8. Vlog Time · Lazy Sunday

Lazy Sunday #13 & Vlog Time #67 – Getting Back In A Rhythm

Well let’s be honest still struggling with the rhythm otherwise you would have got the vlog on Friday, however it was actually filmed in time this week I just forgot to edit it then there was writing, and football, and the day job, well you get the drift.

So it is Sunday and I have been up since silly o’clock despite the monster having a lie in, why is it when they finally do lie in you are always wide awake, I have had a coffee and now have a diet coke opened, however I have invested in some different Twinings herbal infusion things to try including the nettle one which the monster really wants to try after I told him all about nettle tea, I will be more careful what I talk about on the walk to school in future. I don’t actually like tea, and I have always had a mental block when it comes to the fruit tea type things but I am trying really hard to think of them as fruit infusions, if you want to take a peek at the range you can find them here.

I just went and made myself a pomegranate and raspberry infusion so lets get a move on with this weeks blog posts and I will let you know how I do with it once it cools a little…

  1. The first blog I am sharing today is by someone whose black out poetry always blows me away but today’s selection from sharing is an update and a reminder that sometimes you have to walk away from a project to be able to come back with fresh eyes and enthusiasm https://cbwentworth.wordpress.com/2016/06/06/back-to-the-novel-front/
  2. This blog has featured here a couple of times for various reasons, today there are four reasons this post qualifies, first she is the only person I know who takes as many photos as I do when she goes places, secondly she goes to quite a few stately homes I have not visited yet so I can see them through her eyes, thirdly the bakery van reminds me of when I was a kid growing up in the village and we actually used to have one come round (slightly bigger it was in the back of a box van, you stepped in and it was lined with shelves) and the final reason there is a dalek, need I say more? https://lucywilliamspoetry.wordpress.com/2016/06/05/lucys-diary-05062016/
  3. Now this one is actually something I should do, it would make so much more sense to organise the people I follow into authors, Doctor Who related, charity related, celebs etc just need to find the time, maybe this post will give me the final push https://mundusmediaink.com/2016/06/06/get-organized-with-twitter-lists/
  4. Book covers are becoming a big business, everyday I see more people who have just grasped the basics of photo-shop launching themselves as cover artists but I believe that some of the best covers are those that authors turned cover artists create and non more so than this lady, I maybe bias because she did the Voices cover for me but I am in the process of buying a design from her for The Dragon’s Mark so when I recommend her you know I am putting my money where my mouth is https://msfowle.wordpress.com/2016/06/11/new-covers-at-melchelle-designs/
  5. The final one is a little different, I love the idea of interior design, of course the reality with pets and kids will never be those rooms looking back from magazine pages but this blog is actually a really great way to take a peek at how those rooms get designed, about the influences in colour choice and design, this post is about the influence colour in nature has in the design world https://valentinaexpressions.com/2016/06/10/bring-nature-in-flirtatious-mix-valentina-cirasola-interior-designer/

So before I go let me tell you this infusion smells great, however it tastes strange warm to me and I can’t help think it might taste better ice cold, I might leave a little and try it that way later just to see, but I think this might be ne I could get used to drinking in time. So now a quick vlog and then I shall see you next week…

Editing · Marketing · WIP Wednesday

The Hard Work Starts When The Writing Is Done

When you get an idea for a story, when you feel inspired by the voices in your head to sit and write, your biggest challenge is getting your fingers to keep up with the words. You sit and hammer on the keyboard as fast as you can, hundreds if not thousands of words flowing from you at each sitting. Eventually you reach the end and then the real work starts.

I think it is fair to say right now I hate editing, I am more or less in the process of editing voices from one document to another because despite hitting a clear formatting button something is wrong with the file and it keeps resetting things I don’t want. To be fair this is working in my favour in the long run though as with each pass I am doing I am picking up on more silly errors. You know the type, the silly typos spell-check misses because nothing is spelt wrong you just intended to type on and ended up with no. But even this is not the hardest bit, because you know this is the necessary evil you have to go through to get that book out there.

The hardest part for most of us is the next stage.

You have your book, it looks all pretty, you have editing, double checked, banged your head against the wall, edited again, bought proof copies, spotted a couple of error you still missed and fixed them, then you hit the publish button and any confidence you had disappears.

You now have to sell your book, it sounds so simple, Twitter is full of people selling books but be honest how often have you every clicked on a link? You share to your Facebook page but unless you have already got a few books out there selling well most of the people seeing the posts are friends who either believe you should give them a copy for free or they want to support you but they are not really interested in buying or reading your books. Even when you do a give-away and people read it so few leave reviews that it makes it impossible to bump your books up the Amazon logistics chain to get it to a point where they get recommended.

Amazon are also now taking away the cheque option for payment, no I admit the idea of waiting until you have earned enough to receive a cheque was frustrating but more frustrating is trying to find a bank account here in the UK where you will not end up paying the bank more than you are receiving from Amazon.  The cheapest one I have now found is going to cost me £2 for each overseas payment received which means I need to earn at least that each months from book sales before I cover the costs and that goes for each market.  I don’t know if the decision to change this policy was due to people taking too long to earn enough to receive the cheque and it was messing up Amazon’s books or whether it is a way to reduce the number of people who decide to self publish but it does mean that instead of moving on to the next project the amount of time taken up doing marketing will have to increase.

Of course it is not all doom and gloom if you can just stick at it and increase the number of titles you have out there up for sale, and that is may aim for the next six months, life is going to get hectic and I might miss out on some of the summer sun by being sat at my desk but I want this enough to make those sacrifices.

Does the change to the way Amazon pays effect you? Any tips for marketing?

A - Z Challenge 2016

A – Z Challenge 2016, C is for…

Cis for Cox, Robert, and maybe for con?

Does it matter who the artist is if you love a painting, surely it shouldn’t? I bought two paintings twenty years ago from a second hand market stall, I got them both for £25, bargain. But being the curious creature I am with the internet came the chance to research them and try to find the artist. The first had a dodgy signature, hard to make out but was done in a French impressionist/Monet-ish style, research uncovered it was the work of a group of artists working under a banner name to mass produce the paintings for mass market sale, I didn’t care I like it. The second was clearly marked Robert Cox, my initial attempts found nothing then I would find the odd painting on Ebay or listed as for sale with an auction house but still nothing. Then I came across a few posts like this one…

I found several paintings by this artist at a local thrift shop. I also found the biography below on several sites. I think this may be some sort of a scam or perhaps similar to the many “Burnett” paintings from Mexico. All of the paintings in the local shop bore the stamp of “Creative Interiors” and “Hecho en Mexico”. I could not find Robert Cox with the birth and death dates given below in either the Social Security Death Index or in the California Death Index. I could find no mention of a company called “Mayhew Peakes”. There is a Katherine Gibbs School, but it appears to be a 2 year college. The Art Workers Coalition was founded in New York City in 1969, seven years after Cox supposedly moved to California, and only existed until 1971. The only mention I can find for the Brown Hammerson Medal of Honour (or Honor) is in this biography.


“Born on July 14th, 1934 in Mt Holly, New Jersey, he studied at the Katharine Gibbs School of Art from 1953 until 1956 before joining Mayhew Peakes Inc. as a graphic designer. Dissatisfied with his progress he resigned in 1962 and moved to California where he married Marjorie in 1966. The new Californian environment gave him unrestricted floral subjects for his painting and he painted furiously to make up for the lost time he felt he had spent in Philadelphia. It was important to him that art was available to the general public. He appreciated that most people could not afford thousands of Dollars for original works and, often to his own financial detriment, he strived to keep his sale prices low.

Although generally shy and unassuming, he was a founder member of the Art Workers Coalition and very active in promoting the rights of artists. He was awarded the Brown Hammerson Medal of Honour for services to art in 1986.

One of the most prolific painters of the 1970s and 1980s, Robert Cox established a huge reputation in the United States for his almost neo-Victorian style and his early adoption of the pallet knife in creating stylised flowers. His work is represented in many American museums, galleries and private collections as well as having been frequently exported to Europe and Australia and has been auctioned at Christies, Bonhams and Cheffins.

Robert Cox died on June 18th, 2001 in Escondido, California after a long illness. His wife, Marjorie, and his daughters, Kate and Ginny, survived him.”

I found this summary on Robert Cox’s bio  here, and I have to say I pretty much agree with his assessment. The question is does it matter? $_57

So this first painting I found on Ebay just for comparison purposes ‘Pink Roses in a Brown Vase’ the paintings are all floral arrangements and one could take that as evidence of the ‘scam’ in itself, after all surely a painter would paint other things not just sit day after day painting the same things, secondly the sheer volume of paintings out there suggests one man could not be responsible for them all.

I found around fifty just on the UK Ebay site ranging in price from £45 to £300 buy it now, the frames range from plain brown to highly ornate gold frames, personally I think mine had been in a more ornate frame and that the frame was taken to be used for something else and it was re-framed in a plain one just because the framing is not done very well and is not as well centred as many others seem to be. This is my painting…

Blue flowers Oil on Canvas by Robert Cox
Blue flowers Oil on Canvas by Robert Cox

The fact is it does not matter if a painting or a book is created for mass enjoyment rather than for a small group of academics to enjoy, what matter is that the individual finds pleasure in it, when I saw it along with the other painting at the second hand market I was not thinking I wonder what this would be worth, I saw it and thought I want that, I love it. Of course I worry a group of what could be incredibly talented painters are locked in a room somewhere being forced to paint vases of flowers from morning till night but is it any different to those who work in ceramic factories hand painting designs over and over again, maybe doing this during the day covers the bills so they can paint stunning sunsets for their own pleasure or under their own name.

The going rate for both the paintings I bought for £25 for the pair is £200 based on the size and subject/colour would I ever sell them nope not if you offered me double that amount, they were bought for the pleasure looking at them gives me and an authors name does not change that.

7. Sunday · Lazy Sunday

Lazy Sunday #2

I have discovered my new hob top kettle takes longer to boil than the old electric one but there is something exciting about hearing that whistle that signals coffee time has arrived.

This mornings brew is once more a double choca-mocha, one of my favourites but has been set aside for just a little while as I consumed my porridge. I am trying very hard at the minute to actually eat breakfast when I get up not an hour later, this is something I struggle with, I am not a morning person.

Breakfast eaten I put the empty pot to one side and begin reading blogs, mug in hand, I read, smile, hit the like button and begin the task of deciding which posts I shall share this week, I search through my inbox for the couple I spotted during the week that grabbed my attention and I marked with a star so I could find them again.

So let us begin with this weeks choices…

  1. I love photo blogs, they say a picture says a thousand words but it can also show a thousand worlds, places I will never travel to, moments that can never be reproduced. I will never go on a camel ride through the desert, that it not self pity or a complaint that finances will not allow but a reality that with my dodgy back, even if I won the lottery tomorrow (reminds me I must check last nights tickets lol) I could possibly manage to get on one and sit for a few minutes but never travel great distances, my back simply would not take it. I have ridden horses in my life time and would love to do that again but from people I know that have ridden on a camel the ride is a little bumpier and harder on the body, but there will always be a part of me that would like to imagine that journey across the desert, though of course the fell provisioned tourist experience not the starving explorer version. You can see some great photos here https://exxtracts.wordpress.com/2016/02/20/camel-ride/
  2. I want to wish the lovely Cara a happy blogiversary! Those of you who have followed me for a while know I do have a little bit of a naughty side, and though I could never write erotica I do read it occasionally and I love the way Cara writes, I only wish I could wave a magic wand and give her the confidence in her own work that the rest of us have in it, then maybe she would post the rest of the Hunter story I was loving that she suddenly stopped hint hint you can wish her a happy blogiversary here and explore her blog a little more if you enjoy writing that gets the blood pumping in more ways than one lol https://closed2.wordpress.com/2016/02/27/happy-blog-iversary/
  3. Next up is a blog post with a video embedded, if your coffee is running low you might want to go refill before you start on this post. Sandra’s enthusiasm is contagious, I have no idea how she manages to juggle so many things at the same time but this post focuses on one of aspect of her life and interests, asexuality. Until Sandra started talking about it I really did not get what they meant by asexuality and I will be honest I can not really comprehend not having those feelings (just consider my previous share) but as she says everyone in individual and I think part of that is accepting that we do not have to fully understand everyone else but we should respect their differences https://quirkybooks.wordpress.com/2016/02/25/new-asexualise-com-website-coming-soon-update-and-news/
  4. The next one is from my dear friend Rhonda, now she is lots of things, a great friend, hilariously funny at times but she has a way with words that can also evoke such deep feelings from within, I grew up thousands of miles away from the place she is describing but that nostalgia and feeling of being connected to a place resonates with me every time I take a trip back to the village I grew up in where my parents still live, if I had to pick a negative about Rhonda it would be that bloody woman just does not write enough and needs a kick up the butt to make her post more often lol http://50-shades-of-gray-hair.com/2016/02/23/home-is-where-you-learn-to-walk/
  5. I don’t always read the next blog in order and do occasionally wonder if I miss out not reading it that way but as it states the stories are disconnected so I don’t feel too bad dipping in and out and each is in a way its own little vignette, I love the fact the blog is both visual and imaginative and am awed by the talent of Cheryl https://cherylmoore.wordpress.com/2016/02/24/unbound-boxes-limping-gods-disconnected-stories-issue-231-alexand-merek-part-13/
  6. Final one for today and if you have not already refilled your cup you will want to for this one, it is a flash fiction which leads you down a path but lets you chose which fork in the road you want to take at the end, I won’t say here which I took but if you want to come back in comments and tell me what you thought we can discuss it there https://janerisdon.wordpress.com/2016/02/19/the-letter-flash-fiction-by-jane-risdon-c-2013/

So my cup is empty and I need to wash it up before playing fetch with the dog in the garden for a while, I won’t let him bring his favourite ball in the house, it is a grubby leather football he has punctured a dozen times over but it is his favourite so I resist the urge to bin it for now. The I shall do a load of washing, tiddy the house a little before heading back here to the desk to write tomorrows blog post and do a little creating.

Enjoy your Sunday and please let me know if you enjoy these blogs I have shared with you xxx