Tag Archives: shenanigans

(don’t) Let it Show…

I’m not a big dog in this race…not even close. There are some that think I’m a big deal though, and well versed too…why? Because I learned one lesson in business young and have never forgotten it – Don’t flinch…and I don’t.  That doesn’t mean that there isn’t a full-blown tornado ripping though my soul at any given moment.

I did something a week or so ago, something I never thought I’d ever consider doing again…I pitched a literary agent to go back to traditional publishing. I LOVE being an Indie…don’t get me wrong, there’s just something about the idea of traditional backing, and marketing funds, and a few other perks that are tempting…though only recently. I’ll give it to you gospel…I was shaking in my shoes and nearly yerked my lunch before I got to the door. All in all, there are some great things on the horizon though because of that meeting…and I did manage to keep lunch in. So there’s that too. I just have to re-evaluate how I’m going to travel the road I’ve endeavored to take.

I’m fully confident of my abilities to write and be in the public eye at signings or conventions. I love the energy in a signing room…not gonna lie, it’s a hard habit to break and I have a fix every chance I get. That said, I also know my limitations. Public Relations and Marketing are easily my predominant Achilles heel, and the aspect of the business I struggle forward every inch to gain ground. I have to consider that I may need to go hybrid at the least to be able to have that front get the attention it deserves. It scares me more than a little, but I know I need help.

 

I did not make the decision to leave traditional publishing lightly. Any consideration to go back must be as carefully weighed. Whichever way this road goes, one thing will hold true…you won’t see my frenzy if I can help it. Composure will be me, if I have to stand on my own feet to accomplish it.

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On The Road Again

I’m up. It’s early. So early, the birds aren’t even awake yet. After a night of fighting to make it to the land of nod, and sleep being that ever elusive ship that is hard to catch in harbor especially the night before hitting the road for a signing event, I’m happy to report that I did manage to set sail, landing without incident on the far reaching shores. I’m equally happy to report that I will have 2 travelling companions. YAY! *throws confetti in the air*

Penned Con in St. Louis is this weekend. It is two…well two and a half days of fun filled activity. I can hardly wait. You will happy to know, I did remember to pack clothes. 🙂 As a bonus, the large suitcase I’m using this trip, allowed for packing of my pillow and blanket. Only thing left to pack in the toiletries and face paint.

Take a gander at what is scheduled for Penned

Until next week…Happy Reading!

~Jolanthe~

 

Tangled webs

I want to take some time today to talk through a few sticky situations. Why? Because left untended, they become monsters and the tangled webs are too strong, even for ninjas then. I’m no ninja, so venting them openly is the best I can do.

I’ve been gunning HARD lately as many of you know. It’s meant long days, short nights, an ass-ton of coffee, and raw emotions. The combination can be lethal…but I’m holding the tiger by the tail…so far. I know that’s not how we maintain control, but at this point, any grasp is better than none at all. Right?

I’ve noticed that when I’m in this odd euphoria of sleep deprivation that things jump out at me that I might not otherwise notice. Rather than poke the bears, I thought I’d offer some friendly advice without naming names…with the best of intentions and a smile on my face while the caffeine has continued dominion.

Let’s start with the person on social media who posts every hour or so about the same thing…or an update on something that will obviously not be resolved for days…or what they are doing at any given moment. Let’s face it, over-sharers exist. Most of the time, I can ignore the behavior, or there is always the ‘unfollow’ to click if it gets to be too much, but let’s talk about some self-regulation on social media. I’d like to point out to those who feel compelled to share such finite changes in your day…there is a difference between quality and quantity in sharing too. If your audience can fathom when you are ‘on the throne,’ based on your lack of posting for those 4 minutes, you’re doing it wrong.

Next, let us take a lesson from Yoga about breathing…there are going to be things that come up that will fluster us to no end, and when that happens…let us stop, and take a good, deep, cleansing breath before we react. The cursing, screaming, spittle-dripping tirades that some have come to favor are so unattractive…live and virtual. Personally, I think one of the rapid killers of civilized society right now is the immediate gratification of responding before having to think. What ever happened to taking a few minutes, or overnight, to process information before spitting out the first, often worst, thoughts that come to mind? We are not showing ourselves very well.

Third up on my list of ‘OhMyGoddessWhatAreWeThinking?’ is the matter of If you ask for it…guess what? I recently suggested a new writer who wanted to publish, work with an editor I know. They write outside my comfort level of what I can edit and have ability to offer good feedback for…so I referred them to someone else. I learned that they got the edits back and have ‘poo-poo’d’ the comments as being too picky, and that it isn’t fitting with their writing style. Also, that a NYT Bestselling author most of us have heard of doesn’t do it that way. Here’s the thing…One, you are not said NYT Bestselling author where you can take license with the hard rules.  Two, grammar rules ARE picky. Three, YOU ASKED FOR AN EDITOR because you didn’t know what you were doing wrong or how to remedy it…guess what? They gave you comprehensive guidance on how to fix what wasn’t working. If you didn’t want to know…you shouldn’t have asked.

Four…and mercy let me slurp some coffee before I begin this one…IF you KNOW the answer, please don’t ask the question just to get attention. I’ve seen recently…seasoned authors, with a year or more under their belts, asking first book, newbie questions. Questions that I am seeing first book/newbie authors answering with ease and confidence. I am floored. That’s all I’ve got. Well…that’s not completely true, and it goes to a larger, pandemic problem that should be addressed…If you ask a question – BOTHER TO LEARN THE ANSWER. there are TONS in the Indie author community that are so helpful and will go out of their way to assist anyone…respect them enough to take in the answer and make it work, not just hear or read the words. You’ve taken their time, return the courtesy by at least trying to apply the response. If you require repeated exposure to the same information, get a notebook.

Four segued nicely into five which is ditch the excuses. LIFE HAPPENS…to all of us. We all get sick, have babies or fur babies who need us, want to take a day away from the keyboard to decompress, have parents, or play-dates, or appliance mishaps, or any other myriad things that happen…at the end…if you made a commitment – keep it. It’s that simple. your best is not the same as anyone else’s…and guess what? It’s all you’ve got to give. Don’t bungle it up with excuses about how you didn’t go as fast as someone else, or whatever…leave the excuses for the quitters. If you’re going for it – RUN!

Lastly, if you’ve just learned it, you are not qualified to teach it and CHARGE for the lesson. There is sharing and information swapping that happens all the time, but I’ve noticed a trend that makes me nervous…young authors who had a good book do well, who jump from that to the ‘teaching class about it for $50 an hour so you can do what they did.’ It reminds me a workshop I attended at RT several years ago about learning the Amazon algorithms to maximize exposure…which translated to sitting in a class waiting in pain to get to the subject, instead of how amazon was like the presenters dating life. Many of you know just how pricey RT is…so I paid for that. I can never recover those funds, not the hour and I learned NOTHING. Welll..I learned I’m not going to that presenters class again. Basically, there is a wide range of information out there and often it doesn’t have a price tag…so Buyer beware.

I’d like to say this is everything, now squarely expunged and I’m good to go…but we all know it isn’t. These are just some examples of the sticky things that are out there…the ones that are easy to get tripped up in and off-track. It’s too easy to lose our way, and get caught up in the crazy of others.

There used to be a meme on my desk that I haven’t rediscovered since moving the office that said: “Don’t let others pull you into their storm, pull them into your peace.” It’s good advice.

All of these things are detractors, and false roads that take us away from the golden path to productivity…so let us now make an agreement to lift each other up, and offer positive reinforcements as we each try to grow, and to put helpful things out in the paths of others, and not to ask for things that we don’t truly need as we try to be a bit better than we were yesterday.

It’s my goal…how about you?

Collecting Pens

I’m finding that I’ve lapped myself on the hamster wheel lately. It’s a good thing, even as I fight not to give in and let myself ride the next turn and slow down. If it wouldn’t put me severely behind, I would in an instant. But alas, it will only make the next lap harder and I find that catching up is simply not in my ability if I get too far behind.

Instead, I’ve taken to doing some long hand writing. It’s got a certain meditative quality to it that typing can never encompass. As such, I’ve also taken turns writing with the myriad pens I’ve collected over the years, or through other authors at signings…because I’m a pen whore. There, I said it. No, I don’t want a 12-step program. I happen to love my obsession. There is something about finding one that just glides for you that makes the words all the more magical.

Do you have a favorite? A favorite single you’ve never been able to replace, or is it a certain brand that works for you every time? What about the feel? I have recently discovered one that I like a lot…and then found that it came in different barrel styles. They are NOT the same, even though the ink and roller are…the feel is completely foreign and I cannot make myself pick the one up…which really bites because I bought a whole package of them.

So…what’s a girl to do?

Part of me thinks that authors, like the president, should write one word or letter and then give them away like prizes. Could that become a thing? ‘Here, I wrote with this…treasure it forever.’ Somehow, unless you’re a big shot, and it has your name on it, and maybe the title of the work it was used for, and maybe some writer’s tears on it, I don’t think so. Guess I’ll go back to the old stand-by solution…donating them to the classrooms at the local school. Somebody is always needing one, right? That’s what I’m telling myself.

Meanwhile, the tried and true I’ve fallen completely in love with ones will make it into one of the multiple holders around my office and wait for rediscovery. I mean, fair is fair…gotta try them all. Don’t I?

Running 220 with my hair on fire

It’s that day. I’m on the road and likely recording errant thoughts for work I intend to do when I reach my destination. I’ve been running 220 with my hair on fire for weeks leading up to this. C.A.S.E. Revelations came out a scant two weeks ago, and I’ve got an anthology & a boxed set on the near horizon that has been calling hours to promote as well. Add in packing & prep for a signing (and liberation from the real world), plus final edits/assessment of a manuscript for someone else (that I finished at nearly 3 am on Saturday morning, I might add), and you’ll have me scrambling to pack and get out the door on time.

But, by the time this posts, I’ll be long on my way. Send coffee. I’ll need it by now.

With the sun coming up to my left, I should be well beyond my beloved home state and likely  well on my way to warmer. It’s always amusing to make this trek, shedding layers as the hours pass.

So…what will you do this week? Me, I’ve got no phone, no neighbors…and a large riverhouse to shelter me and my thoughts as I try to plunk out at least 1 or 2 of the upcoming works that need words…and grab a few lazy hours on the deck in the hammock catching up on some great reads! Bliss folks…bliss is coming.

I’m going to hope for access to post next weeks snippet with fun from Booking In Biloxi…the signing is the gold standard and I’m hopeful to find a coffee joint if necessary to upload before I get back on the road to head north and have to stop to once again put pants on.

Til then…read something awesome.
See you on the pages.
Sav

 

Back to work

Last week as I was preparing to leave for an event in Wisconsin my laptop arrived back on my doorstep. To say that I was excited would be an understatement. I was expecting it to be gone for a lot longer.

To be honest I was expecting them to send me a check with a letter saying that it could not be saved and I would have to replace it. To receive it back two days after they received it and to have everything exactly as I had left it was more than I believed possible.

I accepted it without question (I didn’t want to jinx this newly found luck) and now I am able to get back to work. I can work whatever hours I want on the trilogy and when edits come in I can work on them whenever I want too! My stress levels immediately dropped.

It feels good to be able to do what I love.

~Miranda

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Brain soup

Sorry folks. My brain is absolutely in the blender lately. I have been racing to the finish of so many projects, and finding others that I forgot were on the plate. I’m going to try, but not promise, to be around next Monday. It is month end, but also scamper like a madwoman to finalize packing and weighing of bags to go on the plane bright and early Tuesday…I’m going to the final AAD in Savannah Georgia…who’s joining me??

Meanwhile, this week I have 2 federal compliance audits to complete for other field locations for my company…the job just won’t lie down so I can pack. And, I have some promised shopping to do for mini #2. Guess I’ll be sleeping on the flight home, cuz everything from now until then is booked.

Read something great!

Coffee, it plays an important role

I stared at the blinking cursor with a blank mind  while listening to the coffee pot waiting for it to be done. I had no idea what to write for my post this week. No idea were forthcoming. I was hoping inspiration would come with that first cup of coffee.

After that first cup inspiration did indeed hit. Coffee plays an integral role in what we do as writers. Without the caffeine it provides to our brains I’m not sure we could come up with half of what we do for our stories. We mainstream the substance into our systems to keep going when we are on a roll and the result is a draft. Then we continue to mainstream it and the next result is a second (or third, etc.) draft. Then edits, then formatting. Finally, we end up with a book.

Coffee is one of the main ingredients that we need to write. I had a hard time even getting started on writing even this blog post without it. It is hard to admit it, but I think it is time to put it out there. I’m not sure I would be where I am without coffee 😉

~Miranda

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Mixing things up

When you get into a pattern it is hard to break it. You get used to the way that you do things. It never occurs to you that things could be done in a different order and still turn out the same. Your way is not always the only way.

This is not something that any of us wants to think about. When it comes to a project that you are not the only person working on, it is something that you have no choice but to look at. It is also something that will smack you right in the forehead. It is not good or bad. Your way is not wrong, neither is their way. It is just two ways to get to the same destination.

Instead of having lag time waiting for one aspect to be completed, I could be doing another aspect that can be completed. (insert forehead smack here) Sometimes you have to look outside of your little bubble of existence and realize that there is a whole world of other people out there with ideas and their own way of obtaining their objectives.

Just remember that just because you think it all has to be done a certain way, doesn’t mean that is the only way it can be done. There is always someone out there you can learn something from if you are willing to listen.

~Miranda

Another great event

Yesterday three of us were at Writers on the River. It was a great event. Not only was it only 10 minutes from my house it was a great success. There was a steady stream of people and it was a great time.

We all had so much fun. It was the first year for this event so none of us knew what to expect. I was so happy to see that it went so well. I got to see some friends that I hadn’t seen in a while and meet some new ones. I also sold some books.

It is always nice to sell books at events but my favorite part of events is getting to talk to everyone. I love meeting new people and talking to the ones that I don’t get to see very often.  I love to walk around and see what the other author tables look like and see what they have worked so hard on.

I feel a connection with everyone at these events. We all have one thing in common a love of books. No matter what else we have in our lives we have this one thing we can talk about for hours. We may not enjoy the same genre but that doesn’t make a difference we can still talk about books and writing for hours upon end (to the dismay of our significant others in most cases) and that is something that you will be hard pressed to find outside of an event like this. Unless of course you are part of a book club or it is friends but those are different circumstances.

Before the signing starts I always walk through and look at everyone’s books and find a couple that I really want. If I sell well enough I always buy at least one of them. This time there was only one that I had to have. The foot traffic was heavy enough that I wasn’t able to run over and get it myself so I sent my Mom who was there as my assistant. She came back with the book that I wanted and the author had written ‘never stop chasing your dreams’ when she signed it. I have heard this phrase many times. I have even said this phrase many times. To see it written in a book by an author to another at an event hit home with me. It showed me that the author community is very supportive of each other and I am proud to a part of it.

~Miranda

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