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working writer wending her way through the labyrinth that is self-publishing

Sunday, September 25, 2016

End of the world part 2

What is it they say? There's no such thing as being too rich or too thin? Really? How about too fat because you don't have the money to buy proper food or so poor that you don't have a roof over your head?

We are in the beginning stages of what happened in Germany, folks, just before Hitler came into power. This isn't a depression, per se, but the economy for poorer people has not improved. Wages are stagnant and have been for over twenty years, there has been no cost of living increases to wages nor has there been a lessening in the lending institutions--not since they fucked us over. Poor people in this country are basically screwed. No wonder they are geared up to listen to someone like Trump. They don't trust the government and he's the only one who isn't tied into it.

I wish I could impress upon them what will happen if Trump becomes our president, especially if the congress is still Republican. The first thing is the end of Obamacare. I agree that this health care system is majorly flawed, but without it things will only get worse. And the people who are screaming about abolishing it are the ones who can afford health care. (Congress gets the best health care there is) What happens to the ones who can't? And the idea that Paul Ryan put forth the other day of getting insurance companies to again ban those with preexisting conditions? What do they think will happen to these people? Or don't they care? Is that the problem--that they care about no one but themselves?

It seems that fear is running the world, or at least our country. Fear of a terrorist attack ranks high despite the lack of evidence to support the possibility. The news is full of it. And Muslins--be very very afraid of them. And blacks, of course. The color of their skin proves it. Oh yes, and Mexicans--they're coming for your jobs. But don't be afraid of guns in the wrong hands, the police who keep killing blacks, or constant war that is killing and maiming our young men and women.

When the Republicans talk about lowering taxes, please realize what this means. If you are not one of the wealthy in this country it means that you will have no services. This includes health care and good roads and bridges, schools that are safe and an educational system that actually teaches something. Privatizing these things would only put money in the hands of the ones I'm talking about. It seems that the only thing they want to spend money on is war. War is profitable.

So read everything you can get your hands on regarding these issues and the candidates we are being asked to choose between--don't believe Fox news--find out for yourself! Think critically! Or is that even possible anymore? I am hoping it is...because we as a people need to be thinking about what we really need, not listening to the rhetoric.

Thanks for reading!!!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

The end of the world

This is an off the wall blog post for me considering that most of my posts have to do with writing. But. The world is turning into a very weird place--have you noticed?

1. WAR--what I thought was the beginning of a peaceful era during the Clinton administration was immediately turned on its head when Bush got in. Right off I'll admit that I am a democrat, or I should say, an independent. But lately I hate both parties and congress and everyone who has anything to do with politics or running our country, including Mr. Obama who has been pushing the insanely flawed TPP. (Trans-Pacific Partnership)
 According to reports I've read when Bush took us into war in Iraq there were only 100 Taliban--and look at what happened as result of destabilization.  Continents are being flooded with people fleeing the war zones, young people are being swayed to join Isis and doing all sorts of crazy violent acts to prove themselves. Countries are turning in on themselves and becoming isolationist at a time when we need cooperation more than ever.

2. And what is this absolute obsession with money? We can't stop fracking, which is causing earthquakes, using up billions of gallons of water, a natural resource that is dwindling, and could very well be the end of us. Why? Because too many people are getting rich. It is also why we can't get anyone in congress interested in funding natural energy sources. We can't do anything about gun control because of the NRA? How many horrible shootings does it take? And I'm not going to mention the insurance companies and the health care problems--Obama tried, but I'm sure all his good work will slowly dwindle away because of the one thing he didn't address: Insurance companies. If we had a universal system like Medicare we'd be set--but oh no--don't throw me in that briar patch. And pull-eeze keep lowering taxes so that we will have NO services whatsoever! Oh, except the war machine which continues to grow. Beware the military industrial complex. (Eisenhower) The corporations are in charge, folks--get a clue. If we want to take our country back we have to demand it. Not sure what this entails other than voting people in who don't want to line their own pockets or be seen as the greatest man or woman on earth. Good luck finding them.

3. Global warming? --oh heavens, there is no such thing! We don't want to stop our use of fossil fuels until there is not one more drop of oil to be had. And don't do anything about the massive island of trash that's floating around our oceans, the navy doing sonar tests that's killing whales, the plastic that whales are eating and dying because of, the oil slicks that people don't even pay attention to anymore, except the fisherman who have lost their livelihoods.

I am no expert, believe me, but seeing a congress that cannot agree on anything and spends most of their time campaigning for their next election, a country divided in a election for president between a man who is a narcissistic sociopath and a woman who is a career politician? Give me a break! It is all about money--ALL OF IT. And until we really see this fact and begin to address it we are doomed. Frankly I hoped for Bernie Sanders, but with congress still at an impasse it probably wouldn't have done much good.

I will vote for Hillary because if Trump gets in things will get even worse--in my opinion the man is crazier than a bedbug. And spending millions to try and change people's minds?  Doesn't work folks. Anyone who supports Trump does not want to hear why he's crazy--they don't care. And Hillary running around and spouting her stuff? Doesn't matter. Those who are supporting her will support her and vote for her. That's the thing in this country--we have little choice, really. At least in the parliamentary system you can vote the wankers out! And if a new prime minister comes in, the house they are affiliated with comes in with them--they actually get something done! What a concept. We can't even get our infrastructure taken care of--maybe if some major bridges collapse it will get them to pay attention--oh wait--that's already happened.

This is just the tip of the iceburg and we are heading toward it at an alarming rate.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

What to do when the book is finished...

Every time I finish a book I have varying states of what I might call depression, anxiety, or just plain grumpiness. And every time this happens I wonder what is going on with me! I have to be reminded by friends and family that, "You just finished a book, Nikki--this happens every time."

This time I even began another book, but sadly the story seems all over the place and I'm not sure I can trust my characters. I think they're playing with me in my vulnerable state. So today I have barely looked at it, instead buying things on Amazon. What is it they say?  When things get tough the tough go shopping? Well that's where I'm at (grammar, puleeze!)

And, I am planning on drinking wine as soon as the hour seems right--(I seem to be losing time in that department, making up excuses for why I'm starting an hour earlier than yesterday--oh well.)

I have several projects in the writing arena, none of which piques my interest at the moment--when this happens I have to take a few days off, even if it means binge watching television or reading, or as I said before, shopping.

To date I've bought a new black, supposedly, nourishing mascara, a couple of face products from Evan Healy, three T-shirts from Target, a black fitted button down shirt...all reasonably priced. (except for face products which are always high, but hey! I have to look my best, right?)

And now I'm faced with myself again and this sinking sensation in my stomach that is about--what? It must be empty nest syndrome or something similar--my baby just went off to college! But the book is at the formatters and what she is doing looks spectacular! I can't wait for people to see it! And if you missed the teaser I made on Animoto, here is the link: ' Faery teaser

Hopefully next post I'll be far into 'Time Gap'!

keep on reading!

Friday, September 16, 2016

Excerpt and existential angst

My newest book, Faery,  is about to be launched--a steamy tale of Maeve and Harold of Wolfmoon fame. In this book they get into a lot of trouble messing about with the Fae. Here's a tiny taste:

I had taken a different route through a hardwood forest when I heard a flute or a person singing. I brought Pooka to a stop to listen.
“Are you looking for me?”
I jumped in the saddle, nearly tumbling off the horse. When I looked down a man was standing by Pooka’s head, his hand on the bridle.  A mist lay around him, his golden eyes nearly the same color as Pooka’s eyes. Shiny black hair hung straight to his shoulders. His intense stare gave me a shiver. “Are you Gan Ceanach?” I asked, fearing the worst.
He smiled and inclined his head. “At your service.”
He held my gaze, and when I tried to speak I couldn’t utter a word. Finally he grabbed my hand and helped me off the horse. He was shorter than I, his head barely reaching my chin, and yet he held a power that I couldn’t deny.  His features were even and perfect, his smile beguiling as only a faery’s smile could be.
“You need a rest and the baby needs to eat,” he said, pulling Airy out of her papoose and handing her to me.
I’d never been shy about feeding her in public, but for some reason I didn’t want to bare my breasts in front of this man. “She’s fine right now,” I told him, reaching into my bag with one hand to grab a hunk of cheese. But of course as soon as those words were out of my mouth she began to howl, her face scrunching up as though someone was pinching her. I turned my back to him and fumbled around with my clothing. When she was settled I covered her with a blanket and lowered myself to the ground.
He sat next to me. “I hoped to catch up with you—did you see me at the dolmen? I have a proposition.”
“What proposition? I’ve been told to stay away from you.”
He laughed, his golden eyes twinkling in the dusky light of the forest. “I need you to align with me.”
“Align myself for what?”
“To go against the ravens.”
“The ravens.” I thought of my experience at the canyon. “I thought something might be going on with them.” When I turned, he caught my gaze with his own. I felt the sexual energy he exuded just as I had at the dolmen.
“Yes,” he said, answering my unasked question. “I saw you there. I followed you.”
“What’s going on with the ravens?” I asked, noticing that they were perched in several of the trees.
 “Morrighan has imbued the ravens with her evil intents and I have resolved to stop her—with your help of course.” He smiled.
 “But why would Morrighan do this? She was happy to be finished with the war and with Brandubh. At the end she cursed him.”
He raised his eyebrows. “You do know that Morrighan is the goddess of war? She has an agenda that I have not yet discovered; possibly she’s bored.”
When the baby’s head lolled to one side he lifted her out of my arms and placed her gently on the moss. He leaned toward me and took my face in his hands. What had MacCuill warned--something about not letting him…but it was too late, his mouth was on mine and I melted against him as the kiss grew deeper. He tasted like summer rain. When one of his hands moved to my exposed breast, his touch sizzled against my skin, creating little waves of desire. I told myself to stop him, to say no, but I felt like a starving animal that had just been given food. When he removed my clothes I didn’t feel the chill air, nor did the momentary thought of Harold remain in my mind. I was wholly Gan Ceanach’s to do with as he pleased. 
The next thing I knew I was lying naked on a bower of some soft material that hadn’t been there before, his hands roaming across my body. At some point he’d removed his clothes and now I viewed his strong chest, the narrow hips. His body was compact compared to Harold’s, narrower and more angular, but the part of him that I focused on was not in keeping with the rest of him. When I gasped he let out a delighted laugh.
As his fingers and lips played across my over-heated skin I drifted into a world I’d never been before, my body weightless and clinging to his as though he was the only thing keeping me from floating away. He was corporeal and at the same time ethereal, like an angel who had only lately discovered gravity. He was inventive and very thorough, and when it was over I lay panting, barely able to catch my breath.  I gazed up at his handsome features, caught again by his golden eyes. “I thought I dreamed you.”
He smiled, one finger tracing lightly along my collarbone. “You did dream me the other night, but having you here like this is a much better experience for both of us.”
“I’m pledged to another. Harold and I have a baby.”

His eyes flashed dark. “All that is superfluous—silly conventions that mean nothing in the real scheme of things. You will remain with Harold but your heart is mine now.”
Steamy enough? Now to the existential angst: "Existential Angst is the relation to one being aware of the possibility that life lacks meaning, causing an extreme form of anxiety, and a feeling of despair or hopelessness." urban dictionary.
The only reason I am not feeling this is because of writing. Writing provides a way to dig into the psyche and to bring up the subjects and the emotions that plague us, run our lives, and drive us crazy. What about you? Are you feeling the angst or taking it to your fingertips and typing it out? 
and thanks for reading....
if you want to look at my website it is: www.nikkibroadwell.com

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Working writer

What does 'working writer' really mean? Many feel that if you aren't working 24/7 you can't call yourself 'writer'. But to me it means always having my work in the back of  my mind and knowing without a doubt that I will get back to it, even if I'm taking a few days off. When I first started this process back in early 2000's I wasn't so sure about this and wondered if my enthusiasm for what I was doing would wane and suddenly be gone. Scary, huh? It was to me.

So, back to 'working writer'. Nowadays this term can mean a dozen different things, from marketer, to editor, to author, to presenter--the list goes on. If, like me, you are gearing most of what you do to the e-book market your job takes place mostly at your desk. This is the way I like it. You can enlist help from many, weed through and see what works and repeat the things that have brought you success. There is information galore out there, from podcasts to webinars to a zillion different free marketing sites, to--you name it. And there are also paid sites that people swear by. I only wish I were more organized and could remember from one day to the next what I've done? When there's no paper trail it all gets a bit more complicated. My paypal account is the only thing I can refer back to to see what recurring $4 payments I'm making where! How do you manage it all? I'm sure most are way more organized than I am.*sigh*.

Now if the paperback market is your main goal you are probably an extrovert. (does this sound like the 'you are most likely a redneck' comedy skit?) Since I am an introvert I tend to shy away from book fairs and signings. I am fine one on one with a customer, but try and get me to call out and pull a customer in? Not happening. Consequently I don't do well in these settings and am jealous of those who do. A friend recently suggested I go to Toastmasters--are you kidding? No, no, a thousand times no! But why not? You'd learn how to get up in front of people and tout your books--it's a win win! This encouragement nearly always comes from extroverts--and if you are an introvert you understand, like I do, that extroverts don't get us. period. exclamation point.

Don't get me wrong here. I am envious of extroverts and wish I had more of their gregariousness, it would certainly help when it comes to selling. But, I have to go with who I am and what I have going for me, which is amazing concentration and doggedness in my work. When I was younger I used to bemoan all my 'faults', with the idea that I could overcome them. Not anymore. I would rather expand on what I do best and hire help in the areas where I don't shine.

Are you an introvert or an extrovert? How do you handle these issues in your writing life?

Thanks for reading!

Friday, August 26, 2016

Life in the desert

This morning I saw three gorgeous coyotes in the scrub-filled field below my house. My dog saw them too and alerted me to their presence. I love having them here. This is what they look like: healthy with thick fur and bushy tails--like German shepherds.

What does this have to do with writing, you ask? Everything. Every single experience we have on this earth adds to our repertoire of inspiration. We write who we are and what we care about--unless, of course, we are writers who write to market. (Oh no, not that again!) I won't belabor the point since I don't begrudge anyone their need to make money in this saturated market. I thought I might be able to join this club, but sadly I am unable to do so. My main focus has always been, and will probably always be, exploring what I am passionate about. If this makes me money I am thrilled--if it doesn't, then so be it--fortunately I am not trying to make a living with my writing.

The books I've loved don't quite fit into any normal genres. "The Night Circus" for instance. Have you read it? It is one of my all time favorite books--ethereal and strange and full of magic. And in another category altogether: Shirley Hazard's "The Great Fire", another unusual telling of a war story that is both romantic and mystical. I wish I could write like either one of these authors. But reading them and enjoying their books will have to suffice. What books do you like? What books inspire you? Reading is the best way to become a better writer.

So watch the little things that happen during the day that inspire you. Write down the feelings that are produced by each experience. All of it is fodder--the anger, the laughter, the sadness--the frustration. And the beauty of being alive on this planet. If you want to impact your reader you have to delve deep.

Thanks for reading! And keep on writing!!!