Getting there, baby

I’m doing it.

I’m making a Patreon page. You’ll probably see the official I’VE MADE A PATREON post later this week when I’ve actually pushed the launch button, so, be on the lookout for that. 😉 Or not. There’s really no way for me to know. But I DID spend the better part of yesterday playing with my webcam to make my welcome video and whoa—are my eyes expressive. I never realized that I blink so much. I always knew I had a slight twitch so please, if you do head over to my page and watch the video, just know I’m not winking at you. It’s just my weird DNA mixed with anxiety and walla!—you have my oddball facial expressions.

I’ve been busy lately. And a good busy, I guess. I’m kind of looking for jobs, but I’m spending the majority of my time planning to promote Better Than This. For all/any of you creative types out there, I’m using Picmonkey which allows me to custom-make my own teasers/advertisements and whatnots. I *super* suggest checking it out even if you’re looking to host a party because they have templates for Facebook events and different things like that. But for all my authors (and I guess anyone with their own business), I snazzied up my fb author page by checking out this article. It lists marketing tools for people who hate marketing and I found it extremely useful, especially the part where I borrowed a template to make my shiny new cover photo for my author page. (Because I’m dumb, it took me a moment to realize the template was in a powerpoint and I ended up figuring out what/how my Google drive worked. So, lots of learning things.)

I’m dying to show you some of the teasers and advertising pieces I’ve put together, but I’m saving them for my Patreon page because, as promised, all new content will appear there first. But I DID post the below fake concert adds on my fb page with a poll to find out which you like better. Feel free to leave a comment here or cast your vote there. I’m honestly torn and could use some opinions and who’s better than yours? 😉

We’ll call this # 1

… and #2

Let’s see… what else…. oh! I did go to a wedding last Friday which was awesome. Because I forgot my phone in the car, I snagged some of Batman’s pics:

Real pretty, right? And the food was good too!

How’s life been treating you? Any advice on marketing/advertising? Which fake concert ad do you like better?

Seriously Last Week: What the Hell?

Last week was shitty.

I think it’s safe to assume everyone agrees. My one CT friend lost power and had down wires across her yard leaving her, her hubby, and their three little ones stranded in the dark cold. Then, my poor sister had a biopsy two days after her birthday. What a way to celebrate—am I right?

ME. After getting my car back from the shop, I broke down with a flat tire a little over a mile from my house and walked back with a GIANT stack of toilet paper and the McDondalds I treated myself to because I accepted a job. (Don’t get too excited.) Once I got home all sweaty from my MILE WALK, I proceeded to have an argumentative conversation with someone from the church about where I’d left my car and how I needed to move it. Batman was trying to get to me since I’m apparently not a modern woman and don’t know how to change a tire (I know, I know. Believe me, I KNOW) but had I moved the car, I would’ve damaged the rim and who’s got money for both? (Not me). But parents were coming to pick their kids up from the church after-school program and I was told I’d have “200 screaming parents” since I broke down at the wrong place at the wrong time. My apologies. The next time I have a terrifying and horrible experience, I’ll be sure to accommodate everyone else first.

*Please* ignore the immense amount of dirt and grime. Still haven’t taken it to the carwash.

SHREDDED

Yeah. I thought I’d hit something. Or some Direwolf had rammed into me. But it was a four-inch nail I’d run over that absolutely shredded my tire. We got the car moved and everything was fine (although I never saw these “200 screaming parents” and I only got two bites into my Quarter Pounder. So, super emotional and starving) ☹

The job. I’m not sure how to explain exactly what happened since this has never happened to me. I accepted a job at a fabulous, positive-energy place that just… wasn’t a good fit. Ever go through something that seems like it should be perfect, but it isn’t, and you just can’t place your finger on why not? That’s what this job was for me. It was great—but for someone else. I felt like I was a square peg being shoved into a circle that I wanted to fit in—that I hoped I could—but knew I wouldn’t. I left Thursday feeling so on the fence about the whole thing and even became a little nauseated over it (course, I blamed it on the Blueberry Pancake Captain Crunch at the time) but come Friday it just hit me. NOPE. Not for me. Two days in and I’m back to being unemployed.

I’m not sure what it was about last week but I’m *really* happy it’s over. I am praying—PRAYING—this upcoming week will be better. At least I’m back to having tons of creative time while I look for something else.

What about you? How was your last week? Any good news?

GIVE ME GOOD NEWS.

What Happens When You Pay Attention IWSG

Friday morning I had a Saturday post all mentally scribbled about the woes of car-ownership because I finally picked up my car from the shop only to have it stall out on me on the way home. I turned it off and back on again and it was fine. Then, on my way out to see a bestie who now resides in CT and was down for a wedding, the Check Engine light came on and I spent the 45-minute trip out to see her praying that the shaking car wouldn’t stall on me since I forgot to renew my AAA.

Thank God it didn’t stall and everything was fine (and my bestie and I had a lovely time—thanks for asking). Car still shakes but maybe it’s just as hyped up on caffeine as I am. You know what they say about cars and their owners 😉 I came home all ready to write and strategize and market and Patreon-brainstorm but even the mid-afternoon iced coffee didn’t help and I ended up watching Friends on the couch with Appa, which is somehow exactly what I needed. (I think I overworked my brain or something because I sat and stared at the computer for almost half an hour before I decided my muse or energy troll or whatever fuels the creativity box was out on its own coffee break and I was starting to go cross-eyed..)

I guess this post should really begin with Saturday’s event which included the Jax Book Festival! Last Tuesday, while working *cough checking fb cough* I found that we were having our very own book festival (sort of) right here in downtown Jacksonville. The headliner caught my eye because I actually read Everything Everything (although I wasn’t a huge fan) but the chance to hear an acclaimed author speak was just too much to pass up. So, in lieu of having our scheduled garage sale, it took Batman very little convincing** to have him drop me off at the Public Library so I could listen to Nicola Yoon talk about her journey of writing the bestseller and all the inns and outs of writing/publishing.

What I learned about the shy author is that she’d been in finance for fifteen years, and it wasn’t until the birth of her daughter that she realized she wasn’t following the advice she would give her baby girl: follow your dreams. It took having a child to realize she wasn’t living the life she wanted and decided to change that. Afterward, she woke up early to write from 4-6 before her day job (I think – she has a soft voice and didn’t speak directly into the microphone) and from there she wrote Everything Everything.

It was great listening and learning and I even asked my own question amidst the auditorium of people which is HUGE for me since I have a ridiculous amount of stage fright/anxiety when it comes to public speaking/being the center of attention. She’d talked about the writing process and I asked about the number of drafts she went through (6) because I’m always slightly weary that I’m not going through the ‘right’ amount of drafts. But I was surrounded by a lot of writers and it was awesome to see that they struggled with the same issues and had the same burning questions as me.

Managed to remember to snag a photo!

I couldn’t *not* take a pic when I’m so obviously fan-girling over here.

On the way out, one last pic to capture the event!

Besides the speakers, the halls were *lined* with tables of authors (both traditionally and self-published) and all kinds of cool swag and stuff. I even won a keychain from Tracie Roberts It was awesome to see my fellow authors strutting their stuff because I know this is what I need to be doing. Once the swag is obtained and I have *some* clue how to get a table of my own there, I think I could rock it. A few Zanax beforehand and why not? I can do this. Know why? BECAUSE I GOT THIS. Do I have any clue how I have this? No. But still, I got this.

What about you? Ever been to a book festival like this? Ever listened to an author speak and identified with the struggle? What’d you think?

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.

** Want to know why I love Batman? Because when I asked if we could switch the date for the garage sale and he asked why and I told him about the book festival, he looked at me and said ‘baby, if it helps with your writing, then it’s not even a question.’

Let the swooning begin 🙂

Repeat After Me: I Got This

Well, I did it.

I finished the first draft of my third book. It took me a month. Mind you, I’ve been unemployed for nearly two weeks of it, but it’s done. It needs, like, *ridiculous* amounts of revisions but I know what’s going to happen now, which is better than only having the snippets of scenes in my head before. There’s an actual story line with conflicts and events and there’s an ending, guys. I have A LAST BOOK ENDING. It’s not very good, but it’s there. Ready to be tweaked and worked on all that stuff.

So… what to do now? This is the part that sucks—the in between part. The part where I have nothing specific to work on because the next sentence, scene and chapter has already been written. I don’t know if any other writers out there have this WTF do I do now? moment but it’s here for me and it sucks.

I’m still not sure when I’m going to release this first book, Better Than This. I’m thinking maybe… mid-May? June? I still need to have it professionally edited, along with getting a cover completed and some sort of advertisement/marketing plan needs to be in place.  THINGS. There are so many things needing to be done and that next step is all blurry and weird and not specific.

Anyone heard of Patreon? It’s this cool (kind of old) idea where people will become a patron of your work either on a monthly or creation basis. It’s a tiered structure where someone can pay a certain amount ($1/$5/$10/whatever) to support your work in exchange for different things like early access to new content, deleted or behind the scenes and such. It’s kind of an awesome idea. I keep peeking at it and wondering if/when/how I should join and what I would do. I also keep wondering how to work this angle while also marketing BTT in time for this questionable release. Again, THINGS. SO MANY THINGS.

Authors (and really anyone who has an opinion/suggestion) what is my next step here? Am I jumping off in the marketing quicksand or do I have to get the book edited first? And what about the cover? And what about blog tours and hard copies? And what about—

NOPE. Not going crazy like usual. I got this. I have to keep telling myself I got this or I won’t have this. I’ll have a headache and a drinking problem and neither of those are sexy. To me. (But, you know, to each their own.) I’m also job-hunting, so throw that on the pile along with whoever grabbed a hold of my email address and started applying for credit cards under my name. And the car is in the shop. And the IRS sent me a letter. SO MANY THINGS.

But it’s cool 😊 Life’s good. Just have to repeat my mantra:

I got this.

I got this.

I MOTHERFUCKING GOT THIS BITCH.

😉

P.S. This week’s theme is “Last Line” for Friday’s #Fridaykiss. I have no idea what I’ll be posting but I’ll figure it out. Know why? See above.

I Overdosed On Kiss Me

Yesterday, I listened to Ed Sheeran’s “Kiss Me” like, seven times. Might’ve been more (it was probably more) because I’m trying to get into the mindset to write the ending ‘aww scene’ that makes everything come together in the best—and most romantic—way possible. And it’s not just the ‘aww scene’ for this one book. Nope. This scene has to encapsulate all the ‘aww scenes’ for the ENTIRE series to make it the BIGGEST AWW SCENE EVER.

Hence “Kiss Me” on repeat.

Does this work for anybody? Playing a song over and over because it gives you the right mindset to write the things you want? I didn’t think I’d have trouble writing this part (although I am a Panster and up until Wednesday I didn’t *quite* know how it was going to end) but I had a bunch of snippets to go off of and I just needed that inspiration. I don’t know if it’s because it’s the final/climatic scene of ALL the books or the fact that this is the first time I’ve written a last book, but geez. The pressure has been ON.

Don’t get me wrong—I’m still totally psyched to write this. I just didn’t think I’d be listening to one song on repeat to the point that I know every word, every pause, every time his voice gets all high and emotional. But I did. I overdosed on “Kiss Me” and it seems to be working because the scene is finally coming together. And it’s magical 😊

Side-note: Batman is NOT a fan of Mr. Sheeran since we hear “Perfect” EVERY TIME WE GET IN THE TARDIS (Tardis = Batman’s name for the car) so thank God I’m unemployed and he works because he would’ve been over it by the second—maybe third—repeat. And I wouldn’t have cared 😉

Fake It Till You Make It

I’ve been writing a bunch lately which is great because I’ve had the free time. I recently (voluntarily) switched from one job to no job, so while scouting new work I’ve had PLENTY of time to really dive into this third book I have no business writing (although a lot of you gave me feedback about how this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. You’re awesome). Yes, that means I quit to write and one day, maybe I’ll stop this habit of bouncing from job to job since filling out an application for an author isn’t a thing yet (or is it? If it is, PLEASE tell me NOW).

No, I have no idea what I’m going to do and no, I’m not concerned over it because I’m so frigging excited to be writing the third installment. I have every day to write and write some more and write even more and I bet this is how authors who talk at panels and go on book tours feel. Coffee in hand and laptop in front of them all day. Got to fake it till you make it, right?

I’m still trying to figure out how to ‘own’ this business. Obviously, I’m down for the creative part but the business/marketing aspect is still a big blinking question mark that I keep trying to peek past. I’ve been a bit more active on twitter and am trying to blog more than once a week. But I’m not sure what to say. Or post. Or how to stir up interest other than just continually talking about me and writing and my books. Or is that it? Is that the whole secret?

Grrr.

I’m going to play with Appa while I figure this out.

Then I’ll probably come back and write some more. Today kind of is a big day. It’s a big scene, one that solves a mystery from the second book. I’ve already teared up a couple times because I like throwing rocks at my characters and this rock really hurt. Is it weird (and you can tell me if this makes me a terrible person) but my goal is to make my reader cry. I just want to break their heart a little and then put it back together. Evil or… not such a terrible thing? You tell me.

P.S. Don’t forget…if you hear about that author application thing… let me know.

P.P.S. The theme is “Anticipation” for this Friday’s #FridayKiss, so look for some of my “sweetest and sexiest lines” from my WIP on Twitter in two days (you know, because I’m on Twitter now) 😉

Things I Do Because Life

Today I went to a torture museum.

Not exactly what I thought when I mentioned St. Augustine, but hey—who am I to turn down a good nightmare-inducing experience? I was thinking more Ice-cream and cobble-stones but I got graphic mannequins and the Iron Maiden.

*shudders inwardly*

When Batman suggested this new tour (we’ve practically done everything else in the oldest city) I thought—sure, why not? I’ve been living happily and at peace. Time to shake things up a bit. So, I did. I went into this 4,000 sq. ft. stage play featuring the most terrifying ways to punish people. I took some pictures but then the bile started to rise and I figured they probably didn’t want me vomiting all over their perfectly-crafted gore scenes.

Sure, why not? We already paid the fee.

…wtf?

NOPE!

Batman seems to be having fun.

If you’ve never been to St. Augustine (and you should—it’s gorgeous) this is more of what to expect:

Unlike last week, I have nothing profound to say. I just want it noted I went into a really scary place and didn’t pass out. Or run out. I stayed there and closed my eyes a bunch like a CHAMP.

Also, I’m a little more than half-way through the third book and I’m already all squealy over it. (Squealy is a good thing. I’m fangirling over my own work which is either super self-absorbed or I’m just super excited for the content. I’m leaning towards the latter.)

Hope you’re enjoying whatever this Saturday is throwing your way – be it family, friends, or the Iron-Maiden!

P.S. – I joined this nifty group on FB called All the Kissing and I’m digging it. Friday’s theme was Love so if you head over to Twitter (Yep – I know. I’ve been tweeting recently. It surprises me too) you can check out some of the sweet and sexy lines from my WIP, Better Than This with #FridayKiss. Actually, you’ll find a *bunch* of awesome lines from seriously hot sounding stories.  But what else would you expect from a group called All the Kissing?