It Doesn’t Get Much Better Than This

Before you ask, I had a great Valentine’s Day. Most of it was spent doing laundry and dishes and checking on Batman who spent a majority of the day in bed due to a slip on Saturday. That’s right. Even the caped crusader himself slips on wet pavement and goes down to the ground hard. Like ouch hard. For most people, this would be at most a painful and somewhat embarrassing event. But Batman has had three back surgeries, so his pain was a little more intense, and lasted longer—pretty much halfway through Sunday which kept him in bed. But he’s okay now. Mostly. Just like the rest of humanity.

So how was your Valentine’s Day? Did you celebrate it? Did you not? I usually don’t ask these questions because I don’t care, because it’s not a real holiday, but since someone signed us up to participate this year, I guess I’ll bite. Tell me of all the holiday things you did. Besides laundry and dishes, we celebrated with small gifts to show how we feel about one another.

Batman’s gifts to me:

My gift to Batman:

As you can see, we love each other to the point of profanity and pop-culture, which I think is the only real way to love someone. There might have been chocolate involved as well, but only because Mamabear mentioned dipped strawberries, and also, most Russell Stover candy boxes are ten bucks or under, so, like, win for the affluently-challenged.

Seriously though, I hope everyone had a great Sunday. And Saturday. And Tuesday. And childhood. I hope everyone had a great childhood. All my hopes and positive vibes for you are year-round and apply to your past, but mostly your future. I’m still employed, Batman’s feeling better, and I love my bracelet and my sexy as sin Handerpants.

It doesn’t get much better than this.

~ Lady Caitlin Signing Off

My Personal Goal

It’s Wednesday again, and I’m pleased to report that I am still employed. That’s right. I’ve proven myself for a week and a half at this point, and even though the water-machine and I got into it, I think I’ve secured myself a position with this company. We’ll see if my employee tag ever makes it in and also, if they dump a little money in my account on Friday—I feel like that will definitely seal the deal that this is reality, and I’m not still stuck in land of unemployment.

Oh, to be in the workforce again, and to feel the familiar sting of stress and anxiety!

It’s actually not terrible and I hope it continues to not be terrible, but only time will tell. I don’t want to say too much, but I will say that there’s this gong that gets hit at least once a day and I am DETERMINED to hit that thing at some point. I know what it takes even though I’m obviously still learning how to get there, but I’m going to hit that gong before the year is out. This is my personal goal. I’m very excited about the paydays and PTO and 401k company match all and, but I am now OBSESSED with hitting that gong which I am sure will start to annoy me after a while. Or maybe not? Maybe it’ll be the motivation I need to hit the darn thing. I don’t know, but it’s all very exciting.

Writing-wise, I’m still deep into my re-write, but it’s coming along nicely. Slowed down a bit the past week due to the new job, but I cranked out a bunch over the weekend which means I’m still solidly into this new direction and in fact, I’m going to jump back in that document here in a moment when I’m finished with this one. But I prioritized you first, because I care. Honestly, I should work on my second newsletter next, but I still have a week. And a weekend between now and then, so, there you go.

I feel like I’ve said everything I need to for this week. Probably more to report next Wednesday, because that’ll be the post after Valentine’s Day, and I’m excited to see what mystery gift Batman keeps teasing me with. Seriously, we never do this holiday and now he has “gifts.” The first was the Handerpants—you remember. And this second one…who knows? But, I DID break down and get him something, and let me just say—it’s badass, and by extension, so am I.

We’ll go over that more next week. That’s all for now.

Have a great one!

~ Lady Caitlin signing off

#IWSG – An Awesome Idea to Me

There’s not a ton of news on my end (good thing?) so let’s dive right into the Insecure Writers Support Group question, which I *did* remember to post on time this month.

Blogging is often more than just sharing stories. It’s often the start of special friendships and relationships. Have you made any friends through the blogosphere?

Aw man, I was so erratic in the beginning of my blogging days, and I’d say up to about four years ago, I barely remembered I had a blog. I posted whenever I thought about it, which means I didn’t participate in the great blogosphere culture. Sadly, this post exposes me because I’m still not embracing it to the point that I could be, but I’m getting better and making interaction more of a goal. Honestly, the internet scares the crap out of me because with all the psychos and trolls polluting, I’m hesitant to make friends. But I have made a few who I’m pretty sure aren’t psychos because by now I think I’d have picked up on some things. Maybe? I guess time will tell.

There’re no do-overs with the past—nor should there be—so I can’t change that I lingered in the blogosphere for five to six years and didn’t actually participate. But, I can change what I do going forward, which is develop the few friendships I actually have maintained (vetted to be not psychos) and embrace new friends (hopefully not psychos) so that I surround myself with people who understand and can empathize with what I’m going though writing-wise, and maybe even more that that. Sounds like an awesome idea to me.

Okay, 2021. I’m ready. Let’s do this.

Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG) is a monthly blog hop for writers at all levels to share their fears and insecurities in a safe and encouraging place. Please drop by and say hi to Alex Cavanaugh who started this nifty concept in bringing us all together.

~ Lady Caitlin Signing off

P.S. Also, this should be the third day I’m working at my new job if 2021 continues being the awesome year that it is. Woo-hoo for awesome new years!

Let’s Keep This Going

I got my first Valentine’s Day present:

I say first, because Batman said he’s getting me several things, and if this where the bar has been set, then I’m ready to go. Let’s do this Valentine’s Day. (I should note, I have literally *nothing* planned to give to him because unlike him, I am not straying from the no-gifts-other-than-maybe-the-good-chocolate rule that we’ve been respecting for almost a decade now.) But he surprised me with these, and I have to say, I’m in love. (I should also note, I’ve already left them at a friend’s house after modeling them, so do with that information as you will.)

I came very close to missing this post because I kept putting it off, but I only did that because I’m busy rewriting like a MOFO, since once of my beta readers made a comment that caused an absolute epiphany on what I’m doing wrong with my story—and what I could be doing better. So, if you’re one of the few who’ve read my “first draft” of my *still untitled story* my apologies. You were not given the real story, and for that, I will banish my house elf.

The bones are still there, but I’m practically rewriting a majority of the story. But hey, that’s the process. Sometimes you need a little feedback to know you’re been looking at something all wrong. And no, this wasn’t just one comment and magically, I bent the knee to her suggestions. Writers (should) take all critiques with a grain of salt, but this was something echoing in my head that turned into a scream once she brought it up. Even though I don’t have a clear vision of exactly how everything will happen, that doesn’t stop a panster. I’ll figure it out. And I have been, because I’ve already written the first eight chapters, including new POVs.

Yeah, 2021. Let’s keep going, baby. I have my handerpants, a better angle on writing my untitled book, and a new job I’m starting on Monday. Ah, it shall be nice to receive a paycheck again whilst contributing to society, although I feel like I do that every time I walk into Walmart.

This is going to be a good year, guys. I can feel it. And in case you’re wondering (which I know you are) my first newsletter went out without a hitch, meaning—and I can’t stress this enough—I’m not completely stupid with technical things. Still stupid, but I’ll give myself a break since I only went through two or three glasses of wine trying to set up Mailerlite—and it worked!

If you want to sign up, there should be a pop-up at some point. But if that doesn’t happen, let me know and I’ll add you manually, because, I know how to do that.

*dusts off shoulder*

Well, I’m done being lame for today, so until we meet next Wednesday for the IWSG post, enjoy your weekend! I will be, as it shall be my last one before returning to the work force.

God help me.

~ Lady Caitlin Signing off

More Similarities Than Differences

Before we go any further, there’s something I have to say:

Happy eleventh birthday to my only but *favorite* nephew. You are weird as hell, and you annoy the crap out of my sister (like I use to) so please never-ever change. Even when people call you out for being animated and different, remind them that Robin Williams and Eddie Murphy and Jim Carey exist(ed), and then tell them to go fuck off (when you’re old enough).

I’m going to keep this post short because 1) Here comes Wednesday again, sneaking up like it always does, ninja-ing its way out of nowhere after Sunday, and as I’m writing this, it’s already Tuesday night, so there’s not a lot of brain functioning left and 2) I’m like 99% sure nobody cares about this post since it’s the inauguration, and most don’t come here for my political commentary. Which is good, because it’s not really my thing, especially since I believe George Orwell knew what the hell he was talking about. That should tell you everything you need to know on where I stand, and why I don’t post certain thoughts (you know, just in case they’re the wrong ones) because that is the terrifying society we live in today, folks.

Short post. No political thoughts contributed (sans the tiny one above). Only solid prayers that people breathe, and remember we share more similarities than differences.

We’re all human beings. Let’s try for love and peace and acceptance, huh? I promise, it’s worked in the past.

~ Lady Caitlin signing off

P.S. Your present’s in the mail, TJ. I just have to actually go send it first.

Launching My Newsletter

This is it—my official last post BEFORE launching my newsletter.

Any idea what I’m going to talk about?

That’s right—my newsletter! Gosh, you’re smart.

As a recap, I have been self-publishing since 2013, which is still long after the self-publishing pioneers who blazed the path before us. I only mention it because SEVEN years later I am finally doing something that I—know that I understand—should’ve been doing since pre-publication.

*Smacks forehead*

Take it as a lesson, padawan. Don’t do what I did. Or, don’t take as long to realize the power of cultivating a subscriber list since it’s one of the few things you own in any entrepreneur endeavor. In plain English: email newsletters are of the most beneficial marketing tools on the market, so, I figure—eh, I’d give it a try. Seven years in, can’t hurt.

But why sign up? What’s in it for you? Excellent questions, although I did answer these in a previous post…but, what the hell, we’ll go over it again:

  1. An opportunity for you to be lazy while STILL enjoying awesome content. As in, in addition to visiting this *amazing* blog, you won’t have to come to me—I will come to you in an email on the 15th of every month! All that’s required from you is the ability open an email. But I have faith.
  2. MORE CONTENT. Blogs are awesome, and I will continue to keep mine up, but even MORE content? What? Is she for real? (Yes, I am). I’ll also include things I don’t normally on my site, like snippets from current projects, and more writing-related updates (join me in my querying journey!)
  3. Learn about other creators and entrepreneurs. It turns out I have a lot of really talented friends who do all sorts of neat stuff! And y’all should know about them, so, I’ll be highlighting one each month. (If this is you, totally contact me. I’ll probably contact you though. Wait for it.)

Okay, by now—and per my understanding—you should have received a pop-up asking to join the newsletter. Were you like me and just closed it because you feel pop-ups are slightly accosting sometimes? That’s okay. If you missed your chance to sign up, I *believe* you can come back tomorrow and it will ask again. I think. I’m not really sure I understand any of what I did so I’m feeling 70% confident here.

First newsletter goes out this Friday, 1/15.

GUYS. I’m finally doing it. Seven years in, baby.

It’s never too late.

~ Lady Caitlin

Not Too Shabby #IWSG

Yep. I did it. I forgot to post on the first Wednesday of the year. Good job, me! I’d say that’s going to set the tone for the rest of the year, but it’s all good. It happens. Sometimes we wake up thinking it’s Tuesday when it’s really Humpday because unemployment, much like the insanity caused by it, messes with our heads. Also, sometimes I put on my shirt inside out and don’t realize until I’ve gone into stores. Nobody’s perfect.

I’d actually been planning on writing a belated honeymoon post when I realized the month that we’re in, and, like, the whole new year thing. It’s not only the first post of the year, but the first IWSG post, which makes me feel like a total loser butt-face since I missed it. (I try not to miss those posts). BUT I’m here, a day late, with my belated honeymoon post pending somewhere in the background for later reveal. It’s all good. My shirt is on correctly and I’ve got an interview on Monday. Not too shabby.

IWSG optional question:

Being a writer, when you’re reading someone else’s work, what stops you from finishing a book/throw you out of the story/frustrates you the most about other people’s books?

Here’s the list:

POOR grammar. If you miss a couple of commas, psshh—whatever. I don’t care. But, if I’m tripping over every few sentences, it plucks me right out of the story and nope. Nope. Nope. Nope.

ANNOYING protagonists who don’t improve or learn. I don’t love everything about every protagonist. I shouldn’t. But if that MC makes stupid mistake over and over/is annoying me beyond all living hell—I just, I can’t. And I won’t. So, I don’t.

BORING stories. Look, they’re not all action packed. I get it. But if I’d rather empty the dishwasher or fold a stack of clothes or file for unemployment, then, I’m sorry. It’s not my cup of tea and I just ain’t gonna happen. (And it doesn’t).

I believe these are my top reasons for putting down a book. I try not to, but, if it falls in one of these three categories—I’m sorry. We just weren’t meant to be.

Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG) is a monthly blog hop for writers at all levels to share their fears and insecurities in a safe and encouraging place. Please drop by and say hi to Alex Cavanaugh who started this nifty concept in bringing us all together.

(Writing this post-attack on the Capitol, let’s bring that positivity we talked about in 2021. Remember, we’re stronger together.)

~ Lady Caitlin Signing Off

It Pays Sometimes To Be Unemployed

So…I started playing with my blog because I’m trying to make it look more professional, and I meant to tweak the background and colors a little, and somehow my font got updated? I’m not sure how that happened, which means I’m not sure how to fix it, which makes me hesitant to touch anything else on this blog I’ve barley learned how to use over the past six years. Hope you like the new look.

But why the updates, right? The leaves were functioning…okayish. Well, I’m actually trying to be more professional here, and this website still seems super novice-y and I’m sure that’s a deterrent for some potential readers. So, not a good thing for me. But at this point, with my lack of know-how and incredible talent for being anti-techy, maybe I should enlist help? Go to Fiverr or update to Squarespace? I don’t know. I’ve had the mentality of at least having a blog for my writing was good enough, but after six years, it should look a little better—right? I don’t know. You tell me.

Also, with this whole trying to be professional thing, I’d like to come clean about something I’m working on. Ready for this? And I am NOT teasing this time (I don’t think). But yes, after seven self-published books, I am finally going to be smart and have an actual newsletter (and not immediately cancel it) to provide updates on me, what I’m working on, and to promote other entrepreneurs. I didn’t understand the importance of having one of these for the past few years, and I guess, it sort of came together in the world’s longest click over the last few months, when I recently realized that, oh shit, yep, I do need one of those.

*drums fingertips dramatically*

And here we are.

But deciding to have one alone isn’t enough. I need to know when y’all want this—for those who do—and the question is all about timing. I don’t want to come at you like a missile with something every three days because frankly, I can’t come up with that much content. Only the coke-writers can, and I am years away from that kind of depression. But I also don’t want to fade into nothing, so when an email does pop up, you aren’t like Who? Her? Meh. Nope. Please don’t Who? Her? Meh. Nope. me. It’s a difficult line to gauge the frequency newsletter emails should be sent. I’m thinking monthly. Just enough to remember me, but not too much to make you hate me. The perfect amount to subtlety capture and brainwash you.

Also, why sign up for it, right? What makes it any different than this awesome blog? Two great questions. The first because, who doesn’t love more awesome content?  And second, because I’ll include snippets from current projects I’m working on, and highlight a different entrepreneur each time so you can learn about other people and not just me. Win-win-win. PLUS, this is sent to your email, so you won’t have to go digging or searching for it, which is always good in my book. (Also, yes, I am still updating my Patreon, but it’s about the same frequency – once a month. And if you want to get on that track, which you totally should, please be patient because I’m in the midst of updating all that too. Wow, it pays sometimes to be unemployed).

This whole thing is sounding really cool in my head, so let’s see if I can pull it off. Look for…something soon. Like, really soon. I’m thinking this newsletter will go out around mid-month because that is a date I can likely remember, so let’s aim for a release every 15th.

Be on the lookout for…something. Some sign-up. We’ll see what I can figure out here in the next two weeks. Depends on how well my brain works. And how much wine I still have to get me through it.

Please everyone have a safe, smart, fun, and healthy New Years. 2020 wasn’t great in many ways, but it was in others (Batman and I got married, friends had babies and got great new jobs!) Remember the blessings we all take for granted and lets bring this positivity in 2021. Please for fucks sake.

~ Lady Caitlin signing off

Calling All BETAS – Assistance Needed

Guys. I still don’t have a working title. Still. This has never happened.

I have titles for books I haven’t written yet, and I’ve been working on this monster since May so…where the heck is it? Why hasn’t it come to me? GUYS.

This is all very strange. Like my blog, the title usually comes from a sentence in the post, and it’s usually the same with my books. I’ll literally write it out and be like, aha! There it is! Title achieved, bitches. But I’ve gone through like 4 drafts of this thing, and it still hasn’t hit me. Like, at all. Which wouldn’t be disconcerting to me except IT’S ACTUALLY REALLY DISCONCERTING TO ME.

Titles typically correspond to the central character or plot or place, and I’ve gone over their names and the conflict and setting a bunch of times and nothing fits. Nothing even comes close to sounding right. They all sound dopey and forced and I don’t even have working titles to throw together a poll and get some feedback. I literally have nothing.

*nothing*

What does this mean? Do I not truly know what my book is about? That can’t be it. I’m calling on the Gods of writing to assist in this weird new obstacle. How do I overcome it? Do I let Betas make suggestions? Do I keep it (kind of) boring to just the lead character names? What?

That’s the other thing. Although I have—and let me re-emphasize—no working title, I’m nearly ready for other people to look at it. This, by the way, is the scariest part, so just know I’m inwardly hyperventilating as I throw this request into the void-o-sphere. I am now accepting any readers interested who want to take a look at what I’ve got and let me know how to make it better. Help me find plot holes and anything I might’ve missed. Maybe I overuse a term? I do that. Just looking for some feedback, so if you’re not in the market to steal my work, and this sounds like something you want to read, I’d be interested to hear your thoughts. Also, maybe you can tell me what my title is? That would be great.

No Working Title includes: alpha male, enemies to lovers, mobsters & vigilantes

Quick blurb: Desperate to leave her crime-ridden hometown, Lilah ends up contacting a local vigilante organization after a friend’s mom is put in the hospital. But when Nik, one of its members, continues to recruit Lilah for assignments, her interest in leaving sways.

This is a high-heat, romantic suspense clocking in at 122K words. Yeah. It’s huge. (That’s what she said.)

Anyway, if this sounds like something you’re interested in, send me an email (Cgcoppolawrites@gmail.com) and we’ll go from there. Yay!

Well, that’s all I’ve got this week. I’m still working on that honeymoon post and will have it up probably sometime in the future. Until then – enjoy your week however you are celebrating it! Happy holidays!

~ Lady Caitlin signing off

The Wedding Post: F*cking Finally

So, here’s the thing: I don’t have my pictures back yet from my wedding, and I’m kind of waiting for some nicer ones to post, but at this point, the wedding is fading like a lovely distant memory, and I need to write this before I fondly remember unicorns and doves and llamas being a part of it (though I still might do that) because that sounds magical and in my future brain, totally possible. If you didn’t get a chance to read my I’m getting married during a pandemic post, go check it out! It’s a real hoot and a downer, but it ends on a happy note: marriage to my best friend which I am *proud* to say we are making it last already. I’m only directing you there so you can have a history on me and Batman before I walk you through the magical day (that sadly did not include unicorns and doves and llamas) but was still the picture-perfect fantasy event that child-Caitlin always imagined.

First, let me start off by saying it was supposed to thunderstorm. I know, because the second the 10-day forecast became available, it became my new heroin. But around five days out, I relinquished that stress and worry to my poor Maid of Honor who took on the role like a champ, smiling and saying not to worry about it every time I asked for an update. The amazing thing? It was a beautiful day.

And I mean beautiful. It was cool, which, in Florida, is a Godsend, and although we did the rehearsal the day before under the nearby pole barn (second option for the ceremony site) because it was torrentially down pouring, we were still able to revert to the original plan for the actual day—in front of the tree.

I shouldn’t take all the credit, but I will. People loved the flowers. We received so many compliments on just how gorgeous the displays and bouquets were, and even though I didn’t technically do anything to arrange them, I gave the original inspiration and color scheme, and therefore, all the credit goes to me. (This is what I’m telling myself. All the REAL credit goes to A Fantasy in Flowers who did an amazing job. Seriously, if you’re in the Jacksonville area and finally subdued your life-partner, I’d hands down recommend this company for all your floral needs.)

Besides the flowers, the food was on point. This is what I’ve been told and if I recall correctly, everything was yummy. I was solidly distracted by everything—everyone and making sure they were having a good time—but I tried a brie-apple tart thing with strawberry sauce and I remember thinking, yeah, we picked the right caterer. I heard (remember in the contract?) there was a carving station for our prime rib, but I never saw it because I was at our sweetheart table, admiring the charger and plate combination I’d selected and wondering if everyone noticed how well the gold trimming complimented the hanging votives.

Everything—like I was told, like I knew would happen—flashed by. It was the beginning of the day with mimosas and struggling to pop the champagne bottle, and somehow, I was in this beautiful dress that kept falling because I’d lost too much weight, which, in my chubby-existence, I never thought could be a real thing. And then I was taking pictures with Batman around the venue, like I’d researched a thousand times before. Then my guests were arriving and I saw my stepdad (who made the journey just for the ceremony, and then had to drive three hours home for work in the morning), and then my dad was coming to get me, and the music started playing…

After everything, all the work and planning and crying—so, so much crying—it was worth it. It came together beautifully. Batman looked snazzy and sexy and like James Bond (his inspiration besides Batman) and I’d like to think it was one of my better fashion days. Although, knowing what I know now, for my second marriage, I will not be wearing a lace dress. Lace and pavement, as I’ve discovered, do not mix well, especially when elements like twigs and leaves and acorns want to jump in the mix. I do recall part of the day helping my photographers pick nature out of my veil, which kept me from displaying the full train of my dress. Which sucked, because it was gorgeous.

Other than a few tiny screwups, I’d say it was a success. There were going to be screwups regardless (I’ve hands-down attended a thousand weddings and nothing ever goes perfectly. It’s called reality.) but having a wedding during a pandemic is such a feat by itself, that the issues were like gnats; I just didn’t give a shit about them.

There are, of course, a billion details that even I don’t remember, and I could go way more in depth, but I’ve already used up some of your time based on your reading speed/skippage, so I’ll end it here. Again, I wish I had some truly flattering photos of us/the event from our photographer, and not to say these aren’t, but they’re not professional (borrowed from family and friends) since I only picked up my phone to check the weather and make sure the universe wasn’t fucking with me. It wasn’t.

 I’ll try to have a honeymoon post up soon. But, it is the holidays, and I’m the only one holding myself accountable, so we’ll see.

~ Lady Caitlin signing off

P.S. Also, my bouquet weighed eight pounds. Just remembered.