I owe you guys a followup from my last blog post, but I’ll get to that another day. For now, here’s my excuse for not working on Pine & Meyer:
I created this book cover for Linda Young, whom I “met” (online) through my brother-in-law. “Letters of Commentary to Fellow Believers on the Epistle to the Romans” by Dr. Carl Manthey Zorn, Lutheran pastor and theologian, is a series of letters written for a lay-audience on the book of Romans. Originally written in German, Linda Young’s father, LCMS pastor Richard A. Riess (credited on the cover) took on the job of translating these letters as a personal project following his retirement. Rev. Riess has since been called home to his Lord, so Linda took on the task of making sure that her father’s work saw the light of day.
The handwritten notes on the front of the cover are all his. “He literally wrote and re-wrote the translation in longhand,” Linda wrote to me in an email, speaking of her father, “most of it on legal-sized yellow sheets, using both sides and often the margins, too! (He believed in using every inch of the paper.) It carries the idea of ‘letters’ forward, too, which is key in the title and the book itself.”
I’ve been trying to be better about utilizing my Facebook pages. It’s been easy lately, what with “Wanda Won’t” out now (and available on my Amazon page for only…! etc.). I just make inane videos and post the second or third take that I can stand, because who wants to waste time looking professional?
I read the entire book to a fake audience and posted it to my business page. It actually clocks in just under a minute and a half, which should tell you exactly how much shorter this picture book is than my usual fare. The best part happens right about at the minute mark, when I start describing the illustration like I’m reading to a two-year old with the corresponding attention span. Habits die hard.
$6.99 on Amazon. Visit https://www.amazon.com/Wanda-Wont-Andrea-Schultz/dp/1981367926/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8.(Also, you can tell I'm used to reading with kids when about halfway through the story I start narrating what's happening in the picture. I stopped myself after the one page, and decided to eat lunch instead of re-recording.)
There’s an even shorter version on my personal page. Here’s 17 seconds of “Wanda Won’t: An Interpretive Dance.”
That moment when you realize your thumbs-up is out of the frame. I feel like I should have added royalty-free music to this; in lieu of that, imagine the "Chariots of Fire" theme, in celebration that my copy of "Wanda Won't" came in the mail two weeks earlier than promised.To purchase, visit https://www.amazon.com/Wanda-Wont-Andrea-Schultz/dp/1981367926/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8.
My new Facebook cover photo, because I’m going to squeeze blood out of that rock.
In other news, I just received the weirdest piece of spam that’s ever graced my website comment inbox. Roberttob from cialissansordonnancefr24 gave me a brief history of Dr. Who, and I’m not entirely certain what I was supposed to get from the lesson.
A flash drive actually ate all of my picture files for this latest book project. Fortunately, it did so half a day after I uploaded the entire book to CreateSpace, so I’m not nearly as devastated as I could be. The book has since migrated from the actual print-on-demand company to Amazon, where it is now wallowing in fame and glory. In other words:
In fact, ALL of my currently available picture books cost $6.99. I’m running a Christmas sale through the month of December, so get your copies now!!! On January 1st I’ll jack the price back up again, so get ’em while they’re hot.
For the first time in my life I went with a first-take. Why? Because I am unprofessional, that's why. And now with that resounding endorsement out of the way, to buy a copy of "Wanda Won't" for $6.99, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Wanda-Wont-Andrea-Schultz/dp/1981367926/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8.To see every one of my picture books in one convenient place (all three of which are currently $6.99 through the month of December), here's my Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/A.L.-Schultz/e/B06Y4DCPS1.
“The Bump Under the Bed” has officially made it onto my Amazon page, where you can buy it for $10.99. Also, after downloading a plugin for this website that helps to compress images and clear up some space in my media file storage, I tried to upload my marketing video again only to discover that I have poor reading comprehension. The site won’t allow me to upload any files larger than a certain size, so it doesn’t matter how much space I clear out of my media storage. Three minutes and sixteen seconds is simply too long. However, if you’re just dying to watch me make faces while I read, you can go here:
Amazon page for "The Bump Under the Bed" can be found here:https://www.amazon.com/Bump-Under-Bed-Andrea-Schultz/dp/1974068927/ref=la_B06Y4DCPS1_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1503589464&sr=1-3Hopefully that links properly. If you're interested in my amazon author page (which has all three of my available products for sale in one handy place – oh boy!), you can go to:amazon.com/author/alschultz
Oh my goodness, I had no idea I could actually link this video right onto my page. Apparently I’ve accidentally discovered a method for sharing my videos on my website without eating too much space. In related news, that is a really goofy screen capture my video decided to use as my cover image.
Finally, if you’re either my brother, sister, or parents that automatically qualifies your family unit for one free copy of “The Bump Under the Bed,” though I’m having difficulty figuring out how to get it to you. My Createspace account wants to send it to the address here in Montana, but it won’t make it before I move, unless I spend exorbitant amounts of money to expedite the shipping. If you are my brother*, sister, or parents, you know we don’t spend exorbitant amounts of money for convenience’s sake. Back to the drawing board.
*Insignificant note here: on my fifth editing read-through before posting, I finally noticed that I’d written “bother, sister, or parents” (italics added for emphasis), which is actually not a bad interpretation of that particular family role.
The proof copy of “The Bump Under the Bed” came in the mail today, and between the eight hundred takes of my advertisement video and a sudden realization that the title of my picture book is off center, this is the closest I have to new content for today’s update:
Last week, my patient had his leg chopped off by a man with a soldering iron.
This week, my patient slept.
I’m getting that vague “nursing isn’t all glamor and heroics” vibe that has me shuddering and bunkering down with a pathophysiology book. By Mosby, if there isn’t more going on in my medication handbook than there is in my patient’s room. Arlo and I kill an hour by looking up the hundred and one medications our patients are on and snickering over some of the more amusing symptoms. Which strikes me as vaguely inappropriate, but I’ve done quite a bit worse that giggle over the word “impotence.” I’m really far too old for that to be funny, but then I’ll probably never really grow up.
I lurk around my patient’s door waiting for her to blink, or shift even, prepared to swoop in and take advantage of the consciousness presented me. But she proves very nearly as stubborn as Mr. I’m-Sleeping-I-Swear from two weeks ago, but with the added obstacle that she’s not faking it. Curse her, because she’s friendly when I talk to her, which makes badgering her about her current sexual activity something I actually have to use tact on.
She’s fortunate enough to fall asleep before I get to that particular question. I’ve never been very delicate in wording, and my personal strategies tend to run along the lines of “umm…so…uh….you used to be married, yeah? But you’re not anymore? So, uh, are you…um…sexually active?”
I’ve only gotten one “yes” so far, and I’m pretty sure my patient was quite gleefully waiting for me to ask.
Though I may not be full of tact, I’m full of sympathy, and the keen ability to sense when it’s time to throw in the towel. She’s tired, struggling to keep her eyes open, and tomorrow is another day to keep trying. I’ll be successful. I’m determined to, which accounts for more in my life than I can say.
6:30am the next day I peak my head in the door, just to check in on her. I have to look twice, because the kind, fifty- year-old black woman from yesterday has somehow turned into a large white man who badly needs to readjust his hospital gown.
I flick through the chart as though it will explain how Renown has mastered transmogrification, then remember that my patient was hopefully going to be transferred to telemetry ASAP to monitor her heart. I remember, because I’d been counting on transfer to be their normally punctual selves.
The word I think in my head is not nice, nor appropriate, for my clinical instructor to read.
It evens out in the end. Amputation guy, for taking as long as another clinical day, has earned me a day off. I take it, pretending to sulk because my patient has left with few of my questions answered.
I’m whistling “Springtime for Hitler” by time I hit the elevators.
So the lie here is that it’s available through Amazon. It’s not yet, because it takes CreateSpace (an Amazon company that provides print-on-demand services) 3 – 5 business days to make the title available through Amazon.com. Which I found out this morning when I officially approved of the proof copy they sent to me yesterday, after I made this video. However, you can – if you’re absolutely dying for the chance to send me money ASAP – buy a copy through the CreateSpace website itself. Hooray! I’m not sure if you can qualify for free shipping through the subsidiary, but here’s the link anyways:
Shorthand: $6.99 for a print copy of “The Hatastrophe”
As soon as I receive word that it’s listed on Amazon, I’ll post a link to “The Hatastrophe,” either later this week or early next. In the meantime, you can admire this absurd video and politely golf-clap my efforts.
Also, this happened in the course of way too many takes:
For 99 cents you can now download a copy of “Small Town Super Nobody” as an ebook, available through Amazon! What a deal! What a buy! You can officially own a 99 cent novella that you are still welcome to read for free here on TheStoryFolder! For this amazing offer, click on this SLOW, SUPERKIDS AT PLAY sign:
(Or type this into the URL bar: https://www.amazon.com/author/alschultz)
I’m calling it a convenience fee, though really the charge is there because it’s the lowest price I can set for an ebook through Amazon. The ebook market is another avenue for me to explore in my attempt to get my name out there and my stories read; whether or not I make money is, at this point, secondary. Certainly I hope to (and, let’s be honest here: need to), but I’m still building a niche, and publicity is worth its weight in gold.
In preparation for the ebook release, I’ve re-read “Small Town” approximately five hundred times this past week, editing as I go. While I’m opposed to making any major changes to an already published work (even one that’s only been published on my website), I ran “Small Town Super Nobody” a bit more stringently through the wringer than I’d originally planned. It feels like cheating to make too many changes (a la George Lucas), but it’s a good lesson to me to be more meticulous about my online postings in the future. I just wanted to make sure I was putting my best foot forward, and breaking apart some of my seventy-word sentences into two – or even three – complete thoughts seemed like a good editing decision. Hopefully I haven’t fussed anything my original audience liked into oblivion.
It was also a chance to ctrl+f my most commonly used descriptive words to make sure that I hadn’t worn them out. Subsequently, I discovered that “clearly,” “suddenly,” “realized,” and “immediately” topped the list. Clearly, characters in my stories suddenly realize a lot of things. Immediately. While I replaced some with synonyms, I was able to drop a number of the adverbs completely. According to a number of my former writing teachers, clarifying your verbs is a poor way of “telling” when you should be “showing.” Personally, I like clarifying my characters’ actions. I want readers to know when an action is supposed to feel sudden, rather than to have them miss it. In my defense, many of my works are written from a character’s somewhat direct viewpoint, so when something happens suddenly or seems clear, it’s actually the character saying so. In this case, Jeremiah simply has a penchant for the word “clearly” (having used it a whopping thirty-six times; I got him down to eleven).
Also, there are not that many great synonyms for “realized.” Understood, comprehended, apprehended, grasped, gathered, recognized; all excellent words, but none of them with that vague feeling of “Eureka!” that I too often want to invoke.
Of course, my enthusiastic overuse of adverbs would go a long way towards explaining how you get 28,000 words out of this, the original outline for “Small Town Super Nobody”:
Broken into six scenes: six conversations
Jeremiah hadn’t meant to bring up Teddy.
Jeremiah vs. Teddy. Awesome normal kid vs. goof-off (and goof-up?) super one. Mrs. Grayson is the college advisor (among other things), but somehow they got to talking about Teddy joining a hero association. Not where Jer meant to go with the conversation, but he has to roll with it. Moves the conversation (subtly) into supers with minor or no powers. She figures him out. “What would happen if Theodore punched you in the face?” Mortified.
Hanging out at the dive (where he works). Early out for school but they have practice soon. Somewhat chaos. Old lady with a crush on him, girlfriend there? His buddy laughs – we’re nobody. Someone like Teddy has a chance, but not us.
Almost Dad. Trying to bring it up with him. Interrupts him: has Teddy talked to you? Mentions Jeff the sheriff, his dad’s friend and the guy who recommended they keep Teddy for a few days. Jer still has no idea why they adopted him. Trying to hang on to his temper.
Argument. She’s dismissive, he catches Teddy eavesdropping. Reams him out, dad is not impressed. Flood warning.
Flooding, they get stuck together, and Teddy brings up “I always knew you were going to be a hero.” Jer is very good at organizing people and getting them moving. He really is heroic, though he’d get his face smashed in if he tried to go toe to toe with a supervillain. Brings up story of drunk when they were children. You weren’t scared at all.
Grayson. Jer has decided to double major in pre-med and engineering/robotics. Teddy’s going to be a superhero. He doesn’t have a choice.
Three hundred words, kids. Did I actually increase my word count by over 9000%?
WAIT JUST A MINUTE.
Hahaha, I just made my own day.
Some housekeeping notes: I just updated the Amazon, Facebook, and RSS feed icons at the top and bottom right of the page. If you click on the RSS feed (the orange one) you can actually subscribe to it, which I think means that you can have the feed send you notices when I update my website. I might look into creating an actual email subscription method on the website, so I’ll undoubtedly be talking about this more later. Just FYI for now.
I’m writing because I feel like I ought to, not because I have anything specifically to say. As you well know, this has never stopped me before, so it’s not going to now.
Actually, now that I’m working on a post, I just realized that I really do have something to say: I can announce that my brother-in-law wrote a book! This is the project I put together that bundle of illustrations for. And because I am terrifically lazy, I’m going to copy-and-paste Rev. Pay’s announcement from Facebook:
Hey everyone, I wrote a book! It’s no secret that I enjoy two things in movies and books: action and good theology. Sadly, they rarely mix. So I sought to write an action driven story whose characters find their hope, not in rays of sunshine or feelings, but in the Risen Savior and the good reasons we all have for believing in Him. Be warned: this is not a children’s book and is, most likely, not for the faint of heart. It is bloody and dark, but not vulgar. I hope it both entertains with action and edifies as the characters struggle with fear, doubt, sin, and death.
If that intrigues you at all, check out the synopsis and maybe give it a shot. If you don’t hate it completely, I’d love some reviews on the amazon site too. Thanks for any likes, shares, reviews, considerations, or prayers. Peace!
If you are interested in purchasing the novel (and/or admiring the accompanying illustrations), you can click HERE for his Amazon page. There’s an ebook version as well as print-on-demand copies available.
In other news, I’m nearly done with my very first picture book. I’m creating a print copy through Createspace, which is a self-publishing company that operates through Amazon. It’ll take a few weeks for the proofs to come in before I officially put it up for sale, but here’s the cover as a teaser:
So I may, on occasion, appear lazy, but I really do something with my time. I went insane and decided to try and finish the illustrations in time for my niece’s birthday, which gave me a week to finish. Crunch-time riddled deep holes into my sleep schedule, but it worked fantastically – she received a copy printed off my home printer. I both love and hate deadlines.