Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Heretic, Rebel, a Thing to Flout: Chicago’s Anarco-pacifist Poet of the Streets—Joff...

Heretic, Rebel, a Thing to Flout: Chicago’s Anarco-pacifist Poet of the Streets—Joff...: Joffre Stewart in his winter garb, a stocking cap and old Army coat. Word went out last month a Joffre Stewart , perhaps the quintes...

Saturday, April 27, 2019

How You Can Support Author Maria J. Estrada #indiewriter #bookreview #freebies #postthelinksalready #bookreviewsareboss #yestotequila #prayers


Friday, March 22, 2019

Beta Cover Time!!! #barrioblues

I am really excited about the beta cover above, not because it's a masterpiece, but because I finally bought Photo Shop!  Actually, I bought the whole suite with a monthly subscription.  Well, as it turns out, I haven't completely lost my skills.  I was pretty good with the software over ten years ago, when I was a web designer.  Yeah, that too.  The program is a lot easier to use, but a class in graphic design wouldn't hurt.  I can take one for free this summer.  In any case, I can vastly improve all of the covers on my books, even with the skills I have. 

Enough of that.  About the cover design.  I decided to have the word Zona placed vertically because it’s more visually appealing.  The photo by lalesh aldarwish also has a macabre feel to it, which I like; I gave the artist a small donation because we artists have to stick together.  For the first time, I am incorporating a pull quote, but it needs more edge.  Would “A hero junkie will rise from the streets” draw you in as a reader?  I am not 100% sold on it, but I like where it is placed.

So, it's down to the wire, and I am going over my story "Zona 5" like a boss!  I also got great feedback regarding the dialogue of my characters and other aspects of the story.  I was told to have the narrator curse less, and I remembered the piece "Cold Little Bird."  The narrator can have edge and not curse like a sailor; the occasional expletive was enough.  I also decided to remove the swearing from the narration because it is not first-person point of view.  Anyway, I still love the story, which is why I need beta readers.  It's like dating someone for the first time, and everything is wonderful, wonderful. Ha ha ha.

Finally, I invite you once again to my first-ever virtual book-release party where I will be reading part of my story. The April 1 party will be Live Streamed via Facebook.  I also have author Todd Heldt lined up to speak at this first or my larger book party, tentatively scheduled for Saturday, April 13.  (It really depends on who is taking care of the kids, I think, as we both have small children.)  The second, April 13, party will be a hybrid face-to-face Live Streamed party because I am going to imbibe spirits after I read and really celebrate my book Not Your Abuelita's Folktales.  That is a book I plan to publish through Ingram and Amazon in the hopes that libraries will take it.

Well, have a great day getting perspective on your writing, even if it hurts.

Write, write, write and thank your support team!  #barrioblues.

Friday, February 08, 2019

Dialogue and Birthday Weekend Writing Goal #barrioblues

Yesterday morning, I was thinking about yesterday's dialogue lecture I gave to my creative writing students.  There was a lot of great advice in that lecture that I need to take or reaffirm.  Like, remember that less is more.  Dialogue should move the story along.  And of course, analyze the dialogue from favorite stories and novels (like Misery).  Sometimes going back to the basics is a great idea, especially when you are in a writing funk, which apparently I am in right now.  Again.

Regardless, this weekend, I have the grandiose goal of finishing my short story collection.  It's become grandiose because I have been making a big mountain out of my writing, instead of putting hard work into it and enjoying the process.

One of the issues with the last story is that the main character's overall desire is not clear.  She wants to go to college, but she is struggling financially, since her father abandoned her.  Maybe that could be her goal, getting to college.  She is also dealing with the bullshit of being a teenager and social pressures to lose her virginity.

Anyway, I'm going to write through the muck because it's not a word vomit sort of day.  I am also going to evaluate my writing schedule; I haven't been getting up to write at 3a.m. like I have in the past, and when I was getting up, I was too tired to write because of my regular job.  Evening writing is out of the question, so I may have to start getting up at 5a.m. and just work for an hour because evenings are almost impossible, since I make dinner for the kids and grade papers or read.  We will see.

(And just like that I produced about five more pages.  Thank God!)

Write through the muck or migraines or children making noise like you have 20 instead of 2. #barrioblues

Follow My Goodreads Author Site for My Birthday #barrioblues

Do you Goodreads?  It's the day before I level up!  Follow my Goodreads author site.

I'm shooting for 20 followers this month.  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18132635.Maria_J_Estrada

I follow back.  Thank you!