Introducing Mikala, the reluctant ghost hunter

A few months ago, a friend sent me information about a writing contest.  I decided to enter it. Unfortunately, because of work, I didn’t finish the e-book in time to enter the contest.  I hope to put it online near the end of October.

The story features Mikala, a psychic who sees dead people. If you’ve read either of my other e-books, you’ve seen her name mentioned.

I’ve always planned to write a series about Mikala. The contest sped things up a bit. The book will only be around 75 pages because it was supposed to be a short story for the contest. The title is Once Haunted, Twice Shy.

I hope you will check out Mikala!

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Coming Spring 2018…

Visions of Love

If all goes according to plan, I will release Visions of Love in April 2018. It’s the third e-book about Lizzie Chandler, psychic matchmaker.

I originally planned to release Visions in December 2017, but I got sidetracked. I started writing a short e-book featuring Mikala, Barb’s stepdaughter. The book is titled Once Haunted, Twice Shy and will be released in October 2017.

I’ll deliberately keep it vague here regarding Visions in case you have not read both of the first two e-books, Doesn’t Take a Crystal Ball and A Psychic Couldn’t See It.

Lizzie’s going through a rough patch in Visions of Love. Turns out, Madame Zeena was right about the danger and betrayal she would face.  It’s almost too much for Lizzie to handle.

Fortunately, there’s plenty going on in Lizzie’s life to help distract her from her troubles.  She’s just started dating a new guy.  She’s supervising Essie and Floyd – judge’s orders! She’s also about to take on her first male client …if she can get past the troubling fact that he has five dead wives.

I believe Visions of Love is off to a good start. I’ll be working hard on it over the next nine months—when I’m not at the day job.

Please join me in April for new adventures with Lizzie, Josh, Barb, Essie, Floyd and the rest of the gang!

 

 

A cabin by the sea…

I spent last weekend editing Doesn’t Take a Crystal Ball and A Psychic Couldn’t See It. I read and read and read until I thought my eyeballs would fall out.

The books still aren’t where I’d like them to be, and I’m sure there are a few embarrassing typos in each one, but they’ll have to do. For my sanity, I can’t read them one more time.

The minute I finished the books, I sent them off to a formatter so I can put the new versions online.

Once my obsessive editing was done, I discovered I have a new dream: I really want to live in a log home.

I admit that’s an odd dream. I’m not sure where it came from. Then again, I don’t know where the writing dream came from.

That desire to own a log cabin is strong. I’m already mentally decorating it.

Owning a log home is not always going to be just a dream. I’ve decided that I am going to buy one. I don’t know when or how, but I’m going to do it. I don’t see myself settling for anything else.

There’s a slight problem with the plan.  I also want to live on the beach. You don’t see many log cabins on the beach.

I guess that means I’ll have to buy a beach home and a log cabin.  If I’m going to dream, might as well dream big!

Before you guys know it, you’ll be reading my post about the amazing new log house I bought!

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My dream, Take two

My dream of becoming a successful writer is still something of a surprise to me. It amazes me that I have written two books and have started on a third.

But writing is not my only dream. There is one other thing I’ve been hoping for since 2002—winning the lottery.

That dream is not going so well. If it was, I wouldn’t be trying to make a living as a writer.

I’m fairly good at math, and I know what the odds are of winning a major prize in the lottery. Well, the rational part of me knows.

The irrational part buys scratch-off tickets week after week, year after year, sure that any day I’m going to end up with that million dollar win.

If—I mean, when—that happens, very few people will know. I’m not going to be on the news smiling for the camera while holding a big check. There certainly won’t be a blog post about it.

I don’t want unknown or long lost relatives coming out of the woodwork with pressing needs. I’ll share my gains with parents, siblings and a few charities. Once that’s done, the Goodwill Bank of Zanna Johns will be closed!

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My dream, Take one

When I was young and people asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I really didn’t have a clue.

For a very brief period of time in middle school, I wanted to be a corporate attorney. To this day, I don’t know where I got that foolishness. Maybe I heard the term on some TV show and thought it sounded cool.

Fortunately, that was only a phase and the whole corporate law nonsense passed quickly. I’m not overly fond of attorneys, so it’s hard to fathom that I considered being one, even for a moment.

In high school, I decided I wanted to be a social scientist. I’m not sure how I arrived at that goal either, but it was probably because that one sociology class I took was easier than algebra, physics, chemistry and English.

Basically, I chose a major using the process of elimination. How could that possibly go wrong?

So I went to college and majored in sociology. Graduation day drew near, and I began looking for work. I learned a shocking fact: You can’t get a good research job with just a bachelor’s degree in sociology.

I was a little on the lazy side back then. Rather than apply to colleges that offered a master’s degree in sociology, I got a master’s in counseling at the school I was attending, mainly because the application process was easy since I was already a student there.

Upon completing my master’s degree, I discovered a huge problem with my chosen career path. I didn’t want to spend my days listening to other people’s problems.

I didn’t let that minor detail keep me from getting a job in the counseling field. As you can probably guess, my level of satisfaction with the job wasn’t very high.

Over the years, I moved from one field to another—social services, juvenile justice and adult corrections, with an occasional part-time research job thrown in. I never found that perfect, fulfilling job.

Now, after a couple decades of trial and error with my career, I’m happy to say that I’ve decided what I want to be when I grow up—a successful fiction writer.

While I don’t know how that corporate law thing came about, and the research scientist plan was somewhat of a whim, I’m completely aware of where I got the dream to be a writer.

It was in the fall of 2008. I was lying in bed unable to sleep—as usual. The thought came to me out of nowhere to write about a psychic matchmaker who works out of her friend’s office.

Initially, I blew the writing thing off. I had no desire to write books. When I had to write ten-page papers for class, I went into meltdown mode, knowing I’d get to page six and be out of ideas. How the heck was I going to write an entire book?

Somehow, I got the first draft of Doesn’t Take a Crystal Ball completed. It took about four months…and it was a very long book. I ended up cutting some scenes before posting it online.

I have mostly completed my second e-book, A Psychic Couldn’t See It. The book is available on Amazon, but I’m not entirely satisfied with it.  I’m revising it and hope to get the new version online in March.

I’ve started my third e-book in the series, Visions of Love, and I’m pleased with how it’s going.

While I can’t say that writing is easy for me, it is fun for the most part. I would definitely say I have been bitten by the writing bug, even though the jury’s still out on how good I am at it.

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Living the dream…

Five thousand women flock to this page every day, eager to read my witty words of wisdom.  They make thoughtful comments that inspire and uplift others.

Daily, a hundred of those readers click on the links for my e-books and purchase them on Amazon. They post glowing reviews of my e-books, leading to great sales.

Those things haven’t happened…yet. But they will soon. It’s my dream.

I want to sit at home-or on a balcony overlooking the ocean-writing blog posts that make women think, laugh and feel good. It’s a pretty big goal, but I hate all the negativity I see online. My blog will be a feel-good place.

The same goes for my e-books. I want to write fun books that let women escape from the stress and boredom of everyday life.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not the Pollyanna, do-gooder type. I do want to uplift women. But I also want to make great money as a writer-or at least enough to give up the nine to five gig.

I’m not sure how I’m going to accomplish my dream of being a successful blog and e-book writer, but I have faith that it’ll happen—in spite of the fact that my e-books aren’t exactly setting the world on fire. Or the fact that the only people on my blog are ones who seem to be landing here by accident. They leave so fast, the counter barely has time to add them to my total visitors.

But any day now, thousands of readers will be coming to this page on purpose, and we’re going to have loads of fun discussing everything under the sun.

I’ve already admitted in a previous post that I can occasionally be delusional, but that’s not the case here. I fully expect that one day soon, I will be living my dream!

Endless editing… Why can’t I stop???

I’d love for my books to be perfect–error free, interesting and fun. With that goal in mind, I’ve spent countless hours proofreading and revising Doesn’t Take a Crystal Ball and A Psychic Couldn’t See It.

I am nowhere near perfection with either book and never will be. I’ve never written a book before. I’d have to be completely delusional to think that I’d produce flawless books. And most days, I’m not delusional.

So why am I constantly editing e-books that are already available on Amazon?  I don’t know. It’s not like I’m making big changes to the content.

No matter how many times I proofread the books, I find typos and grammatical errors. If I proof them a hundred times, I’ll find errors a hundred times. Still, I keep proofreading. It’s like an obsession.

While I play around with the first two books, the third one remains incomplete. At the end of book two, there’s a statement about when the third one will be available. If I don’t stop with the editing, I’m never going to get book three online in time.

A new year is right around the corner, and next year things are going to be different. In 2017, I’m going to write a book, put it online and move on. And if I really believe that, this is definitely one of my delusional days!

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Looking for love in all the wrong places

ID-10094143 My character, Lizzie, is a psychic matchmaker. She uses her gift to help lonely women find love. Lizzie has a great success rate, with almost all of her matched couples living happily ever after.

In the real world, finding the right partner is a lot more difficult. There are online dating sites to help women find love, but I don’t have a whole lot of faith in those.

I have tried several of those sites. It wasn’t because I was really looking for love. I was mostly just curious. I never went out with any of the guys that I chatted with online. Being on those sites was entertaining though.

One guy emailed me less than 24 hours after I posted my profile. That was a little unexpected because I didn’t have a picture on the site. Not having a picture usually cuts down on the number of responses you get.

After I exchanged a few messages with the guy, I thought he sounded familiar. I asked if he used to live in a certain town. Never heard from him again!

Want to know what’s way more fun than looking for love on online dating sites? Having well-meaning friends doing matchmaking for you.ID-100137253

My friends don’t have the talent that Lizzie has. Talk about disastrous attempts at matchmaking! I’m not sure what they were thinking when they decided to hook me up with those guys.

I don’t run into many decent, eligible men when I’m out and about. Online dating sites and well-meaning friends haven’t helped me find Mr. Right.

So where am I going to look if I get serious about wanting to meet a decent guy?

Maybe I should give online dating sites another try. Maybe I tried the wrong ones in the past. Surely there are sites that are worth my time.

Have you ladies had luck with online dating? If so, what sites do you recommend?

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