In Houses of the Broken, Lacey reflects “There’s nothing more pathetic than being dumped by a loser… ”
But, many of you won’t know if that’s true or not.
After nearly 18 months, my ‘indie publishing’ experience has come to an end. I can’t say I’m thrilled, but the thing about taking a leap of faith is; sometimes you fall. Does it hurt my pride? Sure. Do I feel stupid for trying? Absolutely. Did it send me in to a debilitating pit of despair over the past 6 months? Most definitely.
Will it stop me? No.
I’ve thought long and hard about what I wanted to say, but I won’t say most of it. I don’t want to break the internet. (I have a vivid imagination and the vocabulary of a well educated sailor.) But I feel it can best be summarized the classic parent trap: I’m not mad, I’m just disappointed.
I gambled and I lost. It happens, just spend an afternoon browsing Writer Beware. What will I do now? Rally. It might take longer than I like, the Valley of Darkness is long and wide, but eventually it will sink on the horizon behind me. And there it will remain, a wasteland of forgotten times.
I’ve come eye to eye with the worst than can happen. From now on, there is no fear, just some healthy motivation based on spite.
November 15, 2015 | Categories: Blog, Houses of the Broken, News | Tags: 2015, advice, amazon, analysis paralysis, announcement, author, baitandswitch, balance, bitch, blog, book, carnage, crisis, damage, dames, difficulty, disappointment, indieauthor, publishing, valleyofdarkness, writerbeware | Leave a comment
I need a kick in the pants after this past year. My head is spilling over with ideas but I can’t seem to transmit them from the chair to the keyboard. Life, as it tends to do, keeps getting away of my long evenings in coffee shops, wine bars and opium dens…. wait, I never really did any of those things… but I’d like to think I would, given the chance.
I really got my start writing feature length pieces thanks to NaNoWriMo. It took me a few tries to hit 50,000 words, but once I did, there was no going back. Houses of the Broken actually started as a NaNoWriMo project. I won, that year and stared down the path of publishing.
The following year I had the issue of hitting 50k but being nowhere near done! I thought this was a great problem to have… until I tried to pick it up and finish it…. that one may just remain a cliffhanger for a while.
It wasn’t long before the bottom dropped out and life got in the way again. Half way through NaNo I was unemployed and facing an ugly winter. My muse skipped town, and that flighty little minx hasn’t come back to roost since then – longer than I’d like to admit. The ideas are there but they’re trapped under the ice of reality, waiting for her radiant warmth to break them out and set them free.
So, thought I might try to get my muse in to boot camp. Thankfully Camp NaNoWriMo is just around the corner! I’m a new camper, I haven’t tried this event before but I’m hoping it’s just the right amount of peer pressure to work in to my busy summer schedule. With any luck, soon people far and wide will be reveling in my unnatural love for woodchippers and creative problem solving.
Until then, if you see my trixie little muse, by her a one way ticket home.
June 26, 2015 | Categories: Blog | Tags: 2015, advice, analysis paralysis, author, blog, book, july, muse, NaNoWriMo, summer, writing | Leave a comment
When I grow up, and I mean when I have more control over my own destiny and find myself on the other side of the management desk, I intend to turn things around. Tell your friends what we’re like. Tell our competition what we do. If you don’t like something, say it. Don’t leave it a carefully guarded mystery, festering in a cave of fearful doubt.
The world is slammed with non disclosure agreements and expectations. But I want to disclose. Oh, how I want to disclose.
Too many strings make for a heavy burden when you have to keep nearly every aspect of your daily involvements short, sweet and anonymous. No one wants to get bad press, but the more iron clad the agreement, the more you should keep a wary eye to the big, flashy smiles behind them.
Some people *ahem* are good at telling stories. Some people *ahem* love telling stories and some of the best stories aren’t fiction. Does someone need a champion? Someone to blow the chained cubicles wide open? Someone to ask the other minions if they’ve been treated the same? (I hear some people are good at asking all the wrong questions.)
The best way to keep people happy is to keep your promises. Setbacks are reasonable, if not expected. Deception, well, don’t expect that to succeed for long. Ignoring problems also doesn’t tend to make them go away, unless your goal is to alienate and irritate people in to leaving. And those people, aren’t going to recommend you later down the line, even if they are subject to a gag order.
June 1, 2015 | Categories: Blog | Tags: author, bitch, blog, book, damage, difficulty, evolution, inspiration, motivation, perserverence, philosophy, publishing, publishing contract, writer, writing | Leave a comment
Soul searching is a tricky beast. The time spent rambling around in my own head would make me a millionaire if I could put it to better use. Times change, preferences shift and every once in a while you’re left working without a net and the only way out is down. I problem solve for a living, but the down side is sometimes that analytical beast looks in the mirror and it’s hard to break the gaze.
Seeking a little more organized way to rationalize through things, I found a career blog that suggested asking yourself the following questions, stream of consciousness style. They are universal in nature and could easily be adapted to almost any person and situation. After compiling and reading over the responses that took me several days I did have to chuckle to myself. It reminds me of a Tarot reading that high school kids would give each other, flipping through the little book of divinity sworn to give you all the answers. Your mileage may vary.
Q.1) What are you working on? What is important at this point in your life? What are your own goals?
A.1) I’m working on keeping an income, finishing my house and establishing myself as a writer. At this point being financially secure and finishing my home is my main energy usage. My goal is to wrap my passions in to my daily life, have time and means to explore and experiment, and have a sanctuary for myself and my family. Another goal is to quit being stressed based on the actions of others – get away from the negative vibes and the stranger I feel myself becoming.
But now I know it’s best not to tell others your goals because once it is out, the internal governor has no power.
Q.2) What is your ideal situation? How would you like your life to look? What would you change in your job, your living situation, your activities and your relationships if you had a magic wand?
A.2) If I had a magic wand – and only with a touch of magic – the house would be done, correctly restored inside and out with a workshop and a clean play yard. I would be out of my *profession and/or in a position where I wasn’t stuck at a desk and didn’t constantly have to compromise myself. There would be encouragement, humor and innovation with hands on applications.
I would de-stress my personal relationships. More time to do the things we need to thrive, not just survive. I’m tired of being just a survivor.
Q.3) Write about your day. What did you think about?
A.3) After reviewing my inbox, I spent the day waiting to hear from people that never reply. I stare at the screen and my desk and try to think of ways to keep productive while I wait since I never know when I might get the critical piece of information that will allow everything to fall in to place.
I think about how nice it is outside after this god-forsaken winter, and how it’s a crime to sit here and stare at nothing.
Then I send another email to an unresponsive consultant.
I think about everything I wish I could focus on. House, garden, farming, future, books, art, cooking, chillaxing with my dog… I think about what it would really be like to leave my *profession.
I think about being gobbled up by the Nothing.
Q.4) Write about your ideas. What have you been thinking about?
A.4) I’ve been thinking about how to make a better root beer, imagining taste profiles that I’ve been missing and how they would combine. I’m thinking about how much I actually want to sell my soul to get what I want. I’m tired of compromise, is it worth the risk? Will I have spent all of this time and energy and wind up with nothing? I’m always thinking about how to protect myself.
I’m thinking about getting my cookbook together. Re-starting the food blog. I need to find my passion again. I need to get back in to my Saturday morning routine.
I’m thinking about how to get our bathroom finished and how the heck to get the monster bath tub upstairs without injuring someone.
I’m thinking about my next book and if it’s even worth finishing.
Q.5) Write about the people who buoy you up and increase your mojo level. What is it about those people that make them mojo builders for you?
A.5) There aren’t many people in my life right now that meet that description but when things were good it was the people who were genuinely interested in what I had to say, encouraging and happy to find out how things were going. People who were able to exchange ideas and brainstorm without drowning out my voice and challenging everything I said whether they needed to or not. Being believed in can go a long way.
Many people are encouraging until you actually start to make progress.
Q.6) Choose one thing you’d like to add and one thing you’d like to take away.
A.6) I would like to add more travel and take away being chained to my desk.
Q.7) What do you want to accomplishing during the rest of your life?
A.7) I want to find something I’m good at that doesn’t make me feel miserable, compromised and out of control. I want to be independent and stable, the less I have to rely on people the better.
I don’t really care about a bucket list because tastes and values change, along with the economy and politics around us. I want the freedom and flexibility to explore things as they come to me without having to justify myself or apologize for being different.
*profession withheld for the safety of the human race.
May 5, 2015 | Categories: Serials, Third Life | Tags: 2015, advice, analysis paralysis, answers, author, balance, blog, career, career change, creative, dog, introspection, prompts, questions, theory, third life crisis | Leave a comment
After nearly a month trying to look subtly more feminine, I’ve come to a brief conclusion…. only people at the bar notice.
While the workplace results were completely null, I did round the week out with a random happy hour compliment about how pretty my eyes were (from a stranger of course.) What this leaves me to postulate is that barring any drastic changes, my every day environment is unlikely to respond to any tweaks or twinkles. Going out is another matter.
It’s just too bad that bar isn’t the place I’m looking to be discovered. :)
April 25, 2015 | Categories: Serials, Third Life | Tags: 2015, author, blog, fool's gold, make up, professional woman, self esteem, sexism, third life, writing | Leave a comment
It’s almost time, are you ready! In a few short days, Houses of the Broken will be available via Cliffhanger Press for your eBooking pleasure! In the mean time, I’m going to give you guys a little teaser *drumroll please*
I’ll be updating the release info as it comes in, stay tuned!
April 21, 2015 | Categories: Blog, News | Tags: 2015, amazon, author, barnes and noble, blog, book, book cover, cover reveal, ebook, HoTB, itunes, kindle, new release, nook, novel, publishing, thriller | Leave a comment
Did you ever have one of those weeks? One of those weeks where you exist inside of a business but you’re on your own desert island? That was this week.
I haven’t been able to even interact with people due to varying schedules and timelines. 10 minutes tops with the management all week, let alone trying to catch other team members. It’s been great for some work in progress plot development, but has left my overall experiment stunted and skewed.
A few more hours and we can chalk this entire week up to a mulligan.
April 17, 2015 | Categories: Blog, Third Life | Tags: adversity, advice, authors, blog, make up, sexism, third life, work, writing | Leave a comment
One minus T-10 days till Houses of the Broken takes the world by storm. I’ve been wishing my month away waiting for the big release (and a few warmer days.)
In the mean time I’m trying to prep myself for blog tours, interviews, private jets, paparazzi…. Well, a girl can dream at least…
But my muse has rolled back in to town, tapping on the outside of the window pane like the delinquent in every high school movie, trying to convince the good girl to play hooky and live it up. *tap tap* *tap tap* *tap* I see you, you naughty minx… I’ll be out, just you wait. And the bodies will drop with a vengeance!
April 16, 2015 | Categories: Blog | Tags: 2015, advice, amazon, announcement, author, blog, book, book release, book review, creative, publishing, short story | Leave a comment
It only took a couple of days before I realized one fatal flaw to my plan of reinvention. Once you know someone, you don’t look at them. You might see them, and acknowledge their presence enough to hand them something or not run in to them at the coffee pot, but you don’t really LOOK at them.
Short of wearing bells, I’m not sure any subtle changes to my appearance or stance are going to get noticed. Maybe it’s a good thing, since it answers the big ‘what if’ but it seems like a lackluster result.
The dreary cold will not let go in our region. I suspect that until the sun shines for a couple days and we start to see the flush of green, that most people will still continue in their hibernation state.
Wake me in July.
April 9, 2015 | Categories: Blog, Serials, Third Life | Tags: advice, analysis paralysis, author, balance, blog, book, crisis, fashion, insecurity, make up, self esteem | Leave a comment
Now that the ham and chocolate has settled, it is with great pleasure that I would like to announce that my
soul book will soon be available for purchase from your favorite neighborhood e-tailers.
Houses of the Broken will be available to the public April 25, 2015 in all* e-book formats! There are rumors of a pre-sale, but more details and sneak peeks will follow as the timeline tightens up.
Many thanks to Cliffhanger Press, LLC for getting me this far. Can’t wait to pimp this puppy to the world!
*all = all ebook formats known to me….
April 6, 2015 | Categories: Blog, Houses of the Broken, News | Tags: amazon, announcement, author, barnes and noble, blog, book, creative, debut, fiction, horror, mystery, novel, publishing, thriller, writer, writing | Leave a comment
Is it better to be pretty or smart? Welcome to my poorly contrived social experiment.
As my professional and life experience grows and I become entrusted with more responsibility, I can’t help but feeling more left behind. I’m in my mid-30’s, never been a ‘girly girl’ and most often wore the badge of ‘nerd’ in my academic days. I have a mind for problem solving, and enough social skills to get me through some of the most complicated business meetings (Smiling through clenched teeth should be listed on my resume under special skills or maybe additional languages.)
This bad idea started as most bad ideas do. At the bottom of a glass at the end of the bar, at the end of another long, confusing, frustrating week. “… you know, I have a push up bra too, maybe I need to wear it to start getting some recognition around there…” And that’s all it takes for an idea to bloom in the prickly garden of discontent.
I wish I could encapsulate the montage of identity crisis that followed.
“Maybe I should dress nicer… maybe I should wear make up… maybe I should keep my mouth shut…” this would go on for a few minutes before the angel on the other side chimed in.
“Screw them! Your cup size has nothing to do with how well you do your job. Big hair and bad perfume shouldn’t dictate who gets more attention.”
“But….” the other side would whisper “… it does.”
I was vexed. After some serious rationalizations and my friends evenly dividing between “No, you don’t need it!” and “Do what makes you feel best.” I decided to hit the warpaint store. I don’t even know how to shop for make up right. It all looks the same to me and all costs 3x more than I think it should. My goal, however, was fairly simple. Start testing out new looks. Simple, understated and professional. Going full on clown college was not going to get the right response for my goals. (Well, we may revisit that later…) I am the type that gets funny looks when I show up in something other than boots and dockers. I hate being cold and uncomfortable, and I have to be able to go crawl through a muddy basement or a dusty attic at a moments notice. It’s hard to wear a wiggle dress and climb up on a roof, no matter how dedicated you are to looking fabulous.
While I do sometimes envy the women that can run a 5k in stilettos, I don’t often have issues with the fact that I’m not one of them. (Though being able to wear a pair of heels for more than 5 minutes without an oozing blister or calf knotting foot cramp would be nice.) I do my job, I do it well, and I’m usually pretty well prepared…but… BUT…. not being polished and prissy in the process sometimes holds me to a disadvantage. I don’t get dragged in to extra important meetings (well maybe this isn’t exactly a disadvantage…), and I don’t get invited along to the quick lunches with the clients or consultants when they pass through town. (I’m rethinking this ‘disadvantage’ thing…) And while I hate wasting my time on the social niceties, it still… stings.
So my bargain with myself is thus: Start presenting myself as a stereotypical female, for a month, and see what happens. Maybe nothing. Maybe everything. But then I’ll know.
It was grey and bleak this morning. I took my time getting out of bed, so I didn’t have a lot of extra time on my hands getting ready. My hair was done (takes 5 minutes) and I turned to leave the bathroom.
“Oh… shit… that’s right…” I stared at the medicine cabinet longer than I should have, trying to dismiss this whole idea as silly so I could just be on my way. It only takes a few seconds…the other voice chimed. “Fine.” A few swipes of neutral eyeshadow, enough to claim I did it.
The gauntlet has been thrown.
April 1, 2015 | Categories: Third Life | Tags: advice, analysis paralysis, author, balance, blog, creative, crisis | Leave a comment
Very excited to be starting off the new year with a little bit of cover design for Houses of the Broken. Preferences have been put on record, sinister visions have been transmitted via the interwebs, and now we wait for the magic to happen.
Always curious to see what a fellow artistic type comes up with as a vision. It’s not always easy working for/with creative types.
Designer, draw thyself.
Not sure if I’ll get some teasers to share or if we have to wait for the big reveal, but I look forward to sharing the process!
January 12, 2015 | Categories: Blog | Tags: amazon, author, blog, book, novel, publishing, writer, writing | Leave a comment
2014 has been a strange year. On paper it doesn’t look so bad, but to many of us it has been a mind numbing, soul crushing sequence of days. For me, this year has seen a lot of unrealized potential. Small flashes in the pan that keep a person spurred on, perhaps. While not much came to fruition, there are a number of things I didn’t realize I even had on my bucket list, that I can now cross off.
The year started with a new job. In the middle of the polar vortex. In a very old building. Nothing like starting a new job and immediately having to notify someone that the plumbing was frozen.
In lighter events, here is a simple list of highlights, there are a million emotional roller coasters that happened as each item played out:
- Started a new, higher profile job.
- Pitched a reality TV show.
- Tried to start a business.
- Joined roller derby.
- Auditioned for a different reality TV show.
- Got a book contract for my first novel.
- Tried to start a business.
- Survived a season of roller derby and actually played a bout (at my age!)
- Covergirl for a photography business.
- Tried to start a business.
- Got unintentionally published in a magazine.
This was not a year of travel and adventure for us, it was a year of change and keeping things close to home due to such a shaky job market. Realignment of priorities, establishing some aggressive goals, and keeping ourselves sane. It didn’t always work, and it was never really easy, but we’ve made it so far. I’m still not sure where summer went.
Overall, I wish the word ‘perseverance’ didn’t come up so often, but there’s not much of a choice if you want to change your stars. 2014 started the trend of letting go, and I suspect 2015 will include some of the same. It’s a challenge not to give in and quit when things are hard. I’ve dealt with some new people I hope I don’t ever have to deal with again but I’ve also met some new people I’d like to get to know better.
Pipe dreams were chased and many glass ceilings were revealed. Now all I need is a brick.
All I can say to 2015 is – Bring it on.
December 31, 2014 | Categories: Blog | Tags: 2014, amazon, author, balance, blog, book, difficulty, evolution, motivation, novel, old house, perserverence, publishing, unemployment, writer, writing | Leave a comment
In the silence, there are the voices of a thousand souls streaming through her head. Each begging for attention and thought and pointing out the wrongs she committed that day.
If she refuses them, they bark louder until the din is a symphony of chaos and are too much to ignore. Wave after wave crashing against her broken shores, eroding every bit of her self worth, breaking her will into finite grains of sand that slip through the fingers of her final desperate grasp.
“What are you thinking, dear?”
She bites her lip, the pinch returning her senses to the tangible world. “Oh, nothing.”
November 28, 2014 | Categories: Third Life | Tags: author, balance, black friday, blog, creative, damage, woman, worth, writing | Leave a comment
I’ve been waiting to post something until I had something nice to say. It’s been a whirlwind summer and I’m still recovering. Lots of new things, lots of old things, and lots of tiring things.
I’ll start simple.
I like leather.
I like wine.
I ordered new business cards! Woo!
Now, why is it only Tuesday?
October 7, 2014 | Categories: Blog | Tags: blog, perserverence, publishing, self publishing, writer, writing | Leave a comment
I was educated in the school of “Less is More.” Simplicity in design, God is in the details, what have you. Only produce and display the most refined product you can. Do not cloud the message with indecision.
While many times I can refine and revise before pen even hits paper, sometimes it puts me in to analysis paralysis. The ideas filter and loop but nothing quite breaks orbit. Then I start thinking: Well, practice makes perfect, right? To get better, you have to produce, produce, produce.
Where’s the balance? I find myself wanting to do everything and nothing, all at once. Nothing has been winning. Time and energy have been finite resources, and let’s face it: Nothing is a whole lot easier than something.
But I have more fun when I do something, even if it’s wrong. Ok… I’ll be honest…. especially if it’s wrong. (The right kind of wrong, of course!)
So here’s an attempt at something, instead of nothing. Now all I need is a kindred trouble maker to keep the something coming.
July 9, 2014 | Categories: Blog | Tags: analysis paralysis, author, blog, difficulty, God is in the details, writer, writing | 3 Comments
On Friday the 13th, under the Fullness of the Honey Moon… I’d like to announce that I got ‘the call.’
The call. THE call. The CALL.
I liked your manuscript! Tell me more!
An hour later, my head was spinning. Is this for real? Couldn’t be… my cautious nature waited for the other shoe to drop… and waited… and I reviewed the draft contract… and waited to hear that shoe go ‘thump’ and then… hard copy of the contract made out to me, notarized and in my hot little hands!
No thumps required.
Without fear and further ado, I’d like to announce my signing with Cliffhanger Press, for my debut novel manuscript Houses of the Broken.
I was thrilled to talk and work through everything with TJ Loveless, and can’t wait to see what kind of package we can put together. I just hope she doesn’t have to empty out too many red pens on my manuscript! *eep*
Buckle up for a new adventure! I still can’t believe it’s happening… But please, keep your shoes to yourself….
June 13, 2014 | Categories: Blog, News | Tags: amazon, author, blog, book, evolution, inspiration, manuscript, marketing, novel, perserverence, publishing, publishing contract, traditional publishing, writer, writing | 5 Comments
I miss my woodchippers. I truly do.
I’ve been writing my fingers off in recent months but it doesn’t feel like it because it hasn’t been anything ‘fun’. Agent queries, product specifications, legal transactions… yes, I’ve been trapped in the world of technical writing and it just makes me yearn for the greener page all the more.
Some frivolity of tossing ne’er do well bodies in the ‘chipper could do me some good. Not to mention the question of what’s in the ‘meat’ that has everyone going crazy for it? The muse is demanding 80 degree days and fish bowl size tropical drinks heavy on the pineapple and rum. I would love to indulge her, but the Great Lakes region is not so forgiving.
In the mean time, the morning commute behind the local woodchipper service serves as a good reminder of what’s waiting for me on the other side.
Maybe soon I’ll be sharing exciting agent news! At least for now I know I’m official as the rejections come piling in. Until then… we wait.
May 6, 2014 | Categories: Blog | Tags: author, blog, perserverence, publishing, self publishing, writer, writing | Leave a comment
Why keep trying to beat someone at a game you don’t want to play? Interests and focuses evolve and change as we learn new things about our world and ourselves.
THEY say “Hold On!” But whose dreams am I holding on to? What do you do when you realize you’re still trying to measure yourself by goals you set before you even joined the adult world? Naive expectation based on the way things “should” be, informed only by hope, logic and fairy tales.
This is not the way of the world.
The legacy of civilization carries with it inherent flaws which have defied evolution, lurking in the shadows of subtext. A generation is a small window of time, educated by its peers and environmental influences; it fails to grasp the bigger picture of how the machine began or the necessary evils that make it tick.
There is no level playing field and there never will be.
I neither want nor expect to have the life I wanted at 20. The world changed, forcefully, not long after that. The bright hopes on the horizon flickered and faded. Things got harder, things got leaner and the competition for merely enough to pay the bills increased.
It’s been that way ever since. Wondering when the other shoe is going to drop has become a way of life. Someone stole the brass ring and sold it for scrap.
It’s a new game… the old rules are useless.
March 19, 2014 | Categories: Blog | Tags: blog, evolution, perserverence, writer, writing | 4 Comments
The submission deadline is almost up for those of us throwing our hat in to the ring for ABNA 2014. I’ve been curiously watching to see if the submissions would fill up early, but much like last year, it appears they’re not going to… or at least it will come down so close to the wire, we won’t know if they truly hit 10k or not.
I have lots of questions about the process of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards… but there’s no true way to really quantify things. How many submissions do they really get? What’s the initial break down in categories? From what I’ve found there’s no true way to know, short of taking a survey of people willing to post in the forums. I think knowing the raw numbers alone would be helpful in figuring out market segments, and where to focus effort as you craft future work.
This is probably why they don’t tell us.
But maybe it’s better that way. A little vague competition keeps everyone wondering and makes it harder to work the system. For now, tonight marks the beginning of the real wait. I’m more patient than last year because I have a better idea of how things go, but I’m still insanely curious to see how far my submission goes this year.
Once again, I submitted Houses of the Broken. Last year HoTB made it to the Quarter Finals, but no further. In truth, I was pretty pleased for it being my first attempt. With nearly the same material as I submitted last year, I am more curious about seeing if I get the same results, than I am hedging my bets on my chance at winning.
Will I get kicked out at the Pitch stage? Maybe never make it past the second cut? I have little illusion that I’ll go ‘all the way’ but… you never know. Good readers having bad days can send your submission into the circular file. And bad readers… well… we all seem to get at least one.
Last year the one that made me chuckle the most was the review complaining about my use of ‘language.’ Serial killers? No problem. Child abuse? Whatever. F-word? Oh my stars, you vile little girl…
We all have our triggers, I suppose.
So now… well, soon… we wait. In the mean time I need to try and keep busy with other things, because I officially have no control over my fate until the dust settles.
Patience is not my virtue.
March 2, 2014 | Categories: Blog | Tags: abna 2014, amazon, author, blog, book, CreateSpace, novel, publishing, self publishing, writer, writing | 1 Comment
The more things change, the more things stay the same … thoughts from this time – 7 years ago…
This is going to be my year. And no, this is not a resolution, this is a lifestyle change. To think it will all change at once is foolish, but over the past year I have been slowly laying groundwork and reevaluating certain priorities.
One big step in ridding myself of negative influences has been my employment switch. The new job may not turn out to be all it’s cracked up to be, only time will tell, but regardless of that I will always have the fact that I looked out for myself and at least tried.
I really have to stop being so afraid of failure. I’ve taken a lot of chances this past year. Reconnecting with old friends, looking to better my career, trying to come to an understanding with my family, traveling abroad in a time of terrorism and uncertainty. None of those are safe or easy things. Some are big and some are small, but all it takes is a chance, and look where it’s gotten me so far: I have reconnected with my friends, and they didn’t reject me, I got a new job and got an offer from every interview, my family is a work in progress… every family is, but I think it’s getting better. We had a great time traveling and had no problems whatsoever, despite a bomb scare on the very flight we were scheduled for not two weeks before.
I think fear is healthy, but it shouldn’t be paralyzing. There are many times when I avoid activities or events because they’re unknown or uncomfortable and I’m afraid I’ll end up looking stupid or embarrassed or somehow fail. I’ve come to peace with that… I will look stupid, it’s what I do. It’s part of my charm.
Yes, I’m a dork, have always been a dork, will always be a dork, but you know what? The best friends are dork friends. They don’t judge you by your hairstyle or the size of your jeans. They don’t get jealous when something good happens to you, they get excited. They’ll be supportive, even if they might not agree with you. And at the end of the day, they’ll just be there ready to talk, or not talk; whatever you may need.
I’m sure there will be many times when I feel defeated and hopeless. Too tired to care or try anymore and discouraged to the point that I want to crawl in to a dark little hole and never be seen again. It’s hard not to be a self conscious little girl when you’re insecure and afraid. Hopefully I will be encouraged to not give up and have support when I need it. If I remember to listen to myself, that will be half the battle.
There will always be things I need to work on; it’s a fact of life. But I’ve been feeling more centered than I have in a long time, and much of that comes from being true to myself. Rekindling interests of the past, reconnecting with old relationships and the only people I felt ever really knew me, and sometimes just plain putting my foot down and not living my life by someone else’s rules and expectations. If I’m happy but someone else is disappointed in me, that’s their problem, not mine.
That settles it! I’m going to be a roller derby girl. If not now, when?
February 17, 2014 | Categories: Serials, Third Life, Works | Tags: blog, difficulty, evolution, perserverence, serial, writer, writing | 1 Comment
I pride myself on thinking ahead. It’s my blessing and my curse.
When I decided to self-publish for the first time, I had what many new writers had. A nicely formatted manuscript. Take the data from manuscript to print-ready resource took some time and effort, but in the end all was well. As I tinkered and tweaked, and caught typos, I reloaded the CreateSpace file more times than I can count before it was finally, truly, done. All was right with the world.
It’s a little less than a year later, and the need for a nice, clean manuscript has arisen. It’s now time for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award – 2014 edition. But guess what… the final edits? They’re all in proper book print format.
Formatting a manuscript is hard enough. “Un-formatting” a manuscript is a a good way to drive yourself insane. It’s amazing how many things are just different enough between the manuscript and the print template. Reverse engineering into a publisher friendly format takes a methodical mindset and a chunk of time without distraction.
How do we combat this in the future? In truth, there’s no real good way I can think of. There are still going to be tweaks to the final print files. There’s no way around it. That means maintaining both a fully up to date manuscript AND a fully up to date print file. It’s a recipe for disaster but in the long run I think it might be better than reverse engineering things down the road. Of course, this only applies if you want to submit your work to something that requires a traditional manuscript format. If you’re content with self-publishing, problem solved!
As my next work in progress hits editing and formatting, I’m going to keep in mind the backwards slide that happened with the first one and strive to do as much editing as possible in the manuscript format. But I know there will be tinkers. And tweaks. And things that don’t look quite right once I see it in a proof.
But for now, the lesson has been learned. My manuscript is official in for ABNA 2014, and let’s hope that the effort to re-convert it can also be used for sending out queries. Yes, I’m taking the step of trying to find an agent, but I’ll still self publish if that doesn’t work.
File management has never been so important.
February 17, 2014 | Categories: Blog | Tags: ABNA, author, blog, CreateSpace, novel, publishing, writer | Leave a comment
Some of my girls like conflict, I admit it. We… They … thrive on being able to best an opponent, no matter what gender, age or size. My dames dig damage. The rest of the world doesn’t always agree.
It’s not proper. It’s not ladylike. Don’t let them know that you’re stronger, faster, smarter. They don’t like that. Don’t talk that way. Don’t like those things…. it’s not appropriate.
Things that aren’t lady like are the best kinds of things. It’s no fun being a lady, I’ve had to do it a lot. No one says “Remember that time I knew what the shrimp fork was?” though they might fondly remember “Remember that time I ripped apart that entire chicken* with my bare hands?” Carnage is awesome.
Some of us are drawn to opposition, conflict and the like. Not because we want it, but because we’re not scared. It’s encouraged for boys to be brave. Why shouldn’t we be? Because it’s not ladylike….
I make a horrible damsel, it’s true. My hair isn’t long enough, I don’t wear dresses and I tend not to trip awkwardly when running away from things. IF I bother to run away. If a conflict can’t be neatly sidestepped, I’m more than happy to meet it head on. This tactic has had mixed results over the years but I rarely regret not running away. Bullies don’t know what to do with that, even as adults. It’s not always a matter of physical confrontation, but of self esteem and emotional control. You can’t make me cry. You can’t make me run. Your. Move.
“Princess” culture has never been my thing, despite being raised to know when to be a lady. Even as a kid, I wanted the princess’s horse, screw the girl in glass heels. (They’d hurt terribly anyhow. No wonder damsels trip.) What the modern self proclaimed ‘princesses’ fails to realize, is what the life of a REAL princess would entail. Extensive schooling, extensive training on etiquette, trivia, sewing, philanthropy, dance, strategy, arranged marriages for political gain…. it’s not all tutu’s an bon bon’s.
Keep your tiara, I’d rather have my soul.
I encourage all girls (and women) to add a little ‘warrior’ to their ‘princess’. Test your limits. See how well you can aim. Don’t be afraid of a friendly tussle. We get older and we forget… how we ran and played and bounced off the ground or tree or rock without a second thought. How we physically interacted with our environment beyond a keyboard and a screen.They are useful extensions for thoughts and ideas but they don’t compare to the feel of rough bark sliding under your fingers, or a cold stream shocking you awake as the water permeates the seals on your ‘water resistant’ shoes.
Learn strategy and how to pick your battles. Life shouldn’t be a constant fight nor a constant retreat. There’s no use ‘playing small’, because the more you do, the smaller you feel. You will be invisible if you act invisible. It’s a super power I’ve seen… or not seen… first hand.
Don’t be afraid to make them think. Make them nervous. Make them wonder… Even if you are wearing a skirt and a smile.
*Cooked. I’m no monster.
February 10, 2014 | Categories: Blog | Tags: blog, dames dig damage, motivation, perserverence, writer, writing | Leave a comment
What a nightmare. You know about her, right? What… or rather who… she did to get that job? Then what she did to the other guy, throwing him under the bus like that?
Yes, I’ve heard it. From everyone. Twice. Because everyone likes to spin the yarn about the maneater – the one that got one over on them or their buddy. They tear her down over their highballs, in their clubs and run down bars tucked behind their conference centers, but it’s not because of superiority, it’s because they’re scared.
There are two options. Doormat or bitch. What’s a girl to do?
Is it true? The reputation she’s earned, the larger than life profile that leaves seasoned businessmen quaking in their khakis?
I don’t know… the bitch won’t return my calls.
January 20, 2014 | Categories: Serials, Third Life, Works | Tags: bitch, blog, serial, women in business, writing | Leave a comment