Tuesday, August 8, 2017

The price of a custom domain

Hello my beauties! How are you doing today? I’m doing good. I’ve finally started with the second draft of book 2 in my Thelum series, which will be called The Executioner. I’m taking it slow, but I must admit I’m rather enjoying the whole process. A lot more than I think I did with book 1.

So, on to today’s post. I few years ago I had gotten a custom domain name. I went from The Daily Drama of an Aspiring Writer to mureesdupe.com. To this day I think it was one of those wow moments for me. It was one of those things with which I proved to myself that I was serious about my writing. Back then I had bought my domain name on a whim for 3 year period. That means after 3 years I must renew my custom domain, and pay for a new term. I only chose to renew for one year this time. Do you know why?

The renewal of my custom domain cost as much as when I had initially bought it, if not more. And I could only afford to extend it for another year. If I extended it anymore it would've cost more than when I had bought the domain in the first place. When I had decided to get a custom domain, I didn’t think about the renewal rate. I didn’t think about additional features. I just assumed the renewal would always be less than the initial price, and I thought somehow that it will last forever. Man, was I wrong. Only when the custom domain expiry date came closer I finally decided to check how much the renewal cost actually was, and I couldn’t help but feel a little flustered and angry. Let’s not forget, with every custom domain you need the protected registration stuff too, so that no one can see your private info and that costs quite a bit too. Before you know it, you’re spending a fortune. Or at least that’s what I found happened to me. It's my own fault of course. I don’t have a problem with my current service provider. They’re always friendly and ready to help me, but the costs are high.

After all this I realized that I could actually just have gone with a website from the start. Sure it costs more upfront, but in the long term it would be cheaper, and to renew the website domain would be cheaper than updating my custom domain name. That is what I hope to do in the next year. Actually host my own website, and move my blog there. That is my new goal. Why? Because I just assumed Blogger will always exist. Well, that isn’t the case. They could close down and then all my content would be gone.

So what is the point? Do your research first before you do a custom domain. Look at that renewal costs. Looks at the various options and what you get for your money. Don’t rush things, like I did. Look for a service provider that works for you, or your budget. Don't just go with whomever Blogger recommends. Don’t get me wrong, I love my custom domain name. I just wish I hadn’t skimped on the details and had considered all the costs. 

In fact, I never even considered a website in the first place. I just wanted a blog. But now I realize I could still blog from a website. I could even sell my books from a website. It would give me more freedom. That I would actually own it. But that is at least another year away. 

Have you made a similar mistake? Do you know of another way to not pay a fortune for a custom domain? Or just share your thoughts.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

R.I.P Chester Bennington


This post is a little late, but the passing of Chester Bennington, lead singer of Linkin Park is such a loss. Not just for the music industry, but also to people like me, who grew up with Chester Bennington’s voice vocalizing our fear, pain and anger. Especially giving a voice to my difficult teenage years. Linkin Parks music, especially Chester’s voice, had been the soundtrack to my life for so long.

Linkin Park may get a new singer in the future, but there was something about Chester’s voice that resonated with me. He was a talented vocalist and writer. When he sang his words hit home. I had the opportunity to have attended the first Linkin Park concert in Cape Town a few years ago, and it is an experience that will stay with me forever. Their music will still be blaring loudly in my room, though listening to it will never be the same again, knowing that the icon that was Chester Bennington, will never be heard in person again.

Linkin Park’s music has had a heavy influence on my writing. I can’t think of a time when their music wasn’t playing in the background. From Crawling to New Divide and so many more. 

Rest in peace, Chester Bennington. You will be missed. 

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Keeping things honest and an update

Hello beautiful friends. How is everyone doing? I hope all is well. I wanted to give you an update of what I’m up to, or explain why I’m not blogging, after promising I’d be getting back to a regular blog routine.


I’m currently in writing mode. Last week I started the second draft of book two and have been powering ahead full steam. I had a little bump in the road yesterday, freaking out about how book 1 and 2 differed in the Thelum series, and all sorts of other things like that. Reading book 1 again has made me feel like I want to go back over it again. Of course, it doesn’t really need it, but I have changed as a writer, and have to remember, book 1 is a product of its own. I have this tendency to always want to change things. Luckily I had two good people remind me that things aren’t as bad as I thought, and to keep my focus on my current work in progress. Yes, I still feel insecure after I had published my book years ago. And I probably always will be.

Lately I’ve been of the feeling and thought that I simply want to be working on my writing more. I have forgotten what my first priority is, aside for family and my fur babies, and that is writing.

I’ve been giving into the bad habit of reading all articles and posts all over the Internet about marketing, tips on why I’m not selling more books and all things in that kind of line of thought. I’ve been wasting too much time worrying about not being good enough, and the truth is I simply don’t have enough writing to promote in the first place. Marketing is a tough job already, but not having anything else to offer readers is a problem.


On why I haven’t been blogging. I simply don’t feel I have anything all that interesting to say, share, or offer anyone at the moment. I don’t want to blog simply to post. I also don’t want to post things like, “I’m down right now” anymore, because I tend to be down a lot and that’s hardly anything new and it’s not always because I struggle with depression. I’m simply moody in general. So, I feel I should only blog when there is something interesting to say, or if it might be of any use to anyone. That’s just my opinion on my own blog. I don’t really think there’s anything useful about me simply stating what I’m doing from day to day. 

Also, I’ve been feeling like an ass about not always having the energy to return comments. After all, that’s what blogging is all about. The interaction. Sometimes going around to return comments tire me out. But I always aim to return a visit. But I’ve been considering turning off comments on posts, if I know I won’t be around to return comments, or visits. It think it’s only fair. What do you think about that?

I’ve also been reading a lot. I devoured The Harry Potter series and absolutely enjoyed it. It was great fun. I just wish I could read more about what they got up to after they left Hogwarts. Did they go back to finish their final year at school? What happened after they saved he wizarding world?  Stuff like that. I have been reading some Kathy Reichs as well. Complete genre opposites, but I’ve really been enjoying it.

So that’s it from me. I’ll be getting back to my writing. What is your opinion on turning off blog comments all together, or just for certain posts? Let me know how you are doing.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Cover reveal: JALAPENO CUPCAKE WENCH by Carol Kilgore

Brilliant cover, Carol. You had me at cupcake. Congratulations on your soon to be new release.



JALAPENO CUPCAKE WENCH
AMAZING GRACIE TRILOGY, BOOK 1
A hot and spicy taste of murder—and more.


During the day, law enforcement consultant Gracie Hofner is on assignment at a small San Antonio bakery, waiting for a delivery. No one knows what it is or when it will arrive. The upside? Working next to Donovan Beck, a flirty hunk and a half—perfect fling material.

At night, Gracie resumes her search for a little girl and her mother who went missing following a double murder. Finding the pair is imperative or the girl will become a target.

At the girl’s aunt’s house, Gracie experiences a peculiar need to leave immediately. She tries to deny the urge to flee and pushes the pressure aside, but the compulsion intensifies. Gracie thinks she must have a brain tumor. Or is losing her mind. When similar events continue to occur, Gracie sees a pattern. Can she use this newfound ability to help her find the girl and her mother before it’s too late?




Carol Kilgore is the author of Jalapeno Cupcake Wench, the first book in The Amazing Gracie Trilogy, and three romantic suspense novels: In Name Only, Solomon’s Compass, and Secrets of Honor. She’s married, with dogs, and lives in San Antonio, the setting for the trilogy.

Where to connect with Carol:


Monday, June 12, 2017

Live your life and the creative well



My Dearest Friends. Thank you so much for your encouragement and support. With regards to my writing and blogging I’ve been feeling on top of the world. Every one of you made me feel accepted and heard. Thank you. This community is so important to me and my sanity.

I’ve spent the last week caught up on all things Harry Potter. I’m reading The Goblet of Fire, and I really appreciate and admire J.K. Rowling’s imagination and her easy to read writing style. It definitely makes it easy to escape to Hogwarts and get caught up in all the happenings. Sometimes that’s just what I need. It definitely makes me want to get back into my own fantasy world of Thelum, which I had created a few years ago. I am definitely in the state where I’m just absorbing all sources of inspiration. Doing that makes me feel good and inspired. Having others around you that inspire you is crucial to the creative process I think, and absolutely feel.


Music to dance to 

My personal life is a mess, but I’m working through that. The fact that I’m fighting my way back to my writing makes life a lot more tolerable. I have missed it so much. I missed how it nourished my soul and made me feel alive, and it made me feel like perhaps everything wasn’t going to hell. These days I’m learning something new about myself all the time. It is so strange, but it definitely gives me more to write about. Music was always a way to replenish my writing well when it ran dry. These days I can listen to music and it makes me feel . . . period. Depression tends to make you feel isolated. For me it absolutely drained enjoyment and life out of everything. I’ve been so used to not feeling, that these days, when a catchy tune comes on, I can actually dance to it. One thing my therapist made me aware of is that happiness is not the opposite of being depressed. Living is the opposite of depression. So, live. Show your doubts, anxiety, and those nasty feelings that want to drag you down into the darkness, that it won’t steal your love of life. It won’t make you dead, or numb on the inside.

If there is anyone dealing with depression, or with feelings of not being enough, know that it might not seem like it, but there are ways to feel okay within yourself, and eventually you will feel okay. Life might not be okay, but you . . . your inner self, can become okay. It is possible.

Can I ask, what inspires you? What are other great ways to fill your creative well when it’s empty?

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Got some spring in my step and an update


via GIPHY

It feels like I only ever share bad news on the blog. But the truth is that my life has been thrust into darkness for the past few years. But I can say with a smile I’ve been feeling much better lately. Yes, I still struggle with depression and anxiety, and I probably will forever, but for the first time in a long time I don’t feel utterly hopeless.

I’m finally off of my anti-depressants. It sounds counter productive, I know. But my psychiatrist had prescribed them in the hopes that it would cure me. It didn’t. I don’t react to meds the way I’m supposed to. I found that out during the two years of experimenting with various chronic pain meds with my rheumatologist. He had so much patience with me. But my psychiatrist hadn’t. I didn’t write about this last year, because I didn’t want to add more depressing stuff. But basically the psychiatrist went off on me one day and mentioned that I wasn’t a real writer because real writers write regardless of depression, and that the meds should have worked by now, and that I was lazy for not doing more to drive away the depression. That I would never be a real writer with my attitude. I felt like shit for months afterwards.

But I was still (and still am) seeing my therapist once a week and she assured me my psychiatrist was probably having a bad day and had taken it out on me. But she mentioned that the psychiatrist was wrong and she had set me back another few months. Which I had agreed on. I stopped seeing that psychiatrist and am only going to therapy these days. Therapy helps me more than any medication ever had. Aside for suppressing certain emotions, anti-depressants don’t really work for me. It never makes my moods better. It just makes me feel horrible. But finally being free of them feels like such a relief and blessing.

I’ve weaned myself off the meds slowly and I have been anti-depressant free for almost a month and I feel so much better. Sure my emotional state is still a mess, but I can actually feel again. I no longer have this numb feeling anymore. I can differentiate between the various emotions I feel and I can actually write now. I can make sense of words, which wasn’t always possible before.

I’ve been working on a few short stories, and a few sentences on book 2 in the Thelum series. I also started practicing how to make e-book covers. Every penny I can spare, or if there is more I can do towards my writing career, the better. I’m definitely more of a hands-on kind of person. I like being involved in every detail.

Also, I have a clearer idea of the types of books I want to write. They are darker in theme and feel, but definitely in the fantasy genre. I haven’t dared put any of my books in fantasy because someone once told me that I wasn’t smart, or talented enough to write fantasy. I allowed those words to really make me doubt myself. But I decided that I was going to put my books in that genre regardless. There are so many fantasy sub-genres, like supernatural and urban fantasy that my Thelum series fit into. Perhaps book 2 would even be better suited toward dark fantasy. Either way, I just feel like I know more about who I am now than I did a year or 2 years ago. And I have to be true to myself and my gut.

I’m not saying that I’m upbeat and smiling-for-no-good-reason-kind-of-happy, or that I ever will be, but I’m in a good place mentally. I’m not saying I will only post happy stuff, but I will be myself more and sharing things that are more me.
I have a darker side which I hide because it’s polite to not show your crazy. But, I love tattoos. I like gothic stories, and poetry. I love biker style boots and the more buckles, the better. I also love having my hair short and I don’t like wearing skirts or dresses. Never have and probably never will. Someone said that’s not very lady-like or feminine of me and I don’t give a crap. I know I’m a female and I don’t need clothes or other people to tell me who I am anymore.

I’ve finally started on the Harry Potter books. I know, don’t gasp! I never had the urge to read them before, but over the past two weeks I started. I started collecting the books about two years ago, and only bought used copies. I was determined to only read the entire series until I had all the books. A few months ago I gave up and just bought the two copies I couldn’t find in used bookshops and pay full-price for them. I don’t mind now. I’m really enjoying the books. It is definitely whisking me off to a new world, which I enjoy. I’ve definitely found that I don’t like reading books when they are popular, or on the rage. I will often read books years after the buzz has died down. Don’t really know why, but it’s just something I do. Anyway, I now have a mismatched set of Harry Potter books but I don’t care. The content is still the same, even if the covers differ.


Did I mention I’m trying to make my own e-book covers? They are hard to figure out. I don’t think I have an artistic eye, but my siblings think I’m not giving myself too much credit. They saw some of the finished products. It is definitely fun trying to teach myself another skill. It’s strange, but I really don’t mind learning something new each time.

I’m avoiding all the sites that I usually peruse for writing tips and so forth. I feel that I’ve done too much of that the past few years, that I just have to sit my butt down, and get some actual writing done. Plus, all those marketing advice and stuff don’t work for me. Just figuring out what does work for me and doing what feels right to me has worked better in my case. So I just don’t need more articles at the moment. Do you ever feel like that?

I watched Beauty and The Beast and liked it. I could sing along to most of the songs, as I was a fan of the animation as well. I think Emma Watson did a great job. Suicide Squad and Deadpool are me and my sisters go to movies these days if there’s nothing to watch and we need a laugh. I loved Harley Quinn. I just wish there was more of her in the movie.

So, that’s it from me. What are you up to? Got anything you wish to share?