October In A Nutshell – Letting Go Of Old Dreams For New Ones

with 14 Comments

Once again, I had another rather ‘unproductive’ month.  I mostly played catch up.  But a few key events happened.

Tweaked my blog design a smidge.

 

Went to our libraries massive bi-annual book sale.

And yes, I got gobs and gobs of beautiful books.

And behold –  the book haul!

Three classics – I’m especially pleased with lovely editions of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Sherlock Holmes.

 

Media grab bag.  The Holy Bible narrated by James Earl Jones (honestly, I just want to listen to that guy read a phone book or order pizza).  The Woman In Gold was okay – but I’m really excited about nabbing my own copy of Sahara and U-571 – two great movies.

 

Three Redwall books!  I’m slowing rebuilding my hardcover collection of Redwall and have done pretty well picking up copies at library sales.

 

And in case you’re wondering – that old blue book in the corner is by Grace Livingston Hill.

 

Last of all – the books below weren’t from the library sale – they were rescued from Ebay.

 

 

Job Training.

I am still in the same business I’ve been working in for the last decade – but I’m now transitioning headlong into nothing but sales.  I made somewhere between 500 and 800 sales calls in the month of October (IforgethowmanyIcantcountanymore)

People, I have to tell you be nice to sales people, especially on the phone.  I can tell you it’s not easy.  Calling a complete stranger (some of them jerks) and trying to sell your services over the phone is tricky.  It can be discouraging, boring and even (on off days) a wee bit nerve wracking – especially when they ask you a question you don’t know how to answer just when you were trying to sound as knowledgeable as possible so they’d want to do business with you.

Actually – exiting isn’t optional.  Sales NEVER end.  Sales require grit, thick skin, and a very good (intact) self image.  And of course, selling ability.

The gif above is now a permanent part of my brain – always flashing in the background.  It’s exciting (one of the nice things about my job is that I know we bring good service to people and fantastic rates and provide a lot of help to businesses that really need it) but there’s also a wee bit of pressure.  Fortunately for me, I am training under my dad, one of the most talented and amazing sales people I have ever known.

I Wrote Three Short Stories.

And I am having so much fun.  It’s like magic.  Who would have thought that you could write a story in 1000 words?  It’s incredible!  I am learning so much about writing; my skills are being strengthened and enhanced.  I would advise every writer to try short stories.  When Indie authors tackle 400 page projects – theme, characterization, structure and plotting can be all over the place.  With that many words to use, almost anyone can manage to write a novel.  But with a short story – you can see the story at a glance, you MUST boil it down to its essential juices.  It teaches you what story telling is all about.  All the greats started and were known for short stories – and I can see why.

I submitted those short stories to a magazine.

Here’s hoping that one of them is published.

 

And speaking of short stories . . . Onto the the REALLY exciting news.

 

I was published in a mainstream magazine!

I submitted three short stories to a magazine in September and this month they notified to let me know that they are publishing one of them in their December issue – payment is pending.

 

This truly is a dream come true.  I feel as if I’ve finally been verified as an author.  Professionals think my writing is not only good enough to publish in a mainstream publication – but something the general, random public will want to read.  It’s amazing.  Sure, it’s not a huge magazine – but it’s a great way to get my feet wet before I attempt submitting to the big ones.  God was so gracious to open this door for me and it was HIS PERFECT timing – I didn’t rush it, didn’t force it.  It’s an incredible blessing!

 

 

Writing News, Changes and Decisions

 

 

First of all, I’m not entering the Rooglewood Fairy Tale Contest.

This was a pretty hard decision for me – but rather an inevitable one.  I settled on a story too late – and then life’s interruptions and not feeling well intervened with my plans and turned my schemes upside down.

I had really hoped to be a part of Rooglewood – I hadn’t really entertained the idea that I might win (I had fantasized a smidgen about making it into the finalists) but it’s really highly unlikely that I would have.  Still, not ever knowing is tough.  I’ll harbor the faintest doubt for a while over what COULD have happened.  I’ll never know – but what I DO know is that God has turned a new page for me.  Not only have I run out of time to attempt Rooglewood –  I need to be working in another direction.  More about that presently  . . .

 

I will also not be doing NanoWriMo this year.

I cannot begin to say how much I wanted to do NaNoWriMo this year . . . I really, really wanted to.  I had projects selected – I wanted to become a veteran by doing it two years in a row . . .   Again, life and health came into play . . . and with that, clarity.  As much as I wanted to do NaNo, it would be like painting a house . . . when I really need to be working on the plumbing.

 

I’ve almost gotten to the news – just one more bombshell.

 

Originally, the Tales of Ambia was not supposed to be a series but then the amazing feedback started trickling in.  I was astounded at how many people not only wanted it in paperback but wanted more; and even had suggestions for the future of Ambia.

BING.  Faster than you can say “Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo” Ambia suddenly had a future – a rather colossal future.

 

 

 For a while – I was raring to go on Ambia . . .

Dear readers, I have . . . a bit of a bombshell to drop.

It’s about Ambia . . . .

 

This fairy godmother is overworked, overwhelmed and I my wand has been sent out for repairs.

Ready for the news . . . ?  I’m not too happy about it – so I have to get some kind of weird jollies out of teasing you and using sarcastic gifs.  #hidingthepain

You ready?

The Tales of Ambia Is Closing Down

 

CALM DOWN, CALM DOWN!!!

 

Don’t panic – at least, I hope you’re panicking.  I would be flattered if you are.

The Tales of Ambia is not ending exactly (I just had to use that gif) but production is drastically closing down.  All those lovely sequels that I have planned are going to take more time to release then I had first anticipated.

Why?

I had to remind myself . . . Ambia was not supposed to be a series – and while I am overjoyed that is and I am completely in love with Ambia – I can’t give it my full attention right now.  For several heady months – I had been going with the plan to try to publish two Ambia novellas a year . . . then memory returned and a door opened.

I have other novels – novels that I wish to traditionally publish – that need to enter their second and third revisions.

I was published in a magazine – and there are more magazines that I need to solicit.  Unfortunately, these magazines are not seeking fairy tales and require novelettes (half the length of The Reluctant Godfather) and flash fiction – so submitting a future Ambia book to them is impossible.

Never fear, Ambia is not going away – but my original calculations of writing the series in six years is definitely a bust.  (that was kind of a stupidly ambitious plan anyway and I must have been drunk on La Croix’s sparkling water and totally out of touch with reality when I made that estimation).

 

I assure you, Ambia will STILL be very much a part of your future and mine.

Lord willing, I hope to release at LEAST an Ambia short story next year.  I tentatively, possibly, perhaps MIGHT (or rather hope) to release the Frog Prince late next year as well, HOWEVER – I might try to submit that to a indie publisher instead of Amazon first – so that could also push back the release date.

Trust me – I WANT to work on Ambia – and I cannot wait to start churning these puppies out but – alas – such is life.  I have to focus on something other than fairy tales for a time.  I must RESIST the fairy tales.

So will I be publishing anything in 2018?

Okay . . . maybe not die . . . since that’s the kind of stress I’ve been trying to avoid lately, but I’m going to try my hardest and I am pretty confident that I will release at LEAST a short story (the Goose Girl) next year.

So what am I actually going to be DOING and WRITING on for the rest of 2017?

I kind of said it already, but . . .

 

Nobody could ever accuse Allison Tebo of letting grass grow under her feet.  The first letter of my name is also the first letter of ‘ambition.’  A door has started to crack open – and I am going to charge at that door with all of my might and then some.

 

 

Hence, I am going to be writing short stories – dozens and dozens of short stories – as well as working on five or so novelettes – all stories designed to be submitted to magazines.

My plan – to be published in magazines as many times as possible.  When the rights from those (hopefully) published stories revert back to me (some of them will revert back very quickly) I will either republish the short stories as stand-alones or an anthology on Amazon.

When the (hopefully) published novelettes revert back to me I will either expand them or republish them ‘as is’ on Amazon.

Any short stories or novelettes that ARE NOT accepted by magazines will be expanded or left alone (according to individual needs) and will go straight to publication.

Hooowever….I am also looking into small, Christian publishing houses and am even researching writers agents.  I am not really happy with everything Amazon does and i would like to explore the option of having them merely as distributors of my books, instead of controlling the publishing.

In this case – I MIGHT BE submitting the novelettes and anthologies to publishing houses – which will slow down the publication even further.  Depending on various factors – I MIGHT go ahead and publish them more quickly through Createspace – we’ll have to see!

 

 

Ambitious I know . . .

 

 

By hard work and God’s grace – you will have more to read from me . . . sooner than you think.  I trust and pray that he will recharge my fairy dust and fill me with words.

I am 99 percent positive that you will really enjoy my works in progress and “future releases.”  Here’s a tiny sneak peak of the novelettes I’m currently working on.

 

1) A diesel-punk western buddy story with plenty of sarcasm (move over Colin and Burndee).

2) A melancholy road trip story in a primitive dystopian setting.

3).  A high-octane, closed door science fiction adventure.

 

For those of you who have read both The Reluctant Godfather and Keys To The Chains, I write in several very different styles –

I have a few more surprises for you all up my sleeve!

 

Now – as I’ve been experiencing – life happens, I’m not quite sure how I’m going to be feeling / doing through November.  So I’m reminding myself to hold these plans very loosely and to trust God.  It’s good to have a goal to shoot for, but His timing is far superior to my own – it is perfect.

 

So stick with me!  Ambia might have to wait, but I have whole new worlds waiting to be unleashed upon you. 

 

 

 

 

14 Responses

  1. jessica prescott
    | Reply

    Alli, I think you’ve made a good plan for the future here! You’re very wise, I think, not to tie yourself down in any one “world” or one genre. I look forward to more Ambia stories, of course, whenever you’re ready–but don’t feel like you HAVE to put them out, certainly! Whatever you come up with, will be awesome. <3

    And CONGRATULATIONS!!!! Being published is a HUGE DEAL and I'm very, very, very proud of you *hugs*

    • Allison Tebo
      | Reply

      Thank you, Jess – that means a lot!

      Yes – I really don’t want to be pigeon holed or identified with one genre – I dabble in far too many and am able to change hats with ease – so I want to allow myself as much flexibility as possible.

      Aww ! <3 Oh, believe you me I WANT to put those Ambia stories out there. 'grins' Thank you, Jess!

      You're the best! 'hugs back' Your comments and friendship mean so much to me! <3

  2. E.F.B.
    | Reply

    I SEE RED ROCK MYSTERIES IN YOUR PILE AAAAHHHHHH!!!! *happy flailing* I hope you enjoy them! 😀 My very first one was the one with the alpaca. I really need to re-read them sometime…

    YAY PUBLISHING!!!

    Sorry you had to let go of Rooglewood. After trying and failing to write something for the Sleeping Beauty contest two years ago, I know how that can sting. 🙁 *hugs* Your reasons for not doing it (and for not doing Nano) are very understandable though, and you seem to have a good attitude about it. 🙂 My retelling is coming close to the end (for realz!!!) and I’ll be getting offline and working on that as soon as I finish this comment. It’s looking like the finished first draft will be close to…40,000 words. *headdesk* Much editing is ahead of me to literally cut this thing IN HALF. Of course, I had to finish right smack at the beginning of Nano season and it will likely still be Nano season when I finish my first round of edits, and almost everyone will be busy and it will be difficult to find beta readers. But I do at least have my mother as an alpha reader, I have a list of things I know need to be edited and cut, and I still have two months left in which to do this, so, to quote Aragorn, “There’s always hope.”

    *reads Ambia announcement* *heavy breathing* WHAT? *keeps reading**calms down* Oh, okay. That makes sense.

    Best piece of advice I can give you based on my own research related to looking for agents (you’ve probably heard this already, but I’ll repeat it because it’s important ;)), is that money always flows TO the author, not FROM the author. Always read the fine print. Keep an eye out for suspicious charges or any terms and conditions that make you uncomfortable. Pray, listen to your gut, and value your work.

    Wishing you the best with your traditional publishing endeavors and I look forward to checking out whatever stories you come out with!

  3. Allison Tebo
    | Reply

    I think we talked about the Red Rock Mysteries – I think? I forget! Cool! In that case, I will start with the one with the alpaca! 😀

    Thanks! ‘grins’

    Oh yeah – thanks for the understanding! 🙁 ‘hugs gently’ – it is a little disappointing – but I refuse to spend time being disappointed and am moving forward quickly to newer and equally exciting things. 🙂

    BEETH! ‘claps’ That’s awesome!!! And….not awesome! ‘bites lip’ Wow – that’s an awful lot of editing – and I know what you mean about Nano Season – I had to tweak my blog anniversary to accommodate that – all writers put life on hold during this time. XD

    YOU GOT THIS, YOU CAN DO IT, KEEP GOING!!! I have total faith in you! One of the really lovely things about this Rooglewood contest is that everyone will get professional feedback! Win or not – that alone is worth the entrance fee and the effort and will be a valuable prize! ‘huge thumbs up’ Keep pressing on, Beth!

    HAHAA – SOOOOORRRY. ‘pats you on the back’ It’ll be okay – hopefully Ambia will make a reappearance . . . in the next few years. #chagrin

    Thanks, Beth! I appreciate the advice! Yes – I definitely want to be careful with that! I did see that Writers Digest that had kind of advertisements featuring new agents who are looking for clients so I thought that MIGHT be a place to look since they are probably “hungry” for work. Definitely need a lot of research here….I’ll just squeeze that in somewhere. ‘sarcastic laugh’ 😀

    THANK YOU BETH! That means to much to me!! You’re comments, as always, brighten my day! <3

  4. Eva
    | Reply

    All those wonderful books!

    Have you read The Daybreakers before? Because if not, I feel obliged to tell you that it’ll break your heart. 😉

    • AllisWell
      | Reply

      Hi Eva!! Thanks for commenting! <3

      UH-OH! No, I haven't. I have only recently started getting into Louis Lamour. 'bites lip' Maybe I should check out the spoilers... #idontneedabrokenheart

  5. CutePolarBear
    | Reply

    Ooh, American Girl books! And “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea”! And Magic Attic Club books! And Redwall! And “Johnny Tremain”! I also see Red Rock mysteries, but most important, TINTIN!! I see you had some amazing finds. 😉

    Yikes, that’s a lot of phone calls. 😛 I”m so sorry for you. Have fun writing all your short stories! I know they’re a lot easier than full-length novels. 😀 And don’t talk too much on the phone, I don’t think it’s that good for you. 😉

    CutePolarBear

    • AllisWell
      | Reply

      YES! WOW – I knew you read AG and Twenty Thousand – but I didn’t know you read Magic Attic and Redwall!

      AND TINTIN??? TINTIN?? ‘chokes’ I had forgotten you liked Tintin – maybe I never knew? AHHH! ‘tackle hugs’ I love Tintin so much.

      LOL – it’s a good job and 95 percent of the time I enjoy it! 5 percent of the time I’m freaking out, or discouraged at lack of growth or the rude, ugly people that I sometimes have to talk to.

      Sales are kind of looked down upon or viewed with terror by most people (sadly) – but it really is awesome to be able to show people the customer service the rest of my team has to offer.

      HEHE – wellll…. In SOME ways they’re easier – and in other ways they’re harder. Squeezing an entire story into 1000 words can be tough – but they are quicker to finish! 😀

      HAHA – not me, ma’am – I am the Queen of Talk – talking on the phone can’t hurt me! 😛

      • CutePolarBear
        | Reply

        Yup, we have a few books in each series. I’ve only read Redwall, but we have some other books- just not the second one. 😉
        Yes, I love Tintin! I don’t know, maybe I never told you. I know I commented on one of Kellyn’s posts, talking about it. Have you read the first two? They don’t exist in our library system, so I’ve never read them.

        That’s good that you enjoy it. If everyone were like me, no one would be convinced of any good companies. XD And no one would talk on the phone, either. 😛 So, keep it up, Queen of Talk! 😀

        One does need to squeeze, but I usually don’t have a problem being short and to the point. My essays for school rarely exceed a Word page, and in any story, it’s difficult for me to write sub-plots.

        • AllisWell
          | Reply

          Ah – cool. 🙂

          You mean Tintin in the Land of the soviets and Tintin in the Congo? nope – I haven’t. I’ve read about them…

          Haha – thanks. ‘raises eyebrow’ Oh yeah…? Maybe I could sell you something. ‘cracks knuckles’ If you’ve bought my book, I’ve already succeeded. XD Queen of Talk – LOL – that’s me. 🙂

          Wow – nice! “thumbs up” I always struggled with rambling so it was a bit more of a learning curve for me.

          • CutePolarBear
            |

            Now THAT would be a hard sell. 😀 I’m like my family; it’s immensely hard for me to buy something. (Unless I have a gift card) In fact, have I ever bought something myself, without a gift card? I can’t remember a time. (And I haven’t bought your book for that reason. When I have Amazon gift cards, I search for the cheapest book that I want. :D)

        • Allison Tebo
          | Reply

          O-h0!! ‘feels challenged now’ 🙂

          LOL – I actually am constantly searching for deals – I never buy anything full price if I can help it – I’m always trying to save.

          Which is why I like my job – I help people save money. That’s the service I’m selling – a way to SAVE money. “winks”

  6. Liv K. Fisher
    | Reply

    *hugs* I totally get not doing Rooglewood and NaNo this year! (I decided this month not to do them, too. 🙂 )

    And whew! I totally thought that there would be NO MORE TALES OF AMBIA and I WOULD’VE DIIIIED! (Okay, probably not DIE. Just cry. A lot. Because your stories are absolutely fantabulous. 😉 )

    Wishing you all the best on your job and this new season of life! And congratulations on being published in a MAGAZINE!!!! That’s so amazing, girl! <3

  7. Allison Tebo
    | Reply

    “hugs back” Aw really? Well – we’re in it together!

    Ahh- soooooory. “chuckles nervously” I did kind of tease that one out. AWWW – thank you, Liv!! <3 Don't worry – there will be many more Tales of Ambia in the future!

    Thank you so much, Liv! That means so much to me – I truly appreciate that!

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