Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Enjoy Life

I’m young. There’s no getting around that. Sometimes it’s awesome, but sometimes it really isn’t. I started writing The Gates of Nottingham when I was 16. I was homeschooling at the time, living in the middle of nowhere, and friendless. It was a decision that I made out of the blue and it occupied me quite nicely.
Now, I’m 20 and I’ve written two novels and a half dozen screenplays. There is a real divide in the people who think this is great and the people who tell me how lame I am and it has mostly got to do with their age. I see this sharp divide despite the fact that I rarely even tell people I’m writer. A few of the people whom I work with and have worked with for seven months now know nothing about it.
I am lucky in that I appear to be in my thirties, so I get away with more as far as strangers are concerned at writers conferences and other places. A thirty-something writing a book? Good for you. A 20 year old writing a book? Don’t you have better things to do with your time?
The thing is, though, it’s my time. I can do whatever I want with it as long as it isn’t illegal. I don’t criticize other young people for dating, drinking, partying, playing video games, dancing, knitting, or whatever else they do. In fact, I could do all of those things and still write if I wanted. So, I don’t really understand the flack I get. We should all enjoy our lives and this is how I enjoy mine.
However you choose to enjoy your life, I’m happy for you too. Life is too short for us all to waste it trying to be “cool” 100% of the time.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Formatting Headaches

If you’ve been reading my Twitter account, you’ll know that I had a sudden freak-out based on the idea that I MUST get published before I turn 21. So, I have been busy formatting and re-formatting. My brain hurts and I think my eyes might start bleeding soon. However, I have the CreateSpace file all set up! I really should plug Edwin Scroggins’ How To Publish Your Book using Microsoft Word 2010 here, because I used it step by step (with some alterations, because I must have things my way, after all). The instructions were very clear and the book was more than worth what it costs. It is available on Amazon.
CreateSpace is running their review on my files right now. It should take forty-eight hours and after that I can order a proof copy. I’m so excited that I’m making my friends and family nuts. I know we are in the era of the e-book, but to see it in print still feels like the ultimate fantasy. It’s silly and out-of-date, I know, but I can’t help it.
Now, for the horrible, icky, bad news: I have to re-format it twice more. I didn’t realize that CreateSpace (an Amazon company, as I’m sure you all know) does not work with Kindle (also an Amazon company, of course). So… time to do more formatting! I ended up using a CreateSpace template for my book cover, which does me no good for the e-book. This means I have been searching high and low for e-book cover templates and using all of my bandwidth to download GIMP. I don’t ownPphotoshop. So, now I have not only the task of creating the e-book cover (which is a total mystery to me at the moment and a little more than my tired brain can comprehend), I also have the task of making it as close to the print version as possible. Of course, I could always create my own and then edit my CreateSpace file, but I’m a little bit in love with the cover I made off of their template and I know for sure it will print correctly.
So, Kindle is the first goal. But wait, there’s more! Smashwords is the other e-book store I want to get my book on. Does it use the same format as Kindle? Of course not. I’m going to run out of aspirin soon. Not only that, but I was just going through my bank accounts and I am broke from buying ISBN’s, a fictitious business name, stock photos, and all of the other fun things needed to make this happen. So, as I sit and do math for my margins and try to figure out how to format an e-book cover for free, I will probably be eating Top Raman. A writer’s life is so romantic.
After I post this, I’m basically taking the day off. That is to say, I’m working my day job, but I’m not looking at my files one more time. I’ve been working on the novel for seven hours every morning, then going for an eight hour day at my retail job, coming home and working on my social networking goals, sleeping five hours, and starting all over. I’m a little worn out at the moment.
Wow, I just got really whiney. The point to all of this is that I’m getting close, and my brain is producing adrenaline like crazy because I am so happy. I think I might flip when I get my proof copy. I’ll let you know. In the meantime, any tips or clues as to this e-book cover nightmare of mine? I feel like I’m just missing some good advice. I’m pretty confident I can get all of this done before my goal date, because I can be a real go-getter if I want to be.