The Woods Are Calling

An Escape From Reality

The woods are calling, calling to you

but Mama’s told you to stay cleartrees-2616706_1920

Oh, but the voice is so welcoming

and quite full of cheer

The whistling in the wind

seemingly says go, it’ll be okay

there’s still left a bit of day

One step forward, then another

until you completely ignore the voice

of your dear, sweet mother

You enter the woods

You walk through the shadows mesmerized

by some unseen power until you realize

it’s dark, you’ve gone too far, and now you’re lost

Then you hear it, the faint cry of a wolf howl

you take a few more steps, you now hear a low growl

The night now surrounds you and you freeze with fear

as the beast snarls in your ear

The claws strike, blood, sinew, and the eyes of the beast

that’s taking your life is what you see

All because your sweet mother’s…

View original post 5 more words

A Trick of the Light

An Escape From Reality

Thunder rolls and lightning flashes

lights flicker, then abandons you

the darkness covers you as you stand in the dark

The lightning flashes once more

you see a figure by the kitchen doorspirit-2304469_1920

your heart pounds in your chest

as you hear footsteps drag across the floor

you try to run but your feet won’t move

The lights return and you see no one is there, and you sigh

it must have been a trick of the light

But was it? Have you ever had the little hairs on the back of

Have you ever had the little hairs on the back of your neck prickle for no apparent reason?

Have you ever walked into a room and fear consumed you out of the blue?

Have you ever gone somewhere new, but experienced De Ja Vu?

Autumn is here, and a time when magical things occur so don’t be shocked if…

View original post 22 more words

The Black Cat’s Message

I will be sharing fun Halloween stories with you this month.  This one is from AmericanFolklore.net.  I know you’ll enjoy it as much as I did.

Retold by S.E. Schlosser from Spooky Texas. A Texas settler adopts a stray cat who is not everything she seems!

 

Prayers for Las Vegas

As I sit and watch all the media pundits go on and on with their theories of why a crazed man would open fire on those simply enjoying an evening of good country music.  I’ve struggled with how I would feel if I or someone I love were there at that horrible time.  When I first heard the report of the shooting, I was getting ready for bed after a long evening working on an editing project for a client.  I had the TV on in the background but wasn’t really paying attention.  That was until I heard the reporter breathlessly say shots were being fired at a crowd of people in Las Vegas.

I have to admit my first thought was what organization would do such a thing; ISIS, Antifa? Those were the first hate groups that popped into my mind.  I guess it really doesn’t matter.  A crazed shooter murdered Americans enjoying a happy evening.  This video clearly shows the mood of those at the concert.

Everyone was singing together.  They had no idea there was a man with hate in his heart who would target them only an hour later…

I cannot begin to tell you the rage I felt the first time I watched this second video.  Those people were not doing anything other than enjoying some good music.  For someone to plan the murder of others the way this sicko did is something I will never understand.  He had a stockpile of guns and ammo, as well as explosives.  He booked that room WAY in advance.  This was not a thing he did on impulse.  No, he had planned it way ahead of the attack.  In fact, there are reports that he was probably planning other attacks in Boston and Chicago.  Authorities are also saying he was probably planning a car bombing. From the very beginning, I’ve felt there was much more to this evil man than we were hearing on the news.  It looks as though my feelings may have been true.  He was a man on a mission to cause chaos and death.  I’m just thankful he was stopped before he could do more harm.

I’m not going to get into my feelings on gun control.  As far as I’m concerned NOTHING could have prevented this crazed man from fulfilling his evil mission.  The Islamist Terrorists have proven time and again, mass murder can be done using anything from airplanes, vehicles, bombs in pressure cookers, among other everyday items.  If someone wants to kill large numbers of people they will find a way to do it.

So, where do we go from here?  Do we live our lives in fear?  No, I choose to live my life on MY terms.  What we need to do as a country is not point fingers at each other.  We need to remember that we are all Americans.  This division forced upon us by those with a political agenda needs to stop.  Watching the video of those Americans singing God Bless America reminds me of what a wonderful country we have the privilege to call home.

We all heard the heroic stories of those rushing in to help the injured without thought of their own safety.  We heard stories of the brave Law Enforcement Officers using their own bodies as shields against gunfire.  We heard of how the everyday American helped to get those injured to hospitals in their own vehicles or even a borrowed a pickup truck.  I know they said he stole the pickup, but I choose to call it borrowing.  Then we heard of how the doctors and nurses performed miracles to save the lives of hundreds of injured people, flooding through the Emergency Room doors.

Those acts of bravery are what I choose to remember.  However, I believe the name of shooter deserves to be forgotten.  Of course, we should never forget his evil deed and all the pain he brought to those who survived that horrible night.  But his name is something I choose to erase from my mind.   I choose to remember the way everyone in Las Vegas responded to the evil they faced.  It reminded me of how everyone pulled together here in Southeast Texas when Hurricane Harvey made his visit.

My heart filled with pride when I watched my fellow Texans pull together and help each other through all the devastating flooding.  Even our daughter, who is a police officer in a community here in Southeast Texas spent day after day hanging on the side of a large rescue truck, helping people and pets get to safety.  Watching how my fellow Americans act at times like this restores my belief in the people of this great country.

In closing, I ask all of you to say a prayer of comfort and healing for those in Las Vegas.  Pray for those still in the hospital, and pray for those families who lost a loved one.  I know we all feel gut-kicked by this horrible event, but I believe as one people we can overcome.

 

 

Facebook Cover Videos

I know this post is late, but I was up until 3 am working on my exciting new project.  It took extra cups of coffee to get my brain-fog cleared up enough so I could write this post. LOL

Well, I did it. I decided to make a Facebook Page cover video.  Why did I decide to make a cover video for my Facebook Author page?  I have no idea other than the crazy idea popped into my head and wouldn’t leave. LOL

Now, I’m not saying I haven’t made other little videos such as book trailers, and YouTube videos.  I just wasn’t sure how to make one good enough to put on my Facebook Author Page.   I’ve seen a handful of them on those pages run by those crazed business entrepreneurs.  You know the ones I’m talking about; those flashy, modern, and eye-catching videos that blaze across their Facebook Page.

Not sure if that style fits my strange personality, I decided just to jump in and see with develops.  First thing I did was head straight over to Google and find information on how to make a Facebook Cover Video.  Of course, I found several apps that could help me make the perfect cover video (those were their words, not mine) however, there was a problem. NONE of them were completely free to use.  Each had some sort of strings attached to use their video making app.

Not the type to surrender at the first hurdle, I pressed onward. Then it hit me like a ton of bricks… I have Movie Maker on my computer!  After hitting a few keys on my trusty laptop, I had found a couple of articles explaining how I could make my AWESOME and FUN cover video for my Facebook Page. Life was good again!! LOL

Then the real work began… what did I want the cover video to say?  Sheez, I knew there would be a catch to this project.  Did I want a serious, all business cover video?  Or, did I want one that was a bit quirky… just like me?  Refusing to be anything other than myself, I knew how I would make my cover video.  It would be fun and with my crazy personality.  Yep, it would be just like me.

I’ve never been one to take myself too seriously.  Heck, I’m the first one to laugh at myself.  I know I’m a bit off and I don’t care if people like or dislike me.  I’m just me.  Nothing more, nothing less.  So, after a good, strong adult beverage my quest to create the PERFECT Facebook Page Cover Video commenced.  After finding what I believed was the perfect music that has my crazy attitude and putting together some fun images, my video was ready to share with the world.

I’m glad I decided to make a cover video for my Author page.  Heck, I may even use it on other social media I use. teehee

I invite you to go check out my cover video, and while you’re there if you don’t mind would you give my page a like?  Be sure the volume is on at the bottom lefthand corner of the video screen.

Linda L Barton Facebook Author Page

Let the Weekend Begin!

cup-2618679_640It’s Saturday morning and nothing beats starting the day with a hot cup of coffee while relaxing in my favorite chair.  I would normally be getting ready for a day of writing, while my husband watches NASCAR. But, not today.  I think I’ll just enjoy the day and spend some quality me time.  I have been so busy lately.  Sometimes, it’s just good for the soul to relax and reconnect with life. I hope you have a marvelous morning and do what brings you joy. Take care, and enjoy your weekend.

 

 

Advice for First-time Authors

You’ve worked for months, or maybe even years to finish your first book. As you stare at the words you just typed on the last page, a frightening thought enters your mind…now what? I remember that feeling. I remember the excitement I felt to finish writing my first book, but I also remember the fear of not knowing what I would need to get my masterpiece published.

Many of us dream of being a famous author.  We wonder what it would be like to have people reading the words we struggled to put on the pages.  We’ve come to love the characters in our story as they came to life in our minds, and we’ve enjoyed taking them on their journey.  However, the time has come to let them go and give them to the world.

The first thing you’ll need to do is to find a good editor.  While you may believe our book is perfect, an editor can give you a good healthy dose of reality.  Surviving your first edit is a growing experience.  Nothing makes you realize you don’t have a firm grasp on the English language quicker than to receive your manuscript back from the editor with those dreaded editing tags with suggestions for you to consider changing in your book.

When I saw the right-side of my document filled with those tags, I nearly closed the file and walked away from my computer.  Surely, someone with that many suggestions could NEVER be a professional writer.  Apparently, I didn’t have the firm grasp on grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and reading flow I thought I had.

The important lesson I learned that day was writing is not only a creative endeavor but is one of learning and tossing aside all those bad habits we’ve all picked up over the years on social media.

So, you’ve survived the editing process and now it’s time to make that important decision… do I shop my book around to traditional publishers or do you take the Indie Published route.  That’s an important decision.  However, since I chose the Indie Published route that is where my knowledge is, so let’s get started.

I’m sure most of you have bought an ebook from one of the many distributors such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iTunes just to name a few. Well, in order for those books to look good on your e-reader they must be properly formatted.  You ask, what is formatting?  Formatting is preparing your document for publishing as an ebook.  There are several technical things done during the formatting process such as preparing a working Table of Contents with links to each chapter, setting each page to fit properly on whatever device is used, and there are other features that can be added to give your book that ‘special look’ we all want.

Of course, while our book is being formatted, we need to decide on a book cover.  The book cover is more important than most of us realize.  You see, the cover gives that first impression a potential reader will have about your book.  Does the cover image catch their attention? Does it give them a feeling about your story?  Will it look good as a thumbnail? If you can answer YES to those questions then you have chosen a good cover. When I published my first book, I had no idea how to create a book cover.  After talking to other authors and doing some research, I found a cover designer to make the perfect cover for my book.  However, over time, I decided to learn how to make my own. It was a long learning process but well worth it to me.  If you want to see my covers go to the My Books page.

Now, you’re ready to publish.

ebook_logosThere are several distributors to choose from.  Of course, Amazon is the big guy on the block.  Amazon, by far, corners the market on ebook sales, but Barnes & Noble and iTunes are also popular sites for readers to find their next favorite book. I know as a first-time author it can be overwhelming, but it’s really pretty easy.  First, always offer your book on Amazon.  Next, I would recommend putting it on Smashwords.  For those of you who have never heard of Smashwords, it will get your book on several of the popular outlets thus saving you the time and headache of managing different accounts. Pricing your book is also something important to consider.  According to most retailers, $2.99 seems to be the ‘sweet spot’ price for a full-length novel and 99 cents seems to be popular for short stories or novellas.  I have my full-length books priced at $2.99, but I offer my novellas for FREE.  Some may not agree with this practice, but I consider them to be advertising for my writing.  You may not want to do this at first, but over time, I find it a valuable thing to offer readers who don’t know who I am.

If you decide you want to have your book in paperback, Amazon has a wonderful service called Createspace.  I use it because it’s easy to get my books set up for paperback, and if I don’t want to worry about creating an extra cover for print you can use their cover creator using your ebook cover image. However, you will need to have your book formatted for print because your ebook copy will not work. Yeah, I know, more work.

I do want to warn you about the Smashwords Meatgrinder.  It’s not as scary as it sounds.  Since Smashwords converts your book to work on several different devices, it’s a little picky on how your book needs to be formatted.  They do offer instructions, but if you don’t want to deal with it, be sure you have someone format your book who knows how to get a book through the dreaded Meatgrinder. LOL

So, you’ve done it. You are now a published author.  Take some time to enjoy the feeling. Pour yourself a drink, and relish the feeling.  However, once the celebration is done…the real work begins… marketing. YIKES!  I’ll leave that for another post.

If you want help getting your book ready to publish, I can help for a reasonable price. 

Deadly Reads Author Services

I hope this post has answered any of those nagging questions on how to get your book out to the reading public.  I wish you much success, and if you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask. Now, get started on your second book.

 

 

 

Why do I Write?

Why do I write, you ask?  I’ve often asked myself that very same question.  The other day when I was scrolling down my Facebook newsfeed, I came across a post by a fellow author.  She had announced that she was no longer going to write because she felt as though her career was going nowhere.  I cannot begin to tell you how sad that made me feel,  However, I must confess, I’ve felt that same sense of utter failure before myself.

Writing is one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done.  You spend long hours sitting at your computer, creating what you hope will be the next great masterpiece. You then spend endless hours of rewriting, editing and rewriting some more before you feel it’s ready for the REAL editor.  Of course, while the Editor has your manuscript, the story haunts your mind with questions of the plot twists you should have added or deleted before handing it over to someone else.  No, writing is not for the weak of heart.

I know that each Author has their own stories of mistakes they’ve made.  We just need to realize that anything stupid we may have done will not be the death-nail for our writing careers unless we allow it.  When I had my meltdown over a huge mistake I made early in my writing career, my husband gave me to best advice.  He said to go on the reviews of a few famous authors and read their 1-star reviews.  He said if they can survive their mistakes, then so can I.  You know something, he was right.

I now live by the motto… My writing career is going to have highs and lows.  I will learn from the lows and enjoy the highs.  So, whenever I feel like the publishing world has kicked me in the teeth, just brush it off and soldier on! 

I now write for my MY enjoyment, and should others discover my books and enjoy them as well then that’s just the icing on the cake.  If the day ever comes where my books are read by millions I’ll enjoy the ride.  However, if my books are only read by a few I’ll still enjoy the ride.  You see writing is my personal enjoyment.  I love developing characters that come to life on the pages.  I also love to invoke a wide range of emotions on the pages of my books.  I guess you can say that writing is my drug of choice.

So, back to where I started this post.  Several people commented on the Author’s Facebook post, trying to convince her not to give up.  I, for one, wish she just takes a little time off to recoup and try to remember what she LOVES about writing.  If her only goal was to be picked up by a publishing company and become a famous author then maybe her decision was the correct one.  However, if she started writing for the LOVE of writing then her decision should be easy.  Just write and not worry about anything else.

If you want to know more of what I do, I invite you to go to my website.

Hello Again

As this is the second post on my new blog, I tried to think of something interesting to talk about.  I could tell you that I’m married to a wonderful man who is my writing muse and we live in a small town in southeast Texas, but how exciting is that?  I could go on and on about how great my books are and how much fun they were to write, but that’s what every writer says.

Let’s see, I could tell you how excited I am that you are here and how much I look forward to our time together, but I’m sure you already know that.  So, what can I say for my second post?  Dang, for the life of me I can’t think of a single subject.  Oh, well, maybe next time I can come up with something interesting to share with you…..hee hee!!

I guess the real reason I’m doing this post is I’m still trying to figure how to get around this WordPress Blog…and I’m not sure how well I’m doing.  I guess the only way I’ll ever conquer this whole blogging thing is to dive in and hopefully not drown.

I’ll be back…

Hello Readers and Blogging World

Well, I finally caved and decided to start a blog here on WordPress.  For those of you who were following me on Blogger, thank you for following me here.  Why did I decide to come to WordPress you ask?  Actually, it was just time.  With having a WordPress website for Deadly Reads, I figured it was time to step things up a bit.  Also, Lisa Vandiver, who is the other half of Deadly Reads convinced me to get out of my comfort zone and just make the plunge… so here I am.

I have never been much of a blogger, but I know I can learn to not only create interesting posts for your reading enjoyment but hopefully, we can have some fun together. So, Welcome to my World and I look forward to hearing from you about how I’m doing with this whole blogging thing.

Take care, and let’s get this thing going!