Back it up

Oh, my Gods, the pain!

This is, I think, the first time I’ve been involuntarily sent home from work because of pain. The first time in almost six years of RA symptoms that I’ve been told “Go. Home.” Yeah, I’ve opted to go home early before, but today I was sent home within ten minutes of getting dressed in my surgical scrubs. Not quite a record for me (I have been sent home within seconds of croaking out “Hey” before I even clocked in), but pretty damn close.

I’m trying. I’m using heat, cold, Tylenol, Blue Emu cream, sitting up, lying down, vodka, whatever. I’m planning on getting a back brace on the advice of a friend who used to be a physical therapist, but I’m running out of options. I can’t afford to be out again tomorrow, voluntarily or no.

Update: I was in so much pain that I forgot I was writing this post. However, I got the back brace and so far, it seems to be helping. Minimally, but it’s helping. I’m going to try work today, and if I can’t then I guess it’s off to the doc for me.


Three more days! Abnormal will be available for Kindle download and to order for paperback and hardcover on Amazon and in bookstores in three days! (Kindle preorder link right now is if you want to preorder it now.)

I’ve recovered from last night’s embarrassment of not comprehending what exactly a “release date” entailed, and I’ve decided to go ahead with both the private and virtual release day parties…I just have to rethink how I’m going to do them. I obviously can’t do signings that day, so that part’s out. I can’t go visit bookstores and take selfies with the book on the shelf in the background. Those will have to wait. But I can still have some friends and family over for snacks and drinks and a good time.

It’s been a long journey these past two and a half years or so since I started writing Abnormal. When I wrote the first words I had no idea that I’d end up with a series on my hands, and I just assumed I’d have to self publish. I even started sketching a rough cover design mockup on my Wacom tablet. (RhetAskew Publishing came up with a much better cover. Lol)

To the writers out there keep dreaming. Keep writing. Keep at it. It might take a while, but it’ll come. Just keep going.


Well, don’t I just feel about ten shades of stupid.

So Abnormal is my first traditionally published book. The only other novel I’ve published was self published through Amazon Kindle and a print-on-demand company called Createspace (which I think is also an Amazon company). With Kindle, my book was available the second it was approved by Amazon. Upload the file, wait a few hours, boom! Instant ebook. The Createspace file took longer to approve, so it was maybe a day or two before it was available for order.

That is not how release dates work in the traditional publishing world.

So here’s how it works: the release date is the date when the ebook goes live, but it is NOT the date when the book is in stores. 

It’s the date when stores can order the book. That’s it.

I guess I’ll have to eat a big ole plate of crow and share this post everywhere I’ve said that Abnormal will be in stores September 1. Except Kindle–it’ll really be available for Kindle. Just orderable in stores.

Sorry for any…I don’t know. I’m probably the one most upset about this realization.

Long and short of it: be patient. Abnormal still will be downloadable on Kindle September 1. And you can go to the bookstore and order the physical book September 1. You just have to wait a few days for that new-book smell.


Four. More. Days. This post originally said five, but somebody may have gotten slightly distracted by her work on Book 2 yesterday and neglected to post that day’s countdown. Or for some reason, it didn’t actually post to the site until this morning. Regardless (barring another snag in posting), it’s four days until Abnormal’s release.

Hey, look, I made it bigger than Sunday! Yay for small victories in figuring out how to post on this new site. Lol

I’d say I’m super excited, but right now it doesn’t feel “real.” I feel like, I don’t know, like four days is forever away. I mean, I’ve got a mostly-full work week, I’ve got Book 2 revisions in full swing, and I’ve got a few pressing embroidery projects that have to get done. It’s so surreal.

This is happening. This is really happening. I’ve written a book, it’s being published, and people who don’t know me want to read it. They want to read it, and they want to read the book I’m working on now.

Mind. Blown.


 Six days until this gorgeous book can be in your hands! Whether you preodered through Kindle or whether you requested your physical copy from your local bookstore, Saturday is the day.

I’ve been trying to rev up interest, and all day Saturday I’ll be running a virtual release party from my Facebook page — there will be guest authors, live snippets of my day, potential selfies at bookstores (depends on if I get time to run around and see who has it), and a chance to win an autographed paperback, courtesy of RhetAskew Publishing

I also found out today that I’ll have access to merchandise soon. Pens and stuff–I don’t exactly know what yet–so I’ll soon have my own giveaways and maybe some grab bags of sorts for whatever. I’ll figure it out.

Today I have a few hours to myself, so I’ll be revising Book 2 according to my mind mapping and whatever else comes to me as I go. I have until November to get Book 2 submitted to my publisher, so I’ve got to get cracking. It’s not all fun and games, kiddos, there’s work to it. Revisions, edits, more revisions based on what you found in the edits, alpha reads, etc etc etc. So it’s nose to the grindstone today. A little alternative music on in the background, not too loud, and some intermittent laundry and kitchen cleanup breaks.

Now, if I could only tear myself away from the Internet for the above listed chores….

To the bookstore!

I got an amazing selfie from a friend of mine yesterday who had just ordered a few copies of Abnormal from our local bookstore!

How cool is that? Look at that huge grin on her face as she went to order her copies of Abnormal! That could be you looking that happy! Just go to the closest bookstore and ask them to order it 😉

Yesterday was a long and draining day. This photo was my highlight, and it kept me going when I just wanted to go home. I tried to post this from my phone, but my phone was having none of my shenanigans last night. Luckily the draft saved, so here you go: one happy customer.


The weekend is upon us, and it’s Crown Tourney weekend for those SCA folks in Atenveldt. That means lots of fighting and fun–except there was a minor major hiccup with the site, which means I suddenly have lots of houseguests incoming. 

I don’t mind being hospitable to our chosen family (especially since our guests include my husband’s Peer and his belt brother/sister), but I’m wondering how the ol’ social anxiety will hold up for the weekend. I can handle people over at my house for a little while, but these people won’t be going home until Sunday. Two whole days of people in my house. Mine. I know, I know, it’s not the invasion of the Huns–it’s just a weekend. Still, the animal brain inside my head is in defend-my-territory mode, and I need to find a way to calm it down.

I also need to find a way to get this place presentable this afternoon. I’m skipping the contemplation hafla (drum and dance party) because A – I don’t dance and B – I don’t know the person being elevated. I’m going to be tired after work, and I’d rather have a smidge more time to myself before chaos reigns.

There’s laundry still to do, plus the aforementioned cleaning, plus figuring out what-all I’m going to wear this weekend, plus hostessing, plus plus plus. Oh yeah, and I have to keep up the work on doing my marketing workshop assignments, which means finding time to blog/tweet/Instagram/Facebook etc etc. Eight more days until Abnormal‘s release! Tick-tock, man, tick-tock.

Will wonders never cease

Hmm….I wonder what happened to my blog posts when I imported from my old WordPress site?

Yep, I’ve lost pretty much all of 2018…and I think a bit of December 2017.

I’m not going to panic yet, though. I think maybe one of the two exported files didn’t import right, so I probably just have to try, try again. I’d hate to lose 8 months’ worth of posts, but it’s nothing that’s going to make me cry or hurt me in any way. Yeah, it sucks, but I think it’s still fixable.

In other news, (and since the news that I posted on that site this morning hasn’t imported properly yet), nine more days until Abnormal‘s release date!! That’s right, I’m in the single digits now. Nine days. A little over a week. Whew! That’s starting to get nerve-wracking.

Tomorrow’s a full work day, then this weekend is Crown Tournament. I’ve been so busy with Abnormal that I haven’t had time to get excited over who our next King and Queen might be. Having spent the last year serving on the Queen’s guard, however, I’ve decided to take a break from guarding and just enjoy my next six months of play. Not that guarding isn’t fun and rewarding, but sometimes it makes an event a little less fun. I mean, you’ve got usually at least one shift of 2-3 hours where you’re following the Queen around. You have to plan your event around your shift(s), so that you’re not late. You have to keep track of where the Queen’s supposed to be when, so you can find her when your shift starts. It’s not bad, but I’d like to have a series of events where I can just glide through and do whatever I want.

I’ve got some embroidery that needs to be finished before Crown, and then some that needs to be finished before Great Western War in October (probably long before, because it will need to be attached to the garments–and this embroidery needs to be pushed up to the top of the priority pile, because it’s for Their Majesties’ garb), then some that has no *set* date but still needs to be done soonish–before October. Then there’s the research paper for Kingdom A&S that I need to fix. My novice entry was very….novice. Must edit/revise according to the notes/advice I received from judges and Laurels.

Let’s see, there’s the book release, Mace and Greatsword the next weekend, my book signing at the local bookstore the next weekend, the household camping trip for our SCA household the next weekend, then…Hang on. Oh yeah. Rincon (a Tucson annual gaming convention). Then technically a weekend “off,” but it’s a local arts mini-festival thing that our SCA barony usually participates in. Not sure about the following weekend, then the weekend after that it’s my husband’s birthday weekend, so visiting family in Phoenix, then the weekend after that it’s his birthday party, then the weekend after that is Tucson Comic Con (where I’ve got a table reserved in Artist’s Alley) and the deadline for submitting the sequel to Abnormal, then TusCon (a Tucson sci-fi convention–no table for me, but it’s a good idea to at least attend and network), then another weekend “off” so far, then Thanksgiving weekend, then…..Yeah. I’m busy lately.

It’s a good kind of busy, though. I’ll be going going going, but I’ll be going to do fun stuff. Now I’m off to see if I can get the second half of December 2017 and all of 2018 migrated.

Edit: December 2017 and January-April 2018 have been migrated. May-August 2018 I guess are lost to the ether?….

Edit to the edit: I did it! Most of the posts are now here! I have to migrate still the media I think and then I’ll be golden. 🙂

Livin' for the deadline

Yep, it’s another early morning for me, and now that I’ve been social on most of the medias, it’s time to get cracking on Book 2’s revisions. I’ve got a good idea of where I’m going with them, but it’s a matter of actually sitting down and getting from A to B. Then, once I’ve gotten the manuscript where it needs to be, it’s edit, edit, edit before I send it off for submission. RhetAskew Publishing has given me an early November deadline for submission, so I have some time but not, like, oodles. There’s a lot of life going on in those months…Abnormal‘s release, SCA events about every other weekend or more, book signing, work, more work, new certification for work…Yeah. All that and a bag of chips. Or something. I have no one to blame but myself, really….I asked my Editor-in-Chief when she’d like the manuscript, and she gave me a time frame.
The other day I had a mini major meltdown about Abnormal‘s release. That was fun (not). You see, as I’m revving up and getting ready for the release, I’m also taking a marketing workshop led by my Editor-in-Chief at RhetAskew. This workshop is pretty intense, and it’s left me feeling overwhelmed. There are things I’ve been doing that I guess are no-nos when it comes to marketing, and there are other things I haven’t done yet that are very, very important. I know that since Abnormal is the first in a series I have time to build my audience, but I was feeling an immense sense of urgency and anxiety that I’d never get all the things done before the release. Some part of my bipolar brain decided that I had to do every single workshop assignment ASAP to be ready for release date, and when I realized I was in overload I lost it. I’m talking red-faced, puffy-eyed, snot-nosed ugly crying. I was a hot mess.
I’m better about it now. I think I just needed to get it out of my system. Reached my boiling point, spilled over, and now I’m all good. Mostly…I still feel some anxiety, but nothing like the other day.
Well, guess it’s time to put the blog down and pick up my mind mapping. Gotta stay cool, calm, and collected as the countdown to Abnormal ticks down….9 days now. Single digits.

Technoderp in action

Why do I insist on doing everything myself?….

Well, for better or for worse, here’s my first post on …

I could have waited for my husband to get up on the day I secured the domain. I could’ve waited until he was free to advise me on domain/host purchasing, on website creation, on importing my current WordPress blog to this site…I could have done all of those things, but no, I had to do it myself.

This has been a lifelong problem for me. I don’t like asking for help. I’m supposed to understand things right off and not need to study. This is not something I’m understanding right off. I should’ve studied.

That being said, welcome to, the new site for me, author AJ Mullican. I’ll keep this site updated (as much as I’m able) with links to my books, updates, and general shenaniganry. Some of it will be relevant or even profound….a lot of it will be random babbling. I’m good at babbling, as is evidenced by this post. 😉

If I am able to (once my husband is free for “consultation”), I will merge this page with my current WordPress blog so everything’s in one place. If not, I may have to archive years’ worth of stuff and find a way to transfer it here. It’s not ideal, but I’ll find a way to get everything here rather than here and there and a little over that way too. Forwards, backwards, or upside down, it will happen.

Thanks for joining me, and I hope you enjoy watching this site grow!

Edit: I think I figured out the migration–without help! (Okay, so Google helped a bit…time to test it before redirecting the old blog to the new page)