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Sunday, May 30, 2021

Remember

After college, my brother joined the Air Force during the era of the Vietnam War. He wanted to be a pilot, but was assigned as the navigator/bombardier in an F-111, a fighter being tested in the New Mexico desert. He and the pilot died in December of 1973 when the jet crashed.

There's a memorial in Clovis, New Mexico for all those who died in the F-111.

On Memorial Day, please remember those who have served our country. There are no greater heroes.

Thursday, May 27, 2021

Hitting the Delete Button Is Easier Than Frogging

I learned how to crochet at a young age. I've been making shawls and blankets from different patterns for years. However, when I wanted to make a sweater for a baby, I had a problem with the particular pattern I had chosen. Sometimes, the patterns are difficult to interpret--that is not unusual. I wound up ripping out all the work I had done TWICE, which is called frogging. The photo on the left shows what I did wrong. The armholes were too big. I took a look at a finished sweater online and realized I was way off. I didn't give up. I redid all my work and now I'm adding arms to the sweater. I have plans make a matching cap as well.

Whenever I write a book, I have to edit it. I go over and over and over my words. I delete many of them. I add many as well. Basically, that book is written and rewritten. But it sure is easier to delete words and even entire paragraphs on a computer than it is to rip out a complete crochet project--or a knitted project. Pulling it apart is painful. Plus all that yarn must be rolled up, too. 

Quitting is always an option. I could go out and buy a sweater. But I am stubborn. Anyone can give up when the going gets tough, but if I want to finish a project--I will. 

I've said it before and I'll say it again. It's not talent. It's PERSISTENCE. 


 


Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Forty-Six Years Ago



My first date with my future husband happened forty-six years ago this week. He took me for a ride on his motorboat. He had a slip for it in Marine Park and the photo above shows him getting the boat ready to go out. This is not a good photo because at the time I was taking photos on my old Minolta 35mm and developing the negatives. I didn't stop taking pictures, but I stopped developing them. 😆

The ride that day on the river was pleasant. The boat chugged along slowly. What I didn't know was that it wasn't working as it should. It could go very fast, but it didn't that day, which was fine with me. After our ride, we went out for pizza. It was a pleasant date. So, next time he asked, I went out with him again. 

The rest of that summer, we went out on that little motorboat a lot. I took the wheel sometimes. We got stuck on sandbars. We endured a horrible thunderstorm on the water. Occasionally, we ate at restaurants with docks on the river. We stopped at Starvation Island, too. The beginning of our romance was spent riding up and down the river in that boat, which was a nice adventure. But we soon gave up boating and embarked on marriage and children. That was the best adventure of all.


Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Cooking Up A Happy Ending


A romance book must have a happy ending. That's the guarantee. Romances without an uplifting ending are not not romances. In real life, the good guys do not always win and there are plenty of tragedies. When I pick up a romance, I want to forget about the real world.

However, to assume that there is a formula or recipe in writing a romance is to dismiss the nature of the art. Yes, romances are genre literature and so they are looked down upon by those who write and read literary novels. Literary novels are considered serious works. To me, they are most often seriously depressing. Romances do have sad scenes. My novel, HEAVEN'S BLUE, has choked up a number of readers--but it ends well.

There is a lot of variety to be found in getting to the end of a romance. While there are only so many plots in the world, romances are character driven novels--and when it comes to people, the choices are endless. I've read my share of cowboy romances, but they are not all the same. Every writer comes to the task with a completely unique set of characters roaming around in his or her mind. Jane Eyre is as real in most readers' minds as Nicole Kidman--maybe more real. The characters I put into my novels are very real to me.

One of my other Christian romances, HOPING FOR JOY, is based on part of I Corinthians 13--so there's some serious spiritual pondering in the story. Still, despite their differences, the hero and heroine will succeed in falling in love by the end. Why bother reading a romance when you know that the two protagonists will end up happy every after? For me, it's the sunshine I feel in my heart when I get to the end. How about you?


Wednesday, May 05, 2021

The Results of My Featured Deal at BookBub

 

    After years of applying to BookBub for a featured deal with several of my books, Heaven's Blue was accepted. Featured deals do not come free, so I considered it a gamble to pay that much money. However, BookBub has a large subscriber base and most authors are satisfied with the results. I paid the fee and dropped the price of my book to $0.99. 

    The ad ran on a Friday, which is a very sweet time to be a featured author since it gives the readers an entire weekend to look through the books. So far, I've sold 1,361 ebooks on Amazon, which means I just about broke even for the cost of the deal. However, I also sell Heaven's Blue at Barnes & Noble, Apple, and Kobo through Smashwords. 

    The chart below shows how many sales I made through Smashwords to Apple, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo. Those sales are pure profit and while I am not going to be a millionaire, it's always nice to make a little extra. But it will take a while for that money to come in. Barnes & Noble and Apple usually take at least a month to pay. 

    


Still, there are benefits other than cash in being a featured author on BookBub. My book was at the top spot for a few days and that definitely helps with visibility. I took the photo below when my book was right next to Redeeming Love.



In addition, I received more ratings and several new reviews, which always helps when it comes to convincing a reader that the book is worth their time. 

All in all, I was very satisfied with Heaven's Blue being a featured deal at BookBub. 😀