I have created a “blog giveaway” with RULES and ENTRY REQUIREMENTS and a POLICY – yeah – every thing over on my childrens author website By Julie Kolb – Good grief!

Also I am tracking my work hours.  (Thanks to Ryder Carroll and and Boho Berry and her tracker examples.) I am definitely working part-time job hours on the business side of this self employed writing career. Averaging 10-20 hours a week on marketing (all that Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Tumbler, Twitter, social media stuff) and administration, advertising, etc.

My big problem is tracking my writing time. Why am I tracking my writing time? Because people don’t really think about how much time it takes to start something like this. There are blogs aplenty about how to (how to do any and everything you can imagine – try it, let me know if and what you can’t find) posts including accounting for how much time and effort goes into being an indie author.

Did ya see that there? I inferred myself as an indie author, not a self published author.  WhY? I like it better.

Ok, so I still have some research I need to do for Sinister. But I have done my read through of just over 20,000 words actually written. I know the holes that need to be filled. I am getting notepads and pencils set up everywhere to make notes and write things as they come to me.

I had intended to start working on the rewrite after the new year, but with all the colds and viruses going around, I caught one. Was sick for a couple of weeks there, so now that I am no longer holding a tissue to my nose for the constant drip and the other to cover my cough my hands are free to write.

Have a SUPER Weekend (get it . . . Super Bowl)

Thanks for reading!



Happy New Year!


This year for me is already a big mystery. Will I finish and publish Sinister? What is going to happen from here to the end of this new year?

Lots of questions and very few answers in the early hours of this year. That in itself is different. In years past I would spend the last quarter working on an image to use as my Facebook cover photo. If that wasn’t taking up some of my free time then deciding on some aspect of myself I wanted to work on, to better me.

The end of 2017 was not typical. It was spent making appointments and struggling to get a few made. Then following suit with the the hurry up and wait cycle, there were the results of those appointments. It was a roller coaster ride there at the end.

In the coming weeks and months some things will stay the same, and some won’t. Because I am going to be doing something I have never done before, I am not sure what changes will have to be made and some won’t. It’s going to be interesting for me for sure.

So, here’s to the changes ahead. Best wishes to you!

Thursday, Already? What?

So this week has gotten away from me. Yes, those critical ‘absolutely have to do’ items have been done and checked off the list. However, some of the more fun, really wanted to do things, well, they haven’t happened. Yet.

Some of those have been pushed off to the next opportunity around the things that have to be done next week. The end of this year isn’t going nearly as smoothly as I like. (Meaning I haven’t slept in anywhere as much as I had thought when I was looking ahead to December and the holidays.)

I had hopes of working down my list of things to do for the next book to the point I would be ready to start editing and rewriting the first of next year. Instead of making that list smaller, it seems to be morphing and growing at rate that is starting to intimidate me a bit.

But then I see the scar on my right forearm from the bicycle accident and realize, nah, I can do this. I just need to look at today and let tomorrow worry about its own self. One of those things that can be done today is check-in with you, that’s a fun thing. You are brightening my day.

Today and tomorrow some serious behind the scenes work has to be completed. There is more to being an indie writer than just sitting down and writing on the story. There is some drudgery work, administrative in nature, as well as some of the more everyday type things that we all do. Like yesterday, I cleaned the bathroom, you know the whole bathroom, not just wiping down a counter and picking up a towel. (Shudder)

Hoping before bedtime to finish my list who and what to do for list before Christmas gets here, and wondering who won’t mind if their gift is late. You know, finding the loose end that needs to be tied up. Oh, and getting ready for the audio release of the children’s book, Snowball, that I won’t know has been dropped until it already has, I think.

Yeah, that kind of stuff.

I can’t really complain too much or too loudly because I am learning so so much in all this. Maybe in another ten years I will be getting the hang of it all. Looking forward to the day that my writing skill and business management all converge at a critical point that might be loosely called ‘success’ by others.

Right now I am feeling pretty successful. Two books out, and an audio version about to drop. I call that a success! Still going, maybe even stronger in someways than that first day in July 2014 when Snowball was available as an ebook.

Thanks for your support. Keep reading!

Love ya,


So, I thought I flubbed this! BUT I DIDN’T!

I found a contest that I could enter to help pay for some software I could use. But. I think I flubbed it.  I didn’t enter the right email and then I see “pending review” so I “backed” out of it and re-entered.  But  I may get disqualified, because it they both may go through and that would be WRONG.

Any way.  Here is the entry and the website. Please go vote for me.

Look for ‘byjuliekolb’ and vote for me!


The website –

My entry is I believe – #169834309   – THIS HAS BEEN UPDATED SEE THE LINK IN BLUE ABOVE ! contest entry

Here is the entry – note the contest entry doesn’t allow much space – the entries are very compact so this was written to give the reader space and time to think.

I am a writer, . . . and novice artist, and everything else. Under my belt are two children stories, which are part of a five book promise for my grandchildren. This coming year a story for grownups is the work in progress.
My beloved wheel of life Hub and I formed our business in 2014 to publish my first book, an easy early chapter book, Snowball, a story written for my granddaughter.
When I was working on Snowball, I drew rough images to show a real artist for chapter illustrations. My granddaughter served as an editor and got to see them before I sought out real artists who could do the ideas justice. Those drawings were edited with a sweet critique telling me what I could do to make those scratches look better. I realized then that she would expect to see those from me! The whole book was for her, with all my work alone. That was a big deal! I did make those tweaks to my scribblings and we published July 2014.
This past October, we published a picture book, Bad Dream. Why a two year break in publishing? Well, I am an adventurous grandma and was trying to hop tree roots on a mountain bicycle, and found I don’t do that well. I broke both bones of my forearm!
Did I mention I am in my fifties? I am. The break required a surgical repair. Now not only do I have people wondering what that woman is doing now, (Wonder Woman, get it?), but I am also a bit bionic as well, at least in one forearm!
The accident happened when I was beginning to learn how to draw, so I had to restart learning to draw with my non-dominant hand while going through physical therapy to regain use of my dominant hand. It set me back a year.
Bad Dream was published this past October 2017. Currently my work in progress is for grown-ups, a story I started writing as a Halloween post back in 2012 for my blog.
Why do I need to win this contest? I need to purchase a lot of things, software to make creating books easier, especially being able to create my own covers. Advertising, because not many people know who I am or what I do. Also, research, always research – research to become a better writer, to check story facts and build this still fledgling business!
Because I write for both children and adults, I make it easy to know what tales are appropriate for youngins, “By Julie Kolb,” and what is a story for a more mature audience, “J.Kolb.” I want to know what and who I am buying, don’t you?
If you have stayed with me through this short essay, I want to leave you with links to find my written work and check me out. So, here goes. For By Julie Kolb: blog,; Facebook @kolbjulie; Twitter, @byjuliekolb. For J. Kolb: blog,; Facebook, @ReadJKolb; Twitter, @jdotkolb. Thanks for reading! Love you! Julie

Social Media Madness

Just woke up early to listen to rain on the window. Sounding like a sleep in Sunday morning. Thoughts drifting from one thing to the next. Pow! A detail of the WIP pops into my mind. Luckily the hubs wasn’t sleeping either. It’s nice when a detail that needs checking can be researched by a simple, “Hey, babe . . .”

But that isn’t the topic. Just what’s filling my brain in the wee hours of the morning. Deciding to write, and writing are only part of what you have to do to become a writer. Research it for yourself.

One thing they all have in common, besides having the ability to put more than two words together in an interest grabbing fashion, is social media. Getting your writing name out there, mulitplying upon that, by gaining a fan base. Possibly the two most important words in this business-‘fan base.’

Quite frankly, that hasn’t been a priority for me. Working on the putting words together and coming up with story ideas that I want to write about have. More on that at another time.

What this is about is, me, telling you, I just don’t. I am struggling with building that fan base.Struggling with getting followers and likes. One big obstical is myself. I don’t ask for help easily. I don’t ask others very often or very well for the matter to help by reblogging or reposting or sharing.

Like telling you, my reader that I have

Facebook -@ReadJKolb

Twitter @jdotkolb

Instagram j.kolbstorywriter

Pinterest, Tumbler, and Google+ are on the list of social sites as well. And, and, and, I have two at each. The grownup – J.Kolb and the children’s appropriate By Julie Kolb brand. Yes, I do. BUT, and that is a rather huge b-u-t, I don’t utilize them to the max. I don’t ask often for follows and likes. I don’t even push sales of my children’s books very well either.

So, this is a one big time push to say- please support my efforts by liking, sharing and following. Sharing would be a huge help. Thanks.

And you have a great day!



After coffee and breakfast, contemplating the day, I rubbed my chin. Caught between my finger and thumb was . . . A RANDOM CHIN HAIR!!!!!!!!! Menopause!

A thin scrawny chin hair that I hadn’t seen in the mirror (I have to start wearing glasses and using that 10x mirror) reflection in the four months this thing had grown. (Basing on its length and the estimation of a half an inch a month growth.) I let go in my panic and stroked my chin again to be sure it wasn’t just my imagination.

Nope. This time when I caught it tenderly between thumb and forefinger, I could pull my chin skin out from bone. EEK! It is real!

I am proud of my containment. I didn’t screech nor scream. Sadly, social media has gotten to me and I reached for my phone to take a close up picture of this new aging phenomenon. Before I could get a snapshot, the little wisp broke. Thankfully there is still enough collagen in my chin that the skin snapped back in place. Thankful for small mercies.

My husband is now in charge of unwanted hair growth on my face. His response? “It’s like checking you for ticks, got it.” Imagine the sound of a male parental voice exasperated at what else a mischievous child has yet again gotten into, rather than any sexy southern drawl.

Thanks for reading!


Thoughts on a Sunday

All week long there were some blog post topic ideas. Some really good, but they would take some research and time to produce. Then I would look at my list of things to do, and my recent consistency with my habits and realize that was just adding too much to my plate.

I still haven’t found the time of day to just free-form write! This is my name for giving myself time to just sit still, letting the thoughts spill from my mind onto the page. Think free association, one thought begets another and another. Sometimes they complete themselves these bits of idea before they exhaust themselves, other times they are just a brief fleeting – perhaps not even a complete sentence but phrase.

Doesn’t matter their form, it matters that I give them time. This is a different kind of writing than journaling or diary writing, to me at least. Diary, or journaling is about me, and my life.  Free-form is more like brainstorming but without a topic. It is where story ideas come from and yes, sometimes scenes for stories already in the works. To be even more specific, it is where ideas for scenes, or questions about works in progress may find their answers.

Over the last few years, this opportunity to meet new ideas fell in importance and eventually out of habit. Ouch, that hurt, realizing that so much of what worked well for me was no longer in my daily routine. That isn’t good, at all.

So instead of keeping my head down to write during this month of NaNoWriMo, it is all about making those habits that encourage my imagination and writing back into my daily flow. Besides, I just read some pages last night of the old draft; ew some of the writing is really rough. I need to find my writing nose-pin and gloves to back in there and make something of that mess. 🙂

Love you for reading.



PS What habits do you need to incorporate to do what makes you happy?

From Halloween 2012

This is the post that started the story . . . .


Being called in this late at night was not a problem. She didn’t mind going in to work last minute.  They may have wanted to think that one over before hiring her.  She didn’t change, just grabbed her keys and left.  Keeping everything needed in the trunk, was easier that way.
When she arrived on that blue moon, there was a black cat in the parking lot. She noticed it as she pulled in.  Parking the farthest from the building, in the darkest spot, she was not afraid. The cat didn’t notice her, not even when the engine shut off.
The trunk was popped from inside, the driver’s door opened. She glanced over. The cat sleek and black, didn’t notice.  Heels hit the pavement, click, click. The cat noticed.  She stopped and watched in mid movement, while the cat’s ears perked up, and the hair along its back began to rise in slow motion. The formerly seated cat stood up, then crouched ready to spring.  She walked around to the back, hidden by the trunk lid.  A smile crept across her face, ‘The cat won’t move until it knows where I am going to walk,’  She thought.
She took her time removing the gear. Making sure she had everything she would need.  Putting her hand on the edge of the lid above her head, the glossy painted nails and jewels catching the light as she drummed them on the metal . . . making time. Then suddenly the lid slammed down. The cat hadn’t moved.
‘We stared at each other. The cat and I. I looked towards the employee entrance, and debated. Should I go out of my way to walk into the cat’s path, or should I walk straight ahead to work?  I checked my watch.  It was a couple of minutes to midnight. Straight.’ She would later recall.
‘I chose at the last second to walk farther around my parking spot, as if to head toward the cat. It took a few steps back.  Then sat. Brave. I walked straight to my destination, until I was parallel with the cat on my right. I stopped. Turned my head. The cat stood back up. I bent at the waist, leaning towards the minion, and hissed. The cat sprang and ran away never looking back. I know, I watched.‘  She would continue to report about that night.
Laughter echoed in the night air off the building and mostly vacant lot.
She checked her watch.  Clocking in right on time.

To Mail Chimp or Not

So I saw recently on D’book that not everyone is liking the popup email lists things.  Yeah, me neither. But, I got one. Hypocrite (and for you spelling police and bad spellers, I just looked that word up because it looks like hip-o-crite, with a long i). Yes, I am.

I am giving this Monkey list thing a year to see how it goes. BUT, I have decided I do not like trying to write an email to introduce a new blog. From research on “how to social media market/brand” I will spend all my time on writing stuff for that and none in the form of storytelling. I am motivated, but not THAT motivated.

So, I am going to use that list to weed out the lookie-loos. Those on that list get first dibs on stuffs.  When I get stuffs. They are my big boosters, because they are sweet to me and got on in the beginning. (Um, just so you know, this is still the beginning. Late in the beginning, but beginning still.)

Like, I k now what I am doing, plowing ahead full force. I got my feet back on the ground and my head back in the clouds where it belongs.  Found my blue** colored glasses and they are back on.

Love ya for reading!




**Blue, is my signature color.

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