Summer has arrived with a vengeance this week! Yesterday was 91 degrees here with dewpoints in the 60’s and intensely oppressive. But I love the longer days of light and feel more energized to write during the summer. I promised myself last December that I’d do a better job of posting updates about every six months or so, whether or not anything had changed. While nothing extraordinary has happened since last December, nothing terrible has occurred either. Not that I lead a boring life, or maybe I do….
More reviews at Amazon for Perceval’s Secret and I’ve asked several other book reviewers to review it for me. Charles Ray gave it a nice review here. Sales continue to be slow at Amazon, and none at Barnes & Noble or Kobo. I found the novel on sale at an online store that I had not asked to sell it, but learned after contacting them that they have a selling agreement with Kobo. If you have not yet bought your copy (only $2.99!), please do, and give it a read. The reviews continue to be good to excellent! I’d love to hear from readers through reviews at Amazon and B&N, or at Goodreads.
As for the other novels in the series, I’ve pulled out all my files for Perceval’s Shadow, the second novel in the series. My plan is to revise it this summer, then move on to finish the first draft of Perceval in Love, the third book (I have half the first draft done already). I continue to write notes as I’ve gotten ideas about the other novels. I’ve decided to definitely set Novel 4 in America as a contrast to Evan’s life in Austria.
Working as hard as time allows on marketing and promo for Perceval’s Secret this year. Doing a lot of research into free marketing and promo, especially online. I need to talk more about the novel and hand out the postcards for it far more than I do. Still need to utilize the marketing/advertising tools at GoodReads, LinkedIn and Publishers Marketplace. Time has not been kind to me. I continue to promote the novel on Twitter and Facebook. I’ve been writing more posts at the Perceval Novels Facebook page, too. Please go and like it, and visit often for updates on the novels.
The credit card debt I’d been carrying from production, publication, and marketing expenses that I incurred to publish Perceval’s Secret as an e-book has been transferred to a different credit card to take advantage of 0% interest for 15 months. I’m now paying off the principal rather than having the interest eat into my payments, and I continue to pay more than the minimum each month. This has been a huge step in the right direction. I’ve also been revising my Indiegogo project — the website has changed the format for their project pages. I have it about half ready to launch now, and need to record videos for it. I hate asking for financial help through crowdsource funding, but I don’t have the resources to deal with this all by myself.
I continue work on the science fiction short story, Light the Way. I’ve taken down the two stories that were on Wattpad, The Negligee and The Light Chamber, and will be revising The Negligee. I had one of those “lightning strikes” of an idea for that story, and I’m eager to work on it.
At the end of last year, I decided to stop writing “Word Power” essays monthly for Mensagenda. It was a volunteer gig, and I really need to bring in more money with my writing. I continue to write posts at the Eyes on Life blog (as Gina Hunter) and here at Anatomy of Perceval. My focus at the Gina Hunter blog has become a bit fluid: I continue to write “The Successful Patient” posts, but in addition I want to focus more on the experience of being one of the Working Poor, so it’ll be about economics, money, working, etc. I think. Life as one of the 98%. This is still in development.
I’ve written two essays about my personal experiences with classical music for ClassicalMPR.org so far this year. I will continue to pitch ideas to them. In addition, I continue to search for other places that will pay me to write about subjects that interest me (or that will pay for fiction).
Yager Editing Services:
I finally launched the website for this small business at the end of March. Not long after, I received what I thought was my first project proposal for proofreading, but it turned out to be a guy trying to scam me out of about $3000. Fortunately, I figured out the scam so I didn’t lose any money, but it was a very depressing and discouraging experience. These scammers believe they don’t hurt anyone because they’re actually stealing from big banks, but that’s not true at all. I was excited to have work for this business that would bring in good money that I really needed. This scam hurt me a lot. I’m not giving up, however. I just stopped marketing and promoting the business. I know that I”ll need to ratchet that promo up again, probably at LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.
The Successful Patient:
I’ve been thinking about this memoir project a lot, even though it’s on a back burner this year. I continue to be amazed by how my mind works. I’d like to get something down on paper this year, to get it started. I think it’d be an excellent book to have out there and would sell well. Its structure still bugs me.
I continue to work part-time at the customer service job this year. I’ve expanded that position into receptionist work at the same employer and am looking forward to a raise in July. I really enjoy the receptionist work, and I’ve been thinking that if I need to find a fulltime position, I’d look for a receptionist position (or maybe an editorial assistant).
For 2016, I signed up at GoodReads for another Reading Challenge and chose 36 books to read over the year. There’s a mix of books on the list of fiction and nonfiction, science fiction, mystery, and literary, books in my personal library, at the city library and on my computer. A friend gave me an e-reader last December that I’ve loaded with ePub books. It doesn’t accept Kindle books. I find that I still prefer to read printed hard copy books, and I especially like to read on my work commutes. How I’d love being paid to read!
I had several sick days in April with lung and GI issues that was apparently an allergic response to something in my living environment. I’ve since begun a deep and thorough cleaning of my apartment, and my health has improved. Otherwise, with autoimmune diseases, the most frustrating symptom is fatigue, and that’s been especially intense this year. Fatigue challenges my schedule every day. I’m doing a very slow taper off prednisone to insure that I won’t have any disease flares, but I’m still experiencing muscle pain and joint pain that responds to heat nicely. I’ve gotten out my yoga DVD, I’m walking a minimum of 30 minutes each day, and I’m figuring out where in my schedule to put the yoga and my Falun gong practice.