Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year Wishes


Happy New Years Eve ya’ll! 2012 promises to be an exciting year, what with the whole end of the world rumor and all.  I personally don’t believe in that, but I fear we are in for a torrent of disaster movies this year. Yippee… I would rather see a great horror movie, but then I am weird that way. I blame my wonderful mother for passing down that gene. Speaking of, I had an entire week to spend with my mother and best friend! It was so great just hanging out with her, and forcing her to relax, but she headed back to OK yesterday. I’m still fighting the hum drums.

No mooping today though! We are on the verge of a new year! 2011 was pretty amazing. We bought our first house (which I have fallen in love with), I’ve made some amazing new friends (all of whom except me for being weird), I finished the first draft of WF and started revising it, I started writing the sequel to WF, and helped create a new crit group that is full of tough love.  I’m so thankful for all that I have been blessed with!

My wishes for 2012 is to finish WF and have it published. This dream is powered by my mom. She always tells me that the greatest thing she ever accomplished was her children, and I feel if I succeed, then in a way so does she. So even though my grammar sucks, and I’m a total noob to the writing world, I’ll power on. I’ll learn what I need to in order to make it. Nothing would make me happier than to hand my mother a book with my name on it. I know it’s what she wants most for me, because of how hard she pushes me to publish. So it’s my New Year’s resolution to get Wild Fire in print. In dedication to the woman who gave her kids everything, even when she had nothing.

What are your New Year Resolutions?

Wishing you all a Happy New Year!

Ta!
A.McBay

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Awesome!

Yesterday was a blah day for me. Another one of those been up most of the night, don’t wanna wake up, really don’t wanna revise, despise myself for not revising type of day. We all have them, some more than most. I don’t know if it was the gloomy weather, the cranky kids, the hobbit in my office, or just that I rolled out of bed in gritch mode, but for my life I could not shake the crappy feeling I had about myself that day.

I stared for hours at Word, mentally cursing my MS for not revising itself overnight. I have so many hopes and dreams for it and so much work yet to put into it before its ready. The week has slowed to a crawl the closer it gets to Thursday, when WF gets its first ever critique since I finished the first draft. I’m nervous, excited, and extremely anxious to see what gems are found and what trash will be uncovered.

My hubz, being the wonderful man he is, cooked deer burgers (yum) for dinner, since burgers are one of his specialties, and allowed me an hour to myself to get my head back on straight. In that hour, I was giving up on any hope for revisions that day and was closing Word when I heard GTalk ding.

It was a message from Ali Cross author of Become, who I look up to as a writer and really amazing person.

“Amy, I just have to tell you how freakin’ awesome you are.”



I had to reread it a few times before I could respond to her wonderful message. I’m so unaccustomed to people thinking this of me, let alone outright saying it! I’m weird, different, a geek, and so on, but awesome? This was a first.

It was just what I needed, permission to think this of myself.

I am awesome! I am doing amazing things!

Sometimes, we need that little ego boost to get us over the hump, someone to cheer you on so that you can keep sloshing through that slush pile of a manuscript.

So thank you, Ali, for the ray of sunshine on a gloomy day!

Now I must go forth and revise!

Ta!
A.McBay

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Thuper Thursday Crits


I had an awesome TPR session this morning with Tina and Marisa! After taking turns moaning about our revisions, I suggested we have a weekly critique. Mostly because I'm terribly lost in my own revisions and have no clue what I'm supposed to be doing(I'm uber noob). We bounced ideas around until Thuper Thursday Crit was created. Every Thursday we will get together on GTalk and crit 20 pages of one persons manuscript. The idea is to give us deadlines for our revisions, help us find the good and the bad in our writing, and to support one another through revisions. As Marisa is finishing up an MS and will be getting ready to send it out into the world (YAY!!!), I was nominated to go first.
After the chat I formatted my first chapter to 12 point double spaced Times New Roman, and sent it off. *deep breath* My nerves are on edge! Marisa read some of Wild Fire a long time ago, and her suggestions were so helpful in revisions, but this is the first official critique of WF. I’m still a newbie at all this writer stuff. I’m really excited about the group though. I think it’s a fantastic step forward for my writing, and it will teach me how to crit another person’s work, which I’m not so good with at this moment. WF is going through some drastic changes, as my wolves needed structure to better build my plot. So if I said I would let you read and didn't send it yet, that's why. It's kinda chopped up right now. Hopefully I will now have more time for revisions... at least until Christmas.

We are still working out all the kinks, but hopefully we will have everything figured out by next week. If your revising or writing and want to join us, feel free! Comment or email me and we will get you on the list.

Ta!
A.McBay

EDIT: Calendar has been added to my page tabs ^(o.O)~ Up there.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Back from the sticks

At last, we are finally home. I love getting to see the family, but I have to say, this was a pretty bad vacation. As soon as we got to Arkansas, I got sick, and not my normal puny-self sick, but Darth Flu type sick (sorry just watched Jedi squirrels.) So the kids and I spent most of our time at my Mother-in-laws house hacking and coughing and being all around miserable. Unfortunately, she is undergoing medical treatment and couldn’t stay there with a bunch of sickies, so we were all alone. 
My Hubz did get a chance to hunt though, and even made me go sit on a tree stand with him for a few hours. You may have noticed my boredom, I spent a lot of time on twitter that afternoon, and when I got bored with that I started chatting with Ali Cross on gtalk. Yeah, I love my smartphone. I was even able to lure a deer close to us using a deer call app on my phone, but it never got close enough for us to shoot it, which was fine by me, we already have a freezer full of meat by then. Yum. Deer steaks, deer burgers, deer sausage…. Again, yum!
Fortunately I was able to attend Ali and the Dark Carma gals blog tour twitter party, which kept me giggling on our 7 hour road trip. I’m super excited for these women because not only are they fantastic writers, but they are super brave! They have all self-pubbed and are self-marketing. Wow!  
Now that we are back home, snug and comfy, I have the pleasure of unpacking. Yippee. Not to mention I need to get the cattle prod out in order to persuade my Hubz and brother into dragging the Christmas tree from the attic. So much to do, and so little writing time! At least I can listen to my kindle books while I clean and decorate.
So off I go to make Christmas magic for the McBay fam!
Ta!

A.McBay

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Thanks

In a couple of days my little family, dogs included, will be loaded up and on the road to visit our Arkansas family. Seven hours in a crowded truck with two kids, two dogs, and my husband. If I’m lucky, there will be tons of nappage, and plenty of silence, but anyone who travels with children can tell you to expect the exact opposite. No sleeping and plenty of screaming. So no, there will be no time to write in those seven hours of travel, but I will be taking the Lappytop (omigosh I missed it) and will hopefully manage some writing time. 
Since I will be spending my holiday out in the country or possibly the deer woods if my hubz can talk me out into the cold (pffft good luck there, Babe), and I will have little or no internet, I wanted to do my thanksgiving post early. As we all know you don’t need a certain day to be thankful for the wonderful people in your life, but since this is the time of year that everyone voices their thanks, I thought I might voice a few of my own.
I can’t possibly thank everyone in my life by name here today; I have just too many loved ones for that, but there are those out there who deserve a special little shout out.
Of course, there’s my best friend, Alpha beta reader, cheerleader, and mother. She pushes me to be the best I can while standing nearby to catch me if I fall. She’s my confidant. Without Mom, I could never have accomplished all that I have.
Though my dad may not have always approved of my choices in life he was always supported of them. He’s always right there when I need him. Love you Daddy <3
A huge thanks to the TPR crew. These ladies and Jon have kept me writing for over a year now. They push me through the blocks and listen to my whines. They freely share their wisdom, or just some awesome blogs to learn from ;)
Thank you to Ali Cross and the ninjas at her writing dojo. They instill discipline to your daily writing, and give each other the support it takes to write a novel.
Rosemary, Brandi, and Marisa thanks for being my friends. I have so few friends here in Abilene, and you are true treasures to me.
 And finally, my Dear Hubz. Thank you for being so patient with me while I search for new dreams. I love you most!
I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving. I’ll see you in a few weeks
v(^.^) ~peace!
Ta!
A.McBay

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Wanted: Critique Partner




I’ve decided today I need a Critique Partner, another writer to share work with. So far only one other writer has been able to read any of WF. I managed to finish the whole first draft depending on my Alpha Beta (AKA Mom) and her knack for knowing if a scene seemed to be working or not. I only just found out that she used to write in high school. Yeah, that was a shock!
Lately I feel discouraged about my writing. I don’t know where to go on revisions, and WF2 has slowed to a screeching halt. I’m hoping having a CP would help keep me on track in my writing goals since I would have someone to answer to, and be able to help me see where I can take scenes to a better place. I also want to learn how to critique others. I want to contribute to other great pieces of work. Mostly, writing has been darned lonely. Sure I share with loved ones, but a lot of time my writing isn’t their genre and they have a hard time accepting some of the odd things that might happen in a paranormal fantasy. I want to have a polished draft of WF by summer, and be prepared to query.  I want to have a finished first draft of WF2 by next year. I have so many other ideas in my idea box just begging to be worked on.
Sharing my writing is scary to me. It’s like opening up a piece of me to someone else. I know it’s for the better and the suggestions they make are only in the books best interest but I’m still nervous. *deep breath* BUT I’m ready for it! I’m ready to learn more about being a writer and to help my books be the absolute best they can possibly be. So, if you’re interested, I’m willing to share with you. 
Until then, I'll keep my nose deep in my writing books.
Ta!
AMcBay

Friday, October 21, 2011

New sketch blog

So I have finally quit deviantart.com. I haven't posted much there, the art work is out dated, and I wanted something a little more personal. A few days ago I stumbled across someones sketch blog and decided I had to have one of my own. Yep! A nice lil' place to dump! All those Character sketches I say I'm doing, all those deeply emotional therapeutic drawings, and sometimes just something I've been obsessive about (hince all the FFXI drawings that are there from a few years back...) So go clicky the lil' linky under the header banner titled Wild Creative Delights, and check it out!

Ta!
A.McBay

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Nano Fever!

It’s that time of year again! The time when plot bunnies run, the time when writers prepare for their inevitable decent into madness, and the time for wild creative delight. That’s right, it’s Nano-time! Only eighteen days until writers chain themselves to their keyboards to complete the goal of 50,000 words in thirty days.

I tried this myself last year, but life disagreed and I had to abandon it. I’m going to attempt it again this year, but no promises. You never know what life will throw at you, but I have spent the past month preparing for November.
I’ve managed to get the kids on a new schedule, which is not that easy of a task. I have a shinny new outline set up in Scrivener (love, love, love Scrivener) and a beautiful cover for my Nano-project. I’m so excited for November to begin!
How are you preparing for Nano-fever?
Ta!

A.McBay

Thursday, September 1, 2011

While the hubby's away...


I’ve not posted much in his absence, and it will only be getting worse for the next few months. I’ll be leaving for Oklahoma this weekend. The kids and I decided to get our Okie time in while he was away. There’s not a lot holding us to Texas right now, and the drought is enough to drive a sane person crazy. I’m not sane, so you can imagine what it’s doing to me…
This week has been full of errands and cleaning (so much cleaning…), so that I get everything done before we leave. This leaves very little time for writing, but as I crawl into bed at night, I manage to read a few pages of a writing book or jot down a few notes before passing out. Better than nothing I suppose.

I did manage to suppress the urge to splurge on a netbook in the absence of my lappy top that is now with my hubz, and instead got a Bluetooth keyboard for my smartphone. It will allow me to write on the go without having to use the tiny on screen keyboard, and will give me more writing space. Using Note Everything and Google docs, I’ll be able to keep up with my writing while we travel.

Aside from my smartphone, I will be without internet for the most part, perhaps a good thing for my writing. I’ll have family to watch the kids while I write and revise, and less cleaning. I’m looking forward to a writing vacation! I might just have a finished second draft by the time we return home!
Until I’m connected again, ta!
A.McBay

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Emotional...

His wedding ring and tag I wear around my neck
I’ve been very absent from blogging lately. Not just blogging, but writing in general. I’ve read WF and started revisions, but halfheartedly. My husband deployed, and a piece of me left on Monday. It’s been hard for me to concentrate. I check my phone continuously making sure I haven’t missed his call. Skype, facebook, and messenger remain open on my desktop in case he finds a hotspot and is able to connect. My kids are curious why Daddy hasn’t come home from work. I have to repeatedly tell them that Daddy had to go to work for a long time and won’t be home for a while. But the hardest is bedtime, when I crawl into our king size bed alone. It might as well be as vast as the ocean that separates us. I play our song, Lucky, about a hundred times a day and wonder if he is doing the same. This house is lonely without him.
I go on though, working and cleaning to keep my mind busy. The house remains spotless. My friends and family send notes and texts of encouragement, offering help if it’s ever needed.
I know this is sad and depressing, and you are probably wondering what it has to do with writing. It has everything to do with writing. Writers are fueled by their emotions. We can’t help that what we are feeling pours onto the page, and when we need to concentrate on a certain piece where the emotions are opposite to what it is we are feeling, it can be frustrating.
This morning I tried to rewrite the beginning of WF. I wrote it up and sent it to my Alpha-Beta, aka Mom. Nothing is final until she approves it. In short, she didn’t like it. She wrote back to me, “It just sounds so forced. You need to let it flow.”
She was right. I had felt the same about it as I was writing it, but that is just how my writing is now. I feel it has to be forced out.
I know the sadness will lessen in a week or so and my writing will flow again, but until then I’m stuck trying to learn how to revise around my mixed up emotions.
How do your emotions affect your writing?
A.McBay

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Bullied

Can it be? My first high school reunion is next year? Dare I go? I'm not sure. I wasn't very popular in school. In fact, I was bullied and looked down on since elementary school. I wasn't weird, I was different. I wasn't stuck up, I was shy. No, I never had intentions of blowing up the school for those of you who actually asked. People now find my geekiness part of my charm. My bookworminess helps me in my writing.

School was tough for me. Only a handful of people befriended me, and of those only three truly understood me. It was easy for people to bully me both physically and verbally simply because I wasn't like them. They took advantage of my kindness, and made my days miserable. So why should I go to my reunion?

So that I can show them that I forgive them for how they mistreated me and many others simply because we didn't conform to some unspoken rule of how we should behave, what activities we should be in, or what clothes we should wear. I'm glad to have been an individual. It's shaped me to be who I am today. I've served my country, and have been around the world. I've made a family of my military brothers, and lived life to its fullest. I've dreamed big, and put that dream into words. I'm a mother to the two most wonderful kids, and a proud wife to a military man who continually gives up time with his family to serve overseas. I am proud of who I am!

Were you a bully, or were you bullied? Where did you stand on the social ladder? How did your time in school shape you into the person you are today? I'm curious! Leave a comment below or a link to a blog post about your school years.

Ta!

A.McBay

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Google+ and Writer’s Write Ins


So you've heard me raving on Facebook about Google+, and hangouts, and how awesome it is, but have the slightest clue what it is? Well, Google+ plus is the next step in social networks. It's so new, it's still in beta. So, how do you get in? You have to get an invite from a member. Yes, it still has a few bugs, and crashes, but that's beta for you!

Google has always been a writer's best friend, helping us research topics, places, and anything else we need for our writing, and now they have made it even more fun to be a writer.

Yesterday, the TPR Crew gathered on Google+ for our first official writing hangout. Hangouts are when we all join a webcam chat. How can this help a writer? Well, it's a lot harder to procrastinate when other writers are working… and watching.

We started out with greetings and chat for a few moments until Tina cracked her whip and sent us all into typing frenzy. Having eight other people right there working alongside me really motivated me. I didn't want to get up and move around because I knew it would be a distraction to everyone else. Of course, there is that law that states if you are writing and actually accomplishing something in your work, there will be distractions. For me it was my husband and kids. So I would take care of their need as quickly as possible, and slip back in my seat as quietly as possible.

After writing, we chatted some more. What did you work on? How did your scene go? After chat, we all agreed to another write in.

Yep! Write ins are so much fun and so productive.

I have been thinking of hosting Write Ins with Pomodoro. How many words can we plug in before the timer? Would anyone be interested in joining me?

I think online crit-groups are going to get a lot of use out of Google+ too.

How can you see Google+ being used in the writing community?

** If you are interested in starting a hangout for Pomodoro Writing, e-mail me or comment below so we can set something up. If you don't have Google+ and want an invite, send me an e-mail.

Ta!

A.McBay

Monday, August 1, 2011

Imagination Sparks Blogfest

I do love a good blogfest, and this week the lovely Charmaine Clancy gives us the Imagination Sparks blogfest, where we can learn writing exercises and warm ups from other writers, and share our own. I’m not very creative in my own writing exercise. It came from a self-help book called The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron and is called morning pages. Anyone who has read my blog probably already read about it as I tend to blather on about things I love.
Morning Pages are meant to be written longhand and are typically three pages long. What do you write? Whatever you want! If it flashes through your brain while you are doing your pages, it goes on the paper. A lot of great ideas suddenly come to me while I do my pages in the morning. Also, I’m able to get any gripes or worries out at that time so that I start my day out fresh and free. It gives you room to create.
If you are like me and prefer typing over keyboard, you can justify 750 words as your three pages. There’s several way of doing them. I started out with Word, but moved on to 750.com for a while. It’s a great site that keeps track of your morning pages, and gives you statistics on what your mood was throughout your pages. It’s a lot of fun! After getting Scrivener beta for Windows, I moved my morning pages over to that platform. My binder has the folders as the months, and then each page is numbered with that days date. It’s easy to go back and find a page I may need for writing, since I do a lot of brain storming through my MP’s. If I am doing notes for a WIP I often write in the margin “reference to MP’s” and then the date so that I can go back and snag that idea.
My husband loves my MP’s too. He says he can see a huge difference in my attitude when I do them as opposed to when I don’t. I’m much mellower.
So there you have it, my writing exercise. What are some writing exercises you use?
Ta!
A.McBay

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Adding a Table of Contents in Word


With only a first draft under my belt, I continue to see myself as a novice writer. When I learn something new I like to share. So what did I learn today? How to add a table of contents (TOC) to a Word Document. Yeah, it's pretty awesome.

Using the TOC can make revision and editing easier by using the TOC to locate the chapter you want to work on simply by pressing the control button and clicking the chapter on the TOC you want to jump to. I tested this out with my first draft of Wild Fire. Not only is it great in word but when I converted it for my kindle I was able to jump around the book using the TOC.

Here is a quick way of creating a TOC:

  • Select the chapter text you want to use as reference. I did this by selecting Chapter One and so on throughout my draft.
  • Click Heading 2. If you wish to keep the same font then go ahead and change the font you want to use. Do this for all chapters
  • Make sure your cursor is in the position where you want your TOC to be placed
  • Click the Reference tab
  • Click Table of Contents
  • Click insert Table of Contents
  • Click OK

Easy Peasy!

As you work your pages may change or you may change your chapter titles. This is an easy fix. Simply press F9 and update your TOC.


I hope this is found useful.

Ta!

A.McBay

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Productivity Helpers

There are so many distractions out there for writer’s today. Take this blog post for instance. Shouldn't you be working instead of blog hopping? Yeah, me too. The internet provides us with great research opportunities, but surely we don’t require it to be running all the time while we work, because the oh so tempting social networks tend to lure us in, allowing us to waste anywhere from minutes to hours of good work time.

I've talked about the Pomodoro Technique, where you work for four twenty five minute increments taking a 5 minute break between each one, and then a 15 minute break after all four are complete. This helps with concentration, but I’ve found the net still causes me to break, at first looking up only research, but then checking up on my Facebook while I am already online.
So how do we stop this?

It’s an internet blocking program. You can use it along side your Pomodoros, setting the timer for 25 minutes of no internet. The only way to counter it is to reboot the entire system, which discourages cheating. After your time is up you can either set aside 25 minutes of research and social time, or you can reset the clock and get back to work. The cost of the program (no, it’s not a freebee) is only 10 bucks and it has a free trial with full features so that you can try it out before you buy it. It’s defiantly worth a try!
If you own a Mac you might give Anti-Social a try. It only turns of the social networking sites, giving you use of the net for research.

Finally, there is Rescue Time that has the ability to track what you do on the internet and shames you into being more productive. It follows everything you work on, all your time on the net, and what you were doing there, then it graphs it out for you to show you where you are loosing the most time. Rescue Time is free, but you do have an option to go pro if you wanted for about 6 bucks.

How do you limit you internet time for productivity's sake?

Ta!
A.McBay

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Scrivener VS LSB

With Nanowrimo right around the corner, writers are gearing up for the insanity that is November. Outlines, character profiles, and word processors, Oh My! Not only do we get the chance to write ourselves into a straightjacket in November, but we now have the opportunity to go nutters in July and August with the all new Camp Nanowrimo.

In this writing frenzy, a word processor can either be a writer's best friend, or worst enemy. So, I spent the day yesterday searching for and trying out the best software, and it comes down to two. Scrivener (which is now available for windows) and Liquid Story Binder.

Which is the best? T.N. Tobias put it to the test in their post Software Shootout: Liquid Story Binder vs Scrivener for Windows.

Overall, if you like tons of organization abilities and love to outline your little heart out, LSB is the software for you. If you prefer to have minimal organization abilities but better output options, go with Scrivener.

Then again, you could just keep it old school, and keep on rockin the Word.

Which will you choose?

Monday, June 27, 2011

The End

Cover is of my own design

That's right! I finally made it to the end of my first draft of my first book! Yay! It's been sent to my mom for approval before I send it to my betas. At the moment I am printing out a full copy to edit, but not for at least a month or so. So what's next for me? I finally get the chance to play with one of my other shinnies! The one that has held my imagination's attention so tightly the past couple of months that it has been really hard to finish WF. I plan to start working the outline for my YA mermaid guardian story this week. I'm going to be using a new writing technique and will be putting in no less than two hours of writing a day. I'm in hopes of finishing this new draft much sooner than what it took me to write WF. A title is still in the works for the new story of course, so for the time I will just call it Mermaid Guardian, MG for short.

A huge thank you to the TPR crew! You guys kept me going when I wanted to give up. I've learned tons from you guys, and continue to learn more every week.

To the ninjas, I'm going to try and participate more that life seems to be calming down. The last two months were busy, but I'm buckling back down on my writing and could really use the moral boost you all provide.

Mom, thanks for being my Alpha and supporting me in this adventure. You're not only the best mom ever, you're my best friend!

I can't wait to start my next adventure, so off I go to create something new!

Ta!

A.McBay

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Kindle tips and tricks

Now that I have gotten my fresh unbroken kindle 3 in, loaded with all my books, and organized into collections, I have been testing out the features I have waited so long to tinker with. Like reviews and twitter after you have finished a book, or my favorite the RSS feeds. That's right, I be reading yo bloggin on my kindle! (ahem, sorry for the pirate talk…)If you're looking to read your RSS feeds on your latest generation Kindle here is a quick quote how-to I found.

"First, log into your Google Reader account and use the awkward cursor control to navigate your feed list. Then hit the "right" cursor to enter the news articles themselves. Then comes the trick: just press "f" to enter full-screen mode, instantly turning your Kindle into a custom newspaper. You can scroll through the article with the Kindle's page-turn buttons, and – using Google Reader's keyboard commands – press "j" and "k" to page through articles."

And if that's not easy enough for you, just point your kindle browser at nowsci.com. They have simplified the reader so that it is easier for you to read and navigate. I bookmarked it along with the google reader and am currently testing the pros and cons of each site.
Then there is the picture viewer you can access:
  • Plug your Kindle 3 into the computer with the USB.
  • Open the Kindle drive that is now in your displayed with your removable drives, in the root (i.e. not in another folder) create a folder called "pictures" within that folder you can create a number of other folders, then add your images/pictures to this (or these) folders. I've only tried Jpegs and they work fine.
  • Once finished safely unplug the Kindle and then press "alt" and "z" on the home screen, this will refresh the screen and add your new folders.
  • Click on the folder/collection and Image Viewer should launch.
  • Once in the viewer the following control options are available:
    • f = full-screen
    • q = zoom in
    • w= zoom out
    • e = reset zoom
    • c = actual size
    • r = rotate
    • nav controller = pan
Finally there's a few hotkeys everyone should know about:
  • alt + shift + G = screenshot
  • alt + G = screen refresh
  • alt + home = Kindle Store
  • alt + top row of letters on keyboard = numbers 1-9
and while reading a book:
  • alt + B = add and remove bookmarks
  • shift + Sym = Turn text to speech on and off
  • set cursor down the page to start text to speech from there
  • right arrow on nav controller = skip to next chapter
  • left arrow on nav controller = skip to previous chapter

 
Omigosh, I love this device! I still use Mobipocket Creator to convert my word files into readable e-book format. This helps a ton when working on my WIP. There is another converter called Calibre, but I've not tinkered with that program enough to give much advise.
 
How bad is kindle love in this family? Well the other night after telling my daughter I loved her, she tells me she loves me more than I love kindle. Yeah, it's that bad.

I hope this post helps rekindle a kindle lover's heart, or inspires a non-kindle owner to go out and get one.

Off to go read some blogs on my awesome kindle!
Ta!
A.McBay

Saturday, June 18, 2011

1,000 views


This week I have worked on getting back into my writing by blogging more. Sure, it's mostly just me rambling on, but its writing. As a result, I've hit my first 1k views here on Wild@Heart! Yay! So, I wanted to thank all of those who visit. I know for most bloggers a thousand views is nothing, but to me it's huge! I can't believe so many have read my words. It gives me hope that someday you will be reading WF.


Speaking of, WF is nearly complete! I know I've been saying this for a while, but I now have my mother-in-law spurring me to finish it before she leaves. Nothing says motivation like a MIL! Mine is fab! I'm so lucky to have married into her family. What is one of your best motivations?


Once more, a huge thank you to those who visit!


Ta!

A.McBay


 

Friday, June 17, 2011

TGIF: What a week!


What a busy week this has been! Early in the week I finally got into the garage and unpacked the rest of the boxes that were piled along one whole side. We haven't had use of the garage since we moved here. It's so nice to be able to pull our trucks in if we want, and in the evenings we have gotten into a habit of sitting out in the garage and watching the neighbors come and go.

As I have mentioned before, my little brother is staying with us while my husband deploys, so he has been trying to earn his sister's fabulous cooking, and the room he will rent out when he finds a job. I've wanted to paint my office since moving here, I picked up the paint and supplies, and put him to work. Of course I helped when I could, but the kids held most of my attention. Especially after my lil' ninja boy snuck into the office and painted the sliding glass window. Luckily, it wiped away with a little tide with bleach. My brother finished the red, to die for red is its name, and is waiting for me to make up my mind what color I want the trim. I'm thinking a chocolate or a light tan, but will have to research a bit more.


Lastly, my Kindle 3 broke *cries* Yep, the hinges that hold it to the cover snapped right off. So, be careful if you have the Amazon leather covers. The hinge is stuck in the Kindle warping the frame. Thankfully, I have a two year warranty, and Amazon has the best customer service ever! After a few minutes on the phone, they were shipping me a new Kindle, e-mailed me a paid shipping label for the broken Kindle, and credited my account to get another cover (although it had to be the same hinged one…) I should get my new Kindle tomorrow, but until then I just bump it out with the warped one.


I am getting back to my writing, and TPR. Tina was about to come after me if I missed anymore sessions. I think I had to work out a few personal things before I could get into my characters head. I'm back now though, and feeling great!


Speaking of writing, I have a lot to do!

Ta!

A.McBay

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

This and That

First off, I want to start this post out with a prayer chain. We woke this morning to a call from my sister-in-law who was upset because her little Pomchi puppy had gotten hit by a semi- truck this morning. Sophi, the pomchi, got clipped by the back wheel and is injured pretty badly. Thankfully my SIL's work place cares so much, they gave her a day off with pay to take her puppy to the vet and she and Sophi are on the way as I type. I only ask that you keep them in your prayers today. I'll keep you up to date on her condition in the comments area.

An update on my cold, it's finally getting better. For the first time in weeks I can breathe! Unfortunately, I shared with the kids and my brother who is staying with us for a little while.

Did you notice the little bar at the bottom of my blog? It has twitter, facebook, chat, and IM. Check it out and let me know what you think. It's a trial and may be gone in a week or so.

Yeah, so that's about it. Other than me dragging my heels on my writing, but to be honest, it's hard to do with colds and company. I'm gonna have to kick myself in the booty and get back to it pronto! This would be a great way to test out that nifty little bar down there. Send me a chat or IM or virtual kick.

Ta!

A.McBay

Monday, June 13, 2011

Another one bites the dust


Another year of my life, pfft, gone! Now I get to go through all of my social sites and change my age to 28. Only a couple more years before the big three zero. Yippee…

For those who wished me a happy birthday yesterday via phone or facebook, thank you! I was so surprised by all the attention yesterday.

My wonderful Hubz fixed steak (Yum) and bought me a cake (which is gone… again yum), and he and the kids gave me three wonderful cards along with my present, the new Kindle 3 *extreme squeals of happiness*. What is so great about the Kindle 3? Let's see, faster page turns, more space, crisper screen, more font choices, lighter weight, comes in graphite, more social networking options, ect. Ect. Ect…. 
Yeah, you really gotta get one of these bad boys <3 I've enjoyed getting to read Possession on it (great book. Go buy it. NOW.) My mom, knowing me so well, gave me money to buy books, and my best bud Q gave me in game money for my character on FFXI.

After picking up the house in the A.M., I got to kick back and relax the rest of the day. What did I do? I played video games and read. It was FANTABULOUS!

If it weren't for the head cold that came back with a vengeance, my day would have been perfect. Unfortunately, the kids and I have had to suffer extreme stuffiness this weekend and are still on the mend. So no, I have not finished that last chapter… Kinda hard when doped up on cold meds 24/7. Hopefully, I will get some work on it done today, as I am not as stuffy and I will try to lessen my med dosage.

If not, I have a book to finish reading :P

Again, thank you all for the birthday wishes!

Ta!

A.McBay

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Invasion of the Hobbit


Remember that fabulous office I got when we moved into our new home with a perfect view of the back yard? Yeah, it's been invaded. By a hobbit!
Check out the hobbit feet!
Actually, it's just my brother, but we call him a hobbit because of his feet. So my office equipment got moved to my bedroom until my Mother-in-Law and nephew leave at the end of the month, and I can move my brother's crap into a room. My house is full, and will only get fuller this month, but it's been so nice having family stay that the temporary relocation of my office is a small sacrifice.

How does this affect my writing? Well, I can't write and watch the kids play outside, but I do have a quiet undisturbed place to work where I can shut the door (especially since the kids have others to watch them), and not have anyone looking over my shoulder. Unfortunately, I have been trying so hard to keep up house and entertain that it is taking me a while to write that last little chapter I need for the first draft of WF. That's right, I'm almost done! I want to finish this week, but it's been really hard with all that's going on.

Lastly, if you haven't read Elana Johnson's Possession, get your butt to the book store and get you a copy. It's flippin awesome!

Ta!

A.McBay

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Possession and My Big Uh Oh!


Today we celebrate the birth of a new book titled Possession by an amazing woman, Elana Johnson. I was so excited about this debut I preordered the book on my kindle last night so it would be waiting for me when I woke this morning. Omigosh, wow…

To help celebrate this wondrous occasion, I'm participating in the bloggy fun and will reveal to you a rule I have broken. *gasp!*

Anyone who knows me knows I am a rule follower. I was probably one of the best teenagers a parent could ever ask for. Heck, I was so good that when I went through basic training, my T.I. could hardly remember I was in her squadron let alone my name. That doesn't mean I haven't broken a few rules in my day however. Everyone does. My biggest would probably be the dorm party I got caught up in when I first got to my first base in Hawaii. I mean… its Hawaii! Of course I partied.

It started with just a few friends grilling that afternoon, but as night fell we noticed people gathering in the common room and of course we joined in. Before long, music was blaring, and soon after so were the military police sirens. Everyone scattered in seconds, leaving three of us to take the blame and a few others the MP caught nearly five blocks away. I refused to give up the names of my friends and suffered a night of cleaning the entire dorm. Thankfully, that was the only trouble I got into and steered clear of any wild dorm parties after that, keeping to the beaches and campouts instead.

What rules have you broken?

In other news, I am down to the last chapter of Wild Fire. Hooray! About dang time, I know. I finally had a breakthrough while doped up on cold meds this weekend and scribbled down notes so I wouldn't forget. As soon as I started to feel better, I got back to work. I expect to be finished this week and will be sending copies off to my betas for a first read through.

Now, I have a rough draft to finish and a fabulous book to devour!

Ta!

A.McBay

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Blogfest for gamers

Finally! A blogfest I feel comfortable participating in. This one is called It's All Fun & Games Blogfest hosted by Alex J Cavanaugh and I am to list three of my favorite games and why.
So let's get this nerdy party started!
When I was a little girl a friend of my dad's gave me a Nintendo (the old ones that you had to blow in the cartridge when it wouldn’t work) and some games. My favorite of course was Mario. I played the game for hours until I got frustrated at dying and went outside to go about my tomboy ways.

When I got older I got my first gameboy (the brick that ate batteries for breakfast.)  Again I started with Mario, but soon became obssessed with Pokemon. Yes, I said it. I'm a poke geek. I still am. I don't know what it is about those cute little pets, but I have played nearly every version that has come out. 


Saving the best for last, Final Fantasy XI, an MMORPG, is my absolute favorite. You're probably wondering what gibberish I'm talking. FFXI is an online game. You have a character that you level, and can have several jobs on this character. When leveling you party with other players to beat monsters. As you level you can do missions, and quests, or you can acquire better equipment. I've played off and on for the past nine years, and find that every time I leave the game grows. They are always adding content, so you are never really done. I love this game the most because of my friends.
The three amigos. My best friends and me.
When I was in the military, my friends and I would play daily. Now I play only to unwind. It helps me to think, to relax, and even helps my writing.
So there ya go. My three favorite games.What are some of your favorite games?

Monday, May 23, 2011

Up to date

I’m not going to lie. I’m not terribly busy these days, or no more than usual. The kids seem to be quicker to destroy, but I have learned to just let them have their fun and pick up at nap time or later in the day. No sense in running myself ragged trying to keep the toys picked up every moment of the day. Not to mention the sudden changes that seem to keep happening in my life. It looks like I will need to set new career goals, as I may never make it back into the graphic design business, which has had my mind pretty occupied. I've decided I need to get serious about my writing hobby and try to turn it into a profitable job if possible. So then why have I still not finished my WIP? Well, I’m down to the last few chapters, but I just don’t like anything that I write. It’s just not fitting as I thought it would. So I keep WF pulled up on the side, and work on other things. I have been outlining Heads or Tails, reading about writing, and reading fiction as the great Stephen King says if you don't have time to read, you don't have the tools to write.
I spent a day learning how to make Scrivener, a wonderful writing software, work for me. I even went as far as reading David Hewson’s book on how he uses Scrivener. He even has a great template you can use, regardless if you buy his book or not. I’m in hopes that maybe this program will help me outline and organize so that in my next WIP I wont run into the same problems I faced in my first WIP. You live, you learn.
In other news, my brother may be staying with us for a while until he gets back on his feet. It will be nice to have family here. My mother-in-law and nephew will be here this weekend to stay for a month, so I have a week to deep clean my house. I’m super excited to finally get to see them again! Looks like it will be a full house this month.
Last week I found out that I may not be doing Nanowrimo after all. It looks like I may be flying solo for a few months while my hubz deploys. Such is the life of a military wife. Having deployed before myself, I have it a bit easier than the majority of other wives. I know what to expect. Although, the other wives don’t have to worry about their hubby signing up for every convoy he can get. So how am I dealing? With a deep breath and a silent prayer. There is little I can do, so I just have to sit, wait, and see what happens.
So you see, my mind is a little jumbled with all that is going on this month, but I plan to make every hour count this week. I want to put in 1k words a day this week, in between all the cleaning of course.
And that is me, up to date. I hope all is well with all of you! Until the next chance I get to blog!
Ta!
A.McBay

P.S. Please say a prayer for the latest tornado victims in Joplin. I'm praying there are no more this year, but it looks as if there may be chances today... 

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Revenge of the WIP


Writers write. I’ve been told this over and over again since starting the adventure of writing through the various writing books and friends, but I always find excuses to not write. The kids are screaming, the neighbor’s dog is yapping, I can’t concentrate, I don’t have the time because I have to clean the house or change the diapers, and yada yada…

I think it’s something all beginning writer’s go through, but it’s not time or quiet that keeps us from doing what we should, it’s fear. We are afraid that we aren’t good enough, that our stories will fail, and that we will only walk away from our first draft feeling that if we were to share it with the world we would be ridiculed.


Newbie writers are perfect procrastinators. We blog hop, facebook, and tweet all the while claiming our procrastination to be beneficial to our writing life. In truth, we are hiding from our WIP, hoping it will understand when we finally come slinking back to jot down a couple of paragraphs.


This morning my modem died. One minute it was working fine, I was wasting my time on the internet, and then suddenly the net was gone. After calling our internet provider and finding out that it will be Monday before a technician can repair our modem, I was bummed. My first instinct was to plug in my smart phone and continue on with my dilly dallying, but I resisted the urge and instead pulled out my WIP, a few books, and my Kindle (Ol’ Kindie likes to watch.) I wrote. It wasn’t great or stuff of legend, but it was words to page. It was progress, something I haven’t had for months now.


So I decided it was time to make time to write. Only allowing myself a certain amount of time for net time, and remaining unplugged (a term I will borrow from Tina over at TPR) for the remainder of the day. As for the kids, cleaning and yappy dog? I will have to learn to work around the kids, get the cleaning done early in the morning, and feed the yapper a benedryll hot dog (j/k I would never…)


I’ve yet to get a good routine, but I’m hoping to manage one in at least a week. If I want to be a writer, I’m going to have to get serious, pick up my pen (or lappy top, or smart phone) and write.


For those wondering how I managed to write up this blog with no internets, I have an app on my phone for blogging…


Well, back to my WIP. It’s forgiven me for my absence and is treating me very nicely today.


Happy writing!


Ta!


A.McBay

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Coffee Zombie


I wanted so bad to change my schedule around so that I went to bed earlier and got up earlier to write. Some nice quiet time before the monsters wake and the screaming begins. This is an impossibility for me though, because I can't do anything before I have my coffee. I stumble around, hair in a mess, pillow lines across my face, and seem only able to articulate in groaning noises. I'm a coffee zombie! Dun dun duuuunnnn!


I suppose I will have to continue on with my night writes, sitting up until midnight every night. Suppose that would make me a writing vampire? I usually can't get to sleep until around 11pmish anywho.


What times work best for your creativeness? How do you schedule in your writing times?


Well, I'm starting to lose that zombification feeling, so I had best get some work done while the house still sleeps.

Ta!

A.McBay