Little Tease For Ya

It’s been an interesting couple of weeks.

First thing: my sister is doing great. Fantastic, actually, because she doesn’t need to go back to the doctor or have any more surgery since everything came back benign. 😊

*wipes sweat from brow*

That’s the kind of good news I’m talking about. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers and good vibes and for crossing your fingers and toes and eyes and everything else cross-able. It helped. It really did.

Second, I’ve had…a bit of a time. In addition to falling down and hitting my head rather hard (posted about it on my fb author page), I’ve been extremely disappointed in this whole searching-for-a-way-to-pay-my-bills-thing. The other week I was told I had a job, then come to find out that it was given to someone else. Then, I had a promising interview and was asked to come back for a second interview. And I…never heard from the company again (this was after follow up calls and emails.) Job-searching sucks. ☹

 

BUT let’s not focus on that because it’s sad and depressing and someone *cough* me *cough* has a book coming out. So, let’s focus on fun and creative things like…

BOOK TEASERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What I need from you lovelies, are your opinions. I’m not sure if I like the 3D book covers or the flattened ones better. These are book teasers that I’ll be using on Twitter and other sites that let me advertise prior to publication.

So, let me know. Which do you like best? Which catches your eye more or would make you stop and think, “hmm…I may read that?” (Your opinions are SUPER important to me because I know what I like, but I only have two eyes so I need YOUR eyes to look at it freshly. I need to know what other people are thinking about these homemade teasers, so I know what’s working and not. Let’s face it: ya’ll are part of the team now. We’re in this together. So, thumbs up/thumbs down? Spill it. I need the intel 😉)

Also! I’ve joined this thing called Book and Main Bites. (I’m under C.G. Coppola) It’s for romance authors to put up little “bites” of their juicy/lovey moments without revealing their titles/book covers/too much about them. It’s a way for readers to discover new authors just by the content and not so much BUY MY BOOK links you usually see. So, any romance writers/readers out there, I’d check it out. I found a couple of new authors on there myself 😊

ONE MONTH TO GO UNTIL BETTER THAN THIS COMES OUT!!

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.

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?

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.