With the Completion of My Third Book…

This past year has been the busiest year of my life. As I look back on the past 18 months, I’m determined to grow in all areas over the next year. Here’s a few major things I’ve been able to accomplish since the beginning of 2013:

February 2013: Finished writing The Earth Bleeds Red (2nd book, 1st novel)

April 2013: Signed my first publishing deal

July 2013: Moved from Oregon to Georgia with 4 kids, an overpacked minivan, and a one-eyed pug

September 2013: Launched a business: Name Brand Thrift

October 2013: The Earth Bleeds Red was released

August 2014: Finished writing The Lights Will Never Fade

As I look back at this timeline of accomplishments/major life events, I’m both joyful and troubled. I’m happy that I was able to achieve several goals, but disappointed that it took me so long to finish writing my next novel. If I had kept writing at my regular pace, I would have finished writing it in September 2013, and finished the next book that I’m only beginning now. It feels as though I’ve lost a year of writing.

It wasn’t because of laziness, however. I’ve been finishing up school at Oregon State and growing the business I started last year. I couldn’t believe how quickly it took off and absolutely love working from home and doing something that brings me joy.

Now that the business is where it is, I’m able to devote regular time to reading and writing again. It feels like my life has more of a balance.

thrifting, bargain hunter, thrifty mom, cheap name brand clothes, nike, under armour, victoria's secret, juicy couture, miss me jeans, auction hunters, storage wars, thrift hunters

I’m trying to decide if I want to go through the query process again of trying to find a lit agent or publishing company, or if I want to self-publish and avoid the long waits and frustrations of traditional publishing.

The Dog Days Of Writing

I’ll admit it: I’ve been in a writing slump lately. The novel I’m currently working on should have been finished seven months ago. I only have one chapter left to edit, yet I haven’t touched it in two weeks. I’ve been discouraged with the results of my first novel, The Earth Bleeds Red. I think the book came out great and my publisher did a good job editing it and designing an eye-catching cover, but…

There’s always a but.

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The Earth Bleeds Red

Marketing has left everything to be desired. I’ve gotten burnt out by doing all of the marketing myself and stopped doing any marketing a few months ago. After I did, sales slowed and then slowed some more. My first book, which I self-published 3 and a half years ago, is outselling the new one and I haven’t marketed it in longer than I can remember. I pushed it hard for the first year and it has outsold the new one by leaps and bounds.

The truth is that I’m working 70+ hours a week with a business I started last August. It has grown at a tremendous rate and I absolutely love it.

Name Brand Thrift
NameBrandThrift.com

 

I’m also finishing up my degree at Oregon State and will graduate in December after taking my final three classes in the Fall.

I will have more time to write this Summer when I’m not in school and as the new year approaches with school winding down. My passion for writing has not waned but sometimes, we all need a break. With my new novel, I’ll be querying lit agents and wait patiently for the right situation. Oh yeah, did I mention that I’m married with four kids? Life is rather busy 🙂

Name Your Top Three: Everybody Likes A Good List

I wanted to share my “top 3” of a few different things in life, and would like to hear about yours as well. So, after you take a peek at mine, comment with any additions you’d like to make.

Food

Cheese Pizza

TGIF Wings

Cheese Sticks

Authors

Joyce Carol Oates

Sherman Alexie

Mark Twain

lists, writing, reading, top 3, top 5, top 10
Trailblazers

Professional Sports Teams

Portland Trailblazers

Atlanta Braves

Atlanta Falcons

Places To Go With The Kids

Park

River

Ocean

TV Shows That Are Still Making New Shows

The Colbert Report

The Daily Show

The Profit

California

States To Spend Some Serious Time In

Oregon

California

Washington

Okay, now it’s your turn…

Do People Read Anymore?

I’ll admit it: I used to hate to read. Back in high school, I would skim through books and only read the bold sections in textbooks. It wasn’t until around age 20 that I fell in love with reading. I have a heavy religious background and found my love for reading in theological books. Many of these were people’s journeys, their stories.

But now, as my second book has been published, I find myself wondering if people read anymore. Book sales have been fine, don’t get me wrong, but it amazes me how many people simply do not read. The excuses are endless: no time, too much work, family stuff, etc… The fact is, however, that we make time for what we want to make time for. We make time for those things that we truly care about.

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It’s a shame that reading is no longer one of those things for the majority of people. Reading opens up a new world that otherwise would not exist. It allows us to create and explore. It expands our imagination and enables us to escape from reality. How many writers out there have family and friends who have never read their books? I’d guess that the majority of family and friends have not read them.

Why?

It’s not because they don’t like you or because they don’t care about what you do. People have forsaken the art of reading. I say art because it is an art. It’s a special gift that we have, one that lights up a child’s face when they discover how to put letters together and make a word. Sadly, many people would rather sit in front of a TV than open up a book. I watch TV, and enjoy it, but nothing compares to a good book.

So, how do we encourage people to start reading again? I’ve got one idea, though I’m not sure it’s the best: buy someone a book. Pick a book that you’ve already enjoyed, one that has stuck with you, and give it to them. A few books I would consider giving to people would be….

Them, by Joyce Carol Oates

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, by Junot Diaz

Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Neale Hurston

The Shack, by William P. Young

Indian Killer, by Sherman Alexie

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, by Mark Twain

Finding Time to Write: Guest Blog by Alisse Lee-Goldenberg

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The lovely Jackson Baer has asked me to write a guest blog for him on how I, as a writer, fight the urge to procrastinate and get to writing.

I am a very busy woman. I am a property manager, am active in the Toronto musical theatre scene as a props manager and occasional actress, and I raise triplets. I like to say that there are twenty-four usable hours in the day, but managing them so I can get everything done is not always easy. When my children were first born I became nocturnal for a while. Raising triplets is anything but easy. My husband helped care for them during the day and I took the night shift. It was easier to just stay up all night with them due to the constant feedings. I quickly learned that at night, no one calls the house, and there is absolutely nothing good on television. So for me, between bottles, diapers, and sterilizing, this was the perfect time to work on my stories. Within the first couple of months, I had my first book The Strings of the Violin edited, and a first draft of the sequel largely complete. It’s very easy to get things done when you have no distractions.

Now that the children are two and a half, things are very different. I wrote my next book Bath Salts a Zombie Novel in a very different way. I did this as part of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). I have learned that if I don’t have large chunks of time, I need a deadline looming over my head in order to ensure I get done what I need to get done. (That, and very strong coffee.) Procrastinating is very easy to do. There are far too many distractions around. I have three very good, very loud, very messy ones running around every day between the hours of 8:00 and 7:30. When they’re asleep, there’s the television, Facebook, Candy Crush, and I still need to find time to see my husband, and not neglect our dog Sebastian. For me, I need to work on my time management. So, I try to pretend that every day is NaNoWriMo. I give myself deadlines and strive to meet them. I am very strict with this and work hard towards meeting them. It’s as if I give myself homework assignments: Chapter Five is due by Tuesday. Every few words count towards finishing the next book, the next outline. Even if you just pound out one sentence, that’s still one sentence closer to completing your next story, and that day is not a failure. For the most part, when my kids are awake, I’m a mother, not a writer. When they’re sleeping, that’s my time to shine with my computer, and research books, and my very strong coffee.

So far, this approach is working quite well for me. I have a book due out this October with Pandamoon Publishing. It’s a Young Adult Fantasy novel called Sitnalta. I have a fully outlined sequel for it planned out with the first 7,000 or so words typed. I have the second draft of the sequel to The Strings of the Violin finished and almost ready to be sent to the publisher, and my friend An Tran and I are at work on the sequel to Bath Salts. I have a million ideas always spinning around in my head for the next story. It’s just a matter of having the discipline to write them down. I think that so long as you can force yourself to spend at least a few minutes a day just jotting down ideas, or putting words to paper, everything will get finished eventually. Once this becomes habit, it’s a hard habit to break. This, and I’m counting down the days until preschool. Then I will have my mornings back to really spend some daylight hours on my craft!

You can visit me and read my Ramblings at my website: www.alisseleegoldenberg.com

My books are found here:

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