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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

A Look At The Prizes


I'm starting to get really excited about the Enchanted Summer Games.  The games will last throughout the summer in celebration of the re-release of Enchanted Island .  The book is being cleaned up and given a new look. I didn't think I could be more excited than when the book was first released, but I am! Sadly,  I didn't do much in the way of marketing the first time around, so here I am learning from my mistakes.  I want people to be as enthused as I am.  My main goal is to attract new readers and have them hang in there with me as I journey into the world of writing.  I've always been a bit of an introvert, okay maybe more than a bit, but I'd like to change that. These games will hopefully help me gain exposure, but more importantly, allow people to get to know me. So please, come and play! Tell your friends, it will pay off :)
Ideally, I'd like people to play until the end and intend to reward those who do.  There will be a  new game every week  and will last for  10 weeks.  The more games you participate in the better your chances at winning multiple prizes.  For instance, if you play the game scheduled for week #1 and don't win, you can play in week #2 and not only win the prize for that week, but also the previous week's prize! So it pays to stick around and keep trying! At the conclusion of the games, there will also be "The All-Around"  Gold, Silver, and Bronze prize awarded to those who participated in all the games from start to finish.
So you see, there are plenty of reasons to come and join the fun. Purchasing the book increases your chances of winning but not necessarily a requirement. So please don't fret. Tell your friends, share the link with the info, because there's also a prize for that ;-) Stay tuned!
While I continue to hammer out all the details of the games you can feast your eyes on a few of things up for grabs.

I have other goodies but will save them for another
post as I keep you updated on the upcoming Enchanted Summer Games.

Monday, May 27, 2013

A Look Into My Short Story Compilation


I'm currently putting together a short story collection slated for a Halloween release.  Each story can stand alone  but are intertwined with each other. Make sense? :)
Here's a little snippet from the rough draft of the first story.
Thursday Night
It was Thursday night, which meant that Morgan’s ex-husband had come for the children.  Her face lit up when she opened the door.  After lingering on the doorstep, her shoulders dropped as she headed back inside, alone.   Nestling deep into the loveseat, she wrapped herself up in her favorite throw blanket.  With a click of a button she settled in to watch her favorite hospital drama.  As she sipped on a glass of chardonnay, she combed her fingers through her honeysuckle locks.  Every few minutes she let out a deep sigh then quickly swallowed down her wine.

Having watched her over several weeks, he knew she would soak in a bubble bath next. For exactly 23 minutes he would get to know her intimately.  His fixed his eyes on her form as she slowly undressed.  His pulse quickened instantly, for Morgan was quite exquisite.  While she didn’t have the model physique seen on covers of magazines, she was perfect in his eyes--scars and all.  He loved how her ample bosoms were just barely visible through the mounds of bubbles in the tub. He gulped hard as she began her bathing ritual.  These next moments were the ones he believed they connected on a spiritual level.

He marveled at how comfortable she was caressing her own body.  As always, he joined her from afar.  So many times he felt like he would finish first, but in time conditioned himself to hold back.  It wasn’t easy when her every move was made with total awareness of what pleased her. By now he knew the exact moment she would release.  After a few attempts he was able to time it perfectly so they could share in the moment together.  Each time they did, he felt closer to her. He convinced himself that she muttered his name each time.  She was made for him, of this he was certain.

He waited for her to dry off and slip into bed before entering her home.  In his eyes, a woman like Morgan needed to be with him.  What he learned by tracking her every move, was how freely she gave of herself.  The time had come for him to collect.  He formulated different scenarios on how he would get her to go with him voluntarily.  However, he was fully prepared to take her against her will.  Whatever it took, he would have her...

Are You Ready For Some... Enchanted Summer Games?

Nearly four years ago I wrote a book and then dipped my toes into the  social media pool.  It was big and scary at first but then I got the hang of it. I still enjoy my time chatting with folks from all over. I've gotten familiar with a variety of writers and those associated with other aspects of  the book publishing industry.  However, I did take a very passive approach to branding myself online and have reaped the rewards accordingly.  As I stated in an earlier post, I'm not very good at selling.   I am the least pushy person when it comes to advertising myself and tooting my own horn.  So it stands to reason that I've only made a tiny ripple when I should have made a big belly flop of a splash.

When I put  my first book out,  I was so proud of my story.  I believed the book would be enjoyed if given half the chance.  Then it happened. I was horror-stricken when I found errors in the printed copies.  I had so many of them and had spent money getting them printed.  But people started buying them anyway.  I got positive feedback and people were kind enough not to mention the errors. (Phew!)  In hindsight, it was probably the reason why I didn't push the books so hard.  Fast forward and now I'm ready to re-emerge, stronger and better.  The book has gotten a new design and the errors are being cleaned up.  Once again, I'm anxious to share my story.  I want to form a connection with the everyday reader so they may get to know me and in turn fall in love with the stories that I tell. That brings me to my plans for the summer.

In a previous post titled, Enchanted Summer Games, I spoke about how I had an idea of holding a summer-long contest.  So far I've gotten a stir of interest which led me to elaborating a little more.  I thought it would be fun to hold games and contests to get people interested in Enchanted Island.  I love the story and I want others to as well. Let's be for real for a moment, what better way to try to get people interested than to offer incentives?  I want to attract new readers by creating a fun atmosphere free of the "hard-sell."  Of course I would absolutely love  for people to rush out and read my book, but what I want most is for people to stick around and take this wonderful ride with me.  Writing can be a lonely journey!  I just want to be able to know that I'm producing something that brings enjoyment into people's lives.

As for the Enchanted Summer Games, I'm planning  a decathlon style contest.  The games will run 10 weeks with a different event each week.  That means there will be prizes up for grabs the whole summer long!  During that time I'm hoping to foster relationships with readers that will last through time. I don't want the games to be all about having to buy my book, so there will be chances for everyone to participate.  Even if they never pick up my book!  I enjoy writing, but for so long I kept my stories to myself.  It's about time I start sharing.  After all, didn't I hear someone say, "Sharing is caring?"
As a bigger interest builds, I will provide more information regarding the upcoming games.


Monday, May 20, 2013

My Name Is May Torres and I'm A Writer


Nearly seven years ago I found myself struggling to start my life over in a new place.  I was born and raised in New York City and through no fault of my own had to pick up and leave.  I headed up to the countryside of Upstate New York.  For a city girl at heart it was a culture shock to say the least.  I was used to fast-paced living, tall buildings and bodegas on the corner.  Where I came from you could either walk where you needed to go or take a bus. A car was nice to have but not necessary.  The complete opposite is true for the area I live in now.  A car is a necessity if you plan on eating.   The lifestyle is a lot slower and there's not much in the way of things to do.  It's been seven years and I still haven't gotten the hang of country living.

When I first arrived in the country I took on a daycare job.  I had been in the childcare industry for many years before so it was easy to find work.  It wasn't too long before that familiar struggle to keep my head above water started rearing its head.  I can't remember a time when my life wasn't about struggle. Being in an new place only amplified it for me. I was becoming desperate so I decided it was time to go into business for myself. That's when i started my own daycare business from my home.  It was slow going at first, but then I hit my stride. I was comfortable but still not where I needed to be financially.  My kids were getting older. Prom and graduations were approaching and of course, college. I haven't mentioned that I've been a single mother since my youngest was about 4 years old.

It was then that I started to think of other ways to supplement my income.  I was working 12 hour days at my daycare business which really didn't leave much time to get an additional part-time job.  I probably could have done it but there's that tiny problem of needing sleep.  I was desperate. I looked to see if I could find any legitimate work-at-home opportunities but nothing really turned up.  Then it hit me. I had started a business doing something I love, so why the heck couldn't I do it again? Writing popped into my head immediately.  I always loved writing but never dared to share my work.  I told myself that it was the time to cut that crap out! So I started writing. I told no one.  As time went on I decided to confide in a friend of mine.  Turns out she actually enjoyed the beginnings of my story.  I really didn't expect that.

One thing led to another and here I am with one published book under my belt and another few works in progress.  I've joined the world of social networking and admit to taking a laid back approach.  You see, I'm not such a great salesperson nor am I big on tooting my own horn.  I realized that that was a recipe for going nowhere in a hurry.  After  a few years of passively telling people about my work and hoping for the best,  I've decided to make a bigger effort.  I've learned that when it really comes down to it, as much as you wish people would become invested in your dreams, they mostly don't.  I am on my own when it comes to reaching for that brass ring. It is up to me, myself and I, to get noticed. So allow me to reintroduce myself. My name is May Torres and I'm a writer.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Enchanted Summer Games

This is my baby. My firstborn. She was born in 2010 and she means so much to me. Of course I think she's the most beautiful. As we learn through life, our babies grow up to have a mind of their own. And my baby, Enchanted Island, wants to change her look. She's currently under construction to freshen up.
This is the "before" photo of my baby
This is what my baby will look like after construction
I present this to you because I feel a celebration is in order. My baby, Enchanted Island, will have a new look and  new attitude. I want to thank my early readers and attract a fresh new batch. So to make this happen I'm thinking of holding summer games. Not just any summer games but, Enchanted Summer Games.  I'm throwing  around some ideas. If I can drum up enough interest I may just go ahead with it!
I'm looking to start it on the first day of summer, which is June 21st and ending  on Labor Day. There'll be prizes and giveaways and all that good stuff. Mostly I just want people to have fun, get to know me and all  about my firstborn. Who doesn't like winning stuff? I think it'll be a lot of fun. So this blog post is my first experiment. If enough people bite I'll provide more details.
This will all be about interaction and participation. If you're reading this and think you and your friends would like to partake in the fun and games, drop me a line :)
And of course here on my blog.

And Now I'm 41

It's been so very long since I've updated this blog. I was out there living out my 40th year on this Earth. It was the most amazing year of my life. I embraced turning 40. I looked forward to it and mapped out how my year was going to unfold. I did so many wonderful things from taking an extravagant vacation to Miami to attending an Alanis Morissette concert with my best girl, my daughter.  I was generous with myself, which was long overdue. I took more vacations in that year than I ever have.  I kept up with the weeding out of people and things that weren't supportive to my growth and well-being.
As I began putting this milestone behind me and welcoming 41, another epiphany struck, just as it did as I neared 40. Last year at this time I realized that I really needed to treat myself as well as I treated others.  As another birthday approached something else became clear.  It actually expanded upon the lesson from the previous year.  Which is, that I really need to put myself above all others. That's right, even if it means family and friends. Damn waiting around for scraps to fall from the dinner table.  I'm totally seating myself at the head of that table. Though my kids will always be number one in my heart, they are in their adulthood now and it's time for them to spread their own wings. They are the only people on this planet who will never lose a place in my heart. But now it's okay for mom to be selfish.
I came across this quote the other day and it resonated with me.
"I have come to believe that caring for myself is not self indulgent.
Caring for myself is an act of survival"--Audre Lorde
This is absolutely vital to me right now.  At this point in my life there's nobody who's going to look after me better than I will. No one will be invested in my life and dreams when there's nothing in it for them. It's not the way I've lived my life all these years but I have accepted that fact.  I've had countless conversations about this recently and I can't even get angry about it anymore. It is what it is. In a world where people have this "I'm getting mine, fuck anybody else" mentality, you have to step up and be your own advocate and cheerleader.
I've been taught through experience that giving the slightest bit more to others  takes away from me evolving to where I need to be. I don't mean that you should turn a blind eye to others. It just means that they get the leftovers when I'm done giving to myself first. It's like the safety instructions on an airplane, you must first administer the oxygen to yourself  before trying to help anyone else. I lived, learned, and loved my way to 40 and now I'm 41.

My Life List– 40 Things I Want to See, Learn, Accomplish In My Lifetime.

After just celebrating the day I was born, I thought it might be fun to come up with a life list.  Some people call it a bucket list.  So here it goes in no particular order-- a list of  forty things I want to accomplish in my lifetime.
  1. Visit each continent
  2. See the pyramids 
  3. Dance in the rain
  4. Meet my great-grand kids
  5. Fall in love
  6. Have at least one "forever" relationship with a person
  7. Be owner of a successful business
  8. Swim with the dolphins (Ok maybe just get in the water with one)
  9. Own a home
  10. Have a best-seller
  11. Hug Dwayne Johnson
  12. Witness everyone having equal rights
  13. See a female president of the U.S. in office
  14. Have a wedding
  15. Meet Alanis Morissette
  16. Be a dress size 8
  17. Learn how to swim
  18. Speak more than two languages
  19. Learn to play a musical instrument
  20. Write a song
  21. Drive on Germany's autobahn network
  22. Have a romantic kiss at the top of the Eiffel Tower
  23. See all of the United States
  24. Have a gelato in Italy
  25. Go to the ballet and Opera
  26. Befriend someone famous
  27. Get a degree
  28. Ride in a helicopter
  29. Have a paintball war
  30. Ride a mechanical bull
  31. Beat my stage fright
  32. Be a YouTube sensation for a week
  33. Heal my butterfly phobia
  34. Own a 1970's Stingray Corvette
  35. Be influential
  36. Make a difference
  37. Create a charitable organization
  38. See the cures for many diseases
  39. Witness a collective evolution of man
  40. Get a kiss from Alicia Keys
What's on your list?