Well-travelled Nuts

From Hawaii to Minnesota…My husband and I went on a Hawaiian cruise at the end of February. One of the stops we hit was the Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Farm and Factory. We bought six boxes of chocolate-covered macadamia nuts to bring home. One of those boxes was for my son.

From Minnesota to Germany to Africa…At the time, my son was deployed to Africa. I sent him a care package with food and items he requested. I included the box of macadamia nuts. As it turned out, his deployment ended early. The care package with the nuts arrived on the day he left.

From Africa to Germany to California…The care package was sent in the next crate with their equipment back to California. I’m happy to say, after travelling thousands of miles, my son received his care package in August—six months later. The gift box of well-travelled nuts was finally opened.

Mauna Loa Package

Beth M James

Author of novels based on strong characters and elements of romance.

http://www.bethmjames.com

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New Book Release – The Calling’s Return

I’m happy to announce the release of my latest book “The Calling’s Return.” This is the third book to the “Dream or Reality” series. Like the first two, this book promises conflict, action, and jealousy when the two worlds collide. Will Jessie or Jezamina find herself?

TheCallingsReturnJPeg

 

eBook and Print are available on Amazon.

Lessons Learned: Editing Your Manuscript Before Publishing

The last few months I’ve spent hands down on the computer getting my next book “The Calling’s Return” completed. Writing the story is the easy part. Edits are the tedious part, but the most important task to do when publishing a book.

Once the story is written, I go through two edits before I send the manuscript to my editor. When she gets the manuscript, she will review/edit three times.

At the high level, the manuscript is read to determine if the story flows, if the scene makes sense, or if there’s anything missing. Is the right POV being used? Is there enough dialogue mixed in with description? Are the characters true to life?

And then there’s the detail level. This is where sentence structure is reviewed, if the right word is used, and if the sentence makes sense. This includes making sure no space is used after the period at the end of the paragraph and that each chapter title and spacing is consistent throughout the book.

Don’t think that you can skip this part. You can’t. Someone else has to review/edit your manuscript. And once the editor is done with her/his review, you need to review it again. I’ve read published books from traditional publishers with unacceptable errors (double words, cut sentences). Minor errors do occur, it’s hard to catch everything, but they should be few and far in between.

Edits are an important part of publishing a book, especially for self-published authors. And for me, I’m almost done with “The Calling’s Return” edits. My editor is on the final review, and then I’ll review one more time.

Beth M James

Novels based on strong characters and elements of romance.

http://www.bethmjames.com

Killing Malmon

 

In the last month, I read “Killing Malmon” featuring 30 Authors…One Victim. The book is edited by Dan and Kate Malmon and benefits MS. This was my bedtime story book, and I enjoyed reading the short stories on how to kill Dan. I’m sure Kate was fascinated too –  she’s Dan’s wife!

Killing Malmon

Killing Malmon

Kate has MS and this is their way of helping the MS Society by donating the royalties earned from their book to the cause. The stories are pretty creative and it’s amazing how many different ways you can kill one person! There’s a mix of humor, drama, jealousy, and total crime. If you have a chance, check out the book. Great stories and a great cause!

Lessons Learned: To Do List

Yesterday I had a lot that I wanted to get done. I really wanted to work on my book edits, but I also knew that I had quite a few writing and household tasks that had (or I wanted) to do as well. And when I get overloaded, bringing on superwoman and do everything in a single day, I end up being less productive. I do the famous start one thing and then move on to the next without finishing the first.

Yesterday I decided to create a list to make sure that I gave myself time to edit and do other tasks. I know this sounds nerdy, but my list started like this:

  1. Edit 1-2 pages
  2. Get ready for the day
  3. Menu plan
  4. Edit 1-2 pages
  5. Eat breakfast
  6. Start laundry
  7. Edit 1-2 pages
  8. Sort out bills, pay charge cards
  9. Record pile of receipts into the check register
  10. Edit 1-2 pages
  11. Bank reconciliation for both banks
  12. Edit 1-2 pages

This is only the beginning. The above took me through the morning. What was nice about the list is that I didn’t have to think about what I should do next. I just followed it line by line. However, I do like this one as well:

Image result for image of a to do list

I didn’t get through all my tasks yesterday, but I’m now working on it again tonight. I filed papers, waited for my computer to update (grrr), went through emails, and wrote blog. Now that I’m done with the blog, guess what I get to do next! Yep, edit one to two pages.

Have a great week!

Beth M James

Novels based on strong characters and elements of romance.

http://www.bethmjames.com

Lessons Learned: To Be Inspired

At work, I overheard a project manager say to a developer, “You’ve inspired me today.” I heard this a few weeks ago, and it’s still stuck with me. The project manager said the comment after the IT developer gave her hope on one of the troublesome projects she’s managing.

For me, the word inspire offers a different perspective than simply stating to encourage or to motivate. I think of inspire as getting a breath of fresh air, of new hope, and of thanks for changing my outlook. I believe the project manager meant it that way too. I wasn’t involved in the conversation but just hearing the comment had made my day. I loved the word choice because it stood out from the norm. I’ll have to remember to use the word as well when I truly want someone to know how they’ve made me feel. Here’s to being inspired…

Image result for inspirational images without words

Beth M James

Novels based on strong characters and elements of romance.

http://www.bethmjames.com