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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Hey! Next Time You Have A Thought...Let It Go.

Having been bullied as a child, I have little tolerance for people who lack filters. You know the ones I am talking about: the people who make snide little remarks about other people and then try to disguise it with cute little phrases like.."LOL" "JK" or my personal favorite, "No Offense."

Why do people do that?? I cringe when I hear the words, "No offense" because I know what's going to happen....I am about to be seriously offended.  "No offense but....when you wear your hair that way it makes your nose look really big...I'm just sayin'" ("I'm just sayin'" is apparently code for "I want you to think I'm trying to help, but I really just want you to feel ugly and inferior) "When you wear your make-up like that, you really can't tell your one eye is bigger than the other...LOL"  "LOL"= I want you to think I'm joking, but really I am trying to point out your flaws so nobody else will comment on how pretty you look.)

We all know someone like this, someone who just can't help themselves. I have have dealt with many of them in my life and I only lost my cool once. NO, I didn't hit her...I wanted to, I even have a plan to in one of my next books, but I didn't. I just smiled.  I smiled and started to talk. (This is where I almost lost her, because she was pretty, but not the sharpest tool in the shed...I had to speak slowly and clearly so she could fully absorb what I was saying.)  "You look really beautiful tonight, but if I may make a suggestion...perhaps you should re-evaluate the whole thinking and talking thing...no offense, but the next time you have a thought...let it go. I'm just sayin', when you open your mouth, the ugliness inside starts to show through and the whole pretty package that you've cultivated so carefully is just wasted, and we don't want that, do we? No we don't. So, next time you think it will be funny to say something nasty think twice. Shut your mouth and smile pretty, and leave the thinking and talking to those of us who can actually handle it."

She stood there for a minute, and I was pretty sure she missed most of it, then she said the only thing she could think of.

"Whatever."

Win.

Monday, July 30, 2012

The Monster Under My Bed.

Like many artistic-minded people, I have ADHD. I don't currently take medication for this, although I probably should be, by the bucketful, because sometimes it is just exhausting to be me. My brain doesn't ever seem to shut down, not even for a minute. For those of you who don't understand, let me try and explain. It is very much like some outside force has a giant remote control that is constantly changing channels in my head. I could be sitting in a classroom listening to a lecture and my brain would just switch channels and suddenly I'd be thinking, "If Wile E. Coyote had all this money for Acme products, why didn't he just order a pizza?"  This is probably the reason I have 100 college credit hours and no degree.

Because of this, I am also terribly disorganized. I am constantly losing money, keys, my car in the parking lot, and is probably the reason I found the telephone in the freezer the other day. Sleep is a literal nightmare. It doesn't matter how tired I am, as soon as I lay down, random thoughts creep into my head like the monster under the bed and take over. I find myself reliving conversations, making shopping lists, even creating story lines (which is not good, then I have to get up and write them down before the channel changes in my head; makes for great stories, but no sleep.)

Now, I have often wondered what a "normal' person's sleep is like. I dream...always. Vivid, clear, crazy dreams every night. Dreams that constantly change and evolve into even crazier dreams. Sometimes I wake up even more tired than when I went to bed. I just smile and nod when a friend starts a conversation with "I had a dream last night..."  Really?  A dream?  I can recall 6 from just one night alone. But, I don't say anything. It's best not to monopolize the conversation and scare the poor girl to death.

I have managed, somehow, to produce two published books. I did this by setting myself deadlines. Without deadlines I would have no less than 50 unfinished stories all jumbled together resembling something akin to the Unibomber's manifesto. I may procrastinate until the last minute, but, by golly, if the deadline is looming, I am writing like a mad woman. It works for me. I may have to poke the monster a few times to get him to go back under the bed, but it's worth it to see a project completed. Because having ADHD does not mean you can't....it means you just have to do things....oh, look at the kitty...

Um..what were we talking about???

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Oh, The Rejection....

My non-writer friends often tell me, "I couldn't be a writer, I couldn't handle the rejection. How do you do it?"  Easy. I have never been rejected by a publishing company. Not once. Not ever.

People not in the industry have a glorified idea of what it's like to publish a novel. The days of finishing your manuscript and sending it off to the publishers are long gone. We are not currently accepting unsolicited manuscripts, or We are no longer accepting manuscripts from new authors. That's the brick wall you run into when researching publishing companies. You can get an agent, and have them submit for you, but not many reputable agencies want to take on a "new author".

New author?  Wait a minute...I have two books currently for sale and have had my first novel published for over two years...I am not a new author!!!  Yes...yes you are. It's like the old saying, "Just because you put on a tutu and some toe shoes, doesn't make you a ballerina."  You are an Indie author..it's not the same thing. I have had people in the industry tell me that...You are not a "real" author because you don't have a publisher.  Really???  You mean, these books that I hold in my hand, these books that I wrote, and that I sell   and receive royalty payments for are not real books? Seriously? I had no idea.  Pardon me while I slink back to the hole I apparently crawled out of.

So how does one break into this industry, you ask?  It's a good question. Well, you can have a famous name. I have seen countless celebrities who have never published come out with a book and immediately land on the best-seller list. I will admit, this annoys me. A lot. Sour grapes?  Probably. I am annoyed by people of privilege automatically garnering the name of author for something they probably didn't even write themselves. Call me kooky.  You can hook up with a publishing company who takes a "chance" on unpublished authors. They will be happy to help you....for a nominal fee. Thousands of dollars in nominal fees. There are lots of these sharks out there...beware.  Or you can just keep writing and hope you are good enough to garner the attention you deserve. I think that is what I'm going to do. Keep writing, blogging, networking, and generally doing what I have to do to make my dream come true.

 Now, if you'll excuse me, my tutu is riding up and my toe shoes are pinching my feet, and I still have a lot of dancing left to do.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Really? You're an author? Who published YOU?

I always feel a twinge of shame when I tell people that I self-published. First of all, self-publishing is a minsnomer, I don't have a printing press in my backyard, and I know very few independent authors who do. I am an Independent author, or Indie, which means I make things happen for myself. I did not PAY anything to publish my book, the company I go through publishes books for me in return for a portion of the royalties. But, everything else, editing, re-writing, publicity, etc...is entirely up to me. I don't have an agent, or a contract, or a personal assistant ( oh how I wish I did.)  What I do have are friends.

Through networking, I have met and befriended many other Indie authors. Amazing, artistic and extremely talented group of people who have taught me more in the past year about the publishing industry than I could ever learn in a classroom. Supportive people who understand what I go through every day and do whatever I takes to make my dream of being a successful author come true. They give advice, answer questions, edit, proofread, create covers and book trailers and sometimes just listen.  Sometimes, that's all you need, someone to listen. Sometimes it's discouraging trying to do this all by myself, but then I look to my fellow Indies and realize I am not alone. There are many of us ready to encourage, advise and support each other and because of them, I am a successfully published author.