Monday, February 27, 2017

Dead dolls, Bookish Meets Boy, and some bird pictures...

Creepy doll head. Viera Wetlands. Feb 2017

You know how when people find dead bodies and at first they think what they're seeing isn't real, because what are the odds, right? And then they realize it's real and they freak out. Well, when I saw that doll head, of course my first thought was that it couldn't be real. Seriously. Just a head? And a baby's head?! And, like, we're the first ones to come across it right there just off the road in the Viera Wetlands? I don't think so.

And then...yeah, then nothing. It was totally a doll's head. Somebody's playing games. That's what I think. Ah, ha. Ha. Good one.

February is over! Remember last year when I wrote about February and the vomitorium? That was so cool. Anyway, I got flowers for Valentine's Day; what did you get? And I bought a bunch of Girl Scout Cookies, because where I live, that's what you do in February. You have to make a point of going to Walmart on the weekends or you miss out. Can't let that happen!

I've been trying to blog at least once a week and I didn't have anything really interesting happen to me this past week so I'm going to post the review I got for Bookish Meets Boy. I think you're supposed to do that when you're a writer. You about yourself and your books. So, whatever. Here goes. Oh, and at the end, I'll post some pictures I got over the weekend at the Viera Wetlands.

I've been entering books, etc. into the Royal Palm Literary Awards for a few years now. So far, I've always won something. This past year, all the entrants were sent a survey about the competition and one of the questions was, "Why do you enter?" The two options I remember were 1. To win an award or 2. to get feedback. I got the idea they were hoping that most people were going to go with "feedback." And sure enough, according to the Florida Writers Association 54% of respondents said "feedback" was "very important."

Well...not for me.

I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry. I just don't care what anyone thinks about what I write. I write it the way I want it and if other people like it, that's great. If someone doesn't like it, then they don't like it. And as far as mechanics go, well, I've been writing since I was in fifth grade, at least. I think I've got it well enough to suit me and, like I said, I'm the one doing it so I'm the one that counts.

I enter competitions to win awards.

That being said, if you want feedback, the Royal Palm Literary Awards is the way to go. The rubric you get for each entry is comprehensive and informative. I just don't look at it anymore.

So, I enter a lot of contests. It's fun, I guess. And sometimes you win stuff. The biggest competition for self-publishers is the Writer's Digest Self-Published Book Awards. By big, I mean, huge numbers of people enter it. You're doing great if you get an Honorable Mention in that one.

And what do you know? I got one for Always Magnolia.

I did not get one for Camelia or Bookish Meets Boy. But the feedback I got, which in this contest is a review, for both books was fantastic. Perfect scores! A perfect score doesn't mean a win, though. Oh, well.

Here's the "review" I got for Bookish Meets Boy:

Structure, Organization, and Pacing: 5
Spelling, Punctuation, and Grammar: 5 
Production Quality and Cover Design: 5 
Plot and Story Appeal: 5 
Character Appeal and Development: 5 
Voice and Writing Style: 5
Judge’s Commentary*:

BOOKISH MEETS BOY by Dianna Dann is a fun, thoroughly modern romance novel that will especially appeal to writers, cat lovers, and avid readers who love and understand the romance genre. As for readers who’ve been dumped (and haven’t most of us been at one time or another?) they’ll especially love this fun romp!
This has to be one of the most original titles I’ve seen for a romance novel, and it works! The cover is well done and with its colors and whimsical illustrations, including cute cats, and lets the reader know right away what type of story the book entails. (ha ha!) The back cover is well done, though I might have chosen to include a color photo of the author rather than black and white. I do like the spirit of the photo, though, because it's in line with the book. The writing is lively and engaging. I am rooting for these characters.
I like the notation that this is A DOWNTOWN DIVAS ROMANCE, because that tells me this author has big plans for a series. That's exciting and wonderful news for this authors' readers – and reviewers! No doubt Dann’s following will continue to grow with each subsequent book. following...sigh. That's not to say I don't have a fan. I'm pretty sure there is one out there. Anyway, so yes, five is the highest score you can get in each category.

So, that's what you get with Writer's Digest. You can try to take out praise-y snippets to post on your book's Amazon page. I haven't done that yet. I'm not so good with the "selling" part of being an author-preneur. But if I did, I'd use this bit: "The writing is lively and engaging. I am rooting for these characters." That's a back cover blurb if I ever read one. But when it comes to quoting, you don't have a name to put on it. You have to say that Judge #10 in the WDSPB Awards said that. I don't know...sounds fishy, doesn't it?

Okay, enough about me, here are some photos to inspire you.

First is a limpkin. I'm beginning to think the limpkin...this one right my favorite bird. Just look at the way he's standing there in the road waiting for us! As we approached, he was making these cute, pitiful squeaks at us. I got it on video! I'll post it later. Anyway, we figured that what we thought was cute might be his way of feeling threatened, so we walked on. But according to wikipedia, they don't fear humans. Maybe I was right to think he liked us!

Limpkin. Viera Wetlands. Feb 2017
Here's a sweet little alligator taking a snooze on a log.

Florida Alligator. Viera Wetlands. Feb 2017

And here's a juvenile anhinga, I think. He has some cool eyes, doesn't he?

Anhinga. Viera Wetlands. Feb 2017
Okay, it's time for me to get back to work.