One Foot After the Next

I’m overwhelmed.

I’ve been looking at book review blogs and I had NO idea what I was getting into. It’s not a kiddy pool. It’s a motherfucking ocean and my orange floaties are only half inflated. This indie publishing stuff is hard. And apparently, an entirely different world that I didn’t know even existed. Don’t get me wrong—I’m psyched that I have the ability to put my stuff out there. But so does everyone else and MY GOD I’m standing in a flood zone. The water’s above my head and I’m trying my best to keep breathing.

Keep breathing.

But fuck.

Holy mother of everything sacred—there are MILLIONS of review sights with requests backlogged until December and here I come like a lost nomad, tapping on someone’s shoulder, hoping for a measly handout. Wow. Have I been not paying attention all this time? I mean, I only ventured into self publishing last year so*obviously* I’m learning as I go. I get that. But it’s like… a thing. A really competitive, really adult-professional thing that makes me want to pull the covers over my head and drown myself in a book. This is an Odysseus-length race and I’m still at the start line, scratching my head and wondering why I’m surrounded by a cloud of dust. I’ve got my water bottle and my sandals straps are tied and all, but I know I’m going to fall. A lot. I’ve probably already fallen and not realized it. The good thing is I can still get up, dust off my knees, retie the laces and try again.

It’s all about one foot after the next.

I’m glad no one told me it was going to be this hard. Actually, I’m ECSTATIC. Because even though I’d like to give myself credit, I’m not sure I would’ve ventured forward knowing what I do now. Okay… maybe I would. Just because this dream is that potent. But I would’ve needed a lot more wine and a few dozen bags of Oreos. Fuel for the journey to Troy.

Because that’s what this is.

A journey. Most times it seems impossible. Ridiculously, mind-numbingly impossible. I keep thinking how am I going to do this? How will I reach the finish line? There’s no way I can get there—not in this lifetime. But at least I’ve started, right? That’s good. That’s something. Every journey starts with a single step they say. And I’ve taken one or two of those. A stumble, maybe, but there’s been progress. I just need to keep breathing, have faith and continue putting one foot after the next.

And I’ll get there.

I know I will.

Thank God Batman is NOT a Jedi

I washed Batman’s wallet.

He was not pleased.

I tried to argue that it now smelled clean and I was really doing him a favor and that he should be proud because I was finally making an effort at doing laundry but he would not be swayed. He actually started to shake. Batman never shakes. Not unless he’s hulking out on his Xbox 1 and I’m usually a safe distance away on the recliner, writing. And the hulking out has nothing to do with me. But this time was different.

I was the enemy.

And unlike his games filled with virtual murder, Batman could kill me. Quite easily.

I think he wants to, honestly. Every once in a while he’ll look at me after I change Top Gear or I spill ice cream on his blanket and I know he’s trying to tap into the force. He swears he’s a Jedi but only really tries to prove it when he wants to make me slap myself or run myself into the wall or off the porch. He concentrates too hard, staring at me, waiting for something to happen. He’s trying to kill me. I know he is. I called him out on it one time and he said he was attempting to make my ovaries explode. Which I thought was kind of rude because that seems quite extensive for a few red wine stains on his old wrestling tee. WHICH HE NEVER WEARS. Except how terrible would he feel if he actually did it? Yeah, you’d get some cool points for being a Jedi and all, but what would you tell people the first thing you did with your newly discovered powers? Oh, I exploded my girlfriend’s ovaries. Yep. That makes you kind of an asshole.

So I figured my spleen or kidneys or maybe my heart might just combust when Batman picked up his fat, damp wallet in shaking fingers. Eeek. This would be the day I die. On Memorial day when we should be honoring those that served our country. Instead, the caped crusader’s trying to murder me with mind power because I forgot to check his short pockets before putting them in the wash. My bad. I got the usual death glare, but couple that with the physical shaking… oh boy. I thought my little hobbit life had come to an end.

Luckily Batman’s love for me overrides his annoyance. We’ve been together seven years this past May and I’m still alive. We even went horseback riding and to a fancy speakeasy restaurant to celebrate. (Not at the same time, obviously. That’d be weird.) I just have to hope his love continues to outweigh his need to kill me. That, or pray he never becomes a real Jedi.

I’d be dead in seconds.

Which Post Was This Again?

I know I should probably write a new post and I’ve started about half a dozen but then I got distracted with the television or Batman or Batman talking about what’s on the television and they all sort of morphed into two paragraphs of oh, I’ll come back and finish this later. And I meant to, but then I would start a new post because some other amazing thought entered my mind and surely, the rest of the world (or the handful of you) would need to know about that instead. And now, I can’t decide which of these AMAZING topics is the one I should write about next. And only a handful of them are typed up because I wrote most on pieces of paper that are no longer in my purse or in the car where I left them since all the brilliant ideas come to me on my hour commute to work. Because that’s when I have time to think.

Or in important meetings when I should be focused on my job responsibilities and I’m doodling pictures of creatures from my stories and coming up with vast histories of their people and struggles and what they do in extreme weather. It’s really hard for me to focus on things I don’t give a shit about. I have to force myself to listen, to really pay attention and then my mind drifts again and I muse over how I have to force myself to do things and I wonder if that’s a trait from my family or my zodiac. And by the time I realize I’ve drifted for who knows how long, I force myself to listen again, but instead, I wonder if the speaker has the same issues about paying attention or if they’re even interested in being here either and what they were like as a kid and how many siblings they have.

It’s not ADHD, because I don’t believe in that. I think we like to just name things that people tend to have in common. And it’s not that I can’t keep a straight thought—because I can. It’s just one thought leads to another and then another and sometimes it wraps back around on itself, and other times we end up talking about the rare white bat when you asked me about the weather. That’s how conversations work. They keep moving. And for writers, that can be extremely difficult when you need to keep focus. So I’ll have all these great post ideas/thoughts/questions and they travel onto different topics and I’ll forget what the original thesis was because now that I’m writing about how much I like ice-cream, I’m thinking about dessert and how my teacher taught us the trick to spelling desert vs dessert. (It’s Sahara desert vs Strawberry Shortcake by the way. One S for desert. Two S’s for dessert. Batman had a different method of remembering and therefore he is wrong.)

So I guess this is my next post. It’s not as awesome as the handful of other ones I started writing but there may still be hope for them yet. At least I was able to finish this one. And park correctly. Some people can’t say the same.

Um... am I missing something?

Um… am I missing something?

They remembered the visor, jut not to pull all the way in.

They remembered the visor, jut not to pull all the way in.

Huh.

Time for Celebrating

There are several reasons to celebrate.

1.) I’m home from work. Best time of day.

2.) I’ve uploaded a new version of Escape from Harrizel that includes bonus scenes. That’s right—bonus scenes! From Reid’s POV (I’ve also included them on the website so for those of you who have already purchased the book, you can find them there too.) The new version also has some grammar corrections and, thanks to Batman, the proper colloquial use of “AK47,” as I was making up incorrect slang. But all has been corrected/updated/added, along with a link to my website.

3.) My website, bitches. (www.cgcoppola.com) I’ve clicked the “publish” button so now it’s out there in cyber space bumping into your wordpress blogs and Wikipedia articles about opossums and gossamer. You know, right where it should be.

Now, normally I celebrate with cake or booze, but I can’t give that to you—not in this day and age. So to help pass along the excitement, I’m offering my books free of charge on Smashwords until next Friday, May 23rd. (When checking out, use coupon KU74H for Escape and EX62M for Plague.) That’s right—pay nothing-down, nothing-ever. FREE. Busy reading something else at the moment? “Buy” now and read later because I want you to be part of this adventure with me.

Here’s what you can expect in both books:

Weapons, romance, oppression, war, abduction, blood, sex, labyrinths, secrets, clans, fleeing, fighting, hidden passages and more.

If any of these sound interesting to you, give it a try. I dare you. You may like it. You may love it. You may spit on it and curse my unborn children (a little rude but… whatever.)

And for those of you who are somewhat skeptical because I’m basically unknown, I’ve put up the first chapter of Escape from Harrizel under Goodies. Either way it’s time for celebrating, folks.

This round is on me.

P.S.

Saw this when I got out of my car this morning. I took it because I liked the Spiderman adhesive. Then I noticed the legs at the bottom. Yeah, good luck explaining that to Gwen.

"What the f did I do last night...?"

“What the f did I do last night…?”

I’m A Melting Clock

I can’t wake up today.

Everything is blurry and sort of happening and I think I’m at work right now, but I might still be in bed, dreaming all this. Although, I’m pretty sure I’ve interacted with people because none of them have been Ryan Gossling. Yet.

*sigh*

Even with Georgie (my car) stalling on me TWO times this morning and the THREE cups of coffee I’ve downed, I should be awake. I should be on my game, ready to face slam this Monday into next month but I got dropped in the first five seconds after Batman’s alarm went off. I’m out cold, too dead to crawl out of the ring and back into bed. And I’m not even there yet. I’m here, at work, trying to play the part of the normal functioning employee and not the grotesque slug I’ve morphed into.

I’m in a conscious coma.

It’s not like I went to bed later than usual last night. I stayed up for Game of Thrones (woohoo!) but my body is just mush; a glob of mash potatoes when I’m normally a fry. How am I going to make it through the rest of the day? It’s Monday, yeah I get it. But everything is stretching and dripping and in an extensive existence of just YYYAAAWWWNNN.

I’m a melting clock.

And this is what I think about: on days like today, when I walk around to get the blood flowing, so I can remain semi-awake and not face-plant on my desk from this conscious coma syndrome, I worry today will be wasted. Not because I’m a less than stellar employee (they should know that by now) but because I’m worried I won’t have the energy to write. Or do something productive when I get home. I’m worried I’ll take a nap. WORRIED OVER A NAP. People are starving and half naked and shacked up in igloos and third world shacks and I’m worried I’ll take a nap. That I won’t have the energy to start on the third draft which I need to do because I’m too damn responsible and already reached out to my editor. I’ll be sending my manuscript to her in a month. A MONTH. There’s no time for naps. No time for melting clocks and three cups of coffee and car stalls. There’s only time for writing and rewriting and more editing and another run through. Oh and working on my website (which should be ready here soon!) and writing this blog and spending time with Batman and eating cereal and Lean Cuisines and watching Game of Thrones.

And writing.

But I’m a melting clock today.

There’s no real reason for this post except that I wrote it to stay awake. And that I’m scared of taking naps. And that I’m too responsible for my own good. And that I have a caffeine addiction which MAY be catching up to me now. And to call out Georgie on also falling asleep today.

One of us has to be the adult, here.

Gossamer

I woke up with one word in my head: gossamer.

Gossamer: a fine, filmy cobweb seen on grass or bushes or floating in the air in calm weather; an extremely delicate variety of gauze, used especially for veils; fine spider silk.

There are a few details I remember from my dream last night before Batman’s wonderful screeching alarm alerted us to the new day: I was in a fitting room wearing a very pretty ivory gown that swooshed when I walked over pinkish-peach carpet. There was an old-time automobile repair shop next door with a man in overalls and a red fire truck and a dark purple sunset over the town. And the word gossamer.

I have the weirdest dreams. At times they mean absolutely nothing — just gargled information that seeps past the conscious and burrows deep into my brain like indigestion, only to rise again with no real purpose. But sometimes dreams hold the secret; wisdom I try to grasp in my subconscious knowing that when I wake, the answer will slip from my head and I’ll spend the entire day trying to remember the epiphany I wanted so much not to forget because it was the answer. The answer to what? To it all. To everything.

And I lost it.

But I have gossamer. It was blinding neon silver, a symphony of one note, both the beginning and the end and it was crucial that I remember. Gossamer. And for those of you who think that all dreams mean nothing, just the messed up version of your brain regurgitating crumbly bits of your life — I feel bad for you. You’re lost in this reality and you need to wake up. See the other side for a change, inhale the magic around you. Nothing is coincidence. Nothing is random.

It’s all connected.

Even as I’m sitting here writing this (should be working… but when inspiration strikes…) wanting to know what gossamer really means, Cosmic Love by Florence + The Machine comes on Pandora. That means nothing to you but it’s like a shot of adrenaline to my curious mind. Because the cover album for this song is the very image that inspired a certain character’s wardrobe I described as “like the silky strands of a spider’s web.” AS I’m writing about gossamer.

You’re watching me, aren’t you universe? But what are you trying to tell me?

What is it?

Didn’t Want to Wish Anymore

I’m trying to put up a website so I can like, look legit. And not like some random person who super wants to be a distinguished author but has no googeable site. It seems a necessity nowadays and if I’d known that, I would’ve paid more attention in my computer classes and not challenged classmates to rapid rounds of minesweeper, which is pretty much the only other thing I use my computer for. And yeah, I have this blog and *horray* for that, but there’s got to be a sense of professionalism somewhere, right? Not articles about the existence of Edward Scissorhand’s penis which I’m STILL curious about. So hence the website-creating process is started and let me tell you, even with the simplicity of these user-friendly site-creators, I’m still scratching my head with “uh… I think I’m doing this right. But maybe they’ll think my lack of artistic, tech-savvy talent makes me a better writer. The worse the website, the better the words, right?” I mean, what would Hemmingway’s site look like if he had to design it himself? Probably half done and smelling of liquor. (Yes, I know websites don’t smell but if they did, his would reek of mojitos. Just saying.) So when mine goes up and joins the endless world of pages, prepare yourself for the common cave woman’s attempt at painting the Sistine Chapel.

You’ve been warned.

I said it before and I’ll say it again—I’m in the wrong generation.

…unless it’s the right generation because with this revolution of self publishing authors, I like, have a chance when I’m pretty sure my manuscripts would’ve gotten buried in the stack with every other aspiring writers’. And it may not have ever seen the sun again. I’m not saying that because I think I’m a bad writer or not good enough for publication, but because there are so many of us out here who want our work available to the masses, so they can decide if they want to read our words and not the publishers who decide if it fits the right genre and trend to make money. You know what I mean. So yeah, living in this era definitely has its perks. But as wonderful an opportunity as self-publishing is, it also comes with more sweat and tears. And I mean that. Sweat in the non-stinky exercise way because now, not only do we have to write the damn thing, we have to do the advertising which I am SO not good at it. I constantly turn to Batman and frown. “I just want to write. Can’t someone else take care of this for me? Why do I have to do it all?” Yes, there’s every bit of whininess in there as it sounds. And God bless Batman, he tells me one day I’ll be able to sit home and write and someone else will take care of all that for me. He says he has every bit of faith and confidence in me. We writers need that. Encouragement. But after all that sweat in writing and marketing (which I still have yet to do) there comes the tears. Because sometimes, it just gets really damn hard. When will it be my turn? What more can I do? And why is it so unfair that I have to work harder than everyone else? That’s how it feels at least.

Of course it’s not true.

This girl at my job works full time, moonlights AND goes to school. Are you shitting me? When does she sleep? Eat? Have a social life that involves fun things that she wants to do? But this girl has ambition. Drive. Determination. Life didn’t hand over what she wants either but she’s doing what she has to. And that makes my tears feel so foolish. Besides, it’s not like I don’t write. I’m writing right now. I write every day. How can I say I’m not doing what I love? I just want to fill my day with more hours instead of the two or three I’m able to squeeze in. So really, I DO get to do want I want. I’m blessed because so many people don’t even know what their passion is. They don’t see or know what the end goal is. And I do.

Knowing what you want is half the battle. Getting there is the other half. At least my ship has left the harbor and is setting sail for west India or the Caribbean or wherever Christopher Columbus was sailing. I’m on my way. I’ve got too books published (working on the third!), a blog that I love to write for and a website on the way, and all this since last May when I decided the story I’d been writing for the last two years was finally ready for some serious edits. A year. It’s been a year since I decided I didn’t want to sit at the same cubicle anymore, didn’t want to spend my lunches pouring over various author websites and wishing my future looked like theirs. I didn’t want to wish anymore.

I’m at a new cubicle (because I have to pay for this apartment somehow) but instead of looking at other author websites on my breaks, I’m working on my own. I’m writing my own bio and filling the screen with tidbits about my books. One year and look how far I’ve come.

Wait for how far I’ll go.