Hustling Status

See my newsletter? Meh? Not too shabby…I mean, for someone completely (sort of) starting out. You can say it: you liked that badass logo, that specifically selected color palette, and that link that led to a FREEBIE (because I know how to do that now). All me, baby. Oh, yeah. Amateur at its finest.

I’d like to say I winged it, but that is quite laughably far from the truth. Mailerlite (the newsletter service I’m using) offers these amazing tutorials that help technology-challenged people like me learn with idiot-proof videos. Huzzah! There IS hope for the dim-witted! I haven’t gotten through all of the tutorials yet, but it’s on my to-do list. Actually, there are about a thousand million-things on my to-do list right now, and I feel like as long as I check off one little thing each day, I’m not doing terrible. And that’s my goal at this point: don’t be terrible. I’ve been (mostly) terrible with all this for the past few years, so the goal is to change that. By doing a little everyday, I’m doing more than I did, elevating my “terrible” status to a “hustling” status, and I got to say: it feels good.

Other writing news:

I’m currently working with my cover designer, the fabulous Joleene Naylor, to bring A Royal Pairing in Perish to life visually. I can sort of see it, although some of it’s a bit blurry too, so I’ll have to figure it out here soon. I wonder if most traditionally published authors like having the burden of cover design taken off them, or if they feel they’re losing a huge creative opportunity. I’d feel like it’d be losing an opportunity, but man, a little creative direction would be nice! Of course, that’s what I’ve got Joleene for, but at the end of the day, it’s my choice. My book. My career. My business. It’s kinda important…should probably get it right…

I wish there was more to report, but that would mean more happened in my life and really, that’s not the case. Car is fine (praise the lord!), hubby’s still obsessed with Batman, and the doggos are still the best doggos in the world. Can’t complain.

What about you? What have you been up to this week? Do you have a thousand-million things on your to-do list like me? How do you handle it/get everything done and not lose your mind?

Share your secrets with me…I am royalty.

~Lady Caitlin

Newsletter Island

So…the plan—the PLAN—is to send out this year’s first newsletter on Saturday. Woot! Are you ready? I should probably be ready. I should probably work on it this week since I’ll be sending it out on 1/15 so… with that in mind, I’m keeping this post short. As in super-short. As in, barely a post at all. Since last week was the *big* announcement, we’ll call this one a bridge to next week with an awesome newsletter island in the middle.

Are you signed up? Would you like to be? In addition to my not-as-annoying pop up as before, you can sign up on my sign-up form, which should* be working. But again, it’s me, so we’ll see.

Alright guys, I’ve got nothing much for you right now. I’m on the cusp of getting my beta reader edits back, so every part of me is consumed with that—and realizing I will be even more poor (how is that possible?!) when this book is finally done because damn it takes money to make money. But at least I have my editor booked, and that sweet relief is enough.

Hope to see you in my newsletter on Saturday! Or not. Again, I’ll have no idea unless you sign up and actually open it (we have ways to know…muahahaha…) but you still might not even read it. It’s all good. (Probably just much more of me rambling anyway…) But still – yay for things happening and boo for being poor! I’m feeling all the emotions, guys.

2022 is off to a great start.

~ Lady Caitlin

*If the signup form isn’t working…please let me know. Thanks!

A Big Year

To think I almost missed this post because I put it off to do other important writerly things. Guys – it’s the first blog of the year. OF THE YEAR. Can’t miss this one.

I’ve got big plans for this year, and the plan is to stick to them. Releasing book one, writing book two, being a somebody on the indie-author scene instead of the creepy lurker I’ve grown accustomed to. All the things. I’m even breathing life into my newsletter WHICH I WILL BE CONSISTENT WITH. I have to yell at myself because no one else will and I need disciple.

TCATC is out to a handful of beta readers, and I’m only slightly nauseated in getting the feedback. I’m also throwing around the idea of how I want to title the book. The *series* is The Coyote and The Claw, but book one is A Royal Pairing in Perish. But do I want to highlight the series title, or use the individual book’s name? And how should I put them on the cover? Which one should be larger? Series title or book title? These are the CEO decisions I get to make. Just wish I would’ve paid more attention in art class.

Other big, huge, impossibly AWESOME news: my books are available in paperback! WHAT? RIGHT? YESSS. *Santa waved his magic wand/blew his fairy dust (whatever he does) and now I have physical copies of all those insane words. Proof:

Ignore the weird expression/background/adorable dogs (actually you can look at them. How could you not?)

I can literally hold my art. This is just…beyond awesome.

See? Things are changing. They’re improving. Just like my website…which will be worked on since I glanced at it yesterday and…no. BWHAHAHA no. It’s not terrible, but a bit of a revamp is needed, which has been added to my 2022 Kick Ass Writer list of things to do. But when to get to all these things? Your guess is as good as mine seeing as I have a fulltime job, a hubby who craves attention, and two dogs that think I’m only here to play fetch and give the ear-rubbies and neck-scratchies (which, let’s be honest, *probably* is my true calling). There’s so very little time in the day, and I guess I’ll have to start foregoing my sleep to get everything done. Who cares if I have huge, ugly bags under my eyes? Not me. I barely glance at myself in the mirror. Hubs has to look at me, and that fool already married me, so joke is on him.

There will always be new things to report/advertise/celebrate, but for right now, I think the paperbacks and the fact that I will be foregoing sleep to get all this done is newsworthy enough for this post—the FIRST post of 2022.

This is going to be a big year, guys. Can you feel it? You should. Feel the shift because it is COMING.

Dude—it’s already here.

Happy 2022!

~ Lady Caitlin

*Thanks for being the most awesome Santa, Mamabear

Aaaannnnddd for further proof of the awesomeness:

Too Excited To Be Scared

I’ve been keeping a giant Tupperware container in the fridge at work for over a week and I’m afraid to take it home. They’ll know it was me. That I’ve been taking up all the space (during the holiday week…) when it could’ve been used for all the other goodies. But I keep forgetting it’s there. Every day I leave, and every morning when I put my new lunch in there, I see the giant plastic bin of grossness with food and I think eww.

I think I’m just going to throw it away. It’s been in there for over a week and I really don’t want to smell it. I just don’t want to be seen throwing it away because they’ll FOR SURE know it was me and I’m still trying to make friends. Also, it’s the last of the original Tupperwares, so it’s probably time to toss the thing. Just can’t be caught when it goes down…

How was your holiday? Enjoyable? Stressful? Somewhere in the middle? Mine was great! Batman won Christmas this year because look at this:

Like, seriously. The candle alone proves he won. He could’ve gotten me this one thing and he still would’ve come out the victor. I’d never tell him this because then I’d literally only get the candle every year, and since he stopped reading this *amazing* blog years ago, he’ll never know. BWHAHAHA.

Writing News:

In my journey to actually do something with my writing, I applied for and got accepted to Radish – woot! What is Radish besides some small red vegetable? (Or is it a fruit? I don’t know…) Radish is a serialized platform that caters mostly to the romance genre, and readers pay per chapter. Kind of like sampling the book little by little instead of reading the whole thing. You can stop at any point and not continue…or you can keep going to the end. Some writers release a chapter a day, some every few days, and apparently, serialized platforms are *very* popular right now, so, I threw my name in the hat and actually got accepted. What?!  Seriously?!?

Yesssss.

I applied with my Better Than This Series, and the first chapter of the first book goes up today. Double woot! You can check it out, or check out Radish in general: here.

Other big news: beta reader copies are being distributed next week. NEXT WEEK GUYS. OMG. People—besides me and my laptop—are going to be aware of the story I’ve been writing for well over a year. I started May 2020 and here we are December 2021 with a *completely* different story, but one I love 1000 times more. I’m stoked, guys. I really am. All the nerves and terror are there (and I don’t think they’ll ever leave) but I’m pushing through. I’m too excited to be scared this time.

Next thing to work on is my newsletter because I’m realllllllly going to make it work this year. I need to. And I want to. It’s all about cultivating a fan base, right? Because if you have one of those, it helps to sell more books (which is the end game, folks.)

So, we’ve got Radish, beta readers, and a newsletter I will be Frankenstein-ing back to life. All the things, people. I’m doing all the things.

Well, this is our last chat in 2021. I hope you stick around for all the excitement in 2022, and I hope you have a fabulous time bringing in the new year!

~ Lady Caitlin

P.S. I finally threw the Tupperware out. There was no other way

A Very Happy Holiday

Woops! A day late. Let’s try this again…

I’m going to keep this one short. Mostly because I’m sure you have lots to do this week (it’s Christmas!) but also, I have very little to share. (Actually, that’s not true. I have lots to share, like going to the dentist because my wisdom tooth is trying to kill me, and driving to work with a deflating tire because I didn’t have time to get it patched until the weekend. Oh, yes. Exciting things. But no one wants to hear about that.)

Seriously, all is well. The wisdom tooth hasn’t killed me—THOUGH IT IS TRYING—but that adventure will roll into 2022, so, cross your fingers I survive the nightmare I’ve been putting off for years (and the pain I’ve been ignoring the last few months). My car is fine and Batman pumped it full of air multiple times, but I always have flashbacks to my previous cars dying on me, some in the middle of the interstate. I’m hoping things will be different with Nix.

Book-wise, everything is good. Again, lots to share, but too much for one sit down. Though, I am kinda excited about one thing, and I want to tell you. But then I’m nervous/confused about half a dozen other things, so we’ll just skip the writing segment this week except for one quick little ol’ announcement: Smashwords is having its semi-annual sale, so if you’re interested at reading some pretty A-Okay stories at an even MORE discounted rate, you can do so right here.

*Got to work on sales pitch*

Anyway, wishing you and your family a very happy holiday. We’ll see who wins Christmas this year in our household—me or Batman. Normally, I win with the present exchange, but I’m thinking I’ve done better in previous years. This one was tough. Maybe it’s finally the caped crusaders turn for victory.

We’ll see come Saturday morning.

Enjoy!

~ Lady Caitlin

P.S. I’m still totally going to win

Doing This At My Pace

It’s getting serious. It has to, right?

I could write and write and keep everything all to myself and my laptop (which I should name since I name most things and we’ve been through a lot together) and it could be a secret between only us. Pretty much what I’ve been doing with every other book I’ve published. It’s been me, the nameless laptop, and a handful of people (to whom I’ve mentioned its release) who know the story and that’s it. Hence zero sales. Hence limited *cough* no *cough* success.

NO MORE.

I’ve officially booked a date in early January for beta readers. This is through a service, and I feel better about letting them connect me with willing beta readers rather than politely tap on a friend’s shoulder and sorta kinda maybe see if they’d *possibly* be interested in reading this 110K book I wrote which could be complete garbage and is, by the way, super long. Course, if you’re out there in cyberspace and do want to beta read for me (and I know you in some way/know you won’t steal my work) then let me know. I’d love more feedback.

I ALSO BOOKED AN ARC DATE.

*mind exploding*

What does that mean and why is my mind exploding? Great questions. Well, basically, (sort of officially) it cements the fact that I’ll be publishing TCATC next year (woot!) because I’m asking people (again, through a service) to be an Advanced Reader and supplying them with a Copy of my book before it’s officially published. Basically, I’m asking people to review my book prior to its publication date, so it has reviews and isn’t sitting out there all lonely and cold and lame. Based on the ARC date that I selected, I’m publishing a week later which means, ladies and gentlemen, we’re looking at June 27th 2022 for this gal’s release of The Coyote and The Claw – A Royal Pairing in Perish.

*Tosses confetti*

*Carefully pops champagne bottle*

*Does adorable but very awkward dance moves*

Yes, I am still leaps and bounds behind where I should be (authors are advertising their second book in the backmatter of their first and I haven’t even written the second book…) but it’s all good. I’m doing this at my pace, and want to put out quality work so, I’m not rushing. But, it’s been the fear of doing it wrong that’s kept me from even trying. To quote a great woman despite the nonsensicalness I’ve seen around the interwebs lately:

“It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all, in which case, you fail by default.” ~ JK Rowling

Microphone drop.

Gotta do what I can, in the best way I can. And right now, that means releasing the first book in my next series in June, and hoping to have the second book out by the end of the year if not early 2023. Seems like a reasonable and attainable goal, and I am on board for both of those things.

Hoping you are having a fabulous week (and month and year and life cycle…) and that you’ve murdered zero people in response to any holiday stress. Go you!

Until our next date,

~ Lady Caitlin

Stay Tuned

I ended up telling a bunch of people about my poor experience at FDC, one of them being a coworker. I don’t like confrontation (as has been previously voiced) so my response to being ignored at a rich, fancy restaurant is to steam silently, tell everyone I know, and do absolutely nothing. A few people said I should write a review, but I like to put unfavorable experiences behind me. No use dwelling because I’ll only end up spoiling the present moment.

My coworker wasn’t having it. She went onto their site, completed a comment form, and wrote down exactly what happened. I didn’t ask her to, but she was infuriated on my behalf, and it was fun to waste twenty minutes at work talking crap about FDC. (I do love my job).

Guess what came in the mail the other day?

A gift card for two free dinners.

Batman and I swore we’d never go back, never give them anymore of our money.

But…

These are free delicious dinners with people carrying around slabs of steak and there’s a station of CANDIED BACON. CANDIED BACON, guys. Come on. Not sure I can ignore free candied bacon. That seems almost…sacrilegious. So, the question is, do we return in the new year and take advantage of our two free delicious dinners with the off-chance they remember us (probably not) and will therefore spit in our food (probably not) because an honest review was left of their crappy service? (Probably not). Or do we go eat candied bacon for free and enjoy it?

*scratches chin*

Yes, I’m an overthinker. Yes, I’m anxious when it comes to these kinds of things. And YES, not only have I seen Waiting with Ryan Reynolds (so I know servers mess with food) but I’ve worked in a restaurant and I KNOW SERVERS MESS WITH FOOD. But if we go in February/March, maybe they won’t remember us/know we’re there because of what happened? Maybe the bitterness of a less-than-stellar anniversary dinner won’t taunt a pleasant spring supper?

I don’t know, guys. Thinking I’m too poor to give up a station of free candied bacon.

Also, in my journey to become a *legit* indie author, I’m researching, like, everything, including my newsletter. You remember that, right? Haha, me too. Memories. Think I mentioned wanting to do one earlier this year, sent out a few and then…nothing…because I didn’t know what I was doing. First, sorry to the handful of you that got my first attempt. MUAHAHA. Apparently, I’ve been doing everything wrong—no surprise there—so I will be trying this again. Not sure how it will affect you, but wanted to give you a heads up that I AM working on it, it WILL one day be absolutely magnificent and you should see some more from me in the new year. So stay tuned for that.

I’ve made other impressive indie-author strides too, but I’ll fill you in on that next week since the free dinner card from FDC is obviously of top priority. Again, free candied bacon. I mean…it’s soooo good…

I’ve taken up too much of your time. Go do something with your life. Be somebody. Make today great and you’ll hear from me next Wednesday.

~ Lady Caitlin

Insecurity Won’t Hold Me Hostage

It was a confidence thing, guys.

Figured it out.

Just don’t think I’m good enough. Or was good enough. Ever feel like that? Like you’re not good enough for the craft that you want to share with the world because no professional is telling you it’s ready, so your own silly mind comes up with reasons why it isn’t, why it likely will never be, and you end up sitting in a dark corner, shaking and crying? Ah yes, the imposter syndrome. It is quite literally the dream-killer. In fact, I’m pretty sure I’m rocking an indelible patch on my skin right next to my Beatles tattoo. Imposter Syndrome. I’m not really a writer, but I like playing one.

THE DEATH OF DREAMS.

Think I’ve been stuck in this mindset for a long time. I’m an imposter at this so there’s no use waving the flag, gathering the attention I’m still uncomfortable with, and making a big deal of myself since I’m just an IMPOSTER. I didn’t want to upset readers with my probable-garbage stories (even though I like them), so it’s fear. Fear I’m putting out subpar work and fear of the reaction regardless. It all boils down to confidence, and feeling like a phony-bologna. But I’m no phony-bologna, I’m telling you. I work at this. Even in my four year indie slumber, I wrote. I wrote everyday (and still do). It’s kind of my vice/addiction/on par with morning coffee: it happens Every. Freaking. Day. And if that’s the case, I have to be at least slightly better than subpar/garbage…right?

RIGHT.

I GOT THIS. I can do this. Even as confusable as I am—I got this. I don’t write garbage. I write masterpieces (this is what I’m telling myself) so the insecurity won’t hold me hostage anymore. I’m getting too old to be tied down by my own bullshit.

First part is realizing the problem. Second part – telling it to f off.

Here we go.

*cracks knuckles*

Lets do this.

~ Lady Caitlin

All the Goals

Apparently, whilst I was in my indie-publishing slumber, there’s been a development of serialized fiction…and it’s popular. What is serialized fiction? Well, instead of paying for the entire book, you pay for each “episode” or chapter, so if you like it, you keep going. If not, you don’t pay for what you don’t want to read. It kind of makes sense. I even remember having this idea a few years ago and thinking, (besides it being an *amazing* idea) that it would be a great thing to do, but there was no platform that offered this (at the time) so I didn’t think of it again.

Guess it’s time to revisit because duuude, are there a lot of platforms. And what’s worse, some of these teenybopper author wannabes are on there making dough. I only call them teenybopper author wannabes because I’ve read some of their stuff and it’s…it’s…it’s not ready. It’s where I was when I was their age, dreaming of figuring out the whole writing thing because WHEN I WAS READY, I’d submit to an agent or try to have it published or whatever. And I still have doubts that I’m not ready, but…but…at least I have some experience under my belt. I’ve written a lot of garbage to get to the less-garbagy stage. I’m not putting out things I thought were great when I was in middle school, like some of these folks are. And THEY’RE MAKING MONEY FROM IT.

*sigh*

I’m not jealous. I’m annoyed. Mostly at myself for being asleep this whole time and not jumping on the passive income bandwagon, because I’ve been on the lookout for that SOB for years.

Can I be honest? I’m still a little scared. I’m on my third draft of TCATC (woot!) and I still think my stuff sounds like crap. But, I’m giving myself some slack. I’ve been working on this story since early last year and it has changed drastically (4 rewrites now?) so in this time frame, I haven’t gone over this version the normal ten times like I would’ve by now. I like this story. I like it so much, but I’m still looking at with goggles from the original draft from last May. Is it good? Is it bad? I can’t tell.

I have at least one beta reader on standby (S- you know who you are) but could use a few more if anyone is interested. If not, totally fine too. I’ve published most of my books with very few eyes on them (other than the editor…obviously) and I think they turned out alright. But I know this is going to be a three-book series of contemporary romance featuring superheroes with the first due next year. Possibly the second as well, but, need to actually write that one first…

I’ve got all the goals. (Hopefully) make some passive income on these serialized fiction apps while focusing on releasing one or *possibly* two books next year. And keeping my confidence through the whole thing. That’s a big one.

Hope everyone has a happy, delicious, and safe week. I wish that for you every week, but especially this one as well. Try not to overload on the turkey or mash potatoes. But if you do, you’ll be the first one asleep and you’ll get out of helping with the dishes.

Win-win.

~ Lady Caitlin

It Did Not Go Well

So, Batman and I went out to a fancy, expensive dinner to celebrate our one-year anniversary. It did not go well.

I’m normally a pretty chill person. I don’t like confrontation, and I don’t like to cause a scene, which is probably why I didn’t respond the way I should’ve when the shift manager came to our table (after being requested) for the second time…since the entire restaurant seemed to have forgotten that we existed.

First, we were sat at the bitch table. You know which one I’m talking about—the “last minute/forgotten/need to squeeze them in” table, even though a reservation was made a week in advance. It was along the wall (where a table shouldn’t be) sandwiched between two larger tables, already making me feel like we weren’t as important. But fine, a table is a table. As long as I’m getting served the same delicious food as everyone else—it’s all good. Except, it wasn’t.

After our (initial?) server came to our table to welcome us, I thought everything would be fine. I explained we were there on our first anniversary, having come a year before on our honeymoon, and she advised we’d be getting a free dessert since we were celebrating something. Very nice. Still very excited. And then she floated away like a petal in the breeze never to be seen from again.

Okay.

Some guy in Glasses asked if we’d like any drinks (never introduced himself). I ordered one glass of red wine, and Batman ordered himself a drink. Glasses left, and we went to the cold salad bar to get some sides and—my personal favorite—the candied bacon station. When we got back to our bitch table, my glass of wine was waiting for me, and we started to eat. Still all good.

Then the clock started ticking. Where was Batman’s drink? And the free little cheese breads? They were good and we were running low, so I wanted more. (This is a fancy place, so if I’m okay asking for more bread at LongHorn, I don’t mind asking for more bread there either. We’re paying for it). Except…there was no one to ask. No one to follow up on Batman’s drink order. No one ever came to our table.

We waited. And waited and waited to the point where we’d finished our sides and already had some of the delicious meat (it’s a Brazilian Steakhouse so people with meat walk around cutting off slices of its amazingness). Like, the meal was more than halfway done and Batman STILL hadn’t gotten his drink while I was working my way toward a second glass of wine. At this point, I decided to flag down the water girl.

After asking if she could send someone to our table, Glasses showed up ANNOYED that we were bothering him since he was clearly working the giant ten-top table behind us. He made me feel like I shouldn’t have bothered him for asking for my second glass of wine and finding out where Batman’s drink was. He disappeared and we NEVER SAW HIM AGAIN.

We waited. And waited and waited to the point where I flagged down the Shift manager (first time) to check on our drinks. I was also wondering where our sides were since our meal included sides (not the cold salad bar) and I completely forgot to ask because by this point, I was extremely disappointed. After cheering myself up with some more candied bacon, I came back to our table and the shift manager brought me my second glass of wine and Batman’s drink. Still no sides.

The giant ten-top table behind us got up, and a team of four employees cleaned the table, reset it, and then sat another table of ten (a bachelor party), Glasses got their drink orders and within that time, NO ONE CAME TO CHECK ON US.

We’d planned on getting dessert (in addition to the complimentary one) and Batman was going to get a second drink. Nope. Not anymore. We wanted to leave. Glasses walked past us like a million times, other parties of two were checked on, some in t-shirts and jeans (Batman and I were dressed up) but no one bothered to come to our table to see how we were doing, if we wanted another drink, dessert, a check, anything.

So, we sat again. Waiting. Batman said we should just leave. Just get up and walk out on the bill because it’s not like they knew were we there anyway. They’d clearly disregarded us, even after telling them we were there for a special occasion. So, after STILL WAITING for ANYONE to come to our table, I ended up flagging down another water girl. Asked to send over the shift manager for the second time—we were ready to leave.

I could’ve gotten ugly. Maybe I should’ve? But when he came over, I told him what happened, how NO ONE ever came to our table and how disappointed we were since we were there celebrating an occasion. He reminded us of our free dessert which we declined because, would we even get it? I said we wanted the check and wanted to go. We didn’t want to spend any more time there. Again, I probably could’ve gotten a little more aggressive with how poorly we were treated but at that point, we just wanted to leave the damn restaurant.

To make up for their poor service, the shift manager comped our meal TEN DOLLARS – the free dessert we would’ve gotten regardless. Oh, and 20% off our next visit. Yeah, like we’ll be returning.

I think about it and I literally don’t have words. I’m truly appalled at our experience, which is sad since it was our first anniversary. We just wanted one night where we could brush off the Poor, but thanks FDC – you made sure that wasn’t the case.

Guess we have to be fancy like Applebee’s going forward. At least they’ll check on us.

~Lady Caitlin