Eels, dear readers.

My brain has a bad case of “Hahaha no focus for you!” today.

It’s book release nerves. I know that. Knowing doesn’t help. (WHY, NERVES? WHY? YOU ARE POINTLESS.)

Being antsy will have zero effect on The Sharp Edge Of Yesterday’s ultimate fate. Either it will land in a cushy safety net built by happy readers who write reviews and make word-of-mouth recommendations, or it will quickly sink into the yawning void of the internet, mostly unseen and unloved except by my elite cadre of awesome fans.

That’s out of my hands. What’s in my hands is a lot of work.

Well. It should be in my hands. It’s languishing undone. I still need to write social media promos to boost the release. My email list needs love. The website will need updating. Boxes need mailing–suffice to say, there’s a lot more on the list.

Then there’s all the Life Stuff that doesn’t stop just because I write books. Bills need paying, a million little things need fixing, the cupboards are kinda bare, the laundry (AUGH LAUNDRY)

I know I need to choose one task and start it, but they all feel so slippery inside my head it’s impossible to get a grip on them. Seriously. Each task is a slick, slimy, squirmy eel of an idea that gets slipperier the longer I try to hold onto it for evaluation. Is slipperier a word? Spellcheck thinks so. ANYway.

Forget brain weasels. Today I have brain hagfish.

OK,, fine, hagfish aren’t eels, but WORK WITH ME HERE, will you? They’re figurative hag eels. Or something.

I could keep wrestling with them, or I could keep scrolling social media for funny memes, write a blog post, & wait for one of the tasks to dry off enough that I can pick it up. Guess which strategy I’m going with.

Oh, and the book on sale I mentioned? ROUGH PASSAGES $0.99 ebook right now. Moms with superpowers, activist teens, & heroic Marines. You want it. Unless you have it already. You probably do.

But if you don’t:

amazon.com/rough-passages for Kindle
books2read.com/rough-passages for everything else.

Sharp Edge of Yesterday (like Rough Passages, only bigger, longer, & with MOAR POWERS) has its own linkie page: linktr.ee/SharpEdge.

Okay, that’s more than enough for now. Probably too much.

Until later!

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PS: EXTRA life points for anyone who knows the song I paraphrased in the post title.

A blog post about my blog posts

My author website started getting a ton of re-directs from my old blog address recently, so I of course looked into it. Bots, I thought, or maybe someone following up on old contact information.

Nope! The activity on all come from search term hits that once led to writing process posts.

What a total blast from the past.

Back in the day, I wrote a lot of process posts, sharing discoveries I made while writing  books and then about all the work that came after writing them.  I wrote a LOT about all the issues that have to be tackled before and after hitting “publish.” Book design. Marketing. Merchandising. Publicity. Finances. Distribution channels. ALL THE THINGS.

Basically I wrote little guides to all the different facets of working as an independent author as I came across them. 

Here’s one I re-read and updated Monday: Little Details: font choice

Another of my favorites: Books are pyramids

I wrote process posts like those because writing things down is how I process everything. When I need to learn new skills, methodologies and systems, I researching how other people do them, then test by trial and error (and error and error) then analyze the successes and failures until I know exactly how and why I ended up choosing one over all others.

Even if I’m only explaining things to myself, writing out the facts helps me codify, clarify, and set in practice whatever personal system I’ve cobbled together.  And it made sense to me, back then, to share what i was learning in case it might help someone else.

Somewhere along the line I stopped writing those posts. Not because I stopped learning, no. Life got complicated, and I ran out of energy needed to put private thoughts into a sharable, coherent public format. When that little voice in my head convinced me I wasn’t saying anything other people couldn’t say better, well, it was easy to drop writing about writing.

(I know,  it’s a liar, that voice, but it was loud, and I was tired, and it was easier to curl up in my shell and cling to story writing instead.)

I want to get back into sharing opinions about this indie authoring gig. Recent experiences have convinced me anew that I have plenty to contribute. First I’ll do some posts with links to updated older posts on perennial topics. (There’s one earlier in this post, even!)  And when I think of a new interesting topic, or someone suggests one, I’ll write about that.

It’s a start, and that brings us to the end of this post. In a way I suppose this was a process post about process posts.  A very meta way to begin.

Until later.

And that’s a wrap on ConCoction 2019

The sequel did not disappoint. I had even more fun this year than last.

All my panels were a blast. So MANY great conversations on the role of creatures in stories, types of relationships besides romance and protagonists beyond the badass…wow. Excellent audience participation, and I met many cool new authors, too, which means of course  I have a huge list of titles to grab for my e-reader. And others to bump to the top of the To Be Read list.

I will attempt a list of all the cool authors who returned from last year and the new ones who joined in…but it will be later, when my brain is less mushy. If I try now, I would forget someone and feel horrible about it forever.

There was even an epic cool event called Prompt Joust, which is basically competitive impromptu storytelling. Two storytellers, one-minute time limit, story prompt/prop revealed just before the first person begins. It’s a web series by Story Medics (link here)  but this was a Special ConCoction edition RECORDED LIVE in front of the convention audience.

<gulp> I did it because the idea terrified me and I love doing scary things, and IT WAS A HOOT! I want to do it again! At some point the recordings will be posted on the Youtube Channel. Yes, I will let people know when mine is on. But I’ll also let you know about everyone else’s, because they were ALL great fun.

Other firsts. I did my first-ever reading from Controlled Descent! To my surprise and glee, it found some immediate fans. Readers grabbed all 5 copies I brought, and also some of Flight Plan, since it’s designed to be readable first. I found homes for a few copies of Rough Passages too. (That phrasing always makes me feel like I’m talking about orphaned kittens or something.)

ANYway.

Stickers were a hit again, people said complimentary things about the Unity Movement & Mercury Battalion support patches, and I even sent a couple of patches home with readers. Also, thanks to the great con organizers, I even had NEW bling to pass along!  I ordered a TON of awesome ribbons with Rough Passages-related messages on them. IT was a huge thrill to see people walking around wearing my ribbons.

(I may love book bling a whole lot.)

Post-con there was a scrumptious pub lunch with great friends I made last year and this one, and Sunday evening I hung out w/the ever-amazing Shannon Eichorn & new friend Abigail Delk for a post-con viewing of How to Train Your Dragon 2.

ON the emotions side, con crash came early with a minor anxiety freakout Saturday afternoon and other twitch sessions thereafter.  I’m getting better about spotting the symptoms early and fending off the worst effects. The most successful defense tactic appears to be regularly admitting to everyone I meet that I’ve gone fragile.

Now that I am fully in post-mode, I am certain I was accidentally rude to people, made someone feel left out, BORED them, or, y’know, just plain screwed up somehow.

But throughout the whole con, I felt included and welcomed and valued. So I’m clinging to those happy snapshots and can only hope I succeeded in my clumsy attempts to be socially supportive to others.

Next up in my life: laundry. Then it’s offline and back to revisions and drafting.