Saturday, October 4, 2014

You Don't Look Sick

I've already touched upon cancer awareness, so today I'd like to write about another illness. It's not a fatal condition like cancer or heart disease, but can be just as debilitating.

Fibromyalgia is a condition with an unknown source that creates intense, body-wide pain in the sufferer. Not very well-studied, some doctors classify this condition as muscular, some neurological. No one actually knows how this condition causes pain, or even if it can cause permanent damage to tissues.

Patients suffering from this condition can be managed using medication, though often cure is worse than the illness. And of course, patients suffer from a varying degree of fibromyalgia, from mild to incredibly intense. Some patients can be completely disabled by their pain.

But you wouldn't necessarily know they have fibromyalgia by looking at someone. It doesn't cause any outward symptoms or deformities, but is often accompanied by insomnia and fatigue as well. So while the patient may look to be fine, inside they are worn out.

So next time, maybe you'll think twice before you say, "You don't look sick!"

Friday, October 3, 2014

First Contests

I closed my first promotional contest on Facebook and Twitter this evening. Facebook surprised me; while I had several "likes" on the page, I only had one share. Congrats to Valerie Hemlin (@VHemlin) for being my Facebook winner.

Twitter, on the other hand, netted me a total of 286 retweets, a number of those from people not following me. Congrats to Georgia Trosper (@datsyuklover) and Mary Eloise Trosper (@1961Et) who just happen to be twins! These ladies ran so close all through the contest, and ended up with 97 and 94 tweets, respectively! All three of these great ladies will be getting autographed copies of my book My Butterfly Cancer.

Now to find out if this helps sales any when My Butterfly Cancer goes on special starting Oct. 11 and running through Oct. 17!

The Process of Writing: Edit vs. Revision

Many people may think writing is easy. After all, you're just making things up and putting them onto paper (or these days, a computer), right? But really, it's NOT that easy!

Many writers are very meticulous, often to the point of OCD. One of my biggest problems is with proofreading. Of course, every writer needs to scrutinize their work for typing and spelling errors. Even computer spell check can miss things: the word to instead of too. And sometimes, I don't like the grammar hints it gives either. People can rely too much on the computer to help them.

But when I would proofread or edit, I often would end up revising instead. What's the difference? Well, editing usually means checking for those spelling and grammar errors. But a revision often changes the plot of the story, completely changing the tone. Revision is okay if you're working from your first draft. But not so much if you're getting ready to publish.

I had to learn the difference between editing and revising, because if I hadn't, I would never have gotten published. Recently, I became a member of an online writer's group called Scribophile. I've posted several parts of my current work in progress for critiques. And let me tell you, no one can be as ruthless as other writers! But even when a critique upset me, I would put it aside for a day to calm down, and return to it later to work it out. And I truly believe it's helping me to improve my writing to be the best it can be. For that, I am grateful.

For now, I'm putting aside the writing for a couple days as I prepare for the Author Fair I'm pparticipating in tomorrow. Sometimes you gotta just let the brain rest, and more and more I'm finding this to be true, especially after my experience with chemo. Hopefully I'll be back in writing mode on Sunday or Monday!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Amazon Author Page

Finally got my blog feed into my Amazon author page. I'm not very good with computers to begin with, and to make matters worse, most of my internet work is being done through my phone, as we only have satellite internet available, and the one place in town who sells it charges way too much. Yes, I live in the middle of America's heartland and don't have internet!

Cancer Awareness Month

October is cancer awareness month. There's a lot of advertising for cancer awareness going on right now. Workplaces are "going pink" to support breast cancer, and celebs are making commercials encouraging viewers to get their annual colonoscopy.

But there are many, many other types of cancer that don't really get into the spotlight. Leukemia is one of those. People may think of children when they hear the word leukemia, and in a way, they're correct. Leukemia does often affect the young. But I was 37 years old when cancer reared its ugly head in my life. It took nearly a year of intense treatment, and even took a fellow patient I'd met while stranded in the hospital. His death hit me very hard.

I can now say with relief that I'm in remission (1 year +), and am slowly returning to a 'new' normal. But my life has been irrevocably changed by the finger of cancer, and I will never again be the person I was before.

So please, help me to spread the word of cancer awareness. My book, entitled My Butterfly Cancer, tells the inspirational tale of my fight against cancer, and how it led me to become a published author. 20% of my proceeds for life will go to cancer charities (some of which helped my family during our troubled times). So please, check out the book and pass the word to others who might enjoy it.

Print: CreateSpace or search Amazon for My Butterfly Cancer

Kindle or Kindle Unlimited

Blog post dedicated to Sam White and his family. You're always in my thoughts!

Share/RT Contests

My contests have begun on Facebook and Twitter. If you haven't done so already, like my Facebook page or follow me on Twitter @naddya81975 and get in on the fun! The most shares/RTs by 7pm on Friday night will win an autographed book. One winner for Facebook and one for Twitter. So far, my biggest response has been on Twitter but I'm boosting a couple posts on Facebook to see if that helps.

Author Fair

Getting ready to attend my first public appearance at the Local Author Fair in Poplar Bluff, MO. I'll be selling books and signing autographs. I have everything I need to make my booth look really nice, but I'm still a little nervous. They're expecting several hundred people to be walking past!
 Update: The author fair was loads of fun, even though it was very cold and windy! I was very pleased to meet other authors, some of whom live very close to me! Check out Rachel Stiber's book Elise's Choice , Mark Sanders' kindle book Dylan's Treasure, Patti Miller Dunham's I Saw Heaven, and Karen Exelby's Why Can't I Be Enough For You?.  You can also find young Teddy O'Malley on Facebook at . Please check out these other authors, you might see something you like!

Marketing is Exhausting!

Even though it doesn't seem like it should be, marketing can be really tiring! The family and I went out to some local flea markets today, something we often do for fun. I snuck several business cards into bookcases and book racks along the way (someone's bound to see them!) and even handed them out to the girls manning the cash registers. They seemed pleased to know there was an author living close by (our town's population is 326), so maybe they'll come along to check out the site.

An Unexpected Gift!

Oh wow, someone at, my writer's group, gave me the gift of an upgraded membership today! This means that I get more benefits from the site, such as being able to post my current publications! It also gives me more perks in using the site, like my posted writing will stay in the spotlight longer for critiques. I don't know who it might be, but I'm very grateful to them and wish I could thank them!

Writer's Group

I've recently joined a fine writer's group at It's a community of other writers who post their works in progress (usually) for other authors to read and critique. You earn karma points for doing a critique, and you can even be gifted them. Anyway, I've earned enough karma points to finally post something (I've decided to post my crime novel, Triple Heist), however I'm still trying to get up the nerve to do it. I'm using any excuse I can: I don't have a hotspot, service is nad cuz it's raining, blah blah. I'm already published, why am I so nervous about this?

Welcome Friends! :)

Ok, it seems like plenty of other writers out there have blogs, and so I'm going to go ahead and try this myself. I may not blog much, as I spend a lot of time writing, editing, and marketing. But I'll try my best! :)

Why I Do What I Do blog Tour

First of all, thank you to Elizabeth for nominating me! You can find her blog tour at I've been through a really rough past year and I'll take all the exposure I can get!

I've written stories for as long as I can remember. Even as far back as early grade school, I've written. I remember especially a teacher who gave us a notebook with some kind of scribble on it, and we had to make a picture using the squiggle and tell a story about it. This was maybe, second or third grade, I think.

I wrote my first long story in high school, what eventually became my first publication, ONCE UPON A WESTERN WAY. I published that in 2012 through a website called Smashwords. But I never understood that, without the backing of big-name publishing houses, I would have to be my own marketing director. I sold five copies in two years. Had over three hundred dwnloads when I made the book free. But aside from telling my family and friends, I really didn't do much in the way of selling my book, assuming that since it was now out there, it would sell itself.

So Why I Do What I Do?

I never intended to make a job out of writing, it was a career path that was intrinsically unstable, never guaranteeing a paycheck, and besides, I wasn't very good at working under a deadline. I prefer to write at my own pace. At times, my writing was completely set aside, as family, jobs, and simply LIFE itself came around.I was a type A personality, always striving to do my best even at minimum wage jobs. I was busy at home too, with two daughters, three or four dogs at any given time, and even a horse that I raised and trained myself.

 I wasn't quite 38 years old when cancer struck me down.I wouldn't wish cancer and its treatment on even my greatest enemy. Well, okay, maybe someone like Hitler. Or maybe not. I was given extremely high doses of chemo drugs, medications so damaging to tissues that the staff practically had to wear a HAZMAT suit just to administer it. During the first treatment, I started bleeding internally and nearly died.I won't go into all the boring details here. Suffice it to say that all this illness and treatment has changed me from the person I was before, into a person that I'm still learning about.

Before my cancer I had begun work on an e-book I intended to offer free, called KEEPING A BACKYARD HORSE. It was my hope to put together a very simple, easy-to-read horse care book (instead of a huge book full of technical terms that might scare off an average horse owner!), and explain the basics of what a horse needs to stay healthy. I hope this book will help spare horses from what I call "accidental neglect", neglect that comes out of owner ignorance.I also wanted to use my experience with cancer to help inspire others out there suffering from it as well. Often, we think of cancer as a death sentence, the end of the road, sayanara. But it doesn't have to be. Cancer took away the life I led before, and I'll likely never be strong enough to return to the work force.

Now I'm taking the opportunity to renew my love of writing, and my new-found ability to publish in print as well as for e-format.For that, I owe my friend Denise (Mercer) Blackwell. Denise found me on Facebook while I was ill, and as she's also a published writer, she encouraged me to walk the same path. Without her friendship and encouragement, I might not have made it this far. I'd like to take a moment to nominate her to attach a short blog, and I hope she knows what a big influence she has been for me. Kudos Denise, I love ya!Check out her inspirational book at