Advice for New Authors

Word to the new author: there are thousands of publishing companies in the USA. You’ve probably heard of the largest 3 or 4; they’re the busiest and often the most difficult to get read by. If they’re the only ones you’re soliciting, you’re missing the best publishing experience: the small or mid-sized publisher.

If you want to get your book published, look for books similar to yours at bookstores and public libraries, note the publisher names on the title page, and visit their websites. Talk to the bookstore staff and librarians to see if they know any local publishers. Also visit any regional book fairs and chat up the publishers there. Google your state or big city name and the words “publishing company” and see if anything turns up.

A good publisher will treat you like family. You should have a dedicated contact whom you know by name. They’ll keep in touch and they’ll also expect you to pull your weight: you will need to set up signings, do radio shows, answer questions, sit and talk to the public about your book.

Self-publishing is a respectable business nowadays too, especially with print-on-demand. POD takes out a lot of the initial costs of publishing. But going it alone does mean you’ll do about 10 times as much promotion work, if you want that lovely book of yours to sell.

First and foremost: write that book. You can’t show up to a publisher empty-handed. Have your manuscript ready for review.

Big ❤  to all prospective authors! You’re the lifeblood of the book industry.  🙂

Fitness and Fasting; Monday 28 July 2014

Saturday evening, I did my very first Jillian Michaels workout. 🙂 She’s encouraging and sensible, very helpful attitude. She did her job on Biggest Loser with a great combination of discipline and idealism.

The video gave a great whole body workout. Abs and cardio and upper body and hiney and legs. My calves are sore today and my shoulders were a bit sore yesterday but I still feel stronger and more energetic. I want to undo the desk job body and be fit, genuinely fit. Muscles doing what they’re supposed to in the right places for the right reasons.

Honestly? I want to sit down withOUT my belly lying on my lap. Good strong muscles, taut skin. That’s my goal. Belly just staying up where it belongs.

Fasting today. I’ve been juice fasting at the New Moon for several months, and I think I’m ready to fast more days. Each fast, I feel better afterwards. My stomach returns to its correct size and my belly’s gotten a rest, it’s easier to tell when I’m full. I’m completely hydrated and slept better. It’s a ridiculously easy fast; I take in at least 800 calories.

Should I fast twice a month? three days? four? I need a routine in order to make it happen. Right now I’m using the lunar calendar, fasting at the New Moon. If I wanted to do twice a month, I could fast on the 1st and 15th, or the two quarter moons. Three times a month would be every 10 days. Four times a month, every Monday?

I lost 20lb in 2013, going from 167 to 145. I’ve maintained around 145 so far this year but lately have gained about 2lb. While I’m happy with how far I’ve come, I would like to get to a carrying weight (clothes, shoes, meals included) of 140 tops. So, that means losing another 10lb. I think fasting is key to that goal, as it reduces both calorie intake and appetite.

I might also take the spiritual practice of donating food equal to the amount missed while fasting. Kroger has a handy drop-box; just need to remember to pick up food items to put in it each time I go grocery shopping.

Tuesday 22 July

Sun enters Leo today.

Sang my sunrise hymn this morning as Harley and I walked.  Worked on a sunset verse.  It occurred to me that I only know each of my songs in one key.  I immediately wanted to spend the whole day at home playing and transposing them into all keys.  Will work on that.

Went to Jerry’s Artarama last night to pick up paint for the front door and get two items framed.  Frame guy was out but an artist named Gil Veda was there, very chatty.  He gave me his card and drew a quick portrait of me on the back, me as a mermaid with a seahorse at my side.  🙂

Doors need water energy, according to Feng Shui, so that people and things can flow thru them unobstructed.  My front door was dark green and I’d painted a tree on it;  trees soak up water.  Oops.  

SO, I planned to change it to a water scene.  I’m not fond of beaches but I recently found a Japanese ink drawing of garden hummocks in a water setting, each hummock connected by a bridge.  Image is heavily water, surrounded water, but still contains beloved trees and garden.  🙂  This should absolutely meet the feng shui need as well as my aesthetic need.

I did one coat of white and then a coat of light blue and light green.  They’re way too bright, so I picked up a tube of cerulean blue for the third coat.  Ennui Teen is at band camp.  If I get the lawn mowed in time, I should be able to get another base coat on the front door tonight.  

Listened to Jillian Michael’s Shred #1 yesterday.  The first five minutes, I was enthusiastic.  “Yeah!”  I thought to myself.  “This is great!  I can do this at home tonight!”  By the end, I felt quite uncertain of my resolve.  I did not shred last night.  May try it tonight or tomorrow.  JM is strident but encouraging, and she’s an Aquarius too, like  many of my friends. 

Happy Tuesday.  🙂



Monday 21 July 2014

Vocal warm-ups while walking Harley this morning, attempted Let It Go and Shower the People from memory.  

Did vocal warm ups on Saturday, listened to a few sections of Mark Baxter’s vocal instruction DVD, and sang for at least two hours.  Am getting the hang of relaxing the voice box.  

By end of day, my voice felt just slightly used but my tone and control were much better.  I felt nostalgic for high school choir class.  Sunday morning my voice felt almost perfectly rested.  Woot!  

I am certain I can re-establish most of my vocal range and that my voice still sounds good, if not the incredible head-turning tone I had in my youth.  I get compliments now and then – granted, they’re from people who love me!  LOL!  I do see people wince when I’ve done karaoke, so I know I’ve got a long ways to go.  Hey, it’s what I’ve got and it’s mine to use, right?  Never too late to pursue a dream.