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Thursday, November 17, 2011

What Can I Say?-4:05 p.m.-11/17/2011

Good evening readers,

What can I say? Or should I say, Where should I start? I actually have a lot to say, I just don't know how I want to say it.

Okay first of all, I had my first sale a few days ago. It's been my only sale so far; but, hey we all have to start somewhere right?

Anywhoo, I am still working on part two of this book. As a matter of fact, I will start on Chapter 11 when I get home tonight. However, I am facing a few difficulties. Have you ever gotten to that point when you know what you want to write; but, just didn't know how to put it on paper? Well that's what I'm going through. You know writing a book is like writing an extremely long descriptive essay and I find myself struggling with that from time to time. Sometimes there seem to be gaps in my mind that prevent the story from just flowing properly. After I finish one scene, I sometimes ask myself, "Now what?" That's the time when I say, "Hey, it's break time. Put down your pen, relax, and come back tomorrow." You know sometimes when writing, I feel like I'm not doing any physical work; so, I really don't need a break. WRONG! It works your mind and if you are writing like I write, it works your hand. After taking a day or so off, I come back with a new mind and the story begins to flow properly. Whether we realize it or not, writing for long periods of time can change your seeing, thinking, and comprehension skills. That's why when you finish something and come back later for revisions, it's like your eyes were opened. You start to notice things you didn't notice at first.

In the past, I told you that I was working on a book of  short stories. It's a book of quickies with a shocking spin to it. I am working on these more slowly; but, it's gradually getting there. I will be starting on my third short stories within the next few days. I've put it off; because, I wanted to finish What it Took to Get Her first. Well, I'm halfway through with it; so, I've slowly picked it back up. Honestly, I don't really take breaks from writing completely. When I put down What it Took to Get Her, I pick up my short stories. My grind is 24/7 (minus the 40 hours I spend at school every week). I am out for Thanksgiving Break all next week; so, I should be able to get a lot done.

Okay, now that that's said, let me venture off the subject for a minute. I just got out of school and homecoming court was announced this morning. Guess who will be on it again? Me! Yay! This is my senior year and only seniors get crowned king or queen; so, hopefully, I will be crowned queen. Wish me luck!

Until next time readers!

P.S. if I don't get a chance to write before the holidays, Happy Thanksgiving! Please do me a favor, don't celebrate Christmas until after Thanksgiving. It seems like advertisers and most people has just passed it by. Thanksgiving is an important thing for us as Americans. It holds great significance. I hate to walk into department stores and pass housing and see Christmas decor up the day after Halloween. It's rediculous! And while I'm on the subject, when Christmas does get here, don't forget its true meaning. Don't get me wrong it is the season for giving, just don't take it as a season for receiving. (Get it?)We sometimes get wrapped up in the gifts and the chaos of it all. Don't take the Christ out of Christmas. Let's have a great holiday season and actual celebrate them for their true meanings.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Christian Bloggers Café-10:05 a.m.-11/11/11

Hello readers,

First of all, I would like you to know that this post has nothing to do with my updates for my book.

I have a twitter page that is urled to my blogspot profile. Whenever I created a new blog post, it allows me to tweet my new blog without actually viewing anything else on my twitter; so, I didn't really have any other reason to even look at my twitter page. As a result, I haven't actually logged onto my page in about two or three months. This morning I was uploading my book cover onto my profile and I decided to check out my mentions (how shallow...huh?). It wasn't trying to be all wrapped up into myself, I just never log in because I didn't feel anyone would care to ask my opinion on anything. Anywhoo, I stumbled across this:

Wrap up Vice Week @ with some retail therapy "Give Me More/I Just Can't Get Enough" share your thoughts.
It was posted September 2, 2011. Of course when I read it took me awhile to figure out what she meant. (Sad isn't it?) After about five minutes I realized that she was also a blogger, "Give Me More/I Just Can't Get Enough" was her post for September 2nd, and she wanted me to share my thoughts about it. Well first I had to stroll down through about three months of new blogs to get to it. Then it eyes landed on her post.
She is a recovering shopaholic and she was going through some of her struggles and how God is helping her get better. At the end she asked the question: "What is your guilty pleasure and is it really bringing you pleasure or causing you pain?"
Now I took a few minutes to ponder that question and all the previous things that I had read in her post. Then, I thought to myself, "Hmm, this must be a sign; because, I can really relate to this."
You know growing up and even now, I never had a lot. Other, than the basic necessities of life, I didn't really have anything. I was always a happy child and I wasn't aware of what I didn't have until I went to middle school. Middle school opened my eyes to the fact that other kids had more. I began to feel more and more depressed. Well, I was always fascinated with shoes...preferably stilettos; but my mother always said I was too young for a heel that high. So, I replaced that love with jewelry and purses.  I convinced myself that I needed to have a different color purse for every outfit. I needed different colors of jewelry for every event that I went.
As time went on, I hit high school. In ninth grade, my female classmates where already rocking four and five inch pumps. My height always made me feel left out, but standing next to my fierce-looking classmates I felt emotionally drained. It was like I was crying out to mature, but my mother was too poor and too old school. So I had to continue with my one inch Wal-Mart church shoes. I wore the same black pair every Sunday for two years. Since this was my first year in high school, I also was nominated to be on my first Homecoming court; but, I had to drop out due to our financial situation.
January 2010-I was nominated to once again, be on our school's Homecoming court. Only this time, I was able to splurge a little and stay on the court. I timidly asked my grandfather for $100 to put with the little my mother had to prepare for this occasion and he gave it to me. I went to JC Penny and they had a major sale going on. The dress I fell in love with was out of season and it was on sale for about $12. It was a strapless ivory dress with gold glitter and a gold trimmed diamond pendant in between the breast area. My bracelet was $60. It was so embarrassed that my bracelet cost less than my dress. Anywhoo, my sister and her best friend took me shopping so I was free to get whatever shoes I wanted. I fell in love with these gold 2-inch heels that had diamonds going down the center of my foot and across my toes. It was like a dream come true. The heel length didn't matter; because, they were already an inch taller than what I usually wear. You know I kind of had trouble in them, but I quickly adjusted. I believe that was the moment my love for shoes resurfaced.
February 2010- I had an FBLA conference. I was so stressed; because, it's mandatory to dress in business attire for the conference or I would get disqualified. I didn't have a business suit. All I had were blouses and dress pants. Dress pants are way too long for me unless I wear some type of heel; so, my mother only had two choices: Buy me a whole new outfit or a pair of heels. Going with the cheaper option, she took me to Factory Connection to buy me a new pair of shoes. Again, she gave me $100 bill and sent me with my sister to go shopping. I walked over to the shoe section and I was in awe. I had a total lost of words. I put my hands on both sides of my face and gasped," Oh my God! Look at all the shoe!" No joke, the feeling literally brought me to tears. Thank God I knew what color shoes I was looking for or else my mother probably wouldn't have gotten any change back from that C-note. I purchased a 4-inch pair of white peep-toe pumps. So awesome! When I got home, I had a little trouble balancing my weight on a skinny first. My mother made me wear those around the house to break them in. I had to prove to my mother that I could walk in those shoes. Well, guess what? I did and I was hooked. She couldn't pay me to get back into those little 1-inch church shoes that I always said were childlike and immature. I tried so hard to convince my mother and I quote, "Awe momma those shoes are babies." Now she had given me an inch and I was determined to take 100 miles. I haven't even worn my 2-inch gold heels since Homecoming night.
That April I made it to Baton Rouge for state FBLA competition. When you go to state, you get paid $108. Our advisory took us to the Mall of Louisiana let my fellow club members and I loose. She said, "Shop 'till you drop and we will met up on the bus in about six hours." Here is this 14 year old girl with so much responsibility in her hands. Nobody has ever given me this opportunity before and baby believe me when I say I grabbed that bull by its horns and rode it the whole six hours. Now today, I completely understand that $108 doesn't go a long way; but, then I didn't know that. At that moment, I felt rich...almost. After my best friend, Tuta and I got our nails done, we went upstairs to 579 and bought matching black, 5-inch pumps that had a 1 1/2 inch stripper platform. They had three straps on them: one across the toes, one around the ankle to buckle, and on big crinkly one going down the center of our foot. They are one bad pair of shoes that I still flaunt today. Then, we walked across the second floor to Eve's shoes and I bought me a pair of silver peep-toe high heels.
By the time I was a junior, my mother had done peeped game on  my growing expensive taste. Homecoming shopping for my junior year was waaaaaay more expensive. I got a crazy one of a kind Mohawk out of an old Sophisticated Black Hair magazine. I loved this Mohawk back in 2007 when the book first came out, but no one else did. I guess you could say it wasn't in style then and I knew my mother wouldn't have ever let me get it; so, I just saved the book. Now, almost every girl at my school was jealous because they couldn't duplicate my Mohawk and the style was too complicated to remember everything that was going on up there. For my dress, I went to a bridal dress and formal wear boutique and spent a little over $140 for a red body-fitting dress with spaghetti straps. The dress had a long split, exposing my right leg that was stopped by a small bowl with a silver jewel in the middle. Ruffles trimmed the split and draped down into layers forming a long tail on my left side. After that I went to a shoe store and bought $35 6-inch sparkling, silver stilettos with a platform. The sad thing about what I bought for that is I've never worn anything over. I would love to re-wear those shoes, but they are so sparkly and jeweled up that they just seem too dressy for anything else. You know how diamonds stand out when you wear them; so, you only wear them on very special occasions? Imagine diamond jewelry for my feet; because, that's exactly what it looks like.(Which would be my excuse to buy another outfit).
Since then, I've bought several more pairs of six inch stilettos. My motto is to never buy a shoe lower than 5 to 6 inches. It does something to look around at the females that I know because I can wear them now. Not only that; but, I can comfortably wear them for long periods of time. I find it useless to bring a pair of flats in my purse; because, I don't need them. On several occasions I've worn them a complete school day and I love it. I love when people look at me crazy and say,"I don't see how you do it. I know I can't. Girl, I would've been pulled them shoes off." Then, it's gotten to the point that people expect me to have amazing shoes. Girls at school say,"I don't even need to ask what kind of shoes you wearing tomorrow; because, I know they're going to be pretty". They always ask me where I get them from and I love to see there face when I say either Cortana or Mall of Louisiana.Females around my town love to jock your style and try to duplicate; but I love the fact that I do most of my shoe shopping in Baton Rouge. That way I know they aren't going going to drive four hours just to buy the same shoes I am wearing at that moment. I can see their micro expression of sadness when they realize they are unable to travel that far just for some shoes. When I sported my new turquoise suaded peep-toe, 6-inch pumps, even boys at school say, "Bree, them some fire a** shoes. I like them." You know you got to have mad taste when straight boys start commenting your shoes. It's gotten to the point where strangers stop me and comment my shoes.
So to answer the blogger's question above, my guilty pleasure is spending any money I have to compete with myself and out-do every other girl I know. I guess it's safe to say I enjoy showing off and now that I my mother lets me buy what I want, I can. My obsession is to have a different pair of stilettos on every time I dress up for some school occasion. I don't buy shoes as often as I want, only because I am afraid of being duplicated. However, whenever I take that yearly trip to Baton Rouge, my spending increases. The bad part about it is that $108 is food money. I pack microwave dinners to get me by. I bring extra money with me, but I end up only setting aside a few dollars to eat. It's so bad that I'll buy shoes before I'll feed myself.
My mother finally got hired October 2010; my junior and senior year at school is very expensive. Between trips, school logo'd products, my Letterman jacket, extracurricular activities, senior fees, college application fees, housing fees, and etc., I find myself draining my mother's pockets every month. (Since I haven't gotten hired anywhere). My mother was trying to save up to get her a car, but she gave up on that until I graduate;because, she is supporting me on her own. She doesn't really say it; but, she doesn't make much and she's living paycheck to paycheck. Most of her checks are spent on me and although I try my best to stop asking for things, something else comes up that needs to be paid for. She just finished paying of my $260 Letterman jacket a couple of days ago, when she'd been looking for a small jacket for herself for months. My class ring was almost $300; but her medical bill from her stroke and fall at work hasn't been paid off. Cheerleader uniforms last year were almost $200. She just had to pay my $40 application fee for LSU in BR. It broke my heart to tell her that I have a $150 housing fee that's coming up. The senior sales guy is coming this month and I'm scared to tell her that I need her to buy my cap & gown and my diploma cover.
Speaking of LSU in BR, this brings me back to why I believe that that lady's blog was a sign. I've already told you, that I go crazy when I shop in Baton Rouge. Well, in August 2012, I'm fixing to move out there on my own. There will be no one stopping me for spending. I will be 18 and there a many cards that I can sign up for at 18 years of age. This ladies story made me realize that I am not only bringing my mother down, but I am beginning to bring myself down. Thank God my mom isn't in any debt. She is so old school that she refuses to sign up for anything and she pays for everything in the cash she's worked for. No loans and no credits cards. But, I, on the other hand, am just getting started. Who knows of all the things I can get into next year. Her blog made me realized that I need to be careful and I am starting a bad habit, which needs to get nipped in the bud right now. I don't want to be sitting somewhere one day in debt and surrounded by tons of boxes of shoes. 
Spending is my guilty pleasure and whenever I get something new, it gives me great pleasure; but, if I don't slow down, in the future it could cause me great pain.
"Give Me More/I Just Can't Get Enough"  is not the only great blog on that site. There are tons more for you to get something out of. Go check the out at .
Until next time readers....

Monday, November 7, 2011

This Just In-5:25 p.m.-11/07/2011

Hey readers!

I know I left you only one or two hours ago; but, a couple of things have developed in the past couple of hours. I have good and bad news.

Good news...

First, I have successfully created a demo (or "stand-in") cover, which you can see is now my profile picture. Second, I have successfully uploaded my book onto Smashwords and it's on sale for $9.99 at . I hope enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed creating it. Well, I hope you enjoy reading it MORE than I enjoyed creating it, because honestly, I have read this book over and over and over trying to edit it; so, you can imagine that I am sick of it. (Don't get me wrong, I think it's a great book, but I think you know what I mean). You also can read a sample online. If you like it please buy it and spread the word.

Bad news...

My book has failed EpubCheck. and 100% EpubCheck compliance is required by Apple. They say I have a text box somewhere in my manuscript, but I can't fond it anywhere (even with show and hide). I just don't know what to do. I'm at a lost for words. I don't know if the problem is with Apple's requirements or for all the other distributor who use Epub. Not only that, but I can't download my different formats from Smashwords (or anything) on the library and school computers. So, I can't go in and find the problem. Right now, I have no choice but to leave it and I'm afraid that may badly effect me in the long run.

Anywhoo, I'll ponder my options tonight at home. Until next time readers...

My Final Decision-3:35 p.m.-11/07/2011

Hey Readers,

I think I've had an epiphany. For my fellow writers out there, you know that your inspiration or ideas can come from anywhere. Your characters become real. So, I had a dream about my characters' story. This dream made me rethink my whole plan that I previously blogged about. Don't get me wrong, I'm still ready to publish, I just think I'm going to go another route. I'm just glad I had this dream before I hit the submit key on Createspace. As of right now, I don't feel like it's finished.

Anywhoo, I was originally going to publish a two part book through Createspace. Part 1 would be the introductory short story. Forget about it! (In my best Jersey, Italian dialect). I remember what Mrs. DeDe advised me to do when I was stressing over my page count. She told me to publish as an e-book only. Honestly, at that moment, I found that highly offensive. I believe I was too caught up in the idea of producing a hard copy. Now that's not all I want. I want too take my time and do things right and honestly, I think she was right.

My final decision is to release part 1 through Smashwords as an e-book only. I am currently on chapter 10 of part 2; so, when I finish it, then, I will go to Createspace. That way I can release the hard copy together. That's my final decision and I am sticking to it. No...really. This time I am.

Now I admit doing and saying are two total different things. I still struggling with my Smashwords process. The book is formatted correctly, which took me a day to do. (Hey, before you talk, let's not forget I am a rookie. I'm still finding my way). Then when I tried to upload the document the next morning, I had the scare of a lifetime. I was in my WIN class at school and I inserted my jump drive into the computer. Well that friggin' computer converted all my original folders to shortcuts and if you know anything about folder shortcuts, you know why I freaked out. For those of you who don't, when a shortcut is created it only saves the information of the whereabouts of the original folder and everything else is deleted. All my folders were screwed and I didn't manually do it myself. Three of my four flash drives got messed up. Well... at least I caught on before I stuck my forth one in there. Anywhoo, the confusing part of the situation was that all my space was still used; so, I knew my stuff had to be on this drive, I just couldn't access it. I thought I had lost music, schoolwork, and numerous copies and formats of book 1, book 2, and tons of poetry and essays. So, after four hours of overreacting, I sought help from my school counselor and she sent me to my school's mentor teacher, who by the way is also my Advanced Math teacher. He informed me that the documents must be hidden. I should pull up my flash drive and do a hidden documents search. I did it and it failed. After five minutes of sulking, I said, "Hey, if my documents are still on the drive. Why don't I just type in the names of each document and see if it'll pop up?" The first thing I typed in was my book title and it popped up. I was ecstatic. Now my drives are still jacked up; but, at least I still have all my work. Bad news is, if I can't remember what I saved a document under, then I can't search for it.

Now to get back on subject, when I finally finished everything, I realized that I still don't have a cover to submit. Bummer isn't it. Right now I'm short of the proper do it yourself apps, but I will think of something. I just need a "stand-in" cover. My official cover won't be released until the hard copy is. But like I said, I will improvise.

So, readers typing this is not helping me improvise. You have been caught up and now I have work to do. Until next time my lovely dos followers.


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

A Risk and a Realization-3:35 p.m.-11/2/11

Hi Readers,

I am about to do something very, very risky. It could either benefit me or totally hurt me. In my last post you guys found out that money and time was an issue. I just couldn't do it. Despite my fellow LinkedIn group members telling me that I need to rest and revise and then find an editor, I just couldn't wait. So, I took matters into my own hands. I took a weeks rest from my literature to develop a fresh, new outlook at it. Then, I revised my rough draft. I pulled up my Createspace page and uploaded my book. And despite some experienced veterans advising me to get a professional cover artist, I am using Createspace's free cover designer. (Readers, I don't advise you to try this at home). By the way, I've contacted a designer that I would love to work with, but again, there's the money issue. He also advised me not to take the cover photo with a digital camera. Call me stupid because, you'd think I'd listen to experienced professionals. So like I said, don't judge me, sometimes mistakes are the best lessons learned. I just hope it's not too big of a mistake.

Anywhoo, so remember when I told you that my book is 177 pages? Right...WRONG! After all the formatting was done, the interior of my book is about 112 pages. Well doesn't that just suck. At this rate, I'll never be a novelist. I am just glad it's part one. I not done with part 2, but I find myself wondering should I have waited until part 2 was finished so I could publish them together.

A realization...

Even though part of me feels skeptical, I can't help how long my books come out. I just write. I write until the story has ended in my mind. Short story or novella, it's a start. Hopefully, it's a good start. Honestly, I used to try to compete with some of my favorite authors. Well...not compete. I just used to try to be like them. I didn't realize that at first. Now I do. I just need to let go and let God. I will never be them or like them. I want to be successful for me and as me. I don't want to be known as some knock-off-wanna-be-copy-cat-who-tries-too-hard. Even though my book is a only a measly little 112 pages, I'm going to take my little 112 pages and jump out on a limb. I can either sink or swim, but I'll never know unless I try. So until next time readers...