Formatting and updating manuscripts/titles for Smashwords this weekend…

April 17, 2012 at 5:56 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

So…

…….as soon as I got back from China, I was put back to work immediately (lol).

Literally: I arrived in Thompson with my bus delayed approximately three hours and thought that I would be able to catch up on some sleep.  When I woke up, I saw that I had a text message — my Manager, asking if I could work a Night shift THAT night.

I said “yes” (I rarely say “no”), and thus began a whirlwind week at work, where I got two revisions done during my one day off and some down time :).

Now here I am, on a brief break during a night shift, announcing that I am revising my manuscripts and doing the necessary formatting to make them suitable for Smashwords (Autovetter).

With any luck, on my two days off this weekend I will be able to have the following titles available at Smashwords:

Her Man (contemporary romance)

Shades of Grey: Prologue (paranormal/horror/psychological thriller)

Shades of Grey: Hear No Evil (paranormal/horror/psychological thriller)

Getting Lucky I: Pedro & Eddie (interracial erotica)

The Deal (paranormal erotica)

I am going to revise the manuscripts whose contracts have terminated at both New Concepts Publishing and Extasy Books and make them available on BOTH Smashwords.com and Amazon.com.  These include:

Of Crimson Blood and Ivory Skin (M/F/F paranormal erotica)

Blood Song: The Captive (paranormal erotica)

My Experimental Years (M/F, F/F erotica novel-length)

Tales From the Owner-Operator of the Boulevard Motor Hotel (BDSM erotica)

The L-Word (M/F short erotica)

Tomorrow, Part One (sensual fantasy, novel-length)

As many of these manuscripts need some serious revision and possible redirection, it’s hard to say when ALL of them will be released.

Suffice to say, I will start with the Shades of Grey series, and work my way from there.

I also have a NUMBER of projects on the go that are beginning to call for my attention with voices raising in agitation, so it is possible that my creative energies will be spent breathing life into some entirely new stuff in the near future.

It would be nice, however, to get Shades of Grey Book 3, 4 and 5 out before Halloween, as well as Reaper 6.

Thank you for your time and interest in my twisted imagination!

Sincere regards and happy reading!

Amanda M. Holt

Amateur Author, Full Time Nurse and Sometimes Philanthropist

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Committing to 1k a day…

November 16, 2011 at 3:42 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

So…
…..I’m trying my best to commit to writing at least 1k a day. That’s 1000 words of fiction, or roughly 2 pages of 500 words or 3 pages of 333.333 words 😉

And I seem to be doing fairly well keeping up with my goal.

Mind you, it’s only two days into my “New And Improved Writing Career”.

And I’ve written approximately 2.5k, as well as blogged, searched for and purchased cover art at http://www.romancenovelcovers.com ($90 for 6 licenses yesterday; $15 for one license today), went back to Staples for more supplies (I just could NOT resist a 30% off sale and caved in and decided to buy Microsoft Office 2010 instead of using Open Office [free software] — it was only $99 after my 30% sale discount….sadly, my gain is Staples loss [going out of business sale]…

And I know that some writers would consider it a form of “cheating”, but I also bought Dragon Naturally Speaking voice recognition software, in the hopes of boosting my productivity in the area of idea generation. Approx $225 taxes included after 30% discount :). Hopefully, it will be worth the $$$ cha ching $$$ I paid for it…If I don’t make use of it I am going to be super-pissed at myself!!! It came with a digital voice recorder that you can use to take dictation anywhere (i.e. breaks at work, where I intend to do a little dictation when i get story ideas or character ideas or what have you).

Cool thing about Dragon Naturally Speaking is it takes the dictation you made ont he recorder and TURNS IT INTO TYPED TEXT in a word document when you’re done. I’m assuming there will be TERRIBLE growing pains with punctuation and grammar and the like, but i’m not too concerned. Part of my self-discipline issue as a writer (the reason i procrastinate sometimes) is because sitting down and typing things out, or writing them out, especially when you’re skirting the edges of a possible writer’s block — this can seem like a huge thing to overcome or sit down and do. I seem to have the gift of gab, so with any luck, gabbing away at the voice recorder will help me get my ideas down and into typed text in a very efficient, time-saving, and well, smart way!

Dragon naturally speaking works well with a wireless Bluetooth enabled headset, so provided i don’t get a brain tumor, dictating around my apartment should be great!!! I’m really looking forward to using the software — i’m setting it up on my laptop after I wake up from night shift on Thursday. SO EXCITED!

Two more night shifts to go and I can spend some serious writing time, with a dash of exercise thrown in for good measure. The 25lbs I lost between New Years and now was a nice start, but i want to increase productivity in THAT area of my life as well. Maybe I should do a progress log and “Get It Done” chart for exercise, as well as for writing?

Actually, that’s not a TERRIBLE idea! It’s a neurotic idea, an OCD idea, but not a terrible one! Whatever will keep me on track (literally, I think the walking track will be a great way to increase cardio health and burn calories), whatever will work with minimal impact on my hedonistic ways and non-masochistic tendancies is just fine by me!

I will let you know how Dragon naturally Speaking works out for me.

It will either be the best thing since sliced bread, or the worst thing since rancid dairy. Either way: I’m being productive, learning something new about writing and about myself every day and making progress with polishing my skills as a writer!

Maybe if i commit to 1k of writing a day and 1k of walk-run-walk-run-walk-run a day, i will see great improvements all around? If I end up committing to the same for 2k a day, or even 3k a day of both — wow….imagine the stories i could write and then i might actually fit back into my size 10 plaid Le Chateau pants one day!!!

Anyway, that’s about it for now.

I have to eat and head in for a night shift.

For those of you who left comments: thank you for your kind words and encouragement! I appreciate it! For those of you who are fellow authors: what are you doing reading my Blog when you could be writing your masterpiece??? GET TO WORK!

Happy reading!

Sincere regards,

Amanda M. Holt
Anti-Procrastination Nazi-in-Training, Idea Machine (Sometimes on the Fritz) and Hungry RN

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4th Round of Edits on “My Experimental Years”… *also* ANTONY KEITH

November 8, 2010 at 4:10 am (eXtasy Books Releases, General News..., Grumble, Introduction to the Imagination of Amanda M. Holt, Literary blunders..., Possible directions...) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

My Experimental Years, Artwork by Martine Jardin Due Out Nov 15/10

So……………..
………………..today I submitted my 4th round of edits on an 85,700 word adult novel titled “My Experimental Years” to eXtasy Books (www.extasybooks.com), the first publisher to contract and publish my eBooks.

Hopefully, it will be the last round of edits *fingers crossed* as I would like to invest my energies in my horror and paranormal projects that are on the go.

Mind you, I am attempting to balance creative time with studying material for my dayjob *I’m a Nurse, a GN anyway — the results on our RN exam are due in the mail this week!!!* and to be honest with you, i haven’t been spending enough time on either one lately!!! My, how personal interests can distract one!

Being single and looking to mingle has pros and cons, it seems………….my head has been in the clouds the last few days. Meeting some people, communicating with others…

Also, I have been working on reading & commenting on my friend Antony Keith’s first novel/screenplay titled The Rogue Family Chronicles. As I am not accustomed to reading something set up in a script-type format, I find it a little awkward to offer advice. It would be like someone who’s only ever used a PC giving advice to someone proficient in Mac. His story is rich with dialogue, tension, plot and has some delightful surprises along the way! I was expecting something very elementary and simple for a first work, but Antony has written a lot of heart and soul into it, spoken at length in an opinionated voice through his characters, and I am looking forward to reading the rest.

I just wish that I was better equipped to guide him through the scriptwriting/screenwriting/playwriting process. I’m a novel/novella writer with her eye on paperbacks/hardcovers/eBooks and maybe a graphic novel or two if I met the write artist *are you out there???*

Long story short: KEEP YOUR EYES OUT FOR ANTONY KEITH IN THE NEAR FUTURE! HE’S WORKING ON SOMETHING SPECIAL! He also practices very creepy coin magic (and other tricks) but that’s a WHOLE other story….

Sincere regards,

Amanda M. Holt
Amateur Authoress and Sometimes Editor/Source of Constructive Criticism

p.s. – One suggestion to anyone out there who writes dialogue into their stories. DO NOT MAKE THE ERRORS THAT I HAVE MADE USING DIALOGUE TAGS, because trying to fix them later in an 86,000 word manuscript is a pain in the f*cking ass. I kid you not, those kinds of corrections are absolutely tedious, so my advice? Do them properly in the first draft.

Examples:

“I’ll do it later.” He said. SHOULD BE: “I’ll do it later,” he said.

“Come to me.” Carl whispered. SHOULD BE: “Come to me,” Carl whispered.

“Go to Hell!” She cried. SHOULD BE: “Go to Hell!” she cried.

“In my own defense.” He began, and then stopped. SHOULD BE: “In my own defense”, he began and then stopped.

AND, whenever possible, DON’T EVEN USE DIALOGUE TAGS!!!! When going through the editing process, my editors find (and I shamefully admit) that I overuse them.

Also, em-dashes are the DEVIL, and consecutive periods such as … are ALSO the DEVIL, as are ellipses.

The comma should be used, not abused.

What I mean by this, is that if you find that you are, oh I don’t know, using a comma a little more than you should, perhaps you may want to consider breaking the long sentence into smaller sentences, like statements, or whatever.

Happy reading (and writing) and my sincere apologies for editing blunders overlooked in previously published works. I know they are there like ink blots on a transcript — an eyesore.

A.M.H

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Editing a BDSM tale for eXtasy Books…while I still can!

January 20, 2010 at 5:54 pm (eXtasy Books Releases, Uncategorized) (, , , , )

So….

….one of my editors at eXtasy, the enormously talented Tex, has sent me his edit of my short collection of five BDSM erotica stories appropriately titled “Tales From the Owner-Operator of the Boulevard Motor Hotel”.  The pace here at school has not yet picked up to regular cruising speed so while I still have time to kill between classes and my other commitments, I intend to pour some heart and soul into polishing the black pleather six inch heel that is “Tales From the Owner-Operator of the Boulevard Motor Hotel”…if I have my way, I will make her shine! 

With Tex’s assistance (did I mention he’s a very talented editor who enjoys editing BDSM?) this eBook should have a nice little sting to it!

So without further ado, I bid you adieu, that I might get to work on that manuscript in its current lack luster state and begin spit-polishing her with ample elbow-grease into something worthy of your read.

Humbly yours,

Amanda M. Holt

(Authoress and Sometimes Sexual Deviant)

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