Archive for March, 2012
Just a bit of ‘net etiquette when it comes to judging unpublished manuscripts or published books in contests…
If you agree to judge a writing contest, please hold off on announcing which manuscript or book you’ve judged via a review or rating or comment at any of the tons of sites and social networks out there until AFTER the finalists have been announced. Judging packets usually include an indication of when the finalists will be notified and many judging packets (indeed most of the packets for contests I’ve judged) explicitly state not to discuss scores in the preliminary rounds. This is certainly a huge stipulation in the RITAs, RWA’s annual contest for published novels. And it’s the case in pretty much every RWA chapter contest in which I’ve participated as a judge.
Please note that I don’t have an issue with reviews, and I don’t have an issue with ratings. When it comes to published books, I don’t even have an issue with reviews or ratings that are posted before contest finalists are announced. After all, in order for the author to enter a contest for published novels, the novel has to have been published already, and whoever has read it certainly has the right to make their opinions about the book known.
However, when a judge points out that they judged the book in a particular contest and that contest is still on-going…it kind of takes the fun and anticipation out of the contest for the author.
Okay, so we don’t really enter writing contests for fun. We enter them to get judged—and hopefully make the finals. Judging occurs during the contest, and it can certainly occur on a public forum in the form of a review or rating. Just please make sure not to say where and why you read the book if contest finalists have not been announced.
And that’s my PSA for today!
I’ve been holding onto this information for weeks! I sold Greek translation rights for BORROWING ALEX to Anubis Publications in Athens for publication in mass market paperback and ebook for distribution in Greece and Cyprus. As you can tell, I’m super excited that BORROWING ALEX has found its first foreign market.
Essentially, this will be the first time one of my books will be published in mass market format rather than the larger and more expensive trade paperback format. The print run for the comic book edition of HEAD OVER HEELS was larger than the Greek print run for BORROWING ALEX, and comic books are a form of mass market, but the Greek edition of BORROWING ALEX will be the first time one of my books will appear in narrative form in mass market—just in another language.
What makes it more fun is that a friend of mine also sold one of her books to Anubis. I’ll let her out herself, if she happens to read this blog post. We didn’t find out until a week or so ago that we had both been approached.
Everything has happened so fast since I was contacted by the publisher a month or so ago. Oh, it might have been January. I had several hoops to jump through to prove to the Greek authorities that I am a Canadian citizen for tax purposes for 2012, so I won’t be double-taxed. Every sale to a different country comes with its own learning curve, and the Greek sale was no exception. Unlike when I sold HEAD OVER HEELS to Japan and only needed to fill out a form and basically certify myself, for Greece I had to get Revenue Canada to write a letter on official letterhead stating that I am a Canadian resident for tax purposes, and I also had to get a Revenue Canada representative to fill out and sign a Hellenic tax form. Turns out you can do this all through the mail, but I had no idea how long it would take to accomplish. I received the letter from Revenue Canada quicker than anticipated, and yesterday I sent off all the paperwork for tax purposes to the manager of Anubis Publications.
Like with the Japanese sale of HEAD OVER HEELS, the sale of BORROWING ALEX came out of the blue, as a result of Anubis first approaching Amber Quill Press, which published the first edition of BORROWING ALEX. So if anyone has questions about how to go about finding foreign markets for books for which you hold those rights, alas, I don’t have the answers. I would like to get my books into more foreign markets, so this is something I will have to investigate sooner or later.
For now, I’m thrilled that the Greek translation has been accomplished, and apparently I should be receiving my author copies soon. When I do, I’ll post the cover.
Today I’m at the RomCon Contemporary blog providing a Sneak Peak at WHERE SHE BELONGS. At RomCon, you can also enter to win a free copy of the audiobook. So if you didn’t win yesterday’s draw on my blog, have no fear. You have a second chance.
Yes, I know, I’m generosity itself.
P.S. It takes a few moments for the site to load from the links in this blog post. Have patience! It will load.
The audiobook of WHERE SHE BELONGS releases today from AudioLark and is available from the AudioLark website as well as Audible, iTunes and Overdrive (fine print – I don’t know if it’s available from the third party distributors TODAY or in a few days, but I will update this post with links as I find out.)
I’m celebrating by giving away a copy of the audiobook (8 hours and 6 minutes of listening pleasure). All you have to do is leave a comment for this post and you’re entered. Entries will be accepted until midnight tonight. You can listen to a short demo at the AudioLark website. Sooner or later I’ll get around to posting the demo to my website, but not today—I’m too busy celebrating!
Tomorrow morning, I’ll choose a winner through computer-generated random draw and contact the lucky person by email with instructions for how to download the book. Don’t worry about leaving your email address in the comments section. I’m the only person with access to the comments and email addresses on my dashboard, and I do not harvest email addresses for newsletters or whatever other drivel I might wish to foist upon you (but I’m Canadian, so I won’t and don’t). If you want to sign up for my newsletter, you gotta do it yourself (easy-peasy link on my Contact page).
Also, please note that only comments left at Muse Interrupted (ie. my blog) qualify as entries for the audiobook give-away. If you’re reading this post through a feed at Facebook, Amazon, Goodreads, Twitter or another social network, please note that you need to leave your comment on my blog to enter.
If you want to read the story blurb, check out this post.
Thank you for your support and good luck!
For those interested in the upside and drawbacks of SBK laser eye surgery!
Today I spoke to the clinic that did my surgery in December. The bad news is that if my eyes remain at 20/30 vision (which means my distance eye can see at 20 feet what a healthy eye can see at 30 feet), then my prescription won’t be “bad enough” (meaning my cornea or lens or whatever they operate on isn’t thick enough) to qualify for a touch-up. If I get a touch-up with 20/30 vision, there’s a chance I might lose the distance vision I have. So…I might have no choice but to suck it up and get glasses for driving and walking the dog (when I feel the need for the latter).
The good news is that I’m only at the three month recovery point, and my eyes might improve before the six month point that they have to wait before performing any touch-ups, anyway. The likelihood that my distance vision will improve when it has been steadily declining since the day after the surgery…I don’t know what the likelihood is, but I don’t have a lot of confidence that it will improve. However, I did go through that heavy bout of dryness, so I’m holding out hope that my vision will improve.
Also, it might take 7 or 8 months before my vision has stabilized. Now I understand why the clinic provides free touch-ups up to two years after the surgery.
I’m in a wait-and-see mode. But I do feel better about it after talking to the clinic consultant on the phone this morning. I am really nervous about losing the distance vision that I have achieved, so…we shall “see,” haha.
By the way, I just heard about a type of contact lens that you wear only at night, and it reshapes the cornea so that you can see during the day. That sounds pretty cool. Maybe that’s something that will work for me. Or I could suck it up and get driving glasses and then fake that I can read street signs while walking the dog.
Over time, you do get used to not being able to see as well as you could with contacts or glasses. That doesn’t mean I’m happy about it, you understand.
Now, tomorrow is the release date of the audio book of WHERE SHE BELONGS! That’s some news I can get behind. I’m holding a celebratory party and give-away TOMORROW on the blog. So pop back here Tuesday, March 20th and leave a comment in the post that will go live on Tuesday, March 20th, and you’ll be entered to win a copy of the audio book. Note, comments left on this post don’t qualify for the contest. Just tomorrow’s post. So be sure to check back.
Note, you can comment on this post and tell me to suck it up, or say, “Poor Cindy,” but the random number generator which will choose the winner of the audio book unfortunately will not be affected one way or the other.
I just returned from my three-month post-op follow-up after having SBK laser eye surgery on December 16th. I’m doing the follow-ups with a local optometrist, because I didn’t want to drive in the winter to the clinic in another town where the surgery was performed.
My dryness issues have improved a lot since the one-month point. I began experimenting with eye drops rather than just sticking with those recommended to me, and what I’ve discovered is that I need drops with either mineral oil or castor oil in them. Those work the best for me.
I also dug out an old humidifier and put it in my office. I run it when I’m working in here. This is especially important if you live in a dry area, and we had a very dry winter. If I had it to do over again, I would not recommend having laser eye surgery in the middle of December if you live in a dry climate. However, I had no way of knowing how dry December and January would be. The typical March weather we’re having now, I’d have the laser surgery in a minute.
If you’ve been following my posts, it’s obvious I haven’t been happy with my distance vision (I had mono vision, and the left eye, my reading eye, is a marvel). At the three-month point, I have 20/30 vision. I was told at the one month point that I would probably need glasses for driving long distances at night. “Forget long distances,” I told the optometrist today. “I don’t feel safe driving to the corner store at night.”
I haven’t tried a lot of night driving since having the surgery, because one episode of twilight driving freaked me out. But last week I had to go sit with a relative for a few hours, and the only way to get there was to drive. I realized I need glasses to drive short distances at night. At night, I should always wear driving glasses.
That would be okay, but I feel the need for glasses even driving during the day. Road signs swoop down on me, and that’s not good when you’re looking for directions. Around my own town, if I’m just doing the grocery shopping, etc., then it’s okay. But toss in some rain or anything other than bright sun, and I’m nervous.
Then, several days ago, I went to the mall. And realized I needed glasses in the freaking mall. Either that or squint so I could see the stores coming up. And I already have “natural” squint lines (ie. from age). I don’t need them getting any deeper!
The most aggravating part, though, is feeling the need for glasses when I’m walking the dog. Again, this comes down to an acuity issue. I can see landscape, but letters on roadsigns are where I have an issue, depending on their size.
Thankfully, my local optometrist agreed with me and has asked the laser eye clinic to give me a call. We’ll discuss my options. I’m hoping for a “touch-up,” but you have to wait at least six months, to give your eyes enough time to properly heal.
So while my optometrist was thinking (at the one month point) that he would give me a prescription for “occasional” night time driving glasses, he now understands why I’m not happy with my distance vision. Hey, SBK is expensive. If the clinic can help me achieve better results with a touch-up, I’m all over that action. And this time I’ll know what to expect in terms of pain as your eyes thaw and in terms of dryness. I know which products work for me and which are better left to someone else’s eyes.
So…I’m happy. I mean, in a perfect world, I would not WANT a repeat of laser eye surgery. That wasn’t my goal going in. My goal was to be clapping and jumping up and down because I was so pleased with my vision.
That’s still my goal. I just haven’t met it…yet.
The WHERE SHE BELONGS audiobook will release from AudioLark March 20th! Mark your calendars. I have some news I’ll announce closer to that date. Let’s just say you’ll want to visit the blog on March 20th. 😉 And again March 21st.
I have the audio cover and story blurb. They differ from the Five Star Expressions cover and back cover blurb, because Five Star owns the art. So AudioLark produces its own versions.
Jess Morgan will never return to Destiny Falls.
Nine years ago, a logging accident near the remote timber town killed her dad and her high school sweetheart. Despite Jess’s broken heart, her mother immediately sought comfort with another man. That choice tore Jess apart and drove her to seek a life far away. Now she’s successful and happily settled in Toronto.
Or is she?
When her stepfather dies, Jess can no longer stay away from home. Her plan is simple; visit just long enough to persuade her mom to come live with her. Surely healing the rift between them will fill the emptiness she’s felt for far too long. But when she lands in Destiny Falls, someone unexpected is waiting for her at the airport.
Adam plans to live in Destiny Falls forever. He loves every aspect of small-town living and his job that takes him regularly into the bush. He remembers Jess as a cute teenager who hung around with his little cousin, so when he’s asked to pick her up at the local airport, he’s not prepared for the polished woman who steps off the plane.
Soon Adam’s happiness is more wrapped up in Jess than his home or work, but while he could give up everything and move back to Toronto with her, he senses that won’t make either of them happy. How can he get her to give Destiny Falls a second chance?
It will take a combined effort from everyone in town who loves Jess Morgan, plus a little charm from the local landscape itself, to convince her to rethink her future plans.
The audiobook will be available not only on the AudioLark website, but on Audible, iTunes and Overdrive. I’m very excited that there won’t be a lag time with the third-party distributors with this audiobook!
I have other news, this time regarding BORROWING ALEX, but I’m holding off on announcing it until I receive a certain something in the mail. I’ve been sitting on this news forever. If I don’t announce this week, I’m hoping I can announce next week. We’ll see.
So…blog lurkers…what’s up in your neck of the woods?
Except it’s March 1st.
Leap Day decided to take advantage and literally tack a day onto February. You know what, though? We’ve had a fairly snow-less winter, so I don’t mind. It’s been cold and very dry at times, but the majority of the snow hit us post-December. Now, if it’s still like this in two weeks, I’ll be whining: