My Write Road - SL Baum

... MY WRITE ROAD - S.L. BAUM ... I am a mother, a wife, a former teacher, and a writer! Crafter, baker, taxi driver.......

Thursday, December 1, 2016

When you're in a SLUMP...

It's been over a year and I haven't published a thing... THAT'S DEPRESSING!
In June of 2010 I self published my first book - A Chance for Charity (The Immortal Ones) - a Young Adult Paranormal Romance - and I had such a great time throughout the next several months as I learned all that I could about self-promotion and the whole "publishing your own books" thing... all while working on the second book in the series.

In March of 2011 (right before my house caught fire) I published - My Link in Time (The Immortal Ones - book two)... and even with a destroyed house, camping in my in-laws home for a short while, finding a rental house, and dealing with insurance and finding a new home builder I was still able to get a novella out to my readers in August of that year. And... I've always been able to continue to have fun with my writing.

My publishing dates are as follows:
2010 - June - A Chance for Charity (The Immortal Ones)
2011 - March - My Link in Time (The Immortal Ones - book two)
         - August - Of Fire and Brimstone (The Immortal Ones - Elizabeth's Novella)
2012 - August - Our Summer of Discontent (The Immortal Ones - book three)
2013 - April - LUSH (a YA Dystopian) - new series
         - July - The Eve of Destruction (The Immortal Ones - book four)
         - October - HUSH (a LUSH novel)
2014 - March - CRUSH (a LUSH novel)
         - April - The LUSH Trilogy (a compilation set of all 3 LUSH novels)
2015 - January - The Deathtaker (a Paranormal Romance) - new series
         - October - The Deathtaker's Daughter (Deathtaker - book 2)
2016 - NOTHING...

That nothing is killing me and I don't know what to do... I'm truly in a writing slump. I now have 4 new projects that I have started and I can't seem to finish any of them.

In all honesty, I know that part of this can be attributed to the fact that Amazon has changed their algorithms on what readers see when they visit and start searching around for new books... because of this (and my inability to find the right websites/blogs to help me promote my work) sales have been on a steady downfall for the last couple of years. Reduced sales means fewer readers, which means not as many people are awaiting my next novel... which means I can't seem to find the desire to finish any of my works in progress.

I know I am wrapping up my "love of writing" into a ball with "gaining new readers"... and I know that that is sooooo wrong. I need to separate the two and just write because I love it... and not care who is reading it. I know this but I can't seem to convince my heart and my creative mind. I'm not sure how to kick myself back into writing mode. I've got these 4 files on my computer and none of them have "the end" written at the bottom of the page.

The New Deathatker (is about one-third finished)
A virus/zombie book has begun
The Immortal Ones (book 5) has a beginning chapter
And a Faery story is sooo close to being completed (but I wanted it finished as a Christmas story and  now that I'm pretty sure I've blown that deadline, it seems pointless).

But... I have a plan...
I think I need to fall in love with my characters again so I'm going to go back and read all my novels and really sink myself into their worlds all over again. That's going to take some time... I have 10 to read... but I hope that when I've finished them all I will be able to dive into the writing pool and swim around until I'm able to complete the stories above. I apologize to the readers who've been waiting for over a year for a new story from me... I hope to have all 4 of those projects completed in 2017... wish me luck! And stay tuned!!

Monday, March 28, 2016

30 Day Song Challenge

I'll be doing the song challenge on my FB author page for the entire month of April... I did this back in 2010, after seeing it on Mr. Big's (AKA - Big Al of Books and Pals) FB. He's been a little under the weather lately... so I'm resurrecting the challenge (and giving some updated answers) in honor of him!

The idea is to share a little bit about yourself by choosing one song a day, for 30 days. They say you can learn a lot about a person by the music they listen to, what can you learn about me?

I will post a new song daily with my song choice, possibly an explanation why, and a link to YouTube, so you can sample the song if you choose. Expect some choices to find their way in the list that are on the obscure side for my non-musical FB friends.

Day 01 – Your favorite song
Day 02 – Your least favorite song
Day 03 – A song that makes you happy
Day 04 – A song that makes you sad
Day 05 – A song that reminds you of someone
Day 06 – A song that reminds of you of somewhere
Day 07 – A song that reminds you of a certain event
Day 08 – A song that you know all the words to
Day 09 – A song that you can dance to
Day 10 – A song that makes you fall asleep
Day 11 – A song from your favorite band
Day 12 – A song from a band you hate
Day 13 – A song that is a guilty pleasure
Day 14 – A song that no one would expect you to love
Day 15 – A song that describes you
Day 16 – A song that you used to love but now hate
Day 17 – A song that you hear often on the radio
Day 18 – A song that you wish you heard on the radio
Day 19 – A song from your favorite album
Day 20 – A song that you listen to when you’re angry
Day 21 – A song that you listen to when you’re happy
Day 22 – A song that you listen to when you’re sad
Day 23 – A song that you want to play at your wedding
Day 24 – A song that you want to play at your funeral
Day 25 – A song that makes you laugh
Day 26 – A song that you can play on an instrument
Day 27 – A song that you wish you could play
Day 28 – A song that makes you feel guilty
Day 29 – A song from your childhood
Day 30 – Your favorite song at this time last year

If you want to follow along... check in here

Monday, February 29, 2016

Being a Self Published Author means Ya Gots Ta Advertise!

(I figured I'd freak out the proper people straight away with my lame slang.)

I don't have a publishing house behind me. I hire my own editor... I do my own covers... I sell my stories (and myself) all by myself (*cue the music*). Last year my husband and I were looking at new houses. We purchased one in May, started a total renovation in August, and moved in in December. I did absolutely NOTHING to sell my books in 2015... I just left them on their various sites (Amazon, B&N, Apple, Kobo, Smashwords, etc) and whatever sold, sold. My sales ended up being only 1/3 of what they were the year before. Ugh!

So this year, I told myself that I had to get back into the habit of advertising. If I don't get my name out there... no one else will. So I let January pass by (we were still having a lot of people in and out of the house buttoning things up - and to be honest, there is still a little bit of work to be done). But I made sure that I found a place for one of my books to be featured in February. I submitted to the site and was accepted for a $20 promo spot. LUSH (a YA Dystopian novel) was featured yesterday and I have to say I was very pleased with the result.

What I didn't realize until yesterday, was that Robin Reads doesn't post on their FaceBook page on Saturday or Sunday... so my results might have been greater had I chosen a weekday. But, as I said, I was still pleased. The ad (feature) looked like this on their webpage:

By the end of the day, LUSH had risen to the top of its category (YA Dystopian) in the Top 100 Free book list on Amazon.

It also got to the low 200s in the overall list of Free books on Amazon. For a first go round, back to advertising myself and my novels, it was a great way to jump out of the gate. And so far, LUSH is still holding onto the #1 spot in YA Dystopian, but I know it'll start falling soon... because somebody else will get their book featured on a book site somewhere and get the bump that I just received. That just goes with the normal ups and down of the self pub biz.  I ended the month of February on a high note, and that makes me purrrty happy!

Now... I think I'll try to get one of my other books featured somewhere next month... and so it goes... let the advertising games begin!

Friday, February 19, 2016

Adele let her son wear an Anna costume and (the generic) Americans are Disturbed!

So I just read an article about Adele taking her son to Disneyland and letting him wear an Anna (from Frozen) costume while they were there. The comment section was HIDEOUS! I was shocked, saddened, and appalled by the things that people had to say. The majority of commenters somehow believed that if you let your male child put on a dress you are promoting homosexuality, encouraging cross dressing, creating future (at the most extreme - serial killers - at the least extreme - spoiled brats that run the household - oh, and one person had the nerve to say Adele's child would kill himself).

Guess what?!? I have SEVERAL pictures of my (almost) 13yo son wearing dress-up clothes (a mini mouse dress and various princess costumes) when he was a little guy. He has two older sisters who were always playing dress up and he wanted to join in. Sure he had some dress-up clothes that were traditionally male (a ghostbuster, a king, Mike Wazowski)... but sometimes he wanted to wear what his sisters were wearing, which meant DRESSES. And guess what... so far he is a pretty typical boy...

But whatever kind of boy he turns out to be... he's MY CHILD! He's not your child, so keep your nose out of it.

And I've never felt as if I had to hide the fact that he put on dress-up dresses from time to time
If your son says he want to put on a costume, what kind of message are you giving him by telling him only certain costumes are acceptable? When a grown man dresses as a female on Halloween people think it's funny, if a male child wants to do it the pitch forks come out. I don't get it...

Friday, February 12, 2016

How far can you stretch?

Is it just me or are we all overscheduled and overstressed?! We stretch ourselves in so many different directions.

I am a mom.

I am a wife.

I'm on the board of my girls' High School Orchestra Parent Organization.

I'm on the board of the East Valley Youth Symphony.

I have 3 kids that quite often need to be chauffeured.

My 3 kids are in 5 different music groups which means that some months we have multiple concerts to attend (for example this coming week - there are concerts on M, Th, & Sat).

It is birthday season (all 5 of us are in the first 4 months of the year)... and this year I have 3 milestone birthdays to make extra special. By the end of April I will have #1 who's turning 18 (ugh an adult child) - #2 who's turning 16 (ugh another driver to stress about) - #3 who's turning 13 (ugh another teenager - no more babies - insert sad face here).

We just did a renovation on our house and nearly 2 months later I still have workers coming in and out to adjust, fix, & finish the job.

I am a writer and I want to continue on with my next novel... but I find it quite hard to write when I am constantly being distracted.

Waaahhh... Yep... that's a sarcastic whine, because I have no sympathy for myself. This is life. This is what we all do. I'll find the time, I always do. Because when those concerts stop, I'll miss them. When I'm not expected to plan a big birthday celebration, I'll want to. When there's nothing to do, I'm usually bored. Okay, that that last part's not true, when there's nothing to do I'm usually reading and that's a perfect way for me to spend my time.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

It's been a year...

New Years has come and gone... I should probably have made a resolution to update my blog regularly, because apparently it has been over a year since I last posted something... but part of me wonders how many people actually look at my blog. I have FB, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, a Website, and this blog!

Is it worth it... is it not...

I guess only an experiment in posting regularly and seeing what kind of response I get will let me know. So... here is the beginning of (we'll see how many months I can keep this up) attempting to post on a regular basis.

I'll try to make it interesting post next time...

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Hot button topic of the day that has me shaking my head... tight pants!

So there have been a bunch of blog posts, articles, FB posts, tweets, etc in the past week that have caught my eye... about tight pants... in particular leggings (and yoga pants). The first blog post I read was written by a woman saying that after her husband told her it was hard for him not to look at other women in leggings, she asked him if other men were looking at her with want (or lust) and he said that they probably were, so she decided never to wear them again in public because she didn't want to cause those thoughts. She also stated that she only wears them at home now, with a shirt long enough to cover her rear end. < - - - I'm trying to figure that one out... not quite sure how letting her husband see her backside (with leggings covering it) is something to avoid... I'm pretty sure he's seen her naked, in panties, in a swimsuit... but I guess that's not for me to figure out. The other thing that was in that post was quote from a man stating that women wearing leggings might as well be naked, and that the pants were designed to entice desire in men. **EDITING TO ADD** I apparently read the sentence wrong in her blog - she said she wears them at home OR out in public only if her shirt is long enough to cover her backside. I'm so glad I reread it. That makes so much more sense. AND, I agree with her (for the most part) about the covering the bum thing. BUT, I have no problems running errands in my work-out gear. My convenience is WAY more important that me worrying about whether or not some guy is staring at my booty as I shop in Sam's club, or pick my kids up from school!

After her post went viral everyone else started weighing in... opinions flew... I have my own (obviously - we all do) and I am going to start out with this: if that woman doesn't want to wear legging anymore it is entirely up to her. Thankfully, we live in a country where our dress isn't really restricted (unless blatant nudity is involved). We don't have decency police employed to run around making moral judgements and arrest people based on their wardrobe... and I'm glad I live somewhere where we all have that freedom. Of course there are always people making moral judgements (usually in their own heads) on the clothes others wear. Every. Single. Day. Sadly, most people are wired that way. Judgements, judgements, judgements.

I've shared some of this with my teen girls, and what I want them to take away from this is that they are not responsible for the lustful thoughts of the male population (or the female one for that matter). My girls can wear legging all they want, I wear them too (and I'm in my 40s - I offer no apologies). But, yes, I prefer that they have a shirt long enough to cover their rear.  I really do not want them to walk through life trying to make sure other people stay on a moral path... they have their own path to worry about.

But the main thing that struck me throughout reading all these blog posts (and responses) was that - THIS IS NOTHING NEW! Tight pants have been around FOREVER. For decades - many, many decades. Short, long, somewhere in between, women (and men) have been wearing tight pants. Why all the buzz and fuss to start out 2015??

Lets go back to the 90s
Spandex pants in 3 lengths - long pants, capris, and shorts!
Actually the biker shorts thing was HUGE - men and women both got into it!
If a woman wearing spandex shorts "might as well be naked"
then a man in biker shorts leaves little to the imagination!

And a little farther back - the 80s
Okay - so there were a lot of women wearing "leggings" in the 80s - but the boys
of glam rock almost had the girls outnumbered! And it wasn't just the actual
rockers, the male fans did it too. AND, I must point out,
this group is STRYPER - a christian rock group.

Okay here's the 70s

These aren't exactly legging, but they are the tightest satin pant
(possibly in the world - yes, that's sarcasm). I mean, look at their crotch area! 
Wow! I would have looked horrible in those. I'll keep the non-shiny, stretchy, 
forgiving material of my leggings - thank you!

And back to the 60s
A long sweater, leggings/tights, and boots - that was an outfit - and still is!
And it looks amazing on her, and I recently wore something quite similar,
and I looked pretty darn good as well.

The little girls below, ummm, pants were optional back then??
Actually - little girl sometimes wore SUPER short dresses & nobody cared!
This was 1970 - tail end of the 60s - gateway to the 70s. 
They look adorable. 

And the 50s
Audry Hepburn, style icon. Body hugging outfit from top to bottom!

The 40s
Sewing pattern... the shorts aren't super tight, but paired with that top...
I'm thinking somebody had some lustful thoughts.
I was even able to find a similar outfit!

Lastly the 30s 
TIGHT, tight, tight. And with how short they are, nothing is
left to the imagination (as they say - actually I just did - up there).

Earlier than the 30s, I'm stuck with looser pants, but I can find short dresses. Don't even get me going with the bosoms of certain eras... talk about exposed! I was trying to focus on the tight pants side of this argument... so that's where I stopped. If I just went for the clothing that could possibly cause others to think impure thoughts, I'd have to put up a pic of every single article of clothing ever made. Because people have had desirous thoughts about other people since animal hides were first used to cover the body, and threads were first woven to make cloth! I could put on the baggiest, most unflattering outfit every made, and there would be somebody who would look at me with desire. That doesn't just go for me... that goes for any woman (or man). Sexual thoughts happen, regardless of wardrobe... in my opinion. But that's just my opinion, everybody has one!

Last one: 1701 
Look away, my female (and male) friends, keep your thoughts pure.