So I was messing around with settings on this site the other day when I noticed something: There’s a freaking way to add Kindle links to the site!!!
Yeah, I’m late to the party, but you can now buy either of my novels on Kindle through this website. Pretty snazzy, eh? While I was doing that, I updated some of the graphics I had on there to make them more eye-catching (and to take off the bit about fencing in my brief bio at the bottom–Until I lose some of this weight, I don’t feel right claiming I fence when I haven’t in months).
Once the webcast gets underway, I’ll add links to the episodes on the Muses and Murderers page on this site. As of right now, my co-host Angelique Jordonna and I have a brief “intro” episode planned to give viewers an idea of what to expect from the show–and to give me a chance to get used to editing and such after we record. Lol Seeing as how I have zero experience with that, I felt it was a necessity.
Basically, keep your eyes peeled, ladies and gents and nonbinaries. I plan on keeping my site as up-to-date as possible, and my hope is that I’ll have a new Kindle link to add by early next year. Speaking of which, I’d better get cracking on those revisions! They’re not going to do themselves. Lol
Neat shades, huh? I got a HUGE discount on them, and all I have to do is pimp the product. How did I get to be a brand ambassador for http://www.noranyc.com? Well, it all started with a simple selfie….
It was a good hair day. Brows on point, skin behaving (for once)…so I posted on Instagram. Later that day, I had a comment on the photo offering to make me a brand ambassador for NoraNYC sunglasses.
I’ll admit, at first I was skeptical. I mean, that stuff doesn’t happen in real life, right? So I checked into it. Read the contract they offered. Screenshotted the contract and showed a friend with a degree in marketing.
Y’all–it’s a thing. A real thing.
Now, while I got a discount on my sunglasses, I didn’t get them for free. This isn’t some something-for-nothing deal. But the shades are nice, they look cool, and they’re great in the Arizona sun. Bonus to the whole thing: I can give my friends, family, and followers a discount, too. (Check out my home page for the coupon code.)
I guess this means I have to order more contacts, huh? Lol I mean, I can’t exactly drive in these shades without contacts, and my glasses underneath the sunglasses would just look silly. 😉 I think I can handle that, though. Contacts aren’t too bad, especially since my dry eyes are more under control. And the optometrist at work tweaked my Rx so I can wear my contacts more often and not need those granny readers as much for up close stuff. Win-win.
So, in closing, NoraNYC sunglasses are pretty awesome. I get to feel like a big-shot celeb in them, and I get to share the wealth by sharing my coupon code.
What’s next? I don’t know. I want to see how well this works out first. Apparently brand ambassadorship is a thing now, what with social media being the “in” thing. But seriously, go to my home page, check out the coupon code on the image, and go to NoraNYC to get some sweet shades!
They say to count your blessings, right? I think I kinda forgot that for a bit.
Here’s what the deal is: my publisher is on this marketing/branding/selling kick lately, and with me already working a full-time job plus having other “non-writing life” obligations, it’s stressful how much they’re pushing it. Like, I already try to spend any waking non-work/non-SCA/non-sleeping hours writing, being active on Twitter, making Instagram posts, sharing links, etc., and for them to pushpushpush like they are, it’s getting to me. Can’t get blood from a turnip or something, right?
But I forgot. Sorry.
I mean, yeah, it’s stressful, but I guess in their own way they’re trying to help. My brain just isn’t wired to accept the pushing for the nudging and encouragement it’s meant to be. My whole life, whenever I’ve been pushed I’ve “pushed back” in the form of passive resistance. Basically, you push me, I dig in and shut down. My personality doesn’t dig it.
I know I should be grateful. I should be thanking the Gods that my publisher came to me and said they wanted to publish Abnormal. They saw potential, and I shouldn’t take that for granted.
But damn, I just keep forgetting.
Now, I’m not saying that for them to push in the way they are is okay by my book, but I do need to slow my roll on the bitching and get over the initial knee-jerk reaction that I have to it. They’re trying to teach strategies; my learning style just doesn’t jive with their teaching style, and I think I need to have a (level-headed) talk with one or more of them about how I would best benefit from what they have to teach. I’m sure that we can put our heads together and figure out the method of encouragement that would work best for me.
Yeah. That’s what I need to do. Talk. Not bitch. Count my blessings. Show gratitude, not attitude. (Cheesy, I know, but it is what it is.)
Well, right now, in my mind, the little things apparently matter–in a big way. I’m talking about all the little things that people say that might be well-intended but get skewed in perception.
Here’s the thing: I commented on a post in the writing group I’m part of. Big mistake. Really big mistake.
The OP (original poster) was talking about how if you want to be a best-selling author you need to think like a best-selling author and treat your writing like the job it is. Okay. Fine. But what about the job I have that pays the bills? What about the few real-life friends I have? What about my physical and mental exhaustion? Did the OP have any advice for me on that?
Not really. I was basically told that, since the SCA is not 100% necessary (like the job obviously is) I need to reevaluate my commitments to it (and, of course, the people in it). Okay. I kinda get that, but the OP fails to realize that the SCA is my only source of real-life friends outside of the one or two friends I have at work. So….to succeed I need to give up having friends?
Yeah, that’s how my brain works. But that’s not the best part. It gets better.
The OP also told me to “schedule” writing time and “prioritize” it. Okay. But I kind of already do that. Unless I have an urgent embroidery project (oops! there’s that pesky SCA thing again), my insomniac mornings are spent on writing, editing, and marketing my writing through social media interactions. So, yeah, I schedule writing time in a manner of speaking. I prioritize it by choosing that over trying in vain to go back to sleep. I spend hours on this. Almost every day. Probably cumulatively more time than I spend at work, when I think about it. I can easily be awake for 5-6+ hours in the morning before getting ready for the day job, and I spend a lot of weekend free time on writing as well. Hell, sometimes I sneak a little modern day into the SCA events by using my phone for Twitter interactions and Instagramming and yeah, I even bring my laptop on camping events so I can hotspot my phone and–you guessed it!–work on writing, editing, and marketing.
But my brain’s not done yet. No sirree. My brain had to tell me that the OP was singling me out. He had to have been picking on me. Insulting me. Telling me that I will fail if I don’t do the things the way he says to do them. That’s what my brain got out of that.
So that’s the worst of it, right? I got over it, calmed down, recentered my perception and got out of my own way?
Nope. I went full-on psycho paranoid ultrasensitive bitch.
I worded my response carefully, or so I thought. I didn’t bite back, even though I felt attacked. I kept it calm. Or did I…..?
Guess not, because the next day, the OP wrote another inspirational/motivational/well-intended post, this time about excuses.
Oh, shit. There goes my mind again.
Clearly he’s writing about me. Clearly he’s targeting me in this verbal assault. I’m obviously the sole inspiration for this outrageous insult. When I was asking for advice on how to deal with all that’s going on in my life, I was obviously making excuses and thus the new post was born.
I’m trying to tell myself it’s not personal. Or at least, if it is personal, it’s meant to help not harm. I am trying.
Oh, shit again. There I go. Using “try.” (The OP also posted about taking “try” out of one’s vocabulary today. Yeah. Today was a two-fer.)
I’d say that it’s a neurochemical shitstorm (ooh! I like that phrase–sounds better than “off my rocker”) in my brain right now, what with the medicine that helps me de-stress and not think this way being denied by my insurance, but I don’t even know where mind and matter separate at the moment. I don’t know where the line is. I don’t even know if there’s a line anymore. My mind is twisting everything I read to be an affront against my person, and I don’t know how to stop it.
I was better in my outward reaction today. I bitched to one or two people privately, but I didn’t comment on his posts. I kept my fat mouth shut. What does it matter, anyway? He’ll just twist my words around to make everything that’s wrong with my life my fault and I’ll feel even shittier than I already do. Best to leave it alone.
One of these days–maybe not soonish, but some day–I’ll even out. I’ll stop taking every little thing personally. Until then, though, I’d better retreat. Back into the shell you go, personality. Back in there before you screw something else up.
One hem for Their Royal Majesties is almost done, and one hem left to go!
This has been a much longer project than I anticipated, but now that I have a clear direction and seem to have found the most efficient order of stitching for the design I’m doing, I think it’ll go a little quicker now. I’m so grateful that Her Majesty has been so patient with me during this project, but I’m definitely going to slow my roll on the projects until I find a better groove.
I still have my IKEA (Intra-Kingdom Exchange for the Arts) project to do (which shouldn’t take too much time once I get started), and of course the belt ends for my apprentice belt. (That’s right, I’ll finally have my own Laurel to advise and teach me things!)
I’m going to take some time off from SCA embroidery projects for a little while at least, so I can make some stuff for me. Y’know, like the dozens (probably hundreds by now) of embroidery things I want to make for myself. Because I gotta take care of me from time to time.
I tell myself this, but I have no idea if I’ll stick to it. By the time I’m done with what I have to do, I’ll probably end up picking up more projects. That’s just the way it goes, I guess. I should be grateful that people want stuff that I’ve embroidered.
Just a few more days of work, then I have pretty much a free weekend or two coming up. The hubby has some cheesemaking workshops the next two weekends, but since I’m not terribly interested in making cheese, I’m going to finish my project and relax. Sounds contradictory, but now that I’ve got a good flow on the project it’s actually, well, relaxing.
Almost to 2k followers on Twitter now, which is a little more than 3k less than what I need to be considered to have a “presence” on Twitter. I can do 5k, but it’ll take some time, that’s for sure. I’m starting to download Kindle Unlimited books to my phone to read during downtime (ha! what downtime??) in the hopes that those authors will download and read and review my book. I hope the ones I’ve selected so far are interesting, because if I don’t review, they won’t review. Tit for tat, and all that.
Gotta get ready for work soon. It was nice not having work yesterday, but I need to get back in the work mindset.
And I need to figure out how to get that damn “follow” button back on my Home page. It disappeared a few updates ago, and now I can’t find how to get it back. I’m sure it’s something I’m doing wrong, but damned if I won’t figure it out somehow.
On the advice of many, many people, I went to my psychiatrist yesterday (a month earlier than scheduled) and talked to him about all the stress I’m under. New medicine acquired, old medicine discarded, and now we play the waiting game.
Basically I have a month to adjust to the low dosage of the new med (which totally sounds like an alien species) before I get the full dose filled. There are a few bonuses to this new med:
No known weight gain side effects
Long half-life, so once I’m on the higher dose I’ll only have to take it Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays
Teeny little capsule, so not a huge gag issue
The med is soon-to-be-approved for bipolar depression, so that’ll help with that side of things, but I am dubious as to the anxiety/stress benefits of the med. If it’s supposed to help with depression, will it also help these other things? We shall see, I guess.
Speaking of bipolar disorder, I’m slated to appear on a podcast called Speak Your Mind, which is a mental health podcast. I know, I know, it’s not my usual book/writing podcast venue, but the host is excited to talk about Abnormal and my writing in addition to discussing mental health issues in my life and in society as a whole. More info to come on that once I’ve gotten a date scheduled. We had a good, long chat the other night, so I’m hopeful that someone listening in gets some benefit out of hearing my story and my struggles.
I try not to get too political about mental health, but let’s face it: mental health is widely ignored by insurance companies and even more widely stigmatized in society as a whole. I think back on the work that Carrie Fisher did to try to destigmatize mental illness, and I think this is one cause I can get behind, not only because it directly affects me but also because it affects such a wide range of people, and not enough people talk about it. Maybe one day, when I’ve hit the NYT bestseller list, I can have the kind of influence where my experiences make a difference.
Yes, I have a mental illness. Yes, I have bipolar disorder. Yes, I take medicines to be “normal.” No, I’m not crazy.
It started with a plan. Well, part of a plan. Thirty percent of a plan.
You see, it was early in the morning–pre-dawn early–and I was bored. I didn’t want to work on embroidery and I didn’t want to transcribe what I’d handwritten at Estrella into the computer. So I did the next logical creative thing I could think of: I asked Twitter for a prompt.
I didn’t want just any prompt. I didn’t want to go to Pinterest and pick one, or Google “writing prompts” and see what came up. I didn’t want to pick and choose what I used to spread my creative wings; I wanted something 100% unexpected.
Twitter did not disappoint. Within the hour, I had an interesting prompt that sparked a full flash fiction piece, and the results were amazing. My Twitter impressions went from their usual couple hundred per active hour to over a thousand. I gained a few new followers, and I wrote something that people enjoyed. Win-win.
I got bored again this morning, and once again I asked the Twitterverse for a prompt. Again I received one, and again I wrote a story that was well-received.
I’m going to try it again soon–maybe not tomorrow, maybe not the next day, but soon, and I’ll maybe make it a weekly or semi-weekly thing. I like that I’m totally at the mercy of the #WritingCommunity followers on Twitter, and I have no clue what prompt will come my way. Will it be something that inspires horror? Action? Suspense? Romance? Who knows! That’s the fun!
My Editor-in-Chief slash mentor loves the idea, and she loves that I managed to get some new traction going on my own accord. Now I have to keep that momentum going. But will the third time be a charm, or will it flop?
Only time will tell. I can’t write every genre well. There are going to be times when people say “Meh.” But I can try, and I can do my best. That’s what matters in this test of my writing skills: what I can do with a first draft based off a prompt from a random stranger.
It’s time again for an appearance on Writer Imperfect, the Twitch streaming show about writing, publishing, and … vampires?
That’s right, the other esteemed authors I’ll be speaking with have all written vampire stories at some point or another. I’ve had a couple shorts on this blog about vampires, but nothing novel-length. (Well, there was that one failed attempt at a gypsy vampire novel. It was terrible. So, so terrible.) So I’m sure the talk will circle around to that at some point. Lol
I really enjoyed myself at my first appearance, and I’m hoping next Monday goes equally well. I didn’t feel to nervous or awkward, and despite River deciding to appear on camera in the background with her legs spread-eagled, it went great. I had fun, and I felt at home with these other, more experienced authors.
For authors who want a good time chatting with other authors (plus some good exposure), I highly recommend signing up for an appearance on this program. It’s every M-W-F at 8pm PST, and it’s an hour of fun and shenanigans. The show is rated mature, and there’s a reason. 😉 We can talk about some crazy stuff. I have seen–no lie–a discussion about killing zombies with butt plugs. It’s a thing that happened. I wasn’t on that episode (I probably would have shot coffee out my nose if I had been), but it was a wild ride.
I’m kinda excited for this next appearance, and after that I’m going to get together with my co-author for The Hunting Woods and work out a time when we can both sign up. That should be a great show. 😉
Bipolar disorder sucks, but it’s livable given the right access to good mental healthcare and the right combination of therapy and pharmaceuticals. Why am I bringing this up now? Well, I’m in talks to, er, talk on a podcast about mental health issues. I was introduced to the podcast by a fellow bipolar author, and it seems like a good fit. I have mental health issues that I have to deal with on a daily basis; they’re a show about mental health.
I talk about mental health a lot here, about my stresses and stressors and stressing out in general, but I want to make it known that you can fight the demons inside and live in the world outside at the same time. It just takes a lot of effort.
It also takes admitting that you need the help.
Hopefully my appearance will help others realize that they don’t have to be holed up in their own little world of demons, suffering through hell on a daily basis. Hopefully it will help them realize that there are options and avenues for relief. And hopefully they’ll realize that they can’t give up after a few things don’t work; they have to keep trying until they find the right combination of therapies for them.
I’d say more, but that would be potential spoilers for the show. 😉 More details as they come!
It’s 0432, and I’m at a friend’s house for the night, waiting for my husband to wake up so we can go the rest of the way home. So what’s an insomniac to do but write?
I tried to take a writing break during Estrella War, but my story started speaking to me again, and I couldn’t ignore it. This is after weeks of little to no progress on Book 3, so I’m glad the Muses decided to become chatty. Still, hand writing when you’ve pulled a muscle in your back (on your dominant side) isn’t exactly fun. I’ve already called out from work–well, texted out, I should say–and I foresee a heating pad in my future once I’m home… Possibly a doctor’s appointment. Depends on how much worse it gets. At the moment, I really don’t want to yawn, as I discovered last night that breathing too deep causes pain in the pulled muscle.
My feet hurt, too, as well as my legs, but it’s more of an ache from overuse of muscles that I’m not accustomed to using. You’d be surprised how many new muscle groups you will discover when you have to sludge through half a foot of thick, slippery mud for days on end. It actually got to the point where walking on dry land felt unnatural.
I’ve been tasked by my publisher’s publicist to find and book no less than three (preferably five) podcast appearances by mid March. I’ve had terrible luck getting responses, so that’s another thing I’m going to have to do once my laptop is unburied from the mess that is our car. I’ve enlisted the help of Twitter, whose #writingcommunity hashtag is a wealth of help and knowledge for newer authors like me, but I’m still going to do the “legwork” of searching podcast apps and contacting shows. It’s going to take a lot of my time, but I know it’s for my own good. I need to keep promoting ABNORMAL even though I’m working simultaneously on ESCAPE THE LIGHT and Book 3. An author’s work is never done, I guess.
I’ll be glad to get home. I miss my cats, miss my shower, miss my bed. I miss my house, my comfy couch, and all the things that I couldn’t take with to Estrella.
I wish that I had ventured out from camp more during the War. I was so miserable that I didn’t make enough of an effort to see friends that I rarely get to see or even to meet new friends. To my SCAdian friends, I apologize for not having much of a presence this War. I’d promise to make more events or something, but I’m still not sure what my mental state is following this “break” from work. I feel somewhat refreshed in the sense that, aside from a few frantic texts, I haven’t had to think about work in a week. However, that little twitch in my right lower eyelid is still there, and I still don’t know how I feel about getting back into attending more SCA events. I want to keep active, but I also need to take my mental health into consideration. That being said, I got some of the best hugs this past week, much needed and sorely missed.