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Writing from the Couch with Susan Wingate

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Writing from the Couch with Susan Wingate

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  • Susan Wingate
  • January 29, 2015 02:09:35 AM
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A Little About Us

The official blog for author Susan Wingate, AMAZON BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF CHRISTIAN FANTASY, FAMILY DRAMA, AND THE THRILLER

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Cows Have Brands! So, Authors, Why Don’t You?

Cows Have Brands! So, Authors, Why Don’t You? In this post about branding and marketing for authors, I approach the subject a little snarkier, a little differently than others might, but not too much different. Cows Have Brands! So, Authors, Why Don’t You? It’s a verifiable fact that people hate you when all you do… The post Cows Have Brands! So, Authors, Why Don’t You? appeared first on Susan...

Cows Have Brands! So, Authors, Why Don’t You? In this post about branding and marketing for authors, I approach the subject a little snarkier, a little differently than others might, but not too much different.

Cows Have Brands! So, Authors, Why Don’t You?

It’s a verifiable fact that people hate you when all you do is post about your stupid book. I mean, I hate you too. Bob calls this form of promoting, “Tooting your own horn.” My Mom used to call it bragging. So, stop it. Nobody wants to buy something from a braggart especially when they don’t know who the hell you are.

Ask yourself this: How many commercial ad emails do you think, “Oh goody! Another product from some one or some company I’ve never heard of! Oh, yay! I get to spend my hard-earned money on their stupid crap! Yippee!”

No. You never say that. You simply hit delete.

We authors think that because we’re authors, everyone is interested in what we do. I’m no different. We’re fascinating people, as a rule. However, that opinion comes directly from our ill-informed minds. We’re actually very boring because all we want to do is talk about ourselves. Ask Bob. Give him a call. His number is (360) 585-5115. Not really.

So, how can we make our books stand out in the alphabet soup of all other books out there?

Well, one way is to write a great story. And if you can’t do that then try the following:

  • Make sure your cover art is striking. If you’re traditionally-published, make certain your publisher doesn’t botch this part of your published book. It will make or break book sales. If you’re self-published, there are many great book cover artists. I recently found www.thebookcoverdesginer.com. You can hire a designer for a custom cover or you can select from thousands of premade covers by genre. That’s another thing, know your genre.
  • Another way to stand out is to show people your true personality. This goes back to the point where I asked, would you buy something off the internet from someone you don’t know. When people get to know you and they like you (This is important too. Don’t be a moron. I know. I’ve been one. Sometimes still am. My cross to bear.) as I was stating, when people get to know you and they like you, they will buy stuff from you. You could be selling tuna toothbrushes and if you make a case that even tuna need clean teeth and people like you, you’ll be selling tuna toothbrushes in no time flat.
  • Use Facebook wisely. I pop into Facebook a couple times a day. However I avoid those “sell your books here” pages because the majority of members are other authors trying to sell their books. It’s like holding up a mirror in front of a mirror. The horror.
  • Use Facebook wisely, part deux. I like my FB friends. So, I like to chat people up. People like to be chatted up although I did get into a little bit of a kerfuffle with one dude who, as it turns out spent time behind bars and complained how he couldn’t practice law after reading tomes of law books, and that after doing so he felt competent to give legal advice inside the slammer. Other than those times, most of my posts are like the one above, about potato flakes. Others are as abstract as the one below about cow farts. When I first read this article on a friend’s page, I roared. People like to laugh. I’m a people. I know. But really, we have enough pain and suffering to go around. Make ’em laugh, I say. Once they laugh, you’ve set the hook on your tuna. Now sell him a toothbrush because once they like you, they buy from you.

Here’s the cow fart post:

I tracked how many book posts I’ve placed on my FB page from January 26th to February 7th. In the past twelve days, I placed one post about STORM SEASON and another about THE DEMENTIA CHRONICLES. Those posts typically get the fewest likes and shares. Every other post was either weird, funny, or about deer.

See what I did there? I compared types, random posts to selling-oriented posts. And in doing so, I told you about my two latest books. It takes practice to know so much about so much. I’m not being egotistical either. Just stating the facts. 😀

So, what makes you interesting? For me, it’s a sense of humor and, of course, the deer. I know you’re more interesting than that. You’ll figure it out and you’ll know when you land on it. People will either laugh at you or get offended. Choose your weapon wisely. And, if you’re awesome, you can sometimes combine both.

BTW, the potato flake logo FB post idea came while fixing breakfast for Robert and Teddy, our dogs. Be aware of your thoughts. Those thoughts are the deep you. That’s the you people will fall in love with. Now, go out and have fun.

The Dementia Chronicles by Susan Wingate

Thanks for reading, Cows Have Brands! So, Authors, Why Don’t You? I hope you enjoyed it.

The post Cows Have Brands! So, Authors, Why Don’t You? appeared first on Susan Wingate.


Standing in the Corner

STANDING IN THE CORNER – A three-part story of confession If I wasn’t sick (I was a sickly sort), or dancing around the yard for Uncle’s movie camera, then I was standing in the corner. I had a propensity for trouble. Thought it made me cool. Maybe. I really can’t recall the why’s or wherefores… The post Standing in the Corner appeared first on Susan...

STANDING IN THE CORNER – A three-part story of confession

If I wasn’t sick (I was a sickly sort), or dancing around the yard for Uncle’s movie camera, then I was standing in the corner. I had a propensity for trouble. Thought it made me cool. Maybe. I really can’t recall the why’s or wherefores of the trouble I got into. I was a kid. Kids test the ropes, say things like “penis” just to get a rise out of adults. I am witness. Bob’s daughter has three boys ages 3, 7, and 10. The last time they visited, Ezzie, the 3-year-old said, “cheese penis,” because what’s funnier, right?

Anywho, I was no different. Although I don’t believe cheese penis was in my repertoire.

No, I did bad things. And I confess three sins here:

My Sister Needs My Attention

Tormenting Lizz was more fun than you might imagine although once it nearly led to my death. In fact, bugging my sister was such a natural occurrence that remembering specifics has vaporized from my memory card. Except, of course the time I nearly died. That’ll stay with you. I mean. She was a teenager by then. I a mere adolescent, gangly freak. You know the type–all legs and arms, flat-chested, a wannabe teenager. Anyway, Lizz showed up as she would seeing as how she lived with our family. I flew out, cat-style, attacking from behind a corner. Zip forward to now where I witness Timmy, our cat attack his dog-brother, Teddy much the same way. I am Timmy in the past-life scenario. But this time, Lizz was having none of it. She spirited away to her bedroom reappearing down the hall like a spector with a weapon, a wire hanger, rage filling her pimply teenager face. No words were necessary. I understood the shriek and charge. She intended to beat the living crap out of me. I, being a dancer (remember) was quick. Plus, Mom was there and sibs can’t kill each other while a parent is present. Her timing sucked. Was way off. I on the other hand was fleet of foot, running in circles from the den, through the kitchen, into the living room, into the foyer, back into the den, and around I ran. Did I mention rage filled her face? I can still hear the primal screams gutteral then pitching up into a shriek. A Banshee call, a high-pitched caterwaul (I got this word from Thesaurus.com). She scared the living cheese penis out of me. Please forgive me, Lizz.

The Barking Dog in the Alley

Then there was the barking dog in the alley trouble. A gang of kids, me included, were searching for treasure down the alley behind our home where everyone on the block kept their garbage cans. The alley was rife with hidey-holes and treasure. One day, while we were actively searching for gold, a neighbor’s dog began barking and it wasn’t simply a yip-yip cutesy bark either. No, it was a persistent, yak-yak-yak-yak-yak-yak-yak-way. So, being in the garbage pick-up zone of the hood, I spotted a glass jar and tossed it over the wooden fence upon which everyone heard it shatter. Holy cannoli. I didn’t want to launch a rock at the dog. Didn’t intend to kill it but I didn’t mean to slice the poor thing into shreds either. So, what did I do? I screamed, “Run!” to the others and we tore off out of the alley ran counter-clockwise to the street behind ours and re-emerged the other side of our street where we hid for days so that we wouldn’t get in trouble. The memory, my sin still haunts to this day. In fact, I was recounting it to Bob the other night and after I said, “I think I was a bad little girl.” He said, “You’re a bad old girl.” Which proves the saying, “A leopard’s spots never change.” Or, is it a tiger’s stripes. Please forgive me doggy and owner of doggy, whoever you were, I was only six and a terrible child.

Judd Smith was Bugging Me

Judd Smith was a kid who loved me. He would show up unannounced at our house and ask my mom if I was there. I would come to the door and summarily shut it in his face. Mom said, “Susi, he’s cute. He likes you. Be nice.” Please. He was cute but even at seven, I knew he really wasn’t my type. But Judd persisted, much the way Elizabeth Warren did. Wouldn’t stop. So, I thought, “What can I do to make him stop.” Well, Judd rode a bike to school. He’d ride by me and my sister on the way to school, haranguing me by saying, “Hi.” The scurrilous little freckle-faced bum. So, after Lizz split off to her class, I lingered for a girlfriend who I had spotted, a viable accessory, an unwitting participant in the furtherance of my crime. “Hey, Margie (Whoever. I can’t remember her name. Wiped it from my memory card.). “Hey Margie,” I said, “will you hold my books? I need to do something.” She agreed. Stood next to me, me standing next to Judd’s bike, whereupon I took one of my pencils and with the lead, depressed the air stem and flattened little Judd’s back tire. This little Margie character rolled on me. Turned me in. During second period, I was called into the Principal’s office. He sat me down across from him, he behind his desk, and asked, “Why?” I told him, “Because he won’t stop bugging me. I don’t like him and he likes me and he won’t stop bugging me.” It was a justification defense, if ever. And I delivered my defense with the acumen of F. Lee Bailey because it worked. The Principal seemed to have a visceral reaction and covered his mouth to stop from laughing. He let me off scott-free with a warning, “Don’t do it again.”

My sins are many, I’m sure. Many of which I will confess here. Thank you for your forgiveness. I forgive you too.

Standing in the corner

The post Standing in the Corner appeared first on Susan Wingate.


The Dementia Chronicles Full Blog Series

“The Dementia Chronicles” full blog series is out in paperback and eBook, two years after the death of my mother. The series annals the trials and heartbreak of my mother as she suffered with Alzheimer’s Disease, coupled with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), and with bouts of schizophrenia. In my humble and non-medical opinion, the… The post The Dementia Chronicles Full Blog Series appeared first on Susan...

“The Dementia Chronicles” full blog series is out in paperback and eBook, two years after the death of my mother. The series annals the trials and heartbreak of my mother as she suffered with Alzheimer’s Disease, coupled with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), and with bouts of schizophrenia. In my humble and non-medical opinion, the COPD caused brain trauma. Without proper oxygen getting to the brain, the brain will die. Although, I must say, I remember my Mom’s mom being a smidgen schizophrenic. But I’m not sure the schizophrenia was a side effect of the other two problems.

Anyway, you can now read all of the posts in a single format whether print or digital. Thank you for all your kind comments during this trying time. You have no idea how much support you gave me.

The Dementia Chronicles by Susan Wingate

Ripped from Susan Wingate’s blog, THE DEMENTIA CHRONICLES is a memoir of the time Susan’s mother lived with them, an eighteen-month period during her final stages of Alzheimer’s Disease.

“The Dementia Chronicles” blog series depicts, in each of twenty-six installments, tender mercies, heartache, trials, and a fight to sustain her mother’s life.

“THE DEMENTIA CHRONICLES” on Amazon

The Dementia Chronicles is one woman’s personal observations as the primary caregiver for an aging parent with Alzheimer’s Disease and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. A discussion on aging and senescence and caring for sick parents, The Dementia Chronicles ponders issues such as health and fitness of the elderly as well as genetically-fed family health issues.

 

The post The Dementia Chronicles Full Blog Series appeared first on Susan Wingate.


THE DEMENTIA CHRONICLES #26 – A LIST FOR CLEANING UP AFTER THE DEAD

THE DEMENTIA CHRONICLES #26 – A LIST FOR CLEANING UP AFTER THE DEAD I don’t remember when the activity started. It was definitely after my sister, Lizz went back to Phoenix. She left Friday after Mom died, Monday, December 19, 2016. Wednesday, we drove onto the ferry, heading to Anacortes for an appointment with the… The post THE DEMENTIA CHRONICLES #26 – A LIST FOR CLEANING UP AFTER THE DEAD appeared first on Susan...

THE DEMENTIA CHRONICLES #26 – A LIST FOR CLEANING UP AFTER THE DEAD

THE DEMENTIA CHRONICLES #26 - A LIST FOR CLEANING UP AFTER THE DEAD

My Mom, Amie Ajamie is on the far right.

I don’t remember when the activity started. It was definitely after my sister, Lizz went back to Phoenix. She left Friday after Mom died, Monday, December 19, 2016. Wednesday, we drove onto the ferry, heading to Anacortes for an appointment with the funeral director at Evans Funeral Home. Lizz and I had little to say the duration of the ferry ride. We slept on the ride over only speaking when necessary. Our nerves were frayed from the horror and struggle of Mom’s death. Scenes from the past three days vivid in our minds.

THE DEMENTIA CHRONICLES #26 – A LIST FOR CLEANING UP AFTER THE DEAD

  1. THE DEMENTIA CHRONICLES #26 - A LIST FOR CLEANING UP AFTER THE DEAD

    My Mom with her dog and sister in Yuma, AZ.

    Mary U. came one last time to help me clean and collected all of mom’s stuff out of her bathroom and put it into a box that she stowed away in the closet

  2. After that, I went through mom’s room deep-cleaning
  3. Cleaned out her drawers & clothes closet
  4. Put all her clothing in black landscape bags and took to mom’s old house (Mary helped me put them into my car)
  5. Bob helped me get some big things out, like her bed, we threw away the mattress, left it by the dumpster
  6. Threw her pillows into the dumpster along with area rugs
  7. Put the bedframe out for “free” by the side of the road
  8. Called Lincare to pick up her oxygen supplies (I am still finding parts to the tanks and the keys two years later)
  9. Hid or got rid of all the hospital equipment we had purchased over the 1.5 years mom was with us:
    1. the portable potty I put in mom’s old house
    2. returned the bed rails, the transport chair, and the walker I borrowed from SJ Hospice
    3. put out the hospital bed tray for free by the side of the road
  10. After cleaning I gathered her legal, medical, and social security documents together and called everyone in one day so that I wouldn’t have to deal with it again, but I did have to deal with a few straggling details (I’m still dealing with ownership issues of her home)
  11. I went to my friend’s and unloaded some pretty intimate things about my past
  12. Called the lawyer to help me with legal issues (I am still not done with everything about her estate)

    THE DEMENTIA CHRONICLES #26 - A LIST FOR CLEANING UP AFTER THE DEAD

    One of the many times Mom went into the hospital. She was ordering lunch and… wait for it… ice cream.

  13. I bought a new futon sofa and area rug
  14. Didn’t plan a service right away—I just couldn’t manage to do that so I waited to have her service on her birthday in May. I called St. Francis Cemetery in Phoenix and tried to arrange to have a service there, but it became this monolithic chore—too many details, too many parts so I bagged the idea of interring Mom’s remains so far away—too much money even to split.
  15. I did regular things too, like feed, water the animals. Let the dogs and cats out. Fed and watered the birds; oh, and the raccoons
  16. I do remember I taking extra joy with the deer—watching and feeding them
  17. I alienated family members (Lizz, Denielle, and Ashley) by sending everyone a nasty email saying they were no longer welcome at our home
  18. I screamed and yelled at Bob nearly every day
  19. I cried every day, but I can’t remember the tears only the anger, only yelling at Bob
  20. I do remember whenever I drove somewhere crying in the car, just long enough that I wouldn’t be crying when I got out of the car. The drive to town is seven minutes so I spent approximately five minutes crying.
  21. I couldn’t go to church, not until April and then, sporadically.
THE DEMENTIA CHRONICLES #26 - A LIST FOR CLEANING UP AFTER THE DEAD

Mom in bed with Teddy. Fat, fat Teddy. Bob and I inherited him and he’s lost a bunch of weight, with a little left to go. 🙂

It was sixteen months later, in April 2018 when I began to remember memories I’d stuffed away, memories I’d lost immediately after Mom passed away. And it was in November 2018 when I cried because I realized I was getting over her loss. I cried because I wanted to kill off that angry, bitter person I’d become, a person who had become my closest ally. My protector. I didn’t need her anymore. I had begun the dig out of the hole.

So, last week was my mother’s two year anniversary of leaving this earthly plane. My girlfriend calls her two-year birthday in Heaven. I like the sound of that much better than the anniversary of her death. Because we are promised a new life with no sorrow, no pain upon our rebirth in Heaven.

I do remember the dreams right after Mom died. Dreams of her wanting me to dye her hair the colors of the rainbow and “to hurry up!” She wanted to get to the party. She was always heading off to a party in my dreams. Were they dreams? Nah. I don’t think so. They were more like visitations. Is that too far-fetched? Well, if you’d been there with us, getting Mom ready for each event, you might not think so.

THE DEMENTIA CHRONICLES #26 - A LIST FOR CLEANING UP AFTER THE DEAD

The book for Mom’s service has all of her many amazing works of art. From sculptures to oil paintings, Mom created some masterful pieces which Lizz and I now both share.

THE DEMENTIA CHRONICLES #26 – A LIST FOR CLEANING UP AFTER THE DEAD will be the last installment of The Dementia Chronicles. Thank you for your concern and your kindness over these past two difficult years.

The post THE DEMENTIA CHRONICLES #26 – A LIST FOR CLEANING UP AFTER THE DEAD appeared first on Susan Wingate.


MayUHavAVeeryDeeryChristmas

From our house to yours, may God bless you this Christmas season. The post MayUHavAVeeryDeeryChristmas appeared first on Susan Wingate.

From our house to yours, may God bless you this Christmas season.

The post MayUHavAVeeryDeeryChristmas appeared first on Susan Wingate.


My Scrape with Organized Crime and The Mafia

How Organized Crime Shaped My Writing I usually read bestsellers written by a novelist who has previously written a fictional and sometimes great American novel. These great books include authors like Joseph Heller, like Margaret Atwood, who write suspense, who are often Pulitzer winning fiction authors, authors of such stories like “A Handmaid’s Tale.” Other… The post My Scrape with Organized Crime and The Mafia appeared first on Susan...

How Organized Crime Shaped My Writing

I usually read bestsellers written by a novelist who has previously written a fictional and sometimes great American novel. These great books include authors like Joseph Heller, like Margaret Atwood, who write suspense, who are often Pulitzer winning fiction authors, authors of such stories like “A Handmaid’s Tale.” Other books I read fall into the genres of young adult, the murder mystery, anything Joseph Conrad, detective and procedural fiction, as well as a good old fashioned thriller. Lately, I’ve been reading novels by John LeCarre. He writes espionage fiction from his experience as a spy with MI5 and MI6. His latest is “A Legacy of Spies,” the 50-year-later sequel to “The Spy Who Came in from the Cold.”

What I don’t often read, until recently (and quite by accident) when I picked up Randall Silvis’ “Blood & Ink” which one could categorize as mafia fiction, certainly mafia fiction with a “Get Shorty” feel. I watched every flipping episode of The Sopranos but did I ever read any mafia fiction? No. Which is weird for me since my scrape with organized crime and the mafia–a crime boss and his driver. The all-wise “they” say write what you know. I don’t write about this part of my past because I don’t want to glorify their criminal ways.

My Scrape with Organized Crime and The Mafia

If you want to know, however, I spent the full six months eating at the finest restaurants in Phoenix, riding in the backseat of a Rolls Royce with… we’ll call him Don Bosso and his driver David, getting clothing and a spending allowance, and well basically being taken care of. Now, ask me if he was married. Yes. He was. This is where guilt and self-loathing take over. He was also twenty-nine years my senior, he at fifty-five and me at twenty-six. I got swept away by the glitz, the never-ending bottle of Cristal, caviar, clothing, the high-life. But it’s funny when you’re looking down from your pedestal, you don’t bother to see everything above you, where you are in the bigger scenario. That you’re just a hair above those people wallowing in the gutter with no way to grasp a loftier, more precious spot in life. Why? Because you’ve made your choice. Because you’re blinded by champagne glasses tinkling as they swing from racks above the windows and the wood-carvings on the ice chest in the back of that Rolls.

My Scrape with Organized Crime and The MafiaIt’s only when you get the first phone call from Don asking why you went where you went today? That the shaking starts.

“Are you following me?”

*Nothing but a chuckle from his end of the line.*

When you realize the term at-risk is closer to you than you believed.

“Stop following me.”

“Ah, Lebanese,” (he liked to call me his Little Lebanese) “don’t be mad.”

After a few similar instances and a mad dash through the backyards of some beaten down homes, I lost David’s scent. David stood about six-four and looked like a wall. A dark, rugged wall with smoldering eyes, not the smoldering kind you find in the morning when you roll over and say, “Breakfast?” No, these eyes wouldn’t mind snapping your neck if given the order.

The next escape was after I was “persuaded” to go to a chi-chi resort for an event arranged by some of Don’s people. He wouldn’t leave my side until I told him I needed to use the ladies room. David stood watch. Fortunately, I ducked out as soon as I went in. David wasn’t expecting me to exit so soon. His back to a massive hallway and concentrating out in front on the area from where we’d entered. I turned down the hall deeper into the resort, opened a double-set of service doors which turned out to be a large kitchen for that floor. I told a busboy I was in trouble and needed help. He slipped me out another door, down three flights of stairs, and out to an area where a train of limos sat waiting for people to leave. I told him I didn’t have the money for a limo. He looked at one of the drivers and said, “She needs to get out of here, now. Take her wherever she needs to go.” No cost.

Of course, the next day Don called. “Why’d you go and leave so soon, Lebanese?”

He followed me for a year after.

Writing this entry my heart is pounding, my fear still ever living. So, no. I will not write what I know, not about mafia fiction because I feel like I am one of the lucky ones. I got out alive. And the inference? How many others like me did not make it out alive?


Factoid: We don’t really know the people we know until they reveal their secrets. Up to that, we see a mask.

THE DEATH OF VULTURES is available in paperback, eBook, and now in audio book. Click Here for your copy.

My Scrape with Organized Crime and The Mafia

 

 

The post My Scrape with Organized Crime and The Mafia appeared first on Susan Wingate.


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