Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Avoiding burnout and remembering fun.

It's been way too long since I posted so I'm making time today...

I've been busy with the holiday schedule beating me down but have yet to take a nose dive in my work.   Still, I never feel I get enough done. I think the fact that the only deadlines I have are self imposed makes this feeling of constantly floating worse. I don't answer to anyone and don't have people telling me what to do and how to do the work.

That's how people become workaholics. It's the fear that if you miss a step or relax and take a break everything you started will go to shit. This leads to the inevitable burnout in which you actually do drop everything and everything does go to shit!

I'm making a promise to myself to relax over Thanksgiving weekend. Everyone have a great holiday! Cheers!  

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Warning: This Is A Rotten Review

I'm on the fence about whether to put the author's name and book title in this post. I don't want people to google the author and/or title and receive this rotten review before checking it out for themselves. That is bad book karma. Still, if you search San Francisco Mystery on Amazon this book comes up and I was so excited to read it. 

It's an e-book by an unknown, like me, who professes to write in the noir style, like me. His dark descriptions about the Tenderloin (where I've lived) makes Twist look like it takes place in Candyland. The author's gritty scenes are so visceral and gross reading this book could be used as a dieting technique. You will literally skip meals reading this book. But that's the good part, the only good part about this book.

This author was also a philosophy major, like me, and he lets you know! The story starts out with a philosophy professor searching for his daughter, a possible drug addled child prostitute in the Tenderloin. While sharing what is possibly the worst dialogue written in the genre with the private dick  the author manages to name drop Hume, Socrates and Plato. 

After the author beats you over the head with the fact that he's smart enough to grasp complex concepts you realize that it has nothing to do with the story. The authors pedantic rant (is it pedantic to use the word pedantic?) only stagnates the story. The mystery also has no clear beginning, middle and end. 

This book is so bad and it's gotten good reviews. Maybe I'll come back and post the title but right now I'm not up to it. Not because I can't take responsibility for my opinion but because as a writer I'd be pissed if some one posted under my book -Do Not Buy. Sucks!-

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Who Reads Your Books?

I must admit I was shocked when I found out how many close friends and family members, most of whom are readers, haven't read my book. I'm not saying all, a few have, but many that I thought for sure would have by now haven't. Want to know why? My friends and family are not my audience. From talking to other authors I've come to the conclusion that either your friends and family aren't your audience, or they are your only audience. 

Yes, some close friends and a few family members have responded to me about Twist after reading it. Still, most of the people interacting with me about it are friends online and people in my writing community. I've had so so many offers online to do a review through my sample. I still have yet to trade 'free copies' for 'honest reviews' because I'm technologically challenged and can't figure out how to send a 'mobi'. WTF is a 'mobi'?

When I look at it from my friend's and family's perspective I get it. It's hard to lose yourself in fiction and achieve that suspension of disbelief when you know the author personally. I write in the first person and have a hyper active voice. It's clearly my voice... and it probably scares them. 

Inversely, there are friends of family members and acquaintances that have heard the legends of my craziness and buy my book for that exact reason.

Think about it. You are asking people to commit six to eight hours of their life to reading your book. I was listening to one of my favorite authors being interviewed online. They stated that the biggest mistake first time authors make is focusing on marketing their first book. Woops! The trick is to keep writing books, better books, then repeat. I think of my current royalties times four and I get it. 

Patience is another annoying virtue she suggests. Give your audience a chance to find you. -meh-

Me: I just published a book. Here's my card.

Bartender: Congratulations! What can I get you?

Me: A job.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Cyberbullying - Feeding The Beast

It's a fact. Under the anonymity of the Internet people grow balls. Some people, cowardly otherwise, use this 'strength' to spread the misery around. Unfortunately, with the way YouTube has their comments set up they're making hate easier than ever. The most responded to comments get shoved to the top of the video page. Those comments tend to be the most demeaning and YouTube sustains the reputation of hosting some of the most hateful comments on the web.

You're probably thinking what I usually do. Don't be on YouTube if you can't laugh at it. We can laugh at the offender's misspellings and how stupid and ridiculous their hysteria is but now we can't fire back. The more responses the person gets the higher their comment gets bumped up to the top of the list.

I think this creates a mob mentality of insulting the video host. I can ignore it to a point. If you can't take ridicule and develop thicker skin don't be in the public eye. Still, it's one thing to make fun of someone's appearance or how they present the topic but a group of people telling someone to go 'f*cking kill themselves'! Especially someone who clearly might be depressed. I find the growing numbers astounding. The one thing I can think of doing is ignore the trolls and post something nice to the host before leaving their video page. 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

I Was Nominated For Another Liebster Award!

I know I'm late. I got distracted this weekend and my Monday was derailed. I'm still trying to edit this weeks YouTube video.

I copied this Liebster Award logo from Rose's blog. ;)

Rose has done research for the previous award post on what the Liebster award is (see that post here).  

~Rules For Accepting The Award~

~Link back to the blog that nominated you.

~Answer the questions they set for the blogs they nominated.

~Nominate 10 blogs of your own, and be sure to let them know, with a link to your post!

~Ask 10 questions for the blogs you nominate to answer in their post.

~My Questions~

1. How long have you been blogging? Almost six months I think.

2. What kind of stuff to you post about? I post about writing, marketing and being an all around nut.

3.  What's your favorite book? This morning I'm feeling it's Simone de Beauvoir's A Dutiful Daughter.

4. What's your favorite movie adaptation of a book? Lord of The Rings and I'm looking forward to seeing Ender's Game.

5.  If you could travel to any book land, where would you go?
Amazonia so Wonder Woman and her mother Diana can teach me to be a bad ass and I can pick up a pair of super cute boots and magic accessories. (Insert extra nerd points here)
6.  What book character is most like you, and why? Luna Lovegood from Harry Potter because I'm a dreamer who's also awkward and inappropriate.

7.  What made you want to start blogging? I wanted to connect more with my online writing community.

8. What's your favorite kind of music? I like everything from Classical to Experimental.

9.  Who's your favorite band/artist? That's tough. I'm entranced by all three of Jack White's bands.

10. What are you doing for Thanksgiving? I'm going to Tahoe with my family.


My Questions For My Nominees

1. Cats or dogs?
2. If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?
3. Psychology or sociology?
4. Which fictional world would you most want to visit?
5. Which fictional world would you least want to visit?
6. Fellas, boxers or briefs? Ladies, boy shorts or floss?
7. What do you claim as your talent?
8. What's the name of your first pet? (if you never had one I apologize and hope you were still hugged as a child.)
9. Have you now, or will you ever go back to Myspace?
10. How many hours a day are you on the internet. (be honest!)

Saturday, November 9, 2013

I Was Nominated For A Sunshine Award

Liz Blocker said, "I should preface this by saying that I'm going to follow my nominator, the lovely Ashley Nixon's, lead here, and copy what she did...because I don't actually know what the rules are. Ahem."

I say, "Ditto Liz."

Fave color: Pink
Fave animal: Seven Pound Long Haired Miniature Dachshunds named Peaches
Fave number: 17
Fave non-alcoholic drink: Tweaky Frappuccino with a double hot shot 
Fave alcoholic drink: Greyhounds
Facebook or Twitter: Twitter, it's less intrusive. 
Passions: Laughing at the absurd. Life is comedy!
Prefer giving or getting presents? It depends on what I'm giving and/or what I'm getting. Both giving and receiving crappy gifts are as horrible as giving and receiving great gifts is wonderful.
Fave city? When good American's die they go to Paris! 
Fave TV Shows: Mystery Theatre, Masterpiece Theatre, Modern Family, Tosh.O

My nominees are:
Chrys Fey Write With Fey
Jennifer Donnie Darko Girl

Friday, November 8, 2013

The Built In Excuse Of Being A Writer

I was just on the phone and asked what I was doing. Before I could stop myself I answered, "I'm sitting in bed."

"It's ten thirty on a weekday!" exclaims the woman sitting in an office on the other end.

I amend my statement, "I'm sitting in bed writing."

"Oh," she says.

It's why sometimes our hair is messy and some days we stay in our pajamas until noon. My attempts at social media aren't the best. I don't have a flashy website (I'm getting to it). My video quality is shitty (I'm working on it). If I focused on those things I'd have no time to write!

I invoke the built in excuse of being a writer.

It's nice to be free of the confines of perfection.

If you agree and call it creative freedom or don't agree and think I'm a lazy bum, tell me in the comments below. 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Crowdsourcing. Why not? Day 1 of Project Launch!

It was suggested to me by my friend Frank that I look into crowdsourcing which I had a rudimentary understanding of. This morning I launched my project kickstarter chosen-book-two-of-the-rebecca-ashley-mystery-series. I'm nervous that the idea of using a crowdsourcing site to get my second book published wont be well received. I purposefully do not  put google AdSense on my blog or adware on my channel because I personally find it annoying. The best way to support my writing is to buy my books. ;) I hope this doesn't jeopardize my place in our online writing community.  Keeping my fingers crossed!

One thing that putting together this project helped me with was my pitch! I made a YouTube video titled How To Pitch Your Novel which can be found through the link. Wish me luck friends and if you have any questions about crowdsourcing or want advice on putting together your own project please post them in the comments below. I'm happy to help! 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

IWSG - Too Plugged In?

It's the first Wednesday of the month. Time for another IWSG post. Check out the link Link to IWSG. For writers like me IWSG and other groups that make up the online writing community are very important. We are each other's audience. I get so excited to have my work read and critiqued that I feel I must return the favor in just as timely a matter.

I'm having problems balancing this. I'm trying to obtain and maintain an audience for my blog, my YouTube channel and my 'Rebecca Ashley Mystery Series'. I'm always reading other writer's work and enjoy it immensely, but I need to find balance. My phone is constantly dinging and I get lost in all the  correspondence. 

People are starting to mention it and I can tell that my being constantly on my phone is irritating the hell out of my friends and family, because they'll say things like, "You constantly being on your phone is irritating the hell out of me."

Time to power down. Anyone else have this problem?

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Liebster Award

Thank you Glendon for nominating me for the Leibster Blog Award! I actually read through the rules this time. ;) Glendon totally deserves this award. Check out Glendon's site. You'll be glad you did.  Glendon Perkins' Site

Here are the nomination rules:
1. List eleven random facts about me.
2. Nominate eleven bloggers for the Liebster Blog Award.
3. Notify the bloggers.
4. Ask eleven questions the bloggers must answer upon receiving the
5. Answer the eleven questions you were asked when you were nominated.
6. Link back t
o the person who nominated you.
Eleven random facts about me:
1. As a Navy brat and for other reasons I've moved over ten times my whole life.
2. The first time I moved I was eight months old. 
3. I have a big mouth.
4. I wont eat uncooked mushrooms unless it's fun afterwards.
5. My eyesight is probably a direct result of reading by flashlight as a kid.
6. I have two tattoos.
7. I'm a cat person yet I don't own a cat.
8. My best friend is an eight pound, long haired, miniature dachshund named Peaches. 
9. I play the guitar.
10. My dream is to work at an independent bookstore which might happen soon.
11. I've jumped out of a perfectly good airplane with a parachute because I didn't want to be the only one in my family that hadn't done it. (I wasn't doing back flips or anything like my sister-in-law. Ha!)
Questions for my Nominees 
1. What’s the meaning of life? What’s the point?
2. What are you best at?
3. If you were captured by aliens and put into an arena and they used their power of divination to determine your greatest fear or the one creature/animal/monster fake or real—what would appear out of the shadows to face you?
4. Favorite gig of all time?
5. How do you boil an egg?
6. If you could magic your mind into the body of any living human being on planet Earth, who would it be? (Keep in mind there’s no going back.)
7. If a clown jumped out of a van in the street while you were minding your own business and handed you a big pot of pink paint and a big crush, and said, “You mush paint that house over there pink, if you do then you’ll get this,” he shows you the biggest diamond you’ve ever seen in your life, what would you do?
8. Favorite food?
9. If you were suddenly transformed or transmogrified into a great bowl along with your equivalent selves from every country in the world, and you were asked by God to compete against each other in a variety of sports and test, what self from what country would win and why?
10. The best thing you’ve done for another human being?
11. What are your long term life goals?
My Answers
1. Need to be more specific. In which dimension are we talking? When I wake up in this one I tell myself, "What ever you do don't die."
2. Getting the ball rolling. I'm a woman of action. Even if I suck at it at least I try.
3. Dick Cheney
4. Working on the People of Richmond vs Chevron trial as a litigation assistant for Attorney Frank Kucera. Eye opening.   
5. For three minutes.
6. Lori Anne Allison for obvious reasons.
7. I would run screaming because I'm terrified of clowns, I hate painting houses and aint no way that diamond is real.
8. Fromage.
9. Um, what?
10. Not judge.
11. To support myself as an author.
My nominees for this award are as follows:
Kish Knight

To my nominees: Please nominate eleven more blogs. Be sure to let them know they've been nominated.