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.

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.

Seeking Fartswell

What to write about?

I made a list at lunch. Topics for my blog when I just don’t have the mind to write Fallon. It doesn’t happen often; in fact, I usually look forward to writing her all day long. But sometimes when I sit down, she doesn’t have much to say, which is fine. She needs a break and so do I. Those are usually the nights I write this blog. So, at least I get my writing fix in, even if it’s only me writing and not Fallon.

So, here’s my list of possible topics I wrote on my sticky pad at lunch:

My birthday celebration with drag queens.

My exciting layover in the DC airport.

The conversation the two flies had in my coffee mug the other day.

Bleak, isn’t it? This circulates in my brain. I mean, not just this. Plenty of thoughts travel through my head, but most of them have to do with when I can take my next bathroom break or when I’ll be able to hire my future butler, Fartswell, when EFH takes off. That, and of course, the ostrich races Batman and I will have on a weekly basis. Oh, there are plans already in place. You don’t even know. You think you might, but you don’t. And yes, you’re reading that write. His name will be Fartswell. He can be a Jim or Tom or Henry—I’m not picky—but part of his job will be answering to Fartswell. I’m still on the fence about him having a British accent and saying, “you rang sir/madam” every time we call him, but Batman thinks it’s a necessity. As already stated, I’m on the fence. I think I’ll just have to decide when I meet the man.

I’m thinking of putting an ad out: Seeking Fartswell. Would you respond to something like this? Only if the salary was good enough, right? But what would be an appropriate salary for a butler who has to answer to Fartswell and, among other duties, must stand in line while I’m busy shopping? I mean, I’ll get my own ice cream and all, but if I pick out a whole bunch of items from an Ikea or some fancy-expensive place I’d probably get kicked out of now, I don’t want to stand in line with the other coach passengers and wait my turn. I’ll have Fartswell do that for me while I get a drink in the bar next door. I think that’s pretty reasonable if I’m a wealthy sonofabitch, don’t you think? Hey, it’s my money. Don’t judge me.

Plus, I’m supporting America by employing people. Fartswell would just be the head butler. I’m not even sure who would tend the topiaries or clean up after the ostriches. Those are all things to be determined later once I’m able to write full time and have had enough books on the best sellers to afford to hire someone willing to be called Fartswell. But these are the dreams. Big dreams, I’d say. Ambitious, I know.

I just don’t want to be one of those people who come into money and not be able to handle it. That’s why I’m planning in advance—knowing exactly where it’s all going to go. And what happens if I remain poor? Well that’s fine too. I’ve gotten good at knowing how to handle very little money so… I’m covered. I’d just like the pendulum to swing the other way for a change. It’d be somewhat nice. Not that I mind being poor. Except, as a very wise pizza man once told me after I wasn’t able to give him a big tip:

You’re broke, not poor. Poor is a state of mind.

Yes, yes thank you wise pizza man. It sounds silly but I’ve sort of kept that with me. It’s like one of those sayings you get on a dove wrapper, like always be yourself or never forget to smile. But better. You’re broke, not poor. Poor is a state of mine. Wow. It was like my mind was blown… and then I got to eat my delicious pepperoni pizza. Pretty awesome night, actually. So, yeah… being poor, being wealthy… I think I could handle both. But since I’ve gotten really good at the one, I think it’s only fair to try the other. Plus, I’m looking forward to Fartswell.

I really hate standing in line.

 

(Just in case you’re interested…other duties for Fartswell:

Picking up all the cups I leave around the apartment (this really annoys Batman. It’s probably one of the things that he actually hates about living with me, but I remind him that if the aliens attack, we’ll be prepared.)

Collecting future castle-mansion house warming gifts. (That’s right—you will be required to bring a housewarming gift upon your first visit to the estate. Good presents go to Batman and me. Bad ones become part of Fartswell’s bonus.)

Taking care of the dog, Sir Fartswell.

*sigh*

The future looks good.)