Archive for the ‘Amy’s Own’ Tag

Mind Numbing Days – Ebook Formatting   8 comments

I think my ankles are swollen—probably because I haven’t stood up in five hours—calves are a bit sore, thighs a bit numb.

But—Oye Vey & Hallelujah—I’ve managed to upload my first novel Amy’s Own as an ebook on Smashwords.

I began 6 days ago by printing out their 75-page style guide because I best absorb information holding something tangible (printed material) and while sitting and reading out in my petite patio.

Note: the guide states that some people can format and upload their manuscripts in 2 hours. I understood immediately that I would not be a member of the “some” club.

It was evening in lovely South Pasadena, California. I turned on the Christmas lights that are tacked to the worn wood enclosing my patio and gave a nod to my Chinese warrior statue (an imitation of the famous Terracotta Army) that I use in place of a buddha. I sat in my much-loved, soon-to-trash old camping chair, the material having stretched and aged to the point that the seat has lowered to the perfect height for my short (not petite) legs. I read the guide with my yellow highlighter sliding along line after line, page after page. When I went to bed around 2 a.m., I was semi-understanding the dumbed-down language for non-techie beings like me and felt as though I was making progress (though with my brain being so tired by this influx and overdose of new info, I couldn’t be quite sure).

Mind-numbing Day 2: I opted for the Nuclear Method (evaporating all previous formatting from a manuscript) from the get-go as I knew I had made simple indents and centered things via the icon on the Word doc and that was repeatedly, emphatically stated in the guide as a no-no-NO! I was forced to learn about paragraph styles in detail, hyperlinks, appropriate copyright and licensing statements, “front matter,” and the typography term pilcrow. A slight PITA, but I’m happy to know this now, since I’m typing up my new work Keeping Sane, and Other Aspirations.

Mind-numbing Day 3: Downloading Adobe Digital Editions and going through the whole manuscript of Amy’s Own page by page, looking for mistakes. The hardest part was not going through the pages too quickly. I just wanted to glance and say, “That looks great! Moving on!” But I found a place where a line of dialogue jumped up to the line above. That screeched me to a halt, and I started looking at every single paragraph. I found three other times where the same thing happened (I’m assuming as a result of the Nuclear Method), so I’m glad I slowed down, even though I had to continually squash my impatience.

Mind-numbing Day 4: Bleary-eyed, stiff, and tired, I quadruple-checked everything out of absolutely heart pumping paranoid-anxious-doubtful-tense-amped up uncertainty. Then—with a deep breath, fingers crossed, swollen ankles crossed, and an excited flutter in my stomach—I clicked “publish.”

It may only be noon, but I hear a celebratory cocktail calling my name.

Note: Amy’s Own is free for download until July 13, 2012 at Smashwords. It’s a commercial drama with comedic and romantic elements. Visit Smashwords for a complete story description and access to multiple download formats. Feedback welcome (no holds barred!).

My Novel: Amy’s Own   14 comments

AO_Cover_for ad

Amy’s Own has been published! To see if you are intrigued by the story and like my style of writing, the first 3 chapters are available for sampling here.

Amy’s Own may be purchased as an ebook through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Sony, Kobo, and as an ibook through Apple’s iTunes. Print books may be purchased from Amazon or directly from the author.

To all who shell out the $2.99 for the ebook or splurge and spend $14.99 on a print copy, I say thank you, grazie mille, and l’chaim!

Please feel free to share you thoughts, comments, and criticisms. Leave a comment here or email katwardphoto(at) I look forward to hearing from you…


17 March 2012:  It’s been a while. These past months, in addition to shooting headshots and writing for Hometown Pasadena (thank you, Colleen!), I have been immersed in helping organize a book festival for Pasadena, CA.

LitFest Pasadena was scheduled for today, Saturday, March 17th. I have time to sit in front of my computer because even though our winter has been quite dry, a weekend storm decided to dump a lake-full of rain and plunge the temperature into the low 50’s (way too cold for us thin-skinned Southern Californians!). We have postponed the event to May 12th as the Old Farmer’s Almanac states that rain has only fallen once in the last ten years on that day, and it won’t be too close to the massive, size-of-a-little-city event that’s called the L.A. Times Festival of Books, which is in April.

Fingers crossed for date #2.

The upside is that in having a deadline for LitFest, my partners and I at Lovely pubs, our new indie publishing company, have finished our first products.

Lori Bertazzon already has her Where Are You Stuck? self-help workbook that’s selling and going strong. Her husband, Kevin Bertazzon, in addition to ISMS: A Faery Mobster Story, now has his graphic novel Too Bubbly printed which looks amazing and is laugh-out-loud funny; and I have finally finished—and printed—my novel Amy’s Own.

A paperback copy is ready with your name on it!

Amy’s Own is $14 plus shipping, which runs $6. If you have any questions, you can email me at katwardphoto(at)msn(dot)com.

I’d like to make this post longer, but my brain is fried, and not in a tasty grilled cheese kind of way.

I’ve been having the time of my life finishing the book and working on LitFest, but it’s been heaps more work than I thought it would be, and this here almost 1/2 century ol’ body of cells is not what it once was. Time is a creepin’ and a sneekin’ up on meh! So, I’m hunkering down for the rest of the weekend in hopes of recouping some essential vigor. I’ll be in touch…

A Dollop of Honesty   14 comments

Please subscribe.


I want followers.


I NEED followers!

Again. Why?

Because—oh, shit, oh, shit, oh, shit— I might fail.

If I faithfully submit my query letter for my manuscript Amy’s Own, include the synopsis and sample chapters when requested, keep track of my email queries—yeah, how many have been “sent” off into the technological cosmos, the ethereal void, never to be heard from again? If I keep tramping to the post office to mail via snail to the last holdouts who still regard something tangible as something of value (until they consider the contents of no value). If I continue with this day-in and day-out, month-after-month and I realize I’m down to my last few 3×5 cards (all the others graffitied in red with permanent marker). If no agent or publishing house, no established, traditional entity wants my novel—then what?

I need to self-publish.

For that to succeed, I need to have an established audience; followers. For that to happen, I need to create an internet presence; Facebook, twitter, email, LinkedIndeep breath—writer info websites, writers’ groups on the web, writers sharing their work on the web, writers critiquing work on the web. Phew! Jesus! I need to entertain, be witty, intellectual and insightful. Aach! Feeling a little parched here. I need to hold your attention day-after-day, month-after-month, in the hope that on the day I self-publish; the day I offer my “gift” to the world; the day I throw my mind, body & soul onto the railroad tracks and wish for the best—that you, you and YOU! will buy my book.

Won’t you all—all of you who link with me as “friend”—would you please, please go buy my self-published novel?

Excuse me? Oh, $14.95 is too much for a hardcopy that represents the last decade of my creative life and for which I’ve been saving these last 2 years so I could pay a printing house to make a short run of 100 copies?

Still, no? Well, here you go; the e-book’s only $1.99.

What’s that? Well, I was kind of hoping not to have a closing out sale until the spring—you know, thinking maybe my book might catch on by then. But, yeah, I know, the economy still stinks (Obama/Bush, yada, whoever).

Okay, okay. Go ahead,  99 cents. Take it. No, that IS the sale price!

Thank God for grandmother Eli: “Honey, it’s not so bad—somewhere in the world, it’s cocktail hour.”

This is me. My name is Kat.   Leave a comment

Keeping Sane is not only the name of my blog, but it is a state of mind that I have attempted to maintain throughout my life (and, yes, sometimes successfully, and sometimes, quite clearly not).

I have had a photography company for over a decade, primarily shooting actors’ headshots, specializing in children (cuz they’re a blast); business and publicity photos; school pictures (not your everyday, sit against the grey-blue background, fold your hands in you lap and hope-for-a-decent-smile kind of traditional school pics–for examples, visit my website); and family portraits.

I am an unpublished writer, working very hard (and crossing my fingers) to change that. I am currently soliciting for representation of my novel AMY’S OWN and working on my new fictional piece KEEPING SANE, AND OTHER ASPIRATIONS.

I have begun to write blurbs for the website Hometown Pasadena created by Colleen Bates (Prospect Park Books) who wrote the guide book of the same name, along with Hometown Santa Monica and Hometown Santa Barbara. Reading them is like being shown around town by a friend (conversational, informative and humorous). I highly recommend them. And, check her publishing website for all her latest titles.

It’s official. I can put “Editor” on my resume. I have received a credit in the self-help workbook Where Are You Stuck? by Lori Bertazzon. Lori’s personal one-on-one sessions in conjunction with her workbook has hauled me out of the hole in which I was stuck and started me on the ride of my life. She is a stunning talent and gets a 5 Star recommendation. If you’re stuck, look her up.

I have also just finished experiencing Kevin Bertazzon’s newly released illustrated storybook ISMS (a faery mobster story) as an Apple App for the iPad (did I just muck up all that jargon?). It will soon be available in different formats. Anyone drawn to the work of George R.R. Martin should check out Kevin’s masterful work.

(I’m not throwing out these adjectives like “stunning” and “masterful” lightly. These two works have blown my tender little mind into wonderful, light-filled, inspired pieces. (I’m trying to reassemble them now—but, then again, maybe not).

Otherwise, I am in love with the new neighborhood into which my daughter and I have moved (after decades in L.A. proper, I was ready for a night-and-day change); I’m attempting to get my awesome rear end to run more times around the block to dissolve the far too many fat cells I’m carrying; and my daughter and I are making an impassioned, concerted effort to maintain the health of our favorite cat who has diabetes (diabetes!?!?!)—all the normal stuff.

My next post will be a piece I wrote some years ago which I think illustrates the point I made in why I chose the blog name Keeping Sane. Hope you enjoy.

*photo from my photojournalism days: Saugatuck River, Westport, CT