You Can Judge Me Now

Bring on the judgement because we all know you’re going to do it anyway. I do it. You do it. It’s kind of human nature to make snap decisions based on what your eyes see first. Like when you’re searching for your next great read and you scan books among books and stop only on the covers that appeal to you. The title may have something to do with it but—let’s be real, here—you’re attracted to the colors and font and pretty much the basic artwork. I’m guilty of this. There. I’ve said it. I judge books by their covers—but only in the initial stage. After I’ve thoroughly investigated the blurb and read a few pages, it’s content going forward. (I think we all do it this way, yes?)

So, with all that said, I now present to you darling readers/fans/people who happened upon this blog by mistake—the cover for my new release, Better Than This:

and for the 3-D lover:

Eh? Eh?

We like? We no like? We know our opinions are important but the decision has already been made (and paid for) so they might possibly be moot?

I actually really hope you like it. I had a tough time with this one because Autumn, the protag, is a painter and Alex, the love interest (and second main character) plays the guitar, so, I wanted to incorporate both elements. Paint and music. Which seems easy but then you actually try to shove the two together and you have a lot of options that maybe don’t look so great. Joleene (my cover artist) and I went back and forth a few times and after a little tinkering, this beauty was born.

You can be honest: did it catch your eye? Would it make you stop long enough to *maybe* glance at the blurb? Again, this is the final product so no changing at this point, but I’m curious to know for the second and third books releasing later this year.

If you’re curious about more behind-the-scene things like how I ended up on this exact version and all the different drafts in between, I have a post on my Patreon page called the Metamorphosis of a Book Cover.  Should cover everything you need to know 😉 Link on the right side somewhere where it says ‘Become a Patron’ ——–>

Also: please keep your fingers/eyes/toes crossed for my wonderful sister who hears back from the doctor today. Thanks in advance!

we’re not all lost, IWSG

I’m going to do something I haven’t done in a while and actually answer the monthly question for IWSG. Shocking, I know:

When your writing life is a bit cloudy or filled with rain, what do you do to dig down and keep on writing?

Force myself.

There’s really no magic recipe other than that. I write to escape anyway, so it’s never been much of a problem to dig down to do it. The hard part comes when I need a break from writing and that’s when I take a day or two off and then force myself back into it.

Wow. That was easier to answer than I thought.

Let’s see…what else is going on in my life? Still unemployed (and rapidly running out of money), so there’s that. Oh! I did get something pretty cool recently 😊. There’s this place called 2nd And Charles that sells books and video games and movies and toys, and basically all the things that Batman and I love and have based our relationship around. Since he collects retro video games, he ended up selling a bunch back this past weekend and got a ridiculous amount of store credit. Because he’s amazing and (I guess) in love with me or something, he told me to pick out whatever I wanted in the store—his treat. So, say hello to this beautiful baby:

“Not all those who wander are lost”

It’s one of my favorite sayings since I constantly accuse myself of being lost since I don’t have a “career” and therefore, am a piece of shit. Then I remember, oh yeah, I’m not meant to have a typical “career” and just because I don’t doesn’t mean I’m screwing up. Maybe I’m a job nomad who needs these life experiences to write about. Or something. Either way, thanks, Tolkien for reminding me that everyone’s life is different and that’s more than okay. It’s necessary. 😉

Also, I collect journals because I’m journal freak. But again, who of us readers/writers isn’t?

How’s your day going? What do you do when the rain is pouring or you (like me) get down on yourself?

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.

****Also – Don’t forget to check out my Patreon! (I can say that because I’m on there now. THAT’S RIGHT. I did something on a place that does things.)

AND, I have a YouTube channel now which is not letting me post the link because it’s weird or I’m stupid or it’s a combination of both. But probably the latter.

YAY OR NAY? I NEED OPINIONS

I’m thinking about making a YouTube channel.

Thoughts?

I messed around with my laptop camera and boy do I have to get comfortable with seeing my face. I only catch it in the reflection and sometimes that’s even too much. No, I’m not searching for compliments here, but when you spend the majority of your life NOT seeing yourself and then you go through videos where you’re like shit, is that what other people have to look at?—it’s weighing.

The reason I’m thinking about making a YouTube channel is for additional exposure. Every author has got to have an edge or something that sets them apart. I realize a good amount of authors are on there, but maybe in addition to writing about writing, I can talk about writing and you can see just how much my eye twitches when I get overwhelmed or anxious or how chill it is when I’m actually chill (which is not a lot recently since I’m still job-hunting and that is a SOUL SUCKING experience. Especially when you’re going at it with a degree in Creative Writing which qualifies you to do shit, apparently.)

So. YouTube.

Yes, I have been told (on numerous occasions by numerous people) that I should pursue comedy or do stand up or have my own show. I’m not lying and I’m not being arrogant. These are true statements that I’ve shrugged off because I am *ridiculously* camera shy and, you know, isn’t everyone kind of funny? At least a little? (I take it back. There are some people who are the OPPOSITE of funny. I kind of feel bad for them and their boring lives. But they get to be accountants and lawyers and make bank so I don’t feel too bad.)

So… if everyone is at least a *little* funny, what makes me think someone would want to watch my channel? Especially if Joe Schmoe in the next cubicle is cracking jokes left and right?

I’m struggling here, guys. I need some advice.

…but I did put one VIDEO up. Just one. I’m not even sure I’ll keep it. That’s where you come in. Give me a Yay or a Nay (or money. I’ll also take money) so I know what to do.

  <—– me looking sexy sans makeup

Lastly: thank you to those who headed over to my Patreon page. You guys ROCK! After this post, I’m working on one for over there—anything besides looking for more jobs. Enough of my soul has been sucked out today. Time to get creative again.

Something in my eye

My eye is twitching again.

I’m going to blame it on the panic/anxiety/depression of looking for a job and realizing I’M NOT QUALIFIED FOR ANYTHING. Sorry that I’m not fluent in Spanish or Portuguese or Russian and no, I’m not efficient in EVERY computer skill as well as having twenty years experience, the ability to travel, work mandatory OT, or have arbitrary licenses. Geez. I’m 32 and have worked in an office for the last ten years doing random office things. But since I like writing (and no, I don’t want to be a teacher) I have to find some way to make ends meet while hoping my shaky car doesn’t break down on me.

There goes my eye again.

I look around at my friends who are (pretty much all) proficient in their fields and think ‘what the hell is wrong with me?’ Where did I go wrong? I was a good student, went to college and even got into the top end of my program (I studied under the department head)—so, what the hell am I doing? How did I end up here?

I’m *really* surprised I’m not an addict or have a substance abuse problem because that just seems to come with the artist mindset/lifestyle anyway. Add in the depressing job situation and I should be scratching myself from withdrawals. I don’t know. I keep thinking I made a wrong turn somewhere but can’t figure out where. Or how. Sometimes, I wish I was meant to be a nurse or a teacher or some obvious occupation because then I wouldn’t so unsure of myself. Does that make sense? Anyway, at least Batman and I are popular enough to attend several weddings where there are open bars 😊 We went to one on St. Patty’s day and it was a blast!

Let’s switch to that because it’s less depressing and I remembered to take some pictures this time:

Beautiful ceremony area before it starts!

Groomsmen hanging out before it starts (Batman is second from the right)

Welcome sign is ETCHED GLASS! How cool?!?!

….and a close up

Picture before we get sloppy off the open bar. I mean, *ahem* before we partake in refreshments.

Great thing to do in lieu of favors (Titan is their Corgi)

The happy couple’s first dance 🙂

Oh, and, after spending about half an hour trying to get the Patreon widget to work, I decided not to bother again until MY EYE STOPS TWITCHING. If you’re interested in becoming one of my patrons or even just viewing my page, you can check it out HERE <—

Please tell me if that doesn’t work!  Thanks 🙂

And a good day to you all!

I’M ON PATREON

Who did it? I did it! Who did it? I did it!

***happy dance***

Obviously, the terror of messing this up and failing miserably is still a constant in the background, but I’ve hushed that stupid voice because she’s annoying and brings nothing positive to the table. Besides, she never thought I’d make it and look where I am—on Patreon. Being an artist with (possibly/hopefully) patrons to support my creative endeavors and stuff. Woop!

So, here’s what’s going to happen: I’m still going to run this blog but some of the more in-depth things or behind-the-scene things that I probably wouldn’t have put on here anyway, I’m going to be posting over there. It’s part of the “reward” of being a patron. It’s going to be cool because this space will be dedicated to general things about my life and writing whereas Patreon will be specifically dedicated to a more in-depth look at what I’m doing (book releasing-wise) with marketing, first drafts, extra POV scenes, Q &A and more. So, here, you’ll be chilling with cool Caitlin and there you’ll be chilling with crazy-artist Caitlin. (Believe me – they are different.)

Enough of the happy dancing and talking about it: please head over to my page and consider signing up for a reward. 😊 Remember, I’m not winking at you in the video (or am I?). It’s just that my eye lid flutters a lot.

Thanks for all the support! You guys rock!!

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?

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.