Tuesday, October 31, 2017

IWSG Blog Hop: History of My NaNo Experience by J.Q. Rose

Hello and welcome to the J.Q. Rose blog. 
Time for the monthly meeting of the Insecure Writers Support Group(IWSG) blog hop! 

Internet Writers Support Group Blog Hop
First Wednesday of every month.
What is IWSG? Founder of the  Insecure Writer’s Support Group and author Alex J Cavanaugh explains the group's purpose is "to share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!" You're invited to become a member of this supportive group.

The group blogs the first Wednesday of every month The list of bloggers is always available so you can hop around to the author blogs filled with humor, advice, and thought-provoking topics on writing and publishing. You can find the list of participants at Alex's IWSG page. I hope you'll take some time to visit the diverse list of bloggers.


IWSG Question for the Month
Question: Win or not, do you usually finish your NaNo project? Have any of them gone on to be published?
When I first heard the term, NaNo, I thought it was a word comedian Robin Williams coined in his 70's TV show, "Mork and Mindy." It wasn't. Mork always said, "Nanu, nanu." 

NaNo actually is the shortened term for the National Novel Writing Month challenge held every November. Writers all over the world try to write a 50,000 word novel in just that one month. Some make it and some don't. 


There's no shame in not achieving the goal of 50,000 words because a writer is a winner when actually sitting down and writing!
Time to Write!!

Yes, I took on the challenge 7 years ago. I wrote my story which turned out to be only 20,000 words. I wrote the story and assumed I was done. I didn't know then, I could have started another story and another story because the word count is what winning is all about, not the completed novel. If a person writes 50,000 words, she wins! Nano doesn't care if it's 50,000 words that go together and make sense. There is no oversight on quality of storytelling.  We can understand, the first draft is the worst draft...
"You need to start somewhere." Anne Lamott

I received a contract from MuseItUp Publishing for my project, revised many many times after Nano. BWL Publishing is republishing this story, but as a longer project, at least doubled in size, due to be released this winter. I had so much fun re-visiting the story and expanding the characters and situations in the latest version. (Oh yes, you'll be hearing more about this project in updates.)

BWL Publishing

I haven't done NaNo recently. I found re-vising the project is time-consuming. Let's face it, writing all those words under a deadline makes one write a lot of "stuff." If I ever do it again, I'll have a lot of the story and characters and setting decided before starting the writing. Hopefully that will eliminate chasing the story down the rabbit trails.

Please leave a comment below comparing your experience with mine. I'd love to hear about it. Thanks!!

Click here for information on joining in on NaNo. Hurry cause it starts November 1!!

Thank you to the awesome co-hosts for the November 1 posting of the IWSG--Tonja Drecker, Diane Burton,MJ Fifield, and Rebecca Douglass!


Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Storytime Blog Hop: The Witch of Wall Street by J.Q. Rose





Storytime blog hop
Storytime Blog Hop for October!
Logo Credit: Katharina Gerlach
Founded 2015 by students of “How To Think Sideways: 
Career Survival School for Writer’s,” 
a writing course created by writer and teacher Holly Lisle
Welcome to the Focused on Story blog by J.Q. Rose 
and to the quarterly Storytime Blog Hop!
Storytime Blog Hop
Logo designed by Juneta Key

Today, creative, talented writers share short stories to make you happy, sad, surprised, angry and all the other emotions a writer can wring out of you.
Please take some time to escape from reality by visiting writers in this fun blog hop. Just click on the links at the end of the page to take you to the participating bloggers.

You're invited to leave a comment and to share your reading experience with friends.



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October thoughts involve not only fall colors and crunchy apples, but also Halloween tricks or treats. Today, I have no-calorie treats for you--
πŸŽƒ a short Halloween story, 

πŸŽƒ my favorite Halloween poem, 

πŸŽƒ and my romantic suspense novel, 
Deadly Undertaking at 25% off. 
BOO!

πŸŽƒ πŸŽƒ πŸŽƒ
The Witch of Wall Street by J.Q. Rose
The Witch of Wall Street by J.Q. Rose
Photo courtesy of Pixabay
Harry noted the black, stiletto heels adorning long legs that disappeared under a tight, black pencil skirt. A black leather belt cinched her small waist drawing the sweater tightly over voluptuous breasts. When he made it to her face, the green eyes flashed in his direction. The smile on his face morphed into a laugh when he spotted the small witch’s cap perched on her long black hair. When she crossed the room to the table by the window, an eerie silence blanketed the room. Every eye in the hotel bar watched as if she were an apparition.
Harry leaned in toward his business partners at the table and asked, “Who is that goddess?" 
“I have no idea.” George shook his head. Harry was old enough to be a grandfather, but it never stopped him from hitting on young women.
“Adam, you’re a New Yorker. Do you know her?”
Adam swiveled back to face Harry. “You don’t want to be messing around with her. That’s Venus Devine. She’s known as the Witch of Wall Street. You don’t want to trifle with her. She can cast a spell on you that will ruin your life.” Adam pointed his finger at Harry. “Trust me. Stick with your hot babes from LA.”
“Interesting. Intriguing.” Harry rested his cigar on the ashtray, stood up, and smoothing his tie across his paunch, he said. “I’m going to ask her to join us.”
“Wait.” Adam reached to grab Harry’s arm, but Harry shook him off and marched to the woman’s table.
“Hello,” he said as he approached the table. “Looks like you’re ready to celebrate Halloween. Where’s your broom?” Harry produced his charming smile, the one he used to win over unsuspecting prey. “I’m Harry Hurtz.”
She offered her hand. “I know who you are Mr. Hurtz,” she said. Instead of shaking it, he bent over and gently kissed the back of her hand. 
“Oh, I see. A real gentleman.” Her dazzling smile engaged all of his senses. The softness of her hand, the floral fragrance of her body, the low velvety voice bewitched him.
“Ms. Devine, if you’re not meeting anyone, would you care to join us at our table for a drink?”
“I have a few minutes before my driver comes to pick me up to take me to a Halloween party. I’d enjoy sharing your company for one drink.” She punctuated her timetable by holding her index finger in the air. She gathered her bag and slipped out of the chair. Harry offered her his arm and escorted the gorgeous woman to his table where his partners sat.
“He did it again. What is it about Harry that charms the ladies?” George rested his elbows on the table and laced his fingers together.
Adam slicked back his hair with his hands and wet his lips. “Oh come on. You know it ain’t his looks. It’s his money and powerful contacts.” He smirked. “That’s what I like about hangin’ out with the old guy. Plenty of pretty girls.” 
They both stood as Harry pulled out the chair for her, grabbed his chair and sat close to her. As he made the introductions, his grey eyes gazed into hers.
After the third drink and lots of fun and flirting, Venus said to the men, “I’m going to a Halloween party.” She fondled the pendant hanging from a thick gold chain around her neck. “Let’s take our little party here and move it to where the action is.”
The men grinned at each other, then Harry said, “Well, I know I can accompany you, but these guys have other plans, don’t you, boys?” Harry raised his eyebrows and shot them a threatening look.
George said, “Oh, look at the time. My wife’s been waiting to go to dinner with me. Sorry, I can’t go, but you two enjoy the revelry.”
“Adam, too bad you and your buddies already planned a Halloween party, eh?”
“Oh, yeah. Guess I’d better run. I’m in charge of, um, something. You guys have a good time.” Both men said their goodbyes and disappeared into the crowded hotel lobby.
“Well, looks like it’s just you and me. Shall we notify your driver we’re ready,” Harry asked.
After texting the driver, Harry escorted Venus through the elegant lobby arm in arm. Harry puffed up his chest and stood taller enjoying the attention and whispers their combination aroused.  A black, sleek Rolls Royce pulled up to the door. The driver got out of the car and opened the back door curbside for the couple to enter the vehicle.
The car pulled out into the bustling streets of the city and disappeared in traffic. One hour later, the Rolls pulled up in front of the hotel. The driver got out of the car and opened the back door curbside. A fat toad with grey eyes hopped out of the vehicle and up on the curb.

“Happy Halloween.” the driver said as he slammed the car door and drove away.
The End

Happy Halloween from J.Q. Rose
photo by Pixabay

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FOR MORE HALLOWEEN FUN
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Especially for Halloween, another treat. My mystery, Deadly Undertaking, is now 25% off at Smashwords.
Deadly Undertaking by J.Q. Rose
Click here to download this ebook for $2.24
Use the code AS94U at checkout 

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Thanks so much for stopping in. Please visit the following bloggers for even more Halloween treats!

Till Death Us, by Fanni SΓΌtΕ‘ 
The Cloud, by Karen Lynn
Data Corruption, by Barbara Lund 
Wish Granted, by Kami Bataya 
The Witch of Wall Street, by J. Q. Rose 
#StorytimeBloghop Grim Reapers on a Field Trip#FlashFiction #SFF, byJ Lenni Dorner 
Unwelcome Vistors, by Bill Bush 
A Writer's Morning, by Katharina Gerlach 
Unverified, by Erica Damon 
Tito's to the Max, by Chris Makowski 
The Boon, by Juneta Key
Recommended Reading, @ Raven O'Fiernan 
Sanctuary, by Elizabeth McCleary

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

6 Editing-My-Novel Steps by J.Q. Rose, 25% Off Sale


Hello and welcome to the Focused on Story Blog by J.Q. Rose!

Mark Twain Quote
I am slogging through the manuscript for Terror on Sunshine Boulevard. Yes, editing. Finding the right words, like Mark Twain said, makes a difference in your story. It is grueling work. When I read a word and it stops me in my editing zone, then it's the wrong word. I have find the right word, but how? 

The steps I go through to find the "right" word.
  • I roll around a lot of words in my head, 
  • I hit shift/f7 to bring up a "dictionary" of sorts in my Word program, 
  • then I go to thesaurus.com for help 
  • if nothing else works, I BOLD and italicize it to return to it when the right word pops into my brain.
6 Editing-My-Novel Steps by J.Q. Rose

Here are the steps I go through when editing (and I must admit I don't have a set number of edits.) Some writers write the first draft, edit for content, edit it for grammar and spellings, final edit for formatting = 4 read-throughs.

1. First draft--I do not edit as I write, or try not to. If you edit as you write, you will never reach the end of the story. Just get down the bones. I admit I do have to correct misspelled words. I am OCD about spelling. I write chronologically. I don't do the big scenes then try and string them together. Tried that once. Never again.
2. I write each chapter and save it in a separate file. I edit each chapter (more than once) before I add it to the manuscript file. Here I add flesh to the bones and clean up awkward sentences and try to slash unnecessary words or redundant information. I have a list of words I overuse, and in the ms I use the Find program in Word to find and replace them.
3. I write the scenes on sticky notes and place them in order according to the ms like a story board. Here's where I can delete or move scenes if I think it improves the flow of the story.
4. I read through the entire ms to check the timeline, sequence, and the characters' actions and descriptions.
5. I put it away and don't touch it for a couple of weeks. Then I send the ms to my kindle and convert it to an ebook. I read it on my kindle and highlight typos, nonsensical sentences, blue eyes to brown eyes, and all the stuff that really sticks out when reading the ms in this format. Sometimes I use the text to speech to "listen" to the story too. Then I find the highlighted notes in the ms and correct them.
6. Finally, I check formatting and make sure Chapter 3 follows Chapter 2, etc. and delete extra pages that sometimes end up in the ms after all the editing.
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I'm sure if you have a novel-writing program like Scrivener, some of this work is done for you. But I don't have Scrivener. Do you? Do you use it?

I have a wonderful writers group who reads my chapters and helps me brainstorm and also look for "problems" in the story whether in content or proof-reading. Fresh eyes really, really help. 

By the final read-through, I am comfortable to send it out to beta readers for feedback. And when I get that back, it's back to editing, adding, taking away, etc. You know what I mean.

I'd appreciate hearing from you on your steps for editing. Always eager to learn new methods. Leave a comment below.
Kindle for editing
Photo courtesy of Pixabay
Click here or my blog post on using the kindle for editing
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Grammarly
I am experimenting with Grammarly.com, an online program to correct errors in documents. I have it on my FB and email, so when I use these pages errors are highlighted right away. I like that.I haven't tried putting a whole ms into the program...yet. 

I only have the free version. The premium version offers more information such as finding passive sentences, but so far I haven't been curious enough to pay for the service.
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BIG NEWS

My publisher, BWL Publishing is offering 25% off my mysteries when using the coupon for Smashwords. The sales price with the coupon is $2.24...Grab them for yourself or your friends! All formats are available. If you have a kindle, order the mobi file.

Click on the titles below to go to the Smashwords Sales Page. 


   Dangerous Sanctuary                              Deadly Undertaking

         Coupon Code KW65J                                                        Coupon code--AS94U

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Indie Publishing with Draft2Digital, Girls Succeed 99 cent Promotion

Hello and welcome to the Focused on Story Blog!
Girls Succeed! by J.Q. Rose
To inspire girls

Today I am sharing my story on distributing my ebook, Girls Succeed! Stories Behind the Careers of Successful Women, to readers.

I decided to offer my non-fiction book for Middle Grade girls to a wider audience, so I took it out of the exclusive amazon program KDP Select. I kept the book available at amazon, but uploaded it to a new-to-me distributor, Draft to Digital, also known as D2D. 

Now Girls Succeed! is available in many other online retailers including Apple, Nook, Kobo, Scribd, Indigo, and more. I also like having a Universal Link that allows a reader to click on it and see ALL the places where my ebook is available and not just as a Kindle format. Click here to see what I mean about the universal link.

When the e-book first came out in 2012, I placed it at amazon and Smashwords. I had a "hen" of a time getting SW to accept it because the formatting for the Table of Contents was incorrect. I spent hours and hours of time trying to get it right. I followed Mark Coker's guide book to the tee, I thought, and still had to do the ToC over and over. Finally it was accepted with no guidance from SW.

Later I took it out of SW and did the exclusive amazon plan because of the great opportunities for promotion. When I determined I may be missing many readers by having the amazon only association, I again uploaded my updated manuscript to SW. I received the bad news it wasn't accepted. When I checked the evaluation, there was a bunch of gibberish as to what was wrong. It was way over my head and I could only think about how much time and energy I had spent trying to fix it the first time.

I turned to D2D to see if I could get the ms accepted there. Then the dreaded message came back from D2D--"Apple has rejected Girls Succeed! Stories Behind the Careers of Successful Women." I felt like throwing up my hands and saying "fuhgetaboutit." But along with the message D2D who formats your manuscript for free, added this 
"Incomplete/Inaccurate iBooks-Generated Table of Contents
- Please provide a complete, accurate listing of all chapters or sections in the iBooks-generated table of contents.
Please let us know if you have any questions.

Questions? They actually wanted me to ask questions? So I sent the listing of the chapters. Crystal from D2D answered me with this information about the ToC format.


Hello,
The reason it's rejected is that when you convert your book with our conversion tool, in order to create a proper ToC within the epub file (which is required by Apple) it has to read the one in your file. I see that you have your own linked Table of Contents (ToC) in the file. However, when you linked the file you did not link the entire list. Our conversion tool will look for the phrase or word Table of Contents or Contents.  Once it sees this it will consider every link after to be part of the ToC.  Once the conversion tool sees unlinked text it sees the list as being done and assumes that the rest is not related to the ToC in the file. 
In order to fix this you simply need to link the entire line for each entry instead of only a partial line or remove the unlinked text altogether. 

After a few more messages between Crystal and me, I sent her what I wanted the ToC to look like, not just Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, but to include the woman's name and her career in the title of the chapter about her. Crystal offered to format it for me. I asked what the charge would be and she said no charge. I would've hugged her if I could have!! 
Big hugs for Crystal of Draft 2 Digital
What a relief to have her do it for me. And she did! then sent the complete ms with the new formatting for the ToC to me so I could upload the corrected ebook file. Now when the reader clicks on the Universal Link, they can order a copy from Apple too!

So I must say, D2D's customer service is top rated in my estimation. And I want to add, all these messages flying back and forth between Crystal and me were done in just a few days. Crystal promptly responded with the solution each time.

If you are an indie publisher, what distributor do you use? Are you exclusively in amazon to use their promotions? Aren't I full of questions? Now you know how Crystal must've felt. LOL. 
****
If you have the time or the curiosity, you're invited to pop on over to the Girls Succeed Blog. Click here to visit.
99 Cent Book promotion
With my new opportunities to offer the Girls Succeed book to a wider audience, I ran a 99 cent promotion Sept 28-October 9. Originally the ebook including a reader's guide sold for $3.99. I'll report on the success or non-success of that experience once I get all my info together.

BTW--the ebook is available now at $2.99 and you can take a look at it and even purchase it to inspire a girl in your life here. Or if you would consider leaving a review, I would be happy to send you the PDF copy of the book FREE!

Thank you for stopping by.




Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Insecure Writers Support Group Question: Have you ever slipped any of your personal information into your characters, either by accident or on purpose?

Hello and welcome to the J.Q. Rose blog. 
Time for the monthly meeting of the Insecure Writers Support Group(IWSG) blog hop! 



Internet Writers Support Group Blog Hop


First Wednesday of every month.
What is IWSG? Founder of the  Insecure Writer’s Support Group and author Alex J Cavanaugh explains the group's purpose is "to share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!" You're invited to become a member of this supportive group.

The group blogs the first Wednesday of every month The list of bloggers is always available so you can hop around to the author blogs filled with humor, advice, and thought-provoking topics on writing and publishing. You can find the list of participants at Alex's IWSG page. I hope you'll take some time to visit the diverse list of bloggers.


IWSG Question for the Month
Question: Have you ever slipped any of your personal information into your characters, either by accident or on purpose?

Personal information? Like my birthday or Social Security Info?  No, I've never slipped that kind of info in my characters' personalities. 
Deadly Undertaking by J.Q. Rose

A handsome detective, a shadow man, 
and a murder victim kill Lauren’s plan for a simple life.

I have used my personal experiences in stories. In Deadly Undertaking, the setting of the story is a funeral home. Yes, my dad was an undertaker (and my brothers too) so I was familiar with the business. My character, Lauren, performed many of the jobs I did when I was a kid e.g. dusting caskets, setting up flowers for the visitation and service, and racing out with all the flowers right after the service to set the floral pieces at the gravesite before any mourners arrived. Honestly, we never had a shadow man-in-residence, but writing Henry, the ghost, who is a pain-in-the- neck for Lauren, was a lot of fun. And isn't that the reason we write all these stories?
Dangerous Sanctuary by J.Q. Rose
Pastor Christine never imagined 
she would be caring for a flock that includes 
a pig, a kangaroo, and a murderer.

Dangerous Sanctuary's main character, Christine, is based on female ministers I have interviewed and who were our church ministers. I gleaned some of the information and their experiences for the story during conversations e.g. parishioners complimenting Christine on the shoes she wore along with her robe. "Noone would do that with a male minister," one of the women told me with a smile.

In my upcoming mystery to be released this fall by BWL Publishing, Terror on Sunshine Boulevard, I had to research all the information on marijuana...no personal experience with that. (See that halo shining over my head?)

I'm looking forward to reading your answers to the question of the month. Click below to leave a comment.

Thank you for stopping by.
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in the non-fiction interactive ebook for girls,the amazing women who tell their inspiring stories  certainly believed in their dreams. Find out about their journeys to successful careers-technology expert, chef, horse trainer and breeder, hockey player, medical doctor, medical researcher, and many more.
Girls Succeed is on sale for a limited time--99 cents-- and includes a Reader's Guide. 
With the push for Science, Technology, Engineering , Mathematics ( STEM) education programs,stories of  the role models in these fields are excellent resources for classroom teachers and homeroom studies.
Role models for girls!
Click here to get your ecopy for a girl in your life for 99 cents for a Limited Time. 
All formats available.