Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Wild Fire Cover Art Vote


Today I  compared my WF cover art with my WH cover art. They were similar in many aspects, which is good. That's what I was trying for, but you can still tell were I have grown in the years between of when they were made. So I dug out the old Photoshop file buried deep in my Documents file and got to tweaking WF. I came up with 2 new possibilities, but as usual I can't decide which I like more and which I want to represent WF from now on. So I figured I would hold a vote and let you decide for me! Tell me which you like the best Cover 1 (the original), Cover 2, or Cover 3 and enter to win a Kindle Edition of Become by Ali Cross!


Ok, yes this is also an excuse for me to do my first giveaway and share some book love! 


Cover Art 1 (Original)


Cover Art 2

Cover Art 3



Monday, February 20, 2012

Kindle Junkie




I love my kindle. It goes everywhere I go, I spoil it with new covers and skins, and I fall asleep most nights with my Kindle in hand.

I do a lot more than just read on my Kindle. Lately I have been studying the Margie Lawson packets that I formatted to my Kindle. I’m able to highlight my favorite parts to read later on. It’s easy to take the highlights you made and drag them onto your desktop to read as a text doc. I take handwritten notes, and it’s much easier to do while only holding a slim Kindle and clip board, than to handle a clip board and 3-ring binder of 300 pages or more.

I love the text-to-speech feature. I jack my Kindle into my surround sound system in the living room, and listen to books while I do my every day chores. The voice that reads to you is monotone, but you soon get accustomed to that. There are also audio books you can buy from Audible.com. I loved getting to listen to Stephen King’s On Writing spoken in his own voice.

Most people love the touch and smell of paper books. Don’t get me wrong, I love the feel of pages that slide through my fingers as I turn the page, though I don’t miss the smell, since of course I am nose blind. Reading on a Kindle however is an experience of it’s own. The softness of the silicone skin, the press of the button, the instant flip of the page, and the light weight of an entire library.

As a writer, the kindle has been a great tool. I have 63 writing books on my Kindle (many found for free or under $4), 2 Margie Lawson Packets, Poets & Writer’s Magazine,3 friends manuscripts,and several Blog clippings that I like to go back and read for help or inspiration. I even take notes on a notepad by 7Dragons I bought on the Kindle. So when I’m reading in bed and have an idea for my WIP I don’t have to get up and hunt for pen and paper to write it down. I’ve even woken from a particularly fantastic dream and grabbed my Kindle to jot it down before it slipped away from me. Oh, and reading your own manuscript is super useful! It's much more different than reading a print-out, and you are able to listen for the rhythm and cadence of your story in text-to-speech mode.

If you haven’t gotten a Kindle yet, I hope you do, I hope you find it as wonderful as I do, and I hope you fall in love as I have.

What method do you prefer to read by? Old school paper, or do you have an e-reader, and if you do, what kind?


Ta!
A.McBay

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Scrivener makes me spaz


Raise of hands, who loves Scrivener? *raises both hands* What? You don’t know about Scrivener? Why, it’s only the most awesome writing program out there! I came across it back when the Windows version was still in beta, and as of yesterday am now a registered user! I had a geek-tacular spaz attack when I noticed I no longer need to use MobiCreator to convert my doc files into .mobi files. Scrivener does it and faster.

As many know, I’m in the throws of revision… dun dun dunnnnn… but in reality with Scrivener it’s not been too bad. At the moment I’m breaking each chapter into smaller scenes. After that I can manipulate my scenes where I see they work the best. on either the binder or in cork board.


Now ain’t that just the purdiest thang!

Scrivener allows you to change the look of the program so that it’s more pleasing to the eye, unlike Word that has only 3 settings. 

So, whats the first thing you should do when you open Scrivener? Well, I went and bought David Hewson’s book that explains all the goodies Scrivener has to offer writers. Then I nabbed his layout for free HERE. I'll go over how to get started.

Got the layout? Open the folder and double click on Sample Project, then go to file, and save as <whatever your books name it>.

Click on the PART folder and then on title page. Easy peasy, fill in your books title page, then click CHAPTER and OPENING. After that you can follow along with Mr. Hewson’s instructions or start writing.
Scrivener is made to be simple on the writer, but I highly recommend getting Mr. Hewson’s book if you want to know all the in’s and out’s of the program. Like going to Project -> Project targets to set goals for your work, or Project -> Project Statistics to get your word count, character count, and page count on your project or scene. So many tools!


Scrivener even has a free 30 day trial which you can stretch out if you don't close the program daily ;) so you can get a feel for if this program is for you or not.

I’m really enjoying being able to mark up my MS on screen and not having to worry about those marks showing in print. When I compile, I get to choose all that I want or don't want and how. It’s so amazing.

Oh, and did I mention automatic saves AND backups? No? Well it has that too!

I highly recommend getting your tushie over to Literature and Latte and download this program… Now! Go,go,go,go!

Ta!
A.McBay

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Showin some Love!


Valentines day is not just a day to celebrate that special sweetheart in your life. It’s also a day to show the people you’re close to that you love them, and appreciate them being in your life.

I had few friends in school, but the ones I had were the best. Sure we had our silly little tiffs from time to time, but we always banded together when one needed extra support. That’s just what true friends do for each other.

In the military I made new friends (after basic, because I couldn’t stand the girls I was forced to live with in basic.) I adopted my military friends as brothers and remain close to them today. Even now I have the military wives that welcomed me the moment I arrived in Texas. They are very good about dragging me from my cave once a month to socialize.


Then there are my writing friends who have taken me in as one of their own and supported me on my adventures. My TPR friends who over the past two years (has it really been two years?) have pushed me along and taught me to unplug from the world in order to write,and the Writing Ninjas where I am sharing what I have learned on a weekly basis. I’m really surprised at myself for actually having the nerve to apply for a position there, and even more for being so accepted. They are a wonderful community of people committed to writing.

I love making new friends! I love having people who want to chat off and on throughout the day. Being a writer and a stay at home mom can be a very lonely occupation at times, that worsens when my husband has to work all the time. So if your bord and just want to chat or need someone to listen to a rant, feel free to look me up. Being the tech geek that I am, I’m rarely far from a computer, and I always have my smart phone!

Ta!
A.McBay

Monday, February 6, 2012

I'm a Ninja!


In an old post I made the announcement that I was joining Ali Cross’s Writing Ninja Dojo. I soon became an AWOL ninja,only showing up occasionally and hardly tweeting. Then I got serious about my writing again. I joined back up with the ninjas, meeting with them every chance I could, and building my twitter presence the best way I knew how, by chatting.

The Ninjas grew, and Ali grew into an author. The Ninjas needed their own site to meet at, and Ali made it so. She gave them a new website, and with the help of Angela Kulig, they put on a writing conference called NINOCON. And it was FANTASTIC!

Last month Ali posted that she was looking for people who want to post regularly on the new Ninjas Write website. What a great chance to force myself to grow! So I filled out the application form, wrote my sample piece, and waited for the email that said sorry but your just not what we are looking for.

To my surprise it never came. Instead, I woke up one morning to find an email saying that I was accepted for the position. Wow! I still consider myself a nooby writer, and am still working on that little thing called confidence, so the acceptance to be a leader on the Ninjas Write site totally blew me away! I grinned all day, I told my closest friends, and of course, I called my Mom. I’m so honored!

Starting Friday I will have the opportunity to share what I have learned about writing at Ninjas Write, starting with the very piece that got me accepted. I hope you will stop by this week and show some love to the other leaders that will also be sharing this week, and join us next Thursday for Ninja Chat. Also, you can still read up on all the NINOCON goodness!

Now you’ll have to excuse me, I have to go spaz some more :P…

Ta!
A.McBay