Friday, November 22, 2013
So I moved to Macomb. It's about a 45 minute drive from camp. The house is old (built in the 1920's) and beautiful. Small, but cozy. And I love it. I did not love the moving process (who does?). Packing, cleaning, unpacking. And I've still got to get at least two of the rooms painted before Thanksgiving when I have company. That is Sunday's goal. Other than that, I love being here. Well, okay, I miss Mike. But other than that, I love being here. I will say the house has some strange noises and goings on, but I'll save the story for my next post.
Onward to news--since I last blogged, my beautiful daughter has had another baby boy. Killian Gilbert Flanagan made his entrance on October 3rd. I was present at the birth and just want to say Molly is a baby-birthing rock star. My first grandson, Dylan (or Boo, as we call him), is in love with his baby brother. I see the beginnings of a super strong sibling bond. So excited for their futures.
My baby, Sean, left for Air Force BASIC training on October 7th and it was more than a month before I got to talk to him for the first time. He's doing well (knew he would) but has to shave twice a day because his beard grows so quickly. Totally his dad's fault. We will be heading down to San Antonio to see him graduate the first week of December. I can't wait! Molly's family will also be there which is just icing on the cake.
CJ is doing better in his group home and I get to see him much more now that I'm living in the same town. I also get to see more of his staff so I can see what's being put in place to support him. You have no idea how much stress that lifted from my life.
And on a professional note, AKP is doing well. We've got an amazing line up for next year and I'm super stoked to work with all the fantastic authors we've signed. We have some awesome books to finish getting out this year as well: Cadaver Dogs (a zombie novella), No Place Like Home: Tales From a Fractured Future (scifi/horror anthology), Death's Kiss (our first YA paranormal), and Conversations with the Demon of Devil’s Tower: The Story of Rose Jenkins (a Gothic tale of horror and romance).
I've also sold two more stories since the last blog. "The Depths" sold to Daverana Enterprises for their Fossil Lake anthology, edited by Christine Morgan. And "Martin" (first published in Rymfire's Erotic Horror anthology) sold to Crowded Quarantine Publications' Of Deviants and Devils anthology. I'm super stoked to be included in both.
I've also received four rejections from places I subbed to that asked me to send something else. The problem is I don't have any "something elses" written. So I'm going to have to carve out some writing time around all of my other business and life shenanigans.
And just so you know what to expect in the future, I'd like to go back to doing author interviews and maybe some publisher interviews on this blog. And blogging more regularly. We'll see how that goes...
Take care, everyone!
Friday, September 13, 2013
Here's how it works (taken straight from their site):
The Bubblews community is a patent pending system that enables our users to enjoy our community (without a cost) and share in the ad revenue growth. In fact our revenue model is simple: We split the ad revenue we make off each post with the author 50/50. You will get paid for every view, comment, like/dislike and social media share that your posts gather. Write Your World. Speak Freely. Join the movement. The time of not sharing revenue with the very people who create your content is OVER! Bubblews.
So basically, you sign up for an account and begin making posts. They can be about anything and there are many categories to choose from. There are some legitimate news articles posted, a few movie/TV/music reviews, and a lot of what I refer to as "fluff" (and I don't mean that in a condescending or bad manner, it's mostly what I've put up). It's sort of like a blogging sphere, only with money involved.
I've actually experimented somewhat with what I post. I tried humorous personal posts, some flash fiction, and a commentary on reality TV. So far, people like the fiction best. It seems to attract the most viewers.
You get paid varying amounts (I'm not sure how their algorithm works) for all views, likes, comments, etc. And judging by the people who's posts I've read, you can make decent money at it. But to do so, it seems like you have to put in far more time than you are actually getting paid for. The thing that seems to drive the most traffic is "connecting" with others and then commenting or liking their posts. This in turn, prompts them to do the same. To me, this seems exactly like what goes into building a popular blog. And yes, it's time consuming.
But with that in mind, I set out to devote a bit more time to it to see if I got desired results. And it worked. I made two bucks overnight. Not a lot, sure. But it's better than I'd originally done in a week. So that's something. But I don't feel that it will ever reach a point where I'm making even minimum wage for the time I'm putting in. Just my conclusion based on what's happened so far. Two weeks in and I've posted 8 articles and made $7.42.
I will probably continue to do it for awhile longer, just to see if anything changes. But so far, I'm unimpressed. However, if you join, be sure to connect with me. I'm happy to share the (limited) wealth and help you get the word out about your posts. If you're going to blog anyway, might as well get paid for it, right?
Saturday, September 7, 2013
I received my share of "whammies" these last two weeks and I feel like everything is all off course. I'm not ready to share some of the bombs that got dropped right now, and might never be, but suffice it to say the last two weeks have been an emotional roller coaster. The last week of last month I was so shell shocked I spent several hours on the couch in my office watching bad reality TV (Teen Mom 3, anyone?), worse movies (Anna Karenina. Why, Kiera Knightley, why?), and eating chips and salsa (we were out of ice cream). I did get the normal shit done: cook supper, feed cats, laundry. But only because I do those things by rote. The brain was on automatic pilot. That is, until I decided wtf, me? You need to figure this stuff out and make some plans. Sitting on the couch watching other people's lives go down the drain is called wallowing. So I got off the couch and started to deal.
I thought I had things under control, but then Sean got sick and ended up in the hospital, further throwing a wrench in my plans. I got calls about CJ from his house. My mom had another neurology appointment. And another small bomb got tossed in. The result? I'm stressed to the breaking point. Seriously. There is not one aspect of my life that isn't at code red stress level right now. It's a good thing I'm one of those "glass half full" people or I'd be huddled in a small pool of my own tears.
So what it comes down to is this: I must ask anyone who is currently doing a project with AKP to be patient right now. They will get finished, they will get published, they will be awesome. It just might not all happen according to schedule. I have less than two weeks before I head to California for the birth of my second grandchild. In those two weeks I have things that, although I LOVE my job, have to come first. Those are time spent with Sean, who leaves for BASIC while I'm in California, and who has been in the hospital. A visit with my oldest son CJ because our last visit got cancelled and I miss him terribly. And also because I will miss his birthday. Another brief visit with my parents, because life is short. Packing and sending all the rest of Molly's baby stuff to her because she will need it. Stocking the house with groceries before I leave. Packing. Paying bills. Preparing to be gone for three weeks. And then flying to California to help my daughter the last week before her due date.
So yes, I am putting my family first. But if I didn't, I wouldn't be who I am. And if I wasn't who I am, you might not want to work with my anyway. But I will finish edits on the No Place Like Home anthology, and the YA novel, and the two fantastic novellas, and Fairly Wicked Tales anthology. You know why? Because next to my family, they are my passion. So a little patience is all I'm asking for. I'd do the same for you if the situation was reversed.
I figure things will get back to normal (or maybe a "new" normal) sometime around October. So stay tuned, friends. Good things are coming.
Saturday, August 31, 2013
Recently, I was made aware that some people didn't like me. WHAT?! Was my first response. And by "what" I meant "what is wrong with those people?" Because I'm always taken aback when I find out people don't like me. Unless it's someone I don't like and I've given them good reason not to like me, that's a different story. But coming from people I mostly like and hadn't done anything to, it was a shock. Then, the more we talked about it, we came to the realization that it wasn't so much dislike (well, it still might be, but not for these reasons) as jealousy. People were jealous of me. Now, I'm sure that what you're supposed to feel, what most people feel, when they find out someone is jealous of them is pride. I'm so good that people are jealous. Right? But that's not what I felt. I felt angry. Angry because it felt like their jealousy undermined my hard work. No good fortune fairy came down and tapped Mike & I on the head. Everything we have, his job, my job, a nice house, great kids, great relationships with those kids, the trips we take, everything, we worked our asses off for or went through hell for. And it felt like these people were saying we didn't deserve them, we just got lucky. And I call bullshit.
But the truth is, you never truly know anything about anyone else's life unless you live it. Those people couldn't know that I'm constantly stressed about whether my oldest son, who has autism, is happy at his group home. Is he being treated fairly, does he like the people who work there, does he miss me too much? They couldn't know how stressed I am about my youngest leaving home and how he'll never be the same person again. I will never know him as well as I do at this exact moment, because leaving home changes you. They couldn't know that I still miss my Grandma on a daily basis and how much I miss being able to share every success with the person who believed in me the most. They can't know how much my sister and I worry about our parents increasing age and declining health. Or the daily frustration of living with someone who has no short term memory. Or any of the million other things that everyone deals with on a daily basis. They didn't really know me. All they saw is what we present to the outside world. And as much as I try to be genuine and an open book in all of my interpersonal communications, I don't often share bad stuff. Mostly because I figure everyone has their own, why bring them down with mine. And truly, most of the time I choose not to dwell on mine; Mike and I adopted a policy very early on, right after CJ's diagnosis in fact, of "well, this happened, let's deal with it and move on." So I am a happy person most of the time. But it's by choice, not luck.
And because of this episode I started thinking about my own petty jealousies. Most of them work related. Such and such press signed author X. Why didn't they sub to us? So and so sold yet another story for pro rates. Why didn't I? Why aren't I having all these acceptances? So I took my own ponderings to heart and realized I have no idea what is going on in other's lives. They got those things because they worked hard for them. And if I want them? Well, I better get my ass in gear and start working harder.
A wise woman once told me I can't measure my success by the success of others because success is personal. There's no one definition that applies across the board. And what I realized was the reason I wasn't having success was because I wasn't putting in the time and effort. If I want author X then I need to do something to put the press on their radar. And if I want an acceptance letter with a pro rate sale, well I'd better start finishing my stories/novellas/novels and submitting them. Because the truth is I bust my ass for the press, but I'm a lazy writer. I let myself get distracted, I procrastinate, I find 15 other things I "should" be doing. And that's my bad. I know what I need to do. And so, I started last week. Last weekend I sent in three submissions. I already had two out, so that's five. Four original stories and one reprint. So far, I've heard nothing back. Two I think have a real chance. The other three are a gamble. But if they come back with a rejection notice, I will research some more markets and get them out again, because that's what it takes. And from now on, I will finish one new story per month and send it out too, until I have so many subs out that the law of averages takes effect. Something has to sell, right? I mean, I have sold stories before.
So the moral of this story is I took something unpleasant and turned it around by choice. And every time you do that, the Universe smiles for like 3.5 seconds. I mean, c'mon, it's a busy Universe and you really aren't that important. But maybe it helps to bolster hope for the human race. And for you writerly types who are still with me? The lesson is: success comes with backbreaking (or mind bending in this case) labor. Not good luck, not fairies or wishing wells, but your own sweat and tears. You have to put the work in to reap the rewards. And will we all make it? No. I mean some people just aren't ready, or talented enough, or even interesting. But no one is going to make it if they don't try, if they don't keep trying. And the more you write, the more you read other's writing, the more you work on your craft, the better you get. And the better you get, the better your chances of acceptance. It's a circle of win.
So I'm starting "Submission Sundays." Every Sunday I will evaluate my submissions. The ones sent back rejected, will be looked at, tweaked, and sent somewhere else. New stories will get the same treatment. I want to have at least five and possibly ten subs out at all times. This Sunday, I have a "pass" since they are all still out and I didn't get anything new written or finished this week. But I'm looking for some of you writers out there to join me. I might even make a Facebook group. Because I do better when held accountable to others. And so do some of you. And some of you are good all on your own, but might enjoy kicking other's in the pants. C'mon, it'll be fun.
And stop being jealous. Shake it off, look around, and appreciate your own blessings. You might not want the other person's bad times or dues they paid to get those good things.
Monday, August 19, 2013
Well, my family thinks I'm seriously odd in some of my eating habits and no one was on board to try them. And then we had this conversation the other evening. Mike, Sean, and Sean's friend Roaman were present at dinner that night.
Me: So will you try some scampi fries after dinner?
Sean: Why did this person you don't know send you food?
Me: I do know her, we've been Facebook friends for a long time.
Sean: That's not "knowing" someone. She could be a 70 year old man for all you know. Don't you watch Catfish??
Me: Where do you get this paranoia from? This mistrust of strangers?
Sean: Well, certainly not from you, Mrs. Gullible.
Me: She just sent me them because she's nice.
Sean: They could be laced with acid.
Me: They're in sealed packages.
Sean: And you think that would stop someone?
Roaman: They do sell home sealers now. They could've resealed them.
Me: You're not helping. *shrugs* But even if, what's the harm? We'd all just take a little trip.
Sean: How am I going to explain the drugs in my system to the Air Force?
Me: Well I'd vouch for you.
Roaman: Yeah, me and your mom would explain what happened.
Sean: Mmm. And you are two highly credible witnesses. Not.
Me: I own a company.
Sean: Right. And dropping acid would totally ruin your reputation, I mean, wait, you're a horror writer, it would not hurt your work.
Me: Well, there is that. I've never done acid, but I might right a fabulous book, the best horror novel ever, while tripping.
Sean: Except that you'd write it in some language you completely made up because you were high and no one would be able to understand it.
Me: You're such a glass half full person. Some people like books they can't understand.
Mike wisely stayed out of this whole conversation. Roaman did, in fact, try my chips and loved them and they were not laced with acid (I knew they wouldn't be.) Mike did kiss me afterwards though and said:
Mike: Oh man, those don't even smell good.
Me: They smell like shrimp scampi, because they are shrimp flavored snacks.
Mike: That's just so gross.
But they aren't, they are delicious. And I will be forever in Vix's debt. And I don't know how I raised such skeptical, paranoid children. Must be Mike's fault.
Thank you, Vix!!
Thursday, August 15, 2013
During our rather long (3 day) car trip to California, Mo and I had this conversation:
Me: We have to stop listening to your iPod.
Me: *pointing to my lips, which are closed* What are my lips not doing?
Me: Singing. And if my lips are not singing, I'm not driving "happy." And trust me, you want me to be driving happy. I don't know most of these songs. Put in my CD. (I know, I'm old school like that, making CDs and all.)
Mo: *huge sigh* She puts in the CD and the first song is "Feel this Moment" by Pitbull featuring Christina Aguilera. If you don't know the song, you can find it here.
Me: This is my jam.
Mo: *laughing* 'Cause you're from the Dirty?
Me: No. Partially because it references Fifty Shades of Grey and even though I hate that book and all it's horrid grammar, any song that references what could loosely be termed "literature" in an intelligent manner is cool. But also because it's about living in the moment. That's what the chorus is talking about.
Mo: Is it?
Me: Don't you listen to the words?
Mo: I can't understand them.
Me: *singing rather loudly* Someday when the night is glowing, I'll be in my castle golden. But until the gates are open, I just want to feel this moment.
Mo: *and because she never believes a word I say, she Googles the lyrics* It's "Someday when the light is glowing."
Me: Oh, my bad. One freakin letter.
Mo: So it's your "YOLO" song?
Me: Yep. You know I was all about Yolo-ing before it was an acronym.
Mo: So she's talking about YOLO-ing before she dies.
Me: Um ... Mo ... you kind of have to YOLO before you die. It really doesn't work the other way around.
Some days I wonder about her...
Tuesday, June 4, 2013
The Trouble With Writing Yourself.
Kirk Allmond's first book, "What Zombies Fear: A Father's Quest" won no awards, but his mother thinks it’s pretty awesome and he's very confident you will too.
Books in the What Zombies Fear Series:
1. A Father's Quest
2. The Maxists
3. The Gathering
5. Declaration of War
6. The Incarnation
Kirk has been featured on major market radio programs as an expert in zombie survival. He has spoken at numerous conventions and consulted on two zombie themed motion pictures.
Tuesday, April 2, 2013
1. How long have you been writing?
Allison M. Dickson lives in southwest Ohio and has been writing since she could hold pencil to paper. It's only in recent years that she started treating the craft as a career. After earning a few small publishing credits, she started selling her stories online, where she gained a decent following with such dark tales as "Dust" and "Vermin." She soon caught the attention of author and visionary Vincent Hobbes, and her relationship with Hobbes End Publishing solidified with her two contributions to the second volume of The Endlands, and finally with their recent acceptance of her upcoming science-fiction novel, The Last Supper. Her other obsessions include food, movies, cracking bad jokes with her family over dinner, taking pictures of her giant cat, and harboring secret fantasies of being a Bond girl/sword-wielding martial arts master.
Twitter : http://twitter.com/msallied
Facebook author page: http://www.facebook.com/authorallisonmdickson
And you folks are so lucky! Several of Allison's works are free right now on Amazon! Go to her Amazon Author page and go down the list of works. You won't be sorry. Pinky swear.
Saturday, February 2, 2013
On the author front, I got a new Facebook fan the other day. How on earth they found me is anybody's guess, but thanks new guy (Jason)! You made my morning. Currently I'm working on some new short stories to add to that "will be published at some point in time" collection of mine. Meanwhile, I've subbed one story lately, with two more waiting to go out. One is waiting for an image to go with it, which Rebecca Treadway is being kind enough to make for me. And the other is in beta reader extraordinaire Caren Widner Hanten's (aka C.W. LaSart) hands.
Fading Light: An Anthology of the Monstrous was released in September, and my story, "Born of Darkness," got a little bit of good attention. Thank you to all who read it and commented. People keep asking me to tell more of the story, or "What happens next?" Originally, I didn't plan on writing anything with those characters. But as the months have gone by, I've found myself contemplating the world they live in, and the lives of the other Lightbringers. It all may just have to be written down. You can click on the cover of the anthology on the right side of the page to bring it up on Amazon. To those of you who already bought it-- "Thank you!"
I'm still plugging away at Olivia's Tale, though rather slowly. Finding time to write, or even submit my own work is difficult. I know, I know, if I was dedicated I would. But, sometimes there's so much life going on that I get distracted. Also, running a publishing company and being a full time editor is kind of time consuming. About that~
Angelic Knight Press has released a slew of new books since the last time I blogged. And we've got something for everyone. We have paranormal romances in the form of the Wysteria Hedge Haven Clan series by Cindy Keen Reynders. If you like your romances a bit on the spicy, humorous, and magical side, you can't go wrong with these books. For those who like creepy southern gothic ghost stories we offer the Southern Hauntings Saga by Bryan Hall. His protagonist, Crate Northgate, a man haunted (literally) by his past, is easy to fall for. Any of you ladies who like bad boys--once you start reading about Crate, you'll be hooked. Not that they're romantic by any means. They are full on scary.
We have the gritty historical drama, Amery House, by Samantha J. Moore. Miss Nadine is yet another character unable to escape a less than perfect past. If you like Jazz, New Orleans, or historical dramas, look no further. We've also got a chilling tale about an elemental demon, possession, and gruesome murders in Tool Shed by Armand Rosamilia. Armand is well known for his zombie fiction, but this book proves he can write just as well about non-zombie horrors.
And we've released the third and final installment of the Satan's Toybox series: Terrifying Teddies. Personally, I think we saved the best for last. All of the anthologies are good, but the stories in this one are creepier. Maybe it's because Teddy Bears look so innocent? These stories will make you think twice about your choice of a fuzzy bedtime companion. My story, "Dead Nicky," is included. It's one of my favorites that I've written. So if you read the book, please leave me a comment and let me know what you thought.
Upcoming anthologies include 50 Shades of Decay, a 50 story anthology about zombie erotica. A little weird? Maybe. A little over the top? Nah. It promises to be an eye-opener. Hoping to have it available on February 14th. What's more romantic than zombies? We'll also be releasing the long awaited No Place Like Home anthology this month. You won't want to miss these tales of government gone horrible wrong. It's packed tight with great authors, both established and new. And we've just started taking subs for Fairly Wicked Tales. Think you know your fairy tales? What if they were all wrong, horribly wrong? This anthology's about to bust that world right open.
You can find links to any of these titles on the website www.angelicknightpress.com. Along with submission calls, guidelines and upcoming releases.
And just reading those last few paragraphs should tell you how busy I am as an editor. Plus, I'm still doing a few freelance jobs. But I love it. I wouldn't trade my job for any in the world. And I want to thank everyone out there, especially my team at AKP: Rebecca Treadway, Danielle Day, and Blaze McRob, for every ounce of support, encouragement, friendship, and love you throw my way. Also, my family for everything.