Sunday, December 26, 2010

Happy Boxing Day

Happy Boxing Day to my Canadian friends and friends around the world celebrating today. It's a cold windy day in Florida so I imagine it is kind of cold for outdoor activities today--except in New Zealand and Australia perhaps... Enjoy the day.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Snowbirds Christmas

Wishing all the snowbirds a Happy Snowbirds Christmas! Snowbirds are folks who migrate south in the winter. I am a snowbird who lives in Florida during the winter to escape the snows and blizzards and ice up north. In fact the main characters in my ebook coming out in March 2011 are snowbirds who live in a retirement community in Florida.

I am sharing this video, Southwest Florida Christmas, with you--a parody on a Christmas song written for snowbirds (and anyone who knows a snowbird) and Florida residents.I hope this entertaining piece gives you a giggle and helps to make your Christmas merrier!


For more snowbird fun, check out my ebook, Sunshine Boulevard by J Q Rose from Muse It Up Publishing.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Recipe--Warm Up the Holidays with Fireside Coffee


Fireside Coffee is my favorite recipe for warming up the winter holidays. If you were here, I'd love to share a cup of it with you at my kitchen table. The best I can do is give you the recipe so you can share a mug with friends and famiily this winter. (It is also a great drink to have around the campfire when camping this summer.)

Gift Idea--Bag up some mix, add a ribbon and tag, and give to that coffee lover on your gift list.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2011!!

Fireside Coffee Recipe

3 c. instant cocoa mix
1 c. instant coffee (decaf is okay to use)
2 c. dry coffee creamer
1 c. granulated sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp, nutmeg
pinch of cloves
pinch of salt

Mix well. Use 3-4 heaping teaspoons of mix in a mug of boiling water.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Good Avice On Being Published by Sarah-Jane

I know I am not the only writer experiencing the journey to publishing a debut book. Read this post from the Write Game by Sarah Jane Lehoux.

TheWriteGame: On Being Published, The Process

Final Galley

A galley. Thesaurus.com uses these synonyms for a galley--galley , galley proof, impression, page proof, pass, pull, repro, revise, slip, stereo, trial, trial print, trial proof

Were you thinking of a kitchen on a boat? No, it is a publishing term derived from setting type in a metal sleeve and placing it on the printing press. In modern terms, I received a galley from my publisher and it was a digital file of my entire book, Sunshine Boulevard, as it will appear as an online ebook. Lea Schizas, formatting editor and publisher at Muse It Up Publishing included instructions--"go over this with a fine tooth comb." I searched for typos, grammar errors, punctuation problems, incorrect line spacings. whew...Now it's on me if there are any goofs in the book. That is scary enough, but even more scary is what she added.--"The sooner you get this back to me, the sooner we can finalize it and send it out for reviews."

Reviews, what? That has me shaking in my boots. My little story which I wrote closeted at my safe desk oblivious of the world around me, will now be sent out into the cold, cruel world for criticism, judgment, praise, applause, or rotten tomatoes.

The plan is for release on March 1, 2011. When I signed the contract for Sunshine Boulevard, I thought March 1 was so far away. Now it is just around the corner. I am excited to share it with readers, but also a bit apprehensive. Whatever happens, I have enjoyed the adventure into publishing.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Muse It Up Publishing December Holiday Discount

Muse It Up Publishing is flinging open its doors and celebrating the launch of its new publishing company in real style. Unbelievable 25% holiday discount till December 10. Check out this site for free reads, samplers, and great books from new and seasoned authors.



The Muse It Up Publishing blog is featuring holiday essays and stories for you. Jump in and enjoy our authors musings.

My mystery/light horror novella, Sunshine Boulevard will be available March 1, 2011. Click on the "notify me" button on the linked page to receive an email when the book is available.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Gifts of the Season

This is a time for gift giving. The stress of shopping, planning, purchasing, events can ruin the holidays. Don't let it. Take some time to enjoy the gifts of the season--hope, joy, peace, and love. I wish these all for you. Happy Holidays!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

More Editing

Sunshine Boulevard, a mystery/horror novella, coming in March 2011.
 Sunshine Boulevard is my debut novel. I am learning about the publishing business with this new experience. Those of you who are writers are well aware of polishing your manuscripts (ms) before submitting to a publisher. But are you aware that just because the pub decides to publish it, you are not done with revising?

The editors at Muse It Up Publlishing are going through my ms with a fine tooth comb. I have a content editor and a line editor. Now that the content editor has finished, she sent the ms on to the line editor. But before making changes the editors always check with the author, thank goodness. Thanks to these two editors, my story is becoming tighter and I must say shorter. LOL..But improved for sure.

I am not through with the editors yet though...I have one more to go through for formatting. I'll let you know how that works out!!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Going Flamingo


I am going flamingo crazy! Just because the book cover for my upcoming ebook, Sunshine Boulevard, has a pair of flamingoes on the front, I am searching everything flamingo. I think it will be fun to use these symbols of fun Florida sunshine to add to the conversation about my mystery/horror story that takes place in Florida.

On the right side of this page, notice the flamingo pair on the cover of the book make a heart shape. No it isn't a romance. What is the significance of the heart? The book cover designer, Delilah, figured this one out. Very clever gal. Perhaps as you peruse the info on this blog and my author website, you can figure it out.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Halloween is My Least Favorite Holiday Bah, Humbug!

Halloween scares me. Yes, it does. It is my least favorite holiday probably because of trick or treating experiences as a child. How many of you had your mother dress you up like the jolly green giant with a balloon for his head and tiny peep holesin his chest to see the path to the neighbor's doors? Or how many of you ran like crazy 12 year olds racing from house to house in the cold rain, freezing to death because it was not cool in our clique to wear a rain coat and boots? And how about those old folks who invited you into their homes for cocoa and cookies and wanted to talk and talk and talk? They were as creepy as some of the monsters in my imagination.
I went to one scary movie with my brothers--something like Abbott and Costello Meets Frankenstein. I think they told mom it was Abbott and Costello so she thought it was okay and had them drag me along. I'm sure they loved taking their seven year old sister with them.-- I spent the entire movie under the theater seat hiding from the scary scenes on the enormous screen.
So, I hate Halloween. But isn't it ironic that the first book I sold is a mystery/horror story???
What are some of your Halloween memories??

Thursday, October 14, 2010

My Brain is on Overload

This is the week of amazing learning, talented teaching, and mind-blowing information gathering. It is the Muse Online Writers Conference--a FREE, yep FREE, writers conference. A writer can attend any hour of the day, but best of all, there is no need to dress up or even get out of your jammies to get in on all the writing information.

Discussions go on all day and night about the business of writing, fiction, non-fiction, publishing, self-publishing, editing, book covers, grammar.....you get the idea. There are handouts for attendees so if the brain is on overload, the participant can read the information at her leisure (whatever that is...in the bathtub?)

If you didn't get a chance to register for this year's conference, do sign up for next year's. There is something for everyone. Just don't forget to get your stash of chocolate to get you through this fantastic experience.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Editing My Manuscript for Sunshine Boulevard

This week I received the first edited manuscript for Sunshine Boulevard. My content editor, Karen McGrath, sent me her edited version of the ms done by using the Tracking option on Microsoft Word program. Oh, my goodness, but you should have seen the red boxes with deletions, insertions, and comments! Whoooo-eeeeeeeeee….Karen assured me this is what all authors have to go through and that mine was no worse than others.
Do you remember getting your red-inked English theme back from your sixth grade teacher? While that was a shock, opening up my ms file and seeing all the red boxes on the right side of the page with broken lines leading to the text took me back to those school years. Oh my.
When my heart slowed down and I could breathe again, I began reading through the ms. As I read, I noticed the flow of the story was smoother, the action was faster, a few words replaced several sentences. All of the things I love to do when I edit my writing. Hey, she made this script even better??
I now look at the trimmed down story as being on Word Watchers…a writer’s version of Weight Watchers.  I went over her changes and suggestions and added my own, then emailed the file back to her.
I did not realize that after turning in a ms I would be spending hours on revising it again. But I want to put out the best story for my readers and I appreciate Karen working with me to do that.  I am anxious to see what she sends back to me for the second edit and to learn about the process that Muse It Up Publishing uses to finish the ms in order to give the reader the very best reading experience.
Stay tuned. I’ll probably be whining again about the editing!!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

October 1, 2010 is an Important Date

October 1, 2010 is an important date I have looked forward to for months--the official launch date of Muse It Up Publishing. Let me tell you that Lea Schizas and the gang certainly knows how to throw a party. Check out this new, fresh publisher.

Next date I am counting down to is March 1, 2011 when my mystery/horror ebook, Sunshine Boulevard, will be available. More information on this light, horror story will be coming soon.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Muse It Up Publishing Readers Group--Join Now

It's time to get in on the active Muse It Up Publishing Readers Group where readers mingle with authors, ask questions, discuss books and writing. The site will host upcoming events, excerpts, reviews, and tons of goodies throughout the year.

Exciting times at Muse It Up Publishing--flinging open their doors to new reads, free reads, entertaining books and e-books, prizes. Check out the October Masquerade Festival and be ready for a spooky good time.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Happy Fall Season

Happy Fall--believe it or not the Fall season officially begins tonight at 11:00 pm. It's a beautiful time of the year in Michigan with all the colorful foliage, crisp apples, apple cider, donuts. 
Our family took our annual apple farm tour last Sunday afternoon. It turned out to be a gorgeous day for visiting four, yep four, farms. The grandkids ages 18 months- 10 years old enjoyed petting the animals...never saw so many goats in my life...kitties, ducks, rabbits. There are wagon rides, corn mazes, and orchard tours too. For a list of farms to visit in west michigan go to Inside West Michigan.




Now with school starting (and back to home-schooling) and more of a routine, people can settle into reading and writing. A fall afternoon indoors looking out at the pretty foliage and nestled in your favorite reading chair is a welcome retreat after a busy summer of picnics, get-togethers and trips. Time for yourself, time to relax.
Enjoy! Happy Fall!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Writers Groups

I love my writers group. We get together at our library every three weeks. Our leader set up a loop so we can email our submissions to everyone (mailings to those with no email). We usually have 2 or 3 writers submit their work for discussion. This is a time for helpful comments on the writing, not a time to knock down a writer. If a member sees something that could be fixed, she will point it out to the writer, then suggest ways to make it better. The writer has the choice of incorporating the suggestion in the story or not.

I think one of the best rules is knocking when someone agrees with the critiquer especially on an excellent writing section. It is so funny when we are all knocking our knuckles on the table in agreement.

There are so many personalities in a writers group. It makes for a lively discussion and lots of fun. Just remember if you are being critiqued, take it with a grain of salt. You have the final say in how you want to present your story.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Halloween Masquerade Festival

Punpkins are turning orange, air is crisp, apples are ripening. Tis getting that Halloween feeling. October is the big kick off month for my publisher, Muse It Up Publishing. And are they opening with a bang! or Woooooooooooo....(that's a ghost sound in case you are wondering...LOL)

Check out the fun at the Halloween Masquerade Festival with free stories and e-books.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Editing Begins

Oh, yeah.  My sparkling and perfect manuscript (ms) is revealing some flaws. Unbelievable!! My editor at Muse It Up Publishing, Karen McGrath, sent me a sheet full of words that need to be weeded out to avoid passive voice. Some of the 24 words she doesn't want to see unless really really necessary are that, had, but, and, then, about, was as, very, were, has been, will be, around, just, could.

I smugly popped on the Edit tag in Word 2003 and scrolled to Find. Knowing that I would not be using just in my ms, I clicked on Find just. Lo and behold, there was a ton of them! Just imagine. I guess I just didn't realize how much I unconsciously slipped it in. Just how crazy is that!

I am wading through this arduous task. I must admit it is an eye opening experience, and I feel that I am improving my ms with this.

I am afraid to go to Find and..........

Friday, August 13, 2010

You're Invited

You're invited to join me as I journey through the new and changing publishing industry. My first e-book, Sunshine Boulevard, is a mystery, horror novella.  I am a freelance writer with articles featured in magazines and newspapers and online ezines. Fiction writing is new for me in this writing career. (I am not counting all the stories I began writing in second grade.) I was thrilled when I learned Lea Schizas, publisher at Muse It Up Publishing, emailed me telling me their board loved this lighthearted, fun read.

Not only am I new to publishing novels, but also to this new world of e-books. I am facing a big learning curve as my first book is a fictional, e-book. I am looking forward to the learning opportunities ahead of me.

Please come with me to experience this new adventure. I might need you to hold my hand.....