cosmic chaos

cultivating calm & creativity in my corner of the world

Podcast

I was invite to be a guest on the Faith & Tech podcast to talk about my experience publishing with Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing and CreateSpace. Here are the links:

https://itunes.apple.com/…/one-off-technology-…/id1083085548

http://faithandtech.com/s2-ep4-how-to-publish-a-book-with-amazon-or-not/

 

March Motivation

March has brought some creative opportunities.

Last year I was contacted about the local writers guild providing a series of writing workshops.  After a looonnnngggg planning and preparation period, we presented the first workshop this week. Everything went really well.  It is so satisfying watching a group delve into prompts, transforming experiences into written passages.  I am looking forward to the next class!

Also next week, the local library is hosting an authors fair.  I am excited to be one of the 13 authors participating!  This event has pushed me to create that long overdue bookmark to promote myself.  Promotion is the hardest part of being a writer.  The authors fair is a great combination of promotion and inspiration.

Here’s hoping for a year full of creative opportunities!

 

Snow March 2017

The great South Carolina snow of March 2017!

 

 

A Little Help from Friends

I was happy to welcome 2017 but the truth is that the things that complicated 2016 didn’t just disappear at the strike of midnight on 12/31/16.

Family stress, work stress and various obligations have continued throughout January.  Sometimes, it is easier to just withdraw, shrink into yourself and stay isolated.

My local writers group hosted a writing workshop today and yours truly was the planning coordinator.  I have to admit, I really wanted to bury my head in my covers and just sleep-in this morning.  But the coordinator has to show up.  So I did.

There is something about being in a group of artists, whether literary or visual.  There is an energy that grows and spreads.  As we delved into words, writing exercises and sharing experiences, I found my mood lifting.  I tackled the writing exercises with gusto and enjoyed hearing everyone’s work.  I even started a new poem this evening, something I haven’t done in weeks.

Creativity breeds creativity.  Whether an art/writers guild or an inspirational friend, it is important to make connections that motivate your inner muse.

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 Happy Creating!

 

Welcome 2017!

If my Facebook Newsfeed is any indication, 2016 was a difficult year for many people.  I am no exception.  2016 brought a number of personal and professional challenges that left me feeling drained and depleted.  As you can image, it also took a toll on my creativity.  My writing has screeched to a near standstill with only a handful of poems being completed. Last night I said a very happy  goodbye to 2016.

As I move into this new year, I am resolving to leave the negativity of last year behind.  Life isn’t always easy or fair.  Challenges arise without warning or adequate preparation.  Tragedy can blindside.  When these things happen, it is easy to give in to despair and sorrow.

It is ok to acknowledge the sadness and anger we feel; after all, those are legitimate emotions.  But if we submerge ourselves in only the bad feelings, we risk missing out on the good things that happen everyday.  So I will approach my days with gratitude in 2017, looking for the everyday miracles that make this an amazing world.

 

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Happy New Year!

Thursday’s Thoughts featuring author Anna Muir #paranormal #urbanfantasy

Introducing fellow author Anna Muir who was featured on The Opinionated Woman’s Musings.

The Opinionated Woman's Musings

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Welcome to TOW bi-monthly feature Thursday’s Thoughts. On the second and fourth Thursday in the month, I share the thoughts of a featured author in the form of answers to questions posed to them.

One of October’s featured authors is Anna Muir.

How long have you been writing?

When I was a toddler I would give my mom a pencil and a pad of paper, and she would write down the story I told her. Thanks Mom!

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

I really love the idea of a nom de plume. The idea of letting my work stand on it’s own, without people attaching their ideas about who I am to it, is absurdly thrilling. I kind of feel like I’m getting away with something.

Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?

Pachacuti built Machu Picchu, and I’d love…

View original post 295 more words

Thursday’s Thoughts featuring author @CharlotteEhney #paranormal #urbanfantasy

Thanks to The Opinionated Woman’s Musings for the feature!

The Opinionated Woman's Musings

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Welcome to TOW bi-monthly feature Thursday’s Thoughts. On the second and fourth Thursday in the month, I share the thoughts of a featured author in the form of answers to questions posed to them.

One of September’s featured authors is Charlotte Ehney.

How long have you been writing?

I have always been an avid reader so I decided to try my hand at writing a mystery novel when I was 12 years old. I didn’t get very far but I had the writing bug and never stopped.

What comes first when you decide to write a story: the characters or the plot?

My stories usually start with a “what if”. I may see a news article or hear about something that sticks in my mind. I will start asking the “what if” questions and a story line starts to form. Then I figure out who is involved in my story.

What…

View original post 360 more words

Sooner or Later, We All Sing the Blues

I’ve been in a funk for the past few months.

It seems like at the end of December/beginning of January, I always get excited about the possibilities of the new year. It’s the new calendar syndrome — a blank slate just waiting to be written.

Except, this year I just can’t seem to pull it all together. Instead of  tapping into vast creative opportunities, I have found myself lost in Netflix and Bejeweled Blitz marathon sessions.

I tried to trick myself into becoming productive.  I decided to really focus on my art again.  I had squirreled away canvases and paints just waiting for the day I could start experimenting.  I bought a tabletop easel.

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And there the canvas sat, on my kitchen table, mocking me. I stared it repeatedly but could not muster the courage to pick up the paintbrush to start.

I decided to go for something less intimidating — sketching. So with a very inexpensive sketch pad and a No. 2 pencil, I began to draw.

I am a little out of practice, but the whole point was to just do it and hopefully get better along the way.

So I started.

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My wolf cub did not turn out very well.  But I was drawing.  So I kept going.

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The picture of my son turned out a little better.

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At first I was not happy with my wolf sketch, but the longer I looked at it the more I liked it.

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My lady is not perfect but better.

Tonight, after sitting ignored for a month, I picked up the paint brush and added paint to the canvas.  It will need a lot of work so I am no where close to showing it. My first images where totally wrong so I had to paint over them and start over. But that was ok.  In fact, I realized that this first canvas is  learning process.  Whatever I do is ok because and I am doing something new and creative. Hopefully, it will be what I need to break out of my funk.

From time to time, we all get the blues.  Maybe it is because we are overwhelmed at work or at home.  Maybe it is because life just got hard and we don’t know what to do. Or feel helpless to do anything.  Maybe it is when we compare ourselves to others and find ourselves lacking. We feel down and move to avoid feeling or thinking. So we do something mindless like zoning out in front of the TV or computer. And then we beat ourselves up for wasted time and opportunities.

Every journey starts with one step. Sometimes our path is blocked and we have to back track before we can move forward again.  The important part is making that step. Then keep stepping.

 

 

Family Vows Giveaway

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Family Vows by Charlotte Koon Ehney

Family Vows

by Charlotte Koon Ehney

Giveaway ends May 18, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

 

Lessons Learned – Part 2

“If You Build It, They Will Come — Not!”

After many years of writing, re-writing, and querying I finally published my novel Blood Adversaries as a both an e-book on Kindle and in print.  As I pressed the publish button, I imagined my book traveling through the internet to find its way into the hands of eager readers.

I had done enough research to know that I would need to promote my book.  I created an author page on Facebook. I announced the release on my blog and on LinkedIn.  I outlined ways to promote my book.  I thought I had a solid promotion plan.

What I found was that it isn’t all that easy and sometimes life just gets in the way of committing all the time necessary to promoting.

The majority of my marketing plan centered on social media.  I had read tips on using Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Goodreads as conduits for creating an author platform and promoting a book.  So I created author pages, shared links to my book and blogged about my book release.   I contacted friends who liked the paranormal/horror genre and asked them to share my link with their friends.  I scheduled a free giveaway of the Kindle version of my book on Amazon.  Then I sat back and waited for the likes to come in and books sales to happen.

Except — it didn’t.

Just a few weeks after releasing my book, my husband was sent out of state for a four month work assignment.  My time was consumed with taking care of my sons with their very active schedules and our home. Then my work position changed increasing my responsibilities threefold.   There was not a lot of time for promoting my book.  Before I knew it, a year had gone by and my book sales were minimal.

My takeaways on promoting a novel?

  1.  Authors absolutely need an electronic presence.  Social media is a key element to promote authors and books.  But social media alone is not enough.  Authors still need to have face to face meetings to promote themselves.
  2. You have to get out of your comfort zone.  Talk to people.  Plan a book signing.  See if you can be part of another event.
  3. Keep at it.  Rarely is there a true overnight success.  Read about some of the best know breakout authors and you will find years dedicated to writing and self promotion before they become household names.
  4. Really, keep at it!  Promoting a book is an on-going process.  Add new things.  Build on what works.
  5. Stuff happens.  Things don’t always run smoothly.  If you stall, don’t let it stop you.
  6. Just do it!

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Blood Adversaries Giveaway on Goodreads

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Blood Adversaries by Charlotte Koon Ehney

Blood Adversaries

by Charlotte Koon Ehney

Giveaway ends February 29, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

I am giving away four signed copies of my novel Blood Adversaries through Goodreads.com. To get more information and enter, click the links above.

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