Category Archives: Writing

Channeling Stephen King

2015-02-06 22.14.14 (4)Because I’m an author I’ve been told by just about everyone (myself included) that if I want to sell books I have to market them. No one will ever find them, buy them or read them if I don’t. Book buying and book selling has changed since “the olden days” and I better get on the marketing bandwagon or be left behind.

If you’ve followed this blog you may have seen my posts about my frustration with marketing and if you haven’t and are interested you can go back and read those posts. I won’t repeat myself here.

But recently I’ve come to the conclusion that I have two options:

Option One:   I can learn how to market effectively so my books will sell.

Option Two:   I can train myself not to be bothered that my books don’t sell.

I’ve had my hand slapped more than once for voicing what is perceived to be my negative attitude toward marketing. Saying that marketing bores me in and of itself is not negative. It’s simply the truth. But honesty is rarely appreciated. Saying, “How dare you be bored by marketing?” is like saying, “How dare you dislike kale?” As someone who was made to eat everything on her plate during childhood, I have learned there is no safe place to share those kinds of feelings and frustrations. Except on my own blog where everyone has a choice to skip by it if the subject matter doesn’t interest them.

Earlier this week I watched the first in author Mark Dawson’s podcasts on how to market books successfully by creating Facebook ads. I think it’s wonderful that he’s so good at it and he’s willing to share how he does it. I even joined his  self publishing formula FB group. Where today I stumbled upon a post that lead to an article entitled: Stephen King Used These 8 Writing Strategies to Sell 350 Million Books. Of course I read it. Who doesn’t want the selling power of Stephen King?

But am I the only one who sees the irony here? The article isn’t “The 8 MARKETING Strategies of Stephen King.” It’s 8 writing strategies.” Stephen King says he never set a single word down on paper with the thought that he’d get paid for it. Me neither. Which is why I’m  grateful to be published and to have any book sales at all.

This is where I always get stuck.  You can market crap. And there’s a lot of crap out there. I know because I’ve read some of it. And I know others who have read it. Or tried to read it and returned it. I don’t believe anyone else’s hype, so why should the average book buyer believe mine?  When I see a book that I thought was lousy with hundreds of 5-star reviews, I’m skeptical about where they came from. And yes, I know, mine is just one subjective opinion.

So thanks to Stephen King, I’ve come up with two more questions to ask myself:

Would I rather write the very best books I’m capable of writing, and sell very few of them because I don’t market and I can’t create hype?

Or…

Would I rather write so/so books, have the ability to market the heck out of them and sell lots?*

Yes to the first and no to the second. This is why you’ve never heard of me. And one day soon, I’ll be okay with that.

*(And no, I’m not for a moment implying that every author who is good at marketing is a so/so writer. Many excel at both. I’m just not one of them!)

#books #marketing #stephenking #writing

 

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Baring The Soul

2015-02-06 22.14.14 (4)My husband asks what’s wrong when I fall on my face on my bed. Yesterday we had a brief discussion when I pointed out this irony to him: As quoted in Sunday’s newspaper article about me in the Lakeland (Florida) Ledger, I used to look at all my unpublished manuscripts and ask myself, “Why are you doing this if you aren’t going to get any of them published?” Which pushed me to pursue finding a publisher. But now I ask myself, “Why do you pursue publishing when your books don’t sell?”

Bill’s reply was, “Because you enjoy it? Because it gives you something to do? Plus,” (said jokingly) “we need the tax deductions?”

Today, however, sadness and disappointment reign. Every time I feel like I’m getting somewhere I fall further and further behind. That newspaper article was GREAT! I am so thrilled with it. The pictures I worried about because I’m not very photogenic were good. Maybe I can get some mileage, some followers, some fans, some buyers of my books out of this! Or…maybe not.

Already, because my publisher is struggling, and may go out of business, my print books are disappearing from book buying sites. Realistically, how many people who even read that article are going to turn around and go look for my books and buy one? Tell their friends? Write a glowing review?

My friend has designed some beautiful bookmarks for me. I have a booksigning event coming up May 1st. Now I’m wondering, should we take my publisher’s name off of them? Good thing we haven’t printed them yet.

I always get discouraged when books I’ve read that I didn’t think were that great (I know, I know, mine is just one subjective opinion) get glowing reviews and are nominated for prizes. My inner child cries, “But what about me? How come no one likes my books?”

My books still haven’t found an audience. Bill says, “Who’s your audience?” I know it’s not people my daughter’s age or younger. It’s people my age. If only I could get a good write-up in AARP magazine, I’d be set.

Bill’s right in that I enjoy writing, but I only enjoy the creative part of it. I hate all the administrative detail part of it. He says then just do the creative part. Yeah, well, if that’s all I do, I’ll once again be surrounded by unpublished manuscripts.

He says, “Barbara, people who lack any real talent are applauded by today’s society. They turn into celebrities but have never really done anything. Then they “write” books that are garbage. And you know they had ghost-writers. So you just have to keep writing the best books you can write. And let all this other stuff go.”

Yes. I know that. I’d like to do that. I should do that. Because all that other stuff gets into my head and I forget that writing the best books I can write is what I set out to do in the first place. It doesn’t really matter what anyone else is doing. I’m only competing with myself.

#amwriting #publishing #books

BARB’S SIX RULES OF REWRITING: How I Wrote FANTASY MAN and Got It Published

Maybe I should be embarrassed to admit that I started this book over twenty years ago. But I’m not. I didn’t date anything when I first started writing it, so I’m not exactly certain of the date, but it was the mid-nineties. I have a copy of a Parade magazine dated February 25, 1996 in my file. I kept it because John Gotti was on the cover and the connected article asked, “Who Is The Mob Today?”20150920_124726

Rule Number One: Date everything and keep everything.

Sub-Rule Number One: Back up everything and when technology changes, back it up again.

A lot of the original manuscript is handwritten on legal pads. The original title was Mike’s Love. Because the heroine’s name was Michelle, but she was a tomboy called Mike by her older brother Tony. Tony’s best friend, the hero of the book, was named Shane. (Gag me.) Tony got to keep his name. He turned into Tony Fontana, a name I lifted from one of my son’s friends.

I have more handwritten notes dating from 2003, 2004 and 2009. An excellent but undated critique from my writer friend Sandy which I kept because she outlined the problems she saw with the manuscript and made suggestions. Some of her encouraging comments: “I love your set-up…It may be my subjective opinion, but I have never read any romance author who writes better sex scenes than you.” And the problems as she saw them: “You have two separate stories going on here…Your romantic conflict is resolved before it gets started.” Sandy is the one who also sent me Debra Dixon’s book, GOAL, MOTIVATION AND CONFLICT. Because for a long time, even though I was writing steadily, I truly did not understand these essentials of a good story.20150920_124939

I never give up on a manuscript. You can take that to the bank. I have proven to myself and to my publisher, that my early ideas worked. The execution, however, took time. A MONTH FROM MIAMI and NOBODY’S FOOL were both “manuscripts under the bed.” They both sold ten or so years after I started them.

Rule Number Two: Never give up on a story idea you believe in.

20150920_125028FANTASY MAN went through several metamorphoses along the way, but the original idea stayed the same as does the opening scene. One of the big things I did was change the names of the protaganists. My friend Nick has a sister named Quinn, although she spells it differently. I wanted something different for the hero. He was never a “Shane.” I Googled baby names and played around with them and can’t quite recall the process, but the name Reif fit him.

Rule Number Three: If something’s not working in your story, it might be the names of your characters.

I kept working on FANTASY MAN and I submitted it to the same editor at the same time I sent him NOBODY’S FOOL. He turned FANTASY MAN down but he kindly explained what didn’t work for him. He didn’t ask me to revise and resubmit, but I revised anyway based on his suggestions (because he was right) and asked him if he wanted to see it again. If he said no, I planned to send it elsewhere. Because I was confident I could sell it.

He looked at the revised synopsis and offered a contract.

Rule Number Four: If an editor is generous enough to tell you why a submission didn’t work for him, use that information to improve your manuscript.

Rule Number Five: Give that editor an opportunity to look at the revised manuscript (realizing he may not want to). Also realize that same editor may regret offering you a contract!

My editor at Samhain Publishing is Noah Chinn. I think he was surprised at how much work was left to be done on FANTASY MAN, since he offered a contract based on the revised synopsis. But since he hadn’t offered a revise and resubmit to begin with, he put his head down and went to work. I ended up with nine pages of notes about what needed to be done on the first round of edits.

This was discouraging. I’d lost count of how many times I had pulled this one out from under the bed and worked on it at this point. Now I realized I’d have to rewrite about a third of the book. But a writer’s gotta do what a writer’s gotta do. So I put my head down and went to work. For a solid week, my every waking available moment was spent on revisions. Until I just couldn’t look at it any more. To make matters worse, some of the track changes did not come through for me, so I was looking at sections where Noah had made suggested changes with no idea how they got there or what had been changed.

Second round edits went more smoothly, but there was still a lot that needed work, including the ending.

During the editing process I repeated my mantra which I lifted from a Writer’s Digest article years ago: “Want-to-be writers admit defeat easily. Successful writers never give up.”

Rule Number Six: When you find a good editor who is willing to work to make your book the best it can be LISTEN TO HIM and thank your lucky stars he found you.

How did FANTASY MAN get published? I had a story idea. I wrote it down. Then I rewrote it and rewrote it and rewrote it. It got rejected by an editor but I took his advice and revised it yet again. He offered me a contract and then WE revised two more times. You be the judge of the end result.

FantasyMan72web
Fantasy Man releases February 2016 from Samhain Publishing

Barb’s Writer Friends: Maria Elena Alonso-Sierra

Today I welcome author Maria Elena Alonso-Sierra to do my quick question interview and tell us about her intriguing book, THE COIN.
Someone just gave you the best compliment ever.  What was it?
 
They were surprised my novels were actually interesting and exciting.  LOL.
You have no choice but to live your life from now on as one of your characters.  Which character is it and why?
Gabriela, hands down.  She has a man whose type of love is rare, her career is at its height, and her children are at an age I wish mine were still at.
You can never write another work of fiction.  What will you do instead?
What??  What??  Seriously??  I would find a way.  Probably learn how to draw and create the illustrations for Manga books.
You get a month off from your regular personal life and writing routine.  You can spend it doing which of the following?  Feel free to elaborate.
Reading – Take my books with me (Kindle or iPad) while I’m traveling to the places I’ve wanted to visit.
Traveling – This is my dream, to travel to all the places I have wanted to visit, but haven’t yet.
Cooking – Nah.  I want someone to cook for me for a change and bring me a ton of piña coladas while I lounge by the beach or pool.
Sleeping – have plenty of back-sleep to catch up on.  I can do it while in a nice hotel room somewhere in the world.
You get one do-over from your life so far.  What is it? 
To erase the regrets done with family.
Name one person who has either influenced you the most or you learned the most from and why.
 
My mother…for her courage, strength of spirit, and determination.
Thank you Maria Elena. Now tell us about your book!
 

What’s THE COIN about?618f7jxaIXL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_

Who ever thought a coin could get you killed?

A cunning killer trusted his secret was safe, an innocent woman holds the key to his destruction, and an intelligence officer must keep her alive before the madman can strike the fatal blow.

When Gabriela Martinez finds a mysterious coin in the French Riviera, she is thrust into a struggle between governments, terrorists, and madmen, all seeking knowledge she doesn’t know she has. Richard Harrison, the intelligence officer assigned to protect her, has all he can do to keep her safe.  But when the psychological games to terrorize Gabriela escalate beyond his control, Richard must find a solution, if not, it may be too late for them both.

Set in the exotic French Riviera, The Coin is a story of hatred, betrayal, love and duty—of terrible and painful choices that, nonetheless, bring about personal triumph.

BUY LINKS TO THE COIN 

http://amzn.to/1Mq4aJ2 AZ

http://bit.ly/1JpZpdX BN

http://apple.co/1R01a7Q itunes

http://bit.ly/1LwLSas Kobo

http://bit.ly/13Pbdcn Smashwords

MARIA ELENA ALONSO-SIERRA BIO: 

Maria Elena Alonso-Sierra is a romantic suspense author with a unique point of view. Her adventure novels take place in locales across Europe and the United States, reflecting her international upbringing and extensive time as a global traveler. In her duology, The Coin and The Book of Hours, her characters, Gabriela and Richard, walk the same paths as their creator, though her life was never in so much danger.

Ms. Alonso-Sierra’s writing career began circa age thirteen with a very juvenile science fiction short story, but the writing bug hit, and she has been writing, in one capacity or another, ever since. She has worked as a professional dancer, singer, journalist, and literature teacher (and not necessarily in that order—she likes variety) and holds a Masters in English literature. She loves to hear from readers and, when not writing, roams around to discover new places to set her novels.

Ms. Alonso-Sierra is currently working on her third novel, and lives in North Carolina with her husband and her dog, Amber.

Video trailer Link:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OqKVuIojlU4&feature=youtu.be

Social media:

Author Links:

Twitter:  @MariaElenaWrite

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/maria.alonsosierra

And The Universe Conspires

universe-backgrounds-51Oprah Winfrey has famously said, “I know for sure that what we dwell on is who we become.

Well, what I think about constantly is getting my books published so that I can get them in front of a reading audience who will appreciate them. Those readers will then post rave reviews so even more appreciative readers will buy them, read them, love them, post more reviews and that will lead to more sales. And pretty soon I’ll have what I wanted since I started writing about a hundred years ago: an income from book sales that will pay for more than my monthly phone bill. Ideally, I’d also be on bestseller lists around the world, my books will be made into movies, and everyone will think I’m wonderfully talented. (Although to that small number who always has, THANK YOU!)

For the past six months or so, I have been a little discouraged with the path my writing career has taken. (You have no idea what it took for me to not put “career” in quotes just then.) I’m published, yes, and not just on my own. There is an actual real life publishing house out there and an editor who sees something worthwhile and keeps offering me contracts. For that I am deeply grateful. But it’s taken me so long, not only to learn how to write saleable books, but to get them sold, to finally, thank you Jesus, to see them in print!

thSXGLZBZ7Yeah, yeah, I know, I know. It’s the journey not the destination, but my inner child is constantly whining, “Are we there yet?” and my inner mother is sighing in resignation and saying, “Not yet, dear.” Meanwhile, my inner writer just keeps on writing and signing contracts and waiting for the next book to come out.

I just had this argument with myself a few months ago as I listen to all the indie pubbed authors discuss marketing and the big bucks they are making. Of course it helps that a lot of them already had a following and the rights to their backlists to re-release while writing and selling their new stuff on their own.thCS477IGC

If you’ve followed this blog at all, then you know the motto of my life: “A day late and a dollar short.” I have always felt that I am lagging behind everyone else. Especially now. I didn’t grow up with technology. I don’t understand most of it. I could teach myself but it would take hours and hours and then I’d forget most of what I learned the next time I need it. To me, indie pubbing means I’d need to pay an editor, a cover designer, a tech person, a marketing expert. If I want to make any money from it, that is. I’m in the hole before I start. And then it’s really up to the universe what happens after my book is out there. Isn’t it? Because all the editing, the cover, the IT aspect and marketing isn’t going to mean a thing to me unless the book is good. Making money off a lousy book would cause me to lose every ounce of respect I have for myself as an author.

My editor has had a submission of mine for four months which he hadn’t read until probably last week. In spite of the digital age, publishing can still be a slowwww business. Maybe he’ll like it. Maybe he won’t. Maybe he’ll offer me a contract. It’s a game of wait and see. He thanks me for my patience, but I’m not patient at all. I’m annoyed that it takes so long. Even though I know I’m not his only author and that he’s in the process of acquiring and editing and answering probably a hundred emails a day for his stable of authors. Still, my inner child is whining, “Come on, already.”

Meanwhile, of course, I have been writing. In fact, at the end of June I became obsessed with a book whose working title is ANIMAL. I may have mentioned it a time or two here or elsewhere. It’s a modern-day twist on Beauty and the Beast. It practically wrote itself in about two months. I’ve been going back to it and reading it and refining it and sending it to beta readers for feedback, because what’s the rush? I haven’t even heard on the book I submitted FOUR MONTHS AGO. And it could be another four months before I hear on this one if I send it to my editor. You see my frustration? For the first time in my writing career, I’m writing faster, apparently, than my editor can keep up. And it’s driving me crazy.

Inside I’m tingling because I think ANIMAL could be “the one.” The book that gets me noticed. The book those readers and movie makers will love and rave about and option. A year or eighteen months from now.

Then I angst some more over what if it isn’t handled just right? What if the cover is bad? What if no one gets it? What if, what if, what if? And where will I find another editor who gets my writing the way Noah Chinn at Samhain Publishing does? Okay, I’m now resigned. I’ll have to wait. It’s okay if we’re a long way from “there” yet.

Except today, in my email inbox is a notice from Noah on his authors’ loop which basically says, “Hey, I’m reading and acquiring and slotting for 2016 and early 2017 so if you’ve got anything ready, send it.”

intercessory_prayerOH. MY. GOD. He heard me! The universe responded. I am in awe because sometimes God lets you know He’s listening and then he lets you see His hand at work in your life. What you think about is not just what you become. It is active prayer.

Avoiding Writing

ajtillock2013 018I’ll put my alter ego, AJ Tillock’s hat on for now and explain why the second book in the GRINDING REALITY series still isn’t out, three years later:

It’s because:
I’ve been sitting on the partially completed manuscript for most of that time.

Contemporary romance is so much easier to write (and sell to a publisher who does all the editing and the cover art and actually PUBLISHES the book so I don’t have to).

finalGRcoverHardly anyone has read the first book in the series, The Forbidden Bean. (Which makes me think the concept isn’t quite as brilliant as I thought it was. Or it could be due to a complete lack of marketing.)

I find switching from contemporary romance author to screwball fantasy author difficult.
I’m not even sure COOL BEANS makes sense.

CoolBeans_CVR4 like3If readers didn’t read The Forbidden Bean, will they “get it?”

I’m not convinced I know how to write:
a) Screwball fantasy
b) A series
c) A screwball fantasy series

Therefore it has been easy not to write it.

But…I have made a promise to myself and to the two fans who loved The Forbidden Bean to have Cool Beans out by the end of summer 2015. I put it on my web site. I have a fantastic cover!!! Therefore I MUST FINISH IT. Plus, writing (and selling the books) in this series is the only possibility I’ll ever have of making significant money off my career as a coffee store barista. Cuz the last twelve years of paychecks just ain’t doin’ it.

Basic premise: Coffee store assistant manager and general oddball Tee Rutledge accidentally swallows an addictive but forbidden coffee bean which then temporarily turns her into…something else. Like an insect in The Forbidden Bean. (Didn’t you ever want to be a fly on a wall? Here’s your chance.) Or a tree frog in COOL BEANS. She can go almost anywhere, overhear things she’d rather not know, become an unwilling superhero.

Oh, God. No wonder editors and agents won’t touch it.

But I’ll write it anyway. Then I’ll publish it. In three years, I will write another blog explaining why I haven’t finished Book Three in the series: KILLER BEANS.

You might also discover posts of difficult chapters this summer as I try to work through my discomfort and ask for help with my drinking—er–writing problem.

#writing #fantasy #series #publishing

My Husband The Not Navy Seal

IMG_0756It’s all over the news on Veteran’s Day, the Navy Seal who shot Osama Bin Laden.  He is to be admired for sure for his bravery and he is definitely an American hero.

But as we sit down to another of my culinary attempts (Crockpot Kung Pao chicken) I tell Bill he is a true American hero as well.  He seems baffled by this, especially since he never served in the military.

Yes, I explain but you’ve stuck it out with me for almost 35 years.  You’ve eaten my experiments more times than I can count without complaint.  That’s got to count for something.  Because I know it couldn’t have been easy.  In truth, the man deserves a medal although he’ll probably never get one.

For most of his life he went into office battle every day providing for his family.  He suffered his share of defeats there.  I’m sure there were triumphs as well, but  there might also have been days when he would have liked to chuck it all and walk away. But he didn’t.

He stuck it out.  Through the births of two children.  Raising of teenagers.  Gains and losses.  A sometimes crazy wife whose moods he didn’t understand.  Were there days he wished he could just walk away?  I don’t know but he never did.IMG_1211

He sucked it up and too often displayed what we in the family refer to as “The Meyers Stoicism.”  It makes you want to smack them for not displaying any emotion whatsoever.  He’d have been great in the military. Loyal to a fault.  Standing up for what he believed in.  Sucking it up, sticking it out, surviving without complaint.

There are so many American heroes.  Some of them risk their lives to go overseas on dangerous missions to keep us safe.  Some of them keep us safe here at home.  They’re the tough, silent guys who don’t get much credit for bearing up under the pressures of everyday American life.

If you ever wondered why romance writers write romance, this is part of the reason, for me at least.  Lots of romance novels are inspired by everyday heroes.  They don’t make the news headlines.  You’ve probably never heard of these guys.  But you might be married to one.  Maybe your father was one.  Or your boyfriend, your brother, your uncle.  They stick with you through the bumps on the road of life, and they’re still there when you get to “the end.”

NobodysFool72smNobody’s Fool available January 6, 2015

Follow me on Twitter @barbmeyers

 

The Shakes

MISCONCEIVE is free on Amazon.  Here’s the link:  http://www.amazon.com/Misconceive-Barbara-Meyers-ebook/dp/B00MKCJPQQ/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1415105468&sr=8-5&keywords=barbara+meyers

Barbs_Book_FrontNo, I didn’t shorten the link because it’s too much trouble.  Deal with it.  If you’ve got a Kindle, and you like traditional women’s fiction/romantic fiction without any graphic love scenes, well, you might like MISCONCEIVE.  Or you might think it’s the dumbest thing you’ve ever read.  I’ve read some pretty dumb books of late so I don’t see how that’s possible, but everyone’s got an opinion.  And you wonder why I’ve got the shakes.  Because offering a book for free on Amazon or anywhere else for that matter is an invitation for reviews.  What if everybody hates it?  What if all the reviews are one star?  Is that better than nobody reading it and nobody reviewing it.  What if it’s ignored altogether even though it’s free?  I can’t even give it away!  Arghhh.

This is what goes through an author’s brain.  There’s a love/hate relationship with a writing career.  You’re always second-guessing yourself, always sure you’ve done something stupid, catastrophic, career-ruining.  If you do something right or noteworthy you’re always shocked.  Of course, that could just be me.

When you start at the bottom, and I’ve been at the bottom for years, you’ve got nowhere to go but up.  You’ve got nothing to lose.  You can’t “ruin” anything.  You can give a book away because no one’s buying it or any of the others anyway.  Why?

Marketing of course.  All bookselling is marketing.  I think all of everything is marketing.  If you suck at marketing (hello!) your books don’t sell.  You won’t stand out in the crowd in a place like Amazon and doesn’t everyone go to Amazon first to look for books?

All my books are there, like the proverbial needles in the haystacks. (They’re on B & N, Samhain, Kobo, and a bunch of other bookselling sites, too.)  They feature regular human beings.  No angels.  No demons.  No shapeshifters, werewolves or vampires.  Possibly, that’s where I went wrong.  Sigh.

#Amazon #free books #Misconceive

Find buy links to my other books here:

http://www.barbmeyers.com/where/index.html

Follow me on Twitter (which I don’t understand) @barbmeyers

(Chief?) Sarcoxie Days

10645101_10203511988414945_5485431917587865473_nI’m back in Sarcoxie.  Again.  Ugh.  Chief Sarcoxie Days is a celebration, but of what?  Obesity?  Poverty?  Hopelessness?  Am I just used to everything new and bright and shiny so that here all I see is faded paint, burnt out lights and desperation?  Maybe the worn out carnival is a reflection of my mother’s worn out life.

Each day she grows a little sadder, less vivid, less alive.  Eventually she’ll fade away like the memory of a fall street fair on the square.

Yesterday at the home I was shocked by how much older Mom looked.  She “lost” her upper plate so her face is more sunken.  She’d put on pedal pushers under her dress.  At least her hair looked clean.  We walked her down to see “the birds” – caged finches.  Mom doesn’t get out of bed some days.  I’m sure she sees no reason.  She’s weak(er) because of it and I wonder if she’ll make it.  She does, my brother Steve on one side and me on the other holding her hands, my 94-year-old aunt walking on her own just fine behind us.

We’re meeting two other aunts at the Sirloin Stockade for lunch.  When Steve said we were taking Mom with us I said, “Why?” “Because she hardly ever goes anywhere.”  That’s because she doesn’t know where she is anyway or who she’s with.  But I demur.

It’s probably good for her to get out.  It’s a long walk in hot sun from our parking place to the restaurant door and then to the back table where the aunts are waiting.  Steve fixes Mom a plate – fried chicken, mashed potatoes, corn and green beans.  He cuts her meat.  She picks at the food but when he sets dessert in front of her she’s enthusiastic.  The little plate is picked clean in minutes.  I wonder if she has trouble eating due to her missing teeth.  Steve says, “Didn’t you see her chomp right through that cookie?”

We joke about Mom’s obsession with meal times but most of her senses are dulled.  Sight.  Hearing.  Cognitive ability.  All she’s got left are taste and touch.  And there are days, I’m sure, when no one touches her.  There should be an official hugger in her assisted living facility.  Steve says those people there are so damned lonely.  He talks to them when he and Mom sit in the lobby.  I think he’s performing a valuable function.

My mother was not a hugger.  Not particularly affectionate at all.  It was almost as if she was never comfortable in her own body.  She held herself apart.  But now I wish I could pick her up and hug her.  Hold her and soothe her and take care of her.  No one really takes care of her.  Her nails are longer than I’ve ever seen them.  She’s like a Lab, Steve tells me.  She won’t let anyone touch them.

I wonder what her toe nails look like.  Has anyone trimmed them?  She’s always wearing shoes and socks.  Even in bed.  No one’s seen her feet in years.  Steve says, “I’m not touching them.”  My aunt doesn’t seem too interested.  Tough toenails, I guess.

When we arrived to see Mom, she greeted Steve and Maxine like she knew them.  Maxine says, “Do you know who this is?  This is Barbara.”  Mom looks at me, puzzled and possibly pleased and says, “Oh.  My daughter?”

That is the most recognition I’m likely to get from her.  Undeniably I am her daughter with all that entails.

Visit me at http://www.barbarameyers.com

Follow me on Twitter @barbmeyers and @ajtillock

#Sarcoxie #mothers #loneliness

Barbara Meyers, Author – August 2014 Newsletter

I signed the contract for another book with Samhain Publishing. This is the fourth book with them. I have a new editor. His name is Noah Chin. I sent him two manuscripts, one he liked and one he didn’t like so much. The one he liked is called NOBODY’S FOOL. It was inspired by my son’s high school BFF relationship with a girl. The first time he brought her home I thought they’d be perfect together. It’s rare to see such obvious chemistry between two people, but it was there. They were so cute together. (They still are.) She teased him and challenged him. They were both probably too smart for their own good and were always good-naturedly trying to outdo and one-up each other. They never dated in high school but did so later. Twice. Technically, three times but the third time’s the charm and they are now engaged. We call it Matt & Erin Version 3.0.

NOBODY’S FOOL is in no way the story of my son and his fiancée. I only took the best friend idea a little further and combined it with some elements of what they went through in order to get together years after their first meeting. My tag line for NOBODY’S FOOL is “She came home to make amends; he returned to seek revenge. The heart he breaks might be his own.”

When you read it just remember the story was INSPIRED by real people but it’s NOT BASED ON THEM! Sometimes I think I had to wait to see what happened with their relationship before I could finish my manuscript.

Release is slated for January 2015. Stay tuned for cover art.

I released MISCONCEIVE all by myself.

Barbs_Book_Front Another story I started a long time ago. I keep taking my manuscripts out every now and again, blow the dust off them and work on them some more. This is NOT a romance per se. More in the category of women’s fiction. PG-13 rating. The answer to the question what does Annie Langdon do when her husband is in a coma and she gets pregnant by another man? It’s available only on Amazon and only in Kindle format right now. http://www.amazon.com/Misconceive-Barbara-Meyers-ebook/dp/B00MKCJPQQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1408277312&sr=8-1&keywords=misconceive

Meanwhile, I’m rewriting FANTASY MAN based on Noah’s comments about why he rejected it. I don’t know if it’s salvageable, but I’m not ready to give up on it yet. I’ve started a new romantic comedy, CLEO’S WEB. (If you flip back through my previous blogs you’ll find the first chapter.)

I did a seminar for Coffee Time Romance about how to AVOID publication success. You can find that here:http://www.coffeetimeromance.com/board/forumdisplay.php?f=2093

Pretty soon I’ll be heading to Missouri to visit my mom and assorted relations. There might be another series of posts about this year’s trip. In October I’ll be in St. Pete Beach for the Novelists, Inc. conference. http://www.ninc.com

ajtillock2013 012 Anything else you’re looking for you can find links to on my web site http://www.barbarameyers.com
Follow my infrequent posts on Twitter @barbmeyers and @ajtillock
Thanks for your interest!