It’s Another New Year!

Hello all! It’s a snowy Sunday afternoon here. And for the first time in years, I can sit at my desk and watch it snow! It’s really coming down. We have about a foot or so now, which is making going out for my little Rat terrier mix, Kai Cei, really an adventure. She had to swim through the drifts to find her spot this morning, but then couldn’t get turned around to come back, so my son waded out to rescue her – in his bare feet, no coat. Kai Cei’s going to be 13 in a couple of months and isn’t quite as spry as she used to be. She and I have a lot of walking to do to shed our extra pounds.

It’s coming down in big flakes right now, and no sign of stopping. I’m loving it. But my poor husband is a nervous wreck imaging our power going down for days. It’s happened before, and we got through it just fine.

I am sadly behind in all the things I had wanted to get done in the past two years. I’ve also had some issues with the site, which I thought were taken care of, but I see they aren’t fully yet. Couldn’t get into my dashboard until today when I finally asked for help. I know . . . very sad.

Also, I’ve been trying to decide what I should actually do with this site as I have which I’ve been able to post to more frequently, but not as much as I should. I have seven sites and they all need some TLC! Can’t grow a readership if they all quit coming for lack of something new to read!

In my defense, I’ve been trying to finish some writing projects. I write under other aliases in other genre, so have a pile of stories to finish. And many others to start! I’m also learning more about cover design as I have been doing my own covers from the beginning. They may not be perfect yet, but they are 100% better than they were in the beginning! I’ve kept some of them in a special folder to remind myself of just how far I’ve come.

I’m presently taking two courses. One given by Stuart Bache who is a British cover designer to many famous authors including Mark Dawson and Stephan King. The other course, I just enrolled in yesterday. It’s one of Derek Murphy’s courses. Why two courses? Each guy has a different way of presenting things. Derek has a way of talking fast and repeating himself, but he’s a fount of wisdom on many levels. So, I’ve enrolled in three of his classes. I’ll be checking those out later today. I’ll post here what I am learning and what I think of the courses.

I’ve gone through Stuart’s cover design course a couple of times – you get lifetime access in both cases – and now just have to practice the techniques. They both work in Photoshop. I work in RealDraw Pro V and Paint5hop Pro 2019. RD V is the easiest of them to create a cover in. But there are things it can’t do, or I haven’t figured out how to do in it, that PaintShop does better. Actually, I use a lot of different tools in my cover creation process. In another post, I’ll talk more about them.

I’m also taking some courses in self publishing and figuring out ads for authors, as well as other means of getting my stuff out there. Would be nice to see more reviews going up in all the places a review could go. So, I need to figure this stuff out.

I may try doing Kindle Select with Stormi’s story at least for the first three months and this time, make use of all the tools. I’ve gone wide with Thomi and Joleigh, and I don’t want to unpublish them from all the avenues I have them in. So, from this time forth, I will go exclusive with Amazon for a few months with anything new that I publish, and then go wide. Wide, meaning that I’ll publish them in all the other places an author can publish. Right now, my short story Ride ‘Em Tough is the most downloaded story I have out there. It’s free everywhere except Amazon, where it’s .99 as Amazon doesn’t let you go permafree without a fight. It’s also free on my other site if you wished to check it out.

Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll see you next time. Hoping much sooner than last time!

To Be Formal or Not To Be . . .

To Be Formal or not to be . . . That is often the question, or issue.

Me, I’m inclined to be an informal kind of gal. I use contractions at every opportunity, and I break rules pretty often too. Mostly when I’m writing in first person POV. Why’s that? Because the average person speaks like that. And I’m writing for the average person, not the college professors or other such personages.

Formal speech sounds pompous, often self righteous, and arrogant.

There. I said it and I’m glad.

So, unless my main guy or gal is such a personage, no formality will be present. Moreover, small children often people my stories, and they don’t speak as if they’re 30, or 40. Unless, of course, that’s the kind of kid I want to portray. Which, so far, I have never included such a child in any story.  So, there is toddler speak in those stories. I spell the words as I hear them. And use the baby words my sons used then, and my granddaughters used. I’ve used words from kids I’ve overheard in public places. So cute, and so amusing! How can I not use them?

Having said that, one must learn all those tedious rules in order to know when one can break them. And so I told one fourth grade class I visited years back. Not sure what the teacher thought, but I felt I’d made a fair point. Learn all that good grammar stuff, punctuation, and even how to diagram a sentence – which I did, better than anyone in any of my English classes from eighth grade to graduation. I loved it all. Loved it! Embrace it! Excel at it!

Only then can you understand when you can cast it aside for the freedom of informality. You’ll know it. Trust me. It’ll sound sincere and chatty, and just right for the piece.

Now, if you’re into nonfiction, different story. Stick to the rules, most of the time. I just can’t be a writer of formalities, so I don’t do much of any nonfiction. I have learned to write in the APA style, and have done well with it on the occasions I’ve had to use it. But, it’s not me. I often use fragments of sentences. People talk that way. I guess I just like to be conversational. Kind of like we’ve been friends for years.

I’ll be working up a page on which to post tips, musings, and rants about all things grammar and the general mechanics of writing. I know almost every writer has a page about these things, but I feel I have to defend my take on these issues. I frankly don’t give a hoot about what the “experts” want. Let them write their papers, stories, and articles their way.

I, for my part, will write mine to the scribble of a different pencil.


I will post when I have launched my page or pages, as my whim wishes. Please visit again! See if you agree or don’t.


Welcome to My New Author Site

Hello, Friends, Family, and Readers!

Welcome to my new author site,!

I’m working hard at getting this site defined and up. Some of you may know that I have another site called Novels By Neenah, where I have my books up for sale, sample chapters, videos, and other stuff. I’m going to do more bookish stuff there, and focus on me the writer here.

I am still working out the details of all this, so you might see changes in the look of the place. I’ve changed the look of Novels as this site mirrored it to some extent. I’m still not quite happy with either, but that’s how it is. Tweaking is ongoing always!

With this place, I will feature more personal stuff along with the writerly stuff, guest articles, muses, videos, and links to my favorite places and interesting authors, resources, etc.

Making this post short so I can get on with the rest of the customizing and get those new pages up!

I hope to make both places as successful as my first site was back in the nineties. Wish I had not abandoned that one!

Hope to see you here often!