramas, GOOD comedy, musicals!

6. What do you wake up to?

7. Are you a morning person?

– After a hot shower and hot tea.

8. What motivates you?

– Organization.

9. How do you think your friends see you?

– Don’t know.

10. What would be your idea for saving the environment from pollution ?

– Scoop up all the garbage and dump it on Mars.

11. Happy or peaceful, what is more important to you?

That’s it for Sadje. Now we go to Fandango, who has answered some Q’s about blogging from Calmkate and recommended we all do likewise. Sounds good to me!

What led you to start?

– When I first began blogging in 2003, it was because all the writers I knew had started to blog, so I thought I should too. Of course, they were blogging about their books and publishing contracts, but I didn’t have those things, so I just jabbered on about cats and cupcakes.

Has your motivation changed since starting?

– Not really. I still like cupcakes. In fact, today I saw on my Nextdoor app that a bakery just opened on Newport Blvd and they have these adorable cupcakes that look like little baby cactus plants, omg! I’ll have to go over there. 😀❤️🧁

What has the experience been like?

– Well, I made lots of friends (yay!) and had to deal with a couple stalkers (boo) and got into a big flamewar with some pit bull freaks and ended up closing that blog and opening a really tame one but it was too boring and then there was the private one during my mom’s illness and I quit for a while but missed it too much so I began this one to cope with my sads over the married man and didn’t even post much for a long time but here we are.

Have you learned anything?

– Never ever ever mention pit bulls.

Has your writing style changed?

– I go through various annoying phases but overall no.

Are you planning to write a novel or are you already published?

– Yes and yes.

What advice would you give to a new blogger?

– I’m just going to say what I like, which people can feel free to disregard. Talk about yourself or offer something interesting whether info or fiction or photos. Don’t make your blog a dry piece of toast that’s an impersonal pile of links or advice or god forbid news. We can google that stuff ~ no one is reading blogs to get links to Buzzfeed articles or shopping tips. We know how to find this stuff on our own. Figure out another way to monetize because that’s just too damn boring; I’ve unfollowed everyone who does this.

White Elephant 🐘

The lovely Sadje has tagged me in the fun White Elephant game begun by The Haunted Wordsmith.

Sadje has given me this wonderful prezzie:

“A big bookshelf for Paula as she is a great writer and would need to store her growing collection of books here.”

Awwww! Thank you, Sadje! 😀❤️ I am going to need this. Not only is my next poetry collection almost finished, but I am stoked about finishing NaNoWriMo this year and hope to have Ghosted on the shelves by the end of 2019. I also have other WIPs to complete after that ~ no shortage of ideas here!

Anyway, onto my (imaginary) gifts for other bloggers.

To Pensitivity I give tickets for a luxurious cruise for two plus Maggie on the barking friendly ocean liner Queen Mary. I think they could all use a sweet vacay!

2. To Laura I give a month of gluten-free meals, so she can take a break from cooking.

3. To Michelle I give a yarn shopping spree, wheeeeee!

Recipients, please gift three more bloggers to keep the White Elephant game going ~ and use Teresa’s THWWE tag so she can find you! 😀🐘🎁

Writing Questions! 😀

Via The Haunted Wordsmith

The Writers Tag was created by Lorraine Ambers and Ari Meghlen for writers to connect with each other and help expand our writing community. To participate, we answer 12 tag questions and are encouraged to tag other writers. So, here we go:


Name one novel which inspired me to write.

Welcome to Temptation by Jennifer Crusie

What’s your favourite genre to read and write?

– Romance

Do you prefer to write stand-alone or series?

– Stand-alone

Use three words to describe yourself.

– funny, reliable, intense

Reveal your WIP aesthetics or an image that represents your main character or setting.

(Coming soon!)

How long did your first manuscript take to draft?

– Six weeks

Who is your author idol?

– Jennifer Crusie

Share a writing memory that made you determined to carry on.

– Idk that I am. It’s often difficult to stay motivated, especially to write full-length novels while working full-time. I don’t do much else besides work and write. But right now I’m very into my WIP.

Tell us something surprising or unique about yourself.

– I’m pretty ordinary. Just a divorced woman who raised her kids and is now trying to get by and hopefully have a not-terrible retirement.

Share the hardest part about being a writer and how you overcame it.

– It’s having enough time of course, and I haven’t overcome it.

What’s your favourite social media and why? Share your link.

– I like this current WordPress blogging community. People are supportive and kind, and I find poasts to be generally fun, creative, and motivational. I’m very happy with you lot!

Share some uplifting wisdom in six words or less.

– Life is short; eat dessert first.

Regarding Twitter

I’ve been thinking about Twitter lately. Unlike Facebook, which I deleted in March (along with Instagram and Messenger), Twitter isn’t a time sink for me. I don’t get heavily involved in threads, conversations, private chats, etc. on Twitter. It’s basically a big nothing burger. I was using it for poetry prompts, but lately I’m not finding them that inspirational, so I’ve been reading more politics there, which is a bore. I can find that anywhere. 🙄

Trying to engage with other “tweeps” has accomplished nothing. I’m too late to the game. I’m not politically witty enough to come up with killer tweets to go viral… and even if I had one, then what? Would that translate into book sales or death threats? Now there’s a interesting question. I’m not anonymous. 😱

Here’s the thing. I’ve lightly promoted my writing on Twitter… to no effect. My promo tweets immediately slid into the giant sea of writers all doing the same. Everyone on the planet has written a book! Yesterday I met a successful writer and she admitted that her success was due to a completely random interview (not even a good one) in a relatively obscure print magazine. She’d done the other traditionally hyped ways of book promotion to almost no sales until the interview.

It’s very discouraging ~ if you’re writing to make money, that is. I have to look at it as a labor of love: the poetry, my romance novels and short stories, and my current WIP, which is a suspense/romance with supernatural elements. Plus I have lots of writing in various stages of drafts to work on as the spirit moves me. I hope to get it all done before I die. 😀

But there’s no reason to delete Twitter. It doesn’t annoy me the way FB did with the fake friends. I know the tweeps aren’t my friends (99% of them anyway), and Twitter doesn’t suck up my time with stupid notifs. But I do think my once a day or so quick check for poetry prompts and such is coming to an end. There’s no point in pretending to stay engaged there when I know it’s not going to do a damn thing to help me market my next book.

I’ll just let my blog poasts flop over as they do, and that’s all my timeline will be filled with eventually. Probably tweeps will unfollow me, or not… if they don’t bother checking Twitter any longer either, which is what I suspect in many cases. 😂

Page 7, Line 5

Via The Haunted Wordsmith.

All I have here is the Berkeley Law magazine, which just came in the mail. It will have to do in lieu of a book.

“It combined two things I really care about: ensuring copyright law doesn’t block otherwise legitimate fair uses, and preserving video games I grew up playing,”

It makes me happy to know that quoting this quote is within the realm of fair use, qua the quote itself, so the quotee is not going to be mad at me if he googles his quote one day to see if anyone is discussing its intellectual merits and finds it plopped on a cupcake, cats, and romance novel blarg. Actually it’s more of a cats, angry poetry, and weird flash blog these days, isn’t it? Hmm. How would you label this mess? I gave up as you can see from my relatively recently updated tagline. Am I allowed to use two ly-adjectives in a row? Can I haz ruling?

What the article is actually about, if anyone cares, is preserving deactivated video games. Bet you never thought about that. Well, other people have. That’s why they’re in law school and you’re not, pffft.

I wonder what happened to that old Ladybug game my mommy used to play. It was one of the first up. I’ll never forget the annoying chomp chomp chomp sound as the bugs nommed up all the things.

That’s all. 🐞🐞🐞

Attitude of Gratitude

To those who celebrate in the traditional way, or their own way, or who just feel like giving thanks, this emoji is for you. For those who don’t do any of that, I hope you have a good Thursday.

I have the expected thankfulness for my absolutely wonderful daughters, their awesome husbands, my adorable gbaby, my sweet kitty, my great friends, my good job and swell coworkers, this fab blogging community full of supportive writers and online camaraderie, my mediocre health cuz it could be worse, lol, etc.

But I also have another area of gratitude. Around two years ago I made one of the worst decisions of my life and forgave a toxic man, allowing him back into my heart, and he hurt me very badly. I had been in a good place before that and believed I was ready to trust and love again, but I was wrong (see my poast on stupid mistakes). I couldn’t handle the pain of loss.

This heartbreak messed me up for a very long time ~ pretty much all of last year was ruined ~ but I found a quote that helped me through it. I repeated this “mantra” often and highlighted it in my last book of poetry All She Wrote.

I snagged this from Goodreads, a great resource for quotes. Also, I love Mary Oliver. Love. ❤️

Anyway. After a while, I began to work with the darkness and pain; I used it to start writing again. At first, I wrote only from a place of despair, poetry about how I was mired in anguish, but last October an idea for an entire novel began to form in my mind and I started Ghosted for 2017 NaNoWriMo. I got to around 15K words and lost momentum.

This year I finished knitting together all the sad and angry pieces of poetry from hither and yon and put out my book on KDP. But Ghosted still lurked in my mind and I’m giving it another shot this NaNo ~ I’ve already added over 31K words to that 15K and I’m not nearly done. Of course there will be massive editing later. Lots of first draft slush is in this mess. But the point is…

…gratitude. I am now, two years past the initial heartbreak, which involved getting dumped/ghosted on Thanksgiving, able to look at the dark time as a gift. I have been extremely creative and productive lately, partly because I’ve been very selectively social, due to a need to shield myself from further distress. This has had the bonus benefit of freeing up more time for me to immerse myself in writing, which is my greatest joy (after family yada).

Onward! 🌟

The Mixed Blessing Of Bookstores

(Powell’s in Portland, OR)

Inspiration or demotivation for a writer?

Last Friday night I went to Barnes & Noble in Newport Beach to pick up a game I’d ordered online (Wordspiel, fun). Of course I took the opp to check out the books too.


Sometimes I find it exhilarating to be around published books. I want to run right home and work on my novel. I could be on the shelves at B&N too someday! People could be choosing my book to read out of all the others. That’s an exciting thought because I don’t write only for myself.

That feeling is the lightness and joy I feel when contemplating how I can create something new for the world. Yayyy!

But other times, like last Friday, I find it overwhelming and depressing to be around all those published books. Why bother writing? There’s so much great stuff to read already and I won’t even have time to make a dent in it. I don’t read enough as it is (according to my standards).

The weight of excuses starts piling up until I just want some form of escapism to take my mind off the idea of writing at all. Games, movies, TV, romance novels…

Also, the sticky whispers of self-sabotage start singing to me… you aren’t as good as these writers, you don’t have enough time or energy to write seriously, you have no contacts in publishing, you’ll never get anywhere, never be read by more than a few, never make money, yada yada blahhh…

I really wanted to buy a dozen books, go home and read like mad, and forget all about NaNoWriMo. But books are so costly! I still have a ton of crappy free ones on my Kindle and dammit I’m going to waste my brain on those.

And do NaNo like I said. I guess. 👻🎃

The Hocus Pocus Writing Tag

The Haunted Wordsmith tagged me with these Hocus Pocus related writing questions. I encourage all NaNoWriMo participants to grab ’em and play along!

1. Sarah, Mary & Winifred Sanderson: Being a witch is hard, but so is writing. If you had magical, witchy powers, what aspect of writing or what part of the process would you magically skip over?

– The part where I decide that my idea is trivial, boring, and waaay too complex all at the same time, so I abandon it for another idea that has exactly those attributes. 🙄

2. Max and Dani: What relationships tend to be at the core of your books? Friends? Family? Romance?

– Romance, even when it’s not a “romance novel” per se. 💕

3. Amuck, Amuck, Amuck!: How do you approach the chaos that is drafting? Are you a plotter, a pantster, or a combo of both?

– Generally, I am a pantster, though I have most of a plot in my head the whole time. Sometimes I will make notes for a few chapters ahead. Occasionally, I need more detail, if it’s important to keep dates exactly right, as in my current NaNo WIP. I never create anything remotely resembling a traditional outline, yucky. 😖

4. I Put a Spell on You: How do you deal with book ideas that want to pull your focus from your main WIP?

– Create a new folder with notes for later. Or, if the new idea is a billion times better, just start working on that one. It happens!

5. Thackery Binx: Things aren’t always what they seem–Think back to when you first started writing to where you are now. How has your process transformed from then to now?

– I had a hard time envisioning a complete novel back then. I could only imagine short scenes and bits of dialog. Consequently, after a few pages, my stories drifted into nothingness. Now, I haz visions. 👀

6. My Lucky Rat Tail: Do you have a writing ritual? If not, what are some of your favorite writing tools?

– I don’t have rituals, but I need uninterrupted quiet time when I’m not feeling stressed out in order to work on a novel. I can write poetry and flash fiction with less restriction.

7. Boooooookkk: Favorite Writing Craft Book?

– Probably On Writing by Stephen King.

8. Another Glorious Morning: Do you enjoy writing in the morning? Or do you prefer the evening, like Winnifred?

– It depends on the day. I used to love getting up early to write, but that doesn’t seem to work well for me these days. I have been writing more at night. 🌙

9. The Black Flame Candle: What’s one of the biggest mistakes you’ve made so far in your writing journey? OR What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned?

– Trying to write crap for money, and then hating it and not making money besides. (Not talking about romance novels ~ imo mine are good and I enjoy writing them.)

10. Billy Butcherson: What’s a trope that most people hate, but you love and would like to see “come back from the dead”?

– Idk what “most people” hate. People sneer at romance novels, yet they sell like mad. Certain romance tropes that I hate (we should only be talking about me, yes?) are: vampires, shapeshifters, twins, having to get back with your ex to solve a crime because he is the only cop on the planet, returning to your hometown and the studly guy from high school who never got over you even though you ran off like a crazy yada barf. 🤮

11. Come Little Children: Songs that give you a “hypnotic” focus when writing? I.e., fav songs on your writing playlist.

– WHY ARE THERE ELEVEN QUESTIONS AGAIN? This is too much of a coinkydink and I am calling conspiracy! What’s that bubbling noise…


Yes, it’s that time again! Aren’t you glad I spared you my boring agonizing over whether to take the plunge or abstain, yes no maybe…oh I don’t know what to doooo? Well, I had absolutely decided not to, no way, don’t wanna, but then I read over my 15K fail from last year and thought, hey, this is good stuff, I should finish it up. And what better way to finish than to start writing like a maniac on November 1 yet again?

Naturally, I shall be breaking the rules. It’s what I do. First, I’m not starting a new novel like you’re supposed to, nope. I’m continuing along with last year’s 15K. Second, I’m not even going to try to make it to 50K because that’s impossible for me now that I’m an old. I need my sleep. I can’t get up at 4am and write. I need to wind down after work. I need to stretch and exercise cuz my back hurts, waaah. Etc. My goal is 25K. If I even reach that I will be thrilled. How long will my novel ultimately be? I dunno. When it’s done, it’s done.

I am doing something a bit weird, for me. I’m writing an outline. Sorta. Not a real outline. Just some notes about how I want the next several chapters to go. That’s a pretty huge deal. Usually I just start typing and let the angels sing in my ear. Or the demons, as the case may be. But because this novel is pretty structured with present tense/back story and has to flow together in a sensible way, I don’t want to screw it up with some glitch regarding dates/time.

If you want to be my NaNo buddy, you can find me here. I don’t think I’ll be poasting any excerpts from my WIP. I don’t see the point of that. Eventually, if I finish the entire novel to my satisfaction (and I will, unless I die first, which is a possibility of course), I will offer it for sale at a ridonkulously low price on Amazon for Kindle, unless a publishing house snaps it up directly l. That could happen. That, winning the Mega Millions, and meeting my dream man at Trader Joe’s…