Wednesday, February 10, 2016

"And I'll do it with my shirt on."

 It is hard being an Author.

 Of course, I love it. I love everything about it. Writing, dreaming up new stories and characters, sitting at my desk and getting threatened by new characters if I don't write their stories, creating new worlds and going on new adventures. It's the best job in the world....with the possible exception of pushing buttons with cause explosions of dirt to shoot up into the air. Because when that job becomes available I am snatching it.

 There are other things which gets lumped in with the Author title. Things which keep me busy, and things I never seem to get to.

 1. Reading. Authors should read. And read a lot. I might read more than most Authors, I usually read a book a week. I try and slow down, but when I walk to work I read, when I eat lunch I read, when I eat dinner I read. I just prefer to read more than watch something. The problem is, I either volunteer to do a ton of beta reading and have to finish eight books in a month, or I have NOTHING to read. There's never a nice in between. I want to get to a point where I can just sit down and enjoy a book, not that I hate the books I beta read, I just don't like to feel rushed when I read. It throws my dyslexia into some kind of overdrive thing and things get crazy.

 2. Blogging. Authors should keep up on this sort of thing. Let readers know what is going on with their books. Not only that, I like to read all of your blogs and comment. Blogging alone is hard enough sometimes. When I have time to post I can't think of any ideas of what to post about, and when I have ideas I don't have time to sit down and write. Then the end of the day I somehow manage to get everything on my daily lists down, except read and comment on blogs. I am working on this, trying to figure out a way to make it work. I miss reading your blogs.

 3. Editing. Ha. Ha.....*Sniffle*...Ha. Editing and I are enemies. We don't get along. Mostly because of my dyslexia. I can write with it, I can read with it. (What happens with me is letters never appear in the right order.) So, while I can write first drafts with ease it is a pain to go back and edit them. I find so many sentences where I wrote something and can't make sense of it.

 4. World Building. This one I love, but again, never seem to have time for. And when I do have time I forget about it. I even have a large notebook special for it.

 5. Social Media. I'm getting better at this, and by better I mean I will show up on Facebook and Twitter and sprout the strange ramblings which go on inside my head. Keeps everyone amused at least.

 6. Keeping up on current books. This I like to do but it can be hard. I've finally worked a method though. I have some Authors I follow and I mostly keep up on their books. I try to read and review them almost as soon as they come out, I sometimes get behind on my reviews but I attempt it as best I can. I like to keep an eye on other Authors' books though, so I know which genres are popular. (I'm waiting for Steampunk to come back, but don't worry, I am not going to wait around to republish Haphazardly Implausible. It would just be nice if Steampunk was big when I published it.)

 All of this could keep me busy, the kind of full time job busy, but since I can't pay my rent on a full time job which doesn't pay yet, I try and do all the full time work between my other jobs. It helps that I'm one of those people who doesn't need eight or more hours of sleep. 

 That is all. I am going to try and get some editing done before it gets too much later.

 Quote is from Mulan 

Sunday, February 07, 2016

"What are you a Doctor of?" "Of Lies!"

 Wherein Jack is healed!!!!

 Well.....enough that it counts as far as she is concerned.

 It's naughty of me, but there's a little girl at work who talks in the third person....and I encourage it because it is cute. So if ever she dates Shawn Spiencer...I'm sorry but not really.

 If any of my Instagram followers are on here, I shall be AWOL until further notice. My phone died, so my mom sent me an old one which works, but it doesn't feel like Instagram, so...not that I posted much anyways. I mean other than books and tea.

 Back to my rib though.

 I can ALMOST get my arm all the way above my head. I know I said this last time, but I can get it higher than last time. Not much, but just a bit. I could have gotten it even higher by now but I had a bit of a set back...I caught the flu which has given me a small cough I've been battling. It was the sneeze though which made it hurt again though. I don't have pretty, lady like sneezes, but full body sneezes. In good news, I didn't REbreak my rib. 

 I have no book news. Which makes me sad because I have a small amount of patience. For some reason refreshing my email aggressively doesn't seem to get the message across that I am eagerly waiting.

 Don't worry, I have a song for today. I'm just taking my time getting there for some reason. 

 Never mind. I've changed my mind. Here it is!

 This is one song I listen to when I work on the Blade books, which I've started work on again. I want to try and get book one edited this year. (Heads up, I will be looking for beta readers if anyone is interested. I need to read through it once, maybe this month, then I will want to send it to some other readers. If anyone is interested you can email me now. I'll make a more formal announcement later when I know for sure what is going on.) 

 There it is. Enjoy

  Quote is from Doctor Who, when Clara pretends to be the Doctor. I use the quote far too much in real life...


Tuesday, February 02, 2016

"Bring the new, don't bring the new human. I'll just get distracted."

I don't talk about my faith all that much, at least not on here.

 It isn't as if I am ashamed of it. I am a child of God's, His daughter, called by Him before the creation of the world. What do I have to be ashamed of?

 I don't talk about it much because everyone nowadays is ready for a debate. You push the wrong buttons and suddenly you've declared war. "Oh, YOU think that?! WELL! Let me tell you why you're wrong!" No one really wants to listen anymore, or just talk. They want to argue, to have a point and the need to prove it. They bristle. I encounter it at work all the time, and I realized when I tell someone I'm a Christian and they get defensive. 

 So I stopped.

 But I did something else instead. I started to live it. In all I do I try and live my faith. And I stand out. My co-workers started to notice. I didn't have to tell them what made me different, a lot of them seemed to just KNOW. And they didn't get defensive...if anything they got curious.

 I want to try the same through my writing.

 But things have happened and I've felt like sharing.

 I don't know if it is everywhere, but I've encountered it. The belief that if you're a Christian life is supposed to be really good. You will get a nice job, your car will always run and be in perfect shape, you'll get a nice sized house, meet someone dashing and caring to take care of you and spend your life with....

 There are Biblical examples of how untrue this is, not to mention more modern lives which show the same.

 I never really struggled before. I mean I did, a lot. I had a lot of problems and such, but it wasn't ever anything with money. I had my parents to take care of me. I didn't understand the struggle behind not knowing if there would be enough money every month for those lovely things called bills.

 And then I moved out on my own.

 I prayed about the move, I planned and made sure I'd have enough for everything I would need. Gas for my car, check. Food, check. Bills, check. Rent, check. All that stuff. I would even have a little left over every month and enough to save. The little cabin worked out in impossible ways - I pretty much went from considering it to blinking and getting one. Everything just worked out so well. I got it and the next day I got the job I'd been praying about. 

 Then things happened. As I've said, I lost the job I needed. I am now working a part time one, and they can't work me full time for insurance reasons and all of that which I don't really understand but which makes sense to someone somewhere. Since then I've been frantically looking for another job. I am the world's fastest application...applier? Filler-outer? I'm really good at it, I've even got a system. I've been filling them out for months, and no one wants me.

 I've almost gotten a couple jobs. But last minute something happens - someone more qualified shows up - and they get it instead.

 At the end of 2015 I decided I'd begin to pray in earnest for a job...I had before but I thought I would ask, really ask, for one. After all, my request wasn't made for selfish reasons, like wanting more money, but because I really did need one.

 So I prayed hard. And suddenly things seemed to finally be working out. I got another job, my car's problem got fixed, everything would work out so nicely! I wouldn't have to borrow money from friend's, that little extra a month for one bill or food.

 And then it happened. My rib broke. I could barely move, let alone pick up little kids. I was useless at work, but my boss didn't hold it against me. Her biggest concern was not over working me while I was in so much pain. She had no problem with me sitting on the floor, pretty much useless, only reading stories.

 But I was given time off, so much time. It was only out of concern, but I needed the money. Rent. I has it.

 Then, when I thought nothing could possibly get worse then working about only eight days out of the month, my car decided to randomly sprout power steering fluid everywhere.

 Normally I'd be fine. I've driven without it before. It wouldn't have been a problem before.

 But I can't drive a car which fights me at every turn with a rib still not completely healed. And I couldn't afford to get it fixed, so it is sitting very happily in my driveway. I think it was just annoyed with me driving to work at seven thirty in the cold. I'd give up my power steering too to not have to do that.

 The day it happened was bad. I was done I decided. I crippled it to Starbucks and parked it.

 I'd spent the day babysitting. I was tired, my rib hurt and the steering only made it worse, I knew I wouldn't have enough money for everything due in the next month. So I hid in Starbucks, I ordered a coffee with a Christmas gift card, I stuck in my headphones and listened to Enya, and read while sneaking sly glances at a guy who looked just like a modern Striker - my character from the Blade books. And I tried not to cry in front of total strangers.

 Everything I didn't really believe but which had been bombarded on me came back and I started to wonder. What had I done wrong? Had I done something horribly rebellious against God and this was my punishment? A broken car in the head of winter, a broken rib which not only hurt but hindered me from working AND doing things I liked like going on long walks. Surely I had done something terrible to have all of this happen to me.

 While I blinked back tears, because I don't really cry in front of anyone let alone strangers and men who look like my characters, I texted a friend of mine. I needed someone to talk to, kind of a shoulder to cry on without the actual crying.

 She soon helped me calm down. I slowly drank my wanna be coffee thing and then I began to pray.

 I prayed a new prayer. I prayed that I could make it through all of this, being the example God wanted me to be. Learning the lessons I was so obviously supposed to learn. I prayed that I might learn to trust Him when everything, EVERYTHING, was going wrong. When I thought it couldn't get worse and it did.

 It's still hard. I still have a month in front of me and only eight days on the paycheck. I still have a broken car in my drive way, happily relaxing under a blanket of snow as it waits out the coldest part of the winter. I still sometimes want to hide under my blanket and cry.

 But I am learning. So so much.

 I am learning that I can rely on my friends without being scared they will all grow so annoyed with me they won't ever want to speak to me again. I am learning God provides for what is needed, in impossible ways sometimes. And I'm learning to find joy and happiness and not let it all rest on money. I'm not rich, I never will be likely unless Tom Hanks decides to buy the rights to Brothers-in-Arms and make a mini-series, but I still have more fun sliding up and down the snow packed streets in my trackless boots then most people do.

 The point I think I'm trying to make is this, God never promises wealth and a new car and a large house. He never said we'd get a million dollars on our doorsteps wrapped with a bow. But what He did promise is so much better. He promised to be with us in every trail and struggle. He promised us a home in Heaven. He promised to provide for our needs, the real ones, sometimes we get needs and wants mixed up but He never does. He promised to be my Father, in the times when everything seems to be going perfectly and in the times when I am stuck in the house with a broken rib.

 Don't let the same happen to you which has happened to me. Don't get confused about what it means to be a Christian. Because it does mean suffering and hard times, but it just means we have GOD to help us through them. What could be better?

 (This is a little PS. He has also given me some incredible friends and family who helps me out when I need it, who fight my stubborn car home across town when it decides to be a pain, who drives me places so I don't have to trudge about in the below freezing weather to work at six thirty in the morning. I've been very well taken care of.)

 I used a Doctor Who quote today. It is one from 12 when he sees a baby. I can relate to him.


Sunday, January 31, 2016

"Hey, I may have dropped it a few times but Marlo is the one who left it in the dyer."

 Wherein Jack is jittery.

 I decided sleep is over rated, more than I thought it was before. I was so tired last week I had plans to sleep in on the weekend, and I woke up early and couldn't even fall asleep. Just dozed off and on. 

 Pfft, sleep.

 But, because of that, in a round about way, I started to really write again. I finished up a short story over the weekend and started working on Haphazardly Implausible again. I'm really pleased with how it is turning out now. Gooooooooooooooooood bye plot holes!!!!! I also pulled out the third Loyalty book and confirmed what I've always know. I STINK at writing romances. Horrible. And not in the cute kind of horrible way. In the bury your head in a sand hill like an ostrich kind of way.

 My rib also started to feel much better over the weekend. I can almost get my right arm completely over my head again, almost. Who knew how much a broken rib could limit mobility of an arm? I'm done with them though. Next time I break something I'm going for a leg or arm. No more ribs. (I say as I still have no idea how I did it and therefore could do it again with no knowledge I am doing it.)

 Of course, one reason I am jittery is because I am able to move and do things and braid my hair again instead of cramming it into a disarrayed pony tail because I was unable to get my arm up high enough for very long. But that isn't the only reason.

 The other has to do with my book.

 Of course, I can't reveal it yet because it isn't set in stone QUITE yet....BUT THERE'S A RELEASE DATE! And I found out it is going to end up on CBD, the place. I was shocked when I found out. It is also going to be sent to Amazon and Barnes and Noble as well.

 Things are happening!

 Except for right now, because I'm really tired and want to try and get some sleep. (HAHAHHA) That over rated thing I talked about earlier.

 I leave you with the last Psych quote I stored away - more are likely to show up again at some point, but this is the end of the storage I had of them from the last marathon I did.


Friday, January 29, 2016

"I'm going to ask you this calmly...are you insane?"

 This is how you see me, no?

 To everyone on here I am known as Jack. Only a few of you know my real name, and you've been wonderful sports about it and have kept it top secret. I think I've explained the reason behind the pen name by now. But just as a reminder, and for those who might not know...

 My real name isn't Jack. Nor is my middle name Lewis or my last name Baillot. All of these names I borrowed or was given. (I borrowed Lewis and Baillot, which I was known by for a while before I was given the name Jack.)

 Why do I call myself Jack? Rather why did I accept the nick name, adopt it as my pen name, and keep my real name top secret? Why do I hide my face in pictures? WHY AM I SO WEIRD?!

 First...I wanted to stand out when I started on the publishing road. I didn't want to be another self-published Author no one remembered. So I stole a trick from Lemony Snicket, little knowing the world knows his real name. (Or the Author's get the idea.)  hid my face. I hid my name. And it worked. It was a marketing scheme in part, in another part...I've always wanted to be a spy and this seemed as close as I could get.

 Second...why am I so weird? Who knows.

 Over the years I told my real name to some of my closest online friends. Others found out when things had to be mailed to me. I might have revealed it to someone else under know...enemies and all that. But some of my friends who found out my name were surprised. Something about it not fitting me, it being a name they never would have guessed...something like that.

 And it got me thinking, along with the fact I'm not sure how much longer I can keep this up. Someday, maybe soon, I might have to reveal my real name. Maybe. I am going to try as long as possible not to....but things happen.

 Until then, before then....just in case that does happens, I thought it would be fun to hold a guessing game.

 In other words, I'm curious to know what all of you think my real name is...those who don't know.

 What do you think? Sound fun? I think I'll have the guess game open for a week. Until next Friday. (And no, I won't reveal my real name at the end of the week. Like I said, I'm only sharing it if I have to. And right now I don't have to. So ha!)

 And there...that challenge? 

 You can begin guessing.

 As for me, I'm going to spend my Friday nights as I usually do....tucked safely in my flat with tea and a good book. Or Doctor Who.


Tuesday, January 26, 2016

"Mexican Lassie, way better than American Lassie by the way."

 Wherein Jack is here

 I think I had something else to say but I sort of forgot it when I went to get an eye lash out of my eye.

 So, someone - I kind of forgot who because I was side tracked with chocolate - pointed out that I hadn't ever told WHO my publisher is. Leave it to me to get so excited about having one I leave out that detail. *Coughcough*

 The company is Dove Publishers. WEBSITE HERE

 And...I was just looking around the site to try and find the Author Page they set up for me. And I found THIS

 Actually that was really unexpected. I know they've been working on it, but I didn't know it was on the website yet for PREORDER. I have a book which can be PREORDERED!

 (I might have cried....a lot.)

 I also just approved the final cover. So that happened today as well. 

 And I got a new Author picture in honor of the book coming. (My friend Ben helped me, because I tried to do it alone and that didn't work out.) 

 I can't really think of more to say. I'm still too stunned. So here is the AUTHOR PAGE. You should also check out the Sample Chapter, because they made the inside pretty!

 Farewell my readers!

Quote is from Psych


Sunday, January 24, 2016

"I'd rather spend all day at the mall with McNab,"

 In honor of having sent Brothers-in-Arms back to my publisher I am going to post one of the songs which reminds me of the book.

 This is a very Franz and Japhet song but it also fits Caleb, Warren, and Karl as well. Probably Danny and Jimmy and some of the other friendships if you look deep enough.

The quote is from Lassie.

 And that is all I have for right now.