2010 in Review

And not it’s time for (old timey male announcer voice:) Year in Review.

2010 was eventful!
I launched my website (www.LeaRyan.com), released my first book, my second book, and three short stories. I did a bunch of illustrations.

My work was downloaded or read through various outlets over 1100 times, which barely registers as any attention at all in the grand world of pubishing. For underdog me, it’s pretty awesome. The first book came out at the end of May, so that’s really only 7 months worth of stats. I’m also not counting downloads (fiction freebies) from my blog or website because I don’t have any way to track those.

And now for some lists:

I learned things this year:
1. Be completely in love with your title before you publish. I never loved the first title for my first book. I wasn’t great with titles in the beginning. I am getting better though! Seriously, changing a title and/or cover art is a royal pain in the ass.
2. I learned to let go. My writing will never be perfect. No matter who a writer is, there is always room for improvement – more concise wording or a more poetic way to convey a message, whatever. The important thing is not to hold out for perfection because it doesn’t exist. That way, madness lies.
3. People really like free stuff. Most of the downloads of my writing were the freebies, I will admit. I don’t have an issue with that because I would rather have someone read what I write. I don’t want to toil in obscurity holding out for that 80 cents royalty I might have made. I don’t plan to give away everything though, FYI.
4. I should be more proactive about getting book reviews (and maybe some sort of publicity) before the books are published.
5. How to format ebooks and print books in a somewhat professional manner.
6. How long various publishing activities take.
7. Publishing through createspace is more cost effective for me and my readers than going through lulu.

Goals for 2011
1. Release the novella in January or February
2. Write and release 2 novels, maybe 3 if I really get moving.
3. Put 1 novel up on authonomy prior to publication to get some feedback.
4. Release 1 audiobook or maybe do a short reading for download. – this requires me to move past some insecurities. I’ve never read my work aloud for an audience. If it’s a whole book, I will probably see if I can enlist someone else to do it.
5. Create at least 1 book trailer and release it on youtube.
6. Sell (or get people to download) twice as many books as they did this year. That shouldn’t be too difficult, seeing as my writing was only released at the end of May.
7. Be better about announcing releases and maintaining the e-mail list. If you would like to subscribe to release announcements, send a blank message with the word ‘subscribe’ in the subject line to learyan@learyan.com. I will actually send some this year.
8. Get some better profile pics of me that a. are not cartoon and b. don’t make me look ten years older than I actually am.
9. Get at least one copy of my book on a library shelf.
10. Non-book related- Change up the illustration gallery a bit to be more house decoration friendly. I like the weird stuff, but where would one hang it?

Ok, I think that’s it. 2010 was awesome. Hopefully 2011 will be even better!

Other places to find me:
Twitter: http://twitter.com/LeaRyan1



Today is a day of various updates

Weather: dreary

Current audio obsession: The Beginning, Black Eyed Peas

I’m still sick, but slightly better.

AnnaBeth 2 – 33 pages

Novella cover art – nearing completion. I just need to push a bit harder to get it finished. I’m starting to think I have a fear of sucess with this particular project. Also, choosing a font is proving difficult. I usually have no trouble with that task.

Lady Editor has finished editing. Now I just need to get my copy back so I can make the changes.

Favorite website of the moment – Scribd. They have a new system which let’s you sample a book online and download it to your computer if you want. Also, there is an option to e-mail books to your smartphone. Very cool. I have some stuff on there, so look me up if you log on. The first five chapters of MacDowell Sisters & AnnaBeth are there.

Like Clockwork is up and running on Barnes and Noble, so if you got a Nook for Christmas, please be sure to check it out. Is freebie.


Now if I could just get them to update the rest of my stuff…

Other places to find me:
Twitter: http://twitter.com/LeaRyan1

coupla movies

Hello all. I think the holiday weekend of running in and out of the cold weather finally caught up with me. I have a cold or what could also possibly be an allergic reaction to all the chocolate I ate. Regardless, I feel a bit like the Christmas ribbon my cat ate and subsequently regurgitated.

Today is half-ass movie review day.

We had a couple of interesting choices.

First was – A Walk on the Moon (1999)

It’s about this family that goes to a summer camp for Jewish families in the sixties. Dad has to go to work through the week. Mom gets antsy and starts flirting with the man who comes to the camp in a bus to sell blouses. He is referred to as the ‘blouse man’.

This is a story about how selfish and self-centered people can be, especially if they begin to feel trapped in a marriage. The movie has an awesome soundtrack, talented actors (Diane Lane, Liev Schreiber, Viggo Mortenson, and Anna Paquin), and a decent story. B+.

Second movie – After.Life (2009)

They should just save everyone some time and trouble and call this movie Christina Ricci, Naked. Las Bubies are the stars of the show. She spends an inordinate amount of time wearing very little or nothing.

After.Life is about a girl who is dissatisfied with her life. She wakes up in a mortuary with Liam Neison looming over her. He tells her that she died, and she doesn’t buy it. Her boyfriend also suspects that she’s alive and comes looking for her.

The plot is slow in some parts, but overall creepy enough to keep one watching. Also B+.

I have a year in review post that will probably go up Thursday. Other than that my blog attendance may be sporadic depending on how I feel.

Other places to find me:
Twitter: http://twitter.com/LeaRyan1

House on the Rock

I said I wouldn’t be here, but I am anyway. I can’t help myself, I guess.

So like I said before, I’m reading American Gods, by Neil Gaiman, which I totally love.

There is this place in the novel called House on the Rock and as I was reading, I thought – this is so freaky weird that there is no way it isn’t real. So I googled it. House on the Rock is real!!! And it looks every bit as creepy and bizarre as Gaiman described it.

Here is a link to their website. You MUST see the photo gallery, every picture if you have time. I would really like to see this place in person.


And if you’re sitting there wondering how I could possibly not know about House on the Rock – kissmyasssowhat. I’m a hermit. We don’t get out much.

Other places to find me:
Twitter: http://twitter.com/LeaRyan1

Helllooooooo! Merry Christmoo!

I am taking the next couple of days off the blog for the holiday. Here is an illustration to hold y’all over.

This is my beloved feline once more. The name of the illustration is Merry Christmoo. His name is Max, but sometimes I call him Moo because he’s black and white like a dairy cow.

Everyone have a Merry Christmas!

Other places to find me:
Twitter: http://twitter.com/LeaRyan1

aw, I feel like a real writer

I got my first bad review. awwww…I know. It makes me feel like a real writer. I’m kind of excited about it. This is actually two reviews and 20 ratings with a 2 star average. Ouch!

This screen is from Barnes and Noble. Apparently, my story is ‘totally lame’. LOL.

I could sit here and pick apart the reviews and be all bitter, but that’s not me. People are entitled to their opinions. The story is what I planned for it to be. People on Smashwords seemed to like it well enough.

There’s an actual blog post below this one, so keep scrolling if you want more stuff to read. Hopefully it won’t be totally lame.

Other places to find me:
Twitter: http://twitter.com/LeaRyan1

one more movie plus book working

The hubby and I watched two movies this weekend. The other was Paranormal Activity. I’m just going to do a quick rundown of that one because I’m short on attention span today.

Paranormal Activity is about a couple who is experiencing visits from a demon. Boyfriend buys a camera and other equipment to record evidence of the presence, much to the dismay of his girlfriend. He also does various things to provoke the demon in the interest of catching it on tape. Not a good idea.

There were parts of this movie that I loved and parts that I hated. First, that camcorder filming makes me nauseous, really a lot. Needless whipping of the camera causes my stomach to lurch. I actually had to cover my eyes during some parts of the movie to keep from vomiting.

Acting was meh.

The best thing this film has going for it is that the scary parts were really scary. The demon visits at night when the couple is asleep, ie at their most vulnerable. The true scariness doesn’t really start until about halfway through.

I would give this one a B-. Without the scary parts, I would give it a D.

End movie time.

I’m probably going to push the novella release out to February. I’m working slow motion lately. I barely worked on the cover this weekend.

There will be no indie review this month due to a busy schedule, multiple projects and the fact that I started reading American Gods, by Neil Gaiman.

I’ve hit page 117 and I really like it so far. The voice is very masculine. One of my projects for next year is a novel written from a man’s perspective. I’m trying to learn what I can from this book so I can apply it to my own work.

I like the level of detail in the setting and the people in the book. There’s also a high level of weird. I’m no stranger to oddness in writing but something about reading this book renewed this sense of ok-to-be-weird-ness in me.

After I spent that four years writing and rewriting Babylon Dragon, I steered away from the stranger things in my writing because I worried that people didn’t really get it or were put off by all the surrealness of some of it.

I think I’m ready to be abnormal again…after I finish the current work in progress.

Anyway, that’s all I have for now.

Other places to find me:
Twitter: http://twitter.com/LeaRyan1