Dear Ideal Reader…

Young girl sitting on a park bench and reading a book, on a beauIdeal Reader scanned the weather forecast and the latest headlines while she sipped her coffee this morning. She had exactly ten minutes of peace and quiet before getting the kids up for school. In the rush out the door, she remembered to stuff her Kindle into her purse so she had something to help pass the time during the train commute into work, assuming of course that she managed to get a seat. Although when it comes to a good book, she’s managed reading while standing shoulder-to-shoulder, too.

Ms. Reader eagerly browsed the latest releases on Amazon and read the descriptions of the stories that caught her interest. A couple books looked promising and reader reviews seemed favorable toward them – so she hit 1-click ordering and added them.

Ms. Reader opened Facebook later that afternoon when she had some downtime at work and she liked the latest pictures of her sister’s kids. They were covered head to toe in finger paints but had happy smiles. She even made a few comments on her best friend’s recent boyfriend troubles. It never occurred to her to seek out Facebook Fan Pages for the authors whose books she downloaded. Who has time for half the drivel that occupies the space on Facebook’s Newsfeed as it is?

A coworker talked about Twitter over lunch but Ms. Reader shrugged her shoulders. Something to look into for another time, perhaps. She might like to follow a couple of news sites or drool over the latest photos from Mark Wahlberg and Bradley Cooper.

Ms. Reader rushed through making dinner and helping with homework. She groaned when she realized Junior had Math homework again. She barely survived fractions the first time around. When the kids were finally tucked into bed, she changed into her pajamas and settled into bed with her latest, greatest read. She was really enjoying this one and couldn’t wait to see what else this author had available. When her eyes finally closed, she had sweet dreams of the Hero from her new favorite book who just so happened to look a heck of a lot like Bradley Cooper. Go figure. But she couldn’t help but think … there is something missing … some  book she has yet to read that she knows she’s been waiting for …

I’ve been writing it and I promise you, Ideal Reader, it will be in your hands soon enough. Funny how easy it is in this digital age to get so caught up in everything else – aside from sitting butt in the chair and writing. I’ve been so focused on what I’ll be posting on my blog, and how often, that I forget why I’m doing it. I’m so obsessed with helping to promote the posts and books of my fellow authors that I overlook the fact that I’m essentially creating a marketing strategy for a product that doesn’t actually exist yet – MY book. And while there is certainly nothing wrong with helping fellow authors and I would like to continue to do so, I think my energy at this stage is probably better reserved for pouring into that book Ms. Reader is so patiently waiting to read.

After all, Ideal Reader isn’t even aware of the hours I spend on social media. She doesn’t care if I update my blog regularly. She doesn’t even notice if I never get around to sending out that monthly newsletter I keep promising I’ll start. Maybe one day she’ll take notice, but not before she falls in love with the words I write and the characters I create.

First things first.

Yesterday I came across an article in the paper with the details of what would have been a great networking opportunity right here in the city of Pittsburgh. The only problem being that it happened back in September. Since I don’t happen to know anyone who has created a time machine, I’m probably not going to be attending this particular function. As I kept scrolling, I realized there is a whole community right here under my nose that I am completely oblivious to, mostly because my focus has always been pointed in the wrong direction. As I sit down and prepare a business plan and begin to take myself seriously as a writer, I find for the most part I’m doing okay. I am writing every day, after all, and I read quite a bit too. But there are certainly tweaks in my mindset that have to happen before I can ever truly be successful.

I think it’s a good thing I’ve had this revelation. It brings Ms. Reader and I one step closer to finally being together at last… I’m no Bradley Cooper, but I think we can still share a happily ever after together. 😉


Who Am I and Why I’m Here…

close up of typewriter vintage retro styledHello, World!

It’s Monday morning and everyone is back to work and school after a fun, but lazy, eleven days off together. I enjoyed it immensely and I’m sad to see the holidays end and the dreariness of true winter begin. We even woke up to snow this morning which was a real shock to the system after the warm December we’ve had.

The kids were shocked when I told them we wouldn’t be driving to the bus stop in the car. “You mean we have to walk in the snow?”

Yes, and believe it or not… we lived to tell the tale. Better get used to it, as well, because I suspect we’ll be seeing plenty more of that before spring comes.

Anyway, now that I’m back to quiet time on my own, as part of the new year, I am setting new goals for my writing. (You may have already got a glimpse of this in my earlier post.) I’ve committed to writing at least 1,000 words per day by joining the 365k club and I’ve also signed up for WordPress’ Blogging 101 online course.

Okay, so I’m not exactly new to WordPress or to this blog, but I have certainly struggled with figuring out what to blog and to sticking to a consistent routine in doing so. Maybe I will learn something new. Maybe I won’t. It never hurts to give it a try.

First assignment, of course, is to introduce ourselves and talk about why we are here. I suppose that’s a good question! For those who have only just stumbled across my blog for the first time, my name is Stephanie Ingram and I write fiction. Paranormal is my favorite but my stories border in the fantasy realm, too. I originally started this blog in order to share my writing news. I have also used it to talk about daily life from time to time, and I’ve shared samples of my works-in-progress.

Beyond that, I’m not really sure why I’m here and that is probably half my problem! Over the coming weeks, I will think about my focus for blogging and see where it takes me.

I can imagine myself exploring my interests related to writing, books I have enjoyed, and topics related to the paranormal. That is a good place to start.

In the meantime, there are Christmas decorations to take down and put away and a mess to sort through to get the house back in order again. Let’s not forget the exercise routine that I put aside in favor of family fun and yummy treats. I need to restart that, too. Ah, January, you’ve never been my favorite month. But Christmas brought me a brand new laptop and as I learn my way around Windows 10 (after using a machine that barely functioned and ran Windows XP), I look forward to writing and sharing much more…

Happy Day!