Josephine And The Missing Necklace = Available Now!

Josephine and The Missing Necklace  is available now!

Finally got the second book printed! Just in time to surprise the birthday girl, my niece, with her book namesake. (JosephineI am happy to report she was very excited about it and I already have requests in for a new series based on her sister.

I keep saying I’m going to write that “novel” someday, but for now I am enjoying making these short children’s books for the kids to enjoy. It’s been a blast and so rewarding to see their excitement over a new story. I am sure that with time each story will improve, and with it you will find better editing and less mistakes. For now just enjoy them as they are – a little piece of my family brought to you!



Freelance Writing & Content Mills

I read about content mills in (go figure) a blog. I wish I had the source to backlink too, however it was quite a while ago. The gist of it however, was  a college student applied, and freelanced her way through college, supporting herself on both a part-time and full-time basis.

This got me thinking about my own goals for remote work. Freelancing is a potential way to get to where I want to be. I immediately applied to two of these content mills: Textbroker and WriterAccess. Applying was an experience all on its own.

Textbroker had me write a brief number of words based on a topic I had chosen earlier. I remember clearly that I wrote a travel article about Holland, MI. Within a few days I had heard back with my “rating,” and I was ready to begin writing.

Your rating is based off of your writing ability, it is what clients use to determine if they want you writing their article.

WriterAccess was  a whole different experience. I filled out a resume-like profile with many writing samples, shortly after I was invited to take a writing test. This test was difficult! I was not expecting the kind of test that I took, but was glad I took it because each question came with a very detailed explanation on why your answer was or wasn’t correct. In other words,  I was actually able to learn from this test. Once my test and my profile were complete I then had to wait several weeks while they reviewed my responses and gave me a rating.

As of today, I am officially on both content mill sites and have completed two projects on one of them. I’d like to think I will slowly be able to increase my presence on these sites over time and perhaps, just perhaps, I’ll be able to learn to navigate myself through a freelance world.

It’s finished! Josephine & The Missing Necklace

Well, It is finished. I finished Josephine & The Missing Necklace today. Now if only I could get CreateSpace to cooperate and get it published. It seems CreateSpace is having troubles today and I have been trying to upload my cover from their cover creator for the last 4 hours! This is just another lesson in patience for me, as I keep submitting it, and resubmitting it to no avail. I even called their support line and was told they were having technical issues. So here I sit, awaiting an email from the CreateSpace support team letting me know that I can finally submit my book for review.

I have been quite into my Josephine stories, and they will probably keep going for a bit. This second in the series was definitely not the last, in fact it ended in a way that you need the story to continue. So continue it I will, in another book!

In the meantime, I’m taking a short writing hiatus, no new Hubpages articles, no third Josephine Children’s book, and no starting on my new novel quite yet. Just some good old fashioned web browsing and television watching today.




Update: Josephine & The Missing Necklace, and others

Chapter One is complete!

It’s been a fun road, but Chapter One in Josephine & The Missing Necklace is complete. I considered just selling a short book at this point, for young kids, but was advised that my books seem to end like chapters, so perhaps I will keep it going for awhile. This is not a picture book! I repeat, this is not a picture book! I will not have illustrations in this book, this is going to be all about the storytelling. I’m working hard at putting it together and making characters that you can connect to. I have been self-editing as I go, and I am proud to say that I did not find too many errors with my first go round. Hurray for progress!

I also have an idea in my head now for my adult novel. I am still in the developing phase. I am hoping to get some kind of an outline down today so tomorrow I can start writing in earnest. I think it is going to be a good thing to have two projects going at the same time. I think it will help give me the break I need when I feel stuck with my writing. Also, if I alternate perhaps I won’t have such a difficult time getting it done.

I am also giving myself another writing schedule so I can complete these two stories. I want to get them done in a fairly short time period. So I will give myself a minimum of 1000 words a day. Yes, I’ve graduated from 500 words a day. I think 500 is far to easy to knock out and 1000 will challenge me and push me further.

I will hold off on editing until I’ve completed each of these because I have a feeling that editing will be the part that actually takes the longest, and with my adult novel. Well, I may just attempt to submit it for publishing vs. self publishing this time around, but only time will tell.

RV Living Dreams

I’ve got the bug, the travel bug that is! I am dreaming of the day when I can become a full time RV living woman of the United States.

I’ve been doing my research and my dreams have gotten me here so far, to the Thor Motor Coach RUV Axis. The dream is there, travel the United States and writing from my RV home, able to live and go where I please. Remote work is the dream and an RV home will get me there. I’ve been caught up in the blogs on RV full time living and I am so unbelievably jealous of their lifestyle. Wishing I could be so brave, and hoping some day I will be.

Trying to set this plan in motion is the difficult part, but getting there is half the battle. Once I reach my goal I will have the most wonderful reward of living a life free of any one zip code.

Step 1: Research RV living and see if I’ll really enjoy it. Make sure it is a fit life for my puppies.

Step 2: Finish my degree in writing.

Step 3: Find remote work that can afford me the lifestyle I want.

It’s just three simple steps to get where I want to be, but time will tell if this is my true calling.

Self Editing

I’ve been self editing everything I write, my blogs, my books, my articles, etc. I am finding that self editing is very difficult when I am so involved in the piece I wrote. I have to learn to step back, spend some time away from what I wrote, go back to it and then read it and begin editing. Perhaps then I won’t have as many mistakes.

You may wonder why I am posting about self editing, or perhaps you’ve already guessed? My book Josephine came in the mail today and I found several errors that I should have caught before it was printed. For those of you that bought the book, I apologize with all my heart! I hope to have these errors fixed this weekend and uploaded to Amazon, so that all future book purchases will not have these mistakes in them.

If on the other hand, you bought the book with the mistakes in it, know that you now own a one of a kind item! A rare treat, my editing mishaps in printed form are yours to tear apart.

Again, I apologize for my editing goofs! I hope to have them fixed soon!

Vacation Day and Writing Away

Today is my vacation day and I’ve spent the whole day writing. I am working on my next children’s book, Josephine and the Missing Necklace the sequel to Josephine. It was just published a few days ago, but I got pretty into this story and thought it needed to be continued so we are on to book number 2 in the series.

This book is going to be all written word, no illustrations this time, as I think it is a story for older children who don’t need the illustrations to get their imagination going. I’m up to page ten now, and I have just barely gotten into the story, so it may also be a little longer than the first book. I have a general idea of how I want the story to progress, but primarily I am letting it develop as I write, trying to let my creativity lead the way.

It’s interesting writing a book the way you can sink into the story, just like when you read. You picture everything around you and just write what you see in your mind and develop from there how you see things happening around you. It’s both immensely satisfying and terribly frustrating when you can sometimes see more than what you are able to put into words. I suppose this is a challenge for all newbie writers.

My frustrations with writing is simple there isn’t always enough time in the day to get done with the story as I’d like. I am a woman of little patience, and writing a book is always a test in my patience as I know you cannot hurry a good story. You must let it develop. You must let the reader get involved in the world you have created and if I haven’t done that then I’d say my book is failing. Patience, Melissa, I must remind myself it’s okay if you don’t finish your story within a day, or two, or a week. That final copy of the book that is so worth it to hold in your hand takes patience to reach!

Of course my other frustration being my grammatical errors with “there, their, and they’re” and others like “to and too.” It’s not that I don’t know the error, I am just usually not focused on grammar when involved in my story. In short, the editing phase of my stories are critical!

Because I have been so focused on my story, my Hubpages articles have suffered and I haven’t written anything new. I am going to see if I can pull out just one more story tonight for Hubpages before I get back to my book series.