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3 years 6 months agoComments

I love to write, but it's time consuming.  I have stories that I want to post but they need editing.  Even then, what if they aren't very good?  I have even more stories that I want to write.  I know that if I put my nose to the grindstone I could create something beautiful.  But everyday I'm meant to feel like writing is a betrayal of some sort.  Like if I don't put all of my energy into the business that Chris and I are creating, (www.dayowldev.com) then I'm failing somehow.  I recognize that lots of people have jobs and write, but lots of people aren't like me.  I have a hard enough time staying awake all day.  No matter what I do, I feel like I'm doing the wrong thing.

Torn.

Caitlin   

3 years 6 months agoComments

I promised my next piece would be something from my writing class, but I changed my mind.  I'm a white American woman and I'm disgusted by what's going on around me.  Specifically, the words and tweets that come from my president, Donald J. Trump.  I'd love to say "Not my president," but he is my president.  That is reality.  Saying he's not my president in effect says, "Not my problem."  Saying "This is not us" also alters the reality that these events are occurring to many of us.  

Racial discrimination is not a new problem in this country, it had just been hidden in plain sight for a while.  The KKK never went away, they only caused a stir in "very rare cases."  However, as white Americans, I think we are finally seeing what's been in front of us the whole time.  We are coming to realize that the problem is much broader and more prevalent than most of us thought.  President Trump has been exposing, creating and widening racial divides since he began his campaign.  We all dismissed it as bluster.  Since taking office I think it's fair to say, it's not bluster - he is a racist bigot who has no place in our country.  And yet, there is no member of congressional leadership willing to call him out by name for his actions.  They each simply make generic counter statements of their own.    

President Trump has emboldened white supremacy groups to continue to recruit members.  President Trump has attempted to discredit or silence any media outlets that report unflattering stories about him, calling them "fake news."  He has proven time and time again that he can only say "presidential" things when someone else writes them and he reads word for word from a teleprompter.  

We all ask ourselves, what can we do?  We can tweet our anger.  Does it help?  Go to protests?  I am in a liberal state and can't drive.  Protesting isn't exactly an option for me, so instead I'll write.  I guess that will be my little way of pushing back on the forces that are becoming too strong in this country.  

Caitlin

3 years 6 months agoComments

It's been forever since I last posted.  It's not because I haven't been writing though.  Quite the contrary, I've been writing more than ever!  I decided to do something for myself and take a writing class.  As I was writing my book, I realized that my lack of formal training was starting to show.  I strongly recommend a workshop style class for anyone planning on publishing a book.  You'll undoubtedly learn about flaws in your writing that you previously overlooked or didn't realize were there.    

My writing class hasn't just helped for the memoir; it's helped me with content on all platforms.  In the apps, tweets, posts, and website content.  I've written a business plan, a sales pitch (for my new business Day Owl - App Development) and a contract.  It was after the third email of the day yesterday that I realized whether you're an author or not, we all write.  To become effective communicators, we all need to hone the skill.  

My next post will be one of the stories I wrote for the class.  

Caitlin

      

4 years 2 weeks agoComments

Is it possible that so much time has gone by since I left my job and started writing from home?  I question myself everyday.  Was this the right choice?  Part of it was circumstance.  My epilepsy was out of control to the point that I needed surgery.  Then we started a home business, Clearly Puzzled Games which makes apps.  It is currently not making any money.  Now I have another health scare that I'm getting biopsied in a few days.  

One thing I know for sure: When you are home alone all day and can't drive you constantly second guess your life decisions.  Some I have control over, some I don't, but I always feel like I'm doing life wrong.  Shoulda, coulda, woulda, has become my mantra which cannot possibly be healthy.  However, I began to turn things around in January and I've continued the momentum.  I've started to make some decisions that I feel will put my life back on track.  For instance, I'm drinking a smoothie a day which I stuff full of fruits and, as often as possible, vegetables.  I've started exercising more.  And our house has never been more clean!

It's not all doom and gloom up here in Central New York.  It's looks like I'll probably be going skiing this weekend but that scares the crap out of me.  I've never done it before!  But maybe it's one of those things that I should try at least once.  I'll let you know how it goes.  

Caitlin

4 years 4 months agoComments

I started working towards a Strategic Marketing certificate a few weeks ago in hopes of furthering my career and helping our business should it become a full-time job.  I’m glad I did; I’m learning a lot.  I’m writing for a site: clearlyreviewed.com and of course I’m working on all the writing/blogging/designing/tweeting for now two Clearly Puzzled Games apps. 

I’ve been busy.  Physically I’ve been feeling a lot better.  However, I left my job in June and have now made five insurance payments of about $800 each (not to mention all the copays).  During this time, I was supposed to be writing my book.  At first I thought, “Well, I’m busy now so I’ll work on the book later”, but I’m beginning to think I’m filling my time so I can put off writing it.  I’ve bounced from memoir to fiction and back again and then again.  I still don’t know exactly what I’m writing about.  It seemed so clear in the beginning of the summer, but now I feel lost.  It’s easier to blog.

I’ve never taken a creative writing class so the idea of jumping off a cliff and just writing something that never happened is scary.  While I was writing my memoir I pulled up memories that basically made me very depressed and unsure whether or not I should continue for my own health.  My family suggested I strike somewhere in the middle of fact and fiction, but that proved to be a hard balancing act when I knew I could simply write the truth.

So, should I continue with all of my other writing knowing full well that there is no money in it.  Should I try to add even more writing to the mix?  I guess it just depends on what I’m capable of. 

Caitlin

4 years 5 months agoComments

After seeing the inactivity on this blog my readers may think I’ve given up on writing altogether, but don’t worry, it’s not true.  Far from it.  I’m just writing in a different venue about a different topic with ultimately the same goal: To become a published author.

When I first started this blog my book was a memoir.  It was about my childhood into adulthood, which may sound run of the mill and boring to some, until you understand the back story.  It’s starts a little boring – abusive, alcoholic father but then it gets interesting.  A diagnosis of ovarian cancer, leukemia, then epilepsy.  And those were just my diagnoses.  My father had lymphoma, my mother, leukemia and my sister multiple sclerosis.  It has made for a truly unique family dynamic.  My father has passed and the rest of us are still actively getting medical treatment.  (I’m actually going for a neurosurgery next week so it’s still a bit raw).  I had imagined writing a Frank McCourt type of book where I could convey the humor of it all, but ultimately I realized if I really wanted to write about everything without glossing over the details I’d need to see a psychologist and I wasn’t up for that. 

The idea of a novel wasn’t quite panning out either.  To be honest I tried an outline of every genre I could think of and I’m just not creative enough.  So as I eluded to in my last posts, my home based company, Clearly Puzzled Games, has eaten a lot of my time but given me a lot of writing opportunities.  I started a new blog called clearlyreviewed.com which is a spin-off of our company but also gives me another outlet to write.

Owning a business, blogging, writing, tweeting and ultimately marketing are all excellent topics to write about that won’t send me to a psychologist.  It won’t be fiction unless I want it to be but I can draw on the real world experiences I’ve had.  This can actually be a book that doesn’t bring up horrible memories whether it’s fiction or not! 

I’m starting a master’s level class at Cornell next week, and even though it’s in marketing I think it will inherently improve my writing skills.  So that’s a bonus all around.  (I’m only worried about the timing of the surgery).    

In the meantime, I’m back to writing for my other blog to further hone my skills.  We thought, we had a hard time getting reviewed, other companies must too.  If you are interested in reading my work visit www.clearlyreviewed.com or @clearlyreviewed and @edgesgame on twitter.  Tweeting is harder than it seems!  Also, since I am practicing my marketing skills I should plug our first game Edges – A Puzzle Challenge which can be found at the App Store.

Don’t worry though, I’ll drop a line here and there in this blog and when I do get a chance to actually start the book (again) I’ll keep you updated every step of the way!

Caitlin

4 years 6 months agoComments

It seems like all day long all I do is read and write.  The problem is that it’s not for the purpose I originally set out to do.  Our home based company, “Clearly Puzzled Games” is not taking off the way we had originally hoped.  Don’t get me wrong, I knew that it wouldn’t be a walk in the park, but I expected that we would make more than $65 in sales in two and a half weeks. 

We've created a paid app called “Edges – A Fun Puzzle Challenge”. And it is a lot of fun!  But people are so reluctant to pay a dollar for a game these days.  Still. I can’t help but to think we made the right decision to not make it free because developers are paid nearly nothing per ad – we’d need thousands of downloads to get $65.  I wonder if we ever would have gotten that many?

Not only have Chris and I never done this, there is very little information to draw upon about how to be successful at it.  Why?  Because the app store changes so rapidly.  Because 25,000 games are introduced every weekend.  Because the information that was valid in 2015 is not valid in 2016.  Because Apple keeps a lot of information to itself about the magic in its secret sauce. 

I’m doing what seems like the logical thing to do: gather a following using Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn even YouTube to an extent.  We even sent promo codes to reviewers.  It’s still not catching.  Next I need to blog and blog frequently, but not on this site, on www.blog.edgesgame.com

We are working on our second game already (which will be free), and I have ideas about a third.  In the meantime, I’ll just keep writing.  Maybe I can save myself some time if some of the blog posts can go in the book!    

Caitlin

4 years 6 months agoComments

For a while I was afraid I wasn’t writing enough lately and I felt guilty about it.  I thought – I set out to write a memoir and now I’m not writing at all!  But then I took a little pressure off by deciding to write a novel.  Unfortunately, I haven’t even had a chance to do that.  My boyfriend and I released an app last week called “Edges – A Fun Puzzle Challenge”.  It happened to be the same day that I began a new seizure medication, so it was a bit of an uncomfortable weekend.  Now, the medicine seems to have settled down and I realized – I'm writing a lot!  It’s just not the writing I expected.  I’m not writing my memoir or a novel – I’m writing emails to app reviewers and Facebook promotions and tweets. 

I dismissed that kind of writing at first because it was such a short amount of writing at a time, and it wasn’t “real” writing.  But it occurred to me that it takes a serious amount of thought to get it right.  It’s hard to say exactly what you need to say in 140 characters or less.  It’s hard to capture a reviewer’s attention in the first couple sentence of an email.  I’ve been spending so much time focusing on advertising, emailing, Tweeting and Facebooking and getting the words just right.  Unfortunately, the novel has fallen to the wayside. 

On the bright side, I believe I may have a subject (or at least the beginning of a subject) for my novel.  When things calm down a little, I’m actually going to make the outline.  After all, this is still my journey to publishing my first book, even if I have had a bit of a delay.  That’s life, right?  

Caitlin  

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