Write the Books and Find the Readers

I missed last week because I spent the majority of it re-reading Rozmarie & Josiah. 😊 I know, rude to ditch on our date, but silly me thought I was going to just submit the book to fresh.ink without even looking it over. Rookie mistake. It dawned on me somewhere a few paragraphs in that it was *probably* a good idea to look over the story, and, well, I did.

All last week. I read every day as soon as I got home, and FINALLY on Sunday, I finished the thing. Because, I didn’t just read. I re-edited it as I went, and apparently, I missed some major typos and errors first go around. Am I going to win the contest? Probably not, but that’s okay. It’s slightly more polished, and I’m not so nervous about turning in a total piece of crap to these would-be-potential readers.

Because that’s my goal: FIND THE READERS

That, and write the books. But I feel both are equally important. Write the books and find the readers. Someone want to make me a banner I can hang above my window? I only have broken Christmas lights and an awesome writing picture my mom got me last year  (thanks, ma! Still love it!). For all the curious/stalkers:

There’s a perfectly good blank space right there. I could put a big plaque: Write the Books and Find the Readers. I feel like that’s all I need in order to break free from cubicle hell to write independently. A product I turn out to customers eagerly awaiting it. Speaking of…I really need to get back to MailChimp and figure out the whole newsletter thing. Where is my team of smart people to do this for me? Urrg. I wish parts of my brain weren’t so dumb, like the kind that deals with technology and understanding things that can’t be explained to a ten-year-old.

In better, simpler, easier news, I have a driver’s-side door handle! Look at it! Look at it in all its glory and magnificent awe:

It’s been very nice these few rainy days not having to run around the car like an idiot. I can go straight to one side and only be half-soaked instead of fully-soaked. Life is good 😊 I really do need to retire Georgie at some point, but until she completely craps out on me, she’s still my girl. And with her latest upgrade, I think she’s earned herself another year or so. That, or until something else vital falls off, or she retires to her days of seizuring which, if I’m being honest, are the most exciting.

Things to do:

  • Research Mailchimp. Again. Don’t get confused and distracted and decide no one cares so it’s not even worth it. And stop playing on your phone.
  • Be more social (stalk more) and keep putting my stuff out there.
  • Probably buy another car
  • Laundry

There’s more to the list, but I’m tired, so this will have to do. Back to writing RTD and reading other people’s books. And guys, I can FINALLY say I feel like I’ve tipped past the halfway point in RTD. I think I said this a while ago, but I mean it for realizes this time. And that means good things are coming. Good things 😊

Have a great week!

Makes Me Wonder

I’m getting a car door handle!

I’m really stoked because this climbing in-thing was old DAY ONE, and my right thumb has been annoyingly hurting from having to push open the door twice a day. Batman says I’m being lazy and to use my other hand, but I tell him to SHUT UP because I have to climb in through the passenger side to open my driver’s side to then climb back out and walk around while he has the luxury of just stepping in. I’m not being lazy. I’m being punished. For being a terrible driver and maybe cutting off people when I shouldn’t have. Or, I angered the car gods, but I did that a long time ago. I should’ve known when the rear-view mirror fell off mid-drive. Why are parts of my cars falling off? Is it because they’ve all been old, or am I a human car-leper virus?

Anyway, I’m excited 😊 Honestly, I need a new car. The only reason I have this 2005 beauty is because I was t-boned in 2009, and she was my replacement. Sure, she’s shut-down on me multiple times and yeah, occasionally…I’ve wondered if she might blow up, but we’re both still here. She just keeps going. Still, I need to get somewhat of a more reliable ride and (I’ve said this before but it merits repeating) until riding unicorns or llamas or ostriches become socially acceptable ways to travel to work, a new vehicle it is.

So, why wait?

Heh.

Well, Georgie is still technically running. (Yes, that’s her name. Shut up). I’ve had her since 2009, so it’s been a decade with the old girl, and we’ve shared a lot of memories. Plus, she’s the first SUV I’ve had, and the fact that she hasn’t given up makes me wonder how much life she’s got left. I could still squeeze out a few more years from her. Also, cars are expensive.

There’s this really big thing happening next November—some are calling it the event of the century—and I kind of need to funnel all my money there, and having a new monthly payment would cut into that. Pretty much reason number two old Georgie isn’t facing the chopping block. But again, NEW DOOR HANDLE GUYS 😊 She’ll be a spring chicken again. That part at least.

In other news, Artemis is still alive, and Batman and I received our save the dates in the mail! A THOUSAND smiley faces!!!

I’d show them – I kind of want to – but the whole privacy thing is kind of a big deal with us. Especially Batman. Hence I refer to him as Batman on this blog (his request) and he doesn’t even like when I put up pictures of him. So, to respect his/our privacy, I will simply leave you with this:

They’re awesome and I love them.

I’m going to keep Artemis alive. Because look, look at that leaf growth! :

She’s thriving my friends, thriving. The next part is planting her, which I have no idea how to do. I’m told it’s simple, but I can over complicate things, and I would *really* hate to be the reason she died during transportation. So I’m going to make Batman do it.

Remember, when you read next week’s post, it will be written by a person with a driver’s side door handle. I will be one of you all again.

Enjoy your week!

Writing For My Readers

I was going to write a prequel short story for the fresh.ink thing I talked about last post. Since I’m working on the last book in my series, I figured a good prequel piece might be a nice segway into the series for new readers. I got a few paragraphs in and decided…nope. Ain’t nothing short story about it.

I always intended to write Sampson as a separate full novel prequel, but it’s going to take time. More time than a month to write, edit, rewrite, reedit and then rewrite and reedit again. Plus, I’m looking to gain fans (not the prize, though that’d be nice) and I don’t want to offer something slapped together. (Boo!) So, after much debate while staring at my cubicle wall, I think I’m going to submit something else. Is it a winning entry? Probably not. But I worked on it for over a year, I like the characters, I like the story, and it speaks to my interests: fantasy, romance, suspense, and high stakes. So, I’m going to submit my fantasy YA romance: Rozmarie & Josiah.

This is the WIP I pitched at the Writers Digest Conference in 2015. Spoiler alert: I did not score an agent or publisher with this book. But that’s okay. As I’ve learned (and have to continue learning) the goal is not to score representation. The goal is get an audience. Find my readers. Find my reading tribe, because that’s the point of an agent/publisher. Distribution. I’m terrible at it which is why I’m terrible at self-publishing, but as long as I remember what I really need to be doing, maybe I won’t feel like I’m banging my head against a wall over and over.

I’m writing for my readers. I’m writing for my readers.

Just need to find them…

In other news, I have an avocado plant! And it’s STILL alive! Everyone, meet Artemis:

Artemis comes to us from Batman’s mom, who has five or six herself. After admiring them, I was offered one (even though I have a famously black thumb) and some four/five weeks later, she’s still growing strong. Because I don’t want the Happening to happen, I talk to Artemis, sing to her a little and compliment her leaf growth. The goal is to keep her alive. And maybe, seven years from now, she’ll gift me with an avocado 😊

Alright, off to go write…or read…or play with Appa…or sing to Artemis…or binge watch Big Mouth on Netflix. Or all of the above. The thrills never stop over here.

Enjoy your week!

See My Dilemma? #IWSG

Here’s my dilemma:

  • Focus on one project (work is done quicker, but reaches fewer people)
  • Focus on multiple projects (takes longer for each piece to finish, but reaches more people)

Focusing on one thing (like, say, writing an epic saga of a book) can still take forever. I should know. I’m still writing the first draft of RTD, and I started late last year. I should be around done with it by now (or at least close to it) but I’m not. Because it’s a monster and there’s sooo much to it. I’m focusing all my creative energy on finishing it, but in doing so, I’m not entering any contests, writing short stories or extra pieces. I’m not getting other work out there. See my dilemma?

Do I stretch myself thin by working on multiple projects so I can reach more people, or keep steady so I can finish the damn book to complete the series? Which makes more sense?

*pulls out hair*

I’m seriously considering doing the NL (newsletter) again. I know. I know. I sort of didn’t follow through with it last time, but I was way overwhelmed, it was confusing to my dumb non-tech brain, and I didn’t see the benefit. What’s changed? Not a bunch, but I think it’s probably pretty necessary at this point. Just being honest. I’m not a big fan of NLs, so having my own is foreign, but as I’ve learned lurking in FB writing groups, it’s a necessity in this business. I have to get one. But it’s okay, because I have stuff I can share. Plus, I like to think my dumb-tech brain has gotten a little smarter (it hasn’t. I just like to pretend).

I’m thinking of doing a quarterly NL—what do you think? Some opt for monthly, or a few times a month. That’s too much. As a writer and reader, too much. A little update four times a year should be plenty, right? Anything more, and we’re on stalking terms, especially since I maintain this lovely blog with fresh content every Wednesday.

In other super-related news, I stumbled upon a writing contest (I get notifications for them constantly, but don’t participate because…read dilemma above). Although there’s a monetary prize, this contest offers something better: targeted audience. Actual BETA READERS in your genre! It’s a new site with a program that connects writers with their intended audience, and potentially permanent beta readers. As a kickoff, they’re launching contests (novels, novellas, short stories) across all genres, and will match readers interested in that genre to judge. HOW COOL IS THAT? It’s called fresh.ink. Check it out! 😊

Please offer dilemma and NL insights—I’m open and welcome to it all.

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.