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Monday, March 15, 2010

Blog Design, Promo and The End

Le sigh...

Some people were not able to view the blog with the new template. It seems to be related to IE7, but it's irrelevant because even if a couple of people can't see it, it defeats the purpose of posting.

A friend of mine who taught me the ins and outs of web design told me a good web designer will take a mid to old version of a browser and work around that first. If it works with older versions, chances are your design will show up on the newer version. Evidently, the designer who created the template I loved so much didn't get that memo.

So I am back to a basic design until I find something more stable.

I had a great girl's day out with the fabulous Maya Reynolds. We chatted about books, dished about publishing and she fussed over my babies, who adored her in turn. If only all Saturdays were so nice.

Sunday was BUSY. Greg and I worked on the chicken coop and we stopped by some nearby folks who were selling day-old chicks. They had run out of the breeds we wanted, but they promised to have some more this week. They were such nice people. They even showed us around their place. Gorgeous!

Monday, the lovely and talented Marian Perera invited me over to guest blog at her place and I talk about one of my favorite topics: promotion on a budget. Stop by and visit. And if you have any questions, ask away.

Go over and visit. I'll still be here when you get back.

And if you've wondered why my posts have been so limited lately, I'll tell you. For the past six weeks I've been working on edits as well as new manuscripts. The one I'm very excited about is the sequel to Touch Of Fire.

I don't even have a name for it yet! Can you believe it? But I've finished the draft and I'll probably take the next two weeks to polish and flesh out any skinny scenes. I can already hear my critique partners sharpening their blades--er, I mean red pens.

Have I mentioned how much I love my CPs? They are priceless. I can count on them to give me their absolute honesty and advice.

Anyway, the sequel is DONE. One of the things that is very important to me in a story is the ending. Everything has to fall into place and everything has to feel right, but it also has to end on the right words.

Story openings come fairly easily to me, but I was doubly thrilled to have found the perfect ending for the sequel. It gave me that "oh yeah!' feeling when I reached the end. My fingers couldn't type the words fast enough because I knew exactly how I wanted it to end.

Immensely satisfying. That's the only way I can describe it. With any luck, my very patient editor will like it and offer a contract.

It's an adventure story from start to finish. And note to my CPs: expect your glasses to fog up during the romantic scenes.

A productive start to the year!

How about your year so far? What kind of news do you have?

PS--Expect the obligatory CUTE chick photos when I finally get my little peepers! Probably by the end of the week.

It feels like spring! And I'm excited. Heck, I even started my garden--nothing tender yet, just the cool weather plants.


Marianne Arkins said...

Oooh.. few things are as cute as baby chicks!!! I look forward to many pictures.

And YAY on the sequel. Can't wait to see it on the coming soon page :-)

Dru said...

Congrats on finishing your sequel.

Look forward to seeing the baby chicks.

Have a good Monday.

Sherri said...

Doing the happy dance that the sequel is done!! Been waiting for that, LOL

Sounds like you're living life...have a great week.

J.K. Coi said...

Hmm. I was wondering why the blog had a nice new header, but everything else had...disappeared :)

Kaz Augustin said...

CONGRATs on finishing the sequel to ToF. You know I've been waiting on that one ... for a while now!

Maria Zannini said...

Marianne & Dru:

Chickie pictures soon! I'm hoping the dogs will be good with them too. I think Tank will be fine--not sure about evil Iko.

Maria Zannini said...

Sherri: Finally, huh?

Hope it lives up to your expectations.

Maria Zannini said...

JK: Yeah, it's been weird, though a friend of mine gave me some coding that may fix that.

I think I'll wait for a while before I use it.

Maria Zannini said...

Kaz: I know! I could hear you cussing me out and yelling at me to get the lead out.

A little more editing before I hand it over to my firing squad.

Heather B. Moore said...

Yay for the sequel to Touch of Fire!

Marian said...

Thanks very much for your guest post, Maria. I found it very helpful, and I like reading about promotional tactics from people who have actually tried them and succeeded. :)

I'm also glad that you changed the blog design. The black background made it a somewhat difficult read, but that was probably just me.

Maria Zannini said...

Thank you, Heather. About time, huh?

Maria Zannini said...

Marian: Oh, it's not just you. I adore black backgrounds, but they are hard for me to read too.

Glad you found the promo tips helpful!