Can’t Sleep Writing Blues

So, it’s the middle of the night. Thoughts are swirling in my head. Story ideas and frustrations with figuring out how build a writing business are vying for my focus.

I started with stories for children. This was not my comfort zone. Not my ‘jam.’ Telling bedtime stories for my children was sweet, we all enjoyed it. But that was for us. I will finish my project for children, eventually. The stories for the most part are already in rough form and waiting to be written.

But for right now, I want to get back into my world of writing. I felt very restricted writing children.  Lower word counts and consideration for the level of comprehension, as well as subject matter all together are quite a set of boundaries to write within. Especially writing for a general audience!

When I told those bedtimes stories it was in the moment and for them exclusively. I knew my audience well. Writing for a broad audience that I never met, well, that has been like writing in the dark with no light on to see whether the pen is on the paper because the power was out and you couldn’t use the computer. Doesn’t sound easy does it?

It’s been a tough five years with only two books to show for it.  I want to spend some time in my comfort zone for a story and relax. Who knows, maybe that will make me a better children’s writer.

I can tell you for certain the challenges of writing for children has made me a better author. I am far more comfortable critiquing my own work as well as how to listen to others critic it. How to step away before I edit and get some distance from the story.  How to let it go when it has reached the best I can do.

Maybe in the coming posts I will toss some short stories out and see how they are received. Might come up with some new stories to polish and work on in the future. Definitely will keep you up on how the current project is going and when I will be starting on another children’s story.

Thanks for reading!




Better Writing

One of the ways that I try to improve my writing is by reading books. Using lists like the Time’s 100 Best Children’s Books of All Time is a great place to start. Choosing whatever your genre is, and reading the best stories has long been shared advice. Depending on your preferences, some may make a connection, and others not be worth your time.

Personally, I think about what catches my interest and ask myself – how did they do that? At odds with this is how I really judge a book. Can I keep that analytical question forefront every time I pick the book up to read? Books that I forget my purpose and get totally wrapped up in the story, one that may take more than one read through before I can remember to analyze the writing, that is one to study.

Problem? Even when I did find a a story that has that affect, and tried to duplicate someone else’s success, it didn’t worked. I ended up tossing the effort. Because it was a lot like trying to write a boring assignment that I had no interest in.

So, in Snowball, and now in Bad Dream, I wrote with purpose and passion. I was absolutely terrified to publish Snowball. It is difficult to put your work out there for others to scrutinize and reject. I certainly haven’t regretted it.

Happy reading,



Posting, Again.

Good grief!

I am trying twice a week posting.

This was something that when I first started I did . . . daily! Oh, my! That was just too, too much for me as a writer, and my husband knows I delete many daily blogs that come to my email every day, because it is just too much for me to read everyday. (Sorry Dunc, if it doesn’t catch my eye in the title, it goes to the trash.) That’s the honest truth, but I don’t want my posts to end up in the delete bin!


I also don’t want to post dribble and repetitive stuff, which is why I went down to weekly. My eldest born adult advised me to increase back up to daily. I split the diff and decided twice a week was good enough.  We will see how that goes.

For now, I am still wrestling with scheduling time to write, time to market via social media (and still have an unbelievable learning curve that I keep slipping off of), and I really want to watch Dancing with the Stars, NCIS, This Is Us, and Austin Rogers on Jeopardy.  Eight hours of sleep sounds heavenly to me, as does some time to try to exercise so sitting my rump in this chair doesn’t make my fat cells become accustomed to a larger size.

For those of you who have noticed the annoying to me pop up we installed to sign up for emails, don’t fret. You won’t be getting emails every single time I post. I am saving those for my supporter fans, so you might want to get on that list. My feeling on that is that I will email out to them the free stuff and limited time offers and you know the really good deals before I put them out to the masses of the inter webs.  Kind of a thank you for supporting me from the get go.

Speaking of which, had a long talk with my “TEAM”, aka D’Family.  They all are in agreement that it is time I stop playing around and act like this is my job, because well, it is. Several are have seen the number of stories I have on the back burner and haven’t finished and their raised eyebrows just tell me that I need to get cracking on my list of tales to tell.

So, I have to get myself organize and geared up. I have a lot of work to do.

Find the positive in the day and hold it close. Do what I am doing – I am making that my carrot on a stick and holding it in front of me!

My Carrot on a stick.

Thanks for reading!

Love ya!




Bad Dreams

So the stats for the free ebook give away was better than the stats of the release of Snowball. (Which by the way is in the works to be an audio book, Snowball, that is.) So while, it may not seem like a lot is going on behind the blog, it is.

The first week of October was spent working on social media presence. Some media I have had for years, but didn’t do much with it. Others are new, and even some of those I have had for years have meant a reacquaintance with.

So, here are the links to those other places you can find me

Twitter  @byjuliekolb

Pinterest Julie Kolb 

Facebook  Julie Kolb 

Tumblr byjuliekolb

Instagram byjuliekolb 

Google+ Julie Kolb 

Linked In Julie Kolb 

And currently my project in the works will be written under the J. Kolb name because I want to distinguish the more mature material from that for strictly children. This is for the grownups that pay for the children books.  Not forgetting the young ones, I am working on a freebie giveaway during this time that I hope will be a downloadable and print, “cut and staple” booklet.

Thanks for reading!

Love ya,



Since I am going to be begging and pleading for book reviews on Bad Dream, thought a post on leaving reviews would be helpful.

Here is a link to a college (Purdue) website about writing a book review for those who want to take a more literary, critique type approach. For those who want to write for Amazon, here is a link to a likely checklist (Huffington Post, )  And lastly the easiest to read and clearest checklist (Wikihow).

My personal favorite means of reviewing a book are asking myself the same questions asked of my beta readers  My answers to them help me form the review My check list for this is as follows.

  1. Read the book.
  2. My feelings about what I read
    1. Did I like it?
    2. Did I not understand it?
    3. Did I dislike it?
    4. Did I hate it?
  3. Did I finish the entire book?
    1. IF no, when did I quit reading and why?
  4. After reading, would I recommend others to buy this book, or would I just give away my copy because they don’t need to waste their money, too? Or is this so good, I wouldn’t let anyone even borrow it for fear of having to find another copy again?
  5. And if I am really in a sharing mood, what would I share with my bestie to make her/him read this book?

That’s it! It is that simple. For those of you unfamiliar with how all this works, reviews help authors gain more readers. More readers, even those giving away free books, help keep their work toward the top of the webpages, and in circulation.  It helps in promoting their work. A very nice thing to do.

Penny For Your Thoughts

One last thing, for those who leave reviews for me, thank you. I truly appreciate your taking time out of your life to review one of my stories. It is an honor to have entertained you.

Love ya,



Yep!  The  ebook and paperback versions, too!


Front Cover-



Amazon Link Here 

If the paperback hasn’t caught up to Amazon yet, you can find it here


So happy to have this finished and available to share with you!


Thank you and much love to all my supporters!