Eva’s Byte #193: Determined!

In retrospective review, I’m proud to share that by the end of 2018:

My Contemporary, An Enlightening Quiche (2016), merited the following awards:

2018 Golden Book Award – 3rd Place Winner

2017 New Apple Annual Book Award: “Official Selection”

2017 SIBA 1st Place – Best Contemporary

2017 ATAI (Authors Talk About It) 5-Star Badge

2016 Readers’ Favorite 5-Star Seal

*1st for Books Set in Rhode Island (Goodreads Listopia)

My Nonfiction Memoir, 100 Wild Mushrooms: Memoirs of the ‘60s (2017), merited the following awards:

2018 New Apple Summer eBookAwards for Excellence in Independent Publishing: Solo Medalist Winner

2018 TopShelf Award Finalist in the Category of Memoirs (Other)

In 2019, I’m determined to further my WIP, resuming from chapter 16. By nature, writing is a slow process for me, often further exacerbated by life’s hairpin turns over which I have no control. Que sera sera!

No one from any walk of life is exempt from strife and setbacks which hinder our goals.

“It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get up.” (Vince Lombardi)

Therein lies my determination to roll with the punches on my terms and timeframe.

Best wishes for a prosperous and productive year ahead!

 Authors Den: http://www.authorsden.com/evapasco

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1270775.Eva_Pasco

Eva Pasco’s Amazon Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/evapasco

 

Eva’s Byte #192: On Thin Ice!

Separate and apart from my life as a writer/published author—most days I’m skating on thin ice. When you’re a caregiver, and I’m not even as hands-on as others who wear the crown, you live by the creed, “When you least expect it…”

Such was the case on Christmas Eve, infiltrating Christmas: pondering whether or not a trip to the ER was called for. The mid-morning stabilization provided a reprieve for two people who avoided languishing in the hospital for hours on end. This unexpected pardon enabled me to embrace a semblance of inner peace and harmony, providing relief from the doldrums.

Each of us has our own reference point to rally from. When you’re skating on thin ice, you truly appreciate a lifeline when you least expect it, and when you need it the most.

As for the fate of my characters who reside in the genre of Contemporary, there are those who succumb, and those who survive the perils of skating on thin ice. Such is life.

Authors Den: http://www.authorsden.com/evapasco

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1270775.Eva_Pasco

Eva Pasco’s Amazon Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/evapasco

 

Eva’s Byte #191: Redefining the Magic of Christmas

As cited in Memoir #68 – The Magic of Christmas (100 WILD Mushrooms: Memoirs of the ‘60s; 2017) For a child growing up during the Sixties, it took over seven million twinkling lights illuminating Edaville Railroad to open my eyes wide and flood my heart with holiday magic.

Despite the passage of time and all the changes it has wrought—some for naught, it’s in my best interest to redefine the magic of Christmas. I achieve this by focusing on the true meaning of the holiday which incorporates themes of healing, harmony, renewal, and good will towards others.

Nowadays, I redefine the magic of Christmas by blending the old with the new:

My heart is illuminated from basking in the warm glow of precious family memories, many of them recaptured in my nonfiction collection. My heart glows from the inner peace attained by living life on my terms.

May each of us redefine the magic of Christmas to accommodate our own set of beliefs and circumstances.

Authors Den: http://www.authorsden.com/evapasco

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1270775.Eva_Pasco

Eva Pasco’s Amazon Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/evapasco

Eva’s Byte #190: A Holly Jolly!

Have a holly, jolly Christmas
And in case you didn’t hear
Oh by golly have a holly jolly Christmas
This year

(Lyrics from “A Holly Jolly Christmas” written by Johnny Marks in 1962)

Is the sugar-spun notion of a “holly jolly” Christmas unrealistic?

Before his redemption, Ebenezer Scrooge thought so: “If I could work my will, every idiot who goes about with ‘Merry Christmas’ on his lips, should be boiled with his own pudding, and buried with a stake of holly through his heart!”

An Indie author who aspires to the assertion, “art imitates life”—I’m inclined to agree.

Although Christmas is an integral part of my Contemporary, An Enlightening Quiche, realism jingles all the way from the perspective of my protagonist, Augusta Bergeron:

A vision of myself as a ghoul from Christmases Yet to Come appeared in the guise of a long-in-the-tooth trollop flicking fried-dyed hair and wearing age-inappropriate, skintight attire tautly stretched over my butt of a joke. A comparable image satirized every night by Cohen at closing time inside the chamber of Chuggers put the fear of God in me.

‘Tis the season to indulge in a reprieve from the doldrums and humdrum. Against my better judgement, I indulge a Hallmark movie from time to time, in willing suspension of disbelief.

Authors Den: http://www.authorsden.com/evapasco

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1270775.Eva_Pasco

Eva Pasco’s Amazon Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/evapasco

 

Eva’s Byte #189: Home Sweet Home

Oh, there’s no place like home for the holidays,
‘Cause no matter how far away you roam,
When you pine for the sunshine of a friendly gaze,
For the holidays, you can’t beat home, sweet home.

*From: “(There’s No Place Like) Home for the Holidays”; published: 1954; best-known recordings by Perry Como

The lyrics may hold true for many of us. For some, heading home for the holidays is stressful. Assuming there’s no place like home, where exactly is “home” for the rest of the year?

If home is where the heart is, I feel at home in my native state of Rhode Island which affords me access to the ocean, my favorite place to be. Throughout my childhood and young adulthood, I felt at home in the town of Lincoln. In that regard, I’m glad I preserved details of the past by writing/publishing my nonfiction memoir collection, 100 Wild Mushrooms: Memoirs of the ‘60s (2017).

I never felt at home in South Kingstown where I resided for 15 years because most of that stretch was spent out of town during my teaching career. These days, while my abode is homey, I can’t say I feel at home in the town of East Providence either, a stranger among many who keep to ourselves in an apartment complex.

I’ve come to believe that “home sweet home” is not tied to any particular place. It’s a headspace where we bask in the sunshine as we define it. Until we’re comfortable in our own headspace, books provide an outlet for us to lose and find ourselves while homeward bound.

 Authors Den: http://www.authorsden.com/evapasco

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1270775.Eva_Pasco

Eva Pasco’s Amazon Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/evapasco

 

 

Eva’s Byte #188 –So, It’s Almost Christmas

And, “literally”—what have I done before this year is over to benefit the surplus population of the Indie community?

In my capacity as a reader, I completed the 2018 Goodreads Reading Challenge: 4 books ahead of schedule, and surpassed my goal to read 25 books:

https://www.goodreads.com/user_challenges/11482188

I’ve reviewed every one of these books, and posted my reviews on Goodreads, Amazon, Authors Den, Google+, Facebook, and BookBub.

In my capacity as an Indie author, I’m participating in two holiday events on social media. In the spirit of the holiday season, I’ve pledged to donate copies of my books:

Indie Advent Calendar Event:

December 23rd – Eva Pasco, featuring An Enlightening Quiche (Contemporary):

*For a chance to win a selection of eBooks every day from December 1st – 25th, you can enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway Contest by answering questions posted on the event page—starting on the 1st, and not before!

https://www.facebook.com/IndieAdventCalendar/

Or: https://www.facebook.com/IndieAdventCalendar/

FYI: Nearly 400 books, and over 35 paperbacks, along with bookmarks, prints, pins, and postcards will be given away. I’ve pledged eBook copies of An Enlightening Quiche.

12 Days of Christmas Book Buying Event (December 13th – 24th):

Readers will buy one Indie book per day for 12 days.

Readers only will post. Authors can list their books in the comments. Each reader will list what type of book(s) they are interested in buying, as well as a preferred price range. One can participate as a reader, author, or both.

https://www.facebook.com/events/278153022841901/

 For prize giveaways, I’ve pledged to donate eBook copies of An Enlightening Quiche and 100 Wild Mushrooms: Memoirs of the ‘60s, along with a print copy of An EQ within the USA.

*Books are ideal holiday gifts for everyone on your shopping list—they’re inexpensive and their stories last a lifetime.

*Books have potential to add light and make the holiday season bright.

 Authors Den: http://www.authorsden.com/evapasco

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1270775.Eva_Pasco

Eva Pasco’s Amazon Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/evapasco

 

Eva’s Byte #187: In Gratitude for “Enough”

One who knows firsthand how life can turn on a dime so things are no longer quite the same, I’ve learned to pivot from the notion “this is as good as it gets”.

A pragmatist, cynic, and skeptic rolled into one, I’m grounded in gratitude for the blessings of having “enough”.

Since money is the great enabler, having enough enables me to take care of the bare necessities: paying bills, putting food on the table, filling up the gas tank and maintaining my vehicle.

Without going off the deep end, having enough allows me to indulge in superfluous, simple pleasures I never take for granted: going to breakfast or lunch; having fresh flowers in a vase on my dining room table at all times;  getting my hair styled at the salon.

An Indie author who dreams of becoming a best-seller, it’s enough for me to sell a book every now and then. I’m filled with pride and gratitude for each merit badge my books have earned for their literary merit.

Retired, I’m grateful for having enough time to ply my creativity to white space for my work in progress to grow in spurts. As for my imagination—I’ve more than enough to further this novel in the genre of Contemporary to the end.

Authors Den: http://www.authorsden.com/evapasco

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1270775.Eva_Pasco

Eva Pasco’s Amazon Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/evapasco

Eva’s Byte #186: A Writer’s Wrinkle Z-app-er!

An Indie author who foregoes the latest “editing” tools, preferring to rely on my own analytic powers, I came across the grandmaster of editing apps the other day.

http://blog.bookbaby.com/2018/07/how-an-editing-app-can-increase-writing-productivity/

“More than just a grammar and punctuation checker, it’s also a writing coach that can point out your weaknesses and help you turn them into strengths”—such as—and, I’m slapping myself silly:

“The editing tool reports on issues that most human editors wouldn’t be able to easily track, such as readability level, inconsistencies, sticky sentences, sentence length, repetition, strong or weak tenses, unique words, transitions, and much more.”

And, the issue of “pronoun overload”. Brought out: 15% of the words in published writing are pronouns, and fewer than 30% of sentences begin with an initial pronoun. Since writing that relies too heavily on pronouns can sound stilted, the editing tool shows if your work has higher percentages than these.

Mind you, I don’t doubt the effectiveness of any “writer’s wrinkle z-app-er”. However, like Botox, heavy reliance can induce “stiffness of sentence” and detract from the writer’s unique voice.

In that regard, I’ll continue to exercise my own critical judgment in assessing the effectiveness of grammar, punctuation, and use of pronouns. Steering clear of artificial intelligence, I’ll persevere by writing and editing without intervention.

 Authors Den: http://www.authorsden.com/evapasco

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1270775.Eva_Pasco

Eva Pasco’s Amazon Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/evapasco

 

Eva’s Byte #185: Power of Persuasion

An indie author, I expend a minimal amount of energy on marketing and promoting my books, refusing to analyze and strategize Facebook or Amazon ads. It’s a costly exercise by trial and error. Even after reading the scant stories of successful authors who’ve discovered their successful algorithm to earn a lucrative living from writing, I’m not impressed or enticed in the least.

Of sound mind—a dubious claim, I didn’t sign up for becoming an expert in marketing analysis. I’m a writer who firmly believes “word of mouth” is a published author’s best marketing tool for persuading readers to take a leap of faith in purchasing a book.

And, so—whenever possible, I incorporate a snippet from a reader’s review in the ads I create:

Add text to photos – https://picfont.com/

This indispensable marketing tool enables me to compose ads for each of my books, like the one you see in the featured image. Prepped the evening before, I post such an ad in various promo groups on Facebook.

As to their power of persuasion, my burden of proof reverts to the number of Booklinker URL clicks which automatically take potential readers to the Amazon storefront. Hence, it’s catch as catch can.

I’m not faring any better, or any worse, had I heeded a snippet of the marketing advice floating around. As I’ve learned the hard way, failure comes at a price, with little to nothing gained from my own expense. Namely, the revenue from book sales.

*Yet, a picture with testimony has potential for motivating the beholder to take action.

Authors Den: http://www.authorsden.com/evapasco

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1270775.Eva_Pasco

Eva Pasco’s Amazon Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/evapasco

 

Eva’s Byte #184: Nom de Plume

Why do published authors choose to assume a pen name or pseudonym?

There are various reasons, and mine certainly has nothing to do with insulating myself from “aggressive fans stalking me”. My anonymity is intact wheeling a shopping cart at the supermarket in my own neighborhood.

Even as an aspiring writer ten years ago, before realizing how difficult it would be for an Indie author to rise above the ashes of obscurity, I had made the conscious decision to take a nom de plume. One who values privacy, I like the separation between my personal and professional life.

Oh, I’ll admit to conjuring up a pseudonym indicative of a romance writer—which I’m not, preferring to write in the genre of Contemporary where I include romance amidst weightier issues. Ready? Halo Rhodes.  “Halo” was part of the user name I maintained at a perfume forum. “Rhodes” represented my native state of Rhode Island.

In keeping with the realistic “lit with grit” I write, eventually I came to my senses and assumed a pen name based on the emotional consideration of honoring my parents—that of Eva Pasco.

On every Acknowledgement Page, I pay them homage:

As always, heartfelt thanks to:

My mother and namesake, Eva, for her unwavering faith and pride in my literary accomplishments cultivated by reading stories to me when I was a toddler.

My late father and namesake, Pasco, for the independent streak he instilled in me.

 

*To assume or not to assume a nom de plume, is the writer’s prerogative.

 

Authors Den: http://www.authorsden.com/evapasco

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1270775.Eva_Pasco

Eva Pasco’s Amazon Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/evapasco