Monday, June 25, 2012

Last FREE days for "The Influence"

Quick update: This Thursday and Friday will be the LAST free promo days on Amazon for the electronic version of The Influence. This means that I don't know when it will be free again so if you're interested in downloading it at all, mark your calendars. That's this Thursday and Friday, June 28th and 29th.

The print version is very close to being released. Here is information on how you can pre-order if you're interested in obtaining a signed copy.

And Nook owners, it will be available on Barnes and Noble during the second week of July. Not much longer now!

I appreciate the support!

Peace, happiness, and reading,


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Yep, I'm screaming like a girl.

Though I am a girl, I don't often scream like one. But lately, I've done so a few times. I'm not suddenly going all girlie girl on y'all, it's just that I've had some things that I'm excited about lately.

-TOMATOES!! (or toe-mah-toes if you're fancified)
Yeah, that's right. I'm excited that I've been able to pick the first few tomatoes from my little garden.

Our yard isn't really suitable for growing much and we're busy folks so we decided to go with just a few tomato and bell pepper plants. There's something about the taste of a home-grown tomato that is soooo different and so much better than a store bought tomato. Ever since we put those little plants into the ground, I've been looking forward to biting into one as if it were an apple.

Mmmmmmm, tomatoes.

-No content writing for a few weeks!

Content writing is in a serious slump right now. Career content writers are certainly feeling the pinch, including me. But it's an opportunity many will use to branch into different directions which is something I'm definitely taking advantage of. Although web writing is something I've been doing for a few years, I can't say that I entirely enjoy it, especially with the struggle I and several other writers have had lately. So I'm excited and blessed that I have a bit of editing work coming my way from some talented authors to pick up that pay slump.

-The print proof of The Influence came in!

When the package came in and I expressed my delight as I started to rip into it, the hubs decided he'd tease me with a little game of "keep the package away from Pamela" to which I threatened him with a little "keep away" of my own. The package quickly returned to my hands.

So I got my first look at my debut novel in print and it was every bit as joyful as I imagined. Seeing my name on the cover, seeing my picture in the back, flipping the pages to see my words inside... it's a feeling of accomplishment that's hard to compare. And I know this is the first of many.

So all the pain and sickness that I've dealt with over the last few weeks is starting to really meld into something positive. I'm glad. I'm not sure how much more I could've tolerated.

Peace, love, and well-being,


Thursday, June 14, 2012

Don't forget the blood drive...

For local peeps, tomorrow will be a blood drive at the Senior Center in Fyffe on Graves Street honoring Kolby Clayton, the 16 year-old Crossville boy who died from injuries sustains in a car crash on April 12, 2012.

While I didn't personally know Kolby, only saw him in passing, I'm lucky to be able to call his mom, Brandi Clayton, a friend.  She is the sweetest person you could ever know and has a God-given talent for being even-tempered in times where I don't know I could've kept from turning red.  She is hosting this event to both honor Kolby and thank the Red Cross for the 39 units of blood they used to try to save Kolby's life.

The drive is from 10am - 3pm. Pending they don't reject me (I currently have the crud), I'll be rolling up my sleeve.

Here's a poem I wrote. I dedicate it to Brandi and her family in honor of Kolby:

Storm and Calm

There's something magical about the sky
How it's never-ending blue
How it holds the world together
How it hides behind ominous clouds
Only to reveal its beauty
Arms open
After the hardest of times

There's something enchanting about a rainbow
How it bends so easily
How the colors blend but stay separate
How it is God's promise
Of a world safe from flood
Yet unable to grasp

And there's something about a passed loved one
How they are so close
How they are so far
How the heart aches in shreds
But knowing they are happy
And exploring
Brings a sad peace

There's something beautiful about heaven
How we pray
How we wave
How we look forward to the day
We, too, take that step
Into the blue
To hold them again

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

I'm not THAT writer.

In my career, I've met many a writer. Some local, some online. And some, well, I wish I hadn't met. It's no wonder that people really don't know how to relate to us... hell, sometimes, we don't really know how to relate to each other.

I'd like to think of myself as a somewhat laid back writer. If someone doesn't like my book, as long as they aren't nasty about it and don't equate me with my writing, that's okay. What I do and who I am are separate. Some people might argue that point but this is the way I see it. For example, I can like someone without liking their art. Take Justin Beiber -- that kid's music isn't my thing. I haven't heard a song by him yet that wasn't generic bubble gum music. But I think the kid is smart and funny. I've watched him several times on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and think he's a swell (< that's me going retro) kid.

So if you don't like my book, that's okay. I'm not THAT writer. I'm not going to enter into a long debate with you over what you did or didn't like and I don't expect you to explain yourself. And even if you do tell me what you didn't like about it, as long as you are doing it in a constructive manner, that's okay, too. I'm not THAT writer who thinks they are smarter than everyone else and above criticism.

That reminds me of a response from a Hadley Rille editor. She'd emailed me what was wrong with one of my novels. I wrote her back and thanked her for her criticism and she responded with, "Whew!" because she is never certain how a writer is going to respond to her criticism. Some writers take such things personally and then they start spewing venom. I'm not THAT writer, either.

It kills me when I see writers being overly-confident. They shout from the roof tops how fantastic they are and nine times out of ten, they are not near as good as they think they are. I saw a saying once that if you meet a confident writer, run. I'm not THAT writer. Most of the time, I'm scared as hell. I can't imagine that there will ever be a time in my career when I won't be some form of scared.

It baffles me when writers are intimidated and/or feel like they are in competition with other writers. They can't grasp the concept that writers can be helpful and supportive to one another. It's often like a contest of who knows more, who can act more superior, who can be the most stuck up. I'm not THAT writer.  I love writer friends.  I love fellow book nerds.

The whole point of this post, I suppose, is to ask that other writers take a step back from themselves every now and again.

Don't be THAT writer.

Peace, love, and relax,


Friday, June 1, 2012

Yes, I'd like some cheese with my whine. Better yet, just gimme a magic pill that will fix my back.

This week has probably been one of the more difficult weeks I've had with my back in quite some time.  I've been used to having "off" days that cleared up (as best it can clear up in my situation; for a rehash, click here for the topic "back pain" and filter back through my posts) but the major pain never lasts more than a day or two at the most.  This bout of lower back pain has been ongoing since last Sunday.  I'm walking like an elderly woman, having to be extra careful about how I move, which direction I move... then when I lay or sit down, my back is so swollen that I feel like I'm resting against balls on my back.  Pain is starting to roll down my leg again in small, aching waves.  I can shift positions and it will ease up but the fact that its even there in the first place is disturbing.

One of the main topics that is helping me make this blog popular is the chronicles of my life post discectomy.  The search terms used to find this blog sometimes makes me really sad.  Some of these terms are: "why am I still in pain after back surgery?" to "six months after discectomy still in pain" to "not better after discectomy" and it's enough to wonder if this is the norm.  Are there any success stories of post discectomy surgery out there?  I'm sorry you are going through this, too.  :(  I really feel like I'm living with a handicap. But what are the options?  Live in pain without having surgery or live in pain after having the surgery?  It's confusing and I'm starting to feel defeated.

As for the gym, the owner and I have an agreement that I do all their online management for free in exchange for free membership.  But I'm tired of going in just to use the treadmill when I have one at home to use or when I could easily walk around in my own neighborhood.  Not that I've been able to even use a treadmill this week...

My poor son told me yesterday, "Well, Momma, just go back to the doctor."  To children it is so simple.  Go to a doctor and he'll fix you.  I'd probably be shuffled back to the same neurosurgeon who released me from his care prematurely with no further instructions on how to improve my back.  I'd probably have to do another MRI that I can't afford.  And that's the thing.  I just can't afford anything else right now.

I guess when it gets to the point that I can't take it any more, I'll head back to the doctor.  Until then, I'll try to keep the whining to a reasonable level.

Peace, love, and wah,