"Finished" My Collection, Not Your Abuelita's Folktales, and Submitting Stories #StickWithTheHardWork #ComeToMyReleaseParty #IndieAuthor #Amazon #barriobluesRead Now
Well Friends, I finished my collection, Not Your Abuelita's Folktales. Celebration! The second story on the devil mythos turned out pretty great. I always wondered what happened in these tales when the Devil took his victims, so I focused on that aspect of the narrative. I titled it "The Extravagant Stranger" and am saving the original story, "When the Devil Came for Him" for another home. The collection overall is pretty amazing, and even though I can’t celebrate total completion, I am happy it will be done on time.
However, I did have a panic attack because I needed to find a copy editor, and I found a friend who is giving me a friend discount. I am still looking over the stories and am pretty sick of looking over them. In fact, I have to comb through the Spanish, but it will be done on time. Now, I just have to nudge the cover designer.
I did write a tight short story, "Pendejo (The Dumbe One)", which I submitted to Asimov Magazine. Hey, one can dream! Unfortunately, I didn't quite hit the devolution story I blogged about last time. The story I wrote had a similar melancholy tone and decline of civilization, but there was no devolution. It turned out to be an end of the world weather story, but I have something in mind to work on next. I’m thinking of writing a devolution story where young people are negatively impacted by technology, thus causing the end of humanity. That sounds a lot like a lot of anime movies I’ve seen, but I want to put a twist on how technology hurts teens.
As many of you know, writing stories less than 5,000 words is not easy for me, but I am trying to have a range of fiction. I lean towards writing long stories, as you know, but I do love the punchiness of a good short story. Plus. I think writing short pieces will save me through the drudgery of revising my novel The Harvest, which I want to get done by August 2019.
Finally, I want to invite you all, once again, to my first-ever book release party of Not Your Abuelita’s Folktales, June 15, 2109, 2:00 p.m. @ RYUU Asian BBQ 2766 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago, Illinois 60647. I will be Live Streaming the reading on my Facebook Author Wall from 2:15p.m. to 2:45 p.m. central time. There will be wine and appetizers!
Well, writer friends, keep hitting it hard! Experiment and have fun. #barrioblues
What's Your Fantasy Writing Project? #TrySomethingNew #StretchYourself #LoveWritingChallenges #IndieWriter #Amazon #Freebie #barriobluesRead Now
Well fellow writers, if you could challenge yourself and write something from your personal literary mountaintop, what would it be? I have been flirting with the idea of writing a de-evolution short story for some time and am rather leaning towards a novella. For now, I am writing a short 5,000 word piece in a totally new setting, Flagstaff, Arizona. I was deeply inspired by The Road by Cormac McCarthy, which won the Pulitzer Prize. I also recently read “The Last Teacher” by Chris Dietzel; the Kindle version is free on Amazon; I recommend it.
There are a number of elements I love about de-evolution stories. Yes, they are depressing, but they hit on something fundamental about being fully human. In “The Last Teacher”, for example, the main character comes to grips with the purpose for teaching, even though the world is ending. How can she inspire students without hope? Some dystopian literature leaves you with a glimmer of hope, but not all. Yet, well written de-evolution stories don't leave you unsatisfied.
For my freebie, I decided to extrapolate from current political situations and the destruction of the EPA, to some degree. I also had to research how to skin a deer, which I should check with one of my cousins who actually hunts.
What else have I been up to these last seven days? I have been beta reading P.C. Darkcliff’s The Priest of Orpagus, which promises to be another supernatural, dark triumph. Then, I started beta reading a fantastic novel which I cannot reveal because my good friend is writing under a pen name. These two projects have been really inspiring and morale boosting for me.
Other than that, I have been going over Mona’s Return, as I found a few more typos. I ended up sending that to a couple of my writer friends, and flat out asked them both to copy edit it for me. It also has given me great joy to see that people are requesting the printed version of that piece, but as I have said in the past, I will be writing longer novellas from now on. I may leave the short reads as freebies, but my printed books will be either novellas or novels. One of my reviewers actually suggested that La Bruja in the Orchard be part of a longer novel, and I think that is the direction I will take with the Mona series.
Today, I am going to work on my de-evolution short story a bit more and then, continue with Not Your Abuelita’s Folktales. I have been flirting with the idea of putting Mona’s Return in it, but am going to write another long story instead. That story will be based on the mythos of the devil punishing a disobedient girl. When I looked at the collection, I decided that “When the Devil Came for Him” didn’t really fit, but the new story spins off from it. I also have another story I may rewrite as a magical realism piece, but we will see as I have to be totally done by the end of the month.
Finally, I want to invite you all to my first-ever book release party of Not Your Abuelita’s Folktales, June 15, 2109, 2:00 p.m. @ RYUU Asian BBQ 2766 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago, Illinois 60647. I will be Live Streaming the reading on my Facebook Author Wall from 2:15p.m. to 2:45 p.m. central time.
Well folks, keep challenging yourselves. I hope something really magical happens when you take that leap forward. #barrioblues
Yes, Mona's Return is coming on Amazon. And that my friends is how you get back into the writing groove. I am not quite to my 3 a.m. writing zone, but that's because I need to focus on a new writing project (and I'm tired from work; yeah, I need sleep). For now, Mona's Return has my attention, then Not Your Abuelita's Folktales.
Today, is also going to be an Easter egg hunt kind of day. We are exploring the venues for my book release party. We are looking for places with free parking and enough space for 20 to 30 people. However, my good friend and comrade reminded me that the library does not stay open past 5:00 p.m., in some locations. It doesn't matter because we can still come over to my place for drinks. I just want people to celebrate. Hell, I want to celebrate. I need to celebrate.
Little known fact, I reported my outside income for the first time. It was a humble amount that I rounded up for the Union scholarship. No, none of that was demoralizing. Fuck money. The point is that I love to write, and I think I'm getting better at it. I'm not trying to be arrogant, but I genuinely enjoy it--reading my own work--a lot more.
My brain also needs to get the fuck back to work. Actually, it doesn't because I'm allowing myself to rest, save for some job duties, which mostly require reading and writing.
Oh, I do have another goal, which I'm sure I've posted about before.
True story, when you sit on your ass all day you get the fat lump of a ten-year-old baby going. I know, I know, blogs are supposed to be uplifting but actually this is a hard fact about writing. You need to get off your butt, or your muscles will atrophy or in my case, become ossified like the damned Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz. Except there is no lube. The writing is not to blame because I am on the computer a lot for my real full-time job. Still, that is no excuse. I have a goal of getting up every hour, which may be annoying when I'm in the writing groove, but this new body situation, which I wasn't keeping an eye on at all, is really a burden. Bodies shouldn't be burdens at my age.
However, my family and I are also in it together. So, we are planning the menus as a collective and doing more physical activities in the afternoon. Mostly, we need to detech.
Well, back to it. This story won't edit and revise itself. Oh, one final shout out to P.C. Darkcliff for reviewing my novelette before posting it on Amazon.
Celebrate and do right by you. #barrioblues
I Invite You to My First-Ever Book Release Party, June 15, 2019 in Chicago! #BookRelease #BookSigning #FreeFoodandBooze #BookDrawings #barriobluesRead Now
January 15, 2019 marks one year of my publications! To commemorate this great day, I am having my first-ever physical book release party on that Saturday.
I will be selling copies of my new Magical Realism collection for young adults: Not Your Abuelita’s Folktales. I can also bring other books I have published, by request. Comment below.
There will be a reading in real time and simultaneously Live Streamed on my Facebook Author site: Barrio Blues and Other Totally True Stories.
As ever, I will have drawings, but this time, of my new book, and books I love by writers I support.
The party will either be at a restaurant OR a Chicago Public Library events room. If the party is at a library, after 7:30 p.m., we will go to a local bar with family seating. Drinks on me.
This book release will be kid friendly, but keep a close eye on your children and make sure they are safe.
Come celebrate with me! #barrioblues
This morning, I was debating what to write about. Should I write about the drabbles I am submitting (which is a radical stretch for me)? Should I write about my Facebook Group: Penned in the City?
Then, I looked over to my Likes count on the upper right of this page and was shocked. At some point in the last few weeks, my author page got 1,000 more Likes! There is a party going in the dining room right now. Thank you, readers,! I am so grateful and hope you will subscribe to my newsletter.
That is not all my great news: "Barrio Blues" is being published in Dastaan Magazine, July 15th of this year. Friends, that is my first-ever fiction submission to a professional magazine or journal.
Up until then, I had submitted mostly poetry and stories to a couple of college journals. I cannot begin to tell you how overjoyed I am! I have also submitted a piece of flash fiction to Blaze, an anthology by Clarendon House Books. I want to keep the momentum going, so my goal is to submit one poem and one piece of fiction every couple of weeks.
Well, folks, I am taking this celebration energy and getting real-life work done. Today, promises to be another busy day, as I am putting together a union banquet for my chapter to honor a number of amazing scholars. I have a lot of errands to run and want to make myself look pretty.
I hope you have many writing victories today, no matter how unexpected. #barrioblues
Do You Like Free Shit? Get Yours! #barrioblues #IndieAuthor #Smashwords #FreeShit #FreeeBook #eBook #MagicalRealism #HispanicLiteratureRead Now
Apparently, a number of people like free shit. My story "Mona's Return" was posted yesterday afternoon on Smashwords.com, and it has been downloaded 14 times. However, fair warning, I am still going over it before I post it on Amazon (I am also going to see if I can make it free forever there). I did go over the draft a number of times, but I always catch minor errors, and the fact that it's free, isn't a pass. Still, it is a great story, and a fine sequel to La Bruja in the Orchard.
My newsletter was also delayed a bit. All of this happened because my sister union, 1708 Clerical and Professionals Staff was on strike last week. Of course, I had to support. Then, my Union had a social on Friday (and I am on both the social and scholarship committees because I am a big nerda--that's a female nerd by the way). Saturday, we had a phenomenal graduation which took up most of Saturday, and yesterday I "took a day off" which means I relaxed and proofread the freebie for the millionth time. I am officially declaring Sunday my "day off", so I can recharge my batteries.
For my regular readers, the newsletter should be out later this evening. It promises to be short, sans all my book advertisements, and focus on supporting other authors. I had this wild idea of having articles ready to put into newsletters, but that would take way too much planning.
Oh, I am planning on having a real event in Chicago. Either in late May or mid-June. Stay tuned because there will be appetizers and tequila, maybe a cake. More importantly, there will be Not Your Abuelita's Folktales. That party will be for my first-ever book release. It will be a hybrid with part of it Live Streamed, of me reading from my favorite scenes. Maybe a short Q and A, depending on the guests. If I know my peeps, they will want to eat and drink and dance. You can read and do all these three things, honest.
Well, I hope you get your writing goals done, even if you have a lot happening in your life. Take some time to rest and renew. #barrioblues
An Interview with Author P.C. Darkcliff on Deception of the Damned by María J. Estrada #IndieAuthor #Amazon #ElMeroChingon #BestDebutNovel #DeceptionoftheDamned #GreatRead #barriobluesRead Now
First of all, Happy May Day! Author P.C. Darkcliff was supposed to be interviewed during my virtual release party today. You are all invited (just click on the link and watch the Live Video being streamed on my Author Facebook Wall), but due to tech issues, he offered an interview instead! (I will try to get him on in the future to do an exclusive. Also, I am giving away a hard or ebook copy of Deception of the Damned, so you can read it and review it favorably.)
How long did it take for you to publish your debut novel Deception of the Damned?
I only decided to become an indie writer last September. I already had three novels written then, and I picked Deception because it seemed to be in the best shape. It took about half a year for me to do the coaching with my editor, and to learn enough about self-publishing to launch it . . . which I did this past March.
I was fascinated by the settings! How did you decide what settings to use in the novel?
Glad to hear that! I’ve always been interested in occultism, and one of the most interesting epochs and places for this “science” was Renaissance Prague. They had this wacky king called Rudolph II who was as obsessed with the occult as I am, so I set part of the novel there. The contemporary chapters take place in the Czech Republic as well, along with Bulgaria, Spain, and Portugal, which are all countries I’ve lived in.
As a reader and author, I thought having a novel with two points of view was a bold move. Why did you choose two points of view?
Since the book rushes back and forth through centuries and deals with two people from completely different epochs, there wasn’t any other way. Besides, I find that novels with multiple points of view are more interesting, provided that the author burrows deep into the minds and souls of all the characters, which I hope I’ve managed.
Where can readers find your books? When is the paperback coming out?
The paperback has been live since last week. I got the proofs this past Monday (April 29), and holding the books in my hands felt like cradling my first-born. This is probably as close to fatherhood as I’ll ever get, so the rush of emotions was overwhelming.
Readers can find both the eBook and paperback on Amazon at: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07PMR5SCK/ref=sr_1_fkmrnull_1?keywords=pc+darkcliff&qid=1552681811&s=gateway&sr=8-1-fkmrnull
Do you have any upcoming projects?
Oh, plenty. This July, I’m publishing my second novel, The Priest of Orpagus. The third standalone, God of Madness, is coming next year, along with Grains of Death, which is book one of a trilogy called Deathless Chronicle. The other two installments will see the light in two years. I’ve also outlined my fourth standalone novel, Toothache. All of these works are paranormal fiction and fantasy blended with a bit of horror. They can be also pretty light and humorous at times, though.
Where can my readers follow you?
My inbox is always open, and people can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
These are other ways to get in touch with me:
Author Website: https://pcdarkcliff.com/
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/darkfantasynovels
Thank you very much for the interview, Jesú! I appreciate your support.
Thank you P.C.! It was a real honor, and I hope to have you on my vlog soon. Plus, I can't wait for the sequel to Deception of the Damned!
Happy May Day! May your writing victories be legendary. #barrioblues
Dr. Jesú Estrada,