Welcome to My Full-Time RV Living LifeStyle Blog!

I suppose I should mention that this is an RV blog. The picture of me standing beside a motorhome in the banner probably tipped you off to that fact already, but you know how it is with blogs, any body can put anything in the header.

Anyways, I was born, raised, and live in Maine, I have 12 cats, and some people would call me homeless. Nope, I have a home, I just don't have what people call a standard house. My house has wheels and her name is Rosebud. My backyard stretches on for thousands and thousands of miles all the way from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean.

Once upon a time I had a "regular home" but a flood came and took it away. Me and my cats spent the next 3 years living under a 8x6 tarp and survived through 3 blizzards and Maine's coldest winter on record when the temps hit -48F. After that me and the cats moved in a Volvo. As hard as it is to live in a tent with 12 cats, it's even harder to live in a Volvo with 12 cats, and a motorhome named No Hurry was the answer. No Hurry: my home, my office, my RV.

I plan to use this blog to share my thoughts, ideas, adventures, and advice on being self-employed, living and working a full-time RV LifeStyle with an army of cats, while boondocking in the wonderful (and sometimes sub-zero) state of Maine.

I hope to write a post a day featuring random thoughts as they pop into my head, and hopefully 2 or 3 posts per week will focus on something helpful to those seeking to live in an RV full time. If you've any thoughts, ideas, or suggestions on what sort of posts you'd like to see me write, please comment and let me know.

I hope you all have as much fun reading this blog as I know I'll have writing it.


Saturday, December 15, 2012

FAQs: New to writing, seeking for some serious guidance and help...

hi, i am new to the writng, seeking for some serious guidance and help, i am writing my first piece please guide me,abt how to proceedand what should i do to get my piece perfect and published only thing i know is Self-Publishing is expensive and a way to get publishers attention is to get a literary agent. The best thing i think to do is get you work known. Enter competitons and get your work out there, some websites i know are; 

www.worthyofpublishing.com - as far as i know publishers really look at the top rated pieces of work 
www.fanfiction.net - after all, fifty shades of grey was orginally a fanfiction 
www.nanowrimo.org - a national novel writing month where you write 50,000 words in the month of november, if you reach it you get a free copy of the work you wrote and you get some great advice throughout 
www.youwriteon.com - publishers review the top ten authors every month 
Abt how to proceed, I honestly haven't been writing very long, maybe five or six years. I'm not sure what to do, but i began writing a story, got bored halfway through or thought of a better idea and forgot about the orginal one. It took a while for me to find idea that i loved.

I AM a publisher. I own a small press indie house. I have been working in publishing since 1978. I can tell you right now that there is NO SUCH THING as a publisher who is searching free hosted websites looking for talent. Publishers receive hundreds of submissions a week, thousand more per year than they can ever get around to reading, let alone publishing. No publisher has either the time or even a reason to be "seeking new talent" on the web. Sorry, I don't know where you are getting your info, but please go back to your sources and inform them that they are wrong, wrong, WRONG! And ask them to stop misinforming new writers with that load of crap. Okay?

No, self publishing is NOT expensive. Please do not confuse vanity press publishing with self publishing. THEY ARE NOT THE SAME THING!

I have been self publishing since 1978. In the old days, it was expensive, yes, because you took your manuscript to a local print shop and they printed up 100 copies than took them to your local bookstore. You can still do it that way, but most don't any more.

Since the late 1990s self publishers have been using POD publishing, which is 100% FREE. The 3 biggest places are Lulu.com, CreateSpace.com, and RPGnow.com.

Since about 2007 self publishers have been using eBooks, Amazon Kindle of course holding 90% of the sales and is also 100% FREE, and pays the LARGEST royalties in the entire publishing industry STARTING at a mega whopping 36% (traditional publishers pay 2% - 4% at the most)

When you start talking about paying money to get published, you are talking about vanity publishing (places like Tate and IUniverse) which is little more than a legalized scam. AVOID THESE PLACES! NEVER pay money to get your book published .. EVER!!!!

Also, be leery of fanfic.net and it's sister sites, members there are constantly getting sued by published authors for copyright infringement.

NaNoWriMo on the other hand, yes this is one of, if not the, best places to get help with writing. There are more than 200,000 active members on the site, all of them writers, many of them published, a few are very big name famous. Everyone there is more than willing to help new writers get started. I'm one of the mods over there, and part of your advice is not correct though - that free book offer was only offered one year, and it was not offered by NaNoWriMo, but by CreateSpace.

Another good place to seek help is SeventhSanctum.com. They can help you with plots and character creation.

What should you do about getting ideas? If you have trouble with ideas you need to ask yourself why in the heck are you trying to write? A writer without ideas is as much good as a pen without ink. why are you trying to be a writer? What do you think it is that a writer is? A writer, writes because they have something to say. They know what they want to say and they say it. Writers don't sit around hunting for ideas, they don't have to, because they already have them. Please, I think you should rethink your options, because it sounds to me like you are a person in love with the IDEA of being a writer, you don't sound very much like a person who actually is a writer.

Can I point out something else? You say you think you need to get your work know, right? well, this is true, yes, but think about this too:

Every text you send is a representation of your work, every misspelled word and text-speech word tells the world you are an immature incompetent writer not worthy of publishing shit.

Every email you send is a representation of your work, every misspelled word and text-speech word tells the world you are an immature incompetent writer not worthy of publishing shit.

Every private message you send is a representation of your work, every misspelled word and text-speech word tells the world you are an immature incompetent writer not worthy of publishing shit.

Every comment you post online, on blogs or forums, is a representation of your work, every misspelled word and text-speech word tells the world you are an immature incompetent writer not worthy of publishing shit.

 Every forum thread you start is a representation of your work, every misspelled word and text-speech word tells the world you are an immature incompetent writer not worthy of publishing shit.

Every blog post you PUBLISH (yes posting a blog is called publishing it) is a representation of your work, every misspelled word and text-speech word tells the world you are an immature incompetent writer not worthy of publishing shit.

Please take a moment to go back over the email you sent me and review what you said, how you said it, your spelling errors, your serious lack of grammar skills, your not taking the time to be a professional, when contacting another professional (me) for advice, than ask yourself, what about your email is there to inspire me to think you are anything close to being ready to try to publish something? Is you email really worded to the best of your ability? Did you even think to check your spelling or grammar before clicking send? Were you so giddy and piss pants over emailing me that you didn't think it was important enough to send me your best work?

You want to be known and have your work out there, okay, but are you taking your own advice on the matter? Can you see how your email and it's overt lack of professionalism tells me that you are NOT taking your own advice? Think about these things next time you send some one an email, and please if you want to be taken seriously NEVER send a publisher, agent, or editor an email that's as shoddy as the one you sent me! You won't even get a response, because they only want to deal with professionals and won't waste their time on you.

Think about it: Your email lacks proper phraseology, capitalization, punctuation, spelling, sentences, and flow. It looks like you vomited random pieces of words on the page. Now ask yourself this: If you were a publisher receiving this email, would you even bother the finish reading it, let alone give it the time of day?

Harsh? Yes, I am being harsh here. Why? Because somebody has to wake you up and get you off your lazy ass, before you turn into the next bitter, wining, boo-hooing "why won't any one publish my work" piece of shit writer in the long list of bitter, wining, boo-hooing "why won't any one publish my work" piece of shit writers. They sit around being bitter, wining, boo-hooing "why won't any one publish my work" piece of shit writers because no one ever took the time to tell them: hey, you can't spell worth shit, you can't write grammar worth shit, your writing is immature and unprofessional, you better clean up your act and start writing like a writer before you get tossed out in the gutter.

So, yeah, you ask for my advice, well I'm giving it to you honey. First thing you need to do is forget about writing a story and get your ass into some basic English Composition and Grammar classes, because until you learn how to edit your work before sending it out, you got better luck being a snow cone in hell than being a published writer. If the email you sent me is an example of your writing skills, than honey you are several years from ever seeing a book published IF you ever get one published at all. I mean, I'm sorry I have to be so harsh with you on this, but the quicker you realize this and get your act together the quicker you'll see your work published.

Problems with your story? Don't think about it as you write. Don't pre-plan it. Just sit your ass down in the chair and start writing. Writing after all, IS what writers do you know. Just write what "feels right" for your story. Let the story flow. Don't worry about spelling and grammar, you can fix that later. Your first job is to get your story written down. Try to write every day or so, even just 3 days a week is good.

Set aside small spaces of time, so you don't suffer burn out. Say, write for 20 minutes first thing in the morning, than 30 minutes around noon time, than for an hour before bed. You'll get more writing done this way than writing for 2 hours straight.

When you have it all written down, think of it, not as finished, but as a first draft. After you write your story, put it aside for a month. Don't look at it. Don't think about it. start writing your next story.

After a month or more goes by, however long it takes you to write the second story, pull out your first draft again, and start editing it. Edit for spelling first. Use the spell checker on your computer. After that, print it up on your printer. Don't read it. Now edit for spelling by hand. Just scan the words looking for errors. Fix them as you find them. Go back to your computer and correct the errors you found. Put it (and the second story) aside for another month. Start writing a third story.

After you have finished writing the third story (a month or so after editing the first story.) Take out both the first and second stories. edit the spelling again on the first one and start editing the second one. Don't read the second one, put it away after editing the spelling. Now read the first one. Notice any grammar errors and fix them.

If you are traditional publishing, this is the version of the draft you will send out to publishers and/or agents. It'll be another 6 to 18 months before your book will be published if it is published at all. So time to start writing story number 4 and keep on working on 2 and 3, being sure to send those out when those are ready (and start writing 5, 6, and 7, etc)

If you are self publishing, send it out to an editor for editing. Than spend a month formatting it to your POD or eBook press's format, than upload, start selling it, and start writing story number 4 and keep editing 2 and 3 and so on.

(Self pubbing gets books out faster, but trad pubbing has more sales. Either or the other could end up paying more. You have to research all the angles and decide for yourself which road is best for you and your book.)

Using this method you will have a new story ready to publish once every 4 months, meaning you will be publishing 3 stories a year.

Note, this is the method of writing that is used by Harlequin Romance writers, thus how each author publishes 4 novels a year. If you can't write at this pace, don't attempt to get published by Harlequin, because they'll expect 4 novels (90,000 words each) from you each year.

Also note I'm working on the assumption that you are writing a novel of about 100,000 words in 30 days or less, which is what I do, but I've been doing this for 40 years so and I write 300,000 words every 30 days. I do this with a week turn over, not a month turn over. I type faster than a new writer does, so I changed the week to month for you. However long it takes you to write each story, that's how long you set them aside for. If it takes you 6 months to write a story, you put it aside for 6 months while writing you second story. Than edit the first story. Than put them both aside for another 6 months while writing a third story. So if it takes you 6 months to write each first draft, it'll you'll be publishing a book once every other year.

This method works for novels and short stories, and also for non-fiction, but not as well for non-fiction as for fiction. If you write short stories and upload them as ebooks, using this method could get you having as many as 52 ebooks published each year, figuring that you can write a new short story (7,000 words or so) every week.

Anyways this is how I do my own writing, and it works for me. It may or may not work for you, I don't know.

Since you mentioned self publishing being expensive, it means you have considered doing it and confused vanity press for self publishing, let me get back to that. Now I said earlier vanity press is almost a scam.  I don't see it as a scam, so much as being scam-like in their methods. By that I mean, most of the vanity press companies are not honest up front with the authors. They often put on a big show of "Publish with us and become famous!"

Vanity press is fine for those who understand how it works and can see past the hype, but the unfortunate truth is that most authors come into it, thinking they are dealing with a publisher and have no idea they are actually dealing with nothing more than a small time copy shop with a big website. You could easily walk down the street to your local copy shop and order your book printed there, because it's exactly the same thing.

Vanity press is you paying money for a print shop to print up your book. Nothing more. Nothing less. Authors have been doing it this way since the 1600's. Shakespeare did it. Ben Franklin did it. Mark Twain did it. Hundreds of authors have used it and been successful. Many still do. But the one's that use it successfully, also know ahead of time that THEY are responsible for advertising, marketing, buying an ISBN, making their own press kit, sending out review copies, contacting mom&pop bookstores, sending out waiting room copies, sending copies to libraries, contacting interviewers on their own, etc, etc, etc.

Why I feel it is often scam-like, is when you deal with shady companies like Tate or IUniverse, who tells you this story of "signing a contract" with them, and how if you pay extra they'll "market your book". New authors read the hype and think they are actually getting something special, when in fact, all they are getting is an ISBN (which they could have bought on their own for $33 directly from the gov) and a listing on Amazon (which they could have done on their own for FREE). That's it. That's all they get for their extra $300. New authors get the letter from Tate and than the phone calls, and the emails, and more letters, and more phone calls, and think "I must be a really good writer, look how desperate they are to publish my book!" Fact is, Tate is desperate for the book, because it's their source of income, and an author with more experience would know that no legitimate publisher is going to hound you night and day begging you to publish with them.

Why I feel it is scam-like, comes into play when the author dishes out $1,000 to $30,000 or more thinking they'll get a good income from the investment. Than they are stunned when truck load after truck load of books show up on their door step. Suddenly they realize what vanity press actually is. Suddenly it hits them, they have to spend another $200 a month for many, many years, for a storage unit to keep all these thousands of books in. Suddenly they realize, there is no marketer advertising their book, no sales rep taking the book out to shops, no distributor sending their books to Amazon's warehouse, zip, nadda, nothing. Than it hits them, all the many more thousands of dollars they have to pay to do those things themselves.

How do I know this? Two ways.

#1) I did a lot of research before I started self-publishing, and I knew what I was getting into when I started out. So from 1978 - 1997 I used vanity press, because I only needed a hundred or so copies of each of my books. I wasn't looking to mass market. I knew there wasn't a large following for my genre. For me, at that time in my career, vanity press worked fine. Today I prefer POD and eBook publishing. My fan following has grown from a few dozen to 7,000 so it's no longer feasible for me to be printing up hard copies via vanity press. It was a good thing for me, but now I have outgrown it and the disadvantages now outweigh the advantages for me, but for many years it was a good thing.

#2) I have an uncle who wrote 5 books, and used vanity press for each one. He printed up 2,000 copies of each book. He had no idea how much space 10,000 books take up. He took out a $200,000 loan to cover the cost of printing and storage. He lost his house and now lives in a much smaller place, made even smaller by being stacked floor to ceiling, room to room with 9,000+ unsold books. He spent so much on cost of printing and storage that he can not afford advertising or marketing. He has weird phobias of book stores and Amazon and believes the only way to sell his book is on a free hosted website that is difficult to find at best, and only has a cryptic message telling people to contact him for info on his book and how to buy it. He did all this near on 20 years ago and has sold fewer than 1000 copies in that time. He is a perfect example of what is wrong with vanity press. He believed the hype and did not do his research, he dished out too much money and get deep in debt, and he is far from being alone in this.

In conclusion, I think vanity press is good if you know what you are getting into, and do your planning and researching, but I also think it is more often than not, a very bad thing, because few who do it, know what they are actually getting into, and it's too easy for people to get themselves in a lot of financial trouble with it.

Ever wonder what it was like to live with Autism? 
I have Autism. For more of my life I rarely spoke and was considered "too crazy" to ever live a normal life. I communicated via writing instead of vocally. I did not attend school. Psychologists said I would never drive a car, never get a job, never go to college, never function as a meaningful member of society, never be able to take care of myself or live on my own. They said there was no hope for me, I would need full-time care my whole life. 
My progression was long and slow and very hard. Things other people found easy to do (getting dressed, brushing teeth/hair, walking across the street, etc,) I found extremely confusing and hard to learn. I was prone to wandering off and getting lost (I still am). Driver's ed takes most people a few weeks to learn - it took me 5 years. 
I determined to prove the doctors wrong, but it was far harder to do, than most people would imagine. I got my first job working at Macy's at age 30 (a very difficult job as I had to deal one on one with customers and I still at that point was not talking in a manner that could be understood by others). I got my GED at age 34. I got my driver's license at age 35. I started college at age 36. By age 37 I had become a Phi Theta Kappa Honor Student and I was finally able to speak to others in full spoken verbal conversation for the first time in my life. 
Now you can find out what it's like Being an Adult with Autism


Good morning Starshine! Liked this post? Looking to connect with me online? I love social networks and am on most of them. You can find me on: BloggerEtsyFaceBookGoogle+KeenMySpaceNaNoWriMoProBoardsScript FrenzySpoonflowerSquidooTwitterULC Ministers NetworkWordpress, and Zazzle Feel free to give me a shout any  time. Many blessings to you, may all your silver clouds be lined with rhinestones and sparkle of golden sunshine. Have yourself a great and wonderful glorious day!

~Rev. Wendy C. Allen aka Empress EelKat of Laughing Gnome Hollow


This post was written by Wendy C Allen aka EelKat, is copyrighted by The Twighlight Manor Press and was posted on Houseless Living @ http://houselessliving.blogspot.com and reposted at EK's Star Log @ http://eelkat.wordpress.com and parts of it may also be seen on http://www.squidoo.com/EelKat and http://laughinggnomehollow.proboards.com  If you are reading this from a different location than those listed above, please contact me Wendy C. Allen aka EelKat @ http://laughinggnomehollow.proboards.com/index.cgi?action=viewprofile and let me know where it is you found this post. Plagiarism is illegal and I DO actively pursue offenders. Unless copying a Blog Meme, you do not have permission to copy anything appearing on this blog, including words, art, or photos. This will be your only warning. Thank you and have a glorious day! ~ EelKat


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