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

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

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

Goals?

There’s a line in Dave Chappelle’s newest special about poor white people shopping at Walmart and I can’t get it out of my head. Not because it’s mean, but because it’s true. It’s unabashedly, unapologetically a true statement. A FACT. I am joined by other poor white people shopping for our cheap, mediocre goods and wares, and yes, if Dave Chapelle ever ended up in a Walmart, his dreams did not work out at planned.

It probably still sounds mean, but I can take a joke. I know where I am in this world, and even though I don’t think of myself as poor, I do shop for mediocre goods and wares at a place where I can find them cheapest. (Side note: I am poor. But I have everything I need and want…so am I really? Existential question over here…) Since I frequent the mega chain on a regular basis, I’ve been thinking more about how much I make, how much it costs to live, and wondering when I’m going to start making some supplemental income with my books, which would be nice, but which also means I should probably up my game. Or start it. Probably should start the game to make the money to buy more mediocre goods.

But guys—I’m working on it. As I told a recent fellow author (hi, Joleene!) I feel like I’ve been asleep for the last 4-5 years because I have, like, no clue what’s going on with the indie publishing world. With my day jobs sucking out all creative and positive energy, and self-publishing being so completely overwhelming and confusing, I didn’t try. I took a nap and shut my eyes to everything, hence me selling a whopping few books each year. But I must change this! I want to buy more mediocre goods and wares at Walmart and I’ll need supplemental income to achieve this. And who knows? Maybe if my dreams really do work out as planned, I’ll end up shopping at Target with the bourgeois.

Goals?

I’m almost finished with the second draft of the fourth rewrite of TCATC, and I’m already mapping out the second book. There will be three books total (I think?) so I feel like I’m already making up ground. The WIP doesn’t suck anymore, and I’m excited for what’s coming next. I’m tentatively planning to publish the first book next year, so if you’ve followed any of this journey, or are in any way curious about this story, just know I plan to release *TCATC – ARPIP in 2022. But if you simply CANNOT WAIT, let me know if you want to be a beta reader. Always looking for those. Currently working on the blurb so stay tuned…

That’s all I got for now. Go watch the special and contemplate your monetary place in life. Or don’t. It all works out regardless.

~Lady Caitlin

P.S. I may have been the one unloading items from the cart, but Batman paid the bill. He did not, however, pay for the Christmas garland I forgot to put on the belt, which makes him a thief. I might be a line-cutter but he stole a twelve dollar, mediocre good. That’s on him.

*The Coyote and the Claw – A Royal Pairing in Perish. In case you missed the post with the title. Now you and the handful of other people know. VIP status.

November Goals

Ever feel really shitty for doing something you didn’t mean to do, and you’re not even sure if you did it? Me too.

I could have SWORN there was no line when I went to my grocer’s self-check-out. We only had a few things, and I didn’t feel like waiting for the aisles with cashiers, so, I spotted an open register and flew toward it (because I have little legs and move quickly, otherwise, I get left behind.) I’m like…*fifty three* percent sure I didn’t notice anyone waiting when I started unloading and scanning. Batman grabbed us two beverages, and when I went to take them from him, I saw the line. The long line and the glares. All shooting at me. All hating me.

Did I…did I just skip a whole bunch of people?

Ooops.

Except, I’m not a *thousand* percent certain they were there before. There were a lot of people in the store and sometimes, magically, we all want to check out at the same time so…there is a possibility they all gathered right after me, and were sending glares of hatred over how impressively beautiful I am, and the very stylish clothes I wear. I can’t rule out these very likely options. But still…

Did I cut everyone? If so, does that make me a bad person? Or am I just an “okay” person because I’m not terribly observant when I’m hungry? Sheesh. First stealing seven dollars from a restaurant and now this. Thieving and line-cutting: that’s what I’ve become. That’s who I am. Sure, unbeknownst to me at the time, but I feel like the points are still deducted. ALTHOUGH I feel massive amounts of anxiety over these kinds of things, so maybe it evens out in the end?

I’m starting November fresh. Well, sort of fresh. It all depends on the garbage guys, who, apparently changed when they come in the morning. They used to come around eight, but God knows what time it is now since I put the trash on the curb at SEVEN, and it was still there when we got home. Awesome. But why didn’t I put it out the night before like most sane, logical people? Because Batman and I live in the murder house which is backed up right to the woods, so we get all the woodland creatures ravaging our trash. The neighbor’s cans are just *slightly* too far to mess with (we have lazy woodland creatures), so they all descend on ours, which means we can’t put it out the night before. But now the garbage guys want to get up at the ass crack of dawn and I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO.

Maybe it’s my penance for stealing and line-cutting. But poor Batman. He didn’t do anything to deserve this. He only married me, but, serves him right. No take-backsies now.

Writing-wise, I’m closing in on the end of the second draft for the fourth (?) rewrite. So, that’s good. I read through the ending of the first draft (fourth rewrite) and yuck. Nope. Think I kind of gave up on it the last little bit there because it had the stink of an original draft all over it. Not good. But I’m working on it, and every time I do, it gets better. Perspective, people.

November goals: no inadvertently stealing or line-cutting, figure out when to take out the trash, and keep writing. Think I can handle it.

We’ll see.

~ Lady Caitlin

I Know I Can Do This

I took a break from writing the last few days, and yesterday, I reread some of what I’d written early last week.

*twitch*

I literally rolled my eyes at myself. One part was so cheesy. I mean, yeah, it’s still an early draft but I thought, dude—why did I even think that was good at the time? Whoa. Like whoa. I hope my perspectives aren’t changing—or maybe I’m super cheesy in my earlier drafts and never noticed? Maybe things I thought were once sweet or romantic aren’t anymore? Normally when I edit, I’m looking at overall story context and how it fits with other parts. I’ll even look at sentence structure, but I literally stopped at one point, reread the exchange, and shook my head at the dopiness of the moment. Like, pure lameness—of something I wrote last week! Maybe I’m growing as an author, able to spot the bullshit even earlier?

So, I keep having the same dream. It’s reoccurred since I graduated from college, and it’s that I actually didn’t graduate—that I’m still enrolled. Still in school. And I’m missing my assignments. This wouldn’t be a big thing to others, but I NEVER missed assignments. They were always complete a day or so after it was assigned, or as soon as possible. So, I keep feeling like I’m messing up or I’m missing something or I’m late (not to be confused with my reoccurring nightmare of driving up the steepest bridge imaginable—nearly vertical—which has impeded my speedy, reckless driving and made me a tad safer. You’re welcome.) I’m pretty sure the college dream correlates to writing. Instead of getting up each morning to sit down and write/do Indie author stuff, I go to some desk job that I never saw myself doing—so maybe it’s an inadequacy thing? Feeling like I’m failing at this endeavor so I’m never graduating in my dream? I’d love to pay a shrink to find out, but that costs money, and the Universe still hasn’t realized that I’m a millionaire, so, you all will have to do in the meantime.

The good thing is we’re not supposed to take on everything at once. It’s a day-by-day life, and I think I can keep up with that. I’ve been making more of an effort to post every Wednesday since I’ve fallen off here recently, except I did lose my place with IWSG (Insecure Writers Support Group) which I’ve been involved with since 2014. But, I missed two posts and now I’ll have to resign up. It’s my own fault. And once I’m back on track with regularly posting on Wednesdays, I’ll kick my own butt in gear and get going with my NL which is a memory at this point.

I don’t know if it’s the dream or the few author pages I’ve been following that inspire me, but despite all my bitching and writing anxiety, I do want this. I do believe I was meant to write stories (even if they’re cheesy in the first drafts) and I do know I can do this. Just have to figure out how to make it work for me and my lifestyle and my lack of social media skills.

That’s the fun part.

~ Lady Caitlin

Fake Stress and Squid Games

I blame Squid Games. And my lack of willpower. (Also, Batman’s. He’s at fault here too). I’d also blame my new job and all the things I’m learning/stress but that would be a LIE and I can’t lie here. It’s like an online diary, and I’m practically the only one who reads this, so if look at this post in a year, I’ll confuse myself. I’ll be like “I don’t remember being super stressed at this new job—maybe I was having a bad week?” Not worth confusing future Caitlin because current Caitlin gets confused enough in general. So, no lying—I missed last week’s post because of laziness and fake stress and Squid games. There, you have it. We can all move on with our lives.

I’m not sure what’s happening—why I’ve taken a step back from keeping up with this blog. I’ve completely FAILED on my NL which I should probably address or work at or something. I’m a bad indie author. Meaning, I write fiction every day, but I’m suuuuper lacking on any kind of news upkeep, marketing (HA! As if!) and I’m just awful at all social media (which is why you can’t find me practically anywhere). So, that pockets me in the “only-writing” writer category which I guess is better than the “non-writing” writer category. Points for that.

Also: it’s getting scary out there. Like, life in general. This baby blog is by no means political, and even trying to tune out all the BS going on, it seeps in and makes me sit back, scratch my head, and be like, okay, so Orwell might’ve been onto something. I addressed this in an earlier post, but the dream of being a famous writer has changed. I don’t want the fame. Just the money so I can sustain a normal, American life—whatever that looks like in the future. Maybe that’s why I’ve taken a step back. Since the picture is changing, I don’t know what an American landscape might look like in five or ten years, so I don’t know what to envision. And with being awful at social media (which is apparently a REQUIRMENT for success) I just feel lost. So, instead of blogging or writing my next NL or working on any kind of marketing materials, I instead just work on my WIP, hang out with Batman, play with Appa and Regis (doggie # 2!!) and binge on unhealthy Netflix shows.

This is life.

But, I’m not failing, even when I tell myself I am. I’m taking my time, going my own route, and doing what feels right. In the moment, at least. I’m ready for someone else to take the professional reigns on this, and let me just write. So, here’s the plan: continue writing amazing stories, find an agent/PA to do all the other businessy stuff that confuses and overwhelms me, and sit back and play with the dogs and llamas. And Batman. He’ll be there too. Probably fixing whatever else breaks in the house, unless my agent/PA can help with that as well (I have high hopes for them).

Does anyone else feel like this? About anything? Love to hear your thoughts. And always… have a badass week!

~Lady Caitlin

Won This Round

I figured I’d miss this week too, but I need to be a better example for myself. (Someone has to).

Fair warning: this is going to be a short post. Mostly because I’m writing it the night before, so who knows what’s going to come out? But, in my defense, it was my birthday recently, so I’ve been busy with all the usual parades and carnivals, and all free writing time has been devoted to TCATC (as it should be).

Flash update:

Birthday was great! Officially circled the sun for 36 years. Batman and family stepped up to make it a truly special celebration. I’m beyond blessed.

I’m still employed—week three!—and so far, so good. Really keeping my fingers crossed for this one.

Watching and loving Ted Lasso. Yes, we added AppleTV, but so worth it.

Writing (and nearing the end of) draft 2 of TCATC. Which is again why this is being written the night before. Sorry-not-sorry.

There. That’s it. My teeny-tiny, itty-bitty post, because the fewer the words, the less typos and mistakes you’re likely to find. But this counts so MUAHAHA two-week-off routine that I’ve fallen into. NOT TODAY. I’ve won this round. We’ll see how next week goes.

~ Lady Caitlin

A Little Credit

Here’s an impossible riddle:

How do I sustain a living from writing without being well-known/famous?

*scratches chin and ponders into the distance*

While I used to want to be famous, and dreamed of sitting on Ellen’s couch discussing all my very popular best-sellers, the image has changed. The dream has changed. I don’t want people to know who I am anymore. If I did, I’d have a podcast, a vlog, a Patreon that I actually work on, in addition to, you know, being regularly active on social media, which I am not.

*continues to scratch chin and ponder*

PLEASE let me know if you’re able to solve this one for me. The only example who comes to mind is Banksy (that’s still a mystery, right?) and while I’m all for sharing my writing anonymously, I’d still like to make some stacks to, you know, pay bills and stuff. So…how to be out there without being out there?

I wish I was better at this. At social media, at advertising, and posting and doing what I should be doing instead of writing about what I should be doing. There are people I can hire to do that for me so I should probably look more into that. Grr. I’m just feeling overwhelmed and insecure and wondering if I even deserve success since the only work I put in is the actual writing part (my favorite part).

In other news, I’m employed again. Woot! Good thing too, because my savings is pretty much non-existent at this point, and I had to reach into my pay-back-loan fund to help with the bills. Meh. Money is money and I can always make more. But since leaving my last position toward the end of July (and after those lovely two weeks of Covid) I rewrote TCATC for the fourth (?) time, and not only is the first draft done, I’m already working through the second draft.

WHAT?!?!

That’s right. I outlined and wrote a whole frigging first new draft (95,500 words) and am onto the second in the interim of jobs. I may suck hard at all business aspects of this, but I’ll pat myself on the back for using EVERY SINGLE DAY to sit at this laptop and type away while only stopping to play with Appa, grab a snack, clean the house (kinda) and look for jobs. No TV. No binging shows or spending hours scrolling on FB. None of that. Pretty much every free moment I had I used to write. So, maybe I should give myself a little more credit. (Not too much though, let’s not get carried away).

SOOO with all that said, I’ll probably be looking for a few beta readers toward the end of the year. I’ll write a short description so you know what you’ll be reading about, should you want to be one of those highly popular VIP betas.

That’s all for me right now. I remembered to post this which is crucial since I missed the last two weeks. Busy writing, you know? And now it’s back to work, so progress will slow a little, but still continue. And even if I never make any money from any of this (kinda like now) I’m still super excited about this story, so I’ve got that going for me. Plus, I’ve got this new job. Look out bill collectors—someone is newly employed and able to pay for services again.

2021, we’re doing okay (except for the whole world burning thing, but let’s not get into that.)

Have a badass week!

~ Lady Caitlin