One autumn night ten years ago, I was lying in bed staring at the ceiling. It wasn’t because there was something interesting up there to see. I couldn’t sleep, likely because of the half gallon of coffee I’d consumed that day.
While I certainly can’t remember what was going through my mind as I lay there that night, it probably went something like this: Maybe I should cut my hair. No, I should grow my hair out. I need to lose weight. I really want to get up and eat the rest of that butter pecan ice cream I have in the freezer.
My thoughts aren’t too deep at two in the morning.
But that particular insomnia filled night, I did have one very surprising thought. A very fleeting idea moved through my sleep deprived mind that I should write a book about a psychic matchmaker.
I immediately dismissed that nonsense because I had no desire to be a writer. The idea of a writing a book seemed preposterous.
When I was in college, I’d break out in a sweat when I had to write a ten-page paper. And since I struggled to get to ten pages in school, I knew I’d never be able to write a whole entire book.
But the thought just wouldn’t go away. And so in December 2008, I started writing about Lizzie Chandler, psychic matchmaker. To my surprise, I loved doing it!
Still, I was plagued with doubts. Just because I liked writing, and because the story was interesting to me, that didn’t mean anyone else would like it.
Ignoring those doubts, I continued with the writing. After years of writing and rewriting, I put my first e-book, Doesn’t Take a Crystal Ball, on Amazon.
A few days later, I decided that the whole writing thing was stupid. I couldn’t shake thoughts of the humiliation I’d feel when my book ended up with a bunch of one-star reviews. Even though I use a pseudonym, I just wouldn’t be able to go on if people thought the book sucked.
With a heavy heart—after all, I’d put a ton of work into the book—I logged on to my Amazon Kindle account to delete the book and give up on the foolish notion of becoming a writer.
I found something very awesome as I was looking at my account. Not only had I sold a book with no advertising whatsoever, I’d received a four-star review. I was over the moon. I was officially a writer. I was about to get rich.
Boy, have I had a very rude awakening! It’s been ten years. I haven’t made it to the best sellers list. I haven’t quit my day job to sit at home leisurely writing awesome books.
But while I am far from living my dream, I expect success to fall from the sky any day now.
I have changed the name of this blog many times. I can’t decide where I want to go with it. Besides providing info on new or soon to be released e-books, this site is supposed to be an entertaining way of sharing my somewhat ridiculous thoughts about everything under the sun.
And yes, I realize that no one really cares about my thoughts. Still, other bloggers don’t let that stop them, so I won’t either. I want a fun blog with lots of readers, and I will have one.
I also want a great writing career, and I’m determined to have that, too. After all, that’s the whole point of calling the blog Living the Dream!
But the writing thing is not going so well at the moment.
I’ve been at this off and on for ten years. I’ve started and given up numerous times, which is why my e-books are never released when I say they will be. But all that is about to change. I have release dates in mind for the two e-books I’m working on, and I’m determined to stick with them (this time).
There’s a bit of a problem with that plan. I seem to have my first real case of writer’s block. I have drafts of both books finished, but they need some serious polishing. So every day, I fire up the old laptop, ready to do some serious writing.
And I get nowhere.
I can see that there are things that need to be fixed, but for the life of me, I’m coming up empty on how to do it. I have to say, it’s not a whole lotta fun sitting in front of a computer screen for extended periods of time and not making much progress.
All that’s going to change though. I’m going to release two new awesome e-books in the spring of 2019. They are going to receive great reviews and sell very, very well.
A few weeks ago, I came across a file that contained partially written short stories that I started years ago. Since things aren’t going real well with the e-book I’m working on, I set it aside.
I decided to finish the short stories and put them online for Halloween as an e-book titled Undead of Night. The book contains three stories, including a young man battling the monster under his bed, a woman alone in the country facing a werewolf, and a girl forced to confront her fears and help a ghost.
Part-time matchmaker Lizzie Chandler likes helping people find love, but she draws the line at working with murderers. 74-year-old Ben Turner insists that he didn’t kill his three wives and that they died because of a curse. Lizzie isn’t buying that story.
She and her private investigator boss, Josh Alexander, are determined to uncover the truth about the dead wives. But the more they learn about Ben’s past, the more it looks like he might really be cursed.
Throw in one cartoon-watching Yorkie, two pint-sized senior citizens who can’t stay out of trouble, and a matchmaking client that doesn’t want to find her Mr. Right, and Lizzie’s in for an unplanned adventure…which concludes with a late night trip to the graveyard to remove a curse that she’s not sure exists.
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!
Image courtesy of iosphere at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
When I first started writing, I was quite clueless. (I still am, to be honest!) With Doesn’t Take a Crystal Ball, I just wrote and wrote. It ended up being a really long book. I had to figure out where to cut some scenes.
I decided to cut out the calls Lizzie received from potential clients. I’m going to post those calls – as well as some new ones – on this blog.
Here is one deleted call:
“Hello.” “Hi. Is this Lizzie?” “Yes, it is.” “My name is Torie. You left a flyer on my windshield.” This was great. Another potential client. Things were looking up. “Hi, Torie. I’m glad you called.” “If I understand your flyer correctly, you’re a psychic. Am I right?” “I do have the ability to sense certain things when it comes to love.” “My situation might be a little different from your usual cases,” Torie said. Lizzie braced herself for what was likely going to be a strange request. “Different can be good,” she told Torie in a cheerful tone. “It adds variety and keeps business from getting boring.” “I want you to help me find a lost love.” “You mean like a missing person?” “Sort of.” Torie’s love was sort of missing. That definitely could be considered different. “Have you contacted the police?” Lizzie asked. “No. I doubt they can help me in a case like this.” “I work for a private investigation agency. Maybe my boss could help.” “I doubt that, too.” “Torie, maybe you should tell me more about your lost love.” “Allen’s a wonderful guy. Handsome, kind, smart. I love him,” Torie gushed. “Well, why did he leave you?” “He didn’t have a choice.” “He’s not in prison, is he? There’s nothing Lizzie’s Love Connections can do in a situation like that.” “Of course not. Allen is not a criminal.” This was really strange. “Torie, since you know so much, how is it you don’t know where Allen is?” “Oh, I know where he is. I just can’t contact him.” “Where exactly is Allen?” Lizzie asked a bit cautiously. “You can find him at the corner of Dargan and Belton.” That location was vaguely familiar. Lizzie thought about it for a few seconds. “Isn’t the corner of Dargan and Belton…” “A cemetery? Yes, it is.” Torie said helpfully. “Oh.” “I told you this was not going to be your usual case.” “Is Allen an undertaker or grave digger?” Lizzie really hoped that he was. “No. Allen’s dead. I need you to conduct a séance so I can talk to him.” “I’m sorry, Torie. I don’t do séances.” “Please. I’m willing to pay extra.” “It’s not that I don’t want to help you.” Actually, that was part of it. Talking to dead people. Was Torie insane? “Contacting the dead is not within the scope of my abilities.” Lizzie was very grateful for that fact. “Do you know anyone that does have that ability? One of your psychic friends maybe?” What did Torie think? That there was this big group of psychics living in Ravenside? Or maybe that Lizzie had a string of psychics on speed dial? “I don’t know anyone who can help you with your situation, Torie. I wish you luck though.” “Thanks anyway,” Torie said and ended the call. Lizzie lowered the phone and stared at the screen in disbelief. When she’d conceived the idea of her business, she never considered the possibility that she’d be asked to hook someone up with the nonliving. Maybe she should’ve done some research.
Image courtesy of iosphere at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Lizzie Chandler, the heroine in my books, is a psychic. While psychics make for great entertainment in books, movies and TV, I’m not sure if there is any more to them than that.
I grew up in the South. I won’t say where, but it’s one of those states that people are a little embarrassed to claim. A few years ago, I moved to another state, but I’m still a Southerner.
We believe some odd things down here. All my life, I’ve been around people who firmly believe in psychics. They believe in ghosts, too. I’m not going into that right now, because ghosts are the topic of my next series of e-books. I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself.
So, back to psychics. I’ve always wavered on that subject. I’ve had psychic readings at fairs and flea markets (or swap meets as some people call them). The psychics at those places were pretty bad.
There was one older Native American gentleman doing psychic readings at a flea market. I immediately thought of those wise old Indians in the movies. Not being racist there, but we all know Hollywood plays up that stereotype.
I’m guessing the guy at the flea market was counting on poor suckers believing that Hollywood nonsense. I’m embarrassed to admit I was one of those suckers who forked over ten bucks, or however much he charged me that day.
He started the psychic reading by telling me I’d live to be 45 or 50 years old. As you can probably imagine, things went downhill from there! That’s been ____ years ago, and I still can’t shake that stupid prediction. I’m not going to admit my age, but let’s just say that if the guy was right, the Grim Reaper may be knocking on my door any day now.
Once, I went to a house that had one of those “psychic adviser” signs in the yard. The sign should have had the “for entertainment purposes only” disclaimer on it, because it was the most laughable psychic reading a person could ever have.
Every time that psychic made a statement, she paused and asked if it was right. When I told her no, she said, “Yes, it is.” It was quite entertaining, but probably not in the way that woman meant for it to be.
Before I go on, I’m going to take a moment to offer words of wisdom: never, ever go into a total stranger’s home for a psychic reading (or for any other reason if you can avoid it). There are a lot of crazy people out there! I had my coworker with me, but still, it was beyond stupid for two young females to willingly go into a stranger’s home.
I saw a sign in one yard for “physic” readings. I was smart enough not to stop there. If the person couldn’t see that the sign was wrong, then he or she certainly couldn’t see into my future.
I did go to one psychic who seemed to REALLY know his stuff. I’m not going to say more about that person, because I’m paranoid that he’ll know I’ve been talking about him online. I’m thinking it might be a bad thing to get on the wrong side of a true psychic.
But then again, maybe that guy snowed me, and true psychics don’t even exist. What do you think?