All the Reasons

My excuse is I’ve been writing.

Probably not a great excuse (even from a writer) but it’s true. I’ve been writing a lot. A LOT. Was any of it a blog or the newsletter I needed to send out? Nah, because that would make too much sense. I’m apparently sabotaging myself simply because I’m too excited to write this second book. So, there you go. All the reasons for all the failures BUT I do have some news:

First, check out these bananas:

I can’t believe these were just sitting in Walmart next to all the normal-sized bananas and no one wanted to buy them. Um—hello? Are we not all aware of how amazingly phallic these are? I did, so I bought them and brought one into work last Friday because I’m mentally ten years old and wanted to have some fun.

Second, I have the scoop on the missing chicken. Didn’t know the chicken was missing? Good for you, because it’s been hard to find in nearby grocery stores for us. Normally, they only have the thighs and wings and things I’m not quite sure how to cook. But I like chicken breasts and apparently, they are a hot commodity because the RESTAURANTS ARE BUYING THEM ALL. Yep. A talkative Walmart employee spilled the beans—how gas prices are ridiculously high, so instead of buying wholesale from their distributor, restaurants are finding it’s cheaper to purchase from local supermarkets, robbing us consumers, and hence, all the chicken is gone. Because of politics.

 I try to keep politics out of this blog but I’m afraid that time has come, my friends. Politics (sadly) is tied to almost everything in our daily lives; I just never thought it’d be tied to the amount of chicken I can buy. CHICKEN. So, there’s that.

Third (and possibly the best, although the phallic bananas might be my favorite…) I witnessed a real-life, in-person movie kiss. Now, for a romance writer, this is pretty dope. I saw something that I write about in my stories, so to see it happen in real life—in reality—was just frigging awesome.

It was after a long day that left me literally twitching (IT spent thirty minutes trying to correct my monitor display sizes only to leave the contents on my right screen shaking, thus, leaving me with a twitchy eye and likely future bouts of epilepsy) and after getting on the interstate to find myself in the SECOND horrendous traffic jam that week, I opted to take a side road I normally don’t. But fuck it. I’d rather explore new routes than sit in a sea of headlights and feel myself slowly dying. It was down the side street that new traffic forced me to slow to a crawl in a residential area, and that’s when I spotted the couple.

She was a student—maybe college—with a purple backpack, curly brown hair, and a bike she seemed proud of. He stood almost a foot taller and had big ears with some jersey on. I had my windows up, so I couldn’t hear what they were saying, but it didn’t matter. They were talking, and the next second, he brought both hands to the side of her face and planted one on her for all rush-hour traffic to see. Her shoulders slumped in giddiness, like she couldn’t believe it.

I couldn’t believe it. Kind of made all the traffic and eye-twitching worth it. If anything, definitely inspiration for future books because love does exist.

Sorry for the long post but wanted to keep you guys up to date with all the major life situations currently occurring. At least, the ones I feel comfortable writing about on this blog. I’m still in shock (not really) that there’s a war over chicken breasts, that bananas can be so…generous, and that I was able to witness a real-life movie-kiss.

Also, a LOT of writing has gotten done, but who cares about that?

Not me.

~ Lady Caitlin

The Recent Highlights

I’m writing this last-minute (literally the night before) because I felt crappy missing another post. As I keep saying, no news is good news, but it also makes for a shitty blog. I need to talk about something, and since ARPIP is still on the same track, work is still asking almost ten hours of me each day, I figured it might be best to skip this week too. The only thing of note are the two seizures Appa had on Sunday, and I kind of don’t like thinking about them.

So, since we have practically no news, I’m going to bullet-point the recent highlights:

Yes, Appa had back-to-back seizures, but he’s doing fine now. I think. I’m not really sure since he hasn’t learned English yet, so he can’t tell me what’s causing them. Or how he feels.

The unicorn-silver hair keeps sparkling its way through my chocolate-brown locks, and part of me wants to pluck them all out. I don’t, but I stare at myself in the mirror for a while thinking about it.

No, I haven’t seen Maverick, and I won’t. Tom Cruise. Yuck.

I won two dollars off a lottery scratch-off and instead of cashing them in, I bought two more lottery scratch-offs and won a dollar. I’m not sure what to do this round.

Regis thinks the mirror in my office is a portal. I keep a decorative one on the floor because Batman hasn’t put it up yet, and every time the dog sees it, she gets hypnotized and won’t move, like she’s stuck in it. Sometimes, it freaks me out because what if it is a magic portal…?

I tried one of the best donuts I’ve ever had. It was French-toast flavored and flaky like a croissant and the shop is literally down the street from my house. This is how it feels to be introduced to heroin.

We’re hosting a Mortal Kombat/90s party this weekend. If I don’t post a picture, just imagine overalls, platform shoes, chokers, and butterfly clips. I’ll be wearing them all (but no bangs. Not this time).

Those are the highlights. Maybe next week I’ll win the real lottery, but that seems far-fetched since I don’t play it. But…you never know. A girl can dream and pray and be delusional.

It’s our right.

~ Lady Caitlin

A Lot of Content

I’m keeping this one short because 1) I lost track of time again (yes with a three-day weekend, but I was busy and working on other stuff. Shut up) and 2) not a lot of updates with writing or life (also hence my absence last week).

Writing-wise, this is what I’m thinking:

Finish AT LEAST the first draft of book 2 before I start advertising/choose a release date for book 1.

Eh?

Good plan? Bad plan?

I hear a lot of arguments for both sides, but I feel like the more I write before I release book 1—the better. I wrote and published all three of the Better Than This series in 2018 and it was AWFUL. My job at the time didn’t help, but it was just too much going on at once (not to mention financially) and I don’t want to go through that again, which is why I’m considering having the second book written while I market and release the first. Maybe even have the third one written? I don’t know. But, just know I’m working on a lot of content coming your way!

Non-writing-wise, everything is pretty much the same. I haven’t won the lottery, I haven’t bumped into Chris Pratt (boo!) and I haven’t become the best-selling author you and I both know I will one day be. But it takes time with these things, you know? Until then, I’m being patient. Growing out my silver-unicorn hair and taking it one day at a time, like we’re supposed to.

Hopefully, I’ll spring back to life for next week’s post, but, that’s like seven days away, so who knows.

Guess we’ll see.

Let the suspense commence…

~

Lady Caitlin

All The Things

All good things come to an end. At least, on one platform.

Those 8,900 views ended up reaching close to 12,500 (I think?) before the platform, Radish, removed my story for violating policy.

  1. HAHA still a rebel. Defying policies and fighting authority since birth (and emphasized during the Great Condom Heist in college).
  2. BOOOOO for removing content that wasn’t checked beforehand. Plus, they spotlighted my book for a promotion so it’s really on them.
  3. The violation was due to explicit scenes with minors. They were 17. Grow up.

I was making a few bucks daily on this site and thought…okay…there might be something here. And then today, I got the email about the audit and them plucking my story from their platform. Goodbye 59 subscribers and daily profits. This blows. Bright side? I gained a little traction, so those 59 subscribers at least heard of me and it boosted my sales on Amazon for a few days, so not all a loss.

Does suck though. But, as I’ve learned over and over (and over and over…) everything happens for a reason. Everything. Even if it’s a closed door/window/opportunity, it was closed for a reason. That’s not the direction to look or go anymore; now it’s been shifted to something else. So, I took a minute to be sad about Radish’s stupid BS, and now I’m over it. Maybe I was on there long enough to serve my purpose which was gaining a new Patreon subscriber! Woo-hoo! Now I need to remember to be working on that again as well!

All the things.

Also, I missed sending out my May newsletter. I know, I know. Normally, it covers the same information in my blog with a little treat, like a snippet from an upcoming release, and I failed in sending it out this month because:

  1. I mismanaged my time and the 15th has come and gone…
  2. Nothing big to report, except that I’m not releasing APIP next month as planned. But anybody who cares about that already knows.

I thought about sending out a newsletter later this month but think I’m just going to roll to June 15th. Any info you need to know will be in my blog, or, you can ask.

NO, I don’t know when I’m releasing APIP but I’m hoping for November/December. Not sure it’s a good time to release something because everyone is preoccupied with the holidsays. Right? Do you ignore treats for yourself (like reading) around the holidays BECAUSE you have so much going on – or – do you indulge yourself with treats (like reading) around the holidays BECAUSE you need that escape?

*taps fingers expectantly waiting for answers*

Actually curious because this may affect the release date…

~ Lady Caitlin

The Puzzle Solved

Earlier this year I signed up for a serialized fiction platform, Radish. Remember? I barely remember because it’s a platform that I rarely check. I’ve had the same 78 views since February with no comments, no subscribers, and no traction. I probably glance at the thing once or twice a month. Well, last week they emailed saying Better Than This would be featured as a free book on their Free-Book-Friday promotion. Okay, cool. Last time they highlighted BTT with a promotion…still sat at the same 78 views, no subscribers. No traction. No big deal.

Guess this one was different. I checked early Friday – still nothing. I checked Sunday morning and I had 8,900 views. WHAT. WWWWHHHHAAATTTT. Of all the combined platforms I’ve been on, this is the first one that’s pushed over 1,000 views. And in two days? WHAT. Also got me 60 new subscribers.

It’s weird because I didn’t actually do anything. Literally. I signed up for Radish at the beginning of the year, uploaded the series and kind of…waited. I applied for a previous promotion and it didn’t do crap. Now I know if people want to read my books, I should give them away. That, or apply for promos making them free. Aha, the puzzle solved.

It kinda jumpstarted me to get things going. I’ve already pushed back the release date of ARPIP until some point (when I can get my ducks in a row for a semi-successful launch / not have wandering ducks with the same lackluster launch) but it means updating my books with all new backmatter, revising prices, getting the newsletter going (…having more than 9 subscribers…) and working with other authors. Not to mention finish editing ARPIP and writing AROG.

I don’t know…something about seeing the 8,900 views was like having an angel pat me on the back saying. “See? You can do this. It’ll take some time and energy…but you can do this.”

Thanks, Angel.

How are you? Did you have a nice weekend? I had a lovely one with my mom, sister, nephew, and Batman. We explored the city, had many delicious meals, and even more drinks. It’s how I like celebrating a holiday. Other than that—and the increase of views/subscribers—everything is still the same. Still growing pretty new silver strands and Batman keeps reminding me I’m older. Because he’s evil. Because he thinks that makes me a cougar…even if he’s only six months behind me.

Anyway, all is well here. Better than well, actually – I got 8,900 views!!! This will probably be my highlight for the rest of the year, so apologizes if I refer to it often. But when good things happen, you got to celebrate, right?

Yeah, you do.

Cheers!

~ Lady Caitlin

The Inevitable Question

I missed last week.

I know. I know.

I told myself (and you, silently, in my head) that I wouldn’t miss another post unless there was a DIRE EMERGENCY kind of situation, because how long does it take to write a few-paragraphs-long post? The answer is not very long. At all. The thing—if you’re skilled at writing totally awesome posts like I am—only takes a little bit of time. Maybe an hour. Probably less. So, how can I not find one tiny (maybe less) hour in my day to write the weekly blog, right?

I know. I planned poorly and did not underestimate the amount of energy my day-job would suck out of me because missing last week’s post is inexcusable, especially since I had this great theme about how all the hair on my head is slowly starting to betray me, and turn unicorn-silver. It was more a cathartic post for me to come to terms with the fact that I’m getting a new hair color, but I realized something even more important, something about my newest book…

Brace yourself (or don’t)—

I’m pushing back the release date of A Royal Pairing in Perish.

*GASP*

I know. I know.

I didn’t want to do it either, but I need to. I’m just not ready or even close to releasing a book next month. Because yeah, I can literally go and ‘publish’ the thing, but I really want to do this differently. I want to really try this time, and I feel leaps and bounds behind where I should be for launch-day. I’m following my gut, and it’s saying I have good intentions, but my timing is off. Way off, which leads to the inevitable question:

When am I planning to release?

Great question! I’d love to answer that, but the jury is still out, and I’m not sure when those fools are returning. I’d like to say by the end of the year (and could still be the case) but I’m just not sure. I’m taking a big step back so I can do this smart and I know you guys will support me because 1) you normally do and 2) I only hear from like, three of you, and it’s all been supportive.

Thanks for taking it so well, guys. And thanks for the initial vent on all the unicorn-silvers coming through. They used to be buried in a sea of luscious brown, but now they’re sparkling like diamond, gossamer strands. Very much on the fence about dying them.

Thoughts?

On anything?

~ Lady Caitlin

Just…No News

Here we are—4/20

Sadly (and very disappointingly) this post does NOT have to do with the magical wonders of this most celebrated holiday. Like last week and possibly the week before (or is that when we visited the castle-fort?) nothing major has happened. Other than Gilbert Gottfried passing (RIP Iago) life has carried on like life should carry on, pretty much the same. No big news, no small news. Just…no news…which tends to be good news, apparently.

I’m still working on edits for APIP and am chugging right along with it. Why do I write such long books? Why? If this was a bit more normal, I could see the finish line. But, I’m about ten to fifteen thousand words over what the “ideal” word count is, so I’ve still got a ways to go. It’s probably what I’m doing now—going through the manuscript and cutting out unnecessary words. Taking the old axe to the baby. Slicing and dicing her up. Got to love the editing stage.

And I do, but I love the writing stage more. Now that I’ve allowed myself to write AROG only on the weekends, I’m more excited for them. (As if you can be more excited for weekends…) But I am! I love fine-tuning ARPIP, but with AROG, I’m seeing everything for the first time. And even new scenes pop up that weren’t on the outline. It’s exciting!

Non-writing related, everything is good. Batman’s good. Dogs are good. House is good. I’m afraid to knock on wood but I’d feel a bit anxious if I didn’t. So, there. Wood has officially been knocked on. Gonna keep this positive vibe going as long as possible.

Hope all is well with you, and that you’re able to knock on wood too.

Alright, off to edit ARPIP. Until Friday, that is.

Since Friday evening is *technically* part of the weekend, I can work on AROG to my heart’s content. Just following the rules.

~ Lady Caitlin

This Good Peaceful Feeling

I’ve got nothing exciting for you this week. We didn’t see a magical fort or travel to a cool city or celebrate anything for Batman (or me). I cleaned all weekend and worked all week. It’s been very adult and very boring and unfortunately, that’s how it goes sometimes.

But things are good. Even with the extended hours at work, I’m still able to come home and have enough mental energy to work on edits. I don’t get more than a few pages done, but it all adds up. And if I do it every day during the week, I’ll knock out these edits in no time. A huge part of me wants to work on AROG, but I’m saving that for the weekend. Working on the ARPIP edits during the week earns me a couple free writing hours on Saturday and Sunday for AROG. Plus, it lets me work on both simultaneously, so win-win there.

Batman is good. Dogs are good. Laundry is done and both bathrooms are cleaned. Actually, I feel pretty ahead for the moment, so I’m going to soak it in. Also, I have heaps of advertising to do and a mountain of anxiety behind it, so I’m going to pretend that doesn’t exist for a bit. Just going to enjoy this good, peaceful feeling for a little bit longer.

But soon…

I have a newsletter coming out on Friday, edits to do on book 1 and writing to do on book 2, so I’m off to work on the next project—whatever it is. But it’s got to be one of them, huh? Man, I really need to work on getting a clone. We’d get so much done together.

Maybe next week will be more exciting. Or the same. I’m honestly fine with either.

~ Lady Caitlin

Pretty Fricking Dope

Batman turned thirty-six. High-five to the best husband for keeping himself alive over three decades and still being able to keep up with the housework. Well, sometimes.

To celebrate, we took a weekend trip to Amelia Island. It’s only a little over an hour away, but we stayed Friday and Saturday night to give ourselves plenty of time to explore all the nifty thrifty places, the main downtown scene, and my personal favorite, Fort Clinch.

Have you ever been to a fort? It’s like going back in time without having to give up deodorant. We have one in St. Augustine which is around forty-five minutes away, and that one is pretty impressive too, but Fort Clinch was straight up magical. Not only does it overlook the Atlantic Ocean, but the outer ring (?) had so many little stone archways and twists and turns, I was for sure Lancelot was about to pop out of one of them. And then, the most magical thing happened. I found this:

I’m a sucker for stone stairways. I don’t know if it’s because I was obsessed with Prince of Thieves as a kid (remember when Kevin Costner was trying to race up those stone steps?) and I’ve even incorporated the environment into different stories like Rozmarie & Josiah. I LOVE twisty stone stairways. So, naturally, I ran right up, completely expecting to find a Go-No-Further sign, but there was none. None! I kept ascending until I reached the very top:

Magic. How else to describe finding a twisty-turny stone stairwell? It might not be a big deal, but it was like walking into one of my stories, like watching it come to life around me. Pretty fricking dope.

Batman had a good time, and after a long-awaited couples massage, we explored the city until the weather had other plans for us. All in all, it was a great weekend.

Writing-wise, I feel severely behind schedule and even contemplated about pushing back the release date. I should be advertising like, now, and I’m still working on the edits. At least I’ve revealed my cover, but it doesn’t do me much if I have no idea how to market the thing. Yes, I should’ve been figuring it out this whole time, but I’m also writing book two, have a full time job that’s recently demanded longer shifts, and, to be honest, the whole thing is terrifyingly overwhelming. I was hoping the newsletter might help, but I really just need to learn advertising. And how to successfully launch this book, which, unless I figure it out quickly, will be launched the same as all the rest. But, who knows? Maybe I’ll get my act together with the AROG, because I really want to release ARPIP in June.

You guys want that too…right?

Feeling anxious…

Just need to breathe and concentrate on the spiral stone stairway. I’ve got this.

~Lady Caitlin

More pictures of the magic because…why not?

Cover Reveal Time

Here we are, folks. Cover reveal time.

I thought about putting it in the newsletter, but then I’d have to wait until at least 4/15, and I’m pretty sure I said last week I’d do it this week and I don’t want to make a liar of past-Caitlin. Besides, there’s no reason to wait anymore. I got to get this thing going, and it all starts with peeling back the curtain so you can see it first.

Here we are, the cover for APIP, the first book in The Coyote & The Claw series, an urban romantic fantasy featuring superheroes:

Ay? Ay?

You like it? Hope so, because I’m not changing it. Haha—but seriously. This is it. I went back and forth with the original purple, but I think this version captures the D.C. mood I’m attempting to replicate (Detective Comics. Not the capital…) I wanted it to have a darker, noir-feel, and between the two options, I really think this one is it.

Whew.

Cover reveal DONE! Checkmark and thank you. Wow. Okay, well that feels good. Now I can move forward with the next phase of this thing since any sort of marketing seemed quite impossible without a cover. But no more worries on that front. They can all shift to the marketing and the advertisements I need to work on now. That, and still editing the book…

Yep. I’m cheating on myself…with myself. I’m supposed to be editing ARPIP. I need to, and I know this. This should be my primary focus and goal, and it is…but so is writing AROG. Every time I block off time to edit, I sneak a peek at the other WIP and figure writing one to two more paragraphs won’t hurt. That turns into five or six, and then half a page, and then I’m reviewing previous chapters to check something, and then Appa is nudging me to come to bed and all my time is gone. It’s not great since I’m literally the only one who can edit this thing. And with each passing day, my window is getting smaller and smaller if I still want to make my June release date. And I do. I’m just saying it’d be great if I had a clone, because I’d use her strictly to edit. That way, I could just write. We’d get so much done.

First part: write the book – check

Second part: edit the book—meh, still working on it

Third part: create a cover—check

Two out of three ain’t bad. I’m working on the last one, and I PROMISE I will get it done. I’ll hit a road-bump in my WIP, and will switch back to editing. But whatever works, right?

~ Lady Caitlin