Monthly Archives: February 2013

Some Aches Are Worth the Dream

Within a veil of sleep
Shunting off these years of skins
Reliving certain lives
Chasing what is unseen

Longing in this vein
Touching invisibility, diving still more
Throwing at ghosts
A whisper of bliss

Energy surges, blood warms
From absence there is strength
Taunting crude dreams
Moving to amber hues

Lifting a veil of loss
There is no solitude
In dark places, there I am
Never lost, some dreams ache

Some dreams ache
Some aches are worth the dream

It’s been a decade since I wrote poetry. This one slipped off my fingers and wrote itself. Maybe because I’ve been battling with my writing career. I don’t know, but it felt good to write it down.

Tania L Ramos, author in a poetic place

Fresh From Insignificance

I hate driving! Hate it! Hate it! So today, I am driving two hours into Los Angeles to pick up my daughter from her dad’s house.  This drive is two hours in the polar opposite direction of where I should be heading: San Diego.  Talk about the scenic route. And quite honestly, I hate driving through L.A., there is a reason I left it, and most of that stems from the rogue freeways that turn me into a complete Dr. Jekyl, and Mrs. Hyde your kids because some not so PG words may come from my mouth. Not a proud thing, but still the truer version. Where does road rage stem from? Driving in L.A.

So, pick up my daughter TWO HOURS from home, then drive in the exact opposite direction for three – fours hours (depending on Orange County traffic) into San Diego where I will inevitably shake it off. Imagine a dog shaking it off … that’s this gal in five to six hours. Couple a 3 – 4 hour drive with endless Taylor Swift songs of heartbreak, loneliness, and never ever get back together (like ever), while Spongebob plays on the mini screen inside my ever so awesome mommy van, and after I do my best impression of shaking off like a soaked dog, I may have to take up drinking.

So why am I doing all this? Gluten for punishment? Nah, I save that for work (oh, yeah, vomit spewed all over my pristine body last night and I went back for more=gluten for punishment).  No, the reason for the drive into San Diego is to attend a book club meeting of guys and gals who chose my book for February. I’m super excited! Like super. And besides all that, I get to see my paternal side of my family, which I met ten years ago, then lost contact after I high tailed it out of Los Angeles and lost my phone book. Gawd, do you all remember phone books? Thank goodness for cellphones, we’ll never lose numbers anymore! eh hem, that was sarcasm.

So, my bags are packed and I’m leaving! Goodbye high desert, hello coastal community. Man, I want to surf so bad. Okay, I’ve procrastinated this drive long enough.  Someone remind me that when I’m rich and famous I want a chauffeur. Oh, and a cook.  Maybe a maid.  Definitely a pool boy!

Okay, enough insignificant rantings. I’ve procrastinated long enough. And she’s off —

Tania L Ramos, Soon-to-be Famous author

A Title and Other Musings

Today was such a strange day, much like every Sunday.  Get the little one dressed for the long two hour drive to her father’s house.  Yep, time to kid swap, and never something that is easily done.  Feels like each time I leave her, I leave a part of me.  Maybe that’s the half of the DNA bond we share, but sometimes I just want to be selfish and not share her with anyone at all.

To put a damper on the situation, my hormones are revolting and staging some kind of feminist coup.  There is literally some kind of Occupy Tania’s Brain and Emotional Sensory movement going on here, and if I cry at the Clydesdale commercial one more time, I may have to buy a horse.  Ugh, I can’t contend with that today.  So I slept on the drive down, the drive up, took another round of acetominophen and caffeine pills, went back to sleep, followed by a hot shower and near syncopal episode complete with nausea, and man-o-man do I need somebody to cuddle up with.  But the nausea says that might be a bad idea.

 

Of course, once it all fades, and I get a break through back into semi-reality, I can’t sleep.  Figures, I just have to be at work for a 12.5 hour shift in less than five hours, but hey, on a good note, the voices are back.  So, I sat down in my caffeine induced, character possessed high and banged away at the keyboard.  I went between stalking people on WordPress, Twitter, Facebook and my writings.  The caffeine giving me the super power to multitask while my brain ran through a gazillion titles for my book.  And another part of my brain wondered who came up with the term Yotabyte? And if a Yotabyte came with a lightsaber and said things like, “more than a tetrabyte, I am?”

caffeine_high_by_lissy_strata-d4gb7ez

Ugh! Stupid voices hopped up on Tylenol and caffeine, we must get you into rehab … or perform an exorcism, which sound much more fun.  Then again, chocolate cookies sounds pretty good right about now, too.  Yep, a totally “shiny things” moment, and some of you will actually know what the heck that means.

So while in my hormonal, caffeine, and tylenol (sounds like a country song) state of mind, I think I may have found a title for my next book: Thirty Miles from Ordinary.  Not to be confused with 50 Shades from Ordinary or 30 Miles from 50 Shades <– need more caffeine STAT! Okay, on the real side, a title should tell a reader what kind of book it is, so my question to my blog feed friends is this: Thirty Miles from Ordinary, what genre or thoughts does this give the impression of?

Tania L Ramos, Author (tweaking on Caffeine)

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Damn, cried at the Clydesdale commercial again, while getting the link from YouTube. 😦 Is it just me, or does anyone else feel like writing some prose?

My Fountain of Youth: You

It has struck me that I am no longer in my twenties.  You’d think I would have figured that out nearly ten years ago, whilst leaving my twenties. But internally, I don’t feel like I’m hitting my forties. My brain is stuck on being 25 and in my prime. Then I look in the mirror and . . . eh! Crap, when did I age? I blame it on five years of night shifts, and now on endless future years of never-ending on call shifts that easily turn into 16+ hour days at work.

But I have discovered a fountain of youth. After a night of tossing and turning, and no one to talk to, it dawned on me that I don’t need to spend countless days doing on-call shifts. NO! All I have to do is sell 500,000 books. No biggie right?  This is where my fans, friends, and those lurking from behind a url come in.  All you have to do is buy two books: Be Still and Surviving the Writing Apocalypse.  Then you tell two people (or more, I don’t want to limit anyone), and tell them to tell two people (or more, don’t damper your friends with boundaries), and so on.  Before you know it, I’ll be 50 shades of younger in no time.

After selling 500,000 books and clearing anywhere from $500,000 to $1,200,000 depending on which version of book was purchased (paper back is nice *hint), I can leave my day job, which turns into a night job way too often, and no more sleepless nights. Whala! No more red, swollen eyes with dark circles aging me by years.  No more dehydration from never getting to the water machine (a nursing hazard by the way). No bladder infections from holding my pee because I can’t get away from my patient in a urine friendly timely manner (yep, another nursing hazard).

The binocular has a smile too

Help me stay young

Why, if you only purchase one (or two, give one away) copies of my book, then tell two of yours friends, and two of their friends (etc) do the same, I can be a new person in no time. You’re tiny contribution can be my fountain of youth: bright eyes, hydrated skin, fully functioning kidneys. You alone can be my youthful salvation. What do you say?

Yeah, I agree. Maybe I should try and get some more sleep.

This shameless plug has been brought to you by the exhausted rantings and middle of the night epiphanies of,

Tania L Ramos, sleepy author

Be Still: available on all ereaders, paperback, and hardback

Surviving the Writing Apocalypse: Content help for authors  is available on most ereaders.

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Dilemma: Creative Writing or Marketing

This month I have a very rare, and probably my last, opportunity to get free financial aid for college.  I always figured if I went to pursue my Bachelor’s degree it would be in nursing, though that idea never made me happy.  Now with online schools, the world has opened up to more opportunities.  My eyes were wide with all the fantastic classes I could take, degrees I could pursue, and certificates I could obtain.  First of all, you should know this about me: I’m a sucker for flashy titles. My goal in life was to be Dr. Tania L Ramos, RN just so when a doctor sarcastically asks me where I got my medical degree, I could give a real answer.

Radinat, blue eyes are arrogantSo I decided instead of pursuing a higher level of education in nursing, which I like, but it’s not my passion, I would look into pursuing a degree in writing.  I figure there is still so much learn, and I love to learn. Given half the chance, and if it paid well, I would be a professional student.  So I looked into writing degrees and found a zillion of them: creative writing, writing for film & media, story line writing for gaming, writing psychology, professional & business writing, freelance media, journalism and more. My head spun around. Oh the choices!

Then I stumbled across a marketing and media degree program, and the confusion really set in. I love writing, but i’d like to sell more books. After all, I’d love it if writing were my career not my hobby.  So a degree in writing or marketing? Any thoughts? Maybe I can put my mom through marketing school? Hmmmmm

Tania L Ramos, Author (and RN)

Be Still

Surviving the Writing Apocalypse

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Insight into Amazon’s Resell: Did We Do This?

So many questions have been posed about why Amazon has decided to look into reselling e-books. There have been great comments made, and some interesting comments sent to my email direct, and they weren’t all nice.  With so many strong opinions it is clear that there can be a potential war on the horizon.  Again, I state, I’m not asking people to take up arms and fight the machine.  Rather, I’m trying to educate the self-publishing masses as to something that can  happen, and I’m not saying it actually will.

Where did the idea for reselling e-books stem from? Perhaps the Amazon think tank of Amazonians.  Perhaps someone stumbled upon a yard sale and had an epiphany.  Or perhaps it was started by a reader posing a simple, harmless question on the Amazon forum on Feb 11, 2011 asking, “Can I sell back my e-books from Kindle? Once I read them it seems pointless to keep them on my Kindle so I was just wondering if they will buy them back for a part of the money it cost to download on there? (Scarpetta)” (view original post)

This question has sparked over 43 comments, but there are many other forums with similar discussions.  The vast majority of responses state that this isn’t something that Amazon could afford to do.  However, the majority of these comments came long before Amazon retained the patent to be able to resell e-books.

Was it the Amazon think tank? Was it a yard sale epiphany? Or was it started by one of our readers? Obviously the question was out there, and if asked by one then it is okay to assume it is thought by many.  Sufficed to say, readers are very interested in this buy back program, and will likely be interested in purchasing a “used” e-book.  And why not? The economical deficit is everywhere, and so many are looking for ways to save.  It only makes sense that readers would jump at the idea of reselling an e-book and then purchasing a used e-book.  This is a money driven market and Amazon took the reigns on this one.

If the resell program were to go into effect, then it would be up to the authors to educate readers and the public.  But, will our pleas fall dead beside an advertisement for “used” e-books at a discounted rate? What else could we do? Take the poll

Tania L Ramos, author of Be Still and Surviving the Writing Apocalypse

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Amazon to Resell Used Ebooks

This rumor has been running across the internet chat room and websites like wild-fire.  Have you heard about it yet? If you’re a self-published author strictly using Amazon (KDP) for publishing, this may affect you in a huge way.  And if you aren’t strictly using Amazon, it still affects you, but you may have options, such as not using their service.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not telling the literary world to take up their Kindle and storm the gates, but only that authors take time to consider the alternatives.

According to this article at The Dish (and other sites):

 

[A] U.S. patent that Amazon Technologies in Reno, Nev., received last week indicates that the mega-retailer has its sights on digital resale, including used e-books and audio downloads. According to the abstract, Amazon will be able to create a secondary market for used digital objects purchased from an original vendor by a user and stored in a user’s personalized data store.

What does that mean for e-book authors? Simple. It means that once John Q Reader finishes reading your e-book purchased through Amazon for Kindle or the Kindle app, he can resell the book back to Amazon at a lesser rate.  From there, Amazon can resell the e-book at a slightly cheaper price than “new” and the author will receive no royalties on the resell transaction.  And, considering a used e-book will always be in new condition, most readers would go for the “resell” book at the cheaper price.  Thus, Amazon makes a major profit on your book while you make nothing at all.

While a physical book would eventually have wear-and-tear, and the buyer would have the choice in purchasing a new or used physical book, the choice is pretty one-sided when buying a “used” e-book.  Buy a new e-book for $4.99 or used e-book for $3.99, which would you buy?

Consider this: how many e-books would have to be returned before the market for new e-books is dead? My best novice mathematical figure is just one. Here is my reasoning: Today I buy Be Still for my Kindle app and return it by next Friday. On average I sell one copy a week, so next week my returned e-book will resell at the used price.  And suppose for argument’s sake that the reader returned the book the following Friday and Amazon resold it that night.  And let’s say this continued for the year, which comes to 52 weeks, how much books did I sell? Answer: Just one, the original one.  And that one book will be all the profit I will ever see. Do you see how this plays out now?

This does not increase your rank either, as resold books do not count into the ranking system.  All it takes is one resold e-book to stop everything.

amazon clipWhat’s all the fuss? Physical books and CDs are resold all the time, right? Yes, but at the discretion of the consumer receiving used and worn goods.  Given the choice between a new and used book I will read for leisure, I buy the new one. Now if you’re talking about a textbook, then I buy used, and these days even textbooks are revised almost yearly so they can maintain their sales.

Is there a fix? None that I can really see, except asking people not to purchase your book on Kindle and to use another avenue like Barnes & Noble, iBook, or some other eReader.  But how long before the other distributors follow suit?

I have been told, and have blogged prior, on the topic of writing for fun or profit, in which I stated that I write for fun, but I’d love to be making a living from it.  It’s not easy holding a more-than fulltime job, and then coming home and writing after midnight.  Writing is my passion, my career is a job. Given the choice, I would write, but the dream of being able to support my family from this may be drastically suffocated to the e-book resell program, because 90% of my books are sold through eReaders.  What do you think?

Please give your thoughts and honest opinions on this discussion here.

Tania L Ramos

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