Friday, May 27, 2016

FIve Year Goal Review

Last Friday of the Month
It's the last Friday of the month, which makes it time to review some goals. Thanks to Misha Gericke coming up with this idea/hosting this each month. Feel like getting involved? You can, here .
My goal is to have a world class publishing company in 5 years--2020. I know, I know--it's over-the-top; but why not? It doesn't hurt to hope does it? What we do on the last Friday of the month is review how it's going. For me it's going well. Ubooks are patent pending, and Black and White is publishing it's first one (besides my own) in June. We've hired a Marketing Director and Music Director, which are two huge pieces in this process. We are actively reviewing pieces to see what we will publish next. Because Ubooks are so labor intensive, we're being very selective in that process.   Hopefully next month I'll be announcing more Ubooks being released.
How about you? Any goals you're working on?
Have a great weekend--

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Submission Info

Black and White began accepting submissions on May 1st for those interested in having their books/short stories/poetry/flash fiction/picture books published as *Ubooks. Currently, priority will be given to flash fiction/picture books, because our research has shown that's the sweet spot for launching this crazy new idea that is a *Ubook. If you'd like to see what all this is about before diving in, our first picture book, Jellyfish Jones, is set to be released on June 29th.

Music is a major element in *Ubooks, which is why we are so excited to have Musical Director Nathan Moran on our team. Each *Ubook published will have an original musical score to enhance the story, which means submissions are not just open to writers and illustrators, but musicians as well.  Any Questions? Feel free to email me at

*Ubooks are musically enhanced video books

See you on Friday-

Monday, May 23, 2016

Monday Musings

I don't know about your weekend, but mine was fantastic. Saturday my husband and I went to my cousin's wedding, which was at a lovely bed and breakfast. There's something about weddings--
And on Sunday we spent the day planting my garden.

Don't they look pretty?
And we finished the night by having dinner on the picnic table my husband built.
And my kids went right to sleep because they spent the day on this thing. Who invented trampolines? They're a genius.
How was your weekend?
See you on Wednesday--

Friday, May 20, 2016

Pilot Project: Young & Hungry

Image result for young and hungry
For this weeks Pilot Project, my daughter and I watched Young and Hungry. My daughter grew up with Hannah Montana, so a show with Emily Osment seemed like a natural choice.
This isn't Lily. Not that I minded, really, but I did have to let go of that idea pretty quickly (like the moment she wakes up in her new bosses bedroom). I've gotten a head of myself. Back to the plotline--Gabi Diamond is a young chef/ blogger who interviews for a job as a personal chef for a wealthy young techy. She gets the job--if--she can cook a show-stopping meal when he proposes to his girlfriend. As you (and we) guessed, the girlfriend wanted to "take a break" causing Josh (the young rich guy) to look for comfort in Gabi's cooking/company/and other things previously eluded to. Of course this break-up only lasts one night, causing just the right amount of tension to make you want to watch the next show to see what happens. And despite the obviousness of the plot and the very stereotypical characters, I probably will. Who can resist a good hook? 
Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

A Little About Ubooks

What is a Ubook? That's a question I get a lot. Ubooks are a brainchild come to life, born back in my teens when I listened to music while I read--the music just seemed to bring the books to life somehow. And when I began writing my own books, I wrote to a playlist of songs that brought Joel and Rachel to life for me.

I can still remember going to my first SCBWI conference six years ago and telling someone how great it would be if somehow they figured out how to put books to music. Their response was: "I think they already have that." And with that the idea was buried. It didn't hit me that that same answer was given to me numerous times that conference, only those times it was in reference to the book I was pitching. I think that particular message is the favorite saying at conferences to crush the hearts and souls of the authors brave enough to put their work out their.

As it turns out, no one had written my book before, and no one had invented a way to combine books with music. The idea sprang back up again sometime last year, after my series was done. I thought about how cool it would be if my readers could experience my books the way I had, with the music that had so captured me. And then I remembered my book trailer that I had made so many years ago.

 The Newstead Project Trailer

It combined the story with words--sure it was just a line or two, but who was to say that's all it had to be? I was onto something, I just knew it. I started playing around with it and the first few tries were epic failures. The fonts didn't show up right, and the timing was still an issue, but I kept working with it and pretty soon I had it the way I always dreamed it could be: A page of text, appearing at reading speed, set to music. Ubooks were born.

The first Ubook: The Newstead Project, chapter one
In my excitement to show everyone the idea, it didn't take long before someone hinted at coping it, so earlier this year I filed a provisional patent on Ubooks.  Since then Black and White has published several chapters of The Newstead Project, both narrated and not, as well as Erron and Alphabet Soup. During that process Black and White picked up a few people to join our team who are as excited about this as we are: Marketing Director: Mikaela Burns, Musical Director: Nathan Moran, Illustrator: Gail DiCarlo, and Author: Judy Dickinson. We are thrilled to be working with such an amazing team, and because of them, Black and White is now open to submissions. I'll post more next week on what we're looking for exactly, until then you can check out our site here.
See you Friday,

Monday, May 16, 2016

Spring Projects

A little over seventeen months ago, my family and I moved out of a house we'd lived in for sixteen years. It was a huge leap for us, but we'd always wanted a place in the country with more land--and this new house had the extra bonus of being much closer to all our friends/relatives. Now the land is great, but the house itself is a plain cape cod with no character whatsoever; nothing like the hundred and twenty-year old charmer we'd left. As most of you know, I'm not exactly technologically advanced, so instead of keeping a Pinterest board of potential ideas, I've been gathering magazine clippings and shoving them in a folder--it's true--go ahead and laugh. This weekend I found a great one--a double decker porch. My cape has the dormers in back, so this would be fairly easy to do (I say that now) and would give us a great place to hang out and enjoy the view of the pastures and stream. I have yet to tell my husband this idea though, since he's still knee-deep in magazine inspired projects from this past winter. Maybe I'll bring it out at the end of summer...

How about you? Any of you magazine scrapers? Any spring projects going?
See you on Wednesday-

Wednesday, May 11, 2016


Hello everyone. Today I’m proud to announce Black and White’s first Ubook publication of a children’s picture book, to be released June 29th.


Also, I’d like to announce the addition of Nathan Moran to Black and White’s team as Music Director. See (hear) his musical debut in Jellyfish Jones, which will feature his original scores. Music is a huge part of Ubooks, and we’re thrilled to have someone as talented as Nathan on board.

Also, Erron is now being made into a Ubook. Here is chapter one. Enjoy.

See you on Friday!

Monday, May 9, 2016

Back to the Routine of Things

It’s time to get back to the routine of things. April is over, and with it the madness that is A to Z. The release of Parallels: Felix Was Here has come and gone. The school year is winding down.  It’s time to get back to the normal ebb and flow of this blog, and also of life. I’m going back to my three days a week posting schedule. My daughter and I have a few more shows we want to review for Pilot Project, so look for that every Friday through May. Wednesdays will bring more information on Black and White Publishing and Ubooks. And today, Mondays, will be focused on the personal side of things. For me right now that means gardening.

May is a crazy month for us here, getting our garden in. We moved to a new spot a little over a year ago, one with much more land, and with that comes the chance to have the little homestead my husband and I have always wanted. We had chickens at the old house, which was about all the animals we had room for. Now we’ve added guineas and dairy lambs to the mix. Eventually we hope to add a couple heritage breed pigs. Eventually. I’ve learned the hard way to just add a few things at a time. My first garden was evidence of that. I planted almost a quarter acre, which the deer enjoyed more than we did. Now I do 10 square foot gardens, which provide all our veggies for the summer with leftovers to can/freeze. Here is a picture of my garden pre-planting:

And our new lambs that we've been bottle feeding for the last month:

I’ll post more pictures as the season goes on. Does anyone else have a garden? Are you crazy this month?
See you Wednesday,

Friday, May 6, 2016

Ramblings about Politics

Today I'm going to discuss something I usually avoid: politics. Now, before your eyes glaze over I promise here and now I'm not going to talk about any individual candidates, it's more the process I'm focused on. I live in New York, so primaries usually don't mean anything by the time they get to me. And now they don't mean anything for the states that are left. Is that fair? Why this whole different states vote at different times thing and please, oh please, someone explain to me why we have delegates instead of a popular vote. Now, I'm sure there is a political science professor out there who will go into great detail why such things were begun, but is it relevant for today? And if it isn't relevant in this modern age of, you know, phones instead of telegrams, why do we do it? Just a thought.
Anyone else sick of doing things just because that's how they've always been done?

Wednesday, May 4, 2016


First Wednesday of the Month
Welcome. Today is the first Wednesday of the month, which makes it IWSG time. Thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh and co-hosts for putting this on each month.
I'm trying to get back into a somewhat normal routine after all the April craziness. You know the whole it takes three weeks to form a habit thing? Well A to Z lasted four, so my mind is telling me I have to crank out Ubooks like crazy. And that's good, I do, just not with quite the fervor I did in April, because there are other things to get done. Like laundry. So my insecurity this month is this: figuring out how to get a normal life again after A to Z.
Any suggestions?
And, if A to Z weren't enough, my short story, Haunted, was released into the world yesterday as part of IWSG's Anthology: Parallels: Felix Was Here.  You can get it here:
See you on Friday!


Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Parallels: Felix was here Anthology

As you can imagine, I'll be doing some serious celebrating today because:
Parallels: Felix Was Here
An Insecure Writer’s Support Group Anthology
is released May 3, 2016

Enter the realm of parallel universes!
What if the government tried to create the perfect utopia? Could a society linked to a supercomputer survive on its own? Do our reflections control secret lives on the other side of the mirror? Can one moment split a person’s world forever?
Exploring the fantastic, ten authors offer incredible visions and captivating tales of diverse reality. Featuring the talents of L. G. Keltner, Crystal Collier, Hart Johnson, Cherie Reich, Sandra Cox, Yolanda Renee, Melanie Schulz, Sylvia Ney, Michael Abayomi, and Tamara Narayan.
Hand-picked by a panel of agents and authors, these ten tales will expand your imagination and twist the tropes of science fiction. Step through the portal and enter another dimension!

Release date: May 3, 2016
$14.95 USA, 6x9 Trade paperback, 218 pages, Freedom Fox Press
Science Fiction/General ( FIC028000) and Fiction/Alternative History (FIC040000)
Print ISBN 978-1-939844-19-4 eBook ISBN 978-1-939844-20-0
Order through Ingram, Follett Library Resources, or from the publisher
$4.99 EBook available in all formats
“Pensive and manifold views into parallel earth not without a glimmer of hope.”

- Edi’s Book Lighthouse

Founded by author Alex J. Cavanaugh, the Insecure Writer’s Support Group offers support for writers and authors alike. It provides an online database, articles and tips, a monthly blog posting, two Facebook groups, and a monthly newsletter.

Freedom Fox Press

A division of Dancing Lemur Press, L.L.C.

P.O. Box 383, Pikeville, NC 27863-038



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