Diary of a Single Wedding Planner is Released!

It's official! The book is out! It's available on Amazon in both paperback and ebook formats. It's called Diary of a Single Wedding Planner, and here's a basic summary of what it's about from the back cover of the book: Diary of a Single Wedding Planner"Wedding planner Tyler Warren left heartbreak behind when she ran away from her small Southern hometown and started a new life in a big city. Years later, she wants to believe in the fairy-tale endings her job promotes, but the clients she meets day after day seem to be more “Crazily Ever After” than “Happily Ever After.” Meanwhile, her own attempts at romance play out as bizarre comedies rather than love stories, and she’s starting to think Prince Charming either fell off his horse or got eaten by a dragon. When unresolved issues from Tyler’s past complicate things even further, she discovers she may yet have some things to figure out before she can find her own happy ending. This delightful first book in the Tales Behind the Veils series chronicles Tyler’s wacky misadventures, both personal and professional. Whether she’s getting insane requests from brides or outlandish requests on dates, you’re sure to be charmed and entertained by the Diary of a Single Wedding Planner." Some of y'all already heard this news on Facebook, but for those who didn't, you can purchase Diary of a Single Wedding Planner in paperback or ebook over on Amazon.  (click on either of those words to go straight there. Trying to make it as easy as possible for ya!) If you read it and you like it, I would be forever grateful if you would leave a review on Amazon, Goodreads, your local book club, the grocery store or anywhere else you think people might read your review.  Basically, tell everyone you know! If you didn't like it, please feel free to let me know what you think I could improve for next time, and I'm okay if you don't publish a public review saying you hated it. There's also a new author website up and running for Violet--feel free to go check that out at www.violethowe.com. The Goddess Howe blog also has an author page for Violet now, as well as a book page that tells about Diary of a Single Wedding Planner and hopefully will soon have details about the second book. I can't thank you all enough for your support. It is an incredibly exciting, nerve-wracking, scary, and humbling experience to put this out there for everyone to see. Thanks for being a part of the journey. So rush right over to Amazon and pick up a copy! Let me know what you think, and if you can get it in my hands, I'll sign it for you!
Categories: Random Rain | Tags: , , , , , | 6 Comments

Getting Excited Over Here!

So the cat's out of the bag on Facebook today, and it's been quite exhilarating! I made a couple of big announcements there, and I'm thrilled to share them with you here as well. First and foremost, the novel is finished.  Done. Completed. Final Draft-Hit Save. It's been edited and proofed by a professional editor. It's been vetted and critiqued by beta readers. Revised and tweaked. Cover Art designed. Book Formatted. Ready to go. Available for sale in a matter of weeks. (Cue confetti streamers and loud, raucous laughter and applause here!) Woohoo!!!!! Please allow me a moment to feel completely invigorated before the mammoth project of marketing and promotion seeps in. I have accomplished a life goal that I set in my third grade diary and have been working on in various ways ever since! Wow! A full-length novel. Of course, I didn't do it alone...and there's a ton of people to thank. So many that my acknowledgments page in the book stretched out to two pages. And I still probably missed a name or two! But it's finished. And I like it. I'm proud of it. And I hope you all will like it, too. Another exciting tidbit of news is the creation of a pen name. It turns out my own name was a little more common on-line and in author world than I knew! So to avoid any confusion moving forward, I will publish books under the name Violet Howe. Don'tcha just love it? It has an old-fashioned, vintage, romantic feel. And since purple has always been my signature color, Violet is ever so fitting! In addition to all the hubbub related to publishing, the last few weeks have also been a whirlwind of creating an identity. Facebook page, twitter account, website design, and all the legalities of doing business as a name other than your own. This journey has been simply incredible.  I have learned so much about writing, publishing, genres, reviews, marketing, taxes, and royalties. But the greatest lesson I have learned is how amazing the people around you can be. I have received so much love, support, enthusiasm, and encouragement. I am blown away, and I do not have the words to properly express how grateful I am. Snoopy DancingI'll be releasing  a sneak preview of the cover within a week, and I think you're going to love it. I'll also be putting out a brief summary to tell you what the book's about, and there'll be a new author website debut for Violet Howe to correlate with the Facebook site that premiered today. I should also have an official release date for you within the next two weeks, but the target is the second week in July. Once I have that date, I can give you all the details on how to get your own copy! This is so much fun, y'all.  I can't hardly stand it! So stay tuned for all the excitement. And if you haven't had a chance to visit the Violet Howe Author page on Facebook, pop on over and click LIKE!    
Categories: Random Rain | 12 Comments

Update on Writing

When people ask my occupation and I tell them I'm a writer, the next question is invariably, "What do you write?" Teacher Goddess WIP copyI'm never quite sure how to answer that in a short reply.  When I was a wedding coordinator, people didn't ask what I coordinated, because the answer was rather obvious.  When I was a teacher, I could elaborate with my subject area and my grade level, and that was sufficient.  But answering what I write is a bit harder.  A bit more involved. I've yet to figure out a quick and concise answer, but hopefully when I've been at this a bit longer, I'll come up with one. In the meantime, I do enjoy discussing my writing with people. It always warms my heart when a friend, family member, or casual acquaintance asks for an update on my writing journey. When I jumped off the "real job" ship two and a half years ago to pursue this dream, I knew I would not be able to accomplish it without the love and support of my network of family and friends.  I've been humbled and blessed to have so many people follow along and continue to be interested in my endeavors. To all of you out there, faithfully following along, I sincerely appreciate your support and your interest in what I'm doing! So I thought I would put together a bit of an update with answers to the questions I get most often.  If you have a question I didn't answer here, please feel free to comment here or on Facebook or shoot me a message, and I'll be happy to follow up. Here we go.....

What do you write?

Words! But more specifically, I write fiction novels and short stories as well as freelance assignments for a variety of clients.Goddess photo WIP copy

What do you write for clients?

Whatever they need! For some I write newsletters, website copy, bios, fact sheets, and training manuals.  For others, I write resumes, letters, ad copy, newspaper articles, grant proposals and press releases. I can take a client's general idea and create the text they need or I can take their initial drafts and work my magic in revisions. So if you need me to write something for you, or maybe just to proofread or edit something you have written, let me know!

Who are your clients?

That varies. I have a few consistent clients, and I have others who contract me per project from freelance websites or other client referrals. I've worked with entertainment companies, community theaters, non-profit organizations, caterers, event planners, painting contractors, newspaper editors, and individuals just to name a few.

What type of novels do you write?

Fiction.  Beyond that, it gets a little tricky.  My stories definitely have a romance angle, but they do not fit the "formula" for traditional romance.  They focus heavily on the main female character's emotional journey, but lean a little too far towards romance to be considered strictly women's fiction.  So I suppose the best classification is romantic women's fiction.  At least that's what seems to fit the first novel best.

What's your first novel about?

A wedding planner, of course! Write what you know, eh? It's written in a diary format, and it tells the story of Tyler Warren, a wedding planner who is looking for her own Happily-Ever-After amid the Crazy-Ever-After she sees every day with her clients.  As she faces her past and contemplates her future, Tyler is determined to hold onto her dream of Prince Charming, even as she comes to accept that life is not a fairy tale.

Planner Goddess HoweIs it based on true stories?

Yes and no.  It's a romance with a bit of Southern humor and a lot of crazy wedding stories, so of course my own experiences as a Southerner, a hopeless romantic, and a former wedding planner played a lot into the content of the novel.  But Tyler isn't me, and although people may recognize shades of themselves in the stories, the novel is made up of entirely fictional characters who may have been influenced or flavored by real memories and encounters. Let's face it--truth really is stranger than fiction, so if I wrote this as a memoir based on truth, people would swear there was no way such screwball things actually happened. Maybe some day I'll do that and hang the laundry out to dry, but nope--this one is purely fiction.

So when can I read it?

Good question!  I've finished the manuscript and gone through two sets of beta readers and their feedback.  I just finished a developmental edit with a professional editor, and I am finishing up revisions from her feedback now.  When that's done, it's time to shop it around to see if I can get a bite from an agent or a publisher. But trust me! I will let you know just as soon as it is on the market because I want you and everyone you know to buy a copy!

How can I help?

Keep reading! Keep clicking like on blog posts, tweets and Facebook posts.  Keep sharing the stories you like.  Keep following the journey.  And when the book is out---tell everybody!!!

Okay--my turn.  What else would you like to know? Ask a question in comments!

The Goddess Howe      
Categories: Random Rain | 6 Comments

Super Bowl 2015 Commercials — Depressing, Meaningful, or Both?

Super Bowl 2015If you watched the Super Bowl for the game this year, you had a great show.  Seattle and New England both played with heart, with great defense from both teams, and nail-biting edge-of-your-seat moments that exemplify the excitement of football.  The very last couple of minutes in the game were jaw-dropping. If you're someone who tunes in just for the commercials....well, not so much excitement this year. Super Bowl commercials are the most highly-anticipated advertisements of the year, raking in an exorbitant $4.5 million for a 30-second spot and upwards of $8 million for 60 seconds.  Not to mention the millions spent in production prior to the airdate. They can charge so much because the Super Bowl is THE prime real estate in advertising.  The most highly-viewed television show in the US, with an estimated record 114.4 million for 2015's game. And the commercial doesn't just air at the game.  It's replayed on Good Morning America, the Today show, YouTube, Facebook, and anywhere else people are talking about what's hot and what's not for weeks after the game.  It's the ultimate exposure for a company or cause. So advertisers pull out all the stops, striving each year to have the hit that becomes water cooler legend. An estimated 50% of the viewers who watch the show say they're only there for the commercials--waiting to see what will happen to old favorites like the Budweiser Clydesdales or the crazy antics of Doritos-lovers. This year's lot was somewhat blah.  No breakout favorites.  No jaw-dropping feats or side-busting hilarity.  The Budweiser puppy being rescued was definitely a contender, as was Fiat's mini-movie with the little blue pill.  Mindy Kalig, Pierce Brosnan, and Lindsey Lohan gave us a chuckle by being to laugh at themselves.  Breaking Bad fans were thrilled to see Walt suit up again for Esurance.  As someone who has been compared to Marcia Brady/Maureen McCormick since childhood, I especially enjoyed the Snickers Brady Bunch ad.  (you can see all the SuperBowl 2015 ads by clicking here) Super Bowl, Snickers, Brady Bunch But what set Twitter and Facebook afire Sunday night wasn't a funny, clever or crazy ad.  It was the plethora of downbeat and downright depressing ads.  Nationwide punched viewers in the gut with a young boy regaling all the life moments he would never live to drive home the sobering statistic of childhood deaths by preventable accidents. Altima paid heftily for 90 seconds of an often absent dad torn between home and work while Harry Chapin's Cats in the Cradle played in the background.  The sad and poignant ad ended just before the tables turned in the final verse of Chapin's classic, somehow leading viewers to believe the father-son relationship could be mended by a luxury car. Viewers were encouraged to view girls as equals and to appreciate dads more than ever.  A chilling 911 call reminded viewers that domestic violence is a very real and prevalent problem that needs to be addressed. Many have argued that these messages were entirely appropriate and warranted with such a large audience and an opportunity to inspire and encourage change. I feel like there's a little gray area here, though.  I'm not sure I agree.  I am all for a powerful, thought-provoking message.  I do not hesitate at all to share several of them on a regular basis on Facebook and Twitter. However, I think there is a time and a place for messages to be presented and best received.  And I'm not sure the SuperBowl, an event synonymous with beer drinking and eating chicken wings, is the most effective place to convey it. Super Bowl 2015, chicken wing consumption It's a party.  It's a celebration.  One of the biggest social events of the year that crosses generations, cultures, religious beliefs, and even politics. People want to laugh.  To enjoy something fun and crazy and endearing.  To high-five each other and tweet and text and share the laughter. The commercials this year were a huge downer.  Even with the incredible adrenaline and excitement generated by the game that night, we found ourselves almost dreading the next commercial break.  Leery of watching and finding something depressing.  Scared of being punched in the gut---a gut full of pizza and chicken wings. The ads definitely got talked about---which Nationwide said was the goal, opening a dialogue or conversation about such important topics.  But did the messages truly get taken to heart in that environment? Is it wise and effective to put out the message just because you have a captive audience??? I remember growing up in Pensacola, and there were people who would stand on street corners at traffic light screaming scriptures at people in their cars stopped at red lights.  They screamed and spittled and wailed about the fires of hell and the dangers of living life away from Christ.  They were even known to throw Bibles in open windows at times, startling and frightening drivers and passengers alike. Even though I was brought up in a Christian home and attended church regularly, I was amazed and dismayed by these street corner prophets.  I always wondered why they thought anyone would suddenly have an epiphany of wanting to follow Jesus because they'd been screamed at and spit upon. Why would anyone under that verbal assault think to themselves, "This is a great idea.  I should look more into this and see what it's all about."  I always thought it was more likely to turn people away and make them go as fast as they could in the other direction. Not to mention risk their lives running yellow lights to keep from stopping. Those prophets had a captive audience for their message.  They had a message to send.  And I am sure it started conversations and dialogue when the drivers recounted the experience for their friends.  But was it received in a good way? Was it effective in conveying the message and having it be heard with an open heart? I don't think so. I'm not trying to compare preventable childhood accidents with religion, but I'm interested to hear your views.  I've seen many comments defending the commercials and saying those companies and organizations were right to use the size of the amount and the sheer magnitude of exposure to drive their messages home.  I've seen many against the ads, though, asserting that it wasn't the right time or place and ended up falling on deaf ears or causing scorn and ridicule. So tell me what you think. 1.  Did you like this year's Super Bowl ads? 2.  Did you feel they were appropriate in their timing and audience? 3.  What was your favorite and why? Let's chat.    
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