Friday, November 28, 2008

Thankful for Much

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Well, those of you who celebrate it, anyway. I hope everyone else had a great Thursday. I spent the day with family and enjoyed a wonderful meal prepared by my mom (she's such a good cook!). Now, as promised, here's a list of things I'm thankful for:

God loves me
Family (including my furry kids: two cats and two dogs)
Being able to clearly communicate my thoughts (I had trouble with that when I was a kid)
Working at my dream job
Getting a publishing contract

There are a ton of other things I'm thankful for, such as the gorgeous sunny day we're having right now, but it would take me hours to write them all down. Suffice it to say I have a lot to be thankful for.

Remember, you don't have to wait for Thanksgiving to be thankful. Remind yourself of all the good things in your life or just take a moment to think about what you're grateful for, and it will help you be a happier person. I've learned that from my own experience.

Have a terrific weekend!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Social Networking (Whine and Cheese)

I've entered the world of social networking by joining MySpace (which I mentioned a while ago), Twitter, Facebook, and ShoutLife. I can tell you now each has their own unique qualities, and I think I'll be happy with all of them.

I do have difficulties with each of them, but that's mainly due to my own personality and lack of understanding of social networking. MySpace still intimidates me, but I think I can navigate it fairly easily. ShoutLife's platform is similar to MySpace but less intimidating to me. I still need to figure out if I can use the same layout on ShoutLife that I use on MySpace. Twitter is probably the easiest to use, if I had something to say fairly often, but I'm not that interesting a person (at least I don't think I am). I still don't understand Facebook. I've figure out groups (sort of) and I know how to update my page, but how do you find people who share your interests without joining a billion groups?

My biggest problem with everywhere but ShoutLife is a lack of friends. I'm doing okay on Twitter, but I can always use more followers. My friends list on MySpace is pretty pathetic (I think I have 6). I'm so lonely on Facebook. I have no friends at all, *sniff, sniff*. ShoutLife has been the friendliest site so far. Everyone has been so welcoming and friendly. In the few days since I joined (I set up my account over the weekend), I've received over fifty friend requests, welcome messages, and even one group invitation from all kinds of people. I think that warm welcome is part of what makes ShoutLife less intimidating than MySpace.

Okay, now that you all know I'm a little inept when it comes to social networking sites, here's an invitation for you. Come find me (search for E.A. West) on any of the sites I've mentioned and send me a friend request. Let me know how you found me, and I'll add you to my friend list. In the case of Twitter, I'll become one of your followers.

Now, for a change of subject. Since Thursday is Thanksgiving, I'll post again on Friday. I'll be busy with family on Thrusday. Have a happy Thanksgiving and think about the things you're thankful for. I'll post my list Friday.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Oh my goodness!

I have a cover for my short story Dreams Do Come True with The Wild Rose Press!!! The wonderful Nicola Martinez did an excellent job. Check it out:

I am so excited! This brings me one step closer to having a published e-book. The Wild Rose Press is so awesome!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Facebook loves me!

I signed up for Facebook under my author name, and it's been a struggle to get my author name to show because it involves initials instead of my first name. Over the weekend, I finally gave up trying to figure it out on my own and sent Facebook a message explaining my dilemma. They responded with a message telling my I had to use my full name, which would mean no author name for me since I go by E.A. West.

Needlees to say, I was doing a little beating of the head on the desk.

Yesterday morning, I logged into Facebook to try once more to at least get their system to allow me to use two initials for my middle name. I received the greatest surprise ever when I looked at my name. It reads: E.A. West!

If I could give whoever fixed it for me a hug, I would. I'd send them a humongous thank you if I knew where to send it. I spent two weeks struggling to find a way to get my author name to show and had just about given it up for good (which would have meant no E.A. West on Facebook with any name). Now, thanks to some kind soul, I have my author page and am extremely grateful to someone (either an administrator, a programmer, or both).

Moral of the story: If you're having problems, ask for help. They just might be able to solve your dilemma, even when all seems hopeless.

Thank you, Facebook! You guys are awesome!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Guess what I learned to do!

A while back I mentioned my goal of learning to knit before the end of the year. This week, I made a successful step toward reaching that goal. I can knit I-cord! I know, all you knitters out there probably don't understand my excitement over accomplishing such a simple task, but you haven't seen my many failed attempts at knitting anything that turned out right. Trust me, being able to knit I-cord and having it look normal is an amazing feat.

Now, if I could just figure out how to go from I-cord to anything else. It looks like I'll be spending some time on YouTube looking for how-to-knit videos. I'd ask a knitter to show me how it's done, but I only know crocheters. Crochet I can do and have been since I was twelve or so.

In case you haven't figured out yet, I love yarn. String is cool too, but I love to make things with yarn. At some point, I want to learn to weave on a backstrap loom, but that's going to take more work than learning to knit. I have yet to find a person who even knows what a backstrap loom is, let alone how to use one. Maybe I should check YouTube for backstrap weaving videos...

Have a great weekend and make time for yarn!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Eek! Sent the revisions...

I sent my revisions to the editor yesterday. I had to rewrite a tiny bit, so I hope she likes what I did. With any luck, the story won't need much in the way of editing at this point. I think it looks pretty clean now, but I'm the author and have a hard time stepping back to look at it objectively. That's one reason I love editors. They catch the myriad little things an author is bound to miss.

I've decided to try my hand writing short romances and other stories to sell to a variety of markets. I found one in Australia that looks pretty good and they accept international submissions. Yay! Of course, the odds are great that I'll get rejected, since they get a ton of submissions every year and have a much smaller number of slots to fill. Still, the only way to guarantee I won't get something published there is to never submit. I learned a long time ago that the only way to become a published author is to submit, regardless of how long a shot the market might be. If I never submit, I can guarantee I'll never get published.

I'm on the look out for more paying markets for my short stuff. I went the non-paying market route and had some success there, but like so many have discovered, if I'm going to put in the hours to write and revise a story, I think it's only fair that I get paid for that work. Now, that doesn't mean I'll never submit to a non-paying market again. Sometimes that's the perfect market for a particular piece. But for now, I need to try to get paid for my writing. Blame it on the economy.

If anyone knows of paying markets for short stories (500 words and up), please share! Writers helping writers is what this blog is all about...well, that and my sometimes crazy life. Have a great week and check back Thursday for an update about my learning-to-knit adventure.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Ah, the wonders of pets...

This picture from I Can Has Cheezburger sums up every pet I've ever owned, especially the cats and my recently acquired shih tzu:

funny pictures of cats with captions

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


One of my crit buddies got a contract! I am so excited for her! I haven't read the story that's been picked up by a publisher, but I know from reading some of her other work that she's a wonderful storyteller and her writing is great. I'm sure she'll go far as an author with the way her stories draw the reader in. I know if I were a publisher, I'd be glad to have her as one of my authors.

For my own "wowza" news, I received the signed copy of my contract yesterday. I knew it was coming (they confirmed receipt of the contract with an email) but actually receiving it and holding it in my hands makes this whole fantastic experience real. Squee! I still want to do a happy dance just thinking about it.

Of course, with my story actually being under contract, I have deadlines. I need to finish a round of edits this week. Since it's a short story, it won't take me long to go over it one more time (I've already been through it twice). I just have to find the time to get to it. I have a couple of work-related deadlines this week, too, and it's going to be interesting getting everything done by Friday evening.

Have a great week everyone, and stay tuned for Thursday's post!