Spark Check!


This week is looking better. I’ve written 7000 words which is a little less than half of my goal. I’m writing more tonight and hopefully finishing an episode in my serial.

I’m also hitting my goal of a sale a day for this month. Most of it has been on Amazon. It seems like now that I have more out in the serial, I’m getting a lot more interest.

How is your weeke going?

Spark Tally Saturday!


I wrote 7000 words this week. That’s less than half of my goal :( But I did get caught up on some house work. There’s still more to do on the house, but maybe this week I can manage my time better.

I’m making my daily sales goal of one sales a day this month. I’m hoping to have at least one sale a day throughout the year. On a month with a big release, I’ll hope for more. Slow and steady is the way for me this year.

How was your writing this week? Be sure to respond to the Free Form Friday question. I’ll post the comments on Sunday Night.

Happy New Year!


Yes, I am alive :) Sorry It’s been a month since I’ve posted. Julie was in town for a lovely long visit, plus the usual holiday stuff kept me away.

How is everyone’s writing going? Have you kicked off your goals for 2016?

I got together with my publishing team and plotted out what I’m publishing in 2016. Unfortunately, it’s all under my pen name so I can build up that audience and money. I do plan on writing more in the fairy tale series I started with Rapunzel: Stay at Home Mom, but I think I’ve mentioned that to do that the way I want will take a lot of money for the illustrations.

I will be publishing some fantasy romance under the pen name this year. If you’re curious about those stories, just drop me a line and I’ll tell you about them.

So what does that mean for Enchanted Spark? My plan is to do Monday blogs still. I have one about endings I’ve wanted to get up for awhile now and some blogs about what it feels like to be writing consistently. I also would like you guys to guest blog for me. There’s about half a dozen of you who post comments regularly. Some of the comments are real gems about the writing process, but I fear they get lost to the casual reader who skims through the main posts. So you can either raise your hand via sending me an email about a post you’d like to do, or you can wait for me to call on you like a teacher in class 😉 Seriously, though, I’d like this to become a blog where you guys contribute and it feels more like a discussion group.

When we plotted out what we’re publishing in 2016, Julie said that I had about three years worth of stuff coming out in one year. She’s right, but as an indie writer I think it’s really important to keep my name visible as much as possible. Being on the New Release list on some sites is a really good way to do that. That means I’m going to be writing a lot. I want to hit 15,000 word counts consistently each week. Something that helps me stay on track is bragging about how much I’ve done or shamefully posting that I’m still at zero for the week. So I’m bringing back mid-week Spark Checks on Wednesdays and posting Spark Tally every Saturday. I hope you join me! And if you’re new, please pipe in!

That’s all for today. Please post your writing goals in the comments below and come back Wednesday for Spark Check!


Spark Tally!

Good morning! I have a word count of 8000 this week. I need to get a lot more done. Too bad I have such a busy weekend ahead!

Monday I had a huge day in sales to end the month with a bang. It made it hard to make a sales goal for December. I finally decided on hoping to average three sales a day. Julie thought that was agressive since I don’t have a new novel coming out. I’m putting together two box sets, and I’m interested to see if that attracts some new people. Most sites have box sets in a seperate group, so I wonder if some people don’t start a series until it’s over or at least has more than one book in it. I’ll keep you posted.

So far my sales are averaging three a day. Sales on Amazon and All Romance have really dropped off, but I seem to be eeking out three a day between all the sites I’m on.

How did you guys do with writing this week? I hope there was a lot of activity!

Celebrating November


I love the above picture because it reminds me of one of my favorite characters–a character I had to give up trying to write so that I could move my writing career forward. It’s interesting to look back at choices made. It’s also interesting to see what readers react to in either a positive or negative way and what they give a big shrug of indifference to.

I’m devoting a huge amount of time to writing in the romance genre. I’ve always enjoyed romantic elements in stories, and they’ve been in most of my science fiction and fantasy stories. I never thought I’d write contemporary romance though. And in a way, it’s a huge mistake.

The state of romance right now appalls me. It’s filled with sachrine sweet heroines who haven’t had sex in so long that they’re practically virgins. They’ve had tragic events happen in their past and somehow still have the optimism of an eight-year-old girl. In the mean time, the heroes are jealous stalkers who whore shame the women that actually go down on them so they can take up and treasure the new virginal demi-woman they’ve found to obsess over.

Too harsh?

These are not the romances I write. Shockingly, I like to think of women and men as equals. I like to think that most adults are mature adults. Not surprisingly, until November, my stories have been met with indifference and the occasional angry reader.

Why did I switch to romance? As I said, I’ve always enjoyed romantic elements in my stories. I felt I needed to practice writing stories that didn’t have a lot of world building so I could focus on character development, tension, plot twists and beginnings without trying to fit in world building tidbits every other sentence. World building was exhausting me. I’d get a crit back saying there was too much description, too little description and my favorite “Would this character really notice that since he sees it every day? You have to stay in POV.”

I quickly realized my romance stories weren’t going to catch the eye of the industry gate-keepers, so I decided to use them to learn about indie publishing as well. October 2014 is when I convinced David and Julie to help me out, followed shortly by Heather. At the time, I thought I’d do a lot of short stories under my own name like Rapunzel. But to do those the way I want to do them requires a lot of money for the illustrations. So romance took over.

I might actually be finding an audience for romances about mature adults. A small one so far, but I busted through all of my selling goals for November. In October, I made my sales goal of one book a day. So I upped the goal to 2 sales a day for November because I had a new release.

I had 169 sales in November!

My new release (TH) alone sold 94 copies. My release last year (MH) sold 34 copies in November. And the short story I wrote in a week and made my own cover for (VH) sold 32 copies even after it had been downloaded over 1100 times for free.

These are very small numbers, and I can’t make a living on it yet, but what a huge surge from 0 a few months ago. Enough of a surge that I got my first two star review and a troll. The troll is not the two star review. That seems totally legitimate, “It’s a short story and you don’t get to know the characters very well.” Yep. That was for VH. It’s sort of surprising that I haven’t gotten more of those for VH. But I also got a very lengthy five star review for it on Amazon which was a surprise.

The troll I’m not mentioning on my pen name blog at all. But I thought I would mention it here because if you go into publishing of any sort, it’s bound to happen. I guess I hit some sort of magic visibility to get one this month. I don’t get on Goodreads very much because I haven’t figured out how to get tranction there. It seemed time was better spent elsewhere. But VH was selling so well, I decided to do a google search for VH to see if there were any reviews for it. My Goodreads author page came up and my rating had totally tanked.

I logged on and saw that every book of mine had recieved a one star rating with no review by the same person. Even a book published in 2014 by Jupiter Gardens that I don’t think has sold a copy since opening day. I clicked on the account and saw that they’d reviewed over 16,000 books with the average rating of 1 star. This had to be a troll. I contacted Goodreads about it Sunday night and still have not heard back from them. I will keep you posted. They are owned by Amazon and Amazon has really cracked down on false reviews to the point of erasing legitimate ones, so I’ll be interested to see what happens.

This turned out to be a much longer post than I had planned. I hope eveybody had a great Thanksgiving. I hope you’re smashing through your writing goals! See you Friday for Spark Tally. I have a lot of writing to do!





Spark Tally Saturday!


Good Morning! I have a word count! I wrote 13,000 words this week! It’s a completed novelette, (I’ll call it VH) which I stayed up way too late finishing, editing and publishing. Yes, I’m crazy. I’ve had many late nights this week, doing what I can to expand my readership.

Last week I told you about the novel (I’ll call it TH) I’d just released having the best first day ever for me. It’s now had the best sales ever for me across titles in just the first week. TH made the best seller list at All Romance. It topped out at 30 and is barely hanging on at 48 this morning, but I can’t believe it was on there at all.

I knew even if the book had a great opening day, sales would slide. I had long planned putting out VH for free during the second week to attract more readers and hopefully upsell them the novel at the end. Well….I got greedy and released it on All Romance for $0.99. No sales the first day, so I decided to return to my original plan and put it up for free. I also discounted the first title in the series (MH). Within a few hours I’d made sales on both TH and MH.

I released VH Thursday night on Smashwords. There have been no upsales to TH or MH on Smashwords, but VH was downloaded a 100 times on the first day and it got a review. It got a five star review even. I was in shock. None of my books have ever been reviewed on Smashwords.

Smashwords distributes to several other venues. VH is not on any of them yet, but sales for TH started trickling in yesterday from the other venues.

I put VH up on Amazon yesterday too. You can’t open at free on Amazon, and I made one sale today for it :)

Last week I said my goal for the month was two sales a day. Last night I was averaging 5 sales a day! No matter what happens the rest of the month, I can be pleased that I already made my sales goal of 60.

But I have to keep pushing. I still have my serial story I’m doing, but I have no other specific plans yet for December and beyond. I need to fix that.

How did you guys do this week? I hope you got lots of writing done!

Spark Tally Friday!

Yes, I’m posting early for a change! I wrote 1500 words this week. It’s also release week! The first 24 hours has gone by since the story was released on the first site. It was my best opening day under the pen name!

Yesterday and today I’ve been singing Empire by Queensryche in my head. Because, of course, I’m building a writing empire 😉 I dedicate this song to Julie who spent a ton of hours going through edits this month:



Last month I averaged a sales a day, which is huge for me. I’ve made plans to try to push to average two sales a day this month. It might be a crazy hope, but now that I am seeing numbers, it’s addicting like playing at a slot machine. And on this sixth day of the month, I am averaging two sales a day 😀 We’ll see what I’m saying on the thirtieth day.

How did you guys do? I hope you got lots of writing done and are pushing yourselves to new goals!

Actual Writing Advice: Schedule Your Writing Goals



Back in July I told Julie and Heather that I wanted to do X, Y, and Z. Heather said, “Show me the schedule.” So I sat down at and filled out a calendar for the end of July, all of August and the first week of September. It took three hours.

X is done. Y is daily and on going. Z is incomplete. I have to have Z done by the end of this week. It was actually supposed to be done at the end of August. Obviously I overscheduled. But by golly, I am not adding anything more to that schedule until it’s done.

Having a specific schedule to adhere to is a real boost. I like to check off things when they’re done. I don’t let myself move on until everything is complete. It’s one thing to say, “I’m going to write a book this year.” It’s another to say, “I’m going to write one chapter a week. I’m going to be half-way done by July 4. I’m going to have a full manuscript by Dec. 31.”

It’s good to say, “I’m going to write every day for two hours.” But I think it’s even better if you say, “I’m going to write two hours a day and have a short story done by Saturday.” It keeps you honest with yourself. Maybe it will prevent you from spending that two hours on Youtube, or reading news articles, or twitter. Sometimes I get done with an hour and I’ve done nothing but check stuff on the internet that isn’t related to my writing project at all. If I have a looming deadline, even a self-imposed one, I can click on my schedule and say, “Better not go through my WordPress Reader right now. I need Z done in two days!”

I know some of you out there schedule your goals. Do you have any special tricks that keep you focused?

10k Words a Day

My middle child has been doing the math for me on how many words I need to write a day to finish my book before school is out for the summer on Friday. With every restart, the word count has grown bigger and bigger. I’m now at 10k words a day that I need. I’m estimating the book will be 60,000 words long.

Yesterday, I spent 5 hours at Starbucks and wrote 5500 words. I didn’t manage to hit my top speed, which is 1500 words an hour. But I did get in one 1200 hour. I’m not sure my goal is possible. I’m pretty tired from yesterday. But I’m teaching music this morning and that always wakes me up.

Check in tomorrow and I’ll let you know how many words I got written this week. Feel free to post your daily word count too! We’ll make this a marathon week. Even if your goal is only 500 words a day, let me know. The important part is making that goal every day.

Writing Business

I really enjoyed Shari’s blog this week about writing goals. As I look at my own, I realize how much I’m struggling to write this year. I haven’t worked on a new story since just before Christmas. While I’m delighted to have Rapunzel: Stay at Home Mom premiering Jan. 31 and a novel under my pen name premiering in February, I fear March is going to hit and I won’t have made any progress on the stories we’ve planned for release at the end of the year. All of my work time has been devoted to editing and promoting. I felt jealous of Dave and Shari this week at Spark Tally with their word counts and progress on new stories and wondered if Holly was as anxious as myself to get back to writing.

But, despite jonesing to immerse myself in plot and hooks and character building, I’m thrilled with what my little publishing business Hot Java LLC has done this month.

My publicist is rocking the Pinterest world. I think my favorite pins are this paper art of Rapunzel she found for the Rapunzel board:

 And this eye make-up she found for the Sleeping Beauty’s Spa board:

My pen name twitter followers are up 10% this month and my @MelindaJMoore followers are up 150%! Woo Hoo! I also had a small bump up of Facebook followers this month. Thanks to all the new comers! And thanks to Julie for the headshot she took that’s now on my twitter account!

I’m doing a blog tour for Rapunzel. Right now I have three blogs booked. If you run a blog about writing, fairy tales, reading or parenting and would like me to come over and do a guest blog for you, please contact me at All the blogs will be unique but focused around an aspect my Rapunzel story. For example at Life of Larisa my blog will focus on how judgmental I was as a new parent and how that aspect is magnified in Rapunzel. I’m sure we could come up with an idea for your blog! Please keep in mind that it’s a fairy tale for adults and uses mature language.

That’s it for me today. Please check back in for the buy links for my book. I’ll post them as soon as I have them. Happy writing!