Tuesday, July 31, 2012

What My Son's Disabilities Taught Me About 'Having It All' - The Atlantic

Anytime I question my life, there is somebody to remind me what really counts.  I may not have purchased any new clothes in several months, I may have scratches down the side of my Astra (thanks Doc), I may still be chasing the dreams of the career that I would really like.  Do I have enough?  No, I already have more than I need.  This is an excellent article, and thank you to Pamela Paul @pamelapaulNYT for making me aware of it.

What My Son's Disabilities Taught Me About 'Having It All' - The Atlantic

The Loss of Deference

So it's the last day of the month, and what better way to finish my first month of blogging that a quick recap of why i started this in the first place!  This month I released my first novel, The Loss of Deference.  I am a full time procrastinator and almost full time writer.  Yet it still took me six years to get to this point.  Why, you may ask?  I could go on to list a million superficial reasons: I had a full time job, I sent it out and waited for the rejections, I decided to learn Greek, I moved to another country blah blah blah.  But honestly that complicates matters further than necessary.  I have read so many stories about people who have taken five or six, even more years to complete their first novel.  The reason is because that's how long it takes to understand what a difficult process this really is.  It isn't like putting in an application form and having an interview like my old job.  This is a journey, and there are many ways to feel like you have achieved along the way, and many ways to feel like you want to give it all up and pretend you never open up the computer and confidently wrote chapter one at the top of a blank page, cursor sat flashing and waiting expectantly. 

So book one, The Loss of Deference is out now.  So far I haven't sold any.  So far I don't mind.  Well, not much.  I already feel like the current target, that mental note to finally make it a book that stirred inside of me again just over a month ago has been achieved.  But I do want to sell it.  My target will change.  Spread the word.
Get your copy on Amazon!

Monday, July 30, 2012

welcome to the world of @michellemuckley

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After spending the weekend tucked away in the mountains out of the reaches of the internet, I have returned to civilisation today with a great big bump.  After being puzzled by various celebrity stories and news paper articles that contain @this or #that, I have finally (and tentatively like my OAP father when I purchased him his first laptop) stepped into an unknown world.  Don't get me wrong, I am no beginner when it come to the computer, or social networking sites for that matter.  I owned and deleted a facebook account, and my neice taught me all about the world of myspace (when we were both younger and considerably cooler), but twitter has mystified me with it's strange symbols and ways of communicating which seemed to me as complicated as Greek when I first started learning that.  However, everybody (and I mean all of the how-to-sell-your-book-on-the-internet type people) seem to be saying that having a twitter account is a must.  Much like a blog.  I got there (kind of) with the Greek, I now have a blog, so I figure I can get there with twitter. 

If after posting this I manage to get some sort of twitter feed happening with my blog posts (I don't even know if that's possible) I will be one very happy writer, who by the way, thanks to twitter hasn't written anything today that didn't start with an @!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Never give up!

So, the Olympic Games are finally here.  A £27 Million pound show opened the ceremony with an estimated worldwide audience in excess of one billion.  That's a lot of zeros!  But watching that show last night was not only a fantastic personal reminder of my home country (well done UK!) with a run back through my history lessons, twenty nine years of television, music, and popular culture.  It was also a chance to see what can be acheived with dedication.  So many atheletes who have dedicated years to their sport, hours and hours everyday with no rest; performers who have worked tirelessless to put on the show; all of the faces behind the scenes.  With commitment comes success.
no previewThis week I have heard about two writers, both of whom have shared their stories about sudden rises in their book sales, and out of the blue all of their hard work comes to fruition.
Motto for today, is write more, try harder, never give up..........sometimes it might be hard to predict, but that gold medal might just be over he very next hurdle.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Publishing After The Apocalypse: MALICE FREE on Amazon July 20-21!

Something that I have discovered on my Kinlde Boards adventure.  Love being scarred to death, Griffin Hayes managed it.

Don't take my word for it......

Getting past the Fear.......

So, day three has hit which means we are officially ten days since the release of ‘The Loss of Deference’.  On day one, I proudly sent out my ‘check this out’ emails to just about everybody I know and then it hit me: the Fear.  Suddenly I had that unrelenting cherub sat on my shoulder prodding me and poking me, and he did a damn good job of shutting up the other one, who usually has a lot more to say!

All of the questions started spinning around in my frazzled brain.  What if they don’t like it?  What if they think I don’t write very well?  What if they think I am a bit crazy with the subject matter, or worse still that it was autobiographical?  Honestly, I never killed anyone.  The pressure of judgment from the people in my own email contact list was almost enough for me to whip that book off Amazon quicker than you could say ‘Add to Basket’.

So book published and out there for world to see.  My biggest cheerleader, we’ll give him the name Doc, was proudly observing from the sidelines telling me all the right things.  But I needed something else.  Something a bit more, let’s say, less biased.

After a little bit of internet searching I found it.  http://www.kindleboards.com.  It has been a little treasure.  I have found a whole community of people just like me; other Dr. Seuss labelled newbies, all looking for the same supportive help, and then the seven starred ‘Edgar Allan Poe’ labelled longstanding members who are leading the way and showing us the ropes.  So this is my first bit of sharing.  My first gift to you.  If you are a kindle convert, or budding author wondering how you might be able to survive the cut throat world of publishing visiting this site is a must.  There are lots of interesting discussions, trouble shooting tips for your kindle or app, plus now I am reading books that I would have not otherwise known about from self published authors.  The only trouble is, after a promising 20,000 words in two weeks start, it is now two days since I have written any words for the as yet untitled book two!

Have you felt the Fear?  How did you get past it?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

A big shout out to Mrs. S!

After a busy morning of fiddling with my brand new blog, seeing that eight people in the USA and one person in Germany had looked at it (how did that happen in the ten hours since I created it?), and changing template after template, loosing text formatting and blah blah blah......I suppose I better explain why it is that I am here.  Let me introduce to you my first novel.  The Loss of Deference.

The first thoughts and first words were conceived about six years ago.  I started with so much enthusiasm and I absolutely loved my book.  It was perfect.  Or so I thought.  Then I hated my book.  Then I banished my book in to the cupboard for a few months.  I'm not sure exactly what it did, but it had clearly stepped out of line.  Then I dragged it out and after a quick lick and polish, sent it out to publishers before it was properly edited and got the predictible "Uh-Uh" response that I should have seen coming.  Simple to explain the feeling.......just misery!  But then you realise your mistakes.  Then you realise that you have a friend (Let's call her Mrs. S!) who is more than happy to edit it.  After it comes back with a whole bunch of yellow omissions, and a bunch of red mistakes, it again went back in a cupboard.  But, enough is enough.  I took it back out.  I sat my backside down.  I edited that book three times over and made a whole bunch of changes.  Finally here we go.  It's ready.  Oh yeah, still no publisher!

So maybe this post should be called 'Thank you Amazon'.  I have fallen head over heels with the KDP website and my book sits very proudly alongside the rest.  In best seller position 93,201.  Position 454,786 if you are in the US.  But it doesn't matter.  It is there, and it will climb.  No, honestly.  So please feel free to meet my first book.  Just click the link below.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

It's time to say hello.....

After spending years sat behind a computer screen, writing in quiet moments and wrestling with the idea of giving up altogether, I am finally at the stage where I need to introduce myself to the world. I may be only thirty and therefore you might think perfectly placed to have this blogging lark down to a fine art. However in honest truth, I have never blogged before (save Googling it and fiddling with the account settings to see what it looked like), I don't have a Facebook or Twitter profile, and I still don’t understand the @# thingamygiggy. But I have made it to the stage of having a blog. So here we go. Let’s start with why we are here.

Long have I harboured grandiose ideas of being a writer, whiling away days fretting over character traits and plot twists. Sat somewhere in a grand old room, cigarette and coffee at the side (gave up smoking eight years ago, started coffee three years ago). I have up until now though, been living in the real world, with a full time job and on-call commitments. After trailing my way through the last six years, my first book is finished. Gone are the days of scribbled noted and plot ideas. It is actually finished.

As for me, here it is in bullet point form, as you'll get to know me along the way. Female. Thirty (for another two weeks anyway). Reader. Writer. Hiker. Secret fan of reality TV. Girlfriend. Good friend. Frustrated learner of the Greek language.

So thats me in a nutshell.  Now let's get to work!