Life’s Goals Before Death’s Ghouls?

Goals or Ghouls?

Will I reach my goals before the ghouls reach for me?

My writing dates back 50 years. I had a fantastic HS English teacher who made us read Chaucer, taught us to write long essays, made us speak extemporaneously in front of the class and paddled even the girls for tomfoolery (but we wore crinolines then and it didn’t hurt a bit).

Through the years I dabbled in writing: published several newsletters, worked in my sister’s publishing house, took poetry at New College, published my first article in the Volta Review, a respected magazine of audiology and continued writing articles and stories for small magazines, but I never made the big time. I had lots of excuses. Don’t we all?

I had a husband, two children and a job. My son was born profoundly deaf and after the ‘shock and dread’ wore off I was determined that he learn to communicate and live as normal a life as possible. To survive the many difficult areas of my life I started keeping a journal. It became the therapist I couldn’t afford, a place to get things off my chest. Slowly it developed into a treasure cache of important memories, catchy little phrases, and a few precious gems. The older I get the faster the memories evaporate except for the tragic, the ecstatic and the ones I’ve written down.

I’ve dreamed of writing a memoir, but as time passed raising children, running two businesses, becoming a teacher, gaining a 2nd home in Costa Rica, losing a husband, my writing foundered mainly because it always came second, third, last.

Then I joined Patrika Vaughn’s weekly writing group in Sarasota. It gave me the deadlines that my scientific brain required. I had to submit something at least every other week to be critiqued and I learned how to critique others. The former got me going and the latter taught me how to write and not to write. The members, one by one, started publishing their books. Under her nom de plume, Regina Perry published Play Girl, and Marisa Magnani self-published The Sharkman of Cortez, a biography of her husband.

I’ll never be one of those bulimic writers that can vomit out a chapter each day, every day, but I was accumulating a body of work worth publishing. With the help of Pat’s A Cappela Publishing and my computer guru son Ray I did it.

The most difficult part, the writing, was over; or so I thought until I started on Goal 2 – Getting the Word Out. See my next post.


My Head’s Aswirl

p32802932-150x150-8136536Writing is really hard for me. I’m undisciplined, lazy, easily distracted, have a bad memory and too many other interests. Now that my novella (it’s not long enough to be a novel) is finished. I’ve already got a publisher, A Cappela Publishing, a beautiful cover and my book is ready to print, but I find that the PR, mostly on the internet, is much harder than writing.

I’ve lost control. The online world is too much with me. All I want to do is go outside,  smell the flowers, walk the woods. But no – I must sit down at the dread computer to the point of backache and hone in on the world of technology. If it wasn’t for my son Ray, his vast knowledge of the internet and his constant help, I’d quit. Check out his 15 year and running, No. 1  U of Florida college sports website So here’s what’s looming:

  • Website – Got my domain, but don’t go there yet. My son has just started working on it. It should be up in February.
  • Facebook Page – Okay, I can do this. Step 1 – I name it – FreeToBloom. Wow, it shows up. Step 2 – I try adding the photo of my bloom the way I learned on FB exporter. Doesn’t work. I look up the jpg number, which takes a lot longer, and there it is. Magic. Step 3 – I try to invite all my friends to the site. I click all friends. Nothing. I click send invitations. Nothing. I do this several times. Shit. In frustration I chat help! to my son, and make him administrator on the site. Before he gets back to me I go to FB and a bunch of people like my new page. Huh? How did they get there? Step 4-6 later.
  • Twitter – Can’t even go there yet. Been dragging a Twitter how to book (comforting) back and forth from Florida to Costa Rica and haven’t yet read a page.
  • Amazon – OMG a universe of new information. Beware what categories you place your book in. One could make it a best seller, another relegate it to oblivion.
  • Print books – POD (print on demand) or regular.
  • Ebooks – as print books become obsolete ebooks with all their frills move in. First you need a good formatter, one that knows Kindle, Smashwords, Nook, etc.. formats. I found one, Rob Siders at, through Joe Konrath’s A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing and his website
  • Radio interviews – My first was on EZ Rock Radio with Sue on Love and Lipstick
  • Reviews – You need reviews. To get them you must write reviews, TV spots, youtube.
  • If you print – book signings, readings, women’s club meetings.

Yikes. Enough for today.