Tag - Help

Forget Diamonds – Dogs are a Girl’s Best Friend

Why is it that dogs are man’s best friend, but diamonds are a girl’s best friend. Foolishness. I don’t want a diamond at all!

Day 4 of the A to Z challenge is, of course, about dogs! (Click here for the full list of topics)

Before I was born, my parents got a puppy that they named Woosha. He was a little white fluff ball and I grew up with him. I don’t remember much about him as a youngster, but I do remember quite a lot about him once he was an elderly dog. He loved to chase bugs and eat them. What a freak! He was a great dog, even when he was grumpy. When he was in his last years, Woosha’s ears and eyes were failing him. He had difficulty getting around and would pee in the house all the time. I remember when my mom decided to put Woosha down. I think my dad was at sea (he was in the Navy) and my mom went to the vet alone and came back with Woosha wrapped in a towel. It was extremely upsetting and it took us all a while to move on and get another dog.

We briefly had a dog named Rebel, but he was a big dog and my family quickly realized that we were/are not big dog people. After about a week we gave Rebel back to his old family. It was sad to see him go.

After our short time with Rebel, we got another white poof ball that my mom named Mocha. She is amazingly smart and super playful. Whenever we kick the soccer ball around, she is right there wanting to play. Even now that she is old and has a limp, she still wants to chase after the ball and push it around. One of the hardest things about not living with my parents anymore is that I don’t see Mocha everyday. She is amazing. I have so many memories with her and I plan to make so many more.

Mocha and Sam

A while after we got Mocha, my grandma came to live with us and she brought with her a pomeranian named Sam. Sam is a little prince. Or maybe king. He can be a huge grump but then other times he is a playful, prancing goofball. When my grandma moved out into a home, Sam stayed at my parents. He gets so excited when my grandma comes over to visit. It’s the cutest thing ever!

Isla

Last summer, my husband and I finally decided it was time to get a dog. We started searching around and found a breeder a couple hours away and decided to go check out the little pups they had. We ended up adopting Isla right then and there. We couldn’t take her home for another week though (longest week of my life!) until she had had her first shots and had been with her mother long enough. Isla is the cutest little pup ever. She is half Chihuahua and half Miniature Australian Sheppard. She has helped Matt and I greatly. She helped me feel more motivated to get up in the morning and to get through depression and she has helped Matt get off of anxiety medication.

Dogs are amazing creatures, and they are definitely a girl’s best friend!

My Books Need Your Help on Patreon!

Patreon Page

As you may know from my Facebook or Twitter, I created a Patreon page! Basically, Patreon is a crowdfunding platform similar to Kickstarter or Indiegogo, except that instead of it being a campaign for one project it is for aaaaaall the projects.

Eventually I am going to need to pay editors, cover artists, and formatters to pick at my writing, design my covers, and make the final package look awesome! And for that, I need money. Which is something I have a certain lack of.

At the moment, I have a 6000 word short story that is almost ready to be sent to a professional editor and many half way completed first drafts of novels. I have made it my goal this year to get one of those first drafts not only complete but published! And for that, I will need the professionals mentioned above.

That’s where Patreon comes in.

I have set up my account in such a way that it is easily affordable for just about anyone. Each and every patron, no matter how much they pledge per month, gets access to my creations section on Patreon. I will be posting at least once a week with short story drafts, drafts of chapters, or completed drafts of what I have been working on recently. And not only that, they also receive PDF copies of each and every final product. Whether that is a short story, a novella, or even a full length novel! To access this, you only need to pledge at least $1 per month! (Just some measly pocket change!)

There are also more levels ($5, $10, and $50) which get some more stuff (pictures of my cute dog, the ability to tell me what I have to Tweet, or even signed copies of my paperback novels once they are published!).

I also plan to surprise my patrons once in a while with exclusive content and sneak peeks of cover art, etc.

The great thing about Patreon is that it’s on-going. I never plan on using any of the money earned from Patreon for anything other than producing the best books possible. None of it will be used for groceries or clothes or dog food. That is a promise!

Thank you so much for spending your time reading about my crowdsourcing project. Even if you are unable to contribute monetarily at this time, please consider sharing this blog post or the link to my Patreon page. Word-of-mouth is often the best marketing there is! Again, thank you!

The Importance of Critique Groups

Pencil Shavings

I used to write in a bubble. I wouldn’t let anybody see anything I had written until I was sure it was complete. Complete to me then did not mean the same thing as it does to me now. And that is because I let others read my work, and not only that, I let them pick it apart and scribble red markings all over it (hypothetically, since it is normally over the Internet!). Having another person (or more than one) go over my writing and tell me what is missing, what is over-done, or what makes no sense at all is amazing. It allows for a finished story to be so much better than if I had done it all alone. Art is a community effort.

My experience with critique partners/groups started in college. I took a few creative writing classes and a requirement for each of those classes was to have your work critiqued and critique other student’s work. Some of the students didn’t care as much and only half-ass critiqued my work, but there were a select few that were excellent and those are the people who made me realize that I needed critiques.

Now that I’m no longer in school, I have my husband critique my work. He is amazing at it and sometimes he points out things that would have taken me forever to notice (it’s true what they say about more than one pair of eyes!), but I realized that I needed even more eyes.

In July, I found a website called Inked Voices. It is solely a critique site and you must pay a monthly fee to participate. I joined a few groups on the site and I have now narrowed it down to just one group of dedicated critiquers. I highly recommend Inked Voices if you are serious about the critiques you give as well as the critiques you wish to receive. Because the site is a paid service, I find that it culls out the people who are less likely to give proper/thorough critiques.

Regardless of how you come to have a critique group or partner, remember that they are not just there to give you a critique but for you to do the same for them! The great thing is, usually if you give great critiques, you’ll get great critiques in return!

Now, I need to go sign in to Inked Voices so I can get some critiquing done!

Happy writing!

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