Juggling Flaming Sticks

I’m still trying to figure out writing as a career. It’s one thing to do it as a hobby, but a totally different animal to try to make a living out of it (you may thank me now, fans of the obvious.) Not that I’m trying to make a living from it. Yet. Here are some of my thoughts…


It’s one thing to talk about writing. I need to actually produce.

  • Write fiction every day, whether I feel like it or not
  • Try different avenues (non-fiction, audio, and so forth)
  • Keep up with my craft (study, research, and talk to other writers)


Over the past few years, I’ve been slowly trying to establish an online presence. To be honest, I need to ramp that up a bit. Here are some things I’m considering:

  • Blogging oftener
  • Starting an e-newsletter (quarterly)
  • Commenting oftener and on more blogs
  • Following more blogs
  • Facebook-ing and Tweeting oftener and with more intentional posts
  • Researching what does and doesn’t work for online sales
  • Following more people on Twitter

Lady Catherine Says: 365 Tweets of Condescension goes into print this December (2017.) My editor is working on the last twenty pages, and I need to give my cover artist a nudge. That’s been on my mind, and it’s important. But I need to have a plan in advance for AFTER (and more before) the release if I want the book to sell. Here are some of my plans:

  • Book signings
  • Book reviewers
  • Ads on Jane Austen sites (partner with one to sell copies?)
  • Book launch (in person and online)
  • Book tour (?)

Then there’s the ideas on the back burners, percolating; the projects I’m writing; the projects I’m editing; and the projects I’m looking for a homes for. Lots going on in a very small kitchen.

Any advice for me? I’m all ears!

Keep your pen on the page,


Monday Disguised as Friday

Today has not been the best day in the Bethverse. I won’t go into details, but it feels like a Monday. And I know how you all hate Mondays. *insert collective groan here*

Here’s a lame-butt attempt at a drawing to cheer us all up:


*insert collective screams here*

Yeah. Nothing done for Camp NaNowriMo. But I did manage to get some more lyric-age approved for sale on Songbay. Here’s my profile: S.M. Tinker. Oh, and I edited a little, so win?

Keep your pen on the page,


Sing a Song of Sixpence…


Both of my lyrics made it through evaluations and are now available for sale on the Songbay website. Woot! Here’s a link to my profile: Beth’s Profile.

Other news? Well, In a Pickle is still 99 cents on Amazon…

Other, other news? I heard from a developmental editor for one of the anthologies I’m part of. Waiting for her to send me edits *bites nails*

Life has been kind of slow and distracted and weird, and that’s okay. I just don’t want it to stay this way, you know?

Anyway, hope you’re all surviving the summer/winter!

Keep your pen on the page,



I have news, dear readers…and I know how you like news 😉

I’ve had two short stories accepted for publication by two separate (print) anthologies! The Captive should come out from Spark in a few months. The other story is called Dial E For Evil, and it’ll appear in Mighty Quill Books’ anthology entitled It Came From the Boiler Room. I think I’m okay saying that. The contracts have been signed and turned in. Le gulp.

Other news: As you can see from my sidebar, I’ve joined a site called Songbay. It’s a site where artists can sell their lyrics and music. I have two songs that I submitted to the site. If they make it through evaluation, they’ll be for sale in the next day or so.

Is anyone doing Camp NaNoWriMo? I signed up, but I haven’t started yet–gulp!

Keep your pen on the page,



Stop. Drawing Time.

Guess which drawing is out of my head and which is loosely copied from a picture/painting:


002The Lighthouse Keeper


006The Shadow Thief or Swilling Moonlight


Let my heart be drunk on poetry, my mind eased into silence by the caress of paper worlds, and my hands glow with the distilment of inky nonsense.

Keep your pen on the page,


What Not to Do When You’re Rejected

There is an art to hearing no. I’ve posted about it before. But this post will be different. Here area few things I’ve witnessed that are no-noes when you hear no from a publisher or agent:

  1. Trash them on social media or your blog. (Quick way to get blacklisted, and yes, there is a blacklist.)
  2. Send them pestering emails to ask them why. (Best to take the no and try elsewhere.)
  3. Complain about getting rejected online. (Gets you labelled pretty quickly as a whiner. And, yes, I do whine sometimes. Trying to get better about that 🙂 )
  4. Leave 1-star reviews on books they represent/publish that you haven’t even read. (There’s some debate about writers leaving anything less than a 5-star review, but that’s a different conversation for a different time.)
  5. Give up. (Remember: It only takes one yes, the RIGHT yes to turn things around.)

Rooting for ya. Keep your pen on the page,


Chuck Sambuchino Lectures: Notes on the Publishing/Writing Business

Last Saturday, I attended a writer’s symposium on publishing. The lecturer? Chuck Sambuchino of Writer’s Digest fame. Here are a few of things I took away from his lectures, things I haven’t done/been doing/even thought of:

  1. Build an email list (I used to have one for an e-newsletter, but didn’t realize that places like MailChimp publish your physical address at the end of each newsletter. Yeah, will be getting a P.O. box.)
  2. Set goals/expectations for your books (re-evaluate as necessary for each book you plan on publishing. Be specific and realistic about what you want.)
  3. Query 20% max. of agents on your query list at a time (if your query letter stinks, you don’t want to send it out to 100% at once! They all will say no. Agents ALWAYS read the query letter. Give yourself the opportunity to rewrite.)
  4.  Be specific. Avoid generalities about your plot and characters when pitching your book. (This should be obvious, but I’m guilty.)
  5. If you do the comp. title thing, don’t compare your book to: anything overseas (no Girl With the Dragon Tattoo), any A-list books (as in Harry Potter; aim for the middle), anything older than ten years.

Mr. Sambuchino is an engaging speaker, filling his talk with real-life examples. Also, after getting to have lunch with him and my friends, he showed himself to be personable and nice. That’s important: People will be more likely to forge connections/buy your books if you’re nice. A meanie? That’s an instant turn-off.

Main takeaway: Don’t be above your audience. Remember: No matter how high you climb, they are still your customers, your patrons. And you are only ever one wrong tweet or viral Facebook post from being shunned.

Give the help you wanted to receive when you were where they are. You might just be helping the next great 21st-century author 😉

Keep your pen on the page,


Happy Thoughts

One thing I’ve learned as someone who suffers from OCD and depression is that watching your thoughts is one of the best things you can do for yourself. I mean, with OCD you can’t always helps what comes into your head. BUT, you can choose to add positive thoughts into the mix. This positive mindset influences mood and how you see yourself.

But lately, I’ve been slipping. Telling lies to myself. Beating myself up over the littlest thing. It’s not healthy, and that unhealthiness will absolutely creep into your professional life. Everything is connected, to quote Dirk Gently.

Here are some things I tell myself:

  • You’re worthless
  • No one likes you
  • You’re a terrible writer
  • You’re a terrible person

Here is how to combat those words…with the opposite, POSITIVE reality:

  • Your worth comes from God, whose image you were made in; your worth is priceless
  • You have friends who love and care about you
  • You are not a terrible writer; you are learning, growing writer
  • You, like any person, have good and bad behaviors. Choose to focus on the good, ask forgiveness for the bad.

Maybe that’s part of where getting untangled from writer’s block starts: in the mind.

What are your thoughts? I hope you’re thinking good things.

Keep your pen on the page,


Good Friday Post

Hello, lovely people of the internet!

Progress with the goblets novel is being made, slowly but surely. I shall finish this. I shall. I’ve been using Pacemaker for writers now for about a week. My daily goal is rather small, but if I keep to it, I will reach my desired word count goal on Halloween of this year.

I also need to add <11,000 words to the women’s fiction project. It’s slow going. I think I should really focus on one project at a time, but everything’s drawing me in like, “Ooh! I am shiny. Pick me! PICK ME!” Rawr.

AND, to top that all off, I got bitten by another plot bunny. Really need to give my muse the old Bob Barker treatment, if you know what I mean 😉

Have a blessed Good Friday. Remember: Sunday is coming.

Keep your pen on the page,