Happy New Year 2019

Greetings! In the course of the past few months, after I had decided I would be returning here regularly to update as I used to, that commitment somehow got lot in the shuffle. I must ashamedly (is that a word?) admit that among the host of other online outlets I participate in, I neglected this one, which used to be the first place that I would come to do blog updates, to do “This Week in Writing History”, to update my “Horror Review” page, and whatever other activities I used to engage in. Needless to say, I need to make a list of my outlets so that none of them fall through the cracks – particularly this one!

I have discovered, as I leaf through these pages, that not only have I forgotten to come back and blog regularly, that I didn’t even complete the last update on my “Home” page for The Shady Side, which I released on April 30, 2018. Distracted, much? I must appear to have the attention span of a gnat.

Last year saw the release of The Uneasy Series Volume II, The Shady Side: Shortcut to Uneasy Street, as an e-book in April, and then as a paperback edition in May; and mysa cover for web newest project, Story #7: Stuffed Animals, a Novella, went live on Amazon on December 30th. This third title is a huge milestone for me. It represents the clearing away of a difficult time period and the creation of a forward-facing path.

Now, as I sit and watch the snow fall steadily outside my front window, I am making my plans for 2019. Setting some goals. Why “plans” and “goals” and not “resolutions”? I don’t quite know. I think because something in the wordage of “plans” and “goals” indicates flexibility and the ability to adjust my plans and goals as I go along. I mean, really – how many of us can claim that all of our plans or goals have succeeded, step by step, from beginning to end, without some kind of deviation, or hitch, or unexpected event, that had to be taken into account and for which an adjustment or accommodation had to be made?

Life happens, and as the Tori Amos song goes, “We make it up as we go along. . .” And it’s true. Sure, we can make a life plan. Finish high school, choose a career path, go to college, get that dream job. Meet that partner, fall in love, get married, have the house and family, live happily ever after. That is just an example of a plane. Many of us may have different plans than this. However, we need to be flexible in order to hit the curve balls life throws at us. The word “resolution” sounds so stiff and unbending. Inflexible. And if you can’t bend, you just might break.

Part of this flexibility is the ability to adapt to changes. And adaptation requires learning new information; and adjusting practices to change with the technological trends.

There are some practices I am resistant to. I am an 80’s kid. I know what life was like before cell phones, computers and the internet, when all of our files were paper hard copies, and “marketing” meant television, radio, or print advertising. Getting published meant that you slaved over a typewriter, mailed copies of your work to publishing houses and waited months, even up to a year, to receive your rejection slip – if you received anything, at all. Self-publishing was an expensive proposition, often costing thousands of dollars.

Now, I am an Indie author publishing titles under my own publishing company. While  things like multiple rounds of editing, dealing with procrastination, lack of motivation, writers block, trying to figure out how the story is going to get from point A to point B, and finding time to write, are all challenges, these and other challenges inherent in releasing a self-published book are relatively easy to me. I am skilled at facing, and embracing, these challenges. The publishing process itself is also easy. Online self-publishing services make it simple and inexpensive for authors like me to publish their books.

But then there is “after” the release. The e-book is live, the paperback is available for purchase. And then, for me, the waters become murky, because I must enter the realm of a monster referred to as “marketing”.

I am not prolific at “marketing”. Marketing, putting myself out there, touting my work as exciting and interesting to read, for those readers who enjoy my genre, are difficult things for me. Self-promotion. The time that I should be out there, shouting to everyone, “My book is live! You must read it!” Is the time I want to crawl into the shadows and hide. Even writing a blog post, putting myself out there, feels too personal.

Yet it is necessary. I intend to write and publish many, many more titles. I want people to read them, so yes, I need to get myself out there and let readers know about them. So among my big “plans” and “goals” for 2019, is to learn how to market my work.

I quit smoking around 2012, I think. If I can do that, I can do anything, right?

Best wishes to everyone for a happy, healthy, safe, and prosperous 2019!

-Shannon

 

Back to the Starting Line

Here I am, back at my original starting point, after having written and self-published two books in digital and paperback form. I have come a long way since I published my first pages, here. I have also gone on to build a sister site, www.shannonraenoble.com.

Pre-release Excerpt Booklet Cover Art

I have taken many divergent paths, only to discover that maybe – just maybe – the path that I originally started on was the best path for me; here, at my home site, where I am part of a community. As worn out and tired as the saying is, it remains true: the grass really is not always greener.

When I decided to create a new website, I began to dismantle this one, but I only got as far as removing “This Week in Writing/Publishing History”, a weekly Sunday commentary celebrating the ups and downs of historical significance in my first choice of careers: being a fiction author.

I am so glad that the rest of my site remains intact! It has been patiently awaiting my return. And while my sister site is built and complete, I have found that adding a blog seems to be so much easier and more convenient here. What will become of shannonraenoble.com? I probably will keep it as a more formal presentation of myself and my work. I still have work to do, there.

As for my writing plans? My journey has just begun. I have three projects that I am hoping to complete by the end of the year. As they come to fruition, I will keep updating my blog posts. I hope that those who came along as I began my journey will stop by now and again to view and celebrate my progress.

-Shannon

 

 

Update: New Website Launch

Finally, after months of anxiety, I have launched my new website! It is fairly simple right now, but will soon fill with interesting and fun content. I may try to move some of my content to my new site in order to preserve it. I’m not sure that I want to maintain two sites.

As promised, my new site is equipped with a “subscribe” link, so that my readers can sign up for my newsletter to get updates about my projects, new releases, and free stuff, like e-Printbook giveaways.

In addition, my first book, Volume I of the Uneasy Series, Blood and Bone: A Smattering of Unease, is being prepped for print release. It should be available in print by the end of the month.

The first 6 months of 2016 have been incredibly productive for me. I’ve faced down a lot of apprehension that things would go wrong when releasing my first e-book and building my new site, but tada! I did them both successfully. Now that I have found that preparation for releases both electronic and print editions is not such difficult work, I expect that my work should move along more swiftly!

I have also created my publishing company, Crow 99 Books, and Volume II of the Uneasy Series, The Shady Side: Shortcut to Uneasy Street, is well under way. I had been hoping for e-release on June 11th, but it’s going to take a little while longer. And after all, two out of three goals met by deadline ain’t bad!

Thanks for all who read my blog and visit my site here at WordPress. If you would like to continue to check in on my progress, please visit me at http://shannonraenoble.com and subscribe to get updates about projects, new releases, and book giveaways!

Remain uneasy,

-Shannon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have a Creepy St. Patrick’s Day!

What do you mean, a creepy St. Patrick’s Day?

Book 1 Series CoverWell, why not? Celebrate the good luck you have not to be one of the more unfortunate characters in Volume I of the Uneasy series, Blood and Bone: A Smattering of Unease! A gift from me to you today, you can download Blood and Bone anytime today, March 17th, until midnight.

Don’t be afraid, come get your creep on!

Oh, and before I forget, have a peek at the debut cover of Volume II of the Uneasy  series, The Shady Side: Shortcut to Uneasy Street. Yup, still working on the writing for this one. Do I dare promise a release date for this new e-book? Do I dare scrunch up my eyes and hold my breathe and say . . . by June? I don’t know, it’s an awful scary thing to promise a release date . . . because the pressure goes up, and I know you’ll be waiting with baited breath for my newest collection of creepy tales!

I’ll give it my all, though. ShadySide_resized

In the meantime, good luck today. Let’s hope you don’t run into any tiny bloodthirsty creatures, killer plants, stinky sea monsters . . . or friends or lovers that you’ve wronged and are now bent on revenge!

Wishing you the most uneasy St. Patrick’s Day!

-Shannon

 

The UNEASY Series

There is so much exciting stuff going on in my horror writing world!

Yesterday I re-launched my debut horror fiction collection, Blood And Bone; A Smattering of Unease, as Volume I of the Uneasy series! Three volumes will complete this collection. Volume II is called The Shady Side; A Shortcut to Uneasy Street and it is already half-finished. I will be working with my graphic designer on cover development, and hopefully will be able to reveal the cover in the near future. I’m already thinking about Volume III and its content and title. I’m not entirely sure yet what I want to do with it, but it will definitely be uneasy.

Volume I should be available for print in early March. In fact, all three books will eventually be offered in print and as a set. Product development for goody giveaways are also in the works. In addition, I am still working on updating my website, so my “subscriber” link will soon be appearing.

I am currently reading some new material, so you can look forward to some more reviews on my Horror Review page in the upcoming weeks.

If anyone would like to check out Volume I of the Uneasy series, it is available as a free Valentine’s Day gift until midnight today! I encourage any readers to leave reviews. Happy Valentine’s Day and uneasy reading to you!

-Shannon

Blood and Bone

Finally! My debut collection of fiction short stories, Blood and Bone; Blood and Bone final coverA Smattering of Unease is now available on e-book! It was released on January 1, 2016.

There are many individuals who assisted me with this project, and I can’t thank you all enough. You have helped me to realize one of my life’s dreams.

I have not yet started my promotions. I know, I’m supposed to start promoting as far ahead of publication as possible. I just wanted to make sure I would actually follow through and finish my book, this time. I will be starting my promotions within a few days, and you will be able to download my book for free!

I’m eager to complete my next book, and I’ve already started to write. I rarely stick to my deadlines, so I’m not sure if I dare to set a completion date. I’m afraid I might jinx myself. I almost think I fail to meet my deadlines on purpose. The most I will say at this time is that I plan on completing my next book in far, far less time than it took to complete this one.

Keep your eye out for my free promotion, and get my book for free!  I encourage any and all readers to leave a review. I hope you enjoy my first offering!

To see more details about my book or to download Blood and Bone; A Smattering of Unease, click the following link:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01A2COS7Q

-Shannon

 

 

 

New Year’s Day, 2016

Happy New Year, everyone! 2015 was a hell of a year, and I feel a huge sense of relief that it is over and I can put it behind me.

Why couldn’t I have done that any day of the year? Is it a psychological thing, that with the changing of the fourth digit, life can somehow be reset more easily than at any other time? Is it like a re-birth, where the muck and grime of the previous year can be washed away, and I can start with a clean slate?

Or is it a time when I bring my lessons forward with me and expand upon the foundation that I have begun to build, brick by brick?

Maybe the latter would be the better choice. If the slate is wiped clean, I have to start from scratch. But if I bring my accomplishments forward -those building blocks – and continue to exercise my strengths and work on my weaknesses, then I have something of substance to stand on.

For any of you who visit my page, you will see some changes this year. I will be removing “This Week in Writing and Publishing History” from my Tidbits page and will replace the list with something of more substance. While I know there are plenty of events and people that have contributed to writing and publishing history, for some reason, not enough of them are documented.

I have decided to focus more on horror, because it is what I know. History is bursting with the horrors that humanity has created. The truth is often more horrific than fiction.

I haven’t decided exactly what form this is going to take; maybe a weekly essay or article. But that is something to be on the lookout for in the coming weeks.

More importantly, I am getting ready to publish my debut fiction collection and bring in the new year on a high note. I am procrastinating as we speak, because today is the day it will be uploaded, and most likely ready to read within a few hours.

Onward into 2016!

-Shannon

This Week in Writing/Publishing History

August 23 – August 28

August 23, 1890 – Henry Frank Guggenheim, American businessman and publisher who co-founded Newsday, is born.

August 24, 394   – The latest known inscription in Egyptian hieroglyphs, The Graffito of Esmet-Akhom, are written.       1847 – Using the pseudonym Currer Bell, Charlotte Brontë sends a manuscript of Jane Eyre to her London publisher.

August 25, 1914 – World War 1: the German Army destroys the Library of the Catholic University of Leuven. Hundreds of thousands of irreplaceable volumes and Gothic and Renaissance manuscripts are lost.

August 26, 1977 – H.A. Rey, German-American author and illustrator of Curious George, dies.

August 27, 1910 – Tarzan of the Apes, written by Edgar Rice Burroughs, appears in a magazine.

August 28, 1828 – Leo Tolstoy, Author of War and Peace and Anna Karenina, is born.

Photos We Loved: “Beneath Your Feet”

The Daily Post

I always enjoy hosting a photo challenge — seeing my notifications light up with photo submissions never gets old!

Thank you to everyone who contributed images to the Beneath Your Feet theme. You shared many different interpretations, and while it’s difficult to select from among hundreds and hundreds of responses, I’ve chosen some highlights to share with you.


Wenjie at A Certain Slant of Light shared a distinctly patterned wooden floor in Casa Milà, one of Antoni Gaudí’s architectural masterpieces in Barcelona, Spain. I love the shapes and patterns on the floor, the sense of movement from the blurred foot on the left, and the various pairs of feet, which are naturally placed around the frame.

Many bloggers captured gorgeous textures beneath them, from the sand dunes at Koppie Aleen, De Hoop, in the Western Cape of South Africa (taken by the photographer at

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On Racism

My definition of racism:  Ignorant belief of certain individuals that people who do not share their own skin color are inherently different; specifically, inferior to, themselves.

But racism isn’t just about skin color. It doesn’t end there. It is about anyone who has characteristics that sets them apart from oneself.

It is my belief that people with racist attitudes will always try to find ways to lift themselves up by stomping on others. If they aren’t bashing others because of their skin color, they will bash them because of their country of origin, or because they are a different gender, or because of their job, or because they are richer or poorer, or they are single, married, or have a family.

Racism is a cop-out. Skin is a wrapper. It holds the body’s entire workings together and protects the important stuff. And the body, while an intricate, miraculous, painstakingly detailed work of art, is nothing more than a vehicle; a transportation device.

Hate based on the color of one’s skin makes as much sense as hating someone based on the color of their car. You get in your car, you drive it around. It serves a purpose. It is a portable container. You hate the color yellow. Do you hate the driver of a yellow car because he’s driving a yellow car?

The human condition is an illustration of the same principle.

What people fail to realize is that their soul could just have easily been placed in the body of an individual of a different color, or nationality, or member of a richer or poorer family.

Racism is also a cop-out that people use to avoid personal responsibility. These people are blamers. Nothing is ever their own fault. “If so-and-so hadn’t done this”, or “It was that guy – he ruined my day”, or “It isn’t my fault I cheated on my spouse”. This is a misrepresentation that the individual has no control over his or her own actions, and therefore, by the same token, that they have no control over their life situations.

It’s about personal lack of self-esteem, self-confidence, insecurities and inadequacies, and not being taught personal responsibility. It’s about lack of education concerning the basic human right to simply exist without being hassled because of one’s packaging. It’s perpetuation of the attitude that it’s okay just to stomp all over anyone we want to “just because”.

Racism is an excuse to find any reason to act like an ass to anyone at all just because we don’t like them, and the dislike is generally based on fear and ignorance.

The way to stand up to hate and “hate crimes” is to show the perpetrators of these crimes that we love and support one another despite our differences; that, despite racist actions, we will still move forward together, and that people of all nations, colors, religions, financial and educational backgrounds, from all walks of life, will still live beside one another in harmony, and that the hate stops where it started.

Looting, arson, violence, and other criminal behavior that is supposedly a “protest” against racism is not a protest against racism, at all; it is simply another excuse to behave in whatever way we choose, and perpetuates unfair stereotypes.

Peaceful protest is the answer. Solidarity and love is the key. There are too many of us on this planet to continue hating, fighting, and killing. There is never true justification for any of this behavior. If we are going to continue to survive, it is through helping one another.