Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Insecure Writer's Support Group, Determination

Greetings and Happy New Year. If you're here you now get to purchase an 'I survived TS for 12/21/12.' Congratulations!

So here we are getting ready for a new and untested year, 2013, and I'm wondering how many of you will post on 'Resolutions,' for your Insecure Writer's Support Group post? (Brain child of Alex J. Cavanaugh, you can read other entries here.)

I  like the word 'Determination' much better than 'Resolution.' Resolution comes with a preconceived baby called failure. We start something only to stop. It's a hard learned cliche. Determination implies that despite unexpected difficulties you will persist. A better word, don't you think?

To be honest, in mid-December, this post would have taken on an extreme negative tone. I was in terrible pain from my teeth deteriorating since last years long illness. I can't afford a Dentist and so far I haven't found help. This is serious. I was born with a heart murmur. I have high blood pressure. Any infection in the mouth can cause a heart attack or stroke. I could die sitting here writing this. If I finish you'll know I didn't. I rinsed away the infection by combining a strong mouth wash with hydrogen-peroxide. It works and I'm continuing this every day. I know not to swallow.

My life is very difficult. I could spend a week detailing everything that is wrong along with all my worries from my children who chose violent abusive men to be the father to their children, to the lack of money, I've only had $20.00 a week for food along with too many unpaid bills. It's hard to focus on anything with these worries.

Last year I began with a Resolution that I would turn around my life, get well and start to make serious money with my stories so I could afford a Dentist. Half of my resolution came true. I'm no longer suffering from acute bronchitis and won't die from that. But my writing has had one set back after another.

Last year I had two e-books, I still do, (see the right side bar). The Magic of Windlier Woods is a childrens story that I invented when my children were young. This story has more than 350 downloads per month on USA alone. My epic fantasy had two or three a month last year. So I thought, I have a ready readership who have been asking for my stories about my character in Windlier Woods. Kindle Fire was introduced last year and I had plenty of additional stories inspired by my grandchildren. Two plus two equals success. Or does it? I needed art. I wasn't happy with any of the pictures I drew so I made inquiries. I offered 10% royalty for life on all childrens books that my artist friend would help with. Since this was for children I needed a cover and 3 to 5 'colored' pictures inside. I found someone but they were busy at the moment, so while I waited I paid my editor to correct one of the stories. Three months went by. I received an email that my friend did a series of 'black and white' pictures that children could color. I think the total was five. And my friend now wanted 40% commission on paper books, claiming that is was free for me to sale on Amazon. It's not FREE to create a book and 40% would have wiped away any income for me. In addition, no parent will spend $20.00 on a small book with five pictures that their children will color, and rip out of the book to hang on the refrigerator. My hero vanished behind a dollar sign.

I turned to short stories. I've had a lot of success with my flash fiction entries for Romantic Friday Writers and so it seemed an easy thing to add to any of those stories and create a good short story. I figured I could do one a month. But my critique partner pointed out that my short story was missing some vital information and it felt rushed to her. True on both counts. 

To back track a little, last year in September we helped our two children find an apartment together by paying the first month's rent. The alternative was homelessness for everyone, including us, since our place is a one bedroom and the landlord intended to evict us for letting the children stay. I just finished telling you I had $20.00 a week for food, this is why. We had to borrow from my husband's future paychecks and they aren't big in the first place. Since then my children have started fighting and one of them moved out. We will never be reimbursed which was the agreement.

Remember, my short story seems rushed because I am desperate for money. Hate to admit that one.

This is still September in my retailing.

I intended to wait to offer my epic fantasy for free  until the sequel was complete but the above situation meant I couldn't wait, I needed money. So I put it in Amazon's lending library. NO ONE IS DOWNLOADING IT! I'm sorry, why? It has great reviews. Some friends recommend a new cover showing my two characters, I agree, but there is no money to pay for a book cover. Art again!

I turned to my youngest daughter and tried to motivate her to become my book cover artist. She is a brilliant artist but has given up on herself. Remember I told you about her ex. Verbal and physical abuse leave internal wounds. She used my computer trying to learn the GIMP program for working in pictures and eventually gave up. Another dead end.

At this point you are shouting at me, do it yourself!

When I was in college my major was art. I had a professor who had us publicly display our final paintings for critique and grade. The entire class was there. I loved painting African animals. He publicly attacked me about my choice of subject and he did the same with everyone else. That man crushed the joy of art out of me. I've had trouble motivating myself to do any art ever since.

Now we come back to the title of this post, Determination.

I am no longer looking for a miracle, they do happen to me. I will continue to try to find someone, I may have already found someone but my recent illness has prevented me from pursing this at the moment. I will also try to figure out how I can work on some art myself. There's a real challenge in this since the single flat surface in our apartment is the table and the computer is on it. I'm thinking maybe the Library.

In the end, I want to find the little girl inside of me who loved to draw and paint. She is there in the words I craft, so I know she is hiding behind the butterfly bush. That little girl needs to stop being afraid and start living with joy in her heart. That fear is a whole different story. Like I said, my life isn't easy.

I hope your determination is moving you forward.

Copyright 2013

Notice: My email is over run with spam and I don't check it anymore. If you need to get a hold of me leave a comment and I'll email you my new e-mail address.


Denise Covey said...

Hi Nancy. Boy you have had a tough year. I hope soon things will begin to look up for you and yours.
I do most of my effective work at the Library. It's great for concentration.
Our book cover is our biggest selling point and I really do think you need to change Treasures' cover. I hope you can find a way. It's such a great story.
Let's hope you find the time to write those short stories too.

Denise x

And of course i'd love your new email address...

Mel Chesley said...

Holy cow, girl! I'm utterly speechless at the moment. My mind is cranking with 'how can I help'?? I'd love to tell you I'll do it! But I can't, I don't have the software to even make my own silly blog tour banners or anything like that. I can ask around, I have lots of friends, but again, no promises. I do hope this year is better!

N. R. Williams said...

Hi Denise
I hope so too. You've already got my new e-mail.

Thanks Mel, really appreciate that.


Tammy Theriault said...

I hope for and pray that your ambitions to do what you need to do for your oral problems will be solved. Good luck dear friend!

N. R. Williams said...

Thanks Tammy

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I hope you find her again. You need to, more than anyone I know.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

You win obstacles of the year award! I'm sorry, Nancy. I hope something works out with the artwork.

Southpaw said...

I agree with Alex. You know I'm still sending my prayers your way. I hope this has less obstacles.

N. R. Williams said...

Hi L. Diane

Hi Alex
I never thought of it that way.

Hi Holly
Your prayers are appreciated.

I am hopeful but cautious.

Yolanda Renee said...

I wish I had some answers, I know my son has dental problems too and no money. I meant to look into the dental college and see if they will do some of it free or with limited dollars. I don't know, because I haven't checked locally, but I remember as a kid my dad taking me to the local university where dental was taught -- then the work was done free of charge. Today, I have no idea, but I will be checking locally. Also, I know some cities have free dental set up by local dentists. Call your local health organization they may know of a regular dentist may be able to point you in the right direction. Then there is bartering for your needed art work. Do you have a skill that you could barter for art work? There are places on line that can help. Google it, I hope again, lots of ideas and no real answers. Also, just as an aside and not because it will make a difference but I take photos of nature and use those for my covers, not really good enough(I too wish I had a professional cover) but if you could get a good enough picture of nature with maybe grandchildren in it would that work -- or something similar? Just my half heart-ed suggestions.
Thanks for sharing, I was a bit negative in my post, but already feel better because I shared it. I hope you do too. We are all here in support!

N. R. Williams said...

Hi Yolanda
I hadn't thought of those Dental options. I have tried to barter for art work. I will keep my options open.

Thanks for coming by.

Mel Chesley said...

Nancy, email me with your new address, please. Thanks!

Mel Chesley said...

I suppose it would help if I supplied my own email address... sorry! paridzule dot keep at gmail dot com

Ciara said...

I like determination. That is a great word! Happy New Year.

N. R. Williams said...


N. R. Williams said...

Hi Ciara

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Nancy .. I do hope things work out for you - life does sound tough and I often think of you ...

I hope Mel can help .. or point you towards someone else who can - kids starting out, or someone who might volunteer to help you out ...

Good luck and all the very best for 2013 ... cheers Hilary

Nicole MacDonald said...

A random suggestion for the art - had you looked at I had it recommended to me as a place to get pic's etc at your request for $5. Most the artists advertising are happy for you to use the pics however you like as long as you link it back to them :)

N. R. Williams said...

Hi Hilary
Mel and her friend sent me an amazing book cover that I will soon unveil. Thanks for your continued support.

Hi Nicole
I will check into the site, thanks for the information.


Pat Tillett said...

You may be overwhelmed and troubled, but you are STILL a very talented woman. It will all work out for you in the end. Positive vibes coming your way...

N. R. Williams said...

Wow Pat, how nice of you to say that. Thanks so much.