Cull It, Cull It Real Good

Squatting in a corner of my living room the other day, on Danger Baby patrol because my girl is a stunt woman in training, I googled “how to cull toys” on my phone.

Not “how to organize” not “how to cut down on”. I asked the all-knowing google how to CULL!

to reduce or control the size of (something, such as a herd) by removal (as by hunting) of especially weaker animals; also to hunt or kill (animals) as a means of population control. The town issued hunting licenses in order to cull the deer population.

 

Apparently, I wanted those bastards MURDERED. I must CONTROL the population. I must DESTROY!

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It’s how I’m feeling about everything these days. There’s too much and most of it is some sort of waste and the best thing to do is open a giant trash bag and shove it all in.

That’s why I had to stop reading one of the books I was trudging my way through. I’m seriously considering erasing the second from my Kindle cloud storage as well. Because they are a waste of my tiny precious reading time.

Zeroes by Chuck Wendig. I’m sorry but I do not care. I’m 70% through the book and I couldn’t POSSIBLY care less about what happens to these characters. What are their names again? Why shouldn’t I hate them for being mostly human garbage? What could I be reading instead of sighing and opening the book like it’s a toilet-cleaning chore?

Ishmael by Daniel Quinn. Yes, this is what I’m reading instead. I read this as a 20-something and it blew my damn mind. It is no longer brain-splattering revelation to me so much as proof that the world is bullshit but Daniel Quinn had no idea what kind of vapid corn puffs would pass for leadership in 2018.

Neanderthal Seeks Human by Penny Reid. “A smart romance” it calls itself. Dangerously misogynist, I’d correct identify it. Stupid girl with a penchant for Jeopardy-winning memorization of facts wooed by stereotypical rich white guy who “just wants to protect her” but, as far as I can tell, just controls her without her awareness of… like, anything, seriously. The main character is so unbearably negligent when it comes to personal safety which, I think, makes the author complicit in the perpetuation of patriarchal mistreatment of women as naive, self-conscious, entirely lacking in self-awareness, and helplessssssss. So helplesssssss. I hate it with a fiery passion and just now, I realized I didn’t even pay for this trash (I did pay for Zeroes so I feel like I have some obligation) so TO HELL, I say. I’m done. DELETE FOREVER.

Instead, I have to decide between Gone Girl and Wild. Either one backwards and upside down would make more sense than that “smart romance”.

Bad books, consider yourselves culled.

Now, what to do with all those freaking LEGOs.

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Am Reading, Not Writing

This is how it is and how it’s been with these NaNo adventures: I write like crazy pants for a month and then I spend the next month doing ANYTHING ELSE.

This month, I’ve been reading, cleaning out closets, and redesigning my work website. I don’t believe in that whole A WRITER WRITES EVERY DAY thing. A lawyer doesn’t lawyer every day. A scientist doesn’t science every day. And sometimes, you just need a freaking break.

So here’s what I’ve been reading:

The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom. I don’t know what I believe about an afterlife, if anything, but books like this make you feel like you don’t have to worry about that so much.

 Talking As Fast As I Can by Lauren Graham. I love reading memoirs of women with hustle because after I feel super lazy, I feel super motivated.

Zeroes by Chuck Wendig. I haven’t finished this yet because I almost always read several books at a time and this is the one I’m least invested in but only because I don’t care about hackers. I do care about Chuck Wendig and I like his writing style but perhaps I picked the wrong book for my first encounter with him.

Love and Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch. Reading this now. It’s ok, I guess. I’m not far enough in for a real opinion but I keep reading it so it obviously doesn’t suck enough for me to put it down.

Let’s Sign, Baby! by Leo Landry. Reading this nightly with my preschooler who 1) had no interest in signing as a baby and 2) has an incredible vocabulary and command of syntax so I think maybe he’s just trying to challenge himself?

Feminist Baby by Loryn Brantz. My baby girl could have been the model for this book. She also says NO TO PANTS! But I read it to both of my children because rigid gender roles are bullshit.

Be a Star, Wonder Woman by Michael Dahl. My kids just got this as a gift but we love it! LOVE IT! We can all be heroes with the right attitude, ya’ll.

The Berenstain Bears’ Trouble with Money by Stan BerenstainJan Berenstain. I bought this for my son last week but haven’t read it to him yet. Kid needs to chill with the constant requests for toys but this book mentions allowances which, if I even want to do such things, we’re not ready for yet (like, DAMN kid, Mommy only works part time right now. She ain’t GOT money for herself, never mind to be paying you).

 

Up next in my Kindle queue, I’ve got Ishmael by Daniel Quinn which I read a long time ago and it was a perspective shifter to say the least but now I can’t remember anything about it, and Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow by Yuval Noah Harari which I read a good review of and then impulse purchased when it was on sale.

Goodreads deals are legit, ya’ll. Make sure you fill up your “Want to Reads” because those lovely people will email you when a book on your list is on sale. Same with Amazon wish lists. Discount books are what I spend my allowance on.

 

 

A Hen’s Dogs CAN Bark After All

I’m a late adopter. I know this about myself. I won’t switch to new technology until it’s the norm (and the price is low). I don’t fall for fads because by the time it reaches me, it’s over and I don’t have to think about it.

And I’m not so much in the loop on emerging popular genres. I’m just now finding out that Hen Lit exists and I am deeeelighted.

Hen Lit is the super sassy older sister of chick lit and (in my estimation) it’s for women who can’t be bothered to shave above the knee unless there’s a really good reason for it. Women like me. Who just wants to get shit done in a timely manner. And then take a damn nap.

From HEN LIT: Millions of Boomers Are Waiting For It on fiftiness.com

Chick Lit may breathlessly describe a young women’s first adventure into adultery, her sense of guilt, joy, and whatever. Interesting to other young women in the same brood. A hen will have been there already. If she happens upon a man whom she desires, she will probably know what to do. She will do it without the histrionics, understanding there’s more to life than an orgasm. If a chick hates her boss, she’ll piss, screech, cackle, and finally stomp out of the roost. A hen will just waddle away quietly, exit the yard through a hole in the fence, having first left behind a ruthless peck or two of revenge. A Hen will start her own flock.

Also known as Matron Literature, it’s the opposite of the manuscript I’m currently writing and I’m … I’m this:

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Because I don’t care about first kisses right now. I don’t care about teenage identity crises. I don’t care that my main character is having issues with her parents.

Let’s just… put on some comfortable shoes and go save the damn world instead.

 

 

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Hmm… Oh hey, Camp NaNoWriMo. I think I’ve got a little something cookin’ for you. And it’s got some wrinkles and gray hairs. GET READY.

 

 

And by the way, I think I’ve already written some of this: Lay_Her_Ghosts_to_Rest_Self_Care_and_Spirit_Guides

Middle-aged woman who has no time for drama with love interests? CHECK!

Who focuses on her career and self-discovery? CHECK!

Walking away from a crappy situation and putting herself in charge? Spoiler alert: CHECK!

I mean, love scenes are fun to write but not when it’s all big emotions all the time. Sometimes, you just want your characters to think about stuff, figure it out, help you figure your own stuff out, and then keep on keeping on because that’s what grownups do.

That’s what I do. E’ryday. It’s not glamorous but it’s what I got. And I’m ok with that.

I think it’s time for another Amazon Book Promotion Event! Lay Her Ghosts to Rest needs to find its audience. Maybe there are a few hens out there looking for something good to read.

How about… FREE from June 22 to June 26? Yeah, let’s get that old girl read.

 

Black Sheep of the Family Friday

For a limited time (that being until I remember to revert it) the paperback version of my latest book (and my winning WIP for last year’s NaNoWriMo), Lay Her Ghosts to Rest, is “on sale” on Amazon.

Consider it a holiday special if you will but really, I want to buy a few copies for family members for Christmas and if I get to control the price, I choose to pay less.

That’s why it’s “on sale” rather than on sale. There’s no real promotion so much as I lowered the price for my own benefit.

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Lay Her Ghosts to Rest is my most recent book, inspired by my dread and hatred of wakes and funerals and my desire to legitimize my fear and justify my absence from them. See, everyone? It’s bad for your spirit to attend these things! It’s bad for your soul to have one held for you! Devastation, organization, commercialization! These are all the consequences of your morbid fascination with grief theater and cadaver puppets!

It’s also about recognizing negative patterns and realizing how difficult it is to break them. Workplace drama, relationship drama, ghost stuff, a kickass apartment complex in a renovated industrial mill. That’s what’s what.

 

I imagine that’s why many small business owners open up shop: just to spend less on the stuff they love.

Cover It Good

The Help Me subject of the day, writer friends, is book covers.

I’ve been using the KDP Cover Creator because it’s easy and free but it’s also very limited and frustrating in that… like, you do the thing and then it undoes the thing way. You know what I’m sayin’?

And while my design skills and software are certainly an upgrade from Cover Creator, my turnaround time is way longer and, let’s be honest, I do not have the time or patience right now (still pregnant, if you’re counting. More and more cranky about it too.)

SO, I am looking for professional services. And I am taking suggestions.

Where do you go for cheap but better than Cover Creator book covers?

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When You Give It Away, You Get Labeled

Hey, I’m finally in the category I want to be in! Thanks Amazon!

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #92,536 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)

I consider most of what I write to be Women’s Fiction because my main characters are women and those women have STORIES that need to be told. But I get a lot of my sellers rank through other categories… like Occult which is not totally accurate. Horror is not at all accurate, unless we’re talking about the main character’s ex. He’s a little bit of a nightmare, I suppose.

Regardless, Lay Her Ghosts to Rest is getting some attention and all I have to do was, you know, give it away for free.

Get yours for free on Amazon today (and also tomorrow and the next day)!

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With Subtitles Like These, Who Needs Titles?

Post about Subtitles

How to use them and who does

I’m not gonna lie, my brand new baby novel is not super popular and hasn’t generated much more than friends and relatives sales. While I keep telling myself that I don’t write for money–I have TWO jobs, both of which issue paychecks–I’m still a little bummed that this labor of love ain’t gettin’ any from anywhence else than me.

So I’m reading, I’m researching, I’m checking out articles both helpful and not so much about ebook marketing, KDP marketing, tips and tricks and whatnots when I come across a whole separate genre of marketing articles about…. SUBTITLES!

AhPPARENTly, subtitles are the bees knees and you just can’t make honey without them. But the only subtitles I’ve ever noticed on a fiction book were, “A Novel” so I really thought all that subtitle nonsense didn’t apply to me.

I was wrong.

Subtitles of fiction books can be lots of things!

The Modern Prometheus

A Tale of Passion

The Misfortunes of Virtue

Electric Boogaloo! Wait… no, that was a movie subtitle. Still, as subtitles go, that’s a pretty memorable one.

With this shiny new information, first, I will ask all ya’ll: Do you subtitle your books? Something fancy or no? Do you think it’s helps readers find your book?

Second, I need to come up with some subtitles for my books!

The Homecoming Effect: A Tale of Smut and Love and Starting Over  

Like Two Opposite Things: She Kissed a Girl and Liked It

Lay Her Ghosts to Rest: Grassroots Ghost Removal for the Newly Self-Actualized

I mean… I would read them.

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Most of the Electric Boogaloo memes were super racist or political in a way that made no sense to me.

Hot Off the Digital Press

Available for pre-order until August 11:

Lay Her Ghosts to Rest

 

This story is really about recognizing negative patterns and realizing how difficult it is to break them.

The main character, a spirit counselor in a pseudo-post-apocalyptic society with a ghost infestation, takes care of everyone but herself.

The message the story tries to convey is that radical self-care is one of the steps in creating a healthier society.

Plus… ghosts!

 

Boosts Go Up. I Want to Go Through.

I discovered a new word today: liminoid. It’s the in-between place described by the word liminality but optional and secular because it doesn’t belong to a ritual.

It’s what I’m going to call this place between finishing an old WIP and starting a new one. It’s both freedom and lostness and it’s super uncomfortable.

I would like to be writing something new but as my free time is limited, and I would like to sell the book I just finished, I need to concentrate my effort on marketing, right?

Or do I?

I have no issue with considering myself a hobby novelist and while I enjoy the gratification of that sales graph climbing ever upward, making money has never been my goal.

Oh, but it’s nice, isn’t it?

When it comes down to it, though, I write for the pleasure of writing. I finish a story for the pleasure of seeing it through to the end. I self-publish for the pleasure of hoping my story means something to someone else. I collect a couple o’ pennies in royalties for the pleasure of a cup of coffee I didn’t pay for out of my day job paycheck.

All in good fun.

So maybe it’s time to start something new? To step through the threshold and find out what’s on the other side? To stop feeling guilty about not doing enough or posting enough or paying* enough to get my books sold and read?

Yes, I think so.

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*Paying for advertising when you’re not 100% invested in making money on a thing is just a dumb waste. Hear that, Facebook? Please stop harassing me about “boosting” things. There will be no more boosting for you from me, thankyouverymuch.

A Plea to Readers

Dear Readers of ebooks, specifically on Amazon but elsewhere as well,

Please take a moment and rate the books you read, especially by independent authors. It makes a world of difference!

I know from my sales stats that at least 100 people have downloaded my newest book and my KENP score (pages read) is up in the thousands so people are reading it. Two lovely people gave me favorable ratings on GoodReads, which I am grateful for, but my Amazon rating remains at a 1 star with a nasty review by a small-minded troll which makes it look like one jerk read my crap book and hated it rather than the lots of readers, some of whom thought it was at least OKish.

Just throw those indie writers a bone. Give a few stars. Make them feel like they aren’t total crap for trying.

Thanks,

An Indie Writer with an adorable book rated 1 star by some jackass who wants to see the world burn

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