Gina Penn, unabridged.

Archive for March, 2011

The 4-1-1

I’m blogging for a few reasons tonight.

My short story collection, Learning To Fly, is now available on Smashwords and Nook.

Kindle, Sony and the iBookstore are pending and should be up before long. Kindle is taking a little longer because of a mistake but it should be fixed pretty soon. If you have a Smashwords account or own a Barnes and Noble Nook, and are bored and have an evening or two to kill, take a look at the book. You’ll burn through it in an evening or two and then feel pretty good for finishing a book so fast.

Smashwords link:

Barnes and Noble:

Edit: It’s now available for Kindle as well:

Also, please don’t forget about my Barnes and Noble Gift Card Contest that starts this Friday!

If you do purchase the book, read it and enjoy it, please be kind enough to leave a review. It helps the comfort level of other customers.

Thanks so much to everyone that’s bought the book for your support and encouragement. It moves mountains, believe me.



It doesn’t seem like it, but that’s a big word.

One so big that I’ve avoided writing this blog by dusting my office, cleaning my bathroom and cooking lunch.

Say too much and you’re a blabbermouth windbag. Say too little and you’re not being “positive” enough.

Where is the happy medium?

I don’t know. And despite the fact that it’s already almost April, a fact I still cannot wrap my brain around (where in the heck has this year gone ALREADY?) I’m going to set some goals for myself to attain by the end of the year. Because if I don’t accomplish something, the next time I blink I’ll be ten years older with nothing more accomplished.

There’s a saying for this type of conundrum: shit or get off the pot.

I have to assume that anyone reading this blog has some interest in my life and what I’m doing lately. To these people I say thank you because without you, I’d be a bodiless voice quacking in the void.

I suppose my number one goal should be to write more.

All writers say this. “I’m going to get more writing done this year.” And yet, in the same breath of having said this, they Tweet it, Facebook it, post it on Linked In, text it, email it, blog it and etc… Well, all those things are great, wonderful, superb. However, those things are also the biggest hindrances to writing! If you’re too busy Tweeting and all that, that means you’re not writing. I’m all about participation and social networking. If I weren’t, I wouldn’t belong to about a thousand writing groups and all the social networking sites known to man. But there was a time, not so long ago, I recall not belonging to many of those groups and had a lot of time to kill. What did I do with that time? I wrote. Social networking sells books and whatever other wares you’re attempting to peddle but it sure as hell isn’t good for your unfinished manuscript.  I also understand that I should practice what I preach since I’m sitting here blogging instead of writing.

I have a few awesomely awesome ideas in my head involving dead bodies, crazy viruses and aliens. I’ve also tossed around the idea of a series, since serial books are highly beloved by fans because reading about your favorite characters is like coming home (being a fan of the Dark Tower series, I’m qualified to say this-I love you, Roland Deschain!). I’ve also really wanted to write a book with a sprawling cast of characters-sort of like The Stand or Under The Dome. Right now, the sky’s the limit.

Another goal I want is to publish at least two more books, maybe more, this year through Kindle, Barnes and Noble, etc…

The above leads me to another goal and this one is the most important. I really, really, really need to stop stressing about what other people think of my writing. On the surface, I don’t care but deep, deep, deep down, I kinda do. I’ve been writing for a very long time, as long as I can remember, I’ve put serious overtime into the hell that is writer’s block, I’ve written crap stories, good stories and I’ve had people say they love my stories and people say they’re boring. If there’s a writer’s spectrum, I’ve lived on both ends and traveled through the middle. I’ve been told by teachers that I have natural talent and I’ve been told by teachers that I should give it up. Am I trying to be as good as Stephen King? No. Am I expecting to be as successful as Amanda Hocking? No again. But I would like to carve a tiny niche for myself somewhere in the writing world. And I need to come to terms with the fact that I’m not going to impress everyone and no matter how tightly I edit my stuff, people are going to find errors, a dreaded adverb here and there and maybe a misspelled word. I’m both fortunate and unfortunate that I know a lot of fantastic writers, ones a helluva lot better than me and the thought that something I write might make them cringe terrifies me so.

But again, I need to get over that.

And while I’m hoping for support from everyone, I have to remind myself that I may not get it. Athletes always lose fans whenever they change teams.

There is so much unknown that it gives me heartburn.


Barnes and Noble $100 Gift Card Contest

So, to promote the site and the release of my book, Learning To Fly, I’m going to have a contest for a $100 gift card for Barnes and Noble. I’m still working through the details but I will be sure to let everyone know when the whole she-bang has been hammered out. $100 will buy a lot of books.  Knowing me, I like to keep things simple so the most likely method will be drawings names of random commenters that have purchased the book.

Stay tuned for more details!

Edit: Okay, so here are the rules. The book drops on April Fools Day. Buy the book and then come back here to the website and leave a comment, particularly one that lets me know you’ve bought the book (try to be specific on a detail or two). The contest is going to run from April 1st until April 7th, and on the 7th I will draw a name from one of the commenters. The name I draw is the winner of the GC. I will announce the winner on the blog as well as get in touch with the winner personally.

Edit #2 – I have extended the deadline. The contest will now end on April 15-two weeks after its beginning.

Any questions? Ask.

Good luck everyone.

Cover Art for Learning To Fly

Hey everyone,

This looks to be the final cut on the cover art for “Learning To Fly”. I think it turned out all right and it especially looks good in black and white, which is how it will mostly be viewed. Take a look and let me know what y’all think:

Joe Hill Reading and Signing

On March 23rd, I will be attending the reading and signing of Joe Hill’s book, Horns. He’s going on a short promotional tour to promote his book coming out in paperback.

Here’s a link to his site and it will give you some info about his tour:

If you haven’t read anything by Joe Hill-shame on you!

Stay tuned for more writerly places I’ll be going in 2011.

April Fool’s Day

This day has long been known as a day to fool people.  A day for pranks, tricks, and up-to-no-good-ness. A day of fun, depending on whether you’re the tricker or the trickee.

This April Fool’s Day, 4/1/11, I shall ask myself; am I the tricker or the trickee?

I’m planning on releasing my first e-book, “Learning To Fly” on April 1st. I’ve been working my tail off for the past couple of months trying to get it ready. Working on getting the stories together, finding and getting a cover developed, ways to market it, and other aspects as well. This whole venture has left me both educated and exhausted.

Writing e-books sounds easy. But when you’re trying to do it right, it’s not.

It’s hard.

With that being said, if you wish, subscribe to this blog if you want to be in the know about what’s going on with my book. This is a brand new experience to me and I’d like to have some people along for the ride, if I can. Hopefully, it’ll be a long and smooth ride.

Take care everyone.


Hello world!

Hello everyone,

Welcome to my blog! We have a lot going on, so let’s get started.

Currently, I’m getting my short story collection, Learning To Fly, together for an April 1 release date. I’m pretty excited nervous  scared about it too so sometime in April, if you see some posts that have multiple misspellings and some blog rage, it’s probably me blogging while intoxicated.

Anyway, if you want to learn more about my books, then this’ll be the place to go. I have another blog that I use but that one serves another purpose. This is the one where I’ll post info about my stories, contest information, coupons and any news about me, my books or anything else that might be coming up, such as conferences and etc.

For now, subscribe to this blog or bookmark it if you want to. I hope you’ll follow me on this journey!