Wednesday, June 7, 2017

IWSG: June 2017

First Wednesday of the Month

Welcome. It’s IWSG time again. Thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh and co-hosts for putting this on each month. If you’d like to join us, you can sign up here.

The insecurity I’m focusing on this month isn’t so much about good things or bad things, it’s more about yes vs. no. I used to be so good at only saying yes to things I really wanted to do. That mentality freed up so much time. But now I’m in a strange place. There are so many good things to say yes to. Yes to kid's summer soccer camp, because of course they’ll want to do that, right? And yes to swimming lessons--heaven forbid they drown—and yes to another animal (or two)—they’re so cute—who could say no? And yes, yes, yes.

And now my life is too full to breathe.

This happens every once in a while to me and I have to sit down and wipe the slate clean and start over, which is hard. It would’ve been easier to say “No” in the first place. How do you tell someone you changed your mind about that adorable lamb they’re holding onto for you? Okay, maybe I’ll get the lamb. But then something else has to go. Do you see my dilemma? How do you choose between so many “good” things?

Help!
 
 

Friday, May 26, 2017

May 2017: FIve Year Goal Review

Last Friday of the Month

Today is the last Friday of the month, making it time to review some goals. A little over a year and a half ago, I joined this wonderful online community (waves hi to Misha and others) which not only allows me to visit this goal monthly, but also provides such wonderful encouragement. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, or if you’d like to join in, you can find out more/sign up here.

My goal, initially, was to write the next great American novel. About six months into this five your project, I changed that goal: to running a world-class publishing company. I’m not arrogant, I promise; not delusional. I know the impossibility of what I just wrote, both things, actually. But I also know I serve a God who somehow makes the impossible happen. And that’s what I’m counting on.

With that in mind…
Today, just now, I found out that both of my goals have been blessed. The Newstead Project, my first novel, just won the Author’s Circle Novel of Excellence for paranormal novels. I’m blown away! When I submitted it for consideration, I did so out of personal love for this story. I am beyond thrilled that others have some book-love for it, too. With that in mind, I’m pleased to announce here, for the first time, that I’ve been working a little over a year on making The Newstead Project the first full length Ubook novel. It will be released this September. This will bring the story to a much deeper level, with a streamline voice and mood-stirring music. I can’t wait for you to experience it.

I said doubly blessed, didn’t I? Jellyfish Jones, Black and White Publishing Co.’s first ever Ubook won as well. I am pleased to announce that Jellyfish Jones just won the Author’s Circle Children’s Book of the Year. This one wasn’t such a surprise. The story is superb, the illustrations charming, and the original musical score by Nathan Moran was perfectly done. Not to mention the narration (nudges daughter Hannah, who did a wonderful job). It has always been my goal to publish only that which is excellent, and I am thrilled to see that that excellence was awarded today.

So, how is it going? Well, we’re not World-class yet, but I’d say we’re on our way.
 
 
 
 

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

IWSG: May 2017

Today is the first Wednesday of May, which makes it IWSG time. Thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh and co-hosts for putting this on each month. If you’d like to join us, you can sign up here.

First Wednesday of the Month
May and September have always been full of meaning for me as a writer. I began this whole writing adventure on a warm September day, and saw that adventure reach it’s fulfillment a year and a half later in May, when my first novel was published. For that reason, I try to publish my very best, my very favorite pieces in the months of May and September. And this May is no different. Two days ago my email subscriber list received Haunted, first published as part of the anthology Parallels: Felix Was Here, in Ubook form. It will be released to the general public on Monday, May fifteenth. This story is very personal to me, and is probably the most important piece I’ve written, or will ever write. I finished it in less than a day, which is nothing short of miraculous. So why bring it up here, when we’re supposed to be discussing our insecurities? Because along with Haunted being my most important story, it was also the most difficult to let be published. It may be the most difficult thing I’ve ever done. It’s a laying of myself out there in a way I cannot take back. Frankly, it’s going to piss a lot people off. But that’s okay. I’ve made peace with that. It’s a story that needed to be written, and no matter how deep my own insecurities may be concerning that, it wasn’t a story about me. It was about him. It always has been. If you’re interested in reading it for yourself, check back here on the fifteenth, or go to setbooksfree.org on or after that day. But be warned, it will haunt you.

I just want to take this opportunity to thank Dancing Lemur Press/Freedom Fox Press for including Haunted in the anthology. It was a brave thing to have done.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

The Release of The Open Book

 
 
Liza has called and The Open Book has responded. Now only two questions remain: Was it a good idea for the three of them to be in one place? And what if Liz wasn't the one who planned it that way? Read it here.


And a previously released favorite:
 
 
 
 
On Meadowbrook farms live three sheep, fifteen chickens and two little girls with their parents. So begins this delightful tale by Liz Daniels where playhouses come in all shapes and sizes, but don't necessarily last forever. Read it here.
 

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Kickstarter: Day 4


 
Day 4

 
Sometime after I turned forty (don’t get any ideas—it was only four months ago J),  my philosophies changed. Before that, everything had been about the future. Saving for the Future. Planning for the future. Getting things in order for the future. And then, like a light had flipped, I realized I was living in it; the future I mean. I started enjoying my life. Now, I’m not saying I’m blowing all the money I’ve saved for retirement, but I am living life. Every six weeks I do something. It might be a weekend trip with one of my kids, a massage, or a writing retreat in the woods. Whatever it is, I’m not waiting for later to live.

Until tomorrow.




 P.S.  I’ll be counting down over the next 17 days, offering some exclusive items, like original storyboards by Gail DiCarlo and setbooksfree.org T-shirts, cinch sacks, and bumper stickers. But I’ll be offering additional items here, for you, my loyal blogging friends. Including:
*$100.00 Amazon gift card:



 

**The cover storyboard for Garden House:

***Personalized dogtags
To qualify, share this link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1531528220/ubooks-musically-enhanced-video-books to your blog/facebook/twitter. Then post the link on this blog in the comments or email the link to: melanie@melanieschulz.com. There is no limit to how many ways or times you can share, but please forward the link, so it can qualify for the official drawing at 12 midnight on the twenty-first.
 
*For this option to be available, 100 entries must be entered.
**For this option to be available, 100 entries must be entered. Valid for US residents only.
***Valid for US residents only.   



Monday, April 3, 2017

Kickstarter: Day 3


Day 3

 

Today marks the first day of this venture where work and everyday life is taking its toll. Like most of you, I have a regular job, so I when I decided to do this, I knew Monday through Friday posting would be tough. But here it is.

Have any of you considered Kickstarter before? I know of some people who have used it for pre-release book promotion with reasonable success. The reason why I chose to use this particular platform is because I loved the indie feel of it. I loved how passionate other people seemed to be about the projects they support, and I’d love to get some of that passion in play for Ubooks.  Passion is always good.

Until tomorrow.


 








P.S.  I’ll be counting down over the next 18 days, offering some exclusive items, like original storyboards by Gail DiCarlo and setbooksfree.org T-shirts, cinch sacks, and bumper stickers. But I’ll be offering additional items here, for you, my loyal blogging friends. Including:
*$100.00 Amazon gift card:



 
**The cover storyboard for Garden House:
***Personalized dogtags
To qualify, share this link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1531528220/ubooks-musically-enhanced-video-books to your blog/facebook/twitter. Then post the link on this blog in the comments or email the link to: melanie@melanieschulz.com. There is no limit to how many ways or times you can share, but please forward the link, so it can qualify for the official drawing at 12 midnight on the twenty-first.
 
*For this option to be available, 100 entries must be entered.
**For this option to be available, 100 entries must be entered. Valid for US residents only.
***Valid for US residents only.   



Saturday, April 1, 2017

Kickstarter: Day 2



Day 2

Welcome. I’m two days into this Kickstarter thing, and so far I’m as uncomfortable as I thought I’d be. Like I’ve said here hundreds of times, marketing just isn’t my thing. But I also know how really truly important Ubooks could be, both for books and the people who read them. So I press on. If you feel like spreading the word, I’d greatly appreciate it.
 
 
 
I’ll be counting down over the next twenty days, offering some exclusive items, like original storyboards by Gail DiCarlo and setbooksfree.org T-shirts, cinch sacks, and bumper stickers. But I’ll be offering additional items here, for you, my loyal blogging friends. Including:


*$100.00 Amazon gift card:

 
 
**The cover storyboard for Garden House:
***Personalized dogtags
To qualify, share this link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1531528220/ubooks-musically-enhanced-video-books to your blog/facebook/twitter. Then post the link on this blog in the comments or email the link to: melanie@melanieschulz.com. There is no limit to how many ways or times you can share, but please forward the link, so it can qualify for the official drawing at 12 midnight on the twenty-first.
Come back each of the twenty-one days for updates, exclusives, and stories.
Thank you all.
 
 
 


 


*For this option to be available, 100 entries must be entered.
**For this option to be available, 100 entries must be entered. Valid for US residents only.
***Valid for US residents only.