I Broke My Writing

It has been about 3 months since I have really been able to do any writing. Nothing clicks, nothing is interesting and I don’t really want to. This is a major problem.

I spent six years of my life with my health spiralling down, and watching my strength and skills waste away. This is when I started getting more creative. The depression that came with my health issues gave me some creativity.

Now, I have none. I have come to a standstill with my writing. My books are just sitting there unwritten. Just a thought on a paper. I still want to write them, there’s just nothing there.

I have however been more active than I have been in years. See, just a couple years ago I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. I spent two years getting worse and weaker.

One day after I read about a magnesium deficiency, I tried a supplement out. Since then, I am off all of my Parkinson’s meds, and I have the energy I did when I was 25. All because of this supplement.

Nature Made High Potency Magnesium Softgels, 60 count https://www.amazon.com/dp/B002RS6PN4/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_Gpj-BbWC3A1S1

This is a miracle in my eyes. It’s been an awesome restart to my life. I can play with my kids, work on my cars, and perform home repairs with no issue. It’s the life I had watched fade away, but it has come with the cost of my writing.

I’m not depressed like I was. I am not afraid to go off on my own to do things. It’s been an amazing few months, but I don’t know what I need to do to start writing again.

What are some tips you have for getting back into it. I may need to start hiking again. It always inspired me, and after gaining 60 pounds, it can’t hurt.

After seeing my shakes, weakness, fatigue, irritability, and anxiety drop, I have to say, i wish I had found that article 6 years earlier. If you experience any of the symptoms above, or just can’t figure out what’s wrong, look into magnesium and calcium supplements. Of course, talk to your doctor.

Anyway, that’s all I’ve got today. More of a vent session and a bit of a thing to be grateful for.

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I Hate Rejecting Reviews

Hello everyone. In one of my last post I mentioned an upcoming book review. I was really looking forward to doing another one. I have missed it over the last couple of months. However, if something falls short, I won’t review it.

Unfortunately, it isn’t going to happen. Not for this story. When I read the story I noticed too many editing issues. I’m not an editor, as I have stressed before. I am thinking that nobody else is either, which I know is wrong and I speak strictly in sarcasm.  Seriously though, why isn’t this taken seriously.

I know when I write something I really put thought into it. I am a picky person, but since I don’t do well with my own punctuation, I try not to judge others. If I do find something, I mention it. When it comes to the flow of a story, that is something that kills me to see.

I have every reason to believe that authors aren’t out to just knock out as many titles as possible. I know we want to put out a quality piece. Nobody has ever set out with the idea that they wanted to write garbage and leave it. I know I haven’t anyway.

Now, this story I read was not garbage, and I don’t want anyone to think that is what I felt about it. There were however issues. Let’s look over some of the things to consider when writing something. I  won’t go too deep into this.

First, make your story clear. When introducing a character, please introduce them in a way that makes sense. Don’t just throw it in. Make it feel like it belongs. Try not to throw in a top hat wearing penguin into a story set in the desert. It doesn’t make sense.

Second, if an editor makes a recommendation, use it. They mean well. If you aren’t sure of the flow, by all means, get a serious second opinion. Don’t be upset if someone says, dude, this is bad. It’s criticism, we all get it.

Finally, make it flow. Nobody wants to read a book that makes no sense. When it is a kid’s book, make it so they can follow it. I read every book I review to my kids. At ages 6,4 and 3, I get a great feel for what kids will like. If a story doesn’t interest them, it likely won’t interest most kids. So please, don’t be offended if someone says that it doesn’t make sense.

I have read books that I have removed from our collection. It’s not an easy thing to do. I love books, and so do my children. We are a book family. After reading literally thousands of stories, I have a bit of an idea of what works. I try to use that in my reviews.

I want to give a good review. That is why I am here. It is never my goal to rip someone apart and destroy their dreams. I just know what a quality story is. That being said, I am a little disappointed in Morgan Goes Fishing. I know I formatted it wrong. I will eventually reformat it and get it a new chance at life. I love the story, but I fell short.

I know the disappointment of falling short. That is why I want to make the books I review the best chance I can. If you have a story to review, please feel free to submit it to my email. I am always willing to take on another story. You know I will be honest, and I won’t share any personal details with a story I reject.

I am done with my rant for the day. Just a quick reminder, a critic won’t kill you. Ya’ll have a great day.

Dan

 

Why I disappeared

We all have times in our lives when we just kind of disappear. This last month has been one of those times. I have kind of just shut down and avoided all of social media and sites. Probably not the best business move., but here is why it happened: We bought a house.

We live in a small town. Not the place we will stay, but it works for now. The opportunity to buy this house came along and we couldn’t really pass it up. Then we walked in to the place. I had to question my judgement.

We bought a house from hoarders. I mean, really, really bad hoarders. I am a minimalist and the overwhelming garbage in the house shut me down. It took us nearly two full weeks to clean out just the garbage. We filled a 12 yard dumpster in trash just from 3 rooms.

I then found out they were holding stuff for other people in the house, and didn’t bother mention it. So, we had people digging through the dumpster to get the stuff out that belonged to them. That’s fine I suppose.

When we were finally able to see the floors, I decided the carpet had to go. Luckily we found some pretty decent hard wood floors under it. If not for this scraper we would have never gotten to it. http://a.co/d/cKg0IfG

It is an ugly job, but it made it a lot easier. It helps to break the glue and under layers to remove the carpet. Finding the floors in the condition they were in made my day. Down the road we will rent a sander and refinish them. The house was built in 1920, so they need a little love. We have a lot of work to do, but it will be well worth it.

My next job is tearing out some plaster on a couple walls and hanging drywall over the lath. The shared wall between the living room and kitchen had a leak by the chimney and it messed up the plaster, so it has to go. That will have to wait until summer.

We are finishing up the bedroom paint and then we can finish moving in. It has been a long month, but the end is in sight. I am quick to get overwhelmed and shut down while I remedy a situation.

I have been doing some work on Good Knight Ricky and the Bad Joke Dragon. This is my latest short story that I am writing for my son. It has been a fun one too. I also have books for sale through my Biblio.com page, https://www.biblio.com/bookseller_info.php?d=2916574

I am also on Instagram and Pinterest both @danlittle104. Follow me there and feel free to check out Biblio. Give me a like and a share. If you comment, I will do my best to respond. I am really trying to start a harder push here. Things are leveling out on this end.

 

When You Have To Walk Away

Some decision aren’t easy to make. Sometimes if you are lucky they do the work for you. Today, I got the first one. It has been brewing for a while, but I was hoping things would level out.

After four months and little progress I stepped down as the Author for The Lizzie Andrews Series. There were a lot of factors that helped to make the decision. That didn’t make it any better, really it just made me mad at myself for waiting so long.

This project started in May or June. In had high hopes for it, but creative differences really do throw a lot of weight into a situation. It was set to be completed by October 1st, but it was changed. It was pushed back to the end if January. Then it was cancelled.

What were the problems? 1. My collaborator ignored all of my ideas. Try writing a 25,000 word book with less than a paragraph of information to work with, and creative license removed. It won’t happen. 2. The ideas would change by the day. What was the plan on Monday, would be changed a lot of times by Monday evening. 3. My opinion didn’t count because I was a man. I know, all the sexism stuff, let’s not start on it. If there was an idea, and there were several, that I didn’t think fit into the scope of the book, I would be told my opinion didn’t matter because I’m not a woman or mother. 4. Refusal to pay.

Now, I am a proud supporter of team work. I went well above my call of duty to make this come to life. I recruited a new illustrator when our original quit. Then I kept our new one from quitting, when our collaborator could never be pleased.

Finally, after countless hold ups and withheld information, I got the chance to write the first chapter. When I submitted it to her, I knew there would be edits. It’s part of the business.

The suggestions came, no problem. Then all of the sudden she was going to send my work to her sister to “See if it was any good” as she put it. This was my breaking point. The sister has never been a part of the project, and apparently she is an author as well.

I saw this as another piece I worked hard on that would be turned over and butchered by someone else. It wouldn’t be the first time in the process that I submitted I piece, like for a promo, and got back something I didn’t even recognize. So I had enough.

I listed my issues with the project, much like above, and told my collaborator that I had to take my name off the project. Our creative goals were too far apart, and the dealings were turning shady. I had to think about the goals of my business as a writer, and Lizzie no longer fit in.

When you get to a point that honesty is in question, it’s a red flag. Keep in mind, I have 4 months and 2 cancelled contracts with not so much as a penny received. Then she asked for all of my outlines and layouts for the book.

As an author, i put in my contracts, that a failure to pay means I keep all the work i put in. I think it’s common sense. I just simply denied her request and moved on.

I can’t take it all as a loss though. The $1,000 would have been nice though. This is not an easy business to be in. I love it, I love the stories and I love my fellow authors. I don’t think I am cut out to collaborate.

If you are, by all means, do it. Just watch your back and stick to your guns. When a job is no longer fun, consider it’s worth. Don’t be afraid to walk away and do what is a good move for you personally.

I am done venting now. Thanks for reading. I will be able to get back to my own writings more now. So, keep an eye out for Good Knight Ricky and the Bad Joke Dragon, and check out Morgan Goes Fishing. Y’all have a good day.

Dan

Morgan Goes Fishing

Ladies and gentlemen. Morgan Goes Fishing is being temporarily pulled from Amazon. I have the last 20 copies ready to sell. If you are interested in one I will be happy to hook you up. Find the purchase link below.

I am pulling Morgan for a short time. Maybe a week, as I make a couple small changes. I will be including reviews I have received for it as well as a few minor updates to list my website and a link for a printable version of the included coloring pages. They will be larger copies that can be printed for your use, and they will be offered for free.

Sales have been horrible over the last few months, so I feel these pages will be a great increase in value for my readers. This is a new readers book, and great for your favorite picture book lover.  Get yourself one of the last copies before they are all gone. Each copy will also include 2 free bookmarks for your little ones to color and enjoy. Ya’ll have a great day, and thank you for the support.

 

Morgan Goes Fishing

Morgan Goes Fishing follows young Morgan and her dad as they enjoy their first fishing trip together. Told through the eyes of a 3 year old, Morgan shares a special memory that will last forever. Join Morgan on her special trip, then enjoy the coloring pages in the back to continue your own adventure. This is a great book for any parent and child who want to hang on to these moments in life.

$5.99

Book Review Stress

Hello again everybody.

Tonight is more of a vent session for a part of my blog. I love what I do. I love getting to read new stories and present them to my kids. The excitement in their eyes as I read them a new one is pretty much why I started writing.

So, what is there to vent about? Sometimes I can’t take a book past the initial reading stage with me, and it doesn’t get presented to my kids. It’s the hard part. Sometimes a book will just fall short for my standards, and I don’t feel comfortable writing a review.

At this point I deal with a serious personal conflict. I was asked for a review, not editing. I could post my opinion of the story at that time. I have seen people offer a positive review for a certain fee. To me, that’s crap. If a story is good, but delivery needs work, I can’t write an honest review.

I have to operate fairly. I will be the first to admit that my punctuation needs some serious help. I am eternally grateful for editors. I don’t use them here. Honestly, I hope my wife never reads a single post here. She would kill me.

So how do you handle a book that isn’t ready, but has been released. I struggle with this. I decided that instead of doing a review, I offer a few critiques to the author. Again, I am not an editor. I just try to offer a few tips to bring out a more complete product. I think we should all do that.

I don’t charge for my reviews. For me, it really is about encouraging the authors. It’s not easy having an editors eye and terrible grammar. I can tell you a sentence is wrong, but I can’t come close to telling you how to fix it. Infinite commas I suppose.

I am always looking for more books to go over. My kids range from 3 to 6, so naturally I look for that range. I you have something, please, let me know. I would love to do a review for you. Everyone will get the same treatment. If there is a problem, I will address it with you privately before I just throw up a review for some blog content.

I truly enjoy what I do. There is a world full of amazing talent out there. We get to tap into that. I love that. Shoot, we get to see what may be a big seller before its even in print. That’s why I don’t charge. I have considered a donation thing if someone felt so inclined. I try to always throw in a little bit extra for people I hire for my projects, so a donation is a fair idea.

Anyway, have a great night. I have to meet a school to see about a book reading for their elementary and preschool classes. That’s exciting. Take care, and thank you for letting me vent.

Dan

One of those days, all month

You know those kinds of days that just kick your butt all the way through. It has been one of those days since about June. But hey, why be negative? I don’t have time for such nonsense. I am going to vent for a short minute though.

I have mentioned several times that I am writing a genealogy series. This is a fascinating series. The woman we are writing about was amazing, history is amazing and I love writing. It’s a good gig.

What’s not great? Easy, collaborating. I am an author. It’s simple to grasp. However, i am not a promo writer or designer. I am not a mind reader. I am not the kind of person that gets a great deal of joy out of my phone blowing up all hours of the night with more questions. The biggest one, I am not a hand holder or babysitter. (except for my kids, that’s being a dad.)

These have apparently all been misunderstood. In the two months I have been working on this series, i have written 3.5 pages. This is infuriating to me. I have told my partner that I need to be able to work on this book if we expect it to be done. I have accomplished bearly nothing. Most of my time has been spent wishing my phone would literally blow up.

It’s an easy 9 hours a day 3 to 4 days a week going over the same details over and over. Part of this pertains to the book, the rest is nonsense that doesn’t apply and could be saved for another time. So now, my writing happens after 1 am. Which is awesome since I get up at 6:30 with the kids for school when my wife leaves.

Now for good news, my computer died. Luck for me, I sold a poem last week and was able to afford a new used one with what that paid. This venture is starting to show some progress. I was also asked to write another poem for the same guy who bought the last one. Good deal for me.

In more good news, I am starting to see about making appointments for doing book readings for Pre-K through 1st grade classes. To help with this I placed an order for some bookmarks and business cards. This should look a little more professional.

All the bookmarks have a small note on the back to direct to my site and order a copy of the book. I will also be setting up a spot to print off the coloring pages. Back to the bookmarks. They are black and white, on a matte finish for the students to color their own bookmarks. I enjoy the idea of a kid having a little interaction with the book, more than reading it.

The business cards are simple. It will be attached below. My wife loved them. I feel like sometimes she doesn’t want to disappoint me, so I want some feed back from you guys about it. Let me know if you would notice it, if it’s clear and offers the right information, and if it would sway you to go to the site. Yes, if i am disappointed by the response I will sit in the corner and cry for…seconds. It’ll be embarrassing for all of us.

preview.jpg

Finally, I am looking into carrying a few of the books I will be reviewing and holding author interviews with. They will be in the Book Nook for you all to check out. I will also have my books from my Biblio.com page.

Okay, it has been a long day. I am exhausted, and I have a lot more to get done before I can go to bed. Tomorrow is another day with my Bella baby, 20180821_125948so I need a little energy for her. Have a great night and a better day.

Dan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Things Are Leveling Out

Hello again. Last week was a rough one, but we seem to be off to a fair start to the week. Let’s hope it stays that way.

I mentioned before that we had lost our illustrator. Her timing was awesome, she backed out the same day my co-author went on vacation. Normally this would be a job for her, but I took care of it.

We found an awesome art student to help on the project. We have her some ideas on what we were looking for and she delivered. She got in touch with us just yesterday.

Her work is the cover photo for this post. She captured the time period for the Lizzie stories pretty well. So, we are back on track.

We also decided on a different story. This will help tremendously with setting up the gofundme page and building interest in the book. We are gearing this one toward a story where Lizzie met George Washington. It will be released somewhere around Presidents Day.

One project is back on track, I had to put my notice in at work, and I am beyond exhausted. But We are making progress. Have a great day guys.

A kink in the plans

So, as I posted last week, I am working on a new book. This is a book set in the 1700s and includes tales of George Washington, haunted houses and just a plain life rich with memories. Well, we hit a snag. It’s a big one.

The Lizzie Andrews Series may be going off track. We were getting things in place for a gofundme page when our illustrator backed out. She sent us a contract on Friday for illustration details, and on Monday we got a message that she couldn’t do the work.

I don’t hold it against her at all. My collaborator hadn’t signed the contract yet so she wasn’t bound. She is also taking on a full time job. I can’t blame her for wanting to have steady income.

I work full time and have my health troubles. Everyone has a story. I don’t hold things against anyone. That’s not my job.

We are currently searching for a new illustrator that can work on a period piece and make it fit. We need mid 1700s details and style. It’s an exciting project. We just lost a little steam.

My collaborator, Kathy, is very discouraged. Understably I believe. So, if anyone is interested in a little art project of 8-10 pictures, with the possibilities of portraits, and has a good rate, let me know. I can run it past Kathy and we can get in touch. We are hoping to be up and running soon.

Until then, I have my next book Belly and Betty Bear’s Big Fight in the works. This is the story for my youngest daughter Bella. Her favorite toy is her Betty Bear. It’s a doll her mom made her. They do everything together. It’s cute.

Don’t forget to check out Morgan Goes Fishing on Amazon. I want to get the funds up to get out of Createspace and print my own. We all know how money is. Click on ads I guess, or buy lots of copies of Morgan Goes Fishing through the link!

https://www.amazon.com/dp/1718698194/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_awdb_t1_yM7vBbJCEKFCM

Have a great night everybody. Oh, and before I go, i will be back to more regular posts next month. Abbie has asked me to stop working when she starts teaching again. So long all.

Dan