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Other Writings

Good Morning, All!

I hope that wherever you are, that you are all comfortable and feeling well. (I’m thinking about a writer/friend in Minnesota. She’s been cold for a while, now. I’m thinking about my mom in Puerto Rico, who is probably warm, but still without electricity.)

Do you want to know what other kind of writing I love? Letters! I love writing letters to family members and friends. Even more so, I love getting them back.

It is a lost art, I think. E-mails, texts, phone calls, and social media have replaced the purpose – and desire – to do so.

I love writing letters to friends and family. I love picturing them at their mailboxes, eyes glazed over as they review the grocery store circulars, bills, and other non-solicited pieces of mail they might get. I imagine the smile that comes over their faces as they see an envelope with handwritten sender and receiver addresses on it. If they are like me, they wait to get through all of their junk mail before they read their personal mail. (Maybe they are slightly disappointed over the fact that there isn’t any money with their cards, lol.)

There is much joy to be had even in the writing materials selection process. When I go to the post office to buy stamps, I am sure to look at all of their stamp offerings. I buy the ones that are pretty, and not holiday affiliated (I don’t like sending Christmas stamps in March.) I print out address labels (mine). I have a special fountain ink pen I use, and in my preferred ink color (blue). I buy stationary from stationary stores, or from Amazon.

Writing with the best, happiest tools makes the writing a reward in itself, which is a must for me, as I rarely ever get replies. (Except from the awesome Laine, Ilani, Evelyn, and Jessica). But when I do get letters from them, I get so happy!

Here are my writing tools:

Address books matter, too! I write addresses in pencil, as those can change pretty frequently.

So, give writing a letter a shot. Reach out to that person you’ve been meaning to speak to in a while. While they might duck a phone call or take their time to respond to a text, they will welcome your letter.

 

Cyndia Rios-Myers

Blog

Unfinished Stories

Such a good metaphor! What story do you have that is unfinished? Did you try writing something and stopped? Did you stop reading something? Did you end a friendship – or a relationship – in an odd way, and hope to see it through someday?

I think that we all have those. I think that those unfinished stories keep us up at night sometimes. I think that they are the places our minds go to when we aren’t otherwise engaged. The unfinished business – unplanned or not – makes things interesting.

However, the title for this blog entry is not meant to be metaphorical. I am literally talking about books I did not finish.

For your amusement, here is a list:

  1. The Chemist by Stephanie Meyer. I am a true fan of Stephanie Meyer. I don’t care what anyone says; the Twilight series of books were truly well-written and transporting. Those books highlighted and brought more popularity to the paranormal genre. They also created new readers out of young girls. However, I wonder if the books should have been meant for older audiences. But back to The Chemist. It…was boring. I did not care about the heroine. I did not engage with the story. So, I quit it.
  2. Plaid and Plagiarism: The Highland Bookshop Mystery Series: Book 1 by Molly MacRae. I really wanted to like this one. I even made it to the halfway part of the book! The problem (for me) was that there were too many protagonists. Too many sub-plots. I had to quit it.
  3. Wolf Tales by Kate Douglas. Alright. This is an erotica tale. I think that usually means that plot and characters don’t have to be as important as in traditional stories. I stopped reading this one because it got too risque and kind of boring.
  4. The Librarian and the Spy by Susan Mann. Alright. This is the one that I am “reading” right now. (If I was truly engaged, this book would have been finished by now). I think that I’m having a hard time engaging with this one because the librarian (protagonist) has too easy a life. I don’t think I’ll be able to hang.

Obviously, this list is subjective. You might LOVE these books (which is why I hyperlinked all of them). As a matter of fact, The Chemist has over 2000 positive reviews. Be sure to come to your own conclusions.

I don’t have the easiest time in rejecting books. I don’t remember who told me this, but I was told that you should always finish a book. Is that true, though? When we keep reading something we hate, who are we serving? The author? Ourselves?

Personally, I read fiction for leisure. While I have some time for that, it is not in abundance. For that reason, I have grown comfortable with unfinished stories. (Some, but not all…Excuse me while I get lost in thought for a bit.)

Anyway, here’s your photographic reward for getting this far:

A picture of my neighborhood early this morning. Cold, but stunning.

 

 

Cyndia Rios-Myers

Blog, My Books

What’s New

Hello Everyone!

Thanks for keeping tabs on me. I’ll share what I’ve been up to.

Amazon’s Kindle Scout program not choosing Marta Cleans Up to be published was a bit of a bummer. It would have been a great deal. But, it wasn’t to be. So, how does that feel, you might be wondering. I’ll tell you. Disappointing. Not gravely so, though, as I have been rejected before. As a matter of fact, I’ll make a list of bigger disappointments that have come with this writing thing:

  1. An agent turning down Marta Cleans Up after having read the book. That was so disappointing. I felt like we had good rapport, too. The disappointment was so bad that I stopped writing for almost an entire year.
  2. An agent accepting Rescued by the Wolf, but only if I made quarterly payments to her.
  3. Literary agents telling me that they love my writing and that it fills a niche, but still passing me over. Sure; it is not the job of a literary agent to help my writing…but how am I supposed to work with great feedback followed by rejection?
  4. Not getting reviews from readers. Sigh. As an avid reader, I put a lot of stock into reader feedback. If a book I am interesting has little to no feedback, I will probably pass on it.

What I’ve been doing is working on Marta. I am doing my best to try to fill holes in the story. I am trying to add more backstories for other characters. I am going to work on the suspense building, too.

The goal is to continue walking the difficult walk of the traditionally published. It will take some time, I know. And probably more disappointments. Le sigh.

But, in other news, I have been reading. I love reading. I think that being able to link library e-books to my Kindle is nothing short of wonderful. I love reading suspense series featuring strong female characters. I love humor too, though.

These are two authors whose works I’ve been devouring of late: Diane Kelly‘s Tara Holloway series (she’s a Texas-based special agent with the IRS) strikes a great balance between suspense, humor, and romance. Amanda Stevens‘ Graveyard Queen (Amelia Gray – cemetery restorer out of South Carolina) series wonderfully layers suspense, women’s fiction, the paranormal and even romance.

In personal news, the flu’s got me PETRIFIED. Sure, hand-washing, anti-bacterial gel and avoiding touching others have been in effect here at home. Also, I’m getting kind of tired of shoveling my driveway. I am also not a fan of my running trail’s surface covering alternating between mud and snow.

Well, that’s all for my updates for now. However, for your trouble, here’s a picture of Bueller the cat. (He’s big, handsome, personable, but not charming):

Thanks for reading!!

 

Cyndia Rios-Myers

Blog, My Books

Kindle Scout Takes a Pass on Marta Cleans Up

Le sigh.

Despite many hours on “Hot,” and lots of Kindle Scout votes, Kindle Scout has passed on Marta Cleans Up. I very much knew that this was a possibility. I’d even read blog posts written by other writers who’d also submitted novels to Kindle Scout. Their posts detailed how many days their novels were on the “Hot” list, and how they were passed up. Sometimes for novels that spent NO time on the “Hot” list.

I was disappointed. Not too surprised, though, as I have been in this writing game for a while and know the sting of rejection.

To be honest, though, in my mind, I’d already spent the $1,500. I would have paid for better cover art. I would have paid for some advertising. I would have visited the Williams Sonoma store to peruse their kitchen offerings. I would have hit up Sephora and would have bought another perfume.

The reward of the contract would have felt like validation. I didn’t get that.

But now, I am back to planning – thinking about what I need to do next in order to expose Marta Cleans Up to as large an audience as possible. Does it mean improving upon the novel? Maybe. I can identify some areas that could improve. I also know which ones need to stay the same.

What I do NOT want to do is squander my time. That means that I will work on an essay I wrote just a few days back. I’ll try to get it published.

Then, it will be back to Marta. Perhaps I’ll do some cleaning up of my own.

 

Cyndia Rios-Myers

 

Blog, My Books

Marta Cleans Up – Last Push!

Hello All!

As of today, Marta Cleans Up has four days left on Kindle Scout. I am working hard to get everyone I know to go to the site and nominate it. Will it make a difference? I do not know.

Truth be told, I’ve read writer blog posts that state that being on the “Hot” list (a popularity list where your novel ends up should you get lots of nominations) has no correlation to being picked up for publishing via Amazon or not.

I don’t know what will happen. I’ll learn soon, though, I guess.

Even if Amazon does not pick up Marta Cleans Up, I will carry on with the the attempt to get it published.

I’ll keep you all posted!!

 

Cyndia Rios-Myers

P.S. And please go to https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/2OLOCMPROF98C to nominate it (if you have not yet done so).

Blog, My Books

Marta Cleans Up – An Excerpt on Kindle Scout

Hello, everyone! I know it’s been awhile. I’ve been busy. Have you been busy? I bet.

So, the wonderful folks at Amazon have permitted me to try out for the Kindle Scout program. It’s a great program. All readers need to participate are Amazon accounts. You don’t even need an e-reader! (But you have the option to upload excerpts to your Kindle, should you own one!)  You can participate from your phone or your laptop.

So, what you do is read an excerpt for any Kindle Scout book. If you like it, you nominate it. If Marta Cleans Up – my latest book – receives enough nominations, it will be published exclusively through Kindle Press. I would TRULY LOVE IT if Marta Cleans Up would be picked up through Kindle Press.

Need more persuading? Here’s my write-up for it:

MARTA CLEANS UP (The Housekeeping Detective, Book 1)

Urban women’s fiction meets detective novel

Marta Morales is a divorced, forty-year-old Puerto Rican maid who lives in Chicago, Illinois. Marta could do more, but she lives in the aftermath of real and self-inflicted disappointments. One day, something changes. While on a job, she watches a video that reminds her of what she should’ve been – a cop in Puerto Rico. It’s too late for civil service, but not for helping others in any way she can. Marta will do that, but not before cleaning up her professional life and her personal life.

So, that’s the write-up!!! If you want to read the beginning of the story, PLEASE hit up Kindle Scout. Set your timer, as the link below goes live midnight “tonight” (December 14th, 2017 12:00 a.m. EST).

https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/2OLOCMPROF98C

Just in case you are curious, I am including the cover art. Thanks again, and please do read (and enjoy) Marta Cleans Up.